Arnold Furious: We’re in Cleveland, Ohio at the Gund Arena. Seeing as the building holds 20,000 it reflects how cold the fan base was on WWE in 2004, and attending live events in particular, when the attendance for a “Big Four” pay-per-view is only 7,500. A video package tries to put over Survivor Series and the rich history it has. More often than not the event has featured newcomers, controversial outcomes, and big money matches. The 2004 incarnation doesn’t have any of that.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Spike Dudley (c) vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Billy Kidman vs. Chavo Guerrero
Chavo has turned back babyface after spending most of 2004 as a heel, thanks to Kidman accidentally injuring him a few months back. The injury allowed Spike to take over the division. The Dudley Boyz have been written off TV, kayfabe injured by The Big Show, which leaves Spike running solo. This is a fatal four way, tornado style, with no tagging and no eliminations. It’s deliberately positioned as a hot opener and, selling issues of a multiple person match aside, that’s exactly what it delivers. Rey is in the mood to steal the show and Kidman is game to help him. Chavo has the hottest angle, angry at Kidman, and yet can’t channel that anger into an emotional assault. Their encounters are tepid and disinteresting apart from one spot where Kidman heads up top, looking for the SSP on Rey, and Chavo just shoves him off to the floor. Some of the pre-planned spots are cool, including the Tower of Doom. I like that there are no tags as it allows them to hit a bunch of stuff within the rules. Chavo gets laid out and Spike steals a pin to retain. The match was lots of fun, exactly the kind of hot opener you want on a big show.
Final Rating: ***½
Video Control takes us backstage where Paul Heyman hypes up Heidenreich. The poor freak takes it too far, aimlessly repeating Heyman’s words (“jacket”) and in comes Gene Snitsky for some homoerotic snarling. “I LIKE YOUR POETRY”. “I LIKE WHAT YOU DO TO BABIES”. Creepy.