Its all happening. The 25th annual Survivor Series. Madison Square Garden. The Rock returns to the ring. You know this is going to be something.
And it sure was. The video that opened this up was pretty cool, news flash. Its funny really, the last few years they havent given a crap and Vince was going to cancel the name Survivor Series, but now because of Rock they’ve had to about-face and try and sell it as important again. Which is a good thing, because it SHOULD be important. Who doesnt love Survivor Series?
Dolph vs Morrison was a hell of an opener. Great match. Made even better by the constant “We Want Ryder” chants. Its going to be one of those shows, you can tell. I liked the early part ending in Morrison’s tornillo before Vickie distracted him into that SWEET AS F*CK neckbreaker. Loved the Babyface Fire spot they do, as well as Dolph’s inverted powerslam. This was just really great athletic work from both guys. The stretch especially was super fun. Vickie saving the nearfall and her AWESOME selljob of being ejected. A fantastic woman. For some reason I completely forgot myself and actually bought the Fame Asser as a finish. Great nearfall. Loved all this, the rollups, and the Starship Pain knees into the Zig Zag was great. Tops opener.
I like how Dolph is really finding himself as a character now, with the #heel speeches and the “How good am I?” cockiness. Zack Ryder! He is SO OVER. Just ridiculously loved. It was hilarious when he came in and got beat down and the crowd HATED THIS, before we got the happy ending. The enormous “Woo Woo Woo” was great. A total win.
Beth vs Eve in a Give Everyone A Paycheck Match was fun times. Actually the first minute or so was HORRIBLE, they were so uncoordinated and I was baffled since their first match was good. But they eventually got it together and I enjoyed the rest of it. Liked the Lumberjacks helping Eve complete the moonsault. Laughed enormously when Cole told Booker Nattie could take him down and he says “I’d let her.” Laughed even harder when Beth rope’d Eve on the bottom rope and one of the freaking Bellas was all up in her grill like “YEAH!!!” I like to think it was Nikki since she’s the Heel Antics Bella, anyway it was hilarious. There was a great bit later where Eve locked her triangle on Beth, and Nattie from the outside was trying to reach out and grab her, so Eve flipped Beth away from Nattie but she ended up in the ropes, breaking the hold. I thought that was awesome, awesome interference. I liked Beth blocking the senton with the knees, but then Eve goes up for a moonsault and MY GOD SHE’S GOING TO KILL HER. SUPER GLAM SLAM! HOLY SH*T. That was awesome. Kelly not being able to look was more awesome detail work, and man, they started off badly but went straight up from there and that was a HELL of a finish. Great job.
Rock’s promo was pretty great, I have to say. I’m someone who’s been getting a little tired of the never-ending promos, and there was one point where I did think “man, wrap it up..” but this was just too much fun to hate. He hit all of the points he needed to – the history, Cena, Miz and Truth, his schtick – and the crowd loved it. It struck me during this that I dont think anybody else could possibly cut a 10 minute backstage promo on a PPV and have the crowd eat it up like that. I’m pumped.
Also pumped for this SS match. I like how they reference Orton’s SS record, its something I’ve always noticed, especially at the time since 03-05 was the good ol’ days. Anywho, Dolph being pinned immediately was strange but I suppose he already worked a full match. Those 2 minutes with Kofi were fun anyway. Then Cara freaking killed himself on that dive. That looked like sh*t, no wonder he did his knee. It was funny how nobody knew what to do for the next 5 minutes, but it was interesting to see them having a meeting in the corner trying to work it out. Plus for the match I liked how this inadvertently allowed Team Barrett to recover after dropping a fall. I had a feeling MSG would sh*t on Mason, so I’m glad they popped just like I did when CODY eliminated him.
You know, after all this time, I never even realised until it was pointed out to me that CODY WAS WEARING KNEEPADS. First Orton shaves, and now this. I’m all for it as he shifts from the ‘geek midcarder’ look to a ‘big f’n deal’ look.
Anyway, this match. The next part I really liked was Kofi and Barrett, it was a great hot tag and they always work well together. There was a Shawn segue here which led Booker to say “I aint never seen HBK do no Boom Drop!” I laughed. Liked Kofi going nuts with Pendulum Kicks before being Wasteland’d to death. Sheamus being DQ’d here was ultra lame. It feels like they’ve been pushing the “hot head” gimmick so strong just for this moment right here, and I did like the way people kept interfering to explain him losing his temper, but it was still lame as hell. Whatever.
I like the historical significance of Orton once again being the last guy standing on his team. The heels were hilarious creeping up on Orton, and Cody looked BAD ASS mauling him in the corner. He looked so great in this match. I also liked how much they gave Hunico – he lasted until the end, hit a big tope on Orton and got the highlight reel finish. You saw it a mile away but who cares, it was great and the pop was massive. Then the heel finish and bam, perfectly done. It wasnt the best SS match you ever saw by any means, but nonetheless it was quite a fun match to watch, and I’m all for Barrett and Cody getting a big win like that.
Alberto and Ace’s disdainful relationship confuses me.
Now, this is what I paid to see. I love, love, LOVE that they made a point of reinforcing the ring. That is amazing. The video here was also amazing. Just so hyped for this. Especially since, yes, they’re cheering Henry. Hilarious.
Enjoyed the early lock ups, as always. Ahahaha what a brilliant motherf*cker! Henry gets cheered by these smarks for being so great so he goes “F*CK a smark” and does his best Bully Ray stalling routine for 5 minutes to make them hate him again. I. LOVE. THIS. MAN. I also liked how this pertained to the match, as in, Show came out meaning business, he tossed him around and even ARM DRAGGED him, so Henry had to become King Dick and take the knee to regain the momentum. I LOVED commentary explaining how Show needs his legs to properly throw the KO Punch, great detail work. The crowd were still great throughout this match, chanting everything under the sun to amuse themselves when they werent in the mood for such a slow big man battle.
I liked Henry throwing all these bombs and Show continually kicking out. The WSS, the splash, the elbow drop. So finally he gets fed up, kicks him outside, and BAMS HIM THROUGH THE BARRICADE. Shades of Sheamus! Henry’s plan here is to get him counted out since he refuses to be pinned, just like Summerslam, but Show beats the count! They teased a Superplex here, which I thought they would, great SUPERKICK from Show, and then the “HBK” chant. WOAH HOOOOOOOOOOLY SH*T TOP ROPE ELBOW DROP! JESUS F*CK! Ahahahahaha, that was so awesome. YES HE KICKED OUT! Ahaha, man, Big Show as a Shawn Michaels Tribute Wrestler. GENIUS. What an amazing spot, just, wow.
AHAHAHAHAHAHA OH MY GOD MARK HENRY IS RANDY ORTON!
F*CKING. HILARIOUS. SH*T. Thats awesome. Show kicks out of everything, he beats the count, he does a f*cking TOP ROPE ELBOW DROP that Henry barely survives, so when he’s ready to throw the KO Punch Henry is all “F*ck this sh*t” and BAM LOW BLOW! Greatest finish ever. I was so, so happy that Henry retained. That was perfect.
Uh oh, here we go! Henry still goes for more Hall of Paining, but this time Show MOVES and gets his Pillmanising Babyface Revenge with the big leg drop. Loved Show’s dead stare at Henry afterwards. He got screwed out of the title, but he kept his promise to get revenge on Henry and have him carted out. I love Smackdown. Henry was freaking amazing selling this too, in his Henry way. Swatting away the EMTs and cussing out the idiot one who kept touching his leg.
“Move it again and I’ll punch you! Stop! Stop! You keep pulling it!
GREATEST MAN IN THE WORLD.
I was terrified all through this, by the way. Terrified early on with the “boring” chants that they’d never recover. Terrified after Show’s TOP ROPE F*CKING ELBOW DROP because I thought that was the finish. Terrified with the spectre of Bryan cashing in hanging over this whole thing, especially with the post-match and the constant chants. He was so over in the building that it would have been a hell of a moment, but thankfully wiser heads prevailed.
OH. MY F*CKING. GOD.
“I said ‘Hey pidgeons! Rock & Cena are gonna lose tonight!’ You know what those pidgeons said to me?
They pidgeons. Pidgeons dont talk.”
This man cannot be stopped. That is right up there with his best work. I laughed forever and ever.
The awesome never ends. What a great moment for him – he was so over and so overwhelmed that he started to cry and forgot his lines. Hilarious. That was awesome fun.
Speaking of awesome fun, Punk vs Alberto, courtesy of the MSG crowd that LOVED HIM. Made it all a thousand times better. Laughed at “We Want Ice Cream” and “Colt Cabana” chants. The match was really, really good. The early third was good with Punk getting a whole lot of shine as a dominant superface, unusual for him, culminating in that great tope. Then Ricardo interferes, Alberto cuts him off with that great flying dropkick, and we move into Punk Sells the Arm. Alberto looked great on offense, as he always does working the arm. I swear I heard an “Ole” chant just before Punk’s comeback. Having such a loud Boo/Yay exchange with someone who isnt Cena is something. One thing I LOVED was Punk hitting the knee, going for the bulldog but switching sides so he didnt use his injured arm. DETAILS!
The whole deal in the corner leading to the big Elbow was cool. The sequence from GTS-armbreaker-Kick attempt-armbreaker was GREAT. It felt like the entire match had been building towards the moment where Alberto locked the armbreaker on, and here we are. Punk selling it by grasping at Al’s boots was great, and this was all a great struggle. Everything from here on out was super, all the reversals until Punk finally hits the Kick, Al kicks out but he locks on the Anaconda Vice right there. Alberto sold this sub even better, the way he was ripping at Punk’s FACE was awesome and nasty, but Punk shook him off and held on and on until the sub. Awesome finish.
The gigantic pop took this over the top. What a huge reaction. You can complain about the title changing, but this was great fun and I’m really glad this was a chance for Punk to have this big MSG moment. Punk is a guy who so visibly marks out that you cant help but mark out with him. This whole entire thing rocked hard.
This is so crazy. No matter whatever about bad booking or whatever, guys, The Rock is wrestling again, right now. Thats something. For someone like me, who never got to see it the first time around, I think its especially something even though I dont love Rock as much as his actual fans do.
Enjoyed Cena’s “They love me here!” In general he was just throwing his hands up at how preposterous the whole thing was. The opening of this RULED, with Rock as Ricky Steamboat busting out sweet arm drags and La Magistral. He looked like a million bucks, straight up. And its not an indy show without a “You Still Got It” chant, is it? The early “Get me back in!” “Just Bring It” spot was great too. I liked the early part with Cena and Rock doing their best Angle & Benoit. Cena is a great Ricky Morton and at least they tried to give Miz Truth something by having them beat Cena for a solid hour. Booker going nuts over Truth’s dancing leg drop was fantastic. The hot tag was great but I have to say, from someone completely not used to it, Rock winning from just a People’s Elbow seemed really abrupt and weird. At least Cena doesnt pin people with the 5KS, you know? Its absurd. But whatever, this was too much fun.
By the time the show ended my only issue with it all is that Rock came off like a complete douchebag the entire time. He started, showed off for Cena, then tagged out and left Cena to get beat up for an hour without lifting a finger to help him. Even commentary was flat out saying Rock was being a jerk and not playing for the team, which was weird as hell. Then he tags back in to win the match and take all the glory, Cena gets nothing but beatdown. THEN, Cena tries to leave him to celebrate his moment, when Rock deliberately gets him back in the ring to, it appeared, rub it in Cena’s face that everyone hated him. Cena still took this all in stride, then Rock attacks him when he turns his back. I mean, f*ck. What a f*cking asshole.
Its funny, I’m someone who is always skeptical about “Cena heel turn!” theories and I never, EVER expected him to turn heel at any point, right through WM in fact. I still dont. But right at the end after Rock douched on him for half an hour straight I actually believed that Cena would turn then and there and lay waste to him. It seemed to be the only sensible thing for him to do after all that. And to be honest, not doing anything and being laid out made him look like the biggest pussy in the universe. I’m not sure thats going to help at all.
But look, whatever. Rational complaints aside, this was still a tremendous amount of fun. Rock was wrestling again, the crowd was going nuts for him, and we were all twelve years old again. And overall this was an extraordinarily fun show, with not a bad match in sight. Glad I bought it.