WWE Survivor Series 2016 Review: What we learned, takeaways, future projections

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5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match

What we learned: The 5-on-5 traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match was easily the best match of the night and I think we learned exactly how much fun WWE can be when things are done right. As much as I thought AJ Styles would be the sole survivor to push his ego even further, what transpired between he and Dean Ambrose was perfect. Smackdown Live did need to win this match but the champ didn’t have to be the guy to do it.

And we learned that Shane McMahon is still an absolute maniac.

Seriously, the 46-year-old commissioner of Smackdown Live took a beating, and while some thought that he took a spot away from someone else, I think it worked in this case. They’re telling a story in there and this only added to it. He wanted his brand to win and Shane put his own body on the line to get it done. You can tell that he genuinely enjoys being in that ring, even if it means he’s going to get knocked out …. literally.

But we also learned that Randy Orton is a better guy than he used to be. Come on, how cool was it when he broke character and walked over to Shane’s to let him know that he was okay? And speaking of Orton, we learned that this duo of Randy and Bray Wyatt isn’t going anywhere. Bray FINALLY got a big win, which I thought was one of the biggest surprises to come out of Survivor Series.

What needed to happen with the RAW team happened and I thought it was done pretty well. Braun Strowman was going to look like a monster and they accomplished what they needed to with him. He’s nowhere near ready for a title run yet but he looked big and strong and him hurling Ellsworth off the stage was pretty damn funny. You knew they’d tease a little more tension between Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho as their inevitable split continues to take shape and using Jericho’s list to make that happen was great.

As I expected, the final two members of the red team were Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. And yes, since we’re talking about it, the mini-reunion of The Shield was pretty cool. I’ll tell you what, though, I really thought that Reigns was going to flip the script and turn on Rollins while they were standing in the middle of the ring looking at the Wyatts. But it was interesting to see them working together again and it will be even more interesting to see how they interact moving forward.

What’s next: We know that AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose are set for a TLC match in a couple of weeks and that match should be the end of this feud. It’s been one of the best feuds of the year, maybe right behind Styles and Cena, but a TLC match is a good way to end it. Styles should hang on to the belt and Ambrose is likely to be one of the final guys in the Royal Rumble. But I suppose I’ve been wrong before.

Shane McMahon just needs to heal for a while and will likely stay out of the ring until WrestlMania. As for Orton and Wyatt, it will be very interesting to see what happens with these two. Bray Wyatt has so much momentum right now that it would be a crying shame to kill it. He needs to be booked very strongly over the next few months and he needs/deserves a really big payoff at some point. Whether it be for a title or not, it’s his time for something huge.

Well, it looks as if we’re building towards a Kevin Owens vs Roman Reigns program after RAW last night. Seth Rollins seemingly had his last chance at the Universal Championship for a while and while Owens and Reigns battle it out, he’ll likely get involved with Jericho for a while as 2016 winds down. Braun Strowman will continue to do the Braun Strowman thing as we move towards the Royal Rumble and is likely your Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal winner at WrestleMania 33 next year.