Survivor Series: Machine-gun eliminations ahoy

JoJo Eva Marie Natalya Nikki Brie Bella Cameron Naomi WWEIn what is the Survivor Series match with the most participants since the 10 on 10 tag team elimination match from the 1988 offering, the Total Divas cast of Natalya, Eva Marie, Jojo, Cameron, Naomi and Nikki & Brie Bella take on Divas Champion AJ Lee, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Tamina Snuka, Aksana & Summer Rae in a 7 on 7 elimination match.

The Background
• From a long-term standpoint, AJ Lee has been squabbling with the Total Divas cast since the Raw after SummerSlam where she verbally berated them and turned them all baby face as a result. Since then, she has turned back the title challenges from Naomi, Natalya and Brie Bella.
• Short-term, the 14 women had a shoving contest on last week’s Raw during a game of Musical Chairs which set up this match. No, really.
• Before the match, AJ delivered a pep talk to her teammates which didn’t go well and only served to separate herself from the others – barring Tamina, who stayed loyal. Essentially, AJ was telling her partners that they were overlooked for Total Divas selection and should be annoyed about it.

The Match
Natalya Tamina WWE• The eliminations came at breakneck pace to start. Alicia Fox and Naomi started the contest going move for move before Fox nailed a nice tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. However, that was the extent of her contributions, as she was sent to the showers following a split-legged moonsault by the Funkadactyl. Naomi’s partner Cameron was the first of the Total Divas cast to go after being rammed into the turnbuckle by Rosa Mendes – though Rosa went immediately afterward thanks to a Nikki Bella X-Factor.
• Nikki scored the next elimination after a brief dance-off with Summer Rae where Bella performed The Worm while Summer threw around some salsa moves before being booted in the head while she was in the splits.
• 6-4 down, Kaitlyn helped to turn the tide by pinning Eva Marie and Naomi with gutbusters before being taken out thanks to a missile dropkick from Brie Bella. However, Brie was next to go after being distracted by Tamina Snuka and AJ, giving Aksana the opening to nail a spinebuster for the pin.
• Aksana’s happiness was short-lived, as she was dispatched with a Shock Treatment from Nikki, who then briefly tangled with Tamina before reluctantly tagging out to JoJo, who almost got the pin on her bigger opponent with a roll-up. However, Snuka was too big and too strong, delivering a Samoan Drop before tagging in AJ to claim the fall.
• With Natalya back in play, she avoided a Snuka splash before tapping out Tamina with a Sharpshooter then doing the same to the Divas Champion, leading to Nikki Bella and Natalya surviving on behalf of their Total Divas team.

• There’s no other way of saying it – this match sucked. No story, next to no crowd heat, weak eliminations, and virtually no tags among the 14 women. In fact, I don’t think there were more than 6 tags in the whole match, which went 11.29. That means on average there was an elimination every 52 seconds. That’s awful.
• How Rosa Mendes didn’t go first and quickly is beyond me – and when she did come in, she was terrible at selling and the means which she used to eliminate Cameron were laughable. Similarly, I know that Aksana reportedly has her supporters in WWE, but it seems such a disservice to Brie Bella to have her beaten by the Lithuanian when Brie has worked hard to improve while Aksana is still poor. On the flip side, Summer Rae – who impressed at Hell In A Cell last month – didn’t do a single move and was only put in a comedy position before being pinned.
• Worst of all was the announcement of the result. Natalya was announced as being the sole survivor, which means that neither ring announcer Lilian Garcia or the commentary team – which includes the production staff by proxy – didn’t know that Nikki Bella had survived too. Michael Cole had to sheepishly announce the correct result during the next match. That’s a horrendous oversight and shows how little interest there was in the contest.
JoJo WWE• However, even in this dark cloud, there was a silver lining or two. After being out of the loop for so long, Kaitlyn scored two pins and looked pretty dominant for the short time she was in there. Eva Marie – who was audibly booed when she came in – didn’t get a move in before being eliminated, which is probably for the best, as she’s still awful.
• But the best participant of the match, believe it or not, was little JoJo. Still fluorescent green, her eagerness to tag in to face Tamina – coupled with Nikki’s maternal reluctance to do so – saw the Boston, MA crowd pop when she did become the legal participant, and the biggest noise of the match was for her near-fall on Snuka, which had me going for a second. While she didn’t do much, what JoJo did was perfectly fine, and that’s as much as you can ask for right now. It may be a one-off moment, but WWE may have something with the big-haired, diminutive youngster as she can easily command some sympathy. She’s also a better bumper than Eva Marie…
• Having Nikki Bella survive instead of Brie is interesting, and it could lead into a sibling rivalry which was teased at Battleground and Hell In A Cell. Still, it was Natalya who won the match for her team by taking out Tamina and AJ with her Sharpshooter, so one would imagine she’s in line for another Divas Title match.

– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE


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