WWF Survivor Series 88

November 24, 1988

From the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, OH

Your hosts are Jesse “The Body” Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon

 

Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake & Blue Blazer & Sam Houston & Jim Brunzell & Ultimate Warrior vs. Honky Tonk Man w/ Jimmy Hart & Danny Davis & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine & “The Outlaw” Ron Bass & Bad News Brown

Valentine and Beefcake start things off. Beefcake hammers away but Davis knees him from the apron then tags in and lands a few stomps but gets caught with a sleeper shortly after that as he gets eliminated (1:17). Valentine is in and beats down Beefcake then works the leg. Beefcake fights off and tags the Blue Blazer, who takes down Valentine a few times. Brunzell is in now and goes back-and-forth with Valentine but Bad News makes a blind tag and beats on Brunzell until he puts him away with the Ghetto Blaster (5:13). Beefcake tags in and beats on Bad News. Houston tags but eats boot on a charge as Bad News hammers away. Valentine tags and accidentally hits Bad News and they almost come to blows as the rest of their team separate them. Bad News then leaves and gets counted out as it is 4-3 (7:52). Houston nearly puts Valentine away with a reverse rollup but Valentine is able to block a sunset flip. Houston fights off Bass for a bit and looks pretty good in here but gets caught trying a monkey flip as Bass puts him away with a powerslam (10:12). Warrior comes in and clotheslines everyone before tagging Blazer, who almost pins Bass with a moonsault. Blazer hits Honky with a crossbody and a dropkick as the crowd is going nuts for him. Valentine tags and they blow a leapfrog spot. Blazer hits a gutwrench suplex and a slam before heading up top but Honky shoves him off as Blazer lands on his knees. Valentine then slaps on the figure-four and the Blazer is eliminated (11:22). Beefcake is in but gets trapped in the opposing corner. Beefcake is able to block the Shake, Rattle, and Roll and shortly after that is able to catch Honky with a punch to the gut as he came off of the top. Beefcake runs wild on Honky before putting him in the sleeper. They end up spilling outside where Beefcake re-applies the sleeper as both men get counted out as it is now 2 vs. 1 (15:42). Valentine & Bass use quick tags to beat on the Warrior, who is able to comeback with a double clothesline. Warrior then hits Bass with a double axe handle for the for the pin (17:28). Valentine lands a few shots but Warrior ends up hitting him with a double axe handle and gets the win (17:51) **1/4.

Thoughts: This match was okay but it did what it needed to do, which was making the Ultimate Warrior look strong. They also really put over Bad News’ loner persona and kept him looking strong as he walked off instead of getting pinned in order to keep his TV winning streak alive. Warrior probably worked about less than two minutes in this match. I though the parts with Houston in the ring were the best as he showed great fire on offense and bumped around for all of the heels. This match was the end of Brunzell’s WWF run until he came back in the Winter of 1990. He did not appear to give a f--- here. Davis was eliminated quickly and after this point he became a TV jobber until his in-ring run ended a few months later.

 

Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji & The Conquistadors & The Bolsheviks & Brainbusters w/ Bobby Heenan & Fabulous Rougeau Brothers w/ Jimmy Hart vs. Powers of Pain & Young Stallions & Hart Foundation & The Rockers & British Bulldogs

The action starts off fast and furious with everything going smoothly, with the Rockers standing out in particular. Tully works a nice spot where he gets pinballed around in the opposing corner. Dynamite tags in and gives Jacques a snap suplex, which was something considering Jacques knocked his teeth out just several weeks prior. Gorilla comes out and says “what a feud between the Rougeaus and Bulldogs,” which must have been an inside comment for sure seeing the Rougeaus and Harts were the teams in the midst of a feud. After a minute, Jacques and Bret are in the ring. Raymond tags and drops his head for a backdrop but Bret surprises him with a small package for the pin (5:37). The Powers of Pain finally tag in several minutes into the match as the Barbarian slugs it out with Smash. The pace remains quick and the work is still very good. Tully grabs a hold of Michaels’ leg after tagging out as that allows Demolition to beat him down. Michaels is getting beaten down here then Arn plants him with a spinebuster for a nearfall. He is able to tag Jannetty as he beats on the Conquistadors. After a few minutes we end up with the Warlord and Ax in a slugfest. Barbarian and Smash are in as the Barbarian just boots him right in the face. We get more fast-paced action as Powers hits a crossbody but Zhukov uses his momentum to turn on top and get the pin (15:35). The action slows down a tiny bit then Michaels makes a blind tag to Jannetty, who slingshots in with a sunset flip to eliminate Zhukov (17:19). The action continues as Tully is non-stop heeling here and its great. The Rockers double-team one of the Conquistadors then the Barbarian tags and kicks his ass. Tully is in and stalls for a bit before using the referee as a shield so he can cheap shot the Barbarian. The Barbarian gets worked over in the opposing corner as the match slows down for a bit, which is very understandable considering the pace they were working. He finally tags out but shortly after that, Bret hits Blanchard with a German suplex but Tully got his shoulder up right before the three count as the Hart Foundation have been eliminated (27:08). Dynamite comes in and hits Tully with a tombstone for a nearfall. Michaels tags then Arn comes in for the 2-on-1 until Marty comes in for the save as they start brawling as both teams end up getting disqualified (29:00) as its down to the Bulldogs & Powers of Pain vs. Demolition & The Conquistadors. The Rockers and Brainbusters brawl up the aisle as the Conquistadors are getting their asses kicked but still hanging around as the announcers are even surprised they are still in the match. Dynamite gets beaten down but comes back with a clothesline and makes the tag. Davey beats one one of the Conquistadors then we get Barbarian vs. Ax as the crowd does not seem to care. The Bulldogs beat one on the Conquistadors but he manages to tag out to Smash. Dynamite hits a snap suplex but misses a diving headbutt then Smash puts him away with a clothesline (36:18). The Powers of Pain beat on the Conquistadors until the Warlord runs into the post on a charge. The fans cheer mostly as Ax beats down the Warlord now Fuji is on the apron, waving his cane. Smash tags out then comes back in a minute later as Fuji is back on the apron waving his cane. Smash then bounces off of the ropes but Fuji pulls down the ropes as Smash falls to the floor. Ax checks on his partner as Jesse points out how Fuji did that on purpose as Demolition ends up getting counted out (39:18). Ax gets in Fuji’s face and gets hit with the cane but it has no effect. Ax then turns around and gets whacked with the cane again but Smash gets up and tosses Fuji to his partner as he gets slammed. Demolition leaves then all of a sudden, the Powers of Pain go out and help Fuji to his feet. Back inside, the Conquistadors beat on the Powers of Pain for a little bit but it has no effect. Fuji then trips one of the Conquistadors with his cane as the Barbarian hits a falling headbutt for the win (42:25) ***3/4. After the match, Fuji gets into the ring as the Powers of Pain raise him on top of their shoulders. However, Demolition runs back down and clears the ring as the announcers believe this whole deal between the Powers of Pain and Fuji was planned before the match.

Thoughts: The first half hour of this match was just incredible. The action was extremely fast-paced and crisp for the most part. Once the Brainbusters and Rockers( who were easily the two standout teams) were eliminated, it died down. Tully’s heel work was just tremendous here as he was just all over the place and non-stop all match long. He was the MVP of the match, IMO. The double-turn angle really seemed out of the blue but it made sense at this point as the Powers of Pain were not over much as a babyface team and Demolition was a really cool act. Plus, if anyone needed a manager to enhance their act, it was the Powers of Pain. It also breathed new life into a stale feud. However, the turn really did not get over well with the live crowd. The match also created a Rockers vs. Brainbusters feud and kept the Rougeaus vs. Hart Foundation program going. This match was the final appearance of the British Bulldogs in the WWF too. The announcers took a few jabs at Dynamite, with Jesse mentioning after a clothesline by Dynamite how it was a good way to lose teeth. This match was pretty much the end of the Young Stallions as a team. They primarily wrestled as singles acts on house shows as according to Roma, Powers drinking and personality in general became too much to deal with and he wanted away from him. For anyone wondering, I liked the 1987 ten team match more as that was better from start to finish.

 

Sean Mooney is backstage with Bad News Brown, who says their is a conspiracy because his own teammate tried to take him out and talks about this means nothing to him as he is only focused on the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. He then talks about confronting WWF President Jack Tunney on why he has not received a title shot because he is undefeated then talks about not needing a “skirt” in his corner like Randy Savage does. A good promo to set up their eventual title program.

 

Now, Gene Okerlund is with Mr. Fuji and the Powers of Pain. Fuji said he made Demolition champions but there heads got too big and now the Powers of Pain will make them suffer and take the Tag Team titles. The Powers of Pain look menacing in the background as they call out Demolition. At least they gave an explanation here as to why Fuji turned on Demolition. The Powers of Pain looking menacing behind Fuji here was easily the most comfortable they have looked since arriving into the company.

 

The Survivor Series team co-captained by Andre the Giant & Dino Bravo are with Gene Okerlund. Harley Race is barely even noticeable in the background. Most of this revolved around Andre & Heenan calling out Jake Roberts.

 

Sean Mooney is with the Mega Powers and their team. We hear Frankie squawking in the background as this was a basic hype promo with a minimal amount of insanity, which I was expecting here to be honest.

 

Jake “The Snake” Roberts & Ken Patera & Tito Santana & Scott Casey & Hacksaw Jim Duggan vs. Dino Bravo w/Frenchy Martin & Harley Race & “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig & “Ravishing” Rick Rude & Andre the Giant w/ Bobby Heenan 

Casey is replacing Brian Blair and looks like he was training with Dino Bravo here. The action starts with a lot of quick tags. Tito and Hennig work a really nice sequence but some of the action is pretty bad, especially a gassed up Bravo who appeared to have blown up while entering the ring. Race is still sporting his king trunks here too. Gorilla mentions that the Royal Rumble will take place on January 15th and this time it will feature 30 men as Rude is trapped in the opposing corner. Rude collides with Duggan then shortly after that he is able to eliminate Patera with the Rude Awakening (8:20). Casey tries a sneak attack but fails as Rude tags Bravo, who puts him away with a side slam shortly after that as we are down to 5 vs. 3 (9:29). Tito is in and beats on Bravo as he has his working boots on here. Andre attacks Duggan from the apron as Duggan is trapped in the opposing corner. Duggan comes back with a clothesline and tags Tito, who mixes it up with Race. Tito is now getting attacked but manages to hit Bravo with a crossbody then a rollup in the corner for two. Race tags and gets two with a piledriver as he does not hook the leg on the pin attempt. Race acts nonchalant here then Tito surprises him with the flying forearm as Race is eliminated (15:25). Andre immediately attacks Tito and hits a pair of sitdown splashes. He chokes out Tito for a bit then sits down on him again to block a sunset flip attempt as that takes care of Tito (16:49). Duggan heads in and knocks Andre into the ropes and ties him up as the crowd goes nuts. Jake tags in and starts hammering away and choking Andre, who manages to get out and shove Jake. Rude tags in and beats on Jake then Hennig tags and continues the assault. They slug it out then Bravo tags and prevents a tag. Rude blindsides Jake with a clothesline from the apron. Jake takes a beating but dodges an elbow drop from Bravo and makes the tag. Duggan beats on Bravo then sets up for the Three Point Stance but Frenchy grabs his leg. Dino takes Duggan outside and slams him on the floor. Duggan then grabs the 2×4 and heads inside to beat on Bravo as he gets disqualified as its now 4 vs. 1 (23:29). The crowd goes nuts for Jake as he gives the DDT signal. He slugs it out with Hennig then takes him down with a knee lift. Jake is able to fend off Bravo and is now in with Rude, who rakes the eyes. Bravo cheap shots Jake from the apron as Rude roughs up Jake. Rude gyrates over Jake as Jesse wonders if Cheryl Roberts is watching on PPV. Rude takes his time as Jake yanks down his tights then hits the DDT to eliminate Rude (30:52). Andre immediately comes in and starts biting and choking out Jake in the corner and eventually gets disqualified (31:46). Andre eventually lets go as Hennig comes in to pin Jake as Bravo and himself are the sole survivors (32:08) **. The winning team celebrates as Jake rolls outside to grab Damien and uses it to chase off his opponents.

Thoughts: This was the worst match of the show. Guys like Patera (in his final WWF match), Casey, and Bravo looked awful here. Race looked decent enough but it was odd as the announcers barely mentioned him as he was booked as an afterthought. I liked the story they told at the end with Jake against four guys but the action was extremely dull. This match kept the two main feuds leading into the match strong and put over Hennig as he was one of the Survivors so it did serve a purpose at the very least. We also learned that the Royal Rumble would be returning and would feature 30 men, although it was not said at this time that it would be on PPV.

 

Okerlund is with the Survivor Series team co-captained by Akeem and the Big Bossman, who promised Hulk Hogan their paths would cross again.

 

Akeem w/ Big Bossman & Red Rooster w/ Bobby Heenan & King Haku & “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage w/ Elizabeth & Koko B. Ware & Hillbilly Jim & Hercules & Hulk Hogan

Hogan came out to his own music, unlike the rest of his team which came out to Savage’s. DiBiase and Savage start off the match as they go back-and-forth in a nice sequence. Hercules tags in and chases after DiBiase, who bailed and tagged in the Red Rooster. Koko is now trapped in the opposing corner but manages to escape and tag in Hercules as he mixes it up with King Haku, his opponent on the next episode of “Superstars of Wrestling” in a match that aired two days after this show. Hillbilly & Hogan take Haku down with a double boot as Gorilla brings up almost four year old storyline when Hogan gave Hillbilly a pair of wrestling boots, which he is wearing now. Rooster now gets beat up for a bit then Hogan tags Savage, who hits the flying elbow drop for the elimination as the crowd goes nuts while Heenan looks pissed off at his protege (6:10). The Mega Powers work over Haku, who is now in trouble. After a minute of action, Hillbilly and Akeem mix it up until Akeem hits a clothesline then finishes off Hillbilly with a splash (9:54). Akeem celebrates but Koko dropkicks him in the back. Akeem is getting worked over but still manages to stay on his feet. Koko misses a corner splash as Bossman tags and quickly puts Koko away with a sidewalk slam as its now 4 vs. 3 (11:45). Hogan and Bossman are now in the ring as the crowd goes insane. Bossman rakes the eyes but Hogan is able to come back with an atomic drop then a slam. Bossman then catches Hogan with a spinebuster as the Hulkster is in trouble. Hogan manages to finally fight back and tag in Hercules, who goes right after DiBiase. Hercules runs wild for a minute until he gets tripped by Virgil. Hercules then goes after Virgil but DiBiase knees Hercules in the back and rolls him up and uses the tights for leverage to eliminate Hercules (16:35). DiBiase then celebrates and gets distracted by Hercules on the outside as that allowed Savage to sneak in and roll up DiBiase for the elimination as the crowd goes berserk (16:57). Its 3 vs. 2 now as Haku beats on Savage. Haku misses a headbutt as Hogan tags in and goes to work but he gets caught with a thrust kick. Bossman beats on Hogan and almost puts him away. He then heads up top after but misses a splash as Hogan finally makes the tag. Savage runs wild on all three guys until Slick whacks him with his cane. Slick then drags Elizabeth up the aisle but Hogan runs out and decks Slick. However, Bossman and Akeem run out to beat on Hogan and they cuff him to the bottom rope then we learn that Bossman got counted out (23:17). Bossman is now beating on Hogan with his nightstick, even choking him out at one point. Akeem heads over but Savage starts beating him down. Bossman whacks Savage with the nightsick then heads in to choke him out. The referee tries to get Bossman away but Akeem shoves him as he ends up getting disqualified (25:07). Its still 2 vs. 1, although Hogan remains cuffed to the bottom rope. In the ring, Haku almost puts Savage away. He then misses an elbow drop as Slick is shaking the keys to the handcuffs in front of Hogan. The refs are yelling at Elizabeth because she is trying to get Hogan free as that allows Slick to grab Savage on the apron. Savage then dodges an attack as Slick gets knocked down to the floor. Heenan runs over but Hogan clotheslines him while still cuffed to the ropes. Elizabeth then reaches into Slick’s pocket and grabs the keys, with Jesse making a funny quip about how she was going after his wallet, and frees Hogan. Back inside, Haku gets a nearfall with a top rope splash then kicks Savage into his own corner as Hogan tags himself in and runs wild on Haku until putting him away with the leg drop as the Mega Powers survive (30:11) ***. Hogan starts posing as Savage is bleeding from the mouth. Hogan then picks up Elizabeth, who was trying to let him know that Savage was hurt, and celebrates with her as Savage joins and shoots Hogan a dirty look then points at him for picking up his woman.

Thoughts: I thought the action was pretty good here and I loved the booking. Sure, there was a lot of “sports entertainment” going on at the end but it all made sense and it kept the future Twin Towers and Mega Powers looking really strong. And most important of all, it planted the seeds for one of the top feuds of the 1980’s, which was the split of the Mega Powers. The Bossman had a ton of heat here too as his feud with Hogan was doing great at the box office. Poor DiBiase had nothing going on here expect for a feud with Hercules. Just three months prior he was wrestling in the main event at SummerSlam. A great way to close out a show that was better than I remembered.

 

Final Thoughts: This was without a doubt the top WWF PPV of 1988. It started the Twin Towers vs. Mega Powers feud and saw the double-turn between Demolition and the Powers of Pain. The Tag Team Survivor Series match was superb and all fans should check that out as well as the main event.

The show was also a turning point as they phased out several of the talents on this show and put over the wrestlers and teams that would be showcased heading into 1989. The booking of the show was tremendous I thought.

Overall, I’d check this show out on the Network, especially for those who have only seen the Coliseum Home Video version.

 

Here is my schedule for the next several days:

 

Monday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling  11/26/88

Tuesday: WWF Madison Square Garden 11/26/88

Wednesday: RevPro UK High Stakes 1/16/16

Thursday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Jacques Rougeau

Friday: WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event 11/26/88

Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 3/11/82

Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/27/88