3MB def. Team Co-Bro

INDIANAPOLIS — Bankers Life Fieldhouse was rockin’ on Sunday as 3MB rolled past the team of Santino Marella & Zack Ryder during the official Survivor Series Pre-Show on YouTube, Facebook and right here on WWE.com.

With Drew McIntyre looking on from ringside, Heath Slater and Jinder Mahal showed up in Indy ready to shred “Team Co-Bro.” The two former United States Champions, usually full of fun and games, were all business against the self-proclaimed “three-mendous” rock stars.

Co-Bro impressively worked in tandem to take control in the early-goings of the matchup. The Milan Miracle shouted “You stupid!” on several occasions as he grappled with his opponents on the mat. Santino went to use his patented Cobra early in the contest, but it might have been premature. Slater grabbed the green sleeve and tossed it from the ring, leaving Marella at an immediate disadvantage. The power-walking host of YouTube’s “Foreign Exchange” next attempted a double-clothesline on his foes, but missed both and splatted onto the canvas.

Long Island Iced-Z got the tag, but missed an attempted dropkick off the ropes onto Slater, allowing 3MB to gain the upper hand. Jinder Mahal, eager to make a name for himself at WWE’s fall classic, nailed a series of impressive maneuvers on both Zack and Santino. The powerhouse from Punjab showed off with a few guitar strums, but a miscue by the band allowed Ryder to soar with a missile dropkick onto Mahal from the top rope.

The self-proclaimed “Internet Champion,” sensing victory in his grasp, scored with a Broski Boot to Jinder’s face. Co-Bro seemed to have the match won, but Slater disrupted the pinfall attempt. Santino, having seen enough, dashed toward the redheaded frontman to even the odds. His efforts were fruitless, however, and he was dispatched to ringside by the former Tag Team Champion.

With the action becoming chaotic, Zack nailed the Rough Ryder on Jinder seemingly out of nowhere. Once again, though, the heroes’ chances at victory were thwarted, this time by McIntyre. The Chosen One had been lurking the entire matchup, and his physical involvement allowed Mahal to slam the hair-spiked Broski down for the win.

Whether or not the WWE Universe is shouting for an encore, 3MB is striking a chord in the squared circle as they continue to rise to the top of the charts.

Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Brodus Clay, Justin Gabriel & Tyson Kidd def. The Prime Time Players, Tensai, Primo & Epico (Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match)

Survivor Series 2012 Tag Team Elimination Match

INDIANAPOLIS — The 26th annual Survivor Series kicked off with a bonus Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match inside Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Calling the action were JBL, Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler — who were behind the announce table together for the first time.

In one corner, the high-flying duo of Rey Mysterio & Sin Cara paired with the muscle of big Brodus Clay and the ultra-athletic Tyson Kidd & Justin Gabriel. The other squad included the boastful Prime Time Players — Titus O’Neil & Darren Young — with the hard-hitting Tensai and the dynamic pairing of Primo & Epico.

To win the style bout, one team needed to eliminate all members of the opposing team by either pinfall, submission, count-out or disqualification. After being eliminated, a Superstar had to return to the locker room.

When the action began, Kidd and Epico tangled first. As the battle waged, Sin Cara held his ground against the opposing team as long as he could before Clay came in to clean house. Then mayhem ensued with Superstars flying from the ring to the arena floor!

As chaos continued, the only two Superstars left in the ring were Clay and Tensai, who showed no hesitation in slamming their massive bodies into each other. It was Tensai who got the better of Clay and pinned him for the first elimination.

Next, Gabriel got the pinfall over Tensai, who retaliated by absolutely leveling Gabriel to the canvas.

With Tensai gone, the bout was even at four-on-four. Next, Kidd rolled up O’Neil for the pinfall and elimination. For another elimination, Kidd made Epico tap out to the Sharpshooter.

After Kidd battled with Primo, Mysterio came charging in to continue taking the fight to Primo, rolling him up for the pinfall.

With the bout now four-on-one, Young did his best to fight for his team, but it was a blistering 619 from Mysterio that started a pummeling of Young he could not recover from.

To seal the win, Mysterio dropped the dime on Young for the victory.

Aksana, wearing a blond wig, attacked Kaitlyn backstage.

Divas Champion Eve def. Kaitlyn

INDIANAPOLIS —Kaitlyn survived another pre-match attack Sunday night, but couldn’t weather the ring offensive from Eve, falling to the Divas Champion at Survivor Series in her first one-on-one title opportunity.

Prior to the bout, Kaitlyn was attacked by a blond assailant, much like what happened to The Hybrid Diva at Night of Champions. She was unable to compete that night, giving Eve the opportunity to challenge — and win — the Divas Championship from Layla. Unlike that fateful September night, however, Kaitlyn was able to get the upper hand. While tussling, she removed the blonde’s wig, revealing her attacker to be Aksana.

When the Divas Champion came to check on the challenger, Kaitlyn instantly saw through Eve’s disingenuous display of concern. In return, she shoved the champion to the ground, giving Eve a taste of her own medicine.

The Hybrid Diva walked to the ring with purpose, tackling Eve to the mat as soon as the bell rang and unloading a barrage of punches on the champion. Eve tried to escape the onslaught, only for Kaitlyn to force her back into the squared circle.

Eventually, though, the Divas Champion regained control of the bout, using her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu know-how to wear down the champion. Eve attempted to abscond from the match once more, but Kaitlyn went back on the offensive. The Divas Champion begged for forgiveness for Aksana’s sneak attack, but got a slap in the face in return.

Kaitlyn looked to have the victory in hand after a devastating fireman’s carry gutbuster, but Eve showed great resilience, kicking out at the referee’s two-count. The Divas Champion played a game of cat-and-mouse with the challenger, which ended with Eve landing a vicious neckbreaker to retain her title. As Kaitlyn slowly recovered inside the ring, the champion made her way up the ramp, waving insincerely to the outraged crowd with every step.

United States Champion Antonio Cesaro def. R-Truth

INDIANAPOLIS — R-Truth probably wishes he heeded U.S. Champion Antonio Cesaro’s advice not to act like a “typical American,” sticking his nose into the Swiss Superstar’s business. At Survivor Series, Cesaro retained his coveted title and quashed the rapping Superstar’s hopes of a second reign with the historic championship.

The animosity began on Raw when R-Truth aided his former tag team partner Kofi Kingston during an attack by Cesaro and The Miz. Tempers flared between the Truth and Cesaro, and Little Jimmy’s guardian added fuel to the fire by pinning the Swiss Superman in a Six-Man Tag Team Match. During the Survivor Series Pre-Show, R-Truth clearly laid out his intentions for his battle inside Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Personal acrimony aside, Truth said his objective was securing the U.S. Title around the waist of an American once again.

Perhaps R-Truth would indeed serve as a greater representative for America as the U.S. Champion. Although Cesaro exudes confidence, his latest tirade berating America — specifically, Thanksgiving — while on his way to the ring won’t earn him many fans in the middle of the nation he’s supposed to embody as champion.

As the battle got underway, R-Truth’s agility was on display and he nearly ended the match early on with a handful of near-falls. Cesaro managed to turn the tide in his favor, however, with a powerful headbutt highlighting the Swiss-born Superstar’s uncanny toughness.

Cesaro’s turn in control of the bout put his relentless physicality on display. His raw strength and power kept R-Truth grounded, a strategy the U.S. Champion no doubt planned in advance based on the arsenal of holds used against his challenger. Although the WWE Universe offered support for Truth, Cesaro’s tenacity afforded him a commanding advantage in a contest that initially seemed would be difficult for the Swiss Superstar to keep R-Truth’s swiftness in check.

Each time Truth tried to formulate an offense, Cesaro expertly managed to counter every maneuver with his impeccable Greco-Roman wrestling skill set. Still, R-Truth caught his second wind and sped up his offensive as the WWE Universe waited with baited breath for an American to become U.S. Champion once again.

Unfortunately for Truth, Cesaro’s impressive resilience allowed him to counter a scissor kick from The Rapping Superstar. Seizing the opportunity, The Swiss Superman took down his opponent with a powerful European uppercut and secured the victory with the Neutralizer.

During his diatribe before the bout, Cesaro claimed the WWE Universe should be thankful he is the United States Champion, however, after his hard-fought title defense, the Swiss Superstar should be grateful he escaped with the championship intact.

Regardless, denying a veteran of R-Truth’s experience and caliber a championship only proves the U.S. Champion is a force to be reckoned with and his actions speak as loudly as his words. Will R-Truth continue to pursue the U.S. Championship or will a new challenger emerge for Antonio Cesaro? Find out on Raw, Monday at 8/7 p.m. CT on USA Network.

AJ Lee presented photographic “evidence” of Vickie Guerrero fraternizing with WWE Superstars. Interrupting AJ was the returning Tamina, who assaulted the former Raw GM and floored her with a Superfly Splash.

Sheamus def. World Heavyweight Champion Big Show by disqualification

INDIANAPOLIS — The punishment unleashed Sunday night by Sheamus left World Heavyweight Champion Big Show in a wholly unfamiliar state of helplessness, but it fell short of earning The Celtic Warrior his second World Heavyweight Championship.

Though it was Big Show who was left exhausted, battered and crawling back to the locker room after the closing bell rang, the cagey veteran used an underhanded tactic to retain the title.

Capping off a fortnight of despicable acts that included concussing Sheamus’ mentor William Regal and spilling many a frosty pint of brew in an English pub, Big Show pulled official Scott Armstrong into the path of Sheamus’ Brogue Kick during a critical moment in the title bout. The illegal maneuver, which became apparent to all upon viewing the replay, scored Big Show some breathing room as well as a valuable distraction. Sheamus joined WWE referees and medical personnel in checking on Armstrong, and as soon as The Celtic Warrior returned his attention to the champion, it was too late.

Big Show was lying in wait, and he pounced with a KO Punch the instant Sheamus turned around. Though referee John Cone, who entered the ring to assist Armstrong, originally counted the pinfall in Show’s favor, he later ruled Sheamus prevailed via disqualification because Big Show intentionally put an official in harm’s way. From there, Sheamus — equipped with a steel chair — began a post-match assault the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWE Universe won’t soon forget.

Nearly 20 minutes earlier, however, both Superstars were upright and trading stiff blows in the opening moments of the championship encounter. Picking up right where their Match of the Year candidate from last month’s WWE Hell in a Cell left off, Big Show and Sheamus clobbered each other. The Irishman tore into the 440-plus-pounder with rib-bruising knees, and Show brought his XXXL-sized mitts down upon Sheamus’ chest with weltering effect.

Facing a larger opponent, The Celtic Warrior was able to put his speed advantage to use, yet the strategy did not always pay off. Sheamus launched himself off the top rope, but Big Show simultaneously propelled himself into his challenger with a giant spear. The subsequent mid-air collision created a ring-trembling impact and, according to Jerry “The King” Lawler, was a potential turning point in the match.

After the huge spear, Big Show began to methodically work over Sheamus with headbutts and a jumping elbow drop before stepping his size-22 5E boot onto the red-haired skull of his opponent. Never one to give in, Sheamus fought back valiantly as the WWE fans in attendance supported their hero with chants of “Let’s go Sheamus!”

The Celtic Warrior, his right bicep still bruised from his barroom scrape-up with Big Show, clutched onto the champion with a sleeper hold. The giant shrugged him off, prompting an incredulous JBL to ask, “How do you counter the strength of a giant?”

Sheamus, it turns out, had an answer.

As Big Show prepared for his patented splash off the middle rope in the corner, Sheamus got to his feet and lifted the massive champion onto his shoulders before dropping him to the canvas with a high-voltage electric chair.

Slowly, both men fought to a vertical base. With the WWE Universe solidly behind the challenger, The Celtic Warrior built a head of steam, delivering a high knee, ducking the KO Punch and dropping Big Show with a clothesline and brutal double ax-handle. The World Heavyweight Champion countered a Brogue Kick into a chokeslam, but that, too, was reversed into a devastating White Noise.

When Show amazingly lifted his shoulder at the two-count, all Lawler could muster was the word “Unbelievable.”

From there, Sheamus pounded his chest like a gladiator readying to finish off a foe and rushed toward Big Show with the Brogue Kick, only for his boot to strike the referee. The initial announcement that Show had won the bout was not without controversy, and Michael Cole and JBL debated the fairness of the decision.

Once Sheamus regained consciousness post–KO Punch, the irate Irishman brought the fight — and a steel chair — to Big Show, repeatedly blasting the champion with the weapon. Though fans in attendance clearly wanted The Celtic Warrior to continue his onslaught, a battered and beaten Big Show begged off and Sheamus threw the chair aside.

Discarding the weapon was not a merciful decision, though, as Sheamus immediately Brogue Kicked the grounded Big Show seconds later.

The World’s Largest Athlete may have made good on his guarantee that Sheamus would not dethrone him as the World Heavyweight Champion, but considering the manner in which he did so, did Big Show do anything to discredit Sheamus’ accusation of cowardice?

More to the point, is this rivalry destined to go a third round, and if so, what in the world can the WWE Universe expect the next time these two behemoths collide? With each brawl, this grudge has only grown more barbaric. Can either Sheamus or Big Show survive another showdown?

Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow & David Otunga) def. Team Foley (Randy Orton, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No, The Miz & Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston)

As the T-shirt says, it’s not showing off if you back it up. And Dolph Ziggler found himself vindicated, validated and ensconced in WWE history when he fulfilled his own prophecy, and stood tall as the sole survivor of his Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match in Indianapolis.

Backing it up isn’t always the easiest thing to do, however, even if you’re Dolph Ziggler. It didn’t look like things were going to go so great for The Showoff at first, as internal discord threatened to tear his squad apart before the 26th annual Survivor Series even started. His fortunes didn’t immediately improve after the opening bell, either. Trouble struck for Team Ziggler early on when last-minute addition David Otunga (replacing the injured Cody Rhodes) found himself subject to a multi-pronged onslaught from two of Team Foley’s aces, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston and WWE Tag Team Champion Daniel Bryan.

A last-minute reversal by Otunga left Bryan down, though, and the Harvard Law grad summoned Damien Sandow from Ziggler’s ranks. The tag looked promising initially after Sandow floored Bryan with the Elbow of Disdain, but Bryan’s comeback left The Enlightened One so beaten down he actually attempted to leave the match. Kane was having none of it, though, retrieving Sandow mid-retreat and feeding “The Duke of Decency” to the submission technician. Kane tagged himself in to execute the Chokeslam that drew first blood for Team Foley.

Ziggler caught a break, though, after Team Foley nearly collapsed in on itself following Sandow’s elimination. Team Hell No quickly dissolved into their trademark bickering, with Kane going so far as to toss Bryan from the ring. The Showoff capitalized on The Big Red Monster’s preoccupation, hitting Kane with the Zig Zag to send the demon packing. The Miz and Randy Orton nearly came to blows as well, but The Hardcore Legend’s team eventually closed ranks when Kofi sent Ziggler tumbling through the air with a textbook monkey flip, boosting morale considerably for the mismatched fan favorites.

Bryan and Barrett tagged in next, and although the brawling Englishman softened the “No!” man up nicely, Otunga proved unable to capitalize. He was promptly wrenched into the “No!” Lock, submitting to Bryan’s patented hold and bringing the score to 2-1 in favor of Team Foley. Alberto Del Rio attempted to pick up the pieces, but was quickly tossed over the ropes by Bryan. The submission expert tagged in Kofi, but “The Wildcat” was sent to the showers when Del Rio called up Barrett. The Englishman made quick work of the Intercontinental Champion, felling Kofi with the 1-2 combo of the Winds of Change and the thunderous Bull Hammer elbow.

Next up was Randy Orton, who went toe-to-toe with his former Survivor Series counterpart (the two were team captains at last year’s fall classic). When Orton’s attempt to tag in The Miz was unceremoniously rebuked by The Awesome One, Bryan stepped in to resume the attack. A flurry of offense by the WWE Tag Team Champion was cut short when Barrett booted Bryan from the ring and tagged in Del Rio. Amazingly, The Mexican Aristocrat would escape the “No!” Lock and force Bryan to submit to the Cross Armbreaker, giving Team Ziggler the advantage for the first time in the contest.
Orton gave Del Rio a taste of his own medicine, stomping on The Mexican Aristocrat’s arm with great prejudice in an imitation of Del Rio’s own time-honored strategy. The master soon showed the crowd how it was done, going to town on Orton’s arm and summoning Ziggler to finish The Viper off. The Showoff proved unsuccessful, though, and was forced to call Barrett to finish what he started.

If only Orton hadn’t reached Miz first.

The Awesome One stormed into the contest and would not be denied, giving Team Foley some breathing room when he eliminated Barrett with the Skull-Crushing Finale, thereby evening the playing field once more. Miz’s heroics were short-lived, though, after Del Rio tipped the scales back in The Showoff’s favor by stunning Miz with an enzuigiri and planting The Awesome One on the mat for the three-count.

The Viper stood alone. And this, of course, is how Orton operates best.

Free of the teammates he never wanted much to do with, Orton laid waste to both Ziggler and Del Rio. Ricardo Rodriguez saved his boss’s skin, though, when he distracted The Viper on the apron (He later paid dearly when Foley applied Mr. Socko to the beleaguered announcer at ringside). The Showoff’s attempt at teamwork fell short as well when a dropkick he meant for Orton instead struck Del Rio. Orton sealed the deal by reversing the Cross Armbreaker into the RKO, sending Del Rio back to his (no doubt lavish) shower.

And then, there were two.

Orton was merciless in his unmanning of The Showoff, eluding the Zig Zag and felling Mr. Money in the Bank with a hanging DDT. Victory was an RKO away, but Orton had something more sinister on his mind: With Ziggler scrambling for his bearings, Orton retreated to the corner and set up for his patented punt to the head.

Ziggler, as it turned out, had a kick ready as well.

The Showoff sprang up and decked Orton with a bone-jarring superkick, putting Orton on his back and swarming the prone Viper to put the long, brutal contest to an end. Consider the series survived, and the show stolen.

WWE Champion CM Punk def. John Cena and Ryback (Triple Threat Match)

WWE Survivor Series 2012 results John Cena CM Punk Ryback WWE NXT

INDIANAPOLIS — CM Punk did it again.

Sneaking away with a victory over John Cena and Ryback in a Triple Threat Match at Survivor Series, the WWE Champion continued his extraordinary yearlong title reign by the very skin of his teeth. And yet, things may have turned out very differently had it not been for the outside involvement of three mysterious individuals who aided The Straight Edge Savior when he needed it most.

Targeting the mighty Ryback in the closing moments of this brutal battle, WWE NXT competitors Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns attacked the powerful competitor like rabid dogs before smashing him through an announce table. The flagrant assault allowed the WWE Champion to pin a downed Cena and raised endless questions about their involvement in the main event that remain unanswered.

One thing is certain though — Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns changed the course of WWE history at Survivor Series.

Survivor Series 2012 results WWE John Cena CM Punk Ryback WWE Championship Dean Ambrose Seth Rollins

The involvement of three WWE NXT competitors may have allowed CM Punk to leave Indianapolis with his precious WWE Title still in his sweaty grasp, but he will be feeling the effects of this Triple Threat Match for quite some time. Showing unabashed cowardice from the opening bell, the WWE Champion attempted to flee his powerful challengers, but ended up running into the brick wall that is Ryback.

WWE fans had been desperate to see a showdown between the explosive Ryback and the Cenation leader. When the two behemoths finally locked up it had all the epic intensity of the night Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior challenged each other for the very first time. The human wrecking ball proved he could take Cena’s best shot when he stood right back up after being slammed to the mat by the former WWE Champion. But the sight of Ryback being rendered helpless in the powerful grasp of Cena’s STF perfectly illustrated the power of the Cenation leader.

Still, each time these heavy hitters got into a heated confrontation, the slimy Punk would worm his way into the fray in a desperate attempt to steal a pinfall and take off with his title. For CM Punk, the name of tonight’s event was quite literal. It was all about survival for The Straight Edge Savior and every second that ticked away on the clock took him further away from that goal.

As is always the case with Triple Threat Matches, allegiances were formed and broken in the blink of an eye. In a moment no one in the WWE Universe expected to see, Punk and Cena worked together to suplex Ryback through an announce table and halt the onslaught of the destructive monster.  There was no love lost between the bitter rivals, but taking the wrecking ball out of the equation was a bit of brilliance on the part of the veteran grapplers.

WWE Survivor Series 2012 results CM Punk John Cena Ryback Dean Ambrose Seth Rollins

Now facing off one on one, Punk and Cena demonstrated their knowledge of each other’s arsenal. When Cena scored with a resounding AA, the WWE Champion responded just as quickly with the GTS. Taking the best the other had to offer, the longtime opponents were nearly at a stalemate before Ryback came back to life like the villain in a horror movie.

Dismantling his opponents, Ryback Shell Shocked both Cena and Punk before three men dressed all in black hit the ring and attacked the human wrecking ball with unbridled intensity. Name checked by Michale Cole as WWE NXT’s Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, the three young competitors slammed Ryback through the Spanish announce table and then escaped through the crowd.

Back in the ring, a groggy Punk threw himself on top of the Shell Shocked Cena to score the pin. The moment echoed the conclusion of October’s WWE Hell in a Cell where The Straight Edge Savior received an unexpected hand from rogue referee Brad Maddox. Much like that night, Punk was granted another night as WWE Champion thanks to Ambrose, Reigns and Rollins tonight. Now whether or not The Voice of the Voiceless has any association with these men remains unclear.

It was 364 days ago at Survivor Series 2011 that Punk began his historic WWE Title reign by defeating Alberto Del Rio in Madison Square Garden. On that night, The Straight Edge Savior leapt into the audience with his championship to celebrate with the WWE fans who had overwhelmingly embraced him. Tonight, Punk limped to the back alongside his noxious associate Paul Heyman while the crowd in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse booed him relentlessly. What a difference a year makes.