It was 22 years ago on Thanksgiving that the then-WWF paid of its tease of an egg by the entrance way, as the Gobbledy Gooker debuted at Survivor Series. It was one of the lamest – and now most legendary – debuts in history.
Hell in a Cell has come and gone, with CM Punk hanging on to his WWE Championship thanks to the help of referee Brad Maddox. While the ending left a lot to be desired, the creative team was backed into a corner and the end probably justified the means.
Our “payoff” on Monday’s Raw saw the booking of a traditional five-on-five Survivor Series match between Team Punk (Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and The Miz) v. Team Foley (Ryback, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Kane and Daniel Bryan).
Sure, this match has some smells of typical WWE “put the singles guys in feuds with their foes in tag team matches” booking to it, but a traditional Survivor Series match on the pay-per-view called Survivor Series is probably a good thing.
Early in the show, I had high hopes for a few traditional elimination matches but the use of all these names in the top match make me think that’s not possible. The tying up of the WWE, Intercontinental and Tag Team champions also means we won’t get a whole lot out of the rest of the card.
Here, though, are some matches I think we might see to round out the card:
Antonio Cesaro is available, and following the run-in of R-Truth during the Cesaro-Kofi Kingston match, we might see Cesaro defend his United States Championship against Truth.
The World Heavyweight Championship will probably be up for grabs again, with Sheamus getting his rematch against Big Show.
The recent interactions between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, as well as Vickie Guerrero’s “witch hunt” aimed at AJ, means we’ll probably see Cena and Ziggler go at it.
I’d also love a “midcard” elimination match with maybe Santino, Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio v. 3MB and the Primetime Players. Will we see that, though? I would say the odds are more likely of the competitors being in other tag team matches just to add more to the card.
While many probably considered Survivor Series to be boring and to lack punch, I think it was a card filled with smart booking. After the rapid pace of title changes, it was actually nice to see both of the top belts defended successfully.
*Clearly WWE is trying to push Sheamus to the moon and they showed that again when he pinned John Morrison during the Team Miz v. Team Morrison elimination match. I expected Morrison to pin The Miz to avenge his loss at Bragging Rights but the shining stars of that match were Miz, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. It seems WWE is actually ready to pull the trigger on their youth movement.
*The triple threat match for the WWE Title was very good, even though many were disappointed that John Cena was victorious. My money says Cena holds the title until WrestleMania.
*Kofi Kingston got elevated to star status last night when he pinned CM Punk and Randy Orton in the span of less than a minute to win the Team Kingston v. Team Orton match. Kofi has all the tools to be a top star, especially since WWE has let him drop his fake Jamaican accent.
*I think it was the right move for The Undertaker to hold onto the strap. It’s likely that he’ll match up with Batista in his next program. It makes sense since it’s been a few years since the two have squared off and Batista is a heel now, which should make it seem even more fresh.
*Speaking of Batista, the crowd was solidly behind him during his match with Rey Mysterio. The announcers tried to play it off that it was Batista’s home town of DC but it’s also a great gimmick for him. It reminded me a little of the “Attitude Era” when heels were cheered.
Count me as one of the very few that actually digs Abraham Washington’s act. Putting Tony Atlas with him, mostly because the creative team had nothing else for him to do, was a good move and added a little more humor to the gimmick.
Here, the two run down tonight’s Survivor Series card.
Survivor Series is one of WWE’s “original four” pay-per-views, if you will. Over the years it has changed but the 2009 version still features three traditional Survivor Series elimination matchups, as well as two world title contests.
WWE Title Triple Threat Match: Shawn Michaels v. Triple H v. John Cena [C]
The build for this contest has revolved entirely around the lame comedy of John Cena, DX and Hornswoggle. Part of me thinks that will lead to a big swerve, leading to a HBK-HHH match at WrestleMania XXVI. On paper, though, this match has the makings of a classic.
It’s too early to have Cena drop the belt but WWE’s creative team seems to care little about devaluing the championship. A triple threat match is a great way to have the champ lose the belt while not getting pinned clean. Could we see some sort of setup where either Triple H or Michaels lays down for the other, enraging Cena?
I think Cena loses the belt to Trips, with Michaels getting jealous and leading to a matchup between the two down the road. Even if they played it as face v. face, it’s been long enough since HHH and HBK went at it where it would be fresh at WrestleMania.
Winner and NEW WWE Champion: Triple H
World Heavyweight Title Triple Threat Match: Chris Jericho v. Big Show v. The Undertaker [C]
While I’d love to see Chris Jericho walk out as the new champion, I just don’t think it will happen. It would be nice to have a heel champ so John Morrison could slide into the world title picture and have a natural opponent. Jericho would be a good fit and having him hold the World Heavyweight Title would be a good way to allow that belt to be defended on both Raw and Smackdown.
Jericho has been booked to look so week for the last few months, which sometimes means the guy will come out as the champ, but I don’t see it here. I think ‘Taker wins the match, but we get the inevitable Jericho-Show breakup. Perhaps Edge does a run-in?
Winner and STILL World Heavyweight Champion: The Undertaker
Rey Mysterio v. Batista
Batista has to win this match. I could see it playing out the other way but if the creative team wants to further Batista’s new character as that of a dominating bully, he needs to beat the smallest man in the WWE. It won’t be a squash match but I think Batista wins after Rey mounts some nice offense.
Tradition Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Kofi (Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, MVP, R-Truth, Christian) v. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Ted DiBiase, Cody Rhodes, CM Punk, William Regal)
The winners and losers aren’t as important in these matches as enhancing feuds. That will be the goal with Kofi-Orton and Truth-Punk, especially.
This has the chance to be really, really good. The match is full of good workers (aside from Mark Henry, who can look good with the right opponent, though) and is stuffed with rising stars. It will be a treat to see Christian square off with CM Punk or Randy Orton one-on-one.
I think Team Orton wins simply because Kofi has gotten the best of Orton several times on TV and the focal point of this match will be further developing that feud.
Winners: Team Orton
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Miz (The Miz, Jack Swagger, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler) v. Team Morrison (John Morrison, Evan Bourne, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin, Finley)
As with the Team Orton v. Team Kofi match, the point here will be to enhance feuds. While Miz v. Morrison will be a main point, the Miz and Jack Swagger feud should also be further developed. That will also be true of Drew McIntyre and Finley’s budding rivalry, and Morrison against Dolph Ziggler.
I’ll take Morrison’s team to win it since Miz got the pinfall victory over his former partner at Bragging Rights.
Winners: Team Morrison
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Mickie (Mickie James, Eve, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Gail Kim) v. Team Michelle (Michelle McCool, Layla, Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Alicia Fox)
WWE doesn’t seem to care about developing feuds in the women’s division. They given it a little effort with the Mickie v. Michelle angle, and Melina v. Alicia has some potential. But really we’re just in it for the eye candy in this one.
Winners: All of us for getting to watch it (but I’ll say Team Mickie, leading to a Mickie title challenge)
(All images courtesy of WWE.com)