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WWE Survivor Series 2015 - The 25th Anniversary of The Undertaker

Matthew Parkinson | 23 Nov 2015 05:00
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WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament Match (Semifinals)

Alberto Del Rio
vs.
Roman Reigns


The Story: After Seth Rollins injured his knee during a WWE live event, the WWE World Heavyweight Championship had to be vacated. To determine who would win, a tournament was announced, with a grand total of 16 participants competing over the course of a couple of weeks. All but the semifinals and finals have already taken place, with all three of those matches scheduled for Survivor Series.

To get to this point, Alberto Del Rio defeated Stardust and Kalisto, the former of whom competed on the pre-show, while the latter will compete later on in the show. Roman Reigns was offered a chance to jump straight to the top by Triple H, a member of The Authority (the WWE's version of evil corporate management), since he was the number one contender at the time. Reigns declined the offer, deciding to fight his way to the top instead of being given a handout. He defeated Big Show and Cesaro to reach the semifinals. Neither of those men competed at Survivor Series.

The Match: Those who know both WWE's philosophy on making stars, as well as the way that the company likes to tell stories, are aware that Roman Reigns is being groomed to be the next face of the company. It was painfully obvious that Reigns would be advancing here, and likely winning the entire competition. He was placed against opponents who either (1) made him look like the underdog or (2) would draw a competitive match out of a competitor who still, for the most part, needs to be carried. Alberto Del Rio is simply another stepping stone for Reigns.

This kills any sense of tension and suspense that the match had going for it. When the outcome is so obvious, it's hard to become invested in the match. Del Rio and Reigns do have a competitive match, with a couple of decent false finishes, one extremely nasty kick, and Del Rio going to the top rope far too many times for my liking. It was certainly passable, although didn't give fans much reason to invest. Reigns wins with a Spear.

The Winner: Roman Reigns

Aftermath: Roman Reigns advances to the finals of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament, surprising absolutely nobody. That is the main event of Survivor Series. Meanwhile, Alberto Del Rio still holds the United States Championship, and can move on to feuding with a midcarder over that belt. Reigns continues to look strong, and Del Rio isn't weakened by this result. It's the only logical way this match could have played out, predictable as it was.

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