LOS ANGELES — A new attitude wasn’t enough to propel new WWE Champion Daniel Bryan to victory in a genuine dream match against Universal Champion Brock Lesnar — but it was pretty close.
Thanks to a low-blow behind the back of a frazzled ref, the folk-hero-turned crazy-eyed sadist turned the two-time Universal Champion into a purple, writhing mess. Bryan landed a pair of Running Knees and slowly whittled The Beast Incarnate down until he was able to apply the “Yes!” Lock square in the middle of the ring. It was a remarkable turnaround for Bryan from the early goings of the match, where the five-time World Champion ill-advisedly tried to goad Lesnar into a fight, hoping, perhaps, to rile The Beast up to the point where he might make a mistake.
Whatever plan Bryan had in place, it didn’t work, though, as The Beard got caught in Suplex City and found himself mercilessly tossed around the ring like a sack of potatoes. While Bryan had the look and pose of a post-collision crash-test dummy, the Universal Champion grew so bored with his own dominance (Paul Heyman, by contrast, looked horrified) that he let Bryan up after the first F-5 of the match, extending the punishment but inadvertently opening the door for the WWE Champion’s comeback. Bryan’s boot caught the ref when Lesnar attempted a second F-5, and The “Yes!” Man unleashed a field-goal low-blow, literally kick-starting the rally.
And regardless of the cheap shot that started it, the sequence was, by any standard, a legitimate comeback. Bryan didn’t just press the Universal Champion, he began to steadily dismantle him, targeting Lesnar’s knee and shaking off whatever damage The Beast inflicted on him to keep the match, shockingly, in his advantage. The knee work paid off when Lesnar crumbled during an F-5 attempt, allowing Bryan to apply the “Yes!” Lock that almost sealed the match.
But much like AJ Styles and so many others before him, “almost” was as close as Daniel Bryan could get. Lesnar writhed free of his opponent’s hold and, despite Bryan briefly countering with a triangle, The Conqueror hoisted the WWE Champion onto his shoulders, hit the F-5 and secured one of the more hard-fought wins of his career. Looking somewhat shell-shocked, Lesnar and Heyman walked back up the ramp in a daze, neither seemingly sure of how The Beast had found himself in a fight nor how he managed to win it.
The last image of Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series was a nod of appreciation as he made his exit. The last image of Daniel Bryan was a wild-eyed grin as he stirred to life. Clearly, the WWE Champion would do this dance again if given the opportunity. And the Universal Champion might just agree.
The WWE Universe was excited to see the dream match between Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair at Survivor Series. However, that dream quickly turned into a nightmare for Rousey, who won by disqualification after Flair blasted her with a Kendo stick in the midst of one of the most ruthless assaults in recent WWE history.
The match started off at a chaotic pace, with Charlotte showing no fear in the face of The Baddest Woman on the Planet, clobbering Rousey with a huge forearm shortly after the bell, and scrapping with the Raw Women’s Champion as the two traded submissions on the canvas. Flair even shoved Rousey to the canvas, letting her know that this ring was hers.
The Queen rocked the Raw Women’s Champion by throwing her face-first into the bottom turnbuckle, then worked over Rousey’s leg. When the Raw Women’s Champion regained the advantage briefly, Flair staggered her with an elbow to the jaw, busting Rousey open in the process.
The Baddest Woman on the Planet’s supreme submission expertise soon turned the tides of the bout briefly, as the former MMA champion locked on a series of armbars, but Flair would not give up. The Queen soon locked on the Figure-Eight Leglock, though Rousey turned the hold over, setting off a scramble to the arena floor.
That was where Rousey began to turn things around, eventually hitting Flair with the devastating throw she now calls Piper’s Pit and attempting to lock on her trademark armbar. The Queen escaped and retreated to ringside, rolling in and back out to restart the referee’s 10-count. Rousey became fed up with Flair’s evasion tactics and slid out to give chase on the arena floor. What The Baddest Woman on the Planet hadn’t counted on, though, was Flair waiting for her with a Kendo stick.
The Queen blasted Rousey in the ribs with, then-splintered the Kendo stick across the arms and back of the Raw Women’s Champion. The official rang for the bell, but the carnage was just beginning.
Flair had another Kendo stick in the ring, and battered Rousey with that as well. Charlotte briefly left the ring, but The Queen returned to drive Rousey into a steel chair with Natural Selection. When officials tried to hold her back, The Queen tossed them aside, not worrying about any future fines or punishment. Flair then wrapped the chair around Rousey’s throat and ruthlessly stomped on it. Finally, the chaos came to an end, as a furious Queen left the ring.
Rousey staggered to her feet with welts from the attack raising on her flesh. This wasn’t what she, or the entire WWE Universe, expected from this dream match. But after suffering a brutal attack at the hands of SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch on Raw, and then this shocking assault at the hands of Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey has certainly learned what it takes to succeed at the highest levels in WWE.
Full WWE Survivor Series Results:
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar def. WWE World Champion Daniel Bryan to give Team Raw a 6-0 lead over Smackdown
WWE Raw Division Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey def. Charlotte Flair by disqualification to give Team Raw a 5-0 lead over Smackdown
Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley survive the Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match to give Team Raw a 4-0 lead over Smackdown
WWE Cruiserweight Champion Buddy Murphy (c) def. Mustafa Ali
WWE Raw Division Tag Team Champions AOP def. WWE Smackdown Division Tag Team Champions The Bar (with Big Show) to give Team Raw a 3-0 lead over Smackdown
WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins def. WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to give Team Raw a 2-0 lead over Smackdown
Nia Jax was the sole survivor the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match to give Team Raw a 1-0 lead over Smackdown
The Usos were the sole survivors of the 10-on-10 Tag Team Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match (Kickoff Match)