The Spotlight On The 2015 WWE Survivor Series

The 2015 WWE Survivor Series just went off the air not too long ago and I actually just got back from a connection flight from the site of the Survivor Series, Atlanta, Georgia.  Since I’m arriving late and starting the show at 11:15PM,  I’m going to get into the big finish of the show and my thoughts on that before I get into the highlights of the show.   If you haven’t seen the show and don’t want it to be spoiled stop reading now…..

 

OK so obviously tonight Sheamus cashed in his money in the bank briefcase on Roman Reigns following Reigns winning the title from Dean Ambrose in the finals of the WWE World Title Tournament.  In theory I have no problem with this as the person carrying the money in the bank briefcase should cash in after the champion has fought two matches.  Here are my two problems with the cash in.  First, this is way too similar to the cash in from Summerslam 2013 where Daniel Bryan beats John Cena clean, confetti falls as Bryan stands triumphant with Triple H raising his hand.  Of course on that night Triple H turned on Bryan to start the authority as Randy Orton cashed in and won the title right in the middle of the confetti.  Sound familiar?  Well yeah because it’s basically what happened tonight.  Next and it’s my even bigger problem with Sheamus winning the world title, he was made out to be a huge goof in the beginning of this show.  He comes out with the New Day rapping terribly to the point that they want nothing to do with him and to the point that the announcers joke that he should cash in his money in the bank briefcase for a new personality.  Then he loses his traditional survivor series match to Jey Uso, Ryback and Kalisto.  This is not the same as Seth Rollins losing to Randy Orton the  same night he cashed in at Wrestlemania because Orton was a clear number one contender for Rollins after that.  With all due respect to Jey Uso, Ryback and Kalisto I don’t think either of those guys is getting a title shot at TLC, so it just made Sheamus look bad.  Don’t get me wrong, I love badass Irish ass kicker Sheamus and if the idea here is to bring that Sheamus back then great but if not then what is the point?  As for Roman Reigns, I think we’re building to Reigns and Triple H at Wrestlemania and that’ll be great but I really think they oughta just see what they have in the guy instead of just pulling the carpet out from under him ime and time again.  Otherwise, they may pull that carpet out one too many times that people may think he’s a loser.  Reigns should also never cry like he did at the end of the show but instead get angry.  I’m interested to see were it goes from here.

Aside from that finish, which again I thought could have some positives if this brings back the badass Sheamus, I thought there was a lot to like about the Survivor Series so let’s get into it.

Highlights

1) The Golden One Returns- It was a really cool way to start the show with a bonus Traditional Survivor Series match.  It was a good way to get everyone on the show, in particular seeing my boy Bo Dallas getting a spot on the kickoff show.  Of course the big story here was the return of Goldust that came out of nowhere and got a great reaction from the crowd, coupled by the great reaction by Stardust.  This was so good that I wished it had taken place on the main show as it got a great reaction and there weren’t any surprises during the main show traditional survivor series match.  I am still holding out hope that Stardust and Goldust get to have a big blow off match at Wrestlemania as, if tonight was any indication, people would be into it.  Goldust looked great by the way and seemingly gets better with age.  One last note on the kickoff match, it really seems like Titus O’Neil is being featured more prominently as a single.  He got to survive here, got a tournament match, and got an elimination in this match.  I wonder if he will silently be pulled away from the prime time players or if maybe Darren Young is just taking some time off, time will tell.

2) The Tournament Semi-Finals-  Starting with Roman Reigns and Alberto Del Rio, this makes Roman Reigns two for two on great matches this week, first with Cesaro and now tonight with Alberto Del Rio.  He gets the 50/50 reaction but works real hard in the ring and I thought this match was really good.  Roman’s one arm lifting sitout powerbomb was just nasty and I really liked how they teased the spear with Alberto constantly finding a way to get out of it several times.  Alberto has been a great addition to the roster since his return. As for Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose, such a great hard hitting match and I also enjoy watching Owens talking to the referee and crowd.  It was really nice to see Dean Ambrose get a big win because I honestly can’t recall too many big match clean wins he gets.  Owens was also great in his backstage promo with Reigns and I hope to see those two down the line.

3) 25 Years Of Undertaker- This entire show was built around the Undertaker and WWE did a great job in making everything about him seem like a big deal.  From the video packages throughout the show, it almost felt like this could very well be it for the Undertaker. Of course, it likely isn’t it but I think we are getting down that road.  Perhaps he’s got one more Wrestlemania in him and he goes into the hall of fame this year?  Just speculation…In any event I think JBL summed this entire match up best when he said to take it all in now because it isn’t gonna last forever.  This was pure nostalgia with the highlight for me being the Brothers of Destruction entrance.  Kane setting the Undertaker symbols on fire as The Undertaker slowly made his way to the ring, such a spectacle that had to be incredible to see live.  As for the match, it was like the greatest hits of both the Undertaker and Kane and the fact that I see people on twitter complaining that the Wyatts lost makes no sense.  This was the Undertaker’s 25th Anniversary, there was no way that he was going to lose, nor should he have.  The closing scenes here were both very cool.  Kane giving the Undertaker the ring to acknowledge the crowd was so unique and as close as you’ll ever see to the Undertaker breaking character.  It also definitely seemed like this was the swan song for the Brothers of Destruction as a team with the two slowly walking together and classically turning back to acknowledge the crowd.  One of the Undertaker’s greatest legacies in WWE is actually Kane when you think about it.  Here’s a character, in Kane; who’s been around for over 18 years and it’s spun directly off of the Undertaker.

4) Reigns Vs Ambrose-  To me this match felt really fresh and was nice to see a completely new 1st time ever match in the main event.  The two are obviously good friends and left it all out in the ring.  I liked that, unlike in the Del Rio/Reigns match the crowd wasn’t split with “Let’s Go Roman/Roman Sucks” Chants but rather “Lets Go Roman/Lets Go Ambrose” Chants.  To me that shows that people are paying to see both of these guys as opposed to the first chant where it’s all about Reigns.  That was always the problem with the Cena chants.  The crowd either wanted Cena to win or lose but it didn’t matter who beat him because there was no emotional connection to the guy who beat Cena, just that he did it.  My favorite moment in the match came when both guys sat up and started to first slap and then straight up punch each other.  It showed that both men were putting their friendship behind them and worrying about winning the title.  No problem with the finish here as Ambrose simply got caught with a spear at the very last second so both stayed strong and showed each other the respect at the end.  They obviously want to keep Ambrose and Reigns together for now and I have no problem with it.

Well that’s going to do it for me tonight as it’s nearly 2:30 AM in New york.  I hope you enjoyed all of the Survivor Series material up here on the site over the weekend.  For now, what did you think of the finish of the Survivor Series?  Wat were your favorite moments from the show.  Let me know in the comments section below or on twitter @Daily_Spotlight

The Spotlight On The Week Ahead For WWE: 11/16-11/22

Before I start the list of what to look forward to in WWE this week, I’d like to send my condolences to the family of WWE Hall of Famer Nick Bockwinkel who passed away over the weekend at the age of 80.  WWE released a couple of breaking news bits on the WWE Network looking at Bockwinkel’s induction into the WWE Hall of Fame, as well as some of the many great moments in his career. Bockwinkel was unquestionably one of the all time greats. I expect that there will be a tribute to Bockwinkel tomorrow night on Raw, at least in some capacity.  With no great way to transition, let’s get into the week ahead for WWE.

Monday: Later tonight WWE Monday Night Raw emanates live from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, SC, returning to the States after a few weeks in the UK.  I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s Raw as the quarter finals in the WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament takes place.  The tournament is stacked with four matches that could be really great.  They are as follows:  Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro, Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto, Kevin Owens vs Neville and Dean Ambrose vs. Dolph Ziggler.  On top of that this will be the final Raw before the 2015 Survivor Series and the Undertaker is advertised locally as being there live.  It’ll be interesting to see how this all unfolds tomorrow night.

Undertaker Week: Tomorrow night immediately following Raw, on the WWE Network, Undertaker Week will begin with the first of a two part “Legends” interview with JBL hosting a sit down interview with Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Stone Cold Steve Austin.  The four legends will discuss their thoughts on their many battles with the Undertaker and this 2 part interview wraps up on Thursday on the Network.  Aside from that, the WWE Network will also feature two additional features on the Undertaker looking at his greatest moments on Tuesday and the most dangerous matches in his career on Wednesday.  I also expect that there will be some sort of on demand section added to Undertaker Week similar to what they did with Black Histroy month.  I say this because WWE has quietly added three episodes of Smackdown from 2007-2009 all prominently featuring the Undertaker.  I’ve enjoyed all of the theme weeks on the Network and I’m sure that this will be no exception.

2015 Survivor Series- This of course all culminates on Sunday night when WWE presents the 29th annual Survivor Series event live on the WWE Network from Atlanta, Georgia.  It appears that the event will feature both the semi finals and the finals of the WWE Heavyweight Title Tournament, a women’s championship match between Charlotte and Paige and a tag team match between The Brothers of Destruction and The Wyatt Family as WWE celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Undeetaker.  Interesting to note that their are not any Traditional Survivor Series Matches announced for Sunday as of this writing.  Things could certainly change this week at TV, however, and I’m sure all of you know that I’ll be rooting for a traditional survivor series match or two to be added.  There is a one hour long pre show being advertised on Sunday so, worst comes to worse, WWE could certainly put one of those matches on the pre show.

Closing Thoughts: 

Obviously with the conclusion of the World Title Tournament, The Survivor Series and Undertaker Week on the Network all coming up this week, it’s going to be a pretty important week for WWE. I should also mention that on November 17th, WWE Studios’ latest film, Santa’s Little Helper, will be released on DVD and Blu Ray starring WWE Studios mainstay, the Miz, and Paige.  This is a release that I plan on checking out here sometime before the holidays, it looks like it’ll be fun.

Ok well that’s going to do it for me but what are you looking forward to most this week in WWE?  What are some of your favorite Undertaker moments?  Let me know in the comments section below or on own brand new official twitter @Daily_Spotlight.

The Spotlight on Raw 11/09/2015

WWE Monday Night Raw just went off the air emanating live from Machester, Great Britain and I honestly thought it was a pretty strong show.  We found out 2 quarterfinal matches for the WWE World Title Tournament as Roman Reigns will take on Cesaro and Dean Ambrose will take on Dolph Ziggler in two unique, fresh matches.  Aside from that I also really enjoyed some of the other build for the Survivor Series as WWE is really making it feel like one of the big four shows, at least in my opinion.  Let’s get right into some of the highlights on the show.

Highlights:

1) The Brothers Of Destruction Are Back–  This one I’ll probably get a little flack for but I really enjoyed the ending of Raw with the returns of both the Undertaker and Kane.  I also appreciated that, for the second week in a row, they continued to show old school clips of both the Undertaker and Kane to really point out how big of a deal what Bray Wyatt had done was.  Say what you will about the hokeyness of the last segment with the lightning and the special effects but that’s part of what I love about wrestling.  Whoever said wrestling had to be so serious?  Furthermore, the crowd absolutely lost their minds when the Undertaker and Kane came out and they ate up the staredown with the Wyatt Family showering the ring with “This Is Awesome” Chants.  Some of the folks on twitter seem a bit upset that Undertaker and Kane left the Wyatts laying but the Wyatts had done the same over the past few weeks.  Now there is still one last Raw before Survivor Series to see how the Wyatts regroup. I’m hooked into this one, can’t wait to see where they go next.

2) The Tournament–  I really enjoyed the way that they did the first round of the tournament throughout the night while leaving three more of the first round matches for Smackdown.  By spacing out the matches throughout the night, this gave the viewers reason to remain engaged in the show all night and I felt the tournament matches made the show go by pretty fast for a 3 hour show.  As for the tournament matches,  I felt that Dolph Ziggler and The Miz had a good match and especially felt that Dean Ambrose and Tyler Breeze had a good long match. I didn’t feel like Breeze lost anything by losing because he hung in there with Ambrose for so long and simply got caught by a rollup.  The shock of the tournament so far, for me, was seeing Cesaro pick of a win over Sheamus (with a nice little assist from Rooney!).  I assumed that Sheamus would get the win to set up a face-heel match with Roman.  Instead we’re going to get Roman vs. Cesaro in a really intriguing match between two fan favorites.

3) The New Day-  The New Day was in rare form tonight and hysterical by dropping in disses on Harry Potter and talking about how they really outdid themselves.  They remain a highlight on every show they’re apart of and I was glad that they mentioned not being a part of the tournament because that;s the first thing I thought when I saw the bracket as well.  As for the six man featuring the New Day against The Usos and Neville, it was the match of the night as all six of them busted their hides with high flying moves at every turn and Neville even getting a “Holy Shit” chant due to his Red Arrow off the top to the outside.  Go out of your way to watch that match, it was great.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, the crowd deserves some credit here because they were great throughout the night and gave Raw a really unique feel to it.  One of the first things I thought from watching the crowd was “Wow NXT: Takeover is going to be the best!”  I can’t wait for that show.

In closing, we also found out that next week on the WWE Network it will be Undertaker week leading into the Survivor Series and his 25th Anniversary.  Ironically, it will also be Undertake week here on the daily spotlight as I’ll be counting down my top 25 favorite Undertaker moments of all time.  Hopefully, my piece will act as a good companion piece to Undertaker week on the Network.  The WWE Network alwasy does a good job with their themed weeks and I’m sure next week will be no different.

Well that’s going to do it for me tonight but if you haven’t done so I’ve posted the first part of my Survivor Series Retrospective looking at the first 9 years of the Survivor Series from 1987-1995, so be sure to check that out.  Until then, what was some of your favorite moments from Raw?  What did you think of the Brothers of Destruction returning to Raw?

The Spotlight On The WWE Title Tournament (Updated With Bracket) 

Please note that below you will find a spoiler on the bracket for the WWE World Title Tournament, which will in fact feature 16 different WWE Superstars. If you’d like to continue reading from this point I won’t give away any of the first round results (I don’t actually know them myself) but just the matches that you can expect to see in the first round of the tournament.  First off Roman Reigns will be going one on one with the Big Show. The winner of that match will face the winner of the first round match between Cesaro and Sheamus. Right below them on the bracket it’ll be Alberto Del Rio squaring off with Stardust and the winner of that match will face the winner of Ryback Vs. Kalisto ( I’ll be honest I’m pulling for upset here so we can get Del rio vs. Kalisto in the Quarterfinals, that’ll be a lot of fun.)

On the other side of the bracket, Kevin Owens will take on Titus O’Neil and the winner of that will face the winner of King  Barrett vs. Neville. Rounding out the tournament below them will be The Miz taking on Dolph Ziggler & the winner of that match will take on the winner of Dean Ambrose vs Tyler Breeze. 

Thus, those hoping for a “Battle Of The Best Friends” final between Dean Ambrose & Roman Reigns are in luck, as the only way that match can happen is in the finals. If you’re looking for a prediction from me I would say Reigns over Del Rio in the semis & Ambrose over Owens before Reigns outlasts Ambrose to win the world title. 

What I could tell you is that the first round of the tournament is going to be completed this week between Raw & Smackdown. This would suggest that the Quarterfinals of the tournament would likely take place next week and the semi finals & finals of the tournament would both take place at the Survivor Series, similar to the way they did it with the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Invitiational down in NXT. 

I’ll be back a little bit later to kick of my Survivor Series Retrospective and, at the lastest, tomorrow morning looking at Raw. Until then, who do you guys think is going to win the tournament? Let me know in the comments section below, on Twitter @TommyOnTheSpot or via email at thedailyspotlight2@gmail.com! 

The Spotlight On The Week Ahead In WWE: 11/9-11/15

Hello everyone and a happy Monday to each and every one of you. With a new week upon us I figured it would be a fun idea to take a look at the week ahead for WWE. Please note that at the end of this piece I’m going to have some (hopefully) fun bits of news regarding this website and the wrestling material that I have planned for all of you over the week as well. Let’s get right into it with some highlights of the week ahead in WWE.Highlights:

Manchester Mayhem: WWE heads to the United Kingdom to tape both Raw and Smackdown. Now for those of us in the New York City Area, Manchester is actually 5 hours ahead of us and so as I type this piece up right now, WWE is preparing to tape Raw live in just a little under two hours. With the tape delay, I’ve noticed in the past that while the Raw tapings in the UK often have strong in ring work (often stronger than many of the matches taped for Raw here in the States), there often isn’t as much storyline development when Raw heads to the UK. I don’t know if that’s because of the time difference and the fact that, with the way social media works, many spoilers get out prior to Raw airing on television or what but this is what I’ve noticed. Well, I don’t expect that to be the case tonight as tonght’s Raw will be the first live WWE broadcast since the news broke of Seth Rollins’ injury and it was announced that a tournament would be held to crown a new world champion at the Survivor Series on November 22nd. Here is what we do know right now in regards to Raw and Smackdown this week, WWE.com has confirmed that the tournament for the world title would kick off tonight on Raw and continue into Smackdown for the rest of the week. While not confirmed, I would think there would be 16 superstars competing in the tournament and they’ll have 2 first round matches on Raw and Smackdown both this week and next then hold the final 8 of the tournament live on the Survivor Series. It is certainly possible that the tournament would only have 8 participants or that they would do the first round this week and the second round next week then have the final four of the tournament at the Survivor Series but that remains to be seen. Personally I think this is great idea for WWE as it drives up the interest of Smackdown and makes that show a more “must see” program so that you can see the tournament matches. There hasn’t been any brackets released as of yet but I personally hope that we don’t see the brackets and instead they announce each matchup as they occur. I also know, and this is a bit of a SPOILER, that the Undertaker is locally advertised for tomorrow’s Smackdown taping and so it’ll be interesting to see if he is simply there for the live crowd following the taping or if perhaps he’ll get involved in the tapings this week to respond to the actions of the Wyatt family and continue the build for his involvement at the Survivor Series. 

Why, Joe, Why?: From an NXT, one of the big questions going into this week’s NXT is why Samoa Joe turned his back on former tag team partner and NXT World Champion, Finn Balor at the end of last week’s NXT television. If you haven’t seen last week’s NXT, I suggest going out of your way to do so. There is a really strong main event between Finn Balor and Apllo Crews for the NXT world title and the turn by Joe at the end was so well done and seemed to really shock the crowd. Also during that match, Baron Corbin attacked Crews, costing him the match. One would assume that the build for NXT Takeover:UK would continue this week and push towards a world title match between Balor and Joe (A match that on paper looks incredible) and, perhaps, a number one contender match between Crews and Corbin. Not bad at all and I’m interested to see how we get there on NXT this week.  
New Network Programming: There is also a good amount of original programming coming to the WWE Network this week. For starters, a brand new episode of WWE Breaking Ground will air on the Network immediately following Raw. If you haven’t seen the first two episodes so far. , I suggest you check those out as Breaking Ground is a really unique show as the WWE Network cameras peal back the curtain and really gives fans behind the scenes access to NXT that we’ve never seen anything like in WWE before. It almost reminds me of what the NFL does with Hard Knocks, especially the scene last week where Devin Taylor gets fired.  Aside from that this week, a new episode of Table For Three will debut featuring William Regal, Wade Barrett and Sheamus. Table For Three is a lot of fun and an easy watch if you have an extra 20 minutes to do so. Finally, the piece I’m actually looking most forward to checking out on the WWE Network is the First Look at the WWE Christmas DVD that’s going to be released tomorrow, hosted by Mick Foley. As you will all find out next month, I’m a huge fan of Christmas and have always enjoyed seeing the holidays tied into WWE. This should be a fun release, albeit a little short, especially with Foley’s involvement in the project. There are few more passionate about Christmas than Mick Foley.

The Spotlight On The Survivor Series: Alright time for my big announcement regarding this week on the site. I’m sure most of you scrolled past the WWE stuff to read this section here (more like will skip this part). In any event with Survivor Series taking place in just 13 days, I thought it would be fun to take a look back on some of my memories of the different Survivor Series past, starting with tonight. I’ll warn you that some of the events will be covered briefly with a thought or two about what I remember about the shows but there will be posts dedicated to specific Survivor Series events that took place either near my hometown of New York City, had historical significance or that attended live. We’ll kick off this unique retrospective tonight looking at the first 9 Surivor Series events from 1987-1995. This should be a lot of fun and then this weekend, the retrospective will conclude with a countdown on the top 10 Traditional Survivor Series of all time. 

That’s going to do it for right now but enjoy the week in WWE and keep it locked in for all of your wrestling needs to thedailyspotlight.com!