Ring Crew Reviews: WWE Survivor Series 2005
• Scheduled Card:
1. Match 1 of the Best of 7 Series for the WWE United States Championship: Booker T vs. Chris Benoit (c).
2. WWE Women’s Championship: Melina vs. Trish Stratus (c).
3. Last Man Standing: Triple H vs. Ric Flair.
4. Special Guest Referee Match for the WWE Championship: Kurt Angle vs. John Cena (c).
5. Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long.
6. Team RAW (Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Big Show and Kane) vs. Team Smackdown (Batista, JBL, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton).
• Video package is non-specific with lots of clips of the current storylines of Trips-Flair, Angle-Cena and a Smackdown-RAW match. This is the first year with the clips of the wrestlers getting drenched in rain for whatever reason.
• We’re in Detroit with Joey Styles, Coach and King for RAW and Taz and Herr Cole for Smackdown.
• Match 1 of the Best of 7 Series for the WWE United States Championship: Booker T vs. Chris Benoit (c). Chimel says this is for the “undisputed” US belt which ordinarily would be funny but this series was set up by a double pinfall for Benoit and Booker so it makes sense. They lock up but get a rope break to start. Fans chant pretty loud for Benoit. Benoit tries blocking but Booker finally gets a Snow Plow. That looked funky. Another lock up and Benoit gets some knees and rights in the corner and sends Booker to the floor. Taz: “Benoit’s got to keep two eyes on the back of his head on Sharmell and two on Booker.” Back in, Booker with a waistlock TD but Benoit floats over and goes to the half crab but Booker gets the ropes. Booker bails again to take a breather. Back in, they go to the test of strength and Benoit does the back bridge. Booker counters to a back kick and a back elbow. Benoit counters a suplex and hits a snap suplex to come back. Benoit forearms Booker around the ring but runs into a boot in the corner. Booker with a side slam for 2. Booker now goes to the rest hold on the arm. Benoit elbows out and Booker goes to the ab stretch. Benoit begins to gyrate his hips to escape and it makes a less than flattering visual. Benoit with an armdrag but telegraphs a backdrop and Booker counters with a boot. Booker with a series of kicks and this has REALLY slowed down. Cover gets 2. Cole: “Tremendous flexibility by the big man, Booker!” Booker sends Benoit into the corner for a hard whip as Taz rambles on about Thanksgiving food, who wears sunglasses in announcing and Michael Cole’s looks. Benoit with a roll up for 2 but Booker goes back to the neckbreaker for another 2. MOARRESTHOLD! ASKHIM! Benoit elbows out and slides out of a suplex and goes to the Rolling Germans. Booker tries to counter with a standing reversal but Benoit runs at him. Booker with a leg lariat. Delayed cover gets 2. Benoit baseball slides through on a whip and hits the Dragon Screw LW. Benoit wants the Sharpshooter but Booker gets a roll up for 2. Benoit with some chops and ax handles for 2. Benoit with a snap suplex for 2. Benoit now hits the 3 Rolling Germans to a pop. Benoit calls for the headbutt and heads up top. Sharmell distracts and Booker cuts him off. Benoit now headsbutts Booker off the top and goes for the falling headbutt but Booker moves and Benoit eats mat. Booker with the Oklahoma Roll up and gets the feet on the ropes for the 3 at 14:37. Very deliberate pace for these 2. Match just felt very slow as opposed to what I know what kind of matches they have had in the past, especially Benoit. They were pacing themselves and set up seeds for the rest of the series so that should probably be taken into account. **3/4
• Post-match, Cole is all up in arms about the grave injustice of what just happened.
• Bischoff is in the back warming up and Vince says he just wished Teddy Long good luck and now he’s doing the same for Bischoff. Bischoff says he’s confident about tonight just like Vince was back in 97 about screwing Bret Hart. Bischoff says tonight, he’ll screw Cena. Cena appears and makes a gay joke and Bischoff am scrays. Vince makes nice with Cena and then calls him his “nigga.” Booker appears for, “TELL ME HE DIDN’T JUST SAY THAT!”
• WWE Women’s Championship: Melina vs. Trish Stratus (c). This was set up by MNM kidnapping Trish and forcing her to agree to a match with Melina. Trish is accompanied by lesbian stalker, Mickie James. Trish gets a Thesz press to start and Melina takes a breather. Trish heads up top and hits a crossbody to the floor on all of them. Back in, Trish with a hair toss and Anti-Newtonian rana. Trish tries an up and over mule kick but Melina no sells and goes to the back. Melina with the weakest choke ever and then another. Trish comes back with a choke but Melina goes to the eye and WHATAKICK! Melina powders out and her and MJ brawl. MNM is in for the Snapshot on Trish but the ref sees it and tosses them. Melina with a Spear and goes to the GnP. Melina with a clothesline and goes to a surfboard. Trish fights back with WHATAFOREARM but runs into a hair toss for 2. Melina does the Troll Yell and avoids the Matrix with an elbow. Trish fights back with rights. Melina heads up top but Trish headscissors her off and then hits a spinebuster for 2. Melina ducks a kick but then eats a pump kick. Trish tries Stratusfaction but Melina dumps her on the apron. With MJ’s help, Trish avoids and hits a horrific bulldog off the top to retain at 6:31. The usual, nothing more, nothing less. *
• Last Man Standing: Triple H vs. Ric Flair. This was set up by Trips returning on a special anniversary episode of RAW only to turn on Flair. They would have a cage match at Taboo Tuesday and Flair would miraculously win that one after getting his ass kicked. I loved this feud as I feel it brought up the best each had to offer at this point in their careers: Flair as the crafty vet who’s seen everything and somehow is able to hang in there by the skin of his teeth and Triple H as the heartless bastard with no remorse or sympathy.
• H jumps him in the aisle before he can even get the robe off. H sends him into the barricade a couple times. Back in, he mounts with GnP and then throws the IC belt off him. Trips with a back elbow and Flair takes a breather. Triple H gets a chair but Flair has reached under the ring and gotten a Kendo stick. He blasts H a couple times and they brawl into the crowd. Flair with rights and chops. They slug it out but it’s a pretty tame sequence. Flair with a head of steam but gets backdropped over the barricade. Mickey Hensen gets to 5 on the count before H decides to give Flair a vertical suplex on the floor anyway. Flair gets up at 6. He climbs to the apron but Trips gives him a hanging vertical suplex back in. H drops an elbow on the lower back and Flair sells death. Flair fights back with chops in the corner and rights. H sends him to the floor and into the ringpost. Triple H goes under the ring and gets a fucking screwdriver and grinds it into Flair’s open wound from the GRUESOME blade job Flair just did. He is drenched inside of a few seconds. Coach: “YOU CANNOT HAVE A CONSCIENCE IF YOU WANT TO WIN A LAST MAN STANDING MATCH!” More grinding into the cut from Triple H and King wants the match stopped. Flair stumbles around with no sense of direction. Triple H drops the knee a few times. Flair with some chops only to get shitcanned. On the floor, H pounds into the cut. Triple H preps the announce table. Flair recovers and sends him into the ring stairs. Flair with more chops but runs into a SPINEBUSTER ON THE FLOOR! Triple H gets the stick: “C’MON FLAIR! GET UP! STAY DOWN OR I’M GOING TO PUT YOU DOWN FOR GOOD!” How is Flair supposed to keep the directions straight when they change like that? Just when you think you know what to do in a game of Simon Says, Triple H changes the commands. Flair recovers and gives him the TESTICULAR CLAW OF DESPERATION!
• H struggles and then waffles him with the mic. Count gets to 6 before both recover. H puts him on the announce table. Coach: “THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU END A CAREER! YOU ARE TWO FEET AWAY BABY!” Coach is actually pretty good on commentary during this match. Trips preps the Pedigree but Flair counters to a backdrops after a couple of false starts and still barely gets H over. I wouldn’t be surprised if Triple H’s head hit on the edge of the table. The count gets to 8 before H staggers. Mickey Hensen gets to 9 and H FINALLY breaks the count. Back in, H is pulling a chair with him. Flair cuts him off with chops and rights. Trips comes back with a jawbreaker. H gets the chair and puts it down on the mat after reconsidering. Flair no sells some rights and wants to brawl now. H with more rights and Flair goes down in a heap. Trips wants the Pedigree on the chair but Flair GOES LOW! Flair blasts him with the chair and Mickey starts the count. H up at 7 so Flair bites his nose! Flair with some rights and the BLATANTLOWBLOW! Flair pulls him to the apron and crotches him on the ring post. YEAH! Flair wraps the legs around the ringpost repeatedly and then crotches H on the post FIVE TIMES! Flair clips the knee and NOW we go to school. Flair bites the formerly torn quad and boots the bad leg several times. WOOOOOOO! Flair with another chop block and wants the Figure Four but H boots him away and to the floor. Flair now pulls him to the other ringpost and wraps the leg again. Flair now gets a chair and BLASTS THE LEG! Flair goes for the Figure Four BUT FIRST HE PULLS H OVER TO THE ROPES AND THEN APPLIES THE FIGURE FOUR! Now, THAT’S how you cheat! Flair pulls the top rope for a while and H actually taps out but of course it’s meaningless. Flair releases and H is up at 7 after Hensen breaks the count early. Double clothesline and double KO. H rolls to the floor and sorta staggers around and brings in the ringsteps. He ignores the leg work and destroys Flair with the ring steps. He goes for it again but Flair counters to the drop toe hold INTO THE STAIRS! Flair’s up at 7 and H is up at 8. They slug it out. Flair sends him off but H gets the Pedigree. Flair recovers up at 8. Triple H with another Pedigree to an undercurrent of cheers. Flair is up at 8 and Triple H can’t believe it. Flair flips him off! H drags him back to the middle of the ring for ANOTHER Pedigree. Flair staggers and is up at NINE. Triple H is pissed off and gets the trusty sledge. H with a BRUTAL shot across the upper back and Flair is out at 27:07! This match is AWESOME! I’ll take this hardcore warfare over Trips/UT from this year’s WM 9 times out of 10. Everyone plays their role perfectly here with Flair struggling to stay on par with H’s dastardly ways and having to resort to low blows and crotch shots to try to even the score and still coming up short. I even love the ending with H needing FOUR Pedigrees and a sledgehammer to put Flair away. The only minor drawback is H sort of ignoring Flair’s considerable work on his legs so he can hit the ringstairs spot. ****1/4
• Post-match, H gloats as Flair is carted out.
• Meanwhile, Orton is with JBL, Bobby Lashley and Rey Mysterio. This is more of a Smackdown meeting than a face meeting. Orton says he’s won 2 years in a row so everyone should follow his lead tonight because Batista is hurt. He comes Batista from behind to a pop on the reveal. Batista has a huge bandage on his pec. He says there can be only one leader and that’s the world champ. Rey agrees while JBL rolls his eyes. JBL: “OH THE HELL WITH THAT! WHAT ABOUT ME? I’M LIKE NORMAN SCHWARTZKOPK! YOU WANT TO GO TO WAR? GO WITH GIVE ‘EM HELL HARRY TRUMAN! I’M–” At this point, JBL trails off due to Batista staring him down. JBL: “Uh… well… you’re cool with me!” Lashley agrees and so does Orton begrudgingly. Alright, fan-fucking-tastic. I loved this. Mainly due to JBL’s general bastard nature.
• Edge is out with Lita and her death to KFC vegetarian half of a tube top. He’s got the MITB briefcase. He says he’s not going to do that tonight though. He says he and Lita are about to debut their new show, The Cutting Edge. It will be no frills; it won’t have palm trees like Carlito’s Cabana or an obscenely expressive Jeritron5000 like The Highlight Reel. Instead, it will just be him and a mic. Crowd starts calling Lita a slut and Edge sidesteps and instead introduces Dimitri Young of the Detroit Tigers in the front row. Edge makes fun of the Tigers and then says they need more steroids. Edge says baseball is a crock and is full of crybaby drug addicts. UGHHHHHHHHHHH, this whole thing has a whole weird layer of irony to everything he’s saying but maybe that’s just with 6 years hindsight. Edge continues to run down to rest of the town and it’s teams for a while. Lita: “Baby, it’s look like our bass player— “baseball player dude” has something to say.” Nice. Edge with an intentional Freudian slip calls Young, “Mark Henry.” Coach speculates that he may not be able to speak English and instead only uses Ebonics. WHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAA? Stay classy, Coach. Young makes a crack about Edge’s lack of testicles and then lists all the town’s sports championships and THEN asks Edge where his world championship is. Awesome. It’s amazing to think Edge would have none at this point and then would retire 6 years later with more than TEN world titles. Anyway, Edge takes a hike and says he’s taking his ball and briefcase and going home.
• Special Guest Referee Match for the WWE Championship: Kurt Angle vs. John Cena (c). Daivari is special guest ref. The package is phenomenal. It features Angle AT HIS PEAK in terms of his character. WWE had FINALLY put it altogether and started booking Angle as “The Wrestling Machine” who was an unstoppable monster mat wrestler who just decimated guys with submission and suplexes. Angle seriously was like the bastard child of Danny Hodge and Dr. Death but they ended up using that to just feed him to Cena. For me, the big travesty is/was how much Cena got to outwrestle Angle and this was when they still talked about Cena’s patented “ground and pound,” which the lingo is long gone now. Angle was another mercenary for Bischoff after Jericho in his quest to take the title off Cena. This is also when Bischoff and Angle conspired to censor the fans by bleeping every time they said Angle sucked during the entrance. Incredible. Split reaction here obviously. No dueling chants yet though. Cena looks a solid 15 lbs lighter here, all muscle though.
• Angle shoots for a single and grapevines the leg early. Angle drops a few elbows but Cena shoves him off and gets an armdrag. Cena plows through him with a few shoulderblocks and Angle takes a breather. Cena wants to chase but Daivari holds him off. Now cue the dueling chants. Crowd is RABID. Back in, Angle with a few Euro uppercuts. Styles: “THIS IS FANTASTIC ATHLETICISM!” Settle down, Beavis. Angle sends him into the corner but runs into a boot. Cena with a back elbow and then almost kills Angle with a hiptoss that barely gets him over. Cena with a fisherman whatever but Daivari won’t count. Cena’s pissed but Angle rolls him into the AnkleLock. Daivari threatens to ring the bell but Cena won’t tap. Angle pulls him back to the middle a couple of times. Cena grabs the ropes but Daivari kicks him free to a big pop. Cena reverses anyway and takes down Angle with a spinebuster and then waffles Daivari. Daivari no sells and gets smacked again. He goes for the DQ but Angle calls him off. Cena then shoves both of them to the floor from behind. Angle pulls Cena to the floor and sends him into the stairs and then hits a belly to belly suplex. Angle calls for another ref to come out. Chad Patten is out and counts but only 2. Angle with a snap suplex for 2. Angle goes to the waistlock. LET’S GO CENA! LET’S GO ANGLE! Cena elbows his way free and hits a crossbody for 2. Cena runs into another belly to belly and Angle taunts. CENASUCKS! CENASUCKS! Angle chokes and then hits a back suplex for 2. Angle goes to this BRUTAL STF variation. And then rolls it into a bow and arrow. WHOA! That’s awesome. Someone should steal that big time. Cena with elbows and Angle switches to a chinlock but Cena counters to a jawbreaker and a DDT for 2. Cena with shoulderblocks and clotheslines. Protobomb and he wants the 5KS. Coach: “FIVE KNUCKLE WUFFLE! STUPID!” Cena wants the FU but Angle waffles the ref with a clothesline and then low blows Cena. Angle calls for another ref and drops the straps. He Hulks up and hits the Angle Slam but Cena kicks out at 2. Angle puts him up top and hits a top rope suplex for 2. Angle heads up top for his moonsault but Cena moves. Cena goes for the FU but Angle grabs the ref to counter and then clotheslines Cena. Angle waffles the third ref and now wakes up Daivari who’s been out for about 12 minutes from a shot over the top rope. Cena DDTs Daivari while Charles Robinson comes out. Back in, Cena hits a random FU to unceremoniously end things at 13:57. First, the good: this match didn’t suffer from the flaws of the first match of theirs with Cena outwrestling Angle a lot, Angle was able to go through his routine of awesomeness and control the going for the most part in between ref bumps. The bad is the overbooked finish, lack of selling from Cena and Angle looking weak after all the effort put into him. This is enjoyable enough but I wouldn’t go beyond **1/2.
• Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long. Bischoff is wearing a karate gi. Teddy gestures to the crowd for a cheap pop. He avoids a couple of kicks and dances. Teddy shoves him into the corner and teases the Crane. Palmer Cannon gets on the apron to distract and that allows Bischoff to choke Teddy with the karate belt. Bischoff boots Palmer off the apron and goes back to choking. Crowd chants boring and they’re right. Bischoff hooks in an RNC but Teddy waffles him with a shoe. This is dreadful. Bischoff blocks another shoe shot and gives him a throat thrust. But wait! THE BOOGEYMAN HAS COME OUT! Bischoff sends the refs out to cut him off but Boogey sneaks him and goozles him. Boogie with a Meltdown to crickets and Teddy covers for the 3 at 5:25. Abysmal and went on too long for that. -*
• Meanwhile, the respective locker rooms cheer on the entrances of their teams.
• Team RAW (Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Big Show and Kane) vs. Team Smackdown (Batista, JBL, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton). This was set up by Bischoff and Teddy interrupting matches on each other’s shows at PPVs and the show and then they set up this match to determine who would get “bragging rights.” The announcers yak back and forth about brand supremacy particularly during Masters’ entrance. King: “How about being quiet over there? We had the courtesy to be quiet during your so called “superstars’” entrances.” Taz: “You guys really punked me out.” King: “You really gotta be quiet here.” Taz: “Oh yeah? I’ll be quiet because you said so, because a guy with a cape on came out. I don’t give a rat’s ass about this guy. How’s that? He’s not on Smackdown. I don’t give a rat’s ass about you, Styles, anybody. How’s THAT?! You can hear me loud and clear! I’m right here, so COME ON!” This continues for a while as Taz is particularly testy and tells Coach to kiss his ass and go back to wrestling school.
• HBK and Orton to start. Lock up goes nowhere and Orton actually gives a clean break. Another lock up and Orton smacks the hell out of HBK and HBK smacks him back. HBK with a couple of hiptosses and Orton keeps going to the headscissors and HBK smacks him again. HBK with chops in the corner. HBK telegraphs a backdrop and Orton gets a boot and a Euro uppercut. HBK drops an elbow and tags in Masters. Orton no sells and gouges the eye and gives him a knee. Masters sends him into the turnbuckle and then gets confused and decides to go to chops and a shoulderblock for 1 but JBL breaks it up. Lashley in with Masters now. The crowd gets mildly into it for the power match. Lashley no sells a shoulderblock and gets a powerslam. He whiffs on a Ho Train and eats a clothesline. Masters goes for the MasterLock but Lashley escapes and hits a belly to belly suplex. Cole searches for a compliment to promo Lashley but blows it: “WHAT A BELLY TO BELLY THROW BY THE FORMER….ARMY….SOLDIER, LASHLEY!” Masters powders out and Lashley pulls in Carlito. Carlito gives him a right that goes nowhere and then begs off. Lashley with a Bulldog powerslam for 2. Carlito gets the elbow up and tags in HBK. Lashley slams him off the top and hits a clothesline and another belly to belly suplex. Carlito jumps him from behind only to eat the Dominator but he’s not the legal man. Lashley goes for another but Kane goozles him from the apron and ChokeSlams him down and HBK covers for the 3 on Lashley at 7:19. Nice booking on that fall.
• HBK and Rey now. Rey with a basement dropkick but Kane almost attacks him from behind. JBL is PISSED about the cheating. Masters tags in and he jumps Mysterio and press slams him. Kane in and whiffs on an elbow drop. Mysterio with a couple of basement dropkicks and a standing moonsault for 2. Rey slides out of a tiltawhirl but runs into a MASSIVE big boot. Kane with a backbreaker for 2. Kane goes to a bearhug. Lots of bickering from the announcers all through here. Taz: “Joey, you’ve been in the company for a cup of coffee. I’m begging ya to be quiet and go write something on the internet. HUH?! SHUT UP! I’m getting pissed off now. Coach, you’re not funny, you’re not good and you’re not credible.” Rey headbutts his way free and tags in Batista who has his whole chest bandaged. He hits a Ho Train and some surges on Kane. Kane comes back with a shot to the ribs. Batista no sells and hits a Spear. That’s pretty ridiculous on his part. Batista with clotheslines and shitcans Masters. Mysterio hits the 619 on Kane and Batista with a spinebuster and Kane it out at 11:43. Batista has 3 rolls of toilet paper on his upper body and still can’t be bothered to sell.
• Show ChokeSlams him but Batista kicks out at 2. Now, Batista mildly convulses while Show cleans out the face corner. Show and Kane now give Batista a double ChokeSlam and Batista is out at 12:30.
• JBL in with Show. They exchange shots and JBL tries a crossbody off the top but Show slams him down. Orton and Rey try coming in and Show swats both away. Orton Stun Guns him and JBL with the Clotheslines from Wall Street but Show is still staggering. Rey with the 619 and now Orton in with the RKO. Show is STILL moving around. JBL back in with another Clothesline. That’s 4 finishers and still moving. Rey back with a seated senton and Show is finally out at 14:29.
• The whole match breaks down into a brawl. JBL with a snap ab suplex on HBK on the floor. Masters sends Rey into the turnbuckle hard for 2. Carlito in with a vertical suplex for 2. Carlito goes to the chinlock. This goes on a while. Rey elbows out and tries a quebrada but JBL blind tags in. Carlito catches Rey but eats the Clothesline from Hell for the 3 at 17:36.
• Masters in and JBL smacks him around until Masters hits a suplex for 2. HBK is still out cold on the floor from the snap ab suplex. Rey in with a crossbody and JBL boots Masters for the combo 2. Masters goes for a charge but eats ringpost. Mysterio clips the knee and hits the 619 and the springboard legdrop for the 3 on Masters at 19:05.
• JBL slides HBK in and he’s all alone against Orton, Rey and JBL. HBK chops the skin off his chest but gets drop toe held. Rey with the 619 and HBK almost sells it out of the ring. Rey springboards in but eats the SWEET CHIN MUSIC ON THE WAY DOWN! Rey’s out at 20:25.
• HBK ducks the clothesline from JBL and he hits another SCM. JBL’s out at 20:47.
• After those quick pinfalls, Orton is cautious about stepping through the ropes. He measures for the RKO but HBK shoves him away and goes for the SCM. Orton pulls back on the ropes and slides out. NICE! HBK follows out with a plancha. Back in, HBK with a flying burrito and kips up. He hits an atomic drop and some clotheslines. He heads up for the Macho elbow and hits it but is out of it. JBL gets a chair. HBK tunes up the band. JBL goes for the chairshot but eats a SCM instead. Orton seizes the moment and hits an RKO and Orton wins again at 24:04. I liked the booking of most of the eliminations but even at 25 minutes this still felt fast as hell and some of the eliminations were too close together. Good but not quite with the drama or magnitude of HBK’s performance from 03. ***1/2
• The lockerroom comes out to congratulate Orton and themselves for being drafted to Smackdown. BUT WAIT! The druids come out with a casket and some Joel Schumacher lighting. Orton is in disbelief. Lightning strikes the casket setting it on fire and of course that brings UT back to life just like Friday the 13th part VI for those of you keeping count. UT stalks in the ring and clears out the entire lockerroom with ChokeSlams and shots for all including a Tombstone for Regal. This was actually pretty cool if the typical UT comes out to upstage most of the roster move.
The 411: 1 great match, 1 good match, a subpar Benoit/Booker encounter, a mediocre Angle match and a whole lot of nothing else. I'd check out Flair/Trips and pass on the rest.
|Final Score: 6.0 [ Average ] legend|