(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
November 25, 1992
There is quite a bit of news and backstory to cover before I begin this review. It’s only been a few months since SummerSlam, but a lot has changed. The biggest news is there have been two WWF Title changes since the last PPV. First, Ric Flair beat Randy Savage, with the help of Razor Ramon. The match aired on Prime Time Wrestling. It was pre-taped, as all Prime Time matches are, but it was apparently so poor that Vince made them redo the match. (Savage was unmotivated due to his ongoing divorce. In fact, he requested they take the title off of him because of his personal life.) The feud would then transition into a tag match between Flair & Ramon versus the team of Randy Savage & The Ultimate Warrior. They called themselves The Ultimate Maniacs and they filmed lots of crazy promos. They even got matching ring gear. The team would have a warm-up match on Saturday Night’s Main Event, but at the end of the broadcast, Heenan announced that one of them would need a new partner for Survivor Series. The reason for this announcement is that the Ultimate Warrior was fired from the WWF for purchasing Human Growth Hormone. Now, they had to rebook the tag match. Savage would announce his new partner on Prime Time Wrestling and he made the shocking choice of—Mr. Perfect. (Perfect’s back had finally healed and he was ready to return to the ring.) Bobby Heenan claimed that Perfect wouldn’t be returning to the ring and he was firmly in Flair’s camp, but Perfect took exception to being told what to do. He accepted Savage’s offer, so Heenan slapped Perfect. He instantly regretted it and begged for mercy, but Perfect dumped a pitcher of water on his head and announced he was back.
Then, there was a second WWF Title change. Bret Hart defeated Ric Flair in a shocking upset at a house show in Saskatoon, Canada. (For some reason, this wasn’t televised. The match would be released on home video the next year.) There were two reasons for this change. First, Ric Flair had been dealing with issues of vertigo, so a full-time title reign wasn’t in the cards. Second, Vince wanted to move in a different direction in the wake of the steroid scandals. He wanted a champion who could be trusted and certainly wasn’t on the roids. Bret Hart was a good choice. He reportedly received more fan mail than any Superstar, so he had the crowd support. Plus, he had loyalty to the company and was still fairly young. Bret’s first PPV title defense would be against the new Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels. This would be the first meeting between these two at Survivor Series, but we all know it won’t be the last. Shawn won the IC Title from Bulldog on Saturday Night’s Main Event, as was the plan, but what happened next wasn’t planned. The British Bulldog also got fired for buying HGH. Bulldog would have faced the Mountie on this show, but he too left the company. (This is a time of transition for the WWF. The roster will continue to change quite a lot in the coming months.)
Meanwhile, Shawn Michaels has problems of his own. (His problems are kayfabe. He didn’t get into any trouble, as far as I know.) Marty Jannetty finally returned to the WWF on an episode of Superstars. Shawn was busy preening in a mirror that Sherri was holding when Marty jumped the guardrail and entered the ring. Shawn spotted him in the mirror and had a look of horror on his face. (It was a great visual and some pretty good camera work.) Marty attacked him and grabbed the mirror, but Shawn pulled Sherri into the way at the last second. The mirror shattered over her head and Shawn ran away from the ring. (The mirror was gimmicked, but some glass, unfortunately, got into Sherri’s eye. She had to have surgery to repair the damage.) Shawn has a WWF Title shot, so his match with Marty will have to wait until the Rumble. (Thankfully, Marty doesn’t get fired before then, so we will see that match.)
The show opens with a shot of the crowd, as the Survivor Series logo appears on the screen. Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to Richfield, Ohio. He’s with Bobby Heenan, which means no Gorilla again. Vince talks about a number of firsts in the WWF, such as a Coffin Match and a Nightstick Match. He also talks about the champion versus champion match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. Then, Vince talks about Flair & Ramon vs. Savage & Perfect, so Heenan says it won’t be a perfect Survivor Series and you won’t see a perfect team. Heenan also predicted all the heels would win their matches, but he was particularly adamant about Flair & Ramon winning.
The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) vs. High Energy
The former Samoan SWAT Team (Samu & Fatu) have arrived in the WWF, but they now have the stereotypical Samoan savage gimmick. They’re not as articulate as they were in WCW and they’re managed by Afa the Wild Samoan, who spends most of their matches eating chicken and turkey. They are a pretty good team, despite the questionable characters, and they will have a pretty long run in the company. (Fatu will be around in one form or another for many years.) Meanwhile, Owen Hart has found a new partner in Koko B. Ware. They joined forces to form a team called, High Energy. The team wouldn’t last long, but they are known for their colorful outfits. (Poor Owen. He can’t catch a break with his ring gear.) The Headshrinkers are already in the ring, which is odd given how this match unfolds. Afa is eating some chicken, while Samu apparently tries to eat his own finger.
Samu and Owen start the match and Samu shoves him around, but Owen surprises him with dropkicks and arm drags. Koko even gets in some offense when the Headshrinkers have some miscommunication, but he tries an ineffective double noggin’ knocker. (Everyone knows that doesn’t work on Samoans!) Then, Afa whacks Koko with a bamboo staff while the ref is distracted. (Heenan jokes that the ropes must have snapped, while Afa simply goes back to eating as if nothing happened.) The Headshrinkers then double team Koko and bite and headbutt him. Koko attempts a sunset flip, but Fatu hits a thrust kick. However, Samu misses a corner splash and Koko tags Owen. He dropkicks both men and back drops Samu before hitting a flying cross body. Fatu breaks up a pin, so Owen knocks him out of the ring and tries another cross body, but Samu catches him in a powerslam. He then tags Fatu, who hits a flying splash over Samu for the win. (He didn’t stand on Samu’s shoulders. He simply jumped over him. It’s a cool visual, but Samu’s presence doesn’t affect the move.)
This was a decent little opener. It wasn’t long, but it did a good job establishing the Headshrinkers characters and style. Owen’s offense was enough to bring some excitement. It could have used a little more time, but it accomplished its goal. However, it’s odd that the Headshrinkers didn’t get an entrance since they won the match. The show can’t already be pressed for time.
Winners: The Headshrinkers (7:40)
After the match, Heenan uses some new technology known as the Brain Scan. He draws on the screen with an electronic pen. He draws a pilgrim hat on Fatu and draws Owen as a turkey. He laughs about it, but Vince doesn’t find it funny. (Bobby isn’t a very good artist, but the WWF would soon hire a new announcer that is much better at drawing.)
Sean Mooney is backstage and he offers everyone a friendly warning and an admonishment. (What did we do!? Why is he admonishing us? I don’t think he knows what that word means.) He also advises viewer discretion because there is going to be a Nightstick Match to settle the score between Big Boss Man and Nailz. Then, Mooney invites Nailz to join him and Nailz says he’s been waiting 2478 days for this. He claims he sat in his 6×9 cell and thought about what he would do to the Boss Man now that he’s, “OOOOUUUUUT!!!” He says that Boss Man and his fellow guards would handcuff him to his bunk and beat him, but now Boss Man won’t have any backup. Nailz then claims he’s a good climber, so he’s going to climb the pole and get the stick. He threatens to break both of Boss Man’s legs and then cram the nightstick—down his throat. (I thought he was going to say something else!) He also yells that he was an innocent man and was put in jail for crimes he didn’t do. However, he threatens to beat Boss Man within an inch of his life and teach him what it’s like to serve hard time. (Nailz, buddy, you’re not helping your case. On a side note, they used live distortion on Nailz’ voice, which made it sound pretty cool, but it’s not enough to save this feud.)
Next, Mean Gene is with Big Boss Man. They’re standing in front of a ladder. (Maybe they can use it to reach the nightstick.) Gene says that Nailz claims to be innocent, but Boss Man says that’s wrong. He claims to have seen Nailz’ file and says that Nailz should be serving a life sentence. (At this point, Nailz enters the arena and they show a split-screen of the two men.) Boss Man says it’s his job to make sure trash like Nailz serves hard time and he makes a promise to every man, woman, and child, but then he spots Nailz on a monitor. Boss Man runs to the ring, leaving Mean Gene confused. (You can practically hear Boss Man mutter, “He’s not even supposed to be in the riiiiing!” Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself with that reference.)
Nightstick Match: Big Boss Man vs. Nailz
Boss Man took some time off to sell the beating Nailz gave him and they wrote an article in “WWF Magazine” about it. They used some pretty good makeup to make Boss Man look thoroughly bruised in the pictures. (I will give them credit for doing their best to make this an interesting feud.) Then, WCW did a ___ on a Pole Match at Halloween Havoc, so the WWF said, “Hold our beer!” Now, this feud will be settled in a match with a Nightstick hanging from a pole. (I’d take that over a Coal Miner’s Glove.) The match will still end in a pinfall, but the first person to grab the stick can use it as a weapon.
Nailz immediately goes for the stick, but Boss Man runs to the ring and stops him. Both men attempt to grab it, but Nailz starts his usual choking. He also throws some awful punches, but Boss Man surprises him with a boot in the corner. However, Nailz bumps early for it. Nailz stops another attempt at the stick and hits a surprisingly decent backbreaker, but he follows it up with a sloppy rear chinlock. He then applies the pressure by—humping Boss Man’s back?? (Heenan only makes it worse by yelling, “Jerk it off! Rip it off!” He also jokes that Nailz was jailed for unpaid parking tickets.) Boss Man breaks free, but he misses a diving headbutt. Nailz goes for the stick again, but Boss Man crotches him on the ropes and both men go down to a—sort of double clothesline. Boss Man is up first and finally grabs the stick. He hits Nailz a couple of times, but Nailz practically no-sells it and grabs the stick. He returns the favor, but Boss Man also barely sells it. He simply ducks a clothesline and hits the Boss Man Slam for the win.
This was an awful match, but they at least kept it short. It was incredibly sloppy and the nightstick attacks hardly factored into the finish. The only good thing I can say is the crowd reacted well to it. Thankfully, this would be the end of the feud, despite them teasing more. The reason it’s the end is that Nailz would soon be fired. He confronted Vince about his SummerSlam pay and ended up choking Vince out of anger. Vince would fire him on the spot, but Nailz would later claim sexual harassment. (Is he kidding!? I couldn’t even imagine that! The lawsuit went nowhere, which is no surprise.)
Winner: Big Boss Man (5:44)
Mean Gene is with what he calls the most awesome tag team in WWF history, Ric Flair & Razor Ramon. (That’s a bold claim. Was that supposed to be a parting shot at the LOD?) Gene talks about Randy Savage dropping a bombshell and pulling the rug out from under them. He says that Savage’s new partner, Mr. Perfect, knows more about both men than anyone. Then, he shows the footage from Prime Time Wrestling of Perfect accepting Savage’s offer and dumping water on Heenan.
They go back to Flair & Ramon and Ric accuses Gene of trying to rub it in his face. Flair then tells Perfect that he had the opportunity of a lifetime to walk in his light, share in his lifestyle, and bask in his glory because he allowed it to happen. Then, he says that Perfect will answer to him and the almighty, Razor Ramon, for stepping to the other side of the track. Gene then turns to get a word from Razor, but Razor tells him to be quiet. He then says they’re going to prove that nobody is perfect and only one man oozes machismo, and that’s Razor. He calls Savage a one-legged punk and then threatens to carve up both men. Flair then finishes the promo by yelling it’s the Survivor Series and their opponents have to survive! Both men pose and Razor throws his toothpick at the camera before they go back to Vince and Bobby. Heenan is irate and complains about them showing the footage of Perfect pouring water on him.
Tatanka vs. Rick the Model Martel
Tatanka has been on a winning streak since his debut. This streak would last well over a year, but sadly it’s one of the only interesting things about him. Also, his feud with Martel isn’t over. They faced at Mania, but now they will face each other again. This time, Martel stole Tatanka’s eagle feathers and is wearing them on a cap he apparently stole from IRS’s Captain Mike wardrobe. It’s a weak feud, at best, but this match is apparently a backdrop for something else. (You’ll see what I mean in a moment.)
Martel tries to throw Tatanka off his game early with a slap, but Tatanka hits a back drop and a dropkick. Martel bails and then returns to shove him, but Tatanka answers with an atomic drop and clotheslines him outside again. However, Martel hits a hotshot and slows the match down with a long front facelock. Then, the crowd becomes distracted by something. Is it a fight? Oh—it’s just some clown. WAIT A SECOND!!!
Oh, look who has arrived! This is thankfully the better version of Doink the Clown. This is the heel Doink, which is played by Matt Borne (Big Josh from WCW). I’ll go on record as saying the evil heel Doink was great stuff. Borne was great at playing the character and his facial expressions. I wish they had gone a bit darker with it, but this is still a family show. He had an amazing theme song that was quite creepy sounding. During this match, Doink makes balloon animals and hands them to fans, while Vince says this clown has been following the WWF from town to town. (They don’t name him yet. He’s only referred to as, “That clown,” for now.)
Meanwhile, Tatanka tries to fight back, but Martel catches him in another facelock. Tatanka fights back again and Martel attempts a corner charge, but Tatanka moves and Rick hits the post. Tatanka then works over the arm until Martel throws him to the floor. Rick then rams Tatanka into the apron and starts attacking his lower back. However, Tatanka punches Martel on a flying axehandle attempt and starts hitting him with chops. He follows up with a flying chop and hits the Papoose to Go (Samoan Drop) for the win. (Tatanka would thankfully give it a better name in the future.)
This was a slow and boring match. You could tell they were told to stall for the Doink stuff, which I’m sure thrilled both men. The crowd reacted well to Tatanka’s win, but this match did nothing to make him look strong. It was nothing special and the feud is even less interesting.
Winner: Tatanka (11:07)
After the match, Tatanka retrieves his feathers and does a war dance, while Doink runs around and pops all of the balloon animals that he gave to the fans. (He’s lucky he didn’t accidentally stick a fan with that pin. Now, that would have been truly heelish!) He runs away laughing, while Vince acts disgusted by his actions.
Next, Sean Mooney is with the team of Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect. Sean talks about their opponents’ comments and Perfect says it has to be killing Flair to see him standing there. He talks about how Flair said he walked in his shadow, but Perfect says that Flair always wanted to be Mr. Perfect. Then, he says that Razor is oozing something, but it isn’t machismo and it stinks. He also accuses Heenan of keeping him on the back-burner because he didn’t want Perfect to face Flair or Ramon. Sean then says he’s never seen Flair & Razor so enraged. Savage says they will be really upset in a while. Savage then says it’s Survivor Series and no one knows more about surviving than him. He claims that you do anything to survive, but people have criticized him for picking Perfect as his partner. He tells Perfect that he doesn’t like or trust him—but there’s a compliment coming his way. Savage says no one knows Flair & Razor like Perfect and he’s a superior athlete. Randy then says they could be the perfect team and Mr. Perfect agrees, so they high-five and leave the scene.
Macho Man Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon
Heenan complains about the Savage & Perfect promo while Flair & Razor make their entrance. He says that Perfect doesn’t deserve to be in the same sport as Flair. Then, Savage makes his entrance alone, so Heenan asks where is Perfect. Randy grabs a mic and introduces him, so Perfect enters to his own theme. Heenan begins yelling and calling him names. Razor and Perfect decide to start the match, which is fitting because of their history as a tag team in the AWA. (Vince never mentions this, for obvious reasons, but it’s still fitting.)
Razor throws his toothpick in Perfect’s face, but Perfect ducks his attempts at an attack. They trade punches and holds until Razor drags him to his corner by the hair. Perfect fights back with chops to both men and Flair enters the match, but Ric is whipped to the corner for his signature bump. He lands on the apron and Savage attacks him, so Flair returns to the ring. Flair & Razor finally take control when Razor knees Savage in the back and they start double teaming him. They work over Randy’s back with an abdominal stretch and use ref distractions to attack him on the floor. Perfect begins doubting Savage, so he teases leaving the match, but he has a change of heart and returns. Razor lures Perfect into the ring for another distraction and the double teaming continues until Flair makes his usual mistake of going to the top rope. Savage slams him and tags Perfect, who beal tosses Ramon and hits a neck whip. He then hits knee-lifts on both men and the match becomes a brawl. Flair hits Savage with a chair in the chaos, but Perfect attacks him. Unfortunately, Earl Hebner is knocked out of the ring in the fighting and misses a Perfect Plex. The brawl continues and Perfect hits another Perfect Plex on Flair, but the second ref is a bit late. Neither ref can maintain control of Flair & Ramon, so they call for the bell.
This was a really good match with some good intensity and storytelling. I’m even okay with the finish because it fits the chaos and emotions of the feud. Plus, I can understand why they don’t want anyone in this match taking a definitive loss. They have big plans for Razor and almost everyone is part of the main event scene. The crowd was rightfully hot for this match, so that also helped.
Winners: Savage & Perfect (by DQ) (16:38)
After the match, Flair locks Perfect in a Figure Four and Razor attacks Savage. Heenan yells for Ric to break Perfect’s legs and Razor attempts to use a chair, but Savage stops him. Randy then pushes Ramon into Flair and hands the chair to Perfect, so Heenan begs Tunney or Sgt. Slaughter (who is now working as an enforcer for Tunney) to come and stop it. Flair & Ramon finally leave and the Fink announces Savage & Perfect as the winners, so Savage calls for a high-five. Perfect is reluctant, but he eventually obliges.
Mean Gene is backstage with Ric Flair & Razor Ramon. Gene says everyone saw what just happened, but Flair tells him to shut it. Ric says that Savage is walking a fine line between life and being crippled for life. He then tells Perfect that he stuck his nose where it didn’t belong and next time, they’re going to end it for good. Then, Razor says he was double-crossed once before and they can ask that chico what happened—if they can find him. (Did Razor just imply he killed a man? Wait—considering Scott Hall’s life story, that’s a bit too real.) Gene tries to say more, but Flair shuts him up again and says they did everything but ship them out for a Thanksgiving dinner. He tells them if they want to cross the tracks, then they have to pay the price. Flair & Razor then leave, but Gene wants to ask more questions. He can’t convince them to stay, so he sends it back to Vince.
Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Virgil
This is the PPV debut of Yokozuna. He’s a Samoan wrestler and a member of the Anoa’i family, but Vince decided to portray him as a Japanese sumo wrestler. (I guess Vince realized most of his audience wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.) Yokozuna is the name of the highest achievable rank in Sumo, but Yoko was never an actual sumo wrestler. (I wonder how the sumo world felt about that.) Yoko debuted on TV with a series of squash matches. (Sometimes he took that word a bit too literally. His finisher is the Banzai Drop, which is him sitting on his opponent’s chest and sometimes he wasn’t too gentle with the jobbers.) Before the match, some Geisha girls give Yoko flowers and he does a salt ceremony in the ring. Vince sings Yokozuna’s praises and takes the opportunity to antagonize Heenan over the previous match. Vince then says that Yoko will be tested by Virgil. (Did Vince watch SummerSlam? Is he making another joke?)
Yokozuna shoves Virgil around, but Virgil slides under him and tries some dropkicks. He can’t knock Yoko down, so he tries an O’Connor Roll, but Yoko blocks it and hits a thrust kick. He follows it up with an Urange and some headbutts, but Virgil fights back again. However, Yoko catches him in a side slam and hits a leg drop. (Yoko’s leg drop always looked impressive because of that massive thigh.) Then, Yoko misses a corner splash, so Virgil foolishly attempts a roll-up and Yoko sits on him!! (He squashed the meat sauce right out of Virgil!) Yoko then follows it up with a corner splash and hits the Banzai Drop for the win.
This was a squash match, but it was an impressive one. It made Yoko look like an absolute beast and accomplished exactly what it was supposed to do. I felt bad for Virgil because some of those moves looked pretty brutal. You can tell they have big plans for Yokozuna. (No pun intended—maybe.)
Winner: Yokozuna (3:34)
Bobby Heenan uses the Brain Scan again on a replay of the leg drop. He draws a turkey leg around Yoko’s thigh and calls Virgil, “Mashed potatoes.” Then, they show a replay of the Banzai Drop and Heenan says, “Cranberry city!” (I somehow doubt that will catch on like Suplex City.)
Next, Sean Mooney is with Savage & Perfect. They high-five again, as Sean congratulates them on their win, but he also says they haven’t seen the last of Flair & Ramon. Perfect tells them to smile because it’s Thanksgiving. He even presents them with some gifts. He lifts up two raw turkeys that represent Flair & Ramon, but he has a small chicken for Heenan. He drops the turkeys on the floor, but he bats away the chicken like he usually does with his gum. (I hope he washed his hands after this because that’s unsanitary!) Savage then says he made the right decision in a tag team partner and he asks everyone if they can say, “Gobble gobble!” Then, he calls Perfect the best, while Bobby Heenan loses his mind and claims he’s a human being, not a chicken.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Natural Disasters & The Nasty Boys vs. Money Inc. & The Beverly Brothers (w/ Jimmy Hart & The Genius)
You have probably been wondering where all the elimination matches are on this show. This is the only one they booked. Vince decided to break from tradition because he felt the old format had run its course, but this change wouldn’t last very long. In other news, The Nasty Boys have turned babyface. You may recall, in the SummerSlam review, that Jimmy Hart promised the Nasty Boys a title shot. They wouldn’t get it. That shot went to Money Inc. instead and they regained their tag titles. The Nasty Boys took exception to Hart’s lies, so they dumped him as their manager and turned face. This match was booked to combine all the current tag title feuds, so you can see what state the tag division is in right now. It’s not great. Also, the rules of this match state that you only have to eliminate one member to eliminate a team. That’s probably a good idea given the participants.
Typhoon and Blake Beverly start the match and Blake ducks and moves, while Jimmy Hart laughs at Phoon for being slow. However, Blake attempts a sleeper and gets squashed in the corner. The Disasters double team him and work over his lower back, so Beau attempts to stop it. He too gets squashed in the corner. Knobbs then enters the match and demands Money Inc., but he doesn’t get them. The Nasty Boys settle for fighting the Beverlys, but DiBiase distracts Sags and Beau hits a butterfly suplex. Money Inc. then decides to enter the match and double team Sags. He tries to fight back, but Hart distracts him and the Beverlys take over the double teaming. Eventually, both men collide and tag out to Quake and Blake, so a brawl begins. Blake attempts a crucifix on Typhoon, but he hits a Samoan Drop and Quake hits the Earthquake Splash for an elimination. (Elimination: The Beverly Brothers) DiBiase enters the match and everyone tags in to take turns attacking him until Quake misses a corner splash. Money Inc. then double team him for a while until Quake raises a boot on a jumping nothing by DiBiase. Phoon then tags in and takes out both men before hitting a splash, but Money Inc. end up tripping him. IRS then elbow drops Typhoon for the elimination. (Elimination: The Natural Disasters) However, IRS stops to celebrate and Sags rolls him up for the win. (Final Elimination: Money Inc.)
This was a better match than I expected. I’m not calling it great, but they kept it interesting enough to be decent. The crowd reacted well to it, so it served its purpose. Plus, the finish can be used to set up a title shot for the Nasty Boys. It built off existing storylines and set up the next step, so it did everything a Survivor Series Match is supposed to do.
Survivors: The Nasty Boys (15:50)
Vince then plugs the Superstar Hotline, where you can call and talk to the Superstars. Perfect and Savage seem pleased with themselves and Tatanka keeps making chopping motions. (He must be listing his moveset because it’s 60% chopping.) Then, they zoom in on Mr. Perfect and Savage, so Heenan begs them to go to something else. Vince suggests that Heenan can call the hotline and talk to Perfect. Bobby says he will tell Vince exactly what he’d call Perfect, but he has to censor himself before he goes too far.
Next, they recap the Undertaker/Kamala feud. They show clips from SummerSlam of Kamala splashing Taker. They also show Paul Bearer taunting Kamala with caskets on Superstars. Then, they show footage of the Undertaker doing his day job! We actually see Taker in his shop building coffins. Paul Bearer says he’s making a custom one for Kamala and he even shows blueprints. (They drew the coffin with Kamala already inside, which was a funny touch.) Bearer then claims that Taker will have an early Thanksgiving dinner while Kamala will be an offering to those who dwell below. Finally, the Undertaker says Kamala won’t survive Survivor Series and he tells him to rest in peace before closing a coffin lid over the camera.
Coffin Match: The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee)
This isn’t quite a Casket Match. This is an early prototype before they worked out the kinks. This version still requires a pinfall, but then you have to close your opponent in the coffin to complete the victory. They would thankfully streamline the process in the future. The Fink has to introduce Harvey Wippleman before the match, much to Fink’s chagrin. Harvey snatches the mic out of his hand and introduces Kamala and Kim Chee to almost no reaction. However, the Undertaker gets a big pop from the crowd and they show a couple of fans in Taker and Paul Bearer costumes. Paul Bearer wheels the custom coffin to the ring, which is painted with Kamala’s symbols.
Kamala tries to run away and bails out of the ring, but Taker stalks him. They enter the ring and Kamala tries to attack, but Taker answers with throat chops and hits Old School. He then follows it up with a short-arm clothesline and a choke, but he makes the mistake of ducking. Kamala attacks him with chops and kicks and clotheslines him out of the ring, but Taker lands on his feet. He then grabs both Harvey and Kim Chee, but Kamala attacks him. (That’s the same sequence from SummerSlam. Mix it up, guys!) Then, Kamala hits Taker with a chair and Kim Chee’s helmet before ramming him into the steps. He rolls Taker back inside and hits multiple slams, but Taker keeps sitting up again. He finally stays down, so Kamala hits a splash. Paul Bearer then climbs on the apron, but Kim Chee trips him and the urn falls into the ring. Kamala wants no part of it and kicks it away, but Kim Chee tries to convince him to use it. Kamala is too afraid, so Taker sits up and grabs the urn before clocking Kamala with it. He then pins Kamala for a three-count, but now he has to seal him in the coffin. He rolls him inside and slowly hammers the lid shut, but he bends half the nails. However, it’s enough for the win.
This could have been worse, but they kept it mercifully short. It was more about the spectacle than anything else. The method of victory was too tedious and would be changed in the future, but the crowd seemed to like the novelty of it. This thankfully ends the Kamala feud, but what comes next for Taker is even dumber.
Winner: The Undertaker (5:27)
Sean Mooney is with the Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels, who smugly chews his gum and blows a bubble in Mooney’s face. Sean brings up Sensational Sherri’s absence and accuses Michaels of pulling Sherri into the way of the mirror. Shawn calls that a lie, so Mooney talks about Michaels beating Bulldog for the IC Title. He says that Michaels has to now face Bret Hart, who has defended the WWF Title more times in a short period than anyone in history. Michaels answers that point with a bit of logic. He says that Bulldog beat Bret and he beat Bulldog, so that makes him better than Bret. (I have to admit that’s sound logic.) Shawn then says that one and one make two, as in two belts. He says that he has nothing to lose and everything to gain, so he will be the new WWF Champion.
Shawn Michaels makes his entrance, but Mean Gene is with the WWF Champion, Bret Hart. Gene says he vividly remembers Bret beating Ric Flair in Saskatoon and he talks about Bret’s ambitious series of title defenses. He says that Bret has beaten the Mountie, the Berzerker, Rick Martel, Papa Shango, and Virgil, all with the Sharpshooter. (Wait, Virgil got a WWF Title shot!?) Bret then equates the Survivor Series with Thanksgiving and says no one is more thankful than him. He says it took him a long time to get this far and talks about surviving eight and a half years. He also says he started from the bottom but now he’s here. Bret then tells Shawn Michaels that it doesn’t matter who he went through. He’s won a few and lost a few, but now he’s at the highest. Bret even sings Shawn Michaels praises and says he will be a good Intercontinental Champion. (He’s complimenting HBK?? Let’s see how he feels five years from this event! This was a solid but unremarkable promo. Bret’s work at SummerSlam was far better. He said what he needed to and didn’t stumble, but it lacked some intensity.)
WWF Title Match: Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels
They get a great running camera shot down the aisle as Bret makes his entrance. (I miss that style. We need more of this and less shaky-cam.) Vince calls Bret the most scientific wrestler of all-time, but Heenan says he’s wrong because it’s Flair. Vince points out that Bret beat Flair, but that doesn’t change Bobby’s mind. Vince also talks about all of Bret’s title defenses, so Heenan says he’s burning the belt at both ends. (I liked that line.) Bret then kisses the belt and hands it to the ref before giving his shades to a fan at ringside.
They grapple into the ropes a couple of times and Hebner has trouble separating them, so Shawn becomes frustrated. Then, they reverse through some mat wrestling and hammerlocks before taking turns sending each other out of the ring. Shawn blocks an O’Connor Roll, but Bret answers with a cross body and a slingshot sunset flip from the apron. He then goes after Shawn’s arm and relentlessly holds on through some arm drags. Shawn finally fights back with an eye-poke and a hotshot and Bret crashes into the post on a missed corner charge. Bret tries to fight back, but Shawn keeps going to a front facelock. Bret almost regains the advantage with a boot and a bulldog, but he misses an elbow and Shawn returns to the facelock. The crowd rallies Bret, so he surprises Shawn with a cradle and a back suplex before catapulting Michaels into the corner. He also crotches him on the top rope and hits his Russian leg sweep, backbreaker, and diving elbow. Bret then follows up with a superplex and attempts a sleeper, but Michaels backs him into Earl Hebner. HBK capitalizes by sending Bret to the floor and ramming him into the post. He also hits a back drop, but he complains about the count. Bret tries a desperation roll-up, but Shawn responds with a superkick and signals for the teardrop suplex. He hits it after a couple of tries, but he only gets a two-count! Bret fires back and Shawn gets tied in the ropes, but he moves when Bret charges. Then, Shawn attempts a second-rope missile dropkick, but Bret catches him and locks him in the Sharpshooter for the win.
This was a very solid match, but it did drag at times. You can tell that Shawn is still perfecting his singles style, so he went to a lot of rest holds. However, they never lost the crowd and the match was quite crisp. I enjoyed it, but I’m sure it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. These two would have far better matches in the future, but you can already tell they have good chemistry.
Winner: Bret Hart (26:40)
After the match, Santa Claus joins Bret in the ring to celebrate. Fake snow begins falling from the ceiling, as Santa places a Christmas hat on Bret’s head and hands him a slip of paper. (Is Vince giving out paychecks on screen now?) Vince sings the praises of Bret Hart and Santa Claus before telling everyone goodnight. He then gives everyone a hearty, “Ho ho ho,” so Heenan answers by saying, “Woo! You can ho. I can woo!”
– Savage & Perfect vs. Flair & Ramon was good.
– The main event was quite solid.
– There were some good promos and good storyline work.
– Yokozuna looked strong.
– Taker/Kamala was bad.
– Boss Man/Nailz was terrible.
– It didn’t feel like a Survivor Series with only one elimination match.
Performer of the Night:
I’m going to give it to Mr. Perfect because he looked as good as ever despite having taken a year off from wrestling. Plus, his promo work was good.
There were only two really good matches and a couple of halfway decent ones, but there were also a couple of terrible bouts. I would say this show is average. The presentation was decent enough to make it a mostly enjoyable experience, but it wasn’t great. You can tell that the quality is going down for the WWF with all of the problems and departures. Unfortunately, 1993 won’t be a great year for the company.
My next review will be WCW’s Starrcade ‘92. Look for it next Saturday!