Survivor Series Observations

Survivor Series: The stars shone bright, deep in the heart of Texas

Survivor Series closed with an eventful Men’s 5-on-5 match. Photo by WWE.com

Toyota Center was the home for Survivor Series last night, and the talent showed just why this event is considered one of “the big four”.

There were some fun matches on the pre-show, but once the main card got started, there was no slowing down.

The Shield took on The New Day in a match between the two most important factions of this generation. Of course, Kofi and The New Day made jokes about “neutering” The Hounds of Justice, but The Shield got the last laugh when they Triple Power Bombed him from the middle rope to win the match. Everything considered, this match lived up to its hype. Could it have been better? Probably, but it did its job setting up the rest of the show.

The first of the two 5-on-5 matches saw the Raw women’s team defeat that of SmackDown. From Becky Lynch being the first wrestler eliminated to Tamina coming out looking like the strongest woman on the blue team, this match was full of surprises. The big star of this match was, of course, Asuka. The Empress of Tomorrow submitted both the former SmackDown champion, Natalya, and the woman who contributed to three eliminations, Tamina, for her team to win the match.   

Baron Corbin’s victory over The Miz was the first win for SmackDown Live for the night. Afterwards, he mocked Miz and the fans saying that he shut all of them up.

The Bar and The Usos faced off in another clash of champions. Personally, this match was one of the ones I was looking forward to the most. These two tag teams have developed great characters and have, without a doubt, earned their respective Tag Team Championships. The false finishes sold the match, and the ultimate payoff was the diving tag by The Usos that sealed their win.

Charlotte took on Alexa Bliss in the match between the two women’s champions. Bliss attempted to go for the Twisted Bliss, but she would miss and end up submitting to Charlotte. This win gave SmackDown the lead over Raw three wins to two.

That score, and considering who he was facing, made it obvious AJ Styles was going to lose his match against Brock Lesnar. That being said, this match delivered. Of course, Lesnar dominated the early parts, but Styles saw an opening and completely took over. Unfortunately for him, he went to the cookie jar one time too many, as he was caught midair by Lesnar who, then, put him over his shoulders and hit him with an F5 to win the match.

Survivor Series closed with the Traditional Men’s 5-on-5 match. Entrance after entrance, the crowd erupted for the participants of this match. They kept fans on the edge by teasing them with different face-offs. Strowman eliminated both Nakamura and Roode and things got rolling for the Raw team. The tension between partners like Samoa Joe and Finn Balor, or Angle and Triple H, caused them to get in each other’s way. Eventually, Shane McMahon was the final competitor left for SmackDown. He faced the tough task of trying to win against Triple H, Kurt Angle, and Braun Strowman. Triple H got frustrated with Angle’s inability to put away McMahon, so he hit him with a Pedigree and placed McMahon on top of him. Once Angle was eliminated, Triple H took matters into his own hands and eliminated McMahon to win the match for Team Raw. His partner, Braun Strowman, was not impressed with Triple H's actions. Strowman hit him with two Running PowerSlams to close out the show. After Survivor Series was off air, Stephanie McMahon came out to help her husband back up after Strowman’s attack. To the delight of the crowd, Triple H could not stand up straight, and eventually crashed into a teleprompter.

Highlight of the night

Braun Strowman was not having any of Triple H’s shenanigans. Him Powerslaming his teammate was awesome. Triple H’s commitment after the show, though, was the moment that went viral. His commitment to sell Strowman’s attack led to him throwing himself into a teleprompter. It was truly memorable.

Survivor Series proved to be a good show. Although there was never a real moment where it felt like it peaked, there was more than enough to remember this show by. What sticks out the most to me is how much this proves to fans the brand split that started in 2016 is still working. Matches like The Bar vs The Usos, or Charlotte vs Alexa Bliss showed us how far these entertainers have come since then. The Usos would have never grown their “Uso Penitentiary” characters without the brand split. The Bar would never exist, period. Alexa Bliss’ rise probably does not happen as quickly as it did without the brand split. The fact of the matter is, having two brands has allowed the two shows to develop new stars, and those new stars helped Survivor Series feel as important as it did.

Monday Night Raw will be live from Toyota Center tonight. If you haven’t bought tickets, you should. The post Pay-Per-View Raw’s always deliver, tonight should be no exception.

 

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Houston's magic number stays at 2

Astros drop series finale to Mariners after rough start by Greinke

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With their magic number at 2 to secure their spot in the 2020 MLB postseason, the Astros returned to T-Mobile Park in Seattle for this three-game series' finale and rubber game. Here are the highlights from the game:

Final Score: Mariners 3, Astros 2.

Record: 28-28, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Nick Margevicius (2-3, 4.57 ERA)

Losing pitcher: Zack Greinke (3-3, 4.03 ERA).

Greinke unable to complete five innings

While the Astros were being held scoreless, the Mariners were putting up runs on Zack Greinke. They took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with back-to-back singles followed by an RBI-double with one out. Greinke would stop the damage there, then looked to settle in over the next few frames.

He allowed just one baserunner in the second through fourth innings, a one-out single in the bottom of the fourth. Then, in the fifth, the Mariners would knock him out of the game by getting a one-out single that would come around to score on a two-out RBI-double, followed by an RBI-single to extend the lead to 3-0. Greinke faced one more batter, allowing a single before Dusty Baker would take the ball and move to the bullpen. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR, 92 P.

Astros try a late rally, come up short

On the other end, the Astros were unable to break through against Nick Margevicius, getting just one hit and two walks through the first four innings. They had a chance to get on the board in the top of the fifth, starting the inning with back-to-back singles before a walk loaded the bases with one out to turn the lineup over. They'd come up empty, though, with George Springer striking out before a long flyball to center by Jose Altuve to end the inning.

After finishing the fifth for Greinke, Andre Scrubb returned for a scoreless sixth, working around a one-out walk. Still 3-0, Blake Taylor took over on the mound in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk to keep Seattle from extending their lead. Houston had another chance to score in the top of the eighth, getting two runners in scoring position, but again would strand them.

Cy Sneed was the next reliever out for the Astros, working around a two-out walk to send the game on to the ninth. The Astros would avoid the shutout, getting a two-RBI single by pinch-hitting Josh Reddick in the top of the ninth to make it a one-run game at 3-2. That's as close as they'd come, though, as the Mariners would eventually get the final out to take the series and keep the Astros' magic number stagnant at 2.


Up Next: There is one series left in the regular season for Houston, and it awaits them in Arlington with a four-game series against the Rangers, who are well eliminated from playoff contention. The first of the four games will start at 7:05 PM Central on Thursday with a pitching matchup of Lance Lynn (6-2, 2.53 ERA) for Texas and Cristian Javier (4-2, 3.33 ERA) for the Astros.

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