Old School Review: Survivor Series ’87

This week I decided to do something a bit different. I posted a screen capture on my Twitter account and asked for some funny captions. I was going to choose my favorite, but I only got one response. I will simply post the response that I got, as it was pretty good. I was going to make it a regular thing, but I think I will wait until I get a larger readership first. Here are the picture and the caption.

@Kai_Trying: “When there is only one cookie left and the person in front of you is eyeing it.”

I would like to say thank you to Kaileen on Twitter for her response. It got a good chuckle out of me.

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

Survivor Series

November 26, 1987 (Thanksgiving)

Richfield Coliseum

Richfield, Ohio

Last week, I talked about how JCP got into the PPV market and angered Vince McMahon. Vince chose to promote his own PPV, Survivor Series, on the same night as Starrcade. If you were a wrestling fan on Thanksgiving in 1987 then you were either watching one show or the other. This was before the days of PPV replays, so you had to choose between the two. In my last review, we looked at the Starrcade event. It was decent if a bit flat. This week, I’m going to review what the rest of the wrestling fandom was watching that night. McMahon countered the NWA’s biggest show of the year with a new concept. The Survivor Series would consist of 5 on 5 elimination matches consisting of either 5 individuals on either side or 5 tag teams on either side. Survivor Series would become a November tradition that has endured to this day. The event would also eventually house one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history, but we’ve got 10 years of events to go until I cover that. So, let’s begin.

The show begins with a wide shot of the crowd and The Fink introduces our commentators for the night, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura. Jesse is wearing a snakeskin jacket and a pilgrim’s hat, which is a ridiculous outfit. However, it is far from the most ridiculous thing Ventura has worn. Jesse gets booed by the crowd as he’s introduced, but he almost seems to revel in it. He says that he’s going to have a good day on turkey day, even in Cleveland. They’re in a suburb, but it is still the Cleveland area. Gorilla says that he knows we’re all full of it…turkey and apple pie, that is. They then show some clips of the various superstars competing tonight, which is set to some funky 80s music. The two of them run down the card for the night and Jesse talks about how Andre the Giant was cheated at Mania because he clearly got a 3 count on Hogan. Gorilla then tells us the rules of elimination for the matches tonight. Competitors can be eliminated by pin, submission, count out, DQ, or referee stoppage. I thought that the latter was going to be some foreshadowing, but I was surprisingly wrong.

A new interviewer, named Craig DeGeorge, is backstage with The Honky Tonk Man’s Survivor Series team. Honky cuts a promo, while the rest of his team mumble to themselves. He calls them the greatest team ever assembled. He tells us that they’re going to play a tune that has never been heard, as we are shown a clip of Honky hitting Randy Savage with a guitar. He then lists off the members of his team, before threatening to give Miss Elizabeth the Shake, Rattle, & Roll if she gets involved in their match. Wow, that’s lovely. Honky is threatening a woman.

Bobby Heenan leads Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass, and Danny Davis to the ring. They come out to Race’s theme, which would eventually become Jerry Lawler’s theme in the 90s. Fink announces the members, but they show Danny Davis while he introduces Bass, which prompts Gorilla to say, “That’s not Ron Bass!”. Next, The Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart join them, but they come out to Honky’s theme song.

Mean Gene is backstage with Savage’s team, except Randy hasn’t arrived yet. Ricky Steamboat is doing some karate poses and says that they are all there because they are survivors. Jim Duggan says that the king will fall and there will be a survivor, as we are shown a clip of Harley Race hitting Duggan with his own 2×4. Savage finally arrives with Elizabeth and talks about how the Honky Tonk Man pushed her down. Randy says that Honky hurt and embarrassed her. He then says that his team is psyched to the max and it’s gonna be a bad time in the danger zone for the other team! Beefcake and Jake Roberts don’t get any mic time. I’m disappointed about Roberts, but not so much about Beefcake. Brutus spent the entire promo making weird faces in the background.

Steamboat, Beefcake, Roberts, & Duggan come to the ring to Steamboat’s dubbed over theme. I have to ask, why are dubbed themes on the network always so loud? Savage and Elizabeth are out next to Macho’s theme and they get an amazing reaction from the crowd.

Elimination Match: Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, & Ricky Steamboat (w/ Miss Elizabeth) vs. The Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass, & Danny Davis (w/ Bobby Heenan & Jimmy Hart)

A lot has changed since WrestleMania III. The most notable change is that Randy Savage is now a babyface. Much like with Jake Roberts, Savage had been getting increasingly good reactions from the crowd. The decision was made to turn him and, just like with Roberts, The Honky Tonk Man was his catalyst. This leads us to the other big change. The Honky Tonk Man is now the Intercontinental Champion. After Mania III, Steamboat requested some time off to be with his wife for the birth of their child. Since he would be gone a while, the IC Title had to be taken off of him. The original choice was Butch Reed, but he missed the event. Legend has it that someone saw Honky backstage and said, “What about him?” Honky won the title through cheating and began his historic year and a half run with the title. He started calling himself “The greatest Intercontinental Champion that ever lived”, which didn’t sit well with Savage. The two would have a match for the title at Saturday Night’s Main Event, which Savage won by DQ. Afterward, Honky would attempt to hit Savage with his guitar, but Elizabeth jumped in front of Randy. Honky warned her to move, but she wouldn’t, so Honky pushed her to the ground and hit Savage with the guitar. Elizabeth ran to the back to get help and came back with Hulk Hogan. Hogan ran off the heels and Savage extended his hand for a shake. Hogan shook it and Savage’s face turn was complete. This also marked the beginning of…THE MEGA POWERS!!! Jake Roberts and Steamboat still have their issues with Honky, hence why they’re in this match. Duggan and Race have their own feud, so they were tacked on, as well.

Hercules and Beefcake start the match and “Beefer”, as Gorilla calls him, mimes for Herc to kiss his butt. Brutus goes for a sleeper early, but Herc fights out and tags in Danny Davis. Danny doesn’t want to come into the ring, but he gets pulled in anyway. Jake, Randy, and Steamboat all take turns working over Davis, who finally manages to tag in Race. Harley keeps trying to throw out Steamboat, but he skins the cat back inside each time. Ricky tags in Duggan and he and Race end up brawling to the outside, where they are both counted out. (Elimination: Race and Duggan by count out) Their teammates try to break them up, as potty mouth Duggan yells at Harley. Savage ends up coming in and tries to take a shot at Honky, but this leaves him open for attack. Bass softens him up and tags in Honky, but the second Randy fights back, Honky tags out again to Bass. Beefcake ends up getting a blind tag and the future “Bootyman” eliminates Bass with a high knee…get it? A HIGH KNEE! Don’t blame me, that’s the actual joke when he becomes The Bootyman. (Elimination: Ron Bass) Beefcake ends up in trouble, while Honky continually mocks Savage. Brutus starts to fight back, but he foolishly doesn’t tag and ends up being eliminated by the Shake, Rattle, & Roll. (Elimination: Brutus Beefcake) Savage comes into the ring, so Honky tags out and bails to the outside. He only comes back once Savage is subdued. Jake gets into the match and tries a DDT, but Honky escapes. Jesse jokes that his brill cream made him slippery. Jake gets in trouble, but Davis starts getting cocky and gets eliminated by a DDT. (Elimination: Danny Davis) Honky and Herc continue working over Jake and taunting Savage. Randy tries to enter the match, but the creepy Igor-looking ref stops him. Jake’s teammates rally him and he tags in Steamboat. He enters the match on fire and mocks Honky. He then sets up Hercules and tags in Savage who eliminates him with a flying elbow drop. (Elimination: Hercules) Honky is now left alone against the other team. The fans chant “DDT” as Jake, Savage, and Steamboat take turns beating Honky. Jesse accuses them of torturing the guy. Savage ends up hitting an atomic drop, which sends Honky stumbling over the ropes, but Honky has had enough and leaves. He grabs his belt and heads to the back with Jimmy Hart, so the ref counts him out. (Final Elimination: Honky Tonk Man by count out)

This was a really fun match. I like the story that they told throughout. Honky looked like a great cowardly heel and managed to avoid having to job cleanly. It did a good job of furthering all the feuds involved, which is exactly what this night is all about. The crowd was absolutely hot for the match and they’re pretty loud all night. On a side note, I couldn’t help but notice how odd the ring sounded in this match, and throughout the event. It doesn’t sound like they properly set up the microphones. It sounds like everyone is wrestling on top of a muted drum.

Survivors: Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, & Ricky Steamboat

Craig DeGeorge is with Andre the Giant’s Survivor Series team. He introduces all of the members and then says that they must be hopeful of tasting victory. Heenan says that Andre tasted victory at Mania and he knows everyone saw it. Andre says that he’s pinned Hogan before and he’ll do it again. Slick then talks and says that these gentlemen won’t behave like gentlemen. He says that they will be cruel sadistic animals. Heenan then says that as Hogan’s team is eliminated one by one, Andre is going to be standing there waiting and it will be all over. Craig tries to ask another question, but Andre tells him to shut up and then says that he’s there for Hogan’s soul and he’s going to be the survivor.

Women’s Elimination Match: Velvet McIntyre, The Jumping Bomb Angels, The Fabulous Moolah, & Rockin’ Robin vs. Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls, Dawn Marie, & Donna Christanello (w/ Jimmy Hart)

This is pretty much the height of the WWF caring about their women’s division in the 80s. They actually had Women’s Tag Team Titles, which were being held by The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai & Judy Martin). They even brought in the Japanese team of The Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki and Noriyo) to bolster their women’s tag division. The tag titles sadly wouldn’t last long, but I occasionally hear rumblings that they are thinking of bringing them back. Also, Sensational Sherri was the women’s champ at this time. It’s so odd seeing her as a competitor, as I’m more familiar with her manager work. Another notable member of this match is Rockin’ Robin, who is the half-sister of Jake the Snake Roberts. This is her first appearance on this blog. I also have a couple of amusing observations before I get into the match. Fink introduced the participants and Moolah was annoyed that he said she weighed 160 pounds. On commentary, Jesse took the opportunity to mention his new movie The Running Man and implied that he was the star of the film.

Sherri and Velvet start off the match and have a little back and forth, until Moolah enters the match. She pulls Donna into the ring by the hair and works her over for a bit, until we get our first look at the Bomb Angels. Noriyo comes in with a slingshot kick, but misses a dropkick and tags back out again. Velvet is back in and gets the first elimination by pinning Donna with a victory roll. (Elimination: Donna Christanello) Robin comes in and has some trouble with the Glamour Girls, while Sherri screams like a banshee on the apron. Sherri gets into the match for a moment and manages to hit a form of a leg lariat, before tagging out again. She seems to be playing it safe around Robin, who eliminates Dawn Marie (no, not the ECW one) after a clothesline right to the throat and a cross body. (Elimination: Dawn Marie) Itsuki then enters the match and things pick up, big time. She bridges out of a pin attempt by Leilani and hits a running body scissors into a victory roll that makes Jesse fall in love, apparently. She also hits some running high knees, while screaming. She then tags in Noriyo, who hits a beautiful flying armdrag off the top and a double underhook suplex for a 2 count on Sherri. Robin comes back in and tries to get her hands on Sherri, who once again evades capture. Sherri comes back in, once Robin is down, and eliminates her with a suplex. (Elimination: Rockin’ Robin) Noriyo tries to get a measure of revenge for her teammate, but gets thrown around by the hair by Judy Martin. The Glamour Girls want Moolah in the match, so they make sure she gets tagged. They then bring her to their corner and hit her with a double team clothesline to eliminate her. (Elimination: The Fabulous Moolah) The Glamour Girls then attempt to work on Noriyo’s leg, but Velvet comes in to take over the match. She gets a Boston Crab on Judy and turns it into a bow and arrow stretch, but Judy gets to the ropes. Sherri then comes in and nearly breaks Velvet’s neck with a botched gut wrench suplex. The ref allows Velvet to exit the match without tagging and thankfully she’s okay. Judy tries to pin Noriyo, who bridges out, but the timekeeper mistakenly rings the bell. Velvet recovers enough to come back in and does a giant swing on Sherri that would make Cesaro proud. She then rolls Sherri up in another victory roll to eliminate her. (Elimination: Sensational Sherri) The Bomb Angels then take over and control the Glamour Girls with some great moves, until Velvet tags in again. She goes for another victory roll on Leilani, but it gets turned into an electric chair drop and Velvet is eliminated. (Elimination: Velvet McIntyre) However, Leilani ends up missing a splash and gets eliminated by Noriyo with a flying cross body. (Elimination: Leilani Kai) This leaves Judy by herself against the Bomb Angels. She gets in trouble, so Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron. He gets dropkicked and takes a nasty bump onto his head. Itsuki then hits a flying clothesline off the top to pick up the win. (Final Elimination: Judy Martin)

This was a surprisingly good match. I mean no offense by that, but so far 80s women’s wrestling in the WWF hasn’t been thrilling. The Bomb Angels were the stars of this match. They looked crisp in the ring and stole the show. It’s a shame that Moolah would end up putting the kibosh on their run in the WWF.

Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels

Craig is with The Hart Foundation’s Survivor Series team, who are all very fired up. Heenan is with them and Craig says that they have their work cut out for them. Heenan takes offense to this and says that it’s going to be a piece of cake because no one has been more ready than this team. He says that the other team is in for the beating of their life. Craig then asks Neidhart if what happened to Jimmy Hart in the last match was a bad omen. Anvil says, “Bad omen? Bad luck? We don’t need luck at all!” Craig then says it will be a strong match-up, which Heenan agrees with. Jimmy Hart enters the room, looking disheveled. He says that someone is going to get hurt because no one does that to him. Craig asks where are the Bolsheviks and Heenan tells him that they’re in the ring with Slick and are going to sing the Soviet national anthem.

In the ring, Slick asks the fans to stand as Volkoff sings the Soviet national anthem. Jesse stands and tries to get Gorilla to do so, but he refuses. Nikolai rushes through the anthem, presumably to avoid being interrupted. When he is done, the rest of his team arrive to Demolition’s awesome theme. I’m so glad it was restored on the WWE Network.

Mean Gene is with the tag team champions Strike Force and their Survivor Series team. He introduces the members, but the chatter nearly drowns him out. Tito says he doesn’t care which one of them are in there last because they are going to win. Martel then cuts a promo, in his heavy French Canadian accent. He says that their motto is unity for victory. He also says that they will stick together for survival. It was an okay promo, but he definitely improves once he starts his model gimmick. The team finishes by firing themselves up.

Most of the babyface team come out to the Bulldogs’ theme, with Matilda in tow. Strike Force then join them to their own theme, which is barely audible on the network.

Tag Team Elimination Match: Strike Force, The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees, The Fabulous Rougeaus, & The Young Stallions vs. The Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Dream Team, The Bolsheviks, & The Islanders (w/ Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart, Johnny Valiant, & Slick)

This was a long match, so I’ll do my best to condense it as much as I can. Thankfully, they instituted a rule that if one member of a team is eliminated then both men are gone. There are some new faces in this match, as well as a new incarnation of an old team. The Dream Team now consists of Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo, after Beefcake was kicked out of the team at Mania. As I mentioned in the Mania review, Rick Martel has now joined up with Tito Santana to form Strike Force and they are already tag champs. Demolition has arrived in the WWF. They consist of Ax and Smash (the former Krusher Khruschev) and they are based on the Mad Max movies, much like the Road Warriors in the NWA. Nikolai Volkoff has found a new partner in the Russian, Boris Zhukov. Haku has formed a tag team called The Islanders, with the Samoan, Tama, who is part of the famous Anoa’i family. Finally, we have The Young Stallions, not to be confused with Wyld Stallyns (EXCELLENT!). They consist of Jim Powers and everyone’s favorite Horseman, Paul Roma.

Martel and Volkoff start. The Bolsheviks try to work over Martel early, but he makes the tag to Tito. Tito quickly gets the first elimination by hitting Zhukov with a flying forearm. (Elimination: The Bolsheviks) We then get some back and forth between multiple teams, which includes a chop and headbutt-fest between Haku and Dynamite. That won’t end well. The Bees and Stallions try to use quick tags to take over, but the power of Demolition and the Islanders is too much. Jacques manages to tag in, only to miss a cross body and get pinned by Ax. (Elimination: The Rougeaus) The Bulldogs and Stallions do their best to take control, but once again Demolition and the Islanders are too much. The Bulldogs finally take control when Dynamite nails Smash right in the face with a clothesline. This angers Demolition, so they take Dynamite into their corner and try working him over for a bit. The ref tries to stop them and gets tossed across the ring, so he disqualifies Demolition. (Elimination: Demolition by DQ) There is a brief exchange between Bret and Dynamite, which sees Bret hit a great looking piledriver for a 2 count. Then, the Stallions and Islanders go at it for a bit. Jesse keeps calling Tama “Toma”, but Gorilla corrects him. Martel tags in and the crowd gets loud as he gets a Boston Crab. However, he’s too close to the other team and gets clubbed. Tito comes in and hits the flying forearm on Anvil, but Bret breaks it up with an elbow off the second turnbuckle. This knocks out Tito, allowing Anvil to eliminate him. (Elimination: Strike Force) The Stallions are in trouble again against the Dream Team and the Hart Foundation. This continues until Bret misses a dropkick and Roma tags out. The face team then uses frequent tags to keep a fresh person in the match, but Haku is able to overpower Powers. Davey comes in and manages to hit the running powerslam, but Haku kicks out, surprisingly. Dynamite comes in and tries a falling headbutt, but Haku’s hard head hurts him. Haku then hits a savate kick and eliminates the Bulldogs. (Elimination: The British Bulldogs) Powers is once again in trouble and ends up in a tree of woe position in the heel corner. The Bees try to break it up, but the ref sends them away. Dino Bravo hits his side slam on Powers, but doesn’t cover him. He opts to tag Valentine instead. Greg goes for a Figure Four, but it’s blocked and Powers tags Roma, who hits a flying sunset flip and eliminates Valentine. (Elimination: The Dream Team) Brunzell comes in and hits a high knee for a 2 count. I’m disappointed that he didn’t call it “The Bees Knees”. The Bees and Stallions find themselves in trouble, until Roma is able to commando roll into his corner and tag Brunzell. He picks up Bret for a powerslam, but Tama dropkicks Bret, causing him to fall over onto Brunzell. However, Jim reverses it into a pin of his own and eliminates the Hart Foundation. (Elimination: The Hart Foundation) The Islanders take control of the match with a dreaded double nerve hold! It’s a wonder that wasn’t an instant submission! Brunzell eventually fights back and barely gets a back body drop. He then gives The Islanders a double noggin’ knocker that surprisingly works. Chaos ends up breaking out between the remaining competitors, so the Bees don their masks for some twin magic. They hit a sunset flip and win the match, as Jesse is irate on commentary. (Final Elimination: The Islanders)

This was an excellent match. With so many people in the ring, it would be easy for it to become a mess, but they did a great job. They even managed to weave good stories into such a bloated match. It never became dull. I was surprised by Strike Force’s early elimination, which I’m guessing was used to set up a feud for them. This match was nearly 40 minutes long, but it never felt like it. However, I am a bit confused that the Bees are cheating to win again. Aren’t they supposed to be babyfaces?

Survivors: The Killer Bees & The Young Stallions

Next, we get a collection of vignettes for one of the best gimmicks in wrestling history, The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase. It begins with DiBiase in the back of his limo. He’s counting his money and talking about how he’s relaxing while all the other wrestlers are beating themselves up on Thanksgiving. He says that money is what it really takes to survive. He then tells us that he’s thankful for what money can make people do for him. They show a clip of him telling a kid he will give him $300 to do 10 push-ups. The kid can only do 9, so DiBiase mocks him for it and refuses to pay him. Then, we see one of the more famous segments, where he tells a kid he will give him $500 to dribble a basketball 15 times. The kid makes it to 14 and Ted kicks the ball away. He tells him that he won’t get the money because he didn’t get the job done and then laughs at him. DiBiase is now in his study, with Virgil, and introduces a clip a woman being made to bark like a dog for money, but he doesn’t pay her because her performance was so poor. DiBiase is then shown being served a fancy dinner, while he introduces a clip of a man kissing his foot for money. He also shows a clip of himself and Virgil paying a pool manager to shut down a public pool and make it private. Virgil tells the “brats” to get out of the water. The segment finishes with footage of DiBiase driving down the road in a fancy car. He’s wearing a fur coat and talking about how he can buy anyone and anything he wants because everybody has a price for the Million Dollar Man!

Gorilla calls it disgusting, but Jesse loves it. The two of them then recap the night so far and Jesse talks about how the Honky Tonk Man was wise to leave his match since he has a title to defend. Jesse then gushes over the women’s match some more. He talks about how the Glamour Girls are in trouble now that the Jumping Bomb Angels have arrived. Jesse amusingly tries to put his pilgrim hat on over his headset, but it doesn’t work. They talk about the tag team match and Jesse calls it a travesty that the Bees cheated. Next, they talk about the upcoming main event and how Andre and Hogan will be face to face again. Jesse says that he hopes the ring can hold all of the weight.

Craig is at the interview podium and welcomes Jimmy Hart and The Honky Tonk Man. Craig says that it’s a night that Honky won’t want to remember. Honky asks what he means because he wasn’t defeated. He says that he will accept any challenge, including Hogan. He then addresses Savage and calls him nothing. He says that he never wants to see him again because Savage can’t beat him. He calls himself the total entertainment package because he sings, dances, and plays guitar. Jimmy Hart then calls him the greatest of all time, before they leave.

Rick Rude and King Kong Bundy make their way to the ring for the next match. They come out to a dubbed over version of Rude’s theme. How did WWE manage to lose the rights to Rude’s theme?? I wonder if they know it’s still intact on a 1997 episode of RAW. Butch Reed and One Man Gang come out next, with Slick, to “Jive Soul Bro”. Heenan then introduces Andre the Giant. He calls him the 8th wonder of the world and the next WWF champion.

Mean Gene is with Hogan’s Survivor Series team. Everyone is fired up, as Hogan paces back and forth and playfully shoves Bam Bam. Hogan is wearing a ridiculous looking bandanna, with little tassels that hang over his eyes. Hogan says that his team is hungry and there are no rules with dealing with mother nature. He says that there is no insurance policy. You live, you die, you survive. He tells us that he’s done everything he can to cover his back and the natural food chain doesn’t matter when people are this hungry. He says that he has the fire in Bam Bam, the strongest man in Patera, and the most unpredictable man in Orndorff. Everyone gets excited and Bam Bam tells us that it’s time to burn the building down. I’m sure that made security happy.

Everyone but Hogan come out, to what I guess is Bam Bam’s theme. It’s too quiet to tell. Hogan then joins them, to his “Real American” theme. He’s carrying an American flag and gets a loud reaction. Jesse jokes that he can’t believe people are cheering for a jailbird. He’s referring to Patera, who had done some time in jail for throwing a boulder through a McDonald’s window and battering a cop. This wouldn’t be well known to fans, so it was more of an inside joke on Jesse’s part.

Elimination Match: Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, & Butch Reed (w/ Bobby Heenan & Slick) vs. Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, & Ken Patera (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink)

Well, this is certainly a motley crew of partners. I’m glad to see Bam Bam Bigelow, who was brought in from Memphis. I’m not so sure that Oliver Humperdink suits him as a manager. He’s no Luna Vachon. Sadly, his run in the WWF wouldn’t last too long, but he would be back in the 90s and we will see him again at WrestleMania IV. The thing that I’m most confused about is that Orndorff is once again face and for some reason, Hogan is trusting him again. Before the match starts, Gorilla points out the ref, who is Gorilla’s son, Joey Marella. Jesse calls him “that nasty little ref”, which I’m sure earned him a dirty look.

Muraco and Rude start the match. Muraco looks huge. He’s inflated like a balloon, at this point in his career. The two men get into a punch out and Rude thumbs him in the eye, but it’s not enough. Orndorff and Hogan take turns beating down Rick. Then, Bam Bam tags in and hits a fast running splash and a press slam. Hogan’s team use frequent tags to keep control over both Rude and Butch. Hogan and Orndorff then hit a double clothesline to Reed and Hogan hits the leg drop to eliminate him. I guess that’s what Butch Reed gets for daring to wear Hogan’s colors in the match. (Elimination: Butch Reed) Hogan then turns and gives Patera a high five, just as Andre enters the match. The ref thinks this is a tag and orders Hogan to leave the ring, but Hogan is upset. He didn’t realize Andre had entered the match, so it comes off looking like Hogan was ducking Andre. Andre is mad that Hogan tagged out, so he tags in Bundy. Bundy and One Man Gang take control of the match and Orndorff tries to fight back, but Gang is too much for him. Patera ends up coming in, but he gets in trouble in the heel corner. They hold him, while Gang beats him. Patera attempts a clothesline, but Gang overpowers him with one of his own and pins him. (Elimination: Ken Patera) Hogan and Bam Bam then manage to take control of the match and hit a double big boot to Gang. Then, Orndorff takes over and signals for a piledriver on Rude, but Bundy nails him and Rude rolls him up for a pin. (Elimination: Paul Orndorff) Rick Rude takes a moment to pose and gets attacked. Bam Bam and Hogan beat him up and Muraco hits a powerslam to eliminate him. (Elimination: Rick Rude) One Man Gang comes in and takes over control. Muraco attempts to slam him, but fails. Gang then slams Muraco’s head into Andre’s and splashes him, before pinning him. (Elimination: Don Muraco) Bundy and Bam Bam come in and Bam Bam nearly does a Rikishi 360 bump off of a clothesline. Gang and Bundy maintain control over him and Jesse jokes that we won’t see any hair pulling. Andre tags in again, but Bam Bam rolls past him to tag Hogan. The crowd erupt as Hogan and Andre go toe-to-toe. They punch and chop each other and Hogan starts slamming Andre’s head into the turnbuckles. Bundy ends up pulling Hogan to the outside, where Hogan brawls with both him and Gang, until the ref counts Hogan out. (Elimination: Hulk Hogan by count out) Hogan tries to get back into the ring, but the ref tells him that Andre’s team will be given the win if he doesn’t leave. Bam Bam is left alone against the remaining members of Andre’s team. Bundy misses an Avalanche splash and Bam Bam hits him with a slingshot splash for an elimination. (Elimination: King Kong Bundy) Gang comes in and rams Bam Bam into Andre’s boot, but he misses a top rope splash and Bam Bam pins him. (Elimination: One Man Gang) It’s now down to just Bam Bam and Andre. Bam Bam starts rolling around the ring to avoid Andre’s moves, but he misses a charge into the corner. Andre shoulders him in the back and then hits a double underhook suplex for a pin. (Final Elimination: Bam Bam Bigelow) Andre celebrates, but Hogan immediately runs into the ring and nails him with the WWF title belt. Andre bails out of the ring and Hogan begins to pose. His music plays, despite Andre being the winner. Jesse calls it a disgrace and I’m inclined to agree. Hogan is acting like a complete heel again and Gorilla defends the behavior on commentary. Hogan dares Andre to enter the ring, but Heenan holds him back. Jesse once again threatens to come out of retirement and take Hogan’s title. (Spoiler: that doesn’t happen.)

This was a really fun match. It was nice to see them give Bam Bam the spotlight. It seems like they were planning big things for him, at that time. I wonder what changed their minds. Like most of the matches tonight, this one did a great job of furthering the feuds.

Survivors: Andre the Giant

Mean Gene is backstage with Andre and Heenan. Heenan is angry and says that Hogan can have Andre, as long as he signs a contract. He talks about how Andre survived and Hogan just couldn’t take it. He then says that if Hogan wants Andre, he’s got him! Andre then says that he told everyone that he would be the survivor and he is because he’s smart.

Meanwhile, Hogan is still posing in the ring, as his music plays. Jesse complains some more about it, while Gorilla tries to defend it. Gorilla then calls the event a happening, before saying goodnight. The show closes with some still photos of the event.

Final thoughts:

This was a very solid show. It was a fun new concept and all of the matches delivered. Starrcade might have felt like a slightly more important show since there was something on the line in their matches, but this was definitely the better quality show. This would be the only time that the two promotions ran a PPV on the same night, but it wouldn’t be the only time that they ran shows on the same night. Early in 1988, JCP would do another PPV, which Vince would counteract with a live TV special. That special would be the first Royal Rumble. JCP would turn around and do the same thing. They aired their first Clash of the Champions the same night as WrestleMania IV. I will cover these incidents in more detail in upcoming reviews.

Thank you for reading. Be sure to follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78 and give me your feedback. My next review will be JCP’s Bunkhouse Stampede ‘88, followed by Royal Rumble ‘88.

 

Written by Paul Matthews

I chronologically review NWA/WCW and WWF/WWE PPVs on the WWE Network. You might know me better as the resident La Parka fan on the CXF forums. Follow me on twitter @PaulDMatthews78

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