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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.