Hello everybody, and welcome to another edition of Reading Between The Ropes. As you may have noticed, I do not always preview and review PPVs anymore. The array of columns on such subjects has perhaps reached saturation point. However, for the “big 4”, and other select PPVs, I still think it’s a useful assignment to at least preview the show as it allows one to analyse the quality of the product and the feuds and storylines in the WWE on a periodic basis. So, without any further ado, let’s take a look at this year’s Survivor Series card.
Women’s Title: Trish vs. Melina
I think that on the surface this seems like your average women’s title match, however, those that know of the behind the scenes tension between these two might find this a little more intriguing than your casual fan. It makes sense that Melina, perhaps the most dominant diva on Smackdown!, should have aspirations of challenging the Women’s Champion at a time when the Raw vs. Smackdown! inter-promotional matches are at an all-time high. However, when you add in to the mix the fact that these two don’t see eye-to-eye, it always adds that extra bit of spice to the feud.
As for the match itself, well I don’t expect it to be anything more than a cat-fight. I’m sure we’ll see Mercury and Nitro get involved on the outside. I’m glad this match is on the card because when you have a card full of major match-ups like this one that will last a lengthy amount of time, you need something to break things up in between and give people a chance to recharge the batteries. Anyway, I expect a fairly short match, with Trish taking the win.
US Title Best of Seven Series: Match 1 – Booker T vs. Chris Benoit
I really like the idea of having a best of seven series between these two. The Cena-Booker series did not work AT ALL, for my money, and the matches actually got worse and worse. However, unlike Cena and Booker, these two have chemistry. I don’t think putting match one on this card is a good idea. Putting the least important match of the series on one of the biggest events of the year seems odd. No doubt the commentators will hype the fact that the first match has some big psychological advantage for the winner, but we all know that, in reality, this is the least significant match of the series. Perhaps if it was at a mid-way point in the series where a victory for one guy could seal it for them, or a victory for the other man would see the series continue then that would make the match more significant. Anyway, the complaining is not a serious complaint because what this means is that we’ll see 7 excellent matches between these two.
I hope this match is given a good 15 minutes. Although the card is full of potentially long matches, there are only 6 matches signed (and it will probably stay that way) and with one of them being a women’s match and another a GM match then this still could get the time allocation it deserves. As for the match itself, these two gel very well and I have no doubts that this one will be an excellent contest. I predict we’ll see Benoit take the win, and hopefully the crowd won’t be too confused as to why he won’t walk out with the belt at the end of it.
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long
This is simply ridiculous. I guess it’s another “match” that can slow the pace down and allow people to pause for breath, but it could also slow it down to a halt. It’s dangerous. I have no idea what kind of “match” we will see, but I certainly don’t want to see it. Surely some one else *cough* Matt Hardy *cough* could have got a spot on the card other than this contest. Long will “win”.
Last Man Standing Match: Ric Flair vs. HHH
I quite enjoyed their steel cage match, and I’m a big fan of the Last Man Standing stipulation, so I expect to be fairly entertained here, as long as it doesn’t drag on for too long. Unfortunately, I fully expect these two to overdo it and for the match to go on for about 8 minutes too long (don’t ask me why 8). I’m sure there will be blood spilt again from both men, and chairs and sledgehammers at the plenty. This gimmick usually brings about a good contest, and I’m sure this match will be no different. I’m glad these two haven’t had a regular match yet, because I think they’d seriously struggle on that front.
As for a winner? Well, Flair won the last time round, and his good friend may well put him over again. However, the safer bet is probably with Hunter to win the match and even the scores at 1-1, probably meaning these two have one final match that probably ends up being one match too many.
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown!
I love the classic Survivor Series matches, and I’m sure this one will have several entertaining moments, probably in the latter stages. I’d like to see meaningful decisions at a long time-period in between each. Sometimes the WWE has done this in recent years, and other times it has not, so your guess is as good as mien as to whether we’ll see significant decisions and not a clusterf*** of eliminations. With the small amount of matches on the card, and the two relatively smaller matches on the card, I hope there is a strong case I will get my wish.
Batista’s involved will surely be limited with his injury, but this could mean one of two very different outcomes – one that he is eliminated early or eliminated with little in-ring participation in a count-out of some sorts. Or, it could me he gets the hot tag near the end of the match and quickly proves the decisive factor, much like on Raw this past week. I would liken the second outcome to HHH’s win at Summerslam 2003 in the Elimination Chamber despite his injury. I would think that the more likely option is the second one but might also include the possibility that, despite the hot tag, Batista is still eliminated.
The winner is a tough one to call. I really have no idea who will pick up the win here. Raw might be the safer bet with Vince clearly seeing it as the stronger brand in most people’s eyes, but with a World Champion on the Smackdown! team I’m going to go with Teddy Long’s 5-piece to pick up the win.
WWE Title: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle
Daivari’s introduction as Kurt’s personal referee is a decent addition to this feud because we’ve seen them go at it so many times before. At least it adds a different dimension to the contest than their previous matches.On the subject of their previous outings, these two usually produce a good contest with lots of exciting inter-changes. Cena seems to be at home when wrestling Kurt, who definitely brings the best out of the WWE Champion.
Cena’s reign has been lengthy, however, I feel the time is about to run out on Cena’s reign. Daivari will no doubt be the cause of any Cena defeat, should it come, and I believe the time hath cometh. I was certain of such a result until I read about the new drugs policy and how serious Mcmahon was taking it. I still feel Kurt will be given the belt, but with this drugs issue around, I’m not sure how long-term an Angle reign will be. But that’s a story for another time…
Until next time,
Mitchell L. Gadd