The 19th Survivor Series event took place at a time when WWE was building their stars of the future while also mourning the loss of the late, great Eddie Guerrero.

By this point in the brand extension, Raw had firmly established John Cena as their top guy. He won the WWE Title earlier in the year from JBL when he was on Smackdown and was moved to Raw in their draft lottery. Cena’s move to Raw also meant Batista because became the top guy on Smackdown as their main World Champion.

Eddie Guerrero was a key member of the Smackdown roster that was going to be a part of Smackdown’s team, but he died suddenly on November 13, 2005 just two weeks before the show. The company mourned his loss together by putting on tribute shows for him and did their best to get through this show just two weeks after his death. It was a sad time for a lot of fans too. I honestly don’t remember much about this show aside from a few things because it was tough to concentrate on things other than Eddie’s death in those days.

The death of Guerrero also led to WWE creating their Wellness Policy shortly after his passing. Perhaps if it was in place when Eddie was alive they could have detected his heart issues and treated it. We’ll never know for sure.

The show featured just six matches and only one traditional Survivor Series elimination match, which was the main event.

As always, I’m using WWE Network to review the show so if you notice something missing blame them.

If you’ve missed any of my previous Survivor Series reviews, click here to check them out.

wwe-survivor-series-2005

WWE Survivor Series

Detroit, Michigan

November 27, 2005

The opening video package was all about people trying to survive and make history while focusing on the key matches.

A pyro show went off as the Joe Louis Arena looked like a sell out. We were welcomed to the show by Raw’s Joey Styles. He was joined by Jerry Lawler and Jonathon Coachman at ringside. Lawler was more of a face announcer since Coach was a heel. Lawler was much better as a heel. The Spanish announcers were shown. Michael Cole and Tazz were also ringside as the Smackdown announce team.

Booker T made his entrance along with wife Sharmell. Booker was in a heel role after being a face for several years. He’s up against the face Chris Benoit.

The United States Title was vacated leading to a Best of Seven Series between them. This is their first match in the series.

Best Of 7 Series for United States Title Match #1: Booker T (w/Sharmell) vs. Chris Benoit

Pre-match notes: Booker was the heel with his wife Sharmell at his side. Benoit was the face. They were part of the Smackdown brand. They had a best of seven series in WCW, so it was WWE’s attempt to recreate that.

Benoit was the aggressor early on. Lots of stalling by Booker in the first few minutes. There was a slow pace thanks to the stalling. Booker went for a suplex, but Benoit countered it for a suplex of his own. Hard whip into the corner by Benoit and Booker came back with a boot to the face followed by a sidewalk slam for a two count. Booker applied an armbar. Benoit got out of it, so Booker slapped on an abdominal stretch. Benoit with an arm drag, but Booker came back with a boot to the face. Spinning heel kick by Booker that looked impressive for a two count. Hard whip into the corner by Booker. Neckbreakear by Booker gets a two count. Benoit slipped out of a suplex attempt and hit a German Suplex. Booker fought out of another leading to another jumping heel kick for a two count. Benoit with a leg whip and Booker countered a Sharpshooter attempt into a good nearfall for two. Snap suplex from Benoit gets two. Benoit hit three German Suplexes in a row as the crowd cheered wildly to rally behind him. Benoit up top, Sharmell distracted him and Booker went after him, but Benoit knocked him off the top with headbutts. Benoit went for the diving headbutt and Booker rolled out of the way to avoid it. Booker with an Oklahoma roll, he put his feet on the ropes, Sharmell held his legs and Benoit couldn’t kick out. It ended at the 14:39 mark.

Winner by pinfall: Booker T

Analysis: *** It was a good match as usual from them, but it was a bit slow at times. Booker’s pacing was so slow. When he was a face his matches were more entertaining. Benoit worked well as a face thanks to his impressive offensive arsenal. The series ended up being a bit of a mess because Booker was storyline injured, was replaced by Randy Orton and it ended up with Booker winning the title even though he wasn’t wrestling in the deciding match.

Eric Bischoff was shown warming up backstage for his match against Teddy Long. Vince McMahon showed up to wish him luck. Bischoff said he’s going to beat Teddy Long, Raw is going to decimate Smackdown and he’s going to make history. Bischoff says he’d going to screw John Cena in the WWE Title match leading to “you screwed Cena.” It led to Cena showing up with the WWE Title and said he hopes it works out for him. Bischoff left. Vince asked Cena “what’s good in the hood?” as they shook hand Vince said a line that people always remember: “Keep it up, my nigga.” It’s still on the broadcast unedited. Booker and Sharmell showed up with Booker delivering his line: “Tell me he didn’t just say that.” Scene over.

Analysis: The line by Vince was done in a comedic way rather than a way to create controversy, but I think it was stupid. I’m surprised it’s still in the WWE Network version of the show.

Melina made her entrance with the WWE Tag Team Champions Mercury and Nitro. She’s in an interpromotional match with Women’s Champion Trish Stratus, who had Mickie James with her. A video aired from Raw when MNM captured Trish Stratus leading to the trio tying up Trish in a chair to set up the title match.

Women’s Championship: Trish Stratus (w/Mickie James) vs. Melina (w/Johnny Nitro & Joey Mercury)

Pre-match notes: Trish was the face champion on Raw. Melina was a heel on Smackdown, so it was an interpromotional match. Mickie debuted about a month before this as a Trish superfan. Styles and Tazz were the announcers for this match.

Stratus took down Melina with punches. Melina went to the floor, so Trish hit a dive off the top to take down all three MNM people. Stratus with a headscissors takedown. Forearm to the back by Melina. Melina wrapped her legs around the head of Stratus to choke her. Stratus hit a boot to the face. Melina nailed a kick to knock Stratus down. Melina went after Mickie on the floor, so Nitro and Mercury went into the ring to attack Stratus. The referee saw what was happening, so he sent Nitro and Mercury to the back. Melina back in the ring with a clothesline as she remained in control. Melina with a bow and arrow submission. Melina fought out of a Stratusfaction and nailed a hair whip takedown. Stratus came back with a headscissors followed by a Spinebuster for a two count. Melina countered the Stratusfaction and hit a forearm while Trish was on the apron. Mickie held Trish’s foot to assist her when Melina went for a move, so Trish kicked Melina to stun her. Stratus up top with a bulldog off the top rope for the win at the 6:30 mark.

Winner by pinfall: Trish Stratus

Analysis: *1/2 It was a basic match with Melina in control for much of it. Stratus made the comeback and got the win as the experienced veteran. Melina was pretty early in her WWE career at this point and was limited in the ring compared to what she became. The key part of the story was Mickie helping Trish win, which was a sign of things being well between them, but it didn’t last.

There was a shot of Detroit Tigers outfielder Dmitri Young at ringside with his kids.

Triple H was shown getting ready for his match.

A video package aired to set up Triple H vs. Ric Flair in a Last Man Standing match. They were allies for a couple of years, but things went downhill when Hunter said Flair was too old and Flair turned face as the veteran people loved. Flair beat Triple H in a bloody steel cage match at Taboo Tuesday, so they were set to continue the story with this match.

Last Man Standing: Triple H vs. Ric Flair

Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel that was a 10 time World Champion by this point. He was 36 years old at the time. Flair was the face that was also the Intercontinental Champion although that title wasn’t on the line in this match. Flair was 56 years old and still wrestling regularly.

In a Last Man Standing match, the winner is the first man to keep his opponent down for a count of ten.

Hunter attacked Flair in the aisle before the match officially began. They fought outside the ring with Hunter grabbing a chair, but Flair stopped him with a kendo stick shot to the face. They brawled into the crowd. Hunter gave him a back drop on the floor followed by a suplex on the floor. Suplex back into the ring by Hunter. Flair tried to fight back, so Hunter dumped him out of the ring. Hunter sent Flair into the ring post, the camera followed Hunter and of course when we saw Flair again he was busted open. I’m surprised it took five minutes. Hunter grabbed a screwdriver and drove it into Flair’s head. Flair was a bloody mess. Knee drops to the head by Flair. The action spilled to the floor with Hunter clearing off the Spanish announce table. Flair recovered by tossing Hunter into the steps at ringside. Eye poke by Hunter followed by a spinebuster on the floor. Flair’s whole face and hair was red due to all of the blood. Hunter grabbed the microphone: “Stay down or I’m going to put you down for good.” Flair countered that by grabbing Hunter in the balls. Damn! Haha what a move! Hunter nailed Flair in the head with a microphone. They battled on the Raw announce table with Flair countering a Pedigree attempt into a back body drop that drove Hunter through the Spanish table. Big spot that drew a huge reaction and an “OH MY GOD” from Styles. The ref counted them both down. Flair got back to the ring while Hunter got up at nine. Good drama there with the crowd going wild.

They were back in the ring with Flair hitting some chops, but Hunter slowed him down with a knee to the face. Triple H had a chair in his hand. He stopped himself from an attack. He put the chair down for a Pedigree, but Flair came back with a low blow uppercut to a big pop. Flair picked up the chair and nailed Triple H in the head with it. When Hunter got back, Flair bit him in the head. Flair drove him groin first into the ring post as well as ramming the legs into the post. Flair repeatedly sent Hunter groin first into the ring post. Flair clipped the back of the knee and then bit the leg. Forearm to the back of the leg by Flair. Hunter kicked Flair to the floor to knock him out of the ring. Flair came back with a chair shot to the left leg of Hunter. Flair applied the Figure Four Leglock and he grabbed the ring ropes for leverage, which was legal in a match like this. Flair left the hold on for about one minute with Hunter actually tapping out, but it doesn’t mean anything in this match. The ref counted with Hunter getting back to his feet before the ten count. Clothesline by Hunter on Flair. Hunter tossed the top half of the steps at ringside into the ring. He ran at Flair with the steps to the face. Flair did a drop toe hold leading to Triple H landing face first onto the steps. The ref counted both guys down for about an eight count. Flair nailed some chops. Hunter came back with a Pedigree in the center of the ring. The ref counted Flair down for about an eight count. Triple H hit another Pedigree in the middle of the ring. Flair stumbled his way to the ropes, gave a middle finger to Triple H and got back up before ten. Triple H hit his third Pedigree. The crowd cheered wildly as Flair slowly sat back up. Hunter got the sledgehammer as Flair got back to his feet. Flair was up against, the ropes, so Hunter hit him in the back with the sledgehammer. It didn’t come close to connecting, but that’s the beauty of pro wrestling with Flair selling it like a knockout shot. Flair was motionless on the mat as the ref Mickey Henson counted him down for the ten count. Triple H won the match at the 27:01 mark.

Winner: Triple H

Post match, Hunter mocked having a gun and shooting him in the head as if he was putting him out of his misery.

Analysis: **** Four stars out of five. That was an excellent brawl full of blood between two guys who always bled a lot in this era where bleeding was a part of wrestling. It was no surprise that Triple H won after Flair beat him a month earlier at Taboo Tuesday. I didn’t remember that much about the match, but they did a great job of pushing the idea that this was a very serious rivalry and it was a grueling match. It’s so impressive that Flair could go nearly 30 minutes in a match like that when he was in his mid 50s. I’m surprised that Hunter didn’t bleed in the match, but I guess Flair bled enough for both of them. I liked the way the ending was done. Hunter hit him with three Pedigrees with Flair getting back to his feet and Hunter knew he had to go to his patented sledgehammer to put him away. I liked the story of the match.

Analysis: This was not a great look for Triple H. I believe he looked less looked ripped than normal since he was trying to have a baby with Stephanie and took less of the “the juice” (wink, wink) during that process. Their first daughter was born in July 2006, so the timeline fits. Just saying.

Flair was helped by doctors and EMTs. Hunter was laughing about the damage he did to Flair. The announcers were bickering about it with Lawler calling Triple H a sadistic son of a bitch. Flair was wheeled away on a stretcher.

There was a shot of Trish and Mickie talking to fans on WWE.com in some backstage area.

Team Smackdown was in the locker room with Randy Orton, JBL, Bobby Lashley and Rey Mysterio in the room. They talked about how Batista was hurt and the weak link. Orton mentioned he was the survivor at the last two Survivor Series. Batista walked in with the World Title on his shoulder and his left arm taped up. Batista said he’s the leader since he’s the World Champion. Mysterio shook his hand. JBL wanted to be the leader, but he was scared of Batista. Lashley shook Batista’s hand. Orton begrudgingly told Batista he’s the man. They sounded like they would work together.

Analysis: Batista was hurt a few weeks earlier with a muscle tear in his back. They planned to have him drop the World Title to Eddie Guerrero at a Smackdown taping right around when Eddie died. After Eddie’s death, Batista worked through the injury for a couple of months. In early January 2006 he had a torn triceps that required surgery and he missed the first half of the year.

The Money in the Bank holder Edge and Lita walked out for a promo since Edge wasn’t in wrestling gear. They were heels.

Edge announced that starting very soon they are going to debut their very own show: The Cutting Edge. He said he’ll ask the questions that nobody else has the guts to ask. Fans chanted “slut” at Lita. Edge pointed out the Detroit Tigers hitter Dmitri Young at ringside. Edge mocked the Tigers and said is it a lack of talent or a lack of steroids. He said he’s not saying Young is injecting things into his body except for some cheeseburgers. Edge ripped on baseball players. He ripped on Detroit to piss off the crowd. He mocked the sports teams in Detroit with the crowd chanting for the Red Wings NHL team, which he didn’t mention. Edge jokingly called Young “Mark Henry” as Lita pointed out that Young wanted to speak. Young told Edge that he hits balls while Edge has no balls. Young pointed out the championships for the sports teams in Detroit especially the Red Wings. The crowd cheered. Young asked Edge where is his World Championship. Fans chanted “you suck” at Edge as Edge left saying “screw you” to the city of Detroit.

Analysis: Wrestlers mocking people for steroids is one of the things you probably shouldn’t say. I know Edge wasn’t much of a steroid guy. It’s just not something wrestlers should be talking about although it was an issue in baseball at the time. Young did a good job of firing back and popping the crowd with his comments.

A video package aired to set up WWE Champion John Cena defending the gold against Kurt Angle, who selected Daivari as the referee. It was basic stuff with heel authority figure Bischoff making things difficult for Cena.

When Angle made his entrance, there was a censor that blocked out when the people chanted “you suck” during his song. The story was that Angle and Bischoff got the chants blocked. Huge ovation for Cena for his entrance.

WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle (Daivari was the referee)

Pre-match notes: Cena’s the face WWE Champion, who was in his first year as the top guy. Angle was the heel with Daivari as the corrupt heel referee.

There was a dueling chant early on “Let’s Go Angle/Let’s Go Cena” as Cena hit a shoulder tackle that sent Angle to the floor. Daivari grabbed Cena to prevent him from going to the floor. The dueling chants got louder as Angle stalled on the floor. When they got back into the ring Cena hit some basic holds. Cena hit a suplex and went for a cover, but Daivari didn’t even count. Angle applied an Ankle Lock. Cena fought it off after about one minute and got to the ropes. Daivari kicked the hand of Cena, so Cena kicked Angle away and hit a spinebuster. Cena hit Daivari with two hard slaps to the face. Angle told Daivari not to do a disqualification. Cena shoved Angle into Daivari, so both of the heels went crashing to the floor. Angle brought Cena out of the ring, tossed him into the steps and hit an overhead belly to bell suplex for two. Another referee (Chad Patton) ran down to the ring to count a two count for Angle. Suplex by Angle gets two. Cena made a brief comeback, but Angle nailed a perfect overhead belly to belly suplex. Back suplex by Angle gets two. Angle grounded him on the mat with a chinlock. Jawbreaker by Cena followed by a DDT by Cena. Cena nailed a shoulder tackle, clotheslines, spinning slam and Five Knuckle Shuffle time for Cena. Angle got back to his feet and hit a clothesline on referee Chad Patton. Angle hit a low blow on Cena.

Angle hit the Angle Slam as referee Mickey Henson went into the ring to count the two count for Angle. Great nearfall. Angle nailed a superplex off the top for a two count. Angle didn’t do that move very often. He usually did a belly to bell suplex off the top. Angle went up top, jumped off with a moonsault and Cena moved out of the way so Angle hit the mat. Cena went for the FU, Angle grabbed the shirt of the referee and nailed Cena with a clothesline. Angle hit an uppercut to knock down referee Mickey Henson. Angle rolled Daivari back into the ring. Smackdown referee Charles Robinson walked down to the ring. Cena hit Daivari with a DDT. When Angle got back in the ring, Cena hit him with a FU and Robinson counted the fall for the win at the 13:56 mark.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: **3/4 It was a solid match with a good atmosphere, but it was really overbooked with a cheap ending. I understand the story they were trying to tell by making things difficult for “Stone Cold” Cena against the evil authority figure, but I think they did so many things with referees that it hurt the quality of the match. If Daivari was an evil referee there to help Angle, why not just say Cena tapped out when he didn’t and give Angle the title? That’s just one of those things that didn’t make sense with this story. They had a lot of good matches together because Angle brought out the best of Cena in this era. If Angle never left WWE they probably would have had some incredible matches because Cena improved as a worker later in his career.

Eric Bischoff walked out for his match with Teddy Long.

Teddy Long (w/Palmer Cannon) vs. Eric Bischoff

Pre-match notes: Long was the face GM of Smackdown while Bischoff was the heel GM of Raw. Cannon represented the network.

I remember this being terrible and I’m groaning just thinking about it. There were two refs in the ring for the match with one guy from each show. Cannon was on the apron distracting both refs, which led to Bischoff choking Long with a belt. Bischoff kicked Cannon to the floor. Fans were chanting “boring” I think. Bischoff slapped on a sleeper. Long used his shoe to hit Bischoff in the head while the refs weren’t looking. Bischoff hit Long with a chop to the chest. The Boogeyman showed up. He entered from under the ring. The refs left the ring because Bischoff told them to go up the aisle to find him. Boogeyman kneed him in the ribs and hit a pumphandle slam. There were no worms at this point in the character. That came later. Long covered for the win at the 5:23 mark.

Winner by pinfall: Teddy Long

Analysis: -* Awful excuse for a match. That’s five minutes I wish I can have back. Just a stupid angle to humiliate Bischoff. He was fired soon after to end his three years as Raw GM.

The Smackdown team was shown backstage as they walked towards the ring and other SD wrestlers were standing by cheering them on.

The Raw team was shown backstage walking towards the ring with the Raw wrestlers there to tell them to win the match.

A video package aired showing the interaction between Raw and Smackdown leading up to the match.

Analysis: I thought they did a good job building things up with a lot of brawls and having guys from one show going to the other show. After three years of the brand extension there was more of a rivalry between Raw and Smackdown.

Team Smackdown was up first. The World Champion Batista made his entrance with his upper body taped up due to his back injury. He was the top face on Smackdown. The heel JBL entered in his limo with his image consultant Jillian Hall, who had a growth on her face, which was a stupid gimmick. Rey Mysterio was a face that received a great ovation as well as “Eddie” chants since he was wearing EG armbands. Bobby Lashley was the most jacked guy on the roster that was a newcomer face that they were trying to build up. Last man up was the heel Randy Orton along with his dad Bob Orton. “Hey, nothing you can say!” It was a catchy tune. The announcers noted Orton was the sole survivor at the previous two Survivor Series.

Team Raw was led by the great Shawn Michaels, who was one of the top faces on Raw. Carlito was a heel that liked to spit apples at people that aren’t cool. He was a young guy in his mid-20s just like the next man, Chris Masters. I guess you could say he is more jacked than Lashley – they are at least similar in that regard. Big Show was one half of the Tag Team Champions in a face role. Last man up for Raw is the other Tag Team Champion Kane, who was unmasked and also a face.

Analysis: Smackdown had more talent on their team. Some of the key Raw guys were in featured matches like Cena, Angle and Hunter, so that’s why Smackdown had a better team here.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Smackdown (Batista, Rey Mysterio, John Bradshaw Layfield, Bobby Lashley & Randy Orton) vs. Team Raw (Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Big Show & Kane)

Pre-match notes: Both teams were a mix of heels and faces, which I noted above for their entrances.

Orton started off with Michaels. There was a lot of bickering from the announcers with Tazz mocking Lawler’s joke book. Hard slaps by both Orton and Michaels early on. Chops by Michaels. Orton came back with an uppercut for two. Orton missed a knee drop. Masters worked over Orton for a bit with basic stuff including a shoulder tackle. Lashley faced off with Masters with Lashley hitting a spinning powerslam. Masters came back with a hard clothesline. Masters went for the Masterlock submission, but Lashley fought out of it and nailed a belly to belly suplex. Masters brought in Carlito, who wanted nothing to do with Lashley. Hard clotheslines by Lashley on Carlito followed by a running powerslam for a two count. Michaels tagged in, but Lashley threw him off the top rope as HBK did the Flair top rope bump. Lashley with a body slam followed by a belly to belly suplex on Michaels. Carlito went in the ring, so Lashley dropped him with a Dominator. Michaels got an assist from Kane because the ref was checking on Carlito and Kane hit a Chokeslam on Lashley leading to Michaels covering him.

Bobby Lashley eliminated by Shawn Michaels

Analysis: That was a weird elimination. Lashley was booked like a beast that destroyed everybody, yet it took just one move for him to be pinned. It should have taken more than that because it made Lashley look weak.

Mysterio was in for Smackdown as he hit a dropkick to the knee. Kane nailed a cheap shot knee to the back to knock down Mysterio. Press slam by Masters on Mysterio. Kane tagged in, missed an elbow and Mysterio nailed him with some leg drops as well as a standing moonsault. Kane crushed Mysterio with a boot to the face. Bearhug by Kane. Mysterio bit Kane to break free and tagged in Batista. The crowd came alive as Batista crushed Kane in the corner. Kane punched Batista in the ribs. Kane knocked the other SD guys off the apron. Batista hit a Spear on Kane. Mysterio hit a 619 to Kane. Batista with a Spinebuster on Kane was enough to pin him.

Kane eliminated by Batista

Big Show hit a Chokeslam on Batista for a two count. Kane was still in the ring while the ref was talking to guys on the apron for some reason. Kane and Show hit a double Chokeslam on Batista to eliminate him.

Batista eliminated by Big Show

Analysis: It was an early elimination for the World Champion, but he was legitimately hurt and they needed to protect him.

JBL went after Show, which led to Show hitting a body slam. Show with a boot to Orton. Show tossed Mysterio hard into the turnbuckle. Orton stunned Show on the top rope leading to JBL hitting the Clothesline from Hell. JBL didn’t cover, so he tagged in Mysterio with a 619. Mysterio tagged in Orton, who hit a RKO on Show. JBL got the tag, bounced off the ropes and hit another Clothesline from Hell. Mysterio tagged in and hit a seated senton to pin Show.

Big Show eliminated by Rey Mysterio

It’s 3 on 3 with all six guys brawling around the ring. JBL hit a fallaway slam on Michaels on the floor. Masters whipped Mysterio hard into the turnbuckle for a two count. Carlito hit a suplex on Mysterio for two. Leg drop by Carlito on Mysterio gets two. Chinlock by Carlito on Mysterio to ground the high flyer. A camera shot showed that Michaels was out on the floor. Mysterio broke free. JBL made a blind tag and crushed Carlito with a Clothesline from Hell to eliminate him.

Carlito eliminated by JBL

Masters with a suplex on JBL for two. Michaels was still face first on the floor after the fallaway slam by JBL on the floor. Mysterio tagged in, jumped into Masters’ arms and JBL with a boot led to Mysterio getting a two count. Masters missed a corner charge. Mysterio dropkick to the knee leading to a 619 and a Dropping The Dime leg drop by Mysterio to the head of Masters. Mysterio pinned Masters to eliminate him.

Chris Masters eliminated by Rey Mysterio

It’s 3 on 1 for Smackdown with Michaels as the last guy left for Raw’s team. JBL rolled Michaels into the ring. Mysterio with a drop toe hold followed by a 619 to Michaels. Mysterio went for a springboard attack off the top, but Michaels crushed him with a Sweet Chin Music superkick. That was amazing. That eliminated Mysterio.

Rey Mysterio eliminated by Shawn Michaels

Analysis: That was the spot that HBK made famous with Shelton Benjamin on Raw. It looked just as good here, but that Raw moment is the one that people remember the most.

JBL went for the Clothesline from Hell. Michaels avoided it and hit him with the Sweet Chin Music to eliminate JBL.

JBL eliminated by Shawn Michaels

Orton was fresh against an exhausted Michaels. Orton avoided the Sweet Chin Music, he went to the floor and Michaels took him out with a plancha over the top to the floor. Michaels with a forearm, kip up, atomic drop, two clotheslines and a body slam. Michaels went up top with the Flying Elbow. Both guys were down in the ring. JBL was stumbling around the ring as he grabbed a chair from ringside. JBL went into the ring with the chair, Michaels avoided him and nailed him with Sweet Chin Music. When Michaels turned around, Orton was there with the RKO for the one…two…and three. Orton wins it for Team Smackdown at 24:00.

Shawn Michaels eliminated by Randy Orton

Survivor: Randy Orton

Analysis: ***1/2 Good elimination match with a lot of fun moments and a memorable ending. Orton was the sole survivor for the third year in a row, which shows how hard WWE wanted to push him to the top of the ladder. I liked the story of the veteran Michaels as the last man left for his team as he tried to come back to win the mach. It looked like he was going to get the win, but Orton stopped him with the RKO for the win. It was also a cheap win, so there was a reason for the Raw team to complain. The announcers bickering for the entirety of the match really made it tough to get through because they didn’t stop the entire time.

The Smackdown roster ran into the ring to celebrate with Orton. They were all excited about the victory. It was mostly the heels on the roster, but there were some faces. They put Orton on their shoulders.

The Undertaker’s gong hit as the chanters started their hymn. Orton freaked out as he leaned up against the ropes. There was a casket in the aisle that was vertical. The Undertaker’s music started up, the arena went black and a lightning bolt hit the casket, which was on fire. Orton had a shocked look on his face. The Undertaker knocked the door down and made a slow walk towards the ring.

Analysis: The reason for that moment was that Orton lit a casket on fire with Undertaker inside it, so this was his big comeback.

Undertaker went into the ring with punches, kicks and Chokeslams for several members of the Smackdown roster. Undertaker hit a Tombstone on Regal. Orton went up the aisle along with his dad Bob Orton while Undertaker was still in the ring. Undertaker did a throat slash as fans chanted “Taker” for him. There was a long staredown between Orton and Undertaker.

Analysis: It set up the next big Orton vs. Undertaker match, which was a Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon.

The show had a run time of 2 hours, 39 minutes.

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– The main event was a fun match. I thought it was well booked with smart eliminations for everybody in the match. Good booking is so important in a match like that.

– They did a fantastic job of using Survivor Series to build up Randy Orton. Three years in a row as the sole survivor in a big elimination match is impressive. He was still only 25 years old at the time. When I watch WWE today it feels like they are incapable of pushing a young guy because they book him to lose so much as if that’s a good way to build him. The rise of Orton was fun to watch.

–  I’m still amazed at how bloody Flair was during his match. He bled a lot in his career. This was one of the most significant blade jobs he ever did. The match was excellent.

– Whoever thought Bischoff vs. Long was a good idea was wrong. I realize they did it to set up the Boogeyman spot, but it was a waste of time.

– I wonder what Vince McMahon was thinking when he busted out that “my nigga” line. I’m guessing he was going for comedy since he’s an older white guy saying it. I thought it was really awkward back then and still very awkward today.

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Triple H vs. Ric Flair – Last Man Standing

Worst Match: Teddy Long vs. Eric Bischoff

Most Memorable Moment: Michaels eliminating Mysterio with the superkick while Mysterio was jumping off the top rope.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Triple H

2. Ric Flair

3. Shawn Michaels

4. Randy Orton

5. Kurt Angle

 

Show rating (out of 10): 6.5

It was a slightly above average show with three matches above the three star level and a fourth match that was close. I like that the card didn’t

 

Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:

Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin – 1996 (*****)

Team WWE led by The Rock vs. Team Alliance led by Steve Austin – 2001 (****1/2)

Bret Hart vs. Diesel – 1995 (****1/2)

Elimination Chamber Match won by Shawn Michaels – 2002 (****1/2)

Team Bischoff (led by Randy Orton) vs. Team Austin (led by Shawn Michaels) – 2003 (****1/4)

Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – 1992 (****1/4)

Sycho Sid vs. Shawn Michaels – 1996 (****)

Triple H vs. Ric Flair (Last Man Standing) – 2005 (****)

 

RANKING SURVIVOR SERIES REVIEWS (on 1-10 scale)

Survivor Series 2002 (Elimination Chamber Match won by Shawn Michaels) – 9

Survivor Series 1996 (Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin, Sycho Sid vs. Shawn Michaels) – 8.5

Survivor Series 1998 (Deadly Games; The Rock vs. Mankind) – 8

Survivor Series 2001 (Team WWE vs. Team Alliance) – 8

Survivor Series 1995 (Bret Hart vs. Diesel) – 8

Survivor Series 2005 (Team Smackdown vs. Team Raw) – 6.5

Survivor Series 1988 (Team Mega Powers vs. Team Twin Towers) – 6

Survivor Series 2003 (Goldberg vs. Triple H) – 5.5

Survivor Series 1992 (Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels) – 5.5

Survivor Series 2000 (Steve Austin vs. Triple H) – 5.5

Survivor Series 1987 (Team Hogan vs. Team Andre) – 5

Survivor Series 2004 (Team Orton vs. Team Triple H) – 5

Survivor Series 1997 (Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart) – 4.5

Survivor Series 1999 (Big Show vs. Triple H vs. The Rock) – 4

Survivor Series 1991 (The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan) – 4

Survivor Series 1989 (The Ultimate Warriors vs. Heenan Family) – 4

Survivor Series 1990 (Ultimate Warrior & Hulk Hogan in the Grand Finale) – 3

Survivor Series 1993 (The All-Americans vs. The Foreign Fanatics) – 3

Survivor Series 1994 (The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna) – 2.5

 

Click here for all of my Survivor Series reviews. I’ll be back soon for more.