Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Survivor Series 2013
Date: November 24, 2013
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s the final show before the 2014 edition and for the most part I have no idea what happens here. If I remember right it’s something about Orton and then Reigns destroying a bunch of people. It kind of amazes me how easy the last year is to forget while I could snap off the main event of almost every PPV 2005 or so. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
Kofi won’t shake hands to start but eventually gives in after a few seconds. Kingston tries to speed things up with his leapfrogs before a crucifix gets two. A backslide gets two more but Kofi charges into an atomic drop. Both guys miss finishers but Kofi kicks him in the face and clotheslines him out to the floor. There’s a suicide dive for good measure and we take a break. Back with Kofi holding a chinlock for a change but Miz fights up with a big boot to take over.
Another boot to the face gets two and Miz puts on a chinlock. Back up and Kofi hits a quick standing double stomp before speeding things up with his dropkicks. There’s the Boom Drop but Trouble in Paradise misses. SOS connects for two and a high cross body gets the same as Miz is reeling. Kofi kicks him in the chest a few times before countering a Skull Crushing Finale attempt into a rollup, only to have Miz counter into a rollup of his own for the pin.
Rating: C. Nice match here as Kofi kept things moving until Miz finally caught him going for one too many big moves. Kingston is a guy that can move around as fast as anyone else and put on an entertaining match with almost anyone. Miz was looking sharp here too, even though I’d like him to drop that Figure Four nonsense. It didn’t work for him then and it still doesn’t today.
The show itself opens with HHH and Stephanie rather than an opening video. They guarantee no physical interference in any match tonight. Not a single one. Assuming Boston is ready, here’s the opening match.
After an opening video about the flame of survival in us all that is. As usual this transitions into a video about the main events.
Rey Mysterio/Goldust/Cody Rhodes/Usos vs. Shield/Real Americans
Elimination match of course. This is Mysterio’s return from yet another injury. Ambrose is US Champion and Cody and Goldust are Tag Team Champions, having taken the belts from Reigns and Rollins recently. Before the match, Colter rips on Americans for Twerking and even gives us a demonstration. David Ortiz gets insulted a bit as well until Cody Rhodes cuts him off and Twerks a bit as well.
Rhodes and Ambrose get things going with Rhodes nailing him with a right hand. Dean comes back with a clothesline but argues with the referee, allowing Cody to roll him up for a quick elimination. Everything breaks down for a bit with the Usos nailing all four remaining opponents. Each Uso dives on a team and the good guys are in full control.
We settle down to Cody suplexing Seth for two. Off to Goldust to a huge reaction but Swagger comes in off a blind tag and runs Goldust over. Cesaro snaps Goldust’s arm over the top rope before coming in to work on the ribs. Swagger gets two off a powerslam as Cole screws up Survivor Series history, saying that Andre won the first Survivor Series match (it was the first main event). Cesaro jumps over Swagger’s shoulders for a double stomp and slaps on a chinlock.
Back up and Goldust grabs a DDT to put both guys down. Goldust has to elbow all of his opponents before hitting a sunset bomb on Cesaro, only to have Swagger come in first. The Vader Bomb hits raised boots though and the hot tag brings in Mysterio. A quick 619 sets up a superkick from Jimmy and the Superfly Splash from Jey to make it 5-3.
Cesaro comes in immediately with Swiss Death for two on Jey. Both Usos get Swung and Cesaro is the most over person in the match. His reward: a sunset from Cody for another elimination. It’s Reigns in now to run over Jey and stomp away in the corner. Rollins comes in with an elbow for two before it’s back to Reigns to work on the arm. Cole mistakenly says the Shield has developed rivalries over the years but JBL points out that they’ve only been around a year. Cole: “Well you know what I mean.” JBL: “No not really.”
Jey finally gets over for the hot tag to Jimmy who takes Reigns down with a Samoan drop. The running Umaga attack gets two but Roman blocks the splash with his knees and nails the spear to make it 4-2. Cody comes in with a missile dropkick to Rollins as things speed up. The moonsault press gets two but the Disaster Kick is caught in midair. Rollins gets countered into Cross Rhodes but makes a blind tag, allowing Reigns to spear Cody for the elimination.
Jey sends Reigns into the barricade but misses a high cross body back inside. Rollins makes another quick tag to come in for a Curb Stomp and it’s down to Mysterio/Goldust vs. Reigns/Rollins. Rey is quickly taken down by Rollins but he comes back with a kick to the head for two. The advantage is short lived though as Rey gets tied in the Tree of Woe for a running dropkick to the ribs. Reigns throws him out to the floor with ease but the spear hits the post by mistake.
It’s quickly back to Rollins who dropkicks Goldust off the apron, only to get caught in a rollup for a fast pin. It’s Reigns vs. Goldust/Mysterio but Seth gets in some cheap shots on Mysterio before he leaves. Rey sends a charging Reigns into the buckle and tags in Goldust to clean house. A spinebuster plants Reigns and Goldust hammers away in the corner. Goldust nails a powerslam and spinning cross body for two each but a bulldog is countered into a spear for another pin. So it’s Mysterio vs. Reigns and the 619 is broken up with a huge spear to give Reigns the pin.
Rating: C. The match was boring to start but picked up a lot when Reigns was unleashed. This was the star making performance that started Reigns’ push to the moon which would be driven even higher when he broke the elimination record in the Royal Rumble. The match itself wasn’t much to see but those spears looked great.
HHH, Kane and Stephanie are in the back when Orton comes in. He wants to make sure everyone is on the same page after he demanded respect from the Authority on Monday. HHH wants to know if that’s just making sure everything is ok or if Orton is asking them to save him tonight. We get the usual Face of the WWE speech but Stephanie tells him to go prove it.
Intercontinental Title: Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
Langston took the title from Axel on Monday and this is the rematch. Axel puts on a headlock but gets taken down with pure power. With that not working, Curtis starts going after the arm for almost the same result. Big E. busts out a leapfrog before just running Axel over. A running splash in the corner crushes Axel again and a clothesline gets two.
They head outside for a few seconds with Axel knocking Langston off the apron to get his first advantage. Back in and Curtis puts on a chinlock before Langston fights up with a big belly to belly. The Warrior Splash connects but Axel grabs a quick PerfectPlex for two. Back up and the Big Ending retain the title with ease.
Rating: D+. This was far less of a match and more of a formality. Langston was getting a solid push around this time until they suddenly pulled the plug on him. Axel has the same result, though at least he got to be in a tag team. Hopefully Langston can get somewhere with the New Day stuff but I won’t get my hopes up.
Post match Big E. talks about being in Boston but doesn’t want to look like he’s pandering to the people here in Boston. However, this feels like when the Boston Red Sox won the World Series.
AJ gives the True Divas a big pep talk but they don’t buy into it. Rosa Mendes: “Do you think you’re better than all of us.” AJ: “Yes?” Kaitlyn goes on a rant about all the horrible things AJ has done but AJ says this is about Total Divas not wanting any of them. The champ’s (AJ) advice for the night: start your own show by stealing this one.
Total Divas vs. True Divas
Total Divas: Bella Twins, Natalya, Funkadactyls, Jojo, Eva Marie
True Divas: AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Summer Rae, Rosa Mendes, Alicia Fox, Aksana, Kaitlyn
Elimination tag and let’s get this over with. Fox works over Naomi in the corner to start and slams her down for one. She puts Naomi on top but gets elbowed down, setting up a split legged moonsault to get rid of Fox. Rosa comes in and avoids the Rear View before it’s off to Cameron. This can’t go well. A double split legdrop from the Funkadactyls gets two on Mendes as we hear about the Total Divas having personalities.
Rosa sends a charging Cameron into the middle buckle for a pin. Mendes dances but turns into a Bella Buster from Nikki for another elimination. Summer comes in wearing orange and blue for a dance off with Nikki. Summer does the splits and gets dropkicked to make it 6-4 for the Total Divas. Eva Marie comes in and is booed out of the building. Kaitlyn doesn’t like her either and ends her with a quick gutbuster to make it 5-4. Naomi comes in but takes a gutbuster of her own for the pin. Tied at four now with Brie throwing Kaitlyn down for two.
Kaitlyn misses a spear and gets caught by a bad looking missile dropkick for another pin. I’m not leaving out anything on play by play here. These falls are just going that fast. AJ kicks Brie from behind, allowing Aksana to hit a bad spinebuster to eliminate Brie. A Rack Attack ends Aksana about 10 seconds later and we’re down to AJ/Tamina vs. Nikki/Natalya/Jojo. Tamina comes in to lay Nikki out with headbutts and Nikki is nice enough to smile through half of the beating.
Nikki gets thrown into Natalya and it’s off to Jojo, who has almost no in ring experience. Jojo nails a quick cross body and a rollup gets two before Tamina just kicks her head off. A Samoan drop plants Jojo and AJ comes in for the pin. The announcers say it’s 2-1 because Nikki Bella is that forgettable. Tamina charges into Natalya in the corner but misses the Superfly Splash, allowing Natalya to hook the Sharpshooter for the elimination. AJ comes in and gets nailed by Nikki because she wasn’t eliminated, setting up another Sharpshooter so the Total Divas can win.
Rating: F. This won Worst Match of the Year and it’s really easy to see why. It was clear that they had no idea how to do more than a few spots and had to fly through this match as fast as they could. I can’t stand these messes but the fans hating Eva Marie made up for it a bit. In case this wasn’t enough for you, there was a REMATCH the next night!
Orton asks referee Charles Robinson to help him out tonight but Robinson says he’ll do what the Authority told him to do.
Expert panel time but Ryback’s music cuts them off. Ryback says his favorite Survivor Series memory is shutting up all those old timers. He can intimidate anyone here but that doesn’t make him a bully. It’s open challenge time so let’s have a Wrestlemania rematch.
Ryback vs. Mark Henry
This is another return for Henry. They fight over a lockup to start and Ryback talks even more trash. Henry casually shoves him across the ring so Ryback goes after the knee for two. Ryback slams him down but misses a charge into the post. Maybe the GOLDBERG chants messed with his head. Mark gets down on all fours for some JYD headbutts before a powerslam gets two. The World’s Strongest Slam is countered into a spinebuster and Ryback takes down the straps. Ryback’s Meat Hook is countered with a cross body and now the World’s Strongest Slam is enough for the pin.
Rating: D. I can’t remember the last time I saw such a worthless set of back to back matches. Henry looked fatter than ever and Ryback’s collapse continues. At the end of the day the guy has come back so many times that it’s really hard to care. The fact that he’s anything but the Hall of Pain era Henry makes things even worse.
We recap Cena vs. Del Rio. Cena had to leave due to a bad arm but came back to take the World Heavyweight Championship from Del Rio like the main event jobber that he was. This is the rematch and Del Rio is going after the arm. Of course.
World Heavyweight Championship: John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio
Cena is the defending hometown boy so the split chants begin. They fight over a headlock to start until Del hiptosses him down for a headlock and some of the most obvious spot calls I’ve ever seen. Back up and Del Rio steps on Cena’s head before a snap suplex gets two. Cena powers out of an armbar but Del Rio sends him outside and into the steps. They head back inside and the arm work continues along with the slow pace.
Cena fights up again but misses a charge into the buckle to keep Del Rio in control. Alberto avoids a shoulder block and Cena falls outside again so Del Rio can stay on the arm. A clothesline gets two on the champ and we hit another armbar. Del Rio talks about doing two things to Cena because he’s really bad at spot calling. Cena powers up again and hits a clothesline, only to walk into a Backstabber for two.
Alberto goes up but dives into a dropkick to put both guys down again. Back up and the ProtoBomb looks to set up the Shuffle but Cena takes too long, allowing Del Rio to score with a DDT. Alberto misses a charge of his own though and both guys are down again. The champ’s finishing sequence is countered yet again into a German suplex so he opts for a tornado DDT for two. The enziguri knocks Cena off the top and the dueling chants begin again.
Del Rio puts him in the Tree of Woe but his charge hits the post by mistake. There’s the top rope Fameasser for two and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets the same for Del Rio. Alberto calls for the cross armbreaker and gets a huge SI chant. Cena rolls through into the STF though, sending Del Rio rolling over to the ropes. The low superkick gets two on John and his belly to back neckbreaker gets the same for the champ. Cena’s cross body is countered into the armbreaker but he counters up into a powerbomb. Back up and the AA retains Cena’s title.
Rating: B. Del Rio is basically the new Chris Jericho: he’ll win the title every now and then, but he’s little more than cannon fodder for Cena. I have no reason to believe that Cena is going to tap out to the armbreaker and every time Del Rio went for the hold it felt like a waste of time. Alberto’s style makes perfect sense for him, but it’s a waste of time against Cena. The match was good, but the ending was never once in doubt.
Santino and Truth play with toys, only to be joined by Los Matadores, El Torito, Fandango and Johnny Ace.
We recap the Wyatts vs. Bryan/Punk. Bray saw both of them as heroes that needed to be destroyed so he crushed Bryan’s head and went after Punk in general. Bryan came out for the save and we’ve got a tag match. The tag line makes it a bit better: the Wyatts vs. the Beard/the Best.
CM Punk/Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family
Bray holds up the lantern and says Abigail told him Punk and Bryan would be tough as nails. She was right. Bryan kicks at Rowan’s leg to start and is quickly shoved down. More kicks to the leg send Rowan into the good corner for a tag from Punk. The fans are very pleased with the tattooed hero but Erick drives him into the other corner to take over. Off to Harper as the Family starts taking turns working over Punk’s ribs.
Rowan slaps on a bearhug but Punk slips out of a suplex and tags in Bryan. Their combined forces can’t suplex Rowan though so he sends both guys flying at the same time. Things settle down until Punk and Bryan start kicking away in the corner and now they can suplex Rowan down. Naturally the announcers are debating if Rowan is like Michael Myers or not.
Back to Harper but Punk easily drives him back into the corner as well. A double dropkick sets up Bryan’s YES Kicks and we go old school with a Hart Attack for two. Punk gets distracted by Erick though, allowing Harper to kick Punk’s head off and tag in the other freak. A backbreaker gets two for Rowan and it’s back to Luke for the Gator Roll. Rowan starts talking to the mask on the post as Luke gets two off the Michinoku Driver.
Rowan comes back in and charges into a boot in the corner, followed by a tornado DDT (way too common a move anymore). There’s the hot tag to Bryan who comes in with all of his usual stuff. Luke gets kicked to the floor for the FLYING GOAT. Back in and the missile dropkick gets two but the big YES Kick is caught in a powerbomb. Bryan counters into a hurricanrana but Luke counters it’s top rope cousin into a super sitout powerbomb for a very close two.
Everything breaks down and Rowan throws Punk out to the floor. A splash gets two on Bryan as things settle back down. Harper runs Bryan over and chokes with the boot before catapulting him throat first into the rope. Daniel fights back until Erick catches him in a half nelson suplex. The monster gets too confident though and goes after Punk, only to get kicked in the head. The hot tag brings in Punk to clean house again but he dives on Rowan and Wyatt instead of Harper. Back in and the top rope elbow gets two on Luke but Rowan breaks up the GTS. That earns him a running knee and the GTS ends Harper.
Rating: B-. The fans thought it was awesome but it never got past solid for me. Bryan and Punk are the kind of super team that you put in there to fight monsters like these, but at the end of the day it doesn’t matter until they fight the master himself. At least Harper and Rowan are still good enough to have a good match and look like real threats.
Bray teases getting in but backs down as you would expect.
Cena is getting his arm looked at with the Authority next to him. Orton comes in and isn’t pleased so Cena leaves them to their chat.
We recap Big Show vs. Randy Orton. Big Show was basically blackmailed into being the Authority’s monster until lawsuits were threatened and Big Show was given anything he wanted. Rather than money, job security, or a piece of the WWE, he wanted a single WWE Title shot. This went on for months and felt like it would never end, setting up a match that no one wanted to see.
WWE Title: Big Show vs. Randy Orton
Champion Orton immediately bails to the floor before going back in and getting shoved out again. Randy heads back in again and takes one of the loudest chops I’ve ever heard. Show tries to claw Orton up from the floor but gets his throat snapped across the top rope. A big shoulder gives Show two but Orton finally scores with a dropkick.
We hit the front facelock as the crowd goes silent again. Instead Orton shifts to a horrible sleeper until Show suplexes him down. Orton rolls outside to avoid a chokeslam so Show sends him into the steps. Back in and Show tries to go up for some reason, allowing the champ to crotch him down and nail the Elevated DDT. He takes too long setting up the RKO though and eats a chokeslam for two.
Show loads up the KO but Orton bails outside, bumping into the referee’s knee in the process. They head into the crowd to keep up the beating, including a KO Punch to knock Orton silly on the floor. We’re about to have a new champion and of course here’s the Authority. The distraction lets Orton nail an RKO, setting up a Punt to retain the title.
Rating: D. This is basically poor man’s version of Del Rio vs. Cena. The ending was never in doubt as there was no way they were putting the belt on Show, but the match was really dull and boring throughout. This was the culmination of a terribly dull story and thankfully they moved on to anything better, like Cena vs. Orton. That’s a fresh idea right?
Orton celebrates but Cena comes out and holds up his own belt to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. This show was a rollercoaster. The first part was just kind of there, then it went straight down, then up for Cena/Bryan/Punk, then down through a hole for the finish. October/November is just a horrible time for the company every year and this is probably the low point for the Survivor Series. There are far worse shows, but man alive this show felt worthless. It’s just not an interesting show and felt like it could have been any given B show rather than the second longest PPV ever. That’s a bad sign for a show this important.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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