November 18, 2007
American Airlines Arena
Announcers: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, John Bradshaw Layfield, Joey Styles & Tazz
Pay Per View
Fun Fact: This is the Sunshine State’s 11th PPV, tying Ohio for 4th most all time. It’s Florida’s second of the year, as One Night Stand was in Jacksonville. It’s Miami’s first PPV since the 2006 Royal Rumble.
1) CM Punk (Phil Brooks) defeats John Morrison (John Hennigan) and The Miz (Mike Mizanin) to retain ECW Title when he pins Miz with the Go 2 Sleep at 7:59
Fun Fact: On 10/30, John Morrison defeated Miz to become the number one contender. Morrison got his shot a week later, but Miz interfered and cost him the match. On 11/13, we found out that both Miz and Morrison would challenge CM Punk at the PPV and both men took advantage of the champion and left him laid out to end the show.
Fun Fact II: On the 11/16 Smackdown, Miz & Morrison teamed to defeat MVP & Matt Hardy for the WWE Tag Titles.
Scott: Since these feuds have been intertwined since pretty much June, why not finally put all three guys in the ring at the same time. Punk has been a great champion, as he has been showcased on every PPV since June when he lost the vacant title match to Morrison. After winning the title in September, he’s been defending the title at every turn, including every PPV. Miz and Morrison, who I thought were a natural combination as a tag team, defeated the dysfunctional Matt Hardy & MVP team to win the Blue Brand tag straps. Morrison gets a return title shot from losing, but if not this is it. Miz lost at Cyber Sunday to Punk in a game effort, and now gets another chance. This match has the usual three pairs of combinations, but at times the tag team champs do get their double-teaming moments, only to see Miz turn on his own partner to try and win the ECW Title. The Miami crowd is kind of flat early, not sure if they’re going to get another lousy show like they had at last year’s Royal Rumble. There was major disappointment for the fans and bad formatting at that show, we’ll see if history repeats itself. Right now this match isn’t bad. There’s a great spot in the middle where Punk hits Morrison with a Hurricanrana off the top rope, but Miz grabs Morrison in the air and drops a powerbomb. All three guys get their chances to win the match but there were plenty of kickouts and broken up pin attempts. Punk takes advantage of Miz clubbing Morrison off the apron, and then clocking Miz with the GTS to retain his title. While it’s not the level of Cena’s WWE Title reign this year, Miz has been rock solid in defending the ECW title vociferously since winning it. The tag champs were ready to fight, but the Second City Saint wins again. Grade: 2.5
Justin: For the twenty-first time in WWE history, it is time for the Survivor Series. As with many versions of this PPV over the years, the opener is a showcase for the young mid-car talent. Punk and Morrison have dominated the ECW title scene in the second half of 2007 and the Miz has come on as of late, working his way into the title picture. Along the way, he forged a team with rival Morrison to win the tag team gold as well. I was looking forward to this one as I enjoy the work of all three and wanted to see if Punk and Morrison could continue to help elevate Miz. Right out of the gate, Miz and Morrison teamed up, but Punk fought them off, leading to a high impact-opening segment. It was clear that Punk wanted to get a quick win due to the numbers disadvantage. Punk held them off as long as he could, but things eventually caught up to him and the champs took over. With Punk down, Miz and Morrison tossed their allegiance out the window and went at it, with Miz dominating his partner. After a couple of close calls, Punk finally made his way back in to make sure he didn’t lose his title thanks to somebody else. In a nice spot, Punk took Morrison off the top with a hurricanrana and Miz caught Morrison and drove him down with a powerbomb. The pacing here was great, with the match never slowing down at all. These three had some really nice chemistry and it was obvious they wanted to impress. In the midst of the chaos, punk hoisted Miz up and cracked him with the G2S for the win. This was a very good opener and another great title defense for Punk. The only downside was the length, as they could have easily gone another five to seven. Regardless, I still dug it. The champs looked good here but come up just short. Grade: 3
2) Mickie James, Candice Michelle, Torrie Wilson, Kelly (Barbie Blanks) & Maria defeat Beth Phoenix (Elizabeth Carolan), Layla, Victoria (Lisa Marie Varon), Melina & Michelle McCool when Mickie pins Melina with a spin kick at 4:42
Fun Fact: Beth Phoenix had been dominating the women’s division for weeks since winning the gold.
Scott: Our annual Divas Survivor Match is about what you’d expect. It’s three or four really good workers, and the other six are average or horrendous. The Glamazon has been on a tear since taking out Candace and winning the Women’s Championship. I will say that the action was non-stop and kind of chaotic, not common for a multi-women’s tag match. This actually wasn’t a typical Survivor match as this wasn’t an elimination match. The highlight of the match is the always incredibly hot Mickie laying a smooch down on Melina before knocking her out with a kick. There’s really not much more to say here, except Mickie gets the pin, but Beth looked dominant and is still the champion. Grade: 2
Justin: And also in the tradition of Survivor Series from years past, next up is our Diva showcase match. On the heel side, Beth was the clear standout. Victoria and Melina felt a bit passé at this point and Jillian and Michelle hadn’t been given much in the line of characters just yet. On the face side, there is no clear favorite, with Mickie having the most depth while Candice has had the most recent success. They alternated early, tagging in and out and working basic Diva style offense. Victoria stood out a bit to me as her offense seemed a notch above the rest. Well, that was until Beth tagged in and started wrecking people, anyway. The heels worked over Maria for a few minutes until Mickie tagged in and cleaned house. The fans were pretty into this one, setting the tone for what should be a hot crowd the rest of the night. With Beth on the outside, Mickie wiped out Melina and won the match for her team. This was short and fine for some Diva filler. Grade: 1.5
3) Cade & Murdoch defeat Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly (Robert Howard) to retain World Tag Team Titles after Murdoch (William Mueller) pinned Rhodes with a sunset flip powerbomb at 7:19
Fun Fact: On 11/5, Cody Rhodes defeated Trevor Murdoch in a singles match. It was announced that he and Holly had earned a PPV tag title match after winning a WWE.com exclusive four-way match the Thursday before this show.
Fun Fact II: Cody Runnels is the son of the legendary Dusty Rhodes. After a successful high school amateur career, Cody decided to spurn the college game and instead signed up for the family business. He signed on with OVW in June 2006 and had a successful rookie year. He was called up to Raw on July 2, 2007 and was introduced under the family name. After a confrontation with Randy Orton, Cody backed Dusty as the two feuded over the next few weeks. After competing as a solo act, Rhodes formed a team with Hardcore Holly, who played a veteran mentor role for the young Cody, often treating him with tough love.
Scott: We have an interesting, fresh perspective on the tag division here as the very talented, grizzled champions take on a mentor-student tag team. We haven’t had a team like this in a long time. We have a guy who’s been with the company for almost thirteen years, and a young, raw talented seed from Dusty Rhodes’ loins. I’m trying to get into this match, but to be honest other than Mickie’s kiss to Melina, the Miami crowd has been pretty flat. Cody should be feeling the vibe since his dad was a big part of Florida Championship Wrestling throughout the 1970s and 80s. The match was really going well and this was a spot where I actually thought we’d see a shocking title change. However literally out of nowhere Murdoch hits this crazy power bomb finisher that looked like Petey William’s “Canadian Destroyer” finisher and the champs retain the titles. I was getting the feeling that Hardcore Holly, the grizzled prick that he is, was going to turn on his charge, but he just smacked him on the back and walked away. This team needs to continue working together and another title shot will be on the horizon. We had a pretty good match with what I thought would be an upset, but the champions retain. Grade: 2.5
Justin: After much hype, Cody Rhodes makes his WWE PPV debut. We had heard a lot about Cody’s potential, and his verbal skills shone when he inducted his father into the Hall of Fame earlier in the year. Since debuting on Raw in the summer, he has been climbing his way up the ladder, playing the plucky rookie role. Eventually, he earned the respect of noted tough guy veteran Hardcore Holly and the two formed an unlikely team. Cade & Murdoch are still clinging to their gold, having been major players in the rejuvenated tag division over the past two years. Cody started things off for his team and looked sharp early, working over Cade with some basic offense. Holly would make his way in and light up poor Murdoch with his notoriously stiff chops. With his ECW run in the rear view mirror, I was surprised that Holly was still hanging around at this point. The pairing with Rhodes made some sense, but it was weird and Holly wasn’t exactly the guy you would point to help elevate someone as a face. If anything, he should have been used to put guys like Rhodes over. Anyway, I digress. Cade & Murdoch continue to impress with their teamwork and aggressive style. I have really enjoyed the tag division here in 2007. After a lengthy heat segment on Holly, Cody got the hot tag and flew around the ring, knocking around both champs, including a nice missile dropkick to Murdoch. As things broke down further, Murdoch was able to take advantage and pin Rhodes with a sweet flipping powerbomb. The champs retain and Cody has to head back to the classroom for another lesson from mentor Holly. The match was solid enough, but nothing that really stood out. Grade: 2
*** In a funny pre-match interview, Kane references the Katie Vick fiasco and Triple H apologizes for it. Nice callback to five years earlier. ***
4) Jeff Hardy, Triple H (Paul Levesque), Kane (Glen Jacobs) & Rey Mysterio (Oscar Gutierrez) defeat Umaga (Eddie Fatu), Finlay, Big Daddy V (Nelson Frazier), MVP (Hassan Assad) & Mr. Kennedy (Ken Anderson)
Big Daddy V eliminates Kane at 5:28
Umaga eliminates Rey Mysterio at 9:18
Jeff Hardy eliminates MVP at 12:52
Triple H eliminates Mr. Kennedy at 14:26
Triple H eliminates Big Daddy V at 15:30
Triple H eliminates Finlay at 21:20
Jeff Hardy eliminates Umaga at 22:12
Fun Fact: These ten men had been feuding with each other over the past weeks. On 11/12, Triple H defeated Umaga in a Lumberjack Match, where the remaining competitors in this match surrounded the ring.
Fun Fact II: On 11/16 Smackdown, Matt Hardy & MVP finally lost their tag team titles. With Hardy hurting, MVP immediately challenged the new champs, Miz & Morrison, to a rematch. The champs accepted, but it was all a set up as MVP turned on Hardy and beat him senseless, wrecking his knee in the process. The assault knocked Hardy out of this match and left Triple H’s team at a disadvantage.
Scott: This was one of the most herky-jerky Survivor matches in recent memory. The heel team led by the Samoan Bulldozer has such a diverse group with a big monster in Big Daddy V, the bruising street fighter from Belfast, the mouth from Green Bay and the US Champion who gave his team an advantage by taking out Matt Hardy. Now I’m not thinking this in kayfabe terms, but since Matt’s injury was caused by something out of his control, then why wasn’t Triple H’s team allowed a replacement? You know, like how Danny Noonan replaced Al Czervik in Caddyshack? Ty Webb didn’t have to play solo! Oh I digress. The babyface team is funny because in the pre-match promo Kane and Jeff Hardy reminded Triple H of past evil acts (Katie Vick ring a bell). Pretty funny, but it doesn’t take away from the hatred Trips’ team has for everybody on the other team. We have both our secondary champions in the match, Hardy and MVP, as well as some big men and our captains. Big Daddy V got the shocking pin over Kane but then again knowing conventional Survivor matches the faces always need an early disadvantage and now they’re down 5-3. I’m wondering if Umaga has lost a lot of his luster after losing to pretty much every big guy on Raw since the beginning of the year. In any event, the Miami crowd finally woke up for this one after sleepwalking through the first three matches. Umaga makes the tally 5-2 after he spiked Rey out of the match. This match is also starting to open up the rise up the ladder of Jeff Hardy. After being firmly in the upper mid-card since returning from his TNA stint, now he’s side by side with one of WWE’s top dogs and not standing in the shadows, but being in the limelight. He takes out the first heel by taking out his Smackdown title counterpart, MVP. With the score now 4-2, Jeff tries to take Kennedy out, but Triple H handles that when he allows Big Daddy V to accidentally drop an elbow on Kennedy. Three seconds later and the score is now 3-2. It is nice to see some guys like V and Kennedy and Hardy getting some time in a high profile match on one of the big four as we head into 2008. Triple H takes out the big V with a DDT and we’re now tied at two. We’ve had an interesting dynamic as all three broadcast teams work the match. There isn’t any sniping between brands like there’s been in the past, in fact it’s perfect symmetry as no one’s really stepping on anybody. There’s a really great sequence where Jeff and Finlay really work each other over with crisp strikes and reversals. I’ve really enjoyed this match as they’ve given a lot of time to it and let the sequences build and allow for very unique combos in the ring like Triple H and Finlay, who work a late portion of the match that ends when Triple H hits the Pedigree and Team Umaga is down to their captain. He unfortunately eats a Pedigree and a Swanton and two of the most popular guys in the company come from three guys down to win the match. A very fun match which ends with Jeff Hardy’s music playing. Wow, the Game concedes the ending song to his partner. Interesting. Grade: 3.5
Justin: After a decent enough start to the show, we finally get a dose of star power with our first official survivor style matchup. The heel team was an interesting mix of wily veterans, youth and monsters…and they also had an advantage before the bell rings as MVP knocked Matt Hardy out of the match on Smackdown. Even being down a man, the face team was still loaded enough to compete here. After a brief tryst in the main event at No Mercy, Triple H’s upper mid-card dalliance rolls on and it continues to refresh the overall card. Mysterio is the first to be highlighted and he looked very good, flying around the ring. He certainly has come a long way physically since his return at Summerslam. Once Kennedy was able to escape the onslaught and tag out, MVP made his way in and aggressively beat on Jeff Hardy. You could tell that MVP was doing all he could to take advantage of this push. This was a pretty big spot for Big Daddy V, getting to hang with the big boys from the main shows. His showdown with Kane got a nice pop, which shows that fans will always pop for a big man showdown. Hell, I even got into the battle as the two monsters really laid into each other for a few minutes, with V getting the big clean pinfall over Kane. He followed that up by beating on Hunter, really making the most of his time in the spotlight. Still at a disadvantage, the Game’s team tried their best to fend off the monster heels, using quickness and smarts. Mysterio struck first, trying to put Umaga away, but the Bulldozer destroyed him with a sick, nasty, ugly spinning spike slam before finishing him off. With Rey out, it was down to Hunter and Jeff, squaring off against all five opponents, and things didn’t look good as Jeff was worked over by the five of them. However, one by one, they got back into the match. MVP was the first to go, followed by Kennedy and V. With things evened up and the crowd in their corner, Hardy & Hunter now had the momentum. With the tag division in his rear mirror and being portrayed as an equal to Triple H, it definitely looks like Jeff is being prepped for a major run. The crowd continued to rally Hardy as Finlay worked him over. This turned into a pretty solid standard tag match at this point, with a double heat segment and nice comeback attempts. Hunter finally caught Finlay with a Pedigree, leaving Umaga on his own. And that last stand was short lived as he was crushed with a Pedigree and Swanton, leading to Hardy covering him for the win. This was a quality survivor series match and it was obvious that the star of the match was meant to be Jeff Hardy. He was way over with the fans, gets the final pinfall and stands tall alongside Triple H in the end. Nice showing by everyone and no slow spots here. Grade: 3.5
*** Shane McMahon makes a surprise appearance to introduce his dad, who comically power walks to the ring. He then introduces his little brother, Hornswoggle. ***
5) Great Khali (Dalip Singh) defeats Hornswoggle (Dylan Postl) by disqualification at 3:16
Fun Fact: Over the past weeks, Mr. McMahon had decided to put his son through a serious of tough love tests, forcing him into various matches against tough competition. Each week, Hornswoggle would find a way to win, usually with an assist from a friend. On 11/5, McMahon told Hornswoggle he had to stand on his own feet at the PPV because he was going to face off with Great Khali. The next week we saw clips of William Regal training Hornswoggle with Coachman playing the role of Khali. The two had a weigh in that week on Smackdown to further establish their differences.
Scott: This is not a total shock that they would book this match. The smallest guy in WWE history against arguably the second biggest guy, next to Andre the Giant, in WWE history. If it wasn’t for the McMahons’ involvement no one would really care at all. This continues the “tough love” storyline of Mr. McMahon and his bastard son, when in reality Vince just wants to get rid of him. Shaquille O’Neal is in the crowd and they rest of the American Airlines Arena wants Shaq Fu to help the little guy out, but that’s not happening. This match is mostly a lot of posturing and Hornswoggle attacking Ranjan Singh. Shane feigning concern for “little brother” is hilarious. The match ends when Finlay comes into the ring with his shillelagh and fights Khali off. This begins the slow face turn for the Belfast Brawler and his “little buddy”. The match is pretty much nothing. Grade: 0
Justin: And now we have this mess. The only reason to even waste time on this was so we could witness the absurd size difference between the two. Mr. McMahon has been torturing his son on TV under the guise of “tough love” and it continues here. The highlight early on was the pop in from Shane, who always entertains. Khali stomped out and we got our money shot of the two standing face-to-face as the referee gave the instructions. The tough love continues as Vince and Shane hit the floor, leaving the little guy all alone. The Miami fans began chanting for Shaquille O’Neal, who was seated at ringside. As the chants rang out, Vince got quite angry and demanded the match start. Hornswoggle used some parlor tricks to take out Ranjan Singh, and then flew under the ring to hide from Khali. He reappeared with a shillelagh, but Khali just tossed it aside and chopped Hornswoggle down. Shane looked a bit concerned but Vince told him to stay out of it. As Khali went for the head vice, Finlay made the save for his little friend, smacking both Khali and Singh around with a shillelagh of his own. This was actually a bit more entertaining than I expected, but still wasn’t much of a match and ate up more time than it needed to. Grade: .5
6) Randy Orton defeats Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom) to retain WWE Championship with an RKO at 17:49
Fun Fact: On 10/29, Shawn Michaels had a confrontation with Mr. McMahon in which he demanded a WWE Title rematch with Randy Orton, claiming he wanted revenge for Orton attempting to end his career back in May. McMahon granted his wish but revealed that Michaels would not be allowed to use Sweet Chin Music, the tool which he had won thousands of matches with and with which he had been knocking Orton out cold for weeks with. A week later, Michaels teamed with Triple H to defeat Orton and Umaga when Michaels pinned Orton with Sweet Chin Music. On 11/12, Michaels and Orton had a face-to-face confrontation. Orton claimed he was sick of people saying he had gotten himself intentionally DQ’d and Michaels claimed Orton begged for the no-SCM stipulation because Michaels had cracked him with it for five straight weeks. The segment ended with an Orton beatdown.
Scott: Our Cyber Sunday rematch has some interesting subplots. Michaels can’t use his trusty Superkick that has been his best friend for years, however Orton can’t chicken shit his way out of the match with a DQ. I think that makes this match even more unique and special than their first encounter. What I liked immediately is that the overly resourceful Michaels was going to pull so many different things out of his hat to try and win this match, and knowing him he’ll pull out some smarky things to give the crowd a “wink wink nudge nudge”, and indeed he pulls out a Sharpshooter but Orton makes the ropes. Orton still has his basic moveset, but I notice as he’s coming down the ramp that Orton is starting to take of that baby fat and excess mass off his frame and he’s looking a little more streamlined. That metamorphosis continues on throughout the coming months. Earlier in the match Michaels had Orton in a headlock, then later Orton returned the favor. Some great psychology by Michaels when he was tuning up the band, as the referee was telling him not to but before he did, he wrapped Orton in a small package. To continue the smarkiness, he locks Orton into a Crossface. Wow, only five months after the Benoit mess and Shawn is pushing the envelope. Orton reaches the ropes. Then Michaels pulls out the Anklelock, more smarkiness. It’s so funny to see all these maneuvers from guys not with the company. Finally Michaels instinctively goes for Sweet Chin Music, but stops in mid-stream and it costs him as Orton drops the RKO and gets the much needed win. This was a big win to legitimize Orton as a big time main eventer. He gets back in the ring and looks to rub Shawn’s nose in it, but Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music anyway. As usual, Shawn puts on an awesome match, but falls short of the brass ring. The ingenuity of Michaels trying different ways to win the match and Orton surviving all the submission moves to win the match makes this a forgotten classic for 2007. Grade: 4
Justin: After Randy Orton got himself DQ’d last month to retain his title, he is forced into a rematch against the red hot Shawn Michaels here. However, there is a caveat in that Michaels cannot use Sweet Chin Music. Thus, the story of the match focused on whether or not Michaels could put Orton away with another finisher. The crowd was loud and lively behind Michaels as the bell sounded, hoping they could will Michaels to his first Heavyweight gold in five years. Shawn mixed it up early, wrenching Orton’s neck, forcing him to the mat for some near falls in between trying to just choke him out. Orton finally fought back with a flurry of right hands, setting a violent tone for what was to come. Michaels tried to keep things on the mat, working a classic wrestling style to wear out the champ. As the two went back and forth, Michaels turned to some unique moves looking for the win, starting with the Sharpshooter. Of course it was ten years ago that Michaels last used that move to win a Heavyweight title, so it was a nice nod to the past there. Once Orton took over, he zeroed in on Shawn’s head, playing off the concussion he had given him earlier in the year. On commentary, JR really talked up Shawn’s versatility in this match, discussing how he needed to find a way to win that would take him out of his comfort zone. At one point, Shawn looked like he was going to cave, tuning up the band to a huge pop, but it was a ruse to fake Orton out and into an inside cradle for a near fall. And just when we thought the Sharpshooter spot was surprising, Michaels locked Orton in a Crossface, which to this point had not been used since the Benoit tragedy in June. Orton survived, but it was a wild spot that got the crowd all revved up. Orton again went to the head, gaining momentum and confidence as Michaels was weakened and on the brink. Eschewing the RKO, Orton decided to attempt to punt Michaels into retirement. Michaels blocked it and busted out another great submission move, the Anklelock. As he torqued on Orton’s ankle and dragged him to the middle of the ring, the crowd went bonkers. Even after he locked in the heel hook, Orton was able to kick free and break the hold. In a great finish, Michaels went for SCM on instinct, but stopped himself, messing up his momentum and allowing Orton to hit the RKO for the win. Orton would taunt Shawn after the bell, but Michaels get a modicum of revenge when he cracked the champ with SCM. These two had great chemistry and the SCM storyline intertwined here really added a unique aspect to the bout. I dug it for sure and as much as I love Michaels, I was glad to see Orton’s reign continue and his character and legacy develop as well. Grade: 4
7) Batista defeats Undertaker (Mark Callaway) to retain World Heavyweight Title in a Hell in a Cell match after Edge hit Undertaker with a chair at 21:26
Fun Fact: On 11/2, Undertaker made it clear that he wanted a title rematch and Batista accepted. As the Animal was leaving the ring, Undertaker uttered the words…”Hell in a Cell”. Later in the night, Batista & Undertaker teamed up to face Great Khali & Mark Henry. JBL would interfere in the match and drop Batista with a Clothesline from Hell and the match ended in a no contest. The two spent the next couple of weeks cutting promos and setting the stage for their fifth title showdown of the year.
Scott: The best feud of 2007 ends with my favorite gimmick of all time. Every match these two have had this year have been show stealers. Wrestlemania, Backlash, the cage match on Smackdown, Cyber Sunday and now here. This may be the first contained feud that has both a regular cage match and a Hell in the Cell match. Batista becomes just the second person since Shawn Michaels to face both Undertaker and Triple H inside Satan’s Structure. He’s beaten Triple H, can he do the unprecedented double? Once again, like the previous four matches, there really isn’t a prolonged heat segment with one guy working the other guy over. Undertaker had a little more advantage here, but Batista would pull a spinebuster out of nowhere. Instead of being a battle of violence, it’s a war of attrition. They’re using the cell to work their opponent over, but more so to wear the guy down enough to pin him, rather than to legitimately injure him. Batista gets busted wide open after Taker spears him into the cell wall. Batista’s losing so much blood that Taker’s got it smeared all over him. I have to amend my earlier comments about prolonged heat segments. Taker’s actually dominated this match in the sense that there’s a legitimate eight minute stretch where Taker just works the champ over with one big move after another but no pin attempts. Batista returns the favor by pasting Taker’s face multiple times with the steel steps. Both men are now bleeding everywhere. Undertaker hits the Last Ride and a chokeslam back to back and both times Batista kicked out of the pin. Undertaker then goes for the Tombstone but Batista reverses to a spinebuster. Now we get to the point where both men are just going to throw bombs at each other while out on their feet. This has been a fun, violent brawl and just another great chapter of the Hell in a Cell legacy. Batista then hits the Power Bomb on a table…and Undertaker friggen kicks out! That is bad ass. Another forgotten classic is reaching unbelievable levels here. This Miami crowd should be much louder than it is, even as Undertaker hits a Tombstone, and Batista kicks out! Taker then hits the Tombstone on the steel steps, and is three seconds away from winning the World Title, when literally out of nowhere Edge comes in and pastes Taker with a camera, then a conchairto onto the steel steps. Edge drapes Batista over the prone Deadman and three seconds later the Animal retains his title, thanks to the Rated-R Superstar. For the second time this year, Edge screws the Undertaker out of the World Title. I can’t grade this a five simply because of the screwjob ending, but otherwise this was an incredible match. One of the unlikeliest feuds became one for all time, and this was a fitting final chapter, Edge’s interference notwithstanding. Grade: 4.5
Justin: Well, it’s another month, another PPV and another Batista title match…oh, and another Batista match against Undertaker. However, even though we have seen this match a handful of times already this year, not many were complaining because each match has ranged from very, very good to excellent. The crowd was clearly pro-Undertaker early and actually sounded a bit burnt out from the previous bout. I do like how they put these guys inside the Cell, as it was the next logical step for the feud. Taker was able to ground Batista early and wasted little time in going for a chair, but Batista blocked him before the stele could be used. The crowd was still a bit flat as Batista fought back and the two started trading heavy blows. The fight spilled to the floor where Taker just hammered away at the Animal. Batista was in trouble as the match wore on, with Taker really bringing the evil when he slammed Batista’s throat down on the top of chair, leading to some internal bleeding. As Batista gasped for air, Undertaker was relentless in his assault. That assault was only slowed down by a desperation spinebuster by the champ. As the match edged along, I wasn’t quite feeling it as much as their past battles, maybe because they had raised the bar so high over the previous bouts more than any other reason. The blood was flowing out of the champ as Undertaker continued to pound the snot of Batista. Just when it looked like the Animal was coming back, Taker hooked on a triangle choke to slow him back down. Once again as Batista battled back, Taker broke the momentum, this time using the Last Ride for a near fall. Both men were now bloodied as Batista blocked a Tombstone attempt and got fired up. Batista then upped the ante as he set up a table and drove Taker through it with a Batistabomb. Things really picked up here, after what I had felt was a pretty standard affair. Taker was able to land a Tombstone, but Batista kicked out to the shock of everyone. Taker, now desperate, hit a second Tombstone…this time on the steel steps. As he covered and the referee counted, Edge made his surprise return to break up the count. He had been posing as a cameraman at ringside and proceeded to bash Taker in the head with the TV camera. He followed with a nasty conchairto on the steps, ringing Taker’s bell and dragging Batista on top for the victory. And with that, this epic feud is complete and the book has been closed. After the match, Edge lands another chair shot to Taker. This wasn’t the best installment in their rivalry, but it was still very good and that is more a testament to how great their matches have been. Edge is now back and in a nice twist, he helps Batista keep the gold. Another PPV is in the books and the Animal is still the man on Friday nights. Grade: 4
Scott: This was one of the more entertaining Survivor Series in recent memory. For the first time since Wrestlemania really, we finally had two exceptional title matches on one show. CM Punk continues to build his momentum and rise up the ladder with another ECW Title defense. Jeff Hardy shows he’s ready to finally reach the top rung of the ladder himself with an impressive performance in the big Survivor match with Triple H. Both men stand tall, but in a month they’ll stand on opposite sides. With Edge returning the roster is finally filling out again, only John Cena is on the sidelines, for now. We have a big return the Raw following this show and things really start getting interesting. This is a show that I would actually put in again sometime down the line just for the two title matches and the Survivor match. One more show and the very up and down year of 2007 comes to a close.Grade: A-
Justin: A fun Survivor Series event here, loaded with star power, good ring work and memorable moments. I liked the format of the card as they let the undercard play out before stacking the two big time main events at the end. The opener was sneaky good as CM Punk continues to build some momentum after a lot of start and stops early in the year. It wouldn’t be a Survivor Series without someone making a PPV debut, and here we get Cody Rhodes showing up in a PPV match for the first time. Jeff Hardy was the big winner on the night, slowly being elevated up the card after dominating the IC and Tag divisions since his return last summer. He stood victorious with the Game after a great showing in the survivor style match. The two main events both delivered on their promise, providing shrewd storytelling, great wrestling, messy violence and a shocking return. It has taken a few months, but WWE seems to finally be back on the right track heading into 2008. The Main Event scene is freshened up and the PPVs have slowly rounded back into the form that we had come to enjoy early in the year. One more show to go before we close the book on another year in WWE lore. Final Grade: B+
MVP: Undertaker & Batista
Runner Up: Jeff Hardy
Non MVP: Hornswoggle
Runner Up: Cody Rhodes & Hardcore Holly