The World's Greatest WWF Survivor Series Preview
drq: What in the world is in that room?! Thanks for showin' us what chu got, and welcome to the World's Greatest WWF Survivor Series Preview, where the only two original playaz left in this hizouse will analyze, and in most cases, overanalyze the WWF's current catch of the week, The Survivor Series. As always I'm drqshadow, daddy to many but father to none, and arguing his point(s) beside me is my regular preview partner, the man who's life story was portrayed in the film Big Momma's House, Dave "gramma" Spinosa.
The rumor mill has been churning extra hard this month, covering everything from Mick Foley's exit from the WWF's stage left to the resurrection of a certain stylin', profilin' son of a gun, and more than a couple spots in between. And, with the last few weeks' worth of TV time chillin' out in the shitter, those rumors may be the only thing keeping fans tuned in at this point. If even one of these supposed plans actually turns out to be true, this year's Survivor Series could be huge. The WWF is no doubt planning a giant swerve this year, as has become a Thanksgiving tradition, but will it be something swell, like Rocky's surprise turn in 1998 (when he had gargantuan sideburns), or something stank like the revelation of the 'higher power'? For a company that's made so many right decisions regarding their fanbase in the past, the WWF knows more than enough about how to misread things, as well. I suppose only time will tell about this year's big show, hm Dave?
Dave: Time will tell. Time has told the story about what should of been the biggest thing since the NWO. Horribly mishandled and terribly booked, the "Invasion" was half-assed from the beginning. While many fans cheered and applauded the addition of the ECW angle into the mix, it has done nothing and maybe even added more weight to drown the sinking ship which has become the Alliance..maybe if Tazz hopped off the sinking would stop but in any case... After months of screaming by internet and others, it seems that the WWF MAY realize that it's time to pull the trigger and go for broke. Even though the "Invasion" has been mishandled, it is still, in my opinion, something that could work and work quite well.
We have all heard the rumors, as Drq mentioned earlier. If those rumors are true, then it can only mean one thing and that is a good thing (Pause for sparkling smile). You need to spend money to make money, and hopefully Vince has realized that even his almighty ass needs some help now. Storylines are stale and convoluted, titles are worthless and crowds are apathetic. Remind you of a certain wrestling company? Let's hope history has taught Vince a valuable lesson..and that is sometimes, you just have to swallow your damn pride and do business.
So, with all that in mind, Survivor Series has become quite the important show. It will set up the long-term direction of the business..and "hopefully" take it in a direction that is going to be a damn sight more interesting than that stuff we have seen lately. Will Vince do what's right? Will I have to leave in the middle of the PPV to go and buy Natural Ice? Will The Big Show be eliminated in 10 seconds? Hopefully, we get 2 out of 3.
drq: ...and that ain't bad...
Dave: In any case, let's get to the show...
William Regal vs. Tajiri
Dave: I can't possibly see how this match will be bad, it has a solid story going for it and the guys involved are pretty darn good. Plus Torrie will be there at ringside so you know the view will be good. I don't know, but this match may prove to be more important than it seems because it may very well set the tone for the evening. I am pretty sure that the Alliance is going to win every match on the night except one (big guess about that one) but in the end I think that will be the catalyst toward what happens on Monday Night. Mind you this depends on Vince and if he wants to open Linda's pocketbook or not but for once I am going to be optimisitic about it.
Regal has been working a light schedule lately because of his bicep tear so I don't really expect this match to go long..and expect there to be some kind of interference on the part of Torrie..actually who knows anymore. But in any event, we set up the tone of the night here with the Alliance going over in every match..except that pesky main event.
Winner: William Regal
drq: I suppose we're already bound to disagree, then, Dave. I'm of a pretty firm belief that no single company is going to show any sort of upper hand throughout the event, all the way up to the final bell. If the Alliance walks out of every match with their hands held high, doesn't that make things in the main event just a tad bit too predictable? If nothing else, the WWF knows how to make main events nobody can safely predict, even on the very eve of their production. I'd imagine that trend will hold true here.
Regarding the match, well, I'm a bit disappointed. Loyal Ringside Shadows readers will remember my coverage of the Tajiri / Regal angle a couple months back in my weekly column, and I can't help but think they're dropping the ball by shooting this load with such a non-build behind it. Both have become quite stagnant over the course of the last month, with Tajiri treading water somewhere in the midcard and Regal's turn being overshadowed by the arrival of Kurt Angle and his aforementioned bicep tear, and this angle really needs more time to age in front of the fans before it's ready to blow off. Unless Tajiri turns heel here, which I'm calling a longshot, this will be quiet, understated and forgettable. It won't be bad, but it won't be something you look back on fondly twenty years down the line.
Winner: William Regal
Immunity Invitational Battle Royal
(Involving Crash, Saturn, Faarooq, Bradshaw, Spike, Albert, Scotty 2 Hotty, Funaki, Billy Gunn, Chuck Palumbo, Raven, The Hurricane, Kidman, Shawn Stasiak, Tazz, Steven Richards, DDP, Lance Storm, Justin Credible, Hugh Morrus, Tommy Dreamer, Chavo Guerrero Jr.)
Dave: Lol...it's like a nightmare for some people. Let's see..we got Billy Gunn, we got Hugh Morrus, we got Shawn Stasiak ..the list goes on. There are also some good people in this match though, so it will probably be alright. Does anyone think Scott Keith will rate this one...because he "dont rate them battle royals". Right...
It's not really hard to see who is going to have a shot at winning this. You have The A.P.A., Tazz, and DDP. Now out of these guys I think you know who I would pick (DDP) but you know, after watching Smackdown and all, there is only one person who I can see winning this and that is the Orange Midget. I mean we could NEVER let DDP go over could we..nope.
drq: Man, a second Kieth reference in as many months from Dave... the potential in this one must really have him worked up. Maybe that, or he's just raggin' because his man Billy Gunn isn't in that ten man tag at the top of the card. Anyways, I surprise myself for saying this out loud, but I've actually always been a pretty big fan of the old school battle royals. I dig the Royal Rumble each year, if just so we can see some faces that haven't been given a chance all year, and I just like the format of thirty guys going into one ring with a common goal, and only one stepping out of it the victor. With that said, one thing that's sorely lacking from the modern battle royal is unpredictability. You can always count on two or three people who have a chance to win it, and might as well write off the rest before their feet have even touched canvas. Sad but true. I predicted last year's Royal Rumble correctly. With a 1 in 30 shot, there's no way I should've been able to do that, but I did. Sign of the times.
So, for a change, I'd like to be surprised in this one. I'd like to see Steven Richards or Funaki battling for the immunity, instead of DDP or Bradshaw. I'd like to see a spot for Crash Holly in the new order. But, while my heart is telling me one thing, my brain is telling me something completely different. It seems Tazz is on his way to bigger and better things, judging from his inclusion in Heyman's promo on Smackdown, and Dave's guess is mine here as well. He's the logical choice.
Dave and I had a quick word about this one when the Smackdown spoilers went up Tuesday Night, and settled on a mutually agreed verdict; I wish my last job offered "Immunity Battle Royals". Some professions get all the luck.
Jacqueline vs. Trish Stratus vs. Lita vs. Mighty Molly vs. Ivory vs. Mystery opponent
Dave: Intrigue, mystery and women's wrestling. Yessshhh.. Now um, could there possibly be any WORSE time to bring another belt into the fray..which quite honestly means shit. Blah..
Anyway let's see what we got here..hmm..We got Jackie who be keepin' it real (minus her ridiculous chest), we got Trish who be keepin' it on Excess, we got Lita who be keepin' her thong out for all to see, we got Mighty Molly who could actually be keepin' a match going without me passing out and we got Ivory who was keepin' it prude but now she be keepin' it ass out. But who is the mystery opponent? GOOD GOD I would love to see Chyna..just so John could have a overwhelming mental breakdown and become a Packers fan due to the fact that Kurt Warner looks like Chyna..just more feminine :)
Anyway, if you read house show reports...former ECW wrestler Jazz has been wrestling Lita has "Regal's Mystery Opponent". Therefore, Jazz comes in and wins the highly coveted title and all is right with the world. On a side note, what if it actually was Chyna..lol good god that would be so funny.
Winner: Mystery Opponent
drq: Actually, expanding on your observations about Jazz, she's done more than appear as Regal's "mystery opponent" on house shows, Dave. She's flat out joined the Alliance. So, keeping that in mind, I have a strong suspicion the mystery opponent isn't much of a mystery any longer. Now, I've never seen a Jazz match, so I can't say for sure whether you should hurt or squirt when she inevitably does show her face this Sunday. But I do know Molly's in there along with Ivory, so there's a slight possibility things will be watchable, however momentarily. Come to think of it, all of these women have a basic amount of experience in the ring, so it won't be the worst women's title match of all time.
I, for one, don't really care who wins this. But I disagree with Dave, there actually does seem to be a calling for this belt again. The WWF's made a concerted effort to get fans interested in Women's matches lately, and more often than not the results haven't been all that bad thanks to the hard work of one Molly Holly. So, no matter who the mystery opponent turns out to be.. Nicole Bass, Sable, Jazz or Janet Reno (there's a mental picture), I'm going with Molly as my vixen of choice.
Winner: Mighty Molly
Tag Team Unification Cage Match
Dudley Boyz vs. Hardy Boyz
Dave: They are unifying the titles eh? Great..but they still won't mean a damn thing until you know..they arent hotshotted around every week. Anyway, we have a fresh and exciting matchup here, don't we? At least it will be fun because the Hardys will be in the mood to die for their fans down there in good ole Greensboro. And of course, the Dudleyz will throw them around like the bitches they so want to be. Kool-Aid Hardy will take another stupid bump to get this match over with the fans..and you can't blame the fans because we all expect it every time these two wrestle now.
I wonder how this will play out..the whole Stacy-Lita thing has some potential I guess..I still think Lita looks better than Stacy but maybe I just like my women with boobs..albeit fake ones. Lita has also laid off the enhancements it seems because she is looking a little less manly as of late. I don't know who will happen with that but I do know who is going to win this match..
Winner: Dudley Boyz
drq: Kudos to the WWF for making such a big deal out of the Dudleys' achievement as WWF, WCW and ECW champs, even though it means a little less now that they're all effectively the same promotion. I mean, if you're looking at this logically, the Dudleys don't even rank up there with The Steiner Brothers and The Public Enemy, who at least wrestled for the three promotions when they weren't one in the same. But alas, I'm getting off on a meaningless tirade.
These guys have fought more often than anyone can remember, even wrestling "historians" and the teams themselves. With that comes, naturally, repetition, but also a positive side effect; familiarity. Sure, every single step taken in this one won't be something brand new and groundbreaking. We'll probably see a repeat of one or two spots from earlier Hardy / Dudley confrontations. But the negatives will be cancelled out by the confidence these four have in each other as athletes and performers. So while the spots won't all be original, they will be smoother than ever. The transitions more abundant and less nonsensical. The match just a bit more solid than those that came before. And the Hardys the new champions.
Winners: The Hardy Boyz
U.S. / Intercontinental Unification Match
Edge vs. Test
Dave: Here are two guys who have just DIED as of late. Test gets no reaction except for the big boot and the only reaction Edge gets is from the smoke machine during his entrance. I like these guys though...I think they could be something if someone decided to put something into them instead of giving them stop-and-go pushes. But those petty problems will hopefully mean nothing come Monday because I have faith that things are going to change for the better.
This should be a good match..some cool spots and such. Hopefully they can build the match and get the crowd into it going into the main event. I really don't have much to say about this match because there really isn't anything to talk about except the match. Should be fun though..
drq: For once, I'm going to have to echo your sentiment, Dave. For two guys just beginning to show some promise at the end of last month, the bottoms has really dropped out on Test and Edge. Sure, they're still fighting over what should be the second most prestigious title in the union, but does it really even feel that way any more? Remember in the mid to late 80s, when the Intercontinental champion was always just a short hop from the top of the world? When the US Champion would routinely test the NWA Champ with everything he had in him? Remember a little match in Toronto, at a tiny little show called Wrestlemania VI, where the Intercontinental Champ actually defeated the longstanding World Champ? That's the kind of prestige that should be associated with these belts, and the men holding them. Instead, it's almost a filler match at the middle of a card. An afterthought. And that's too bad.
Now, sometimes great athletes can use a situation like this one to their advantage. A huge performance in a relatively unsuspecting match such as this one could be all that separates a star like Edge from overnight Main Event status. Look what Mick Foley did in his own unique way, at a similarly unsuspecting match at the '98 King of the Ring tournament. It only takes one memorable match to make or break the career of a lifetime. Who knows... maybe this Sunday night will be just such a match.
10-man elimination tag match -- Winner take all!
Team WWF (Chris Jericho, The Rock, Kane, The Undertaker, The Big Show) vs. Team Alliance (Shane McMahon, Booker T, Kurt Angle, Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam)
Dave: Here we go...the match of matches this year. Will the Alliance win? Will the WWF win? Let's see what's up.
This is going to be a LONG match...but it should be good. On the WWF side, we have two good workers in the Rock and Jericho and then we have the other parts of the team. On the Alliance side we have 3 good workers in Austin, Angle and Booker T and we have two spotfu masters. As long as the talented guys are in for a while to carry the less talented guys, we should be cool.
Now as to what I think is going to happen, the hell if I know! The possibilities are endless..Jericho could turn, Angle could turn, Austin could turn...who knows. That's a good thing because it builds intrigue going into the match.
I know what I would do and that is to turn Austin but I know that won't happen. But it would make sense..to completely demoralize the Alliance after winning all their matches on the PPV. Demoralize them with a loss so huge that it seems no one can save them. Plus, it would build distrust on the WWF side for Austin as well. I know Angle is a choice as well but please, let's not kill him anymore then he already has been with the nonsensical turns and whatnot.
I truly feel for Booker T as he will sell his ass off for Show, Taker and Kane and will probably be the first one eliminated. Just thought I'd throw that in seeing as the fucking BIG SHOW is in this match and honestly, he could suck a dick.
ANYWAY..if the WWF is going to take the company in a new direction, it is going to have to include the Alliance in some form. Not the form we see right now, but a new, fresh and convincing direction. A new direction that will be nudged along with the help of certain individuals..the most important of which is someone I think we all would love to see on TV once again. But in order to do that, the Alliance MUST lose. I say that because the current situation is in the shitter and they need to revamp it. If they do it right, which I think they will, it's going to be some cool, cool ish for us fans.
Now mind you, the WWF could lose and the same things could be done but I think they are going to go with an Alliance loss, regroup and give us something 100 times better. God I hope so..remember this day when the ever pessimistic writer of this preview had faith. I hope they don't give me a reason to not be..
drq: The possibilities here are nearly endless, but there remain a few things the internet scene has been overlooking, in my opinion, most notably a 7'2", 500 pound main event participant. Come on, am I the only one who thinks the Big Show's inclusion is a little bit suspicious? All this talk you've heard about the WWF's solidarity in the face of annihilation, and where's the Show been? He's mysteriously never on the scene when Rocky, Kane, Jericho and the Taker have their little get togethers. He was thrown onto the team with little or no thought involved, taking Mr. McMahon's place without even a "Hey, wait" from Vince himself. Everybody in the WWF, WCW and ECW is afraid of his goofy ass. Something just isn't adding up in my book. So yeah, I think this whole thing is gonna be kicked off with a Big Show heel turn, leading to a victory by the Alliance.
Another thing I've noticed that's slipped by most everyone else lies in the opening moments of every RAW broadcast, namely the familiar "Thorn in Your Eye" accompanied RAW intro video. Probably one of my favorite things about the WWF during its biggest run was the fact it was always in motion. That opening video changed every week, it went years without remaining stagnant. And now, suddenly, it's remained unchanged for more than a month. That tells me the production team is busying themselves with something else... something more than those "Desire" videos everyone's been praising so far. Maybe a new introduction... maybe a new set... maybe a whole new show.
So the match will be a boatload of fun. The timeless nod to the event's history, taking shape in the stipulations of this ten man elimination match, is almost perfectly suited to this kind of an important, issue-deciding matchup. Personally, I thought the idea of making this one a WarGames match was killer, but you can't argue with the name at the top of the masthead, and the name of this PPV is the Survivor Series, not the Great American Bash. Even so, the WWF's going down to the visitors in this humble columnist's opinion. It'll be long, it'll be strong, and it'll be worth it in the end.
Dave: This is truly a show that I want to see. Not because it's THAT compelling or exciting but because of the ramifications of it. I think the direction we will be taken in will be pretty obvious tommorrow night as we watch..the WWF wants its fans to know that they are trying to give us something that we actually want to cheer or boo for. Hell, they better. I think that we are going to see the beginnings of some cool, cool stuff beginning tommorrow night. Lying, cheating, violence and intrigue..these are the things which make us watch wrestling. Not Steve Austin singing folk songs..what?
Am I excited about tommorrow? Yep I am. Am I really excited about Raw on Monday? Hell yes. I'm not pulling a Tony Ski-A-Vone when I say that Raw will be one the most important shows in the last 5 years for the WWF for a variety of reasons. Let's hope they do the right thing by us and give us something to care about.
drq: I'm partially with you, Dave. The Series and Monday's RAW should be good fun, and I imagine Sunday Night will leave an awfully large mess to clean up on Monday morning, but one thing about this card really doesn't sit well with me. No matter who wins in Sunday's "unification" matches, the man carrying the belt will be a former WWF star who switched over to the Alliance at one point or another. Think about it, the Intercontinental Champ will be either Test or Edge. The Tag Belts will belong to the Dudleys or the Hardys. The Cruiserweight Champs are Tajiri and X-Pac. The World Titles are around the waists of The Rock and Steve Austin. Not a single "old regime" WCW'er in the mix. Rest assured, the Invasion's already come and gone. We just haven't seen any of the fireworks up until this point.
The only thing that can really save WCW in my mind is a victory in the main event, whether Flair comes aboard or not. It needs to be done to establish the squad as formidable once again, even if there is only one WCW man on the crew. With Mick Foley and Paul Heyman already denouncing the Federation, I think it's a matter of reading the writing on the wall. But what do I know, honestly..?
until next time, we're out like lightning
Spinosa and the Q