Previewing Survivor Series' Singles Matches

Martin BentleyCorrespondent INovember 22, 2008

Tomorrow night in Boston, it's the 22nd Annual Survivor Series, and in addition to the three elimination matches I previewed earlier, there are also three regular matches, and all three of them are pretty big. We'll start with the return of the hometown boy.

WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Chris Jericho (c) vs. John Cena

Since the match was announced three weeks ago, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Cena was wrestling himself this weekend upon his big return.

For the past few weeks, several vignettes have been shown following Cena's career to date, with comments from fellow wrestlers, his family and friends. Not one of them have featured Cena's opinions of the champion, Chris Jericho.

Jericho enters this match in the rare position for a champion, as the underdog. Having regained his title just three weeks ago, Jericho has largely been preoccupied by Batista and Shawn Michaels, and has only really addressed Cena on TV this week.

In the eyes of many fans, WWE will have Cena steamroller in, destroy Jericho, and win his first World Heavyweight Title and fourth world belt overall. I, however, don't quite see it that way.

WWE would still have you think that Cena is a hero in his home town of Boston, and that he'll return to a major reception. Of course he has his fans in Boston, but he also has his critics.

At SummerSlam 2006, the majority of the TD Banknorth Garden crowd favoured Edge over Cena, and Cena was booked to lose, as tends to happen most times wrestlers return home, with Edge regularly losing in Toronto, CM Punk losing in Chicago, Mickie James losing in Richmond, and so on.

Also, it would sort of defy logic for Cena to come back 100 percent and dominate Jericho. The champion has been wrestling regularly in big matches since Cena went down at SummerSlam, and will be far fresher, whilst Cena may well have some ring rust to shake off.

Also, Cena tends to return phenomenally quickly from injuries. He was back from a torn pectoral muscle in four months, when he was projected to miss nearly a full year.

In this instance, Cena has been out for three months with a herniated disk in his neck, which was originally feared to be a broken neck. Cena famously returned backstage to a WWE show the same day he had surgery, which shows his determination to get healthy.

Sometimes, however, you can be too determined, and it remains to be seen how his neck will hold up tomorrow night.

And I just don't see WWE being so eager to give him the title either, so look for Jericho to either get himself disqualified, or get a very dodgy looking win, leading to an extended feud that will allow Cena's title win to mean more somewhere else down the line.

WWE TITLE MATCH: Triple H (c) vs. Vladimir Kozlov vs. Jeff Hardy

Originally a match between HHH and Kozlov, several poor house show matches plus a poor showing on SmackDown against The Undertaker have led WWE to put a bit less focus on Kozlov by adding Jeff Hardy to the match.

Hardy has been phenomenal as of late, especially in the last two weeks, as he has beaten both The Undertaker and Triple H on SmackDown to earn his latest opportunity at the title. Some fear, however, that Hardy is only being brought in so that Kozlov doesn't have to pin HHH to win the title.

The problem with Kozlov, despite his big push and commentators talking him up, is that he's simply not over.

Fans today don't buy the monster heel coming in, dominating jobbers and the midcard, and then suddenly being up there in the main event, but it appears with several injuries and absences on SmackDown, WWE needed to bring him up quicker than planned.

Without Kozlov, Triple H does not have much of a challenge for his title, other than the Big Show, who's currently preoccupied with The Undertaker.

Speaking of Big Show, the result of this three way is intricately linked to the result of the Casket Match. If Triple H retains, you'd think The Big Show should win the Casket Match to make that the next feud. If Kozlov or Hardy go over, Taker wins, which would especially be true if Kozlov wins.

In my opinion, WWE seem really intent on pushing this new Jeff Hardy character, with him off his head over being told time and time again he can't win the big one. The way I see it, he wins the big one tomorrow night, and goes even more mad trying to cope with being the champion at last. That will make for far more exciting television than HHH retaining or Kozlov winning.


CASKET MATCH: The Undertaker vs. The Big Show

Since the Big Show turned heel for the 92nd time at Unforgiven, he and Taker have met twice on PPV, with the series split at 1-1. Both men have won their matches by nefarious means, with Show needing an exposed turnbuckle to win at No Mercy, and Undertaker using the banned Devil's Triangle at Cyber Sunday.

However, the odd Casket Match in the past has ended in controversial circumstances, no less at the 1994 Royal Rumble when it required multiple wrestlers to help Yokozuna defeat Taker, or the 1998 Royal Rumble where Kane helped Shawn Michaels win.

The storyline for this particular Casket Match has seen Big Show promise to bury The Undertaker for good, yet somehow have a certain fear of being placed in a casket.

Last night on SmackDown, when Taker went to put Show in a casket, Show scurried like a little girl at the merest touch, and was only too happy to let Vickie and Chavo Guerrero take the abuse.

It looks certain tomorrow night that Show will let others do the dirty work if necessary, as long as he sneaks in at the end to land the final blow.

As mentioned earlier, the result of the WWE Title match links closely to this one, as if Triple H remains champion, Big Show should well be in line to be his next challenger, due to SmackDown's shortage of top heels.

However, Taker rarely loses Casket Matches when there's no title on the line, and you'd think they'd move him on to a new feud with a final win to close the lid on this one.

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