Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Sunday, 19 February 2023

PPV REVIEW: WWE Armageddon 2003

December 14, 2003
TD Waterhouse Centre, Orlando, Florida
It's no secret that WWE's annual December PPVs rarely feel like anything more than a stop-gap between Survivor Series and Royal Rumble. 

It's been that way for as long as I can remember, which kind of makes you wonder why they even bother in the first place. 

Still, Armageddon 2003 did at least have one thing going for it - A chance to solidify Evolution as the most dominant force in the company, if not all of pro wrestling. 

Tonight, we'd see all four members of one of wrestling's most memorable stables compete, but would that make for a good show, or would this be another forgettable outing?

Let's dive in and find out together, shall we? 

God Bless America

Unusually for a PPV that wasn’t one of the Big 4, our show began with Lillian Garcia belting out the Star Spangled Banner in tribute to the good ol’ USA.

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Lillian Garcia


Once her powerful rendition was over, Lilian joined the fans in a rousing chant of ‘USA! USA!’ before we cut to the usual opening video.

Triple H is Sick of Goldberg

The video focused exclusively on the triple threat main event between Kane, HHH, and World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg.

Mixing bible quotes with an ominous voice-over and sound bites from the three stars, the only thing that really stood out from this video was a line from The Game in which he said, “you’re Goldberg, and I’m sick of it!”

The cameras then panned the crowd as Jim Ross & Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler welcomed us to Armageddon 2003, and the show was officially underway.

Mark Henry (w/ Teddy Long) vs. Booker T

Mark Henry and Booker T had been feuding since the former eliminated the latter at Survivor Series ‘03.

Their match here tonight wasn’t the most exciting PPV opener ever, but Booker’s enormous popularity with the crowd helped make it marginally better than this writer imagined.

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Mark Henry vs. Booker T


Henry dominated for the most part, wearing the former Five Time, Five Time, Five Time Dubya C Dubya champion down with a surfboard and a bear hug before dumping him awkwardly in a botched powerbomb attempt.

Booker recovered and pulled out a big-time scissor kick to end this fairly average match.
Your Winner: Booker T

Backstage, Eric Bischoff spoke to Christian and Chris Jericho about their upcoming ‘Battle of the Sexes’ match against Lita and Trish Stratus.

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Eric Bischoff talks to Christian & Chris Jericho about their battle of the sexes match


Before Jericho could voice his displeasure at the match, Christian butted in to tell Bischoff how excited he was about the whole thing.

With a forlorn look on his face, Jericho tried to object a second time, only to be interrupted by the sound of Mick Foley’s music crashing to life in the arena.

Confused and frustrated, Bischoff turned to the tv in his office to see what was going on.

Foley Wants Stone Cold Back

What was going on was this: 

Foley was the new co-GM of Raw and had started a petition to reinstate Stone Cold Steve Austin.

Said petition had apparently surpassed 1 million signatures which, in the Hardcore Legend’s mind at least, was cause for celebration.

And how do you celebrate if you’re Mick Foley?

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Mick Foley and Stacey Keibler


Of course, you invite Stacy Keibler to come to the ring wearing a cheerleaders outfit and watch her do cartwheels to the delight of the audience.

Mick even tried one of his own but it looked more like a sack of potatoes falling off a shelf.

Eventually, the celebration was cut short by the arrival of Ric Flair and his protege, Randy Orton, the latter of whom was in the early stages of a feud with Mick.

Taking to the microphone, Orton bragged about being the man responsible for forcing Stone Cold out of WWE before reminding Foley that he had a job to do as special referee for The Legend Killer’s upcoming Intercontinental Championship match against RVD.

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Randy Orton confronts Mick Foley


At that point, Foley stripped out of his suit to reveal he was already wearing his handmade referee’s shirt and declared that the match would take place right there and then.

Personally, I liked how they used this segment to transition from the Bischoff/Y2J/Christian bit into the next match. The whole thing wasn’t the most entertaining segment in the world, but it was harmless and flowed naturally.

WWE Intercontinental Championship
WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Randy Orton (w/ Ric Flair)

Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley

This one started strong, with RVD proving himself to be the quicker of the two and out-manoeuvring his opponent at every turn.

WWE Armageddon 2002 - Randy Orton puts a hurting on RVD while being admonished by referee Mick Foley


Once Orton seized the advantage, however, the match slowed considerably as the challenger clamped on a chinlock and ground both RVD’s momentum and this fan’s enjoyment to a halt.

Things eventually picked up again, with shenanigans from both Foley and Ric Flair contributing to an exciting climax in which Randy hit the RKO to capture his first title in WWE.
Your Winner and New Intercontinental Champion: Randy Orton

Before the next match, we saw a recap of the story between Jericho, Christian, Trish Stratus, and Lita.

WWE Armageddon 2003 Review - Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Trish Stratus & Lita


The boys had duped Trish and Lita into falling for them, only for Trish to overhear them joking about having a bet over one Canadian dollar about who could nail their girl first. 

This led to an in-ring confrontation and Eric Bischoff booking the following match:

Battle of the Sexes
Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Trish Stratus & Lita

This turned out to be better than I’d imagined it would.

Despite originally making the bet, Jericho had clearly developed genuine feelings for Trish and was reluctant to fight her, doing his best to hold her off without actually hurting her (including bending her over his knee for a spanking and yelling at her to calm down) until Stratus got the better of him with a head scissor takedown.

WWE Armageddon 2003 Review - Chris Jericho stares down Trish Stratus


Lita and Christian then tagged in, with the latter showing none of his partner’s reluctance and going straight in for the attack.

After a few short minutes of entertaining action, Trish found herself back in the ring and at Christian’s mercy.

Y2J stepped in and helped her to her feet, only for Christian to roll her up for the three count.
Your Winners: Christian & Chris Jericho

Post-match, a clearly bothered Jericho was reluctant to join in with his partner’s victory celebration.

This was followed by a look at Batista costing Shawn Michaels a win at Survivor Series ‘03 and ultimately costing Stone Cold Steve Austin his career.

In the weeks that followed, Michaels had wrestled with his conscious but had bigger problems with Batista, leading to tonight’s match.

Shawn Michaels vs. Batista (w/ Ric Flair)

This wasn’t the best Shawn Michaels match you’ll ever see, but it was the best that the veteran could get out of his inexperienced opponent at this early stage in The Animal’s career.

WWE Armageddon 2003 Review - Batista puts Shawn Michaels in a back breaker

Michaels started off in control, getting one over on Batista without too much effort and looking overly confident in the process.

The Evolution member then turned the tide by decapitating HBK with a wicked clothesline.

The resulting back-and-forth was good but, as I say, not as good as it could have been had Batista been at a later stage in his career.

In the end, Michaels countered a Batista Bomb attempt to score the three count.
Your Winner: Shawn Michaels 

Afterwards, Batista paced up and down the ring in a flurry of anger. He was still in the ring when Maven made his way out for our next contest.

Maven vs. Matt Hardy

Naturally, Maven held back from getting in the ring while a pissed-off Batista was storming about in it.

Instead, he interrupted Matt Hardy’s entrance and the two began a heated brawl that ended with Hardy getting the upper hand and tossing Maven into the ring.

WWE Armageddon 2003 Review - Big Time Matt Hardy


There, Batista attacked and took out the Tough Enough winner with a couple of vicious Batista bombs.

Referees tended to a fallen Maven before Jack Doan informed Lillian Garcia that Maven was in no fit state to compete.

Annoyed by Lillian’s announcement that the match would no longer take place, Hardy threw the referees aside, splashed his opponent and counted his own pinfall before snatching the mic and declaring himself the winner.
No Contest

Out in the back, Ric Flair have a still enraged Batista pep talk and insisted that the two would be waking out with titles around their waists.

Tag Team Turmoil Match for the WWE World Tag Team Championship
La Resistance (Rob Conway & Rene Dupree) vs. The Hurricane & Rosey vs. Lance Storm & Val Venis vs. Garrison  Cade & Mark Jindrak vs. WWE World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz (D’Von & Bubba Ray Dudley) vs. Scott Steiner & Test vs. Batista & Ric Flair

Contested under ‘winner stays on’ rules, this one took a while to really heat up and wasn’t all that exciting until The Dudley Boyz turned up for a good exchange with Garrison Cade and Mark Jindrak.

The champions soon disposed of their opponents and entered into an even more enjoyable battle with the next entrants, Test and Scott Steiner.

WWE Armageddon 2003 Review - Scott Steiner hurts Bubba Ray Dudley


After a short but decent exchange between the two, a battered and tired Dudley Boyz got the fall and assumed they’d won the match.

At that point, however, Raw co-GM Eric Bischoff came out to announce that he’d added another team to the mix.

That team was, you guessed it, Ric Flair and Batista.

The Evolution team mates made light work of their battle-weary opponents to give their stable its second title win of the night.
Your Winners and New WWE World Tag Team Champions: Batista & Ric Flair 

After clips from a press conference announcing the first WWE Tribute to the Troops show, it was onto our next match.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly vs. Ivory 

In a tell-tale sign of WWE’s attitude towards women’s wrestling at the time, JR quickly put over Molly Holly as the best wrestler to hold the women’s title in years before immediately spending the rest of the match talking with Lawler about how Molly was sexually frustrated.

WWE Armageddon 2003 - Molly Holly puts Ivory in an armbar


In doing so, he and King ignored what was a decent but forgettable title defence for Holly against Ivory, who, despite being with the company the whole time, hadn't appeared on a Pay Per View since Survivor Series 2001

After a short outing, Holly reversed a roll-up attempt to retain her gold. Even after her victory, the only thing the announcers cared about was whether she was getting laid.
Your Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Molly Holly

Finally, we got a look at the build up to Goldberg vs. Kane vs. Triple H and it was onto our main event. 

Triple Threat for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg vs. Kane vs. Triple H 

After a relatively average show, this final match looked pretty damn good, though it still dragged on longer than was necessary.

WWE Armageddon 2003 - Kane, HHH, and Goldberg prepare for war

Kane and Triple H began the bout working in unison to destroy Goldberg, but the champ battled back at every opportunity and took the fight to his opponents.

Predictably, The Game eventually turned on Kane, and the war waged on outside the ring, giving us the highlight of the match.

The match continued to entertain until Evolution ran in to give HHH the assist in pinning Kane for the three count.
Your Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H

As Armageddon 2003 came to a close, all the members of Evolution stood at the top of the ramp holding the gold aloft. It had been a successful night for WWE’s most dominant faction.

As I mentioned a moment ago, Armageddon 2003 was a fairly average show.

Nothing was outright bad, but very little stood out as being worth repeat viewing.

Orton/RVD and the main event stood out as the highlights, but given the quality of the rest of the show, that isn’t really saying much.

Other 2003 pro wrestling reviews: 

Other WWF Armageddon reviews: 

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Wednesday, 18 January 2023

PPV REVIEW: WWE Survivor Series 2003

November 16, 2003
American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

Survivor Series 2003 was only the second time in history that WWE's annual fall event had been held in Texas.

The first time was back in 1994 when The Undertaker put Yokozuna away in a casket match. Would he be able to do the same thing tonight against Vince McMahon in their buried alive match? Or would the boss have something nefarious up his sleeve? 

Could former WCW star Goldberg prove that he truly belonged in WWE by holding onto his World Heavyweight Championship in a match with Triple H?

And would Steve Austin remain employed after putting his career on the line in an elimination match that he wasn't even participating in?

There's only one way to find out. Let's get on and review WWE Survivor Series 2003.

Survive. Survive. Survive

Tonight’s opening video attempted (and probably succeeded) to set a new world record for the most utterances of the word “survive” in two and a half minutes.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Michael Cole and Tazz called the Smackdown action

Would Evolution survive whatever they were up to this evening?

Would Stone Cold Steve Austin survive with his career intact when he put it on the line tonight? 

Would Undertaker or Vince McMahon survive their buried alive match?




When we were all done surviving, cameras panned the rabid crowd as Michael Cole welcomed us to Survivor Series 2003, and the show quickly got underway.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Angle
(John Cena, Hardcore Holly, Bradshaw, Chris Benoit, and Kurt Angle)
Team Lesnar
(WWE US Champion The Big Show, Nathan Jones, Matt Morgan, A-Train, and WWE Champion Brock Lesnar)

Given that I wasn’t watching pro wrestling around this time, I’m surprised to see the WWE Champion not only participating in an elimination match instead of defending his title but doing so in the opening match.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - John Cena cuts a pre-match rap promo

Before Brock Lesnar made his way out, John Cena kicked things off with a rap in which he likened himself to a fetus and his opponents to afterbirth. He then derided everybody in the match, including his own teammates, questioning out loud whether he could trade the rest of Team

Angle for a one-night stand with Lesnar’s future wife, Sable.

As the rest of the combatants made their way to ringside, Cole and his commentary partner Tazz talked about how this was a match full of loners who all had a personal grudge to settle.

Those grudges meant that the action got off to a rowdy start, with everyone crawling inside and outside of the ring.

The brawl got so chaotic that somehow Hardcore Holly got disqualified for attacking an official who tried to stop him from beating on Lesnar before the bell had rung

Bradshaw quickly evened the score by taking out A-Train but was obliterated moments later by Big Show

Things slowed down a little as Big Bad Brock’s team of Big Bad Monsters first worked over Cena then Chris Benoit, but they soon got exciting again as soon as Kurt Angle tagged in and quickly disposed of both Matt Morgan and Nathan Jones, only for the WWE Champion to immediately eliminate Angle thanks to an F5.

The excitement continued with Benoit battling Lesnar and even taking out the champion with a crippler cross-face before Cena smashed Big Show in the face and nailed the giant US champion with an impressive F-U to win the match for his team.

Other than a brief moment where it slowed down, this was a very solid opening match that helped further establish Benoit and Cena as legit main eventers in waiting.

Great stuff.
Your Winners: Team Angle (Chris Benoit and John Cena)

Out in the back, Vince McMahon caught up with Shane McMahon to tell him that he felt the fact that a father and son were competing in separate matches against two brothers (Kane and Undertaker) was both spiritual and ironic.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - Vince McMahon and Shane McMahon

It was neither, and Shane knew it, so he dismissed his pappy by saying he felt sorry for him.

Dejected, Vince left, only to bump into Stone Cold Steve Austin. Messing with McMahon’s mind, Austin laughed with McMahon, then promptly stopped and stormed off.

It clearly wasn’t a good night for the boss.

WWE Women’s Championship
WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly vs. Lita 

Lita had recently returned from a long hiatus due to a neck injury so, naturally, Molly Holly went right after her neck in a short but decent women’s championship match.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Molly Holly gets the better of Lita in their women's title match

Both women looked good here, and though this was a far cry from the dramatic epics we see today’s female superstars, it was still a thousand times better than some of the dross that we’d see from the womens division over the years.

Alas, for the returning Lita, tonight was not her night. 

The devious champion exposed one of the turnbuckles and rammed her opponent’s face into it to retain her title.
Your Winner and Still WWE Women’s Champion: Molly Holly

Prior to the next match, we got a look back at the rivalry between Kane and Shane McMahon.

Our next match was billed as their final encounter.

Ambulance Match
Shane McMahon vs. Kane 

I honestly can’t think of any reason why anybody would hate this match.

Yes it was over the top, yes it relied heavily on high spots and backstage shenanigans rather than actual catch-as-catch-can wrestling, but that was the beauty of it.

This was all about two men who absolutely hated each other and wanted nothing more than to physically destroy one another.

It was a compelling story told well which  allowed both men to play their strengths. 

After a ridiculously entertaining outing, Kane tombstones Shane onto the concrete and threw him into the back of the ambulance to win the match.
Your Winner: Kane 

Post-match, Kane’s Slow Chemical theme blasted through the arena as the maniacal monster watched the ambulance leave the arena.

It was a pretty cool shot.

Brock Didn’t Lose 

Backstage, Josh Matthews asked Brock Lesnar about his loss in the opening contest.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Bill Goldberg confronts Brock Lesnar

Clearly in denial, the WWE Champion insisted that he neither lost nor tapped out and promised that he could beat anybody in the WWE single-handedly.

At that point, Bill Goldberg showed up to introduce himself. The road to their Wrestlemania 20 match had begun.

Bischoff Confronts Mark Cuban 

Up next, Jonathan Coachman came to the ring playing wearing a neck brace and playing the uber-dick heel.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Eric Bischoff Confronts Mark Cuban

Smarmy and arrogant, Coach disingenuously thanked the fans for their well wishes after he got put through a table by The Dudleyz and promised that he was going to be ‘a-ok.’

With that said and done, he was all set to leave until he spotted Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban in the front row.

Coach took the opportunity to interview Cuban, but soon regretted his decision when the Mavericks man claimed that he was most excited about seeing Stone Cold kick the ass of Coach’s buddy Eric Bischoff.

Naturally, this drew the ire of Sleazy E, who came down and called Cuban into the ring, only to get pushed down by Mark.

As Cuban celebrated getting one over on the Raw boss, however, Randy Orton came down and hit him with an RKO from outta nowhere.

To be honest, I know nothing about basketball and had literally never heard of Mark Cuban until this segment so it really did nothing for me, but Coach and Bischoff were at least entertaining.

Meanwhile, out in the back, Triple H and Batista were all set to get an orgy going with a bunch of women when Ric Flair of all people insisted that they should save the party until after The Game had beaten Goldberg.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - Evolution party backstage

At that point, Orton returned to gloat about taking out Cuban and was congratulated by his team mates as they all got stuck into the champagne and the orgy continued.

It was a silly segment, and probably the only time you’re going to see Nature Boy not down to party, but it did a great job of establishing the fact that HHH was perhaps a little over confident heading into tonight’s match.

WWE Tag Team Championship
WWE Tag Team Champion The Basham Brothers (Doug & Danny Basham w/ Shaniqua) vs. Los Guerreros (Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero Jr.)

Is it bad that Shaniqua does it for me? I don’t think it it?

Before the match, the muscular dominatrix motivated her men by giving them each a literal ass whipping with a Cat O’ Nine Tails.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - The Bashams vs. Los Guerreros

Eddie Guerrero and Chavo Guerrero then arrived in their low rider to the delight of the crowd and this one was on.

The match may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but this Dan certainly enjoyed it.

Putting their growing tensions aside, challengers Eddie and Chavo worked hard to get a solid match out of the champions, though Doug & Danny were certainly no slouches either.

After a good effort, Los Guerreros looked to have the match won but got distracted giving Shaniqua a spanking.

A few seconds later, Chavo went to kick one of the Bashams but caught his own partner instead.

A quick roll-up then allowed the champions to retain.
Your Winners and Still WWE Tag Team Champions: The Basham Brothers 

Post match, the champs celebrated on their way to the back as Eddie confronted Chavo about the loss

Austin’s Career is On the Line 

Before the next match, we got a word with Raw announce team Jim Ross and Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, who put over the seriousness and severity of our upcoming match.

Remember, if Austin’s team lost, his career was over.

King & JR also informed us that they’d recieved word on Shane McMahon’s condition. Apparently, he was being setup for a catscan to checkout his brain after Kane dumped him headfirst on the concrete with that tombstone piledriver.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff

Back to Austin, a video package recapped the story leading into the match.

It reminded us that although his career was on the line, if Stone Cold’s team

Won, the rule laid down by Linda McMahon that Austin couldn’t hit anybody unless provoked would be lifted.

Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Bischoff
(Chris Jericho, Christian, Mark Henry, Scott Steiner, and Randy Orton w/ Eric Bischoff, Teddy Long, and Stacy Keibler)
Team Austin
(Booker T, WWE World Tag Team Champions The Dudley Boyz, WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam, and Shawn Michaels)

This one has surely got to go down as one o the greatest Survivor Series elimination matches of all time, if not one or the greatest Survivor Series matches period.

Things started off hot with Rob Van Dam enjoying some fantastic with both Chris Jericho and Scott Steiner.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - Austin confronts Chris Jericho

Steiner was eliminated, and Mark Henry followed him to the locker room not long after, giving hope to Austin, his team, and the fans that Team Stone Cold would prevail.

Alas, things took a turn for the worse as the heels systematically picked apart Austin’s squad, eliminating both Dudleyz, RVD, and Booker T and ultimately leaving Shawn Michaels alone with Y2J, Christian, and Randy Orton.

The match had already been great up until then, but it was at this point that it turned into a bonafide classic.

Beaten to a bloody pulp and barely able to stand, The Heartbreak Kid was able to dispose of Christian but absorbed even more punishment from Jericho and Orton.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 - Austin watches as Shawn Michaels and Chris Jericho are out for the count

Just when things looked hopeless for Michaels and Austin, HBK caught Jericho with a small package which, given how utterly destroyed he was, came across as nothing short of a miracle.

In a heinous act, Jericho then returned to the ring and smashed Michaels over the head with it, but Shawn simply refused to die.

Summoning whatever strength and willpower he could, he battled back and set up Orton for some Sweet Chin Music, only for Bischoff to hit the ring and take down the weary babyface with a karate kick to the ribs.

Enraged, Austin hit the ring, attacked Eric and left Orton laying with a stunner.

With the referee still down from an earlier encounter, HBK draped his arm over Orton as Stone Cold punished Eric by beating him all the way to the curtain.

Then, in what has surely got to be one of the most heartbreaking moments in pro wrestling history, Dave Batista hit the ring, broke up Michaels cover and destroyed him with a Batista Bomb.

One three count later, Stone Cold Steve Austin’s career was over.
Your Winners: Team Bischoff (sole survivor: Randy Orton)

As the Evolution theme blared through the arena, Austin stopped dead in his tracks looking both bewildered and devastated.

He hit the ring to tend to his fallen soldier. Obviously there was going to be no stunner. That would have made Stone Cold the biggest dick in wrestling after HBK had almost died trying to save The Rattlesnake’s career.

Instead, as Shawn looked at Steve, his face tired and soaked in blood, and said “I’m sorry. I let you down,” Stone Cold merely gave Shawn the dignity of being able to get to his feet on his own accord and shook his hand.

I don’t care who you are, that was a genuinely emotional moment and a compelling way to end things.

Stone Cold’s Farewell

Austin and Michaels walked to the back together.

Moments later, the glass shattered and Stone Cold returned to the ring to deliver a heartfelt message to the WWE faithful.

Insisting that he didn’t feel good about anything in that moment, Austin admitted that he did at least take some solace from the fact that his career had truly come full circle by starting and ending in Dallas, Texas.

“I don’t say this very often, but I love the sh*t out of you guys,” said Austin.

At that point, Jonathan Coachman hit the ring with a gaggle of security guards in tow, raising the ire of the fans by singing the “na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye” song.

Naturally, Coach provoked Austin, so the former WWE champion beat up all of the security guards, stunnered Coach and had himself a beer bash to end things on a high note.

From JR and King’s solemn pre-amble to the parting shot of two beer cans left alone in the ring, everything about this whole thing was some of the most compelling stuff I’ve ever seen in wrestling.

Vince McMahon Must Be Accountable for His Actions 

Prior to the next match, we got a look back at the rivalry between Vince McMahon and The Undertaker.

Although the whole thing was a little bit corny in parts, it was a solid enough story:

Undertaker wanted to be the five-time WWE champion but Vince McMahon had insisted that ‘Taker would never have the title as long as he, Vince, was breathing in and out.

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Undertaker vs. Mr. McMahon

The Undertaker had just about enough of McMahon messing with him personally and professionally and had decided that his only option was to stop Vince breathing in and out by burying him alive.

In a spooky bit of foreshadowing given the events of 2022, ‘Taker wrapped up the video with the following line.

“Every man must be accountable for his actions…even if his name is Vince McMahon.”

Buried Alive Match
The Undertaker vs. Vince McMahon 

This one wasn’t much of a match. It was more a long angle to write Undertaker off TV for a few months.

In the weeks building up to this match, Vince had been talking about being chosen by a Higher Power to eliminate ‘Taker and, as such, took some time

WWE Survivor Series 2003 Review - Mr. McMahon prays before his match with Undertaker

Before the bell to kneel down and pray to that higher power.

At first, those prayers went completely unanswered. ‘Taker attacked McMahon immediately and with such a ferocity that Vince instantly started bleeding.

From there, the American Bad Ass systematically destroyed his boss, taking his time to work him over both inside and outside of the ring while the WWE owner did an excellent job of selling the beat down.

Vince and Undertaker’s character work may have been on point in this match, but the actual action wasn’t much to write home about.

Before long, ‘Taker carried his battered rival to the open grave, but when he attempted to climb into a pay loader and officially bury the boss, there was a mild explosion which knocked him to the ground.

Moments later, Kane appeared. He rescued Vince and sent him into the pay loader as he made sure ‘Taker was down and out in the grave.

Moments later, Vince McMahon dumped a huge pile of dirt on one of his longest-serving and most loyal employees, and that was all she wrote.
Your Winner: Vince McMahon

McMahon was nowhere to be seen in the aftermath of this match. Instead, we only saw Kane frolicking manically atop his brother’s grave.

Rumors that WWE had attempted to hire Marty Jannetty to float into the rafters dressed as ‘Taker remain unconfirmed.

World Heavyweight Championship
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg vs. Triple H (w/ Ric Flair)

A pre-match video recapped the rivalry between HHH and Goldberg, noting that Hunter had placed a bounty on the former WCW star. 

That bounty had been claimed by The Game’s Evolution team mate, Batista, who had taken out Goldberg’s ankle, making it an easy target for the challenger in this slightly-above-average main event.

The champion started strong by beating his opponent from pillar to post, but Hunter’s nefarious heel ways and outside interference from Ric Flair soon proved too much.

We then saw HHH work over the injured ankle, only for Big Bad Bill to once again rise to the occasion. At that point, the rest of Evolution ran in and the ref went down, but even that wasn’t enough to stop Goldberg.

Overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, the champion finished things up with a Jackhammer to retain his title.

The match was enjoyable for what it was, but it was hardly something that’s worth rewatching.
Your Winner and Still World Heavyweight Champion: Bill Goldberg 

Post match, Bill raised his title and celebrated with the fans as Survivor Series 2003 came to an end.

If I was in charge of this show, I would have absolutely placed the Team Bischoff vs. Team Stone Cold in the main event:

It wasn’t just the best match on the card, it was one of the best matches of the entire year of 2003 and inspired much more emotional investment from the audience than HHH/Goldberg ever could.

The rest of the show wasn’t terrible by any stretch.

The Smackdown elimination match and ambulance match were exceptionally entertaining and both the women’s title and tag title matches held their own.

Only the Buried Alive match was a true disappointment, and the main event, while decent, wasn’t exactly anything special.

With that in mind, you might want to watch this one as far as the Raw elimination match and then find something better to do with your time.

Other 2003 pro wrestling reviews: 

Friday, 13 January 2023

PPV REVIEW: WCW Superbrawl II (1992)

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) Review _ Event poster

February 29, 1992
Miller High Life Theatre, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Suprbrawl II came at a time when the company's unfortunately short-term president, Kip Allen Fry was doing his damnedest to get WCW out of the creative and financial pit it had fallen into over the past several years of horrible management.

As the story goes, one of Fry's initiatives to turn WCW around was awarding a $5,000 bonus to the wrestlers who put on the night's best match. 

Suddenly incentivized and sufficiently motivated, many of the company's stars began upping their game between the ropes, leading a sharp uptake in match quality.

Personally, that gets me pretty excited. 

I've always loved the Superbrawl Pay Per View, and I may have mentioned in the past that it often felt more prestigious and important than WCW's marquee PPV, Starrcade.

I've never actually seen Superbrawl '92 before today, so combine that with the fact that this was my favorite WCW PPV and the promise of some good quality matches, I honestly can't wait to dive into it.

Welcome to Superbrawl II

Our show tonight began with one of WCW’s better opening videos which did a fantastic job of selling marquee matches, including Brian Pillman vs. Jushin 'Thunder' Liger, Rick Rude vs. Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, and Sting vs. Lex Luger.

WCW Superbrawl II- Tony Schaivone and Eric Bischoff


Already I’m pumped for this show. Surely there’s no way a card featuring such an awesome line-up could possibly fail, right?

The video segued into a live shot of the crowd as pyro exploded and Tony Schiavone welcomed us to tonight’s event.

Remember what I said about Superbrawl feeling like a bigger deal than Starrcade?

This exciting opening certainly made it feel that way.

Anyway, Schiavone and broadcast colleague Eric Bischoff were both equally as geared up for tonight’s event though the duo couldn’t agree on who would win tonight’s tag team title match.

Eric’s money was on The Steiners, while Schiavone backed the duo of Bobby Eaton & Arn Anderson.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 - Missy Hyatt conducted backstage interviews all night


In the back, Missy Hyatt was so giddy about her role as a backstage interviewer that she promised her interviews would be better than the matches themselves.

I’m only a few minutes into this, but somehow I doubt it.

Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura Debuts in WCW

Out in the ring, Jim Ross welcomed his broadcast partner for the evening, none other than the one and only Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 - Jim Ross and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura


Last seen calling the action (I think) at Wrestlemania 6, Ventura made his WCW debut by riding a motorcycle to the ring and then eliciting a huge pop for name-checking Harley Davidson.

He and Ross then ran through tonight’s card before the promo finished with The Body saying, “you know, if you wore a cowboy hat, you’d look just like JR Ewing.”

Ventura then turned to the camera and smirked, “which is funny because his initials are JR.”

So there you have it, Jesse Ventura came up with Jim Ross’s cowboy hat gimmick.

Finally, we got a little bit more rambling from Bischoff and Schiavone, and then it was down to our opening contest of the evening.

World Championship Wrestling World Lightheavyweight Champion Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger vs. Flyin’ Brian Pillman lol

A precursor to many of WCW’s fondly remembered Cruiserweight classics, Brian Pillman and Jushin Liger tore it up here in a tremendous opening contest.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 Review - Jushin Liger vs. Brian Pillman


The two spent the early part of the match trading the advantage on the mat, occasionally picking up the pace to pop the crowd with some aerial attacks before returning to submission holds again.

As things progressed, champ and challenger upped the ante, battling back and forth towards a crescendo of dramatic near falls and victory for Pillman.
Your Winner and New Lightheavyweigh Champion: Brian Pillman

Out in the back, Missy Hyatt was super excited to be interviewing Tailor-Made Man, Terry Taylor.

WCW Superbrawl 1992 Review - Terry Taylor does his best Ted Dibiase impression


Cosplaying as Ted Dibiase in a shiny black and gold suit, Taylor cut a confident promo deriding his upcoming opponent, Marcus Alexander Bagwell, for not taking him up on his offer to become Taylor’s protege and promised to make an example out of the future Buff Daddy.

Marcus Alexander Bagwell vs. The Tailor-Made Man Terry Taylor

I mean, seriously, the only difference between Taylor’s pre-match attire and Dibiase’s famous suit is that the latter always had dollar signs on it.

Speaking of attire, our guest ring announcer was a young man from Syracuse University named Barry Abrams, who had won a contest to do the introductions for this match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - lol


Curiously, Abrams looked to be wearing a tuxedo until the camera pulled out to reveal that he was wearing a tuxedo on the top half and basketball shorts on the bottom.

I can’t say for certain, but I wonder if his outfit choice was why a large portion of the audience booed the crap out of him.

Whatever you’re doing these days Barry, I hope you’re doing well!

On another note, JR mentioned that Taylor and Greg Valentine were the new US tag team champions, but those belts were apparently so insignificant that Terry didn’t even bother to bring his with him.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Marcus Alexander Bagwell


As for the actual match, I’ll be honest that I wasn’t really expecting much from it, but it soon turned into a decent veteran vs. rookie bout.

Other than Taylor capsizing off the top rope with a poor-looking splash, the action was solid enough, but you got the feeling that the fans didn’t yet care enough about Bagwell to really root for him as the underdog.

As such, when -after he’d spent most of the match getting his ass whooped- he pulled a flash pinfall out of nowhere, few people seemed to give a damn.
Your Winner: Marcus Alexander Bagwell

Post-match, Taylor beat up on Marcus, though Ventura reminded us that even though he was dead in the middle of the ring, M.A.B would still be headin’ to the proverbial pay windah.

Lex Luger Is Going to Be The Champion Because He is The Champion

Yes, I know that subheading sounds dumb, but that’s exactly what Harley Race told us in our next backstage interview with Missy Hyatt.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Missy Hyatt interviews Harley Race


Race told Wyatt (and all of us) that his man, Lex Luger, was in the best shape of his life before finishing his short promo with the sentence, “Lex Luger is going to walk out the champion tonight and he’s going to be the champion tomorrow because he is the world heavyweight champion, Lex Luger.”

So there you have it.

Cactus Jack vs. Ron Simmons

Though it was slow in parts, the clash of styles between Ron Simmons and Cactus Jack made for an enjoyable match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Cactus Jack gets the better of Ron Simmons


During one lull, the camera panned to the crowd where Junkyard Dog was seen chilling out in a white tuxedo with a face that bore all the emotion of a catatonic brick.

Back in the ring, Simmons got the early advantage by attacking Cactus after getting his head stuck between the ropes, prompting Jesse Ventura to rightly call out the supposed crowd favorite for using such underhand tactics.

Jack eventually made his comeback and pulled out the rest of his usual repertoire, including a big-time elbow from the corner to the outside and a bunch of DDTs, but that wasn’t enough to put away the man who WCW had been pushing pretty heavily since he split from Butch Reed.

Somewhat predictably (at least if you follow this period of WCW history), Simmons picked up the win with a power slam.
Your Winner: Ron Simmons 

Afterward, Abdullah The Butcher came down to start the next phase of his on-again-off-again alliance with Cactus Jack as the two beat up on Simmons.

Eventually, JYD took his sweet time sauntering through the crowd, casually head-butted two security guards, and then sent Cactus and Abby packing with some fake-looking tights and lefts.

You have to wonder if this angle would have been more effective had Junkyard seemed in a hurry about saving Big Ron, especially when Jim Ross told us that the two were friends.

After some quick post-match analysis from Bischoff and Schiavone, it was onto our next contest.

There’s No Money in Bodybuilding

As Van Hammer and Z-Man made their way to the ring for our next match, Jim Ross pointed out that Zenk and Ventura were both Minnesotans.

“That’s right,” said Jesse. “In fact, Z-Man was a former Mr. Minnesota who came over from body building to pro wrestling because we all know there’s no money in body building.”

After a beat, he continued:

“In fact, the big guy Vinnie probably knows there’s no money in bodybuilding.”

If you don’t know why that jab was hilarious, you need to leave this review immediately and go Google something called The World Bodybuilding Federation.

Vinnie Vegas & Richard Morton vs. Van Hammer & The Z-Man

This match kinda sucked.

Given the crowd reaction and the comments in another Superbrawl 2 review that I read, I may be in the minority as far as my assessment goes, but I certainly didn’t have a good time watching this one.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Check these guys out right here


Sure, the brief exchanges between Zenk and Richard Morton were terrific, but despite those two being the better workers, Vinnie Vegas and Van Hammer spent 90% of the match working exclusively with each other.

Vegas certainly oozed charisma and was over with the audience, but it took him and Hammer a good while to gel, and their early exchanges looked horrible.

Though I’m genuinely a fan of Kevin Nash, I can’t deny that in the early moments, at least, he looked like he’d never taken a bump in his life.

Things got better towards the end, but by that point, watching Vinnie Vegas wrestle Van Hammer for the better part of 10 minutes had completely killed any interest your writer had, and it was a relief when Z-Man came in for the hot tag followed by a match-winning roll-up.
Your Winners: Van Hammer & The Z-Man

Up next, Schiavone and Bischoff took us back to Halloween Havoc 1991, when Arn Anderson and Larry Zybysko destroyed Barry Windham’s hand as he arrived for the show with Dustin Rhodes.

Tonight, we were told Windham was out for revenge in our next contest.

The Dangerous Alliance (WCW TV Champion Stunning Steve Austin & Larry Zybysko w/ Madusa) vs. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham

Though I personally preferred Rhodes & Steamboat vs. Zybysko & Anderson from the previous month’s Clash of the Champions, this was still a solid match.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Larry beats up Barry


The longest bout on the card so far, things started fast and furious as Windham dove straight for Zybysko in front of a hot crowd.

Things slowed down somewhat in the middle, but even then, all four men gelled beautifully to deliver a smooth, compelling performance.

After a very good outing, Windham destroyed Zybysko with a big-time flying lariat and got the win.
Your Winners: Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham

As the victors made their exit, Ross and Ventura sent us over to Schiavone and Bischoff.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Eric Bischoff explains why he loves The Steiners so much


Wearing a Michigan State jacket, Eric marked out hard for The Steiner Brothers and couldn’t wait to see them win their next match.

Before we got to that, however, there was this.

Ricky Steamboat’s Ninja Bodyguard

Backstage, Missy Hyatt attempted to get an interview with Ricky Steamboat.

On arrival at his dressing room, she was greeted by a grunting ninja who I guess was Steamboat’s…I don’t know…bodyguard or something. 

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Madusa confronts a ninja


The ninja bodyguard opened the dressing room door, but when it revealed Steamboat meditating with some candles, he quickly shut it again and shooed Missy away with yet more grunting.

Hyatt wasn’t away for long, as she bumped into Madusa who also wanted a word with The Dragon.

The ninja flat-out refused, so Madusa slapped him but then ran off when he chased after her.

I honestly have no idea what I’ve just watched.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson & Beautiful Bobby w/ Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Steiner Brothers

Prior to the bell, Garry Michael Capetta informed us that WCW boss Kip Allen Fry had banned Paul E. Dangerously from the ringside.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Arn Anderson gets the better of Scott Steiner


The Dangerous Alliance boss had already been banned from the upcoming US title fight, so naturally, he was pretty pissed about this, but he reluctantly went anyway after being ushered out by a gaggle of referees.

Maybe they should have gotten Steamboat’s ninja to help them.

Once the bell rang, the match was almost as good as you’d imagine it would be.

After an excellent wrestling display by Scott Steiner and Bobby Eaton in the opening moments, both teams traded the advantage before Scotty succumbed to his opponents and did a great job as the face-in-peril.

I say this was only almost as good as you’d imagine because of the convoluted finish.

Arn Anderson threw powder in Rick Steiner’s eyes. The referee apparently didn’t see that but did see a now-blinded Dog Faces Gremlin coming towards him, mistaking him for Anderson and blasting him with a suplex.

With the official referee down, a second one ran to the ring to count a pinfall after Scott hit Bobby with the Frankensteiner, even though Eaton wasn’t the legal man.

The bell rang. The Steiners grabbed the title belts, only for Nick Patrick to officially declare the result as a disqualification victory for The Dangerous Alliance due to Steiner hitting the referee.

That was kind of messy, but everything before it was great.
Your Winners via DQ and Still Tag Team Champions: The Dangerous Alliance

After a quick commercial for the upcoming WrestleWar PPV, Ross and Ventura recapped the controversial finish to the tag team title match.

Backstage, Missy Hyatt watched as a stoic Ricky Steamboat left the dressing room and headed towards the ring for what Hyatt promised would be “the best US title match ever.”

World Championship Wrestling United States Championship
WCW United States Champion ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude vs. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat (w/ The Ninja)

Paul E. Dangerously is banned from ringside

Meeting for the first time on PPV since the 1988 Royal Rumble, Rude and Steamboat gave us a strong match that started slow but got better and better as it went on.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Rick Rude vs. Ricky Steamboat


Rude was so despised by the fans that it took him a good while to get through his usual pre-match shtick, with every fan interruption riling up the champion more and more.

Steamboat then came out with his ninja in tow as Ventura questioned why that was allowed, but Paul E. Dangerously had to stay backstage.

If you know anything about pro wrestling, you’ve probably already learned that the masked ninja was a member of The Dangerous Alliance and would inevitably turn on Steamboat.

That was obvious from the opening bell, but despite a predictable finish, it was still a damn fine match that built up from a lot of mat-based offense into a dramatic closing sequence.

In the end, Steamboat looked to have the match in had. He scaled the ropes, but the ninja whacked him one with a suspiciously-familiar cell phone.

The interference allowed Rude to get the cover, the count, and the fall.
Your Winner and Still US Champion: Rick Rude

After some post-match analysis, we went backstage to Missy Hyatt who burst into Rick Rude’s lockerroom to find -quell surprise- Paul E. Dangerously wearing the ninja outfit.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger (w/ Harley Race)

Lex Luger was on his way out of the door here and didn’t seem too concerned about leaving on a high note.

WCW Superbrawl II (1992) - Sting contemplates his next move against Lex Luger


As such, his lackluster did dampen things and drag the match down at certain points, but it was still an enjoyable contest for what it was.

The match started hot, dragged in the middle as the unmotivated champion worked over his opponent’s knee, then picked up the pace again towards the finish.

After being dumped on the outside, Sting reversed a Harley Race piledriver attempt, and back-body dropped the former NWA champion on the mat. He then scaled the ropes and flattened The Total Package with an awesome flying crossbody off the top to regain the world title.

Yes, I know, in an age where we see wrestlers doing multiple flips and all kinds of ariel wizardry, a simple crossbody may not sound all that impressive, but trust me, this one was a thing of beauty.
Your Winner and New World Heavyweight Champion: Sting

As Luger disappeared from view and went off to focus on bodybuilding, Sting grabbed his newly-won title and celebrated with the audience while Jim Ross and Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura called time on what had been a mostly great show.

I mean sure, the Vegas/Morton vs. Zenk/Hammer match wasn’t good, but it was the only match on the card that I didn’t enjoy.

Even the likes of Taylor/Bagwell and Simmons/Cactus delivered in their own way, while the opening Liger/Pillman match, the two tag bouts and the US title matches all helped to make Superbrawl 2 one of the best WCW PPVs you’re likely to see from this time period.

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Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.