Survivor Series has been known for some pretty classic moments in its nearly three decade history. Two of the most important moments in WWE’s fall franchise were debuts of feature franchise players. In 1990, it was the Undertaker. In 2012, it would be dominant trio of The Shield of Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins. It’s interesting that these entities became the focus of this year’s event once again.

The show kicked off with a traditional five on five Survivor Series tag team match. This match was a surprise to a lot of people as only one of these classic matchups had been announced. And truth be told looking at the participants it didn’t really get me excited. Not to say that Bo Dallas, The Ascension, Cody Rhodes and The Miz are not great characters. But they’ve been treated like second-class citizens on the roster. Their opponents The Dudleys, The Primetime Players and Neville had really been treated the same. But there was a golden ticket in this match as Goldust returned to the ring. It seems that Dustin Runnels is always finding the fountain of youth as he looked great in this match.

The heels would get eliminated getting Stardust to face off with his brother. This leads me to think that were going to get the sons of The Dream battling each other in Texas at Wrestlemania 32. That match has been wanted for quite some time I can think of nothing better to really showcase those two in honor of the American Dream. Hell, I think Dustin Runnels a.k.a. Goldust is going in the Hall of Fame this year and this is his swansong for his 20 year career. It would just be natural in my eyes.

This is followed up by the first of the semi final matches in the WWE World Title Tournament with Roman Reigns versus Alberto del Rio. I thought this was a great match really showcasing Roman as the hard-working good guy. Both men really brought it and showed what the Title means to the roster. Roman has really turned his intensity of a notch in the ring and I like that. It will be interesting to see what’s next for Alberto coming out of this.

Dean Ambrose defeated Kevin Owens in a really physical match as well. These matches really showed the work ethic of the mid-card. It shows the engine of WWE can really produce when asked to do so. And while predictable I could not wait to see the final match. Two members of the most dominant trio in WWE history battling out for the top prize in the company. Hard to believe it’s only been three years since their debut.

Following those two matches, WWE gave us a little break with an entertaining traditional Survivor Series match up as The New Day team with Sheamus and King Barrett versus Ryback, The Lucha Dragons and The Usos. Really fun. Most of this is a course due to the silliness of the New Day. I love the fact that Barrett and Sheamus got in On the fun. And Xavier Woods hair was amazing. All in all, this was a throwback to the days of Survivor Series past. I don’t know what I feel about The Celtic Warrior being laid out. I know it’s a tradition for the Money in the Bank Winner to do so. With the thought processes being it creates new challengers. But it also makes Sheamus look weak considering what happened later on in the night.

Out next was the Divas Title as Charlotte battled Paige in a very physical contest. I said earlier this week that the controversial angle on Raw bringing up Charlotte’s brother needed to lead to something special in order to make it feel like it wasn’t used for nothing. And I don’t really feel like the match made him feel like that energy was used correctly. Charlotte was very serious during the match but I really expected an all out brawl to begin things. It didn’t feel like a blood feud. What I think would’ve been beneficial was do a vignette backstage showing Charlotte frantically trying to get to Paige. The two women worked hard but it just didn’t reach the level of what the NXT standard has brought us. And I know a lot of the problem is not with the women themselves but how they are portrayed. However this doesn’t feel like a revolution but a revolving door. There is not really an event that shows a change in the philosophy on portraying women in the company. That’s what a revolution really is. That’s why Sasha Banks and Bayley is a revered contest in the eyes the most fans. They were treated like athletes that happened to be women. Not women trying to be athletes.

I guess the question now is who’s next for Charlotte at TLC? If I can make a suggestion why not do a female ladder match for the first time ever. Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch and Charlotte. You should show girls what women can really do in this industry. Trish and Lita did hard-core matches, Cage matches and other stipulations if you really want to start revolutionizing how women are perceived start there.

Tyler Breeze is without a doubt one of the strongest and respectful portrayals of NXT superstars on the main roster. I think the teaming of him with Summer Rae is perfect. However, I don’t think the chemistry with Dolph Ziggler really worked as well as I’d hoped. From a feud that started out so aggressively with Tyler using his selfie stick, Breeze running from The Show off didn’t make much sense. I do appreciate that the latest N XT transplant is stronger than most of the other talent on the roster. My question is what’s next?

The Undertaker celebrates his 25th year teaming with Kane against the Wyatt family.  Pomp and circumstance to the extreme. Great production from WWE as always. I loved the use of the video screen to show all the different looks of the Undertaker throughout the years. All that said, the match is what I expected. The Dead Man and The Big Red Machine dominate the Wyatt family. And I can get mad about this. I have said time and time again how I don’t understand what this does for the Wyatt’s going forward. But if this is Undertaker’s swansong this was a lifetime achievement award. Would not be surprised if Wrestlemania is the end for The Phenom.

And of course, we finished the night with the World Heavyweight Title Match. I thought Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns really started the match as two men that were going to battle and do anything to get the title. Not afraid to throw punches or do what they had to do to overcome their friend to get the win. Each man had his bright spots. But in the end Roman Reigns comes out on top and becomes the WWE Champion for about five minutes before getting ambushed by Sheamus cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase. I have quite a few thoughts on this.

Let’s start with the positives. It keeps Roman chasing which will get him moreover with the fans as he got screwed by Triple H and The Authority. It gives the narrative storyline to the show for the next month or so. And it really does establish Sheamus as a top heel in the company. The bad news about that is you really made the character persona non grata so it feels like less of a shocking moment and more like a fart in church. I definitely think the Celtic Warrior deserves more. But they didn’t do enough framework to make this really worth the payoff. Remember Edge cashing in in 2006, he was sniffing the title picture the whole time. He got screwed in fan votes and was calculating in his plans and movements. All Sheamus did was fail at cashing in a few times and then disappear into nothingness. That is why the concept of Money in the Bank has lost its potency. It is that time of year where they try someone unconventional in the title picture. So maybe you could say it’s the luck of the Irish.

As I’m writing this, just minutes after the pay-per-view ended. There are many unhappy with the ending expecting something greater. I think it was one of those times where WWE might’ve been too smart for their own good. I actually would’ve had Roman being Sheamus that would’ve gotten the Samoan Superman over and left the crowd with a pop instead of a whimper. But as I always say, we will have to wait and see what they do tomorrow. Hopefully they can use this to build a strong pathway to the Royal Rumble. Buckle up it’s going to be a fun ride.

About The Author

Dan is host of Shooting from the Hip which you can hear every Sunday at 8pm EST, 7pm CST right here on PWpop.com.