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11/23 WWE Survivor Series PPV Live Coverage: John Cena returns to challenge for the World Hvt. Championship, Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Vladimir Kozlov for the WWE Title, Undertaker vs. Big Show
Nov 23, 2008 - 10:00 PM


By Jason Powell

Aired live on pay-per-view
Boston, Mass. at TD Banknorth Garden


The show opened with a recap of John Cena suffering a neck injury. Highlights aired from Monday's Raw of Chris Jericho's promo on Cena... A voiceover guy welcomed viewers to the 22nd Annual Survivor Series as the AC/DC song played... Jim Ross introduced the show and announced that 15,825 fans were in attendance...

At ringside, Ross and Tazz discussed the Jeff Hardy story. Ross said ABC and CNN were among the news outlets that reported the WWE.com story that Hardy passed out in a stairwell. Ross said it's still questionable as to whether Hardy will compete on the show...

Powell's POV: I'm still stunned by WWE's sleazy storyline. I'm sure they are laughing their asses off at the major news outlets for picking up the story. WWE was clearly desperate to sell this pay-per-view.

1. Shawn Michaels, Cryme Tyme, Rey Mysterio, and Great Khali (w/Runjin Singh) defeated JBL, Kane, MVP, John Morrison, and The Miz in a Survivor Series Elimination match in 18:05. The various announcing teams took turns talking about their respective brand's wrestlers as they were introduced. The match opened with Mysterio and MVP. MVP scored the first pin of the match by hitting the Drive-By Kick on JTG at 1:30. Khali entered the match, chopped MVP, and pinned MVP at 1:45.

Later, Khali chopped Kane and then tagged in Mysterio, who dove off Khali's shoulders onto Kane and scored the pin at 3:15. At 6:20, Morrison distracted Shad, which enabled Miz to hit the Reality Check to score another pin. At 8:30, JBL threw a series of punches on HBK in the corner. One of the punches must have caught HBK, as he came up bleeding from the eye.

The heels took turns working over HBK. Morrison tried to emulate another HBK move by going for a top rope elbow, but Michaels moved and made the hot tag to Mysterio. At 11:35, Rey hit a top rope splash on Miz for a three count. Mysterio set up Morrison for the 619, but JBL tagged himself into the match and nailed Rey with a shoulder block. The fans chanted, "You can't wrestle" at JBL. Um, okay.

Later, JBL and Michaels fought at ringside. HBK went for Sweet Chin Music, but JBL ducked and ran for cover. HBK climbed back inside the ring to beat the count, but JBL was counted out. Moments later, HBK hit Sweet Chin Music on Morrison and scored the final pinfall. HBK, Rey, and Khali survived the match for their team...

Powell's POV: Really nice match. Good action from start to finish. Kane wasn't in long and Khali's role was limited, so the better workers were in for most of the match. A pleasant surprise. That being said, I was disappointed to see HBK pin Morrison clean given that Miz and Morrison just beat him and Rey on Raw.

Backstage, Eve asked Triple H about Jeff Hardy. He said if Hardy is unable to compete, he's sure it will be only a matter of time before he scratches and claws his way back into the title picture. Hunter said it could be a singles match between he and Kozlov and said this would be the night of the big Russian's first defeat...

2. Beth Phoenix (w/Santino Marella), Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Candice Michelle, and Jillian Hall defeated Michelle McCool, Maria, Maryse, Victoria, and Natalya in a Survivor Series elimination match in 9:30. The two champions (and captains) opened the match for their teams. At 2:55, Kelly hit a huracanrana into a rollup on Victoria and pinned her for the first elimination. At 3:25, Maryse hit a spinning backbreaker and put her hand over Kelly's breast (huge hit at the pay-per-view party) while covering her for the pin.

At 5:10, Mickie scored a surprising pinfall over McCool to eliminate her from the match. Maryse entered the match and rolled up Mickie. She actually rolled out before the three count, but they counted it anyway. At 6:50, Candice speared Natalya and then flipped over her and rolled her up for the win. At 7:45, Maria pinned Jillian. At 8:00, Candice pinned Maria and held her thigh in pain after doing so.

Maryse entered the ring and caught Candice in a leg hold. Candice tapped out at 8:40. The match came down to Beth and Maryse. At 8:50, Maryse hit a nice heel kick on Beth, but Phoenix kicked out. A short time later, Beth hit the Glam Slam and pinned Maryse. Beth was the sole survivor for her team. Afterward, Santino entered the ring and celebrated with his lady.

Powell's POV: Rapid fire pinfalls that meant nothing. The live crowd didn't even react to most of the pinfalls. By the way, the announcers are all calling the elimination tags. They're doing a good job of not talking over each other considering there were four guys (no ECW announcers for that match).

Backstage, Todd Grisham interviewed Matt Hardy, who said his brother was hit with a blunt object from behind. He said he didn't know who did it, nor did he know if his brother would compete in the triple threat match.

A Big Show vs. Undertaker video recapped their feud...

3. Undertaker defeated Big Show in a casket match in 12:45. Before the match, the druids wheeled the casket to ringside. Ross and Tazz on commentary. At 2:15, both men fought to ringside. Show cleared off the ECW announcers' table. However, Taker fought back and placed Show on the table, then dropped a leg on him and crashed through the table. Poor Grisham and Striker. This is two pay-per-views in a row that they'll be without a table. Are they Spanish or something?

At 6:30, Show superplexed Taker and then rolled him inside the casket. He raised his arm in celebration, but referee Charles Robinson told him he had to close the lid. Show is afraid of caskets, so he wasn't happy. By the time he finally tried to close the casket, Taker recovered and blocked the lid with his foot to stay alive.

At 8:30, Taker clotheslined Show and put him into the casket for the first time, but Show fought his way out. Show came storming back and left Taker lying in the ring. Show went to ringside and knocked over the casket, which revealed that there's no trap door on this one. Show tried to walk out, but Taker sat up and then pyro went off on the ramp to block Show. A crew member had to run out and stomp out a small flame.

Music played and the druids carried another casket onto the stage. Show stood up the casket and rammed Taker's head into it. Show stood the casket up again and opened the door. Taker and Show fought near the edge of the stage. Taker whipped Show into the standing casket. Show's momentum knocked the casket over and the door closed on top of him to end the match...

Powell's POV: Wow, that match was lame. No surprises with the casket and the finish was really weak.

Backstage, Carlito and Primo flirted with the Bella Twins. The Gobbledygooker walked into the room and put his arms around the Bellas. Carlito assumed it was Charlie Haas, but he entered the room. The Gobbledygooker unmasked to reveal himself as Boogeyman. He said his catchphrase to end the silly segment...

Inside Team Orton's locker room, Randy Orton told his teammates to follow his lead. Cody cocked off by saying that if Orton was eliminated first, it would be addition by subtraction. Orton and Cody had to be kept apart by the other teammates...

4. Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry (w/Tony Atlas), Cody Rhodes (w/Manu), and William Regal (w/Layla) defeated Batista, Matt Hardy, C.M. Punk, Kofi Kingston, and R-Truth in a Survivor Series elimination match in 16:15. The bell rang and Ross noted that Orton had been a survivor at three straight Survivor Series. Moments later, Punk hit the high knee and followed up with GTS on Regal and then pinned him at 0:12.

Layla stood on the apron and threw her shoe at Punk's face. "Honestly, who throws a shoe?" Striker said while using a great Austin Powers reference. At 7:45, Shelton eliminated R-Truth. Kofi hit a really high cross body block. Striker noted that the Jamaican was getting really high. At 10:45, Orton kneed Kofi as he was coming through the ropes and then DDT'd him for the pin.

Punk and Cody had a minute in the ring together with Punk hitting his signature spots. Punk went up top for a move, but Manu stood on the ring apron and distracted him. Cody took advantage of the distraction, tossed Punk off the top, and then pinned Punk moments later at 13:15. At 14:25, Henry caught Hardy and hit the big slam to eliminate him.

Batista, who was on his own at this point, entered the ring and almost immediately pinned Henry. He followed up with a Batista Bomb on Shelton for another pin at 15:10. Batista went for his finisher on Cody, but he was near the corner and Orton made a blind tag. Batista hit the Batista Bomb on Cody and went for the cover, but the ref wouldn't count because Orton had tagged himself in. Batista stood up and Orton hit the RKO and pinned Batista. Orton and Rhodes were the survivors for their team...

Powell's POV: Decent match, but I've seen enough of the Survivor Series elimination matches for one year. The women's elimination match was overkill. By the way, the live crowd counted along and popped for Orton's pinfall win over Batista.

An ad aired for the new WWE video game...

Backstage, Eve interviewed Vladimir Kozlov, who flashed a big smile and danced for the camera. No, not really. He kept a straight face and vowed to become the WWE Champion...

At ringside, Ross and Tazz announced that Jeff Hardy would not be able to compete in the WWE Title match. They said the highlight package they were about to air featured Hardy's role in the match...

5. Edge defeated Triple H and Vladimir Kozlov to win the WWE Title in 14:20. Ross noted during introductions that this is Kozlov's first pay-per-view appearance. A fan in the aisle held up a sign that read, "Jeff, Please Stay Clean." Justin Roberts handled the in-ring introductions. At 3:45, a small "boring" chant broke out from the live crowd and they were right on in their assessment.

At 7:15, Kozlov hit a fallaway slam. He controlled the slow paced offense for next several minutes. A small, "We want Hardy," chant broke out. Kozlov's big hold was to stand behind Hunter with his arms wrapped around him. Hunter fought out briefly, but Kozlov hit a belly-to-belly suplex. At 12:11, Kozlov went for a running headbutt in the corner, but Hunter moved. Moments later, he hit the Pedigree, but he was too beat up to make the cover.

Vickie Guerrero walked onto the stage and announced that the fans were going to get their Triple Threat match. "He's here," she said. Edge music played and he came out with a scruffy beard. Edge hit the ring and speared Hunter.

Jeff Hardy ran out with a small bandage on the back of his head/neck and broke up the pin attempt. Hardy swung a chair at Edge, who moved, causing Hardy to hit Hunter. Hardy struck Kozlov with a chair. Hardy wound up to hit Edge with a chair, but Edge speared him first. Edge covered Hunter and scored the pin to win the title. Afterward, Vickie smiled and clapped and held hands with Edge on the stage...

Powell's POV: The Hunter vs. Kozlov match was beyond boring. The crowd popped big when Edge's music played and the big swerve was well done, although this had to piss off fans who ordered the pay-per-view to see Hardy challenge for the belt.

A Chris Jericho video aired... Another John Cena video aired...

6. John Cena defeated Chris Jericho to win the World Hvt. Title in 21:15. Cena came out wearing a new t-shirt that's a take on the old AWA logo. He received a hometown pop and received substantially more cheers than boos. Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler called the match. Cena was in good shape, but he's not as muscular as he was before the injury. Cena went for the FU right after the bell rang, but Jericho slipped away.

At 6:00, Cena was lying under the rope with his head against the ring post. Jericho kicked Cena's head and then the referee stood over and checked on Cena on the floor. He gave Cena more time than the UFC referee gave Randy Couture when Brock Lesnar was pounding him with repeated shots, but eventually Cena recovered and the match continued.

Jericho controlled the next few minutes of the match and locked Cena in a full nelson to work over his injured neck. Cena broke free momentarily, but Jericho caught him in the hold again. Eventually, Cena muscled out of the hold. I think the live crowd was supposed to pop for him escaping the hold, but not so much. They got behind Cena as he made a comeback, but Jericho cut him off with a bulldog.

Cena bodyslammed Jericho and motioned for the five knuckle shuffle, but Jericho caught him in the old school Liontamer. Cole called it a "modified version of the Walls of Jericho." Ugh. Cena powered out of that hold too. Jericho came right back with a Boston crab (in Boston!).

At 15:55, Cena hit the FU out of nowhere. He fell to the mat after hitting the move to sell all the punishment he'd taken throughout the match. Cena finally rolled onto Jericho for the cover, but Jericho kicked out at two. At 18:00, Cena dropped a leg off the top rope onto the back of Jericho's head. Cena went for the FU, but Jericho caught him with an elbow to the chops. Jericho hit the Codebreaker for a nearfall.

At 20:30, Jericho ran toward Cena, who tripped him and applied the STFU. Jericho got free, kicked Cena, and rolled up Cena for a nearfall. However, Cena picked up Jericho off the mat, hoisted him on his shoulders, and hit the FU for the clean pin.

After the match, Cena headed to ringside and shook hands with his family members. He stood on the guardrail and held up the World Hvt. Title. Lawler said this was the first time in Survivor Series history that two World Titles changed hands. Cena continued to celebrate in and around the ring. He held up the title on the stage to close the show...
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