The twenty-third Survivor Series took place in Washington D.C. on Thanksgiving Weekend, 2009 and included three separate 5 on 5 elimination matches interspersed with a few other highly touted matches to make for a pretty entertaining event. So here's a look at the six matches that make up this event (spoiler free!):
5 On 5 Traditional Elimination Match - John Morrison, Evan Bourne, Shelton Benjamin, Matt Hardy, and Fit Finlay vs. The Miz, Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, and Jack Swagger: The first match of the night is a pretty solid one with Jack Swagger and Evan Bourne starting the bout out with a lot of good brawling. From there, Dolph Ziggler dominates for quite a while and once he's gets into the swing of things, everyone steps up and people start getting knocked out of the competition. Drew McIntyre does really well here too, though you know as soon as they enter the ring that Fit Finlay and Sheamus are going to have to go at it one on one. Morrison turns out to be the last man standing on his side of the ring, and he does a pretty solid job standing up to his former tag team partner Miz and his teammates, but will it be enough? This is a strong opening match with a lot of good tagging and team work here. A few dirty tricks creep in here and there to keep audiences on their toes but it moves at a good pace and it delivers the goods.
Batista vs. Rey Mysterio: There was a lot of build up to this in the WWE for the month or two prior to this event and it was a match that meant a lot to a lot of people. Batista had the hometown advantage here and you can hear the crowd chanting for him when he enters the ring. You kind of know where all of this is heading though. Mysterio works his way around the ring with his usual flash and style and works the ropes as best he can, but Batista is huge, almost twice the guys size, and you can tell Rey doesn't want to be duking it out with his former best friend and tag team partner. Batista, on the other hand, has got rage in his eyes and is obviously ready to literally punish Mysterio for the supposed betrayal he suffered at his hands prior. A good match that borders on brutal towards the end.
5 On 5 Traditional Elimination Match - Kofi Kingston, MVP, Mark Henry, R-Truth, and Christian vs. Randy Orton, The Legacy, CM Punk, and William Regal: Before this match even starts we get an amusing bit in the locker room with Christian expressing to his teammates how he's not sure he fits in. They work it out and head into the ring where you can see how Orton's team is smartly acting on a very defined strategy despite tensions amongst the teammates. The episode of RAW where Orton went psycho on Rowdy Roddy Piper started a feud between he and Kingston and that feud obviously fuels some of the energy in this match as both parties go at it full tilt. Both combatants do quite well here two, with Christian also making a good show of it. It's an average quality match with a pretty predictable finish, but it's entertaining enough.
Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship - Undertaker vs. Big Show vs. Chris Jericho: The first title match of the night starts off with Big Show and Chris Jericho working as a team to take down the Undertaker first and they work well together, really giving him a pretty hefty pummeling. Big Show in particular really goes to town on him, but you know that The Undertaker isn't going to take that for too long. Jericho starts playing dirty later in the match, however, and things start to look bad for everyone else but The Undertaker is a hard wrestler to really predict. All three participants here give their all and there's a lot of good energy from the ring and from the crowd resulting in one of the more exciting matches of the night.veryone else but The Undertaker is a hard wrestler to really predict. All three participants here give their all and there's a lot of good energy from the ring and from the crowd resulting in one of the more exciting matches of the night.
5 On 5 Traditional Divas Elimination - Michelle McCool, Alicia Fox, Layla, Jillian Hall, And Beth Phoenix vs. Melina, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Eve Torres, And Gail Kim: This is the fastest match of the night, as the Divas matches tend to be, and it begins with a bang as Kelly and Layla get into the ring and throw down. It doesn't really hold much momentum, however, but the eliminations come quickly and so it definitely moves at a good pace. There are some good moves here too, which helps, but this lacks the intensity of the other matches on this card and as such it is the least exciting of the bunch.
Triple Threat Match for the WWE Championship - John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels:
The final match of the night is the most exciting of the bunch. It starts with a bang as Michaels gives his DX partner some 'Sweet Chin Music' leaving The Heartbreak Kid in the ring to work Cena over all by his lonesome. The action soon moves out of the ring and at this point, Triple H gets back into the mix and Michaels finds his way through the announcer's table. It's pretty wild to see the two DX members going at one another as heatedly as they do here, while Cena works things in when and where he can. Each of the three men in this match has got plenty of skill and none of it is wasted here. This is just solid wrestling through and through, it's exciting, fast paced and unpredictable. As such, it ends a night of generally above average matches on a pretty serious high note.
This pay-per-view event was broadcast in anamorphic 1.78.1 widescreen and that's how it's presented on this DVD, even if the picture is interlaced. The quality is pretty decent, not showing any annoying compression artifacts during any of the matches and only showing some minor shimmering in some scenes. Color reproduction looks alright and skin tones are fine but the black levels can sometimes be a little less than perfectly defined.
WWE Survivor Series 2009 has a strong Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo mix. There are no alternate language subtitles or closed captioning options though a Spanish 2.0 Stereo mix has also been included on the DVD. The audio here is fine, there aren't any obvious problems to report. The dialogue is always easy enough to understand and there are no issues with hiss or distortion worth complaining about. The 5.1 track sounds nice and full, with some nice crowd noise coming from the rear channels but it remains front heavy for the most part. There's nothing reference quality here, but the sound is good.
There are two extras included on the disc, both quite brief. The first is DX After Their Match (1:10) which is an entertaining bit in which Triple H and Sean Michaels make amends. The second extra is Christian Performs A Rap For The Bella Twins (1:32) and it is just what it sounds like - Christian rapping for the two dark haired beauties backstage. It's played for laughs and is mildly amusing.
Promo spots for a few other WWE releases play before the main menu appears, as does that ever annoying Army recruiting add (which you still can't skip). The main menu offers match selection.
WWE Survivor Series is, quality wise, on par with most WWE releases but the content on the disc is a notch or two above some of their recent pay-per-view DVD releases with most of the matches standing out as better than average. It's light on extras, but what's here is pretty solid stuff. A good rental for the curious, recommended for fans of this particular event.
Ian lives in NYC with his wife where he writes for DVD Talk, runs Rock! Shock! Pop!. He likes NYC a lot, even if it is expensive and loud.