Survivor Series 1990
November 22, 1990
Hartford Civic Center
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Rowdy Roddy Piper
Sean Mooney hypes the Grand Finale Match which will close off the show. The sole survivors from each match will be placed into another final Survivor Series match at the end of the show to determine the survivors for the whole event, thus giving the entire card an almost tournament-type feel. It was a great idea, but was only done this one time.
Piper starts off speaking about the current situation with the Gulf War and President Bush. Gee, who'd have thought that eleven years later, President "Bush" would still be in office?
Mean Gene Okerlund interviews WWF Champion, The Ultimate Warrior, Intercontinental Champion, The Texas Tornado, and the Legion Of Doom backstage. Warrior cuts a really weird promo, even for him. I can't help but notice his weird "preppy" hairstyle. I'm surprised he didn't do a commercial for Pert Plus or something. He's also sporting the white version of the WWF Title belt. Why is it that the belt changed colors like every two weeks when he had it?
Ultimate Warrior, Texas Tornado & Legion Of Doom vs. Mr. Perfect & Demolition
It's the Warriors against the Perfect Team. Don't you love the creative team names? Odd, I didn't remember this one as the opener, but it does provide for some interesting food for thought, because when else will you see the World and Intercontinental Champions on the same team in the opening match of a PPV? In case you need to be reminded, it is four on four, because Demolition had three members by this point: Ax, Smash, and Crush. Bill "Ax" Eadie, just doesn't look like he has his heart in it, and I can't blame the guy seeing as how this was just about the end of the line of any regular work for him. The start is fun, with all the faces destroying Smash, then Perfect. Ax comes in and Warrior takes him out with the shouldertakcles and the big splash for the pin at 3:23. The poor guy was in rough shape at the time so he didn't even take the press slam. Smash and Crush would continue as Demolition for a few more months before everyone realized the new version sucked and they were repackaged separately as Repo Man and the Hawiian Crush, respectively. The match continues and Hawk gets worked over briefly, but capatilizes with a top rope clothesline on Smash. Crush saves, and Animal enters to start a huge brawl, the result of which sees both LOD and Demolition DQ'ed at 7:37. Perfect isolates the Tornado and finishes him with the Perfect-Plex at 11:05, despite the fact that to me it looked like his shoulder was never down. But the announcers don't mention it, so it's irrelevant. Now it's down to Warrior and Perfect, the captains. Warrior is able to kick out of a Perfect-Plex, but Perfect remains in control. Hey, a quick glance at the ref at ringside reveals that it's none other than Shane McMahon for the second year in a row. Anyway, Warrior makes the comeback with three clotheslines, a splash, and the pin at 14:22, thus ending Mr. P's great Surivor Series Survival Streak. Well, if you can call two wins a streak, that is. As for this match, Perfect was the only reason it was decent at all. A fun opener with some solid action, but not much substance at all. *1/2 Perfect would regain the IC Title from Von Erich a few days later with the help of one Ted DiBiase. As for the Warrior, he moves on to the Grand Finale Match.
Sean Mooney interviews the Million Dollar Team, and at one point, DiBiase mentions the term "no mercy". I often notice then-meaningless phrases from yesteryear casually brought in as major ones today. There are tons of others, believe me.
Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware & The Hart Foundation vs. Ted DiBiase, The Honky Tonk Man, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & Mystery Partner
It's the Dream Team vs. The Million Dollar Team. Dusty is nearing the end of his WWF run here, as there's no more Sapphire or polka dots. He does still have the American Dream music, however. The Harts are reigning Tag Champs, and damn if they don't look so cool with those jackets and the Titles around their waists. Some sad news, though, as Gorilla mentions that Bret's brother died the day before this. Still, he's there and ready to go. Ted DiBiase takes the mic to introduce his mystery partner, and we get the debut of a man who would become one of the most legendary figures in WWF history, the Undertaker, led to the ring by Brother Love. The crowd kind of sits in awe at the Dead Man; they really don't know what to think of him. He starts the match, and the first guy he goes one on one with is Bret Hart. That would be a main event match a few years later. Bret tries taking him down, but fails, as does Jim Niedhart, who gets slammed for his trouble. Koko tags in and gets Tombstoned (an awesome one too, though there's a bad camera angle) and pinned at 1:45. Impressive. Taker's debut is working well, but Gorilla and Piper kill the intrigue and mystery with the little things. For example, they speculated about his height while he was still in the aisle before he even stood next to anyone in the ring so they could compare his height to the others. And someone explain to me how Gorilla already knew his finisher's name. Taker tags out, and Honky beats on Bret for a bit, but a blind tag leads to Niedhart powerslaming Honky for three at 4:24. Niedhart goes with DiBiase, but Virgil distracts the Anvil, and DiBiase hits a clothesline and a quick pin scores the fall at 5:57. Dusty comes in and dominates Teddy, but Taker tags in and hits an axehandle of the top for the pin at 8:32. He then tosses Rhodes to the floor, where Brother Love gets some cheap shots in. Dusty recovers and stares Love down the aisle, but Taker comes to his manager's rescue, and chokes out Rhodes on the floor, where he's counted out at 9:25, despite the fact that he wasn't the legal man at the time. Oh well. A few weeks later, Paul Bearer would debut as Taker's new manager, and an era would begin. As Taker leaves, I can't help but think how weird it just was to see Bret, Taker, Earl Hebner, and Shane all involved in the same match in 1990, years before it meant anything. In the ring, Valentine goes for the Figure Four on Bret, but Hart turns it into a small package for a three count at 10:02. Now it's down to Bret against DiBiase. They do their thing, and Bret takes his classic chest first bump into the corner. Turn up the volume, and you can hear Teddy calling spots the whole way. DiBiase puts his head down way too early after a whip to the ropes, and Bret gets two with a backslide. Bret then trips over DiBiase on a leapover and sells it like he blew out his knee... then we find out he was playing possum, as he rolls up DiBiase for a near fall. Brilliant. Only with Bret Hart will you ever see that. Several more near falls get the crowd going crazy for Bret, but DiBiase rolls through a high crossbody to weasel out a victory at 14:01 and become the sole survivor. Decent match that became awesome during the Bret/DiBiase finish. **1/4
Gene Okerlund is standing by with Jake Roberts, The Rockers, and Jimmy Snuka. Jake's eye is still all big and white, as a result of his storyline with Rick Martel which saw Martel spray "Arrogance" (his perfume) in Jake's eye.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts, The Rockers & "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka vs. "The Model" Rick Martel, Power & Glory, & The Warlord
The Vipers vs. The Visionaries. Before the match starts, Piper makes reference to the infamous coconut incident with Snuka. We start with Jannetty and the Warlord, and it's pretty fun watching Marty outsmart the big guy. The Warlord, by the way, looks suspiciously like a taller, roided up, immobile Steve Austin. Just saying is all. Michaels goes with Martel, but the cowardly Model runs when Shawn tags Jake. The Warlord tags back in and catches Jannetty with a huge powerslam for the pin at 5:18. Martel later rolls through a Snuka crossbody to get rid of him at 9:43. On commentary, Piper calls Martel an "ass", but has to cover himself since it's a family show. My, how times have changed. Power & Glory hit the Power-Plex on Shawn Michaels to finish him off at 15:18, leaving Jake alone against all four Visionaries. Martel goes for the Arrogance, but Jake unleashes Damien from the ominous green back and chases Martel down the aisle. Jake is counted out at 18:07, and all four Visionaries survive. *1/2 Now why wasn't Martel counted out when Taker was counted out under similar circumstances during the previous match? Oh well. This match was decent, but a little on the boring side. And did Power & Glory really have to go over the Rockers again? Why did Marty and Shawn always get shafted, man?
Royal Rumble 1991 promo. 1/19/91, 8 PM EST.
Sean Mooney talks to Hulk Hogan and his team.
Hulk Hogan, Tugboat, Big Boss Man & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan vs. Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku & The Barbarian
The Hulkamaniacs vs. The Natural Disasters. Duggan and Haku start, presumably for old times sake, then Boss Man tags in and quickly Boss Man Slams Haku to eliminate him at 3:11. The pace is much quicker this year than it had been in previous ones to accommodate the extra match at the end... and the upcoming egg incident. But we'll get into that later. Barbarian enters to suplex Boss Man. Earthquake goes with Duggan next, and destroys him, so Duggan resorts to chasing Jimmy Hart around the ring, then nailing Quake with his 2x4 to draw the DQ at 6:06. See ya, Hacksaw. Hogan comes in and slams Barbarian and Bravo, then tries for Quake, and you know the match is being condensed when he succeeds on the first try. A Quake powerslam turns the tide for the heels, however. He tags in Dino, but Hogan small packages him(!) for three at 7:55. It was a good one too. Piper assesses that Hogan would now be smart to "get the hell outta the ring", so Hogan does so and tags Boss Man. Piper: "Hogan's almost as smart as Roddy Piper." Almost, Hot Rod, almost. Quake squashes Boss Man and pins him after a big fat elbow at 9:04. Hogan enters, but can't slam Quake again. Earthquake goes for a splash, but misses, and Hogan tags in Tugboat for the first time all match. He and Quake brawl on the floor and are counted out at 11:27. How come Hogan could never pin Earthquake? I always hear that they'd have a PPV blowoff at a later date, but after Summerslam that's dumb, because Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble don't allow for big one-on-one matches, Wrestlemania VII had other plans, and Summerslam '91 wouldn't have been feasible at all since it would have been over a year after their original feud started. If their Summerslam '90 match had to end in a countout, Hogan could have at least pinned him here. He'll have to settle for the Barbarian here, however, as it's come down to a one-on-one showdown between the two. Gorilla starts hyping the Hulkster's guts, and Piper is quick to point out that Hogan is no better than any other wrestler we've seen tonight. Heh. Barbarian delivers an unconvincing piledriver, forcing the announcers to point it out as so. The Barbarian's top rope clothesline gets only two, as Hogan hulks up, hits the Boot and the Leg Drop to pin the Barbarian at 14:44. *1/2 Hogan then beats on Bobby Heenan, Barbie's defenseless manager, because he's a role model and all that.
A video package of various fans speaking about their picks to win Survivor Series is shown. There's a Warrior fan. Big deal. There's a Hogan fan. That's no surprise. Hey, it's a Sgt. Slaughter fan... oh man, that's just messed up given the circumstances.
Gene is on the interview podium in the arena, and brings out "Macho King" Randy Savage for a few words. They hype his feud with the Warrior, which would deservedly get him back in the main event after wasting a year and a half in forgettable feuds with people like Rhodes and Brutus Beefcake.
Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana & The Bushwackers vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zukhov & The Orient Express
Gene interviews Sarge in the aisle during the heel entrance. He supports Iraq, you know. The jobbers in this match are quite prevelant, I must say. Not coincidentally, the crowd is dead. Tito pins Boris with the Flying Forearm at an epic 0:47. Hey, Tito is a foreigner and a victim of stereotypes. Why isn't he on the other team? Butch gets Saito with the pathetic Battery Ram at a pathetic 1:46. They must really need to make up some of that time, but with all the jobbers, this is the match to do it in. Tito pins Tanaka after another Forearm at 2:10, and now Slaughter is left all alone. Hey that's what you get for picking three scrubs as partners. Fortunately for him, however, three of his opponents equally suck. Sarge roughs up Volkoff and pins him after an elbow drop at 5:23. Some captain. The crowd is still not into this match at all. A stomachbreaker gets Luke at 6:29, and a clothesline is enough to pin Butch at 6:52. The ref is bumped, so Adnon comes in and nails Tito with the Iraqi flag. Sarge applies the Camel Clutch, the ref comes to, taps Slaughter's arm, and calls for the bell at 10:35. Howard Finkel announces, "Sargeant Slaughter...". Slaughter raises his arms in victory. Finkel continues, "... has been disqualified. Therefore, the winner of this match, and sole survivor, Tito Santana!" Hey, that was pretty funny even if it was predictable and cliché. It was all in the Fink's tone. That and the look on Slaughter's face. What a DUD of an uneventful, virtually pointless match. Now then, play Tito's funky music!
Mooney is with Ted DiBiase and the Visionaries, the heel team for the Grand Finale.
Gene walks out to the interview podium, near which a giant egg is about to be hatched. A guy (actually Hector Guerrero, Eddie's uncle) in a demented chicken suit pops out and rolls around with Gene and stuff. Wrestlecrap.com can explain it a lot better than I would ever care to. The fans first boo, then go apathetic, while Piper and Gorilla shill as best they can. "The Gobbledygooker", as he is called, is never heard from again, so let us never speak of this again.
Mooney is with Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana. Oh, which of these three just doesn't belong?
Grand Finale Match: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior & Tito Santana vs. Ted DiBiase, Rick Martel, The Warlord, & Power & Glory
The only problem I have with this match is that it was hard to rationalize. I mean why are Hulk, Tito, and Warrior together? Why not Hogan, DiBiase, Tito, and Roma on one team? It's too "good guy vs. bad guy" oriented. It exposes things and the idea that only faces wrestle only heels is a bit close-minded. It's the very definition of a "black and white" world that Vince McMahon would denounce seven years later. Oh well, I still say it's a cool gimmick. By the way, to set up this match, one full team survived (for the first time ever), and in every other match, only one person survived. The heels have had time to redress, and Warrior has had his face re-painted. Santana pins the Warlord right off the bat with a Flying Forearm at 0:28. DiBiase catches Santana with a hot shot at 1:51 to eliminate him. The heels show unity and work over Hogan. Hey, doesn't Hercules, like, not like DiBiase. Water under the bridge, I guess. Herc and Roma hit the Power-Plex, but Hogan no-sells. Man, I'd have loved to see Paul Roma pin Hulk Hogan. As it is, Hogan gets up and pins Roma after a single clothesline at 5:37. Martel jumps in, but Hogan and The Warrior wipe the floor with him and he decides he'd rather take the countout than take more punishment. He's gone at 7:15. A Boot and a Leg Drop finish DiBiase at 8:36, and a Warrior shoulder tackle and splash take care of Hercules at 9:08. I think it'd have been cool if they did a crossover where Warrior pins one guy with a leg drop, and Hogan gets the other with a gorilla press slam and a splash, but this did nicely. *1/4 The role models dispose of Slick and celebrate for awhile. Gorilla exclaims, "Look at that!" just as the director happens to take a very unnecessary close up shot of their crotches. Bad timing, I guess. It certainly made for an uncomfortable ending to a lackluster show.
Survivor Series 1990 Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 80:57
Average Match: 13:30
Average Match Rating: *1/4
Top Moments: The Undertaker's debut, Bret vs. DiBiase, The Gobbledygooker (it's fun to watch something flop so horribly), and Hogan and The Warrior as an unexpected tag team
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