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CALDWELL'S WWE SURVIVOR SERIES REPORT 11/18: Ongoing "virtual time" coverage of PPV

Nov 18, 2007 - 9:53:31 PM

By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

November 18, 2007
Miami, Florida
By James Caldwell, Torch columnist

They opened with a video package providing a historic look back at the Survivor Series, followed by a look at the top matches on the card. The screen went blank and the voice-over man said, "All things must come to an end." This led to a video on Taker vs. Batista in the Cell.

Live in the arena, Styles and Tazz introduced the show. They're starting with the ECW Title match. Styles and Tazz noted it's the first time the ECW Title has been defended at Survivor Series. Tazz said it's not an elimination match, but first decision wins.

1 -- ECW champion C.M. PUNK vs. JOHN MORRISON vs. THE MIZ -- ECW Title match

Punk straight lambasted Miz in the face with a surprise kick in the opening minute. As Ross would say, good think Miz is wearing dark pants. Punk then dumped the heels to the floor and flew to the outside with a suicide dive, bringing up a "C-M-Punk" chant. Punk then got caught on the apron going for a springboard move, and the heels started working on Punk in the ring. Suddenly, Miz let go of Punk and he shoved Morrison off the ropes to the floor. Miz then worked on Punk, but Miz got distracted trying to take out Morrison again, and Punk kicked Miz in the face again. Morrison returned the favor on Miz and dumped him to the floor. Punk got caught trying to skin the cat when Miz grabbed his legs and dumped him back-first on the floor. Back in the ring, Miz and Morrison went at it. Morrison pulled off a sweet split-legged corkscrew splash out of the corner, but Punk broke up the pin on Miz. Nice. Punk then flipped Morrison off the top rope with a huracanrana, sending Morrison into position for Miz to half-powerbomb Morrison for a nearfall. Never seen that one before.

Punk smashed Miz in the corner with a knee strike before nailing a bulldog for a nearfall at 7:00. Punk then hit a double underhook backbreaker on Miz, who kicked out just in time. Punk forgot about Morrison, who scored a close nearfall with a quick roll up. Punk went for the G2S on Morrison, but Morrison escaped to the apron. Miz then accidentally KO'ed Morrison to the floor. Punk took advantage and nailed Miz with the Go 2 Sleep for the win.

WINNER: Punk in 8:00 to retain the ECW Title. Good opening match. High energy, good story, and three solid individual performances. (**1/4)

Cole and JBL introduced themselves. They went into a discussion of MVP's full-fledged heel turn on Matt Hardy two nights ago. Cole said he thinks the "C" on MVP's outfit is for coward, not captain. They went backstage where some new interview lady was set to interview MVP. Nervous would be an understatement. She asked MVP about his actions against Matt. MVP said Matt Hardy isn't competing tonight because he's on a crutch. He said that's symbolic of Matt using Jeff as a crutch, then himself as a crutch. MVP said he's better than Matt, better than everyone in the building, and that's why he's called MVP.

They have the 10-divas tag match up next. So much for the idea of a buffer match. Ross and Lawler then introduced themselves. Beth Phoenix came out for the match. Apparently the heels are representing the Heat, as they're all dressed in red and black. Melina had too much to drink or something, as she stumbled out on the entrance ramp, then botched her ring entrance on the apron. So, she went back and did it a second time. The babyface team was led out by Torrie Wilson, then Michelle McCool in a Heat jersey. Kelly Kelly in a football jersey. Maria came out in a blue top. Mickie James in a black and white number. Just for the record.


Jillian did the plastic bounce on Kelly by placing Kelly's head in her chest. She then went for a handspring elbow in the corner, but Kelly kicked her away and scored a nearfall with a bridge pin. Beth came in and got the action back on track with a swinging slam on Maria. Melina tagged in and missed a splash against the ropes. Mickie, who got a strong reaction, took a tag and cleaned house. The babyfaces then knocked Beth off the apron. Back in the ring, Mickie gave Melina the kiss of death before attempting a spin kick to the head that caught more air than face. She made the cover for the win.

WINNERS: Mickie's team in 5:00. It was what it was. Too much of the unexperienced divas for my taste, but they continue to build up Mickie as an eventual challenger to Beth. Something ain't right with Melina. (1/2*)

Backstage, Coach and William Regal exchanged grins while Hornswoggle paced the Raw GM office. Ross talked about Hornswoggle vs. Khali tonight.

They went to footage from promos earlier in the day. Randy Orton said the fans are going to be disappointed because he's going to beat Shawn Michaels tonight. He said Michaels's only chance at survival was the superkick, which was taken away. Orton said Michaels will be broken tonight. They cut to Michaels's promo from earlier in the day. Michaels said Orton tried to take his livelihood, so he's taking the WWE Title from him tonight.

Holly and Rhodes came out to challenge for the tag titles. They showed a exclusive of Holly and Rhodes scoring the win in a triple threat #1 contender match over The Highlanders and Kendrick & London.

3 -- CADE & MURDOCH vs. HARDCORE HOLLY & CODY RHODES -- World tag title match

Ross and Lawler tried to explain the odd relationship between Holly and Cody. Lawler talked about Holly's comments that Cody is green and he needs to learn how to be an asskicker. Holly knocked Cade to the outside, then Cody tossed Murdoch over the top rope to the floor. The ref applied a count, but Holly went to the outside and tossed Cade back into the ring. Murdoch took a tag and kicked Holly in the face, setting up the heel isolation on Holly. Cody finally took a tag and landed right hand blows on Murdoch before nailing a back body drop. He followed with a running bulldog, then went up top. He nailed a misile dropkick and made the cover, but Cade broke up the pin. Holly then took himself and Cade over the top rope to the floor. Back in the ring, Cody went for a hold, but Murdoch nailed a funky Canadian Destroyer on Cody for the win. Afterward, the tag champs celebrated on the floor. Back in the ring, Holly yanked Cody off the mat and stared him down. He slapped him hard on the shoulder with a sort of tough love approval.

WINNERS: Cade & Murdoch in 7:00 to retain the tag titles. Serviceable, not memorable tag match. Could have used a backstage promo from the challengers to set the back story. (*1/4)

Ringside, Ross and Lawler talked about the traditional Survivor Series match. Styles and Tazz added their two cents. Cole and JBL then talked about Matt Hardy being out of the 10-man match, as he's not in Miami. JBL said Rey is hobbling to the PPV. They went backstage where Todd Grisham stood by with Team Hunter. Grisham talked about Matt being out of action. Jeff Hardy said MVP thinks he put their team at a disadvantage, but all he did was light a fire underneath them. Rey cut a brief promo about being an underdog, then Kane said he's never an underdog. He stared at Hunter and brought up the Katie Vick storyline. Hunter looked at him with a sheepish grin and said he's sorry. Jeff then said Hunter once put him in the hospital. Hunter said, my bad. Hunter then said the beauty of Survivor Series is that they all did something terrible to each other, but on one night, they can do something terrible to someone else. Hunter gave the rallying cry to go out there and do something terrible. Fun promo to tie together the loose ends on acknowledging previous storylines.

Mr. Kennedy led out the heels. He tried to introduce himself, but the mic didn't work. Not a good sign. Finlay, Big Daddy V, MVP, and Umaga rounded out the heel field. Kane, then Rey Mysterio, then Jeff Hardy, and Hunter came out for the babyface team. Before the match started, Styles talked about Hunter's team running the table last year, with the entire team surviving.

4 -- MR. KENNEDY & FINLAY & BIG BADDY V (w/Matt Striker) & U.S. champion MVP & UMAGA vs. TRIPLE H & REY MYSTERIO & KANE & IC champion JEFF HARDY -- Traditional Survivor Series match

Kennedy and Rey started things off. Jeff then took a tag and the women screamed. Once Kennedy regained control, he tagged out to MVP, who kicked Jeff hard in the back. MVP then tagged out to Big Daddy V, who stalked Jeff before stepping on Jeff's chest. Jeff had enough of that and tagged out to Kane, who walked into a belly-to-belly slam from V. Kane made a brief comeback, but V nailed a Samoan Drop and dropped the elbow on Kane for a pin.

* Kane eliminated in 6:00 by Big Daddy

Hunter then entered and tried to run over V, but V knocked him down with a big blow. V went for an elbow drop, but Hunter moved and Umaga tagged in for the heels. Hunter initially landed a kick to the face, but Hunter ran into a belly-to-belly from Umaga. Rey took a tag and slid underneath Umaga's legs, but Umaga stepped on him. He tried to sit down on Rey, but Rey moved and landed a double foot kick to the chest. He then nailed the 619 and went for West Coast Pop II, but Umaga kicked out of a pin. Rey made a mistake with an attempted springboard splash, but Umaga caught him in mid-air and smashed him to the mat with a swinging sidewalk slam that took the air out of the building. He landed the Samoan Spike on Rey for the win.

* Rey eliminated by Umaga in 9:00.

Hunter and Jeff stood in the ring while the five heels stood their ground in the heel corner. Hunter and Hardy talked some strategy while Kennedy tagged himself in. MVP caught Jeff in the corner and gave the heels control, prompting the following line from Michael Cole: "That's the second time in three nights that MVP has screwed a Hardy." Filter, please. MVP then settled into a sleeper hold on Hardy in center ring. MVP then wound up for a big boot to the head on Hardy, but Hardy moved and nailed the Twist of Fate on MVP for a pin.

* MVP eliminated by Hardy in 13:00.

Kennedy instantly jumped in and attacked Hardy. MVP took a round of boos on the way out of the ringside area. Hunter then tagged in and clotheslined Kennedy for a nearfall. Kennedy got a head of steam for a kick, but Hunter nailed a spinebuster on Kennedy. V then tried to break up a pin, but Hunter moved and Kennedy accepted a big elbow to the chest. Hunter then covered Kennedy for the pin.

* Kennedy eliminated by Hunter in 15:00.

Hardy made a mistake of going for a running splash on V on the floor, but V caught him and smashed him into the ringpost. Back in the ring, V went for a double sandwich splash on the babyfaces, but they moved and landed a double DDT. Hunter then covered V for another elimination.

* V eliminated by Hunter in 16:00.

Finlay, the fighting Irishman, jumped run in and ran over Hunter. Ross and Tazz exchanged pleasantries on Notre Dame's season-long struggles and Oklahoma's loss last night. Hardy took a tag from Hunter at ran over Finlay with a big splash in the corner. Hardy then nailed a swinging double boot to the chest on Finlay for a nearfall. He went for ten punches in the corner, but Finlay shoved him down to the mat. Suddenly, Umaga dropped Hardy on the apron with a big boot to the face. Hardy rolled back into the ring to avoid a count out, then Finlay went on the attack. Hardy eventually kicked Finlay away and made a tag to Hunter, who landed blows on Finlay. Cole said this is a possible dream match between the two. Hunter dropped Finlay with a high knee, then caught Finlay with a spinebuster. He powered up and measured Finlay for the Pedigree, but Umaga came in and kicked Hunter in the face. Finlay then went for the Celtic Cross, but Hunter slipped out and nailed the Pedigree for a pin.

* Finlay eliminated by Hunter in 21:00.

Umaga came right in and nailed Hunter over and over with right hand blows. He measured Hunter for the corner rear splash, but Hunter moved and tagged Hardy. Hunter dropped Umaga with a Pedigree before the left the ring, though, and Hardy was in prime position for a top rope Swanton Bomb on Umaga for the pin and the win. Afterward, Hardy and Hunter embraced and celebrated in the ring. Umaga didn't leave the ringside area immediately, so Hunter and Hardy stared him down. Umaga eventually backed away while Hunter smiled and told him to come get some.

SURVIVORS: Hunter & Hardy in 22:00. Good match. Lots of star power and unique match-ups throughout the match. Nice to see Hardy pick up the pin instead of Hunter. You could see it would turn into a formula stack-the-deck match once it came down to Hunter and Hardy, but if the formula works, then why not use it. (***1/4)

They showed Shaq sitting ringside with his family. D-Wade is probably going to call him out now for not working on his game.

They went back to the GM office where Hornswoggle continued to pace. Vince McMahon then walked in and Horny embraced his leg. McMahon excused Coach and Regal, then he sat down on the coach with Horny for another talk. McMahon said he made the match with Khali because he wants to see a train wreck of a midget vs. a giant. He said a train wreck has marquee value. McMahon said some people think he made the match because he's ashamed of Hornswoggle, or that he doesn't like him. McMahon said he made the match because he's a McMahon and a McMahon always rises to the occasion. Here comes the anti-government rant. McMahon said McMahons are warriors, impervious to pain, omnipotent, have grapefruits the size of the Grand Canyon, and most importantly, stick together. Ringside, Cole was confused. JBL tried to explain it.

Before the match intros, Shane McMahon made a surprise appearance. He's still doing the money dance on the stage. His music stopped and the arena went silent. They apparently weren't sure how to react to young Shane. Shane then introduced his father and they hugged. JBL went for the David vs. Goliath reference on Hornswoggle vs. Khali. Shane then introduced his little brother, Hornswoggle. In the ring, Vince and Shane clapped it up for Horny, who stormed the ring fired up. Khali's music then hit and Hornswoggle tried to collect himself as Khali walked out. Singh took the mic before the match and asked for the ref to explain the rules of the match.

5 -- GREAT KHALI (w/Runjan Singh) vs. HORNSWOGGLE MCMAHON (w/Vince and Shane McMahon)

The fans chanted, "We want Shaq" before the match started. Suddenly, Vince got in Shaq's face.
Vince, agitated, took the mic and told the fans that it's too damn bad. He said he doesn't care what they want. Boos. JBL said it would have been the opposite of Ron Artest coming out of the stands to get in the action. Hornswoggle chucked his hat into Khali's crotch, which didn't do anything. Hornswoggle then got a warm up on Singh with a double dropkick through the ropes. He then pulled a Muta and spewed green mist in Singh's face. Khali gave chase on the floor, then Hornswoggle slipped under the ring. He emerged with a shillelagh on the other side and called out for Khali. Hornswoggle tried to hit Khali with the stick, but Khali broke it in half and pimp slapped Hornswoggle to the mat. Shane screamed at Khali, but Vince held him back. Khali then measured Hornswoggle for the big claw, but Finlay slipped into the ring and smashed Khali with his own shillelagh to cause a DQ. He continued to smash Khali, then he punted Khali in the nuts. Finlay grabbed Horny and took him out of the ring, leading him to the back. Finlay got a babyface pop for his assistance. The announcers tried to make sense of what happened, pointing out that Finlay brought Hornswoggle into WWE. Vince looked puzzled on the outside and did his upward chin look of questioning. Shane looked to his father for guidance as they left ringside to follow Finlay and Hornswoggle.

WINNER: No Contest in 3:00. Well, at least it's an interesting twist in the storyline, as they have largely ignored Finlay's relationship to Hornswoggle since the Vince's son storyline. (n/a)

More celebrities. Alfonso Soriano and Johnny Damon were ringside. They showed a video package on the Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels feud. Match placement of the two title matches is quite important tonight for predicting finishes.

6 -- WWE champion RANDY ORTON vs. SHAWN MICHAELS -- Michaels loses with superkick; Orton loses belt if DQ'ed

Before the match, Ross and Lawler talked about the referee having a lot of discretion on determining the outcome with the stipulations. Michaels opened up with a side headlock. He maintained it for several moments until Orton escaped in the corner and landed right hand blows. Orton got in Michaels's face and Michaels feigned a superkick to scare Orton for a second. Michaels went back to a front headlock and grounded Orton on the mat. Ross called it Michaels establishing wrestling dominance. Orton slipped to the outside to escape the hold, then Michaels went to the apron and hit a springboard moonsault on the floor. Back in the ring, Michaels hit a top rope cross body block, but Orton rolled through for a nearfall. At 6:00, Michaels popped the crowd with a Sharpshooter in center ring. It had to happen at some point. Orton crawled on his belly to the ropes and finally broke the hold after several tense moments.

Orton gained control with an eye rake, then landed right hand blows to the forehead. He followed with a spike DDT as Michaels was hung across the middle rope. Michaels and Orton fought on their feet, exchanging chops and right hand blows. Michaels then nailed a flying forearm off the ropes and he kipped up to his feet. Michaels went back on the attack with right hands, but Orton came back with a standing dropkick. Michaels came right back with a top rope elbow drop. The fans tuned up the band for Michaels, who thought about it for a while. He started to warm it up, as the ref reprimanded him. Michaels went for the superkick, Orton ducked, but Michaels stopped and did a small package for a nearfall. Michaels then went for another cover, but Orton countered with a roll up for a nearfall. Suddenly, Michaels applied the Crossface. And thousands of people watching at home just gasped. Crowd reaction was a brief gasp, then cheers as Orton feigned tapping out. Orton eventually reached the ropes to break the hold at 14:00, then Orton came right back with a hard clothesline for a nearfall.

Orton nailed an inverted back breaker, then he measured Michaels for the punt to the head. Orton charged Michaels, but Michaels grabbed his leg and slapped on an ankle lock. Hart, Benoit, and Angle in one match. Michaels then grapevined the leg ala WrestleMania 21 when he lost to Angle, and Orton feigned tapping out. The fans came to life as Orton thought about it, but Orton quieted them when he kicked Michaels in the head to break the hold. Michaels slowly reached his feet and he dropped Orton for an apparent attempt at the figure four, but Orton kicked him away and Michaels went head-first into the ringpost. Ouch. Orton went into super-stalker mode and went for the RKO on Michaels, but Michaels shoved him away. Michaels then started to go for the superkick and he had Orton right where he wanted him, but Michaels stopped short. The opening gave Orton room to drop Michaels with the RKO for the win.

After the match, Orton left the ring. He then returned to the ring dragged Michaels to the corner. He slapped Michaels around and demanded that Michaels call him the future and acknowledge that he's the best. Orton then turned his back to Michaels, grabbed his title belt, and walked right into a smashing superkick to the chops. Orton dropped like a stone to the mat, then Michaels sneered at him and mouthed something like he would never acknowledge that. Michaels slipped out of the ring and went down to both knees on the entrance stage and said a quick prayer. They replayed the post-match superkick from Michaels. Back in the ring, Orton slowly reached his feet amongst boos. He had a very sinister look on his face as he checked his mouth for blood. Orton then left the ring with the belt in hand.

WINNER: Orton in 18:00 to retain the WWE Title. Slow opening, strong middle, and a fitting conclusion to the story with Orton taking advantage of Michaels's inability to use the superkick. Post-match keeps the feud alive, but Michaels doesn't have any re-matches left against Orton. The crossface by Michaels was unnecessary in my estimation. It looks like WWE trying to "own the Benoit story", especially after the CNN piece. (***)

Cole started to talk about Taker vs. Batista, but the Save_Us video interrupted. 23 hours 32 minutes. They cut backstage where Batista walked backstage with a focused look. After a video package aired on the feud, Batista came out first. He paced the Cell while waiting for Taker's entrance. Taker entered the Cell and slammed the door shut before staring at Batista.

7 -- World Hvt. champion BATISTA vs. THE UNDERTAKER -- Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight title

Taker nailed snake eyes and a big boot in the corner in the opening two minutes. Crowd had a quiet tension, waiting for some Cell action. Fans are booing Batista tonight. Taker introduced a chair, but Batista speared him. Batista then tried to use the chair, but Taker kicked it into Batista's face. They battled to the floor and Taker cleared the ring steps. Taker then jabbed a chair underneath the throat and went to work on the champ. He then went for Old School, but Batista countered with a spinebuster for a nearfall. Batista then threw Taker to the floor and threw him into the ring steps, before landing a knock down clothesline. This is a really slow match so far.

At 10:00, Taker reversed a whip off the ropes and tossed Batista into the ring steps. Taker then launched Batista face-first into a cell wall. The camera focused on Taker while Batista remained out of the shot to draw some blood. Taker landed a chair shot to the head, then he rolled Batista into the ring and scored a nearfall. Taker then locked in the triangle choke in center ring. Batista neared the ropes and the ref called for a break. Taker, desperately trying to get the crowd involved, landed a flying splash on Batista on the floor. Taker then picked up the ring steps and tried to smash Batista, but Batista blocked with a kick. Taker favored his hands, then Batista picked up the steps and rammed them repeatedly into Taker's face. Taker came up with a laceration across his forehead. In the ring, Batista opened up Taker's cut some more with right hand blows, then a bite, but Taker countered with the Last Ride powerbomb for a nearfall. Taker followed with a chokeslam for a nearfall.

Really desperate now, Batista went under the ring for a table. He set it up in the corner and went for a Batistabomb. He connected to a big pop, then covered Taker for a nearfall. Batista rolled the steel steps into center ring, then he went for another Batistabomb, but Taker back body dropped him into the ring steps. Taker made a cover, but Batista grabbed the bottom rope to break the hold. Taker then dropped Batista with a Tombstone, but he took too long to make a cover, and Batista kicked out. Taker was shocked to see someone kick out, so he went for the Tombstone a second time, this time on the ring steps. Taker dropped Batista to the mat, then he made the cover, but Edge showed up and pulled the ref out of the ring. Taker got up with a shocked look on his face, then Edge smashed Taker in the face with a camera. He placed Taker's head on the ring steps and smashed Taker's head with a conchairto. Edge then dragged Batista's lifeless body on top of Taker. The referee reluctantly counted a three count for the win.

Afterward, Cole said he didn't know why Edge did this. JBL said Batista and Taker wouldn't have wanted the match to end this way. He said the fans were robbed of a masterful match by Edge. Shift the heat. Edge then grabbed a chair and cracked Taker in the head while the refs were checking on Batista. Edge slowly backed up the entrance ramp as stared into the ring while Taker pulled himself up to the ropes with his eyes rolled into the back of his head. JBL closed by asking why Edge did this.

WINNER: Batista in 22:00 to retain the World Hvt. Title. Disappointing main event. As I feared, the Cell took away from the match. I think WWE set expectations too high for the Cell, then the match came across more like a street fight that just so-happened to be inside a Cell that somewhat removed the audience from the action. Edge's return sets up some new storylines on Smackdown, but it didn't help the main event tonight. (**1/2)

We welcome your 1-10 score and comments on this show for a "WWE PPV Reax" feature in the Torch Feedback section of To contribute your thoughts on the PPV, click here.

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