November 20, 2009
Matt Peddycord
The Powerdriver Review

WWF Survivor Series 1996
November 17, 1996
New York City, NY
Madison Square Garden

The current WWF champs were as follows:
World Champion: Shawn Michaels (3/31/1996)
Intercontinental Champion: Hunter Hearst Helmsley (10/21/1996)
World Tag Team Champions: Owen Hart & Davey Boy Smith (9/22/1996)

Your hosts are Vince McMahon and Jim Ross.

Phil LaFon, Doug Furnas, and the Godwinns (w/Hillbilly Jim) vs. The New Rockers, Owen Hart and Davey Boy Smith (w/Clarence Mason)
Furnas and LaFon are making their WWF debuts after being awesome in All-Japan for the last five years or so. Jannetty and LaFon start us off. Jannetty flips off the ropes out of a wristlock, but LaFon lands on his feet to counter a monkey flip and runs Jannetty down with a clothesline. Tag to Cassidy, he leg whips LaFon over to Phineas for a tag. Cassidy gets him all riled up, which causes him to make a mistake and become the face in peril for a while as everybody gets in their licks on him. Jannetty misses a flying elbow, allowing Phineas to tag in Henry. SLOP DROP to Jannetty sends him to the showers at 8:13. Owen runs in with the Spinning Heel Kick out of nowhere and pins Henry at 8:19. BEAUTIFUL! That evens the sides. Phineas cleans house on Owen and Cassidy, but stumbles into a RUNNING POWERSLAM from Davey Boy for the 1-2-3 at 9:04. Furnas comes in for the first time in the match and lands funny after a dropkick. Sambo Suplex from Cassidy gets two. Tag to Bulldog, he blind-tags Owen to catch Furnas with a missile dropkick. Awesome. Davey Boy tags back in for the Stalling Suplex. Once Cassidy misses a corner charge, LaFon gets the tag and gives Cassidy a REVERSE SUPERPLEX! WHAT. That puts Cassidy away at 13:43. We’re down to the tag champs versus Furnas and LaFon. Hook Kick to Bulldog, but then LaFon gets launched. Tag to Owen, he nails him with the Belly to Belly Suplex for two. Flying elbow gets two. Uh oh, ENZIGURI! Cover, 1-2-NO! Bulldog tags in and kicks LaFon in the balls. DQ, ref? Off a front headlock, Owen releases and knocks Furnas to the floor. Owen and Bulldog try a double-clothesline, but Furnas trips up Owen while LaFon surprises Bulldog with a crucifix into a sunset flip for the 1-2-3 at 17:24. The crowd is POPPING for Furnas and LaFon. Before Bulldog leaves, he clips LaFon good from behind. Naturally, Owen goes to work on the knee leading up to the Indian deathlock. SHARPSHOOTER! Furnas breaks it up as LaFon comes back with a spinning mule kick. Tag to Furnas, he nails Owen with a cool dropkick for two. Overhead suplex doesn’t get the three count, but a DANGEROUSSSSSSS German Suplex will. (20:42) Survivors: Phil LaFon and Doug Furnas. Those two boys came in and made quite the impact on the tag champs. ***¼

The Undertaker vs. Mankind (w/Paul Bearer)
Paul Bearer gets placed in the misbehaving manager cage for this one. If Taker wins, he gets Bearer for five minutes. Taker descends from the ceiling with bat wings? He also has no gloves! Aww, he’s got the teardrop on his cheek too. Are you sad because you got buried alive, Undertaker? Big brawl to start and then Taker busts out a drop toehold! He goes after Mankind’s claw hand and bends back on his fingers during a cross armbreaker. Mankind avoids an elbow drop and Cactus Clotheslines Taker out, but he lands on his feet and chases Mankind through the crowd. Back to the ring, Mankind low blows Taker to make him stop smashing his hand on the turnbuckle connectors. With Taker on the floor, Mankind gives him the CANNONBALLLLLL. In the ring, Mankind hits the running knee in the corner. Taker ducks low off a whip and takes the Pull Up Piledriver! They trade finisher attempts and head back to the floor. Eww, Mankind gets kicked back down to the bottom of the guardrail. He gets his head slammed on the steps and they head back in for Old Skool. VINTAGE UNDERTAKER~! Mankind comes off the top, but flies down into a GOOZLE. Whoops, MANDIBLE CLAW! His arms drops once, twice, but not three times! Taker fights up and Chokeslams Mankind, but he misses a charge and flies to the floor. Mankind misses a CANNONBALLLLLL this time. Back inside, Mankind pulls out his Abdullah spike and has some fun with that. DQ, ref? As Mankind climbs up on Taker’s back in the corner, Taker maneuvers him around in position for the TOMBSTONE! Cover, 1-2-3. (14:53) Another good match from their ‘96 series. Once UT gets his chance to put his hands on Paul Bearer, the Executioner (Terry Gordy) runs in for the distraction while Paul Bearer waddles away. Next time, Paul Bearer. NEXT TIME! ***

Rocky Maivia, Jake Roberts, Barry Windham & Marc Mero (w/Sable) vs. Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jerry Lawler, Crush & Goldust (w/Marlena)
Sunny joins Vince and JR for commentary. Since JR thinks she missed all her trips to the woodshed, they argue back and forth the whole match. Jake Roberts is the surprise partner subbing for Mark Henry who is somehow injured. Oh yeah, this match is best well-known for being the WWF debut for the Rock. He’s just a kid here. Helmsley doesn’t want none of Mero, so he tags in Goldust. Mero armdrags him around and tags in Windham for a lariat. In comes Maivia. It looks like he’s going to be stuck in the wrong corner, but Lawler brings him out for a shoulderblock. Rocky NO-SELLS and leapfrogs all over Lawler to put him out on the floor. Tag to Hunter, he gets all aggressive with him. He’s already mad that Rock turns out to be a bigger star than him! Okay, now Rocky becomes the face in peril for a few minutes. He backdrops Helmsley and makes the tag to Jake. He cleans house and goes for the DDT on Hunter, but he gets backed into the corner. Lawler comes in and punches Jake silly. He’s all wobbly-legged, so King makes fun of his drinking habits. That gets him DDT’d just like that at 10:01. After Goldust wears Roberts down with a chinlock, he tags out to Windham. Goldust fights off a SUPERPLEX attempt, but flies down into a gutshot. Crush punches Windham into the CURTAIN CALL to put him away at 12:44. Now it’s Mero who gets worked over for a while. Pretty standard stuff. He comes back with a tilt-a-whirl headscissors on HHH, but then he goes to the eyes and gets tossed to the floor. Jake tries to get him some of Hunter, but meanwhile Mero ascends to the top for the Merosault on Helmsley to pin the IC champ at 19:20. Crush takes a dropkick to the floor, but Goldust pulls him away from a pescado by Mero. Crash and burn! Back in, Crush pins Mero after the HEART PUNCH at 20:33. Jake tries to set up Crush for the DDT, but Crush catches him with the HEART PUNCH to send Jake to the back at 20:54. Oh boy, now Rocky Maivia is all alone against Crush and Goldust. Dang, and MSG is already chanting “Rocky!”. Crush suckers him into a test of strength, but Rocky counters a suplex with an inside cradle for two. Goldust comes in for the failed double team, but the low blow certainly works. He holds Rocky for the HEART PUNCH, but Rocky moves and Goldust gets nailed. Crossbody to Crush gets the 1-2-3 at 23:12! Shoulderbreaker to Goldust gets Rocky the win. (23:44) Survivor: Rocky Maivia. Since Rock’s offense had no sizzle, the fans turned on him instantly, and he wouldn’t get over legitimately until he turned heel. *½

Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
After months of bashing Bret, these two finally meet in Bret’s quest for respect from the man who respects no one. Since the birth of Austin 3:16 at King of the Ring, Stone Cold has REALLY came into his own as a worker on the mic. He was never bad on the mic, but now he’s become great and it shows in his pre-match interview. As for Bret, this is his first match back on TV since WrestleMania XII. The winner of this dream match gets the next WWF title shot. Austin shoots him the double-bird and runs his mouth to start. Bret wants him on the mat and gets Austin there with a hammerlock. Great bit of psychology as Bret makes Austin think he’s on a roll when he escapes and hits him with a series of elbows, but then he takes Austin right back down into the armbar. Austin finally knocks the wind out of Bret with a Stungun and chokes him in the ropes. He grounds Bret with a chinlock for a while. Bret comes back with an inverted atomic drop and a clothesline. Rollup gets two. Russian legsweep connects, but Austin shoves off the bulldog into the corner. Bret avoids a superplex and hits the Flying Elbow for two. Austin claws out of the backbreaker and dumps Bret out for a ride spine-first into the ringpost. That fires him up as Bret backs Austin into the guardrail and breaks it loose while he’s punching on Austin! He tries to separate himself from Bret, but he’s just setting him up for a catapult onto the Spanish announcers table! JR – “It always happens to the Spanish guys.” Austin adds the exclamation point by dropping an elbow onto Bret’s chest from the apron. Back in, Austin drives another flying elbow onto Bret for two. Austin’s getting desperate! Bret takes a hard ride into the corner and receives the Bossman straddle for 1-2-NO! Austin goes all Mike Rotunda on him with an ab stretch near the ropes for some added leverage. Bret wins a slugfest and hits a Stungun of his own. Oklahoma roll gets 1-2-NO! Desperation piledriver gets Bret another two. He gets the backbreaker this time, but Austin stops him up top and beats him senseless so he can hit the top-rope superplex this time – a page out of Bret’s playbook. A funky double pin situation occurs. I’m glad that didn’t wind up being the finish. As Bret walks over to Austin with his back turned, he takes a STONE COLD STUNNER! Austin pulls him away from the ropes for the cover, 1-2-NO! Austin tries and tries, but he just can’t get the three-count. He grabs a Texas Cloverleaf (!!), but Bret makes the ropes. Bret takes his signature sliding bump into the ringpost and that earns Austin another nearfall. Austin locks in the bow and arrow, but Bret squirms out for the SHARPSHOO-no! Austin gets away into the ropes. Bret hooks on a sleeper and Austin tries backing him into the corner. Bret won’t break the hold, so Austin instead drops to the mat for a jawbreaker to break the hold. Austin applies the MILLION DOLLAR DREAM, but then Bret walks up the turnbuckles and drops back on top of Austin for the 1-2-3! (28:34) Just a great story with fantastic psychology that made Austin into a bonafide main event guy. I’m so glad to see Bret back on these PPVs again. ****¾

Flash Funk, Savio Vega, Yokozuna & Jimmy Snuka vs. Diesel II, Razor Ramon II, Vader & Faarooq (w/Clarence Mason)
Cornette joins us for commentary. This is Flash Funk’s WWF debut. You may know him best as Too Cold Scorpio. Just inducted in the WWF Hall of Fame class of ‘96, Jimmy Snuka is *your* special surprise partner. Cornette seems mildly concerned from the announce table. Interesting tidbit: Ron Simmons introduced Too Cold Scorpio to the WCW audience at a Clash of the Champions show in November 1992 and now he’s wrestling Scorpio in November 1996 in his debut in the WWF. Flash Funk gives Vader a spinning heel kick and sends him to the floor for a MOONSAULT PRESS! Awesome. Back in, Vader blocks a rana with a powerbomb. Yokozuna comes in illegally to save with a terrible Sambo suplex. The man just can barely perform anymore. Pretty sad to know his best years of his career were over at the age of only 30 years old. Of course, he died in 2000, so it’s not like he got a lot older. Still though. Savio nails Faarooq (no longer wearing the blue gladiator gear in favor his new Nation of Domination look) with the SPINNING HEEL KICK, but he goes to the eyes and tags in Razor Ramon II. Gosh that guy was terrible in the ring. He hits the Fallaway Slam and everybody boos. In comes Diesel II – better known as KANE. He was at least somewhat better than the new Razor Ramon. Flash Funk leapfrogs into a SICK Spinebuster from Faarooq. Savio beats Vader back into his corner and out comes Diesel II as Vega tags Snuka. He gets a great reaction from his favorite crowd. He hits the Jumping Headbutt on Vader and slams him. Back to Savio, he nails Diesel II with the SPINNING HEEL KICK, but crashes out to the floor thanks to Vader pulling the top rope down. On the outside, Faarooq slams Vega’s kidneys into the ringpost a bunch. Back inside, Diesel II delivers the JACKKNIFE POWERBOMB to him for the 1-2-3 at 8:33. Snuka quickly puts Razor Ramon II away with the SUPERFLY SPLASH at 9:29. Then out of nowhere, Diesel II WHACKS Snuka in the back with a chair. That triggers a huge brawl and the ref completely throws the match out. (9:45) Boy that escalated quickly. I mean that really got out of hand fast. Match was lame, but it showcased Flash Funk well as a threat who can boogie Plus the crowd got their nostalgia fix from seeing Snuka land the splash one more time in MSG. *

WWF World Champion Shawn Michaels (w/Jose Lothario) vs. Psycho Sid
Sid won a match against Vader to earn this title shot at the last In Your House PPV, but since then some misunderstandings have led to contempt amongst these two friends! We’re in MSG where the crowd is extremely pro-Sid and anti-Shawn. They run up a headscissors-kip up sequence and then Sid goes for the POWERBOMB, but HBK escapes to the floor before any harm can come to him. Back inside, Shawn attacks the knee and hooks on a Figure-Four. Sid rolls into the ropes and blocks a second attempt at the hold by kicking Shawn off into the ringpost. Sid misses a corner charge and jams his knee in the corner. As Shawn goes after the leg again, Sid kicks him out to skin-the-cat, but Sid clotheslines him to the floor instead. Down on the floor, Sid whips Shawn into the ring apron and then drops him on the guardrail. Back in the ring, Sid slowly covers for two. Shawn does the Ray Stevens flip out to the apron and hotshots Sid, but flies down into a backbreaker for two. Shawn tries to rope-a-dope with Sid and winds up slamming the big guy. Too bad he immediately flies down into a boot to the face. Sid grabs a cobra clutch (!) and nearly puts Shawn away. Shawn thumbs Sid in the eye to block the Chokeslam and goes for the SWEET CHIN MUSIC, but Sid catches the kick and spins Shawn around for the Chokeslam! Instead of covering the man, Sid basks in the praise and approval of his MSG fans. Thanks to his distracting fans, Shawn counters a powerbomb attempt with an inside cradle for two. Shawn hits the Flying Forearm, but kips up into a clothesline. While Sid stands alone in a corner waiting for Shawn to get to his feet, he grabs one of the huge WWF video cameras off the cameraman and teases blasting Shawn with it, but then he knocks Jose Lothario off the apron with it. When Sid drops the camera, he turns around into SWEET CHIN MUSIC! Now Shawn’s not covering when he has the man won and heads out to check on Lothario. It appears the man is having a heart attack! He’s crying for help, but then Sid rolls Shawn back into the ring. Shawn goes for a crossbody out of the corner off a whip, but Sid ducks and ref Earl Hebner gets wiped out. Looks like they screwed up something there. As Shawn heads back outside to check on Lothario, Sid walks over and slams that camera down across Shawn’s shoulders and gives him a hearty FCK YOU!! Wow. Back inside, Sid works the crowd into a frenzy and puts HBK away with the POWERBOMB to win his first WWF world title. (20:00) Shawn lets Sid have his title and his celebratory moment because now all he cares about is the condition of his mentor Jose Lothario. Hands down, Sid’s best singles match ever. ***½

Final Thoughts: Funny how the entire Survivor Series concept where good guys form teams to take on bad guys who form teams is all but an afterthought on this show. While those matches are booked and quite well I thought for the talent involved, the most important matches on the card were definitely your standard singles matches. Survivor Series 1996 is a great PPV for not only some very memorable matches, but for the historical aspect as you can see where guys like Shawn and Bret are losing their star power to make way for the future main event stars like Austin, Taker, and even Mankind. Survivor Series 1996 is an easy thumbs up and it’s widely agreed upon as the best PPV of the year for the WWF.

wordpress stats plugin