Survivor Series (2016)
Survivor Series (2016) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for the Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on November 20, 2016, at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was the thirtieth event under the Survivor Series chronology, and the first edition to take place in Canada since 1997, which is infamous for the "Montreal Screwjob" incident. The event was the first Survivor Series event to be four hours in length.
|Survivor Series (2016)|
|Date||November 20, 2016|
|City||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Venue||Air Canada Centre|
|Tagline(s)||Fantasy Warfare Just Got Real|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Survivor Series chronology|
Eight matches were contested at the event, including two on the Kickoff pre-show. The main event marked the in-ring return of Goldberg after twelve years, which saw him defeat Brock Lesnar in 1 minute and 26 seconds. The other five matches on the main card were interbrand matches, pitting wrestlers from the Raw brand against wrestlers from the SmackDown brand. Three of those matches were Survivor Series elimination matches; Raw's women and tag teams defeated SmackDown's, but SmackDown's men defeated Raw in the penultimate match. Furthermore, SmackDown's Intercontinental Champion The Miz and Raw's Cruiserweight Champion The Brian Kendrick retained their titles against challengers from the opposing brand, Raw's Sami Zayn and SmackDown's Kalisto, respectively. Had Kalisto won the Cruiserweight Championship, the entire cruiserweight division would have been transferred to SmackDown.
Survivor Series is an annual gimmick pay-per-view, produced every November by WWE since 1987. The second longest running pay-per-view event in history (behind WWE's WrestleMania), it is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam, dubbed the "Big Four". The event is traditionally characterized by having Survivor Series matches, which are tag team elimination matches that typically pits teams of four or five wrestlers against each other. In July, the brand extension returned, again splitting the roster between the Raw and SmackDown brands. Subsequently, the 2016 event, which was the thirtieth event in the Survivor Series chronology, featured several interpromotional matches to determine which was the better brand.
On the October 11 episode of SmackDown Live, SmackDown's Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Daniel Bryan challenged Raw to three traditional Survivor Series elimination matches, involving each brand's best five male wrestlers, best five female wrestlers, and best five tag teams, respectively—with the latter having a total of 10 wrestlers per team, but with the stipulation being that if one member of a tag team was eliminated, both members of that particular tag team were eliminated (this was the first Survivor Series since the 1988 event to have teams of five tag teams going against each other). The following week on Monday Night Raw, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon accepted the challenge to determine the better brand; this would be the genesis for the theme of the following years' events.
The card included eight matches, including two on the Kickoff pre-show. The matches resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live.
Over the following weeks, several tag teams were scheduled for the tag team elimination match. For Team SmackDown, Heath Slater and Rhyno were made captain by virtue of being SmackDown Tag Team Champions on the October 25 episode of SmackDown. They then successfully defended their titles (and their spot at Survivor Series) against The Spirit Squad in an impromptu match. The same night, The Hype Bros qualified for the team by defeating The Ascension. American Alpha and The Usos both qualified on the November 1 episode by defeating The Spirit Squad and The Headbangers, respectively. On the November 8 episode, Breezango defeated The Vaudevillains to qualify as the final tag team for Team SmackDown. On the final SmackDown before Survivor Series, Booker T in his King Booker character gave a motivational speech to the team. For Team Raw, Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods) were revealed as captains on the October 31 episode of Raw. The remaining four spots were filled the following week: Cesaro and Sheamus, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and The Golden Truth (Goldust and R-Truth). The New Day addressed the teams and then Gallows and Anderson, who were at odds with the rest of Team Raw, defeated Big E and Kingston in a non-title match. Also, R-Truth sold his team's spot to The Shining Stars for a timeshare. The Golden Truth then fought The Shining Stars in a losing effort to get their spot back.
The spots for the women's elimination match were also successively filled. On the October 25 episode of SmackDown, Nikki Bella became captain of Team SmackDown by defeating Natalya, who had demanded that position for herself. On the November 1 episode, SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch, the number one contender Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Naomi were revealed as the remaining team members, with Natalya introduced as the team's coach. On the November 8 episode, the team's unity was strained when Carmella confronted Bella. Natalya, who was involved in a match against Naomi, tried to separate the two, which cost her the match. The same night, Lynch successfully defended her championship against Bliss, albeit in controversial fashion. For Team Raw, Raw Women's Champion Charlotte Flair (as team captain), Bayley, and Nia Jax were revealed as team members on the October 31 episode of Raw. On the November 7 episode, Alicia Fox and Sasha Banks were introduced as the final members. Earlier, Charlotte had falsely advertised her protégé Dana Brooke as the fifth member, only to be corrected by Michael Cole. Banks, Bayley, and Fox then defeated Charlotte, Jax, and Brooke in a six-woman tag team match when Bayley pinned Charlotte. On the November 14 episode, due to differences between team members, Charlotte and Banks teamed up and defeated Fox and Jax. On the final SmackDown before Survivor Series, Charlotte came down to ringside during a match between Bella and Carmella. Bella then attacked Charlotte, which prompted the rest of Team Raw to attack Bella. Carmella and the rest of Team SmackDown then came to Bella's aid. The two teams brawled with Team SmackDown getting the upper hand.
The teams for the men's elimination match began to take shape on the October 31 episode of Raw, when after weeks of lobbying for the position, WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho were made co-captains of Team Raw. General Manager Mick Foley then also added United States Champion Roman Reigns. Braun Strowman qualified by winning a 12-man battle royal. On the November 7 episode, Seth Rollins was revealed as the final member. To settle the team's differences, Stephanie McMahon put all five men in a fatal-five way match, which culminated in Owens accidentally pinning Jericho. On the final Raw before Survivor Series, Stephanie tested the team's unity by having the team of Owens and Reigns and the team of Jericho, Rollins, and Strowman face Cesaro and Sheamus and The New Day, respectively, which both teams won. For Team SmackDown, Daniel Bryan introduced all members on the November 1 episode of SmackDown: WWE World Champion AJ Styles (as captain), Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Baron Corbin. A week later, Shane McMahon made James Ellsworth the team's mascot. To settle some of the team's differences, Shane also scheduled a six-man tag match pitting The New Wyatt Family (Bray, Orton, and Luke Harper) against Ambrose, Ellsworth, and Corbin. When Corbin refused to take part in the match, he was replaced by Kane, and Corbin instead wrestled Kalisto; during the match, he was kayfabe injured, rendering him unable to compete at Survivor Series. After the Wyatts defeated Ambrose, Ellsworth, and Kane, Daniel Bryan named Shane McMahon as Corbin's replacement at Survivor Series. On the November 7 episode of Raw, Stephanie invited both Shane and Bryan to appear on the following week's Raw to address the interpromotional matches, which Shane and Bryan accepted. During this meeting, each commissioner and general manager touted the reasons for why their respective brand was better and eventually called out their respective male teams. In the ensuing battle, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins of Team Raw stood tall at the end. On the final SmackDown before Survivor Series, SmackDown's male team were the guests on Edge's Cutting Edge show to address the match and their team unity. The Undertaker then came out and warned the team to win the match or face consequences.
At WrestleMania XX in 2004, Goldberg defeated Brock Lesnar. This was their only match against each other as both left WWE after the event; Lesnar returned to the WWE in 2012. Goldberg, who originally had no intention of ever returning to WWE, began a working relationship with the promotion again in January 2016, thanks to 2K Sports, who publishes the WWE 2K video games. On the May 30 episode of Raw, Goldberg was revealed as the pre-order bonus for the WWE 2K17 video game, which featured Lesnar on the cover. During the 2016 SummerSlam weekend at the WWE 2K event in Germany, Goldberg jokingly challenged Lesnar to a match. Lesnar and Goldberg continually traded barbs and insults against each other on social media and at WWE 2K17 press events. On October 5, Goldberg appeared on ESPN's SportsCenter with Jonathan Coachman to promote his appearance in WWE 2K17. He teased a possible return to WWE, and stated that he would want to face Lesnar if he were to return because he owed Lesnar a rematch. On the October 10 episode of Raw, Paul Heyman on behalf of Lesnar issued a challenge to Goldberg, stating that Goldberg was the one blemish on Lesnar's WWE career. On the October 17 episode, Goldberg accepted the challenge. The following week, the match was scheduled for Survivor Series. On the October 31 episode of Raw, Heyman interrupted Goldberg and teased that Lesnar was there to fight, but then Rusev came out to confront Goldberg. Goldberg attacked Rusev with a Jackhammer and Heyman with a Spear. On the November 7 episode, video packages were shown hyping the match, with the announcement that both Goldberg and Lesnar would come face-to-face the following week. On the final Raw before Survivor Series, both men addressed each other, albeit with security officers between them. Lesnar pushed some officers into Goldberg, and Goldberg cleared out the rest. Lesnar then retreated instead of staying to fight.
At No Mercy, Dolph Ziggler defeated The Miz in a career vs. title match for the Intercontinental Championship. Ziggler offered The Miz a rematch for the title, but The Miz refused. On the November 1 episode of SmackDown, after successfully defending the Intercontinental Championship against Curt Hawkins, Ziggler made an open challenge to any wrestler from the Raw brand to face him for the title at Survivor Series. On the November 7 episode of Raw, Sami Zayn revealed that Mick Foley wanted him to face Ziggler for the Intercontinental title, but Stephanie preferred Rusev and scheduled a match between the two, with the winner going on to face Ziggler. Zayn defeated Rusev, earning the title match. However, his opponent changed when The Miz regained the title from Ziggler, albeit with help from Maryse, on SmackDown's 900th episode on November 15.
On the November 8 episode of SmackDown, Bryan revealed that since SmackDown's Intercontinental Championship would be defended against a wrestler from Raw, Foley allowed Raw's WWE Cruiserweight Champion The Brian Kendrick to defend the title against a SmackDown wrestler. Bryan chose Kalisto and revealed that if Kalisto would win the title, the entire cruiserweight division would come to SmackDown. On the November 14 episode of Raw, Kendrick addressed the cruiserweights, and assured them that he would defeat Kalisto and keep the division on Raw. However, all were at odds with him and Sin Cara, Kalisto's former tag team partner, stated that Kalisto would be a better champion. Kendrick won an ensuing match against Sin Cara by submission.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw)|
|Corey Graves (Raw/Cruiserweight matches)|
|Byron Saxton (Raw)|
|Mauro Ranallo (SmackDown/Cruiserweight matches)|
|John "Bradshaw" Layfield (SmackDown)|
|David Otunga (SmackDown)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton|
|Backstage interviewers||Tom Phillips|
|Pre-show panel||Renee Young|
During the Survivor Series Kickoff pre-show, TJ Perkins, Rich Swann and Noam Dar defeated Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari when Swann executed a standing 450° splash on Daivari for a pinfall.
The actual pay-per-view opened with the women's Survivor Series match pitting Team Raw (Raw Women's Champion Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax) against Team SmackDown (Nikki Bella, Carmella, Naomi, Alexa Bliss, and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch) in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match. Immediately before the match, SmackDown's captain Nikki Bella was attacked backstage, leaving her unable to compete, and team coach Natalya replaced her. Alicia pinned Carmella after a scissors kick but was herself pinned by Alexa Bliss after "Twisted Bliss". Naomi was counted out after Nia Jax attacked her. Natalya pinned Sasha with a roll-up but was pinned by Charlotte after a "Queen's Boot". Becky Lynch forced Nia Jax submit to the "Dis-arm-her", eliminating Jax. Charlotte pinned Alexa after a "Queen's Boot". Bayley pinned Lynch after a "Bayley-to-Belly Suplex", leaving Bayley and Charlotte as the survivors for Team Raw. After the match, Charlotte attacked Bayley.
Next, The Miz defended the Intercontinental Championship against Sami Zayn. In the end, Zayn applied the Figure-four leglock on Miz; as Miz was about to submit, Miz's manager Maryse rang the ring bell. Zayn released the hold, thinking he had won, but Miz pinned him with a roll-up to retain the title.
After this, Team Raw (Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston), Cesaro and Sheamus, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Shining Stars, and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) faced Team SmackDown (SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros, American Alpha, Breezango, and The Usos) in the tag team's Survivor Series match. Breezango, in their new fashion police attire, began by handing out tickets to everyone but were quickly eliminated by The New Day after the "Midnight Hour" (a "Big Ending" and diving DDT combination) on Fandango. Immediately after, Jimmy Uso executed a superkick on Kingston for a pinfall to eliminate New Day. Gallows and Anderson performed a "Magic Killer" on Zack Ryder, eliminating The Hype Bros. American Alpha executed an electric chair/diving bulldog combination on Primo, eliminating The Shining Stars. Gallows and Anderson eliminated American Alpha with a "Magic Killer" on Jason Jordan, but were eliminated by Rhyno and Heath Slater after Rhyno performed a "Gore" on Gallows. Enzo Amore and Big Cass then performed a "Bada Boom Shakalaka" on Rhyno, eliminating him and Heath Slater. The Usos eliminated Enzo and Cass after a "Samoan Splash" on Enzo. In the end, Cesaro applied the Sharpshooter on Jey Uso while Sheamus performed a "Brogue Kick" on Jimmy. Jey submitted, leaving Cesaro and Sheamus as the sole survivors for Team Raw.
In the fourth match, The Brian Kendrick defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto. Kendrick won by disqualification after Baron Corbin attacked Kendrick and then Kalisto, meaning Kendrick retained the title and the cruiserweight division remained on Raw. Backstage, Daniel Bryan confronted Corbin, who explained that he acted out of revenge on Kalisto to prevent more cruiserweights from appearing on SmackDown.
The next match was the men's Survivor Series elimination match pitting Team Raw (WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, United States Champion Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins) against Team SmackDown (WWE World Champion AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Shane McMahon), who were accompanied by their mascot, James Ellsworth. Early in the match, Ambrose and Styles got into a heated argument. Ambrose attacked Styles, but was surprised by Strowman, who scored a pinfall after a running powerslam; Styles did not attempt to break the pin. Afterwards outside the ring, Orton executed an "RKO" on Strowman onto a broadcast table. McMahon put Strowman through the table with a "Leap of Faith". Strowman was counted out when Ellsworth, who hid under the ring, held Strowman's legs to prevent him from returning to the ring. Strowman then chased Ellsworth up the entrance ramp and threw him off the stage. Later, Styles attempted the "Styles Clash" on Jericho but Owens attacked Styles with the "List of Jericho" and was disqualified. Jericho was distraught by his list being ripped apart. This allowed Orton to pin him after an "RKO". McMahon then attempted a "Coast to Coast" but Reigns caught him mid-air with a spear. The referee ruled the apparently unconscious Shane unfit to continue, eliminating him from the match. Ambrose, who had already been eliminated, returned to attack Styles and helped his former Shield bretheren Rollins and Reigns perform a triple powerbomb on Styles through a broadcast table. Rollins rolled Styles back in the ring for the pinfall. As Rollins attempted a Frog Splash on Wyatt, Orton quickly performed an "RKO" on Rollins, allowing Wyatt to score a pinfall. Reigns, Team Raw's final member, attempted a spear on Wyatt but hit Orton instead, who had pushed Wyatt out of the way. Wyatt then performed "Sister Abigail" on Reigns for the pin, leaving Wyatt and Orton as the survivors for Team SmackDown.
In the main event, Goldberg faced Brock Lesnar. Lesnar tackled Goldberg into the corner, only for Goldberg to shove Lesnar to the mat. As Lesnar stood up, Goldberg hit him with a spear. Goldberg then executed another spear and a "Jackhammer" on Lesnar to win the match.
On the following night's Raw, Goldberg celebrated his victory over Brock Lesnar and declared himself as the first entrant in the 2017 Royal Rumble match. The following week, Paul Heyman commented that he and Lesnar had been humiliated by Goldberg, whom they had underestimated, and that Lesnar would also compete in the Royal Rumble. Lesnar entered at number twenty-six and dispatched of several other wrestlers before Goldberg came out at number twenty-eight and once again humiliated Lesnar by quickly eliminating him from the match. They fought once more at WrestleMania 33, where Lesnar defeated Goldberg in a match for the Universal Championship to end the feud.
On the post-Survivor Series Raw, Sami Zayn was punished for failing to bring the Intercontinental Championship to his brand by being put into a match against Braun Strowman. Strowman brutalized Zayn until he was no longer able to compete and Mick Foley stopped the match, giving the win to Strowman.
After winning the elimination tag team match for Raw, Cesaro and Sheamus were granted a title shot for the Raw Tag Team Championship against The New Day the next night on Raw. However, The New Day retained their championship.
On the Highlight Reel during Raw, Chris Jericho got into a heated argument with his best friend Kevin Owens. Jericho blamed Owens for using "The List of Jericho" as a weapon, whereas Owens explained that he tried to save Jericho from being eliminated. The two finally agreed that Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were at fault for Team Raw's loss. Rollins then demanded a title shot for Owens's WWE Universal Championship, as he was guaranteed a match for being part of Team Raw. Mick Foley then scheduled Owens to defend the title in the main event against Rollins in a no disqualification match, with Reigns and Jericho banned from ringside. The match ended when Jericho, disguised as a masked fan, interfered, allowing Owens to capitalize and retain the championship. The following week, the friendship between Owens and Jericho was strained further, when Owens stated he did not need Jericho's help against the challenge of Roman Reigns. Reigns then defeated Owens to earn a title match for the Universal Championship at Roadblock.
Also on Raw, Charlotte justified her attack on Bayley, stating she no longer had to be her teammate after the match. She was then confronted by Sasha Banks, who invoked her championship rematch clause. Charlotte agreed, but insisted that the match would take place the following week, in her own hometown. The next week, Sasha defeated Charlotte in a falls-count-anywhere match for her third Raw Women's Championship.
Rich Swann defeated TJ Perkins and Noam Dar in a triple threat match to become the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. On the premiere of the cruiserweight's new exclusive show, 205 Live, Swann defeated Kendrick for the championship.
The following SmackDown, Shane McMahon granted James Ellsworth a SmackDown contract for his dedication to the SmackDown brand. AJ Styles criticized this decision, arguing that Ellsworth should earn his contract in a ladder match. Ellsworth accepted the challenge, with both his new contract and a future opportunity at the WWE World Championship on the line. Dean Ambrose, who had been repeatedly sent out of the arena, returned during the match and helped Ellsworth defeat Styles.
The Miz confronted Daniel Bryan about retaining the Intercontinental Championship and gloated over Kalisto not winning his match. Bryan responded that the way Miz won his match humiliated SmackDown and then scheduled Miz to immediately defend the title against Kalisto. Miz won the match when Corbin distracted Kalisto. After the match, Corbin attacked Kalisto with the End of Days, while Miz's celebration was cut short by Dolph Ziggler with a Superkick. Bryan later scheduled The Miz to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Ziggler at TLC in a ladder match. As punishment for costing Kalisto two title opportunities and SmackDown the cruiserwight division, Bryan put Baron Corbin in a match against Kane. During the match, Kalisto attacked Corbin. Afterwards on Talking Smack, a chairs match between the two was scheduled for TLC.
The dissension between SmackDown's women continued backstage as Alexa Bliss demanded another match for the SmackDown Women's Championship, which Becky Lynch accepted for TLC. After Natalya blamed Becky for her team's loss at Survivor Series, Shane blamed the entire team, especially the absence of Nikki Bella, and scheduled a match between Natalya and Becky. Becky won the match but was attacked afterwards by Alexa. The following week, during the contract signing, Becky attacked Alexa but was eventually put through a table by Alexa. The match between the two was made a tables match. Also backstage, Nikki Bella accused Carmella of being the one that attacked her at Survivor Series, which Carmella denied. Nikki added that regardless of who attacked her, she would settle her differences with Carmella at TLC in a no disqualification match.
After winning the Survivor Series match for SmackDown's men's team, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton challenged American Alpha, who had just become number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship by defeating The Hype Bros, The Ascension, Breezango, The Usos, and The Vaudevillains in a Tag Team Turmoil, to put that spot on the line. The following week, Wyatt and Orton defeated American Alpha to become the number one contenders against Heath Slater and Rhyno at TLC.
Survivor Series elimination matchesEdit
|2||Alicia Fox||Alexa Bliss||Pinfall||6:46|
|6||Nia Jax||Becky Lynch||Submission||13:33|
|7||Alexa Bliss||Charlotte Flair||Pinfall||14:06|
|Survivor(s):||Bayley and Charlotte Flair (Team Raw)|
|1||Breezango||The New Day||Pinfall||0:41|
|2||The New Day||The Usos||Pinfall||1:06|
|3||The Hype Bros||Gallows and Anderson||Pinfall||5:07|
|4||The Shining Stars||American Alpha||Pinfall||8:08|
|5||American Alpha||Gallows and Anderson||Pinfall||10:37|
|6||Gallows and Anderson||Heath Slater and Rhyno||Pinfall||12:27|
|7||Heath Slater and Rhyno||Enzo and Cass||Pinfall||12:45|
|8||Enzo and Cass||The Usos||Pinfall||13:24|
|9||The Usos||Cesaro and Sheamus||Submission||18:55|
|Survivor(s):||Cesaro and Sheamus (Team Raw)|
|1||Dean Ambrose||Braun Strowman||Pinfall||16:00|
|2||Braun Strowman||James Ellsworth [Note 1]||Countout||21:30|
|4||Chris Jericho||Randy Orton||Pinfall||30:15|
|5||Shane McMahon||N/A||Unable to continue after injury||40:00|
|6||AJ Styles||Seth Rollins||Pinfall||42:30|
|7||Seth Rollins||Bray Wyatt||Pinfall||46:00|
|8||Roman Reigns||Bray Wyatt||Pinfall||52:55|
|Survivor(s):||Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton (Team Smackdown)|
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