It has to be pointed out before we start that Survivor Series 2013 got the lowest number of PPV buys that the event had ever got in the TWENTY-SEVEN year history of the event. Which ever way you paint it, that is not a good statistic.
The really sad thing going in is that it would not have come as a surprise to many fans that the buy-rate was so low. At times it almost seemed as if the WWE didn’t want anyone to buy they show, such was the lack of a build up and the fact that the show was headlined by two of the most pointless World Title matches of this, or any other, year.
Alberto Del Rio’s opportunity to win back the title he lost he month earlier might have been something people were more inclined to pay for if Del Rio hadn’t been summarily destroyed by Cena in Cena’s comeback match at Hell In A Cell the previous month. A progressive booking team might have seen the merit in Cena’s miraculous comeback from a serious arm injury not quite coming off, with Del Rio cheating his way to victory and that this would have meant more heat and, most importantly, more interest in a rematch. The match was by no means dreadful, but given most observers would have put Del Rio’s chances of winning at around 0.5% there was precious little drama. “Obvious” results in Wrestling are not necessarily a bad thing, but in this case there just seemed no point to the match.
Still, even a dull and anti-climatic Cena/Del Rio match had more interest for me than seeing The Big Show tackle Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. The storyline between Show and The Authority had actually been rather good. The reaction when Show finally planted one on Triple H showed that it had captured the fans imagination. But with fans disappointed by Daniel Bryan’s failure to unseat Orton over the proceedings months (and by now realising that Bryan coronation probably wasn‘t being saved for a later date) there was little appetite for this. As the “boring” chants made loud and clear.
With so little on offer from the main events it would need a very strong under-card to pull the show from the depths. In truth it was a mixed bag.
CM Punk teaming up with Daniel Bryan to take on The Wyatt Family’s Rowan and Harper was the best match of the night. Full of logical “heat-building” sequences and some fantastic carrying by the superstars of the match, this was action packed and dramatic and went down a treat. And to say that Punk and Bryan carried the match is not a criticism of their opponents but more a celebration of the fact that the stars were willing to allow their opponents to look competitive. There’s many in the company who could learn from that attitude.
The only traditional male Survivor series match was also a worthwhile bout, despite the fact that it was officially announced less than a week before the ppv itself. Of course this match was all about Roman Reigns, who eliminated four of his opponents on the way to becoming the Sole Survivor. Sure, The Uso’s looked good at times and Antonio Cesaro was allowed another crowd-pleasing Cesaro Swing moment, but this was all about Reigns. If the match was designed around him looking a superstar, it more than achieved his aim. For the only time in the evening, you actually felt like something that mattered was happening.
The Women’s Survivors match naturally couldn’t hold a candle to the men’s. They were given an extremely limited amount of time and had to rush through everything. It was so rushed that it seemed as if the commentators didn’t know what was going on with some eliminations, with confusion over the status of Nikki Bella in the bout. Natalya was the sole survivor, at least until it was realised later on that Nikki hadn’t been eliminated either.
An Intercontinental Title match between Big E. Langston and Curtis Axel was as perfunctory as you might expect, and Langston kicking out of the Perfect Plex on his way to a crushing victory should have told you all you needed to know about Axel’s future in the company. Similarly the fact that Ryback issued an open challenge which was accepted by Mark Henry who then beat him rather rapidly was a clear sign that Ryback’s stock was getting lower and lower.
Survivor Series 2013 may not have been the worst Survivors card in history but it has to be seen as one of the most inconsequential. Other than Roman Reigns having the spotlight shone on him in his match there was nothing that happened that made you think there was any long-term planning going on or anything that might have long-reaching consequences for the promotion. The only match that otherwise shone in the ring was Punk & Bryan versus the Wyatt’s. The rest of the card was pretty forgettable in every sense.
The DVD includes the reasonable Kickoff Match between Kofi Kingston and The Miz plus a confrontation between Show and Orton before the PPV and Orton’s “reaction” to the event. The Blu-Ray adds more TV hype segments and an entertaining 12 man match from Raw.
– By Matthew Roberts
Thank you to our partners, WWEDVD.co.uk and Fetch.fm for providing our copy of WWE Survivor Series 2013. WWE Survivor Series 2013 is available on DVD and Blu-Ray from 17th February. You can pre-order your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk now by clicking here.