18TH ANNUAL SNITSKY SERIES
WWE PPV, 11/14/04
We opened with a feature on Series' past.
Why they're treating the 18th edition of a PPV like it's a milestone is beyond me, but it was one hell of a package, so who
cares? And yes, there were the enduring clips of Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels in there, too, and no, I don't mean from
their 1992 match.
The various announce teams opened by
throwing to each other despite all sitting at three different tables next to each other at ringside. Hey, how do they do the
Raw/Smackdown split for the Spanish audience? Those poor fans must be confused out of their minds.
1) CW champion
Spike Dudley won a "Tornado rules" sudden-death four-way match over Rey Mysterio Jr. & Chavo Guerrero Jr. & Billy
Kidman Sr. by pinning Chavito to retain the title at 9:04. Good fast-paced action. Cole called Rey & Chavito "good
friends." Um, they are? What about the three PPV matches this year where they went to war over the CW Title? Anyway, my favorite
spot saw Spike launch a pescado, but both Rey and Chavito basically said "fuck this shit" and sidestepped him, so he belly-flopped.
A great comedy spot. Finish saw Chavito hit the Gori bomb on Spike, but BK broke up the pin with a slingshot legdrop to the
back of Chavito's head. Rey jumped in and tumbled out with BK, allowing Spike to pin Chavito. Cole and Tazz speculated that
BK's true agenda was not winning the strap, but rather to re-injure Chavito. Clever enough, but given his new babyface push,
Chavito was the LAST guy who should have done the job. Bad enough they're gonna bring back that fucking stick horse I hate
so. Still though, this was a great match and an excellent opener. Just to put things in perspective, I went into this show
cheesed off due to various problems with catering and transportation in the hours leading up to bell time. But this match
was so good and the four workers clicked so well, it actually put me in a good mood. Thanks, guys. (Kerry)
Paul Heyman was backstage, giving a pep
talk to Heidenreich. Don't fall for it, big man. The check isn't really in the mail. Ask Steve Corino. He currently works
the swing shift at a Dunkin' Donuts in south Philly. Heyman exited stage left, leading to Gene Snitsky arrive on the scene
and have a grunting staredown with Heidy. After a few tense moments of silence, Snitsky complimented Heidy's poetry. Heidy
thanked Snits and in return, complimented him on his child-handling skills. I know both these guys respectively suck and blow
like turbine engines, but dammit, this was a fun segment. Then the fun stopped when rumors started going around that this
laid the groundwork for Snits & Heidy vs. Undertaker & Kane at WM21. I'll pay for Missy Hyatt's porno site before
I'll pay per THAT view. On the plus side, this would free up Kurt Angle, as the original plan was for UT vs. Angle at WM21.
This show also sparked rumors of who Angle's dance partner would be for WM21, but we'll get to that later.
2) IC champion
Shelton Benjamin pinned Christian (w/ Tyson Tomko) to retain the title at 13:24. Christian came out to his new crappy
theme music, off the WWE's new crappy theme music CD. It's always great to debut new music on a live PPV, so the fans don't
know who the hell is coming out and react with complete indifference. Capt. Charisma's new song is titled "Just Close Your
Eyes." Trivbit: Underrated hair metal band Kix had their biggest hit with a power ballad called "Don't Close Your Eyes," which
was an anti-suicide plea. So Christian's new theme song is apparently ENCOURAGING people to commit suicide. Oh yeah, and he
now calls his fans the "Christian Coalition." Read between the lines, people: The WWE is now encouraging Christians to commit
suicide. I can't wait to hear Linda explain this one at the next stockholders meeting. Finish saw Christian go for the unprettier,
but Benj leapfrogged out of it and hit the T-bone for a clean pin. Match dragged a bit, but picked up by the end. Good showing
by both lads. Tomko is still completely fucking useless. The fact that Rico and Gail Kim were cut while he stays on the payroll
is a disgrace. (David)
Backstage at the coffee pot, Kurt Angle
gave Edge an unfavorable book report on his new opus. For the first time in pro wrestling history, Edge actually politely
placed his cup of coffee on the table, instead of throwing it in Angle's face. Angle taunted Edge about not getting the World
Title shot at Taboo Tuesday, because the fans instead picked Shawn Michaels, "someone who could barely walk." Edge retorted
that by night's end, he took HBK out of the game, something Kurt "could never do." Angle re-retorted that he could make Shawn
"tap out in seconds." This seemed to plant the seeds for an eventual HBK vs. Angle dream match, which would be the best possible
thing they could do for WM21. We'll see. After leaving Edge, Angle met Eugene. Eugy started running down Kurt's resume and
Angle seemed almost pleased with the respect he was getting until Eugene started singing the "You suck" chant at him. Not
the most creative thing in the world, but they both made it work with their facials and body language.
The "Wrestlemania Recall" showed Steve
Austin beating Michaels at WM14. Stupid question #1: Why are they already running these things? Stupid question #2: Why would
they show a guy no longer with the company (and who has had a myriad of highly-publicized legal troubles, to boot) cleanly
pinning a guy who is on the active roster? Back at ringside, Cole cooed that WM14 is "almost here" because it was "ONLY four-and-a-half
months" away! The hell?
3) Team Eddie
(Eddie Guerrero & Rob Van Dam & Big Show & John Cena) beat Team Angle (Kurt Angle & Luther Reigns & Mark
Jindrak & U.S. champion Carlito Carribean Cool, w/ Jesus) in a "classic SS" elimination match when everyone on Team Eddie
except RVD survived at 12:25. For some reason, CCC was not announced as U.S. champ. He suffered a legit injury during
a house show match against Bob Holly last week, so they did a bit where Cena chased him and Jesus out to the parking garage.
While Cena beat up Jesus in the garage, I half-expected Rikishi to mow down Cena just for shits and giggles. Didn't happen.
Anyway, CCC and Jesus stole a car and vamoosed. You'd think they would have just swiped Eddie's lowrider, for God's sake.
He left the damn keys in it and everything. What kind of one-dimensional Hispanic stereotypes are they? Right before they
drove off, Cena pounded on the window. It didn't break, but visions of Goldberg danced in my head. Cena returned to the ring
and the match started. Since CCC disappeared before the bell rang, the ref ruled that the match would start with 4-on-3. As
we learned from the legendary (as in, awful) West Texas Rednecks vs. No-Talent Soldiers feud, this kind of booking is ass-backwards.
Angle pinned RVD with a schoolboy while holding the ropes at 8:44. Immediately after that, Eddie similarly pinned Jindrak
on a schoolboy with his feet on the ropes at 9:12. Don't worry, guys. The courageous heels will still battle all odds against
the cowardly babyfaces. Show chokeslammed Luther for a pin at 10:28, leaving 3-on-1. Show went for another chokeslam on Angle,
but Angle rolled through and slapped on the ankle lock in the move of the night. Angle channeled the spirit of The Honky Tonk
Man and tried to take a powder, but RVD cut off his retreat. For fuck's sake, you assholes, do you not see the big lowrider
parked right there by the ring?! Show pitched Angle into the ring. Cena gave Angle the FU, Eddie hit the frog splash, then
Show chokeslammed him for the pin. Show was the legal man, so none of this crap made any damn sense. At least they made Kurt
look as strong as possible in doing the job, as it took three finishers to take him out. Lousy booking in a disappointing
match that officially ended the streak of classic Eddie-Angle matches this year. (Mike)
A nice commercial aired for the "WWE
24/7" venture. They showed brief clips of AWA, NWA, old WWF, ECW, WCW, and current WWE. In case he hasn't mentioned it lately,
Vince owns everything.
Coach interviewed Maven and started baiting
him. This allowed Snitsky to blindside Mave and beat the bejeezus out of him. Maven broke out the blade, kicking off the storyline
that he was questionable for the Raw SS match. Guess it was too much to hope that they'd deliver on even one of the advertised
SS matches, huh? On the other hand, it's just fucking Maven. He's already a non-factor, so why make everyone sit through his
4) The Undertaker
pinned Heidenreich (w/ Paul Heyman) at 15:54. Heidy's theme music has "club hit" written all over it. You know, in
this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, we learned that one of their writers who just got the axe originally wanted Heidy's
gimmick to be that he was a frozen Nazi from 1939, thawed out in the present. I'm not making this up. As for this match, the
less said, the better. UT hit the flatliner again. Three months later, not only have they not learned what it's called, but
they haven't even come up with their own damn name for it. Creative has just plain gotten lazy. Think about it: They booked
an angle where a wrestler married a woman who was already pregnant. UT intimidated the ref into jumping out of the ring, which
prompted Heyman to start yelling at the ref. That was funny. Heidy kicked out of the last ride, but not the tombstone. This
thing was just way too bad to be this long. Or maybe it was too long for something this bad. This thing had "no-win situation"
written all over it. It looked like they were going to get behind Heidy's push, but you had to know that the Egotaker wouldn't
let himself lose three PPV matches in a row. Sure, he didn't lose the first two by pin or submission (SummerSlam DQ and No
Mercy "last ride" match, respectively), but try telling him that. (Chris)
Maria interviewed Eric Bischoff, who
already had his bags packed. Maria asked him about the state of Maven. Bischoff said that it looks like Maven is done for
the night. Three guesses what's gonna happen, kiddies. Bischoff forbid Orton and the Chrisses from finding a replacement.
Because, you see, that would explain why Eugene, who wasn't booked on the show, was running around backstage in his gear.
That would be logical. Tuesdays aren't the only taboo around these parts.
champion Trish Stratus beat Lita by DQ to retain the title at 1:21. You know what time it is. Time for the return of
The Complete And Total List Of Every Wrestling Maneuver In This Match:
6. Head slammed into announce table
7. Face slammed into chair
JRism Of The Night, Part I: "Carnage
knows no gender!" Why oh why wasn't that a t-shirt for Goldust? Fans shit all over the quickie DQ, and rightly so. Credit
where it's due though: Trish took one hell of a beating, complete with bloody nose. Great, now wrestling fans are gonna think
that women menstruate through their noses. I can appreciate the WWE wanting to get more mileage out of this, arguably the
hottest and best-built feud on Raw, but like this? You gotta be fucking kidding me. They put ZERO effort into this thing.
Time for the mandatory "gay porno" portion of the evening. Team Eddie celebrated in the locker room as Theodore
Long arrived to congratulate the lads. Jocksniffer. Long asked for some alone time with Cena, so the guys dispersed. As they
were leaving, Show threw his towel at them for the double-take spot. I think it was just his way of paying homage to the finish
of the Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund match at Survivor Series, 10 years ago. As if the mandatory sausage gag wasn't bad enough,
they used a PPV to set up a match on free TV (Carlito defends the U.S. Title against Cena on the next Smackdown). Big Show's
schlong inspired Theodore Long! Holla!
6) WWE champion
JBL (w/ Orlando Jordan) pinned Booker T to retain the title at 14:44. This feud had a decent enough build, but it was
still just JBL. The lack of heat was not seen since JBL's last "Big Four" match against UT at SummerSlam. Chants of "boring"
echoed across the night. I took advantage of my TV's picture-in-picture feature and played a few levels from "Conker's Bad
Fur Day" for N64. More on that in my latest offering for our TWF Entertainment page. When Book laid out both JBL and OJ at
ringside, fans chanted "Booker T," but I think it was more that they wanted him to win already and win the match, rather than
actually being into the guy. Book hit the missile dropkick, but JBL made the ropes. Tazz said "shades of Heidenreich and Undertaker!"
All young wrestlers aspire to someday being compared to the UT-Heidenreich match from Survivor Series 2004. Book dusted off
the old Harlem hangover, which he missed. Not only did the announcers not know what it was called, but Tazz said he never
saw Booker do that move before. Just for that, I'm calling him Tass for the rest of this review. Another sleeper followed,
as did the requisite ref bump. OJ tried to use a chair, but Josh Matthews ran-in and zapped him. JBL gave Josh a big boot
and a short-arm clothesline. Book hit the scissors kick for a nearfall as another ref ran-in, only to get yanked out of the
ring by OJ. Book gave OJ the Bookend, allowing JBL to beltshot Book for the pin as ref #1 checked back in. Fans hated the
screwjob. Book did what he could with what he had. They gave away this finish days ago when JBL said that if he lost, he'd
never appear on Smackdown again. But now that he won, the rest of us are less likely to appear in our living rooms just to
WATCH Smackdown again. JBL is poison, plain and simple. How the fuck did we go from Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit at Wrestlemania
to JBL and HHH at Survivor Series? (Chris)
A short feature aired, revisiting Smackdown's
"Christmas In Iraq" show last year.
Evolution had a confab. Bats warned HHH
that Snitsky "is not all there." Bats further warned HHH that Edge & Snits coveted his championship. HHH said not to worry,
because when Evolution ran Raw for the first two weeks, they'd run Edge & Snits through the meat grinder. Bats ominously
told Flair that he couldn't wait until it's his night to run Raw, the implication being that Bats also wanted the turkey plate.
So everybody wants to win the World Title? What a fucking concept!!
A nice feature aired that ran down the
(very well done) build to the Raw SS elimination match. "Ugly" is the best song they've used for a PPV since I-can't-remember-when.
7) The Brotherhood Of The Buried (Randy
Orton & Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho & Maven) beat The Anabolic All-Stars (World champion HHH & Batista &
Edge & Gene Snitsky, w/ Ric Flair) in a "classic SS" elimination match to win control of Raw for the next four weeks when
RKO became the sole survivor at 24:28.
Sweet jerking Jesus, the heels were the
biggest All-Steroid team in the history of this event. And keep in mind that we've seen the following people on the same team:
The Powers Of Pain & The British Bulldogs (1988), Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage & Hercules Hernandez (1988), Lex Luger
& Scott Steiner (1993), and Davey Boy Smith & Sid & Ahmed Johnson (1995). The only team that even comes close
to tonight's offering was the 1990 grouping of Ultimate Warrior & Kerry Von Erich & The Legion Of Doom. But even with
half of that team DEAD, they had nothing on Paul & Dave & Adam & Gene. They all had the expected backne, but Snitsky
even had FRONTNE, for fuck's sake!
No Maven, so the babyfaces started at
a 4-on-3 disadvantage. Now THAT'S how you're supposed to do the "outnumbered underdog" bit. They could have even salvaged
the Smackdown SS match by really playing up how the man-down disadvantage torpedoed any chances of Team Angle winning their
match earlier in the night. So naturally, they didn't.
ZERO heat when RKO was in there with
HHH, which is what they're hanging their hopes on as the Raw main event for WM21. First notable heel spot of the match saw
security confiscate a fan's sign that taunted "HA HA, BATISTA CAN'T GET OVER." It was right there on camera when the rent-a-cop
not only yanked the sign away, but browbeat the HELL out of the fan. Show up here and try to have a good time, will ya punk?
Not on my shift!
The opening action was good, if a little
all-over-the-place. Still though, that's fine given the parameters of a SS match. Benoit locked in a sharpshooter on HHH,
which Snits broke up. Guess it was too much to hope we could get through a Survivor Series without the damn sharpshooter.
I don't care that it's been Benoit's "other" finisher for a year now. You know damn well what I'm talking about. Benoit gave
Edge the Crippler Crossface, which Bats broke up. To the trained eye, they had Benoit holding down the fort against all four
of the Mighty Morphin' Steroid Ragers because he was the first one out. Told ya so. Edge pinned Benoit at 7:24 after HHH hit
a pedigree on the Crippler.
This left the heels with a 4-on-2 advantage.
Now THIS is how you book a SS match, you dung-flinging hump monkeys! Edge reached out for a tag, but both HHH and Snits tagged
in and got into a shoving match. In a fun spot, Snits and Bats then argued nose-to-nose while HHH got trapped in the Walls
Of Jericho. Batista finally realized what was going on and broke up the hold. Flair tripped Jericho during an attempted Lionsault,
prompting the ref to eject Ol' Naitch. Lawler dusted off the "be fair to Flair" line. It was funny when Bobby Heenan first
said it in 1991.
Someone held up a sign that said "SNITSKY
FEARS DIRTY DIAPERS." I mention this so it looks like I put more work into this piece than I actually did. Speaking of which,
JRism Of The Night, Part II: Something about someone having "the world by the string!" So according to JR, the world is a
tampon. That explains SO much.
Jericho pinned Batista with an enziguiri
at 10:38 after RKO conked Bats with a beltshot. At first, I was shocked as hell that Bats was the first heel dispatched, but
then it all became clear when JR crowed about now that both Flair and Bats were out of the match, so HHH was the last word
in Evolution (shit, that's a scary thought). In other words, HHH had to rely on Snitsky and Edge now that his boys were gone.
To make matters worse for Trips, a bandaged-up
Maven did a stagger-in and went after Snitsky. Snits responded by laying out Mave with a chairshot, getting himself DQed at
15:58. Nice way to protect everyone's favorite babysitter. Fans didn't really take to Maven as a lionheart, all things considered.
It's those damn extra-small trunks of his. They make everyone uncomfortable. They should just film Maven from the waist-up,
like Elvis. No sooner was Maven "officially added" to the match, than he was officially subtracted when HHH pinned his chairshotted
carcass at 16:46, leaving HHH & Edge vs. RKO & Y2J.
Jericho fought off them both, backdropping
out of a pedigree attempt. Edge was then supposed to spear him for the pin, but Jericho fucked it up, stumbling out of position.
Edge then speared and pinned Jericho anyway at 18:03, but it looked like crap. So it was Orton against E&H.
Fans did get behind young Randall (TM
Cara) with chants of "RKO." There was a nice tease where Edge almost collided with HHH, but slammed on the brakes. Orton dropkicked
Edge into HHH, then schoolboyed him on the rebound for a nearfall. After Edge mistakenly speared HHH, RKO hit the RKO and
pinned Edgester at 22:56, leaving Orton vs. Hunter one-on-one. Fans popped big for the pin, and chanted "RKO" again.
It was the most heat the match had earned
up to this point, but HHH took care of that with a Celsius-crippling low blow behind the ref's back. He SO doesn't get it.
HHH went for a pedigree, but Orton twisted out of it and short-armed HHH into an RKO for the clean pin (!). Big pop considering
HHH getting pinned cleanly doesn't happen every day. For the second year in a row, RKO is the sole survivor in the Raw SS
match. Still gotta be less than what they hoped to have for a Big Four main event won cleanly by the brand's top babyface,
though. Very good, well-booked main event. A blueprint for what a SS match should be as everyone got ring time, but no one
really stole the spotlight from anyone else. The show ended with 22 minutes of satellite time left. (Kerry)
Kurt Angle. Stuck in the worst-booked WWE PPV match of the year (not to mention with "workers" like Cena and Jindrak), Angle
still a better job of playing the heel better than I thought possible. His backstage bit was funny, too. In other words: Vintage
PPV LVP: Undertaker.
There’s enough blame to go around, but UT wins this “honor,”
hands down. The guy has money in the bank and he doesn’t have to pay full price for movie tickets anymore. It’s
time to call it a career, already.
The two words I'd use to describe this show are "missed opportunity." There was little stuff like no sequel to the entertaining
confrontation Long and Bischoff had at SummerSlam. Bischoff even mocked Long by saying that SD would probably have a new GM
by Survivor Series. I was actually looking forward to a follow-up on that. Long could give Bisch tips on life without hair,
while Bisch could shoot back that at least his guys weren't stabbing each other in nightclubs. See? This stuff writes itself!
Then there was big stuff like the piss-poor booking in the SD SS match, Trish-Lita, and JBL-Booker. Remember how I said that
the good stuff at SummerSlam 04 blew away the bad stuff? Well, here at Survivor Series 04, it was the other way around.
I think the wrong team won the Raw SS
match (you can't tell me that Maven as GM will make a better show than Snitsky as GM), but it was a good, well-booked match,
so I can live with it. So the main event was good, as were the first two matches. The rest wasn't worth viewing, let alone
paying-per. At the end of the day, this show was a shit sandwich on some nice bread.
Oh yeah, and I promised you some proof that Survivor
Series is the least important of the WWE's Big Four PPVs. Consider this, people: HHH is WINLESS at Survivor Series. He's 0-5-1.
HHH & King Mabel & Jerry Lawler & Issac Yankem lost UT & Fatu & Savio Vega & Henry Godwinn
HHH & Crush & Goldust & Lawler lost to Marc Mero & Barry Windham & Jake Roberts & Rocky Maivia (This
was Rock's PPV debut match)
He didn't wrestle (but he did show up for sloppy seconds when Bret was screwed)
He didn't wrestle (injured)
He lost the World Title to Big Show in a triple-threat match that also involved Rock
He and Austin had a non-finish in their no-DQ match (the infamous forklift angle)
He didn't wrestle (this was the year of the torn quad)
He lost the World Title to HBK in the first Elimination Chamber match that also involved Jericho, Booker, Kane, & RVD
He lost to World champion Bill Goldberg.
This Observer's Thumb......is down.