THE SPECIALISTS HITS & MISSES - WWE SURVIVOR SERIES: Shawn Michaels due for a title run, Batista in a solo heel role, Kofi pins two former champions, Divas match
Nov 24, 2009 - 7:38:19 PM
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By Tony Donofrio, Torch specialist
-- 11/22 SURVIVOR SERIES PPV HITS & MISSES
Team Miz vs. Team Morrison: This was a fun match to start off what was to become a really good PPV. The match itself was 95 percent hit and 5 percent miss with that 5 percent going to the early elimination of Dolph Ziggler. Here's a guy that has been a top of the mid-card guy going on five months or so now and he was eliminated way too quick for my taste, However, while Ziggler had to swallow a bitter pill, The Miz, Sheamus, and Drew McIntyre looked very strong. The Miz has been on the rise for a few months now but McIntyre and Sheamus really needed this moment (and boy, did Sheamus look like a monster!). As far as the in-ring action went, it was a good, fast-paced match; perfect for kicking off a major PPV.
Batista vs. Rey Mysterio: While this match was kept short, it served its purpose. Washington, D.C. might not have been the best place for Batista to garner the heel heat he needed, but hopefully the rest of the fans worldwide bought into the fact that what Batista did was meant to be ruthless and uncaring, especially from that of a man that just a month ago Rey's best friend. I'm still waiting to see if Batista can pull off his first real solo heel run. In Evolution, he got most of his heat because of Triple H and Ric Flair. Any other type of heel run since then was, to me, more of a tweener type role. I'm sure WWE will edit things to make it seem like the live crowd didn't care for Batista's harsh beat down of Rey.
Team Kingston vs. Team Orton: To me, this was the match of the night and that's saying a lot because there were some good ones. It was nice to see ECW champion Christian in the final four of the match. I really thought Kofi was going to go down real quick to Randy Orton shortly after beating C.M. Punk. If that had happened, people still would've wanted to see a big payoff match with those two. However, Kofi's quick recovery and win over Orton set the crowd on fire and raised the bar for the rest of the night. This was a huge win for Kofi. Here's hoping that Vince is ready to go all the way him now. He won over one of the toughest crowds at MSG last Monday night. Clean wins over Punk and Orton in one night sets off red flags to me that Vince is serious about Kofi's push.
: I wasn't exactly thrilled with the fact that The Undertaker held onto the title, but the match itself was very good. I still think that Chris Jericho is the man to carry this title until WrestleMania. Smackdown is the best wrestling show on TV, but they don't have a strong, full-time wrestler as champion. Jericho would fit that mold perfectly right now. As far as the match goes, it was a tough act to follow after Kofi's big win, but it slowly won the fans over as it got closer to it's conclusion.
John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (WWE Title): Here's a match that started off hot and didn't cool down. HBK's "Sweet Chin Music" on Triple H to open the match was a shock and set the tone for the entire match. As much as people like to say that they are tired of seeing the same guys in WWE main events every month, this one delivered only the way that three in-ring veterans could have made it deliver. The fact that Hunter and HBK really didn't work together that much for this match is what made it intriguing and special. The nearfalls at the end of the match had everyone on the edge of their seat. I still would have loved to see Shawn Michaels come away with the title. If The Undertaker can get a run as champ, why can't HBK?
Three Man Booth: I am a fan of Todd Grisham's and I think he does good work as a play-by-play guy. However, this was the perfect threesome for a PPV (well, one without JR available anyway). Matt Striker came across as a heel on the mic and Jerry Lawler was the face commentator. It was a strong three-man booth, unlike what WWE has given us earlier in the year with its three-man announce crews.
Team Mickie vs. Team Michelle: This wasn't an awful match but it wasn't good enough to get a hit based on the strength of the card on this night. It was also the most predictable match of the night, in my opinion. Once we got to the final three, it was very obvious that Team Mickie was going to win and it did. I hate to be hard on the Women's/Divas's Division because I think it flounders due to being poorly booked, not necessarily because the talent.
The 2009 Survivor Series gets an "A-minus" this year. There was only one match that I thought was on the "below average" scale while the rest of the matches either met or exceeded all expectations. If this PPV was properly promoted, it would have been a monster in terms of buys. However, I'm willing to bet that the buyrates will be average with most people coming out of this saying that they liked the show. The most important thing to come out of Survivor Series, though, was the elevation of new talent. Kofi, Sheamus, McIntyre, and The Miz all came out looking so much stronger than they did going in and that's a not a bad thing, that's a good thing (in my best "DDP face" circa 2001). Here's hoping that WWE will build on the success of this PPV and Raw to continue elevating new stars that started at Survivor Series.
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