Survivor Series 2011 – Rock Still Has It

Survivor Series 2011
Date: November 20, 2011
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Booker T, Jerry Lawler

Here we are with Rock’s first match in seven years. He’s teaming with Cena to face Awesome Truth, who have looked like the most thrown on heels that I can think of in a very long time. We also have Punk vs. Del Rio and Show vs. Henry for the world titles. The elimination match (Team Orton vs. Team Barrett) has been built up very well indeed and I’m looking forward to it more than any other match. Let’s get to it.

Johnny Ace opens the show. No real point to this but he’s here anyway.

United States Title: John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler

The fans want Ryder. I mean they REALLY want Ryder. Ziggler takes over to start but a charge in the corner misses to give Johnny NoChance the advantage. They do the always cool slingshot spot, channeling their inner Hennigs. Out to the floor where Morrison hits a huge dive. The fans still want Ryder. Why in the world they’re going with Morrison here I have no idea but they’re doing it and that’s their decision and when Ryder’s pop doesn’t mean as much, it’ll be his fault right?

Vickie time gives Ziggler control back and he cheats like a hashtag heel. Morrison tries to fight back but walks into a reverse suplex for two. Sleeper hold is countered but an O’Connor Roll gets two for Dolph. Flying Chuck gets two. Why is it called that anyway? Sleeper by Dolph is countered into a sleeper by Morrison which draws a LOUD boo from the crowd. Vickie breaks up a cover off a tornado DDT, drawing an ejection for her.

Fameasser gets two for the champ but Morrison starts his comeback. Ah John. If only you actually had a chance of winning this match at all. I mean, it’s pretty clear you’re going but they want to squeeze every drop out of you that they can, even though Ryder is clearly the people’s choice. Starship Pain eats knees and Zig Zag keeps Dolph’s title at 10:40.

Rating: B-. Pretty solid opener, but the constant Ryder chants (not the fans’ fault) took away from it. That and the fact that Morrison was as much of a lame duck as you could ask for. Nothing too bad here and it was fine for an opener, but there wasn’t enough here to make it a great match. Now get the belt on Ryder already.

Vickie comes out and says that Dolph is awesome. Dolph says he is awesome and no one would want to follow that. The fans want Ryder but Dolph says he isn’t here. Cue Ryder who hits a Rough Ryder to blow the roof off the place.

Divas Title: Eve Torres vs. Beth Phoenix

This is a lumberjill match for no reason whatsoever. Eve jumps into a slam to start but takes over quickly, sending Beth to the floor. Back in a neckbreaker and the standing moonsault get two. We get into the normal set of circumstances with Beth locking in a hold as Eve is in trouble. Eve starts her comeback as this couldn’t be more of a beer break match if they put a freaking stamp on it.

Eve hooks this wicked looking choke which shifts into a triangle choke but it doesn’t work as it’s a new submission hold that looked good so it can’t be the winner early. They exchange rollups for two each and this is still going nowhere. Eve takes her down and sets for the moonsault but Beth goes up top and they fight on the top rope. Beth counters into the Glam Slam off the top for the pin at 4:42.

Rating: C. Better than average Divas match here with a pretty solid ending. That being said, I have zero reason to care about this story at all as it just keeps going with nothing really developing at all in it. The heels are still evil and proclaim dominance but they run from any staredown, which defeats the purpose of being dominant. In short, I don’t care at all.

Punk is warming up when Otunga comes up and says that Punk should apologize to Cole before he competes tonight, on the orders of Johnny Ace. Punk says he’ll think about it after he wins the title.

Rock has a mic and talks about being here when he was 5 years old and hanging out with Andre the Giant (which he repeats) while he watches his dad defend his WWCensored tag titles. He debuted here in November of 96 with the worst haircut ever and a stupid outfit but they chanted his name. That was the beginning of an odyssey and he went through the company, winning everything in sight. He talks about Awesome Truth a bit and this is going WAY too long at about five minutes now. Now Rock starts a song number, asking the fans to sing New York with him. WAY too long here but the fans were into it.

Team Barrett vs. Team Orton

Wade Barrett, Hunico, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes
Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, Mason Ryan, Sheamus

This is the match that I’ve wanted to see more than any other. Ziggler vs. Kofi starts us off after an eternity of entrances. Cara is in white and Rhodes has knee pads. Off to Orton and the RKO ends Ziggler in about 4 seconds. Team Barrett huddles up but Orton jumps them and picks Barrett to beat up. Everything breaks down and Team Orton stands tall. Kofi and Cara try stereo dives but Cara hooks his leg on the ropes and is holding his knee. Great. The fans, again, want Ryder. Cara is eliminated and we’re down to 4-4. I’m not so sure how planned that was, but it looked like he grabbed the rope so maybe it was planned.

Rhodes vs. Orton now and make that Ryan vs. Hunico. I don’t expect these two to be in there that long. Hey I’m right as it’s off to Kofi very quickly. Kofi runs into a slingshot move and goes crotch first into the buckle for two. Wade in now and it’s time for a chinlock. Back to Ryan vs. Hunico and Wales beats up Mexico a bit. Hunico makes a blind tag to Cody who hits the Beautiful Disaster and Cross Rhodes for the pin and a pop plus a chant.

Off to Sheamus vs. Rhodes and Sheamus powers him into the ropes for the pounding forearms which gets counted along with. Get the fans involved in a match, even with something like that, and they’ll love you forever. The referee breaks things up and Cody is able to bring in Barrett who takes over. Off to Hunico and we hear that Sin Cara is trending worldwide. This has been talked about all night by the way but I didn’t feel like bringing it up as it makes my head hurt.

Hot tag brings in Kofi who beats up the Brit because that’s what people do. Boom Drop hits as Cole says he’s emulating Shawn Michaels. Booker: “I never saw Shawn do a Boom Drop.” Barret avoids the kick but walks into a Pendulum Kick, as does Swagger. Wade drops him dead with a big boot though and Wasteland makes it 4-2. Orton comes in but is sent to the floor quickly. Hunico hits a suicide dive and takes over. Could he be more RKO fodder if he tried?

Off to Swags who hasn’t done much in this so far. Rhodes comes in to work on the arm and gets a near fall. Orton manages to throw Rhodes off and both guys are down. There’s the hot tag to Sheamus and one to Swagger as well. The paler one goes up and hits the top rope shoulder. Hunico is sent outside and there’s an Irish Curse for Jack. Barrett breaks the Cross up but is knocked to the floor. Sheamus goes after Swagger and it’s a LAME DQ to make it 4-1. Did I mention they made it a big deal that Orton is a 4 time sole survivor?

Sheamus kicks Swagger in the head before leaving and Orton gets the easy pin to make it 3-1. It’s Hunico, Cody and Barrett left if you’ve lost count. Rhodes comes in to pound him down but Orton fires back with the clotheslines and powerslam. Elevated DDT hits and he loads up the RKO. Barrett distracts as Hunico makes a blind tag. Springboard, RKO, 2-1. Barrett comes in and gets taken down but there’s an RKO to Rhodes. Randy gets too distracted though and Wasteland ends this at 22:18 with Barrett and Rhodes being the sole survivors. Cara has a ruptured patella tendon.

Rating: B-. This was fun but the botch brought things to a complete halt which hurt it a lot. The right guys survived too as they’ve been very hot on Smackdown lately. Randy laying down clean is the right thing to do and he did that here. I have no issues with him pinning Swagger and Hunico, but it’s good that they kept the top heels strong. Fun match, but it wasn’t as good as it was hyped up.

The Bellas hit on Del Rio when Ace comes in. There’s a LOUD Cody chant for this as Ace talks about Del Rio needing to take this seriously. Del Rio says this is the first defense of many in MSG for him.

Don’t be a bully.

We get a long video on Show vs. Henry and the ring breaking last month.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Mark Henry

The ring has been reinforced. Show shoves him around to start as I think the fans want Bryan. Show busts out a waistlock and armdrag of all things. Henry goes after the knee which is smart strategy since he can take it down with his power game. If Cara is out like he thinks he’ll be, it’s six months recovery. He lays on the knee of Show to waste some time. If they keep this a simple power vs. power match, it should be ok. The fans think this is boring and I can’t say I disagree.

The fans chant for Bryan now and Cole says he’s not here tonight due to the attack Friday. Show fights back with a DDT and calls for the chokeslam but Henry picks him up with the Slam for two. Splash gets two as well. An elbow drop gets two. Fire Henry chant starts up as does an Undertaker chant. Out to the floor and Henry rams him through the barricade and please don’t let it be a lame double countout.

Thankfully they’re both back in and Henry is ticked off. Henry headbutts him on the apron and they load up the superplex. Show breaks it up and hits a superkick of all things to put Henry down. That draws the required HBK chant. And with that, Show goes up to the top rope. He looks SCARED. After about a minute, LUCHA SHOW HITS AN ELBOW OFF THE TOP!!! It only gets two and even the MSG fans are into this now. That draws a Randy Savage chant. Show loads up the punch but Henry ducks and kicks him low for the ULTRA LAME DQ at 13:22.

Rating: B-. Man, this was some insane stuff. The elbow was NUTS and the crowd chanting was better than anything you’ll ever hear in TNA. The ending CRIPPLED this though as it was a fun battle of the big men until then, but that ending just sucked. Let it end by a double countout after the elbow or something, but not like that. It was horrible looking all around.

Post match Henry loads up the Pillmanization but Show moves at the last minute. Now Show sets to Pillmanize Henry’s ankle and drops a leg on it for the injury. Uh, Bryan anyone? No? Well of course not. That would pop the crowd huge and we don’t want that. Legit we don’t want that. It’s the Rock’s show.

Barrett says nothing of note when Awesome Truth interupts him. Barrett makes a Charlie Sheen reference. Oh good grief. Truth and Miz talk about Rock/Cena and Truth talks about seeing pigeons looking at a picture of Rock/Cena. “You know what they said to me? Nothing! They’re pigeons! They can’t talk!” Awesome.

The New York National Guard is here and get recognized. Think that draws a USA chant?

We recap Alberto vs. Punk, which King thinks started at Survivor Series. Del Rio cashed in then won it again at HIAC, so this is Punk’s rematch.

Raw World Title: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

Punk has his own ring announcer: The Fink. Punk goes old school ROH with the hoodie. The fans want ice cream. CM grabs a headlock to call some spots and gets two off a shoulder black. Both guys work on the arm with Punk in control at the moment. Del Rio heads to the floor as we hear even more about Twitter. Del Rio heads to the floor twice so Punk hits a suicide dive to take care of him.

Del Rio takes over and Ricardo gets in a shot as well. Punk chases after him but runs into an Alberto kick. Del Rio works the arm which is psychology baby! GTS is countered so Del Rio hits a single arm DDT for two. More arm work and Alberto goes up for another shot to the arm, getting two. He misses a charge and lands on the floor with a thud. Punk takes him down again (while shaking the arm) and they slug it out.

Punk takes over with a springboard clothesline for two. He calls for the GTS and Ricardo has a towel for some reason. The GTS is countered and Del Rio gets a Backstabber for two. The knee in the corner misses and the Del Rio enziguri gets two. A Codebreaker to the arm gets two. They go up and Punk gets crotched so that Del Rio can kick the arm again. He misses a charge though and Del Rio’s arm hits the post. The Macho Elbow hits for two.

GTS and armbreaker are countered but the second armbreaker works to put Punk in real trouble. Punk finally gets his feet on the ropes for the break and sets for the GTS, but he only has one arm. Ricardo interferes but gets kicked down. A big kick sets up the Vice and Punk is champion at 17:03.

Rating: C+. The psychology was pretty solid but Del Rio is such a boring character that I didn’t care in the slightest. Punk winning is a good thing as he was the hottest thing going on Raw for a very long time. Not a classic or anything but it puts the title on the right guy, which is what we needed badly on Raw for the past few weeks.

Fink does the NEW WWE Champion thing post match which brings a legit smile to my face.

We recap Rock/Cena vs. Awesome Truth which starts as a big love letter to Rock. The main event was set for Mania a year ago (essay coming soon) but Awesome Truth wasn’t happy. This is far more about Rock and Cena, as it should be.

John Cena/The Rock vs. Awesome Truth

Gee, who do you think is going to get the most boos? Rock looks great, more muscular that I ever remember seeing him. He starts with Miz as the bell ringer messes up a bit. Cena gives his shirt and a kiss on the cheek to Arnold Skaaland’s widow. Rock cleans house with arm drags and La Majistral for two on Miz. Truth wants him so Rock goes Owen with the wristlock counter.

Rock cleans house again and busts out a fisherman’s suplex to Truth but Cena is fighting Miz so there’s no count. Miz comes in and wants Cena. The fans think Cena can’t wrestle, so they stand around forever. Cena fires off a monkey flip and a dropkick but fans: “You still suck! You still suck! You still suck!” Cena loads up You Can’t See Me but goes to look at Rock instead. Rock sees Truth coming to jump Cena and does nothing at all.

So it’s Cena as Ricky Morton here as he gets beaten down, going into the post. Both heels take turns on him and we head to the floor. Fan: “Tell those pigeons who’s boss Truth!” Miz hits the low DDT for two. There’s the corner clothesline and the fans are either saying he’s awesome or awful. Truth pops Cena and Miz gets two off of it. Booker talks about Rock being selfish and we hear about the summer of 2001 when Rock beat Booker time after time.

Awesome Truth beats down Cena even more as Truth hits a dancing legdrop for two. Hulk Hogan he’s not. He goes up for a cross body but Cena rolls through into an FU attempt. Truth rolls through that and gets two. Cena gets in the shot that he needs and hits an AA out of nowhere on Truth. Miz comes in and takes Rock out though so the heels keep the advantage.

Another dancing legdrop misses and it’s hot tag Rock. He cleans house, hitting the Rock Bottom on Truth and the Sharpshooter is put on Miz. Truth comes in with the Little Jimmy to break it up so Cena spears him down. Great, another guy with the spear. Miz takes over but of course runs his mouth and gets caught by the spinebuster and People’s Elbow for the pin at 21:45.

Rating: B Fine main event tag match here and Rock looked great. That’s the biggest thing here as there was no doubt who was winning here. Now at Mania….I’m not so sure, but that’s another review for another time. Good stuff here and it was exactly what was advertised, which is the right idea here. Not that it means anything, but Rock has been in the ring which is the right thing.

Cena goes to leave but Rock calls him back.  They have a pose off and Rock of course is cheered longer and louder.  Cena goes to leave but Rock grabs him in a Rock Bottom to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. It’s hard to say this show wasn’t good, but it could have been a lot more. They were intentionally keeping the crowd at a lower key until the very end to pop big for Rock, which is ok, but it makes the rest of the show pretty uninteresting. Some bad finishes really hurt things, but Punk winning the title is great and Rock looked awesome so it’s hard to complain. Good show, but it could have been more.

Results
Dolph Ziggler b. John Morrison – Zig Zag
Beth Phoenix b. Eve Torres – Glam Slam from the top rope
Team Barrett b. Team Orton last eliminating Randy Orton
Big Show b. Mark Henry via DQ when Henry kicked Big Show low
CM Punk b. Alberto Del Rio – Anaconda Vice
The Rock/John Cena b. Awesome Truth – People’s Elbow to Miz

 

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3 comments

  1. Booyaka says:

    Nice review. Not sure why you were all mental in the ld forum, but it’s good to see you got the flo of the sho.

    Cannot wait till Raw tomorrow

    [Reply]

  2. Jay says:

    Really enjoyed Survivor Series tonight and the MSG Crowd was a Big Highlight with Chants for The Rock,Daniel Bryan,Macho Man,CM Punk,Zack Ryder,and even Cody Rhodes got one too.

    Dolph/John Morrison-Good way to kick things off with Dolph keeping his US Title. Kinda thought Morrison would win but no biggy. I liked Ryder coming out and taking out Ziggler.

    Beth/Eve-An ok Divas Title Match but I liked the Glamslam for the finish.

    Team Orton/Team Barrett-A Fun SS Elimination Match here but its too bad Sin Cara got hurt which sucks. Barrett & Rhodes the Sole Survivors im fine with,everybody looked good in it.

    Mark Henry/Big Show-This Match was not bad and I loved Big Show’s elbow drop,that was so cool. Mark taking the cheap way out to keep the WHC was a little surprising and I was hoping Daniel Bryan would Cash in MITB.

    ADR/CM Punk-Maybe the MOTN here & CM Punk winning the WWE Title was very cool. Loved Howard Finkel doing Punk’s introduction as well plus Punk jumping into the MSG Crowd was funny.

    Rock/John Cena vs Awesome Truth-Liked this Match with Rock looking excellent in his Return and he still has it.

    Overall a Solid Survivor Series from top to bottom.

    [Reply]

  3. The Killjoy says:

    Rewatched this. Gotta say it was one of my favorite PPV’s in a long time. They gave John Morrison a final hoorah even if the crowd crapped on it, Big Show gave the performance of a lifetime, The Rock was an awesome sight to see after such a long time and Cena and Miz/Truth were great as well. It may sound weird, but as far as 2011 WWE PPV’s go, I far preferred this over MITB, Summerslam or any other.

    I’d go so far as to call it historic if Bryan had cashed in. It had a bigger feel than Wrestlemania 27 and it was far more fun with better matches.

    [Reply]

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