Survivor Series 1992
November , 1992
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan
This was an interesting time in the WWF, as Summerslam had been the first non-Hogan oriented PPV, and had been a tremendous success. Savage and the Warrior, both tremendously over as faces, had a great WWF Title Match, and the British Bulldog beat Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title in a classic. Two days after the event, Ric Flair beat Savage for the WWF Title with the help of Razor Ramon. This set up the main event for Survivor Series 1992 of the Ultimate Warrior & Randy Savage vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon. In October, Ric Flair suffered an inner ear injury that effected his balance and was unable to wrestle for a few weeks. Instead of having a Champion that wasn't capable of wrestling in the ring, the WWF decided to take the Title off Flair. But who to put it on was another story. Hulk Hogan wasn't around. Randy Savage had just been Champion and it would have seemed awkward to have him regain the Title from Flair so quickly. An abrupt Ultimate Warrior Title win wouldn't have been very dramatic. I assume the WWF was still hoping to cash in on a PPV with the Warrior winning the Title at that point. The only other "top" guy was the Undertaker, and he was involved in a second-string feud with Kamala, which was not a Championship storyline by any means. There was only one option left and his name was Bret Hart.
Bret had been putting on classic matches ever since he became a full time singles wrestler a year and a half earlier. He'd carried the Bulldog to one of the best matches of all time at Summerslam, and he was over as a major babyface. The WWF decided to push him to the next level, and Bret Hart won the WWF Title in Saskatoon on Canadian Thanksgiving, in what was a shocker at the time. Meanwhile, WCW offered the British Bulldog a huge contract to jump ship, and the Bulldog bit. As a result, he had to drop the Intercontinental Title, and did so to Shawn Michaels on what would be the final episode of Saturday Night's Main Event. Bret and Shawn had previously been slated to face each other at Survivor Series, and now all of a sudden, they found themselves with the only two singles Titles in the company. Quite the little change of pace, huh? But wait, there's more.
Two weeks before the PPV, the Ultimate Warrior, always an unstable guy in more ways than one, left the WWF, leaving Vince McMahon screwed. One of the participants in his main event was gone, and everyone else of any worth was already booked onto the card in other matches. So on Prime Time Wrestling, just ten days before the show, Randy Savage came on looking for a new tag team partner, and of all people, he asked Mr. Perfect (who had not wrestled since August 1991 due to a back injjury), Ric Flair's "Executive Consultant". Perfect surprised everybody by accepting the challenge, prompting his long-time manager Bobby Heenan to become irate and slap him in the face. Perfect got pissed, rightly so, and needless to say took exception to the treatment. He said he was fed up with Heenan telling him what to do all these years, and poured a pitcher of water all over The Brain, thus humiliating him. This completed the Perfect face turn, though some still speculated how he'd be able to get along with Savage at Survivor Series, given their shaky past.
Now then, onto the event itself: This video opens with Reverend Slick giving an uplifting message to all the fans of the WWF. Hmph.
High Energy vs. The Headshrinkers
The short lived team of High Energy was comprised of Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware. This is the Shrinkers' PPV debut. Owen impresses the crowd early, dominating both Fatu and Samu with his quick offense, but when Koko tags in, he takes a pounding. The Shrinkers control with some basic stuff for a few minutes, with their manager, Afa, savagely shoving something resembling a turkey down his throat the whole time at ringside. Owen finally gets the hot tag and goes nuts on the Samoans again. He goes for a crossbody, but the Shrinkers catch him with a powerslam and hit their top rope splash finisher to end it 7:42. ** It served its purpose of putting the Headshrinkers over. After the match, Fatu yells something in alleged Samoan into the camera, so Vince wishes him a Happy Thanksgiving as well. I think he was saying, "I ran over Austin." Well, seven years later that would be on his mind, anyway.
Sean Mooney is with... himself. I believe this was Mooney's last WWF PPV. He promotes viewer discretion in the upcoming Nightstick Match between the Big Boss Man and Nailz because he expects it to be violent, and it may not be suitable for young children. Oh, OK, now he's joined by Nailz, who cuts a surprisingly good promo, breathing heavily the whole time, and portraying his bitter ex-prisoner character very well. At one point, he mentions that he was in prison for 2,478 long days. Let's see, let's use some quick math here: that comes to six years, eight months, and seventeen days. That'd be late 1985 considering he debuted in the WWF in the summer. Here's another one of my strange retrospective pieces: In 1988, Boss Man entered the WWF as an evil cop, then turned face in 1990. According to the storyline with Nailz, Boss Man supposedly abused Nailz in the mid 80's when he was evil, so shouldn't Boss Man be the heel here? Ah, whatever.
Mean Gene Okerlund talks to the Big Boss Man backstage as Nailz makes his way to the ring. There's a ladder behind them. Hmmm, I wonder if they were considering making the Bret/Shawn match a Ladder Match at the last second. Nah, couldn't be.
Nightstick Match: Big Boss Man vs. Nailz
Vince Russo would call this a "Nightstick on a Pole Match" since the Nightstick is hung from a pole on one of the turnbuckles, but thnkfully this is well before the days of Russo. I used to hate that "on a pole" crap. Is it really necessary to add "on a pole" to the title of the match? I digress. The rules in this one are those of a regular match, but whoever gets to the Nightstick first gets to use it. Nailz starts climbing the buckles to grab the nightstick before Boss Man even enters, so Boss Man rushes out and stops him, and the match starts. Both men tease going for the stick, and it's Boss Man that finally gets it. He lays some shots in to the delight of the crowd, but Nailz nailz him, takes the billy club, and gets a few shots of his own in. Boss Man quickly catches him with a Boss Man Slam, however, and gets the pin at 5:44. Boss Man hits Nailz with the nightstick again, and the ex-con is forced to retreat. *1/2
Mean Gene is with Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Clips of the aforementioned Prime Time Wrestling incident are shown to set up the main event.
Tatanka vs. "The Model" Rick Martel
Tatanka is still undefeated. Martel stole his feathers prior to this to set up a token feud. Vince refers to Martel as a former Intercontinental Champion despite the fact that he never won the Intercontinental Title. The Brain makes reference that we're near Cleveland and since Tatanka's an indian... well, you get it. Bobby rules. Tatanka forces Martel to bail, but once back in, Martel takes over after a hotshot. Vince mentions how new hired gun Sgt. Slaughter is now in charge of rules in the WWF and is in attendance tonight. The Brain rips on Mr. Perfect as Tatanka tries a comeback. Martel works a front facelock while the announcers call attention to an unnamed clown (he would soon become known as Doink) in the aisle, blowing up some balloons for youngsters at ringside. Martel misses a charge and Tatanka works the arm for a bit. Martel sidesteps him and throws him to the floor. He works the back inside, but Tatanka chops back and hits the Reverse Fallaway Slam (called the Papoose To Go by Bobby) to finish at 11:06. Tatanka reclaims his feathers. ** I guess. Between Doink, the commentating, and the various restholds, barely any attention was given to the match that was actually going on in the ring. Doink pops the balloons he made for the kids and laughs. Heh. The original heel Doink character absolutely ruled.
The WWF Superstar Line: 1-900 288-WWF1. Not that I encourage you to call all these numbers years later and see what happens.
Sean Mooney talks to Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect, who cut a great promo in preparation for their showdown with The Nature Boy and The Bad Guy.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon
It's time for the main event. Yes, this is the main event, regardless of its position on the card. I can't tell you how much it irks me when people say that the "main event" of the house show they just attended was, say, Jeff Hardy vs. Dean Malenko just because it was the final match on the card when in reality their main event of, say, Triple H & Steve Austin vs. The Undertaker & Kane, was held just prior to intermission. Who ever said that the last match and the main event are synonymous? Well, whoever he is, tell him he's wrong. Mr. Perfect's entrance blows the roof off, as the crowd erupts. Not only is it their first chance to cheer for him after hating him for four years, but this is also his comeback match after missing fifteen months due to a severe back injury. The crowd is extremely hot for this match, and the result is some intense action in the ring. Perfect comes in and totally screws with Razor Ramon's head, messing up his hair just to rile him up. He does the same with Flair, then Savage tags in to do his part. Savage soon gets caught in the wrong corner and worked over by the heels. Perfect watches his partner take a beating and gets frustrated. He considers leaving and actually starts to walk down the aisle, but he decides to come back and wait for the hot tag, which he eventually gets. He cleans house on both Razor and Flair. Flair recovers and takes Savage out of the ring to the floor, where he nails him with a chair. Inside, the referee Earl Hebner is bumped. Perfect hits the Perfect-Plex on Razor, but there's no ref to count. Flair breaks it up, so Perfect Perfect-Plexes him. There's still no ref, so Razor breaks that one up. Flair and Razor start viciously double-teaming Perfect and they use a steel chair on him. Hebner finally gets up and DQ's them at 16:29. Flair gets the Figure Four on Perfect, but Savage gets back into the ring and nails him with a chair to break the hold. Perfect and Savage embrace and celebrate, victorious. ***1/2 Really good tag match. I don't know why they couldn't have gone with a clean finish, since Razor probably wasn't worth protecting that much at that point, but the match was still cool.
Gene talks to Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Flair rants away as usual. I love it as usual.
Wrestlemania IX promo. I can't wait until we get to this one because unlike just about every person I've talked to, I really like that show. Look for the Flashback and see why.
Virgil vs. Yokozuna
This is Yokozuna's PPV debut. He weighs in at an incredible 505 lbs., which is actually the lowest weight he'd ever wrestle at in the WWF. Think about that for a second. Needless to say, this is a complete and utter squash. Everytime Virgil tries anything, Yoko's weight proves to be too much. Yoko runs through some slow offense, then finishes with the Banzai Drop at 3:44. 1/2*
Sean Mooney ("Who?") is with Savage and Perfect. Perfect offers Flair and Razor two turkeys (he actually held up two turkeys) in honor of Thanksgiving. For Bobby Heenan, they have a smaller turkey, called a weasel by Perfect. A weasel for a weasel.
The Nasty Boys & The Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc. & The Beverly Brothers
Heenan's ranting here in response to Perfect is classic. This match is a tag team Survivor Series match, which means that when one member of a tag team is eliminated, his partner is too. Money Inc. are the Tag Team Champions, having regained the Titles from the Disasters after Summerslam. The Nastys turned face prior to this since they realized Jimmy Hart was more preoccupied with Money Inc. than them, and wouldn't grant them a Title shot. The Diasasters turned face earlier in the year in a similar storyline, so their alliance with the Nasty Boys makes sense. The Nastys are actually pretty over for some reason. Pretty uneventful match. The heels work on Nasty Boy Jerry Sags for awhile. The Beverlys blow their rope splash spot. Earthquake eventually tags in and takes care of one of the Beverlys with the Earthquake at 9:26, leaving Money Inc. down two against four. DiBiase and Irwin talk strategy, and hit a nice double back suplex on Quake. He finally hot tags Typhoon, who gets some offense off, but is quickly pinned by IRS, using his feet on the ropes for leverage. Almost immediately after, a Nasty scores a quick rollup on IRS for the win to take the match at 16:04. * Long and slow, but not awful or anything.
Survivor Series hotline plug.
A video package of the Undertaker/Kamala feud is shown.
Coffin Match: The Undertaker vs. Kamala
Yep, the first Casket Match was actually dubbed a Coffin Match. Before the match, they cut to a shot of a freaky Paul Bearer look alike in the crowd. That was quite the gag back in '92. To put it bluntly, this feud sucked and so did Kamala, but his facial expressions are priceless. For those not familiar with the Kamala gimmick, think a 400 pound black man from Uganda who doesn't speak a word of English, has the stars and a moon painted on his belly, wears a freaky mask to the ring, and black and white makeup under that. He's scared shitless of the Undertaker and doesn't want to fight him, but is forced to by his handler, Kimchee, and his manager, Harvey Wippleman. Taker dominates him, but Kamala manages to hit one splash, then a second, then a third. Kimchee takes the urn from Paul Bearer and tries to give it to Kamala, but the Ugandan Giant wants no part of it and shies away from it. Taker sits up, picks it up, and knocks him out with it. He pins him, then rolls him in the coffin, shuts the lid, and even nails it shut with about eight nails just for good measure. 5:28. 1/2* So there were pinfalls in the first Casket Match. Taker and Bearer wheel the casket down the aisle. Kamala wasn't heard from much again after this. I wonder if he's still in the casket. Actually, he did hang around for a few more months and even made a face turn with the help of Reverend Slick. I know what you're thinking and nope, it didn't get over.
Another Wrestlemania IX promo. Caeser's Palace, baby!
Sean Mooney conducts his final WWF PPV interview with the reigning Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels. Shawn cuts a cool, cocky, to-the-point promo. "Who beat Bret Hart for the Intercontinental Title? The British Bulldog. Who beat the British Bulldog for the Intercontinental Title? Shawn Michaels." See, it's very simple. 1 + 1 = 2. 2 Belts for Shawn. The theme of the match is that since Bret's WWF Title is on the line, but Shawn's Intercontinental Title is not, Michaels has everything to gain and nothing to lose.
Mean Gene talks to the most defending World Champion in history. In the past two weeks alone, Bret has successfully defended the Title against the Mountie, the Berzerker, Rick Martel, Papa Shango, and Virgil. Anyone who wants a shot can have it, because Bret will duck nobody. It's taken him eight and a half years to achieve this, and he's proud to be the Champion.
WWF Title: Bret "Hitman" Hart (Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels
Just to set the stage a bit, the event is Survivor Series, the final match of the card is Bret Hart defending the WWF Title against Shawn Michaels, Earl Hebner is the referee, and Vince McMahon is at ringside. Do you know the finish? Oh, wait, that wasn't for another five years. My bad. No, this is 1992, a time period in the WWF that I love because things were changing, and changing for the better, so much. To think this match would be for the World Title and would be last on the card boggles the mind. The previous PPV, Michaels had been involved in a nothing feud with fellow midcarder Rick Martel, and Bret had been involved in the Intercontinental Title picture since the summer of 1991. In years previous, the main event of every PPV would automatically be Hulk Hogan vs. (x), but in 1992, with Hogan gone everything was wide open. Ric Flair, Randy Savage, The Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect, The Undertaker: and our main event is Bret and Shawn, two-ex tag teamers. Their talent was clearly evident though, so this was a great treat for the fans. Shawn still isn't getting massive heat, but that would all change during his escapades with the IC Title in 1993 and 1994. Bret's pop is unbelievably huge, proving that it was a smart move to put the belt on him.
They start with a few basic sequences and establish some basic psychology. They trade some headlocks and various armlocks and go through some pretty good mat wrestling. Bret waistlocks Shawn, but Shawn reverses into one of his own, so Bret comes up with a brilliant counter. He runs towards the ropes, then slides to the side, swinging Shawn around and right through the ropes to the floor to counter. I love that spot. I wish he had used it more later in his career. Shawn gets flustered, comes back in, and they trade some more offense. Bret works the arm, but Shawn keeps going back to a headlock to try to wear Bret down. The commentary here is insightful, as Heenan insists that Bret's "defend against all-comers" attitude is bound to catch up with him quickly. The headlock is a smart hold because it will wear down Bret later in the match, and on top of that he's already tired from being on the road defending the Title so much. They trade a few sequences, and Bret goes through his trademark moves, including the side russian leg sweep, a backbreaker, and the second rope elbow drop. They do some more rope sequences, and Shawn catches Bret with a crescent kick, years before it became his finisher. He hits his back suplex for two. Shawn tries to polish him off by going off top, and tries a dropkick, but on the way down, Bret grabs his legs in midair, drives him to the mat, and hooks on the Sharpshooter for the submission victory at 26:39. I know I skimped on the play by play a little bit, but that's only because I wanted to enjoy the match and not be bothered taking detailed notes. I can't be blamed for wanting to enjoy Hart vs. Michaels, can I? Awesome, awesome match. ****1/2
Survivor Series 1992 Key Stats
Total Wrestling: 92:53
Average Match: 11:37
Average Match Rating: **
Top Moments: Doink disappointing the youngsters, Perfect's ring return, the first ever Nightstick and Coffin Matches, and Champion vs. Champion
If you have any questions or comments on this review, direct all mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.