Welcome to a special MONDAY edition of the Wrath of Tito. Please excuse my absence from Friday, for I spent the entire Thursday evening studying my ass off for finals (they start this week). I did have Smackdown on while I was typing up my notes (a great studying technique - not only does it eliminate taking books or notebooks home, but it also implants the material more in your memory. You're welcome for the study advice.), and I thought it was a good Pay Per View hype show. The show is definitely taking a turn for the better without Stephanie McMahon. I'd highly recommend that Stephanie rejoin her new husband over on RAW, maybe becoming a co-General manager on RAW? That way, I can save myself 2 hours on the television for other stuff...
Survivor Series was the first Pay Per View I've seen since Summerslam. It's the truth. The September RAW Pay Per View looked like crap to me, and I boycotted the No Mercy Pay Per View with Stephanie vs. Vince McMahon. If I watch a Pay Per View, I have to do it at home and not at school. In the event that a Pay Per View interests me, I have to compromise myself by either driving 2+ hours late at night OR doing that drive early in the morning just to make classes. Survivor Series interested me, so hence, I watched it at home and just arrived to school.
Why did it interest me? The Survivor Series format matches... finally, more emphasis on that for a change. On to the review!
-Vince McMahon over the Undertaker
-Bill Goldberg over Triple H (since December's Pay Per View IS a RAW Pay Per View)
-Team Lesnar over Team Angle
-Team Austin over Team Bischoff
-Lita over Molly Holly
-Tajiri over Jamie Noble
I won the main event matches, but tanked on the rest of the card. I was one of the few who believed Bill Goldberg would go over Triple H. If HHH won the title, who would he wrestle on Armageddon? I figured Vince McMahon would get help to win his match, and early in the event, it came to me that the WWE wants to run Kane vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania 20. I came to this conclusion when Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon were in a backstage segment together, and since Vince praised Kane for his evil actions. Allow me to review the rest of the show.
The show started off with Team Austin vs. Team Lesnar. I was thinking either the Smackdown tag team match or the Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble match (which was scrapped) would open up the show. I had absolutely NO problems with this match. Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan were kept from embarrassing themselves, and the finish was VERY WELL DONE with 2 matches being born: Chris Benoit vs. Brock Lesnar (which I think can go ****+ on any given day) and Big Show vs. John Cena. They did a great thing by having Lesnar tapping out to Benoit (and Lesnar was denying it backstage, which means a feud is finally coming! I liked the champion salute, too, with Lesnar and Goldberg). This match came out better than expected, although Kurt Angle was somewhat swiftly eliminated. I can understand that, though, for he's going under the knife today to remove bone chips from his neck. Props to Cena for the FU Drop on the Big Show.
Next, it was Lita vs. Molly Holly. Decent carry job by Molly, and as good as a women's match as you can get involving the spotty Lita. Bless her heart, but Lita struggles in selling moves and has great problems with the technical part in professional wrestling. I did like the finish with the missing middle turnbuckle and was happy to see a great women's wrestler in Molly Holly winning the match.
Kane vs. Shane McMahon was next in the "Ambulance Match". Man, this was bad. I've seen better backyard hardcore matches between two fat slobs than what Shane and Kane tried. The only thing rewarding about this match was Kane taking the shots off the ambulance like man, especially the door to the face! The crowd was absolutely dead for this match, and I seriously hope Vince McMahon can set his son aside and say "look, you aren't a big draw. I appreciate your effort and I appreciate how you put your life on the line for the WWE. However, you're a regular looking human being. Kane is a tall monster, who used to be indestructable. We are trying to push Kane in a serious manner as a heel, but you are killing his credibility". I'm serious too. Shane believes that putting his body on the line will draw fans. Maybe in 1999 or 2000, but welcome to 2003. You can only do that elbow spot on the table so many times before it will become overexposed and draws no pop any longer.
The WWE was certainly trying to add heat to the Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff match by having Mark Cuban's involvement. Let me say that Mark Cuban is my favorite NBA owner. He loves his job and he's a major fan of his team. If I was in the NBA, I'd give my right arm to play for the Dallas Mavericks. Props to Cuban for being a great sport in allowing Randy Orton to RKO him. The Austin vs. Bischoff match didn't need extra heat, it needed a longtime face making an attempt at beating 3 guys in the ring, which happened tonight.
Next bout was Guerreros vs. Bashams. I clearly noticed that the Guerreros were totally beyond the Bashams on talent level. Just watch the chemistry and the transition moves by the Guerreros, while the Bashams do the same old fundamental stuff. The match was only OK just for watching the sheer beauty of Chavo and Eddie working together in a longer match. Guerreros lost after Chavo accidentally hit Eddie during a Tornado DDT, and Chavo was rolled up (held tights) to lose. Chavo was upset afterward, as they drag along the heel turn. Just remember, Christian took too long to turn on Edge, and Christian has been suffering as a heel ever since. Another well done finish.
Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff wasn't worth anything until it became a 3 on 1 with Shawn Michaels taking on Chris Jericho, Christian, and Randy Orton. The fans popped the loudest in this match for Shawn Michaels, and it pumped some great excitement into what could have been a big bomb of a match. By the way, both Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon did 2 of the sickest bladejobs I've ever seen. Both were pouring blood, probably each losing a pint of blood or so. Shawn beat Jericho and Orton in dramatic fashion, but after Jericho lost, he ran in with a chair and attacked Shawn Michaels. Afterward, he went over to Steve Austin and taunted him, hoping he'd be the one to end Austin's WWE career (or GM job). That was good stuff. Michaels survived it, and got around to preparing for the Superkick when Bischoff interfered. This prompted Steve Austin to run in and attack Bischoff, hit a Stunner on Orton, and then Austin would chase Bischoff out of the arena. The ref was bumped during all of this, and Batista then ran in and helped Orton win with a sitdown powerbomb. Steve Austin is gone, and they played it up as if it was his last WWE appearance ever. Oh come on! Great match once it was 3 on 1.
Our next bout was Vince McMahon vs. Undertaker, buh buh buh buh buried alive. This was hardly a Flair vs. Vince, Hogan vs. Vince, or even a Shane vs. Vince. Vince bladed very early in the match, and was pretty much pounded on for most of the match. They went to the grave, and as Undertaker tried to bury Vince by entering mechanical shovel, and explosion occurred and Kane came out. He threw Undertaker in the grave and Vince McMahon won the match. I had NO PROBLEMS with the finish. The WWE wants Undertaker vs. Kane at Wrestlemania 20, then fine, this was a great way to plant seeds for it. Vince praised Kane's actions a few months ago, so this made a great amount of sense. At least the WWE is doing some long term booking for once. Too bad this match just wasn't entertaining.
The Main Event was Bill Goldberg vs. Triple H. Looks like Triple H hasn't been in the weightroom as much lately, for he's getting a little flabby. I probably wouldn't be able to work out well with a hurt groin, too. The match was the usual Triple H "I can't carry anybody" type of match. The selling and attacks to the "shattered ankle" were bad, but you can't expect too much for a not-so-properly-trained Bill Goldberg and a unmotivated Triple H these days. I was happy to see Bill Goldberg to retain the title. Not for my own personal benefit, but for Goldberg's benefit. I'm sure some will say Triple H really kicked out, for he lifted his shoulder just as the referee counted 3. Yeah, I dislike that shit, but Goldberg did it all the time when he was in WCW and was asked to lose a match. My assumption regarding HHH not wanting the World Title now is because of RAW's ratings. He's waiting until Monday Night Football is done, meaning RAW will have a small spike in the ratings in January. He'll be champion by then and he'll take the credit, thereby further burying Bill Goldberg and the writing will be officially on the wall for Bill Goldberg to "get out".
LAST WORD: I really liked the finishes of the matches tonight. That alone, is satisfying. Many feuds and storylines can occur, which is what traditional Survivor Series event used to do. We can do Cena vs. Big Show, Benoit vs. Lesnar, and Kane vs. Undertaker for the future now. Hopefully, this show marks the end of Shane McMahon, who lose the ambulance match and RAW will be more satisfying without him. I'll give this show a [ B+ ] (B Plus). While there wasn't a standout match or overall great wrestling, the show was well written and the finishes were well executed and though out. Good show, brotha.
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@That's all for today's column. Just chill till the next episode....