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WWE Survivor Series 2006

by Scrooge McSuck

- It's Thanksgiving time, so that means one thing: It's time to recap at least one of the random Survivor Series PPV's that somehow has slipped through the cracks over the years. This time around, we're heading back to 2006. This marked the last Survivor Series I would watch until 2012, when I finally accepted the WWE back into my life. To say the product was becoming stale would be an understatement, but of course, that's not the only reason that killed my love for something I had such passionate feelings for.

- Originally broadcasted on Pay-Per-View on November 26th, 2006, from the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, PA. The official sponsor was THQ's WWE Smackdown vs Raw 2007 (don't you love it when the WWE is presented by a WWE product?). Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are covering the rasslers from Raw, and Michael Cole and JBL are doing everything revolving around Smackdown. No Joey Styles and Tazz for the ECW Participants? I feel jipped!

WWE Legends (Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Sgt. Slaughter, Ron Simmons; w/ Arn Anderson) vs. The Spirit Squad (Mikey, Nicky, Kenny, and Johnny; w/ Mitch):

Odd match to open the PPV with. There actually was some backstory to this: Flair and Roddy Piper won the World Tag Titles from the Spirit Squad at Taboo Tuesday or Cyber Sunday, whatever it was called in 2006. The lack of reaction to Dusty Rhodes is somewhat sad, but you have to remember he was almost a non-factor to the WWF fan-base, except for a very brief run. Simmons is subbing for Piper, who was having some medical problems at the time. Anderson was a hell of a worker, but why does he get his own entrance as nothing more than a corner man? I bet they just like hearing the Horsemen theme song. Simmons starts with Mikey and easily over-powers him. He cleans house of all the legal Squad members, then goes after Mitch, and gets Counted-Out at 1:45 (despite the referee never calling for the bell) for being a dumbass. Mitch and Anderson get thrown from ringside for their antics, and Simmons gives Mitch a Spinebuster as a going away present. Slaughter is in next, against Nicky (a.k.a Dolph Ziggler, a.k.a Chavo Kerwin White's golf caddy). The Legends take turns whooping him around until Slaughter applies the Cobra Clutch. Johnny with a roundhouse kick to the back of the head, and Nicky covers for three at 6:28. Rhodes drops a big elbow on Nicky for three at 6:58. Rhodes fights off everyone with elbows, but that only takes him so far. He misses an elbow, and Kenny rolls him up for three at 8:24. Flair takes a pounding until mounting a comeback on Mikey, then rolls him up with feet on the ropes at 9:17. Kenny goes next via a small package at 9:50. Johnny attacks from behind, but Flair chops him down and the Figure-Four wins it at 10:33, making Flair the SOLE SURVIVOR. The Spirit Squad, sore losers that they are, do a 5-on-1 beat down on Flair without a save. Thankfully, the Spirit Squad were disbanded soon after, courtesy of DX (and a worthless package addressed to OVW). 1/2* Match was pretty bad, but Flair's miracle comeback against three Jobbers got the crowd pumped.

WWE United States Championship Match:
Chris Benoit vs. Chavo Guerrero (w/ Vicki Guerrero):

I have no idea what the deal is with this one. Watching the recap video reminds us that it's a continuation of the WWE spitting all over the legacy of Eddie Guerrero. Chavo and Vicki recently put Rey Mysterio out of action, so Benoit is standing up for Rey... and the memory of Eddie. For the love of fuck... thankfully, the live crowd gives a near-nothing reaction to Chavo. Benoit controls early with chops and knees in the corner. Snap suplex and a scoop slam gets a pair of two counts. Benoit with a forearm smash for another near fall. Chavo FINALLY mounts some offense, stomping Benoit down like a pile of crap. Whip is countered with the Crossface, but Chavo (with Vicki's help) gets a foot on the bottom rope. Benoit with more knees and a sharp back suplex for two. Chavo sends Benoit shoulder-first to the post, and I half-expected Michael Cole to send us to commercial. Chavo with his own back suplex, bouncing Benoit's head. JBL thankfully reminds us of the surgically repaired neck of Benoit, because of all the punishment he put his body through. Benoit escapes a chinlock, only to run into a dropkick. Benoit comes back with the rolling Germans. He heads to the top rope, but Vicki interrupts, allowing Chavo to recover and roll out of the way of the Swandive Headbutt. Chavo with a sweet suplex, followed by a not-so-sweet looking Frog Splash for two. Chavo continues to bitch Benoit around, triggering Benoit to sweep the legs and go for the Sharpshooter. Vicki gets knocked off the apron, and Chavo rolls Benoit up for two. Benoit's kick out turns into a Crossface, and Chavo taps at 8:25. **1/2 Solid action, but too short to be worth more than a standard television match. Considering it's one of the lowest matches on the card, I can't be too disappointed by that.

WWE Women's Championship Match:
Lita vs. Mickie James:

I guess Mickie went from "crazy stalker that might be a Lesbian" challenging Trish Stratus to "typical babyface Diva" challenging raging slut villain Lita, who I might remind everyone was working her last WWE match in this title defense. I don't like her odds, but then again, Trish did win the title in her last match, so you never know. I don't know if it's me or not, but the work seems a bit sloppy to start. Weird how J.R. and Lawler openly acknowledge Lita's leaving the WWE, especially since it's not part of a storyline. Mickie goes for a spinning head scissors, but Lita blocks and slams her face-first into the canvas. Russian leg sweep gets a two count. Crowd with Crack-Whore chants while Mikie James reminds us how Not-PG her ring attire is. Sorry, this match is a lot of nothing, so I'm just waiting for something to happen. Lita grabs a Sleeper, but Mickie makes it to the ropes. Lita to the top, but a body press misses. Mickie tries to climb, but Lita brings her down with a back suplex. Mickie with the roundhouse kick from Planet Awesome for a near fall. Sloppy fisherman suplex for another two count. She goes for a hurricanrana, but gets to eat canvas. Lita goes for the Moonsault, but it only gets two. Mickie blocks a DDT and rolls Lita up for two. Lita with a small package for two. They trade roll-ups and Mickie from out of nowhere with a DDT for the three count and the Women's Title at 8:20. * Match was pretty sloppy at times, and didn't have much of a flow, either. Still, I've seen worse. Post-match, Cryme Tyme (remember them?) send off Lita in classy tradition by selling off her underwear to the fans. Thanks for the 6 years Lita, enjoy being humiliated for your send-off.

Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Matt & Jeff Hardy (IC Champion), CM Punk vs. Randy Orton, Edge (Tag Team Champions), Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms (Cruiserweight Champion), Mike Knox (w/ Melina and Kelly Kelly):

Our second Elimination Tag Match of the night. The marriages at the time were fairly obvious: DX/Rated RKO, Helms/Matt Hardy, Jeff Hardy/Nitro, and Punk/Knox from ECW (on Sci-Fi). I still have a fondness for the Rated RKO mash-up theme. J.R. notes that Orton has LITERALLY been on fire the last three years at Survivor Series. CM Punk's Grammar Slam begs to differ. Knox and Hunter start. Knox takes offense to them oogling Kelly Kelly, so Shawn KO's him with Sweet Chin Music, and he's gone at the 40-second mark. Shawn's "who was that?" still cracks me up. Michaels has some fun at ringside with Melina (VINTAGE HBK!... where's Cole when you need him!?), and has a brief exchange with Nitro, before tagging out to Jeff Hardy. Edge stomps down Matt and mocks his stupid grunting pose to my enjoyment. Matt either has a busted lip or bit down too hard on the blood-filled condom (Vintage Ken Shamrock... sorry, I'll stop now). Matt hits a Side Effect from out of nowhere on Nitro and hot tags Punk. He hits the running knee in the corner, and takes Nitro down with the bulldog. Nitro gets hung up on the top rope, and taps to the Anaconda Vice at 4:58.

Orton drops Punk across the top rope and connects with a standing dropkick for two. Helms with a front facelock and a series of knees. Remember when WWE had a Cruiserweight Title? Me neither. Punk slugs it out with Orton, but an RKO from out of nowhere only gets two (thanks to Michaels breaking up the pin). Edge sets up for a Spear, but ends up eating turnbuckle. Hunter and Helms get tags, and it's safe to say Helms' time in the match is almost up. Hunter with knees, but Edge interrupts the Pedigree. Heck breaks loose, including a double plancha from Jeff Hardy and HBK. Helmsley with the Spinebuster on Helms, and Matt finishes him off with the Twist of Fate at 9:24. Orton and Edge threaten to walk, but Team XTREME (you have to spell it that way) bring them back. Punk with the running knee, and Jeff with Poetry in Motion on Edge. Michaels with Sweet Chin Music, and Edge is gone at 10:41. That was grossly illegal. Jesse Ventura would've pitched a fit over how unfairly the faces were allowed to quadruple team. Orton eats Sweet Chin Music, and Hunter finishes with the Pedigree at 11:32. Wow, that was about as much of a squash as you could've made it. Did anyone get a single lick of offense on Hunter or Michaels? * Not much to see here, but it was harmless fluff... I guess.

First Blood Match: The Undertaker vs. Mr. Kennedy:

Why must I suffer through another Undertaker Gimmick Match at a Survivor Series? Kennedy's appeal was his self-introductions and not much else. This seems even more randomly tacked onto the card than your typical Insta-Feud featuring the Undertaker. Almost makes you glad he only shows up for WrestleMania these days. Undertaker no-sells a flurry of rights and tosses Kennedy over the top rope, probably confusing the rules of the match with the Royal Rumble Match. Undertaker dominates until a whip to the steps is reversed. Kennedy slugs away, but a dive from the apron doesn't go according to plan. Back in the ring (finally), and 'Taker takes Kennedy down from the top with a Super-Plex. 'Taker dominates, pounding the ribs and kidneys. I guess they never specified you couldn't win by causing internal bleeding. Kennedy apparently is spitting blood, but MVP runs down to try and help him out. I guess they were a make-shift team at the time? Never mind, MVP throws Kennedy back in the ring, where 'Taker continues the squash. Kennedy drops 'Taker across the exposed turnbuckle and starts pounding away. MVP comes in with a chair, intending to use it on Kennedy (allegedly), but "accidentally" lays 'Taker out with it. He's bleeding, so Kennedy wins at 9:25. 1/2* Post-match, 'Taker wipes the floor with Kennedy and plants him with the Tombstone to get his heat back. I can honestly say I've never seen a GOOD "First Blood Match." It's generally a shitty brawl until someone has to blade, unless someone bleeds hard-way early in the match, then it just ruins the match plans. Sometimes the PG-era is a good thing.

John Cena (WWE Champion), Bobby Lashley, Kane, Sabu, Rob Van Dam vs. Big Show (ECW Champion), Umaga (w/ Armando Alejandro Estrada), M.V.P., Finlay, Test:

Seems odd the WWE Champion is in a throw-away Elimination Match (by the standards of the era). Without looking things up, I have very little recollection of what was going on with all of these guys. I have vague memories of stuff featuring MVP/Kane, Cena/Umaga, and Lashley/Show. Everyone else seems kind of "there", especially when half of the participants are members from the "ECW" brand and the PPV they were building to only had two matches announced until the day of the PPV. It's a shame Lashley had zero personality. He could've been something big had he had an ounce of charisma.

Cena and Umaga start. This would've been like having Hogan and Andre start for their teams in 1987. Umaga quickly goes nuts on the arena floor, and gets himself Disqualified at 0:56, whacking everyone with a television monitor. I guess that was more like Warrior and Andre from 1989. RVD quickly becomes face-in-peril while Cena plays "semi-hurt" on the floor. Add RVD to the list of people with busted lips on this show. RVD with a sloppy roll up and spinning heel kick on MVP. Kane with the Chokeslam, and RVD finishes with a 5-Star Frog Splash at 5:32. Test with a running boot to knock off RVD at 5:43. Lashley with a spear on Test, and Sabu plants him with a Tornado DDT for three at 6:27. Saby tries his luck with Big Show, but a Chokeslam sends him home at 6:41. Kane and Show have their yearly stare down that generally leads to a near-negative star performance. Hornswoggle runs in just to look really small, and Finlay whacks Kane with his walking stick. Show with the Chokeslam, and bye-bye Kane at 7:28. Cena finally tags back in to take a whooping from Finlay and Show. Lashley gets the mild tag and puts Finlay away with a shitty Spear at 10:31. they illegally double-team Show. and can't even do that with proper timing. Sloppy Double DDT gets two. Cena with the Five-Knuckle Shuffle, and Superman finishes with the FU at 12:37, making Cena and Lashley the Survivors. *1/2 I guess 5-minutes in the referee gave the green light to bring it home, because those rapid-fire Eliminations always piss me off, especially when it goes against the previously set pace of the match.

World Heavyweight Championship Match:
King Booker (w/ Sharmell) vs. Batista:

I guess this is the Main Event of the PPV? I'm not saying this because of it being the final match, but because it's the only non-Elimination Match that seems worth a damn. It's a shame Booker couldn't get a World Title reign until taking a lame gimmick like "King Whatever" and being a boring heel. Booker can lose the title by DQ or Count-Out, by the way. They slug it out, with Batista gaining the early advantage. He goes for the Powerbomb, but Booker rolls to the floor for a breather. JBL with a seriously dated Mark McGwire reference (it's 2006, McGwire retired in 2001, and they're in a city he's never played for) as things move at a snail's pace. Booker dumps Batista across the top rope, with the latter selling it with a two-packs of Marlboro a day cough. I don't know how, but Booker blows being sent to the corner. Batista with a weak Jackhammer for two. Sidewalk Slam for two. Sharmell with a distraction, allowing Booker to knock Batista off the apron with a crescent kick. JBL accusing Teddy Long of racism against King Booker is too funny, but unfortunately Cole completely ignores it while trying to give as much exposition about the match as possible. Batista with a top rope shoulder tackle for two. Spinebuster gets two. Booker T with the Book End for two. Batista avoids the Scissors Kick and hits the Batista Bomb, but Booker grabs the rope at two. Sharmell with another distraction, but Batista ducks a belt shot, whacks Booker with it instead, and New Champion at 13:57. *1/2 Amazing they would end a PPV with such a poor effort, but those were the days of a washed up Booker T and Batista at the top of the card. They could've trimmed this down to 4-minutes and accomplished the same thing, both in terms of quality and story-telling.

Final Thoughts: It's no wonder most of the Survivor Series PPV's from this time period are complete blurrs to me (that would be 2004-200X). The standard matches are either forgettable or underwhelming, especially the "Main Event" where the fan favorite chasing the dastardly heel has to cheat to win. The Elimination matches, at times, are fun throw-away junk, but everything is ruined once the Eliminations come at a rapid speed. I'm sorry, I don't buy some of these Superstars jobbing so easily. It's not like Koko B. Ware or the Bolsheviks. RVD, Kane, Edge, Randy Orton, etc. etc. should NOT be doing easy jobs to a single move, no matter if it's a finisher or not. When video game logic makes more sense (as in you can't win with a finisher as the first move performed), you know booking got incredibly lazy. Easy recommendation to avoid.

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