28th Nov2023

‘WWE Survivor Series: WarGames 2023’ PPV Review

by Phil Wheat

Welcome to this review of 2023’s Survivor Series, which delivers yet another WarGames pay-per-view following last year’s debut. Hopefully this year’s PPV lives up to the standard set by last year’s show! Let’s see shall we…

Match #1: Women’s WarGames Match – Bianca Belair, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch & Shotzi def. Damage CTRL

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

Despite the palpable tension between teammates Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair heading into this fierce contest, their undeniable chemistry proved to be too much for the new and improved Damage CTRL. Presenting themselves a unified front, Damage CTRL entered the arena, adorn in masks, leaving Bayley remove her mask and face The Man as the first two competitors. After Lynch’s team won the Ruffles WarGames Advantage poll, Shotzi entered third and brought her unhinged energy — as well as some chairs and trash cans to take out The Role Model. WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY evened the odds for Damage CTRL next, using a chain to whip Lynch and Shotzi. Following SKY was team captain Bianca Belair, who used some whipping of her won, albeit with her deadly braids. Kairi Sane entered her first WarGames Match next, bringing a trash can lid to batter her opponents. Also entering her first WarGames Match came Charlotte Flair, rounding out her team and taking control of the match. Just before The Empress of Tomorrow entered the fray last, SKY stuffed herself inside a trash can and fearlessly launched herself from atop the high scaffolding of the WarGames structure and onto the rest of the Superstars below. With Asuka in the fray and Damage CTRL heavily armed with blue-colored Kendo sticks, WarGames officially began with Belair’s team already feeling the pain. Not to be outdone, The Queen stood on top of her throne, delivering a death-defying Moonsault from the top of the structure as well, nearly gaining the win for her team. The tension between The Queen and The Man appeared to dissipate once the two got rolling, especially after they landed a double suplex and a powerbomb before letting out battle cries and hugging it out. Moments later, Lynch and Flair caught SKY and Asuka in a Dis-arm-her and Figure-Eight Leglock, respectively. Flair looked poised to Spear Sane out of her boots, but Bayley shoved her teammate out of harm’s way and absorbed the blow. Following a senton from Shotzi and a K.O.D. from Belair, Becky drove the defenseless Bayley through a table with the decisive Manhandle Slam.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #2: Intercontinental Title Match – Gunther def. The Miz

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion of all time putting his title on the line against a Superstar looking to tie the record for most reigns with the prestigious championship, The Ring General earned the honors following a gutsy performance from The A-Lister. The Awesome One took a page out of Bret “Hit Man” Hart’s playbook, locking on a Figure-Four Leglock while Gunther’s legs were trapped around the ring post. The Miz’s strategy to attack the lower body of The Ring General continued as he connected with dangerous kicks to the back of Gunther’s legs. In a jaw-dropping moment, The Miz was able to kick out of Gunther’s Powerbomb, shocking The Ring General and the Chicago faithful. As The Awesome One distracted the referee by taking off the top turnbuckle, The Miz kicked Gunther below the belt before hitting a Skull-Crushing Finale to nearly win the match. In a move of pure desperation, Gunther locked The Miz in a Boston crab, forcing The A-Lister to tap out after simultaneously driving his knee into the challenger’s back.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #3: Santos Escobar def. Dragon Lee

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

The cruelty and barbarity of Santos Escobar continued after a big-time win over up-and-comer Dragon Lee. Though this match was originally supposed to feature Carlito fighting Escobar, Lee stepped in after the former LWO member took Carlito out of action with a heinous attack to his arm. Escobar had cemented his own path after brutally betraying Rey Mysterio a few weeks ago. Lee showed out in his first WWE PLE, launching himself over the top rope to quell the fierceness of Escobar. Escobar proved his penchant for depravity as he tried to rip off Lee’s mask. Despite a game performance from Lee, Escobar evaded his opponent to hit a South of the Border Destroyer before landing the Phantom Driver to earn the victory.

My Score: 3 out of 5

Match #4: Women’s World Title Match – Rhea Ripley def. Zoey Stark

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

After earning a Battle Royal victory to face Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley at Survivor Series: WarGames, Zoey Stark stood toe-to-toe with Mami. Stark lit up The Eradicator with a torrent of offense, but Ripley got back into the match by sending her into the ring post before pounding her to oblivion inside the ring. Stark kept up with Mami’s offense, attempting a Z-360, but Ripley evaded it and connected with the Riptide to retain her title and her place atop Raw.

My Score: 2.5 out of 5

Match #5: Men’s WarGames Match – Cody Rhodes, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Sami Zayn, Jey Uso & Randy Orton def. The Judgment Day & Drew McIntyre

The following is courtesy of wwe.com:

With an air of intrigue heading into the contest, Randy Orton had still not shown up for his team before WarGames got underway. Finn Bálor and Seth “Freakin” Rollins opened the lawless WarGames Match, rekindling their epic rivalry from the summer. Bálor soon got backup from the newest Judgment Day member JD McDonagh, who came equipped with Kendo sticks as he and The Prince used the wood to pound Rollins. Up next, Jey Uso used the power of the “Yeet” to clobber McDonagh and Bálor. Damian Priest next entered the barbaric structure, wielding a baton to thwack Rollins and Uso. Sami Zayn then arrived for his second WarGames Match, wasting no time retrieving some tables and making his opponents catch some Blue Thunder Bombs. Next up was Drew McIntyre, who came in with a ferocity that left everyone reeling on the mat. The Scottish Warrior focused on his nemesis Uso, driving him into the steel multiple times. Zayn and Uso were able to momentarily quell McIntyre’s offense with a 1-D. “The American Nightmare” Cody Rhodes joined the WarGames fray for the first time, competing in the match his father Dusty Rhodes created. Rhodes and Rollins collaborated with a bullrope to take out their rivals, a call back to their tremendous Hell in a Cell encounter last year. Entering last for The Judgment Day, “Dirty” Dominik Mysterio was greeted by a chorus of jeers from the Chi-Town WWE Universe. Mysterio was then greeted with a beatdown from the Rhodes’ quartet, leaving him obliterated on the mat. McIntyre and Priest connected by lifting Zayn, Rollins and Rhodes for a tandem Chokeslam. McIntyre and The Judgment Day kept the onslaught going with a Razor’s Edge onto Rollins through a table. After much anticipation, Rhea Ripley and not Orton next entered the arena to attempt to cash in Priest’s Money in the Bank contract on a wounded Rollins. That was, however, until The Viper himself arrived to an earth-shattering roar from the crowd. With Orton in the fray, WarGames officially began. All five members of Orton’s team paid homage to the future WWE Hall of Famer, hitting his vintage middle-rope hangman’s DDT. Orton looked ready to pound the mat to set up an RKO, but he soon turned his attention to Jey Uso, one of the men that severely injured him. Before he could strike, Uso intercepted a Priest attack with a superkick. Orton hit an RKO on Mysterio before Rollins and Zayn threw McDonagh off the top of the structure to Orton, who perfectly timed an almighty RKO. Rhodes then hit the Cross Rhodes on Priest to capture the win for his team.

My Score: 4 out of 5

News of the Night:

  1. CM Punk returned to the WWE

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

Not as good a pay-per-view as last year, mainly due to the fact that – apart from the main event – there was no sense of urgency. The men’s WarGames match delivered however, with the competitors really looking like they had a vendetta against each other – which is what you need in a match like this. Unfortunately the same could not be said of the women’s match which, honestly, felt more like people going through the motions – there was no emotion and the audience didn’t feel into it either. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great spots, like the massive dive in a BIN(!) off the top of the cage but there was just something missing. Hell, even the intercontinental title match didn’t hit the right notes and that’s not something you’d expect from either wrestler involved. All in all this was good but not amazing, well apart from the final match on the card.


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