WWE Survivor Series '90
November 22th, 1990


Hello again, all! I'm going to be taking a different track this time on writing up this review, as I've really been struggling to get up the "move-after-move" summaries of shows. I have all these videos stacked up, and yet I'm not getting much writing done (although bios and show information sections have been going well *lol*). So this time, instead of being completely descriptive, I'm going to work on toning things down and just reporting on storylines and, in the case of this show, eliminations. We'll see how it goes, won't we?

So let's get into the '90s, with the Survivor Series! Important items of note: this is in the period when The Ultimate Warrior was supposed to be the face of the WWF as the World Champion, but Hulk Hogan was still a strong presence. In fact, Hogan's team was the one on the front cover, as his feud with Earthquake was seen as more 'interesting' than the Warrior's non-existent feuds. This is the also the show that's remembered for one moment: the first introduction of The Undertaker. Let's get to it!


WWE Survivor Series '90
Posted by the Accelerator, April 28th, 2012

- Gorilla Monsoon and "Rowdy" Roddy Piper are our announcers. To date things, Piper talks about our armed forces and how, while they (and President Bush) are getting the see the show for free, he's going to make sure Sadam Hussein pays through the nose.

- Mean Gene Okerlund interviews The Ultimate Warriors, talking with Hawk, The Tornado, Animal, and finally the World Champion, the Warrior. I like how Animal calls their fans "The Little Doomers". The Warrior is hard to understand, but it's something about sacrifice and forming bonds in their team. There's also no medicine to cure what his team has. I'm sorry to hear that.

The Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Texas Tornado, & The Legion of Doom [Hawk & Animal]) vs. The Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect w/ Bobby Heenan & Demolition [Ax, Smash, & Crush] w/ Mr Fuji):

Backstory: Interestingly enough, The Ultimate Warrior, despite being the World Heavyweight Champion, is not the one feuding with Mr. Perfect. That would be The Texas Tornado Kerry von Erich, with the two fighting over the Intercontinental Championship. Meanwhile, The Warrior & The Legion of Doom had been teaming up recently, going against the three-man team of Demolition. I know what you're thinking: why was the World Title not involved in a feud? Well, let's face it, at this point the "Warrior Experiment" has all but been declared a failure, since there was no one other than Rick Rude who could adequately feud with him. We're only a few months away from The Warrior dropping the title to Sgt. Slaughter and never returning to the top spot. Still strange, though, to see The Warrior's team going first. I guess Hogan wanted some space between them.

And I've already written more than I was planning. This "short review" stuff is going to be hard...

Elimination #1: After a lot of back and forth action between the two teams, we get the pairing of Ax and The Tornado, with The Tornado getting his Claw hold. Smash breaks it up, so The Tornado tags in The Ultimate Warrior, who goes wild on Ax and, in a rather lousy-looking sequence that included Warrior ducking under a non-existent clothesline, the champion got his running splash (weak) to eliminate Ax from the competition.

Eliminations #2-5: Around 7 minutes into the match, things break down, with The Legion of Doom brawling with the final two members of Demolition. Since the four men won't stop fighting, the referee DQ's all of them. I suppose that's a way to keep both teams strong. That leaves Mr. Perfect against the tasseled duo.

Elimination #6: They actually make Mr. Perfect look pretty good here, staying to fight against the odds and giving as good as he got. He also was willing to cheat, slamming The Tornado's head into an exposed turnbuckle, then getting the Perfect Plex to eliminate him.

Elimination #7: The same exposed turnbuckle/Perfect Plex combo was unable to put the Warrior down, with the Warrior shockingly kicking out of the Perfect Plex. Not many had done that. The Warrior went into his 'power-up' mode and ran over Mr. Perfect, eventually landing the running splash to get another elimination and becoming his team's sole survivor, moving on to the finals.

Ace Thoughts: Not a bad opening match, as long as you didn't watch too much of the Ultimate Warrior parts. Ok, that's not fair, the Warrior actually looked good when Mr. Perfect was selling for him. Members of Demolition weren't as into it, which hurt him. Perfect/Tornado was worth seeing, as Kerry von Erich looked fairly good in this one. I still think about how he could have been a star. Oh well.

The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil, The Undertaker w/ Brother Love, & Rhythm & Blues [Greg Valentine & the Honkytonk Man] w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, & The Hart Foundation [Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart])

Backstory: The biggest feud here is DiBiase and Rhodes. DiBiase, as "The Million Dollar Man", and Rhodes, as "just a common man", were having class warfare at the time. Part of this was because DiBiase had purchased Rhodes' valet, Sapphire, away from him at Summerslam '90. DiBiase also attacked Rhodes' son, Dustin, making their feud personal. The Hart Foundation, as World Tag Champs, were having a minor feud with Rhythm & Blues over the titles. The big question, though, going into the night was who would DiBiase's fourth partner be?

That question was answered right at the beginning of the match, when DiBiase made the famous announcement that his fourth partner was the debuting Undertaker, accompanied by Brother Love. The announcers are immediately startled by the size and the seeming menace coming from the big man. Either that, or they're bugged by Brother Love being out there. Fear not, Brother Love would soon sell The Undertaker's contract to Paul Bearer and things would be on course for greatness.

Elimination #1: The Undertaker was quickly shown to be an absolute monster, as he beat on both members of the Hart Foundation, then took out Koko B. Ware with a Tombstone Piledriver, ending Koko's night quickly. He still gets paid, right?

Elimination #2: When the Undertaker finally tagged out, you could almost hear a sigh of relief from the audience, as it meant that the faces had a chance to get back into it. They do, with Bret, at one point, making a quick tag to Neidhart that The Honky Tonk Man missed. Bret flattened out, with Honky running over top and getting caught by a huge powerslam from The Anvil, eliminating The Honky Tonk Man and evening our numbers at 3-on-3.

Elimination #3: Later on in the match, Neidhart seemed to be doing well against DiBiase, but got tripped up when Virgil grabbed his foot from the outside. A distracted Neidhart then got hit with a clothesline from DiBiase, and was pinned. At least DiBiase locked the leg, but I wish he would have grabbed the tights, or the ropes. The Anvil got pinned by a clothesline. Bummer.

Elimination #4: The Undertaker came back in and again was dominating. As strong as he'd been though, it was still surprising to see The Undertaker easily take out the face's team captain, smashing Rhodes with a top-rope axehandle and pinning him to put the faces down to one guy.

Elimination #5: That's when things turned, though, as Brother Love stupidly decided to kick Rhodes on the outside. Rhodes attacked Brother Love as soon as he recovered, threatening to destroy him, with The Undertaker coming to his manager's aid. Although the Undertaker dominated Rhodes again, choking him, he was soon counted out, costing him his spot in the match. I love how Piper immediately calls The Undertaker 'dumb'. Maybe this is why Brother Love was soon tossed away, after basically costing The Undertaker his first match in the WWF.

Elimination #6: We did not have to wait long for the next elimination, as, back in the ring, Valentine went for his figure four leglock, only to have Hart reverse it into a small package, getting the pinfall to make it one-on-one.

Elimination #7: The crowd was hot for Hart, as his singles push was coming around the corner. But it wasn't quite there yet, as DiBiase was able to reverse a cross-body splash and get the pin, surviving to join the heels in the final match. Right afterwards, Hart sits up and clearly says a curse word, although you have to be a lip-reader to really get it.

Ace Thoughts: Hart vs. DiBiase was really impressive to watch, as you could see the meeting of two timelines. DiBiase, as great a wrestler as he was, was nearing the end of his run. Hart was just about to start his rise to the top. At the same time, The Undertaker was immediately declared a force in the WWF, and would soon be the chosen force to go after Hulkamania. As for Koko, well, like I said, at least he got paid.

- They advertise Ted DiBiase and The Ultimate Warrior fighting the next night on The Main Event. After quickly researching that one, The Warrior, predictably, wins via DQ over DiBiase, retaining the title.

- Mean Gene interviews The Vipers in the locker room shower. *shrugs* Anyway, Jake The Snake gives a pretty good interview about all the scars his team has survived.

The Vipers (Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, & The Rockers [Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty]) vs. The Visionaries (Rick Martel, The Warlord w/ Slick, & Power & Glory [Hercules & Paul Roma]):

Backstory: The team names really fit here, as the big issue between Jake "The Snake" Roberts and "The Model" Rick Martel is vision. On a Brother Love Show, Roberts and Martel went at it, with Martel 'accidentally' spraying his fragrance, Arrogance, into Roberts' eyes. At this point, Roberts is supposedly not medically cleared, and his left eye is completely white (contacts, I assume), but he's going ahead with the fight anyway to get his hands on Martel. The Rockers, meanwhile, are indirectly the cause of the formation of Power & Glory, having gotten in an altercation with Paul Roma after a match (with both Roma & Hercules turning heel). At Summerslam '90, the two teams were set to go at it, but Power & Glory injured Michaels before the match, so Jannetty had a handicap match (and lost). As for Snuka and the Warlord? Not sure there was any reason for them being in this match other than filling the teams.

Elimination #1: After five minutes or so of every wrestler getting some time in there, we come to The Warlord vs. Marty Jannetty. Jannetty seems to have the upper hand, staggering the big man, but when Jannetty comes off the turnbuckle for a crossbody, The Warlord surprisingly catches him and spins with a powerslam (actually pretty impressive), easily putting Jannetty away.

Elimination #2: After Michaels gets beaten on for a while, he finally makes the hot tag to Superfly, who goes after Martel. But a crossbody onto Martel is reversed, and Martel hangs onto the tights to get the dirty pinfall (and then immediately runs from Jake The Snake again, tagging out, a running theme in this match). Really, is tonight all about the dangers of crossbody maneuvers? That's three eliminations so far.

Elimination #3: Roberts & Michaels keep fighting on, but clearly the numbers are looking to be too much, especially with Roberts' injury. Even the fans know it, as a hot tag to Michaels really doesn't get much cheering. A blind tag from Roma to Hercules takes Michaels by surprise, putting him in deep trouble. He can't recover from it, as Power & Glory hit the Power-Plex (superplex from Hercules and a top-rope splash from Roma) to put Michaels away. It's now 4-on-1 against Roberts.

Elimination #4: Roberts doesn't go away, and he even gets his amazing DDT on The Warlord. But with the ref distracted, Martel comes in and tries to hit Roberts again with Arrogance. He misses, though, as Roberts goes and gets Damian (his snake) out and chases Martel to the back. Unfortunately for Roberts, this leads to him being counted out, so all four of the Visionaries survive to the next round.

Ace Thoughts: Honestly, this match was not the greatest, but it could have been worse. The Warlord's powerslam was definitely impressive, as was the Power Plex. Of course, the whole match was about Jake The Snake's vision and his feud with Martel, which would eventually lead to their infamous blindfold match at WrestleMania VII.

- We go to the back (after Gorilla and Roddy talk for a minute) to join Sean Mooney interviewing Hulk Hogan & The Hulkamaniacs. Hogan brags about all his teammates. The Big Boss Man talks about Heenan, and Tugboat and Hacksaw do their usual spiels. Hacksaw's got yellow ribbons on the 2x4, a nice message there about the troops. Hogan re-emphasizes that by dedicating the match to the troops. He asks Sadaam whatcha gonna do?

The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, The Big Boss Man, & Tugboat) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Dino Bravo w/ Jimmy Hart, The Barbarian, & Haku w/ Bobby Heenan):

Backstory: Hogan's been feuding with the Earthquake for the last few months, ever since Earthquake attacked Hogan during a Brother Love Show and injured his ribs. Tugboat became Hogan's #1 fan, putting him in Earthquake's sights. The Big Boss Man is more here because of his feud with Bobby Heenan, who had been insulting the Boss Man's mother. Hacksaw is, well, American, so of course he's on Hogan's team (USA! USA!). Bravo's here because of his alliance with Earthquake and Jimmy Hart, and Haku & Barbarian are in Heenan's family.

Elimination #1: Haku ends up doing a lot of the action for his team early on, and he pays for it, as he takes some hits from both Hacksaw and The Big Boss Man. Really, though, things end rather quietly, as The Boss Man gets his Boss Man Slam out of nowhere for the pinfall victory. The crowd takes a second to react, surprised that Haku's already history.

Elimination #2: The Boss Man stayed in and kept wanting to go after Bobby Heenan, getting in a turnbuckle shot at one point, but he's soon in trouble against the Barbarian. He manages the hot tag to Hacksaw, but soon the heels are back in control, with the Earthquake punishing Duggan. Hacksaw starts coming back, but Jimmy Hart pulls the top rope down, sending Hacksaw to the outside. Hacksaw loses it, getting his 2x4 and chasing Hart around. He also nails Earthquake with some shots, which, unfortunately, is illegal, so Hacksaw is disqualified.

Elimination #3: Hogan comes in for the first time to attack Earthquake after he got hit by the 2x4. Man, looking back on it, Hogan was extremely dirty for the top face *lol*. Hogan bodyslams all three opponents, saving Earthquake for last (after going to the eyes; yep, heel in face clothing). Earthquake comes back with a powerslam, then tags in Bravo, who gets in some hits on the Hulkster. But Hogan turns it around on Bravo with a small package, eliminating him.

Elimination #4: The Boss Man tries to take down Earthquake, but a kick from the outside from The Barbarian puts him down, and Earthquake drops his weight across The Boss Man to get the pinfall, eliminating him. For the record, Tugboat still hasn't been in the ring yet (even the announcers forget about him momentarily, with Gorilla saying that Hogan was now alone).

Eliminations #5-6: Hogan and Earthquake go at it for a while, with Hogan trying multiple slams with no success. He's the face-in-peril for a short time, then manages to tag in Tugboat (who gets an impressive fan reaction, actually). The two massive forces go at it, with Hogan grabbing Earthquake on the outside and pulling him under the ropes (dirty!). This actually works against Tugboat, who comes out to join Hogan when he's in trouble. Earthquake and Tugboat fight it out, with both men getting counted out!

Elimination #7: The Barbarian shows off some good maneuvers over the next few minutes, including a piledriver and a top-rope clothesline. But let's face it, we all knew what was going to happen. Hogan "Hulks Up" and isn't feeling the punches, eventually taking down The Barbarian with the big boot / leg drop combo to be the sole survivor of the contest. Hogan beats on Bobby Heenan after the match, tossing him from the ring.

Ace Thoughts: I've seen variations of portions here before. Duggan made a habit of being DQ'ed with the 2x4, the monster taking out a face (Earthquake/Boss Man), the big guys getting counted out, and Hogan Hulking up. About the only thing I can see as original in this one was that Hogan got a small package. That doesn't happen very often.

- After a quick intermission, we return to Mean Gene Okerlund, who brings out "The Macho King" Randy Savage. A little strange that Savage isn't in any of these matches, but oh well. Savage talks about "The Ultimate Turkey" and taking his title, becoming the champion again. They talk about Sensational Sherri's insults (and slaps) towards The Warrior on The Brother Love show. This was a running angle where Savage kept wanting a title shot and not getting it, which led to Savage costing The Warrior the title at The Royal Rumble. Eventually, this led to the awesome match the two had at Wrestlemania VII.

- As The Mercenaries come out, Mean Gene stops Sgt. Slaughter to interview him about his turn against America. Slaughter salutes one flag: the flag of the Iraqi nation. It takes Slaughter a second or two on each word. It's quite agonizing, actually, and seems to last forever.

The Alliance (Tito Santana, Nikolai Volkoff, & The Bushwhackers [Butch & Luke]) vs. The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter w/ General Adnan), Boris Zhukov, & The Orient Express [Sato & Tanaka]):

Backstory: Is there a back-story here? I'm not sure of one, other than that Sgt. Slaughter had turned on America and was siding with Iraq, which led to four pro-American guys going against Slaughter & his 'anti-American' allies. Volkoff, formerly a Russian heel, is now a big fan of America, siding regularly with Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Zhukov, Volkoff's former partner, has had a small feud with him, although it hasn't done much for either man. Same for The Bushwhackers and The Orient Express.

Piper is losing it as an announcer, wanting to go after Slaughter, but Gorilla manages to calm him down.

Elimination #1: Barely any time goes by before Santana is airborne, nailing Zhukov with his flying forearm and pinning him. Zhukov lasted maybe a minute? Collect your check at the door...

Elimination #2: We're moving at full speed in this one. The Orient Express double-team Santana, but it backfires, with Tanaka accidentally kicking Sato. The Bushwhackers come in and dominate, putting out Sato with their Bushwhacker Battering Ram.

Elimination #3: Wow, are we running late for the show? *ahem* Tanaka tries to take down one of the Bushwhackers, but misses a strike, allowing Tito Santana to tag in and land another flying forearm, putting out Tanaka! In around 2 1/2 minutes, we're down to Sgt Slaughter vs. The Alliance.

Elimination #4: The two biggest men, Slaughter and Volkoff go at it, with Slaughter dropping a bunch of elbows onto Volkoff to take complete control. He beats on Volkoff for a long while before dropping another elbow... and getting the pin. No finisher, no big move, just an elbow? Sorry, Nikolai.

Elimination #5: The Bushwhackers double-team Slaughter, getting the fans back into it, but Bushwhacker Luke makes a critical mistake by trying a top-rope maneuver, only to land on Slaughter's knees. Slaughter then throws in a gutbuster before pinning him, taking it to 2-on-1.

Elimination #6: Bushwhacker Butch rushes in and punches away, but Slaughter soon turns it around and throws Butch into the corner. As Butch staggers out (possibly taking too long), Slaughter waits for him and gets a standing, swinging clothesline to eliminate him. Talk about a quick turnaround, as the Slaughter push is in full swing, with him easily eliminating three guys on his own.

Elimination #7: Ironically, after all the speed we just went through, Santana and Slaughter probably double the match time with their battling. After several minutes, Slaughter throws Santana into the referee, taking him out. Santana comes back with a flying forearm, but there's no ref... except for the one outside the ring, who apparently is powerless to stop General Adnan from interfering with the flag, hitting Santana. Then again, maybe he wasn't, as the referee stops Slaughter from applying the Camel Clutch to Santana and disqualifies him! Santana survives, making it to the final match!

Ace Thoughts: Maybe the strangest match of the night, as it was EXTREMELY fast from the start on eliminations. Slaughter's pace slowed it down some, but still, most of his team got paid for a minute or two (or less) of action. This was all to set up Slaughter as being a strong contender for the title, which he would win at the Royal Rumble, although honestly, I didn't see much here to impress me. Santana's forearms are as lethal as I remember them being, but that's about the only thing worth taking away from this one.

- Sean Mooney interviews the heel survivors, with Rick Martel and Ted DiBiase talking about how their team is going to work. DiBiase also smartly brings up the possible animosity between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, considering Warrior won his title from Hogan. Santana, meanwhile, is in "the right place at the wrong time".

- Mean Gene Okerlund is shown at the giant egg in the arena. Oh, man, I tried to forget about this being in the show, but there's no escaping it. The Gobblygooker comes out of the egg to the boos of the audience, leading to Mean Gene and The Gooker dancing in the ring. This was one of those moments where you wonder what was going on in the back. I mean, who thought this was a good idea? The funniest thing is "Rowdy" Roddy trying desperately to make this worthwhile.

- Sean Mooney interviews Hogan and his team. Santana's hidden by The Warrior most of the time, although he does get to talk about surviving. The Warrior, ummm, talks about their teammates who sacrificed for them. I will admit, it's funny to hear The Warrior say "Arrivederci".

Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana, & The Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil, Rick Martel, The Warlord, & Power & Glory (Hercules & Paul Roma) w/ Slick:

Backstory: If you've been reading this review, you know the backstory that brought this one together. As DiBiase noted, Hogan and The Warrior have a history. The only other thing worth noting is that "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase is the #1 Contender to The Ultimate Warrior's WWF Title, with the two facing off the next night at The Main Event.

Elimination #1: The bell barely rings before the action gets intense. Santana goes after The Warlord, who knocks him away. But Hogan takes advantage (dirty) by striking The Warlord himself, allowing Santana to quickly hit the ropes and come back with a flying forearm, taking The Warlord out of the contest just like that! The Warlord took more time walking out than being in this one, but at least he got to wrestle a lot earlier.

Elimination #2: Santana stays in and fights with DiBiase, but this time when Santana goes for his flying forearm, DiBiase is able to dodge it. A few seconds later, DiBiase drops Santana across the ropes, then quickly rolls him up, taking out Santana and leaving the two top faces alone against four men.

Elimination #3: After DiBiase gets the advantage on Hogan, the heels all start working on Hogan, keeping him from making a tag. Power & Glory eventually hits their finisher, The Power Plex... and Hogan completely no-sells it, kicking out of the pin, leaping to his feet, and clotheslining Roma. Hogan doesn't even bother to grab the legs, pinning Roma to eliminate him. Bummer for Power & Glory; their finisher just lost all its mystique.

Elimination #4: Martel tries to recover momentum for his team, but can't stop Hogan from tagging in the Warrior, who smashes Martel for a while, ignoring all of Martel's strikes against him. Hogan tags back in and nails Martel with the big boot, then clotheslines him through the ropes. Martel has had enough and just walks away, getting counted out extremely fast.

Elimination #5: DiBiase comes in and goes at it against Hogan, but Hogan's got all the power now. After a few minutes, Hogan lands the big boot/leg drop to put DiBiase away, crushing the #1 contender. Wouldn't it have made more sense to have Martel pinned, and have DiBiase get counted out? I mean, he got pinned easily only a day before his title shot...

Elimination #6: Hercules is only there for extra cannon fodder, as Hogan immediately takes him down, then tags in The Warrior, who destroys Hercules easily. A flying shoulderblock and a running splash later, and Hogan & The Warrior are the final survivors of the night. Hogan & The Warrior attack Slick after the match, throwing him from the ring.

Ace Thoughts: There were definitely some things here that struck me as odd, especially the treatment of DiBiase. It was the 'expected' ending that leaves the fans happy, but it also was one of the reasons that The Warrior was never seen to have adequate competition. When your best heels get beaten so easily, it's hard to take the reign seriously.

Alright, so that finishes our 'slightly-less move-intensive' review. Hopefully, it went alright, because I'm planning to do a lot more like it. It definitely went a lot faster. We'll have to see which show comes next.

Peace,
The Accelerator