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Big Show def. Mark Henry by DQ - Henry retains the World Heavyweight title
After the match would have been a perfect time for a Daniel Bryan cash-in, or a Kane return to save Big Show from the chair attack. But in their defense I'm actually glad they decided not to over-shadow the match with a cheap pop. D-Bry has been continuously buried while Henry continues to impress, and Kane isn't a good enough reason to interrupt what they had going. Good decisions made in my opinion...
CM Punk def. Alberto del Rio to become the NEW WWE Champion!
Well done - five star match! Howard Finkel was a nice touch for that extra icing on the cake at the very end, and once again added to that big event WrestleMania feel.
Grade: S (for all you non-gamers out there, that's the only grade I can give it higher than an A)
The Rock & John Cena def. R-Truth & the Miz
I'm not trying to bury Cena here, as I've always been a big fan, but there's just no comparing the two. I understand not making the heel turn, especially after Punk's huge title victory just moments before, but after seeing this go down I truly feel it's the only way to build Cena as a legitimate challenge to the Rock at WrestleMania. Yes...I said it. Miz and Truth got left behind in favor of the Rock's return to the Garden, but I'm really not complaining. To me, this was all about the moment, the fan reaction, and how it built things towards Mania. Miz and Truth will bounce back and continue to be showcased on Raw in the coming months. Rock only has a few moments to shine between now and then, and he took full advantage of them at Survivor Series! It's all about buys at the end of the day, and if Mania wasn't sold out before, it's going to be real soon.
As I already said, John Cena was outshined throughout this whole match. The crowd didn't want him in, the Rock didn't want him in, and to be honest...the few minutes the Rock was in the ring were far better than the twenty Cena spent over-selling to Miz and Truth. The match as a whole was good, but I lost a lot of interest whenever they tried to showcase Cena. I swear, I'm not normally a huge "mark" that hates on Cena - these are my honest thoughts from tonight's show. My question is: how can you not turn Cena now? How can he be completely outshined, boo'd by the crowd, and have a match finish stolen from him in favor of the Rock...and not give up on the fans? It's the easiest mega-turn the WWE is ever going to get...
I wasn't anticipating Survivor Series to be a huge event, mostly because of the card. But the amount of hype they produced with video packages, the huge set they used, and especially the rowdy NYC crowd made this feel like a truly special event. Even the announcer's stepped it up for the occasion, and for the first time I didn't want to strangle Cole, Booker, or King! Excellent in-ring action that was given plenty of time to breath made this a must-see event that personally got me excited for the Rock's return leading into WrestleMania, and CM Punk's new title reign. The WWE Superstars did an incredible job of selling their own matches despite a huge lack of promotion and hype, which is something truly rare. Dolph Ziggler is a future great, John Morrison showed up in what could have been his last PPV match, Rock was electrifying, R-Truth had one of the funniest lines in recent history (pigeons? Really?), and CM Punk told a real story with del Rio to capture the WWE title.
I could have asked for more, but that would be totally unfair. The WWE doesn't "owe" us a heel turn from Cena, or a Money in the Bank cash-in. They don't "owe" us a Jericho return or a huge payoff to the conspiracy angle. It'd all be nice, but internet speculation and Twitter whining can often get in the way of sitting back and enjoying an event for what it is. Survivor Series wasn't groundbreaking and was quite predictable, but at the end of the night...it was a hell of a lot of fun!
FINAL GRADE: A
Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeKillam.