Classic Wrestling Review: Survivor Series ’93

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

Survivor Series

November 24, 1993

Boston Garden

Boston, Massachusetts

I have a lot of news to cover before I start this review because things were not well in WWF-land at this time. They were faced with a slew of legal troubles, scandals, and bad behavior. First, Vince McMahon was indicted shortly before this show on charges of conspiracy and attempting to distribute illegal steroids. The trial wouldn’t begin until the summer of ‘94, but the news was out to the public. Vince began a contingency plan in case he went to prison, which included bringing in Jerry Jarrett to possibly replace him as the head of the WWF. (This is why the WWF began working with the USWA, which led to the debuts of Jerry Lawler and Jeff Jarrett in the WWF.) Vince still did commentary for this event, but his thoughts were elsewhere.

Vince wasn’t the only one in legal trouble. Jerry Lawler also found himself in hot water when he was accused of statutory rape. He would later be acquitted when the girl was found to be lying, but he still made the mistake of contacting the witness and was charged with witness tampering. Lawler was removed from this show at the last second. He was supposed to lead a team of mysterious knights against the Hart Family, but they replaced him with Shawn Michaels. The change had to be made without fanfare because they weren’t going to mention the issue on the air, but it left the fans very confused. The WWF rushed to air a video of Shawn Michaels and Reo Rodgers (Bruce Prichard doing a bad Dusty Rhodes imitation) invading the Hart house and insulting the family. It wasn’t much, but the WWF was left with no choice but to make the best of the situation. However, Shawn Michaels had his own problems.

In September, Shawn Michaels failed a drug test for steroids. He disputed the result as he not only wasn’t on the juice; he also was quite pudgy at this point. Vince suspended him anyway and demanded that Shawn return the Intercontinental Title belt, but Shawn refused out of protest. Vince relented about the belt and decided to turn it into a storyline when Shawn returned. A Battle Royal was held on RAW and the final two men would face each other for the vacant IC Title. Those two men were Razor Ramon and Rick Martel. Razor would win the title, but Shawn returned and claimed he was the real champion. Now, both men walked around with Intercontinental Titles, but the issue won’t be resolved just yet. Meanwhile, Shawn’s absence benefited one man because Diesel got a chance to branch out as a singles competitor and not just a bodyguard.

In other news, there have been a few debuts, returns, and a heel turn I should mention. The first is a tag team called Men on a Mission (Mabel & Mo, with their hype-man, Oscar). They previously teamed in the USWA as the Harlem Knights, but now they portray a rap group with a positive message. Next, we have another tag team, The Quebecers. They are the returning Jacques Rougeau and Pierre Carl Ouellet (PCO). Jacques is no longer the Mountie, despite wearing the same outfit. The WWF got in trouble with the real Mounties for portraying him as a heel. They would mock this fact with the Quebecers’ theme song, which says they’re not the Mounties and includes a few not-so-subtle digs at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. (It’s a great theme.) They are managed by Johnny Polo, who is the former Scotty Flamingo and future Raven. His gimmick is that he’s a snobby rich kid. Also, The Quebecers quickly won the Tag Team Titles on RAW by beating the Steiners in a Quebec Rules Match. Then, we have the debut of Adam Bomb (Bryan Clark). You might remember him from his brief appearance as the Nightstalker at Starrcade ‘91. His gimmick is basically Radioactive Man. He hails from Three Mile Island and wears bright green contacts. It’s a goofy gimmick, but I kind of have a soft spot for it. Finally, I have to mention the heel turn by Crush. He was written off TV with an injury after Yokozuna gave him a Banzai Drop. When he returned, he behaved differently. He revealed that he decided to join forces with Fuji and Yoko. (I guess he said, “If you can’t beat them, join them.”) He called out Randy Savage for not leaving the announce table to save him and questioned their friendship. Then, he would attack Savage to cement his turn to the dark side. Now, he’s a Japanese sympathizer, which apparently is enough to be labeled part of the Foreign Fanatics in the main event.

The show begins with a video of Lex Luger and his family at home. He introduces his wife, Peggy, his son, Brian, and his daughter, Lauren. Everyone, except Lauren, says hello, so Luger sarcastically thanks his daughter. He and his wife then talk about the family traditions of Thanksgiving, while Brian mugs for the camera. Then, they try to wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving in unison, but Lauren still refuses to participate.

Next, a singer who isn’t identified sings the national anthem and manages to add an extra syllable to the word perilous. This is followed by a rather creepy intro video that feels like it should be on a Halloween-themed show. It’s an animation of a wrecking ball followed by a camera panning through steel girders against a red sky. It sounds like someone is screaming, but it could also be a whistle. (It’s hard to tell because the sound effect is poor quality.)

Vince McMahon welcomes everyone to the Boston Garden and the Survivor Series. He’s with Bobby Heenan, who says the feathers are flying backstage. He also says the giblets are dropping and the drumsticks are rolling because there are so many big egos that they won’t fit in the Boston Garden. (That’s probably a true statement.) Vince then points out Jim Ross and Gorilla Monsoon at the Radio WWF table and he says that Gorilla may take care of Bobby if he gets out of line. Heenan doesn’t seem fazed and cracks his knuckles towards Gorilla, but then a grating horn noise interrupts them. (Oh, it’s Diesel’s theme—music?? I think it would be more accurate to call it noise.)

Razor Ramon, The 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, & ???? vs. Diesel, Irwin R. Schyster, Rick Martel, & Adam Bomb (w/ Harvey Wippleman)

Mr. Perfect was originally supposed to be on Razor’s team, but his back issues flared up again and he was also having contract issues with the WWF. The substitution throws off the dynamic of this match because Perfect was feuding with Diesel. Razor still had his issues with IRS, as well as Martel. Also, the Kid & Marty had recently started teaming. Before the match starts, IRS grabs a mic and tells the tax cheats in the crowd to be thankful he isn’t coming to their houses to audit them. Razor also grabs a mic and says that Perfect tagged out before the match started, but he has a replacement who has more machismo than him—Randy Savage! Vince claims that Savage would do anything to be in the same building as Crush.

Razor and Martel begin the match, but Razor soon gets the advantage and Martel tags Adam Bomb. He shows off his strength by powering Ramon around the ring and winning a test of strength. However, a miscommunication by Martel causes the heel team to argue. The 1-2-3 Kid then enters the match, but the heels take turns throwing him around the ring. Diesel particularly has some fun with him, but the Kid eventually tags Savage. Randy takes out everyone, knocks Bomb to the floor, and hits Diesel with a flying elbow for the first elimination. (Elimination: Diesel) Ramon and Savage both find themselves in trouble, but Savage looks to make a comeback until Crush arrives to distract him. Randy’s teammates try to rein him in, but the distraction is enough for IRS to roll-up Randy for a pin. (Elimination: Randy Savage) Savage then runs after Crush while Jannetty tries to fight IRS, Martel, & Bomb. Martel ends up hitting the post on a missed charge and he tags out when he sees Razor enter the match. IRS comes in, but he falls to a chokeslam and a Razors Edge. (Elimination: IRS) However, IRS clocks Razor with the briefcase and Ramon is counted out for an elimination. (Elimination: Razor Ramon) The Kid uses his agility to fight valiantly, but Adam Bomb gains control. Eventually, the Kid catches Martel with a punch on a flying axehandle attempt and tags Marty. Then, they double team Martel & Bomb and Marty catches them both with surprise sunset flips for back-to-back eliminations. (Final Eliminations: Rick Martel & Adam Bomb)

This was a fun opener. It did a good job furthering storylines and showcasing both Adam Bomb and the team of Jannetty & The Kid. I’m kind of surprised that Diesel was eliminated so early, but Vince clearly favored Adam Bomb at this point. He was impressive and has improved immensely since we last saw him. (It’s kind of a shame that he never does much of note in the WWF. I think he’s underrated.) Everyone did a good job of keeping the crowd engaged in the match. It did go on a bit longer than it should have, but it was still quite solid.

Survivors: The 1-2-3 Kid & Marty Jannetty (26:58)

Vince then plugs the Superstar Hotline where fans can vote on the Superstar of the Year, which Heenan thinks he should win. Then, he sends it to Todd Pettengill, who is with Shawn Michaels. Shawn is wearing his own Intercontinental Title and says he should be Superstar of the Year. Todd says that Shawn was suspended and stripped of the Intercontinental Title, but Shawn points out that he’s wearing the belt, which makes him the champion. Then, Todd talks about the Family Feud Match and introduces a pre-taped interview with the Hart Family conducted by Family Feud host, Ray Combs.

Ray is with Bret, Owen, Bruce, Keith, and Stu Hart. (Bruce is wearing sunglasses indoors at night because he’s trying to be Mr. Cool.) Ray calls it the family feud of the decade and talks about Shawn Michaels making personal remarks about Bret’s family. Bret says that’s right and talks about heartache by the numbers. (I’m pretty sure that’s not a saying.) He introduces his family and refers to Stu as a tiger. He even claims that Shawn has been pulling on Stu’s tail. (Stu has a tail!?) Bret then says they don’t care about the knights and they are going to take off their masks. (I don’t think the fans care about the knights either.) Ray then talks about two of the Hart brothers coming out of retirement for the match and asks Owen for his thoughts. Owen says Combs has never seen a family feud like this one and says they don’t care for Michaels’ comments. Then, Keith claims there’s going to be a massive heart attack in the ring tonight. (Stu looks concerned and even Ray cringes at that line.) Ray finishes by saying half the people he’s met in Boston have been Hart family members and then claims the survey says this is a match you don’t want to miss.

They go back to Shawn Michaels, who laughs about upsetting the Harts. He jokes that he would have put his parents six feet under if they looked like Stu & Helen. (That’s a bit harsh!) He also says he has a score to settle with Bret after last year’s Survivor Series, but he mocks Bret for not having his title anymore. Shawn claims he hand-picked his knights and insults Bret’s brothers for their professions. (Bruce is a school teacher and Keith is a fireman.) He also says he’s going to put Bret’s team down where they should be, with Stu & Helen. (He sure is threatening to kill parents a lot in this promo.) Finally, he threatens to make Stu uglier than he is if he gets involved.

(The Hart Family) Bret, Owen, Bruce, & Keith (w/ Stu Hart) vs. Shawn Michaels & The Knights

Before the match, Ray Combs does the ring announcing. He introduces other members of the Hart Family, Martha, Georgia, Ross, Wayne, & Helen. (Heenan calls Owen’s son ugly. I wonder how Owen felt about that. Also, It’s kind of uncomfortable seeing Martha considering how she feels about WWE nowadays. I bet she wishes they would edit her out of this show.) Ray then makes a few jokes at the expense of Shawn Michaels, his team, and even Shawn’s family. Shawn’s team then enters the arena and Shawn taunts the Hart family. The Harts enter next. Bruce and Keith get mild applause, but Bret and Owen get the best reactions. Stu slowly follows behind them and Heenan claims he stole his jacket from the souvenir stand. He also makes fun of Stu’s age. Then, Ray Combs joins the commentary team for the match. (I should point out the identity of the knights since they’re all in masks that are never removed. The Blue Knight is Greg Valentine, The Red Knight is Barry Horowitz, and The Black Knight is a USWA wrestler named Jeff Gaylord. The Red Knight was originally going to be Terry Funk, but he realized this was a bad idea and backed out of the show. Terry did this by leaving Vince a note that said, “My horse is sick. He might be dying.” He then went home without a word.)

Owen and Shawn almost start the match, but Bruce demands a tag and gets it. The Harts use reversals and take advantage of miscommunications between Shawn and his Knights. The Harts work over the Blue Knight until Shawn surprises Bruce with a knee. They work over Bruce for a bit until he fights back with a backslide and a vicious clothesline. Bret returns and he and Owen fight the Black Knight until the match becomes a brawl. Owen then eliminates Black with a missile dropkick. (Elimination: Black Knight) Then, the Harts work over the Red Knight’s legs until he finally tags Blue, who chops Keith. (Ray Combs calls it a weenie slap. Ray! You can’t say that!!) Shawn and his team work Keith’s arm for a while, but they miss a Rocket Launcher and Bret returns. He then locks the Red Knight in a Sharpshooter for an elimination. (Elimination: Red Knight) Eventually, Blue sends Bret to the floor and Shawn attacks him. (Meanwhile, Stu gives Keith a shoulder massage.) Shawn’s team work over Bret until he hits a jumping clothesline and tags Owen. However, a brawl breaks out and Shawn goes after Stu, so the Harts jump Michaels. Then, Owen returns to the ring and eliminates Blue with a Sharpshooter. (Elimination: Blue Knight) The Harts then pinball Shawn around the ring and Bret catapults him into the corners, but Shawn rakes Bret’s eyes. Bret tags Owen and goes to the apron to recover, but Owen accidentally runs into him. Bret crashes into the guardrail and Shawn rolls up Owen for a pin. (Elimination: Owen Hart) Owen immediately throws a fit and blames Bret for what happened. The other brothers check on Bret, but Owen leaves in a huff. Meanwhile, Shawn desperately tries to fight against the remaining Harts, but they whip him around and kick him until he has enough and leaves. Bruce tries to stop him, but the ref reaches a ten count. (Final Elimination: Shawn Michaels)

The match wasn’t great. It’s understandable because of the last minute changes, but it was still dull. It dragged and the fans couldn’t care less about the knights. It also didn’t help that they were probably confused by Lawler’s absence. (The WWF wasn’t going to announce on air why he was gone. They stopped mentioning him.) The only good thing to come out of this was the beginnings of Owen’s heel turn. (It will lead to one of my all-time favorite feuds.) Owen’s performance was well done. (UPDATE: I regretted not mentioning this, so I’m going to add it. Bobby Heenan’s commentary was amazing during this match. He had some great one-liners at the expense of the Hart family. This is his last WWF PPV, so he went out with a bang.)

Survivors: Bret, Bruce, & Keith (30:57)

After the match, the Harts celebrate in the ring, but Owen returns and pulls Bret off the turnbuckles. He shoves him and starts blaming him for the elimination. Bret tries to calm him, but Owen pushes him and continues arguing. The other brothers try to diffuse the situation, while Stu & Helen look concerned. Bret finally decides to leave the ring, so Owen accuses Bret of getting in the way and says he never gets any recognition. The family leaves, so Owen poses while the fans boo him. Pettengill tries to interview Owen, but Owen tells him he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Vince then says they’re going to tag out to Jim Ross and Gorilla for the next match. Heenan is worried about Gorilla coming his way. Monsoon sympathizes with Vince for having to work with what he calls a despicable human being. Heenan jokes that he’s talking about Ray Combs, but Gorilla says he means Bobby. Heenan replies, “I never did anything to you!” Meanwhile, Pettengill says he still can’t get a word with Owen Hart. He calls Owen’s behavior a strange occurrence, but he’s interrupted by Gorilla nearly coming to blows with Heenan. Bobby puts on some glasses and tells Monsoon he can’t hit him, so Gorilla relents. Then, they show a quick commercial for WrestleMania X before Monsoon laments not punching Heenan. (If you’re wondering about the Heenan/Monsoon stuff, they built tensions between them before this show. It will eventually lead to Monsoon having enough and kicking Heenan out of the WWF. This will lead to Bobby’s departure from the company because he took a deal with WCW for more money and a lighter schedule. This is sadly Heenan’s final WWF PPV.)

Then, they show a recap of the main event feud. Ludvig Borga attacks Tatanka with a chair and ends Tatanka’s undefeated streak by pinning him with one finger. Yokozuna then gives Tatanka a Banzai Drop, so Tatanka is out of the match with injury. Next, they show a clip from Superstars of Luger announcing their new partner, The Undertaker. He comes to the ring and says let freedom ring before telling the Foreign Fanatics to rest in peace. Then, Undertaker opens his coat to reveal a Betsy Ross American Flag on the inside. (Uh oh. Someone’s gonna be upset!) They also show a clip of Luger beating Quebecer Pierre, which is followed by a Jim Cornette promo. Jim says they eliminated Tatanka, but Luger eliminated Pierre, so they found a replacement in Crush. He joins the team and says that the All-Americans are wondering who will stab who in the back first and then he tells them to survive if they can.

SMW Tag Team Title Match: The Heavenly Bodies (w/ Jim Cornette) vs. The Rock n Roll Express (c)

This might be the first time two tag teams faced each other on PPV for two different companies in the same year. (The Heavenly Bodies are a slightly different pairing now, but it still counts.) The SMW/WWF agreement means that SMW titles will occasionally be defended on WWF TV and vice versa, which leads to this match. Cornette introduces the Bodies and Prichard returns the favor by introducing Jim. Gorilla calls it a mutual admiration society. Then, the RnR Express enter to some dubbed music on the network. (What theme did they use on the broadcast?) The two teams immediately start brawling and the Bodies send the Express to the floor.

The Bodies then slingshot Gibson into the ring and attempt the same on Morton, but Ricky reverses them and hits a suicide dive onto both Bodies. They regroup and Cornette tells the cameraman to get lost before Gibson and Del Ray finally face-off with each other. They trade reversals and the Express do some double teaming. Morton then hip tosses both men multiple times and takes advantage of some miscommunication. Then, the Express put Prichard & Del Ray in a rowboat spot and continue double teaming Prichard. They work his legs and wishbone him until Tom rakes the eyes. Del Ray attempts to take control, but the Express blocks a corner whip when Gibson covers the turnbuckle to protect his partner. The Bodies attempt the same, but Morton reverses course. However, Prichard catches him with a sit-out powerbomb and the Bodies start doing their own double teaming. Del Ray gyrates and then hits an impressive Asai Moonsault to Morton on the floor. He even uses some ref distractions for cheating, but Morton reverses a powerbomb into a hurricanrana. Del Ray answers with another moonsault, but Morton surprises the Bodies with a double DDT. Gibson then makes a hot tag and cleans house until it becomes a brawl and the bodies throw Morton over the ropes. Gibson mistakenly thinks it’s a DQ and complains, but Morton does manage to hit a flying cross body. Unfortunately, the ref is distracted, so Del Ray jumps off the top and hits Morton with the racket to get the win.

This was a fun fast paced match and it was different from what you usually see in the WWF. However, the fans couldn’t care less. The match had no heat. The action was good, but the lack of crowd reaction made it hard to get into it. It’s a shame that the WWF didn’t do a better job of building up the RnR Express for their fan base. It also doesn’t help that they were wrestling for titles from another promotion. It’s hard for the fans to care about them.

Winners: The Heavenly Bodies (New Champions) (13:41)

Next, they show a recap of the Doink/Bam Bam feud. Bigelow won a match on Superstars and celebrated with Luna, but Doink appeared on the video-wall and taunted him. He mocks the members of Bam Bam’s team and then introduces his partners—three other versions of himself. He tells Bigelow that he looks pale and then lifts pails of confetti before pouring them on himself. (In case you’re wondering, Doink turned babyface by throwing water on Bobby Heenan. The fans had taken a liking to him, so they decided to turn the character. He then began a feud with Bam Bam Bigelow. The Doink in this video package was still Matt Borne, but he would, unfortunately, be fired before Survivor Series. Bam Bam caught Matt smoking weed with Luna and tattled to Vince. It wasn’t Borne’s first offense, so he was fired. It’s funny that Bam Bam didn’t narc on Luna, but I guess he didn’t want to lose his manager. He can’t really claim he was taking a moral stance if that’s how he’s going to play it. With Borne gone, a wrestler named Ray Apollo would take over the Doink character and he is nowhere near as good as Matt. In fact, the character takes a steep downturn with the change.)

Then, they go to Pettengill with Bam Bam’s team. They’re all devouring a turkey while Todd asks Bigelow how he will handle four versions of the same person. Bam Bam says it doesn’t matter how many Doinks there are because he has the most awesome four-man tag team in wrestling and boy are they hungry. He says the Headshrinkers will take care of the job and the Boogerman will be by his side. Bigelow then says he will take care of Doink’s pesty pesterence, botherence, and games once and for all. (I think he just invented some new words!) Then, Todd is so disgusted by the chaos around him that he sends it back to Vince.

Vince says that none of Bam Bam’s team will be Superstar of the Year. Heenan says he’d vote for the Headshrinkers, but Booger is his pick. Vince is utterly disgusted by that comment and tells him it’s a family show. Bobby doesn’t understand what he said wrong, so he repeats the joke.

The Four Doinks vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger, & The Headshrinkers (w/ Luna Vachon & Afa)

If you’re wondering who or what is Bastion Booger, he’s the former Norman the Lunatic. He originally debuted as Friar Ferguson, but the Catholic Church put the kibosh on that gimmick. Then, he shaved his head and donned a very unfortunate ring outfit. His gimmick is basically gross-out humor in the form of a wrestler. It’s the brainchild (I use that term loosely.) of Vince’s love of toilet humor. (His theme is literally the sound of someone clearing their throat, burping, and farting.) Bam Bam’s team come to the ring eating turkey and bananas and making quite a mess. Booger is wearing a too tight t-shirt that reads, “I may be fat, but you’re ugly and I can diet.” (That’s lovely.) Then, Vince says we will find out the identity of the Doinks. His music starts playing, but it turns into the Bushwhackers theme and Luke & Butch emerge wearing Doink face paint. Luke rides a scooter and Butch pulls a wagon. The Doink theme plays again, but then it turns into Men on a Mission’s theme. Mabel, Mo, & Oscar rap their way to the ring. They’re also wearing Doink paint. Mabel & Mo have balloons and buckets. Oscar tells the fans to wave their hands and yells, “Oh yeah!” (Hey, that’s Savage’s thing.) The fans and the Bushwhackers all dance to the rap while Oscar yells, “Whoomp there it is!” (I had almost forgotten that song.) The fans then immediately start a, “We want Doink,” chant.

Booger and Luke start the match and Booger splashes him. (Ugh. That sentence made me ill.) However, Booger is distracted by a banana, so Luke bites him on the butt. (I take it back. THAT sentence made me ill.) Samu enters the match, but the Doinks keep handing him balloons. He bites them, but one has water in it. He is so startled that Luke rolls him up for a pin. (Elimination: Samu) Butch enters the match and makes the mistake of headbutting Fatu, who returns the favor. Then, Fatu, Booger, & Bam Bam take turns beating Butch until Booger sits on him. Unfortunately, he is distracted by food again. Then, he goes for another splash, but Mabel moves Butch and the Bushwhackers hit a Battering Ram. Mabel then hits Booger with a leg drop for another pin. (Elimination: Bastion Booger) Next, Fatu lures in Butch with some turkey and hits him with it, but Mo starts riding around the ring on a scooter. Bam Bam has enough and gives him an enziguri before Fatu hits a side slam and a flying splash. However, he too is distracted by food, so Butch fakes him out with a bucket. Fatu then literally slips on a banana peel and gets pinned. (Elimination: Fatu) Bam Bam immediately attacks, but he has to face-off with Mabel. Bam Bam tries some ineffective shoulder blocks, but he gets the advantage after Mabel misses a corner charge. Luke returns to the match and Bigelow hits a shoulder tackle and a powerslam, but Butch throws food on Luna to distract him. Mabel then takes advantage with a corner splash and all the Doinks dog pile on Bam Bam for the pin. (Why would the ref allow that!?) (Final Elimination: Bam Bam Bigelow)

This was stupid and terrible, but at least they kept it short. I felt bad for Bam Bam. He deserves better than this. The Headshrinkers also deserved better. Booger is a terrible gimmick and the fans were disappointed that the real Doink wasn’t in the match. The only good thing I can say about it is the crowd reacted well to some parts, but it didn’t save this. Unfortunately, there is even worse stuff involving Doink to come. (I miss Matt Borne already.)

Survivors: The Four Doinks (10:58)

Bam Bam leaves the ring in frustration, but Doink appears on the video-wall. He mocks Bam Bam and asks him how he liked the Doinks. He also makes some puns about Bam Bam being burned up and tells him not to get mad. Then, Doink taunts Luna and pretends to give her a kiss before making barking noises at her. Luna screams while Doink laughs, but the fans don’t sound impressed.

Next, Pettengill is with the Foreign Fanatics and their managers, Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji, and Johnny Polo. Todd talks about Thanksgiving traditions and tells Jim his denigration policy wasn’t very well planned. Cornette mocks him for not knowing the definition of half the words he used before saying they haven’t denigrated anyone. Jim then says they’re going to carve up four turkeys and discusses their strategy. He says they’ll fight the other team like one man because they fight together, stand together, and think as one. He says they will go for the mind, heart, and soul. Then, he says the Steiners are the heart, the Undertaker is the mind because of his mind games, and Luger is the soul. Todd tries to interrupt, so Jim tells him to shut up and says they will destroy the mind, heart, and soul of Luger’s team. Todd then calls it a clash of the super powers and sends it back to Vince.

(The All-Americans) Lex Luger, The Undertaker, & The Steiner Brothers (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. (The Foreign Fanatics) Yokozuna, Crush, Ludvig Borga, & Quebecer Jacques (w/ Jim Cornette, Mr. Fuji, & Johnny Polo)

Luger wasn’t allowed to get another title shot because of the stipulation at SummerSlam, so he moved into a feud with Ludvig Borga. Meanwhile, Yokozuna transitioned into a feud with The Undertaker. (Get ready because this feud gets a bit—wacky.) However, Luger is still an All-American guy, so they had to pair him against a team of evil foreigners—that consists of a Samoan and a Hawaiian. The heels all enter separately and Heenan talks about how Borga defeated Tatanka and eliminated him early. Crush makes his entrance and they start playing Yokozuna’s theme, but they stop when they realize their mistake. Vince and Heenan speculate on Savage’s whereabouts, but they believe he never found Crush. Luger’s team also enter separately, starting with the Undertaker. (Heenan dives under the table when Taker’s music begins.) The Steiners arrive next in American flag singlets and Luger follows them. The Fink calls Lex an American original while the fans chant, “USA.” Meanwhile, Undertaker and Yokozuna have a stare down with each other. Also, Jacques offers Scott Steiner a handshake, but Scott gives him a rude gesture instead.

Scott and Jacques start the match, but Scott suplexes him and tags Rick. Jacques doesn’t want any more of that, so he tags Yoko. Rick manages to knock Yoko out of the ring, but he falls victim to triple teaming in the heel corner. They throw Rick to the floor and take out a cameraman in the process, but Rick returns with a flying clothesline to Borga. However, Borga catches Rick on a flying cross body and reverses him into a pin. (Elimination: Rick Steiner) Rick appears to be hurt, but Jacques doesn’t care. He tells him to get lost. Scott responds by press slamming him, but Crush catches Jacques and enters the match. Crush attacks Scott after teasing a test of strength, but Scott answers with a Tiger Bomb. Then, Crush responds with a side-kick before Randy Savage appears in the aisle. The officials, and Bart Gunn for some reason, try to stop him. Crush eventually goes after Savage, but this causes him to get counted out for an elimination. (Elimination: Crush) Meanwhile, the Fanatics work over Scott for a bit until he finally tags Luger, who eliminates Jacques with a slam and a diving elbow. (Elimination: Jacques) Scott returns, just as Borga enters, so Ludvig calls Luger chicken. Scott and Borga fight back and forth and Scott hits a superplex, but Yoko enters the match without tagging. Steiner attempts a Frankensteiner, but he misses and Yoko eliminates him with a leg drop. (Elimination: Scott Steiner) Yoko and Luger then fight until Yoko hits a clothesline and Borga returns to attack Lex’s ribs. Yoko and Borga take turns beating Lex, but he eventually tags Taker. He hits Yoko with a jumping DDT and shakes off an attack by Borga. However, Yoko hits a belly-to-belly, a clothesline, and a leg drop only for Taker to keep sitting up again. Yoko is in shock, but he does hit a Banzai Drop. He goes for another, but Taker sits up at the last possible second and Heenan loses his mind on commentary. Yoko and Taker then fight to the outside and trade off slamming each other’s heads into the steps, but the ref counts out both men. (Eliminations: Taker & Yoko) This leaves only Luger and Borga. They fight back and forth until Cornette distracts the ref and Fuji hands Borga the salt bucket. He hits Luger with it, but Lex kicks out at two and hulks-up to hit some elbows and clotheslines. Borga tries to fight back until he ducks and Luger hits the running forearm for the win. (Final Elimination: Ludvig Borga)

This match was okay and parts of it were entertaining. I particularly liked the Undertaker/Yoko stuff and Heenan’s reaction to it. (He did a great job of putting over how impressive Taker was.) Scott Steiner also had some good moments, but the match as a whole never fully found a rhythm. Some eliminations felt rushed while others dragged on a bit. However, it was a decent enough way to end the show and it did a good job of building the Crush/Savage and Taker/Yoko feuds.

Survivor: Lex Luger (27:59)

After the match, Luger celebrates with an American Flag, but then snow begins falling in the arena. (Heenan has a great reaction. He says, “What’s this!? Worst case of dandruff I’ve ever seen!”) “Jingle Bells” then plays and Santa Claus makes an appearance for the second year in a row. Luger celebrates with him and raises Santa’s arm like he won the match. Vince then says he hopes everyone enjoyed the show and wishes everyone a nice Thanksgiving while Heenan yells, “Darn it!”

The Good:

– The opening match was good.

– The SMW Tag was fun.

– There was some good storyline work.

– Owen Hart’s heel turn is beginning.

The Bad:

– The Doinks Match.

– The Hart Family match was dull.

– Bastion Booger.

Performer of the Night:

I’m giving it to Owen Hart because he showed a completely different side of himself on this show. Vince worried that he couldn’t pull off being a heel, but I think he showed good signs of doing just that. Also, Owen’s wrestling was good in the match even if the rest of the match wasn’t great.

Final Thoughts:

I didn’t dislike this show, but it was definitely a mixed bag. It wasn’t a difficult watch and some parts of it were quite entertaining, but the bad stuff brought it down a notch. I enjoyed the storyline work and I’m excited for a couple of upcoming feuds. However, you can tell this company is struggling to find something that works as business declines. For every Bret/Owen feud, we also get babyface Doink and Bastion Booger. You have to take the bad with the good during this period.

Thank you for reading. You can like and follow the Facebook page by clicking here and the Twitter page by clicking here. You can also buy t-shirts by clicking here.

My next review will be WCW’s Starrcade ‘93. Look for my review next Saturday!

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I am chronologically reviewing all the pre-network era WWF/WCW/ECW PPVs from Starrcade '83 to WrestleMania 30. Join me on this journey every Saturday!
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