Once again, it’s Survivor Series time! The Thanksgiving tradition is upon us and we were already treated to a near perfect NXT Takeover: War Games. There really wasn’t one weak match on the card. But what stole the show was the surprising performance by Velveteen Dream. I was a fan of Dream for a while just judging by the gimmick alone, but it turns out he can hit it out of the park in the ring, too; while wearing Rick Rude-style pants no less! Tearing away his pants to reveal the faces of both Aleister Black and himself was a guaranteed pop. Also, the “say my name” angle was creative and Velveteen Dream finally got Aleister Black to say, “Enjoy Infamy, Velveteen Dream.” What was also interesting to me was the fact that Velveteen Dream is his name. Since his debut, I was calling him THE Velveteen Dream. But nope. First name: Velveteen. Last name: Dream. That’s what it says on his driver’s licence, apparently. On the eve of so many dream matches, NXT gave us a Velveteen Dream match.
As much as I could go on and on about War Games, the focus today is on Survivor Series. The NXT Takeover card was fine on paper, but the Survivor Series card is off the charts. Tonight should be better than last night, but this wouldn’t be the first time that NXT overshadows the main roster. Regardless, you absolutely cannot go wrong with a match like AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar. Following suit, the entire event was is full of Raw vs. Smackdown fantasy matchups. The best on each roster are facing off. It’s almost as if having all of WWE’s talent on the same show is a good idea…
Due some some last minute title changes and shakeups, not only are we getting the championship duel of Styles vs. Lesnar, but tonight will feature the two Women’s Champions Alexa Bliss and Charlotte squaring off, as well as the long awaited six-man battle between The New Day and The Shield. Potentially, the least impressive booking is the Women’s 5-on-5, which features some top names in its own right; which is a damn good sign for this event. It’s a video game quality pay-per-view, mostly attributed to the Attitude Era 5-on-5 elimination match between the two brands. This thing involves Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon as team captains, with Triple H suddenly substituting in. This whole event is a selling point for the WWE Network.
Styles and Lesnar is going to be a perfect mesh of abilities. The ever innovating Phenomenal One is going to put on a show against The Beast, in the same way he capitalized on his early opportunity against John Cena. Speaking of Cena, as a surprise member of Team Smackdown, we’ll be able to see him in the ring with Kurt Angle, as everything comes full circle for his career. Since Cena’s first match in WWE was taking up Angle on his challenge, fans are going to get a second and third helping of nostalgia on this one. There are several interesting outcomes in this 5-on-5. One year ago, who would’ve thought you’d see Shinsuke Nakamura and Kurt Angle in the ring together? Or Bobby Roode and Triple H? It’s as if you put WWE 2K18 on random.
It’s times like this that I question why they serve us table scraps all year and then we’re suddenly given more than we can handle around Thanksgiving. NXT was already a huge appetizer. It’s the wrestling equivalent of filling up on bread before the meal comes. If Lesnar/Styles is the turkey, then the 5-on-5 is the pie. And Charlotte/Bliss is the stuffing. And Shield/New Day is the mashed potatoes. And the Women’s 5-on-5 is the squash...okay, you get it, it’s like Thanksgiving.
Nathan Burke is a standup comedian based in Boston and can be found on Twitter @IamNathanBurke