Nov 20, 2016

WWE Issues Apparent At Survivor Series

Well folks, WWE's 2016 Survivor Series has come and gone. What does this mean, you ask? It means that I've finally hit my boiling point. If anyone is actually reading any of my posts, you know that I try my absolute best to keep negativity out of the blog. Well, I've had it. This show has sent me over the edge as it illustrated so many of the missteps and mind-boggling decisions WWE has made over the past year or more. So let's get right to it, shall we?

The Cruiserweight Division. Holy mother of Christ above. How did you screw this up, WWE? Somehow, in a matter of weeks, you've managed to bury a division that wasn't even established. The Cruiserweight Classic did so much to introduce characters, display incredible athleticism in many forms, and bring out emotion all at the same time. Since Brian Kendrick is important to this whole botching, I'll use him as the center of this subject. Kendrick's story in the CWC was fantastic. He was the older wrestler that only had one more shot at greatness and was willing to do whatever he had to in the name of success. When he finally lost in the tournament, he had an incredible moment with Daniel Bryan, sharing both tears and an embrace. It was great and essentially a babyface turn for Kendrick. So what did you do, WWE? You brought Kendrick up as a heel and shot him straight to the top. Now, Kendrick being on top isn't the problem. Here's where everything immediately goes off the rails. Kendrick's work style isn't as high energy or in the air as the others in the division. In my never-worked-in-wrestling opinion, why not hot-shot the division to start with fast paced matches and high-flying? Once the crowd is behind the division, then bring Kendrick in as the slower-paced methodical heel that takes the belt? Then you can have a high-energy babyface chase the title.

Fast forward to tonight. Kendrick takes on Kalisto, a guy who has done a whole pile of nothing since around WrestleMania. The division has been in shambles for weeks now, due to poor booking and slow matches (which is not what the fans probably expected from Cruiserweight matches). The match has no heat, the crowd is dead, and not even an insane Spanish Fly from the apron to the floor could wake up the crowd. The point of the match is that if Kalisto wins, the Cruisers go to SmackDown, the show they should've been on in the first place. So sadly, they have a dead match and wouldn't you know it, Baron Corbin interferes for the DQ to extend the barnburner of a feud he has with Kalisto. I could go on all year with this, but I'm going to move on.

Quickly, I'll touch on the matches outside of the main event. The New Day gets beats really early to continue their nonsensical losing streak, Sami Zayn gets screwed again, and WWE seems to be begging the fans to boo Dean Ambrose as a babyface. Main event time.

Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar has been hyped massively over the past month. Lesnar has been protected for years and for good reason. Now, logic says that you want a full-time, up and coming star to eventually beat Lesnar, thus creating an actual superstar. So what does WWE do? Goldberg beats him in under three minutes. Just like that. The beast was slain. I will say that it's a feel good story as Goldberg's son got to see his father do what made him famous in a big-time match. Great. What's sad is it seems that WWE is making us watch as they kill long-term success of their full-time roster. I hope I'm wrong and this won't hurt Brock as bad as I think it just did. But the fact is if a full-time competitor does beat him, we'll always know that Goldberg beat him in minutes and is essentially better than anyone who does it in a longer match. Why build this up to the degree that it was and have a squash match? There has to be more to this, as in, another match. If there's not, then WWE just surrendered an opportunity to create a superstar.

So there it is. That's my rant coming out of Survivor Series. In a night teasing title changes and change within WWE's two brands, nothing really happened. As fans, we want shock and unpredictability. The main event gave us that, but at what cost? Maybe my outlook will change following the conclusion of WrestleMania 33. At least that's my hope.

Brady Sauvageau
The Heater

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