Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Survivor Series 2001
Date: November 18, 2001
Location: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul Heyman
I’ve talked about the Invasion over and over and over as have a bunch of other people so I’ll spare you the big explanation of it. In short, WWF bought WCW and ECW (or close enough to that at least) and over the summer and fall of 2001, squandered what could arguably have been a billion dollars’ worth of stories, feuds and shocks. But hey, why make a fortune when you can destroy WCW and have a final blowoff in the home of Starrcade where you can say HAHA I BEAT YOU TURNER and crush WCW once and for all? That’s the whole show for the most part. It’s one Survivor Series match, winner take all. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is a cool idea as it shows all of the old logos for the WWF over the years and a bunch of great moments in company history, set to a song called The End Is Here. Tonight it’s winner take all in the main event.
European Title: Christian vs. Al Snow
Christian is in the Alliance and defending. He greets his fans in South Carolina and says he’s awesome. Snow comes out to the Tough Enough theme which is always awesome. Snow takes him down to the mat which frustrates the champ. Christian comes back with a foot on Snow’s face in the corner followed by a Russian legsweep for two. We hit the chinlock as the match slows down.
Snow fights up and hits his headbutts but Christian hits a tiger driver backbreaker for two. Snow gets rammed into the buckle and things slow down again. The trapping headbutts hit Christian again and Snow escapes the reverse DDT into a neckbreaker for two. Heyman schilling for the Alliance guy is always funny. A sitout powerbomb gets two for Snow and now Christian’s reverse DDT hits for no cover. Instead Christian talks a lot of trash and gets rolled up for two. A top rope cross body is rolled through by Snow and the Snow Plow gets two. There’s the Unprettier out of nowhere to keep the title in the Alliance. That was quick.
Rating: C-. This is one of those shows where anything but the main event means nothing, which makes the first hour and a half of the show pretty uninteresting to sit through. This match was fine but it could have been on Smackdown on any given week. Snow and Christian are both good hands so a good match is really nothing shocking at all.
Austin arrives and yells at the Alliance. He doesn’t like being accused of being a traitor to the Alliance. This would be a lot better if Stephanie had more acting ability than say, a carrot. Austin yells at everyone on the team and says stop being paranoid.
Vince and Linda arrive with Vince brimming with confidence. Cole comes up and says this might be their last night in business but Vince doesn’t want to hear talk like that. Vince talks about taking calculated risks and being confident because someone is jumping to the WWF. Regal comes up and says he doesn’t buy the idea that Austin is jumping back to the WWF.
William Regal vs. Tajiri
Regal hurt Tajiri’s girlfriend Torrie on Smackdown to set this up. Also these two used to be friends. Tajiri is Cruiserweight Champion and was supposed to face X-Pac in a title for title match, but according to Commissioner Mick Foley, “No one cared about X-Pac or the Light Heavyweight Title anyway”. Tajiri fires off a kick but gets suplexed right back down.
The knee trembler takes Tajiri down but Tajiri goes after Regal’s knee with the kicks. There’s the Tarantula and Regal is bleeding from the nose. A handspring elbow gets two for Tajiri but Regal ties his head up in the ropes to stop the momentum dead. Regal tries a powerbomb but gets countered by another kick to the head. The Buzzsaw Kick misses and there’s the Tiger Bomb from Regal for the pin. Too short to rate but it was fine. Short, but fine.
Regal powerbombs him again post match. Torrie (looking GREAT in a purple top and leather pants) comes out to check on Tajiri, only to get powerbombed as well.
We recap Edge vs. Test. These two are both midcard champions after the seemingly dozens of never ending midcard title changes going on at this point. Edge is US Champion, Test is IC Champion, tonight only one belt survives.
Test complains about the makeup lady not rubbing in the oil well enough on him. Stacy comes up and agrees with Test. Test hits on her and she’ll think about it if he wins.
Edge compares himself to Test and says that there are a lot of similarities between them. The difference is that Edge hasn’t been dumped by every chick on the planet. Edge makes fun of Test for sounding wooden and that’s about it.
Intercontinental Title/US Title: Edge vs. Test
They fight over control to start with Edge taking over via a series of forearms to the head. Test powers him down and goes after the ribs with a wide ranging selection of stomps. We head to the floor with Edge being dropped across the barricade to further the attack on the ribs. Back in and Edge hits a dropkick to take over before we head outside again. Back in quickly and a swinging neckbreaker gets two for Edge.
Test drops Edge onto the top rope ribs first to reinjure him and the taller of the blonde Canadian champions takes over again. Test puts on a chinlock as the match slows down again. Edge fights up and avoids a corner charge before hitting a middle rope missile dropkick for two. A middle rope cross body misses though and Test puts him on the top rope.
Edge blocks a superplex with some CANADIAN right hands to the ribs but a sunset bomb doesn’t work. Test dives off the top but jumps right into a dropkick to put him down. The problem with this match is neither guy has been able to build up any kind of a run with the title as both have changed hands four times since the InVasion began about four months ago. How can you get behind either guy as a big time champion in that little bit of time? On top of that, Edge has been champion for six days and Test for thirteen. That’s not exactly Honky Tonk Man unifying with Luger in the late 80s.
Both guys are down now but it’s Edge up first with some clotheslines and a spinwheel kick. Test’s pumphandle slam is countered into the Edge-O-Matic for two. Test spears Edge down for two but the big boot misses. There’s the pumphandle for two but Test’s powerbomb is countered into a rana. Edge’s spear gets a close two but he can’t hit the Edgecution. Test tries a full nelson slam but Edge rolls through for the pin and both titles.
Rating: C+. This started pretty slow but it got going once Edge was able to start countering Test’s power stuff. In other words, Edge did the work to make Test’s generic big man offense look decent. This was probably the match of the night, which isn’t surprising given how hot Edge got in the next year.
Angle comes up to see a stressed out Stephanie. My goodness her acting is bad. I know I say that a lot, but IT’S FREAKING TERRIBLE. She says if the Alliance loses tonight, she’ll have to buy her own groceries and wash her own car. She can’t be a…..a…..a REGULAR PERSON!!! Angle reminds her that she’s special and doesn’t think Austin will jump.
A cage is lowered.
Jeff and Lita are talking about Matt being different lately. Matt comes up and yells at them for acting strange and not being focused enough. It turns into a rallying speech and things seem ok. The guys leave and Trish comes out of the same locker room Matt came out of earlier. It says Team WWF so maybe there’s nothing there……..but maybe there is. DUN DUN DUN!
WCW Tag Titles/WWF Tag Titles: Dudley Boys vs. Hardy Boys
In a cage. The Dudleys are WCW Champions and the Hardys are the WWF Champions and Stacy is STUNNING at this point as the Dudleys’ manager. All four belts get laid out between the guys in the ring and it’s time to go. There are tags required here and it’s Matt vs. Bubba to start. Matt can’t get anywhere so it’s off to Jeff who walks into a Boss Man Slam for two.
D-Von comes in as Heyman talks about Big Daddy Dudley which JR could not care less about. Back to Matt who rolls D-Von up for two but walks into a reverse inverted DDT for two. Bubba comes in again and drops a bunch of elbows for two. The Dudleys tag in and out a lot and it’s back to Bubba for more punching to Matt’s ribs. Bubba tries to ram Matt into the cage but Matt counters into a reverse DDT.
Off to Jeff who cleans house as everything breaks down quickly. Poetry in Motion hits Bubba and Matt climbs but D-Von makes the save. It’s pin/submission/double escape to win here and there’s a Bubba Bomb off the top to Jeff. Wouldn’t that hurt both of them equally? Bubba goes up again but Matt slams him down for two. Matt gets rammed into the cage but when the Dudleys try to do the same to Jeff, he grabs the cage and tries to climb out, only to get caught in a Doomsday Device (Paul: “WHAT A RUSH!”).
Matt gets crushed against the cage and Bubba whips D-Von into him for good measure. Bubba splashes him as well and the Dudleys are in full control. Jeff gets in a shot and Matt hits a top rope double clothesline to shift the momentum just as fast though. A DDT puts Bubba down for two and Jeff hits the legdrop between D-Von’s legs. A double backdrop takes Ray down again and the Hardys go up.
Matt hits a legdrop and Jeff hits a splash off the top at the same time for two on Bubba. Matt makes a climb but gets pulled down with one leg still stuck in the cage. What’s Up to Jeff and Bubba asks Stacy for a table. Stacy hits on Nick Patrick and picks the key out of his pocket. There’s a table in the ring now but Matt breaks up the 3D by jumping Bubba. Why D-Von didn’t flapjack Jeff through the table is anyone’s guess.
Bubba and Matt go tot he top and pound away at each other until Bubba is knocked down. Matt climbs down to escape but he’s left alone against the Dudleys. D-Von is rammed into the cage a few times and Jeff goes up as D-Von climbs onto the table for no apparent reason. Jeff looks down and sees D-Von there before diving off the top of the cage, but the Swanton misses. Bubba covers the table and therefore Jeff as well for the pin and the titles.
Rating: B-. This was the usual good brawl between these teams and it furthers the Hardys’ issues, but at the end of the day this feud was played out at this point. There was nothing left for these two teams to do and at this point it was being dragged out way too far. Still though, good match and a good way to I believe finally end this nearly two year long feud.
Jeff is taken out on a stretcher.
Mick Foley is at WWF New York and admits that his job (WWF Commissioner) means nothing.
Scotty 2 Hotty is about to be in the Immunity Battle Royal but Test beats him up to take his spot.
Immunity Battle Royal
Test, Billy Gunn, Bradshaw, Farrooq, Lance Storm, Billy Kidman, Diamond Dallas Page, Albert, Tazz, Perry Saturn, Raven, Chuck Palumbo, Crash Holly, Justin Credible, Shawn Stasiak, Steven Richards, Tommy Dreamer, The Hurricane, Spike Dudley, Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero Jr., Funaki
No matter who wins the main event tonight, the winner of this is guaranteed a job for a year. Stasiak is thrown to the floor before the bell rings and is apparently out. Test drops to the floor to hide as Tazz comes in late. Since it’s a battle royal there’s really not much to talk about here. Everyone punches everyone and no one is put out for awhile. Heyman freaks out about Tazz because Tazz choked him out on Smackdown.
Hurricane dives at Farrooq and is clotheslined out by Bradshaw. Albert throws Saturn out and Test, who is back in now, dumps Farrooq. Page is put out by someone we can’t see and Storm superkicks Palumbo out. Morrus and Chavo run in as wildcards because they tried to jump from the Alliance to the WWF on Raw but got fired as a result. Billy dumps Chavo as Morrus is eliminated as well. Tazz dumps Dreamer and Crash as Storm low bridges Spike out. Bradshaw’s Clothesline kills Richards and he’s gone.
Tazz stops to run his mouth to Heyman and gets dumped by Billy. Test and I think Kidman put Albert out. We’re down to Bradshaw, Kidman, Gunn, Test and Storm. Sorry if I missed a bunch of eliminations but a lot of them weren’t shown. The fallaway slam puts Kidman out and we’re down to four. Bradshaw kicks Storm down and might have hurt his ankle. Things slow way down as Billy and Bradshaw hang on for dear life. Storm and Test team up to put Bradshaw out but Test dumps Storm as well. A big boot eliminates Gunn and Test wins immunity.
Rating: C-. Not bad here but at the end of the day, it’s a battle royal so what are you expecting to get here? Test would fall through the floor in the next year with no one caring about him at all. This was a pretty big batch of jobbers in there though and that doesn’t really make for an interesting match. Then again, neither do most battle royals.
Sacrifice video by Creed.
Booker is worried about Austin jumping. Shane says it’s ok and stick with it.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Ivory vs. Lita vs. Mighty Molly vs. Jacqueline vs. Jazz
Chyna relinquished the title earlier in the year without being pinned and then disappeared so this is the best we’ve got to pick from for the new champion. This is Jazz’s debut and NO ONE CARES. Why does no one care? Because Jazz meant nothing in ECW and was a face there but is a heel here. Jazz and Lita start things off with Jazz pounding away. Off to Jackie vs. Molly off some blind tags and somehow even fewer people care about Jackie.
Jackie dropkicks Molly down and it’s off to Ivory who gets caught in a sunset flip for two. This is one fall to a finish. Ivory slingshots Jackie into the ropes and it’s off to Trish who is looking very good in those little pink shorts of hers. Lita gets knocked to the floor and the three Alliance chicks (Ivory, Jazz, Molly) triple team Trish for a bit. Jackie double crosses Lita on Poetry in Motion and everyone hits their finishers on everyone else. The Litasault gets two on Ivory as Jazz saves. Lita gets backdropped to the floor and it’s Ivory vs. Trish left. Stratusfaction gives Trish I believe her first title.
Rating: D. It was short, the match wasn’t any good, Trish looked great in the skin tight barely there pink shorts, Lita looked good as usual, and that’s all I’ve got here. As usual with situations like this, when the previous champion doesn’t lose the title, the new champion comes in at a big disadvantage.
Vince looks at Team WWF and gives them a pep talk, bringing up names like Dr. Jerry Graham, Peter Maivia, Gorilla Monsoon (pop) and Andre the Giant (BIG pop). He understands he might be looking at a group of losers, and if that happens no one will ever forgive them. After listening to that speech, I want to go fight three WWF guys and one guy each from ECW and WCW!
We recap the main event which has been summed up pretty well already. Vince was replaced by Big Show and Rock and Jericho are having major issues. Rock is WCW champion and Austin is WWF Champion. This really does feel like a huge match. The video is set to Control by Puddle of Mudd which is a good song.
Basically Vince said that he was tired of all of the InVasion (I think a lot of us were at this point) and offered one winner take all match with the losing organization going out of business. Angle joined the Alliance after the announcement but Vince says Austin is coming back to the WWF, giving the Alliance reason to be concerned. Austin stunned Angle on TV recently to further that idea.
Team WWF vs. Team Alliance
The Rock, Chris Jericho, Big Show, Undertaker, Kane
Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Shane McMahon
Everyone gets individual entrances so it takes forever to get to the start of the match. As those are going on, a few things to notice here: Team Alliance has one of the biggest WWF superstars ever, a guy that at this point had only wrestled in the WWF, a WCW guy, an ECW guy, and the then heir to the WWF throne.
Also, as goes the stereotype for the WWF, most of their guys are big and strong instead of the more athletic styles of the Alliance team. One other thing: JR keeps up one of the annoying inaccuracies in wrestling by saying that Taker won the world title in his WWF debut. It was a year later, which you should know if you’ve been reading my reviews like good minions.
Rock and Austin start fighting before the bell and you know the early advantage doesn’t mean a thing in this one. Austin hits the Thesz Press and the middle rope elbow for a very early two. Rock comes back with a middle finger elbow of his own and dares Shane to get in. Off to Booker who gets clotheslined down for two as Shane makes the save. Expect to hear that line for awhile. Off to Jericho as Heyman blames Vince for the end of ECW.
Van Dam and Jericho have a nice fast paced sequence with Jericho hitting a spinwheel kick for no cover. Jericho chops away but misses a dropkick, allowing Rob to hit the cartwheel into a moonsault for two. For reasons likely related to high levels of drug use, Van Dam tries a standing rana on Jericho, only to be countered into the Walls. Shane makes the third save of the match already and it’s off to Angle vs. Kane.
Angle gets thrown around but eventually slips behind Kane and hits a German Suplex for two. Kane comes back with a side slam and the top rope clothesline for two of his own as Shane saves again. Off to the Dead Man who pounds away but misses a charge into the corner, allowing Booker to get the tag. Taker immediately drops Booker and hits a legdrop, but Shane breaks up his fifth near fall of the match.
There’s Old School to Booker followed by that lifting wristlock which always looks painful. Off to a short armed scissors followed by a clothesline for two, resulting in ANOTHER save from Shane. Austin comes in to pound on Taker (and to cause Heyman to say WHAT after everything JR says) but he gets caught in Old School. Say it with me: Shane makes the save. Taker gets caught in the wrong corner and quintuple teamed.
Angle is in next and tries to slug it out with the Deadman for some reason. Taker escapes a German and DDTs Angle down. There’s the tag to Big Show and JR almost immediately bashes him, saying Show can make a huge difference, or he can make some huge mistakes. Show throws around RVD and Angle before clearing off the entire Alliance corner. Angle gets underneath Show and there’s the Slam followed by an Ax kick from Booker (and a Spinarooni) and a Five Star and a top rope elbow from Shane for the first elimination.
Shane dances around in celebration before turning around to meet The Rock who beats the living tar out of Shane with right hands in the corner. Off to Kane for a chokeslam, then a tombstone from Undertaker and a Lionsault from Jericho to tie it up. That’s the best way to go as Show and Shane were the weak links on both teams. Angle vs. Jericho now with Jericho hitting the forearm to start. A double underhook backbreaker puts Angle down but Austin saves.
Angle uses an amateur takedown and brings in Booker to slam Chris a few times. RVD gets a tag but one of his shoulders in the corner is countered into a sunset flip for two. Off to Kane who catches a punch from RVD. Van Dam’s comeback? Kick the guy in the head. Why make things too complicated? Kane pulls Booker in and kicks him in the face too but the numbers game allows Van Dam to take Kane down and hit the Five Star. Rob takes too long to cover though and gets caught in a chokeslam, but Booker kicks Kane down. Everything breaks down and Rob kicks Kane from the top for the pin to make it 4-3.
Taker pounds on Van Dam in the corner while everyone else is fighting on the floor. Austin and Angle get in as well and Taker has to fight all four guys at once. He gets them all in a corner and keeps charging at all of them with clotheslines in a cool sequence. Snake Eyes and a big boot take Angle down and there’s a Last Ride for him as well. Booker comes in with a chair but Taker boots him down, leaving himself open to a Stunner from Austin and the pin by Angle. That leaves us with Austin/Angle/Booker/RVD vs. Rock/Jericho.
Booker stomps on Rock but Rocky comes back with right hands. A side kick takes Rock right back down but Rock does the same with a DDT for two. Booker charges into a Samoan Drop for two as Austin makes the save. Rock whips Booker into Angle and grabs a rollup to eliminate Mr. T, making it 3-2.
Rob is in next but as he goes up, Rock kind of powerbombs him off the top for two. Jericho gets the tag and hits a running neckbreaker for two before chopping away in the corner. Van Dam avoids the Lionsault and kicks Chris’ head off, followed by the split legged moonsault for no cover. Jericho pops up and hits a Breakdown (Skull Crushing Finale) out of nowhere for the pin and the elimination to tie it up at two each.
Austin slingshots Rock into the post on the floor while Angle and Jericho fight in the ring. Angle picks Jericho’s ankle and stomps away on him as Heyman thinks the Alliance can find a place for the Rock. Back to Austin to pound away on Chris and hit a superplex for two. Austin hits a kind of northern lights/belly to belly suplex for two and here’s Angle again. Jericho puts Kurt in the ankle lock but Kurt quickly escapes and hits a clothesline to take over.
It’s back to Austin for a suplex and an elbow to the face. Angle comes in and stomps away before it’s back to Austin who stomps away as well. We hit one of the few chinlocks in this match as Jericho is in trouble. Jericho fights up and it’s a double tag to bring in Rock vs. Angle with the Great One quickly hooking a Sharpshooter on Kurt for an even faster tap. Heyman LOSES IT in a great moment.
Off to Austin vs. Jericho with Chris trying the Walls but Austin rakes the eyes to escape. Austin can’t put Jericho in the Boston crab either but he gets the knees up to block the Lionsault. Steve loads up a superplex but gets shoved down, followed by a missile dropkick for Jericho for two. Austin counters a rollup out of nowhere for the pin and the elimination to get us down to Rock vs. Austin. Did you expect it to be anything else?
Rock hits a bad spinebuster but Jericho hits a Breakdown on Rock to take him down in a double cross. It’s not joining the Alliance, but rather just personal hatred. That gets two for Austin and Taker comes out to stalk Jericho to the back. Austin pounds away before launching Rock over the top and out to the floor. They fight on the floor with Austin being laid on the table and slapped in the chest over and over.
Austin comes back but gets sent over the announce table and punched in the face by Rock. Back in Rock chops away but gets caught in the whip spinebuster from Austin. Austin puts on a bad Sharpshooter and there’s your Montreal reference. Rock finally makes the rope so Austin grabs the WWF Title. Rock ducks the swing and puts Austin the Sharpshooter but he’s afraid to let go of the belt for some reason. I guess realizing he has a job no matter what, he grabs the rope instead.
Back up and Austin’s Stunner is countered into a Stunner from Rock. Why that puts Rock down after Rock had been in control for awhile is beyond me but whatever. Rock covers but here’s Nick Patrick to pull Hebner out. A Rock Bottom to Patrick is broken up and Austin Rock Bottoms Rock for two. Austin drills Patrick and pulls Hebner back in, only to be sent into him again as Rock counters the Stunner. There’s the Stunner to Rock but there’s no referee. Angle runs in and nails Austin with the title, letting Rock hit the Rock Bottom for the pin and the death of the Alliance. JR to Heyman: “You’re out of work! AGAIN!”
Rating: A. This felt like a main event and was very entertaining too. It runs forty five minutes bell to bell and feels like about half of that. At the end of the day, it was pretty clear what was going to happen but that doesn’t make it a bad match. Rock vs. Austin was pretty much done for a long time after this match, which is the right call as they had run it a lot this year. Great stuff here though.
Everyone celebrates and Vince comes out for the big dramatic pose, because this whole storyline was all about Vince and his kids remember.
Overall Rating: B+. Like I said, as goes the main event, so goes the show. The rest of the show isn’t bad but the main event is over an hour counting buildup video and entrances and all that jazz. The rest of the show isn’t bad at all with a good cage match and nothing truly bad that didn’t involve Trish looking great, so I can’t complain much here. Also, it gets rid of the Alliance which makes things better already.
As for the InVasion, I’ve gone on at great length about it already, but in short form here: it was the biggest waste of time, money, and potential that there ever could be in wrestling. This was the biggest storyline you could possibly ask for and they BLEW IT. There are multiple options you could go with here. One idea is have no mention on TV of the WWF buying WCW and just keep it going with WWF guys in charge behind the scenes. Think a network might have been interested with it being under the direction of the biggest wrestling company ever?
Another option: have the Alliance win. At the end of the day any money they’ve got goes into the WWF’s pocket as they own EVERYTHING, so what difference does it make? Granted that was never going to happen with Vince’s ego, but why let money get in the way of Vince feeling good about himself? The InVasion could have been so much more but it wound up running about five months with the WWF dominating the whole way through. Such a shame and a loss for wrestling fans who had waited for so many years for a chance to have this happen.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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