Tuesday, November 14, 2023

The History of WWE Survivor Series (2010)

Well, half of this show is good...

Survivor Series 2010 - American Airlines Arena - 11/21/10

Survivor Series 2010 is like two different shows.  The first half is pretty fantastic.  The second half is so bland it's like the company ran out of energy at the 90-minute mark and just slapped together the last four matches.

The show opened wonderfully with Daniel Bryan defending the US Title against Ted Dibiase.  Bryan was on a major roll, delivering show-stealing matches for the last four PPVs.  This one was no different.  While not on the level of his bouts with Dolph Ziggler, The Miz or John Morrison, Bryan-Dibiase was one hell of an opening contest and further cemented Bryan as a rising star.

Yeah D-Bry!  I love y--- er, I're quite a grappler.....

Second was one of a series of strong matches between John Morrison and Sheamus.  These two had excellent David vs. Goliath chemistry and their feud, while not exactly raising Sheamus's stock, elevated Morrison splendidly, for a while at least.  Morrison and Sheamus would top themselves at TLC a month later in a thrilling ladder match.

Next up was Dolph Ziggler defending his Intercontinental Title against NXT Season 2 winner Kaval (formerly Low-Ki).  WWE clearly didn't bank on Kaval winning NXT but their hand was forced when the audience overwhelmingly voted for him.  The prize was a PPV Title match of his choosing.  This was another well-worked midcard bout and Kaval looked right at home as an I-C contender.  Unfortunately despite obvious fan support WWE stubbornly refused to do anything with Kaval, even going so far as to inform him they had no plans for him, and he requested his release shortly after this match.  Another example of how much disdain WWE seemingly has for its own audience at times.

The final match in the "good" half of this show was the traditional elimination match.  Alberto Del Rio captained the team of Drew McIntyre, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, and Tyler Reks against Rey Mysterio, Big Show, MVP, Kofi Kingston, and Chris Masters.  This was solid if a little unremarkable.  Del Rio was strangely knocked out by Big Show halfway in, which more or less telegraphed who was winning this match, given the card position of his four teammates.  Rey and Big Show survived after taking out a slew of midcarders.

They need to bring back John Morrison.  That's all.

So apparently WWE forgot they were putting on a PPV after this, because the rest of the show is essentially a weak Smackdown episode.

LayCool defended their shared Divas Title in a handicap match against Natalya next.  Nattie took both opponents down after three minutes to capture the belt.  Standard filler.

In the sixth slot World Champion Kane had a nondescript brawl with Edge resulting in a 13-minute draw.  This was instantly forgettable.  In fact I don't even remember what I was talking about, so I'll move on.

The death spot went to the Tag Team Championship, as Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater had a pointless five-minute defense against Santino Marella and Vladmir Kozlov.  This was obviously during one of those periods where WWE had no tag team division.  Yikes.

The main event was another chapter in the Wade Barrett-John Cena feud, with WWE Champion Randy Orton playing the third wheel.  Barrett had won a Battle Royal to earn a Title shot and since Cena was forced to become a member of Barrett's Nexus, Barrett demanded that Cena help him win the belt, and named him the special referee.  The stipulation was that if Cena aided Barrett he would be free from The Nexus.  If not, he would be fired from WWE.  This convoluted angle did nothing to lend any sort of spark to this dreary, uninspired bout.  Cena eventually shoved Barrett into an RKO, costing him the match, and losing his job in the process.  Of course Cena showed up the very next night on RAW, so this stip meant zero.

What an odd show.  I don't recall any other PPV starting out so promising and having such a drivelous second half.  If you're going to stream this on The Network, shut it off after the elimination match.  You'll thank me.

Best Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Ted Dibiase
Worst Match: Gabriel & Slater vs. Marella & Kozlov
What I'd Change: The red-hot Miz wasn't booked on the show because WWE wanted to create suspense about whether he'd cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase.  He did the following night, so why wouldn't you put him on this card?  As for the rest of the second half, I don't even know how you'd fix it.  Maybe put Cena in the main event and make it a three-way?  Does anyone else find it odd that SummerSlam was headlined by a WWE vs. Nexus elimination match but Survivor Series wasn't??
Most Disappointing Match: Kane vs. Edge I suppose
Most Pleasant Surprise: Nothing
Overall Rating: 4.5/10 - I'm tempted to say 5/10 but since both main events stunk I'm deducting a half-point.
Better than WrestleMania XXVI and/or SummerSlam 2010? - No on the first, probably yes on the second.

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