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Flashback: WWE Survivor Series 2001 Review

Survivor Series 2001Sunday, November 18th, 2001 – Greensboro Coliseum – Greensboro, North Carolina – Probably one of my favorite Survivor Series that was produced was this Survivor Series, the end of the Invasion storyline. I’ll admit, the WCW and ECW storyline of invading the WWF flopped shortly after the first few weeks of the “initial shot.” But to build-up this year’s Survivor Series, the “end” is here, either the WCW/ECW Alliance will survive and take over WWF programming or the WWF will “finally” beat its competition.

One of the reasons this year’s Survivor Series is my favorite is because this is my first Survivor Series that I watched live. The other reason why I love this Survivor Series is at the time this pay-per-view happened; I didn’t know who’ll win at the end. Sad, I know, but do you expect from a 13 year old boy?

Greensboro, North Carolina, the stopping grounds of Jim Crockett Promotions, who later became World Championship Wrestling. Also known as “Flair Country” and “Horsemen Country.” The first four WCW Starrcade’s where held in Greensboro. Could this be the death of the WWF?

The show opens up with the Judgment Day theme song, showing old clips of WWF WrestleMania’s, building up that the WWF and its rich history could end. The video package leads us to clips of the Alliance, showing that the WWF is facing its biggest challenge to date. Death to the WWF and death to sports-entertainment!

Jim Ross and Paul Heyman welcome us to the event and are the color-commentators. One of my favorite announce team. JR and Heyman say its horrible working with each other. I wonder if the Alliance won, who would be the play-by-play man?

WWF European Championship: Christian (Champion) versus Al Snow

Christian, representing the Alliance, came out first, and grabbed the mic. Christian made a mistake and called the fans people of South Carolina. JR called him out on it.

When the match started, Heyman was putting over the European Championship and the heritage it holds. Why couldn’t McMahon bring in the WCW Television Championship and have a TV title and European title unification match on this card?

By the way, former Smackdown General Manager Teddy Long is the ref for this match. Holla, holla, holla playa!

Snow captured Christian’s arms and gave him multiple headbutts to the chest. The fans popped for the move. One of my favorite moves that Snow made famous.

Snow hit the Snow Plow and got the two count, due to Christian putting his foot on the ropes. Oh Al, why did you hit your finisher right by the ropes? Christian went outside and Snow followed and Christian got the upper hand when he rolled into the ring and hit Snow with his finish, the Unprettier, and picked up the win.

Winner: Christian, retaining the European Championship.

Right after the match, we see WWF Champion “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and his wife Debra finally making their way to their locker room and his tag team for the night was in his locker room. They got in his face, asking him if he’s the one turning his back on the Alliance and screwing them over. The team was scared and didn’t want Steve to be the leader of the Alliance. Austin yelled at everyone saying that he’s the leader and everyone needs to quit being paranoid and he came to kick some booty.

Then we see Vince and Linda right by the back doors. Vince said that they can’t have it both ways, putting everything on the line and be concerned for people’s health or be screwed over when caring for people’s health. Vince told her that its business and you ought to do what you ought to do. Michael Cole came up and acted like he might be out of a job that every night. Vince McMahon said that the WWF will win tonight because he has an “ace in the hole” and took a calculated risk with the traditional Survivor Series team. That his six-man team will beat the Alliance four-man team. William Regal (the Alliance Commissioner) came up and said that he’ll be happy when his company goes down the drain.

William Regal (Alliance Commissioner) versus Tajiri (WCW Cruiserweight Champion)

The build-up for the match saw Regal put on the Regal Stretch on Tajiri’s girlfriend, Torrie Wilson.

Tim White is the ref for this match. Yeah for Tim White!

One great thing about William Regal is he’s great on adjusting his wrestling style with whoever he’s working with. This is one match Regal mends well with his opponent.

Regal made short work out of Tajiri (made me think of a squash match) and won with a double arm hook powerbomb.

Winner: William Regal, with hitting another double arm hook powerbomb after the match.

Paul Heyman said “Goodbye Tajiri, it was nice knowing you!” With Tajiri being the WCW Cruiserweight Champion, doesn’t that mean he has a job, no matter the outcome of the final match? Oh Paul E., you’re wrong on that point, brother.

WWF Intercontinental Championship and WCW United States Championship Unification match: Test (IC Champion) versus Edge (US Champion)

Before the match started, we see Test being oiled up for the match and Stacy Keibler came by. To wrap it up, Test hit on Stacy. Then we go to an interview with Edge, saying that he’ll win and made Test to be a dumb loser.

Heyman and JR put over the histories of the Intercontinental and United States Championships, that one belt will dissolve tonight when its company loses the main event match. I start to realize in the third match why I enjoyed JR and Heyman, how they put over the title histories and the matches.

Mike Chioda’s the ref for this match. Oh Mike Chioda, how you’re one of my favorite refs!

When both men were outside the ring doing battle, JR mentions that neither man can win the other man’s title by a count-out. If that happened, would they have to restart the match? Would that mean that both men are guaranteed a job, being a mid-card champion?

When Test had Edge in a chin lock, I saw a sign in the second row saying “Nice face.” That made me laugh; what good timing at a dull moment in a match. Thank you to whoever that fan was.

Edge countered Test’s finisher, the Pump Handle Slam, and was gonna go for the spear, but Test out-smarted him and nailed him with a spear. After a few more counters, Test hit that Pump Handle Slam and Edge kicked out and Test and Heyman were shocked. Edge hit a spear and got a two count. The fans were into the near-falls. Edge won with DDT.

Winner: Edge, the unified Intercontinental and United States Champion.

We see Stephanie McMahon and Kurt Angle backstage, the Billion Dollar Princess said she’s stressed because if the Alliance looses, she has to become a regular person that she has to go buy her own food, clean her own house, scrub her own bathroom, etc. Isn’t Triple H home at this time, to do all that? Angle said that she’s special and he knows that Austin’s for the Alliance and if not, Angle will make sure he doesn’t screw them (foreshadowing to the main event—just saying).

We see Lita, Matt, and Jeff Hardy backstage, saying that the Hardys can make sure they keep their jobs by walking out Survivor Series as champions.

WCW and WWF Tag Team Championship Unification Cage match: Dudleys (WCW Tag Team Champs) vs the Hardys (WWF Tag Team Champs)

I find it to be hilarious that the graphics crew messed up and said that the Dudley Boys were the WWF Tag Team Champions and the Hardy Boys were the WCW Tag Team Champions when those two teams came down to the ring.

Paul E. puts over that the Dudley Boys are the only team to be WCW, ECW, and WWF Tag Team Champions. Only Paul if you could do some time traveling, you’d know to add TNA Tag Team titles onto that list. Talking about Paul E., he put over the histories of each companies Tag Team titles. I wish that there were more title unification matches on this card. I guess the only other title unification match they could have done was the WWF Champion Steve Austin versus the WCW Champion the Rock.

Jimmy Korderas was the ref for the match. Check out his free wrestling podcast out on iTunes, called Aftermath Radio!

Heyman questions Jeff Hardy’s blue hair. JR said that he’ll rather have blue hair than no hair like Paul E. Paul said that he would rather be bald than have blue hair. A quick exchange but a fun one indeed.

The crowd popped huge when Jeff tried to escape but Bubba caught him and both Dudley brothers took out Jeff, teaching him a thing or two for trying to escape.

The Dudleys hit the backwards 3D on Jeff and Bubba went for the cover but only got a two count when Matt broke up the pinfall. Both Dudleys took out Matt for trying to save the WWF tag titles and the match for him and his brother.

One of the highlights had to be when Matt Hardy was tied up with his leg in the top of the cage, being hung up-side-down. When that happened, Bubba yelled at Stacy to get a table. So Stacy showed her booty to Nick Patrick (the ref on the outside of the ring), unlocked the door, and slid the table inside the ring. Stacy got us some wood!

Matt Hardy escaped the cage, leaving his brother inside the cage with the Dudley Boys and the table. When watching this live, that was a stupid decision. How? Jeff climbed up the cage while D-Von was on top of the table, so Jeff went for the Swanton Bomb and D-Von moved, the only thing Jeff tasted was wood. Bubba crawled over and scored the pinfall victory.

Winners: the Dudley Boys, unifying the WCW and WWF Tag Team Championships.

To be honest, this tag team cage match is one of my favorite cage matches. The four men put on an awesome story throughout the match and from opening entrances to Jeff Hardy being stretchered out of the arena. Paul E. was saying that Jeff Hardy blew it for him, his brother, and the WWF. I have to agree, that temptation got the best of Jeff Hardy on this night.

Mick Foley is in New York City at the WWF New York restaurant. Foley said that the reason why he’s in New York is because Vince McMahon told him to be there, and if the Commissioner can’t be at the PPV live, then his job is a joke.

We go backstage at the arena, seeing Scotty 2 Hotty walking in the hallway when he encounters Test. Test turns around and takes him out, to take his spot in the battle royal.

Immunity Battle Royal

One thing I really liked was the Alliance guys came out together and the WWF guys came out together. That shows unity within each company.

For attendance, these are the wrestlers who are in the battle royal: Tazz, Test, Billy Gunn, JBL, Faarooq, Lance Storm, Billy Kidman, DDP, Albert, Perry Saturn, Raven, Chuck Palumbo, Crash, Justin Credible, Shawn Stasiak, Steven Richards, Tommy Dreamer, the Hurricane, Spike, Hugh Morrus, Chavo Guerrero, and Funaki.

This battle royal is a normal battle royal, nothing too special to write about, other than Richards being hit by the Closeline from Hell by JBL. Kidman was eliminated by a fallaway slam by JBL. It seems like JBL has the highlights from this battle royal…weird.

Test won when he eliminated “the One” Billy Gunn.

Winner: Test

We see a video package to the Creed song “My Sacrifice.” I fell in love with that song back in 2001 because of this pay-per-view event. Thank you WWF and thank you Mr. McMahon, thank you for having me spend thousands of dollars on your business.

Booker T and Shane McMahon are backstage and Booker says that he doesn’t trust Austin and says that the other two men shouldn’t trust Austin either. Austin’s motto was “don’t trust anyone” so why should they trust him? Shane talked Booker into trusting Austin, saying that he should trust him that they can trust Austin.

Six Pack Challenge for the WWF Women’s Championship: Trish vs Jacqueline vs Lita vs Ivory vs Mighty Molly vs Jazz

This is Jazz’s WWF debut. I find it odd that she would debut on the last Alliance versus WWF card. Jackie and Molly start out the match with Jack Doan as the ref for the match.

This match is a clusterfart from minutes into the match. To be honest, I really didn’t pay attention to the match; I was discussing work related life with one friend and discussing philosophy with another friend. Trish won with her bulldog on Ivory.

Winner: new Women’s Champ, Trish!

Paul E. gave JR a hard time, saying that he’ll be calling his last match and he should say buy to the fans. JR said “no” and plugged the next pay-per-view, no matter if it’s an Alliance PPV or a WWF PPV.

We go backstage seeing Mr. McMahon looking into the eyes of the five guys on his team, giving them a pep-talk, getting a few things off of his chest. McMahon said that he believes that his team will walk out as the victor. Vince said that if indeed those men lose the match, he wants them to know that the WWF fans won’t ever forgive them for losing the match, which they’d be professional and personally disgraced, and their peers would look down upon them. McMahon brought up some past legends that preceded them, on whose legacy they’d be burying if they lose in the main event.

Then we see team Alliance walk down the hallway to get ready to enter the arena.

Survivor Series Winner-Takes-All Match: Team Alliance (Shane McMahon, Booker T, WWF Hardcore Champion Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, and WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin) versus Team WWF (Big Show, Kane, the Undertaker, Chris Jericho, WCW Champion The Rock)

One thing I find odd about two guys is the Alliance leader is the WWF Champion and the WWF leader is the WCW Champion. Those two men should have faced off on this card and placed two other guys in their spots, unifying the WWF and WCW titles.

The Rock and Steve Austin start out the match at a fast pace brawling.

Paul E. went on to say that Mr. McMahon doesn’t have the balls that Shane McMahon has, because Shane is part of the match and Vince isn’t.

Chris Jericho caught Rob Van Dam in the Walls of Jericho and Shane-O-Mac came in to knock Jericho off of Van Dam and Paul E. and JR go off on it, Paul saying it’s a great thing that Shane broke up the submission and JR saying that Shane is a weak-link for breaking up the hold.

Talking about Shane McMahon and breaking up pinfalls and submission holds, each time there’s a pin attempt or a submission hold locked in, Shane would run in and break it up. It’s getting old rather quick, but believable because Shane doesn’t want to be on the unemployment line.

To keep the tradition for this blog, Earl Hebner is the ref for the match.

The Big Show was the first to be eliminated after being hit with Angle’s finisher, Booker T’s finisher, RVD’s finisher, and Shane McMahon’s finisher, and Shane’s pin. Right when the Big Show went out, the Rock came in and took Shane to school.

The next person eliminated was Shane McMahon, after taking a chokeslam from Kane, a Tombstone Piledriver from the Undertaker, and a Lionsault and pin cover from Chris Jericho.

With the first two eliminations, I feel that every Survivor Series should have this kind of unity from each team. When a few wrestlers nail their opponents with few of their finishers before an elimination adds an extra bonus to the fall.

Kane was the next member of team WWF to be eliminated by RVD with a flying thrust kick. Why not the Five Star Frog Slash? That kick didn’t become a finisher for RVD! Whatever, at least it look legitimate.

Kurt Angle eliminated the Undertaker after Steve Austin hit the Dead Man with a Stone Cold Stunner, putting team WWF with two against team Alliance with four.

So far this match has kept my interest so far. Quick tags and fast paced brawls made the match great. Add in Jim Ross and Paul Heyman going back and forth against each other on who will lose their job added to how important this match was back in 2001.

Booker T gets eliminated by the Rock with a school boy pin. What a sucker.

A few minutes later, Jericho and the Rock even the playing fields when Jericho used the Breakdown (known as the Stroke by Jeff Jarrett) on RVD. With the elimination, Angle raced in to not let Jericho catch his breath.

I find it ironic that the final four men would go on to face each other (Team WWF facing each other for the WCW title, Rock and Jericho and Team Alliance for the WWF title, Austin and Angle) at the next pay-per-view, unifying the two titles.

The Rock eliminated Angle with a Sharpshooter. Isn’t it weird that the Sharpshooter is the move that ended a lot of matches at Survivor Series? Also, was it smart booking giving the babyfaces the advantage two-on-one?

Jericho tried to hit the Lionsault but Austin got the knees up and got a two-count. That was enough for Austin to put Jericho up on the top rope, chop him a few times, get pushed down, and be hit by a missile drop kick by Y2J.

Austin countered Jericho’s counter and eliminated him with a pin, leaving it with Rock and Jericho, one-on-one. After a spinebuster onto Austin, Jericho hit Rock with a Breakdown and Heyman goes nuts for it! The Undertaker came out and ran Jericho off, yelling at him for possibly screwing him out of a job.

Isn’t it odd that just like 1987 Survivor Series was built around the WrestleMania III main event of Hogan and Andre, that the 2001 Survivor Series main event, the last two guys saw the main event from that years WrestleMania, WrestleMania X7, with the Rock and Austin?

Austin put the Rock in the sharpshooter, which made me wonder why anyone other than the Harts would use the sharpshooter. While typing that, Heyman asked JR why doesn’t Hebner ring the bell when Austin had the Rock in the sharpshooter because he had before in Survivor Series history.

Want to hear a huge pop? Listen to when the Rock nailed Austin with the Stone Cold Stunner. When Hebner was going for the cover, the WCW ref, Nick Patrick, pulled Hebner out of the ring and decked him. Austin had the opportunity and nailed Rock with a Rock Bottom and only got a two count. After that, Austin decked Patrick and pulled Hebner back into the ring. When Hebner stood up, Rock pushed Austin into him, laying him out once again.

After all those ref bumps, Austin nailed the Stone Cold Stunner but there were no refs. What a way to screw yourself over in a match, right? Kurt Angle ran down and nailed Austin with the WWF title, letting the Rock hit the Rock Bottom on Austin and let Hebner count the three, forcing the Alliance to “finally go out of business.” A great match all and all and never a slow moment in this match. Mr. McMahon came out at the end and raised his hands, thanking the Rock for “saving” his business.

Winners: Team WWF

To wrap up this review, a great Survivor Series. I believe it’s in the top three, if not the best Survivor Series out there. Granted this Survivor Series isn’t based upon the tradition that the pay-per-view was birthed. Besides this year’s, 1987 and 1998 Survivor Series are tied in with this Survivor Series on being the best Survivor Series, all in their own way.

If you can find the main event on YouTube, definitely go out and see it if you never seen it before. This is Eric Darsie from Minnesota, goodnight everybody!

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at http://vintagedarsie.wordpress.com/, http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.

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Eric Darsie

Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at http://vintagedarsie.wordpress.com/, http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/.

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Welcome to the Camel Clutch Blog. The CCB was born in 2007 and features blogs from over 50 different writers. Articles from the Camel Clutch Blog have been featured by some of the world's most respected websites including; CNNSI.com, Foxsports.com, Yahoo News, Business Insider, MSNBC, NBCsports.com, and more.

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