WWE Survivor Series: Full Review And Results For The 2019 PPV: Bray Wyatt Is Unstoppable
On the evening of November 24, WWE held its annual fall PPV, Survivor Series. This year's event had Raw, Smackdown, and NXT battling for brand supremacy, and NXT ended up coming out on top. The PPV actually was a ton of fun, and you can check out a full review of it below of every single match that happened during the event.
This year's show took place at the Allstate Arena (Rosemont Horizon) in Rosemont, Illinois. Aside from the main card, there was also a two-hour Kickoff Show, so it was a long evening, and you can watch a replay on the WWE Network.
It was a pretty stacked card with a lot of WWE superstars appearing on the show. Below, you'll find the match card for 2019's Survivor Series PPV. You can learn more about the match card here.
Survivor Series Match Card:
- AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong
- Men's Survivor Series Match
- Women's Survivor Series Match
- Adam Cole vs. Pete Dunne (NXT Championship)
- Viking Raiders vs. New Day vs. The Undisputed Era
- Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
- "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan (Universal Championship)
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio (No holds barred, no DQ for the WWE Championship)
This time around, GameSpot's Mat Elfring and Kevin J. Wong will be recapping and reviewing the evening's festivities, and you can find out what they thought about each match a few minutes after the results. Keep coming back for our full takes on every single match of Survivor Series.
Kickoff Show Notes
- Cruiserweight Championship match announced for Kickoff Show Lio Rush (c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto.
- Cross brand tag team Battle Royale: Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT added to Kickoff Show
- Walter, Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, and Damian Priest.
Cross brand tag team battle royale
Winners: Ziggler & Roode
Mat: What a silly way to kick things off, eh? A cross-brand battle royale with every tag team that doesn't have someone in a match already tonight. Survivor Series 2019 is truly the first PPV in the history of the company that utilized its entire roster. I only care about Breezango in this because battle royales, at their core, are a chaotic mess of signature spots and hard-to-follow action, until there are four people left. And when it came to the four people, it was Roode & Ziggler vs. the Street Profits, and it couldn't have been clearer that this match was the Profits' to win--which they totally didn't. There was actually a decent amount of drama during the final moments. I'm expecting something a bit fun to warm up the crowd, and that's what this did.
Kevin: I'm always skeptical about starting a PPV (even the pre-show of a PPV) with a massive battle royale, where it's impossible for any team to get over. There's nothing in this format that allows a tag team to show off its chemistry or innovativeness; it all just blends together. And speaking of which, it's an absolute crime that after stealing the show on this week's NXT against The Undisputed Era, The Revival are relegated to a pre-show match, over an hour before the official start of the show. They deserve better. Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler win. This will not be the start of a push; WWE will continue to forget about them.
Lio Rush (c) vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Kalisto
Winner: Lio Rush
Mat: Do I like flips? Yes. Do I like people spinning in the air? Yes. Then surely, I will like three men spinning and flipping all over the place while the audience chants "CM Punk!" over and over again. Quick note, I didn't go to Survivor Series tonight at Allstate so I could stay home and cover it, so you owe me. I apologize for not talking about this match. I'm ignoring the Cruiserweight division as a whole, even though they put on great matches, time after time. I guess I am a lot like WWE in that respect. Bam! I really like the men involved in this match, though. There's a great mix of styles between Kalisto's luchadore, Tozawa's strong/American showman style, and Lio Rush's hybrid of it all. The action blended together exceptionally well. While I know nothing about the story going on here, I loved the in-ring action. This was a fantastically-balanced triple threat match.
Kevin: Lio Rush has had quite the year, with rampant rumors that backstage, he was rubbing everyone the wrong way. But now, after a short sabbatical, Rush is the NXT Cruiserweight Champion, which shows how much stock we should place in any backstage dirt sheet. The three cruiserweights worked a somewhat slower match than we're sometimes used to, but it was still filled with lots of eye-catching stunts. The finish--a Salida del Sol by Kalisto, followed by a Frog Splash by Rush--was great. Here's to what will hopefully be a long title reign.
Viking Raiders vs. New Day vs. The Undisputed Era
Winners: The Viking Raiders
Mat: Ahh yes, both of Survivor Series' tag team matches take place on the prestigious Kickoff Show. When I want great tag team wrestling, I always look to see what a PPV's preshow has in store for me. You want to know what the biggest bummer about this situation is? All three of these teams are fantastic and actual tag teams--not just two people forced to work together. I had low expectations for this match, primarily because it's three tag teams with triple threat rules, and it can be challenging to pull that off successfully. What's worked well for this match is that these are three very dominant tag teams, but each of them had great moments to shine. It was apparent Viking Raiders were going to win this one if you paid attention to the bout. They looked great, and I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this match.
Kevin: In case anyone has it twisted, WWE views its tag division as a bunch of scrubs. BOTH tag team matches are on the pre-show? That's just disrespectful. I suppose that The Revival shouldn't be as insulted as they might have been; they were going to be on the pre-show no matter what, even if they hadn't been bumped from the more prestigious match. The Viking Raiders get points for enthusiasm; They have impressive speed for men of their size, and they pulled off a particularly risky-looking spot midway through the match, when Erik scoop-slammed Ivar off the apron and onto their opponents. Later, Big E did another ill-advised suicide dive through the middle ropes, which he has a tendency to land head-first. And Ivar began the match's finishing sequence with a back handspring off the ropes. This was a convincing, physical win for the Viking Raiders. This was a fun, action-packed match.
Women's Survivor Series match
Winner: Team NXT
Mat: I've already been alerted by the Internet that Survivor Series is made up of a bunch of tag matches after complaining that WWE buries tag team matches on the preshow. Excuse me while I take this foot out of my mouth. It's Natalya and 14 women from NXT in this match. I love how early on this just turned into a Kairi vs. Io match. That's kinda what I wanted to begin with. There is a lot here to make me happy. One half of the World's Cutest Tag Team is here (Candice LaRae), and the majority of the women in this match have been a huge part in making the women's division in WWE legit. Then the two women I mention got injured and left the match. What a weird way to eliminate people. It was close to ten minutes before the first actual elimination. Since the "injuries," things went downhill quickly, which was a bummer. You want a Survivor Series match, with this many people, to move a tad quicker. There were some odd moments in logic within this match as well. Why would you break up a pin attempt when the two people involved are on opposing teams? That didn't make sense. Why did Io and Candice just leave the match at the same time? Did those count as eliminations? And when they came back, why weren't they allowed back in the match? On the other side of things, the in-fighting between Charlotte and Asuka worked perfectly--I always like when teammates clash a bit, as long as it's not overdone. You wanted to root for NXT here. They were the underdogs on multiple levels, and that drove my investment in this match. Then Candice and Io came back, and NXT was no longer the underdogs, so what was the point of that "we're injured" spot? I am utterly confused with what was going on in the end. While there were some bright spots in this match, it was a bit of a disappointment, and it took a bit too long to really get exciting.
Kevin: No individual entrances? That's no fun. This was the wrong way to save time. The women clearly established a dynamic early on: Raw and NXT would be going to war, and Smackdown would be sitting back, trying to pick the bones clean. NXT got an early lead with two eliminations, although two of their own wrestlers--Candice LeRae and Io Shirai--were taken backstage for (kayfabe) injuries. Asuka had a perfect heel spot against her own teammate when she green-misted Charlotte, and it gave Lacey Evans the window to score a pinfall and eliminate Raw's biggest threat. At the end, after Sasha sneak-attacked Natalya, it came down to Sasha vs. Rhea, which had a perfect clash of styles: aerial, small, and opportunistic vs. grounded, lanky, and gritty. Rhea scored the pinfall with a painful-looking pump handle slam (how hard is it to make a pump handle slam look good?) and some necessary assists by her returning-from-injury teammates. This was a long match that took awhile to get some momentum going. I kept wishing that I could see these women fight 1-on-1 instead of in this Survivor Series format.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong
Winner: Roderick Strong
Mat: Full disclosure: My son decided for the first 6 minutes of this match to run amok in my office while yelling "wrestling!" over and over again. We get it. You like wrestling. Go to bed. What I like about this particular match is that these are three wrestlers who made their name in other promotions and got even bigger in WWE. What a wonderful match. These three men are at the top of their game, yet they're all relegated to secondary titles. Where this match really shined though was when Nakamura and Styles were going one-on-one. It felt a bit like watching their NJPW match all over again. However, Strong snuck in and got the win, which was a really nice way to close this all out. It doesn't make Raw or Smackdown look weak at all. It makes NXT look resourceful.
Hey, WWE Network, stop crashing on me or telling me I have too many streams going at the same time. I only have one. Chill out and let me watch Survivor Series.
Kevin: The shock value of seeing AJ Styles in WWE has worn off, but the facts remain: he may be older, and he may have lost a step, but AJ Styles is still one of the greatest, currently working professional wrestlers today. Everything he did looked so crisp, from the drop kick off the ropes to the elbow in the corner. And Nakamura and Styles still have unmatched chemistry; they slowed down the pace and laid every shot in deep. Strong was definitely the odd man out in this triple threat, which is nothing against him; it's exceedingly difficult to stand out against these longtime rivals.
These were three unselfish professionals at work, they knew exactly how to take turns and spotlight each other. A badly choreographed triple threat match has long sequences where one man is lying outside, and the two men inside the ring fight 1-on-1; they essentially switch off, round robin-style, for the duration of the match. But Styles, Nakamura, and Strong strove, at every possible opportunity, to have spots that involved all three men, where they used each other as weapons or teamed up against a weaker foe. Strong scored an opportunistic pinfall, which came out of nowhere. But the victor could have easily been any of them; the entire match felt competitive, from start to finish. It was the best match of the night, thus far.
Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne
Winner: Adam Cole
Mat: Oh no, I forgot about Dunne's whole "break everyone's fingers" thing. How could I forget? Well, I haven't watched WarGames yet. I can't wait to see who wins the triple threat number one contender match for the NXT Championship! When I see anyone from NXT UK in a match, I expect a slower-paced, harder-hitting match, which is at times brutal to watch. Dunne brings this to the match, while Adam Cole brought the Bay-Bay--I know that doesn't make sense, but he brings that flamboyant, cocky attitude I love. From start to finish, this was a very solid and enjoyable match with a fantastic finish. No gimmicks, no weird endings. Just a good wrestling bout.
Kevin: Watching Adam Cole is watching the rise of a future WWE Hall of Famer. Watch him long enough, and you see shades of Shawn Michaels in Cole's smirk, swagger, and flamboyant moveset. In the other corner was Pete Dunne, whose finger bending, limb-targeting style was a perfect complement; Cole was selling his injuries from the prior night's NXT Takeover, and Dunne would be the worst type of opponent that he could possibly face. Both men combine their rock-solid fundamentals with aerial daredevil stunts; they are not one type of wrestler at the expense of the other type. In this match, Dunne's moonsault off the second rope had a frighteningly low angle and margin of error.
The match ended with Cole reversing the Bitter End into a Panama Sunrise, followed by a Last Shot. Cole has already given us several contenders for WWE Match of the Year, such as his series of matches against Johnny Gargano. Here is another.
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Winner: Bray Wyatt
Mat: I like the idea of the red lighting during The Fiend's matches much more than the execution, mainly because it hurts my precious eyes, which I need to write very important sentences like this one. This is what I want from a match against Wyatt. I want a horror movie. I want whoever is facing him to give it his all, only to realize it's impossible to hurt him. Bryan executed this exceptionally well. He kept giving Wyatt the Yes Kicks, and Wyatt kept getting back up, no selling it all, which led to Wyatt winning with the Mandible Claw. This match was fun and destroyed my retinas at the same time.
Kevin: I feel like Bray Wyatt is still suffering from the poor storytelling at Hell in a Cell last month. WWE went way too far with the Michael Myers indestructibleness of The Fiend; he got hit in the head with a toolbox, for the love of God, and he still managed to walk out on his own. How could Daniel Bryan stand a fraction of a chance against those sorts of odds?
As it turned out, of course he didn't. The Fiend took Bryan's best shots and kept coming back for more. Wyatt eventually locked in the Mandible Claw, causing Bryan to pass out and lose by pinfall.
When Wyatt finally does lose the title, it'll be in a "no disqualification" stipulated match. Guaranteed. There's no way a pinfall or submission is going to happen under standard rules.
Men's Survivor Series Match
Winner: Team Smackdown
Mat: Before this match began, I was wishing and hoping that Tyson Fury wouldn't interfere in this match. Do you like cool moves and wrestlers being showcased--except Walter? Well, that's what you're going to get here. As far as storytelling goes, you won't find a lot. At least the women's match gave us something to dig out teeth into, whether it was Kairi vs. Io, Asuka betraying her team, or NXT being the underdog. Here, we got… wrestlers wrestling.
And hey, there's a time and a place for wrestlers wrestling, but a brand supremacy Survivor Series match is not it. I guess the story was, "Hey. Have you seen Keith Lee before, person who doesn't watch NXT? Well, he's great, and here he is." I do love me some Keith Lee though. He looked fantastic in the match, and I cannot wait to see what's in store for him in the future. Aside from that, I enjoyed this match, but it wasn't great. I was bored.
Kevin: There wasn't much storytelling. There wasn't much flow. This was a massive highlight reel, which is what it needed to be. WWE fans weren't watching this match to see hot tags and isolation strategies. They were here to see small men do tornado DDTs and suicide dives, and see big men turn their opponents inside out with lariats. They were here to see RKOs.
Vince McMahon is notorious for pushing big men. And for years, that meant that main event challengers tended to be slow, plodding, unathletic beasts, with size and little else. But this new generation has big men like Braun Strowman, who can break into a dead sprint AND toss his opponents like javelins. It hardly seems fair.
The NXT guys shone brightest. Damien Priest has one of the best worked right hands I've seen in some time; he gets an excellent wind-up and follow-through. And Keith Lee lasted all the way to the final two, which was further than anyone expected he'd get. He took out and pinned Seth Rollins, which is just about the biggest endorsement that a non-main roster talent could hope to receive. And then he hung tough with Roman Reigns all the way up until the final Spear.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
(No holds barred, no DQ for the WWE Championship)
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Mat: I thought this match was going on last, and that bummed me out a bit, since we all know how I feel about Bork Lazer. Luckily, the women get the headlining spot. I spent a lot of time waiting for Cain Velasquez to enter into the mix, but he never did.
Anyway, I actually really enjoyed this match, even though I found the storyline to be a bit dumb. It was fun to see Dominic Guerrero enter the mix and take out his aggression on Lazer. But all-in-all, Bork won, no matter how many times he was hit with a lead pipe or a steel chair. I'm beginning to think those objects aren't actually made of those metals. It was dumb fun, and that's what I needed at this point. Please don't hate me for how high I'm rating this match. I'm sorry.
Kevin: My first thought--when I saw that this match was going on before the women's match--was, "Is something crazy going to happen in the main event?" Maybe a Rousey appearance? Or some Horsewomen-related shenanigans? Because Lesnar almost always main events by default.
This feud between Rey and Brock has always felt like a waste of time: something to fill Lesnar's contractually obligated days before he enters his proper WrestleMania feud. The beginning of the match was a classic Lesnar squash. The Dominic interference was fine; the kid actually has a better Frog Splash than his father. And it seemed for a split second like Rey might score the victory and the WWE Championship before common sense reasserted itself. Lesnar caught his opponent mid-air and drilled him into the mat with an F-5 for the win.
This should be the end of the feud, which is fine. Let's move on to something with more consequence.
Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Mat: I am so incredibly happy that this match is the main event. I'm a huge fan of all three of these women, and I'm excited for people that don't watch NXT to finally see Baszler. She's a beast. I laid down on the couch in my office for this one because I didn't want to fall off of it in excitement. Also, I am very tired. This has been a long show.
Man, I feel like we're not getting Baszler here. She's spent a lot of time hanging out on the ground next to the ring, and when she's in there, we're not getting that tactical monster we're used to seeing in NXT.
It took about 15 minutes for me to start getting really into the match, which isn't a good thing. Baszler was picking apart her opponents on the outside, and I wondered where moments like these had been. And by the time I was finally getting into the match, it was over. NXT won Survivor Series.
And then nothing happened. No Ronda Rousey. No interference from anyone else. That's it. I know it's setting up a future storyline between Lynch and Baszler, but it was a lackluster match that should have and could have been better for an overall good PPV.
Kevin: Maybe it's the lack of experience on Shayna's part or just the length of the show, but something felt off in this match, almost as if everyone was going through the motions. The crowd was dead. The spots felt over-rehearsed. I kept waiting to feel emotionally invested, and I never quite got there.
Of all the Four Horsewomen match-ups, the Becky/Bayley dynamic always felt the weakest. There was never the same amount of backstory, camaraderie, and subsequent betrayal in this permutation versus the others. A match like this Survivor Series main event depends on the prior history between the performers, since they're all on different brands. And without that storied history, there's minimal emotional impact behind the blows.
Shayna won, but what should have been a moment of triumph felt like a letdown. We've seen her perform much better, many other times. Her star-making moment was rendered an afterthought, especially after Becky administered a post-match beatdown and didn't allow her victorious opponent to stand tall and close the show. An unfortunate, missed opportunity.