- Originally broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View, on November 17th, 2002. We're coming from the greatest sports arena in the world, Madison Square Garden, in New York City. Since this is from the Brand Split Era, we've got double duty everything, but the only real concern is the PBP teams: Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler will be doing the matches featuring Raw Superstars, while Michael Cole and Tazz do everything associated with Smackdown.
The 2002 Survivor Series marks the third time that the WWE had tried a new format for the annual event. In 1992, it was presented as a normal card, a la SummerSlam or WrestleMania, while the 1998 version featured a one-night Tournament, along the lines of WrestleMania IV, except (a little) less boring. This time, we've got a main event which features elimination rules, but not elimination tag team matches, as were the norm for previous versions of the Survivor Series.
Heat Match: Goldust & The Hurricane vs. Lance Storm & William Regal:
Odd face-team, but Storm and Regal are the last members of the Un-Americans. Remember that stupid stable? This was before Goldust developed the ability to make inappropriate comments after being electrocuted by Batista. Hurricane and Storm start. Hurricane with a clothesline and neck breaker for a quick two count. Regal hangs Hurricane across the top rope, and Storm hits a jumping heel kick for a two count. Regal tags in and takes Hurricane over with a slam for a series of two counts. Hurricane counters a suplex, but takes a forearm across the chin. Regal with a series of knees for a two count. Storm tags in, and gets taken down with a neck breaker. Goldust with the tag in, and he unloads on both opponents. Goldust with a snap powerslam on Storm for a two count. Goldust with a butt-butt on Regal, and Hurricane with a chokeslam to Storm. Goldust goes for the Curtain Call, but Storm cradles him for the three count at 3:01. That came out of nowhere. Suddenly, Tommy Dreamer hits the ring and canes the crap out of the team of Storm and Regal. Pointless run ins from a JTTS rule, because he's the hometown boy.
Opening Match: Tables Match:
Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley and Jeff Hardy vs. Three Minute Warning & Rico:
Good luck to myself if I can remember the details to setting this up. 3MW (Rosie and Jamal) were doing random attacks on whoever Eric Bischoff told them to, then added Rico as their "manager" sometime around Unforgiven. The Bubba Ray singles push was finally aborted by this point, Jeff Hardy was doing a whole lot of nothing, and Spike was Spike. This is held under Elimination Rules, so first team to have all three members put through tables, loses. I always thought 3MW had promise, but I guess they pissed the wrong people off.
The heels bum-rush, but the faces toss them shortly after. Bubba launches Spike onto 3MW, and Hardy adds a suicide dive for extra momentum. Lawler mentions at the 2000 Royal Rumble, also in MSG, the Hardys and Dudleys had an epic tables match. Dudley Boyz V. 1.5 give the Wassup to Jamal, then Jeff gives his own version to Rico. Rosie gets back in the ring to take care of business, and sorry for the lack of PBP, nothing much happens Rosie charges at Spike, but puts himself through the table. I guess that doesn't count. Rosie and Hardy blow a spot, and the crowd is on it, fast. Rico brings a table in and 3MW flap jacks him through it at 4:25. That was a pretty cool spot. I guess once you get put through a table, you have to leave. Rosie actually teases a moonsault, but gets crotched, and it's Poetry in Motion! Rosie prevents another version, and Rico takes Bubba out with a spinning heel kick. Rico and Jamal work over Bubba while Rosie drags Jeff through the crowd. Speaking of the crowd, they aren't very much into it when the heels are in control. Bubba makes the save for Jeff and uses one of the Iron Shiek's Persian Clubs on Rosie. Jeff climbs up to the top of one of the entrances and does a senton bomb on Rosie, through a table, at 7:48. Then, in the most classic part of the match, Rico goes to the top for a moonsault, then stalls until screaming out "Come on Jeff, god dammit!" The DVD version actually edits it out, but you can read his lips, as the camera wisely did a tight shot of him when it happened. To the shock of no one, Jeff eventually comes back and shakes the ropes rather weakly to crotch him. Jeff runs the security wall and jumps into a table, but it wasn't an offensive move. Jamal comes off the top with a splash to eliminate Jeff at 10:34. Bubba does his worst Dusty Rhodes impression clubberin' Rico, but stalls forever until Jamal prevents a table a spot. Jamal slips off the ropes (my goodness...) then gets Bubba Bombed through the table for it at 11:42. 3MW try and help Rico out, but D'Von makes his return from being Reverend D'Von to reform his partnership with Bubba, and they put Rico through a table with the 3D to finally end things at 13:52. It's sad that ending singles pushes for both Dudleys meant being glad to see them as a team again, except about a month later, it was "same shit, different year" with them, again. Match was pretty dull with the occasional cool table spot, but if you've seen one, you've seen them all.
- Saliva performs "Always", the official theme song for Survivor Series, live, at WWF New York/The World, with Stacy Keibler on hand, talking about Test-icles. Fast forward material, all the way.
Noble debuted a few weeks before the King of the Ring, acting like Trailer Park Trash, and won the Cruiserweight Title shortly after from the Hurricane. Nidia is fresh off being a Tough Enough winner, but no one cared about any of those people since most of the winners either had no charisma or were given characters doomed for failure. Kidman starts with a pair of quick roll ups. Irish whip, and Kidman with a head scissors for a two count. Noble sends Kidman to the corner, then takes him down with a neck breaker for a two count. Noble rams Kidman into the corner, then chokes him across the bottom rope. Noble with a snapmare, then slaps on a surfboard-style hold. Kidman escapes, but gets tossed over the top rope for his troubles. Noble follows out with a suicide dive, but the crowd barely reacts. Kidman nails Noble coming off the top rope with a dropkick, then comes off the ropes with an elbow. Kidman with a clothesline and dropkick, followed by a DVD into a neck breaker for a two count. Noble with a knee to the midsection and a Michinoku Driver for a two count. Kidman recovers and slams Noble face-first into the canvas. Kidman to the top rope, but Nidia pulls Noble out of the ring. Kidman with a cross body to the outside to make up for the interference. Kidman with a sling-shot leg drop back into the ring for another two count. Noble goes for a Tigerbomb, but Kidman counters. We get heel miscommunication, but a spinebuster only gets a two count. We go through a series of counters until Noble hits the Tigerbomb for a two count. they fight on the top rope, with Kidman winning the struggle, connecting with a huge DDT, only getting a two count. Noble uses the top rope for an assisted DDT, but if the top rope DDT wasn't winning for Kidman, then that wasn't doing it for Noble. Kidman surprises Noble with an enziguri, then comes off the top rope with the Shooting Star Press, and that's enough to win the Cruiserweight Title at 7:32. Short match, but was non-stop action, didn't appear to have any sloppy or flubbed spots, and had a surprisingly clean finish. I don't remember much for Kidman's reign, but I think he eventually lost it to Matt Hardy (Version 1), who went through training to lose enough wait to compete for the Cruiserweight Title.
- Remember the "F-View" camera (get it, F-U!) that hounded Raw Superstars? Yeah, it totally went nowhere, much like GTV years earlier. If you're going to do stuff like that, at least have it go somewhere, for once. I guess the only purpose was to catch women undressing and Big Show using the toilet.
Victoria is freshly debuted, playing the psychopathic nutjob role pretty darn well, claiming Trish beat her out for a WWE Contract back in the day, and it drove her nuts. Trish had recently won the title back from Molly Holly, so you can say Trish was the Jerry Lawler of the Women's Division... it seemed to bounce back and forth a lot, but always back to her in the end. Victoria attacks before the bell and chokes Trish with her own jacket, then throws her around the ring. Victoria grabs a broom but swings and misses twice, and gets taken over with a monkey flip. Victoria regains control and chokes her with the broomstick. Trish snapmares Victoria over and grabs a trash lid, but has it smacked back in her face. The action spills outside the ring, and Trish is whipped into a trash can wired to the ring post. Back in the ring, and Victoria with a somersault leg drop for a two count. Victoria squeezes a trash can between the ropes (kinda), then gets smashed up into it with a sling shot. Trish kicks the can into Victoria's face, and covers for a two count. Trish with an ironing board, and she stations that in the corner (kinda) and whips Victoria into it. Trish with an early version of the Chick Kick for a two count. Trish channels the spirit of Tommy Dreamer and works Victoria over with a singapore cane. Victoria no-sells it, grabs a can lid, and whacks Trish with it. Trish retaliates the no-selling and goes for the head scissors, then smashes Victoria with the trash can lid, again. Back in the ring, and Victoria with a powerbomb. Victoria has a bloody-nose, then pulls out a mirror. Trish with another Chick Kick, but it kind of missed. Trish does it again, and covers for a two count. Victoria surprises Trish with a singapore cane, then they blow a bulldog spot. It still got a two count, somehow. Victoria with a drop toe hold to counter a cane shot. Victoria with a fire extinguisher, and that blows it's spot, too. Victoria with a snap suplex into a cover for the three count at 7:04... wait, that really was the end? That came the fuck out of nowhere. Match was okay, but sloppy at times, and the lack of convincing weapon shots really made it pointless.
Lesnar was kind of rocking the tweener role at this time, finally gaining respect from the Internet crowd as I remember, after having an epic Hell in a Cell encounter with the Undertaker at No Mercy. Lesnar is selling a broken rib, and Heyman thinks it was a bad idea to sign for a match with the Big Show, who was given yet another reboot in hopes of creating a main event star. Lesnar gets in the Big Show's face to start, but a lockup goes nowhere. "Let's go Lesnar" chant from the MSG crowd that 18 months later completely shat all over him at WrestleMania XX. Lockup to the corner, and Show with a hip toss, followed by a butt splash. Lesnar with a spear, knocking Show out of the ring. Lesnar follows, and pounds away. Show scoops Lesnar up, and rams him into the ring post. Back in the ring, and Lesnar starts fighting back again, and takes Show down with a back suplex. Lesnar with shoulders to the midsection, followed by a release german suplex! Lesnar foes for the F-5, but Show counters with knees to the midsection. We get a referee bump, and Lesnar with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex! Is Lesnar channeling the spirit of Steve "Dr. Death" Williams, or what? Lesnar counters a chokeslam, whacks Show with a chair, and actually executes the F-5!! Another referee hits the ring, but Heyman breaks the pin attempt. It's a double-cross! Show comes back to life, rams Lesnar in the ribs with the chair, and the Chokeslam gives Show the unexpected victory and World Championship at 4:19. Honestly, who in their right mind predicted that finish? Match was incredibly short, but it worked, and Lesnar's feats of strength really got the crowd into it. For whatever reason, this lead to a big blowoff between Brock and Angle, which isn't a bad thing, but a little confusing.
It's from the heart of the Smackdown Six Era, when it seemed every week, these six Superstars were paired up to have a bunch of ***+ matches, without any reason other than because they all had great chemistry and put on some of the best matches on a regular basis. The Smackdown Tag Titles were new at this point, with a Tournament crowning Angle and Benoit as the 1st Champions, but in the obvious "Partners Who Barely Get Along" storyline, they quickly dropped the straps to Edge and Mysterio. I would argue Super Teams winning titles, but when the Tournament consists of teams like Mark Henry & Rikishi, John Cena & Kidman, and Ron Simmons & D'Von, then I'm all for it. Oh. this is also Elimination rules, I guess.
We waste time trying to figure out who starts, and it's finally decided on Rey and Benoit. Benoit quickly hammers away and chops the skin off Rey's chest. Irish whip, and Rey takes Benoit down with a head scissors, followed by a flap jack. Edge tags in, and a takes Benoit over with a double hip toss. Angle tags in and gets worked over by Edge, as well. Angle bitch-slaps Chavo, and it counts as a tag, I guess. Edge with a shoulder block and a dropkick, followed by a slam. Rey tags in and comes off the top with a splash for a two count. Rey takes Chavo down with an arm drag, but gets pressed into the air and dropped on his face. Eddie tags in and puts the boots to Rey. Rey with a head scissors and monkey flip on Eddie, and now it's Angle turns again. Whip to the corner, and Angle meets the ring post on a charge attempt. Rey blows a spot, allowing Angle to stomp a mudhole in him. Angle with a snap suplex for a two count. Angle with a short-arm clothesline, and Benoit with a neck breaker. Benoit with a back suplex for a two count. Angle with a high impact back suplex for another two count. Rey counters the Angle Slam, but Angle takes his head off with a clothesline for a two count. Benoit tags back in, and drives a knee to the midsection, then takes Rey over with a snap suplex for a pair of two counts. Angle with a snapmare, then slaps on a front facelock. Rey fights back to his feet and nails Angle with a spinning heel kick, following a series of counters. Angle tries to tag a Guerrero, but they ditch the apron. Edge with clotheslines to Benoit and a heel kick to Angle. Irish whip, and Edge with a belly-to-belly suplex on Angle. Rey takes Eddie out with a head scissors, and Edge gets trapped in the Crossface/Ankle-Lock, but Rey takes Angle out and hits Benoit with a basement dropkick. Chavo drags Angle out of the ring, and Rey hits the both of them with a corkscrew plancha. Benoit with the rolling Germans on Edge, and Eddie takes Benoit over with a sunset flip for a double two count. Benoit with more Germans on Edge, and Eddie hits the Frog Splash on Edge, then Benoit hits Eddie with the headbutt, and then Angle hits Eddie with the Angle Slam. Chavo KO's Benoit with a tag title belt, tricking Benoit into thinking Angle did it. Edge with the spear on benoit, and that eliminates Angle and Benoit at 13:09.
Angle and Benoit work everyone over before leaving, except for Eddie, who's been hanging around outside the ring. He covers Edge, but only gets a two count. Eddie takes Edge over with a suplex, and Chavo tags in with a baseball slide for a two count. Chavo with a snapmare, and Eddie with a slingshot senton for another two count. Irish whip, and Eddie slaps on a sleeper hold. Edge escapes, but runs into a dropkick from Chavo. Eddie with some cheap shots from the apron, while Chavo distracted the referee. Eddie with a back suplex, and a front facelock. Chavo with a snapmare, followed by another basement dropkick for a two count. Irish whip, and Edge with a double flap jack on the Guerreros. That spot seemed realistic (sarcasm alert!). Rey gets the hot tag, and springboards in on top of Chavo and hits Eddie with a back breaker. We get Guerrero Miscommuncation, and Rey with a dropkick to the face of a prone Eddie. Edge springs Rey into the air for a top rope head scissors on Eddie, but that only gets a two count. Edge trips Eddie into the ropes, and Rey hits the 6-1-9. Chavo prevents the West Coast Pop, using a title belt across the back as his weapon of choice. Eddie slaps on the Laso from El Paso, and Rey taps out at 19:24, giving Los Guerreros the Tag Team Titles. It's a better championship team than whoever it was on Raw (who did Kane and Hurricane lose it to? Who cares...) Match was pretty good and filled with plenty of solid action, with minimal blown spots for a match that had a lot going on. The only complaint I had is Rey playing around with his mask every couple of spots.
- Chris Nowinski (the Harvard dude) comes out to cut a promo, and then Matt Hardy (Version 1) joins him, to bash New York City. The debuting Scott Steiner, a.k.a Big Poppa Pump, Freakzilla, and "the guy who was a serious health risk to the company" makes the save for New York, wiping the floor with Nowinski and Hardy, then dropping the F-Bomb before cutting a terrible promo. Was ANYONE excited about Steiner's signing with WWE? This segment actually ate up nearly 10-minutes of valuable Pay-Per-View time. If that wasn't bad enough, we then had the lowering of the Elimination Chamber, and Eric Bischoff comes out to verbally blow the match for an additional 5-minutes, because you need to sell the match TO THE PEOPLE WHO ALREADY BOUGHT THE DAMN PPV.
I remember when this PPV was happening live, I refered to this match as "Triple H and Shawn Michaels against four guys who had no chance in hell of winning", especially since it's basically the next chapter since the SummerSlam encounter between Trips and HBK. Michaels is debuting new tights, but I guess someone forgot to finish them, cause it looks very half-assed. Add in his girly-short hair, and, well, make your own damn joke for once. To answer an earlier question, Jericho and Christian were Raw's Tag Champs. Jim Ross notes Triple H's Survivor Series record, at this point, was "0-6", and while he is winless, I don't get the math... he's only wrestled at 4, and 1 was a No Contest, but it's Logic in Wrestling. For those who need a run-down on the rules of the Elimination Chamber... Two men start, and four men are locked in seperate internal chambers. Every 5-minutes, a door opens at random (heel comes in next), and the last man standing after all the participants have entered is the winner. The Chamber seems quite dangerous, with floors made of steel surrounding the entire outside of the ring, and of course, you have the "bulletproof" glass and the ever-dangerous chain-link fence.
Rob Van Dam and Triple H start, which means Trips plays the role of Iron Man since I doubt the champion will job earlier than the finale. Lockup into the corner, and RVD with rights and kicks, followed by a spinning heel kick. Irish whip, and Triple H with a face-buster. Hunter goes for a pedigree, but RVD back drops him onto the steel outside of the ring. RVD follows him out, and introduces him into the mesh wall, enough times to the point it broke the latch on the chamber door. Hunter appears to have bladed, and it's only 2-minutes in. RVD continues to pound away, and takes Hunter down with a monkey flip, followed by rolling thunder, over the top rope, on the steel. RVD clotheslines Hunter back into the ring, then climbs to the top of one of the chambers, but Jericho pulls him down from inside, allowing Hunter to recover. RVD manages to fight both off, and comes off the top rope with with a senton to the outside. RVD continues to control as we get the countdown for our next participant... and surprise, surprise, it's Chris Jericho (heel). RVD nails him with a pair of heel kicks, followed by a standing moonsault for a two count. RVD with a springboard dropkick and a clothesline. RVD comes off the top, and manages to latch himself to the cage (he's like Spider-Man), then comes off with a twisting cross body onto Jericho. Triple H comes back to life, and RVD finally starts getting worked over. Triple H with a running high knee, and Jericho covers for a two count. Jericho taunts Michaels, while Hunter tosses RVD over the top rope. RVD gets rammed into the walls, and correction: it's chain-link, not mesh, and RVD gets a second helping of it. Whip to the corner, RVD avoids a charge from Jericho, takes Triple H down with a clothesline, and hits Jericho with another spinning heel kick. Hunter recovers and plants RVD with a DDT.
Booker T enters next, and hammers away on Jericho then knocks Trips out with a clothesline, and it's Spin-a-Rooni time! RVD and Booker trade blows, won by RVD. Booker T takes RVD's head off with a heel kick, following a series of counters, for a two count. RVD with a step-over heel kick for his own two count. RVD with an elbow to a charging Booker, but he runs into another side kick, and that gets a two count. Triple H comes back into the picture, and is quickly put down with a Scissors kick. RVD heads to the top of the chamber, and his Frog Splash slips, and he comes crashing down on Triple H's throat. I don't remember the seriousness of the injury (Hebner appears to give an "X" to the locker room direction, but that's not a guarantee it's legit), but I do remember the IWC being all uptight about how they should've just taken Hunter out of the match right then and there, and he was just being a glory hog wanting to stay until the end. Booker T surprises RVD with a missile dropkick, and that's enough to send RVD back to the locker room at 13:39. Fans didn't appreciate that one. Booker covers Triple H, but that only gets a two count. Jericho chokes Booker down in the corner and takes him down with a bulldog. The lionsault misses, and Booker plants Jericho with a spinebuster. Kane enters next, and the pattern of entries is identical to their order of entrances, other than the two starters, of course. Kane pounds on everything walking, then singles Booker out in the corner. Kane takes Jericho out of the ring and uses him as a battering ram into the chains, then throws him through the "bulletproof" glass of one of the chambers. Kane takes a few shots at Hunter, then goes back to working Booker T over. Booker goes for a scissors kick, but gets nailed from behind, and Kane sends him to hell with a Chokeslam. Jericho with the lionsault on Booker T, and that gets a three count at 17:43. Kane tosses Jericho out of the ring, and yes, he has bladed. Kane slams Jericho back into the ring, while Hunter continues to do very little. Kane takes Jericho over with a suplex, then covers for a two count. Kane misses the jumping elbow that always misses, but has enough in him to slam Hunter off the top rope. Jericho with a missile dropkick on Kane, and everyone is down as we get our next and final entry.
Shawn Michaels comes in, pounding on Jericho and Kane with rights, and Kane quickly puts him down with a clothesline. Kane with a chokeslam on Michaels, then a chokeslam to Triple H. Jericho jumps off the top rope, and gets chokeslammed as wel. PIN SOMEONE, STUPID! Kane goes for the Tombstone on Hunter, but he gets thrown into Sweet Chin Music. Kane sits up, so it's Kick-Wham-Pedigree. Jericho adds the Lionsault for good measure, and Kane is sent packing at 22:54. BOO! Jericho sends Michaels outside the ring and rams him into the chain fence. Back in the ring, and Jericho and HHH take turns working Michaels over. Michaels blades after getting the cheese grater treatment on the chains. Michaels clotheslines Hunter back into the ring, but gets taken over with a back drop attempting a piledriver. Back inside, and Michaels with a diving forearm to Hunter, and Jericho quickly takes him down with a bulldog. Jericho with the lionsault for a two count. Michaels with a top rope moonsault for a two count. Michaels slaps on a Boston Crab, but Hunter breaks it up and executes a DDT. Jericho and Hunter slug it out, with Hunter gaining the upperhand. Jericho jumps into a boot, but counters the Pedigree with the Walls of Jericho. Michaels comes out of nowhere with Sweet Chin Music, and Jericho is gone at 30:44. It's down to Michaels and Triple H? What a shocker! Slugfest, and a spinebuster from Triple H gets a two count. Michaels with a boot to the chest, but a charge leads to him being back dropped onto the steel floor. Michaels takes control, but gets swept off his feet and sling shot into one of the chambers, breaking the obviously fake "glass" (more like plastic). Back in the ring, and Hunter covers for a two count. Hunter with rights, and it's another slugfest, won by Michaels. Triple H with a facebuster, followed by a clothesline. Hunter goes for a pedigree, but Michaels obviously counters and slingshots Hunter into the cage. Michaels to the top of the chamber (ugh...) and he comes off with an elbow drop. I'm sure Trips wasn't a little cautious about that one, after the earlier spot with RVD. Michaels calls for Chin Music, but Hunter blocks, and hits the pedigree. Hunter... slowly... crawls to cover, but only gets two. Michaels counters another pedigree, hits Sweet Chin Music, and wins the Heavyweight Title at 39:04. To keep things short and sweet, the concept of the match, on paper, seems like a can't miss thing, but the actual execution left a lot to be desired, there was too many spots that had me wishing the match was over, and the booking decision, mainly giving someone who's wrestled 2 matches in 4 years, the World Title, just seemed a bit odd. I know he dropped it right back at Armageddon and even defended it on Raw against RVD, but it's a slap in the face of the full time workers to give the strap to someone in that role.
Final Thoughts: I didn't notice before, but every title match ended with a new champion being crowned, and in the cases of both World Titles, there definitely was some head-scratching going on. It seemed like the WWE turned the clock back to 2002, when having Michaels and Big Show as World Champions didn't seem like a horrible idea. All the matches were either pretty good or at the least, watchable, but it wasn't a very memorable card, and the new gimmick match main event really failed to live up to the hype. It's hard to say I'd recommend this show one way or another, but I'd suggest watching it once, for the kick ass tag team title match and a good, but heavily flawed, main event.