May 31, 2006
WWF Survivor Series 1989
Rosemont Horizon, Chicago Illinois, November 23rd 1989
The third annual Survivor Series from 1989 was quite different from the two Survivor Series pay-per-views that preceded it. In the last year, the WWF had substantially scaled down the roster by getting rid of a lot of the dead weight veterans that were coasting along and pushing new and younger talent. Consequently, the Survivor Series concept had to be changed to teams of four instead of teams of five. Furthermore, the 20-Man Tag Team match is no longer being held, which is unfortunate. Regardless, in some ways teams of four gave the event a more polished feel and the WWF would stick with the method for the majority of the Survivor Series into the 1990s (well the ones that stuck with the team concept at least).
We get an interesting little video package at the beginning with shots of a snow covered downtown Chicago as well as fans filing into the Rosemont Horizon for the 1989 WWF Survivor Series.
The Superstars of the WWF tell us what they’re thankful for. Hulk Hogan is thankful for his team of Hulkamaniacs. Ted Dibiase thankful that he’s rich and you’re not. Jake Roberts is thankful for Damian and the DDT. Demolition is thankful they don’t have to fight each other. Macho King is thankful that he is the only man worthy of being the Macho King. Hacksaw Jim Duggan is thankful he has the privilege of living in the good old USA, tough guy! Dino Bravo is thankful that the big Earthquake is on his side. Dusty Rhodes is thankful for his polka dots and then proceeds to flip us the middle finger (sure looks like it at least). Big Bossman is thankful for the judges he serves. Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake is thankful for wrestling, struttin’ and cuttin’ “The Model” Rick Martel is thankful for his good looks. Rick Rude is thankful for his ravishing body. Roddy Piper is thankful cause he ain’t Ricky Rude. The Genius is thankful for being the world’s smartest man. Mr. Perfect is thankful for being absolutely perfect. The Bushwhackers are thankful for having sardine stuffing in their turkey. Eww! Bobby Heenan is thankful for spending Thanksgiving with every member of the Heenan family. The Ultimate Warrior is thankful for being incoherent I guess?
The Survivor Series video package with a Vince McMahon voice over that runs down the card. You can tell who is filling in for someone here, because when Vince announces names like Bad News Brown, Earthquake, and so on his voice over changes substantially. Also interesting to note that Brain Buster Tully Blanchard is still being advertised despite being fired earlier in the month, more on that later.
Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura (pilgrim hat and all) welcome us. Jesse gets off to a roaring start by tearing into Monsoon for resembling a turkey.
*(The Dream Team) “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, Tito Santana, & The Red Rooster vs. (The Enforcers) ” The Big Bossman, Rick Martel, The Honky Tonk Man, & Bad News Brown
There is an interesting cast of characters for this opening match. This only points out how cartoonish the WWF was starting to become as essentially this match pits an abusive police officer, a model, an Elvis impersonator, and an angry black man against a blue-collared worker, a barber, a Mexican, and…a Rooster? Okay… Anyway, Bad News Brown (who has done nothing of note since Wrestlemania V) is replacing an injured Akeem for tonight’s match. The main issue here is between the captains Dusty Rhodes and The Big Bossman. However, Tito Santana and Rick Martel are still in a heated feud but the rest of the guys just seem to be there to make up numbers. Even Brutus Beefcake, whose career was at its peak in terms of being a headliner, seems to be here for no real reason (mind you he always had an issue with The Honky Tonk Man).
Former Intercontinental Champions Tito Santana and Honky start and Tito is in control. Martel tags in and tries to blindside Santana but it doesn’t work. Nonetheless, Martel manages to make things go his way with a well-placed drop kick. The Model showboats but misses an atomic drop and Santana delivers his own. Martel slaps on a hammerlock but Tito counters it. Martel elbows his way out and tags the Bossman, who walks right into a hip lock arm drag. Dusty tags in and begins to hammer away on The Big Bossman. Bossman is reeling as Bruti tags in but a thumb to the eye stops the Dream Team’s momentum. Honky tags back in and goes to work on Beefcake. Brutus makes a comeback but it goes nowhere and Rick Martel regains control. Red Rooster is tagged in and he backdrops The Model. He misses a corner charge though and eats a knee. Rooster gets caught in the wrong corner and is mismatched with the Big Bossman who destroys him. Bossman tries to smother the Rooster but the ref stops him. The Red Rooster continues to play face in peril as The Enforcers work over him. A hot tag is teased several times and Rooster finally manages to tag Tito. Santana is a house of fire on Rick Martel and he tries to go for a figure four but fails. Chico follows up with a roll up but Martel uses the tights for leverage and reverses it, getting the pin. Tito Santana has been eliminated.
Dusty Rhodes comes in and tries to rally the crowd behind him. He and Martel lock up and Rhodes delivers a series of elbows that floor the Model. We get a shot of a Dusty Rhodes fan in the crowd, who would later be revealed to be Sapphire. Dusty hits a dropkick and tags in Beefcake, who goes to work on the Model. Red Rooster tags in and slaps on a headlock but doesn’t do anything with it and pays for it. Big Bossman tags back in and punishes the Rooster with a bear hug. The crowd tries to rally behind the Rooster and he manages to break the hold with a bite. Bossman tags Bad News Brown for the first time but Bad News seems to ignore him and continues to jaw with a fan. Rooster catapults Brown in and unloads on him. It doesn’t last long though as Bad News begins to beat the crap out of a tired Red Rooster. Bad News sets up a double team move with the Big Bossman but Rooster manages to get out of the way in time and Bossman ends up nailing his own partner by accident. Bad News shoves Bossman back and Honky and Martel hit the ring and try to smooth things over. Bad News not one to take crap from anyone walks out on his team and gets counted out. Does this sound familiar? Well the exact same thing happened last year as well even though Monsoon and Ventura make no mention of it. Either way, it’s now three on three.
Brutus Beefcake and The Big Bossman go at it but Bruti runs right into an elbow. Honky Tonk Man tags in and hammers away on the Barber. Honky seems to be in control but Brutus catches him with a high knee out of nowhere for the pin fall elimination. Wow! It took Beefcake three years to finally overcome Honky at Survivor Series! In 1987, Honky pinned him, in 1988 they were both counted out, and in 1989 he pins the former IC Champion. Martel hits the ring and begins to wear down Beefer with a sleeper. Bruti tries to make a comeback but Martel catches him with a knee and continues to lower the boom. Beefcake is nailed onto the apron but he counters with a shoulder block into the Model’s mid-section and does a sunset flip back into the ring. Unfortunately, he can’t get Martel down and Martel goes for a pin himself but he hangs onto the ropes and the referee stops the count. Beefcake manages to hook Martel’s arms with his legs and gets the pin fall elimination. Big Bossman goes at it alone and tries to keep Beefcake from making the tag. However, Bruti tags in The Red Rooster who is a house of fire on the Bossman. Despite Rooster’s offense, Bossman still catches him with a Bossman slam, which seals his long overdue elimination. It’s amazing The Red Rooster lasted this long. Bossman isn’t finished yet and he tries to attack Rhodes and Beefcake on the apron. Dusty comes into the ring though and ends up hitting a high cross body on The Bossman for the win. *** Big Bossman snaps and attacks Dusty Rhodes with his nightstick before handcuffing him to the ropes and choking him out. Brutus hits the ring with his hedge clippers to make the save and Big Bossman and Slick bail.
Survivors: “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake
Match Analysis: This was a fun opener that was given a nice chunk of time. The action was pretty good and the wrestling was solid for the most part. I’m surprised Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo didn’t get upset about the baby faces’ use of the Dream Team name, since they were the guys who used it last (guess Beefcake owned the rights to it).
Sean Mooney catches up with the Big Bossman and Slick, who cut a great promo on Dusty Rhodes. Slick tells Dusty Rhodes he just got the worst beating in his “big fat life!” Ha!
Mean Gene is with The King’s Court for a Coliseum Video exclusive interview.
*(The King’s Court) “Macho King” Randy Savage, The Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo, & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. (The 4 x 4’s) “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Hercules, & “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin
Another interestingly booked match. This marks the first pay-per-view where Randy Savage is the Macho King. A moniker he would use for well over the next year. For those of you that don’t know Savage got the King gimmick by beating Hacksaw Jim Duggan for the crown on the September 23rd Superstars, and Hacksaw is out for revenge. Greg Valentine and Ron Gavin are still bitterly feuding, even though most of the fans don’t seem to care. Other than that, the rest of the guys seem to be just making up the numbers like in the first match. Important to note though that The Canadian Earthquake was introduced by Dino Bravo and Jimmy Hart on the November 11th Superstars and was actually not originally scheduled to be in this match. He was subbed in at the last minute to replace the Widow Maker, who was injured. For those of you who don’t know, The Widow Maker was NWA mainstay Barry Windham and he had a very brief run with this gimmick before leaving the WWF in early 1990 (he never made it to PPV). More importantly though, the WWF seems to be testing the waters again for a Bret Hart solo run, as he is noticeably not paired with his partner Jim Neidhart for this Survivor Series.
Anyway, the 4x4’s clear the ring with 2x4s and then proceed to do some sort of choreographed bit with the foreign objects. For some reason, Bret really looks out of place being on the 4X4’s team. Duggan chases Savage around the ring, catches him, and tosses him to Hercules in the ring. Herc press slams Macho but he is too close to his corner and Savage makes the tag to Valentine. The Hammer and Herc slug it out and Hercules gets the upper hand with an atomic drop. Bret Hart tags in and gets a nice little pop. He immediately goes to work on Valentine’s left arm before tagging Duggan in. Hacksaw runs Valentine’s arm into the turnbuckle a few times before feeding the Hammer to Ron Garvin. Garvin chops away and slaps on the sleeper but he gets caught in the wrong corner and Dino Bravo comes in and measures him with some blows. Dino misses an elbow and Hercules tags in and goes toe to toe with him. Hercules cleans house but is whipped hard into the corner. Bravo tags Earthquake who squashes Hercules quickly with a splash for the first elimination.
Duggan comes in and ties up with The Quake. Hacksaw tries to body check Quake but he can’t knock the big guy down. Bret Hart comes in to help with a schoolboy and The Canadian Earthquake is floored. Garvin tags in and hammers away on Earthquake but the Quake gains easy control and tags Dino Bravo. Bravo goes to work before feeding Garvin to Valentine, who sets up for the shin guard figure four. Ronnie kicks him off but misses the hot tag. Macho King drops a double axe handle off the top and then drops a knee. The King’s Court begins fast tagging on Ronnie Garvin but Dino Bravo screws up a backslide and Garvin counters it for two. Valentine and Garvin get into a chop fest and in the midst of it all Garvin makes a blind tag to Duggan. Duggan catches Valentine with a running clothesline and pins the Hammer.
Dino Bravo wastes no time going to work on Hacksaw. Macho King clotheslines Duggan on the top rope before tossing Hacksaw to the Earthquake. The big man telegraphs an elbow though and Garvin tags back in. Garvin runs through some sloppy offence on Dino Bravo before executing the Garvin stomp. As stupid as the Garvin Stomp was, I can’t help but cringe when I see Dino Bravo taking those stiff stomps. It looks like it hurt. Garvin tries to follow up with a sharpshooter but wastes too much time and Bravo manages to make the tag to Macho. Ronnie however manages to tag the Hitman and the crowd goes wild. Savage and Hart have a stare down and Gorilla and Jesse go on about how great it would be to see these two go one-on-one. Bret goes to work on Randy with an inverted atomic drop and a stomp to the mid-section. The dream match is shelved though when Savage quickly tags out to Bravo. Bret beats the crap out of Dino then makes the tag to Garvin, who runs right into a sidewalk slam and is pinned. Nice job Garvin! I guess he wasn’t needed out there anymore since Valentine was eliminated.
Duggan rallies a U-S-A chant before unloading on Earthquake. Bret Hart tags in and helps Duggan drop the Quake. Earthquake manages to make the tag to Savage though. Macho King rushes to the top rope and tries to catch Bret off guard with an elbow, but Bret doesn’t buy it and dares him to do it. Savage goes after Duggan on the apron instead and Bret lowers the boom on him when his backed is turned. Hart nails Savage and he gets tied up in the ropes. The referee gets on Bret’s case, which gives Duggan the chance to attack Savage while he’s tied up. There is a little bit of a blooper here where Duggan drops an elbow on Macho but it clearly doesn’t hit him at all. Savage tries to regain control with an eye rake but it goes nowhere and Bret delivers his excellence of execution on the former World Champion. Macho runs into a boot in the corner but when Bret tries to follow up with an elbow from the second rope he misses. Savage makes the desperately needed tag to Dino, who goes to work on Bret. Bravo slaps on a bear hug and Bret plays face in peril. This was actually Bret’s return match after being seriously injured I a match with Bravo in Toronto on October 29th. Earthquake tags in and lifts Bret off the ground with a chokehold. Quake goes for a half-baked cover and Hart kicks out much to the big man’s surprise. The King’s Court continues to work over Bret Hart in their corner but Savage misses a high knee and collides with Bravo.
A hot tag is made to Duggan who is a house of fire on Macho King. Strangely, Duggan tags back in the Hitman all too quickly. What the hell is Duggan doing? Needless to say Bret misses a corner charge and his shoulder connects with the steel post. Dino Bravo follows up with a shoulder breaker before Macho King drops his patented flying elbow off the top to finish off Bret Hart. Blame that moron Duggan for this elimination as he tagged Bret back in before the guy could even get a five second breather. Now it’s Hacksaw all by his lonesome against Macho King, Earthquake, and Dino Bravo. Duggan manages to hold his own against the three momentarily but sure enough the numbers catch up with him. Still, he gets eliminated when Sherri pulls down the ropes and he spills onto the floor getting counted out. **3/4 The King’s Court celebrates their victory but Duggan clears the ring with his 2X4 and chases them backstage.
Survivors: “Macho King” Randy Savage, The Canadian Earthquake, & Dino Bravo
Match Analysis: A pretty solid match from top to bottom. Savage gets his first PPV win since last year and Earthquake comes out of this match looking like a force to be reckoned with. Bret Hart helps bring this match up a notch with some great wrestling. Still, the finish was extremely lame. Are you telling me the King’s Court are incapable of eliminating Duggan on their own? They needed Sherri to interfere and get him counted out. Geez, Duggan just do a job!
Sean Mooney is with The Million $ Team, who is geared up for their match against The Hulkamaniacs. This is another CHV exclusive interview.
Mean Gene is outside Dusty Rhodes’ locker room and tells us that doctors are tending to his injuries that he suffered at the hands of the Big Bossman earlier on, but he should be okay.
The Genius delivers a Thanksgiving poem for the fans to a chorus boos.
*(The Hulkamaniacs) Hulk Hogan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, & Demolition vs. (The Million $ Team) “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase, Zeus, & The Powers Of Pain
This is the main event but for whatever reason it’s the third match on the card. I guess the WWF was testing the waters for the Ultimate Warrior as a headliner. Despite the fact that “No Holds Barred” has long since been out of theatres when this event rolled around, the WWF was still very adamant in pushing the Hogan/Zeus angle. Jake “The Snake” Roberts is in the thick of a heated feud with “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase while Demolition had just regained the WWF tag titles from The Brain Busters on the November 4th Superstars. However, Ax and Smash are strangely pitted against the Powers Of Pain, whom Demolition feuded with and overcame nearly eight months ago.
The crowd goes absolutely WILD for Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Demolition and Hulk Hogan upon their entrances. The Million $ Team won’t let the Hulkamaniacs in the ring, so Jake “The Snake” tosses Damian into the squared circle which clears the ring in a hurry. Hogan and Zeus have a stare down to begin with but it looks like Jake Roberts is going to start. Zeus wants Hogan in the ring and Jake obliges by tagging in the Champion. Hogan and Zeus have another stare down before they start a shoving match. Hogan runs through some offense but Zeus no sells everything Hulkster throws at him. Hulk goes off the ropes but gets caught by one of the Powers Of Pain on the apron. Zeus starts choking out Hogan and ignores referee Hebner’s count. Hebner tries to physically stop Zeus from choking out Hogan and Zeus ends up firing Hebner across the ring twice. To the surprise of no one, Zeus is DQ’d. The Human Wrecking Machine doesn’t care though and continues to choke out Hogan. Even Dibiase and The Powers Of Pain try to stop Zeus’ onslaught and finally the monster is escorted from ringside while Jesse Ventura points out that the referee is saving Hogan.
Ted Dibiase picks up where Zeus left off but catches a big boot in the corner and Hulk manages to make the tag to Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Jake destroys Dibiase and clotheslines him over the top rope. The match goes to the outside and Jake shoves Dibiase into the steel post. Back in, Ax goes to work on Dibiase. Smash tags in and follows suit. Hogan and Demolition triple team the Million Dollar Man and Jesse bitches about the referee letting the Hulkamaniacs “get away with murder.” Gorilla points out Zeus shoved the referee and says, “I don’t care whether you got a Z on the side of your head or not, that’s not legal!” There’s something funny about that line. Ted Dibiase catches Ax with an elbow and makes the tag to the Warlord. The Warlord hammers away on Ax then tags the Barbarian who drops a head butt before executing a shoulder breaker. Barbarian climbs to the second rope but misses an elbow. A hot tag is teased but Warlord stops that in a hurry. Ax catches Warlord with a boot and a clothesline but when he tries to follow up with something Fuji trips him with his cane coming off the ropes. Warlord drops an elbow on Ax for the pin.
Smash hits the ring and destroys the Warlord before feeding him to Hogan. Hulk slams the Warlord and tags in Jake Roberts, who goes to work on the big man’s arm. The Hulkamaniacs start fast tagging. Warlord tries out maneuver Smash but the Demo doesn’t buy it. Smash goes for a slam but Warlord rakes his eyes and makes the tag to Barbarian. Barbarian tries to mule kick Smash, but gets dropped on his ass. Smash misses a follow up elbow and Barbarian tags Dibiase, who starts measuring Smash with some fist drops. Ted slaps on a reverse chin lock but Smash manages to fight his way out of the hold. He still neglects to make the tag though and Dibiase regains control. The Million Dollar Man heads to the second rope for a reverse elbow drop but he predictably telegraphs the move and misses. Smash still doesn’t tag and consequently he misses a blind tag from Dibiase to the Barbarian. As Smash drops Dibiase throat first across the top rope, Barbarian mounts the turnbuckle. Smash tries to pin Dibiase but the referee informs him he is not the legal man. Confused, Smash rises to his feet and turns around right into a Barbarian flying clothesline and is pinned. Okay, I really don’t see why the WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition are laying out for the Powers Of Pain, a team that hadn’t done anything of note since Demolition defeated them at Wrestlemania V. Unless, the WWF is trying to propel these guys back into the tag title picture it just doesn’t make sense.
Jake “The Snake” wastes no time going for the DDT on the Barbarian but he counters it with a backdrop. The Million $ Team keep Roberts in their corner and begin to really punish him. Jake plays face in peril as The Powers Of Pain dismantle him. Dibiase sucker punches Hogan, which causes a distraction that allows more double-teaming. The Million Dollar Man zeros in on the back of Jake’s injured neck with some knee drops. He executes a piledriver but Jake manages to get the rope break and is saved from elimination. Barbarian heads to the top again but he misses a diving head butt and Jake makes a hot tag to Hogan. Hulkster clears the ring and is a house of fire on the Barbarian. Hogan floors Barbarian with a clothesline but only gets two. A suplex only gets two as well. Weird that Hogan isn’t able to put away the Barbarian here! Warlord tries to intervene but the Champ ends up double clotheslining both men. Hogan is still hurt though and The Powers Of Pain execute a spike piledriver on Hogan. Then for whatever bizarre reason Hebner DQ’s both of the Powers Of Pain. What? You’ve gotta be kidding me! Jesse Ventura is irate and starts accusing referee Hebner of protecting Hogan again.
Hogan is still selling the Powers Of Pain’s vicious spike piledriver and Dibiase begins to work him over. He slaps on the Million Dollar Dream and Hogan is going down. Jake Roberts makes the save and Hogan gets to the feet and backs Dibiase into the post. Dibiase gets caught in the midst of a double axe handle and a hot tag is made to Jake “The Snake” Roberts. Jake cleans house on The Million Dollar Man, while Hogan lies motionless on the apron. Virgil comes to ringside and gets in Jake’s face on the apron. Jake responds by pulling Virgil into the ring and dropping him with the DDT. The distraction though provides Dibiase the opportunity to get in a fist drop and he pins Roberts with his feet on the ropes.
Ted Dibiase begins to stalk a hurt Hulk Hogan and runs through some slow methodical offense. Dibiase slaps on a reverse chin lock in order to wear Hogan down. Hogan tries to power out of the hold and he manages to break it with some elbows. Both men catch each other with a double clothesline after a criss-cross sequence and both are down for the count. Hogan gets to his feet and goes for an atomic drop but Dibiase counters with a back suplex. The Hulkster no sells it though and begins hulking up. A big boot and a leg drop later and Hogan is the sole survivor. Not a great Survivor Series match at all. *1/2 Gorilla and Jesse argue over the referee’s decision to DQ three guys and Jesse continues to bitch about Hogan getting a tainted victory thanks to Hebner.
Survivor: Hulk Hogan
Match Analysis: This is a prime example of how a match that looks great on paper can go totally wrong. The star power was certainly present and there were enough workers in this match to make it really good. However, the booking for this match was disastrous to say the least. Three disqualifications? Mind you, having Zeus DQ’d made sense because it furthered his feud with Hogan and it saved the other wrestlers from having to work with him and the fans from having to watch him wrestle. However, both Hogan and Demolition looked absolutely weak here and they’re supposed to be the Champions of the promotion. First of all, putting the Powers Of Pain over Demolition made no sense. Especially considering the Demos had already blown off their feud with them and when you look at the fact that the Powers Of Pain would cease to exist in a little over three months, it’s even more mind boggling. It was academic that Hogan would survive, but the way they booked him in this match certainly wasn’t good for his character. That being said it would’ve been nice to see Hogan do a job for Dibiase, but face it, it wasn’t going to happen.
Sean Mooney is with “The Macho King” Randy Savage and Zeus to hype their “No Holds Barred” cage match with Hulk Hogan and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake on PPV December 27th 1989. For those of you that don’t know “No Holds Barred” was a lame ass PPV in which the movie was shown and then a pre-taped rematch between Hogan/Beefcake against Savage/Zeus in a cage was shown afterwards. Don’t ask me to review that PPV because I won’t. The cage match would later be available on the CHV Supertape Volume 1 in 1990.
Mean Gene is with Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake and Hulk Hogan to further hype the “No Holds Barred” PPV. Sensational Sherri interrupts the interview and throws salt in both Hogan and Beefcake’s eyes. Savage and Zeus barge in and begin to attack the two, prompting several wrestlers to come in and try to break things up. This includes members of both The King’s Court and The 4x4’s. Weren’t these guys just going at it an hour ago?
The intermission has been clipped and we get the same Survivor Series video package we saw at the beginning where Vince runs down the remaining two matches. Gorilla and Jesse further hype the “No Holds Barred” PPV on December 27th. However, more importantly Jesse tells us there is dissention in the Heenan Family. More on that as the show progresses.
Sean Mooney conducts a CHV exclusive interview with Rude’s Brood. The Rude Brood is composed of four of probably the most polished wrestlers out there.
Mean Gene is with Roddy’s Rowdies, who are acting well…rowdy. Chaotic interview that is too funny and weird!
*(Roddy’s Rowdies) “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka, & The Bushwhackers vs. (The Rude Brood) “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, & The Fabulous Rougeau Bros.
This bout is a refreshing change of pace from the previous mess of a match. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and “Ravishing” Rick Rude have been at each other’s throats ever since Summerslam went down. Mr. Perfect is coming into this match undefeated and Superfly Jimmy Snuka is on Piper’s team, which is just surreal given their history. Of course, the Fabulous Rougeaus were never big fans of the Bushwhackers and the two teams continue their on and off year long feud here. There’s a definite contrast of styles here as Roddy’s Rowdies are all brawlers while Rude’s Brood are more skilled mat technicians.
Anyway, Mr. Perfect jumps Bushwhacker Luke to try and gain an early advantage but it goes nowhere and Roddy’s Rowdies end up in total control pummeling and biting Hennig. Perfect manages to tag Jacques Rougeau, who does a little showboating to get on the crowds’ nerves. Jacques goes to work on the Superfly but wastes too much time showing off and pays for it. Snuka sends Jacques down with a chop before executing a backbreaker. A diving head butt knocks Jacques senseless and Snuka follows up with a slam before heading to the top rope. A Superfly splash later and Jacques Rougeau is history. Wow! That was quick. Rude hits the ring and jumps Snuka but Jimmy out slugs him. Rude manages to leap frog but stops to swivel his hips, which in turn causes Superfly to head butt him. Tag is made to Mr. Perfect who is whipped into the ropes by the Superfly but a miscommunication from Rude causes Perfect to bail over the top rope. Perfect and Rude have a brief confrontation but it’s quickly forgotten about when Snuka rams both men’s heads together. Back in, Hennig plays the human bumping machine for Roddy’s Rowdies. There’s a lot of continuity being shown by Piper’s team, which is unexpected. Piper gives Perfect an atomic drop, which sends him into the corner to tag Raymond Rougeau. Raymond and Roddy get into a slugfest, which Roddy gets the upper hand in and goes for a piledriver. Raymond counters with a backdrop but Roddy counters again with a sunset flip for two. Raymond Rougeau connects with a sabat kick for two. Raymond goes for another backdrop but Piper counters with a piledriver and eliminates Raymond. Rude’s Brood is down 4 to 2! Mr. Perfect comes in to go head to head with Hot Rod and gains control with some skilled wrestling. Perfect tries to keep Piper from reaching his corner but Roddy counters with a slingshot into the post and makes the hot tag. The Bushwhackers double team Perfect a bit before Piper comes in again and unloads with a flurry of fists. Bushwhacker Butch plays up to the crowd and Perfect rolls him up for the pin fall elimination. Piper comes in and tries to finish off a groggy Mr. Perfect but doesn’t succeed. Bushwhacker Luke tags in and goes to work but Hennig finally manages to tag to Rick Rude. Rude heads to the top for a double axe handle but meets Luke’s fist. Bushwhacker Luke resorts to biting but Rude turns the tables with a Rude Awakening to tie it up.
Superfly Jimmy Snuka gets caught in the wrong corner and is worked over by Hennig and Rude. Perfect taunts Roddy into the ring and Rude strangles Snuka while the referee’s back is turned. Perfect connects with a standing drop kick but puts his head down on a backdrop attempt and Jimmy boots him in the head. The hot tag is teased but Rude tags in and stops Superfly from making it. Perfect goes for a slam but Snuka almost catches him with small package. Superfly connects with some head butts on Perfect but still can’t make the tag. However, in a criss-cross sequence the two collided and both men make the tag. We finally get the Roddy Piper/Rick Rude confrontation. The two partake in a slugfest, which Roddy wins. Piper cleans house with Rude but the two brawl to the outside and get counted out.
Mr. Perfect continues to work over a dazed Superfly Jimmy Snuka. Perfect manages to stay in control with some polished wrestling moves. A suplex from the outside gets two. Snuka fires back with some chops. The two exchange a few near falls before Superfly whips Hennig hard into the turnbuckle and hit a high cross body for two. Out of nowhere Perfect manages to execute the Perfect-plex though for the three count. Decent wrestling match especially towards the end. **1/2 Snuka is a sore loser about the finish and unloads of The Genius but Perfect saves his manager from being squashed by a Superfly splash. Damn!
Survivor: Mr. Perfect
Match Analysis: As I said before this was a breath of fresh air after the booking disaster of the last match. The wrestling was solid throughout even though the eliminations were somewhat far-fetched. Particularly, the elimination of both Rougeaus early on, which I felt was stupid and they could’ve been used in the match to a greater extent. Once The Bushwhackers were gone this match really kicked up a notch. Perfect really took a beating here but managed to survive (which was elementary since he was on his way up the ladder). Piper and Rude was also furthered here for a later date, which was a good idea and also neither had to be pinned.
Sean Mooney is backstage with The Rude Brood, who are congratulating Mr. Perfect for his win. Mooney asks Rick Rude if there is any dissention in the Heenan Family and he just tells him it’s none of his business.
Mean Gene conducts a chaotic CHV interview with The Ultimate Warriors. The Intercontinental Champion is his usual incoherent self but Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart and The Rockers also seem to be on whatever Warrior is.
*(The Ultimate Warriors) Ultimate Warrior, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, & The Rockers vs. (The Heenan Family) Andre The Giant, Arn Anderson, Haku, & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan
The final match of the night is obviously a test match to see if The Ultimate Warrior can deliver as a main event headliner. The Ultimate Warrior has been feuding with Andre The Giant all fall and that seems to be the only feud going on here. The Rockers and The Brain Busters had an issue earlier in the year and it seems like the WWF is renewing the feud before the Brain Busters are on their way back to the NWA. Gorilla Monsoon asks why Bobby Heenan is in wrestling gear and Jesse assumes that Bobby is in the ring to take care of business himself. The announcers fail to mention Tully Blanchard, who was advertised at the beginning of the show but is noticeably absent here. The reason? Tully failed a drug test for cocaine earlier on in the month and was fired; thus, screwing this entire match up. The whole dissention rumours were simply a way to cover up Blanchard’s absence. The Brain Busters would make one last (pre-taped) appearance on SNME the weekend following this event before Arn Anderson headed back to NWA and Tully…well Tully’s wrestling career is more or less over now because news of his failed drug test reached NWA president Jim Herd, who promptly tore up his set contract, leaving the man with no employment. Arn Anderson is visibly upset here, which is probably why The Heenan Family didn’t get a pre-match interview.
The Rockers hit the ring delivering drop kicks to Arn Anderson and Haku and a brawl erupts. Andre The Giant clears Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty of the ring and then starts choking out Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart. Ultimate Warrior races down the aisle and knocks on Andre silly with a series of clotheslines, which send him toppling over the top rope and to the floor where he is counted out less than 30 seconds into the match! Thus, The Heenan Family is essentially screwed before the match is even underway. If you’re baffled by Andre The Giant’s swift elimination don’t be. These squashes were happening around the horn on the house show circuit. The reason being that Andre’s physical condition was so poor by this point that he couldn’t really go over ten minutes. So the WWF thought they could have the Ultimate Warrior squash Andre in a series of matches in order to establish Warrior as a mega star. From a business standpoint it made sense since Andre was nearing the end of his career and was in no condition to go all out. However, from a legacy standpoint it makes me shake my head to see Andre get treated this way by the unworthy Ultimate maniac. Anyway, Ultimate Warrior catapults Arn Anderson and Haku back in before feeding Anderson to Jim Neidhart. Arn manages to tag in Haku who does a weird sequence with Neidhart. At this point, Andre is just coming to and still doesn’t seem to understand he’s been eliminated as he is escorted backstage by officials. The Anvil delivers a series of body checks to Haku but gets caught in the wrong corner and has to worry about Arn Anderson on the apron. Neidhart prevents Anderson from illegally interfering but Haku catches him with a crescent kick to the back of the head and gets the pin.
Shawn Michaels races in and goes to work on Haku. He leapfrogs over Haku and sets up for a reverse monkey flip but Haku counters with a diving head butt, which he misses due to Shawn’s quickness. The Rockers start fast tagging as they work over the arm of Haku. Marty Jannetty goes for a cross body but cant get the big guy down so Michaels his a drop kick to send Haku to the mat. Arn Anderson tags in and tries to suplex Jannetty but he won’t budge. So Anderson tags Haku and they set up for a double suplex, but Michaels manages to make the save and he and Jannetty end up delivering double crescent kicks to both Arn Anderson and Haku. Marty Jannetty is back in control over Haku before handing him off to the Ultimate Warrior. Haku and Arn Anderson work over Warrior but it doesn’t last long and Jannetty tags back in. Marty works over Arn’s arm but Anderson delivers a drop toehold and manages to make the tag to Haku. Haku and Marty go at it Jannetty misses a corner charge. A “weasel” chant starts up from the crowd and Jesse Ventura accuses Gorilla Monsoon of starting it. Ha! Marty Jannetty is down and out and Haku tags in Bobby Heenan finally. Heenan delivers some blows but bails the minute Jannetty mounts any sort of offence. Jannetty catches a knee on the apron and Haku delivers another killer crescent kick but only gets two. Bobby Heenan tags in again and stomps on Marty before going for the pin and getting the elimination over the Rocker. Ouch! He didn’t even bother to hook the leg either. Could you imagine if this happened to Michaels? Would’ve haunted him for the rest of his career! Ultimate Warrior has clearly had enough and Arn Anderson tries to tell him to “calm down.” Warrior responds by catching Anderson in a bear hug but Arn breaks the hold with an eye rake and tags Haku. Haku runs into the same bear hug but Warrior changes it into an inverted atomic drop. Shawn Michaels tags back in and tries to bring his team back into the match. Michaels hits a killer drop kick but gets caught in the wrong corner and sent to the floor. Back in, The Heenan Family works over Michaels in their corner. Arn Anderson whips Shawn into the corner but Michaels does a back flip to counter Arn’s corner charge and follows up with a drop toehold. The Warrior and Shawn do some double team moves including Warrior slamming Michaels onto Anderson. Haku tags in and misses a reverse cross body off the second rope. Shawn Michaels follows up with a high cross body of his own for the three count on Haku.
Arn Anderson rushes in and begins to measure Michaels with some rough shots. Bobby Heenan tags in and delivers some shots of his own but he runs when the going gets rough again. Anderson throws Michaels to the outside but Heenan keeps his distance. Michaels executes a sunset flip on Arn on the way back into the ring and Anderson tries to make the tag but Heenan doesn’t oblige. Arn Anderson is pissed about it and starts to jaw away at his manager. Heenan reluctantly tags in and goes to work on Michaels but when The Rocker strikes back Heenan bails again. Anderson and Michaels end up colliding and Shawn gets the worst of it. Still, the Rocker manages to make a comeback but out of nowhere Anderson hits his vicious spine buster and gets the pin fall elimination on Shawn Michaels. Warrior hits the ring and starts shaking the ropes before going into a criss-cross sequence. Arn Anderson manages to stop the Ultimate Warrior’s momentum by sending him to the floor. Anderson tosses Warrior back in and Heenan tries to take him out. Of course Warrior no sells everything Heenan dishes out at him so the manager bails again. Arn Anderson continues to dominate over a hurt Warrior but Warrior ends up shoving Arn right into Bobby Heenan on the apron. The collision sends Heenan to the floor and Anderson right into a Warrior gorilla press slam. The Ultimate Warrior follows up with a splash and Arn Anderson is history.
Bobby “The Brain” Heenan doesn’t know Arn Anderson is eliminated and yells at him to come back when he sees Arn heading for the showers. When he realizes he’s alone with The Ultimate Warrior, a look of fear is etched across his face that is priceless. Warrior bullies Heenan around for a bit whipping into the corner so hard that The Brain spills to the floor. Realizing he doesn’t have a hope in hell of winning, Bobby tries to take a count out rather than get the crap kicked out of him by the Warrior. The Ultimate maniac won’t let Heenan leave though and he drags him back into the ring and nails him with a flying tackle before pinning him for the win. **3/4 Warrior celebrates and clobbers Heenan with a clothesline as he heads back to the locker room.
Match Analysis: I enjoyed this match. There were moments of sloppiness and it did seem rushed at some points. However, Shawn Michaels and Arn Anderson really brought the quality of wrestling in this match up a notch. I’m really wishing Tully Blanchard had been a part of this match but having Bobby Heenan in it did make it interesting (it allowed Warrior to kick his ass and cater to the crowd, sending them home happy) and it told a good story. I have to tip my hat to Arn Anderson here because I’m sure he was not happy about the whole Tully Blanchard firing incident (his set deal with NWA/WCW took a huge pay cut because of this) yet he still had the professionalism to go out there and give his best. As for The Warrior, in this match he managed to deliver the goods and take the next step towards the main event, but few realize that Arn Anderson and Shawn Michaels helped him. Later, it would be proven that this isn’t something Warrior was capable of doing on a consistent basis, but for now he’s on cloud nine.
The show closes with Bobby “The Brain” Heenan lying on the ground still hurting from The Ultimate Warrior’s attack.
Jinsell’s Bottom Line: This was the first Survivor Series to have teams of four and also the first time the WWF gave cool names for each team, which was a nice touch. This event definitely has a more organized and polished feel than the previous two Survivor Series PPVs. However, the quality of wrestling has gone down a notch since the last two Survivor Series and because of this Survivor Series 1989 gets a lot of criticism. That doesn’t necessarily mean the action isn’t there as most of the matches are fairly good and are given ample amount of time to develop. While nothing really meaningful came from this PPV, feuds were furthered (even if they were feuds that didn’t ever receive an appropriate blow off on another PPV) and this certainly is an enjoyable show to watch on it’s own. Recommended show.