Thirty years ago to the day, The Million Dollar Man, Ted DiBiase, introduced The Undertaker to the world at WWE Survivor Series. While a giant, 320-pound mortician accompanied by an over-the-top ’90s preacher character in Brother Love might not have screamed “staying power,” The Undertaker is undeniably one of the most iconic and enduring characters ever introduced into the world of WWE.
On Sunday night, as WWE puts on what’s become an annual battle of the brands between Raw and SmackDown, The Undertaker is seemingly destined for his final curtain call. Whether or not the wrestling world is ready to pull on our collective heartstrings once more and use that emotion for one last conflict is another question entirely.
What we do know is that The Undertaker’s “Final Farewell” ceremony will be part of a card that promises seven matches, highlighted by Universal champion Roman Reigns taking on newly re-crowned WWE champion Drew McIntyre and Raw women’s champion Asuka taking on recent rival Sasha Banks, who defeated Bayley to win the SmackDown women’s championship last month at Hell in a Cell.
Every other titleholder on Raw and SmackDown faces their respective counterpart on the opposite show, and as has become tradition, there will be 5-on-5 elimination matches for both the men and women. Finally, a dual-branded battle royal will kick off the festivities during the one-hour Survivor Series Kickoff show.
Follow along throughout the night as Tim Fiorvanti breaks down the action as it happens inside the Thunderdome set at the Amway Arena in Orlando, Florida.
Match in progress: Raw women’s champion Asuka vs. SmackDown women’s champion Sasha Banks
United States champion Bobby Lashley def. Intercontinental champion Sami Zayn
Bobby Lashley beat Sami Zayn with the Hurt Lock, just as he had promised, but it took a little longer than most probably expected.
The buildup of this match happened on Twitter, but made for an interesting dynamic, with two very different types of heels squaring off.
Zayn got distracted early by Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander, but quickly turned around Lashley’s advantage with a brief flurry of offense, until Lashley ran through a Zayn clothesline and knocked him silly in the middle of the ring.
Lashley tossed Zayn all over the ring at will, and Zayn once again ran into The Hurt Business as he tried to escape the ring. The second such exchange quickly flipped on Lashley again, though, as it was a means for Zayn to play possum.
An attempt at a vertical suplex went awry for Zayn, and after alluding to vertigo, a weird quirk of their previous conflict, Zayn spilled to the outside and tried to get one of the Hurt Business members to attack him to trigger a DQ, albeit unsuccessfully.
Zayn nearly used his wits to earn a countout win, but that was also to no avail. An attempt at a helluva kick ran Zayn directly into a chokeslam from Lashley. One more attempt at soliciting a DQ led MVP to slide Zayn into the ring and directly into the Hurt Lock, bringing the match to an end.
What’s next: Zayn made it more competitive than it could have been, and nothing that happened Sunday night will hurt his Intercontinental championship run by one iota. Lashley could use a challenger for the United States championship outside of the Hurt Business’ conflict with Retribution
SmackDown tag team champions (The Street Profits) def. Raw tag team champions (The New Day)
The Street Profits earned a career-defining victory over The New Day in a clash between the SmackDown and Raw tag team champions. While it wasn’t a passing of the torch by any means, as The New Day still has a lot to offer, The Street Profits have reached a new peak after this particular effort.
Both the New Day and The Street Profits made this match feel big before the bell even rang. New Day, with their friend Big E temporarily back in tow, walked to the ring in their customized Gears of War entrance attire, which is now actually able in the latest edition of that game. The Street Profits spent several minutes running though the many reasons why The New Day has been the heart and soul of the tag team division for a long time.
The action started somewhat slowly, with each team sizing each other up. Montez Ford and Kofi Kingston showed off agility and acrobatics, but The Street Profits took the early physical edge.
Kingston turned it around, though, hitting Ford with a violent stage dive as Xavier Woods took out Angelo Dawkins. New Day slowed it down for a significant stretch, with Kingston returning the favor for some early disrespect by mocking Ford’s signature red Solo cup.
When Dawkins finally got the tag, he ran roughshod over Kingston and Woods, flying around the ring. As they do remarkably well, Ford and Dawkins were in synergy with their best tag team offense, including an assisted sliced bread for Ford.
New Day turned it around on Ford and almost instantly landed the Midnight Hour, but without Big E, it wasn’t a match-ender.
An Annointment spinebuster by Dawkins followed by a sky-high frog splash by Ford only narrowly failed to end the match, as damage to Ford’s midsection prevented him from getting the pinfall cover in time.
The mind games continued when Ford hit Trouble in Paradise on Kingston, but he couldn’t try for a pin after using Kingston’s finisher on him because Woods landed a gutbuster to Ford.
The momentum swung back and forth, but it all came to an end in a hurry. Dawkins landed a blind tag while Woods had Ford trapped in the corner, and an assisted blockbuster/Doomsday Device earned the Street Profits the victory.
What’s next: Neither team lost in this exchange, especially because New Day is fresh off a big win of their own over The Hurt Business on Monday. That conflict isn’t likely to be over, but The Street Profits’ next challenge is a little bit tougher to pin down.
Team Raw (AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Riddle & Sheamus) def. Team SmackDown (Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, King Corbin, Otis & Seth Rollins)
After weeks of tension, Team Raw gelled when it mattered most and put on one of the most dominant performances in Survivor Series history, earning a clean sweep over Team SmackDown.
Here’s how it played out:
Still feeling the psychological effects of his loss on Friday to former protege Buddy Murphy, Seth Rollins tagged himself into the match, dropped to his knees and offered himself up for a free Brogue kick, making him the first elimination of the match.
Kevin Owens had stunners for almost everyone, but the distraction was enough to open him up for a phenomenal forearm from Styles, who earned the pinfall.
Corbin similarly issued damage to most of Team Raw, but a Pele kick from Styles and a flying senton from Riddle spelled the end for Corbin, reducing Team SmackDown to just Otis and Jey Uso against the full Team Raw squad.
Otis followed the same theme as the rest of his team, clearing house and standing strong against Braun Strowman, but a Riddle distraction while Otis was on the top turnbuckle allowed Strowman to pick Otis up, hit a running powerslam and pin him, widening the score to 5-1.
Uso got multiple superkicks on Styles, and lined up a splash, but Keith Lee landed a blind tag, snatched Uso out of mid-air and transitioned into a Spirit Bomb to get the final elimination. With Paul Heyman looking on, it’s clear the main fallout from this match will land on his shoulders, courtesy of Roman Reigns, this coming Friday.
The Miz wins dual-brand battle royal
After an entertaining exchange between Dominick Mysterio and Chad Gable, Mysterio appeared to earn a nice win early in his career. But as is the case in many battle royals, there was an unaccounted-for participant, and The Miz rolled in to steal it in the end.
What’s next: A bit of a boost, at best, for Miz, because he’s already Mr. Money in the Bank.
CHAOS takes center stage in a Dual-Branded #BattleRoyal at #SurvivorSeries!@KingRicochet @CedricAlexander @WWEApollo @Sheltyb803 pic.twitter.com/xEUbgx0o7J
— WWE (@WWE) November 22, 2020
Still to come:
Universal champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE champion Drew McIntyre
Team Raw (Lacey Evans, Lana, Mandy Rose, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce & Shayna Baszler) vs. Team SmackDown (Bayley, Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott & Natalya)