The 22nd Survivor Series was the first one that took place after WWE went PG earlier in 2008. It meant that the product was a lot less edgier than what we were used to in the previous 10-15 years. As WWE fans today, we are used to the PG environment and it may be here to stay for a very long time. I know that some people reading this hate me saying that, but that’s just how it is in today’s wrestling world.
This was also the first Survivor Series that’s in HD, which is a nice improvement over standard definition. I think WWE Network does a great job with the pre-2008 content in terms of making it look a good quality. It’s not HD level before 2008, but it’s certainly good enough.
When I think of WWE in 2008 I think of Chris Jericho first. His heel run was incredible thanks in part to his outstanding feud with Shawn Michaels. That rivalry ended one month before this, but it dominated the year and is one of my favorite feuds ever. Jericho’s 2008 is one of the best years of any superstar in WWE history. He got to main event this show against John Cena.
I don’t remember that much about the show other than the main event and a few other things, so it will feel fresh to me.
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
November 23, 2008
The opening video package focused on John Cena coming back from a neck injury suffered against Batista three months earlier at SummerSlam. He was back in his hometown of Boston after just three months.
There was a nice pyro display by the entrance as it looked like a sold out crowd in Boston.
Jim Ross and Tazz welcomed us to the show. JR noted that Jeff Hardy was found unconscious at a hotel and it was picked up by various news sources. JR noted that Hardy was released from a hospital, but it’s questionable if Hardy will compete at Survivor Series.
Analysis: It was an angle to generate attention. Nothing more than that. His drug issues were well known, though, so WWE was playing into that.
The entrances took place for the first elimination match. Team captain Shawn Michaels was out first with JR noting it was Shawn’s 16th Survivor Series, which was the most all time at this point. The other faces on Shawn’s team include Cryme Tyme (Shad & JTG), Great Khali with Ranjin Singh and Rey Mysterio is the last man on the team. Michaels and Mysterio got the loudest reactions.
The heels were led by John Bradshaw Layfield, who was the team captain that entered in a limo. He was joined by Montel Vontavious Porter, John Morrison, The Miz and Kane (with no mask) was the last man on the team.
The other announcers as part of the show were Raw’s Michael and Jerry Lawler as well as ECW’s Todd Grisham and Matt Striker.
Team HBK – Shawn Michaels, Cryme Tyme (Shad & JTG), Great Khali (w/Ranjin Singh) & Rey Mysterio vs. Team JBL – John Bradshaw Layfield, MVP, John Morrison, The Miz & Kane
Pre-match notes: The HBK team were the faces while JBL’s team were the heels.
Mysterio started with MVP with Mysterio hitting a dropkick. JTG tagged in leading to a double team dropkick on MVP for a two count. MVP hit a dropkick to the knee of JTG followed by the Drive By kick for the elimination.
JTG eliminated by MVP
MVP celebrated the elimination, turned around, Khali hit him with a chop and pinned him with a foot on the chest.
MVP eliminated by Great Khali
Analysis: Poor MVP. I always thought he had so much potential and was not booked consistently well.
Kane entered for a stare down with Khali. The fans were actually chanting “Khali” who was a face doing the “Khali Kiss Cam” in these days. Kane stunned him with an uppercut. Khali with a back elbow followed by a chop that knocked Kane down. Mysterio went on Khali’s shoulders and did a big splash on Kane leading to a three count.
Kane eliminated by Rey Mysterio
Analysis: Who did Kane piss off to be eliminated so easily? At least Rey’s splash off Khali’s shoulders looked cool.
Morrison stomped away on Mysterio in the corner. Mysterio came back with a headscissors into a bulldog like move. Shad tagged in with a press slam on Morrison. Shad charged in, but Morrison stopped him with a dropkick to the leg. Miz tagged in and Shad nailed both Miz and Morrison with clotheslines. Back elbow by Shad on Miz in the corner followed by a powerslam. Elbow drop by Shad. Morrison distracted Shad. Miz hit a knee lift into a neckbreaker known as the Reality Check for the elimination of Shad.
Shad eliminated by The Miz
Michaels faced Miz as the match was down to 3 on 3 at this point. Corner clothesline by Miz. Morrison tagged in with a slingshot elbow drop. JBL entered the match with several punches followed by a neckbreaker. The heels continued to work on Michaels for a few minutes with plenty of quick tags. Morrison hit Michaels with a flying forearm followed by a kip up as a copy of what HBK liked to do. Morrison missed the flying elbow drop because Michaels moved. Mysterio got the hot tag against Miz with a flying headscissors takedown. Springboard dropkick by Rey into the 619 on Miz. Rey up top and he hit a splash on Miz to eliminate him.
The Miz eliminated by Rey Mysterio
Mysterio set up Morrison for the 619, but JBL did a blind tag and hit a shoulder block to knock down Mysterio. JBL with a hard whip into the corner. Morrison worked over Mysterio for a bit with a backbreaker into a submission hold. Michaels’ left eye was messed up a bit because it was giving him problems in those days. Morrison countered a Mysterio move into a backbreaker. JBL with the abdominal stretch on Mysterio to weaken the smallest man in the match. Boot to the back of the head by JBL on Mysterio. JBL went for a move off the top, but Mysterio knocked him off with back elbows. Moonsault by Mysterio onto JBL caught JBL in the mouth, which bloodied JBL’s mouth. Michaels tagged in with a forearm, kip up, crotch chop to Morrison, a slam on JBL and he went up top, but JBL rolled to the floor. Michaels took JBL out with a cross body block on the floor. Michaels avoided a clothesline and teased a superkick. JBL was counted out while Michaels rolled back into the ring to break the count.
JBL eliminated by countout
Michaels went back in the ring, avoided a Morrison kick and Michaels hit the Sweet Chin Music to eliminate Morrison for the win at the 18:13 mark.
John Morrison eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Survivors: Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio & Great Khali
Analysis: **3/4 A good win for the faces in an entertaining elimination match. The finish seemed a bit messed up with JBL’s countout elimination, but maybe that’s what they intended. I guess it’s a way to protect JBL by not pinning him. The match followed a basic story with the heels working on different faces leading to the hot tags that ultimately paved the way for the win for the faces. Khali was a survivor because he was a face that WWE had high hopes for even though the rest of his career was mostly as a joke character. Michaels and Mysterio were two of the most popular faces.
Triple H, the WWE Champion, was interviewed backstage by the lovely Eve. He said that if Jeff Hardy doesn’t compete he’ll find a way to get back into that position again. Hunter talked about how Kozlov is tough and undefeated, but he’s in unchartered water. He knows Kozlov has the nerves. Hunter said it will be the night of Kozlov’s first defeat.
The divas match was up next. This was a Raw vs. Smackdown match with a mix of faces and heels on each time.
The Smackdown girls were: Divas Champion Michelle McCool, Maryse, Natalya, Victoria and Maria. My favorites on that team are Maryse and Natalya – both Canadians.
The Raw tam was led by Women’s Champion Beth Phoenix, who had Santino with her. My favorite Mickie James got the biggest ovation so far. Jillian Hall the bad singer was up next. Candice Michelle and Kelly Kelly were the last two women on that team. My favorites on that team are Mickie and Candice.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Smackdown (Michelle McCool, Maryse, Natalya, Victoria & Maria) vs. Team Raw (Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Jillian Hall, Candice Michelle & Kelly Kelly)
Pre-match notes: They are a mix of heels and faces.
McCool took down Phoenix with headscissors in a battle of champions early on. Dropkick by McCool. Maryse tagged in and shoved McCool off the apron. McCool went after her with punches. Maria tagged in with some weak looking forearms followed by a headscissors takedown. Kelly tagged in with a sunset flip on Maria for two. Kelly vs. Maria is not exactly Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels in terms of quality. They went for nearfalls that looked pretty awkward. Victoria tagged in, Kelly hit a hurricanrana and pinned her.
Victoria eliminated by Kelly Kelly
Maryse with a backbreaker on Kelly, who was under the ropes for the pin, yet it still counted because she’s too dumb to grab the rope.
Kelly Kelly eliminated by Maryse
Mickie took down Maryse with a Thesz Press. Maryse tagged in McCool. There were several pinfall exchanged by James and McCool. Legsweep by McCool. James clothesline into a pin, Maria went for a save and hit McCool by accident. Mickie DDT hits on McCool to eliminate her.
Michelle McCool eliminated by Mickie James
Maryse with a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on James eliminated my favorite.
Mickie James eliminated by Maryse
Analysis: That didn’t look great, but it got the job done I guess.
Natalya overpowered Candice with a takedown. Natalya with a slap, kick to the leg and she applied the Sharpshooter. Candice crawled to the ropes, couldn’t get there and Jillian hit Natalya in the back to break it up. Candice with a Spear on Natalya into a rollup for the elimination.
Natalya eliminated by Candice Michelle
Hall dropped Maria with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Springboard back elbow by Hall. Maria came back with a victory roll to eliminate Hall.
Jillian Hall eliminated by Maria
Candice hit a Northern Lights Suplex on Maria to eliminate her.
Maria eliminated by Candice Michelle
Maryse was left alone for her team against Beth and Candice. Maryse applied a leg submission with the crowd yelling “WOO” although it wasn’t the same as a Figure Four Leglock. Apparently Candice tapped out although the announcers didn’t seem to care.
Candice Michelle eliminated by Maryse
It’s Beth vs. Maryse. Maryse went for an attack of the middle rope, but Beth caught her and Maryse came back with a rollup. Beth came back with the Glam Slam for the win at the 9:39 mark.
Maryse eliminated by Beth Phoenix
Survivor: Beth Phoenix
Analysis: * They tried their best, but it felt rushed with so many eliminations in under ten minutes. It’s hard to get into a match when people are hitting one move or doing a rollup to eliminate somebody else so easily. I know it’s a case of WWE not having faith in the women to go longer than ten minutes during this era. At least things are better today.
There was a backstage interview with Matt Hardy conducted by Todd Grisham. Matt said that Jeff was hit in the back of the head and rushed to hospital, but he didn’t know what happened.
A video package aired to set up The Undertaker vs. Big Show.
Analysis: I’m not a fan of their matches and had no memory of this feud. I just remember 2008 as the year when WWE tried to push Big Show again thanks to his super punch.
It’s a Casket Match. The druids brought out a casket to ringside. Big Show walked out first followed by Undertaker.
Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Big Show
Pre-match notes: Undertaker is the face. Show is the heel. To win the match you must put your opponent in a casket and close it.
They went outside the ring early with Show sending him into the barricade at ringside. Show cleared off one of the announce tables. Undertaker grabbed a monitor and hit Show in the head with it. Undertaker went on an announce table, jumped off it and hit a leg drop on the back of the head of Show that broke the announce table. That was a cool spot. More punching followed by slow walking around ringside. Show came back with a suplex. Show whipped him into the corner followed by a sidewalk slam. The refs opened the casket, Show dumped him in and the refs told Show that he had to close it. Show said he didn’t want to touch it. Undertaker blocked the close attempt and fought back with punches. Leaping clothesline by Undertaker. Show slowed him down with a back elbow. Show went to the middle rope for something, so Undertaker slammed him down Chokeslam style. Undertaker kicked Show into the casket. When he tried to shut the lid, Show blocked the close attempt. Big Show came back with a Chokeslam. Show turned over the casket. A fan had a “Jeff Please Stay Clean” sign for Jeff Hardy I assume. Show backed up the aisle. Fire went off on the ramp because Undertaker has that power apparently. Show knocked him down with punches. The ominous music started as druids placed another casket on the ramp. The brawl continued on the ramp area by the second casket. Show set up the casket so it was vertical. He whipped Undertaker face first into the casket, which knocked the casket down. The vertical casket was set up again. Undertaker pounded away with punches, whipped Show into the casket, the casket went down and the lid shut on Show to end the match at the 12:45 mark.
Winner: The Undertaker
Analysis: *1/2 Boring match that was slow with very little excitement aside from the table breaking spot Undertaker did with the leg drop. The finish was creative I guess, but it’s not like it was a dominant win or a memorable match in any way.
Post match, Undertaker did his celebratory pose on the ramp.
Analysis: Four months later, Undertaker had my favorite match ever against Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 25. Too bad this was nowhere near as good as that.
There was a backstage skit with Primo & Epico hitting on the Bella Twins. The Gobbledy Gooker showed up. Charlie Haas arrived in the scene. The Gooker took off the ask to reveal it was the Boogeyman.
Analysis: The best thing about this is that the Boogeyman wasn’t in a match on this show.
Randy Orton was the captain of a team as he offered up a pep talk to his team members. It was Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, the US Champion Shelton Benjamin and IC Champion William Regal. Cody got into an argument with Randy leading to Randy leaving.
The introductions took place for the next elimination match. Batista was the captain of his babyface team and he was out first. The others on the team were R-Truth, Tag Team Champion CM Punk, Tag Team Champion Kofi Kingston in the Jamaican colors and the ECW Champion Matt Hardy.
Team captain Randy Orton was out first for the heel side. Cody Rhodes was out next accompanied by Manu, who is in his wrestling gear despite not being in the match. The United States Champion Shelton Benjamin was up next followed by the Intercontinental Champion William Regal accompanied by Layla. The big man Mark Henry was up next, who was part of ECW at that time with Tony Atlas accompanying him to the ring.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Batista – Batista, R-Truth, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston & Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes (w/Manu), William Regal (w/Layla) & Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas)
Pre-match notes: Batista’s team were the faces while Orton led the heel side. Both teams had a mix of Raw, Smackdown and ECW guys.
Punk went after Regal right away and hit the Go To Sleep to eliminate him after just 11 seconds of action.
William Regal eliminated by CM Punk
Analysis: I wondered why it was quick and decided to look it up. Apparently Regal was sick, so they eliminated him early.
Kingston faced off with Benjamin as Cole busted out the “controlled frenzy” phrase they always said about Kofi for the first few years. Kingston with a monkey flip followed by a dropkick. Henry kicked Kingston as Striker said that “Kingston looks like if Mark Henry was thrown in a dryer.” That’s…uh…weird. Rhodes tagged in with Kingston taking him down with an arm drag. Hardy and Truth worked on Rhodes together with a double hip toss. When Batista tagged in, Rhodes bailed to the floor. Benjamin tagged in and Batista hit a clothesline on him. Hardy tagged in and was met with a back elbow from Hardy. Orton in for the heels and he was met by a clothesline into a bulldog from Hardy. Henry tagged in against Hardy, who was his rival in ECW at this point. I can’t say I remember anything about that rivalry. Benjamin battled with Truth with Truth nailing a leaping kick to head for a two count. Truth hit a flying forearm. Benjamin missed an axe kick and Benjamin came back with the Paydirt for the pinfall.
R-Truth eliminated by Shelton Benjamin
Kingston was in there with a great cross body block followed by clotheslines and the Boom Drop for a two count. Henry nailed Kingston with a punch to the back to give the heels control. Orton tagged in as the crowd gave a bigger reaction to him than anybody else on his team. Kingston avoided a knee drop by Orton. Orton kneed Kingston and hit his draping DDT off the middle ropes for the elimination.
Kofi Kingston eliminated by Randy Orton
Punk attacked Orton with a jumping kick to the face. Rhodes got the tag with a dropkick on Punk. Cross body block by Punk and a neckbreaker by Punk gets two. Punk with a knee to the face followed by a bulldog for another two count. Manu jumped on the apron to distract Punk, so Rhodes shoved Punk off the top rope. Rhodes hit a DDT on Punk for an elimination.
CM Punk eliminated by Cody Rhodes
Hardy hit a Side Effect on Rhodes for a two count. Henry tagged in and Hardy tripped him up in the corner. Hardy nailed Henry with a Side Effect for two. Hardy jumped off the middle rope, Henry caught him and Henry hit the World’s Strongest Slam to eliminate him.
Matt Hardy eliminated by Mark Henry
Batista is alone against four guys. Batista with a Spear on Henry eliminated him.
Mark Henry eliminated by Batista
Batista with a spinebuster on Benjamin followed by a Batista Bomb to eliminate him.
Shelton Benjamin eliminated by Batista
Rhodes went after Batista and was met by a boot to the face from Batista. Powerslam by Batista on Rhodes. Manu jumped on the apron for a distraction. Batista set up Rhodes for a Powerbomb, Orton made a blind tag and Batista hit a Batista Bomb on Rhodes. The ref told Batista that Rhodes wasn’t legal, so Orton hit a RKO on Batista to pin him and win the match at the 16:13 mark.
Batista eliminated by Randy Orton
Survivors: Randy Orton & Cody Rhodes
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good elimination match giving the heels the win. The time of the match was good because it felt right and didn’t go too long. Towards the end, it would have been believable to have Batista survive against four guys, but I’m glad that the heels were able to win the match. There wasn’t that much heat in the match except for the finish of the match with Orton sneaking in for the RKO out of nowhere. The Legacy group was slowly coming together by this point, so it made sense to have Orton and Rhodes as the survivors.
After the match was over, Batista had a staredown with Orton while the announcers talked about wanting to see that match.
Vladimir Kozlov was interviewed by Eve backstage. He said it makes no difference that Jeff Hardy isn’t there. He said that he will become champion.
The video package aired to set up the WWE Title match between Triple H, Vladimir Kozlov and Jeff Hardy, who was supposed to be in the match. It was about Jeff’s pursuit to become the WWE Champion.
Vladimir Kozlov made his entrance. Barely a reaction to him. I thought it was a major reach to put him in the title picture, but that’s WWE forcing a main eventer on the fans. JR noted that it was his WWE pay-per-view debut.
Triple H made his entrance for what became a singles match. Good reaction for him.
WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov
Pre-match notes: Hunter was the face WWE Champion on the Smackdown brand. Kozlov was the heel.
There was nothing happening for a few minutes, so the fans chanted boring and for Jeff Hardy to show up. They were doing the most basic stuff like arm wringers and rest holds. More boring chants as Kozlov hit a shoulder tackle in the corner. Hunter with a flying knee followed by two clotheslines in the corner. Facebuster by Hunter followed by a DDT. The crowd made some noise for those moves, but were mostly quiet. Punches by Hunter led to a nearfall on a pin attempt. Spinebuster by Hunter woke up the crowd a bit. Kozlov came back with a headbutt to the chest and took a bump of his own. Kozlov with a hard whip into the corner with Hunter taking his favorite bump over the top to the floor. They went back in the ring with Kozlov hitting a fallaway slam for two. More headbutts by Kozlov to the chest of Triple H. Powerslam by Kozlov earned a two count. Kozlov applied a bearhug. Kozlov hit backbreakers. JR and Tazz were trying to put over Kozlov being so powerful, yet the crowd was completely shitting on this match. Powerslam by Kozlov earned a two count. No reaction from the crowd for anything that Kozlov does. Oh no here’s another bearhug on the mat to continue to put the crowd to sleep. Hunter got back to his feet, so Kozlov hit a belly to belly suplex. Hunter avoided a corner charge and hit a Pedigree. Both guys were down.
The Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero appeared on the stage to say that this will be a triple threat match. She said: “He’s here! He’s here! Here he is!” People thought it was Jeff Hardy, but it was actually Edge.
Analysis: He was out for about three months after getting destroyed by Undertaker at SummerSlam 2008, so it was his surprising return.
WWE Championship: Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Edge
Both guys were down in the ring, so Edge set up for a Spear. Hunter got to his feet and Edge hit him with a Spear. Edge covered and Jeff Hardy ran down to the ring to attack Edge with punches. The crowd was going crazy for Hardy. Hardy grabbed a steel chair. He went after Edge with it, Edge moved and Jeff hit Hunter in the face with it although Hunter did get his hand up to block it. Hardy hit Kozlov with the chair to the head that looked nasty since Kozlov didn’t block it. Edge hit Hardy with a Spear. Edge covered Hunter and won the match to become WWE Champion at the 14:22 mark.
Winner and New WWE Champion: Edge
Analysis: *1/4 Yawn. Too long. This was so boring leading up to the cheap finish. Edge leaving with the title in a match that he wasn’t advertised for is about as cheap as it gets, but that’s something that fit his character. The crowd was into Jeff Hardy making his return, but too bad he wasn’t in the match. Kozlov was the most boring wrestler that came along in a long time and booking him to be undefeated was a way to give him a big push, but the crowd didn’t care. It’s why his serious push ended while he became a comedy character for people to laugh at as the tag partner of Santino.
Post match, Edge gave Vickie a hug at the top of the ramp. Edge held up the WWE Title in celebration for his big win. Replays aired of the big spots leading to the finish.
Analysis: All of this led to a triple threat match at Armageddon 2008 with Jeff Hardy winning the WWE Title for the first time in a match that also featured Edge and Triple H.
The video package aired to set up World Champion Chris Jericho defending the gold against John Cena. It was Cena’s big return after being away for three months due to a neck surgery after SummerSlam 2008. There were comments from Cena’s brothers, some of his friends and other wrestlers talking about John’s comeback being a big moment for him.
The World Champion Chris Jericho made his entrance.
Analysis: This was the best year of his incredible 25+ year career. The match quality was there with Shawn Michaels, the promos were as good as ever and he was a true heel in an era where it is difficult to get booed by the crowd.
The challenger John Cena received a lot of cheers from the hometown Boston crowd, but there were still some boos as well.
Analysis: His injury was supposed to keep him out for longer, but Cena’s a freak when it comes back to returning from injuries. It was about three months earlier than what people expected. It was similar to his surprise return at Royal Rumble 2008 earlier in the year.
World Heavyweight Championship: Chris Jericho vs. John Cena
Pre-match notes: Jericho is the heel champion. Cena’s the face for most of the fans, but has some haters out there as well.
There was a close-up on the scar that Cena had on his neck for the surgery he had. Jericho with a shoulder block leading to Cena going to the floor to take a breather. Cena went back into the ring with a suplex for two. Jericho fought back with a boot to the face followed by forearms. Cena came back with a clothesline. A body slam followed by an elbow drop earned a two count for Cena. Jericho avoided a charge and sent Cena face first into the turnbuckle. Cena hit the throwback neck snap move. He was hesitant to go to the top rope, so Jericho took advantage with a DDT for two. The announcers noted that Cena’s top rope move led to the Batista Bomb that caused Cena’s neck injury three months earlier. Jericho kicked Cena in the head while his head was near the ring post, so it was a nasty looking neck bump. Cena went back into the ring and Jericho dumped him over the top to the floor. Jericho with a dropkick on the floor. Jericho sent Cena shoulder first into the steel steps. Jericho wrenched on the neck of Cena. Back to his feet, Cena ran the ropes, Jericho moved out of the way and Cena’s cross body block attempt saw him go crashing into the mat. Jericho applied a Full Nelson, which he never does, but it was a move that worked on the neck of Cena. It was on for about two minutes when Cena finally broke it. Cena countered a bulldog by shoving him into the turnbuckle. Cena hit his two shoulder tackles, but Jericho countered a slam into a bulldog. Jericho missed a Lionsault and Cena hit his spinning slam. You Can’t See Me taunt from Cena, Jericho got back up. Jericho applied the Walls of Jericho with his knee on the back of neck of Cena’s head, but Cena powered out of it. Jericho came back with a clothesline.
Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho although this time it looked more like a Boston Crab. Cena sold it for about minute or so before grabbing the bottom rope to break the hold. Cena got back to his feet, Jericho walked right into the FU, which was not renamed to the Attitude Adjustment by this point. Cena was down after hitting the move, so it took about 30 seconds to make the cover. That delay allowed Jericho to kick out at two. They battled on the top rope with Cena shoving him down. Cena up top, he paused, stuck his arm in the air, did the “you can’t see me” hand gesture and hit the leg drop to the back of the head of Jericho. Cena went for FU, Jericho hit elbows to break free and hit a Codebreaker. Slow cover by Jericho got two. Jericho came back with a clothesline. When Cena got back up, Jericho hit him with another clothesline. Cena was back on his feet, tripped up Jericho and applied the STFU submission hold. Cena let up when Jericho was close to the ropes. Jericho with a small package. Cena fought out of that, hoisted Jericho up to his shoulders and Cena hit the FU for the pinfall win after 21:19 mark. Good ovation for the win, but not a huge reaction.
Winner by pinfall and New World Heavyweight Champion: John Cena
Analysis: *** It was a solid three-star match, but really nothing more than that. They didn’t get to another level in terms of building up the nearfalls and making it a special match. I know both guys were capable of that. It just didn’t happen here. Perhaps the reason for that was because Cena was off for three months and likely came back early from the injury so he can perform in his hometown. There wasn’t anything that noticeable from Cena in terms of being off in his performance. It’s likely that he was a bit reluctant due to his injury. Jericho working on the neck for the majority of the match was the right strategy for him, but I don’t think anybody believed Jericho was going to win. It was an obvious title win for Cena – one of the most obvious title wins there’s ever been.
After the match was over, Cena took his time soaking up the moment. Cena held up the World Heavyweight Title over his head. Cena went over to his dad at ringside and gave him a big hug. He had hugs for other members of his family at ringside as well. Replays aired of the match. Cena stood in the crowd and held the World Title up in the air.
Cena went up to the top of the ramp and posted with the World Title again as the show went off the air.
The show had a run time of 2 hours, 43 minutes.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– Regarding the World Title match, they tried to treat this as some important title win and some huge moment, but it just didn’t come off that way. We were so used to Cena winning all the time that it felt like something we had seen so many times before because that’s what we did see. It just didn’t feel like a special moment in any way although I do have a lot of respect for him for coming back from injury faster than most people expected.
– I’m not sure why WWE thought it was a good idea to have Kozlov in a WWE Title match. I know he was new and they booked him strong as an undefeated brawler, but holy shit was he boring. Nobody cared about anything he did. That match was a mistake although the ending angle was memorable.
– As an angle, I liked Edge winning the WWE Title like that. However, the match between Triple H and Kozlov was so bad that I hate that I had to sit through it again.
– The cool thing about this show is that of the six matches on the card, three of them were traditional Survivor Series elimination matches. In past years, there was always a mix of matches, so at least they went back to the roots of the event with half the card featuring the traditional elimination match.
– The two men’s elimination matches were about the same in terms of quality while the women’s match was poor since there were so many fast eliminations.
Best Match: Team Orton vs. Team Batista
Worst Match: Team Phoenix vs. Team McCool
Most Memorable Moment: Edge wins the WWE Title in a very cheap way
1. John Cena
2. Chris Jericho
3. Randy Orton
4. Shawn Michaels
Show rating (out of 10): 5.5
It was a very average show. A few matches around the three star level and a few matches that were awful. There just weren’t enough memorable moments or things that made people want to re-watch this show.
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 (****)
Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels – 2007 (****)
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 2007 (Batista vs. The Undertaker) – 7
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 2008 (John Cena vs. Chris Jericho) – 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 2006 (Batista vs. King Booker) – 4.5
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.