The Write Off: Survivor Series 1993

Since this is the return of my column to Inside Pulse, I have to say that it is great to be back. For my first review back at the site, I randomly selected Survivor Series 1993 out of a box that I have yet to unpack from my apartment move a few weeks ago.

Match ratings guide: penalty (bad), audit (average), deduction (good), return (excellent).

Event Details:
Location: Boston Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Hosts: Vince McMahon, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan, Jim Ross, and Gorilla Monsoon
Reported Attendance: 15,509

Random Trivia: Billy Gunn defeated the Brooklyn Brawler at 7:46 in the dark match before the show.

No, you are not reading the host list wrong at the heading. This card saw two announce teams: McMahon and Heenan, who do most of the card, and then Ross and Monsoon who are doing the Radio WWF broadcast and do the commentary for the Smokey Mountain Wrestling tag team championship match. This would be the last WWF pay-per-view that would feature Heenan until WrestleMania X-7 over seven years later and it would be the last WWF pay-per-view event from the old Boston Garden, which was put out of use in 1995.

-Irwin R. Schyster, Diesel, “The Model” Rick Martel & Adam Bomb (w/Harvey Wippleman) vs. Razor Ramon (Intercontinental Champion), 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty & Mr. Perfect:

This match was an extension of the Ramon-I.R.S. feud that had begun after Ramon’s famous loss on Monday Night Raw to the 1-2-3 Kid. Ramon had vanquished IRS’ partner in crime, Ted DiBiase, in the opening match at SummerSlam while IRS defeated the Kid on the same card, demonstrating that he could beat the Kid, but Ramon could not. IRS’ team also had some internal friction because Wippleman had inadvertently cost Martel a title match against Ramon, prompting a post-match argument between Bomb and Martel. The heels come out New England Patriot-style as a team, while the faces elect to come out individually…that is, three of the four of them. Perfect no-showed the event, some say he was taken off the show due to the steroid issue, and Ramon proceeds to berate him on the microphone by saying he is not a great partner and that he “tagged out” before the match started. To replace him, Ramon introduces “Macho Man” Randy Savage. This makes substitution #1 on the show and I’ll keep a running tally as we go along.

Ramon and Martel start, with a good wrestling sequence and Ramon reversing a reverse crossbody by Martel off the second rope for two and Ramon’s trademark fallaway slam on Martel gets two. Razor proceeds to tear Martel apart for a little while longer until Martel has enough and tags in Bomb. Bomb had the yellow contacts at this point to fit his gimmick and he overpowers Ramon until getting an overhead suplex out of a test of strength. Ramon covers and Martel runs in to break it up, but Ramon moves when Martel tries to drop an elbow and Bomb takes the move instead. That incident prompts a Bomb-Martel showdown that causes Diesel and IRS to run in and intervene. Peace is made among the heels and Bomb throws around the Kid like a ragdoll before tagging in Diesel and letting him have some fun. However, Kid gets a headscissors off the ropes when Diesel tries a tilt-a-whirl slam and tags in Savage, who goes nuts on the entire heel side after giving Diesel a top rope axehandle. After clearing out the heels in impressive fashion, Savage slams Diesel and delivers a top rope elbowsmash to eliminate Diesel at 10:17.

Savage continues his attack on Martel, forcing him to tag in IRS who endures a small “Irwin” chant from the crowd. Savage tags in Ramon, giving us a matchup between captains, and Ramon gets knees in the back by Martel when IRS throws him into the ropes. The heels work over Ramon and IRS gets two after a legdrop. Chinlock time and the referee keeps the faces out of the ring as Martel does the good heel thing and illegally comes in and takes IRS’ place. The heels fail to contain Ramon, though, and he tags in Savage who goes up to eliminate IRS with a flying elbowsmash but sees Crush walk down the aisle. Savage’s allies try to convince him to get focused on the match, but Savage cannot stay focused and IRS eliminates him with a schoolboy at 16:46. Immediately after he is eliminated, Savage runs backstage and with the cameras following his every move he looks for Crush all over the place, including the restroom. Where’s Dusty Rhodes on commentary when you need him?

We return to the action with the heels beating on Jannetty until Martel misses a shoulder thrust in the corner and we get Ramon-IRS version two. Ramon pinballs IRS between the corners, delivers a chokeslam, and finishes him off with a Razor’s Edge at 19:33. After this elimination, Martel tries his hand at Ramon and that breaks down into a five-way brawl between the remaining members of the match. Ramon tries to Razor’s Edge Martel, but IRS smacks Ramon in the face behind the referee’s back with his briefcase causing Ramon to fall to the outside and get counted out at 20:42.

A closeup by the camera reveals that Ramon got busted open the hard way by the briefcase shot, but who cares about him because we are down to two from each side. Martel does a cartwheel to make the Kid look stupid on a whip. Bomb comes in after the Kid and Martel have a small technical encounter and engages in a fun spot where he catches the Kid’s suicide dive attempt on the outside and slams him on the floor. We head back in, where Bomb delivers a flying clothesline from the outside apron into the ring. Bomb keeps up his assault, but a blind charge that misses into the corner sees Bomb rolled up in a fluke schoolboy for a near-fall. Martel gets two on the Kid with a gutwrench suplex, but the Kid manages gets a momentum swinging tag to Jannetty and Jannetty goes to town on Martel, ramming his head into the top turnbuckle ten times for good measure. Snapmare gets two. The Kid gets tagged in again and gets a sunset flip on Martel in the corner when he tries to do a running shoulder thrust for an elimination at 25:49 and immediately after that fall, the Kid tags in Jannetty who sunset flips over an incoming Bomb from the apron and that gets the winning pin at 25:58.

MATCH RATING: RETURN. Maybe my favorite opening match of the Survivor Series ever (although the 1995 opener of Horowitz-Skip is entertaining too). Ramon was made to look very dangerous as the Intercontinental Champion and the match served to continue his feud with IRS and also forward the Crush-Savage angle. While some of the eliminations were sudden, especially near the end, they made sense throughout and there were very few dead periods in the action when it got started. The match did not do much for anyone’s long-term careers, although Jannetty and the Kid would have a brief one week reign with the tag team championships in January 1994. It is interesting to note that the match reflects what little stock the WWF had in Diesel at the time to job cleanly to Savage at the beginning of the match. Of course, all that would change in one year’s time.

-Todd Pettengill interviews “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels who is taking over Jerry Lawler’s “knights” squad to fight the Hart brothers this evening. Lawler was pulled from the show after a thirteen year old girl accused him of rape, an accusation that would later be proven untrue. This marks substitution #2 for the evening. Michaels had recently been reinstated after disappearing from the WWF and he claims that he is still the undisputed Intercontinental champion. Astute readers will also remember that he has a lingering issue with Bret “the Hitman” Hart from the Survivor Series show the previous year, where Bret defeated him in the main event.

-Family Feud host Ray Combs interviews the Hart brothers (Bret, Owen, Keith, and Bruce) with Stu Hart in tow in the locker room. Bret promises that the masks are coming off and says that Michaels is going to pay. The promo is okay, but Combs sort of ruins it by summarizing the comments as if the audience is made up of two year olds.

-We go backstage in a Coliseum video exclusive where Jannetty and Kid meet up with Ramon and he says they need to go look for Savage. I forgot how corny many of the exclusive segments are, but they made me want to rent the tape anyway when I was ten.

-Family Feud Match: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels & the Royal Knights vs. The Hart Brothers:

Combs is our special ring announcer/commentator and like he did at WrestleMania VIII, he reads us the results of surveys that make the heels look stupid. Some of this great material: opinions of Shawn Michaels mother. The fans don’t respond well to this and get very annoyed that we just cannot get to the match. As this goes on, I will go ahead and note that there are three knights: blue, red, and black. To save you the trouble of looking it up, the Black Knight is Jeff Gaylord, the Blue Knight is Greg Valentine, and the Red Knight is Barry Horowitz. Michaels gets to the ring and proceeds to taunt members of the Hart family that are sitting at ringside. Stu is the last Hart member to walk to the ring and Heenan sets in on him immediately by saying that he stole his Boston Bruins jacket from the concession stand. Something tells me that is going to be the one redeeming thing about this match.

Bruce and Shawn start and Bruce gets Shawn to run into the Red Knight. Bruce takes out the heels in the corner and when the Black Knight tries to hold him from the apron for a Shawn kneelift, Bruce moves out of the way and the Black Knight takes the blow. Keith gets tagged in and works in some mat wrestling that bores the crowd because they are not conditioned for that. Owen and the Red Knight battle, with Owen working in some quick offense to wake up the crowd and the Black Knight gets tossed around in a series of hiptosses and armdrags. Bret gets tagged in to battle with the Blue Knight and he doesn’t fare any better than his teammates. Michaels knees Bruce in the back when he runs the ropes and it is hard to call this a face in peril moment because the audience seems to show no interest in whether Bruce lives or dies out there. Michaels tries to generate heat by yelling at the Hart members, but to no avail. The Red Knight gets a series of two counts on Bruce after a suplex. The Black Knight comes in and Bruce gets a near-fall out of a backslide, prompting Shawn Michaels to tag in and do some more work. Double KO after a Bruce clothesline off the ropes and momentum swinging tag to Bret after Michaels tags in the Black Knight. Bret gets a rollup and then a small package for two-counts. Bret with a backbreaker and hits his patented elbow off the second rope for a near-fall before Michaels interrupts. Owen is tagged in and hits a spinning wheel kick off the ropes and covers, only to have the Blue Knight interrupt. All hell breaks loose in the ring following that and we get all four heels whipped into each other in the center of the ring. That leaves the Black Knight to get avalanched in the corner with a clothesline by Bruce and Owen hits a missile dropkick that catches the Black Knight in the side of the head for the pin at 10:46. Combs thinks that ends the match, and I wish it did, but we continue.

The Red Knight has his legs abused for the Harts enjoyment. This goes on for several minutes until the Red Knight reverses a figure-four attempt by Keith and pushes him into the turnbuckle. However, a knee drop hits canvas and Keith locks in a figure-four only to have Michaels break that up with an elbow drop. After the Blue Knight comes in, the Red Knight trips Keith when he runs the ropes and then Michaels does a flying headbutt over the ropes onto Keith’s arms from the apron that draws some “ooh’s” from the crowd. The heels work the shoulder, boring the crowd further as some head to the concession stand for a break. Michaels misses a flying headbutt, leading to a momentum swinging tag to Bret, who finishes off the Red Knight with a Sharpshooter at 18:03.

Referee Danny Davis loses control as Shawn Michaels attacks Bret on the floor and the Blue Knight gets a series of near-falls off a suplex and elbow drop. Stu rubs Keith’s shoulder on the floor as Heenan cracks me up with a “Yea! That’ll work!’ line. Michaels and Bret finally get involved with each other, but by this point the crowd is too far gone to care. The Blue Knight gets a two-count after a headbutt to the mid-section, but eats a boot on a blind charge and we get a double KO after a flying clothesline off the second rope. Momentum swinging tag to Owen, who unloads on the Blue Knight with ten corner punches, a bodyslam, and a flying elbow drop off the second rope. Michaels breaks up a cover attempt and after a double noggin knocker from Owen and Bruce, Michaels slides outside where he decides to pick on Stu. Bad idea as Stu clocks Michaels and Michaels sells it like a champ. Owen delivers a pescado onto Michaels on the floor and we head back in, where Michaels and the Blue Knight are run into each other and Owen delivers a flying bodypress off the top rope onto the Blue Knight after Michaels ducks. Michaels tries to break it up, but only ends up elbow dropping the Blue Knight and gets double-clotheslined out of the ring by Owen and Bruce. Left all alone, the rest is academic for the Blue Knight as an Owen bulldog and Sharpshooter finish him at 23:41.

Michaels is left all alone and Owen dares him to get into the ring. Michaels teases the idea of leaving, but Bret intercepts him on the floor and rolls him back in. The crowd wakes up now that the knights are gone and Michaels gets beat on by the faces, enduring a two-count at the hands of two Bruce knee drops. Pre-Sweet Chin Music off the ropes by Michaels on Bruce gets two. Bruce turns the tide against Michaels just enough to get Bret back in and he slingshots Michaels into the buckles and drops an elbow for two. Side Russian legsweep by Bret gets two. Michaels uses an eye rake to get out of a backbreaker, which is a unique counter, and that gets Owen tagged in where a belly-to-belly suplex off the ropes gets two. Bret is slow to walk back to his place on the apron, still suffering the lingering effects of the eye rake and Michaels reverses an Owen Irish Whip into the ropes, causing Owen to inadvertently collide with Bret and sending Bret flying off the apron into the guardrail. Owen is distracted at what just occurred and that lets Michaels roll him up and score a pinfall at 27:13.

Owen is none too pleased about what has happened and yells down at Bret while his other brothers and Stu attend to him on the floor. In a funny moment, Michaels uses the brief respite to take a water break in the ring. We resume action, where Bruce hits a falling clothesline for two. Michaels escapes a sleeperhold for a double KO and we see a head-to-head collision off the ropes for another double KO. Keith gets tagged in and his abdominal stretch gets reversed. Bret gets tagged in and he whips Michaels into the corner, enabling Michaels to do a Flair flip and another spot where he gets crotched on the top rope. Michaels fights out of a Bret Sharpshooter and Michaels decides to quit and runs to the back for a countout at 30:54 to give the Hart brothers the win.

After the match, Owen returns to the ring and confronts Bret about his elimination earlier. Bret teases just walking out on his brother, as the crowd boos Owen, who poses for the crowd. The camera shows Helen crying at ringside. Pettengill tries to get a word from Owen as he walks out of the ring, but Owen refuses to comment on the situation. As you can tell, this match temporarily ended the Lawler-Bret storyline (which would be continued after WrestleMania XI) and moved Bret into a storyline with Owen, that would continue through 1994 and early 1995.

MATCH RATING: PENALTY. This match was not bad from a technical wrestling perspective, but it had absolutely no heat outside of Bret and Shawn which just made the match a chore to sit through. I wanted to utter a moan when Keith and Bruce got involved because the action slowed to a crawl. If this match had only gone ten to fifteen minutes, I might have been more sympathetic. However, why devote thirty minutes to an extended squash match where one of the main players (Lawler) had to be taken out and whose knights were never to be seen again? Add to the cop out finish at the end, which they had to do so as not to damage Michaels heading into his feud with Razor Ramon, and this was over thirty minutes of my life I will never get back.

-Gorilla and Heenan have a classic exchange prior to a switch of announcing crews for the Smokey Mountain tag team title match. Monsoon nearly clocks Heenan, prompting Heenan to put on a pair of classes to prevent it.

-Promo for WrestleMania X. Hard to imagine we have already had 25 of them.

-Video package describing the main event between the Foreign Fanatics and the All-Americans. You see, Tatanka’s two year WWF winning streak was ended in controversial fashion by the Finnish heel Ludvig Borga. After being beaten up by Borga and Yokozuna after the match, Tatanka was put out of commission and the Undertaker was introduced as the new All-American teammate. I’d definitely say that was an upgrade. To retaliate for Tatanka and to increase this arms race of WWF proportions, Lex Luger defeated Pierre of the Quebecers on Monday Night Raw using his steel forearm. Evidently, this was a “fan chosen” match because you know, the fans would much rather see Luger vs. Pierre than Luger vs. Yokozuna. This eliminated Pierre from competing at the Survivor Series, so the Foreign Fanatics got Crush. Again, another upgrade to the team and a stupid move by the faces that offset the stupid move by the heels.

-Smokey Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Championship Match: The Rock N’ Roll Express (Champions) vs. The Heavenly Bodies (w/Jim Cornette):

For Smokey Mountain Wrestling, which I used to watch a lot as a kid since I grew up in Kentucky, to have a match way up north like this is odd. It would have been better to have this match in a more southern venue, especially because at least there they would recognize the Rock N’ Roll Express. Due to geography and also due to the last match, the crowd gives a dead response to the Rock N’ Roll’s entrance. Four-way brawl starts the match and the Heavenly Bodies clean house and flip Robert Gibson into the ring from the apron. They try to do the same to Ricky Morton, but he reverses it and causes the Bodies to flip over the top rope and to the floor. Morton follows it up with a suicide dive onto the Bodies on the floor. The Bodies regroup with Cornette as he flips out in front of the camera and when we get back in, Gibson and “Gigolo” Jimmy del Ray go at it and Gibson gets in an impressive headscissors and the Express get a double-elbow off the ropes onto del Ray, prompting him to tag in Dr. Tom Pritchard.

Morton gives hiptosses to both Bodies and moves out of the way of a Ray superkick, causing Pritchard to be struck by the move. The Express toss the Bodies into the corner and take turns monkeyflipping them out. Atomic drops are delivered by the Express and they “row the boat” with the Bodies legs. Good action here, but the crowd isn’t much into it which is unfortunate. The Express work over Pritchard’s legs and keep knocking Ray off the apron for good measure. Ray gets tagged in after a rake to the eyes from Pritchard and that only leads to the Bodies having a double-noggin knocker delivered to them after a miscommunication spot.

Back in, Pritchard delivers a sit down powerbomb on Morton when he ducks his head too early on a whip. Pritchard slams Morton and then the Pritchard flips Ray over his head onto Morton for a two-count. Ray gets an elbow off the ropes and dances to taunt Gibson. Illegal switch and Morton is tossed to the floor, where Cornette tolds Ray in place for a Asai moonsault. Ray rolls Morton in for a two-count. Pritchard hits a powerslam out of the corner for two. The Bodies hit a modified Hart Attack, with Ray holding Morton in place as Pritchard comes down on him with a falling clothesline for two. Ray hits Morton with Veg-O-Matic (a legdrop from the top rope as Pritchard holds Morton in place) for two. Ray tries to hit a powerbomb, but Morton delivers a huricarana for a fluke near-fall. Pritchard is tagged in and puts his head down too fast on a whip and Morton gets a fluke small package for two. Pritchard holds Morton in place for a Ray moonsault that gets two before Gibson interrupts. All of this offense that I have detailed is one of the reasons why I think the Heavenly Bodies ever get the credit they deserve in wrestling circles. Were they the best? No. But they clearly had a better offensive moveset than most tag teams of the lackluster 1990s era did. The Bodies try a double-back body drop, but the Bodies duck too early and Morton hits them both with a DDT for a double KO.

Momentum swinging tag to Gibson and he cleans house, hitting Pritchard with an enzeguri, but the referee is not in position to make a count. Chaos erupts in the ring and Morton rolls up Ray, only to have Pritchard grab him and throw him over the top rope. This would be a disqualification in Smokey Mountain Wrestling and Gibson tries to get the referee to disqualify the Bodies, but as Jim Ross points out, we are under WWF rules here so the match continues. I guess they didn’t make Gibson aware of that one. Pritchard tosses Gibson to the outside and the camera misses Morton getting a cover on Ray. The two team brawl continues as the Express get their double dropkick finisher on Pritchard, but a brief distraction by Cornette gives Pritchard enough time to kick out. Morton knocks Cornette off the apron and while the referee directs Morton back his corner, Cornette tosses his tennis racquet to Ray, who comes off the top rope and smashes it across Gibson’s back. Pritchard then rolls over and covers Gibson for the win and the titles at 13:36.

MATCH RATING: DEDUCTION. Great old school tag team matchup here that is hurt because the crowd was not used to either team. Pritchard could have sold the leg more during the match too, but the pace was excellent and both teams put on a great effort. If this had been the Smokey Mountain territories or down south, the roof would have been blown off the joint halfway through. It is surprising that considering both teams talents neither of them were taken seriously by the WWF. For the Heavenly Bodies, they were always treated as jobbers to the bigger teams like the Smoking Gunns and for the Rock N’ Roll Express, they were never used as full-time talent (probably because of their age). I consider that a shame because both teams would have really spiced up the tag team title picture in the WWF in the mid-90s, which this match goes to show.

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

The story behind this match is that Doink, who had turned face in the fall, had antagonized Bigelow with pranks leading up to the show. Bam Bam led his team into Survivor Series looking for revenge, but was unsure who he would face since the card only said “Four Doinks.” Any regular fan would expect, you know, DOINK to actually be one of the Four Doinks, but sorry fans, if you paid your money to see Doink on this show you have gotten SWERVED because the Four Doinks are actually the Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission wearing Doink facepaint. Now how this makes sense I am not sure, because as a mark watching this show I thought Doink was too afraid to actually show up and wrestle, although you could argue that it showed that he outsmarted Bam Bam. The crowd is not too happy about this arrangement, chanting “We Want Doink” in unison.

By the way, before we start it needs to be said that Afa is munching on a turkey and the heels have brought food down to ringside. This becomes important later on, no joke. Booger and Luke start and although Booger gets the advantage, he gets distracted by Fatu who is waving a banana at him. To punish him for this indiscretion, Luke bites Booger on his rear end. Samu gets tagged in after Booger has his eyes poked and foot stomped on he is tired of these clown shenanigans so he bites some balloons the faces give him. However, when he bites into one given to him by Mo, it is filled with water and it sprays him, allowing Luke to schoolboy him out of the match at 1:24.

So Fatu comes in and no-sells Butch’s offense because he tries to headbutt him and you cannot headbutt a Headshrinker. Fatu hits Butch with a suplex that nearly cripples referee Tim White and the heels beat on Butch, with Luna spitting at him for good measure. It appears over for Butch when Booger slams him and delivers his Trip to the Bat Cave finisher, but instead of staying on top for the cover, Booger breaks it at one to get a banana in the corner. Bigelow tells Booger to get focused, so Booger comes back to deliver his finisher again with a banana in his mouth (and no I am not making this up), only this time, Mabel comes in and pulls Butch from under Booger, causing Booger to hit nothing but canvas. The Bushwhackers then regroup and hit Booger with a Battering Ram and Mabel hits a leg drop off the ropes to eliminate Booger at 4:25. I guess it doesn’t matter who the legal man is supposed to be.

Fatu offers Luke some food and when Luke tries to get some, he pounces. As Fatu headbutts Luke, Mo brings a scooter into the ring and rides it around. Fatu looks at Mo puzzled and Bigelow ends the distraction with a Getto Blaster-style kick to the back of Mo’s head. Bigelow then takes the scooter and throws it out of the ring. Fatu proceeds to hit his top rope splash, but again does not cover because he is mesmerized by a banana peel. What in the hell? Fatu drops the banana peel and turns around to face Butch who has a bucket and is threatening to throw the contents of it into Fatu’s face. Fatu backs up, albeit clearly by where the banana peel is, and Butch throws the bucket’s contents at Fatu except…there aren’t any contents in the bucket! However, Fatu slips on the banana peel because he thought something was in the bucket and that enables Butch to cover him for a pin at 6:57. Only God knows what is going through Bigelow’s head right now.

And speaking of which, Bigelow is tired of this garbage so he gets right to business, taking out three of the faces before he is left with Mabel. I should note now that the ring by this point is littered with food and is a mess. The crowd gets behind Mabel and Mabel floors Bigelow with a shoulderblock. Mabel tries to avalanche Bigelow in the corner, but Bigelow moves and hits Mabel with a flying shoulderblock. Luke gets bodyslammed when he comes into the ring and Bigelow covers, but he gets up when Butch dumps a bucket of water on Luna. When Bigelow is near the corner to investigate, he is avalanched from behind by Men on a Mission and Mabel splashes him as the Four Doinks pile on for the pin at 9:22.

Afterward, Doink comes up on the video screen and taunts Bigelow over his loss. He also blows a kiss to Luna, which he coughs up.

MATCH RATING: AUDIT. Some people may wonder why this thing doesn’t get a penalty, but I tend to try to look for the positive in matches and this had something worthwhile. In fact, as far as comedy matches go this was pretty good and had some fun finishes. It was good for a laugh and although the endings were silly, they did build on one element of the match: surprise. The heels expected to face Doink and some clones and got something far different. As a result, some of their shock at the events that unfolded were justified. And it is hardly like this match buried the heels. Bam Bam had to have the ENTIRE face squad beat him and he would avenge Doink in the feud at WrestleMania X, Bastion Booger was getting cheers soon and was turned face (although he was released), and the Headshrinkers would go on seven months later and win the tag team championships.

-Coliseum exclusive sees the Doinks celebrating with Doink and chanting “Whoop There it Is!”

-Pettengill interviews the Foreign Fanatics. Jim Cornette cuts an excellent promo that rips Pettengill’s All-American argument apart and

-Package for the All-American team evokes memories of past American heroes in Boston and of President John F. Kennedy. Quite corny and less than stellar compared to the effort the WWF put in for SummerSlam 1993.

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

The Undertaker and Yokozuna have a staredown right after the opening bell rings, but pull away from each other shortly after. Scott and Jacques start and Scott gives him an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for two. Rick and Yokozuna then go at it, with Rick dazing Yokozuna and sending him out of the ring with a flying shoulderblock off the ropes. Rick gets moved into the heel corner and Borga is tagged in and tosses Rick to the floor. However, Rick delivers a top rope Steinerline and covers Borga for a one count. Borga hits a slam, but misses an elbow drop off the ropes. Rick launches himself at Borga off the top rope, but Borga counters with something sloppy for the pin to be eliminated at 4:03. Crowd isn’t happy about that and Rick appears to be shaken up, making me wonder if that elimination was premature.

Scott and Jacques have another go at it and Scott gets Jacques up in a gorilla press slam and tosses him at Crush, but Crush catches him with one arm and gently sets him back down, leading to a comedic moment where Jacques shakes Crush’s hand and taunts Scott. Crush headbutts Scott out of a test of strength, but puts his head down on a whip too fast and gets a double underhook suplex delivered to him for his efforts and Scott gets a near-fall. A whip into the ropes sees Crush manage to land a thrust kick and as Crush lifts Scott up in a gorilla press slam, “Macho Man” Randy Savage appears and tries to fight through security to get to Crush in the ring. In a cool moment, Crush simply drops Scott over the top rope and down to the floor and then taunts Savage as security make him go away. Back in, Crush shows off his martial arts skills on Scott and tries to pin him with a step over toehold. Savage makes a second attempt to get to the ring as the crowd goes wild and Scott dropkicks a distracted Steiner in the back, which sends him to the floor. Crush says screw the match and goes after Savage and that results in him getting counted out at 10:34. After coming up short in his melee with Savage, Crush comes back to the ring and acts indignant that he has been counted out. Really? You were gone for almost forty seconds and you expect that your still in the match?

We return to the action, where Jacques is working over Scott and gets two after a piledriver, a move that I miss seeing despite knowing the risks it poses to workers. Scott hits Jacques in the gut off the ropes and hits a gorilla press slam. Luger is tagged in and with a slam and elbow off the second rope Jacques is eliminated at 13:03.

Yokozuna looks over at Borga on the apron and tells him to get in the ring and Borga does, proceeding to taunt Luger on the apron. Borga does his best Vader impersonation on Scott and avalanches him against the buckles. A lariat about takes off Scott’s head, but he catches Borga on the top rope and he superduperplex’s him, but Yokozuna breaks it up. Yokozuna makes an illegal switch, but misses an elbow drop. Scott sends Yokozuna into the ropes and tries a Frankensteiner (?!?!), but Yokozuna hangs onto the ropes and hits Scott with a leg drop and Scott hits the showers at 15:59.

Yokozuna and Luger now face off in the middle of the ring and trade slaps before Yokozuna gets the advantage. Yokozuna slams Luger and tries a splash off the ropes, but Luger moves and fires away, only to be put back down to the mat with a clothesline. Borga and Yokozuna tag in and out to wear down Luger, slowing down our pace. Yokozuna whips Luger into the buckle and tries an avalanche, but Luger again moves out of the way and as Luger inches to the corner the crowd starts to rise to its feet and when he tags in the Undertaker the crowd explodes. The Undertaker DDT’s Yokozuna when Yokozuna puts his head down too fast on a whip. Borga tries to hit the Undertaker from behind when he runs the ropes, but Undertaker no-sells it and knocks Borga off the apron. Yokozuna, though, uses the distraction to nail his devastating looking belly-to-belly suplex. Undertaker starts to sit up and Yokozuna legdrops him and hits the Banzai Drop. However, when Yokozuna tries to hit a second Banzai Drop, the Undertaker sits up and he hits Yokozuna with a flying clothesline off the ropes to a massive pop. That moment was significant because it was the first time anyone had gotten up from the Banzai Drop. Yokozuna and the Undertaker brawl on the floor, as the crowd eats every moment of it up, with the Undertaker no-selling a taking to the ring steps and giving Yokozuna the same treatment. Unfortunately, this leads to both men getting counted out at 22:23.

So we are down to Borga vs. Luger. Borga hits a sidewalk slam for two. Borga hits a vertical suplex for two. Powerslam off the ropes gets two. Two clotheslines get two. However, Luger blocks two suplex attempts and hits one of his own for a brief double KO. Luger ducks a clothesline and double-clothesline spot gives us double KO #2. Cornette distracts the referee as Fuji comes in and hands Borga a wooden bucket, which Borga uses to clock Luger over the head. This gives us double KO #3. Oh well, it didn’t work at SummerSlam 1993, why would it work here? Luger gets a second wind and unloads with fists and a sloppy DDT on Borga. Elbow off the ropes by Luger and a delayed cover gets two. Sloppy Irish whip and powerslam off the ropes gets two. Borga tries to make a comeback, but he ducks his head too early on a whip and Luger leapfrogs over him and hits the steel forearm for the win at 27:00.

Afterwards, Santa Claus makes his way into the ring and Luger parties with him as fake snow falls into the ring.

MATCH RATING: DEDUCTION. Several people I know are not a fan of this match, but I don’t find it to be that bad. The match doesn’t get bogged down in one segment for too long and it advanced storylines accordingly. People may crab about there being some cop-out finishes with Crush, Yokozuna, and the Undertaker, but all of those were needed, especially in the Undertaker and Yokozuna’s case, to make for matchups down the road. The one thing to take from this match is that the Undertaker received bigger pops than Luger, showing that the WWF had a major road to go down if it still wanted to make Luger its top face, an experiment they would give up on in the months following.

OVERALL TAPE RATING (BUST-****): ** While this card has some decent matches, nothing here made a major difference in the end scheme of things. The opener is one of the better Survivor Series team matches and the Rock N’ Roll Express-Heavenly Bodies match is solid, but the rest is just run of the mill 1993 WWF and in fact, no major feuds were actually settled on this show. This fact, coupled with arguably Bret Hart’s worst pay-per-view match in the early 1990s, puts this show in the middle. It’s not a waste of your time to see, but it’s nothing special either.

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