5 biggest surprises from 2016 WWE Survivor Series

Credit: WWE.com
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Here are the 5 biggest surprises from Sunday night’s 30th annual WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view event.

Celebrating its 30th edition, the annual WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view event took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on Sunday night in front of a sold-out crowd at the Air Canada Centre. And I think it’s safe to say that the wrestling world is in shock. One only has to check out the Twitter reactions to the Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar match to see that. While we’ll certainly be taking a look at that match as we move forward, there were some other moments from Survivor Series that surprised some people last night and we’ll get into those as well. First, however, let’s take a look at the full results from the 30th annual Survivor Series.

  • T.J. Perkins, Rich Swann & Noam Dar def. Drew Gulak, Tony Nese & Ariya Daivari (preshow)
  • Kane def. Luke Harper (preshow)
  • Women’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match: Team RAW def. Team Smackdown Live-Bayley & Charlotte were the survivors
  • Intercontinental Championship Match: The Miz def. Sami Zayn
  • 10-on-10 Tag Team Elimination Match: Team RAW def. Team Smackdown Live-Cesaro & Sheamus were the survivors
  • Cruiserweight Championship Match: Brian Kendrick def. Kalisto by DQ
  • Men’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match: Team Smackdown Live def. Team RAW-Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton were the survivors
  • Goldberg def. Brock Lesnar

While we’ll get to some of the surprising moments in just a minute, a lot of things at Survivor Series went down as I expected them to. Some people were shocked to see Sasha Banks out a little early during the women’s match but I think this was the right call. Sasha will remain over with the fans and the feud between her and Charlotte is now truly over and the focus needed to shift to Bayley and Charlotte and it certainly did that as the two survivors from the winning side started their program following the conclusion of the match. Nia Jax was dominant as expected and while it was a little surprising to see her tap out, she’s still very green and will get her big push down the line.

As far as the title matches are concerned, things went down as they should have. It’s not surprising that The Miz retained the Intercontinental Championship with help from Maryse (certainly something original this time around) and as it needed to, the cruiserweight division will remain on RAW after Brian Kendrick bested Kalisto. It was a little disappointing to see a great match have that kind of ending with Baron Corbin getting involved but I think everybody wins here. The division stays on the three-hour show that actually has time for it to grow. Kalisto still looks very strong and Corbin keeps his “I’m only out for Baron Corbin” thing that works so well for him.

There were a couple of surprises in the men’s match but Braun Strowman got exactly what he needed, which was a big spotlight to showcase his power and he did all of that without looking weak being eliminated via countout. The biggest shock of that deal is him not going back for those pizzas on one table after he hurled James Ellsworth through another off of the stage. And teasing a little more heat between Owens and Jericho (especially using Jericho’s list) is something I thought needed to happen and the mini-reunion of The Shield, while done extremely well, is something that I think everybody saw coming, especially seeing how Survivor Series is where they debuted.

But enough of what we expected to happen. Let’s get to five things at Survivor Series that took us a bit by surprise.

5. Nikki Bella taken out of women’s match

As I said in the opener, there weren’t a lot of things in the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match involving the women, but taking team captain Nikki Bella out of the match before it even began was a bit shocking, especially given the buildup over the last few weeks.

Nikki Bella has been one of the biggest stars of the women’s division for quite some time now, as evidenced by her being named the captain for Team Smackdown Live even though Becky Lynch is the women’s champion of the blue brand. Nikki is a former record-setting Divas champion, a reality TV star and is dating the biggest star in the company in John Cena. She’s got a lot of things going for her and her return feud with Carmella has been one of many highlights of the women’s division on Smackdown Live, which while I’m on the topic has easily been the better show when it comes to the women as most of their roster has been featured in big matches as opposed to essentially just Sasha and Charlotte recently on RAW. So it was surprising to see her taken out of a high-profile match such as this one.

So what we have now is another “whodunnit” moment from Survivor Series, and while it’s certainly not on the level of “who hit Stone Cold with a car”, there are a few people who could be responsible. The recent brawl between Nikki and Charlotte would lead many to believe that the RAW women’s champion is at fault, especially given the look on her face in the ring before the match last night. Then there’s the obvious choice of Carmella but I’m thinking that team coach Natalya is at fault here. By taking out Nikki Bella, Natalya was able to insert herself into the match, which she’s been wanting for weeks, and it only keeps her strong heel push going by taking out a fan favorite. This leads to a new feud on Tuesday nights for everyone and was a good call. Natalya should have been in this match anyway. While the reveal likely won’t come as a huge shock, the fact that Nikki was left out of this big match was surprising and got Survivor Series off to a nice start.