Mega Powers Running Wild!

The legendary 'Macho man' Randy Savage teams up with 'The Immortal' Hulk Hogan to take on Ted Dibiase and Andre The Giant in the first ever WWF Summerslam!

Shawn Micahels vs. Mankind

The Heartbreak Kid defends the WWF Championship against Mankind in a thrilling main event at WWF In Your House: Mind Games.

The Birth of the nWo

From Hulk Hogan's shocking turn at WCW Bash at the Beach 1996 to the addition of Ted Dibiase, THe Giant Syxx and more, relive the very beginning of the New World Order.

Austin 3:16 Says I Just Kicked Your Ass

It's one of the most famous promos of all time; Stone Cold Steve Austin wins the 1996 King of The Ring and serves notice on all the WWF superstars. Check it out in our complete review

Wrestlemania 12 Review

The boyhood dream comes true as Shawn Michaels battles champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart in a classic 1-hour iron man match. Plus, Diesel vs. Undertaker and more.

WCW Fall Brawl 1996 Review

Was Sting in cahoots with the New World Order? Would Lex Luger be able to get along with the Four Horsemen as they faced the nWo in War Games? Find out in this review

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1990

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - Event poster
November 22, 1990
Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut

With the turn of a new decade came even more twists and turns in the crazy 'anything can happen' world of the World Wrestling Federation. Good guys had joined the dark side, the bad guys had seen the light, and we had all new champions by the time November came around. When it did, November 1990 brought with it a show mediocre that to this day it is only remembered for one (if not the) worst gimmicks of all time...Oh, and the debut of some guy called The Undertaker.

Here's what went down.

Our Coliseum Home Video presentation this evening begins with the one and only Sean Mooney who on first glance appears to situated in front a giant egg (more of which later), but on closer inspection is actually being filmed against a green screen with a static camera on the egg.

This matters very little of course, but trust me, it will be one of the most interesting things to happen all evening.

Anyway. Mooney promises us several "added features" which will make our viewing experience an "absolute classic" The first of which is the much hyped "grand finale mass of survival" (I'm sure Mooney did say "match", but it sounds more like "mass" in which all the surviving members of the victorious teams will face one another in one big match. Plus, there's that giant egg thing and, the moment you've all been waiting for, comments from the fans! Woohoo!

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - Live from Connecticut
Following Vince McMahon's usual introduction in which he growls like a constipated dragon as he runs down the card, we're presented with our commentators for the evening; Gorilla Monsoon and 'Rowdy' Roddy Piper. 

Monsoon welcomes us to the show before Piper appears to cut an insane promo on Saddam Hussein (yep, in the midst of a war against Iraq, this was a particularly politically-charged show for the WWF.)

Cutting to Mean Gene, the Federation's head interviewer got some pre-match words from World Wrestling Federation Champion Ultimate Warrior and his team. Nothing interesting was said, but I do have to admit that I love the following screen grab. It some how looks like Okerlund was a part of Warrior's team and was pointing to the camera. What can I say? This is a boring show to review, gotta amuse myself some how.

With all that madness out of the way, it was onto the action.

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - The Warriors

The Perfect Team
Mr. Perfect & Demolition 
Ax, Smash & Crush (w/ Mr. Fuji and Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan)
The Warriors
WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior, Intercontinental Champion Texas Tornado
& The Legion of Doom (Hawk and Animal)

So, let me get this straight. First, Demolition come to Survivor Series with Mr. Fuji on their side, only for Fuji to turn against him. The following year they come out as the good guys without a manager, and the year after that, they're back with Fuji again? Fair enough.

It also strikes me here that with their almost identical ring gear, Texas Tornado and the Warrior could have made a pretty good tag team.

Speaking of teams, it was Demolition and Legion of Doom who provided most of the fun in this otherwise sluggish contest. After Warrior eliminated Ax in the early going, everybody had their chance to shine in the ring before the two established tag teams began to beat up on one another.

The action grew heated, and in a move which would apparently set a precedent for the rest of the evening, both the LOD and Demolition were disqualified in one swift stroke of the referee's hand.

The odds were now stacked against team captain Mr. Perfect as he stood opposite surviving opponents Tornado and Warrior.

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - The Million Dollar Team
A decent exchange between former and current IC champions Perfect and Tornado followed, with Mr. P wrapping up Tornado with a Perfectplex for a three count, before another former IC holder in Warrior charged the ring, battled back against a non-belligerency Perfect and won what had been a short and seemingly very rushed contest which was at least mildly entertaining.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior

Backstage, The Million Dollar Man and his team had strong words for Sean Mooney, and for their opponents in the upcoming match. Dibiase promised that his 'mystery partner' was in the building and would be a part of the next match.

The Dream Team
'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware &
WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (Bret 'The Hitman' Hart & Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart)
The Million Dollar Team
The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase,  Rhythm & Blues (Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine & The Honky Tonk man) and The Undertaker (with Brother Love, Jimmy Hart and Virgil)

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - The Undertaker debuts
Yes ladies and gentlemen, it's the d├ębut of The Phenom, The Deadman, the WWE Legend himself, The Undertaker, teaming up with Ted Dibiase and the make-shift team of Rhythm & Blues (Greg Valentine with terrible dyed-black hair) against the WWF Tag Team Champions, Koko and a version of Dusty Rhodes who for all the world looked like he'd rather be anywhere else than in this match from opening bell to moment of elimination.

This match wasn't actually bad for what it was, it's just that what it was simply boiled down to a showcase for the World Wrestling Federation' newest monster heel.

To that end then, 'Taker quickly took out Koko B. Ware and would go onto get rid of both Jim Neidhart and Dusty Rhodes, who still looked as pissed off as he had at the start of the match. 

Ultimately, it was Dusty who caused The Undertaker's elimination from the match as, for reasons mostly unknown, The Dream decided to attack 'Taker's manager, Brother Love following his loss. This caused a loyal Deadman to beat down on Rhodes and get himself counted out, thus continuing a trend which would run throughout the show of stupid countout and disqualifications occurring for seemingly no other reason than to hurry things a long.

Bret Hart scored a quick win over Greg 'Where the hell did my career go?' Valentine ('The Hammer's R&B partner Honky Tonk Man had been eliminated fairly rapidly by Neidhart earlier in the match), leaving only The Hitman and Ted Dibiase alone.

Striking out into what proved to be one of the better wrestling portions of the whole show, Dibiase and Hart gave us an entertaining performance before The Million Dollar Man shifted his weight against a flying crossbody from The Hitman and rolled him up for a three count. Afterwards, Bret sat up and mouthed a very visible 'Fuck!' in view of the camera.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Ted Dibiase

Back in the showers (because this was apparently a better place for Damien to be), Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and his team of vipers (who also included a barely-recognisable Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka and The Rockers), talked about 'the scars of time' and promised that individual scores would be settled in the next match.

The Visionaries
'The Model' Rick Martel, Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) and The Warlord
(with Slick)
The Vipers
Jake 'The Snake' Roberts,  The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannety) and Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka. 
WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - The Warlord
If current WWE star Ryback is a clone of Goldberg, who himself was once accused of being a Stone Cold Steve Austin rip-off, then by that logic Austin must have taken his famous look from the singles push of the mighty Warlord. From the black ring attire right down to the way he hands over the ropes when not in combat, the appearance of the former Power of Pain in this match, especially from behind or from the sides is practically identical to The Texas Rattle Snake.

At least in my mind anyway.

All such nonsense aside, this actually began as a rather enjoyable match, with The Rockers, Rick Martel and even Paul Roma providing us with some fast-paced, exciting action, yet it didn't take long for things to fall apart.

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 - Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka
Following the elimination of Marty Jannety, Shawn Michaels continued to be the most entertaining thing in the ring as his side lost further man-power in Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, who's appearance had changed so dramatically since the last time this writer had seen him, that if you hadn't had told me who it was, I never would have guessed.

An average match followed, the villains cutting Jake from his corner and punishing him before Michaels made the hot-tag and beat up on Paul Roma (or Romeo, as Piper would call him). Eventually however, the future world champion was also eliminated, leaving Roberts alone against four opponents.

Jake tried to hold his own, but was quickly overpowered by Hercules and passed to the Warlord, drilling the Austin-lookalike with a DDT. Yet a cover was prevented by Rick Martel once again spraying Arrogance (his brand of perfume which also used as a weapon in the feud between Roberts and Martel).

The Snake chased after Martel (who was not the legal man in the ring) and, for the second time in as many matches, an elimination occurred by count-out. The result of this of course, was that this match saw the first time that an entire team survived in a Survivor Series match.
Your Winners: The Vipers (Rick Martel, Warlord, Paul Roma, Hercules)

After Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper hyped January's Royal Rumble show, Sean Mooney interviewed Hulk Hogan and The Hulkamaniacs ('Hacksaw' Jim Duggan, Tugboat and The Big Boss Man). After his team had vowed to defeat The Natural Disasters in their upcoming match, Hogan volunteered to win the war in Iraq for George Bush (seriously.)

The Natural Disasters
Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Barbarian and Haku
(with Jimmy Hart & Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan)
The Hulkamaniacs
Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Tugboat and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 -  The Hulkamaniacs
You know, it only just dawned on me that the lyrics to Boss Man's original theme music include the words 'He's got a big stick and a ball and chain too.' Wow, deep stuff.

That aside, this was, in all fairness, a pretty decent match, if one hampered by a slow pace and yet more bullshit booking. 

Hacksaw Duggan got in a fun exchange with Haku in the early going before Boss Man tug in and quickly eliminated the former king with a Boss Man Slam.

The battle waged back and forth until Duggan was pulled over the top rope by Jimmy Hart. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Duggan then grabbed his 2x4, beat some people up with it and got himself eliminated from the contest. Perhaps the funniest part of this whole sequence was that Hacksaw looked genuinely surprised at the result.

So, four matches in and so far we've had eliminations by either count-out or disqualification in every single one. 

Hogan returned to the ring and cleaned house, drawing cheers from the crowd as he picked up Earthquake and slammed him to the mat. Quake battled back, beating down on Hogan before tagging in Dino Bravo, who was promptly snared in a small package by The Hulkster and eliminated from the competition.

With eliminations coming thick and fast now in what was proving to be a very rushed show, Big Boss Man was eliminated by Earthquake, leaving Hogan and Tugboat against Earthquake and Barbarian.

After Hogan took his beating and made the predictable hot tag to Tugboat, the Hulkster then dragged Earthquake out of the ring, where Tugboat chased after him for another wild brawl and yet more count-outs; this time for both Earthquake and Tugboat.

Left to just Hogan against The Barbarian, the ending was never in question. The former Power of Pain man quickly succumbed to the former World Heavyweight Champion and was defeated by The Leg Drop of Doom. If it hadn't gone by so quickly, that could have been a really good match, but instead it was only decent, if that.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Hulk Hogan

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 -  Macho King Randy Savage
As promised, we're shown the WWF fans giving their thoughts; basically a bunch of young kids talking about how good The Ultimate Warrior was. This was neither interesting nor relevant, and we shall pretend it never happened.

Up next, The Macho King Randy Savage was interviewed by Mean Gene Okerlund. Carried to the ring on a gold throne being heaved by several weak-looking office guys, Macho King declared that he was going after The Ultimate Warrior's World Wrestling Federation championship in a promo as enjoyable, entertaining and captivating as any Savage had delivered in his entire career. That is to say, very. 

Prior to our next contest, the dastardly Sgt. Slaughter, flanked by members of his Mercenaries team, cut an awful promo on the American army then serving over seas, basically laughing at them for having to eat their Thanksgiving Day dinner in the presence of camel dung and praising Saddam Hussein. 

The Mercenaries
Sgt. Slaughter, The Orient Express (Kato & Tanaka) and Boris Zhukov
(with General Adnan & Mr. Fuji)
The Aliance
Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana and The Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch)
WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 -  Sgt. Slaughter
It's worth noting (because not much else happened in this terrible outing), that each member of The Mercenaries team has their face painted in thick camouflage paint).

In absolutely no time at all, The Bushwackers took out Zhukov and Sato before Santana followed in short order by ridding the match of Pat Tanaka.

So yes, Slaughter's team mates all eliminated in the space of two and half minutes. 

Mounting a comeback, Slaughter did away with both Bushwhackers in the space of a couple more minutes, before he and Santana battled back and forth in a dismal affair. 

Santana took down Slaughter with a flying forearm, but following a ref-bump several moments earlier, General Adnan ran into the ring and planted his Iraq flag pole into the spine of Santana.

Slaughter applied the Camel Clutch, believing himself to be the victor as the referee came too and rang the bell, only for the result to be declared a, yes, disqualification, leaving Tito as the sole survivor.

That was the pits.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Tito Santana

Out in the back, Sean Mooney interviewed Ted Dibiase and The Visionaries about their upcoming 'Match of Survival Grand Finale' contest against The Ultimate Warrior, Hulk and Tito Santana. It was your average heel promo, in which the bad guys basically cackled manically and vowed to defeat their opponents.

Then, just when you thought things couldn't get any worse following that Sgt. Slaughter match, WWF went out of their way to prove you wrong.

Hanging around beside the giant egg which had been there since the start of the show, Mean Gene Okerlund teased the crowd as to what could be inside until eventually, the egg 'cracked' and out popped a ridiculous-looking bird like creature (Hector Guerrero in a turkey suit).

Yes ladies and gentlemen, we had seen the Gobbledy Gooker, and we could never unsee it again.

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES 1990 -  Gene interviews The Gobbledy Gooker

As the crowds booed, loudly and unrelentingly at this abomination of an angle, the Gooker led Okerlund into the ring for a spot of dancing.

The best part of the whole thing was of course Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper doing their best to put over the giant turkey.

"Look at the kids, the kids are going nuts!" cried Piper, as the crowd panned across a stone dead crowd.

The worst thing about this was that it went for aaaagges. Seriously, just when you thought the whole thing would end, the Gooker would find a different dance for him and Okerlund to try out. On and on it went, until somebody finally the good sense to save us from despair and take us to a backstage promo featuring Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Tito Santana.

Tito looked desperately out of his place here, and even gave off the impression that he was somewhat uncomfortable in the presence of Hogan and Warrior, especially when they tried to include him in their promo.

Grand Finale
Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Tito Santana
The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase,The Model Rick Martel, Paul Roma and Hercules
(with Virgil and Slick)
And so it was down to the main event, a short, nimble affair which seemed to serve little purpose other than to display a united front between the World Wrestling Federation's two biggest stars.

Santana flew in with a flurry and enjoyed took out the Warlord in record time before being eliminated himself shortly after by Ted Dibiase.

Hogan took over for his team and was quickly pummelled around the ring by the bad guys, before countering an attack by Paul Roma and removing him from the match with a short clothesline.

WWF (WWE) SURVIVOR SERIES - 1990 - Hogan and Warrior
The action continued, a sluggish and yet entirely rushed brawl in which more eliminations came thick and fast.

In quick succession, Martel and Dibiase were sent packing before Hogan set up Hercules for Warrior's big splash to win the match for his team.

Afterwards, Warrior and Hogan gave a show of solidarity and mutual respect as they celebrated together then offered to hold the ropes open for one another as the show came to an end.
Your winners and sole survivors: Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior

And so easily the worst Survivor Series pay per view to date was done and consigned to the history books where it should stay for as long as possible. It's interesting that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were arguably the two stand out wrestlers in the 1990 show. As the decade would roll on, it would be these two men who would lead the WWF into the 90s, their careers often intertwining before exploding in a ball of controversy at this same event just seven short years down the line. But we'll save that for another time.

Friday, 9 November 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1989

Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
November 23, 1989

With a revised format that featured teams of four (rather than the five-a-side bouts of previous years), team names and a bolder, brighter look, you'd perhaps expect the 1989 Survivor Series to be the best yet. Instead, what we were presented with on that chilly Thanksgiving night of 1989 was a rather mediocre affair with occasional flashes of brilliance. 

Here's what went down.

This year's show opened with an opening typical of American TV programming in the 1980s in which  viewers were treated to a whirlwind tour of Illinois on a cold and frosty morning before entering the Rosemont Horizon, being taken through hordes of fans (including one slightly scary lady dressed as the Ultimate Warrior) and shown some - admittedly quite interesting footage- of the WWF production crew preparing for the show, all of which set to some crap jazz-pop soundtrack.

Starting the show properly (sort of), a host of WWF Survivor Series cut short promos in which they let us know what they were thankful for on this Thanksgiving night.

Among the many thankful grapplers, we learned that Ted Dibiase was thankful because he was rich and we, apparently, were not, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts was, unsurprisingly, thankful for Damien and the DDT, Demolition were thankful that they didn't have to fight each other, Mr. Perfect was thankful for being, well, absolutely perfect, and Ultimate Warrior was thankful for..erm..some kind of garbled yelling which made no sense what so ever.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse 'The Body' Ventura
Macho King Randy Savage also gave thanks for something or other, but in all honesty, your reviewer was too distracted by Sensational Queen Sherri adopting Macho King's mannerisms and delivering an 'Ohhh Yeahhh' which sounded far too erotic than it really had any right to be.

More crap 80s music followed as Vince McMahon gave us a run-down of tonight's show before we finally cut to our hosts for the evening, the ever-present and always awesome duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.  In a recurring theme of this show, Jesse called Monsoon fat, and we were sent down to Howard Finkle for our opening contest.

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination MatchThe Enforcers: 

Big Boss Man (team captain), Honky Tonk Man, 'The Model' Rick Martel and Bad News Brown (with Slick and Jimmy Hart)

The Dream Team
'The American Dream' Dusty Rhodes, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake, Tito Santana and The Red Rooster

And so for the second year in a row, Brutus Beefcake and The Honky Tonk Man found themselves in opposite corners in an opening Survivor Series match, Brutus making his way to the ring to a theme tune which in this writer's opinion is incredibly underrated when people discuss the best wrestling themes of all time.

As it was, it was former Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man kicking off the action with Tito Santana.

"I tell ya what, this match right here between Honky Tonk Man and Chico could main event anywhere in the country," said Jesse Ventura, lying through his teeth as the two tussled by the ropes.

Honky took down his opponent and brought in Santana's former partner, Rick Martel. With tensions still lingering following the break up of Strike Force, the one-time team-mates went at it in a furious display of wrestling excellence before tagging out to allow bitter rivals The Big Boss Man and Dusty Rhodes the opportunity to batter on one another. Brutus and Honky then entered the fray before Martel and Santana once again took centre stage, The Model rolling up his former team mate for the night's first elimination.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Saphire Cheers on Dusty Rhodes
With his team down to three against four, Dusty Rhodes was cheered on from ringside by an as-yet unnamed woman clad in polka dots. Of course, as history would go on to show, she would eventually be by The Dream's side as Saphire. 

Dusty picked up the pace for his team, beating on The Model before a series of tags brought Beefcake and Red Rooster into the action for an entertaining series of exchanges with their opponents.

The Rooster fell victim to a life-draining bear hug from the burly Boss Man, yet fought back with gusto, freeing himself from the hold and shooting Bad News Brown into the ring following a tag from The Boss Man.

Bad News bullied the Rooster as The Body once again made some quip about Monsoon's weight on the commentary then brought Big Boss Man back into the action, holding the Red Rooster in place for the man from Cob County to charge at their victim. To the surprise of nobody besides Jesse Ventura, the Rooster ducked and Bad News was struck by his own teammate.

Taking offence, Bad News Brown shoved his team mate and again stormed off.

"I can't believe this!" cried Jesse Ventura as Bad News was counted out. Really, Jess? Even though he did the exact same thing at last year's Survivor Series?

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Brutus Beefcake and Rick Martel
Luck began to rapidly run out for The Enforcers, Brutus Beefcake taking out the Honky Tonk Man with a high knee and Rick Martel with a sunset flip in short order, leaving The Big Boss Man alone against three opponents.

Boss Man managed to gain some modicum of revenge by taking out the Red Rooster, but the force of Beefcake and Rhodes was too much for the corrupt law enforcement officer as he fell prey to a crossbody from The Dream to end a wildly entertaining opening contest.
Your Winners and sole survivors: Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake and Dusty Rhodes

Understandably ticked off at the loss, The Big Boss Man grabbed his nightstick from Slick, battered the victors across the spine with it then proceeded to handcuff Dusty to the ropes and beat the tar out of him until Bruti made the save.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - The Big Boss Man cuts a promo
Cutting to the back, The Boss Man told Sean Mooney that Rhodes was now his prisoner and that The American Dream got exactly what he deserved.

Holding court with the Macho King
For the first time ever, we were treated to a Survivor Series promo which didn't feature a group of wrestlers apparently high on crack as Macho Man's King's Court stable spoke to Mean Gene Okerlund in a Coliseum Home Video exclusive. Savage, accompanied by Dino Bravo, Earthquake, Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine and Sherri, was confident of victory as he claimed they were about to go out and 'do the thing.'

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The King's Court
Macho King Randy Savage, Dino Bravo, Earthquake and Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine (with Jimmy Hart Sensational Queen Sherri)
The 4x4s
'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan, Bret 'The Hitman' Hart, 'Rugged' Ronnie Garvin and Hercules

Just when you think you've seen every ridiculous sight professional wrestling can throw at you, here comes Bret Hart, jogging to the ring with his team mates, 2x4 in hand. Seriously, it was a sight that was comical bordering on absolute lunacy.

With the arrival of the 4x4s, the King's Court scarped from the ring before the referee finally gained control before this above average bout began proper.

Earthquake was the first to score a fall for his team, taking out the mighty Hercules with a big fat splash to put the scores at 4-3 to the villains.

The action battled back and forth, The Hitman assisting Jim Duggan in tripping over the Earthquake before Greg Valentine continued his heated feud with Rugged Ronnie Garvin. Valentine took control, passing his rival among his team mates before The Rugged One made a blind tag to Duggan who promptly sent The Hammer packing with a three-point stance.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Bret Hart attempts a pin on Randy Savage
The highlight of the entire match came shortly after as Bret Hart and Randy Savage faced off in a thrilling exchange which made this writer rue the fact that these two never had a program together.

Yet both men eventually tug out to make way for the next elimination as Dino Bravo got rid of Garvin with a swift side-suplex.

Returning to the ring, Bret Hart ultimately fell prey to his larger opponents, playing the proverbial 'babyface in peril' as good as anyone in the business as the remaining three members of The King's Court took it in turns to beat on the future world champion.

After absorbing insane amounts of punishment, Hart eventually made the hot tag to Hacksaw, who charged the ring and pounded on his opponents. After only a few moments of regaining control for his team, Duggan made arguably the dumbest move in the history of pro wrestling by tagging The Hitman back into the action. Charging forward, Bret was quickly taken down by Bravo  before Macho man leapt off the ropes with his famous elbow drop to take The Hitman out of the match.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Jimmy hart and Sensational Sherri
Standing tall against three opponents, only the dimwitted Duggan remained for the 4x4s, overcoming the odds to clear the ring of his opponents before outside interference Sherri brought this very entertaining contest to a close with a win for the King's Court via countout.
Your Winners and sole survivors: Randy Savage, Dino Bravo and Earthquake

Predictably, Duggan then grabbed his trusty 2x4 and cleaned house to the delight of the Illinois crowd.

It's all about the money
In another Coliseum Home Video exclusive, Ted Dibiase's Million Dollar Team gave an evil cackle as they vowed to eliminate The Hulkamaniacs in their upcoming match.

Still in the back, Gene Okerlund told us that Dusty Rhodes was currently being checked over by doctors before, back out in the arena, The Genius drew the ire of the crowd with a terrible poem.

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Million Dollar Team:
'The Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibiase, Zeus and The Powers of Pain (with Mr. Fuji)
The Hulkamaniacs
WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts and WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - The Million Dollar Team
Making their entrance first, the Million Dollar Team initially refused to allow their opponents into the ring until Jake unleashed his snake (no jokes, please) to clear the ring, allowing the heroes to climb between the ropes and stare down their rivals as Hogan's music played for what seemed like an eternity. If you'd only tuned in at this point, you'd be entirely forgiven for thinking the Hulkamaniac's had already won the match.

Alas, it wasn't so, and we began officially with the intimidating Zeus stood centre stage, calling out the WWF Champion.

Intending to start the bout for his team, Jake gave Zeus his wish and tug in the Hulkster for a dramatic confrontation which resulted in the monstrous Zeus choking out his rival and abusing the official, who ultimately disqualified him and sent him packing.

"I don't care if you do have a Z on the side of your head, that's not legal!"  cried Gorilla Monsoon in arguably one of the most bizarre lines ever uttered on a wrestling broadcast. 

Both teams traded the advantage in a decent, slow-paced exchange before Dibiase's men evened the scores thanks to outside shenanigans from Mr. Fuji, allowing the Warlord to drop a heavy elbow onto Ax and eliminate him from the contest.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Hulk Hogan and Zeus square off

Hogan re-entered the ring and took it to the Warlord, tagging in Roberts for more of the same. Smash then tug in, hoping to extract some revenge for his defeated partner by going after Warlord, but he too was eventually eliminated following a rumble with The Million Dollar Man. Dibiase made a blind-tag to Barbarian, who drilled Smash with a flying clothesline for a three count.

The match, which could have -arguably should have- been the main event of the show continued with some hard offence from both sides until Roberts was isolated from Hogan and beat to a pulp by the remaining villains.

Roberts eventually made the hot tag, allowing Hogan to storm the ring and take the fight to his opponents.

Yet while the Million Dollar Team were relying on, you know, beating up their opponents and pinning them to get ahead, The Hulkamniacs ultimately depended on the referee's call to gain any revenge. The Powers of Pain were eventually disqualified for double-teaming  (a tactic every team in every match before and after this one employed without the same results) following a vicious spike piledriver on The Hulkster.

"This makes me sick!" cried Ventura, outraged that the only way the heels could be eliminated was thanks to disqualifications.

Dibiase took advantage of a weary Hogan, applying a Million Dollar Dream which was eventually broken by the champion for another tag to Jake. Roberts gained control of the match and set Dibiase up for his patented DDT, only for Virgil to run to the ring.

To the delight of the audience, Jake drilled the bodyguard with a DDT, only for Dibiase to drop an elbow on his foe and eliminate him from the action with a ropes-assisted pin.

As the drama wore on, it was down to Dibiase and Hogan to wrap things up with a fun display which again proved why this gripping match could have easily headlined the show.

Before too long, Hogan hit the Leg Drop of Doom to secure the win for his side.
Your Winner and sole survivor: Hulk Hogan

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake
Out in the back, Randy Savage and Zeus hyped their upcoming steel cage match against Hulk Hogan and Brutus Beefcake at December's No Holds Barred event. In retort, Beefcake and a sweat-drenched Hogan told Gene Okerlund that said match was going to be wild. Sensational Sherri then confronted the heroes, throwing powder in their eyes which allowed Savage and Zeus to beat down on their enemies until a throng of wrestlers came to the rescue.

For reasons which were never explained, Brutus wore entirely different wrestling attire than he had in his earlier match.

Cameras returned to Monsoon and Ventura, the latter claiming that there was dissension in the ranks of the Heenan family, a clear cover-up for what would transpire in tonight's main event.

Our next Coliseum Home Video exclusive saw Ravishing Rick Rude's Rude Brood vow to triumph over Roddy's Rowdies. 

Speaking of whom, the out of control babyface team, featuring Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka and The Bushwhackers were shown heading to the ring and being more than slightly unhinged.

 4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Rude's Brood
'Ravishing' Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect and The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers
(with Jimmy Hart and The Genius)
Roddy's Rowdies
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper, Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka and The Bushwhackers
WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Ravishing Rick Rude

Literally every time this writer sees Rude in his tights (which in this match bore the faces of the Brood on the front with the Rowdies on the back below a gravestone), I can't help but wonder 'what ever happened to all those awesome tights? And can I buy an original pair?"

That somewhat disturbing and entirely irrelevant thought aside, here we have a match which started badly and ended in a flurry of awesome.

The early part of the battle was played mostly for laughs, the good guys each taking it in turns to bite down on various parts of Mr. Perfect's body before The Rougeaus were eliminated in rapid order thanks to a swift splash from Snuka to Jacques and a piledriver to Raymond courtesy of Mr. Piper.

Outnumbered against four savage opponents, Rude and Perfect retaliated with aggression and took both Bushwhackers out of the equation almost as quickly as the Rougeaus had been eliminated.

It was at this point, with the numbers down to two on two, that the contest really picked up and developed into an entertaining affair.

Following some see-saw action, heated adversaries Rude and Piper finally went at it in the middle of the ring in a maelstrom of fists, both men tumbling through the middle rope and continuing to brawl up the isle  leading to a double countout which left only Superfly and Perfect alone to represent their teams.

Perfect then proceeded to lead his foe through a beautiful, short wrestling match before putting him out of his misery with a smooth Perfect Plex.
Your winner and sole survivor: Mr. Perfect
WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - The Ultimate Warrior's team

Heading to the back, Perfect joined his fallen team mates in backstage celebration as they gave an interview to Sean Mooney.

Then, proving that drug-induced promos were still very much a Survivor Series tradition, a whacked out Ultimate Warriors team in which, obviously high on speed or something like that, Jim Neidhart, The Rockers and the Intercontinental Champion himself laughed and gurned and talked the kind of absolute gibberish which one assumes roughly translated as 'We're going to win the match.'
4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Heenan Family:
Andre The Giant, Arn Anderson, Haku and Bobby 'The Brain Heenan
The Ultimate Warriors
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior, Jim 'The Anvil Neidhart and The Rockers

And so we reach our main event, the only bout on the card not to feature Jimmy Hart at ringside.

Remember that cover-up we talked about earlier? Yeah, well apparently Anderson's Brainbusters team mate, Tully Blanchard was fired that very afternoon, leaving the Heenan team a man down and prompting 'The Brain' himself to don his wrestling gear and participate in the match.

With the bad guys already in the ring, Neidhart and The Rockers charged to the ring and took the fight to their opponents but they quickly outnumbered by Heenan's men, and it was only with the arrival of the Warrior that they were able to gain control.

As the bell rang to officially start the match, Andre was clotheslined to the outside and counted out in the matter of seconds.

For all intents and purposes then, we basically had Michaels, Jannety, Neidhart and the Warrior against the two-man troupe of Arn Anderson and Haku.

To give the heel team their credit, they did fair pretty well, taking out Neidhart after just a few minutes before the compelling action saw Marty Jannety pummelled by Haku and pinned by none other than Bobby Heenan following a big knee drop.

In a main event which was far better than it had any right to be given that two of the stars involved were Warrior and Heenan, it was unsurprisingly up to Anderson, Haku and Michaels to deliver most of the entertainment, each man putting on a fine display which had the crowds roaring in excitement before Michaels drilled Haku with a flying crossbody for the three count.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1989 - Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan
With Bobby Heenan in the cowering in the corner then, it was up to Arn Anderson to make his final WWF PPV appearance by taking on Michaels and Warrior almost entirely alone.

Another exciting exchange between Anderson and Michaels followed, the action moving swift and intense and seeing a visibly terrified Heenan teasing some kind of top-rope move onto Michaels on the outside. Alas, we never did get to see Superfly Bobby Heenan, instead baring witness to Anderson planting the future Heartbreak Kid with a spinebuster for the pin.

Warrior stormed the ring, pummelling on Anderson and battering him around the ring, hurling him into the ropes and sending Heenan crashing to the outside. With The Brain dazed and confused, Warrior eliminated Anderson before stalking Heenan into the ring.

As the Illinois crowd went wild, Warrior made light work of The Brain to win the match.
Your Winner and sole survivor: The Ultimate Warrior

'For Jesse 'The Turkey' Ventura, I'm Gorilla Monsoon' yelled Monsoon as the 1989 Survivor Series came to a close.  Though on first glance this didn't seem like much of a show at all, repeat viewing reveals it to be a thoroughly entertaining show. If you're looking for five-star wrestling classics, move along, there's nothing to see here, but if you want to see the biggest stars of the 80s collide in enjoyable wrestling matches, here's the one to check out.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1988

Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
November 24, 1988

After a successful debut the year before, the World Wrestling Federation's annual Thanksgiving event returned with four strong outings that entertained from opening bell to closing credits.

A little note about today's show; I actually watched the original Coliseum Home Video release of this event, which puts the matches in a slightly different order with a couple of different promos than the later versions which came out on WWE DVD. Regardless, for the sake of historical accuracy (or something), we'll look at the show in the order that it actually went down live. Here goes.

Your commentators for the show are none other than Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura.

5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Elimination match
WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake, Sam Houston, 'Jumpin' Jim Brunzell and The Blue Blazer VS. The Honky Tonk Man, Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine, 'Dangerous' Danny Davis, 'The Outlaw' Ron Bass and Bad News Brown
The late, great Owen Hart puts in an early WWF PPV appearance, donning the blue mask in his first gimmick of The Blue Blazer to kick off the second annual Survivor Series event.

Yet before the Blazer could hit the ring, it was up to former Dream Team partners, Greg Valentine and Brutus Beefcake to get the action under way, both men beating on one another with clobbering blows before The Hammer gained a sneaky advantage. Danny Davis entered the fray , only to be shot into the ropes and then put to sleep by Beefcake for an elimination in record time.

Both teams traded the advantage before Bad News Brown pummelled Jim Brunzell, taking out the former Killer Bee with the Ghetto Blaster. Brown wasn't long for the competition however, a misunderstanding between the noted loner and partner Valentine led to Bad News storming off, leaving the ring and ultimately being counted out.

Luck began to fail the Warrior's team, Sam Houston was eventually taken out by Ron Bass before an exciting exchange between the Blazer and Valentine resulted in the masked man being caught in the hammer's patented figure-four leglock and discarded from the contest.

As this fun opening match continued with each man playing their parts well and getting hte crowd pumped for an action-packed night ahead before Honky Tonk Man and Beefcake both toppled to the outside and were counted out.

Left alone against Valentine and Bass, Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior took the fight to his opponents. The outnumbered Warrior made lightwork of the bad guys, taking out both in rapid succession to be declared the sole survivor and end a good, if barely memorable, opening contest.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior

Heading to the back, Bad News Brown talked about growing up as a loner on the streets of Harlem, before deciding that he didn't really care about that at all, and was only concerned with getting a title shot against The Macho Man.

In a Coliseum Home Video exclusive, The Ultimate Warrior then declared that every man on his team was a winner because they went without food and sleep and 'all the other luxeries of mere mortals.'  Sans facepaint (owing to most of it being sweated off in the prior bout), Warrior actually delivered one of his more coherent promos here.

Ten Team Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Demolition: WWF Tag Team Champions, Demolition, The Conquistadors, The Bolshevieks, The Brain Busters and The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers VS. Team Powers of Pain: Powers of Pain, The Young Stallions, The Hart Foundation, The Rockers and The British Bulldogs

Clocking up more in-ring time on a single PPV than their modern-day counterparts do in a calendar year, the World Wrestling Federation's premier tag teams (and The Conquistadors) showcased what made many of them so memorable in a lengthy, thoroughly enjoyable 20-man tag team elimination match.

Moving at a slower pace than the similar match from 1987 actually benefited this classic Survivor Series contest, giving everybody ample time to grab a piece of the action and gradually build a story up throughout.


The early portion of the match saw a succession of quick tags from both teams, the excitement building rapidly before a swift inside cradle from Bret Hart sent The Fabulous Rougeaus to the showers for the first elimination.

The action continued with every ma involved working hard to deliver a compelling match with barely a dull moment in sight. Though whilst contributions from The Rockers, The Brain Busters and The British Bulldogs were arguably the highlights of this thrilling contest, it was the exchanges between face-painted powerhouses Demolition and The Powers of Pain which really had the crowds on their feet.

The two rival squads stood firm and strong, and as their team mates dropped around them, they continued to entertain the Richmond audience with hard-hitting audience until only Powers of Pain remained for the good guys against the four-man team of Demolition and The Conquistadors, the latter of whom surprising everybody by lasting this long into the match.

It was at this point that Demolition manager Mr. Fuji made his presence felt by climbing onto the apron and waving his walking cane in the general direction of the ring like some half-crazed old man who wasn't entirely sure why he was there.

Of course, the cunning manager knew exactly why he was there; to complete one of the most memorable turns in WWF history. As Smash charged towards the ropes, the dastardly Fuji prized them open, sending his own man crashing to the outside. Confronted by an irate Ax, Fuji reminded his team that he was the boss, and proceeded to whack his charge across the spine with his cane.

That move was to be Fuji's undoing, as the WWF Tag Team Champions turned on their manager, Smash throwing the diminutive man from the orient towards Ax for a crowd-popping bodyslam.

Unsurprisingly, the chaos on the outside led to Demolition's elimination from the contest, leaving The Conquistadors alone to face The Powers of Pain. In a confusing move, Warlord and Barbarian left their corner to attend to Mr. Fuji, helping the fallen manager to his feet and bringing him to their corner before making light work of their masked opponents to end a match which, even some 20-plus years later remains one of the best Survivor Series matches to date.
Your Winners and sole survivors: Powers of Pain

In the post-match, Warlord and Barbarian hoisted Fuji on their shoulders to confirm their new allegiance before Demolition returned to the ring and cleaned house. Though the tag champs certainly got a huge babyface reaction for ditching Fuji, the Powers of Pain heel turn was less than effective; The Richmond crowd greeted their victory with a roar of approval that was unfitting for WWF's newest villans. The ending aside, that was all kinds of awesome.

The show cut to the back with promos from Mr. Fuji and The Powers of Pain explaining their earlier actions, the Heenan Family team decreeing that they would take out Jake 'The Snake' Roberts' team in the upcoming contest, and The Mega Powers team insisting they were ready for action in the main event. Those these promos were not on the Coliseum Home Video we're watching today, a quick look on Youtube backs up my point from last year's event that all early Survivor Series promos were done on crack cocaine.

5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Elimination match
Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Ken Patera, Tito Santana, Scott Casey and Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo, 'Mr. Perfect' Curt Hennig, 'Ravishing' Rick  Rude, Harley Race, and Andre The Giant.
There comes a point after watching wrestling for over 20 years that you start to believe you've heard of any and all PPV-worthy combatants. Then jobber Scott Casey comes  along and proves you wrong.

Sadly, the muscular Casey didn't last long in his first (and perhaps only), WWF pay per view outing, Dino Bravo banishing him from the ring with a hard side-suplex to put the scores at 5-3 following an earlier elimination of Ken Patera thanks to a Rude Awakening from The Ravishing One.

Tito Santana helped reduce his team's deficit by taking the fight to Harley Race and eliminating him in short order. Santana's luck quickly ran out as Andre The Giant stepped between the ropes and anihilated Chico . The former Strike Force member tried to counter the attack with a sunset flip which proved to be his downfall, the menacing giant simply took a seat on Santana's chest and took him out of the action.

Hacksaw Duggan picked up the slack for his team, beating on Giant with aplomb and offering a couple of  shots to fellow co-captain Jake Roberts. Duggan was the next man to leave the match, countering the heel team's cowardly cheating ways by grabbing his trusty 2x4 and taking out Dino Bravo, thus getting himself disqualified.

Irate at the decision, Hacksaw stormed to the back, though not before yelling a very visible BULL SHIT  right in front of the camera. Honestly, as good at this match was, seeing Duggan curse on camera was a guilty highlight for this reviewer .

That aside, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts found himself seriously outnumbered against four opponents, finding small consolation in taking out Rick Rude with a roll-up. Andre then returned to the ring and choked out Roberts, absolutely obliterating his rival and earning himself a disqualification in the process.

The damage had been done however, and all that was left was for Mr. Perfect to pick up the pieces and pin Roberts for the win.
Your Winners and Sole Survivors: Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig and Dino Bravo

though hardly full of technical excellence, that was a fantastic match-up that told a great story and kept the audience, or at least this fan, captivated throughout, just the way the best wrestling matches should do.

Heading to the back once more, Sean Mooney provided us with another Coliseum Home Video exclusive in which Andre The Giant reminded us that he promised victory for his team and delivered. The big man then challenged Jake Roberts to a match.

Offering a retort, Jake The Snake then cut a compelling promo in which he vowed to gain revenge against his giant adversary.

5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Mega Powers: WWF Champion Macho Man Randy Savage, Koko B/ Ware, Hillbilly Jim, Hercules and Hulk Hogan . Team Twin Towers: Akeem, 'The Million Dollar Man' Ted Dibiase, King Haku and The Big Boss Man
Finally, it was time for the main event as Hulk Hogan looked to get his hands  on arch-rival The Big Bossman, Hercules sought revenge on Ted Dibiase for that whole dodgy 'Herc is Dibiase's slave' thing, and everybody else was seemingly there to make up the numbers.

This was a very good, old-school Survivor Series contest, the drama building throughout and keeping the crowd on their feet.

Following a see-saw battle in the early going, Koko B. Ware got the better of The Red Rooster before tagging in Hogan for the Big Boot. In a good display of team work, The Hulkster then brought Mega Powers team mate, Randy Savage, into the match to finish off The Rooster with a flying elbow drop.

As a brawl erupted in the ring, a dejected Rooster was berated by manager Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan, leading to their eventual split later in the year. Inside the ropes, the good guys cleaned house and celebrated with such gusto you'd be forgiven for thinking they'd already won the match.

The villains evened the scores after Akeem took out Hillbilly Jim before his Twin Towers team mate The Big Boss Man sent Koko packing.

Seizing his opportunity, Hogan returned to the ring to beat up on the Boss Man, but his bulky adversary refused to go down and got the better of the former World Champion with the assist from Akeem. Haku entered the fray to inflict further damage on Hogan before Ted Dibiase added to the assault.

Mounting a comeback, Hogan tug out to Hercules, giving the mighty one his opportunity to final serve some justice to Dibiase. His revenge was short lived however, as thanks to the assist from bodyguard Virgil, The Million Dollar man was able to eliminate Herc.

That was the beginning of the end for this gripping finale,.

Slick attempted to drag Elizabeth to The back, only for Hogan to make the save. That allowed the Twin Towers to attack Hogan from behind and handcuff him to the ring posts.

Forgetting to make a legal tag beforehand, The Big Bossman was then counted out.

Down to two against one, Savage brought the battle to Haku and Akeem but was quickly overwhelmed and beaten on before Akeem somehow got himself disqualified.

Haku continued the assault in the ring as Savage looked desperately for his partner to make a tag.

As the drama reached fever pitch, Hogan socked Heenan, called over Elizabeth to get the handcuff keys from The Slicker's pockets and free him.

Hogan then returned to the apron, made the tag, took out Haku and won the match for his team.
Your Winners and Sole Survivors: Hulk Hogan and The Macho Man Randy Savage.

Afterwards, Hogan celebrated triumphantly as Savage sold his beating on the outside. As Elizabeth attempted to get the Hulkster's attention, you know, to get him to check on his partner, Hogan instead swooped up Elizabeth for a celebratory hug. Savage then revived himself long enough to celebrate with the duo, flashing a look towards the Hulkster which fused anger, bitterness and jealousy. The downfall of The Mega Powers had begun.

Cutting to the back for a final promo, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura interviewed Savage, insinuating that the look in the WWF Champion's eyes suggested all was not well between him and Hogan. Savage rebutted the claims and reminded us that he was the champion, storming off camera to end the show.

And so, the second annual Thanksgiving spectacular, Survivor Series 1988 was in the history books. Match of the Night honors undoubtedly go to that epic 20-man tag team match which should, and often is, revered as a classic even years later. Yet really, there was no bad match on the card; everybody played their parts perfectly and delivered excitement, entertainment and enjoyment from bell to bell. As a wrestling fan, what more could you possibly ask for?

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1987

Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio.
November 26, 1987

Teams of five strive to survive as the World Wrestling Federation presents a brand new pay per view concept designed as much to harm the rival NWA Starrcade PPV as anything else.

The original Coliseum Home Video release of this was heavily, and often badly edited. Sadly, that just so happens to be the version we're watching today. Still, let's see what went down, shall we?

Following an excruciatingly cheesy, incredibly 80's opening mostly consisting of Wrestlemania II clips played over jazz music (yes, jazz music), it was up to the legendary duo of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse 'The Body' Ventura  to welcome us to the show and run down the rules of the Survivor Series matches.

Shake, Rattle & Roll, baby!
If there's one puzzling thing about early Survivor Series shows, it's that everybody seemed to be on crack in the pre-match promos. As they grouped together to say a few words about how they would destroy their opponents, every combatant would abandon their usual personalities in favor of some kind of maniacal, half-crazed hysteric.

It was all rather strange.

Case in point here as The Honky Tonk Man threatened laid into new fan-favourite Macho Man Randy Savage and even threatened to shake, rattle and roll Elizabeth again (having previously pushed her to the ground in a previous assault).

All the while, team-mates Hercules, 'Dangerous' Danny Davis, Ron 'Outlaw' Bass and 'King' Harley Race, along with managers Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and Jimmy Hart snarled and jeered and acted well, like they'd just taken a large amount of Class-A drugs.

Things were little different when the Macho Man and his team took to the mic to offer a rebuttal, basically threatening to kick everybody's ass before the show finally took to the ring.

5 v 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match:
Honky Tonk Man (Team Captain), Hercules, 'Dangerous' Danny Davis, 'Outlaw' Ron Bass, 'King' Harley Race vs. 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake and 'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan.
And so, after just facing off in their now legendary Wrestlemania III encounter, The Dragon and The Macho Man found themselves on the same team in this battle of WWF's premier mid-carders of the time.

Yet enough of that for now. Hercules and Brutus Beefcake kicked off the match with an exchange every bit as awkward as 'The Barber's' ill-fitting yellow and black ring attire. Clearly going nowhere fast with Herc, Bruti brought Danny Davis into the affray to play whipping-boy for the babyface team; each of Beefcake's allies taking it in turns to lay the damage to the former official.

As the fast-paced action continued, it was ultimately Jim Duggan and Harley Race who were the first men out of the contest. The heated rival battled to the outside and continued to batter each other with clobbering blows as the referee counted to ten, eliminating both men.

The good guys continued to gain the advantage with Brutus taking out Ron Bass with a high-knee to put the scores at 4-3 to the good guys. Ah for the days when a knee to the chops could lead to a pinfall.

The match, which is actually better on second viewing than your writer originally thought, continued with the villans gaining some measure of revenge. Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man planted Beefcake with the Shake, Rattle and Roll to even the scores.

As the pace began to drop just slightly, the good guys eventually took out Hercules and Danny Davis, leaving HTM alone to face three of his biggest rivals in Steamboat, Savage and Roberts.

Rather than do that, however, the cowardly champion simply grabbed his belt and walked to the back, leading to a count-out elimination and a win for the heroes.

And thus ended the first ever Survivor Series match, a contest which at times did seem rushed and awkward, but was actually a really enjoyable opener featuring several Hall of Fame-worthy stars.
Winners and sole survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts

Following the contest, Ventura and Monsoon wondered aloud as to why Honky decided to bail, killing time til the next contest.

Women's 5 v 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Sensational Sherri (team captain), Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, Dawn Marie & Donna Christanello vs. The Fabulous Moolah (team captain), Rockin' Robin, The Jumping Bomb Angels and Velvet McIntyre
First things first, let's get the typical male aesthetic view-point out of the way, shall we? Yes, WWF Women's Champion Sensational Sherri looked damn fine here, Fabulous Moolah looked as old here as she did during her 'comeback' of the late-90s and well, yeah, your reviewer has always had something of a soft-spot for Rockin' Robin.

All that aside, this was as good a women's wrestling match as you'll ever see; the action moved at a solid pace and there was barely a dull moment to e found.

The babyface team made short work of Dawn Marie and Donna Christanello, the latter being taken out thanks to a quick roll up from Irish-born McIntyre before Robin took got rid of the former thanks to a flying cross-body.

This left women's champion Sherri and women's tag title holders The Glamour Girls (Martin and Kai) to hold their own against five opponents.

And hold their own they did. Sherri took the action to Rockin Robin, taking her out with a wicked suplex before Moolah, working as a babyface despite a lengthy career as a heel, succumbed to a weak-looking double clothesline to leave the contest.

As the match wore on and fatigue set in, the remaining six girls slowed the pace yet continued to deliver a dramatic, entertaining contest. McIntyre eliminated Sherri with another roll-up before exiting the contest herself thanks to a hard Electric Chair.

Down to The Glamour Girls vs. The Jumping Bomb Angels, the four remaining combatants closed the contest on a high note with a series of beautiful exchanges before the Angels eliminated their rivals to win the contest and lead to their memorable tag title match at the 1988 Royal Rumble.
Your Winners and sole survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels.

Heading to the back for another crack-addled interview, Bobby Heenan spoke on behalf of The Hart Foundation and the four other teams making up their Survivor Series team. Speaking on behalf of the Strike Force team, Tito Santana offered a response as his equally as excited teammates went loco in the background. Neither man said anything of note.

Ten Team 10 v 10 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Hart Foundation (team captains), Demolition, The Islanders, The Dream Team and The Bolsheviks vs. Strike Force, The Killer Bees, The British Bulldogs, The Rougeaus and The Young Stallions.
If I've mentioned any of the other bouts on this card being fast-paced, ignore it. Or at least, take my word for it that, as fast as they were, the furious pace of this twenty-man match makes every other contest seem like it was moving in slow-motion.

The rules here are that when one member of a team is eliminated, both men have to hit the showers, and so it was that after Boris Zhukov ate a flying forearm from Santana, The Bolsheviks were out of the running.


Wasting absolutely no time, the action picked up just a second later with Demolition Axe charging the ring to beat up on 'Chico.'

Tagging in and out almost every thirty seconds, each combatant had the opportunity to step between the ropes and showcase their wares at some point in this exhilarating, if someone crowded penultimate contest.

One of your writer's favourite teams, The Islanders again showcased why they were perhaps one of the more underrated teams during the glory days of the WWF tag team division while the Rougeaus and The Bulldogs (the latter of whom didn't even have their elimination from the match recorded on video due to the aforementioned editing from Coliseum Home Video) also shined here.

Yet ultimately, once most of the teams had been kicked out of the contest, it was down to The Islanders to hold their own against The Killer Bees and The Young Stallions.

Credit where credit is due, Haku and Tama took it to the babyfaces, though they were no match for Jim Brunzel and Briann Blair's old routine of suddenly donning masks, confusing everyone insight (including some viewers!) and scoring the win for their team.
Your Winners and Sole Survivors: The Killer Bees and The Young Stalions

Out in the back, Andre The Giant, flanked by his team, claimed to be out for Hulk Hogan's soul as we began to build to tonight's main event.


In reply, an animated Hogan riled up his already excitable partners, claiming hat thy were hungry and that 'the food chain doesn't matter.' Whatever that means.

Anyway, main event time.

5 vs. 5 Survivor Series Elimination Match
Andre the Giant (Team Captain), Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and 'The Natural' Butch Reed vs. Hulk Hogan (Team Captain), Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, 'Mr. Wonderful' Paul Ordorf and Don 'The Rock' Muraco.
Stepping into a WWF ring for the first time since his losing effort against The Hulkster at Wrestlemania III, Andre The Giant lead his team into a surprisingly enthralling main event.

Ravishing Rick Rude and Don Muraco kicked off this entertaining contest, The Rock trading ring time with his partners as each one laid into the relative newcomer Rude. But it was Butch Reed, thanks to the Legdrop of Doom from Hogan, who was the first man sent packing for the bad guys.

Sensing an opportunity, Andre stepped through the ropes to finally extract some revenge on Hogan, only for the referee to mistake Hulk's celebratory high-five with Ken Patera for a tag and insist that Patera, not Hogan, continue the match.

Why Hogan didn't just tag back in again is anyone's guess, but alas it was Patera who continued the action against King Kong Bundy, the latter tagging in after Andre made it known he had no interest in anyone who wasn't the WWF Champion.

Following some dramatic back and forth action, the heels evened the scores when One Man Gang eliminated Patera, and continued to gain the advantage shortly after thanks to a Rude pinfall on Paul Ordorff.

The pace quickened, with quick successive elminations for Rude and Muraco, leaving Hogan and Bigelow against Bundy, Andre and The Gang.

It was from this moment on that Bam Bam Bigelow really came into his own. Easily the surprise star of the match, The Beast from the East looked more than comfortable as he and Hogan looked to turn the tide against the behemoths on the opposite side of the ring.

Things took a turn for the worse for Bam Bam as Hogan tussled on the outside of the ring with King Kong Bundy and was ultimately counted out, leaving his partner alone against his three larger opponents.

A undouted star on the rise, with impressive agility, charisma and that intangible star quality, Bigelow put forth a valiant effort, managing to eliminate both Bundy and One Man Gang before finally falling victim to Andre the Giant.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant

Stealing the spotlight and sending the crowd home happy, WWF Champion Hulk Hogan then returned to the ring, smacked Andre upside the head with the title belt and posed before the crowd.

In the closing moments, Bobby Heenan insisted that if Hogan wanted a rematch against The Giant, all he would have to do is sign the contract. More of that at Royal Rumble 1988.

And so the first ever Survivor Series event was in the history books. Hardly the most memorable or historically significant event ever (apart from it being the first one), this was nonetheless a fun, action-packed show which gave just about everybody on the roster a chance to shine and managed to create enough variation out of four matches with the exact same concept. It's not hard to see from watching this event just why Vince McMahon decided to return to Survivor Series year after year.

Retro Pro Wrestling

New reviews of classic WWF/WWE events recalling every moment from Wrestlemania 1 - 30. You'll also find reviews of WCW, ECW, TNA and the occasional indie event, along with a look at old school magazines, merchandise and more.