Classic Wrestling Review: Survivor Series ’90

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Survivor Series

November 22, 1990

Hartford Civic Center

Hartford, Connecticut

It’s time for the 4th annual Survivor Series. There were multiple continuing and building storylines going into this show, so I’ll cover them as I cover the matches. The primary bit of news for this show was the addition of a Grand Finale Match. The WWF set up brackets for the matches and the survivors from each team would face each other in a bonus match at the end of the night. The problem is, the brackets were divided between babyfaces and heels. It’s sort of a kayfabe breaking setup, so it’s no surprise that it wasn’t used again. The other bit of news was the emergence of a mysterious giant egg on the shows leading up to Survivor Series. The WWF teased a big surprise would hatch from the egg at the PPV. Rumor was that it would be a debuting wrestler. It ended up being something much worse, but we will get to that. However, there is a debuting wrestler on this show and it’s a memorable one.

Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to what he calls the epitome of tag team competition, Survivor Series. He lists off the different teams for the night while they show photos of all the participants. Hacksaw Jim Duggan is looking particularly cross-eyed and Power & Glory are wearing pairs of the most ridiculous looking sunglasses. They look like something the future citizens in Back to the Future II wore. Gorilla then welcomes everyone to the show and he’s joined by his fellow commentator, Roddy Piper. This duo is an improvement over SummerSlam, but I still don’t care for Piper on commentary.

Gorilla and Piper talk about the Grand Finale Match and the humongous brontosaurus egg, as Gorilla calls it. Piper also talks about how they’re broadcasting the PPV for the armed forces in the Middle East. He tells Saddam Hussein that they’ll charge him through the nose for the show. Why would they even let him watch it!?

Demolition then makes their way to the ring for the first match. They enter to team captain, Mr. Perfect’s theme. Ax looks like he recently paid a visit to the Hair Club for Men because his hair is looking a lot thicker than usual. Mr. Perfect and Bobby Heenan follow them and Perfect poses in the corner. He tosses his towel over his shoulder and Heenan catches it—perfectly.

Mean Gene is with The Warriors, but he sadly doesn’t tell them to come out and play. He says he knows they’re ready for the Grand Finale Match. I think he’s getting ahead of himself. He then tells them not to look past the Perfect Team, despite the fact that Gene was the one who brought up the match. Ol’ Mean Gene is trying to stir up trouble. He asks Legion of Doom for their thoughts while The Ultimate Warrior makes faces. Hawk says he doesn’t know what his thoughts are exactly, except the four of them will take out the other team. It sounds like he knows his thoughts just fine. Tornado then says that we’ve seen what Demolition and Perfect can do. Now, we’ll see what The Warriors can do. Animal speaks next and says that submission is one way to go down and they won’t let down the little warriors, tornadoes, or doomers. Little Doomers? Is it safe to call them—Baby Doomers? Next, Gene talks to The Ultimate Warrior, who says he wants nothing to do with perfection. Then, he yells about asking skeletons to follow him into battle. That would have been epic. Why didn’t we get that!? He also says it makes no difference whether they follow him or stay behind to make the sacrifice. He finishes by claiming there’s no poison, creation, or medicine to cure what they have and The Perfect Team won’t survive. I’m pretty sure poison wouldn’t cure anything.

The Warriors: The Ultimate Warrior, Texas Tornado, & Legion of Doom vs. The Perfect Team: Mr. Perfect & Demolition (w/ Bobby Heenan & Mr. Fuji)

Demolition has rehired Mr. Fuji as their manager. I’m not sure why. He’ll probably just trade them for a lesser team again. This would sadly be the last match for the original Demolition line-up because Ax would soon leave the company. Crush and Smash will continue, but the team isn’t the same without Ax. In other news, Tornado is still billed as the Intercontinental Champion, but the WWF had already filmed him losing the title on Superstars. It hadn’t aired yet, hence the reason he has the belt on this show. This might explain why he looks a little bummed during this match.

Tornado enters first. He must have had to walk from the interview area because he takes a few moments to emerge from the curtain. Legion of Doom enter next to their own theme. Gorilla says it’s only a matter of time before they become tag champions. The Warrior enters last. It’s odd that the faces didn’t have a unified entrance, but the heels did. Warrior is wearing a new white leather version of the WWF Title, which I like. He enters the ring and Perfect bails, so Piper calls him out for it. The two teams then watch to see who starts, but Animal grows impatient and jumps Smash.

Animal’s flurry doesn’t last long because he makes the mistake of ducking for a back drop. Smash and Perfect double team him, but Animal answers with a powerslam and the LOD take turns hitting inverted atomic drops on Perfect. He bounces around like a pinball and Tornado enters the match. Tornado gets the Iron Claw on Ax before the Warrior comes in and eliminates him with the shoulder tackle and splash. (Elimination: Ax) Goodbye Ax. It was nice knowing you. Demolition soon gains control over Warrior. Smash hits a backbreaker and Crush hits a flying knee drop. However, Warrior fights back and tags Hawk, who throws Perfect around for a bit. Hawk tries to reverse a whip and loses his grip, so Perfect pirouettes into the corner. Hawk then tries a corner charge, but he misses and hits the post. Demolition and Perfect double team him until Hawk hits a flying clothesline. Crush breaks up the pin, which draws in Animal and both teams brawl. They ignore the ref’s warnings and Hawk even kicks the ref, so he disqualifies both teams. (Eliminations: LOD, Crush, & Smash by DQ) Perfect is left alone against Warrior and Tornado and Perfect demands that Tornado get into the ring. He does, but Perfect jumps him. Tornado fights back and sends Perfect over the ropes with a discus punch before slingshotting him back inside. He then clotheslines him out again and Warrior gives Perfect and Heenan a double noggin’ knocker. He also whips Heenan over the guardrail rather recklessly. Somehow, in the confusion, Perfect exposed the turnbuckle and rams Tornado into it before eliminating him with a Perfect Plex. (Elimination: Texas Tornado) Warrior tries to surprise him, but Perfect hits a Perfect Plex on him and only gets a 2! Perfect starts toying with The Warrior. He punches and slaps him until Warrior starts hulking-up with a war dance. He then hits rapid-fire clotheslines, the flying tackle, and the splash for the win. (Final Elimination: Mr. Perfect)

It was a decent opener. The LOD/Demolition stuff was a bit disappointing. I get that they’re saving the payoff until later, but we sadly never get it. Mr. Perfect, once again, looks strong and then jobs in the end. It’s okay because he would soon regain his IC Title.

Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior (14:20)

Heenan gets back on the apron, so Warrior gives him another punch before celebrating. Gorilla calls Warrior, “The surviving team.” I don’t think he’s one team. He’s just a one warrior nation. Oh, wait. We haven’t gotten that far yet.

Sean Mooney is with The Million Dollar Team with Virgil and Jimmy Hart. Sean talks to Hart first and Jimmy says he’s so excited because his team will survive, baby! Sean then says that the mystery partner is conspicuous by his absence. Does he not know how a mystery works? DiBiase assures him that the partner will show up tonight and he promises it will be a very big surprise. He then threatens to pluck the birdman, Koko B. Ware, and send The Hart Foundation to the Heartbreak Hotel. Shouldn’t that be Honky Tonk Man’s threat? Ted is stealing his teammates’ lines! Then, DiBiase says he will put Dusty Rhodes where he always said he would be, which is on his knees and begging for mercy. He finishes by saying only the strong survive. He never let his teammates speak, but that’s probably for the best.

The Million Dollar Team: Ted DiBiase, Rhythm & Blues, & ???? (w/ Virgil & Jimmy Hart) vs. The Dream Team: Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, & The Hart Foundation

Dusty enters first and Piper starts to talk about his polka-dots until he notices that Rhodes isn’t wearing them anymore. He stopped wearing them after Sapphire left him, but I’m sure Dusty had an excuse as to what happened to them. “They shrunk in the wash, baby! Dusty Rhodes ain’t wearin’ no itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini! I’m the American Dream, baby!” Koko and The Hart Foundation also enter to Dusty’s theme, but Koko doesn’t have Frankie with him. I hope no one mistook him for a Thanksgiving turkey. They enter the ring and Piper informs everyone that Bret Hart’s brother Dean died the day before. It’s crazy to think that Bret is working this show the day after his brother’s death. Bret is dedicating this match to Dean’s memory. Rhythm & Blues enter next to “A Hunka Hunka Honky Love.” DiBiase thankfully enters to his own music and then grabs a mic to introduce his mystery partner. Ooh, I wonder who it could be! Ted says that he’s led to the ring by his manager, Brother Love. He weighs 320 pounds and hails from Death Valley. It’s—

some mean looking mark—oh, I mean THE UNDERTAKER!! The fans are in shock. They’re not sure what to make of him, but Piper goes into overdrive. He nearly ruins the moment by calling him a ham-hock and making jokes about Taker stealing the gold from your teeth. The Undertaker is one of those gimmicks that, on paper, you would think wouldn’t work. However, it’s executed so perfectly that it embodies everything right with the theatrical side of wrestling. It’s a gimmick that would become more and more over the top through the years, and yet still works. The reason he was given Brother Love as a manager is that Bruce Prichard wanted a wrestler to be the yin to his yang. He wanted the darkness to his supposed light. Thankfully, they would introduce Paul Bearer within months and he’s a much better manager.

Undertaker stares down the other team, so they send out Bret to face him. Taker takes him down with a choke and then Anvil tries his hand. He falls too, so Koko comes in and nearly gets killed by a Tombstone piledriver. Gorilla mistakenly calls it by name because he was there for the Superstars taping of Taker’s TV debut. I’m sure Vince gave him an earful for that. (Elimination: Koko B. Ware) Bret tries to fight Taker again and hits some ineffective punches, so Taker tags Valentine and Bret tags Dusty. Anvil, Bret, and Dusty all take turns working on Valentine until he gets a boot up on a corner charge and tags Honky. However, Honky doesn’t last long because Anvil eliminates him with a powerslam. (Elimination: Honky Tonk Man) DiBiase enters the match, which soon draws in Dusty, who hits some elbows and a surprising dropkick before tagging Anvil. Jim takes control until Virgil trips him and DiBiase eliminates Neidhart with a clothesline. (Elimination: Jim Neidhart) Bret and Dusty take turns on DiBiase. Rhodes even hits the flip, flop, & fly, but Undertaker re-enters the match and takes back control. He eventually eliminates Dusty with a flying axehandle, of all things. (Elimination: Dusty Rhodes) Taker then tosses Dusty outside, where Brother Love attacks him. Rhodes recovers and chases Love down the aisle, so Undertaker follows them. He attacks Dusty, but the ref has no choice but to count out Taker. (Elimination: Undertaker by Count Out) Meanwhile, Valentine tries to put a Figure Four on Bret, but Hart rolls him up for another elimination. (Elimination: Greg Valentine) It’s down to just DiBiase and Bret, which is an awesome match. The fans agree as they start cheering. Bret fights him to the floor and sends him into both the post and the steps. They fight into the ring and Bret hits him with hard European uppercuts, but DiBiase whips him across the ring for Bret’s chest-first bump. Bret tries a backslide and even feigns a knee injury to lure DiBiase into a roll-up, but neither work. Ted ends up hitting Virgil by mistake and Bret rolls him up for another 2. Then, Bret attempts a cross body, but DiBiase reverses it for the win. (Final Elimination: Bret Hart) Bret curses to himself, as DiBiase rolls out of the ring and celebrates.

This was a great match, especially the last few minutes. I think they used Undertaker well, but I wish they had done slightly more with him. The closing moments made me want to see more Bret/DiBiase, but sadly it was never a feud.

Survivor: Ted DiBiase (13:54)

Gorilla then plugs The Main Event, which would air the next night. DiBiase faces The Ultimate Warrior in a WWF Title Match.

Mean Gene is in the shower with The Vipers. No, that’s not what it sounds like. Jake Roberts is bathing Damien. Gene says he assumes it’s more comfortable for Damien in the wet environment. They get a close-up of Jake’s face and you can see that he has one completely white eye (more on that in a second). Gene says that it’s team competition, but there are individual battles. Jake replies that all of his team are survivors. Shawn returned from injury, Marty has stood the test of time, and Snuka has the scars of time written on his face. Snuka starts barking while Jake says all of that. Jake then says that they’re not leading lambs to slaughter or Christians to the lions. Then, he makes an odd metaphor about Martel picking cherries and tells him to rattle this tree and see if Damien falls. He finishes by firing up his team and Snuka barks some more.

The Visionaries: Rick Martel, Power & Glory, & The Warlord (w/ Slick) vs. The Vipers: Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, & The Rockers

Jake’s SummerSlam feud might have been terrible, but he has now started a great one with Rick Martel. On an episode of The Brother Love Show, Martel kept trying to spray Damien’s bag with his cologne, “Arrogance.” Jake caught him, but Martel sprayed Jake in the face. Jake reacted like the cologne burned his eyes. Jake then appeared a couple of weeks later wearing sunglasses and using a walking cane. Martel mocked him, and Jake tried to hit the DDT. He managed to grab Brother Love, who bit the bullet instead. Jake’s sunglasses fell off to reveal that one of his eyes had turned completely white. This feud would eventually lead to their famous Blindfold Match, but we will get to that soon enough.

Martel enters first. He’s carrying his atomizer full of “Arrogance” and is wearing a button that reads, “Yes, I am a model.” Piper can’t seem to read what it says. Power & Glory are out next and thankfully they’re wearing more sensible sunglasses. Then, Warlord enters and Piper says he has no fat, except in the bean. Gorilla is confused, so Piper explains he means the brain. Jake is out first for his team and Gorilla claims he has no vision in his left eye. The Rockers follow him at a jog and nearly pass him. Snuka then wanders out and appears to be talking to himself.

Marty and Warlord start the match and Jannetty keeps sticking and moving. He slides under him and dropkicks him, but Warlord brushes off the attack. Marty finally takes him down with an assisted sunset flip, but Warlord kicks out and tags Martel. Shawn takes control and tags Jake, but Martel scurries for a tag to Roma. Jake and Snuka take turns working over Roma until he tags Warlord, who ends up eliminating Marty with a powerslam. (Elimination: Marty Jannetty) Shawn comes in and manages to take Warlord over with a hurricanrana and tags Jake. Roberts keeps trying to take Warlord down and Warlord sells it by tilting his head back and sucking air like a fish out of water. He eventually gets the job done and tags Shawn, but Michaels gets in trouble to Power & Glory. Shawn ends up taking his upside-down bump in the corner, but he finally tags Snuka after Martel misses a corner charge. Snuka comes in and gets control over Martel until he reverses a cross body and pulls the tights to eliminate Jimmy. (Elimination: Jimmy Snuka) Jake comes in, so Martel scurries out again. Jake almost hits Herc with a DDT, but he bails. Martel then hits a cheap-shot clothesline and Piper calls him a cheap-ass. He quickly apologizes for his language. Shawn eventually tags in, but he’s soon in trouble and Power & Glory eliminate him with a Power Plex. (Elimination: Shawn Michaels) Jake is left alone against the entire Visionary team, so the fans chant his name. The Warlord takes control until Jake hits a DDT, but the ref is distracted. Martel tries to use the opening to spray Jake with “Arrogance,” but Jake ducks and grabs Damien. He chases Martel down the aisle, but the ref counts out Roberts to give The Visionaries the win. (Final Elimination: Jake Roberts by Count Out)

It was an interesting match. It wasn’t great, but there was some good storytelling. It was an interesting choice to have Martel’s entire team survive. Although, I’m not sure why Martel wasn’t counted out too.

Survivors: The entire Visionaries team (17:42)

Gorilla then plugs the Royal Rumble and Piper asks for a towel because he’s sweating so much. Piper says that in the Rumble, it will be every dog face for himself. Is Rick Steiner going to be in it!?

Next, Sean Mooney is with The Hulkamaniacs. Hogan says that he and all the Hulksters have been surviving the WWF for quite some time. Then, he says that the demandments will make you a survivor in any situation in this topsy-turvy world. He lists off his teammates and compares Tugboat to the U.S.S. Missouri. I’m pretty sure that’s two different types of boats. Boss Man then talks and says he’s been a survivor all his life and he threatens Heenan with his nightstick. Tugboat says he’s loaded and ready for battle and Duggan says that everybody is excited. He brings up the yellow ribbons tied around his 2×4 and Hogan says they’re dedicating their match to the soldiers in the Middle East. Hulk then claims that he’s going to volunteer his entire team to military service after the match. I’m pretty sure he never fulfilled that promise and I think that could get him in trouble.

The Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan, Big Boss Man, Tugboat, & Jim Duggan vs. The Natural Disasters: Earthquake, Dino Bravo, The Barbarian, & Haku (w/ Bobby Heenan & Jimmy Hart)

Quake, Bravo, & Jimmy Hart enter first and Piper calls Quake, “Baby Huey.” They get into the ring and Bravo runs in circles. He’s wearing a cape, so it looks like he’s pretending to fly. Haku and Barbarian enter next. They’re not quite the faces of fear, at this point. It’s kind of hard to be afraid of Barbarian when he’s wearing those ridiculous antlers. Tugboat enters first for Hogan’s team and I swear the fans are booing him. Duggan enters next and the camera surprisingly focuses on a fan giving him the thumbs down gesture. Boss Man follows next and he gets a good reaction, but that reaction is dwarfed by Hogan’s. The fans chant, “Hogan,” but Piper pretends he can’t understand what they’re saying.

Duggan and Haku start and trade punches until Haku rams him into the corner. Haku then misses a cross body, so Duggan hits rapid-fire clotheslines. Jim ends up missing an elbow, so Barbarian and Haku take turns attacking him until Duggan tags Boss Man. Boss hits comical rapid belly punches and eventually eliminates Haku with a Boss Man Slam. (Elimination: Haku) Barbarian comes in and Boss Man takes control until Heenan distracts him. Barbarian suplexes and slams Boss, but he misses an elbow. Boss makes a tag to Duggan, but Jim falls victim to double teaming by Quake and Bravo. Duggan tries to fight back, but Jimmy Hart low bridges him and Duggan chases him with the 2×4. However, Duggan can’t resist hitting Quake and the ref disqualifies him. (Elimination: Jim Duggan by DQ) Hogan comes in and slams everyone, including Quake, but Quake answers with a powerslam when Hogan goes for 10 punches in the corner. Bravo tries to capitalize, but Hogan surprises him with a roll-up elimination. (Elimination: Dino Bravo) Boss Man comes in with some more belly punches to Quake. He then tries to come off the top, but Quake catches him. Hogan comes in and pushes Boss on top of Quake for a 2 count. Boss tries to follow up, but Barbarian kicks him and Quake drops some elbows for an elimination. (Elimination: Big Boss Man) Hogan returns to the match and attempts to slam Quake a couple of times, but both fail. Quake misses a splash, so Hogan tags Tugboat. Quake and Tugboat end up brawling to the floor, so the ref counts out both men. (Eliminations: Quake & Tugboat by Count Out) Hogan is now left alone with Barbarian. Some fan tells Hogan to kick his ass. Barbarian ends up hitting a piledriver that is so bad that the commentators have to cover for it. He then hits Hogan with his flying clothesline, but Hogan kicks out and hulks-up to hit the big boot and leg drop for the win. (Final Elimination: Barbarian)

This was a decent but unremarkable match. There was some good stuff in it, but it kind of falls flat when there are DQ and count out eliminations. It’s nice to see that they’re still protecting Quake, but that will only last so much longer.

Survivor: Hulk Hogan (14:49)

Heenan tries to get into the ring, so Hogan whips him into the corner for an over-the-top bump that would make Harley Race proud. Hogan then grabs a fan banner that says, “Hulk Rules.” He holds it up for the crowd, but then he wipes his brow with it and returns it to the fan. Hmm, that fan could create a clone of Hogan with that sweat. Hogan then poses for a while, despite having to wrestle again on the show.

They plug the Royal Rumble again before going to Mean Gene at the interview podium. He welcomes Macho King Randy Savage, who has to duck under the overhang when they carry out his platform. It looked like an uncomfortably tight fit. Savage is dressed like a candy cane, which is fitting for this time of year. Gene says that Savage is only a spectator this year and talks about how he knows Randy had a big Thanksgiving dinner. Savage replies that Gene doesn’t know anything about the Macho King. He tells Gene if he doesn’t realize that Savage is the once and future WWF Champ, then he’s one of the biggest turkeys of all time. He then threatens to take the WWF Title from The Ultimate Warrior. Gene accuses Savage of letting a woman do his dirty work because Sherri insulted Warrior. Savage tells him he’s wrong and talks about how Sherri slapped Warrior three times. He calls Warrior, “The Ultimate Chicken.” Gene then accuses Savage of hiding when Warrior went looking for him, but Randy says Warrior looked in the wrong places. Savage calls himself the special one in the WWF and the greatest superstar. He says it’s true in the past, present, and future and yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Then, he says after he proves he’s the best, he may just retire. Hmm, foreshadowing? Savage then ends the promo by saying when his hands touch the Ultimate Warrior, you’ll realize it!

Nikolai Volkoff then leads his team to the ring to the song, “Stars & Stripes Forever.” Tito and The Bushwhackers follow him. It’s funny how this All-American team contains no Americans. Sgt. Slaughter then leads his team to the ring. They’re all wearing camouflage face paint, which looks odd on the Orient Express. Gene stops them for a word, but Slaughter’s drum roll theme keeps playing. Gene says the armed forces are watching and they find Slaughter and his commanding officer despicable. Slaughter calls Gene a puke and tells him to listen. He says that despicable is saluting the red, white, & blue. Slaughter claims he only salutes the Iraqi flag. Then, he says that his team sat down to a nice hot turkey dinner. He claims they didn’t have to wipe off any desert slime or worry about the smell of camel dung. He also says there was no sand in their pumpkin pie, but he wonders what the soldiers had in their k-rations. Slaughter then gives President Bush (RIP) some advice. He tells him to think twice about sending troops against Saddam Hussein because he takes no prisoners. He finishes by calling his team survivors and says, “That’s an order!” I see he still doesn’t understand what that word means.

The Alliance: Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, & The Bushwhackers vs. The Mercenaries: Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, & The Orient Express (w/ Mr. Fuji & General Adnan)

This awful Sgt. Slaughter storyline continues, but it’s gotten worse. Slaughter went from bad mouthing the U.S. to pledging his allegiance to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. He hired Iraqi wrestler, General Adnan, to be his manager. Adnan even carries an Iraq flag to ringside for Slaughter’s matches.

Slaughter leads his team to the ring and Piper makes a joke that Slaughter was kicked out of the service for saying, “Shazam,” too much. Sarge salutes General Adnan before the match and Piper nearly loses his cool on commentary.

Boris and Butch begin the match and The Bushwhackers hit a double clothesline. Butch then tags Tito, who quickly eliminates Boris with a flying forearm. (Elimination: Boris Zhukov) The Orient Express try to take control, but Tanaka accidentally kicks Sato. The Bushwhackers capitalize with a Battering Ram and eliminate Sato. (Elimination: Sato) Tanaka tries to take control, but he too is eliminated by Tito’s flying forearm. (Elimination: Tanaka) Slaughter is already by himself and the match has barely started. Volkoff comes in and hits Slaughter with punches and some awful looking high kicks, but Sarge eventually catches a kick. He drops a few elbows and clubbing forearms. Nikolai tries to fight back, but Sarge rakes the eyes. He then hits a dropkick that’s even more surprising than Dusty’s. He follows that with a slam and an elbow for the elimination. (Elimination: Nikolai Volkoff) The Bushwhackers try to double team him, but Sarge gets his knees up on a top rope splash. He then eliminates Luke with a gutbuster. (Elimination: Luke) Butch jumps Sarge, but Slaughter reverses a whip and clotheslines him for another elimination. (Elimination: Butch) Tito attacks and hits a top rope flying forearm that only gets a 2! That was odd. Are they really trying to make Slaughter look that strong? Slaughter takes control with a swinging neckbreaker, a backbreaker, and a suplex, but none get more than a 2 count. Slaughter ends up sending Tito into the ref, but Tito answers back with a flying forearm. The ref is still down and regrouping with a young Shane McMahon, so General Adnan sneaks in and hits Tito with the flagpole. Slaughter then locks Tito in the Camel Clutch. The ref recovers and taps Sarge on the shoulder, so Slaughter thinks he’s won. He celebrates, but The Fink says, “Sgt. Slaughter—has been disqualified!” (Final Elimination: Sgt. Slaughter by DQ)

This was not a good match. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to have Slaughter work the brunt of it. He was completely winded by the end. Are they really about to give him a main event run? It was also odd to have this mega-heel play the babyface in peril role against four men. Nothing about this match made sense.

Survivor: Tito Santana (10:52)

Sean Mooney is with the heel team for the Grand Finale Match. Everyone has re-donned their entrance gear. Martel says they did the impossible by being the first whole team to survive. He then says that with the money, resources, and knowledge of the Million Dollar Man, there’s no stopping them. DiBiase replies that he’s giving his team a lot of incentive money to win and he tells Santana that he’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Ted then stirs the pot by claiming that Hogan and Warrior’s egos can’t co-exist. He finishes by saying they will be the survivors and he high fives his team.

Now, it’s time for something completely different. Gorilla plugs The Main Event again and Piper claims that DiBiase will have his team work on The Warrior to weaken him. Then, they go to Mean Gene at the egg. Gene says that things are heating up and the egg is ready to hatch. He speculates about what’s inside. He makes the mistake of implying it might be a Playboy Playmate, which is setting the crowd up for even more disappointment. Gene also makes a terrible pun about how the egg cracks him up, but he’s then startled by the egg starting to hatch. Gene moves and the egg opens up to reveal—

some cartoonish looking turkey. The fans immediately start booing while Gene jokes that this turkey has legs like his mother-in-law. The turkey jumps down and makes noises, so Gene replies, “What’s this gobbledygook?” He then claims that this must be, “The Gobbledy Gooker!” The Gooker nods and starts dragging Gene to the ring while a remix of “Turkey in the Straw” plays. Gooker jumps into the ring and invites Gene to join him before they do a square dance. Piper claims that kids are going nuts, but I don’t see that. Gooker starts doing flips while Piper suggests they make him the mascot of Survivor Series. I would imagine that was Vince’s idea, but thankfully it’s scrapped. Gene tries to mimic Gooker’s dancing and falls. Gooker then helps him up and starts commando rolling around the ring, which Gene tries. Gooker then does a cartwheel and Gene tries that too. One kid in the crowd yells, “Yeah! Get down!” I have a feeling that was a plant. Gooker then flips over the ropes, but Gene isn’t trying that. Thankfully, they finally end this segment. This was embarrassingly bad. The WWF would immediately scrap the gimmick, but it has made sporadic appearances over the years, as a joke. The website, Wrestlecrap.com, famously made The Gooker their mascot for all things crappy in wrestling. I highly recommend checking out their site.

Next, Mooney is with the much smaller babyface team for the Grand Finale Match. He says the odds are stacked against them, so Hogan responds by calling him, “Little Dude.” Hogan says they’re not worried because those five are against them and all the Hulkamaniacs. Hogan then claims he’s never seen someone with the intensity of The Warrior. He also says that him and “The Arriba-Man” have been around since day one. Tito then speaks and calls the other team a bunch of turkeys and says they’re there to survive. Warrior then talks about the Hulkamaniacs who made the sacrifice and the Warriors that fell like skeletons. There’s that skeleton thing again! What’s with Warrior and skeletons? Then, Warrior says that Power & Glory are a reminder that they feed off such things. He also calls Martel, “No competition.” Wow, way to bury the guy. Hogan then has to get the last word, so he talks about how it’s the 11th hour and they’re walking the razor’s edge. Huh? Is Scott Hall there? Hogan says there’s no way they’re going to be beat and asks them what they’re going to do when his team survives and wipes out those dudes out there.

Grand Finale Match: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, & Tito Santana vs. Ted DiBiase, Rick Martel, Power & Glory, & The Warlord (w/ Virgil & Slick)

Martel comes out first and Piper once again asks what his button says. I guess Roddy forgot since the match earlier. Power & Glory follow and Roma becomes angry with a fan for grabbing his shirt. The Warlord is next and Martel’s theme is still playing, but thankfully DiBiase enters to his own theme. Hogan enters first for his team, which is surprising. Tito is next and The Warrior enters last, as it should be since he is the champ. Piper then nearly ruins the moment by saying he doesn’t care who wins. Roddy really isn’t very good on commentary.

Tito and The Warlord start and Tito almost immediately eliminates him with a flying forearm! (Elimination: The Warlord) Roma and DiBiase both try to take control. Ted gets it for a moment, but Tito back drops him and goes for another flying forearm. DiBiase ducks it, so Tito tries a body press, but Ted turns it into a hotshot for an elimination. (Elimination: Tito Santana) Hogan enters the match and punches DiBiase into a corner before ramming him into Warrior’s boot. However, Ted tags out and Power & Glory take control of Hogan. They work over Hulk’s back with clubbing forearms and let Martel do more of the same. DiBiase then comes in and hits multiple fist drops before turning it over to Power & Glory again. They manage to hit the Power Plex on Hogan, but he kicks out like it was nothing and eliminates Roma with a running clothesline. Poor Power & Glory. (Elimination: Paul Roma) Martel enters the match and ends up in trouble to The Warrior, who slams him and hits a facebuster. He doesn’t cover, much to Piper’s chagrin, and tags Hogan. Hogan hits Martel with a big boot and clotheslines him out of the ring. Martel decides he’s had enough and walks to the back, so the ref counts him out for an elimination. (Elimination: Rick Martel by Count Out) DiBiase is pissed, but he realizes he’s in there with Hogan. Ted tries begging off, but he falls victim to the big boot and leg drop for another elimination. (Elimination: Ted DiBiase) Hercules then gets caught in a powerslam by Hogan. Hogan then tags Warrior, who hits some clotheslines, the flying tackle, and the splash for the win. (Final Elimination: Hercules)

This match felt rushed and kind of pointless. I’m glad that they ditched the Grand Finale Match after this show. It wasn’t a good idea. The story they were trying to tell might have worked better with a longer match, but everyone was too tired by this point for that.

Survivors: Hulk Hogan & The Ultimate Warrior (9:07)

Slick tries to attack from behind, so Warrior and Hogan send him over the top rope. The two men then pose and Warrior swings his title around. Hogan opens the ropes for him, which makes it seem like he wants Warrior to leave. It’s like he’s saying, “That’s enough. It’s my turn to pose, brother!” Warrior waves him off and then opens the ropes for Hogan instead. They exit the ring and pose some more, while Gorilla plugs the Royal Rumble and says goodnight.

Best and Worst:

I’m going to add something new to my reviews. Now, I’m going to give my favorite match of the night, least favorite match of the night, and best performer of the night. This will be a new feature on this blog.

Best Match of the Night: Million Dollar Team vs. The Dream Team. It had the debut of Undertaker and a great closing sequence.

Worst Match of the Night: The Mercenaries vs. The Alliance. I don’t care about this Sgt. Slaughter storyline and this match was poorly planned.

Performer of the Night: The Gobbledy Gooker—just kidding. I’m giving it to Bret Hart. His work with DiBiase was great and made me want to see a match between the two. Plus, he made this performance the day after his brother died.

Final thoughts:

This event was a mixed bag of quality. There was some good stuff, but the show fell flat as a whole. The Grand Finale Match was a mistake. The Gobbledy Gooker was definitely a mistake. Plus, it had the Sgt. Slaughter nonsense. This show is memorable for Undertaker’s debut, but that’s about it. You could tell that the boom period of the 80s was grinding to a halt. Things would only get worse over the next year.

Thank you for reading. You can follow the Facebook page for this blog by clicking here. You can also follow the Twitter account by clicking here. I would love to hear your feedback.

My next review will see the culmination of the Black Scorpion storyline in WCW. It’s Starrcade ‘90! Look for it next Saturday.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I chronologically review NWA/WCW and WWF/WWE PPVs on the WWE Network. I put out a new review every Saturday. Like and Follow the Facebook page for this blog here: https://www.facebook.com/ClassicWrestlingReview. Also, follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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