WWF Survivor Series 2002
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View, on November 17th, 2002. We're coming from the greatest sports arena in the world, Madison Square Garden, in New York City. Since this is from the Brand Split Era, we've got double duty everything, but the only real concern is the PBP teams: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler will be doing the matches featuring Raw Superstars, while Michael Cole and Tazz do everything associated with Smackdown.
The 2002 Survivor Series marks the third time that the WWE had tried a new format for the annual event. In 1992, it was presented as a normal card, a la SummerSlam or WrestleMania, while the 1998 version featured a one-night Tournament, along the lines of WrestleMania IV, except (a little) less boring. This time, we've got a main event which features elimination rules, but not elimination tag team matches, as were the norm for previous versions of the Survivor Series.
The heels bum-rush, but the faces toss them shortly after. Bubba launches Spike onto 3MW, and Hardy adds a suicide dive for extra momentum. Lawler mentions at the 2000 Royal Rumble, also in MSG, the Hardys and Dudleys had an epic tables match. Dudley Boyz V. 1.5 give the Wassup to Jamal, then Jeff gives his own version to Rico. Rosie gets back in the ring to take care of business, and sorry for the lack of PBP, nothing much happens Rosie charges at Spike, but puts himself through the table. I guess that doesn't count. Rosie and Hardy blow a spot, and the crowd is on it, fast. Rico brings a table in and 3MW flap jacks him through it at 4:25. That was a pretty cool spot. I guess once you get put through a table, you have to leave. Rosie actually teases a moonsault, but gets crotched, and it's Poetry in Motion! Rosie prevents another version, and Rico takes Bubba out with a spinning heel kick. Rico and Jamal work over Bubba while Rosie drags Jeff through the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, they aren't very much into it when the heels are in control. Bubba makes the save for Jeff and uses one of the Iron Shiek's Persian Clubs on Rosie. Jeff climbs up to the top of one of the entrances and does a senton bomb on Rosie, through a table, at 7:48. Then, in the most classic part of the match, Rico goes to the top for a moonsault, then stalls until screaming out "Come on Jeff, god dammit!" The DVD version actually edits it out, but you can read his lips, as the camera wisely did a tight shot of him when it happened. To the shock of no one, Jeff eventually comes back and shakes the ropes rather weakly to crotch him. Jeff runs the security wall and jumps into a table, but it wasn't an offensive move. Jamal comes off the top with a splash to eliminate Jeff at 10:34. Bubba does his worst Dusty Rhodes impression clubberin' Rico, but stalls forever until Jamal prevents a table a spot. Jamal slips off the ropes (my goodness...) then gets Bubba Bombed through the table for it at 11:42. 3MW try and help Rico out, but D'Von makes his return from being Reverend D'Von to reform his partnership with Bubba, and they put Rico through a table with the 3D to finally end things at 13:52. It's sad that ending singles pushes for both Dudleys meant being glad to see them as a team again, except about a month later, it was "same shit, different year" with them, again. Match was pretty dull with the occasional cool table spot, but if you've seen one, you've seen them all.
- Saliva performs "Always", the official theme song for Survivor Series, live, at WWF New York/The World, with Stacy Keibler on hand, talking about Test-icles. Fast forward material, all the way.
- Remember the "F-View" camera (get it, F-U!) that hounded Raw Superstars? Yeah, it totally went nowhere, much like GTV years earlier. If you're going to do stuff like that, at least have it go somewhere, for once. I guess the only purpose was to catch women undressing and Big Show using the toilet.
We waste time trying to figure out who starts, and it's finally decided on Rey and Benoit. Benoit quickly hammers away and chops the skin off Rey's chest. Irish whip, and Rey takes Benoit down with a head scissors, followed by a flap jack. Edge tags in, and a takes Benoit over with a double hip toss. Angle tags in and gets worked over by Edge, as well. Angle bitch-slaps Chavo, and it counts as a tag, I guess. Edge with a shoulder block and a dropkick, followed by a slam. Rey tags in and comes off the top with a splash for a two count. Rey takes Chavo down with an arm drag, but gets pressed into the air and dropped on his face. Eddie tags in and puts the boots to Rey. Rey with a head scissors and monkey flip on Eddie, and now it's Angle turns again. Whip to the corner, and Angle meets the ring post on a charge attempt. Rey blows a spot, allowing Angle to stomp a mudhole in him. Angle with a snap suplex for a two count. Angle with a short-arm clothesline, and Benoit with a neck breaker. Benoit with a back suplex for a two count. Angle with a high impact back suplex for another two count. Rey counters the Angle Slam, but Angle takes his head off with a clothesline for a two count. Benoit tags back in, and drives a knee to the midsection, then takes Rey over with a snap suplex for a pair of two counts. Angle with a snapmare, then slaps on a front facelock. Rey fights back to his feet and nails Angle with a spinning heel kick, following a series of counters. Angle tries to tag a Guerrero, but they ditch the apron. Edge with clotheslines to Benoit and a heel kick to Angle. Irish whip, and Edge with a belly-to-belly suplex on Angle. Rey takes Eddie out with a head scissors, and Edge gets trapped in the Crossface/Ankle-Lock, but Rey takes Angle out and hits Benoit with a basement dropkick. Chavo drags Angle out of the ring, and Rey hits the both of them with a corkscrew plancha. Benoit with the rolling Germans on Edge, and Eddie takes Benoit over with a sunset flip for a double two count. Benoit with more Germans on Edge, and Eddie hits the Frog Splash on Edge, then Benoit hits Eddie with the headbutt, and then Angle hits Eddie with the Angle Slam. Chavo KO's Benoit with a tag title belt, tricking Benoit into thinking Angle did it. Edge with the spear on benoit, and that eliminates Angle and Benoit at 13:09.
Angle and Benoit work everyone over before leaving, except for Eddie, who's been hanging around outside the ring. He covers Edge, but only gets a two count. Eddie takes Edge over with a suplex, and Chavo tags in with a baseball slide for a two count. Chavo with a snapmare, and Eddie with a slingshot senton for another two count. Irish whip, and Eddie slaps on a sleeper hold. Edge escapes, but runs into a dropkick from Chavo. Eddie with some cheap shots from the apron, while Chavo distracted the referee. Eddie with a back suplex, and a front facelock. Chavo with a snapmare, followed by another basement dropkick for a two count. Irish whip, and Edge with a double flap jack on the Guerreros. That spot seemed realistic (sarcasm alert!). Rey gets the hot tag, and springboards in on top of Chavo and hits Eddie with a back breaker. We get Guerrero Miscommuncation, and Rey with a dropkick to the face of a prone Eddie. Edge springs Rey into the air for a top rope head scissors on Eddie, but that only gets a two count. Edge trips Eddie into the ropes, and Rey hits the 6-1-9. Chavo prevents the West Coast Pop, using a title belt across the back as his weapon of choice. Eddie slaps on the Laso from El Paso, and Rey taps out at 19:24, giving Los Guerreros the Tag Team Titles. It's a better championship team than whoever it was on Raw (who did Kane and Hurricane lose it to? Who cares...) Match was pretty good and filled with plenty of solid action, with minimal blown spots for a match that had a lot going on. The only complaint I had is Rey playing around with his mask every couple of spots.
- Chris Nowinski (the Harvard dude) comes out to cut a promo, and then Matt Hardy (Version 1) joins him, to bash New York City. The debuting Scott Steiner, a.k.a Big Poppa Pump, Freakzilla, and "the guy who was a serious health risk to the company" makes the save for New York, wiping the floor with Nowinski and Hardy, then dropping the F-Bomb before cutting a terrible promo. Was ANYONE excited about Steiner's signing with WWE? This segment actually ate up nearly 10-minutes of valuable Pay-Per-View time. If that wasn't bad enough, we then had the lowering of the Elimination Chamber, and Eric Bischoff comes out to verbally blow the match for an additional 5-minutes, because you need to sell the match TO THE PEOPLE WHO ALREADY BOUGHT THE DAMN PPV.
Rob Van Dam and Triple H start, which means Trips plays the role of Iron Man since I doubt the champion will job earlier than the finale. Lockup into the corner, and RVD with rights and kicks, followed by a spinning heel kick. Irish whip, and Triple H with a face-buster. Hunter goes for a pedigree, but RVD back drops him onto the steel outside of the ring. RVD follows him out, and introduces him into the mesh wall, enough times to the point it broke the latch on the chamber door. Hunter appears to have bladed, and it's only 2-minutes in. RVD continues to pound away, and takes Hunter down with a monkey flip, followed by rolling thunder, over the top rope, on the steel. RVD clotheslines Hunter back into the ring, then climbs to the top of one of the chambers, but Jericho pulls him down from inside, allowing Hunter to recover. RVD manages to fight both off, and comes off the top rope with with a senton to the outside. RVD continues to control as we get the countdown for our next participant... and surprise, surprise, it's Chris Jericho (heel). RVD nails him with a pair of heel kicks, followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. RVD with a springboard dropkick and a clothesline. RVD comes off the top, and manages to latch himself to the cage (he's like Spider-Man), then comes off with a twisting cross body onto Jericho. Triple H comes back to life, and RVD finally starts getting worked over. Triple H with a running high knee, and Jericho covers for a two count. Jericho taunts Michaels, while Hunter tosses RVD over the top rope. RVD gets rammed into the walls, and correction: it's chain-link, not mesh, and RVD gets a second helping of it. Whip to the corner, RVD avoids a charge from Jericho, takes Triple H down with a clothesline, and hits Jericho with another spinning heel kick. Hunter recovers and plants RVD with a DDT.
Booker T enters next, and hammers away on Jericho then knocks Trips out with a clothesline, and it's Spin-a-Rooni time! RVD and Booker trade blows, won by RVD. Booker T takes RVD's head off with a heel kick, following a series of counters, for a two count. RVD with a step-over heel kick for his own two count. RVD with an elbow to a charging Booker, but he runs into another side kick, and that gets a two count. Triple H comes back into the picture, and is quickly put down with a Scissors kick. RVD heads to the top of the chamber, and his Frog Splash slips, and he comes crashing down on Triple H's throat. I don't remember the seriousness of the injury (Hebner appears to give an "X" to the locker room direction, but that's not a guarantee it's legit), but I do remember the IWC being all uptight about how they should've just taken Hunter out of the match right then and there, and he was just being a glory hog wanting to stay until the end. Booker T surprises RVD with a missile dropkick, and that's enough to send RVD back to the locker room at 13:39. Fans didn't appreciate that one. Booker covers Triple H, but that only gets a two count. Jericho chokes Booker down in the corner and takes him down with a bulldog. The lionsault misses, and Booker plants Jericho with a spinebuster. Kane enters next, and the pattern of entries is identical to their order of entrances, other than the two starters, of course. Kane pounds on everything walking, then singles Booker out in the corner. Kane takes Jericho out of the ring and uses him as a battering ram into the chains, then throws him through the "bulletproof" glass of one of the chambers. Kane takes a few shots at Hunter, then goes back to working Booker T over. Booker goes for a scissors kick, but gets nailed from behind, and Kane sends him to hell with a Chokeslam. Jericho with the lionsault on Booker T, and that gets a three count at 17:43. Kane tosses Jericho out of the ring, and yes, he has bladed. Kane slams Jericho back into the ring, while Hunter continues to do very little. Kane takes Jericho over with a suplex, then covers for a two count. Kane misses the jumping elbow that always misses, but has enough in him to slam Hunter off the top rope. Jericho with a missile dropkick on Kane, and everyone is down as we get our next and final entry.
Shawn Michaels comes in, pounding on Jericho and Kane with rights, and Kane quickly puts him down with a clothesline. Kane with a chokeslam on Michaels, then a chokeslam to Triple H. Jericho jumps off the top rope, and gets chokeslammed as wel. PIN SOMEONE, STUPID! Kane goes for the Tombstone on Hunter, but he gets thrown into Sweet Chin Music. Kane sits up, so it's Kick-Wham-Pedigree. Jericho adds the Lionsault for good measure, and Kane is sent packing at 22:54. BOO! Jericho sends Michaels outside the ring and rams him into the chain fence. Back in the ring, and Jericho and HHH take turns working Michaels over. Michaels blades after getting the cheese grater treatment on the chains. Michaels clotheslines Hunter back into the ring, but gets taken over with a back drop attempting a piledriver. Back inside, and Michaels with a diving forearm to Hunter, and Jericho quickly takes him down with a bulldog. Jericho with the lionsault for a two count. Michaels with a top rope moonsault for a two count. Michaels slaps on a Boston Crab, but Hunter breaks it up and executes a DDT. Jericho and Hunter slug it out, with Hunter gaining the upperhand. Jericho jumps into a boot, but counters the Pedigree with the Walls of Jericho. Michaels comes out of nowhere with Sweet Chin Music, and Jericho is gone at 30:44. It's down to Michaels and Triple H? What a shocker! Slugfest, and a spinebuster from Triple H gets a two count. Michaels with a boot to the chest, but a charge leads to him being back dropped onto the steel floor. Michaels takes control, but gets swept off his feet and sling shot into one of the chambers, breaking the obviously fake "glass" (more like plastic). Back in the ring, and Hunter covers for a two count. Hunter with rights, and it's another slugfest, won by Michaels. Triple H with a facebuster, followed by a clothesline. Hunter goes for a pedigree, but Michaels obviously counters and slingshots Hunter into the cage. Michaels to the top of the chamber (ugh...) and he comes off with an elbow drop. I'm sure Trips wasn't a little cautious about that one, after the earlier spot with RVD. Michaels calls for Chin Music, but Hunter blocks, and hits the pedigree. Hunter... slowly... crawls to cover, but only gets two. Michaels counters another pedigree, hits Sweet Chin Music, and wins the Heavyweight Title at 39:04. To keep things short and sweet, the concept of the match, on paper, seems like a can't miss thing, but the actual execution left a lot to be desired, there was too many spots that had me wishing the match was over, and the booking decision, mainly giving someone who's wrestled 2 matches in 4 years, the World Title, just seemed a bit odd. I know he dropped it right back at Armageddon and even defended it on Raw against RVD, but it's a slap in the face of the full time workers to give the strap to someone in that role.
Final Thoughts: I didn't notice before, but every title match ended with a new champion being crowned, and in the cases of both World Titles, there definitely was some head-scratching going on. It seemed like the WWE turned the clock back to 2002, when having Michaels and Big Show as World Champions didn't seem like a horrible idea. All the matches were either pretty good or at the least, watchable, but it wasn't a very memorable card, and the new gimmick match main event really failed to live up to the hype. It's hard to say I'd recommend this show one way or another, but I'd suggest watching it once, for the kick ass tag team title match and a good, but heavily flawed, main event.