WWE Survivor Series (Slideshow)
Joey Megan Harris covers WWE's 26th annual Survivor Series.
WWE hasn't brought a pay-per-view event to Indianapolis since SummerSlam 2008, and holy cow did we miss them. Survivor Series is the second longest running WWE pay-per-view, behind WrestleMania. 2012 marked Survivor Series' twenty-sixth event. It's one of the 'Big Four' events in WWE, along with the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and SummerSlam. Survivor Series is home to many classic matches: Hulk Hogan's team vs. Andre the Giant's team in 1987, The Ultimate Warriors vs. the Heenan Family in 1989, Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker in 1991, Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1996, The Montreal Screw Job in 1997, Batista vs. The Undertaker in 2007 and so many more.
Of course, the event is known for the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match. The rules are as followed: A Survivor Series match is similar to a tag-team match, except that whenever a wrestler is pinned, taps out or disqualified, he is eliminated from the match. In a Survivor Series match, the wrestlers are divided into two teams, typically with four or five members on each team, and the winners ("survivors") of the match are the wrestlers still remaining when all members of the other team have been eliminated. Always entertaining, always exciting, and sometimes ending in controversy, the Survivor Series match is looked forward to all year long.
If I could suggest something to the Bankers life Fieldhouse, it would be this: divide the large expanse of room in the front of the building into lines starting at the doors, so there's not a stampede towards the security checkpoint like there was this year when the doors opened. Other than that, it was smooth sailing getting from the garage into my (almost) ring-side seat.
The always hilarious but not always trying to be team of 3MB (consisting of Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre) came out first. Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater took on Team Co-Bro (Zack Ryder and Santino Marella). Drew McIntyre is currently sidelined with an arm injury but that didn't stop him from using his cast to hit Zack Ryder in the back of the head, which led to Jinder Mahal hitting Zack Ryder with a full nelson slam for the pin fall. The match aired live on YouTube prior to the pay per view going on the air. Heath Slater is one of my favorite wrestlers. There, I said it, now you can hate me, but I loved him in Nexus, the Corre, his tag-team with Justin Gabriel, and now in 3MB. He's certainly a character to remember and I wish he and Justin Gabriel would both get more airtime.
We were told that we would be seeing two (two!!) 5-on-5 SS matches that evening. The main event one would be later in the show, but the unexpected one came up after 3MB's match. Team Clay (Brodus Clay, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd) would be competing against Team Tensai (Tensai, Primo, Epico and The Prime Time Players - Darren Young & Titus O'Neill). As I said before I am a huge fan of Heath Slater, but I am an even huger fan of Justin Gabriel, so I practically leaped four feet in the air when he came out. I had no expectation of seeing him so it was a very awesome surprise. Being a mid-card wrestler, he didn't get a lot of cheers. But he definitely heard me! He waved at me, and my life was complete at that moment.
Tensai eliminated Brodus Clay after hitting a senton bomb. Justin Gabriel rolled up the large and scary Tensai for the pin, eliminating the biggest man in the match. The Hart Dungeon trained Tyson Kidd pinned Titus O'Neill with a modified sunset flip. Tyson Kidd made Epico submit to the Sharpshooter, the move made famous by his mentor Bret 'The Hit Man' Hart. Primo Colón, son of the famous Puerto Rican wrestler Carlos Colón Sr., attempted a Backstabber onto seasoned veteran Rey Mysterio. Mysterio countered it into a roll-up for the pin. Mysterio pinned Darren Young after he received a high-angle senton bomb from Sin Cara, a springboard moonsault from Gabriel, and a Drop the Dime from Mysterio. Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel cleaned house and all survived.
One thing that bothers me: they keep calling Sin Cara's finisher the Swanton. It is not called that. Technically it is called a high-angle senton bomb. When Jeff Hardy adopted the move as his finisher, he called it the Swanton, therefore making it his own. When Jeff Hardy moved to TNA Wrestling, he took the Swanton name with him. Why on Earth are they calling Sin Cara's use of the high-angle senton bomb the Swanton?! Maybe if Jeff Hardy weren't my favorite person in the whole universe it wouldn't bother me, but I cringe every time I hear announcers call it that. It's Jeff Hardy's move's name!
Backstage, Kaitlyn was walking to the ring when she was attacked by a blonde woman before her match with WWE Divas Champion Eve. The scene was reminiscent of Night of Champions where Kaitlyn was taken out by a blonde woman coincidentally right before her championship match with Eve. This time Kaitlyn was ready for her, fought back and revealed the attacker was Aksana. Eve then entered the scene asking if Kaitlyn was okay. Gee, I wonder who hired Aksana! Unfortunately, WWE Divas Champion Eve Torres beat Kaitlyn after hitting the Heartbreaker and retained her title yet again.
WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro has proven to be one of the most ironic wrestlers to ever hold the US championship due to his being born in Switzerland and his frequent statements that he basically hates America and Americans. He dominated the match as usual and pinned crowd favorite R-Truth after hitting the Neutralizer.
Finally, after weeks of built up tension, the WWE Universe got to witness Sheamus wrestle The Big Show. The two men clashed ferociously throughout the whole match, with one never holding the momentum for very long over the other. Sheamus went for his patent Brogue Kick, but Show pulled referee Scott Armstrong in front of him, causing Sheamus to hit Armstrong instead. Two other referees came out to check on Armstrong. Show then hit Sheamus with a knockout punch, and a new referee counted the pin fall, ending the match. The other referee then called for a disqualification indicating that Show was disqualified for pulling Armstrong into harm's way. Sheamus may have won the match, but the title can't change hands because of a disqualification. Post-match, the angry Irishman Sheamus hit Show with a chair over thirty times all the way up the ramp and then hit him with a Brogue Kick!
Mick Foley had been having trouble motivating his motley crew team, but Dolph Ziggler was shown having almost as much trouble when he revealed to his team that David Otunga would be replacing the injured Cody Rhodes on their team. Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Alberto Del Rio, Damian Sandow & David Otunga) faced Team Foley (Randy Orton, Team Hell No - Kane, Daniel Bryan, The Miz & Kofi Kingston) in the second traditional SS match of the night.
Kane pinned the annoying scholar Damien Sandow after hitting him with his devastating choke slam. The very conceited and extremely annoying, but talented Dolph Ziggler pinned Kane after hitting the Zig Zag. Submission specialist Daniel Bryan made David Otunga tap out to the No Lock. English street fighter Wade Barrett pinned the explosive Kofi Kingston after hitting the Bull Hammer elbow. Almost as disgustingly conceited as Dolph Ziggler was Alberto Del Rio, who made Daniel Bryan tap out to a cross arm breaker. The wild card of the Foley team, Miz, proved he could shine on any team when he pinned Wade Barrett after hitting the Skull Crushing Finale. Alberto Del Rio pinned Miz after hitting a step up enziguri. The highly accomplished loner Randy Orton pinned Alberto Del Rio after hitting a RKO. Seemingly looking to be the next 'ultimate opportunist', Dolph Ziggler pinned Randy Orton after hitting a super kick. But he was holding Orton's tights during the pin fall, unbeknownst to the referee, so this fantastic match ended on a sour note. Dolph Ziggler was the sole survivor.
In the main event, WWE Champion CM Punk took on real life Captain America John Cena and the body-shattering Ryback in a triple threat match. No one in the crowd dared to blink or else risk missing a high-light reel deserving moment that flew by in this soon to be classic match. Ryback hit John Cena with Shell Shocked but then NXT rejects Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, and Roman Reigns hit the ring and took out Ryback, not John Cena or CM Punk strangely enough. They then put Ryback through the Spanish announce Table with a triple power bomb. Punk was then able to get the pin fall on the shocked and battered John Cena to retain his Championship.