Hello Scoopers and Scoopettes. I am Randy, co-host of the Scoopslam Podcast and pretty decent Connect Four player. Welcome to the first installment of Randy Recall. I pick a match I haven’t seen in a while, rewatch it, then talk about it. Get it? Got it? Milk? Eggs? Deodorant? Let’s do this.
Currently, we are hot on the road to Survivor Series 2014. Team Cena will face off against Team Authority in a feud that only exists to buy time until our champion returns. That could be a while too, because summoning Brock Lesnar requires a double flawless victory in Mortal Kombat’s pit stage.
WWE Survivor Series 2003
Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner, and Mark Henry) vs. Team Stone Cold (Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, and The Dudley Boyz)
Classic Survivor Series Match
Randy, you salty dog. Why did you choose this match?
Ok, let me shoot here. I had a Hell-in-a-Cell match picked, but didn’t get the column out in time for that PPV. So I called an audible. Survivor Series is the next show in line and to celebrate, I wanted a match that went by Survivor Series Rules (4 vs. 4 or 5 vs. 5 elimination tag). This slobberknocker was the first one that popped in my head.
Why did this match happen?
Stone Cold and Eric Bischoff had been feuding as Raw Co-General Managers for the better part of 2003. Like most year-long feuds, it had its ups and downs. At this point, it was definitely ready to be wrapped up, but credit to Austin and Bischoff for staying entertaining throughout. Linda McMahon created a rule that Stone Cold could not lay a hand on any wrestlers unless provoked. Stone Cold without whoopin’ ass is like Michael Cole without Twitter, it just feels wrong. The stipulation became Austin’s team fighting for his right to pummel anyone he wanted (including them ironically). If Bischoff’s evil quintet won, then Austin would lose his job as Co-General Manager. Drama! Intrigue!
What did you think at the time?
I remember instantly considering this one of the best matches of the year. I attended the previous Survivor Series event at Madison Square Garden in 2002. That year’s installment didn’t have an actual Survivor Series match, which people didn’t mind once the Elimination Chamber showed up. However, after this show, I definitely gained new appreciation for the traditional Survivor Series format.
Rewatching The Match: LIVE BLOG
Jericho leads the Bischoff Bunch down the aisle with Eric’s “Back In Black” knockoff blaring untriumphantly. They walk down the aisle past construction equipment (it was a weird show). I forgot Teddy Long was managing Mark Henry and for some reason dressed like Morpheus. Stacy Keibler was still with Scott Steiner, although not by her choice. George Clooney watched from home and decided he should date this magic wrestling woman.
GLASS SHATTERS! Here comes Austin sporting two knee braces despite not being in the match. Dudleyz, RVD, and Booker T look fired up. Shawn Michaels looks like Zebra Jesus.
Jericho is doing some jaw jacking at ringside. Heel Jericho is just the best. Christian and D-Von start things out with some good Irish whip work. J.R. reminds us that Christian is the “Creepy Little Bastard”. Early tags switch us into RVD vs. Jericho. Some nice chain wrestling contributing to a really crisp match thus far. Steiner comes in to do push-ups and flex his biceps. The pace slows down considerably.
Mike Chioda has frosted tips. How old is that man? Booker T gets the hot tag to fight Steiner and WCW lives! Their feud was the one shining light in the turd parade that was WCW’s final year. Spinarooni and now we have full blown chaos with everybody battling outside. Stacy interferes which gets Steiner a 3D and an elimination. Mark Henry responds by eliminating Booker with one move. Book deserved better! The match is in Mark Henry speed right now. Bubba and D-Von clobber the big man as Zebra Jesus makes silly faces on the apron. Dudley Death Drop followed by a 5-Star Frog Splash and bye bye Sexual Chocolate.
Randy Orton comes in to prove that he’s the future. With a little help by Jericho, Orton hits the (still developing) RKO outta nowhere. Van Dam is eliminated and Austin looks panicked. D’Von leg drops Orton as the crowd selfishly cares more about tables. Jericho tags in and steals focus again. His dickish mannerisms are in top form here. Jericho hits a spinning head slam I’ve never seen, which must’ve been a finisher he was trying out. D’Von’s gone and soon we’re graced by Zebra Jesus himself… HBK! Bubba holds Jericho while Michaels dances around the ring. The crowd comes alive, but we’re all cut short by the Legend Killer. Bubba tags in for some rescue work and throws Christian HIGH in the air. Christian gets the Unprettier and Bubba has to leave. We now have Shawn Michaels in a 1-on-3 situation.
Papa Bischoff gloats at ringside as Austin loses hope. Christian slingshots HBK into the ring post. HBK claws his way back into the ring and is now a bloody mess. Christian delivers the beat down when.. SWEET CHIN MUSIC OUTTA NOWHERE!!!! Zebra Jesus collapses on the Creepy Little Bastard and gets the three!
Austin celebrates while super jerk Chris Jericho quickly keeps the offense on HBK. Jericho and Orton trade quick tags and it looks like nothing but trouble for Michaels. J.R. screams, “YA GOTTA BELIEVE!” Jericho goes for the Lionsault and HBK counters with his knees! The crowd is now standing. Jericho reverses Sweet Chin Music into the Walls, which HBK TURNS INTO A SMALL PACKAGE. ONE! TWO! THREE! J.R. IS LOSING HIS MIND.
Huge moment for Orton to be in the finale here. Super jerk Chris Jericho returns with a super jerk chair and levels Michaels. Orton goes for a flying cross body and hits the ref instead. Time for shenanigans! HBK tunes up the band, but Bischoff gives him the weakest karate kick in history. HERE COMES AUSTIN! Austin stops Bischoff and gives Orton a Stunner! He throws the ref into the ring and chases Bischoff out of the arena. HBK goes for a cover as the ref comes around. OL’ SKINNY JEANS HIMSELF, BATISTA comes and pulls Shawn off. BATISTA BOMB. Orton slinks over and Team Bischoff wins the match. Cue Evolution theme as we get gratuitous shots of bloody Zebra Jesus. A very sweaty Steve Austin returns to the ring and checks on HBK. Shawn apologizes to the former co-general manager and the two shake hands. One woman in the first row claps very enthusiastically for good sportsmanship.
Randy.. RANDY! Does the match still hold up?
This is an easy yes. Shawn Michaels had plenty of good matches following his 2002 return. However, this was the first time in months I felt invested in his character. His fourth-quarter heroics make this one of the better stories you’ll ever see in a wrestling match. Heel Jericho and Jim Ross’s announcing elevated the action by making every move feel crazy important.
Are you leaving me?
Only for now! But I’ll be back in a few weeks with another match. In the meantime, I’m going to track down the HBK Jesus Fish t-shirt he wore in the pre-match hype video. That shirt belongs framed on my wall.
So until we meet again…
Keep your feet on the mat and keep reaching for the ropes!