The SmarK Retro Repost – Survivor Series 1988


– Kudos to those who corrected me by pointing out that Honky Tonk Man hit SAVAGE with the guitar, not Elizabeth. Information overload on my part, I guess.

– Live from Richfield, OH again.

– Your hosts are Jesse Ventura & Gorilla Monsoon

– Opening match: Demolition, The Bolsheviks, The Brainbusters, the Conquistadors & The Rougeau Brothers v. The Powers of Pain, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation & The Young Stallions. Fast start, with everyone hitting their stuff at various points. Bret Hart gets the first pin, small packaging Ray Rougeau after taking a beating. A Conquistador tags in and gets killed. Jose Luis Rivera and Miguel Perez looked basically the same so I have no way of distinguishing them. Demolition lays a beatin’ on Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart. Triviata: This is the only time Bret and Shawn ever tagged. Shawn takes a spinebuster from AA for two. Everyone gets a chance to run through their stuff as we get almost every combination of matchup. The action is literally non-stop until Zukhov reverses a Jim Powers bodypress for the pin about 16 minutes in. The Busters’ snobbish avoidance of the rest of their team is pretty funny. Barbarian gets pounded on for a bit in a dull sequence. Jannetty then sunset flips in and gets rid of Boris Zukhov and the Bolsheviks. A Conquistador gets absolutely murdered by the faces, but keeps kicking out. He finally escapes and tags in Tully. Slow period follows, with Janetty coming in to pick up the pace. Bret with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM on Tully. German suplex, but then it’s that spot I hate where one guy, in this case Tully, lifts his shoulder and gets the pin. The Rockers and Busters then get into a brawl and all get DQ’d. So it’s Demos & Conquistadors v. Bulldogs & Powers of Pain. The Conquistadors get tossed around a bunch, but keep kicking out. Bulldogs & Demolition do their thing for a bit, then those poor Conquistadors take MORE punishment. But the face team won’t put them away. It backfires on them as Dynamite misses a headbutt and Smash clotheslines him for the pin. The Powers punish the poor Conquistadors some more, but Warlord misses a charge and gets Demolish-ed. Then just as the Demos have it won, Fuji jumps on the apron and pulls Smash out, “by accident”. Smash is counted out, and the Demos are pissed. They turn on Fuji, drawing a face pop, and we’re left with Powers of Pain v. Conquistadors. The Powers dust off Fuji and bring him to their corner, then Barbarian polishes off a Conquistador for the win at a whopping 42:18. That’s quite the opening match. Survivors: Warlord & Barbarian. Slowed down too much by the end. ***1/2 The POP celebrate with Fuji, and the Demos attack, and the fans are completely confused what to do now.

– The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer & Jim Brunzell v. The Honky Tonk Man, Danny Davis, Ron Bass, Greg Valentine & Bad News Brown. HTM shows two fatal logic flaws:

– Using Bass and Davis again after their poor showing in 87

– Using Bad News when he’s obviously a psycotic loner.

– Well, no one ever accused Honky of being the sharpest knife in the drawer. Davis goes out in short order via the sleeper. CLIP ALERT! We’re back with Brown killing Brunzell dead. Ghetto Blaster finishes it. CLIP ALERT! Now it’s Sam Houston (yet another Jake Roberts relative) getting beaten on, but he moves and Hammer nails Bad News by mistake. That’s more trouble for Bad News than he wants, so he walks out on his team. CLIP ALERT! Ron Bass takes out Sam Houston fairly easily. CLIP ALERT! Blazer misses a dive off the top rope and Hammer locks on the figure-four for the submission. CLIP ALERT! Beefcake kills Honky, and they both fall out of the ring for a double countout. So it’s Warrior v. Bass & Valentine 2-on-1, and now the psycotic, Freddy Krueger-like director who’s been hacking at this match calms down and lets us see the ending. And the ending lasts all of a minute, as Warrior pins both after double axehandle blows to the head. Match was brutally clipped down to 8 minutes, from I believe 30 or so. Thank god. Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior.

– Jake Roberts, Ken Patera, Tito Santana, Scott Casey & Jim Duggan v. Rick Rude, Dino Bravo, Harley Race, Mr. Perfect & Andre the Giant. CLIP ALERT! Jesus, someone get the director a valium or something. We cut right to Rude finishing Patera with the Rude Awakening. CLIP ALERT! Dino Bravo ends jobber Scott Casey’s night with the side slam. CLIP ALERT! Race gets pinned by Santana with the flying jalapeno. Andre comes in right after and basically sits on him to pin him. Duggan jumps in and ties up Andre in the ropes, allowing Jake to choke him out. The heels work him over and CLIP ALERT! We magically jump to Duggan preparing to finish Bravo, but he gets hassled by Frenchie Martin and uses the 2×4 to respond, drawing a DQ. So Jake goes 1-on-4. Quick DDT dispatches Rude. Andre chokes him half to death in the corner, drawing a DQ. But Jake is gone, and Mr. P just rolls him over and pins him. Survivors: Dino Bravo & Mr. Perfect. Clipped down to 8 minutes again, from 30.

– Main event: Akeem, Haku, Terry Taylor, Big Bossman & Ted Dibiase v. Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Hillbilly Jim, Koko B. Ware & Hercules. Because when you see the Red Rooster and Koko B. Ware on opposing teams, you know it’s MAIN EVENT TIME, BABY! Savage & Dibiase start and that’s pretty much the peak of the match, as it’s all downhill from there. Everyone goes through the motions until Savage and Hogan double-team future boss Terry Taylor and dispatch him with the big elbow. Everyone stops to regroup. Akeem and Hillbilly go for a bit, and that ends quickly with a splash to get rid of ol’ Jim. Law of the jungle says Koko should go next, because he’s next on the WWF jobber food chain. Akeem celebrates and the face team blitzes him. And sure enough, when Koko comes in he runs into the big boys and gets Bossman Slammed and pinned. Well, the dead weight is gone, at least. Hogan does the usual to Bossman but gets caught with a sidewalk slam. The heels beat the crap out of him, which is always refreshing to see. Hulk tags out to Hercules, who goes after Virgil like an idiot and gets pinned by Dibiase. Savage pins Dibiase right after. We’re left with the Twin Towers & Haku v. The Megapowers. Boring segment as Haku uses the VULCAN NERVE PINCH OF DOOM to subdue Hulk. Bossman hits the Slam, but misses a splash off the top and Savage gets a hot tag. The Towers beat on Hogan outside, and Bossman is legal so he gets counted out. L-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-AME! Hogan is then handcuffed to the ropes (and Woman throws hot coffee in his face and Elizabeth hits him with a shoe oh, sorry, I’m 8 years ahead of myself there). Akeem beats on Savage until the ref DQ’s him for excessive brutality or something. L-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-A-AME! That leaves Haku against the Mega-Egos 2-on-1. Ah, but Hogan is still handcuffed, so he’s able to beat on Savage for a while. Meanwhile, in a fascinating pathos play outside the ring, Slick is busy waving the keys in front of Hogan, even though he really has no reason to even be at ringside anymore other than giving Hogan the opportunity to get the keys. And surprise surprise, Hogan gets the keys after a Haku superkick goes astray and knocks Slick out. He tags in, mops up, and finishes it with the usual at 29:12. What a pile of shit that match was. 1/2*

The Bottom Line: Injuries just destroyed this show, as jobbers filled in left and right and the resulting matches, aside from the good tag team Series match, sucked bigtime. The Demo & Powers of Pain double-turn was big, the rest was meaningless time-filler.

Not recommended.