FROM THE REFEREE’S POSITION: “THE SURVIVOR SERIES — MY VIEW…”

Posted November 21st, 2011 by 1Wrestling News Team

By Jimmy Dylan

We are just a day removed from the 25th Anniversary of the Survivor Series, broadcast from the world-famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. This was WWE’s Fall Classic, and a lot of people were looking for WWE to deliver in many ways last night. The history and magic made in this arena speaks for itself, and the matches set up allowed for more history to be made at the Silver Anniversary of this great event. I made predictions prior to the show going live and by the end of the night, I was 3-3 on my predictions. That’s not too bad, but I’ll need to improve that record moving forward in the blog series. On to the 2011 WWE Survivor Series review….

Buzz-kill delivered right from the start when Interim Raw GM, John Laurinitis, made his way out to the set to address the masses about the Survivor Series and put himself over about this being his tenth anniversary with the company. Let’s not forget, New York is one of the great wrestling cities in the world with some of the greatest fans. Nostalgia reigned supreme last night, making for a very unique experience from the raucous crowd with interesting reactions. I love a crowd like this because their engagement tells you exactly what they want to see, and it started right off the bat with Johnny Ace.

United States Championship:
Dolph Ziggler {C} def. John Morrison (My Pick: Dolph Ziggler)
*I was glad they chose to put this match on first as every show needs a hot opener and these two can go. Considering Ziggler had to wrestle twice last night, I figured one of his bouts would open the show. Since there was only one 10-man elimination match this year, I kinda wanted to wait on that one. It was a great match from start to finish. Speculation surrounding Morrison’s current contract situation will continue until concrete news comes out. What’s important here is that JoMo continues to turn in money performances when it counts most. I enjoyed this match even with that feeling that the writing may already be on the wall. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag after countering the Starship Pain to retain his title. I for one would like to see John Morrison stay with the company. His style compliments several other Superstars on the roster whom he has yet to really encounter. If he does leave, I hope he keeps his nose clean so he can return at some point and finish climbing the ladder.
-The crowd had been screaming for Zack Ryder during and after the match, and they got treated to an appearance by their native son…who was clearly upset about his Twitter petition being denied by Laurinitis despite having 15,000 strong behind him. The brief scrimmage ended with a Ruff Ryder on the champ, much to the delight of the jam-packed crowd.

Lumberjill Divas Title Match
Beth Phoenix {C} def. Eve (My Pick: Beth Phoenix)
*Again, your typical showing here, especially in a match like this. I’m begging WWE to use the girls that can wrestle and deliver the goods. Let’s see Tamina IN the ring, instead of outside as an enforcer. I didn’t see any reason to dethrone Beth Phoenix or the #PinUpStrong movement here at Survivor Series, and in the preview I mentioned Kharma. I know we’re still a long way from her return, and that’s fine. I’m a fan of long term programs and what Beth and Natalya are doing can carry this division for a while…definitely into WrestleMania season, which then wouldn’t be so far off for a return from the monstrous “Diva”. Big ups to Beth for an amazing display as she destroyed Eve with a Super Glam Slam from the top rope to finish Eve and retain her prized possession! Talk about highlight reels. This is one that will be played for a long time to come! Props to both competitors for delivering a lasting moment at one of the least-expected times.

We go backstage with CM Punk. David Otunga enters and says John Laurinitis wants Punk to apologize to Michael Cole tonight. Punk says he will think about it, after he defeats Alberto Del Rio and becomes the new WWE Champion.

Cameras cut to the interview area where The Rock is standing, dressed for combat. As I said, nostalgia was king last night, as shown here with a vintage, classic Rock promo that only he could deliver for his millions…and millions. This promo had it all from old catchphrases to an impromtu Rock concert. It even had a trip down memory lane, which they tell me somewhere near the corner of Know Your Roll Blvd. & Jabroni Drive. Rock delivered a passionate message from the heart as this was truly a homecoming of sorts…going back to The Rock’s WWF(E) debut at the 1996 Survivor Series, ironically at Madison Square Garden. The stage was set for the evening’s main event. Never Before. Never Again.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes & Hunico def. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Mason Ryan & Sin Cara) (My Pick: Team Orton)
*Considering how the rest of the night went, I completely understand how I lost on this prediction, but no one could have predicted the actual outcome of this one. Keeping with tradition of the Survivor Series 10-man match, this one had a little bit of everything…even some stuff that we wish didn’t happen. Orton capitalized on a weakened Ziggler and hit a quick RKO to put his team up a man. Wade called a ringside huddle which was promptly broken up by Orton, leading to a wild brawl. It’s chaos everywhere and Kofi and Sin Cara go to dive out onto their opponents. Kofi hits his target, but Sin Cara unfortunately blew his knee out as he launched his attack and got caught up in the ropes before crash landing at ringside. Sin Cara has a history of knee injuries in his career, and this one will reportedly keep him out of action for six to nine months. Tough break for the Mexican sensation to go down like this on one of WWE’s biggest stages. He was “shoot” eliminated from the match and removed from ringside…evening the odds at four per team. The match continued and as eliminations began to be made, it became apparent that this was about Team Barrett. Orton’s team continued to go down one by one. Cody Rhodes elicited a loud chant when he impressively eliminated big Mason Ryan with his Cross-Rhodes finisher. Sheamus got himself DQ’d when he refused to stop reigning knees on top of Swagger, effectively abandoning Orton and leaving him at a 4-on-1 disadvantage. Would the Viper be able to become the sole survivor for the third time? The “Great White” didn’t leave quietly as he KO’d Swagger with a Brogue Kick in protest of the DQ. This allows Orton to send Swagger packing, but it’s still 3-on-1. They corner Orton and Cody attacks. When Hunico makes a tag, he springboards directly into an RKO and is sent to the showers. Orton fights on, but the numbers game is too much. He eventually drops Cody with an RKO, only to turn right into Wasteland from Barrett for the win. (Sole Survivors: Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes)

Backstage, our GM wants to chat with Del Rio again just as he’s about to mack the Bellas. Johnny wants to know if ADR is taking tonight’s title defense seriously. ADR says Laurinitis must not watch Raw, because he’s been owning Punk week in and week out. He says there will be many more title defenses at MSG. He also says his country is behind him and he will not lose to someone that should be sleeping on a sidewalk on Wall St. The champ leaves and Johnny is texting again.

Back in the Garden, Cole is talking about the World title match as we see the ring crew reinforcing the ring. At ringside, King, Cole talk about the history between Mark Henry and Big Show as we’re introduced to a video of the ring implosion last month at Vengeance.

World Heavyweight Championship:
Big Show def. Mark Henry {C} via DQ (My Pick: Mark Henry)
*There’s always something tricky or screwy at pay-per-views, and it can trip up the best of the wrestling forecasters. I thought the screws would come out in the WWE title match based on Del Rio’s character and what seemed most likely…leaving this match for a clear-cut winner. The complete opposite happened as Mark Henry fought tooth and nail with the World’s Largest Athlete, only to blatantly get himself DQ’d following a swift kick below the belt. I’m not complaining as I wanted to see Henry continue on as champ, but I do wish he would have won flat out. He escaped with the title, but at what cost. He attempted to put Big Show on the shelf again the same way he did before, but Show had him scouted. The giant turned the tables on the former Olympian and delivered a dose of his own medicine…crushing the champion’s ankle between a steel chair and effectively inducting Henry into his own Hall of Pain. All of this was after the match, so it lends to the fact that this story isn’t over yet. What most fans seem to be concerned with thus far is what’s going to happen to Henry’s title reign now that Big Show has taken him out. Have we all forgotten the written rule? Henry was attacked after his title defense, which he’s only obligated to make once every thirty days. What kind of match can these two compete in at TLC? Interesting note in this match comes from the fans as they vocally chanted for UNDERTAKER at one point, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Savage following a Big Show flying elbow!

Backstage, Matt Striker interviewed Wade Barrett about winning Survivor Series. Wade talks about the “Barrett Barrage” briefly before being cut off by The Awesome Truth, who only want to talk about being overlooked by everything else. Truth rants about talking to the pigeons outside the Garden about Rock and Cena. Miz says they are nothing but crap. Truth reminds us that crap is crap, and tonight, crap is gonna get got.

WWE Championship Match:
CM Punk def. Alberto Del Rio {C} to become the NEW WWE Champion (My Pick: Alberto Del Rio)
*In my preview I said I hoped this match was given the proper time needed to get the job done and I’m happy that it was. I continue to be impressed with ADR’s in-ring style, and he proved my point again last night. He compliments Punk’s style tremendously, and the end result was a great championship match that the crowd was fully into. That nostalgic feeling I’ve been talking about returned again when CM Punk surprised ADR and everyone else with his own personal ring announcer, the one and only “Fink” Howard Finkel! The WWE Hall of Famer got a huge pop before announcing the challenger to the ring. It was a great moment as Howard looked right at home in the Garden doing what he does best. A great story was told by both competitors during the match as ADR executed a precision attack on Punk’s left arm…constantly working to set up for his cross armbreaker finisher. Punk danced with what brought him to battle back against the champion. The crowd again was a major factor as they made themselves heard in a number of ways….first chanting “WE WANT ICE CREAM”, then “COLT CABANA” to go along with the “CM PUNK” chants. A lot of good back and forth action here that took you on a ride. Punk also hits a flying elbow in this match, causing another loud “Randy Savage” chant. In the end, Ricardo got involved rather he wanted to or not, setting up for a series of close finishes. ADR became desperate and stacked Punk on his shoulders with a handful of tights, but still couldn’t get the pin. Punk eventually locks him in the Anaconda Vice and ADR tries everything in his power to free himself. Interesting detail as ADR is seen trying to claw Punk’s face off, first starting with the eyes, then the nose and maybe even the mouth, but Punk prevented it by shaking his head away… leaving ADR no choice but to tap out and surrender his title. MSG erupted as they got what they wanted and welcomed their new champion. The chants of “CM PUNK” seemed to be endless as Punk took in the moment…celebrating by leaping into the crowd with the belt a couple times before thanking the crowd all the way back to the set. Although the outcome turned out the way it did, I still see room for the Submissions match I mentioned. Now the ball is in Punk’s court and he can dangle that stipulation as the only way ADR can obtain that all-important rematch.

Never Before! Never Again!
The Rock & John Cena def. The Awesome Truth (My Pick: The Awesome Truth)
*I’m sure everyone had fun with this one from start to finish for whatever your reasons may be. That’s not to say everyone is happy. The match itself was fine as it got the crowd involved before the opening bell, and it continued throughout the night. Rock kicked it off with the Miz and quickly showed that he’s not only in great shape, but he can still mix it up in the ring as well. He put on a technical display that included a Mahistra Cradle to garnered a near fall and solicited a huge “YOU’VE STILL GOT IT” chant from the near 17,000 strong. On the flip side of the coin, the fans let Cena know that he can’t wrestle. Mr. Hustle Loyalty Respect took exception to the crowd and attempted to take Miz to school. A monkey flip and standing dropkick later and New York was telling Cena that he still sucked. The first warning signs that this team was headed into trouble waters came very early when Cena entered illegally to offset an attack, also drawing the referee away from The Rock’s fisherman’s suplex on Truth that could have brought victory. The Rock’s mood changed instantly. Awesome Truth eventually got Cena down and cut the ring in half…executing classic tag team wrestling to isolate Cena from his partner. Rock was pacing back and forth on the aprons, but almost in a cocky fashion like he was enjoying the punishment Cena was enduring. Perhaps pay back for Cena costing him the pin earlier on. You could see the build of this match as everyone waited for Rock to tag in and clean house. The crowd even chanted “WE WANT ROCKY” at one point…screaming for Cena to get out of the ring. Rock’s joy in watching Cena suffer turned to rage when R-Truth entered and sucker punched him off the apron while Miz had Cena down. Things seemed to have gone from bad to worse for this dream team, but Cena makes the tag and Rock tore into Awesome Truth. Truth finds himself on the recieving end of a Rock Bottom, then the focus turns to the Miz. A quick series ends with Rock hitting the big spinebuster in the middle of the ring, setting up for the People’s Elbow and the win for team Rock/Cena. I felt as thow the match ending was a bit anti-climatic as the wait and build for the Rock’s tag into the match was not paid off with enough in-ring action once he came in to clean house. It just seemed a little rushed and I felt more could have been done with Rock taking it to both opponents, who had delivered sneak attacks during the match. Why was the Spanish announce table out there if it wasn’t meant for a Rock Bottom spot?

After the match, Cena appears to bow out and let Rock have the spotlight, but Rock calls him back to the ring without saying a word. The two then engage the crowd with poses that gets Rock a lot of love and Cena a lot of heat. The end result. Cena tries to leave and gets a Rock Bottom for his trouble. This is what everyone wanted to see. The next chapter in this year-long saga has been written. A physical shot has been fired in the war..begging the question what will be Cena’s response. We are dangerously close to the Road to WrestleMania and one has to wonder when the next chapter will come about. Tonight’s episode of Raw has potential for new angles leading into the Tables, Ladders, and Chairs event next month, but also what’s next for Cena/Rock. Will The Rock be in attendance tonight? What will Cena have to say about the preemptive strike? We’ll find out tonight on Monday Night Raw on the USA Network.

Jimmy’s Final Score: 3-3

–JD

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