Friday, 2 December 2011

WWE Archive: Survivor Series 2000

Survivor Series 2000

Now I've decided simply waiting around for the monthly WWE PPVs to come along isn't enough for me. So I am going to dip down into my archive of old WWF/E DVDs and review the PPVs of days gone by. Can the matches of today compare to them? Well, only one way to find out.

This little show comes to us from the Ice Palace in Tampa, FL. This is during the height of the Stone Cold/Triple H feud where Trips was revealed to be the man who ran Austin down at last year's No Mercy. There was also something quite heated going on between The Rock and Rikishi who had recently turned heel and was revealed to be in cahoots with Triple H the whole time. We also had Kurt Angle in his first WWF title reign and his challenger this time around was the Undertaker. Should be a good one.

6-Person Intergender Tag Match – T&A & Trish Stratus vs Steve Blackman, Crash & Molly Holly:
Holy hell I’m getting nostalgic already. It’s the diva of the decade herself back in her rookie days. And for those who remember Molly as “pure and wholesome” right here she’s looking fine as a sweet country bumpkin. Anyway the first big spot of the match comes when Crash goes for a crossbody on Albert who catches him in mid air and then Blackman hits a missile dropkick on them. Throughout the match Crash was isolated as the weak link with Test and Albert making quick tags. Crash got in some nice offence with a beautiful hurricanrana over the top rope but walked into a brutal looking big boot from Test. He and Albert raised Crash up into a double flapjack. Eventually both the women tagged in and Molly Holly showed us why we miss her in WWE (this was her first match as Molly by the way). She made a tag to Blackman but the ref (Teddy Long actually) didn’t see it so while he’s reprimanding Blackman, Test and Albert restrained Molly so Trish could get a few kicks in. Crash and Blackman cleaned house however to send the thugs to the outside. Trish landed a bulldog off the top rope but Molly eventually scored the win with a diving sunset flip.
I really miss these 6-person tag matches; we used to see so many of them and now that the tag division is dead we barely get any these days. This was very fast paced and got the crowd going and acted as a nice showcase for Molly in her debut. 7/10

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Road Dogg, K-Kwik, Chyna & “The One” Billy Gunn vs The Radicalz:
Another holy hell, that’s R-Truth rapping with Road Dogg (this song is much better than the current theme he has). I miss Chyna and her bazooka – I always remembered her looking very mannish and scary but here she has muscles but looks pretty hot, this must have been around the time of her Playboy shoot. And it’s the man of the hour – Bad Ass Billy G himself. I loved this gimmick for him and that entrance music kicks ass. It’s also great to see the once-almighty Radicalz together but it’s also a little sad knowing that two people in this match are now dead (same case for the first match as well). Billy and Perry Saturn started off but Chyna was quickly tagged in, getting some power moves as well as her trademark handspring elbow. She DDT’d Saturn but a brawl broke out in the heels’ corner and Eddie Guerrero snuck in and clocked Chyna with the IC belt to allow Saturn to eliminate her. Road Dogg was then isolated by the heels who worked on his right knee. He finally made the hot tag to Billy Gunn who cleaned house with a military press on Guerrero, finally eliminating Latino Heat with a sleeper slam. K-Kwik jumped into the mix and got some high flying offence against Chris Benoit but was quickly dispatched with a belly to back suplex. The former New Age Outlaws were left alone as the Radicalz isolated the Dogg once again. He tried to fight back but Saturn eliminated him with a northern lights suplex. A 3-on-1 melee ensued and Billy ended up on the outside. He ducked a superkick from Saturn who got Benoit instead and was able to hit the Fame Asser on Dean Malenko to eliminate the Light Heavyweight Champion (that’s the one title belt that doesn’t get you laid). Back and forth action followed between the remaining competitors and Benoit landed his diving head butt but Billy G kicked out. He went for a suplex but Benoit turned it into a pin and Saturn held Billy’s feet down to help get the win for his team.
Another great match and one of my all time favourite Survivor Series matches. Billy Gunn was really shaping up to be a great singles star with this new gimmick and I recall him winning the IC belt not long after this. My only gripe was that Chyna got eliminated too soon – we all wanted to see her vs Eddie. 8/10

Chris Jericho vs Kane:
Whoa, we’ve actually got a match with two guys who are still in the company and both have come a long way since then. Both were World Champion this year in fact. Of course I do miss masked Kane and Y2J but this feud was all started over something about spilt coffee. Anyway Jericho immediately went on the offence, trying to catch the Big Red Machine off guard with various dropkicks to give some nice spots on the outside. Kane dragged Y2J around by the hair and repeatedly threw him into the security wall. Jericho responded by dropkicking the ring steps into him. The match finally moved back into the ring and once again, Jericho was favouring various dropkicks. He tried for the Walls of Jericho but that couldn’t hold the Masked Monster. Kane even went to the top rope and landed a double axe handle but Jericho dropkicked him in mid air. Kane uncovered the turnbuckle pad and attempted to throw Jericho on it but Y2J countered and gave Kane a taste of his own medicine. He hit a bulldog to leave Kane lying on the canvas, went for a Lionsault and Kane very conspicuously shifted himself over to move into position. He caught Jericho with his hand and dropped him with a chokeslam to end the match.
I enjoyed it anyway although the foundations for the feud were pretty lame just to add some filler onto the card. I’ve noticed that Jericho has remained a very consistent worker over the years, probably because he’s never been seriously injured unlike say Triple H, Edge or John Cena. 7/10

European Championship – William Regal (champion) vs Hardcore Holly:
Ah well it’s the lowest ranking mid card title on the line here and this match was apparently added on Sunday Night HEAT as Holly returned recently from injury. Before the match started Regal got some cheap heat on the Tampa crowd but his mic work was still pretty good. Bob “I let Brock Lesnar break my neck to teach him a lesson” Holly sauntered down to interrupt him and the match got underway. We saw a few nice arm drags from the champion and some other good exchanges. Holly got sent shoulder first into the ring post (the announcers inform us that it was recently surgically repaired) and Regal seized on the opportunity. He started working on the injured arm by whacking it off the ring post and using submissions such as arm bars and arm locks, even taking time to salute the crowd. They spilled to the outside and Holly was having trouble using his arm. Holly smashed Regal’s head off the ring steps but then grabbed the European title belt and whacked the champion with it in full view of the referee, earning himself a disqualification.
It was decent for what it was and we saw a couple of nice moves as well as some story being told. But overall it was just filler and the time could have been added onto other matches. 3/10

The Rock vs Rikishi:
In the category of heel turns that should never have happened…yep the dancing Samoan teddy bear is definitely a candidate. It seemed WWE likes to turn gold into crap, hoping it’ll turn back into gold. Rikishi was over as part of Too Cool and the heel turn did nothing for him. Aside from the Hell in a Cell at Armageddon this was probably the biggest match of his career and yet it was one of the worst matches of the night. I do miss The Rock but even he and his showmanship can’t make a match good unless there’s that talented wrestler in there to help him work through it. Rikishi did try though; he even took a leaf out of Triple H’s book and brought in the sledgehammer to help himself out. He even kicked out of a Rock Bottom. The eye sore of the night came when Rock took the Stink Face – like the bronco buster, that move should only be used by a face as comedy against a heel; it’d be like Jillian’s boob rub being taken as a serious finisher. Rikishi also got in a nice Samoan drop and Rock gained momentum with a spinebuster. He then delivered a People’s Elbow that apparently tasered Rikishi because he started vibrating on the canvas like a dehydrated flounder. This was enough to keep Rikishi down for the 1-2-3 but while Rock was celebrating, Rikishi superkicked him and landed four Banzai drops off the top rope to him. Paramedics were carrying Rock out on a stretcher as Rikishi looked on sadistically. 
To be honest, this angle was like Santino going full on monster heel and feuding with Randy Orton – i.e. it didn’t work. The Rock was able to insert some form of energy into the match but it really just flopped. 4/10

Women’s Championship – Ivory* vs Lita:
I’m not gonna quote the typical diva fan and cheer “yeah, when divas could actually wrestle” followed by a football chant that goes “there’s only one <insert name here>” because back then they were pretty much in the same state they are right now – hit and miss. The fans were just starting to take the divas seriously as wrestlers but it wasn’t until 2002 that it actually happened. Early on in the match Lita got cut open above her eye; the announcers sold it as Ivory cutting her with a right hand but it was actually caused by an enziguri (Ivory’s boot caught Lita above the eye as they both came down). It soon turns into a full on bleed out but the women soldier on anyway. Ivory worked on the challenger with a leg drop, elbow drop and northern lights suplex (she was wrestling in a long skirt so she was pretty restricted). Her fellow Right to Censor team mate Steven Richards ran down to help her but Lita went to the top rope and body blocked both of them. Back in the ring she landed a crossbody but missed her moonsault when Richards pulled Ivory out of the ring. Ivory grabbed her belt and went to use it but Lita suplexed her (the sound Ivory made when this happened was hilarious) and removed her top before going to the top again. Here she landed the moonsault but Ivory put the belt on her knees to counter the move. She covered Lita and retained her title. After she left, the crowd applauded Lita for her effort. 
To be honest, I saw nothing different from this diva match than you would see in one today apart from the blood. The match got about four minutes in total and yet was still fleshed out and told a great story. To those who complain that the divas suck now and can’t wrestle, look closely at Lita. In this stage in her career, the moonsault and her hurricanranas were all she had as she was pretty sloppy at everything else and Ivory was carrying her through this match. However she was a trooper and really got the fans behind her in this match. 6/10

WWF Championship – Kurt Angle* vs The Undertaker:
Two holy hells in less than three minutes – Kurt Angle with hair! And the American badass! I have to say, I enjoy the Undertaker’s matches a lot more when he doesn’t take so long to walk to the ring. Of course that gives me no time for my bathroom break though. Now this one was just a pure classic in the making – none of Kurt Angle’s later reigns could top this one. It’s just a shame he couldn’t make it to WrestleMania and they fed him to The Rock just so they could set up Stone Cold’s heel turn. This match was extremely back and forth and had absolutely no padding – take note main eventers of today (you too Taker). I’m having a hard trouble remembering everything about it. Nobody sold Taker’s moves better than Kurt Angle did, especially that guillotine leg drop – Kurt looked like he’d nearly been decapitated. Taker took the champion to the outside and went nasty, driving his back into the ring post a few times. None other than Edge and Christian ran down to the ring to interfere but the referee was having none of it and so he sent them packing. In the ring Undertaker chokeslammed Kurt but the ref took too long to get back in the ring and the champion survived. The spot of the match came when Kurt locked in a Figure 4 Leg Lock around the ring post. He fought dirty as well with the usual low blow that heels normally do. He ran outside and hid under the ring but Taker pulled him out. Back in the ring he delivered the Last Ride and covered him for 1-2…the ref stopped counting. The man on the canvas wasn’t Kurt Angle but a lookalike (Kurt’s brother actually; he used that trick again in a match against Brock Lesnar in 2003). The real Kurt snuck in and rolled the Undertaker up, grabbing the tights for leverage to retain his title. 
Match of the night by far and definitely up there with the Survivor Series classics. I wish WWE hadn’t let Kurt Angle get away. 9/10

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Edge & Christian, Bull Buchanan & the Goodfather vs Hardy Boyz & Dudley Boyz:
Ah, the peak of the tag team division – three great teams in the ring as well as a stable that were a heat machine. This got more time than the first Survivor Series match but, maybe it’s the DX nostalgic in me, I preferred the first one. Val Venis came down with Buchanan and the Goodfather for “moral support”. First great spot of the match came when it broke down early on and all four of the faces hit a quadruple DDT on the heels. The Hardys stripped to reveal camouflage t-shirts in honour of their partners and hit the typical Poetry in Motion before stripping again to appease their female fans. Sadly for the fan girls Matt Hardy was the first eliminated with Edge’s new move – Edge-o-matic (it’s not new now but it’s still a cool move). Christian also took D-Von Dudley out of the mix with an Unprettier (it’s called the Killswitch now) but things went south for the heels when Edge speared Bull Buchanan by mistake which allowed Bubba to eliminated him. Edge was next to go after a Bubba Bomb (King wailed “no more Edge-o-matic!?” when this happened). The Goodfather used a Samoan driver to send Bubba to the showers, leaving Jeff Hardy alone in a 3-on-1 deal. He was able to overcome the odds and sent Goodfather to the outside before hitting the Twist of Fate on Christian and landing the Swanton Bomb to eliminate him. Val Venis attempted to interfere by getting up on the apron but Jeff ducked the assault and Venis clotheslined the Goodfather by accident. Jeff was able to pin him to get the win for his team but the RTC stormed the ring to gang up on Jeff. Venis landed the Money Shot on him but help arrived in the form of the Dudleys and Matt Hardy. They tabled their enemies and celebrated. 
I really do love these SS matches and it was just epic to see all those teams standing side by side as partners. It was a bit more chaotic than the first one so some parts of it were a bit sloppy but the crowd was hot for it and it was worth watching. 7/10

No Disqualification Match – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs Triple H:
People love to whine and moan about how many PPVs John Cena has main evented for WWE yet never complain about Stone Cold in the main event considering that he hogged the spotlight as well as being an average wrestler. This was the result of an ongoing storyline that was Triple H running down Austin a year ago and Mick Foley officially made the match No DQ earlier in the night. This was of course a brawl at best and that is of course what everyone did best in the Attitude Era. You have to hand it to Triple H and Austin and the amount of effort they put into this feud; you really feel like they hated each other and wanted to see what they would do to each other (there’s a joke that could be made about that last statement but please be classy and ignore it). This was even more hectic than Kane/Jericho and Angle/Undertaker so a lot of it is a blur. There was a LOT of ringside fighting as well as the typical brawl at the announce table. Austin even chugged a beer after hitting Trips with a monitor. The match eventually spilled to the backstage area twice where on the second time, Austin was ambushed by the Radicalz. Triple H ran off and we found him waiting inside a car in the hopes of running Austin over. Benoit appeared and they had no idea where he’d gone. Austin turned the tables however and he drives a forklift into the screen and hoists Triple H’s car up high in the air before dropping it down. I guess this is a no contest then. 
You can look at that ending in two ways; first of all you could complain about how unrealistic it is to do that just for a storyline. Austin got run over the year before and was out for 8 months yet Triple H returned to ring action only a few weeks later when he should have been killed. Or you can appreciate that the aim was to shock the audience which it did and really emphasized what the Attitude Era was all about. So, chalk it all up to Rule of Cool. 6/10

Ranking of the matches:
1)    WWF Championship (9/10)
2)    Radicalz vs Chyna, Gunn, Road Dogg, K-Kwik (8/10)
3)    Hardys & Dudleys vs E&C & RTC (7/10)
4)    6-person tag (7/10)
5)    Kane vs Chris Jericho (7/10)
6)    Women's Championship (6/10)
7)    No DQ brawl (6/10)
8)    The Rock vs Rikishi (4/10)
9)    European Championship (3/10)

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