July 3, 2009
WWE Survivor Series 2002
November 17, 2002
New York, New York
Madison Square Garden
Ring Announcers: Howard Finkel (RAW), Tony Chimmel (SMACKDOWN)
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “the King” Lawler (RAW), Michael Cole & Tazz (SMACKDOWN)
Backstage Interviewers: Terri & Jonathan Coachman
Champions at this time for the WWE:
World Heavyweight Champion (RAW): Triple H (9/2/02)
World Tag Team Champions (RAW): Chris Jericho & Christian (10/14/02)
Women’s Champion (RAW): Trish Stratus (9/22/02)
WWE Champion (SMACKDOWN): Brock Lesnar (8/25/02)
WWE Tag Team Champions (SMACKDOWN): Edge & Rey Mysterio (11/7/02)
WWE Cruiserweight Champion (SMACKDOWN): Jamie Noble (6/23/02)
(Notice there are no secondary champions here. Triple H won the “unified” World Heavyweight Championship at No Mercy when Eric Bischoff made it a “winner take all” match with the Intercontinental Championship also being put up for grabs. That title’s return happened at Judgment Day the following year when Christian won a Battle Royal. The United States Championship would not be reinstated until Vengeance 2003 when Eddie Guerrero beat Chris Benoit in the finals of a tournament.)
At this point in WWE history, WWE was in the gutter in terms of ratings, a gutter that was not seen since the Monday Night Wars. On RAW, you had a World Heavyweight Champion who crippled men, yet had spare time to hump corpses in a funeral home. On SMACKDOWN, you had one woman fighting over another’s woman father, yet it turned out she wanted the girl and not the father. You see where this is headed?
However, this period from about July-to-December 2002 had a string of pay-per-view events that were on their worst day, above average. This event I am about to review is one of them. Survivor Series 2002 is the only Survivor Series not to have a traditional Survivor Series Match, but it had plenty of matches in the elimination format and it turned out better than anyone could have ever hoped, as wrestling fans and critics alike gave this event unanimous praise. And so, on with the show!
- The opening montage features Brock Lesnar retaining the WWE Championship inside Hell in a Cell against Undertaker from No Mercy. That match was a bloodletting in epic proportions. Paul Heyman tells Brock Lesnar they don’t know the damage Hell in the Cell did yet, yet Lesnar wants to go and conquer other warriors. Meanwhile, Big Show debuts on SMACKDOWN, and dominates everyone he comes in contact with, from Rey Mysterio to Rikishi to Undertaker to Brock himself. Lesnar reminds Heyman that he is the WWE Champion and will overcome obstacles put in his way. Tazz quotes Gorilla Monsoon’s famous line of, “The unstoppable force meets the unmovable object.” As Eric Bischoff’s mug transitions onto and off the screen, his voiceover reminds us that wrestling is an evolution, and he is the catalyst of making a product vastly superior to his opposition, that of Stephanie McMahon and SMACKDOWN. Tonight, he notes, six men will go into the unknown, the Elimination Chamber, to secure the symbol of this evolution, the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H holding the WHC belt over his head ends the montage.
- The strains of “Always” by Saliva and pyrotechnic displays kick off the event with Jim Ross introducing the Elimination Chamber (which freaks Lawler out, and the author included), the World in Times Square, and then as the music of the Dudleys play, himself and King to the viewers at home.
The Dudley Boys (Bubba Ray and Spike) & Jeff Hardy vs. Three Minute Warning (Rosie and Jamal), & Rico
-Six Man Elimination Table Match
Jim Ross asks Jerry if he feels like a “little wood”. Jerry gets the analogy, but Jim Ross throws a rare and crude double entendre out there. Big time pops for both Dudleys and the younger Hardy who wears glow-in-the-dark arm pads. It should also be noted this is the ONLY match not to be contested for any titles. 3 Minute Warning and Rico come out to indifference, as no one really booed or cheered. An impressive recap shows Spike and Jeff Hardy being put through tables. Then the match starts with all six men brawling in pairs (Jeff and Jamal, Bubba and Rosie, and Spike and Rico), then all three members of the heel team go over the ropes. Bubba sets up Spike in a press to try to take out Three Minute Warning, but instead both men catch little Spike and Jeff hit’s a Poetry in Motion on the trio to the outside from Bubba’s back. Meanwhile, Bubba throws Rico backs in, Irish-Whips him inside the ropes, and knocks him down with a elbow to the face. As Bubba looks around, Rico gets up and punches Bubba back into the corner as a replay shows the Poetry in Motion from Hardy. Rico chest-chops big Bubba, but Bubba no-sells it, reverses Rico into the corner, and gives him a good-sized chest slap. Bubba hit’s the chest chop a little more fiercely the next time, and “WOO” erupts in the building. Bubba would hit a third one as Spike kind of tackles Jamal back into the opposite corner of Rico. Spike goes to the top rope, and pulls off a incredible hurricurana on a man who is almost three times his size! As Jamal gets back up, Bubba knocks him back down with a clothesline. Then Bubba sets up Jamal for the Dudley Low-Blow as Spike jumps from the top rope on down. Rico comes in on, but the gets a modified version as Jeff Hardy does a leg drop from the top rope onto the lower-abdomen/groin area. In a “quiet” moment, Bubba orders Hardy and Spike to “GET THE TABLES!” Bubba sets up a table in the ring, while Spike attacks Rico and Jamal attacks Jeff. Bubba gets knocked down by Rosie in the ring, and rolls out on impact. Spike runs in, gets knocked down by Rosie, while Jeff runs in just to get elevated back to the outside. Rosie would set try to knock Spike’s head through a table, but fails at that task, so he tries to set up Spike for the elimination, and his head (in a attempted spear I guess) goes through the table! A true holy s*** moment if I ever saw one. Rosie gets back on up and knocks down Spike with a piece of table to the small of the back. Bubba runs back into the ring and gets a Ron Simmons-like spine buster on receipt. Jeff Hardy tries to cross body Rosie from the top, but gets swatted down to the mat like a fly with a newspaper. Rosie hit’s a splash on Jeff that could have been a near fall in a normal match. Rico comes on in and kicks then punches the fallen Bubba Ray. As Bubba rolls out to catch a breather, Rico sets up a table in the ring. Rico pounds on Spike, attempts a suplex, then Spike tries to block it, but Rico then keeps on pounding Spike in the back. Spike then gets out of the predicament, attempts a Dudley-Dog on Rico, but gets caught by the returning Rosie and Jamal. In a catapult-like motion, Spike gets eliminated at 4:34 as he goes sternum-first through the table. A replay is shown as Spike is rolled on out of the ring. With a three-on-two advantage, the heel team tries to set-up more eliminations from Bubba and Jeff. Rosie and Jamal try to do top rope maneuvers on Jeff and Bubba, but both Jeff and Bubba leave the two big men hanging on the top rope, crotched. Rico gets thrown through the middle rope and Rosie gets a normal Poetry-in-Motion from Jeff whose setup is once again Bubba. As Jeff tries it again on Jamal, he gets pulled down in the corner. Bubba then runs into a spinning heel kick from Rico (a heel from a heel). Rosie then sloppily slides Jeff to the outside, as Jamal and Rico double-kick Bubba in the ring. Jeff gets his head slammed against the barricade by Rosie and falls into the front row. Rosie then drags Jeff to the exit as Jamal and Rico continue to double-team Bubba in the ring. Rosie sets up a table and puts Jeff on it while Bubba gets a kick to the head by Rico in the corner. Rico sets up Bubba to get clothesline, but Bubba slides Rico into the corner, Jamal clotheslines Rico, then gets a Bubba Bomb from Bubba Ray! Bubba then slides out of the ring, and hustles to the exit to make the save. Bubba then slams a pole onto the small of the back to Rosie. Jeff then slides off the table and heads to the balcony as Bubba sets up Rosie on the table. In a segment saved for video packages for years to come, Jeff Hardy eliminates Rosie at 7:54 when he does an amazing Swanton Bomb from the balcony and onto the table. The crowd starts a holy s*** chant as Jamal throws Bubba back out to ringside, then back into the ring. Jamal and Rico try to set up a Dudley elimination, but Jeff makes the save as Jeff crotches Rico on the ropes. On the DVD, this part was edited because Jeff botched and Rico cussed him out, wondering, “Where the f*** is Jeff,” or something to that extent. Jeff then gets knocked off the ring apron and Bubba sets up a superplex. Bubba hit’s the superplex, but Jamal takes the table out of the way, and Rico hits nothing but canvas. Jeff comes in and executes a Whisper in the Wind on Jamal. Jeff then hit’s a elevated dropkick on the rebound from an Irish-Whip by Jamal. On the outside, Jeff throws a table to Jamal, and when Jeff jumps and trips off the barricade, he eats nothing but table, but not for the elimination. Jamal sets up for a table signaling Jeff’s demise. Jeff is put on the table on the outside, Jamal goes to the inside, knocks down Bubba, then he goes to the top rope and at 10:42, eliminates Jeff with a splash from the top rope which elicits a huge pop from the crowd! Back in the ring, Rico and Bubba have a contest of trading punches, which is won by Bubba and crotch-grabbing. Rico is set onto a table set-up earlier in the match (the superplex spot) while Bubba mounts the second rope, but Jamal rolls Rico out of the way and sets up Bubba for mounted punches. In a reversal of strength and luck, Bubba eliminates Jamal at 11:55 with a power bomb through the table from the turnbuckles! Rico looks mightily worried as replays show the elimination. Rico though, like a shark that smells blood, attacks Bubba with kicks to the midsection while Bubba is laying near the ropes. Rico attacks Bubba some more and gets a table from the outside. Rosie comes back on in, and attacks Bubba. Bubba sneaked out and tried to hit a Bubba Bomb on Rico, but it was broken up. Rosie then nails a belly-to-belly suplex on Bubba in the middle of the ring. Though the ref tells Rosie to get out, here comes Jamal to add to the commrodery! As a three-on-one setup occurs, hold the phone! D-VON DUDLEY IS HERE! On SMACKDOWN he was known as Reverend D-Von, but then he returns as a Dudley here at the Survivor Series! By himself, D-Von takes out Jamal and Rosie, and JR notes that D-Von is really kicking ass here! Table is setup in the middle, you have two Dudleys, and Rico is laying there. What do you get? 3-D, right through the table! With that 3-D, Dudleys win the match in 14:23 with Rico being the last man eliminated. *** Dudleys embrace as we a get a good shot of the popcorn guy. What is it with popcorn guys, MSG, and PPV?
-The next segment shows a rainy Times Square and Stacy Keibler at the World. She notes that Test isn’t here due to PR conditions, and that he would have loved to be there with his ‘Testicles’! She introduces Saliva, and they perform ‘Always’ to set-up the remaining matches on the card. If you like them, then you’ll be happy to know they play again later in the show. If you are not a fan of them, well, they perform later and you’ve been warned. Michael Cole and Tazz shill the album, and then commentate on RVD prepping for the Elimination Chamber match (which is by stretching out on two hi-lows located in the back) later on in the evening. As the SMACKDOWN gasp at the Chamber, here comes Jamie Noble!
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Jamie Noble © w/ Nidia vs. Billy Kidman
You can say this match is a rematch from their encounter from ‘Vengeance’, but this turned out to be different. This match is also based off the fact that Kidman has had several non-title wins over Noble in recent weeks leading up to the event. Billy’s new music debuts as well during his entrance, as noted by the commentators. Another small note, there is a sizeable red dot in the middle of the ring, which the result of the cut arm Rico suffered during the 3-D in the match prior, and that was covered in this commentary. Kidman starts the match with a roll-up near fall, but Noble kicks out. Kidman tries it again, same result. Noble Irish-Whips Kidman into the ropes, but Kidman executes a hurricurana, covers for the pin, Noble kicks out again. For such a dizzying set of maneuvers to start, Noble rolls out to breathe. Kidman though rolls him back in, but as Kidman enters, Noble pounces. Noble picks Kidman up, and punches away at him in the corner, but Kidman is able to counter, punch Noble a few times, and Irish-whips him. Noble though instinctively gets a neck-breaker in off a reversal on Kidman, and gets a near fall for his efforts. Noble picks Kidman up and rams him into the turnbuckles hard. Noble then rams a knee into the neck of Kidman in the ropes for a second. Noble then snap mares Kidman into a stretch-hold. Kidman is able to counter out, kick Noble in the stomach a couple of times, but while running off the ropes, gets elevated over the top rope and hit’s the floor. Tazz notes that Noble has something up his sleeve, but since he has no shirt on, he has no sleeves. What a non-sequitor quote. Noble then runs out and does a suicide dive on Kidman to the outside. At least Cole didn’t wish for Noble’s death here, if you saw the first One Night Stand, you’d get the reference. Anywhos, Cole shills the fact you can’t get this action on RAW, and Noble rolls Kidman back into the ring. Noble goes to the top rope, but as he flies, he is countered by a dropkick from Kidman! Kidman punches Noble a couple of times, and hit’s a reverse elbow, then hit’s a clothesline, then a dropkick. Kidman whips Noble, but Noble slips underneath Kidman, Noble gets on top of Kidman, Kidman elbows out, then Kidman has Noble in a fireman’s carry which leads to a neck breaker by Kidman and another near fall for Kidman. Kidman half-way whips Noble, but Noble gets Kidman in the gut, and gives him a modified suplex/sit-out powerbomb for another near fall. After a couple of switches, Kidman gets a face buster on Noble. Kidman though is not as successful on a Shooting Star Press attempt because Nidia rolled Noble out of the way. Kidman in another train of thought hit’s a cross body from the top turnbuckle to Noble on the outside! Tazz once again adds a hint of eclectic commentary quoting “What’s love’s got to do with it?” by Tina Turner. You’ll never hear commentary like this again. Kidman rolls Noble back in, and in prone position, Kidman hit’s a springboard leg drop from the ropes for ANOTHER near fall. Kidman attempts a side-suplex on Noble, but Noble reverses out, tries to hit the Tiger Bomb, but Kidman instead hit’s a Northern Lights suplex. As Kidman goes to the ropes, Nidia tugs at the leg, slaps Kidman, and though Noble tried to hit Kidman, he hits Nidia instead! Kidman hit’s a powerbomb on the rebound, for yet, you guessed it, A FAILURE TO MAKE A PIN FALL! Kidman tried to hit a powerbomb, Noble reversed and tried to hit his, and then Kidman tried to do a back-slide attempt, missed, and got hit with a Tiger Bomb! To the non-surprise of this review, this powerbomb with a bridge did not get the job done and this match continues. As Kidman goes to the ropes to pick himself up, Noble runs to the turnbuckles, only to eat Kidman’s boot. Kidman then goes to the top turnbuckle, only to get punched by Noble. Noble attempts a superplex, fails, and then Kidman executes a face buster from the top rope! Another near fall happens, but once again, failure rears its ugly head. Noble kicks Kidman in the gut, sets him up on the top rope, and hit’s a DDT that should have killed Kidman. AMAZING DDT at that, it was truly one-of-a-kind, no offense to RVD’s theme music. Somehow, THIS maneuver gets a near fall, and Noble screams. I’m kind of screaming too, objectively, I thought this match was over too. Kidman is then able to get a Enzi-Guri on Noble once he is back on his feet. Kidman rolls Noble to the corner to attempt the Shooting Star Press, but Nidia intervenes, and Noble gets to the top rope, only to be knocked off. Kidman hit’s the Shooting Star, and finally. KIDMAN GETS THE 1-2-3 AND WINS THE CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP IN THIS EPIC CONTEST AT 7:20! ***½ The third time is indeed the charm as Michael Cole states, and boy is that Shooting Star a thing of beauty. For as much sarcasm as I threw at the near falls, this was an awesome match.
-Backstage, Kurt Angle watches the aftermath of the match just shown. He notes that if Billy freakin’ Kidman can win the Cruiserweight Championship, then he and Chris Benoit should regain the tag titles, only if Benoit doesn’t get in the way of Angle. Benoit then yells at Angle to say something if he has something to say. Angle then says to Benoit he shouldn’t do that because they are partners, amigos, friends to the end. Benoit tries not to chuckle here, seriously, but then releases a small chuckle thinking about the fact there is no better tag combination than he and Angle. Benoit extends his hand in solitude, but Angle rejects saying partners don’t shake hands, they hug. As Angle hugs Benoit, he says they can get ‘em, while Benoit has the most bewildered face I have ever seen from him. For vocabulary never used in wrestling, I am about to say the following: this following segment was adorable, yet it was effective. Comedy Kurt Angle is about as funny as anything you will get out of the WWE.
-Chris Jericho, the self-proclaimed “King of the World”, tapes his wrist as he prepares for the Chamber. The commentary has switched back to Ross and Lawler here. Lawler wonders if Jericho can survive the match. Two subtle things here: notice how Jericho is stretching next to plexi-glass, and notice the King of the World tagline.
-Victoria is getting ready for her match, and in classic Queen (from Snow White) form, asks the mirror who the prettiest diva of them all is. She goes ballistic when the mirror “answers” Trish Stratus, and trashes her room. To paraphrase another movie involving witches, Lawler says she hasn’t been right since the house fell on her sister. Ross also tells Lawler he has a PH.D in women, as the graphic shows this Women’s Championship match will be contested under Hardcore Rules. The video plays, and well, it shows the evolution of Victoria as a psycho, how she was the one rejected from WWE because Trish was prettier, and now she is taking out revenge on her, of course after Trish captured the belt at Unforgiven. Victoria vows to take Trish’s soul. Chairs, ladders, but no tables were used in the making of this angle. And the total beat down of Terri.
WWE Women’s Championship Match: Trish Stratus © vs. Victoria
- Hardcore Match
Trish gets a hearty pop from the MSG crowd, and Victoria gets a small pop as well. Victoria starts this action right away with choking out Trish with her coat, and then tossed Trish over to the side. Victoria chokes Trish with coat and tosses her again. After choking Trish for the third time, Victoria goes to a corner and gets a broom from a garbage can assembly. Victoria swings the broom wildly, but Trish ducks all attempts, and even uses the broom to monkey-flip Victoria. On the flip though, both women still have grip on the broom, and Victoria lands on top of Trish and uses the broom to choke Trish. The crowd chants “HLA” and it makes sense here. JR also notes that Victoria should belong to an ex-wife convention. Still choking Trish with the broom, Victoria manages to get Trish to the corner, and Victoria goes to the top rope, and proceeds to hang Trish with the broom! Trish though uses AMAZING flexibility to kick Victoria in the head, and then flips Victoria to the canvas from the top rope! Trish gets a trash can lid from the corner, and while she attempts to hit Victoria with it, Victoria hits Trish with the broom once again. Victoria then slams Trish’s head into the lid twice. Trish rolls out of the ring, Victoria follows her, then Victoria proceeds to whip Trish into a garbage can assembly on the ring post to nasty impact. Victoria then managed to smash Trish’s face into the ring apron, therefore adding to the fact that Lawler stated Victoria wanted to re-arrange Trish’s facial features. Trish rolls back into the ring, but Victoria hit’s a springboard leg drop from the ropes for the first near fall of the match. Victoria rolls out of the ring, retrieves a garbage can, and sets it up between the middle and top turnbuckles. Victoria tried to attack, but Trish got both legs out from under Victoria. Trish drags Victoria to under the garbage can and executes a nasty half-catapult into the can! Then Trish takes the garbage can, puts it on Victoria’s face, and kicks it off! Trish gets a near fall there for her efforts. Stratus then got a ironing board from under the ring, and with a few failed efforts, finally sets it up in the corner. Victoria is then whipped into the board to the gasp of the crowd. Trish hit’s a kick on Victoria, and gets another near fall. Trish then retrieves a kendo stick, and wails Victoria in the stomach with it! Not only does she do it again, but Trish hits Victoria in the back with it, and then forces Victoria into a corner with the stick! Victoria kicks Trish out of the corner in desperation. Victoria gets a trash can lid of her own and makes some nasty sounds on Trish’s head with it! When Victoria climbs the top rope, Victoria’s nose appears to be bloody, perhaps from the catapult into the can from earlier. Trish then tries to do her hurricurana but Victoria held her legs. However, this allows Trish to get the lid lying underneath and slam Victoria in the face with it! Trish hits her again, and Victoria falls from the top turnbuckle all the way down to the floor on the outside. Trish rolls out of the ring and whips Victoria into the ring steps. Trish rolls Victoria back into the ring, but Victoria gets a second wind and hit’s a powerbomb! After Victoria goes to the outside to look at her face in the mirror, Trish hit’s a modified Trish-kick to the chin of Victoria, does an whip, and hit’s the Chick Kick! Trish only got a near fall as she went to the corner to get a cookie sheet. She got answered by a kendo stick shot by Victoria. I don’t know how to call the next segment, but Trish and Victoria fell in a botching fashion, the announcers called it a bulldog though I think its bulls***, to another near fall for Trish. Trish got the kendo stick to swing again, but Victoria did a drop-toe-hold, and Trish ate some stick on the fall. Trish tried to get a hold of Victoria’s hair, but what she didn’t know was that Victoria had a fire extinguisher and used it right in Trish’s face! Victoria then hit’s a snap-suplex on a blinded Trish for the win at 6:55, and therefore, Victoria becomes the new Women’s Champion! *** Very brutal to watch, but it was worth it because it all looked legitimate and both women looked pretty strong.
-Booker T is shown backstage prepping for the Chamber. 5x WCW Champion, but can he become champion in MSG on this night?
-After a crowd shot, JR sends it backstage to Coach, who has Eric Bischoff as his guest next to a XBOX float. Bischoff is asked what can people expect tonight, and the answer is that history will be witnessed and the groundwork of the future is laid tonight. Big Show then walks up behind his former boss. He reminds Bischoff he made a big mistake trading him, and he will see why as tonight Big Show will walk out WWE Champion.
-Back in the locker room, Brock Lesnar stretches out his back, and Paul Heyman walks out to him. Brock asks Heyman what is the matter, and Heyman says he is worried, how he has been a nervous wreck since Big Show showed up on SMACKDOWN, and how he also pleaded with Brock not to pick a fight with him. Lesnar has spent the last couple of weeks coughing up blood from his rib injury. Very quickly though, Paul turns it into a inspirational speech, saying he has confidence that in his hometown, Paul will make sure Brock will walk out still the WWE Champion. Tazz notes that the title is important to both men. The ensuing video package recaps Big Show’s dominance, and Brock Lesnar’s uncommon “against all odds” baby face turn in the process after being a heel defeating Undertaker the prior month at No Mercy. 50 minutes into the show, here comes the WWE title match!
WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar © w/ Paul Heyman vs. Big Show
Although Brock Lesnar sports bandages on his ribs from the choke slam through the announcer table, Big Show sports a bandaged arm and a bandage on his head from a steel chair attack just three days earlier on SMACKDOWN. Brock enters the ring, gives the title belt to the ref, and immediately stands off against Show. After the shove Brock gives Show, the fight is on! The test of strength to start ends in a draw. Lesnar has the crowd solidly behind him, especially with that pop he got in the beginning! After Show puts Lesnar in the corner, he tossed him around a little bit. After slamming into Lesnar, Show signals for the choke slam, but Lesnar explodes out of the corner with a spear takedown and right hands! Now on the outside trying to whip Show, Lesnar gets caught and thrown into the ring post! Back in the ring, Show tries a choke slam again, but gets caught in the gut with a boot, and Lesnar hit’s a sloppy but effective looking side-suplex to Show and the crowd goes bananas! Lesnar gets Show into the corner, and does the shoulder to the gut. Then after a whip and a failed splash by Show, Lesnar hit’s a German Suplex! Lesnar attempts the F5, but Show goes straight back to the ribs of Lesnar. Show whips Lesnar, but Lesnar misses the right hand and takes out the referee! Show misses a big boot and Lesnar hit’s a belly-to-belly throw for his troubles! Heyman throws the chair into the ring, and when both men get up, Show tries yet again for the choke slam. However, Lesnar kicks out of it, and hits Show in the arm and head with the chair. Lesnar this time F5’s the Big Show, goes for the cover, a referee runs out of the entrance way, attempts to make the count, and Heyman pulls the ref out and decks him! Lesnar realizes what’s going on, and goes to the outside to chase Heyman around. When Lesnar runs back into the ring, Show meets him with a chair to the ribs, back and a choke slam onto the chair! Big Show gets the pinfall at 4:20, and becomes the new WWE Champion! **½ Heyman and Show embrace, and run for cover as replays show the MSG Screwjob on Lesnar. Tazz and Cole comment on how Heyman is a slime ball and a scumbag.
-Cole then realizes out of three title matches so far, all three have changed hands! This leads to our next match which is a triple threat elimination tag featuring the men wrestling fans in 2002 lovingly called the “SMACKDOWN 6”. Cole and Tazz also label this match in the making a classic. The video package shows the No Mercy tournament finals which featured Kurt Angle making Edge tap to be the inaugural tag team champions with Chris Benoit. They argue in the ring, knock over Stephanie (complete with up skirt shot), and Steph slams them both. This leads to Angle/Benoit, and Benoit gets the duke after interference from the Guerreros. It’s an angle where Angle/Benoit are champs but hate each other’s guts. This would also lead to a tremendous 2/3 Falls match with Edge & Mysterio, which Edge and & Mysterio would win. Stephanie made the announcement about the elimination triple threat tag as well. Before the match starts, they show Al Wilson sitting with Dawn Marie. Boy, I smell Wrestlecrap here.
WWE Tag Team Championship Match: Edge & Rey Mysterio © vs. Eddie & Chavo Guerrero vs. Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit
- Triple Threat Elimination Match
Rey Mysterio makes an entrance from the other side of the arena! The bell sounds, and all three teams standoff. The Guerreros talk trash and go to the apron, leaving Mysterio and Benoit to start the match for their respective teams. Benoit suckers in Mysterio for a test of strength, then a kick to the gut. Mysterio gets whipped by Benoit, but Mysterio slides under only to get a thunderous chest chop by the Rabid Wolverine! Mysterio kicks, and Benoit chops. After another whip, Benoit tries to elevate Mysterio, but Mysterio counters into a hurricurana, and then flapjacks Benoit. Mysterio then drops the leg on Benoit and punches Angle back at the Team BenAngle corner. Then Mysterio counters a whip from Benoit, and Benoit lands face-first on the second turnbuckle back the champs’ corner, and Mysterio tags in Edge. The combo do a double hip-toss on Benoit, as Mysterio then leaves to the corner. Edge drops two elbows, then Benoit gets up and chops Edge twice before tagging to Angle. Edge gives a couple of right hands to Angle, whips him into the ropes, and back-body drops him to the canvas. Angle is knocked down by Edge again, gets whipped into the ropes, and Chavo makes a inadvertent blind tag on the rebound and Angle goes out of the ring. Chavo is incensed that he is now the legal man and reluctantly makes it into the ring after a count of 4, only to have a drop-toe-hold done by Edge. Edge had a headlock on Chavo, Chavo forced the champion into the ropes. In this segment, to paraphrase the one-hit wonder Chumbawumba, Chavo gets knocked down (tackle), when he gets up again, and then he got knocked down again (by a dropkick from Edge). Edge then scoop slams Chavo and tags in Mysterio who does a springboard splash from the top rope onto Chavo who lies in their corner. Mysterio got a one-count. Mysterio tries to whip Chavo, but Chavo kicks him, gets him up, and Mysterio counters with a arm drag. Chavo gets up and whipped from the turnbuckle, reverses the momentum, and sends Mysterio up in the air and Mysterio lands sternum first. Chavo then tags in Eddie who pounds on Mysterio for crowd heat. Eddie whips Mysterio into the ropes, and Mysterio counters into a hurricurana. Mysterio then monkey-flipped Guerrero halfway across the ring from the Guerrero home base. Eddie then makes a “tag” to Angle, and Angle looks bewildered. Angle pounds on the luchadore, and on the whip he gives Rey, Mysterio gets caught in-between the first and second ropes before countering into another hurricurana. Mysterio gets a shot from Benoit, then Mysterio gets whipped by Angle to the post, but Mysterio flips up on the turnbuckle while Angle goes shoulder first into the post. Mysterio then got elevated onto the top turnbuckle and falls badly back to the ring. Angle then chokes Mysterio at the ropes with his foot for a 4 count. Angle gets Mysterio up, suplexes Mysterio, and gets a near fall for the move. Mysterio tries to tag in Edge, but gets punished by a huge clothesline by Angle. Benoit gets tagged in by Angle, and immediately hit’s a neck breaker. Just like Angle, Benoit hit’s a suplex, and goes for the fall which only gets a two. Mysterio gets whipped into the BenAngle turnbuckles, and falls from the impact. Angle gets tagged back in to suplex Mysterio yet again, and in addition, fails at getting a successful pin. Angle then kicks on Mysterio, and then punches Edge off the champion corner. Angle tried a Angle Slam, but got a arm drag from Mysterio in a reversal, and then Angle squashes Mysterio with a HUGE clothesline. Angles gets a near fall, and drags Mysterio back to his corner where he tags in Benoit. Benoit double-teams with Angle on a kick to the gut, then Mysterio takes a knee to the gut by Benoit on a rebound from the ropes. Benoit then mirrors the Dynamite Kid with a snap-suplex and a near fall. Benoit attempts at covering again, and at the 2-count kick-out, he tags in Angle. Angles snap mares Mysterio, and puts him in a deep headlock. As both men get to their feet, Mysterio tries to suplex Angle, but Angle counters and pounds on Mysterio. Mysterio runs into the ropes, tries to flip Angle, but Angle hit’s a German, but Mysterio lands on his feet, and Mysterio gets Angle in the face with his feet. Both men are down here. Angle tries to tag in a Guerrero, but BOTH OF THEM REFUSE AND GO TO THE FLOOR! Angle then tags in Benoit and Mysterio tags in Edge, and Edge gets his baby face offense in. Edge tackles Benoit twice, does a flying kick to Angle, knocks both Guerreros off the apron, face busts Benoit, gets stopped by Angle, but after the whip, Edge gets a belly-to-belly throw in on Angle! Chavo gets thrown over the top rope by Edge, while Eddie and Rey spill out onto the floor in their own squabble. Edge has Benoit and Angle all to himself, but while attempting a spear, he gets a drop toe-hold, and GETS PUT INTO THE ANKLE LOCK AND CROSSFACE AT THE SAME TIME!!!! This doesn’t last long as Mysterio goes to the top rope and does a springboard leg drop onto Angle and delivers a dropkick to the back of Benoit’s head. Angle gets whipped into the ropes, and gets dragged out of the ring by Chavo. Chavo gets Angle up, and Mysterio does a running cross body over the top rope onto both men outside. Benoit gets Edge into the corner, then he hit’s the three German Suplexes in a row. Eddie goes to the top rope, sunset flips, and ALMOST ELIMINATES BENOIT AND EDGE (who was in a German bridge) AT THE SAME TIME! But no, no dice, as both men kick out. Eddie pounds on Benoit, tries to suplex him, but instead gets German’ed over the top rope! Benoit his three more Germans to Edge, and then signals for another Dynamite Kid move, the diving head butt! Eddie hit’s the Frog Splash from the other side for the fall but Benoit breaks it up with the head butt!! Angle then Angle Slams Eddie Guerrero, and puts in the Angle Lock while Benoit has the Crippler on Edge! Angle runs into a snag because Eddie is on the bottom rope, and it distracts ref just long enough for Chavo to smash the tag title belt against Benoit’s head. Angle punches Chavo down, but Chavo throws the belt into Angle’s hands, and then when Benoit comes to his senses, he thinks Angle hit him in the head with the title belt! After shoving between the teammates, Mysterio dropkicks Angle out of the ring! Mysterio tries to baseball slide Chavo, but Chavo grabs his legs, and Chavo gets s hurricurana for his efforts! Edge went for the Edgucution, then Benoit made a switch, but Edge got out of it, and nailed a spear to eliminate BenAngle at 13:12. Angle and Benoit then did the usual “frustrated” team bit. Angle hit a German on Edge, and Benoit did the same to Mysterio. Benoit then hit’s a suplex on Chavo and Angle hit’s a Angle Slam on Edge, then both men bicker up the ramp as it comes down to Edge & Mysterio versus the Guerreros. Eddie tried to steal a win via a pinfall on Edge, but it didn’t work. Eddie pounds on Edge, hit’s a suplex, and rolls him into the corner where he tags in Chavo. Chavo then goes off the ropes and hit’s a dropkick on Edge for a near fall. Chavo nails Edge with a uppercut and pounds on him some more, as Chavo rolls him back in Guerrero territory, tags back in Eddie, and Eddie hit’s a halo from the ropes for a near fall. Eddie pounds Edge some more, whips him into the ropes, and jumps on Edge’s back for sleeper. Edge then counters out, but Eddie tags in Chavo, and they communicate over as Eddie ducks and Chavo hit’s a dropkick. Chavo gets a near fall, and that damn Michael Cole spoiled the match like the main event at Wrestlemania XV. Edge then is choked out with the ring rope at the Guerrero territory as Chavo starts crap with ref. Chavo holds the hair as Eddie is tagged back in and hit’s a suplex. Eddie puts a facelock on Edge and drags him back to his corner where Eddie tags back in Chavo. Chavo then snap mares Edge down and then hit’s a sweet dropkick for a near fall. Edge almost got double-teamed by the Guerreros, then hit a double flapjack in reversal! Edge tags in Rey, and Rey immediately hit’s a springboard on Chavo, but gets intercepted by Eddie, who tries a double team with Chavo, but Rey leg scissors Chavo out of that predicament, and then hits Eddie with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Rey gets Eddie into the corner, and though Chavo tries to splash Rey, he gets Eddie instead, and Edge does a double-spear to the Guerreros! Rey then does a dropkick to Eddie, whose head is now at the bottom turnbuckle in his corner. Edge sets up Eddie on the top turnbuckle, Rey yells out, Rey runs, gets elevated by Edge, and Mysterio hit’s a leg scissors on Eddie! Rey gets the cover, but Chavo saves the matchup. Edge takes out Chavo through the middle, and both Edge and Rey setup Eddie for the 619. I think one attempt was botched because Eddie slid on his ass that one time after almost hitting the middle rope. Then Edge planted Eddie’s face on the other side of the ring in the same fashion. Rey yells out, but gets a tag title to the back instead by Chavo, and while Edge slides Chavo out of the ring, Eddie locks in his Lasso From El Paso submission. Eddie makes Rey tap out at 19:20, and the Guerreros become the new WWE Tag Team Champions! ****½ An excellent match that highlights the six best athletes in the WWE at the time, and it never got boring, and everyone had a good bit of screen time. It also showed that if you play your cards right, you can win, and that is what the Guerreros did here.
- Kane is stretching for the Chamber here, and the commentary switches back to JR and King. I think it’s ironic that Kane is stretching under the Rolling Stones picture, because he will get no satisfaction tonight. Guaranteed.
- As King and JR get ready for the chamber match, wait a minute! The music of Christopher Nowinski hits and the Harvard graduate hit’s the ring. Lawler says he’s here to stimulate the intellect of the audience. Anyways, to the promo, Nowinski says people in the city think they are “street-smart”, but it is not the same as intelligence, and it is something he possesses. He also notes the Yankees bought all their World Series titles, something I think every other baseball team fan would chuckle at, almost myself included, but it got major heat. In short, and though he doesn’t say it, he pretty much says New Yorkers are dumb asses. Nowinski says New York is #1, but only in stupidity. To the click-clacks of a keyboard, here comes V1 Matt Hardy! Surprisingly, Matt starts like a face here, asking the Harvard grad who the hell he is? Matt Hardy V1 comes to tell Chris that New Yorkers are not stupid, they’d be classified as losers. The heel Matt expected the audience to be flowing with Mattitude, but in reality, the crowd is sucking the Mattitude out of him! He then notes the crowd choking more out of him than the Knicks, which is met with half boos and half applause from probably Nets fans. V1 also notes that New York used to be cool, but in a sad twist of fate, its full of losers. Chris tries to argue that New Yorker’s aren’t idiots, they’re just too stupid to know better. Matt points out one guy in particular who is really stupid, but I will say only George Carlin knows the answer. The debate has to end, and Matt says let’s compromise, and he says, “lupid”! Chris and Matt handshake to that, and Matt notes who says SMACKDOWN & RAW people can’t get along? HOLD THE PHONE, I HEARD SIRENS. IS IT A FIRE TRUCK OR POLICE CAR, THE FINEST AND BRAVEST? HOLLA IF YA HEAR ME, IT’S SCOTT FRICKEN’ STEINER! He’s here and he’s jacked, and ready to kick some pompous ass! After some posing, he clotheslines Nowinski and belly-to-belly throws Matt! Scott then throws out a T-Bone suplex on Harvard boy. Steiner then belly-to-belly suplexes Hardy (the suplex and throw are different to anyone new to the wrestling game reading this review). The MSG crowd in unison approves. Though Chris is out of the ring, he is there just in time to catch some Matt Hardy hang time from a Steiner press! Steiner makes them all look bad by doing some push-ups in the ring. Steiner then remarks to all his hookups, HOLLA IF YOU HEAR ME! They did, and the segment ends. It’s almost sad to think that a interview segment lasted longer than the WWE Championship match, but I’ll let it slide because at least Scott returned to MSG.
-Oh man, its on. The cage music is playing and the Chamber is coming down. JR says it’s a combination of the brutality of Hell in a Cell, and the unpredictability of Wargames, with the tradition of Survivor Series.
-Meanwhile, Terri (w/ perpetually hard nipples) is about to interview Shawn Michaels about how he believes he would win the Chamber tonight. He asks little lady, what do you mean you believe, and this leads to...
-RNN breaks in with a special update, and this pissed JR off. Randy says he’s taking time off his rigorous rehab schedule on his shoulder to update everyone on himself here at Survivor Series, but there should be no worry because his shoulder wasn’t hurt any further because of the extra pillow from the flight attendant. He vows to be back in no time.
-The video package plays for the Chamber. It pretty much revolves around the announcement of the Chamber, its 12 tons, 36 feet in diameter, 16’ high, and the significance of the World Heavyweight Championship at stake. It’s going to be a brief recap here, but it’s just one of those videos that sends chills up and down your spine every time you see it. HBK hitting the pedigree on HHH was funny yet impressive at the same time.
-Now its backstage with World Heavyweight Champion Triple H, who is with Ric Flair at his side and with Coach the interviewer. Coach asks The Game about his comments on what should be the most vile, inhuman match in the history of the WWE. Trips then said he was deemed Champion in September (2002 of course) because he was and is the best, and that he has also beaten everybody and overcame every obstacle. Triple H then said it wasn’t good enough, and that inside of a structure that’s 16’ feet high of steel, he will step in the Elimination Chamber with five of the very best. Through it all, Triple H declares that he will walk out The Game, still the best, but more importantly, still the World’s Heavyweight Champion. In a calming sense of reality, Triple H says that right now, he’s got a first class ticket to hell, and he wants to know who’s coming with him. Booker T’s got the back!
-Before the match starts, here comes Eric Bischoff to demonstrate the Chamber and its abilities. If you’ve read the recap this far, then you know how high it is and how wide it is, and what it is made of, but Eric is really being like P.T Barnum here. He takes out a big f’n stick and starts hitting it against everything to show how tough the structure is. The match structure is being described here, and so far, it sounds straight-forward as Bischoff puts himself inside a plexi-glass chamber door to explain how the first 4 men who come out enter one of these. As usual, Eric’s banging the door with a stick so the structure can be tested. The last two men to come out will start, and the other 4 men come out in 5 minute-intervals. Pinfall or submission here kids. Now, this next little part of this recap is a refute to a man I respect, his name is RD Reynolds, and so I am plugging Wrestlecrap in small detail. I don’t know if it was an induction or an episode of his wonderful radio show, but I remember him talking about how usually when a match has a still graphic explaining the rules of a match, its going to suck. Well, this match has a graphic.
So by the end of this review, if this match sucks, I’ll eat a hat. We’ll see. Howard Finkel FINALLY introduces the opponents. One more quick comment: Bischoff walks out of the chamber with the stick, yet he’s so intimidated by some of the fans he tries to evade cover when one of them puts up their dukes.
World Heavyweight Championship Match: Triple H © w/ Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho vs. Booker T vs. Kane vs. Shawn Michaels
Chris Jericho’s intro starts as usual, but instead of “Break the Walls Down”, its “King of the World” by Saliva, complete with cutbacks to MSG and the World! Booker T is massively over. A lot of people from this time seem to forget that, and it makes Wrestlemania XIX more of a crime. Kane has a lot of fire in his promo, but his push got extinguished because of Katie Vick. HBK wears those absolutely horrible “Earth” pants, and with that haircut, you can attribute that to “eating too many cookies”, those are HBK’s words himself from his autobiography. Crappy look or not, he gets a epic pop here. RVD is, well, RVD, and ready to take risk in this chamber. It also wasn’t too long ago HHH had a epic pop in his return here back the January before, but he gets a mixed reaction here. Let’s also take a look at SS records, shall we? HBK is 5-5, Booker T lost in the year prior in that Invasion match, ditto for RVD, Kane is 5-2, Jericho is 1-2, and Triple H is the laughingstock at 0-6! The opening combo of Triple H and Rob Van Dam is actually a very good one, as RVD can really take advantage of the cage while Triple H can be a evil heel trying to take out Mr. Monday Night while being an underdog at the same time. The match starts with a lockup between RVD and HHH, and HHH puts RVD in the corner. HHH fails at the right hand, RVD doesn’t, and then off an Irish-Whip attempt, RVD spin-heel kicks HHH in the face. HHH holds RVD’s left foot, just to be kicked in the face with the right one! HHH comes off the ropes from a whip attempt by RVD with a face buster, which led to the Pedigree attempt, but HHH got elevated over the top and becomes the first man to land on that steel grate. I swear, when not in use, it should become a barbeque pit! RVD kicks on The Game some more, then whips him 4 times into the entrance door, to the point where the lock becomes unhinged! During this time, Trips is busted open, most likely in that area where he got cut a week or two earlier on RAW. RVD then celebrates a little bit, gives Triple H a shoulder to the gut in the corner, then monkey-flips the Cerebral Assassin onto the steel grate! RVD then slides into the ring, and does a modified Rolling Thunder over the top rope onto Triple H below! Trips rolls around the grate on impact, and then once he gets up, gets right-handed over the top rope and back into the ring. RVD scoop-slams HHH, and then he goes to the corner where Jericho is in a pod. RVD gets the King of the World a middle finger, and he ascends to the top of the pod via the steel on the side . Jericho traps him in on the top of the steel that is top of the pod. Triple H, sensing an advantage, quickly climbs to the top rope, but Triple H is crotched by right-hands from RVD. RVD does a flipping clothesline to HHH back on the grate, but the live view wasn’t as good, so the replay did it justice. HBK grimaces at this from his pod. HHH’s back looked like he just got a nice outline. Triple H gets up, gets whipped into the steel chain once again, then falls back into the ring via the middle rope. RVD pounds HHH back into a corner as the countdown clock chimes on. The music then signifies a new entrant is about to join the fray, and this one turns out to be Chris Jericho at 5:13! Jericho runs in and immediately eats a foot from RVD. RVD gets a right-hand from Jericho, but on the rebound does a spinning heel-kick to Jericho! RVD then does a standing reverse moonsault onto Jericho for a near fall. RVD and Jericho trade some whips, which results in RVD going to the second rope and making Jericho eat his boot again! RVD attacks Triple H, then clotheslines Jericho over the top rope and now Jericho eats the grate! RVD mounts the top rope planning something, but Jericho ducks and RVD lands on the steel chain Spiderman style! Then Spiderman leaps off the chain and does a cross body onto Jericho! RVD rolls back into the ring, only to be clotheslined by Triple H, and then Triple H falls right on his ass, most likely because he lost a good bit of blood and he was weak. Jericho then stomps on RVD, gets him up, and side-suplexes him. Y2J then tries an arrogant “foot on chest” pin, but doesn’t get a count of one, then starts slaps and punches with RVD. After double-punching Triple H and Chris Jericho, RVD then gets Irish-Whipped by Triple H right into a Harley Race-esque high knee. Jericho then does a senton on RVD, and gets a near fall. Y2J and HHH then double-team RVD with right-hands. In a funny moment, Jericho DX-chops Michaels! HHH then elevates RVD over the top, and then RVD gets double-whipped into the chain 4 times! RVD gets put back into the ring and gets chopped by Jericho back in the corner. Jericho whips RVD to the other side, HHH whips Jericho, but RVD flips up, Jericho lands shoulder first and RVD clotheslines Triple H! Then Jericho eats more RVD boot with a spinning heel kick! RVD punches Jericho, then gets punched by Triple H, and then RVD eats a DDT by The Game. The countdown clock leads to Booker T entering the fracas at 10:23. Booker attacks both heels in the ring, and it leads to H going over the top to the grate yet again. Booker T then hit’s a Chamber spinaroonie and then sees RVD in the ring. Though they’re friends here, they trade blows, RVD flips over Booker T, then Van Dam eats Booker T’s boot to the face. Booker T then gets a near fall, chops RVD, then on a counter, RVD kicks Booker T to give Booker some RVD foot of his own! RVD gets a 2 count, punches Booker T into the corner, but on another reversal, Booker T gives RVD some more foot! Book gets another near fall, but gets punched by Triple H when he gets up. Though Triple H tries to get an advantage, Booker reverses the momentum with a Scissors Kick! Booker T gets pounded out of the ring by Jericho, while Jericho gets dropkicked out of the ring by RVD! Rob goes to the top rope signaling for the 5-Star Frog Splash, but instead, goes to the top of where Jericho was stationed! RVD hit’s the 5-Star, and its apparent that Triple H is hurt, and hurt badly. Booker T meanwhile goes to the top rope, and hit’s a missile dropkick. Because of that, Booker T eliminates RVD at 13:53. Booker T tries to cover Triple H but Trips gets his foot on the bottom rope. Jericho then dropkicks Booker T who was trying to get up. Jericho then chokes out Booker at the corner with his foot, which HBK doesn’t seem amused by. Jericho chops Booker in the corner, whips him, then executes a running bulldog. At least JBL wasn’t there in that spot. Jericho then attempts a Lionsault, but instead lands on his feet, then gets spinebustered big time by Booker. Booker slowly crawls to get a count, but gets 2 as the clock counts down. Kane comes into the match at 15:26. Kane punches Booker and Jericho, while Jericho gets an elevation as well. Booker gets whipped into a turnbuckle, gets punched and elbowed, then receives a running clothesline on the other side. Jericho is taken over the top by Kane onto the grate, then gets lawn darted into the steel chain, shades of HBK/Undertaker in Hell in a Cell, which was Glen Jacob‘s first on-screen appearance as Kane. Lawler described this next spot the best, “That glass maybe bullet-proof, but it ain‘t Kane proof,” as Kane just hurls Jericho into the glass, citing a large pop from the MSG crowd. Triple H then does a Ric Flair impression as he gets punched in the corner by Kane, then falls flat his on face. As Kane works on Booker T, its revealed that Jericho busted open either on the lawn dart or the throw into the glass. Kane countered Booker’s leg, got him up in the Tombstone position, but Booker slipped on out to get Kane in the scissor motion, but Jericho grabs Booker’s leg, and Kane gets the choke slam in. As Kane battles Triple H some more, Jericho executes the Lionsault and eliminates Booker T at 17:37. Kane then throws Jericho over the top and onto the grate again. Jericho gets some shots in on Kane, climbs the chain, but gets grabbed by the ponytail which elicits a scream. Kane then delivers some shots to Jericho, then press-slams him back into the ring. Triple H grabs Kane, but gets knocked down again on the outside. Kane focuses on Jericho, and suplexes him in the middle of the ring, and gets a 2-count for his efforts. Kane tried to do an elbow, but Jericho rolled out of the way, and Kane landed right on his back. Jericho then kicks Kane out of the ring and back onto the steel. Triple H goes to the top rope, but in another Ric Flair impression, Kane slams Triple H back into the ring. Kane attempted a chokeslam on Jericho, but gets kicked in the gut. Jericho went to the top rope and did a missile dropkick. The crowd chants “HBK” as “The Icon, The Showstopper, The Headliner, and The Main Event,” finally enters the match at 20:22. HBK punches Jericho and Kane to start, with Jim Ross saying he’ll get to Triple H in due time. Michaels elevates Jericho on a back-body-drop, but Kane clotheslines HBK right back down to the canvas. Michaels does a flying elbow on a Irish-Whip by Kane, but only does a regular get-up instead of the kip-up. Michaels then does a Ric Flair impression by getting whipped into the ropes, and flips upside down and lands on his ass. Jericho then gets choke-bombed by Kane. Kane then starts a chokeslam frenzy starting with Shawn Michaels. Then Triple H. Then Chris Jericho, who tried to do something off the top, but got intercepted instead. Kane then signals for the Tombstone, and goes to Triple H. Trips rolls out of the position, and pushes Kane into Sweet Chin Music from HBK! Kane sat up, only to receive a Pedigree, and then a Lionsault to be eliminated at 23:15. So now it is down to three men, with Y2J, HBK, and WHC HHH. Lots of acronyms, isn’t it? For now, Michaels is the only man remaining to not be busted wide open. Michaels whips Jericho, Michaels bends down to only get kicked in the stomach and spit flies out of the gullet of the Heartbreak Kid. Jericho would then deliver a nasty clothesline to Michaels over the top rope and onto the grate. Jericho goes onto the grate, talks trash, and whips Michaels into the chain. Michaels got whipped again into the chain, and rolls back into the ring. Triple H punches Michaels back down to the canvas. In a brutal sequence, Jericho punches on Michaels’ head in the middle rope while screaming, “BLEED!” Triple H aids and abets Jericho in the dirty deed with pistol-like right hands. While Michaels is still mounted in the middle rope, Jericho then drives the knee into Michaels’ back and then does his shuffling feet in little celebration. Triple H throws Michaels over the top rope again, Michaels is busted open, and now everyone remaining has some crimson on their face, but not enough for a true crimson mask. Trips then grates Michaels’ head into the chain, and while knocked down, Michaels receives blows from both Jericho and Hunter. Back in the ring with all three men, Michaels still receives punishment from Jericho . As Jericho held Michaels in a headlock, the blood really went down Michaels face. Both men in step went through the middle rope. Michaels blocked going into the steel, and then he put Jericho’s face into the steel. Jericho receives another face mash into the cage while Michaels puts HHH over the top rope and back into the ring. HBK tries to deliver a piledriver on Jericho on the grate, but gets elevated to the grate below. Michaels rolls back in the ring only to get right-handed by Triple H. HHH whipped Michaels into the rope, but Michaels did a flying off the rebound. Leg by leg, Michaels does his kip-up! Jericho though runs in and does a running bulldog to Michaels. Jericho then does a beautiful Lionsault, but even though he got a pin on Kane, he only gets a two on ‘the Icon’! Jericho tries another count, same result. Jericho pounds on Michaels back in the corner, whips him to the other side, but Michaels got his boot up. Michaels then went to the top rope, and executes a beautiful moonsault on Jericho for a 2-count! HBK executed the Walls of Jericho on Y2J, then received a DDT from Triple H. Jericho attempted the pinfall on Michaels, but Triple H pulls him off, and the two square off! After trading right hands, Jericho gets whipped into a clothesline by Hunter. Hunter then whips Jericho back into the ropes, Jericho reverses the momentum, but HHH is able to get the facebuster in. Hunter gets a nearfall on Jericho while Michaels hangs out on one of the bottom turnbuckles. Jericho tries a top-rope maneuver, gets countered with a Pedigree attempt by HHH, but Jericho gets the Walls on The Game! Triple H tried to get to the bottom rope, but got pushed back to the middle of the ring. Triple H would then be rescued by Shawn Michaels, who eliminated Chris Jericho with Sweet Chin Music at 31:07. Now it’s down to Michaels and HHH, who had a classic at Summerslam, and would have many more classics to come. Both men stagger to their feet, and trade right hands, until HBK got spinebustered by The Game! Triple H got a 2-count for his AA tribute. Michaels got Triple H to the ropes, but on the rebound, Michaels was elevated over the top rope and onto the grate! Michaels almost had his face grated in, but blocked in, and smashed Triple H’s face into the steel! HBK tried the Pedigree, but HHH had grabbed Michaels’ legs and was able to catapult Michaels into the plexi-glass, or precisely the other side that was broken earlier by Kane and Jericho! Wait, its 2 out of 3 sides, but like the month after combined with a Meat Loaf song, 2 out of 3 is not bad! A long rest period happens as replays show the impact. Michaels gets picked up by Triple H and thrown into the middle ropes and back into the ring. Hunter got a two count. In asinine habit, Earl Hebner tried to count these men out, he got up to 2. but he stopped. Once Triple H and HBK get up, HHH knocked Michaels down and yelled at him to get up. Michaels received some right hands from HHH, and HBK delivered some back! After trading some right hands, Michaels got a facebuster, then as he got up, he got knocked to the grate again. HHH tried a Pedigree on the grate, but in a twist of fate similar to the role reversed, HHH got catapulted into the chain! After getting up, Triple H got clotheslined back into the ring, while Michaels would go all the way to the top of the glassless pod and does his signature elbow from there, complete with air horn! Michaels thought about a cover, but didn’t do it. He instead went to the corner to set up Sweet Chin Music. The superkick failed and Triple H got the Pedigree in! Somehow, HBK kicks out and everyone is amazed, from the crowd to Jerry Lawler himself! Once both men get up, HHH attempts the Pedigree again, but Michaels elevated HHH over, and Michaels got the Sweet Chin Music in! 1-2-3, AND MICHAELS WINS THE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP AT 39:33! ***** The crowd pops massive for the kick and for the win! It’s an emotional moment, and JR loses his voice on the “BAH GAWD I DON‘T BELIEVE IT!”. Lawler compares the confetti falling down in the Garden to the celebration in Times Square during New Year’s, which at the time was only a month and a half away. JR then noted Michaels believed in his abilities and himself. He then sizes the emotion up with the capacity crowd of MSG, the kick, and then the victory. Michaels has his hands raised up by Earl Hebner as the show ends!
Final words: This is the first pay-per-view I ever owned on DVD. I got it in a period of time where I was recovering from an injury (well, Christmas time never hurts), and so after this show, I declared this show to be the greatest of all time. Years later, I watch this without rose-tinted glasses, and yet I can still say this. I do not remember a card that was as consistently great, or as delivering as this card was, at least in the WWE era. The crowd was hot all the way through, and it made it all look that much better. Everyone worked their asses off, and the end result showed it. That opening table match is was really impressive, especially considering 3 Minute Warning did not have much experience in hardcore matchups. As noted, the Cruiserweight Championship match is a redo from Vengeance, but it came out better here. That DDT near the end is one of those once-in-a-lifetime moves that should never be repeated again, as beautiful as it looked. Trish and Victoria showed women can take bumps as well as men, and they beat the crap out of each other, and in a way, both of them look more elevated afterwards. The Show/Lesnar match rating is not indicative of how perfect that match was booked. It was short, yet the crowd was roaring for it, both the competitors looked really strong, and most importantly, it turned Paul Heyman while still adding to the match. That six-man tag match is a thing of beauty, and though its featured on the Eddie Guerrero “Cheating Death, Stealing Life” DVD, its definitely a part of a whole and not the standout over everything as most standout matches on PPV are. Say what you will about Triple H, but after watching this, I have nothing but respect for him. He received a huge injury on the botched five-star, and he finished the match. HE FINISHED THE MATCH! It is one of those moments where a “x” could have been thrown, or a lesser athlete would have stopped, but Triple H continued and lost clean as a sheet in the middle of the ring. The Elimination Chamber as a whole is a classic match that should be viewed by everyone. HBK even noted in the book he wrote that this match had no ending, and it was made up in the ring. As a final grade for this show, most people would say Highly Recommended on their worst day, I rate this “PPV Elite”. It is a show that stands against the test of time, has excellent content, and DVD of the show is packed with special features in a way that WWE just doesn‘t do anymore. Though the show is a tiny bit hard-to-find and it is relatively inexpensive when you do find it, I would say run, not walk, to get a copy of WWE Survivor Series 2002.
P.S: My hat is still alive.