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Punk makes it through Survivor Series with some help from the NXT wave of talent
By DALE PLUMMER and NICK TYLWALK -- SLAM! Wrestling


CM Punk, with manager Paul Heyman, barely escaped Survivor Series with his WWE heavyweight title. Photos by Mike Mastrandrea


Heading into the 26th edition of Survivor Series on Sunday night, it was the little things rather than the big picture that seemed a little fuzzy. Despite the odds seemingly being stacked against CM Punk as he faced off against both perennial main eventer John Cena and the nigh invulnerable Ryback, conventional wisdom said he wasn’t losing his WWE Championship one day before his title reign turned a year old.

But as usual, the devil was in the details. Namely, how to keep Punk on track for a possible January showdown with The Rock while ensuring neither challenger lose much steam in the process.

In the end, the crowd on hand at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis did indeed see Punk leave with the title still around his waist, but not before an ending that no doubt proved as confusing to the average WWE fan as it did thrilling to the hardcore indy wrestling aficionado.

The opening saw both Cena and Ryback chase the champ around the ring on the floor before he was eventually hauled in and forced to do battle. Punk smiled after beating on Ryback, but it only lasted a few seconds as the big man sent him flying out of the ring.

Ryback and Cena stared each other down before deciding to throw down. Cena was sent into the turnbuckle just as Punk returned to the fray. A fallaway slam sent Punk rolling away so that Cena could sneak in and get a one count on Ryback with a belly-to-belly suplex.

Punk came off the top rope with a double ax handle, then nailed Ryback with a jumping kick. Cena and Punk traded near falls, then the champ bridged into a chin lock. Ryback returned with a running power slam on Punk before no selling the set-up for the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena exploded for a shoulder block, but Punk snatched him out of the ring and sent him hard into the steps.

Punk could only keep Ryback down for a one count, so he changed tactics and slowed the match down. Ryback regained the upper hand and nailed Punk with the Meat Hook. He hoisted the champ up only to have Cena rush in and lock him in the STF. Ryback’s struggle lasted long enough for Punk to hit the big elbow off the top, breaking the hold.

A call for the Go To Sleep ended up going for naught as Punk traded strikes with Cena. Ryback's double clothesline put a halt to that, and everyone ended up on the outside. Circumstances made strange bedfellows as Punk and Cena joined forces to beat on Ryback and suplex him through the announce table.

That got the big man out of the way so that Cena could hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Punk recovered to hit the GTS, but Cena kicked out at two. The champ returned the favor a few seconds later by kicking out of the Attitude Adjustment.

A frustrated Punk unleashed a series of kicks and the high running knee in the corner. That advantage ended when Cena got the STF locked in, but Ryback made his presence felt by dragging Cena out to the floor. Punk got Shell Shocked, forcing Cena to fly in at the last second to break up the pin.

Cena also got Shell Shocked, but three men in black ran in and assaulted Ryback, wearing him down with numbers until they could power bomb him through the Spanish announce table. As Michael Cole explained to the uninitiated, the attackers turned out to be NXT developmental talents Seth Rollins (known for his indy work as Tyler Black), Dean Ambrose (a former Dragon Gate USA and CZW standout as Jon Moxley)and Roman Reigns.

With Cena still down, Punk was able to crawl back in and make the easy cover, assuring he’d hold the WWE Championship for at least 365 days.

The next WWE pay-per-view is TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs on December 16.


In the pre-show bout, Jinder Mahal and Heath Slater (with Drew McIntyre) beat Santino Marella and Zack Ryder.
FULL RESULTS

No exposition needed here, just Nick’s comments in plain type and Dale’s thoughts in italics. And here… we… go!

Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd, Sin Cara, and Rey Mysterio vs. Tensai, Primo, Epico, and The Prime Time Players (Darren Young and Titus O'Neill) – Traditional Survivor Series Match

Gotta love these “bonus” matches that get added at the last minute. I mean this match could have been used to sell the show, right? Hey, Sin Cara actually hit a cool spot without botching it! He then becomes the whipping boy until he tags in Clay with the hot tag. All the faces hit the ring, knocking the Prime Time Players, Epico and Primo out of the ring. Rey and Cara hold the ropes open as Gabriel and Kidd connect on suicide dives on the PTPers. Then Rey and Sin Cara follow with moonsaults off the ropes onto Primo and Epico. Back in the ring, Tensai connects with the running senton to pin Clay. Gabriel hits the ring, avoids the senton and is able to pin Tensai. Tyson Kidd pins Titus after kicking him in the head on the apron. Kidd then gets Epico to tap out to the Sharpshooter. Kidd gets the tag to Rey, who gets a near fall with a kick to the head. Rey tries to go up top but is cut off by Primo. Rey sends him back to the mat with a head butt and nails a seated senton. Primo avoids the 619 but can’t hit the Backstabber. Rey rolls him up to get the pin. Darren Young jumps in and is immediately dropped into the ropes. Rey hits the 619, allowing Gabriel to hit a springboard moonsault, and the gets the pin after dropping a dime on Young.

Winners and Survivors… Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, and Tyson Kidd at 18 minutes and 24 seconds.

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Once again on a PPV, Kaitlyn is attacked by a mysterious blonde, but this time Kaitlyn fights her off, rips off the wig, and it's AKSANA! You know what? I don't care. I just don't care.

Taking nothing away from the efforts of these women to entertain us, has there ever been a time in the last 15 years or so that there has been such a nondescript crop of Divas? I swear that most of them are interchangeable.

Eve (champion) vs. Kaitlyn (challenger) – WWE Divas Championship Match


Eve enjoys beating on Kaitlyn in the corner.
Kaitlyn uses her rage to jump out to an early advantage, smashing Eve's head into the canvas from the floor. Eve fights back with kicks to the head for a near fall before choking her challenger while sitting on the top rope. She flashes a smile while clamping her legs around Kaitlyn's neck. Eve almost slips while climbing the turnbuckles, so Kaitlyn decides to “help” her all the way to the floor. The champ begs for mercy when she makes it back into the ring. She gets none, taking a series of moves in succession. Eve still has one trick up her sleeve, though, yanking on the ring apron to trip Kaitlyn up. She follows with the Heart Breaker to retain her belt.

Winners… and still Divas Champion… Eve at 6 minutes and 59 seconds.

Match Rating: 3/10

I demand a recount in the Twitter vote! I find it hard to believe that The Miz beat out Zack Ryder for the final spot on Team Foley.

During the pre-show, Alberto Del Rio gave a less than inspiring speech to his squad. Things aren't exactly harmonious in the Team Foley locker room either, so Mick decides to step in and try to pull everyone together. Let's have a “Bang bang!” on three. Everybody but Randy Orton participates. He tells Foley, “I hate you!” Mick just smiles and tells Kingston that simply means Orton is ready.

WHAT YOU THINK
What did you think of WWE Survivor Series?
It was great - 10%
It was okay - 24%
Didn't like it - 18%
Didn't see it - 48%
Antonio Cesaro (champion) vs. R-Truth (challenger) – United States Championship Match

Cesaro beats Truth into the corner and then locks in a stretch. Cesaro keeps truth grounded, but Truth fights out with elbows. Truth follows uo with a spinning elbow off the rope, splits to duck a clothesline, and nails Cesaro with another elbow. Truth can only get a two count, though. Cesaro connects with an uppercut and hits the Neutralizer to get the pin.

Winner… and still United States Champion… Antonio Cesaro at 6 minutes and 55 seconds.

Match Rating: 4/10

I mean, I guess Cesaro can work, but that match was just BAH: Boring As Hell.

Because there hasn't been enough screen time devoted to it on Raw, we get a short recap of the “AJ scandal.” Then AJ and Vickie Guerrero hit the ring so that things can really take a turn for the stupid. AJ shows “evidence” of Vickie with Ricardo Rodriguez, Jim Ross, and, in a picture I can't un-see, Brodus Clay. Since Guerrero can't lay a finger on Lee without losing her job, she sits back and watches as Tamina Snuka rushes in and works her over, ending with her somewhat substandard version of her dad's Superfly Splash. #whatever

Sheamus (challenger) vs. The Big Show (champion) – World Heavyweight Championship Match


In a remarkable show of strength, Sheamus has The Big Show on his shoulders.
Show chops Sheamus into the corner, but Sheamus takes Show down with a low shoulder tackle. Show gets trapped in the ropes, and Sheamus goes to down with clubbing blows to the chest. Show spears Sheamus as the challenger leaps off the top turnbuckle, and both men are down outside of the ring. Back in the ring, Show slams Sheamus into the turnbuckle. The challenger fights off the apron but runs right into a boot from Show. The champ follows with a giant elbow drop, but Sheamus kicks out of the pin. A side slam can't put Sheamus away. The challenger locks in a sleeper hold on the giant, but Show shakes him. Sheamus starts throwing punches, but Show counters by tossing him into the ring post. Sheamus cuts Show off climbing the turnbuckle and delivers an electric chair. The challenger makes the cover, but Show kicks out once again. Sheamus ducks a punch and shoots off the ropes, taking down Show with a clothesline. Show avoids the Brogue Kick and sets up a choke slam. Sheamus counters into White Noise, but Show is able to kick out. Sheamus looks for the Brogue Kick again and connects – with the ref. Show tosses the official in the way of Sheamus, and the ref is out. As Sheamus checks on the ref, Show knocks out Sheamus with the KO punch. Another ref makes the count, and Show retains his belt. After huddling up, the refs change the decision, and Sheamus wins via disqualification.

Winner… Sheamus at 14 minutes and 44 seconds (Big Show retains the World Heavyweight Championship).

Match Rating: 6/10

After everything is sorted out, Sheamus attacks Show with a chair and goes to town. Show begs for him to stop, but Sheamus keeps the pressure on, beating him all the way up the ramp. Sheamus finishes him off with a Brogue Kick.

Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Wade Barrett, and Alberto Del Rio vs. Kane, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, The Miz and Randy Orton – Traditional Survivor Series Match


Kofi Kingston dropkicks Alberto Del Rio.
The newly aggressive Kingston starts out fast against Otunga, then tags in Bryan. Sandow gets tagged in and quickly shows off the Elbow of Disdain for a two count. Bryan's rally forces Sandow to regroup on the outside, where Kane prevents him from walking out on the match. A choke slam sends Sandow packing just after the three-minute mark. Despite the elimination, Kane and Bryan start to squabble, allowing Ziggler to rush in and hit the Zig Zag to pin Kane. Ziggler is sent flying by Kingston's feet, and Barrett finally gets to work against Bryan. Otunga tags in and earns a near fall, but Bryan soon has him tapping out to the No Lock. And he was so close to the ropes, too... Bryan sends Del Rio hard to the outside, where Rodriguez is quick to check on him. Kingston hits a Boom Drop on Del Rio and gets a two count with a high cross body. It goes for naught, though, as Barrett eliminates him in short order with a Bull Hammer. Bryan manages to get some of the momentum back for his team working against Barrett, and he almost gets the No Lock on Del Rio. The “almost” proves to be important when Del Rio gets Bryan in the cross armbreaker, forcing him to submit. Only two members of Team Foley remain, but both Miz and Orton look strong. Miz clobbers Barrett with a double ax handle off the top rope but runs into a strong kick to the gut. Barrett looks for the Wasteland, but Miz is able to reverse it into a Skull Crushing Finale for the pin. A minute later, Miz pays for missing a leap into the corner when Del Rio smacks him with his step-up kick and sends him to the back. Orton and Del Rio renew their rivalry by going head to head. Del Rio's head kick is enough for a two count, and Ziggler follows with one of his own. Orton rallies with a dropkick that catches Del Rio coming off the top rope. A Rodriguez distraction allows Del Rio to hit the step-up kick, but Orton kicks out at two. Foley decides to introduce Ricardo to Mr. Socko on the outside. Ziggler tries a dropkick that tags Del Rio by mistake, softening him up enough to be pinned by an RKO. That leaves just one man from each side, and Ziggler is in bad shape after being sent shoulder first into the post. Dolph connects with a Zig Zag, but Orton kicks out at the last second. Blood is coming from Orton's mouth as he hits his signature rope-aided DDT. Randy waits, deciding he wants to punt Ziggler in the head. He ends up regretting that decision, as Ziggler superkicks him coming in and wins the match for his side.

Winner and sole survivor… Dolph Ziggler at 23 minute and 41 seconds.

Match Rating: 7.5/10

Because you demanded it (yes you!), we see some Touts before the main event. People, keep your Touts to yourself.

CM Punk(Champion) vs. John Cena (Challenger) vs. Ryback (Challenger) – Triple Threat WWE Title Match

Winner… and still WWE Champion… CM Punk at 17 minutes and 57 seconds

Match Rating: 5/10

Total Event Time: 2 hours and 46 minutes

Event Rating: 5.5/10

RELATED LINKS

  • WWE Survivor Series Photo Gallery
  • Nov. 16, 2012: No trust between Survivor Series partners Kofi and Miz
  • Nov. 18, 2012: Countdown to WWE Survivor Series

    Nick and Dale already have the next generation of exciting pay-per-view recappers ready to debut, but they need ideas on how to introduce them. Offer your advice to Nick (on Twitter, Google+ or by email) and/or Dale (on Twitter or by email).