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WWE Survivor Series - November 23, 2008
by SamoaRowe

-Yeah, I know this is late. But Survivor Series is the only WWE pay-per-view from 2008 that I haven’t reviewed yet, and I actually attended this one live, so it’s taken me a while to get around to it.

-They are airing from Boston, Massachusetts. Our hosts are Jim Ross and Tazz for Smackdown, Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler for Raw, and Matt Striker and Todd Grisham for ECW. Ross reports that Jeff Hardy was found unconscious at his hotel and will probably not make it tonight.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match:
Shawn Michaels, Cryme Tyme, The Great Khali (with Ranjin Singh), and Rey Mysterio vs. JBL, MVP, John Morrison, The Miz, and Kane

Rey starts against MVP and they fight back and forth. Rey picks up control with his speed and tags JTG. Rey and JTG nail MVP with stereo kicks. MVP drop-kicks the knee and nails the drive-by kick to pin JTG at 1:40. That’s MVP’s first pinfall in months. MVP shows off and walks into a chop from the Great Khali, who pins him at 1:56. Kane enters the ring and squares off with Khali. Loud “Khali” chant as Kane gets his ass handed to him. Kane attempts a chokeslam but Khali blocks. Rey tags and frog splashes Kane off Khali’s shoulders, pinning him at 3:28. Morrison charges in, pummeling Rey into the corner. Rey outmaneuvers Morrison, nailing a head scissors takedown. Shad tags and press slams Morrison. Shad gets tripped on a head of steam allowing Morrison to take control. Miz tags and helps Morrison double team Shad. Miz and Morrison keep making tags, but Shad takes them down with a double clothesline. Shad cleans house. Morrison saves Miz from a finisher, allowing Miz to nail the Reality Check to eliminate Shad at 6:38. Shawn Michaels enters the ring and locks up with Miz. HBK hits some chops before getting clotheslined into the corner. Miz catapults HBK into Morrison for a shot and then gets set up for a sick elbow drop. JBL tags and pummels Michaels to the mat. Swinging Neckbreaker and elbow drop by JBL gets a cover for 2. Michaels blocks and fights back but Miz gets a fresh tag. Miz targets the eye, causing it to bleed. Morrison tags but can’t get a pinfall. Morrison elbows the eye and works a headlock. Michaels fights out and skins the cat, fending off Miz in the process. Morrison takes down HBK and mocks the kip-up. Scoop slam by Morrison sets up a flying elbow, but it misses! Miz and Rey get fresh tags, with Rey cleaning house. 619 and Frog splash finishes Miz at 11:45. Rey sets up Morrison for the 619, but JBL gets a blind tag and knocks down Mysterio. “You can’t wrestle” chant for JBL as he methodically beats down Rey. Morrison tags and maintains the beating on Rey. JBL tags and targets Rey’s back. JBL attempts a superplex by gets elbowed off. Standing moonsault by Rey connects! HBK gets a hot tag and cleans house. JBL rolls to the floor but gets caught with a splash from HBK. They slug it out on the floor and Michaels makes it to the ring before getting counted out. JBL is eliminated by count-out at 18:08. Morrison is waiting to catch Michaels off guard but eats Sweet Chin Music, allowing Michaels to win the match at 18:14. This was a fine way to open the show as the match turned out to be a real crowd pleaser, ***.
Survivors: Shawn Michaels, The Great Khali, and Rey Mysterio

-Eve Mendes interviews WWE Champion Triple H backstage. They talk about the “Jeff Hardy situation.” HHH puts Hardy over for scratching and clawing his way to the title match, but he’s fine with defending his title one on one against Vladimir Kozlov. HHH puts Kozlov over for his undefeated streak, but this is his first main event. Triple H has the edge on him there, so he expects a successful title defense.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match:
Divas Champion Michelle McCool, Maryse, Natalya Neidhart, Victoria, and Maria vs. Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix (with Santino Marella), Mickie James, Jillian Hall, Candice Michelle, and Kelly Kelly

We have a clash of the champions as Beth starts off against Michelle. Beth uses force but Michelle outmaneuvers her. Beth throws some strikes and gets into Michelle’s obnoxious face. Maryse tags, and takes a moment to shove Michelle off the apron. Michelle tackles her own partner and the Smackdown divas have to restore order. Maria makes a blind tag and gets planted into the corner by the Glamazon. Maria throws some unconvincing kicks but Beth retakes control. Kelly tags and dives in with a sunset flip for a near fall. Kelly outsmarts Maria (yeah, not a hard thing to do) so Victoria tags. Sunset flip on Victoria by Kelly gets the elimination at 2:56. Maryse reenters the match and delivers a backbreaker on Kelly for the elimination at 3:25. Mickie charges in and beats down Maryse. Michelle tags herself in but runs into a takedown from Mickie and a near fall. Michelle reverses into a roll-up. Side Russian legsweep by Michelle but Mickie gets a clothesline for a cover. Maria tries to save but accidentally nails Michelle in the face. Big DDT by Mickie eliminates Michelle at 5:08. Maryse runs in and rolls up Mickie at 5:28. Natalya tags and squares off with Candice. Natalya locks a sharpshooter on Candice! Jillian makes the save when Santino wouldn’t from ringside. Spear by Candice finishes Natalya at 6:48. Maryse enters and cheap shots Beth even though Jillian is legal. Maria charges in and gets dropped hard by Jillian for a near fall. Maria pins Jillian with a victory roll at 7:45. Northern lights suplex by Candice finishes Maria at 7:58. Maryse rushes in and locks a figure four variation on Candice to eliminate her at 8:35. Beth returns and trades shots with Maryse. Heel kick to the head gets Maryse a near fall. Beth catches Maryse in mid-air but Maryse counters with a roll-up for a close 2.9. Beth has had enough and nails the Glam Slam for the win at 9:41. This was sloppy, but overall was pretty entertaining. Even with the loss at the end, Maryse got put over pretty well too, **¼.
Survivor: Beth Phoenix

-Todd Grisham interviews Matt Hardy backstage. They talk about Jeff Hardy, making sure to name drop all the media outlets that got tricked into reporting on the event. Matt says that Jeff was hit in the back of the head with a blunt object but has been released from the hospital. Matt has no clue what happened but wishes he knew.

Casket match:
The Undertaker vs. Big Show

Taker asks the referees to open the casket right away. Big Show charges and connects with a series of body shots. Taker almost dumps Show into the casket. They brawl around the ringside area. Show takes control after an Irish whip into the barricade. Show clears off the ECW announce table. Taker fights back with shots with the television monitor. Taker leaves Show leaning over the table and hits a leg drop off the Raw table! They return to the ring and Undertaker goes after the arm. Taker tries to go old school but Show blocks with a suplex. Hard Irish whip and side slam by Big Show. Show gets Taker into the casket and orders the referees to close the lid. The referees refuse, saying Show has to do it. You see, Show suddenly developed an irrational fear of caskets during the build to this match. Show goes to close it but Taker fights out. The action picks up in the ring as Taker finds his second wind. Show tries going high risk but gets choke slammed off. Taker kicks Show into the casket but he can’t get the lid shut. Chokeslam by Big Show. Show then goes ballistic on the casket, knocking it over upside down. Show tries to take a hike but Taker chases him onto the state. Some pyro explodes, preventing Show from escaping. Some druids set a second casket on the stage. Taker and Show brawl on the stage. Show sets the casket up open vertically and slams Undertaker into the lid. Show sets it up vertically again. Taker drives Show into the standing casket and it falls down, with the lid closing on the way down. Taker wins at 12:46. This was mostly boring, but I really liked that finish, *¾.
Winner: The Undertaker

-Backstage Carlito and Primo Colon are flirting with the Bella twins. They are interrupted by the Gobbledy Gooker. The Colons think Charlie Haas is in the costume. That is until Haas strolls in to say hi, They wonder who could be in the outfit when the red lights and spooky music hit. The Boogeyman reveals himself and scares everyone away.

-Randy Orton is rallying his team. Orton suggests that Cody Rhodes is the weak link in the team and tells everyone to follow his lead. Rhodes picks a fight with Orton and they start shouting. How very compelling.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination match:
Batista, R-Truth, World Tag Team Champions CM Punk and Kofi Kingston, and ECW Champion Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes (with Manu), United States Champion Shelton Benjamin, Intercontinental Champion William Regal (with Layla), and Mark Henry (with Tony Atlas)

CM Punk immediately jumps Regal and hits Go to Sleep for the elimination at 0:13. Layla throws a shoe at Punk as an act of revenge. Benjamin tries to upset Punk with a roll-up but gets 2. Punk slides out of a whip and nails a kick to the head. Kingston tags and goes after Benjamin’s head. Benjamin lands on his feet after a monkey flip but eats a drop-kick from Kofi. Henry tags and overpowers Kofi. Cody Rhodes tags but Kingston outsmarts him, nailing a deep armdrag. Matt Hardy tags and takes down Rhodes for a cover. R-Truth tags and helps Matt hit a double hip toss. Batista tags, sending Rhodes fleeing to ringside. Benjamin tags and takes the fight to Batista. Elbow shot by Batista gives him control, following up with a hard suplex. Cover by Batista gets 2. Matt tags but runs into Benjamin’s elbow. Orton tags and trades shots with Matt. Clothesline and bulldog by Matt gets a cover for 2 on Orton. Matt misses a moonsault, allowing Orton to tag Henry. Henry catapults Hardy into the ropes. Rhodes tags and maintains the beating on Matt. Hardy and Rhodes take each other down with clotheslines. Benjamin and R-Truth get tags with Truth dominating. Truth spins through the air, taking down Benjamin. Truth misses a kick and eats the Pay Dirt for the elimination at 7:45. Kingston immediately jumps Benjamin, almost pinning him. Big leg drop by Kingston gets 2.5. Henry tags after nailing a cheap shot on Kofi. Orton tags and stomps a circle around Kofi. Orton drops Kofi on the ropes but walks into a shoulder thrust. Orton DDTs Kofi off the second rope and gets the win at 10:40. CM Punk jumps Orton from behind and gains some revenge shots. Rhodes tags and dominates with a drop toe hold into a hammerlock. Flying cross body by Punk gets 2. Neckbreaker by Punk gets another 2. Bulldog by Punk gets yet another 2 count. Punk goes high risk, but Manu distracts, allowing Rhodes to knock Punk to the mat. DDT by Rhodes finishes Punk at 13:10. Hardy runs in and nails the Side Effect on Rhodes for 2. Henry tags and runs into a drop toe hold into the turnbuckles. Elbow shot and Side Effect almost finishes Henry. Hardy flies into the World’s Strongest Slam and he’s finished at 14:23, leaving Batista all alone. Batista spears Henry for a win at 14:33. Benjamin runs into a Spinebuster and eats the Batista Bomb for the loss at 15:05. Rhodes attacks but dives into a clothesline. Manu distracts, allowing Rhodes to attempt a DDT. Batista blocks and hits the Batista Bomb, but he missed a blind tag by Orton. Orton sneaks in and nails the RKO for the win at 16:13. Absolutely satisfying Survivor Series style match up, with some great character development from Orton and Rhodes, ***½.
Survivors: Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes

-Eve Torres interviews Vladimir Kozlov backstage. She asks him about his strategy now that Jeff Hardy is out of the match. Kozlov blows off the question and declares he will become the champion.

WWE Championship:
Triple H © vs. Vladimir Kozlov

I remember this match being horrible in person, so I’m interested to see how it translated to television. Loud “USA” chant as Kozlov hits a waist lock takedown. Side headlock takedown by HHH. There are already some audible “boring” chants as the hold is broken. Takeover by Triple H but Kozlov rebounds. The “We want Hardy” chant kicks in. Kozlov targets the wrist and then the head. HHH reverses into a hammerlock. Pinning combination gets 1 by HHH. Kozlov gets a takedown but HHH reverses back to the hammerlock. Kozlov powers out but Triple H keeps up the arm work. Shoulder thrusts as a louder “boring” chant sets in. Knee lift by Triple H and some corner clotheslines. Facebuster by HHH and a DDT. Series of shots to the head by HHH gets a cover for 2. Big boot by Kozlov, but he runs into a Spinebuster. Kozlov blocks the Pedigree and head butts the chest. HHH gets whipped to the floor. Kozlov directs HHH back to the ring for a fall away slam. Cover by Kozlov gets 2. Kozlov locks the arms for a series of head butts. Running power slam by Kozlov gets 2. Things get really exciting with a Kozlov waist lock. HHH powers to his feet but gets nailed with a backbreaker for 2. Another backbreaker by Kozlov gets another 2 count. Back to the waist lock. This is getting painful. HHH powers out but runs into a power slam for 2. Back to the waist lock. The crowd entertains themselves by chanting “We want Hardy.” Triple H escapes but eats a belly to belly suplex. Kozlov misses a running head butt and takes the Pedigree. Both men are down. Suddenly Vickie Guerrero appears on the stage. She promises a triple threat match and “he’s here!” The crowd foolishly expects Jeff Hardy, and instead they get Edge. Edge spears the life out of Triple H and goes for the cover when Jeff Hardy runs in and jumps him! Hardy grabs a chair and swings at Edge, but hits Triple H on accident. Hardy wipes out Kozlov with the chair before eating a spear from Edge! In the chaos, Edge covers Triple H and wins the belt at 14:22. This match was a true disaster up until Edge got involved, and it’s not hard to see why, *.
Winner and new WWE Champion: Edge

-Edge embraces Vickie on the stage and celebrates his title victory.

-Hype video promoting Chris Jericho’s recent World title dominance, and the recover from injury by John Cena.

World Heavyweight Championship:
Chris Jericho © vs. John Cena

Cena receives a thunderous ovation from his hometown fan base. Cena goes for the F-U right away but Jericho escapes to the ropes. They lock up and jockey for position. Headlock takedown by Jericho. Cnea gets knocked down and rolls to ringside while grabbing his neck. Cena returns, tackling Jericho and unleashing a series of shots. Hard whip by Cena and a suplex for 1.5. STFU attempt by Cena is blocked. Jericho targets the head. Big clothesline by Cena and we hear the pro-Cena half of a dueling chant (the “Cena sucks” chant has been edited out). Jericho takes down Cena again and continues to attack the head and neck area. Throwback by Cena who goes high risk but changes his mind. Double underhook DDT by Jericho gets a cover for 2. Jericho goes to ringside and kicks Cena’s head into the ring post. Cena appears to be dead as he’s almost counted out. Cena nails some shots before getting thrown over the ropes to a sickening thud at ringside. Cena gets driven into the ring steps. Slingshot elbow drop by Jericho gets 2. Neck vice by Jericho, which would normally be boring but makes quite a bit of sense in this match. Cena powers out but misses a shoulder tackle. Cover by Jericho gets 2. Full nelson by Jericho continues to wear down the neck. Cena eventually powers out but it looked like it took a lot of strength. Cena blocks a bulldog. Cena ducks a clothesline and finally connects with a shoulder tackle. Jericho counters with a bulldog. Lionsault misses and Cena plants Jericho. Jericho blocks the Five Knuckle Shuffle with the Walls of Jericho, modified with the knee driven into the neck. Cena escapes but eats a clothesline. Jericho reapplies the Walls. It takes Cena quite a while to get the rope break. Cena explodes with the F-U out of nowhere, but he’s too worn down to capitalize. Jericho elbows the neck and pulls Cena to the top rope with him. Cena throws Jericho to the mat and connects with the top rope leg drop! Jericho blocks the F-U and nails the Code Breaker! Cover by Jericho gets 2.5! Clothesline by Jericho, now waiting for Cena to get up. Second clothesline by Jericho. Jericho attempts a third clothesline but gets tricked into the STFU! Jericho fights out and gets a small package for 2. Cena counters with the F-U and pins Jericho at 21:19 to win the title! This was an epic battle and featured some great storytelling from both guys. Jericho went the extra mile to hurt Cena’s neck and Cena had to gradually get his confidence back, ****.
Winner and new World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena

Final Thoughts: This was a strong show. We were treated to some strong traditional Survivor Series matches and a great main event. There was some crap, as the Undertaker/Big Show feud seemed to go out on a whimper (despite that neat finish) and the WWE title match was a disaster, and one they should have seen coming. They had an unover Vladimir Kozlov using wear down holds on Triple H in a match where the crowd was already upset because they were denied Jeff Hardy. Still, the Edge comeback and title win, as well as the Hardy run-in, erased the back feeling the match would have left in my stomach otherwise.

Thumbs up.

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