WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review

Jonathan WilsonContributor IINovember 8, 2008

WWE Survivor Series
November 16, 2003

Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly and Bradshaw) vs Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, The Big Show, A-Train, Matt Morgan and Nathan Jones)
This would pretty much be the culmination of the year long feud between Angle and Lesnar. Hardcore Holly has issues with Lesnar for breaking his neck in 2002. Benoit and A-Train had started feuding after Summerslam with Benoit winning at No Mercy. Paul Heyman, who was just made GM, brought in Matt Morgan and the returning Nathan Jones for the match. Originally booked, Faarooq was injured in the weeks leading into the event which forced Angle to pick a replacement (It was either Cena or Holly, I can't remember). Cena was first asked by Lesnar to join his team. When he refused, A-Train attacked him, becoming a member. By this event, Cena was still in the transitional phase from heel to face. Before the match, Cena cuts a rap about the match and the rest of the card. Once Lesnar comes out, Holly jumps him and beats him down on the outside. When the ref tries to pull him off, Holly shoves him off. Holly gets DQ'd before the bell. That's well...kinda impossible. A-Train doesn't fair much better as he's given the Closeline From Hell and pinned by Bradshaw in under a minute. Bradshaw's celebration doesn't last long as The Big Show chokeslams him to pin him in just under a minute. That's three eliminations in under a minute. Damn and I thought The Mercenaries vs The Alliance was bad. We finally get to see some action, sadly it's mostly with Jones and Morgan so it's pretty bad. Even Benoit/Show segment is rather dull. Angle gets the tag and hits the Angle Slam on Morgan to eliminate him. Figures, get rid of the lesser of the useless giants first. Oh wait, here Angle is making Jones tap seconds later to the Angle Lock. Thanks Kurt. So it's 3-2 with the US/World Champion against Team Work (What, you didn't expect me to call that them when Holly and Bradshaw was still on did you?). Sadly, Angle doesn't last much longer as he gets the F5 from Lesnar and is pinned. That's another three eliminations in under a minute. Lesnar and Benoit fights it out with Benoit trying for the Crippler Crossface several times. Lesnar finally can't stand it and taps out. Loud 'You Tapped Out' chant. The Big Show tries to fight off both Benoit and Cena. With the ref checking out a downed Benoit, Cena nails Show with his chain. FU finishes Show off to get the win for Benoit and Cena. After the match, Benoit and Cena shakes hands cementing Cena's faceturn. This would be the beginning of Cena and Benoit's push that would culminate at Wrestlemania. For fans of either guys, it's a fairly important match for them. That being said, the majority of the match was terrible. Too many eliminations in too short of a time. Once all of the trash was removed, the match improved greatly, however; it only lasted a few more minutes. I really wish Haas/Benjamin replaced Morgan/Jones, it could of improved the match greatly. 14 Minutes. 2 Stars.

Molly Holly vs Lita - Women's Title Match
Lita had just returned to action a couple of months before by pinning Holly in a tag match at Unforgiven. Lita actually looks decent enough in this match. Molly works her ass off trying to help produce a watchable women's match. Molly nails the Molly-Go-Round, but Lita kicks out at two. Molly takes off the middle turnbuckle pad (What is this, a midget match? lol) and slams Lita into it. The referee doesn't appear to care though. Molly gets the win and the satisfaction of doing what Trish and Victoria couldn't do around this time - pull a decent match out of Lita. Too exhibitional to be too good. But for the quality of wrestling the women were at during this time, it's fairly good. Once again, Molly works her ass off to get a decent Survivor Series match. 7 Minutes. 1 3/4 Stars.

Kane vs Shane McMahon - Ambulance Match
This would be the finale of the sometimes very horror movie style and sometimes far too over the top feud between the pair. It all began when Kane tombstoned Linda McMahon on the Raw stage. Being a good son, Shane declared war on Kane. In the feud, we saw flaming dumpsters, a limo crashing against a semi, a battery electrifying Shane's balls, and a titantron dive. You know, the standard realistic wrestling points. Shane with a Cactus Closeline to Kane to start the match. Kane looked like he nearly landed on his neck. Some fighting at the commentator's table with Shane nailing Kane with the monitor. Shane taunts Kane to the back where he sneaks up behind him to knock him down. Kane is hit by a truck and Shane calls for another ambulance to come to the back. Shane's plan is thwarted when Kane wakes up. The pair heads to the entrance and fights against the ambulance. Shane gets a Rey Mysterio like lawn dart against the side of the vehicle. McMahon on top of the ambulance nails the coast to coast (Van Terminator.) Only problem was that the box was so obviously cardboard that it made the spot weak looking. Kane hits the Tombstone on Shane and throws him in the back to win the match. This match gets a lot of praise for being a fun brawl. Personally, I didn't find it as fun as others. Whether it was the over the top booking of the match or the shots that was inches away from connecting, the match just looked bad. I give Shane credit for being fearless, but fearless isn't enough for a good match. If you've seen one Shane match, you've seen them all. 14 Minutes. 2 1/2 Stars.

A pointless long segment with Dallas Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban follows. In the end, he gets the RKO from Orton. You bumped Tajiri vs Noble to Heat to make room for this crap?

The Basham Brothers vs Los Guerreros - WWE Tag Team Title Match
Chavo had just returned a couple months ago to win the tag titles with Eddie again. However, October came and Eddie started a losing streak losing the US titles to the Big Show and the WWE tag titles to the Bashams. This would be the rematch that didn't happen on Smackdown since the Bashams pulled the old "Your family member was in an accident". Before the match, Eddie and Chavo tries getting their hands on Shaniqua. Chavo gets the award for most pointless helo roll to get the tag to Eddie. Eddie nails the Three Amigos (Still unnamed). Eddie busts up a spinebuster from the top rope and nails a Hurricrana from the top instead. Shaniqua is closelined by Chavo for trying to interfere. Eddie gives her a Frogsplash. Chavo isn't done and begins spanking her until the Bashams come back in. Chavo goes for a Tornado DDT on a Basham, but accidentally kicks Eddie in the head. Chavo looks after Eddie, but is rolled up by Danny to be pinned. This is another crucial match in Los Guerreros falling apart, which would lead to Eddie becoming a main event. The match could of been a lot better had it been given a little more time. The Bashams were getting dead silences at this point (Well, that could be said for their entire WWE run), but Eddie and Chavo did their best to produce a good match. Pretty good for Smackdown, a bit underpar for PPV though. 8 Minutes. 2 3/4 Stars.

Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and Mark Henry) vs Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, RVD, The Dudley Boyz and Booker T)
If Bischoff wins, Austin is done with the WWE For-Ev-ERRR. If Austin wins, he can whoop ass any time he wants. The match starts off with some back and forth action with the heels against RVD and Booker. Can't say any of it is too interesting though. All ten breaks out in a brawl with The Dudleys hitting the modified 3D on Steiner. Booker nails the Book End to eliminate Steiner. Booker goes to cross body Henry, but Henry catches him and gives him the World's Strongest Slam (And the World's Lamest Finisher Name) to quickly pin Booker. Henry shows off his power some, but gets 3D'd by the Dudleys and RVD with the 5 Star Frogsplash. The ECW guys dog pile Henry to pin him. RVD looks to hit a top rope cross body on Orton, but Jericho pushes him off of the rope, hot shotting Van Dam. This leaves Rob wide open for the RKO. We're down to 3-3. D-Von and Jericho fights it out, but once Christian distracts D-Von, Jericho is able to hit a running sleeper slam eliminating D-Von. Bubba fights off all the heels, but when he goes for his Dusty taunt, Orton hits him from behind. Unprettier by Christian is enough to pin the other Dudley. That leaves Michaels alone with the IC title gang (Orton, Jericho and Christian would all be IC champions in 2003). HBK seems to get his Survivor Series strategy from The Ultimate Warrior. Allow your partners to do all the work and finally comes in to get all the glory at the end. Michaels clearly blades after a slingshot into the post on the outside. Lawler is getting so annoying with his comments. Christian turns around right into a Sweet Chin music to be eliminated. Jericho runs in punching Michaels. Michaels gets the knees up to block the Lionsault. Superkick is ducked. Jericho looks to lock in the Walls of Jericho, but Michaels rolls him up pinning him. Jericho isn't happy though and uses a chair on Michaels. Michaels ducks a cross body from Orton and Orton takes out the ref. Michaels goes for the Superkick, but Bischoff kicks him in the gut. Austin beats the hell out of Eric out to the entrance, but not before stunning Orton. Orton in his early days of trying his best to be like The Rock, sells it like him. Michaels covers Orton, but Batista runs out and nails the Batista bomb. The ref wakes up to see Orton covering Michaels. 1-2-3...Orton wins the match for Bischoff. The main storyline for the match would prove to be useless seeing how Austin was gone for a good...month. On the plus side, it did set up two Armageddon matches which is better than nothing. The match varied between good and below average. Once HBK was alone, it picked up, however; it's best if you mute it to avoid hearing Lawler. Overall, much better than the SD match, but it's fairly average compared to early SS matches. 28 Minutes. 3 Stars.

The Undertaker vs Vince McMahon - Buried Alive Match
Vince screwed Taker out of the WWE title at No Mercy. Taker beat Show on SD to challenge anyone in the WWE. He obviously chose Vince. McMahon had been talking about a higher power for weeks that would ensure his win. Vince blades after one shot. The match is all Taker beating the hell out of Vince while Vince bleeds over everything. At the site of the grave, Taker pulls Vince down. As Taker goes to climb in the loader, a bomb goes off throwing Taker off. Kane comes out and attacks his brother. Taker is thrown in the grave and Vince pours the dirt in the loader in the grave getting the win. Well...yeah. This was a total squash. Bleeding doesn't make a match any better if it's just one long beatdown. The finish made little sense and turned a fun SD match into rather lame match with little good. This would pose to be the end of Biker Taker and set up Kane vs Taker at WM. Yet another reason to hate this match. 12 Minutes. 3/4 Star.

Goldberg vs Triple H - World Heavyweight Championship
After Goldberg won the title at Unforgiven, Hunter put out a bounty on Goldberg. You can just tell that Hunter is trying everything to be this era's Harley Race. Batista ends up injuring Goldberg's ankle and gets the money. Before the bell, Goldberg spears Hunter and gives Flair a back body drop. Goldberg tries a press slam, but his ankle won't allow it. Hunter works over the ankle for a long time. Hunter tries a figure four, but Goldberg kicks him into the ref. Flair throws Hunter a pair of brass knuckles and Goldberg goes down. The ref wakes up in time to count, but stops counting when Goldberg forgets to kick out. The ref goes down again and out comes the sledgehammer. Goldberg steals it and takes out Flair and Hunter. Out comes Batista and Orton, but Goldberg levels both of them. Goldberg spears and Jackhammers Hunter. The ref forgets he's supposed to count, so Goldberg has to yell for his attention. The delay isn't long enough and Goldberg retains his title. I liked the focus on the ankle, but the match repeated too many spots of the previous matches. The mistiming of the ref and Goldberg also didn't do this match any favors. 2003 was a terrible year for Goldberg and Hunter. The WHT in general was defended in some of the worst matches on the PPV too. This match would probably be one of the better title matches (Not that that's saying much), but it's still fairly weak. The Goldberg WWE experiment is about over and luckily, Raw would about to change drastically in the quality department. 12 Minutes. 2 Stars.

2003 was a terrible year for PPVs. This one is an exception though. Unlike most others, this was at least bearable. However, it's a huge drop in quality from the previous couple Survivor Series. There's nothing really good enough that you need to go out and see though. Decent enough if you just want to kill a few hours though.

Best Match: Raw Elimination Match
Worst Match: Vince McMahon vs The Undertaker

Grade: C-


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