Survivor Series 1987
November 26, 1987
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
This show marked the first annual major event of something other than Wrestlemania, and was held on Thanksgiving night. It was the beginning of a tradition. The origins of the event are simple- The NWA was going to test the PPV waters for the first time with their Starrcade show, which had been held on Thanksgiving since 1983. The WWF, not eager to have their competition delve into "their" territory (PPV), scheduled this show for the same night, forcing cable operators to choose between the two. The majority chose the WWF (and the money that comes along with the name of Hulk Hogan), and the next year the NWA moved Starrcade to Christmas-time, while the WWF took over Thanksgiving with Survivor Series. And with that, we have Survivor Series 1987.
During the opening, Gorilla says we'll have "two" great hours of action, except you can tell that it's edited because the way his mouth moved I'm positive he said three. I guess Coliseum cut this one up pretty good; or did they?
The Honky Tonk Man's team is backstage. Clips of Honky's famous guitarshot on a helpless Randy Savage (with the assistance of the Harts) are shown.
Savage's team rebutts. Included on his team is one old rival in Ricky Steamboat, and a future one in Jake "The Snake" Roberts. Actually, at one time or another, he was at odds with everyone on his team.
They do some wacky editing for the introductions, showing a brief close-up of each participant on his way to the ring, then freezing it, announcing his name, and moving to the next. Why that is necessary is beyond me.
The Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, "King" Harley Race, "The Outlaw" Ron Bass & "Dangerous" Danny Davis vs. Randy "Macho Man" Savage, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan
Honky, of course, beat Steamboat for the Intercontinental Title shortly after the Steamer beat Savage for it in their Wrestlemania III classic. Savage is insanely over here, drawing a huge pop. Herc and Brutus start, and Beefcake clinches the sleeper early, but Herc manages to tag Davis. The faces take turns beating on the evil ref, until he tags out to Race, who hits a belly to belly on Steamboat for two. Steamer tags Duggan, who brawls to the floor with Race, where they're both counted out at 4:28. Savage goes with Bass next, but the tape clips to a Savage hot tag to Beefcake, who comes in and pins Bass after a high knee at a clipped 5:34. Beefcake battles Honky, but Honky nails the Shake Rattle and Roll to get rid of the Barber at 7:10. Savage climbs in and Honky runs, tagging Davis in to take the abuse. When things are going better for his team, Honky tags back in. Tag to Jake, and Honky counters the DDT. Heat segment on Jake, in the middle of which he catches Davis with the DDT, and pins him at 11:34. Herc immediately comes in to prevent the hot tag. A Honky chinlock is clipped. Herc finally blows it and lets Jake tag out to Steamboat, who clears house and tags in Savage to finish Herc with the Flying Elbow at a very clipped 16:36. Honky is left one against three, and after taking some abuse, decides to cut his losses, and bail. Honky takes the countout at 19:13, as Savage, Steamboat, and Jake survive. ***, and again, the times are clipped.
Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin Robin & The Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Sensational Sherri, Judy Martin, Lelani Kai, Dawn Marie & Donna Christanello
Kai and Martin are the Glamour Girls, and reigning Women Tag Champs. Yep, those Titles actually existed. Velvet quickly pins Donna Christanello with a victory roll at 1:58. Robin takes care of Dawn at 4:12, and the face team is up five on three. The Angels and Glamour Girls do the first of several beautiful sequences with several near falls. An Angel double underhooks Sherri, but when Robin tags in, the Sensational one manages a suplex, which is enough to pin Robin at 6:49. More Glamour/Angels stuff, which slows down when Moolah tags in. On commentary, Jesse makes light of the standard hair pull move in women's wrestling by stating that if one of them shaved their head, they'd be better off. Martin pins Moolah after a Glamour Girls double clothesline at 8:37. Velvet punishes Martin with a Boston Crab, then a surfboard, but she releases it, allowing Sherri to tag in for a leg drop and a bad suplex. Velvet, however, manages to score a pin on the reigning Champion, with a victory roll at 11:38. Kai shortly takes down Velvet with a fallback slam for three at 14:02. It's down to the Glamour Girls and the Angels. A high crossbody off the top gets rid of Kai at 15:17, and a top rope clothesline finishes Martin at 16:56. The Jumping Bomb Angels are the sole survivors. Great women's match, with no resting. With solid female wrestlers like Sherri, Robin, Kai, Martin, a veteran like Moolah, an impressive talent in Velvet, and the unbelievable Jumpin Bomb Angels, they pulled off some really nice action. It wasn't sloppy at all, and the Angels were way ahead of their time as far as men were concerned, much less the women. Talk about wowing the crowd. ***1/2
Strike Force, British Bulldogs, Killer Bees, Rougeau Brothers & Young Stallions vs. Demolition, Hart Foundation, New Dream Team, Islanders, Bolshiveks
Just look at the talent in this one! The ring is loaded with twenty guys! Almost the entire apron is filled to capacity. Unbelievable. This is under tag team elimination rules, so when one member of a tag team is pinned, both members are eliminated. There's fast action and quick tags throughout this one, so it's impossible to do play by play. The faces literally make lightning quick tags and get five different guys in the ring in a span of twenty seconds. Tito Santana of Strike Force nails Bolshevik Boris Zukhov with his pattened Flying Forearm and pins him at 1:45 to get rid of the Russians. We get more combinations of teams, and then Jacques Rougeau misses a crossbody on Demolition Ax, allowing Ax to capatalize with a pin to even it up at 5:49. The Dynamite Kid comes in and gets worked over, but Smash shoves the ref, causing Demolition to be DQ'ed at 9:11. Jim Niedhart pins Tito Santana at 12:04 after Bret Hart brakes up a Tito pin attempt. Strike Force had gone over the Harts for the Tag Titles recently, so it's nice to see the Harts gain a measure of revenge. The New Dream Team and the Young Stallions go, and Dino Bravo side suplexes Jim Powers, and tags in his partner Greg Valentine. The Hammer goes for the Figure Four, but Jimmy powers out and tags his partner, Paul Roma. Valentine doesn't notice the tag, and tries to Figure Four Roma again, but as he does, Roma comes off the top rope with a beautifully timed sunset flip to pin Valentine at 17:11. That was an awesome spot. The match is down to Bees & Stallions vs. Harts & Islanders, which means they clipped the elimination of the Bulldogs. Jim Brunzell rolls through a Bret Hart cover to score the pin on him at 23:59, and Bee Brian Blair sunsets in to pin Tama of the Islanders at 30:45. The Bees and Stallions survive. **** This match pushed lower card teams by having the big boys eliminate each other first, which didn't make them look bad at all because they were being eliminateed by teams of the same caliber talent anyway. Great match with lots of action.
Andre The Giant's team is backstage, followed by a promo from Hogan's team.
Hulk Hogan, "Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera & Bam Bam Bigelow vs. Andre The Giant, King Kong Bundy, The One Man Gang, "Ravishing" Rick Rude & "The Natural" Butch Reed
This is Andre's first match back since Wrestlemania III where he lost to Hulk Hogan, and this "rematch" of sorts was very highly anticipated. We get a hot start from Hogan's team with fast tags and everyone hitting their stuff first on Rude, then Reed. Hulk and Orndorff clothesline him, and Hogan finishes Reed at a brisk 3:09. Hulk celebrates and tags Patera in, oblivious to the fact that Andre had just stepped into the ring. Hogan wants Andre, but since Patera was tagged in, he has to stay in, so Andre tags out to Bundy. After a brief sequence, Orndorff tags in and goes with Gang, then Rude. This match has been all faces so far, as Muraco (supposedly subbing for "Superstar" Billy Graham) tags in. Patera gets a near fall, but the One Man Gang steps in to take control. Jesse makes jailbird jokes about Patera. Ha! A Gang clothesline finishes the Olympic Criminal at 8:00. Hulk and Bigelow double team Gang, but he tags out and we get another Orndorff/Rude sequence. A Bundy cheapshot allows Rude a rollup pin at 9:40. Hogan hits a high knee on Rude, and tags Muraco, who finishes Ravishing with a powerslam at 10:26. Good continuity there by Hogan's team, but it doesn't last as Muraco is squashed by a Gang splash and pinned at 12:11. The heels destroy Bigelow, who is extremely agile at this point. Seven years later at Survivor Series, Bigelow and Bundy would be on the same team, but here they're enemies. Andre legitimately tags in for the first time all match (fifteen minutes in), but Bigelow manages to roll to Hogan and make the tag. The crowd goes nuts. They've been waiting eight months for this matchup. Hulk wins a slugfest, but Bundy and Gang pull Hogan to the floor. He slams both of them, but is counted out in the process at 16:44. Ooh, crowd didn't like that. Hogan throws a hissy fit before leaving. Now it's one against three, and all four weigh well over 400 pounds. The odds look bleek for Bam Bam, but Bundy misses a charge, and Bigelow hits a slingshot headbutt to pin him at 19:18. Gang tags in now, as it occurs to me that these guys must be really winded. Gorilla says that Bam Bam's chances of surviving are probably 50-1, but Jesse points out that his Minnesota Twins had 150-1 odds, but they made it all the way. Yes, just to give you a time reference, this was 1987, the year in which the freakin' Minnesota Twins won the World Series. Gang misses a top rope splash, and Bam Bam pins him at 21:37, but Andre soon hits his glorified hip toss finisher, dubbed a "suplex", to pin Bam Bam at 22:52. **1/2 Andre survives, just like he promised in his pre-match interview. Hogan runs out and nails him with his Title just to spoil Andre's moment. The crowd loves it, and Hogan, the Champion, gets to celebrate at the end of the show, despite the fact that he LOST. Gotta love Hogan.
Overall, this was a pretty solid show. As was the theme with early Survivor Series', nothing historically significant came of this, but it was a night of good wrestling. The women's match is ahead of its time, the 20 man tag is fun and unique, and the rest isn't bad either. There are no glaring low points at all, which makes this show a thumbs up.
Survivor Series 1987 Key Stats Matches: 4
Total Wrestling: 89:46
Average Match: 22:27
Average Match Rating: ***1/4
Top Moments: Savage and Steamboat wrestling on the same team, the eye-opening women's match, the unique 20 man tag, and Hogan jobbing is always fun