What the World Was Watching: Prime Time Wrestling “Survivor Series Showdown” – November 18, 1990

Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan handle commentary, taped in Indianapolis, Indiana as part of the Superstars tapings on October 29.  The gimmick of the show is that there are singles matches featuring members of competing Survivor Series teams.

Opening Contest:  Sergeant Slaughter (w/General Adnan) (8-0) defeats Tito Santana (16-9-1) after Adnan interferes at 11:25:

Slaughter dominates the early going until Santana slings him into the corner, letting Slaughter do his trademark chest-first bump over the top rope and to the arena floor.  After Slaughter fights out of a chinlock he misses a few moves off the top rope, allowing Santana to hit the flying forearm.  However, Slaughter falls to the floor and when Santana tries to slam him back into the ring, Adnan trips him and Slaughter crashes on top of the former Intercontinental Champion to prevail.  It took a while for this to get going, but the last several minutes were great.  Rating:  **¼

Sean Mooney interviews the Mercenaries.  Slaughter says that he just showed his team that you have to do whatever it takes to win.  Tanaka promises that the Bushwhackers face destruction and Boris Zhukov explains how he promised Slaughter that he would take care of Nikolai Volkoff.

Gene Okerlund interviews the Alliance.  Tito Santana says he will get revenge on Slaughter because he is going to be left four-on-one against the Alliance.  The Bushwhackers promote how they are ready for a fight.  And Nikolai Volkoff says he has the best team one could ask for.  Santana might as well be the captain at this point based on how recent Alliance promos have gone.

A video package recaps the Jake Roberts-Rick Martel feud.

Rick Martel (16-1-1) beats Marty Jannetty (3-1) after avoiding a sunset flip into the ring at 10:48:

Heenan makes a funny crack during the match that fans can see Survivor Series on pay-per-view or send him $240 and he will take it for them.  Jannetty has an interesting offensive strategy, preferring to work Martel’s left leg instead of relying on aerial maneuvers.  That does not lead anywhere as Martel tosses Jannetty to the floor and when Jannetty tries to do the babyface sunset flip spot back in, Martel avoids it and covers Jannetty for the win.  That was a creative finish, although Jannetty did not take enough punishment to warrant that being enough to put him down for a three count.  Rating:  **

Okerlund interviews the Vipers.  Jake Roberts, sporting an eye patch, says that if someone wants to inquire about his health, they need to talk to his psychiatrist.  The Rockers say their team has overcome every obstacle in front of them and they cannot wait to lockup with Power & Glory.  And Jimmy Snuka calls out the Warlord, saying he better be ready for a fight.

Mooney interviews the Visionaries.  Paul Roma gloats about how their opponents at Survivor Series cannot see or walk, making them easy pickings in an elimination match.  The Warlord laughs off any threat Snuka could be.  The Vipers interrupt the segment and everyone brawls as the show goes to commercial.

Okerlund talks with the Hulkamaniacs, with Hulk Hogan saying that it is tough to see anyone getting past his team.  Tugboat gets tied up in his boat analogies saying that there are no lifeboats and it is “Women, children…and Natural Disasters first!”

Earthquake (w/Jimmy Hart) (25-2) beats the Big Bossman (29-1) via count out at 11:00:

These two had a placeholder feud on the house show circuit earlier in the year when Hulk Hogan was filming Suburban Commando.  There is a funny spot early in the match when the Bossman goes after Hart, who does not know the Bossman is behind him and slowly reaches around and touches the Bossman’s face before freaking out.  After Earthquake catches the Bossman’s flying body press effort and powerslams him, Heenan strolls down to ringside and paintbrushes the Bossman.  He even uses Hart’s megaphone later to hurl additional insults at the Cobb County law enforcement official and stomps the Bossman after Earthquake backdrops him over the top rope.  Finally, the Bossman just decides that going after Heenan is better than fighting Earthquake and he chases him to the locker room, getting counted out.  This match had its moments and fans were dying to see the Bossman make a comeback because the Bossman is an awesome seller.  Rating:  *½

Mooney interviews the Natural Disasters, who put themselves over as the baddest team in the WWF.  Dino Bravo says that Tugboat will be eliminated first, Hacksaw Jim Duggan second, the Big Bossman third, and that will leave Hogan four-on-one at the end of the bout.

Bret Hart (0-1-2) defeats the Honky Tonk Man (w/Jimmy Hart) (0-0-1) with a schoolboy roll up at 10:09 shown:

This is a coming out party for Bret, who had two singles pushes scuttled in 1988 and 1989.  Even though the WWF abandoned plans for the Hart Foundation to drop the tag team titles to the Rockers, the match signals that the WWF sees future value in him as he goes toe-to-toe with a former Intercontinental champion and wins.  The match is average as Honky slows down his parts, contrasting with Bret’s quick attacks and energy.  Jimmy Hart hops on the apron after Bret delivers a backbreaker but that backfires when Bret pushes Honky into his manager and rolls him up.  Bret gets a massive pop for his win too.  Rating:  **

Mooney chats with the Million Dollar Team.  Honky accuses Bret of cheating in the last bout, while Ted DiBiase puts over how the mystery partner, he is bringing in will give them an edge.  For whatever reason, Greg Valentine is directed to cut a promo on Koko B. Ware and he is not up to the job, failing to put together a coherent set of thoughts.

Okerlund interviews the Dream Team, who argue that they will survive regardless of who DiBiase brings to Survivor Series.  Dusty brings the comedy by going through all of the characteristics that DiBiase’s mystery man could have.  Bret does a good bit about how he won a battle on tonight’s show and the Dream Team will win the war on pay-per-view.

Okerlund talks with the Warriors.  The Texas Tornado warns Mr. Perfect that he will not be able to run away since the Legion of Doom and the Ultimate Warrior are around.

Non-Title Match:  The Texas Tornado (Intercontinental Champion) (14-0) pins Smash (2-0) via disqualification when Mr. Perfect and Demolition interfere at 7:41:

In the early part of the match it seems like the Tornado thinks he is in an actual fight, not selling Smash’s offense and going to town with a bevy of punches.  Smash also takes the discus punch but does not go down, causing the Tornado to throw him over the top rope and awkwardly slam him on the floor.  Smash eventually settles to work the arm but the Tornado locks in the claw out of nowhere.  He refuses to release it when prompted by the referee, so Smash hits him to finally get a break.  After that, Mr. Perfect comes in and the rest of Demolition follow to create a disqualification, although it takes the referee about twenty seconds to officially throw the match out.  This bout was bowling shoe ugly.  Rating:  ½*

It takes a while after the bell for the Legion of Doom to make the save as they do not hit the ring until after the Tornado has been floored with Demolition Decapitation.  Then, the Ultimate Warrior follows after the hard work has been done.

Mooney interviews the Perfect Team, with Perfect saying he was justified in coming to the ring because Smash is on his Survivor Series team and he is the team captain.  Demolition talk about how they look forward to breaking necks in the elimination match.

The Last Word:  The interesting thing about the team promos on this show is that it exposed who had gifts on the mic and who did not since each wrestler was prompted to participate.  The show did what it could to hype Survivor Series, but the company lacks a lot of compelling feuds because the heels have not had a lot of opportunities in the last few months to get heat.  For example, Demolition have only been able to lay out the Legion of Doom and the Texas Tornado in the last couple of weeks but before that they were only vanquishing jobbers and doing little to get their heel act over.

Up Next:  Survivor Series 1990!