November 25th, 1992
Live from Richfield, OH (Richfield Coliseum)
Announced attendance: 18 000 (capacity: ca 20 273)
PPV buyrate: 250 000 (down 50 000 from Survivor Series 1991; down 30 000 from SummerSlam 1992)
Hello everyone. Welcome to my review of the sixth-ever edition of WWF’s Survivor Series. With the company moving away from the traditional elimination tag team matches, hosting just one on this card, the show features Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF Championship and Ric Flair & Razor Ramon vs. Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect as its biggest attractions. Plus, the first-ever casket match to be held on PPV, between The Undertaker and Kamala. Yokozuna makes his PPV debut. All that and much more!
The list of WWF’s champions heading into the company’s final PPV of 1992 is as follows:
- WWF Champion: Bret Hart [44th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair
- WWF Intercontinental Champion: Shawn Michaels [29th day of his reign] – previous champion: The British Bulldog
- WWF World Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) [43rd day of their reign] – previous champions: Natural Disasters
Note: in title matches, the defending champions are underlined
Enjoy the review!
Your hosts are Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan
The Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu) (w/ Afa) vs. High Energy (Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware)
Samu overpowers Owen with a pair of shoves early on and gets booed for it. Should be a hot crowd then. Owen finds out the hard way that you don’t shoulderblock a Samoan, but avoids a crossbody from Samu and hits one of his own, which gets one. Owen runs wild with a series of dropkicks and an armbar before bringing in Koko. The Birdman avoids a double-team attack by the Samoans in their corner before firing away, smartly stomping on Fatu’s barefeet. A double noggin knocker goes nowhere because, as proven in many scientific case studies, you just can’t headbutt a Samoan either. Afa destroys Koko with a cane shot to the back of Koko while he criss crosses, allowing his boys to take over. The future Rikishi, Fatu, follows it up with a simple powerslam and draws massive heat for it. Wrestling used to be different, kids. The Headshrinkers cheat some more while they cut the ring in half, getting Owen all worked up in the corner while Koko plays Hall of Famer-in-peril. Fatu with a clothesline, and he brings in Samu to work the DREADED NERVE HOLD OF TERROR. Koko escapes the deadly Samoan massage, only to walk right into another clothesline. Ware shows some life with a quick sunset flip on Fatu that gets two, but Fatu cuts him off in short order with a superkick. The pounding on Koko continues courtesy of Samu, until he misses a blind charge in the corner. Hot tag Owen. Dropkicks abound for both Samoans, followed by a backdrop on Samu as Owen makes his big comeback. He goes up for a high crossbody, but the pin gets broken up by the future Big Kish. Owen takes care of him by himself, however, ends up running into a scoop powerslam by Samu. That sets up Fatu’s big flying splash which finishes Owen Hart at 7:40.
- Rating: An above-average glorified enhancement squash win for the Headshrinkers. Owen Hart was on fire every time he was in there, including the exciting hot tag sequence. The Samoans looked good in the end by beating them. Really solid opener. **1/2
Sean Mooney offers viewer discretion for the Bossman/Nailz nightstick match. As a wise man once said, shoot comments that aren’t supposed to be shoot comments are the best!
Nailz cuts his version of a fired-up heel promo. Unsurprisingly, it sucks. Apparently, this man counted the exact number of days he spent in prison. Gee, talk about a miserable life.
The Big Bossman cuts his usual ‘I’m gonna beat (insert heel wrestler) for every man, woman and child who believes in law, order and justice’ babyface promo with Mean Gene while Nailz makes his way to the ring.
Nightstick on a Pole Match – The Big Bossman vs. Nailz
Bossman immediately charges the ring with no music (taking away the highlight of this whole dumb match in the process), preventing Nailz from retrieving the nightstick. So what? Doesn’t one have to USE IT as well in order to win? I don’t even know what I’m watching. Nailz violently chokes away to start, before pounding away on the grounded Bossman. Actually, he was very clearly punching his own hand that was covering Bossman’s face, but it’s the thought that counts. Nailz goes up but Bossman SOMEHOW gets up from such violent blows and stops him, only to get Nailz’ nailz right on his eyes. Into the corner for some jabs that would leave Mike Tyson jealous, until he misses a blind charge in the other corner. Bossman reaches for the nightstick, but gets slammed off. Nailz follows it up an impressive backbreaker, before switching to his specialty: choking. Bossman fights back and shoulderblocks Nailz, but he can’t follow up as his back gives out. Possibly from trying to carry this broomstick to something remotely watchable. He misses a splash, but crotches Nailz to prevent him from getting the stick. There is no winner in a match like this by Heenan stands as the line of the night for multiple reasons. Nailz somehow no-sells getting crotched, quite possibly for being used to getting nailed in the balls in prison, and fights back with a knee to the gut. A “double clothesline” (with Nailz completely forgetting to hit one, and thus making it NOT a double clothesline!) takes both guys down. Bossman gets up first and retrieves the nightstick, hitting Nailz a few times with it. Sadly, it doesn’t end yet (despite Bossman retrieving it AND using it) and Nailz gets to use the nighstick himself. But then he misses a shot with the stick, simply taking the Bossman Slam and getting pinned at 5:44. What in the blue hell was this? Well, at least we get to hear the song, after suffering through some hard times indeed.
- Rating: Bossman tried hard, he really did. But come on, it’s Nailz, what did you expect? At least the crowd was hot for this nonsense too, but the rules were very confusing and the match was horrible. This whole feud lasted ever since after WrestleMania and completely cooled off Bossman, so no wonder he got out of WWF as soon as possible. As for Nailz, he was fired for beating up Vince over his SummerSlam pay (where he beat Virgil in a short squash). In other words, what a giant waste of time for everyone involved. DUD
Meanwhile, a look at a recap of Macho Man’s announcement of Mr. Perfect as his new tag team partner 9 nights earlier on Prime Time Wrestling, as well as the latter’s face turn on Bobby Heenan during the same broadcast.
In the back, Mean Gene is standing by with Ric Flair & Razor Ramon. Flair addresses his former ally and promises a beatdown at the hands of Razor, while Razor will make Savage realize there is only one man oozing machismo in WWF.
Rick Martel vs. Tatanka
This should be an all-timer after that previous stinker. Tatanka, who is still undefeated at this point in time, survives an early attempt at a cheapshot by the Model and unloads with chops in the corner. Backdrop out of the corner by Tatanka followed by some dropkicks, and Martel bails. He comes back in to get in Tatanka’s face and shove him, only to take an atomic drop and take yet another powder. Martel cheats and finally gets some shots in, taking over with a stungun. Choking follows and Martel goes to a headlock. Suplex by a Martel, while we get a cameo from Doink the Clown on the ramp, who had just debuted. We come back to the action with Tatanka yanking Rick off the apron into the ring, only for the latter to fight back with a neckbreaker that gets two. Back to the headlock goes Martel, while Doink continues to play with balloons at ringside. Tatanka finally escapes the hold with a clothesline, and Martel misses a blind charge to put Tatanka in control. Tatanka goes after the arm and gets a backslide for two, before hitting an armbar and going back to working on the arm. And we get another shot of the clown hanging around at ringside. Where is security when you need them? Martel cheapshots Tatanka and goes up, only to get caught coming down. Tatanka fires away with the chops as he finally makes his comeback. Tatanka goes up for a FLYING MR. MIYIAGI CHOP OF DEATH. He finishes Martel with the Not Samoan Drop to remain undefeated at 11:07.
- Rating: A solid match technically speaking, but it dragged because it didn’t need to be even half as long. The eagle fathers that Martel stole from Tatanka didn’t come into play whatsoever, and the endless cameos from Doink went nowhere in the end. This existed. *1/2
Sean Mooney gets a word from Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect in the dressing room. They still don’t like each other, but compliment each other and agree that they’re the perfect pairing.
Ric Flair & Razor Ramon vs. Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect
This is Perfect’s first match back from injury since the prior year’s SummerSlam. Perfect outsmarts Ramon to start, until he runs into a shoulderblock. However, Perfect counters with his classic drop toehold and adds a little bitchslap to boot. Perfect bails to really Razor off. What a babyface! Razor yanks him by the hair back inside and takes him into the heel corner, only for Perfect to chop both him and Flair. Naitch gets the tag to give us their big showdown, and Perfect takes over with a backdrop, dropkick and chops in the corner. Off to the other corner for a Flair flip, and Macho meets him on the apron with a shot of his own. Savage comes in with a flying double axehandle to Flair back inside, before slugging away on him. Macho follows it up with some of his running clotheslines, but Razor gets a cheapshot from the apron to turn thing around. The heels take over in their side of the ring as Savage plays Ricky Morton. Abdominal stretch by Ramon, including some assistance from Naitch. Savage escapes the hold and nails both men, only to get caught in their corner once more. Savage gets dumped briefly, and takes the Flair kneedrop back in the ring. Razor goes after the leg with a single crab, playing on the leg injury that cost him the WWF Championship a couple of months earlier, while Perfect teases walking out. He eventually walks back in as the heels continue dominating.
Savage gets a quick nearfall on Flair with a backslide, but Razor cuts him off and hits a chokeslam for two. Small package by Savage gives him two. Flair with a great corner clothesline and he gets on his knees to WOOO at Perfect! Flair goes up but gets slammed off (with Savage struggling to slam him off for a change), opening the door for the hot tag to Perfect. The crowd eats it all up with a spoon! Razor gets tagged in as well, but Perfect is running wild. We get to see the hairtoss and the Perfect necksnap after more than a year, and Perfect pounds away some more in the corner. Atomic drop followed by the kneelift, and Flair takes one as well. Flair takes Savage out on the floor with a wussy chairshot, but Perfect takes care of him back in the ring. The referee gets bumped, however, allowing Razor to set him up for the Razor’s Edge while a second ref (Joey Marella) runs in to check on Earl Hebner. RIP Dave Hebner, by the way. Perfect kicks the ropes to block the Edge, turning it into a backdrop in a great reversal. The Perfectplex connects, but Flair breaks up the count. He ends up taking a Perfectplex himself, with Hebner getting back in to count, this time with Razor breaking up the count. They proceed to assault Perfect and shove the referees down, causing Earl to DQ them at 16:38.
Flair puts Perfect in the Figure Four, but Savage takes out Razor and hands Perfect the chair. Perfect uses it on Flair to break up the hold as he then cleans house with the chair. Savage wants a high five and Perfect obliges, despite hesitating at first.
- Rating: This was a great special attraction tag team match. The heat spot from Flair and Razor was amazing, with Savage knowing exactly how to play face-in-peril and get his ass kicked. The hot tag sequence by Mr. Perfect was brilliant, with the crowd buying it hook, line and sinker. The finish was what it was, but I personally didn’t mind it that much. Mr. Perfect was finally back doing what he does better than almost anyone, and Razor did tremendously well for someone making his WWF PPV debut so high on the card. ***1/2
Flair & Razor are infuriated in the back as they cut a promo with Mean Gene.
Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji) vs. Virgil
Well, speaking of PPV debuts. Yoko sends Virgil flying right away, before planting him with a massive shoulderblock. Virgil slides between Yoko’s legs and tries a few dropkicks, which are completely no-sold by Yokozuna. Virgil somehow thinks going for an O’Connor Roll on this monster might be a good idea, and Yoko literally shoves him away like an annoying mosquito. Virgil runs right into a massive superkick and this thing is academic already. Belly to belly follows. Virgil decides making a comeback against Yokozuna is a good idea, but he ends up charging into a sideslam. Just stay down, Virg. Yoko destroys him with a huge legdrop. Virgil goes for a roll-up but ends up getting squashed like a bug with the mother of all buttdrops. Why is this guy just not staying down? He totally deserves the beating he’s getting. Yokozuna hits a corner splash before crumbling the meatsauce with the Banzai at 3:34.
- Rating: More than effective squash. The crowd reacted to every single move Yokozuna did. It was clear for everyone to see that Yokozuna was a future huge star. *
We go back to the dressing room, where Sean Mooney is with Savage & Perfect, who celebrate their win earlier and mock Bobby Heenan.
Survivor Series Elimination Tag Team Match – The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) & The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) vs. Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Schyster) & The Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake Beverly) (w/ Jimmy Hart & The Genius)
In this particular match, in case a wrestler gets eliminated, then his tag team partner is gone too. Say, if IRS gets pinned, then his fellow Money Inc partner DiBiase has to follow him to the showers as well. Quite weird. Blake Beverly avoids Typhon’s attacks early on and celebrates already. Jimmy Hart on the megaphone: “Beautiful baby, HAHAHAHA, this guy is so slow, HAHAHA”!! Typhoon finally gets his shot in and returns the taunting, with Vince McMahon adding his trademark laugh on commentary. Typhoon gives Black a backbreaker, setting him up for a bearhug from Earthquake. Sandwich splash in the corner by the Disasters on both Beverlys. Quake with a powerslam on Blake. He brings in Knobbs, who wants Money Inc, but quickly changes his mind after being slapped by Blake. Knobbs unloads on Blake and faceplants him, followed by a clothesline. It’s off to Sags, while Beau gets tagged in as well. Sags hits a pumphandle slam, a move that Vince McMahon apparently does not recognize. Beau manages to hit a suplex, finally getting something in for his team, with DiBiase now wanting to come in. Clothesline out of the corner by Ted into a suplex, blocked by Sags and reversed into one of his own. However, IRS jumps in for a double-clothesline alongside Ted to keep them in control. Legdrop from IRS gets him two. We actually get a small “Nasty” chant going for a while, as Sags cleans house all by himself. Jimmy Hart gets up on the apron to cause the distraction, though, allowing Blake to catch Sags with a scoop powerslam. Beau follows it up with a legdrop for two. Too many legdrops being used tonight. If only these guys took their vitamins and believed in themselves, brother. Beau hits a neckbreaker for two before colliding with Sags for a double down. Quake gets the hot tag, with Beau selling the heck out of it. He obviously gets destroyed in short order, and a Samoan drop by Typhoon sets up Earthquake’s running buttdrop splash for the elimination at 9:25.
- The Beverly Brothers eliminated (Beau by Earthquake)
This leaves Money Inc all by themselves. Bobby Heenan recommends taking a walk since their titles are not on the line and they are facing ridiculous odds. They don’t call the man “The Brain” for nothing! The babyfaces take turns beating on DiBiase using quick tags, until Quake misses a blind charge in the corner and eats buckle. IRS comes in and Money Inc actually manage to hit a double backdrop suplex on Earthquake. IRS drops an elbow for two, with Quake kicking out WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD. The champs cut the ring in half now while the crowd chants “Irwin”. DiBiase finally gets Quake off his feet with a flying double axehandle. It gets two. The chant somehow is still going. The more I hear it, the more it sounds like Goldberg. Typhoon gets the hot tag and distributes clotheslines for everyone. His splash seemingly ends IRS, but Ted is there to break it up and keep this match going. The Nasty Boys take him out with a double clothesline to the floor, but then Ted trips up Typhoon and IRS puts him out with an elbowdrop at 15:45.
- The Natural Disasters eliminated (Typhoon by IRS)
And then Sags simply rolls up IRS at 15:50. Okay then.
- Money Inc eliminated (IRS by Sags)
Winning team: The Natural Disasters & The Nasty Boys
Sole survivors: The Nasty Boys
- Rating: A pedestrian match to have the main tag teams appear on the card and at least present one traditional elimination match, albeit with very f-cked up rules. The dynamic of having the heels at a disadvantage and trying to fight from underneath in the end was very strange. I’m not sure why they needed to rush the last fall in five seconds after 15 minutes of ring action either. I doubt I’ll ever see this in anyone’s top list of best traditional Survivor Series tag matches. *1/4
Meanwhile, Savage, Perfect and Tatanka receive calls from fans live on the WWF Hotline.
A recap of Undertaker/Kamala: Kamala destroys jobbers on episodes of Superstars and Challenge, but is scared by the presence of Undertaker and his casket. Undertaker single-handedly built a personalized casket for Kamala.
Coffin Match – The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee)
The Undertaker brings out a giant casket with Kamala’s painting on it, which scares him off already before the bell. Bell rings and Kamala’s already out of town. Taker slowly chases him on the outside while Kamala runs away from him. Back inside, Kamala hammers away but Undertaker sells nothing and gives him Old School. Short clothesline by UT and into some choking. Wouldn’t be an early 90s Undertaker match without choking! Kamala fights back and dumps Taker with a clothesline, but UT lands on his feet and goozles both Harvey and Kim Chee. However, Kamala comes in from behind and tosses UT into the steps, which Undertaker does sell. Kamala batters him some more on the outside, and a second trip into the steps nearly knocks UT down. Kamala chairshots Taker in the back and puts him back inside, while Bearer passes on the POWERS OF THE URN BY GAWD onto his man. Whatever is in there seems to work, and Undertaker manages to sit up from two powerslams. A third one puts him down for good, though, and Kamala adds the splash for good measure. And another one. And another. Meanwhile, Kim Chee attacks Paul Bearer near the apron, which sends the urn into the ring and distracts Kamala. Kim Chee throws the urn at Kamala so he can use it, but Kamala wants no part of the urn and runs away, allowing UT to hit him with the urn to the face for the pin at 5:27. What a stupid finish.
Undertaker rolls him into the casket afterwards, and shuts it before debuting (I believe) the celebration on his knees. Bearer walks away with the casket.
- Rating: Your usual match from the “cartoon era” part of Undertaker’s career. From a psychology standpoint, given that Kamala was afraid of him, the finish makes sense to a degree. But it’s just stupid in and off itself. A few points for effort from both guys, but it was more than time to end this feud. Better than their SummerSlam nothing-match, at least. 1/2*
Sean Mooney is with Shawn Michaels in the back. Shawn reminds everyone that Bret lost the IC Title to British Bulldog at SummerSlam, whom Shawn easily defeated to win said title, thus making tonight’s result rather obvious to him. Also, he DIDN’T use Sherri as a shield to save himself from Marty Jannetty’s attack with the window!
Mean Gene gets an interview with Bret Hart while Shawn makes his entrance. Bret remembers his tough WWF tenure of 8 1/2 years up until that point, going through the Tag Team and IC divisions before finally making it where he is today, the WWF World Champion. Bret puts Shawn over as a “great wrestler”, but promises victory.
WWF Championship – Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
This is Bret Hart’s first ever WWF World Title defense on PPV. Kinda weird to think his last would also be against HBK at a Survivor Series, right? They kick things off with a hard lockup that goes into the corner, with both guys refusing to break it up and forcing the referee to break it up. Shawn takes Bret to the mat and that quickly backfires, but Shawn makes it to the ropes and shoves Bret. Shawn takes Bret down with a handful of hair, but Bret nips up and pounds HBK all the way to the mat, before going to work on the arm. Shawn pulls the hair to escape, drop toeholds Bret and transitions right into a side headlock, but Bret again outwrestles him by turning it into a hammerlock. Good story being told. HBK manages to reverse into his own, but Bret dumps him onto the floor and yanks him back to the ring to continue working the arm. Shawn blocks and goes for a powerslam, which Bret blocks into an O’Connor roll attempt, but Shawn holds onto the rope, so Bret crossbodies him instead and gets two. Springboard sunset flip gets two more, and Bret goes back to the arm. Shawn cheats to escape once more and avoids a hiptoss with a great reversal, only to get clotheslined for two. Shawn finally catches Bret with a stungun, and then Bret hits the post with his shoulder on a missed blind charge in the corner. Shawn follows it up with a DDT to the arm of sorts, before sending him into the buckle for the Bret Hart bump. Michaels gets two, as now he goes after Bret’s injured arm/shoulder.
Shawn works a headlock on Bret, who by now is struggling to reverse and outwrestle Shawn as he did earlier. Brilliant psychology. Bret resorts to punches to escape the hold, but runs right into a dropkick that gives HBK two. Shawn with a backbreaker for two. And back to the chinlock goes Shawn. Bret again unloads to escape, but this time blocks Shawn’s clothesline and scores with a swinging neckbreaker. However, Shawn still gets up before Bret whilst Vince and Heenan mention Bret’s demanding schedule and multiple title defenses lately. Another amazing small detail. Shawn takes over with a cheapshot to the throat. Front facelock by Shawn, with Bret ramming Shawn into the turnbuckle to block. Bret adds a few shoulders for more punishment, before taking Shawn out of the corner with a bulldog. A follow-up flying elbowdrop misses, though, and Shawn gets two. Flying back elbow smash gets two. Michaels works the front facelock again, which Bret eventually turns into a cradle for two. Bret finally turns things around with a backdrop suplex, and a catapult into the buckle knocks Shawn to the mat for a double KO spot. However, Bret still somehow nips up at this point in the match, as Shawn begs for mercy. Bret responds by crotching him in the corner, followed by a cold headbutt. A backdrop gets two. Russian legsweep gets two. Backbreaker sets up the middle rope elbow for another nearfall.
Bret takes Shawn onto the top rope, and hits a superplex. He struggles to go for the pin, but eventually gets there and it gets two. Shawn rams Bret onto Hebner to block a sleeper (no ref bump, though), and Shawn dumps Bret after reversing a backdrop suplex. Shawn rams Bret’s back into the post and slams him on the floor. Back in, Shawn smartly targets the back now, whipping him back-first into the buckle for two. Baaaaaaack bodydrop gets two. He stops to argue with Hebner, though, allowing Bret to roll him up for a very close nearfall, but ends up walking into the superkick. This is before it became a huge deal, and just the set up move for Shawn’s teardrop suplex. That is indeed what Shawn tries next, but Bret rakes the eyes. He hits it on a second try, though, and gets a nearfall. Shawn gets caught in the ropes à la Andre on a collision, luring Bret in for a blind charge as Shawn moves and Bret takes himself out on the ropes instead. Michaels goes up for a missile dropkick, but Bret catches him in mid-air and turns him over into the Sharpshooter to retain at 26:40.
And then it starts snowing inside the ring, and Santa Claus comes in to celebrate with Bret in the ring to close the show. An early sign of the upcoming cartoon years in the WWF…
- Rating: Great wrestling match. Both men wrestled a smart match, with strong psychology and a great structure that allowed them to tell multiple stories at different times. Vince and Heenan were on point as well over on commentary, helping get those points across. Shawn wasn’t a main eventer yet and still lacked his famous moveset, but it was still a terrific long match to close the book on 1992. ****1/4
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: A mixed bag. This was the first year where they tried to distance from the traditional elimination matches, so it was always going to feel like a different edition regardless. Both marquee matches on this show delivered, which is always a huge positive and what matters the most, but the rest was either bad (Bossman/Nailz or Undertaker/Kamala), just there (the elimination match) or outright skippable (Tatanka/Martel). Yokozuna’s squash win was extremely effective too. Overall, I’ll give this a low 6/10.
Thank you very much for your time. Make sure you don’t miss my last review for 1992, of WCW’s Starrcade, followed by the year-end article with the awards for 1992 before we move on to 93. Until next time. Have a great summer!!
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Featured image by: Ayan Murtaza