Tuesday, July 25, 2006

WWE Survivor Series ‘04

1. Rey Mysterio vs. Spike Dudley vs. Chavo Guerrero vs. Billy Kidman – 6
2. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin – 6
3. Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, Rob Van Dam, and John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, Carlito, Mark Jindrak, and Luther Reigns – 6
4. Heidenreich vs. Undertaker – 5
5. Trish Stratus vs. Lita – 2
6. Booker T vs. JBL – 5
7. Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven vs. Triple H, Edge, Batista, and Snitsky – 6
8. DVD Bonus: John Cena vs. Carlito – Smackdown! 11/18/04 – 3

I remember missing this pay-per-view when it originally aired, and frankly, I didn’t give a shit. Even after getting online that night and checking out the results, still I did not have a strong inclination to seek it out for viewing. Now, after viewing it on DVD, I can happily say I was pleasantly surprised – it was an enjoyable show. It’s not historical, nor groundbreaking, and ultimately, not altogether significant in any major way; but, the wrestling is largely consistently solid, which pleased me to no end.

The opening crusierweight four-way was fast-paced and a real treat. I had pegged it to be a sloppy mess, or the uninspired sort of match where the talent just goes through the paces, but it was exactly what it needed to be and an excellent opener. Christian and Shelton had a solid match, although the crowd seemed to lose interest in it, and were subsequently dead through most of it. The psychology was pretty old school, which suited the match’s context, and their chemistry together was satisfactory.

The first “Survivor Series” rules match was arguably the better of the two featured; at least, in some regards – for me personally, it captured the essence and energy of the Survivor Series’ I watched as a kid. It didn’t feature much to brag about performance wise, as even the talented workers involved seemed not far removed from autopilot, but the pacing and layout worked enough to warrant a decent grade. Undertaker carried Heidenreich through the best match I’ve seen him in. Not varying far from the usual Undertaker fare, little surprised or intrigued me, but they gave it enough time to not feel like a total squash. I was kind of looking forward to Trish versus Lita, but I think I recall that Trish was suffering an injury at the time; either way, the bout lasted all of a few seconds, as Lita wildly attacked and blooded the nose of Trish leading referees to throw the match out.

I didn’t put much hope into JBL being able to have a semi-decent singles match, even against the talented Booker T, but their match wasn’t bad, save for the interference-heavy ending that thoroughly disappointed me. This led to the main event, which contained some pros and cons of its own – the biggest problem coming from its lack of direction. I was also bummed that Benoit was the first guy from his team eliminated, but the surprisingly clean finish to the bout was satisfying enough to leave me soothed. The bonus match was a quick, fast-paced squash, as Cena pummeled Carlito in a couple minutes.

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