Never before, never again. The Rock and John Cena team up for the first time ever this Sunday, and I don't even know if I care about it. I will explain that later in the match preview.
I think other than that, everything else has been built pretty well heading into the PPV. The WWE went full blown into the C.M. Punk/Alberto del Rio feud the last couple weeks. Thanks to the Super Show aspect to RAW, they have built the 5-on-5 match really well. Mark Henry and Big Show won't be able to top what happened at Vengeance, but at least there is intrigue to see if they can and what they will try. And of course there is the puzzling situation that is the U.S. Title match.
Survivor Series used to be fun because of the 5-on-5 matches, but those are a thing of the past. I would have much rather preferred three 4-on-4 elimination matches. More guys would get on the show and more solid action would take place. Three of those matches, a Divas match, and the WWE and World Title matches would be perfect. Hell, I think the Rock match could have been made a 4-on-4 match and it would have been built better. That way, you could get more people involved than just Cena, Miz, and R-Truth before having The Rock show up on the RAW before the PPV.
Lets get into the Preview!
Divas Championship: Beth Phoenix (c) vs Eve
A lot of this feud has been built through WWE.com. It is a smart idea for the WWE to get more attention to their web site, but I don't like the idea of doing it with the Divas. They don't attract that many viewers. But on the site, Beth and Natalya stole Eve's ring gear. But then Eve and Kelly Kelly, with the help of Alicia Fox, stole the Sister of Salvation's rental car. Isn't that grand theft auto? Shouldn't the three of them have been arrested? Eve won a Divas battle royal on Halloween to win this Title shot, I didn't even remember that until we were reminded on this past week's RAW. I don't think Eve is winning here. My guess is that Beth holds on to the Title until Kharma comes back. She might lose it once more for a month or so, but that won't happen here. Beth wins.
WINNER: Beth Phoenix
United States Championship: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs John Morrison
So where's Zack Ryder? Interim RAW GM John Laurinaitis, as stated exclusively on WWE.com, has not acknowledged Ryder's petition for a U.S. Title Shot yet and instead announced that John Morrison would be getting a shot at Dolph Ziggler this Sunday. Morrison had been on a long losing streak until he beat Ziggler two weeks ago on RAW. By WWE logic, that means he gets a United States Title shot. Now don't get me wrong, I think these two can put on a great match. Ziggler is becoming great in the ring and Morrison is full of flash and potential. Ziggler has improved by leaps and bounds the last two months. He's a future star for the WWE as long as they don't screw it up, like they did with John Morrison. Of course Ziggler doesn't have the backstage problems Morrison has as far as we know.
Then of course there is the case of Zack Ryder. With Survivor Series being held in New York City, not far from Ryder's home of Long Island, you can expect there to be loud and long chants for Ryder. How these two put on a match without that being a distraction is beyond me. I don't know what the WWE was thinking when they booked this match, unless they plan on putting Ryder in the match before hand. I think they will end up doing that if they are smart. More props to Ziggler for pulling double duty on PPV again. He's that good that it isn't a problem. Like I said, I think Ryder ends up getting put in the match and wins the Title.
WINNER: Zack Ryder
Team Orton vs Team Barrett: 5-on-5 Elimination Match
Lots of young potential in this match, a couple veterans, and Mason Ryan. Should be a good 5-on-5 match. Of course I'm sure Mason Ryan wouldn't be in this match if Evan Bourne was still around. Thanks a lot, Evan. On the face side, Sheamus continues to get a big push on Smackdown as he continues his dominating performances. Mason Ryan is getting a push on RAW despite not having a lick of talent to speak of. Ryan is just so bad and awkward in the ring that the fans really don't get behind him, and you can bet the Madison Square Garden crowd will let him know it. We will see how long it takes before Sin Cara botches something. Kofi Kingston is just waiting for Evan Bourne to comeback so he can be relevant again. And Randy Orton has been very good since shifting away from the World Title picture, having two good matches with Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett.
On the heel side, Hunico looks like a Mexican gangster straight out of a prison movie. But he also comes off as a night janitor to me too. Don't know why. You wouldn't even think Jack Swagger was a former World Champ with the way he jobs nowadays. Dolph Ziggler is one of the best workers in the WWE right now. Cody Rhodes lost his mask and his awesome music, but he is much more focused after the beatdown he received from Randy Orton. And Wade Barrett is finally getting a proper push after he beat Randy Orton and Sheamus in recent weeks, even if it was with the help of some of his fellow heels.
So who wins? The faces looked strong on RAW and Smackdown. That usually means the heels come out on top at the PPV, but does the WWE want Orton or Sheamus to take the pinfall? Wade Barrett has been getting a strong push as well, so does the WWE want him losing? There are lots of questions and moving parts in this match. Lets get the simple out of the way: Kofi, Sin Cara, and Mason Ryan won't survive. Neither will Jack Swagger or Hunico. That leaves us with Orton/Sheamus vs Barrett/Rhodes/Ziggler. Rhodes gets dumped with an RKO. Vickie distracts Sheamus long enough to let Barrett hit Wasteland to eliminate Sheamus. Ziggler eats an RKO, then Barrett catches Orton with a roll-up for the win.
WINNER: Team Barrett
World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Big Show
We all know what happened the last time these two guys faced each other. We've seen it on WWE TV numerous times by now. It was the WWE's way of protecting the Big Show and Mark Henry, even though I don't think Show needs to be protected at this point. No one will think less of Big Show if he loses a match. Henry refused to give Show a re-match at first, but Smackdown GM Teddy Long disagreed with Henry, and granted Show another World Title match.
These two have been exchanging promos and trash talking on Smackdowns in recent weeks. Mark Henry has pretty much had his way with Daniel Bryan over the last few weeks. I find it interesting that they are involving Bryan in this feud. I think they are trying to tease the idea of a Bryan cash in at Survivor Series with the New York crowd. I don't think it will happen, but it would not surprise me in the slightest if Bryan showed up at ringside during the match or after.
I think some of Mark Henry's mystique has vanished a bit in this program. Henry's dominant performances haven't seemed that good anymore. I really hope the WWE doesn't feel the need to protect Big Show again with some cop out finish. This match should end in one way and one way only. Mark Henry defeats Big Show after delivering his third World's Strongest Slam in the match and picks up the win. Henry moves on to a new opponent for TLC.
WINNER: Mark Henry
WWE Championship: Alberto del Rio (c) vs C.M. Punk
I think this is the best program the WWE has built heading into Sunday. They took something I wasn't really interested in at the start and made me actually care about it. So good job to them. The seeds for this feud were planted back at Survivor Series. After C.M. Punk won the WWE Championship, he was attacked by Kevin Nash. Alberto del Rio took advantage, cashed in his Money in the Bank contract, and won the WWE Title. Then at Hell in A Cell, Alberto del Rio attacked C.M. Punk with a lead pipe and pinned him to regain the WWE Title in a Triple Threat match that also involved John Cena.
On RAW a few weeks ago C.M. Punk told Del Rio that he never gave him his rematch for the WWE Title. After a couple of weeks of stalling by GM John Laurinaitis he finally told Punk he could hve his WWE Title match, if ADR agreed to it. After Punk slapped on the Anaconda Vice to ADR, he agreed. The next week saw Punk calling out ADR for being one dimensional. This lead to a couple of backstage beatdowns by ADR on Punk. Punk was pinned by ADR on RAW this past Monday.
Usually if someone takes the fall on the TV show before a PPV, that means he will win. But I don't necessarily know if that will be the case for Punk. The MSG crowd will definitely be behind Punk. He might get the second biggest pop of the night behind The Rock. The WWE seems poised to eventually give the Title to Punk as his merchandise sales are bringing in the WWE a pretty little penny. Punk's time will come, but I don't think the WWE will pull the trigger on him too quickly. Another Title change would just be meaningless. ADR has held the Title for barely over a month. He deserves an extended reign. C.M. Punk said his goal is to make the WWE Title mean something again. Punk can easily do that by not winning the Title and keep chasing after it, showing a desire to win it and bring it back to credibility. I think it would be great if the WWE could hold off until Wrestlemania for Punk's win, maybe even have him win the Royal Rumble. But I don't think they wait. But Punk doesn't win at Survivor Series. Del Rio retains with the help of some shenanigans by Ricardo Rodriguez and John Laurinaits.
WINNER: Alberto del Rio
John Cena & The Rock vs Miz & R-Truth
This is the selling point of the PPV. The Rock returns to action for the first time since 2004. It is also the same place where his last match took place, Madison Square Garden. And of course, The Rock is teaming with the one man that he can't stand. It is also the man he is facing at Wrestlemania 28, John Cena. RAW GM John Laurinaitis told Cena he could pick anyone to be his partner at Survivor Series, so Cena naturally decided to pick The Rock. Cena's logic for that is beyond stupid. He trusts the man he's facing at Wrestlemania next year? Dumb. The Rock accepted, saying that it is what the people want. Of course, it really has to do with the bling bling going into his pocket. But we can't mention that.
Everyone is talking about the dynamic of Cena and Rock teaming together. Can they co-exist? Will their egos get in each others way? Will one of them try to steal the spotlight? You could always throw out the possibility of a heel turn, but there's no way the MSG crowd boos Rock and cheers Cena. And Cena isn't turning heel. This past week's RAW ended with Rock getting the spotlight, hitting two successful Rock Bottoms before leaving the ring. Obviously, Cena would like to end the PPV on top. That "This Is Your Life" segment with Mick Foley was brutal and hard to watch. Not even Mick Foley could get the fans to cheer Cena. At this point I don't think Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera could get the MSG crowd to cheer Cena. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic duo performs.
Wait, what? You mean The Rock and John Cena are facing another tag team at Survivor Series? I thought they were just going to try and out perform each other with various flashy moves in the ring. You wouldn't know that the Miz and R-Truth are even involved in this match. Outside of one week, they have always ended up on their backs. John Cena did it single-handedly without The Rock, then The Rock did it with the help of John Cena. The WWE has completely screwed up the booking to this program. Miz and R-Truth should have gotten the better of Cena pretty much every week leading up to Survivor Series. Then, when The Rock showed up Monday, there should have been a mis-communication between Rock and Cena which caused Miz and R-Truth to gain the upper hand on them. That way, Miz and R-Truth look like threats heading into the PPV. But instead they are complete afterthoughts in the match, and pretty much have zero chance of winning. Why would fans care if they win? What would be the point now? Even if they won, they wouldn't "make a name for themselves" because they have already been booked so poorly.
This match ends simple. R-Truth eats an Attitude Adjustment from Cena after all four men enter end up in the ring at the same time. Rock connects with the People's Elbow then pins Truth for the win. After the match Miz tries to attack but meets the same fate. Then, Rock hits the Rock Bottom on John Cena, then another People' Elbow. The show ends with Rock standing tall in the ring, which is what the WWE exactly doesn't need at this point: someone who isn't a full time performer ending a PPV on top.
WINNERS: The Rock and John Cena
I will be watching the show at a Buffalo Wild Wings. No live Review for me, I probably will have a recap of the show up sometime Monday afternoon.
Until Next Time,
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