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Home » Editorials » WWE Survivor Series 2012 Results and Review: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns Debut

WWE Survivor Series 2012 Results and Review: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns Debut

It is one of the WWE’s grandest nights. Survivor Series, a night where legends are born and stories are made. It is where Bret Hart was screwed, where the Undertaker, the Rock, and Kurt Angle debuted.

Lately though, Survivor Series has become a bit of a secondary night. Its replacement for another pay-per-view has even been discussed. Many have forgotten that it is considered part of the Big Four at all.

Tonight, WWE tried to make everyone reevaluate Survivor Series as a big pay-per-view again. Despite a lack of big matches, they delivered in taking up the max amount of time without too much unnecessary fluff.

They also managed to do something big that could change the WWE for a long time to come, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Let’s get right into the night.

3MB def. Team CoBro

Overview: On the pre-show, thanks to a cast shot by Drew McIntyre, Jinder Mahal was able to hit Zack Ryder with his full nelson slam for three.

Analysis: This was a surprisingly entertaining tag team match for what it was. There weren’t many antics, and those that were involved only helped tell the story. The wrestling was pretty solid for a pre-show.

It wasn’t flashy, but it was a good win for 3MB who remain on the rise and have something going for them that is memorable and effective. They are all talented guys, and I like where they are headed.

Rating: 7/10

Team Clay def. Team Tensai

Overview: In this “bonus” Survivor Series match, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara all survived over the Prime Time Players, Primo, Epico, and Tensai with the final elimination coming

Analysis: If there was a question of how far WWE’s tag team division has come, this match proves it. We got to see four great tag teams face off in a cool match even if it was a bit random especially with Clay and Tensai’s additions.

This was high flying excitement from start to finish especially at the end. Tyson Kidd was the star of the show with two eliminations and had the best spots in a great set of spots. I also want to give credit to Sin Cara who looked really good here, better than he ever has.

In fact, the only thing I didn’t enjoy about this match was a really weak botch by Clay before he was the first man eliminated. Brodus is talented, but he really messed up there. Luckily, even Titus O’Neil and Darren Young fit well here.

Rating: 8.25/10

Eve def. Kaitlyn to Retain the Divas Championship

Overview: In trouble late, Eve crawled to the outside, and, when Kaitlyn followed, Eve used the apron to trip Kaitlyn who landed hard on the outside. After a quick swinging neckbreaker, it was academic.

Analysis: Given decent time, the women can delivered a convincing contest, and that is exactly what they did here. In the best Divas match not involving Beth Phoenix this year, Eve and Kaitlyn put on a solid and well built contest. The story behind this made it all the better.

Both women took some strong bumps on the outside, and they sold the story of their match. I’m not sure whether there is any more tension in this feud now, but the divas delivered tonight.

Rating: 7.5/10

Antonio Cesaro def. R-Truth to Retain the United States Championship

Overview: Cesaro dodged the scissors kick then hit the Very European Uppercut and the Neutralizer for three.

Analysis: This was a bit slow and plodding. I like both men in the ring; however, they really didn’t get a rhythm going here, mostly attributable to a lack of chemistry. It was strongly one sided in a way that never really sold the match.

Still it was a good way to keep Cesaro strong, and it still showed off what both men can do as in ring competitors even if they didn’t work well together. It helped that the crowd managed to get behind the match especially behind Truth.

Rating: 7.25/10

AJ Lee Confronts Vickie and is Attacked by Tamina

Overview: AJ Lee used clearly fake photos to make fun of Vickie’s accusations before being assaulted by Tamina who would take out AJ and hit a Superfly Splash.

Analysis: While this story is absolutely ridiculous, I think things have made a turn for the better because they may have just ended more or less. With Tamina attacking AJ, there is a new Divas feud which should deliver some really solid matches.

What I really am starting to enjoy about WWE’s revamping of its approach is their use of talent. Tamina was being completely underused up until now. It looks like WWE has decided to restart the Divas division, and it means multiple, storyline feuds for the first time in a while for the division.

While this could have been done on Raw, it was a solid way to keep the story at the forefront and develop it more even if the story hasn’t been great so far.

Sheamus def. Big Show by Disqualification, Show Remains World Heavyweight Champion

Overview: Sheamus loaded up the Brogue Kick, but Show moved the referee in the way to block the kick. In the commotion of trying to help the injured referee, Show hit the KO punch on a distracted Sheamus for three.

Afterward, the decision was reversed, and Sheamus was given the win by DQ for using a referee as a weapon. Then Sheamus went after Show and brutalized the giant with a steel chair, finishing it up with a Brogue Kick.

Analysis: I didn’t believe that Sheamus and Big Show could improve upon their match at Hell in a Cell. They proved me wrong by doing everything better. The pacing here was perfect with Show pulling out some of the best moves of his career. Plus Sheamus did an electric chair drop to the Big Show, absolutely incredible.

That said, the match itself was not as truly great because of two factors: time and a non-finish. These two could have gone another ten minutes for sure, and they deserved to. The finish also made this feel like a bump in the feud rather than a decisive contest.

I can’t wait to see these two in round three though. In what will most likely be a chairs match (though TLC would be awesome), these two will no longer have restrictions or a faulty finish to hinder them. This will be about Sheamus and Show delivering their absolute best.

Rating: 8/10

Team Ziggler def. Team Foley

Overview: At the end, Orton was left to fight both Alberto Del Rio and Dolph Ziggler. After Mick Foley eliminated Ricardo from the equation, Orton RKOed Del Rio, but, as he went to punt Ziggler, he was met by a Ziggler Super Kick for three.

Analysis: This was a classic Survivor Series match. Loaded with talent from start to finish and a lot of individual building stories, there was a lot to love about this elimination match.

There were a lot of well done spots as the better wrestlers shined here. Ziggler’s crazy sell of the monkey flip, Del Rio taking a vicious bump to the outside from Bryan, Barrett’s perfect Winds of Change on Kofi, and several other spots really come up in my mind looking back.

It’s hard to say who really was the star here as so many delivered though the story of Miz who was massively over with the crowd becoming a face one step at a time shined through.

What really made this match great was balance. The power game never got out of hand between either group which made the teams each look strong.

In the end, Ziggler winning was the best thing that could happen for Dolph. It was a huge and decisive victory which have been few and far between for Mr. Money in the Bank. It also hints at things to come as Orton/Ziggler could very well be the future of SmackDown in coming months.

Rating: 8.5/10

CM Punk def. John Cena and Ryback to Retain the WWE Championship

Overview: After Ryback hit Shell Shocked on John Cena with Punk knocked out, three men in black ran in and assaulted Ryback. They pulled Ryback to the outside and hit an assisted raised powerbomb through the Spanish announce table while Punk covered Cena to retain. The three men were Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns.

Analysis: Bravo, WWE, you did something that truly shocking. You created a story that surpassed most expectations, and you have finally set something in motion. I said in my Raw review that wrestling was getting tiring, a bit too uninvesting. Well, I’m invested now.

I have written about each of the three men who attacked Ryback tonight at least once. I could link multiple articles I’ve written about Ambrose for sure. I like all three men, and I have for at least a year now which makes their arrival in WWE all the more interesting.

Is this a new Horseman or NWO with CM Punk/Paul Heyman at the head? Maybe. No matter what happens and no matter how they are booked, you will not hear me complain because I am overjoyed to see this level of talent rise.

On the match, it was a very fun contest. Littered with some nice near falls and unpredictability at times, it was never unbelievable, but it was well done from the start with all three men delivering.

I want to give recognition to Ryback who was at his best yet despite the crowd not being behind him that much. He looked great and very strong in defeat. That said, the finish raises the match’s rating by a good amount.

Rating: 8.5/10

Final notes: On the pre-show, R-Truth hilariously threatened to forget Little Jimmy which made me remember just how good he can be when he is given the chance to deliver. We also saw some great backstage segments that put over the possibilities of Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler.

Finally, Paul Heyman was allowed to stand tall on the night and put over CM Punk as a star. He continues to play a role that is very loose and undefinable. Is he a leader or a follower and how much does Heyman have planned? We still don’t know.

Conclusion: Nothing on the card was truly legendary. I will not look back on any of these matches and feel the need to rewatch them desperately. The strongest contests were easily the Survivor Series elimination matches.

That said, there was a lot to like here from a complete show perspective. The matches all range from decent to great, and the stories advanced brought a lot to the table. Finally the finish of the WWE Championship match may have just redefined the direction of WWE, and that has me excited.

It was not at the top level of WWE’s best shows this year, but it will be one we remember down the line for its lasting image. Three young guys reeking havoc on Ryback and possibly creating a new power in the WWE. Hopefully WWE doesn’t screw it up.

Grade: B

About Kevin Berge

Wrestle Enigma's voted Writer Of The Year two years running. I am writing to prove a point. The day I stop writing is the day I realize I have nothing more to say, and I don't believe that day will ever come.
  • Judas Thundersteel

    Over a month removed since a horrific, life changing, family altering incident, I’m hurt moreso now with the lack of privacy and the living conditions. That and an overall inability beyond my control to simply go back to normal (which day by day, is increasingly something to remember fondly) makes my overall activity in a place like WE, virtually nonexistent. This inability is tied to either one of two things: NSFW (Not Safe For Work, nothing tied to that here, just elsewhere), and just not being interested to comment under new conditions. Why comment here? Easier to process thoughts and comment on a results/review article, and a response to an e-mail I received from Jake (in this form, because I have no idea how else to respond to it without feeling strange).

    Really, after a rocky week or two, I was able to continue only one thing of routine entertainment: wrestling. While the motherfucking police have my laptops and my TWO external hard drives (containing music, some ROH and SHIMMER shows, and other video stuff), I still got access to other computers in my current residence. That being said, I was able to follow wrestling, taking me back to before commenting in October 2011. Holding my thoughts inside and generally watching wrestling go without needing to explode for any reason. The result was a calmer approach (except for some little ditties like The Ryback’s mega push).

    As a quick rundown of the past near 6 weeks in wrestling, as I only watched TNA and WWE, I’ll just hit some happenings. Bound For Glory was TNA’s 2012 PPV of the Year, with what I feel is their match of the year with Roode and Storm. Devon being part of Aces and 8s, made me laugh, but not in it being bad. The awkward atmosphere in the building, and the selling from Ray, Hogan, and Sting, was what made me laugh. After that, no problems with Devon in the group, other than the confirmation that Bully Ray’s a face, which I’m not a fan of (at least not yet). Doc (Luke Gallows) unmasked? Good for him. Jessie? Surprisingly I haven’t been negative on the guy, just had to wait and see how Tara and him would function. They function pretty well, and that’s what keeps me from disliking the guy (he’s still young in the business, but so far in the ring, not impressed. Biggest individual positive for him is his look, and that includes being someone to laugh at). Bob Van Dam as X-Division Champion. Not cool, worse since Joey Ryan didn’t beat him at Turning Point. Speaking of Ryan, the partnernship with Morgan is pretty good so far, with Morgan get major rejuvenation in terms of his TNA run. A use of Hulk Hogan here that’s not as blatant and annoying, and actually more subtle, and beneficial. Turning Point was a good show. Jeff Hardy as TNA champion? Eh, not mad about it, especially after two great main events with Austin Aries (who has claimed the throne as TNA’s best heel from Ray). AJ Styles and Daniels again? Interesting since it could lead to AJ winning and getting a glimmer of hope after Turning Point (miserable stipulation AJ had to pay, but someone in that 3 way had to take the bullet), or AJ loses, and actually turns over to Daniels. Similar to how Kaz got lured into Daniels earlier in the year. The end result however is AJ splitting, Daniels as world champion, and Styles getting the title at BFG 2013 (total fantasy booking from me). There’s other stuff to mention, but I feel I gave enough on TNA.

    Hell in a Cell was an average PPV, with a surprisingly high quality bout between Sheamus and Big Show. Big Show as world champion? Cool, good for him, and Sheamus, as his power as a face has increased since losing the title. Part of that involved the usage of William Regal, which was nice. The Ryback’s push is what really bothers me the most, because my overall opinion of him has not changed, despite the (objectively speaking) efficient ideas WWE used in getting this guy over (to an extent), including the cast of stars he’s hanging with, including CM Punk. With Ray as a face, I feel now that CM Punk’s the best heel in wrestling today. The heart attack angle at RAW last week was pretty entertaining, but highly controversial. Really, the only uncomfortable part I had was the video package showing backstage footage of Lawler being brought back to life, as well as the scary snoring sound, ringing through the ears at an elevated volume. Beth’s gone, which is sad, but she expressed her reason on Twitter, so all the best to her. There’s more to discuss on WWE, coming out of Survivor Series. So…

    1.) I didn’t pay too much attention to the 3MB/CoBro match mainly because I was bothered by my youngest sister (what lack of privacy and my current living conditions entails. Today’s her birthday by the way.). It seemed to be a good match, but I was most invested in Drew, because him losing his mother really hit close to home with me and how there’s a bit of a connection between him and I. It was just nice to see him. The match, from what I saw, was standard, nothing worth noting, other than the right team won. Slater’s been using the Edgecution, I noticed. Why?

    2.) A real bonus alright, however, a necessary package, because, as stated in this article, the 5 on 5s were the best matches of the show. This one, save for Clay and Tensai’s botch moment, was exciting, and made the non monsters, all look good. PTP’s generally improving, the Colons have been solid so far, Kidd/Gabriel is hopefully a tag team staying together, as they keep going between singles and tag teams. Rey and Cara have also been great, with Sin Cara being more of a sight, than a sore. At the same event where last year, he injured himself, it’s a good little turnaround for him. On an extra note, on SD last week, him and Cesaro has a match. I’ve seen Cesaro work with high flyers of Cara’s general style, so it was really interesting to see him and Cara go. It was short, but very sweet. If only Cesaro did his no-arm airplane spin, it would’ve been awesome. Kidd was the brightest light of the bunch, but everyone not named Clay and Tensai made it an explosive start. Lawler mistaked Primo for Carlito by the way, just saying.

    3.) Eve’s doing Madison Rayne’s Queen waving. Anyways, good match with solid wrestling by both women. The finish was pretty different, making for a sick looking bump from Kaitlyn.

    4.) The weakest match of the show, for the reasons mentioned: chemistry issues. Michael Cole had to be corrected by JBL on the Rugby reference. Cole mentioned the “Nelson Mandella movie,” which I assume he meant the Clint Eastwood directed movie, Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. The All Blacks, Cole said, was South Africa’s Rugby team. No, that was New Zealand’s team or whatever. Commentary dwelled on rugby a bit too much. Actually, JBL for the whole show went into every sport that is/was popular in existence. From boxing to football, all but bowling (which he bashed, amusingly), but overall it was entertaining. Cesaro got a clean win, and that’s the best part of the match. Truth was fine though.

    5.) The return of Tamina was really good. Every once and a while, there was Twitter talk between Tamina and Vickie, with Tamina wanting to pair up with Vickie. I think based on the fact that they are traveling buddies or whatever. That being said, the concept of those two working together is nothing surprising, but the execution was very nice. AJ has gone from a woman being elevated with the help of Daniel Bryan, Kane, CM Punk, and Vickie, to one who (along with Vickie) will elevate Tamina in the eyes of the general population. On another note, AJ’s promo here was especially nice, because she didn’t do any elongated pauses. That part of her gimmick is up and down with me, mostly down. Vickie hasn’t said “excuse me” in weeks. Interesting.

    6.) I was very entertained by the Sheamus and Show match. It was more fast paced than Hell in a Cell and was on full track based on that attribute alone, to being better than Hell in a Cell, but the finish stopped that. Understandably so with implications of a chairs match (fun fact: all but one World Heavyweight Championship match in TLC PPV history have been chairs matches; the exception was 2010’s 4 man TLC match). Still, it was more of a buzzkill, than something to get behind immediately. The electric chair from Sheamus, the general harder sounding blows from both men, Show moving at his peak and most fluid in a long time, all the makings of another classic, but just a tad short.

    7.) One thing I’ve read about the past month was stuff on Randall turning heel. The concept of that grows more interesting to me, and it’s something I’m on board with, especially with Sheamus at a better position as a face nowadays. I was thinking right after this match that the turn would come in the form of Randall being so addled from the loss by Ziggler, that he blames it on Mick Foley, and attacks him. On the other side of that is Miz turning face. That is more of a possibility than the former. Whether he stays heel or turns face, the tide is turning for Miz, that’s for sure, positively. It’s good to see, and his babyface performance in this match was very nice to see. While the match overall was great, I had some quips over D-Bryan being eliminated (that’s just my markism for him), and Damien Sandow being eliminated first, when Otunga should’ve gotten axed first. Otunga replaced Cody Rhodes, who I expect to come back as a singles guy. After all, with Sandow in some good graces backstage, I figured this incident sped up the process of Sandow getting a singles push. Great, but I hope Rhodes isn’t left out. Ziggler got a pretty big win, being the sole survivor, and using Sweet Chin Music in the process, as well as a ridiculously good monkey flip sell. This 5 on 5 has more story aspects coming in and coming out, in comparison to the opener. Ziggler/Orton picking up, or Randall turning heel, Miz going forward as a face, Ziggler in general back on track, with no completely visible bond with Vickie Guerrero anymore (he was chanted for after the Show/Sheamus match). Cole made another mistake, he said Team Randall beat Team Barrett last year. No, Team Barrett won, Wade and Cody Rhodes were the sole survivors. Randall did a great RKO, countering Del Rio’s Cross Armbreaker, extra note.

    8.) I seriously didn’t think Dean Ambrose until Cole mentioned his name. Rollins and Roman Reigns, I got. On the latter, I swear the guy looked familiar, and with that, I thought of Leakee. Leakee is the son of Sika of the Wild Samoans, his brother or whatever is Rosey of 3 Minute Warning. Turns out Leakee and Reigns are the same person. What really closed it for me was this article. You mentioned writing an article for each of these 3, at least once. I remember an article you did (as Anonymous) where you mentioned Leakee. So remembering that, putting two and two together, you get the idea. I know full well of Rollins from your previous articles, and even moreso of Dean Ambrose, because without you, I would have no solid foundation of anticipation over this man. All this and no talking about the match itself. It was fine, the main events The Ryback’s been in all function as window dressing. At HIAC, the Brad Maddox angle and the easier nature for a powerhouse/brawler like The Ryback, helped him. This being a triple threat match, many rest periods for all 3 men, with The Ryback especially taking two table bumps, where the earlier one knocked him out for a good deal of time. Bottom line, window dressing, and these acts continue to make me wonder about The Ryback’s true motor. Still, amongst this push, being vastly different from his jobber squashing roots, still retain the same opinion I have of him: total indifference. However, the fact he is getting pushed, makes me sway closer to actually disliking the guy. A simpler way of putting it, one can only take “meh” so long until it turns into disdain and dislike. Couple that with the strong opinion that this guy is not ready for a main event push, skipping essential midcard seasoning. I’ll sum it up in three words. Feed me less. That being said, I was seriously scared a bit when The Ryback hit shell shock on Punk. So to the point mentioned of this match having a deal of unpredictability and stuff, yeah. I was on my toes for a bit. Cena’s new shirt looks fine by the way. JBL said the commentary team was 2 dollars and a dime. Lawler and him being the dollars, Cole the dime. So true, but apply that to the triple threat. Punk and Cena, 2 dollars. The Ryback, in my opinion, a dime. As for the invasion, Roman Reigns recently debuted at NXT, and so there hasn’t been enough time to evaluate him. Ambrose was a work on Youtube usage and article reading (especially from one Kevin Berge), that makes me pretty confident in him. Rollins, I saw him when he was Tyler Black in ROH, in 2009. So that’s 3 years knowing that guy. That being said, I know how good he is, and how he deserves to be on the main roster along with (at least) Ambrose. Now where they go from here, I was thinking immediately a stable with Punk/Heyman, and went more fantasy thinking with an Evolution thought process. Batista and HHH, namely. I had strong thoughts of Punk and Seth Rollins being in that vein. Mostly because Rollins himself once said that he was influenced by CM Punk. That and both guys have notable similarities. HHH and Batista had notable similarities, such as being power guys. Rollins still has roads to go in terms of promo work, but in ring ability is already spoken for. Surprising finish, great finish, and I felt like watching Punk pinning Cena, again, and again. The pop, Heyman saying “THREE,” it was lovely.

    Better than HIAC, I agree with the grade. Great article. Don’t expect me to comment anytime soon. I’m surprised at the length of all this.

    The only good direct response to Jake’s e-mail was just, thank you. I liked reading it, made me happy.

    One of the things I did over the past couple weeks was watch wrestling matches on Youtube and Dailymotion. A lot of Daniel Bryan and Christian matches. I watched Christian and Randall from SummerSlam 2011, it was only the second time I watched it. I was very happy. Just last night I looked at a certain chairshot from him, to Chris Jericho. SmackDown, 2001, 4 team TLC match. The chairshot to the head, that was awesome.

    One last thing, and this is not appropriate. I always found Kaitlyn hot, in the vein of Natlya and Beth Phoenix. I just have a fascination and especially urge filled mindset with hard bodied women. With Beth gone, somehow Kaitlyn suddenly crept in my mind as the hottest woman in wrestling today. Some pictures of her satisfied me…

    which was necessary, because my hard drives had stuff that satisfied me, but with no access to them, I had to drum up a different, and quick, plan.

    I’m done now.

    • JacobStachowiak

      1. That Kaityln stuff………ewwww……….Judas…..ewwww
      2. Yes, we all like it when you call Orton, Randall.
      3. It was from the heart, Judas, Im glad it made you happy.

      I hope everything goes well for you in the future, Judas. I’m not a man of worship but God Bless.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      So glad to hear from you, Judas. I really hope you can get past your difficulties. All the comments referencing my old articles reminded me what a great reader you’ve been for me. Whatever happens, know that you helped all of us here at WE by being a constant force of encouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/TheBillyWeber Billy Weber

    You know I’m probably wrong, but they way Cena just walked off after loosing is very suspicous to me usually he just sits around the ring but he left very quickly

  • http://twitter.com/heretemps Mathieu Nicod

    I agree with everything you said, except for Big Show/Sheamus. I prefered their first match at Hell in a Cell, I don’t know why but I couldn’t get invested in yesterday’s match, and found it too slow at times, although there were some great spots. It was a very good match, but not as good as the first.