Survivor Series 1996
November 17, 1996
New York, New York
Madison Square Garden
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Jim Ross
The Godwinns, Doug Furnas & Philip LaFon vs. Owen Hart, The British Bulldog
& The New Rockers
The New Rockers and Furnas and LaFon do a nice sequence, then Phineas tags in and it's downhill from there. Henry pins Marty Jannetty with the Slop Drop at 8:13, but Owen comes right in a with a roundhouse kick and pins Henry at 8:20. A screwed up blind tag spot leads to the Bulldog pinning Phineas at 9:05. Now all the dead weight is gone. Furnas and the Bulldog try to do some complicated sequence but screw part of it up. This whole match has been good but a little on the sloppy side. Davey Boy makes a blind tag to Owen, who hops up onto the top rope and snipers Furnas with a dropkick. Now that was cool. An Owen perfect-plex gets a two count. The heels work Furnas over, but Leif Cassidy proves to be the weak link on his team, as Doug hits a weird reverse suplex off the top rope to pin him at 13:49. LaFon finally tags in but is met with an awesome Owen belly to belly suplex. That gets two, as do a neckbreaker and an elbow drop off the second rope. An enziguri gets two, and Owen tags the Bulldog. LaFon scores a sunset flip out of nowhere to pin the Bulldog at 18:24. The Bulldog is stunned, and clips LaFon's leg out of nowhere, so Owen can work it over. Owen does, and eventually hooks the Sharpshooter, but LaFon gets out and makes the hot tag to Furnas. Moments later, Furnas hits a devastating release german suplex on Owen to get the three count at 25:41. Furnas and LaFon survive. Too bad they never got over after this. ***1/4
In a Coliseum Video exclusive, footage from earlier today is shown as Kevin Kelly speaks to the yet to debut Rocky Maivia. The mild mannered Rocky is quite the contrast from the Rocky of today.
Kelly interviews Mankind and Paul Bearer in the basement.
The Undertaker vs. Mankind
It occurs to me that had this match been one slot up on the card, these two would be the only people to ever have the distinction of finishing one PPV, then having the very next PPV match in the opener of the next month's show. Of course, it didn't turn out that way, but it almost did. Anyway, Paul Bearer will be locked in a cage hoisted above the ring, with the stipulation being that if the Undertaker wins the match he'll finally be allowed to get his hands on his ex-manager. The Undertaker descends from above wearing a black cape that makes him look like Batman. Paul is forced into the cage, which is then lifted above the ring, thus giving him the same view the Intercontinental Title belt had at Wrestlemania X. Taker, dressed completely in black leather, destroys Mankind to start. He proves he's learned a valuable lesson from all their past encounters and bends and breaks Mankind's fingers every which way in hopes of rendering the Mandible Claw useless. Mankind scores a cactus clothesline to put them both out on the floor, and they brawl in the crowd for a bit. Undie backdrops Mankind back towards ringside, but Mankind low blows him, then flips off the apron on top of him. Whoa. Inside, Mankind hits the knee ram and a piledriver, but Taker counters the Claw and sends him to the floor. Back in, he hits the ropewalk, but Mankind goes to a neckbreaker. The Undertaker grabs him by the throat for a chokeslam, but Mankind counters with the Mandible Claw. He forces Taker down to the ground, but the Dead Man fights back and muscles him up into the chokeslam. They head back out to the floor and Mankind tries his apron flip again, but this time the Undertaker moves and Mick lands flat on his back on the floor. Ouch. Taker tosses him back into the ring, but Paul Bearer distracts the referee from above, allowing Mankind to take a foreign object out of his tights and use it. Gotta love Bearer's managing abilities. The Undertaker, however, will not stay down, and a Tombstone ends it at 14:52, as Taker ups his PPV record against Mick to 2-2. *** The cage is lowered, but The Executioner runs out to jump Taker. Undie takes care of him, but the action allows Paul the chance to escape the wrath of his former protégé. Vince makes reference to the intriguing record book, citing that: "You can put this one in the record book as a win for the Undertaker." Indeed.
Coliseum does a blatant edit job.
Sunny comes out to announce the next match with Vince and JR.
Dok Hendrix interviews Jerry "The King" Lawler's team.
Marc Mero, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, The Stalker & Rocky Maivia vs. Jerry
"The King" Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsely, Goldust & Crush
Hunter is the reigning Intercontinental Champion and damn if the belt doesn't look awesome on him. Helmsley has feuded with Mero, as has Goldust, and Lawler has feuded with Jake. I think those were the only issues leading into this one. There's nothing else to note. Except that The Stalker must have stolen his pants out of D'Von Dudley's locker room. And oh yeah, it's that Rocky's guy debut. Not only his PPV debut, but his debut, period. I wonder if he ever became anything. We get a few basic matchups to begin, then Rocky tags in against Crush for his first WWF action. Crush tags out to Lawler, and Rocky cleans his clock. Lawler bails and tags Hunter and a historic rivalry is born. Helmsley gets the better of a slugfest and suplexes him. Goldust tags in and gets a two count. All the heels take turns working him over, but Rocky comes back with a backdrop on Helmsley and makes the hot tag to Jake the Snake. The heels now beat on him, but a quick DDT eliminates Lawler at 9:41. I guess that was supposed to be the blowoff for that feud, but if the idea was to give Jake his heat back, it didn't work. Jake makes the hot tag to Barry "Why-the-hell-did-they-give-me-a-lame-gimmick-as-The Stalker-instead-of-letting-me-use-my-real-name?" Windham. The Stalker is a house of fire until Goldust hits the Curtain Call to send him back into the woods at 12:25. The heels now designate Mero as their whipping boy while JR makes jailbird jokes about Crush. Mero hits a moonsault on Hunter out of nowhere, and pins him at the 19:00 mark. He then makes the mistake of attempting a suicide dive to the floor on Crush, but misses, and gets counted out at 20:11. Crush then lands a heart punch on Jake and pins him at 20:32, leaving the rookie alone against Crush and Goldust. If you listen closely, you can hear the people chanting his name ("Rocky, Rocky!"). The announcers hype the fact that he's a third generation wrestler and discuss the fact that his father and grandfather won many a match in Madsion Square Garden. Rocky is up to the challenge and takes out Crush with a high crossbody at 22:51. Goldust charges, but eats a shoulderbreaker. Rocky covers him for the pinfall at 23:23 to become the sole survivor and embark on his journey to the top of the World Wrestling Federation. * Bad match, but quite fun for historical reasons.
In another Coliseum exclusive, Kevin Kelly catches up with Rocky again. It's so surreal to see Rocky act normally and not be a total dick to Kelly.
An awesome Bret Hart/Steve Austin video package is shown. You know the deal here: Bret Hart took time off after dropping the WWF Title to Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania XII. In his absence, a new star started to rise to the top. His name was Steve Austin. And he was Stone Cold. Austin won the King Of The Ring and developed a cult following despite still being a heel. He mouthed off about how he could beat Bret Hart, and the Hitman would never return because he was scared of Austin. Bret finally could take it no longer and returned in late October to answer the challenge of Austin. And thus this match was made for Survivor Series.
Todd Pettengill interviews "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. Austin makes his way to the ring and then Todd interviews Bret Hart. This one is going to be good.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
There are scattered cheers for Austin upon his entrance. The winner is to receive a Title shot at next month's In Your House. Jim Ross tries to analyze how he thinks they'll approach the match, and seems to be of the opinion that this will turn into somewhat of a submission match. This is notable of course because the next chapter in this epic rivalry would be an actual submission match. The match gets underway and Austin tries to psych Bret out by sticking two middle fingers in front of his face. Austin does some trash talking, so Bret shoves him off. On commentary, Vince McMahon looks into his crystal ball and sees himself a year later. He decides to provide us with some key foreshadowing: "How ironic would it be if Bret Hart had to submit to his own Sharpshooter? Then again, anything can happen in the WWF." Whoa. They exchange some nice mat stuff, as each works the other's arm. The crowd starts a "Let's Go Bret" chant. They do some awesome mat wrestling before Austin catches him with a hot shot and stomps away on the chest and throat. Vince mentions that Austin will be wrestling Vader the next night on Raw. Austin slowly controls Bret and goes to a chinlock. A slugfest is won by Austin. Bret reverses a whip and clotheslines him, then follows up with his inverted atomic drop and clothesline tandem. A roll up gets a two count, as does a russian leg sweep. He goes for a bulldog, but Austin shoves him chest first into the corner to counter. Austin tries a superplex, but Bret shoves him off and drops an elbow off the top. That gets a two count. Bret goes for the backbreaker, but Austin rakes his face and tosses him to the floor. Austin drives Bret's back into the steel post, but Bret charges back and sends him over the steel barricade and into the crowd, where they brawl. Bret hits his signature elbow off the ring apron, but Austin slingshots him into the spanish announcer's table. Austin pounds away on him viciously, then lays him out on the table, climbs up to the apron and drives an elbow into his chest. Austin suplexes Bret into the ring and hits an elbow off the second rope for two. A rope splash gets two and then Austin goes to an abdominal stretch. They slug it out again, but this time it's Bret that wins the battle of fists. Bret now pays back Austin with a stungun of his own. He picks up a two count, then piledrives him and picks up another. Bret hits the backbreaker successfully this time, then goes up to the top. Austin crotches him and pounds away at him. Austin hits a superplex but Bret when they hit the mat, Bret reaches back with a leg and cradles him for two. The crowd is going insane by this point. They get to their feet at about the same time and Bret walks right into a Stunner. Austin drags Bret away from the ropes so he can't get a foot on them, and covers, but it only gets two. JR is convinced that the time it took Austin to pull Bret to the middle of the ring is what bought Bret enough time to kick out. A frustrated Austin pounds away on Bret with fists and gets another two count. Austin goes to a Texas Cloverleaf, but Bret makes the ropes to break the hold. Austin whips Bret into the corner to further injure his weakened ribs. He covers, again for two. Austin goes to a Bow and Arrow, and Bret reverses to a Sharpshooter attempt, but Austin wiggles to the ropes. Bret pounds on Austin and hooks a sleeper, but Austin jawbreakers him to counter. Austin tries to put Bret away with the Million Dollar Dream, but Bret lifts his own Wrestlemania VIII finish against Piper and lures him into the corner, where he uses his feet to push himself backwards off the turnbuckle and float over on top of Austin to get the three count while still in the Dream at 28:31. Awesome match. ***** Austin walks away incredibly disappointed and pissed off, while Bret celebrates his return victory with the fans at ringside. It's clear that this is only the beginning, and things between these two are far from over. This was merely a spectacular way to start things; a hell of a first match to test each other out. Bret proved that he was the better man on this night, but Austin wasn't about to lay down and accept it. Bret goes on to get the winner of Shawn/Sid next month and has earned another Title shot. Will we be treated to a Wrestlemania rematch?
Dok Hendrix talks to Sid, who assures us that he'll do anything to win the WWF Title tonight.
Captain Lou Albano is shown in attendance.
Yokozuna, Savio Vega, Flash Funk & ??? vs. Vader, Faarooq, "Razor Ramon" &
Jim Cornette joins JR and Vince on commentary. Flash Funk is wearing red and yellow and Ross gets a cheapshot at Hogan in: "I've never seen the red and yellow look so good here in the Garden." Ouch. The mystery partner turns out to be "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. Flash starts with Vader and hits a moonsault from the top rope to the floor. Faarooq and Savio go at it for awhile, and the fake Razor comes in for a fallaway slam. Diesel and Faarooq toss Flash around the ring and Faarooq hits his big spinebuster. Jimmy Snuka tags in and somehow bodyslams Vader. Faarooq posts Savio on the floor and the Fake Diesel finishes him with the Fake Jackknife for the Fake three count at 8:34. If any of this sounds disjointed, it's because that's what the match is like. Jimmy Snuka does the Superfly Splash off the top onto the Fake Razor and pins him at 9:30, prompting the Fake Diesel to go nuts with a chair. A huge brawl erupts and the ref DQ's everyone at 9:45, leaving us with a draw for the first time ever in a Survivor Series match. Ugly match with some highspots thrown in. 1/2* Were they short on time or something?
A Shawn Michaels/Sid video package is shown.
WWF Title: Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Sid
They psych each other out in between some nice headlock sequences. Shawn bails after a Sid powerbomb attempt, then storms back in and clips his knee. Shawn pretends he's Bret Hart and works it over for a bit before going to the Figure Four. He's been watching those Bret/Diesel tapes. Sid makes it to the ropes, but Shawn continues working the knee and gets booed by a good 40% of the crowd. Sid posts Shawn's left shoulder, but Shawn goes right back to working Sid's knee. Sid clotheslines Shawn to the floor, then drops him throat-first on the railing. He rolls him in and gets a two count. Sid dictates a slow pace and gets a backdrop and a big boot. He gets two off a big backbreaker. Michaels comes back briefly but eats a Sid boot. Shawn tries the Superkick but Sid chokeslams him instead. He goes for the powerbomb, but Shawn small packages him for two. Sid puts him down with a powerslam and a clothesline. Sid grabs a camera from one of the ringside cameramen, and knocks out not Shawn Michaels, but rather his mentor, 62 year old Jose Lothario. He then turns around into a Shawn superkick, however, and goes down. Shawn now has a decision to make. Should he cover Sid for the Title or check on his friend? The answer is of course simple, since gaining a pinfall will only take three seconds and then he'll be able to check on Jose, but Michaels doesn't think about that and elects to go to the side of his fallen mentor. Sid recovers and drags Shawn into the ring. Michaels tries for a reverse crossbody and hits the referee by accident. Shawn goes to the floor to check on Jose again, and with the ref down, Sid picks up the camera and nails Shawn with it. He tosses him back in the ring and hits the powerbomb for the three count and the WWF Title at 20:02. Now that the match is over, medics come out to help Jose. Shawn recovers and goes with them, still concerned about Lothario. Sid slaps the hands of the ringsiders despite being a clear cut heel and even gets a hug from Vladimir the Superfan. ***1/2
A Coliseum exclusive shows Jose Lothario actually getting helped by the medics backstage. Well that's good to know.
This show will go down as one of the best in '96 thanks to the Bret/Austin classic and the good main event. There were two other good matches, and Rocky's debut is fun for historical reasons, so there's not much to really dislike from this show even if the WWF was in the crapper at the time.
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