Boston Gardens – Boston, Massachusetts
MATCH #1: Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Shawn Michaels, Rey Mysterio, Great Khali & Cryme Tyme vs. JBL, Kane, MVP, The Miz & John Morrison
MVP and Mysterio start for their respective teams. Mysterio gets the early advantage and tags in JTG. They double team MVP, but he quickly reverses the momentum with a dropkick to JTG’s knee. He then hits a variation of the Shining Wizard and JTG is eliminated at 1:40. MVP celebrates and doesn’t notice Khali enter the ring. He turns around and gets leveled with a chop to the head and MVP is eliminated at 1:56. Kane enters next and the two behemoths slug it out. Khali gets the advantage and the crowd chants his name, so I would just like to point out that I started that bandwagon. Khali knocks Kane down and tags in Mysterio. He goes up to Khali’s shoulders and hits a splash on Kane to eliminate him at 3:27. Morrison comes in but Mysterio has counters for all of his offense. He tags in Shad, who uses Mysterio as a weapon against Morrison. Shad press slams Morrison and then charges at him in the corner. Morrison avoids it and tags in the Miz. They double team him in their half of the ring. Shad comes back with a double clothesline and several more after that. The double teaming of Miz and Morrison eventually catches up with him though, and Miz hits the Reality Check to eliminate Shad at 6:31.
Michaels makes his first appearance in the match and Miz takes control of him. JBL even gets in on the action, as they keep Michaels isolated from his partners. Michaels finally makes the comeback and makes the hot tag to Mysterio. He hits the 619 on Miz and a top-rope splash to eliminate Miz at 11:46. Morrison is in next but JBL makes a blind tag and shoulder blocks Mysterio down. JBL and Morrison work on Mysterio’s back, and keep him isolated from his fresh partners. Mysterio is able to block a superplex attempt and hit a moonsault, and then makes the tag to Michaels. He brawls with JBL and they take it to the floor. Michaels almost hits Sweet Chin Music, and while JBL breathes a sigh of relief, Michaels gets back in the ring before the 10 count and JBL is counted out at 17:53. Morrison tries to superkick Michaels but he ducks it and nails Morrison with one to eliminate him and win the match at 18:13. That was a fun enough opener.
MATCH #2: Smackdown vs. Raw Divas Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle & Jillian vs. Michelle McCool, Maria, Maryse, Natalya & Victoria
Thankfully Santino Marella comes out with the Raw Divas. Women’s Champion Phoenix and Divas Champion McCool start the match. Phoenix uses her power and McCool uses her agility. Maryse tags herself in and then knocks her own partner McCool off the apron, triggering a brawl between them that their teammates have to break up. Before Maryse can make any contact she tags out to Maria, whom Phoenix immediately manhandles. Maria comes back with some kicks and a head scissors. Kelly tags herself into the match and she and Maria do some very staged looking wrestling. Victoria tags herself in and Kelly hits a rana and is able to hold Victoria down and eliminate her at 2:56. Maryse comes in and hits a spinning backbreaker on Kelly to eliminate her at 3:24. The best part of that is Maryse totally groped Kelly’s boob on the cover. Mickie comes in now and Maryse tags out to McCool. She gets a cover and Maria tries to break it up but accidentally hits her own partner. Mickie then hits a DDT to eliminate the Divas Champion at 5:08. Maryse then rolls Mickie up and eliminates her at 5:27. Candice and Natalya enter the ring for the first time. Natalya takes her down and puts on the Sharpshooter. Jillian breaks that up, which distracts Natalya long enough for Candice to spear him and get a jackknife pin to eliminate Natalya at 6:47.
Maria and Jillian are in the ring now. Jillian hits a Samoan Drop but Maria kicks out at two. She hits a cartwheel elbow, but Maria comes out of the corner with a victory roll to eliminate Jillian at 7:45. Candice then hits Maria with a Northern Lights Suplex to eliminate her at 7:56. We’re down to Phoenix and Candice against Maryse. Maryse puts Candice in a leg submission and she’s eliminated at 8:27. Phoenix comes in and Maryse nails her with a kick to the back of the head. Phoenix kicks out and whips Maryse into the turnbuckle. She eats an elbow coming in, but catches Maryse in a leap off the second rope. Maryse sneaks out and gets a rollup for two. She tries a DDT but Phoenix reverses it and hits the Glam Slam to win the match at 9:40. That was really short and truthfully wasn’t too bad. I didn’t realize Maryse got entertaining.
MATCH #3: Casket Match – Undertaker vs. Big Show
Their last two matches on pay-per-view were very good; let’s hope this one follows suit. Show attacks right away, but Undertaker is almost able to dump him into the casket right away. They battle on the floor, with Show in control. He whips Undertaker into the barricade and continues throwing punches everywhere. He tries to do something involving the ECW announce table, but Undertaker counters by hitting him in the face with a monitor. That knocks Show out long enough for Undertaker to hit a leg drop to the back of the head, breaking the table. They head back to the ring and Undertaker starts working the arm. He goes up for Old School but Show knocks him down and hits a nice suplex. Show whips Undertaker into the turnbuckles and follows up with a side slam. He rolls Undertaker into the casket, but refuses to close the lid himself. That’s rather silly. He argues with the referees about it, giving Undertaker more than enough time to recover. Undertaker hits a series of punches and the flying clothesline. He runs at Show in the corner and eats a back elbow. Show goes up to the second rope in a Vader Bomb position, but Undertaker recovers and Choke Slams him down to the mat. He boots Show in the head and that sends him into the casket. He tries to close the lid but Show locks it and escapes. Back in the ring Show hits a Choke Slam of his own. He then tips the casket over and starts walking towards the back. Undertaker magically conjures up a wall of fire to keep Show from going to the back. He follows Show up the aisle and gets taken down. Now some druids come out with another casket. Show stands the casket upright and runs Undertaker’s head into it. He sets it up again, but this time Undertaker whips him into it, and it the momentum knocks it over and the lid shuts at 12:44. This lacked the intensity of their other two matches, and the gimmick handicapped them somewhat as well. I mean, it’s a good thing that Undertaker has druids who appear to bring him caskets whenever he needs one.
MATCH #4: Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match – Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth & Matt Hardy vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, William Regal, Shelton Benjamin & Mark Henry
I like that the Intercontinental and U.S. Champions are on the same team. Punk attacks Regal right away and hits the Go to Sleep and eliminates the Intercontinental Champion in just 0:11! U.S. Champion Benjamin tries to get a quick rollup on Punk but he kicks out at two. A replay shows that Layla threw her shoe at Punk after he pinned Regal. Punk tags in Kingston. He and Benjamin had a feud over the summer in ECW that produced some good matches. Kingston hits a dropkick for two. Benjamin comes back with a forearm to the face and tags in Henry. He pounds on Kingston and then Rhodes gets tagged in. Kingston recovers and tags in Hardy. He gets a few shots in and tags Truth. He also gets a few shots in and then tags Batista. Rhodes scurries away and then tags Benjamin back in. Batista dominates the U.S. Champion as Striker falsely claims that Batista and Orton have never faced each other one-on-one. Hardy gets tagged in and Benjamin catches him charging into the corner with an elbow. He tags in Orton, who gets caught with a bulldog for two. Hardy hits a bodyslam but misses the moonsault. Orton tags Henry, who slugs away on the man he lost the ECW title to. Rhodes gets tagged in as Hardy continues to be abused in the corner. A double knockdown leads to Benjamin and Truth getting tagged in. Truth quickly gets a rollup for two and then another kick for another two-count. Truth hits some twisting maneuver that I don’t think another human being could pull off even by accident. What was that? Benjamin doesn’t know either, but he hits Paydirt anyway to eliminate Truth at 7:39. Kingston comes in the ring with a flying body press for two. He’s all over the U.S. Champion but can’t quite put him away. Henry stops his momentum with a shot from the apron, and then he gets tagged in. He abuses Kingston for a minute and then tags Orton. He delivers the Garvin Stomp to Kingston, which is somehow vintage Randy Orton. He hits the elevated DDT and Kingston is gone at 10:45.
Punk comes in and goes on the attack. Orton quickly tags out to Rhodes, who lands a nice dropkick and a drop toe hold. He wrenches Punk’s arm. Punk comes back with a cross body block for two. He follows up with a swinging neckbreaker for another two. The running knee in the corner and bulldog combo also gets two. Punk goes to the top rope and Manu distracts him. Rhodes is able to dump Punk down to the mat. He hits a DDT and Punk is gone at 13:10. Hardy comes in and hits the Side Effect for two. Rhodes fights him off and tags Henry. He charges Hardy in the corner but misses. Hardy hits the Side Effect on Henry but it only gets two. He leaps off the second rope but gets caught in the World’s Strongest Slam and Hardy is gone at 14:21. Now Batista is all alone, so his first order of business is to hit Henry with a Spear and eliminate him at 14:32. Benjamin comes in the ring and gets caught with a spine buster. Batista follows up with the Batista Bomb and the U.S. Champion is gone at 15:05. Rhodes tries to attack the Animal but takes a huge clothesline and a powerslam for his troubles. Manu gets up on the apron to distract, giving Rhodes the chance to try his DDT. Batista blocks it and hits the Batista Bomb. However, Orton was able to make the blind tag, and he sneaks in and hits the RKO to eliminate Batista and win the match at 16:12, and gets a pretty good pop for it. The rapid fire eliminations in the final stretch were interesting, but I liked the overall structure of the eliminations, and having Orton and Rhodes survive was right.
MATCH #5: Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship – Edge vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Triple H
Triple H has been champion since 4.27.08 and this is his eleventh defense. The crowd chants “We Want Jeff” right away as HHH and Kozlov chain wrestle. It doesn’t take long for “boring” chants to pop up as well. I have to say I agree with them there. The champion mostly dominates his challenger in the early minutes. HHH hits a spine buster and the crowd perks up a bit. He goes for the Pedigree but Kozlov blocks it and hits the battering ram right to the chest. He then whips the champion into the corner, who goes all the way to the floor. Kozlov follows him out and rams HHH’s back into the apron a couple of times. Back in the ring HHH tries a cross body block but takes fall away slam for his trouble for a near-fall. A running power slam also gets two. The challenger continues working the back. A spine buster gets two. Triple H finally comes back and hits a Pedigree. Both men are down, and Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero comes out. She says this will be a triple threat match after all, and exclaims “he’s here!” She of course means Edge, who hasn’t been seen since SummerSlam. The crowd pops pretty big for him. He hits the ring and nails HHH with a Spear. Then Jeff Hardy really does run out, and he goes after Edge. He winds up hitting both HHH and Kozlov with the chair, and then Edge spears him. That gives Edge the chance to cover Triple H and pin him to win the title for a third time at 14:21. While it was exciting to see Edge come back, the match itself was duller than dishwater. I’m all for giving new guys chances to shine, but Kozlov proved that he doesn’t yet have what it takes to be a major player.
MATCH #6: World Heavyweight Championship Match – John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Jericho has been the champion since 11.3.08, and this is his first defense. The pop for Cena’s entrance is HUGE, no surprise given that he’s a Boston are native. It’s funny how they’re selling this as such a huge comeback for Cena, but he was only gone about three months. He tries an early FU but Jericho avoids it and bails. They go back to the ring and Jericho tries wearing Cena down with a headlock. He hits a shoulder block to knock Cena down, and the challenger bails this time. Cena comes back in all kinds of fired up. It looks like he wants to win the match early; perhaps he doesn’t trust his stamina after three months away. The champion weathers the storm and work’s on Cena’s injured neck. Cena comes back by reversing an Irish whip and hitting a clothesline. He body slams Jericho and drops an elbow for two. He whips Jericho into the turnbuckle but Jericho moves and goes right back to work on the neck. Cena fights back with a kick to the gut and then the Throwback. He thinks about going to the top rope but thinks better of it, and when he comes back in the ring Jericho kicks him and this a double-arm DDT for two. The announcers helpfully point out that Cena would be wary about going to the top rope since that’s where he got injured. Jericho places Cena’s head against the ring post and delivers a solid boot. Cena makes it back in before the 10 count, but he gets dumped right back to the floor and thrown into the ring steps. They go back to the ring and anytime Cena starts building any momentum Jericho cuts him right off.
Jericho puts on the full nelson. Cena briefly escapes but Jericho puts the hold right back on. The challenger once again powers out and then avoids Jericho’s bulldog. Cena hits a couple of shoulder blocks, but Jericho flips out of the Proto-Plex and hits the bulldog this time. Jericho tries a Lionsault but Cena avoids that and this time hits the Proto-Plex. He tries the Five-Knuckle Shuffle but Jericho grabs the legs and puts on the Walls of Jericho. Cena powers his way out of it but gets leveled with a clothesline. Jericho once again puts on the Walls of Jericho, right in the center of the ring. Cena crawls his way to the ropes to break the hold. Jericho argues with the referee and then runs right into an FU. Cena can’t make the cover right away so Jericho is able to kick out at two. Jericho is able to elbow a charging Cena in the corner, and then he drags Cena to the top rope with him. Cena ends up slamming Jericho down, and this time he goes to the top rope to hit the leg drop to the back of the neck. Cena tries another FU but Jericho elbows his way out of it and hits the Code Breaker and Cena kicks out at two! Jericho knocks the challenger right back down with a clothesline. The champion bides his time, and tries another clothesline but Cena avoids it and hits a drop toe hold right into the STFU! Cena breaks the hold before Jericho can reach the ropes, and Jericho is able to get a small package, which Cena reverses into the FU! That’s enough for Cena to get the pin and score his first World Heavyweight Championship and fourth World Title overall at 21:20. That wasn’t quite as good as their matches in August ’05, which is surprising since they’re both much better workers now. But still the psychology was solid and the crowd was really into the hometown boy.
BONUS MATCH: Extreme Rules Match – Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy, Smackdown, 11.14.08
Is this the first time these two have wrestled a singles match since the infamous ladder match of 2002? Hardy is aggressive in the early going, sending Undertaker to the floor and hitting the run-on-the-barricade clothesline. He tries jumping off again but Undertaker (sort of) catches him and rams him back first into the steel steps. We take a commercial break and come back to Undertaker throwing Hardy around in the ring.
They go back to the floor and Undertaker whips Hardy into the barricade. He slams his head into the announce table and they go back towards the ring. Undertaker sets Hardy on the apron and hits a chair-assisted leg drop across Hardy’s sternum. It’s all Undertaker here, Hardy looks out. Just as I say that, Hardy finds a kendo stick and lays into Undertaker with it. He tosses Undertaker back in the ring and continues the assault. Undertaker thwarts him with a big boot. Jim Ross calls this match “controversial,” which I don’t quite understand. Undertaker gets control of the kendo stick now and cracks Hardy across the back with it. That sends Hardy back to the floor and Undertaker follows him out and beats on him some more. Hardy tries fighting back but Undertaker just slugs him back down. Undertaker tries a Snake Eyes but Hardy slips out and is able to ram Undertaker’s face into the steps. He then jumps off the steps right into Undertaker. Both men recover but Undertaker regains control. Undertaker tries Old School but Hardy knocks him down and goes under the ring and produces a ladder. Unfortunately for him it gets kicked back into his face. Hardy comes back with a “Whisper in the Evil Wind,” which gave me a good chuckle. Now Big Show runs down and delivers a Choke Slam to his Survivor Series opponent. Hardy doesn’t take too kindly to that, and holds Show against the ropes as Undertaker hits him in the back with a chair. The resourceful Hardy takes the opportunity to then hit Undertaker with the chair (awesome), and then hits a leg drop off the ladder for the pin at 12:15. For the Undertaker that was a relatively clean pin to give Hardy. The match was all kinds of awesome (especially for free TV) and far beyond what they did in 2002.