Survivor Series 2022
Date: November 26, 2022
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Kevin Patrick, Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Wade Barrett
It’s time for WarGames and no that still doesn’t feel right to say. We have a men’s and women’s version of the match here and that should make for a great core of the show. There are only five matches on the card but double WarGames is probably enough to carry things, especially with the Bloodline vs. Team Drew McIntyre as the likely headliner. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is a five minute Ozzy Osborne music video, with Ozzy saying Welcome To WarGames at the end. That works.
Team Belair vs. Team Damage Ctrl
Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Mia Yim
Bayley, Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley, Nikki Cross
If you’re not familiar, we have two teams of five, with each team sending in a person for dive minutes. After that, the team who won the advantage coming into the match (Damage Ctrl in this case) will send in its second wrestler (standing in a mini cage with their teammates on the stage until their turn) for a three minute advantage. The teams alternate for three minutes until all ten are in, when it becomes first pin (erg) or submission to win.
Belair and Kai start things off with Belair throwing her around early on. A neck snap across the top rope gives Kai a breather but Belair drags her into the other ring and takes over. Kai gets in a few kicks to stagger her right back though and they head back into the original ring. The scorpion kick rocks Belair but she shoves Kai off without much trouble. Kai is the first one to go into the cage a few times, including off a toss powerbomb, until Iyo Sky is in for the advantage.
Belair gets in a shot but the double teaming gets the better of her, allowing Sky to hit the running knees in the corner. A double suplex gets Belair out of trouble for a second but a springboard missile dropkick puts her right back down. Asuka is in to even things up though and we go right to the Asuka vs. Kai slugout. It’s Asuka getting the better of things as Belair gets back up to make things even for a change. Asuka’s dropkick takes Kai down again until Nikki Cross is in for the villainous advantage.
Nikki spends about a minute throwing in weapons and slamming the door onto Asuka’s head before coming in. The beating is on, including several shots with Nikki’s jacket to Asuka and Belair. Nikki chokes Belair with a kendo stick until Bliss is in to even things up. Bliss cleans house until Kai and Sky are back up with stick shots of her own. Nikki uses the distraction to go up top and dive onto the huge pile (thankfully standing in the right spot) for the group knockdown and first high spot.
It’s Bayley in next and she brings in a pair of ladders, because WARGAMES needs to go TLC. Bayley finally gets in and goes smart by pinning Belair between the rings with a table holding her in place. More ladder shots abound until Mia Yim gets to come in and clan house, including freeing up Belair. Various weapon shots clean house until Kai drops Yim, leaving everyone down at the same time.
Rhea Ripley comes in to complete Team Damage Ctrl and everyone gets beaten up in a row. Yim is left alone in one ring for whatever reason, only to have her dive between the rings cut off so Kai can trashcan lid her in the head. Lynch comes in to complete the field, meaning falls can now take place, and cleans house without much trouble. Kai gets sent face first into a ladder and then into a garbage can, leaving Lynch to go to the other ring for the showdown with Bayley.
Ripley is back up to stare Lynch down though and a quick Riptide gets two, with Asuka making the save. A bunch of people pair off until Asuka mists Ripley. Bayley decks Asuka and Lynch before the Roseplant sends Lynch into the steel plate between the rings. Asuka and Sky go up top but get caught by a trashcan shot to the back. The Tower Of Doom is loaded up but Cross is back up to pull people off. Belair gives Bayley a scary powerbomb but thankfully she is still moving.
Sky moonsaults off the top of the cage onto Yim and Belair for the VERY nasty crash, with Belair coming up holding her leg. It’s Cross up next and she whips out some handcuffs to tie herself to Bliss. They go to the corner and knock each other down until Yim is driven through a ladder in the corner. We get the big Lynch/Belair vs. Damage Ctrl showdown and it’s the heroines getting the better of things. Sky and Kai are loaded onto a table as Bayley gets hit with the KOD into the cage. That leaves Lynch to go up top for the legdrop off the top of the cage through the table to pin Kai at 39:35.
Rating: B. There was almost no way that a team with Belair and Lynch was going to lose here so the ending wasn’t exactly in doubt. The match itself had the violence and the carnage (and the weapons, but those are just a standard these days). What mattered here was making the match feel epic and while almost forty minutes is WAY too long for WarGames, the match went by fast enough that it didn’t feel that long. Good opener, with Lynch feeling like her old self.
We look back at Sami Zayn lying to Jey Uso about talking to Kevin Owens last night.
Jey Uso wants to know what Roman Reigns is going to do about this. Roman says deal with it and win the match tonight. Jey leaves and, after a long stare, Reigns tells Heyman to get Zayn in here.
We recap AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor, which is a one on one match to represent OC vs. Judgment Day. Either way, this should be good stuff.
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
Dominik Mysterio/Damien Priest and the OC are here too. Feeling out process to start with Balor driving him into the corner for an actual clean break. Styles runs him over with a shoulder and some right hands stagger Balor again. Balor rolls through into a basement dropkick to take over though and we hit the abdominal stretch of all things. Styles eventually hiptosses his way to freedom and the basement forearm gets two.
The Styles Clash is blocked so Balor sends him to the apron, only to have his knee get snapped across the rope to slow him down again. Dominik and Priest offer a distraction so Styles can be sent onto the apron, meaning the big brawl is on outside. With everyone else in the crowd, Balor hits a Sling Blade but charges into a jumping enziguri.
Balor kicks him down again but Styles….whatever his version of Hulking Up is. Another knockdown gives Balor two though, even as you can see the welts on his back. Balor tries his own Styles Clash but Styles blocks, setting up an exchange of Pele Kicks for a double knockdown. Some knees to the ribs give Balor two and the fireman’s carry backbreaker gets the same.
1916 is countered though and Styles hits a moonsault….Nightmare on Helm Street for a change of pace. A 450 misses for Styles and Balor shotgun dropkicks him into the corner. The Coup de Grace misses though and Balor bangs up his knee again. The Calf Crusher goes on until Balor rams his head into the mat for the break. Balor sends him to the apron but gets caught with an enziguri, setting up the Phenomenal Forearm to give Styles the pin at 18:25.
Rating: B+. Yeah this worked and I don’t know why anything else would have been expected. This was a really simple concept: take two world class talents, give them time, and watch them have a great match. Both of them can still go with the best of them and while I’m a bit surprised Styles won (first singles win on pay per view in three years), it was really entertaining stuff throughout and a nice change of pace after WarGames
We recap Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi for Rousey’s Smackdown Women’s Title. Rousey is the monster champion but Shotzi isn’t scared and is willing to come for the belt. To make it even more lopsided, Rousey has Shayna Baszler in her corner.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi
Rousey is defending with Shayna Baszler in her corner. They start fast with the ankle lock having Shotzi in trouble less than twenty seconds in. Shotzi reverses by sending her outside, where the suicide dive takes out Baszler instead. Back in and Rousey reverses a high crossbody into a kind of belly to belly to take over again. The ankle lock goes on again but Shotzi escapes for a second time.
That doesn’t work for Rousey, who hammers away against the ropes. They go to the apron and crash out to the floor, with Shotzi hitting a heck of a dive off the barricade onto Rousey and Baszler, taking out people behind them as well. Back in and Rousey grabs the ankle lock for the third time, only to switch into the armbar to retain at 7:12.
Rating: C. There was never any drama here as Shotzi isn’t going to be the person to take the title from Rousey. Shotzi gave it her all and that big dive was cool, but other than that, what was there to make me believe that Shotzi was a real threat. We are probably on the road to Rousey vs. someone a bit bigger for the title, bu Shotzi did put in some effort here.
Sami Zayn finally comes in to see Roman Reigns, who asks about Sami talking to Kevin Owens last night. Zayn did talk to him, so Reigns flat out asks him why he lied to Jey Uso. Sami says that he didn’t want to put anything on Jey’s plate before the main event. Owens was the one doing the talking and said Sami should turn on the Bloodline. Reigns says this is his blood and asks if Sami is with them. Sami insists that he is with the Bloodline and Reigns stares at him. They both stand and Reigns says let’s do it. They hug, but Reigns doesn’t seem entirely convinced.
US Title: Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory vs. Seth Rollins
Rollins is defending and Lashley sends Theory outside to start. A neckbreaker drops Rollins but it’s too early for the Hurt Lock. Theory pulls Rollins outside and sends him into the barricade, allowing him to actually hammer Lashley down back inside. Lashley shrugs that off and sends Theory outside again. This time Theory grabs a chair, only to have Lashley take it away.
Rollins is back with a knee off the apron to drop Lashley though and there’s a toss into the steps. Theory is back up with the steps to both of their faces and sends Rollins back inside. There’s the rolling dropkick to drop Rollins and Theory sends Lashley into the barricade for a bonus. Back in and Rollins slugs away at Theory, followed by a suicide dive to Lashley. The big running flip dive drops both challengers and the fans seem rather pleased with Rollins.
Back in and Rollins misses the Stomp, allowing Lashley to hit the spinebuster. The Hurt Lock goes on but Theory grabs a sleeper on Lashley to break it up. Rollins knocks Theory down but misses the Phoenix splash. Theory grabs a rolling Blockbuster on Lashley, who is right back with Hurt Lock.
The rope walk flip into a rollup gets two but Rollins Phoenix splashes them for the save. Rollins discus forearms Theory but Lashley Hurt Locks both of them at the same time. Since that can’t last long, Rollins breaks it up and Stomps Lashley but he has to superplex Theory. Rollins tries to roll into the Falcon Arrow but Lashley spears him down, allowing Theory to fall on top for the pin and the title at 14:49.
Rating: B. I wasn’t big on a lot of the match but they had some creative stuff in there. The ending made Theory feel more like he was thinking instead of coming in there and stealing the pin. Theory getting the title back is the right call and now he can hopefully get more of a proper push. Granted that was what seemed to be the case the first time, but at least he is getting somewhere.
Jey Uso asks Roman Reigns if Sami Zayn lied to him too. Reigns says he looked Sami in the eye and saw everything he needed to see. That’s good enough for Jey.
Team McIntyre vs. Bloodline
Drew McIntyre, Butch, Ridge Holland, Sheamus, Kevin Owens
Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn
Same rules as the women’s match. Butch and Jey start things off and stare at each other for most of the first minute. Jey finally goes after him and gets dropped with a clothesline. Butch goes after the fingers but Jey manages to get in a shot to the face for a needed breather. Things slow down but Butch stomps on the arm to slow Jey down again. The arm is tied around the rope and it’s Ridge Holland to put Jey down 2-1.
Jey manages a shot to Butch before Ridge can get here, leaving Ridge to get kicked in the ribs. The Brutes go high/low on Jey and it’s back to the hand. Ridge weakly twisted on the ankle at the same time until Sami is in to even things up. Zayn takes his sweet time to get in, burning off over a minute of the three minute period just coming to the ring. Butch is dropped in the corner as Reigns seems pleased that Jey and Sami are working well together. That lasts for all of a few seconds before Sami has to calm Jey down.
The delay lets Holland get up but he charges into the cage, allowing Jey to beat on Butch (favoring his arm) even more. McIntyre is in next and house is cleaned, albeit at a bit of a slow pace. The overhead belly to belly sends Sami flying and the sit up choke throw sends Jey flying, but off the top this time. There’s the Futureshock to Sami as Jimmy is in to even the score, but he has some tables as well.
Jimmy has to calm Jey and Sami down again, with commentary not being sure what Jey’s problem is here. The Bloodline beats everyone down until Kevin Owens (in a pretty sweet Dusty Rhodes shirt) unevens things again. Owens swings away with a chair but stops to have the staredown with Zayn. The slow beatings continue as the energy is definitely shifting down a bit until we get to the big finale.
Solo Sikoa is in next and gets to clean a bit of house. Owens can’t powerbomb Sikoa between the rings, as he is instead backdropped onto the plate between them. Sikoa superkicks McIntyre down into the corner and it’s Sheamus coming in to complete the good guys. The Bloodline comes back and everyone is down until Reigns comes in to complete the field. Everyone stands up for the big showdown visual, more or less rendering the last 28 minutes entirely worthless.
Reigns’ Superman Punch misses Sheamus, who ties him in the ropes for the ten forearms, only to have all of his partners do the same thing to someone else on the Bloodline. After twenty forearms each, Sheamus Brogue Kicks Sikoa but gets speared by Reigns for two. Sami yells at Butch but (seemed to be aiming for Butch but it’s not clear) gets superkicked by Jey. Not that it matters as the Usos have to give Butch a super 1D.
There’s the spear to send Holland through a table in the corner but McIntyre is back on Reigns. The powerbomb through the table is broken up by Sikoa, who Spinning Solos McIntyre through the table instead. Owens and Reigns slug it out with the superkick cutting off the spear. There’s the Pop Up Powerbomb into the Stunner but Sami grabs the referee to break up the pin.
Owens and Zayn stare at each other (while Owens has reigns covered for about a 19) and the fans chant for SAMI USO. Owens has to block a Jey superkick, allowing Sami to hit him low. Sami looks around at everything and might be second guessing himself. Reigns looks at Sami, who Helluva Kicks Owens. Sami and Jey look at each other, with Sami leaving Owens to get Superfly Splashed for the pin at 38:30.
Rating: B+. This is a weird match as the action was mostly there and the Sami drama was great, but as has been the case with almost every WarGames, it was WAY longer than it needed to be. The classic WarGames matches were about 21-25 minutes and this is so far beyond any of those times. Cut down the periods to two minutes instead of one and this gets WAY easier, just by shaving off about eight minutes.
As for the match itself, it was a lot of violence with one big move after another. The problem here though was that everything was waiting on Sami’s decision. It was the only thing that mattered in the match and there was only so much to get interested in until the ending. Sami going full Bloodline in a more serious way should take things in a different direction. Very good match, but trim off ten or so minutes and it’s that much better.
Post match Sami hugs Reigns and gets the big hug from Jey as he is officially accepted as part of the team. The Bloodline poses to end the show.
Overall Rating: A-. The two big matches more than carried this and the weakest part of the show was a seven minute match that would have been perfectly fine on TV. What mattered most here was it felt like stuff was mattering after so many years of Raw vs. Smackdown with no stakes to be seen. The main event felt important and there was a logical title change in the middle. Very good show here, and WarGames makes a pretty awesome main roster debut.
Team Belair b. Team Damage Ctrl – Legdrop off the cage to Kai
AJ Styles b. Finn Balor – Phenomenal Forearm
Ronda Rousey b. Shotzi – Armbar
Austin Theory b. Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley – Spear to Rollins
Bloodline b. Team McIntyre – Superfly Splash to Owens
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