Live report from WWE Survivor Series in Boston
Nov 25, 2013 - by Mike McMahon
BOSTON – You all heard the chants. Minutes into the WWE title match between defending champ Randy Orton and Big Show, the Boston crowd at Survivor Series were loudly chanting “boring,” along with “Daniel Bryan,” voicing their displeasure with who was getting the title shot on the pay-per-view.
What seemed to start as a minor public protest escalated to full-blown anger when Triple H and Stephanie McMahon walked down the aisle as part of the finish of the main event. The “Daniel Bryan” chants had much more venom once The Authority was present, with a group of fans opposite the hard-camera side angrily and aggressively pointing their fingers at Triple H and Stephanie while shouting Bryan’s name.
There was obvious frustration in the air, and it was that way most of the night.
At other times during the main event, the crowd was completely silent. You could have heard a pin drop inside TD Garden, even when Orton and Big Show were brawling on the outside of the ring. No one seemed interested.
Without exaggeration, there were a few hundred people who headed to the exit before the main event even went to a finish.
Here are some other observers from the live crowd:
– If WWE is blaming Daniel Bryan for poor PPV buyrates and dwindling ratings while he was in a top spot, they’re clearly blaming the wrong guy. Sure, it’s a chant and not the man himself, but “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chants were everywhere, including fans lined up outside the building prior to the doors opening, in 20-degree temperatures with whipping winds. There was a considerable line to get into the arena, with the doors opening about 10 minutes late.
– One other interesting note about Bryan, while his chant was definitely over with the crowd, I had a hard time noticing Bryan t-shirts. Obviously it’s tough to know if this was just an anomaly in Boston, but perhaps he wasn’t drawing money from a merchandising standpoint, put together with poor television numbers and that has perpetuated a change in WWE’s booking of Bryan. Most shirts in the crowd belonged to John Cena and CM Punk. While not 100 percent sure, I believe there was only one Daniel Bryan shirt for sale at some of the merch tables.
– The Miz, despite being a heel, received a strong “wooo!” reaction when he went for the Figure Four against Kofi Kingston. Kingston, meanwhile, received a nice reaction to open the match. He’s a local – grew up about eight miles north in Winchester – and was also the first intro of the night. Also during the pre-show match a loud “We want Ziggler!” chant echoed through most of the building.
– The building was mostly full from the seats that were available. No sections in the upper deck were tarped off other than the typical sections behind the set. In the lower bowl, most of sections seven and eight were blocked off for the pre-game show set.
– During the 5-on-5 elimination opener, there was a faint “Rey is fragile” chant from the upper deck, but it didn’t catch on.
– The crowd went nuts for the Roman Reigns finish. When he popped off the ropes and delivered the spear to Mysterio to end the match, it was probably the only time that the crowd literally jumped out of their seats. It was the best reaction to any match finish the entire night.
– During the Divas’ match, AJ and Natalya were the only two who really received any reaction while they were in the ring. The crowd was very into AJ, and got more excited for the finish than I expected. There wasn’t much of a reaction until the later portions, when Natalya and AJ were heavily involved.
– Mark Henry received a good reaction and a nice pop, but it seemed like the surprise wasn’t there. Boston’s typically a smart crowd, and most people knew he was going to answer Ryback’s open challenge. Similar situation to Booker T and Diesel returning at the 2011 Royal Rumble in Boston – people just weren’t surprised. Still a good reaction for Henry, the crowd was definitely happy to see him.
After the match, there was a noticeable “you’re a jobber” chant directed at Ryback from the upper deck.
– Crowd seemed genuinely surprised, and caught off guard, that Cena’s match wasn’t going to close the show. We now know why, with the angle they shot to end the night, but it’s placement on the card caught some people by surprise.
– When Cena was introduced, he received his typical mixed reaction. The crowd was a little more pro-Cena than in the past, probably 60-40 split.
– The Cena-Del Rio finish was expected and fairly predictable, which made for a quiet reaction from the crowd.
– The building came unglued for Daniel Bryan’s entrance; he received a bigger pop than even Punk and as far as ring entrances go, he had the best reaction of the night.
– A lot of the live crowd sitting near Bray Wyatt was heckling him during the match. Wyatt had some nice give-and-take with the fans sitting around his section as well.
– After Punk hit the elbow, a very audible “Randy Savage” chant broke out.
– People seemed so agitated with the Orton-Big Show finish, including The Authority’s involvement, that when Cena came out after the match, he received a much bigger reaction. That 60-40 split from earlier in the night was probably 80-20, and after they shot an angle (after cameras stopped rolling) it was 90-10 Cena.
What happened after the show?
Immediately after cameras stopped rolling, Cena got on the mic and challenged Randy Orton to “find out who the better champion is” right then and there. Orton went to the apron to answer the challenge, but Triple H pulled him back down. At this point, the crowd is fully behind Cena, moreso than at any other point in the night.
As Cena kept antagonizing Orton, he slid into the ring but before he could stand, Triple H grabbed his ankle and pulled him out again.
After convincing Orton to head to the back, Kane, who was also on the stage, goes to enter the ring and is pulled back by Triple H.
After Kane tries a second time to get into the ring, and Triple H pulls him out of the ring by his ankles, Kane snaps, grabbing Triple H by the throat before Stephanie comes over to talk some sense into the monster.
At this point, the rest of the heels have left the stage expect Triple H. Cena gets back on the mic challenging him.
“You’re from New Hampshire, I’m from Mass.,” Cena said. “I have family here tonight, you have family here tonight.”
At this point, Triple H is standing at the top of the entrance with his back to Cena.
Cena continued, “I know what’s going through your head. I know you’re standing there wondering, ‘do I still have it?’”
That prompts Triple H to begin removing his jacket and tie, while also undoing the top buttons on his shirt.
Triple H turns around and starts marching towards the ring, but before he gets there, Vince McMahon emerges from the stage and grabs Triple H, instructing him to go back to the dressing room.
Triple H starts to walk away and then Vince removes his jacket and tie, and starts unbuttoning his shirt to get to the ring.
Stephanie McMahon reemerges from the backstage area to stop Vince from entering the ring.
After she talks some sense into the chairman, Triple H, Stephanie and Vince all raise each others’ hands and walk to the back together.
Before Vince leaves he picks up his jacket and starts to shake it at Cena like a bullfighter inviting the bull to charge him. Cena responds with, “so that’s best for business?”
Cena then closed the show talking about how strong the city is to a huge pop from the crowd.
What was interesting is Cena’s popularity among the live crowd seemed to grow considerably throughout the night, but Bryan still seemed to be most over with the crowd.