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CLUSTERSHMAZZ!

Welcome to the Recapitation! After last week's monster VR piece  today we get back to our Recapitating roots. The Recapitations aren't supposed to be a full-blown pay-per-review, but rather, a choppy, sloppy half-assed rundown that adds my two cents to the festivities. If want to read Sean's kick-ass full Survivor Series review, go HERE. There are wrestling PPVs all the damn time, but only four times a year does the WWE put on one of their famous "Big Four" PPV productions. Granted, Survivor Series is historically the LEAST important of the Big Four (and I have the evidence to prove it, which we'll talk about later). But still, you take what you can get. And what you're gonna get right now is a brashy, slashy Recapitation of the latest Survivor Series!

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 theme music?

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.

5) Women's 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:

1. Punch

2. Choke

3. Slap

4. Kick

5. Shove

6. Head slammed into announce table

7. Face slammed into chair

8. Chairshot

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. (kevin)

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. Well done.

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)

PPV MVP: 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 Kurt.

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.

Overall over-analysis: 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. Behold:

1995: HHH & King Mabel & Jerry Lawler & Issac Yankem lost UT & Fatu & Savio Vega & Henry Godwinn

1996: HHH & Crush & Goldust & Lawler lost to Marc Mero & Barry Windham & Jake Roberts & Rocky Maivia (This was Rock's PPV debut match)

1997: He didn't wrestle (but he did show up for sloppy seconds when Bret was screwed)

1998: He didn't wrestle (injured)

1999: He lost the World Title to Big Show in a triple-threat match that also involved Rock

2000: He and Austin had a non-finish in their no-DQ match (the infamous forklift angle)

2001: He didn't wrestle (this was the year of the torn quad)

2002: He lost the World Title to HBK in the first Elimination Chamber match that also involved Jericho, Booker, Kane, & RVD

2003: He lost to World champion Bill Goldberg.

2004: See above

This Observer's Thumb....­..is down.

-HDS-

 Harry Simon is a trivia-fueled wisenheimer who has been writing about pro wrestling off and on for 16 years and counting. Harry has written trivia pieces for both the Wrestling Observer and Live Audio Wrestling websites, and contributed a ton of research to his fellow Las Vegan Mike Tenay in preparation for the first NWA TNA PPV in 2002. Harry has also done play-by-play, color commentary, and ring announcing for indy promotions. Harry invented the Von Erich Match Rating System, which you can learn about HERE.

 
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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).