The Audit: Survivor Series 1987
The things a savvy businessman will do.. It’s the fall of 1987 and the owner of the WWF, Vince McMahon, has decided to create his own Thanksgiving night tradition in order to compete with Jim Crockett Promotions “Starrcade” event. JCP was getting ready to produce their very first PPV titled Starrcade ’87 “Chi-Town Heat”, and Vince was having none of it. McMahon produced the Survivor Series PPV in order to compete, and ultimately screw with JCP.. McMahon threatened PPV providers by informing them that if they chose to air Starrcade over his Survivor Series that he would pull all future PPV’s from their pay-per-view service, which would include the annual WrestleMania event. The result, most pay-per-view providers went with the already established WWF over the PPV upstart NWA (JCP). Enough with the history lesson, let’s get down to why you came here, it’s time for the very first AUDIT of the 1987 WWF Survivor Series..
I’m Ian R. Singletary, your very own I.R.S., and I’ll be auditing some of your favorite, and maybe not so favorite wrestling events throughout the annals of time. I’ll dig deep inside each event and cover it from top to bottom, before giving it my final stamp of approval, or cite it’s failure to deliver.
In case you’re wondering, I only try to review the original live versions of the PPV’s in order to give the most complete recap of the event in it’s original form. Coliseum Video versions are chopped all to hell, and I’m not a fan of the Anthology versions because of all the theme music edits.
– We start things off with the 30 minute Survivor Series Countdown/Preshow. Remember when these things were actually GOOD and had you hyped up for the event? It’s hosted by Bobby & Gorilla on the Prime Time set so it’s one of the better preview shows in my opinion. These guys were the best!
– After the opening video hyping the main event (and still promoting Billy Graham as a part of Hogan’s team) they spend about 9 minutes on the Hulk Hogan vs. Andre feud, highlighting their last showdown at WrestleMania III.
– They move on to spend the next 8 minutes or so discussing the Savage vs. Honky Tonk feud, highlighting the Saturday Night’s Main Event altercation where Honky shoves Elizabeth to the mat and smashes the guitar over Macho’s skull. GREAT STUFF for the times. Hell, that’s better heat and story than anything they’re putting out now. How the hell they got Savage to agree to let Liz be shoved down by anybody other than himself is beyond me. I would have assumed Randy would have wanted to rip Honky’s ass open and let brother Lanny make a deposit.
– Next, they spend almost TWO WHOLE MINUTES plugging the ladies match. A clip is shown of Sherri Martel defeating The Fabulous Moolah for the Women’s Title in Houston back in July. Sherri is clearly the babyface in the title match. Moolah attacks the referee after the bout and tries to attack Sherri before Martel blasts her in the back with the title belt to the roar of the fans. Sherri immediately went heel after her title win, proclaiming herself “The Sensational” Sherri on TV. They announce the captains of the ladies teams as Moolah & The Sensational Sherri and leave their partners to your imagination. In reality, I’m sure they had NO idea who the hell half the girls were going to be in this match until after production of this preshow. In the highlight of the countdown, Bobby Heenan let’s out a couple of good one liners, as only he can do. In the spirit of good old sexism, Heenan exclaims “There’s going to be 10 ladies in the match? That means there’s going to be 10 households without tradition!”. Heenan was gold.
– Gorilla explains the rules of the 20-Man Tag Team Series match involving all 10 tag teams of the WWF. You know the drill, if one member of a team is eliminated, they’re both sent back to the dressing room. This preshow was obviously produced a while back, as the Hart Foundation are referred to as the champions even though they had lost the belts to Strike Force on TV back on November 7th, which was 3 weeks prior to this airing. To hype the match, they show a clip of the Harts defeating the Bulldogs for the belts, which happened way back at the beginning of February. They give this big match a whopping 3 minutes of build, spending more time discussing the size of Boris Zhukov’s head than any of the rivalries or back stories involved.
– We go back to the Hogan & Andre match. Another 6 minutes of the preshow is dedicated to Hogan & Andre interviews from television. Hogan REPEATEDLY calls the show “Survival Series” on at least 4 occasions during his promo. You’d think the champion of the company could at least get the name of the show right. Hulk ignores the fact that he even has a team, dubs himself a survivor, and whatcha gonna do? Then, for absolutely no reason whatsoever, Viewers Choice sneaks in a promo for the Grateful Dead “New Years Concert” (WTF?) over top of Bobby Heenan talking. With the odd start time of 7:30pm Eastern, Gorilla encourages us one final time to ORDER THE EVENT, DAMMIT!
You got it Gorilla!
And with that, it’s time for the Survival Series, BROTHER!
The event emanated live from just outside of Cleveland in the suburb of Richfield, OH in the old Richfield Coliseum, at the time the home of the Cleveland Cavaliers. It’s Thursday, November 26th, 1987, it’s Thanksgiving, and it’s THE SURVIVOR SERIES!
A lot of people refer to this as the “1st Annual” event, but by definition that makes no sense. In order to be an annual the event must happen at least twice. Instead, we’ll call this the INAUGURAL WWF Survivor Series.
The show opens with a shot of the sold out arena and a very LOUD crowd. Howard Finkel introduces Jesse Ventura & Gorilla Monsoon as the announcers for tonight’s event.
If my memory serves me correctly, this is the only PPV where both commentators got an introduction, complete with an entrance to their podium. The duo briefly squabble to let it be known just who the face and heel of the announce team is, as if there was ever a question. I enjoyed the tandem of Gorilla & Bobby on Prime Time, Wrestling Challenge, and on the early 90’s PPV’s that they did together, but I also thought Monsoon & Ventura complimented each other very well. Based on comments made by Jim Ross some years later, it didn’t sound like Gorilla & The Body got along very well, or at least they had very little to do with each other outside of PPV broadcasts. For as many “Wrestling Observer: Worst Announcer of the Year” awards that Monsoon “won” back in the 1980’s, I personally always enjoyed his stuff.
A very brief, and I DO MEAN BRIEF, opening video plays before the announcers run down the card and explain the rules of the Elimination Matches.
And we’re off to our very first Survivor Series promo with “Team Honky”.
Did you ever notice that every promo in this particular Survivor Series features everyone on each team yelling, jumping around, flailing their body parts uncontrollably, slapping each other on the backs, shoulders, or chests, etc. If I didn’t know any better I’d say someone laced the turkey and the pumpkin pie with mounds of cocaine. Twuz the times, after all. The producer (Vince?) must have instructed everyone to act overhyped to pump up the fans. In an odd way, it worked. Honky is the only one who talks directly into the microphone as he tries to shout over his team. HTM promises to Shake, Rattle, & Roll Elizabeth if she gets in his way. You see, in the 1980’s you could beat up on a woman and it could still be considered “kid friendly” programming. An odd note is the positioning of the team for the interview. Even though Jimmy Hart is Honky’s manager he’s hidden behind everyone, while Bobby Heenan is put in the front on the opposite side of the men he manages. Eh, no matter, there’s enough Jimmy Hart on this show as is. Honky calls his team, “The Greatest Team Ever Assembled”, pretty low standards there Honk.
The heels make their way to ringside to the King’s theme before their captain, Honky Tonk Man, gets his own entrance. If you look closely, you’ll see Harley Race attempting to dance when Honky enters the ring.
Up next, it’s time to hear from Team Macho. We’ve got Ricky Steamboat making stereotypical 1970’s karate noises and fighting stances, Jim Duggan pretending to use his 2X4 as a shotgun, and I have NO IDEA what the fuck Brutus Beefcake is doing by the time Savage enters the screen, with scissors in his hand no less.
How ironic is it that Jake Roberts is acting the LEAST coked up of the bunch!
Steamboat leads the team into battle, with Savage & Miss Liz following the troops out.
(Notes going in: I was hyped for the event. I’d seen elimination matches in the past but none of this magnitude and size. The sheer volume of the names involved in these matches was enough to make anyone salivate. I did have some concerns going into the opening match based on prior storylines. Honky had just come off a feud with Jake, stole the title from Steamboat, and pissed off Mach, so he had his share of rivals in this match. I was more concerned with why on Earth Ricky Steamboat would agree to team with Savage who had just crushed his larynx less than a year ago. I mean seriously, that was a big deal when it happened, then when they announced that the two were teaming it blew my mind. Then of course, there was Jake who DDT’d the Dragon on the floor of this very Coliseum at a SNME the year before. Then I remembered, it’s wrestling, and to stop questioning logic and just enjoy the show!)
Intercontinental Champion The Honky Tonk Man, “The King” Harley Race, Hercules, “Outlaw” Ron Bass & “Dangerous” Danny Davis
(accompanied by Jimmy Hart & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
Randy “Macho Man” Savage, Jake “The Snake” Robertson , Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake & “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan
(accompanied by Miss Elizabeth)
This was more or less you’re semi-main event, or “Intercontinental” match” Jim Duggan
(accompanied by Miss Elizabeth) the card. The baby faces had the much stronger team based on name value, but the match was still very competitive. Besides Honky’s issues with half of the opposing team, the other big feud going on inside this match was between Hacksaw & Harley Race.
The first match of the Series kicks off with Beefcake & Hercules going at it. Herc has dropped the Hernandez, but isn’t quite “Mighty” yet. The Barber tries a Sleeper early on and Hercules makes the tag to Danny Davis. The wrestling referee is brought in the hard way and the entire baby face team (besides Duggan) take turns beating on Davis. Danny is finally able to tag out to the King. We get a glimpse of what could have been a HELL of an NWA World Title match a few years earlier when Race & Steamboat go at it. The Dragon refuses to be dumped out of the ring, skinning the cat, TWICE, and tossing the King out of the ring. Harley reenters and lands his Belly to Belly Suplex finisher on Steamboat, but the Dragon kicks out and tags to Hacksaw! The crowd erupts as Hacksaw comes in and goes to town on Harley, crowning the King with several punches before clotheslining him out of the ring. Duggan follows Race outside and the two trade punches until they’re both counted out 4:33 into the match.
A quick note before I forget to mention it, the early Survivor Series PPV’s featured two referees, one in the ring and one outside. They utilized the outside ref quite a bit in this particular PPV, they were quite active in the matches. Duggan spent a whole 30 seconds in the match, probably just as well. The action continues momentarily. The next elimination isn’t too far behind. Randy Savage makes a blind tag to Beefcake behind the Outlaw’s back and then whips Bass into the ropes. Savage drops down, Bass jumps over him and runs right into a HIGH KNEE from the Barber, and Beefcake pins the Outlaw at 6:58.
The next few minutes features the heel team working over The Barber. Beefcake ducks a big right from Honky, and counters with an Atomic Drop. Brutus makes a comeback while the announcers talk about what a mistake it is that he’s not tagging out. That proves to be true when Beefcake tries to come off the ropes but Danny Davis nails him from the apron with a knee in the back DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE REFEREE WHO HAS TO PRETEND HE DIDN’T SEE IT! Brutus stumbles forward and right into the Shake, Rattle & Roll Neckbreaker – and Honky gets the pin to even things back up at 10:47.
Savage tries to go after Honky but is caught off guard by Hercules. Jake gets the tag but is worked over by Honky & Hercules. When Danny Davis is tagged in, Roberts starts to no sell his offense, fights back with token “Snake” offense and nails the DDT to put an end to Dangerous Danny’s night at 15:06.
Immediately after the elimination of Davis, Hercules catches Snake with a nice looking flying clothesline. Hercules & Honky spend the next 5 minutes working over Roberts. Jake’s been in here WAY too long, something like 8 minutes straight. Roberts breaks a chinlock from Hercules with a jawbreaker and finally makes the tag out to the Dragon. Token Steamboat offense follows and he slams Hercules in position and tags to the Macho Man. Savage goes straight to the top rope and delivers the FLYING ELBOW on Hercules to make things 3 on 1. Hercules is eliminated at 20:56.
And wouldn’t you know it, it comes down to Honky against the three men he’s had issues with this year. It’s almost like it was written that way. Jake, Savage & Steamboat all get a little payback on the “Greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time”. Savage delivers a top rope double axe handle followed by an atomic drop which sends Honky out of the ring. HTM hits the floor, starts walking to the back and doesn’t look back. He takes a deliberate count out to avoid doing the job at 23:38. The fans are happy, I guess that counts for something.
Your Survivors: The Macho Man, The Dragon, and the Snake!
Post Match Thoughts: I would have liked to seen Duggan & Race go at it a little more before they took the double count out, but I thought their elimination was smartly played. Was surprised to see Hogan’s buddy Bruti do the job. Beefcake was one of those guys who generally got away without ever having to do PPV jobs. Seriously, think about it for a minute, this may be the only time he was pinned in all of the WWF PPV’s he was ever on. I liked the idea of the heels cutting the ring in half and wearing down one opponent, but Jake Roberts was an odd choice. Steamboat makes a much better face in peril IMO. Jake was just in there for far too long of a stretch, given that this match started off with ten men NOBODY had any business in the ring for 8 minutes straight. It started to drag when Herc put Snake in the chinlock, but they went right to the hot tag afterwards to keep the crowd hot. Unlike the current norm where the IC Champion is automatically jobbed out to everyone, they actually protected the champion and the title back in the day. Honky didn’t even do a job here against THREE top baby faces in a tag team situation. I’m not defending the finish of the match, because personally I’m not a fan of screwy finishes on PPV and I think Honky taking the pin would have popped the house BIG TIME and wouldn’t have hurt HTM at all. But think of it this way, at least he left with major heat for the upcoming IC Title match between Honky & Macho on “The Main Event”. Other than Beefcake, everyone that was usually protected from taking televised pins was protected here. For this being the first match on the first Series, these guys did a perfectly acceptable job of giving us a solid match, not a great match, but a solid one with a lot of action. Would you expect anything less from a list of talent like this? A good solid average match gets ***, but this one will get **3/4 due to the count out finish.
To the back we go with Craig DeGeorge standing by with Team Andre the Giant. This team is the most subdued of any of the team interviews on the PPV. Other than Butch Reed shouting there really isn’t a lot to make fun of here. It’s a short promo with comments from the Brain, the Slickster & Andre. Bobby casually refers to Hogan as a “300 pound turkey” without making reference to the holiday, it’s the first time I caught the reference, that’s just how smooth he was on the mike. Andre proclaims that he’s here for one reason, TO TAKE HOGAN’S SOUL!!! WTF is that about? Is he the precursor to the Undertaker? At the beginning of the year his one reason to be here was to take the WWF Title, now he’s stealing souls? Is that where he’s been since WrestleMania III, playing the grim reaper? Eh, who am I to question Andre the fucking Giant. It was a short promo, but it was good.
If you’re wondering why one of the main event teams cut a promo this early on in the show, it was to kill time while the ladies entered the ring for the next match. Yes, they all receive jobber intros!
(Notes going in: Certainly unique for the period, but the WWF needed to fill the time. Going into this, I thought we’d be seeing a lot of rest holds and the usual token American Lady Wrestler spots that tend to bore me to tears. Little did I know at the time that the Bomb Angels had already been working with the Glamour Girls for months prior in Japan as well as the States. Dawn Marie JOHNSTON, not to be confused with ECW/WWE’s Dawn Marie (and believe me, there’s no confusion to be had), also wrestled extensively in Japan for the last couple of years as well. Factor in Velvet McIntyre, one of the best lady wrestlers of the 70’s/80’s, and Sherri who was pretty decent herself, and this match actually has potential!)
WWF Woman’s Champion The Sensational Sherri, Donna Christianello,
The Glamour Girls (LeiLani Kai & Judy Martin), & Dawn Marie
(accompanied by Jimmy Hart)
The Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin,
The Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki)
Some quick back story, not that there is much. The Glamour Girls & Bomb Angels were already working the house shows and being groomed for a Women’s Tag Title feud over the next several months. Sherri had defeated Moolah for the Women’s Title back in the summer, and Moolah finally returned several months later to exact revenge by way of a tag team survival match… Makes sense doesn’t it? When announced, Moolah receives a mixed, if not negative reaction from the crowd. Well, that’s because she was never turned face. I guess the WWF figured sticking her on the face team against the evil Sherri would be enough. The only other bit of trivia I have for this match is that it was rumored that Debbie Combs was planned to be the fifth member of the face team before being replaced by Rockin’ Robin within the last few weeks leading up. The WWF Program Mags at the time were hyping Combs, and she was working with Sherri on the house shows as late as the beginning of November. Combs then disappears and Robin enters, green as grass. Robin is the sister of Jake Roberts (and Sam Houston), so perhaps he pulled some strings to get her in the door.
Jimmy Hart has a jacket for everything, even the Glamour Girls. Sherri decides to start the match by attacking Velvet. McIntyre fights the champ off and tags in Moolah. The crowd is booing the captain of the face team while the announcers proclaim Moolah the nastiest lady wrestler in history. She’s really getting over as a face, but not really. Moolah unleashes a short attack on Sherri before Donna Christianello is tagged in. Donna has to be pushing 45 at this point but I’ll give her credit, she’s not shy of taking bumps. We get a short taste of what the Bomb Angels are about before, Velvet is back in and she wraps Christianello up in a Victory Roll for the first elimination at 1:57.
Kai attacks Velvet right after the elimination but McIntyre introduces the WWF world to a flying huracan rana out of the corner. A tag to Rockin’ Robin and she gets her first piece of action. Robin gets tossed around, mistiming spots, hitting the ropes awkwardly, and taking a face bump on her back. She’s in there with pros though and they cover it all pretty well. Dawn Marie isn’t given much time to shine, Robin hits her with a clothesline near the throat and finishes Dawn Marie off with a body block at 4:12.
The Glamour Girls try to put a beating on Robin, but Yamazaki tags in. Itsuki wakes the crowd up when she bridges to her feet out of a pin fall cover, then leapfrogs over Martin and turns it into a sunset flip, then turns a body scissors into a victory roll. Yamazaki follows all of that up with a pair of high knees to Kai and the crowd comes alive. Even Gorilla & Jesse sound genuinely entertained. The entire feel of the match changes, the pace picks up, these girls are getting physical, and not just pull your hair physical either. Nobody in the United States had seen anything like this at the time from women, and they were eating it up. Tateno tags in and comes off the top rope with a flying arm drag on Kai. It’s like we’re watching a completely different match, and I’m NOT complaining! Sherri’s brought in and takes a butterfly suplex from Tateno. Now a tag back to Robin, perfect timing too because they had the crowd popping at a peak. Robin continues to look terrible, landing an AWFUL looking monkey flip on one of the Glamour Girls. Sherri tags back in and I think the heels decide it’s time to get this girl out of the match. Sherri slams and vertical suplexes Robin before pinning her with ease at 6:55. Now if we can get Moolah out of there we might be on to something!
We get some fast paced stuff with a lot of the girls after the Robin elimination. Velvet continues to look good with the leverage moves and tilt awhirl cross body on one of the Glamour Girls. Moolah tries her hand at the Girls as well, but finds herself in trouble. As Moolah gets in the ring I can’t tell if the fans are booing or chanting “Moolah” in a mocking manner. Either way, Moolah is the most un-over person in this match, and after having seen what the Angels & Velvet can do the fans have no desire to watch Moolah and her 1950’s arsenal. I’m not saying that what Moolah was doing wasn’t believable, in fact she worked very snug, she just works a different style. Moolah brings Yamazaki back into the match but the Glamour Girls continue on the offense. Sherri joins in on the fun against Yamazaki. Itsuki manages to tag in Tateno, but apparently she wasn’t supposed to and they ignore the tag and Moolah comes back in. Moolah works over Martin, but is caught off guard and takes a double clothesline from the Glamour Girls. It’s a unique double clothesline in the fact that Kai was on the apron while Martin was in the ring as the hooked hands and took Moolah out. Martin got the pin at 10:55. I’m not digging into results, but this might be Moolah’s last real match with the WWF. I’m not counting whatever nonsense that took place in the Attitude Era.
Now we’re cooking, the six best women in the match are left to shine. The baby faces work over the leg of Martin, McIntyre grabs a Boston Crab. Judy manages to escape a submission, tags to Sherri. Sherri just about dumps Velvet on the back of her head and neck with a gut wrench suplex, and we’re right back to more Glamour Girls vs. Bomb Angel action! Kai hits Tateno with a picture perfect butterfly suplex that gets two. The time keeper actually rings the bell to signal an elimination, the crowd boos loudly, and the referee waves it off and the action continues. Velvet & Sherri are back in the ring and McIntyre lands a Giant Swing before executing a Victory Roll on the Women’s Champion for the big win at 14:56.
The Angels and Girls battle it out some more while Velvet sells her back outside the ring. I’m not sure if Velvet is just really dedicated to selling or if she’s really hurt, but I’m thinking the latter. McIntyre returns to action to do her part, trying for her third elimination of the night using the Victory Roll once again, but this time Kai counters and turns it into a Slingshot Ocean Cyclone Suplex at 17:24. Another great move!
And now, we’re down to Jimmy Hart’s Glamour Girls and the Jumping Bomb Angels. Martin catches Yamazaki with a knee in the back as she’s coming off the ropes. Kai slams Itsuki and goes to the top rope, but misses a flying splash! Yamazaki tags to Tateno, who goes straight to the top rope and hits Kai with a High Cross Body Press for the elimination at 18:38.
Judy Martin rushes in to attempt to take over, but she ends up taking a double backdrop by the Angels. Jimmy Hart jumps up onto the apron to run a distraction, but it doesn’t work. Tateno DROPKICKS Hart off the apron, and Yamazaki comes off the top rope with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE on Martin for the final elimination at 20:17!
Your Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels
Post Match Thoughts: This was better on so many levels than what I originally expected the first time around. Lots of great, innovative offense and most of the girls weren’t afraid of working snug. It was far better than any house show opener, that’s for sure. The dead weight was eliminated early and things really picked up once the Bomb Angels tagged in. The crowd was accepting of the match, but after the initial display by Yamazaki they fell in love with the Angels. The fans seemed to wake up and become more invested in the match when the pace started to pick up. We got just enough taste of the two ladies teams here to have us interested in their match at the Royal Rumble, which also didn’t disappoint. Elsewhere, Velvet looked like she might have injured her back LEGIT but she was a trooper, getting the pin over Sherri on PPV put Velvet in a spot to be a contender for the title. After decades as a heel, the fans just weren’t buying into Moolah as a face, and she barely had much interaction with Sherri. It was a smart move to put someone with the name value of Moolah in the captains spot to sell the match, but this match was clearly not about her. Really good ladies match for so many American women to be involved. I’d rate this on the same level as the men’s match that came before it. With the great finish it gets a full ***
We go to the back where Craig DeGeorge is standing by with The Hart Foundation and their team. Bobby Heenan is again positioned in the front, in front of the team captains no less. Then again, it is Bobby Heenan so all is forgiven. If you thought teams of 5 were hard to keep up with in the interviews, try watching 10 men after they’ve just snorted enough coke to make Tony Montana jealous. The Islanders hug, Smash wants a high five from everyone, the entire team is shouting, even Greg Valentine has a little personality. You know there’s trouble when Jim Neidhart is your go to guy for an interview after Bobby Heenan. Finally, Jimmy Hart stumbles into the picture. Hart is all shaken up after what the Bomb Angels did to him. Funny little note, while Jimmy is ranting and raving he switches jackets from the Glamour Girls getup to a Hart Foundation coat. Craig DeGeorge notices that the Bolsheviks are missing. Is it sad that I totally missed that but I was wondering where Johnny V. was? Heenan informs DeGeorge that the Bolsheviks are in the ring and ready to sing the Russian National Anthem. BUT WHERE IS JOHNNY V. DAMMIT?!?!?!?!????
As The Brain promised the Dr. of Style Slick stands in the ring with Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov for the Russian Anthem. Jesse Ventura gets up to pay respect to the singing, Gorilla refuses to join in. The Demolition theme begins to play and here comes the four remaining teams – The Demos w/Fuji, The Harts w/Hart, The Islanders w/Heenan, and The (New) Dream Team…. HOLD ON A FUCKING MINUTE!!! THERE’S JOHNNY V!!!! So why the hell wasn’t he in the promo backstage? Might have something to do with this being his last night in the company. YUP, “Luscious” Johnny would be gone following this PPV and the Dream Team would go their separate ways, Valentine with Jimmy Hart, and Bravo with Frenchy Martin.
We go to Mean Gene Okerlund who’s conducting the babyface interviews as he stands by with Strike Force and their entire team. We hear from both Tito & Martel. How’s this for a shock, the BULLDOGS & ROUGEAUS are standing next to each other and having conversation, or at least pretending to. I don’t think anybody really knows what anyone is saying in these crazy ass promos. Just think, a year from now the Rougeaus would be eliminated from the Series match early on to avoid any shoot altercations from the Bulldogs on their way out of the company. The highlight of this interview for me is Jim Brunzell flapping his “bee wings” in the late seconds of the interview.
All teams enters the ring to the British Bulldogs theme, except Strike Force who get the “Girls in Cars” instrumental. Why didn’t everyone just enter to the captain’s theme?
(Notes going in: Now we’re cookin! 20 Guys, 10 teams. When one team member is eliminated, both members must leave the ring. A unique concept and the sea of humanity in the ring is quite a spectacle as the teams start to settle in. I’m not going to lie, looking at all this talent in the ring at once has me hyped to watch this match. This may be the only time FIVE managers stood at ringside together as well. The Harts stole the belts from the Bulldogs, and Strike Force had just recently dethroned the Harts so we’ve got some tag team rivalries going on.)
The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, Demolition,
The Bolsheviks, The (New) Dream Team
(accompanied by Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Slick, Johnny V.)
WWF Tag Team Champions Strike Force, The British Bulldogs,
The Rougeau Brothers, The Killer Bees, The Young Stallions
We kick things off with Volkoff & Martel in the ring. Nikolai holds Martel in the air with a one handed choke, pretty impressive. Santana & Zhukov are tagged in by their partners to take things over. Zhukov has only been with the WWF for a couple of months so he’ll likely be protected here, or maybe not, FLYING FOREARM BY SANTANA! Booyah, and the Bolsheviks are gone in only 1:57. Well that was a surprisingly fast elimination given the amount of guys out there. Maybe if Nikolai wanted to last longer he wouldn’t have tagged his jobber partner. After all, Boris is no Iron Sheik. Random Thought: Oh, if only the Sheik hadn’t got caught with all that weed & cocaine, he could have broke Brian Blair’s back, fucked his ass, made him humble. Random Thought #2: Speaking of cocaine, the Iron Sheik would have been a big hit on this show in the promo segments.
Ax ambushes Tito immediately after the Zhukov elimination. Some good offense from Ax, but Santana is able to tag to Jacques Rougeau. Jacques looks specifically good early on, but the tags start picking up with over a dozen tags being made. Just that quick, everyone on both teams have been tagged in besides Valentine, Bret Hart & Raymond Rougeau. I’m surprised they didn’t use this quick tag spot before ousting the Bolsheviks. There’s a short, but stiff altercation between Haku & Dynamite Kid during this mix. Jacques Rougeau winds up back in the ring with Ax and counters a backdrop with a back flip over Ax’s back. Jacques attempts a reverse cross body from the middle rope but Ax ducks out of the way. Even when he misses Jacques is looking good tonight, but it’s irrelevant now as Ax takes advantage of Jacques failed attempt and covers the Rougeau brother for the elimination at 5:49. RAYMOND ROUGEAU NEVER EVEN TAGGED INTO THE MATCH! With all those quick tags, there’s just no excuse for that.
One thing I have noticed is that EVERY man in this match is on their game. Everyone is looking good, lots of energy to be had by all. Dynamite snap suplexes Ax to begin the next fall. Some more quick tags take place. There seems to be some confusion between Neidhart & Jimmy Powers and the result is Jimmy taking a double team move from the Anvil & Haku that could have ended bad. The heel team works over Paul Roma, and then the Dynamite Kid. Dynamite ends up on the apron in the heel corner and Demolition pound on him relentlessly. Next thing I know, a bell rings and Gorilla Monsoon says that Smash shoved the referee. The camera position is bad unless you know what you’re looking for. Demolition are DISQUALIFIED at 9:11. That was out of nowhere, no build to it, no particular reason behind it other than to save Demolition from being pinned. It was a little early to get rid of a team of their caliber, the DQ could have easily worked later in the match when things were getting more “desperate”.
Bret Hart hits the ring for the first time with a PILEDRIVER on his Stampede cohort, Dynamite that gets a 2 count. Hart misses a shoulder charge into the corner post and Dynamite makes the tag to Jimmy Powers. Because I know when I’m in trouble that’s who I’m going to tag in. Tama has fun no selling Jimmy Powers while Ventura continues to pronounce his name TOMA. Gorilla finally corrects Ventura on the pronunciation of TAMA, he’s only been using that name FOR A YEAR! Martel tags in and locks TOMA in a Boston Crab but doesn’t notice that Tama has tagged to the Anvil. Neidhart comes in and drills Martel in the back of the head with a clothesline. Santana tags in a HITS THE ANVIL WITH A FLYING FOREARM! ONE, TWO, Bret Hart breaks it up with an elbow drop off the middle rope into the back of Santana. Anvil rolls over on top and gets the cheap pin over half of the Tag Team Champions at 12:04.
The next 5 or 6 minutes are reserved for beating the crap out of the Young Stallions. Wish I could have been in on that! After Powers & Roma are done doing what they did best, things pick up when Bret Hart & Davey Boy get in the ring. Smith hits Bret with a press slam, then a minute later Smith hits Haku with the running powerslam that get him a 2 count. Three years later that’d be a finisher buddy! Smith hits a suplex on Haku and Dynamite comes off the middle rope with a Diving Headbutt! The Kid actually sells the move like he hurt himself, that’s just how tough Haku was/is. Ventura notes that you don’t go to the head of a “South Island Boy”. Haku gets to his feet and nails Dynamite with a Thrust Kick to eliminate the Bulldogs at 19:57. Seriously, they eliminated all those other teams early so we could get a stretched out Young Stallions beat down clinic, and as fun as that sounds to watch, it wasn’t. That leaves nobody of interest on the baby face side of things. For those who have only seen the Coliseum Video version of this match, they’ve never seen the Bulldogs elimination. That’s right, Coliseum Video does a chop job that includes the omitting of the Bulldogs elimination! Inexcusable IMO.
With so many talented teams going out so early, this match can’t last much longer, right??? RIGHT???
A year or two ago the Bees may have been relevant in this position, but at this point in their tenure, not so much. Ventura predicts the Stallions will be eliminated soon and the Bees will take a walk ala Honky Tonk Man. Now that would have been cool. Powers takes another ass beating by the Dream Team, and then the Harts. Bret ties Powers in the tree of woe and Jim Brunzell has had enough as he rushes in to attack the heels. Brunzell only causes a distraction and Powers takes even more punishment. Dino Bravo hits the Side Suplex on Powers and tags to Valentine. Greg attempts the Figure Four but powers kicks him off. Valentine goes after Powers again as Jimmy gets the tag to Paul Roma. I assume Greg is supposed to be oblivious to the tag being made as he tries to put Powers in the Figure Four again, and as Valentine bends down to hook Jimmy’s leg, Roma comes off the top rope with a Flying Sunset Flip to pin the Hammer at 23:39. This was a huge upset when watching it at the time. The spot was good, very fluid, but the way the Hammer was hooking Powers as Roma came over top made it even more realistic. So long Johnny V, thanks for coming. At least he gets a PPV payday on the way out, whatever that would have been in those days for the 6th ranked manager in the WWF.
Now down to 4 on 4 with the tide turning back and forth. Roma hits the Hitman with a Jerry Lawler flying fist for 2. Roma actually takes the heat TWICE during this period of the match. Ventura still insists on referring to Tama as TOMA. Roma hits an awkward looking armdrag on Haku and decides to hold onto an armbar. Yeah, that’ll get shit done at this stage in the match. Haku gets right up and hits an impressive standing dropkick on Roma. Gorilla comments that he’s like to see the Anvil do that, and the next thing you know NEIDHART also hits Roma with a dropkick. Neidhart powerslams Roma but Paul kicks out again. A hot tag to Brunzell while Bret’s in the ring, it looks like there’s some miscommunication and the guys collide and fall to the mat. For no reason, heels and faces both start to enter the ring and wouldn’t you know it, the referee chooses to argue with the faces. Brunzell scoops Bret up in a slam, Tama dropkicks Bret in the back to send Hart crashing down on Brunzell, but Jumping Jim uses the momentum to roll backwards and end up on top of the Hitman and eliminate the Harts at 30:27!
Brunzell celebrates the elimination and is attacked by the Islanders. Jumpin Jim gets worked over on the mat. Blair tags in and he gets more of the same. The Young Stallions are given some offense, Roma hits a nice looking powerslam on Haku, but Tama breaks up the pin. Blair tries to help Roma, but it distracts the ref and the Islanders double team Paul. Blair tags in and takes another beating. The Islanders are just beating the crap out of all four of their opponents. Brunzell gets a hot tag and nearly drops Tama on his head with a backdrop. BRUNZELL WITH THE DROPKICK ON TAMA! ONE, TWO, Haku breaks it up! The Stallions enter the ring to fend off Haku while the ref intervenes. Meanwhile Brunzell tries a sunset flip on Tama, but Tama gets to the ropes to prevent falling back. At that very moment Brian Blair just happens to put on the BEE MASK and just happens to be standing on the apron right where Tama is located! Blair slingshots in over Tama and replaces Brunzell in the sunset flip spot. With the mask on the referee has no idea it’s Blair (the illegal man). Brunzell crawls out of the ring and the Bees get the pin fall over Tama in cheating fashion at 37:14.
And the two most improbable teams (other than the Bolsheviks) wind up the Survivors of the match! The Bees celebrate what would be their last relevant victory in the WWF as they survive the match along with…..The Young Stallions.
Your Survivors: The Young Stallions & The Killer Bees
Post Match Thoughts: This was the most unique concept on the PPV, and with so many guys involved it had the most action. The order of elimination and the timeframe of some of the eliminations were questionable. Several very good teams were eliminated much earlier than needed. If you’re going to give a match 40 minutes, there’s no reason to oust nearly half of the field only a third of the way into the match. That left room for several 5 or 6 minute beat downs on the Stallions. My only suggestion would have been to have a lot more quick tagging when the match was getting started, prolonging some of the eliminations, rather than creating large spaces of time later on when fewer teams were out there. Unless he was injured, and based on results from around this time it doesn’t appear so, there was no excuse to keep Raymond Rougeau from tagging in at least once, just seemed odd to me. I think I would have rather seen Ken Patera & Billy Jack Haynes in there instead of the Stallions. Patera & Haynes were feuding with Demolition at this time so it could have worked. The story goes that Vince chose the Young Stallions as Survivors to prove that “anything can happen at the Survivor Series”. It was supposedly done to show that with so many guys in the ring that the outcome would be unpredictable. Jim Brunzell went on record to state that the Bees were given this token win as a way to make up for them never winning the Tag Team Titles. Supposedly Vince had promised the Bees the Titles at one point, and it never came to fruition. Brunzell claims their win here was Vince McMahon throwing them a bone. I really didn’t mind the Bees surviving, but I would have rather seen them as the underdog survivors in place of the Stallions. Powers would never do anything remotely as successful as this match again, Roma would have a year of “Glory” in 1990-1991 before heading off to WCW in 1993. The Bees would be split up in less than a year, and Blair gone from the promotion. This was the WWF’s first crack at this type of match and it was perfectly acceptable. For all the little things they could have done to make it even better, nothing was “bad” and everyone showed up with their working boots on. Everyone tried hard, worked hard, everyone was on their game. The extended Y.S. beat downs were a little much, but for what it was and what it could have been I’d gladly give this match ***1/4 . This would be the prototype for the 1988 match, which they perfected.
Let’s shill a little merch! Buy the WWF Survivor Series t-shirt and program! Mean Gene assures us it’s great quality!
After all that action, it’s intermission time at the Richfield Coliseum, and so at home we’re treated to a 6 minute special of spending Thanksgiving with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase. Ted takes us from a chauffeur driven Bentley to his home for Thanksgiving dinner, as only he can do.
During the promo Dibiase reminds us of some of his devious acts since coming to the WWF. Forcing the future Rob Van Dam to kiss his foot for $100, making a woman (Linda McMahon?) bark like a dog, refusing to pay a kid for coming up one pushup short… Whoever came up with some of these segments was a genius. I’ve never seen anything more heelish than kicking the basketball out of a little boy’s hand as he goes for his 15th dribble to earn $500. The crowd ate that shit up, it was pure gold! Let us not forget when Dibiase paid the owner of a public pool to evacuate all the children so that he could have the pool all to himself. The kicker to that vignette was that Dibiase didn’t even get in the pool, he simply lounged beside it. Ingenious classic stuff! What a great asshole character. I had almost forgotten how good the Million Dollar man character was during the initial push. Ted finishes this extended promo with a ride in one of his fancy “toys”.
As Dibiase finishes the final part of the segment in his car, the audio sounds perfect, no wind, no noise, obviously the audio was dubbed over the initial outdoor take.
The announcers spend another 6 minutes recapping the PPV up until now and hyping the main event. Jesse Ventura finds it necessary to explain that Richfield is a suburb of Cleveland for the 50th time on the show.
Still time left in intermission? Okay, let’s throw in a Honky Tonk Man interview!
Craig DeGeorge stands by on a stage where he brings out the IC Champ HTM and manager Jimmy Hart. Honky makes a challenge to the Hulkster, Title vs. Title, we’d get that match eventually but it’d be Honky’s predecessor as IC Champ, The Ultimate Warrior, that would be in there with the Hulk. HTM then says he’s through with the Macho Man and plans to move on. However, Gorilla suggests that Macho isn’t finished with the HTM. This interview really didn’t serve as much of anything other than time filler and to get Honky some more TV time after his loss.
It’s main event time! Rick Rude’s original “Stripper” music hits and he and King Kong Bundy make their way down. There’s something not right about KKB entering the ring to stripper music. Out next are Butch Reed and the OMG to Slick’s “Jive Soul Bro” theme. The Brain then gets on the mike and introduces the captain of the team, the Eighth Wonder of the World, Andre the Giant!
Mean Gene stands by with Hulk Hogan and his team.
Dear God, the longer this show goes is the more fucked up these people get. Gene gets a one liner from everyone on the team including Bam Bam Bigelow who says it’s time to “burn the building down”. Shit like that will get you fined or fired these days. Hogan calls Orndorff the most unpredictable man on the team, so at least they’re playing into their past instead of ignoring it. Hogan starts to walk towards the camera and walks away in a Ultimate Warrior meets Zombie type of hybrid. Hulk then charges back across the screen and nearly tackles Bam Bam Bigelow out of the screen.
I want some of what they’re having! Jesus Christ!
Out comes team Hogan. Bam Bam Bigelow & Humperdink lead the charge. Bigelow was over huge, and in record time. Hulk made sure he put the kibosh on that real fast. The Coliseum crowd is LOUD by the way and Hogan hasn’t even come out yet. This crowd has certainly delivered and I can see why they came back for a second year in 1988. Patera is out next sporting a gaudy arm brace due to the injury he sustained earlier in the year that pretty much killed his comeback. Muraco spares no expense on his wardrobe as he follows in a blue sweatshirt, and then “Mr. Wonderful” rounds out the first four. We wait a moment before “Real American” begins to play, Vince’s way of building up anticipation. It worked. Crowd goes nuts as Hogan totes a giant American flag to the ring. That’s sort of an odd fit. I guess either he’s paying homage to Thanksgiving or he’s declaring war on France for harboring Andre. Did I mention this crowd is insanely loud? Jesse Ventura points out to Gorilla that “that same, evil, nasty Joey Marella” is the referee for this match, making reference to Marella being the referee for the Hogan vs. Andre match at Mania 3.
(Notes going in: Your feuds here are more spread out. You have Don Muraco replacing the spot of his soon to be manager “Superstar” Billy Graham due to an attack by the OMG & Reed taking out Graham. There’s no doubt the Hulkster was having orgasms about getting to team with his long time idol, but in reality Graham just couldn’t get past a hip injury that had him sidelined the past couple of years and was unable to remain an active wrestler. The WWF tried to build off Graham’s gimmick by introducing Muraco as his replacement out for revenge. Patera had his back story with the Heenan Family after being a “jail bird” and all, so he made a good choice as a Hulkamaniac for this match. Rick Rude made his WWF debut over the summer of 1987 as a member of the Heenan Family. When The Brain started favoring Rude over his other physical specimen Paul Orndorff, Mr. Wonderful AGAIN fired Heenan as his manager and turned back baby face to feud with Rude. As a fan at the time I questioned the reality of Orndorff teaming with Hogan, the man he betrayed just a little more than a year earlier, but throughout history you’ll note a trend of guys who turned on the Hulk and was welcomed back with open arms. Then we move to the captain’s of the teams. You know the history there, Andre turned heel at the top of 1987 to feud with his former best friend Hogan (sound familiar?) with a match that culminated at the legendary WrestleMania III event in Pontiac, Michigan. The near fall from WM3 when Andre fell on top of Hogan during a failed slam attempt was used to push this match and their eventual return title match at The Main Event. The Giant had made it clear he is here for the champion’s soul. This would be their first televised meeting since Mania 3, Andre’s first match in 7 months, so the hype was there to make this a meaningful showdown.)
Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, “Ravishing” Rick Rude,
The One Man Gang, “The Natural” Butch Reed
(accompanied by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan & Slick)
WWF Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera,
“Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, “The Rock” Don Muraco
(accompanied by Oliver Humperdink)
Muraco is ready to start things off with Rude. The Rock is looking extra vascular, he really is trying to fill the shoes of the Superstar. The two men trade blows with Muraco gaining favor. BOTH Bigelow & Orndorff tag in at the same time, and Bam Bam has to step back out of the ring in an embarrassing moment. Orndorff tags in and takes it to his Heenan Family replacement Ravishing Rick. Paul then gives it to Hogan! Hulk with a clothesline, a series of rapid fire elbowdrops, and a slam before giving it to Bam Bam who hits a big headbutt and a press slam before turning it over to Patera. Ken comes right in and nails Rude with his arm brace, but Rick makes it to his corner to tag to Butch Reed. The Natural has his troubles with Patera, as well as Muraco. Muraco throws a frickin dropkick on Reed! Then Orndorff comes in and answers that by throwing two dropkicks on Reed! The Natural reverses an Irish whip to the corner but misses a charge and Orndorff tags in the Hulk. Hogan & Orndorff shoot Reed into the ropes for a DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE and Hogan lands a LEGDROP to eliminate Reed in 3:06. Well that was a good way to keep those fans rowdy, but it sucked for Reed who didn’t get in a lick of offense.
While Hogan celebrates with his partners and high fives with Kenny Patera, ANDRE steps into the ring to take him on. We’re going to see it! We’re going to see it! It’s Hogan vs. Andre for the first time since WrestleMaaa. Wait, referee Marella says Hogan’s high five to Ken Patera constituted a tag. STUPID! This wouldn’t be the first time Hogan used this gimmick, they used this spot in the Hogan/Mean Gene vs. Fuji/Animal Steele match back in ’84 so it’s likely a Hulk idea. The crowd isn’t happy, Hogan isn’t happy, and Patera apparently fails to realize that all he has to do is TAG HOGAN back in, so we’re forced to wait for the showdown. Andre tags back out, he has no interest in the Olympic Strongman, so we get King Kong Bundy for the first time. Ken shows more energy here than he does for the rest of his tenure in the company, even dropping Bundy with a clothesline. Orndorff & OMG take over for their teams, Paul lands a series of bunches but runs into a knee from the Gang in the corner and a tag is made to Rude. Ravishing tries to take advantage but Orndorff stays on the offense, tagging to Muraco. We wind up with OMG & Muraco in the ring, Gang misses an avalanche in the corner and MURACO DOES THE MORTON ROLL and tags to Patera! Patera goes nuts on the Gang with kicks, punches and a fucking BODY BLOCK! Jesus, EVERYONE came to work tonight! With Ken in control OMG goes to his eyes and takes Patera to the heel corner where the team works Ken over. Patera finally frees himself from the corner and fights back, both men go for a clothesline at the same time, but it’s OMG’s girth that wins the battle as he falls forward on Patera for the pin at 8:45. The finish looked a little botched, but given the Gang’s size it worked.
Hogan comes right in and clotheslines the Gang into the corner, then tags in Bigelow. Hulk & Bam Bam hit a DOUBLE BIG BOOT on OMG! Gang & Bigelow crack heads and both go down. They both make tags, to Rude & Orndorff respectively. Paul with a suplex, his patented elbow, and he launches Rude into the air with a backdrop. ORNDORFF CALLS FOR A PILEDRIVER when Bundy steps in and clobbered him in the back of the head. When Paul gets up to go after Bundy, Rude rolls Paul up from behind and hooks his trunks for the elimination at 10:25. Was hoping we’d see more from Orndorff here but the fact is he would be leaving the WWF by the first week of January ’88.
Rude decides to celebrate the pin by posing for the crowd. Muraco surprises him with an atomic drop and clothesline. Bigelow tags in and hits a variation of the thrust kick! Damn that guy was good. Hulk tags in with a HIGH KNEE? Wow. Tag back to Muraco, Hulk whips Rude into the ropes and drops down. Rude jumps over Hogan and runs right into a POWERSLAM from Muraco! For the guys involved, this was a pretty good spot. Rude does the job to the powerslam at 11:20 and we’re back to even at 3 vs. 3.
Muraco has to fight off Bundy, dodging a kneedrop. Muraco then tries a powerslam on OMG but the Gang falls on top with a 2 count. The Gang throws Muraco right into a head butt from Andre on the apron and the Rock takes a bump. Honestly, the headbutt looked like it missed completely, but whatever. Muraco bumps for the headbutt and the Gang hits the 747 Splash to eliminate Muraco at 12:56.
Bigelow replaces Muraco, trying a sunset flip on the Gang, but OMG sits down on his chest. OUCH! The Gang & Bundy proceed to take turns working over Bigelow. The heels try several pin falls but Bammer just keeps kicking out! And now FINALLY THE GIANT TAGS IN! Andre goes for a punch on Bigelow, but Bam Bam tucks and rolls to his corner to tag in the Hulkster! AND NOW IT’S TIME! HULK VS. ANDRE! They waste no time trading chops and punches. Hogan rams Andre into the turnbuckle and knocks the Gang & Bundy off of the apron! Hogan stuns the Giant with a pair of elbows and starts to run off the ropes when he’s tripped up and pulled outside by Bundy! Hogan goes Superman, as he fights off both KKB & OMG and BODYSLAMS both men on the floor! And you thought John Cena had superpowers? By the time Hogan is done slamming Bundy, referee Marella has counted the Hulk out of the ring to eliminate him from the match at 18:05. Talk about a surprise. That spot was pretty surprising for the times.
After a runaround with the officials, Hogan finally leaves the ring in sore loser mode. And now it comes down to Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Three. Bigelow handles Bundy, hitting an impressive standing dropkick! KKB reverses a whip into the corner, but misses his Atlantic City Avalanche in the corner and takes a bump. Bigelow is already on the apron to capitalize with a SLINGSHOT SPLASH into the ring on top of Bundy for the 3 count at 20:32. Bundy was another guy who was gone within the next couple of months to try his hand at acting.
The Gang steps in and takes over on Bigelow. After dropping Bam Bam with a clothesline, the Gang just lays on him in an awkward way for an uncomfortable amount of time. I’m not sure if they were going over the finish or what the deal was. The OMG throws Bigelow into a boot from Andre and then the Gang climbs to the top rope. OMG! OMG misses a splash off the top! (see what I did there?) Bam Bam is quick to roll on top and make the cover to eliminate the Gang at 22:52.
Andre steps in and immediately puts a beating on Bigelow. The Giant tries to throw Bigelow off the ropes but Bam Bam holds on. The Giant comes after Bam Bam three times and every time Bigelow somersaults out of harm’s way. Bigelow charges at Andre but the Giant moves out of the way, the timing was pretty shitty on this spot but it was passable. Andre works on Bigelow’s back in the corner before he takes Bigelow over with a SINGLE underhook suplex. Sloppy and dangerous, but effective looking. Andre covers and pins Bigelow to survive at 24:07.
Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant
Andre has little time to celebrate before the biggest sore loser in the history of professional wrestling returns to ringside. Here comes Hulk Hogan with the WWF Championship belt and he cracks Andre with the title twice to send him out of the ring! Hulk then spends what feels like an eternity posing for the fans. So not only does he steal the spotlight from the Giant’s big moment, but he doesn’t even bring Bigelow back into the ring to put him over. Glory hound.
Post Match Thoughts: Even with the loss to Andre, Bigelow did more than most could have ever done. He came out looking great having beaten two out of three monsters. It was clear Bam Bam was being built up to be the next super being of the squared circle, perhaps the next big monster to turn on Hogan and draw money down the line. No matter how you slice it, Bigelow had the look, the ability, and he was over as all hell. Bam Bam was something special during this run, it’s just a shame all sides let it fizzle out by the spring of ’88. No real complaints here, given all of the larger sized guys put in this match it moved surprisingly well and as I already stated everyone came to work, which is always a plus. We get just a taste of Hogan vs. Andre here, which was done to build to the title rematch at “The Main Event” on NBC in January. I don’t think anyone expected to see Hogan take a pin here, and even in his elimination he made sure he looked like a star, slamming two 400 plus pound monsters while being counted out. Bigelow was the MVP of the match and came out looking like a star, but Hogan was clearly the number one. With so many guys in this match that are usually slow, plodding, or immobile, I have to give this match *** for how hard everyone worked.
To the back we go for one final interview. Mean Gene standing by with The Brain and the Giant.
EVEN MORE HOGAN POSING FOLLOWS!
Gorilla & Jesse close the show, Hogan’s music continues to play us out while we look as pictures from tonight’s event. And that will conclude the 1987 Survivor Series!
The Final Audit
Nothing on the show was bad. I can’t think of the last time we could say that about a PPV. Everything was good and solid. This was only the WWF’s second Pay-Per-View that would go on to become an annual event. Everyone worked hard to make this show successful, and for the first time out there I felt every match did a good job of entertaining. I’m glad they came up with the 20-Man Tag Team Survival Match, I really miss those things because the action and eliminations are a great time. The women delivered above and beyond all expectations, today that would be torture to watch with the current Diva product trying to go 20 plus minutes. They even managed to fill the intermission by building up what would become the top heel in the WWF for the year 1988. Those DiBiase skits were the best. The Honky Tonk Man interview felt like complete filler, but that’s the only complaint I have about the entire show, and it was short. They did a good job keeping the fans entertained while they built towards “The Main Event” special coming up on NBC.
On a rating scale of one to ten, ten being top notch, I can easily give this event a 7.5, a Solid B- and that’s nothing to be ashamed of.