Survivor Series Count-Up 2012 Edition – 2003: Austin’s Retiring Forever And Doesn’t Close The Show?

Survivor Series 2003
Date: November 16, 2003
Location: American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas
Attendance: 13,487
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole, Tazz

Well as usual, a lot has changed around here since last time. Brock is a monster again, Goldberg is Raw Champion, Vince is back and fighting the Undertaker, and it’s Austin vs. Bischoff having surrogate teams fight for control of Raw. This is a big change of pace from last year and hopefully it’s a bit better as well. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about surviving. There’s an original concept.

Team Angle vs. Team Lesnar

Kurt Angle, Hardcore Holly, John Cena, Bradshaw, Chris Benoit

Brock Lesnar, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, Big Show, A-Train

Cena does a rap before the match about how big the other team is. This is one of Morgan’s few matches in WWE. From what I can find, he had 18 total matches, one of which was over a year after his previous one. Holly is here because Lesnar broke his neck and now Holly wants revenge. This would result in Hardcore Holly actually getting a world title match at the Rumble. Show is US Champion here.

Holly jumps Lesnar during his entrance and tries to put him into a full nelson, earning himself a DQ before the match ever starts. Back in the ring, Bradshaw and A-Train start things off with Bradshaw blocking a Vader Bomb and hitting the Clothesline for the elimination to tie us up. Bradshaw charges into a chokeslam from Show and is out 20 seconds later.

Cena comes in but can’t FU Show yet. Off to Brock but Cena takes his knee out. A quick rollup gets two and Cena does the same thing again. Off to Morgan who isn’t quite as polished as Lesnar. A side slam puts Cena down and it’s already off to Jones. Jones does some very basic choking and it’s back to Brock. Cena hits the Throwback on Brock and there’s the tag to Benoit (notice the pop).

Benoit pounds on Lesnar in the corner but it’s back to Big Show and there’s only so much Show can do with him. Show lifts Benoit into the air and drops him on his face while talking trash to Angle. The chokeslam is countered into the Crossface but Brock (who is Smackdown Champion here) makes the save. Show puts on an abdominal stretch of all things followed by the standing legdrop for two.

Angle gets a tag but the referee doesn’t see it. Back to Morgan for some skilled standing on Benoit’s throat. Benoit speeds things up and takes out Morgan’s knee before tagging in Angle. Kurt immediately rolls some Germans on Matt and everything breaks down. Angle Slam eliminates Morgan, the ankle lock eliminates Jones (who would quit in about two weeks and never be seen again) and the F5 takes out Kurt, all in the span of about 25 seconds.

This gets us down to Benoit and Cena vs. Lesnar and Big Show. Lesnar misses a charge in the corner and Benoit goes after the arm like a crazy man. Brock gets Benoit up for the F5 but Benoit counters into the Crossface. Show makes the save so Benoit puts it right back in, only to have Brock make the ropes. The third time though gets a rare tap from Brock as this match is flying by. That more or less makes Benoit the #1 contender.

It’s Benoit and Cena vs. Big Show now as the fans tell Lesnar that he tapped out. Benoit hits a top rope shoulder but can’t put on the Crossface. Cena gets a blind tag and there’s a chokeslam to Benoit. A chain to Show’s head and the FU are enough for the pin. Somehow Cena wouldn’t win the US Title from Show for almost six more months.

Rating: C. Not a great match here but to say it got the fans fired up is the understatement of the year. That FU at the end was the usual jaw dropping moment for Cena and while the rest of the match was pretty forgettable, the crowd is all ready to go now, which is the point of this kind of a match. Angle would turn heel and feud with Eddie soon into the new year.

Vince talks to Shane about how tonight it’s father and son against two brothers which is a somewhat cool idea, but the matches are both likely to suck so it’s hard to care. Shane says he feels sorry for Vince. Vince leaves and runs into Austin and they have a really awkward laugh before Austin stops and glares at Vince. This is one of those moments where it was supposed to be big but came off as weird instead.

Women’s Title: Lita vs. Molly Holly

Lita is somewhat recently back after breaking her neck on a TV show and is challenging here. The fans immediately start cheering for Lita and she hits a quick clothesline to take over. Some knees to Molly’s chest sets up a suplex and a nipup by Lita. We head to the floor where Lita is sent into the barricade back first, which gets two for the champ back inside. Off to a chinlock by Molly followed by a dragon sleeper which doesn’t last that long.

Molly sends her into the corner and hits the Muta handspring elbow in one of the only times you’ll hear his name mentioned on WWE TV. Lita kicks Molly away and backflips to the top for a cross body and a two count. A rollup gets the same but Molly sidewalk slams her down for two. Molly tries a rana out of the corner and gets powerbombed down, but the Litasault misses. The Molly Go Round (flipping seated senton) surprisingly only gets two so Molly goes to expose a buckle. After a save is made by Lita, the champ sends her face first into the exposed buckle for the pin.

Rating: D+. The match itself was ok, but man alive Molly wasn’t that interesting to watch. I get that she’s a very technically competent wrestler and could do almost anything pretty well in the ring, but she was a black hole of charisma. Molly was just there most of the time, which doesn’t make for interesting matches at all.

We recap Kane vs. Shane. Kane, being all psycho, tombstoned Linda on the stage one night. Shane stood up for his mama and beat on Kane as much as he could, but it basically turned into a monster movie as Shane did all sorts of things to Kane but Kane just kept coming. Shane got his testicles electrocuted in a semi-famous bit in retaliation. Somehow this set up an ambulance match, which is a casket match but with an ambulance. This is one of those feuds that went on and on for MONTHS, apparently ticking off guys in the back because Shane wasn’t a full time wrestler but he was getting big spots on the card.

Shane McMahon vs. Kane

Shane immediately knocks him to the floor but Kane sends him into the steps to take him down. Shane gets the steps on top of Kane and pounds him down with a chair. The announce table gets loaded up early and there’s a monitor to the side of Kane’s head. Shane hits the big elbow through the table and both guys are down less than two minutes in. Both guys get up and Shane makes Kane chase him (literally) through the crowd.

They head to the back and we lose the camera feed for a bit. Kane really is stalking Shane like in a slasher movie. Shane gets behind Kane somehow and blasts him with some kendo stick shots. Shane gets in an SUV and backs up into Kane, knocking him into a guard shake. McMahon grabs a walkie-talkie and says send it, so here’s an ambulance. Kane fights off the stretcher and throws Shane into a concrete wall before they head back to the arena.

Shane looks like he’s dead on his feet as Kane punches him. Kane throws him onto the hood of the ambulance, cracking Shane’s head open apparently. Shane sends him into the side of the ambulance and opens the doors, slamming one onto Kane’s head a few times. Kane fights his way out of the back of the ambulance before throwing Shane in, but only one door gets shut.

McMahon comes back with a kind of tornado DDT out of the ambulance and hits Kane with a trashcan. He then puts something big and black between Kane’s legs before climbing on top of the ambulance. Shane goes Coast to Coast off the top of the ambulance to drive a trashcan into Kane’s face while Kane was laying against the barricade. The big black thing apparently was a box to keep Shane from, you know, dying.

Kane is dead weight now and Shane can’t get him into the ambulance immediately. Kane pulls Shane inside with him before getting all fired (pun intended) up. He rams Shane into the ambulance over and over, tombstones him on the concrete and throws him into the ambulance to win.

Rating: D+. This wasn’t horrible but it went on too long. Thankfully this was the last time Shane was an active wrestler for a few years as he was only good for stuff like this in doses. Kane would go on to feud with, who else, the Undertaker in a few months. There were some good bumps here, but at the end of the day Shane isn’t a wrestler and that was becoming obvious near the end.

Brock says he didn’t lose tonight. Josh Matthews says he tapped out and Lesnar doesn’t want to hear it because he didn’t tap out. Lesnar says line up anybody in the world and he’ll beat them because he’s the WWE Champion. Oh hi Goldberg. Yep, they’re foreshadowing THAT match.

Here’s Coach to waste more time. He’s in a neckbrace due to a 3D on Monday. His doctors assure him that in a few days, he’ll be fine. Coach sees Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, in the front row. Cuban agrees to a quick interview and says he’s looking forward to Austin beating Bischoff. Coach says that’s not happening so he asks Cuban if he prefers WWE or NBA referees. Cuban says they all suck (Cuban is well known in the NBA for being highly critical of referees) and here’s Bischoff to yell at Cuban a bit.

Eric asks Cuban to get in the ring and say whatever Cuban thinks to his face. Cuban gets in the ring and TOWERS over Bischoff, probably a good seven inches or so taller. Bischoff says that he can have security take Cuban out or he can do it himself. Mark shoves Eric down but Randy Orton slides in and RKO’s Cuban, who sells it as well as any celebrity I’ve ever seen. If I remember right, this was actually referenced SIX YEARS LATER when Cuban guest hosted Raw. This was a waste of about seven minutes.

Evolution is having a party in the back with a ton of women. HHH takes his shirt off to drive the girls crazy but Flair says not yet because HHH has to fight later. Orton comes in and panics, stops to flirt with the girls, and then says that he’ll kill the legend of Austin tonight.

Smackdown Tag Titles: Los Guerreros vs. Basham Brothers

The Brothers are Doug and Danny, have Shaniqua with them and are defending here. Los Guerreros take over to start as this is apparently about something the Bashams did on Smackdown. What that was isn’t important enough to explain, but apparently it happened. Chavo and I think Danny start things off with Chavo in control. It’s quickly off to Danny who stomps Danny down in the corner and follows up with the Three Amigos.

It’s back to Chavo with a low dropkick for two and it’s right back to Eddie. A Sin Cara-esque headscissors takes both Bashams down but the champs double team Latino Heat to take over. Shaniqua, a big old monster chick that won Tough Enough 2, runs over Eddie on the floor and Doug pounds away on him in the ring. A double slingshot suplex puts Eddie down for two and it’s off to a reverse chinlock by Danny. Eddie fights up and takes Danny down with a headscissors before tagging in Chavo.

Everything breaks down and another double flapjack puts Chavo down. Danny loads up something like a spinebuster off the middle rope but Eddie makes the save before Danny can jump. Eddie gets sent to the floor but Chavo dropkicks Doug down. Danny and Chavo clothesline each other down and the “twins” switch. Eddie takes Shaniqua down and Frog Splashes her. Let’s spank her too because she’s a dominatrix. Chavo hits a tornado DDT on Doug but kicks Eddie in the process. As Chavo checks on him, Danny rolls Chavo up to retain.

Rating: D+. I know the description sounded really dull, but there was nothing here at all. The guys in this match are pretty talented, but the tag division was so dead around this point. The Bashams just weren’t that interesting and there isn’t much else to say about it than that. That was a major problem back in 2003: a lot of the guys were just there and nothing of note, which is a shame as Danny is a legend in OVW but it never translated to WWE.

Los Guerreros glare at each other post match.

We recap Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff. They had been sharing power and tonight’s match is for full control. Austin is skeptical about trusting anyone and he’s fired if he touches anyone. From what I understand from the video, if Austin’s team wins, he can beat up anyone he wants.

Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff

Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Dudley Boyz

Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Christian, Scott Steiner, Mark Henry

The Dudleys are Raw tag champions and RVD is IC Champion. Team Bischoff hides on the floor and Austin yells at Jericho a bit. Christian and D-Von start things off with the Dudley pounding away. A flying clothesline gets two on Christian and here’s Van Dam who gets the same off a spinwheel kick. Off to Jericho who gets kicked in the face as well, followed by a northern lights suplex for two.

A dropkick puts Van Dam down and here’s Steiner for the same power stuff he’s done for about eight years running now. After making Steiner miss in the corner and hitting a cross body, Van Dam gets caught in an overhead belly to belly suplex. Van Dam goes up and gets crotched, allowing Scott to hit an overhead belly to belly for two. Off to Booker who gets clotheslined down and elbowed for tow.

Booker hits the forearm to take Steiner down and hits the ax kick but it’s a Spinarooni instead of a cover. Everything breaks down and Steiner hooks the Recliner on Booker. Stacy, Steiner’s reluctant manager, cheers for Booker. The distraction breaks the hold and the Dudleys hit the reverse 3D on Steiner and the Bookend gets the elimination. Henry comes in and immediately hits the World’s Strongest Slam to take Booker out and tie things up.

Van Dam comes back in and the kicks to Henry’s legs don’t do much good at all. Bubba gets a blind tag and pounds away on Henry but Mark runs him over. Bubba pounds away but brings in D-Von because it takes both Dudleyz to take Henry down. Henry misses a charge in the corner and walks into the 3D, allowing Van Dam to hit the Five Star. The dogpile pin is allowed and Henry is out.

It’s Jericho vs. Van Dam now with Rob sending Jericho into the corner for two. Off to Orton who clotheslines Van Dam down hard for two. RVD comes back with the springboard kick to the face but Jericho breaks up the Five Star, knocking Rob into the RKO for the elimination. Off to D-Von for a flapjack and a legdrop for two. A top rope headbutt gets two on Orton so it’s off to Jericho.

Chris’ missile dropkick puts D-Von down but Bubba breaks up the pin. Jericho is all cool with that though and hits the Flashback (sleeper drop) for the pin and elimination. It’s Bubba and Shawn vs. Jericho, Christian and Orton. Here’s Shawn for the first time and house is quickly cleaned, but that little dust bunny known as Chris Jericho takes him down. Off to Orton again who gets in a few shots before getting clotheslined.

There’s the not hot tag to Bubba who beats up all three Bischites. A flapjack puts Jericho down and a backdrop gets two on Christian. A Samoan Drop puts Orton down and we get heel miscommunication between the Canadians. Jericho breaks up the Bubba Bomb with a low blow and the Unprettier pins Bubba, making it 3-1. Shawn immediately comes in with a forearm to Christian and the nip up as things speed up.

Jericho low bridges Shawn and the double stomp is on outside. Off to Orton as the heels slow things down. Shawn and Christian slug it out but Shawn has to beat up Jericho as well. Christian slingshots Shawn into the post and Michaels is busted open. Back in and Christian suplexes Shawn down before doing the HBK pose. Shawn is covered in blood as Christian shoves him out of the corner….and charges right into Sweet Chin Music for the elimination. That was sweet!

Jericho is all ticked off now and pounds away on Shawn’s forehead but Michaels comes back with a chop in the corner. Shawn can’t follow up though and a clothesline puts him down for two. Shawn comes back with a DDT out of the corner for a delayed two as Orton saves. Shawn throws Orton out to the floor but Jericho’s Lionsault hits knees and Shawn FINALLY gets up. The superkick misses but Shawn rolls Jericho up to counter the Walls and somehow it’s down to Orton vs. Shawn. Jericho, ever the bad sport, clocks Shawn with a chair.

Orton, who is still down from being thrown to the floor somehow, is left against a dead Shawn. Randy crawls back in but can only get two. He goes up but the cross body takes out the referee instead. Shawn loads up the Superkick but Bischoff comes in and kicks him down. Austin finally snaps and beats up Eric before Stunning Orton. Steve goes after Bischoff and throws him up the aisle, but Batista runs in and powerbombs Shawn, giving Orton the academic pin to win the match and send Austin away for at least a good three weeks.

Rating: B. This took A LONG time to get going, but once Shawn was on his own and got to get the crowd behind him completely, it was all gravy. The important thing here was that Shawn basically beat Christian and Jericho through a pair of flukes and not because he Hulked Up or anything like that. He caught Christian charging at him and rolled Jericho up when Jericho’s arms were being used in a hold. Shawn made this match work, as the other members of his team were useless. The guy really is that awesome.

Austin is shocked and goes into the ring where Shawn isn’t moving at all. He helps Michaels up and Shawn says he’s sorry. Austin pulls Shawn up and they shake hands with no Stunner. They walk up the aisle together and leave but Austin’s music plays and he comes out one more time. He says that he started his career 14 years ago right here in Dallas. Austin says if it has to end, he’s glad that it’s ending where it started. He says that you won’t hear him say this much, but he loves the fans.

This brings out Coach to sing the goodbye song and have security take Austin out. Austin of course beats up the guards and Coach as this is going on too long. Austin Stuns Coach and beer is consumed. He leaves the two cans sitting in the ring and flips off the crowd for old times’ sake.

We recap Undertaker vs. Vince. Taker keeps trying to win the title but Vince screwed him over at No Mercy against Lesnar. Undertaker says that Vince has to be held accountable for his actions and on Smackdown, Taker won the right to have any match with anyone he picked. He said it was buried alive and Vince loved the idea of getting to see Lesnar bury Taker. Taker said not so fast my friend, because the match is against Vince.

Undertaker vs. Vince McMahon

Taz actually has keys to victory. First: be mentally stable. Second: be confident. Third: AVOID THE HOLE! Did Taz just make me laugh? I don’t know how to handle this. Oh good we have the bell so I don’t have to deal with it. Remember that in this you have to put the other guy in the grave and cover him with dirt to bury him alive. Apparently it’s thirteen years to the day since Taker debuted. Vince kneels in prayer before the match starts.

Taker punches him in the face, drawing blood off a SINGLE PUNCH. He pounds away on Vince as McMahon is just trying to get back up. Vince gets crotched against the post and Taker wraps the leg around the post for fun. The same thing happens on the opposite post and Vince is sent into the announce table. There is blood EVERYWHERE. Taker hits him and says this is for my wife. Yeah this was around the time when Vince said he was going to have someone rape Taker’s wife. You know, because there’s nothing wrong with that.

The beating continues for awhile and Vince hasn’t had a single bit of offense in yet. Vince gets punched up against the barricade and we head back inside. Taker heads to the grave site and gets a shovel which is CRACKED off Vince’s head. This is quite a beating. Taker crushes Vince’s ankle just like he did in 1998. There are PILES of blood on the floor. Taker carries him to the grave but Vince gets in a low blow to FINALLY slow Taker down.

Vince hits him with a shovel and taker falls into the grave. Taker shrugs it off and pulls McMahon down into the hole, but as he goes for the machine to lower the dirt, an explosion goes off. Kane is in the cab and helps Vince out of the grave. Taker is knocked into the grave and Vince lowers the dirt onto Taker to get the shocking win.

Rating: D. This was REALLY boring although that first shovel shot was great. Other than that though, there wasn’t enough here to make this match matter. This would be the last time Biker Taker was seen as he would return as the Dead Man at Wrestlemania to, say it with me, feud with Kane. The blood alone prevents this from being a failure.

We recap Goldberg vs. HHH. Goldie won the title at Unforgiven so HHH put a $100k bounty on his head. Batista returned from an injury and broke Goldberg’s ankle to claim the bounty. This is almost literally the same story that Race and Flair had to set up the first Starrcade, with the main difference being that Race was champion when he set up the bounty. This gets the music video treatment.

Raw World Title: Goldberg vs. HHH

Goldberg is defending and has a broken ankle. Doesn’t that mean Batista didn’t take him out/put him on the shelf? With Flair still in the ring, Goldie limps and punches at the same time. There’s a spear to HHH but there’s no count because the bell hasn’t rung yet. Flair gets backdropped and there’s the bell. HHH gets knocked to the floor and the champ is in full control. Goldberg drops him face first onto the barricade and we head back inside.

Goldberg tries to use power but the ankle gives out on him. A chop block takes Goldberg down and we head to the floor for a low blow. Flair sends the leg into the post and is DRENCHED in sweat already. Back in and things slow down even more as HHH does whatever he can as Flair chokes away even more. HHH stays on the knee and the sequence keeps going on and on and on. That was the problem with HHH matches: they were the same boring formula over and over and it never worked.

HHH puts on a half crab but Goldberg is in the ropes. The ankle gets bent around the post as this is getting even more boring. Goldberg comes out of the corner with a clothesline but a powerslam is too much for him here. Goldberg kicks HHH into the referee and Flair throws in some brass knuckles to knock Goldberg out cold. That only gets two and HHH is ANGRY, so he drops an elbow on the referee.

It’s sledgehammer time but HHH charges into a boot. Flair gets slammed off the top and Goldie has the hammer. He takes Flair out with it but as he goes for HHH, Batista and Orton run in, only to be knocked out with the hammer as well. The Pedigree is countered and Goldberg throws down the hammer. The spear and the Jackhammer retain the title.

Rating: D+. Well the match sucked, but you certainly can’t say HHH didn’t put Goldberg over huge here. This is where the good parts of the match end. As for the bad: Goldberg wouldn’t sell the leg once the big insane part started, the match sucked, and HHH won the title a month later at Armageddon in a three way match, with Goldberg moving on to feud with Lesnar after this. Not a good match here but that was typical of HHH around this time.

Overall Rating: D+. This is from a bad time in the company as HHH was still on top but there were other things that were far more interesting. For instance, the Austin thing DEFINITELY should have closed this show as Shawn is the only thing that was really good on the whole card. On top of that, the main problem here is that other than the Shawn match, there’s no heart to this show. It comes, it goes, nothing really feels like it matters. That would be the case until Cena and Batista rose up to breathe new life into the company.

Ratings Comparison

Team Angle vs. Team Lesnar

Original: B-

Redo: C

Molly Holly vs. Lita

Original: D+

Redo: D+

Kane vs. Shane McMahon

Original: D+

Redo: D+

Basham Brothers vs. Los Guerreros

Original: D

Redo: D+

Team Bischoff vs. Team Austin

Original: A-

Redo: B

Vince McMahon vs. Undertaker

Original: D

Redo: D

Goldberg vs. HHH

Original: D-

Redo: D+

Overall Rating

Original: C-

Redo: D+

This matches up pretty well: most of the matches were about the same but a few were lower this time, as was the overall rating.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews


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