History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 2001 – The End of the Alliance, Thank Goodness

Survivor Series 2001
Date: November 18, 2001
Location; Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Attendance: 10,142
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman

And we have arrived. It’s the end of the Invasion tonight as the main event is Alliance vs. WWF, winner takes all. Naturally the WWF is going to win, but the point was how do we get to that point? It’s a Survivor Series match which at least fits the name of the show and the theme of it. I’ll save my thoughts on the angle as a whole for the end of the review because it’s certainly something that’s historic enough for it’s own thoughts.

Also on the card we have a series of unification matches between the WCW titles and the WWF Titles, but there’s no world title unification match as that would come at Vengeance, in the famous night where Jericho beat Austin and Rock. Oh I almost forgot. HHH is out with injury at this point so he’s not here.

He’ll be back in about two months though to the absolute loudest pop I’ve ever heard. This certainly has the chance to be a good show, but there are several flaws in it that just on paper I can see holding it back from doing so, but maybe I’m wrong. Let’s find out.

For some reason that I don’t get, the poster is Torrie and Lita standing back to back. They look sexy, but what’s the point here?

We open with a very nicely done video package talking about the greatest moments in company history. This does a very good job of showing some of the highlights of the company and tying it in to the current storyline. This was well done.

The theme song for this show is Control by Puddle of Mudd, so that’s all we’ll be hearing all night. That’s a good thing though because it’s a good song. JR and Heyman (Lawler had left the company in February because his wife had been released and he left in protest. The witch left him and he was rehired and would be back next to JR the following night) talk about how this is the biggest PPV of all time. I thought this was 2001, not 1987.

European Title: Christian vs. Al Snow

Christian is in the Alliance at this point, but due to this song and video, he is AWESOME.

Dang that’s awesome. He’s still more or less a comedic guy here, but he’s coming around. I have no idea why he’s with WCW and ECW here, but whatever. Apparently this match was made on Heat, so take that for what it’s worth. Christian cuts a promo before the match, being a basic heel. He says he’s in South Carolina and various things like that. Snow comes out to the Tough Enough music which I always thought was a great song.

Ross gets a great line in about Christian: I’d like to buy him for what he’s worth and sell him for what he thinks he’s worth. That’s not bad at all. More or less this is designed to just give us a good opener as Snow is certainly solid enough to put on a good match. Christian is just ok, so Snow is one of the best choices there was to put in there with him. Naturally all the commentators can talk about is the main event.

For once, I’m ok with that as it really was a big match from a storyline perspective. Snow throws some of the weakest looking punches I’ve ever seen. It’s the most basic move there is and Snow’s are horrible. I’ve never liked that headbutt move that Snow does. I mean the one where he grabs the other guy’s arms and does a series of headbutts. It just looks odd indeed. Ross apparently thinks the back of the head is pretty, as he calls a reverse DDT the Unprettier.

It doesn’t really matter because it didn’t hit but whatever. Actually it does matter because he messes it up again when it hits. Snow hits a quick rollup for two so at least he’s awake. Snow hits the Snow Plow but Christian gets his foot on the rope. Snow looks at the foot but celebrates anyway, setting a fine example for his young wrestlers. The Unprettier ends this a few seconds later.

Rating: C+. Eh, it was there and it didn’t suck. Since it was made an hour ago, how much can they really put together out there? I’m fine with this though as it’s certainly not bad. It’s kind of a weird choice for an opener, but I can see what the point of having it on the show was. Not bad, but certainly nothing great at all here.

Austin is here and the rest of his team is thinking he’ll turn back to the WWF tonight. Vince said that was going to happen tonight, which has everyone in the Alliance panicking. I really hate that name. It doesn’t roll off the tongue at all. Angle and Austin nearly get into it again.

Vince and Linda debate about whether or not they should be worried about tonight. Cole interrupts them in a short sleeved shirt that is just odd looking on him. Speaking of odd, seeing Vince and Linda as a married couple and talking is something I can never remember seeing other than this. It kind of works. Vince more or less says that tonight it’s not a gamble because he has a 6th team member, implying Austin. Regal pops up and says nothing of importance.

William Regal vs. Tajiri

They used to be friends (a long time ago) and then Regal turned heel and beat up Torrie, who was Tajiri’s girlfriend at the time, leading to this. I absolutely love Tajiri’s music. This was supposed to be him vs. X-Pac in a unification match as they were Cruiserweight and Light Heavyweight champions respectively, but Pac was injured. Yeah I was stunned to hear that too.

Regal is freshly heel here, having screwed Angle out of the WWF Title against Austin and becoming Alliance commissioner. There’s just not a lot to talk about in this match as it’s just an intense fight. These guys are hammering the heck out of each other which is nice to see for a change. We get the always cool looking spot of Tajiri (or anyone) getting their head caught between the top and middle ropes.

That’s just sweet every time you see it for some reason. After getting out, Tajiri hits a heck of a kick on the head of Regal. This is a brawl to say the least. And Regal hits a butterfly powerbomb out of nowhere for the pin. Well that was abrupt. Post match Regal beats on him some more and Torrie, rocking some skin tight leather pants, runs out to check on him. Regal beats her up too.

Rating: C. It’s about three minutes long and the finish came out of left field. This should likely be N/A, but the three minutes were rather good with some very hard shots in there. It was good, but that ending was just out of nowhere. Not bad for what they had to work with though so I’ll say it’s ok.

We get a recap of Test vs. Edge, which more or less consists of Test stealing the IC Title from Edge and the Edge winning the US Title. Foley then made a unification match for tonight. It’s very simple, but at least with Test stealing it there’s some history here which is more than you’ll get for most matches in today’s product.

Test is in front of a mirror when Stacy comes up. She implies she’ll sleep with him if he wins after he hits on her. She is so ridiculously hot here it’s not fair.

Edge says that Test is going to lose. He’s ridiculously over at this point as he was on the brink of cracking into the main event and was having the best matches of his career. Unfortunately an injury would put him out for a year in February.

Unification Match: Edge vs. Test

Edge is rocking the Rob Zombie music here, so it’s completely awesome. Edge is over here, but not to the level he would reach once he went to Smackdown exclusively. Hey, did you know that Pat Patterson won the IC Belt in a tournament. Ross advises Edge to use his heart. We’ll ignore the fact that it’s an involuntary muscle and if Edge didn’t use it he would be dead and say that’s good advice as Test really was freakishly strong.

They’re doing that ignore thing, yet Heyman of all people brings the focus back to the title match at hand. Or is it titles match? I’m not sure. Edge really needs to go back to face. It just works better for him. As great as he is as a heel, him as a face is just awesome. This is somewhat back and forth but Test is mainly in control. Ross is once again ticking me off as he’s just running down Heyman while Paul is trying to talk about the match.

Ross actually takes the hint from Paul and talks about Test for a bit. That’s something you don’t see every day. There’s just no drama here at all for some reason. The main reason for that is the match is a lot of punching and kicking so it’s only so interesting. Now we’re getting better here with some nice fast paced kickouts. Test even hits a spear and not a bad one at all. Man he can do more than four moves. Test over Cena apparently.

Anyway, Edge of course kicks out as Heyman talks over and over again about how that’s Edge’s move and Test stole it. The pace speeds up pretty well which gets the crowd into it a lot more. See what happens when you stop just laying around and doing nothing at all? You get a crowd reaction, which is a good thing. Do it more often and you get bigger reactions. That’s basic wrestling psychology, yet sadly enough so many wrestlers don’t get it.

Edge hits the spear and Test kicks out of it as well, and it gets the crowd up and moving even more. I can’t believe it. They’re having more action and it’s getting a better reaction. I’m blown away. Anyway, enough of this sarcastic nonsense, as Test goes for a pumphandle slam and gets rolled up to unify Edge.

Rating: B-. This is a tale of two matches for sure as the beginning was putting me to sleep but it had a strong finish, which is good as it’s the most stuck in the minds of the fans. This was ok, but not much beyond it. I liked it, but I’m a mark for both guys, so therefore it’s unlikely a lot of people would like it. It wasn’t bad, but not great.

Stephanie is worried as Kurt tries to calm her. Stephanie is a bad actress. Like, really bad.

Lita and the Hardys are worried about their match and apparently something is wrong with Matt. This led to a long heel turn for Matt which took nearly a year to pull off. It led to Mattitude though, so it was completely worth it. Lita…yes, in all senses of the word. She runs into Trish coming out of Matt’s locker room. This is before their epic rivalry had really kicked into high gear. Trish in a tight white t-shirt and leather pants is an even bigger yes, if that’s possible. My goodness those are some hot women.

Unification Tag Titles: Hardys vs. Dudleys

This is in a cage by the way. Stacy is managing the Dudleys here and is perhaps the second sexiest she’s ever looked after this same look with glasses. There’s obviously history here but the latest one is from Smackdown where Lita knocked Stacy off the apron and Matt caught her, upsetting Lita. What in the world? What sense does that make? Lita knocks the other chick off and sees Matt beneath her which ticks her off? That is just freaking stupid.

There’s no Lita with the Hardys for no apparent reason, and apparently Matt and Jeff’s dad is a postman. That’s the kind of little trivia we should hear more of. Because this match and era is stupid, you have to tag in and out. Yep, that makes GREAT sense. Jeff is wrestling in a hat because he lives in the moment, whatever that means. Hearing Heyman talk about characters he created is very fun as you can just tell how much he loved ECW. That never gets old.

Excellent shot of Stacy’s camouflaged shorts. In another thing that the announcers (read as Heyman) does well here is point out that Matt and Jeff are the hometown boys. I didn’t catch that and that’s the commentator’s job: point out the little things like that which we might forget. Anyone that ever says that the Divas aren’t beautiful is a freaking idiot. Sorry they just keep showing Stacy and this tagging in and out thing is freaking stupid.

After five or six minutes we FINALLY do something with the cage. To be fair the wrestling is pretty good, but it just makes me wonder what the point of the cage is. Heyman saying WHAT A RUSH makes me chuckle. Jeff tries to escape but it fails as the heels are completely dominating. This is a rather long stretch of the heels dominating which is common in tag team cage matches.

I’m just waiting on the slam of one of those Dudleys into the cage to swing the momentum into the home town boys’ favor. For some reason I think of the Dukes of Hazard when I think of the Hardys. That just popped into my head and I have no idea why. And there’s our stupid heel moment to change the match. Jeff is down in the middle of the ring and both Dudleys go to a top rope. The tagging aspect has been forgotten at this point as it should be.

D-Von misses the headbutt because Jeff rolls out of the way. That’s fine as it’s pretty much the only counter there is to that move. Bubba, ever the genius though, jumps anyway because he’s so much faster than D-Von and he crashes too. Matt takes them both down with a double clothesline and we’re reversed with the faces now in control. Eventually Bubba calls out for a table, which Stacy pulls out.

She shows part of her shapely figure to the referee and picks his pocket to get the table in. That was at least simplistic. Matt gets out and it’s 2-1. D-Von gets thrown into the cage, and Ross says it doesn’t taste like chocolate. Allow me to ask again; WHERE DOES HE COME UP WITH THIS STUFF? And I don’t ask that because it’s funny or witty. I ask that because it MAKES NO FREAKING SENSE! Anyway, Matt is out and D-Von is on the table while Jeff is alone on the top of the cage.

You know what’s coming next. Instead of climbing down, the future 3 time world champion misses the Swanton off the cage and crashes to allow the Dudleys to get the easy pin. Matt isn’t happy, and he’s right. That was SO STUPID. Ross saying Jeff couldn’t resist the temptation is much more ironic than it should be.

Rating: B+. This would be an A if they hadn’t had the tagging thing, but I think it’s getting upgraded because of it. I had this as a B but the more I think about it the more I think that the tagging part at the beginning helped it a lot.

It made me think that in the middle where they just stopped doing it that the thought process was this is too important so screw tagging, let’s just get it all out there. That’s the beauty of a slow build: it makes the payoff much sweeter. Considering how many times these teams have fought, to still be able to have a good match is impressive.

Foley is at WWF New York where he isn’t happy about not being at the show. He points out that as Commissioner he should be there but Vince told him not to, so the Commissionership is a joke. This was part of an angle where Foley pretty much hated his job which he got back after Vince fired him.

He would be gone very soon, with this possibly being his last night in the role. After a little research, I’m right, as other than I think being on Raw the next night in a pretaped segment, he wouldn’t be back until June of 2003 as a guest referee.

Scotty is heading to the ring when he runs into Test. Scotty is actually a freaking jerk to him and gets the beating he deserves. Not because of being a jerk, but because Test wants his spot in the battle royal. My goodness Test and Stephanie need some acting lessons.

Immunity Battle Royal

Simple concept here: since the losing company goes out of business, the winner of this match can’t be fired for a year. First of all, how sweet of a rule would that be? You have a year where you can do whatever the heck you want and no one can say a word about it. The winner of this tries to do that, but it didn’t work out that well. I’ll do what I can to list the participants as they all come out in clusters according to their company affiliation.

Note: the Alliance comes out to Bodies by Drowning Pool. If you’re a fan of that kind of music and have a chance to go see them, go out of your way to do so. The live performance I saw of that song is without a doubt the greatest live song I have ever heard. The girl I was with at the show looked at each other and said in unison: that freaking rocked. They were just an awesome live band and second to only 3 Doors Down (who had light years better production values to be fair) as best I’ve ever seen.

Anyway, while this awesome song plays, we have Justin Credible, Lance Storm (who come out next to each other which is awesome looking for any true ECW fans), Shawn Stasiak, DDP, Raven, Dreamer, some guy I don’t recognize that might be Stevie Richards, Billy Kidman, Hurricane and Test for the Alliance. For the WWF, APA, Crash, Funaki, Saturn, Chuck Palumbo, Hardcore Holly, Albert, Billy Gunn and Spike. My eyesight isn’t that good.

I found a list online about halfway through. For some reason in case you’re wondering, the WWF comes out to Control, the show’s theme song. Stasiak is gone in about two seconds after charging at Bradshaw and being thrown out. Test drops to the floor and fights Albert who never got in for some reason. Something tells me this is going to be hard to call, which is partially why I’m terrified of the Rumbles.

Tazz comes out, pissing off Heyman. Tazz had left the Alliance because he hated Austin and his leadership. So far it’s your standard battle royal formula of people throwing punches, kicks and knees while trying to throw a single person over for about five minutes to look like they’re really doing something while not doing anything at all.

Grego….Hurricane I mean, gets knocked the heck out by Bradshaw and the clothesline. Albert launches Saturn out. For the life of me I’ll never understand why in such a civilized country as ours there’s still so much bald on bald violence. And they’re both from Boston. What are the odds? I’ll also never get why Albert never got a harder push. The guy had all the tools to be a solid heel, so why didn’t it work? Give him a manager and it would have gone fine.

He’s not someone that needs a lot of story behind him. He’s just a big scary looking dude. What more could you ask for? People are going out rather fast now as it’s mainly just dead weight in there that no one cares about. For the life of me I will never get why Billy Gunn got so many freaking pushes. They never ended and they never worked. The Outlaws got over, but Road Dogg was the more important part.

When you think of that team, what’s the first thing in your head? Road Dogg and the catchphrase. Billy’s line was made popular by DX, not him. I think there’s seven left at this point. As best I can tell it’s Richards, Kidman, Billy, Tazz, Bradshaw,, Test and Albert. There goes Richards so we’re down to six. Lance Storm is in there as well. Tazz yells at Heyman and he’s thrown out. In a cool spot, Bradshaw gets rid of Kidman with a fallaway slam over the top rope. That was sweet looking.

The final four are Test, Gunn, Storm and Bradshaw. Bradshaw misses a boot to Storm’s head by about six inches and hurts his leg which I think is legit. He actually hits a neckbreaker that was good though. For some reason the announcers are arguing about Stephanie. The final two are Test and Billy, with Test kicking the tar out of him to win it.

The only problem was that it was obvious given the Scotty segment earlier, but that’s what was expected. Heyman does a very funny bit where he explains what the repercussions of the match are like this: “So no matter what happens, *whispers* the Alliance will win, Test will not be fired no matter what (the Alliance will win!). It’s much funnier than it sounds.

Rating: N/A. I’m going with no rating because it’s a battle royal. How do you grade that? The ending was obvious, but it’s a battle royal. Other than the Rumble, they’re more or less the same, so what do you want me to say?

Now we have a completely random video package of clips of mainly the ten guys in the main event. This is totally out of context and the song has no words or build up to it. It’s just a three minute video of the feud with no words or anything. It’s also the video….OH! This is the WWF Desire videos that they used to run. The original song was My Sacrifice by Creed, but I’m guessing they were way too expensive.

At the time Creed was the hottest thing in the world so that makes sense. The Desire videos were a series of videos that they made attempting to show how important wrestling was. They sound clichéd but they really were freaking sweet at the time and still are. Check them out as they’re worth it. The song fits really well too.

Shane and Booker speculate about whether they can trust Austin or not as we have another few minutes to fill. My only guess is that this is an intermission or something. It’s been about 6-7 minutes since the last match ended. Is there a point to this?

Women’s Title: Trish vs. Jackie vs. Lita vs. Ivory vs. Molly vs. Jazz

Trish’s legs are possibly better than Stacy’s. That’s saying a freaking ton. And now we get to look at Jackie. I can’t stand her. Lita gets a HUGE pop. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it here now: Trish vs. Lita is one of the best feuds I’ve ever seen regardless of gender. It’s the best natural rivalry I’ve seen other than Bret vs. Shawn, which is saying a lot. Molly’s theme music can introduce herself as the song says “Holy sidekicks Hurricane! It’s Mighty Molly”, just as she’s being introduced.

Jazz is debuting here and might as well be the black Chyna. The problem: no one had a clue who she was and she got zero reaction. The rules here are that there are four on the apron and two in the ring so there you go. Ivory and Jackie try to do a nice technical sequence and it just fails in every sense of the word. Trish’s shorts…my goodness that’s not right. More or less it’s a bikini bottom but skin tight.

Other than Lita these women pretty much sucked in the ring. They’re the stereotypical “good” divas that can’t do jack in the ring but we’re told they can and somehow they’re considered good which shows just how weak the division is. We get a Lita chant as naturally everything falls apart and it’s just a wild finisher fest. Trish and the heavenly form send Jazz to the floor and it’s Ivory vs. Trish, who hits the bulldog for the title.

This was her first reign and the first champion after Ivory. She was a complete underdog at this point so this was shocking. Obviously she would improve massively, but this was a big shock. As we transition to the main event, Ross gets a gay joke in about Heyman that surprises me. He says he wouldn’t mind Trish coming into him from behind. I listened to it twice to make sure I didn’t understand it and that’s what he actually said.

Rating: D+. This was a mess, but the looks of Trish and Lita make it pass. It was there for the T & A anyway so who cares. The ending was about as low a level of being historic as you can get while still being historic, so this is technically important, but yeah, it’s about the looks, plain and simple.

After Ross and Heyman bicker like two year olds, Vince addresses his team. We have Big Show, Kane, Taker, Jericho and Rock, with Taker getting a good pop and Rock getting a bit one as he jumps around looking like an idiot. He talks about how if they lose tonight, they will be an embarrassment to everyone and no one will forgive them.

He goes on to list off some names in company history that they would be letting down, including Buddy Rogers (no reaction), Gorilla Monsoon (BIG pop), Andre the Giant (Big pop as he’s looking straight at Taker, bringing about more symbolism than should be allowed), and High Chief Peter Maivia to no reaction at all as I don’t think most people knew who he was. He says forget about Austin tonight.

Jericho just looks out of place there next to Rock and the big three. Also, how appropriate it is to have three super heavyweights given Vince’s affinity for big power guys. Vince was supposed to be on this team but he gave his spot to Big Show, which I like. Vince isn’t a wrestler and for once he makes it about the wrestlers and not him. That’s a good thing. This was a really good speech actually.

Team Alliance (Austin, Booker, RVD, Angle, Shane) come down the hall. Austin is WWF champion and Rock is WCW champion at this point. Let’s hit the recap button for this as the teams might need some explaining, but not a ton. Vince said he had enough of the Invasion and threw out the challenge for this match, which Stephanie and Shane (the owners of ECW and WCW respectively) agreed to.

There’s three main points to this match. First, Angle turned on Vince and the WWF to join the Alliance. Second, Rock and Jericho hate each other, which is a nice touch. Finally, the Alliance doesn’t trust Austin. As for Austin joining the team, it made little sense when he jumped because he said the Alliance guaranteed him the best matches that he could get. By joining them, wouldn’t he be fighting the same guys he had been fighting for years?

Isn’t that saying that the WWF guys are better than the Alliance guys? Or am I reading too much into this? We get a very good video package showing all of the ten people fighting each other, which sounds simple but it’s better than it sounds. It ends with a shot of Austin and Rock, which is the feud in a nutshell.

Team Alliance vs. Team WWF

After literally ten minutes of introductions, we’re ready to go. Stephanie dancing to Booker’s music was either funny, hot, or just plain sad. I can’t decide. Immediately it’s Rock vs. Austin, which makes sense I suppose as they’re the real core of this feud. Before you get any other ideas, this isn’t WWF vs. Alliance. It’s a WWF angle, plain and simple. Both guys hit the Thesz Press and the F you elbow with Shane saving Austin despite him not particularly needing it.

Booker vs. Rock follows as we redo Summerslam from this year. Booker was the WCW Rock, complete with the catchphrase to open his song, the People’s Champion mantra, and the finishing move. And that is reason 384 why WCW failed. I need to make a list of that someday. Shane saves Booker this time, so at least that makes sense. WCW violence erupts as Jericho beats up Booker for a bit.

Ross and Heyman argue over who put ECW out of business which is amusing, mainly because according to storyline purposes it’s still in business but whatever. RVD gets a pop and a half. Jericho and Van Dam have a good little match here, as Jericho is wrestling his light weight style which is where I always thought he was best. Today he tends to use the heavyweight style which just doesn’t work that well for me. Jericho hooks the Walls on a counter and Heyman is PANICKING.

Shane of course makes the save though. After a double tag it’s Kane vs. Angle which is an interesting match to say the least. Angle was in between stages in his career here as he’s somewhere between All American good boy and rampaging psycho that knows more ways to hurt people that should be legal. He had recently made Kane tap and Angle Slammed Big Show, so obviously he was on a role at the moment.

Also, this was just after he and Austin had finished an awesome feud with Angle hitting levels of intensity in promo cutting that I didn’t know existed. Those two beat the living tar out of each other, throwing each other all over the place with suplex after suplex in something that was just plain awesome. And because this is pro wrestling they’re friends a month later. Just as I say this, Angle gets a sweet German on Kane. Shane saves Angle as that’s number four.

Now we’re up to Taker and Angle, which is nothing short of a classic most of the time except for when it’s not. Taker hits a sweet kick to Booker’s head to take him down, and of course Shane makes the save again. It makes sense if nothing else though, as he’s the guy with everything to lose. Taker goes for Old School as evidenced by shouting OLD SCHOOL! I really don’t get the point of him doing that. It’s not like he used a wristlock that often.

After Shane makes another save to save us from Booker and Taker’s slow period, Austin comes in. The fans are still way into him, which goes to show how popular he was. Austin vs. Taker really was an epic rivalry. It’s kind of reminiscent of Hogan and Andre when you think about it. You have the big vocal face of the company vs. the guy that’s great but stays in the background most of the time. It’s a simple story but it goes in depth once you look into it a bit.

After the second Old School in about three minutes, Shane…oh screw it you know what he does by now. Taker just starts punching the tar out of Angle which never gets old. Heyman finally does what everyone has wanted to do for years and asks JR what the deal is with his obsession with taking men to the woodshed. Ross has nothing to say as Big Show comes in for the first time, rocking that one piece swimsuit he used to wear.

Naturally he lasts about a minute as an Angle Slam, axe kick, 5 Star and a Shane elbow drop end him to make it 5-4. Can the forces of evil really overcome the forces of good? Heck if I know as there’s at least half an hour left in this match. In a funny moment after the pin, Shane is dancing around celebrating as Rock is waiting on him. The Alliance guys point it out to him and he slowly stops dancing before turning around and looking scared. That was great.

Rock’s punches seem to miss by about a mile to me, but maybe I’m missing something. After a Kane chokeslem, a Taker tombstone and a Lionsault, we’re tied up. Heyman as usual is priceless during this. Angle comes in now as we need a spatula for Shane. I love how Heyman is freaking despite the fact that Shane got the same treatment that Show got earlier. Also I love how he complains about how stupid Show is, despite him taking Show in as the ECW Champion in about five years.

It’s Angle vs. Jericho now in another match that has a natural rivalry that I’ll never get tired of watching. I’ve come to the conclusion that Booker is just flat out boring. He’s been in there about three times now and he’s just killed the momentum every single time. He’s slow and boring, which is a bad combination to consist of.

Ross points out the same thing I noticed earlier about how the WWF is mainly power, which makes sense as most of the Alliance guys are finesse or technical guys, which is either a very subtle and nice touch, or a complete coincidence. The WWF team beats up RVD, prompting Heyman to say he believes they’re trying to isolate him. Well thank you very much for that. I never would have noticed.

Booker and RVD are in at the same time with Kane, who naturally gets no help from his partners because, you know, that would be helpful. Van Dam had pinned Kane and Taker this past week, so he’s hot right now which is kind of a joke considering Kane is in there, but it wasn’t that funny. I need to work on my comedy more I think.

The Five Star (which is still the most amazing live move I’ve ever seen) hits but Kane grabs Van Dam by the throat, leading to Booker running in, which leads to the massive brawl that you knew was coming. During the fracas, Van Dam hits a kick from the top to eliminate Kane. In a cool moment, Taker has one member of the Alliance in each of the corners and keeps them there by running back and forth, clotheslining them all in order.

He does about eight clotheslines in a row before knocking Booker to the floor. Angle takes a Last Ride but Booker comes in with a chair. Taker knocks him down but walks into the Stunner. Angle is dragged over and despite not being legal, gets the pin. That takes us down to Rock and Jericho vs. Austin, Booker, RVD and Angle. Dang that’s a lot of gold between six guys. Booker kicks/knees the tar out of Rock.

Rock hits a DDT and covers Booker but it doesn’t work, which it shouldn’t have any way as Booker’s shoulder was about right inches off the mat. Booker is thrown into Angle, allowing him to be rolled up to make it 3-2. I like that actually, as it’s not something stupid and it actually makes sense for Booker to go out that way.

Rock hooks a cool move on Van Dam as RVD’s back was to the Great One and Rock more or less powerbombs him down, but does it with one arm so it’s like a roll up from the top which gets two. Jericho is finally back in and they nearly botch a spot, but Jericho makes a last second save to turn it into a swinging neckbreaker. That was nice. In a sequence that’s just flat out awesome due to what it means now.

Jericho avoids a split legged moonsault and hits the Breakdown for the pin on Van Dam, which looked awful because Van Dam dropped to a knee so the move got ZERO reaction. The reason it’s cool is Van Dam missed what is now Morrison’s finisher to get caught in Miz’s finisher. That’s awesome and one of the biggest reasons I love watching old wrestling. You get to see stuff like that which wouldn’t have meant a thing eight years ago but now is kind of cool, or at least it is to me.

Who would have guessed it would come down to the four guys that have been fighting on both sides? We have two fights going on at once, with Austin hitting a slingshot on Rock, who of course oversells by more or less throwing a flying headbutt into the post. Heyman says they can find a spot for Rock if nothing else for his t-shirt sales.

We move to Austin vs. Jericho which is a feud that could have been great but never happened, I guess due to a generation gap. I think I might see why now as they badly botch a spot and the bad attempt at a save just fails miserably.

Jericho and Angle are in there now and Jericho hooks the ankle lock as we continue to shame the history of Ken Shamrock, who would win the TNA World Title in about nine months. Actually it was the NWA World Title at the time, but it was exclusive to TNA so whatever. The heels take their time beating on Jericho which at least makes sense. It’s fairly slow and boring, but it’s working to an extent I suppose.

We get a double hot tag to give us Rock vs. Angle. Rock hits the awful belly to belly to set up the even worse Sharpshooter to which Angle shockingly taps. More on that later. Since Rock is a jackass, he won’t let go until Austin knocks him off. Heyman’s panicking is just great here. Jericho can’t get the Walls, but Austin does of all things, but they last about a second. Austin is bleeding, and of course it’s profusely since it’s PPV.

Since it hasn’t been mentioned all match, we suddenly remember that Austin might be jumping, despite Vince saying it was nonsense. Austin counters Jericho’s roll up into one of his own, and wouldn’t you know it, the final two are Rock and Austin. For the life of me, I NEVER would have seen this as the final two. Ok that’s a lie but whatever. As Austin and Rock are getting going, Jericho hits Rock with the Breakdown, which technically should be a DQ.

Actually it shouldn’t be since it’s his own team so never mind. Rock naturally kicks out. Jericho heads back to the ring but Taker comes out for the save. That’s a feud that sadly never happened. They just had their first match in September of this year. That’s saying a lot. If Rock ever sold any big spot properly I think I’d have a heart attack. I get the point in doing it, but it’s just way too much most of the time, at least in my eyes.

They fight to the floor and land in the most famous of all places. Rock lands some punches square in the shoulder of Austin which for some reason keep him down. Ross and Heyman are just laying into each other on commentary and it’s great. I have no issue with the announcers being biased in circumstances like this. Austin hooks a bad Sharpshooter because we have to have a Montreal reference at every major show in history.

Austin isn’t even leaning back on it so it just looks like Rock has his legs up. There’s no heat on the move at all from the crowd because it looks so awful and no one buys that Rock is in a lot of pain at all. A belt shot from Austin misses and it’s the third bad Sharpshooter of the night. Dang is this some golden edition of the Montreal reference package or something? It’s a sad thing when Rock’s Sharpshooter is better than someone else’s but that’s the case here.

In a cool scene, Austin has the WWF belt and is holding onto it as he tries to get to the ropes. For once, Ross points something out and says being champion is Austin’s life and is the reason he won’t tap. That’s ridiculous because it’s been made clear that champions won’t get fired, but at least Ross is trying. In a stupid thing, Austin gets the ropes but Rock pulls him away, so Hebner keeps checking for the submission. Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

On the second time though Earl makes him break it. What’s the point of that? Y am I wasting my time trying to figure this out? Since it’s Rock vs. Austin, Rock hits a Stunner, allegedly on the inventor of it, but I don’t see Mikey Whipwreck anywhere. Nick Patrick runs out to pull Hebner out to prevent the three as Heyman says he’s a licensed official.

For some reason the idea of taking the test for your refereeing license amuses me. What’s the test like? If you mess up more than three counts you don’t pass? Do you have to learn how many taps there are in a proper tap out? Ok it’s not as funny as I thought it was. Austin hits a Rock Bottom of his own but of course he kicks out. Austin beats up Patrick, because that’s just what he does.

Since it’s a major PPV, Hebner goes down. Rock takes another Stunner and amazingly only oversells a bit. There’s no referee though as I wonder why Vince doesn’t just call for the bell on his own. It’s his show, so it’s not like it would be mind blowing. Angle runs out and screws the Alliance by hitting Austin with the belt straight into the Rock Bottom for the perfectly timed conscious Hebner to end the Alliance. The crowd was electric over this.

Heyman is at a loss for words, which shows how huge of a moment this is. Ross screams that Heyman is out of work AGAIN, which is great. Fink’s announcement of the winning organization is absolutely perfect. Stephanie is crying badly as the WWF guys are celebrating. What I meant earlier was that Angle was apparently sent into the Alliance by Vince, and it turned out that Angle, not Austin, was the one that would turn all along.

This wound up pissing off Taker, setting up his heel turn and massive haircut. Oh look, it’s Vince to take credit for something that he played absolutely zero part in. It’s good to know that some things never change. The sight of Vince holding up his arms in triumph in a WCW town no less takes us out.

Rating: B. The two problems here are very obvious. First of all, there was zero chance that the WWF would lose. Second, it was beyond obvious that it would come down to Austin vs. Rock in their I guess 23rd PPV ending fight. The match itself is good if not very good, but there’s just no drama whatsoever, which they clearly tried to put in by having Jericho and Rock against four guys and then Jericho screwing Rock.

Even still though, the ending was never once in doubt. I get that it had to be that way, but they booked themselves into a huge corner here and it showed badly. I don’t think this could have been a classic, but it was about as good as it could have been.

As for what happens after this, the next PPV, Vengeance, would be the famous night where Jericho beat Rock and Austin in one night for the first ever Undisputed Title. Allegedly that was supposed to go to HHH but he wasn’t completely healed yet. He would take the belt from Jericho at Mania. Also, tomorrow night Flair would show up as the person that bought up Shane and Stephanie’s stock and became co-owner in a shocker.

That would eventually lead to the Brand Split which still defines the company to this day. As for the rest of them, nothing of note happened at all. Naturally the major stars of the Alliance stayed while a lot of the weaker guys became jobbers. The Brand Split really did help a lot of issues as it saved a lot of jobs. Who cares that the fans hated it? Since when have we cared what they think? Oh and on a final random note, Lawler would be back tomorrow on Raw.

Overall Rating: C+. The problem with this show as a hole is simple: other than the main event, not a thing mattered. No one cared about anything but the Survivor Series match. While the other stuff is technically important, no one cared and that’s all there was to it. The show is good enough, but the lack of drama just kills it. If it were me, I would have waited at least another six months for this, but granted I wasn’t around for it and there could have been outside factors.

I can’t imagine what they could have been, but they might have existed. The show is worth checking out for the historic aspect, but I’d say just check out the cage match and the main event, because other than that the show is completely forgettable. I barely remembered anything about the card at all when I watched it if that tells you anything. Not really recommended, but it’s not bad enough to recommend to avoid.

Ok, so now that the show is over, my thoughts on the Invasion as a whole. Clearly it wasn’t what it could have been had they been patient and waited about another year to have Hogan, Nash, Flair, Goldberg and I guess RVD out there. Flair showed up on Raw the next night, Hall, Nash and Hogan in February, so it’s not like these guys were an eternity away. But that’s not the biggest issue I see in why it failed. Take a look at Team Alliance for this show.

We have Austin, Angle, Booker, RVD and Shane. In other words, three WWF guys and one each from ECW and WCW. That’s where this show and plan falls apart on all levels. This never was about WWF vs. ECW or WCW. It was about putting down the other two companies to stroke Vince’s ego even more which is evidenced at the end of the show. Vince celebrating is the last thing you see, as it’s his moment again rather than the company’s or the wrestlers’.

That’s why the company is in the shape it’s in now: it’s all about Vince. Think about all the bad comedy angles that go on, especially with the guest hosts. It’s because Vince has no idea what’s funny anymore. He’s mainly on Raw and that’s where the stupid stuff happens. Smackdown and ECW are well written, action-oriented shows, which is what they’re supposed to be.

On paper this looks awesome, but with so few people that actually make sense in this, there was just no way it could work. It could have worked had it been given more time and effort, but there’s just no way to pull off what should have been the biggest storyline of all time in six months, plain and simple.

 

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