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TLW: WWE Survivor Series 2003 Thoughts



17 November 2003

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Well, hello. Welcome to the Live Wire... I survived the series!!! Whooo! Yes, folks, I was looking forward to Survivor Series, and I for one felt that it lived up to my hopes for it. Not to mention that I never fell asleep, so that’s always a bonus! PLUS - given that Noble vs. Tajiri was on Heat... so that means of the seven matches on PPV - I went 7 for 7 - double whooo!!!

So, I’m not going to do my usual style of PPV review and look at things match by match, I’m just going to go over what I felt were the good and bad points of the show, and trust me, the good FAR outweighed the bad. With the sounds of Bob Dylan’s ‘Street Legal’ guiding me, we shall delve into last night’s show, and start with the bad, so we can end on a high note :

The Bad

-- The match placements were a bit strange... the Smackdown elimination match first? Tajiri and Noble bumped to Heat, while Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban gets his own spotlight moment.... to quote the Hurricane... whassupwidDAT? I would have had the Raw Elimination match or the Buried Alive match close the show rather than the Goldberg-Trips match... it just seemed like an anti-climax after what went down before it.

-- Austin’s departure... shall we take bets on when exactly he returns? Everyone knows he’s not gone for good, so why waste 10 minutes or so of PPV time on a ‘retirement speech’?

On a slightly picky note, I thought that leaving the cans of beer in the ring was a bit tasteless... the last time I remember seeing that was on the Owen Hart memorial Raw.

-- Lita and Molly’s match was basically the one match on the show that stank the place out. Much as Molly can carry people to a good match, Lita just doesn’t seem ready to back. I mean, she wasn’t great before her injury, but now she just seems to be two or three steps off the pace. For me, this is the match that should have been bumped down to Heat, not the Cruiserweight match.

The Good

-- I thought that as a whole, the show was booked excellently. I can’t remember the last time I said that about a WWE show, but there you go. Every booking choice made sense to me, and it just felt like there was a genuine direction for the show and the booking.

The last couple of WWE PPVs have just had a weird feeling about them, as if there wasn’t a cohesive plan in place, and the winners were just picked out of a hat. Last night, there seemed to just be an air of control about everything. Maybe it was just me, I dunno.

-- The elevation of John Cena. Going back to the booking again - Cena was made to look like a legit star in his Survivor match... looks like he and the Big Show will be locking horns again in the near future over the US Championship... and right now, Cena looks ready for it more than ever. The FU on the Big Show was a huge moment for Cena - it put him on a perception level equal to that of Brock Lesnar. Rightfully so, in my opinion.

-- Chris Benoit beating Brock Lesnar. It might not seem like much, but Benoit took down Lesnar and made him tap... it sews the seeds of a well deserved title shot for everyone’s favourite toothless Canadian. What made it even more important was the fact that the fans bought into it as well - the pop when Benoit first locked on the Crossface, and then made him tap to it was incredible... who says Benoit can’t get a crowd going?

-- Kane pushed as the unstoppable monster again. After a few months of basically being Shane’s whipping boy, Kane withstood everything that Shane O’Mac threw at him - and still won. The match might have been a bit wishy washy (it was in this match that I made a dive for the kitchen) but the finish and the manner of the finish made sense.

Hopefully, Shane will take his act off TV for a few months now. While I appreciate his willingness to take crazy bumps, his presence as basically a novelty act doesn’t really do much for Kane’s push. Kane looks to be moving on to bigger things now, probably Goldberg to tide him over until ‘Taker is ready to come back.

-- Hardcore Holly got precisely 1 minute of PPV time. Works for me!

-- Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff. What a great match! Easily match of the night for me, and action packed all the way through. Shawn Michaels put in a hell of a performance to make it all click in the end - the old fashioned three on one tactics ensured that the crowd were biting on the story in the match. Michaels turned back the clock on this one, even pulling a Hell In A Cell sized blade job as well.

-- The Buried Alive match was exactly what it should have been - a one sided, brutal bloodbath. Realistically, Vince should have no chance against The Undertaker - and that’s how it panned out - Vince’s entire offence in the match was a hand full of dirt to the eyes, a low blow and a shovel to Taker’s arm... Kane’s interference was what won the day for Vince, and that sets up a Kane vs. Taker match at some point - WMXX?

You can’t talk about that match without talking about Vince’s gory blade job. Man, did that look bad... there was a pool of blood on the floor at one point that looked absolutely horrendous - it just added to the effect of the beating that the Undertaker was handing out to Vince.

-- Goldberg was cut loose, and finally looked like the unstoppable monster that we knew in WCW. Taking out Evolution single handed was enough, but the symbolic throwing away of the sledge hammer was a really nice touch for me. By not using Triple H’s own weapon to finally beat him, they showed that Goldberg was a legit force to be reckoned with.

-- Brock meets Goldberg... nicely done, and again, maybe sets up a future Wrestlemania match. Yes, just from that 2 minute segment, there was a genuine ‘moment’ between the two - it could well be the money match for Wrestlemania XX...

So there you go - Survivor Series was a damn good show... I was looking forward to it anyway - but what we got far exceeded what even I expected. With only the Lita vs. Molly match seeming to drag on a bit, and the Kane vs. Shane brawl being a bit dull, but redeemable thanks to the story it told, the rest of the show easily got pass marks from me. The best show of the year? As it stands right now, I would say so...

Until next time, have fun, go mad.

Tony Cottam

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