Friday, November 10, 2023

The History of WWE Survivor Series (2006)

Here's a PPV I would call joyless...

Survivor Series 2006 - Wachovia Center - 11/26/06

What a depressing show this was.  Survivor Series 2006 was a nice little cross-section of how uninspired and defiantly unsatisfying the WWE product was that year.  Looking over this card there were several potentially good matches, but sadly not one of them broke out of the two-star range.  WWE at this point was pushing who they wanted to push and more or less ignoring everyone else, regardless of how over they were (see Punk, CM).  Basically every match on this card felt like the whole crew was going through the motions and didn't want to be there.  Soooo, let's get started analyzing this bore of a show.

The opening match saw the already dead and buried Spirit Squad (featuring the future Dolph Ziggler) against four Legends with a combined age of roughly 240 - Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Simmons and Sgt. Slaughter.  As with any nostalgia vs. youth match the Legends team won (Flair singlehandedly eliminated three of the Squad members to become the sole survivor), thus ensuring no long-term benefit from the match whatsoever.  This stunk.

Next was the US Title match between Chavo Guerrero and Chris Benoit.  This was fine but wouldn't remotely make either guy's highlight reel.

The third match was Lita's retirement bout against Mickie James for the Women's Title.  Of all the matches on this PPV this was probably the only one with any urgency or motivation from its participants.  Lita clearly wanted to go out with a bang, and both women delivered.

Up fourth was an elimination match that should've been epic given the talent involved.  Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk and the Hardy Boyz faced Randy Orton, Edge, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms, and Mike Knox.  Hmmm, which of these ten dudes doesn't belong?  Could it be the guy who was eliminated 40 seconds into the match?  Yup, WWE once again decided to essentially pull a bait-and-switch by knocking someone out of the match right at the outset.  I love when that happens.  Anywho, what should've been a 20-plus-minute war became an eleven-minute clean-sweep, as the heels were made to look totally ineffectual and incompetent.  And yet the DX-Rated RKO feud continued for two months after this match, even though Edge and Orton got their asses handed to them in decisive fashion here.

Next up is an elimination match featuring DX! The Hardyz! CM Punk!
.............oh, and five other guys.

Next was the Undertaker facing one of WWE's all-time disappointments, Mr. Kennedy, in a First Blood match.  I honestly never got what the big deal was with Kennedy.  He was a good talker with very limited in-ring skills and a look that screamed "midcarder."  Even his back tattoo looked bush league.  Kennedy won here thanks to interference by MVP, and then Taker beat the everlovin' shit out of him to ensure his heat was instantaneously diffused.

The final elimination match pitted John Cena, Bobby Lashley, Kane, Rob Van Dam and Sabu against Big Show, Test, MVP, Finlay and Umaga.  For the second time ON THIS SHOW one of the heels was eliminated immediately, as Umaga got DQd for hitting RVD with a TV monitor.  Did the writers for each match not consult each other to ensure they weren't duplicating efforts?  From there the match was a flurry of overly quick eliminations, with five men getting taken out in the span of two minutes.  Cena and Lashley prevailed at 12:35, making this the longest elimination match of the night (eight minutes shorter than the shortest match at the inaugural Series PPV).  As an aside, The Big Show looked absolutely terrible in 2006.  He was easily a hundred pounds heavier than he is currently, and seemed exhausted just being conscious and upright.  It's easy to see why he took a year off shortly after this.  Test also looked overly inflated from whatever performance-enhancers he was using, like someone inserted balloons under his skin and blew them up.

Dave?  Dave!  DAVE!  Wake up!

The main event was World Champion Booker T vs. Batista, in another dull, plodding affair from these two.  As with the 2006 SummerSlam, there was virtually no chemistry here and the match felt like it was happening just because they needed a main event.  Couple that with Batista's horribly unheroic win after a belt shot, and this was one of the weakest PPV main events I can remember.

The 2006 edition of the show played out like we all only had a little bit of time to watch each match.  Everything was rushed and awkward, and somehow despite only seven matches on the card not one of them exceeded 14 minutes.  Other than the female wrestlers no one seemed to give much of a shit about actually entertaining people, and the result is a real downer of a PPV that advanced very little.  Also only one match was won by a heel, and that was due to a backfired run-in, and followed by an epic post-match mauling by the babyface.  I've said this before, but if the babyfaces are never in peril, where's the conflict?  This show just sucked all kinds of ass.  All kinds.

Best Match: Lita vs. Mickie James - Yes, an 8-minute women's match was better than anything else on this stinker.
Worst Match: Team Flair vs. Spirit Squad - Please tell me why anyone would pay to see four 60-year-olds beat up a group of promising young wrestlers.  What is gained by this in the long run?
What I'd Change: Cut the opening old-timers match, make the DX-RKO match 25 minutes and have Orton and Edge win the whole thing so they seem like a threat, and generally present a PPV where the talent seems to actually enjoy their job.
Most Disappointing Match: Team DX vs. Team Rated RKO
Most Pleasant Surprise: Lita vs. Mickie
Overall Rating: 1.5/10
Better than WrestleMania 22 and/or SummerSlam '06? - No on both.  Astounding considering how bad SummerSlam '06 was.

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