2021 WWE Survivor Series results, recap, grades: Champion vs. Champion matches steal stacked show

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WWE

WWE's second-oldest pay-per-view returned on Sunday night when Survivor Series landed in Brooklyn. The show was loaded with showdowns between the top stars of Raw and SmackDown as has become tradition for the marquee event. That included two massive showdowns between top champions as WWE champion Big E clashed with universal champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair taking on Raw women's champion Becky Lynch.

The main card kicked off with Flair vs. Lynch, a match that showcased tremendous physicality, build around bad blood between the two women both inside and outside of WWE storylines. In the end, Lynch was able to outsmart Flair to score a cheap roll-up win while holding the bottom rope.

Reigns vs. Big E closed the show, with Big E looking to get revenge on Reigns for several attacks on New Day teammates Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods. Despite Big E's best efforts in a hard-hitting clash, Reigns was ultimately able to get the win, though he had to pull out every trick in his book to put down the WWE champ.

Those two matches were the standout moments in a show that featured plenty of good action but also many questionable finishes throughout the entirety of the event.

CBS Sports was with you the whole way through the event, providing updates and highlights as the action went down in the live blog below.

2021 WWE Survivor Series results, grades

Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. United States champion Damian Priest: Rick Boogs was at ringside in support of Nakamura, as usual, and played his guitar to provide distraction early. Nakamura missed a knee strike in the corner, allowing Priest to take control. Priest, maintaining his newer, meaner style, worked to grind Nakamura down even as Boogs repeatedly played guitar at ringside, eventually drawing a "final warning" from Priest. Nakamura continued firing back, hitting most of his trademark, offense before jumping into a spinning heel kick from Priest. Priest went on a run of offense, drilling Nakamura with a lariat and then a falcon arrow for a big near fall. Nakamura and Priest exchanged counters and flurries of offense as momentum rapidly swung back and forth, including Priest countering a Kinshasa into the South of Heaven chokeslam for a two count. Priest had Nakamura nearly out with a gogoplata before Boogs again played guitar. An irate Priest left the ring, took Boogs' guitar and snapped it over his knee. After hitting Boogs with a piece of the guitar, Priest then did the same to Nakamura for the disqualification. Nakamura continues to be more a vehicle for Boogs than vice versa, which is fine as Nakamura is well past his peak but still valuable. The finish was weak when a Priest win wouldn't hurt anyone involved but this was a fine kickoff match. Shinsuke Nakamura def. Damian Priest via disqualification. Grade: B-

Raw women's champion Becky Lynch vs. SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair: Flair went right at Lynch with a right hand and pushed her into the corner, paintbrushing her before flying in for another attack before Lynch briefly countered into a Disarm-Her which Flair had to pull the hair to break. Lynch took the fight to Flair on the outside. The contest remained more fight than wrestling match, with both women roughing up the other with strikes and blunt-force attacks. Flair hit a big exploder suplex to toss Lynch into the corner. Lynch hit a leg drop on Flair's neck for a near fall as the near falls and big moves continued to hit over and over. Lynch locked up a figure-four, delivering a trademark Flair "Woo" before locking in the hold but Flair was able to quickly roll over to reverse the hold. Flair returned the favor by locking in Lynch's Disarm-Her, forcing Lynch to escape her own hold. After Flair tried to score a roll-up while holding the ropes, Lynch did the same thing, only Lynch managed to get away with it and get the pin. Not a great finish again but a fun and hard-hitting brawl that played on the real world and storyline issues between the two women. Though, it does need to be said that these two have had better matches in the past. Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair via pinfall. Grade: A-

Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Austin Theory, Bobby Lashley) vs. Team SmackDown (Drew McIntyre, Xavier Woods, Jeff Hardy, Happy Corbin, Sheamus): Owens argued with Rollins about who would start the match, acting fired up as he was about to go lock up with Xavier Woods. Owens then left the ring and walked out for the count out without so much as throwing a punch. Things then settled into a standard Survivor Series elimination tag rhythm, with SmackDown operating well as a team early as they isolated Rollins. Balor was eventually able to tag in but was the next man isolated by SmackDown. Balor was still able to even things up by eliminating Corbin with the Coup De Grace after everyone in the match engaged in a big exchange of moves. Things remained chaotic with everyone in the match engaging in continued fighting around the ring before Lashley was able to tag in and put Woods out with the Hurt Lock.

Lashley and McIntyre locked up in a big moment in the match, with Lashley looking like he'd rather tag out but there was no one in his corner due to the chaos outside the ring. Lashley and McIntyre brawled to outside the ring and continued until both men were counted out. Balor was the next eliminated, getting hit by a Sheamus Brogue Kick after missing a Coup De Grace. This brought things down to Rollins and Theory against Sheamus and Hardy. Theory managed to get the pin on Sheamus with a roll-up holding the tights when Hardy wasn't there to be tagged because Rollins had pulled him to the outside. Sheamus delivered a clothesline to Hardy out of frustration before leaving. Hardy was able to level things with a swanton bomb, leaving him one-on-one with Rollins. Hardy countered a stomp and hit the Twist of Fate but Rollins got his knees up on the swanton follow-up, allowing him to hit a stomp and win the match. There were too many cheap, protection-driven eliminations in the match, taking a lot of steam out of the match overall. Team Raw def. Team SmackDown with Seth Rollins as the sole survivor. Grade: B-

25-man Battle Royal: Omos quickly began scoring eliminations while AJ Styles rolled out of the ring and hung out on the announce table. R-Truth also left the ring, grabbing a piece of pizza from the Pizza Hut boxes around the ringside and entrance ramp area and using it to try and tempt Omos and Otis before Otis quickly ate the slice and threw Truth from the ring. Otis was then eliminated by Omos seconds later. Eliminations continued at a rapid pace, including many more from Omos, who dominated the match in his role as the match's resident giant. Styles had eventually entered the match but was eliminated when Commander Azeez pulled him over the top rope after having been eliminated himself. The match came down to The Street Profits, Cesaro, Ricochet and Omos. Omos fought off the four-on-one to eliminate Cesaro and the Profits before making quick work of Ricochet in the end. Omos eliminated 12 of the 24 other men in the match. After the match, The Profits attacked Styles, ate pizza and threw slices into the crowd. A battle royal can only be so good but credit to WWE for both going old school with a giant dominating and somehow managing to turn a match into an elaborate Pizza Hut commercial. Omos won the 25-man battle royal. Grade: C+

Raw tag team champions RK-Bro vs. SmackDown tag team champions The Usos: Orton cut off some early Usos offense with an old-school thumb to the eye. Orton, it should be noted, set the WWE record for more pay-per-view matches in history with this appearance. The Usos were able to take the match back over when Riddle was tagged in, isolating him in their corner and away from Orton. Riddle was able to hit Jimmy with a Bro To Sleep to finally make the hot tag to Orton, who quickly hit both Usos with powerslams before taking Uso outside and dropping him on the commentary table and then doing the same to Jimmy. Riddle tagged back in after Jey hit Orton with a few superkicks and went on his own flurry of fast-paced offense. The Usos eventually managed to get back in control before hitting Orton with a double superkick and then one to a kneeling Riddle for a near fall before Riddle bridged his way out of the pin. Orton used a blind tag to get himself back in the match. When Jimmy didn't realize Orton was the legal man, he went up top for a splash on Orton but Orton slid back into the ring and turned the splash into an RKO to score the win. The best finish of the show to this point, Orton still manages to pull out incredible RKOs from time to time. This was all-around high-quality tag wrestling. RK-Bro def. The Usos via pinfall. Grade: B+

Team Raw (Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Zelina Vega) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Shotzi, Shayna Baszler, Natalya, Toni Storm): Carmella was quickly eliminated when she was distracted while having Vega attempt to help put on her mask, allowing Storm to score a roll-up. The SmackDown team came out as a unified front but Banks and Shotzi struggled to coexist once the match was fully going. Ripley countered the Kirifuda Clutch but Shotzi ran in to make the save before Ripley could hit Riptide, leading to the spot in the match where all competitors run in one at a time to hit a move. A much-anticipated showdown between Belair and Banks followed, That provided a good stretch of action before Storm was able to score another elimination, pinning Vega. Storm was eliminated by Morgan after Oblivion moments later, after Morgan was able to also fight off Baszler.

Morgan was then eliminated after splashes by Shotzi and Banks, giving SmackDown a four-on-two advantage. WIth Belair down outside the ring, SmackDown ganged up on Ripley before Baszler eliminated her with a knee. As Belair tried to stand alone against the four remaining SmackDown members, SmackDown's members began to fight with Banks, eventually causing her to be counted out by not allowing her to return to the ring. Belair managed to eliminate Natalya with a roll-up and then Baszler by slamming her face-first. That left things as one-on-one between Belair and Shotzi. Belair managed to finish things off with a K.O.D. to get the win, coming back from the four-on-one disadvantage. The Banks elimination was a real stain on the match but otherwise it operated well, especially in the recognition of Belair being the deserving last woman standing. Team Raw def. Team SmackDown with Bianca Belair as the sole survivor. Grade: B

WWE champion Big E vs. Universal champion Roman Reigns: After some strength tests won by Big E, Reigns got the early advantage. That advantage grew even more after Big E missed a splash on the ring apron, crashing his legs into the hardest part of the ring. Reigns kept up the pressure, working over Big E with heavy punches and a big boot that scored a near fall. Reigns took Big E outside the ring, throwing him into the barricade before Big E was finally able to break the momentum by reversing an Irish whip to send Reigns into the ring steps. Big E hit a series of belly-to-belly suplexes before Reigns managed to hit a Samoan drop to slow things back down.

Reigns went for a Superman punch and Big E was able to duck under but Reigns hit a modified Rock Bottom to score a two-count. Reigns then hit a Superman punch but Big E only went down to one knee before firing up back to his feet. Big E did the same again after a second Superman punch. Reigns loaded up and hit the move a third time. As Reigns celebrated and went for a spear, Big E rose to his feet to the shock of Reigns. Reigns hit a spear after battling back from a Big E spear through the ropes but again Big E was able to kick out of the pin. Reigns tried to finish off with a guillotine choke but Big E drove him into the turnbuckle and went for the spear through the ropes again but Reigns locked in the guillotine through the ropes before coming back inside and locking the choke up again. Big E managed to turn him over and hit the Big Ending but Reigns grabbed the bottom rope. Outside the ring, Reigns jumped off the ring steps to hit a Superman punch and take the action back inside the ropes. Big E tried for the Big Ending again but Reigns slipped out, stomped Big E's knee and hit one final spear to score the win. Very good match overall with Big E showing tremendous fight despite losing the match. If Big E wasn't going to get the win, that's the best way to go about it. Roman Reigns def. Big E via pinfall. Grade: A-


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WWE champion Big E vs. Universal champion Roman Reigns: After some strength tests won by Big E, Reigns got the early advantage. That advantage grew even more after Big E missed a splash on the ring apron, crashing his legs into the hardest part of the ring. Reigns kept up the pressure, working over Big E with heavy punches and a big boot that scored a near fall. Reigns took Big E outside the ring, throwing him into the barricade before Big E was finally able to break the momentum by reversing an Irish whip to send Reigns into the ring steps. Big E hit a series of belly-to-belly suplexes before Reigns managed to hit a Samoan drop to slow things back down.

Reigns went for a Superman punch and Big E was able to duck under but Reigns hit a modified Rock Bottom to score a two-count. Reigns then hit a Superman punch but Big E only went down to one knee before firing up back to his feet. Big E did the same again after a second Superman punch. Reigns loaded up and hit the move a third time. As Reigns celebrated and went for a spear, Big E rose to his feet to the shock of Reigns. Reigns hit a spear after battling back from a Big E spear through the ropes but again Big E was able to kick out of the pin. Reigns tried to finish off with a guillotine choke but Big E drove him into the turnbuckle and went for the spear through the ropes again but Reigns locked in the guillotine through the ropes before coming back inside and locking the choke up again. Big E managed to turn him over and hit the Big Ending but Reigns grabbed the bottom rope. Outside the ring, Reigns jumped off the ring steps to hit a Superman punch and take the action back inside the ropes. Big E tried for the Big Ending again but Reigns slipped out, stomped Big E's knee and hit one final spear to score the win. Very good match overall with Big E showing tremendous fight despite losing the match. If Big E wasn't going to get the win, that's the best way to go about it. Roman Reigns def. Big E via pinfall. Grade: A-

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Team Raw (Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Liv Morgan, Carmella, Zelina Vega) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Shotzi, Shayna Baszler, Natalya, Toni Storm): Carmella was quickly eliminated when she was distracted while having Vega attempt to help put on her mask, allowing Storm to score a roll-up. The SmackDown team came out as a unified front but Banks and Shotzi struggled to coexist once the match was fully going. Ripley countered the Kirifuda Clutch but Shotzi ran in to make the save before Ripley could hit Riptide, leading to the spot in the match where all competitors run in one at a time to hit a move. A much-anticipated showdown between Belair and Banks followed, That provided a good stretch of action before Storm was able to score another elimination, pinning Vega. Storm was eliminated by Morgan after Oblivian moments later, after Morgan was able to also fight off Baszler.

Morgan was then eliminated after splashes by Shotzi and Banks, giving SmackDown a four-on-two advantage. WIth Belair down outside the ring, SmackDown ganged up on Ripley before Baszler eliminated her with a knee. As Belair tried to stand alone against the four remaining SmackDown members, SmackDown's members began to fight with Banks, eventually causing her to be counted out by not allowing her to return to the ring. Belair managed to eliminate Natalya with a roll-up and then Baszler by slamming her face-first. That left things as one-on-one between Belair and Shotzi. Belair managed to finish things off with a K.O.D. to get the win, coming back from the four-on-one disadvantage. The Banks elimination was a real stain on the match but otherwise, it operated well, especially in the recognition of Belair being the deserving last woman standing. Team Raw def. Team SmackDown with Bianca Belair as the sole survivor. Grade: B

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