Have you just about recovered from an almost breathless weekend absolutely jam-packed with pro wrestling? Well, don’t let your guard down just yet as we still have Raw and SmackDown Live left to go before the weekend is truly over and done with. Before that though, let’s take a look back over what we’ve seen in WWE over the last couple of days. Saturday night featured NXT TakeOver: WarGames, an otherwise flawless show that there have been very few complaints about. Then on Sunday night came Survivor Series, a pay-per-view that has very much left the WWE Universe split. Why exactly is TakeOver getting praise heaped upon it while Survivor Series is being unmercifully picked apart? Well here are five things that might help explain that.
5. Six Hours Vs Three Hours
We challenge you to sit through six hours of anything. Even binge-watching a show that is simply incredible in your eyes would become a little stale after six straight hours. Well, if you sat and watched Survivor Series from the start of the kickoff show to the closing powerslams that’s how long the pay-per-view was, give or take ten minutes or so. When you lay it out like that, it seems insane to expect fans to sit through so much. NXT TakeOver the night before on the other hand, including its very own kick off show, was half that time. The main card lasted two and a half hours and there was a 30-minute pre-show. If WWE is insistent on having four-hour pay-per-views then they have to stop preceding them with two-hour kick off shows.
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4. Championship Matches
Two of the biggest moments on Saturday night at NXT TakeOver revolved around the crowning of two brand new champions. Ember Moon won the NXT Women’s Championship and Andrade Almas overcame Drew McIntyre to become the 12th NXT Champion. Despite Survivor Series being twice as long, it featured just one title match, and it was relegated to the kickoff show. Yes, the whole theme of the pay-per-view was to have Raw’s champions go up against SmackDown Live’s, but when you take away title matches, it leaves a big show like the one on Sunday night wanting. No matter what happens, no championships will change hands and the landscape of WWE will remain more or less the same. The traditional Survivor Series matches should pit Raw talent against SmackDown Live while champions and their challengers should be left out of the brand supremacy equation.
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3. The Booking Of The Women
to give credit where it’s due for WWE, the booking of the women on the night at Survivor Series was pretty good. Charlotte vs Alexa Bliss was a great match, Asuka was the sole survivor, and even the exchange between Tamina and Nia Jax was pretty intriguing. It’s the build with which we have an issue with. NXT TakeOver: WarGames featured four tremendous women competing for the brand’s vacant Women’s Championship. The bout was booked so well that had you asked the majority of fans who they expected to win beforehand, they would have said they had no idea. All the women were made to be seen as equals and it made for an incredible match. There seems to be an inability to book multi-woman matches that way on the main roster. No one would have believed that the respective team captains on Sunday night were ever going to win, and let’s not even get started on what WWE has done with Bayley.
2. Everything Meant Something
NXT has a real habit of making everything on their product mean something. Not just the main event and the title changes, but the undercard too. Aleister Black and The Velveteen Dream told an incredible story in what may have been the match of the weekend, and even Lars Sullivan vs Kassius Ohno had meaning despite the match having next to no build. What’s more is there will be fallout from all of the matches at WarGames. That will not happen with Survivor Series. The Miz and Baron Corbin will go back to having nothing to do with each other, as will The Usos and The Bar. When those thoughts are in the backs of fans’ minds it makes it harder for them to be invested in certain matches.
1. The Multi-Man Main Events
Raise your hand if you’re still trying to figure out what exactly went down at the end of the Survivor Series main event. Raw won, people turned on each other, Braun Strowman wasn’t happy, it was all very confusing. Many might throw up the excuse that these matches are going to be confusing. There are ten men in the ring and it’s hard to keep track. For those, we point to Saturday night’s main event. That match featured nine Superstars and it was in a concept that hasn’t been used for 20 years, yet that was easy to follow and did not leave fans confused. The match was carnage, but it was organized carnage that made for a tremendous spectacle. Plus, The Undisputed Era won and there were no questions raised that took away from the action.
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