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 2004
Date: November 14, 2004
Location: Gund Arena, Cleveland, Ohio
Commentators: Michael Cole, Tazz, Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
This is an interesting show as the two big matches are a match where the impact comes over the next four weeks and another where there is little more than bragging rights on the line. The build for this show hasn’t been the strongest, though a lot of that is due to the changes taking place in the company. There are some fresh talents coming in and they’re still finding their footing, so it should be interesting to see where this show takes us. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look back at the show’s history, which means about five of the seventeen shows get a look. The video talks about trust and how only the strong will survive. Fair enough, though I’d have rather had more of the historical stuff.
Cruiserweight Title: Rey Mysterio vs. Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Spike Dudley
Spike is defending and it’s one fall to a finish. It’s a brawl to start with Rey taking a shot to the ribs and Chavo getting double teamed in the corner. Kidman doesn’t waste time in dropkicking Spike to the floor and here’s Spike to clothesline Kidman to the other side of the floor. That leave Rey to sunset flip Chavo for two and armdrag him outside. Spike replaces Chavo and stomps Rey down in the corner as Chavo comes back in.
A double clothesline puts Spike and Chavo down at the same time, leaving Rey to hurricanrana Kidman off the apron. Chavo picks Rey up and throws him into a seated senton Kidman, setting up a dive onto both of them. Spike’s dive just hits floor in a nasty crash but he’s fine enough to run back in and break up Chavo’s belly to back on Kidman. Rey gets whipped hard into the corner, leaving the other three to set up a Tower of Doom with Spike getting the worst.
Kidman was just the electric chair so he BK Bombs Rey but gets posted by Chavo. Spike’s running headbutt to the ribs puts Chavo down, only to have Rey come back with a 619 to the champ. Kidman breaks up the West Coast Pop and drops a slingshot legdrop on Chavo. Rey takes Kidman to the floor though, allowing Spike to pin Chavo to retain.
Rating: C+. Pretty good choice for an opener here with Rey and Chavo handling the dives and a Tower of Doom before it was a cliché. Spike retaining the title isn’t the most thrilling thing in the world but I think I could go for that over another Rey or Chavo reign. Kidman has already fallen off a lot over the last few weeks and at the moment there isn’t another better option.
Gene Snitsky comes up to Heidenreich to compliment his poetry. Heidenreich likes what Snitsky does to babies. An uncomfortable amount of grunting ensues.
Intercontinental Title: Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin
Christian, now with Just Close Your Eyes for theme music and with Tyson Tomko in his corner, is challenging. Shelton goes with a hammerlock to start and Christian bails to the ropes to avoid the wrestling on the mat. Back up and Shelton blasts him with a shoulder to show off some power for a change. Christian is already frustrated and slaps the champ in the face before sending him over the ropes.
The cat is skinned and Shelton hits a springboard Blockbuster (looked like it was supposed to be a clothesline but he rotated too far) for two. For some reason that wakes Christian up even more and he hammers away in the corner. Shelton sticks the landing on a monkey flip and threatens Christian to the floor with a superkick, leaving the announcers to discuss the origins of the Oklahoma roll. A Tomko distraction lets Christian kick him into the barricade and the angry Christian pounds away.
The neckbreaker gets two and we hit the chinlock to stay on Shelton’s neck. Shelton gets thrown outside with someone’s elbow pad flying onto the announcers’ table in the process. Back in and Christian’s reverse tornado DDT gets two but Shelton reverses a whip to send Christian chest first into the buckle. A Jackknife rollup gets two and a reverse slingshot suplex (not quite a fisherman’s JR) is good for the same on Christian.
Shelton misses the Stinger Splash though and it’s an inverted DDT to give Christian two of his own. With nothing else working, Tomko slides the title in and even though it hits the referee in the foot, he doesn’t actually notice. It doesn’t work for Christian, who gets the title tossed, only to have Tomko kick Shelton in the face for two. Back up and Christian tries the Unprettier, which is countered into a quick exploder to retain the title.
Rating: B. This is a good example of a difficulty of five but an execution of ten. They went with a simple story but did it so well that it was easy to get behind as you wanted to see the more athletic champion overcome the cheating and retain. It’s a story that you can get into in a single viewing and Shelton played his role very well. Good match and I could go for another one.
Kurt Angle doesn’t like how Edge portrayed him in his book. He did like the chapter on Edge winning the World Title….or at least he would have if there had been one. Edge laughs it off because his team will win tonight and he’ll get a title shot. Angle goes off for his match but Eugene comes in to list off Angle’s resume and sing YOU SUCK.
Wrestlemania Recall: STONE COLD! STONE COLD! STONE COLD!
Team Angle vs. Team Guerrero
Kurt Angle, Carlito, Mark Jindrak, Luther Reigns
Eddie Guerrero, John Cena, Big Show, Rob Van Dam
Cena charges to the ring to chase Carlito off and beats Jesus (Carlito’s bodyguard) up the aisle. Carlito keeps running and Cena shouts about Carlito sending his guys to stab him. With Jesus getting in a cheap shot, Carlito and Jesus jump into a car and run away. Everyone else gets in a fight on the floor and we get the opening bell, meaning Carlito is eliminated due to running away (in other words, he was injured).
We officially start with Show chopping Jindrak in the corner and handing it off to Van Dam for a spinning kick to the face. Rolling Thunder gives Eddie two and the headscissors/armdrag combination puts Jindrak and Reigns down. Angle comes in and punches Guerrero down before handing it back to Reigns for a backbreaker into a side slam. Jindrak’s full nelson is countered with a trip into the buckle but Kurt dives over to break up the hot tag attempt.
The chinlock goes on and switches into a front facelock before it’s back to Jindrak for more entry level offense. Actually hang on as he throws in a hip swivel in between the elbows. Eddie finally gets up and brings Rob in to punch Angle. Jindrak tries to save Angle from the Five Star but takes it instead, allowing Kurt to roll Rob up with the ropes for the elimination. Eddie is right back with a rollup in the ropes to get rid of Jindrak (with a fast count) to make it 3-2.
Big Show comes in to face Angle, who bails out so Reigns can do it instead. Reigns finally goes after the big bandage on the ankle, meaning it’s all of five extra seconds before the chokeslam can get rid of him. That leaves Angle by himself so he grabs the ankle lock, which is countered to send him into the aisle. Angle tries to leave but runs into Rob, who sends him backing up the aisle….and right into Show, with Angle reaching up and finding the very tall head to realize how much trouble he’s in. Back in and the FU into the frog splash is enough for the pin.
Rating: D. I was having flashbacks to the Hulkamaniacs vs. the Million Dollar Team from 1989 as the faces were never in serious trouble. There was almost no doubt after just a few minutes because Jindrak and Reigns were the lamest of goons against a bunch of top stars. They never did anything beyond stomps and slams and it wasn’t exactly believable that they could be a threat. There was no drama here and it showed badly.
There were some talented good guys on that team:
We recap Heidenreich vs. Undertaker. I’d go into the details here but Heidenreich is the definition of a monster for Undertaker to slay. There have been a lot of them over the years but Heidenreich is one of the lowest of the low. He tried to crush Undertaker with a car, which worked as well as you might have expected. Then he read poetry and seemed to sexually assault Michael Cole. Do I need to continue the explanation?
Undertaker vs. Heidenreich
Heidenreich has Paul Heyman in his corner. Undertaker punches him into the corner to start and the referee wisely bails out to the floor. There’s a big boot to put Heidenreich down and Undertaker sends the arm into the corner. Some pulls on the arm look to set up Old School but Heyman offers a distraction so Heidenreich can break it up with a low blow.
Undertaker gets crotched against the post, which Cole thinks may be a kink in his armor. They head outside with Undertaker taking over off the shots to the ribs and the elbows on the apron. The apron legdrop completes the standard sequence and now Old School can connect. A Downward Spiral has Heidenreich in more trouble but the running boot in the corner misses.
Undertaker gets knocked off the apron so Heidenreich can hammer away against the barricade for two back inside. The chinlock goes on for a bit until a clothesline gives Heidenreich two more. Undertaker gets in a suplex and it’s time for the slugout. The clothesline takes Heidenreich down and it’s Snake Eyes into the big boot.
Right hands get Heidenreich out of the chokeslam and a Boss Man Slam gives him two. The punches in the corner are countered into a weak Last Ride with Heidenreich grabbing the rope for the break. Undertaker slams his way out of a sleeper in a hurry and now the chokeslam connects. The Tombstone finally finishes Heidenreich off.
Rating: D. This was far worse than bad as it was really, really boring. Heidenreich had nothing that felt like a threat to Undertaker and the match itself was much longer than it needed to be at about sixteen minutes. The villains continue to be weak on Smackdown with Undertaker dispatching this goon without much serious trouble, as he should have done.
Eric Bischoff (Raw GMN) says Maven may not be wrestling tonight and since there is so little time left, Bischoff won’t be naming a replacement. His vacation is too valuable to listen to HHH’s complaints about a replacement.
We recap Trish Stratus vs. Lita. Trish mocked Lita for getting pregnant by Kane and referred to her as the Kiss of Death for destroying so many careers over the years. Lita lost the baby thanks to Snitsky but Trish wouldn’t shut up, with some of the best heel promos the women’s division has ever seen. Lita wants to kill her and if she wins the title as well, so be it.
Women’s Title: Trish Stratus vs. Lita
Trish is defending and starts by hiding in the corner. That’s fine with Lita who slugs away and heads outside where a chair shots DQ’s Lita at just over a minute.
Post match Lita stays on her as Trish’s nose is busted.
Theodore Long comes in to see Team Guerrero and asks if he can talk to Cena alone. Show takes off his towel and Cena is a little disturbed. Long has some good news for him: Cena gets his US Title shot this week on Smackdown.
We recap JBL vs. Booker T. Booker earned the title shot by winning a title shot and the rest of the feud has been built around JBL’s lackey Orlando Jordan vs. interviewer Josh Matthews, because this feud doesn’t have the strongest legs.
Smackdown World Title: John Bradshaw Layfield vs. Booker T.
JBL is defending, has his goon Orlando Jordan with him, and will leave Smackdown if he loses. Feeling out process to start with JBL shouting that this isn’t WCW. Some right hands have JBL in trouble so he hits Booker in the back of the head to take over. Booker’s clothesline doesn’t do him much good as a swinging neckbreaker gives the champ two. A much better clothesline sends JBL outside, though he’s fine enough to poke Booker in the eye.
They fight over the announcers’ table and it’s Jordan getting a cheap shot in from behind. We hit the cobra clutch on Booker, followed by some elbow drops for two. And now, just to mix it up a bit, we hit the chinlock. With that broken up, JBL heads up top and gets superplexed right back down. They head outside with a Book End dropping JBL again though Jordan keeps it on the floor.
JBL and Jordan both get taken out and it’s Booker’s missile dropkick for tow back inside. The Houston Hangover misses but Booker is right back with more kicks to the face. Another Jordan distraction lets JBL get two off a DDT….and the ref gets bumped. It’s Jordan coming in again and this time bringing in a chair. Cue Josh Matthews (announcer who had been having issues with JBL and Jordan) to take the chair away but JBL kicks him in the face. Booker gets in his own kicks but the second referee takes his time diving in for two, allowing Jordan to make the save. The Book End hits Jordan but JBL hits Booker with the title to retain.
Rating: D. Back to back overly long matches from the blue show with JBL and Jordan being as dull of a combination as you can get. The JBL title reign has lost what little charm it had thanks to the Jordan addition, as the guy isn’t adding anything and was the focal point of this feud, despite being that bad. Booker was trying but he needs something better than this reheated HHH/Ric Flair formula.
The cure for the common narcolepsy:
We recap the Raw elimination tag. Bischoff is tired of being in charge so he’s taking a month off. Therefore, the winning team gets to run Raw a week at a time for a month. They have all made it clear that if they win, they’re coming for the World Title, which is about as logical as you can get. The problem though is there’s little reason to watch this show because it’s all about the next four weeks.
Team HHH vs. Team Orton
HHH, Batista, Gene Snitsky, Edge
Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit, Maven
There’s no Maven to start and Ric Flair is at ringside to make it 5-3. Benoit gets aggressive with Edge in the corner to start and elbows him in the face to take over. That’s enough to bring in Snitsky and Orton, which is quite the strange looking showdown. Their slugout doesn’t last long and it’s off to Jericho vs. HHH to keep up the alternating matchups. Orton is right back in to hammer on HHH with Flair panicking about HHH taking such a beating.
The jumping knee to the face gets HHH out of trouble and it’s Batista hitting his powerslam for two. Edge comes in and gets sent into the corner, allowing the quick tag to Benoit, who beats up everyone in short order. The rolling German suplexes have HHH in trouble and Benoit suplexes Edge onto him. A double Swan Dive gets two with Snitsky having to make a save.
The Sharpshooter has HHH In trouble but Snitsky makes another save. That’s enough for HHH to hit a quick Pedigree so Edge can pin Benoit for the first elimination. Jericho comes in next and gets taken down by a neckbreaker but HHH and Snitsky gets in a shouting match. HHH gets shoved down so Batista comes in to go nose to nose with Snitsky. Batista realizes what’s going on and breaks up the Walls on HHH.
Flair gets caught breaking up the Walls again and that means an ejection. With the referee taking care of Flair, Batista blasts Jericho and Orton with a double clothesline. Orton breaks up the big clothesline to Jericho with a belt shot and it’s a running enziguri to eliminate Batista. That’s not it for Batista to leave in peace though so he blasts Jericho with the big clothesline and then heads out. Snitsky comes in for stomping and choking instead of covering because he’s new at this. It’s off to Edge, who gets taken down with a sleeper drop but Snitsky breaks up the hot tag attempt. Everything breaks down again but here’s a bandaged up Maven to come in and go after Snitsky.
Maven’s middle rope bulldog takes HHH down but Snitsky caves his head in with a chair shot that would get him tossed out of the building today. Here it’s just a DQ, though HHH pins Maven with no trouble a second later. We’re down to HHH/Edge vs. Orton/Jericho with Jericho slipping out of the Pedigree but getting speared down for two. HHH and Edge smile down at Orton, who says bring it on.
The double stomping is on with Edge stomping away and handing it off to HHH, with JR losing his mind that Edge won’t get out of the ring. HHH’s DDT gets two and he argues with the referee, allowing Orton to roll him up for two. Edge comes in and accidentally spears HHH to give Orton the easy pin. We’re down to HHH vs. Orton with the former starting fast with a low blow. Orton gets up again and counters the Pedigree into the RKO for the pin. The Orton vs. HHH part was barely a minute and a half long.
Rating: B-. Perfectly watchable match here with Snitsky still being protected and Maven still being Maven. Other than that they’ve done a good job of making Orton look like a threat to the title, but the two Canadians are just kind of there with little reason to believe that they’re going to be a threat to the title. That leaves us waiting until probably the Royal Rumble for a new challenger, meaning it’s time for winter vacation without missing any time from the show.
Orton poses to end the show.
Overall Rating: D+. This is a really weird one as it contains a lot of perfectly watchable to good wrestling, but absolutely nothing that changes anything long term. The main event stipulation lasts a grand total of four episodes of Monday Night Raw, and while that might change something, there’s no guarantee that any of this could actually matter. The Smackdown stuff was even less important with the two main matches being long and dull, leaving us with no one to challenge JBL at the moment.
Overall, the show is a rather quick sit (only a little over two and a half hours) with nothing too bad (boring, but not terrible). It could have been worse, but the biggest problem is how nothing actually matters in the end. Like I said, they’re in a big transitional period right now and while they probably have long term goals in mind, this is a rather hard stretch to get through because the villains feel like placeholders, which is the case with most of the stories at the moment. It can get better, but we have some long stretches to get through first.
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 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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