March 12, 2010
Survivor Series 1988
November 24th, 1988
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Pilgrim” Ventura.
1. The Ultimate Warrior and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake’s team defeat the Honkytonk Man and “Outlaw” Ron Bass’s team (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart).
Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior
1. “Dangerous” Danny Davis submits at 1:18.
2. “Jumping” Jim Brunzell pinned by Bad News Brown at 5:12.
3. Brown counted out at 7:50.
4. Sam Houston pinned by Bass at 10:09.
5. The Blue Blazer submits at 12:29.
6. Beefcake and HTM counted out at 15:44.
7. Bass pinned by Warrior at 17:30.
8. Greg “The Hammer” Valentine pinned by Warrior at 17:50.
Debut: The Blue Blazer is Owen Hart under a mask. The youngest of 12, Owen tried to make a living outside of wrestling, but ended up following the family. He was trained in the Dungeon and debuted in 1986 in Stampede. He was named PWI’s 1987 Rookie of the Year and furthered honed his skills in Japan before coming to the WWF as the Blue Blazer, and there is no mention of his family name.
Replacement: Jim Brunzell is replacing Don Muraco.
Farewells: This is the last PPV for Sam Houston, Jim Brunzell, and Danny Davis. Houston would move to USWA. He would remain on the independent circuit, outside a brief run in WCW in 1993. Brunzell would leave in 1989 and remain on the independent circuit, but made brief appearances in WCW and AWF before retiring in 1994. Davis would be phased out as a wrestler and became a referee again until 1995. He currently wrestles and is a referee in the Massachusetts wrestling circuit.
Analysis: Our opening contest is basically a showcase for the rise of the Warrior. All the other participants are going different ways. Houston, Brunzell, and Davis are on their way out the door. Bass wouldn’t stick around for long as well. We see a glimpse of the greatness Owen Hart would be, but his debut is clearly overshadowed. Valentine and Honky will toil in the midcard, as would Beefcake and Brown. Brown shows his mentality by taking a walk after being hit by his own partner. Beefcake and Honky still have unsolved issues when both get counted out. In the end, down 2 to 1, Warrior mows through Bass and Valentine to get the win and survive. A simple, but fairly solid match. Grade: 2.5
Gorilla and Jesse recap the first match and talk up the tag team elimination match.
2. The Powers of Pain’s team defeat Demolition’s team (w/ Mr. Fuji, “The Doctor of Style” Slick, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart).
Sole Survivors: The Powers of Pain
1. Raymond Rougeau (Fabulous Rougeaus) pinned by Bret Hart at 5:22.
2. Jim Powers (Young Stallions) pinned by Boris Zhukov at 15:20.
3. Zhukov (Bolsheviks) pinned by Marty Jannetty at 18:09.
4. Hart (Hart Foundation) pinned by Tully Blanchard at 27:03.
5. The Rockers and Brain Busters disqualified at 27:57.
6. Dynamite Kid (British Bulldogs) pinned by Smash at 36:02.
7. Smash (Demolition) counted out at 39:33.
8. Conquistador Uno (Los Conquistadors) pinned by Barbarian at 42:12.
Heel team debut #1: Los Conquistadors are Jose Luis Riveria and Jose Estrada Sr. They were mainly used as an enhancement team during this period and make their only PPV appearance here. The Conquistador team itself won’t be seen again until 2000.
Heel team debut #2: The Brain Busters are one half of the greatest faction in wrestling history, the Four Horsemen. Arn Anderson began his career in 1982 and shot to superstardom in 1985, teaming with Ole Anderson as the Minnesota Wrecking Crew winning the NWA National Tag Team Titles. Tully Blanchard was trained by his father Joe and started in SCW and eventually moved to JCP, winning the TV Title and feuding with Dusty Rhodes. These three men joined with Ric Flair and with J.J. Dillion as their manager, they ruled JCP from 1985-1987. After Ole was kicked out of the group, Arn and Tully teamed up and won the Tag Team Titles twice. They jumped to the WWF prior to this event following arguments with Jim Crockett about their pay. They were given Bobby Heenan as their manager and dubbed the Brain Busters.
Face team debut: The Rockers are comprised of Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels. Jannetty began in the NWA in 1984, teaming with Tommy Rogers and Bob Brown before meeting up with Michaels. Michaels was trained by Jose Lothario and wrestled in Mid-South and Texas before coming to CSW. Michaels and Jannetty teamed up to form the Midnight Rockers and went to the AWA feuding with Buddy Rose and Doug Somers winning the Tag Team Titles. They were to debut in the WWF in 1987, but were turfed for their antics outside the ring. After a few runs in the CWA and AWA, they were brought back to the WWF shortly before this event, and they wre renamed simply the Rockers.
Farewells: This is the last PPV for the Young Stallions and the British Bulldogs. Roma and Powers were split up and used as enhancement talent. Powers would not be on PPV again and Roma wouldn’t be seen until 1990. The Bulldogs would return to Stampede and also had a brief run in the UK until the team split due to personal reasons. Davey Boy won’t be seen again until 1991 and Dynamite would retire in 1991 and is currently confined to a wheelchair.
Face/Heel Turn: Demolition and the POP would do a double turn when Fuji doublecrossed Demolition and the POP helped him at the end of the match.
Analysis: After seeing last year’s tag team elimination match, I wondered if this match would top it, and it certainly did. 6 of the teams from the previous year return and 4 new teams make an impact. The pace is really solid and fast paced for 40 minutes as these 20 men pound on each other. We see the jobbers team lose first as the Rougeaus, Stallions, and Bolsheviks go early. After some more action, the Harts are suprisingly eliminated early and would remain in the No. 2 spot of the face ladder. The two new teams, the Rockers and Brain Busters would get DQ’ed, knocking both teams out. The Bulldogs get a nice run, but their days are over. Now we get to the meat and potatoes of this match, the double switch. Fuji causes Demolition to get eliminated and they assult him before leaving. The POP bring Fuji to their corner and easily dispatch of the Conquistadors, who were the easiest team to finish after the switch. The POP win, but their issues with Demolition are just starting. Overall, a great match and a joy to watch, especially since we will never see a match like this again. Damn shame. Grade: 4
Sean Mooney interviews Bad News Brown, who claims a conspiracy took place and he flat out demands a WWF Championship shot because he has not been beaten.
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Powers of Pain and Mr. Fuji, where Fuji claims he made Demolition and that the POP will destroy them.
Gorilla and Jesse run down the final two matches of the night.
Sean Mooney interviews the Mega Powers’s team, and they claim to be united and will be the survivors tonight.
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Andre the Giant and Dino Bravo’s team, and they claim they will win tonight.
3. Andre the Giant and Dino Bravo’s team (w/ Frenchy Martin and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan) defeat Jake “The Snake” Roberts and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan’s team.
Sole Survivors: Mr. Perfect and Dino Bravo
1. Ken Patera pinned by “Ravishing” Rick Rude at 8:18.
2. Scott Casey pinned by Bravo at 9:27.
3. Harley Race pinned by Tito Santana at 13:19.
4. Santana pinned by Andre at 14:40.
5. Duggan disqualified at 21:22.
6. Rude pinned by Roberts at 28:45.
7. Andre disqualified at 29:39.
8. Roberts pinned by Perfect at 30:03.
One-time debut/Substitution: Scott Casey debuted in the 1970s, mainly wrestling in the SWCW. He came to the WWF in 1987 and was mainly an enhancement talent, and makes his only PPV appearance here. He would retire in 1990. Casey is replacing B. Brian Blair, who was replacing the Junkyard Dog.
Debut: Curt Hennig is the son of wrestling legend Larry “The Ax” Hennig. Curt was trained by his father and Verne Gagne and debuted in the AWA in 1980. He had a brief run in the WWF in 1982 before returning in 1984. He won the AWA Tag Team Titles with Scott Hall and also won the AWA Championship. He returned to the WWF earlier in the year under this new persona, Mr. Perfect.
Farewell: This is Ken Patera’s last PPV. He would return to the AWA in 1989 and become a Tag Team Champion until leaving the AWA in 1990.
Analysis: A decent match that builds up the new heel on the block, Mr. Perfect. His stock is clearly on the rise, as is that of Rude’s. Roberts as one main partner and essentially 3 jobbers. Andre’s team mow through Jake’s team, forcing Jake into a 4-on-1 situation, as Race was knocked out first and is on his way out the door. Duggan gets eliminated without getting pinned, someone that happens more than once. Roberts manages to eliminate Rude, ending that feud, but Andre would choke him out, gettting DQ’ed in the process. Perfect picks up the scraps, and win for himself and Bravo. Bravo would continue his feud with Duggan, Perfect and Rude move on to new feuds, and Andre and Jake have unsolved issues. A solid enough match as we get ready for the main event. Grade: 2
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews the Twin Towers’s team, who claim they will be the survivors tonight.
4. The Mega Powers’s team (w/ Miss Elizabeth) defeat the Twin Towers’s team (w/ “The Doctor of Style” Slick, Virgil, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan.
Sole Survivors: Hulk Hogan and “Macho Man” Randy Savage
1. The Red Rooster pinned by Savage at 6:11.
2. Hillbilly Jim pinned by “The African Dream” Akeem at 9:59.
3. “The Birdman” Koko B. Ware pinned by the Big Bossman at 11:45.
4. Hercules pinned by “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase at 16:35.
5. Dibiase pinned by Savage at 16:57.
6. Bossman counted out at 25:09.
7. Akeem disqualified at 25:09.
8. “King” Haku pinned by Hogan at 29:10.
Debut: Terry Taylor debuted in 1979 in Mid-South. He would wrestle in JCP, UWF, and WCCW before coming to the WWF. He originally was a face before turning heel and being dubbed the Red Rooster and took Bobby Heenan as a manager. There were rumors that he was to be Mr. Perfect before he was passed by Curt Hennig.
Repackaging: In September, the One Man Gang was renamed Akeem by his manager Slick, and underwent an ancient ritual taking place in the “Deepest, Darkest Parts of Africa” and being dubbed “The African Dream”.
Face Turn: Hercules turned face after learning that Bobby Heenan sold him to Ted Dibiase as a presonal slave. Hercules assulted Heenan and solidified the turn.
Analysis: Our main event is a fun little affair. The Towers had just formed and were pushed immediately to feud with the Mega Powers. The first 15 minutes see the jobbers (Rooster, Koko, and Hillbilly) get knocked out first. Hercules, fresh off his face turn, looks good here, but gets outsmarted by Dibiase. Dibiase would then get eliminated quick by Savage. The tone changes when Hogan is handcuffed to the rope by the Towers, which results in Bossman counted out and Akeem disqualified. Haku, the new “King”, lays a beating on Savage until Hogan gets out of the cuffs. He gets the tag, and makes quick work of Haku, who gets a compliment for having a nice run in this match and a nice push. Hulk celebrates with Elizabeth and Savage looks perplexed. All is fine, but the tremors are starting to rumble, and it would not be long before things fall apart. For now, the Mega Powers survive. Grade: 3
The Mega Powers celebrate in the ring as we go off the air.
Final Analysis: The second installment of the Survivor Series is just a notch below the inaugural show from last year, but it is still fun to watch. The tag match is clearly the highlight of the night, with the Demolition/POP switch capping it off and the debut of two new teams. It’s eerie seeing Shawn Michaels debut here and see how far he has come. A lot of the old guard is ushered out as a crop of new talent emerges to carry the roster into the next decade. The main event is a good one, and the foundation of the Mega Powers is starting to crack. For now, this is not the most memorable show, but it is a fun way to kill three hours. Final Grade: C+