WHAT WAS THE BEST AND WORST USAGE OF A CELEBRITY IN THE WORLD OF WRESTLING?!?
There is no limitation to this…it can be matches, guest appearances, feuds, one off moments, ring announcers, managers, music videos, and the list goes on. Really rack your brains and use your imaginations here, because there have been some real doozies good and bad.
Also…I will be debuting a QUESTION & ANSWER section in my next column in which I will field your questions. After all, why should I get to ask all the questions…shouldn’t I have to answer them too? So in addition to your thoughts on the question of the week, take a few minutes to shoot some questions my way. They can be as random and diverse as you want them to be…I have a rather expansive knowledge of wrestling past & present, all sports, and all entertainment…so fire away – no question is too absurd!
Now, on to the matter at hand…THE SURVIVOR SERIES!
Since I love the nostalgia, naturally I’m going to take a walk down Survivor Series memory lane before looking at this year’s matches. I will be completely spit-ballin’ here…throwing out a bunch of random thoughts and seeing what sticks. And other than right now, I won’t even be mentioning the Gobbledee Gooker.
The coolest thing about the first few years of this annual Thanksgiving time event was the mega, tag team eliminations matches! That’s right, 1987 and 1988’s shows totally rocked the 20 man elimination bouts. Tag teams such as The Young Stallions (twice), The Conquistadors, Th Bolsheviks (twice), The British Bulldogs (twice), The Killer Bees, and tons others appeared in these matches…which announced to the world – The Survivor Series is cool. Here’s a fun fact about these matches…one year The Rougeaus were on the face team and the next year they were on the heel squad.
1990 brought us one of two enormous debuts that took place at the Survivor Series…THE UNDERTAKER! The Undertaker came in and absolutely wrecked shop before accidentally getting counted out. The announcers sold it that he wass such a monster that he didn’t even understand the rules. Perhaps his manager and/or teammates should have explained them to him? Overall, this was one awesome card, as it also included the first ever team to cleanly sweep one of these matches without anyone getting eliminated…The Visionaries (Martel, Warlord, Hercules, & Roma). And best of all, was the siiiiick concept (one that they should have retained in future years) – the match of survival! The winners of every match, then joined forced for a final face vs heel ultimate match of Survival. Sweet concept.
The following year’s card brought a moment that gave me years of laughter on VHS. After being rolled up an pinned by The Million Dollar Man, Bret Hart sits up and very visibly yells a “four letter word starting with the letter F.” Also, how about a team of Hercules, Col Mustafa, Skinner, and The Beserker? What an assemblage of awesomeness on one squad.
1994 was the next totally badass Survivor Series. First of all, there were 6 midgets, one of whom was named Sleazy. That’s a good start. Next, we had the payoff to the awesome Lex Luger/Tatanka Million Dollar stable feud…check this match out sometime and make note to one of wrestling funniest botch jobs…King Kong Bundy gets a full head of steam and runs aggressively at Luger, only to give him one of the most pitiful kicks ever scene. More importantly, this card also brought us the split between HBK & Big Daddy Cool. Big doings. First and foremost, one of the best storylines and matches in WWE history also was on this stacked card…Owen Hart tricking Helen to throw in the towel to allow Bob Backlund to defeat Bret Hart for the World Title in a submission match! “A SET UP?!?!? YOU GOT IT RIGHT, IT WAS A SET UP! THIS IS THE GREATEST THANKSGIVING OF MY LIFE!!!”
The next two years brought us some of the most ridiculous teams in the long tenure of this Thanksgiving tradition. First we had crack team of 1-2-3 Kid/Barry Horowitz/Marty Jannetty/Bob Holly/Hakushi. Then very peculiar face squad of Yokozuna/Flash Funk/Savio Vega/an elderly Jimmy Snuka vs Vader/Farooq/Fake Razor & Fake Diesel. But Flash Funk was not the biggest name to debut on this card! Teaming up with such luminaries as The Stalker, in 1996 we met the third generation superstar, Rocky Maivia, for the first time. He bored us to tears, but he was the soul survivor in his bout.
The Montreal Screwjob…enough said.
The next year departed from the normal SS format, but the Title tournament did provide us with a very high quality swerve. Then, this card sucked for a few years. Bigtime. Hence, I will simply ignore them. Moving forward, I was in attendance at Survivor Series 2002, which was the first ever Elimination Chamber, with a returning HBK winning the title. The 2003 version of the show brought us undoubtedly the largest and stiffest team in elimination match history – Lesnar/Big Show/Matt Morgan/Nathan Jones/A-Train. That is scary on so many levels. Am I the only one who has literally no recollection of Mr. Kennedy vs The Undertaker in a First Blood match in 2006? Did this match actually even happen? I sincerely don’t know. And finally, last year offered us the biggest mismatch in not only WWE history, but probably just the history of general life – The Great Khali vs Hornswoggle.
So that takes us to this year’s card. I am quite pleased to see a bunch of traditional Survivor Series format matches on the card this year, although I can’t help but feel like a lot of them have a very last second/thrown together sort of feel to them. But I will try my best to not complain and enjoy the card. Here are my quickie predictions…
The Undertaker over The Big Show in a casket match. This is pretty easy…I just can’t imagine Taker jobbing again. I will go out on a random limb here and say that I could imagine a returning Umaga to play a role in this match.
Jeff Hardy over Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov for the WWE championship. As we discussed this week in the first installment of fan feedback, if they’re going to do this, the time is now. That way that can take the strap off of the poor guy before Mania ever comes into play. Plus, it’s a triple threat match, so he doesn’t even need to pin Triple H…seems like a recipe for victory to me.
Chris Jericho over John Cena. The placement of the matches will tell us a lot…if this closes the show, Cena will probably win, but if Hardy closes the show, Cena will likely lose. I can’t help but guess that Orton, amongst others, will try to get involved in this match. This could just be my own personal bias and wishful thinking, but I can’t see Cena winning it just yet. Down with Cena!
Team RAW Divas vs Team SD Divas. This can best be summed up by saying…who cares? I’ll take a flier and go with Team RAW. Does the outcome of this matter either way? Mickie and Kelly Kelly survive. A SD diva picks up a surprise pinfall on Beth in the process.
Team HBK will pick up the win over Team JBL. This one will at least involve one double DQ of double CO. Cryme Tyme will job and job big. HBK and Rey Rey survive.
Team Orton over Team Batista…Henry & Randy will do all of the eliminating for his squad, but Randy will still find himself down 3-1 in the end. Orton will manage to pull off the huge upset and comeback though and take this match in a shocker. I predict Randy will be the soul survivor. Randy Orton will once again be headlining WM this year and this is the beginning of his rise back into the stratosphere.
Hope everyone enjoys the one card a year, in which matches end spontaneously and arbitrarily after somebody hits a clothesline or a schoolboy roll-up!