March 2, 2010
Steve Riddle

Survivor Series 1987
November 26th, 1987
Richfield Colesium
Richfield, Ohio

Fun Fact: This show was created for two reasons, to capitalize on the success of Wrestlemania III, and to put up a show against Crockett’s big Thanksgiving show, Starrcade.

Actual Show:

Howard Finkel welcomes us to the Survivor Series. Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura.

We see the opening video for the Survivor Series.

Gorilla and Jesse run down the card for the evening, hyping the tag team elimination match and the main event, and then explain the rules to the survivor matches.

Craig DeGeorge interviews the Honky Tonk Man’s team, who claim they are ready, putting his team over and will be victorious. Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage’s team, who claim they will be the survivors.

1. “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s team (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeat the Honky Tonk Man’s team (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart).

Sole Survivors: Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts

Eliminations:
1. “King” Harley Race and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan counted out at 4:11.
2. “Outlaw” Ron Bass pinned by Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake at 5:18.
3. Beefcake pinned by HTM at 6:53.
4. “Dangerous” Danny Davis pinned by Roberts at 11:12.
5. Hercules pinned by Savage at 16:19.
6. HTM counted out at 18:56.

Debut: Ron Bass debuted in 1975 in the NWA, moving around the territories, and achieving great success in Florida, feuding with Barry Windham. He came to the WWF earlier in the year.

Title Change: Honky Tonk Man shocked the world by beating Ricky Steamboat on June 2nd in Buffalo to become the WWF Intercontinental Champion.

Face Turn: Savage slowly turned face over the course of the summer and fall as he began feuding with HTM.

Analysis: Our opening match of this new PPV is a good, solid one. Honky was starting to build solid heat as a chicken champion, and faces 5 strong contenders with 4 good partners. Bass makes a nice debut, Race is starting to slide towards the end, Hercules is starting to float, and Davis is running on fumes with his heat. On the other side, Savage had justed turned and was being built up. Roberts and Duggan were still over, Steamboat was starting to slide, and Beefcake was being built as well. Some solid action and Honky ends up going three on one against Savage, Roberts, and Steamboat, and just walks away. Savage’s team wins, but his issues with Honky are far from over. Nice way to kick off the event. Grade: 3

Craig DeGeorge interviews Andre the Giant’s team, who still claim Andre beat Hogan at Wrestlemania and the team will win tonight.

2. The Fabulous Moolah’s team defeat “Sensational” Sherri’s team (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart).

Sole Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels

Eliminations:
1. Donna Christanello pinned by Velvet McIntyre at 1:57.
2. Dawn Marie pinned by Rockin’ Robin at 4:10.
3. Robin pinned by Sherri at 6:50.
4. Moolah pinned by Judy Martin at 10:52.
5. Sherri pinned by McIntyre at 14:54
6. McIntyre pinned by Leilani Kai at 17:20
7. Kai pinned by Itsuki Yamakazi at 18:31.
8. Martin pinned by Noriyo Tateno at 20:10.

One-time debuts: Christanello was trained by Moolah in 1963. She competed mostly for the NWA throughout her career and makes her only PPV appearance here. She would retire from wrestling in 1991. Dawn Marie wrestled primary in Japan and the NWF. After this show, she would wrestle in the LPWA.

Heel debut #1: Judy Martin began her career in 1979, being trained by Moolah. She came to the WWF in the early 80’s and had several matches against Wendi Richter for the Women’s Championship before teaming with Kai.

Heel debut #2: Sherri Martel went to train under Butch Moore in Tennessee in 1979, then trained under Moolah. After a brief run in Japan, she moved to the AWA and became a three time AWA Women’s Champion. She also managed Buddy Rose and Doug Summers to the Tag Team Titles. She made her WWF debut in July.

Face Debut #1: Rockin’ Robin is the daughter of legend Grizzly Smith, and is the half-sister of Jake Roberts. After being trained, she debuted for the WWF shortly before this event.

Face Debuts #2 and 3: The Jumping Bomb Angels were big names in Japan, winning the WWWA Tag Team Titles. They came to the WWF shortly before the event.

Title Change: Sherri upset Moolah on July 24th to win the WWF Women’s Championship.

Temporary Farwell: This is Moolah’s last PPV until 1999. The Fabulous Moolah was inducted into the WWF Hall of Fame in 1995 by Alundra Blayze.

Farewell: This is Velvet McIntyre’s last PPV. She would move around the independent circuit and wrestle mostly in Canada before retiring in 1998.

Analysis: After seeing the midcarders in action, now we see the ladies. Sherri had upset Moolah for the strap, and now lead two teams in this match. Sherri had the tag team champs and two old timers, and the team was not neccessarly the prettiest team in the world. Moolah had her old rival Velvet, newcomer Robin, and the highlight of the match, the young ladies from Japan. The Bomb Angels clearly are the favorites of the match as they end up surviving in the end, beating the Glamour Girls in back to back falls. It is interesting to see and compare the ladies of this time and the Divas of today, as both are clearly different in terms of being athletic and being beautiful. In the end, the Angels win and are on a collision course with the Glamour Girls. Grade: 2.5

Craig DeGeorge interivews the Hart Foundation’s team, who claim this match will be a piece of cake and will reign supreme in the match. Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Strike Force’s team, who say they are united and will survive tonight.

3. Strike Force’s team defeat the Hart Foundation’s team (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, “The Doctor of Style” Slick, Mr. Fuji, and “Luscious” Johnny V.)

Sole Survivors: The Young Stallions and the Killer Bees

Eliminations:
1. Boris Zhukov (Bolsheviks) pinned by Tito Santana at 1:30.
2. Jacques Rougeau (Rougeaus) pinned by Ax at 6:00.
3. Demolition disqualified at 9:00.
4. Santana (Strike Force) pinned by Jim Neidhart at 12:00.
5. Dynamite Kid (British Bulldogs) pinned by Haku at 20:00.
6. Greg Valentine (Dream Team) pinned by Paul Roma at 24:00.
7. Bret Hart (Hart Foundation) pinned by “Jumping” Jim Brunzell at 31:00.
8. Tama (Islanders) pinned by B. Brian Blair at 37:00.

Heel Debut #1: Boris Zhukov started in the NWA before heading for the AWA feuding with Sgt. Slaughter. He would also hold the AWA Tag Team Titles with Soldat Ustinov before coming to the WWF earlier in the year as Nikolai Volkoff’s new partner.

Heel Debut #2: Tama began his career in 1983 and wrestled in the AWA, WCCW, and WWF as the Tonga Kid. He was a face as the Tonga Kid before turning heel and being renamed Tama as part of the Islanders.

Heel Debuts #3 and 4: The big debuts are that of Demolition, which are comprised of Bill Eadie (Ax) and Barry Darsow (Smash). The team debuted in January with Randy Colley as the original Smash before being replaced by Darsow. Eadie began in the NWA and competed in the WWF as Super Machine before becoming Ax. Darsow trained with the Road Warriors and got his break in Crockett Promotions as Krusher Khruschev. He came to the WWF earlier in the year and became the new Smash.

Heel Turn: King Tonga turned heel and was renamed Haku and managed by Bobby Heenan, and teamed with Tama to form the Islanders.

Face Debuts #1 and 2: The Young Stallions were Paul Roma and Jim Powers. Roma debuted in the WWF in 1985. Powers wrestled mostly in Texas before coming to the WWF. The two were paired up as enhancement talent, before beating the Hart Foundation by DQ, giving them a minor push.

Title Change: The team of Rick Martel and Tito Santana, who replaced Tom Zenk, upset the Hart Foundation to win the WWF Tag Team Titles.

Analysis: What a fantastic match. This match clearly shows that the tag scene in the late 80s was far superior to the tag scene of today. One of only two times that we see 10 teams in the same match in this style of a match. All the teams were solid and delivered great action as the pace is pretty nonstop. On the face side, Strike Force were the champs and over with the fans, the Bulldogs were still on the slide, the Rougeaus were floating and needing a change, and the Bees and Stallions were mere jobbers. On the heel side, the Bolsheviks were nothing but jobbers, the Dream Team are finished as both men would start singles runs, the Islanders would head to their biggest feud with the Bulldogs, and the Harts are still looking strong. But it is clear that Demolition are the next in line for a shot at Strike Force. Some great in-ring action and a nice surprise as the Bees and Stallions win as the underdogs, although neither would advance up the ranks. A great match to showcase the tag teams as we head to the main event. Grade: 3.5

We see highlights of the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase on what he is thankful for this Thanksgiving, which include forcing a kid to do 10 pushups, having a kid dribble a basketball and kicking it away, and having a woman get on all fours and bark like a dog. We see highlights from a house show where a young Rob Van Dam kisses Dibiase’s foot. We also see Dibiase pay to take a public pool and make it a private pool for himself. The point he makes is that money can buy anything.

Craig DeGeorge interviews the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart, where Honky claims that he was not beat, despite being down 3-on-1.

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Hulk Hogan’s team, who puts over his team and will be the survivors.

4. Andre the Giant’s team (w/ Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and “The Doctor of Style” Slick) defeat Hulk Hogan’s team (w/ Sir Oliver Humperdink).

Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant

Eliminations:
1. “The Natural” Butch Reed pinned by Hogan at 3:00.
2. Ken Patera pinned by the One Man Gang at 8:00.
3. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff pinned by “Ravishing” Rick Rude at 10:00.
4. Rude pinned by “The Rock” Don Muraco at 11:00.
5. Muraco pinned by OMG at 13:00.
6. Hogan counted out at 16:00.
7. King Kong Bundy pinned by Bam Bam Bigelow at 18:00.
8. OMG pinned by Bigelow at 21:00.
9. Bigelow pinned by Andre at 22:00.

Heel Debut #1: One Man Gang debuted in 1977 in South Carolina and honed his skills in the Carolinas, WCCW, and UWF, winning the heavyweight title in the latter promotion. He came to the WWF shortly before this event.

Heel Debut #2: Rick Rude began his career in Vancouver and competed in the NWA, CWA, Championship Wrestling from Florida, and WCCW capturing numerous titles along the way. He also debuted shortly before this event.

Face Debut #1: Ken Patera began as a powerlifter, competing in the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was trained in wrestling by Verne Gagne, and competed in the AWA, NWA, and WWWF, winning the Intercontinental Title in 1980, feuding with Pedro Morales. He also assisted Big John Studd in his feud with Andre, helping Studd cut Andre’s hair. After running into trouble with the law in 1984, he returned before this event as a face.

Face Debuts #2 and 3: Bam Bam began his career in 1985, competing in the CWA before coming to the WWF earlier in the year. After his arrival, he sought offers from the managers to manage him. He would turn them all down for Sir Oliver Humperdink. Humperdink began his career as a manager in Montreal and moved to Florida, the NWA, and the WWF earlier in the year.

Face Turn/Substitution: Don Muraco turned face in July and feuded with Bob Orton. He would be aligned with “Superstar” Billy Graham and be named “The Rock”. Muraco is subbing for Graham in this match.

Temp. Farewell: This is King Kong Bundy’s last PPV until 1994.

Farewell: This is also Paul Orndorff’s last PPV. He would retire briefly in 1988 before returning to UWF in 1990. He also had a run in SMW before heading to WCW where he ended his career in 1995. He worked as a trainer in WCW’s school, the Power Plant. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005 by Bobby Heenan.

Analysis: Our main event sees Hogan and Andre face off for the first time since Wrestlemania, and see their teams going different directions. On Andre’s team, Bundy is out the door, Reed is on the slide, Gang makes his debut, and we see Rick Rude begin his great heel run here and you can tell he is a star of the future. On Hogan’s team, Orndorff is out the door, Muraco and Patera are going nowhere, and we see Bam Bam get a nice run, although he went nowhere either. The match itself is good, as Bigelow almost goes through three guys, but Andre ends up survivng. But his moment is ruined when Hogan, who was counted out, runs out and hits Andre with the belt. That was probably unneccassary, but I won’t get into that. Either way, Andre gets the win and his issues with Hogan are far from over. Despite the bad ending, the match itself was solid and it was a nice way to end the show. Grade: 2.5

Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan, who say all Hogan has to do is sign the contract to make the match official.

Gorilla thanks us for viewing the Survivor Series as we go off the air.

Final Analysis: This show has been called a hidden gem among PPVs, and it is. The very first installment of what would become a Thanksgiving tradition is a very good one. All areas of the roster are featured, the midcarders, the ladies, the tag teams, and the main eventers. Macho Man makes his mark as the next contender to the IC title, the Jumping Bomb Angels wow the crowd, Demolition start their rise to the top, and Andre gets the edge tonight on Hogan, despite Hogan ruining his moment. Many of the stars of the early 80s are out the door and new stars make their mark. Overall, it was a very solid PPV. Final Grade: B+

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