Thursday, 26 November 2009

WWE Survivor Series on Sky Box Office - TV Review

A little later than planned due to a power cut in my house, it’s multi-man madness time again, but of the WWE variety this time around as they presented their annual Survivor Series show, broadcast live here in Britain on Sky Box Office, with Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and Matt Striker handling commentary duties.

The show began with the first elimination match, with The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre and Shaemus taking on Evan Bourne, Finlay, Matt Hardy, Shelton Benjamin and John Morrison. This proved to be a very good opener, with plenty of solid, fast paced action throughout, and some good performances, particularly from McIntyre and Shaemus. There was a bit of drama halfway through when referee Scott Armstrong took an inadvertent hit during a mass brawl. When the ring cleared he gave the “X” sign immediately, and was quickly replaced by the ringside official. Team Miz were victorious here. With Morrison the last man from his squad, Shaemus took him down with his crucifix slam to get the winning pin, with Miz and McIntyre the other survivors. Nice to see that they’re giving my fellow Europeans the chance to shine.

The grudge match between Batista and Rey Mysterio was up next. This was a well played out encounter, an emotional David v Goliath battle between the former friends. Batista is really starting to come into his own again as the powerful heel, while Mysterio played the plucky underdog to perfection once again. Big Dave was a real animal here, never going for a pin as he took Mysterio out with several variations of the power bomb, with the referee stopping the match when he saw that Mysterio had taken too much punishment. The carnage didn’t end there though. As Mysterio was being treated in the ring, Batista came back in, and took him out with a spine buster onto a steel chair. The Animal was content with his work, while Mysterio was carried away on a stretcher.

Then it was back to elimination action, with C.M. Punk, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase and Randy Orton facing Kofi Kingston, MVP, Mark Henry, Christian and R-Truth. This one was contested at a much slower pace. Thankfully, Orton took Henry out early on, which only improved the proceedings here. Those left behind put on a great series of exchanges, and when it got down to Kingston against Punk and Orton, you just knew that something special was going to happen. Orton left Punk to take out Kingston as he prowled the ringside area, and after an extended period of punishment, Kingston pinned his former tag team partner by reversing a roll up, before quickly getting the pin on Orton after taking him out with his trouble in paradise kick. A great performance from the African star here, and nice to see that they’re really pushing the boat out for him by having him go over Orton.

The first title match of the evening followed, with the Undertaker defending his World title against Chris Jericho and the Big Show. Great action throughout this one, with the storyline dissention between the Unified Tag Team Champions played out to perfection, adding an extra dimension to a match that was slow to start off with but built up nicely until the Undertaker countered the Big Show’s choke slam attempt with his hell’s gate submission hold, with the big man tapping out moments later. Good work all round.

Diva time next, with Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Alicia Fox, Layla and Jillian Hall taking on Mickie James, Melina, Kelly Kelly, Gail Kim and Eve Torres. This was an okay match, but it felt like it was nothing more than filler material. There were also quite a few moments when the action was less than stellar. The first few eliminations came quickly, with the action slowing down a little when it came down to McCool against Melina and James. Melina and James came out on top here, with Melina pinning McCool after a sunset flip power bomb.

The final match of the show saw John Cena defending the WWE title against Triple H and Shawn Michaels. This was an outstanding match. When Michaels took out Triple H at the beginning with sweet chin music, you knew what kind of match was going to follow. All three men put in tremendous performances here, worthy of it’s spot on the card, with a tremendous story and twists and turns everywhere. It really was every man for himself in this one. The end came when Michaels took out Triple H with sweet chin music for a third time, only for Cena to take Michaels out with the attitude adjuster right onto the Game, with Cena pinning Triple H straight afterwards. Outstanding, just outstanding.

In conclusion - well, if you take out the Divas match (again), you’ve got a damn good show here people. The two title matches were played out perfectly, while the fact that Drew McIntyre, Shaemus and Kofi Kingston were all made to look strong really bodes well for the future. Good work by the WWE team here. Now if only they’d sort out the Divas division…..