History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 2007 – Batista vs. Undertaker In The Cell

Survivor Series 2007
Date: November 18, 2007
Location: American Airlines Arena, Miami, Florida
Attendance: 12,000
Commentators: Tazz, JBL, Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, Joey Styles

With another year comes not a lot of change. Orton is world champion here having taken out HHH for the belt at No Mercy in their first last man standing match. Tonight he takes on HBK in another of his random filler feuds before Cena gets back from injury. The Game is the other major player on Raw (shocking isn’t it?) as he’s feuding with Umaga for your Survivor Series match of the night.

Over on Smackdown, we only have one big match, but it’s a major one as Taker is challenging Batista for the world title in a Hell in a Cell match. If nothing else they’re keeping it big. Oh and one other thing: Hornswoggle is Vince’s son now.

Yes, that painfully stupid and bad storyline has finally begun as he’s already dropped the Cruiserweight Title because Vince doesn’t like small wrestlers. Finally, we have my boy Punk defending his ECW Title against the newly crowned tag team champions of Miz and Morrison. That should be good. Let’s get it started.

Hey, take a wild guess as to what the opening video is about. If you guessed Survival, you’re of about average intelligence as the show is called Survivor Series. If you guessed that it sucked, then you’ve been paying attention to my reviews. Yep, this is nothing of note. We’re starting with the ECW Title match, so the first two voices that we hear are Joey and Tazz. Surprisingly we don’t hear their colleagues yet, which is odd indeed.

ECW Title: CM Punk vs. John Morrison vs. The Miz

Punk took the belt off of Morrison and Miz said he wanted it. That’s about all I’ve got for you here as far as a backstory since ECW back then was even less developed than it is now if you can believe that. Oh yeah. And they were thrown together on Smackdown (literally) and given a tag title shot because two guys that are thrown together that hate each other are light years ahead of all the other great tag teams on Smackdown right?

See what kind of shape the division was in around this time? Somehow this wasn’t even the worst it would be. However, these two would be pretty much the best team in a good long while and will likely be that for a good long while. Also, around this time there was a big thing about how Miz couldn’t wrestle. A buddy of mine and I said just give him time. I’m writing this in mid-October, two days after being completely blown away by a segment these two did at a Smackdown taping I was at.

Now as of this writing, it hasn’t made air in America yet. I’ll be most interested in seeing how many people are saying how awesome he is after that. Styles goes through all of the combinations that could result in Punk losing his title which is somewhere between interesting and filler. You might think that this is a handicap match, but it really isn’t. These two don’t get along yet and while they’ll double team for awhile, it’s usually very short indeed.

I’ve always loved that suicide dive that Punk does. He does the WHAT’S MY NAME thing that worked so well in ROH but never caught on in WWE. To be fair though, the crowd starts a big CM Punk chant. My goodness this guy was over. After beating on Punk as a team for awhile, Miz and Morrison break up again, maybe over one of them not doing the dishes or something. Good night Morrison does some amazing stuff out there.

He still does the same kind of stuff today but dang this was impressive stuff back then too. We get a glimpse of Miz vs. Morrison her but it’s nothing really that special. Punk hits a backbreaker that used to be called Welcome to Chicago M’Fer which has been changed for obvious reasons. Following some miscommunication from the new tag team, Punk hits the GTS on Miz for the pin.

Rating: B-. It got the crowd going a bit, but at the same time there was never any real drama in this at all. That’s fine though, as I don’t think there was really supposed to be. Sometimes you need to just have a match to get some ring time for the champion and have a decent match out of it. It makes the champion look stronger and saves the showdown for later on. This was just fine.

We get a recap of MVP hurting Matt’s leg and putting him out of the Survivor Series match later tonight. MVP had a big C on his outfit back then. He was CMVP. Oh that’s just awesome. Anyway, now we go to the back where some interviewer that I don’t recognize is talking to him. He’s REALLY bad on promos at this point.

Face Divas vs. Heel Divas

Faces: Mickie, Maria, Torrie, Michelle, Kelly
Heels: Beth, Jillian, Melina, Layla, Victoria

This is your token Diva match of the night. Torrie has what is now Tiffany’s music. Basically, around this time the only face Diva that can wrestle at all is Mickie. There’s no story here at all as this could just as easily have been on Raw. Thankfully this isn’t elimination style. We start with the almost too hot Victoria against Michelle. Ok, the Divas yelling at each other is REALLY annoying. Kelly is in essence in a swimsuit with sleeves.

To show the brilliance on display here, Torrie has Victoria down and leaves her there to run across the ring and get a tag. That’s tag wrestling 101 there and she can’t get that right. Even trying to pull Victoria back to Torrie’s corner would have worked. Whatever let’s just get this over with. Jillian is in now and for some reason rubs Kelly’s face in her chest. Wow. Anyway, we get the obligatory handspring elbow, which is the most impressive athletic maneuver there is.

It’s so impressive that nearly every Diva does it. Dang will you STOP WITH THE FREAKING SCREAMS? CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW FREAKING ANNOYING IT WOULD BE TO HAVE SOMEONE THAT SCREAMED EVERY TIME THEY OPENED THEIR FREAKING MOUTH? IT WOULD BE SO FREAKING….never mind. JR actually makes a bit of a comparison of Kelly and the Great Muta. I’m at a lost for keystrokes. All of the heels are wearing some form of red. Is that some messed up team unity thing?

Mickie comes in and attempts to save this match. Mickie hits the sexiest move in wrestling history, The Long Kiss Goodnight, to get the win. It was a move where she grabbed the other girl’s hair and actually bent her back and kissed her before kicking her in the face. Why do I have a feeling that’s Norcal’s dream date? Oh and Michelle fell out during the match. Nothing special.

Rating: D. That’s half of what this match was all about. The other letter is also D. Yep, this was all about looks here. If you don’t believe me, look at Kelly and Maria’s outfits. They’re just there for looks and nothing more. This was just bad and showed how awful the majority of the women were at the time. At least it was short and the girls looked good.

Orton says he’ll win.

Shawn says he’ll win. Well I’m glad they’re in agreement that he’ll win. Shawn looks stoned here and actually swears. That’s surprising.

Raw Tag Titles: Cade and Murdoch vs. Holly and Rhodes

Please…make it short. This was the token title feud of the month as the faces were thrown together over respect or something and instantly were number one contenders. The problem with the tag title picture was simple: Miz and Morrison were thrown together and won the tag belts. Holly and Rhodes were thrown together and won the tag belts. Do I need to explain why this was such a complete and utter failure for so long?

The reunification has helped a good bit lately, but they’re still in desperate need of help. With a roster as big as they have, it really wouldn’t be hard to get a few teams together and put some stories out there. Think of all the guys on the roster that never do anything but could have decent matches. The stuff is there, trust me.

Could Cade be any more generic? Hey! Buy Armageddon so we can validate our completely stupid PPV schedule. Holly and Rhodes won a triple threat vs. Londrick and the Highlanders to get here on Heat of all places. DAng it’s weird to see Rhodes as such a rookie like this. Rhodes and Cade start us off. Rhodes has bulked up a bit since this.

Rhodes literally slaps Murdoch on the back. That sounded sick too. Holly in now who takes down Murdoch. Holly does his low kick that isn’t really low but really looks like it is while the other guy is on the ropes. The champions are in trouble here. Double teaming gets the advantage back to the rednecks.

Cade takes Holly down to prevent he tag as this is just DRAGGING. There’s no reason for this to be on PPV but it is anyway because that’s how tag wrestling in this company works. There’s your heel miscommunication so that Rhodes can come in. And then that doesn’t work as he hits a missile dropkick for two and walks into Melina’s finisher (the sunset bomb thing) from Murdoch to retain.

Rating: D. This was just bad. Just like the match before it, there was no need to have it on PPV. Neither team stands out at all and there’s just nothing special about it. It’s not any good at all so there’s no way to say it’s anything but bad by default. Horrible match and everything that’s wrong with tag wrestling in this era. Holly and Rhodes would get the titles a few weeks later.

Team HHH says that they’re going to do some terrible things to the other team. In a very funny bit, Kane and Jeff mention all the things that HHH has done to them over the years. That’s just amusing. Jeff is taller than I thought he was.

After a too short to tell what’s going on recap of the Survivor Series match, we’re ready to go.

Team HHH vs. Team Umaga

HHH, Kane, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio
Umaga, Big Daddy V, Kennedy, Finlay, MVP

Matt is injured remember, so it’s starting as a handicap match.

I love the way Justin Roberts talks. In what cracked me up, Kennedy comes out to do his standard intro and the mic doesn’t work. About halfway through it kicks on mid word. That’s just hilarious. Big Daddy V is in desperate need of a shirt. I like big boobs but come on now. MVP needs to bring back the counting part of his music. It’s so much better that way. Let’s see: the most successful heel here is….MVP I guess? Maybe Umaga?

On the other side, we have four former/future world champions. Oh yeah this is going to be a great contest here. Kane’s pyro is some of the loudest stuff you will ever hear in your life. It’s insanely loud. Rey’s song really is catchy when it’s all you’re hearing in the arena. Jeff has his old music here. The start of his singles run would be in less than two months as he would fight Orton for the title at the Rumble. He’s IC Champion here.

Oh yeah the feuds. HHH vs. Umaga, Kane vs. BDV, Jeff vs. no one in particular, Rey vs. Finlay, Matt vs. MVP so I guess Jeff gets Kennedy and MVP by default. We’re now at ten minutes of entrances. We start off with Kennedy and Rey, so an overrated guy that’s good but nowhere near as good as he is made out to be vs. Kennedy. This is pretty decent stuff here as Kennedy for once gets to show what he can do, which isn’t bad.

He’s not the next Austin but he’s not bad at all. Rey does in essence the same move that Murdoch won with earlier, using that pesky thing known as the right way. JR says that Hardy has D. Wade like hang time. That just doesn’t sound right at all. BDV comes in to beat on Hardy for awhile since we need jobbers out there for awhile.

We move on to Kane vs. BDV which was a feud at the moment, so look for a big pinfall here. Kane hits the big clothesline from the top to put him down for a bit as this is really just no sell theater.

Following a little interference from Finlay the Samoan Drop ends the Big Red Machine to make it 5-3. Again, Kane jobs. Some things never change. The facebuster from HHH simply couldn’t miss more than it does here. We get HHH vs. Umaga here, which I guess was supposed to be a big deal? It’s just coming off as weak to me, but whatever.

After HHH (which I accidentally spelled as HGH for a bit there in a funny moment) gets beaten down, Rey comes in and after making Umaga look ridiculously bad, goes out to the Spike, leaving us with 5-2. I can smell the comeback coming from a mile away. We start this part with Jeff vs. Kennedy, which would have been an interesting feud had various things not happened. After a missed Drive By, Jeff gets a quick Twist of Fate to make it 4-2.

Kennedy is taken out after something that looks like it came out of a Three Stooges short with all of the blunders by the heels. HHH gets the pin. We move on to Viscera vs. HHH since I guess the fat man had to get something done that night. A double DDT takes him out to get us to 2-2 and you can see the ending coming from here. In probably the biggest thing of his career, Finlay beats on HHH for awhile before the tag to Hardy brings the crowd back a bit.

Once the terrible twosome were all that was left, this match started going downhill fast. This needs to end, like now. After a lot of token offense from Finlay, HHH comes in and takes care of Finlay. Cole tries to build Finlay as an equal to HHH. That’s just amusing. About 44 seconds later, the Pedigree leads to the Swanton which leads to the end of this way too long match. The face team of the gods celebrate for awhile before we’re done.

Rating: C-. This is a tale of two grades here. Before we got down to the final two faces, this was pretty good. After that, the whole thing just fell apart because there was zero chance that the faces weren’t both going to survive. Kane and Rey were just filler out there and everyone knew it. The first part is good, the second part is just bland. It got Jeff over though, which was the main goal of the whole thing.

Vince tells Horny not to die. That’s just funny.

Hornswoggle vs. Great Khali

You know the story so let’s get this over with. Vince and Shane are with Horny here. When I grow up, I want to be one of Runjin Singh’s sideburns. They do the rule thing just to add more hijinks to this. The fans chant We Want Shaq. Ok then. Oh yeah this is Miami when Shaq was on the Heat. That makes sense now. Oh and Shaq is in the front row. See what happens when I pay attention? Vince grabs a mic and says he doesn’t care what the fans want.

At least he’s honest. Horny runs once Khali screams at him. For some reason he spits mist at Singh who doesn’t do anything but stand there with a what the heck look on his face. Well thanks for that buddy. The club that Horny grabs is knocked away and then Khali smacks him. This needs to end like now.

The joke is over and has been for a long time. Just as I say that, Finlay runs out and hits Khali with the club to make the save for the DQ. The fact that Finlay would be revealed as the real father was about as obvious as possible at this point.

Rating: N/A. It was a joke, not a match.

We hit the recap button on HBK vs. Orton. This is pretty simple. Orton was on a punting spree and one of his first targets was Michaels. The night after Orton beat HHH at No Mercy there was this big ceremony for him which ended in Shawn returning in what was a cool moment. They had a match at Cyber Sunday where Orton got himself disqualified. That led to this, where Shawn can’t use the superkick and Orton can lose the belt via DQ. That’s about it.

Raw World Title: Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels

Lillian looks great with her hair pulled back. Ross takes a small shot at FOX News, so at least some things never change. Orton hasn’t started hearing voices yet. Oh and the belt still spins. This is Shawn’s second PPV in 5 months. Shocking isn’t it that he more or less took the summer off after Mania. He would never do anything like that again would he? Dang that spinning belt looks like crap. It’s scary that today the belt looks about 100x better.

We get the old school ceremony of the referee checking the boots and pads etc. I love the little things like that because they can enhance a match so much. Shawn starts off with a lockup known as a Crevate. Now most of you have likely never heard of that. It’s a European style headlock but not quite. More or less you look like you’re setting for a snapmare but you grip like it’s a headlock. It’s really a cool idea and there’s a lot of stuff you can go with from that position.

Chris Hero is well known for using a ton of varieties of things like it. They go to a LONG headlock/front chancery sequence that has the crowd on the edge of unconsciousness. Finally we hit the floor for a bit where Shawn hits a picture perfect Asai Moonsault to knock Orton down. The commentators try to argue that Shawn is using a different style here because he’s not allowed to use the kick. That makes ZERO sense.

Think about it. Shawn’s finishing move is a kick to the head. What kind of setup does that require? All it takes is one second and some accuracy and he’ll knock you out. It’s not a wear down move like a figure four where going for it immediately makes no sense. It’s a move that can be hit from nowhere. Think of the Iron Man match.

He hit back to back kicks from nowhere to win his first world title. Here’s your “it’s Survivor Series so Shawn has to reference Montreal with a Sharpshooter” Sharpshooter. This has been all Shawn so far. Say it with me: as I type that Orton takes over.

Orton is very boring. That’s all there is to it. However, since he looks like a statue and can cut decent promos, Vince decides to keep putting him in big matches with this ridiculous Viper gimmick which more or less consists of him sliding around the ring before the RKO. It’s an excuse for not having to come up with something creative. Orton vs. Cena and HHH is about as boring of a pair of feuds as you’re ever going to find.

JR then has the nerve to say that this is a pure wrestling match. No Jim, it’s really not. This is a match that has an extra gimmick added to it because no one in their right mind believed that HBK would lose to Orton without it. Orton is just flat out awful in this gimmick of his and something needs to be changed, fast. Naturally, that means that Orton will be the same guy going into Mania 30. Oh look it’s a chinlock. What is the appeal of this?

To be fair, Orton is a bit better now, but around this time he was just flat out boring. Now he’s just mostly boring. Ok, for the love of goodness, WE GET THAT ORTON’S DAD IS IN THE HALL OF FAME! He was a horrible character and did nothing of note, ever. He’s another great example of the Hall of Fame being a complete joke. Anyway, Shawn initiates the ending sequence but gets dropkicked with one of three moves Orton can actually do really well.

In what’s a pretty cool move, Shawn sets for the superkick and fakes Orton out to get him to drop down so Shawn can hook a small package. That was really smart and makes perfect sense. In something that really surprises me, Shawn uses a crossface. This is a mere four months after Benoit and in the middle of the investigation into his death. I guess that this was before the whole thing came out. Michaels goes even crazier by putting on an ankle lock. Man he’s going nuts here.

He gets the heel hook but Orton gets out. DAng , Orton is better with submission than Lesnar is. Something occurs to me. If Orton gets disqualified, HBK gets the belt right? Why doesn’t Shawn get one of his buddies to come out and blast him with a chair or something? Man this face thing getting in the way of something that makes sense.

As he goes for a figure four, Shawn is kicked into the post. After a very brief counter, the RKO ends it. Afterwards Orton yells at Shawn and picks him up, naturally getting kicked in the head before Shawn leaves. Well that was a pretty basic ending.

Rating: D+. I get that some people would like this match, but I just could not get into it at all. There’s no drama, there’s one decent looking spot with the moonsault, there are tons of dead spots, and the whole thing just falls short. There just was no reason at all to watch this, plain and simple. They weren’t going to put the belt on Shawn so quick. Earlier tonight in the Punk match you had a good match that was a token defense.

This is the same, but this was far more boring. It’s a great example of a good match like this and a bad one. Jericho would come back in less than a month to save Raw and have more bland matches with Orton. Vince, get it through your head: two surefire hall of fame wrestlers in Jericho and Shawn can only pull ok matches out of Orton. That simply can’t be a coincidence.

Recap of Batista vs. Taker: they’ve fought a bunch of times and split most of them, but they just think the other is a swell guy. Yep, that’s about it.

Smackdown World Title: Batista vs. Undertaker

Remember this is Hell in a Cell. Taker is the challenger here. JBL actually does some good analysis of what both guys need to do to win. He then ruins that by saying “oh that’s a clothesline!” Well thanks for that great brilliance there Johnny boy. Naturally Batista isn’t afraid of Taker. Less than three minutes in we have a chair brought in from under the ring. Or would it be out from under the ring? Whatever. Taker controls the majority of the opening part of the match.

Batista takes a chair shot to the throat and has some faint blood from his mouth. I know there’s not much being said here but the opening to this is solid which makes it difficult to make fun of. They’re trying to play up the experience/skill of Taker vs. pure power of Batista. That’s not a bad idea at all. As usual the rules of where you can pin someone here change per match, but I’d assume that it’s only in the ring. Cole implies it’s falls count anywhere.

They’re focusing a lot more on wrestling here than violence, which is fine. There’s certainly more than one way to have a good cell match and this is one of those options. Taker gets the Triangle Choke and Batista starts waving his arm and slapping the mat which looks a lot like tapping to me. He gets the ropes which apparently is a rope break. Even the announcers say that’s not correct. Batista is bleeding horribly.

After Batista gets some weapons shots in to take control, he gets caught in the Last Ride for two. This is a good match. The chokeslam gets two. He goes for the Tombstone but Batista does the leg wiggle of doom to get out and hit a spinebuster to take over again. A table is brought in as I begin to think: do those really help? I mean think about it. They kind of break your fall.

When you’re in a move like a powerbomb or something, the impact of the move is based on the amount of momentum built up when you’re coming down right? Well if there’s a table there blocking your way, doesn’t it stop a lot of the momentum? The impact of going through the table would hurt, but since you keep going anyway, it’s not going to hurt that much. Think of it like this: what hurts worse, taking a short ride and falling through a table, or taking a long ride and landing on something solid?

It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, but I guess it can look good or something like that. Now we get to something else that’s kind of stupid. Batista sets up the table and hits a regular powerbomb through it (they call it the Batista Bomb but I can let that one go). If he had Taker that weakened, why not just hit the regular Batista Bomb and not give Taker the extra recovery time? Batista kicks out of the Tombstone, which makes him the second guy ever (Shawn at Mania 25) to kick out of all three finishers.

Shawn took it a step further though as he got out of Hell’s Gate as well. A Tombstone of the stairs should do it but the cameraman pulls the referee out and of course it’s Edge, returning from whatever injury he was out with. A camera shot to the head of Taker followed by a conchairto and Batista keeps the belt. Seriously, that’s the ending? Edge posing takes us out.

Rating: A-. This was a very good match until the ending. These guys have some solid chemistry together and showed it off tonight. Most Cell matches have zero story to them but this one did, which goes to show that you can have good wrestling and storytelling in a match like this and include weapons and blood.

That’s a big flaw in a lot of gimmick matches today: they forget they’re wrestling and just have high spots. Edge interfering really brings this down though as I wanted a clean win for someone. This was very good though and easily the best match at Survivor Series in a good while.

Overall Rating: B-. This is another example of a show where the grades don’t give an accurate representation of the whole show. I know I graded a lot of them low, but at the same time the whole show turned out to be pretty good I thought. The main event helped a lot as it was an excellent match. It goes to show you what a main event is capable of.

I know some people are going to think I’m an idiot for my Shawn vs. Orton grade, but the issue I have is simple: it was overbooked. Seriously, does a guy like Shawn need gimmicks in order to get over? You tell him how long he has and the finish and let him take care of the rest. The show certainly isn’t bad, but it’s hardly a classic. Batista and Taker is worth going out of your way to see, but while the rest is certainly good, it’s not must see. Recommended though.

 

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1 comment

  1. Jay says:

    I like Survivor Series 2007 overall with Batista/Undertaker HIAC of course being Match of the night. I remember thinking how would Edge return that night and he did it in a pretty cool way though I wanted Taker to win the World Heavyweight Title. Randy Orton/HBK is pretty good overall with Shawn having to change his offense since he could not use Sweetchin Music. The Elimination Match is fun and got Jeff Hardy over which was the point. I really like the CM Punk/JoMo/Miz ECW Title Match and was a good way to kick off the PPV. Divas Match is not bad,the girls looked good and you forgot to mention Melina’s messed up entrance which she went back & did again. Tag & Khali/Hornswoggle Matches are the only letdowns of the night but not enough to bring it down.

    [Reply]

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