2003 was a weird year for WWE. WrestleMania 19 alone only did 560k buys on PPV (down 300k from the year prior), they lost a ton of money from the closure of WWE New York, shows were down, Lesnar was on the outs, though I don’t think he knew it yet. One thing they did have was Goldberg for a one-year deal at enormous cost, on a schedule the boys backstage were envious of and furious at him for getting, though it didn’t matter, though WWE did ruin him. Finally, they had a huge star on the rise in the form of John Cena, though his rise almost didn’t happen. This is my review of Survivor Series 2003.
Survivor Series 2003
Team Angle Vs. Team Lesnar
Kurt Angle, John Cena, Chris Benoit, Bradshaw and Hardcore Holly vs.
Brock Lesnar, Big Show, A-Train, Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan
Angles team had four future or former and world champions, Lesnar’s team had two crowbars, along with A-train who was Ok and the Big Show who was very good at being a giant. When Show is the second-best worker in the match, you know you have problems.
Before the match even started, Holly pearl harboured Lesnar and when the ref Brian Hebner tried to stop holly, holly pushed him and was subsequently DQ’d for beating too much ass.
Shortly after Bradshaw eliminated A-Train with a stiff Clothesline from hell, only to get eliminated by Show with a chokeslam.
Cena charges at Show but Show beats him down after he attempted an F-U (That’s an AA for all you kid’s out there before PG changed it) Show tags in Lesnar. Cena briefly fires up as fans chant his name. but Lesnar cuts him off again.
Here’s a chart of the most over wrestlers in this match:
1. Kurt Angle
2. Brock Lesnar
3. John Cena
4. Chris Benoit
Everyone else came out to crickets or little fanfare.
Anyways, eventually, brock tags in again and keep working over Cena, but Cena eventually hits the throwback Bulldog move and then gets blind tagged by Chris Benoit, who immediately picks up the pace, numerous chops and suplex before Lesnar cuts him off too, Show tags in and works over Benoit. Doing tons of stuff behind the refs back. after a while, Matt Morgan tags himself in to drive his foot into the “Throat area” of Benoit’s neck (yeah, I just realised how uncomfortable that made me.)
Eventually, Benoit hot tags in Kurt angle who immediately cleans how getting rid of Lesnar’s green teammates, eliminating Matt Morgan with an angle slam followed by Nathan Jones with the Anklelock. Only to be eliminated by Lesnar from an F-5.
Benoit runs in and chops Lesnar a bunch then works Lesnar’s left arm for the cross face. After three attempts Benoit finally taps Lesnar out with the Cross face, in what would be (I believe) Lesnar’s last ever official submission loss until 2015 when he passed out in The Undertakers Hell’s Gate finisher.
Show is last on Team Lesnar. Benoit does a flying shoulder tackle then tries a cross face but Show powers out sending Benoit into Cena for an Accidental tag, Show chokeslams, Benoit, then Cena punches show with the Chain then hits an enormous FU for the pin.
Winners: Team Angle
The match was a great opener, they kept Jones and Morgan out of the match so as to not expose how green they are. Benoit, Angle and Lesnar were the workhorses here, its very sad matches this good can’t be talked about because of who was involved.
Backstage with Vince as he knocks of Shane McMahon’s door. Vince enters and lets Shane know how he’s feeling letting him know how ironic it is that Shane and himself are going up against two brothers in separate matches. Goes on about how he is protected by a higher power. Shane replies, saying the only thing he’s feeling is sorry for is Vince. Vince walks out only to be greeted by Austin, Austin starts laughing, followed by Vince until Austin Abruptly stops.
Jim Ross greets us next (Better than Cole in every way).
Survivor Series 2003: Lita vs Molly Holly (C)
Lita was super over. Lita works a house of fire, getting the early advantage and a couple of pinfalls. This is followed by a suplex and nip up. Lita tries to get head scissors, but Molly throws Lita outside. Molly works Lita over, throwing her into the barricade and back inside, then hits a neck breaker for the two.
Lita chants start back up, as a rest hold is applied. Lawler makes comments about Lita’s mouth, you can tell it’s 2003 in wrestling. Lita fires up out of the reverse neck hold. Molly boots Lita then puts her in the corner to hit a Handspring Elbow.
It’s nice to see these women be allowed to wrestle. Jim Ross mentions Great Muta regarding the move (Hopefully Vince didn’t eviscerate him for that). Lita kicks Molly then pulls herself up to the top rope to hit a crossbody for a two.
Lita throws Molly into the corner for a splash and the ten punches in the corner. Molly cuts off Lita with a sidewalk slam, then goes to do her own punches in the corner, but Lita does the Undertaker pick up and powerbomb move.
Lita attempts a Lita-sault but misses, so Molly hits the Molly-Go-round for the very near fall. Molly pulls off the second turnbuckle pad, Lita tries to roll up but only gets the two, then Molly trips Lita into the exposed buckle for the win.
Winner and Still Women’s champion: Molly Holly
This match was pretty good, Molly is a great worker, Lita was getting better and had been off for 18 months after she broke her neck while doing stunts for Buffy I believe. It was nice to see these women be allowed to wrestle with time, compared to the late ’00s.
Survivor Series 2003: Kane vs Shane McMahon in an Ambulance match
Kane’s Pyro nearly blew up the ambulance, so that’s a hot start. Kane looked in at the driver, whatever he saw made him break slightly before returning to monster mode. Shane enters and immediately crossbodies Kane out of the ring, before hitting the worlds shittiest punches.
Kane immediately clotheslines and throws Shane into the steps. Kane then grabbed the steps and while Shane hit the steps with a steel chair to incapacitate Kane, Then he grabs a monitor to hit Kane with, then he dives off the top onto Kane through the announce table.
Shane gets up, but Kane no-sells it and sits up, Shane then cowardly runs away into the crowd (He’s the babyface). Eventually, they are in the parking bay area, but someone snags the camera cable or something because the backstage feed cuts to black, The crowd boo. But they get the camera feed on again, thank goodness for carrying plenty of spare cables. Kane Stalks Shane, but it turns out Shane outsmarted Kane, whacking Kane from behind with a Kendo.
Then Shane Reverses a 4×4 into Kane who flies into a security booth, Shane calls for a backup Ambulance, guess he had one spare, Kane fires up and beats Shane down again, only for the camera to go black… Again. Someone is getting fired for this. Feed is on again as we get a third camera back into the screen Kane is still dominating Shane. Kane and Shane emerge to the stage area where Kane throws the back of Shane’s head into the windscreen (no concussion protocol back then.)
Kane picks him up and attempts to throw him into the side of the ambulance but Shane escapes and tackles Kane into the ambulance, Shane then gets Kane set up for a coast to coast as his last gasp. Doesn’t work, Kane fires himself up, throws Shane around some more, then finally hits a tombstone on the ramp and throws Shane into the Ambulance for the win.
The match was fine, it was the usual hardcore fare, which was required because Shane couldn’t exactly wrestle well, Kane’s lip was bleeding after this. But it was an acceptable nail in this feud.
Johnathon Coachman comes out, to little boos, to say he’ll be healthy in a couple of days after being 3D’d-ed by the Dudley Boys. After this Coachman catches eyes with Mark Cuban owner of a Texas Basketball team (Now minority owner of Axs TV, though I’m sure he does other things to earn piles of money.) They do some ref talk, and some jaw jacking, Bischoff comes out to take over and call Cuban to the ring, Bischoff shoves Cuban who retorted with a hard shove and massive POP, before Orton came out and hit an RKO.
Rest of Evolution backstage surrounded by women, Orton comes in, to gloat about what he just did, then says he’ll win, Triple says he’ll win back the title tonight as well.
Survivor Series 2003: WWE Tag Team Championships
The Basham’s [Doug and Danny] (C) w/ Shaniqua
vs Los Guerreros [Eddie and Chavo]
I remember little from watching this, Commentary was discussing how Eddie Guerrero was in a rut and was unsuccessful in recent matches, losing his US title, the tag titles and a Low-rider.
Babyfaces get the early advantage before they cut off Eddie, Shaniqua even clotheslines and body slams Eddie outside while the ref was distracted.
Eddie was the most over in this match, The Basham’s got a little reaction, Though I’m not surprised they were the “Slaves” to a dominatrix, which was Shaniqua’s Gimmick.
Eddie eventually tags in Chavo to a tepid response, While Chavo works like a house on fire, Eddie runs in and does a top rope frankensteiner on Doug, Chavo does go for a pin, but it’s broken up.
Both Eddie and Chavo start ganging up on Doug before Eddie gets thrown over the top by Danny and Chavo and Doug (I think) do a double clothesline spot.
Shaniqua gets up on the apron to distract the ref to allow the Basham’s to do twin magic (Swapping places with your near-identical partner), though Chavo dropkicks Danny out of the ring and clotheslines Shaniqua.
Eddie then Frog Splashes Shaniqua and Chavo spanks her. Doug tackles Eddie but gets tornado DDT’d by Chavo but as he completed his rotation, he inadvertently kicked Eddie in the back of the head. This allowed Danny to do twin magic again to roll up Chavo for the win.
Winners and Still WWE Tag Team Champions: The Basham’s
Was a pretty decent match, Eddie wasn’t in much, but he was always great, Chavo is no slouch either and the Basham’s did their part well.
They seemed to be teasing a breakup between los Guerreros, But I know Eddie won the WWE Title three months later at No Way Out 2004.
Survivor Series 2003: Team Eric Bischoff Vs. Team Stone Cold
If Stone Cold’s Team lost Stone Cold would be stripped of his position as Co-General Manager, basically he would leave WWE.
They did censor Batista saying “Goddamn”. Bischoff’s theme is still great to listen to, he was a great heel authority figure. Ton of pre-match taunting between the two teams.
D-Von and Christian start, crowd chants tables immediately, Christian slaps D-von, He immediately beats Christian’s ass for a short while before tagging in RVD, who delivers some quick kicks for a two count. Christian gut shots RVD then tags in Jericho. RVD gets chopped before RVD hits a mule kick, tries a pin after a an overhead suplex, but then Jericho cuts him and tags in Steiner. Who immediately kicks RVD in the corner before delivering a hard Irish whip and an arm flex from Steiner. Lawler is basically salivating over Keibler, saying he would donate an Organ to her if she needed one, while JR tries to focus on calling the action. RVD fires back hitting a crossbody for a near fall followed by a step over kick followed by another kick.
Steiner cuts off RVD again hitting a belly to back suplex followed by a push up set, then hits a Belly-to-belly suplex. RVD tries going up top but Steiner thwarts him and hits an elevated Belly to belly suplex, for another near fall.
RVD rakes Steiner’s eyes and tags in Booker T, who delivers a flurry of strikes and chops. Steiner counters with a running clothesline and elbow drop for a two count. Steiner hits a hard chop before whipping booker into the ropes who hits a flying elbow and a clothesline followed by a scissors kick. Eventually all the heels run in while booker thwarts them initially to hit a spinebuster on Steiner for a pin, but the heels break it up. Now it’s complete chaos, everyone is everywhere, ref is distracted, Steiner hits a low blow and does a very bad looking Steiner recliner (I believe he had drop-foot at the time). Stacy Keibler tries to get Booker to escape, which pisses off Steiner, who grabs Stacy, who slaps him, then the Dudley’s hit a reverse death drop, and Booker pins him with the book end to eliminate Steiner.
Mark Henry is in next; Booker tries firing up but Mark Henry pins Booker after a worlds strongest slam to eliminate him. RVD is in next, who mark dominates before Bubba blind tags in and they both do a running splash which mark wins, D-von tags in and they both try double whipping Mark, but he slams them both together, Mark tries charging D-von in the corner, but D-von avoids and the Dudley’s hit a 3-d followed by a 5-star frog splash to Eliminate henry.
Jericho is in next but quickly tags in Randy Orton, who gets the upper hand easily, hitting a stiff clothesline, though RVD fires back, hitting a rolling thunder, then tries the frog splash but Jericho pushes him off while the referee gets distracted allowing Orton to RKO RVD to eliminate him.
The pace picks up now, D-von comes in, knocking Orton down then hits a flying headbutt for a pin attempt but Orton kicks out. Jericho blind tags in, hits some chops and strike exchanges, D-von hits a flying shoulder block for the visual pin, but Christian distract the ref again. D-von swings for Christian, as he turns around Jericho hits a weird move, I’ve never seen him use to pin and eliminate D-von (the ref saw D-von pinning Jericho btw, so he looked like an incompetent official).
Bubba Ray runs in hitting Jericho with a LONG sidewalk slam, then tags in Shawn to a HUGE POP, quickly chops and then does punches from the top but Christian runs in (DQ him ref, he’s run in like five times now) this allows Jericho to cut off Shawn before tagging in Orton who briefly dominates, before Shawn dodges a dropkick both men down, Shawn tags in Bubba while Orton tags in Christian, Bubbah cleans house, knocking everyone down, delivering a really high back body drop on Christian, goes for the pin but Orton breaks it up.
Bubba Samoan drops Orton, then starts doing some jabs to Jericho, Christian grabs Bubba, Jericho misses a clothesline, accidentally hitting Christian, Bubba goes for the Bubba Bomb, but Jericho low blows bubba while the ref is distracted AGAIN (Chioda, you’re terrible at reffing this match), Christian hits the unprettier on Bubba for the elimination.
Michaels is all alone against three men, he fires up, hitting his flying forearm nip up signature, but Jericho low bridges the rope while Christian (Somehow) distracts the ref. Orton and Jericho go to town on Shawn, eventually Christian slingshots Shawn into the ring post to cause Shawn to blade.
Christian gets overconfident, punching at the cut, Shawn eventually hits a Surprise Sweet chin music to pin and eliminate Christian. Jericho runs in, punching Shawn’s cut, completely dominating Shawn hitting a stiff clothesline. Jericho tags in Orton, who works over Shawn, Shawn applies the sleeper in desperation, but Orton back suplexes Shawn to counter. Jericho back in, tries a middle rope double axe handle, but Shawn counters hitting a DDT, Shawn goes for the pin, Orton breaks it up (How many break ups have there been, more than one)
Shawn throws Orton way over the top rope; Jericho hits a bulldog and goes for the lionsault, but Shawn gets the knees up. Shawn cradles Jericho after he tries to apply the walls of Jericho to eliminate him. Jericho immediately whacks Shawn with the Chair, which should DQ Randy Orton, but Chioda is as lazy as the rules in this match.
Orton goes for the pin on Shawn, but he kicks out at 2.9, Orton goes up top for a crossbody, but Shawn ducks and Orton hits the ref instead, no ref comes out to replace him, guess they were on break.
Shawn attempts a Sweet Chin Music but Bischoff kicks Shawn’s leg, Austin immediately beats Bischoff’s ass (Including stunning Orton) up to the stage, while Batista sneaks in from the crown to hit a Batista Bomb on Shawn, allowing Randy Orton to pin Shawn, winning as the sole survivor for Bischoff’s team.
WINNER: Bischoff’s Team
Match was great, again, but this was long, and the amount of distraction and lack of rule-following was infuriating, Shawn was great as the underdog.
After the match, Austin pulls up Shawn from the ground, both shake hands.
Austin comes out again, cutting a heartfelt promo, thank the fans. Coachman and security come out, Austin beats up Coachman and the security guards. After getting coachman alone, he stomps a mudhole then hits another big stunner. To let the fans be happy again. Final toast from Austin drinking his Steveweisers.
Vince McMahon vs The Undertaker in a Buried Alive Match
Vince in the video package basically says GOD has chosen him to be the guiding force to destroy the Undertaker. He changes his tune three years later when he wins a match against GOD.
This match was so one-sided it was boring, Vince blades after one punch, he cut WAY too deep, it was pouring out of him. Undertaker worked Vince’s legs, then whacks Vince frighteningly hard in the head with a digging shovel (it was a gimmicked shovel, but still). Finally, Taker smashes Vince’s ankle between the steps.
Taker carries Vince to the hole, Vince throws dirt in Takers’s eyes, then hits a low blow, then whacks Taker into the hole, Vince is dragged in shortly after. Taker goes to the front loader, but pyro goes off and Kane shows up beating up the Undertaker, drags Vince out of the hole, then puts taker in it, Vince no-sells the ankle as he runs up the truck, as Kane goes to the front of the grave, raising his fist, whilst Vince McMahon dumps the dirt on Taker, winning the match.
WINNER: Vince McMahon
The match sucked, it was Taker, plodding around beating the hell out of a heavily bleeding Vince before losing due to brotherly hatred.
This is the last time American Badass taker would ever appear in WWE, after this Taker would revert back to a more modern version of the Deadman, returning at Mania 20 to beat Kane and be 12-0
Triple H vs Goldberg (C) for the World Heavyweight Championship
Goldberg’s ankle was storyline broken for this match, Goldberg beats Triple H’s [Refered to as H in this review] ass before the bell, even hitting a spear, Flair chops Goldberg and gets back body dropped as a receipt.
Goldberg dominates early throwing H into the steps and the barricade. Goldberg and H go back in the ring and after Goldberg hits a powerslam, Goldberg picks up H for the Gorilla press before realising he has an ankle to sell, and it gives out. H takes over from here, a couple of chop-blocks, then Ric distracts Hebner as H hits Goldberg’s leg on the steps with a steel chair. Goldberg really sells that.
More Chop blocks, working the ankle, Flair attacks Goldberg while the ref gets distracted by H. More stomps on the ankle from H. H brings Goldberg up to the corner, Both start exchanging strikes before H kicks the ankle again. Then rolls Goldberg out of the ring and distracts Hebner again. While flair attacks the ankle.
Half crab applied to Goldberg, who is UNDER the ropes, Hebner cannot ignore it much longer, telling H to release it. H pulls Goldberg to the ring post to wrack his legs but Goldberg counters pulling H into the post.
H wraps Goldberg’s leg around the ring ropes, but Goldberg fires up, numerous strikes, then hit a desperation clothesline. H hits another chop block and tries the figure four, but Goldberg kicks h off who flies into the ref. Flair passes the brass knucks to H. Referee Earl Hebner counts the pin, but Goldberg kicks out, H loses it, and Elbow drops Hebner then goes for the sledgehammer.
Goldberg kicks a charging H who drops the sledgehammer, Flair goes up top, but Goldberg throws Flair off, clothesline to H, then to Flair.
Goldberg then grabs the sledgehammer, hitting Flair with it, then Batista runs in, followed by Orton, both get whacked.
Triple H tries to pedigree Goldberg but Goldberg backdrops out of it, Goldberg grabs the sledgehammer again, but decides he doesn’t need it, Spear followed by Jackhammer and Hebner counting the delayed pin, with H kicking out at 3.1 for Goldberg to Retain.
WINNER and still World Heavyweight Champion GOLDBERG
This match is the typical Triple H fair, thinking he can get a match out of anyone, he can’t, Goldberg specialises in short matches. As a match, it was fine, all the smoke and mirrors to protect Goldberg, he did stay consistent in selling only one leg this time unlike at this year’s Summerslam.
This show was pretty good, only two face wins on the show, but most of the matches were good to great, and at least with the last match, it was a happy ending for the crowd.