Survivor Series kickoff

Survivor Series kickoff

TOPEKA, Kan. -- When you put Triple H and Umaga under the same roof, you're guaranteed a war -- their battles at No Mercy and Cyber Sunday proved that. Tonight on Raw, the intensity of these Survivor Series captains proved to be contagious as all hell broke loose when their teammates brawled all over ringside during their Lumberjack Match.

The stage for tonight's wild melee was set when Umaga took exception to Mr. Kennedy naming himself captain of their Survivor Series team. He took over the reigns as team captain and inserted himself into the Lumberjack Match instead of Kennedy.

Over the weekend, the general managers of Raw, SmackDown and ECW agreed to let the remaining eight members of Triple H and Umaga's Survivor Series teams be the lumberjacks in their Lumberjack Match. With Rey Mysterio, Kane, and Matt and Jeff Hardy backing The Game on one side and Finlay, Big Daddy V, MVP and Kennedy giving Umaga support on the other, tonight's match gave a preview of what the Traditional Elimination Match at Survivor Series will be like. (WATCH)

But the battle for survival began before the Lumberjack Match. The Hardys & Rey Mysterio teamed up to take on Kennedy, Finlay & MVP in an aerial enthusiast's dream match. The Master of the 619 and the brothers from Cameron, N.C., pulled out the victory after a scintillating combination of Mysterio and Jeff Hardy's world-renowned signature maneuvers on MVP, but their battle was far from over.

As our fans have seen over the past few months, Triple H and Umaga have spilled their own blood and broken each other's bodies in their red-hot rivalry. They have tried to end each other's careers. In the jungle known as Raw, the Samoan Bulldozer and The King of Kings have battled for superiority. While Triple H has victories over Umaga, there really hasn't been a definitive winner in their rivalry.

So, it was no surprise that Triple H and Umaga's Lumberjack Match was so closely fought. But with their equally competitive teammates at ringside -- and with so many personal issues in the mix, especially between Mysterio and Finlay, Jeff Hardy and Mr. Kennedy, Matt Hardy and his rival/WWE Tag Team partner MVP -- the battle couldn't be contained within the ring. Both sides wanted to protect their captains. Both teams also wanted to go into Survivor Series with an advantage.

However, it seems that neither Team Game nor Team Bulldozer achieved their goal. It was difficult to determine who had an advantage as both teams tore into each other as Raw went off the air. But that won't happen at Survivor Series. There must be a winner.

In the Traditional Elimination Match at Survivor Series, members of Triple H and Umaga's teams will be weeded out by pinfall, count-out or submission until one group is eliminated entirely, and another is left standing alone in the ring. There could be as many as nine decisions. The battle could be entirely give-and-take, or could lead to an advantage as steep as 5-on-1 for one team.

Who will survive? Catch Survivor Series live on pay-per-view this Sunday and find out.

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