- It's time for the annual "change the formula of the PPV" edition of the Survivor Series. First, a little backstory for why the PPV is structured as such: Steve Austin was practically screwed out of the WWF Title at IYH: Breakdown, but an unclear winner between Kane and the Undertaker lead to a rematch between the two, with Austin as the referee, after an incident where Austin interrupted a special ceremony by whooping Mcmahon, which then lead to the Brothers of Destruction "breaking" his ankle for daring to slap the Undertaker. At Judgment Day, Austin, against orders, declared neither the winner, and was fired, but soon made his presence felt, kidnapping Vince McMahon and making him piss himself with "Bang 3:16". Then, to add insult to injury, it was revealed that Shane McMahon, from under his father's nose, re-signed Austin to a multi-year contract, and guaranteed him a title shot and a spot in the Tournament. Wait... what Tournament? Why, the Deadly Games Tournament, of course! With all these inconclusive title matches, the belt was held up and the Top Contenders were all thrown into a one-night elimination tournament, so while we don't have any of the tag team matches, the Tournament adds as a new, interesting, format for the PPV.
- We're coming from the Kiel Center in St. Louis, MO, originally broadcasted live, on Pay-Per-View, on November 15th, 1998. Jim Ross and Jerry "The King" Lawler are calling all the action for us tonight. I was going to review all the Heat matches to go along with this PPV, but forgot that I already had done that show on it's own quite a while ago.
Opening Round Tournament Matches:
In the tradition of WrestleMania IV, the first round consists of six matches, while the Undertaker and Kane, the two most prominent players in the controversy over the title, are given byes into the second round, and put against each other, playing the role of Andre vs. Hogan, except much, much worse.
Mankind vs. Mystery Opponent:
Some backstory time: For a little while up to this point, Mankind's sucking up to Vince McMahon has been oddly rewarded, with makeovers, a new suit, and a championship made especially for him, the Hardcore Championship. It seemed as if Mankind was the hand-picked chosen one of Vince McMahon, and who would think otherwise when his suitable competition turns out to be... DUANE GILL, former syndicated show fodder to the stars. Does this count as a feature match? This was a huge let down, but for storyline sake, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, McMahon's long-winded introduction just reeked of awesome. Gill's titantron video is him getting his ass kicked. Mankind brings Gill in from the apron with a slingshot, and puts the boots to him. Mankind with the Double-arm DDT, and that's enough for the three count at the 31-second mark. Again, for casual fans, "Mystery Opponent" means something special, but for storyline purpose, this was very well done. I keep forgetting Mankind had that awesome outro music still. It's like that calming melody at the end of Friday the 13th, right before the big sweve.
Al Snow vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/ Debra McMichael):
Jarrett FINALLY reinvented himself, following a Hair vs. Hair Match at SummerSlam '98. He's been working the "Don't Piss Me Off" character that would be the staple of his performance for the next decade or so, and he's even got a new valet in Debra, fresh from WCW. Snow is running around with Head, and is mostly a midcard comedy character. Jarrett tries a sneak attack outside, but Snow fights him off and his a somersault off the ring steps. Snow with a sling-shot leg drop into the ring. Irish whip, and Jarrett drops Snow throat-first acros the top rope. Jarrett hammers away on Snow in the corner, but Snow turns it around and does some "hammerin" of his own. Snow winds up on the apron and hangs Jarrett up across the top rope, then misses a top rope leg drop. Irish whip, and Jarrett with a dropkick for a two count. Snow ducks under an elbow, and surprises Jarrett with a crucifix for a two count. They do a reversel sequence of pinfall attempts, getting no more than two on each attempt. Jarrett tries the flapjack again, but Snow counters with a DDT for another two count. Snow with an atomic drop, but Jarrett bounces back from the ropes and we get a head collision. Speaking of Head, Debra grabs it and distracts the referee. Snow can't find it, so he grabs the guitar instead. Jarrett with head, but it backfires, and Snow covers Jarrett for the surprise three count at 3:34. I didn't see that coming, but the winner here had to face Mankind, so it makes sense... and wouldn't you know, Head is wearing Mr. Socko around his head as a headband. I've said head way too much in the last couple of sentences.
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Big Boss Man:
Time for more explanations: After Vince's terrible injuries, he decided to hire some security protection, and in what I thought was a big surprise, it meant the return of the Boss Man, sporting riot gear as a way to change with the times, instead of the cartoony outfit he wore back in the day. This is one of the few first round matches with some heat to it. Boss Man tries attacking in the aisle, but Austin slugs it out with him instead, and throws the Boss Man into the ring steps. Into the ring, and Austin with the Thesz Press, followed by the F-U Elbow for a two count. Boss Man goes low, right in front of the referee, and works over the lower back of the Rattlesnake, then slaps on a rear chinlock, just as J.R. notes we should expect these early round matches to be fast-paced. Austin fights free and levels Boss Man with a clothesline. Boss Man retaliates with a big boot, and a splash across the middle rope, VINTAGE Boss Man, for a two count. Boss Man works another chinlock, but Austin takes it to the corner and escapes with shoulders to the midsection. Austin with Mudhole Stomping™, and the action spills outside, where the nightstick gets used, and Austin advances because of a Disqualification, at 3:19. We see backstage Vince McMahon enjoying it, so this was probably the plan the entire time. Match was nothing, but it wasn't meant to be anything, at least, and it was kept short.
X-Pac vs. Steven Regal:
Regal is fresh from WCW, and is working the "Real Man's Man" gimmick, which was highlighted by vignettes, including Regal squeezing his own Orange Juice. Big deal, I can do that too, pressing the Oranges against my head. Weird how much of the early matches are guys casted-off by WCW over the last year or so: Jarrett, X-Pac, Boss Man, and Regal, and most of them were used quite effectively, too. You can stretch it with Austin, but his WCW days are long in his rear-view window by this point. Lockup, and Regal with a headlock. X-Pac escapes and lays Regal out with a spinning heel kick, them tosses Regal upside down into the corner, and takes him down with a back suplex for a two count. X-Pac with a pair of his snap leg drops, for another two count. For some reason, J.R. calls Regal "Steve Blackman", until Lawler points it out to him. Regal takes control, and stretches X-Pac out. Regal with a snapmare and a knee to the face. X-Pac avoids a charge and takes Regal down with a sunset flip, but Regal rolls through and sling shots X-Pac across the ring. X-Pac fights out of a surfboard type manuever, but Regal takes him over with a gutwrench for a two count, then slaps on a head scissors. X-Pac escapes and turns it into a weird toe hold, then hammers away with rights. Whip to the corner, and X-Pac misses a charge. Regal sets up X-Pac on the top rope, and takes him down with a double-arm super-plex, but that only gets a two count. Regal covers again, just incase, then goes to another submission hold. Whip to the corner is reversed, and a collision dazes both men. X-Pac comes to life, catching Regal off the ropes with a spinning heel kick. X-Pac with a dropkick, knocking Regal down in the corner, and it's Bronco Buster time. How gay... sorry, don't mean to be politically incorrect, there. X-Pac with a snap suplex, but a high risk manuever sees Regal crotching X-Pac across the top rope. Regal follows X-Pac outside, and gets taken down with a suplex for his troubles. The action continues, and we get a Double Count-Out at 8:10, meaning Stone Cold gets a Bye to the Semi-Finals. Vince McMahon wants the match to continue, but that's not happening, since X-Pac is faking a groin injury. Solid match, but surprise surprise, with Regal, it just came across as a clash of styles at times.
Goldust vs. Ken Shamrock:
Shamrock won the Intercontinental Title in a one-night Tournament on Raw a few weeks ago, so he's a dark-horse candidate to become the new Champion. He's also working as a hired gun for Vince McMahon as well, before the stable known as "The Corporation" was established. Goldust is back, after spending months as preaching loser Dustin Runnels, and it was nice to see him back under the black and gold. Shamrock pounds away to start and hits Goldust coming off the ropes with a side leg kick. Shamrock with a scoop slam and more roundhouse rights. Goldust makes a comeback attempt, and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Goldust with a slam, followed by a jumping knee drop. Shamrock comes charging out of the corner with a clothesline and covers for a two count. Shamrock puts the boots to Goldust some more and slaps on a seated chinlock. Shamrock with a Russian leg sweep for a two count, then back to the chinlock. Goldust fights free, but misses a charge, and Shamrock with more pounding. You keep it up, you're going to go blind. Goldust blocks a suplex and takes Shamrock over with his own, but can't take him over with a monkey flip. Goldust with a drop toe hold, but a powerbomb is countered with punching. Irish whip, and Goldust surprises Shamrock with a bulldog. Goldust sets up for the Shattered Dreams, but the referee gets in the way. Shamrock fress himself and hits a sloppy hurricanrana. Shamrock with a belly-to-belly suplex, and it's Ankle Lock time, and that gets the submission victory at 5:58. I don't know if it was just me, but Shamrock totally squashed Goldust, barely giving him anything, and never really losing control of the match. Kinda sucked, too.
The Rock vs... Not Triple H:
The Rock has become the next target of Vince McMahon, having to defeat Mark Henry to get his spot back into this Tournament. In another example of Bait-and-Switch, the entire month leading up to this show, we were advertised Triple H as the Rock's opening round opponent, but considering he was still out of action following an injury and hasn't seen action in the ring for a good month and a half, forcing him to hand over the Intercontinental Title, it just seemed like a shameful attempt at luring fans in. Brisco and Patterson come out instead when the DX Music plays, and I guess we're going to have another suitable replacement... and it's the Big Boss Man? And guess what? Blink and you will miss it, as Boss Man runs in and Rock quickly cradles him for a three count seconds following the bell ringing. Well, that was a waste of time... or was it?
QUARTERFINALS ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCHES:
Kane vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):
To clear up any confusion, Kane turned babyface when his "father" returned and sided with the Undertaker at Judgment Day, and the Undertaker is back to being a major asshole, doing a slow burn until REALLY getting creepy and forming the Minsitry of Darkness. Undertaker's got a cooler, more modern version of his theme song (at the time), complete with a guitar-riff intro. We're reminded that Kane made his debut the previous October in the same building that the Survivor Series is taking place. Undertaker slugs away on Kane to start and sends him to the corner. Kane with an elbow and uppercut rights of his own. Irish whip, and Kane with a big boot, followed by a clothesline, sending the Undertaker out of the ring. Undertaker drops Kane across the security rall, then throws him into the ring steps. Back in the ring, and Undertaker with an odd heel kick, a move you typically see cruiserweights use. Kane catches Undertaker off the ropes with a powerslam, but misses an elbow drop. Kane charges to the corner, but eats boot, and Undertaker clips the knee for good measure. Undertaker with a toe hold, but Kane kicks him off. Undertaker continues working the leg, then chokes in the corner. Undertaker unloads with rights, barely effecting Kane. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Kane follows in with a clothesline. Kane heads to the top rope, and he comes off with his signature flying clothesline for a two count. Slugfest, won by Kane. They do a dueling chokeslam attempt, eventually won by Kane. Kane calls for the end, drawing Bearer onto the apron. Undertaker sits up, and plants Kane with the Tombstone for the three count (with a little help from Paul Bearer) at 7:17. Well, that could've been worse, I guess. Not "good", but it wasn't unwatchable, either. It was just two guys beating on each other until going home with the finish out of nowhere.
Al Snow vs. Mankind:
Who knew Al Snow would make it to the second round of a WWF Title Tournament, on a PPV, ever? Mankind, Vince McMahon's new protege, seems to be given the easiest path to the Championship, so far, barely breaking a sweat the first match, and having a far easier opponent to get through than some of the other names remaining in the Tournament. Snow attacks right away, stomping on Mankind in the corner. Whip to the corner and Snow takes Mankind down with a clothesline, followed by a dropkick to send Mankind out of the ring. A chair gets involved, but the referee holds back on calling for the DQ. Snow sprngboards off the security wall, but Mankind nails him coming and drops Snow face-first across the chair. Back in the ring, and Mankind chokes away. Snow with an enziguri, as we find out it was Vince McMahon who put Socko on Head... how did that happen? Mankind ducks a Head shot, then finds Socko to a big pop. Mankind beats the crap out of Head (is this a comedy match) until getting knocked down with a clothesline. Mankind comes back with his own clothesline, but gets laid out with a sit-out spinebuster for a two count. Mankind surprises Snow with the double-arm DDT, and it's Socko Time! Mankind cranks on the Mandible Claw, and that's enough for the victory at 3:56. Much like a lot of short matches for Tournaments, it didn't feel much like a PPV match, but for the time allowed, it was entertaining, and continues to play out the Mankind storyline pretty well.
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock:
Have we seen enough of these two in 1998? Rock vs. Shamrock was featured on three of the previous four "Big 5" PPV's, fighting for the Intercontinental Title at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania XIV, then fighting in the Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament. Shamrock HAS been pretty good at tournaments, hasn't he? J.R. then points out these two being on opposing teams at last years Survivor Series, too. Jesus, was this the Attitude Era's Warlord vs. Bulldog, or something? Rock slugs away on Shamrock to start and nails him coming off the ropes with a clothesline. Shamrock avoids a charge and puts the boots to the Rock, then takes him over with a snap suplex for a two count. Shamrock charges to the corner, and Rock lays him out with another clothesline. The action spills outside, where the Rock takes a swig from a water bottle on the announcers table, and gets thrown into steps for his troubles. Shamrock continues beating on the Rock and plants him with a slam. Back in the ring, and Shamrock with side heel kick, followed by a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Shamrock with knees to the midsection, followed by a running knee lift. Rock fights free of a chinlock, and suddenly the Boss Man makes ANOTHER appearance! Shamrock goes back to the chinlock, as Boss Man paces around the ring like a hungry animal, waiting to strike. Rock fights free again, but gets hit with a hurricanrana. Shamrock slaps on the Ankle Lock, but the Rock fights through the pain and makes it to the ropes. Irish whip, and a double clothesline puts both men down. Sorry, but Shamrock shouldn't be that exhausted, after barely taking any punishment from Goldust, and controlling the majority of this match, too. What is he, the UFC version of Glass Joe? Slugfest, and Rock with a DDT. Rock with a scoop slam, and it's time for the People's Elbow! Shamrock escapes a Rock Bottom and connects with a belly-to-belly suplex, instead. Boss Man gets involved and tosses in the nightstick, but Rock intercepts it, KO's Shamrock, and covers for the three count at 8:21. Damn that Boss Man, not once, but twice, allowing the Rock to advance in the title, despite McMahon's wishes of not wanting the Rock as his Champion, because he hates the people. Solid match, but I just don't care for Shamrock. The crowd was major jacked for it, too.
I don't know the logic in bringing the Women's Title back when only one woman has experience as an actual wrestler (that would be Jacqueline). Sable had a couple of matches, but they weren't much, and the rest of the women on the roster are non-wrestlers like Terri Runnels and Debra McMichael. Shane McMahon is the referee, having been demoted to the lowest of the low for going against his father. What a dick cheese... it's sad to see how important Mero has become to the company, barely making the card as a male valet. Jacqueline attacks from behind and puts the boots to Sable. Sable comes back with a hip toss and heel kick, followed by a sucky TKO. Sable covers, but Mero pulls her out of the ring and gets laid out with a Sable-Bomb on the floor. I'd argue it, but it is his wife, so I'll allow it. Back in the ring, and Jacqueline does more nothing. Jacqueline chokes Sable across the rope, but there's a good couple of inches between the rope and her neck. Way to make it look good, Sable. Jacqueline goes for a powerbomb, but Sable back drops free. Jacqueline goes for a Tornado DDT, but Sable counters that, too, and lays Jacqueline out with the Sable-Bomb for the three count and Women's Title at 3:15. It was short, which is always a good thing, and there had to be some filler between Tournament matches, right?
SEMI FINALS ROUND TOURNAMENT MATCHES:
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. Mankind:
I was about to go on and on about how fresh of a main event match this was, but then I forgot that Mankind, as Dude Love, main evented back-to-back PPV's earlier in the year with Austin. Austin quickly takes Mankind to the corner and stomps away on him. Austin rips the jacket off of Mankind, then strips the shoes off, as well, and bashes Mankind with one of them. Seconds later, McMahon and his Three Stooges make their way to ringside. Mankind takes control, and jabs Austin in the throat a couple of times. Mankind charges to the corner with a knee to the face, then uses a shoe on Austin, wihout drawing a DQ. Irish whip, and Austin comes back with the Thesz Press and elbow drop combination. Austin goes for a Stunner, but Mankind runs away so fast, he's at the top of the entrance! THAT'S making damn sure not to take a Stunner. Austin heads up the aisle and lays out the Stooges, then goes to work on Mankind. Austin goes for a piledriver, but Mankind back drops Austin onto the concrete. Mankind whips Austin into the steps, then tosses Austin into the crowd. Austin wastes no time fighting back, clotheslining Mankind over the security wall and ramming him into the steps. Back in the ring, and Mankind controls with a seated chinlock. Austin escapes and we have another slugfest. Irish whip, and a double clothesline does the usual job. Both men are back up, and Austin lays Mankind out with a clothesline. Austin tries to do something with the ring post, but gets jerked into it for his troubles. Mankind brings a chair into the ring, and has it kicked back into his face. Austin misses a splash across the back, and Mankind plants Austin with a double-arm DDT onto the chair for a two count. Mankind calls for a piledriver, but Austin counters with a back drop onto the chair, instead. Austin with the Stunner, but the referee gets pulled out of the ring by McMahon, and laid out. Austin with another Stunner, and this time Shane McMahon runs down to ringside... and stops mid-count to flip Austin off. IT'S A TRAP! Mankind sends Austin to the corner and hits a clothesline. Brisco KO's Austin with a sucky chair shot, and Shane counts the three, giving Mankind the victory at 10:31 and a spot in the Tournament Finals later in the night. Match was pretty good, and that was one heck of a swerve, back when it was fresh. I know it's become a staple of the WWF/E for Vince to screw over Austin and for Shane McMahon to turn heel randomly during a high profile match, but this was well done and really pissed off the live crowd.
The Rock vs. The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer):
I'm surprised I haven't done it yet, but it's time to make the token "complain about how many matches there are" comment. Wow, how many more matches are there? There, I've filled my obligations with that one, now. We're either going to have a Mankind vs. Undertaker Final, which would be heel vs. heel I guess, and has been done to death since 1996, or the more fresh match between People's Champ the Rock against the hand-picked Corporate Champ to be Mankind... sorry, I gave it away, didn't I? Slugfest to start (as usual) and Rock puts the boots to the Undertaker (as usual... sorry). Rock misses a charge and takes a clothesline to the back of the head. Jim Ross calls Mankind the "Village Idiot" for being the pawn of Vince McMahon and somehow being unaware of it. The action spills outside, and Undertaker hits another clothesline. Back in the ring, and Undertaker remains in control. Rock nails Undertaker coming with a boot, followed by a clothesline. Undertaker hits the Rock with a back elbow, then drives a knee into the throat. The Rock gets caught in the Andre the Giant Special™ as Undertaker continues to unload on him. Undertaker charges, and gets a back drop over the ropes for his troubles. Rock with a bottle of water, and he smashes Undertaker in the face with it. They fight into the crowd, and Undertaker dominates once more. Paul Bearer gets a few cheap shots in with his shoe, behind the back of the referee. We get another slugfest, won by the Rock until Undertaker drives a knee into the chest. Irish whip is reversed, and the Rock with a Samoan Drop. Oh look, the Boss Man is back, AGAIN. What, did the Rock kill Boss Man's dog or something? The Rock with a DDT on the Undertaker, followed by a well-placed punch to the Deadman Nads. Rocky with a slam, and it's time for the People's Elbow, but Boss Man trips him up. Undertaker with a clothesline, followed by an elbow, then takes a shot at the Boss Man. Suddenly, Kane makes his presence felt and Chokeslams the Rock, screwing the Undertaker over, and giving the Rock a spot in the Finals at 8:25. HA HA! This match sucked, by the way. Kane and Undertaker do a half-assed brawl to hammer home that this is not over... BEARS.
I'm not looking forward to this one. It's a throw-away match to get a bunch of people on the card. Gunn starts with Brown, and the "Outlaw Rule" is in effect, where partners cannot pin partners. Remember when the Outlaws did that in a match against the LOD and DOA? That was pretty smart. D'Lo lays out Gunn with a heel kick, and Mosh covers for two. I guess one of each member is allowed in at the same time? Mosh is wearing a Marilyn Manson shirt, for those who care. Mosh with a springboard clothesline on Brown, but Road Dogg breaks the pin attempt. The Outlaws corner both Ex-Nation members for mounted punches, but D'Lo nails Dogg with a running powerbomb. Both Headbangers come in and double team the Dogg, and lay him out with a flap jack. Brown tags in and slugs it out with Mosh, in between making pin attempts on Road Dogg. When the broadcast team has to argue what the rules are, you know there's trouble. Henry tags in and traps the Dogg in a bearhug. Mosh clips the knee of Henry to break the hold, then stomps away on the knee. There's just NOTHING to get excited about here, it's all punchy-kicky. Brown sets Mosh up on the top turnbuckle, and takes him down with a hurricanrana. Mosh sells it briefly, but is able to shake it off and take Brown down with a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Dogg fights back on everyone until Henry comes in and takes his head off with a clothesline. Brown goes for the running powerbomb again, but Mosh counters with a roll up for a two count. Henry with a slam and leg drop, but Thrasher breaks the pin attempt. Mosh flashes Gunn, and I'm sad that he doesn't shoot fireballs from his crotch. Mosh goes low on Brown and covers for a two count. More stuff happens until Gunn gets the Ass Tag, but he's soon planted with the Sky-High from D'Lo Brown. More random brawling until Gunn hits Mosh with the Fame-Asser. Henry comes in with a big splash, but that only gets a two count. Gunn witth a piledriver on Mosh, and that gets three at 10:08. That was a lot of nothing happening. Hard to follow, no solid flow, and just a chore to sit through.
WWF Championship Tournament Finals:
The Rock vs. Mankind:
It's been a long, winding road, but we're finally at the end of the Deadly Games. The Rock had to get through the Boss Man, Ken Shamrock, and the Undertaker to get here, as well as a lot more Boss Man during the non-Boss Man matches. On the other side of the spectrum, Mankind had to fight through Duane Gill and Al Snow before going through Austin thanks to the most well done screw-job (storyline version) to date. Mankind is sporting his normal attire by this point, other than a goofy bow-tie. We cut backstage to the McMahon's and Boss Man, and Vince is dismissing Boss Man for the rest of the night, after sharing a laugh over the Austin screw-job earlier in the night. Little bit of a pause before they lockup, and Lawler and J.R. make fun of Halloween Havoc losing it's PPV feed ("You're going to see ALL of this PPV" quips Lawler, responded by J.R. with "don't make reference to the less fortunate.") Rock tries for a sucker-punch, but Mankind avoids it. Jim Ross hypes the WWF on HSN after the show. WOO! Rock pounds away with roundhouse rights. Whip to the corner, and Rock comes charging out with a clothesline for a two count. The match spills outside the ring, and Mankind introduces the Rock to the ring steps. Back inside, and Mankind slaps on a chinlock. I just now noticed weirdo fans dressed as Goldust and Mankind in the front row. Suddenly, Vince and Shane McMahon return to ringside, as the resthold continues. Rocky fights free, and takes Mankind down with a back suplex. We take it back out of the ring, and the Rock takes Mankind over with a suplex. Rock eyes the McMahon's and pays too much attention to them, but not enough to fight Mankind off, and throw him over the security wall. Rock with a plastic garbage can, and whiffs on the first attempt. Back in the ring, and Rock goes to the chinlock, now. Mankind fights free and drives a knee into the midsection of the Rock. Mankind charges and they go spilling over the top rope with a clothesline. Mankind grabs a chair, and whacks Rock across the back with it. Mankind with the steps, but the Rock chair shots them back in his face and goes crazy with it. Rock with the chair again, and he swings for the fences on Mankind's face. Back in the ring, and Rock covers for a two count. Rock takes it to the corner and pounds away some more.
Mankind goes low, knocking Rock clear across the ring on impact, then chokes away. The action spills outside again, and Mankind comes off the apron with a running elbow drop. Mankind throws Rock into the announcers table and drops a leg, but it doesn't completely break the table. Back inside, and Mankind covers for a two count. Mankind goes back to the chinlock, but that lasts about five-seconds before we get another slugfest. Rock charges, but Mankind back drops him over the top rope. Mankind tosses Rock back in the ring, and eats a DDT for being such a helpful person. Mankind is up first, but the Rock pounds on him with rights. Rock charges again, and gets tossed, to the surprise of no one. Mankind heads up the turnbuckle, and comes flying off, driving himself through the spanish announce table! Mick Foley is doing his damn best to polish this turd. Rock slams a piece of the broken table on top of Mankind, and we bring it back in the ring (again). The Rock with a slam in the center of the ring, and it's People's Elbow time! That only gets a two count. Mankind ducks a clothesline and hits a double-arm DDT, then whips out Mr. Socko. He applies the Mandible Claw, but Rock hangs in there and counters with the Rock Bottom. Rock crawls over and covers, but only gets a two count. Rock goes for the Sharpshooter, and Vince orders for the bell to be rung, and the Rock is declared the NEW WWF Champion at 17:31. Yes, a direct reference to the Montreal Incident, so we got not one, but two screwjobs in the same night. Match was all over the place, and the only thing holding it together was Mankind's big spots to pop the crowd. I don't want to say this was one of the worst main events for a PPV, but it REALLY fell flat, and was a totally snoozer to close the show with.
- After the match, Vince McMahon goes on and on (and on) about screwing over Steve Austin, and then Shane McMahon gets to talk about being just like his father. Mankind, the Village Idiot, doesn't understand what's going on, so the Rock beats the crap out of him to tell him straight up what the deal is for Mankind with the McMahons. I'm surprised they didn't have Mankind get up, grab the microphone again, and ask "you still haven't told me", only to have him beat up some more, but alas, we only get the one beating as the Rock is crowned the CORPORATE Champion.
Final Thoughts: I could pretty much steal my comments from WrestleMania IV for this show. Putting an entire tournament of this size on one show just seems like a chore to sit through, and with less than a three hour run time, it's even more rushed and almost as boring as it would've been had it been another hour longer. The undercard was practically non-existant, and what was shown might as well have not been on the show at all. Storyline development wise, the culmination of the Rock's heel turn and the screwjob of Austin really came across well, but you can't recommend a show for 5-minutes worth of swerves. Definitely one of my least favorite Survivor Series, not because of the lack of tag matches, but the lack of quality matches, period.