SURVIVOR SERIES 2004: PWINSIDER COVERAGE
- Todd Grisham and Ivory hosted from outside the arena, while Jonathan Coachman hosted from inside.
- The feud between Lita and Trish Stratus was recapped.
- Maria tried to get an interview with Triple H about the stips on his match tonight, but Ric Flair told her he was busy getting ready.
- The Tough Enough segment from Smackdown this past week was recapped.
- The events leading to Heidenreich vs. The Undertaker were recapped. Josh Mathews interviewed Paul Heyman, who said Heidenreich was getting his match with The Undertaker on "his terms" tonight.
- The attack of the Big Show on Smackdown this past week by Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, and Luther Reigns was recapped. They sold that Show seriously hurt his ankle, and that it wasn't known what kind of condition he would be in tonight.
- The history behind Booker T vs. JBL was shown. Booker T was shown arriving at the building.
- The Hussan and Daivari promo from last week's Raw was shown again.
- In the only match of show, La Resistance defeated Hurricane & Rosey in a non-title match with Au Revoir on Hurricane.
- The show closed with a recap of the events leading to the Raw Survivor match.
The pay-per-view opened with a video that showed a few classic moments from the last 18 years of Survivor Series events. All three announce teams (Raw, Smackdown and Spanish) were at ringside.
Cruiserweight Champion Spike Dudley vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman.
Michael Cole said that the other Dudleys were out "indefinitely" due to Big Show beating them up two weeks ago. The match was held with all four men in the ring, one fall. Chavo went after Kidman at the start, while Spike went at it with Rey. Spike gave Rey a double stomp, then went after Chavo. Spike and Kidman double teamed Chavo, until Kidman dropkicked Spike as he was charging for a clothesline. Rey gave Kidman a facebuster and clotheslined him to the floor. Rey and Chavo, left alone in the ring, went at it, trading reversals and counters. Rey used a rana to escape a powerbomb, and went for a Quebrada moonsault, but Chavo caught it, and Rey had to armdrag out. Spike came in and stomped Rey in a corner, but Chavo began hitting Spike with forearms. Chavo and Spike clotheslined each other. Kidman and Rey fought on the ropes, and Rey gave Kidman a top rope rana, taking Kidman off the apron and to the floor. Chavo tossed Rey over the top rope to avoid a bulldog, and Rey landed on Kidman. Chavo gave Kidman and Rey a pescado. Spike was left alone in the ring, and went for a pescado, but missed as Chavo and Rey moved. Kidman was tossed into the ring by Chavo and Rey, then Chavo pulled Rey down from the apron so he could have Kidman to himself.
Chavo backdropped Kidman and planted him with a back suplex, but Spike broke up the cover. Spike slugged it out with Chavo, but Spike hit a reverse atomic drop and a lariat. Rey broke up the cover. Spike whipped Rey hard into a corner for a two count. Spike went for a Quebrada, but Spike ducked it and slid Rey out of the ring. Spike went to the top rope, but Chavo stopped him and went for a superplex. Kidman got behind Chavo for an electric chair, and took Chavo down as Chavo superplexed Spike. Rey got back into the ring and covered Chavo for two, then covered Spike, but Kidman broke it up. Kidman gave Rey a BK Bomb and set up for a Shooting Star, but Chavo knocked him off the top rope and to the floor. Spike charged Chavo with a headbutt to the ribs, and Chavo fell to the floor. Spike hit a headbutt to the gut on Rey, and went for a Dudley Dog, but Rey flipped out of it and tripped Spike into the ropes. Rey hit the 619, but as he went for a springboard, Kidman pulled him down. Chavo gave Spike a Gory Bomb. Kidman gave Chavo a slingshot legdrop on the back of the head as Chavo covered Spike. Rey took Kidman to the floor with a headscissors, while Spike crawled onto Chavo for the pin at the nine minute mark. Winner: Spike Dudley.
Backstage, Paul Heyman was psyching up Heidenreich and left to get his straitjacket. Gene Snitsky approached Heidenreich. Snitsky said he liked Heidenreich's poetry. Heidenreich said he likes what Snitsky does to babies. They said they would see each other later.
Intercontinental Champion Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian, with Tyson Tomko.
Benjamin started off outwrestling Christian on the mat, then kipped up every time Christian tried to take him down with an armbar. Benjamin hit a shoulderblock, then Christian got in Benjamin's face and trash talked him, so Benjamin started pounding Christian on the mat with punches. Christian tried to toss Benjamin out of the ring, but Benjamin skinned the cat and hit a springboard somersault neckbreaker for two count. Benjamin stayed in control, and Christian bailed out to the floor. Benjamin started arguing with Tomko, and Christian tried to sneak up on him, but Benjamin caught him with a right. As they went back to the ring, Tomko tried to hook Benjamin's leg. This distraction allowed Christian to shoved Benjamin off the apron and into the security wall.
Christian took over on the floor, then choked Benjamin when they returned to the ring. Benjamin came back with a cross bodyblock, but Christian kicked out and hit a neckbreaker, then ripped at the face of Benjamin. Christian applied a rear chinlock, and as Benjamin fought up, Christian pulled Benjamin through the ropes and to the floor. Christian continued to brawl for the advantage, and got a two count with an inverted DDT. Christian stood on Benjamin's back as he choked him on the middle rope. Christian started slapping and trash talking Benjamin, firing him up. Benjamin whipped Christian hard into the buckles, and both men were down on the mat. Benjamin hit a clothesline as they got up, then a flying forearm. Benjamin got a two count with a side Russian legsweep, then rolled up Christian after pulling him away from the ropes for two. Christian went for a reverse DDT, but Benjamin hit a reverse slingshot suplex for a two count.
Benjamin rammed Christian into a corner, but missed a Stinger Splash. Christian hit an implant DDT for a two count. Tomko slid the IC Title belt into the ring and distracted the referee. Christian charged with the belt, but Benjamin booted him in the face. Benjamin hit Christian with a top rope clothesline for a two count. As the referee got the belt out of the ring, Tomko ran in and kicked Benjamin in the face. Christian got a two count when the referee turned around. Tomko got on the apron, but Benjamin gave him a spinkick to knock him down. Christian went for an Unprettier, but Benjamin escaped, leapfrogged Christian and hit an Exploder suplex for the pin at the twelve minute mark. Winner: Shelton Benjamin.
Kurt Angle approached Edge in the back, and complained about a story in Edge's book about how Angle almost bled to death once. Angle made fun of Edge for never winning the World Title, and for losing at the Taboo Tuesday fan balloting to an injured Shawn Michaels. Edge said he took out Shawn Michaels, something Angle could never do. Angle said he could make Shawn Michaels tap in seconds. Angle left Edge, and was approached by Eugene. Eugene ran down a list of Angle's accomplishments, then started doing a "You Suck" chant, annoying Angle.
Survivor Series Rules: Kurt Angle, Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak & Carlito Caribbean Cool, with Jesus, vs. Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, Rob Van Dam & John Cena.
Big Show had his left foot heavily taped up. Cena came out last, and looked very serious. Cena went after Cool and Jesus, fighting Jesus all the way into the back, while at the same time chasing Carlito. Cena starting pounding Jesus in the back, while yelling at a quickly retreating Carlito for "sending his boy after him". They fought into the parking lot, and Jesus and Carlito got in a car, and sped off. Cena headed back to the ring. I guess Carlito is eliminated before the match even begins.
Meanwhile, Kurt Angle was complaining to the referee about only having three men on his team now. A brawl broke out, and Big Show dragged Mark Jindrak into the ring to officially start the match. Show beat on Jindrak for a while, then tagged in RVD, who hit some kicks. Guerrero and RVD hit a hilo/Rolling Thunder combo on Jindrak. Guerrero gave Jindrak a headscissors, and when Reigns ran in, he dropkicked him. Guerrero hit a headscissor/armdrag combo on Reigns and Jindrak. Angle ran in to cut off Guerrero, then tagged in legally to stomp him down in a corner. Reigns tagged in and gave Guerrero a pair of backbreakers and a side slam for a two count. Jindrak tagged in and hit a back elbow on Guerrero, then applied a full nelson. Guerrero rammed Jindrak into the buckles to escape. Kurt Angle tagged in and kept Guerrero from tagging out. Angle hit an overhead belly to belly suplex, and put Guerrero in his corner so his teammates could work him over. Guerrero escaped a Jindrak chinlock with a jawbreaker, then hit Jindrak with a flapjack. Angle tagged in to keep Guerrero from making the tag with a front facelock. Angle put Guerrero in his corner again. Jindrak tagged in and slammed Guerrero for a two count. Jindrak hit a series of elbows, stopping to do a Rick Rude hip swivel. Jindrak applied a reverse waistlock, but Guerrero escaped and hit a rana. RVD got the hot tag, and went at it with Angle, hitting a monkeyflip and a spin kick. Van Dam went to the top rope, and Jindrak tried to pull Angle out of the ring, so RVD gave him a frog splash. RVD kicked Luther off the apron, and Angle cradled RVD from behind and got the pin, using the ropes for leverage at the eight minute mark. Van Dam had his arms in the ropes too, but the referee counted anyway. Eliminated: Rob Van Dam.
Eddie Guerrero immediately cradled Mark Jindrak for a quick pin, using the ropes for leverage. Eliminated: Mark Jindrak.
The Big Show went after Angle, but Luther Reigns clipped his injured ankle. However, Big Show grabbed Luther by the throat and chokeslammed him for the pin at the ten minute mark. Eliminated: Luther Reigns.
The Big Show grabbed Angle by the throat, but Angle rolled into an ankle lock. Show kicked it off, and Angle fell to the floor. Kurt Angle tried to leave the ringside area, but Rob Van Dam headed him off and backed Angle back towards the ring. Big Show grabbed Angle and tossed him back into the ring. John Cena hit Angle with an FU, and Guerrero followed with a frog splash. Big Show then got the pin on Angle at the twelve minute mark. Eliminated: Kurt Angle. Survivors: Big Show, Eddie Guerrero & John Cena.
Jonathan Coachman interviewed Maven, asking if he really deserved to be in the Survivor Series main event tonight. Maven said he was going to show Coach he deserved to be in it, when Gene Snitsky attacked him from behind. Snitsky beat Maven into a bloody mess before walking away.
A video on the history leading to Heidenreich vs. Undertaker was shown.
Heidenreich, with Paul Heyman vs. The Undertaker.
Heidenreich wore his straitjacket to the ring, but had it off before Undertaker made his entrance. They had a long staredown at the bell, then Undertaker blocked a right hand and started working over Heidenreich with punches. Taker ran into a Heidenreich elbow, but hit a boot to the face and a pair of elbowdrops for a two count. Taker applied a keylock and rammed Heidenreich shoulder first into the corner. Undertaker went to work on the arm, and went for Old School, but Heidenreich hit a low blow as Paul Heyman distracted the referee. Heyman distracted the ref again as Heidenreich pulled Taker groin first into the ringpost. Heidenreich worked over the Undertaker on the floor with punches, yelling "Undertaker, I can beat you". Heidenreich tried to ram Taker into the ringsteps, but Taker blocked it and rammed Heidenreich into the steps. Taker put Heidenreich on the ring apron and drove elbows into his head, then legdropped him as he was stretched over the apron.
Back in the ring, Undertaker did the Old School ropewalk and hit the top rope forearm. Undertaker trapped Heidenreich's arm and hit a faceplant for a two count. Undertaker charged for a boot to the face, but Heidenreich ducked and Taker caught himself on the top rope. Heidenreich knocked Taker off the apron and into the security wall. Heidenreich worked over Taker on the floor with punches, then rolled Taker into the ring for a two count. Taker battled back with punches, but Heidenreich booted him back down for a two count. Heidenreich applied a rear naked choke on Undertaker, but Taker battled out and punched him to the mat. Heidenreich hit a clothesline, but Taker kicked him in the gut repeatedly, until Heidenreich hit another clothesline. Heidenreich dropped some elbows, but Taker rolled away from the third one and blocked Heidenreich's suplex attempt. Taker took Heidenreich over with his own vertical suplex.
Taker and Heidenreich exchanged right hands, and Heidenreich tossed Taker to the floor after kicking away a backdrop. Heidenreich grabbed Taker from the apron, but Taker dropped down and pulled Heidenreich throat first across the top rope. Taker hit a top rope clothesline for a two count. Taker clothesline Heidenreich in a corner, then hit Snake Eyes and a big boot to the face. Taker got a two count with a legdrop. Taker went for a chokeslam, but Heidenreich escaped it with a knee to the gut. Taker booted a charging Heidenreich, but Heidenreich caught Taker with a sidewalk slam. Heidenreich argued with the referee over a two count. Heidenreich got on the middle rope to punch Undertaker, but Undertaker grabbed Heidenreich with a Last Ride powerbomb. Heidenreich grabbed the bottom rope at the two count. Heidenreich applied a sleeperhold, and Taker escaped with a back suplex.
Both men were down on the mat, and Undertaker sat up. Heidenreich missed a clothesline, and Undertaker hit a flying clothesline. Taker hit a chokeslam, then called for the tombstone. Undertaker hit the tombstone and got the pin at the sixteen minute mark. Winner: Undertaker.
Undertaker glared at Heidenreich after the pin, acting amazed at how much it took to beat him, before going into his usual pose.
Backstage, Maria interviewed Eric Bischoff, who informed us that Maven may not be able to wrestle tonight. Eric said that Randy Orton's team could not name a replacement, since Triple H would then file a protest, and Bischoff was not going to spend his vacation in Stamford, Connecticut dealing with it.
The history leading to Trish Stratus vs. Lita was shown.
Women's Champion Trish Stratus vs. Lita.
Lita slugged Trish before the bell, and knocked her down with right hands. Lita slapped Trish in a corner, and started working her over with punches. Trish retreated to the floor, and Lita went after her. Trish rammed Lita into the announcers table. Lita tripped Trish into a chair at ringside. Lita picked up a chair, but the referee grabbed it from her. Lita picked up another chair and hit Trish twice in the back of the head with it (although the second shot missed badly, and she obviously hit the ringside table). The referee stopped the match. Result: No contest.
Trish got up, and had blood in her hair, and blood coming out of her nose. Lita attacked Trish again, and rammed her face first into the ringpost. Lita started choking Trish and screaming. Officials pulled Lita off of Trish, who complained of having a broken nose.
Backstage, Theodore R. Long told John Cena that Carlito Caribbean Cool would be forced to defend the United States Title against Cena this week on Smackdown.
The events leading to John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Booker T were recapped, emphasizing that JBL would leave Smackdown if he lost tonight.
WWE Champion John Bradshaw Layfield, with Orlando Jordan, vs. Booker T.
The two went nose to nose before the bell rang, and then circled each other. They locked up, and Booker went to work with punches, chops and forearms. JBL blocked a backdrop with a clubbing forearm and worked over Booker in a corner. JBL hit a shoulderblock, and blocked a Booker hiptoss, but Booker hit a clothesline out of it, then sent JBL to the floor with a back kick. Booker chased JBL back into the ring, where JBL hit a neckbreaker and a forearm to the back for two. Booker came back with a backdrop and clotheslined JBL to the floor. JBL poked Booker in the eyes on the outside, and tossed Booker over the announcers table to ringside. Booker tripped JBL as he came across the table, and chopped him. Booker tossed JBL into the ring, and Jordan slugged Booker on the floor. Jordan tossed Booker back into the ring, and JBL got a two count.
JBL applied a cobra clutch. Booker broke free, but was taken down with a knee to the gut. JBL delivered a boot to the face, then a trio of elbowdrops for a two count. JBL applied a sleeperhold, and Booker broke free, only for JBL to take him down with a back elbow. JBL went to the top rope, but Booker met him there and hit a superplex. Booker covered JBL for a two count, then JBL pulled Booker by this trunks to send him to the floor. Jordan and Booker started brawling, and Booker rammed Jordan into a ringpost. Booker gave JBL a Bookend on the floor, then superkicked Orlando. Booker dropped Jordan across the security wall, then tossed JBL into the ringsteps. Booker gave Jordan an ax kick, then tossed JBL back into the ring. Booker went to the top rope and hit a missile dropkick for a two count, as JBL grabbed the ropes.
Booker delivered a side slam, then went to the ropes. Jordan distracted Booker as he went up, and Booker paused to make sure he wasn't getting on the apron. Booker then went for the old Harlem Hangover, but JBL moved out of the way. JBL got a two count, then kicked Booker in the head. JBL applied a sleeper, but Booker dropped him with a back suplex. Booker hit a pair of clotheslines, then a spin kick. Booker hit a bicycle kick to the face for two, then set up for the ax kick, but Jordan tripped Booker from the outside. JBL hit Booker with a DDT for a two count. Booker reversed a whip and JBL crashed into the referee. Jordan ran in and attacked Booker. Jordan went to bring a chair into the ring, but Josh Mathews ran in and knocked Jordan off the ring apron. JBL gave Mathews a boot to the face and a clothesline. JBL threw Mathews from the ring. Booker gave JBL a side kick, then knocked Jordan off the apron. Booker gave JBL an ax kick, and covered. A second referee ran in, but Jordan pulled the second referee out as he counted two. Jordan came in with the title belt, but Booker gave him a Bookend. JBL picked up the belt and hit Booker with it. The original referee woke up and counted Booker down at the fifteen minute mark. Winner: John Bradshaw Layfield.
A video was shown on last year's WWE visit to U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Michael Cole then announced that WWE would be returning to the Middle East this Holiday season to visit the troops again.
Triple H asked Batista if he was ready for the match tonight, and if he had spoken with Edge and Snitsky. Batista said they would be team players tonight, but only because they wanted a shot at the title. Triple H said that Evolution would control the next two weeks of Raw if they win, and they would make sure that Edge and Snitsky were in no condition to challenge for the title. As Triple H, Batista and Ric Flair headed for the ring, Batista remarked that he couldn't wait for it to be his turn to run Raw.
A video on the main event was shown.
Jim Ross "confirmed" that Trish Stratus had a broken nose.
Survivor Series Rules, winning team runs Raw for a month: Triple H, Batista, Gene Snitsky & Edge, with Ric Flair, vs. Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho & Maven.
Maven didn't even come out to the ring, so it looks like he is eliminated before the match even begins. Edge started off the match with Benoit, trading shots in a corner. Benoit hit a clothesline and chopped Edge to the mat. Edge rolled to the floor to regroup, but Benoit went right back at him when he returned. Edge tagged out to Snitsky, and Benoit tagged in Orton. They went nose to nose, with Orton talking trash. Snitsky shoved Orton, and Orton unloaded with punches, beating him down to the mat. Jericho tagged in and continued the assault on Snitsky, until Snistky downed him with a clothesline and tagged in Triple H. Jericho hit a back elbow thought, and tagged in Orton. Orton punched Triple H down in a corner, but Triple H caught him with a jumping knee and tagged in Batista. Batista hit some shoulderblocks in a corner, and planted him with a powerslam for two. Edge tagged in and gave Orton a elbowdrop across the back of the neck. Orton battled back with punches, but Edge hit a dropkick.
Orton came back with a clothesline and tagged Benoit, who cleaned house on everyone, including the opponents on the apron. Benoit gave Triple H a snap suplex, Batista a German suplex, and Snitsky a German suplex. Benoit gave Triple H three consecutive German suplexes. Benoit suplexed Edge on top of Triple H, then hit a top rope headbutt on Triple H and Edge. The match broke down, with fighting on the floor by other participants, while Benoit put Triple H in a Sharpshooter in the ring. Snitsky broke up the hold. Benoit put Edge in a Crippler Crossface, but Batista broke that hold up. Triple H grabbed Benoit in a Pedigree, and Edge covered Benoit for the pin at the eight minute mark. Eliminated: Chris Benoit.
Edge gave Chris Jericho a neckbreaker. Edge went for a tag, and both Snitsky and Triple H tagged in. Snitsky and Triple H argued about the tag, and Snitsky shoved Triple H. Snitsky and Batista then started arguing, while Jericho put Triple H in the Walls Of Jericho. Batista realized what was happening and broke up the hold. Orton knocked Batista into Snitsky. Jericho hit a bulldog and went for a Lionsault, but Ric Flair tripped him up. The referee ordered Flair away from ringside. Batista gave Orton and Jericho a double shoulderblock. Batista tossed Orton out, and gave Jericho a spinebuster. Orton tripped Batista from ringside and then hit him with the World Title belt. Jericho then gave Batista an enzugiri and pinned him at the eleven minute mark. Eliminated: Batista.
Jericho dropkicked Edge off the ring apron into Snitsky on the floor. Batista then clotheslined Jericho, even though he was eliminated. Snitsky tagged in off of Triple H, and stomped Jericho. Snitsky backdropped Jericho, then blatantly choked him. Snitsky tagged in Edge, who worked over Jericho in a corner. Edge elbowed Jericho in the back of the neck, hit a series of rights, then kicked away a backdrop. Jericho grabbed Edge by the neck as he charged and drove him into the mat. Snitsky tagged in and dropped an elbow on Jericho, then hit Orton on the apron. Orton ran in, but Snitsky tossed him to the floor. Triple H and Edge then attacked Orton on the floor, while in the ring, Jericho hit Snitsky with a DDT. Jericho went to his corner for a tag, but Triple H and Edge had dragged Orton to the other side of the ring.
A bloody and bandaged Maven came out and got on the apron. Jericho tagged him, and Maven unloaded on Snitsky with punches and kicks. Maven hit a running forearm on Snitsky, then slugged Triple H and Edge as well. Snitsky was busted open from Maven's shots, sporting a nasty gash next to his eye. Maven tossed Snitsky and Edge from the ring, then went after Triple H. Snitksy came in with a chair and hit Maven with it, then hit Jericho with it. Snitsky was disqualified at the twelve minute mark. Eliminated: Gene Snitsky.
Snitsky hit Orton with a chair before leaving. Triple H covered an unconscious Maven to pin him. Eliminated: Maven.
Edge covered Jericho repeatedly, but he kept kicking out. Jericho rallied, but Triple H grabbed him for a Pedigree. Jericho backdropped out of the Pedigree, but Edge hit him with a spear for the pin at the thirteen minute mark. Eliminated: Chris Jericho.
Orton crawled into the ring, as Triple H and Edge stared at him and grinned. Edge and Triple H stomped Orton down until the referee got Triple H back on the apron. Edge gave Orton a back suplex for a two count, then tagged in Triple H. Triple H worked over Orton as Edge held him up. Edge was ushered out, and Triple H decked Orton. Orton tried to rally with punches, but Triple H DDT'd him for a two count. Orton tried to rally again as Edge was tagged in, slugging both opponents. Orton powerslammed Edge. Edge charged Orton, who ducked, and Edge put on the breaks before slamming into Triple H on the apron. Orton dropkicked Edge into Triple H, and cradled him for two. Orton hit some right hands on Edge, and Triple H ran in and gave Orton a spinebuster. Triple H picked up Orton for a spear, but Orton moved and Edge speared Triple H. Orton gave Edge an RKO for the pin at the twenty three minute mark. Eliminated: Edge.
It was down to Randy Orton and Triple H. Orton set up for an RKO, but Triple H hit him with a low blow, as the referee was distracted trying to roll Edge out of the ring. Triple H set up for the Pedigree, but Orton broke out of it and grabbed an RKO for the pin at the twenty five minute mark. Eliminated: Triple H. Sole Survivor: Randy Orton.
Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Maven, and Chris Jericho will each get to control Raw for one week each, starting tomorrow night.
Randy Orton celebrated in the ring as the show came to an end.
After two less-than-spectacular single brand Pay-per-view events, I thought WWE rebounded nicely last night with the Survivor Series. While nothing was amazing, it was a solid show with three very good matches, two good bouts, one barely passable match, and an angle that was way better than any match with those participants could have been. Maybe it is a case of having low expectations going in, but I thought this was a fine PPV, and the results of the poll on out main page indicate that quite a few of you agree with me. The question now becomes whether WWE can build on this show.
Onto my thoughts on the show:
The Cruiserweight title match got things off to a great start, as all four men worked their butts off and put together a fast paced nine minute showcase of the often overlooked division. They had a few well thought out sequences and spots, while at the same time not going overboard with moves and combinations that end up "looking fake" because they take too long to set up (something others would be wise to learn from). I also liked the finish, as Spike retained the title, with Kidman "costing" his rival Chavo to belt. It will be interesting to see where they go with Spike from here, as the Chavo-Kidman issue isn't settled yet, and Rey Mysterio seems to be "just visiting" the division he helped to make popular.
Heidenreich and Snitsky were pretty creepy in their backstage promo. Not because they are two destructive monsters, but because I thought they were going to start making out on camera. A few readers have emailed me predicting a Heidenreich & Snitsky vs. Kane & Undertaker tag match at Wrestlemania. Man, I hope these feuds don't last that long!
Shelton Benjamin vs. Christian was, arguably, the best match of the night. Shelton was on fire, and Christian (who seems to be forever underrated, despite always delivering on PPV) did a great job as well. They did some nice near falls, didn't overuse Tyson Tomko, and gave the fans a clean finish to pop for. A fun twelve minutes, and I wouldn't mind seeing it again. I prefer Benjamin being in the Intercontinental Title mix as opposed to feuding with Evolution, simply because it allows him to grow into the role of a main eventer, rather than being rushed in. Also, I think the crowd responded well to this match because they didn't "know" who was going to win. Christian could have taken the title, and I don't think anyone would have been surprised.
The Edge-Kurt Angle bit was strange, since both men are heels, and Edge was acting like a babyface here. I found it very interesting that Shawn Michaels' name was brought up, with Angle saying he could make Michaels tap in seconds. As I've said many times over the last year, Angle vs. Michaels is the one "Wrestlemania-quality" match that the company has never done. Eugene's bit served no real purpose, other than to get Eug on the PPV. Given the recent talent cuts, I'd be thrilled just to get a walk-on appearance on the show.
The Smackdown Survivor match had the potential to be great (anything with Guerrero and Angle has the potential to be great), but ended up just being a good, albeit short (for an elimination match), bout. Given Carlito's condition, I thought WWE did the best job they could in protecting him while still keeping up the heat on his feud with John Cena. Cena stalking them into the parking lot and beating up Jesus was a good way to handle the situation. Rob Van Dam got to carry on the Survivor Series "tradition" of getting a flurry of offense before getting eliminated (and in this case, was the only babyface to be pinned). Of course, how the referee missed RVD and Angle being in the ropes (and Guerrero's ropes assisted pin of Jindrak right after) RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS EYES is beyond me. Even Michael Cole and Tazz seemed to be thinking the match would continue (and perhaps someone in the back should have called an audible to the ref and had Angle pin RVD again). I also expected there to be a long heat segment centering on Big Show's ankle, since they built it up so much before the bout. In the end, Angle wasn't left looking weak in his loss, since he was battling against the odds, and took two finishers (FU and Frog Splash) before being pinned. The crowd was really into Cena's return and the match, which helped the bout.
When Gene Snitsky attacked Maven, I imagine ninety percent of us who watch Raw were thinking "Well, I guess Kane is returning tonight". I'm glad we were wrong on that one.
I was dreading Undertaker vs. Heidenreich in the days leading up to this show. And while I will agree that the match went longer than it probably should have, I can't say it was a bad bout. Undertaker worked really hard to carry the match, and to make Heidenreich look like he deserved to be in the ring with him. While I would never book them in a sixteen minute match, the bout was put together in a way that worked, and the crowd never turned on it. It's also interesting to note that they didn't need to resort to any gimmicks or blood in order to keep the crowd interested. Would I want to watch it again? Not really. But it didn't suck, which is what I was expecting going into it. Kudos to the Undertaker on this one.
The other match I was dreading was Lita vs. Trish Stratus, simply because Lita is not the wrestler that Molly Holly or Victoria is, and I didn't think Trish could carry her to a good match. So, instead of getting a match, WWE gave me an angle, and a very good one at that. Lita going crazy on Trish with the chair (even though she badly whiffed the second shot into the table) and screaming as she choked her was fantastic booking, and her "breaking the nose" of the vain Trish was a interesting path to go down. I did find it interesting how Jim Ross apologized for the "graphic" nature of the incident, while not doing so when Maven was a bloody mess earlier in the show. I guess a woman bleeding is offensive, unlike storylines that involve making fun of a miscarriage or using 9/11 as a plot device.
The Smackdown Title match was the lowlight of the show for me. While it was better than the JBL-Undertaker matches, that is about the most feint praise I could give a bout. It was also the only match that got an audible "boring" chant from the crowd. Booker and JBL seemed to be going through the motions, and waiting for the big finish with interference from Josh Matthews and Orlando Jordan. I would liked to have seen his 15-minute match cut down in time, and had a few more minutes tacked onto the Smackdown Survivor match. JBL just doesn't work as a main event player, and without his usual crutch (him and/or his opponent bleeding buckets), this match just didn't have any drama. Of course, I wasn't expecting anything out of this match, so it wasn't like I was disappointed.
The Raw Survivor match showed, to me anyway, and interesting difference in booking from the Smackdown counterpart when it came to the first babyface eliminated. In the Smackdown match, Rob Van Dam got to pull off some spots before being pinned, but at no point did it appear that RVD was going to eliminate anyone first. In the Raw match, Chris Benoit was eliminated first, but was booked in a way that he nearly made two eliminations on his own with submission holds that had to be broken up by other team members. Benoit, despite being first out, still looked strong, while RVD really didn't.
I enjoyed the main event, and thought the eliminations were well booked. After teasing hard that Edge and Snitsky (and Batista) would be looking for title matches, they instead had the babyfaces go over. Maven got his big hope spot, although the crowd didn't seem to be as into his flurry as I would have expected. He certainly gave Snitsky a nasty gash with that forearm. Jericho and Batista both looked good in the match, despite only being supporting players in this bout. I really liked how they gave Randy Orton ten minutes of battling Edge & Triple H on his own before going for the final eliminations. The reaction of the crowd told you at the end that Randy Orton is a "star" in their eyes. It's obvious that the road to Wrestlemania is going to end with Orton vs. Triple H.
100 QUESTIONS SURVIVOR SERIES LEFT ME WITH
by Mike Johnson
MIKE JOHNSON LOOKS AT OVER 100 QUESTIONS SURVIVOR SERIES LEFT HIM WITH
by Mike Johnson @ 10:00:00 AM on 11/15/2004
QUESTIONS ABOUT SURVIVOR SERIES
I jotted these down as I watched last night's Survivor Series PPV - enjoy!
How cool was it to see the old Survivor Series footage?
Didn't you just know we'd see Montreal footage?
Did Billy Kidman get that robe from the Young Stallions?
Since when is a Fatal Four Way held under tornado rules?
Didn't you just know Tazz was going to push ECW since the DVD is out?
Did you expect the Chavo vs. Kidman segment to be more heated?
How great was the double decker superplex?
Do you think anyone in attendance knew that was first done in CZW in 2001?
Did you hear the crowd react when Kidman was setting up for the Shooting Star?
How much sense did it make for Chavo to stop him?
How cool was it to see the Dudley Dawg reversed into a setup for the 619?
Wasn’t Rey Mysterio awesome here?
Isn't it nice to see Kidman finally coming into his own in WWE?
Wasn't it nice to see the Cruiserweights doing their thing and having time to do so?
Could they have been given the go ahead to do so because of how well received the X-Division Gauntlet was at TNA's Victory Road?
Wouldn't it be nice to see a match like that on every PPV?
Did WWE pay for Paul Heyman to go to a tanning salon?
How funny was it to see Heidenreich and Snitsky grunting at each other?
How many of you were thinking, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"
Dear God, does this mean we have Heidenreich & Snitsky vs. Kane & Undertaker in our future?
How cool is Christian's new look and music?
Whatever happened to Tyson Tomko abandoning him for Trish Stratus?
Can't you see a lot of Sting's early work in Shelton Benjamin?
How many ROH fans popped for the Ricky Steamboat reference?
How many of them were watching when Steamboat wrestled at the first Survivor Series?
Wasn’t this a fun competitive match?
How cool was the inverted fisherman’s buster?
How great was the T-Bone suplex into a powerslam pin?
Isn’t it nice to see Shelton Benjamin getting a chance and looking great?
Didn’t Christian do a good job too?
Since it’s two good matches in a row, can WWE keep it up?
Didn’t you know they were going to push the Edge book?
Wouldn’t it have been funny if Angle said Edge’s book sucked?
Wasn’t the world just WAITING for Eugene inflatable hands?
Weren’t you just waiting for Angle to nail Eugene when he started singing “You Suck?”
Logically, shouldn’t he have?
Hey if Wrestlemania was sold out after a minute, how come my friends ordered tickets 30 minutes after they went on sale?
TEAM ANGLE VS. TEAM GUERRERO
If this was really a classic Survivor Series match, wouldn’t it be five on five?
Who came up with the idea for Jesus’ suspenders, and more importantly, who saw them and said, “Great idea?”
Doesn’t it seem like a million years ago that Eddie Guerrero was WWE champion?
How about that pop for John Cena?
Where was Cena’s scar from the stabbing?
How great was the whole segment with Cena chasing Carlito and Jesus through the building?
How about that reaction when Cena returned to the Arena?
How would you like Big Show chopping that big hand on your bare chest?
Doesn’t it seem like two million years ago that Rob Van Dam was ECW’s “Whole Fn’ Show?”
How ironic was it to see Angle outwrestling Guerrero after the Puder incident on Smackdown?
How funny was John Cena mocking Mark Jindrak’s gyrations?
Wasn’t it nice to see Rob Van Dam on fire?
Isn’t it funny that the RVD elimination was so questionable, even Michael Cole said he was still in the match?
Didn’t it make perfect sense for Eddie Guerrero’s character to put his feet on the ropes to beat Jindrak?
How great was the idea of Kurt Angle alone vs. Team Guerrero?
Didn’t it make sense for Rob Van Dam to come back out?
Isn’t it a shame this was anticlimatic and short?
Will Kurt Angle blame Carlito Caribbean Cool for his loss or will WWE creative ignore that?
How many of you wish you had WWE 24/7?
How many of you hate Chris Catanese for being the only person in the United States known to actually get it already?
Doesn’t it seem like every time Maven gets a chance to talk and cut a good promo, something happens?
Where was the rest of Maven’s team?
How many of you popped for Steve Keirn and Dave Finley?
How many of you would still want to watch them work today?
With Maven bleeding, if he can’t make the match, does Kane return?
HEIDENREICH VS. UNDERTAKER
Wasn’t the Heidenreich promo better than watching the real thing?
Isn’t it sad that he was more interesting working as Big Bad John in OVW?
Isn’t it amazing how long Undertaker has lasted and how much he’s evolved with time, yet still stayed over with the fans?
How does Heideinreich match up with the great Undertaker foes of the past, like Kamala and Giant Gonzales?
Is it really 2004?
How did the creative mind behind ECW wind up in this storyline?
How great was it that the referee ran away from the Undertaker?
Didn’t Undertaker seem motivated?
Wasn’t Paul Heyman working his butt off at ringside?
How many right hands were thrown during this match, and did they set a new world record?
Didn’t it seem like Undertaker was working hard to make the match look competitive?
Is it me or did this go way too long?
Why didn’t they give this time to the Angle match?
Where do they go with Heidenreich now?
Hey, with his haircut, doesn’t Eric Bischoff look just like Rick Steamboat does now?
How funny is it that Bischoff just openly stated he doesn’t care about anything but being off for the next month?
LITA VS. TRISH
Did we need to be reminded how tasteless the pregnancy angle was?
If Lita can’t get the job done here after all the months of taunting, what does that say?
How great was it to see Lita go nuts?
Isn’t Lita the last person you expect to see use a rear Naked Choke?
Didn’t Stratus bleeding add to the realism of the segment?
Wasn’t this just the segment the Lita character needed?
How could Jim Ross apologize for the “graphic nature of the injury” on PPV after all the weeks of dead baby storylines that aired for free on Raw?
Why didn’t he apologize for Maven’s injury?
Has anyone ever apologized for a heel bleeding before?
How funny is it that Teddy Long told John Cena not to “be hating” when Cena was stabbed?
What are the chances that Cena ISN’T taking that United States championship this week on Smackdown?
BOOKER T VS. LAYFIELD
Hasn’t Orlando Jordan really grown into his role?
Wasn’t the camerwork when Layfield was tossed into the stairs awesome?
Would you have thought a year ago that JBL would be WWE champion?
How great was it when Josh Matthews tried to stop Orlando Jordan?
How lame was the belt to the face finish?
Hey if Charles Robinson could count the pinfall, why couldn’t he tell Nick Patrick about the rules infraction?
How great is it that WWE is going back to the Middle East for the troops?
Will they be sending along Hussein and Daivari on the trip?
If so, wouldn't a great angle be Chilly Willy, in uniform, hopping the rail to beat the hell out of them?
How come Triple H didn’t see the video building to the match and know that Batista has designs on the WWE World championship?
How funny is it that before the match even happened, Triple H was making plans to tear down Edge and Snitsky?
How close is that to art recreating life?
TEAM TRIPLE H VS. TEAM ORTON
Since Eric Bischoff said there won’t be a substitute, what are the chances that Maven does a run-in?
How is it that Snitsky comes out after Triple H?
How cool was Edge’s new pyro?
Why wasn’t he carrying his book? Didn’t Mick Foley teach him anything?
Did that cut over Snitsky’s eye look sick or what?
How sick was that chairshot Snitsky gave Maven?
Didn’t Edge pinning Chris Jericho make sense given their history over the last several months?
Isn’t it great it ended up with Randy Orton vs. Triple H at the end?
Was anyone else thinking Wrestlemania preview?
Wasn’t it nice to have a show where you feel like they built to something?
Mike Johnson can be reached at Mike@PWInsider.com.