November 22, 1990
From the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT
Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Roddy Piper
Gene Okerlund is backstage with The Ultimate Warriors and we get some wacky promos about how they will all survive.
The Perfect Team (Demolition w/ Mr. Fuji & Mr. Perfect w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (Texas Tornado & Legion of Doom & Ultimate Warrior)
Demolition already ditched their masks and are wearing face paint. Animal attacks Smash to start as the Ultimate Warriors beat him down for a bit. Animal ducks his head and gets decked then Smash hits a suplex for a nearfall. Animal fights back then the match breaks down with The Ultimate Warriors in control. It settles down then Tornado gets trapped in the corner. Ax beats on him briefly then is put in the claw. Warrior now tags in and hits a shoulder block then a flying shoulder tackle before putting Ax away with a splash (3:23). Warrior tosses Smash & Perfect outside but gets clotheslined by Crush. Warrior gets worked over for a bit but fights back and tags out as Hawk blocks a few punches from Perfect then takes him down with a clothesline. Perfect gets whipped into the corner twice but Hawk misses a charge then Smash runs in and attacks Hawk. Demolition beat down Hawk for a bit but he fires up and runs wild on Smash. Hawk hits a flying clothesline but Crush runs in for the save then Demolition and the LoD brawl and refuse to stop so the ref disqualifies all four men as its 2 vs. 1 (7:36). Tornado lets Warrior face off against Perfect, who wants a piece of Tornado and “the belt” as Piper reminds us how both men have titles. Tornado then tags in and knocks Perfect outside then tosses him back out as Perfect regroups with Heenan. Warrior heads out and uses a double noggin-knocker before rolling Perfect back inside. Tornado misses a charge and rams his shoulder into the post and that allows Perfect to take control. Tornado punches back until Perfect thumbs his eye then rams Tornado into the corner and exposed steel as the turnbuckle pad was removed before the Perfect Plex gets the pin (11:02). Perfect tries to quickly put away Warrior then starts hammering away. He gets two with a standing dropkick as Warrior is now rolling around on the mat. Perfect hits some chops as we get some chants for Warrior. Perfect covers after a clothesline and gets tossed on top of the referee during the kick out. Warrior soon powers up and hits a few clotheslines before the flying shoulder tackle/splash combo gets the win (14:20) **. After the match, Heenan gets up on the apron and Warrior knocks him off.
Thoughts: The action wasn’t bad or anything but the feuds involved were just not very good. Maybe if Savage ran in and created some drama it would have been better but they saved that for another show. No one bought Perfect having a chance to pin Warrior. The LoD/Demolition feud has been a dud and you can probably say the same for Perfect/Tornado too. I don’t think the company thought much of Tornado at this point since he got pinned with the Perfect Plex. You didn’t really need to have him pinned that way (I get the exposed steel was cheating but its still a weak form of cheating) since Perfect was going to get a rematch to begin with. This was also Ax’s final match with the company as he went to New Japan Pro Wrestling, teaming with Bam Bam Bigelow among others.
Sean Mooney is with the Million Dollar Team. DiBiase says we will see his mystery partner soon and that its a very big surprise.
Before the match, DiBiase takes the mic and introduces his surprise. He then brings out from Death Valley, The Undertaker who is lead to the ring by Brother Love. Piper yells out “look at the size of that ham hock” as he really sells his size. He then starts making jokes and says my favorite line of “he doesn’t look friendly at all.” The Undertaker just stares at his opponents as the crowd seems to be in shock of his presence. Undertaker’s entire entrance and presence was just great. There was nothing else like this in wrestling, especially the WWF who were struggling with heels at the time. Right off the bat the WWF hit a home run on this alone.
The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes & Koko B. Ware & The Hart Foundation) vs. The Million Dollar Team (Rhythm & Blues w/ Jimmy Hart & Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil & The Undertaker w/ Brother Love)
Bret starts off against Undertaker and is beat down. He then runs into a chokeslam and tags out. Neidhart gets caught in a slam as the camera cut to Brother Love. Koko tags and Undertaker tosses him on the ropes then hits a Tombstone for the pin (1:39). Dusty and Valentine are in now as Dusty takes control. The Dream Team take turns working over Valentine’s arm until Bret eats knee on a charge. Honky tags in now and lands some feeble stomps. He hits a knee smash then Bret makes a blind tag and Neidhart puts Honky away with a powerslam (4:16). DiBiase comes in and chops Neidhart in the corner. Neidhart comes back with a clothesline and a slam then tags Dusty, who fires away in the corner. Dusty busts out a dropkick then tags out to Neidhart, who gets a few nearfalls. Virgil then trips Neidhart’s leg and that allows DiBiase to hit a clothesline for the pin (5:49). Bret comes in to beat on DiBiase, who begs for mercy in the corner. Dusty tags and lands some strikes but DiBiase fights back and tags the Undertaker, who starts beating on Dusty. Bret is now trapped in the opposing corner after tagging in but he is able to fight back. He hits DiBiase with an inverted atomic drop then tags out to Dusty. Undertaker is back in as he stays on the attack then heads up top for a double axe handle and the pin as its now 3 vs. 1 (8:26). Bret comes in and punches away as Piper is cheering him on but its not enough. Brother Love starts kicking Dusty, who gets up and backs him away and that causes The Undertaker to head out and beat on Dusty but in the process gets counted out (9:17). Valentine beats on Bret and tries to put slap on the figure four but Bret counters with a small package as its now down to 1 vs. 1 (9:57). Bret knocks DiBiase outside and flies out with a pescado as Piper is going nuts. Bret smashes DiBiase’s head off of the steps before taking the fight back inside. The crowd starts getting behind Bret too then DiBiase reverses an Irish whip as Bret smashes into the corner. We get a bad spot where DiBiase ducks his head after whipping Bret into the corner and waits forever as Bret decides to take him down with a backslide for two. Bret lands another nearfall then Virgil grabs him on the apron but he escapes as DiBiase takes down his bodyguard. Bret hits a backbreaker and an elbow drop then tries a crossbody but DiBiase rolls over and gets the win (13:54) **1/2. Gorilla also mentions that DiBiase could become champion tomorrow night, referencing his match on the “Main Event” show.
Thoughts: The two main stories here were about establishing The Undertaker as an immediate threat and trying to push Bret as someone who could be a singles act. Piper went nuts for him on commentary. Dusty was not a focal point at all and lost in less than spectacular fashion. The Undertaker’s presence was great but is work in the ring was really clunky. When it came down to Bret vs. DiBiase it was by far and away the best actual wrestling on the show. And DiBiase needed the win since he was receiving a title shot the following day. However, the rest of the matc wasn’t all that great.
Gene Okerlund is in the showers with The Vipers team. Captain Jake Roberts puts over his team and warns Martel about Damien. They end with a chant.
The Visionaries (“The Model” Rick Martel & Power & Glory & The Warlord w/ Slick) vs. The Vipers (Jake “The Snake” Roberts & The Rockers & Jimmy Snuka)
Marty starts off against The Warlord and uses his speed to elude him. Warlord tosses him the corner a few times but misses a charge then is able to brush off a pair of dropkicks. Marty goes back to eluding Warlord and hits the other members of The Visionaries. The Rockers uses an assisted sunset flip on Warlord but Shawn gets tossed in the corner. Martel tags but Shawn reverses a hip toss and follows with a dropkick. Shawn then uses a monkey flip and tags Jake but Martel scurries outside. Roma tags in as Jake works over his arm. Snuka tags and also targets the arm for a bit then takes down Hercules with a chop. Warlord tags in and catches Snuka in a slam. Snuka avoids an elbow drop then hits a dropkick before tagging out. Marty works the arm but Warlord puts on a bearhug. Marty escapes and hits a fist drop from the top but goes back up and is caught with a powerslam for the elimination (5:03). Shawn, with the help of Jake, takes Warlord down with a hurricarana. Jake tags and the crowd chants for the DDT. He eventually takes Warlord down with a clothesline and tags out to Shawn, who is tossed outside on a kickout. Roma is on and hits Shawn with a leg drop as The Visionaries cut off the ring. Shawn does a great job at selling everything and is finally able to tag out to Snuka after avoiding a charging Martel. Snuka fires away in the corner and follows with a back drop. He gets two with a flying headbutt but Martel rolls through a crossbody and grabs the tights for the pin (9:28). Jake runs in and Martel is able to avoid him and tag Hercules, sporting a giant wedgie. The camera shows Jake’s eye as its down to 4 vs. 2. The crowd gets behind Jake, who hits Hercules with a knee lift. Hercules rolls outside to escape the DDT then Martel provides a distraction for him to clothesline Jake. Roma beats on Jake, who blindly swings and misses in an attempt to fight back. Roma misses a flying fist drop then Shawn tags in and runs wild. He drops an elbow from the second rope for a two count but Roma makes a blind tag as Hercules hits an elbow drop to the back of the neck. Hercules is firing away in the corner. Shawn is neutralized in the corner then Power & Glory put him away with the Power Plex (15:40). We are down to 4 vs. 1 now as this crowd is screaming for Jake. Hercules beats down Jake in the corner then the Warlord comes in and does the same. Warlord now applies a bearhug but Jake escapes and hits the DDT behind the ref’s back. Martel sneaks in and tries to spray Arrogance in Jake’s eye but failed so Jake grabs Damien and chases Martel backstage and gets counted out as the entire Visionaries team survives (17:42) **1/4. Slick and his guys are in the ring celebrating.
Thoughts: I liked the story of Martel doing everything he can to avoid Jake, who has been fantastic in this storyline. The thing was this match was far too one-sided and while I love Shawn as a worker and watching him sell he was part of two long beatdown segments that did not go anywhere. Also, the finish was really crappy. This also saw the first time an entire Survivor Series team had survived the match.
Gorilla tells us the Royal Rumble will take place on Saturday January 19th at 8pm EST.
Mooney is with The Hulkamaniacs team. They all promise victory and tell us about the yellow ribbons on Duggan’s 2×4 to dedicate the match to those serving overseas, especially in the Middle East. Hogan even tells President Bush that after the Survivor Series they will volunteer their services before telling Sadaam Hussein that Hulkamania will run wild on him. Planting the seeds for Hogan/Slaughter here.
The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Dino Bravo w/ Jimmy Hart & The Barbarian & Haku w/ Bobby Heenan) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Tugboat & Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Big Bossman & Hulk Hogan)
Each member of the Hulkamaniacs team get to come out to their own theme. Haku and Duggan slug it out to start. Haku misses a crossbody and Duggan follows with a few clotheslines. Haku avoids an elbow drop then tags out. Barbarian and Bravo briefly beat on Duggan then Haku tags back in and gets attacked by Bossman. Haku hits a dropkick for two but Bossman catches him with a sidewalk slam for the pin (3:15). Barbarian comes in but Bossman takes him down. Bossman grabs Heenan and knocks him off of the apron before firing away. Barbarian blocks a clothesline and hits a suplex but Bossman fights back and tags Duggan. Bravo & Earthquake hit Duggan with a double clothesline then Earthquake uses a few thrusts in the corner. Duggan escapes and tries a slam but fails then hits a few shoulder tackles until Hart pulls the ropes down. Duggan grabs his 2×4 and chases Hart inside then hits Earthquake for the DQ (6:12). Hogan and Eatrthquake slug it out then Hogan runs wild on everyone. He signals for a slam on Earthquake and hits it as the crowd goes wild. Earthquake catches Hogan with a powerslam then tags Bravo, who drops a pair of elbows. Bravo taunts the crowd then tries to pick up Hogan but gets put away with a small package (7:59). Bossman tags and hammers away on Earthquake. He tries a crossbody but Earthquake catches him so Hogan comes in and pushes Bossman on top for a two count. Barbarian kicks Bossman from the apron then Earthquake drops a pair of elbows for the pin (9:08). Hogan runs in and beats on Earthquake as Gorilla corrects himself after saying Hogan was the only one left on his team with Tugboat standing on the apron. Hogan fails trying another slam then rakes the eyes and does it again but Earthquake falls on top for a two count. Earthquake tries for a splash but misses then Hogan makes his way over to Tugboat for the tag. He knocks Earthquake into the ropes and Hogan pulls him out. Tugboat follows and brawls with Earthquake. Tugboat stops and gets yelled at by the ref on the outside as Earthquake rams Hogan’s back into the post then Earthquake and Tugboat get counted out (11:33). The Barbarian beats on Hogan then hits a piledriver for a nearfall. Both men clothesline each other but Barbarian is up first and knocks Hogan back down. Barbarian heads up top and hits a flying clothesline but Hogan kicks out at two and hulks up. Hogan no-sells a few punches then lands some punches, a big boot, then drops the leg for the win (14:49) *3/4. After the match, Heenan is inside and Hogan hits him before taking a crazy bump in the corner. Hogan celebrates by holding up a giant flag/sheet that has “Hulk Rules” drawn on and does some poses.
Thoughts: Hogan winning was not a surprise but there was little heat in the match, especially at the end as no one bought Barbarian had a chance pinning Hogan. Tugboat’s involvement was really dumb as he did practically nothing besides getting counted out as part of an awful spot.
Okerlund welcomes Macho King Randy Savage to the interview platform. Queen Sherri was absent due to the fact she was hospitalized for pneumonia. Okerlund reminds Savage that he was a spectator this year while Savage says that he is a future World Champion as he calls both Okerlund and the Ultimate Warrior “turkeys.” Okerlund then asks Savage about having Sherri do his dirty work by slapping Warrior three times as Savage calls Okerlund wrong. Savage also said that Warrior realized he is going to lose his title and that he is scoping him out tonight but does not see anything special. This closes with Savage saying he is the greatest to ever step into the squared circle and after he proves to everyone he is the best he just might retire. Savage then says when the time comes, everyone will realize he is the best. Good promo by Savage as they hinted their could be a retirement or retirement match in the near future.
The Alliance head out to the ring. Piper then proposes the country trade MTV and 2 Live Crew to Russia for Nikolai Volkoff. Now, The Mercenaries head out to the ring but are stopped in the aisle by Okerlund, who asks Slaughter about the armed forces watching this overseas and finding him dispicable. Slaughter then tells us that dispicable is saluting the American flag and only salutes the Iraqi flag. Slaughter’s music continues to play as he rambles on with his entire team wearing camouflage facepaint. A long-winded promo designed to get cheap, anti-American heat. Too bad this match is by far and away the least compelling on the show.
The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff & Tito Santana & The Bushwhackers) vs. The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter & General Adnan & Boris Zhukov & The Orient Express w/ Mr. Fuji)
The Bushwhackers beat on Zhukov then tag out to Tito, who puts him away with a flying forearm (0:48). Sato jumps Tito and stomps away. He hits a hook kick then tags his partner but accidentally gets kicked in the face. Butch comes in and beats on Sato then The Bushwhackers hit a battering ram for the pin (1:46). Tanaka attacks Butch but Tito makes the tag and hits a flying forearm for the pin as its already 4 vs. 1 (2:13). Volkoff beats on Slaughter for a bit but walks into a clothesline. Slaughter drops a pair of elbows then hammers away….for a really long time as this match is dying then after all of that puts Volkoff away with a measly elbow drop (5:25). Butch comes in and lands some punches then Luke comes in for a double slam. The Bushwhackers hit a double clothesline and Luke covers for two. Luke heads up top after a back elbow smash but Slaughter got his knees up on a splash attempt then Slaughter hits a gutbuster for the pin (6:30). Butch comes back in and fires away in the corner but is quickly put away with a clothesline (6:53). Tito knocks Slaughter in the corner with a dropkick then hits a forearm smash from the middle rope for two. Slaughter blocks a monkey flip then hits a corkscrew neckbreaker for a two count. Backbreaker gets two. Suplex gets two. Tito comes back with a flying forearm after a ref bump then Adnan comes into the ring to hit Tito with the flag. Slaughter locks on the Camel’s Clutch and the ref comes to and taps Slaughter on the shoulder. We then learn that Slaughter as been disqualified as Tito is the lone survivor (10:52) 1/2*. This gets a great crowd reaction too, the only time this match received one.
Final Thoughts: The best thing I can say about this is that they got rid of the garbage early. The beatdown on Volkoff lasted for what seemed like an eternity as he was the first Survivor Series team captain to get eliminated first on his team. Man, did Volkoff get buried on the way out. We had another weak finish here but since they wanted to protect Slaughter they had Tito advance to the grand finale match. As an 8 year old watching live I was ecstatic Tito got the win and it was the only time the crowd reacted to the match.
Mooney is backstage with Ted DiBiase and the Visionaries team. Martel brags about his entire team surviving, a first in Survivor Series history as DiBiase brings up how Hogan & Warrior will team up but fought at WrestleMania and have big egos that will prevent them for getting along.
The announcers plug The Main Event tomorrow night on NBC, highlighted by DiBiase vs. Warrior for the World Heavyweight Title.
Okerlund is now with the egg, that is starting to crack. It finally hatches and out pops a turkey as the crowd does not react whatsoever. Okerlund jokes that it has the same legs as his mother in-law then the turkey speaks to Okerlund and says he is the Gobbledy Gooker. They now go into the ring as the Gooker wants Okerlund to join in for some dancing while Piper tries to do a Vince McMahon and sell this as being enjoyable. The announcers laugh at Okerlund trying to do a somersault. Well, this bombed in spectacular fashion. According to Bruce Prichard in his 1990 WWE Timeline with Kayfabe Commentaries, the Gooker was going to be the WWF’s version of the San Diego Chicken mascot and they hired Hector Guerrero due to his gymnastics background but the costume design restricted him to the point where he could only perform a forward roll.
Mooney is now with Hogan, Warrior, and Tito. They talk about winning the grand finale match.
Grand Finale Match: Ted DiBiase w/ Virgil & Rick Martel & Power & Glory & The Warlord w/ Slick vs. Hulk Hogan & Tito Santana & Ultimate Warrior
Tito immediately puts Warlord away with a flying forearm (0:28). Roma comes in and catches Tito with a powerslam then tags in DiBiase. Tito hits a backdrop but whiffs on a flying forearm then is caught with a hotshot and eliminated (1:51). Power & Glory work over Hogan then tag out to Martel, who targets the back. The heels continue to cut off the ring then Power & Glory hit the Power Plex but Hogan kicks out at two and hulks up before putting Roma away with a clothesline (5:57). Martel runs in and hammers away on Hogan, who escapes and makes the tag. Warrior kicks Martel repeatedly in the corner and follows with a back drop. Hogan tags back in and takes Martel down with a big boot before clotheslining him through the ropes and Martel decides to head backstage and get counted out (7:17). DiBiase is pissed as its now 2 vs. 2. Hogan clotheslines DiBiase, who now begs for mercy, then slingshots him out of the corner. He takes a swing at Hercules then hits DiBiase with a big boot and the leg drop for the pin (8:30). Hercules comes in and is caught with a powerslam then Warrior tags in and hits a shoulder tackle/splash combo for the win (9:07) *1/4. After the match, both men toss Slick outside then celebrate together.
Thoughts: Its safe to say that this grand finale match experiment was a dud. The crowd was dead and there was no drama at all to the match. Prichard also said in his 1990 Timeline interview that they originally thought all of the Survivors would be put into a battle royal instead of this match, which Prichard said sucked. Having DiBiase lose to both Hogan & Warrior isnt the worst thing in the world and he got screwed over by Martel, who bailed.
The show ends with the announcers hyping the Royal Rumble.
Final Thoughts: Up until the Slaughter interview, the show wasn’t that bad but man did it fall of the rails after that. The main problem was the lack of hot feuds and the two new features (Egg hatching & grand finale match) were failures. At least The Undertaker being revealed as the surprise partner for the Million Dollar Team worked. I think people give this show a bit of a pass in retrospect because of The Undertaker’s debut but at the time this was a cold show with a poor build. Even still, it was better than what we got at the Survivor Series the following year. The other major problem was the lack of top heels in the company. They beat everyone down and Earthquake/Hogan should have wrapped up at SummerSlam but they had to drag it out because of a poor house show business and no one else to headline with Hogan.
Here is my tentative schedule for the next several days:
Wednesday: WWF The Main Event 11/23/90
Friday: WWF Madison Square Garden 11/24/90
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 5/5/83
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 11/24/90
Monday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 11/25/90
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 12/1/90