History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 2005 – A Forgotten Almost Classic

Survivor Series 2005
Date: November 27, 2005
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 15,000
Commentators: Jonathan Coachman, Jerry Lawler, Joey Styles, Tazz, Michael Cole

It’s all about brand supremacy here as the main event and the only match with a good build this year is Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown. What does that actually gain us? Absolutely nothing, but it’s the best we can come up with so there we are. Continuing that theme we also have Teddy Long vs. Eric Bischoff. Oh that’s going to be awful isn’t it. In some real wrestling we have in the Raw main event John Cena vs. Kurt Angle. Now we’re getting somewhere.

This was a weird time for the company as there’s just not a lot going on right now and they’re just kind of going through the motions. Cena and Batista are the top dogs on their respective shows but there’s just nothing that’s a spark for the company right now which is a trend that would continue for a few more years after this.

TNA is starting to get its footing but it’s far from a major deal in case you three TNA fans were wondering. That was random I know but this opening paragraph was way too short.

Don’t you just hate it when you run out of things to say and you just have to ramble on and on about absolutely nothing at all when it’s clear that the person talking is some moron that has nothing else to say but beating around the bush and trying to fill up space in a page because he’s not intelligent enough to have anything else to say about something he’s reviewing on a website like WrestleZone which should be about wrestling but isn’t always? Yeah I hate that too. Let’s do this.

There is one major thing that happened recently as Eddie Guerrero passed away two weeks before this show. I’ve always thought he was both overrated and gets far to much hype, but he was certainly a great talent and could wrestle with anyone and it was sad to lose him, especially when he was allegedly going to win the world title again before this show.

Again, the video is just painfully generic. It’s just a voiceover guy talking about survival and clips of the feuds. The only highlight is a single shot of taker who was returning tonight. Once we’re in the arena we find that it’s Styles on commentary which is a nice change of pace. Not saying he’s better or worse than Ross, but when you do so many of these in a row it’s nice to hear a different voice.

This was a time when for whatever reason we had three announcers for Raw which is of course overkill. Lawler either slips up or makes a sex joke by saying return your flight attendants to their upright positions. No one laughed but they didn’t react either so they either didn’t get it or didn’t notice.

They talk about how Raw will beat Smackdown which is fine. We go to the Spanish guys and then over to Cole and Tazz. For some reason this made me laugh. It was like the Spanish guys were just randomly thrown in there with no rhyme or reason. Stuff like that amuses me.

Chris Benoit vs. Booker T

This is match 1 in a best of 7 series for the US Title which was vacant due to a double pin between these two. The series wound up being Benoit vs. Orton because Booker got hurt so once Orton won the last match Booker got the title because that makes perfect sense right? These two traded the title back and forth like four times in about eight months which was just kind of stupid but whatever.

The whole idea of a series is stupid as well for one simple reason: why should we care about the first few matches? These don’t mean anything and nothing is going to be decided here, so why should we watch? Sharmell gets her own entrance and she is just painful to listen to. Something feels different about this show from last year which is a good thing. It feels bigger I guess you could say.

We start with a weird looking spot where Booker tries for a slam but can’t do it and it turns into a half suplex half powerslam. That was just odd. They mention that the second match will be on Tuesday at the Smackdown Special. That show was a disgrace for two reasons. First of all it was just flat out awful from a wrestling standpoint.

Second, there was a big spot where Eddie’s lowrider was blown with I think Big Show in it. This was sixteen days after Eddie died. Seriously? If you just have to use that for an angle, wait awhile would you?

Booker does some sweet looking stuff to get out of a test of strength. His in ring stuff really is overlooked. Booker gets an abdominal stretch and Benoit starts shaking his hips for some reason which looks very odd indeed. Benoit is getting dominated for the most part here, which is fine because he’s great at selling.

I’ll never get the point in announcers mentioning necks being surgically repaired. Wouldn’t that imply that they’re stronger than before? Are we really supposed to believe that a wrestler’s neck is still that weak even a year or so after they came back from the injury? Benoit gets a short comeback with one of those awesome Germans but Booker takes him down with a kick that was sweet looking. This has been a solid match.

Booker gets caught in an insane looking leg drag but avoids the Sharpshooter. After the triple Germans, Benoit goes for the headbutt but Booker stops him on the top. In a sequence that is very short but that I like, Benoit knocks him back down and goes for the headbutt anyway. See, while it seems pointless, it adds a bit more action to the match and got the fans into it just a tiny bit more. That’s what makes a match even better: adding that little extra bit.

Benoit could have just come off with the heabutt and missed to set up the finish, but instead we get an extra ten to fifteen seconds of action which got the crowd going a bit more. The more you can draw the fans in, the better the match is going to seem. If a match is weak (this one isn’t) that can be covered up by the crowd being into it. If a match is good (like this one) the crowd being into it means that the thing is a success on both levels.

Anyway, Benoit misses the headbutt and Booker gets a roll up with his feet on the bottom rope for the pin. Now wait a minute. How would the bottom rope help you? Isn’t the point of using the ropes to add more leverage to the pin by making you have to shove up a slope? With the bottom rope it’s just balanced out evenly.

Why am I wasting my time thinking about this? That ending was kind of weak but whatever. To further the stupidity, Sharmell grabs his feet and pulls down. Wouldn’t that pull Booker away from Benoit?

Rating: B. This was very solid. It’s not great but it’s very good. It was intense throughout other than the submission holds in the middle and it had time to develop. I’m not wild on the ending, but other than that I had no problems here. These two can work very well together when given the time as they were here, so who am I to complain? This was good but can someone shoot Sharmell for me please?

Bischoff is in the back warming up and Vince walks up. He wishes him luck and Bischoff says tonight he’s going to screw Cena, thereby making it about as obvious as possible that Cena will retain. Why do they insist on making so many Montreal references? They did it in WCW and the company died because they couldn’t let it go. Even after the mess that was Starrcade 97 they did it over and over again and it just never worked at all.

Also, they tried so hard to make Cena vs. Bischoff the next Austin vs. McMahon and it just failed. Actually failed isn’t the right word. It just didn’t live up to what it was supposed to be, which is fine because they’re inferior talents to what came before them. Also, since it had been done already there was no real reason to think this would be better which aren’t Cena and Bischoff’s faults at all. Anyway, Cena walks up and makes a gay joke to get Bischoff to leave.

Vince and Cena talk for a bit which when you think about it isn’t a pairing you see together that often. Vince actually says what’s up my nigger to Cena. WOW. Even Cena looks taken aback by this as do Booker and Sharmell. That was just out there to say the least.

Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Melina

Melina is part of MNM here along with Mercury and Nitro (now known as John Morrison). They’re the Smackdown tag champions and did the thing where they hung the belts from their belts so they hung between their legs. That’s original at least. This is inter promotional so Tazz and Styles are the commentators. ECW would be back in June with these two being the commentators.

Despite the fact that Melina looks better with all black hair instead of the blonde she has going here, she looks good in her signature entrance. Melina had MNM kidnap Trish on Raw so she could ask for a title shot because that makes perfect sense. Melina more or less is wrestling in a tiny bikini so this match has gone up in ratings for me. Mickie James, the newcomer, is with Trish.

Very soon she would go into the sexy crazy stalker mode with Trish, leading to her heel turn which was awesome. Trish starts with a spear and some punches that land squarely on the mat. Melina hits the floor but Trish hits a cross body from the top to the floor to take out all three heels. When did Lita get bigger boobs and dye her hair red? Melina is a complete rookie here. Wow has she really been around for four years?

They botch a spot but if nothing else they make it work. It was supposed to be a headscissors but it turned into a kick to the face. It still worked though. Joey says Trish wins on paper. Tazz wants to see the paper. That’s actually kind of funny. Melina and Mickie fight on the floor while MNM goes for the Snapshot which was an elevated DDT on Trish. They get ejected for it though so that sucks. The belts are just making me laugh. This is intense if nothing else.

DANG Melina can hit the high notes. This is a quite good match actually. Melina actually counters Stratusfaction twice which isn’t bad. Mickie interferes to help Trish, leading to a kick and a top rope bulldog that missed but again they improvise slightly with Trish grabbing Melina’s hair on the way down.

It looked bad but it could have been worse, but it ends the match. On the replay they do a great job of covering the botch at the end by showing it from the back where you can’t tell how bad it was. That’s well done.

Rating: B. This was quite good. They beat the heck out of each other and on the two noticeable botches they improvised, especially the earlier one. Melina was clearly talented and not just another pretty face that thought she would try wrestling for a paycheck. Trish was her usual solid self here, so I have few complaints.

It was one of the better Diva matches that I can remember so that’s a perk. The looks didn’t hurt things either. This is what the Divas need to shoot for: hot women but good wrestling to back it up. I’d watch more of this.

Buy this PPV of the DVD of Jake Roberts.

We recap HHH vs. Flair which was a good feud I thought. More or less HHH decided that Flair was too far gone to mean anything anymore so he beat him up. Flair wound up winning the Intercontinental Title of all things which I actually liked as it made the belt seem prestigious. They had a cage match at Taboo Tuesday for the belt and Flair won clean in a great old school style match. That leads us to here which is last man standing.

Ric Flair vs. HHH

Like I said Flair is IC champion here but it’s non title. Trips jumps him in the aisle to start us off. Flair is beaten on pretty badly at first since his robs is still on. He comes back though as the old man powers will never die. They haven’t actually been in the ring at this point. Scratch that they have but it was for about twenty seconds. I’ll give Flair this: he can sell as well as anyone in history even at this age.

That’s why he was so great for so long: he could tell a story as well as anyone in the world. HHH works over his back which is fine. He needs to lose the mustache though. It just flat out doesn’t work on him. We go hardcore as HHH pulls out a screwdriver. Dang Flair is bleeding badly. Granted I think that happens is someone stares at him for more than four seconds. Has anyone been in as many last man standing matches as HHH?

He’s been in a ton of them over the years with at least three that I can remember against Orton alone. I’ve always loved that red blonde hair on Flair. They finally mention that it’s HHH’s lifelong goal to break Flair’s record, which depending on what you look at should be around 22 or 23. If TNA has their way Angle will pass that in about a week. Edge is likely going to get close to it as well, but I’d take almost any of Flair’s runs over any two or three of Edge’s combined.

They’re out on the floor again with Flair finally taking some control. I have a feeling we’re in for a long one here, which should be fine. Coach offers commentary simply saying what number the referee is up to. Good to see why he’s paid the big money. HHH gets on the mic because three commentators in one match just aren’t enough. He yells at Flair to get up and in the next breath says to stay down if he knows what’s good for him.

No wonder Flair never would retire. He was too confused from hanging out with HHH all those years. Flair grabs the ball of HHH for no apparent reason. Is he competing with Stephanie or something now? HHH gets control back because I guess he likes being the dominant one.

I’ll be pausing for a few seconds here to get the image of a submissive Stephanie out of my mind. Ok I think I’m good now. We hit the tables and HHH gets countered through the table as he always is. Both guys are more or less dead at this point. The table practically exploded too and it looked great. Both guys are up though and we keep going.

We’re back in the ring for likely the longest stretch of the match which is a nice change of pace. For some reason we have to get another replay of HHH going through the table. We get it already people. A chair comes into play and both men are down, or at least that’s what Styles says. Call me cracy, but Flair looks up to me. Flair continues making sense by going for the legs. He pulls the balls of HHH into the post as he seems slightly obsessed with them.

Lawler mentions that he hopes HHH isn’t planning on going out tonight. I certainly wouldn’t. If I had a wife like Stephanie I wouldn’t be going to work either so there we are. Flair bites HHH for the second time in the match, this time on the leg. Style infers that the biting could mess up the quad again. Oh come on now. Flair goes to town on the legs in a very slow old school style plus weapons. That’s not a bad idea actually.

The figure four makes HHH tap but it means nothing here. I love how he’ll give up in a match where it means nothing, but that’s a different story. They’re both back up now with HHH knocking Flair back down. HHH brings the steps in and for some reason that only Flair knows, he runs right at HHH and rams his head into the steps. That’s just stupid. This time HHH runs and Flair hits a drop toe hold to slam HHH into the steps. This is like a cartoon or something.

I know there’s not a lot being said here but a lot of this is either one or both guys laying there for a ten count which somehow takes about 30 seconds each. HHH gets a Pedigree to a big pop which means either the people are tired of this match or they like HHH. My guess is the former, because HHH is such a masterful heel that no one can hate him. I mean he’s the best of all time at everything right?

Flair of course gets up and takes another Pedigree but of course he gets up, this time throwing out a double bird to HHH. This just gets him beaten up more so he’s obviously the face. You very rarely see a heel being defiant and getting his beating  because of it. The third Pedigree connects as this is complete overkill.

We get it: Flair is tough. There’s no need to kill the credibility of the Pedigree to prove this. A sledgehammer shot to I think the shoulder or something like that ends this. The fans are actually into this which is a good sign. I guess the reactions earlier on were for greatness, even though this wasn’t that great. It was good, but not great.

Rating: B-. This was very old school in nature so if you don’t like slower paced stuff, you’ll hate this. Both guys bring in a lot of psychology here which is exactly what they were supposed to do. The leg stuff worked quite well despite HHH not selling them at all at the end of the match. This was good at times but there were parts that just kind of sucked too.

The three Pedigrees were WAY too much and the fact that it took nearly half an hour to get rid of Flair is a bit of a stretch despite how great Flair is. Some people would love this while others will hate it, which to me is a good thing. It means that it’s not just a run of the mill match but rather something that gets an opinion out of people, which to me is always good.

After about three minutes of replays we see Flair being stretchered out of the arena.

Buy the Bret Hart DVD, which was quite good actually.

Team Smackdown says they have to make up for Batista’s injury while Bradshaw sounds stupid. This was a waste of three minutes of my life.

Edge and Lita come out to say that the Cutting Edge will be debuting soon. He was hurt at the moment so this was their way to keep him on camera which really is a great idea. Edge goes after Dmitri Young who is a hometown baseball guy in the front row. He and Lita insult Young for about five minutes with nothing of note to say about it. Yep, that was a waste of time.

We recap Kurt vs. Cena which was something like this: Angle wants a title show and has his own referee that’s going to cheat to make him win. That’s all you’ve got to know here.

Raw World Title: John Cena vs. Kurt Angle

This both has the big match feeling and doesn’t have it. I’m leaning towards no because of the spinner belt and Daivari as the referee. Angle looks far better in the darker colored singlet. The same can be said of Cena if you change the word singlet for long shorts. Angle naturally immediately starts on the leg as we have LOUD dueling chants. They’re out of sync though so it takes a trained ear to get what’s being said.

It’s nice hearing Styles speaking with an interest in the product. Ross and Lawler rarely sounded interested in matches and while Styles isn’t as great as he’s built up to be by any means, he’s awesome at times. Dang we’ve been going for about three minutes and those chants literally haven’t stopped. They’re quieting a bit but by no means are they stopping. If this was in front of a Wrestlemania sized crowd with these kinds of fans….good night that would be amazing.

These two could main event a Mania as well, and given Angle it’s not completely out of the question to have that happen. This is one of the hottest crowds I’ve ever seen. Cena gets a cover and Daivari just stands there and we have a story. Ankle lock is hooked, finally called the Angle Lock like it should have been many times before, and the referee is all over it. He finally gets the ropes and of course the hold isn’t broken.

He gets out himself and slaps the referee (I’ll be referring to him as that because Daivari requires that I think as I type) and Angle makes the diving save to stop the disqualification. Oh for those fans that might be new, Daivari is now known as Sheik Abdul Bashir in TNA. The referee gets bumped by Cena and we go to the floor. Angle pops his hips on a sweet belly to belly overhead suplex to Cena. That was always an awesome move.

A real referee comes down and we now have a far more normal match. They go to the mat for awhile and it occurs to me that Angle can get away with far more boring moves on the mat such as just basic grapples because of his background. When he uses something like a front facelock I buy it a lot more because he’s an Olympian. That just goes to show you what a real background can do for someone. Cena can do a great job of fighting back.

There’s just something about him that makes you want to watch him which is something that very few people can accomplish. There go those chants again. Cena starts the comeback as I’m starting to wonder where Daivari is. He didn’t get hit by anything huge. Cena just knocked Angle into him and he’s been down at least five minutes. Angle apparently needs glasses because he can’t see Cena. Man  maybe he really does as he clotheslines the heck out of the referee and low blows Cena.

A third referee comes out and for some reason has NO problem with Angle laying out his colleague. Now wait a minute. As they mentioned earlier, it’s standard operating procedure for a new referee to run out in case the regular one gets knocked out. That means that someone, and I’d assume the referee that ran down, has to be watching the match in the back right? If not how would he know that he was needed in the ring? If that’s the case, why couldn’t he disqualify Angle?

This is what overbooking a match does to it: it brings up a lot of loopholes that aren’t needed. After a few minutes of good stuff, Angle misses a picture perfect moonsault. I mean that was lucha libre quality. Angle gets out of the FU and then hits the third referee and rolls Daivari, who is still out cold, back in.

A fourth referee, this one from Smackdown, comes out as Cena DDTs Daivari for no apparent reason as he was already out cold. With four people laying in the ring (Cena and three referees), Cena plays possum and Angle walks into the FU for the pin. I want more of this!

Rating: B+. This is a great example of a situation where the extra booking was 100% not needed. I was completely buying into this match which is something that very rarely happens to me. There’s a natural connection here that is very clear and it worked incredibly well. I don’t get why there needed to be the gimmick with the referees and things like that. A lot of the times less is more and this is certainly one of those times. I’d love to see these guys go at it even more.

Watch this really bad show that we’re calling a special!

Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long

Eric is of course dressed in his karate stuff, because anyone that follows tournament karate knows that Eric Bischoff is a great fighter. I will never get over Schiavone saying that at Starrcade 97. Teddy is with Palmer Cannon, who was a very short term character that was a representative of the network. He served absolutely zero purpose and I’ve never been sure what the point of having him was.

Granted to be fair I missed about a year and a half of Smackdown due to not having the station and just not being interested in it. I would always catch the spoilers though so I at least knew what was going on. The words to describe how I feel going into this match haven’t been invented yet. No good can come from this at all. It’s like the book in Hocus Pocus. To top it off, Cole and Coach are your commentators. I just had to stop the video for the sake of laughter.

Coach: “Eric Bischoff is a mixed martial artist.” I don’t care or know if that’s true or not but it’s the funniest image I can think of. Can you imagine him against Brock or GSP? Cole starts the Did You Know tradition with a stat that I’m not going to remember in a few seconds. Yep it’s gone. The bell rang 45 seconds ago. In that time they’ve avoided contact with each other, Teddy has posed on the ropes and then he danced a bit. This is riveting stuff!

Cole calls Bischoff Mr. Miyagi. The one liners for this match are going to take up a full page. After about a minute and a half I think we made contact but I’m not sure. Teddy dances more than Shawn Michaels imitating Shane. Cannon gets on the apron for no apparent reason and imitates the things that Long has been doing as Bischoff chokes Long with his belt. Why am I watching this? Oh there’s two referees, one from Raw one from Smackdown because this needs more people.

We have our second boring chant as we’re still doing the choking thing. Bischoff changes the pace a bit by using the world’s worst sleeper. Cannon gets up again and Long uses the distraction of both referees (since a guy named Palmer Cannon is obviously a major threat) to take his shoe off and hit Eric with it to break up the “hold”. Wouldn’t the shoe be legal? It’s not a foreign object unless it was made in Japan or something like that so I don’t get it.

Eric takes over again with a Kung Fu YEAH and a Karate Chop! Give me a break I have to make jokes like those to keep myself awake during this mess. We’re on boring chant number four and the Boogeyman’s music hits. He had only been around for a few weeks at this point and nothing was known about him.

The referees go up the ramp to stop him and naturally he’s behind Eric. I love how a guy like Boogeyman used a freaking pumphandle slam. Papa Shango used a shoulderbreak. I’m not sure which is dumber. Teddy gets the pin with ease and dances a bit more. He really is a tiny man. Ok so he dances a lot.

Rating: O, as in oh I can’t think about this anymore. Give me anything else please!

Armageddon proimo.

Team Smackdown is coming to the ring as the Smackdown guys cheer them on. The Raw guys do the same thing. The backstory here is simple. There was a special called WWE Homecoming where there was a Smackdown match scheduled but Bischoff canceled it because it wasn’t up to his standards. The feud sprang from there. Other than that, the only thing you need to know is that Eddie has just passed away and Orton is his replacement and Batista was injured by Show and Kane.

Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown

Raw: Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, Kane, Big Show
Smackdown: Batista, Rey Mysterio, Lashley, Randy Orton, JBL

All ten guys get their own entrances because we need to kill about ten minutes or so. To further the stupidity of this we’re having all five commentators here. HBK and Orton start us off. On both shows everyone has been attacking everyone so I’ll be withholding the so and so attacked so and so on so and so show. Even Styles and Tazz are arguing. They point out that Orton has been the sole survivor in the previous two Survivor Series.

Again, this is what announcers are supposed to do. Rey just looks out of place on the apron with all of these big guys. Orton and HBK do nothing but punch/chop each other for a few minutes as Tazz and the rest of the announcers have their stupid fights. For some reason Chris Masters is in the main event here in something that I just don’t get. Lashley comes in and gets a great pop. Lashley is about as green as possible here with next to zero experience.

He has the amateur background to fall back on though along with insane power so he can use both of those to avoid any actual wrestling. Is there a reason why amateur guys use a ton of suplexes? Angle, Lesnar and the Steiners were all suplex machines as well as all American wrestlers. Why is that? They all use belly to belly overhead suplexes. I’ve never gotten that. Is that supposed to be something that’s used in amateur wrestling, because I’ve never seen that done in the Olympics.

After he dominates Carlito (he hit him with the Dominator so he literally did), he goes for it on Shawn but Kane grabs him from the apron and hits a chokeslam to allow HBK to pin him. I guess that’s a smart move as it keeps Lashley from looking weak because cheating beat him. That’s about as good as you could have done there I suppose. Rey comes in after Lashley as HBK is still in there.

Kane comes in for Raw and Rey of course dominates him because Kane can’t look good in a big match ever. Kane and Show are Raw tag champions at the time too which I forgot to mention. Kane just about kills Rey with a boot. That was awesome looking. Tazz is just ripping into Coach on commentary.

It’s funny but it’s distracting as all five guys are fighting and not a thing is being said about the match. I’ve always found that to be incredibly disrespectful. It shouldn’t be about the announcers but about the wrestlers, period.

Batista comes in and after more double teaming he takes out Kane with a spinebuster. He gets up and walks into a Big Show chokeslam which doesn’t take him out. The double one from Kane and Big Show does though so we’re down to 4-3. JBL comes in next and in a flat out SCARY show of strength, Big Show catches him coming off the top rope. That’s ridiculous.

Soon thereafter, the whole Smackdown team attacks Show, beginning with a Clothesline From JBL, a 619, an RKO (Massive pop for that), a second Clothesline From JBL and all of that doesn’t keep him down, but Rey jumps on him and that’s enough for a 3. This is why I hate Rey. He’s one of my all time favorites but at times he makes me want to rip my hair out. Why should that pin Big Show when he was almost up from all of those finishers?

That just doesn’t make any sense. JBL destroys his future employee on the floor while we try to figure out who Rey is supposed to be fighting and it’s Masters. Carlito comes in and slows down everything with a chinlock that goes on far too long. HBK is still down on the floor from the fall away slam that JBL hit him with. Rey finally gets up and makes a blind tag to JBL. With Rey distracting him, Bradshaw hits one of the best Clotheslines From JBL I’ve ever seen.

He half kills Carlito and gets the easy pin. He proceeds to beat the holy tar out of Masters, thus continuing to prove his worth. It’s Rey in now as HBK is still down meaning that the hopes of Raw rest on the shoulders of Chris Masters. I don’t even need to make fun of that one. Rey Drops the Dime on him and makes it 3-1. Styles has barely talked the whole match.

Shawn is thrown back in and Rey hits the 619. He goes for something that wasn’t clear but takes a less great looking version of the ending Shawn and Shelton did to take him out. Here comes JBL and there goes JBL with another kick. Bradshaw was in there less than ten seconds. We’re down to Orton and Michaels. We hit the floor but Shawn launches himself over the ropes as we’re doing the same thing we did back in 2003 which had far better drama and emotion to it but whatever.

The fans chant WE WANT TAKER who had been promised for the show and we have less than ten minutes to go. Shawn initiates his ending sequence to a rather weak pop if that’s what you want to call it. The elbow hits but gets two. JBL is still here and swings at Shawn with a chair. Michaels kicks it in him face but turns around to set up the RKO for the pin. The Smackdown locker room hits the ring and have Orton on their collective shoulders and there’s the inevitable gong.

This was the fall after Orton had feuded with Taker. It’s the expensive Taker return, complete with druids and a casket. A HUGE lightning bolt hits the casket which has been set up and it’s lit on fire. Taker eventually kicks it open as this is seeing vaguely familiar.

Cole then points out that Orton had Taker in a coffin and lit it on fire, which is the same story that was done seven years prior with Kane. I remember that angle and the first was light years better. Taker come to the ring and beats up the Smackdown jobbers before staring down Orton to end the show. They would have a Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon to end their feud.

Rating: B. This was good enough, but Masters and Carlito being there just didn’t work for me. Lashley was a rookie and the ending was a rip off of a far better one a few years earlier. Shawn was the only one on his team worth having so putting him in the end was the best idea. This show lost a lot with Eddie not being there and the week of buildup that they lost but that was an issue for the whole show.

The match was good, but the ending leaves a bit to be desired. Smackdown won, but so what? It means nothing really, and that’s where this match falls apart for me. The wrestling is good and it feels like a big match when you’re watching it, but at the end you realize that nothing happened at all.

Overall Rating: B. This was actually a really good show. When I’m giving the overall grade I go back and look at the card and the grades I gave them but that’s not the main thing I go on. This is a great example of why that’s the case. The matches individually other than the GM match were all very good with nothing at all not above watchable. However, there’s just something about this show that I can’t put my finger on. Something keeps this show from being great.

Maybe it’s the lack of build which wasn’t anything they could help due to Eddie, but it still takes away from the show. The wrestling here is great but the emotion isn’t there. Maybe their thoughts were on Eddie or something like that, but there’s just something missing from this show and it keeps it from being excellent. Certainly recommended, but that X factor isn’t there.


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  1. Gunther_224 says:

    I highly disagree that Eddie was “overrated” and “got too much hype”. At least when he was alive he was one of the most consistently underrated talents around. In the early 2000s Angle, Benoit, Jericho, RVD and HBK got all of the love from the iwc. Eddie was rarely mentioned. It took his death for a lot of people to realize how good he truly was. Now was he perhaps over-eulogized after his death? Probably, but that’s true of everyone (except maybe Benoit)

    klunderbunker Reply:

    He got the hype after he died. That’s when it got ridiculous. I agree he was very talented but putting him in that high of an echelon never worked for me.