Vintage Vault “Pre-Viewing of Punk”: Survivor Series 2008

Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Shelton Benjamin, and William Regal (w/ Manu, “Mr. USA” Tony Atlas, and Layla)

We are close to the end of 2008 and as we head into Survivor Series, it has been a crazy year for Punk as he started the year as ECW Champion, won Money in the Bank, became World Champion, and was now one half of the World Tag Champions. Even though he was a champion, it felt like he was no longer looked at as a main event player as he never really got a chance to become World Champion after being stripped of it, and he was quickly shuffled back down into the team with Kingston and while they have been a fun team, it does seem like he should still be in the main event scene. But given how crowded it is especially with John Cena coming back at this show, this was a fine spot for him as he gets put in this match to try and get some revenge on Orton and Rhodes for costing him the World Title.

On the 10/27 RAW, Orton confronted Mike Adamle for what happened at Cyber Sunday and implored the McMahons to fire Adamle or he would quit, and he would insult Adamle until Adamle slapped him in the face and walked away. Later that night Punk and Kingston defeated Rhodes and Ted Dibiase to win the World Tag Titles, and on the 10/28 ECW, Henry teamed with Chavo Guerrero and Bam Neely to defeat Hardy, Evan Bourne, and Finlay. On the 10/31 Smackdown, the Hardyz teamed with Rey Mysterio to defeat Henry, Kane, and MVP in a 6-man tag, and on the 11/3 RAW Orton sat at ringside for the early part of the show until Shane McMahon came out with Adamle. Adamle announced he would resign as GM and Orton demanded an apology though Shane rebutted it by saying Adamle deserved an apology, and he announced that Orton had been cleared for weeks and would wrestle that night. Later that night, Punk defeated Orton by DQ when Dibiase got involved and Orton would attack Dibiase before punting him in the head. Dibiase would be taken out in an ambulance as Rhodes and Manu confronted Orton though didn’t do anything, and later that night Henry and Kane defeated Kingston and Mysterio in a tag match. On the 11/7 Smackdown, Benjamin defeated Truth in a US Title match and on the 11/10 RAW, Regal defeated Santino Marella to win the IC Title and later that night, Orton told Rhodes and Manu that Dibiase was the weak link of the team which led Rhodes to slap him in the face. Batista would defeat Rhodes in a match and laid Manu out as well as Orton watched from the outside, and on the 11/14 Smackdown this match was announced as Hardy defeated Benjamin in a non-title match. On the 11/17 RAW, Orton and Rhodes had another confrontation as Hardy and Regal wrestled to a no contest, and in the main event Orton defeated Punk in a Lumberjack match which led to a brawl. On the 11/18 ECW, Henry teamed with Rhodes and Regal to defeat Hardy, Kingston, and Finlay, and on the 11/21 Smackdown Hardy and Truth defeated Henry and Benjamin in a tag match. There were a good number of feuds going into this match with Batista/Orton being the showcase, and Punk still had issues with Orton and Rhodes even though he appeared to be on the outside looking in.

Orton tries to get his team fired up before the match though nearly has a confrontation with Rhodes, and Batista’s team get big pops from the crowd while Orton’s team were pretty hot as heels. Punk wastes no time and hits the running knee on Regal in the corner to start the match before hoisting him up and hitting the GTS which gets the three and Regal is eliminated in shockingly quick fashion, and Benjamin comes in and hooks a rollup for a two count as he kicks and pounds on Punk before ramming the knee into him. He whips Punk into the corner only for Punk to hit a spin kick and throws him into the corner as Kingston tags in and he catches Benjamin with a pair of boots to the face, and Punk hits a jawbreaker on Benjamin as Kingston hits a flying forearm for a two count and he hooks a front facelock. He works on the arm as Benjamin backs him into the corner and gets a kick in before pounding on him, and Kingston counters a hiptoss with a monkey flip as Benjamin lands on his feet only for Kingston to hit a dropkick for a two count. Benjamin gets a shot in and tags Henry who stomps on Kingston and hits a headbutt before kicking at him, and he pounds on Kingston and tags Rhodes who stomps on Kingston only for Kingston to escape a slam attempt and he counters a hiptoss with the monkey flip. He hits an armdrag and works the arm as Hardy tags in and he pounds on Rhodes before hitting a back elbow, and he drops an elbow on Rhodes for a two count and hooks a front facelock as Truth tags in and they hit a double hiptoss on Rhodes for a two count. Truth pounds and stomps on Rhodes in the corner as he grabs the arm and tags Batista though Rhodes escapes and rolls outside to regroup, and he rolls back into the ring and tags Benjamin who gets a series of knees in and he pounds on Batista. Batista reverses a whip and hits a back elbow on Benjamin as he stomps on him and hits a suplex for a two count, and he rams the shoulder into Benjamin repeatedly in the corner and tags Hardy who pounds on Benjamin and whips him into the corner. Benjamin catches him with a back elbow and tags Orton though Hardy fires up on him and whips him into the corner, and he splashes Orton and hits a running bulldog for a two count as he hits a slam and goes up top only to miss a moonsault. Henry tags in and stomps on Hardy as he pounds on him and slingshots him throat first into the middle rope, and he throws Hardy into the corner and tags Rhodes who stomps on Hardy repeatedly and pounds on him only for Hardy to reverse a whip into the corner. Rhodes leaps over Hardy and both men clothesline each other as Truth gets the hot tag and he fires up on Benjamin, and Benjamin blocks a hiptoss only for Truth to counter a hiptoss with a rollup for a two count and he hits a side kick for a two count. Benjamin reverses a whip into the corner and Truth leaps over him as he does a backflip and avoids a clothesline before hitting a sloppy spinning forearm, but Benjamin avoids the scissors kick and hits the Paydirt which gets the three and Truth is eliminated. Kingston goes up top and hits a crossbody on Benjamin for a two count as he pounds on him and hits a standing dropkick, and he hits a flying clothesline and the Boom Drop on Benjamin for a two count as he pounds on him on the mat. Henry gets a shot in from the apron and he tags in as he pounds on Kingston and chokes him with his boot on the mat, and he continues to choke Kingston on the ropes and tags Orton who stomps on Kingston repeatedly only to miss the knee. Kingston tries to fire up on Orton who counters a whip and gets a kick in as he hoists him up for a suplex and drops him on the top rope, and Kingston gets a shoulder in only for Orton to catch him with a knee and he hits a draping DDT which gets the three and Kingston is eliminated. Punk comes in and kicks at Orton repeatedly as he catches him with a knee to the ribs and kicks him in the back, and he hits a side dropkick on Orton for a two count only for Orton to catch him ducking with a kick and he tags Rhodes. He pounds on Punk and whips him hard into the corner before hitting a dropkick and a drop toehold, and he works on the arm and drives a knee into it as he grinds down on Punk on the mat until Punk fights to his feet and hits a pair of back elbows. Rhodes gets a shot in and whips him into the corner as Punk leaps over him and ducks a shot before hitting a springboard crossbody for a two count, and Punk ducks a shot and hits a swinging neckbreaker for a two count as he rams the knee into Rhodes twice. He whips Rhodes into the corner and hits the running knee before hitting the running bulldog for a two count, and Rhodes backdrops him over the top with Punk landing on the apron and he gets a kick in before going up top. Manu gets on the apron and distracts Punk as Rhodes goes out to the apron and tosses Punk to the mat, and he gets a kick in and hits the DDT which gets the three and Punk is eliminated as Hardy comes in and pounds on Rhodes. Rhodes tries to battle back only for Hardy to duck a shot and he hits the Side Effect for a two count, and Rhodes blocks a second Side Effect with a pair of back elbows and tags Henry who pounds on Hardy in the corner. He whips Hardy into the other corner only for Hardy to hit a drop toehold that sends Henry into the middle buckle, and he goes up to the middle rope and drives the elbow into the back of Henry’s head before hitting the Side Effect for a two count. He goes up to the middle rope only for Henry to catch him on a crossbody and he hits the World’s Strongest Slam which gets the three and Hardy is eliminated, and Batista comes in and hits the spear on Henry which gets the three and Henry is eliminated as Benjamin slides in. Batista shoves him off a Paydirt attempt and hits a clothesline only for Benjamin to catch him ducking with a kick, but Batista catches him in a spinebuster and then he hits the Batista Bomb which gets the three and Benjamin is eliminated. Rhodes comes in and pounds on Batista who catches him with a big boot though Rhodes catches him with a back elbow, and he goes up to the middle rope only for Batista to catch him coming in with a clothesline  and he hits a running powerslam. Manu gets on the apron and Batista knocks him to the floor as Orton avoids a shot and Rhodes gets a kick in, but Batista blocks the DDT and hoists Rhodes up as Orton gets a blind tag and Batista hits the Batista Bomb on Rhodes only for Orton to come in and hit the RKO which gets the three and he and Rhodes are the survivors.

The match itself was pretty good as all 10 men worked hard and put on a pretty solid Survivor match. These feuds were going fairly strong heading into this show though given a lot of the focus was on Batista and Orton, they barely interacted and Batista didn’t get into the match that much until the end. It was also weird that Regal got knocked out so quickly to the point that you thought he might be injured, and then Rhodes, Benjamin, and Henry went on a tear as Batista’s team went down one after another. They do keep Batista strong by having him get two eliminations and it took a blind tag from Orton to steal the win, and it was a big win for Orton as well as for Rhodes as he gets to survive the match with Orton. As for how Punk looked, he was almost a nonfactor in the match despite getting the quick elimination of Regal to start the match, and he does get a few minutes with Rhodes before losing clean as he didn’t have a strong showing here like he did two years ago. The crowd was into the match and Batista’s team, but are not happy when Orton and Rhodes win. Orton and Rhodes win the match for their team though their issues with Batista aren’t over yet.

Final Grade: ***