WWE Survivor Series 2009 Review

wwe survivor series 2009 degeneration x

The 23rd Survivor Series event nearly saw WWE end the Survivor Series concept because of a lack of interest shown from the WWE Universe.

It was a show that bombed in terms of PPV buyrates. It was down 26.3% from 2008 with a reported 225,000 buys, which was significantly lower than the other “big four PPVs” earlier in the year.

In February 2010, Vince McMahon told investors that they were going to get rid of the Survivor Series name:

“We think Survivor Series is obsolete. It worked many, many years ago. It was one of the original four, but it’s outlasted its usage. It’s one of the PPVs we will be looking at in terms of re-branding. We will no longer have that title anymore.”

They obviously had a change of heart later that year because the Survivor Series name is still there and likely always will be.

What was the biggest problem with this show? I think it was the lack of great heels. The main event featured three faces that wrestled eachother so many times that people were sick of seeing them in the same match. Plus, they were feuding over being buddies with Hornswoggle. The whole thing was dumb and didn’t produce compelling television. I thought Smackdown was much better than Raw in 2009.

WWE Survivor Series
Verizon Center in Washington, DC
November 22, 2009

The opening video mentioned some Survivor Series history as well as a focus on the matches set to take place later in the show. Two major title matches were triple threats. Yawn. I hate triple threats.

The pyro went off and it was not a sellout, but it still looked full.

A Survivor Series elimination match is up first.

The heels were led by The Miz, who was the US Champion. Dolph Ziggler was up next out to his “I Am Perfection” song. Jack Swagger’s theme song was pretty great at this point. Drew McIntyre was hyped up big time with Vince McMahon calling him a future World Champion. Drew was only 24. Sheamus was up next for the team.

Analysis: They were a team of the future. Sheamus was the oldest at this point at 31 years of age while the others were in their mid-20s.

The announce team of Raw’s Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Smackdown’s Matt Striker were there to call the action.

Evan Bourne was out first for the face team Team Morrison. Finlay was up next and he was better as a heel, but they used him to put over McIntyre a lot. Matt Hardy was up next. Shelton Benjamin was from ECW back in a face role after being a heel for several years. John Morrison was up last as the team captain – he was the Intercontinental Champion at the time.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Miz – The Miz, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Team Morrison – John Morrison, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Finlay & Shelton Benjamin

Pre-match notes: The Miz led the heels while Morrison led the faces.

Swagger with a suplex on Bourne. Ziggler with a reverse slam on Bourne. Cole mentioned they are ten of the youngest superstars that are part of WWE’s future in this match. That’s true other than Finlay. Matt was ten years into his WWE career at this point, so not that young either. Bourne with a double knee attack on Swagger, but Ziggler had tagged himself in. Bourne did a great move on Ziggler jumping on his shoulders leading to a hurricanrana. Hardy tagged in with a Side Effect on Ziggler. Bourne tagged back in and he hit Air Bourne on Ziggler to eliminate.

Dolph Ziggler eliminated by Evan Bourne

Analysis: Such a cool looking move. I miss Bourne the pot loving dude in WWE.

McIntyre in for the heels with a boot to the face of Bourne followed by the Future Shock DDT to eliminate Bourne.

Evan Bourne eliminated by Drew McIntyre

Finlay tackled McIntyre and attacked him with punches. McIntyre broke free, so he tagged in Sheamus for the showdown with Finlay. They had a staredown, Finlay stared at Miz and Sheamus capitalized with a Brogue Kick to eliminate Finlay.

Finlay eliminated by Sheamus

Hardy went after Sheamus, but he was met with a Sheamus powerslam for two. Miz tagged in with his backbreaker into a neckbreaker combo on Hardy. After a chinlock, Hardy nailed a Russian legsweep to take him down. Swagger prevented the tag. Swagger with forearms to the spine of Hardy followed by another chinlock. Hardy with a sleeper into a neckbreaker. Morrison with the hot tag connected with a dropkick on Swagger followed by a knee to the face. Swagger whipped Morrison into the corner, but missed a Swagger Bomb. Morrison with a springboard kick for a two count. Benjamin and Hardy cleared the ring of the other heels that went into the ring. Morrison nailed Swagger with a running kick. Starship Pain hits for Morrison to eliminate Swagger.

Jack Swagger eliminated by John Morrison

Miz hit the corner clothesline on Morrison followed by an atomic drop for a two count. Benjamin tagged in with a rollup on Miz and then a back suplex. Stinger Splash by Benjamin in the corner leading into a Northern Lights suplex for two. Benjamin with a bridging German Suplex on Miz for a two count. There was a replay of referee Scott Armstrong taking a knee to the back of the head by Sheamus by accident and he was out of the match, replaced by ref Justin King. Sheamus got in a cheap shot on Benjamin, Miz hit Skull Crushing Finale and eliminated Benjamin.

Shelton Benjamin eliminated by The Miz

McIntyre crushed Hardy with clotheslines. Hardy came back with a neckbreaker followed by a top rope leg drop. Another neckbreaker by Hardy on McIntyre. Sheamus caused a distraction, so McIntyre avoided a moonsault. McIntyre hit the Future Shock DDT on Hardy to eliminate him.

Matt Hardy eliminated by Drew McIntyre

John Morrison was the last man left against three heels. McIntyre overpowered Morrison by whipping him into the turnbuckle. Quick tags by the heels as all three of them took turns beating on Morrison. Miz added in some trash talk for his former partner. Morrison nailed a jumping heel kick on Miz. Sheamus back in with a forearm smash on Morrison. Morrison fought back against the three heels with punches and a leaping kick on Miz. Morrison went for a springboard kick on Sheamus, but Sheamus countered by kicking his knee. Sheamus hit the Razor’s Edge that would later be known as the Celtic Cross to eliminate Morrison to get the win for his team at the 20:52 mark.

John Morrison eliminated by Sheamus

Survivors: The Miz, Drew McIntyre & Sheamus

The heels celebrated the win. It should be noted that McIntyre and Sheamus each eliminated two guys while Miz eliminated one.

Analysis: **1/2 It was an average match. The heels won because they had more future stars on their team, which I noted earlier. The match got interesting a bit when Morrison was the last man left for his team as he tried to battle back against three guys. He didn’t come close to eliminating any of them. It was boring at times as they tried to build up the hot tag and the crowd was into it a bit, but not that much. It made sense that McIntyre survived since he was billed as a future top guy, Sheamus went on to win the WWE Title a few weeks after this show and Miz was a heel on the rise as well.

Team Kofi had a skit backstage with Christian mentioning he’s different from them. He said it’s not because he is white, it’s because he’s in ECW. He also said he’s the only Canadian. Christian did a R-Truth like rap rhyming fight with white as the black dudes thought it was lame. Then they all laughed to show they were on the same page. I miss making my Mark Henry kool-aid jokes because of his bright red outfit.

Analysis: Good comedy as usual from Christian. He was funnier as a heel though. It’s hard to top the classic E&C stuff or his work with The Rock when he was calling himself Captain Charisma.

A video package aired to set up Batista vs. Rey Mysterio, which was a Smackdown feud. It led to Batista turning heel by beating up Mysterio. Batista: “You’re supposed to be my friend!” Both guys referred to the other as their best friend.

Analysis: I enjoyed this storyline because Batista had been a top face for about four years. He needed a heel turn and Mysterio was the perfect guy to turn against because it made Batista look like a bully.

Good ovation for Mysterio. Batista was cheered as well likely because it was in his hometown of Washington. There were still some boos for him.

Batista vs. Rey Mysterio

Pre-match notes: Rey was the face while Batista was a heel. This was expected to be a short match to put over Batista’s turn.

Mysterio with a dropkick to the knee. Batista bailed to the floor to avoid a 619 attempt. Batista sent Mysterio back first into the ring apron. Batista ducked a move from Mysterio and hit a clothesline to knock him down. Mysterio with a forearm to the knee followed by a dropkick for two. A dropkick by Mysterio led to a 619 attempt, but Batista caught him. Mysterio with a headscissors that sent Batista out of the ring. A dropkick sent Batista into the barricade at ringside followed by a seated senton off the apron for a two count. Mysterio with a 619 to the back, a 619 to the back and another 619 to the head. Mysterio with a springboard seated senton that knocked down Batista. Mysterio went up top for a Frog Splash, but Batista got his knees up. Batista hit a Spear. Batista with a spinebuster. Batista hit a Batista Bomb. Some fans chanted “one more time” for him even though he’s supposed to be the heel. Batista hit another Batista Bomb. The announcers were talking about how Mysterio was defenseless. Batista picked him up again and Batista hit a third Batista. The ref Jack Doan called for the bell to be rung, so that ended the match at the 6:50 mark.

Winner by KO: Batista

Analysis: **1/4 A short match that was more of an angle to tell the story of Batista delivering a vicious beatdown. The crowd was for Batista early on, but as the match went on he drew some more boos. There were still some chants for him as well. Three Batista Bombs were vicious as a way to win the match. If he used a weapon it could have worked as well, but this was more about doing the damage during the match. It was noteworthy that Batista didn’t even go for a cover during the match. It was all about inflicting pain on Mysterio.

Post match, doctors tended to Mysterio. Batista brought a chair into the ring and sat on it over a fallen Mysterio. Fans chanted for Batista even though he was the heel. Batista picked up Mysterio and hit a spinebuster onto the chair. Batista left. There was mostly silence in the arena as a stretcher came out for Mysterio.

Analysis: The crowd reaction was interesting because Batista was a jerk here, yet was cheered in his hometown. He was also a top face for four years, so that’s part of it as well.

Mysterio was put on a stretcher and taken away by EMTs. The announcers used SERIOUS VOICES~! to put over the seriousness of the situation.

Randy Orton talked to his team in the locker room. He told them he expected more out of them in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series. He said he expected them to win.

Team Orton was up first with CM Punk first for the team. He was on Smackdown doing his heel Straight Edge Superstar thing leading into the Straight Edge Society. William Regal was up next – he was on ECW at this point. The Legacy team of Cody Rhodes and Ted Dibiase walked out together. The team captain was Randy Orton, who entered last for the team. Biggest reaction was for Orton by far. Cole noted that Orton has had a lot of success at Survivor Series over the years, which was true.

Team Kofi was next with the captain Kofi Kingston, who was in a feud with Orton. A video package aired about their memorable fight that took place at Madison Square Garden with Kingston nailing a boom drop off a railing that put Orton through a table.

The others on Kofi’s team were MVP and Mark Henry from the Raw brand both dressed in red since they were teaming up. Christian was the ECW Champion that had good matches with everybody. R-Truth was out last singing his “What’s Up” song.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Orton – Randy Orton, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase & William Regal vs. Team Kingston – Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, MVP, Christian & R-Truth

Pre-match notes: Orton leads the heels while Kingston is captain of the faces.

Henry with a splash on Orton in the corner followed by a headbutt. The other heels attacked Henry. Regal distracted the ref, Dibiase & Rhodes hit Henry to broke up a bearhug and Orton hit a RKO to eliminate Henry in less than one minute.

Mark Henry eliminated by Randy Orton

The heels worked on MVP in their corner. Nice belly to belly suplex by MVP on Punk leading to a tag to Truth. Truth was on fire with a hip toss on Punk. Truth avoided a move, punched Rhodes when he went into the ring and Punk hit the Go To Sleep on Truth to eliminate him.

R-Truth eliminated by CM Punk

Christian worked on Punk with a forearm. Punk hit a knee followed by a bod slam. Dibiase wit ha double foot stomp to the ribs of Christian for a two count. Dibiase sent Christian into the corner with a slingshot. Christian came back with a sunset flip to eliminate Dibiase.

Ted Dibiase eliminated by Christian

Kingston tagged in against Regal with Kingston hitting a dropkick. Regal avoided a cross body block and brought in Rhodes. Regal back in with an Exploder suplex on Kingston. MVP made a blind tag, so when Regal turned around, MVP dropped him with the running boot to the face to eliminate him.

William Regal eliminated by MVP

Rhodes with a cross body block, MVP rolled through and got a two count. Rhodes avoided a Tornado DDT by shoving Christian away leading to a two count. The heels continued to work on Christian as Orton hit a dropkick. MVP tagged in against Rhodes with a leaping clothesline followed by a facebuster. The Ballin’ elbow connected for MVP. Orton caused a distraction, so Rhodes hit Cross Rhodes for the elimination.

MVP eliminated by Cody Rhodes

Analysis: That was similar to the R-Truth elimination where a heel distracted, the face bought it and the heel eliminated with a finishing move. How about some variance?

Kingston got Rhodes with a rollup for two, which was a very good nearfall. Rhodes worked with Christian. Rhodes sent him into the turnbuckle. Christian avoided a Rhodes move hit the Killswitch to eliminate Rhodes.

Cody Rhodes eliminated by Christian

It’s Christian and Kingston against Orton and Punk. Christian nailed Orton with punches, but Orton sent Christian face first into the middle turnbuckle. Cheap shot by Orton on Kingston led to Christian getting a cradle for two. Punk in the ring for a distraction, Christian went after him, Orton went for RKO, Christian countered to the Killswitch for two as Punk made the save. Great nearfall. Christian punched Punk to send him out of the ring. Christian missed a corner charge, he hit the ring post and Orton hit the RKO to eliminate him.

Christian eliminated by Randy Orton

The crowd cheered for Kofi as he was left alone against Punk and Orton. Good heel move by Orton tagging out to bring in Punk. There was a stalemate between them as Striker noted that Punk and Kingston knew eachother well as former partners. Kingston hit SOS on Punk for a good nearfall. Punk took control with hard kicks to the back. Punk with a powerslam for a two count. Orton stood outside the ring while Punk had Kingston trapped in a leg scissors submission. Punk with a Falcon Arrow slam on Kingston for a two count. Punk with the running knee in the corner, but Kingston countered the bulldog with a back suplex. Kingston nailed some punches followed by a flying cross body block for a two count. Kingston with a leaping clothesline, Orton distracted and Punk got a rollup, but Kingston rolled through to sit on top while grabbing some tights for the pinfall.

CM Punk eliminated by Kofi Kingston

Orton into the ring and Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise kick. The crowd went wild as Kingston covered for the three count. Cole noted that in six seconds, Kingston beat two former World Champions.

Randy Orton eliminated by Kofi Kingston

Survivor: Kofi Kingston

Post match, Kingston celebrated the win. They showed replays of the finish. Orton sold that Trouble in Paradise so well as a knockout shot.

Analysis: ***1/4 A good match with an exciting finish as Kingston came back from a 2-1 situation to win for his team. That part of the match with Kingston alone for his team lasted for about seven minutes, so it was a long process rather than a quick elimination. It showed how much WWE believed in Kingston since he was able to beat Orton in this match. That was pretty rare considering how strongly Orton was booked in Survivor Series matches during his career. While I would have liked somebody on Kofi’s team to survive in the match along with him, I get why it was booked this way to give Kofi a chance to shine. Some of the eliminations were too repetitive for my liking, but it was still a good match. The announcers did a great job of putting over Kingston’s win as a big deal.

If you’re wondering where things went from here, Orton beat Kingston in a match at TLC one month later. Kingston didn’t really get to that next level although he did hold midcard titles. There was an infamous moment where Kingston missed some spot in a match, Orton yelled “STUPID” at him and that probably cost Kingston a lot in terms of a push.

There was a clip from Smackdown as Jericho and Big Show got the advantage on Undertaker. Jericho ended up hitting the Codebreaker on Show even though they are partners.

Chris Jericho entered first. He was a heel that was arguably the best performer in the company. He was a Unified Tag Team Champion with Big Show, which was when they would carry around two sets of titles. I always thought that was dumb, but that’s what they did.

Big Show was out next with his two titles. No reaction for him. Show had a big brace on his left knee.

Analysis: In my Raw Deal reviews, I was calling them “Jerishow” for months before WWE started doing it. It’s not like it was hard to come up with that name, but it was cool that WWE started using it.

The Undertaker was up last as the World Heavyweight Champion. Undertaker won the title from CM Punk one month earlier. Undertaker was 44 years old at this point and still performing at a high level. His WrestleMania 25 match earlier in 2009 is arguably the best match ever.

World Heavyweight Championship: The Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho

Pre-match notes: Undertaker was the face World Champion. Jericho and Show are tag team champions that were heel partners, but they had trust issues.

The heels double teamed Undertaker in the corner. Show was moving very slowly because of the knee injury. Jericho with a clothesline that sent Undertaker to the floor. Taker pulled Jericho to the floor and sent him into the barricade. Undertaker missed a running boot to the face of Jericho. Jericho kicked him down. Show punched Undertaker in the stomach. Jericho hit Undertaker in the head with a microphone. This is when there was a great moment. Jericho rolled Undertaker back in the ring and as he was doing so, a fan yelled something to him. Fan: “Go back to Toronto.” Jericho: “I’m from Winnipeg, you idiot.” That’s something that has become famous just because of how funny and random it was. Lawler even pointed it out on commentary.

Jericho and Show double teamed Taker in the ring with a hard whip into the corner. A Jericho charged missed and Taker staggered Show with punches. Leaping clothesline by Taker on Show. Taker with two corner charges on Jericho followed by snake eyes in the corner, but Show pulled Taker out of the ring. Taker shoved Show face first into the ring post. Jericho went for a springboard attack only to be met by a punch from Undertaker. Jericho tripped up Taker when he went for the clothesline off the top. They went up top with Jericho hitting a superplex on Taker. Lionsault by Jericho was blocked by Taker’s knees. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho submission. Taker tried to crawl to the ropes. Jericho had him trapped in the center of the ring. Show slowly got back in the ring and he hit a Chokeslam on Jericho. Undertaker slipped out of a Show Chokeslam attempt with a DDT. Jericho got nearfall attempts on both guys with Show doing a giant kickout. Show and Taker each went for a Chokeslam at the same time. Jericho went into the ring with the World Title, Taker moved and Jericho hit Show with it. No DQ’s in a triple threat. Taker got a two count on Jericho. Taker went for Last Ride, but Jericho hit him in the face with the title. Jericho did a mocking throat slash gesture. Show back in with a KO Punch on Taker gets two as Jericho broke it up with a kick to the head. Show shoved Jericho down when Jericho went for a Codebreaker. Show with a KO Punch on Jericho. Show wanted a Chokeslam on Undertaker. It was blocked by Taker, who applied the Hell’s Gate submission and Show tapped out. Undertaker had a bloody mouth due to some punch from Show. Match time was 13:37.

Winner by submission: The Undertaker

Analysis: **3/4 A solid triple threat match, but nothing special. Show was obviously hurting a lot because he was barely able to move and you could tell they tried to limit the amount of time he was in the ring. Taker did a good job of fighting back against the two heels in a situation where he could have lost because of the situation he was in, yet he was able to overcome it. I went into the match wanting Jericho to win, but I wasn’t surprised when Undertaker retained it. Jericho won it from Undertaker at Elimination Chamber 2010 in February thanks to an assist from Shawn Michaels.

The trio of The Miz, Drew McIntyre and Sheamus were interviewed by Josh Mathews backstage. Miz said we saw a glimpse of the greatness that they are destined for. McIntyre said that everybody saw what Mr. McMahon has seen in him all along. Sheamus said their team is so good it was almost too easy. Sheamus talked about wanting better competition. The Miz did his line about being awesome to end it.

The heel divas walked out together. It was Women’s Champion Michelle McCool, Layla, Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall & Alicia Fox.

The face divas were up next. They were led by Mickie James, Divas Champion Melina, Eve, Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly.

Survivor Series Elimination Match – Team Mickie (Mickie James, Melina, Eve, Gail Kim & Kelly Kelly) vs. Team Michelle (Michelle McCool, Layla, Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox & Jillian Hall)

Pre-match notes: McCool’s team were the heels and the James team were the faces. Both teams were a mix from Raw and Smackdown.

Layla started with Kelly by hitting a dropkick to the back. Kelly came back with clotheslines and avoided a kick to the head. With Layla on her knees, Kelly hit a leg drop to the back of the head known as the K2 for the pin.

Layla eliminated by Kelly Kelly

McCool tossed Kelly into the corner. Kim tagged in with a dropkick followed by a rollup. Kim went for a hurricanrana, McCool caught her and hit the Faith Breaker aka the Styles Clash for the elimination.

Gail Kim eliminated by Michelle McCool

Eva got a rollup on McCool. Hall tagged in with a handspring elbow. Jillian held onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick. Eve with a boot to the back to counter a handspring elbow. Eve hit a sunset flip off the middle ropes for the elimination.

Jillian Hall eliminated by Eve

Phoenix in for the heels and she hit a Glam Slam on Eve to eliminate her.

Eve eliminated by Beth Phoenix

Kelly in for the faces and Beth hit her with a Glam Slam to eliminate her as well.

Kelly Kelly eliminated by Beth Phoenix

James with a dropkick to the knee of Phoenix. Crucifix pin by James on Phoenix got rid of her.

Beth Phoenix eliminated by Mickie James

After the elimination, Beth hit Mickie in the face with an elbow smash.

Fox tossed James across the ring with hair whip. Fox nailed a Northern Lights suplex for two. James with a Thesz Press on Fox to eliminate her.

Alicia Fox eliminated by Mickie James

McCool attacked James with punches followed by a leg drop to the head. Chinlock by McCool. James broke free, but McCool took her down with a headlock to the back. Uppercut by McCool for two. Mickie took her down with a clothesline. McCool knocked Melina off the apron to prevent a tag. Mickie kicked away McCool and Melina tagged in with punches for McCool. Back kick by Melina, drop tope hold and a double knee to the back. Hair whip takedown by Melina earned a two count. Melina ducked a kick attempt, so McCool nailed a clothesline followed by a belly to belly suplex. McCool went for a move, Melina countered into the Code Red sunset flip powerbomb for the win after 10:38 of action.

Michelle McCool eliminated by Melina

Survivors: Mickie James & Melina

Analysis: *1/2 Eight eliminations in ten minutes makes it difficult to tell a good story. The winners were an easy choice since Melina was a champion and Mickie was feuding with McCool, so it gave them both some momentum. It was a pretty boring match for the most part.

There was a “don’t try this at home” commercial.

Replays aired of Batista’s attack on Rey Mysterio earlier in the show.

Batista was interviewed by Todd Grisham. It was short interview with Batista saying Rey was embarrassed and Batista was embarrassed for him.

Shawn Michaels and Triple H made their entrance together to the Degeneration X song.

Analysis: This was Shawn’s last Survivor Series. We didn’t know it at the time, but he retired at the next WrestleMania.

The WWE Champion John Cena made his entrance to his usual mixed reaction.

Analysis: Nearly every PPV main event match in this era gets a video package. Not this match. That’s because there really wasn’t much of a story.

WWE Championship: John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels

Pre-match notes: All three men were faces.

The bell rang, Michaels was standing next to Hunter and Michaels nailed him with Sweet Chin Music to send him out of the ring. It was a big surprise. Cena had a shocked look on his face while the crowd cheered. Michaels with a neckbreaker on Cena. Cena came back with a fisherman’s suplex on Michaels for two. Cena tossed Michaels into the turnbuckle two times and went for the AA, but Michaels turned it into a DDT for two. Michaels applied the Figure Four Leglock on Cena while Hunter was still out of the ring. Cena got out of it. Flying shoulder tackle by Cena and then Michaels avoided another one leading to Cena landing outside the ring. Slingshot cross body block by Michaels on Cena. Michaels cleared off the announce table. Cena went for AA on Michaels, Hunter saved Michaels, who knocked Cena. Triple H got his revenge with a spinebuster on Michaels that sent him through the announce table. I guess it’s time for Michaels to sleep on the floor for five minutes like Hunter did. Hunter with a spinebuster on Cena in the ring for a two count. Hunter with a hard whip into the corner two times in a row. Neckbreaker by Hunter as there was a shot of Michaels still on the floor. Cena with a slingshot that sent Hunter face first into the turnbuckle. Hunter came back with a clothesline for two. Can somebody wake up Shawn, please? These two are boring me.

Cena built momentum with the flying shoulder tackles and the spinning slam. Cena connected with the Five Knuckle Shuffle. Michaels got back up and sent Cena into the turnbuckle. Staredown from the DX boys. Hunter dumped Cena over the top to the floor. Michaels with an atomic drop on Hunter and Hunter came back with the running high knee. Facebuster by Hunter and Michaels came back with the flying forearm. Kip up by Michaels right into another spinebuster by Hunter. Back body drop by Michaels to counter a Pedigree attempt. Cena back in to trip up Michaels on the top rope. Cena went for a leg drop on Hunter, but Hunter moved. Michaels with a flying elbow drop off the top on Cena. Hunter dumped Michaels out of the ring. Cena applied the STF submission on Hunter in the ring. Michaels broke it up with a Crossface on Cena. Cena powered out of it and applied the STF on Michaels, but Michaels got to the ropes. Michaels staggered to his feet with a superkick on Cena and a superkick on Hunter, who fell on top of Cena. Michaels tumbled to the floor, so the ref checked on him and then turned around to count the nearfall for Hunter, which drew a huge reaction from the crowd. Cena staggered to his feet along with Hunter leading to Cena hitting the Attitude Adjustment. He was too tired to cover. Michaels crawled back into the ring. Both guys covered Hunter, the ref Mike Chioda shrugged his shoulders, countered and Hunter kicked out. They all went for their signature moves. Hunter went for a Pedigree on Cena, so Michaels hit a superkick on Hunter. Cena hit the Attitude Adjustment on Michaels onto Hunter and Cena covered Hunter for the win at the 21:13 mark.

Winner by pinfall: John Cena

Analysis: ***3/4 A really good main event match. They followed the WWE formula for triple threat matches exactly. They did a few big spots and had a lot of boring moments while guys were chilling on the floor for a long time. They had HBK superkick HHH early on to take him out for a bit, then they had it just Cena vs. HBK for a while. Just as Cena was going to finish him, Hunter saved Shawn and then put him through the announce table with a spinebuster. Then they went crazy with the finishers towards the end of the match, which was typical in a match like this. The Cena win was no surprise. It meant he was 6-0 at the Survivor Series.

Post match, Cena celebrated with the WWE Title. He greeted some guys from the National Guard at ringside. Replays aired of the finish.

Cena posed with the WWE Title on the ramp while Michaels and Hunter were still down in the ring.

The show had a run time of 2 hours, 45 minutes.


– Two triple threat matches for the major titles were a little much. Why does WWE love triple threat matches so much? Doing two of them for different titles felt very repetitive and both matches were hurt by it.

– I enjoyed the main event a lot. It was better than I remembered it thanks to a lot of fun moments including the superkick by Michaels at the start of the match. They built up a lot of the nearfalls and got the crowd into the match by the end of it.

– The show was built around finding the right young talent that the company could build around. This was around the time when it was reported in the Wrestling Observer that Sheamus was the workout buddy of Triple H, so he was on the receiving end of a big push. He went on to win the WWE Title from John Cena a few weeks after this.

– Kofi Kingston was booked like a future main event star. He wasn’t booked like that for much longer after this, but did end up winning the WWE Title ten years later in 2019.

– It’s funny how famous “I’m from Winnipeg you idiot” has become from Jericho saying it at this show. A lot of people probably don’t even remember that it’s from this show.

Show rating (out of 10): 6

A solid show that was slightly above average, but nothing that special either. The main event was clearly the best match.


Best Match: Cena vs. Michaels vs. Triple H

Worst Match: Team Mickie vs. Team Michelle

Most Memorable Moment: Cena hitting Michaels with the Attitude Adjustment on Triple H to retain the WWE Title.


  1. Shawn Michaels
  2. John Cena
  3. Triple H
  4. Kofi Kingston
  5. Sheamus

That’s all for me. Check out the full list of my WWE PPV Review archive right here. Thanks for reading.


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John Canton


Twitter @johnreport