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Immediate Survivor Series War Games Thoughts

Today was my wife's birthday, so I held off on the PPV watching like a good husband and now will be catching up throughout the night. No spoilers, please!

Loved the Ozzy Osbourne opening, which made the event feel like a really big deal. It was also nice to hear Michael Cole giving a nod to the history of War Games.

The Women's War Games match is probably one of the best build-up multi-woman matches in recent history. Everyone here feels like a rock star with a solid story going into it. Even the idea of having Bianca Belair and Dakota Kai kicking things off felt like a well-planned move to tell the story. Lots of inventive moves here as the match only got more interesting as we got closer to the finish. Rhea Ripley is an absolute killer and I truly hope between this and the Judgment Day, she really gets a chance to shine. The finish with Becky Lynch diving off the cage was a moment to behold, and definitely the right decision, booking-wise. Amazing opener.

AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor felt like a fresh matchup and the crowd was super into it. I do wonder why they didn't try to find one additional partner each and turn this into a traditional Survivor Series match instead... but I'm not complaining. As it was, this was a tremendous back-and-forth, and I think that was truly the story of this match, with each man countering the best of their opponent. The two factions brawling at ringside and beyond gave this match some additional life. Styles winning was probably the right move, given he needed it far more... but I'm kind of hoping their rivalry will continue, as this was a real banger.

Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey went far longer than I thought it would... and not in a good way. This should have been a 30-second squash to showcase Rousey's bad-ass persona; something you could have gone back to again and again to make her look completely unstoppable. But the number of times Shotzi had miraculous comebacks here was far too much for my liking. You can easily rehab a Shotzi any time you want; it's much tougher to rehab The Baddest Woman On The Planet.

Not surprisingly, the Sami Zayn-Roman Reigns segment was pure gold, and the facial expressions of Paul Heyman made it even better.

Seth Rollins vs. Austin Theory vs. Bobby Lashley felt like a clash of styles in many respects, but not necessarily a bad one. Seth Rollins is becoming the modern-day Bret Hart with his consistent performance in big matches. Loved the Double Hurt Lock spot, as I don't think I've seen it before. Theory winning the title here wasn't necessarily a bad thing; he's come along far in the last few months, and this latest incarnation of him seems to work. I much prefer this type of finish vs. another MITB cash-in would have felt. Still, it was great to see WWE cameras ready for the crowd reaction.

The Men's War Games match felt like a real main event, in every respect of the term. It's hard to argue that the best entrance in wrestling today is The Bloodline. I also love the little touches, like Kevin Owens' tribute to Dusty Rhodes and Roman Reigns sitting on a chair while every else in his cage has to stand. This was a great night for Solo Sikoa making a huge showing for himself. While most of the men's match wasn't quite as weapons-dependent as the women's one, there was WAY more of a story being built here. While I have no doubt that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will still find a way to unite down the line.... this was an unexpected finish here, and something that will be remembered for some time.

Was this an all-time great show? Maybe not. But it was REALLY fun, it didn't feel like a super-long show, and it delivered the goods.


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