The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1987
– Yes, much to my dismay, I’ve decided to do the Survivor Series Concept Rant, covering the whole damn run of them from 1987 all the way until last year’s show. So get comfortable, because this is gonna take about three weeks to do them all. And to start us off, the show that was a big double-bird in the face of Jim Crockett, as Vince decided to screw with the NWA’s mind by scheduling a PPV on the same night as Starrcade 87 and force cable companies to choose. As you might surmise, the WWF won that battle fairly handily.
– Song lyric of the week: “So many asses, so little time / The best surprises always sneak up from behindÃ¢â‚¬Â, from Billy Gunn’s theme on the WWF Volume 4 CD. As if that song couldn’t GET any more disturbing. By the way, the WWF would be well-advised to put together a Steve Austin video and release “Oh Hell YeahÃ¢â‚¬Â as a single, because I think it might chart. I have to question the point of putting mildly remixed versions of Edge and Undertaker’s respective themes on there when the Hardcore Hollies had a perfectly good Metallica ripoff to use. A full rant is coming on the rest.
– Live from Richfield, Ohio.
– Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura.
– Opening match: Randy Savage, Brutus Beefcake, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts & Hacksaw Duggan v. Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Harley Race & Hercules Hernandez. This is basically “Honky v. All the Guys That Hate HimÃ¢â‚¬Â, and the WWF managed to pare the list down from 140 to 5 guys. The faces start by wiping the ring with Danny Davis (the evil ex-referee) to start. Steamboat gets caught and does the RAW sell — Acting like he’s been in a 20-minute match after only 3 minutes. Duggan and Race, who had the issue at that time, brawl on the floor, a sure sign of a double-countout in elimination matches. Sure enough, both are gone. Savage kills Bass next, and Beefcake finishes him with a high knee. Beefcake gets his shots in on Honky, but since he’s the low man on the face totem pole, Honky gets his token elimination by pinning him with Shake Rattle N’ Roll. Honky is of course the chosen target of aggression, after hitting Elizabeth with a guitar (gee, where have I heard that before ) in an act that triggered the formation of the Mega-Powers. Savage and Roberts take turn handing him his ass. Jake makes a dumb babyface mistake and gets double-teamed by Herc & Honky, however, just so the end result isn’t a *totally* foregone conclusion. Davis comes in to mop up, and gets DDT’d and pinned. Remind me not to let Danny Davis be my partner if I ever get into wrestling. Herc & Honk keep up the pressure on Roberts, however, despite that setback. Chinlocks for everyone! Dragon gets the hot tag and goes nuts. Historic moment: Steamboat hits a flying chop on Herc, and Savage finishes him with the big elbow, and that’s the ONLY double-team from Savage & Steamboat I’ve ever seen and probably the only one that ever happened. Anyway, Savage gleefully plays Schillinger to Honky’s Cyril O’ Reilly for a few minutes as the three faces pound the champ into oblivion. The crowd is digging it. Finally Honky bails and runs back to the dressing room about 20 minutes in (not sure what the time was before clipping), which was his usual method of retaining the IC title at that point. Team Savage wins by countout. Survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and Jake Roberts. Decent enough opener. **1/2
– Judy Martin, Leilani Kai, Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello & Sherri Martell v. The Jumping Bomb Angels, Velvet MacIntyre, Rockin’ Robin & The Fabulous Moolah. Moolah would be a spry 60 or so at this point, a mere girl. Sherri looked goddamned HOT in 1987, I should point out. You can’t say the same about her teammates, as Dawn Marie and Donna Christanello look like a couple of 50 year old trailer park dwellers dragged out for this match. Moolah & Sherri had the issue here, as Sherri won the title from her earlier in the year. Velvet gets the first pin, taking out Christanello after some fast action and a victory roll. Rockin’ Robin takes more punishment than a night at brother Jake Roberts’ house and plays face-in-peril for a while. Yeah, so I’m a proponent of kicking a guy when he’s down, at least I don’t get drunk and beat up my relatives, okay? She rallies to pin Dawn Marie, thus eliminating the jobbers in short order. The Angels get in and absolutely leave the crowd with their mouths hanging, pulling out some stuff only seen in lucha libre before that point. Sadly, Robin breaks up the groove and tags back in for more punishment. Sherri pins her after a suplex. Good riddance, she sucks. Velvet and Moolah exact some damage on the Glamour Girls as the match settles into a nice pace. Moolah is supposed to be a face, but gets unmercifully booed every time she’s in. She’s pinned by Judy Martin after a clothesline. The Angels and Velvet work on Martin’s knee next. Velvet starts kicking ass, but gets stopped short by Sherri. The timekeeper messes up, ringing the bell on a two-count that Yamazuki bridged out of. The ref waves it off, just in case. Velvet hits the GIANT SWING OF DOOM on Sherri and pins her after a victory roll, which was pretty damn huge. Velvet MacIntyre is looking really impressive in this match, which makes her 10 second showing against Moolah the year before at WrestleMania 2 all the more weird. The Angels & The Glamour Girls do a neat little mini-match. Velvet comes back, still selling a back injury from her last stint in the ring, and gets pinned after a slingshot electric chair. Neat move, good psychology. So that leaves Jumping Bomb Angels v. The Glamour Girls. The Angels dominate, pinning Kai after a flying cross-body. Judy Martin gives it a go, but 2-on-1 is too much, and a top rope clothesline finishes it about 20 minutes in by my counter, although again that might be off with clipping. Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels. ***3/4 Good, long match that got the Angels way over, leading to them winning the meaningless Women’s tag titles at the first Royal Rumble.
– The Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Dream Team, The Islanders & The Bolsheviks v. Strike Force, The Young Stallions, The British Bulldogs, The Rougeau Brothers & The Killer Bees. Hey, there’s one of the most impressive collection of talent in the world in the ring right here. And Paul Roma. As you might expect, Boris Zukhov gets pinned about a minute in from Santana’s flying jalapeno to send the Bolsheviks packing. The faces do some ultra-fast tagging in and out, handing Bravo off to three or four different guys in the span of about 10 seconds. The action is literally too fast to call. Roma gets beat up a bunch, never once messing up his hair. Jacques Rougeau tags in, but misses a bodypress and gets pinned by Ax. Roma then takes a major league asskicking. Then Dynamite takes one, until the ref finally disqualifies Demolition. Bret Hart & Dynamite do a brief dream match and then Powers interrupts. Back-and-forth for a bit, with the Harts and Strike Force exchanging some stuff. Neidhart pins Santana after a flurry allows Bret to drop an elbow on him. Powers gets destroyed next, for a long time. Major clip here from Coliseum video. We return with Bravo hitting the side slam, but he tags in Greg Valentine instead of going for the pin. And in one of those poetic justice (or is it situational irony?) moments, Valentine promptly gets pinned by a Roma sunset flip. That leaves Harts & Islanders v. Bees & Stallions. And now the action REALLY picks up, with everyone kicking it up a notch. Roma gets to play whipping boy. Funny moment: Haku dropkicks Roma, and Gorilla sarcastically says “I’d like to see Anvil try thatÃ¢â‚¬Â and he does! Brawl breaks out, and Tama dropkicks Brunzell as he tries to slam Bret Hart, but he rolls through and pins Bret. The Islanders then beat the hell out of Brunzell. He finally tags in Powers, and the Stallions get a two count on the MONSTER MENG er, Haku. Damn, the Islanders were tough to beat. They were really underrated. Too bad they weigh about 1200 pounds combined now. Pier-six brawl allows the Bees to do the mask switch trick, and get the pin on Tama at about 31 minutes by my counter. The clipping must have cut out any bad spots, because what was left was GREAT. **** Survivors: Roma, Powers, Brunzell & Blair.
– Main event: Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Rick Rude & Butch Reed v. Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera & Paul Orndorff. Orndorff turns on Hogan in the pre-match interview, in the aisle during the introductions, before and after the opening bell, and at 3 times during the match. Okay, maybe not, but I was sure hoping for that to happen back then. I mean, the whole point of his original heel turn in 1986 was that Hogan was a glory-seeking jerk who never let him so much as enter the ring first without throwing a tantrum (which still made Hogan the FACE in the feud, thank you for asking) and here he is playing not just second fiddle, but FOURTH fiddle to Hogan. The same thing is happening with Rock and Sock today, by the way, as Rock acts like a total dickhead and keeps getting the cheers. History just keeps repeating. Speaking of people nicknamed the Rock, Don Muraco is subbing for Superstar Graham in a failed attempt to make people care about him. Bigelow, meanwhile, is so crazy over that Hogan must have been sitting around in the dressing room every show plotting ways to screw him over to keep his spot. You think AUSTIN was a jerk for not letting Jeff Jarrett get elevated? Just ask Ted Dibiase, Randy Savage, Bam Bam Bigelow, Curt Hennig and Sid Vicious how much fun trying to get the Orange Goblin to put someone over in ANY way is. Anyway, to the match: The faces do a superb job of cutting the ring in half, to the point where Hogan easily dispatches Butch Reed with the legdrop less than 5 minutes in. I guess that defines the glass ceiling right there. Hogan v. Andre is briefly teased, but Hogan runs like a pussy and lets Patera do his dirty work. What a role model. The Viscera Fan Club portion of the heels have their way with Patera as I DESPERATELY resist the tempation to start firing off Oz references. Gang eventually falls on top of Patera for the pin. Go watch some Miss Sally, Ken. Okay, I’m weak, I admit it. But at least I didn’t stoop to prison rape jokes like I did in the opening match! The faces take control again, thanks to Jesus H. Hogan, but Rick Rude gets a fluke rollup on Orndorff for the pin. Why the hell were Orndorff and Patera even in this match? Was Barry Horowitz unavailable and they needed someone with even less cred? Rude poses and Muraco & Hogan do their thing on him, with Hogan graciously allowing Muraco to get the pin. Muraco then gets beat on by the Jenny Craig Rejects, and pinned after a 747 splash from the Gang. So it’s Hogan & Bigelow v. The Fat Boys. Bammer gets flattened as the crowd impatiently waits for Hogan to mop it up. Andre FINALLY gets into the ring about 15 minutes in, and now Hogan tags in for the big showdown. Hogan cleans house, but gets dragged out of the ring and conveniently gets counted out, thus avoiding another confrontation with Andre. What a coward. Crowd is, shall we say, somewhat displeased with Hogan’s exit. Hulk throws a tantrum but leaves without incident. I could have sworn I heard him cursing Gang under his breath and promising to have the bookers repackage him as a born-again African, but I could have been hearing things. Bigelow gets the better of Bundy, and pins him after a slingshot splash. One Man Gang tries next, but misses a flying splash and gets pinned, too. That leaves Andre v. Bigelow, and amazingly the crowd is so stupid that they don’t realize Bigelow doesn’t have a hope in hell. And indeed, Bigelow misses a blind charge and gets pinned after Andre’s lame-ass “suplexÃ¢â‚¬Â that he was using a finisher at the time. About 23 minutes by my counter, and I didn’t see any clipping so I assume that’s legit. Then, in a moment to truly inspire the youth of America, Hogan runs in and blasts Andre with the championship belt. What a sportsman! Andre gets no celebration, but of course Hulk poses for 15 minutes to end the show. Wanna know why Generation X is a bunch of self-centered slackers with no sense of justice or fair play? They grew up watching this idiot. Survivor: Andre the Giant. Biggest jerk: Hulk Hogan. ** Surprisingly decent thanks to a good pace and Bigelow.
The Bottom Line: The length of the matches and overall pointlessness of the show might scare off newer fans (and keep in mind that this was 12 years ago, and the only high-flying stuff was in the women’s match) but as much as I didn’t like the show back then, it holds up surprisingly well today.