Kicking off things is an ECW title match, with C.M. Punk defending against former champion John Morrison and The Miz in a triple threat match. Morrison and Miz also happen to be the WWE Tag-Team Champions as well. Well, I suppose the good thing about this one is that at least Big Daddy V isn’t challenging for the title this time. I really liked this one. I’ve always seeing Morrison against Punk, and even the Miz managed to put on a great showing, as did Morrison, especially with his split leg corkscrew off the top rope, something I’ve never seen before. There was the usual tension between the tag-team partners, and in the end that played right into the hands of the champion. After Mix accidentally collided with Morrison as he was standing on the apron, and seconds later Punk used GTS to put Miz away for the winning pin. Good match to start the show here.
Then it’s on to the ten woman’s tag match, not fought under Survivor Series rules, with Beth Phoenix, Layla, Jillian Hall, Victoria and Melina against Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Maria and Mickie James. The usual stuff here. The non-wrestling divas did their bit, while the real wrestlers in the bunch looked a while lot better doing their bitter, and it was Mickie who got the victory for her team, first applying the lip lock to Melina, before taking her out with a spin kick. Not bad for what it was I suppose, but not the best women’s match I’ve seen in my life.
The second title match of the evening follows, as Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch defend the World Tag-Team titles against Cody Rhodes and Hardcore Holly. I’ve said in the past that I’m becoming a big fan of Cade and Murdoch, and once again they showed what a great team they are, and they proved it again here, it’s just a shame that this title match didn’t actually mean much because they were up against a team that’s only been together a short time. But give them their due, Holly and Rhodes did their bit to make this match watchable, even though it wasn’t exactly outstanding. No title change here though, as Murdoch pinned Rhodes with his version of Petey Williams’ Canadian Destroyer. Where in the hell did that come from?
Moving on, it’s time for the ONLY Survivor Series match of the show, as Umaga, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay, Big Daddy V and MVP go up against Triple H, Kane, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy, with Jeff’s brother Matt out through injury, making this a five-on-four affair. Now this is what the Survivor Series should be all about, great tag-team action featuring two all-star teams, and the action was fast a fluid with this one. The odds were stacked in Team Umaga’s favour at the start, and soon got greater when Big Daddy V took Kane out with a Samoan drop. Mysterio was next, putting up a plucky fight against Umaga before the big guy took him out with a devastating side slam. With the odds now five against two, Hardy got revenge for his brother by taking MVP down with the Twist of Fare, before Triple H took out Mr. Kennedy with a spine buster, avoiding an attack from Big Daddy in the process - three against two. It then took both Triple H and Hardy to take Big Daddy V, using a double DDT to take the big man down before Triple H got the pin, evening the scores between the two teams. After more great action, featuring some great exchanges between Finlay and Triple H, the Game took him out with the Pedigree. It was now two against one, with Umaga being the one. Hardy and Triple H then doubled up on the Samoan bulldozer, with Triple H taking him down with the Pedigree, and Hardy finishing him off with the Swanton from the top rope. A hell of a match, and it’s a damn shame that this was the only match of it’s kind on this show. If the WWE continue to do what they have done to the Survivor Series over the past few years, then the tradition they created could be in danger of dying out.
Then came the mis-match of the century, the Great Khali against Hornswoggle. To say that this was one of the most ludicrous things I’ve seen during my twenty years of watching WWE would be an understatement. Tons of posturing at the beginning of the match as Shane and Vince McMahon started things off, and things only picked up when Finlay came down to the ring, shelaileigh in hand, to clean house and to save his buddy. The result - Khali by disqualification, but the result meant nothing. All the mattered with this one was that it was awful.
Main event time #1, as Shawn Michaels challenges Randy Orton for the WWE title. One problem though - if he even thinks of using sweet chin music, he’ll get disqualified. However, if Orton gets disqualified, he loses the title. Now this is what a main event should be about. The stipulations for this match may have left some scratching their heads a little, but it made for compelling viewing. Orton is once again proving to be a great heel champion, and Michaels is once again proving to be a great contender. This match had everything, tons of drama as Michaels used everything in his arsenal, except his number one weapon, to put Orton down, putting on a display of submission wrestling which ultimately failed against the younger champion. Only twice did Michaels think about using the super kick, and the second time lead to his downfall, as he hesitated long enough for Orton to execute the RKO to get the pinfall victory. Afterwards Orton got back into the ring and taunted Michaels, who was finally able to deliver the super kick. Let’s see more of these type of matches in the main event please.
Main event time #2, as the Undertaker challenges Batista for the World title in the confines of the Hell in a Cell. If the previous match was pure wrestling, then this was pure brutality. The dead man and the animal tore shreds off each other, hitting each other with steel chairs, ring steps, and with anything else they could get their hands on. They bled for their art, and kicked out of each other’s finishers, even when they were used in conjunction with steel steps and tables, and when it looked like the Undertaker had the title won after he delivered the tombstone on the steel steps, we got the twist, as Edge returned and pulled the referee out of the ring. He then performed the steel step conchairto, and put Batista on top of the fallen dead man, giving the champion the title retaining victory, and while it was a little disappointing that this match wasn’t allowed to reach it’s natural conclusion, the manner of Edge’s return meant that we have another great feud for the Undertaker, which will probably lead to the big match at Wrestlemania. Oh, and the match wasn’t that bad either.
In conclusion - while the lack of traditional Survivor Series matches was rather disappointing, overall this year’s show was good. Well, if you take out the debacle that was Hornswoggle v Khali and the slightly disappointing women’s match. Michaels v Orton was definitely the match of the night, and Edge’s return gave the fans the big ending they were looking for, so although this show wasn’t a classic, it certainly was watchable.