Survivor Series 2003 was the seventeenth annual Survivor Series professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). It was presented by Microsoft's Xbox. It took place on November 16, 2003 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas and featured talent from both Raw and SmackDown!.
The main match on the Raw brand was for the World Heavyweight Championship between Goldberg and Triple H, which Goldberg won by pinfall after performing a Spear and Jackhammer. The predominant match on the SmackDown! brand was a Buried Alive match between The Undertaker and Vince McMahon, which Vince won after Kane interfered and helped Vince bury Undertaker. This would also be marked as The Undertaker's last appearance portraying Big Evil/The American Badass, as he would return four months later at WrestleMania XX in his Deadman persona for the first time since mid-1999. The predominant match on the Raw brand was a 5 on 5 Traditional Survivor Series match between Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and Mark Henry) and Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley, and D-Von Dudley). Team Bischoff won the match after Orton last eliminated Michaels. The main match on the card featured an Ambulance match between Kane and Shane McMahon, which Kane won after throwing Shane into the ambulance.
The main feud on the Raw brand was between Goldberg and Triple H, with the two feuding over the World Heavyweight Championship. At SummerSlam, Triple H and Goldberg were involved in the second six men Elimination Chamber match for the World Championship (the first one being the previous year at Survivor Series). After Goldberg eliminated three other men in that match, he went after Triple H. At the end, Goldberg attempted another Spear on Triple H, who countered the maneuver by hitting Goldberg in the head with a sledgehammer for the win. On the following night's edition of Raw, Goldberg challenged Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Triple H then came out and added the stipulation that, should Goldberg lose, he would retire from WWE. At the previous Raw brand pay-per-view Unforgiven, Goldberg defeated Triple H with the title and his career on the line, when he performed a Jackhammer to win the title. On the September 29 edition of Raw, Triple H made an announcement, offering a bounty of $100,000 to anyone who could successfully "take out" Goldberg. The first person that attempted to take the bounty was Steven Richards, but Goldberg quickly took him out. Many other people tried and failed to take him out including La Résistance, Mark Henry and Tommy Dreamer.
It was during a World Heavyweight Championship match between Goldberg and Shawn Michaels on the October 20 edition of Raw, however, that he was taken out. Batista ran-in, dragged Michaels out of the ring and, in storyline, assaulted him. Batista then entered the ring, and proceeded to attack Goldberg. He put a folding chair around Goldberg's ankle, before jumping off the middle rope onto the chair, in storyline, "shattering" Goldberg's ankle. Evolution then made their way to the ring, and gave the $100,000 bounty to Batista. With Goldberg seemingly out of action, Raw Co-General Manager Eric Bischoff looked set to present Triple H with the World Heavyweight Championship on the October 27 edition of Raw. The other Co-General Manager of Raw, Stone Cold Steve Austin came to the ring, however, and announced that Goldberg would be back to face Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship at Survivor Series. Goldberg got his revenge on Batista on the November 3 edition of Raw as he performed a spear to Batista. He attempted to injure Batista using the same technique that Batista used on Goldberg. Ric Flair tried to intervene, but he too got speared. Austin then announced that Batista and Goldberg would go one-on-one on the November 10 edition of Raw, just six days before Survivor Series. Goldberg looked set to beat Batista, but Triple H interfered, signaling a Disqualification. Triple H got his signature Sledgehammer out from underneath the ring, and looked set to attack Goldberg with it, but Goldberg managed to fight back, and speared Triple H. Goldberg picked up the sledgehammer, and attacked Batista with it, getting the advantage heading into the pay-per-view.
The main feud on the SmackDown! brand was between WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and The Undertaker. At the previous SmackDown! brand pay-per-view, No Mercy, McMahon interfered in a WWE Championship Biker Chain match between the Champion Brock Lesnar and Undertaker, helping Lesnar retain the title. Also at the same pay-per-view, Vince defeated his daughter Stephanie McMahon in an "I Quit" match. Due to a pre-match stipulation between the two, Stephanie had to quit her job as SmackDown! General Manager. The following week, on the October 23 edition of SmackDown!, Vince announced Paul Heyman as the new SmackDown! General Manager. In his first act as General Manager, Heyman booked a handicap match, with Undertaker facing Brock Lesnar and The Big Show, with the stipulation that if he won, Undertaker could choose to face any superstar at any event. Heyman put many stipulations in Undertaker's way during the bout, but despite this and taking a huge beating, Undertaker won the contest. As a fallen Undertaker laid in the entryway McMahon began screaming at him, saying that he would never be WWE Champion again as long as he was alive and that he demanded to know what kind of match Undertaker would seek now that he could pick anyone to face at anytime. The injured Undertaker told McMahon that he would be competing in a Buried Alive match at Survivor Series. Assuming Undertaker would choose Lesnar as his opponent, McMahon continued to berate him by saying he hoped that the then-WWE Champion would bury him "six feet under". Undertaker then snatched the microphone away from the owner of WWE and declared that he would not be facing Lesnar in the match, but instead would face a stunned and angry McMahon.
On the October 30 edition of SmackDown!, Heyman announced that he had given Undertaker time off until Survivor Series, which made Vince McMahon very unhappy. Vince McMahon stated that he would "burn down Undertaker's house and order Undertaker's wife to be gang raped" if Heyman didn't do anything about the Buried Alive match. Both Undertaker and Vince were interviewed on the November 6 edition of SmackDown!. In his promo, Undertaker stated that the feud with Vince was personal. He went on to say that McMahon respects nobody and that McMahon disrespects his family. Later in the show, McMahon asked for forgiveness from the fans for his actions over the past few months.
Primary feud from Raw brand heading into the event was between the two Co-General Managers on Raw, Stone Cold Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff. Bischoff had control of the brand since July 15, 2002, but on April 28, 2003 (the night after the Backlash pay per view), he was forced to share his General Manager duties with Austin. Their feud over who had the most power as General Manager continued on Raw throughout the Summer of 2003. On the October 20 edition of Raw, Bischoff proposed that he and Austin should face off in a "Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match", with both selecting teams of five. Austin promptly accepted the challenge, with Bischoff announcing the first two members of his team as Scott Steiner and Chris Jericho. Later in the night, Booker T was announced as the first member of Austin's Survivor Series team. The following week, Rob Van Dam, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley were named as members of Austin's team. For Team Bischoff, Christian and Mark Henry were announced as members as well. On the November 3 edition of Raw, both Austin and Bischoff announced their final members to join their respective team; Shawn Michaels accepted Austin's invitation to join his team and Bischoff announced as Randy Orton the last member to join his team. The on and off feud between five members from Team Austin and Team Bischoff originally began during the Summer of 2001, when Rob Van Dam, the Dudley boyz, and Booker T (who were a part of The Alliance) started their feud with Christian and Chris Jericho (who were a part of the then-known WWF) when they all were involved in the Invasion storyline but the storyline ended at that year's Survivor Series event when The Rock (who fought for Team WWF) won the 5-on-5 Winner Takes All match, thus putting the Alliance out of business. During the Summer and Fall of 2002, Booker T (from Team Austin), along with Goldust, had fought Jericho and Christian (from Team Bischoff) in singles and tag team competition. They also fought for the World Tag Team Championship that Jericho and Christian held at the time until December 2002 at Armageddon when they dropped the titles to Booker T and Goldust in a Fatal Four-Way Elimination match. After Armageddon, Chris Jericho along with Christian entered a feud with Shawn Michaels (from Team Austin), after Jericho claimed that he was the next Shawn Michaels. On the January 13, 2003 edition of Raw, Jericho won a battle royal to select his entry number for the Royal Rumble match, choosing number two in order to start the match with Michaels, who had already been named number one. At the Royal Rumble, Jericho, with the help of Christian, eliminated Michaels. Moments later during the Rumble match, Michaels retaliated by assaulting Jericho, which allowed Test to eliminate Jericho. The following two months, the feud between Jericho and Michaels continued to escalate leading up to their match at WrestleMania XIX. During that event, Michaels defeated Jericho when he countered Jericho's suplex into a Roll-up that gave Michaels a successful pinfall, thus the victory. On the July 21st edition of Raw, Jericho defeated Michaels in a rematch with the help of then Evolution member Randy Orton (from Team Bischoff). At Unforgiven on September 21, Orton defeated Shawn Michaels in the first of many high-profile matches billed as "Legend versus Legend Killer", with the help of his stablemate and mentor Ric Flair. The feud between Christian and Rob Van Dam (from Team Austin) originally started after Christian became the three-time WWE Intercontinental Champion by defeating Booker T at an untelevised house show. At Unforgiven, Christian successfully defended the Intercontinental title against both Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat match when he pinned RVD. Then in the following two matches in one week, Christian defended the title against RVD including on the September 29, 2003 edition of Raw, when he lost the title to RVD in a Ladder match. On that same episode of Raw, Scott Steiner (from Team Bischoff) turned heel by belly to belly suplexing Stacy Keibler after Keibler accidentally cost Steiner and Test the World Tag Team Championship against the Dudley boyz (from Team Austin). While Steiner and Test teamed together, with Keibler their reluctant manager, Steiner would feud with RVD and the Dudley boyz respectively in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series. During the Summer of 2003, Mark Henry (from Team Bischoff) returned to WWE television on the Raw roster, where he found some success as a member of "Thuggin' And Buggin' Enterprises," led by Theodore Long. During that time, Henry was involved in a brief program with World Heavyweight Champion Goldberg when then champion, Triple H, put a bounty on Goldberg. This was followed by a brief rivalry that he had with Shawn Michaels, before he engaged in a scripted rivalry with Booker T (who returned to Raw from a nagging back injury). On the November 10th edition of Raw, Team Austin and Team Bischoff were scheduled four matches with Team Austin gaining 4-0 victories in one night. In a tag team match, the Dudley Boyz defeated Scott Steiner and Mark Henry via disqualification, while in three singles matches, Rob Van Dam defeated Christian, Booker T defeated Chris Jericho, and Shawn Michaels defeated Randy Orton to get the greater advantage heading into the pay-per-view.
Before the event aired live on pay-per-view, a Sunday Night Heat match was aired, which saw Tajiri (with Akio and Sakoda) retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship against Jamie Noble. Tajiri pinned Noble after a Buzzsaw Kick.
The first match of the event was the Survivor Series match with Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly, and Bradshaw) against Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, The Big Show, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones and A-Train). Hardcore Holly was the first superstar eliminated, as he was disqualified for pushing the referee, while attacking Brock Lesnar before the match. A-Train was then eliminated by Bradshaw after a Clothesline From Hell. Bradshaw was then eliminated after a Chokeslam by Big Show. Matt Morgan was eliminated next after Kurt Angle hit an Angle Slam on Morgan, allowing Angle to cover him for the elimination. Nathan Jones was the third eliminated member of Team Lesnar, after he submitted to the Ankle Lock. Angle was the next member eliminated off Team Angle, after an F-5 from Lesnar. Lesnar was the next to be eliminated, after he submitted to Chris Benoit's Crippler Crossface. Big Show was the final member eliminated off Team Lesnar, after a chain shot and an FU by John Cena, thus Cena and Benoit becoming the Survivors of the match, and earning the win for Team Angle.
The next match was for the WWE Women's Championship between Molly Holly and Lita. The match ended up on the outside on two separate occasions. Lita missed a Litasault and Molly took advantage and hit the Molly-Go-Round. However Lita kicked out, forcing Molly to expose a turnbuckle into which she gave Lita a drop toe hold, thus retaining the Women's title.
The third match was an Ambulance match between Shane McMahon and Kane. The match started on the outside when Shane was thrown into the steel steps by Kane. Mid-way in the match, Shane was able to hit the Leap of Faith on Kane on the Spanish announce table. Following the maneuver, Shane took control in the match, as he hit Kane with a kendo stick, rammed Kane through a security booth with an SUV. Shane then called for an ambulance. Shane maneuvered Kane onto a stretcher and started pushing it towards the ambulance, however Kane sat up and bounced Shane off. Shane was able to do a Coast-To-Coast off the roof of the ambulance on Kane. The match came to an end, when Kane hit Shane with a Tombstone Piledriver on the floor and then threw him into the ambulance, which resulted in Kane gaining the win.
The fourth match was between The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) and Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo) for the WWE Tag Team Championship. The match started on the outside. Los Guerreros attacked Shaniqua, who tried to interfere. Chavo hit a swinging DDT, but he accidentally hit the DDT on Eddie. As Chavo went to check on Eddie, Danny pinned Chavo with a roll-up, thus the Bashams retained the WWE Tag Team titles.
The fifth match was the second Survivor Series match with Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and Mark Henry) against Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley). Scott Steiner was the first one eliminated, as Booker T was able to hit a Book-end on Steiner and capture the pinfall after Stacy Keibler distracted Steiner. Booker T was then eliminated by Mark Henry after a World's Strongest Slam. Mark Henry was then eliminated after a 3-D and Five-Star Frog splash. Rob Van Dam was eliminated next after Randy Orton hit an RKO on RVD, allowing Orton to cover him for the elimination. D-Von Dudley was the third eliminated member of Team Austin, after Chris Jericho hit the Flashback. Bubba Ray Dudley was the next member eliminated off Team Austin, after an Unprettier from Christian. Christian was the next to be eliminated, after Shawn Michaels, who was the last member of Team Austin, hit Christian with Sweet Chin Music. Jericho was the next member eliminated of Team Bischoff, as he tried to apply the Walls of Jericho on Michaels, however Michaels countered it into a Cradle. As the elimination took place, it left Michaels and Orton as the final two members of their respective teams. However, the match came to an end, when Batista gave Michaels a Batista Bomb, after Austin and Bischoff brawled in the entrance set, Orton draped an arm over Michaels and got the pinfall. As a result of his team losing, Austin was fired from his position as Co-General Manager of Raw.
The match that followed was the Buried Alive match between The Undertaker and Vince McMahon. At the start of the match, Undertaker hit McMahon with one big punch to the face, which resulted in McMahon bleeding. Vince's face was covered in lots of blood. Undertaker hit McMahon in the head with one of the shovels. After many assaults by Undertaker, he carried McMahon to the grave site. McMahon was able to hit the Undertaker with a shovel, which resulted in Undertaker falling to the grave site, but pulled McMahon into it as well. Undertaker climbed up to a front loader to empty a ton of dirt on the grave, but an explosion knocked him out. Kane appeared out of nowhere, beat on Undertaker and threw him into the grave. McMahon operated the front loader and dumped all the dirt from it, burying the Undertaker alive and thus winning the match.
The final match of the night was between Goldberg and Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. In the match, Triple H focused on Goldberg's injured ankle. In the duration of the match, Ric Flair, Randy Orton and Batista all interfered on behalf of Triple H; however, Goldberg hit Flair, Orton and Batista with a sledgehammer, which was brought in by Triple H. The match came to an end when Goldberg nailed Triple H with a Spear, and then followed up with the Jackhammer for the pinfall and thus retaining the World Heavyweight Championship.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Sunday Night Heat: Tajiri (c) (w/ Akio and Sakoda) defeated Jamie Noble to retain the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (4:13)
- Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly, and Bradshaw) defeated Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, The Big Show, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones and A-Train) (13:15)
- Molly Holly (c) defeated Lita to retain the WWE Women's Championship (6:48)
- Kane defeated Shane McMahon in a Ambulance match (13:34)
- The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny) (c) (w/ Shaniqua) defeated Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo) to retain the WWE Tag Team Championship (7:31)
- Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and Mark Henry) defeated Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley, and D-Von Dudley) (27:27)
- Vince McMahon (w/ Kane) defeated The Undertaker in a Buried Alive match (11:59)
- Goldberg (c) defeated Triple H (w/ Ric Flair) to retain the World Heavyweight Championship (11:44)
Survivor Series elimination matches
Elimination # Wrestler Team Eliminated by Elimination move Time 1 Hardcore Holly Team Angle N/A Disqualified for pushing the referee while attacking Lesnar before the match 0:00 2 A-Train Team Lesnar Bradshaw Pinfall after a Clothesline From Hell 0:27 3 Bradshaw Team Angle Big Show Pinfall after a Chokeslam 0:48 4 Matt Morgan Team Lesnar Kurt Angle Pinfall after an Angle Slam 9:11 5 Nathan Jones Team Lesnar Kurt Angle Submission by Ankle Lock 9:31 6 Kurt Angle Team Angle Brock Lesnar Pinfall after an F-5 9:43 7 Brock Lesnar Team Lesnar Chris Benoit Submission by Crippler Crossface 11:43 8 Big Show Team Lesnar John Cena Pinfall after a chain shot and an FU 13:15 Survivors: John Cena and Chris Benoit (Team Angle)
Elimination # Wrestler Team Eliminated by Elimination move Time 1 Scott Steiner Team Bischoff Booker T Pinfall after a Book-End 7:28 2 Booker T Team Austin Mark Henry Pinfall after a World's Strongest Slam 7:57 3 Mark Henry Team Bischoff RVD and the Dudleyz Pinfall after a Dudley Death Drop and Five-Star Frog splash 10:03 4 RVD Team Austin Randy Orton Pinfall after an RKO 12:06 5 D-Von Dudley Team Austin Chris Jericho Pinfall after a Flashback 13:49 6 Bubba Ray Dudley Team Austin Christian Pinfall after an Unprettier 16:53 7 Christian Team Bischoff Shawn Michaels Pinfall after a Sweet Chin Music 20:28 8 Chris Jericho Team Bischoff Shawn Michaels Pinfall with a Cradle 23:58 9 Shawn Michaels Team Austin Randy Orton Pinfall after a Batista Bomb by an interfering Batista 27:27 Survivor: Randy Orton (Team Bischoff)
Other on-screen talent
DVD & Video Releases
- Survivor Series 2003 Official Website
- Survivor Series 2007 at CAGEMATCH.net
- Survivor Series 2003 at Online World of Wrestling
- Survivor Series 2003 on WWE Network
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