Survivor Series Countdown: 2001

The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 2001 – Live from Greensboro, NC – Your hosts are JR & Paul Heyman. – For time reasons (I’m doing this very early in the morning before work) I’m gonna ignore most of the backstage stuff because it’s all pretty pointless and drab. I’m also gonna ignore Heat, because it’s Heat.Opening match, European title: Christian v. Al Snow. Snow is growing the goatee back, thus adding 15 years to his face. Snow rides him down and works a headlock, for two. Rollup gets two. Pumphandle suplex gets two, but Christian cheapshots him and chokes him down. Legsweep gets two, and he hits the chinlock. Slugfest, but Christian suplexes him for two. More choking. They slug it out again, won by Snow. Snow clotheslines him from behind, evoking the spirit of Outback Jack (Cactus Jack’s Australian half-brother) and gets a superkick for two. Blind charge hits foot, however, but Snow recovers with a Snowbomb for two. Christian gets the inverted DDT (miscalled by JR as the Unprettier), but Snow suckers him into a cradle for two. Snow goes up, but his bodypress is reversed for two. Snowplow gets two. Snow celebrates early, Unprettier gets him at 6:31. Ain’t that always the way. Match was an okay opener, if meaningless in the long run. **1/4 – William Regal v. Tajiri. Tajiri goes all stiff on Regal, but gets rolled. Regal stiffs him right back with knees, but Tajiri dropkicks the knee and works it with more stiff kicks. Tarantula and handspring get two, but Tajiri gets his head caught in the ropes and passes out. Powerbomb is blocked by Tajiri, but he misses the big kick and takes the powerbomb on the second go-round at 2:59 for the pin. Is there some federal law preventing these guys from getting more than 3 minutes as of late? *1/2 Really stiff match. – US v. Intercontinental Unification: Test v. Edge. Apparently, according to JR, the winning title survives and the losing one is dissolved, so it’s dependant on the winner of this match, not on the winner of the overall war. Of course, they’ll probably forget that 24 hours later, but it’s nice to have that clarified. Stacy flirts again with Test backstage, prompting him to quip “Oh yeah, she wants me.” Lockup sequence to start, goes nowhere. Edge slugs away and a bodyblock gets one. Test pounds him, but Edge blocks a suplex and walks into a clothesline. Test chokes him down. They brawl out and Test drops him on the railing to take over. Back in, Edge gets that old dependable hiptoss/dropkick combo and he baseball slides Test on the floor and stomps away. Back in, neckbreaker gets two. Test hotshots him and gets a lariat to take over again. Corner clothesline and choking, and he hits the chinlock. Edge knees out of it, but Test knees back. Well, okay then. Blind charge misses for Test, Edge dropkicks him for two. Test gets the tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Another charge hits boot, but Edge whiffs on a bodypress. Test tries a superplex that is blocked after a long fight and reversed to a powerbomb attempt, but Test blocks THAT and comes off the top, but gets dropkicked on the way down to end a nice chain of stuff. Slugfest is won by Edge. Leg lariat and half-nelson bulldog get two. Test’s Meltdown is reversed to the Edge-O-Matic for two in another nice sequence. Test gets a spear for two, and he should really do that move more often. Big kick misses, but the Meltdown gets two. Powerbomb attempt is reversed by Edge to a rana, spear gets two. Impaler is blocked, but a reverse rollup gets it at 11:17 to unify the titles, presumably into the US title. Good build, could live without the fluke rollup win. ***  (2011 Scott sez:  Of course, they were unified into the IC title, which was then killed off along with the US title, before both of them were brought back from the dead in 2003.  But that’s wrestling for ya.)Tag team title unification match: The Hardy Boyz v. The Dudley Boyz. This is of course in a cage. Backstage, Matt is mysteriously detained in his locker room, and after leaving we find Trish emerging soon after. Very subtle buildup here. Matt starts with Bubba, and gets a clothesline. Double-teaming gets two. Bubba Bossman-slams Jeff for two. Tag team rules appear to be in effect, although the winning condition is both guys escaping or a pinfall on one. Really, it should be an either/or situation: Either both guys escape or both guys get pinned. If one escapes, then pinfalls should be negated and the other team should be forced to attempt escape themselves. Anyway, Jeff dropkicks D-Von, and the Hardyz work him over. Matt backslide gets two. D-Von suplexes him back for two. Matt gets caught in enemy territory and double-teamed, as Bubba gets a neckbreaker for two. Elbows gets two. Matt gets pounded, but comes back with a DDT on Bubba and tags Jeff. He cleans house, and it’s Poetry in Motion x 2. The tag rules appear to have been tossed out, so it’s PERMANENT BONZO GONZO! Hardyz climb and Matt legsweeps D-Von down, while Bubba takes Jeff to earth with a Bubbabomb. Bubba climbs but gets slammed off for two. Dudleyz flapjack that pesky Matt into the cage, then try the same with Jeff. Jeff, that cheeky monkey, grabs the cage and climbs, but Bubba stops him, nearly yanking his pants down in the process. The Dudleyz give him the Dudley Device for good measure. Double-team neckbreaker gets two. Dudleyz take turns avalanching Matt into the cage, and Jeff eats cage a couple of times. Dudleyz go up and both miss their moves, so Matt goes up and clotheslines both of them. Bubba eats cage. Matt neckbreakers D-Von for two. DDT on Bubba gets two. Double-backdrop on Bubba and both Hardyz go up for stereo legdrops that get two. Matt climbs again and gets hung upside down, so Jeff gets Wazzuped. Stacy gets the table, and faced with the problem of a locked cage, decides to use the 90s Feminist approach to getting her way: She flashes her ass at Nick Patrick and then steals the key. Who says the WWF demeans women? The Hardyz block 3D, however, and Matt manages to escape, thus leaving his brother all alone. Well, that was rather dumb. You’d think they’d learn something after watching the Jersey Boyz v. UT/Kane match at Summerslam where the same thing happened. Crowd is confused, thinking the Hardyz won when Matt escaped. D-Von eats cage, and JR clarifies something that I, as a non-wrestler, have often been confused about: It apparently DOES NOT taste like chocolate. Well, that’s a relief. Jeff climbs with D-Von laying on a table, but decides not to escape and thus win the match, electing instead to try a swanton off the top of a cage onto the table, much like Homer being tempted by the cursed donut of Satan. Mmmm, satanic donuts. Anyway, 3 seconds later and the Dudleyz get the pin for the unified tag titles at 15:41. Match was nothing we haven’t seen a million times before, but still decent enough. **3/4 – Mick Foley is at WWFNY, and I’ve gotta wonder why he doesn’t just pull out one of his magic contracts to solve his problems.  (2011 Scott sez:  If only he had a magic contract to keep WWF New York from going out of business)Test takes out Scotty 2 Hotty backstage and takes his place in the battle royale, thus giving away the finish right away. – Immunity Battle Royale: Stasiak gets tossed right away by Bradshaw. Palumbo looks remarkably like Razor Ramon in his new color-matched tights, I should point out. Hurricane goes up, but gets caught and vanquished by the APA. Albert slams Saturn out. Faarooq gets dumped by Test. DDP poses and gets tossed by Palumbo, but Justin and Storm kick him out in turn. Chavo & Hugh run in as free agents and start nailing guys at random, knocking Raven out of it in the process. Billy Gunn gets rid of them. Tazz dumps Crash & Dreamer at the same time, and Spike gets launched over the top and out. Bradshaw kills Stevie dead and disposes of the body. Tazz yaps at Paul and goes OUT…overthewallinleft via Billy Gunn. Everyone gangs up to rid us of Albert. Bradshaw sends Kidman packing. Final four: Gunn, Bradshaw, Storm, Test. Truly a who’s who of the wrestling world there. Bradshaw can’t put Storm out, so Test dumps both of them. Gunn goes for the Fameasser, misses, and the Big Kick puts him down and out at 7:41 to give Test the immunity idol. I don’t rate battle royales, but this one was no less shitty than every other one I’ve ever seen. – Another variation on the Creed video airs, burning five minutes. I don’t need commercial breaks on a PPV, guys.  (2011 Scott sez:  This interlude brought to you by Skittles, as featured in the new John Cena movie, on the WWE Network in 2012, and also by these DVDs and WWE Classics on Demand…)Women’s title match: Trish v. Jackie v. Lita v. Molly v. Ivory v. Jazz. I take that back, I’ll go with the music videos instead. Yes, Jazz is indeed the huge surprise entrant. No one cares, which is also not a big surprise. Jazz pounds Lita to start, but gets headscissored. Molly & Jackie go, and Molly wants a test of strength but gets to chopped. Hiptoss/dropkick from Jackie and Ivory tries. Jackie sunset flips her for two, and it turns into one of those silly Eddy-Dean parody sequences. Trish & Ivory go next, as Trish slingshots her into the ropes, but gets pounded down. Big schmoz erupts and everyone hits their finishers and then gets dumped, until it’s down to Trish & Ivory, which ends with a springboard bulldog from Trish for the pin at 4:22 to add yet another meaningless title held by a non-wrestler. Just what the world was waiting for. On the upside, at least it was short. ¾*  (2011 Scott sez:  I’ve since mellowed to Trish’s reign as champion somewhat.)Winner Take All: Big Show, Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho & The Rock v. Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, RVD, Booker T & Steve Austin. Rock & Austin start with a slugfest. THESZ PRESS BY GAWD and FU elbow gets two. Rock does the same sequence right back for two. Booker pounds Rock, but gets clotheslined for two. Jericho comes in and flapjacks Booker. RVD & Jericho go and Y2J gets a leg lariat and suplex. Chops, but Rob gets the standing moonsault for two. Rana is blocked with the Walls, but Shane breaks. Angle & Kane next, and Kane tosses him around. Corner clothesline, but Angle gets a german suplex. Kane sits up, sideslams him, and hits the flying clothesline. Shane saves again. Taker pounds Angle, but eats elbow. Booker in, but he gets legdropped for two, brutha. Shane saves again. ROPEWALK OF DOOM and he works the arm. Clothesline gets two, Shane saves again. Austin stomps a mudhole on UT, and chokes him down, but gets clotheslined. ROPEWALK OF EVEN GREATER DOOM gets two. Shane saves again. Taker gets pounded in the corner, but doesn’t bother to sell any of it. Angle neckbreaker gets two. Taker DDTs him, hot tag Show. JR buries him, pointing out how he makes stupid mistakes all the time. Show tosses Angle around, but the chokeslam is reversed to the Angle Slam. Booker axe kicks him, RVD frog splashes him, and Shane gets the pin with the Macho Mac elbow at 12:41. Rock decides to fix that injustice by KILLING Shane, and then we go Kane chokeslam, Undertaker tombstone, Jericho Lionsault for the pin at 14:30 to get rid of Skippy. Shane may be legally dead. Jericho & Angle go now, and Jericho gets a forearm and butterfly backbreaker for two. Booker slams him a few times for lack of anything better to do and kneedrops him. RVD kicks away, but a sunset flip gets two. Kane comes in, big boot and clothesline follow. Rob kicks him in the head, but gets clotheslined. Kane pulls Booker in, but that’s stupid because RVD & Booker double-team him, and Rob frog splashes him and finishes with a missile dropkick at 18:19. No one to blame but himself for that. Taker goes next, stomping Rob. He pounds all the Alliance guys with running clotheslines and Last Rides Angle, but KICK WHAM STUNNER finishes him at 20:01. So it’s 4-on-2 and the dead weight is all gone before they got burned out. Jericho is out on the floor, leaving Rock alone. Booker hammers Rock, Rock hammers back…and gets sidekicked. Nice. DDT on Booker gets two. Booker pounds away, but gets samoan dropped for two. Rock rolls him up for the pin at 22:32. RVD comes in and pounds him, but goes up and gets slammed off for two. Hot tag Jericho, as he gets the forearm and a neckbreaker for two. Bulldog, but Lionsault misses and he takes a leg lariat. Moonsault from RVD misses, and Jericho finishes with the Breakdown at 24:50. Rock eats post outside while Angle chinlocks Jericho. Angle covers for two. Austin chops Jericho and superplexes him for two. They mess up a spot and Austin covers with a suplex for two. Elbow gets two. Angle’s suplex is reversed to an anklelock, but he breaks it and lariats him. Austin suplex and elbow and he chokes Jericho out. Angle pounds away, as does Austin, and he hits the chinlock. Slugfest, won by Jericho, oddly enough. Double KO, hot tag Rocky. Rock pounds Angle, sharpshooter finishes at 31:51. Jericho back in, bodypress is reversed for two. Thesz Press reversed to the Walls, but Austin reverses, and Jericho blocks. Austin comes off the top but gets caught, but the Lionsault misses and Austin gets two. Jericho missile dropkicks him for two. Rollup gets two, reversed by Austin for the pin at 34:32, and it’s Rock v. Austin again. Spinebuster, but Jericho turns on Rocky before he goes. Austin gets two. Austin stomps away, and tosses Rock. They brawl by the table, and Rock eats post again. Back in, Rock chops away, but gets Sharpshooted. He makes the ropes. Austin grabs the belt, but walks into another Sharpshooter from Rock, but makes the ropes himself. Austin goes low, but Rock goes KICK WHAM STUNNER…and Nick Patrick punks out Earl Hebner at two. Austin Rock Bottoms Rock for two, then nails Patrick in frustration. Hebner gets bumped AGAIN, KICK WHAM STUNNER, no ref. Angle runs in, nails Austin to turn back to the WWF (yawn), and Rock Bottom finishes the Alliance at 44:55, thank GOD. Match was a nice throwback to the Survivor Series’ of yore, although no one got pinned by a clothesline, although the psychology no longer works with the modern audience. Everyone knew what the order of elimination was going to be (with a bit of doubt in the UT/Kane/RVD/Booker combination) and that it was going to come down to Rock-Austin, so the crowd was hot for the first 10 minutes, dead for the next 20, and hot for the Rock-Austin portion again. Still, they gave it that old college try. **** – Oh, and of course who gets to get the final celebration on camera despite not doing anything? Vince. The Bottom Line: Funny how only the WWF can book the complete and total end of one faction, and yet still arrange things so that all the major players don’t go anywhere. The Dudleyz, Austin, Christian, Rob Van Dam…all title holders, and all exempt from the “end” of the Alliance as a result. Well, gee, that seems like most of the core group anyway. Except Booker, but we’re used to HIM getting screwed over by now. Not that we weren’t expecting them to ignore the stips anyway, but it would have been nice to at least maintain the illusion for ONE night. Anyway, a mediocre undercard and a pretty good, but disappointing main event don’t make this show enough for a recommendation, especially when it’s just going to be a $30 commercial for RAW anyway. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down for the “biggest night in the history of our sport.”

Survivor Series Countdown: 2001

The SmarK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 2001 – Live from Greensboro, NC – Your hosts are JR & Paul Heyman. – For time reasons (I’m doing this very early in the morning before work) I’m gonna ignore most of the backstage stuff because it’s all pretty pointless and drab. I’m also gonna ignore Heat, because it’s Heat.Opening match, European title: Christian v. Al Snow. Snow is growing the goatee back, thus adding 15 years to his face. Snow rides him down and works a headlock, for two. Rollup gets two. Pumphandle suplex gets two, but Christian cheapshots him and chokes him down. Legsweep gets two, and he hits the chinlock. Slugfest, but Christian suplexes him for two. More choking. They slug it out again, won by Snow. Snow clotheslines him from behind, evoking the spirit of Outback Jack (Cactus Jack’s Australian half-brother) and gets a superkick for two. Blind charge hits foot, however, but Snow recovers with a Snowbomb for two. Christian gets the inverted DDT (miscalled by JR as the Unprettier), but Snow suckers him into a cradle for two. Snow goes up, but his bodypress is reversed for two. Snowplow gets two. Snow celebrates early, Unprettier gets him at 6:31. Ain’t that always the way. Match was an okay opener, if meaningless in the long run. **1/4 – William Regal v. Tajiri. Tajiri goes all stiff on Regal, but gets rolled. Regal stiffs him right back with knees, but Tajiri dropkicks the knee and works it with more stiff kicks. Tarantula and handspring get two, but Tajiri gets his head caught in the ropes and passes out. Powerbomb is blocked by Tajiri, but he misses the big kick and takes the powerbomb on the second go-round at 2:59 for the pin. Is there some federal law preventing these guys from getting more than 3 minutes as of late? *1/2 Really stiff match. – US v. Intercontinental Unification: Test v. Edge. Apparently, according to JR, the winning title survives and the losing one is dissolved, so it’s dependant on the winner of this match, not on the winner of the overall war. Of course, they’ll probably forget that 24 hours later, but it’s nice to have that clarified. Stacy flirts again with Test backstage, prompting him to quip “Oh yeah, she wants me.” Lockup sequence to start, goes nowhere. Edge slugs away and a bodyblock gets one. Test pounds him, but Edge blocks a suplex and walks into a clothesline. Test chokes him down. They brawl out and Test drops him on the railing to take over. Back in, Edge gets that old dependable hiptoss/dropkick combo and he baseball slides Test on the floor and stomps away. Back in, neckbreaker gets two. Test hotshots him and gets a lariat to take over again. Corner clothesline and choking, and he hits the chinlock. Edge knees out of it, but Test knees back. Well, okay then. Blind charge misses for Test, Edge dropkicks him for two. Test gets the tilt-a-whirl slam for two. Another charge hits boot, but Edge whiffs on a bodypress. Test tries a superplex that is blocked after a long fight and reversed to a powerbomb attempt, but Test blocks THAT and comes off the top, but gets dropkicked on the way down to end a nice chain of stuff. Slugfest is won by Edge. Leg lariat and half-nelson bulldog get two. Test’s Meltdown is reversed to the Edge-O-Matic for two in another nice sequence. Test gets a spear for two, and he should really do that move more often. Big kick misses, but the Meltdown gets two. Powerbomb attempt is reversed by Edge to a rana, spear gets two. Impaler is blocked, but a reverse rollup gets it at 11:17 to unify the titles, presumably into the US title. Good build, could live without the fluke rollup win. ***  (2011 Scott sez:  Of course, they were unified into the IC title, which was then killed off along with the US title, before both of them were brought back from the dead in 2003.  But that’s wrestling for ya.)Tag team title unification match: The Hardy Boyz v. The Dudley Boyz. This is of course in a cage. Backstage, Matt is mysteriously detained in his locker room, and after leaving we find Trish emerging soon after. Very subtle buildup here. Matt starts with Bubba, and gets a clothesline. Double-teaming gets two. Bubba Bossman-slams Jeff for two. Tag team rules appear to be in effect, although the winning condition is both guys escaping or a pinfall on one. Really, it should be an either/or situation: Either both guys escape or both guys get pinned. If one escapes, then pinfalls should be negated and the other team should be forced to attempt escape themselves. Anyway, Jeff dropkicks D-Von, and the Hardyz work him over. Matt backslide gets two. D-Von suplexes him back for two. Matt gets caught in enemy territory and double-teamed, as Bubba gets a neckbreaker for two. Elbows gets two. Matt gets pounded, but comes back with a DDT on Bubba and tags Jeff. He cleans house, and it’s Poetry in Motion x 2. The tag rules appear to have been tossed out, so it’s PERMANENT BONZO GONZO! Hardyz climb and Matt legsweeps D-Von down, while Bubba takes Jeff to earth with a Bubbabomb. Bubba climbs but gets slammed off for two. Dudleyz flapjack that pesky Matt into the cage, then try the same with Jeff. Jeff, that cheeky monkey, grabs the cage and climbs, but Bubba stops him, nearly yanking his pants down in the process. The Dudleyz give him the Dudley Device for good measure. Double-team neckbreaker gets two. Dudleyz take turns avalanching Matt into the cage, and Jeff eats cage a couple of times. Dudleyz go up and both miss their moves, so Matt goes up and clotheslines both of them. Bubba eats cage. Matt neckbreakers D-Von for two. DDT on Bubba gets two. Double-backdrop on Bubba and both Hardyz go up for stereo legdrops that get two. Matt climbs again and gets hung upside down, so Jeff gets Wazzuped. Stacy gets the table, and faced with the problem of a locked cage, decides to use the 90s Feminist approach to getting her way: She flashes her ass at Nick Patrick and then steals the key. Who says the WWF demeans women? The Hardyz block 3D, however, and Matt manages to escape, thus leaving his brother all alone. Well, that was rather dumb. You’d think they’d learn something after watching the Jersey Boyz v. UT/Kane match at Summerslam where the same thing happened. Crowd is confused, thinking the Hardyz won when Matt escaped. D-Von eats cage, and JR clarifies something that I, as a non-wrestler, have often been confused about: It apparently DOES NOT taste like chocolate. Well, that’s a relief. Jeff climbs with D-Von laying on a table, but decides not to escape and thus win the match, electing instead to try a swanton off the top of a cage onto the table, much like Homer being tempted by the cursed donut of Satan. Mmmm, satanic donuts. Anyway, 3 seconds later and the Dudleyz get the pin for the unified tag titles at 15:41. Match was nothing we haven’t seen a million times before, but still decent enough. **3/4 – Mick Foley is at WWFNY, and I’ve gotta wonder why he doesn’t just pull out one of his magic contracts to solve his problems.  (2011 Scott sez:  If only he had a magic contract to keep WWF New York from going out of business)Test takes out Scotty 2 Hotty backstage and takes his place in the battle royale, thus giving away the finish right away. – Immunity Battle Royale: Stasiak gets tossed right away by Bradshaw. Palumbo looks remarkably like Razor Ramon in his new color-matched tights, I should point out. Hurricane goes up, but gets caught and vanquished by the APA. Albert slams Saturn out. Faarooq gets dumped by Test. DDP poses and gets tossed by Palumbo, but Justin and Storm kick him out in turn. Chavo & Hugh run in as free agents and start nailing guys at random, knocking Raven out of it in the process. Billy Gunn gets rid of them. Tazz dumps Crash & Dreamer at the same time, and Spike gets launched over the top and out. Bradshaw kills Stevie dead and disposes of the body. Tazz yaps at Paul and goes OUT…overthewallinleft via Billy Gunn. Everyone gangs up to rid us of Albert. Bradshaw sends Kidman packing. Final four: Gunn, Bradshaw, Storm, Test. Truly a who’s who of the wrestling world there. Bradshaw can’t put Storm out, so Test dumps both of them. Gunn goes for the Fameasser, misses, and the Big Kick puts him down and out at 7:41 to give Test the immunity idol. I don’t rate battle royales, but this one was no less shitty than every other one I’ve ever seen. – Another variation on the Creed video airs, burning five minutes. I don’t need commercial breaks on a PPV, guys.  (2011 Scott sez:  This interlude brought to you by Skittles, as featured in the new John Cena movie, on the WWE Network in 2012, and also by these DVDs and WWE Classics on Demand…)Women’s title match: Trish v. Jackie v. Lita v. Molly v. Ivory v. Jazz. I take that back, I’ll go with the music videos instead. Yes, Jazz is indeed the huge surprise entrant. No one cares, which is also not a big surprise. Jazz pounds Lita to start, but gets headscissored. Molly & Jackie go, and Molly wants a test of strength but gets to chopped. Hiptoss/dropkick from Jackie and Ivory tries. Jackie sunset flips her for two, and it turns into one of those silly Eddy-Dean parody sequences. Trish & Ivory go next, as Trish slingshots her into the ropes, but gets pounded down. Big schmoz erupts and everyone hits their finishers and then gets dumped, until it’s down to Trish & Ivory, which ends with a springboard bulldog from Trish for the pin at 4:22 to add yet another meaningless title held by a non-wrestler. Just what the world was waiting for. On the upside, at least it was short. ¾*  (2011 Scott sez:  I’ve since mellowed to Trish’s reign as champion somewhat.)Winner Take All: Big Show, Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho & The Rock v. Shane McMahon, Kurt Angle, RVD, Booker T & Steve Austin. Rock & Austin start with a slugfest. THESZ PRESS BY GAWD and FU elbow gets two. Rock does the same sequence right back for two. Booker pounds Rock, but gets clotheslined for two. Jericho comes in and flapjacks Booker. RVD & Jericho go and Y2J gets a leg lariat and suplex. Chops, but Rob gets the standing moonsault for two. Rana is blocked with the Walls, but Shane breaks. Angle & Kane next, and Kane tosses him around. Corner clothesline, but Angle gets a german suplex. Kane sits up, sideslams him, and hits the flying clothesline. Shane saves again. Taker pounds Angle, but eats elbow. Booker in, but he gets legdropped for two, brutha. Shane saves again. ROPEWALK OF DOOM and he works the arm. Clothesline gets two, Shane saves again. Austin stomps a mudhole on UT, and chokes him down, but gets clotheslined. ROPEWALK OF EVEN GREATER DOOM gets two. Shane saves again. Taker gets pounded in the corner, but doesn’t bother to sell any of it. Angle neckbreaker gets two. Taker DDTs him, hot tag Show. JR buries him, pointing out how he makes stupid mistakes all the time. Show tosses Angle around, but the chokeslam is reversed to the Angle Slam. Booker axe kicks him, RVD frog splashes him, and Shane gets the pin with the Macho Mac elbow at 12:41. Rock decides to fix that injustice by KILLING Shane, and then we go Kane chokeslam, Undertaker tombstone, Jericho Lionsault for the pin at 14:30 to get rid of Skippy. Shane may be legally dead. Jericho & Angle go now, and Jericho gets a forearm and butterfly backbreaker for two. Booker slams him a few times for lack of anything better to do and kneedrops him. RVD kicks away, but a sunset flip gets two. Kane comes in, big boot and clothesline follow. Rob kicks him in the head, but gets clotheslined. Kane pulls Booker in, but that’s stupid because RVD & Booker double-team him, and Rob frog splashes him and finishes with a missile dropkick at 18:19. No one to blame but himself for that. Taker goes next, stomping Rob. He pounds all the Alliance guys with running clotheslines and Last Rides Angle, but KICK WHAM STUNNER finishes him at 20:01. So it’s 4-on-2 and the dead weight is all gone before they got burned out. Jericho is out on the floor, leaving Rock alone. Booker hammers Rock, Rock hammers back…and gets sidekicked. Nice. DDT on Booker gets two. Booker pounds away, but gets samoan dropped for two. Rock rolls him up for the pin at 22:32. RVD comes in and pounds him, but goes up and gets slammed off for two. Hot tag Jericho, as he gets the forearm and a neckbreaker for two. Bulldog, but Lionsault misses and he takes a leg lariat. Moonsault from RVD misses, and Jericho finishes with the Breakdown at 24:50. Rock eats post outside while Angle chinlocks Jericho. Angle covers for two. Austin chops Jericho and superplexes him for two. They mess up a spot and Austin covers with a suplex for two. Elbow gets two. Angle’s suplex is reversed to an anklelock, but he breaks it and lariats him. Austin suplex and elbow and he chokes Jericho out. Angle pounds away, as does Austin, and he hits the chinlock. Slugfest, won by Jericho, oddly enough. Double KO, hot tag Rocky. Rock pounds Angle, sharpshooter finishes at 31:51. Jericho back in, bodypress is reversed for two. Thesz Press reversed to the Walls, but Austin reverses, and Jericho blocks. Austin comes off the top but gets caught, but the Lionsault misses and Austin gets two. Jericho missile dropkicks him for two. Rollup gets two, reversed by Austin for the pin at 34:32, and it’s Rock v. Austin again. Spinebuster, but Jericho turns on Rocky before he goes. Austin gets two. Austin stomps away, and tosses Rock. They brawl by the table, and Rock eats post again. Back in, Rock chops away, but gets Sharpshooted. He makes the ropes. Austin grabs the belt, but walks into another Sharpshooter from Rock, but makes the ropes himself. Austin goes low, but Rock goes KICK WHAM STUNNER…and Nick Patrick punks out Earl Hebner at two. Austin Rock Bottoms Rock for two, then nails Patrick in frustration. Hebner gets bumped AGAIN, KICK WHAM STUNNER, no ref. Angle runs in, nails Austin to turn back to the WWF (yawn), and Rock Bottom finishes the Alliance at 44:55, thank GOD. Match was a nice throwback to the Survivor Series’ of yore, although no one got pinned by a clothesline, although the psychology no longer works with the modern audience. Everyone knew what the order of elimination was going to be (with a bit of doubt in the UT/Kane/RVD/Booker combination) and that it was going to come down to Rock-Austin, so the crowd was hot for the first 10 minutes, dead for the next 20, and hot for the Rock-Austin portion again. Still, they gave it that old college try. **** – Oh, and of course who gets to get the final celebration on camera despite not doing anything? Vince. The Bottom Line: Funny how only the WWF can book the complete and total end of one faction, and yet still arrange things so that all the major players don’t go anywhere. The Dudleyz, Austin, Christian, Rob Van Dam…all title holders, and all exempt from the “end” of the Alliance as a result. Well, gee, that seems like most of the core group anyway. Except Booker, but we’re used to HIM getting screwed over by now. Not that we weren’t expecting them to ignore the stips anyway, but it would have been nice to at least maintain the illusion for ONE night. Anyway, a mediocre undercard and a pretty good, but disappointing main event don’t make this show enough for a recommendation, especially when it’s just going to be a $30 commercial for RAW anyway. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down for the “biggest night in the history of our sport.”

Survivor Series Countdown: 2000

The SK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 2000 – Was I not watching the same PPV as everyone else on the ‘net who seem to be giving it glowing reviews or were there just sunspots altering my perception of what was I watching?– Before we get to the PPV, I thought I’d give a few quick thoughts on the new WWF game, No Mercy. Basically, my biggest gripe with it is that it’s essentially the same game as WM2000 and Revenge and the other THQ WWF games. There’s not that much in the way of technical innovations here, unless you count horrific slowdown in 4-player games as innovative. THQ/Asmik, despite having a better name than Acclaim at this point with regard to the wrestling video game genre, seems to falling into the same trap of producing the same game ad infinitum with a few added features here and there, plus vague promises of other ones that never seem to materialize. I mean, how hard is it to allow editing of pre-made wrestlers, for god’s sake? Further, the silly “Essa Rios is as tall as Andre the Giant” thing is still there, as are the numerous collision detection and camera problems that never seem to be fixed. Ring entrances are edited down to no longer include in-ring antics, but that’s understandable for space reasons. Guest ref mode is also added, and works about the same as in Smackdown. It took me a while to figure out that you have to focus on the guy who you want to count for and what button to use, but no biggie there. The ladder matches rock it old school, and nothing compares to tossing weapons at your friends. The rest is just the same as usual, however, and probably isn’t worth the $60-$80 you’ll have to drop on it. It’s game like this that really makes me wonder why no one is willing to develop wrestling games for the PC – your average GeForce card can easily handle the polygons needed to kill the N64’s version of this, plus the sound and video would be 100x better, plus updates and patches could be issued or sold as needed. Oh well. (2011 Scott sez:  What the FUCK was I smoking?  No Mercy is of course the greatest wrestling game ever made, by far.  And who would pay $80 for an N64 cartridge anyway?  Did we really used to do that?) – Live from Tampa, Florida. – Your hosts are JR & The King. – Opening match: T&A and Trish Stratus v. Crash & Molly & Steve Blackman. Probably wouldn’t be my choice of an opener. Albert & Blackman kick each other to start, then Crash comes in and gets tossed around. Molly & Trish go, as Trish runs away soon after. Crash hits a quick rana on Test for two. Crash gets beat up. Hot tag Molly, and she kills Trish, but gets tripped up by Test. Pier-six erupts, and Trish bulldogs Molly for two. Molly gets a sunset flip on Trish for the pin at 5:03. Basic Smackdown match here. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Edge & Christian do a pre-emptive ducking-out of helping Angle win, but he just wants to celebrate later. – Meanwhile, Lo Down gets stopped by security because no one knows who they are. I love shoot angles that aren’t supposed to be shoot angles. – K-Kwik, Road Dogg, Mr. One Smoking Ass Rockabilly G & Chyna v. The Radicalz. The rapping thing is NOT helping anyone and a mercy killing would seem to be in order. (2011 Scott sez:  And yet K-Kwik is main-eventing Survivor Series this year.  Goes to show how things change in wrestling).  Radicalz are once again color coordinated, this time in Killer Bee yellow and black. Gunn & Chyna double-team Saturn. Chyna powerslam gets two. DDT gets two after a messed-up lowblow. How hard is it, REALLY, to extend your leg backwards and bend at the knee? Eddy blasts Chyna with the belt and Saturn pins her. Good riddance. Road Dogg goes next, but gets suplexed. Eddy beats him up, and dropkicks the knee to block the funky punches. Radicalz work on the knee. Hot tag Gunn, and he gets beat down, too. Drop sleeper on Eddy gets the pin. Isn’t it amazing how Eddy jobs constantly and is yet still over, while Gunn wins constantly and still isn’t? How about that. K-Kwik gets his time to do his thing with Malenko, and smartly they let him do a sequence with Benoit. That one ends via a Benoit german suplex soon after. Road Dogg & Saturn do a boring bit, and Saturn suplexes him for the pin soon after, leaving Billy boy 3-on-1. A fameasser gets rid of Malenko, but Gunn is GASSED and hardly able to stand up. Get this man some oxygen and a steroid needle, STAT! Benoit headbutt gets two. Gunn suplex is blocked by Saturn and Benoit falls on top for the winning pin at 12:41, leaving Benoit & Saturn as your sole survivors. Wow, the Radz actually WIN A MATCH! ** – Chris Jericho v. Kane. Slugfest to start. Jericho dropkicks Kane out and baseball slides him. Tope follows and they brawl. That goes on for a bit, and Jericho dropkicks the stairs into him in a bad-looking spot. Back in, Kane powerslam gets two. He spikes Jericho and the boring chants start as he pounds away. Kane gets a hangman, a move not seen in a while. Jericho escapes, and Kane pulls off the turnbuckle. Kane pounds him down again, and casually tosses him out to the floor. JR completely oversells the drama here, and if I have to hear one more “He’s small, but he’s spunky and never-say-die speech” again from Ross I’m gonna barf all over my keyboard. Okay, it worked ONCE with Shawn Michaels, but then Shawn had nearly autonomous political power behind the scenes and actually got guys who would SELL for him and (gasp) LOSE once in a while. Back in, Kane goes aerial, but gets crotched. He tries again and Jericho dropkicks him in mid-air. Jericho trips him up and hits a missile dropkick for two. Rollup gets two. Jericho allegedly tries the Walls of Jericho, but it ends up being more of a Boston Crab because Kane doesn’t know how to sell the move properly and isn’t flexible enough to do it right. He powers out (what a shock) and catches Jericho on the Lionsault, then chokeslams him for the pin at 12:35. Notice how Kane gets to escape both of Jericho’s finishes, but one chokeslam kills Jericho dead. Welcome to midcard hell, Chris, hope you enjoyed your cup of coffee with credibility. Nyuk nyuk. (2011 Scott sez:  Well at least he’d go on to win the World title a few times) ** Match was at least better than I had feared it would be. – European title match: William Regal v. Hardcore Holly. This is an odd pairing, to say the least. Hardcore Holly is an interesting case, because he has easy and marketable heat with Kurt Angle, but the WWF is obviously set in the thinking that Holly will never be higher than midcard, so they simply refuse to acknowledge any heat he might get that would suggest otherwise. Cf. Billy Gunn, where the opposite happens and the WWF ONLY acknowledges heat that suggests what they want. Not that I think Holly should be main eventing or anything, but he at least deserves as much of a shot at it as Mr. Gass has gotten. (2011 Scott sez:  HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, fuck Bob Holly) Regal works the mat and tortures Bob’s arm for a few minutes, before Holly gets flustered and grabs the title belt for the cheap DQ at 5:48. And that’s that. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Trish hits on Angle, but he’s clueless. I’ve given up on this angle ever going anywhere, so now I just chuckle at the innuendo and move on.  (2011 Scott sez:  Never did go anywhere.)The Rock v. Rikishi. Wow, shunted pretty far down the card, Rocky. Slugfest to start, as Rock blasts him and grabs a chair, but is prevented from using it. Rikishi hits a superkick and big elbow. Legdrop injures Rock’s chest further, thus marking the only time I can ever remember where Rock sold an injury on THREE consecutive WWF shows (RAW, Smackdown, PPV) without giving into the impulse to do a superman comeback. I suppose you could go back to 1999 when HHH was breaking his arm with a sledgehammer and a casket, but even then it seemed like more of an inconvenience than an injury at the time. Sideslam gets two. Rock dumps Rikishi. Ref is bumped outside, so Rikishi grabs the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT and books WCW for a few months. No wait, he actually takes a swing at Rock and runs into a Rock Bottom. No ref. Rikishi comes back with a falling headbutt and samoan drop, and a buttdrop gets two. CHEEKS OF FIRE, and Rock takes the Stinkface?! Wow, talk about sucking it up for the company. I hope not literally. Rock comes booming out of the corner like Tammy Sytch charging for a discarded crack pipe in the gutter, and hits a lariat. Spinebuster, but he’s still injured. He manages to hit the People’s Elbow (good thing he had the adrenaline surge to wave his arms in the air like that, or else the move might have just looked stupid) and gets the pin at 11:20. Despite the idiocy of JR selling the Elbow as so devastating that Rikishi had to be pinned by it, this match was about a billion times better than it had any right to be. ***1/4 Rikishi then destroys my goodwill by hitting four Banzai drops, making me wonder “why the hell didn’t he just go over in the first place?” but then that’s the WWF for ya. – Women’s title match: Ivory v. Lita. Lita kicks and punches to start, and Ivory potatoes her so hard that she bleeds hardway from the eye. Ouch. Ivory stomps away. Lita nearly breaks Ivory’s neck with a rana, driving her right on her head. Get this chick some training, STAT. She hits a plancha on Ivory & Steven, and back in for a bodypress that gets two. Moonsault misses, and another one hits the knees and Ivory gets the pin to retain at 4:52. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I’m sure this RTC thing is very amusing for Vince and his cronies but for those of us who have to watch the matches it’s getting ugly. DUD – Meanwhile, Jericho beats the hell out of Kane in the back, guaranteeing that the feud will be dragged out for another PPV. “You want cream and sugar with that, BITCH?” – WWF title match: Kurt Angle v. The Undertaker. We take a moment of silence to reflect on the first year of the Angle Era, then Kurt lists all his top moments for us. UT is wearing the most incredibly old-person-looking pair of slacks I’ve ever seen tonight. “Hey, kid, get off my barcalounger before I call the cops and tie you to the learning tree!” Angle pounds away to start, but UT hits the big boot and legdrop and it’s all over! Undertakermania is running wild, brother! Okay, so it only gets two. Elbowdrop gets two. Taker picks him up both times. Ropewalk follows, and Angle runs away. Back in, Angle suplex gets two. Outside, UT posts Angle, twice. Doesn’t go anywhere, as Angle works the knee back in the ring until Taker suddenly hits a Fujiwara armbar out of nowhere. Angle is tapping, but Edge & Christian break their promise and run in anyway, distracting the ref. Angle keeps working the knee. Yawn. Chokeslam, ref is still busy. Russian legsweep gets two. Angle gets a figure-four, UT reverses. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two. Angle goes back to the knee, and hooks the Bret Hart ringpost figure-four. Bret got more coverage than anyone else on the show tonight, with his name being mentioned seemingly once every five minutes until everyone in the room was halfway convinced he’d be there in some form. UT goes for the tombstone, but Angle bails and heads under the ring, where Steve Keirn is waiting in a Doink costume. What a social faux pas. UT pulls Angle out, Last Ride…but it only gets two, because it’s not really Angle. Oh, dear god, they ARE recycling the Doink angle from 1993. I hate being right sometimes. The REAL Angle rolls up the confused Undertaker for the pin at 16:17 as I groan. Match was again about a billion times better than I had feared, but that ending…UGH. (2011 Scott sez:  And they recycled it AGAIN with Eric Angle in 2003!)Maybe Kurt can bring Brian Lee back now as his own personal Undertaker. **3/4 Would have been higher if all the attempted psychology would have led anywhere. – Edge & Christian & Bull & Goodfather v. The Hardy Boyz & The Dudley Boyz. Bull & Buh Buh start. Bull handles both Duds, and D-Von gets beat on. Hot tag Matt, but Edge gets an inverted X-Factor (called an “edge-o-matic”) for the first pin. Christian quickly hits the tomikaze on D-Von for the pin. Jeff moonsaults Christian for two, but eats post. Bull misses a charge, and hot tag to Buh Buh follows. He takes care of business, and Edge spears Bull by mistake for the pin. Atomic bomb on Edge gets him. Goodfather DVDs Buh Buh for the pin, leaving Goodfather & Christian v. Jeff Hardy. Jeff dodges Christian and hits the swanton, leaving Goodfather, and that ends as the Ho Train misses and Jeff gets the pin at 10:05. Kinda rushed and RAW-ish all around. *1/4 All the RTC guys go through tables. The point here continues to elude me. – Steve Austin v. HHH. Austin whoops Hunter to start, and they punch each other. Thesz press and elbow from Austin, and they brawl outside. Not much happens, crowd’s dead. Back to the ring, Austin nails him with a monitor and he does his traditional bladejob. Austin sits and grabs a couple of beers. Finally we head back into the ring. Kick and punch, and HHH reverses the KICK WHAM STUNNER with a neckbreaker, but can’t capitalize. More kicking and punching gets two for HHH. Austin spinebuster, but the second rope elbow misses. Back outside, more weak brawling. HHH gets backdropped through a table. Back in, it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER, but Austin doesn’t want the pin. He grabs a chair and tries to Pillmanize HHH, but he escapes and they fight to the back. The Radicalz attack and beat Austin down, but since none of them are tippety-top guys they just provide a distraction while HHH warms up the car. Austin counters with a forklift, however, and drops HHH, car and all, 15 feet in the air onto the concrete, which in all likelihood should have killed him in real life. I don’t quite see how that’s not worse than HHH running Austin down last year, but maybe that’s just me. Besides, I’m sure that with a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, HHH’s death will be downgraded to a 6-8 recuperation period and some rehabilitation before returning from the afterlife to do a run-in at Royal Rumble. Ah, the Sportz Entertainment Finish, god bless the legacy of Vince Russo. No contest at 25:00 or so. *1/2  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh COME ON.  That match has gotta be better than *1/2.  I should grab the DVD and check it out again this week.) The Bottom Line: If this stuff is going anywhere, I don’t see it. This was an obvious slapped-together card as Vince seems to be too busy auditioning cheerleaders for the XFL to pay attention to the company that actually makes him money. I’m getting really tired of every major match being “such-and-such was screwed!” or “This feud isn’t over, not by a long shot!” without much “He’s the better man, so he won” to balance things out a bit. I guess that wouldn’t have Attitude, though. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down for a subpar show that was actually a bit better than I expected, but not enough to be, you know, good.

Survivor Series Countdown: 2000

The SK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 2000 – Was I not watching the same PPV as everyone else on the ‘net who seem to be giving it glowing reviews or were there just sunspots altering my perception of what was I watching?– Before we get to the PPV, I thought I’d give a few quick thoughts on the new WWF game, No Mercy. Basically, my biggest gripe with it is that it’s essentially the same game as WM2000 and Revenge and the other THQ WWF games. There’s not that much in the way of technical innovations here, unless you count horrific slowdown in 4-player games as innovative. THQ/Asmik, despite having a better name than Acclaim at this point with regard to the wrestling video game genre, seems to falling into the same trap of producing the same game ad infinitum with a few added features here and there, plus vague promises of other ones that never seem to materialize. I mean, how hard is it to allow editing of pre-made wrestlers, for god’s sake? Further, the silly “Essa Rios is as tall as Andre the Giant” thing is still there, as are the numerous collision detection and camera problems that never seem to be fixed. Ring entrances are edited down to no longer include in-ring antics, but that’s understandable for space reasons. Guest ref mode is also added, and works about the same as in Smackdown. It took me a while to figure out that you have to focus on the guy who you want to count for and what button to use, but no biggie there. The ladder matches rock it old school, and nothing compares to tossing weapons at your friends. The rest is just the same as usual, however, and probably isn’t worth the $60-$80 you’ll have to drop on it. It’s game like this that really makes me wonder why no one is willing to develop wrestling games for the PC – your average GeForce card can easily handle the polygons needed to kill the N64’s version of this, plus the sound and video would be 100x better, plus updates and patches could be issued or sold as needed. Oh well. (2011 Scott sez:  What the FUCK was I smoking?  No Mercy is of course the greatest wrestling game ever made, by far.  And who would pay $80 for an N64 cartridge anyway?  Did we really used to do that?) – Live from Tampa, Florida. – Your hosts are JR & The King. – Opening match: T&A and Trish Stratus v. Crash & Molly & Steve Blackman. Probably wouldn’t be my choice of an opener. Albert & Blackman kick each other to start, then Crash comes in and gets tossed around. Molly & Trish go, as Trish runs away soon after. Crash hits a quick rana on Test for two. Crash gets beat up. Hot tag Molly, and she kills Trish, but gets tripped up by Test. Pier-six erupts, and Trish bulldogs Molly for two. Molly gets a sunset flip on Trish for the pin at 5:03. Basic Smackdown match here. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Edge & Christian do a pre-emptive ducking-out of helping Angle win, but he just wants to celebrate later. – Meanwhile, Lo Down gets stopped by security because no one knows who they are. I love shoot angles that aren’t supposed to be shoot angles. – K-Kwik, Road Dogg, Mr. One Smoking Ass Rockabilly G & Chyna v. The Radicalz. The rapping thing is NOT helping anyone and a mercy killing would seem to be in order. (2011 Scott sez:  And yet K-Kwik is main-eventing Survivor Series this year.  Goes to show how things change in wrestling).  Radicalz are once again color coordinated, this time in Killer Bee yellow and black. Gunn & Chyna double-team Saturn. Chyna powerslam gets two. DDT gets two after a messed-up lowblow. How hard is it, REALLY, to extend your leg backwards and bend at the knee? Eddy blasts Chyna with the belt and Saturn pins her. Good riddance. Road Dogg goes next, but gets suplexed. Eddy beats him up, and dropkicks the knee to block the funky punches. Radicalz work on the knee. Hot tag Gunn, and he gets beat down, too. Drop sleeper on Eddy gets the pin. Isn’t it amazing how Eddy jobs constantly and is yet still over, while Gunn wins constantly and still isn’t? How about that. K-Kwik gets his time to do his thing with Malenko, and smartly they let him do a sequence with Benoit. That one ends via a Benoit german suplex soon after. Road Dogg & Saturn do a boring bit, and Saturn suplexes him for the pin soon after, leaving Billy boy 3-on-1. A fameasser gets rid of Malenko, but Gunn is GASSED and hardly able to stand up. Get this man some oxygen and a steroid needle, STAT! Benoit headbutt gets two. Gunn suplex is blocked by Saturn and Benoit falls on top for the winning pin at 12:41, leaving Benoit & Saturn as your sole survivors. Wow, the Radz actually WIN A MATCH! ** – Chris Jericho v. Kane. Slugfest to start. Jericho dropkicks Kane out and baseball slides him. Tope follows and they brawl. That goes on for a bit, and Jericho dropkicks the stairs into him in a bad-looking spot. Back in, Kane powerslam gets two. He spikes Jericho and the boring chants start as he pounds away. Kane gets a hangman, a move not seen in a while. Jericho escapes, and Kane pulls off the turnbuckle. Kane pounds him down again, and casually tosses him out to the floor. JR completely oversells the drama here, and if I have to hear one more “He’s small, but he’s spunky and never-say-die speech” again from Ross I’m gonna barf all over my keyboard. Okay, it worked ONCE with Shawn Michaels, but then Shawn had nearly autonomous political power behind the scenes and actually got guys who would SELL for him and (gasp) LOSE once in a while. Back in, Kane goes aerial, but gets crotched. He tries again and Jericho dropkicks him in mid-air. Jericho trips him up and hits a missile dropkick for two. Rollup gets two. Jericho allegedly tries the Walls of Jericho, but it ends up being more of a Boston Crab because Kane doesn’t know how to sell the move properly and isn’t flexible enough to do it right. He powers out (what a shock) and catches Jericho on the Lionsault, then chokeslams him for the pin at 12:35. Notice how Kane gets to escape both of Jericho’s finishes, but one chokeslam kills Jericho dead. Welcome to midcard hell, Chris, hope you enjoyed your cup of coffee with credibility. Nyuk nyuk. (2011 Scott sez:  Well at least he’d go on to win the World title a few times) ** Match was at least better than I had feared it would be. – European title match: William Regal v. Hardcore Holly. This is an odd pairing, to say the least. Hardcore Holly is an interesting case, because he has easy and marketable heat with Kurt Angle, but the WWF is obviously set in the thinking that Holly will never be higher than midcard, so they simply refuse to acknowledge any heat he might get that would suggest otherwise. Cf. Billy Gunn, where the opposite happens and the WWF ONLY acknowledges heat that suggests what they want. Not that I think Holly should be main eventing or anything, but he at least deserves as much of a shot at it as Mr. Gass has gotten. (2011 Scott sez:  HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, fuck Bob Holly) Regal works the mat and tortures Bob’s arm for a few minutes, before Holly gets flustered and grabs the title belt for the cheap DQ at 5:48. And that’s that. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Trish hits on Angle, but he’s clueless. I’ve given up on this angle ever going anywhere, so now I just chuckle at the innuendo and move on.  (2011 Scott sez:  Never did go anywhere.)The Rock v. Rikishi. Wow, shunted pretty far down the card, Rocky. Slugfest to start, as Rock blasts him and grabs a chair, but is prevented from using it. Rikishi hits a superkick and big elbow. Legdrop injures Rock’s chest further, thus marking the only time I can ever remember where Rock sold an injury on THREE consecutive WWF shows (RAW, Smackdown, PPV) without giving into the impulse to do a superman comeback. I suppose you could go back to 1999 when HHH was breaking his arm with a sledgehammer and a casket, but even then it seemed like more of an inconvenience than an injury at the time. Sideslam gets two. Rock dumps Rikishi. Ref is bumped outside, so Rikishi grabs the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT and books WCW for a few months. No wait, he actually takes a swing at Rock and runs into a Rock Bottom. No ref. Rikishi comes back with a falling headbutt and samoan drop, and a buttdrop gets two. CHEEKS OF FIRE, and Rock takes the Stinkface?! Wow, talk about sucking it up for the company. I hope not literally. Rock comes booming out of the corner like Tammy Sytch charging for a discarded crack pipe in the gutter, and hits a lariat. Spinebuster, but he’s still injured. He manages to hit the People’s Elbow (good thing he had the adrenaline surge to wave his arms in the air like that, or else the move might have just looked stupid) and gets the pin at 11:20. Despite the idiocy of JR selling the Elbow as so devastating that Rikishi had to be pinned by it, this match was about a billion times better than it had any right to be. ***1/4 Rikishi then destroys my goodwill by hitting four Banzai drops, making me wonder “why the hell didn’t he just go over in the first place?” but then that’s the WWF for ya. – Women’s title match: Ivory v. Lita. Lita kicks and punches to start, and Ivory potatoes her so hard that she bleeds hardway from the eye. Ouch. Ivory stomps away. Lita nearly breaks Ivory’s neck with a rana, driving her right on her head. Get this chick some training, STAT. She hits a plancha on Ivory & Steven, and back in for a bodypress that gets two. Moonsault misses, and another one hits the knees and Ivory gets the pin to retain at 4:52. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I’m sure this RTC thing is very amusing for Vince and his cronies but for those of us who have to watch the matches it’s getting ugly. DUD – Meanwhile, Jericho beats the hell out of Kane in the back, guaranteeing that the feud will be dragged out for another PPV. “You want cream and sugar with that, BITCH?” – WWF title match: Kurt Angle v. The Undertaker. We take a moment of silence to reflect on the first year of the Angle Era, then Kurt lists all his top moments for us. UT is wearing the most incredibly old-person-looking pair of slacks I’ve ever seen tonight. “Hey, kid, get off my barcalounger before I call the cops and tie you to the learning tree!” Angle pounds away to start, but UT hits the big boot and legdrop and it’s all over! Undertakermania is running wild, brother! Okay, so it only gets two. Elbowdrop gets two. Taker picks him up both times. Ropewalk follows, and Angle runs away. Back in, Angle suplex gets two. Outside, UT posts Angle, twice. Doesn’t go anywhere, as Angle works the knee back in the ring until Taker suddenly hits a Fujiwara armbar out of nowhere. Angle is tapping, but Edge & Christian break their promise and run in anyway, distracting the ref. Angle keeps working the knee. Yawn. Chokeslam, ref is still busy. Russian legsweep gets two. Angle gets a figure-four, UT reverses. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two. Angle goes back to the knee, and hooks the Bret Hart ringpost figure-four. Bret got more coverage than anyone else on the show tonight, with his name being mentioned seemingly once every five minutes until everyone in the room was halfway convinced he’d be there in some form. UT goes for the tombstone, but Angle bails and heads under the ring, where Steve Keirn is waiting in a Doink costume. What a social faux pas. UT pulls Angle out, Last Ride…but it only gets two, because it’s not really Angle. Oh, dear god, they ARE recycling the Doink angle from 1993. I hate being right sometimes. The REAL Angle rolls up the confused Undertaker for the pin at 16:17 as I groan. Match was again about a billion times better than I had feared, but that ending…UGH. (2011 Scott sez:  And they recycled it AGAIN with Eric Angle in 2003!)Maybe Kurt can bring Brian Lee back now as his own personal Undertaker. **3/4 Would have been higher if all the attempted psychology would have led anywhere. – Edge & Christian & Bull & Goodfather v. The Hardy Boyz & The Dudley Boyz. Bull & Buh Buh start. Bull handles both Duds, and D-Von gets beat on. Hot tag Matt, but Edge gets an inverted X-Factor (called an “edge-o-matic”) for the first pin. Christian quickly hits the tomikaze on D-Von for the pin. Jeff moonsaults Christian for two, but eats post. Bull misses a charge, and hot tag to Buh Buh follows. He takes care of business, and Edge spears Bull by mistake for the pin. Atomic bomb on Edge gets him. Goodfather DVDs Buh Buh for the pin, leaving Goodfather & Christian v. Jeff Hardy. Jeff dodges Christian and hits the swanton, leaving Goodfather, and that ends as the Ho Train misses and Jeff gets the pin at 10:05. Kinda rushed and RAW-ish all around. *1/4 All the RTC guys go through tables. The point here continues to elude me. – Steve Austin v. HHH. Austin whoops Hunter to start, and they punch each other. Thesz press and elbow from Austin, and they brawl outside. Not much happens, crowd’s dead. Back to the ring, Austin nails him with a monitor and he does his traditional bladejob. Austin sits and grabs a couple of beers. Finally we head back into the ring. Kick and punch, and HHH reverses the KICK WHAM STUNNER with a neckbreaker, but can’t capitalize. More kicking and punching gets two for HHH. Austin spinebuster, but the second rope elbow misses. Back outside, more weak brawling. HHH gets backdropped through a table. Back in, it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER, but Austin doesn’t want the pin. He grabs a chair and tries to Pillmanize HHH, but he escapes and they fight to the back. The Radicalz attack and beat Austin down, but since none of them are tippety-top guys they just provide a distraction while HHH warms up the car. Austin counters with a forklift, however, and drops HHH, car and all, 15 feet in the air onto the concrete, which in all likelihood should have killed him in real life. I don’t quite see how that’s not worse than HHH running Austin down last year, but maybe that’s just me. Besides, I’m sure that with a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, HHH’s death will be downgraded to a 6-8 recuperation period and some rehabilitation before returning from the afterlife to do a run-in at Royal Rumble. Ah, the Sportz Entertainment Finish, god bless the legacy of Vince Russo. No contest at 25:00 or so. *1/2  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh COME ON.  That match has gotta be better than *1/2.  I should grab the DVD and check it out again this week.) The Bottom Line: If this stuff is going anywhere, I don’t see it. This was an obvious slapped-together card as Vince seems to be too busy auditioning cheerleaders for the XFL to pay attention to the company that actually makes him money. I’m getting really tired of every major match being “such-and-such was screwed!” or “This feud isn’t over, not by a long shot!” without much “He’s the better man, so he won” to balance things out a bit. I guess that wouldn’t have Attitude, though. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down for a subpar show that was actually a bit better than I expected, but not enough to be, you know, good.

Survivor Series Countdown: 2000

The SK Rant for WWF Survivor Series 2000 – Was I not watching the same PPV as everyone else on the ‘net who seem to be giving it glowing reviews or were there just sunspots altering my perception of what was I watching?– Before we get to the PPV, I thought I’d give a few quick thoughts on the new WWF game, No Mercy. Basically, my biggest gripe with it is that it’s essentially the same game as WM2000 and Revenge and the other THQ WWF games. There’s not that much in the way of technical innovations here, unless you count horrific slowdown in 4-player games as innovative. THQ/Asmik, despite having a better name than Acclaim at this point with regard to the wrestling video game genre, seems to falling into the same trap of producing the same game ad infinitum with a few added features here and there, plus vague promises of other ones that never seem to materialize. I mean, how hard is it to allow editing of pre-made wrestlers, for god’s sake? Further, the silly “Essa Rios is as tall as Andre the Giant” thing is still there, as are the numerous collision detection and camera problems that never seem to be fixed. Ring entrances are edited down to no longer include in-ring antics, but that’s understandable for space reasons. Guest ref mode is also added, and works about the same as in Smackdown. It took me a while to figure out that you have to focus on the guy who you want to count for and what button to use, but no biggie there. The ladder matches rock it old school, and nothing compares to tossing weapons at your friends. The rest is just the same as usual, however, and probably isn’t worth the $60-$80 you’ll have to drop on it. It’s game like this that really makes me wonder why no one is willing to develop wrestling games for the PC – your average GeForce card can easily handle the polygons needed to kill the N64’s version of this, plus the sound and video would be 100x better, plus updates and patches could be issued or sold as needed. Oh well. (2011 Scott sez:  What the FUCK was I smoking?  No Mercy is of course the greatest wrestling game ever made, by far.  And who would pay $80 for an N64 cartridge anyway?  Did we really used to do that?) – Live from Tampa, Florida. – Your hosts are JR & The King. – Opening match: T&A and Trish Stratus v. Crash & Molly & Steve Blackman. Probably wouldn’t be my choice of an opener. Albert & Blackman kick each other to start, then Crash comes in and gets tossed around. Molly & Trish go, as Trish runs away soon after. Crash hits a quick rana on Test for two. Crash gets beat up. Hot tag Molly, and she kills Trish, but gets tripped up by Test. Pier-six erupts, and Trish bulldogs Molly for two. Molly gets a sunset flip on Trish for the pin at 5:03. Basic Smackdown match here. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Edge & Christian do a pre-emptive ducking-out of helping Angle win, but he just wants to celebrate later. – Meanwhile, Lo Down gets stopped by security because no one knows who they are. I love shoot angles that aren’t supposed to be shoot angles. – K-Kwik, Road Dogg, Mr. One Smoking Ass Rockabilly G & Chyna v. The Radicalz. The rapping thing is NOT helping anyone and a mercy killing would seem to be in order. (2011 Scott sez:  And yet K-Kwik is main-eventing Survivor Series this year.  Goes to show how things change in wrestling).  Radicalz are once again color coordinated, this time in Killer Bee yellow and black. Gunn & Chyna double-team Saturn. Chyna powerslam gets two. DDT gets two after a messed-up lowblow. How hard is it, REALLY, to extend your leg backwards and bend at the knee? Eddy blasts Chyna with the belt and Saturn pins her. Good riddance. Road Dogg goes next, but gets suplexed. Eddy beats him up, and dropkicks the knee to block the funky punches. Radicalz work on the knee. Hot tag Gunn, and he gets beat down, too. Drop sleeper on Eddy gets the pin. Isn’t it amazing how Eddy jobs constantly and is yet still over, while Gunn wins constantly and still isn’t? How about that. K-Kwik gets his time to do his thing with Malenko, and smartly they let him do a sequence with Benoit. That one ends via a Benoit german suplex soon after. Road Dogg & Saturn do a boring bit, and Saturn suplexes him for the pin soon after, leaving Billy boy 3-on-1. A fameasser gets rid of Malenko, but Gunn is GASSED and hardly able to stand up. Get this man some oxygen and a steroid needle, STAT! Benoit headbutt gets two. Gunn suplex is blocked by Saturn and Benoit falls on top for the winning pin at 12:41, leaving Benoit & Saturn as your sole survivors. Wow, the Radz actually WIN A MATCH! ** – Chris Jericho v. Kane. Slugfest to start. Jericho dropkicks Kane out and baseball slides him. Tope follows and they brawl. That goes on for a bit, and Jericho dropkicks the stairs into him in a bad-looking spot. Back in, Kane powerslam gets two. He spikes Jericho and the boring chants start as he pounds away. Kane gets a hangman, a move not seen in a while. Jericho escapes, and Kane pulls off the turnbuckle. Kane pounds him down again, and casually tosses him out to the floor. JR completely oversells the drama here, and if I have to hear one more “He’s small, but he’s spunky and never-say-die speech” again from Ross I’m gonna barf all over my keyboard. Okay, it worked ONCE with Shawn Michaels, but then Shawn had nearly autonomous political power behind the scenes and actually got guys who would SELL for him and (gasp) LOSE once in a while. Back in, Kane goes aerial, but gets crotched. He tries again and Jericho dropkicks him in mid-air. Jericho trips him up and hits a missile dropkick for two. Rollup gets two. Jericho allegedly tries the Walls of Jericho, but it ends up being more of a Boston Crab because Kane doesn’t know how to sell the move properly and isn’t flexible enough to do it right. He powers out (what a shock) and catches Jericho on the Lionsault, then chokeslams him for the pin at 12:35. Notice how Kane gets to escape both of Jericho’s finishes, but one chokeslam kills Jericho dead. Welcome to midcard hell, Chris, hope you enjoyed your cup of coffee with credibility. Nyuk nyuk. (2011 Scott sez:  Well at least he’d go on to win the World title a few times) ** Match was at least better than I had feared it would be. – European title match: William Regal v. Hardcore Holly. This is an odd pairing, to say the least. Hardcore Holly is an interesting case, because he has easy and marketable heat with Kurt Angle, but the WWF is obviously set in the thinking that Holly will never be higher than midcard, so they simply refuse to acknowledge any heat he might get that would suggest otherwise. Cf. Billy Gunn, where the opposite happens and the WWF ONLY acknowledges heat that suggests what they want. Not that I think Holly should be main eventing or anything, but he at least deserves as much of a shot at it as Mr. Gass has gotten. (2011 Scott sez:  HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA, fuck Bob Holly) Regal works the mat and tortures Bob’s arm for a few minutes, before Holly gets flustered and grabs the title belt for the cheap DQ at 5:48. And that’s that. *1/2 – Meanwhile, Trish hits on Angle, but he’s clueless. I’ve given up on this angle ever going anywhere, so now I just chuckle at the innuendo and move on.  (2011 Scott sez:  Never did go anywhere.)The Rock v. Rikishi. Wow, shunted pretty far down the card, Rocky. Slugfest to start, as Rock blasts him and grabs a chair, but is prevented from using it. Rikishi hits a superkick and big elbow. Legdrop injures Rock’s chest further, thus marking the only time I can ever remember where Rock sold an injury on THREE consecutive WWF shows (RAW, Smackdown, PPV) without giving into the impulse to do a superman comeback. I suppose you could go back to 1999 when HHH was breaking his arm with a sledgehammer and a casket, but even then it seemed like more of an inconvenience than an injury at the time. Sideslam gets two. Rock dumps Rikishi. Ref is bumped outside, so Rikishi grabs the SLEDGEHAMMER OF PLOT and books WCW for a few months. No wait, he actually takes a swing at Rock and runs into a Rock Bottom. No ref. Rikishi comes back with a falling headbutt and samoan drop, and a buttdrop gets two. CHEEKS OF FIRE, and Rock takes the Stinkface?! Wow, talk about sucking it up for the company. I hope not literally. Rock comes booming out of the corner like Tammy Sytch charging for a discarded crack pipe in the gutter, and hits a lariat. Spinebuster, but he’s still injured. He manages to hit the People’s Elbow (good thing he had the adrenaline surge to wave his arms in the air like that, or else the move might have just looked stupid) and gets the pin at 11:20. Despite the idiocy of JR selling the Elbow as so devastating that Rikishi had to be pinned by it, this match was about a billion times better than it had any right to be. ***1/4 Rikishi then destroys my goodwill by hitting four Banzai drops, making me wonder “why the hell didn’t he just go over in the first place?” but then that’s the WWF for ya. – Women’s title match: Ivory v. Lita. Lita kicks and punches to start, and Ivory potatoes her so hard that she bleeds hardway from the eye. Ouch. Ivory stomps away. Lita nearly breaks Ivory’s neck with a rana, driving her right on her head. Get this chick some training, STAT. She hits a plancha on Ivory & Steven, and back in for a bodypress that gets two. Moonsault misses, and another one hits the knees and Ivory gets the pin to retain at 4:52. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I’m sure this RTC thing is very amusing for Vince and his cronies but for those of us who have to watch the matches it’s getting ugly. DUD – Meanwhile, Jericho beats the hell out of Kane in the back, guaranteeing that the feud will be dragged out for another PPV. “You want cream and sugar with that, BITCH?” – WWF title match: Kurt Angle v. The Undertaker. We take a moment of silence to reflect on the first year of the Angle Era, then Kurt lists all his top moments for us. UT is wearing the most incredibly old-person-looking pair of slacks I’ve ever seen tonight. “Hey, kid, get off my barcalounger before I call the cops and tie you to the learning tree!” Angle pounds away to start, but UT hits the big boot and legdrop and it’s all over! Undertakermania is running wild, brother! Okay, so it only gets two. Elbowdrop gets two. Taker picks him up both times. Ropewalk follows, and Angle runs away. Back in, Angle suplex gets two. Outside, UT posts Angle, twice. Doesn’t go anywhere, as Angle works the knee back in the ring until Taker suddenly hits a Fujiwara armbar out of nowhere. Angle is tapping, but Edge & Christian break their promise and run in anyway, distracting the ref. Angle keeps working the knee. Yawn. Chokeslam, ref is still busy. Russian legsweep gets two. Angle gets a figure-four, UT reverses. Tilt-a-whirl slam gets two. Angle goes back to the knee, and hooks the Bret Hart ringpost figure-four. Bret got more coverage than anyone else on the show tonight, with his name being mentioned seemingly once every five minutes until everyone in the room was halfway convinced he’d be there in some form. UT goes for the tombstone, but Angle bails and heads under the ring, where Steve Keirn is waiting in a Doink costume. What a social faux pas. UT pulls Angle out, Last Ride…but it only gets two, because it’s not really Angle. Oh, dear god, they ARE recycling the Doink angle from 1993. I hate being right sometimes. The REAL Angle rolls up the confused Undertaker for the pin at 16:17 as I groan. Match was again about a billion times better than I had feared, but that ending…UGH. (2011 Scott sez:  And they recycled it AGAIN with Eric Angle in 2003!)Maybe Kurt can bring Brian Lee back now as his own personal Undertaker. **3/4 Would have been higher if all the attempted psychology would have led anywhere. – Edge & Christian & Bull & Goodfather v. The Hardy Boyz & The Dudley Boyz. Bull & Buh Buh start. Bull handles both Duds, and D-Von gets beat on. Hot tag Matt, but Edge gets an inverted X-Factor (called an “edge-o-matic”) for the first pin. Christian quickly hits the tomikaze on D-Von for the pin. Jeff moonsaults Christian for two, but eats post. Bull misses a charge, and hot tag to Buh Buh follows. He takes care of business, and Edge spears Bull by mistake for the pin. Atomic bomb on Edge gets him. Goodfather DVDs Buh Buh for the pin, leaving Goodfather & Christian v. Jeff Hardy. Jeff dodges Christian and hits the swanton, leaving Goodfather, and that ends as the Ho Train misses and Jeff gets the pin at 10:05. Kinda rushed and RAW-ish all around. *1/4 All the RTC guys go through tables. The point here continues to elude me. – Steve Austin v. HHH. Austin whoops Hunter to start, and they punch each other. Thesz press and elbow from Austin, and they brawl outside. Not much happens, crowd’s dead. Back to the ring, Austin nails him with a monitor and he does his traditional bladejob. Austin sits and grabs a couple of beers. Finally we head back into the ring. Kick and punch, and HHH reverses the KICK WHAM STUNNER with a neckbreaker, but can’t capitalize. More kicking and punching gets two for HHH. Austin spinebuster, but the second rope elbow misses. Back outside, more weak brawling. HHH gets backdropped through a table. Back in, it’s KICK WHAM STUNNER, but Austin doesn’t want the pin. He grabs a chair and tries to Pillmanize HHH, but he escapes and they fight to the back. The Radicalz attack and beat Austin down, but since none of them are tippety-top guys they just provide a distraction while HHH warms up the car. Austin counters with a forklift, however, and drops HHH, car and all, 15 feet in the air onto the concrete, which in all likelihood should have killed him in real life. I don’t quite see how that’s not worse than HHH running Austin down last year, but maybe that’s just me. Besides, I’m sure that with a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews, HHH’s death will be downgraded to a 6-8 recuperation period and some rehabilitation before returning from the afterlife to do a run-in at Royal Rumble. Ah, the Sportz Entertainment Finish, god bless the legacy of Vince Russo. No contest at 25:00 or so. *1/2  (2011 Scott sez:  Oh COME ON.  That match has gotta be better than *1/2.  I should grab the DVD and check it out again this week.) The Bottom Line: If this stuff is going anywhere, I don’t see it. This was an obvious slapped-together card as Vince seems to be too busy auditioning cheerleaders for the XFL to pay attention to the company that actually makes him money. I’m getting really tired of every major match being “such-and-such was screwed!” or “This feud isn’t over, not by a long shot!” without much “He’s the better man, so he won” to balance things out a bit. I guess that wouldn’t have Attitude, though. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down for a subpar show that was actually a bit better than I expected, but not enough to be, you know, good.

Questions Three!

Hey Scott, still injured and trucking through your old reviews (and still enjoying the heck out of them). I was curious if you ever went back and ranted on the Goldberg/Michaels match from 2003? I ask because A) I’m a huge Michaels fan, and B) it’s one of the only "good" Goldberg matches I’ve ever seen (minus the finish), and I’d be curious to see what you thought of it, either at the time or now. It’s no ***** classic or anything,but for a Goldberg match that isn’t a squash, it works pretty well, IMO.

I don’t even remember what match you’re talking about, so no. 

Follow up, Lesnar just said if he ever comes back (and he thinks he will, eventually) his first choice would be to fight Austin. Now, Austin has said if HE ever comes back his first choice would be Punk. Do you think one or both of those are going to happen?

I think Austin is so incredibly smart that he won’t waste his name value and potential comeback angle by playing second fiddle to the Rock, so I don’t see either scenario happening any time soon.  Plus Brock can barely make a fraction of the money in WWE that he currently does with UFC, so he would be insane to come back before he was completely done as a fighter.  One fight with him does better than almost the entire WWE PPV year put together right now.  And how was that a follow-up question anyway? 

Third and finally, what’s WWE do if Cena gets injured before Mania? If they have Punk/Austin on the card they’ll probably just power through, but they have to have Rock fight somebody, right? I could see them trying to get Michaels back, but based on the bad blood between the two (is there any truth to that, btw? I’ve heard about it several times, but if it’s there they both always say the right things on camera; I remember at an HOF ceremony a few years ago, Rocky said HBK was one of the only three wrestlers he wished he’d gotten to fight. Anyways) and HBK not wanting to pull a Hogan/Flair, I don’t know if he’d do it. Who do they plug into that slot, then? Orton’s an option, but we’ve already kinda seen Rock/Orton at WMXX. They could throw Punk against him if they don’t get Austin, I guess, but for some reason that just doesn’t strike me as something that will pull the kind of buys they’re going for. So who would be the right choice? HBK? Taker? Austin/Rock episode 4?

Unless Cena has two broken legs and is missing his head, he’s going to Wrestlemania.  That being said, if someone goes all Lee Harvey Oswald on him the next time they’re in Dallas and he’s legitimately unable to drag himself into the ring, then it’s HHH who gets plugged in there.  They could even be like “Oh shit, Rock used his Hollywood money to hire a HITMAN and take out Cena!” (#gangland hit is trending worldwide on Twitter right now!) and then the WWE Twitterstars could band together and nominate a replacement or something.  But I think HHH is the only one outside of Cena who they think could carry himself against Rock, and god knows the promos would be entertaining. 

Questions Three!

Hey Scott, still injured and trucking through your old reviews (and still enjoying the heck out of them). I was curious if you ever went back and ranted on the Goldberg/Michaels match from 2003? I ask because A) I’m a huge Michaels fan, and B) it’s one of the only "good" Goldberg matches I’ve ever seen (minus the finish), and I’d be curious to see what you thought of it, either at the time or now. It’s no ***** classic or anything,but for a Goldberg match that isn’t a squash, it works pretty well, IMO.

I don’t even remember what match you’re talking about, so no. 

Follow up, Lesnar just said if he ever comes back (and he thinks he will, eventually) his first choice would be to fight Austin. Now, Austin has said if HE ever comes back his first choice would be Punk. Do you think one or both of those are going to happen?

I think Austin is so incredibly smart that he won’t waste his name value and potential comeback angle by playing second fiddle to the Rock, so I don’t see either scenario happening any time soon.  Plus Brock can barely make a fraction of the money in WWE that he currently does with UFC, so he would be insane to come back before he was completely done as a fighter.  One fight with him does better than almost the entire WWE PPV year put together right now.  And how was that a follow-up question anyway? 

Third and finally, what’s WWE do if Cena gets injured before Mania? If they have Punk/Austin on the card they’ll probably just power through, but they have to have Rock fight somebody, right? I could see them trying to get Michaels back, but based on the bad blood between the two (is there any truth to that, btw? I’ve heard about it several times, but if it’s there they both always say the right things on camera; I remember at an HOF ceremony a few years ago, Rocky said HBK was one of the only three wrestlers he wished he’d gotten to fight. Anyways) and HBK not wanting to pull a Hogan/Flair, I don’t know if he’d do it. Who do they plug into that slot, then? Orton’s an option, but we’ve already kinda seen Rock/Orton at WMXX. They could throw Punk against him if they don’t get Austin, I guess, but for some reason that just doesn’t strike me as something that will pull the kind of buys they’re going for. So who would be the right choice? HBK? Taker? Austin/Rock episode 4?

Unless Cena has two broken legs and is missing his head, he’s going to Wrestlemania.  That being said, if someone goes all Lee Harvey Oswald on him the next time they’re in Dallas and he’s legitimately unable to drag himself into the ring, then it’s HHH who gets plugged in there.  They could even be like “Oh shit, Rock used his Hollywood money to hire a HITMAN and take out Cena!” (#gangland hit is trending worldwide on Twitter right now!) and then the WWE Twitterstars could band together and nominate a replacement or something.  But I think HHH is the only one outside of Cena who they think could carry himself against Rock, and god knows the promos would be entertaining. 

Questions Three!

Hey Scott, still injured and trucking through your old reviews (and still enjoying the heck out of them). I was curious if you ever went back and ranted on the Goldberg/Michaels match from 2003? I ask because A) I’m a huge Michaels fan, and B) it’s one of the only "good" Goldberg matches I’ve ever seen (minus the finish), and I’d be curious to see what you thought of it, either at the time or now. It’s no ***** classic or anything,but for a Goldberg match that isn’t a squash, it works pretty well, IMO.

I don’t even remember what match you’re talking about, so no. 

Follow up, Lesnar just said if he ever comes back (and he thinks he will, eventually) his first choice would be to fight Austin. Now, Austin has said if HE ever comes back his first choice would be Punk. Do you think one or both of those are going to happen?

I think Austin is so incredibly smart that he won’t waste his name value and potential comeback angle by playing second fiddle to the Rock, so I don’t see either scenario happening any time soon.  Plus Brock can barely make a fraction of the money in WWE that he currently does with UFC, so he would be insane to come back before he was completely done as a fighter.  One fight with him does better than almost the entire WWE PPV year put together right now.  And how was that a follow-up question anyway? 

Third and finally, what’s WWE do if Cena gets injured before Mania? If they have Punk/Austin on the card they’ll probably just power through, but they have to have Rock fight somebody, right? I could see them trying to get Michaels back, but based on the bad blood between the two (is there any truth to that, btw? I’ve heard about it several times, but if it’s there they both always say the right things on camera; I remember at an HOF ceremony a few years ago, Rocky said HBK was one of the only three wrestlers he wished he’d gotten to fight. Anyways) and HBK not wanting to pull a Hogan/Flair, I don’t know if he’d do it. Who do they plug into that slot, then? Orton’s an option, but we’ve already kinda seen Rock/Orton at WMXX. They could throw Punk against him if they don’t get Austin, I guess, but for some reason that just doesn’t strike me as something that will pull the kind of buys they’re going for. So who would be the right choice? HBK? Taker? Austin/Rock episode 4?

Unless Cena has two broken legs and is missing his head, he’s going to Wrestlemania.  That being said, if someone goes all Lee Harvey Oswald on him the next time they’re in Dallas and he’s legitimately unable to drag himself into the ring, then it’s HHH who gets plugged in there.  They could even be like “Oh shit, Rock used his Hollywood money to hire a HITMAN and take out Cena!” (#gangland hit is trending worldwide on Twitter right now!) and then the WWE Twitterstars could band together and nominate a replacement or something.  But I think HHH is the only one outside of Cena who they think could carry himself against Rock, and god knows the promos would be entertaining. 

UFC As Sports Entertainment

What are your thoughts on this? http://mobile.cagesideseats.com/2011/11/15/2564791/ufc-admits-theyre-sports-entertainment-to-get-legalised-in-new-york

Holy shit, I forgot about that Vince McMahon oily muscle pose.  That’s gonna haunt my nightmares now. As for the actual article, Dana White has never been shy about admitting the stuff he swiped from wrestling, and reasonable fans outside of the hardcore MMA nerds are fine with it.  Whether it’s classed as “sports” or “entertainment” is a matter of semantics for the IRS to care about.  If that’s what it takes to get UFC into MSG, call it theater and nominate it for a Tony for all I care.  Like, does anyone really care about calling wrestling “sports entertainment” who isn’t employed by WWE?  It’s just a vague, meaningless term for the beancounters.

UFC As Sports Entertainment

What are your thoughts on this? http://mobile.cagesideseats.com/2011/11/15/2564791/ufc-admits-theyre-sports-entertainment-to-get-legalised-in-new-york

Holy shit, I forgot about that Vince McMahon oily muscle pose.  That’s gonna haunt my nightmares now. As for the actual article, Dana White has never been shy about admitting the stuff he swiped from wrestling, and reasonable fans outside of the hardcore MMA nerds are fine with it.  Whether it’s classed as “sports” or “entertainment” is a matter of semantics for the IRS to care about.  If that’s what it takes to get UFC into MSG, call it theater and nominate it for a Tony for all I care.  Like, does anyone really care about calling wrestling “sports entertainment” who isn’t employed by WWE?  It’s just a vague, meaningless term for the beancounters.

UFC As Sports Entertainment

What are your thoughts on this? http://mobile.cagesideseats.com/2011/11/15/2564791/ufc-admits-theyre-sports-entertainment-to-get-legalised-in-new-york

Holy shit, I forgot about that Vince McMahon oily muscle pose.  That’s gonna haunt my nightmares now. As for the actual article, Dana White has never been shy about admitting the stuff he swiped from wrestling, and reasonable fans outside of the hardcore MMA nerds are fine with it.  Whether it’s classed as “sports” or “entertainment” is a matter of semantics for the IRS to care about.  If that’s what it takes to get UFC into MSG, call it theater and nominate it for a Tony for all I care.  Like, does anyone really care about calling wrestling “sports entertainment” who isn’t employed by WWE?  It’s just a vague, meaningless term for the beancounters.

Regal Rib

Hi Scott, longtime reader yada yada yada…
Like most of us you probably don’t watch Superstars (is it even on in Canada?) but this week we were treated to Regal vs Bryan, but even better, someone behind the scenes decided to pull a rib on regal by switching his entrance music.
Safe to say, he’s a real man’s man.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhqezjxosk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

It’s not on in Canada, but we do get NXT, so lucky us.  That was pretty awesome, though, and makes me think I should watch Superst….BWAHAHAHAHAHA, sorry couldn’t even get through that sentence. 

Regal Rib

Hi Scott, longtime reader yada yada yada…
Like most of us you probably don’t watch Superstars (is it even on in Canada?) but this week we were treated to Regal vs Bryan, but even better, someone behind the scenes decided to pull a rib on regal by switching his entrance music.
Safe to say, he’s a real man’s man.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhqezjxosk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

It’s not on in Canada, but we do get NXT, so lucky us.  That was pretty awesome, though, and makes me think I should watch Superst….BWAHAHAHAHAHA, sorry couldn’t even get through that sentence. 

Regal Rib

Hi Scott, longtime reader yada yada yada…
Like most of us you probably don’t watch Superstars (is it even on in Canada?) but this week we were treated to Regal vs Bryan, but even better, someone behind the scenes decided to pull a rib on regal by switching his entrance music.
Safe to say, he’s a real man’s man.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDhqezjxosk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

It’s not on in Canada, but we do get NXT, so lucky us.  That was pretty awesome, though, and makes me think I should watch Superst….BWAHAHAHAHAHA, sorry couldn’t even get through that sentence. 

Survivor Series Countdown: 1999

The Netcop Rant for Survivor Series 99 – First, some business to take care of. Pay no attention to Rick Scaia’s disappointed review of Foo Fighters’ new album. He’s an ECW fan, what did you expect? Words like “radio friendly” and “mainstream” are like poison to that type. The bottom line is that the album, although sputtering along for the first two tracks, hits a killer groove and never looks back. And I wouldn’t say it’s “radio friendly” — while Dave Grohl hits a more pop-ish niche with this one, there’s not really anything that’s a standout single beside “Learn to Fly”. Most of the songs fall into the more subtle hummable category and kind of sneak up on you, like the catchy guitar hook in “Generator” or the outright singable “MIA”. Overall, I would personally call it their best album to date, and one of the best of the year. (2011 Scott sez:  “There Is Nothing Left To Lose” became the CD that pretty much broke the Foo Fighters huge, so I was right.) – And yeah, I know there was no Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98. Long story short, I bought a DVD drive for my computer and spent the better part of 6 hours doing that time-honored tradition of computer guys everywhere: Watching Windows 98 freeze up and racking my brain trying to figure out why. After much experimentation with switching things around in various configurations (my original guess was that the decoder card was messing with my video card) I discovered that I had to upgrade my bus-mastering drivers to get Windows to recognize the drive. Once again, the fine people at the Acer Corporation deliver a crappy chipset for an otherwise fine motherboard. So now if anyone in Edmonton can let me know if they’ve seen the Wrestlemania XV DVD or the Steve Austin one for sale and point me to it, or if you have a copy you’d like to part with, let me know because I wanna get my hands on one. (2011 Scott sez:  Hey kids, remember the days of Windows 98 and needing a separate card so you could run a DVD on your computer?  Those days SUCKED.  I’m so glad we have the rock-solid  reliability of Windows 7 now.  Cough.) – Live from Detroit, Michigan – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. – Opening match: The Godfather, D-Lo Brown & The Headbangers v. The Acolytes & The Dudley Boyz. In a cute attempt at team continuity, everyone on the face side is dressed like Huggy Bear, thus proving that pimpin’ IS easy. Boring start with the Dudleys knocking the afros right off the Bangers. Bradshaw lariats Thrasher and gets him. Dudleys hit 3D on Mosh soon after and he’s gone. Bradshaw hits D-Lo with a chair, drawing a DQ, and then Faarooq and D-Von argue who gets the pin. Neither does, as they fight over that issue all the way back to the dressing room. That leaves Buh Buh v. Godfather & D-Lo. D-Lo softens him up after taking a beating, and Godfather mops up with the Ho Train. D-Lo adds the Lo-Down for the academic pin. Didn’t suck or anything. ** Survivors: D-Lo Brown & The Godfather. – Shawn Stasiak v. Kurt Angle. We another Angle promo, then a video of Stan Stasiak. Angle gets the Patriot’s old music, thus pretty much confirming that he’s gonna be a heel. If they wanted to go WAY over the top with it, they could have used “Real American”. They work a pretty decent mat-based match, which is just begging for “boring” chants from the fans. Angle eventually rolls out and tells the crowd that they shouldn’t boo a former Olympic athlete. Guess who they react to that one. Stasiak hits a kind of brainbuster soon after for two, but Angle comes back with his fallaway slam for the pin. The crowd boos. Not bad all-in-all. **1/4 (2011 Scott sez:  And that was the beginning of Kurt Angle`s career.  Who knew it would launch him into superstardom just a few months later?)Val Venis, Gangrel, Mark Henry & Steve Blackman v. British Bulldog & The Mean Street Posse. If ANYONE in the Posse goes over ANY of the other team, someone is smoking too much crack. They make no attempt to attach any kind of storyline to this, by the way. Venis & Pete Gas do an okay sequence, and Blackman comes in to clean up with the BIG KICK OF DOOM for the pin. Gangrel just kills poor Rodney and finishes him with the Implant. Mark Henry tosses Joey Abs around for a while and pins him at will with a splash. Good, that’s the way it should have been booked. Bulldog is left 4-on-1. He gets Gangrel with a superplex, and Blackman on a fisherman’s superplex, which again is fine because neither guy has credibility to ruin. Mark Henry and Val Venis overwhelm Bulldog in short order, however, and a splash and Money Shot, respectively, is enough for the pin. Match was there. 1/2* – Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Tori & Debra v. Ivory, Terri, Luna & Jackie. Short and BRUTALLY BAD, as everyone misses everything in spectacular fashion. Thankfully they get all of 2 minutes to stink up the ring before the Ancient Artifacts double-clothesline Ivory and pin her. -** Next, please. – X-Pac v. Kane. Brawl outside early on. X-Pac gets an early advantage with the spin kick, and goes for the Broncobuster, but Kane casually catches him in mid-air and tosses him away. Kane steamrolls X-Pac for a while and hits the top rope clothesline & chokeslam one-two punch, but Road Dogg makes a cameo appearance and breaks up the count at two. X-Factor gets two. Kane fights him off and tries the tombstone, and it’s the nWo, er, DX run-in for the lame DQ. Tori makes the save and takes a kick from X-Pac. Big heat for that. Pretty rushed match that looked to be getting good. ** (2011 Scott sez:  For those keeping track, this was the start of “X-Pac Heat”)The Big Show v. Prince Albert, Viscera, Mideon & Big Bossman. Show took out his other team members on Heat, just so he could go it alone. Mideon, Albert and Viscera all go in under a minute with chokeslams, firing up the crowd. Bossman runs without ever entering the match. What the hell was that? DUD – Backstage, Steve Austin looks away for a minute and a stuntman gets run over by a car. Austin feels so bad for the guy he has sympathetic injuries and gets hauled off in an ambulance. Yeah, but what about that poor stunt double? We use about 10 minutes for Austin to get taken away. AND WHO IS THE DRIVER? Billy Gunn, duh. See how easy it is to resolve stuff like that?  (2011 Scott sez:  Of course, it was actually Rikishi, and HE DID IT FOR YOU, ROCK!)Intercontinental title match: Chyna v. Chris Jericho. BIG pop for Jericho. The women put the boots to Chris, and they brawl outside. Jericho sidesteps a Chyna dive and she crashes into the barrier. Back in the ring for an ugly sequence as Chyna seems to have trouble hitting her spots. Chyna gets a rana, but she ends up on the floor and Jericho hits the springboard cross-body. Jericho lays on the badmouth and rams her into the exposed barrier. Back in the ring for a missile dropkick that gets two. Chyna slowly reverses a slam attempt into a cradle for two. Chyna comes back, but gets bulldogged and Lionsaulted (another face pop there). Jericho plants one on Miss Kitty, and gets speared by Chyna. They fight on the floor. Back in the ring and Jericho gets a way cool delayed powerbomb for two, and another face pop. Even JR notes the crowd reaction now. Chyna comes back with the handspring elbow and DDT for two. Ref gets bumped and Jericho nails her with the IC title for two. Dammit, I thought that was it. Chyna with the Pedigree…for two. Close call. Chyna tries a rana and gets caught in the Walls of Jericho! YEAH! She keeps trying for the ropes and Jericho keeps pulling her back, and the crowd is just going BATSHIT right now. Chyna makes the ropes, and the crowd BOOS her. Whoa. Jericho tries a superplex, but Chyna reverses to a top rope Pedigree, and that’s enough for the pin. Man, the whole room was exhausted after that ending. Best match of the night so far. *** (2011 Scott sez:  HHH said that Jericho couldn’t work WWF Style back then, so he got to job to Chyna.  How about that.)Too Cool & The Hollys v. Edge & Christian & The Hardy Boyz. Slow start with the faces controlling Crash. They hit the trainwreck sequence, with everyone doing their highspot outside the ring. Christian gets pounded by the heels for a while, then Edge gets the hot tag and spears everything. Crash manages to cheapshot him and pin him with a rollup, however. Scotty 2 Hotty hits a nasty looking top rope bulldog and pins Matt Hardy. Pretty dull sequence as Jeff gets worked over by Too Cool. Crash & Hardcore argue over who gets to finish Christian, and Jeff uses the distraction to hit a 450 splash on Scotty and pin him. Christian & Jeff mix-and-match their respective team’s offense on Crash, but Jeff gets caught with a missile dropkick running into the corner by Hardcore Holly and pinned after a Brian Christopher legdrop. Christian strikes quickly, nailing the Impaler on Christopher and pinning him. Crash and Christian do a nice sequence and it ends with Crash getting pinned after a Tomikaze. Hardcore manages to counter a victory roll and get the pin on Christian to win the match. Not as mind-blowingly great as I was expecting, but still pretty good. *** Survivor: Hardcore Holly. – World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind & Al Snow. Boring match which neither our group nor the crowd was paying much attention to. They go back-and-forth for a while, until Gunn gets a Fame-Asser on Mankind during a melee. It gets two, and Mankind comes back with a double-arm DDT and Mr. Socko. They escape and after getting rid of Al Snow, hit a spike piledriver on Mick for the pin to retain the titles. A successful tag title defense? Is this REALLY the WWF? Match was there. *1/2 – WWF World title: HHH v. The Rock v. ???? We’re betting on Test as the obvious replacement for Austin, but everyone is shocked when it turns out to be…the Big Show! Whoa. Show takes on both guys and does pretty well at it. Rock hits a legsweep on Show, but HHH breaks up the People’s Elbow. They brawl to the entrance, and stay there for a while. Geez, another one of THOSE matches. Back to ringside, more brawling. Nice spot as HHH & Rock suplex Big Show through the spanish table. MORE brawling into the stands. Back in the ring (what a concept) where HHH and Rock bump the ref. Rock Bottom, no ref. Shane-o-Mac slides in and counts two. Another Rock Bottom, but Show pulls Shane out at two. Show and Rock fight on the floor, as HHH grabs his belt. Shane wrests it away from him, and gets Pedigreed. DX runs in, and Vince storms in after them. Vince takes a swing at HHH and misses, but takes another swing and connects, chokeslam, new champion. Holy mother of god, who could’ve saw THAT coming? Match was the usual overbooked junk, but the swerve was neat. * Big Show does the Shawn-esque celebration, essentially dedicating the win to his “just buried” father, which is a really good way to pay off the storyline for the marks and give the big guy the credibility he’s been sorely lacking. So please, no more “WWF is wasting Paul Wight in the midcard” whining, okay?  (2011 Scott sez:  Yeah!  Big Show is totally getting used properly!  Jerks!) The Bottom Line: This was pretty much the definition of mediocre, as a couple of surprisingly good matches do not a classic make. And the main event, while a good ending, was essentially a waste of 20 minutes, and the Rock was a non-factor in the match to boot. I’d say I was disappointed with the show, but I wasn’t expecting anything to begin with, so we’ll just call this one a write-off and hope that Jericho gets the gold tomorrow night. Thumbs solidly in the middle.

Survivor Series Countdown: 1999

The Netcop Rant for Survivor Series 99 – First, some business to take care of. Pay no attention to Rick Scaia’s disappointed review of Foo Fighters’ new album. He’s an ECW fan, what did you expect? Words like “radio friendly” and “mainstream” are like poison to that type. The bottom line is that the album, although sputtering along for the first two tracks, hits a killer groove and never looks back. And I wouldn’t say it’s “radio friendly” — while Dave Grohl hits a more pop-ish niche with this one, there’s not really anything that’s a standout single beside “Learn to Fly”. Most of the songs fall into the more subtle hummable category and kind of sneak up on you, like the catchy guitar hook in “Generator” or the outright singable “MIA”. Overall, I would personally call it their best album to date, and one of the best of the year. (2011 Scott sez:  “There Is Nothing Left To Lose” became the CD that pretty much broke the Foo Fighters huge, so I was right.) – And yeah, I know there was no Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98. Long story short, I bought a DVD drive for my computer and spent the better part of 6 hours doing that time-honored tradition of computer guys everywhere: Watching Windows 98 freeze up and racking my brain trying to figure out why. After much experimentation with switching things around in various configurations (my original guess was that the decoder card was messing with my video card) I discovered that I had to upgrade my bus-mastering drivers to get Windows to recognize the drive. Once again, the fine people at the Acer Corporation deliver a crappy chipset for an otherwise fine motherboard. So now if anyone in Edmonton can let me know if they’ve seen the Wrestlemania XV DVD or the Steve Austin one for sale and point me to it, or if you have a copy you’d like to part with, let me know because I wanna get my hands on one. (2011 Scott sez:  Hey kids, remember the days of Windows 98 and needing a separate card so you could run a DVD on your computer?  Those days SUCKED.  I’m so glad we have the rock-solid  reliability of Windows 7 now.  Cough.) – Live from Detroit, Michigan – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. – Opening match: The Godfather, D-Lo Brown & The Headbangers v. The Acolytes & The Dudley Boyz. In a cute attempt at team continuity, everyone on the face side is dressed like Huggy Bear, thus proving that pimpin’ IS easy. Boring start with the Dudleys knocking the afros right off the Bangers. Bradshaw lariats Thrasher and gets him. Dudleys hit 3D on Mosh soon after and he’s gone. Bradshaw hits D-Lo with a chair, drawing a DQ, and then Faarooq and D-Von argue who gets the pin. Neither does, as they fight over that issue all the way back to the dressing room. That leaves Buh Buh v. Godfather & D-Lo. D-Lo softens him up after taking a beating, and Godfather mops up with the Ho Train. D-Lo adds the Lo-Down for the academic pin. Didn’t suck or anything. ** Survivors: D-Lo Brown & The Godfather. – Shawn Stasiak v. Kurt Angle. We another Angle promo, then a video of Stan Stasiak. Angle gets the Patriot’s old music, thus pretty much confirming that he’s gonna be a heel. If they wanted to go WAY over the top with it, they could have used “Real American”. They work a pretty decent mat-based match, which is just begging for “boring” chants from the fans. Angle eventually rolls out and tells the crowd that they shouldn’t boo a former Olympic athlete. Guess who they react to that one. Stasiak hits a kind of brainbuster soon after for two, but Angle comes back with his fallaway slam for the pin. The crowd boos. Not bad all-in-all. **1/4 (2011 Scott sez:  And that was the beginning of Kurt Angle`s career.  Who knew it would launch him into superstardom just a few months later?)Val Venis, Gangrel, Mark Henry & Steve Blackman v. British Bulldog & The Mean Street Posse. If ANYONE in the Posse goes over ANY of the other team, someone is smoking too much crack. They make no attempt to attach any kind of storyline to this, by the way. Venis & Pete Gas do an okay sequence, and Blackman comes in to clean up with the BIG KICK OF DOOM for the pin. Gangrel just kills poor Rodney and finishes him with the Implant. Mark Henry tosses Joey Abs around for a while and pins him at will with a splash. Good, that’s the way it should have been booked. Bulldog is left 4-on-1. He gets Gangrel with a superplex, and Blackman on a fisherman’s superplex, which again is fine because neither guy has credibility to ruin. Mark Henry and Val Venis overwhelm Bulldog in short order, however, and a splash and Money Shot, respectively, is enough for the pin. Match was there. 1/2* – Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Tori & Debra v. Ivory, Terri, Luna & Jackie. Short and BRUTALLY BAD, as everyone misses everything in spectacular fashion. Thankfully they get all of 2 minutes to stink up the ring before the Ancient Artifacts double-clothesline Ivory and pin her. -** Next, please. – X-Pac v. Kane. Brawl outside early on. X-Pac gets an early advantage with the spin kick, and goes for the Broncobuster, but Kane casually catches him in mid-air and tosses him away. Kane steamrolls X-Pac for a while and hits the top rope clothesline & chokeslam one-two punch, but Road Dogg makes a cameo appearance and breaks up the count at two. X-Factor gets two. Kane fights him off and tries the tombstone, and it’s the nWo, er, DX run-in for the lame DQ. Tori makes the save and takes a kick from X-Pac. Big heat for that. Pretty rushed match that looked to be getting good. ** (2011 Scott sez:  For those keeping track, this was the start of “X-Pac Heat”)The Big Show v. Prince Albert, Viscera, Mideon & Big Bossman. Show took out his other team members on Heat, just so he could go it alone. Mideon, Albert and Viscera all go in under a minute with chokeslams, firing up the crowd. Bossman runs without ever entering the match. What the hell was that? DUD – Backstage, Steve Austin looks away for a minute and a stuntman gets run over by a car. Austin feels so bad for the guy he has sympathetic injuries and gets hauled off in an ambulance. Yeah, but what about that poor stunt double? We use about 10 minutes for Austin to get taken away. AND WHO IS THE DRIVER? Billy Gunn, duh. See how easy it is to resolve stuff like that?  (2011 Scott sez:  Of course, it was actually Rikishi, and HE DID IT FOR YOU, ROCK!)Intercontinental title match: Chyna v. Chris Jericho. BIG pop for Jericho. The women put the boots to Chris, and they brawl outside. Jericho sidesteps a Chyna dive and she crashes into the barrier. Back in the ring for an ugly sequence as Chyna seems to have trouble hitting her spots. Chyna gets a rana, but she ends up on the floor and Jericho hits the springboard cross-body. Jericho lays on the badmouth and rams her into the exposed barrier. Back in the ring for a missile dropkick that gets two. Chyna slowly reverses a slam attempt into a cradle for two. Chyna comes back, but gets bulldogged and Lionsaulted (another face pop there). Jericho plants one on Miss Kitty, and gets speared by Chyna. They fight on the floor. Back in the ring and Jericho gets a way cool delayed powerbomb for two, and another face pop. Even JR notes the crowd reaction now. Chyna comes back with the handspring elbow and DDT for two. Ref gets bumped and Jericho nails her with the IC title for two. Dammit, I thought that was it. Chyna with the Pedigree…for two. Close call. Chyna tries a rana and gets caught in the Walls of Jericho! YEAH! She keeps trying for the ropes and Jericho keeps pulling her back, and the crowd is just going BATSHIT right now. Chyna makes the ropes, and the crowd BOOS her. Whoa. Jericho tries a superplex, but Chyna reverses to a top rope Pedigree, and that’s enough for the pin. Man, the whole room was exhausted after that ending. Best match of the night so far. *** (2011 Scott sez:  HHH said that Jericho couldn’t work WWF Style back then, so he got to job to Chyna.  How about that.)Too Cool & The Hollys v. Edge & Christian & The Hardy Boyz. Slow start with the faces controlling Crash. They hit the trainwreck sequence, with everyone doing their highspot outside the ring. Christian gets pounded by the heels for a while, then Edge gets the hot tag and spears everything. Crash manages to cheapshot him and pin him with a rollup, however. Scotty 2 Hotty hits a nasty looking top rope bulldog and pins Matt Hardy. Pretty dull sequence as Jeff gets worked over by Too Cool. Crash & Hardcore argue over who gets to finish Christian, and Jeff uses the distraction to hit a 450 splash on Scotty and pin him. Christian & Jeff mix-and-match their respective team’s offense on Crash, but Jeff gets caught with a missile dropkick running into the corner by Hardcore Holly and pinned after a Brian Christopher legdrop. Christian strikes quickly, nailing the Impaler on Christopher and pinning him. Crash and Christian do a nice sequence and it ends with Crash getting pinned after a Tomikaze. Hardcore manages to counter a victory roll and get the pin on Christian to win the match. Not as mind-blowingly great as I was expecting, but still pretty good. *** Survivor: Hardcore Holly. – World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind & Al Snow. Boring match which neither our group nor the crowd was paying much attention to. They go back-and-forth for a while, until Gunn gets a Fame-Asser on Mankind during a melee. It gets two, and Mankind comes back with a double-arm DDT and Mr. Socko. They escape and after getting rid of Al Snow, hit a spike piledriver on Mick for the pin to retain the titles. A successful tag title defense? Is this REALLY the WWF? Match was there. *1/2 – WWF World title: HHH v. The Rock v. ???? We’re betting on Test as the obvious replacement for Austin, but everyone is shocked when it turns out to be…the Big Show! Whoa. Show takes on both guys and does pretty well at it. Rock hits a legsweep on Show, but HHH breaks up the People’s Elbow. They brawl to the entrance, and stay there for a while. Geez, another one of THOSE matches. Back to ringside, more brawling. Nice spot as HHH & Rock suplex Big Show through the spanish table. MORE brawling into the stands. Back in the ring (what a concept) where HHH and Rock bump the ref. Rock Bottom, no ref. Shane-o-Mac slides in and counts two. Another Rock Bottom, but Show pulls Shane out at two. Show and Rock fight on the floor, as HHH grabs his belt. Shane wrests it away from him, and gets Pedigreed. DX runs in, and Vince storms in after them. Vince takes a swing at HHH and misses, but takes another swing and connects, chokeslam, new champion. Holy mother of god, who could’ve saw THAT coming? Match was the usual overbooked junk, but the swerve was neat. * Big Show does the Shawn-esque celebration, essentially dedicating the win to his “just buried” father, which is a really good way to pay off the storyline for the marks and give the big guy the credibility he’s been sorely lacking. So please, no more “WWF is wasting Paul Wight in the midcard” whining, okay?  (2011 Scott sez:  Yeah!  Big Show is totally getting used properly!  Jerks!) The Bottom Line: This was pretty much the definition of mediocre, as a couple of surprisingly good matches do not a classic make. And the main event, while a good ending, was essentially a waste of 20 minutes, and the Rock was a non-factor in the match to boot. I’d say I was disappointed with the show, but I wasn’t expecting anything to begin with, so we’ll just call this one a write-off and hope that Jericho gets the gold tomorrow night. Thumbs solidly in the middle.

Survivor Series Countdown: 1999

The Netcop Rant for Survivor Series 99 – First, some business to take care of. Pay no attention to Rick Scaia’s disappointed review of Foo Fighters’ new album. He’s an ECW fan, what did you expect? Words like “radio friendly” and “mainstream” are like poison to that type. The bottom line is that the album, although sputtering along for the first two tracks, hits a killer groove and never looks back. And I wouldn’t say it’s “radio friendly” — while Dave Grohl hits a more pop-ish niche with this one, there’s not really anything that’s a standout single beside “Learn to Fly”. Most of the songs fall into the more subtle hummable category and kind of sneak up on you, like the catchy guitar hook in “Generator” or the outright singable “MIA”. Overall, I would personally call it their best album to date, and one of the best of the year. (2011 Scott sez:  “There Is Nothing Left To Lose” became the CD that pretty much broke the Foo Fighters huge, so I was right.) – And yeah, I know there was no Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98. Long story short, I bought a DVD drive for my computer and spent the better part of 6 hours doing that time-honored tradition of computer guys everywhere: Watching Windows 98 freeze up and racking my brain trying to figure out why. After much experimentation with switching things around in various configurations (my original guess was that the decoder card was messing with my video card) I discovered that I had to upgrade my bus-mastering drivers to get Windows to recognize the drive. Once again, the fine people at the Acer Corporation deliver a crappy chipset for an otherwise fine motherboard. So now if anyone in Edmonton can let me know if they’ve seen the Wrestlemania XV DVD or the Steve Austin one for sale and point me to it, or if you have a copy you’d like to part with, let me know because I wanna get my hands on one. (2011 Scott sez:  Hey kids, remember the days of Windows 98 and needing a separate card so you could run a DVD on your computer?  Those days SUCKED.  I’m so glad we have the rock-solid  reliability of Windows 7 now.  Cough.) – Live from Detroit, Michigan – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. – Opening match: The Godfather, D-Lo Brown & The Headbangers v. The Acolytes & The Dudley Boyz. In a cute attempt at team continuity, everyone on the face side is dressed like Huggy Bear, thus proving that pimpin’ IS easy. Boring start with the Dudleys knocking the afros right off the Bangers. Bradshaw lariats Thrasher and gets him. Dudleys hit 3D on Mosh soon after and he’s gone. Bradshaw hits D-Lo with a chair, drawing a DQ, and then Faarooq and D-Von argue who gets the pin. Neither does, as they fight over that issue all the way back to the dressing room. That leaves Buh Buh v. Godfather & D-Lo. D-Lo softens him up after taking a beating, and Godfather mops up with the Ho Train. D-Lo adds the Lo-Down for the academic pin. Didn’t suck or anything. ** Survivors: D-Lo Brown & The Godfather. – Shawn Stasiak v. Kurt Angle. We another Angle promo, then a video of Stan Stasiak. Angle gets the Patriot’s old music, thus pretty much confirming that he’s gonna be a heel. If they wanted to go WAY over the top with it, they could have used “Real American”. They work a pretty decent mat-based match, which is just begging for “boring” chants from the fans. Angle eventually rolls out and tells the crowd that they shouldn’t boo a former Olympic athlete. Guess who they react to that one. Stasiak hits a kind of brainbuster soon after for two, but Angle comes back with his fallaway slam for the pin. The crowd boos. Not bad all-in-all. **1/4 (2011 Scott sez:  And that was the beginning of Kurt Angle`s career.  Who knew it would launch him into superstardom just a few months later?)Val Venis, Gangrel, Mark Henry & Steve Blackman v. British Bulldog & The Mean Street Posse. If ANYONE in the Posse goes over ANY of the other team, someone is smoking too much crack. They make no attempt to attach any kind of storyline to this, by the way. Venis & Pete Gas do an okay sequence, and Blackman comes in to clean up with the BIG KICK OF DOOM for the pin. Gangrel just kills poor Rodney and finishes him with the Implant. Mark Henry tosses Joey Abs around for a while and pins him at will with a splash. Good, that’s the way it should have been booked. Bulldog is left 4-on-1. He gets Gangrel with a superplex, and Blackman on a fisherman’s superplex, which again is fine because neither guy has credibility to ruin. Mark Henry and Val Venis overwhelm Bulldog in short order, however, and a splash and Money Shot, respectively, is enough for the pin. Match was there. 1/2* – Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Tori & Debra v. Ivory, Terri, Luna & Jackie. Short and BRUTALLY BAD, as everyone misses everything in spectacular fashion. Thankfully they get all of 2 minutes to stink up the ring before the Ancient Artifacts double-clothesline Ivory and pin her. -** Next, please. – X-Pac v. Kane. Brawl outside early on. X-Pac gets an early advantage with the spin kick, and goes for the Broncobuster, but Kane casually catches him in mid-air and tosses him away. Kane steamrolls X-Pac for a while and hits the top rope clothesline & chokeslam one-two punch, but Road Dogg makes a cameo appearance and breaks up the count at two. X-Factor gets two. Kane fights him off and tries the tombstone, and it’s the nWo, er, DX run-in for the lame DQ. Tori makes the save and takes a kick from X-Pac. Big heat for that. Pretty rushed match that looked to be getting good. ** (2011 Scott sez:  For those keeping track, this was the start of “X-Pac Heat”)The Big Show v. Prince Albert, Viscera, Mideon & Big Bossman. Show took out his other team members on Heat, just so he could go it alone. Mideon, Albert and Viscera all go in under a minute with chokeslams, firing up the crowd. Bossman runs without ever entering the match. What the hell was that? DUD – Backstage, Steve Austin looks away for a minute and a stuntman gets run over by a car. Austin feels so bad for the guy he has sympathetic injuries and gets hauled off in an ambulance. Yeah, but what about that poor stunt double? We use about 10 minutes for Austin to get taken away. AND WHO IS THE DRIVER? Billy Gunn, duh. See how easy it is to resolve stuff like that?  (2011 Scott sez:  Of course, it was actually Rikishi, and HE DID IT FOR YOU, ROCK!)Intercontinental title match: Chyna v. Chris Jericho. BIG pop for Jericho. The women put the boots to Chris, and they brawl outside. Jericho sidesteps a Chyna dive and she crashes into the barrier. Back in the ring for an ugly sequence as Chyna seems to have trouble hitting her spots. Chyna gets a rana, but she ends up on the floor and Jericho hits the springboard cross-body. Jericho lays on the badmouth and rams her into the exposed barrier. Back in the ring for a missile dropkick that gets two. Chyna slowly reverses a slam attempt into a cradle for two. Chyna comes back, but gets bulldogged and Lionsaulted (another face pop there). Jericho plants one on Miss Kitty, and gets speared by Chyna. They fight on the floor. Back in the ring and Jericho gets a way cool delayed powerbomb for two, and another face pop. Even JR notes the crowd reaction now. Chyna comes back with the handspring elbow and DDT for two. Ref gets bumped and Jericho nails her with the IC title for two. Dammit, I thought that was it. Chyna with the Pedigree…for two. Close call. Chyna tries a rana and gets caught in the Walls of Jericho! YEAH! She keeps trying for the ropes and Jericho keeps pulling her back, and the crowd is just going BATSHIT right now. Chyna makes the ropes, and the crowd BOOS her. Whoa. Jericho tries a superplex, but Chyna reverses to a top rope Pedigree, and that’s enough for the pin. Man, the whole room was exhausted after that ending. Best match of the night so far. *** (2011 Scott sez:  HHH said that Jericho couldn’t work WWF Style back then, so he got to job to Chyna.  How about that.)Too Cool & The Hollys v. Edge & Christian & The Hardy Boyz. Slow start with the faces controlling Crash. They hit the trainwreck sequence, with everyone doing their highspot outside the ring. Christian gets pounded by the heels for a while, then Edge gets the hot tag and spears everything. Crash manages to cheapshot him and pin him with a rollup, however. Scotty 2 Hotty hits a nasty looking top rope bulldog and pins Matt Hardy. Pretty dull sequence as Jeff gets worked over by Too Cool. Crash & Hardcore argue over who gets to finish Christian, and Jeff uses the distraction to hit a 450 splash on Scotty and pin him. Christian & Jeff mix-and-match their respective team’s offense on Crash, but Jeff gets caught with a missile dropkick running into the corner by Hardcore Holly and pinned after a Brian Christopher legdrop. Christian strikes quickly, nailing the Impaler on Christopher and pinning him. Crash and Christian do a nice sequence and it ends with Crash getting pinned after a Tomikaze. Hardcore manages to counter a victory roll and get the pin on Christian to win the match. Not as mind-blowingly great as I was expecting, but still pretty good. *** Survivor: Hardcore Holly. – World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind & Al Snow. Boring match which neither our group nor the crowd was paying much attention to. They go back-and-forth for a while, until Gunn gets a Fame-Asser on Mankind during a melee. It gets two, and Mankind comes back with a double-arm DDT and Mr. Socko. They escape and after getting rid of Al Snow, hit a spike piledriver on Mick for the pin to retain the titles. A successful tag title defense? Is this REALLY the WWF? Match was there. *1/2 – WWF World title: HHH v. The Rock v. ???? We’re betting on Test as the obvious replacement for Austin, but everyone is shocked when it turns out to be…the Big Show! Whoa. Show takes on both guys and does pretty well at it. Rock hits a legsweep on Show, but HHH breaks up the People’s Elbow. They brawl to the entrance, and stay there for a while. Geez, another one of THOSE matches. Back to ringside, more brawling. Nice spot as HHH & Rock suplex Big Show through the spanish table. MORE brawling into the stands. Back in the ring (what a concept) where HHH and Rock bump the ref. Rock Bottom, no ref. Shane-o-Mac slides in and counts two. Another Rock Bottom, but Show pulls Shane out at two. Show and Rock fight on the floor, as HHH grabs his belt. Shane wrests it away from him, and gets Pedigreed. DX runs in, and Vince storms in after them. Vince takes a swing at HHH and misses, but takes another swing and connects, chokeslam, new champion. Holy mother of god, who could’ve saw THAT coming? Match was the usual overbooked junk, but the swerve was neat. * Big Show does the Shawn-esque celebration, essentially dedicating the win to his “just buried” father, which is a really good way to pay off the storyline for the marks and give the big guy the credibility he’s been sorely lacking. So please, no more “WWF is wasting Paul Wight in the midcard” whining, okay?  (2011 Scott sez:  Yeah!  Big Show is totally getting used properly!  Jerks!) The Bottom Line: This was pretty much the definition of mediocre, as a couple of surprisingly good matches do not a classic make. And the main event, while a good ending, was essentially a waste of 20 minutes, and the Rock was a non-factor in the match to boot. I’d say I was disappointed with the show, but I wasn’t expecting anything to begin with, so we’ll just call this one a write-off and hope that Jericho gets the gold tomorrow night. Thumbs solidly in the middle.

Survivor Series Countdown: 1998

The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98 – Live from St. Louis, Missouri. Original airdate Nov. 15 / 1998 – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. – We didn’t get Heat until 1999 up here, so don’t ask me what happened on the pre-game show.– The setup for the show is as follows: Mr. McMahon screwed Steve Austin out of the WWF title at Breakdown, then decided to make the Undertaker v. Kane match at Judgment Day into a title match for the vacant belt. The brothers responded by breaking Vince’s ankle. While in the hospital, Vince was visited by Mick Foley, who debuted Mr. Socko to a less-than-enthusiastic audience in Mr. McMahon, but Vince was nonetheless grateful for the show of loyalty by Mick, and showed his appreciation for the dimwitted corporate suck-up by giving him his very own belt – the “Hardcore title”. Both Socko and the Hardcore title would endure long past the initial one-shot jokes they were intended as. Back to Judgment Day: Steve Austin was the ref, and called it a no-contest, necessitating a tournament for the title and costing Austin his job for about 24 hours. Meanwhile, McMahon’s estranged son Shane made the transition from Heat commentator to on-air personality, finally telling off his father after years of neglect and giving Austin a new 5-year contract as a way of rebelling, in what was a fabulous little bit of soap opera. Vince flipped out and disowned Shane, busting him down to referee and then taking out his frustration on the Rock, who was becoming alarmingly popular and thus a threat to him. He formed the Corporation with Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock and essentially declared that Austin would win that tournament only over Vince’s dead body, and thus new favorite son Mankind expected an easy road to his first WWF title courtesy Mr. McMahon. The Brackets, round one: – Mankind v. A Mystery Opponent – Al Snow v. Jeff Jarrett – X-Pac v. Stephen Regal – Steve Austin v. Big Bossman – The Rock v. HHH – Ken Shamrock v. Goldust – Kane – Bye – Undertaker – Bye – Vince McMahon personally comes out to read a prepared speech, hyping Mankind’s hand-picked mystery opponent. The fans in attendance expected Shawn Michaels, but the actual answer would surprise and shock everyone, and prove to be a stern challenge for the hardcore legend. Indeed, making his return to the WWF after a nearly career-ending shoulder injury was the man who would push Mick Foley to limits he didn’t even know existed, and then drag him back kicking and screaming. The man, the myth, the legend… – Opening match: Dwayne Gill v. Mankind. Yes, the man who would soon take wrestling by storm as Gillberg made his debut in the Attitude era here, and put up a valiant fight, lasting a grueling 30 seconds before falling victim to a well-placed double-arm DDT and rolling cradle to allow a visibly shaken and exhausted Mankind to advance to the second round. Why this didn’t get consideration for Match of the Year instead of that Hell in a Cell thing earlier, I’ll never know. DUD – Jeff Jarrett v. Al Snow. This is Debra’s WWF PPV debut, before the puppies or the hairstyle adjustment or heat. Snow nails Jarrett with a somersault off the stairs, but Jarrett hotshots him back in the ring. Snow catches a quick clothesline but misses a guillotine legdrop. They exchange pinfall attempts until snow reverses a spinebuster into a DDT for two. They knock heads, while Debra steals Head and gives it to Jarrett. Snow gets Jarrett’s guitar to count, but ends up getting Head back and nails JJ with it for the pin at 3:39 to advance. Dumb finish. *1/2 – Big Bossman v. Steve Austin. Brawl outside to start. Austin gets the Thesz press, but Bossman lowblows him. Austin fights back after a couple of minutes of crappy Bossman offense. Fight outside leads to Bossman hitting Austin with the nightstick to basically throw the match at 3:17 in order to administer a beating to Austin and soften him up. Another dumb finish in a series of them tonight. ½* – X-Pac v. Stephen Regal. Quick spin-kick from X-Pac and a backdrop suplex gets two. Lightning legdrop gets two. He tries the broncobuster but misses, and Regal stretches him. Regal rolls through a sunset flip and slingshots him across the ring. Suplex gets two, then back to the submission stuff, thus boring the sportz entertainment crowd. X-Pac counters and comes back, but misses ANOTHER broncobuster. Regal hits a nice double-arm superplex for two. Regal keeps stretching him, but X-Pac fights back and FINALLY hits a broncobuster. He goes up and gets crotched, and they fight on the floor for the double-countout at 8:08. Y’know, they REALLY should have only given this 5 minutes if that was the ending, or else they should have them go to the draw since it was only another 2 minutes away. A DCOR is the worst of both worlds, but then Vinnie Roo was in charge back then, so what can you expect? ** This gives Austin a bye. – Ken Shamrock v. Goldust. Ken was in full ass-kicking RoboShamrock mode as Intercontinental champ at this point, and that four month stretch is the only time I’ve ever liked him as a wrestler. They trade some stuff to start. Shamrock hits some knee strikes and controls with restholds. Goldust was just absolutely useless from about here until his departure in 1999. Now he’s useless AND boring, to boot. Shamrock punches out of a powerbomb, but gets bulldogged. The ref blocks Shattered Dreams, allowing Shamrock to get a rana, belly to belly and anklelock for the submission at 5:56. Business as usual for Ken. ¼* – The Rock v. Big Bossman. Rock’s scheduled opponent, HHH, is still recovering from knee surgery, so we get Bossman, who runs in, gets cradled, and gets knocked out of the tournament for a second time in a 4 second “match”. DUD  (2011 Scott sez:  Notice how Rock wrestled a member of the Corporation and mysteriously got an easy path through the first round?  Neat foreshadowing there, actually.) Quarterfinals: – Undertaker v. Kane – The Rock v. Ken Shamrock – Mankind v. Al Snow – Steve Austin – Bye – Quarterfinal #1: Undertaker v. Kane. Dave Meltzer once published a history of the relationship between these two that was so funny I nearly choked on my lunch while reading it. For those, like myself, who need a refresher on who hated who at this point, Undertaker was the heel, he had Paul Bearer as his manager, and Kane was the face. But Undertaker was AGAINST Vince McMahon, while Kane was WITH Vince McMahon, albeit unwillingly. Confusing and non-sensical storylines have ATTITUDE…get it? Man, if Vince ever tried to answer the simple question “Are Kane and Undertaker brothers?” to the press, the stock would drop another 3 points, I’d bet. Once Russo started floating the whole “Undertaker is a guy who’s too far into his character” nonsense during the Higher Power period, that pretty much left Kane in no man’s land as far as character development goes (because I mean, if you admit that Undertaker is just playing a character, then the odds are pretty good that he doesn’t have a hideously scarred half-brother who is the illegitimate child of his former manager and may or may not have played a part in killing their parents, who may or may not actually be dead depending on whether you believe the Undertaker is a person or a character, or maybe Kane is also a guy who’s too far into his character and THINKS he’s hideously scarred…oh, fuck it, my head hurts already…) and really it ended up being easier for the rubes to digest if JR just started assuring everyone that Kane is Undertaker’s little brother and left the rest to the imagination of the viewer, much like the Bible’s internal inconsistencies require too much thought for the church to justify to sceptics, so they just say “God is everywhere” and leave the rest up to faith. I’m off track, so let’s start again. – Undertaker v. Kane. Kane is good, Undertaker is bad. There, much better. Kane clotheslines him out of the ring and they “brawl”. Undertaker half-assing a match is truly a painful experience. Back in, and UT dominates with punches. He works the knee. Kane eventually starts shrugging him off and fights back. Flying clothesline gets two and they slug it out. Kane chokeslams him, then goes after Paul Bearer, which proves to be exceedingly stupid because he turns around and walks into a tombstone for the pin at 7:14 to send Undertaker to the semi-finals. DUD – Mankind v. Al Snow. This is probably the closest Al has gotten to winning the World title, and the closest he’ll ever get. Mick still has his tuxedo on, in order to impress Mr. McMahon. Snow dominates to start and they fight on the floor. Mick catches Snow coming off the railing, and drops him on a chair. Back in, Snow hits an enzuigiri and takes a swing with Head, but misses. Mick reclaims Socko from the Head (don’t ask, it’s Russo) but gets caught with a Rydien bomb for two. Mick comes back with the double-arm DDT and the Mandible Sock to finish at 3:52 and advance to the semi-finals. *1/4 – The Rock v. Ken Shamrock. They slug it out to start as Shamrock gets suplex for two. They brawl outside and Rock debuts the EVIAN SPEW OF DOOM, but Shamrock sends him to the steps. Back in, Shamrock gets a Russian legsweep for two. Big Bossman joins us at ringside as Shamrock holds a chinlock. Shamrock snaps off a rana (sold amazingly poorly by Rocky) and hooks the anklelock, completely freaking out the crowd in the process. Rock makes the ropes. Double knockout follows. Rock gets two and comes back. Floatover DDT sets up the People’s Elbow for two. Shamrock counters Rock Bottom with a belly to belly. Bossman tosses in the nightstick and Rock intercepts, then puts Shamrock’s lights out with it in one motion. Nice sequence, if totally unnecessary. Rock gets the pin at 8:18 to advance to the semi-finals. Would a clean finish have killed them? **1/2 (2011 Scott sez:  Another suspicious win over the Corporation for Rock)WWF Women’s title match: Jacqueline v. Sable. Jackie won the resurrected title by beating Sable a couple of weeks prior to this, and astonishingly no one cared about this incarnation of the title, either. Shane-O-Mac is reffing here, to emphasize how lowly and demoted he is. Sable gets a quick TKO for two, but Marc Mero pulls her out at two. She powerbombs him on the floor. Jackie gets the advantage, but Sable blocks a tornado DDT and powerbombs her for the pin and the title at 3:12. And thus a monster is born. ¾* Semi-finals: – Mankind v. Steve Austin – The Undertaker v. The Rock – Semi-final #1: Mankind v. Steve Austin. This match was probably the single best 15 minutes of Vince Russo’s entire tenure. Austin kick’s Mankind’s ass to start, tearing off the tuxedo jacket and leaving Mick in a ragged dress shirt, tie, and pants, a look (and a shirt) that he would retain until only last month. Vince is wheeled to ringside to ensure Austin gets screwed over. Mick escapes the Stunner and runs away. Austin follows and they brawl down the aisle. Back to the ring, where Mick takes over. Austin fights back and stomps a mudhole in him (but neglects to walk it dry), but goes outside and gets rammed into the post. Mick grabs a chair and DDTs Austin on it for two. Piledriver attempt is reversed and the Stunner…gets two, because Vince is “miraculously” able to leap out of his wheelchair and punk out the ref. Disowned son and lowly referee Shane McMahon comes in as Austin hits another Stunner…and it also gets two, because Shane shocks the hell out of everyone by stopping to flip the double-bird to Austin. Austin is so shocked he doesn’t notice the Stooges coming in to administer a beatdown and a chairshot, and that allows Mankind to get the pin (with Shane’s blessing this time) at 10:23 to advance to the finals. And the Master Plan is thus a success. Good brawl + Good soap opera = Sports Entertainment 101. ***1/2 – The Undertaker v. The Rock. Slugfest to start. They fight outside, giving UT the advantage. UT does his plodding offense but gets backdropped to the floor. They fight into the crowd. UT retains control, boring the crowd. Back in, another slugfest. Rock comes back with a Samoan drop as Bossman joins us at ringside to fulfill the run-in allowance for the match. Rock gets a DDT and a low blow, but Bossman prevents the People’s Elbow. Undertaker takes a shot at Bossman (because he doesn’t like Vince, although it would turn out that he was really working with him all along, which is pretty much every major storyline from 1998-1999 in a nutshell) and goes for a chokeslam on Rocky. Kane runs in before he can do so, chokeslams Rocky himself, and thus gets his brother disqualified, which is quite possibly the lamest ending ever devised by a booker, because it does absolutely zilch to make the winner look good. And the match was awful, of course. ½* – WWF World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mark Henry & D-Lo Brown v. The Headbangers. There was some boring backstory here that didn’t result in anyone involved actually getting over. Road Dogg takes a running powerbomb early on and gets beat on for a LONG while. Match drags on and on as D-Lo desperately tries to hold it together to no avail. Dogg mercifully gets the hot tag to Billy Gunn, but he promptly gets powerbombed by D-Lo. The fameasser gets two, and we get an ugly series of saves-and-finishers that looks ridiculous because everyone is so out of position that the referee literally has to STOP counting and wait for the next guy to make the save. Just awful. Gunn finally gets a piledriver on Mosh to end the hurting at 10:08 and retain. JR lets us know that he too thought the match sucked donkey dick, although in a more diplomatic fashion. That’s why I’ll never be a commentator: I’d get fired for excessive honesty the first time I declared a match to be a steaming turdburger with a side of turd fries and a glass of Turd Coke™, with baked turd pie (and a scoop of turd cream) for dessert. ¼* Still, if the right people happen to be reading this, I’m available and I work cheap… – WWF World title tournament final: Mankind v. The Rock. Slow start. Rock gains control but Mick goes to a chinlock. It was fascinating reading about this in Mick’s book, because he admitted that he had absolutely no idea what they were going to do and the entire match was called on the fly from that chinlock. It doesn’t make the resulting match any BETTER to know about that sort of thing, but it’s always interesting to read about it. To the floor, where the Rock gets a suplex and goes after Vince, who has joined us at ringside. Rock suplexes Foley into the crowd, where they brawl. Into the ring, back to the chinlock for another planning session. Mick fights out and gives him the Cactus clothesline to the floor, and they brawl again. Mick grabs the stairs but gets bashed with a chair, then takes another shot in the head with it for good measure. It gets a two count for Rock back in the ring. Mick comes back and drops a Cactus elbow on him. More brawling. Mick legdrops Rock on the announce table, which gives him a two count back in the ring. Rock gets a fluke DDT and mounts a comeback. He hits the floor again (oy vey…) and Mick launches himself, but misses and goes through the Spanish table. Back in, the People’s Elbow gets two. Foley comes back with the double-arm DDT and gets the Mandible Sock. Rock counters with Rock Bottom. It gets two. Rock then hooks a completely incongruous Sharpshooter, and of course Mr. McMahon plays his part and tells the timekeeper to “ring the bell”. Gee, where have I seen that before? Rock gets his first WWF title at 17:15, turning heel in the process (although he never really turned face after leaving the Nation, officially) and becoming the Corporate Champion. Quite the swerve there, although the match sucked. *1/2 Still, it was realistically the third match for both guys that night, so you can’t expect too much from them. – We end with a big victory speech from the Rock/Vince/Shane triad as they tell us to watch RAW tomorrow for the full explanation. A confused Mick wonders why the bell rang if he didn’t submit, so they beat him down, turning him face in the process once and for all. Steve Austin sort of makes the save, cleaning house on the Corporation, then giving Mankind a Stunner on general principles. The Rock v. Steve Austin title match on RAW that would result the next night became one of the highest rated segments in wrestling history, and one of the highest rated segments in TSN history, wrestling or otherwise, up here in Canada. The Bottom Line: There were two very violently opposed schools of thought on this show at the time, and still are judging by the sheer volume of requests I get for this one: The “show me wrestling” crowd HATED this one because almost everything on the show sucked from a technical standpoint and most of the matches got 5 minutes or less, and the finishes were generally awful. The “entertain me” crowd LOVED this one because the angles leading up to it all paid off in spectacular fashion and Rocky did the People’s Elbow three times in one night. Being a guy who generally straddles the fence between those viewpoints, the show was a thumbs in the middle for me at the time. However, watching in retrospect now that the Vince-Shane soap opera turned out to be pretty meaningless in the long-run, the show really has nothing left to offer from either a wrestling OR an entertainment standpoint (it no longer MEANS anything to see a Montreal parody or Shane turning heel or Vince screwing Austin over, because it’s all been done over again since then) and so I don’t see any particular reason to recommend the show unless you’re a drooling Rock fanboy who wants to see him win his first World title. And hey, that’s certainly a legitimate reason, and I can completely understand it. But for the rest of you, don’t bother. Recommendation to avoid, unless you LOVE the Rock. (2011 Scott sez:  I’ve since mellowed much more on this show.  it was the pinnacle of Vince Russo’s manic booking style and launched the Rock into the stratosphere once and for all.  A fun and hugely historical show.)

Survivor Series Countdown: 1998

The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98 – Live from St. Louis, Missouri. Original airdate Nov. 15 / 1998 – Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler. – We didn’t get Heat until 1999 up here, so don’t ask me what happened on the pre-game show.– The setup for the show is as follows: Mr. McMahon screwed Steve Austin out of the WWF title at Breakdown, then decided to make the Undertaker v. Kane match at Judgment Day into a title match for the vacant belt. The brothers responded by breaking Vince’s ankle. While in the hospital, Vince was visited by Mick Foley, who debuted Mr. Socko to a less-than-enthusiastic audience in Mr. McMahon, but Vince was nonetheless grateful for the show of loyalty by Mick, and showed his appreciation for the dimwitted corporate suck-up by giving him his very own belt – the “Hardcore title”. Both Socko and the Hardcore title would endure long past the initial one-shot jokes they were intended as. Back to Judgment Day: Steve Austin was the ref, and called it a no-contest, necessitating a tournament for the title and costing Austin his job for about 24 hours. Meanwhile, McMahon’s estranged son Shane made the transition from Heat commentator to on-air personality, finally telling off his father after years of neglect and giving Austin a new 5-year contract as a way of rebelling, in what was a fabulous little bit of soap opera. Vince flipped out and disowned Shane, busting him down to referee and then taking out his frustration on the Rock, who was becoming alarmingly popular and thus a threat to him. He formed the Corporation with Big Bossman and Ken Shamrock and essentially declared that Austin would win that tournament only over Vince’s dead body, and thus new favorite son Mankind expected an easy road to his first WWF title courtesy Mr. McMahon. The Brackets, round one: – Mankind v. A Mystery Opponent – Al Snow v. Jeff Jarrett – X-Pac v. Stephen Regal – Steve Austin v. Big Bossman – The Rock v. HHH – Ken Shamrock v. Goldust – Kane – Bye – Undertaker – Bye – Vince McMahon personally comes out to read a prepared speech, hyping Mankind’s hand-picked mystery opponent. The fans in attendance expected Shawn Michaels, but the actual answer would surprise and shock everyone, and prove to be a stern challenge for the hardcore legend. Indeed, making his return to the WWF after a nearly career-ending shoulder injury was the man who would push Mick Foley to limits he didn’t even know existed, and then drag him back kicking and screaming. The man, the myth, the legend… – Opening match: Dwayne Gill v. Mankind. Yes, the man who would soon take wrestling by storm as Gillberg made his debut in the Attitude era here, and put up a valiant fight, lasting a grueling 30 seconds before falling victim to a well-placed double-arm DDT and rolling cradle to allow a visibly shaken and exhausted Mankind to advance to the second round. Why this didn’t get consideration for Match of the Year instead of that Hell in a Cell thing earlier, I’ll never know. DUD – Jeff Jarrett v. Al Snow. This is Debra’s WWF PPV debut, before the puppies or the hairstyle adjustment or heat. Snow nails Jarrett with a somersault off the stairs, but Jarrett hotshots him back in the ring. Snow catches a quick clothesline but misses a guillotine legdrop. They exchange pinfall attempts until snow reverses a spinebuster into a DDT for two. They knock heads, while Debra steals Head and gives it to Jarrett. Snow gets Jarrett’s guitar to count, but ends up getting Head back and nails JJ with it for the pin at 3:39 to advance. Dumb finish. *1/2 – Big Bossman v. Steve Austin. Brawl outside to start. Austin gets the Thesz press, but Bossman lowblows him. Austin fights back after a couple of minutes of crappy Bossman offense. Fight outside leads to Bossman hitting Austin with the nightstick to basically throw the match at 3:17 in order to administer a beating to Austin and soften him up. Another dumb finish in a series of them tonight. ½* – X-Pac v. Stephen Regal. Quick spin-kick from X-Pac and a backdrop suplex gets two. Lightning legdrop gets two. He tries the broncobuster but misses, and Regal stretches him. Regal rolls through a sunset flip and slingshots him across the ring. Suplex gets two, then back to the submission stuff, thus boring the sportz entertainment crowd. X-Pac counters and comes back, but misses ANOTHER broncobuster. Regal hits a nice double-arm superplex for two. Regal keeps stretching him, but X-Pac fights back and FINALLY hits a broncobuster. He goes up and gets crotched, and they fight on the floor for the double-countout at 8:08. Y’know, they REALLY should have only given this 5 minutes if that was the ending, or else they should have them go to the draw since it was only another 2 minutes away. A DCOR is the worst of both worlds, but then Vinnie Roo was in charge back then, so what can you expect? ** This gives Austin a bye. – Ken Shamrock v. Goldust. Ken was in full ass-kicking RoboShamrock mode as Intercontinental champ at this point, and that four month stretch is the only time I’ve ever liked him as a wrestler. They trade some stuff to start. Shamrock hits some knee strikes and controls with restholds. Goldust was just absolutely useless from about here until his departure in 1999. Now he’s useless AND boring, to boot. Shamrock punches out of a powerbomb, but gets bulldogged. The ref blocks Shattered Dreams, allowing Shamrock to get a rana, belly to belly and anklelock for the submission at 5:56. Business as usual for Ken. ¼* – The Rock v. Big Bossman. Rock’s scheduled opponent, HHH, is still recovering from knee surgery, so we get Bossman, who runs in, gets cradled, and gets knocked out of the tournament for a second time in a 4 second “match”. DUD  (2011 Scott sez:  Notice how Rock wrestled a member of the Corporation and mysteriously got an easy path through the first round?  Neat foreshadowing there, actually.) Quarterfinals: – Undertaker v. Kane – The Rock v. Ken Shamrock – Mankind v. Al Snow – Steve Austin – Bye – Quarterfinal #1: Undertaker v. Kane. Dave Meltzer once published a history of the relationship between these two that was so funny I nearly choked on my lunch while reading it. For those, like myself, who need a refresher on who hated who at this point, Undertaker was the heel, he had Paul Bearer as his manager, and Kane was the face. But Undertaker was AGAINST Vince McMahon, while Kane was WITH Vince McMahon, albeit unwillingly. Confusing and non-sensical storylines have ATTITUDE…get it? Man, if Vince ever tried to answer the simple question “Are Kane and Undertaker brothers?” to the press, the stock would drop another 3 points, I’d bet. Once Russo started floating the whole “Undertaker is a guy who’s too far into his character” nonsense during the Higher Power period, that pretty much left Kane in no man’s land as far as character development goes (because I mean, if you admit that Undertaker is just playing a character, then the odds are pretty good that he doesn’t have a hideously scarred half-brother who is the illegitimate child of his former manager and may or may not have played a part in killing their parents, who may or may not actually be dead depending on whether you believe the Undertaker is a person or a character, or maybe Kane is also a guy who’s too far into his character and THINKS he’s hideously scarred…oh, fuck it, my head hurts already…) and really it ended up being easier for the rubes to digest if JR just started assuring everyone that Kane is Undertaker’s little brother and left the rest to the imagination of the viewer, much like the Bible’s internal inconsistencies require too much thought for the church to justify to sceptics, so they just say “God is everywhere” and leave the rest up to faith. I’m off track, so let’s start again. – Undertaker v. Kane. Kane is good, Undertaker is bad. There, much better. Kane clotheslines him out of the ring and they “brawl”. Undertaker half-assing a match is truly a painful experience. Back in, and UT dominates with punches. He works the knee. Kane eventually starts shrugging him off and fights back. Flying clothesline gets two and they slug it out. Kane chokeslams him, then goes after Paul Bearer, which proves to be exceedingly stupid because he turns around and walks into a tombstone for the pin at 7:14 to send Undertaker to the semi-finals. DUD – Mankind v. Al Snow. This is probably the closest Al has gotten to winning the World title, and the closest he’ll ever get. Mick still has his tuxedo on, in order to impress Mr. McMahon. Snow dominates to start and they fight on the floor. Mick catches Snow coming off the railing, and drops him on a chair. Back in, Snow hits an enzuigiri and takes a swing with Head, but misses. Mick reclaims Socko from the Head (don’t ask, it’s Russo) but gets caught with a Rydien bomb for two. Mick comes back with the double-arm DDT and the Mandible Sock to finish at 3:52 and advance to the semi-finals. *1/4 – The Rock v. Ken Shamrock. They slug it out to start as Shamrock gets suplex for two. They brawl outside and Rock debuts the EVIAN SPEW OF DOOM, but Shamrock sends him to the steps. Back in, Shamrock gets a Russian legsweep for two. Big Bossman joins us at ringside as Shamrock holds a chinlock. Shamrock snaps off a rana (sold amazingly poorly by Rocky) and hooks the anklelock, completely freaking out the crowd in the process. Rock makes the ropes. Double knockout follows. Rock gets two and comes back. Floatover DDT sets up the People’s Elbow for two. Shamrock counters Rock Bottom with a belly to belly. Bossman tosses in the nightstick and Rock intercepts, then puts Shamrock’s lights out with it in one motion. Nice sequence, if totally unnecessary. Rock gets the pin at 8:18 to advance to the semi-finals. Would a clean finish have killed them? **1/2 (2011 Scott sez:  Another suspicious win over the Corporation for Rock)WWF Women’s title match: Jacqueline v. Sable. Jackie won the resurrected title by beating Sable a couple of weeks prior to this, and astonishingly no one cared about this incarnation of the title, either. Shane-O-Mac is reffing here, to emphasize how lowly and demoted he is. Sable gets a quick TKO for two, but Marc Mero pulls her out at two. She powerbombs him on the floor. Jackie gets the advantage, but Sable blocks a tornado DDT and powerbombs her for the pin and the title at 3:12. And thus a monster is born. ¾* Semi-finals: – Mankind v. Steve Austin – The Undertaker v. The Rock – Semi-final #1: Mankind v. Steve Austin. This match was probably the single best 15 minutes of Vince Russo’s entire tenure. Austin kick’s Mankind’s ass to start, tearing off the tuxedo jacket and leaving Mick in a ragged dress shirt, tie, and pants, a look (and a shirt) that he would retain until only last month. Vince is wheeled to ringside to ensure Austin gets screwed over. Mick escapes the Stunner and runs away. Austin follows and they brawl down the aisle. Back to the ring, where Mick takes over. Austin fights back and stomps a mudhole in him (but neglects to walk it dry), but goes outside and gets rammed into the post. Mick grabs a chair and DDTs Austin on it for two. Piledriver attempt is reversed and the Stunner…gets two, because Vince is “miraculously” able to leap out of his wheelchair and punk out the ref. Disowned son and lowly referee Shane McMahon comes in as Austin hits another Stunner…and it also gets two, because Shane shocks the hell out of everyone by stopping to flip the double-bird to Austin. Austin is so shocked he doesn’t notice the Stooges coming in to administer a beatdown and a chairshot, and that allows Mankind to get the pin (with Shane’s blessing this time) at 10:23 to advance to the finals. And the Master Plan is thus a success. Good brawl + Good soap opera = Sports Entertainment 101. ***1/2 – The Undertaker v. The Rock. Slugfest to start. They fight outside, giving UT the advantage. UT does his plodding offense but gets backdropped to the floor. They fight into the crowd. UT retains control, boring the crowd. Back in, another slugfest. Rock comes back with a Samoan drop as Bossman joins us at ringside to fulfill the run-in allowance for the match. Rock gets a DDT and a low blow, but Bossman prevents the People’s Elbow. Undertaker takes a shot at Bossman (because he doesn’t like Vince, although it would turn out that he was really working with him all along, which is pretty much every major storyline from 1998-1999 in a nutshell) and goes for a chokeslam on Rocky. Kane runs in before he can do so, chokeslams Rocky himself, and thus gets his brother disqualified, which is quite possibly the lamest ending ever devised by a booker, because it does absolutely zilch to make the winner look good. And the match was awful, of course. ½* – WWF World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mark Henry & D-Lo Brown v. The Headbangers. There was some boring backstory here that didn’t result in anyone involved actually getting over. Road Dogg takes a running powerbomb early on and gets beat on for a LONG while. Match drags on and on as D-Lo desperately tries to hold it together to no avail. Dogg mercifully gets the hot tag to Billy Gunn, but he promptly gets powerbombed by D-Lo. The fameasser gets two, and we get an ugly series of saves-and-finishers that looks ridiculous because everyone is so out of position that the referee literally has to STOP counting and wait for the next guy to make the save. Just awful. Gunn finally gets a piledriver on Mosh to end the hurting at 10:08 and retain. JR lets us know that he too thought the match sucked donkey dick, although in a more diplomatic fashion. That’s why I’ll never be a commentator: I’d get fired for excessive honesty the first time I declared a match to be a steaming turdburger with a side of turd fries and a glass of Turd Coke™, with baked turd pie (and a scoop of turd cream) for dessert. ¼* Still, if the right people happen to be reading this, I’m available and I work cheap… – WWF World title tournament final: Mankind v. The Rock. Slow start. Rock gains control but Mick goes to a chinlock. It was fascinating reading about this in Mick’s book, because he admitted that he had absolutely no idea what they were going to do and the entire match was called on the fly from that chinlock. It doesn’t make the resulting match any BETTER to know about that sort of thing, but it’s always interesting to read about it. To the floor, where the Rock gets a suplex and goes after Vince, who has joined us at ringside. Rock suplexes Foley into the crowd, where they brawl. Into the ring, back to the chinlock for another planning session. Mick fights out and gives him the Cactus clothesline to the floor, and they brawl again. Mick grabs the stairs but gets bashed with a chair, then takes another shot in the head with it for good measure. It gets a two count for Rock back in the ring. Mick comes back and drops a Cactus elbow on him. More brawling. Mick legdrops Rock on the announce table, which gives him a two count back in the ring. Rock gets a fluke DDT and mounts a comeback. He hits the floor again (oy vey…) and Mick launches himself, but misses and goes through the Spanish table. Back in, the People’s Elbow gets two. Foley comes back with the double-arm DDT and gets the Mandible Sock. Rock counters with Rock Bottom. It gets two. Rock then hooks a completely incongruous Sharpshooter, and of course Mr. McMahon plays his part and tells the timekeeper to “ring the bell”. Gee, where have I seen that before? Rock gets his first WWF title at 17:15, turning heel in the process (although he never really turned face after leaving the Nation, officially) and becoming the Corporate Champion. Quite the swerve there, although the match sucked. *1/2 Still, it was realistically the third match for both guys that night, so you can’t expect too much from them. – We end with a big victory speech from the Rock/Vince/Shane triad as they tell us to watch RAW tomorrow for the full explanation. A confused Mick wonders why the bell rang if he didn’t submit, so they beat him down, turning him face in the process once and for all. Steve Austin sort of makes the save, cleaning house on the Corporation, then giving Mankind a Stunner on general principles. The Rock v. Steve Austin title match on RAW that would result the next night became one of the highest rated segments in wrestling history, and one of the highest rated segments in TSN history, wrestling or otherwise, up here in Canada. The Bottom Line: There were two very violently opposed schools of thought on this show at the time, and still are judging by the sheer volume of requests I get for this one: The “show me wrestling” crowd HATED this one because almost everything on the show sucked from a technical standpoint and most of the matches got 5 minutes or less, and the finishes were generally awful. The “entertain me” crowd LOVED this one because the angles leading up to it all paid off in spectacular fashion and Rocky did the People’s Elbow three times in one night. Being a guy who generally straddles the fence between those viewpoints, the show was a thumbs in the middle for me at the time. However, watching in retrospect now that the Vince-Shane soap opera turned out to be pretty meaningless in the long-run, the show really has nothing left to offer from either a wrestling OR an entertainment standpoint (it no longer MEANS anything to see a Montreal parody or Shane turning heel or Vince screwing Austin over, because it’s all been done over again since then) and so I don’t see any particular reason to recommend the show unless you’re a drooling Rock fanboy who wants to see him win his first World title. And hey, that’s certainly a legitimate reason, and I can completely understand it. But for the rest of you, don’t bother. Recommendation to avoid, unless you LOVE the Rock. (2011 Scott sez:  I’ve since mellowed much more on this show.  it was the pinnacle of Vince Russo’s manic booking style and launched the Rock into the stratosphere once and for all.  A fun and hugely historical show.)