Survivor Series Retrospective: Squandered Potential, Star-Studded Main Events Highlight The 2009 Event

the undertaker

(Photo by Bob Levey/WireImage)

As for the main events, WWE Survivor Series 2009 features two Triple Threat matches that are highly enjoyable for distinct reasons. First, The Undertaker defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Chris Jericho and The Big Show. JeriShow held the WWE Unified Tag Team Championship at the time, but the seeds had already been planted for the team’s downfall. This story continues to play out at the pay-per-view, as Jericho repeatedly clashes with his partner in their mutual desire to win the gold. Their conflict ultimately leads to their demise, as “The Phenom” makes The Big Show tap out after the giant delivers a thunderous knockout punch to his supposed ally.

But with The Undertaker’s 30th anniversary, along with his Final Farewell, rapidly approaching, this match is special because it fills the viewer with nostalgia. Seeing “The Deadman” do what he does best and play his usual hits makes it easy to think of the legend’s numerous other victories at WWE Survivor Series. By 2009, The Undertaker was quickly nearing the end of his run as a full-time star, so watching him carry portions of the match with Jericho might make long-time fans feel like kids again.

john cena

Photo Credit: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

To close the show, John Cena defends the WWE Championship against Triple H and Shawn Michaels in one of the best Triple Threat matches of all time. This bout is packed with story, both in its build and the action inside the ring. Cena defeated Triple H and Michaels in singles matches in two subsequent WWE WrestleMania main events. Plus, Michaels and Triple H have lots of history together, both as partners and as enemies. Heading into the match, they were riding high as a reunited D-Generation X. But as with the World Heavyweight Championship match, the team couldn’t pass up the opportunity to win some singles gold.

This main event easily steals the show. It features near falls and incredible storytelling at every turn. Two seconds into the match, Michaels blasts Triple H with a shocking Sweet Chin Music to start the match off hot. Later on, “The Game” gets revenge as he slams Michaels through the broadcast table with a spinebuster. Throughout the match, Cena practically puts on singles matches with Michaels and Triple H, and the two partners occasionally square off, too. In the end, Triple H takes the pin after Michaels rocks him with another superkick and Cena Attitude Adjusts “The Heartbreak Kid” onto “The Cerebral Assassin.” So the show ends like many others did in this era — John Cena stands victorious with the WWE Championship held high.

Watching WWE Survivor Series 2009 in 2020 is a fun trip down memory lane. For this writer, it’s a chance to look back at the beginning of a lifelong love of wrestling, where top stars like Cena, Michaels, Triple H and others were still in their prime, or at least still consistently delivering solid matches. The undercard is filled with promising stars who either went on to prosperity or unfortunately fizzled out. If nothing else, it’s a show that’s certainly worth watching to whet your appetite ahead of this year’s show.

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