It's time to pull out another "blow-out" DVD. To those who haven't read the other reviews, I went to Blockbuster a while back and found that they were having a major sale of DVDS, selling them 5 for $20. Several of these were wrestling-related, so, of course, I bought them all up. I can't let deals like that go! One of the ones I snatched up is the one you'll be reading about today: the 2003 Survivor Series. It's a PPV that could be pretty good, judging by the matches, as we have a "Buried Alive" Match, an "Ambulance" Match, and even classic "Survivor Series" Matches. Of course, those matches all include either a McMahon or Eric Bischoff, which could be a draw-back. I guess we'll just have to see. Let's get to it.
WWE Survivor Series '03 |
Posted by the Accelerator, April 15th, 2008
- Despite the fact that we've got a Goldberg/Triple H World Title match, a Bischoff/Austin career match, and an Undertaker/McMahon Buried Alive match, the only thing shown on the front of the box is Shane McMahon. Sure, it looks cool, with him artistically dropping an elbow, but I guess I want more than that. Still, the name is kind of cool. "WWE Survivor Series: A Fall From Grace".
- There are actually a lot of extras on this DVD (according to the box, there's over 30 minutes). Let's list them out:
Survivor Series Moments: This is a cool little video showing some of the great moments in Survivor Series history, complete with guys talking about what happened. This includes Hogan/Andre, the debuts of the Undertaker, Rocky Maivia, & Kurt Angle, the creation of the Elimination Chamber, the Montreal Incident, and various 'vehicular disasters'. I enjoyed this one.
Behind The Scenes - Making of the Survivor Series Promo: It shows the wrestlers in Mt. Vernon, New York (they tell us several times), destroying a football team. It's kind of funny (I laughed at Mr. McMahon saying "Wrestling and football.... nah), but it's also not necessary viewing.
Lillian Garcia Interviews Chris Jericho: That one actually seems pretty straight-forward. It originally aired on Sunday Night Heat. Jericho talks about finally getting rid of Austin.
Los Guerreros In Their Locker Room: Chavo and Eddie talking during Sunday Night Heat about the Basham Brothers. Chavo calls Eddie gullible for falling for a fake cop's attempt to arrest him, allowing Chavo to get beat up. Eddie answers by saying that Chavo fell for it too. They get fired up, since blood is thicker than water.
Lillian Garcia Interviews Randy Orton: This is a post-match interview, so see it after the event about Orton's actions.
Stone Cold Steve Austin and Shawn Michaels In The Locker Room: This is also post-match. It's a pretty good, slightly emotional conversation between the two, worth checking out.
The other extra is an actual match, so let's throw a review for it on here.
Tajiri(c) vs. Jamie Noble, WWE World Cruiserweight Title Match:
Michael Cole & Tazz are the announcers. This match came about due to Tajiri's actions against Nidia (Noble's girlfriend at the time). During a Smackdown match, Tajiri spewed Black Mist into Nidia's eyes, blinding her and putting her on the shelf for a while (she'd return as a blind woman for a time). Noble, intent on revenge, got this match arranged.
Tajiri comes out without his 'bodyguards', Sakoda & Akio. Noble's quick to take advantage, attacking Tajiri before he can even get to the ring! Tajiri comes back with kicks, and the two go back-and-forth for a while, with Tajiri missing his handspring elbow but getting a kick for a pin attempt. Tajiri stays in control for a while, as I'm hearing some really loud screams with Tajiri's moves. Is that Tajiri, or do we have a joker in the audience? Tajiri goes to the Abdominal Stretch, but Noble gets free with a hiptoss. Noble then starts stomping on Tajiri, but the Japanese Buzzsaw answers with a kick from the floor that sounds painful. Noble comes back with a neckbreaker, but is already too hurt to make a cover. Referee Jimmy Corderas makes the count, with both men getting up and fighting it out. Noble delivers several shots to the champ to try and put him away, but Tajiri won't stay down, even after a Powerslam.
Noble tries to set up for his Tiger Driver, but he gets distracted by Akio running into the ring! Noble quickly grabs Akio and throws him out of the ring, then takes down a charging Sakoda before he can get into the ring. Noble turns around right into Tajiri's Green Mist, but Noble gets his hands up, blocking it from getting in his eyes! Noble, fired up, yells for Tajiri to come on, and the crowd is hot! Noble dodges a kick, then lands the Tiger Driver, but Tajiri escapes after a 2 count. The crowd thought that was it, and so did I. They go into the corner, with Tajiri trying for the Tarantula. Noble escapes it, then tries for a Tornado DDT, but it's unsuccessful as well. The two spin around, and Noble applies his OWN Tarantula!! Noble climbs the turnbuckle, but has to fight off Akio and Sakoda again, which allows Tajiri to position himself again and nail Noble on the way down with a kick to the ribs! Buzzsaw Kick!! Tajiri grabs the leg and gets the pin, staying the champion.
Winner, and still WWE Cruiserweight Champion: Tajiri
Ace Thoughts: I was actually impressed by this one. Considering it was a Sunday Night Heat match with limited time, Noble and Tajiri did a pretty good job getting the crowd into it. I really thought that Tiger Driver was the end of things, especially after the blocking of the mist. Although it was a bit of a downer to see Tajiri take the victory, it doesn't take away from the enjoyment I had with this one. I just hope the crowd's as hot for the rest of the matches!
With all the extras down, I guess it's time to watch the actual PPV.
- The opening video is a dramatic reciting of events, with video to back them up.
Awesome beginning. It made almost every match seem important (condolences out to the Women's Title Match and the Tag-Team Title Match).
- Michael Cole and Tazz are your announcers.
Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Bradshaw, Hardcore Holly, & John Cena) vs. Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, A-Train, & the Big Show), Elimination Match:
Angle and Lesnar have been feuding over the WWE Title during the past few months, with Lesnar turning heel and joining up with Mr. McMahon. Angle managed to beat Lesnar at Summerslam '03, but Lesnar would win the title away from Angle after a 60-Minute Iron Man Match on Smackdown (with Lesnar hitting Angle with a chair to get several easy pins). After Angle went through a feud with then-heel John Cena, Angle and Lesnar began putting teams together for the Survivor Series. Angle chose his old rival, Chris Benoit, then selected Hardcore Holly (due to his anger towards Lesnar for breaking his neck) and the APA (Bradshaw & Farooq). Lesnar chose Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, & the Big Show, then tried to get Cena, who surprisingly wouldn't join up with the monsters. Cena got beat down by the heels, who then took out Farooq as well (injuring him). Cena, thus, jumped to the face squad, starting his multi-year run to the top.
Cena came out first for Team Angle, doing another of his raps to insult Team Lesnar. Cole & Tazz are nice enough to introduce the Spanish announcers, Carlos Cabrera & Hugo Savinovich. Those guys do every PPV. They deserve to be in the Hall of Fame by now, don't they? Everyone comes out separately, using up a lot of time. Hardcore Holly attacks Lesnar immediately, throwing Lesnar into the stairs and punching away on him. Holly throws down referee Brian Hebner, which leads him to get DQ'ed! Hardcore Holly has already been eliminated. That was quick. In the ring, A-Train and Bradshaw go at it, with A-Train getting a couple of shots in. He gets caught coming off the turnbuckle, then gets nailed with the Clothesline From Hell!!! A-Train is gone! Bradshaw never fights the Big Show, but another Clothesline gets stopped from a boot from Nathan Jones. The Big Show capitalizes with a Chokeslam, and Bradshaw is gone!! Yowsas, but we're going quick here!
It's 4-on-3, as Cena comes in, only to get beat on by the heels. Cena manages to take Lesnar down with a chop to the knees, then starts to deliver the abuse, nearly eliminating the champ with a couple of roll-ups. But Lesnar takes Cena down with a clothesline, then brings him to the corner, where Morgan tags in and starts to beat up the Doctor of Thugonomics. Morgan misses a legdrop, but comes back with a Side Slam, then tags in Jones. The two double-team Cena with a Slingshot clothesline, and Cena's in trouble. Jones throws Cena around, then tags in Lesnar again. The announcers can't stop talking about the "one-ton team" that Lesnar's arranged. Cena manages to get the Throwback on Lesnar, then falls back into his corner, with Benoit tagging in. Benoit delivers his chops on Lesnar, trying to take out the WWE Champion. But Lesnar gets a big hit on Benoit, throwing him throat-first onto the ropes, then tags in the Big Show. The Big Show easily Gorilla-Presses Benoit, insulting Angle before throwing Benoit to the mat. The Big Show's cocky tonight. He tries to Chokeslam Benoit, but Benoit reverses to the Crippler Crossface!! Lesnar breaks it up quickly, before the Big Show can tap.
The Big Show, back in control, puts on a giant Abdominal Stretch, with Jones giving the assist. A Big Show legdrop almost puts Benoit away, as Angle runs in to make the save. The Big Show then taunts Angle, allowing Jones and Lesnar to beat on Benoit on the outside. Angle and Cena run over to help out, and we nearly have a brawl. Back in the ring, the Big Show tags in Morgan, who stomps on Benoit's throat. Morgan then tries a big boot, but Benoit's able to get some dropkicks to allow him to tag in the captain, Kurt Angle. Angle gives Morgan three German Suplexes, then takes out Jones on the charge. Angle and Lesnar go at it, with Angle reversing an F-5 attempt into a German Suplex. Angle takes out the Big Show, with Cena coming in to help take out the other giants. Angle then lands the Angle Slam on Morgan, eliminating him!
Jones and the Big Show charge in, but the Big Show accidentally clotheslines Jones, allowing Angle to throw out the Big Show, then apply the Ankle Lock to Jones!! Jones can't take it, tapping out, and we're down to 3-on-2. But Lesnar then comes back in, grabbing Angle from behind and delivering the F-5!! Lesnar makes the pin, and Angle is gone!! It's 2-on-2, Benoit & Cena vs. Lesnar & the Big Show. Big surprise elimination there, took the air out of the crowd. Benoit doesn't stop fighting, sending Lesnar shoulder-first into the post. He concentrates on Lesnar's injured arm, beating it down. Lesnar fights back and tries for another F-5, but Benoit applies the Crossface! Cena takes out the Big Show, as Lesnar reverses into a near-pin. Benoit, though, keeps trying the Crossface, and he manages to get Lesnar in the middle of the ring!! With the Big Show down, there's no one to make the rescue, so Lesnar taps out! The champ is gone!
The Big Show finally comes back, attacking Benoit with headbutts and chops. But Benoit manages to send the Big Show into the turnbuckle, then climbs up and comes off with a Flying Shoulderblock! The Big Show kicks out of the pinfall, so Benoit tries for the Crossface, only to have the Big Show fight it off. Benoit tags in Cena (accidentally), but Cena gets booted to the mat, allowing the Big Show to land the Chokeslam on Benoit. But Cena's the legal man, and as the ref's distracted, he nails the Big Show with a chain shot!! Cena then lifts the Big Show up on his shoulders, delivering a 500-pound F-U!!! The crowd can't believe it! Cena makes the pin, and this one is over! Afterwards, Benoit and Cena shake hands, cementing Cena as a face.
Winner: Team Angle (Benoit & Cena survive)
Ace Thoughts: This one's a little hard for me to decide. Was it simply great, or was it a train-wreck of a match? I have to say, having all the eliminations come in bunches might really have hurt this one. At the same time, it really added to the unpredictability of a match like this, especially seeing both captains get eliminated. This was the match that really started John Cena to the top of the food chain for many years, so it's a historic match, at least. I don't know. I guess that final FU is worth checking out, if nothing else. It was the first time, I believe, that Cena landed that move, showing his sheer power in the ring. It was an impressive sight.
- The McMahon's have a get-together, with Vince checking on his son, Shane. Vince talks about how it's a father/son vs. brothers night. Shane's not feeling the spirituality. He's just feeling sorry for Vince. A depressed Vince walks out of the locker room and runs into "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Both smile creepily at each other, then laugh, each happy about the other's apparent fate. It's a weird moment, to be sure.
- Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler take over the broadcast position for the next match.
Molly Holly(c) vs. Lita, WWE World Women's Title Match:
Lita returned at Unforgiven in a tag-team match with Trish Stratus against Molly & Gail Kim, after suffering a broken neck in 2002. They won that tag match, and Lita was soon named the #1 Contender to Molly's title after winning a "Four-Way" Match over Stratus, Kim, and Victoria. This will be Lita's first attempt at trying to win back the belt. It's strange to hear the fans cheering for Lita, but then, this is long before her run with Edge.
Lita takes control early with a hip-lock takeover for a 2 count. She tosses Molly across the ring, then goes outside the ring and drags Molly out as well, bouncing Molly's head off the apron before throwing her back in. Lita beats on Molly, suplexing her, then kipping up, getting the cheers of the fans. But when Lita tries a head-scissors, Molly throws her to the outside, ending that momentum. Molly adds in a back-slam into the 'rail, then comes in and tries her own cover. We've had a lot of near-falls for so early in the match. Molly adds in another one after a twisting neckbreaker, but Lita kicks out, so Molly puts on a chinlock. Yay. Lita fights free, but gets clubbed to the mat, with Molly applying a version of a dragon sleeper on the mat. At least the psychology is good in this one, as Lita's got the high-flying, while Molly's the technical expert. Lita gets free with knees to the face, but Molly's still in control. Molly throws her into the corner, then does a multi-cartwheel flip into a splash!
Molly stomps on Lita in the corner, causing the referee (L'il Natch) to admonish her. The distraction allows Lita to boot her way back into it. She flips up onto the turnbuckle, then leaps off with a crossbody for a close 2 count. Lita throws Molly into the corner and clotheslines her, then climbs up and starts delivering the (weak-looking) punches. Lita then ducks a Molly punch and gets a near-fall on a roll-up. Back into the ropes, and Molly's able to get a Side Slam for her own close count. Molly slams Lita's head repeatedly into the mat, then climbs up, taunting Lita along the way. It turns out to be a mistake, as Lita powerbombs the champ for a 2 count. Both women are down, with Robinson counting up to 7 before they rise. They exchange shots, with Lita reversing into a Side Russian Legsweep. Lita then calls for the end, looking for a Litasault, but Molly moves out of the way. Molly opts to go up next, getting the Molly-Go-Round! But Lita kicks out, shocking everyone, including JR! Molly is ticked at Robinson. Frustrated, she removes the middle turnbuckle pad, but then gets caught by Lita's roll-up, barely kicking out! But when Lita charges her, Molly trips Lita right into the exposed steel, knocking Lita out. Molly easily makes the pin to escape with the gold.
Winner, and still Women's Champion: Molly Holly
Ace Thoughts: Not a bad title match here, definitely better than some of the WWE women's matches I've seen as of late. Both could definitely wrestle. The only thing I could have asked for, I think, would have been a little more time between the exposing of the 'buckle and Lita's shot into it. Give Lita a few more moves, to allow the crowd to forget (at least partially) about the 'buckle, then have Molly slam her into it as she did for the win. I don't think it had the same effect, having only a roll-up in-between. Still, not a lot to complain about in this one.
- A video shows us the feud between Shane McMahon and Kane. They use the dramatic classical music, as we see Kane take out Linda McMahon with a Tombstone on the ramp and laugh. Shane says he will get revenge, attacking Kane with a steel chair, knocking him into a burning dumpster, and sending Kane's limo into an 18-wheeler. Kane got his own attacks in, including an electrocution of Shane's family jewels. This is a very, VERY cool video. I wasn't looking forward to this match. Now I might have to change my mind.
Shane McMahon vs. Kane, Ambulance Match:
The rules, obviously, are that you can do anything to your opponent, but you have to get them in the ambulance (and shut the door) to get the win. Kane's currently in his "insane post-mask" phase, making Shane the face here.
Shane starts things off quickly, charging and giving Kane a cross-body to the outside! Kane's soon back in charge, though, sending Shane hard into the steel steps. Kane tries to use the stairs as a weapon, but Shane grabs a chair and nails the steps into Kane's head! He smashes Kane several times, then clears the Spanish announce table, removing the monitors and hitting Kane with them as well. Kane gets placed on the table, with Shane climbing the turnbuckle and leaping from the ring with a Flying Elbow through the announce table!! Shane is definitely crazy. Who else would take these kinds of risks, when your father owns the company? Shane gets himself up, then Kane sits up! Shane heads into the crowd, goading Kane to follow him. Of course, Kane does. They run through the fans and towards the back, and we switch to the backstage cameras. Or at least, that's what we're supposed to do, as we seem to be having technical difficulties with the camera back there. Another cameraman charges back there from the ring to help out, but they fix the difficulty.
Kane chases after Shane, but somehow Shane circles around behind and ambushes Kane instead, nailing him with a kendo stick several times. With Kane positioned, Shane gets into an SUV and backs it up, smashing it into a concrete barrier and throwing Kane through a glass security barrier!! Shane gets on the radio and tells them to "send it", and an ambulance rolls up! Shane struggles and puts Kane on the stretcher, trying to roll him away, but Kane suddenly goozles Shane, throwing him into the wall! Kane throws Shane into a laundry basket, and we lose the camera again! Sheesh. You can see the guys working on the camera behind there, as another cameraman is there to tape Kane bringing Shane back to the arena. They go back to the ambulance, with Kane launching Shane into the windshield, cracking it. Shane keeps fighting, though, shoving Kane into the ambulance side 3 times. Shane opens the ambulance doors, throwing one of them into Kane's face multiple times. Shane almost gets Kane inside, but Kane fights back again, flooring Shane with a big boot. He puts Shane into the ambulance, but Shane escapes at the last second, coming out with a second wind. Shane tries to come off the ambulance with a Tornado DDT, but he botches it (although he does it so smoothly, it's hard to tell), so he repositions and does it again.
Shane next gets out one of his favorite weapons in the trash can, smacking it off of Kane's head. He sets up a pad, then climbs the ambulance! He comes leaping off with no hesitation, nailing a Van Terminator!! The crowd loved that one. Shane again tries to get Kane into the ambulance, picking him up and trying to bodily lift him into it. But Kane gets a hand up, keeping Shane from doing it. He drags Shane into the ambulance as well, and all we see is feet. Shane comes back up, and Kane comes after him, fired up again. He bounces Shane off the ambulance, ramming him back-first several times. He takes Shane to the other side and spikes his head into the other side, and Shane's in a bad way now. But Kane's not done, destroying Shane with a lot of ambulance shots. The crowd is heavily behind Shane-o-Mac, but there's not much left, as Kane gives Shane a Tombstone on the ramp! Shane gets tossed into the ambulance, and Kane shuts the door, ending the match. Afterwards, Kane, with a bloody lip, smiles at the destruction he survived.
Ace Thoughts: Shane really came off like a contender in this one, while Kane came off as unbelievably indestructible. Despite all that Shane could throw at him, the Big Red Machine couldn't be stopped. There were definitely some great moments in this match, from the Elbow through the announce table to the Van Terminator off the ambulance. A thoroughly enjoyable brawl, despite the camera problems that happened throughout. It's worth checking out.
- Josh Mathews interviews the WWE Champ, Brock Lesnar, about his team's loss to Team Angle earlier. When Brock tries to say he didn't lose, Josh quickly says that Brock tapped out. Brock takes some exception to that, getting in Josh's face and saying that he didn't lose and that he didn't tap out. The interview is interrupted by the World Champion, Goldberg, who smiles as he introduces himself and asks Brock to wish him luck for tonight.
- Jonathan Coachman, complete with the neck-brace, comes out unexpectedly to the ring. He was 3D'ed by the Dudley Boyz not long ago, explaining the injury. He wants to thank everyone for their concern, and just wanted to ensure everyone that he's ok. He starts to leave, then notices Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban in the front row. Coach goes down to interview the man, who is looking forward to Stone Cold beating up Bischoff. He also believes that all referees suck. Eric Bischoff then appears, taking over the mic. Bischoff calls Cuban into the ring. Cuban towers over Bischoff, by the way. Bischoff threatens to throw Cuban out, then shoves him. Cuban responds by shoving Bischoff halfway out of the ring! With Cuban looking the wrong direction, though, Randy Orton is there, and he gives Cuban the RKO!! Bischoff praises Orton, who walks away, leaving Cuban laid out.
- We see Evolution enjoying themselves in the back with a lot of ladies, but Flair stops a shirt-less Triple H from getting "weak in the knees", since the Game has a title match later. Randy Orton comes in to get some action as well, talking about how he took out "legendary promoter" Cuban. After all, he's the Legend Killer. Evolution is ready for the gold.
- We switch back to the Smackdown announcers, Michael Cole & Tazz.
The Basham Brothers (Danny Basham & Doug Basham)(c) w/Shaniqua vs. Los Guerreros (Chavo Guerrero & Eddie Guerrero), WWE Tag-Team Titles Match:
The Bashams are sporting some s&m clothes, complete with both men taking some whips from Shaniqua before the match. Yikes. Los Guerreros come out in their custom vehicle, but they're more interested in some revenge, immediately attacking the Bashams and sending them from the ring. Los Guerreros also go out, going after Shaniqua, with the Bashams stopping that (although one was late, so Eddie almost got in some shots on the Tough Enough winner). Chavo starts out with one of the Bashams (I believe Danny), managing to escape from him and make a rolling tag to Eddie. Eddie stays in control, getting his Three Amigos Suplexes, with Doug making the save on the pin. Chavo comes back in and does a dropkick to Danny's face for another cover, then tags Eddie in, keeping up the quick tags. Eddie flips into the ring with a senton splash, trying another pin, but Danny won't stay down. Doug comes in as well, while the ref decides to block Chavo from helping, and Eddie is soon overwhelmed, thrown throat-first into the ropes. He's sent to the outside, where Shaniqua gets in her own shots with a clothesline and a bodyslam.
The Bashams, now in control, start tagging in and out, while keeping Eddie from making his own tag. A nice slingshot double suplex nearly puts Eddie away, as Chavo paces anxiously on the apron. Eddie manages to escape from a chinlock and gets a Tilt-A-Whirl Headscissors, then rolls over to his corner and makes the tag, and in comes Chavo with a head of steam. He throws around both Bashams, then goes for a pin after a Tilt-A-Whirl Slam, but it doesn't work, and soon the numbers get to Chavo, as he gets face-planted by both men. The referee is screaming, but the Bashams don't seem to care. They take Chavo into the corner and set him up for a Top-Rope maneuver, but Eddie takes care of one Basham, then delivers a Top-Rope Hurricanrana to Doug! Chavo adds in a flip-splash, but Danny saves his partner from getting pinned. Los Guerreros concentrates on Dougg, but this allows Danny to backdrop Eddie out of the ring, leaving Chavo alone. The Bashams try a double-team maneuver, but Chavo reverses in mid-air into a dropkick! He and Doug give each other a Double Clothesline, and everyone's down.
The ref (Jimmy Corderas) nearly counts both men out, but gets distracted by Shaniqua, allowing Doug and Danny to switch places. It doesn't work like it normally does, as Chavo quickly dropkicks Danny in the head, sending him out. Shaniqua comes into the ring with her whip, but she's caught by Chavo, who clotheslines her and sets her up for Eddie to nail her with the Frog Splash!! They add insult to injury, spanking Shaniqua over Chavo's knee! But the Bashams charge in to break it up. Chavo grabs Doug and delivers the Tornado DDT, but he does it by smacking Eddie in the head! As Chavo goes to check on Eddie, Danny runs in and rolls up Chavo, grabbing the trunks and holding him to get the pinfall! The Bashams retain the gold, as Chavo and Eddie argue in the ring afterwards, but they work things out for now.
Ace Thoughts: I don't know if it was because we've had so many good matches tonight, or if it was because of the Cuban thing taking out some momentum, but I couldn't quite get into this match like some of the others. The Bashams never did grab my attention, no matter what federation they're in. It's always good to see Eddie Guerrero again, but the flow of this one wasn't quite right. It could also be that the crowd is losing their energy. After all, since the opening Elimination match, the heels have won every time (including Cuban getting RKO'ed), despite the crowd being heavily behind the faces. If you have the heels win out time and time again, the crowd starts to get demoralized, which can hurt matches farther down the card. Anyhow, this was just the continuation in a separate storyline, as Chavo and Eddie are starting to grow apart. They'd have a major feud soon enough.
- We get a commercial for the Ultimate Ric Flair collection. I have the collection, and I highly recommend it, at least until they release a newer set (now that he's retired).
- We're back to Jim Ross & Jerry "The King" Lawler. These announcers are calling every other match, while I bet the Spanish announcers have to do everything. Someone get those guys a raise! JR mentions that Shane McMahon has been admitted to the hospital and will be getting a CAT scan.
- A video shows "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's career (well, ok, highlights), leading up to his conflicts with Eric Bischoff. Bischoff opts to fire Austin, but, due to his ego, Bischoff loses part of his power, being forced to share GM duties with Austin by Linda McMahon. But Linda also tells Austin that he cannot put his hands on other wrestlers unless he is physically provoked. This hamstrings Austin, so Bischoff proposes that each man sets up a team. If Austin's team wins, Austin can attack whoever he wants. If Bischoff's team wins, Austin loses the GM position. Both assemble their teams, with Austin personally asking Shawn Michaels to head his team.
Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Mark Henry w/ Theodore Long, Scott Steiner w/ Stacey Keibler, & Randy Orton) w/ Eric Bischoff vs. Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, & the Dudley Boyz [Bubba Ray Dudley & Devon Dudley]) w/ Steve Austin, Elimination Match:
Bischoff leads out his team as a group. Orton checks out Keibler's rear before entering the ring, nice. Austin, likewise, brings out his team. For those keeping track, here in 2008, 5 of the 10 athletes in the ring are in TNA now. Jericho taunts Austin before the match (possibly trying to goad him into swinging, which would get Austin fired), waving goodbye. If you watch closely in the crowd, Mark Cuban's still there, wearing a "You Suck" t-shirt. Guess he's already done selling that RKO.
Devon and Christian start things off. We have the usual arm-wringing/reversals/headlock/into the ropes maneuvers. Christian changes it up by slapping Devon across the face, which causes Devon to lose it. He nails Christian with a good leaping clothesline for a pin attempt, then tags in RVD. Van Dam does some flips and kicks, but gets caught by a low shot from Christian, who tags in Jericho. Y2J attacks Van Dam, but gets Van Dam's kicks as well. Van Dam nearly puts Jericho away with a Belly-To-Belly Suplex pin, but Jericho kicks out. Jericho comes back with a dodge followed by an Enziguiri, then tags in "Big Poppa Pump" Steiner, who chops away on RVD. He throws Van Dam into the corner, then strikes a pose. He gets in a few more shots, then Van Dam gets back into it with a reversal and a 2nd-rope Crossbody for a near-fall. He nails Steiner with a spinning kick, then goes for a cover when he should be tagging out. True to form, Van Dam missed a kick and gets thrown with a Belly-To-Belly Suplex. Steiner lands another Belly-To-Belly Suplex, with RVD kicking out at 2. RVD tries to use the 'buckle, but gets caught, given a Super Belly-to-Belly Suplex (that's about all Steiner had at this point). RVD again kicks out.
Seconds later, RVD escapes Steiner and makes the tag to Booker T, reviving the crowd. But Steiner comes back with a Clothesline and a Pumped-Up Elbow to almost put Booker T away. But Booker T returns with a Flying Forearm, then nails Steiner with the Scissors Kick!! Instead of going for the pin, though, Booker T opts for the Spineroonie. This enrages Team Bischoff, bringing in Christian and Jericho, then Orton, and we erupt into a brawl! Soon, only Booker T and Steiner are in the ring, with everyone else going at it outside. As the ref (Mike Chioda) is distracted, Steiner lands a low blow on Booker T, then applies the Steiner Recliner. It's a weak one, as you can see a gap between Booker T's back and Steiner's thighs. As Booker T struggles to escape, Keibler climbs up on the apron and starts cheering for Booker! Steiner, annoyed, drops the hold and grabs Keibler by the hair, but this allows the Dudleys to grab Steiner and deliver the 3-D!! Booker T adds in a Bookend, and Steiner is eliminated!
Henry quickly comes in, giving both Dudleys clotheslines. Booker T tries to charge in, but he gets caught with the World's Strongest Slam, and we've got quick eliminations again, as Booker T is gone. We're down to 4-4. Henry next concentrates on Van Dam, landing a lot of abuse. But when Henry throws Van Dam into the ropes, Bubba Ray tags himself in and surprises Henry. It lasts all of a few seconds, before Henry floors Bubba Ray and starts to tear him down, bouncing him hard off the turnbuckle pads. Bubba Ray comes back with a boot and a clothesline, then tags in Devon, but Henry takes out both of them, sending Bubba Ray to the outside. Henry puts Devon into the corner, then runs for the splash, but Devon dodges, and then calls for his partner! Bubba Ray's there, and we have another 3-D!! Bubba Ray quickly knocks down the heels in the corner, while Van Dam comes flying in as well with a Five-Star Frog Splash! Bubba Ray, Devon, and Van Dam then all pin Henry, eliminating him!
Jericho comes in for his team and attacks Van Dam (who isn't the legal man, but ok). He chops on RVD in the corner, then whips him into the corner. Van Dam fakes a Crossbody, and when Jericho hits the deck to dodge it, Van Dam comes off with his Split-Legged Moonsault instead! Jericho only survives by getting his foot on the ropes. Jericho manages to get back to his corner, tagging in Orton, who starts just pounding on RVD. Van Dam dodges a charge in the corner again, but this time Orton's ready, coming back with a clothesline that nearly takes RVD's shoes off! Back to the other corner, where Van Dam returns to get a boot to the face, then lands the Rolling Thunder! Van Dam opts to go for the Frog Splash, but Jericho's suddenly there (as the ref's distracted), sending Van Dam off the turnbuckle and into the ropes. This sets up RVD for the RKO, putting him out of the match. We're down to 3-on-3.
Devon runs in and goes after Orton, backdropping him, slamming him, and dropping a leg for a near fall. He gives Orton a sideslam, then opts to go up top, as the fans chant for tables. Devon's more intent on legal damage, as he gets a flying headbutt for a 2 count. Devon tosses Orton into the ropes, with Jericho tagging Orton's back on the way. Devon doesn't seem to care, running straight through Jericho with a shoulderblock. He beats on Jericho in the corner, then throws him across the ring, where Jericho gets a boot up, then leaps off the turnbuckle with a Missile Dropkick for a near fall. Jericho misses his own corner charge, allowing Devon to get a running clothesline. He pins Jericho, but Christian's distracting the ref. Devon gets rid of Christian, but Jericho takes advantage with a big twisting reverse DDT, then pins him, eliminating Devon.
Bubba Ray, wanting some revenge, runs in and assaults Jericho, catching Jericho charging him and delivering a massive sidewalk slam for a 2 count. He tags in Shawn Michaels (the first time tonight), who starts chopping away on Jericho. He climbs up and delivers a few punches, then catches Christian (who came in) with an Axehandle. Jericho again uses this to his advantage, though, hitting HBK, then tagging in Orton. The two double-team Michaels, with Orton staying to continue the abuse. But Orton misses a dropkick, stopping all momentum. The crowd claps for Michaels, who manages to tag in Bubba Ray. It's Bubba Ray vs. Christian, with Bubba Ray attacking all three remaining members of Team Bischoff. He gives Christian a Hot Shot, then flings him in the air with a massive Back Body Drop. But Orton breaks up the pinfall, then goes at it with Bubba Ray, who's glad to give him a Samoan Drop. Jericho gets involved as well, with the ref not even trying to get rid of any of the heels. Jericho misses a charge and hits Christian instead, allowing Bubba Ray to go for the Bubba Bomb on Jericho. But Jericho gets a low blow, and Christian slips in with the Unprettier, taking out Bubba Ray and making it 3-on-1.
Michaels comes back in (where was he earlier, anyway?), but Christian is quickly beating him down. He misses a clothesline, though, and Michaels gets his Flying Elbow and kips up. He takes out Jericho and Orton, then goes back to the attack, but Christian is able to throw Michaels into the ropes, with Jericho holding the top rope down! Michaels takes a bad spill, then gets a little more abuse from Jericho & Orton (while Christian distracts the ref). Back in the ring, Orton puts the boots to Michaels, trying to take out the last member of Team Austin. Orton tags Christian back in, who taunts HBK in the corner with slaps. Bad move, as Michaels fires up with chops of his own. But just as he's getting fired up, Jericho pulls Michaels to the outside. Michaels fights off Jericho, but Christian's there, throwing Michaels into the ringpost with a slingshot! They wait for the count, as Michaels is bleeding badly. Holy crap, look at how quick that blood's coming out!!
Jericho gets back into the ring, with Christian trying to put him away with a suplex. No dice. Christian lands a few punches, spreading the blood out, then strikes an HBK-pose with a cocky smile. Michaels fights back with more chops, but gets kneed in the stomach. Christian goes for the Unprettier, but Michaels escapes, sending Christian into the corner. When Christian charges out, he runs right into some Sweet Chin Music!!! An exhausted Michaels flops on top of Christian, eliminating him! Austin's excited again, while Bischoff is worried. Jericho gets right on the attack, punching away at HBK's injured head. He places Michaels in the corner, but Michaels reverses it and chops away at Y2J. But Jericho is able to throw Michaels into the opposite corner, flipping HBK around the 'buckle and nearly pinning him. Orton comes in and chokes Michaels, cursing at him and almost getting himself DQ'ed. Michaels comes back, though, with a Sleeper on Orton! Orton escapes with a Back Suplex, then tags in Jericho, who tries a pin with no success. Michaels escapes another corner maneuver and catches an incoming Jericho with a DDT. But Orton stops the pin attempt, saving Jericho. Michaels is able to toss Orton to the outside, but gets caught by a Bulldog from Jericho. A Lionsault attempt ends in failure, though, as Michaels gets his knees up! Both men are down, as the ref starts his count.
Michaels desperately gets up, preparing, and tries for some Sweet Chin Music, but Jericho dodges it, then tries for the Walls of Jericho! But Michaels reverses it into a roll-up, and Jericho is gone!!! We're down to 1-on-1! Jericho frantically complains to the ref that it was just a 2 count, then goes outside the ring and gets a chair, slamming Michaels upside the head!! He flips off Austin, then leaves, as Austin watches him go. Michaels is out in the ring, as Orton pulls himself back in. He crawls over and pins Michaels, but HBK kicks out, keeping the match going. Orton climbs the 'buckle, coming off with a Crossbody, but Michaels dodges, and Orton hits the ref instead!! The ref is out! Michaels crawls to the ropes, pulling himself up, and starts to tune up the band. But Bischoff is in the ring, kicking Michaels from behind!! Austin loses it, rushing in and attacking Bischoff, sending him out of the ring. Austin then grabs Orton and gives him the Stone Cold Stunner!! Austin takes Bischoff to the back, beating him the whole way, as everyone's down in the ring. However, before Jericho can make a pin, Batista is there, giving Michaels the Batista Bomb!!! Orton rolls over and makes the cover, as the ref wakes up and makes the count, eliminating Michaels and causing the end of Austin's career. Austin looks on from the ramp, in utter shock.
Afterwards, Austin comes to the ring, rubbing his head. He kneels next to the bloody, unconscious Michaels, checking on him. Michaels can be seen saying "I'm sorry". Austin pulls Michaels up, studying him, then gives him a handshake. They both walk slowly up the ramp, with no music, as the crowd chants for Austin.
Winners: Team Bischoff (Randy Orton was the sole 'survivor)
Ace Thoughts: Hell of a performance from Shawn Michaels in this one. The shocking ending really took the steam out of the crowd, though, having had so many bad finishes in a row. There were some great moments in this one, and you had to love seeing the Stone Cold Stunner one more time. Michaels gave a lot of himself (heck, I can still see it in the ring), and he really brought this match to another level. I have to say, I enjoyed it, although I could have used fewer "toss-to-the-corner reversals". They seemed to be all over the place in this one. This match also loses a little bit of historic value, considering that Austin would return as "The Sheriff" of Raw before the end of the year. Still, a fun little match, worth seeing if only for HBK.
- After a few replays show, Austin's music suddenly hits, and Austin comes walking back out. He gets a mic inside the ring and addresses the crowd.
There's been a lot of ups and downs, and it's been a hell of a ride, and there've been some good times, and there's damn sure been some bad times. And you ain't gonna hear Stone Cold Steve Austin say this a whole lot, but I'll go on the record and say that I love the s&%t out of you guys!"
Austin's then interrupted by a singing Jonathan Coachman, who's doing the "Nah-nah-nah-nah, Hey Hey Hey, Goodbye" song. He comes out with security, sending them into the ring ahead of him. Coachman has one question for Austin: How does it feel to know that you are finished? Austin predictably answers, taking out Coachman and the security guards with Stunners and hits, destroying all of them!! Soon, it's just Austin and Coachman in the ring, with Austin pulling off the Coach's neckbrace and bringing him up. The Coach tries to say he's sorry, but it doesn't work, as Austin stomps a mudhole in Coach's chest. He brings the Coach up and delivers a final Stone Cold Stunner, laying Coach out. Austin uses his boot to send the Coach out of the ring, then has one last beer bash with the crowd. He leaves a beer sitting in the ring, a symbolic gesture, before walking out to his music. Once again, it'd mean a little more if Austin had stayed away longer.
- We get a commercial for WWE Unscripted. Even a super-fan like me doesn't put something like that on his coffee table.
- A video goes over the Mr. McMahon/Undertaker feud. At No Mercy '03, Vince cost the Undertaker his chance at the title against Brock Lesnar (A Biker's Chain Match). McMahon says that while he's still breathing, the Undertaker won't get another title shot. So the Undertaker's decided that McMahon needs to stop breathing; hence the Buried Alive match. For 13 years, the Undertaker has had problems with Vince. Cool promo.
Vince McMahon vs. the Undertaker, Buried Alive Match:
The Undertaker is in the last phase of his "Bad-Ass Biker" persona, while Mr. McMahon is in a "completely insane" phase. Mr. McMahon seems to believe in a higher power, that's going to help him get rid of the Dead Man. He comes to the ring praying, even dropping down towards the corner at one point. As the bell rings, Vince walks forward and starts saying something with a smile to the Undertaker. The Dead Man answers with a right hand that knocks Mr. McMahon down, opening him up, and hurts the Undertaker's own hand. One move into the match, and Vince is bleeding. Wild. The Undertaker punches away on Vince. He's looking to hurt Vince, not to wrestle him. He beats on Vince for a while, and Vince's now got a Crimson Mask going. Yowsa. The Undertaker is unsympathetic, slamming the boss' grapefruits against the post. He follows him to the other side of the ring and does it again. Jeez, that blood is just DRIPPING off of Vince!! That can't be healthy for someone his age!
They go to the announce table, where Vince gets a bunch of blood on the table. The Dead Man says that this is for Sara (his wife), with the announcers reminding us that Vince threatened to have her raped not too long ago. Yeah, one of those tasteless remarks that you just want to forget. The Dead Man chokes away at Vince, using a camera cable. This hasn't been a match, it's been a slaughter. There is blood everywhere. I think Vince cut himself too deep. The Undertaker doesn't stop; he smacks him with a monitor to the head, sending him over the announce table. The Dead Man follows, throwing the announce table to the side. Unfortunately, this seems to unplug the mics of Cole & Tazz, as it's pretty quiet for a while. The Undertaker adds in his own commentary, which is easily picked up by the camera.
The Dead Man pummels the semi-conscious Vince, pulling him back into the ring, as the announcers return to broadcast. With Vince out in the ring, the Undertaker heads up the ramp, going up on the dirt-mound and getting the shovel. He comes back to the ring, lifting up the shovel, and he nails Vince across the face!!! The blood flies everywhere from the impact!! Vince is sent outside the ring, with the Undertaker setting Vince's legs on the steel steps. He picks up the other stairs, lifting them over his head, and he smashes them across Vince's leg!! Vince is screaming like crazy. The Undertaker seems to have finally had enough. He picks up Mr. McMahon and carries him over to the gravesite, easily hauling him to the mound. Finally, Vince gets a little offense in, throwing some sand into the Undertaker's face. Vince adds in a low blow, then goes and gets himself a shovel. He sets up, on his knees, and swings, knocking the Undertaker into the grave!!
Vince looks down into the grave, but the Undertaker is back up, yanking Vince back into the hole! The Undertaker quickly gets out of there, heading for the door of the payloader. However, as he reaches for the door, it opens, exploding! The Undertaker is blinded, as we see Kane, his brother, coming out! Kane attacks the Undertaker, beating him down and knocking him into the grave! Kane pulls Mr. McMahon out, telling him to go to the machine, as Kane watches his brother. With Kane laughing and taking souvenirs (he has the Undertaker's hat), Vince operates the payloader. Kane signals it with his hand, and the dirt falls out of the payloader, burying the Undertaker and ending this match. Afterwards, Kane lays on top of the fresh dirt, mocking his brother.
Winner: Mr. McMahon
Ace Thoughts: Boy. This is a depressing pay-per-view. You have Lita losing her comeback, Los Guerreros failing to get the gold, Austin losing his career, Cuban getting spiked, and now the Undertaker getting buried. You can't blame the fans for not getting too excited near the end of this one. I give Vince great props for the blood he spilt, although there was so much of it, I was starting to doubt that it was actually Vince's. Can one man lose that much blood and still function? Well, gimmick or cut, it was the only redeeming factor from this match, since it basically consisted of lots of Undertaker offense, followed by a mini-explosion and a few punches knocking the Dead Man out. Right. This one's barely worth anyone's time.
- Another video runs, showing the problems between Goldberg and Triple H. At Unforgiven, Goldberg gave Triple H the Jackhammer and got the World Title. Triple H went back into Harley Race territory, placing a bounty on Goldberg's hide. $100,000 to be exact. Lots of wrestlers tried, but Batista was the most successful, smashing Goldberg's leg inside a steel chair to injure him, leaving him in trouble for tonight's match.
Goldberg(c) vs. Triple H w/Ric Flair, World Title Match:
JR mentions that Triple H has never won at the Survivor Series, despite five attempts. Goldberg comes out with a leg brace on, to protect his injured ankle. The fight starts as soon as Goldberg gets to the ring, with Goldberg and the Game fighting it out. Flair's still in the ring, as Goldberg & Triple H brawl. Goldberg quickly gets a Spear out of the corner, causing Flair to take off his jacket and start to move towards Goldberg. But Goldberg sees him, so Flair hesitates. Goldberg starts attacking Flair, throwing him around, then throwing him out of the ring. The bell rings, making this one legal.
Goldberg and Triple H fight to the outside, with Goldberg in control. He bounces Triple H's head off of the steps, then walks away and whips Triple H back into the steps, keeping up the violence. He bounces the Game's head off the guardrail, then follows him back into the ring. Triple H tries to make a comeback with a boot, but Goldberg catches him running off the ropes with a powerslam! Goldberg pulls the Game up by the throat and lifts him up into a Gorilla Press Slam. However, Goldberg's leg suddenly fails, and he drops Triple H to the mat while clutching his injured limb. Flair is ecstatic, screaming for Triple H to attack, and Triple H does, cutting out Goldberg's bad leg. Triple H, now in control, takes Goldberg to the outside and positions Goldberg's leg on the steps. With Flair distracting the ref (Earl Hebner), Triple H smashes Goldberg's leg with a chair shot on the steps! Of course, the ref doesn't hear it.
With Goldberg down on the outside, the ref starts counting. But the ref turns as Triple H distracts him, letting Flair run over and toss the injured leg into the post, injuring it further. Triple H then comes out and brings Goldberg back into the ring, chop-blocking his leg. His focus is completely on that injury. Flair adds in his own abuse whenever the ref's back is turned (earning some Woooo's from the crowd). Triple H does a series of moves on the leg, trying to keep Goldberg from coming back. Goldberg attempts a comeback with punches, but the Game is back on the injury, stomping on it. He kicks Goldberg to the outside, where Flair's there again to do some more damage. After Flair gets done, Triple H pulls Goldberg in and continues the assault, dropping a knee on the leg, then applying a half-Boston Crab. Goldberg's hand is through the ropes, but the ref doesn't call it at first, since the move was just applied. Good job, Earl. Triple H tries a wrap-around the post, but Goldberg reacts, yanking his leg back and sending Triple H into the post! It's only a short reprieve, though, before Triple H is back on that leg, twisting it in the ropes.
Goldberg comes back with a few punches, then leaps forward, hitting a clothesline that puts both men down. Both get up about the same time, with Triple H going off the ropes. Goldberg starts to catch him for a power move, but Triple H slips free, then chopblocks the leg one more time, sending Goldberg to the mat. Triple H points to Flair, saying this one's for him, then starts to put on the Figure Four! But Goldberg kicks free, sending Triple H into the ref! As usual, Hebner takes a weak bump that knocks him senseless. Flair tosses Triple H brass knuckles, and he nails Goldberg with them, knocking out the champion! The Game signals for Hebner to get over there. He starts to make the count, and appears (at least to me) to count 3, with Goldberg raising his shoulder a little late. An angry Triple H drops an elbow on Hebner, really knocking him out.
Triple H, with the ref down, leaves the ring and reaches underneath the apron, getting his sledgehammer! But Goldberg intercepts the Game's assault, booting the Game down! Flair tries to come in via turnbuckle, and gets slammed for his trouble. He's taking out both men. Goldberg grabs the sledgehammer and considers who to hit. Flair decides it, coming in, so Goldberg bashes the sledge into Flair's midsection! Batista and Randy Orton both charge in to help Evolution, but Goldberg takes out both with the weapon, decimating the stable. Triple H uses the distraction to knee Goldberg, then set up for the Pedigree! But Goldberg reverses out of it, tossing Triple H aside. He grabs the sledge again, considering it, then he throws the sledge away and Spears the Game!! Goldberg then picks up Triple H and adds in the Jackhammer, landing it! He makes the cover, with a still-hurting Hebner making the 3 count. This one's over, and we finally have a happy ending.
Winner, and still World Champion: Goldberg
Ace Thoughts: They tried to make this epic, with Goldberg surviving against four men, as well as surviving his injured leg. A lot of heart was taken out of the fans, though, who didn't seem to get as hyped up for this one as they should have. As I've said throughout this review, if you have too many heel victories in a row, it takes some fire out of the crowd. I've seen much better Goldberg matches, that's for sure. This one was almost all shots to Goldberg's leg, only to have him be able to get the Spear/Jackhammer with little effort. At least, when he was hurt in his most famous match (against Diamond Dallas Page), the Jackhammer failed at least once. I've gotta say, I didn't really buy this one, and I just couldn't get into it that much. Maybe this should have come before the Buried Alive match?
All-in-all, as much as I wanted this to be a great pay-per-view that I would watch over and over, I have to say that I wasn't fully into it. It has too many negative endings for it to be a must-see, although some of the stunts are certainly impressive. Shane McMahon's utter sacrifices were pretty cool, as was Cena's 500-lb FU. Will I ever watch this PPV again? Anything's possible, but I can't really recommend it that highly. If you see it for really cheap, maybe give it a shot. Otherwise, save your money.