|Survivor Series 2007|
by J.D. Dunn
November 18, 2007
Live from Miami, Fla.
Your hosts are Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Taz, Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield.
ECW Title: CM Punk vs. The Miz vs. John Morrison.
Ah yes. The ECW token match. You know how Major League Baseball requires at least one player from each team to make the all-start team even if others are more deserving? ECW is like that. It looks like they're starting to move talent around to make it the brand for tomorrow's hot young stars, though. Fine by me. Miz and Morrison, the unlikely tag champs, move in on Punk but he boots Miz right in the face and clears the ring. SUICIDA! Miz and Morrison team up against Punk, but Miz turns on Morrison and shoves him to the floor. Miz tries to make Punk humble with the Camel Clutch. Morrison slingshots in and dropkicks him, though. The Split-Legged Corkscrew Moonsault gets two, but Punk makes the save. Punk ranas Morrison into a powerbomb by Miz. Punk makes the save again and hits Welcome to Chicago. Morrison blocks the Go2Sleep, but Miz knocks him to the floor while trying to help. Miz is so stunned he staggers into the Go2Sleep at 7:59. Not bad. Get these guys some storylines. STAT! **1/2
Recap of MVP turning on Matt Hardy. MVP tells us that Matt won't be competing for a while because he can't walk without a crutch. He says Matt should be used to that since he's been propped up by a crutch his whole career. OH SNAP! Actually, if they could work in Jeff coming for revenge, it'd make a great storyline.
10-Diva Tag Match: Beth Phoenix, Melina, Victoria, Layla & Jillian Hall vs. Mickie James, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly & Maria.
Melina botches her splits entrance. It should be noted that, if it were a man who did that, his career would be over. So would his sex life. Michelle and Victoria start, and McCool has a wardrobe malfunction. THERE'S A TITTY ON THE LOOSE! BE ON THE LOOKOUT! You just know they had to top Awesome Kong. Kelly Kelly goes after Layla but gets kicked by Jillian and takes the Brumski. Beth Phoenix finally says, "To hell with all this" and kills Maria dead with a powerslam. She tags back out, though, allowing Mickie James to dominate the heel team. Mickie finishes Melina with the Long Kiss Goodnight at 4:40. It didn't really connect, but Melina sold it anyway. This was harmless fun. Hot chicks in skimpy out fits. *
In the back, Hornswoggle paces nervously.
Randy Orton delivers… a promo… a promo.
Elsewhere, Shawn Michaels shows him how it's done.
World Tag Team Titles: Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch vs. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes.
Rhodes fends for himself against Cade and then Murdoch. The crowd is out of it, though. Holly tags in and gets a few pops from his stiff chops. Holly clotheslines Cade over, and the challengers clear the ring. Decent "Holly" chant going. Cade misses a charge and gets schoolboyed for two. Murdoch gets the blind tag, though, and the heels take over on Holly. The champs try the old "atomic drop your partner onto the opponent" spot, but it backfires. Cody gets the hot tag. Cody nails Murdoch with a missile dropkick for two. Cade makes the save and takes Holly to the floor. That allows Murdoch to hit the West Texas Destroyer for the win at 7:17. The usual tag match. None of these guys are over, though, except arguably Holly. Even that's suspect. **
In the back, Triple H tells his partners to forget all of the bad things he's done to them over the years and focus their energies on the heel team.
Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Kane & Rey Mysterio vs. Umaga, MVP, Big Daddy V, Mr. Kennedy & Fit Finlay (w/Matt Striker).
Matt Hardy is injured, turning this into a handicap match. I really prefer the method of doing brand vs. brand rather than heels vs. faces, but I guess with three brands it makes it a bit difficult. Rey dazzles the crowd (and Kennedy) with some aerial maneuvers. He gets two off the Pendulum Bomb. He and Jeff team up for Poetry in Motion. MVP tags in and beats Jeff down like he did his brother. Big Daddy V tags in and just slugs Jeff down. Kane cleans house but turns around into a Samoan Drop from Big Daddy V at 5:26. Hunter comes in and slugs away at Vee. Vee knocks him down but misses a splash. That sets up Triple H versus Umaga. Umaga hits a belly-to-belly but misses a diving headbutt. Rey tags in and slides between Umaga's legs. Umaga just turns around and stomps him in the gut, though. Rey fights to get a huracanrana on Umaga and gets in the 619. That sets up the West Coast Pop for two. Umaga just catches him and plants him with the swinging uranage. That sets up the Samoan Spike at 9:19. Hardy and Hunter look to be screwed, but Jeff is all, "I got this." Kennedy tags himself in. Jeff gets the better of him, but MVP yanks Kennedy away from the gun packet dropkick. MVP tags in and grabs a sleeper. Jeff fights back. Where on earth do you even buy a baby blue belt? MVP's kick misses, and he runs right into the Twist of Fate at 12:52. Hunter tags in and turns Kennedy into his bitch. He hits a spinebuster and avoids Big Daddy V, who was trying to make the save. Vee splats Kennedy, allowing Hunter to get the pin at 14:24. Vee gets pissed and tosses Jeff into the ringpost. In the ring, Vee tries to take on both guys but gets double-DDTd at 15:28. Finlay jumps Hunter, allowing Jim Ross to get in a Notre Dame crack. Jeff gets the tag and hits the gun packet on Finlay. Jeff gets backdropped to the apron, and Umaga kicks him right in the face. Finlay starts smacking Jeff around but runs into the Whisper in the Wind. Hunter and Finlay go at it. I wouldn't mind seeing that match-up on PPV. Umaga kicks Hunter in the head to break up the Pedigree. Hunter slips out of the Celtic Cross and hits the Pedigree on Finlay at 21:18. Umaga jumps Hunter right away but misses the buttalanche. Pedigree and Swanton. Jeff and Hunter survive at 22:10. I don't like the "babyfaces fight back against impossible odds" because it's so clichéd, but it looks like they're finally going to go ahead with a Jeff Hardy push. This went a long way toward doing just that. ***
Vince McMahon explains to Hornswoggle that he made this match so Hornswoggle could prove himself. He gives him quite the pep talk.
Hornswoggle vs. The Great Khali (w/Runjan Singh).
I guess it's time I start including Singh with Khali. I wonder if he's related to Makhan. Vince and Shane McMahon look on from ringside. The fans chant for Shaquille O'Neal to get in there, but Vince McMahon tells him to sit his ass down or he'll force him to listen to his own rap record. Well, that's what he *should* have done. Hornswoggle takes out the mouthy Runjan, much to Shane's delight. EMERALD MIST TO RUNJAN! Hornswoggle grabs the shillelagh, but Khali takes it away from him and swats him like a fly. Shane objects, but Vince pulls him back. Then, in my absolute favorite moment of the year (Yes, better than Jericho returning. Yes, better than Michelle McCool's boob.) Fit Finlay appears out of nowhere and goes postal on Khali with the shillelagh, drawing one of the biggest pops of the night. Hornswoggle gets DQ'd, but he survives at 3:16. 1/2*
Okay, so maybe it wasn't Macho Man reuniting with Elizabeth at WrestleMania VII, but it was a great moment from a character and storyline perspective. In fact, when I watched the weigh-in on Smackdown, the first thing I thought was "How great would it be if Finlay made the save. But they'd never do that." And this is one of the rare cases where they did! See, Finlay is still a tough Irish bastard who will bash a babyface's brains in, but dammit, he cares about his leprechaun. Too often, a heel turns into a cartoon character who doesn't have any sympathy or any values. When that happens, you start to see guys meandering around between upper midcard and lower midcard until they're released. And I know they're turning Finlay face, but the current heels (Orton, I'm looking at you) could stand to have a little more depth like this. MVP is a good example of a heel with depth. Kennedy is a good example of a guy who's devolved into a caricature with a catchphrase. So yes, this is seriously my favorite moment of the year. See, I really *am* easy to please.
WWE Heavyweight Title: Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels.
If Orton gets disqualified, he loses the title. If Shawn uses the superkick, he's disqualified. Shawn grabs a cravat and won't let go no matter what. Orton finally has to shove him into the corner and pummel him. Shawn shoves him back and fakes him out with the superkick. Instead, he chops him and rides him down into a rear naked choke. Orton pulls himself to the floor, so Shawn hits an Asai Moonsault. Back in, Orton rolls through a crossbody for two and clocks Shawn with a European uppercut. But, he's not even European! Shawn takes Orton down into a pretty crappy Sharpshooter. Pfft. Like Shawn would ever win with a Sharpshooter at the Survivor Series. **cough** Orton makes the ropes to break. He gleefully hits a rope-assisted DDT. Now it's Orton going with the rear chinlock. Shawn comes back with the Flying Forearm and kip-up. Orton blocks an atomic drop and snaps off a dropkick for two. He misses a second dropkick, though, and Shawn gets two. Odd moment as Shawn bodyslams Orton, but Randy pops up. Um, has he never seen a Shawn Michaels match?!? Shawn slams him again and hits the Picture-Perfect Elbow. He tunes up the band, and the ref warns him that he'll be disqualified. Instead, Shawn fakes Randy out again and small packages him. Orton rolls him up for two, but Shawn rides him down into the… Crippler Crossface. Oh. Um. Yeah, that's a bit awkward. Fans pop big, though. Orton gets his leg on the ropes. Orton rolls through another attempt and hits the Stretch Backbreaker. Orton stalks Shawn for the kick to the head, but Shawn catches him and turns him over into the Anklelock! See, he can't use his own finisher, so he's using other people's finishers. Awesome storytelling and psychology there. Randy reaches the ropes. Shawn goes for the figure-four but gets posted. Shawn slips out of a slam and instinctively goes for the superkick. He stops short, but that moment's hesitation allows Orton to hit the RKO for the win at 17:48. Randy *finally* gets a win to go along with his two-month plus reign. This was some awesome stuff. The work was good enough (***3/4-ish), as usual with Shawn, but the extra elements of psychology – Randy Orton being so freaked out by the multiple superkicks he's taken that he leaves himself open to making mistakes, and Shawn working all of the other famous finishers because he can't use his own but, in the end, letting a momentary lapse in concentration leave him open to the opportunistic Orton – add up to one of the best matches of the year in the WWE. ****1/4
After the match, Orton gets in Shawn's face and demands that Shawn tell him he's the best. Out of nowhere, Shawn pops him with the superkick. Normally, I'd roll my eyes at Shawn getting his heat back here, but it actually sets up Orton's quest for respect and his feud with Jericho.
Save_Us.X29. I wonder who it could be! Some guy named Gabbo, I guess.
World Heavyweight Title, Hell in a Cell: Batista vs. The Undertaker.
The fans seem to be solidly behind Taker as evidenced by the boos for Batista's early offense. Taker comes back, but the chokeslam is blocked. They fight to the outside where Taker grinds Batista's face along the mesh. Taker gets heelish, going back to that throat-crusher with the chair. Fans love it, though. Back in, Taker tries the Old-School Ropewalk Forearm, but Batista catches him with a spinebuster. Batista with the running powerslam for two. To the floor, Taker whips Batista into the steps and javelins him into the mesh. Batista is busted open. Back in, Taker gets two, but Batista fights back with a superplex. Taker waits for him to try to capitalize and locks in a Triangle Choke. Batista makes the ropes. Um… so? JBL actually points that out. Taker hits a suicida, but Batista blocks a shot with the steps and hammers Taker in the face with them. Back in, Batista goes for the mounted punches but takes a Last Ride. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Taker signals for the CHOKESLAM! ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Batista still won't succumb. Batista slips out of the Tombstone and spinebusters Taker. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Batista gets frustrated and pulls a table out from under the ring. He powerbombs Taker through it. ONE, TWO, THRE-NO! Now Batista's pissed. He grabs the steps and sets up to powerbomb Batista on them. Taker backdrops out of it, sending Batista's spine onto the steps. ONE, TWO, THRE-Batista grabs the ropes. TOMBSTONE! ONE, TWO, THRE-NOOOOO! Say what?!? Taker can't believe it, but he doesn't cry about it. Instead, he Tombstones Batista on the steel steps! ONE, TWO, THRE-Whaaaaaa? Oh, the cameraman yanked the ref out of the ring! But wait! That's not a cameraman. THAT'S EDGE! Edge returns from injury and smashes the camera in the Undertaker's face. He grabs a chair and gives Taker a one-man Conchairto with the chair and steps. Edge drags Batista onto Undertaker, giving the Animal the win at 21:29. Presumably, this sets up Edge going over Batista at Armageddon and then Edge/Undertaker at WrestleMania. JBL questions how Edge could have even gotten in the cage, a question that was answered on Smackdown. Like most of the other Batista/Undertaker battles, this actually felt like a clash of two titans. In the context of the feud, it really does make sense for them to kick out of finisher after finisher. Edge's interference doesn't hurt at all because it sets up the main event scene all the way to WrestleMania (if they want to take it that far). ***1/4
The 411: Hey, everybody delivered here. The two title matches were better than my expectations, and everything else was either pretty good or had some sort of redeeming factor (whether it be actual tits in the T&A match or Murdoch busting out the Destroyer). The best WWE PPV since Backlash.