Ringside Rewind: Kurt Angle vs. AJ Styles, Last Man Standing Match, TNA Hard Justice 2008

With Matt Hardy challenging Ethan Carter III on tonight’s episode of Impact Wrestling for the TNA Heavyweight Championship in a Last Man Standing match, the company has uploaded a few classic LMS matches to its YouTube channel. It might also have something to do with both matches featuring AJ Styles and his hype levels at an all-time high thanks to his rumored impending WWE debut, but whatever.

Either way, we’ll use this as a way to watch a really good match one more time. While dubbed a Last Man Standing match, the contest was actually wrestled under Texas Death Match rules, in which you have to pin or submit the opponent before a 10 count begins.

Ringside Rewind: HBK, Goldberg & RVD v. Batista, Randy Orton & Kane: Raw, December 2003

Ringside Rewind is an occasional feature where we take a look back at a match or moment from the “good old days.”

On the December 2, 2003 edition of Monday Night Raw we got an interesting six-man tag team match featuring a cross-section of wrestling. One team was comprised of Shawn Michaels, Goldberg and Rob Van Dam. RVD was still on the rise but was perhaps the biggest star to come out of ECW. Goldberg, whose time in WWE was certainly not as exceptional as many expected, was one of the biggest names during WCW’s run on top. And Shawn Michaels was already one of the best to ever come out of WWE and would become one of the best of all time.

The other side featured an up-and-coming Batista and Randy Orton, both of whom were on their way to multiple World Championships. Joining them was Kane, a holdover from the Attitude Era and another of the key players in WWE’s victory over Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff.

Ringside Rewind: Bret Hart v. Hulk Hogan, Nitro, September ’98

Following Bret Hart calling Hulk Hogan a dirt bag via Citi Field’s Twitter account his afternoon, I wondered if the two – who have had a mutual disdain for one another for quite some time – had squared off. Of course, the two are forever tied together from the odd WrestleMania IX finishing sequence, which saw Hart lose the WWE Championship to Yokozuna only to have Hogan come out (for some reason) and get an impromptu title match and victory.

But the two did have a match against each other. Only one.

During a September 1998 episode of WCW Nitro, the Hitman and the Hulkster did battle.

Ringside Rewind: JBL v. Booker T, WWE Championship Match, Survivor Series 2004

Survivor Series 2004, much like this year’s event, only featured two traditional elimination matches; Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Carlito, Luther Reigns and Mark Jindrak) v. Team Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, Rob Van Dam and John Cena) and Team Triple H (Triple H, Edge, Snitsky and Batista) v. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Maven, Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit).

The penultimate match on the card, though, was for the WWE Championship as JBL defended his title against Booker T. Let’s rewind 10 years time and re-live the match as we await WWE’s presentation of the 2014 version of Survivor Series.

Ringside Rewind: Team WWF v. Team Alliance, Survivor Series 2001

As we gear up for tonight’s Survivor Series, let’s take a look back at the 2001 version of the event, as posted on WWE’s YouTube page. This was the culmination of the “WCW invasion” storyline, which was so much worse and more convoluted than it could have been. The main event of Survivor Series 2001 was Team WWF v. The Alliance in a traditional elimination match where the winning team’s company would stay in business while the other’s doors would be shuttered, at least in kayfabe.

Team WWF was comprised of The Rock, Chris Jericho, Undertaker, Kane and Big Show while the Alliance squad was made up of Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle (who never competed for WCW or ECW), Booker T and Shane McMahon.

Ringside Rewind: Los Gringos Locos v. El Hijo del Santo & Octagon, 2 Out of 3 Falls Hair v. Masks Match, AAA When Worlds Collide, 11/6/94

On November 6, 1994, AAA presented When Worlds Collide. The event was held at the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena and promoted in conjunction with WCW. The pay-per-view was broadcast in both English and Spanish. In the main event, Perro Aguayo defeated Konnan in a Steel Cage Match but the match that stole the show – and earned a five star rating from Dave Meltzer – was La Pareja del Terror (Los Gringos Locos) v. El Hijo del Santo and Octagon. The contest was also a two out of three falls hair v. masks match, so it had just about everything you could jam into a wrestling match.

Los Gringos Locos was comprised of Eddie Guerrero and “Love Machine” Art Barr. The two were in negotiations to head to ECW at the time of this match to feud with Public Enemy, but Barr would tragically die less than three weeks after When Worlds Collide.

Enjoy this match, one of the last of Barr’s life and one that is widely considered to be one of the greatest pay-per-view matches of all time.

Ringside Rewind: The Montreal Screwjob

This post originally ran on RingsideRants.com on November 9, 2013 and is being re-posted as part of the lead-up to Survivor Series 2014.

During the main event of Survivor Series 1997, in the WWF Championship match between Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart, referee Earl Hebner signaled for the bell as Michaels had Hart in the Sharpshooter, in what would forever be known as the “Montreal Screwjob.”

Only a few men knew the plan and Bret wasn’t one of them. Despite assurances to the contrary, Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart that night in Montreal.

Hart was on his way to WCW, after being told by McMahon that WWF wouldn’t be able to follow through on Hart’s 20-year contract due to financial troubles. According to the owner of the WWF, Hart would be doing what was best for everyone by leaving for WCW.

So that’s what Bret Hart did, negotiating a lucrative contract with the enemy, and agreeing to drop the belt the night after Survivor Series. He didn’t want to do business for Shawn Michaels and especially not in Canada. In wrestling, though, when it comes time to do the job, you do the job.

There is so much controversy surrounding the events of the “Screwjob” that a compelling case can be made for a number of arguments. Most say Bret Hart got a raw deal. Some say Bret Hart should have played by the rules and laid down for Michaels. A large number of people think the whole thing was a work.

No matter why and how the whole thing went down, it remains one of the most important moments in wrestling history.

That night Vince McMahon as the heel authority figure was born, which would lead to the Austin-McMahon rivalry and the Attitude Era. It also forced McMahon and the wrestling industry as a whole to pull back the curtain a bit. Depending on your stance, that was good or bad for business.

For two men that hated each other, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels truly had great in-ring chemistry and some of the greatest matches of each wrestler’s career came against one another.

Ringside Rewind: Team Andre the Giant v. Team Hulk Hogan, Survivor Series 1987

Following their historic matchup at WrestleMania III, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant would square off again at Survivor Series 1987, but this time they would bring some friends along.

The main event of the pay-per-view featured Andre the Giant teaming with One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and “Ravishing” Rick Rude to take on Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow.

Ringside Rewind: Shawn Michaels v. Bret Hart, WWE Championship Match, Survivor Series 1992

Survivor Series 1992 was the first event of its kind to put more emphasis on singles matches than the traditional elimination matches. In fact, the event only featured one elimination match, a four-on-four contest that pitted The Nasty Boys and The Natural Disasters against Money Inc. and The Beverly Brothers. Unfortunately, the trend of more singles matches than elimination matches has continued all the way up to present day, making Survivor Series a mere name more than a theme.

While Survivor Series 1992 is considered one of the more lackluster shows in the event’s history, there were two very strong main event matches. The first was a tag team match with Razor Ramon and Ric Flair taking on “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect.

The second main event was the final match of the evening, featuring Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels challenging Bret “Hitman” Hart for the then-WWF Championship in one of the first of many matches in the pair’s storied rivalry.

Michaels had just won the IC Title a few weeks before from The British Bulldog, who was abruptly released due to steroid allegations and was made to drop the belt to HBK on his way out. Hart was originally scheduled to defend the WWF Championship against Jake “The Snake” Roberts at Survivor Series, but the WWF couldn’t come to terms with Roberts on a contract, and the new Michaels v. Hart main event was born.

The match is considered one of the better main event title matches in WWE history and was awarded 4.5 stars by Wrestling Observer‘s Dave Meltzer.