March 4, 2006
WWF Survivor Series 1987
Richfield Coliseum, Richfield Ohio, November 26th 1987
There's a little bit of a back-story behind this PPV. The WWF was hot off the success of Wrestlemania III, which had proven that PPV was the future of the business. Hoping to capitalize on the WWF's success with Wrestlemania III, Jim Crockett Promotions decided to move the NWA's Starrcade (as well as other future NWA events) to PPV as well. At the time, Crockett's expenses were ballooning and he needed an especially good showing for Starrcade '87. This shouldn't have been a problem at all, at the time Starrcade was a more established than Wrestlemania (having been a huge success in Greensboro since it's beginning in 1983). Crockett wanted Starrcade '87 to have more of a commercial appeal so he moved it to Chicago. This pissed off fans in Greensboro but Crockett was confident that he'd still be able to buy half of Greensboro through the two hundred cable companies that had signed up to get Starrcade through PPV. Unfortunately for the NWA, Vince McMahon had his eye on Crockett's plans and he wasn't going to let him take away the power the WWF had created. Vince announced he was going to air a new PPV event called Survivor Series on Thanksgiving, the very same day as Starrcade '87 was slated to air. McMahon made cable companies who wanted Survivor Series as well as future WWF PPVs promise that they would not air any other PPV event that day. Most cable companies went with WWF since Wrestlemania III had ended up being the mother of all PPV events and Hulk Hogan had been the top wrestling attraction. In the end Starrcade wound up being picked up by only five cable companies and bought by just 15,000 homes, while Survivor Series helped firmly establish the WWF as the top wrestling promotion (from a money standpoint at least).
Anyways now that the politics are out of the way...here we go with Survivor Series 1987!
The PPV opens with The Fink counting down to the beginning of the event. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura enter and get into the commentatorsí booth...they'll be calling the action for this event. Monsoon and Ventura talk in-depth about the rules (since this is the first Survivor Series folks!) They quickly skim down the card before sending it over to Craig DeGeorge. And just to verify this is indeed the PPV version of Survivor Series 1987...if you don't have a copy of it, I suggest you pick one up from someone because it is way better than the Coliseum home video version!
Craig DeGeorge is with the Honky Tonk Man's Team. Footage of the famous guitar shot on Savage from the October 1987 SNME is shown as Honky goes on about his team being the greatest team ever assembled.
Mean Gene is with Randy Savage's Team. Man look at his team! All these guys were so over with the fans at the time! The strange thing here is as you look at his teammates you realize at one time or another he was feuding with each and everyone of them. Let's see Steamboat from late 1986/early 1987, Beefcake and Duggan from 1989, and Jake The Snake from late 1991/early 1992. Strange indeed...
*Macho Man Randy Savage, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts, Ricky 'The Dragon' Steamboat, Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake & Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. The Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, The King Harley Race, Outlaw Ron Bass & Dangerous Danny Davis
The crowd is really hyped for this opener. Beefcake and Hercules start and after an exchange of holds Danny Davis is literally catapulted into the ring to take a severe beating from all the baby faces. Steamboat tags in but meets face first with a turnbuckle, which surprisingly takes a lot out of him (considering were only a few minutes in). Harley Race tags in and does a nice shoulder breaker on Steamboat. He then does a somewhat sloppy bit where he attempts to throw Steamboat out of the ring three times but on the third attempt the King is sent flying over the top rope. Steamboat finally hot tags in Hacksaw who unloads on The King (they had an issue at the time). Duggan clotheslines Race over the top and follows him out. They are both predictably counted out.
Bass comes in next and gets some offense on Savage. The tide turns very quickly and Savage destroys Bass then feeds him to The Barber who finishes him with a high knee and a pin. In comes Honky who goes to work on Beefcake. Things get slow as Beefcake takes a beating from both Honky and Herc. A brief comeback goes absolutely nowhere (Brutus doesn't make the tag) and The Barber is finished off by Honky with the Shake Rattle 'N Roll. Things heat up again as Savage comes in and beats the living shit out of Honky. He and Jake take their aggressions out on the reigning Intercontinental champion. It slows down though when Jake is double teamed by Hercules and Honky. Finally everyone realizes that Danny Davis has been out there way longer than he should've been. So as soon as he tags in he meets a Jake The Snake DDT and is promptly pinned.
Hercules immediately comes in and jumps Jake with a killer clothesline. Things are still slow though as Herc wears Jake down with a chin lock. Finally a hot tag is made to Steamboat...and the crowd goes wild! Steamboat goes absolutely nuts on Hercules with a series of vicious chops then he hammers Honky out of nowhere and does a hilarious mocking dance of the Honky Tonk Man. Back to Hercules, The Dragon does a fantastic flying chop on him then tags in Savage who finishes him off with a flying elbow. Goodnight Hercules! Now it's down to Honky all by his lonesome against Savage, Steamboat and Roberts. Honky takes about 3 minutes of punishment then is sent over the top rope. Rather than continue taking a beating, he decides to bolt and take the count out giving the faces the victory. Survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts ***
Match Analysis: Great opener! The crowd was extremely into it and there was a lot of heat behind the match. Besides this is probably the only time you'll ever see Savage and Steamboat on the same team!
Craig DeGeorge is with Andre's team. Slick and Heenan do most the talking but Andre cuts a great promo where he tells his team to "SHUT UP" then promises Hogan and everyone else that he will be the Survivor!
We are treated to a souvenir promotion for the "Official WWF Survivor Series T-Shirt" and program. This promo is aired about 2 or 3 times throughout the PPV. If you're looking for the Survivor Series '87 program check out eBay. It's sold in bulk on there...
*Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello & Dawn Marie vs. The Fabulous Moolah, The Jumping Bomb Angels, Velvet McIntyre & Rockin' Robin
Now it's time for the Women's Survivor match. Think you're gonna see the WWE Divas? Think again what we see here are women that look like they came out of the 1972 Summer Olympics! Yikes! However we also see some fantastic wrestling form both the Jumping Bomb Angels and The Glamour Girls. Plus Sherri looks pretty decent here...and she's actually attractive as well. Still Donna and Dawn look absolutely terrible here and you begin to wonder how they made the PPV while guys like JYD, Sam Houston and Koko B. Ware were left out. Nonetheless they are taken out very quickly. Velvet pinning Christianello and Moolah taking out Marie. You know Moolah is supposed to be a face but gets booed every time she's in the ring! Rockin' Robin comes in and gets beaten to a pulp and pinned by Sherri after a suplex. You know it's hard to believe Robin would dethrone her a year later for the Women's title but nobody cared by that point. The Bomb Angels come in and wow the crowd with their high flying style. Moolah comes in and does her thing with Sherri but is eliminated quickly.
Now is when the match gets really good. Velvet comes in and does a nice sequence with Sherri in which a victory roll eliminates the Ladies champ. Next up come The Glamour Girls who destroy Velvet. With an aching back the hurt Velvet is put away with a reverse slingshot off the ropes. Nice move. It comes down to a tag team encounter as the Glamour Girls face the Bomb Angels. The Glamour Girls are the supposed Women's Tag Team Champions who won their belts in Egypt...umm yeah right. Anyways the Angels dominate putting Leilani Kai away with a high cross body. Judy Martin is left to face the 2 Bomb Angles but is finished with a top rope clothesline after Jimmy Hart's interference failed. Surprisingly a great match! Survivors: The Jumping Bomb Angels ***1/2
Match Analysis: This one surprised everyone. With all do respect...no one gave a damn about Women's Wrestling in 1987 but this match shocked everybody. The Bomb Angels were unheard of at the time and the were put over big time here. This led them to the meaningless Women's tag titles at the Rumble in January of 1988. After that they disappeared into relative obscurity. A damn shame cause they were awesome.
Craig DeGeorge is with the Hart Foundation and their team members. Chaotic interview! The Bolsheviks are noticeably absent but Heenan states that they are already in the ring getting ready to sing the Russian national anthem.
Slick demands that the crowd get up and show respect for the Russian national anthem. No one stands except Jesse Ventura who yells at Monsoon to "get up". What a riot Ventura is! The Hart's team all enters to Demolition's theme music. How cool is that! :)
Mean Gene is with Strike Force and all their team members. Another chaotic interview.
*Strike Force, British Bulldogs, The Rougeau Brothers, The Killer Bees & The Young Stallions vs. The Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Islanders, The Dream Team & The Bolsheviks
Wow! A 20 Man Tag Team Match! This is one of the reasons why the WWF Tag Team Scene from 1987 to 1991 was so good. The action is literally too fast to call here as almost all tag teams rotate in, in about a 20 second time span! Rick Martel and Nikolai Volkoff start off and it looks like the Bolsheviks are dominating. Boris Zhukov tags in and meets Tito Santana's flying forearm to be eliminated about a minute into the match. Demolition Ax comes in and demolishes most of the competition. Smash does the same. The baby faces then do some lightning quick tags and basically destroy Dino Bravo. Jacques Rougeau tags in and gets some offense on Ax, but he misses a high cross body press and is pinned.
Paul Roma comes in and takes a major beating from all the heels. Dynamite Kid tags in and receives the same from Demolition Smash. Smash ties up Dynamite in the heels corner and continues to be the shit out of him. The referee tries to break it up but Smash shoves him across the ring, prompting Demolition to be disqualified. In comes Bret Hart for the first time in the night, and he and Dynamite do an excellent sequence. Man, I wish Dynamite had been in the WWF during Bret's run as champ! The Young Stallions come in again and both take an ass kicking from the heels. A hot tag to Tito Santana, who unloads on Jim Neidhart. There a bit of confusion and Bret Hart manages to sneak in an elbow drop on Tito, which gives Neidhart the opportunity to pin Santana. It's nice to see the Harts get some revenge for their tag title loss in the previous month.
Jim Powers comes in again and gets another beating from the heels. Then once again Paul Roma does. Geez! Those Young Stallions can sure take it. If they weren't being pushed they would have been eliminated a long time ago. The baby faces make a comeback when Davey Boy Smith tags in and destroys Haku. Dynamite tags in to finish off the Islander with a head butt off the second rope, but Dynamite's head gets the worst of the move (since Haku's head is rock hard "you do not wanna bash heads with these South Sea Island boys!") and he knocks himself senseless. He's then met with a killer Haku crescent kick to be pinned. Dino Bravo begins to tear Jim Powers apart for about the 100th time in the match. After a trademark Bravo side suplex, he tags in Greg Valentine who attempts to put away Powers with the figure-four. A beautiful spot here where Powers manages to counter Valentine's first figure-four attempt, which buys him time to tag Roma. Valentine doesn't notice the tag and Roma does a sunset flip off the top and pins Valentine. That has to be the move of the night! Excellent spot! We are now down to the final four: The Killer Bees & The Young Stallions against The Hart Foundation & The Islanders!
The heels once again take their frustrations out on the Stallions. Great intense action! A funny moment here where Haku drop kicks Roma and Gorilla Monsoon scoffs "I'd like to see the Anvil do that". And wouldn't you know it he does! Hehe...must of been planned. Another brawl breaks out and in the midst of the confusion Tama drop kicks Jim Brunzell, who is attempting to slam Bret Hart. However Brunzell manages to roll through and end up on top for the pin to eliminate the Harts. Whoops! Jumping Jim Brunzell jumps for joy but the Islanders are pissed and destroy the Killer Bee for a while. Finally a hot tag to Roma who attempts to pin Haku but fails. Man the Islanders are really holding their own out there! They've dominated the match and both Monsoon and Ventura are pushing Tama and Haku like crazy! Another pier-six brawl erupts and The Killer Bees do the mask bit. Brian Blair does a sunset flip and pins Tama at about 30 minutes into the match (despite he's not the legal man!). Jesse Ventura makes that clear but saying "that's a load of crap!" Truly a classic match that wasn't crappy at all! Survivors: Killer Bees & Young Stallions ****
Match analysis: I could never understand why the WWF ditched this type of match after 2 years. It was always the best match on the card for both 1987 and 1988. This match was able to push lesser baby face teams like The Young Stallions and The Killer Bees. While it also put over monster heels like The Islanders and Demolition. Awesome awesome awesome match!
That damn "Official WWF Survivor Series T-Shirt and Program" Promo again! Buy it already!
We are now treated to "How The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase spends his Thanksgiving". This is a hilarious 5-10 minute segment where Dibiase goes on about how people will do anything for his money and how competing at Survivor Series was "beneath him". Clips of the infamous basketball segment with "Sean", Linda McMahon barking like a dog, and a young RVD kissing his feet are shown as well as the classic pool skit. Great stuff!
We're now onto the 5-minute intermission...but instead of simply watching the clock count down, we stay with Ventura and Monsoon who talk about what has happened so far. Monsoon thinks Honky is a coward for taking a powder but Ventura claims his body was on the line and he did what he had to do. They hype up The Jumping Bomb Angels as a title threat to the Glamour Girls. Ventura complains about the Killer Bees mask switch routine during the tag match. They then hype up the upcoming Hogan team/Andre team match up.
Craig DeGeorge is on the arena floor with the Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart to conduct an interview. Honky is irate as he claims he still is the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time and that he will take on anyone. The strange thing here is when he challenges Hulk Hogan claiming the Hulkster is jealous of him. Nothing really came out of that...
Mean Gene Okerlund is with the Hulkster and his team. Another chaotic interview as everyone seems to be going mad. Man, Hogan's got a weird bandana here. He goes on about how his team is hungry and that they will be the Survivors.
*Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, 'The Rock' Don Muraco, 'Mr.Wonderful' Paul Orndorff & Ken Patera vs. Andre The Giant, One Man Gang, 'Ravishing' Rick Rude, 'The Natural' Butch Reed & King Kong Bundy
This is the one we've all been waiting for! The baby faces do a great job cutting the ring in half as Rick Rude is kept from tagging and basically destroyed right at the bell. Rude finally makes the tag to Butch Reed who comes in to take Rude's place as a punching bag. Hogan finishes him with a leg drop at a brisk 3 minutes in then accidentally tags out when Andre comes in. Hogan pleads with the ref to keep him the legal man but the referee insists that Ken Patera (who was tagged) is the legal man. Just tag Hogan back Patera! Oh never mind Andre tagged out anyways! Well...that was stupid! Patera comes in and holds his own for a while but when the One Man Gang comes in that changes quickly with a 747 splash finisher on the former Olympian.
Orndorff and Rude go at it now (since they had an issue at the time...a really stupid issue but an issue none the less). We see some decent wrestling from Mr. Wonderful and The Ravishing One but Rude gets an upset roll up pin on him. Wow! There goes Orndorff's WWF career! Rude poses for the crowd and ends up paying for it big time. Hogan and Muraco come in and destroy him. The Rock finishes off the Ravishing one to even it up. Now it's down to Hogan, Bigelow and Muraco against Andre, The Gang and Bundy. Muraco is sent to the showers after another Gang 747 Splash. Bam Bam comes in and wows the crowd but then gets flattened by the big boys. Finally about 15 minutes into the match Andre The Giant tags in to finish off Bigelow.
Bigelow rolls out of the way and makes a hot tag to Hogan. And the crowd goes absolutely wild! Hogan unloads on the Giant with a fury of fists. Things are looking grim for Andre but as Hogan goes to finish him off he's dragged out of the ring by The Gang and Bundy and counted out. Ouch! The crowd didn't like that one! Now it's down to Bam Bam against Andre, Gang and Bundy. Can he do it? Well there was a time when many thought this man would end Hulkamania! After some exhaustion Bigelow is able to put away Bundy away with a slingshot splash. The Gang comes in, in an attempt to crush what's left of Bam Bam's energy but he misses a top rope splash and is pinned too. Wow Bigelow is impressing the fans! Can he defeat Andre? Hell no. He's had waaaay too much taken out of him. He misses a blind charge and Andre The Giant finishes him with that weird suplex finisher he used at the time. Andre celebrates being the sole survivor but the Hulkster returns and whops him with the belt. The he poses for the crowd for 15 minutes. Way to go Hogan...despite the fact...YOU LOST! Whatever...gotta love Hogan! As for the match...not bad. **1/2
Match Analysis: The wrestling wasn't fantastic but the pace was good and the crowd was into it. Bigelow was easily the MVP of the match. Plus it was nice to see Andre win after his Wrestlemania III loss, even if Hogan crashed his victory party!
We close up with an interview as Mean Gene is with Andre and Bobby Heenan. Heenan points Andre won and deserves a title shot against Hogan. The Hogan and Andre feud would carry on out through the 1988 Royal Rumble as well as The February '88 Main Event on NBC.
Jinsell's Bottom Line: One thing you can be sure of with these early Survivor Series PPVs is that you'll always find solid wrestling action on them. Overall this was a pretty damn good show. All 4 matches were very good. The Tag Team match was the match of the night but the Women's match was a pleasant surprise and the crowd was really into the opener and the main event. Four great matches, a hot crowd reaction, and some nice promos and segments make this a fantastic PPV. Highly recommended!