Survivor Series 1988
November 24, 1988
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse "The Body" Ventura
There's not much to say as an introduction to this show, as the WWF was finished with Summerslam, but still not quite ready to make a strong push towards building Wrestlemania V. The Megapowers were on top of the WWF, and Intercontinental Champion, Ultimate Warrior was a star on the rise. Tag Team Champions Demolition were feuding with babyfaces, the Powers of Pain, and Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Andre the Giant had an issue. Of course, nothing was to be settled in one on one action, because these early Survivor Series shows focused only on team competition which merely helped build other feuds for the future.
The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, The Blue Blazer, Sam Houston & Jumpin' Jim Brunzell vs. The Honky Tonk Man, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Bad News Brown, "Outlaw" Ron Bass, "Dangerous" Danny Davis
Beefcake puts Davis away quickly with the sleeper at 1:17. The Blue Blazer, who the WWF didn't admit was being played by Owen Hart until it suited a Bret/Owen storyline in 1994, comes in and just wows the crowd, who at that point was conditioned to seeing big steriod-infested monsters outmuscle each other. Owen does a nice sequence with Valentine, but tags out to Brunzell all too quickly. Bad News tags in for the heels for the first time all match and puts Brunzell away with the Ghettoblaster at 5:13. Sam Houston is next, and Bad News destroys him as well, but a double team with Valentine goes awry, and Valentine ends up nailing Bad News by accident. Bad News, not one to take crap from anybody, shoves him back, and leaves the ring to hammer home the point that he's a loner and doesn't need anyone on his side. The crowd pops for him walking out on his heel teammates, so he yells at them to maintain his own heel status. He ends up taking the countout at 8:47. Houston and Bass go, and not surprisingly Bass pins him with a powerslam at 10:10. The Warrior has had enough and comes in to take everyone out, but it goes south when he tags in the Blazer, who misses a splash off the top. A Valentine Figure Four gets a submission at 12:23. Honky and Beefcake rekindle their feud, and Beefcake hooks the sleeper, but they tumble to the floor where they're both counted out at 15:42. Now IC Champion Warrior is left one on two against Valentine and Bass, and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see what's coming. The superhuman Warrior goes nuts and takes both of them in quick order, finishing with a Bass pin at 17:26 and the same for Valentine at 17:49. Warrior survives. **1/4. The result was academic, and besides Warrior maybe the only one that had any heat left going into this match was Beefcake, so it didn't really matter.
Powers Of Pain, Hart Foundation, Rockers, British Bulldogs & Young Stallions vs. Demolition, Rougeau Brothers, Brainbusters, Conquistadors & Bolsheviks
Like last year's twenty man tag, this is under tag team elimination rules, which means that when one member is eliminated, his tag team partner is as well. I thought I remembered this as the opening match, but it's not. This tape isn't edited to hell like a previous one of this show I remember viewing, and they even reference the Warrior match as being the opener. The first few minutes of this one is non-stop action with every possible combination of talent doing their thing with one another. Bret Hart traps Ray Rougeau in a small package for a quick pinfall to eliminate the Rougeaus at 5:22. I don't get why they were the first ones gone AT ALL. Paul Roma hits a beautiful springboard reverse crossbody off the top rope on Nikolai Volkoff, but only gets two. More Stallions/Bolsheviks follows, and Boris Zukhov rolls thorough a Jim Powers crossbody for three at 15:20. Boris Zukhov pinned someone?! It happened. Shawn Michaels comes in and goes with Boris, but a blind tag leads to Jannetty slingshotting in with a sunset flip for three on the Russian at 18:09. Bret Hart and Tully Blanchard do a great sequence, and Bret bridge suplexes him, but Tully, the veteran, gets a shoulder up and Bret doesn't, so it's Bret that is pinned at 27:03. The Busters and Rockers start to brawl, the ref can't control it, and disqualifies both teams at 27:57. Now we're down to the Powers of Pain & Bulldogs vs. The Conquistadors Demolition. Dynamite misses a top rope headbutt on Smash and is pinned to eliminate the Bulldogs at 36:02. Demolition has the Powers right where they want them, but Demolition's manager, Mr. Fuji, pulls down the rope on Smash for some reason. The Demos don't think it was an accident, so they confront him on the floor, and when he strikes Ax with his cane, they've had enough. Demolition slams Fuji as they're counted out at 39:33, leaving the Powers of Pain against the jobber team of the Conquistadors. In a confusing moment, the Powers go over to help Fuji to his feet before finishing off the Conquistadors with a flying headbutt at 42:12 to survive. The Powers Of Pain, faces coming into the match, celebrate with Fuji... to a huge pop. D'oh! Not what the WWF wanted, so Demolition comes down to kick their asses and cater to the crowd, and the crowd finally understands they're supposed to cheer Ax and Smash. As for the match, it was pretty awesome. **** It was given an adequate amount of time, and was really good. Even when it slowed down in the ring, they made up for it with a great story in the Powers of Pain/Demolition double turn.
Sean Mooney is backstage with Bad News Brown, who wants a shot at Randy Savage's WWF Title. Not much ever came of that.
Gene is with Mr. Fuji and the Powers of Pain to drive home the heel turn. See, now they're evil.
Royal Rumble '89 promo. The big four of PPV has arrived, folks...
The actual five minute intermission has been edited out. Dammit, I wanted to hear the crowd and watch a clock for five minutes.
Gene is with Andre The Giant's team.
Mooney is with the Megapowers.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Tito Santana, Ken Patera & Scott Casey vs. Andre The Giant, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, "King" Harley Race & Dino Bravo
Mr. Perfect is still wearing regular trunks here; not his famous style of "Hennig-tights". A quick look at the participants in this one should tell you where the advantage lies. The heels work over Casey, pretty much a half a step up the ladder from jobber, until he manages to tag Tito. The faces tag in and out with some good continuity as they pound on Perfect until Casey tags back in. He sucks, so he takes more punishment. Casey tags out to Patera, who gets caught with the Rude Awakening and pinned at 8:21. Casey climbs back in to make the heels look good again, and walks right into a Bravo side suplex for three at 9:29. Duggan and Dino brawl, but then Tito tags in for a hot sequence that culminates in him getting two with a sunset flip out of the corner. Race comes in and gets two with a piledriver, but Santana comes back with a crossbody for three at 13:18 to eliminate the King. Hey, 100% of the American contingency on Team Heel is from Minnesota. Well, it's true. Andre enters for the first time all match, and Tito makes the mistake of trying a sunset flip. Yeah right. Needless to say, Andre squashes him like a bug and pins him at 14:41. Jake and Duggan do what they have to do and tie the big man in the ropes where they absolutely destroy him. Rude tags in for a heat segment on Jake, but Duggan gets the hot tag and goes nuts on Bravo. He sets up for the three point clothesline, but Dino's manager, Frenchy Martin, grabs his foot, allowing Bravo to hit a high knee. Duggan grabs his two by four in retaliation and nails him with it, thus DQing himself at 21:22. Jake is now left all by himself four against one. Sadly, I notice that three of the five guys remaining in the match are dead, Hennig's career is, and Jake... well, you can make your own tasteless Jake joke. The heels take him apart, but he catches Rude with a quick DDT to pin him at 28:46. Andre comes in with intensity, and snaps on Jake, choking him out, and gets DQ'ed for not breaking the chokehold at 29:34. Jake has narrowed it down to two on one, but Andre just took every bit of strength left out of him, and Mr. Perfect covers for the easy three at an even 30:00. Good match. ***1/4 Perfect and Bravo are the sole survivors.
Mean Gene is with team Akeem.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Hillbilly Jim, Hercules & Koko B. Ware vs. "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Akeem, Big Boss Man, Haku & Red Rooster
No matter how many times I or anyone else say it, it remains just as true: Akeem's music SO ruled. Hogan, of course, gets his own entrance even though everyone else the entire show came out together to emphasize the idea of team unity. Savage is the regining Champion, you know. Give him some credit. He and Dibiase start it off, with their usual, and everyone tags in and out so we can run through all the matchups. The first elimination comes when Savage pins the Rooster with the Flying Elbow at 6:11 Akeem ends up in there with Hillbilly, and the African Dream squashes him with a big splash at 9:55. Akeem celebrates, allowing the Megapower team to get in some offense, but Boss Man comes in, and Boss Man slams Koko for the pin at 11:47. Hogan comes in next, but gets destroyed by the heels. He finally hot tags Hercules, who goes with DiBiase since they have an issue. He's quickly distracted by Virgil on the outside, and pinned at 16:36. Savage comes in quickly and eliminates Dibiase with a quick rollup at 16:59. Now it's down to the Twin Towers & Haku against the Megapowers. More beating on Hulk until he hot tags Savage. The Towers beat up Hogan on the floor, and the legal man, Boss Man is counted out at 23:25. He handcuffs Hogan to the ropes before leaving, thus abandoning Savage all alone in the ring with no one to tag while Akeem and Haku take him apart. Akeem relentlessy punds away on Savage and the ref ends up DQ'ing him at 25:05. Haku comes in and picks up where Akeem left off, with Hogan still handcuffed at ringside. Towers' manager, Slick, taunts Hogan with the key to the cuffs, and Hogan ends up taking them back after Haku accidentally nails him in the face. Hogan crawls over to his corner where he finally gets the hot tag, and finishes Haku with the boot and leg drop in short order at 29:11. **1/2. All in all, not horrible.
This show has some solid wrestling, so it's not all bad, but for the most part it's meaningless filler. The Warrior and The Megapowers were pushed, and a few angles like Demolition/Powers Of Pain, Jake/Andre, and Megapowers/Twin Towers were futhered, but all in all there isn't much of note. Not boring by any stretch, but definitely nothing terribly exciting either.
Survivor Series 1988 Key Stats Matches: 4
Total Wrestling Time: 119:12
Average Match Time: 29:48
Average Match Rating: ***
Top Moments: The Demolition/Powers Of Pain double turn