July 18, 2006
Scott Criscuolo & Justin Rozzero

Survivor Series
November 22, 1990
Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, Connecticut
Attendance: 16,000
Buy Rate: 3.0
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper

1) The Ultimate Warriors: Ultimate Warrior (Warrior), Texas Tornado (Kerry Adkisson) & the Legion of Doom defeat The Perfect Team: Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig) & Demolition

Survivor:
Ultimate Warrior

Eliminations:
Ultimate Warrior pins Ax with a splash at 2:26
Hawk, Animal, Smash & Crush are all disqualified at 6:42
Mr. Perfect pins Texas Tornado with the Perfect Plex at 10:04
Ultimate Warrior pins Mr. Perfect with a splash at 13:23

Fun Fact: This is Ax’s last Pay-Per-View appearance. He had been in every one since Survivor Series 1987. Smash and Crush would carry on the Demolition name through Wrestlemania VII.

Fun Fact II: Mr. Perfect had actually already won the Intercontinental Title back from the Texas Tornado on the November 19th Superstars taping. The match would not air until 12/15, so Tornado is still carrying the belt here.

Scott: The World Champion’s team wins the opener that is dominated by the singles competitors. The venom that’s boiling over between the WWF’s new badasses and the old badasses wasn’t solved as they skirmish outside and are DQ’ed. Perfect is the IC champ again, even though Tornado comes out with the title, there was a change at a TV taping that wasn’t announced yet. As usual he’s the bumping king, taking everyone’s shots and making them look like a million dollars. Tornado is already starting to look a little sloppy, as Kerry Von Erich continues to battle his demons. As for the Ultimate Warrior, he’s spent the last few months since Summerslam helping the Legion of Doom battle Demolition. Notice I didn’t say he’s been a fighting champion, defending his title at every turn. Nope, he’s been wrestling tag and 6-man tag matches on house shows. That’s why his world title reign has been a flop. With no credible heels to defend against, he’s been relegated to tag feuds. He does go with Perfect for a few minutes one-on-one, but the end is the same: press slam and splash. The champ’s team wins, but his night’s not over. For the first time, the card ends with a Survival match, where everyone who survives wrestles in a final match. This will be the only time they do this. Grade: 2

Justin: A pretty good opening match, if only because the face side is full of guys who get big pops. The fact that Warrior was feuding with Demolition at this point shows how well his title reign was going. He only had four feuds as champion, and two weren’t really legitimate. His first was with Rick Rude, who he fought at Summerslam, he then feuded with Mr. Perfect on and off throughout late 1990, but they never had a big blow-off title match, during this time he was teaming with LOD and feuding with Demolition, and then in December he start one more feud, but wouldn’t have a blow-off on that one until after Warrior lost the belt. The simple fact that his title was murdered before it started is just a shame. The business took a series down turn after Wrestlemania VI, and Warrior usually catches the blame. But it is hard to blame him when he has no believable challengers. What World Champion has ever been involved in 6-man feuds? Maybe if Perfect would have won the Rumble, they could have had a believable top level feud, but he didn’t and was coming off an embarrassing title loss at Summerslam, so he is hardly in position to draw some cash at this point. Earthquake is the one guy that could have stepped right up, but for some reason he is still messing around with Hogan months after what should have been the end of their feud. I am surprised that they let him survive at this point, and didn’t have him get DQ’d with LOD. Anyway, this is pretty much a squash match, and is one that features my most hated Survivor Series finish: the Double-DQ/Count-Out that eliminates four or five guys in a shot. It wouldn’t have killed them to job out Demolition here, but I guess I can understand why LOD couldn’t lose just yet. Tornado is two months into his reign and is already starting to look lost out there. He falls victim to the Perfect-Plex and his title loss would air weeks later, and from here on out he never gets this high up the card again. Once again, Perfect does all the work in the match, but comes up with the short end of the purse. This match wasn’t bad per se, it just wasn’t what Perfect or Warrior needed at this point. Grade: 2

2) The Million Dollar Team: Ted DiBiase, Greg Valentine (John Wisniski, Jr.), Honky Tonk Man (Wayne Ferris) & Undertaker (Mark Callaway) defeat The Dream Team: Dusty Rhodes (Virgil Runnels), Koko B. Ware (James Ware) & the Hart Foundation

Survivor:
Ted DiBiase

Eliminations:
Undertaker pins Koko B. Ware with a Tombstone at 1:38
Jim Neidhart pins Honky Tonk Man with a power slam at 4:16
Ted DiBiase pins Jim Neidhart with a clothesline at 5:50
Undertaker pins Dusty Rhodes with a double axehandle at 8:26
Undertaker is counted out at 9:19
Bret Hart pins Greg Valentine with a small package at 9:55
Ted DiBiase pins Bret Hart with a cross-body reversal at 13:54

Fun Fact: Obviously the first thing we need to discuss is that debut on the heel team. One of the most enduring and influential characters in WWF, and wrestling, history is the man they would eventually call the Phenom; the Undertaker. Mark Calloway is from Houston, Texas and after working in World Class and Memphis (where at times he wrestled under a mask and named Texas Red), his first big break comes in WCW when he replaces Sid Vicious as a member of the Skyscrapers tag team. He teams with Danny Spivey under the name “Mean” Mark Callous. After that team flops he toils around as a solo act for a while until Vince came calling in 1990 and he debuts here as a surprise on the Million Dollar Man’s team. He’s led to the ring by Brother Love but by 1991 his manager changes to a more familiar face.

Fun Fact II: Over the summer, a new face began popping up on the house show circuit: Dusty Rhodes’ son Dustin. On the 10/13 Saturday Night’s Main Event, Dustin was seated ringside to watch his dad take on Randy Savage. During the match, DiBiase and Virgil came to ringside and paid off all the fans sitting in the seats next to Dustin and sat next to the young Rhodes. As Dustin kept cheering his dad, DiBiase started getting in his face. Dusty jumped out to help, but was jumped by Savage and laid out. DiBiase and Virgil pounced and beat the crap out of Dustin, leaving him a bloody mess at ringside. On the 10/29 Prime Time, Dustin made his TV debut defeating Paul Diamond. On the 11/3 Superstars, Ted DiBiase laid down a challenge for the young “Natural.” DiBiase proposed that if Dustin could last 10 minutes in the ring with him then he would win the match. Dustin accepted and lasted the 10, humiliating DiBiase. The feud would continue after this event, and was just heating up.

Fun Fact III: Not counting sporadic appearances over the upcoming years, this is Honky Tonk Man’s final PPV appearance. His final record is 2-8. He was 0-2 at the Royal Rumbles 1-2 at Wrestlemania, 0-2 at Summerslam and 1-2 at Survivor Series.

Scott: There are many subplots in this match, and we’ll cover them as they happen. The first and biggest one is the debut of the Undertaker. He makes a very dramatic entrance, one that absolutely silences the Civic Center crowd. He makes his presence felt immediately; taking out Koko with the finisher that he’ll forever be known for, the Tombstone piledriver. Even Gorilla knew what the finisher was. Next, the continued drop of Dusty Rhodes. After losing his manager and his match at Summerslam, it continues to get worse as he’s quickly whisked out of the match with Taker and a countout is called. Finally we get an exhilarating 4 minute finale with Bret and DiBiase, clearly the cream of the crop from these teams. They battle and go literally move for move, as once again Vince showcases Bret’s strength as a solo performer. Finally he gets reversed on a move and DiBiase wins it. A great match with a lot of subplots sprinkled in. Grade: 3

Justin: Well, there are two main issues going on in the matchup. You can pretty much take the Harts, Rhythm and Blues and Koko out of the equation, as they are just there to fill out the teams. The main issue here is between Rhodes and DiBiase. At Summerslam, DiBiase stole Rhodes’ manager and then, on Saturday Night’s Main Event he decimated his son. Rhodes is out for revenge, but before he can get it, he is taken out by DiBiase hired gun: the debuting Undertaker. The Man from the Darkside slowly makes his way to the ring, freaking out everybody in his path. The reactions of the fans and wrestlers are priceless and really helped start the aura that will surround him his whole career. Taker decimates Koko, but for some reason is tagged out. Why DiBiase would want him to tag out is beyond me, but what can you do. Taker eventually comes back in and beats down Dusty before being counted out. The match boils down to DiBiase and Bret Hart, who proceed to put on a solid four minute clinic. Bret actually dedicated the match to his brother Dean, who had just passed away the night before. DiBiase picks up the win and stays hot as 1990 comes to a close. Grade: 3

3) The Visionaries: Rick Martel (Richard Vigneault), Warlord (Terry Szopinski) & Power & Glory defeat The Vipers: Jake Roberts (Aurelian Smith, Jr.), Jimmy Snuka (James Reiher) & the Rockers

Survivors:
Rick Martel
Warlord
Power & Glory

Eliminations:
Warlord pins Marty Jannetty with a powerslam at 5:17
Rick Martel pins Jimmy Snuka with a roll-up at 9:40
Paul Roma pins Shawn Michaels with the Powerplex at 15:16
Jake Roberts is counted out at 18:03

Fun Fact: After returning from his big trip to Paris, Rick Martel began appearing as a special guest on the Brother Love Show on three straight episodes of Superstars. Finally, on the 10/6 Superstars, the shit hit the fan. Brother Love had another guest that week: Jake Roberts. As Jake was talking, Martel kept trying to spray Damien with his cologne, Arrogance. Finally, Jake had enough and tried to grab Martel, who managed to push him off and spray him in the eyes with the cologne. Jake dropped quickly and Martel fled the scene. Over the next few weeks, we were shown vignettes of Jake at the doctor, having surgery and trying to heal. On the 10/27 Superstars, Martel was once again on the Brother Love Show and was now teasing Jake. After a few minutes, Jake, wearing shades and carrying a cane, was led out by Tony Garea. Martel continued to mock Jake, and even slapped him in the face. After the slap, Martel was pushed back by various agents, but Jake was able to grab a laughing Brother Love and plant him with a DDT. The scene faded out on a close up of Jake’s discolored eyes. Shortly after that, this match was signed, and throughout all the buildup, everyone kept questioning whether or not Jake should even be wrestling just yet.

Scott: Another loss for Jake without being pinned. This stemmed from the Brother Love show when Martel sprayed Arrogance (Martel’s personal fragrance) into Jake’s eyes. Jake actually put on a white contact lens for full effect. It was pretty creepy looking to be honest. The Power & Glory/Rockers feud continues after what happened at Summerslam when Roma and Hercules took out Shawn Michaels’ knee. The Warlord and Snuka round out the teams as random participants. The match itself isn’t too much, even though it’s the longest of the night. After his three partners are taken out, Jake ends up pulling out Damien and chasing Martel out, thus the countout. I have always thought Power & Glory were just another heel team, and Paul Roma still a glorified jobber. However I did always like their “Powerplex” finisher. The Jake/Martel feud is just getting started, but having a full team survive (the first time in Survivor Series history that’s ever happened) was done to stack the deck in the survival finale. Grade: 2

Justin: Despite being so one-sided and quite long, I always enjoyed this match due to the story it told. Jake’s eyes were still not healed, but he battled his way into the match to try and gain some revenge. Martel surrounded himself with some nasty bastards to protect him, and Jake enlisted some quality friends to help out. Power & Glory and the Warlord were just too much for Snuka and the Rockers, and soon it comes down to a 4 on 1. I always enjoyed the subtly of the one moment after Shawn Michaels is eliminated. He looks genuinely sad at having to leave Jake by himself and he even goes over and gives him a quick pep talk. Jake is gritty and tries to battle back, but eventually he chases Martel off with Damien and gets counted out. I don’t mind the count out here, as you needed to protect Jake and build the feud with Martel. It is a nice moment for Power & Glory and the Warlord, who wouldn’t have many better moments after this. This was a fun match with a good story and some solid wrestling. Grade: 3

4) The Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea), Tugboat (Fred Ottman), Big Boss Man (Ray Traylor) & Jim Duggan defeat The Natural Disasters: Earthquake (John Tenta), Dino Bravo (Adolfo Bresciano), Barbarian (Sionne Vailahi) & Haku (Uliuli Fifita)

Survivor:
Hulk Hogan

Eliminations:
Big Boss Man pins Haku with a Sidewalk Slam at 1:56
Jim Duggan is disqualified at 4:52
Hulk Hogan pins Dino Bravo with a small package at 6:40
Earthquake pins Big Boss Man with an elbow drop at 7:49
Tugboat and Earthquake are counted out at 10:18
Hulk Hogan pins Barbarian with a leg drop at 13:30

Fun Fact: After his big Main Event loss at Summerslam, Rick Rude took a big step backwards and was entered into a feud with the Big Boss Man. Now, the fact that he was feuding with Boss Man wasn’t the bad part. The bad part was that the feud started because Rude and Bobby Heenan began making disparaging remarks about the Boss Man’s mother. Yes, you read that correctly. On the 9/23 Wrestling Challenge, Boss Man defeated Paul Perez and then made his way to the commentary table. He confronted Heenan and then forced him to ringside where he ended up handcuffing him to the guardrail. Heenan remained there for the entire show, begging fans and wrestlers to unlock him. Finally, towards the end of the show, Rude made his way to ringside and started flipping out. Vince McMahon went down to interview the two, and Rude got so nasty in the interview, he ended u being censored on air. Heenan could not be freed and was still cuffed as the show ended. Despite his humiliation, the barrage of brutal comments continued from Rude and Heenan. Once this match was announced, it was revealed that the two men would finally face off, as Boss Man was on Hogan’s team and Rude was signed on to be on Earthquake’s. Well, in the weeks leading to the show, Rude and McMahon had a big falling out over Rude’s contract and Rude ended up walking out on the WWF. On the 10/27 Superstars, Jack Tunney appeared and announced that due to his recent behavior, Rude would be suspended indefinitely and that Bobby Heenan would be forced to fulfill his contractual obligations (mainly house shows). Rude would be replaced by Haku in this match and would debut in WCW at Halloween Havoc, just weeks after walking out on Vince.

Scott: This was a typical Hulk Hogan Survivor match. He gets a few shots in, the other guys get eliminated, and he beats the last guy with the leg drop. After Hogan dropped the world title at Wrestlemania he’s had a lot of time off. He sold the beating to Earthquake in June until that clusterfuck of a match at Summerslam, then kind of floated around since. There were rumors floating around that Hogan was tired of the grind after 6 years and was ready to retire. As we see in the next review, his role as American hero is needed again. Some other points to note include the continuing annoyance of Jim Duggan. He brings out that friggin 2x4 again, but this time he’s caught and DQ’ed. About time, I say. Boss Man continues his feud with the Heenan Family, and it goes on from here into 1991. What’s up with the Barbarian? He’s suddenly wrestling with untapped energy and more than adequate workrate. It continues into the New Year. This was an inoffensive match that gets Hogan into the finale. Grade: 2

Justin: The Hogan-Earthquake feud rages on and once again fails to have a definitive ending. As Earthquake and Tugboat are victims of a double countout about 10 minutes into the match. Most of the guys here are mid-card filler who are aimlessly floating around and are eliminated fairly easily. Haku bows out quickly, as his time in the sun is rapidly coming to an end. Jim Duggan gets his licks in, but as always he gets disqualified instead of lying down for a pin. Dino Bravo is coasting along on Earthquake’s coattails and falls to a meek Hogan roll-up. All three of those guys had nothing going on and their roles in the match prove that. Boss Man was still a pretty hot face, but his big feud was stopped dead in its tracks thanks to Rick Rude bailing. Boss Man gets some revenge by taking out Haku, and a couple of weeks after this show, his feud with the Heenan Family would be reignited and would flame on into 1991 with a different twist to it. However, he lays down here to Earthquake, who is still being pushed as a monster, despite still not getting anything positive from Hogan. The match eventually comes down to Hogan and the suddenly red hot Barbarian. After ambling around the mid-card since Wrestlemania, Barbarian gets a mini-push and ends up on the roll of his career. Here, he somehow manages to pull a really fun 3 minute match out of Hogan to close things out. Despite the loss here, his streak would continue as we move forward. Hogan wins his match, as always, and moves onto team with Warrior in the final match. Grade: 2.5

*** Randy Savage is interviewed by Gene Okerlund and lays down a challenge to the Ultimate Warrior for a World Title shot. ***

5) The Alliance: Nikolai Volkoff (Josip Peruzovic), Tito Santana (Merced Solis) & the Bushwhackers defeat The Mercenaries: Sergeant Slaughter (Robert Remus), Boris Zhukov (Jim Barrel) & the Orient Express

Survivor:
Tito Santana

Eliminations:
Tito Santana pins Boris Zhukov with a flying forearm at :51
Luke pins Sato with the Battering Ram at 1:49
Tito Santana pins Tanaka with a flying forearm at 2:12
Sgt. Slaughter pins Nikolai Volkoff with an elbow drop at 5:25
Sgt. Slaughter pins Butch with a gutbuster at 6:38
Sgt. Slaughter pins Luke with a clothesline at 6:54
Sgt. Slaughter is disqualified at 10:37

Fun Fact: Akeem was originally on the Mercenaries, but left the company a few weeks before the show and was replaced by Boris Zhukov.

Scott: From the start this was tough to figure out. You pretty much knew it would be Tito vs Slaughter in the end, since the rest of both teams was jobbers. Well, Tito takes out two of the three heel jobbers, and Slaughter takes out three of the face jobbers. Slaughter was really starting to catch big time heel heat, more than he ever did before. He thinks its tough now, wait a couple of months. As for Tito, after jobbing to everyone over the last couple of years, he was due for a nice moment, and he survives after getting a couple of pins and getting Slaughter DQ’ed for using the referee as a shield. Not the greatest action in the world, as guys like Boris Zhukov and Nikolai Volkoff were well past their primes, the Bushwhackers bring nothing to the table and the Orient Express were in for a change, one for the better as we’ll see in our next review. Grade: 1.5

Justin: An odd little throw away match here that doesn’t really accomplish much of anything. Sgt. Slaughter was on a bit of a roll here, and was gaining steam as the heel Iraqi sympathizer. Throughout the fall, he had been feuding with America’s newest favorite son, Nikolai Volkoff. Volkoff’s time in the sun was definitely up, and he would disappear after this show, and not resurface for another 3 years. The booking of this match is weird, as the 3 heels all get eliminated rapid fire and then the 3 faces go out one after the other, leaving Slaughter and Tito to battle for the last 4 minutes. Slaughter gets a good rub, running through the team and then losing to Tito by DQ, and I understand why they had Tito win, to help balance out the Grand Survival Match. As far as the rest of the teams go, Zhukov is in the same boat as Nikolai, and that boat is the one setting sail for another land. The Bushwhackers are still viewed as a tough team, but don’t get to do much here. Less than one year into their run and the Orient Express are already stale and ready for a makeover, a makeover that would come in mere weeks. The weirdest part of this whole debacle is the pre-match interview with Slaughter in the aisle that is nearly as long as the match. It was solid character development, but just weird to see a long interview while the music is playing and the team is behind him waiting to enter the ring. Anyway, not much to see here unless you are a big time Bolsheviks fan and want to see their final match together. Grade: 1

*** The egg that has been discussed on WWF Programming for a couple of months finally hatches. It’s…..the Gobbledygooker. A person dressed as a turkey. He and Mean Gene go into the ring and dance. This typifies WWF programming throughout 1990. This was a lot of hype, and not much payoff. ***

6) Tito Santana, Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior defeat Ted DiBiase, Rick Martel, Warlord & Power & Glory

Survivors:
Hogan and Warrior

Eliminations:
Tito Santana pins Warlord with a Flying Forearm at 1:28
Ted DiBiase pins Tito Santana with a stun gun at 1:50
Hulk Hogan pins Paul Roma with a clothesline at 5:37
Rick Martel is counted out at 7:16
Hulk Hogan pins Ted DiBiase with a leg drop at 8:37
Ultimate Warrior pins Hercules with a splash at 9:07

Scott: This finale was so predictable it was funny. The only real need for this was for Hogan to glom onto Warrior’s coattails and to see poor Ted DiBiase have to job to Hogan again. At least Tito got a pin in, and a very impressive one against Warlord. This match goes at an alarming pace, with quick pins and the big babyface blowoff at the end. Then, it what seemed cheesy and forced, Hogan offered to hold the ropes for Warrior, and Warrior refused, and held the ropes for Hogan. Back then I thought that was very cool. I watch it now and I’m very nauseated. Hogan should have either been pinned or let Warrior have the moment to himself. Hogan never shared the moment when he was WWF Champion. I’m probably making more out of this than it is, but Hogan tried to help Warrior in his reign. What he should have done was leave Warrior some heels to feud with and add credibility. I should also mention Rick Martel just walking out on his team after taking one on the chin. Nice way to heep the heel heat on him, as his feud with Jake Roberts continues. Nice feel-good ending, even though it is contrived. Grade: 2.5

Justin: Well, so much for that big time Warlord push! I guess this is just a way to end the show on a happy note and to jerk Hogan off so the crowd would be sure to remember HE is the man and not the Champion who beat him clean. Could you imagine Hogan sharing the spotlight with anyone (besides Beefcake, who was always portrayed as Hogan’s little buddy, not an equal) when he was champion? But no, when Randy Savage and Warrior get the Title he is always in the background doing his outdated poses and trying to steal the heat for himself. Just get the FUCK out of the way please, you glory hogging son of a bitch. Sorry, I’m mad and have nothing else to say. Wait…I do. It isn’t bad enough that the Fucking Asshole has to steal the Warrior’s celebration time and be a co-survivor, he also HAS to kick out of Power & Glory’s devastating finishing move on a ONE COUNT! WHAT? WHY? They spent months building up the Power-Plex as unbeatable, and then the Giant Prick has to kick out at ONE? Leave the poor bastards alone, they are in the tag team division. They have nothing to do with you. Why do you have to murder their finishing move? Dick. Well, now I got nothing else to say. Except that Hercules has a nice showing, good for him. Grade: 2

FINAL ANALYSIS:

Scott: The final PPV of 1990 was a typical Survivor Series show. The malaise of the past few months seems to have woken up slightly with this show, as it seems the action and the personalities are refreshed. We have a huge debut, as the massive Undertaker is now a permanent fixture on the WWF landscape. His mere presence changes everything, and it makes for an eerie, different feeling on WWF television. Ultimate Warrior’s title reign has gone on for 8 months, and it’s been a real struggle for credibility and respectability. Hulk Hogan continues to be the top dog, even without the title. By the turn of the year one of Vince’s most controversial storylines ever starts to take shape, a storyline that crosses into mainstream media. The mid-card is taking some shape, as Mr. Perfect, Rick Martel, Big Boss Man and Jim Duggan continue thriving in their roles. However, it was the tag team division that has been turned on its ear. With the arrival of the Legion of Doom and the impending arrival of another new team, the tag division gets a good kick in the ass. The stagnancy that’s been the last few months of 1990 is over, and a new fresh year is upon us. Final Grade: C+

Justin: A year that started with so much promise just 11 months ago brought some tremendous highs and some deep valleys. For the first time since 1984, Vince tried to shift the focus off of the aging Hulk Hogan and onto the man he thought would lead the company into the new decade. Even though Hogan put the Champ over clean at the biggest PPV in 3 years, he was still a giant, tanned albatross hanging on the Ultimate Warrior’s neck, as he had no major heels to feud with, and thus his reign had very little interest. By this point, he is feuding with tag teams and still clearly second fiddle to the Hulkster. This show, while not great on its own, does shine a bright light of promise as the year comes to a close. New faces are showing up and getting solid pushes, and a major new heel was on the rise, one that would make a huge impact at our next PPV outing. As 1991 dawns, things would seemingly go back to the way they were just 1 year prior. All of the change 1990 brought was somewhat washed away, and Vince would go back to his ace in the hole in mere months. This time, however, the shine fades even more quickly, and when the shit hits the fan, Vince will be forced to make changes for good. Now, this PPV was a pretty solid outing, with no standout matches, but only one real dog. It is enjoyable 3 hours, but you could tell the Survivor format was getting a tad stale and it was becoming evident that the show needed a marquee match to carry it. Vince would realize this and make the change by next year’s show. Final Grade: C

MVP: Undertaker
Runner Up: Visionaries
Non MVP: Gobbeldy Gooker
Runner Up: Ultimate Warrior (Champion shunted down the card)

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