April 4, 2007
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

Survivor Series
November 23, 1994
Freeman Coliseum
San Antonio, Texas
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Vince McMahon
Attendance: 10,000
Buy Rate: .9
Celebrity: Chuck Norris

Dark Match

1) Bob Holly defeated Kwang

**This is the final PPV for Gorilla Monsoon as a broadcaster. **

Actual Show

1) The Bad Guys (Razor Ramon, Fatu, Sionne, 1-2-3 Kid & British Bulldog) defeat The Teamsters (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Neidhart & Owen Hart)

Survivor:
Razor Ramon

Eliminations:
Diesel (Kevin Nash) pinned Fatu (Solofa Fatu) at 13:29 with a Jackknife
Diesel pinned 1-2-3 Kid (Sean Waltman) at 14:11 with a Jackknife
Diesel pinned Sionne (Vaile) at 14:43 with a Jackknife
British Bulldog (David Smith) is counted out at 15:58
Diesel, Shawn Michaels (Michael Hickenbottom), Jeff Jarrett, Jim Neidhart and Owen Hart are counted out of the ring at 21:45

Fun Fact: This match actually marked the 3rd time Michaels accidentally Superkicked Diesel within a 4-month span. The first time was at Summerslam, which cost Diesel his I-C Title. The second was in a tag match against 1-2-3 Kid and Ramon on the 10/30 Action Zone. The screw-up didnít cost the Tag Team Champs the match, but Shawn wrestled the match alone after knocking Diesel cold. The duo was pretty much on a collision course, and they would finally explode here.

Scott: This was the turning point for Kevin Nash, AKA Diesel. The hinting of a facing-out started at Summerslam, when Shawn superkicked Big Daddy Cool and cost him the IC Title. After another accidental Superkick on Action Zone, he accidentally superkicks him again, even after Diesel was about to pin Razor Ramon and win the match. This is a solid match with a lot of good action as (other than Bret, Backlund and Undertaker) all the hot heels and faces are in this one match. Shawn asks to be tagged in, and does the deed. Diesel was getting irritated as the match progresses because Shawn continuously barks orders at the team and never gets in the match himself. On the Coliseum Video extras before the show, Shawn clearly tells the team he is the captain and he is in charge, but Vince and Gorilla dispute that Big Daddy Cool should have been the captain. After the infamous kick, Diesel chases him off again, the rest of the team follows, and is counted out, giving Razor Ramon another big win. Diesel is a full-fledged face by the following week, and then takes the biggest step of his career. 1994 was definitely Scott Hall's best year in the WWF with a 6-1 PPV match record, the only blemish being the tainted KOTR finals loss to Owen Hart. Grade: 2.5

Justin: A really good match that featured 8 of the best workers of the time in the WWF, but was marred by a really bad ending. Iím not sure why they needed the whole team to be counted out, as Shawn and Diesel could have just been and the same point would have been made, but who knows what Vince was thinking at this time. A lot of these guys were in transition periods. Both Diesel and Michaels were on the verge on huge runs, Ramon and the Kid would start to stagnate a bit, Jarrett was being prepped for a solid push, as well as Owen, Bulldog was in line for an upper-mid card push and Anvil, Sionne and Fatu would be pretty much be gone by early 1995. The crowd, as always, is pretty hot here; especially after the missed Superkick and during the countout portion when they all realized Razor was going to somehow survive. You could see the seeds being planted for Dieselís big run, as he mows through the face team with a vengeance. This is also the last time we see Jim Neidhart on PPV for just over two years. He vanishes just as quickly as he appeared at KOTR, leaving Owen to find a new partner. Taking a quick look at the face side, after losing the tag titles, the Headshrinkers went through a couple of changes. First, a third member was brought into the group: Sionne, formerly the Barbarian. Shortly after he joined, Samu left the WWF leaving Fatu and Sionne to carry on the team name. It was also around this time that Capt. Lou decided the Headshrinkers needed to be a little more civilized, so he had Fatu try wearing boots in the ring. Of course, a portion of the match was now spent on Fatu adjusting his boots, which occasionally led to a loss. Anyway, this was a good and hot opener but it was marred with a weak ending. Grade: 3

***Shawn Michaels runs out of the building to escape Diesel, and proceeds to dump his half of the Tag Team Titles in the trash on the way out, thus officially vacating the titles. ***

2) The Kingís Court (Jerry Lawler, Cheesy, Sleazy and Queasy) defeats Clowns R Us (Doink, Dink, Wink and Pink)

Survivors:
Jerry Lawler
Cheesy
Sleazy
Queasy

Eliminations:
Jerry Lawler pinned Doink (Ray Liachelli) at 10:32
Cheesy pinned Wink at 13:10
Cheesy pinned Pink at 14:28
Sleazy pinned Dink at 16:45

Fun Fact: The build up for this match was like living a reoccurring nightmare. You knew where they were headed in the early weeks, but you just couldnít stop it. First, Lawler and Doink fought with Dink interfering, so Lawler brought out a midget to counter Dink. Of course, the next week Doink brought out Wink, which prompted Lawler to produce another midget, and so on. Thankfully, the other 5 midgets were never really mentioned again following this show.

Scott: As everyone who knows me knows, I HATE midget wrestling. It was OK in the 80's, at Wrestlemania III and everything, but there's no place for a match like this anywhere at this time. Yes, the crowd needed a little comedy to get a break between the tension of the previous match, and the tension of the next match. It didnít have to be 17 minutes, as most of it is midget parlor tricks and Lawlerís facial expressions. Jerry Lawler was in a good groove at this point, and they needed him to make the midgets look even funnier. Good lord, that one midget had twice as much hair on his body than George Steele. This may have been the first time that Vince McMahon probably should have seen that the gimmicky stuff of the 80ís was starting to look outdated. I'll allow the midgets here, because they were necessary for the point of the card. Normally, I think of midgets and I remember King Kong Bundy to Little Beaver at the Silverdome in 1987.Grade: 1

Justin: Man, are these midgets FUGLY or what? Scott is right, the crowd definitely needed a cool-down comedy match, but they could have done something different and not as long. A 17-minute comedy match featuring midgets is way too long (see III, Wrestlemania which featured a mixed midget/wrestler match that lasted 3:25Öthat is an effective comedy match). Doink really marred the 1993 and 1994 Survivor Series with stupid comedy matches. In a show with 5 matches, you really donít need to spell the crowd too much with crap, especially bad crap like this was. Plus, just a week or so before this, Alundra Blayze lost the Womenís Title to Bull Nakano in Japan in a match that has been praised quite a bit on the internet (we see highlights during the show), a match that they could have plugged in this spot and made the show that much better, and have a better flow. I know Womenís matches werenít the biggest attraction at the time, but they ranked higher than midgets for sure, not to mention the fact that Nakano and Blayze tore down the house at Summerslam. A waste of time here and the match that basically sealed the career and gimmick of Doink, as from this point on he is basically a Raw and Superstars jobber. Grade: 1

3) Bob Backlund defeats Bret Hart in a ďsubmissionĒ match to win WWF World Title when Helen Hart threw in the towel at 35:15

Fun Fact: This feud actually started way back in July, when Backlund (then a face) lost a title match to Bret on the 7/30 edition of Superstars. After the match, Backlund snapped and attacked Bret, and locked him into the Crossface Chicken-Wing, thus solidifying the first heel run of Backlundís career (he had always been the All-American face in the 70ís and 80ís). The turn was a big shock, as Backlund had never been heel before. After he finally released the CFCW, he began staring at his hands and went into a strange trance. The actual storyline was supposed to be that Backlund was under the Voodoo spell of the returning Papa Shango. However, Backlund actually got the crazy old man gimmick over on his own, so he was allowed to run with it on his own. He stuck around the upper-mid card for about 4 months, before being reinserted into the main event to continue his feud with Hart over the title. The continuity is actually quite awesome here, as Backlund snapped because he claims the title was actually his since 1983, and that he never officially lost it. Back in 1983, Backlund had lost the title to the Iron Sheik when his manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel while the Sheik had Bob in the Camel Clutch. Backlund claimed he never gave up, and therefore the title was still his. In another great touch of continuity, Backlund challenged Bret to a submission match, where the only way to win was to have your second throw in the towel on your behalf. Bret had the British Bulldog in his corner and Backlund had Owen Hart. Also, Stu and Helen Hart were in the crowd, and they play a huge role in the match.

Scott: With all the comedy and laughter that the previous midget match brought, we now have a very tense, hate-filled World Title match between the current WWF champ, the Excellence of Execution, and a man who last touched WWF gold on the morning of December 26, 1983. That night at MSG Backlund lost the title to the Iron Sheik, and then left. Having Gorilla in the match helped, because he was there in 1983, and gave some interesting perspective, almost playing the heel announcer, to Vince's geeky face role. This was a great match, with lots of submission holds and grappling, so if you have no patience this match would probably bore you. The crowd was into it, the psychology was great, and Owen's fake pleading of his mother to throw in the towel after Bulldog was knocked out was classic. Owen deserves an unbelievable amount of credit for the Oscar-winning performance he gives. The tears streaming down his face, saying he was sorry for everything heíd done. When Stu Hart took the towel from Helen's hand, I thought Stu should have laid him out. That would have been funny. I love that grizzled olí bastard. He should have jumped in the ring and put Backlund in some dungeon-esque submission hold. Instead, Helen throws in the towel, Backlund wins the title, and Owen runs down the aisle doing his typical Owen yelling: WHOOOOOO!!!! Owen looks like even more of a piece of shit because not only did he finally take the title off Bret, but he pulled the wool over his own motherís eyes. Thatís awesome heel psychology. Thatís almost as close as the last awesome heel moment that happened in this building: When Jake Roberts smacked Miss Elizabeth at This Tuesday in Texas in 1991. Bret wouldn't touch the title for exactly one year, wrestling in the midcard for almost all of 1995. Damn shame. This was a great storyline and a very good match. Grade: 4

Justin: A really great match that had an awesome mix of mat wrestling and ring psychology. Owen, Stu, Helen and Bulldog at ringside really add to the intrigue of this match, as they act out their own portion of the match at ringside. Bulldog even takes a sweet bump off of the ring steps to knock himself out. Soon after, Backlund locked on the CFCW, which Bret gallantly tried to fight out of it, but could not escape. Without Bulldog to throw in the towel, Bret seemed to be in great danger. Enter the genius of Owen Hart. Owen begins crying and pleading his parents to throw in the towel on behalf of Bret because Bret is being badly hurt. Owen did an awesome acting job and was believable enough that Helen caved in and threw in the towel. Stu, being the grizzly bastard that he is, had been onto Owen and knew the jig was up, but couldnít stop Helen from saving her son. Owen caps off this great match by running to the dressing room yelling happily about screwing over Bret. This was just a great match with great performances by the whole Hart Family. It is even more memorable because it was so different than anything else at the time. It was a real creative finish and match in general. It is a shame that this would be the peak of Backlundís run, as he had a lot of potential. As Scott warned, you need patience to watch this match, but it is well worth the time invested. Grade: 4

4) Million Dollar Team (Tatanka, Bam Bam Bigelow, King Kong Bundy & the Heavenly Bodies) defeat Guts and Glory (Lex Luger, Mabel, Adam Bomb, & the Smoking Gunns)

Survivors:
King Kong Bundy
Bam Bam Bigelow

Eliminations:
Mabel (Nelson Frazier) pinned Tom Pritchard at 3:55 with a Big Splash
Mabel is counted out at 7:55
Bam Bam Bigelow (Scott Bigelow) pinned Adam Bomb (Bryan Clark) in 9:05 with a moonsault
Lex Luger (Lawrence Pfohl) pinned Jimmy Del Ray (James Backlund) in 10:51 with a Flying Forearm
Tatanka (Chris Chavis) pinned Bart Gunn (Mike Plotcheck) in14:24 after the Papoose to Go
King Kong Bundy (Chris Pailles) pinned Billy Gunn (Monty Sopp) in 17:10 with a Big Splash
Lex Luger pinned Tatanka at 23:09 with a Small Package
King Kong Bundy pinned Lex Luger at 23:17 a Big Splash

Fun Fact: On the October 1, 1994 edition of Superstars, a promo aired announcing the imminent return of King Kong Bundy. Bundy had last been seen on WWF on the March 7, 1988 Prime Time Wrestling when he and Butch Reed lost to the Ultimate Warrior and Don Muraco. On the 10/8 Superstars, Bundy returned with Ted DiBiase by his side and squashed Mitch Bishop in 1:24.

Scott: This is the ultimate example of beating down a face until he's not worth paying attention to anymore. The feud was very good, lasting for a good 5 months. The crowd is very excited for this match, as Luger is expecting his come-uppance. Guess what: not happening. With Luger's name dirt within the company, this was Vince's chance to show "the next Hulk Hogan" what he really was worth. King Kong Bundy is back after leaving in 1988 and boy does he look old. Tatanka also looks like he put on a little weight since heeling out, in fact he is looking quite chunky. After 17 minutes, it was Luger vs. Tatanka, Bundy, and Bigelow. Don't like those odds. After getting the crap kicked out of him for about 6 minutes, he sneaks a small package in to shock Tatanka (his only real victory here) and then Bundy splashes him to pretty much end it. Good effort by Luger to fight off DiBiase's boys for a little while, but the ending made sense. This concludes the point: Lex Luger is no Hogan. This is the official moment he treads water until walking onto the first Nitro in September 1995. Grade: 3

Justin: A decent match that was just a little too long. As Scott said, as 1994 ends, so does the effectiveness of Lugerís WWF run. Bigelow gets the big win, as he was about to be pushed into the biggest, most high profile feud in his career as the new year dawned. This match also brings an end to the long running feud between Luger and Ted DiBiase, with Luger always coming out on the losing end of the battle. He would finally beat Tatanka on the February 27, 1995 edition of Raw, but he never really got that high profile PPV win over a member of the Million Dollar Corporation to get his heat back. On the face side, Adam Bomb was on his way out the door, the Gunns would be in for a good push as 1995 dawned and Mabel was just waiting for Mo to return as they prepped him for a big run of his own. For the heels, Tatanka would get a pretty big push in 1995, Bundy would stick around in the mid card for a while and the Heavenly Bodies would float around for a bit. This is a nice showcase for the Bammer, and, for all intents and purposes, the last hurrah for Luger. There is nothing wrong with the match at all, as it is sound enough and has some good heat and intrigue, as it has always been one of my guilty pleasure favorites. Grade: 3

***Backlund calls an impromptu press conference to announce his future plans for the WWF title. Considering how long he holds the title this time around, itís particularly ironic. ***

5) Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeats Yokozuna (Rodney Anoia) in a casket match when he puts Yoko in the casket at 15:22

Scott: The show ends quite anti-climactically. Everyone knew Taker was going to win this match, so it was just a matter of seeing his cool entrance, and beating Yokozuna down. Chuck Norris was at ringside to make sure a repeat of the Rumble didn't happen, where Yokozuna had help from 35,646 heels in the back. He wouldn't, for the reason that in January he was the WWF Champ. Now, he's a midcarder. The match is pretty brutal, typical punch/kick/stall stuff from Yoko, and Taker just gets plugged into the equation. IRS is the only meaningful run-in, because it sets up the match at our next PPV. The crowd is off the hook for this match, and when Taker finally slams the door on the match, and the year 1994, the pop is insane. Yokozuna vanishes for a few months to take a break and refresh. Taker, unfortunately isnít through with the Million Dollar Corporation, because with the IRS run-in we begin the most brutal creative stretch of the Deadmanís career, as for the next year that urn he carries around with him becomes the bane of his professional existence. Grade: 1.5

Justin: A pretty bad match that would pretty much set the tone for the next 12 months of Takerís career. When IRS runs in and interferes, it kicks off a long feud between Undertaker and the Million Dollar Corporation. Taker would have one more year to suffer through before an unlikely hero would arrive and save his career. As Scott said, the crowd was into this match, but it is a pretty bad match overall. Yoko would disappear until Wrestlemania, taking some much needed time off. Without the theatrics we saw at the Royal Rumble, this was a poor ending to what had been a pretty solid show. Grade: 1.5

FINAL ANALYSIS

Scott: Kind of a ho-hum show, except for a great title match that continues the Bret-Owen feud through Backlund. This is also Gorilla Monsoon's final show as an announcer. He has been witness to most of the WWF's modern great moments. Justin will elaborate further, but for me, "Gino" is still the pre-eminent PBP man in the business. Heís been involved in many of the WWFís greatest moments, including each of the first 8 Wrestlemanias. In the ring, and in the locker room, the Clique is now in full control. Shawn Michaels begins his first big main event push, Razor is the IC Champ, and Diesel, about to be fired a year ago, is about to really jump-start his career. 1994 was an unusual year in WWF history. It wasnít the 80ís by any stretch, but the shows definitely were an upgrade from the debacle that was 1993. Unfortunately Vinceís run of workrate masterpieces comes to a crashing halt as we head into 1995. Bad characters, bad booking, and ungodly main events are to follow. Revel in what was a great creative year for 1994, because the wellís about to run dry. Final Grade: C+

Justin: Survivor Series (1987-1994) was traditionally a transition show to cap off the year and launch some new feuds and stories for the Road to Wrestlemania. However, as 1995 was dawning, the WWF decided to run monthly PPVs, thus the December show took over the Seriesí role of transition show. However, this show is very transitional, as the WWF was starting to elevate some new guys to the main event (Diesel, Shawn, Bigelow), push some new upper-mid carders (Tatanka, Jarrett) and close out some long standing feuds (Luger-DiBiase, Undertaker-Yoko, Razor-Diesel). This isnít a bad show by any means, as it actually features three really good matches and some interesting developments. Plus, it is your last chance to hear Monsoon behind the mike (we wonít delve into his career just yet, because he sticks around as president for another 2 years), but it is almost apropos for Gorilla to end his commentating career next to his long time friend, Vince McMahon. Iíd say a very split show, with some great and some terrible. It isnít a show you should go out of your way to see, but it is a good time killer if you have 3 hours to waste. Final Grade: C+

MVP: Bob Backlund and Owen Hart
MVP Runner-Up: Rest of Hart Family
Honorary MVP: Gorilla Monsoon (For his last PPV as an announcer)
Non-MVP: Lex Luger
Non-MVP Runner-Up: Yokozuna and Undertaker

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