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Wrestling-Online Newsletter #1722

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  • Colin Vassallo
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    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 16, 2003
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      Exclusive wrestling news being broken around the clock at

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      / _ \| \| | | |_ _| \| | __| Issue #1722
      | (_) | .` | |__ | || .` | _| Sunday, November 16th 2003
      \___/|_|\_|____|___|_|\_|___| http://www.wrestling-online.com
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      By Colin Vassallo, [Editor@...]

      Hey hey. Alright, I'm actually looking forward for the Survivor Series
      today. I just hope, please, Triple H won't regain the title again.

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      Enjoy the PPV. Later.

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      - Live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX., RAW and
      Smackdown! present WWE Survivor Series on pay-per-view. The card is as
      follows: Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Dudley Boyz & Shawn Michaels vs Chris
      Jericho, Christian, Scott Steiner, Randy Orton & Mark Henry; Kurt Angle,
      Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly & Bradshaw vs Brock Lesnar,
      Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, A-Train & Big Show; Goldberg defends his
      World title against Triple H; Lita goes for the Women's gold against
      champion Molly Holly; Undertaker and Vince McMahon battle in a Buried
      Alive match; Tajiri vs Jamie Noble for the Cruiserweight title; Shane
      McMahon goes one on one against Kane in an Ambulance match.

      - The American Airlines Center will not be sold out tonight unless
      tickets get snatched at the box office prior to the event. As of this
      writing, $300 seats that come with the commemorative chair in the first
      five rows are still available for purchase. Not good news for what
      usually is a hot crowd in Texas.

      - WWE.COM conducted a lengthy interview with the returning Paul Heyman.
      As always, Heyman holds no secrets and spilled the beans on many hot
      subjects. Worth reading, check it out at

      - In this week's rankings, WWE placed #21 on the Lycos Top 50 search, up
      from last week's 31st position. Also making her debut in the list is
      Stephanie McMahon, with searches for her and her wedding placing her in
      the 50th place. In video games, 'WWE Smackdown: Here Comes The Pain' is
      currently the second most searched game on Lycos.


      By Jason Clevett, [jason.clevett@...]

      The 17th Edition of the Survivor Series happens tonight, and with it
      comes the return of the “Traditional Survivor Series Match” that
      we last saw in 2001, as Smackdown and RAW both have 5-on-5 battles.

      Last night as I was hanging out with friends we started reflecting back
      on the show, and the history that has happened in the 2nd oldest WWE
      Pay-Per-View. What we came to realize is that a lot of interesting and
      important stuff has occurred at the Thanksgiving Tradition, so let’s
      take a look at some of the top ones.


      In 1987, the NWA was planning to air its annual Starrcade show on
      Thanksgiving. Vince McMahon decided to run his inaugural event opposite
      it, forcing cable companies to choose. Most chose the WWF, costing the
      NWA millions in revenue. But Crockett’s promotion would get revenge the
      following March, running their inaugural “Clash of the Champions”
      supercard for free on TBS opposite Wrestlemania 4, and costing the WWF


      The first two SS’s are remembered for the incredible 10-man tag team
      Survivor Series matches. Same rules applied, except if a person was
      eliminated, so was there partner. In 1988, the heel team was led by
      Demolition, the faces by the Powers of Pain. It came down to Demolition
      & The Conquistadors against The Powers. Ax and Smash’s manager, Mr.
      Fuji “Accidentally” pulled Smash out of the ring, causing him to be
      counted out. The Demo’s turned on him and left him beaten at ringside,
      and then the Powers helped Fuji up, dusted him off, and took him to
      their corner. A double-turn had occurred, and the top tag team feud of
      early 1989 was launched, leading to the handicapped title match at
      WrestleMania 5.


      A moment that was a given for this list. Ted Dibiase’s team vs. Dusty
      Rhodes’ team, and Dibiase had a mystery partner. The lights dimmed, the
      bell tolled, and the man who would go on to be one of the biggest names
      in wrestling, and is still with the company today made his way to the
      ring. The crowd was literally in awe as he stared coldly at the face
      teams before he chokeslammed Bret Hart, eliminated Koko B. Ware with a
      tombstone, debuted the ropewalk to eliminate Rhodes, and then got
      counted out. It was a memorable debut for Taker, who would go on to win
      the belt from Hulk Hogan at the Survivor Series the next year.

      It is also notable that Bret Hart wrestled this match despite his
      brother Dean passing away the day before of Kidney Disease. When
      you reflect on what else has happened since then, it was kind of an
      ominous sign.


      Curt Hennig retired due to back problems after Summerslam 1991, and took
      on a role as a commentator, which he was fantastic as, and eventually as
      the corner man for Ric Flair. Survivor Series 1992 was scheduled to
      feature Flair and newcomer Razor Ramon against the “Mega-Maniacs” of
      Randy Savage and the Ulllltttiiimmmaaaattteee Waaarrrriiioooorrrr. But
      Warrior was gone from the company, as was Davey Boy Smith (and thus the
      reason the Bulldog lost the IC title to Shawn Michaels on the final
      SNME) due to some steroid stuff, so the WWF had to find a new teammate.
      Savage played mind games by inviting Mr. Perfect to be his partner, and
      it was accepted, causing Bobby Heenan to flip out and fire him. Hennig
      would go on to have a good run as a fa! ce, including ending Ric Flair’s
      first WWF run in a “Loser Leaves Town” match on one of the first
      editions of RAW, a feud with Lex Luger, and coming close to snatching
      the IC title from Shawn Michaels before leaving again right before the
      93 edition of Series.


      1992 also featured the first ever casket match, as Undertaker defeated
      Kamala. It was a horrible match, but it set the stage for Taker’s
      gimmick match of choice. Kama, Yokozuna, Goldust and others would all
      go on to face the dead man in this type of match.


      We’ll get into the final battle in a few moments, but 1992’s Survivor
      Series showed that great wrestling could work in the WWF, as Hart and
      Michaels put on the first of many classic matches in the main event.


      1993’s Survivor Series can be pinpointed as the launching pad for Owen
      Hart. Despite his talent, Owen Hart was very much in the shadow of Big
      Brother Bret, and was used as a low card wrestler with giant pants.
      However when Owen Hart teamed with Bret, Keith and Bruce to take on
      Shawn Michaels and the Knights (It was supposed to be Lawler) he took
      the first step towards the stardom he would have for the rest of his
      career. The only member of his family to be eliminated when he ran into
      Bret on the apron and was rolled up; he later came out and argued with
      his family. Owen would reconcile with his family, until he and Bret
      lost a tag title match to the Quebecers, at which point Owen “kicked
      Bret’s leg out from under his leg” and thus began the best feud of 1994.


      The opening match of Survivor Series 1994 featured Razor Ramon’s team
      against Shawn Michael’s team. The shows were back to 5-on-5 for this
      show as well. By this point Big Daddy Cool had already started on his
      way, with his impressive Royal Rumble showing and his Summer IC title
      run. He eliminated in quick order both headshrinkers, 123 Kid and the
      British Bulldog, leaving Razor alone 5-on-1. Shawn Michaels, who had
      been sitting on the apron the entire match, finally tagged in and had an
      exhausted Diesel hold Razor for the superkick. Razor ducked, and the
      then tag champs exploded, with Diesel chasing Shawn to the back, while
      Jeff Jarrett, Jim Niedhart and Owen Hart tried to break it up. A few
      da! ys later, Diesel beat new champ Bob Backlund at Madison Square
      Garden to begin a year long title reign.


      It is questionable whether newer fans would enjoy the amazing old school
      “Towel Match” that Bob Backlund and Bret Hart had at the 1994 Series.
      Running at 35 minutes, the last 12 featured Bret’s cornerman the British
      Bulldog knocking himself cold, and Backlund snaring the crossface
      chicken wing on Hart for the duration of the match while Owen begged and
      pleaded in tears for his Mom Helen to throw in the towel. It was a
      brilliant angle and continued making people despise Owen as a heel.


      WWF showed some innovation when they featured an incredible womans match
      at the 1995 Series. Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe & Lioness
      Asuka vs. Alundra Blayze, Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue & Chapparita
      Asari. North American fans had never seen anything like the Skytwister
      Press before, and were wowed by what the Japanese women did. The plan
      was to push Blayze into a feud with Kong over the woman’s title, but
      Blayze dropped the woman’s title into the trash on Nitro. Any other
      time the WWF has had this style of wrestler, they have blown it. ! It
      was mind-blowing at the time.


      1995 also saw the debut of Ahmed Johnson, everyone’s favorite master of
      indecipherable babble. This guy was seriously as hard to understand as
      Dusty Rhodes and ended up spending most of his career injuring either
      other people, or himself. The “Wildcard” Survivor Series match was
      Johnson’s debut, and he made an impact, slamming the 550 pound Yokozuna
      en route to his teams win.


      The wildcard match also featured the return of Shawn Michaels. HBK had
      been “Assaulted by thugs” in Syracuse, New York in October, forcing him
      to forfeit the IC title. Of course, this only made Shawn more popular
      as he made his comeback. The next night would feature the infamous
      “collapse” off the enziguri from Owen Hart that would in turn lead to
      his big comeback and world title win at Wrestlemania 12.


      The main event for the 95 show was a brilliant No-DQ World Title Tilt
      between Bret Hart and Diesel. As Hart pulled himself onto the apron,
      his foe hit him off the apron and sent flying through the Spanish
      Announce Table. It was shocking at the time as it was the first time,
      but it became a running gag that the SAT was pretty much screwed at any
      time. Hart went on to win the title, and Diesel would be in WCW within
      6 months as his real name, Kevin Nash.


      The 1996 Survivor Series has long been considered a favorite. However
      one match stands out not in that it was good, but that Rocky Miavia made
      his debut as a bland baby face. The MSG crowd chanted for him, and he
      won the match, but fans soon turned on him, leading to the birth of the
      most electrifying man in all of entertainment.


      Steve Austin had turned his career around from his “Ringmaster” gimmick
      by working hard and putting on good matches, combined with the birth of
      “Austin 3:16.” But this feud was the launching pad for superstardom.
      Bret Hart took a lengthy sabbatical after his Wrestlemania loss, and he
      was returning to face the man who in his opinion was “the best technical
      wrestler in the WWF.” Austin’s response? “If you put the letter “S” in
      front of “Hitman” you have my opinion on Bret Hart.” The match was a
      classic, Hart took the duke, and they continued to feud for mo! nths.
      Austin was made a star at Wrestlemania 13, but this match was the


      Faarooq debuted his retooled look at SS 96, gone was the blue headgear,
      and at his side was The Nation of Domination. The match, also featuring
      the fake Diesel and Razor Ramon, Vader, Flash Funk, Jimmy Snuka and
      Savio Vega would be the last WWF appearance of former World Champion
      Yokozuna, who at that point had ballooned to something like 650 pounds.
      The WWF tried to help the big man lose weight, but he couldn’t, and died
      a few years later.


      Fans by this point had gotten tired of the babyface version of Shawn
      Michaels. As well, many fans were becoming “smarter” and had tired of
      his backstage antics. The New York Crowd relentlessly booed Michaels in
      his match with Sid (Sid’s best match ever) and cheered on the big man
      like mad as he smashed HBK with a TV camera and pinned him for his first
      World Title. Shawn regained the belt at Royal Rumble, but “Lost his
      smile” changing plans for the World Title match at WM 13 (Scheduled to
      be Bret and Shawn) and basically setting up his heel run.

      The 1997 Series was the wrestling debut of Undertaker’s “Brother” Kane.
      It was ironic that his brother made his debut 6 years earlier. Kane
      faced Mankind, and the match was nothing special, but Kane was born.


      We all know the story, we all know what happened, if you don’t, rent
      “Wrestling with Shadows.” But the Infamous “Montreal Screwjob” is the
      most famous Series moment in history, and launched “Evil Vince” and the
      “You Screwed Bret” chant heard to this day in Canada, and basically
      changed the business.


      Prior to Survivor Series 1998, The Rock had slowly been turning face and
      getting huge face pops. With the WWF title held up and a tournament to
      crown a new champion, it seemed a lock that Steve Austin would regain
      his title. But in Austin’s match with Mankind, Shane McMahon shocked
      everyone by counting to two and then giving Austin the double-bird,
      allowing for Foley to take the win and face the Rock in the final
      match. For the first of many times, McMahon used the “Montreal Finish”
      as the Rock put Mankind in the sharpshooter and McMahon demanded the
      bell be rung. The Rock was even more of a heel a! s the “Corporate
      Champion” handpicked by Shane and Vince, and Foley was screwed, making
      his title win at the end of December that much sweeter.


      Nobody could have guessed what was in store for Kurt Angle, who won his
      debut matchin 1999 against Shawn Stasiak. A hint of Angle’s future
      snottyness showed when he got on the mic and said “You do not boo an
      Olympic Hero, you don’t!” It was an unspectacular start to a
      spectacular career.


      By SS 99 Austin was in desperate need of neck surgery, so to take him
      out, they ran him down in the parking lot, thus taking him out of the
      Triple-Threat main event with champ Triple-H and The Rock. Replacing
      him was… The Big Show. Show went on to win the world title. Fans
      turned against his title run, yet he is our current US champ and was
      World Champ last year. Austin had neck surgery and returned the next
      year on fire.


      After a series of fantastic Pay-Per-Views, things ground to a halt with
      the 2000 version of the Survivor Series. The only thing that stands out
      on the show is the main event of Hunter vs. Austin in which Austin
      dropped Hunter in a car off of a forklift, causing wrestling fans to
      shake their head in disbelief, not at the fall, but at how stupid it
      was. The show also marked the first time WWF did the “Angle Switch.”
      Undertaker tried to pin Eric Angle, Kurt’s brother, and Kurt rolled him
      up. They did the same thing earlier this year against Lesnar on
      Smackdown shortly before Mania.


      Despite high expectations, the InVasion angle of 2001 was blown, big
      time. It culminated in the Winner Take All Survivor Series. Edge
      merged the US and IC title with his win over Test and The Dudleys merged
      the WCW and WWF tag belts in a cage match over the Hardy Boys. What it
      really boiled down to was the 5-on-5 main event. WCW/ECW was
      represented by Shane McMahon, Rob Van Dam, Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and
      Booker T (Note how only two of those guys actually were in WCW/ECW)
      while the WWF had The Rock, Chris Jericho, Undertaker, Kane, and The Big
      Show (Who seems to be in the main event of a lot of S! eries.) In the
      end, as predicted, it came down to The Rock and Austin, with Angle
      turning on Austin and giving the win to WWF, ending WCW and ECW.


      Last years event featured the culmination of the three-way feud between
      Los Guerrero’s, Edge & Rey Mysterio, and Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit.
      After putting on some of the best matches in North America during the
      preceding months, the match, although still great, was a let down in the
      eyes of many fans, given only 20 minutes. Los Guerrero’s won the belts,
      and it looks like their successful year (minus Chavo’s injury) will
      culminate in a split this weekend.


      After much speculation, Scott Stiener finally made his long-awaited WWE
      return. The New York City crowd gave him a loud ovation as he decimated
      Matt Hardy and Chris Nowinski. Stiener floundered after the hot start,
      with two horrible matches against HHH before being buried in the
      midcard. Oddly he is back in the RAW Survivor Match this year.


      From the twisted mind of Eric Bischoff was born the Elimination Chamber,
      which debuted in the Garden that night. Chris Jericho, Kane, Rob Van
      Dam, Booker T and Shawn Michaels all vied for the RAW title held by “The
      Game” It was an interesting concept, and a decent match, which lead to
      the return of the chamber at Summerslam of this year. Van Dam nearly
      crushed Hunter’s trachea with a legdrop, causing him to do very little
      until the end of the match, when he was superkicked and pinned by
      Michaels to cap off HBK’s return after 4 years out of the business due
      to injury. Shawn would hold the belt only a month, dropping it to
      Helmsley at Armageddo! n. Hunter would go on to hold the belt until
      this past Sept, when he lost it to Goldberg, the man he faces in this
      years edition.

      So what will stand out at this year’s Survivor Series? Two five-on-five
      matches, a couple of McMahon’s, and HHH vs Goldberg are the feature
      matches. What moments will stand out from this show, if any, when we
      reflect upon it down the road? Will it be John Cena taking his first
      step to superstardom? Or will it be how bad a match with 4 lumbering
      giants really is? Will we talk about the gutsy performance Shane
      McMahon made against Kane, or will what lingers in our minds be Vince
      and Undertaker in Buried Alive.

      We’ll know soon enough. In the meantime, check out Ringside Manner’s
      Pregame Show, featuring Harry Smith, the son of the late British
      Bulldog. Smith reflects on some of his favorite moments from SS past,
      favorite memories of the Series involving his Dad, and gives his picks
      for the event along with Dave Standish and myself. Check it out at


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