Well, Survivor Series happened on Sunday. It was potentially threatened by terrorists, it had all sorts of weirdness and was the beginning and the end of Roman Reigns’ first title reign.
And I was there in section 112 right above the floor level entrance for all of it.
This was my first big pay-per-view that I’ve attended. I went to Raw earlier this year when it was in Atlanta and even drove to Florida for an NXT house show that was later featured on the show Breaking Ground, but I knew this was going to be different. Higher stakes, special appearances, no weird commercial breaks where everything goes dark… It was exciting to think about and exciting to experience.
At least before the show, the crowd was in high spirits. I guess it was that shared experience of “Well, we could possibly die tonight and the line is going extra slow because of the metal detectors. Let’s at least do our best Big E impressions and make this chorus of woos echo through the CNN Center.”
It certainly helps that the first actual match of the night featured the return of Goldust, causing Stardust to act squirrelly through the entire match and the crowd to pop real big. Even I popped when the Dudley Boyz pulled a 3D and I wasn’t even into wrestling when they were huge.
The first three matches of the night were absolute fire. Reigns and Alberto Del Rio put on an amazing match and Dean Ambrose proved that he’s going to be a fun counter to Kevin Owens until Sami Zayn recovers from injury. Not to mention just how fun and glorious that 5-on-5 tag match was. Right from Xavier Woods’ gorgeous Gaston hair to the entire face team going diving out of the ring to The New Day leaving Sheamus to get wrecked. My three favorite tag teams on the main roster were all in one match and it was the best.After that, things got a bit touch and go.
I’ll admit, I understand that a lot of this had to be because so much of the roster is out for one reason or another. The original main event got cancelled because Seth Rollins blew his knee out. Cesaro just went in for surgery for a rotator cuff injury that he was working on unknowingly for months. Orton dislocated his shoulder. If anything I was working on got hit with that much bad luck in a short amount of time, I’d be running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off to make it work in time too.
Also, I honestly don’t know what was up with the crowd. When Raw rolled through back in July. The crowd was super over for Roman and was hyped up about all the NXT women coming up. Did all those anti-Roman smarks who are still stuck on Daniel Bryan not winning the Rumble buy half of the tickets?
To be fair about the women’s match, while I was super into it like I always am for women’s matches, it felt more like a regular weekly NXT match than a title defense. That’s not to say it was bad. The women’s matches on NXT are regularly quite good. The story and feeling just wasn’t there. I was more invested in Charlotte’s matches with Nikki Bella than I was in this (and that’s not an insult to Nikki Bella because those matches were great). This might be because Paige’s angle right now isn’t really working. It’s so dependent on the old “I’m jealous!” trope Vince and creative like to rely on for women’s wrestling without giving any real backing to it. Paige has the ability to be an absolutely vile heel as she’s been showing and she is a great worker and Charlotte does well with being the noble one and the vicious fighter when she needs to be, but this angle just had no weight and the burn out on Paige could be starting to show with the crowds. Or at least with me.
I hope the WWE at least gives TLC a match with Sasha next month since they will be in Boston for it. It’s only fair to give that crowd the true fire I wanted to see.
Also, it just felt like a lot of the matches went quickly and weren’t given time to really breathe. Tyler Breeze’s match with Dolph Ziggler went by in a blink. The Undertaker’s 25th anniversary match felt kind of low stakes. And the main event between Reigns and Ambrose was a fun match, but it didn’t feel like a main event.
Not to mention that ending. I apparently missed that people were cheering for Sheamus cashing in and killing Roman’s hopes and dreams, so I’m chalking that up to temporary rage deafness. You know how hard it is to see someone who’s journey you’ve followed since you got into wrestling reach the top and be so joyful with his best friend, only to see him get knocked down three minutes later by a rooster who’s only personality traits is that he’s Irish and has outdated concepts of masculinity? And that the cherry on top of all that is that assholes boo him out of the ring? It makes you feel ready to fight the world, starting with the smarks around you.
And yet, I still had a great time.
Yes, things were weird, but there’s nothing that beats that live experience with wrestling. TV doesn’t capture how the arena shakes at dueling chants of “LET’S GO ROMAN!” “LET’S GO AMBROSE!” or just how much Bray Wyatt’s ‘Fireflies’ light up an arena. Nothing could express my swelling pride for Tyler Breeze winning his first PPV match when I saw him in a rec center gym in Gainesville, FL two months prior.
Not to mention The Undertaker…
I said last night on my Tumblr that part of the reason I love Finn Bálor so much is that he has such a presence that draws you in. Now, he’s great at that, but The Undertaker is a master of it. From the second Kane lit his sigils, everyone was on their feet and ready, the excitement building even more with each slow step into the ring. The Deadman moves with such purpose, mystery and grace. I have never seen anything like it before and I doubt I ever will again.
Plus, I think him and Kane got the biggest pop of the night when they chokeslammed Braun Strowman through the Spanish announce table. Apparently the way to defeat an angry swamp giant is to get a reaper and his demon brother to put him through a table.
Survivor Series 2015 was my first live pay-per-view. It was weird, amazing, awful, hilarious, and sometimes chilling and I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything.
Not to mention I get to go, “Hey, remember when Sheamus cashed in on Roman Reigns? Yeah, I was there for that bullshit” in about ten years. Though I will probably do that a lot between now and then as well.