Well after a week off from reviewing I’m back with the next stop on our journey and this time it’s the first ever Survivor Series from Thanksgiving 1987. The theme for this PPV is two teams looking to eliminate the other team one by one in four matches. The first match has an Intercontinental flavour to it, the second a womens title flavour, the third a tag team and the final is based around the World Heavyweight title.
Since Wrestlemania III, the last PPV outing, Ricky Steamboat lost his Intercontinental title to The Honky Tonk Man, Fabulous Moolah lost her womens title to Sensational Sherri and The Hart Foundation lost their tag titles to the new tag team of Strike Force (Tito Santana and Ric Martel). Some of the old schoolers such as Adrian Adonis, Bob Orton and The Iron Sheik are starting to get phased out and replaced with the like of Rick Rude, Bam Bam Bigalow and Paul Roma. Hogan is of course still World Heavyweight champion but his war with Andre The Giant is not over yet. So let’s go down to the announce booth with a familiar pair of faces and start this Survivor Series 1987 review.
Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon walk out to a mixed reaction and then introduce the show. Apparently there are only four matches tonight and one of the rules is that the referee can throw anybody out of the match if they have an injury. Lets see if that rule comes into play tonight.
We go backstage to Honky Tonk Mans team. Lots of musical innuendos. Harley Race, Hercules, Danny Davis and Ron Boss make up his team with Bobby Heenan and Jimmy Hart at ringside. Nobody else but Honky says anything though.
Then we go to the face team where Ricky Steamboat and Jim Duggan get a few words in before Randy Savage turns up. Beefcakes eyes look like they’re about to pop out and Steamboat just looks like he’s turned into a parody of himself.
The Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass & Danny Davis vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan and Jake “The Snake” Roberts.
The heel team come out to Harley Race’s music (except Honky) and the faces come out to Steamboats music (except Savage). The big stories in this one is the feud between Honky Tonk Man and the recently face turned Randy Savage whilst the secondary story is between Harley Race and Jim Duggan. Nice to see Savage and Steamboat as friends now, their battle at Wrestlemania was something else. I love seeing these random teams.
Beefcake and Hercules start the match and Brutus actually does a good job of getting the crowd going with his signature strut. The match starts very quickly and the crowd buy into it. Jake gets tagged in and “DDT” chants echo around. Quick tags from the face team to start, keeping Danny Davis away from his team. Harley Race gets tagged in and will be looking to protect his 100% PPV record. The crowd pop as Duggan gets tagged in fresh to take on Race. Both men take it to the outside and get counted out! Harley Race is no longer undefeated on pay per view.
Randy Savage is the reigning King Of The Ring remember and it’s also worth mentioning that Danny Davis was a semi finalist. Him and Honky soon get into it much to the crowds enjoyment. Ron Bass is a chunky bastard. He seems a bit dated and a little out of place in this match. Beefcake soon eliminates him. I’ve just noticed that Heenan left with Race. Is Hercules not his client anymore? Beefcake is next to go after an arse kicking from Honky Tonk Man and the teams are even once more. Jesse Ventura takes a dig at Honky, claiming what he lacks in ability he makes up in luck. Cheers Jesse.
The crowd finally get their wish as Jake Roberts DDTs and eliminates Danny Davis. Interesting moment when Steamboat attempts to help out Jake Roberts but Elizabeth grabs his leg causing Savage to go running round and the referee breaks it up. Honky and Hercules slow the match down with sleepers. Steamboat has definitely increased his charisma and even does a bit of dancing in front of Honky. He tees up Savage who eliminates Hercules with a Big Elbow. Three on one now, not looking good for the Intercontinental champion. He realises it too and after being thrown over the top rope, he scarpers to the back getting counted out and giving the win to Randy Savage, Jake Roberts and Ricky Steamboat.
Rating: 6.75/10* Match Of The Night
Now we go backstage to the heel team in the main event. Andre The Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude and One Man Gang. Heenan and Slick do most of the talking as the feud between Andre and Hogan continues. Part of me thinks Andre should have had a run as champion.
Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai), Dawn Marie & Donna Christianello vs. The Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin Robin & The Jumping Bomb Angels.
I have no idea who the faces and who are the heels in this one! I guess I’ll soon find out. Jimmy Hart managing The Glamour Girls should make it obvious really. But it also seems that Moolah is a heel. God knows. The Glamour Girls are the womens tag team champions and Sherri is womens champion for those keeping score. Velvet McIntyre eliminates Donna Christianello pretty quickly with a nice victory roll. Dawn Marie is not to be confused with Dawn Marie of 10 years later. They are definitely not the same person. She is eliminated next courtesy of Rockin Robin.
The Jumping Bomb Angels sure are impressive. They bring a very different style to the womens division. Some very 80’s haircuts and swimsuits in this match. Rockin Robin out next after a suplex from Sherri. Velvet McIntyre and Leilani Kai in the ring, it’s worth noting that both of these have fought and lost at Wrestlemania. I could be wrong but I think one of the Jumping Bomb Angels boobs may have come out. She quickly tags out. Moolah at this point just looks like somebodies Nan. Suprisingly she’s next to be eliminated. So it’s The Glamour Girls and Sherri against The Jumping Bomb Angels and McIntyre.
There’s a false bell ring as one of the Angels gets out of a pin. The crowd boo. They have not made a lot of noise during this match but then I don’t think they know who to cheer for. Velvet McIntyre of Wrestlemania II fame pins Sensational Sherri eliminating her. Judy Martin looks as though she’s being very stiff with the Jumping Bomb Angels, sandbagging both as they go for powerslams and suplex’s. Velvet looks as though she’s done her back in and is really struggling. She’s next out and it’s The Glamour Girls against The Jumping Bomb Angels. Leilani Kai is next out shortly followed by Judy Martin meaning The Jumping Bomb Angels take the win. Not a good night for Jimmy Hart so far. Definitely the best womens match on PPV so far, The Jumping Bomb Angels were very impressive.
Backstage for another interview that Bobby Heenan leads. The tag team Survivor Series match is up next with The Hart Foundation, Demolition, Valentine and a few others. Jimmy Hart then shows up and he is not happy! This is going to be a very big match. But before it beings, Nikolai Volkoff sings us the Soviet National Anthem.
Tito Santana starts off our other teams backstage interview. Him and Martel are the captains and give a quick team talk.
The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov), Demolition (Ax & Smash), The Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo) & The Islanders (Haku & Tama) vs Strike Force (Ric Martel & Tito Santana), The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid), The Young Stallians (Jim Powers & Paul Roma), The Rougeaus (Raymond & Jacques), The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell & Brian Blair).
Interesting that the heel team come out to Demolitions music despite The Hart Foundation being the captains. Martel starts it off against Volkoff who has now changed his tag partner from The Iron Sheik to Boris Zhukov. The latter is quickly eliminated by Santana and the Bolsheviks are eliminated. A few tag team debuts here most notably Demolition and The Young Stallions. Most of these seem like real tag teams which I love with the exception of Valentine and Bravo. The heel team seem much bigger and powerful than the quick faces. The Rougeaus are the next team out as Jacques gets pinned by Demolition. Dino Bravo is a former Canadian Heavyweight champion, like that means anything. Plenty of quick tags in this one.
Smash throws the referee across the ring which causes a DQ and eliminates Demolition which suprises me. Just The Hart Foundation, The Islanders and The Dream Team left for the heels. Martel is certainly over and looks intense when he gets tagged in. I’m a Martel mark too. I do wonder the logic behind The Hart Foundation dropping the titles to Strike Force though. Strike Force are next out thanks to Jim Neidhart. Greg Valentine goes up top once more and hits Roma with an axe handle. It looks awkward. Davey Boy has been in the ring very sparsely, making me wonder whether he was carrying an injury.
The Bulldogs are next eliminated after Haku thrust kicks Dynamite Kid. The Young Stallions have taken a beating for the majority of this match but they’re still in it. Luscious Johnny V has had a haircut. He’s still at ringside with The Dream Team. Heenan still out there with The Islanders and Jimmy Hart with The Hart Foundation. It’s only Slick who’s had his marching orders as his team were the first ones eliminated. Oh and Fuji. You’d think the heels would win this one to put them in contention for the tag team titles plus we’ve had two face teams win already tonight. Saying that, Greg Valentine is pinned by Paul Roma next eliminating The Dream Team. So it’s The Hart Foundation & The Islanders against The Young Stallions & The Killer Bees.
Jesse Ventura quotes The Million Dollar Man which is interesting because we’re yet to see him debut on pay per view. This match has dragged on a bit too long now. Wow, The Hart Foundation are eliminated next as Jim Brunzell pins Bret Hart. I was sure the former champions were going to win this one. That’s three losses out of three for Jimmy Hart tonight. The match continues for what seems like an eternity until The Killer Bees do the old masked switcharoo and pin Tama, getting the win for themselves and The Young Stallions. This match went on way too long and got worse as it went on.
A vignette for “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase next who says he’s happy not wrestling tonight, he’s happy counting his money. We then see some highlights of Dibiase humiliating the public.
Back to the commentators and they seem to be filling time. The crowd cheer and whistle in the background and they must be restless after that last match.
Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart now interviewed and Honky considers himself the sole survivor. He’s still Intercontinental champion though and says he challenges anybody before talking smack to Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage. Dissing those guys will up his stock.
The final backstage interview of the night is with Hulk Hogans main event night. Hogan does most of the talking and he is intense. He teams with Bam Bam Bigalow and Ken Patera who make their PPV debuts and Don Muraco and Paul Orndorff who have now made face turns. Hogan keeps hugging Bigalow. Maybe a sign of things to come?
Andre The Giant, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, “The Natural” Butch Reed & The One Man Gang vs. Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigalow, Ken Patera, “The Rock” Don Muraco & “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff.
Well this is an interesting match. Hogans team on paper is weak. Muraco and Orndorff do not have good records and Orndorff doesn’t know if he’s supposed to be cheered or boo’d. Patera looks really out of place whilst Bigalow is the wild card. Hogan gets a great reaction though as per. The baddies look stronger especially with Andre and King Kong Bundy, two past Wrestlemania main eventers. Rick Rude and One Man Gang make their PPV debuts but look the part, much like Butch Reed. Muraco actually looks like he’s toned up a bit and starts the match against Rick Rude. Rudes tights are awesome. The faces start off quickly and tags are made on both sides of the ring. Muraco is only in the match as a replacement for Billy Graham who Butch Reed put on the shelf.
It’s Butch Reed that gets beaten from pillar to post for the early going and after a big legdrop from Hogan he’s eliminated. Just as Hogan and Andre are about to go into it the referee claims Hulk tagged Patera. Hogan makes a big deal out of it but why doesn’t he just step out of the ring and get tagged back in? Andre tags in Bundy and I wonder how able Andre actually is to wrestle. Muraco is still looking for his first PPV victory having drawn 2 and lost 2. This match has a much better pace than the last one. A huge “Andre sucks” chant shows the crowd aren’t interested in Ken Patera and One Man Gang going at it. Patera looks like he’s borrowed his wrestling attire from the womens match earlier. And as I type that One Man Gang eliminated Patera.
I like the battle between Rude and Orndorff, both similar sort of wrestlers. Orndorff goes for his trademark piledriver but Bundy makes the save and Rude rolls up and eliminates him. Rude is quick to follow after a double team from Hogan and Muraco. Three on three now as we’re left with the heavyweights. Andre headbutts Muraco and Gang follows it up with a big splash to eliminate “The Rock”. Gang and Bundy make quick tags to wear down Bam Bam, Hogan awaiting the hot tag whilst Andre stays out of the action. Andre finally makes the tag and msees it up for his team, Bigalow making the tag to Hogan and we have a rematch from Wrestlemania III. Hogan gets dragged out of the ring by Bundy and takes his time slamming Gang and Bundy down the entrance way before getting counted out! Hogan loses for the first time ever on pay per view.
We’re down to Bam Bam Bigalow against Andre The Giant, King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang. A big push for Bigalow this. Bam Bam manages to eliminate King Kong Bundy after slingshotting himself over the top rope. Great athleticism from the big man. Gang and Bigalow look tired as they slug it out. One Man Gang then goes for a splash off the top rope and misses allowing Bam Bam to pin him and send him home. For the first time tonight we have one on one as Bam Bam Bigalow and Andre The Giant are the remaining survivors for their team. Andre capitalises on a mistake from Bam Bam and suplex’s him across the ring before pinning him for the victory! Hogan then comes back and cleans the ring before celebrating as the show goes off the air.
And that was the inaugural Survivor Series. Four matches and eight teams where of the fifty that competed, only ten survived. There were a few suprising winners (The Young Stallions, The Jumping Bomb Angels) and some not so suprising winners (Randy Savage, Jake Roberts). None of the current champions won their match, with Hogan and Honky Tonk Man being counted out and Sensational Sherri and Strike Force being pinned cleanly. It was an odd PPV in that there were only four matches but they managed to cram most of the roster in.
Overall Rating: 49/100 (Ranked #1 of 6)