The Netcop Rant for Survivor Series 99
– First, some business to take care of. Pay no attention to Rick Scaia’s disappointed review of Foo Fighters’ new album. He’s an ECW fan, what did you expect? Words like “radio friendlyÃ¢â‚¬Â and “mainstreamÃ¢â‚¬Â are like poison to that type. The bottom line is that the album, although sputtering along for the first two tracks, hits a killer groove and never looks back. And I wouldn’t say it’s “radio friendlyÃ¢â‚¬Â — while Dave Grohl hits a more pop-ish niche with this one, there’s not really anything that’s a standout single beside “Learn to FlyÃ¢â‚¬Â. Most of the songs fall into the more subtle hummable category and kind of sneak up on you, like the catchy guitar hook in “GeneratorÃ¢â‚¬Â or the outright singable “MIAÃ¢â‚¬Â. Overall, I would personally call it their best album to date, and one of the best of the year.
– And yeah, I know there was no Retro Rant for Survivor Series 98. Long story short, I bought a DVD drive for my computer and spent the better part of 6 hours doing that time-honored tradition of computer guys everywhere: Watching Windows 98 freeze up and racking my brain trying to figure out why. After much experimentation with switching things around in various configurations (my original guess was that the decoder card was messing with my video card) I discovered that I had to upgrade my bus-mastering drivers to get Windows to recognize the drive. Once again, the fine people at the Acer Corporation deliver a crappy chipset for an otherwise fine motherboard. So now if anyone in Edmonton can let me know if they’ve seen the Wrestlemania XV DVD or the Steve Austin one for sale and point me to it, or if you have a copy you’d like to part with, let me know because I wanna get my hands on one.
– Live from Detroit, Michigan
– Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler.
– Opening match: The Godfather, D-Lo Brown & The Headbangers v. The Acolytes & The Dudley Boyz. In a cute attempt at team continuity, everyone on the face side is dressed like Huggy Bear, thus proving that pimpin’ IS easy. Boring start with the Dudleys knocking the afros right off the Bangers. Bradshaw lariats Thrasher and gets him. Dudleys hit 3D on Mosh soon after and he’s gone. Bradshaw hits D-Lo with a chair, drawing a DQ, and then Faarooq and D-Von argue who gets the pin. Neither does, as they fight over that issue all the way back to the dressing room. That leaves Buh Buh v. Godfather & D-Lo. D-Lo softens him up after taking a beating, and Godfather mops up with the Ho Train. D-Lo adds the Lo-Down for the academic pin. Didn’t suck or anything. ** Survivors: D-Lo Brown & The Godfather.
– Shawn Stasiak v. Kurt Angle. We another Angle promo, then a video of Stan Stasiak. Angle gets the Patriot’s old music, thus pretty much confirming that he’s gonna be a heel. If they wanted to go WAY over the top with it, they could have used “Real AmericanÃ¢â‚¬Â. They work a pretty decent mat-based match, which is just begging for “boringÃ¢â‚¬Â chants from the fans. Angle eventually rolls out and tells the crowd that they shouldn’t boo a former Olympic athlete. Guess who they react to that one. Stasiak hits a kind of brainbuster soon after for two, but Angle comes back with his fallaway slam for the pin. The crowd boos. Not bad all-in-all. **1/4
– Val Venis, Gangrel, Mark Henry & Steve Blackman v. British Bulldog & The Mean Street Posse. If ANYONE in the Posse goes over ANY of the other team, someone is smoking too much crack. They make no attempt to attach any kind of storyline to this, by the way. Venis & Pete Gas do an okay sequence, and Blackman comes in to clean up with the BIG KICK OF DOOM for the pin. Gangrel just kills poor Rodney and finishes him with the Implant. Mark Henry tosses Joey Abs around for a while and pins him at will with a splash. Good, that’s the way it should have been booked. Bulldog is left 4-on-1. He gets Gangrel with a superplex, and Blackman on a fisherman’s superplex, which again is fine because neither guy has credibility to ruin. Mark Henry and Val Venis overwhelm Bulldog in short order, however, and a splash and Money Shot, respectively, is enough for the pin. Match was there. 1/2*
– Mae Young, Fabulous Moolah, Tori & Debra v. Ivory, Terri, Luna & Jackie. Short and BRUTALLY BAD, as everyone misses everything in spectacular fashion. Thankfully they get all of 2 minutes to stink up the ring before the Ancient Artifacts double-clothesline Ivory and pin her. -** Next, please.
– X-Pac v. Kane. Brawl outside early on. X-Pac gets an early advantage with the spin kick, and goes for the Broncobuster, but Kane casually catches him in mid-air and tosses him away. Kane steamrolls X-Pac for a while and hits the top rope clothesline & chokeslam one-two punch, but Road Dogg makes a cameo appearance and breaks up the count at two. X-Factor gets two. Kane fights him off and tries the tombstone, and it’s the nWo, er, DX run-in for the lame DQ. Tori makes the save and takes a kick from X-Pac. Big heat for that. Pretty rushed match that looked to be getting good. **
– The Big Show v. Prince Albert, Viscera, Mideon & Big Bossman. Show took out his other team members on Heat, just so he could go it alone. Mideon, Albert and Viscera all go in under a minute with chokeslams, firing up the crowd. Bossman runs without ever entering the match. What the hell was that? DUD
– Backstage, Steve Austin looks away for a minute and a stuntman gets run over by a car. Austin feels so bad for the guy he has sympathetic injuries and gets hauled off in an ambulance. Yeah, but what about that poor stunt double? We use about 10 minutes for Austin to get taken away. AND WHO IS THE DRIVER? Billy Gunn, duh. See how easy it is to resolve stuff like that?
– Intercontinental title match: Chyna v. Chris Jericho. BIG pop for Jericho. The women put the boots to Chris, and they brawl outside. Jericho sidesteps a Chyna dive and she crashes into the barrier. Back in the ring for an ugly sequence as Chyna seems to have trouble hitting her spots. Chyna gets a rana, but she ends up on the floor and Jericho hits the springboard cross-body. Jericho lays on the badmouth and rams her into the exposed barrier. Back in the ring for a missile dropkick that gets two. Chyna slowly reverses a slam attempt into a cradle for two. Chyna comes back, but gets bulldogged and Lionsaulted (another face pop there). Jericho plants one on Miss Kitty, and gets speared by Chyna. They fight on the floor. Back in the ring and Jericho gets a way cool delayed powerbomb for two, and another face pop. Even JR notes the crowd reaction now. Chyna comes back with the handspring elbow and DDT for two. Ref gets bumped and Jericho nails her with the IC title for two. Dammit, I thought that was it. Chyna with the Pedigree for two. Close call. Chyna tries a rana and gets caught in the Walls of Jericho! YEAH! She keeps trying for the ropes and Jericho keeps pulling her back, and the crowd is just going BATSHIT right now. Chyna makes the ropes, and the crowd BOOS her. Whoa. Jericho tries a superplex, but Chyna reverses to a top rope Pedigree, and that’s enough for the pin. Man, the whole room was exhausted after that ending. Best match of the night so far. ***
– Too Cool & The Hollys v. Edge & Christian & The Hardy Boyz. Slow start with the faces controlling Crash. They hit the trainwreck sequence, with everyone doing their highspot outside the ring. Christian gets pounded by the heels for a while, then Edge gets the hot tag and spears everything. Crash manages to cheapshot him and pin him with a rollup, however. Scotty 2 Hotty hits a nasty looking top rope bulldog and pins Matt Hardy. Pretty dull sequence as Jeff gets worked over by Too Cool. Crash & Hardcore argue over who gets to finish Christian, and Jeff uses the distraction to hit a 450 splash on Scotty and pin him. Christian & Jeff mix-and-match their respective team’s offense on Crash, but Jeff gets caught with a missile dropkick running into the corner by Hardcore Holly and pinned after a Brian Christopher legdrop. Christian strikes quickly, nailing the Impaler on Christopher and pinning him. Crash and Christian do a nice sequence and it ends with Crash getting pinned after a Tomikaze. Hardcore manages to counter a victory roll and get the pin on Christian to win the match. Not as mind-blowingly great as I was expecting, but still pretty good. *** Survivor: Hardcore Holly.
– World tag team title: The New Age Outlaws v. Mankind & Al Snow. Boring match which neither our group nor the crowd was paying much attention to. They go back-and-forth for a while, until Gunn gets a Fame-Asser on Mankind during a melee. It gets two, and Mankind comes back with a double-arm DDT and Mr. Socko. They escape and after getting rid of Al Snow, hit a spike piledriver on Mick for the pin to retain the titles. A successful tag title defense? Is this REALLY the WWF? Match was there. *1/2
– WWF World title: HHH v. The Rock v. ???? We’re betting on Test as the obvious replacement for Austin, but everyone is shocked when it turns out to be the Big Show! Whoa. Show takes on both guys and does pretty well at it. Rock hits a legsweep on Show, but HHH breaks up the People’s Elbow. They brawl to the entrance, and stay there for a while. Geez, another one of THOSE matches. Back to ringside, more brawling. Nice spot as HHH & Rock suplex Big Show through the spanish table. MORE brawling into the stands. Back in the ring (what a concept) where HHH and Rock bump the ref. Rock Bottom, no ref. Shane-o-Mac slides in and counts two. Another Rock Bottom, but Show pulls Shane out at two. Show and Rock fight on the floor, as HHH grabs his belt. Shane wrests it away from him, and gets Pedigreed. DX runs in, and Vince storms in after them. Vince takes a swing at HHH and misses, but takes another swing and connects, chokeslam, new champion. Holy mother of god, who could’ve saw THAT coming? Match was the usual overbooked junk, but the swerve was neat. * Big Show does the Shawn-esque celebration, essentially dedicating the win to his “just buriedÃ¢â‚¬Â father, which is a really good way to pay off the storyline for the marks and give the big guy the credibility he’s been sorely lacking. So please, no more “WWF is wasting Paul Wight in the midcardÃ¢â‚¬Â whining, okay?
The Bottom Line: This was pretty much the definition of mediocre, as a couple of surprisingly good matches do not a classic make. And the main event, while a good ending, was essentially a waste of 20 minutes, and the Rock was a non-factor in the match to boot. I’d say I was disappointed with the show, but I wasn’t expecting anything to begin with, so we’ll just call this one a write-off and hope that Jericho gets the gold tomorrow night.
Thumbs solidly in the middle.