It's been over a decade since those long nights in my parents' bedroom, the taste of turkey still on my lips and the thoughts in full support of the Hulkster later in the card. I often wish I'd taken advantage of that family time now that my parents have split. My views on the sport and the athletes that make it enjoyable have changed, nearly to the point I don't look forward to it any more. Hell, the entire event was blackened 2 years ago, and reinforced with last year's blatant slap to the face called a main event. Still, the Survivor Series lives on in my mind as the WWF PPV richest in tradition and therefore the most honorable of the lot.
So, I guess I'm not completely let down by this year's card, and the near-return to the traditional format it offers..
Ivory, Jacqueline, Luna & Terri vs. Tori, Debra, Fabulous Moolah & Mae Young
The official SS website claims this to be a "One Fall; Sudden Death Match" which means... jack. These sites are famous for making things completely unintelligable, at least in my book, and this is no exception. It's not a 'survivor' match, so I'm assuming this means it's just an 8-woman tag (which is much too hard to say when words like 'one fall; sudden death match' are around).Who's the champ? Who knows. Is the belt on the line? Who cares. The important fact is this; what you're gonna see will be damned ugly. Half of the contestants have no legitimate reason to be active in a ring, and the others are questionable. I've made a habit of taking Luna in the women's title match, though it becomes more and more evident that she'll never hold a belt each time she's involved in one of these. Of interest; the Survivor Series history lesson seems to have left the Gobbledy Gooker off it's write-up of the 1990 extravaganza... though there are 2 photos available! Take a gander!
Godfather, D'Lo Brown & the Headbangers vs. Acolytes & Dudley Boyz
Eight Man Elimination Match
Do any of these workers have anything to do with their partners? Sure, D'Lo and the Godfather have a slight past in the NOD and the rest are tag teams. Aside from that, they have no relation. The Headbangers and the Godfather? Seen each other in the locker rooms, I'm sure. Buh Buh Ray and Faarooq? Feuded a bit. The nonsensical booking of these matches is a warm reminder of the days of old, when you didn't need a reason to fight anybody.. just a will. In these days of storyline-focused television and character development emphasis, it's nice to just see an old-fashioned match every once in a while. Of course, if the Godfather makes the pinfall I'll be very upset. Even Bradshaw should be above selling his offense. Ugh. I'll go with the faces here, since the Dudleys and Acolytes will likely screw each other over.
Winners: The old NOD members and the Headbangers
Val Venis, Mark Henry, Gangrel & Steve Blackman vs. The Bulldog, Joey Abs, Rodney & Pete Gas
Eight Man Elimination Match
I'll bet the Bulldog's happy he hurried back to the WWF now. At any rate, half the athletes are competant here, and the result could be almost watchable. Not that I'll be watching it, I'm more likely to be off drinking something I shouldn't be by the time this one hits the air waves. If somebody lowers the cage and the Hardys decide to come out for an hour or two, I'll applaud the effort. Otherwise.. I can live without this. I'll reiterate though; it's nice to have old-fashioned matches without much buildup on the card again. I like the sense of unpredictability of seeing different men working with each other. If the Bulldog carries most of the load for his team, this will be a good, well-paced bout.. and that's what I'm counting on. The MSP isn't really renowned for their ring skills, and I'd expect to see them eliminated early. But the Bulldog will take home the pinfall.
Winner: The Posse (yo!) and the Dog
Big Boss Man, Prince Albert, Viscera & Mideon vs.
Big Show, Taka, Funaki & Blue Meanie
Eight Man Elimination Match
Whose decision was it to put Taka Michinoku and Sho Funaki into a ring with 6 lumbering men that wind themselves on the way to the ring? Does anybody know what you get when you throw cruiserweight fliers into a match with heavyweight rest-holders? Arses of fire. You get arses of fire. Without fail, it never works. But I like the Meanie, and it'll be fun seeing Prince Albert pick insects from the forest of his back, and I suppose Taka's working at the very least. Maybe Edge and Christian will lower the cage again and put on a sequel to the Hardys' hour-long epic earlier in the night. I'm taking Wight to clean house on the Bossman and cohorts, or to get himself counted out in his 'rage'.
Winners: Paul Wight, The Blue Meanie, Taka and Funaki
The Hollys & Too Cool vs. Edge & Christian & the Hardys
Eight Man Elimination Match
Somebody hold me back. I guaran-damn-tee this one produces the 'Navy Rump Hump of the Week' or whatever they're calling it nowadays, to be enjoyed once again on Raw. Never let it be said that the tag division in late 1999 WWF was weak, because there's more promise here than ever before. Once Taka and Funaki find their way into serious contention, we're talking non-stop goodness. These 8 have worked together rather extensively of late, and should really have enough of a feel with one another to put together an unbelievable package. Shelf this one away in the same category as Super Crazy / Jerry Lynn / Yoshihiro Tajiri match last week in that I'd consider suffering through hell to see it. Superb booking decision. The faces have been taking the wins of late, and I'd expect Too Cool to hand out a clean pin in the finish. Or maybe Brother Love will lower the cage and take out all 8 men on his way to a new reign of terror. Or you can forget that last sentence.
Winners: The Hollys and Too Cool
Kurt Angle vs. Shawn Stasiak
The technical skill is there. The fans don't care. I'll look for a full Kurt Angle heel turn here, taking the win through questionable measures. We haven't seen either man in physical capacity on television in months (or ever), and there isn't really much I can say beyond that.
Winner: Kurt Angle
X-Pac vs. Kane
It's been built up for a good 4 months now, I guess it's finally time to deliver. I wonder how X-Pac's meant to be a viable challenger when he fell victim to a chokeslam in record time during their last meeting.. maybe he "wasn't taking his opponent seriously"? Who knows. Still, if Kane pulls out a couple tricks, this could be notworthy. The big man is remarkable when he feels like treating us and I think the tension in the air, the proper storyline and X-Pac's reputation for making the other man look good will come together here and give us a possible show-stealer. With that said, the WWF will find a way to ruin it.. in this case, a dirty finish. X-Pac will drive the nail home with an X-Factor, but the feud won't really begin to heat up until next month some time.
Mankind and Al Snow v. The New Age Outlaws
Tag Team Championship
Looking for something negative about the tag division? These guys have the belts. Not to mention the near-complete deterioration of the straps' worth. They've changed hands 3 times in the past week and a half, and have a strong chance of looking for 4 here. That's completely unheard of, and makes me wonder what they're doing with all the potential they've got waiting in the wings. Mankind and Al Snow are a great duo (especially so when reading Mankind's book, in which he refers to taking a dump as "taking a quick Al Snow") who play off each other well. Their friendship both on-screen and off is evident in their comfortability with each other. They may well take the win Sunday night, but they won't grab the belts.
Winners: Mankind and Al Snow (by DQ or countout)
Chris Jericho v. Chyna
I'm as big a Jericho supporter as the next (if not bigger), but his time isn't now. Much as I'd like to buy into the hype that surrounds his first shot at WWF gold, I don't think the moment is right. He needs a little more time to fit into his new, less-restricted role here. I hate Chyna as a champ, but the signs point to her retaining, if only for a night.
The Rock v. HHH v. Steve Austin
World Heavyweight Championship with Special Ref Vince McMahon
Finally, the one that's got us all guessing. Will Austin, Vince or both make their rumored heel turns? Together? Will HHH swerve everybody and retain? Will the Rock make the jump to Austin's level as a 4-time WWF Champion? Will the cage lower and... I think I'll drop that one. There's too many possibilities to mention here, but the one I'm siding with goes a little something like this: Austin and the Rock pummel HHH with double teams, before working on each other. As the brawl works its way through the crowd, HHH finds time to recover and upon their return to the ring, all 3 men are standing. Austin has brought a chair into the ring, which Vince attempts to take from him. Austin threatens with the chair, and Vince shows testicles the size of grapefruits and dares him to do it. HHH take the opportunity and attacks.
Later, Vince swings the chair at HHH, who is enraged over a slow count. HHH ducks and Vince nails Austin. Helmsley goes for the cover and Vince gives a quick 2-count, but the Rock breaks it up. Throughout the last portion of the match, Vince obviously sides with HHH. Austin and Rocky put both to the ropes and deliver the goods, as the fans explode. Both flip the birds to the audience in a sign of unity before Austin turns and delivers the stunner to the Rock. Vince sprints to his feet and counts the fall before anyone has a chance to see what's happened. As the show goes off the air, McMahon and Austin hold the belt and celebrate together. And y'know, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Sharpshooter thrown in there as well.
Winner: Steve Austin
With that out of the way, I had a couple comments on my ECW Preview with John that I'd like to respond to before I hit the road..
JD2512@aol.com asked about the idea behind the preview in general:
"I appreciate the attempt, but what's the sense in reviewing something you obviously know nothing about. I mean I can understand not seeing more of ECWs talent pool in action on regular TV but It seems as though you guys haven't even seen any of the ECWs other PPVs, or commercial tapes. Watch the PPV, and I hope you enjoy it. ECW always busts there ass to put on a good show. They are without a doubt the hardest working locker room in the business today. Have a great day, and keep on watching wrestling! Oh if ECW ever does come down to the Nashville area you guys really have to make an attempt to see them live, there is nothing like a live ECW event."
Actually, I think John was just making light of the fact they air a national program on the Nashville Network, yet never put on any shows in the network's hometown and namesake. Neither of us are from the Tenessee area (I'm from north-eastern Indiana, John calls Canada his home), and John was actually at the PPV in question.
As for the point.. I don't really think there was one. John and I knew we had no place writing up a preview over something with which we had little past experience, but the idea seemed to fit us like a glove. Besides, we just felt like doing a column together as we'd never done one before. We had a good time, and are planning to make it a monthly event.. which should be interesting. As we become more familiar with the product, the previews will become more relevant to the matches (unlike John's 2 paragraph rant about Tammy's breasts), and we'll become more comfortable being ourselves in the public eye. Believe me, if we get our act together on a preview, it could be golden. Thanks for your support, as it's truly appreciated.
Freddie Byies (firstname.lastname@example.org) left a couple comments for me in the mailbox:
"I liked your preview for ECW's November To Remember. I know alot of people like to complain about a lack of ECW not building up their cards. But I don't care. ECW ALWAYS puts on one helluva show. They can have absolutely no buildup at all and the matches would still be great. I still say they should have the Triple Bitch Fight...a match between Tammy Sytch, Francine, and Dawn Marie...oh, that would be great. "
Not much I can say to that, except thanks and I'd estimate one helluva buyrate for the Tammy/Francine/Dawn Marie catfight, should it ever come to pass. Also; I didn't plan it out, but his remarks tie in nicely with my comments about the current PPV in question, regarding matches with little to no build-up. Thanks for reading
Finally, Fellow Big3 columnist Wayne Edmondson (FCa3537492@aol.com) throws me a bone about my main event thoughts:
"drq, I just read your N2R preview and rather enjoyed it, especially considering that you're both ECW "newbies". However there was one section that was waaaay out in left field, and I thought I would clarify it for you. Even if Tanaka wins the ECW World Title, there's not a chance in hell that he would face Misawa in a title defense. Tanaka is a FMW worker and Misawa works in All Japan, so the likelyhood of them facing each other is somewhat akin to a Goldberg/Austin match on your next ECW PPV. Simply put, it can't possibly happen. Possible opponents include Mr. Gannosuke or H (formerly Hayabusa) amongst others. But seeing that since Eji Ezaki has dropped his Hayabusa gimmick, there really are no other FMW workers that would have a snowball's chance in Hades of getting over with the typical ECW fan. Not trying to bust your balls or anything, but I thought I'd just try to clarify some stuff for you. I enjoy your stuff and keep up the good work."
I'm not sure where I recalled hearing the rumors of a Misawa involvement in ECW, but I think it's safe to say now that they weren't founded. Does anyone else recall a similar rumor, and if so who it was discussing? Matt Spence touched on it in an old column.. I searched and searched, but couldn't find a trace of it anywhere.
A Hayabusa run in ECW could be nice, but from what I've seen and heard he's been mailing them in for some time now. I did enjoy the hell out of his J Cup 94 matchup with Jushin Lyger.. Some of the bumps he sold near the conclusion of the match were just outrageous (especially the blown shooting-star press that nearly broke him in half), and if he continued that sort of style, I don't see him having trouble getting over anywhere in the world... gimmick or not. Thanks for the correction though, Wayne, and the compliments.
I'll be back next week, when Ringside Shadows will break the 90 mark.
until then, i remain