History of Survivor Series with KB
We’re all familiar with the Monday Night Wars. Everyone knows the story about how Vince went head to head with Bischoff to square off with WCW for the final supremacy in professional wrestling. Now what a lot of you might not be familiar with is the original war between the NWA and the WWF. These two went to war in the 80s and this is probably the biggest shot that was fired.
For those of you that have watched the Starrcade documentary, you know about how it was the biggest show of the year for the NWA. Now, Wrestlemania was bigger, but it wasn’t as old as Starrcade which came two years earlier. Wrestlemania 3 occurred on March 29, 1987 and smashed every record on the planet. No one, not even Vince, thought it would do as well as it did.
So, based on the strength of this, Vince decided to make a second major show which would be based around Hogan and Andre again. However, he wanted to save the actual rematch for a later date, so instead the WWF came up with this team concept that we now know as the Survivor Series. It would be headlined by Andre’s team against Hogan’s team. Now what does this have to do with the NWA you ask?
The answer to that is simple. Vince decided that he could kill two birds with one stone here, so he booked Survivor Series to go head to head with Starrcade. Then he got really ruthless. He told the PPV providers that if they didn’t air Survivor Series, he wouldn’t allow them to air Wrestlemania. Now this was a HUGE gamble.
If the companies stick to their verbal agreements with the NWA and air Starrcade, then Vince has no one to air Wrestlemania, and if he went back on his word he and the WWF as a whole look like they’re caving in and are therefore weak. However, if the PPV companies fold to his pressure and air Survivor Series, then the NWA is hit badly as they won’t make as much money and the WWF gets a huge advantage.
Based on the fact that the NWA is now on some satellite channel and hasn’t meant anything in nearly 20 years, I think you know what happened. Vince won, and we got Survivor Series instead of Starrcade. The NWA would fire back though on Wrestlemania night by debuting Clash of the Champions on FREE TV, headlined by a 45 minute classic between Flair and Sting which was Sting’s coming out party on the national level.
The ratings for Mania 4 are proof that the show was hurt by CotC, as Mania 4 was far less viewed, especially during the time that the NWA was on. Anyway, that’s the history of how it started, so now let’s get to the history of how it happened. As usual, I’ll be posting a single review a day every day, with the 2008 review being put up on the day before this year’s show. All comments, criticisms and questions are welcome, so I hope you have fun with this as I will.
Survivor Series 1987
Date: November 26, 1987
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland)
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
I think the first show of these series is my favorite. You have little expectation because it’s never been done before. This is especially true in this case as this kind of match had never been seen on a wide level before. Like I’ve said, this was the sequel to Wrestlemania 3, so a lot of the feuds spawned either at that show or between then and now. Summerslam doesn’t even exist at this point.
We have a total of four matches on this card, so for the first few shows, you won’t be getting any matches as it’s kind of pointless to post a fourth or a fifth of the whole care. In this case, we have a mid card match, a women’s match, a tag match and the main event. That’s a grand total of 50 people wrestling tonight. That is a TON. I don’t even know if the rumbles have that many people at them.
Back in the early days this was 5 on 5 instead of the traditional four on four. For those of you that actually don’t know how this works, it’s elimination tag matches. The tag line was two teams of 5 strive to survive. A person can be eliminated by pin, submission, count out or DQ. The team that survives wins.
You can have any combination of people on a team at any point in the match. You could go from 5 vs. 5 to 5 vs. 1 to 1 vs. 1, making a lot of interesting scenarios possible. With all that being said, let’s get to the first ever Survivor Series.
The old school Coliseum Video intro was always sweet beyond belief to me. It’s so retro and so perfect that it’s all you could ask for in a generic intro. We open with a brief shot of the stare down between Andre and Hogan. The announcers talk to us for a good while as they explain a completely new concept to us which is always fun.
We’re in the back with Honky Tonk Man and his team. This match came about from Honky hitting Savage with the guitar and shoving down Liz. He threatens to hit the Shake Rattle and Roll on Liz.
Savage says that he’s coming for Honky.
Honky Tonk Man’s Team vs. Randy Savage’s Team
For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just be listing the captains in the titles and the wrestlers here.
Honky’s Team: Ron Bass, Hercules, Harley Race, Danny Davis.
Savage’s Team: Ricky Steamboat, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake.
On my tape the intros are cut and we just get very short clips of most people coming out which is a good way to save a LOT of time. I have the original two hour version of what was about a three hour show. See, it can cut a lot of time out of things. Bear with me on this one as I really have no idea how I’m going to do this. We start with Beefcake against Hercules, so there’s a trivia question that likely no one will ever ask.
One thing that’s certainly better back in the old days is the commentary. You don’t get a bunch of bullshit that no one cares about and that no one understands. Jesse and Gorilla are absolutely great at what they do. There’s very little reason here as to why most of the faces or heels are on their respective teams. The captains are obvious, but for the most part it’s just people that don’t like Honky.
He took the title from Steamboat, he was feuding with Roberts before he got the title, Beefcake would be next in line to feud with him as he had a title shot at WM 4, and Duggan is I guess just someone that needed something to do. On the heel side, there’s really no connection anywhere. Bass and Beefcake would feud in about a year but it was very short. Race didn’t feud with anyone other than some random world title shots.
Davis was just a twerp that cheated when he refereed and was a complete jobber, and Hercules was just the muscle of the Heenan Family. This is really just a midcard match with little rhyme or reason, which is one of the fun parts of this show. It offers a lot of chances for new feuds to start up and for matches that you wouldn’t usually see, which is always a fun thing.
The faces take turns beating on Davis as Ventura continues to say that Savage is the best wrestler in the world. See, that’s a great thing about Jesse. He had no problem admitting that a face was better than any of the heels. We have Harley Race against Ricky Steamboat in a complete and utter wet dream for 80s fans. You have a career heel against a career face and two of the best of all time.
Their careers just kind of missed each other though as Race was just about done when Steamboat got to the NWA again. Race had one of the best belly to belly suplexes of all time. The REAL best there is, best there was and best there ever will be comes in. (it’s the night after Slaughter hosted Raw for those of you that have no clue what I’m talking about). Duggan and Race both get counted out. That’s something that I like about these matches.
You have to do that quite a bit to clear out some of the dead weight in there and in this case it actually makes sense for something like that to happen. I like it. It’s 4-4 now for those of you keeping score at home. It’s now Bass against Roberts. Bass is the epitome of a generic heel. He’s just a mean guy from Texas that was kind of a cowboy. It’s one of those things you had back in the day that a bit more of wouldn’t hurt. Savage keeps trying to get at Honky which eventually gets him caught.
In one of the fastest sequences I can remember, he makes a very fast tag to Beefcake who hits a high knee to make it 4-3. You now have Davis, Hercules and Honky. That’s….not very good. We finally get the captain in there as Beefcake appears intoxicated. I will never get tired of seeing Honky sell an atomic drop. Gorilla says that Brutus has a lot of fight left in him so I’ll put the over under on his elimination time inside of 60 seconds. Yep, he’s gone in 18 as Honky hits the neckbreaker to tie us up at 3.
Here’s the problem though. The three heels I’ve already mentioned are up against Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and Jake Roberts. Who do you think is going to win here? Yeah it’s pretty obvious which is what it was the whole match. The only more one sided match that I’ve ever seen was War Games 95 with Haku, Beefcake, Kamala and Earthquake against Savage, Sting, Luger and Hogan.
That’s a dream team for faces against a bunch of bad heels with maybe Haku I guess being the most successful? Yeah I think that one was worse but not by much at all. The story of this match is that Savage wants to kill Honky and nothing more. Apparently losing your captain is the end of your life which isn’t the case but Gorilla would like you to believe it. Since I believe in Gorilla Monsoon, I’ll believe that. What amuses me the most though is that once Savage is finally in there with Honky he tags out.
The DDT is teased but Honky gets out. That was a revolutionary move back then as there was nothing that was anywhere near as fast as that move. It changed a lot of moves in later times such as the Stunner or Rock Bottom which are moves that can be hit in the blink of an eye. That can be credited to the DDT and therefore Jake Roberts for making it happen.
Until then you had moves like the leg drop or the figure four that took a lot of time to set up and were easy to see coming. With the DDT it’s in the blink of an eye so you have to pay very close attention to Roberts, and also whenever he’s in trouble he’s not far enough out of it that a single DDT can’t save him. That adds a completely different dimension to Roberts’ character. There it is. Even Jesse knows Davis is done.
Hercules just kills Roberts with a clothesline after Davis is gone though. The heels do various nefarious things to Jake since Macho keeps going after Honky. Herc is called Hercules Hernandez which I thought had had long since stopped being called. Time for the Orton Special here as we need time to stall. They beat on Jake for a LONG time here and we go back to the chinlock. Roberts breaks it with what I guess would be called a head drag.
He shakes his head to send Hercules flying in the same movement that you would use in an arm drag. It’s right back on him though so the move was completely pointless, although cool looking. He gets the tag to Steamboat who amazingly would be performing on PPV TWENTY TWO FREAKING YEARS AFTER THIS. Think about that. How many of you are under 22? This is in the middle of his career and he had a longer time between that and Mania/Backlash this year when he wrestled again. That’s scary.
Big elbow ends Hercules to get us down to the real thing we want to see: Honky get his ass kicked. What follows is about two and a half minutes of Honky just being destroyed. Everything he tries is stopped dead. It’s more or less target practice at this point until an atomic drop sends him over the ropes and he runs away to end this via countout, which in this case makes sense.
Rating: B+. This was a very fun way to start the series. It had all kinds of guys out there and the faces got a bit of revenge. Honky shows that he’s smart by leaving in a match that really means nothing as the title isn’t on the line. It did a good job of showing what these matches can turn into with the 3-1 finish, as well as it progressed the Honky feuds with the midcard angle.
Savage was supposed to beat him for the title at Mania 4, but due to a lot of other backstage stuff, he got the world title instead and this feud was kind of left without a finish. This was a great old school 80s match though which was a great way to get us into the match type, so definitely a good opener.
We have a transition period here as the Women are introduced which few people either know or care about, with the announcers talking about whether Honky was right to bail or not.
Sensational Sherri’s Team vs. Fabulous Moolah’s Team
This would have been a 6 man tag any other time as it was only about the tag titles and the women’s title. Yes, there were Women’s Tag Titles back in the day. The champions there are the Glamour Girls and they’re feuding with the Jumping Bomb Angels. The Angels were more or less a cruiserweight style in women’s wrestling and they were very fun to watch.
They were very crisp out there and knew what they were doing. The other feud is Sherri vs. Moolah, as Sherri had taken the title from her recently. Compared to the 28 year (allegedly) reign of the Fabulous one, this was FAR shorter. Here’s the lineups:
Sherri’s Team: Glamour Girls (Judy Martin/Lelani Kai), Donna Christianello, Dawn Marie (no not THAT Dawn Marie).
Moolah’s Team: Jumping Bomb Angels (I can’t spell their names), Velvet McIntyre, Rockin Robin.
Yeah, women’s wrestling back in the 80s was a mix of awesome and worse than today’s product depending on when you were watching it. Wendi Richter for example was headlining some house shows in 85, but then you’d have some matches where they would make Alicia Fox look like Trish and Lita combined. Moolah is listed at 160lbs, which is amusing. She argues about it as do the commentators. This is really fast paced especially when the Bomb Angels are in there.
One of them jumps over the top rope and comes in with a dropkick before she hits the mat. That’s just cool looking. Chrisitanello is gone in about 2 minutes as McIntyre hits a great rollup move to pin her. Velvet was a great wrestler that never really got the credit she deserved. She hit a lot of moves you would see a guy like Rey hit, so that’s a compliment if there ever was one. She used a lot of one footed dropkicks which is effective and different at the same time. Kai comes in.
She would actually be at WM 10 fighting for the women’s title. It came from left field and was a one off appearance. She was destroyed and it made little sense. It would be like having Bart Gunn show up and fight Rey in a random IC Title match. Robin botches hitting the ropes which isn’t something you see that often. I love how the divas today are considered slutty yet just about all of the women here are wearing more or less one piece swimsuits.
Robin eliminates Dawn Marie with a bad looking cross body. That makes it 5-3 and more or less makes this what matters. It was about the tag feud and the three single faces against Sherri. One of the Angels is in now and uses what we would call a Matrix move to get out of a pin. Considering she was on the mat and did that to get out, that’s impressive as hell.
She is all over the place and tags in her partner who starts by coming in with what we would call Old School but instead of a chop or walking the ropes, she rolls over in a perfect arm drag. This is one of the fastest tag teams I’ve ever seen, regardless of genitalia. Sherri is getting beaten on now by just about everyone which is always fun to see. This is kind of similar to what happened to Honky earlier but Sherri is the tougher of the two.
They botch (kind of) a monkey flip which to be fair is a hard move to hit. Also the Glamour Girls aren’t exactly tiny ladies. Robin gets pinned with a suplex. Yeah in the 80s that was a big move actually, and not just for the women. Flair won his first WWF match in the 70s with that move. EGADS one of the Angels gets throw 360 by the hair. Velvet hits a cross body where she rotates around the body of the Glamour Girl.
As in she makes contact and her feet go into the air and then she lands the other way than the way she jumps if that makes sense. Moolah hits a bolo punch and I can’t believe I actually knew that. The tags are WAY too fast for me to keep up with here. Jesse goes on a short tangent about how one of the women should go bald to avoid hair pulling.
That’s actually not a bad idea. Back then it wasn’t about the looks so why not? Moolah gets knocked out by a clothesline, which is likely good as she was 6-freaking-4 years old at this point and had been women’s champion earlier in the year. What does that tell you about the women’s division at this time? That makes it 3-3.
Sherri thinks she’s Hulk Hogan with a leg drop and then a….what was that? It was a combination gutwrench suplex and DDT. I think it was supposed to be a suplex and was a botch. Yeah the women weren’t always perfect. We have a messed up bell ringing as one of the Angels bridges out of a pin and the bell rings anyway. The referee waves it off so it was a mistake I guess. We get a VERY old school giant swing which is always cool. Yeah Velvet is hurt and I think it’s legit.
She does get a victory roll to eliminate Sherri but Sherri’s shoulder was up. I really think the injury is legit. Either that or she’s the best seller I’ve ever seen. The Angels can’t slam the Glamour Girls, if that tells you how big these girls are. It’s the most basic hold there is and it can’t be done. It’s not the Angels’ fault though. We get a body scissors of all things which I guess could hurt a bit. We get REALLY old school as we have a sling shot.
A match with a slingshot and a giant swing makes this the best match EVER. Velvet is pinned in what we would call an electric chair to make this an elimination tag team match. These four would have a bunch of matches, including a fictitious title change in Cairo. They would actually have a title match at the first Royal Rumble where the Angels would take the titles before the belts were just dropped. Kai is eliminated by a cross body as this is really close to being over.
We get a move that I’ve always liked the idea of as they go for an atomic drop and instead just drop Judy Martin on her ass. Jimmy Hart gets dropkicked to the floor and a top rope clothesline ends it. This was fast paced and very fun, but sloppy as HELL.
Rating: C+. The Bomb Angels were fun as hell to watch as they could possibly out move Lita. It was a decent length match and they got rid of the dead weight very fast which was fine and then we got down to some better stuff. There were certainly some horrid spots, but there was enough good to make it passable.
Amazingly, we’re halfway done.
The announcers praise the Angels as they certainly should. Jesse’s line of the Glamour Girls are in trouble is very true. You can tell he was really impressed.
The Hart Foundation, the heel captains, are with most of their team as I don’t think you can fit 10 guys and two managers into a single shot. Heenan says that they’re ready.
Strike Force say their team will win. You can hear Demolition’s theme playing in the background during this.
Strike Force’s Team vs. Hart Foundation’s Team
Hart Foundation’s Team: Demolition, Dream Team (Dino Bravo/Greg Valentine), Islanders, Bolsheviks.
Strike Force’s Team: Killer Bees, Young Stallions, British Bulldogs, Rougeau Brothers.
Nikolai Volkoff and Rick Martel start. The rules here are that if any person is eliminated, his partner is too which is a nice little twist. You have 20 guys in this match so this is a crowded apron. I’ve always liked Strike Force for some reason. I have no idea why but I’ve always loved their stuff. Zhukoff tagged someone but it’s ignored. Have to love that kind of thing. The apron is about 80% full. Bolsheviks are gone in about a minute after the forearm.
Oh yeah this is happening because Strike Force won the titles from the Harts and the Harts want revenge. Demolition was just freaking awesome all the time. For some reason Jesse can’t tell the Rougeaus apart. One is blonde and the other has facial hair. They don’t even look related. We get a real power match here with Smash against Davey.
The sad case that is Dynamite Kid comes in and gets beaten on. Dynamite was the man that Benoit based his entire style off of. This is just hard to call as the tags are even faster than the last match. Paul “I was a Horseman damn it!” Roma comes in. Monsoon says you have to pay attention in this one. Truer words have never been spoken. Jesse’s line of the Young Stallions look like geldings right now made me laugh.
The Rougeaus are gone off a missed cross body so at least it’s down to four to four or eight to eight depending on how you look at it. This is a great case of power vs. speed all around. Neidhart and Haku, which is a strange pairing if there ever was one, hit a cool looking double team move with Neidhart having him over the shoulder and Haku hitting a double axe.
Valentine comes in, amazingly looking the same 22 years later. Has there ever been a guy more stuck in the 80s? That’s not fair though as he still looks pretty good for his age. Bravo would have a short angle about his strength coming up.
Everyone beats up Dynamite and Smash shoves the referee to eliminate Demolition to a very loud pop. The most successful guy in the match comes in: Bret Hart. Good grief how many titles are there between these twenty guys? Actually not as many as you would think. Unless I’m missing something, only Bret is a future world champion and of all people Martel was a former world champion at this point, having held the AWA title for over a year.
Actually, after this, other than hardcore titles, the only people to win singles titles after this were Bret, Bulldog and Martel, who had a completely forgotten and unimportant WCW TV Title reign of about a week. Oh and Santana would win the ancestor of the ECW title, which meant nothing at the time. Jesse and Gorilla argue over how to pronounce Tama’s name. Strike Force is WAY over. In case you’re wondering, the score at this point is 4-3 with Strike Force in the lead.
Now we’re both slowing down a bit and we’re getting to the point where things are also a LOT less cluttered. That was the problem earlier: things were just overly crowded. Neidhart pins Santana which really furthered their feud as the former champions pin the champions. Even with that, Demolition would be the team to take the belts from them at Mania 4, holding them for over a year in the longest reign in history which I can’t imagine would ever be topped.
Jesse says his great, great grandfather Ephraim the Body came over on the Mayflower. To say Jesse was hilarious is an understatement. The Stallions are just getting the hell beaten out of them, but like a bad fungus they won’t go away. With it being 6 on 6 it’s a lot better looking here.
That being said, the Bulldogs are put down by superkicking Dynamite after a very fast paced sequence with Bulldog and the Harts to an extent. The Stallions are STILL getting beaten up at this point and you almost want to feel sorry for them. I say almost because then you flash back to how much of a bastardization the Horsemen were with Roma in them. Hit Roma MORE!
It’s now 3-2 heels, which I believe is the first time all night that a heel team has been ahead. That’s actually very impressive. The Dream Team, who I never remember winning a match, screw up by trying to show off which allows Roma to pin Valentine with a sunset flip off the top and get us down to some hot four on four action. In case you can’t remember, that’s the Harts and the Islanders vs. the animal lovers of the Bees and the Stallions.
Hart is just so far ahead of everyone else out there it’s scary. Tama is a guy that was awesome yet sadly enough not a lot ever was done with him. He was 21 at this point and after about another year, you just wouldn’t hear much of him again. Jimmy has to be tired as he’s been out there for all three matches so far. Egads a double headbutt from the Islanders and Roma has to be completely dead. I have something to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving show.
Haku and Neidhart both hit dropkicks. This was actually a nice coincidence as Monsoon says he’d like to see Anvil get up for a dropkick and before he’s done saying that Anvil was in the air. The timing was perfect and Monsoon got a kick out of that. No that wasn’t meant to be a pun. Roma FINALLY gets out and a Jim Brunzell is in. The Bees take out the Harts after a rollup. We get the evil foreign nerve hold which never actually did anything that I can remember.
The Islanders, the far fresher and more dominant team, get a lot of time to beat on the quick faces which is a nice sign. They get about seven minutes. Another nerve hold and Jim looks like he’s having a seizure or getting a blowjob from a Rottweiler. We go to a random shot of the crowd. Yeah that made no sense at all. After a VERY long beatdown, we get all 6 guys in the ring except one. Blair has put a mask on and hits a sunset flip as the illegal man for the win.
You would think that the referee would notice that there was a killer bee getting knocked to the floor and within half a second a masked bee is hitting a sunset flip but then again, I’m no professional. Despite having nothing to do with the ending, Strike Force’s music is played for the faces to leave to.
Rating: B. This was awesome with all kinds of stuff going on. The apron was crowded but this was much better paced than some of the other matches tonight which just flew by with everyone being eliminated within a few seconds. Here the match went on longer and people were eliminated in a more normal and realistic style.
The ending was fun as the faces cheated to win and speed beat power. This was just fun with everyone getting a turn and hitting their finisher which is always cool to see. It was a bit sloppy with so many people, but damn it was fun.
Ted DiBiase is thankful that he’s rich and that he got to make RVD kiss his feet back when RVD was about 12. How amazing is it that DiBiase would never be a world champion and the kid that kissed his feet would? That’s amazing for anything, not just pro wrestling.
Honky says he’s still the IC champion. Yeah the belt didn’t give that away.
Jesse’s hat is great as he tries to get it over his headset but it’s just kind of sitting on his head. Even Gorilla says that wasn’t fair.
Recap of the main event feud. Andre hasn’t wrestled since Mania, which isn’t true as he was likely on house shows but we can’t let that be known. Heenan and Andre says they’re going to destroy Hogan. Andre is so huge he’s terrifying.
Hogan says his team will dominate.
Andre’s Team vs. Hogan’s Team
Andre’s Team: Butch Reed, Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang.
Hogan’s Team: Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff.
Bobby’s introduction of Andre is a bit amusing as he says he’s from FRANCE. Heenan just shouts it which was a bit odd. This was at the very end of Hogan’s four year reign as he would lose the belt two days after I was born on February 5th 1988. We actually have reasons for a lot of these guys being in this match. Hogan and Andre of course need no explanation. Orndorff hates Heenan (although they would reunite about a year later) because Heenan fired Orndorff for Rude so those two are explained.
Orndorff and Bigelow shared a manager in Oliver Humperdink so that’s why the Beast from the East is there. Patera was feuding with the Heenan Family, and Muraco had saved Billy Graham from Gang and Reed. Graham was supposed to be in this match but had to retire due to injuries. Bundy is there just because of Heenan, and Reed and Gang are there to get back at Muraco. Some of these are a bit stretched, but I think it’s fine.
Graham was Hogan’s friend so Muraco being in the match as his replacement is fine. Hogan is still rocking the old school WWF Title here which was a bland as hell belt. Orndorff gets a hell of a pop which surprises me a bit. Of course the roof is blown off for Hogan as it should be. Andre’s eyes are locked onto Hogan as he comes down with the American flag. Was there a point to Hogan’s bandana having the strips hanging down into his eyes that I just never got?
Monsoon says that Hogan decides Rock is going to start. I love that it’s just assumed that Hogan makes all of the decisions because he’s the only one with a brain. Ok on second thought looking at his team that’s a good idea actually. Hogan’s team huddling is clichéd but cool. Moraco is freaking scary looking.
We start with the ravishing one and the magnificent one. I love how they don’t even have names anymore and it’s just descriptions. Rude’s tights are odd to say the least as they’re covered in road signs. Hogan is in and gets less of a pop than Orndorff. However, his is much longer. Bigelow gets a loud reaction of his own. Patera, a guy that I’ve already explained, gets zero reaction. It’s also Butch Reed in there now.
Big leg gets rid of Reed in about 3 minutes. Andre comes in and the showdown is imminent. However, Hogan high fives Patera which is called a tag. Even Hogan says he didn’t mean to do it. Jesse screams conspiracy about Joey Marella saving Hogan. In something that you might not know, Joey is the son of Gorilla Monsoon. You know, if Hogan wants Andre so badly, why doesn’t Patera just tag him back in? Andre tags out to Bundy anyway.
Why is it that every time that a big guy is sent into the corner Monsoon swears the ring moves at least 6 inches? No, it didn’t. According to the voiceover guy, the heels weigh close to 2000 pounds. Are you telling me that one guy can move them that far? Patera is eliminated by the gang to tie us up at 4. Bigelow’s pop for him helping Hogan is INSANE. Orndorff and Bigelow are getting pops that can rival Hogan. That’s saying a lot.
No that’s saying more than a lot. That’s mind blowing and unheard of. Orndorff and Rude are gone within 2 minutes of that and since they were more or less filler I’ll spare you the details. Rude was out of the pin but we’ll let it go I guess. Muraco and Bundy are in there now and just as I say that Gang comes in. That’s about 1400lbs between three guys. That’s freaking insane. Not even Taker, Kane and Show are that big. Muraco tries to slam Gang.
Yeah there’s a reason he’s known for his body and not his brain. Note: at this point Hogan and Andre haven’t touched each other. Gang eliminates Muraco with a splash and he’s on a roll here. The more I see of Bigelow the more I agree with IC. This is brought on as Bammer gets a great looking (considering who did it) sunset flip on the Gang. He cleared him almost easily. That’s very impressive since Gang was taller than Hogan.
Bigelow is getting beaten up badly here. I love how Hogan has been in there maybe 45 seconds other than run ins and yet will easily get the biggest paycheck of the night. Heenan apparently has a master plan. Is there a school for managers and heels to get master plans from? I’d love to sign up for them. Did anyone else ever think that Hogan looked like he was about to cry when he was upset? His face was always comical to me.
Andre is huge compared to Bigelow, but we don’t get to explore that as Bigelow rolls forward and it’s on. The pop for this blows away everything else all night. Hogan of course beats the hell out of Andre. He hits the ropes but Bundy pulls him out. Hogan plays hero and beats on the inconsequential heels, slamming them both, but in doing so he’s counted out. So let me get this straight. Hogan and Andre lasts a 54 seconds, meaning Hogan was legal less than 2 minutes combined in this match.
You have to love that. Actually I don’t. That’s bullshit. The show was based around this but instead we get a minute long fight and Hogan out there for less time than some people can hold their breath. That’s just fucking sad. Now we have Bigelow against these three, which I’m betting isn’t going to go well for the Beast. Jesse points out that even if Bigelow was fresh this would be nearly impossible. He throws a dropkick of all things and gets height on it. I’m impressed with this guy.
Considering the other two big guys did jack shit and Bigelow just did a slingshot splash and cleared the top rope at nearly 400lbs, I’m impressed with Bigelow, so IC, you win this one. Gang misses a top rope splash and gets pinned. I think that was rigged so he could go find pie. So it’s Andre vs. Bigelow, and Andre is more or less fresh against Bigelow who is pretty much dead. Bigelow is rolling around to avoid Andre but then in a move that just looks hilarious Bigelow charges at him and misses.
That looked like something from a bad comedy movie. Andre hits a suplex move which was kind of a butterfly I guess but with only one arm hooked (Gorilla says double which isn’t true at all) for the win. Hogan runs out and beats Andre up. That is even more bullshit. Andre won completely clean. Hogan got beat clean. I love how Hogan could do absolutely no wrong. This is bullshit actually and Hogan is a whining bastard.
He of course poses to end the show and Jesse is absolutely right: he has nothing to celebrate. Jesse as always threatens to come out of retirement and take the title from Hogan. In the back, Heenan and Andre say they’re ready for Hogan and they just proved it and all Hogan has to do is sign the contract. Jesse is rightfully ticked off and we have credits?
Rating: B. This was another good match and it did the important thing: it gave you the possibility that Hogan could lose. It evened the score at one apiece. I’m actually ticked off about what Hogan did. That’s just complete and utter bullshit. Why should Hogan get to do that? The heels winning was brilliant and unexpected, and it set up the rematch in early February that got a 15 in the ratings. Think about that for a bit.
Overall Rating: A-. This was a perfect way to introduce the format. It advanced the stories, it gave a bridge to the next year, and it was all fun. You had four distinctly different matches, each of which played to a different area of the card, and the ending was a surprise. This is a rare occurrence in the history of the company actually.
Usually I would say that you should watch it because it’s the first show and for nothing else. This time, watch it because it’s the first show and because it’s a kick ass show. This is definitely good and worth watching and gets a very high recommendation.
Note: this is accurate as of August 11th. Now, I did a bit of research here and I found something that illustrates a lot. As I said, there were 50 wrestlers in action tonight. For the sake of this, we’ll factor out the women’s match and say it’s 40. Let’s compare this to a match from last year’s Survivor Series, in this case Team Orton (Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry) vs. Team Batista (Batista, CM Punk, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth).
Now, that’s 40 guys compared to 10 guys. In total, the 40 men on tonight’s show won 60 titles in the WWF. That’s a lot. By comparison, the 10 guys in the modern match have won 54 (excluding the hardcore title reigns which would put the modern team over). Think about that for a minute. ¼ of the people won 90% of the amount of tag titles. Also, R-Truth as of this writing has never held a non-hardcore title.
I’m also considering any tag title reign as separate reigns, so Neidhart and Bret Hart, three time tag champions, account for 6 of those 60 titles. That tells me a few things. First, there are FAR too many titles today. Second, it’s not as hard to become a champion today. Look at two main event guys in the 87 show: Bigelow and Orndorff.
Neither won any titles in WWF, yet they main evented shows, yet Matt Hardy and William Regal have never main evented any PPV that I remember (they may have but off the top of my head I’ve got nothing) and have a combined 22.
Now Hardy is probably a bigger star than either of them, but Regal simply isn’t bigger than Bigelow, plain and simple. Therefore, third, it says that title reigns don’t mean that you’re a star. Either way, there’s a huge difference between the eras and the title scene now is just ridiculous.
Another excellent review KB. I've only seen this show once, maybe twice, so I don't recall a lot of what happened, but you did a good job of describing the important parts, while still adding in pertinent background information.
Looking at the card, there is an amazing group of talent. I may have to look this show up, and give it another viewing. I think it's sad I know who each of those women are too...Such a shame Vince forgot how to use that division effectively.
great review. i was just watching the original survivor series on youtube last night, and i forgot how bad the ending was with Hogan coming back and having his music playing.
Of the Series', 87 is second on my list to 92, which says a lot because i like the elimination style format.
Can I just point out how much I love Bigelow? I swear that guy is severely underrated, and this review points out several reasons why I think so. Not to mention how much class it took for him to put over a rookie like Goldberg and launch one of the biggest angles in WCW's history.
Great, great wrestler. I miss him.
I'm with Dexter for sure. Bam Bam was always one of my favorites. I really loved that his head was tattooed. I'm surprised KB, I got the feeling like you weren't very familiar with Bam Bam's old school in ring work. He was very agile for a 400 pounder, and as Dex said, very underrated. I'd always wished he would've at least won a tag title or an IC title. He had killer success in ECW. Nice work as always though, KB, can't wait for '88.
edit: I didn't rhyme that last part on purpose.
I’ve been looking forward to these reviews. It’s a good way to get me pumped up for Survivor Series this year. There’s something about pay per views in the 80’s and early 90’s that was special. Obviously because there were so few of them and we rarely saw big matches on tv. Having pretty much the entire roster together for one show was pretty cool. I haven’t seen a lot of these events in many years so I’m going by my memory and your review KB.
I agree with your opinions on the first Survivor Series. It was a good show. Four matches. A mid card, women’s, tag, and main event. It’s a pretty simple concept and it worked really well. I would have liked to see Honky have a little stronger team, but there weren’t really any better alternatives at the time. It was fun seeing all those guys wanting to get their hands on Honky. I like how it became three on one and Honky just bailed on the match after getting a little bit of a beating. It was a good move for the cowardly heel and pretty basic booking. This was a good match to start of the Survivor Series.
The women’s match was ok. It is pretty much what you expect out of a women’s match in 1987. The main purpose of this match was to showcase the Jumping Bomb Angels and they did a good job. This match actually got the fans excited to see them contend for the women’s tag title. I thought that match might actually go to WrestleMania IV. Instead it took place at the Royal Rumble, which is fine, but The Angels quickly disappeared in early 1988 and the tag titles disappeared with them. Nonetheless this was a good showing for them. Maybe Drew McIntyre should have been the bastard son of Vince McMahon. After all he did say he’s a future world champion. You think Vince could have had an affair with Velvet? Actually let’s pretend I never said that.
I like the tag match and I’ve come to appreciate it a lot more since the tag division died several years ago. Here we had ten legitimate tag teams in one match. Tag team wrestling was so good in the 80’s and it’s something I really miss in today’s product. This was a good match and it had a surprise ending. The Killer Bees and Young Stallions were underdogs. If the babyface team was going to survive you would assume either Strike Force or the British Bulldogs would be the survivors. This was an upset similar to The 123 Kid and Marty Jannetty in 1993. Too bad the win didn’t push either team higher up in the ranks.
I enjoyed the main event for the most part. I remember the crowd being really into this. Bigelow really was over at the time. I like how it came down to him against Andre, Bundy, and One Man Gang. The odds were really stacked against Bigelow. I think they made Bigelow look great by beating Bundy and Gang before losing to Andre. I remember thinking Bigelow would win the tournament at WrestleMania IV. He looked good at Survivor Series, was teaming with Hogan against Andre and Dibiase at house shows, and was really over with the crowd. Too bad he got a first round loss and disappeared from the WWF right after mania. I didn’t like Hogan coming back and posing either. I was a little Hulkamaniac, but even at the time I recognized this was poor sportsmanship. Hulk always was somewhat of a sore loser.
Overall the show was good and very enjoyable. It was a good way to kick off the WWF’s new fall tradition. I do miss Survivor Series being on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving eve. It didn’t really add anything specific, but it did make the event seem a little more special. I hope you have a good copy of 1988 KB because I know the Coliseum Video version is horribly edited. There is A LOT of time taken out and the matches aren’t even shown in the right order. I’m looking forward to more reviews. This should keep me entertained for the next three weeks.
Great stuff ever KB. When I was younger I had the 2nd-6th Survior Series on VHS but never had the 1st one and I've still never seen it - am actually planning on buying the first two as tagged classics next month. Anyway, great review and it makes me want it even more.
Looking forwards to tomorrow's review, the second one was always a favourite of mine. Started the Mega Powers explosion as I remember it.
Great as ever KB
KB, you put everything about this PPV in perspective. It's amazing how a PPV can be used to ...wait for it... CONTINUE STORYLINES! Reading this reminded me of why I miss the older days of wrestling. The WHOLE POINT of the Honky/Macho match was to forward the story between them. Not having Honky or Macho fight each other was great, too. Lots of clever stuff took place in that match. However, the heels were severely mismatched in this one, once Harley Race was eliminated. And it also amazes me that Race and Steamboat didn't wrestle more often. Talk about a great rivalry.
Also Hogan not wrestling very much in the main event just goes to show you that you don't have to actually wrestle to draw money and PPV buys. Just being there is all that's needed. And the thing is...it made it all the more precious when Hogan DID wrestle. The WWF/E knew how to market it's talent and still does today. But the quality of wrestlers back then were so much greater than they are now. Great illustration of the first Survivor Series.
Survivor Series 1988
Date: November 24, 1988
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
So we’ve arrived at the second annual Survivor Series. Things are a bit different now, with the main difference being that Savage is your world champion, having won the tournament at WM 4. Your main feud here is the Mega Powers vs. the Twin Towers, more commonly known as the Big Boss Man and Akeem, or the One Man Gang. They’re feuding with the Mega Powers because they’re monster heels and the names rhyme.
DiBiase is in the main event because he just doesn’t like Hogan, and Rooster and Haku are in it because they’re members of the Heenan Family who hates Hogan as well. On the other side you have Hercules, who is mad because he was sold like a slave to DiBiase and turned face because of it, Hillbilly Jim because he was Hogan’s best friend of the month, and Koko because we needed another Hall of Fame member in here.
This show as well as the next one are notorious for being bitch slapped by substitutions. For instance, Jim Brunzell is in the opening match as a singles wrestler. He’s replacing Don Muraco, who was fired, more than likely due to a high level of suck. Brunzell’s team, the Killer Bees, had broken up due to being jobbers. Blair was supposed to be the replacement for Junkyard Dog, who left to head back to the NWA right after he and Rude started feuding.
However, Blair quit because he didn’t want to be a jobber so he was replaced by the immortal Scott Casey. This would be about like putting A-1 from the old days of TNA in the main event. People know his name, but that’s about it. He was completely off the wall and from out of absolute left field, so he’s one of the more infamous picks in history.
Also, we have a HUGE tag team survivor match, which is famous for something at the end which I’ll get to later. Anyway, this was a tape I always wanted from Blockbuster but it was stolen so I never got to see it. I think I saw it once about 15 years ago, so this is going to be new for me as well. Let’s do it.
Oddly enough, Gene does the introductions. Jesse and Gorilla are the commentators, but they just do the talking.
Ultimate Warrior’s Team vs. Honky Tonk Man’s Team
Warrior’s Team: Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, Blue Blazer, Jim Brunzell
Honky’s Team: Danny Davis, Ron Bass, Greg Valentine, Bad News Brown
Ok so let me get this straight. Honky got annihilated last year so he has 60% of the same team now, including a former referee who somehow got worse in the last year, but he replaces Hercules with Greg Valentine (upgrade) and Harley Race with a guy that is a career loner. …right. Yeah this is going to go bad. However, that’s not much of a face team over there.
Warrior of course is insane as always, Brutus is fine, but Sam Houston never did anything, Brunzell is half of a career jobbing tag team, and Blue Blazer was a comedy character to an extent, although Owen of course was very talented. Damn Beefcake comes out to Warrior’s music. Actually they all do. Oh yeah you might want to know the feuds. Warrior had stolen the IC Title from Honky in about a minute at Summerslam.
Brutus and the other three are just there. Can you imagine Warrior’s recruitment speeches? Brutus is co-captain here for no apparent reason. Maybe because it was supposed to be him facing Honky at Summerslam I guess. For the heels…yeah there’s nothing I guess. I think Houston and Bass were feuding but it went nowhere. For those of you that don’t know, Houston is the half brother of Jake Roberts.
Yeah the talent was clearly in the mother’s side of the family. Brown is already described as a loner. Gorilla once against says that they’re hanging from the rafters. No they’re actually not Monsoon. Just as he was last year, Brutus is your first face in the match. Valentine is rocking the chic yellow and blue. I’m trying to be nice by saying chic.
Holy crud Davis is gone in about a minute. Well at least they didn’t waste time. He’s “asleep”. I never got that. If the sleeper hold is that powerful and can knock someone out in 8 seconds, why aren’t doctors trained in it in medical school? It would eliminate the need for sleeping pills. Oh dear Jim Brunzell. What was the point in putting him on this team? Was there NO ONE else available?
Seriously, this is the best you can find? He’s rocking some silver/gray/red tights which I suppose is better than what the Bees wore. I’ve always liked that old Survivor Series logo, the one that looks like stones. It’s just cool looking, as most 80s wrestling logos were. Brown comes in and just dominates. I guess he would be co-captain by default? Why not I suppose as he’s the biggest star on the heel team other than Honky.
After just beating Brunzell up, the Ghetto Blaster, which has to be the coolest name for a move in history, eliminates the Bee. Damn we’re down two inside of 6 minutes. Houston comes in now. Good night is he small. He was supposed to be some tough Texas guy but I’m not sure if he weighs more than 215lbs. He tries to beat on Bad News and shockingly, this doesn’t work.
I love seeing tough heels beat on small people. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m a natural heel. Anyway, after more bad offense from the faces, Hammer tags in Bad News and accidently hits him. Yep, this isn’t going to end well at all. They’re pulled apart and Bad News just walks out for the count out. Why would you pick him anyway?
I get that he’s a bad ass fighter but damn man, at least pick someone that you can trust. Wait, they’re heels. You’re not supposed to trust them. Either way, Brown was awesome as possible and this was even more proof. When you’re a heel that doesn’t even get involved with other heels, then you know it’s awesome.
For the next two minutes or so, Houston doesn’t tag out. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a long time, but when you consider that there are three other guys on his team to tag, that’s an eternity. Even Gorilla is getting on him about not tagging. This would be fine if it was Bret or Tully or someone with you know, that thing called a lot of talent.
Houston is just flat out boring. He’s like the X-Pac of this match: he’s fine against guys of his own size, but not against monsters. I don’t know if the non tagging thing was planned or not, but if it wasn’t, his career is pretty much over. Oh wait. This is the highlight of his career more than likely though, so ignore that. Gorilla says this is the biggest match he’s ever been in, which is wrong as he was in the opener for Wrestlemania this year, so no he’s been in big matches before.
Like I was saying about not fighting bigger guys, the issue with this is shown as Bass powerslams him and easily beats him. Blue Blazer finally comes in as we haven’t seen Warrior yet. Honky is brought in so at least he can waste his time in there. Yeah he was barely in. Back off to Hammer as I can’t help but think that Blazer looks like he’s wearing a diaper. Seriously, it’s a blue singlet with white/gray tights.
He goes up top and in a very stupid looking sequence, Honky shoves him off. This apparently injures his knees badly enough for the figure four to take him out. That leaves us with Honky, Bass and Valentine against Brutus and Warrior. Something tells me this isn’t going to go well for the heels. When the best thing you’ve got is an over the hill Greg Valentine, that’s a bad place to be. My goodness he might be the best thing in this match since there’s no Brutus music.
Brutus and Honky are in here now, and I smell a double elimination coming. Honky’s ass says Wild Thing. Make your own jokes about that. The sleeper leads to a sleeper on the floor and there it is: the double count out. Ok so I knew that was coming so what? So we have Warrior against two people slightly above jobber status.
I’ll say they last 2 minutes max. Yep, after 2 minutes 10 seconds and a pair of double axe handles to the head (wtf?) and Warrior wins after having a total of about 2 minutes in the ring. This was REALLY bad.
Rating: D. Yeah, this was horrible. It was a bunch of jobbers waiting for Warrior to come in and beat people up. It went almost 20 minutes and I was falling asleep for part of that, and this is coming from someone that’s a huge late 80s WWF fan.
It was just flat out bad all around with no real highlights, no good workers, and just a pointless match all around. Horrible and by far and away the worst SS match to date, and also the only under 20 minutes so far I believe. Actually that’s not true as the first match went 18:50.
Bad News Brown said he showed that he’s a loner and he wants to be the next WWF Champion. There was allegedly a plan to make that happen, but depending on who you ask, Vince was either a racist or just lied. If this tells you anything about Brown, consider this. He was on a tour in Japan with Andre the Giant.
Andre made a racist comment and Brown got off the bus and challenged Andre to a legit fight. Andre backed down. Brown was a legit fighter, having won a bronze medal in Judo in the Olympics, the only American to ever medal in the heavyweight division.
Warrior says that his whole team won. At least that’s what I think he said.
Demolition’s Team vs. Power’s of Pain’s Team
This is the epic tag team match that lasts over 40 minutes. The ending is by far and away the most famous part of it and I’ll explain why when we get there. Here are the lineups.
Demolition’s Team: Brain Busters, The Conquistadors, Bolsheviks, Fabulous Rougeau Brothers.
Powers of Pain’s Team: Rockers, Young Stallions, Hart Foundation, British Bulldogs.
Yes the Powers of Pain are indeed the faces here and have some pretty good music. Rockers are the epitome of rookies here as they’ve only been in the company a few months. Harts are still going strong, the Stallions look somehow more interested in each other than Legacy does, and the Bulldogs are on the verge of leaving, as they would be gone before the night was over, due mainly to them not being needed anymore but also due to a fight between Dynamite and Jacques Rougeau.
There are 20 people in the ring which is a pretty cool visual. The same rules apply as last year as it’s one member of a team being eliminated means his partner is gone too. Jimmy, Bobby, Fuji and Slick meet at ringside. Is anyone missing there from the late 80s managers? We start up with Davey against one of the Conquistadors. They were a pair of jobbers that Edge and Christian imitated in I think 2000 or 2001 in a hilariously funny bit.
Shawn is insanely fast out there. He must be on the good drugs tonight. The camera angle is very odd here as it’s mainly coming from the corner of the ring. It’s not bad but it’s very odd and actually a bit hard to get used to. I think the ring mic is broken as for a bit there’s no sound coming from any of the bumps. My goodness Blanchard and Anderson were awesome. For some reason Jesse still can’t tell the Rougeaus apart, DESPITE THEM LOOKING NOTHING ALIKE!
Good grief Gorilla rambles at times. It’s rare but when it happens it blows away JR’s badness. The crowd pops big for Bret as even back then they knew how big of a star he would be. He gets rid of the Rougeaus to clear the ring out a bit thank goodness.
I love how almost immediately after a pinfall we get a tag every time. It’s a Stallion against a Bolshevik. The tagging here is ridiculously fast as are the changes in control between the teams. The Harts against Demolition is about as awesome of a tag feud as you would ever find. The crowd kind of pops for the Powers of Pain coming in to fight Demolition which was the main feud of this match. This looks like a screwed up lumberjack match.
This is in the middle of Demolition’s epic reign which would last the better part of two years. Blanchard against Hart now, in what can only be described as a technical masterpiece. Before I’m done typing that Shawn and Axe are in. See what I mean about the speed of the tags? Becca’s soul dies a bit as Shawn is gang attacked in the corner. Arn hits a spinebuster. What do we call that?
Since it has to be attributed to someone else because no one but AA ever did it, how do we attribute it to the guy that made it famous? Jesse continues to make fun of Gorilla’s age which never ceased to make me laugh. Why was that spinning kick that Volkoff did considered impressive? It gets all of a foot off the ground and typically hits the upper thigh. Why is that considered impressive? Warlord somehow almost botches a slam. That’s hard to do.
Jesse says that Warlord is beating up Axe as Warlord is being knocked all over the place. I love wrestling announcers. Barbarian hits a….he hit a…what in the hell was that? It looked like a kick to the face but apparently it hit Smash in the ribs? I have no idea what he did but I don’t think it worked that well. We’re at almost 15 minutes here and we’ve had one elimination. I see why this took so long to do. Why is it that powerslams always look awesome?
Boris eliminates the Young Stallions who Jesse was raving about earlier on, talking about how improved they were. Let’s see. Last year they were one of two surviving teams and this year they’re out second. Jesse is usually great but yeah he missed on this one. And they lost to the Bolsheviks. Who in the hell loses to the freaking BOLSHEVIKS?
Shawn beats on the fake Russian for a bit. See, that’s a sign of how horrid you are: if Shawn Michaels from the late 80s can beat you up, you really do suck. As they have all night, Demolition whips some Powers of Pain ass. I think I detect a slight boring chant. Why? This is pretty good stuff.
In a very quick set of moves, the Russians are knocked out but the Rockers. WOW how bad does that make the Young Stallions look? Also, they’ve been around at least a year. How long are they going to be young for? As Jesse says at least we can see a bit better now. For those of you that can’t scroll up and read who was on each team, your lineups are now Demolition, Conquistadors and Brain Busters vs. Rockers, Bulldogs, Powers of Pain and Harts.
Tully is getting into masterful levels of 80s heel work here. He makes it look so easy that it’s scary. Gorilla says we’re getting close to the, as he made famous, nitty gritty. No, not really. Of 9 teams that could be eliminated, we’ve gotten rid of 3. At the most one team is 40% done. How is that getting down to the end? The Conquistadors are just so completely worthless it’s hilarious. I never remember them doing anything at all.
Come to think of it I don’t remember them ever wrestling other than this. The Brain Busters are managed by the Brain. Does that mean they beat up their manager? Is he working for them out of fear? I think this was a Horseman coup that was never followed up on. Yeah that must be it. Damn I need my medicine. Smash uses that really bad hold where he just twists the neck of the other guy to one side.
I get how that could hurt, but is that seriously the best you can do? Is there NOTHING else that you could do to make things at least look painful? Jesse desperately tries to cover up for this by talking about how the wrestlers train their necks but even a politician can’t convince me that he’s trying to hide something. Actually that might be why I don’t believe him.
I officially love this match as we’ve had two jumping reverse elbows. Hart comes in and just about kills Tully. Bret with a German suplex but Tully gets the pin. I love how Bret has to drop his shoulders as he realizes he did the move perfectly and had to make sure he screwed up. The Busters and the Rockers start a big brawl in the ring, complete with Smash yelling to kick his ass to one of the Busters.
All four are eliminated so we’ve got Demolition and the Conquistadors vs. Powers of Pain and the Bulldogs. The booing for both teams being thrown out is great. They fight up the aisle as I believe this would lead to a great 2/3 falls match on Saturday Night’s Main Event. I believe we have a Pat Patterson sighting as he tries to break this up. That’s just humorous.
After 28 minutes, we’ve arrived at what was the standard Survivor Series match for the 90s. I’ve always wondered how we went from 5 to 4 with no apparent reason. It would change over next year with no explanation as to why. I’d certainly assume that it was time, but at least letting us know would be nice. After half an hour we finally discuss how to tell the Conquistadors apart.
Thanks for the rapid timing of that one guys. Now we’re in some great 80s tag stuff here. Now that’s not to say the rest of this hasn’t been awesome because it has, but this is actually the best it’s been so far. Davey was so freakishly strong it’s scary. The commentators try so hard to keep from calling the Powers of Pain idiots but you can tell they’re about to crack. Jesse says that we’re finally getting to Demolition vs. the Powers of Pain.
It’s not as good as the third time it happened earlier, it’s about equal to the first, but it’s miles ahead of the second. I wonder if Stu taught his people how to do that basic cover. Bret always used it and now Dynamite is. It’s the one where he just kind of lays over the shoulders with his hand on the far wrist and is kind of leaning up. You’d know it if you saw it I’m sure. Jesse continues to rave about the Conquistadors.
Demolition gets it down to 2-1 by eliminating the Bulldogs. Oh dear that means it’s all Powers of Pain from here on out. Someone help me please. I can’t do this on my own. Oh yeah I have to because no one else is stupid enough to review a show that I don’t have to put up until November in mid-August. Fuji gets up on the apron with the heels in control which rightly confuses the announcers. Jesse asks if Gorilla would buy a used car from Fuji.
Oddly enough he asked the same about Slick at WM 4. That’s an odd question to ask. Fuji gets up there again and even Jesse has no idea why. Oddly enough, Fuji pulls the top rope down and causes Smash to fall to the floor, despite him being Fuji’s talent. This causes Demolition to be eliminated. Axe goes after him and Fuji says that he’s the boss so he makes the decisions. Fuji nails Axe with the cane which of course does nothing.
Demolition beats up Fuji to completely turn face to a great pop. I don’t want to see Fuji’s stomach. This leaves the Powers of Pain against the Conquistadors. The “faces” go to the floor and helps Fuji up, turning them heel, AND WE HAVE A DOUBLE TURN!
Yes, in only the second time in history that I can remember it (the other being Hart vs. Austin at WM 13), we have the unbelievably rare double turn. The problem was that Demolition was getting no heat at all as they were so wildly popular, and the Powers of Pain were getting very small face pops but major heat, mainly due to the fact that neither were very good in the ring at all.. They were definitely going to be the big feud in the near future, so this was the solution.
This is why the match is famous as it not only set up the handicap tag title match at Wrestlemania 5 with the Powers of Pain and Fuji against Demolition, but it also gave us the double turn. The turn by the Powers of Pain was almost a huge sigh of relief for the fans as it gave the fans almost exactly what they wanted. Fuji hooks the leg of the Conquistador to allow Barbarian to hit a headbutt for the pin, and a huge pop?
Why? Why after that heel turn would you pop bigger for the heels than you did when they were faces? Where is this show again? Oh yeah it’s outside of Cleveland. Damn I can’t make fun of the city since I’m an Indians fan. Did we just have heel vs. heel for the final two there? Fuji celebrates with the Powers of Pain after the match, which confuses the announcers to no end. Demolition comes back out and beat up the Powers of Pain.
Don’t you just love how a simple heel turn makes the indestructible faces very destructible all of a sudden? The fans aren’t really sure what happened which is understandable I guess. See this is why promos can be so important. In a simple promo which I’m sure is coming, this whole thing can be explained.
It could be confusing here as maybe Fuji turned face and Demolition continued being heels by beating up the now face manager to go with the face team. We hear what happened by the announcers, but no one in the arena can hear that. Like I said, a simple promo clears everything up here, which is the power of the microphone I suppose.
Rating: A. Not just for the double turn, but for how great the match as a whole was. This was just flat out awesome on all levels. It was more or less every great 80s tag team in there at once and even complete with jobbers to fill in the gaps. The tagging speed was off the charts to say the least and everything worked very well. This is far better than last year’s tag one, which is saying a lot as last year’s was great. This is great stuff though and well worth checking out.
Jake Robert’s Team vs. Andre the Giant’s Team
Jake’s Team: Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Scott Casey, Tito Santana, Ken Patera
Andre’s Team: Dino Bravo, Harley Race, Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude
Well, this is a far better list of guys than in the other singles match but that’s really not saying a lot. We have Hacksaw and Jake who are both feuding with Andre as Hacksaw actually knocked him out cold with the 2x4 and Jake was just feuding with him. Jake was also fighting Rude over his wife which I believe actually was an issue in real life. The others, as usual, are just there for the sake of being there which is a problem in these matches.
Often times there’s no point at all for them being there and it can just get annoying and make you try to come up with a reason when there isn’t one. I think most of the heels are just there because they’re members of the Heenan Family. I have a very bad feeling about this match as there’s three big names out there with Andre, Roberts and Duggan, and Andre is hurt at this point.
Perfect isn’t a big deal yet at all, Casey is a no name, Santana is a jobber for the most part and Patera would be gone by the end of the year, mainly due to him just being horrid. On the other side, Race is old and is here because he’s almost broke, Rude is just hitting his stride so we’ll say he’s good too I guess, and Bravo was just there to help other more talented guys for his entire career. And I’m right.
The first at least 5 minutes of this is just horrid with the faces beating on the heels which no one can realistically believe. That of course leads to Patera missing one move and getting eliminated by the Rude Awakening. Wow that was really stupid. The announcers talk about how his skills are diminishing and he should consider retiring. Yeah that’s a nice thing to say about him.
He’d be gone and in the AWA within a few months, so maybe he listened to the commentary. Casey comes in immediately and is immediately crushed. Well that was nice of Rude. At least he didn’t let Casey think he was talented or anything. The announcers amuse me greatly as they try to come up with accolades for Casey but they have to be as vague as possible since they know nothing at all about him.
His looks aren’t helping much either as he’s just short and kind of fat. He looks a bit like Eugene actually but with a porn mustache. Race actually hits a decent looking dropkick on him. Then, in one of the weirdest botches I’ve ever seen, Casey sits up to avoid an elbow. Casey sells it like he hit it though. Someone missed their cue here. We have a guy that’s never been seen before or since, or a 7 time world champion and one of the greatest wrestlers of all time.
I don’t even have a snide finish for that one as you get my point. Jesse points out that it’s weird that Race has so many tattoos. That’s actually a good point. He just doesn’t seem like the tattoo type but he’s certainly got a lot of them. Bravo ends him in about 15 seconds. That was long and painful. This match, like the first one, is just boring. Nothing of note is happening here and it’s just all random skirmishes with nothing of note happening.
Usually I’ll watch a segment and then I’ll pause it and write then start it up again. I don’t have to do that here, as I know I’m not going to miss anything. Wait that might be something. Oh never mind. I thought we might have something interesting there for a second but it wasn’t. A near fall is actually getting me somewhat awake here. That can’t be good. We’re talking 5-6 minutes of just random offense with no drama to it at all.
Why? What is the point to any of this? Even Tito Santana who I’m a big mark for is boring me to death out there, and it’s not like these are bad matchups. Santana against Perfect, Rude or Race sounds quite good to me. This match breaks thirty minutes and it’s just horrid. Normally I would say that you could just drop 10 minutes off of two matches and put in different people, but here that’s just not the case.
The problem is simple: again, we have 50 people wrestling tonight. There’s just not enough people to have a 5th match so the 4 you have are forced to go WAY too long. Now in the tag they pulled it off very nicely. In these other two, they’re just complete and utter failures. See, why are people like Bravo in this? They have no connection to anyone out there at all, so why should we care? In short, we don’t.
FINALLY Santana is out of there and it’s Roberts. No wait. Bravo makes the stop and Santana gets beaten up even more. What is the point to this? It’s 5-3 in case you’re bored and want to see numbers instead of letters. From absolutely nowhere Santana hits the forearm to beat Race. I would love to have seen these two 5-6 years ago with about 20 minutes to work with.
That could have been some great stuff to say the least. Andre immediately comes in and just kills him as we’re finally getting something interesting or at least something pretending to be interesting, ala the bar room at the moment. Those punches from Andre are just flat out scary. Tito, like a fucking idiot, tries a sunset flip. You know where this leads and Duggan is the next guy in. To a HUGE pop, a single shot and Andre is tied up in the ropes.
All of a sudden the crowd is alive. Roberts comes in and just beats the hell out of Andre. How many people can say that? You know, Jake and Duggan are probably your 3rd and 4th biggest faces at this point, or are at least in contention for that spot along with Warrior. Warrior was just in the midcard at this point while Duggan and Roberts were in a feud with Andre who was of course still a major star at this point.
Hacksaw would be dropped soon though to feud with Bad News which was just horrid as they were the exact same style. Now we get back to the problem of this match: nothing happens for long stretches of time. Here’s a summary of the next five minutes: face gets pounded on, face makes a short comeback, face gets pounded on, face makes a short comeback, face tags, face gets pounded on, face makes a short comeback. This is just boring me to death.
Duggan is in there now after Roberts was beaten half to death. What’s this? It looks like a short comeback. Like the idiot that he is, Duggan gets the 2x4 and beats on Bravo with it to make this 4-1. For another SEVEN FREAKING MINUTES Jake gets beaten down and makes small comebacks. In other words, in about 14 minutes we had one moment that was close to interesting. Everybody beats on him for about two minutes each.
FINALLY Rude gyrates over him and gets a DDT for his trouble to eliminate him and breathe some life back into him. Andre comes in and beats/chokes Jake half to death to get disqualified. It’s 2-1 but Jake is just dead. He choked him for probably 35-40 seconds straight so Jake should be dead.
Andre headbutts him and Perfect just walks in and covers him to win it. Perfect is called Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig which sounds kind of odd. Jake gets the snake to a big pop but there’s no one in the ring. Jesse says that this was too little too later which is true.
Rating: F. This was AWFUL. There was about 20-25 minutes of dead spots here and no one wanted to see it. It was mainly jobbers that weren’t interesting and it was about getting Jake or Hacksaw against Andre which happened for all of 45 seconds. This was just flat out boring and I was flipping through the channels while this happened. That’s never happened while I was watching a major show before. I HATED this match.
Andre takes offense to Sean suggesting that he’s afraid of snakes and that he’ll beat Jake…whenever they fight that is.
Jake says that he did ok considering it was 4-1 and that he’s not going to cry. He also calls the show survival series.
Mega Powers Team vs. Twin Towers Team
We’re at the main event of the longest PPV of all time, or at least it seems like it. Either way, this is the last of the four matches. The lineups read like this.
Mega Powers: Hogan, Savage, Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim, Hercules
Twin Towers: Akeem, Big Bossman, Red Rooster, Haku, Ted DiBiase
Akeem is the former One Man Gang, and that gives me the right to post this video.
Savage gets a HUGE pop. See what a guy with talent can get out of the crowd? Jesse butchers the name of the world title which is hard to do. Fink sounds like he’s on speed or something. Mark this down: Koko and Terry Taylor are main eventing a major PPV. This will NEVER happen again. How in the world are Savage and DiBiase not in the Hall of Fame but Ware is?
Of the ten people in this match, 4 of them I could see being in the Hall of Fame: Hogan, Savage, DiBiase, Boss Man. Boss Man is by far the biggest stretch but he would at least make a touch of sense. Koko makes less than no sense. Hell even the announcer belongs in there more than he does. Speaking of which, has there ever been a more lackluster induction than Fink? No one ever brings up that he’s in the Hall of Fame, despite him being one of the oldest and more beloved employees in the company.
I’ve already explained the reasons for the feuds so I’ll spare you from a repeat. Hogan’s pop is otherworldly. We start off with a rematch of the main event of Wrestlemania as Savage and DiBiase are going at it once again. If you can find it, and it might be on the Savage DVD, find the cage match that these two have. It’s absolutely great. Gorilla and Jesse praise DiBiase and call him championship material.
Truer words have never been spoken. For those of you that have never read my Wrestlemania 4 review, there’s an interesting story on the original plans for Wrestlemania 4. In case you’ve forgotten, DiBiase had a master plan which involved Andre taking out Hogan or at least wearing him down enough so that DiBiase would win the tournament and therefore the title. Savage would have been facing Honky for the IC Title and wouldn’t be an issue.
In the original booking, that was going to be what happened: DiBiase’s plan worked and he would be champion over the summer with Hogan chasing him for the one on one rematch but never getting the clean win. Savage would take the title at Summerslam which I guess would have also had Hogan-Andre 3 or something. Then the Mega Powers angle would have been 8 months long instead of a year.
Savage would have been IC champion and having a feud with Bigelow and dropping the belt to him before fighting DiBiase, although I’ve heard the Bigelow story from far fewer sources. That’s actually not a horrible idea and I really like it. However, Honky more or less cried about losing the title so we got what we got now.
ANYWAY, they’re fighting here and now in a non title match at the beginning of the main event of the longest feeling show of all time. See, even the descriptions have to be overly long. Actually they’re not as Hercules is in now. Rooster goes for some hold that would later be called the sharpshooter. The idea behind Rooster at this point was more or less Heenan saying he could manage anyone to success, even a no talent guy like chicken boy over here.
Oh yay it’s Koko vs. Rooster in a real cock fight. What? Haku, the second most successful member of his team and the current King of the WWF is in now. The announcers question tagging in Hercules again when he’s already been in. Is he tired after all of a minute in the ring and a minute rest? I know he’s not the best wrestler in the world but give him some credit. Hogan beats on Haku for awhile before Jim gets in.
Hogan gave Jim his first pair of boots which was actually a fairly sweet moment. The Red Rooster is wrestling Hillbilly Jim. My goodness this is weird to write for the main event of a PPV. Jim is the epitome of a guy that found something that worked and RAN with it. The key to Jim was simple: give him to the fans in small doses and they simply won’t get tired of him.
I can almost guarantee you that if Jim came out for a one night appearance in his traditional stuff and clapped to his song on Raw, he would get one of the biggest pops you could imagine. The fans just bought into it and it worked. Another key: he was never really a serious character and that was another key. WWE needs to understand something: not every character can reach the main event. Eugene is the best example.
As a comedy character that did random things he was INSANELY over. They put him in a big storyline and he was booed out of the building. Jim never really went past the midcard, but he’s a beloved legend that has a job to this day. See what being a goofy character and accepting that can get you? On a random note, how many times will you have a pair of Kentucky boys (Savage and Jim) in the same main event? Hogan and Rooster. KILL HIM HULK!
It’s no surprise that Taylor kept a job for so long since Vince loves cocks. Elbow kills Taylor to make it 5-4. All five have this massive party in the ring over it. The world champion pinned a jobber after everyone beat on him. Is this worth a celebration? Time for Haku and Savage. Ok make that Hulk. Yeah these fast tags are getting annoying. Haku gets a dropkick and almost misses Hogan because he’s so high in the air. That’s freaking impressive.
Jim and Akeem hammer on each other for awhile but Air Africa ends the country boy. Oh look it’s Koko again. He’s in for about 20 seconds so life is good again as Hogan replaces him. He actually uses a full nelson to hold Savage in place. Hogan used a decent submission. You’ll probably never see that again. After about 3 shots by Akeem, Koko gets Bossman Slammed and is gone thank goodness.
It’s time for Hogan against Boss Man which is the major showdown of this match. Amazingly, they would be best friends in two years. However to be fair, the storyline actually made a lot of sense when Boss Man turned face as he said he was upset that DiBiase lied about a crime being committed, which fit the character really well so at least it made sense. Hogan signals for the slam which looks like he’s raising the roof which is a stupid video waiting to happen.
Akeem comes in and the big men beat on Hogan for awhile. Hercules and Savage just watch this happen. Maybe they’re talking about how they’ve patched up their differences since last year. DiBiase FINALLY is back in as he hasn’t been in for about 15 minutes now. I’ve always loved that falling punch. Gorilla infringes on a gimmick as he says that DiBiase has excellence of execution. That’s not fair!
Hercules beats the hell out of DiBiase for awhile. Virgil trips Hercules and DiBiase pins him, making it 4-2. DiBiase is yelling at Hercules as he’s leaving and Savage makes a brilliant move and sneaks up on him for a fast rollup to eliminate him which was perfectly legal. Hercules was eliminated and Savage legally came in as the next man and pinned him. What follows is three boring minutes of the heels beating on Hogan. I
t’s much shorter than the other beatdowns so I guess it’s better. It’s also Hogan being beaten on so at least it’s someone people care about. Anyway, he makes the tag and Savage holds off all three at once. That’s pretty impressive but the way they do it is believable which is appreciated. Slick goes after Liz once Boss Man catches Savage. Hogan goes for the save and all three beat on him and handcuff him to the bottom rope.
In doing so, Bossman is counted out so it’s 2-2 but Hogan is cuffed. He beats on Hogan with the nightstick for awhile to really bust him up. Akeem is disqualified in a rather bullshit method to make it the Mega Powers against Haku. It just looked stupid to say the least. After Haku hits some basic offense on Savage, he misses a kick to Savage which hits Slick, knocking the key out of his hand. Hogan picks it up to escape. Savage tags him in and you know the rest.
Rating: D+. This needed to be 3-3 instead of 5-5. The ending was fine but the beginning was just a waste of time. Rooster, Koko, Jim and Haku were completely worthless here. At least the Twin Towers vs. the Mega Powers and Hercules vs. DiBiase were established feuds that had been built up.
This is the problem with the Survivor Series concept: it prevents matches like DiBiase and Hercules from happening and we need guys like the previously mentioned four to fill in the rest of the team spots and they’re just wastes. The ending was fine once we got rid of the bullshit, but the rest was just bad.
Jesse is with Savage and he eggs him on, saying that Savage is pissed off at Hogan. Savage says that it was just being glad that they won. Jesse keeps egging him on. Savage says the same thing and leaves. Of course, Savage would turn heel soon enough. Gene says good night…and that’s it?
Overall Rating: D+. This show is awful. There is one good match of the four but it goes on first and by the end it’s forgotten. This was just filler to get to the Main Event on February 3 where Savage would cut the promo of a lifetime and turn heel, going insane on Hogan and setting up the BIGGEST match possible with Hogan vs. Savage at WM 5.
That actually had the potential to match Hogan vs. Andre as far as huge and while I still thing Savage should have won that to set up Hogan vs. Savage 2 at Summerslam, it was fine. That’s a rant for a different time though, so we have this instead. That all being said, this was terrible. It was filled with all kinds of jobbers and of course the injuries hurt things a lot as well, with guys like Brunzell and Casey being on the card.
Watch the tag match and otherwise skip this. It is in DESPERATE need of 2-4 regular matches to take away about ten minutes from each match. If you factor out about 15 from each, they instantly go way up in value. It just killed the whole show dead. I really don’t want to see a 30 minute match with guys like Patera against Bravo and Santana being beaten on.
It just went on WAY too long. Other than the tag team match, the time just went on way too long. Check out the opener, which at 42 minutes has to be the longest in history, and other than that, ignore this like the plague.
Survivor Series was great in the first 6 yrs or so when it was still a team based elimination event and there was no title defences. after that it grew to just another PPV, though the Deadly Games tournament that saw the Rock win his first title was pretty good.
and of course the Montreal Screwjob will always be remembered by those that witnessed it.
Nice wrap up
and love the bit of memorailia with Akeem LOL
a genre when completely moronic characters were highly entertaining and even complete noobs could get air time and a crowd reaction
Last edited by GameOver : 11-01-2009 at 03:01 AM.
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