The countdown of the greatest WWE Survivor Series pay-per-views continues with #4: Survivor Series 2001. Did WWE rush the WCW/ECW Invasion storyline? Absolutely. This was still a very good show. Once again I’m adding 2020 thoughts in blue font. This was written in 2016, I believe. Let’s get to it.
The 15th Survivor Series event was a show where everything was on the line…sort of. That was the idea anyway. Vince McMahon’s beloved World Wrestling Federation, which changed its name six months after this, dealt with an invasion from Vince’s own children with Shane McMahon owning World Championship Wrestling (in the storyline) and Stephanie McMahon owning Extreme Championship Wrestling (in the storyline).
The angle started around June 2001, they had a very successful Invasion pay-per-view in July 2001 and here they were just four months later wrapping things up with Team WWF vs. Team Alliance with the future of the company on the line. In the closing section of the review, I’ll rant more about what should have happened.
A major torn quad injury to Triple H meant he was out of this show. That hurt a lot because he was such a great performer in 2000 and into 2001 before he got hurt. I think they would have used this angle to turn him face to fight side by side with The Rock, which would have been cool to see.
I thought 2001 was a strong year for WWE. There were many great PPV events including WrestleMania 17, which is the best PPV ever in my opinion. I just wish the booking of this Invasion angle was better, but we’ll get into that in the review.
This was also the last year when the company was called the World Wrestling Federation. They became World Wrestling Entertainment in May 2002. Throughout my review, I use WWE just to keep it consistent.
WWE Survivor Series
Greensboro, North Carolina
November 18, 2001
The video package showed highlights of the history of WWE because they were trying to tell us this serious threat could end the company. “The End Is Near” song played.
The pyro went off in the Greensboro Coliseum and it was a packed house. Jim Ross was on commentary with Paul Heyman for the last time as JR noted. Heyman was from Alliance and JR is from WWE, so whoever lost was gone…or so they said.
Analysis: Jerry Lawler left the company most of the year after his wife The Kat was unhappy and quit. Lawler was back after this show because his marriage fizzled out, so he re-joined Ross on commentary.
Christian was out first as a heel European Champion. He greeted the fans in South Carolina even though it’s North Carolina – good heat.
European Championship: Christian (Alliance) vs.Al Snow (WWE)
Pre-match notes: Christian represented the heel Alliance while Snow was a WWE guy.
Snow with a back suplex early on. Christian sent him face first into the middle turnbuckle. Christian whipped Snow into the corner and did a side Russian legsweep for two. Overhead suplex by Christian. Snow came back with punches followed by several headbutts to the chest and a clothesline to the back of the head. Standing side kick by Snow earned a two count. Snow with a spinebuster into a two count. Christian hit a reverse DDT that JR called the Unprettier, which was wrong. Snow came back with a cross body block off the top, Christian rolled through and got a two count. Snow hit the Snow Plow, but Christian was against the ropes and he got his foot on the bottom rope to stop the pin attempt. Christian left the ring, went back in, kicked Al in the head and JR corrected himself saying that was the Unprettier to win the match at the 6:30 mark.
Winner by pinfall: Christian
Analysis: **1/2 Good match with a fast pace. The right man went over since Christian was a young guy on the rise while Snow was a veteran that wasn’t wrestling full time. The finish was uninspired because it was a simple leave the ring, then enter the ring and hit a kick ending that wasn’t that creative at all.
(I like both guys and they were very good pro wrestlers, but I don’t think it was a great choice for an opening match. They probably should have picked something that was more fast paced. Anyway, Christian was always a favorite of mine, so I’m glad he won.)
The WWE World Champion Steve Austin and his lovely wife Debra were shown walking backstage. They walked into Stone Cold’s locker room and the Team Alliance people were in the room. Stephanie McMahon asked Austin if he’s turning on the Alliance because he smiled at Vince on Smackdown. Austin said he’s not turning against them. Shane said they put a lot on the line. Austin told them to follow the leader.
Vince and Linda McMahon were backstage talking about the high stakes on the line for this show. Vince said “shit happens” and they bleeped out the shit part. Michael Cole showed up to interview them. Vince said if they lose then Cole could be out of a job, but Vince said they will win. Vince talked about how he built an empire by taking calculated risks. He said it’s damn near a guarantee that they will win. William Regal showed up with a WCW shirt. He said he’ll enjoy watching his Alliance team win and will enjoy beating Tajiri. Regal left, so Vince re-iterated to Linda once again that shit happens.
(Shit happens, pal. It sure does.)
William Regal (Alliance) vs. Tajiri (WWE)
Pre-match notes: Regal was the commissioner of the Alliance. He was the Commissioner in WWE earlier in the year. Tajiri was the Cruiserweight Champion, but the title was not on the line since Regal is too big. Tajiri was the protégé of Regal at one time. No sign of Torrie at the start of the match.
Tajiri nailed some kicks and Regal came back with a rolling senton. Tajiri with a running dropkick into the knee of Regal. Tajiri applied the Tarantula as Regal had a bloody nose. Springboard back elbow by Tajiri gets two. Tajiri’s head was trapped in the ropes as Regal added to the pain by pulling on his legs. Tajiri came back with a hard kick to the head. They both got back to their feet, Regal avoided a kick, hit a headbutt and Regal with a double underhook Powerbomb led to the pinfall win at the 2:56 mark.
Winner by pinfall: William Regal
Analysis: ** They rushed it, but they had a hard-hitting match. Regal’s bloody nose proved that. Too short for my liking.
(It’s weird that they only got three minutes for a potentially great match like this.)
Post match, Regal hit another double underhook Powerbomb. That didn’t look devastating at all. He dropped him gently. The lovely Torrie Wilson ran down to ringside to check on Tajiri. Regal went back into the ring, grabbed her by the hair and hit a double underhook Powerbomb on her.
Analysis: I’m not a fan of the man on woman violence. I know it was done to get heat and make him look like a jerk, but it wasn’t necessary.
(I still don’t like man on woman violence in wrestling. It did get Regal some more heat, though.)
A video package set up Edge vs. Test with each man holding midcard titles. Test won the IC Title from Edge by cheating and Edge beat Kurt Angle for the US Title.
Test was shown looking in a mirror. Stacy Keibler showed up and he wondered if she wanted to party later. She wished him good luck and left. Test: “Yeah. She wants me.”
Analysis: They dated for a few years. I’m not sure if they were together at this point, but I think so.
Edge was interviewed by Jonathon Coachman. Edge noted that Test has been dumped by every chick on the planet.
Title Unification Match: Test (Intercontinental Champion from The Alliance) vs. Edge (United States Champion from WWE)
Pre-match notes: There were so many titles in WWE that they used this show to try to unify some of them. Edge was the face that won King of the Ring a few months earlier while Test was a cocky heel. It’s the battle of the young Canadians that had four letter names. I thought Test was a terrible name for a wrestler while Edge is just okay. I like two names better.
Test was in control early with a clothesline. Edge came back with an arm drag, dropkick and baseball slide dropkick to send Test into the barricade. Edge hit a swinging neckbreaker. Test sent Edge stun gun style into the top rope to control the match again. Corner clothesline by Test. Chinlock by Test. Edge fought back, Test hit the turnbuckle on a charge and Edge came back with a missile dropkick for two. Powerslam by Test gets two. Edge nailed a boot to the face and missed a cross body block off the middle ropes. They battled on the top turnbuckle. Edge tried a Powerbomb, but Test fought out of it, kicked him down and he jumped off the top rope only to be met by a dropkick from Edge. Edge with clothesline, a spinning heel kick and a slam for two. Test wanted a pumphandle slam, but Edge spun out of it with the Edgeomatic. Edge ran the ropes and Test nailed him with a Spear for a two count. Great looking Spear from test. Edge missed a charge and Test hit the pumphandle slam for a two count. The crowd was getting into the match by this point. Edge with a headscissors takedown and he hit a Spear for a two count. Crowd thought that was it, but Test got the shoulder up to counter the finisher. Test went for a slam, Edge rolled through, cradled him up and that was enough to win at the 11:17 mark.
Winner by pinfall: Edge (Winner of Intercontinental & United States Titles)
Analysis: ***1/4 Good match that was better than I remembered. I had completely forgotten about this match and I was impressed by their work. It told the story of Test using his power for much of it and Edge found a way to win as the smaller face even though he was a tall guy. Test wasn’t known as a great in-ring performer while Edge ended up having a great career. Sadly, Test passed away in 2009 at the age of 33.
(This was a very good match. I really enjoyed it as I watched it again. As I noted, Test wasn’t really known for having great matches, but with the right opponent and if they got time, he was capable of putting on a quality match. Edge was doing well as a singles babyface wrestler at this point. He would be even better in 2002.)
Stephanie McMahon was in the locker room. Kurt Angle showed up to talk to her. She said if they lose, she’ll become a regular person. She complained about having to do regular things. Her level of acting here was bad. Angle said he thinks Austin is with the Alliance and he said everything is going to be okay.
Analysis: Stephanie’s acting improved, but it was bad here. It was too over the top.
Jeff Hardy and Lita were backstage with Lita asking Jeff why Matt was acting strange. Matt showed up to say that this has always been his dream and he doesn’t want to be out of a job. If they win, nobody is going to take their jobs. She gave him a good luck kiss and the guys left. Trish Stratus showed up and wished Lita good luck in their match later.
Tag Team Title Unification Steel Cage Match: WWE Tag Team Champions from the Alliance The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von) w/Stacy Keibler vs. WCW Tag Team Champions from WWE The Hardy Boyz (Matt & Jeff)
Analysis: The Dudleys were the heels and the Hardys were the faces in their home state. They had many matches together, so they made it more special by making it a Steel Cage match. The announcers noted it was their first steel cage match against eachother.
It worked like a regular tag match where the partners were standing on the apron and two guys were in the ring. Side slam by Bubba on Jeff. Running dropkick by Jeff. D-Von nailed a reverse suplex into a slam for two. Bubba tagged in with a neckbreaker on Matt. Jeff got the tag and was on fire against both guys with clotheslines. Jeff hit the Poetry in Motion on both Dudleys. They both tried to climb out of the cage. The Dudleys stopped them, so Matt hit a side Russian legsweep on D-Von off the top. Bubba hit the Bubba Bomb (Full Nelson slam) on Jeff to take him down. Bubba went to climb, but Matt stopped him with a slam off the top for a two count. Jeff was actually the legal man, but I guess it doesn’t matter. The Dudleys double teamed Matt and sent him face first into the cage. Jeff tried to climb out of the cage, but Bubba brought him back in. D-Von nailed a top rope clothesline on Jeff while he was on Bubba’s shoulders – it was the Legion of Doom Doomsday Device move. The Dudleys did a double team neckbreaker. Bubba ran into Matt while was up against the cage, so he squashed match against the cage. No more tags in this match apparently. The Dudleys each went for splashes, but Jeff moved out of the way. Matt nailed a double clothesline to take out both Dudleys. Matt whipped Bubba into the cage and hit a neckbreaker on D-Von for two. Matt with a DDT on Bubba for two. Each of the Hardys went to the top. Jeff hit a top rope splash on Bubba while Matt hit a leg drop and D-Von made the save. Matt was hooked upside down against the cage, so D-Von did the Whassup Drop and hit a headbutt to the groin.
Bubba told Stacy to get the table. She grabbed the table, flirted with the referee Nick Patrick and grabbed the key from his pocket. She opened the cage door, which led to the table going in the ring. The Hardys broke up the attempted move through the table. Matt went to climb out, Bubba followed him and they Matt was able to punch Bubba to knock him down. Matt finished his climb and touched the floor, but you have to have both guys get out of the cage to win. Heyman said it was a mistake from Matt. Jeff tossed D-Von into the cage a few times. Jeff tried to climb out, but he said D-Von laying on a table. Jeff stood on top of the cage, the crowd was standing and Jeff went for a Swanton Bomb. D-Von moved out of the way, so Jeff went crashing through the table. Wow what a crazy bump. Bubba pinned Jeff to win the match at the 15:29 mark.
Winners by pinfall: The Dudley Boyz (Winners of WWE & WCW Tag Team Titles)
Post match, Jeff was taken away on a stretcher. The win made it 3-1.
Analysis: *** A good match as usual from them. I think it would have been better if it was a tornado tag match with no tags necessary because then it would have been more physical and they could have used the cage more. I don’t understand why they would spend five minutes tagging in and then turning it into a tornado tag match after. It can have one set of rules or another, but not both. The ending of the match told an interesting story with Matt leaving the ring at a time when his brother was left alone with two rivals. It was bad strategy although if Jeff climbed down they would have won. Huge bump by Jeff, who loved doing that kind of thing on a regular basis.
(It was their usual good match. I probably could have rated it a bit higher. Huge bump by Jeff at the end as usual. I’m glad it was used as the finish.)
There was a shot of WWF New York with Commissioner Mick Foley standing on the stage. Ross asked Foley why he wasn’t in the arena. He said that Vince McMahon ordered him there even though Foley wanted to be in the arena. He was mad and said being the Commissioner is a joke. Foley said if WWF wins then he’ll be in Charlotte for Raw with some choice words for Vince.
Scotty 2 Hotty was shown running backstage with Test asking if he was in the battle royal. Test walked up to him and punched him repeatedly. Test said Scotty’s not in the battle royal anymore.
The wrestlers walked out for the Immunity Battle Royal. Test walked out after the Alliance guys, so he’s in the match even though he wasn’t originally a part of it.
Immunity Battle Royal
Pre-match notes: The winner of this match earned the right to not be fired for one full year. There are 22 guys in the match.
Shawn Stasiak was eliminated before the bell even rang. Tazz walked down to the ring to be a part of the match with JR saying he didn’t know if Tazz was a WWE or Alliance guy. Bradshaw eliminated Hurricane with a clothesline. Albert eliminated Saturn with a press slam. Test eliminate Faarooq. DDP was eliminated by Palumbo and then Storm/Credible worked together to eliminate Palumbo with kicks. The duo of Hugh Morrus and Chavo Guerrero went into the ring. Heyman said they were fired. Hugh and Cavo eliminated Funaki and Raven. Gunn with a press slam of Chavo onto Morrus on the floor. Crash eliminated Dreamer with a hurricanrana thanks to Tazz pushing them out. Storm hit a kick on Spike to eliminate him. Bradshaw eliminated Steven Richards. Tazz talked trash to Heyman, so Gunn eliminated Tazz. Albert was eliminated by Kidman and Test. Kidman was caught by Bradshaw, so Bradshaw hit a fallaway slam on Kidman to eliminate him.
Final four are Storm, Bradshaw, Test and Billy Gunn. The announcers kept arguing with JR calling Heyman a blithering idiot. There’s a “Bring Back Flair” sign in the crowd. Wait one more night, buddy. Gunn and Storm were fighting by the apron. Test eliminated both of them. Gunn hit Test with a boot to the gut, he bounced off the ropes and Test hit a big boot to the face to send Gunn over the top to the floor. It went 7:37.
Analysis: *1/2 It was an okay battle royal. There weren’t any exciting moments, though. Test was a guy they always wanted to push, so it was a way to put him over.
(They used the win by Test to have him brag about it constantly. That angle went away after a while with Test working for WWE for many years after this. Good call by the fan with the Ric Flair sign because as I noted, he was back in WWE one night after this on Raw.)
Shane McMahon and Booker T were backstage. Booker said he doesn’t trust Austin. Booker said he’s all about the Alliance, but he doesn’t want to lose his job to Austin. Shane said his entire life is on the line. Shane told Booker that Austin is the guy that will lead them to the promised land. Shane said they had to stay together as a team. Booker seemed convinced.
There was a six-pack challenge to determine the new Women’s Champions because the title was vacated. The title was vacated because Chyna left the company.
Women’s Championship Six Pack Challenge: Trish Stratus (WWE), Jacqueline (WWE), Lita (WWE), Ivory (Alliance), Mighty Molly (Alliance) & Jazz (Alliance)
Pre-match notes: Two women are in the ring and the other four women are on the apron looking to tag in. Trish and Lita were the biggest faces.
Jazz was a surprise entrant brought in by Regal with Heyman putting over as being tough from ECW. Jazz slammed Lita and hit a double underhook suplex. The other four women were on the apron. Lita with a hurricanrana. Molly tagged in as well as Jacqueline. Jackie with an arm drag. Jackie and Ivory did a rollup sequence. Ivory hit a slingshot that sent Jackie into the middle turnbuckle. Trish tagged in for the first time with the biggest ovation so far. Trish nailed a flapjack. The heels all attacked Trish at the same time. Lita hit a running clothesline in the corner on Jazz. Jackie crushed Lita with a clothesline. Molly hit a Molly Go Round flip attack. Several women hit signature moves with Lita hitting a moonsault on Ivory for two. Jazz made the save. Lita double clothesline on Jazz and Molly. Trish with a back body drop on Lita to send her to the floor. Trish avoided a Jazz attack leading to Jazz going to the floor and taking out the other girls although it looked sloppy. Trish went for Stratusfaction on Ivory, but they slipped and did it again. The error wasn’t that noticeable. Trish hit the Stratusfaction on Ivory to win the match after 4:21 of action.
Winner by pinfall and new Women’s Champion: Trish Stratus
Analysis: *1/4 It was fine. Each woman got a chance to show what they can do in the ring, they did the predictable spot with everybody hitting signature moves and nearly winning. Trish getting the win was treated as an upset by JR on commentary, but in terms of star power it was the right time because the crowd loved her and Lita more than anybody in that match. That was the first Women’s Title win for Trish. She went on to win it a record seven times over the next five years.
(It wasn’t a great match by any means and the lack of time was a big reason for that, but I was genuinely happy for Trish. She went from being mostly a manager in 2000, she was still a heel in early 2001, then turned face at WrestleMania and was slowly built up as a more credible wrestler, which led to this title-winning moment. Obviously, the record that I mentioned when I wrote this four years ago has been surpassed by Charlotte Flair.)
In a backstage setting, Vince McMahon did a pep talk for Team WWE: The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show. Vince said he had confidence in them, but he realizes he could be looking at a group of losers. Vince said if they lost the match they would be personally and professionally disgraced. He listed names of past wrestlers that helped pave the way for them and how they would be letting them down if they lost. Vince said it doesn’t get any higher than fighting for survival. He told them he picked them and tonight they will honor the World Wrestling Federation (Entertainment).
Analysis: The speech lasted about five minutes. It was fine.
Team Alliance was shown walking backstage.
A video package aired to set up the Winner Take All match. One of the big moments in the build up was Kurt Angle joining the Alliance. Jericho and The Rock had issues even though they were on the same team. Vince McMahon said somebody is going to turn on The Alliance. Austin hit a Stunner on Angle even though they were on the same side. There was a final clip of The Rock dropping Austin with a Rock Bottom on Raw.
Analysis: The buildup was really good. There were a lot of questions about who might turn on The Alliance to side with the WWE side.
(There were trust issues and turns throughout this story. You knew it was coming, but you didn’t necessarily know who or when.)
The Alliance was introduced first in this order: Shane McMahon, Booker T, Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam (he was cheered by a lot of fans), Kurt Angle and WWE World Champion Steve Austin, who received a lot of cheers even though he was a heel. When Austin was in the ring, fans did the “WHAT?” chant.
Analysis: The team was better than the WCW team at the Invasion PPV four months earlier.
The WWE Team was introduced in this order: Big Show, Kane, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho and WCW World Champion The Rock. Jericho was on his way to being a heel by this point while the others were faces. The ovation for The Rock was massive. The fans loved him.
Winner Take All Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team WWE (The Rock, The Undertaker, Chris Jericho, Kane & Big Show) vs. Team Alliance (Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Shane McMahon & Booker T)
Rock and Austin started with a slugfest. Rock stole some Austin moves and Shane made the save. Leaping clothesline by Rock on Booker with Shane making another save. Jericho with a flapjack on Booker. RVD missed a spin kick and Jericho hit a spinning heel kick followed by a suplex. RVD hit a cartwheel into a moonsault for two on Jericho. RVD wanted a hurricanrana, but Jericho blocked it with a Walls of Jericho. Kane tossed Angle into the turnbuckle followed by a clothesline. Angle hit a German Suplex on Kane, but Kane came back with a sidewalk slam followed by his top rope clothesline that he did all the time. Undertaker tagged in against Angle and Booker tagged in with Taker hitting a leg drop. Shane kept interrupting pinfall attempts. Old School clothesline by Undertaker. After a few more minutes, Taker did another pin attempt on Booker and Shane broke it up. Austin worked with Undertaker and Austin hit the Old School clothesline on him as Shane broke up another pin. The Alliance team worked over Taker in their corner. Swinging neckbreaker by Angle on Taker got a two count. Undertaker hit a DDT on Angle. Show tagged in with a huge hip toss for Angle and a press slam for RVD. Angle avoided a Chokeslam and hit an Angle Slam on Show. Booker tagged in hit and hit a Scissors Kick on Show followed by the Spinarooni. RVD tagged in and hit a Five Star Frog Splash. Shane tagged in with a flying elbow smash off the top to eliminate Show.
Big Show eliminated by Shane McMahon
Analysis: I like that it took three finishers plus Shane’s elbow to finish off Show. It makes him look better than losing after one move.
Rock clothesline on Shane. Kane tagged in and hit a huge Chokeslam on Shane. Heyman freaked out about it. Undertaker tagged in with a Tombstone for Shane. Jericho tagged in with a Lionsault and he pinned Shane to eliminate him.
Shane McMahon eliminated by Chris Jericho
Jericho with a running forearm smash on Angle followed by a backbreaker for two. Knee drop by Booker on Jericho. RVD got in some kicks on Jericho and Jericho got a sunset flip for two. Kane tagged in with a boot to the face followed by two clotheslines. Kane hit a boot to the face on Booker, which allowed RVD to get in a kick. RVD nailed a Five Star Frog Splash on Kane. No cover because Kane grabbed him by the throat. Booker ran in with a kick to Kane. Everybody started brawling around the ring. RVD up top and he hit a jumping side kick on Kane to eliminate him.
Kane eliminated by Rob Van Dam
Undertaker cleaned house with clotheslines for all four Alliance guys. Undertaker with snake eyes followed by a boot to the face. Undertaker knocked down Austin. Undertaker hit a Last Ride on Angle. Booker brought a chair into the ring, Undertaker kicked him, Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner on Undertaker and put Angle on top to eliminate Undertaker.
The Undertaker eliminated by Kurt Angle
Booker nailed a jumping side kick on Rock. Rock hit a DDT for a two count. Rock whipped Booker into Angle on the apron and Rock hit the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate Booker.
Analysis: Of course they’d use a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! pinfall in this famous match.
(It’s a deadly move after all!)
Rock slammed RVD while he was on the turnbuckle. Both guys were down. Jericho nailed a bulldog, but he missed a Lionsault as RVD came back with a spinning heel kick. Split legged moonsault by RVD. Jericho hit a face first move that Jeff Jarrett called The Stroke and that eliminated RVD.
Rob Van Dam eliminated by Chris Jericho
The match is down to Rock and Jericho vs. Austin and Angle. Angle worked with Jericho in the ring while Austin battled Rock on the floor with Austin sending Rock into the ringpost slingshot style. Austin back in for his team and he hit a superplex. Angle with a back elbow on Jericho. The Angle and Austin team isolated Jericho for a few minutes. Jericho bounced off the ropes and they did the double clothesline spot. Rock tagged in against Angle with Rock hitting an overhead suplex and he applied the Sharpshooter on Angle, who tapped out quickly. Heyman was freaking out about it.
Kurt Angle eliminated by The Rock
(That was a big moment since Angle was an established main event talent by this point. Angle didn’t tap out that often, so again that’s another reason why this was a bigger deal than you might think.)
Austin is the last man for the Alliance. Jericho went for a Lionsault on Austin, but Austin got the knees up leading to a two count. Jericho got a rollup, Austin turned him over to counter it and Austin sat on top to pin Jericho. That was enough for an elimination.
Chris Jericho eliminated Steve Austin
We are down to two with Rock facing off with Austin. Spinebuster by Rock. Jericho back in the ring and he hit The Stroke on Rock to put him down face first. Austin was slow to cover and Rock kicked out. The Undertaker ran down to ringside to prevent Jericho from interfering again. They went to the back.
(Those actions from Jericho solidified his heel turn. It was not a surprise that Austin and Rock were the final two men in the match.)
Austin and Rock brawled outside the ring for a bit with Austin sending Rock into the steeps steps and the ring post. Rock threw Austin over the announce table and followed up with punches. JR and Heyman were bickering again with JR telling Heyman to kiss his ass. Back in the ring, Austin hit a Spinebuster followed by a Sharpshooter. After about 30 seconds, Rock got to the ropes. Austin went for the title, he tried to use it as a weapon and Rock tripped him up with a Sharpshooter. Austin crawled to the ropes. Rock held onto the hold and Austin got to the ropes again. Low blow by Austin. Austin went for the Stunner, Rock caught the boot and hit a Stunner of his own. Austin’s lip was bleeding. Rock went for a cover, but Alliance referee Nick Patrick pulled Earl Hebner out of the ring and punched him. Rock went for a move on Patrick, but Austin hit a Rock Bottom on Rock. Patrick counted the pin and it was a two count. Crowd went wild for those nearfalls. They worked perfectly. Austin punched Patrick to send him out of the ring. Austin brought Hebner back into the ring, Rock shoved Austin into Hebner, Rock fought out of a Rock Bottom and Austin hit a Stone Cold Stunner. Austin covered and there was no referee to count. Kurt Angle ran down to the ring, hit Austin in the head with the WWE Title, the crowd cheered that and Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Austin to win the match at the 44:57 mark. The crowd was going crazy for the win!
Steve Austin eliminated by The Rock
Survivor: The Rock
Analysis: ****1/2 Awesome match. The victory meant that WWE continued to exist while The Alliance died. I don’t think anybody watching this show thought the Alliance were going to win, but it would have been an interesting twist if they did. The match was a comeback story since Rock was able to lead his team back after they were down two to four late in the match. The match felt like a big deal the entire time, but once it got down to Austin vs. Rock it felt even more special. I liked how there were a lot of twists in the match such as when Jericho turned on Rock after he was eliminated and it almost cost them the match. The big turn came at the end of the match with Angle doing the cheap shot on Austin as the guy that turned his back on the Alliance to help WWE just like Vince McMahon said. They said it would happen and it happened. It’s nice when a storyline plays out like that.
(I love this match. I can remember watching it many times after it took place and in the years after as well. It was booked so well and the fans were so excited about it. You can’t beat the chemistry of Austin and Rock in the main event, either. They are amazing together.)
There were camera shots of the excited WWE locker room and the angry Alliance locker room. Ross told Heyman that he’s out of work again because Kurt Angle just screwed them. Stephanie did some bad overacting about how there was nothing left.
The Rock posed with the WCW World Title. The WWE locker room kept celebrating while Stephanie was in near tears getting mad about it. A replay aired of Angle hitting Austin with the WWE Title (the ref was down) and Rock hit a Rock Bottom to win.
Vince McMahon appeared on the ramp. He had his arms raised as he tossed his jacket to the ground. He had a big smile on his face as JR closed the show noting the WWE won.
Analysis: The way things went after that was Austin ended up becoming a face again because the “WHAT?” thing was so popular. Vince was a heel that favored Kurt Angle because Angle helped WWE win. Jericho was elevated as a top heel by winning the WWE and WCW World Title to become the first Undisputed Champion, which is something he has bragged about for 15 years because he beat Rock and Austin in the same night.
The show had a run time of 2 hours and 36 minutes. I wonder if they cut things out. That run time seems short.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– In my two decades of writing about WWE, I have been asked what was the stupidest booking decision the company has ever done. A lot of things come to mind, but the first thing I say is that ending this Invasion in just four months was the stupidest thing that they ever did. It could have lasted two or three years if they really planned it out right. Instead, it felt rushed and lacked star power because a lot of the bigger WCW names had expensive contracts that WWE didn’t want to pay.
Keep in mind after this angle ended, WWE brought in Mr. WCW Ric Flair. Three months after this, WWE brought in Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall. If this angle kept going for three more months, those guys could have been a factor in a match like this and it would have been a lot more. In July 2002, Eric Bischoff was brought in. In November 2002, Scott Steiner came back to WWE. Then there was Bill Goldberg in March 2003. Think about how well this angle could have been if they brought people in earlier or even just planned it better.
The WCW/WWE feud should have lasted two or three years. Instead, they started it and wrapped it up in about five months. What a waste.
– The main event is a great match. It’s one of the better elimination matches in Survivor Series history. I’m not sure if anything is going to top it in terms of future elimination matches, but this was one of the better. They told an awesome story for 45 minutes with a few twists and turns that made it a fun match from start to finish. Great performance by so many guys in that match.
– I was impressed by Edge’s performance in the match with Test. He was starting to improve a lot by this point. I remember being mad that they ended the Edge & Christian team earlier in the year, but it was easy to see why because they were both stars on their own.
– The commentary team of Jim Ross and Paul Heyman was fantastic. I like that they got to call matches together for eight months and I wish it went longer. That’s nothing against Jerry Lawler, who was very good for a long time in his prime. I liked Ross and Heyman a lot too.
– This was Austin’s last Survivor Series as an active wrestler. We didn’t know that at the time, but he retired about a year and a half after this.
Best Match: Team WWE led by The Rock vs. Team Alliance led by Steve Austin (****1/2)
Worst Match: Women’s Six Pack Challenge won by Trish Stratus (*1/4)
Most Memorable Moment: The Rock pins Austin to win the main event for Team WWE.
1. The Rock
2. Steve Austin
3. Kurt Angle
4. Chris Jericho
Show rating (out of 10): 8
An awesome show from top to bottom. Most people forget about the undercard with good reason, but when you have multiple three star matches there like Edge vs. Test and Dudleys vs. Hardys then it’s not bad at all. The main event was the highlight of the show and it delivered.
(I stand by that rating. Outstanding PPV. I just wish the Invasion storyline lasted longer. That’s what she said!)
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.