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Video: Top Ten Survivor Series Sole Survivors

On their own. Tomorrow will see the annual Survivor Series pay per view which will be centered around “Monday Night Raw” vs. “Smackdown Live” in a series of elimination matches. Those matches are the backbone of the show’s history, which sounds like a good time for a flashback.

WWE has released a Top Ten video of the best sole survivors in Survivor Series history. These are people who were the only members of their teams to not be eliminated and won as the only remaining member. These range from the first edition of the show to only a few years back with a rather big match. Here’s the video:

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Opinion: I kind of love WWE’s inability to remember their own history. With everything else they have around, they manage to forget that time the Rock defeated Steve Austin to become the sole survivor and save the company from the Alliance? Really? I was expecting that to top the list and it doesn’t even make the top ten.

What would you have had at #1? Who is your Mr. Survivor Series? Let us know in the comments below.

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Charlotte’s “Survivor Series” Replacement Announced

Oh…ok then. Earlier this week, Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya lost the Women’s Title to Charlotte, changing up two matches for Sunday’s “Survivor Series 2017” card. Natalya was moved out of the champion vs. champion match while Charlotte was moved out of the elimination match. However, WWE made it clear that Natalya wasn’t being put into Charlotte’s place. Now we know who will take the new champ’s spot.

As announced in a tweet by “Smackdown Live” Commissioner Shane McMahon, Natalya will be taking Charlotte’s place. Natalya joins captain Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi and Tamina as the already announced members of the team. There had been speculation of either Paige or Nikki Bella taking the spot instead of Natalya.

Individual competition drives every #SDLive Superstar. Even in defeat, @NatbyNature proved herself to be a fierce competitor and will be an asset to Team Smackdown’s 5 on 5 #SurvivorSeries Team. Let’s go to work, Nattie.

— Shane McMahon (@shanemcmahon) November 18, 2017

Here’s how Charlotte got rid of Natalya.

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Opinion: Can someone explain to me why they didn’t just announce this on Tuesday? There was some nice speculation going on with Paige being a possibility or even Bella (so this is kind of a positive) but saying it won’t be Natalya and then just saying “eh it’s Natalya” is kind of a letdown. The match will be fine, but that’s not the most thrilling way to get there.

Do you like Natalya being in the match? Who should have gotten her spot? Let us know in the comments below.

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Wrestle Chat Podcast with Hall and Morales – Episode 3

The Wrestle Chat Podcast is back this week for episode two, where Hall & Morales talk about the hottest news and topics of the wrestling industry this week.

The weekly podcast returns this week, as Hall (substituting this week for O’Sullivan) & Morales discuss a number of interesting and emotional stories from this week in wrestling. Here are the list of topics covered on the episode:

*Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho

*AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar

*Jinder Mahal Loses the Smackdown World Title

*Jason Jordan’s Push/De-Push

*James Storm Out Of Impact

*Impact Tapings

A reminder that this is a new podcast and both hosts are still working out any potential issues and doing their best to bring you a better show each week.

We recommend putting this on in the background while you do your housework, schoolwork, play a game or surfing the internet.

Let us know in the comments below and on our social media what you thought of the episode and what your opinions on each of the topics are. Just remember to remain respectful to the hosts in what you say.

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Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page or Twitter account. Additionally, you can find me on Twitter at @SOSNH1995. We also want to remind you that we have a Newsletter you can sign up to. This will allow us to send you the best news in one place via an email. We also have the Wrestling Rumors app that we encourage you all to download to get updates faster than they release on our various pages. It is available on Android and iOS devices.

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Survivor Series 1997: The Most Infamous Night

Survivor Series 1997
Date: November 9, 1997
Location: Molson Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Attendance: 20,593
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

We had to get here eventually. This is the show that changes everything in wrestling and officially launches the WWF into a new era. Aside from the big moment on the show, we also have a very injured Steve Austin challenging Owen Hart for the Intercontinental Title and the in ring debut for Kane (at least in that character). Let’s get to it.

The opening video is about the Iron Man Match between Bret and Shawn at Wrestlemania XII, where Shawn won the title in overtime. Bret has since gone insane and claimed conspiracy after conspiracy against him, mainly led by Vince and Shawn. The main event tonight is Bret vs. Shawn II. By that I mean about Bret vs. Shawn VIII (It’s not even their first world title match at Survivor Series) but you get the point.

There’s a Karate Fighters (game at the time) blimp flying around. I’m sure people who paid good money for their seats are THRILLED that they get to look at a blimp instead of being able to see the ring.

Team New Age Outlaws vs. Team Headbangers

New Age Outlaws, Godwins

Headbangers, New Blackjacks

The Outlaws are of course Billy Gunn and the Road Dogg, the Headbangers (a hard to describe team that wore skirts and jumped into each other) are Mosh and Thrasher, and the Blackjacks are Barry Windham and Bradshaw. Windham (looking FAT here) starts with Phineas, the latter of which is immediately knocked to the floor with a shoulder block. This is when the Outlaws are a new team of jobbers who would soon shock the world and win the Tag Team Titles from the Legion of Doom.

Off to Bradshaw, who looks skinny here by comparison to what he would become. Phineas gets a boot up in the corner as the evil ones take over. The Outlaws don’t want to come in so it’s off to Henry instead. Bradshaw gets two off a legsweep and puts on an abdominal stretch before falling back and rolling up Henry for the pin. Back to Windham to face Phineas, with Barry hitting a gutwrench suplex and a lariat for two. Phineas comes back with a clothesline of his own for the elimination and to tie it up at three.

Mosh comes in to take over on Phineas with a devastating armbar. It’s off to Billy who beats down Mosh and receives homophobic chants in his general nature. Or maybe it’s something in French. We get down to some basic wrestling and the fans go SILENT. Mosh tries a bulldog but Billy shoves him off and gets the pin for a quick elimination. It’s Thrasher/Bradshaw vs. Phineas/Outlaws.

Thrasher (who actually had a big hand in training Big Show) comes in and works on the arm but Phineas takes him down in return. This has been really dull so far. Thrasher goes up and hits the Stage Dive (top rope seated senton) for the pin to make it 2-2. Off to Bradshaw vs. Road Dogg with the former pounding away. A gutwrench powerbomb puts Dogg down but a Billy distraction lets Dogg get a school boy to pin Bradshaw.

Thrasher pounds on Dogg but walks into a pumphandle slam. He counters into a cover on the Dogg but Billy comes off the top with a legdrop. Now when I say legdrop, I mean he literally is a foot away from Thrasher but gets the pin anyway. This looked so bad that even though I had seen it before, it still made my jaw drop. The Outlaws survive.

Rating: F-. The ending alone makes this a failure, but on top of that, the best worker in this match was Thrasher by far. Let that sink in for a minute. The Outlaws had only been the Outlaws for a month and a half or so at this point so no one cared about them, the Godwins are as interesting as corporate accounting, the Blackjacks are the Blackjacks, and the Headbangers are barely interesting at all. This was a horrible match and an even worse choice for an opener.

Truth Commission vs. Disciples of Apocalypse

Jackyl, Interrogator, Sniper, Recon

Crush, 8-Ball, Skull, Chainz

The Truth Commission is based on a real South African thing, where there were a lot of crimes were committed during Apartheid and the government said “tell the truth that you committed/witnessed these crimes and say you’re sorry.” Amazingly enough it calmed a lot of people down and made the situation a lot better. That being said, I have NO idea why it’s used as a wrestling gimmick. In short, they’re a military themed group. That sums them up as simply as I can.

The Comission is led by Jackyl, who is more famous as Cyrus in ECW. Interrogator is a monster more famous as Kurrgan and the real star of the team. Sniper is a French Canadian wrestler who means nothing and Recon is Bull Buchanan. Crush is Crush, 8-Ball and Skull are big twins and Chainz is Brian Lee from ECW. This really doesn’t scream interesting to me but this is during the Gang Warz period which didn’t ever do anything for me.

Interrogator and Chainz start things off after a brawl with Chainz hammering away but having no visible effect. A sidewalk slam eliminates Chainz in about a minute. Off to Recon vs. 8-Ball with Recon hitting a World’s Strongest Slam for no cover. Jackyl comes in for what might be the only match he ever wrestled in WWF. He’s much better as a manager anyway.

Jackyl drops a top rope knee which is immediately no sold. He chops away a bit but walks into a sidewalk slam from 8-Ball for the pin to make it 3-3. Sniper jumps 8-Ball and hits some elbows for two as Jackyl is on commentary now. Off to Crush, the leader of the team, who stomps away on Sniper a bit. Recon comes back in to face Skull and a collision sends Skull to the floor. 8-Ball comes in illegally and clotheslines Recon down for the pin.

Sniper comes in to beat on Skull but gets caught in a double spinebuster from the twins for two. Interrogator hits 8-Ball from the apron and Sniper hits a bulldog for the elimination, making it 2-2. If this match sounds like a total mess that is hard to follow, it’s because that’s being nice about what’s going on.

Off to Crush for a figure four headscissors on Recon. Skull DDTs Sniper but walks into a sidewalk slam from Interrogator for the pin. It’s Crush vs. Sniper/Interrogator and Crush immediately powerslams Sniper down for the pin. Interrogator is in the ring before the pin hits and ANOTHER sidewalk slam gives Interrogator the final pin and the victory.

Rating: F. In ten minutes, we had seven eliminations, four of which were by the SAME FREAKING MOVE. This was another match where just like the first, there was no one out there that could carry things to make the match work in any way. It makes Interrogator looks good, but it barely accomplished that because of how bad the match was.

We’re about thirty five minutes into the show and it may be the worst thirty five minutes to open a show that I’ve ever seen.

Some fans are split over the main event.

Austin answers some questions from America Online.

We recap Team Canada vs. Team USA. Steve Blackman is in the match for the Americans now after running into the ring to save Vader on Monday so tonight is his debut.

Vader says his team doesn’t look the same but that’s because they’re Americans.

Team Canada (captained by an Englishman) says they’ll win.

Team USA vs. Team Canada

Team USA: Vader, Steve Blackman, Marc Mero, Goldust

Team Canada: British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas, Phillip Lafon

Team America comes out to what would become Kurt Angle’s music and naturally are booed out of the building. The Canadians come out to Bret’s music to make sure the idea is hammered home. Furnas is from Oklahoma and Neidhart is from Nevada, but Jim had dual citizenship so it’s not as backwards.

Mero, wearing a hat, starts with Bulldog. Mero takes off the hat and Bulldog wipes himself with it, making him a hero in Canada. Bulldog knocks Mero to the floor and makes fun of Blackman’s martial arts in a funny bit. Vader comes in sans tag and works on Smith’s arm but jumps into a slam. Bulldog EASILY suplexes Vader and it’s off to Lafon.

Back to Mero who hits a knee lift but gets his head kicked off by Lafon, followed by a clothesline for two. Off to Neidhart and then right back to Lafon. Blackman comes in and JR points out that Steve isn’t a wrestler. Lafon DDTs him for two and gets a crucifix for the same. Blackman fights off Team Canada on his own but gets caught on the floor in a fight with Furnas and Lafon, resulting in a countout elimination.

It’s Mero vs. Neidhart now with Jim missing a middle rope splash. Vader comes in and Neidhart knocks him down twice in a row. Vader comes back with the running body attack and a splash for the pin. Back to Lafon for some kicks to send Vader to the floor. Vader gets back in and Lafon is sent rolling to the corner, followed by a big belly to belly to put him down. A middle rope splash is enough to eliminate Lafon, leaving Bulldog and Furnas vs. Vader, Mero and Goldust.

Furnas comes in to pound away but misses a dropkick, allowing the tag in to Mero. Has Goldust been in there yet? Mero pounds Furnas down and goes up for a moonsault press and it looks AWFUL, with Furnas going down like he was trying to powerslam Mero out of the air but Mero hitting the move like usual. Either way it gets two and it’s off to Bulldog because Furnas doesn’t seem to be sure what planet he’s on.

Mero escapes the Bulldog powerslam and blasts Smith with a right hand. Back to Furnas who fires off the rights and lefts. Furnas does the exact same thing, but Mero is a legitimate former amateur boxing champion so that’s not really a fair contest. Mero tries a rollup but gets reversed into one by Furnas who grabs a handful of tights to get us down to 2-2.

Vader pounds on Furnas as the King laments Sable having to leave with Mero. Furnas clotheslines Vader down and it’s off to Bulldog again. Goldust, who apparently has a broken hand (thanks for letting us know earlier), STILL doesn’t want to come in. Vader suplexes Furnas down but Furnas hits him low. When Vader gets another break from Bulldog, Goldust hides on the floor instead of tagging.

Furnas suplexes Vader down but doesn’t tag. A Frankensteiner takes Vader down for two but Vader is right back up. Vader slugs Goldust in the face and pulls him into the ring. Goldust walks out for a countout but Vader slams Furnas down and hits the Vader Bomb for the elimination. Vader turns around and is knocked silly with the ring bell from Bulldog for the final elimination.

Rating: C-. This was a better match by miles and miles than the first two, mainly due to people with actual talent being in there. On top of that, the people CARED about the match and it makes the match a lot better by result. The result was never in doubt given how worthless Team America was, but it was cool to see Vader getting to be his old self, even for one night. The match still wasn’t great but after the first two matches tonight, this was a masterpiece by comparison.

Buy Austin’s shirt!

We recap Kane vs. Mankind, by talking about Undertaker. The idea here is that Undertaker kept saying Kane wasn’t alive, but Bearer insisted he was. Kane showed up at Badd Blood and cost Undertaker the first Cell match. Kane destroyed various people, including Dude Love. Dude left but was replaced by Mankind, who offered to stand up to the monster and tonight it’s Kane’s debut match. Mankind’s solution to Kane: hit him in the head with a pipe. I love it when things get basic like that.

Mankind promises to charge against a brick wall as many times as it takes until it goes down, and if he dies launching himself into that brick wall, so be it. If that’s what it takes to get to Paul Bearer, so be it.

Kane vs. Mankind

The brawl starts immediately on the floor with Kane throwing Mankind into the steps. Kane has the red arena lights ala Sin Cara during his matches at this point. With Mankind half dead in the ring, Kane does the corner fire deal and the match starts. Mankind fights up and a Cactus Clothesline puts both of them on the floor. Kane knocks him right back down and throws the steps at Mankind’s head to take him down again. Total brawl so far, as it should be. Back in and Mankind charges into a big boot but Kane chokes away in the corner.

Kane sends it to the floor again and beats on him some more, but Mankind hot shots him onto the steps to slow the monster down. A chair to the head knocks Kane back into the ring and there’s a piledriver, but Mankind goes after Bearer by mistake. Kane sits up and chokeshoves Mankind off the apron and through the announce table. The Spanish table of course.

Kane loads up a chokeslam on the floor but Mankind kicks him low (which only works on Kane on occasion) and DDTs him on the concrete. The elbow off the apron hits Kane again but Kane sits up and slams Mankind off the top to the floor. Back in and Mankind literally pulls himself up to his feet and is immediately tombstoned for the pin.

Rating: C+. When you have a new guy you want to put over, you call Mick Foley. This is a match you have to think about to get why it worked. First and foremost, Kane is supposed to be a monster who has very little experience in the ring. Think of him like Jason from Friday the 13th who just wants carnage instead of wanting to wrestle. These two beat the tar out of each other and it made Kane look unstoppable. That would continue for about five and a half months until the Dead Man came back.

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Vince says the main event will happen tonight.

Team Legion of Doom vs. Nation of Domination

Legion of Doom, Ken Shamrock, Ahmed Johnson

Faarooq, The Rock, Kama Mustafa, D’Lo Brown

The Nation of Domination is a black power stable led by Faarooq, a brawler. Rock is of course Rocky Maivia, Mustafa is a fighting machine later to be known as the Godfather, and Brown is the closest thing to a high flier the team has. The LOD, Tag Team Champions here, and company talk about being ready for war. Shamrock is a former UFC Champion trying his hand at wrestling. Brown and Hawk start with D’Lo bouncing off of him. Hawk no sells a piledriver as is his custom and a neckbreaker puts Brown down. Off to Rocky who gets knocked around but someone hits Hawk in the back and the yet to be named Rock Bottom eliminates him.

Ahmed comes in and “hits” a jumping back elbow to take Rock down. Kama, quite the monster in his own right, is in next and takes Johnson down with one shot. Faarooq is in next to work on Ahmed’s ribs and continue a feud that went on for like a year. Brown whips Ahmed with a belt which the referee somehow doesn’t hear. Faarooq loads up the Dominator but Johnson escapes (while falling down) and hits a Pearl River Plunge for the elimination.

Brown comes in again and hits a quick Low Down (frog splash) for no cover. Johnson starts no selling and hits a sitout gordbuster. Faarooq is still at ringside. Rock comes in but walks into a spinebuster. Ahmed hits the ropes but Faarooq trips him up and holds the foot so Rocky can get the pin. It’s Animal/Shamrock vs. Brown/Rocky/Kama at the moment. Animal comes in to face Rocky but it’s quickly off to Shamrock. Ken is still somewhat new here so his style still looks fresh.

A big dropkick puts Rocky down and it’s off to Kama. After getting beaten around for a bit, Kama puts on a front facelock to slow things down. A double clothesline puts both guys down and some LOUD noise freaks everyone out. Even JR and King don’t know what it was. Animal gets two off a legdrop but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. Kama showboats a bit too much though and Animal dropkicks him in the back and grabs a rollup for the pin.

Brown comes in and during the distraction, Rocky hits Shamrock low for two. D’Lo hooks a chinlock followed by a backbreaker, but his moonsault misses by about two feet. The Outlaws come out while wearing the stolen LOD shoulder pads, and we’ve got powder and a shoved referee. Animal gets counted out during this mess, leaving us with Brown/Rock vs. Shamrock.

JR talks about how many people Shamrock has made tap out. Jerry: “This is wrestling. You don’t win by making people tap out.” JR: “…….YEAH YOU DO!” Brown starts but it’s both Nation members in there at once. Shamrock runs them both over, suplexes Brown and gets the submission via ankle lock. Rock cracks Ken in the back with a chair shot but it only gets two. Rock hits his spinning DDT for two as does the People’s Elbow (not a thing yet). Ken comes back with a northern lights suplex and a standing hurricanrana. There’s the ankle lock and Rocky is done.

Rating: C. This was a little messy but it pushed Shamrock hard while the heat for Rocky was INSANE. The crowd hated him and Vince certainly took notice. Both of these guys would get huge pushes in the next year with Rock’s being a major step up. The LOD were in their very last run here and they didn’t go out well after that. Fun match here although not great from a technical standpoint at all.

We recap Austin vs. Owen. Austin was challenging for the Intercontinental Title at Summerslam when Owen piledrove him, legitimately hurting his neck (and in the long run saving the company because of what Austin had to evolve into) and paralyzing Austin for a few minutes. Austin amazingly enough finished the match and won the title (with the worst rollup of all time), which is remarkable when you think about it. He had to forfeit the title a month later due to the injury but tonight he’s going for it again.

Intercontinental Title: Steve Austin vs. Owen Hart

Owen is defending, having won the title in a tournament since Austin was hurt. Owen has Lafon, Furnas and Bulldog with him. Hart stalls forever on the floor while rocking an Owen 3:16 (I Just Broke Your Neck) shirt. Neidhart tries to sneak in on Austin but walks into a Stunner. The champion gets in a shot to start and tries a piledriver, much to the crowd’s delight. Owen wraps the knee around the post but gets kicked in the face.

The Hart Foundation leaves and Austin clotheslines Owen in the back on the floor. Hart puts Owen onto the broken Spanish Announce Table before choking away with a cord. Hart wants to be DQ’ed and rings the bell early. Keep that in mind for later. Back in and Austin stomps Owen in the corner, hits the Stunner and wins the title. It’s as quick as it sounds.

Rating: D+. This was barely four minutes long. I’d assume they were unsure about how long Austin could go out there and if that’s the case it’s more than understandable. Austin would again forfeit the title a month later because he wanted to go after the World Title, which he would of course win at Wrestlemania.

Here’s the whole thing.

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Attitude. It’s here.

We recap Bret vs. Shawn. This is Bret’s chance to get his win back from Shawn at Wrestlemania 12. Bret was bitter at Shawn after a massive heel turn, so there’s some great hatred going on here. Ironically enough Shawn cost Undertaker the title, giving it to Bret, at Summerslam.

WWF World Title: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

Shawn is European Champion coming into this for no particular reason other than he wanted Bulldog to not have the title anymore. Shawn wipes himself with the Canadian flag (something else taken from Bulldog) during his entrance to further make himself public enemy #1. We get the long tracking shot for Bret’s entrance which is always cool to see. Shawn jumps Bret to start but Bret snaps on him and beats Shawn right back down to the delight of the crowd.

A HARD clothesline puts Shawn on the floor and Bret is going off. I don’t think the bell rang yet. Bret takes it to the crowd and Shawn is reeling. Vince, Commissioner Slaughter and a half dozen referees are at ringside now. JR talks about how this could be Bret’s last match if he loses. Shawn gets an American flag bandana and chokes him into the crowd. Remember the match hasn’t started yet. Bret backdrops Shawn over the barricade and back to ringside.

Shawn keeps trying to piledrive Bret on the concrete but Hart keeps escaping. They head back into the crowd with Bret in total control. They go to the entrance and Bret decks a referee. Back into the ring they go and the bell FINALLY rings as Bret chokes Shawn with a Fleur de Lis. Shawn comes back with the forearm and nipup as the fans question Shawn’s sexual orientation.

Michaels chokes with the flag as Bret has a busted hand. Shawn stalls a lot because that’s the kind of guy he is. Back to the floor with Shawn pounding on Bret and spitting on the crowd. Shawn drops Bret face first on the steps and breaks a Canadian flag over his knee. Back in and Shawn hits a top rope ax handle and it’s off to a front facelock. Bret escapes in what has to be the loudest reaction to a broken front facelock of all time.

Shawn comes back and slams Bret down but Bret rolls through a cross body off the top for two. Bret puts on the Hartbreaker, the figure four around the post for a bit before going after the knee in almost perfect Ric Flair fashion, down to the cannonballs down to the knee and a Figure Four.

Shawn finally turns it over and Bret gets a rope. A Russian legsweep gets two for Bret as does a snap suplex. Bret goes up but Shawn pulls the referee into the way so the shot hits Hebner instead. Shawn rakes Bret’s eyes, puts Bret in the Sharpshooter, and Hebner calls for the bell to give Shawn the title in the most infamous moment ever in wrestling.

Rating: B-. I’m only talking about the match here. The main thing to keep in mind about the famous ending is that there was about twenty minutes of brawling and of the actual match before the finish. I think that’s something people forget because of the famous part. The match we got was quite good, which isn’t really surprising given how familiar these two were with each other. It’s no masterpiece, but it felt like an epic encounter, which is what it needed to do.

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Now we’ll get to the big white elephant in Montreal. I’ve not going to pretend like I have some big insight into what happened because I certainly don’t. Long books have been written about what happened here and there’s no point in rehashing the whole thing all over again. In short, it was Bret’s last match, he didn’t want to lose the title in Canada, a screwy finish was agreed on, Vince changed the ending and screwed over Bret, Bret wasn’t seen in WWE for almost thirteen years.

After all the years since then, I think both parties were wrong, but Bret needed to get over himself. So what if he had to lose the title in Canada? I get that he couldn’t stand Shawn, but for someone who seems to pride himself on being oh so professional, it’s pretty lame to say he doesn’t want to lose the title in another country when he made it clear he was leaving.

Vince was in major trouble at this point and was under a lot of pressure. While I don’t think he believed Bret would trash the title on Raw, he had to be worried about something happening, like the title having no value if Bret never lost it, which is understandable. Did he go about the issue the right way? No, but it wasn’t a normal circumstance. Vince did what he thought was best and while it caused a ton of controversy, it was one of the few things he could do. There are a to of different ways you can look at it, and there isn’t a single right answer.

Overall Rating: D. Main event aside, this was a pretty bad show overall. The first forty minutes are AWFUL, the next match is just ok, Kane vs. Mankind is decent, the next match is about building for the future, the match after that was basically a squash, and the main event was good but not great. When the best you can do is good but not great, you’ve got a problem. They’re pretty lucky that only the main event is remembered here, because the rest of the show sucked.


Remember to check out my website at, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Updated History of the Intercontinental Title in E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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Survivor Series 1996: The Beginning Of Several Eras

Survivor Series 1996
Date: November 17, 1996
Location: Madison Square Garden, New York City, New York
Attendance: 18,647
Commentators: Jim Ross, Vince McMahon, Jerry Lawler

There’s so much to cover on this show that I’m not even sure where to start.  First of all you have a crucial point in Shawn Michaels’ reign as WWF World Champion, but also a masterpiece between Bret Hart and Steve Austin.  Oh and some debuting kid who I’m sure won’t amount to anything.  This is an interesting time for the company as they’re just starting to get squashed by WCW but the future is here tonight. Let’s get to it.

Free For All: Team Bart Gunn vs. Team Billy Gunn

Bart Gunn, Aldo Montoya, Bob Holly, Jesse James

Billy Gunn, Salvatore Sincere, Justin Bradshaw, The Sultan

This would be the Kickoff Show today. I’ve actually never reviewed this and there’s a chance I’ve never even seen it before. The team names are pretty arbitrary as there’s little rhyme or reason for these pairings, save for maybe the brothers, meaning no one is really a captain. James (Road Dogg of course) is a country singer here and the REAL Double J as part of a stupid angle with the departed Jeff Jarrett. Ok so I might have With My Baby Tonight (his self-performed theme song) on my iPod. At least the angle wasn’t a total loss.

As the Sultan (Rikishi) and Aldo (Justin Credible as a Portuguese man with a jockstrap for a mask) start us off, JR mentions that Austin vs. Hart is a #1 contenders match, which really wasn’t mentioned very often on the actual pay per view. Montoya actually does some damage to Sultan by dropkicking him out to the floor but a cover results in him being launched off. A bad looking piledriver sets up the camel clutch and Montoya is eliminated in a hurry.

Holly comes in with a bulldog as we see Aldo walk up the ramp opposite the cameras (an MSG standard). Sultan grabs a chinlock and we take a break to come back with Sultan slamming Bart on the floor so Sincere (a flamboyant yet still generic Italian) can baseball slide him in the face. Back in and Bart grabs a side slam to get rid of Sincere and tie the match up.

Bradshaw (who JR says is going to be something special) comes in and kicks the freshly tagged Holly in the face. We go to a split screen to see Austin running Dok Hendrix out of his dressing room and come back to Bradshaw hitting the Clothesline From an Undisclosed Location to eliminate Holly.

Jesse immediate rolls Bradshaw up for the elimination (ignore Billy kicking Jesse and breaking up the pin at two while the referee keeps counting anyway), leaving us with Jesse and Bart vs. Billy and Sultan. A rollup gets rid of Sultan but the Fameasser (yet to be named) does the same to Jesse. We’re down to a battle of the Gunns and Bart gets tied up in the ropes for some trash talking. Billy calls him an SOB, meaning he isn’t likely to get a Christmas card from his own mother. Bart stands up for Mama Gunn and hits a running forearm for the pin.

Rating: C-. This is a good example of a match where you have to consider the purpose. They weren’t trying to settle any big score here or blow the roof off the place. This was about getting the fans warmed up before we got to the real show and the fast pace did that well enough. Billy vs. Bart wasn’t anything interesting but at least it was a little story to tie things together. Nothing good but it did its job well enough.

The opening video looks at the WWF taking over New York (including the Hall of Fame banquet at a hotel, which would be the last one for seven and a half years) before going into a look at the two major matches. You know you have a stacked card when you’re getting hyped over two matches that don’t even include Undertaker vs. Mankind or any of the show’s namesake matches.

Team Furnas and Lafon vs. Team Owen Hart/British Bulldog

Doug Furnas, Phillip Lafon, Henry Godwinn, Phineas Godwinn

Owen Hart, British Bulldog, Marty Jannetty, Leif Cassidy

This is Furnas and Lafon’s WWF debut as they were brought in to challenge Owen and Bulldog for the Tag Team Titles. Marty and Lafon (I can never remember which is Furnas and which is Lafon) start things off with a nice little acrobatics display, capped off by a hard shot to Marty’s jaw. Leif comes in instead as the announcers talk about slander. The slow pace continues and it’s off to Phineas for a headlock. JR: “You ever see Hilary Clinton do that?”

For some reason Leif thinks it’s a good idea to slap Phineas in the face and spit on him. Well to be fair, given all the sweat and liquid on his overalls, it’s not the worst idea in the world. Owen comes in to wake the crowd up and it’s time to pick Phineas apart. The heels start working Phineas over as JR wants a third referee out here.

Marty hits a good looking back elbow to the jaw as the announcers start talking about Bret, though at least they tie it in to Owen. Today that would go off on a tangent and turn into ripping on Byron Saxton. I mean, he deserves it but it’s still annoying. Marty goes up top so Phineas tries a superplex. JR: “Now how stupid was that?” Oh dang it I always forget how annoying heel JR is. Even heel Cole wasn’t this bad.

Henry comes in, kicks Marty in the gut, and Slop Drops him for the first elimination. Not that it means much as Owen rolls Henry up to tie the score five seconds later. Phineas cleans house (has a fit, whatever) but Bulldog makes a blind tag and powerslams him to go up 3-2. Furnas comes in to speed things WAY up (and turn up the quality as well), only to miss a dropkick, which JR calls one of the best in the business. Like I said, heel JR wasn’t the best.

Leif comes in to cover and the former powerlifter sends him flying on the kickout. The bad guys get smart with a blind tag and a springboard missile dropkick to wipe Furnas out in a great looking visual. JR goes into yet another rant about the referees not catching the heels cheating, which is a really weird complaint for a heel to have.

Cassidy misses a charge and Furnas brings in Lafon for a snappy looking reverse superplex to get us down to two on two. The lack of a reaction to Leif being eliminated really shouldn’t surprise anyone as he was just so out of place in this match. Owen comes in for a belly to belly and a middle rope elbow (both of those looked very smooth) for two. A low blow to Furnas has Vince freaking out but JR, the heel commentator here, lets it go right past him. Again: it was a bad character and you could sense he wasn’t a fan of the whole thing.

It’s back to Bulldog who is quickly sunset flipped for the elimination, which is a big deal as it means Furnas and Lafon can pin Owen and the Bulldog in a two on two match. Bulldog leaves Lafon with a parting gift of a chop block though and Owen follows it up with the Sharpshooter. Furnas is in for the save and hits that dropkick of his (basically a dropkick with a backflip), followed by a German suplex for the final pin.

Rating: B. This was more like it for the opener as they set up the next challengers for the Tag Team Titles, though the first part with the Godwinns really brings it down. It also doesn’t help that the crowd didn’t care for the most part, and can you really blame them? The good guys were people making their debuts and hog farmers. It’s good wrestling but not the brightest idea.

Paul Bearer insists he WILL NOT get into the cage and be hung above the ring. Mankind will crush Undertaker like the cockroaches he used to eat for dinner.

Actually he would get in the cage.

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Undertaker vs. Mankind

Bearer is in an individual cage above the ring and if Undertaker wins, Bearer is his for five minutes. The entrance is an important one as Undertaker descends from the rafters and debuts the sleeveless leather attire that would become his signature look for the next several years. It marks the evolution of the original character to the newer, sleeker fighting machine that could hurt people at will.

It’s a brawl to start (duh) with Undertaker using a drop toehold (?!?!?) followed by a fireman’s carry into a cross armbreaker. Undertaker gets smart by working over Mankind’s hand, which JR thinks is illegal. Mankind takes it into the crowd and is quickly backdropped right back to ringside but pops up for a cannonball off the apron. There’s something to be said about someone launching their body at someone else.

Undertaker’s comeback is cut off by a Texas piledriver and the Mandible Claw goes on. Undertaker is smart enough to send Mankind straight outside for the save and both guys are spent from the physicality. A kick to the chest sends Mankind flying hard into the barricade for a sick sounding THUD. You just can’t fake that kind of brutality. Well you can but it’s easier to believe it’s real with Foley.

Old School is broken up so Undertaker opts to punch Mankind in the face multiple times. The chokeslam is countered with the Claw, only to be countered by a big chokeslam with the camera going wide for an awesome visual. Mankind is back up though (as always) and pulls out a spike to stab Undertaker a bit. Amazingly enough, Undertaker doesn’t care to be stabbed and Tombstones Mankind for the pin instead.

Rating: B. This was a BIG change of pace for Undertaker as he was moving faster and acting like a much more well rounded wrestler, which he would be for a long time. These two were solid together as always as they just beat the heck out of each other for long stretches of time and that’s always worth a watch. This is one of their lesser known matches but it’s certainly entertaining.

Post match the cage is lowered and Undertaker goes right for Bearer, only to have the Executioner run out for the save, allowing Bearer to escape. That would be Undertaker’s next match before he continued attempting to murder Bearer and Mankind.

Sunny comes out to replace Lawler on commentary. When you look at so many of the women who would come after her, Sunny really is remarkable. She looks great but she’s also dripping with charisma, which so few women (or men for that matter) have at this level.

Team Helmsley laughs off the idea of Team Marc Mero because they’re a man down due to Mark Henry being injured.

Team Hunter Hearst Helmsley vs. Team Marc Mero

Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jerry Lawler, Goldust, Crush

Marc Mero, The Stalker, Rocky Maivia, Jake Roberts

There’s a lot to cover here. Helmsley is Intercontinental Champion, having stolen the title from Mero with the help of the now departed (to WCW) Mr. Perfect. The Stalker is Barry Windham who used to be a military themed guy but is now just Barry Windham with a big mustache. Roberts is Mark Henry’s replacement as Lawler and Roberts are feuding over Jake’s alcoholism.

Oh and it’s Rocky’s debut after weeks of videos talking about how amazing he is. The mind blowing part: they undersold what he would become. The commentary gets even more entertaining as Sunny goes nuts ripping on Sable, claiming to be all natural even down to her hair.

We hit the stall button to start with no contact for the first two minutes. After several tags, Goldust and Mero finally lock up as the announcers discuss Mr. Perfect without saying he’s gone. Marc’s armbars don’t go anywhere so it’s off to the Stalker as JR rips on Barry’s attire. Helmsley comes in and immediately runs from Mero, meaning we get Crush vs. Rocky for his in ring debut. Thankfully that lasts all of ten seconds before it’s off to Lawler for some great selling. Vince actually mentions the name Dwayne Johnson as Sunny suggests being able to take Rocky all the way to the top.

The heels start taking turns on Rocky until he backdrops Helmsley for a breather. Jake gets the hot tag to clean house despite looking a good bit out of shape and very pale. Lawler comes in and slowly hammers away while making alcohol jokes. The DDT scores out of nowhere and it’s 4-3 in a hurry. The mustache with the Windham attached suplexes Goldust for two but a shot from the apron sets up the Curtain Call to tie us up.

Both captains come in as the crowd stays mostly silent. Again though, is there any real reason to care? Crush isn’t interesting, Roberts looks awful and no one knows who Rocky is yet. Helmsley grabs an abdominal stretch and Goldust pulls on the arm, sending heel JR into his second frenzy in an hour.

The referee finally catches Helmsley cheating to break the hold and it’s a Merosault (moonsault pres) to get rid of Hunter. Crush comes in and gets dropkicked to the floor, only to avoid Mero’s slingshot dive. As we’re watching the replays, the announcers completely miss Crush giving Mero the heart punch (exactly what it sounds like) for the elimination. Jake gets the same thing and is eliminated ten seconds later.

So we’re down to Rocky, meaning we get a closeup of his ridiculous looking hair. To his credit, even Rock has said he looked ridiculous at this point. Rocky slugs both guys down and does that stupid arm flailing thing of his. A crossbody puts both guys down and Crush heart punches Goldust by mistake. Rocky hits a second crossbody to get rid of Crush and a shoulder breaker ends Goldust for the win. The pin gets a nice pop, though it might just be because the match is finally over.

Rating: D. They accomplished the goal of giving Rocky a good rub to start (hence why you have goons like Crush around to take a fall like this) but this was WAY too long. You could probably cut out five to ten minutes here and do just about the same thing. Windham was worthless (as he was for most of the time after 1990 or so) and there were way too many stretches of boring non-action dragging it down.

That’s blue chip right there.

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Now it’s time for the real main event as we recap Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin. I know Shawn vs. Sid is going on last but make no mistake about it: this was the most important and anticipated match of the night. Bret had been gone since losing the WWF World Title to Shawn at Wrestlemania XII and Austin has turned into a disrespectful rebel who doesn’t care about legacies or what anyone before him has done. You can see the fire in Austin’s eyes and Bret is the only one that can stop him. Or slow him down at least because there may be no stopping Austin anymore.

Austin says he’s ready and isn’t worried.

Bret says this is about respect, which he’ll receive from Austin no matter what.

Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart

The winner gets the title shot next month. Even Vince has to acknowledge the face pop Austin receives here in New York. Bret gets a great face reaction of his own but Austin really isn’t impressed with the pyro. JR thinks this might come down to a submission, which might be some great foreshadowing for Wrestlemania. He goes even further by saying Bret isn’t a clown or a trashman because he’s a wrestler. Uh, Doink and Droese were wrestlers to Jim. We’re still not ready to go as Vince possibly spoils the main event by saying the winner of this gets Sid.

Austin flips him off to start and we’re ready to go. Feeling out process to start as JR goes back to that submission idea. Vince: “How ironic would it be if Steve Austin put the Sharpshooter on Bret Hart and made him submit?” They trade wristlocks to start and you can see some extra fire in Bret for this match.

Bret takes him down and stays on the arm with a hammerlock until a hard elbow to the jaw puts him down. Austin keeps slugging away until Bret pulls him into another armbar. Bret: “ASK HIM!” Did Jericho get that from Bret? Steve comes right back with a hot shot and starts choking on the bottom rope.

We hit the chinlock and JR goes back to that submission idea again. That’s three times now and it’s really not adding anything new. Back up and it’s time for the slugout with Austin easily taking over as you would expect. Bret comes back with his usual offense but gets shoved chest first into the buckle, again as is his custom. Austin’s superplex is broken up though and Bret goes all the way to the top for the elbow.

They head outside with Austin driving the back into the post as the brawling continues to favor Austin while Bret wins the wrestling. Makes sense. Of course as soon as I say that, Bret throws him through (yes through) the barricade and Austin is suddenly reeling. Just because it’s required, they fight over the announcers’ table with Austin taking over (JR: “It seems that it always happens to the Spanish guys!”) and dropping an elbow onto Bret. The table actually doesn’t break though in a very rare sight.

Back in and we hit the abdominal stretch as Austin continues to know how to focus on a body part. The referee catches Austin holding the ropes (which doesn’t add leverage but helps block a hiptoss counter) so it’s time for a slugout, capped off by Bret hitting a Stun Gun for two. Austin is right back up with a top rope superplex but Bret does the lifting the legs spot (looked horrible here as they were both down for several seconds before going for it) for two.

The Stunner hits out of nowhere for two and JR makes a REALLY good save by saying Bret only kicked out because Austin rolled him away from the ropes. That protects the move, which is completely lost on today’s product. Austin grabs a Texas Cloverleaf, followed by a Bow and Arrow of all things. Unfortunately Austin makes the mistake of trying to mat wrestle with Bret and has to grab the ropes to avoid a Sharpshooter. Back up and Austin grabs the Million Dollar Dream but Bret walks the turnbuckle and flips back onto Austin for the surprise pin.

Rating: A+. Like this would get anything else. I know most people (including myself) say that the I Quit match made Austin a star but he’s not getting to that match without this one. Austin was always a great talent but this was the moment where you knew he was ready for the main event stage. Notice something important about the ending: Bret caught Austin for the pin rather than really decisively beating him. It shows that as great as Austin is, Bret was just that much better and used his experience to win.

Make no mistake about it though: this is a masterpiece and one of the best matches of all time. Unfortunately there was a rematch that is somehow even better and this is a bit forgotten as a result. I’ve heard people say they like this one better and I really can’t argue against that. It’s a must see match and an incredible lesson in giving someone the rub of their career.

JR: “I don’t think anyone, including Shawn Michaels or Sid, could have beaten Bret Hart in this ring on this night.” Vince: “I totally disagree with that.” No followup or anything and the tone was very heelish.

Sid says he’ll win.

Faarooq/Vader/Razor Ramon/Diesel vs. Flash Funk/Savio Vega/Yokozuna/???

Here’s another match with a bunch of notes. Faarooq debuts his traditional Nation look here, thankfully ditching the ridiculous blue gladiator gear. Flash Funk is also making his debut after years as the far better 2 Cold Scorpio. That would be fake Razor and Diesel (duh) with the former just looking horrible. Fake Diesel at least looks like the real thing if you look at him from the right angle. Again, the original idea here wasn’t bad: it’s the gimmicks that got them over instead of the people. Unfortunately that falls apart because Fake Razor looked horrible.

Jim Cornette (Vader’s manager) sits in on commentary and JR says he’s the same size as Yokozuna. Cornette sounds like he wants to cry when he sees Funk for the first time. JR: “I’ve never seen the yellow and red look so good here in the Garden.” The mystery partner is Jimmy Snuka, which gets a mild reaction from the MSG fans and a groan from the audience at home who already saw a legend return with Roberts earlier.

Vader slugs Funk down to start but is quickly sent outside for a moonsault to the floor. You can hear the ECW chants before they even start. Back in and Vader gets tired of this flying nonsense and powerbomb Funk in half. Yokozuna comes in for the embarrassing fat man offense as JR rips on the refereeing again. It’s off to Vega vs. Ramon as the crowd isn’t sure what to care about here.

JR and Cornette argue about whether JR could manage a Wendy’s. JR: “I could if you were in town.” Razor screws up the fall away slam and thankfully it’s off to Funk vs. Diesel so we can get something watchable. Vega comes back in and gets pummeled in the corner as this is already dragging horribly. Snuka get the tag to a pretty anemic pop and quickly runs into Diesel’s knee. In a big surprise, Snuka actually slams Vader. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t been around in forever.

Jimmy almost runs over for the tag back to Vega, who hits maybe 10% of a spinwheel kick on Diesel. Faarooq rams him into the post and the Jackknife ends Vega to hopefully start wrapping this up. The Superfly Splash ends Ramon less than a minute later and then the remaining six come in for the big brawl, resulting in a massive DQ and no winner.

Rating: F-. If there’s a worse Survivor Series match not involving four clowns, my therapy must be working because I’ve completely blocked it from my mind. This was HORRIBLE with eight people that the crowd wasn’t interested in seeing and a nothing ending that only made things worse. Absolutely terrible here as they couldn’t even have Vader survive to give him a bit of a rub?

We recap the main event which is basically Shawn fighting another monster but this time it’s someone he used to trust. Yeah this is hardly anything interesting and feels like a major letdown after Austin vs. Hart. Also, given how badly the ratings were doing around this time, there’s almost no way Shawn is keeping the title here.

And still a cool entrance.

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WWF World Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Sid

Shawn gets a John Cena style pop as a sign of the times. Sid is challenging of course and pounds Shawn down early on with JR getting right to the point: Sid isn’t technically sound but he can hit you really hard, which is all he needs to do. Shawn speeds things up with some left jabs and a headlock takeover.

The threat of a powerbomb sends Shawn bailing to the outside and we have a breather. Back in and Shawn gets smart by going after the knee, including a Figure Four (actually done on the proper leg). The hold is turned over and Sid sends him shoulder first into the post to take over. Shawn goes right back to the knee and the fans boo him out of the Garden. Thankfully they catch on to the idea and Sid blasts Shawn to the floor with a clothesline.

Back in and Sid gets in a few kicks to the face, followed by a big backbreaker for two. We hit a cobra clutch of all things (Sid would use that occasionally and it always looked weird for someone his size) before a chokeslam drops the champ. Shawn hits his flying forearm and is loudly booed, though the nipup draws a high pitched pop.

Sid grabs a camera and hits Shawn’s manager Jose Lothario in the chest, followed by Sweet Chin Music to the giant. With Jose grabbing his chest, Shawn goes to check on him instead of retaining the title. Sid tries to throw Shawn back in and the referee gets bumped, allowing Sid to hit him with the camera. The powerbomb gives Sid the title (somehow the first title he ever won) to a BIG face pop.

Rating: B+. I don’t like the ending with the camera thing but it’s still a really well put together match. This was pretty much Ric Flair vs. Sid and since Shawn knows how to wrestle a Flair match as well as anyone ever (including Flair), there was almost no way this wasn’t going to work. They let Shawn walk Sid through the match and that was all they ever needed to do.

Shawn checks on Jose as Sid poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: B. This is a hard one to grade as the Survivor Series matches were horrible but everything else ranges from very good to masterpiece. That’s more than enough to say this is a great show and worth checking out. If nothing else there are so many debuts and repackages here that it’s worth checking out for pure history. The MSG crowd helps provide so much energy and the show is just a lot of fun (save for the one horrible match, which only lasts about ten minutes). See this one at least once but watch Bret vs. Austin as many times as you can.



Remember to check out my website at, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Updated History of the Intercontinental Title in E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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Main Event Results – November 16, 2017

Main Event
Date: November 16, 2017
Location: Phillips Arena, Atlanta, Georgia
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and I’m not sure if that’s going to mean anything around here. The best hope I have here though is last week’s episode containing a clip from Smackdown, which you never see around here. It would make sense again this week and would help set up Survivor Series. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Heath Slater vs. Curt Hawkins

Slater pauses to start and throws Curt the I’VE GOT KIDS shirt. That’s fine with Curt, who sends him shoulder first into the post. Some stomping sets up a chinlock before a quick leg trip keeps Heath down. Back up and Slater avoids a charge into the corner, setting up Sweetness for two. Hawkins can’t hit a superplex so Slater grabs a top rope sunset flip for the pin at 4:49.

Result: Heath Slater b. Curt Hawkins – Top rope sunset flip (4:49)

We look at Jason Jordan defeating Bray Wyatt on Raw but getting beaten up soon after.

From Raw.

Here’s Angle to announce that Jordan is off the team due to injury. Before he can name it though, Jordan comes out and begs Angle to let him do it. He’ll be fine by Sunday and he’s seen Angle fight injured so many times. Jordan says Angle picked him because he was the best option and it wasn’t favoritism. He won’t get another chance like this because he’s worked his whole life to get here and wants to represent Raw. Stephanie comes out and tells Kurt to make the decision but HHH comes out as well. HHH gets right to the chase: Jordan is out and he’s in instead. A Pedigree plants Jordan and that’s that.

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From Raw again.

Kane vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman jumps Kane and I don’t think we had an opening bell. They head outside with Strowman driving him face first into the barricade but getting whipped into the steps. Kane pulls out a table as the referee isn’t even trying to tell them to get in the ring. Smart move actually. Some chair shots to the back just annoy Strowman, who takes the chair away and lights Kane up with it instead.

With the table set up at ringside, Strowman loads up a superplex, only to have Kane punch his way out to avoid a bad case of death. Kane gets knocked inside but can’t chokeslam him down. Instead it’s a middle rope ax handle and the running powerslam through the ring. The bell never rang so no match but that was quite the finish.

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Very quick clip of Paul Heyman’s promo on Raw.

Tony Nese vs. Gran Metalik

Nese poses to start and runs Metalik over with a clothesline for an early two. Tony misses a charge though and gets caught with a dive as we take a break. Back with Nese getting caught on top, allowing Nese to get two off a gutbuster. A superkick cuts Nese off though and it’s the Metalik Driver for the pin at 6:15.

Result: Gran Metalik b. Tony Nese – Metalik Driver (6:15)

Pay per view rundown.

Clip of AJ Styles’ promo from Tuesday.

And again, from Smackdown to close the show. New Day vs. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens ended when Shield came down and then everything went nuts.

Sami and Owens bail to the floor, leaving New Day to get beaten down. The Usos come in but the Bar cuts them off. We see the Raw women’s team invading the Smackdown women’s locker room for the big brawl with Charlotte taking the big beating. Back in the arena, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor run in along with others, only to have Shane lead some reinforcements. Shinsuke Nakamura starts striking away but Kurt Angle shows up to bring out Braun Strowman for the real house cleaning.

Everyone brawls to the floor where Shield surrounds Shane McMahon. Shane has to watch as Smackdown is decimated on the floor, including Samoa Joe breaking the trombone over Big E.’s back. Angle gets in the ring and asks Shane how this feels before a TripleBomb plants the boss. Angle takes off his jacket and gives Shane an Angle Slam. Strowman watches as it’s a second TripleBomb to end the show.

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Remember to check out my website at, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Updated History of the Intercontinental Title in E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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205 Live Results – November 14, 2017

205 Live
Date: November 14, 2017
Location: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
Commentators: Nigel McGuinness, Vic Joseph

We’re back stateside now and as luck would have it, today is Kalisto’s birthday. I’m thinking that means cake and of course you know what that means. In this case it’s also the go home show for Survivor Series, meaning we’ll be getting what is hopefully the final build between Kalisto and Enzo Amore. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Kalisto says he’s going to celebrate his birthday by beating down Drew Gulak before he wins the Cruiserweight Title back on Sunday.

Gulak and Amore are next to a massive birthday cake with Enzo talking about the Zo Train ending if he loses the title. Tonight, he needs Drew to make this a better 205 Live.

The announcers preview the show as the opening stall continues.

Jack Gallagher/Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander

Tornado rules with Cedric as the hometown boy, meaning there’s quite the chant to start things off. It’s a brawl to start before all four head outside with Swann being sent into the barricade. That’s fine with Cedric who pops Kendrick in the jaw to take over again. Gallagher hits a heck of a dropkick to knock Cedric over the announcers’ table leaving Swann to get beaten down in the ring.

The villains take turns knocking them off the apron until Alexander finally gets in a dropkick on Kendrick. One heck of an elbow to the jaw staggers Gallagher for a great visual and a Spanish Fly gives Cedric two. Kendrick comes back in to take Cedric down and the Captain’s Hook goes on. Swann’s save attempt is countered into a Fujiwara armbar but he’s still able to catch Cedric’s tap attempt.

Cedric has to break up a double submission on Swann, basically guaranteeing the end of the match. Sliced Bread #2 gets two on Cedric but it’s Swann coming back in with some superkicks. Kendrick crotches him on top though and a double super hiptoss drops Rich for a rather close two. It’s Cedric right back in with the springboard clothesline but Gallagher breaks up the Lumbar Check by dropkicking the knee out. Swann superkicks the heck out of Gallagher and hits a diving tornado DDT onto the floor. Back in and the Lumbar Check puts Kendrick away at 10:55.

Result: Rich Swann/Cedric Alexander b. Jack Gallagher/Brian Kendrick – Lumbar Check to Kendrick (10:55)

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Ariya Daivari comes out and says this might be the last episode of the Zo Show. The show isn’t being canceled or anything but it might as well be if Kalisto wins the title on Sunday. Mustafa Ali comes out and doesn’t think much of Daivari sucking up to Enzo so much, but maybe it has to do with all the cake. On top of that though, Daivari looks stupid.

Ariya Daivari vs. Mustafa Ali

Ali starts fast with a superkick and steals Daivari’s jacket before hitting a high crossbody for two. The springboard is broken up though and Ali crashes out to the floor. Back in and Daivari gets two off a clothesline, followed by a chinlock.  Since it’s just a chinlock, it’s a spinebuster for two on Mustafa. Ali fights back up and scores with a dropkick, only to get caught in a reverse DDT. The frog splash gets two but Ali is right back up with a super hurricanrana. The 054 gives Ali the pin at 7:13.

Result: Mustafa Ali b. Ariya Daivari – 054 (7:13)

Akira Tozawa comes in to wish Kalisto a happy birthday and good luck.

Kalisto vs. Drew Gulak

There are balloons and cake at ringside so you know the ending from here. Before the match, Enzo says Kalisto is going to get a beating for a birthday gift. Gulak slams Kalisto down to start but gets caught in a quick headscissors. They head outside with Enzo running his mouth to allow Gulak some cheap shots.

Back in and we hit the neck crank, meaning it’s time for the fans to sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY. A slam sends Kalisto into the ropes and we’ve got a bad knee. They tease going into the cake before Drew wisely goes back to the knees with a surfboard. Kalisto rolls away into the hurricanrana driver, followed by a suicide dive. Enzo kicks the knee out though and Drew belts out some Happy Birthday. The dragon sleeper takes too long though and it’s the Salida Del Sol to give Kalisto the pin at 7:52.

Result: Kalisto b. Drew Gulak – Salida Del Sol (7:52)

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Post match Enzo goes after Kalisto but has to kick Gulak in the head. Enzo bails but Kalisto chases him down and sends him into the cake (the one in the back, as opposed to the one in the arena) to end the show.

Remember to check out my website at, follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up the Updated History of the Intercontinental Title in E-Book or Paperback. Check out the information here:

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Triple H Discusses WWE’s “WarGames,” Differences From The Past

Triple H was recently on a media conference call with WrestlingInc, and discussed a number of topics. Among them was the upcoming “NXT Takeover: WarGames” pay-per-view and how the match is different from how it was in the past.

The rules are as follows:

  • The three-member teams of SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain), Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) & Roderick Strong will wage war inside a massive steel cage that surrounds TWO rings.
  • All three teams will be contained inside separate shark cages by the entranceway, with a member from each team (as chosen by his respective squad) starting the match.
  • After five minutes, the remaining members from one team will be released from their shark cage and allowed to enter the match.
  • When another three-minute period elapses, the remaining members from a second team are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
  • Following another three-minute period, the final team’s members are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
  • Once all three teams have entered the WarGames Match, a victory can be attained via pinfall or submission.

Below are some highlights from the conference call:

On the reason for different rules:

“Anytime that you’ve had 20 years between something, you have the opportunity to do it in a slightly modified way, whether that’s making it better, which is hopefully what [we did],” Triple H said. “I’m not saying that there were things that needed to be fixed, but there were things that there were some concerns about and we wanted to change those and tweak them up.

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On the cages not having a roof:

“We’re not going to have a roof,” Triple H said. “I think it’s a little bit limiting. I think the style has changed. I’m not saying that anyone’s going to do it in this match, but I think going forward, I try to think about the future… look, Arn Anderson wasn’t doing moonsaults off the top of a cage (laughs). This allows for there to be a little bit of a different opportunity there to do some things.

What do you think of Triple H’ comments? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page!

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“NXT Takeover: WarGames” Preview

We’re off to war! The latest NXT Takeover special is focused on one match, which is kind of a shame as the rest of the card looks great. If there’s one thing NXT can do better than anything else, it’s rise above the expectations coming in and knock the show out of the park. If they can come close to that, we’re in for a treat. Let’s get to it.

Lars Sullivan vs. Kassius Ohno

This is the a pretty logical step for the unstoppable monster known as Sullivan. He’s dominated jobbers for months now and it’s not like Ohno is there for anything other than to to people over. I don’t think anyone is expecting them to shatter through the glass ceiling here but that’s been said about many an NXT match and wound up being completely wrong before.

I’ll of course take Sullivan to win in the only thing we have on the show that could be considered a guarantee. There’s no reason for Ohno to win and Sullivan shrugging off his best shots would be a good way to keep getting him over as a monster. That’s the key to him at the moment as he could be quite the threat down the line. Once he loses for the first time a lot of that goes away, but at least we can get something like this out of him at the moment. Sullivan wins, as he certainly should.

Here’s what Ohno is getting himself into.

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Velveteen Dream vs. Aleister Black

Here’s where my love of NXT comes from. I was looking through the card and thought Black winning was an easy win. Like seriously, Black is going to beat Dream into the ground right? The more I got to thinking about it though, the less sure I was. Dream has been pushed very strong as well and the whole “say my name” stuff has me wondering how it’s going to go.

I’m going with Black, though this is where NXT shines: it really could go either way. Both guys are undefeated and a win would make one of them look like a much bigger deal. Black can take a loss more than the Dream with that awesome kick, but Dream losing makes the most sense. If nothing else I’m looking forward to how Black will say Dream’s name without giving Dream what he wants. I’d have Black kick his head off and then say Dream’s name so he can’t hear it live. If that doesn’t mess with Dream’s mind more than anything else, I don’t know what would.

Say his name.

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Women’s Title: Kairi Sane vs. Peyton Royce vs. Ember Moon vs. Nikki Cross

The title is vacant coming in after Asuka moved up to the main roster. Remember how I said the previous match could go either way? That’s the case here but double the options. You really could go with any of the four and my goodness that’s a fun feeling to have. I’d assume that there’s a name you can write off but it might not be the one you’re thinking.

I’m going to go with Moon to win the title but I’m really not sure about it. I can’t imagine they want to go with Sane as she might come off like a simple replacement from Asuka. She’ll get there someday but it’s not quite yet. Royce seems to be the least likely but if there’s ever a match for her to steal the title (perhaps to be destroyed by Sane later), this is it. Cross could win also, partially due to just being crazy enough to pull it off. Therefore I’ll go with Moon, who seems to be the heir apparent to the division, likely with the Eclipse to Royce. This should be a blast though.

Pick one.

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NXT Title: Drew McIntyre(c) vs. Andrade Cien Almas

This is another one where I’m a bit more sure, though still not entirely. The story here is rather simple as the big main event is spent on something else so let’s have the champ go through a simple title defense. Almas has gotten WAY better after acquiring Zelina Vega as his manager, mainly due to how great of a talker she’s become (and she can get physical when necessary).

I’ll take McIntyre to retain, mainly because it seems that we’re heading for McIntyre vs. Adam Cole for the title down the line. Almas is a better opponent than I was thinking, but at the end of the day it’s a Claymore to retain the title. On a side note, McIntyre still needs some physical opponents to defend against though as someone like Almas, who again isn’t very large, looks tiny compared to the huge champion.

Just let Vega do the talking.

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Sanity vs. Undisputed Era vs. Roderick Strong/Authors of Pain

HERE WE GO! This is the match that old school fans have been waiting the better part of twenty years to see in WWE and….I guess they’re doing it right. This is WarGames, which was such a big deal that they’ve changed the name of the show upon announcement. It’s a three team feud with Strong and the Authors of Pain being added for the sake of giving us another trio. The other two are pretty firmly established though and that makes the match all the more interesting.

That being said, I’m going with Undisputed Era, as they make the most sense. If nothing else it sets up Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly getting the Tag Team Titles, likely in Philadelphia in January. Sanity has a chance as well, but they seem to be there for the sake of taking a fall to set up a future match. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it here again: the fact that Strong and the Authors are easily the weakest of the three teams but I wouldn’t be shocked to see them win. That’s a great feeling to have and you rarely get it outside of NXT.

And then, the big one.

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Overall Thoughts

Just in case you didn’t catch on to the idea yet, I love the fact that so many matches on this card are unpredictable. You really could go multiple ways with most of the matches and that’s why I’m so interested in this show. NXT has a great track record with this series and this one has the potential to do something special all over again.

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Video: The Miz Watches His “Survivor Series 2011” Match

This is indeed awesome. Back in 2011, The Rock and John Cena agreed to face off a year later at “Wrestlemania XXVIII” in a match billed as Once In A Lifetime. That would be Rock’s first match in eight years, which meant it was possible that he needed a tuneup first. That brings us to “Survivor Series 2011”.

Rather than releasing the full video of the tuneup match which saw Rock team up with John Cena vs. Miz/R-Truth, WWE has released a video of Miz watching parts of the match and offering commentary. This was part of a long feud between Miz and Cena, which had started earlier in the year with Miz retaining the title at “Wrestlemania XXVII.” Here’s the video.

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Opinion: This is one of the things I’d love to see done more often. Wrestlers have a very different perspective on their matches that the average fan and it’s interesting to see how they see a match compared to what most fans will see. I know it’s not as thrilling as it could be with WWE producing it, but at least it’s better than nothing.

Do you like listening to wrestlers commentate on their matches? Who would you like to hear do so? Let us know in the comments below.

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