The following article appears on Grantland.com and was written by The Masked Man:
Last Monday, John Cena (the actual face of WWE) interrupted an in-ring conversation between Randy Orton (the story line “face of WWE”) and Triple H (the actual and story line front-office figure). In trying to make sense of the crowd’s seeming revolt of late — incessantly invoking Daniel Bryan’s “Yes!” chant, not shelling out for PPVs, ignoring Randy Orton — Cena posited: “You wanna know why they cheer for Daniel Bryan? You wanna know why they chant ‘Yes’? It’s because they’re sick of the administrative B.S.”
Pro wrestling is an art that works in broad strokes, a form with simplicity at its core, so when trying to figure out an answer, Occam’s razor usually does the trick. It could be that fans are disappointed that Bryan got shuffled ungraciously from the main event picture, only to be replaced by the Big Show, who usurped Bryan’s “Yes!” chant and who, combined with Orton, sucked all the air out of the arena at Survivor Series. Bryan, meanwhile, was paired with CM Punk to take on a group of evil newcomers named the Wyatt Family. As compelling as the Wyatts may be, the feud was widely seen as a demotion for Bryan and Punk. Not everybody can be in the main event every month (except Cena), and the Wyatt feud was good for what it was — and even better for the joy of seeing Punk and Bryan together in the ring and in interviews. The real problem wasn’t their absence in the main event — it was the absence of dynamism in the Orton-Show story line. WWE sensed this and ended the Survivor Series main event with John Cena — who had concluded his own milquetoast feud with Alberto Del Rio earlier in the night — storming to the ring and holding up his World Heavyweight Championship belt as Orton held the WWE Championship belt, making the universal sign for a champion-vs.-champion match.
Opening Segment: We are live in Oklahoma City, CM Punk Comes to the ring, He says he knows why The Shield attacked him and it’s because he criticized Triple H. He says he wants to live in his WWE universe but calls the “King of Kings’ dense. He says that Triple and the “Authority” are the biggest losers he has ever seen. Stephanie McMahon comes out and wishes us a happy thanksgiving. She says that there is no way that Triple H had The Shield attack him because its below them She says they were just as upset that The Shield attacked him then she hypes the Contract Signing later tonight. She adds that if he has any other comments then he can ask Kane. He comes out; he says the “Authority” had nothing to do with the attack. Punk asks him when he became an ass kisser but Kane advise him not to go down this road. Kane adds that they are not the enemy and not to go down this path. Punk challenges him and Kane wants to but Stephanie holds him back. The Shield comes out; they surround the ring as Punk gets a chair. Stephanie stops them and tells them to respect Punk. Kane announces that CM Punk will take on The Shield (all three members) at TLC.
Now I don’t know the order nor the matches that are set in stone for this PPV but I want to make a match card and explain how I would book it. These may be wrong and not the brightest.
TLC Match For Both WWE and World Heavyweight Titles: John Cena Vs. Randy Orton
Many people think this is the unification match for both titles but I would say you’re wrong. I see this as what it should be. Cena goes on to win it; He holds both titles until WrestleMania 30. Randy Orton wins the Royal Rumble and challenges Cena to a unification match at WM 30. The winner is the “Undisputed Champion” of the WWE. I would have John Cena go over to make the title prestige once again and they would go on to feud over the title. It gives both men a mission and a storyline for the next couple months.
Alberto Del Rio Vs. The Big Show For the Right For the Big Show to face Triple H at Royal Rumble PPV.
For months now the rumor as been Big Show and Triple H will get a match together down the road. Most of the past couple months have felt like that with Big Show being broke storyline and Triple H costing him the WWE Title at Survivor Series. With Del Rio kicking him in the head and probably a concussion storyline on Raw. This will make sense to have all men have a program. Big Show blames the “Authority” AKA Triple H for not letting him compete for the next two weeks. Then the stipulation is added.
CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Rhode Brothers Vs. Wyatt Family, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins in a 8 Man Tag Team Table Match
Punk and Bryan was taken out by Both Wyatt Family and The Shield on Raw. The Rhode Brothers already have a feud with The Shield. Have the Rhode Bothers come to their rescue and they team up in a match of the night candidate. Have Reigns spear one of them through a table and continue this feud between Punk and Bryan Vs. the Wyatt’s.
Tornado Style Chair Tag Team Match: Mark Henry and Big E. Langston Vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback
On this past week’s Raw we saw Henry and Langston tag up. They were dominating and for some odd reason WWE keeps the former “Heyman Guys” together. All four men have a history so why not let me go at it. Have Henry and Langston in a dominate style
Ladder Match: The Miz Vs. Kofi Kingston
It’s the opening match or Pre-Show match. Let them go out and burn down the house. Have Kingston go over to further more make Miz mad and push him closer to being a heel.
There has been speculation for years that “Stone Cold” Steve Austinwould come out of retirement and have one more match. At WrestleMania would be the perfect calling card for him to have that one last match. At 48 years of age should he really. Think about this, in 2003 his body was telling him to call it a day and he finally did at WrestleMania 19 against The Rock. Why should he really come out of retirement? It wouldn’t be for the money because we all know he is set.
Welcome to the post show of Survivor Series from Long Island, New York. Let’s get into it:
Randy Orton comes down to the ring for Episode 1070. He says that he is owed an apology from everyone that he couldn’t beat the Big Show. He welcomes to the “Authority” down to ringside. They say there can’t be anymore pleased about him retaining the WWE title. Triple H says that he knew what he could be and they needed him to finally reach his potential. Randy said he proved that he is the face of the WWE as Daniel Bryan chants start up. Triple H says the reason they came down to the ring is because it looked like he was going to lose. Randy says that he is the greatest star in the WWE ever and John Cena’s music plays. Cena says that he wants them to listen to this folks and the administration BS like Randy Orton about being confused little boys. He asks who is champion? He wants to cut through the BS and he says it’s time for there be one champion. He challenges right now to a unification match tonight. Stephanie they have been thinking about that possibility. Triple H makes an epic in his term, in three weeks at TLC PPV. They’re going to have a TLC match for both world titles. That’s historic.
Welcome to the 26th Annual Survivor Series, let’s get into it
The Shield & Real Americans def. Rey Mysterio, Usos, Cody, Goldust
ARs Truth: A good opening match that had an upset with the winners. All men got good time but with their only being Reigns as the last guy he stood out for a reason. He will be someone down the road but right now I’m not sure that time is now.
I just want to come out before I dive into this prediction column and say if WWE expects big numbers from this PPV then they have officially lost their minds. Look just at the card and how they built things up it should be a card that has some good matches but nothing to go out of your way and pay 60-65 bucks for. The build to this PPV has been poor in the nicest terms. On to the card:
Cameron and Naomi Def. AJ Lee Short and sweet division match, Naomi got the majority of the offense for the two and it looks like she will be feuding for the title soon. Expect after Survivor Series for all four including Tamina to get their share of in ring time. A nice simply storytelling for a change.
Rey Mysterio and the Uso’s Def. The Shield in 10:35 A fun tag match and it seems we get USO’s Vs. The Shield weekly on both Raw and SmackDown. No complaints here as they always put on good matches that you can rely on. Mysterio didn’t do much but made his presents known. I still think that there big match this Sunday will be match of the night and should be one to remember.
Big Show comes down to the ring, He says he came back to make the “Authority” life a living hell. He says it’s been ten years since he has had the WWE Title. He goes on but is interrupted. Randy Orton says he is finished. Orton says he is all washed up and the only reason he got his job back is because he filed a lawsuit like a coward. Orton says this Sunday he is going to punish him but Big Show says that he is all tough talking up there on the stage but he should come down here. A Raw video of Orton asking the “Authority” confidence and they say there will be no Shield. Big Show says that Orton went to mommy and daddy to many times. Big Show says that Orton should be the faces of the WWE. He says that Orton was all about Randy Orton and he should be those things but he keep waiting for someone to hand it to him. He says that he is all alone and no one will save him. Orton says he will beat Big Show all by himself. Big Show has a video played every time they are alone and what happens. Of course it’s Big Show destroying him every week. Big Show says he is going to take that WWE Title.
Wait, did they just attempt to sell the PPV? Yes they did and it was a nice back and forth promo. Big Show got the better of the two but it still feels like been there and done that. I like the interaction but shouldn’t they have done that a few weeks ago? They did more to sell the PPV there then they have done for what four weeks?
Big E Langston and Dolph Ziggler Def. Curtis Axel and Damien Sandow A nice buffer match that had components of Raw in the mix. Where does Big E. go after this when he retains this Sunday? More importantly where does Axel go from here? Ziggler, Sandow have good matches and expect to see a couple more from them down the road.
Alberto Del Rio does a backstage promo about his match with John Cena at Survivor Series. We get a series of Videos recapping their feud in the past couple weeks. Hey now, Maybe WWE does listen to the internet audience…. Well it’s a good thought. No Cena on the show but they did sell the PPV the best he could there. Intense but yet boring by ADR.
Daniel Bryan Def. Luke Harper After the match Harper with a big boot to Bryan and Bray with Rowan attack CM Punk. They roll him into the ring where Harper hits he clothesline. Bray nails Sister Abigail on Bryan and they stack Punk on Bryan. The Wyatt Family stands over them to end SmackDown. “Follow the Buzzards”
A good main event and more building up this match. The way there hyping this match shouldn’t be the main event? Ok so it won’t but still a good way to end the show with the feeling that the Wyatt’s cannot lose Sunday. All three members of the Wyatt Family looked strong and made it feel special.
Overall Rating: They did a better job of selling Survivor Series but at the end of the day it won’t save the buy rates. SmackDown did a has and did tonight a better job selling this PPV. People should give SmackDown a shot as its easier to get through than Raw and its not just for that extra hour. You had some highlight matches to see in the Tag Team Title Match, 6 Man Tag and the main event. Check those out and the Orton – Show segment. I would say positives from this show outweigh the negatives. 6-10 Show rating and a solid go home show for Survivor Series.
June 27th, 2002. WWE Smackdown was on the air with Kurt Angle in the ring calling out anyone who was willing to take on the “very best in the business”. Inspired by a Vince K. McMahon speech of ruthless aggression, John Cena hit the ring. Throughout the match, he looked impressive. He managed to counter the “Angle Slam” and an ankle lock submission, however eventually he lost to a hard amateur-style pin. Since then, he’s won almost every single championship in WWE. You think with 11+ years of WWE service, he would actually learn how to wrestle!
The November issue of 911Wrestling Magazine is now available. It includes photo galleries of Indy Divas Jessie BelleSmothers, Sassy Stephanie, and Amber O’Neal. This double issue includes covers for Amber O’Neal and Francisco Ciatso.
Articles include Brock Lesnar, Tattoos, CM Punk, Simon Sez and Justin Michaels.