“For 17 years, November has been the true showcase for men at odds. It is where frailty of the human condition fades, and raw animal instinct emerges. Many have battled to persevere, most have failed. And as history reminds us, trust is nothing but a 5-letter word. So tonight, once again, the vicious fight for survival begins...”
Blow the whole arena up, because the Survivor Series is here, and it’s LIVE from Cleveland, Ohio!!! MICHAEL COLE and TAZZ welcome us to the show, and pass things over to JIM ROSS and JERRY LAWLER who are ringside tonight for some reason. HUGO SAVINOVICH and CARLOS CABRERA man the Spanish announce table, and are certainly excited about something concerning Booker T.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. BILLY KIDMAN vs. CHAVO GUERRERO JR. vs. SPIKE DUDLEY (for the WWE world cruiserweight title)
Spike Dudley as “The Boss” is quite possibly the most ill-conceived angle EVER. First of all, and this is the most important part to me, I hate Spike Dudley. Secondly, people are supposed to be AFRAID of this guy??? The only thing frightening about Spike Dudley is his goatee that’s getting wildly out of control. I’m convinced I could kick this guy’s ass, and I don’t feel that way about many human beings, pro-wrestlers aside!!! Chavo and Kidman pair off, while Rey takes it to Spike. Spike gets a slam, and hits Kevin Sullivan STOMP TO THE STOMACH! Wipe him off the mat, he’s dead. Kidman hits a dropkick on Spike, and turns his attention to Rey. Rey nails him with the carpetmuncher, and clotheslines Kidman to the floor. Rey and Chavo start going through some double flippy mat work, resulting in a series of 2 counts. Chavo tries a powerbomb, but Rey hits him with a rana. Rey goes for a springboard moonsault, but he’s caught by Chavo and slammed. Spike hits the ring again and stands on the throat of Rey. Knee to the temple of Rey, but Chavo’s back in. They hit eachother with clotheslines. Kidman and Rey fight on the top rope, and Rey gives him a rana off the apron to the floor! That prompts a “HOLY SHIT” chant. Back in, Chavo throws Rey to the outside senton style, and he winds up nailing Kidman again. Chavo then gives both guys a plancha, and only Spike is in. He gets the bright idea to give them a plancha as well, but he misses and hits the mat. Kidman and Chavo find themselves alone in the ring. Chavo gives Kidman a series of uppercuts, and follows with a backdrop. A backdrop suplex gets 1 before Spike hits the ring to break that up. Spike hits Chavo with an atomic drop and clothesline for 1 before Rey saves. Spike whips Rey to the buckle, then slides him to the outside, having Rey belly flop to the mat below. Spike goes up, but Chavo cuts him off. Kidman joins the party on the bottom, and we get an electric chair superplex!!! Rey slides in and tries a pin on both Chavo and Spike for 2. Kidman hits Rey with his BK Bomb, and goes for the Shooting Star Press to a ton of heat! Chavo dumps him quickly, and then Spike spears Chavo to the outside. Rey also takes a spear, and Spike goes for the Dudley Dawg. It’s blocked, and Rey hits the 619!!! The West Coast Pop is blocked by Kidman, and Rey’s pulled to the floor. Chavo goes after Spike, and hits the Gory Bomb for 2 before Kidman saves with a legdrop! Rey takes Kidman out with a rana to the outside, and Spike steals the pinfall on Chavo at 9:04. ** What a wasted bunch of spots. Honestly, this could have gone about 18 minutes, and featured them tagging in from the apron, meaning with only 2 guys in the ring we may have been able to follow what the hell was going on. Regardless, the least deserving of the bunch leaves once again with the Cruiserweight title because the writers have a sick sense of humor.
PAUL HEYMAN and JON HEIDENREICH are in the back. Paul’s hyping Jon up, and then leaves to get his jacket. GENE SNITSKY happens into the room, and they go face to face grunting a lot. “I LIKE YOUR POETRY!” growls Snitsky! “AND I LIKE WHAT YOU DO TO BABIES!” breathes Heidenreich! “I’LL SEE YOU LATER!” bellows Snitsky! “I’LL SEE YOU SOON SNITSKY!” grunts Heidenreich! GIVE THEM THE TAG-TEAM TITLES!!!!!!
CHRISTIAN (with Tyson Tomko) vs. SHELTON BENJAMIN (for the WWE intercontinental title)
Benjamin works a hammerlock while JR rambles on and on about Shelton being the belt pure athlete in the arena, while Lawler tries to find exceptions. Christian’s taken down, and scurries to the ropes for safety. He tries to take down Shelton, but he keep nipping right up. A running shoulderblock takes down Christian, and he goes to consult Tyson for advice. Apparently slapping Benjamin was the best idea they could come up with, and Christian gets his ass kick. Christian goes to dump Shelton, but Benjamin hangs on and skins the cat. A springboard clothesline follows suit, and gets a 2 count. Christian chops away at Benjamin and screams that he is in fact Captain Charisma. No one doubt that for a second! Shelton comes back with a flapjack and an Oklahoma roll for 2. Christian dives out to the safety of the floor, and sends Tyson over to talk smack to Shelton. In the mess, Christian sneaks up behind Benjamin...and gets clobbered anyway. Tomko and Benjamin start getting into it, and Shelton like a fool goes to dive off the apron - but Christian’s there, and shoves him off into the security wall instead. Christian chokes out Benjamin and calls out to his Peeps...who actually respond! Good deal! Shelton hits a crossbody for 2. Christian comes right back with a neckbreaker for 2. Christian puts on a chinlock that certainly resembles a choke much more - but the referee lets it go. Benjamin is tossed to the outside, and Tomko drives him back first into the apron. Back in, Christian gets a 2. Christian goes up, and hits a very interesting tornado Scorpion Deathdrop, but it only draws 2. Benjamin is choked out in the ropes, and Christian starts REALLY talking the trash now. “You’re just a flash in the pan! I’m a 3-time Intercontinental champion you son of a bitch!” JR apologizes, despite using the word more than anyone else on the roster. Christian is whipped sternum first into the buckle, and Benjamin takes over with a series of clotheslines. The flying jalapeno hits its mark, and a side Russian legsweep gets 2! A bridged rollup gets 2. Christian opts to go back to the trash talk, and winds up hit with a slingshot fisherman’s suplex for another 2! The Stinger splash misses, and Christian hits the Impaler...for 2! Tomko slides in the IC belt, and then distracts the referee. However, it gets booted back into his face via Benjamin, and then he’s nailed with a top rope clothesline for a close 2! The referee tossed the IC belt away, and in the distraction Tomko kicks Shelton in the face, giving Christian 2! They get into a slugfest, and Christian goes for the Unprettier. Shelton escapes, nails the Exploder, and retains his belt at 13:24!! ***1/4 JR calls this a “break through performance”.
KURT ANGLE wanders around the backstage area, and finds his old friend EDGE. “I have something to say to you! I read your book! I didn’t appreciate what you wrote about me. I was nearly bleeding to death naked in a hotel room...” It goes on from there. They wind up arguing over Shawn Michaels getting picked for the Taboo Tuesday match, and Edge says it doesn’t matter because he took Michaels out. Kurt: “I could make Shawn Michaels tap in seconds.” Wanna bet he regrets THOSE words someday? Meanwhile, EUGENE has spotted Kurt, whom of course he’s never met before. Eugene reels off a list of his accomplishments, including “you suck!” He then chants it at Kurt who takes off.
KURT ANGLE, MARK JINDRAK, LUTHER REIGHNS, and CARLITO “CARRIBEAN” COOL (with Jesus) vs. THE BIG SHOW, ROB VAN DAM, EDDIE GUERRERO, and JOHN CENA
Long before the bell even sounds, Cena beats the piss out of Jesus. Carlito runs off before anything happens, and Cena absolutely destroys Jesus in the backstage area over the better course of 3 minutes. Carlito and Jesus hop in the nearest car and take off. Cena heads right back to the ringside area - and the decision is made that since Carlito left, the heels are gonna be short-changed. Everyone starts fighting on the outside, but Big Show hauls Jindrak back into the ring and commences the destruction. He eats a powerslam, and RVD heads in. Van Dam gives him the step over spin kick, and allows Eddie to do his thing. Eddie hits a slingshot senton, and RVD hits Rolling Thunder for 2. A belly to belly suplex gets 2. Eddie gives Jindrak a rana, then hits him with another one while giving Luther Reigns an armdrag at the same time. Angle heads in, and hammers Guerrero in his corner. Reigns hits Eddie with a pair of backbreakers, and finishes with a side slam for 2. Back to Jindrak, and he hits a back elbow for 2. Jindrak tries to put on a full nelson, but he gets it off and sends Mark head first to the buckle. Angle comes in and cuts Eddie off from tagging out. Belly to belly is delivered, and Reigns comes back in. He hits the butterfly suplex, and goes back to Jindrak. A snapmare is moved into a chinlock, and the crowd tries to will Eddie back into this. Eddie hits a Stunner to escape, and gives Jindrak a flapjack. Angle ensures the ring remains cut off with a front facelock. Eddie fights it, but can’t quite make it. Jindrak gets a body slam for 2. He drops a pair of elbows, swivels the hips, drops it a third time, and gets 2. Jindrak works a bearhug, but Eddie gets out, hits a rana, and tags in RVD! Van Dam hits Angle with a monkey flip, and then sweeps his feet out from under him. He goes for the Five Star, and hits it on Jindrak who sacrifices himself for Kurt! RVD shoves Jindrak away, but gets rolled up by Kurt with a handful of tights at 7:49! Eddie then rolls up Jindrak with the ropes in retaliation and gets the pinfall at 8:13! Angle drops an audible f-bomb on camera. Big Show and Reigns are in now, and Reigns pounds away. Show throws Reigns into the corner and kicks his ass. Kurt eats a big boot, but then Reigns chops Show at the legs. It matters not, because Show gets up, chokeslams Reigns, and gets the pinfall there at 10:33. Angle’s as good as dead. He blocks a chokeslam with a rollup and puts Show into an ankle lock! However, Show rolls forward to get it off, and Kurt falls to the floor. He threatens to walk out on the match, but RVD catches him on top of the apron. Kurt tells him to go back to the back where losers belong, but now Big Show’s out there. Angle is easily sent back in. Cena gives him an FU, Guerrero the Frog Splash, and Show takes the pin at 12:27! **1/2 Van Dam comes in to celebrate as if he had anything to do with this match, and the super friends all pose for the fans.
THE MAVEN winds up getting interviewed by THE COACH. He suggests maybe Maven shouldn’t be part of the main event because he sucks. Maven argues, but Coach’s point is made seconds later when Snitsky hits the set and absolutely tears him apart. Gene throws Maven all over the set, and into some luggage. Maven does what might be his first blade job, and FIT FINLAY has to carry him off.
JON HEIDENREICH (with Paul Heyman and Little Johnny) vs. THE UNDERTAKER
I’m so sick of this, and the Kane/Snitsky feud after dealing with both of them since October. Having recapped all the other PPV matches those pairs have had except for this one, I’m *hoping* this is the last time I have to deal with either one. Taker beats down Heidenreich in the corner, then takes him down with a big boot. An elbowdrop gets 2. Taker starts working over the arm and goes Old School. Heyman distracts the referee, so Heidenreich blocks the move with a lowblow. That’s follows with the classic “pull the guy by the legs, nut first to the ringpost.” Heidenreich pounds on Taker outside the ring, but winds up getting slammed face first into the steps. Taker rolls Heidenreich back in, and drives his forearm into the throat while he lies on the apron. In the same position, Taker drops a leg. Back in, Taker gets 2. He tries Old School a second time, and this time he hits the move. Reverse Russian legsweep gets 2. Taker charges with a big boot, but Heidenreich moves, and he winds up crotching himself on the top turnbuckle. Jon knocks Taker outside, and follows. He punches Undertaker a few times, rolls him in, and gets 2. A big boot gets 2. A chinlock is worked, but Taker escapes. A clothesline gets 2. A second clothesline is followed by a pair of elbowdrops. A running elbowdrop misses, and Taker stands. Heidenreich goes for a suplex, but Taker blocks it and hits a vertical suplex of his own. The pair slug it out in the middle of the ring, and Taker wins. Heidenreich responds by dumping Taker to the outside. Taker fires back with a neckbreaker over the ropes, and hits a flying clothesline for 2. Heidenreich is given snake eyes, followed by a big boot and legdrop which gets 2. Undertaker is no Hulk Hogan, even if he is following his gameplan for “overstaying one’s welcome”. Heidenreich comes back with a Bossman slam for 2! Heidenreich starts to fire away in the corner, but winds up getting hit with the Last Ride...however, Jon puts his arm on the ropes at 2. Heidenreich puts on a sleeper, but it’s reversed with a back suplex. Zombie situp, flying clothesline, chokeslam, and tombstone all hit in succession, and we’ve got us a winner at 15:54. *1/2 That certainly was Very Long.
MARIA, who can’t act her way out of a paper bag, bumps into ERIC BISCHOFF. She wants a Maven update. Bischoff says Maven may not be able to compete tonight. Thank god! She wants to know if Randy Orton gets a replacement, but he isn’t going to even think about getting into it because he’s got a vacation coming, and he does NOT want to deal with Triple H’s protests and get stuck in a board room.
TRISH STRATUS vs. LITA (for the WWE women’s title)
Trish makes fun of Lita’s pregnancy weight, which leads to a beat down. Trish rolls out for safety, and Lita follows. Trish sends Lita face first into the announce table, but Lita gives her a drop toe hold into a chair. That’s followed by a beat down with a chair, and the referee’s had enough, tossing it out already at 1:11. DUD Trish is busted open here, and Lita draws heel heat. Lita responds by throwing Trish face first into the ringpost. Now she’s getting “LITA” chants. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m never comfortable with the visual of a woman bleeding. I guess that makes me sexist, since I enjoy seeing guys bleed all over the place.
TEAM EDDIE GUERRERO is hanging out in the back, when TEDDY LONG happens in. He thanks them for the great match, and asks to speak to John Cena alone. He hugs Cena and thanks him for a speedy recovery from the knifing. Cena’s pissed about the fact that Carlito’s got his belt, and he ran like nothing ever happened. Long tells him not to worry, because Carlito must defend the US Title this week on Smackdown!, and if he refuses to show, he’ll be stripped. Holla holla holla!
JOHN “BRADSHAW” LAYFIELD (with Orlando Jordan) vs. BOOKER T (for the WWE title)
This is Booker’s first pay-per-view title shot since his career burial at Wrestlemania XIX. Unfortunately, it’s been about 3 years since Booker was last wrestling like main event material. I suppose that’s a better track record than Bradshaw’s career of wrestling like a mid-carder. A “JBL” chant breaks out somehow, which is causing my head to spin. Bradshaw chops at Booker and sends him to the buckle, but Booker fires back. Bradshaw puts on a side headlock, releases, and takes Booker down with a shoulderblock. Booker comes back with a clothesline, and gives Bradshaw a sidekick. JBL takes a break, but comes back with a neckbreaker for 2. Booker gives Bradshaw a backdrop and clotheslines him to the outside. JBL takes the time to poke Booker in the eyes, and clears off the announce table. However, as he stands on it, he slips and nearly breaks the table with his fall. Hah! Booker throws some chops and rolls JBL back in. Orlando clotheslines Booker while he’s still outside, and rolls him in, giving Bradshaw a 2. JBL works a cobra clutch, and the fans try to will Booker to escape. He does, but gets a knee to the midsection. Bradshaw hits a big boot on Booker, drops a pair of elbows, and gets 2. To the chinlock. What’s with all the rest holds? We’re only 6 minutes in!!! Booker escapes, but gets hit with a back elbow, and JBL goes up! Booker catches him, and delivers a superplex! He gets 2. Bradshaw plays possum, and winds up throwing Booker to the outside. Jordan attacks on the floor once again, but this time Booker’s ready, and sends him face first to the ring post. JBL attacks, and eats a Book End!!!! Jordan takes a superkick!!! The fans are alive now, with a LOUD “BOOKER T” chant! Bradshaw is tossed head first to the ring steps! Orlando takes the axekick! Absolute mutilation going on here at the hands of Booker T... He goes up for his missile dropkick, and hits it!!! If this is 1999, it’s over, but it’s not, so the match continues after a 2. Booker raises the roof while JBL calls for timeout. 110th Street Slam connects, and Booker goes up again, this time for the Harlem Hangover!!! It MISSES, largely because Booker hesitated when Orlando was distracting him, and Bradshaw winds up getting a 2 count. Bradshaw gives Booker a headbutt, and puts on a headlock. Booker counters with a backdrop suplex, and then fires off a spin kick. The bicycle kick gets 2. Man, Booker’s whipping out all his classic trademark spots. Booker goes for the axekick again, but this time Orlando trips him up, and the distraction is enough for JBL to then hit a DDT. Booker whips Bradshaw to the corner, but he hits the referee. Booker hits a superkick, but Jordan hits the ring and beats on Booker. JOSH MATTHEWS (WTF?!?) comes to chase off Orlando, but all he actually winds up doing is taking a Clothesline From Hell courtesy of Bradshaw. Booker nails JBL with a running enzuigiri and follows with an axekick. No referee. A second ref hits the ring, but Orlando pulls him out at 2! Booker’s had enough and gives Jordan the Book End. However, JBL’s grabbed the title belt, clocks Booker, and retains the title at 14:45. ***1/2 That was Booker’s best performance in AGES, and if he went back to wrestling like that on a regular basis, the fans might be able to will him back to World Title status.
EVOLUTION dresses for their upcoming match, and Hunter says it’s going to be a big night. However, Batista’s not sure about Snitsky’s mental state. Triple H doesn’t really care, and simply can’t wait to run RAW, promising that neither Edge nor Snitsky will be in any position to do anything after the match.
CHRIS BENOIT, CHRIS JERICHO, and RANDY ORTON vs. BATISTA, TRIPLE H (with Ric Flair), GENE SNITSKY, and EDGE (in an elimination match - winner controls RAW for a month)
This was during the 2 months they were properly booking Snitsky, and it really disappoints me they’ve managed to fuck him up because he could EASILY be in the Batista spot right now. Edge and Benoit start. They slug it out, as you might expect. Benoit chops him down, and Edge takes a powder. Back in, Edge is quick to tag in Snitsky. Benoit’s not really sure what the hell to do with him, so he turns things over to Orton. THIS should be some high comedy. Orton beats him down with his crappy punches, then does his pose to JEFFHARDYSQUEEEEEAL!!! In comes Jericho. As designated whipping boy, he takes a clothesline. Orton and Triple H tag in. Orton beats him down in the corner, but Triple H comes back with the high knee. Bring on Big Dave! He shows Mr. RKO how to throw a punch, then delivers the shoulderblocks. A powerslam gets 2. Edge enters and mocks the Orton pose. Why won’t he just reunite with Christian already??? He beats on Orton, and gives him a drop toe hold, followed by an elbowdrop for 2. A dropkick hits the mark, but Orton comes back with an uppercut and clothesline. Benoit tags in and beats on everyone. That’s my boy! Snap suplex for Triple H. German suplex for Snitsky! German suplex for Batista! Three German suplexes for Hunter!!! Thumb to the throat, snap suplex for Edge ON to Triple H, and Benoit heads up! A flying headbutt hits both Edge and Triple H, getting a 2 count on Hunter before Snitsky saves. Jericho brawls with Snitsky and dumps him outside. Meanwhile, Benoit locks Triple H in the Sharpshooter! He’s caught in the middle of the ring, but Snitsky makes the save with a clothesline. Now Benoit puts Edge in the Crossface, but Batista breaks that one up. Triple H gets in a Pedigree on Benoit while Snitsky distracts the referee, and Edge gets the pinfall at 7:27. Crowd is NOT thrilled with that after the total one man beating Benoit laid on Team Hunter. Jericho heads in with Edge, and takes a swinging neckbreaker. He tags out, but both Hunter and Snitsky think they got the tag, and both want in. So that leads to an argument, and you do NOT want to piss off Gene. He shoves Triple H on his ass, which brings in Big Dave, and we get us a series of f-bombs dropped in this exchange, as you might imagine. While they argue, Jericho’s put Triple H in the Walls, and none of the heels except Ric Flair apparently notice. Dave finally sees it and breaks it up, prompting Randy Orton to rush in and attack Batista. Jericho goes for the Lionsault on Triple H, but Flair trips him off, and the referee throws him out of the building. Flair that is, not Jericho. Jericho and Orton double team Batista while Flair tries to re-rush the ring, but to no avail. Batista kills both faces with clotheslines, and dumps Orton. Jericho takes the spinebuster, Dave drops more f-bombs, but Orton clocks him with the World Title. Jericho hits the running enzuigiri, and that’s it for Batista at 10:40. Dave wuz robbed!!! Jericho hits Edge with a springboard dropkick, propelling him into Snitsky, knocking both out. Batista’s still upset about losing though, and clotheslines Jericho on his way out to say goodnight. Snitsky tags in, and stomps like crazy on Jericho. A backdrop is followed by a choke, and the fans start in on a “Y2J” chant. The referee reprimands Gene for holding the choke so long, and Snitsky yells “I’VE GOT 5, SHUT UP!” Brilliant! Edge is in, and he tees off on Jericho. Chris comes back with a neckbreaker, so Edge tags out to Snitsky. Gene knocks Orton off the apron, but that just pisses Randy off. So he comes in to attack...and Snitsky manhandles him, and dumps him outside again. Now THAT’S high comedy. Triple H and Edge double team Orton outside the ring, but Snitsky takes a DDT from Jericho. THE MAVEN wanders out, a bloody mess, but he wants to be part of the match. He tags in, and takes it to Snitsky. Give me a break. He hits the flying jalapeno, and then takes down Hunter and Jericho. Snitsky rolls out, apparently BUSTED OPEN BY MAVEN?!? Fuck off... Triple H takes a top rope bulldog from Maven, so Snitsky casually enters and SLAMS Maven over the head with a chair. So he takes a DQ at 16:03, but he doesn’t care and hits Jericho as well. He rolls outside, jabs the chair into Orton’s midsection, then smacks him over the head. Hunter then rolls over and pins Maven at 16:49. Good. Triple H picks Jericho up off the mat, and rolls him in to Edge who’s waiting. He covers, but only gets 2. That’s an easy way to get Edge worked into a frenzy. Triple H tries to Pedigree him, but gets backdropped. So Edge spears Jericho instead, and pins him at 18:06. 2-on-1, and naturally Triple H and Orton make up 66% of that trio. Edge gets a funny look on his face, and just waits for Orton to pull himself back into the ring. Orton dares them to come get some...so they do, and stomp the shit out of him. I could watch Randy Orton get beaten on all day. Edge gives him a backdrop suplex for 2. Triple H heads in and slaps him around. A DDT gets 2. Edge comes in, but Orton starts throwing punches at both Hunter and Edge. Edge takes a powerslam, and they’re both down. Back up, Orton dropkicks Edge into Triple H, knocking him off the apron, and rolls Edge up for 2! He throws a series of punches at Edge, so Triple H enters and gives him a spinebuster. Edge goes for the spear...but hits Triple H by mistake! Edge turns around, right into an RKO, and he’s pinned at 23:01. Bah. As usual, we’re left with Triple H and Orton, and the fans are chanting “RKO”. He goes for it...but Triple H gives him a lowblow to block it. He goes for the Pedigree, but Orton reverses it, hits the RKO, and wins the match at 24:33. ***1/2 Decent elimination match, but I could have lived without seeing Orton go over again, although the alternative would have been Triple H going over again, so we were stuck either way. And that wraps it up.
Good enough show on the whole, with nothing glaringly terrible. The opener was something of a mess though, and if they’d shaved about 8 minutes off the Taker match and handed it to the cruisers, we might have something better on the whole to be talking about.
That said, the evolution of Heidenreich and Snitsky hit its peak here, and unfortunately the unintentional comedy has since become relatively forced, and both guys are on the way down. Oh well, I imagine I’ll live.
The opening video package is perhaps the best one TNA’s put together to date, highlighting the importance of the 3 championship matches, as well as profiling each guy in each match. Whomever is behind the production these days has their stuff together.