17th Mar2013

‘WWE Survivor Series 2012′ Blu-ray Review

by Phil Wheat

WWE_Survivor_SeriesSurvivor Series is one of WWE’s top pay-per-view’s, along with Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble and Summerslam, and with good reason – it is officially WWE’s second longest running PPV having debuted in 1987 and still continuing to be as relevant today as it was then. Survivor Series 2012 marks the 26th annual show of the PPV and was headlined by one of the biggest matches of the year as the WWE’s longest reigning champion, fan-favourite CM Punk, defended his title in a Triple Threat match against former champion John Cena and man-monster Ryback.

But Survivor Series is not just about the main event. As is tradition, the 2012 event sees not one but TWO five-on-five matches – the eponymous “survivor series” matches of the title. First up is a “bonus” 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match featuring Team Mysterio (Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd) versus Team Prime Time Players (Tensai, Primo, Epico and The Prime Time Players). From the outset it looked like this was to be a typical WWE match as the big guys Brodus Clay and Tensai went head to head, however things soon changed as Nexus members Justin Gabriel and Tyson Kidd took charge, with Kidd in particular flourishing with his high-flying, fast-paced wrestling – taking out both Titus O’Neil and Epico. In fact Kidd outshone even Rey Mysterio, whose 619 schtick looked tired after Kidd’s in-ring maneuvers.

After a cracking opening Survivor Series 2012 fell flat with it’s next two matches, both of which were title matches with championships on the line. The third match was a Divas match for the Divas Championship between reigning champion Eve and challenger Kaitlyn, which was won by Eve. The fourth match was a singles match for the United States Championship between reigning champion Antonio Cesaro (who retained his belt once again) and challenger R-Truth. Sadly both matches felt utterly predictable and weren’t helped by poor commentary and poorer wrestling.

Thankfully the next match, for the World Heavyweight Championship, between champion Big Show and the the Irish hard-man Sheamus, who had lost the championship to Show at the previous pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell. Whilst Big Show struggles these days to keep up in the ring he can still sell a match, and when paired with fan-favourite Sheamus (who I originally hated when he joined the WWE) it really does feel like two titans going at it – especially when you out Show’s Knockout Punch up against Sheamus’s Brogue Kick. Big Show “won” the match by intentionally using the referee as a shield, causing Sheamus to inadvertently hit him with a Brogue Kick. With Sheamus distracted, Show hit him with the Knockout Punch and was awarded the victory. The decision was then reversed by a second ref, with Big Show losing by DQ (hence still retaining the title). After the match, Sheamus assaulted Big Show with a steel chair, setting up a rematch at TLC – a review of which is coming soon!

It was back to a traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination for the next match as Team Foley (Randy Orton, The Miz, Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) and Kofi Kingston, with Mick Foley at ringside) took on Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow and David Otunga). Team Ziggler picked up the win with Ziggler scoring the final elimination on Orton. Ziggler was also the real highlight of the match, holding most of the match together and taking some huge bumps along the way. It’s a credit to Ziggler that not only can he sell his own moves but also others, in this case throwing himself around the ring like a ragdoll to sell moves like Kingston’s monkey flip.

Ending Survivor Series with a triple threat match main event for the WWE Championship between reigning champion CM Punk and challengers Ryback and John Cena, must have sounded like a great idea on paper. However the ensuing action look incredibly stiff after the events of the Survivor Series match beforehand. On somewhat of a predictable move, Punk to retained the title by pinning Cena following interference by the trio of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns (now known as The Sheild), who powerbombed Ryback through a table, taking him out for the rest of the match.

In the end Survivor Series 2012 was a mixed bag – three lacklustre singles matches, one good one and two fantastic traditional 5-on-5 matches. But like many a WWE pay-per-view these days you couldn’t help but think that it was merely a stepping stone to the next one…

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