Ah, I have a good job.
Well, that’s enough basking for now. Let’s dive into the show.
I have to admit, sometimes it’s difficult to choose a Headliner for my Takes. Coming off a PPV event where no titles changed hands – something I didn’t expect – it becomes especially difficult.
Tonight, however, I think it’s only right to give the distinction to someone who wasn’t even on the card tonight. The Rated R Superstar – Edge – has returned.
As a bloody Hell in a Cell match between World Heavyweight Champion Batista and the Undertaker looked like it would come to a conclusion in the Dead Man’s favor, Edge emerged and laid Taker out. The man even laid a dormant Batista on top of Taker to give the Champ the victory.
Afterward, as Taker managed to sit up, Edge used a steel chair and swung for the bleachers to take the defeated challenger down again.
At the risk of sounding like a WWE promo spot, I’m betting Taker will be looking to rain hell on Edge at Armageddon.
Edge needed to come back with a vengeance, and this certainly was one way to do it. Taking on the Dead Man and screwing him once again is certain to draw Taker’s wrath.
But, I’m not completely happy with how it went down. Keep reading, and we’ll get to that later.
Also qualifying for The Downsiders – The Rated R Superstar – Edge – has returned.
Now before I confuse you too much let me state for the record that I’m glad to see Edge return. Good heels can be hard to come by, especially these days, and Edge definitely pulls it off well in my opinion.
I was, however, disappointed that what was supposed to be the ultimate climax in the rivalry between Undertaker and Batista was ended by interference from Edge. This was a match I was looking forward to, expecting an intense one between these rivals. And if there’s one thing I’m not a fan of, although it’s been done for years, is the “run-in” for a big match like this.
Although I rarely interject my own ideas into my Takes, just my opinions, I’ll tell you that I was fully expecting Taker to win the belt from Batista tonight and then perhaps be attacked by Edge to kick off that rivalry. Close, but no cigar.
Well, we can’t please everyone I suppose.
Just as much for my taste for tradition as anything else, tonight’s High-fliers distinction goes to the traditional Survivor Series match. I only wish there were more of them, and something at stake aside from pride.
Tonight’s only such match featured the team of Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Kane and Rey Mysterio taking on the team of Umaga, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay, Big Daddy V and MVP. HHH’s team was short one Matt Hardy because of the attack by his former tag partner MVP on Friday’s Smackdown!.
Kennedy and Mysterio started things off, and it was the Green Bay native who would establish the first upper hand – albeit briefly. Kennedy had reversed an arm bar, hit a few blows on Mysterio and put him down with a hard shoulder block for the first pin attempt of the match. But Rey responded quickly by getting a boot up to meet a charging Kennedy and hitting a Hurricanrana.
Rey hit a rather unique flip into a pinning attempt, then tagged out to Hardy and showed flashes of his brother as Rey went to his hands and knees allowing Jeff to vault off him into a cornered Kennedy. Hardy continued the offense with kicks and blows and decided to go for the Twist of Fate, hoping to even the odds quickly, but Kennedy pushed off and hit a hard clothesline for a near fall.
MVP was next to see action as he was tagged in and dealt out some kicks and blows to Hardy, even briefly targeting the knee as he had on Jeff’s brother. He quickly got a near fall, and just as quickly left the ring as he tagged in Big Daddy V.
V’s monstrous size (not to mention â<80>¦ oh, well, perhaps we’ll actually refrain from the V fat jokes for one night) was too much for Hardy as he clubbed the flier down, hit a head butt, then even walked on Hardy’s chest. Hardy managed to escape V’s wrath, however, by hanging on to the ropes after a whip and tagging in his own sizable partner – Kane.
Momentum shifted quickly as Kane went off on V with blows and kicks, then hitting a hard clothesline on his cornered opponent. MVP decided to interject himself into the situation, and was knocked silly by Kane for his trouble. Kane then went up top and nailed his flying clothesline and was setting up for a choke slam when Finlay decided to get involved as well.
Finlay was no problem for Kane to dispatch, but the distraction cost him as V hit the Samoan Drop followed by an elbow to make Kane the first man eliminated from the bout.
Triple H came in and went off on V, hitting a face buster before Big Daddy hit a hard clothesline to stop The Game’s momentum. V missed a splash, however, and tagged in Umaga. The Samoan Bulldozer and The Game traded blows, with HHH getting the upper hand in the exchange and even hitting a boot to the head of Umaga. A belly-to-belly by Umaga followed by a head planted squarely into HHH’s chest changed the roles of the competitors, and Umaga kept the advantage hitting blows and head butts.
HHH had the wherewithal to roll away from a diving head butt by Umaga, however, and quickly tagged in Mysterio. Never one to shy from a size disadvantage, Rey attacked Umaga quickly but was slowed when a slide under Umaga was met with a hard stomp. Umaga missed when dropping his arse onto Rey, and Mysterio quickly hit a drop kick on the sitting Umaga for a pin attempt – one he was thrown from with authority.
Rey continued the offense with kicks, but Umaga shoved him off. The little heavyweight kicked in some aerials as he flew up to Umaga’s shoulders, but looked like he might be in trouble as Umaga held on to Rey. Mysterio still managed to turn it into a “sorta” Hurricanrana that set up a successful 619, then hit the West Coast Pop, sorta, for a near fall.
Umaga had had enough and caught Rey as he attempted a cross body, slamming Mysterio hard to the mat and hitting the Samoan Spike to eliminate another team HHH member – making the odds now five to two.
Now we were back to Hardy and Kennedy, with Kennedy hitting a boot to the mid-section and several blows before Hardy recovered, hitting a clothesline and drop kick in retaliation. Kennedy dodged the corner drop kick, however, and got a near fall saved only by Hardy’s proximity to the ropes. MVP tagged in, stomping away on Hardy before locking in a sleeper hold of sorts. Hardy eventually fought his way out and hit the Twist of Fate, however, finally taking one of the heel team out of the match.
Kennedy was back in right away to quell any momentum by Hardy, stomping him down and getting a near fall. Hardy then hit a kick to the head and tagged in HHH. The Game took Mr. K down quickly with blows, a face buster and clothesline for a near fall. He then hit a clothesline in the corner but was met with Kennedy’s elbow on the second attempt. Not to be thwarted, HHH quickly hit a spinebuster on Kennedy.
Big Daddy V tried to save his partner, but dropped an elbow on Kennedy instead as HHH dodged the attack. A charging V was sent toppling out of the ring as HHH dropped the top rope, and The Game got the pin on Kennedy to make it 3-2.
HHH was then dragged from the ring by V. Hardy tried to make the save for his partner, but was caught in the air by the monster and driven into the ring post for his efforts. HHH faired no better as he soon became intimate with the steel steps at ringside.
Back in the ring, it seemed as though the odds would be too much as HHH was whipped into Hardy in the corner, but the duo dodged an avalanche from V and hit a double-DDT to take the ECW bully out of the match.
Finlay was back in the action as he took it to HHH hard, hitting an uppercut and some stomps in the corner for a near fall. A hard clothesline from the Irishman put The Game down again, but a decision to try a jump from the corner met with HHH’s boot. Hardy tagged in and looked completely refreshed as he hit a flurry of offense on Finlay. The momentum was slowed however when he was knocked down from the turnbuckle.
Finlay then flipped Hardy over the ropes to land on the ring apron, but a quick foot from Umaga to the head sent the “Rainbow-haired Warrior” to the floor. Once back in the ring a hard clothesline from Finlay earned him a near fall on Hardy. It wasn’t long before Hardy hit the Whisper in the Wind out of nowhere, but Umaga managed to tag himself back in. He dragged Jeff away from a needed tag to HHH, but Jeff hit a kick to get free and bring in HHH as Finlay reentered the mix.
The Game took it to Finlay, hitting a high knee and recovering quickly from a Finlay kick to nail a spinebuster. He set up for the Pedigree, but Umaga put a stop to that with a kick to the head. Finlay hit a cheap shot on Hardy and then set HHH up for the Celtic Cross, but The Game escaped and nailed the Pedigree to put the odds in his team’s favor for the first time.
Umaga charged in, pummeling HHH with perhaps even a couple dozen quick blows in the corner. He would miss the “butt avalanche” as I like to call it, and HHH tagged in Hardy. Before yielding to his partner, HHH hit the Pedigree on Umaga, laying him out for Hardy to hit the Swanton Bomb for the victory.
– The night started with the Triple Threat Match for the ECW Championship between CM Punk, John Morrison and The Miz. And, while I’m definitely down on Miz and still not sold on Morrison, the trio put on a decent showing. Miz and Morrison, who recently took the WWE Tag Team belts from Matt Hardy and MVP, teamed up to take it to Punk for a while. But it was Miz who first turned on his partner to truly turn things into “every man for himself.”
– Oh, to be the referee in a Divas match with 10 of these beautiful women. Ok, enough dreaming. The team of Beth Phoenix, Layla, Jillian Hall, Victoria and Melina took on Mickie James, Michelle McCool, Torrie Wilson, Kelly Kelly and Maria.
– Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly took on Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch for the World Tag Team Championship. I’m still seeing improvement from Rhodes and like this pairing with the superb veteran. But you know the tale with many tag matches. This time, it was Holly who was kept in the match for a while getting pounded and Rhodes who eventually got the tag and exploded into the match. The rookie hit a running bulldog on Murdoch and a missile drop kick for a near fall broken up by Cade, who was then taken out by Holly. Murdoch pulled off an unusual maneuver into a pin to retain the belts, however. After the match, HH picked up Rhodes, stared him down, nodded and gave him one of those “we’ll get ’em next time” slaps.
– A humorous interview backstage with Team HHH before their match as the conversation turned into reminders of all the terrible things HHH had done in his past. Kane reminded him that he once accused Kane of murder and acted like he was having sex with a mannequin, calling it Kane’s dead girlfriend. A lighthearted apology from HHH followed. Jeff Hardy then reminded HHH that he had put Hardy in the hospital. “My bad,” replied The Game. But the team was unified as HHH reminded them that the wonderful thing about a Survivor Series match was that a bunch of guys that have done terrible things to each other could put that all aside to do something terrible to somebody else.
– Vince had a heart-to-heart with Hornswoggle McMahon prior to his match, getting him pumped up to take on Great Khali. The little guy actually looked anxious to go by the time Vince was done with him. Shane and Vince joined him in the ring, with Shane even saying it was his privilege to introduce his “little brother.” As the match was about to begin, chants of “We want Shaq” filled the arena. (Shaq had ringside seats with his family.) Vince seemed quite agitated.
– Randy Orton defended the WWE Championship against Shawn Michaels in a match that really showed that “wrestling” in it’s purest sense is still alive. There were plenty of grappling locks and maneuvers to satisfy the traditional wrestling fan in this one, and I truly enjoyed what the pair offered this night. My only disappointment was with how the match ended. HBK instinctively cocked his leg for a superkick, hesitated when he thought better of it (he’d lose the match by using it) and then Orton hit the RKO for the win. I expected Orton to keep the strap tonight, but really would like to have seen it end differently. Great effort by these two, however, and it was fun to watch Michaels turn into a submission-maneuver machine as he locked in the Sharpshooter (10 years since Montreal, I was glued hard to the television when he hit that one), a crippler crossface and an ankle lock.
– Another Jericho promo – TOMORROW_NIGHT. Lord, please let the writers at WWE use him well.
– Although I perhaps would have liked to see a bit more intensity, I was really quite happy with the Taker vs. Batista Hell in a Cell match – right up until Edge screwed it up. The two were a bloody mess and really took it to each other in a bout that I really thought was going to end in The Dead Man’s favor. Although it probably is, I truly hope that Edge interfering with such a great match isn’t how they end the Batista-Taker feud. It’s been a pretty good one, and it deserves a better end than this.
Don’t like my take? Let’s hear yours! Send me your e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org … the best and worst of the bunch may be featured in the weekly editions of Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Pullinâ<80><99> No Punches (found in the editorial section). Remember, short ones are good, long ones may be cut, and keep the name of the column in mind when you come looking for answers!