Commentators: Raw Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler SmackDown Michael Cole & Tazz
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: Brock Lesnar… World Champion: Goldberg… Intercontinental Champion: Rob Van Dam… United States Champion: Big Show… WWE Tag Team Champions: Basham Brothers… World Tag Team Champions Dudley Boyz… Cruiserweight Champion: Tajiri… Women’s Champion: Molly Holly
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Tajiri vs. Jamie Noble: This is from Sunday Night Heat prior to the PPV; Tajiri blinded Jamie Noble’s girlfriend Nidia with the deadly BLACK mist to set this up. Noble meets Tajiri in the aisle and attacks him; back in the ring Tajiri gets the advantage with chops in the corner but Noble comes back. Tajiri tries the handspring reverse elbow but Noble ducks it but he still manages a back kick to keep Noble down. He knees Noble repeatedly and hangs him on the top rope; he applies an abdominal stretch. Noble hiptosses out and stomps away but Tajiri catches him with a kick out of nowhere. Noble comes back with a swinging neckbreaker. Noble hits a few shoulderblocks and gets a nearfall. Tajiri charges out of the corner but gets nailed with a powerslam for a nearfall. Noble looks for the Tiger Driver but Tajiri’s henchmen Akio (Jimmy Yang) and Sakoda run down and try to interfere but fail. Tajiri tries the green mist, but Noble is prepared, shields his eyes and hits a Tiger Bomb for a close nearfall. Noble charges and nearly gets caught in the Tarantula; he tries a tornado DDT but Tajiri counters so Noble puts the Tarantula on Tajiri. Noble mounts the top rope but Akio and Sakoda run more interference allowing Tajiri to recover kick and Noble as he leaps off the top rope. The Buzzsaw Kick ends Noble. 3/10 Not awful, just too short to mean much.
Team Angle: Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly, & Bradshaw vs. Team Lesnar: Brock Lesnar, Big Show, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones & A-Train elimination tag match: Lesnar has a team of really big, large men; it’s funny to see Cena in his current attire but everyone cheering him. Cena busts out a classic risqué rap prior to the match. Holly attacks Lesnar before the bell rings and tosses him onto the steps and pummels the crap out of him; he tosses a referee down in the mêlée and gets himself disqualified. Holly sets a record for the quickest ELIMINATION, 0 seconds, because the bell did not ring.
A-Train starts the match proper with Bradshaw; he hits a corner clothesline bur misses a pump-splash. Bradshaw quickly finishes him with a Clothesline from Hell and ELIMINATES A-Train.
Big Show is in and tries to back jump Bradshaw; it fails and he tries another Clothesline from Hell but Nathan Jones nails him from the apron and Big Show ELIMINATES him with a chokeslam.
Cena runs in from behind and tries the F-U (a move he originally named to mock Lesnar’s F-5) but Show blocks it and head-butts him. Lesnar tags in and works over Cena; he traps him in a corner and shoulderblocks him. Cena fires back with shoulderblocks off the ropes but only drops Lesnar after a submarine to his leg. He sneaks in a pair of schoolboys for nearfalls; Lesnar floors him with a clothesline. Morgan tags in and head-butts Cena; he slams him but misses a legdrop. Morgan regains control with a sidewalk slam. He tags in Nathan Jones and they double whip him into Cena in the corner. Jones hits some knee lifts and slams Cena; Jones lifts him by the throat (with ease) and brings Lesnar back in. Cena fires back and hits the Throwback for two. Benoit tags in and chops the hell out of Lesnar; Benoit maintains control with a snap-suplex. Lesnar desperately hits a Stungun and a clothesline to take over. Show tags in and press-slams him all the while jawing with Angle on the apron. Benoit counters the chokeslam into the Crippler Crossface but Lesnar makes the save; Big Show applies a HUGE abdominal stretch, he and Jones team up for the classic “illegal leverage from the apron” move. Show segues into the Hog Log for a nearfall. Show distracts Angle (and the referee) allowing Morgan to toss Benoit to the floor where Lesnar works him over. A huge brawl erupts on the floor and Benoit gets tossed back into the ring for more beatings. Morgan tags in and misses the Carbon Footprint and Benoit dropkicks his leg. Angle gets a hot tag and German suplexes the crap out of Morgan. Jones runs in to cause some chaos allowing Lesnar to nail Angle with a boot; he tries an F-5 but Angle switches into a German suplex. All sorts of chaos erupts as the faces clear the ring; Nathan Jones accidentally boots Morgan in the face and then falls all over himself (and Morgan). Angle clotheslines (and pushes) Jones to the floor and then nails the Olympic Slam to ELIMINATE Morgan.
Jones lumbers into the ring and attacks Angle; he and Big Show try a “hold him, clothesline him” spot which always fails, and holds to form here as Show plows into Jones. Angle tips Show over the top and drops the straps and slaps the ankle lock on Jones for the tap out, ELIMINATING Nathan Jones, and improving the work rate of the match 50%… and Big Show is still in there!
Lesnar runs in and quickly ELIMINATES Angle with an F-5.
Benoit comes in and chops Lesnar in the corner; Brock reverses a corner whip, but Benoit moves, and he posts his shoulder. Well, that’s awfully helpful for Benoit, as he zeros in and weakens the arm and shoulder; Lesnar gets an elbow in Benoit’s face to create some space and hoists him up into an F-5 but Benoit counters into the Crippler Crossface; Cena takes out Big Show but Lesnar turns the move, tries to pin Benoit, but fails. Benoit tries the Crossface again but Lesnar’s legs are in the ropes. Lesnar pushes the aggressive Benoit away from his injured arm; he mistakenly tries to clothesline him with the bad arm and Benoit swiftly turns it into another Crossface, right in the center of the ring. Lesnar finally taps out to the crossface (to a massive eruption) and is ELIMINATED.
Show comes in and stomps on Benoit as the crowd taunts Lesnar with a “you tapped out” chant. Benoit avoids a big charge in the corner and mounts the buckles; Show gets to his feet so Benoit alters his approach and launches an E. Honda head-butt off the top for two. Benoit tries for the Crossface again but Show tosses him into Cena knocking him off the apron, which the referee sees as a tag; Show chokeslams Benoit. The referee tries to get Benoit out of the ring allowing Cena to cheat and bop Show with the chain he wears to the ring; he hits (I believe this may be the first time) an impressive F-U to Big Show and ELIMINATES him to win the match. John Cena and Chris Benoit are the survivors. 7/10 Despite the ludicrously fast eliminations in the beginning and the middle, this was a fun Survivor Series match; once the crappy heel workers were eliminated the match got better and faster paced, yes Big Show did survive to the end.
Mr. McMahon visits with his son Shane McMahon before his match with Kane. He wonders if Shane noticed that a father and son are taking on two brothers in separate matches. All Shane feels is sorry for Vince. He leaves and runs into Steve Austin; they share a stare, and a smile, and a laugh… until Austin’s face goes blank and he walks off.
WWE Women’s Championship Molly Holly vs. Lita: Lita was coming off a nasty broken neck suffered during the filming of the television show Dark Angel. I believe this was during Molly’s “fat assed virgin” phase. Lita is wearing short shorts and it looks awkward; nothing wrong with Lita’s ass; I’m just used to the long baggy pants with thong. She hits a front-leg sweep and gets a nearfall; Lita with a single foot monkey flip and drags Molly to the floor… just to quickly toss her back in again. That was strange. She hits a vertical suplex and nips-up, proving her neck is back to 100 percent. Lita tries a springboard tip-over in the corner but Molly catches her mid-move and tosses her to the floor; Molly tosses her into the ring barricade and then back into the ring for a nearfall. She then moves to a swinging neckbreaker and applies a chinlock. Molly switches to a Dragon Sleeper and almost falls out of her top. Lita fights her off but Molly comes back with a handspring elbow in the corner. Lita collapses in the corner but kicks Molly away and pulls herself onto the top rope, backwards; she leaps off the top with a crossbody for two. Lita mounts the buckles for a ten-punch and schoolgirls her for two; Molly comes back with a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. Molly tries a ten-punch of her own but Lita turns it into a powerbomb. Lita mounts the comeback and Russian leg sweeps her; Lita goes up but COMPLETELY MISSES the Lita-sault. I’m shocked she didn’t break an implant off that landing. Molly heads to the top and completes the Molly-Go-Round but Lita kicks out; Holly throws a fit complaining to the ref. Molly undoes the middle turnbuckle and almost pays for it by getting rolled-up for two. Lita over-aggressively goes at Molly and she momentums her into the exposed buckle and gets the pinfall. 1.5/10 That match seemed really off. I’ve been entertained by most of what Lita does in pro wrestling (manage, run-ins, fake weddings) except for most of her matches; she moves really awkwardly around the ring and doesn’t look very comfortable.
The storyline here is simple, when Kane was forced to unmask he went totally crazy and attacked everyone in sight, one of which was a Tombstone to Linda McMahon on the Raw entrance stage; Shane McMahon is coming to avenge his mother.
Shane McMahon vs. Kane ambulance match: This is similar to a casket match in that the wrestler must be tossed into the ambulance and the doors slammed shut to win. Kane’s pyro nearly set the ambulance on fire. Shane starts the match off with a bang, high crossbody over the top. The replay showed that Kane nearly landed on his head just barely breaking the fall. Kane weathers that storm and tosses him into the steps; he lifts the steps but takes too long allowing Shane to hit them with a chair back into his face. Shane dismantles the Spanish announce table and bashes Kane with the monitor a few times; he heads up top and hits an elbow through the table, really early in the bout, actually. Kane sits up so Shane goads him to fight up in the crowd; they head into the back stage area and Shane surprises him with a kendo stick. Shane then attempts vehicular manslaughter by backing a SUV into Kane and he falls through the glass window of a security post. McMahon shouts “send it” into a walkie-talkie and another ambulance backs into the area. He tries to gurney Kane into the alternate ambulance but Kane wakes up and choke tosses him into the wall a few times and drags him through the backstage area into the arena. There are some “technical difficulties” in the back, possible to hide edits, similar to the Mankind and Undertaker boiler room brawl match from Summerslam ’96 (full review, click here). They fight near and around the ambulance at the top of the entrance area. Shane fights back and rams Kane into the ambulance; he opens the door… right into Kane’s face, twice. The second shot looked pretty stiff. Kane comes back with a big boot; he shoves Shane into the ambulance but cannot get it closed. He tries a tornado DDT, scaling the ambulance, but they mess it up so Shane has to settle for a float-over DDT on the concrete. McMahon nails him with a trash can and then places a large equipment trunk on Kane’s leg; he climbs the ambulance and drops a senton onto it. The trunk collapses like it was cardboard, but the spot looked somewhat impressive. Shane tries to drag Kane into the ambulance and but gets goozled and drug in as well. They continue the battle but Kane appears to get angry and tosses him into the ambulance over and over; he javelins him into the ambulance and then chokeslams him into the ambulance. Just like Linda McMahon, Shane gets a Tombstone on the concrete. The finish is academic now; Kane tosses Shane into the ambulance and shuts the door. 3/10 Nothing too special; Shane got a few high spots in and then Kane, who was getting a serious push post-mask, dominated most of the match (as he should) and killed Shane and won (as he should).
Brock Lesnar tells Josh Matthews that he did not lose earlier; Matthews questions him about tapping out. Lesnar gets in his face and says he could beat anyone because he is the WWE Champion. He looks up as the World Champion Goldberg walks up to him and introduces himself.
Jonathan Coachman, in a neck brace, heads to the ring. He tells everyone he is okay after a 3-D from the Dudley Boyz and thanks everyone for their concerns. Coach points out Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and asks him for an interview. He asks him what he is looking forward to; Cuban the babyface says that his is looking forward to Steve Austin kicking Eric Bishoff’s ass. Bishoff appears and challenges him to get into the ring. Cuban obliges. Bishoff tells Cuban that tonight the American Airlines Center is his for the night and threatens to toss him out of the building. Cuban shoves Bishoff down but Randy Orton, the Legend Killer, slides into the ring and RKOs Cuban. Nice sell there by Cuban. Meanwhile, in the Evolution locker room; Ric Flair drinks a toast to the new World champion. Orton shows up to boast about dropping Mark Cuban.
WWE Tag Team Championship Basham Brothers (w/Shaniqua) vs. Los Guerreros: The Bashams and Shaniqua have a little dominatrix thing going. Los Guerreros clear the ring at the bell; they go after Shaniqua but the Bashams come to her aid. Eddie come in and takes out Danny Basham and stomps him down; he hits the Three Amigos for a nearfall. Chavo tags and they hit a tandem snapmare/low dropkick combo; he slams Danny and Eddie comes in via Hilo. Eddie hits his step-up arm drag/head scissors combo and takes out both Bashams. He over-aggressively charges them and gets flapjacked onto the top rope. Doug Basham catapults Eddie to the floor where Shaniqua clotheslines and slams him. Shaniqua (Linda Miles) was the female winner of Tough Enough season 2 and was rather jacked. Back in the ring, Doug gets a nearfall; Danny tags and they hit a double slingshot suplex. Eddie sneaks in a tilt-a-whirl head scissors and rolls into a tag to Chavo. He takes out both Bashams with a backdrop, dropkick and tilt-a-whirl sidewalk slam. The Bashams come back with a double flapjack. They try an assisted second rope powerbomb but Eddie breaks it up and drops Doug with a top-rope Frankensteiner. Chavo hits a running senton for a nearfall; the match breaks apart and Eddie gets clotheslined to the floor. Chavo counters a double team by dropkicking Danny off a Doug backdrop and there is a double KO. Shaniqua distracts the referee allowing the Bashams to switch; Chavo dropkicks Danny to the floor so Shaniqua runs in but gets clotheslined then Eddie frogsplashes her and Chavo spanks her. The Bashams attack them from behind and Chavo NAILS a beautiful tornado DDT on Doug (but accidentally wipes out Eddie in the process); Danny sneaks in and schoolboys Chavo (with tights) and gets the surprise pinfall before Eddie can recover. 6.5/10 This was a good match and began the friction between Eddie and Chavo which lead to Chavo’s heel turn and Eddie’s WWE title run. The Bashams were a (underrated) good tag team with some nice double teams; it’s a shame that there aren’t any good traditional tag teams in the WWE anymore (non-thrown together stalled midcarders).
Where to begin for the upcoming match? Steve Austin was co-GM of Raw for reasons I forgot. Eric Bishoff, of course, did not get along with him. Thankfully, the video package reminds me that Bishoff fired Austin so Linda McMahon rehired him as co-GM because Bishoff was being a douche. Austin began to raise Hell but was soon told, that as GM he could not attack people, unless physically provoked; which lead to some interesting interactions between Steve and the heels. Bishoff suggested a solution in a traditional Survivor Series match; if Austin’s team wins, the physical provocation stipulation is lifted; if Bishoff’s team wins, Austin is no longer the Raw co-GM. Each man personally picked their teams and the upcoming match was set…
Team Austin: Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T & Dudley Boyz (w/Steve Austin) vs. Team Bischoff: Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner & Mark Henry (w/Eric Bishoff, Theodore Long & Stacey Keibler) elimination tag match: Austin has his “Fuck Fear, Drink Beer” shirt which was my personal favorite next to the original 3:16 shirt. WWE should resell that one as an “Old School” shirt. Christian and D-Von start off; he runs Christian over so he slaps him. D-Von takes him out with a double choke and then hits a flying clothesline. RVD gets a tag and flips off of his back in the corner and hits a spin kick. Christian tags in Jericho who chops RVD. Jericho catches a boot and ducks an enziguri but the follow-up mule kick connects. RVD hits a Northern Lights suplex for two; Jericho leaps over a sweep kick and enziguris Van Dam down. Steiner tags in and kicks in the corner and flexes about it. Van Dam takes Big Poppa Pump out with a springboard crossbody and then nails him with the feint wheel kick for two. RVD gets one flip move too many and Steiner catches him in a belly-to-belly overhead suplex. He hits another belly-to-belly but gets only two; RVD tries another top rope move to come back but Steiner crotches him and shows his MOVESET with a belly-to-belly superplex. Steiner takes a little too long recovering and Booker T gets the tag. Booker comes in on fire but a clothesline drops him into an elbow drop. Bookah comes back with a forearm and hits the axe kick. SPIN-A-ROONIE! The match breaks down and everyone battles on the floor, save for the two legal men, Steiner low blows Booker in the chaos and applies the Steiner Recliner. Stacey Keibler, who was reluctantly in Steiner’s employ, hops up on the apron to draw Steiner over; the Dudleyz return and hit the inverted 3-D on Steiner. Booker drops the Book End to ELIMINATE Scott Steiner.
Mark Henry comes in and immediately drops Booker into a World’s Strongest Slam to end Booker’s night. Booker T is ELIMINATED.
Van Dam tries to kick away on Henry but he clotheslines him; Henry, who looks odd in a white singlet, sledges away on Van Dam. Future SmackDown GM Teddy Long shouts instructions from the floor. Long was Henry’s manager and playing a race-card type manager. RVD tags in Bubba Ray who tries to take over but runs into a standing body splash. Henry tosses Bubba around until he counters a backdrop and tags in D-Von; they try to double up on Henry but he powers both Dudley Boyz together and wipes them out. Henry clobbers D-Von with a clothesline but misses an avalanche; Bubba slips back in and they hit a 3-D. RVD comes out of nowhere with a Five-Star Frogsplash and the three of them pile onto Henry for the pinfall to ELIMINATE him; not sure how that was legal but it protects Henry a little bit.
Jericho runs in and takes out RVD, who I guess is the legal man, and pounds him in the corner. Van Dam comes back with a split-legged moonsault to Y2J’s back but Jericho recovers and tags in Orton, who also looks odd with no sleeve tattoos, hair, normal skin tone and red trunks, he pounds on RVD; Van Dam tips-over in the corner but Orton recovers quickly and KILLS him with a clothesline. They fight into the other corner where RVD scores with a springboard spin kick and Rolling Thunder. He heads up top for another Frogsplash but Jericho shakes the ropes causing RVD to fall into the ring… RKO! RVD is ELIMINATED.
D-Von heads in and backdrops Orton; he hits a legdrop and gets two. He hits a side slam and heads to the top for a diving head-butt; Jericho blind tags in but D-Von is on fire and runs over him as well. Jericho counters a charge in the corner and second-rope missile dropkicks D-Von but Bubba makes the save. D-Von comes back with a diving clothesline but Christian has the referee distracted allowing Jericho to come back with the Flash Back and ELIMINATE D-Von Dudley.
Bubba charges in and peppers Jericho in the corner; he hits a delayed sidewalk slam and finally tags in HBK. Shawn and Jericho speed things up and HBK hits a ten-punch in the corner; Christian tries to sneak in but Michaels sees him and hits a double axe handle. Jericho uses the distraction to clothesline Shawn down; Orton returns and he and Jericho double elbow Michaels. Orton misses a dropkick and then Shawn collapses as well for the race to tag. Christian and Bubba get tags; Bubba Ray handles Bishoff’s team rather well and hotshots Christian off the top rope and then backdrops him. Orton breaks up the pinfall but takes a Samoan drop. Bubba tries the Flip, Flop and Fly but Jericho grabs him from behind; Christian and Jericho have a heel miscommunication and Bubba looks for the Bubba Bomb on Jericho but he low blows him. Christian sneaks over with the Unprettier and ELIMINATED Bubba Ray Dudley.
Now Shawn is all alone, one-on-three, with Christian, Jericho and Orton; Christian takes HBK down and works him over. Michaels fires back with a flying forearm and inverted atomic drop; Y2J low bridges HBK allowing a double team on the floor, whilst Christian detains the referee. Orton enters and stomps away on Michaels. Christian tags in and trades shots with HBK in the corner; as soon as Shawn gets the advantage, Jericho pulls him to the floor where Christian posts him, busting him open, and it’s a good one. Christian suplexes Michaels back into the ring for a nearfall. Shawn is a bloody mess and trades shots with Christian; he tries the Unprettier again but Shawn shoves him off. Christian overaggressively charges… right into a superkick to ELIMINATE Christian.
Jericho runs right in and works HBK’s cut; Shawn returns back but gets tosses upside-down in the corner, Jericho hits a clothesline, but HBK kicks out. Orton tags in and chokes away on Michaels. Shawn comes back with a sleeper but Orton back suplexes to free himself. Jericho tags in and gets a nearfall. Shawn hits a desperation DDT and crawls to a cover but Orton breaks up the pinfall. Shawn tosses Orton to the floor but that allows Jericho to bulldog him. Y2J tries the Lionsault but HBK gets the knees up. Jericho counters Sweet Chin Music into a Wall of Jericho attempt but Michaels reverses it for the three count to ELIMINATE Jericho to a massive ovation.
Jericho angrily clobbers Michaels with a chair post-elimination to further stack the odds against Shawn. Orton, who has been out on the floor for a while, crawls back into the ring and covers for a nearfall. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler go WAY over-the-top with their near Christ-like belief that Shawn can pull out the victory. Orton heads to the top, but Shawn ducks the frog-crossbody, and Orton takes out the poor referee instead. Everyone is down. Shawn pulls himself up by the ropes and tunes up the band but Bishoff runs in and kicks him; Austin wipes him out and knocks him to the floor. STUNNER to Orton! Austin continues the Bishoff beating up the ramp but Batista shows up and kills Shawn with a Batista Bomb; Orton drags himself over and covers for three to ELIMINATE Shawn Michaels making Randy Orton the survivor. Post-match, Austin realizes what has happened and stares blankly into the ring. Austin heads back into the ring and stares at Michaels, who looks back at him with an “I’m sorry, I tried” expression. Austin helps him up and shakes his hand and they leave. Austin comes back out and gives a tearful out-of-character farewell promo to the crowd. Jonathan Coachman, with security, spoils the party; Austin immediately dispatches with the security, beats up the Coach, and ends it with a Stunner and some damn beers. 7/10 People may complain about Shawn Michaels nearly pulling the miracle and defeated two of the top midcarders in the WWE (at the time) but, it’s Shawn Michaels. The odds stacking were just shy of John Cena’s odds when he first won the WWE title but the difference is that Shawn almost prevailed. The match was pretty good and had some decent heat but, despite his team’s loss, Austin would return to Raw a few weeks later. The match was a good litmus test for Orton even though it would take a year to win the World title and then another three years to reestablish himself as a top wrestler, post-title loss. HBK proved here that he had a few good years (or so) left in him as well.
Undertaker vs. Mr. McMahon Buried Alive match: McMahon cost Undertaker the WWE title a bunch of times (throughout his career), and threatened that Taker would NEVER win the title back as long as he is breathing, so the Buried Alive match was booked on the Undertaker’s thirteenth anniversary in the WWE. Taker is in his Biker-Taker persona here; Vince comes to the ring with his hands clasped like a demonic priest, praying to his “higher power”. Taker starts the match with a right hand and McMahon goes down and is BLEEDING already. Taker beats the ever-loving crap out of Vince in the corner; the match is basically Taker punching, kicking and stomping a bloody Vince. McMahon is actually dripping blood. He drags McMahon into the corner and crotches him against the ringpost. Vince’s blade job is really gory and is lucky he didn’t pass out from blood loss. Taker continues to work over the “grapefruits” against the ringpost. Vince falls to the floor where Taker rams him into the announce table and chokes him with a camera cord. Michael Cole recounts the build where Vince sent people to rape Taker’s wife and kidnap his children. Tasteful. Taker smashes Vince with a monitor and turns the announce table over; Taker beats Vince against the ring barrier getting blood all over some of the ringsiders. Taker heads over to the gravesite and grabs a shovel while Vince crawls back into the ring. Undertaker swings the shovel into Vince who is dead at this point… but Taker ain’t done; he sandwiches Vince’s ankle onto the steel steps and smashes the steps across his ankle as a shout out to the 1998 injury storyline. Taker carries Vince to the gravesite. Vince buys some time tossing dirt into Taker’s eyes and then low blows him. Vince nails Taker with another shovel causing him to fall into the grave; he recovers and pulls Vince into the grave. Taker heads to the backhoe to bury Vince but the door explodes into a huge fireball. Kane appears and tosses Taker into the grave; he pulls Vince out and pummels Taker allowing Vince to get into the backhoe and bury Taker alive and win the match. 5/10 Entertaining slaughter match because it was kept short; the Survivor Series screwjob idea lives on. Undertaker would return as the Deadman at WrestleMania XX (full review, click here).
Triple H lost the World title to Goldberg and then put an old school $100,000 bounty on his head. Batista took him out just prior to the PPV and injured his ankle.
World Heavyweight Championship Goldberg vs. Triple H (w/Ric Flair): Triple H is wearing the long shorts version of his trunks, to protect a pulled groin muscle; Goldberg has his ankle taped up. A slugfest begins before the bell rings; Goldberg his a spear right out of the gate so Flair hops in to distract, allowing HHH to roll to the floor for a breather. Goldberg dispatches with Flair and then the bell rings; Triple H gets sent to the floor via turnbuckle toss. Goldberg gives chase and pummels HHH all around the bloody announce area. This was a sure bloody PPV; Shawn Michaels’ blood is stained on the ring canvas, Mr. McMahon’s blood is all over the ringside area (and ring), I’m sure HHH will soon follow suit. Back in the ring, Triple H gets a boot in but runs right into a powerslam. Goldberg goozles HHH to try a press-slam but his ankle gives out and he collapses. Hunter takes over and tosses Goldberg to the floor where he chucks Goldberg into the steel steps. Flair distracts the referee allowing HHH to place Goldberg’s ankle on the steps and SMASH it with a chair; Naich adds some extracurricular work swinging Goldberg’s injured ankle into the ringpost. The story of the match unfolds as HHH (and Flair) work over Goldberg’s ankle. Helmsley distracts the referee as Flair chokes him; Triple H chokes in the ropes and chops (and punches) him in the corner. Goldberg tries some comebacks but HHH kicks his leg out of… his leg. Hunter tosses him to the floor where Flair is waiting with some knee drops on the ankle. Woooo! Helmsley applies a half-Boston Crab and nearly stumbles over himself; Goldberg grabs the ring skirt but referee Earl Hebner ignores it. SCREWJOB! HHH realizes the half crab looks stupid with Goldberg’s positioning and releases; he tries to wrap his ankle around the post again but Goldberg reverses. Hunter figure-fours Goldberg’s ankle in the ropes but Hebner (obviously) breaks it allowing Goldberg a desperation clothesline. He tries a Oklahoma powerslam but the ankle gives out; Hunter adds a chop block to further complicate the situation. HHH looks for a figure-four leglock but Goldberg kicks him off… right into the referee. Hebner is down! Hunter gathers brass knuckles from Flair and NAILS Goldberg with them; the lateral press only gets a nearfall, though. Hunter decides to go with Plan B; elbow drop the bewildered referee and grab the sledgehammer. Goldberg counters and grabs the hammer; Flair tries to come off the top rope. Funny. Goldberg goes back to the hammer and waffles Flair with it. Batista runs out but gets clobbered with the hammer; Randy Orton interferes but gets wiped as well. HHH uses the distraction to hit the Pedigree but Goldberg backdrops free. Goldberg gathers the sledgehammer again and tosses it aside and spears Hunter; the Jackhammer follows and Goldberg gets the pinfall amongst all of the fallen Evolution members. Post-match, Goldberg celebrates around the downed Evolution, who have been down and out for at least three or four minutes. 4.5/10 The match was nothing too special, except that HHH did not win, which was a surprise (at the time); Goldberg wiped out the entire Evolution stable on one leg. At least the WWE knew to keep the belt on him for a little bit. At least through one major PPV, unfortunately he lost the title at the next one and would leave by WrestleMania XX.
OVERALL 4.5/10 The two Survivor Series matches delivered; everything else was meh; wonder why the WWE went away from the traditional format for so long, since every other PPV has one-on-one matches, this is one of the unique ones, like the Royal Rumble. This was during the weird Bizarro World time when, WCW icon Bill Goldberg; was running through the WWE, which still looks weird today, and was weirder then. There was an inordinate amount of McMahon here as well; Shane usually isn’t a bad thing but sometimes too much McMahon can spoil the PPV.