The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Six

November 16th, 2010 by | Tags: , , , , ,

One more Gobbledy Gooker video for you all and this one is very important to the annals of history. You see, the failed gimmick of the Gobbledy Gooker crosses paths with a man who will one day become the Shockmaster. It’s like George Washington meeting Abraham Lincoln.

Shock the turkey!
Shock the turkey!
Shock the turkey to life!


Date: November 16, 2003
Era: Crossover Era
Location: American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas
Known as: The one where the Brothers of Destruction individually fought the McMahons
Elimination Matches: 2 out of 7

Lot of stuff is going on in the WWE at this point. Kane has recently unmasked himself and is now on a demented rampage the likes we have not seen since his debut in 97. Vince McMahon is forced into a Buried Alive Match with the Undertaker and at one point tries to get out of it by – and I really am not kidding here – demanding that Paul Heyman gets terrorists to blow up Undertaker’s home, have his children kidnapped and make Undertaker watch as bikers rape his wife. What the fuck?! Bill Goldberg is the World Heavyweight Champion after beating Triple H but will still be a whiny bitch about how the WWE totally misused him. Steve Austin and Eric Bischoff are in the middle of a tense feud and use Survivor Series elimination teams as their proxies for their war.

Yet, the most important part of the PPV is the opening match, interestingly enough. You see, a midcarder heel on Smackdown just turned face and joined Kurt Angle’s team. One of the bookers thought it would make him a cool tweener if he attacked teammate Hardcore Holly at the end of a show to make him more Austin-like, but that was vetoed after the fact and they cut out that footage when they aired that episode of Smackdown. This young man with his rapper gimmick would go into Survivor Series as a full-fledged face and a new chapter in wrestling history would begin.

The Atmosphere

The intro is an incredibly corny movie trailer-style video where the narrator whispers “survive” a million times over. Actually, let me count. Give me a second… 11 times, not counting all the sexy female echoes that follow every time he says it. Backstage, we have Vince talking to Shane about the fate in how the father and son are going to be fighting the two brothers, leading to a bizarre moment where Vince walks into Austin and they stare awkwardly, laugh and then stare again. Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg have their first encounter backstage to set up for their eventual Wrestlemania stinker. There’s a video package for the Austin vs. Bischoff elimination match that goes on forever. Tazz introduces the “Tazz’s Keys to Victory” segment where he goes over the Undertaker vs. Vince match in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. Surprised that never got more play, since it almost made Vince look like he had a chance to be something more than a punching bag.

There’s a big segment where the Coach comes out for no real reason and notices that basketball team owner and Gavok lookalike Mark Cuban is in the crowd. Bischoff comes out to call him out and when Cuban finally shoves Bischoff, Randy Orton appears out of nowhere to RKO him. Backstage, we see Evolution celebrating Triple H’s impending victory with alcohol and women. Orton comes in to boast about taking out Cuban and some woman walks over and starts pulling on Orton’s nipple. It’s kind of weird.

The Matches

The opener is Team Lesnar (Brock Lesnar, Big Show, A-Train, Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan) vs. Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Bradshaw and Hardcore Holly). First off, love the idea that although the heel team is at a disadvantage due to star power, they still play up that it’s a team made up of huge dudes who will kill you if you’re not careful. As I said earlier, this match is more important than you may realize as newly-turned face John Cena comes out first to absolutely no response. He gets in the ring and starts doing one of his rap intros, which starts off garnering little positive response from the crowd, but gradually wins them over to the point that they’re behind him by the end. Here’s the whole spiel.

“Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, chill, chill… chill.
This whole pay-per-view is ass-backwards!
The main event is on first!
I come through the curtains like a fetus,
The rest of them are just afterbirth.
Nate Jones? Matt Morgan?
They don’t even stand a chance!
I guess, uh, Shane and Kane gonna have to make some room in that amba-lance.
And A-Train? Brock?
They need to talk to the grave digger.
I’m burying BOTH of those giants, they need to make that grave BIGGER!
John Cena survive alone, I don’t need no frickin’ stable!
…I wonder if I can trade in my four partners for a one night stand with Sable.
Oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh! Oh, and Big Show?
Don’t think that I forgot about you, homey!
He’s a giant! Well, I’m a giant whistle.
So go ahead and blow me!”

This is followed perfectly with Tazz yelling, “Welp! There you go!” The odds are against the faces from the start as Holly attacks Brock during the entrance pyro and gets disqualified for shoving the ref. The eliminations keep coming early on as we lose two more guys in the opening minute. Bradshaw effortlessly destroys A-Train and ends him with a Clothesline from Hell. It looks like he’s going to do the same to Big Show, but Morgan kicks him in the back. Bradshaw walks right into a chokeslam and we’re down three wrestlers in mere seconds. Cena makes a try at FUing Big Show, but it doesn’t work. Brock and Cena go for a bit and Cena is in peril for some time, but he’s able to get out of there and soon it’s Benoit who is getting his clock cleaned by the giant heels.

Big Show tries to chokeslam Benoit and it gets turned into a Crippler Crossface, broken when Brock comes to make the save. Angle gets in there with Matt Morgan and delivers three consecutive German Suplexes. Brock gets his hands on Angle and tries to F5 him, only to receive a German Suplex for his efforts. It’s been about eight minutes since the last elimination and the ring begins to fill with the remaining wrestlers. Jones accidentally boots Morgan in the face, Angle gives Morgan the Angle Slam and pins him… while Jones takes his sweet-ass time to fail in making the save. Jones screws up again by holding Angle for Big Show to clothesline, but Angle moves out of the way, shoves Big Show out of the ring and makes Jones tap to the Angle Lock. Brock Lesnar is waiting for him and puts Angle out with the F5. He tries the same on Benoit, but Benoit puts on the Crippler Crossface and rolls it into a failed pin attempt. It takes another couple attempts by Benoit, but he finally locks the Crippler Crossface onto Brock and makes him tap. We’re down to Benoit and Cena vs. Big Show.

A Crippler Crossface attempt is shoved off and Benoit ends up being thrown right into a Cena tag. Big Show focuses on Benoit despite him no longer being the legal man and chokeslams the man down. As the ref sees to Benoit, Cena wraps a chain around his fist, punches Big Show, holds him up, drops him with the FU and pins him. They reuse this ending for the following Wrestlemania, but this is the original and it’s a better match overall. Benoit, who is near the height of his popularity in the company, demands a handshake and Cena reluctantly obliges. They fist bump and Cena is totally over. The new era begins to take form.

Molly Holly defends the WWF Women’s Championship against Lita. While a pretty short match, it’s a very good showing from both women. Lots of good chemistry from the two, which is good, since I’m usually not big on Lita’s in-ring stuff. Lita does some good acrobatics here, like going for the headscissors and being tossed out of the ring. There’s a part where Molly backflips into the corner, crushing Lita, and Lita is able to then kick her away. From laying on the mat, Lita pulls herself up to the top rope! Impressive. She hits a top-rope crossbody and fails to put her away. Molly mounts her in the corner and punches down at her, but Lita turns it into a powerbomb. Lita climbs up for a moonsault and misses. Molly follows with a Molly Go Round off the top rope and it doesn’t get the pin. Pissed off, she tears the middle pad from the corner post. After a failed roll-up attempt, Molly trips Lita into the exposed corner post and is able to pin her and retain the title.

Next up is Shane McMahon vs. Kane in an Ambulance Match, which is like a Casket Match, but with an ambulance instead. From the start, Shane crossbodies Kane over the top rope and they land on the outside. Kane throws Shane around, but Shane fights back by burying Kane under the steps and hitting it with a chair. This spot looks bad, but it gets better. Shane puts Kane on a table, climbs to the top rope and elbows him through it. Kane sits up and Shane leads him into a chase to the backstage area. The camera keeps cutting off with a new camera finding them running around the back. Shane ambushes Kane with a kendo stick, then backs a car into him. An ambulance drives over to where they are and Shane puts Kane on a stretcher. Kane sits up, gets his hands on Shane and throws him into various things as he makes his way back to the arena.

They brawl back and forth outside of the other ambulance set up at the ramp. Kane tries to put Shane away, but he kicks the doors open before they can be shut completely and starts gathering momentum. He even pulls off a couple sweet parkour moves off the vehicle and gets the spot of the night by putting a garbage can over Kane’s face, climbing to the top of the ambulance, jumping off and dropkicking the can right into Kane’s head. Kane still recovers from it and starts dragging Shane around before slamming him around the ambulance. Despite the huge, “SHANE O’ MAC!” chants, Kane Tombstones Shane onto the concrete floor, throws him into the ambulance and closes the door. Despite looking one-sided on paper, Kane comes out of this looking like a demigod.

The Basham Brothers (Doug and Danny Basham) defend the WWE Tag Team Championship against Los Guerreros (Eddie and Chavo). Pretty great match, even if it could have used a couple more minutes. Eddie and Chavo clear the ring and set their sights for the Bashams’ manager Shaniqua, but the Bashams come to her rescue. Eddie looks strong at first, getting Danny with the 3 Amigos series of suplexes. The Bashams use cheating to their advantage as Chavo is held back by the ref and all three heels triple-team Eddie. Eventually, he tags Chavo in and Chavo makes an attempt to fight off both Bashams on his own, only to fail. Los Guerreros start to retake the match and Eddie delivers a top-rope hurricanrana to Doug. Chavo and Danny clothesline each other and everyone is down on the mat.

Shaniqua runs in to help out and gets clotheslined by Chavo. She’s given a Frog Splash and humiliated with a spanking. Everything’s looking good for Los Guerreros until Chavo performs a swinging DDT and accidentally kicks Eddie upside the head on the torque. As he checks up on his uncle, he’s rolled up by Danny, who holds the tights and the Bashams retain. This continues to strain the relationship between Chavo and Eddie that will eventually break them up and allow Eddie to rise up in his career.

Our second elimination match is Team Austin (“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley) vs. Team Bischoff (Chris Jericho, Scott Steiner, Randy Orton, Mark Henry and Christian) where the losing team’s leader has to resign from being co-GM of Raw. Our starters are D-Von and Christian, who have a nice exchange of moves ending with Christian slapping D-Von and D-Von tackling the Creepy Little Bastard. We’re treated to Jericho vs. RVD, which is fantastic work between the two (and it won’t be the last time you see that mentioned on this list). Steiner is brought in, but has absolutely no mobility when compared to RVD, so RVD has to do all the work. Like what’s to expect from Steiner’s last WWE run, he resorts to belly-to-belly suplexes followed by belly-to-belly suplexes followed by even more belly-to-belly suplexes. Oy. Booker is tagged in, hits the Scissor Kick on Steiner and then performs the Spineroonie. The ring fills up and just as fast, everyone spills to the outside.

Steiner gives Booker a low blow – with the ref in direct sight of it despite not doing anything – and puts Booker in the Steiner Recliner. Stacy Keibler hops onto the apron to distract Steiner, allowing the Dudleys to do a Reverse Dudley Death Drop, followed shortly after with a Book-End from Booker. Steiner is the first man pinned. Directly after, Mark Henry catches Booker and gives him the World’s Strongest Slam, eliminating him as well. Mark overpowers Bubba Ray and fights off both Dudleys himself. He misses an Avalanche on D-Von, gets a Dudley Death Drop to make him horizontal and RVD finishes him off with a 5-Star Frog Splash. For some reason, the ref allows the Dudleys to join in on the pin. Sure, why not. RVD tries a 5-Star Frog Splash on Orton a couple minutes later, but Jericho shoves him off the top. Orton RKOs RVD and pins him. D-Von keeps the pressure on with a diving headbutt from the top, but Orton kicks out. D-Von sets his efforts on Jericho, only to stop and hit Christian off the apron, but the diversion costs him dearly, as Jericho hits him with some kind of clothesline/slam move… that is apparently called the Flashback… and pins him. We now have Bubba and Michaels against Christian, Orton and Jericho.

The ring fills up and Jericho accidentally nails Christian. Bubba goes for the Bubba Bomb, it gets reversed with a mule kick to the groin and Christian puts Bubba away with the Unprettier. Uh-oh. This isn’t looking good for Austin and it’s looking even worse for Michaels. Especially when Christian Slingshots Michaels into the post on the outside and busts him open. Back in the ring, Christian goes for the Unprettier and gets shoved into the corner instead. Sweet Chin Music knocks him out and Michaels pins him. Jericho jumps off the second rope and is met with a kick to the stomach and a DDT. Both go down. Jericho is up first and tries the Lionsault, only to meet with Michael’s knees. Sweet Chin Music is reversed into the Walls of Jericho, which is revesred into a Small Package. Jericho is pinned and responds in kind by hitting Michaels with a chair.

In the battle between Orton and the extremely weakened Michaels, Orton flies off the top rope and misses the crossbody, only to hit the referee instead. Michaels sets up for Sweet Chin Music and Bischoff comes into the ring to attack him. Austin flips out and goes on a rampage, which includes delivering a Stunner to Orton. In all the confusion, Batista gets in there, gives Michaels a Batista Bomb and helps Orton get the three-count. Then, in the post-match, we get a rather touching moment between a very sweaty Austin and a very bloody Michaels. Michaels weakly apologizes for failing and despite Austin’s cold persona, he comforts Michaels for giving everything he had to fight the odds in his name. They shake hands and Michaels leaves. Austin gives a heart-felt speech, that includes the quote, “I love the shit out of you guys.” Aww… The Coach comes out to taunt Austin while surrounded by security. Rather than be escorted out, Austin kicks a whole lot of ass, gives Coach a Stunner and walks off on his own terms. Fucking fantastic match and probably the highlight of the night.

Undertaker takes on Vince McMahon in a Buried Alive Match. In a funny piece of fanservice, Vince is shown praying to a “higher power” for help in this match. Oh, you guys. Most of this match is straight-up murder and Undertaker busts Vince open immediately by punching the everloving fuck out of him. Blood is just spewing all over the place. He drags Vince into the corner by the legs, crushing Vince’s junk and then slams Vince’s knee into the post. After a few minutes of slaughter, he walks off to get a shovel and TO THE FACE OH MY GOD! This makes Homer Simpson vs. the Krusty Burglar look like a civil debate. Undertaker jams the steps into Vince’s ankle and eventually decides that he’s had enough fun. He drags Vince to the mountain of dirt and Vince finally gets on the offensive by throwing dirt into the Undertaker’s face and delivering a low-blow. He picks up the shovel and knocks Undertaker into the hole.

Undertaker’s had enough of that offense spurt, stands up and pulls Vince into the hole. He climbs out, climbs onto a nearby construction vehicle to drop the dirt in, but a huge explosion out of nowhere knocks him back! Kane appears, punches Undertaker and shoves him into the grave as Undertaker gives no fight back. The vehicle spills the dirt onto Undertaker’s carcass and Vince wins. This is the last appearance of the Undertaker in his biker phase before he returns at Wrestlemania to get revenge on Kane. This Buried Alive Match is far inferior to Kane vs. Shane in that it’s not much of a match at all, but ten minutes of one-sided snuff with a swerve ending.

Our main event is Bill Goldberg defending the World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H, starting very, very late into the show. Even still, they go for the full Triple H intro. The two duke it out and Goldberg lands the Spear early on, but Flair is keeping the ref busy. Goldberg throws Flair out of the ring and the match is finally underway. As they fight on the outside and back inside, Goldberg dominates entirely. He presses Triple H over his head for no reason other than causing his hurt ankle to act up. It’s like Superman putting down Lex Luthor for a second and going, “Say, is that kryptonite over there? Let me walk over there and check it out by picking it up with my bare hands… Oh, God! It IS kryptonite!”

So Triple H works on the ankle, as does Flair when the ref isn’t looking. Triple H puts Goldberg in a half-crab even though Goldberg is holding onto the fucking apron and the ref chooses not to do anything about it. Goldberg fights back, then takes more ankle damage. Triple H gets kicked into the ref and uses the lack of authority to his advantage by hitting Goldberg with brass knuckles. Goldberg kicks out, so Triple H elbow drops the ref. He brings out the sledgehammer and runs right into Goldberg’s foot. Flair goes to the top rope to help out and Goldberg throws him into the center of the ring before slamming the sledgehammer into Flair’s gut. Batista and Orton come in and get sledgehammered as well. Triple H tries to take advantage of all this bedlam with a Pedigree, but gets backdropped. Goldberg discards the sledgehammer, hits the Spear, the Jackhammer and pins Triple H to retain the title.

Just to review: we have a guy who is champion within months of being in the company and proceeds to be booked in a match where he fights off the entirety of Evolution with a broken ankle and comes out the winner. Yet whenever he does an interview, he bad mouths the WWE for fucking him over. Christ…

Anyway, the show doesn’t have any outright bad matches in it and they’re all a mix between average and great . Really, the worst part of the show is Undertaker bloodying up Vince and even that is watchable in a morbid sense.



Date: November 22, 1990
Era: Hogan Era
Location: Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, Connecticut
Known as: That one where Undertaker debuted, a turkey pissed a bunch of people off and they had all the survivors fight an extra match for the main event
Elimination Matches: 6 out of 6

Ah, Survivor Series 90. In a perfect world, this would be #1 on the list, but my own sense of nostalgia can only take it so far. See, I started watching wrestling a mere few weeks after this event. This was my go-to rental at the video store as a 9-year-old. The champion of the time is the Ultimate Warrior, who is set up to fail, as he’s put in a bunch of worthless feuds that fail to maintain his rank as a draw, while Hogan gets to feud with the big monster of the WWF, Earthquake. Ultimate Warrior’s deal is that he’s teaming up with the Legion of Doom regularly to fight off the trio of Demolition. This PPV is the only Survivor Series to feature the Grand Finale Match of Survival, where all the faces and heels who survive their matches are put together for one last match. What’s weird about all this is how they never explain why the teams are the way they are, but figure the fans won’t question all the good guys being lumped together and all the bad guys being lumped together. I mean, if I was Ted Dibiase, I would have just said, “Check it, I’m going to be with the two invincible main eventers and the other guy. Sucks to be you midcarders! BWAHAHAHAHA!”

The Atmosphere

Like with the 89 show, there’s another great intro that’s just Vince excitedly going over every single match. Being that this is 1990, the promos are all brilliant. There’s good stuff from Warrior, Dibiase, Jake Roberts (in the shower for reasons I’ll never understand), Rick Martel and Hogan, who dedicates his match to the soldiers in Iraq. Randy Savage, who has no match to speak of, comes out to cut a promo about how he wants a title shot against the Ultimate Warrior. This is another thing that baffles me about the era, as Warrior goes almost a year without a genuinely interesting feud while outright refusing a match against a challenger who would make for a good main event rivalry. It seems out of character and a bad business decision for the company for him to refuse to give Savage a match. Instead, they wait until after Warrior is no longer champ to push this money feud. Ah, well.

Some kids are shown talking about who they want to see win at the show. Some dudes are all about Slaughter, which is kind of fucked up, since he’s all pro-Iraq. Like, I can guess why some guys would be cheering for the heels, but why would the WWF production dudes use that take?

With the promos, I have to mention one other one. So the face team for the main event is Warrior, Hogan and Tito Santana. They cut a promo together. Warrior takes over and delivers one line that has stuck with me for twenty years. You see, he namedrops his terms for the different specific fandoms for the trio. Hulk Hogan, naturally, has Hulkamania. Of course. Warrior has Warrior Wildness. Okay. Not like they ever say that, but it’s not a bad term for your fanbase. What does Tito Santana get?

Yes. Arribaderci. Absolutely amazing.

Now, then. I have to discuss one of the things the show is most well-known for. A giant egg is shown at ringside with noticeable cracks that aren’t very well-hidden. This egg has been sitting at ringside at WWF events for weeks and people have been anticipating what it could be. Late into the show, it hatches and “Mean” Gene is there to see what’s inside. What we find is a man in a silly turkey costume who proceeds to gobble in response to Gene’s questions. Gene casually figures that because this turkey is speaking gobbledy gook, he must be the Gobbledy Gooker, as if he’s heard the name before in passing. The crowd boos this pretty hard and commentators Roddy Piper and Gorilla Monsoon keep acting like this is the best thing they’ve ever seen.

When they get into the ring to dance and the Gooker does flips, I start to think that the hate the whole segment gets is slightly overblown. To be fair, the kids seem to be into it and his theme “Turkey in the Straw” is God’s gift to music anyway. I really don’t think it would have been nearly as offensive if it wasn’t for how it never seems to end.

Huh? What’s that? Oh, right. Matches happened too.

The Matches

We start off with a bang as The Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, Hawk and Animal) face the Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect, Ax, Smash and Crush). The Warriors are like a dream team to my young self and it’s cool how each one of them has used “Warrior” in their ring names. What’s weird is how I’ve seen some lead-up footage and one of the big things is how Demolition have been wearing gimp masks so nobody can figure out who’s who. You know, unless you notice how they’re all different sizes and have very distinct voices. The whole mask concept is dropped once they get to this match, probably because they’re getting rid of Ax anyway.

We start with Animal tackling Smash and all the faces pound on him. Mr. Perfect runs in and everyone starts killing him as well. Tornado squares off against Ax and gets him with the Von Erich Claw until Crush steps in to break the hold. Tornado tags Warrior, Warrior nails Ax with a shouldertackle, splashes him and pins him. So ends Ax’s final WWF appearance. Crush briefly gets the best of the Warrior and hits a very nice knee from the top rope. A couple tags later, Mr. Perfect appears scared of having to face Hawk. He tries a couple punches, but each one is blocked. Hawk strangles Perfect, throws him in the corner and then misses a diving shoulder, hitting the post instead. He remains in peril as the heels each have their way with him until he makes a comeback and hits Smash with a top-rope clothesline. Crush and Animal run in and the four get in a huge brawl. They’re all disqualified, which I don’t actually mind. I think it’s a good way of pushing the feud forward in a way that helps everyone forget that Ax was ever involved.

Mr. Perfect demands to fight Tornado. There’s some weird confusion here, since Tornado is supposed to be the Intercontinental Champion, but lost the belt to Perfect in a TV taping that’s yet to air, so the title is in some kind of limbo. Anyway, Tornado uses the Tornado Punch on Perfect and sends him to the outside. Warrior throws Perfect back in and then beats up Heenan. You’d think the Brain would have learned after last year. What we find out is that off-screen, Heenan had removed one of the pads from the corner. Perfect slams Tornado’s head into the exposed steel and pins him. Warrior runs at Perfect full-speed, misses and goes head-first into the exposed turnbuckle. Perfect gives him the Perfectplex and Warrior kicks out. Perfect puts the boots to him and over time, Warrior is able to get his adrenaline flowing, clotheslines Perfect, hits a shouldertackle, splashes him and pins him. As you might guess, he also punches Heenan because that’s his deal.

I can see people hating on the quadruple disqualification spot, but I really love the way this match went. Even if Warrior’s victory is a sure thing, the turnbuckle spot really helps Perfect look like he has a real shot in winning the match.

Next is the Dream Team (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, Bret “The Hitman” Hart and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) against the Million Dollar Team (“The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, the Undertaker, Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine). The Undertaker is introduced as a mystery partner and when Brother Love leads him out, Piper on commentary does a great job selling Undertaker as being this major monster. Undertaker starts things out by manhandling Bret, moving to Anvil and then setting his sights on Koko. Within the first couple minutes, he Tombstones Koko and eliminates him. Bret goes into a flurry of punches to which Undertaker no-sells, but he cryptically tags out to Valentine. The match becomes more about Rhythm and Blues vs. the Hart Foundation for a few minutes. When Honky Tonk Man works on Bret, Anvil blind tags in, catches Honky Tonk with a powerslam and pins him. Anvil seems to have things taken care of – as long as Undertaker stays outside the ring – but Virgil grabs his leg and distracts him. Dibiase clotheslines Anvil and pins him. I really don’t like clotheslines being the grounds for a pin unless it’s the “from Hell” variety.

Undertaker is brought in against Dusty Rhodes and beats him with an axe-handle from the top rope. Dusty attacks Brother Love, which raises the ire of Undertaker. Even though I’m pretty sure he’s tagged out by this point and isn’t the legal man, Undertaker strangles Dusty on the outside and gets counted out. Guess they needed an excuse to keep him away from Hogan and Warrior in the main event for at least a few months. We’re left with Bret Hart on the Dream Team, who turns a Figure Four attempt from Valentine into a Small Package that succeeds in getting the three-count. That gives us Bret vs. Dibiase and I really, really wish the era could have given us more of this match. Unfortunately, Bret’s rise as a singles wrestler passes Dibiase’s fall and transition into tag team wrestling.

Bret tosses Dibiase out of the ring with an Atomic Drop, then jumps after him. They’re nearly counted out, but return to the ring, where they spend several minutes going at it. They’re the two best guys in the match, so it’s nice of the bookers to make this the final stage of the contest. There are a lot of near falls and a spot where Bret fakes an injury to get at Dibiase, but the match ends with Bret doing a crossbody, Dibiase rolling back and pinning Bret instead. So far this PPV is on fire.

The Vipers (Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka, Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) face the Visionaries (“The Model” Rick Martel, the Warlord, Paul Roma and Hercules). I love that Martel’s team is a jab at how their feud is based on blinding Jake in one eye. I talked about the Jake/Martel feud before when I reviewed Wrestlemania 7 and the reason it worked so well wasn’t because it was about the good guy trying to pin the bad guy. It was excellent because it was about wanting to see the good guy get his hands on the bad guy. Maybe Jake would get to finally rain vengeance on Martel in this angle-enhancing match type.

Jannetty starts out with some stick-and-move strategies on the Warlord, but the big man is able to swat the Rocker’s dropkicks aside with ease. Michaels fares better against Martel, tags Jake in and Martel scrambles to his corner to tag out. Jannetty gets a second shot at the Warlord and starts to stagger him. Then he tries jumping at him from the second rope, gets caught, is powerslammed and pinned. Jake continues Jannetty’s work on Warlord and makes some progress. He tags in Michaels, who tries for the pin. Warlord kicks out by throwing Michaels out of the ring. Later on, Snuka gets a shot at Martel and jumps off the second rope with a crossbody. Like with Bret/Dibiase, Martel rolls with the move until he’s in pinning position and this time grabs the tights. Snuka’s gone. Jake comes in next and yet again, Martel sprints to tag out.

Jake faces Hercules, which leads to an amusing part where Martel clotheslines Jake while running across the apron. Piper on commentary snaps, “You cheap-ass!” and then apologizes for cursing years before it would be acceptable on the air. Roma works on Jake and misses a punch from the top rope, which allows Jake to tag out to his only partner, Shawn Michaels. Michaels doesn’t last too long and Power and Glory eliminate him with their team-up move, the Powerplex. That move needs to make a comeback. Poor Jake’s always getting stuck as the last man on his team against a full team of heels. The Warlord puts him in a bearhug, Jake gets out, DDTs the giant, but the ref is too distracted to make the count. Martel gets his atomizer canister of perfume to spray Jake (which is how he blinded him in the first place), but Jake rolls away, grabs his snake Damien and chases Martel to the back. Jake is counted out, but Martel isn’t the legal man, so he isn’t eliminated. The entire Visionaries team survives and joins Ted Dibiase in the finals.

Next up is The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Tugboat) vs. the Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku and the Barbarian). Rick Rude was supposed to be part of the Disasters, but had a falling out with the company before the event. Because of the Gulf War, Hacksaw’s 2×4 is covered in yellow ribbons in support of the troops. Hacksaw first fights with Haku, showing off some decent brawl-based offense from both sides. Hacksaw tags out to Boss Man, who puts Haku away with the Boss Man Slam. Boss Man then works on Barbarian, but stops to go after Bobby Heenan and it allows Barbarian to take over.

Tags are made and Hacksaw tries to match power with Earthquake by bodyslamming him. He can’t lift the man up and instead changes his goal to knocking Earthquake over. He staggers him, but when Hacksaw runs against the ropes, Jimmy Hart pulls down the top rope and Hacksaw spills out. Hacksaw isn’t counted out, but he does grab his 2×4 and goes to town on Earthquake, getting himself disqualified. Hogan comes in and bodyslams the three remaining heels. He pounds on Earthquake’s skull in the corner, but Earthquake recovers and powerslams Hogan into the mat. Dino is tagged in and puts the boots to Hogan. Hogan reels Dino in and pins him with a Small Package.

Wait, hold on. Did I just type that?

*watches the match again*

Holy shit. Hogan used a Small Package. Good for him!

Boss Man fights Earthquake briefly, but the energy from the encounter makes me wish that the two could have feuded back during their primes. Boss Man’s momentum is screeched to a halt when Barbarian kicks him in the back. Earthquake delivers several elbow drops and then has no trouble pinning him. For some reason, Hulk is unable to lift Earthquake up for a bodyslam, even though he’s done it several times before, including like five minutes earlier. Tugboat is brought in for the first time eleven minutes into the match and brawls with Earthquake. They end up on the outside and get counted out. Thanks for coming, Tugboat! We’re down to Barbarian and Hogan now. Barbarian works his ass off here and Hogan helps liven up the foregone conclusion of a showdown. Barbarian delivers a piledriver and then the two clothesline each other. Barbarian gets up first and climbs to the top rope. Hogan has a marvelous look of confused fear as he stands up and realizes that he can’t see Barbarian anywhere. He turns around, gets clotheslined, pops back up, Hulks out, hits the boot, drops the leg and pins his final opponent to become the sole survivor.

Our last “first round” match is the Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, Luke and Butch) vs. the Mercenaries (Sergeant Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, Sato and Tanaka). The good news is that the match here has a great story for a match that more or less exists as a home for the miscellaneous wrestlers on the roster. The bad news is that the in-ring action is really bad. Also not so good is how on his way to the ring, Slaughter spends his time cutting an overly lengthy promo that feels almost as long as the match itself, wherein he insults the troops and their lack of having a regular Thanksgiving.

It begins with Slaughter’s team being, well, slaughtered. The Bushwackers double-team Zhukov, tag in Tito, he gives him the Flying Forearm and pins him. Tanaka accidentally kicks Sato, the Bushwackers nail Sato with the Battering Ram and pin him. Tanaka runs across the ropes, delivers a diving headbutt meant to nail Butch, but misses, eats a Flying Forearm from Santana and he’s gone. After only about two minutes, Slaughter is left on his own. The idea of having him fight through a low-level tag team, a guy who will no longer be in the company a week or so later and a midcarder would do well to help push Slaughter as a huge threat worthy of a title shot, right? I’m not being sarcastic, that’s actually a good route to go if they want to make Slaughter seem like a contender.

On paper, it sounds nice. Seeing the reality of Slaughter fighting Volkoff when they’re both over-the-hill doesn’t help. Volkoff takes it to Slaughter, gets clotheslined, Slaughter drops a whole lot of elbows, boringly beats him up some more, drops another elbow and pins him. The Bushwackers double-team him, Luke goes for a splash off the top and Slaughter puts his knees up to catch him. He gives Luke a Gutbuster and pins him. Butch runs into the corner, misses Slaughter, receives a clothesline and gets pinned. Now it’s just Slaughter vs. Tito, who starts off strong against the Sarge, but then starts to succumb to his plodding offense. Tito gets him with a headlock, only to be shoved into the referee. Tito delivers a surprise Flying Forearm, but there’s nobody to count. General Adnan attacks Tito with a flagpole with the Iraqi flag on it as the outside referee yells at him. Slaughter puts Tito in the Camel Clutch, which would normally get him the unclean win. Instead, the in-ring ref gets up, appears to know about the whole flag thing and disqualifies Slaughter. Tito survives the match, but is worse for wear thanks to the submission move.

Tito gets a breather thanks to the whole Gobbledy Gooker segment and we move to our main event, the Grand Finale Match of Survival. It’s the Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan and Tito Santana vs. Ted Dibiase, Rick Martel, Warlord and Power and Glory (Paul Roma and Hercules). Warlord comes off as the biggest threat of all the heels and he’s taken out almost instantly. He punches Tito, Hogan punches Warlord for a second and then Tito gets back up and blindsides Warlord with the Flying Forearm, knocking the big man out. Already, the odds are being lowered. Tito works on Dibiase, goes for yet another Flying Forearm, misses and is given a Stun Gun into the top rope. Dibiase pins Tito, leaving the trio a duo.

The heels show strong team continuity as they work over Hogan for about four minutes. Power and Glory make him victim to the Powerplex, but Hogan gets back up, clotheslines Roma and pins him. He makes the tag to the champ. Warrior destroys Martel and clotheslines him out of the ring. Martel decides that he’s had enough and leaves to a count-out. Hogan delivers the boot/legdrop combo to Dibiase and sends him packing as well. That leaves the ever-so-dramatic Hogan and Warrior vs. Hercules match-up. Hogan powerslams Hercules, tags Warrior and Warrior finishes Herc off with some clotheslines, a shouldertackle and a splash. Hogan comes in to help count the pin. They grab Hercules’ manager Slick and throw him out of the ring before celebrating together and offering to open the ropes up for each other. Stills of the show are used to play us out, with a very ominous Undertaker still shown before the final Hogan/Warrior pose.

The show starts out amazing and peters out immensely with the last couple matches. When it’s done in such a top-heavy way, you end up feeling dismissive towards the whole show by the time you reach the last match. I think the main problem of the show is that the Grand Finale only succeeds in burying talent when Survivor Series is usually a tool to enhance it. The 90 Series is much like a 3-hour Royal Rumble match with joint winners Hogan and Warrior, only everyone else had to be pinned or counted out or disqualified instead of tossed over the top rope. Did we really need to have an extra match tacked on just to see Hogan and Warrior easily take out a bunch of midcarders?

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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6 comments to “The Survivor Series Countdown: Day Six”

  1. Since this year is the 20th anniversary of the 1990 Survivor Series, it sucks that the Undertaker is out injured. But, more than that, I really wanted the WWE to recreate the match that debuted ‘Taker as a way to debut a new guy. Have Cody Rhodes lead a team featuring the Hart Dynasty and Kofi Kingston against Ted DiBiase, the new guy, and the Dudebusters (they seem like the equivalent of Rhythm and Blues in the WWE now… though, the Usos could work, too). Of course, that would require Rhodes to be a face… Still, it could have been a fun callback.

  2. Jake used to do a lot of promos in the show. Not sure why, but it was always holding the snake as well. Love these series. Was there a SummerSlam one?

  3. @Mushroom Jones: Not yet.

  4. It does seem a shame that Taker can’t work.

    Survivor Series 90 needs to be higher. Unless I missed it you haven’t ranked Survivor Series 96 yet and it was definately better than that.

  5. @Chad Nevett : It could have been Goldust leading that team of Hart Dynasty and Kofi Kingston against Ted, Cody, McIntrye, and Mystery Opponent. Would have been a good way to end a couple of stories recently instead of shoveling them into the Old School Raw yesterday.

  6. Ah the 1990 Survivor Series, my first live PPV and what originally got me into wrestling. My 6 year old self loved every minute of it and I pretty much agree with everything regarding the review since rewatching it. The two opening matches are fabulous especially when we get Bret vs. DiBiase. I’d still like to see it ranked higher since I hold it so close to my heart for nostalgia’s sake.

    It would’ve been interesting to have the lone survivors all draw straws to see what team they’d be on for the finale but that’s way over WWF/E’s way of thinking during this time. A team of DiBiase/Hogan/Santana & Hercules vs. Warrior/Martel/Warlord & Roma or something like that might have been kinda cool.