November 25, 2005
Countdown to Survivor Series 2005
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff
Can it possibly be?
Yes, as hard as it is to imagine, WWE has done a killer job of storyline writing leading up to the Survivor Series, arguably the fourth biggest pay-per-view of the year.
The once "Thanksgiving Day tradition" is no longer such, but the spirit of the original contests has been rejuvinated in recent years. This time around, we get a true contest between heated factions, as Smackdown and Raw collide. Not since WWF vs. WCW/ECW has there been such vivid lines drawn in the sand.
Let's take a look at what we can expect this Sunday.
The natural inclination here is for Smackdown to win, since they have the bigger babyface presence. You almost have to figure that there will be the double turn involving Shawn Michaels and Randy Orton, at least for one night, since just about everyone else is clearly (or reasonably clearly) defined as being heels on Raw and faces on SD!. In the end, we'll know who is getting the "god push" on the winning team, and I expect Rey Rey to be the sole survivor.
It will be interesting to see whether or not Batista is included in the inter-promotional melee. It's no secret that his muscle injury will prevent him from competing actively for quite a period of time, but will he actually wrestle at Survivor Series, or get "attacked" again? SmackDown! will pull this one out, showing that the underdog can win, leading to more inter-promotional matches.
It's a good mix of the old (Michaels, JBL, Kane, Big Show) and the next gen (Carlito, Masters, Orton, Lashey). Now to the process of elimination: Something undoubtedly goes down that puts Batista out of action, since he's hurt; Carlito's jobbed to everyone lately, so he's out; Lashey isn't ready; Kane and Big Show are boring, and Michaels is yesterday's news. I really only see Masters as a Survivor is Raw goes over. But I think Smackdown will take it, with Orton and Mysterio the last two left. By the way, who's the face team and who's the heel team??
Well, unless they're setting Angle up as fodder for Trippy, Cena's going over here. You know that one way or another, Daivari will screw things up for Angle. Anyone else feel like they've just subbed Kurt in for the spot in planning left vacant by Muhammad Hassan?
Daivari can manage, wrestler and referee; he's a triple threat! With the odds firmly stacked against Cena, there's no doubt in my mind that he will pull out yet another victory. With Batista having to drop the belt soon, it would make sense to keep the WWE Championship on Cena a little longer to separate the title losses.
If Angle was going to be made champion again, it would have happened by now. They need to have Cena go over, probably with Daivari messing up, then move on to another challenger. One thing I enjoy about TNA is that you get new contenders battling up to the top for the belt every so often, as opposed to the same opponents PPV after PPV.
We all know Trippy wins here. Why? Last time these two fought, the IC title was on the line; now it's not. Trippy sees himself as being above the rank of IC champ, so winning it is not an option in his eyes. Methinks this leads to Flair's last retirement match at 'Mania.
Triple H cuts some of the best promos in the wrestling business; that is one thing I have thoroughly enjoyed about this feud. The matches have been solid as well. This is one I am looking forward to on all levels. Expect it to be a blood bath that puts Triple H over "The Nature Boy," extending their feud.
Triple H gets his payback for putting Flair over at the last PPV, in a cage to boot. If Triple H is going to get back into the thick of things, he needs to go over strong, but not too strong. Flair still has legs, but even I feel that the Naitch as I-C champ is pushing the limits of credibility a bit.
Trish Stratus vs. Melina - My girl Trish wins again, but Melina makes it close enough for a Women's Division to be explored for Smackdown.
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long - There will be shenanigans here. Either a new wrestler debuts for Bischoff (Nash) or Long gets the Juniors involved.
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - Chris deserves better, Booker needs to retire, and Sharmell is approaching the Stephanie level of annoyance.
Trish Stratus vs. Melina - Should be a good match, Trish retains the championship nonetheless.
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long - Gimmick match all the way. I'll take Bischoff in this one.
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - Chris Benoit picks up win number one in the Best of Seven.
Trish Stratus vs. Melina - Trish retains, but we see whether Melina will be a player in the future or kept as a manager.
Eric Bischoff vs. Teddy Long - Yikes. They should be paying US to watch this. Go Long.
Chris Benoit vs. Booker T - Since this the start of a best-of-seven, it's almost meaningless. Booker T.
-- compiled by Jon Waldman