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The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Three

November 13th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Survivor Series trivia isn’t nearly as entertaining as Wrestlemania trivia, but I thought I’d give it a shot to fill up some intro space.

– Only two shows failed to include any elimination tag matches. 98’s “survival” had to do with its tournament setup while 02’s “survival” was mostly about the introduction of the Elimination Chamber. 02 also featured an elimination tables match and a three-way elimination tag match, which I suppose are close enough.

– Mick Foley has never been in an elimination tag match at any of these shows. Steve Austin has only competed in one during the 01 Series.

– The first non-elimination match at a Survivor Series is Hogan vs. Undertaker at the 91 show.

– John Cena is 6-0 at Survivor Series. Randy Savage is 5-0, though he did get eliminated in a match where his team won. Savage also went two years in a row where he was at the show and cut a live promo, but didn’t actually wrestle. The Ultimate Warrior is 3-0.

– Triple H lost his first seven Survivor Series appearances, though one of them is a no contest.

– Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels have been in four Survivor Series matches together. They teamed up in 88, fought for Bret’s title in 92, fought against each other as team captains in 93 and had that more well-known title match in 97.

– The first team to ever win with a shutout is the team of “The Model” Rick Martel, the Warlord, Paul Roma and Hercules at the 1990 Series. The first man to ever be the sole survivor will be brought up later in this installment.

19) SURVIVOR SERIES 1993

Date: November 24, 1993
Era: New Generation
Location: Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Known as: That one where Undertaker had to replace Tatanka so they had to redraw the cover art for the VHS tape and they introduced him to Luger’s team by having him reveal a 1776 American flag stitched into his coat while he said – and I shit you not – “So let freedom ring and the Foreign Fanatics rest in peeeeace!”
Elimination Matches: 4 out of 5

When you were a kid, ever have a board game where the pieces were missing and you tried to play it anyway? You had to take pieces from other games and make up new rules to accommodate the changes? It’s never as fun as the original, is it. That’s what Survivor Series 1993 is like. Every single elimination match is marred with replacements instead of the original line-ups. Whether for shoot or worked reasons, we see Mr. Perfect, Jerry Lawler, Doink the Clown, Pierre and Tatanka replaced over the course of the night. Outside of the Doink angle and having Crush back up Yokozuna’s Foreign Fanatics team, a lot of these are entirely forced. Forced enough that they have to come up with a reason for Undertaker to be a patriot. Forced enough that Shawn Michaels has to be shoe-horned into a feud with the Hart Family while commanding his own army of masked knights. The pre-booking is a nightmare, but how does it turn out in the end?

The Atmosphere

One of the little subplots of the show is that Bobby Heenan is scared to death of Gorilla Monsoon, who has finally had enough of his taunts and is prepared to deck him. This is shown through a cold open segment where Vince warns him that Monsoon’s in the arena and a part where Vince and the Brain have to switch announce tables with WWF Radio commentators Monsoon and Jim Ross. Monsoon prepares to punch Heenan’s lights out, but Heenan hastily puts on glasses to save himself. This would be Heenan’s last real WWF PPV commentary job, but damn if he doesn’t give it his all.

The PPV’s visual theme is a CGI construction set, which I guess is just there to look cool, since it has nothing to do with anything. Todd Pettengill interviews Shawn Michaels, which is fine when he’s talking about his unrelated feud with Razor Ramon for the Intercontinental Championship, but takes a dive when they have to come up with reasons for why Michaels is involved with the Hart Family match without outright saying, “Listen, a girl says Jerry Lawler had his way with her and we can’t have him on TV right now.” It’s retconned so that Michaels himself hand-picked the knights and then he – and the rest of the viewers – are forced to sit through a promo where Ray Combs of Family Feud interviews the Harts. It’s pretty dire, believe me.

On the other hand, we have a seriously fantastic Jim Cornette promo for the Foreign Fanatics, where he discusses how the All-American Team is like one man’s body. The Steiners are the heart, the Undertaker is the mind and Luger is the spirit. You just have to destroy one and the rest will crumble. The All-Americans get their own unique promo, where it would show historical US landmarks and one of the members would be shown comparing the match to it, talking heads style. Fittingly, Undertaker gets to talk about a graveyard.

The Matches

Our opener is Razor Ramon, the 1-2-3 Kid, Mary Jannetty and “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Irwin R. Schyster, Diesel, Adam Bomb and “The Model” Rick Martel. IRS does his usual, “You’re a bunch of tax cheats!” promo to start it off and Razor announces Savage as his partner because Mr. Perfect no-showed. Savage really has nothing to do with any of this and Heenan is quick to pick up on it in a way that makes it work into the match. The fact that Savage is too busy focusing on Crush ruins his focus on the heels of the match. Razor and the Model start it off with some good mat work won by Razor. Adam Bomb tags in and outclasses Razor. They have a test of strength spot with Razor again coming out the winner. The Model runs in for an elbow drop, accidentally getting Adam Bomb instead. This sets off a chain reaction and the heels all get at each other’s throats. This includes Model punching Harvey Whippleman for getting in his face. Cooler heads prevail and the match continues.

Adam Bomb and Diesel each pound on 1-2-3 Kid for a bit. Diesel hits what they label a gutwrench suplex, but is really just a Jackknife Powerbomb. Since I don’t think this was his finisher quite yet, it only does regular move damage. The Kid hot tags Savage, who cleans house all by himself and finishes Diesel off with a top-rope elbow drop. Diesel is out of the match and the heels look like absolute shit. Speaking of looking like shit, Savage’s work isn’t so great here. Maybe it’s the last minute addition doing it, but he does look out of place during a lot of it. Anyway, the heels work over Razor and Jannetty misses the laziest attempt to tag in Razor. Savage gets back in and gets ready to nail IRS with the top-rope elbow, but then Crush comes out. Savage is convinced not to leave by his teammates, but instead shouts at Crush from the second rope. IRS rolls him up with a School Boy and pins him. Savage runs right after Crush.

Razor handily takes care of IRS, delivers the Razor’s Edge and pins him. The ring fills up afterwards, Razor reverses a backdrop attempt from the Model into another Razor’s Edge. While he holds him up by the armpits, IRS sneaks back in, pastes Razor with the briefcase and cheeses it. The ref is too busy dealing with the other wrestlers to notice, but turns around to see Razor knocked out of the ring, so he makes the ten count and eliminates him from the match. We’re essentially down to the least interesting four wrestlers of the match with 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty vs. Rick Martel and Adam Bomb. At least the crowd is into it with huge “1! 2! 3!” chants here and there.

1-2-3 Kid knocks Adam Bomb to the outside, runs across the ropes and dives out onto him. Adam Bomb catches him and slams him down, looking really impressive. Eventually, the Kid hot tags Jannetty, who takes it to the Model. The two faces start double-teaming the Model, leading to a scenario where the Kid Sunset Flips him for a pin. Adam Bomb runs in, Jannetty is immediately tagged, he jumps in with his own Sunset Flip and surprisingly pins Adam Bomb right there. A solid match all together and while the ending looked like it would suck, it helped build up the makeshift team of Jannetty and 1-2-3 Kid as newfound tag title contenders.

The Hart Family (Bret “The Hitman” Hart, “The Rocket” Owen Hart, Bruce Hart and Keith Hart) vs. Shawn Michaels, the Black Knight (Jeff Gaylord), the Blue Knight (Greg Valentine) and the Red Knight (Barry Horowitz) is next. Ray Combs comes out as the ring announcer, where his stand-up routine promptly bombs hard outside of a jab at Shawn Michaels’ mother. At least we have Heenan to balance things out by verbally tearing into the Hart family, especially Stu.

Bruce Hart keeps outsmarting the heels to start it off and for a while the Harts outwrestle them all. And… okay, quick aside here. This is one of those matches where I figured, as a grown up wrestling fan, I’d find to be way better than my 12-year-old self did. After all, you have Bret, Owen, Michaels, Valentine, Horowitz wasn’t awful and the other Harts should be good based on reputation. How wrong I was. This match is boooooring! Yes, the crowd lets them know that a couple times throughout the match. I will say that while Ray Combs on commentary is average due to his lack of experience, he certainly woke me up when he responded to Blue Knight doing a Flair chop with, “He weenie slapped him!” I don’t know if it’s a great line or a horrible line, but I’ll forever remember it.

Ten minutes in, the ring fills up and the heels are all whipped from the corners and collide in the center of the ring. Owen Missile Dropkicks the Black Knight and pins him. Michaels takes down Keith for a moment and misses a splash from the top rope. Keith tags in Bret and Shawn races for the tag. The Red Knight comes in and quickly falls to Bret’s Sharpshooter. The Blue Knight tries to break it up, but he’s too late. Man, the Red Knight is a weakling, not even able to wait it out for another couple seconds. Stu massages Keith at ringside while the Blue Knight puts the boots to Bret. Owen eventually gets the tag and beats up the two remaining heels. Michaels escapes the ring, but then gets clobbered by Stu. Owen hops out of the ring and splashes Michaels. The action returns to the ring, where Owen clotheslines Michaels out, gets his hands on the Blue Knight and puts him in the Sharpshooter. The Blue Knight taps, making it four Harts vs. one Michaels.

Owen vs. Michaels is even enough, but the numbers are against Michaels and Bret is tagged in to dish out some pain. He picks Michaels up for a backbreaker and gets a thumb to the eye. Owen is tagged back in, but Bret is blinded and disoriented on the apron when trying to find his way back home and Owen accidentally collides into him. Michaels rolls him up for a pin and Owen is pissed off that his brothers are more focused on Bret hitting the barricade than Bret costing Owen the match. As this is all going on, Heenan tosses Michaels a water bottle. God, why did Vince have to let Heenan leave?

Having the three Hart brothers beat on Michaels should be a fun instance of the heel getting his just desserts, but it’s back to being boring. I’m wondering if Lawler could have made this work. Michaels is forced to throttle the top rope as Bret pulls the rope up and down. Michaels weasels out of the Sharpshooter and decides he’s had enough by walking away from the match. So wait, he chooses not to submit by basically submitting? Owen returns to heel it up and act like he had been humiliated by Bret. When he leaves the ring, he refuses to do a post-match interview with Pettengill and storms off.

One of the big problems with the match is that the fans are so unfamiliar with more than half of the competitors. We have two Harts and three Knights and unless you recognize who was under the hoods, most fans don’t know them from Adam Bomb. Bruce, Keith and the rest don’t do anything to win over the crowd and kill the mood. This is followed by The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) defending the Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Championship against the Heavenly Bodies (Tom Prichard and Jimmy Del Ray), which is another match where the crowd is mostly unfamiliar with the guys in the ring. It definitely shows, but the difference here is that the teams do work at trying to win over the crowd and get them interested.

The Bodies jump the Express upon entry and clear the ring, followed by doing that slingshot move where you pull back the top rope and the opponent goes flying in. That works on Gibson, but from the apron, Morton is able to do the same move to both of the Bodies. He follows that up with a dive to the outside. The match is filled with a lot of good in-ring work from both sides, but it kind of feels like it’s missing a step here and there. Still, lots and lots of fast-paced team-up moves to help wake up the crowd, though most of the Bodies’ attempts at teamwork blow up in their faces. By this point, there’s only one douche yelling, “BORING!” compared to the others backing him up in the previous match.

The momentum shifts when Prichard reverses headscissors from Morton into a powerbomb. Morton is worked on for a bit, including two nice moonsaults from Del Ray over the course of the match. He’s able to reverse a double backdrop into a double DDT and makes the tag. The match becomes a clusterfuck at this point where Morton is tossed over the top rope, which is normally a disqualification over at SMW, but the ref doesn’t rule it because this is the WWF. The commentators do a fine job explaining this, but the fans in attendance don’t know what the fuck. As the ref is distracted, Morton tries pinning Prichard and Del Ray jumps off the top rope and smashes him in the head with Cornette’s tennis racket. The Bodies get the pin and become the champs. The fans lost interest about halfway into the match.

The next match is a unique one, which on paper is Bam Bam Bigelow’s team vs. four Doink the Clowns. What we get instead is Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger and the Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu) vs. Men on a Mission (Moe and Mabel) and the Bushwhackers (Luke and Butch) where the latter team is decked out in Doink gear. Mabel dressed as Doink the Clown is an amazing sight, I tell you. He’s just so damn happy! Now, this bait and switch brings two major reactions to the forefront. One is Howard Finkel doing the incredulous announcement, “Their opponents… coming down the aisle?” Two is the fans being pretty pissed that they’re being cheated out of seeing Doink wrestle. Huge chants of, “WE WANT DOINK!” throughout the match.

There are a lot of people who hate on this match for all its hijinx and I can’t understand why, outside of not having Doink himself there (which is funny, since it wasn’t the original Doink anyway). Ridiculous comedy spots? Not in my match about four clowns wrestling a fat guy whose gimmick is that he doesn’t bathe! Bastion Booger, by the way, wears a tiny shirt that says, “I may be fat, but you’re ugly and I can diet.” He and the rest of the heels have brought some food with them, which will come into play.

Booger and Luke start it off, which is as sloppy as you’d expect. Luke ends up biting Booger on the ass and he tags out to Samu. Shortly into the match, Samu starts stealing balloons from the Doinks and bites into them. One of the balloons is filled with water, which surprises the Samoan and he gets rolled up by Luke for a pin. Luke tags to Butch and he gets beaten on by Bastion Booger. Booger does his finisher where he sits down on Butch’s chest, but then excitedly gets up when he sees that Fatu is offering him a banana. Booger indulges, then tries to sit down on Butch again. This time, Mabel pulls Butch out from under him. Booger hits the mat, gets up and gets nailed with the Bushwhacker Battering Ram, followed by a Mabel legdrop, even though Mabel isn’t the legal man. Whatever, it’s four against two.

Fatu uses a turkey carcass as a weapon against Butch and continues to punish him. Moe gets into the ring and rides a scooter in circles around Fatu and Butch, which Fatu barely pays any mind to. Bam Bam has had enough and steps in to deliver an enziguri to the back of Moe’s head. Fatu follows it with a splash off the top, but then stops the pin to acknowledge that Booger left the remains of his banana in the ring. Butch comes in with a bucket and threatens to splash its contents on Fatu. He swings it, but it’s empty. Fatu still flinches from it and ends up slipping on the banana peel, falls on his back and gets rolled up for a pin. Bam Bam, now the only one left on his team, clears the ring of all the fake Doinks until it’s just him and Mabel. It’s a cool big man showdown and Bam Bam soon gets the advantage. The other Doinks cause all sorts of distractions around the ring, including splashing Luna with a bucket of water and Bam Bam is hit unawares by a Double Avalanche by Men on a Mission. All four Doinks pile onto him for the pin and it’s a clean sweep.

After the match, Doink appears on the Titantron to make fun of Bam Bam and Luna. Personally, I dig the Doink/Bam Bam feud for being what is essentially a classic face vs. heel feud in reverse. You have the dishonest, antagonistic and somewhat cowardly face screwing around with the mind of the tough, more driven to fight heel. Backstage, the Doinks all celebrate and… well, it’s something to behold.

This leaves our main event, where the All-Americans (Lex Luger, the Undertaker, Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) face the Foreign Fanatics (Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, Jacques and Crush). Any excitement I have for this match is trumped by the conversation that Yokozuna was a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien a couple days before. This is 93, so I’m sure it wasn’t all that good, but I’m imagining Conan and Yokozuna reenacting classic Conan bits that don’t exist yet and it’s making me giggle.

“But I don’t think that Bruce Hart’s flying clothesline is going to be enough to take down Shawn Michaels, let alone his mysterious, colored knights!”

“Wow, Conan! Survivor Series sure sounds like fun!!” :D

“It sure does, Yokozuna!!” :D

*Conan O’Brien and Yokozuna silently stare back and forth with emotionless expressions*

Speaking of staredowns, that’s exactly what we get between Yokozuna and Undertaker before they go their separate ways and the match begins. Quebecer Jacques extends his hand for a handshake and Scott Steiner flips him off in response. I’m less noticing of how the rightful roles are reversed and more of how that’s a pretty good representation of the two men in real life. A moment or two of grappling and tags later and we have Rick Steiner vs. Yokozuna. A Steinerline does actually knock Yokozuna over and a follow-up shoulderblock knocks him out of the ring. Borga gets in there and Rick attacks him with something off the top rope. He lands really sloppily, Borga twists him last second into a pin and he gets the three-count. Not sure if Rick really injured himself, but they played it like he did.

Scott takes on Jacques again and presses him over his head. Crush enters the ring just as Scott tosses Jacques in his general direction. Crush easily catches Jacques, sets him down and doesn’t react when Jacques pats him on the back, taunts Scott and escapes the ring. I’m no Crushologist, but I seem to remember this being the peak of his time as a performer, which is backed up by some sweet kick-based offense. Randy Savage runs out, pulled back by various guys in suits and Crush is distracted. Scott kicks Crush out of the ring and rather than respond to that, Crush simply brawls with Savage until he’s counted out. That evens it up at three-on-three.

Jacques (who Vince insists on calling “The Quebecer” throughout the match) works over Scott until he’s able to get a hot tag to Lex Luger. Lex simply slams Jacques, goes to the second rope, hits an elbow drop and pins him. LAME. Shortly after, Scott is back in the ring against Borga. What’s funny is how Borga takes a second to step over to the face corner and taunt Luger, but then shows just a bit of fear at Undertaker. Borga soon tags in Yokozuna. Scott whips Yokozuna into the ropes in hopes of doing a Frankensteiner, but Yokozuna grabs the rope and Scott jumps, catches nothing and falls flat on his back. Yokozuna hits one of his gigantic legdrops and pins Scott. He holds advantage on Luger for a few minutes until missing an Avalanche into the corner. Lex gets the hot tag to the Undertaker, entering him into the match for the first time.

Yokozuna hits Undertaker with all his power moves, ending with a Banzai Drop. He decides to add an exclamation point and climbs up the ropes for a second shot. This time, Undertaker sits up right before Yokozuna crashes butt-first into the mat. Undertaker follows up by running under one of Yokozuna’s clotheslines and nailing a jumping clothesline. The fight goes to the outside, where Undertaker is repeatedly slammed into the steps. He no-sells this, scaring the crap out of Yokozuna. The two are both counted out, leaving it to Luger vs. Borga.

Borga continues to dominate until the two clothesline each other at the same time. Master Fuji sneaks his wooden bucket into the ring so that when Luger tries to pin Borga, he gets knocked in the head with it. When the ref makes the count, Luger is still able to kick out. The fight continues with Luger Irish Whipped and setup for a backdrop. Luger jumps over, surprises Borga with the Bionic Forearm and pins him.

Then Santa Claus comes out because… I don’t know. He celebrates with Luger in the ring and gives us all the early gift of basically ending the Luger/Borga feud sooner than later. Merry Christmas!

18) SURVIVOR SERIES 1987

Date: November 26, 1987
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio
Known as: The very first Survivor Series
Elimination Matches: 4 out of 4

Based on the success of Wrestlemania III, a new PPV event was created to be aired on Thanksgiving night. Although Andre the Giant remained out of sight after his epic loss to Hulk Hogan at that Wrestlemania, he had finally resurfaced, insisting that he was the rightful champion. Their rivalry would heat up for the next nine months or so, but this was the first big step. Intertwining feuds merged together and teams were forged, setting up the battle between Andre’s villains and Hogan’s heroes. Heh. See what I did there? Billy Graham was supposed to be on Hogan’s team, but got pulled out of the match and replaced with Ken Patera.

The Atmosphere

The VHS version of Survivor Series 87 is two hours instead of three and having watched the full version of the show, it’s probably for the better. Yes, these four matches are four long matches (shortest one is at 19 minutes with the longest at 37 minutes) and they do have 50 wrestlers at their disposal, but there’s still so much dead air left to fill up. There’s a very lengthy intermission before the last match that involves Ventura and Monsoon sitting down and taking a trip down memory lane by discussing the three matches they just watched. They show a pre-taped promo by newcomer Ted Dibiase, which would be awesome if it wasn’t so extensively long and given the form of a clip show. One thing they show several times over is a commercial for how you can order your very own Survivor Series t-shirt or program. Program? Who the hell wants a program for a show that’ll be long over by the time you get it? They also kill time by having Honky Tonk Man come out to do an interview where nothing of interest is said.

The intro is a very 80’s highlight reel of random wrestling footage followed by the commentators going over the rules. When listing the different ways you can be eliminated, one of the choices is being too injured that the ref decides to take you out of the match, which is odd since 23 years later, it hasn’t been used once. The promos are very uninteresting due to how hard it is to understand them. To help hype up the overcrowded team aspect of the show, team captains would recite promos while their teammates would loudly talk to each other and make as much background noise as possible. It doesn’t work so well. This one for Hogan’s team is the most coherent one around, plus it features Hogan’s bizarre headband veil.

What the fuck? Did Bam Bam Bigelow just threaten to burn down the arena?

The Matches

The very first Survivor Series match ever is Honky Tonk Man, King Harley Race, Hercules Hernandez, “The Outlaw” Ron Bass and “Dangerous” Danny Davis vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. It starts off with Beefcake vs. Hercules, where Beefcake locks the sleeper onto Hercules almost immediately. Hercules doesn’t go down, but does get shoved into the corner, where Beefcake pulls in Danny Davis. Davis is a corrupt referee-turned-wrestler, so all the faces love beating the everloving shit out of him. All the faces get their turn on him in the opening minutes, including a top-rope chop from Steamboat. Davis scrambles for a tag and Harley Race comes in. He makes two attempts to throw Steamboat out of the ring, but each time is met with Steamboat skinning the cat and pulling himself back in. Naturally, Race can’t do the same when Steamboat gives him the heave-ho. Even though Race gets back in, Hacksaw is tagged in and clotheslines Race back out. The two brawl outside the ring and the very first elimination spot in a Survivor Series is a double count-out.

Savage gets his hands on Honky Tonk Man very briefly, but he tags out to Ron Bass. Savage and Bass have it out for half a minute until Beefcake blind tags, gets in the ring and delivers a jumping knee to Bass’s face. Surprisingly, that is worth a pin. Honky Tonk Man comes back in and puts Beefcake in an armbar for a long while until it gets turned into an Atomic Drop. Beefcake has things in hand until Davis knees him in the back from the apron, Honky Tonk Man gives him the Shake Rattle ‘n’ Roll Neckbreaker and another pin is had. Sometime later, Savage is taking a beating and gets to tag out to Jake, who mauls Honky Tonk Man and almost gets him with a DDT before the Elvis impersonator slips right out. The heels get their shit together and work over Jake, putting him in peril. They make the mistake of bringing in Davis, who can’t press the advantage. He ends up victim to a DDT and gets eliminated. It’s 3-on-2 now in Savage’s team’s favor.

Hercules immediately runs in with a clothesline and for the next five minutes or so, it’s just chinlocks from Honky Tonk Man and Hercules on Jake. He eventually hot tags to Steamboat, who kicks all sorts of ass on Hercules, performs a chop off the top rope, tags in Savage and lets him finish off the big man with an elbow from the top. Hercules is out and it’s only Honky Tonk Man left. Savage tears into him and the next couple minutes are dedicated to the three faces having their turns with maiming him. After an Atomic Drop sends him to the outside, Honky Tonk Man decides to wrap it up and bolts out of there to a count-out. Not the best elimination match, but a very promising opener.

Quality takes a major dive with the next match, where the Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin and the Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno) face Sensational Sherri, Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello and the Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin). This is where extra long matches become a double-edged sword. Sure, Sherri is fantastic and the Bomb Angels pull out some sweet moves, but they’re only a fraction of the match. Even with the good moves here and there, the women seem to totally lack ring presence. Like they’re simply doing moves independent of the setting.

At the ringing of the bell, Sherri goes right for Velvet. Velvet fights her off and tags in Moolah, showing Sherri’s worth as she bumps like crazy for the old woman. In the middle of the match, someone gets elbow dropped and Gorilla Monsoon comments, “I’m glad I retired!” You know, that works well in dude matches, but when the hell was Gorilla Monsoon ever going to have a match with Rockin’ Robin? Early in there, Velvet gets a Victory Roll on Donna Christianello and pins her. She tags out to Robin, who performs one craptacular crossbody on Judy Martin. Shortly after, she hits a somewhat less craptacular crossbody on Dawn Marie and pins her.

Itsuki from the Bomb Angels starts pulling off some sweet moves to wake me up, joined in after by her partner Norivo. It doesn’t last and we’re back to seeing Robin do an ugly monkey flip onto Lelani Kai. Sherri is tagged, beats on Robin and pins her after a simple vertical suplex. Man, the 80’s really was a different time. From there, things get extra sloppy and aimless. There is a pretty cool spot where the Glamour Girls hit Moolah with a double clothesline where one is in the ring and the other is running on the apron. They pin her directly after, making it three-on-three.

Velvet starts doing all sorts of neat submission moves to Judy until Judy finally gets her hands on the ropes. Leilani Kai gets in there and goes for the pin against Itsuki and although she kicks out, they still ring the bell as if there’s an elimination and there’s a moment of botch-based confusion before they just let her keep going. Velvet pulls off another Victory Roll – crappier than the one from before – and pins Sherri. She tries the same on Leilani, but once Velvet’s on her shoulders, Leilani falls back and takes her out of the match with an Electric Chair Drop. This leaves the WWF Women’s Tag Team Champions the Glamour Girls vs. the upcoming challengers, the Jumping Bomb Angels. Yes, the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship was a thing once.

The Bomb Angels win pretty decisively in these final minutes. Judy misses a splash from the top rope on Itsuki, allowing Noriyo to follow up with a similar aerial splash onto Judy for a pin. Now that it’s two-on-one, they double team Leilani a bunch, dropkick her manager Jimmy Hart and then Itsuki finishes her off with a clothesline from the top for the final pin. Glad that’s over with.

Next up is a gigantic twenty-man tag match. Yes, I said twenty. Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel), the Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers), the Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond), the Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell and Brian Blair) and the British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid) take on the Hart Foundation (Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart), the Islanders (Haku and Tama), Demolition (Ax and Smash), the Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov) and the New Dream Team (Greg “The Hammer” Valentine and Dino Bravo). Fuck me, I’m tired from even typing that. The rules here are that when one wrestler is eliminated, so is his partner. So if Bret Hart is pinned, Anvil has to go too.

After Volkoff performs the Soviet anthem to monster heat, everyone else comes to the ring and the whole thing gets started. It starts with Martel vs. Volkoff, where their interplay leads to their partners being tagged in against each other. Within mere moments, Tito nails Zhukov with a surprise Flying Forearm and pins him. Ax marches in and pounds on Tito immediately, followed after with lots and lots of frequent tags. Considering we’re down to 18 guys and the two gone are the deadest weight, this is completely awesome. No breaks. No lengthy chinlocks. No matter how tired someone gets, there’s always another couple guys all rested up and ready to go. I love this match and so should you.

Jacques Rougeaus has a strong showing against Smash, but misses a second-rope crossbody and gets pinned. It’s worth noting that Raymond gets eliminated from the match despite never stepping in the ring. Dynamite Kid is in the ring and gets pulled into the heel team’s area on the apron, where he’s given a mass beating. Due to Smash’s role in this and his going too far with the beatdown, Demolition is disqualified. Bret comes in and hits a piledriver on Dynamite and he surprisingly kicks out. A million tags later, Tito gets the Anvil with a Flying Forearm, but Bret comes in and stops the pin with a diving elbow drop, which is enough for Anvil to pin Tito himself.

The story of the match becomes about Jim Powers and how the heels keep piling on the pain more and more, but no matter what they do, they can’t put him away. He endures a lot of punishment before sneaking off to a tag. Davey Boy Smith gets Haku with a running powerslam and tags in Dynamite Kid. Dynamite goes to the top rope and hits a headbutt, but doing it to Haku hurts Dynamite more than his victim. They both get back up, Haku hits a superkick and pins him. Valentine works over Paul Roma and sets him up for the Figure Four, not seeing Roma tag in Powers. Powers jumps off the top rope with a Sunset Flip and gets another pin. The score by this point is two face teams (Young Stallions and Killer Bees) vs. two heel teams (Hart Foundation and Islanders).

The Stallions keep tagging each other despite how much damage they take when they’re in the ring. The two will just not die. A funny moment comes from Haku performing a dropkick and then going to tag Anvil. Jesse Ventura says, “I’d like to see Anvil do that!” and right as he finishes the sentence, Anvil actually performs a solid dropkick on Roma. Ventura and Monsoon have a lot of fun in the aftermath of that. Brunzell picks up Bret for a bodyslam and Tama dropkicks Bret in hopes that it’ll lead to Brunzell falling over with Bret pinning him. Brunzell goes with it and rolls over so he’s the one doing the pinning. With that, the Hart Foundation is gone and we’re down to one tag team on the heel side.

The Islanders look like a million bucks, being able to fight off both the Stallions and the Bees to the point that it looks like an even match. They really hold their own. In fact, the only reason they lose is because the Killer Bees put on their masks and Blair jumps in with a Sunset Flip on Tama and pins him despite not being the legal man. Four-on-two isn’t enough. They have to cheat to win. That said, it’s 37 minutes of non-stop asskick and I highly recommend it.

Our main event is Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, Don “The Rock” Muraco and “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff vs. Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, “The Natural” Butch Reed and “Ravishing” Rick Rude. It definitely carries a feeling of a major main event just by having Bundy and the Gang as dwarfed underlings of Andre. Bam Bam goes and fucks up early on when Muraco beats on Rude and tags in Orndorff. Bam Bam believes himself to be tagged, steps into the ring, stands there for a second looking all confused, realizes he’s screwed up and walks back out. All the faces kick Rude’s ass and he really doesn’t get to do much in this match. He’s the big punching bag. Soon he’s able to tag out to Butch Reed.

Reed is the first victim of this match, tasting a Hogan/Orndorff double clothesline and then a Hogan legdrop. He’s gone. Andre steps in to challenge Hogan and Hogan makes the mistake of high-fiving Patera, which counts as a tag. Hogan is forced out despite wanting a piece of Andre so damn much. Disappointed, Andre tags out to Bundy. Wait, so why can he tag out without doing anything but Patera can’t? Bundy and One Man Gang are pretty dominant against Patera, who surprisingly even gets some chants from the crowd. I had no idea this guy was over. Then again, this crowd is non-stop electric from start to finish on this match. Although he’s able to fend off against Rude, when he’s in the ring with One Man Gang, Patera’s out of his league. The two clothesline each other at the same time, but it’s like a motorcycle running into a semi. After colliding, Gang falls flat onto Patera and pins him.

Orndorff kicks Rude’s ass and has his so-called replacement right where he wants him. He does his taunt to signify the piledriver right as Bundy comes in and attacks him from behind. Rude rolls up Orndorff, grabs the tights and pins him. The faces remember that Rude is a total punk, so they work him over and have Muraco pin him after a powerslam. High on victory, Muraco tries to bodyslam One Man Gang and fails. He still holds his own until Andre hits him from the apron. One Man Gang crushes him with the 747 Splash and Muraco’s out of there. Bam Bam is the next one to be victimized by the legion of giant heels. He bumps and bounces for One Man Gang and Bundy and once Andre is brought in, he gets his wind back and starts ducking and rolling around to evade the colossus. Hogan is finally tagged in to face his rival Andre and they duke it out. It’s all Hogan here until Bundy grabs his leg. Hogan is pulled outside where Bundy and Gang keep him occupied. Hogan is counted out and has a gigantic hissy fit about it. He’s warned that if he doesn’t go back, Bam Bam forfeits. Reluctantly, he leaves. Now it’s Bam Bam vs. three guys who outweigh even him.

Bundy goes down next. He misses an Avalanche in the corner and falls over. Bam Bam launches himself into the ring like a slingshot and splashes Bundy for the pin. One Man Gang works him over and tries for a splash off the top rope. He misses and Bam Bam pins him. It’s one-on-one, but Bam Bam is running on fumes. He uses what speed he has left to evade Andre and goes for his own Avalanche, but it misses by a mile and he hits the corner. Andre responds with a single-hook suplex and pins him. Andre the Giant is the sole survivor.

Then Hogan runs out and hits Andre with the title belt before posing in the ring for an eternity. This match was really great, but Hogan’s masturbation kind of hurts it for me. He goes from being the underdog who barely squeaked out a win to making Andre look like a fool again and again.

The original Survivor Series is a far better show than the original Royal Rumble without a doubt. While there are a lot of kinks to work out, they have an idea of what they’re going for. While the first half is mostly down in the dumps, the final two matches really do all they can to keep the show from bottoming out.

Day One (23-22)
Day Two (21-20)
Day Three (19-18)
Day Four (17-16)
Day Five (15-14)
Day Six (13-12)
Day Seven (11-10)
Day Eight (9-8)
Day Nine (7-6)
Day Ten (5-4)
Day Eleven (3-1)

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