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   Sat, October 25, 2003



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Austin power


The dust has barely settled on No Mercy and WWE is already setting the wheels in motion for next month's Survivor Series. One of the highest-profile (and longest-running) pay-per-views on the wrestling calendar, Series is set to go down Nov. 16 in Dallas.

For the show's marquee match, Stone Cold Steve Austin puts his general manager duties on the line in an old-school Survivor Series-style match. It'll be a five-on-five, single-elimination affair, with a heel team championed by Eric Bischoff taking on the babyface team, which will represent Austin.

If the Rattlesnake's team wins, the provocation clause in his contract will be revoked. If it loses, he has to resign as GM and hand power to Bischoff.

The semi-main for the show will be a buried-alive match between The Undertaker and Vince McMahon.

Filling out the top half of the card, Triple H will make a brief return from Hollywood to take on Goldberg for the world championship and Kurt Angle will have a rematch with John Cena.

There'll also be a final showdown, probably a gimmick match, between Kane and Shane McMahon.

- - -

'HAWK' DIES: The wrestling world was still reeling from the death of Stu Hart when news broke another grappling legend had passed away.

Road Warrior Hawk -- real name: Michael Hegstrand -- was found dead in his Tampa, Fla., condo Sunday morning.

As half of The Road Warriors and Legion of Doom with his partner Joe Laurinaitis (Animal), Hegstrand, 46, established himself as a top-level tag-team player and one of the most identifiable wrestling stars of the '80s.

Hegstrand, who was in the process of moving to a new homw with his wife, passed away in his sleep. Heart problems are believed to have been the cause of death.

- - -

HULK HOBBLED: Hulk Hogan will be spending Halloween having surgery on his troublesome knee, which is a nightmare scenario for NWA TNA.

The group had been building toward a full-priced, three-hour PPV on Nov. 30, headlined by the Hulkster facing off against long-time nemesis Jeff Jarrett.

Now, with Hogan on the shelf while he recovers from the operation, the fledgling group has been forced to put the big show on hold. The unnamed pay-per-view, which was looking set to be the biggest in TNA history, will be rescheduled for early 2004.

Jarrett beat AJ Styles for the NWA title on Wednesday night, which sets up Hogan to take the strap from him down the road.

- - -

RING MATCH: Having already gone through a fake wedding (and divorce) on WWE television, Triple H (Paul Levesque) and Stephanie McMahon will be getting married for real today in New York City.

WWE has cancelled all house shows tonight so the wrestlers and crew can attend the ceremony.

The happy couple managed to avoid getting bumped up too badly in the week before their big day, although Triple H sustained a minor hamstring pull at a New Hampshire house show last weekend.

He still made his booking for the following night's show in Rhode Island but he stayed out of the ring and worked in Evolution's corner instead.

Both Hunter and Steph will be off TV until mid-November.

- - -

SENT REELING: Triple H has finished work on Blade: Trinity in Vancouver and is preparing to take his first lead role in WWE Films' first production, The Journey Of Death. He's also being touted as a possible replacement for Arnold Schwarzenegger in the next Conan movie.

* The Internet Movie Database is reporting The Undertaker is set to appear in Phantasm's End, the fifth and final movie in the Phantasm series, set for release in December.

* The Rock could make an appearance at Wrestlemania, after all. Instant Karma, Rocky's new movie in which he plays a criminal who gets reincarnated as a series of animals, isn't set to begin shooting until April.