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PPV WWF

WWF Survivor Series 1991 Review (What A Difference A Year Makes)

November 27, 1991
Live from Detroit, MI
Announced attendance: 17.500 (capacity: ca. 20.000)
PPV buyrate: 300.000 (-100.000 compared to Survivor Series 1990’s 400.000)

Hello everyone. Welcome to my review of WWF Survivor Series 1991, featuring Hulk Hogan defending the WWF Championship against The Undertaker in his “gravest challenge”. Also a number of extra traditional elimination matches, including a Ric Flair-led team squaring off against Roddy Piper’s quartet, the beginning of a famous tag team’s split, and much more.

Considering this is a “special” PPV with its own particular match type, some changes to the point system will be made. Considering one wrestler can very well be eliminated in seconds and still technically emerge victorious, only the survivors will get 1 point, while every member of the winning team (those eliminated included) will get 0.5. Each elimination will be worth 0.5 points, as usual.

Here is the list of champions in the WWF heading into this PPV:

  • WWF Champion: Hulk Hogan [248th day of his reign] – previous champion: Sgt. Slaughter
  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: Bret Hart [93rd day of his reign] – previous champion: Mr. Perfect
  • WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) [93rd day of his reign] – previous champions: The Nasty Boys

Enjoy the review!

WWF Survivor Series 1991 | Results | WWE PPV Event History | Pay Per View
IMG credit: WWE & thesmackdownhotel.com

The hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan

Special challenge: every elimination via clothesline = 1 drink

We recap the infamous angle of the cobra biting Randy Savage in the arm, which aired on TV a couple of weeks earlier. It wrote Savage off this event, which would’ve been Savage’s first match back after being reinstated. WWF President Jack Tunney removes both Savage and Jake Roberts from their elimination match, leaving both their teams at an even 3-on-3 situation. Tunney proceeds to ban the snake from ringside in the future, and books Savage’s return match for This Tuesday in Texas instead, against Roberts.

Survivor Series Elimination Match – Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, The Mountie & The Warlord vs. Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, The British Bulldog & Virgil
IMG credit. WWE & my123cents.com

No managers/valets allowed at ringside during the elimination matches this year. Flair comes out wearing a version of the WWF Tag Team belts, as the NWA had already paid the deposit to legally get back possession of the Big Gold Belt, but Flair needed a belt to carry on with the ‘real world champ’ gimmick. You can just visualize Vince coming up with the idea to have Flair carry the tag belt, can’t you? “Goddamnit wear this one, no one will notice pal”! Piper and DiBiase start under a very loud ‘Rowdy’ chant, with Flair jumping Piper before the bell to give the edge to Ted, but Piper strikes with a clothesline and crotches him. Sensational Sherri jumps back in to save DiBiase, but Rowdy plants a kiss on her and she’s sent packing by the outside refs. Piper slugs away on DiBiase and works a wristlock near the corner, before tagging in Bulldog for some knees to the arm. Virgil comes in and adds some more punishment, as does Bret before it’s back to Piper with an elbowdrop to the arm. Bulldog with a stomp to the arm. Virgil comes flying with a double axehandle to the arm off the top, and Bret goes to work on it some more with a hold on the mat. Great teamwork by the babyface team.

DiBiase rams Bret into the buckle to break, and Bret’s knees eat some more buckle on a failed blind charge. DiBiase tries a figure four but Bret shoots him off into the buckle and monkey flips him (while on the mat!!) into a pinning position for two, as they then get into a great pinfall reversal sequence. DiBiase/Bret has to be the best singles combination in Survivor Series matches, they end up having great interactions in these – ie: 1990 too. A hiptoss knocks Bret down and here comes Flair, only to miss an elbow and eat a headbutt. Atomic drop sets up the tag to Bulldog, who immediately follows it up with a slingshot into the turnbuckle for a Flair flop. And here comes Piper!!! The crowd goes absolutely wild for this showdown as the two get into a chop/slapfest, and Piper just runs wild with nonstop slaps and sends Flair to the floor for another Flair flop. Piper gives him no mercy and follows him for some more shots on the outside, until Flair crawls back inside and tags in Warlord. Bulldog wants some of him and Piper obliges. The usual series of shoulderblocks fail to knock Warlord down like always, but a dropkick gets the job done. Bulldog eats boot on a blind charge, though, and Mountie comes in with a flying back elbow but runs away and tags in DiBiase as soon as Bret gets tagged in. Bret goes to work on DiBiase with the backbreaker + middle rope elbow combo getting two. However, they collide on a criss cross for a brief double KO spot. Davey Boy picks up Mountie for some insane overhead press reps before slamming him down. Geez the strength! Flair beats him up and begs off, but Bulldog takes both him and DiBiase down with a double clothesline. IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA! Bulldog hits the running powerslam on Mountie in the middle of the confusion, but Flair (the legal man) knocks out Davey with a flying elbow to the back of the head for the first elimination at 10:55.

  • The British Bulldog eliminated (0.5 points to Ric Flair)

Piper immediately jumps Flair after the elimination, but the whole heel team jumps him and they get back in control. Flair hits a kneedrop, but stops to spit in Virgil’s face and gives Piper enough time to block a second one. Flair lands on his knee, so Piper locks in the figure four on him. DiBiase comes in to break up the hold, and he goes to work on Piper’s leg. He sets up for his own version of the figure four, but Piper cradles him for two. The Mountie works a Boston crab but Piper’s too close to his corner and he makes the tag to Virgil. He comes in running wild with a clothesline and a back elbow, and a backdrop on Flair. DiBiase asks for the tag, but Virgil rams his head into the turnbuckle repeatedly. However, DiBiase catches him with a powerslam and Warlord dumps Virgil. Flair sends Virgil into the steps on the outside, but Bret helps Virgil break the count back in. Warlord goes for the full nelson hold, but everyone gets in the ring and Bret breaks up the hold from behind. The illegal Piper makes the pin and the ref counts anyway at 17:00.

  • The Warlord eliminated (0.5 points to Roddy Piper)

DiBiase stops to complain and Piper nearly pins him too with a roll-up. Back elbow by DiBiase, but Piper responds with a suplex and makes the tag to Virgil. He puts DiBiase in the million dollar dream, and Ted sends him into the buckle to break. Flair comes in for some chops and a backdrop suplex. The Mountie hits a dropkick and he stops to celebrate. Jacques Rougeau never failed to entertain. And it’s back to DiBiase with a gutwrench suplex. Flair & DiBiase come in for a double clothesline on Virgil, and Flair gets two with his feet on the ropes. Virgil finally scores with a neckbreaker on DiBiase and makes the hot tag to Piper. He completely no-sells Flair’s chops and just pokes him in the eye while looking down at him in a hilarious bit, and then he does another one just because he can. Flair goes up but he gets slammed off, and suddenly everyone goes in the ring for a pier-six brawl. Piper irish whips Flair into the corner and he’s sent flying off the Flair flip. Meanwhile, everyone continues to fight inside the ring while ignoring the referee, until he calls for the bell and disqualifies everyone except Flair (who was outside the ring), making him the sole survivor at 22:48. The babyfaces immediately jump Flair and the rest of his team and they clean house.

  • Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil, Ted DiBiase & The Mountie eliminated

Winning team: Flair’s team (0.5 points to each eliminated member)

Sole survivor: Ric Flair (1 point to him)

  • Rating: Very fun match with some huge names involved and some great interactions. The crowd was particularly alive for Flair/Piper, which had been a hot program on television heading into this event, and Bret/DiBiase had yet another good wrestling sequence in the ring, though not at the level of the prior year. It went a bit long and it dragged at times, and also the choice of the finish was quite interesting to say the least, but overall the match was pretty good and the best choice for the opener. ***

Mean Gene interviews Randy Savage at the top of the ramp. As horrifying as the snake bite was, he says the worst thing he felt on that night was hearing Miss Elizabeth cry. He says the real snake has always been Jake all along, and promotes This Tuesday in Texas some more. Savage: “this Tuesday in Texas, the madness is gonna be all over you like melting butter, ooooh yeaaaah”! Miss Elizabeth joins us too and thanks everyone for supporting Randy Savage’s return to the ring. Does she think Savage is gonna beat Jake? Ooooh yeaaah.

Survivor Series Elimination Match – Sgt. Slaughter, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan, ‘El Matador’ Tito Santana & ‘The Texas Tornado’ Kerry Von Erich vs. Col. Mustafa, Skinner, The Berzerker & Hercules
IMG credit: WWE & freewrestling.blogfree.net

So basically the heel side consists of a former World champion turned manager who can’t even get his name back let alone wrestle anymore, a lame Stan Hansen wannabe cartoon character, an even lamer Bruiser Brody wannabe cartoon character, and the jobber version of Hercules Hernandez. Was the Brooklyn Brawler sick that day too? Who the fuck put this team together!? Skinner bitchslaps Tito to start, and Tito replies with the flying jalapeno already, which sends Skinner flying all the way to the floor. Skinner gets back in and Santana goes for it yet again, but this time Skinner moves out of the way and Tito knocks himself out. Berzerker comes in with a flying stomp but misses and lands on his ass like a complete geek. Off to Tornado and Berzerker misses a dropkick, but Kerry ends up getting caught in the heel corner. A Hercules shoulderblock is no-sold by Duggan, but Berzerker pushes him by the hair and the heels jump him in their corner. Sheiky baby works a chinlock on Duggan, and one can only imagine the conversation going on between those two during that hold. Sheik: “baby let’s smoka da nose candy in da car again?”, Duggan: “nooooooooooo”, Sheik: “maybe not good idea baby those jabronis caught us last time, let’s do it in hotel”, Duggan: “yayoooooooo”. Slaughter gets tagged in and hits a CLOTHESLINE FOR THE PIN at 7:57. There’s your first drink!

  • Col. Mustafa eliminated (0.5 points to Sgt. Slaughter)

Berzerker immediately jumps Slaughter afterward and hits a big boot for two. Hercules rams Sarge into the post for two. Berzerker gets back in but gets crotched, and nearly does the splits selling a kick to the leg. Gorilla: “he just did one of those rockette moves”. What am I watching? Duggan dumps Berzerker over the top rope twice, but since this isn’t WCW you just saved two drinks. Kerry comes in with a sloppy Tornado Punch that Berzerker completely no-sells, and then Kerry completely botches a simple leapfrog on Hercules. Jesus christ…. Thankfully Santana makes the tag and tries to single-handedly save this ugly disaster, finishing Herc with an inverted flying jalapeno at 12:05.

  • Hercules eliminated (0.5 points to El Matador)

Skinner comes in with an atomic drop on Tito, but Slaughter makes a blind tag behind his back and rolls him up at 13:31. Somehow he got a shot at Bret Hart’s IC title at the next PPV less than a week later, and not The Mountie who a) was actually in a feud over the title with Bret; and b) didn’t lose on this show. Logic.

  • Skinner eliminated (0.5 points to Sgt. Slaughter)

Berzerker is left alone but not for long, as Duggan’s 3 point stance clothesline ends things at 14:19. ANOTHER PIN WITH A CLOTHESLINE! Down that one too, go ahead!

  • The Berzerker eliminated (0.5 points to Jim Duggan)

Survivors: Duggan, Slaughter, Santana & Tornado (1 point to each)

  • Rating: This sucked, absolutely sucked. It was nothing but filler to begin with, but what a mess it was. 1/4*

Jake Roberts‘ turn to get interviewed by Mean Gene. The snake bite on Savage was nothing but an accident, trust him. Gene: “you’re a sick person”, Jake: “thank you very much”. He says the ban is completely meaningless, as the animal inside the bag had always been nothing but a toy – he was always the real snake.

More promotional work for This Tuesday in Texas

WWF Championship – Hulk Hogan(c) vs. The Undertaker(w/ Paul Bearer)
IMG credit: WWE & goombastomp.com

Undertaker misses a blind charge to start, but he no-sells the impact and immediately stares him down. Side headlock by Hogan but he runs into a shoulderblock and Hogan regroups. Back in, UT corners Hogan and adds the creepy choking. That lasts for a while and even Paul Bearer gets his shots in behind the ref’s back. Powerslam by UT but he misses an elbowdrop and Hogan slugs away. Clothesline is no-sold so Hogan goes for a powerslam instead, but he can’t lift him up. An elbow is no-sold as well and a clothesline dumps UT over the top rope, but he lands on his feet and no-sells that too. He pulls Hogan to the floor for a throw into the steps followed by more choking with a cable. More choking follows and Hogan goes down via a DEADLY CLAWHOLD OF DOOM. Hogan finally shows some life and makes the comeback, but a shoulderblock knocks UT to the ropes and he suddenly explodes with the flying clothesline. That looked pretty good. That sets up the Tombstone Piledriver, but Hogan obviously no-sells that and he pops right back up. He makes the comeback with the usual and manages to powerslam UT down, but here’s Ric Flair to join us at ringside. Hogan stops to beat him up, and back in the big boot takes UT down once again. However, Paul Bearer distracts the referee and Flair sets up a chair for a Tombstone onto it to give Undertaker his first title at 12:45. Undertaker’s win gets a big pop, which is probably the reason why Hogan faked the infamous neck injury backstage to try and kill his push. Too bad his neck wasn’t even close to hitting the mat on the Tombstone, but nice try Hulkster. To his credit, he sells the finish well after the match.

  • Rating: This match did a good job at advancing the stories it told and the crowd was alive for most of it, but I’m afraid that’s where the praise ends. The match itself was quite poor as about 80% of it was spent in chokes, but it got Undertaker over huge and it carries historical significance. *1/4

We must be in PPV remission time because we get a series of promos now. Here we go:

Roddy Piper says his night just got even worse and now he wants Flair more than ever.

Ric Flair & Mr. Perfect mock Hogan and claim there’s only one real World Champion.

Natural Disasters & IRS will shock everyone in the main-event in more ways than one. IRS calls Jack Tunney ‘Paul Tunney’, and him visually trying to hold his laughter when he realizes his mistake while Typhoon speaks is quite funny!

Big Bossman & LOD say they would win no matter the odds, regardless of Savage and/or Roberts being in the match or not.

WWF President Jack Tunney says he can’t change the referee’s decision in the WWF Championship match. What he can do, though, is book a rematch for the title at This Tuesday in Texas. And this time, he will be at ringside to avoid shenanigans.

Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) & The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) & The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake)
IMG credit: WWE

The Bushwhackers run wild to start with their usual comedy stuff, which surprisingly gets little reaction, quite possibly because they’re following Hogan’s match. They take care of the Beverly Brothers with the battering ram, and the Rockers clean the rest of the house with stereo dropkicks to the Nasty Boys as the heels bail. Michaels hits a neckbreaker on one of the Beverly’s, but he walks into a backbreaker and it’s off to Knobbs. Michaels meets him in the middle with a high knee to the face and tags in Luke. Knobbs misses a blind charge in the corner, but Luke stops to taunt the other heels and lets Knobbs hit a flying clothesline and eliminate him like a total buffoon at 5:21.

  • Bushwhacker Luke eliminated (0.5 points to Brian Knobbs)

Sags comes in with a vertical suplex to Michaels, who responds with a high crossbody for two. Tag to Jannetty who goes to work on Sags’ arm with a few armdrags and holds, but Beau comes in with the Mr. Perfect necksnap. Backdrop but Jannetty lands on his feet and he hits a superkick for two. Beau cuts him off with a hard whip into the corner, though, and a gutwrench suplex gets two. A double collision knocks both guys down, and they both tag out. Butch runs wild on both Beverly Brothers with a couple of clotheslines, but he gets caught in their corner and a double facebuster of sorts leaves The Rockers alone at 10:13.

  • Bushwhacker Butch eliminated (0.5 points to Beau Beverly)

Jannetty comes in with a monkey flip right into a hurricanrana for two. An enziguiri knocks Blake all the way into his corner, and Blake runs into an armdrag. Michaels goes to work on the arm too, but Beau fights out with a headbutt and he chokes away. He dumps Michaels to the floor and hits a back elbow back inside followed by an elbowdrop to the back. Backbreaker is blocked and turned into a backslide for the pin at 14:30.

  • Beau Beverly eliminated (0.5 points to Shawn Michaels)

Blake hits a powerslam for two. Michaels tries to surprise Knobbs with a sunset flip, but Knobbs kicks out and immediately tags in Sags. He dumps Michaels but HBK hangs on, and comes up from behind with a dropkick that sends Sags flying to the outside. Michaels meets him there with a flying clothesline, and a superkick for Knobbs. The heels turn things around, though, and Blake hits a legdrop as Gorilla wonders why Michaels doesn’t tag out. The hot tag brings in Jannetty with a flying back elbow to Knobbs, and a snapmare gets two. Sunset flip gets two on Blake, but Knobbs gets tagged back in and he takes back control with a slam. He eats knees on a misses splash, though, and Michaels cleans house off the tag. All five are in the ring as it’s BREAKING LOOSE IN DETROIT, and Sags’ feet (off a Jannetty powerslam) send Michaels into a roll-up from Knobbs at 19:41.

  • Shawn Michaels eliminated (0.5 points to Brian Knobbs)

A pissed off Michaels shoves Jannetty before leaving. This is obviously the start of the Rockers’ split, which would be confirmed in the famous Barber Shop window segment a couple months later. Blake hits a powerslam but he doesn’t want the pin yet, asking the Nasty Boys if they want some more. Jannetty tries to use his quickness to fight off Knobbs, sending him into the post and taking out both Nasty Boys with a high crossbody to the outside. An inside cradle has Sags pinned but Blake distracts the referee, allowing Knobbs to roll his partner on top for the win at 23:06.

  • Marty Jannetty eliminated (0.5 points to Jerry Sags)

Winning team: Nasty Boys & Beverly Brothers (0.5 points to Beau Beverly)

Survivors: Nasty Boys & Blake Beverly (1 point to each)

  • Rating: The work by the Rockers and their story was good to see, but the match might as well have been a 4-on-2 handicap match to begin with. The first ten minutes were literally just there as filler until the Bushwhackers were both eliminated, and they weren’t any good. It picked up in the second half and it set up what eventually marked the beginning of Shawn Michaels’ singles run and push. **1/2
(Alleged) Main Event – Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Big Bossman & The Road Warriors (Hawk & Animal) vs. Irwin R. Schyster & The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon)
IMG credit: WWE & whatculture.com

Good little sequence between Bossman and IRS to start until it’s off to Earthquake and Animal. Quake takes over with an easy backbreaker but he misses a splash and Animal explodes with a flying shoulderblock for two. Hawk goes to work on IRS but Tyohoon catches him to prevent a slam, only for Hawk to dropkick them both down. The babyfaces take turns beating up Typhoon and he brings Quake back in. Hawk fights back with a backdrop suplex on IRS followed by an elbowdrop. Bossman misses a big boot on IRS, but doesn’t miss a punch on the rebound. The ref gets distracted with the action going on outside, though, and IRS uses the briefcase to get rid of Bossman at 6:23. Well so much for that push.

  • Big Bossman eliminated (0.5 points to IRS)

The heels cut the ring in half and go to work on Animal. Typhoon works a bearhug, but eats boot on a blind charge and a clothesline out of the corner. Hot tag Hawk and he unloads with the flying shoulderblock. However, IRS gets involved behind the ref’s back and he grabs the briefcase, but Hawk moves out of the way and Typhoon’s gone instead at 9:55.

  • Typhoon eliminated (0.5 points to Hawk)

Earthquake’s pissed at IRS for hitting his partner and he walks away as well for the count-out at 10:05.

  • Earthquake eliminated

Poor IRS is now left alone against the LOD and he takes a powerslam from Hawk. Hawks eats post on a blind charge, though, and IRS sends him into the steps on the outside. Back in, back elbow smash and IRS works a chinlock. Hawks eventually fights out and hits a suplex, and it’s hot tag Animal. He runs wild with the flying shoulderblock, the powerslam and the double clothesline (alongside Hawk), but IRS bails and he walks away from the match. However, Big Bossman comes back and corners IRS, allowing Animal to suplex him back inside. Hawk follows it up with a flying shoulderblock off the top and Animal pins him at 15:21. I assume IRS didn’t feel like taking the Doomsday Device, and I certainly don’t blame him!

  • IRS eliminated (0.5 points to Animal)

Winning team: LOD & Bossman (0.5 points to Bossman)

Survivors: Hawk & Animal (1 point to each)

  • Rating: Decent little elimination match with some big names involved, though it was certainly not PPV main event caliber. **

Meanwhile, Sean Mooney says Hulk Hogan refused an interview and told him he’d rather do the talking at This Tuesday in Texas

New WWF Champion The Undertaker & Paul Bearer claim they killed Hulkamania tonight, and will host the burial next Tuesday in Texas

END OF THE SHOW

Final thoughts: The highlight of this show is obviously Undertaker getting a huge win over Hulk Hogan to win his first WWF Championship, and there was also the Rockers’ angle, but otherwise this is a very skippable show that left a lot to be desired. The opener was the best match in my opinion but had a very disappointing finish. It doesn’t surprise me that Vince changed the Survivor Series concept for the following year’s edition, as the elimination matches in 1991 didn’t feel special at all compared to the 80s shows. This felt more like a glorified advert for the following week’s This Tuesday in Texas PPV, but it developed a few stories and characters, to its credit. 4/10

FEEDBACK

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POINT SYSTEM

Check out my point system here. However, as mentioned at the start of the piece, there will be a few different rules due to this being a unique show.

WrestlerStar ratingResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Ric Flair31+0.5 for an elimination4.5
Hawk
Animal
211+0.5 for an elimination4.5
Brian Knobbs2.51+1 for two eliminations4.5
The Undertaker1.251+2 for winning a title4.25
Jerry Sags2.51+0.5 for an elimination4
Blake Beverly2.513.5
Roddy Piper3+0.5 for an elimination
-0.5 for being eliminated
3
Big Bossman20.51-0.5 for being eliminated3
IRS21+0.5 for being eliminated
-0.5 for being eliminated
3
Beau Beverly2.50.5+0.5 for an elimination
-0.5 for being eliminated
3
Ted DiBiase
The Mountie
The Warlord
30.5-0.5 for being eliminated3
Earthquake
Typhoon
21-0.5 for being eliminated2.5
Shawn Michaels2.5+0.5 for an elimination
-0.5 for being eliminated
2.5
Bret Hart
British Bulldog
Virgil
3-0.5 for being eliminated2.5
Sgt. Slaughter0.251+1 for two eliminations2.25
Marty Jannetty
Bushwhacker Butch
Bushwhacker Luke
2.5-0.5 for being eliminated2
Jim Duggan
Tito Santana
0.251+0.5 for an elimination1.75
Texas Tornado0.2511.25
Col. Mustafa
Hercules
Berzerker
Skinner
0.25-0.5 for being eliminated-0.25
Hulk Hogan1.25-1-2 for losing a title-1.75

Thanks a lot for your visit! Make sure you don’t miss the upcoming reviews of WWF This Tuesday in Texas and WCW StarrCade here on the blog, as we finish the year of 1991. Make sure you don’t miss the year-end article either, looking back at the best matches & wrestlers of the year from both companies. See you soon!