Welcome everyone to my (brief) review of the very first Survivor Series. Enjoy!
Before starting, here is the list of champions at the time:
- WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan
- Intercontinental Champion: Honky Tonk Man
- Tag Team Champions: Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel)
- Women’s Champion: Sensational Sherri
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura
Match #1: Team Honky Tonk Man vs. Team Randy Savage
- Team Honky (The Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, ‘King’ Harley Race, ‘Outlaw’ Ron Bass & ‘Dangerous’ Danny Davis)(w/ Jimmy Hart & Bobby Heenan)
- Team Savage (‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake & ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan)(w/ Miss Elizabeth)
I won’t be doing play-by-play commentary as I usually do, because there are fifty wrestlers across four matches out there, and it’s pretty much impossible to follow everything.
For you trivia lovers out there, Hercules and Brutus Beefcake started the very first traditional Survivor Series elimination tag match in history. The first wrestlers eliminated were Jim Duggan and Harley Race, who were feuding at the time and got counted-out while brawling on the floor at 4:33.
Throughout the next few minutes, this was the order of elimination: Ron Bass by Beefcake via high knee at 7:01; Brutus Beefcake by Honky via Shake, Rattle & Roll at 10:51; Danny Davis by Roberts via DDT at 15:11; Hercules by Randy Savage via Macho Elbow at 21:04.
That left the IC Champ alone against Savage, Steamboat and Roberts, The babyface, particularly Savage, destroyed Honky until he got out of there for the count-out finish at 23:41.
Really fun opener with a hot crowd and a smart finish, as it wasn’t the time or the mach for Honky to get his comeuppance yet. ***1/4
Survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts
Match #2: Team Sherri vs. Team Moolah
- Team Sherri (Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls [Leilani Kai & Judy Martin], Dawn Marie & Donna Christanello)
- Team Moolah (The Fabulous Moolah, The Jumping Bomb Angels [Itsuki Yamazaki & Noriyo Tateno], Velvet McIntyre & Rockin’ Robin)(w/ Jimmy Hart)
The order of elimination in this match was: Donna by McIntyre via roll-up at 2:00; Dawn Marie by Robin at 4:00; Robin by Sherri via suplex at 7:00; Moolah by Martin via roll-up at 15:00; McIntyre by Kai via slingshot electric chair at 17:00; Kai by Yamazaki via high crossbody at 19:00; Martin by Nateno via flying clothesline at 20:00.
Kind of a weird match. It was mostly heatless, with the crowd absolutely dead for the most part and sometimes sloppy. However, it did get The Jumping Bomb Angels over as fuck, and they were unquestionably the highlight of this match. **1/2
Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels
Match #3: Team Strike Force vs. Team Hart Foundation
- Team Strike Force (Strike Force [Tito Santana & Rick Martel], The British Bulldogs [Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid], The Killer Bees [B. Brian Blair & ‘Jumping’ Jim Brunzell], The Rougeau’s [Jacques & Raymond Rougeau] & The Young Stallions [Paul Roma & Jim Powers])
- Team Hart Foundation (The Hart Foundation [Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart], Demolition [Ax & Smash], The Bolsheviks [Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov], The Dream Team [Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo] & The Islanders [Haku & Tama])(w/ Bobby Heenan, Jimmy Hart, Johnny Valiant, Mr. Fuji & Slick)
If one member of a team got pinned, his partner would also be eliminated. The order of elimination: Zhukov (Bolsheviks) by Santana (Strike Force) via flying forearm at 1:30; Jacques (Rougeau’s) by Ax (Demolition) via missed bodypress at 6:00; Demolition by DQ at 9:00; Santana (Strike Force) by Neidhart (Hart Foundation) via Bret’s elbowdrop at 12:00; Dynamite Kid (British Bulldogs) by Haku (Islanders) via superkick at 20:00; Valentine (Dream Team) by Roma (Young Stallions) via sunset flip at 24:00; Bret (Hart Foundation) by Brunzell (Killer Bees) via roll-through pinning combination at 31:00; Tama (Islanders) by Blair (Killer Bees) via sunset flip at 37:00.
Even though this match missed its peak by a few minutes, and it suffered a little bit from some weird booking decisions, this was technically flawless. Spectacular match that I personally believe, with more heat and better booking, had everything to be even better than it was. ***3/4
Survivors: Killer Bees & Young Stallions
Main-event: Team Hogan vs. Team Andre
- Team Hogan (Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera & Paul Orndorff)(w/ Oliver Humperdink)
- Team Andre (Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, One Man Gang & Butch Reed)(w/ Bobby Heenan & Slick)
Order of elimination: Butch Reed by Hulk Hogan via legdrop at 3:00; Ken Patera by One Man Gang via splash (sort of) at 8:00; Orndorff by Rude via roll-up at 10:00; Rude by Don Muraco via double-team with Hogan at 11:00; Don Muraco by One Man Gang via splash at 13:00; Hulk Hogan by count-out at 16:00; King Kong Bundy by Bam Bam Bigelow via slingshot splash at 18:00; One Man Gang by Bam Bam Bigelow via missed splash at 21:00; Bam Bam Bigelow by Andre the Giant via suplex at 22:00.
Decent match elevated by a super hot crowd that was into everything. This was the Bam Bam show, whose comeback at the end of the match got a huge reaction. As far as the heels going over, it was fine as all the other matches had been won by babyfaces and Andre needed something after WrestleMania III. Not a good night for Hogan, who cried, complained and refused to leave the ring for what felt like an hour, despite being eliminated cleanly… and then, of course, beat up Andre (who did nothing wrong) and posed for 10 minutes despite losing. Bam Bam didn’t even get a standing ovation or anything, despite being the highlight of the match and almost coming back from a 1-3 disadvantage to win the whole thing. ***1/4
Survivor: Andre the Giant
Overall, this has to be a recommendation. The crowd is into pretty much everything, the wrestling is not bad at all, and there are a lot of interesting stories and characters around this show. A seven out of ten is what it gets from me.
Up next: Saturday Night’s Main Event 11.28.1987, featuring: Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy for the WWF Championship, Randy Savage vs. Bret Hart & more! Don’t miss that review, and thank you for reading this one!