Survivor Series Countdown: 2006

(2011 Scott sez:  There is no 2005 rant.  I think it was Cena v. Angle or something like that, I honestly forget.) The SmarK Rant for WWE Survivor Series 2006 – Weekly turnover on 24/7 is coming soon, so I figure I should get this one wrapped up while I could. – Live from Philly – Your hosts are Michael Cole, JBL, Jim Ross, and Jerry Lawler. They should just promote JBL to RAW and let him do all the PPVs with Jim Ross.  (2011 Scott sez:  Or they could have him come out of retirement and do a crappy run with Cena before retiring again.  Whatever.) Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes & Ron Simmons v. The Spirit Squad It’s like Slaughter gets thinner every year he’s retired. He should have  retired years before he did, I guess. Simmons starts with Mikey and easily overpowers him to start, catching a powerslam and fighting off all the Squad members. Mitch trips him up, but makes the mistake of bumping into Arn Anderson on the floor, resulting in a trip into the post. However, the low speed chase means both Simmons and Mitch are eliminated early. And AA gets tossed. Oh, that’s just excessive. So now it’s Slaughter against Nicky, and Sarge offers a handshake before clobbering him with a series of slams. This brings Dusty in for his first WWE PPV match in, like, 15 years, as he and Flair trade off on the kid and Sarge finishes him with the cobra clutch without breaking too much of a sweat, but Johnny sneaks in with a high kick and puts Nicky on top to eliminate Slaughter. Nicky is still toast, so Dusty drops the big fat elbow and pins him. Dusty gets worked over in the Squad corner, as I’m a little confused here — was this 5-on-4? Because there’s two eliminated on the Squad side and 3 guys left. Or was Mitch just there to cheerlead, pun intended? Anyway, Kenny tries to slug it out and gets flipped, flopped, and flown, but recovers by rolling him up and holding the tights for the pin. So Flair is alone against the three Squad members. Mikey pounds away in the corner, but Flair pins him in the corner to get rid of him. Kenny backdrops him and drops an elbow, but Flair cradles for the pin to even things up. This leaves Johnny, and I wouldn’t be betting on the Squad at this point, kids. Johnny grabs a headlock, but Flair turns that into a kneebreaker and you know what comes next. (Flair’s team d. The Spirit Squad, Flair figure-four — submission Johnny, 10:29, ** Sole Survivor: Ric Flair) Given the severe limitations of the legend side and what a joke the Squad were by this point, this was about as good as it was going to be.  (2011 Scott sez:  Ugh, my new format rants.  Glad I dropped that.) US title match: Chris Benoit v. Chavo Guerrero Common sense here said that Chavo should have gone over if they wanted to use this stupid angle to do anything meaningful with Chavo. Benoit gets a backbreaker to start and throws some chops. The video package makes me wish that they could bottle Vicki’s acting ability and turn it into a finishing move, because anyone watching her in these vignettes generally begs for mercy. Chavo fires back with forearms, but Benoit elbows him down for two. Chavo opts for the direct approach and beats him up in the corner, but it’s Benoit, he likes it. A crossface quickly results, but Vicki puts Chavo’s leg in the ropes. Benoit with the backdrop suplex for two, but he charges and hits the post. Chavo follows up with a backdrop suplex of his own and goes to a top wristlock, and follows with a dropkick for two. Chavo smacks him down again, but gets cocky and Benoit fires off the rolling germans and goes up. More wackiness with Vicky, as she grabs his leg and delays him long enough for Chavo to move. JBL suddenly goes off on a hilarious rant about how Chavo cheating is like finding a "hot chick on the road and sleeping with her — it doesn’t count if you don’t get caught, Michael!" If they put him on color commentary before giving him the World title in 2004, I never would have uttered a word of complaint. Chavo gets the frog splash for two and shoves Benoit into Vicki for two, but Benoit calmly reverses into the crossface and Chavo taps. (Chris Benoit d. Chavo Guerrero, crossface — submission, 8:23, **1/4) Nothing really exciting here, as Chavo was all about the stomping and Benoit pretty much dismantled him barring all the cheating from Vicki. The Vicki stuff just really, really bothers me and it hampers my enjoyment of matches involving Chavo as a result. Cole gets a good barb back at JBL, calling him a "1985 color commentator". Nice one, Michael.  (2011 Scott sez:  Holy cow, the Vickie Guerrero experiment looks fucking BRILLIANT in hindsight, given how cheap they were able to get her and what she meant to the product.) Meanwhile, Edge and Lita go for the cheap heat in Philly and Cryme Tyme sneaks into her dressing room and steals her laundry while Edge cuts a promo. WWE Women’s title: Lita v. Mickie James Lita, starting to look her age, smartly retired young and on top. Mickie, although probably the best worker that the division has left at this point, has been a much duller character since the stalker aspect was abruptly dropped. That’s not to say she’s even a good worker. Mickie hammers away on Lita in the corner to start, but Lita takes her down for the fake looking punches on the mat. Lita tosses her around while the fans turn on the match already, which is not a record for Philly, but pretty close. Mickie tries a headscissors, but Lita drops her on the mat and throws a kneelift that misses by a foot. Hey, I’m not asking for UFC-type contact here, but Trish set the bar pretty darn high and it’s silly to pretend otherwise. Suplex gets two. The fans do the good old "She’s a crack whore" chant for Lita, who responds with another suplex for two. Lita grabs a sleeper, but Mickie makes the ropes. The ref should test the arms of the people at ringside to see if they’re about ready to pass out, too. Lita goes up and splats on the mat, but Mickie stupidly buys the oversell and tries to go up herself. Lita brings her down with a suplex, and they slug it out, and Mickie makes the comeback. High kick gets two. Suplex gets two. Mickie goes up and Lita slams her and goes up to finish with the Litasault, but it only gets two. DDT is blocked by Mickie and she cradles for two. Lita rolls her up for two. Rollup by James gets two, reversed by Lita for two. Implant(s) DDT finishes for Mickie to end Lita’s career and give her the title. (Mickie James d. Lita, DDT — pin, 8:20, *1/2) I give it * for the finishing sequence and 1/2* for the gratuitous and frequent shots of Mickie’s ass. (2011 Scott sez:  I now add an automatic * to any Velvet Sky match for the same reason.  Her ring entrance alone generally keeps her out of the negative numbers.)  Lita’s bad night continues as Cryme Tyme brings out her stuff and sells it to the front row. Lita’s irritation at her stuff going for cheap is pretty funny. JBL tries to buy her panties for $100, so they keep the money and toss the underwear into the crowd. Given this exit, I’m really shocked Trish got the departure she did. Meanwhile, Michael Cole has a probing and revealing interview with Batista, who says nothing the entire time, thus improving his promos by 200% right off the bat. Shawn Michaels, HHH, Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy & CM Punk v. Randy Orton, Edge, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms & Mike Knox One of these things is shittier than the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong. So I bet Chris Warren didn’t think he’d be making royalties off the D-X theme again, although knowing the WWE legal team he’s probably not anyway. Funny bit to start with HHH convincing Kelly to flash while covering Shawn’s eyes, which results in Knox running in to defend her and getting superkicked. Buh-bye. Shawn: "Who was that guy?" Ha! It’s funny because it’s true. So with the comedy out of the way, Shawn trades leapfrogs with Nitro and mugs for the camera with Melina (OK, comedy mostly out of the way), then brings Jeff into the match. Drop sleeper and it’s over to Matt, which sets up a double-team for two. Helms comes in and dodges a flying Matt, leaving him set up for the heel team to work over. Punk gets the tag and throws knees on Nitro to a huge reaction in the same match with HHH, and the next month gets totally depushed. Coincidence? Anaconda vice gets rid of Nitro. Edge goes after Punk, and a cheapshot from Orton gives the heel team the advantage. Orton gets the dropkick for two. Helms takes him down and throws his own knees while working a facelock. Orton comes in and trades shots before hitting the RKO, but Shawn saves. Edge sets up for the spear, but hits the turnbuckle instead, and it’s hot tag to his HHHoliness. Knees for everyone! Helms looks to be the lucky recipient of the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE while the Hardyz get rid of Team RKO, but HHH decides to let the Hardyz finish with the swanton instead. Really, it was inevitable either way. Speaking of inevitable, the tag champs look at the numbers and decide that math is the better part of valor and walk out, but get dragged back in again. Edge takes a superkick and he’s gone, but that allows Orton to run away again. And again, he gets chased back in, and it’s KICK WHAM ELIMINATED. (Team DX d. Team RKO, HHH Pedigree — pin Orton, 11:34, ** Sole Survivors: Everyone) This was fun, if not a high-level technical match or anything. And to answer Jerry Lawler’s question, yes, several teams have survived completely intact, most notably Rick Martel’s team in 1990 and Undertaker’s team in 1995. I’m pretty sure there’s been others. First Blood match: Undertaker v. Mr. Kennedy I can’t really recall occasions where the First Blood stip has actually produced a good match, and the only good match I can think of, which just happened to be a First Blood match, is Steve Austin v. Kane from 1998 when Austin was on fire. Taker attacks to start and they immediately brawl on the floor, and Kennedy gets the worst of that. He retreats into the front row and UT tries headbutting him open, to no avail. Taker fires off the big boot, but gets sent into the stairs and Kennedy slugs away, but makes an ill-advised leap and gets caught. Taker drives him into the post and starts working on the back, and they finally head into the ring. Taker puts him on top, which was previously de-turnbuckled by Kennedy, and a superplex further punishes the back. Kennedy goes low, which reminds me: I think the Iron Sheik should make a comeback and start specializing in First Blood matches. Because really, it doesn’t specify WHERE the blood has to come from, and lord knows when he fucks his opponent up the ass to humble him there’s gonna be blood. Speaking of the blood being able to come from different sources, Kennedy goes low again and bails to regroup, which reveals blood coming from his internal organs via his mouth, but MVP slips in and wipes it up with a towel. Then turns on Kennedy and tosses him back in. That’s not very sportsmanlike! Taker pounds away in the corner while JBL notes that you don’t bleed internally unless something bad is wrong. Tell that to Ken Shamrock — he seemed to suffer internal injuries in every damn match during his WWF run. Kennedy and Taker slug it out while MVP brings a chair in, and that results in Taker doing a gory bladejob and the ref getting knocked out. That’s a hell of a chairshot. The ref returns and calls it for Kennedy. (Mr. Kennedy d. Undertaker, chairshot, 9:24, *1/2) At least this one didn’t run 20 minutes, but this stip does nothing for me, much like Inferno matches, casket matches, Buried Alive matches, and many others. It just doesn’t lend itself to telling an effective story, and really there’s only one storyline ever used: Babyface busts open the heel but the ref doesn’t see it, something nefarious happens to the face, heel wins without really winning. Come to think of it, has a babyface EVER won a First Blood match? Taker absolutely destroys Kennedy to get his heat back.  (2011 Scott sez:  Holy shit, Undertaker put over MR. KENNEDY?  The dude who wouldn’t even lay down for Brock Lesnar on the first go-around?  How did Ken Anderson fuck up this gig so badly?)  MVP, Test, Umaga, Finlay & Big Show v. Kane, Lashley, Rob Van Dam, Sabu & John Cena. Cena goes nuts to start, pounding Umaga and elbowing Finlay down, then brings in RVD. Umaga doesn’t take his early problems well, as he grabs a monitor and goes nuts, drawing a DQ early. The faces clean house, but John Cena is OUT, once again faced with impossible odds and all sorts of adversity to overcome. When we get going again, Finlay and Test work RVD over in the heel corner, and Test blocks a bodyblock attempt with a backbreaker. Finlay stomps away and drops an elbow, and MVP comes in for a chinlock before Rob rolls him up for two. Rob has apparently suffered non-fake internal injuries and is bleeding from the mouth and hobbling around the ring. Rob fights off Finlay with a spinkick, but Test trips him up. The ref gets distracted, however, allowing Kane to chokeslam MVP and Rob finishes him with the frog splash. Now would be a good time to tag. Sadly, Test cuts him off with the big boot and he’s gone. Sabu rolls up Test for two off that, and Lashley spears him as they head to the floor. Back in, Sabu drops the leg on Test and DDTs him to finish. Well, there’s no clotheslines to beat guys yet, but we’re in the ballpark. Show chokeslams Sabu and pins him. Can’t complain about the slow pace in this one. Kane comes in and they choke each other out, and Finlay clubs Kane behind the ref’s back and Show chokeslams Kane and pins him. Show powerslams Cena, who has more odds to overcome, and Finlay hammers him. Back to Show, for more of the forearms that club, and Finlay adds a shoulderblock in the corner. Cena catches him with a boot, however, and makes the hot tag to Lashley. Exploder gets two on Finlay. It’s BONZO GONZO and everyone clotheslines each other, and since it’s a Survivor Series that should mean all of them can be pinned. Finlay tosses his midget at Cena, and that allows Show to boot him while Lashley pins Finlay off-camera. This is a mess. Show is 2-on-1 against Cena and Lashley, and they double-team him with a DDT and Cena gets two. Double suplex and five-knuckle shuffle has the crowd booing, and Cena again overcomes the un-overcomeable and finishes Show with the F-U. (John Cena’s team d. Big Show’s team, Cena FU — pin Show, 12:35, *1/2 Sole Survivors: Lashley and Cena) This reminded me of the weird mixed-up tag match in 95 with Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson as the survivors. Lashley does nothing for me, whereas Johnson at least had intensity and charisma. Match was really rushed and did nothing for anyone. Smackdown World title: King Booker v. Batista If Batista loses he doesn’t get another shot at the belt, which everyone took to mean that he loses and then has to win the Royal Rumble, because really that would be the logical way to go about it. Batista won’t even let him into the ring before he attacks, which is treatment not befitting a King. Booker slugs back once they start the match properly, but Batista gets a suplex and goes for the powerbomb early. Booker books it out of there, but Sharmell talks him into heading back in. Batista gets a backbreaker for two, and follows with a short clothesline, times three. That gets two. Booker comes back with a weak hotshot, clearly dropping Batista on his side while Batista sells a throat injury, and follows with the slingshot under the ropes. Batista again clearly overprotects himself on camera. Batista + Selling = BAD. Booker superkicks him for two and slugs away in the corner, then goes to the eyes and follows with a corner clothesline. Bad sequence sees Batista coming back with a sideslam, as they seem to be having trouble with the simplest moves out there. Jackhammer gets two. A Bossman slam gets two. Odd choice there. Looked bad, too. There’s just no chemistry here with these guys. They slug it out on the apron and Booker superkicks Batista into the railing to take over. Back in, he gets two. JBL accusing Teddy Long of being racist against Booker is yet another great line. Cole just lets it go. Sidekick from Booker gets two. Booker hits the royal chinlock, but Batista comes back with a belly to belly and his stunning array of clotheslines. They head out and Booker hits the stairs, and back in for a flying shoulderblock from Batista that gets two. Ugly spinebuster gets two. Booker comes back with the Bookend and Batista can’t even take THAT properly, and that gets two. Axe Kick is countered with the Batista Bomb, but Booker is too close to the ropes. Sharmell gives him the title and distracts the ref, but Batista gets it, hits him with it, and gets the pin and the title. Way to cheat there, cheater. (Batista d. King Booker, beltshot — pin, 13:57, *) Batista used up all his goodwill with me LONG ago, and working with a guy like Booker, who only works up to the level of his opponent, completely exposed him worse than I’ve seen since his comeback. Slow, sloppy, poorly booked, just generally awful.  (2011 Scott sez:  Yeah, but Batista would get much more awesome later on.) The Pulse: While a couple of the matches were fun in a light-hearted way, this isn’t a show that inspires you to run out and buy the DVD or anything, and the main event was terrible. There’s nothing good enough for a recommendation on its own here, so recommendation to avoid.

UFC Preview

Here is my preview of UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson.
http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com/theultimatefightshow/?p=130
Also, make sure you check out The Ultimate Fight Show, this Saturday at Noon ET!
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theultimatefightshow/2011/11/19/the-ultimate-fight-show
Thanks for the support!

Should be a good show, but UFC runs way, WAY too many shows at this point.  Henderson v. Shogun should be a semi-main or a main event on free TV, not a PPV main.  I’m hoping that Hendo wins because he’d make for a more interesting challenger to Jon Jones than Rua would.

UFC Preview

Here is my preview of UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson.
http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com/theultimatefightshow/?p=130
Also, make sure you check out The Ultimate Fight Show, this Saturday at Noon ET!
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theultimatefightshow/2011/11/19/the-ultimate-fight-show
Thanks for the support!

Should be a good show, but UFC runs way, WAY too many shows at this point.  Henderson v. Shogun should be a semi-main or a main event on free TV, not a PPV main.  I’m hoping that Hendo wins because he’d make for a more interesting challenger to Jon Jones than Rua would.

UFC Preview

Here is my preview of UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson.
http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com/theultimatefightshow/?p=130
Also, make sure you check out The Ultimate Fight Show, this Saturday at Noon ET!
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/theultimatefightshow/2011/11/19/the-ultimate-fight-show
Thanks for the support!

Should be a good show, but UFC runs way, WAY too many shows at this point.  Henderson v. Shogun should be a semi-main or a main event on free TV, not a PPV main.  I’m hoping that Hendo wins because he’d make for a more interesting challenger to Jon Jones than Rua would.

Savage v. Piper

Was there ever a WWF mini-program between Savage and Piper?  Seems like those two would have had a feud for the ages during their prime.  Two of the all-time great heels, but even a face vs. face match in ’91-’92 timeframe would have been classic.  Obviously the later WCW matches were embarassing but both guys were done by then.

I am 99.9999% sure that they had at least one match in late 1986/early 1987 during a house show run, which would be after Piper’s return and face turn and before Savage’s face turn, but I don’t recall anything about it or if it’s on any video releases.  Otherwise, no, I don’t think they ever met outside of WCW, and more’s the shame because the promos would have been EPIC.  Can you imagine Piper blocking the double axehandle by giving Savage the Stooge Eyepoke?  My god, that would be worth **** right there.  

Savage v. Piper

Was there ever a WWF mini-program between Savage and Piper?  Seems like those two would have had a feud for the ages during their prime.  Two of the all-time great heels, but even a face vs. face match in ’91-’92 timeframe would have been classic.  Obviously the later WCW matches were embarassing but both guys were done by then.

I am 99.9999% sure that they had at least one match in late 1986/early 1987 during a house show run, which would be after Piper’s return and face turn and before Savage’s face turn, but I don’t recall anything about it or if it’s on any video releases.  Otherwise, no, I don’t think they ever met outside of WCW, and more’s the shame because the promos would have been EPIC.  Can you imagine Piper blocking the double axehandle by giving Savage the Stooge Eyepoke?  My god, that would be worth **** right there.  

Savage v. Piper

Was there ever a WWF mini-program between Savage and Piper?  Seems like those two would have had a feud for the ages during their prime.  Two of the all-time great heels, but even a face vs. face match in ’91-’92 timeframe would have been classic.  Obviously the later WCW matches were embarassing but both guys were done by then.

I am 99.9999% sure that they had at least one match in late 1986/early 1987 during a house show run, which would be after Piper’s return and face turn and before Savage’s face turn, but I don’t recall anything about it or if it’s on any video releases.  Otherwise, no, I don’t think they ever met outside of WCW, and more’s the shame because the promos would have been EPIC.  Can you imagine Piper blocking the double axehandle by giving Savage the Stooge Eyepoke?  My god, that would be worth **** right there.  

Survivor Series Countdown: 2004

The SmarK Rant for WWE Survivor Series 2004 – Live from Cleveland, OH. – Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz, all at ringside tonight for some reason.Opening match, Cruiserweight title:  Spike Dudley v. Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero v. Billy Kidman.  I guess Chavo is supposed to be a babyface now, despite being a terrible babyface.  Spike’s beard continues to impress, getting into Jim Neidhart territory now.  Rey starts with Spike while Chavo goes with Kidman.  Spike does the double-stomp on Rey and then double-teams Chavo along with Kidman, as they give him a corner clothesline before Kidman turns on Spike and dumps him.  Rey dumps Kidman, leaving Rey and Chavo.  Cole calls them "good friends" despite them fighting what seems like a million times in the past year.  They do a pinfall reversal segment and Rey counters a powerbomb with a rana, but Chavo catches a quebrada attempt.  Spike breaks it up and pounds on Rey in the corner, then chokes away.  Chavo clubs him down from behind and tries a backdrop suplex, and they clothesline each other.  Meanwhile, Kidman and Rey fight on the top and Rey brings him down with a rana off the apron that looked like a really painful landing.  That’s the point, I guess.  Chavo then atomic drops Rey over the top, onto Kidman, leaving it Spike and Chavo, but Chavo flows into a pescado onto the guys outside.  Spike tries his own, but everyone just moves and he splats.  Funny spot.  So back in, it’s Chavo and Kidman.  Cole accuses Kidman of "an intentional Shooting Star Press".  Perish the thought.  Spike goes after Chavo and gets an atomic drop into a clothesline, but Rey saves a pin.  Spike sends Rey into the corner in dramatic fashion and gets two.  Spike then bar-slides Rey under the ropes and to the floor in another nice bump.  Spike goes up and gets caught by Chavo, and Kidman assists in a stacked superplex.  That was an old Edge & Christian spot for those who weren’t around for their glory days.  They trade near-falls and then Kidman chokes Rey out in the corner, but misses a blind charge.  He comes back with a stiff BK bomb and goes up (which actually draws a reaction from the normally apathetic crowds these days) but he gets knocked off.  Spike goes with Rey and tries the Dudley Dog, but Rey counters into the 619.  Kidman pulls Rey down for another good bump by Rey, so Chavo hits the Gory Bomb on Spike for two.  Kidman saves THAT, too, but gets hauled out by Rey, and Spike steals the pin on Chavo at 9:04.  Too short, but tons of hot spots made it a lot of fun.  ***1/2 – Meanwhile, it’s the meeting of the minds, as Gene Snitsky bumps into John Heidenreich, and they proceed to have the exchange of the year:  "I like your poetry", "I like what you do to babies".  It’s not the same without the snorting and huffing, but it’s certainly the best thing they’ll ever do, promo-wise.  One only wishes, however, that Dan Madigan’s original plan for Heidenreich (frozen iceman Nazi from 1939) had gone through, so they could have had an exchange like "I like what you do to babies", "I like what you do to Jews" and really drawn some heat.  Of course, being managed by Paul Heyman probably wouldn’t be an option, then.  (2011 Scott sez:  They totally could have tied that Heidenreich idea in with Captain America!) Intercontinental title:  Shelton Benjamin v. Christian.  Your obvious sign of the night:  "Shelton is still champ."  No shit.  Lockup to start and Shelton works a hammerlock until Christian runs to the ropes.  Back to the center and Shelton wrestles him down again, but Christian makes the ropes again.  Christian works the arm, but Shelton counters out and grabs a headlock as JR informs us that Shelton ran a 4 240 at 235 at 1223 on 11/23/01 or whatever.  Apparently the numbers are very impressive, whatever they mean.  They slug it out and Shelton skins the cat into a punch, and then springboards in with a clothesline for two.  Shelton counters a monkey-flip and lands on his feet, into a cradle for two.  He misses a superkick and Christian bails, as Shelton foolishly follows.  They brawl outside and Tomko trips Shelton up a bit, and then goads him into trying a dive off the apron, which results in Shelton going splat.  Back in, Christian chokes away.  Shelton comes back with a cross body for two, but Christian gives him a neckbreaker in return and gets two.  Christian hits the chinlock and tosses him, allowing Tomko to do his thing on the floor.  Back in, Christian gets two.  They slug it out in the corner and Christian gets an inverted tornado DDT for two.  More choking follows and Shelton fights back, whipping Christian into the corner for the Bret Hart Bump.  Shelton makes the comeback with clotheslines and a flying forearm, into a Russian legsweep for two.  Rolling cradle gets two.  Christian tries another DDT, but Shelton reverses into a slingshot inverted suplex for two.  AWESOME.  Blinger splash misses and Christian spikes him with a DDT for two.  The belt gets sent into the ring and Christian charges, but gets the belt in the face as a result.  Shelton hits him with a flying clothesline for two.  Tomko comes in behind the ref’s back with a fast boot and Christian gets two.  Impressive speed there.  That was right out of the early Bubba Rogers playbook.  Shelton knocks Tomko off the apron with the dragon whip and blocks the Unprettier with the Exploder at 13:22 to retain.  Good stuff.  ***1/4  – Big Show, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena & RVD v. Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns & Carlito Caribbean Cool.  Cena brawls to the back with CCC and his bitch-boy right away, as I once again wonder at the mentality that EVERY heel on the roster must seemingly be surrounded by valets and bodyguards who add nothing to the product except someone else to stand on the apron and distract the ref.  Is Carlito really such a hot act that he needs to be giving the rub to young bodyguards or something?  (2011 Scott sez:  There were a lot of dead ends around this time, weren’t there?  Carlito went nowhere, as did Jesus) So Cena chases Carlito out of the arena, basically making it 4-on-3, and everyone brawls outside as we start officially.  Show pounds on Jindrak and chokes him down to start, then brings in RVD.  Leg lariat puts Jindrak down and Eddie springboards in, setting up Rolling Thunder for two.  Eddie works him over in the corner and gets a belly-to-belly suplex for two.  Flying headscissors for both Jindrak and Reigns, but Angle clobbers him from behind.  Reigns comes in with a pair of backbreakers into a sideslam, for two.  Jindrak gets a back elbow for two.  He goes to a full-nelson and Eddie powers him into the corner to escape, but Angle cuts off a tag.  Overhead suplex out of the corner and Reigns comes in and stomps Eddie some more.  Butterfly suplex and Jindrak comes in with a chinlock.  Eddie breaks with a jawbreaker and a flapjack, but Angle again cuts off the tag.  Eddie gets pounded back into the heel corner and Jindrak stomps away into a bodyslam for two.  A couple of elbows get two.  This heat segment is going on FOREVER, especially in a match with 8 guys and elimination rules.  Eddie finally comes back with a rana and makes the hot tag to RVD.  He works Angle over in the corner and monkey-flips him out, then goes up and frog splashes a crawling Jindrak.  Angle rolls him up for the pin at 8:44, however.  Eddie then rolls up Jindrak at 9:14, despite Jindrak being the illegal man.  Show comes in and gets Reigns, who attempts a slugfest with Show and loses.  Reigns goes for the bad ankle, however, only to get chokeslammed and pinned at 10:29.  That leaves Angle alone, and he quickly gets the anklelock on Show.  Show quickly counters out, and Angle walks, but eliminated RVD chases him back to the ring, where Cena F-U’s him into a frog splash from Eddie and Big Show gets the pin at 12:24.  Big long dull heat segment on Guerrero leading into a quick finish does not make a good elimination match.  ** – Heidenreich v. Undertaker.  If you’re gonna have a crazy heel named "Heidenreich" and give him a faux-Rammstein entrance music, why not just announce him from Germany instead of New Orleans?  Minute-long staredown to start and Undertaker slugs him into the corner.  Taker boots him down and drops a few elbows, which gets two.  He starts working the arm, but Heidenreich stops him with a low blow and then posts him.  They fight outside and Heidenreich wins that battle, but they ram each other into the stairs.  UT takes over, pounding the throat on the apron and dropping the leg.  Back in, Taker goes old school and gets a single arm DDT for two.  Taker misses a blind charge, however, and Heidenreich goes on offense, which sucks because Undertaker has an easier name to type.  He pounds away outside and gets two.  Big boot gets two.  He goes to a chinlock, and then clotheslines UT down for two.  Another try at a slugfest, but UT wins that, so Heidenreich clotheslines him again and drops an elbow, but misses one off the ropes.  They fight over a suplex and Taker gets it.  More punching, but Heidenreich tosses him.  Taker comes back with a necksnap on the apron and goes up with a flying clothesline for two.  Corner clothesline sets up Snake Eyes and a big boot, and the legdrop gets two, brother.  Chokeslam is blocked with a knee, however, and Heidenreich gets a sloppy Bossman slam for two.  He pounds away in the corner, but of course gets powerbombed for two.  And now Heidenreich tries a sleeper, but Taker suplexes out of it as I start to fear the match will never end.  Zombie situp and flying clothesline set up the chokeslam, but he doesn’t want the pin yet.  I DO.  Please pin him and end the boredom.  Tombstone finishes at 15:53.  Thank god.  Nothing technically wrong with it, but it was just slow and boring as all hell.  * – WWE Women’s title:  Trish v. Lita. Lita attacks to start and they slug it out, which Lita wins.  Lita takes her down for more punches and Trish bails, and they brawl outside.  Lita uses a chair for the DQ at 1:19.  Video package was longer than the match.  DUD  – Smackdown World title:  JBL v. Booker T.  Apparently tonight is the opportunity to realize his lifelong dream.  Despite him already winning 5 World titles.  They slug it out to start, won by Booker, but JBL uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS in the corner and grabs a headlock.  Booker clubs him back down off a hiptoss attempt and sidekicks him, and Bradshaw bails.  Back in, JBL stomps away into a neckbreaker for two.   Booker comes back with a clothesline to the floor, and they brawl.  Booker gets the worst of that as JBL preps the table, but Booker fights back and they head back in.  But not before Orlando Jordan gets a cheapshot.  JBL gets two off that.  Million Dollar dream from Bradshaw, as I guess he’s trying to rip off EVERY facet of Ted Dibiase’s career, but Booker fights out pretty quickly.  Back down with a big boot and some elbows, which gets two.  We hit the chinlock and Bradshaw elbows him down again and goes up, but Booker catches him with a superplex.  This is apparently the most astonishing thing Michael Cole has ever seen.  That gets two.  Booker heads out and beats on OJ, then catches JBL with a Bookend.  Back in, he gets two, and a sideslam allows him to go up, but Jordan keeps distracting him and Harlem Hangover misses.  Tazz has never seen the move before, so perhaps it’s just as well.  They slug it out and Bradshaw tries another sleeper, but Booker suplexes out of it.  Bicycle kick gets two for him.  He tries the axe kick, but it’s MORE interference from Jordan, which allows Bradshaw to DDT him.  The ref is bumped, which was the last thing this needed, and that allows Jordan to interfere freely and grab a chair.  Josh Matthews stops him, but gets laid out by JBL.  Booker comes back with the sidekick and gets two from another referee.  Bookend for Jordan and JBL hits him with the belt for the pin at 14:44.  Just ridiculously overbooked for such a wholly unremarkable match.  **  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh man, that JBL title run…good times.) Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Maven & Randy Orton v. Gene Snitsky, HHH, Batista & Edge.  Maven is currently absent due to an attack earlier in the evening.  Benoit starts with Edge and chops him out of the ring, so Snitsky comes in.  Orton wants him, however, perhaps because he really likes babies or something.  Orton clubs him down and Jericho adds some shots, but gets clotheslined down.  HHH comes in and walks into an elbow, then stomps away in the corner.  High knee puts Orton down and Batista works him over in the corner with shoulders and chokes him down.  Bulldog powerslam gets two.  Edge comes in and slugs it out with Orton, then drops an elbow for two.  Standing dropkick and he goads Jericho into trying to come in, but walks into a clothesline from Orton.  That brings Benoit in, and he goes after HHH with an elbow and baseball slides Snitsky, then starts throwing suplexes.  Rolling germans for HHH and he suplexes Edge onto him, then goes up and headbutts both at once.  That gets two on HHH.  It’s BONZO GONZO as Jericho brawls out with Snitsky and Benoit gets the Sharpshooter on HHH, but Snitsky recovers and breaks it up.  Benoit puts Edge in the crossface, because he’s there I guess, but Batista breaks that up.  Pedigree allows Edge to get the pin at 7:23, however, leaving it 4-on-2 for the heels.  Edge gets a neckbreaker on Jericho, but Snitsky argues with HHH over who’s legal, leading to a fight on the heel side.  Jericho gets the Walls on HHH out of all that, and then the bulldog.  Flair stops the Lionsault and gets tossed as a result.  Jericho and Orton double-team Batista in the corner while the ref argues with Flair, but he clotheslines both of them anyway.  MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for Jericho sets up the LARIAT OF DEATH, but Orton trips him up and the running enzuigiri finishes Batista at 10:39.  Now it’s HHH and Jericho, as Jericho sends Edge crashing into Snitsky, but Batista gets his revenge with the lariat he originally wanted.  That’s what you call a receipt, kids.  Snitsky kicks the crap out of Jericho and backdrops him out of the corner for some choking.  Edge comes in and pounds away, as apparently long-haired Canadian solidarity means NOTHING now.  Snitsky drops an elbow to cut off a tag and tosses Orton for good measure, but Jericho DDTs him.  He needs someone to tag, so Maven staggers out and tags himself in.  10 points for guts, minus several million for brains.  He forearms Snitsky down and holds off the heels for a bit, bulldogging HHH off the middle rope.  BLACK MAN ON PCP!  Snitsky, busted open hardway from the eye, cracks him with a chair to stop the path of rage at 16:02, thus drawing himself a DQ.  He makes sure to kill all the faces before he goes, however.  HHH casually pins Maven at 16:48 to get rid of him all proper-like.  HHH throws Jericho back in, and Edge gets two.  Edge misses a blind charge, but Jericho walks into a Pedigree, only to reverse.  Edge finishes him with a spear at 18:05 anyway, so he might as well have taken the Pedigree.  So it’s Orton v. HHH & Edge, and Orton is pretty much done.  It’s over.  Finished.  He couldn’t POSSIBLY triumph against such odds.  The heels double-team him in the corner and Edge does the honors, with a backdrop suplex for two.  HHH slugs him down and gets a DDT for two.  Orton fights out of the corner and powerslams Edge, then dropkicks him into HHH for two.  HHH gets revenge by spinebusting him, however, and he sets Orton up for the spear.  Edge misses, however, and it’s RKO at 22:58 to leave it Orton v. HHH.  Orton tries one on HHH, but a low blow prevents it.  HHH goes for the Pedigree, and it’s RKO #2 at 24:31 to finish.  JR’s little speech about Orton having enough of Evolution and quitting doesn’t really ring true, especially since HHH FIRED him and kicked him out.  Regardless, this was a fun little elimination match, if not up the level of previous years, as Orton’s insanely predictable push to Wrestlemania continues.  ***1/4  (2011 Scott sez:  Aha, guess Orton’s Wrestlemania moment wasn’t as predictable as we thought!) The Inside Pulse: Nothing bad, nothing great or remarkable, which is pretty much the hallmark of a thumbs in the middle show.  So that’s what it gets, as they continue to be stuck in a rut and somehow banking on Orton to save them.  (2011 Scott sez:  Orton didn’t save them, but Batista did.)

Survivor Series Countdown: 2004

The SmarK Rant for WWE Survivor Series 2004 – Live from Cleveland, OH. – Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz, all at ringside tonight for some reason.Opening match, Cruiserweight title:  Spike Dudley v. Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero v. Billy Kidman.  I guess Chavo is supposed to be a babyface now, despite being a terrible babyface.  Spike’s beard continues to impress, getting into Jim Neidhart territory now.  Rey starts with Spike while Chavo goes with Kidman.  Spike does the double-stomp on Rey and then double-teams Chavo along with Kidman, as they give him a corner clothesline before Kidman turns on Spike and dumps him.  Rey dumps Kidman, leaving Rey and Chavo.  Cole calls them "good friends" despite them fighting what seems like a million times in the past year.  They do a pinfall reversal segment and Rey counters a powerbomb with a rana, but Chavo catches a quebrada attempt.  Spike breaks it up and pounds on Rey in the corner, then chokes away.  Chavo clubs him down from behind and tries a backdrop suplex, and they clothesline each other.  Meanwhile, Kidman and Rey fight on the top and Rey brings him down with a rana off the apron that looked like a really painful landing.  That’s the point, I guess.  Chavo then atomic drops Rey over the top, onto Kidman, leaving it Spike and Chavo, but Chavo flows into a pescado onto the guys outside.  Spike tries his own, but everyone just moves and he splats.  Funny spot.  So back in, it’s Chavo and Kidman.  Cole accuses Kidman of "an intentional Shooting Star Press".  Perish the thought.  Spike goes after Chavo and gets an atomic drop into a clothesline, but Rey saves a pin.  Spike sends Rey into the corner in dramatic fashion and gets two.  Spike then bar-slides Rey under the ropes and to the floor in another nice bump.  Spike goes up and gets caught by Chavo, and Kidman assists in a stacked superplex.  That was an old Edge & Christian spot for those who weren’t around for their glory days.  They trade near-falls and then Kidman chokes Rey out in the corner, but misses a blind charge.  He comes back with a stiff BK bomb and goes up (which actually draws a reaction from the normally apathetic crowds these days) but he gets knocked off.  Spike goes with Rey and tries the Dudley Dog, but Rey counters into the 619.  Kidman pulls Rey down for another good bump by Rey, so Chavo hits the Gory Bomb on Spike for two.  Kidman saves THAT, too, but gets hauled out by Rey, and Spike steals the pin on Chavo at 9:04.  Too short, but tons of hot spots made it a lot of fun.  ***1/2 – Meanwhile, it’s the meeting of the minds, as Gene Snitsky bumps into John Heidenreich, and they proceed to have the exchange of the year:  "I like your poetry", "I like what you do to babies".  It’s not the same without the snorting and huffing, but it’s certainly the best thing they’ll ever do, promo-wise.  One only wishes, however, that Dan Madigan’s original plan for Heidenreich (frozen iceman Nazi from 1939) had gone through, so they could have had an exchange like "I like what you do to babies", "I like what you do to Jews" and really drawn some heat.  Of course, being managed by Paul Heyman probably wouldn’t be an option, then.  (2011 Scott sez:  They totally could have tied that Heidenreich idea in with Captain America!) Intercontinental title:  Shelton Benjamin v. Christian.  Your obvious sign of the night:  "Shelton is still champ."  No shit.  Lockup to start and Shelton works a hammerlock until Christian runs to the ropes.  Back to the center and Shelton wrestles him down again, but Christian makes the ropes again.  Christian works the arm, but Shelton counters out and grabs a headlock as JR informs us that Shelton ran a 4 240 at 235 at 1223 on 11/23/01 or whatever.  Apparently the numbers are very impressive, whatever they mean.  They slug it out and Shelton skins the cat into a punch, and then springboards in with a clothesline for two.  Shelton counters a monkey-flip and lands on his feet, into a cradle for two.  He misses a superkick and Christian bails, as Shelton foolishly follows.  They brawl outside and Tomko trips Shelton up a bit, and then goads him into trying a dive off the apron, which results in Shelton going splat.  Back in, Christian chokes away.  Shelton comes back with a cross body for two, but Christian gives him a neckbreaker in return and gets two.  Christian hits the chinlock and tosses him, allowing Tomko to do his thing on the floor.  Back in, Christian gets two.  They slug it out in the corner and Christian gets an inverted tornado DDT for two.  More choking follows and Shelton fights back, whipping Christian into the corner for the Bret Hart Bump.  Shelton makes the comeback with clotheslines and a flying forearm, into a Russian legsweep for two.  Rolling cradle gets two.  Christian tries another DDT, but Shelton reverses into a slingshot inverted suplex for two.  AWESOME.  Blinger splash misses and Christian spikes him with a DDT for two.  The belt gets sent into the ring and Christian charges, but gets the belt in the face as a result.  Shelton hits him with a flying clothesline for two.  Tomko comes in behind the ref’s back with a fast boot and Christian gets two.  Impressive speed there.  That was right out of the early Bubba Rogers playbook.  Shelton knocks Tomko off the apron with the dragon whip and blocks the Unprettier with the Exploder at 13:22 to retain.  Good stuff.  ***1/4  – Big Show, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena & RVD v. Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns & Carlito Caribbean Cool.  Cena brawls to the back with CCC and his bitch-boy right away, as I once again wonder at the mentality that EVERY heel on the roster must seemingly be surrounded by valets and bodyguards who add nothing to the product except someone else to stand on the apron and distract the ref.  Is Carlito really such a hot act that he needs to be giving the rub to young bodyguards or something?  (2011 Scott sez:  There were a lot of dead ends around this time, weren’t there?  Carlito went nowhere, as did Jesus) So Cena chases Carlito out of the arena, basically making it 4-on-3, and everyone brawls outside as we start officially.  Show pounds on Jindrak and chokes him down to start, then brings in RVD.  Leg lariat puts Jindrak down and Eddie springboards in, setting up Rolling Thunder for two.  Eddie works him over in the corner and gets a belly-to-belly suplex for two.  Flying headscissors for both Jindrak and Reigns, but Angle clobbers him from behind.  Reigns comes in with a pair of backbreakers into a sideslam, for two.  Jindrak gets a back elbow for two.  He goes to a full-nelson and Eddie powers him into the corner to escape, but Angle cuts off a tag.  Overhead suplex out of the corner and Reigns comes in and stomps Eddie some more.  Butterfly suplex and Jindrak comes in with a chinlock.  Eddie breaks with a jawbreaker and a flapjack, but Angle again cuts off the tag.  Eddie gets pounded back into the heel corner and Jindrak stomps away into a bodyslam for two.  A couple of elbows get two.  This heat segment is going on FOREVER, especially in a match with 8 guys and elimination rules.  Eddie finally comes back with a rana and makes the hot tag to RVD.  He works Angle over in the corner and monkey-flips him out, then goes up and frog splashes a crawling Jindrak.  Angle rolls him up for the pin at 8:44, however.  Eddie then rolls up Jindrak at 9:14, despite Jindrak being the illegal man.  Show comes in and gets Reigns, who attempts a slugfest with Show and loses.  Reigns goes for the bad ankle, however, only to get chokeslammed and pinned at 10:29.  That leaves Angle alone, and he quickly gets the anklelock on Show.  Show quickly counters out, and Angle walks, but eliminated RVD chases him back to the ring, where Cena F-U’s him into a frog splash from Eddie and Big Show gets the pin at 12:24.  Big long dull heat segment on Guerrero leading into a quick finish does not make a good elimination match.  ** – Heidenreich v. Undertaker.  If you’re gonna have a crazy heel named "Heidenreich" and give him a faux-Rammstein entrance music, why not just announce him from Germany instead of New Orleans?  Minute-long staredown to start and Undertaker slugs him into the corner.  Taker boots him down and drops a few elbows, which gets two.  He starts working the arm, but Heidenreich stops him with a low blow and then posts him.  They fight outside and Heidenreich wins that battle, but they ram each other into the stairs.  UT takes over, pounding the throat on the apron and dropping the leg.  Back in, Taker goes old school and gets a single arm DDT for two.  Taker misses a blind charge, however, and Heidenreich goes on offense, which sucks because Undertaker has an easier name to type.  He pounds away outside and gets two.  Big boot gets two.  He goes to a chinlock, and then clotheslines UT down for two.  Another try at a slugfest, but UT wins that, so Heidenreich clotheslines him again and drops an elbow, but misses one off the ropes.  They fight over a suplex and Taker gets it.  More punching, but Heidenreich tosses him.  Taker comes back with a necksnap on the apron and goes up with a flying clothesline for two.  Corner clothesline sets up Snake Eyes and a big boot, and the legdrop gets two, brother.  Chokeslam is blocked with a knee, however, and Heidenreich gets a sloppy Bossman slam for two.  He pounds away in the corner, but of course gets powerbombed for two.  And now Heidenreich tries a sleeper, but Taker suplexes out of it as I start to fear the match will never end.  Zombie situp and flying clothesline set up the chokeslam, but he doesn’t want the pin yet.  I DO.  Please pin him and end the boredom.  Tombstone finishes at 15:53.  Thank god.  Nothing technically wrong with it, but it was just slow and boring as all hell.  * – WWE Women’s title:  Trish v. Lita. Lita attacks to start and they slug it out, which Lita wins.  Lita takes her down for more punches and Trish bails, and they brawl outside.  Lita uses a chair for the DQ at 1:19.  Video package was longer than the match.  DUD  – Smackdown World title:  JBL v. Booker T.  Apparently tonight is the opportunity to realize his lifelong dream.  Despite him already winning 5 World titles.  They slug it out to start, won by Booker, but JBL uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS in the corner and grabs a headlock.  Booker clubs him back down off a hiptoss attempt and sidekicks him, and Bradshaw bails.  Back in, JBL stomps away into a neckbreaker for two.   Booker comes back with a clothesline to the floor, and they brawl.  Booker gets the worst of that as JBL preps the table, but Booker fights back and they head back in.  But not before Orlando Jordan gets a cheapshot.  JBL gets two off that.  Million Dollar dream from Bradshaw, as I guess he’s trying to rip off EVERY facet of Ted Dibiase’s career, but Booker fights out pretty quickly.  Back down with a big boot and some elbows, which gets two.  We hit the chinlock and Bradshaw elbows him down again and goes up, but Booker catches him with a superplex.  This is apparently the most astonishing thing Michael Cole has ever seen.  That gets two.  Booker heads out and beats on OJ, then catches JBL with a Bookend.  Back in, he gets two, and a sideslam allows him to go up, but Jordan keeps distracting him and Harlem Hangover misses.  Tazz has never seen the move before, so perhaps it’s just as well.  They slug it out and Bradshaw tries another sleeper, but Booker suplexes out of it.  Bicycle kick gets two for him.  He tries the axe kick, but it’s MORE interference from Jordan, which allows Bradshaw to DDT him.  The ref is bumped, which was the last thing this needed, and that allows Jordan to interfere freely and grab a chair.  Josh Matthews stops him, but gets laid out by JBL.  Booker comes back with the sidekick and gets two from another referee.  Bookend for Jordan and JBL hits him with the belt for the pin at 14:44.  Just ridiculously overbooked for such a wholly unremarkable match.  **  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh man, that JBL title run…good times.) Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Maven & Randy Orton v. Gene Snitsky, HHH, Batista & Edge.  Maven is currently absent due to an attack earlier in the evening.  Benoit starts with Edge and chops him out of the ring, so Snitsky comes in.  Orton wants him, however, perhaps because he really likes babies or something.  Orton clubs him down and Jericho adds some shots, but gets clotheslined down.  HHH comes in and walks into an elbow, then stomps away in the corner.  High knee puts Orton down and Batista works him over in the corner with shoulders and chokes him down.  Bulldog powerslam gets two.  Edge comes in and slugs it out with Orton, then drops an elbow for two.  Standing dropkick and he goads Jericho into trying to come in, but walks into a clothesline from Orton.  That brings Benoit in, and he goes after HHH with an elbow and baseball slides Snitsky, then starts throwing suplexes.  Rolling germans for HHH and he suplexes Edge onto him, then goes up and headbutts both at once.  That gets two on HHH.  It’s BONZO GONZO as Jericho brawls out with Snitsky and Benoit gets the Sharpshooter on HHH, but Snitsky recovers and breaks it up.  Benoit puts Edge in the crossface, because he’s there I guess, but Batista breaks that up.  Pedigree allows Edge to get the pin at 7:23, however, leaving it 4-on-2 for the heels.  Edge gets a neckbreaker on Jericho, but Snitsky argues with HHH over who’s legal, leading to a fight on the heel side.  Jericho gets the Walls on HHH out of all that, and then the bulldog.  Flair stops the Lionsault and gets tossed as a result.  Jericho and Orton double-team Batista in the corner while the ref argues with Flair, but he clotheslines both of them anyway.  MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for Jericho sets up the LARIAT OF DEATH, but Orton trips him up and the running enzuigiri finishes Batista at 10:39.  Now it’s HHH and Jericho, as Jericho sends Edge crashing into Snitsky, but Batista gets his revenge with the lariat he originally wanted.  That’s what you call a receipt, kids.  Snitsky kicks the crap out of Jericho and backdrops him out of the corner for some choking.  Edge comes in and pounds away, as apparently long-haired Canadian solidarity means NOTHING now.  Snitsky drops an elbow to cut off a tag and tosses Orton for good measure, but Jericho DDTs him.  He needs someone to tag, so Maven staggers out and tags himself in.  10 points for guts, minus several million for brains.  He forearms Snitsky down and holds off the heels for a bit, bulldogging HHH off the middle rope.  BLACK MAN ON PCP!  Snitsky, busted open hardway from the eye, cracks him with a chair to stop the path of rage at 16:02, thus drawing himself a DQ.  He makes sure to kill all the faces before he goes, however.  HHH casually pins Maven at 16:48 to get rid of him all proper-like.  HHH throws Jericho back in, and Edge gets two.  Edge misses a blind charge, but Jericho walks into a Pedigree, only to reverse.  Edge finishes him with a spear at 18:05 anyway, so he might as well have taken the Pedigree.  So it’s Orton v. HHH & Edge, and Orton is pretty much done.  It’s over.  Finished.  He couldn’t POSSIBLY triumph against such odds.  The heels double-team him in the corner and Edge does the honors, with a backdrop suplex for two.  HHH slugs him down and gets a DDT for two.  Orton fights out of the corner and powerslams Edge, then dropkicks him into HHH for two.  HHH gets revenge by spinebusting him, however, and he sets Orton up for the spear.  Edge misses, however, and it’s RKO at 22:58 to leave it Orton v. HHH.  Orton tries one on HHH, but a low blow prevents it.  HHH goes for the Pedigree, and it’s RKO #2 at 24:31 to finish.  JR’s little speech about Orton having enough of Evolution and quitting doesn’t really ring true, especially since HHH FIRED him and kicked him out.  Regardless, this was a fun little elimination match, if not up the level of previous years, as Orton’s insanely predictable push to Wrestlemania continues.  ***1/4  (2011 Scott sez:  Aha, guess Orton’s Wrestlemania moment wasn’t as predictable as we thought!) The Inside Pulse: Nothing bad, nothing great or remarkable, which is pretty much the hallmark of a thumbs in the middle show.  So that’s what it gets, as they continue to be stuck in a rut and somehow banking on Orton to save them.  (2011 Scott sez:  Orton didn’t save them, but Batista did.)

Survivor Series Countdown: 2004

The SmarK Rant for WWE Survivor Series 2004 – Live from Cleveland, OH. – Your hosts are JR, King, Cole & Tazz, all at ringside tonight for some reason.Opening match, Cruiserweight title:  Spike Dudley v. Rey Mysterio v. Chavo Guerrero v. Billy Kidman.  I guess Chavo is supposed to be a babyface now, despite being a terrible babyface.  Spike’s beard continues to impress, getting into Jim Neidhart territory now.  Rey starts with Spike while Chavo goes with Kidman.  Spike does the double-stomp on Rey and then double-teams Chavo along with Kidman, as they give him a corner clothesline before Kidman turns on Spike and dumps him.  Rey dumps Kidman, leaving Rey and Chavo.  Cole calls them "good friends" despite them fighting what seems like a million times in the past year.  They do a pinfall reversal segment and Rey counters a powerbomb with a rana, but Chavo catches a quebrada attempt.  Spike breaks it up and pounds on Rey in the corner, then chokes away.  Chavo clubs him down from behind and tries a backdrop suplex, and they clothesline each other.  Meanwhile, Kidman and Rey fight on the top and Rey brings him down with a rana off the apron that looked like a really painful landing.  That’s the point, I guess.  Chavo then atomic drops Rey over the top, onto Kidman, leaving it Spike and Chavo, but Chavo flows into a pescado onto the guys outside.  Spike tries his own, but everyone just moves and he splats.  Funny spot.  So back in, it’s Chavo and Kidman.  Cole accuses Kidman of "an intentional Shooting Star Press".  Perish the thought.  Spike goes after Chavo and gets an atomic drop into a clothesline, but Rey saves a pin.  Spike sends Rey into the corner in dramatic fashion and gets two.  Spike then bar-slides Rey under the ropes and to the floor in another nice bump.  Spike goes up and gets caught by Chavo, and Kidman assists in a stacked superplex.  That was an old Edge & Christian spot for those who weren’t around for their glory days.  They trade near-falls and then Kidman chokes Rey out in the corner, but misses a blind charge.  He comes back with a stiff BK bomb and goes up (which actually draws a reaction from the normally apathetic crowds these days) but he gets knocked off.  Spike goes with Rey and tries the Dudley Dog, but Rey counters into the 619.  Kidman pulls Rey down for another good bump by Rey, so Chavo hits the Gory Bomb on Spike for two.  Kidman saves THAT, too, but gets hauled out by Rey, and Spike steals the pin on Chavo at 9:04.  Too short, but tons of hot spots made it a lot of fun.  ***1/2 – Meanwhile, it’s the meeting of the minds, as Gene Snitsky bumps into John Heidenreich, and they proceed to have the exchange of the year:  "I like your poetry", "I like what you do to babies".  It’s not the same without the snorting and huffing, but it’s certainly the best thing they’ll ever do, promo-wise.  One only wishes, however, that Dan Madigan’s original plan for Heidenreich (frozen iceman Nazi from 1939) had gone through, so they could have had an exchange like "I like what you do to babies", "I like what you do to Jews" and really drawn some heat.  Of course, being managed by Paul Heyman probably wouldn’t be an option, then.  (2011 Scott sez:  They totally could have tied that Heidenreich idea in with Captain America!) Intercontinental title:  Shelton Benjamin v. Christian.  Your obvious sign of the night:  "Shelton is still champ."  No shit.  Lockup to start and Shelton works a hammerlock until Christian runs to the ropes.  Back to the center and Shelton wrestles him down again, but Christian makes the ropes again.  Christian works the arm, but Shelton counters out and grabs a headlock as JR informs us that Shelton ran a 4 240 at 235 at 1223 on 11/23/01 or whatever.  Apparently the numbers are very impressive, whatever they mean.  They slug it out and Shelton skins the cat into a punch, and then springboards in with a clothesline for two.  Shelton counters a monkey-flip and lands on his feet, into a cradle for two.  He misses a superkick and Christian bails, as Shelton foolishly follows.  They brawl outside and Tomko trips Shelton up a bit, and then goads him into trying a dive off the apron, which results in Shelton going splat.  Back in, Christian chokes away.  Shelton comes back with a cross body for two, but Christian gives him a neckbreaker in return and gets two.  Christian hits the chinlock and tosses him, allowing Tomko to do his thing on the floor.  Back in, Christian gets two.  They slug it out in the corner and Christian gets an inverted tornado DDT for two.  More choking follows and Shelton fights back, whipping Christian into the corner for the Bret Hart Bump.  Shelton makes the comeback with clotheslines and a flying forearm, into a Russian legsweep for two.  Rolling cradle gets two.  Christian tries another DDT, but Shelton reverses into a slingshot inverted suplex for two.  AWESOME.  Blinger splash misses and Christian spikes him with a DDT for two.  The belt gets sent into the ring and Christian charges, but gets the belt in the face as a result.  Shelton hits him with a flying clothesline for two.  Tomko comes in behind the ref’s back with a fast boot and Christian gets two.  Impressive speed there.  That was right out of the early Bubba Rogers playbook.  Shelton knocks Tomko off the apron with the dragon whip and blocks the Unprettier with the Exploder at 13:22 to retain.  Good stuff.  ***1/4  – Big Show, Eddie Guerrero, John Cena & RVD v. Kurt Angle, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns & Carlito Caribbean Cool.  Cena brawls to the back with CCC and his bitch-boy right away, as I once again wonder at the mentality that EVERY heel on the roster must seemingly be surrounded by valets and bodyguards who add nothing to the product except someone else to stand on the apron and distract the ref.  Is Carlito really such a hot act that he needs to be giving the rub to young bodyguards or something?  (2011 Scott sez:  There were a lot of dead ends around this time, weren’t there?  Carlito went nowhere, as did Jesus) So Cena chases Carlito out of the arena, basically making it 4-on-3, and everyone brawls outside as we start officially.  Show pounds on Jindrak and chokes him down to start, then brings in RVD.  Leg lariat puts Jindrak down and Eddie springboards in, setting up Rolling Thunder for two.  Eddie works him over in the corner and gets a belly-to-belly suplex for two.  Flying headscissors for both Jindrak and Reigns, but Angle clobbers him from behind.  Reigns comes in with a pair of backbreakers into a sideslam, for two.  Jindrak gets a back elbow for two.  He goes to a full-nelson and Eddie powers him into the corner to escape, but Angle cuts off a tag.  Overhead suplex out of the corner and Reigns comes in and stomps Eddie some more.  Butterfly suplex and Jindrak comes in with a chinlock.  Eddie breaks with a jawbreaker and a flapjack, but Angle again cuts off the tag.  Eddie gets pounded back into the heel corner and Jindrak stomps away into a bodyslam for two.  A couple of elbows get two.  This heat segment is going on FOREVER, especially in a match with 8 guys and elimination rules.  Eddie finally comes back with a rana and makes the hot tag to RVD.  He works Angle over in the corner and monkey-flips him out, then goes up and frog splashes a crawling Jindrak.  Angle rolls him up for the pin at 8:44, however.  Eddie then rolls up Jindrak at 9:14, despite Jindrak being the illegal man.  Show comes in and gets Reigns, who attempts a slugfest with Show and loses.  Reigns goes for the bad ankle, however, only to get chokeslammed and pinned at 10:29.  That leaves Angle alone, and he quickly gets the anklelock on Show.  Show quickly counters out, and Angle walks, but eliminated RVD chases him back to the ring, where Cena F-U’s him into a frog splash from Eddie and Big Show gets the pin at 12:24.  Big long dull heat segment on Guerrero leading into a quick finish does not make a good elimination match.  ** – Heidenreich v. Undertaker.  If you’re gonna have a crazy heel named "Heidenreich" and give him a faux-Rammstein entrance music, why not just announce him from Germany instead of New Orleans?  Minute-long staredown to start and Undertaker slugs him into the corner.  Taker boots him down and drops a few elbows, which gets two.  He starts working the arm, but Heidenreich stops him with a low blow and then posts him.  They fight outside and Heidenreich wins that battle, but they ram each other into the stairs.  UT takes over, pounding the throat on the apron and dropping the leg.  Back in, Taker goes old school and gets a single arm DDT for two.  Taker misses a blind charge, however, and Heidenreich goes on offense, which sucks because Undertaker has an easier name to type.  He pounds away outside and gets two.  Big boot gets two.  He goes to a chinlock, and then clotheslines UT down for two.  Another try at a slugfest, but UT wins that, so Heidenreich clotheslines him again and drops an elbow, but misses one off the ropes.  They fight over a suplex and Taker gets it.  More punching, but Heidenreich tosses him.  Taker comes back with a necksnap on the apron and goes up with a flying clothesline for two.  Corner clothesline sets up Snake Eyes and a big boot, and the legdrop gets two, brother.  Chokeslam is blocked with a knee, however, and Heidenreich gets a sloppy Bossman slam for two.  He pounds away in the corner, but of course gets powerbombed for two.  And now Heidenreich tries a sleeper, but Taker suplexes out of it as I start to fear the match will never end.  Zombie situp and flying clothesline set up the chokeslam, but he doesn’t want the pin yet.  I DO.  Please pin him and end the boredom.  Tombstone finishes at 15:53.  Thank god.  Nothing technically wrong with it, but it was just slow and boring as all hell.  * – WWE Women’s title:  Trish v. Lita. Lita attacks to start and they slug it out, which Lita wins.  Lita takes her down for more punches and Trish bails, and they brawl outside.  Lita uses a chair for the DQ at 1:19.  Video package was longer than the match.  DUD  – Smackdown World title:  JBL v. Booker T.  Apparently tonight is the opportunity to realize his lifelong dream.  Despite him already winning 5 World titles.  They slug it out to start, won by Booker, but JBL uses the CLUBBING FOREARMS in the corner and grabs a headlock.  Booker clubs him back down off a hiptoss attempt and sidekicks him, and Bradshaw bails.  Back in, JBL stomps away into a neckbreaker for two.   Booker comes back with a clothesline to the floor, and they brawl.  Booker gets the worst of that as JBL preps the table, but Booker fights back and they head back in.  But not before Orlando Jordan gets a cheapshot.  JBL gets two off that.  Million Dollar dream from Bradshaw, as I guess he’s trying to rip off EVERY facet of Ted Dibiase’s career, but Booker fights out pretty quickly.  Back down with a big boot and some elbows, which gets two.  We hit the chinlock and Bradshaw elbows him down again and goes up, but Booker catches him with a superplex.  This is apparently the most astonishing thing Michael Cole has ever seen.  That gets two.  Booker heads out and beats on OJ, then catches JBL with a Bookend.  Back in, he gets two, and a sideslam allows him to go up, but Jordan keeps distracting him and Harlem Hangover misses.  Tazz has never seen the move before, so perhaps it’s just as well.  They slug it out and Bradshaw tries another sleeper, but Booker suplexes out of it.  Bicycle kick gets two for him.  He tries the axe kick, but it’s MORE interference from Jordan, which allows Bradshaw to DDT him.  The ref is bumped, which was the last thing this needed, and that allows Jordan to interfere freely and grab a chair.  Josh Matthews stops him, but gets laid out by JBL.  Booker comes back with the sidekick and gets two from another referee.  Bookend for Jordan and JBL hits him with the belt for the pin at 14:44.  Just ridiculously overbooked for such a wholly unremarkable match.  **  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh man, that JBL title run…good times.) Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Maven & Randy Orton v. Gene Snitsky, HHH, Batista & Edge.  Maven is currently absent due to an attack earlier in the evening.  Benoit starts with Edge and chops him out of the ring, so Snitsky comes in.  Orton wants him, however, perhaps because he really likes babies or something.  Orton clubs him down and Jericho adds some shots, but gets clotheslined down.  HHH comes in and walks into an elbow, then stomps away in the corner.  High knee puts Orton down and Batista works him over in the corner with shoulders and chokes him down.  Bulldog powerslam gets two.  Edge comes in and slugs it out with Orton, then drops an elbow for two.  Standing dropkick and he goads Jericho into trying to come in, but walks into a clothesline from Orton.  That brings Benoit in, and he goes after HHH with an elbow and baseball slides Snitsky, then starts throwing suplexes.  Rolling germans for HHH and he suplexes Edge onto him, then goes up and headbutts both at once.  That gets two on HHH.  It’s BONZO GONZO as Jericho brawls out with Snitsky and Benoit gets the Sharpshooter on HHH, but Snitsky recovers and breaks it up.  Benoit puts Edge in the crossface, because he’s there I guess, but Batista breaks that up.  Pedigree allows Edge to get the pin at 7:23, however, leaving it 4-on-2 for the heels.  Edge gets a neckbreaker on Jericho, but Snitsky argues with HHH over who’s legal, leading to a fight on the heel side.  Jericho gets the Walls on HHH out of all that, and then the bulldog.  Flair stops the Lionsault and gets tossed as a result.  Jericho and Orton double-team Batista in the corner while the ref argues with Flair, but he clotheslines both of them anyway.  MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for Jericho sets up the LARIAT OF DEATH, but Orton trips him up and the running enzuigiri finishes Batista at 10:39.  Now it’s HHH and Jericho, as Jericho sends Edge crashing into Snitsky, but Batista gets his revenge with the lariat he originally wanted.  That’s what you call a receipt, kids.  Snitsky kicks the crap out of Jericho and backdrops him out of the corner for some choking.  Edge comes in and pounds away, as apparently long-haired Canadian solidarity means NOTHING now.  Snitsky drops an elbow to cut off a tag and tosses Orton for good measure, but Jericho DDTs him.  He needs someone to tag, so Maven staggers out and tags himself in.  10 points for guts, minus several million for brains.  He forearms Snitsky down and holds off the heels for a bit, bulldogging HHH off the middle rope.  BLACK MAN ON PCP!  Snitsky, busted open hardway from the eye, cracks him with a chair to stop the path of rage at 16:02, thus drawing himself a DQ.  He makes sure to kill all the faces before he goes, however.  HHH casually pins Maven at 16:48 to get rid of him all proper-like.  HHH throws Jericho back in, and Edge gets two.  Edge misses a blind charge, but Jericho walks into a Pedigree, only to reverse.  Edge finishes him with a spear at 18:05 anyway, so he might as well have taken the Pedigree.  So it’s Orton v. HHH & Edge, and Orton is pretty much done.  It’s over.  Finished.  He couldn’t POSSIBLY triumph against such odds.  The heels double-team him in the corner and Edge does the honors, with a backdrop suplex for two.  HHH slugs him down and gets a DDT for two.  Orton fights out of the corner and powerslams Edge, then dropkicks him into HHH for two.  HHH gets revenge by spinebusting him, however, and he sets Orton up for the spear.  Edge misses, however, and it’s RKO at 22:58 to leave it Orton v. HHH.  Orton tries one on HHH, but a low blow prevents it.  HHH goes for the Pedigree, and it’s RKO #2 at 24:31 to finish.  JR’s little speech about Orton having enough of Evolution and quitting doesn’t really ring true, especially since HHH FIRED him and kicked him out.  Regardless, this was a fun little elimination match, if not up the level of previous years, as Orton’s insanely predictable push to Wrestlemania continues.  ***1/4  (2011 Scott sez:  Aha, guess Orton’s Wrestlemania moment wasn’t as predictable as we thought!) The Inside Pulse: Nothing bad, nothing great or remarkable, which is pretty much the hallmark of a thumbs in the middle show.  So that’s what it gets, as they continue to be stuck in a rut and somehow banking on Orton to save them.  (2011 Scott sez:  Orton didn’t save them, but Batista did.)