Survivor Series 2002
Date: November 17, 2002
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance: 17,930
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz

Well we’re into the brand split era now and last month on Smackdown’s PPV, we had a Cell match between Taker and Lesnar. Bischoff’s response: the Elimination Chamber. This is one of those shows that ticks me off to no end because of how the booking goes. Other than that, we’ve got a stupid booking decision on Smackdown as well which I don’t think I complained about enough the first time. Let’s get to it.

The theme song is Always by Saliva which is a personal favorite.

Dudley Boys/Jeff Hardy vs. 3 Minute Warning/Rico

This is an elimination tables match. Oh and that’s Bubba and Spike, not D-Von. Spike and Bubba got put through the same table on Raw Monday to set this up. The Dudleys and Jeff clear the ring to start and Spike is thrown into the arms of the Samoans. It’s Bubba vs. Rico in the ring at the moment, because putting Spike and Jeff against Umaga and Rosey is a great idea right? Bubba chops Rico HARD in the corner before things settle down.

What’s Up hits Jamal and we get to the tagging section of the match before everything breaks down again. Bubba tells Jeff to get the tables but Rosey runs over Bubba after Bubba sets up a table in the corner. A BIG backdrop puts Jeff on the floor and Rosey rams Spike’s head into a table. Rosey misses a charge and drives himself through a table in the corner but that doesn’t count because it wasn’t someone else putting him through.

Jeff tries a top rope dive at Rosey but literally bounces off. Rico brings in another table and gets caught in a Dudley Dog, but 3 Minute Warning catches him in a double powerbomb to put Spike through the table instead. Jeff and Bubba get slammed down but Bubba knocks Rosey off the top and Jeff sends Rico flying into a cameraman. Bubba pounds away but Rico hits a spinwheel kick to take his head off. Rico could go in the ring make no mistake.

Rosey and Jeff go out into the crowd and there’s a table out there with them. Jeff is put on said table as Bubba gets kicked in the face by Rico. Jamal misses a splash and crushes Rico, allowing Bubba to Bubba Bomb Jamal and go to save Jeff. With Bubba’s help, Jeff goes up to the top of an entrance and hits a BIG Swanton through Rosey through the table to make it 2-2.

Back in the ring Jamal has Bubba on a table ready for a Rico moonsault, but he looks hesitant to launch. He looks over his shoulder, shouts “C’MON JEFF!” before staggering. THEN Jeff shakes the ropes and Rico crotches himself. Not the best response but that’s on Jeff more than Rico. Bubba tries a belly to back superplex through the table but Jamal moves it away. Jeff hits Whisper in the Wind to Jamal and follows it with a dropkick.

Hardy goes to the floor to get another table which he throws at Jamal. Jeff tries to run the railing but Jamal throws the table at Jeff, who goes flying through it. That doesn’t count which I can kind of agree with. Jamal puts Jeff on another table and hits a HUGE splash off the top to eliminate Jeff. That looks awesome. Bubba beats on Rico in the ring but Jamal saves his sideburned buddy. Jamal goes up to try a top rope rana (I guess) on Bubba, only to get caught in a HUGE powerbomb through the table to get us down to one on one.

It’s Rico vs. Bubba with the former pounding away and pulling in another table. Rosey comes back in but Bubba pounds away on him too. Now Jamal is in there too and it’s D-VON to the rescue! He’s on Smackdown at this point so this is a big deal. 3D puts Rico through the table to end this.

Rating: B-. That’s likely high but this was what you want to open a show. It helps a lot that this was a fifteen minute match instead of like six minutes like they are on Raw. This was fun and the pop for the reunion of the Dudleys (which would be permanent) was a feel good moment. Good stuff here and a good choice to open things up, especially in New York City.

Stacy is at the World (WWF New York) looking great. She introduces Saliva who is doing a miniconcert at the club. They perform Always here to eat up a few minutes and we get a video about the remaining matches.

RVD is stretching before the Chamber.

Cruiserweight Title: Jamie Noble vs. Billy Kidman

Jamie is defending and has Nidia with him. Kidman grabs two very fast rollups for two and make that four in the first 30 seconds. Jamie bails to the floor but Kidman throws him right back in. Noble comes back with a neckbreaker and it’s off to a bow and arrow. Kidman gets thrown to the floor and Noble hits a suicide dive. Tazz: “I think Noble has something up his sleeve, but he’s not wearing a shirt so he has no sleeve.”

Back in and Kidman speeds things up with a back elbow and a dropkick followed by an AA into a backbreaker for two. A Falcon’s Arrow gets two for Noble so Kidman hits Tessmacher’s Tesshocker (belly to back suplex position but he slams Noble down face first instead). Kidman loads up the Shooting Star but Noble bails to the floor. That’s fine with Billy so he dives on Noble out there to take the champ down again.

Back in and Nidia distracts Kidman but gets knocked off the apron by Kidman. The BK Bomb (Low Down) gets two for Kidman as does a Tiger Bomb for Noble. They go up top and Kidman hits a sitout inverted DDT. That was pretty awesome looking but it only gets two. Noble hits Orton’s Elevated DDT for two out of the corner so Kidman hits an enziguri to take over again. Billy loads up the Shooting Star but a Nidia distraction….only delays Kidman as he hits the Shooting Star for the pin and the title.

Rating: B-. These two got going good and strong at the end which is exactly what you want from a match like this. When you can get into the area of a match where it’s one big move after another and you’re just waiting on one of them to stay down, that’s a great sign. The Shooting Star looked great too. This wasn’t a masterpiece or anything but it was solid.

Angle and Benoit are in the back and Angle is incensed that Kidman could win a title. If he can win, then so can they, as long as Benoit stays out of the captain’s way. Benoit gets in his face but Angle says they should be friends to the end. Benoit offers a handshake but Angle says no way. Angle: “I don’t shake hands! Tag team partners hug!” So HELL NO is ripping off Benoit and Angle?

Victoria, still psycho here, is looking in a mirror. Then she thinks it’s Trish and goes nuts.

We recap Trish vs. Victoria, which is a hardcore match. Victoria is batty and claims that it’s because she and Trish used to work together as fitness models, but Trish slept her way to the top. Tonight it’s about revenge. Why can’t stories today have simple backstories like that? I mean, it’s not that hard to LIE.

Women’s Title: Victoria vs. Trish Stratus

Hardcore rules here and Trish is defending. This is their second PPV match after Trish won last month. Victoria immediately chokes her with Trish’s coat before getting a broom out of one of the trashcans on each post. Trish jumps the broom (lucky guy) but Victoria takes her down almost immediately. Victoria chokes her with the broom in the corner but gets flipped to the mat.

Now Trish finds a trashcan lid but Victoria knocks the lid into her head with the broom. We head to the floor and Trish gets whipped HARD into the trashcan. Back in and Victoria hits her slingshot legdrop for two. The challenger puts a trashcan in between the top and middle rope but Trish grabs her legs and slingshots Victoria’s head into the can. Trish sets up an ironing board in the corner and whips Victoria into it for two.

It’s kendo stick time with Victoria taking a beating. She gets a boot up in the corner though and BLASTS Trish with a trashcan lid. Victoria has a bloody nose and sits on the middle rope, allowing Trish to try a rana out of the corner. Victoria counters into a kind of Boston Crab position, but Trish does a big situp and hits Victoria in the head with a can lid.

That only stuns her though so Trish BLASTS her in the head with a trashcan lid again to knock Vicotira off the ropes and out to the floor. Victoria gets a mirror from under the ring but Trish superkicks her down. Chick Kick (Punk’s high kick) gets two for Trish as does a bulldog. Victoria rolls to the floor and pulls out a fire extinguisher to blast Trish with. That and a suplex gets the pin and the title for the nutjob.

Rating: B. This was AWESOME with both chicks beating the tar out of each other. The story of the match worked really well too with Trish trying to wrestle her way out of trouble against a monster that wanted to hurt her no matter what. This worked really well and is one of the most intense Divas matches you’ll ever see.

Booker is getting ready.

Bischoff brags about the Chamber for a bit. Show comes up and says he’ll show Eric why trading him to Smackdown was a bad idea.

Heyman is worried that Brock can’t beat Big Show. Lesnar has (legit, due to Show hurting him at a house show) bad ribs.

We recap Show vs. Lesnar. Lesnar beat Taker in the Cell last month, so Show beat up Taker to make himself the next challenger. Even Heyman says Brock can’t beat him.

Smackdown World Title: Big Show vs. Brock Lesnar

Lesnar is defending here and is mostly a face now. It’s on in a hurry as the fans are behind Lesnar. Show gets in a shot to the ribs in the corner and launches Brock across the ring. Brock is all like BRING IT ON and grabs a double leg to take Show down. They head to the floor and Brock gets rammed into the post. Back in and Brock pounds away before hitting something like a belly to back suplex. Show misses a charge and Brock “hits” a German, which means Show lands on Brock’s head. Brock tries an F5 but Show knees him in the ribs.

The referee gets bumped and Brock THROWS Big Show down with an overhead belly to belly. Heyman throws in a chair and Brock cracks Show over the head with it. There’s the F5 and a new referee but Heyman pulls the referee out of the ring. This makes no sense and I’ll get to why in a second. Lesnar figures out what’s going on and gives chase, but charges right into a pair of chair shots to the ribs. Show chokeslams Brock onto the chair for the pin and the title. That’s Brock’s first ever loss.

Rating: D+. Most of that is for Lesnar’s INSANE power. Here’s why this match ticks me off: Lesnar had to get the title taken off of him because of injury. That’s fine. So they pick BIG SHOW to take it from him? This is the same idea as Nash beating Goldberg: you have an unstoppable monster and you take the title off of him for the sake of this old dude? You have Angle, Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Edge on the Smackdown roster and you pick BIG SHOW? Now to be fair Angle got the title in a month, but why not just cut out the middle man and make a new star?

As for why Heyman’s turn makes no sense, the whole idea of the match was that Heyman didn’t think Lesnar could suplex, F5 or beat Big Show. He did the first two things and had Show beat until Heyman turned. Heyman is a lot of things, but he’s always been someone that knows what kind of a monster he’s got and sticks with them to the end. This is out of character for him, especially when an injured Brock had proven he could beat Show. So on top of being a bad match with bad booking, it makes no sense. Nice job WWE.

Show and Heyman immediately bail.

We recap the triple threat tag title match. Benoit and Angle beat Rey and Edge in the match of the year at No Mercy in a tournament final. The new champions argued over who is team captain and have to work together or they’re suspended. Edge and Mysterio won the titles on Smackdown in 2/3 falls match. Stephanie threw in Los Guerreros because these six are the Smackdown Six and you can’t have just four of them together, even though we’ve had that for months. Not that I’m complaining though, because this is going to be AWESOME.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Edge/Rey Mysterio vs. Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit vs. Los Guerreros

Edge and Mysterio are champions and this is under elimination rules. It’s Mysterio vs. Benoit to start which is fine with me. Benoit hits a HARD chop but gets caught in a rana and a flapjack to give Rey what will likely be a short lived advantage. Off to Edge for a double hiptoss before Kurt gets the tag and a big pop. Chavo punches Angle in the back of the head and that’s a tag apparently.

Chavo gets shouldered down but nips up immediately. Off to Mysterio vs. Eddie which is one of those pairings that works no matter what. A headscissors takes Eddie down and it’s off to Kurt to face the masked dude. They’re going very fast paced so far. Angle misses a charge into the post but Rey takes too much time on the top and gets run over by Kurt. The Olympian tags in the psycho who suplexes Rey down for two.

Back to Angle who suplexes Rey down and gets in a cheap shot on Edge. The Angle Slam is countered but Angle clotheslines Rey down instead. Back to Chris as Tazz talks about Los Guerreros not wanting to get in yet. The battling partners tag in again so Angle can put on a front facelock. Rey fights up after about a minute in the hold and kicks Kurt in the face to take him down.

There’s the hot tag to Edge who cleans house with a bunch of suplexes. Eddie comes in and goes to the floor with Rey. Edge misses the spear and gets caught in a Crossface and ankle lock AT THE SAME TIME. Mysterio breaks both parts of the hold up and Chavo pulls Angle to the floor. Rey dives on both of them and Benoit Germans Edge but Eddie comes in off the top to sunset flip Benoit, sending Edge flying in a German for two each. Eddie gets suplexed to the floor with his head smashing into the apron on the way down. FREAKING OW MAN!

Benoit rolls more Germans on Edge (Gee I wonder why he needed neck surgery five months after this) and Eddie hits the Frog Splash on Edge but Benoit hits the Swan Dive on Eddie. Angle Slam and Ankle lock to Eddie while Benoit Crossfaces Edge. Chavo hits Benoit with a belt and throws the belt to Angle. Benoit thinks Angle hit him and Mysterio dropkicks Chris into Angle. Angle and Rey go to the floor and Edge spears Benoit for the elimination. Absolutely amazing sequence there which NEVER STOPPED.

Angle and Benoit destroy Edge and Rey before leaving. They lay out Los Guerreros too for fun. Eddie vs. Edge keeps the match going and Eddie suplexes the Canadian down before it’s off to Chavo. Chavo pounds away on Edge as Los Guerreros double team. We get down to a much more standard tag team formula with Edge playing Ricky Morton. Edge finally comes back with a double clothesline and it’s off to Rey.

Things speed up again with Rey flying all over the place and hitting a headscissors to put Chavo down. Edge spears both guys down and launches Rey up to rana Eddie off the top. That’s another awesome sequence. There’s the 619 to Eddie but Chavo hits Rey in the back to break up the West Coast Pop. Eddie puts on the Lasso From El Paso (a Boston Crab/Sharpshooter hybrid) for the tap and the titles.

Rating: B+. This was a match that felt like it got hacked to death. If you give these guys another 15 minutes (the match ran 20) and take away the belt shots, the match gets a lot better. The first half, as in before the first elimination, is INCREDIBLE. The stuff after that though is good but standard. Still though, these guys were the future of the company and it was a good sign to see them. Combine that with three guys named Batista, Orton and Cena that had debuted earlier in the year and you’ve got the next five years of WWE.

Here’s Nowitski to make fun of New York in a really stupid promo. Matt Hardy comes out to yell at him before blasting New York as well. The mouth running goes on even longer until FINALLY Scott Steiner debuts and murders them. Somehow this took SEVEN AND A HALF MINUTES. Steiner would go on to have perhaps the two worst PPV world title matches in recorded history against HHH before being shunted down the card.

Shawn says he believes in himself but we get RNN BREAKING NEWS! It’s Randy Orton who has a bad shoulder. He says there’s no new damage to his bad shoulder due to an extra pillow on the plane. This was the WAY over the top deal that Orton was doing which first turned him heel. I loved it but it got annoying fast, which is the right idea.

We recap the Elimination Chamber. HHH is the official WORLD CHAMPION OF EVERYTHING but Shawn beat him at Summerslam and wants a rematch. Bischoff wants to top the Cell so here’s his latest idea. The rules are mostly simple: two guys start and there are four more in individual pods. After five minutes there’s a new guy introduced and it’s elimination rules. The winner is world champion. The other four guys are there because they’re the biggest stars on Raw. This is set to Always again and they’re not even trying to hide that this is ALL about HHH vs. Shawn.

HHH says that he’s awesome and he’ll keep the title.

Eric comes out and walks through the Chamber to explain everything I just said. Apparently the glass is bulletproof. This is the first time the Chamber had been seen and I believe the first time the rules have been explained.

Raw World Title: Kane vs. Chris Jericho vs. HHH vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Booker T vs. Rob Van Dam

Jericho is a tag champion, but the cool part here is that as he comes out, Saliva does his theme song live at WWF New York. HHH is defending of course. Shawn’s tights are….brown. This is one of those decisions that no one ever quite got and he was made fun of extensively for them apparently. I mean…..BROWN? Mankind wore brown for crying out loud. The wide show of the Chamber really does look cool. Anyway the entrances take a long time and RVD vs. HHH gets us going.

Van Dam hits a spinwheel kick to take HHH down but walks into a facebuster. The Pedigree is countered into a backdrop over the top to hit the cage outside the ring. JR’s statements about the Chamber are already nuts as he says it has no soul or conscience. IT’S A FREAKING CAGE! Anyway, HHH is rammed into the cage over and over to bust him open and Van Dam hits Rolling Thunder over the top rope to land on HHH on the cage. Yeah there’s a floor made of cage surrounding the ring that is level with the mat if you’ve somehow never seen one of these.

Van Dam goes up on one of the pods but his flip dive mostly hits the floor instead of HHH. Back in the ring and HHH gets stomped down in the corner as Jericho is added in as the third man. Van Dam immediately kicks him down and it’s five minutes until the next entrant. A cartwheel into a moonsault gets two on Jericho and they head outside the ring as well. In the first famous spot in the Chamber’s history, Van Dam jumps off the top rope, misses Jericho, and grabs onto the cage like Spider-Man before spinning back around to cross body Jericho. That’s still awesome.

HHH gets back up and hits the knee to the face of Van Dam which gives Jericho a two count. HHH and Jericho double team RVD before Chris tells Shawn to suck it. Van Dam’s back gets rammed into the cage wall some more and Jericho talks a lot of trash. Rob’s back goes into the cage over and over and we head back in to the ring. There’s a spin kick to put Jericho down as Booker T is in fourth.

Booker quickly clears the ring and we get a Spinarooni before Van Dam fights Booker one on one. Booker gets in some shots to Rob but walks into the stepover kick to give Van Dam control again. HHH gets back up and takes Van Dam down, only to get caught by the scissors kick from Booker. The next big spot of the match is Van Dam going up to the top of the pod and hitting the Five Star on HHH, with Van Dam’s knee hitting HHH’s throat, severely (and legitimately) injuring HHH’s windpipe. Since HHH can’t get up right now to eliminate Van Dam, Booker hits a missile dropkick to take Van Dam out.

Booker grabs a quick cover on HHH but only gets two. Jericho goes after Booker but gets caught in an Alabama Slam for his efforts. Kane comes in fifth because we don’t quite know if Shawn’s back can handle a full match yet. Kane goes off on Booker and Jericho as HHH lays on the outside. Jericho gets launched face first into the cage wall and is then thrown through the BULLETPROOF, yes BULLETPROOF I SAY glass. This would become a running joke in the Chamber.

JR says the Chamber has no soul or conscience again just to hammer home the point. Kane chokeslams Booker and Jericho adds the Lionsault to take Booker out and get us down to four guys. A Kane suplex gets two on Jericho as we’re waiting on Shawn to come in. HHH goes up top for no apparent reason and gets slammed down ala Flair. Jericho missile dropkicks Kane down and here’s HBK.

HHH is down in the corner of course so Shawn can only beat on Kane and Jericho. There’s the forearm to Kane but no nipup, leaving everyone down at the moment. Kane whips Shawn HARD into the corner where Shawn flips upside down. There’s a chokeslam for all three remaining guys not named Kane but instead of covering, Kane loads up a Tombstone on HHH. Shawn superkicks Kane down but he sits up. The Pedigree and Lionsault finally put Kane out and we’re down to three.

Shawn gets double teamed by HHH and Jericho and it’s time for Chris to dance. After being rammed into the cage a few times, Michaels is busted open. Jericho talks more trash and HHH walks around a lot. Shawn tries to fight back but his piledriver on the cage is countered to backdrop his bad back onto the cage again. There’s the Lionsault….for two. You know, the move that put out Booker and Kane earlier? It’s now not enough to put down Shawn when he’s been beaten down and injured on top of having one match in four and a half years.

Shawn comes back with a moonsault press to Jericho for two before putting Jericho in the Walls. HHH finally comes back from getting popcorn or something with a DDT to Shawn. Jericho and HHH finally get in the argument you were expecting and the fight is on. Jericho jumps out of the corner and lands in the Pedigree, but Jericho counters into the Walls. While holding HHH, Shawn kicks Jericho’s head off and it’s down to one on one. If this surprises you, you’re an imbecile.

So it’s Shawn, bloodied and injured and in his second match in four years, against an also injured HHH in the main event at Madison Square Garden. Gosh I’m so glad these two are so selfless. The spinebuster puts Shawn down and HHH backdrops him over the top. Shawn sends HHH into the cage but when Shawn tries to Pedigree HHH on the steel, HHH counters into a slingshot through the cage again. You know, because Shawn would still be alive at this point.

Back in the ring all that gets two and it’s time for the slugout. Seriously, those brown tights are so stupid looking. A facebuster puts Shawn down and it’s another clothesline to put him onto the outside. The Pedigree on the steel is countered into another slingshot into the Chamber wall. Back into the ring and Shawn drops the elbow off the top of the pod. The Superkick is countered into the Pedigree and, say it with me, Shawn kicks out at two. Another Pedigree is countered into a backdrop, followed by the Sweet Chin Music to give Shawn the title.

Rating: D+. I’ve mellowed on this match in the last few years to the point where I’m not mad about it anymore. However, it’s still one of those matches where you look at it and say really. As in REALLY? We’re supposed to buy that Shawn can survive ALL of that and still win the freaking title? You have to keep in mind this isn’t the Shawn who was having the match of the year for like five years running. No one expected him to go on as long as he did. At this point, making it to Wrestlemania would have been impressive.

That’s where this match loses it for me: we’re supposed to buy that Shawn is so great, so amazing, and so tough that he can basically walk off the street and be better than four of the top guys in the business? There comes a point where my suspension of disbelief is cut off and I can’t buy this anymore. We passed that at Summerslam, making this even more ridiculous. This match is also the reason we had to sit through the AWFUL match at Armageddon, where HHH and Shawn got to waste 40 minutes of our time by barely being able to move.

In short, this is way more than I can accept as far as the match being realistic. In wrestling, you have to accept that some stuff is ridiculous. That’s called suspending disbelief. However, there comes a point where that’s not the case any longer. It’s unrealistic in wrestling terms to accept that Shawn can survive all this and win the title. This was pure selfishness from Shawn and HHH, which would get WAY worse in the future. HHH wouldn’t make a new star for over a YEAR when he put Benoit over at Wrestlemania in the same arena.

As for the rest of the match, it’s acceptable, but WAY too long. The Chamber matches need to go about thirty minutes instead of the forty this one went. The last seventeen minutes here, as in the amount of time after Kane is eliminated, are REALLY repetitive and while they had good drama, they needed to be cut. Booker, RVD, Jericho and Kane were all there to fill in spaces and be there for Shawn and HHH to bounce off of. I don’t hate the match, but it really doesn’t work all that well.

Confetti falls to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. The show overall is pretty solid actually but the main event is a good sized letdown. The Show/Lesnar stuff I went on about enough, but other than those two things the card is pretty solid. The triple threat tag is good stuff but the No Mercy match is even better. This show is worth checking out, but you won’t be thrilled by the Chamber.




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