Survivor Series (2018)
Survivor Series (2018) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view event and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands. It took place on November 18, 2018 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. It was the thirty-second event promoted under the Survivor Series chronology. The theme of the event was brand supremacy, where all but one match involved wrestlers of the Raw brand facing wrestlers of the SmackDown brand.
|Survivor Series (2018)|
|Date||November 18, 2018|
|City||Los Angeles, California|
|Tagline(s)||Raw vs. SmackDown|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Survivor Series chronology|
Eight matches were contested at the event, including one on the Kickoff pre-show. The card was highlighted by two traditional Survivor Series elimination matches: Raw's men's and women's teams were victorious over SmackDown's. In the main event, Raw's Universal Champion Brock Lesnar defeated SmackDown's WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Also on the card, Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey defeated SmackDown's Charlotte Flair via disqualification and Buddy Murphy retained the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Mustafa Ali in the only title defense on the card, as well as the only non-interpromotional match. Raw won brand supremacy clean sweeping SmackDown in all six interpromotional matches on the main card. SmackDown's lone win occurred on the Kickoff pre-show, victorious over Raw in the 10-on-10 tag team elimination match.
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. Since WWE reintroduced the brand split in 2016, Survivor Series has centered around competition between Raw and SmackDown for brand supremacy. The 2018 event, which was the thirty-second event in the Survivor Series chronology, had traditional Survivor Series matches for the men and women with five members on each team. There was also a Survivor Series match for the brands' tag teams, featuring five tag teams on each team (totaling 10 wrestlers per team), but under the rule that if one member of a tag team was eliminated, both members of that particular tag team were eliminated—this match occurred on the Survivor Series Kickoff pre-show.
The previous year's event began the theme of having the champions of the Raw brand facing their counterparts of the SmackDown brand in non-title matches. The 2018 event had Raw's Universal Champion against SmackDown's WWE Champion, Raw's Intercontinental Champion against SmackDown's United States Champion, and the Raw Tag Team Champions against the SmackDown Tag Team Champions. A match featuring the Raw Women's Champion against the SmackDown Women's Champion was planned but called off due to the latter sustaining a legit injury just days prior to the event. The Raw Women's Champion was instead scheduled to face a former SmackDown Women's Champion. As the 205 Live brand's WWE Cruiserweight Championship was the only title of its kind in WWE, it was the only title defended on the show and the only non-interbrand match. This was also the only Survivor Series to include the 205 Live brand, and the first since the 2009 event to feature three brands.
The card consisted of eight matches, including one 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, SmackDown, and 205 Live brands. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live, and the cruiserweight-exclusive 205 Live.
At Evolution, Ronda Rousey defeated Nikki Bella to retain the Raw Women's Championship while Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair in a Last Woman Standing match to retain the SmackDown Women's Championship. During a backstage interview following her win, Rousey was confronted by Lynch and an interpromotional non-title match between the two champions was scheduled for Survivor Series the following night on Raw. On the November 12 episode of Raw, Lynch led the SmackDown women's division in an invasion of Raw and applied the "Dis-arm-her" on Rousey. During the melee, Lynch suffered a legit broken nose and concussion following a punch from Nia Jax. Due to the injury, Lynch was pulled from the Survivor Series match and chose Flair as her replacement.
At Crown Jewel, AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Championship, while Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman to win the vacant Universal Championship, setting up a rematch between Styles and Lesnar from the previous year's event. However, on the final SmackDown before Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan defeated Styles to become the WWE Champion, thus replacing Styles as Lesnar's opponent. After the match, Bryan attacked Styles, turning into a villain in the process.
During the Crown Jewel Kickoff pre-show, Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev to retain the United States Championship. Following the event, a match between Nakamura and Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins was scheduled for Survivor Series.
At Crown Jewel, The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) retained the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against The New Day (represented by Big E and Kofi Kingston), while on the November 5 episode of Raw, AOP (Akam and Rezar) defeated Seth Rollins in a handicap match to become the new Raw Tag Team Champions. A match between the two teams was then scheduled for Survivor Series.
At Super Show-Down, Buddy Murphy defeated Cedric Alexander to win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. On the October 31 episode of 205 Live, Mustafa Ali defeated Tony Nese to become the number one contender, and his championship match against Murphy was scheduled for Survivor Series.
On the November 5 episode of Raw, Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin revealed Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre as the first three members of Team Raw's men's team while naming himself as captain, although stating he would not compete due to his managerial position. Kurt Angle interjected, wanting to replace Corbin as captain, therefore Corbin had Angle face McIntyre where if Angle won, he would have been on the team; however, Angle lost. The following week, Finn Bálor defeated Ziggler in a match and returning Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon rewarded Bálor by adding him to the team. Later, Bobby Lashley won the final spot by defeating Elias. Also on that episode, Stephanie promised Strowman another Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar and also a match against Corbin, who had cost Strowman his Universal title match at Crown Jewel (with Strowman choosing the stipulations for either match), if he could lead Raw to another victory over SmackDown and not touch Corbin until after the event. For Team SmackDown's men's team, on the November 6 episode of SmackDown, the brand's Commissioner Shane McMahon and General Manager Paige appointed The Miz and Daniel Bryan as co-captains of Team SmackDown. Miz and Bryan then added Shane to the team as he had won the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel. Later, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe joined the team after defeating Andrade "Cien" Almas and Jeff Hardy, respectively. A brawl then ensued between Joe, Bryan, Miz, and Shane. The following week, Bryan was removed from Team SmackDown due to his actions and subsequent WWE Championship match victory against AJ Styles, therefore replacing Styles in the champion vs. champion match. Following that alteration, Hardy replaced him after defeating Almas.
On the November 5 episode of Raw, Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin named Alexa Bliss as captain of Team Raw's women's team, but in a non-competing capacity due to injury. The following week, Bliss revealed Mickie James, Nia Jax, Tamina, and Natalya, who was absent, as her first four picks and revealed that the winner of a match between Bayley and Sasha Banks would be the final member. During the match, the women's team attacked Bayley and Banks, causing a no-contest ruling and Bliss said neither would be on the team and then introduced Ruby Riott as the final member. For Team SmackDown's women's team, on the November 6 episode of SmackDown, SmackDown General Manager Paige revealed Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville, and Charlotte Flair as the members of Team SmackDown, but Flair did not show up; the previous week, Paige asked Flair to be captain, but Flair felt she was not the right person but said she would think about it. Flair was instead named Becky Lynch's replacement to face Ronda Rousey, and the final member of Team SmackDown was not revealed on the final SmackDown before Survivor Series.
On the November 6 episode of SmackDown, The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated The New Day (represented by Big E and Kofi Kingston) to become the captains of Team SmackDown in the 10-on-10 tag team elimination match. Immediately after the match, The Usos chose The New Day as their first pick. The following week, The Usos added Sanity (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe, and Killian Dain), Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and The Colóns (Primo Colón and Epico Colón) to the team. On the November 12 episode of Raw, a tag team battle royal occurred to determine Team Raw's captains. The team of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable defeated The Revival (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson), The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel), Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik, Kalisto, and Lince Dorado), The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), and the team of Heath Slater and Rhyno to win the captaincy of Team Raw, composed of all of the teams in the battle royal except Slater and Rhyno (who were the first eliminated) and the tag team elimination match was scheduled for the Survivor Series Kickoff pre-show.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw)|
|Corey Graves (Raw/SmackDown)|
|Renee Young (Raw)|
|Tom Phillips (SmackDown)|
|Byron Saxton (SmackDown)|
|Vic Joseph (Cruiserweight title match)|
|Nigel McGuinness (Cruiserweight title match)|
|Percy Watson (Cruiserweight title match)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton|
|Pre-show panel||Jonathan Coachman|
During the Survivor Series Kickoff pre-show, the 10-on-10 Survivor Series tag team elimination match featuring Team Raw's tag teams (Bobby Roode and Chad Gable, The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor), Lucha House Party (Kalisto and Lince Dorado, with Gran Metalik), The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder), and The B-Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas)) against Team SmackDown's tag teams (The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso), The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods, with Kofi Kingston), The Colóns (Primo and Epico), Sanity (Killian Dain and Eric Young, with Alexander Wolfe), and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) occurred. Kalisto suffered a knee injury and the referee allowed Metalik to replace him. The Revival performed "Shatter Machine" on Primo to eliminate The Colóns. Anderson pinned Dallas with a schoolboy to eliminate The B-Team. Gable and Roode performed their neckbreaker/moonsault combo on Young to eliminate Sanity. Woods, with assistance from Big E, performed a splash on Viktor to eliminate The Ascension. Metalik performed a springboard swanton on Anderson to eliminate Gallows and Anderson. Jey performed the "Alley Uce" on Dorado to eliminate Lucha House Party. New Day performed UpUpDownDown on Gable to eliminate Roode and Gable. The Revival performed "Shatter Machine" on Woods to eliminate The New Day. In the climax, Jimmy performed the "Uso Splash" on Dawson to eliminate The Revival and win the match as the lone survivors for Team SmackDown.
Also during the pre-show, Naomi was revealed as the captain of Team SmackDown's women's team and introduced Mandy Rose as the final member of their team. For Team Raw, a brawl ensued between Natalya and Ruby Riott. Team captain Alexa Bliss then removed Natalya and Riott from the team and replaced them with Sasha Banks and Bayley.
The actual pay-per-view opened with the women's 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match, pitting Team Raw (Nia Jax, Tamina, Mickie James, Sasha Banks, and Bayley) (accompanied by Alexa Bliss) against Team SmackDown (Naomi, Asuka, Carmella (accompanied by R-Truth), Sonya Deville, and Mandy Rose). Tamina performed a superkick on Naomi to eliminate her. Carmella then surprised Tamina with a schoolgirl to eliminate her. Deville performed a sliding knee on James followed by Rose pinning James to eliminate her. Bayley performed the "Bayley to Belly" on Carmella to eliminate her. Banks applied the "Bank Statement" on Rose, forcing Rose to submit, thereby eliminating Rose. Bayley and Deville brawled outside of the ring to a double countout, eliminating both women. Asuka applied the "Asuka Lock" on Banks (whom Jax betrayed) and forced Banks to tap to eliminate her. In the climax, Jax performed three leg drops and a Samoan drop on Asuka to win the match as the sole survivor for Team Raw.
Backstage, Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin celebrated the win. Stephanie told Corbin that if Raw has a clean sweep over SmackDown on the main card, she would consider making him the permanent Raw General Manager.
Next, Raw's Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins faced SmackDown's United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. During the match, Rollins performed three suicide dives and a springboard clothesline on Nakamura for a nearfall. Rollins performed a ripcord knee for a nearfall. Nakamura performed a "Kinshasa" for a nearfall. In the end, Rollins performed "The Stomp" on Nakamura to win the match.
After that, Raw Tag Team Champions AOP (Akam and Rezar) (with Drake Maverick) faced SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus) (with Big Show). In the climax, Sheamus performed the "Brogue Kick" on Rezar, but during the pin attempt, Maverick placed Rezar's foot on the bottom rope, voiding the pinfall. Cesaro chased Maverick, who ran into Big Show. Big Show grabbed Maverick by the throat only for Maverick to soil his pants. This distraction allowed AOP to perform a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo on Sheamus to win the match for Raw.
Next was the only non-interpromotional match and only title defense on the show in which Buddy Murphy defended the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Mustafa Ali. In the end, Murphy performed "Murphy's Law" on Ali to retain the title.
In the fifth match, the men's 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match, featuring Team Raw (Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley (with Lio Rush), and Finn Bálor) (with Baron Corbin) against Team SmackDown (The Miz, Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio, Samoa Joe, and Jeff Hardy) was contested. Strowman was going to start the match, only for McIntyre to quickly tag himself in. As McIntyre mocked Strowman, Joe took advantage and applied the "Coquina Clutch" on McIntyre, who was able to escape and performed the "Claymore" to eliminate Joe. Shane and Ziggler then faced off. A brawl broke out between Strowman and McIntyre which led to Team SmackDown attacking them. Outtside of the ring, Shane performed an elbow drop on Strowman through an announce table. Mysterio eliminated Bálor after a "619" and a springboard frog splash. Shane performed a "Coast to Coast" on Ziggler to eliminate him. Shane attempted another "Coast to Coast" on Lashley only for Strowman, who recovered from earlier, to perform a clothesline in mid-air on Shane. Strowman then performed running powerslams on Hardy, Mysterio, and Miz to eliminate all three. In the climax, Strowman performed a running powerslam on Shane to win the match for Team Raw with Strowman, McIntyre, and Lashley as the survivors. After the match, Corbin attacked Strowman and quickly retreated with McIntyre and Lashley.
Backstage, Seth Rollins was interviewed by Charly Caruso. She informed Rollins that he would be defending the Intercontinental Championship against his friend-turned-rival Dean Ambrose at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
In the penultimate match, Raw Women's Champion Ronda Rousey faced SmackDown's Charlotte Flair. In the climax, as Rousey attempted to attack Flair outside of the ring, Flair struck Rousey with a kendo stick, thus Rousey won by disqualification. After the match, Flair continued to attack Rousey with kendo sticks. In the ring, Flair performed "Natural Selection" on Rousey on a chair. Flair positioned Rousey's neck in the chair and stomped on it before departing backstage.
In the main event, Raw's Universal Champion Brock Lesnar (accompanied by Paul Heyman) faced SmackDown's WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. Lesnar performed several suplexes on Bryan. Lesnar performed an "F-5" on Bryan, but during the pin attempt, he intentionally broke the fall himself. Lesnar attempted a second "F-5" on Bryan, only to accidentally hit the referee in the process. While the referee was down, Bryan seized the opportunity to low blow Lesnar. Bryan performed a running knee on Lesnar for a nearfall. Bryan began to target Lesnar's knee by slamming it into the ring post. Back in the ring, as Lesnar attempted another "F-5", Lesnar's knee gave out. Bryan capitalized and performed the "Yes! Lock" submission only for Lesnar to escape. In the end, as Bryan applied a triangle hold on Lesnar, Lesnar countered and performed the "F-5" on Bryan to win the match, with Raw winning brand supremacy with a clean sweep over SmackDown on the main card.
Enzo Amore hijacking incidentEdit
Former WWE wrestler Enzo Amore was spotted during the event wearing a disguised wig and hoodie in the background. At the beginning of the AOP and The Bar match, when it became clear that it was Amore, he started making a scene, standing on his chair, dancing and yelling at the crowd. While WWE did not acknowledge his presence, Amore was then escorted out of the building by security and was banned from future events at the Staples Center. Reports also stated that Amore had bumped into a woman, causing her to get knocked over, injuring the fan in the process.
This incident came hours after he released a new album called Rosemary’s Baby Pt. 1: Happy Birthday featuring a song that seems to include lyrics about his ex-girlfriend and current WWE wrestler Liv Morgan.
The following night on Raw, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon opened the show and celebrated the Raw brand's clean sweep over SmackDown. Stephanie was interrupted by Braun Strowman, who wanted his promised matches. She granted Strowman a match with Acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs and Strowman chose a TLC match as the stipulation. In regard to his promised Universal Championship match, Stephanie said that if Strowman defeated Corbin, then he would get his title match at the Royal Rumble and Corbin would be stripped of all authority, but if Corbin won, Corbin would become the permanent Raw General Manager. Later that night during an elimination tag team match, Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley attacked Strowman, injuring his elbow, as a storyline excuse for Strowman to undergo surgery to remove bone spurs.
Fresh off her disqualification victory over Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey confirmed that she would be defending the Raw Women's Championship against Nia Jax at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs as Jax had won a 20-woman battle royal at Evolution to earn the title match. Rousey then made an open challenge and successfully defended the title against Mickie James. After the match, Rousey was taunted by Jax and Tamina.
Charlotte Flair explained her actions on the November 20 episode of SmackDown, stating that her attack on Ronda Rousey was for the women of SmackDown and for her friend Becky Lynch. However, SmackDown General Manager Paige fined Flair $100,000 for attacking WWE officials during the brawl. After being interrupted by The IIconics (Billie Kay and Peyton Royce), Flair had back-to-back singles matches with both. She defeated Kay by submission and then Royce by disqualification after Kay attacked Flair, who in turn laid out both IIconics.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan explained his actions from the previous week by stating that he was following his dream and accusing the fans of not being there for him during his three-year quest to return to the ring, while also saying that the "Yes! Movement" was dead and that he was now the "new" Daniel Bryan. It was then announced that AJ Styles would receive his WWE Championship rematch against Bryan at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs.
Survivor Series elimination matchesEdit
|1||The Colóns||Dash Wilder||Pinfall||3:10|
|2||The B-Team||Karl Anderson||Pinfall||5:00|
|4||The Ascension||Big E||Pinfall||8:50|
|5||Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson||Gran Metalik||Pinfall||10:40|
|6||Lucha House Party||Jey Uso||Pinfall||11:55|
|7||Bobby Roode and Chad Gable||Big E||Pinfall||18:30|
|8||The New Day||Dash Wilder||Pinfall||19:50|
|9||The Revival||Jimmy Uso||Pinfall||22:20|
|Survivor(s):||The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso)|
|3||Mickie James||Mandy Rose||Pinfall||6:50|
|5||Mandy Rose||Sasha Banks||Submission||9:55|
|1||Samoa Joe||Drew McIntyre||Pinfall||0:35|
|2||Finn Bálor||Rey Mysterio||Pinfall||12:10|
|3||Dolph Ziggler||Shane McMahon||Pinfall||18:10|
|4||Jeff Hardy||Braun Strowman||Pinfall||20:45|
|5||Rey Mysterio||Braun Strowman||Pinfall||21:10|
|6||The Miz||Braun Strowman||Pinfall||22:25|
|7||Shane McMahon||Braun Strowman||Pinfall||24:00|
|Survivor(s):||Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley|
- Kalisto was injured (kayfabe) during the match and the referee allowed Metalik to take his place.
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