November 27, 2005
Joe Louis Arena
Buy Rate: .94
Announcers: Joey Styles, Jerry Lawler, Jonathan Coachman, Michael Cole & Tazz
Sunday Night Heat
Juventud (Eduardo Hernandez) defeated Simon Dean (Mike Bucci)
Fun Fact: This is Michigan’s seventh PPV, and the first in the Motor City since Rock’s last WWE Championship win at Vengeance 2002.
Pay Per View
1) Booker T (Booker Huffman) defeats Chris Benoit in Match One of a Best of Seven Series with an Oklahoma Roll at 14:39
Fun Fact: On 10/14, Booker won a fatal four-way match to earn a US title shot, thanks to an assist from his wife Sharmell, which is something that had now become commonplace. The next week, Booker got some more help from his wife and was able to defeat Chris Benoit to win the US title. An enraged Benoit screamed at Sharmell and Booker backstage, but Booker denied any interference. A week later, Teddy Long showed Booker the footage of Sharmell’s interference and Booker yelled at his wife and said he would give Benoit a rematch. Later in the night, Booker called out Benoit and forced Sharmell to apologize. She did, but then she smacked Booker and said she was sorry she married him. Unfortunately for Benoit, it was a setup as Booker drilled him with the US title and left him bloodied, solidifying a heel turn for he and his wife. On 11/4, Booker got intentionally counted out against Benoit to retain his belt. On 11/25, the two would fight again, but this time the match ended in a draw when both men’s shoulders were down for a three count. After the bell, Teddy announced the Best of Seven series to determine who was the true US champion.
Scott: For the second time in history, Booker T and the Wolverine will duel in a marathon for gold. Back in 1998, it was to be the #1 contender for the WCW TV Title. Here, it’s actually for gold itself. If you look back on Booker T’s career, the opponent he was probably at his best against was Chris Benoit. Back to their WCW days, and in some contests here in WWE, they always give each other their best. I always like their matches simply because they’re always about two things: pride and gold. There was no weird side stuff or kooky storylines. It was always about gold and besting the other. The pacing was deliberate, as Booker worked Benoit over with an Abdominal Stretch, one of those great 80’s moves that isn’t used as much anymore. Tazz was very strange to start this show out, talking about Thanksgiving food while the match was going on. He and Cole were on a roll throughout 2005 and they needed to be since almost all of the SD-only PPVs were pretty bland. Detroit’s first PPV in three and a half years makes the crowd pretty hot early even though there was a lot of restholds going on. One thing these two did pretty well was these close double-pin attempts, as indicated by the match on Smackdown before this show that caused the title to be held up in the first place. Benoit’s set to hit the headbutt from the rope but Sharmell distracts and Booker gets to the top, but Benoit head butts him to the canvas and he tries the flying butt again, but Booker gets out of the way. Booker then gets a roll-up and with the help of the ropes and Sharmell, Booker takes a 1-0 lead. This was a pretty solid opener and the first of another long series. Grade: 2.5
Justin: Our November tradition kicks off with the reigniting of a long time rivalry. I liked the story here with Teddy Long bringing back a legendary WCW storyline to determine the US champion. I was also very happy to see Booker go heel again as the role just fit him better, especially with his bitch wife at his side. Benoit was over as always and gets off to a hot start with his basic crisp hard-hitting offensive assault. You could see the chemistry these two had just resonating in the ring and they really worked hard and got the crowd rocking, especially during a maniacal headbutt flurry by Benoit as he just kept smacking Booker with his own skull. Booker would get a cheap win but I am fine with it here because it really furthered the story with Sharmell’s cheating and set the tone for the rest of the series. This just some rock solid business from these two as you would expect. As annoying as Sharmell could be, she was good in this role and made her annoying personality more palatable. Match one is in the bag, and the Booker Man has the lead as of now. Grade: 3
***Backstage, Eric Bischoff brags to Mr. McMahon about his intention to screw John Cena, even comparing it to Montreal and Bret Hart. An unimpressed Cena interrupted and ended the bragging. Then, came one of the most awkward, random and tasteless PPV moments to date as Vince McMahon thought it would be a good idea to drop the N word when talking to Cena. As he awkwardly strutted off after saying it, he passes Booker who looks on in amazement and says “tell me he did not just say that.” Well, he did it say and we really have no idea what it really accomplished. ***
2) Trish Stratus (Patricia Stratigias) defeats Melina to retain WWE Women’s Title with a top rope bulldog at 6:30
Fun Fact: On 11/21, Trish Stratus was at ringside during a Mickie James match when two men dressed in black hopped over the barricade, grabbed Trish and absconded with her. Later in the show, Trish was shown tied to a chair backstage and it was revealed that MNM had abducted her. Melina claimed she would win the Women’s title, challenged Trish to a PPV match and proceeded to kick Trish in the head, flipping the chair over in the process.
Scott: A fresh opponent for the queen of Stratusfaction. Trish did a pretty nice plancha onto MNM early in the match, as the crowd keeps the energy up after the opener. Melina hasn’t really shown her wrestling chops that much so far, but she’s holding her own so far. MNM tried to get a Snapshot off on Trish when the ref was not looking, but he catches them and throws them out. This may be the best PPV women’s match of the year as both women really put their effort into this one, as Trish’s “fan” Mickie James helps the champ avoid a move on the outside, then Trish hits Stratusfaction from the top rope to retain her title. The crowd was hot, all the women were hot, and we had a pretty good women’s match to keep the show going. Grade: 2.5
Justin: For our first Interpromotional match, we get a little commentary switch as Styles and Tazz team up to call the bout and to really push the interbrand warfare that would permeate the night. The whole crux of the show long story was that Smackdown felt disrespected and ignored and the belligerent Tazz really drove home that point throughout the night. Mickie accompanies Trish to the ring, continuing to further that angle along and I must say that all three ladies here were looking pretty damn hot. Trish would get off to a fast start but things would turn as Mickie and Melina brawled on the floor, allowing MNM to hop in the ring to turn the tide. However, the ref would see the interference and throw MNM out. Melina worked pretty stiff here and the two had surprisingly solid chemistry. The crowd was digging this showdown and popped for Trish’s win, thanks to help from her pal Mickie. This was an energetic little bout that kept the show moving and the crowd rocking. Melina heads back to Fridays without any gold and Raw wins the first Interpromotional battle of the night. Grade: 2
3) Triple H (Paul Levesque) defeats Ric Flair (Richard Fleihr) in a Last Man Standing match with a sledgehammer shot at 26:57
Fun Fact: On 11/7, an angry Triple H decided to sit on the stage as Ric Flair wrestled Rob Conway. As Flair won by submission, Hunter stalked to the ring, wrapped a chain around Flair’s neck and yanked him to the floor. Flair would fight to his feet and the two men would brawl through the crowd. The next week, Hunter would send a message by destroying Val Venis and said that the PPV would be all about surviving.
Scott: This must be a record that Triple H’s third straight PPV match is a gimmick/stipulation. Probably not, but it seems like it. I was curious going into this match as to how they could eclipse their classic cage match earlier in the month at Taboo Tuesday. Triple H hit a pretty stiff suplex on Flair outside the ring, which reminded me of how he can’t hit anything square on his back due to the airplane crash thirty years earlier. Flair’s hips must have gone through some serious trauma over the years. With no cage, both men need to find other ways to maim and incapacitate each other. Early on it was a kendo stick and a chair, but then it turned into a straight up match with stiff strikes and punches. We finally reach the sadistic portion of the match when Triple H starts driving a screwdriver into Flair’s bloodied head. I notice that since this feud started, announcers keep mentioning that Triple H wanted to break Flair’s record of sixteen World Championships, or twenty or twenty-one…poor Jack Veneno gets no respect. It was during this time that the Triple H venom continued on the Internet and now the rumors circulated that Triple H really did want to break the record, which everyone thought was sacrilege. So he got a lot of crap for that during 2005. Of course he wasn’t in the title picture like everybody wanted to bitch about too, but no one said anything about that though. Triple H taunts Flair to stay down, and Natch proceeds to give Triple H a claw to the balls. My dear friend Dr. G would be proud. Triple H goes for a Pedigree on the announce table, but Flair backdrops him on the Spanish announce table, but Triple H gets up at nine. Flair was going all out with the nut shots, at least three in this match, plus a vicious chair shot. Flair is cracking Triple H with some serious chair shots as I’m sure both men knew they had to find some way to try and top the violence of the cage match. The stiffness with which they went off on each other, including Hunter smacking Flair with the ring steps, then smacking himself with it when Flair trips him. Triple H recovers to deliver back-to-back Pedigrees but Flair somehow gets up after the second one and flipped him off. Triple H delivers a third Pedigree, but Flair still struggles to get to his feet. Triple H finally brings his tag partner out, the old sledgehammer. He crushes Flair in the neck with it, and that’s that. Another bloody violent war between these two and Triple H evens the score. Grade: 4
Justin: In a feud that has reinvigorated both men, we get another dose of violence for the second month in a row. Hunter was focused during his entrance and would attack Flair in the aisle to kick off the match. They would brawl into the crowd and break out some weapons early. In the first stiff spot of the match, Triple H would give Flair a suplex on the floor, leading to some extensive work on the back. Flair would be busted open early and hit a nasty gusher for the second month in a row. To add to the already gross wound, Hunter would grab a screwdriver and jam it into the gash. Hunter’s offense was precise and dominant for the second month in a row and included a great spinebuster on the floor. As Flair bled a gross amount of blood, he would turn things around by back dropping Hunter through the announce table to prevent a Pedigree. I liked the ten count spots early as they flowed well and weren’t overdone. Once Flair took over, he put on a clinic of violence with a good low blow and chair shot combo mixed in with crazed biting of Hunter’s face and leg. Flair would then begin to work Hunter’s surgically repaired quad to start prepping for the figure four, which he would eventually lock in and Hunter would eventually tap to. Unfortunately, a tap out here meant nothing so the match continued. It was at this point that I felt the match was dragging a bit and had gone a little long. Despite that dip in action, the end was well done as Flair survived three Pedigrees and looked strong in doing so. Hunter would finally grab the sledgehammer and paste Flair to put him down for good. I really liked this match and it was a sick, stiff, violent brawl that clocks in just a notch below their cage ware from last month. I think if they shaved five minutes off, it would have been tighter and had a better flow. Regardless, Hunter wins the match and now turns his attentions elsewhere while Flair has showed that he can still deliver a bitter violent feud when needed. Grade: 4
*** Edge and Lita come out to generate some cheap heat from the Detroit crowd. They point out Tigers star Dmitri Young in the crowd and proceed to have a quick back and forth with him about what it means to be a winner. The irony here is that Edge rags on the Tigers being putrid, but they would go on to make the World Series in 2006. This was a quick palette cleanser and used to generate some basic heat for Edge, who was not wrestling on the show, after the previous bloodbath. ***
4) John Cena defeats Kurt Angle to retain WWE Championship with an FU at 13:56
Fun Fact: On 10/7, Kurt Angle ripped into the fans for chanting “You Suck” at him when all he ever did was kill himself and sacrifice his family for the business. Backstage, he told Bischoff that he wanted him to get the fans to stop chanting or else he was leaving Raw. He also asked to hand pick a guest referee for his tag match later in the night. Bischoff would comply with both requests and would have his sound techs censor the crowd during Angle’s entrance by bleeping them out. Angle’s hand picked ref would be the returning Daivari and he would help Angle and Chris Masters defeat John Cena and Shawn Michaels. Two weeks later, Daivari assisted Angle in defeating Shelton Benjamin and Angle then announced that Daivari would now be his personal referee, including at the PPV. He said he was partnering with Daivari because the fans abused them both.
Scott: For the third straight PPV, your Olympic Hero tries to wrest the WWE Title from the Doctor of Thugonomics. The crowd still has the energy, and really for the first time the John Cena hate really has come to the surface. The crowd’s not upset when Daivari doesn’t count Cena’s pins, and they’re going bonkers when Angle gets the Anklelock ratcheted up. It percolated at Unforgiven and Taboo Tuesday, and now we have the women and kids’ voices chanting “Let’s Go Cena” and the deep manly voices chanting “Let’s Go Angle”. I think when Cena started ditching the throwbacks and the “Thugonomics” talk and started acting like a face main eventer the male fans ditched him. This is clearly what happened to Diesel in 1995. In 1994 he was Shawn Michaels’ badass bodyguard. By 1995 he was milquetoast with leather. That’s what happened to John Cena, and just like ten years earlier, the male fans have turned on him. Not only were there dueling chants, but a very loud “Cena Sucks” chant as well. The match is average, and I am remembering the rumors that Angle was dogging these matches because he knew he wasn’t going over and that he really didn’t think Cena deserved anything. I may have to agree a little with that assessment here. It’s very sluggish and average, and the multitude of referees getting knocked out makes this very Attitude Era-ish, and thus very dated and off. After a third referee gets knocked out, Smackdown referee Charles Robinson comes in, just in time to see Angle get hit with the FU and a three count. Cena retains his title, and the crowd really is….half and half. The pop isn’t that crazy either. All three of their matches didn’t deliver like they probably were meant to, and with all the interference and referee crap, this match was probably the worst. Grade: 1.5
Justin: After barely escaping with his title over the last two months, John Cena again must face Kurt Angle and again the deck is stacked thanks to Eric Bischoff. I enjoyed the censoring of the “You Suck” and even though it was an odd combo, it was good to see Daivari back too. Both men stayed on the mat early and the crowd was red hot despite being pretty split between the two. As you would expect, Daivari would help Angle where possible, which led to an early Anklelock that Cena was able to break free from. Cena would wipe out Daivari, eliminating him from the match, but Angle would hook Cena and toss him with a stuff belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. Two more refs would come down, but Angle would take them both out in anger as well. Despite the overbooking, the match never slowed down and had a great relentless pace to it the whole way through. Daivari would recover but Cena took him out again and then dropped Angle with an FU to finally end the feud. This was a really fun match and while I thought Angle should have won in October, I am fine with Cena winning here to end the feud. Both men would move on in interesting directions as 2006 dawns, but the lasting effects of this feud may be the fact that the fans started to turn on Cena in a serious way for the first time. Grade: 3.5
5) Teddy Long defeats Eric Bischoff after a pumphandle slam from the Boogeyman (Marty Wright) at 5:25
Fun Fact: Brian Mailhot began his career on the East Coast, spending time in the EWA and Chaotic Wrestling from 1999 through 2005. In May of 2005, Mailhot signed a WWE contract and was assigned to OVW. On August 25, he would make his TV debut on Smackdown, portraying a network executive named Palmer Cannon. The character was designed to be a heel and was done as a way to poke fun at UPN’s increasingly stricter content limits being placed on WWE, starting with the reaction to the Muhammad Hassan angle back in July. He would be a foil to Teddy Long, often making matches behind his back and hiring various talents to the brand. He accompanies Long to the ring here, rooting on the blue brand GM.
Fun Fact II: Marty Wright had previously been known for his role in Tough Enough IV when he lied about his age and was kicked off the show. Despite his lying, WWE would hire him to a developmental deal in January 2005 based on his look, attitude and bizarre charisma. During training, he somehow lost his front teeth and this led to an interesting new gimmick. During a match in OVW, he came to the ring, no sold his opponents and easily won his match. He was then announced as the Boogeyman after winning and would eventually turn face and begin developing a monster character to go with the name. In July, horror movie style vignettes began airing on Raw and Smackdown, but things were delayed when Wright injured himself. He would finally debut as the Boogeyman on the 10/13 Smackdown. He was signed to a deal by Palmer Cannon who claimed he had been hired to be on a UPN TV show but due to unspecified incident involving Boogeyman, the show never was picked up, so Cannon signed him to Smackdown instead. Over the following weeks, Boogeyman played the tweener role and would show up at random points, terrorizing other superstars, singing nursery rhymes and smashing a clock over his head while laughing maniacally while the announcers would talk about how odd the whole scene would be.
Fun Fact III: This is Eric Bischoff’s final PPV appearance. On the 12/5 RAW, he would go through a trial that resulted in his removal as GM of RAW, being hit with an FU by John Cena and then thrown into a garbage truck by Mr. McMahon. According to Bischoff, Stephanie McMahon and company felt it was time to put Bischoff’s character to rest, and he agreed and understood. He then wrote his book Controversy Creates Cash that talked about his life and career and gave his opinions on various topics from Ric Flair to Vince McMahon to the Monday Night Wars. The book was successful, even reaching the NY Times Best Seller List. On the September 26, 2006 RAW, Bischoff appeared on the show to promote his book and gave a worked shoot on Vince. During the promo, his mic was cut off and he was escorted from the building. A few days later, JBL conducted a four-part interview with Bischoff on WWE.com, further discussing his book. He would appear at Cyber Sunday in 2006 as the special guest referee for the DX vs. Rated RKO main event, getting 60% of the vote. He would screw DX out of the victory, though, and gave Rated RKO the win. The next night on RAW, Bischoff was reinstated as the GM for one night only, but DX got their revenge on him from the previous night. Bischoff would make his final WWE appearance at the 15th Anniversary of RAW where he would get knocked out by Chris Jericho. Bischoff would disappear from wrestling until October 2009 where he was in charge of negotiating a deal between him and Hulk Hogan and TNA. The two sides would come to terms, and Bischoff became the executive producer and was given the authority to make matches. The two would debut on the January 4, 2010 Impact as a storyline to rebuild the franchise. Bischoff continues to work for TNA to this day.
Scott: I know this was meant to keep the Raw/Smackdown tension going, but it was really a big waste of time. This would have been a good time for Austin to come out and drop a Stunner or something, but then in comes the newest gimmick to Smackdown. That gimmick is, the Boogeyman. He comes into the ring, Pumphandle Slams Bischoff and gives the win to Teddy Long. Ugh, what a joke. Grade: 0
Justin: The brand war rolls on as we get a palette-cleansing match between the two GMs. Cole and Coach would do commentary for this one and again they would snipe at each other throughout. After some early stalling, Bischoff would choke Teddy out before Palmer Cannon got involved by running a distraction. As things lumbered on, the crowd quickly turned on them and turned on the show for the first time all night. Teddy would use his shoe, but Eric would come back and use some karate moves to take control. As he was working Teddy over, the lights went down and the Boogeyman arrived in the ring. Boogey would take Bischoff out with a pumphandle slam, giving Teddy and Smackdown a victory. This whole thing was a sloppy mess and really just killed the flow of what had been a well-paced, red-hot show. I know they were trying to push the brand war, but they could have found a better way to do so. Either way, Bischoff’s rough night continues and he is humiliated again thanks to Smackdown’s resident freak show, a network executive and their jiving GM. Grade: 0
6) Team Smackdown defeats Team Raw in an elimination match
Shawn Michaels pins Bobby Lashley after a Kane chokeslam at 7:17
Batista pins Kane with a spinebuster at 11:41
Big Show pins Batista after a double chokeslam with Kane at 12:27
Rey Mysterio pins Big Show with a springboard splash at 14:28
John Bradshaw Layfield pins Carlito with the Clothesline from Hell at 17:35
Rey Mysterio pins Chris Masters with a springboard legdrop at 19:12
Shawn Michaels pins Rey Mysterio with a Superkick at 20:30
Shawn Michaels pins John Bradshaw Layfield with a Superkick at 20:44
Randy Orton pins Shawn Michaels with an RKO at 24:01
Fun Fact: Following Taboo Tuesday, the brand war would continue to rage. On 11/4, Eric Bischoff showed up on Smackdown and challenged Teddy Long to a ten-man tag between brands at Survivor Series, claiming that Smackdown was a second rate brand. Long accepted and the following Monday, Bischoff would introduce Kane, Big Show and Shawn Michaels as part of the Raw team and then made a match between Carlito and Shelton Benjamin with the winner earning the fourth slot, which Carlito would win. On the 11/11 Smackdown, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, Eddie Guerrero and JBL all earned slots on the team for the PPV by winning matches. Also on that night, Edge and Batista fought in a street fight that ended in a big brawl between brands, triggered when Chris Masters showed up and locked Teddy Long in the Masterlock. Big Show and Kane would fight off the SD locker room and eventually drop Batista with a double chokeslam, legitimately tearing his lat muscle in the process. Of course, after Eddie Guerrero passed away the following week he would need to be replaced for the PPV. Randy Orton and Batista were added to the blue team while Chris Masters was added to the red team to complete the match. On the 11/21 Raw, Bischoff announced that he heard Team Smackdown might show up on Raw. Moments later, the rumors were proven true as Todd Grisham informed Team Raw that the Smackdown stars were in the parking lot and calling them out. The Raw team would meet them out there a big brawl ensued and ended with Batista getting chokeslammed on the hood of a car. Later in the night, Shawn Michaels and JBL would wrestle in a lumberjack match and once again a rumble between the brands occurred. Batista would return and use a lead pipe to get revenge on Show and Kane. On the 11/25 Smackdown, Masters and Carlito showed up and assaulted Rey Mysterio. Later that night, a slew of Raw stars showed up and brawled with Team Smackdown. The show would end with Big Show and Kane chokeslamming Batista through the announce table.
Scott: Our main event is the annual Survivor Series match. They at least try to shoehorn at least one old school match into this show every year. Before this match even starts, the announcers are hilarious sniping at each other during the introductions. Tazz really played it up to the hilt, being so agitated that he was ready to get up and punch Jerry Lawler and Joey Styles in the face. The storyline was dominated by World Heavyweight Champ Batista’s injured shoulder as he looked like a mummy with all the ace bandages. The mix of rookie power and experience is fascinating as you’ve got big hulking rookies like Lashley and Masters in the ring. They handle simple things like shoulder blocks and powerslams. On top of that, there’s experience like Michaels, JBL, Kane and Show. After a real bad stretch on this show with that WWE Title mess and the GM match garbage, we need a good end to the show. The crowd has been pretty hot all show and it’s still working here. The action has been pretty brisk with quick tags and different combinations in the ring. The announcing is clearly helping the match as well, as Raw’s announcers are calm and condescending while Smackdown’s duo are agitating at sniping at every turn. Tazz really continues to amp up the tension as he keeps threatening to pummel essentially the entire Raw table. Why is it that every time Big Show is in a multi-person tag match, the opposing team beats him with all their finishers? That gets old fairly quickly. I don’t know why the booking is annoying me tonight, but everything just seems antiquated and stale. Not everything, but most things. Maybe Tazz’s angst is rubbing off on me as I’m watching this. Chris Masters gets some major TV time as at one point he’s the only Raw guy going while Shawn Michaels sells a JBL fallaway slam outside the ring. Masters gets eliminated, and for the second time in three years, Shawn Michaels must deal with a three-on-one situation. In 2003 he eliminated two of them before a Batista spinebuster gave Team Bischoff the win in Dallas. This time Michaels does it again, as he superkicks Rey and JBL in the span of about twenty seconds. So we’re down to Michaels and Orton again. Both men battle and Michaels gets his move set in that could lead to another Sweet Chin Music, but JBL interferes with a chair, which gives Orton the chance to hit the RKO and for the third straight year, Randy Orton is the sole survivor. The Smackdown roster comes out to celebrate, but then…the gong goes off. Out comes the druids with a casket. Lightning strikes the casket, and Undertaker walks out of it. He cleans out the ring of the Smackdown roster. Back at No Mercy, Orton and his dad burned Taker in the casket. Well of course now’s a good a time as any to bring back the Deadman. Smackdown wins, but Randy Orton has more pressing issues to deal with. Grade: 3
Justin: The brand wars continue here, as Eric Bischoff and Teddy Long were deadest on proving which show was superior. I liked this concept a lot and the crowd was pretty amped for this huge brawl featuring two loaded teams. In a good touch, each show’s locker room cheered their respective teams on as they marched down the hallways towards the ring. We once again also get co-branded commentary, but this time all five men were calling the match and the sniping reached a fever pitch, especially from the angry Tazz. Despite Tazz’s belligerence, Joey Styles would strike first with a nasty barb, digging on Tazz being fat. After some basic tag stuff to start the match, we got a good showdown between Masters and Lashley, both of whom were huge at this point. Following that face-to-face, Lashley would be the first man eliminated when Kane dropped him with a chokeslam and Michaels covered him. As the match wore on, so did the announcer arguments, mainly fueled by Cole and Tazz demanding respect for Smackdown. Batista would finally tag in and wipe everyone out, eventually teaming with Mysterio to take out Kane. Kane would hang around though and he and Show would hit Batista with another double chokeslam and this one led to his elimination. I thought it was a good way to hide Batista’s injury and quickly get him out of the match while still keeping him strong. Big Show would go down next as the remaining members of the blue team all rattled him with their finishers. Smackdown would continue to tip the odds in the favor as JBL crushed Carlito with a stiff CFH. While I thought the match had great energy at this point, the flow was kind of choppy and I felt like things never really got on track as far as delivering a smooth bout. Although, sometimes a solid and consistent flow really isn’t necessary with such great energy from the wrestlers and the fans, and that is what we were getting here. As things wound down, Michaels found himself in his usual position: odds stacked against him, down to three against one. He would claw his way back into contention would a tremendous SCM on Rey as he attempted a springboard off the top rope. Then he would even things up with a flash SCM on JBL, knocking him out of the match as well. At this point, the crowd was really rocking, partly because they were into the match and partly because they started chanting for Undertaker, who was rumored to be in the house. JBL would hang around ringside and distract Michaels for long enough to allow Orton to drop him with an RKO to give Smackdown the win. The match as a whole was pretty fun but a bit disappointing based on the talent and build up. I was glad to hear the announcers reference that this was the third straight year that Orton was a sole survivor. Smackdown picks up the big win to gain some respect and the entire locker room comes out to praise Orton. However, things wouldn’t end quite there. Grade: 3.5
*** As Randy Orton and the Smackdown locker room celebrated, the lights went down and some druids wheeled a casket into the aisle. As some special effects lit up the arena, a bolt of lightning flashed from the rafters and zapped the casket door and out walked the Undertaker, making his first appearance since the Ortons burnt him alive at No Mercy. As Orton stood shocked in the ring, Taker marched down the aisle and wiped out the Smackdown stars to a huge pop. Orton would escape, and Undertaker would stand menacingly in the ring as the show ended. ***
Scott: This show certainly had its ups and downs. The first three matches were really solid, including a stellar Triple H/Flair sequel and a surprisingly good Women’s title match. Then the dip in the show. The WWE Title match was a choppy, interference-laden mess as Kurt Angle really showed he had no interest in making John Cena look good, and the fans, at least the male ones, agreed with him. This show was the first PPV that really showed the split in the WWE audience pertaining to Cena. The women and the kids made him out to be a modern day Hulk Hogan: The smiling hero who vanquished all evildoers. The 18-39 males in the audience saw Cena as an average wrestler who sold out his cool heel cred and uniqueness to be another boring babyface who catered to the whims of Creative with no edge. With Chris Jericho they accepted it, but when many guys’ favorite, Kurt Angle, got jobbed out they started to turn on him. We’ll see the progression of this and how it somehow changed other characters as we move along. The main event was a fun, highly energetic match carried by the great announcing war between the brand’s teams. Once again we have a split show, but I’ll grade up rather than down because the high points of the show really carried and were more memorable than the low points. Detroit’s crowd was pretty smoking too, and the Edge segment proved that. 2005 has had its highs and lows on PPV, and now we’ve reached the finish line with next month’s effort. Final Grade: C+
Justin: Coming off the tragic death of Eddie Guerrero and some hasty build, I wasn’t expecting much out of this show. However, I was proven wrong, as the PPV was just flat out entertaining and well done as a whole. The show flowed easily and never dragged and really flew by outside of the stupid GM match. That was really the only dud on the show, as everything else was solid at worst and great at best. Triple H and Ric Flair busted their asses again and delivered a bloody war for the second straight month. Cena and Angle put on another good title match and the main event was a lot of fun as well. The crowd was red hot throughout the whole show, only tapering off for the Long/Bischoff mess. And speaking off Bischoff, I will take a moment to say farewell. He has been a staple of our reviews for the last three years and was really entertaining in the GM role. He never minded being humiliated or doing whatever it took to put on a good show and he played his role well. Bischoff will be missed as he was a steadying force on Raw since the brand split and the brand will now be thrown into disarray as far as leadership is concerned. 2005 has been a tumultuous year as a lot of new faces have risen to the top and many old ones have faded away. There was a sense of freshness and optimism early in the year, but those feelings have began to dissipate with the passing of Eddie Guerrero and the state of company’s standard operating procedure in flux. Despite all that turbulence, Survivor Series delivered some levity and was a fun show filled with some red-hot action and solid storyline advancement. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Triple H & Ric Flair
Runner Up: Randy Orton
Non MVP: Eric Bischoff
Runner Up: Vince McMahon