|Survivor Series 2007 - American Airlines Arena - 11/18/07|
Things got somewhat back on track in late 2007, as WWE rediscovered consistently watchable PPVs. That year's edition of No Mercy and Survivor Series began a string of solid shows. While Series wasn't exactly a throwback to the gimmick's glory days, it was still a strong PPV with two excellent main events.
The show kicked off in style as CM Punk defended the ECW Title against John Morrison and The Miz in a brief but exciting Triple Threat match. For a little while the company was finally starting to get behind Punk as a rising babyface star (partly out of necessity due to JoMo being suspended for PEDs).
Next was a rather pointless inclusion, a one-fall ten-Divas tag team match. It was forgettable but inoffensive.
Another free-TV quality match followed as Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch successfully defended the World Tag straps against Bob Holly and Cody Rhodes. Holly and Rhodes became a team in the logical fashion: they wrestled each other several times with Holly repeatedly beating the piss out of Rhodes until he "learned respect." This was a terrible angle and a perplexing way to create a babyface duo. The match here was fine but far from noteworthy.
Things really picked up however with the lone traditional Survivor Series match, as Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Kane (Matt Hardy was supposed to be on the team but was kayfabe injured - yet another instance of an elimination match missing a participant right from the start. Christ!) took on Umaga, Mr. Kennedy, MVP, Finlay and Big Daddy V. Not much of a heel team there, but the match was decent and was actually given ample time for a change. Triple H and Jeff Hardy were the survivors in this somewhat pedestrian but entertaining match.
It wouldn't be a Survivor Series card without an inclusion that made me wanna slit my wrists, so WWE added The Great Khali vs. Hornswaggle. This is yet another example of a match that clearly didn't garner a single PPV buy, and I defy WWE to prove otherwise. Vince and Shane were in Hornswaggle's corner, so obviously this was meant for an audience of one. It's stuff like this that makes one question Vince's sanity and taste in entertainment.
|It's a Sharpshooter. Ring the bell. RING THE F*CKING BELL!!|
Up until this point Survivor Series 2007 was in danger of being just as sucky as the 2006 edition, but fortunately the double main event saved it. Randy Orton defended the WWE Title against Shawn Michaels, with the stipulations that Orton could lose the belt on a DQ and that Shawn was banned from using the superkick. These stips made for some nice psychology and forced Shawn to get a little creative with his offense (in an odd twist Shawn broke out the Crippler Crossface, only five months after the Chris Benoit murder-suicide). This was a helluva good Title match.
The main event was the blowoff to the excellent Undertaker-Batista feud of 2007, inside Hell in a Cell. These two had amazing chemistry and turned in a handful of show-stealing matches that year. I consider 2007 to be when Taker rediscovered his considerable in-ring ability, and also the year Batista came into his own as a worker. After twenty-plus minutes of back-and-forth action, the returning Edge interfered, disguised as a ringside cameraman, and cost Taker the bout. While run-in endings usually detract from big matches, in this case Edge's meddling made sense and kicked off a great feud that lasted through most of 2008.
Survivor Series 2007 was far from a perfect show, but it was light years better than the previous installment and featured two killer main events. The ensuing calendar year would see several strong PPV offerings and a somewhat refocused WWE product.
Best Match: Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels
Worst Match: The Great Khali vs. Hornswaggle
What I'd Change: Cut the Khali-Hornswaggle shit, obviously. And where was Shelton Benjamin??
Most Disappointing Match: Probably the elimination bout. It was decent but not great.
Most Pleasant Surprise: I guess the return of Edge, as I knew it meant an extended Taker-Edge feud.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Better than WrestleMania 23 and/or SummerSlam '07? - No, and yes.
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