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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.”