Last night’s Survivor Series main event, was enjoyable enough, we saw some great wrestling. Unfortunately there’s a ‘but’… It could have (and should have) been so much more.
Here is how WWE’s 5 on 5 brand match main even, should have been booked.
First up, let’s look at the teams.
On Team Raw, we have Kurt Angle as team captain, Triple H, Fin Balor, Samoa Joe and ‘The Monster Among Men’ Braun Strowman. The Smackdown team had John Cena, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton and team captain was Shane McMahon (because of course a McMahon needs to be involved.) I think this is a really interesting team structure, although it brings me to my first issue with the match. On paper, Braun Strowman gives Raw a huge advantage, and looking at the line up, 4 on 5 would have been much better balanced – which implies that they have stacked team Raw too heavily, or rather team Smackdown is lacking their 5th member. Shane McMahon should have been replaced with someone else, and I think that someone should have been Kevin Owens. This is nothing against Shane, but if you match up the members of both teams, they fit reasonable well (still slightly heavy in Raw’s direction) but it leaves Strowman matched to Shane, which is obviously ridiculous and highlights the issues within the teams.
That aside though, there is plenty of talent on both sides to create a brilliant main event. Unfortunately that never came to fruition, and what should have been great, was just OK. This was largely because of what WWE is doing with alarming frequency now; burying new talent. Kurt Angle, Triple H, John Cena and to a certain degree even Randy Orton, should now be handing the baton to the next generation. They should be there in the match for nostalgia and the excitement of seeing them wrestle occasionally, and more importantly they should be putting over todays talent to make them the legends of tomorrow. Instead Orton, Cena, Triple H and Angle, buried them and they were the force of the second half of the match. What does that achieve, other than stroking their egos?
Here is what should have happened:
Triple H should have crossed Angle early in the match. ‘Accidently’ striking him and causing him to be pinned. This would set up a match between them at Wrestlemania. I would have loved to have seen Cena taken out by Strowman, further cementing his dominance, and Orton would have been brilliantly taken out by a double team of Balor and Samoa Joe. It would have been fantastic to see Triple H pinned by Shinsuke Nakamura, but of course no one pins the Game! Nakamura, Balor, Samoa Joe and Bobby Roode should have without question, been the last 4 men in the match. I would also have loved to have seen interference from Kane as payback for last week’s Raw, with him helping to eliminate Strowman, which would have further fuelled the legitimacy of their feud. Instead we were left with Strowman, Angle and Triple H vs Shane McMahon. Angle was about to make Shane tap from The Ankle Lock, but was taken out by Triple H as a double cross, which should have happened much earlier. Triple H then picked up the pin to win Survivor Series for team Raw. Talent, buried by Triple H to make him look good. This is happening so often now. Amazing talent from Ring of Honour, NXT and New Japan are being buried by WWE veterans. This is exactly why Kenny Omega will not go to WWE anytime soon. Omega is one of the hottest wrestlers in the World at the moment and if he goes to WWE he knows he will get buried. Hence Chris Jericho facing him at NJPR Wrestle Kingdom 12 next year.
A very disappointing main event, because of what it could have, and should have been. Roode, Nakamura, Samoa Joe and Fin Balor should have shone, and unfortunately creative deemed it more important to have the likes of Cena and Triple H stand tall, despite the fact their wrestling careers are long behind them. That said, it was fun to watch. Man of the match was easily Fin Balor, he was a wonder to watch and his running kick to McMahon was insane. Say what you like about Shane, but the man is not afraid to take a bump. A final downer for me though was the abilities of Triple H and Kurt Angle. Both men did very little, and Angle had to rest for a moment between German Suplex’ 2 and 3 on Roode. This gives me serious concern over their inevitable clash.
What WWE did do well was in the way they booked Strowman. Since his Raw transfer they have not put a foot wrong with him. They have slowly and steadily built him into a star, and it was excellent to see even Triple H felled by him at the end. Strowman was the once again shown as ‘The Monster Among Men’ and the last left standing. Let’s hope creative give equal care to the rest of the upcoming roster from now on.