WWF Survivor Series 1988
by Scrooge McSuck
- I'm going to forgo a long, drawn-out introduction for this one. We're live from the Richfield Coliseum for the second straight year, with Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura calling the action.
- The Ultimate Warrior (Co-Captain), Brutus Beefcake (Co-Captain), The Blue Blazer, Sam Houston, Jim Brunzell vs. The Honkytonk Man (Co-Captain), Ron Bass (Co-Captain), Greg Valentine, Bad News Brown, Danny Davis:
The major programs going on for this one were between Warrior/Honky over the Intercontinental Title, and Beefcake/Bass, a direct link to the previous mentioned angle. Brunzell is filling in for a recently departed Don Muraco, and darn it if the face team doesn't look like JTTS hell. Beefcake and Valentine start the match trading rights. Davis tags in and he stomps away on the Barber. Irish whip is reversed, and Beefcake catches Davis in a sleeper hold, and that's that for Dangerous Danny at 1:17.
Valentine comes back in and he connects with a series of elbows to the side of the head of Beefcake, followed by a headbutt to the midsection. Hammer works over the leg of Beefcake, but a Figure-Four attempt is blocked, and Beefcake fights back. The Blue Blazer tags in and comes off the ropes with a double axehandle followed by a head scissors takedown. Blazer applies an armbar, then tags in Brunzell who continues working over the arm. Valentine escapes and takes down Brunzell with a slam, but misses an elbow drop. Irish whip, and Brunzell connects with a dropkick. Brown tags in quick and pounds away on Brunzell. Brunzell attempts making a comeback, but Brown shrugs him off and sends Brunzell to the canvas courtesy of the Ghetto Blaster at 5:12.
Beefcake comes in and works the arm of Brown. Houston tags in and does the same. Brown doesn't take a licking from Houston for long and pounds him into next week. Valentine tags in and we get heel miscommunication. In this occasion, it's Valentine hitting Brown with a clothesline. The heels argue for a while until Brown decides he doesn't want to play anymore, and takes the intentional count-out at 7:49.
Houston with a surprise roll up on Valentine gets a two count. Valentine blocks a sunset flip and in comes Ron Bass. Scoop slam and elbow drop for a two count on Houston. Houston with a surprise roll up (again) for another two count. Bass boots Houston and kills him with a clothesline. Irish whip, and Houston comes off the ropes with a cross body for a two count. Bass keeps pounding Houston silly, and a powerslam is finally enough to send Houston back to the showers at 10:11.
Warrior comes in for the first time of the night, and cleans house. Clothesline to Bass and some choking on the Honkytonk Man. Powerslam to Bass, and the Blazer comes off the top with a splash for a two count. Honky tags in and walks into a cross body, for a two count. Blazer with a monkey flip and dropkick. Valentine tags in and walks right into a monkey flip, too. Blazer heads to the top rope, but Honky shoves him off. Valentine recovers and forces the Blazer to submit to the Figure-Four at 12:24.
Beefcake comes in and gets hammered on by Valentine (no pun intended). Bass tags in and connects with a knee to the chest followed by a headbutt. Honky comes in to continue pounding away on Beefcake. He continues playing face-in-peril before countering the Shake, Rottle, & Roll with a back drop. Bass and Honky continue tagging in and out to work over the Barber with generic crap. Beefcake fights back on Honky and applies the Sleeper Hold, but the action spills out of the ring, and both men brawl until being counted-out at 15:41.
Valentine and Bass double team the Warrior and put him down with a double clothesline. Valentine with an elbow drop for a one count. Warrior starts his version of hulking-up and cleans house of both men. Warrior dumps Valentine from the ring, and a charging axehandle is enough to pin Bass at 17:25. Valentine recovers in time to fall victim to the same fate, and the Warrior is the sole survivor at 17:49. ** A decent match for the most part, but too many moments of dead action and an unimpressive collection of performers makes this one a little bit of a chore to sit through at times. Warrior going over was in no way a surprise, and the finish was just kinda thrown together. In a lame fantasy booking, why not sacrifce Valentine and Bass to be counted-out with Warrior (lame booking, but it's WWF), leaving Honky going over Beefcake to win the match, since Honky kinda needed a big win to continue looking like he had a chance with Warrior during their house show runs at the time?
The Powers of Pain (Captains), The Rockers, The Hart Foundation, The Young Stallions, The British Bulldogs vs. Demolition (Captains), The Brain Busters, The Bolsheviks, Los Conquistadors, The Fabulous Rogeau Brothers (w/ Bobby Heenan, Mr. Fuji, Jimmy Hart):
I'm not sure, but this collection of tag teams might be more impressive than the year before. Yeah, we've got the Conquistador jobbers in there, but out goes the NEW Dream Team and in comes the Brain Busters. So long Killer Bees, welcome in the Rockers. Other than the Foundation/Rougeaus, I don't think any of these teams had anything going on at the time, so let's see what happens. Much like last year, with 20-men involved, it's going to be a bitch to keep up with for the first 15-minutes or so. Davey Boy and a Conquistador start the match, with DBS getting the upper-hand. Jacques tags in to pound away on Davey Boy, but he falls victim to a press slam. Michaels and Volkoff in next, with Volkoff taking control. Michaels fights back against Zhukov and tags in Jannetty. Ax tags in to pound on him and Arn Anderson comes in and is quickly felled with with a back drop and dropkick. Blanchard tags in to exchange blows with Jannetty. Jannetty with an atomic block followed by a dropkick. Jacques comes in and misses a cross body. Dynamite Kid tags in and connects with a snap suplex. Jim Powers and Raymond Rougeau go at it now, and Dynamite tags back in to take control. Powers is back in there with Zhukov and drops the big man with a dropkick. Smash is in for the first time and boots Powers in the mouth. Jacques is in and connects with a dropkick. Bret Hart is next in line and quickly small packages Raymond for the three count at 5:22.
Volkoff enters next and gets worked over by Bret. Paul Roma comes off the top rope with an axehandle. Smash tags in and trades blows with Neidhart. The Barbarian tags in and pounds away on Smash. Smash no-sells and pounds away on the Barbarian. A Conquistador is in next and does generic jobber stuff. Barbarian boots him in the face and the Warlord comes in to work him over good. Bret tags in and goes at it with Smash. Ax tags in for some Demolition double-teaming. Bret fights back against Ax, but runs into a boot. Blanchard is in and dorps an elbow on Bret. Ax and Michaels tag in, with Michaels becoming a bitch of Ax and Smash. Smash catches Michaels' cross body attempt, and it's an 8-person beating on Michaels, the first of his career. Volkoff tags in and press slams Michaels into a back breaker for a two count. Blanchard tags in and both Busters work over Michaels. Anderson connects with his signature spinebuster for a two count. Conquistador tags in and hammers away. Jannetty gets the hot tag and he hammers away on the Conquistador. Conquistador #2 tags in and gets some of the same. Volkoff is in again and the heels just kind turn the tide. Roma is in to hammer on Volkoff, and now it's Davey Boy. Blanchard tags in to drop some elbows on Smith. The Warlord and a Conquistador pair up, and we know who wins that exchange. Ax tags in to no-sell with the Warlord. Smash in now to do some of the same. The Barbarian tags back in to work over Smash. Blanchard comes in and drops an axehandle, but that's no sold and Barb' press-slams him into the next galaxy. Neidhart comes in and connects with a powerslam for a two count. Dynamite tags in and kills Blanchard with a clothesline. Anderson tags in and he boots Dynamite to the canvas. Conquistador tags in to punch away, and in comes Zhukov. He plants Dynamite with a powerslam. Powers tags in and hammers away. He tries a cross body from the top, but Zhukov rolls through and a three count later sends the Young Stallions packing at 15:20.
Michaels comes in and hammers away on Zhukov. A fist drop from the second rope only gets a two count. Barbarian tags in and connects with a diving shoulder tackle. Blanchard tags in, then tags right back out to Volkoff. Barbarian pounds him into jelly, too. Ax tags in and hammers away on the midsection of Barbarian. Conquistador tags in to punch some more, then tags out to Volkoff, who walks into a big boot. Michaels hammers away on Volkoff, and Jannetty comes in with a surprise sunset flip for the three count at 18:09, eliminating the Bolsheviks.
Smash comes in to pound away on Jannetty. Conquistador tags in and gets rolled up for a two count. Conquistador #2 tags in and takes control. Smash is back in and he continues to work over Jannetty with his usual offense. Ax tags in and plants Jannetty with a scoop slam. Anderson tags in and gets introduced to the canvas, face first. Davey Boy tags in and has an exchange with Blanchard. Here comes Smash again to pound on Davey Boy, taking him over with a snapmare and applying a chinlock, the first resthold of the match. The Conquistador take turns pounding away on Davey, but he comes back and tags out to the Anvil. The Foundation connect with a modified Demolition Decapitation on a Conquistador for a two count. Michaels comes in with a dropkick, and quickly tags out to Jannetty. He connects with an back elbow, and in comes Dynamite Kid with a snap suplex and second rope knee drop for a two count. Dynamite with a back breaker for another two count. Barbarian comes in with a vicious clothesline followed by a powerslam and elbow drop. Barbarian with a headbutt, but that sends the Conquistador to his corner, and tags in Blanchard. He cheats like hell to take control, and in comes Ax to pound Barbie to the ground. Ax and Smash nail him into the canvas, and Smash reintroduces my favorite move to the match, the chinlock. The heels take turns tagging in and out to work over the Barbarian. Ax tags in and models himself after Smash, doing the snapmare and chinlock. Barbarian finally mounts his comeback, booting Anderson and tagging out to Jannetty. He comes in with a dropkick, followed by an elbow drop. Neidhart tags in and pummels Anderson, but gets nailed from the apron and Blanchard comes in with a cross body for a two count. Neidhart blocks a suplex and performs his own. Bret comes in, connecting with a back breaker. German suplex by Bret, but he ends up pinning himself at 27:03, and that's enough for the Hart Foundation.
Dynamite Kid comes in quickly and plants Blanchard with a tombstone piledriver for a two count. Double shoulder block from the British Bulldogs on Blanchard. Michaels tags in and gets booted in the face by Blanchard, and both men tag out to their respective partners. Anderson and Jannetty go at it like caged animals, and now Michaels and Blanchard return to the action for some intense brawling! Both teams ignore the referee's orders and are both Disqualified at 27:59, kicking off their on-again, off-again feud that involved a lot of random brawls.
Smash and Dynamite come in to return order to the match, and once again Smash is showing off his favorite combination of moves, snapmare-chinlock. We catch a glimpse of the Rockers and Busters still brawling up the aisle. Smash continues working over DK, but is sent to the canvas with a back elbow. Conquistador tags in and connects with a running knee lift. Conquistador #2 is next and he puts DK down with a scoop slam. He goes to the top but misses a senton splash. Warlord gets the tag and he and the Barbarian work over the Conquistador with their power stuff. Davey Boy comes in and connects with his special vertical suplex for a two count. Ax tags in and gets caught in a crucifix pinning combination for a two count. Ax hammers away on Davey Boy, and Smash tags in. Davey nails him with a headbutt, and in comes DK with a series of forearms and a jaw breaker. Ax tags back in and exchange blows with DK before being taken down with a snap suplex. Conquistador comes in and gets planted with a DBS powerslam. Barbarian with a headbutt, but Conquistador falls into his corner again, and tags out to Ax. Lockup, and the Barbarian controls. Smash tags in and tosses Barbie out of the ring. Conquistador stomps away on hiim and connects with a dropkick. Davey Boy is back in and a back elbow puts Conquistador down for a two count. DK with a gutwrench suplex for another two count, followed by a headbutt. Warlord tags in and pounds him into jelly. Smash tags in and runs into a Dynamite Kid boot. Dynamite to the top, but he misses a diving headbutt, and Smash connects with a clothesline for the three count at 36:02.
The Barbarian comes in and hammers away on Smash, then one of the Conquistadors. Warlord sends him to the corner, but misses a charge and posts himself. Ax comes in with a snapmare and axehandles across the back. Smash comes in and does the same, working over the Warlord's arm now, for whatever reason. I guess he got bored with the chinlock. The Conquistadors take turns beating on the Warlord, and in comes Ax to show off his specialty: an armbar! Smash tags in and headbutts the shoulder of the Warlord. Smash works over the Warlord as Mr. Fuji jumps on the apron, yelling stuff at Smash. Smash attempts to bounce off the ropes, but Fuji pulls them down, causing Smash to fall to the floor and be counted-out at 39:34. Ax and Fuji argue, leading to Fuji smacking Ax across the back with his cane. Smash recovers to grab Fuji from behind, throwing him into the arms of Ax, getting slammed on the floor. The Powers of Pain come over to help Fuji up, and get cheered for it. The Conquistadors mount a mild offensive outburst, before one gets tripped by Fuji and Barbarian drops a headbutt for the three count at 42:13. After the match, Demolition return to the ring to clean house of the Powers of Pain, in the process officially turning babyface. Demolition, for the longest time, were getting some "cool heel" babyface reactions, so this turn wasn't too much of a surprise, I'd assume. **** Pretty much for the same reasons as the year before. Just non-stop action that showcased the depth of the WWF tag team division. It seems that since 2001, the WWE has had a hard time maintaining more than 5-6 tag teams at a time across several "brands" compared to having 10+ with just weekly syndicated shows.
- Jake Roberts (Co-Captain), Jim Duggan (Co-Captain), Tito Santana, Ken Patera, Scott Casey vs. Andre The Giant (Co-Captain), Dino Bravo (Co-Captain), Rick Rude, Curt Hennig, Harley Race (w/ Bobby Heenan & Frenchy Martin):
I'm not looking forward to this match. Roberts/Andre was the headline feud of the match, stemming from an episode of SNME where Roberts almost gave Andre a heart-attack by tossing Damian on him. Duggan and Bravo had an issue too, but after that, filler filler filler. Scott Casey, a notable weekend jobber, is subbing for Brian Blair, who was subbing on Junkyard Dog to begin with. Talk about digging deep to fill out the card. Patera and Rude start. Lockup, and Patera shoves Rude off. Bravo tags in and applies a side headlock. Hennig tags in and connects with a double axehandle. Roberts tags in and works the wristlock before tagging out to Santana, who works the arm as well. Hennig catches Santana with an elbow to the side of the head, and tags back out to Bravo. Roberts comes in to hammer away on Bravo before tagging out to Casey, who is quickly over-matched by Bravo. Race tags in and connects with a belly-to-belly suplex, followed by a knee drop. Rude tags in and connects with a scoop slam for a two count. Hennig is back in and he drops Casey with a clothesline. Casey fights back and tags out to Santana, who quickly tags in Patera. Irish whip and double back elbow to Hennig. Duggan tags in for the first time and pounds away on Hennig, following up with a clothesline. Casey tags back in and connects with a scoop slam, but is quickly in trouble again. Rude tags in and connects with a clothesline. A Charge to the corner misses, and Santana comes back in with a diving elbow for a two count. Patera tags in and stomps away at Rude, followed by a scoop slam and suplex for a two count. Patera misses a charge, and the Rude Awakening sends Patera to the showers at 8:19. Casey comes in to get pounded on, and Andre works him over from the apron. Race with a dropkick and elbow drop. Bravo tags in, and a side suplex from him ends Casey's night at 9:30, knocking Roberts' team down a 5-on-3 disadvantage.
Santana comes in and hammers away on Bravo. Hennig tags in and gets worked over as well. Santana with a series of forearms and a small package for a two count. Duggan tags in and gets a boot to his face upon entrance. Hennig stomps away on Duggan, and Andre nails him with a headbutt from the apron. Rude comes in and works over Duggan with some boring crap. Duggan comes back with a clothesline, and both men are down. Santana and Race get the tags in, with Santana taking control. Bravo tags in and gets caught with a cross body for a two count. Race tags back in and connects with a piledriver for a two count. Race with a clothesline for another two count. Race misses another, and Santana bounces off the ropes with the Flying Jalupeno for a three count at 13:19. Andre comes in for the first time of the match and chokes away. Andre with a series of sit-down splashes on Santana. More choking from Andre! Santana tries a sunset flip, but Andre just turns him into tortilla dip, and the three count is academic at 14:42.
Duggan comes in with a clothesline to Andre, and that ties the big man up in the ropes. Roberts and Duggan take turns taking advantage of Andre's situation. Andre escapes and beats on Roberts before tagging out to the Rude, who works Roberts over pretty good. Hennig comes in to put the boots on him now, and continues the beating with some nasty chops. Andre helps from the apron by beating the tar out of Roberts, as well. Bravo comes in to continue the heat segment, but nothing of note is really going on, as obvious by my lack of comments. Roberts with a short-arm clothesline, but Rude breaks up the DDT attempt. Bravo connects with a jumping piledriver for a two count. Duggan eventually gets the hot tag and hammers away on Bravo. Frenchy Martin prevents Duggan from hitting his clothesline, so Duggan grabs his 2x4 and nails Bravo with it, drawing the Disqualification at 21:12, and now it's a 4-on-1 against Roberts.
Hennig and Roberts go toe-to-toe again, with Roberts gaining the upper hand. Hennig applies a wristlock, but Roberts counters and connects with a knee lift. Bravo tags in and wants a test of strength, winning that of course. Roberts fights back and goes for the DDT, but Bravo counters with a back drop. Rude tags in and we get some mind games from Roberts, which involves nothing going on for a good minute or so. Rude with a rake of the eyes and rams Roberts to the buckle. The remaining heels on the apron take turns making Roberts their prison bitch. Rude slaps Roberts around, who is just dead on his feet at this point. Rude with a scoop slam, and he applies a bearhug for whatever reason, eating up a few minutes. Rude gets arrogant with each passing move he hits Roberts with, but Roberts musters up the strength to surprise Rude with a yank of the tights and DDT for the three count at 28:47.
Andre comes in and attacks from behind, choking away at him in the corner. This goes on for a good 30-seconds until the referee finally decides, hey, you didn't break my 5-count for 20 seconds, so I'm disqualifying you. Andre is gone at 29:34. Roberts is down and out, so I guess Andre got the job done. Hennig comes in, covers, and Roberts is eliminated at 30:01, making Hennig and Dino Bravo the Survivors. *1/2 Incredibly boring match that should've been shaved down by about 10-minutes. I know you have to get over the "Roberts is in an up-hill battle against 4 quality opponents" thing, but you could've easily gotten rid of the matches dead weight in the opening minutes here. Really, it was Scott Casey and a 6-years past relevance Ken Patera!
- Randy Savage (Co-Captain), Hulk Hogan (Co-Captain), Hercules, Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Big Boss Man (Co-Captain), Akeem (Co-Captain), Ted Dibiase, King Haku, The Red Rooster (w/ Bobby Heenan, Slick, Virgil):
The main issue here was the on-going saga between the Mega Powers and the Twin Towers. In a minor feud, Hercules had issues with Dibiase during the whole "slave" angle that really went nowhere, did nothing for Hercules, and dropped Dibiase down the card. Savage and Dibiase start the match, which means any combination after this will be a downgrade. They lockup and Savage applies a side headlock. Dibiase counters and connects with a series of rights. Dibiase misses a charge to the corner and Savage hammers away with jabs, followed by a clothesline. Hercules tags in and of course, Dibiase runs away. The Rooster tags in to put the boots to Hercules, and connects with a jaw breaker. Hercules blocks the sharpshooter and hits the absolute worst clothesline I have ever seen. Ware tags in and connects with a headbutt, but then runs into a Rooster boot. The Birdman vs. The Rooster! Now that's a main event program if I've ever heard one. Akeem tags in and he murders Koko with his fat-ness. Haku comes in and chops away, then plants Koko with a scoop slam. Hercules tags back in and pounds away on Haku. Hogan tags in for the first time and unloads a series of rights, followed by a clothesline and several elbow drops. Hogan tags in Hillbilly Jim, and they double boot Haku for a two count. Rooster comes back in to take a beating. Ware hammers away on him and connects with a missile dropkick. Hogan tags in, automatically Hulked Up, and beats the piss out of the Rooster. Big boot and scoop slam, tag to Savage, and a top rope elbow drop sends the Rooster back to the farm at 6:11.
Savage and Hogan take turns beating up on Haku, now. Haku connects wth a dropkick on Hogan, then stomps away. Hogan comes back with a clothesline in the corner, and now Hercules is in, dropping a series of elbows for a two count. Side headlock by Hercules, but Haku escapes and tags out to Akeem. He pounds away on Hercules with sledges, then plants him with a scoop slam. Akeem misses an elbow drop, and in comes Hillbilly Jim for the worst pairing off in the match. He punches and kicks at Akeem, but ends up getting squashed in the corner. Akeem with a clothesline, and the 747 splash finishes Hillbilly Jim off at 9:55.
Ware comes back in and comes off the ropes with a dropkick, followed by a series of roundhouse rights. Hogan tags in and sends Akeem to the buckle. Savage tags in and comes off the top rope with a double axehandle, followed by a series of running elbows. Hercules tags in and pounds away at Akeem, alternating with lefts and rights. Ware comes in, connects with a dropkick, but misses a charge that he's never connected with. Boss Man finally makes his first appearance of the match, and disposes of Ware with the Sidewalk Slam at 11:46.
Hogan comes in for the much-anticipated face-off with the Boss Man, and gets his eyes raked for his troubles. Hogan no sells that of course and connects with a clothesline. Big boot and scoop slam, by Hogan. Hogan bounces off the ropes and runs right into the waiting arms of Boss Man, becoming a victim of a vicious spine buster. Akeem tags in and drops an elbow, who in turn tags out to Haku, and works over Hogan with his faux-karate. Boss Man comes back in to put the boots to Hogan and connects with his splash across the back, followed by some choking. Dibiase tags in and hammers away on Hogan, dropping a series of fist drops for a two count. Hogan mounts his comeback and tags out to Hercules, who pounds away at his master. Hercules with a running knee lift and clothesline. Virgil distracts Hercules, allowing Dibiase to roll him up for the three count at 16:36. Dibiase talks smack to the departing Hercules, which allows Savage to sneak up on him and roll Dibiase up for the three count at 16:57.
Haku comes in with a knee lift and series of forearms, but misses a headbutt, and Savage takes him down with a drop toe hold. Hogan tags in and is quickly dropped with a reverse crescent kick. Boss Man tags in and hammers away on Hogan, then slams him for a two count. Akeem comes in with some clubbering, and Haku tags back in, connecting with a suplex for a two count. Haku works Hogan over some more with chops and the vulcan neck pinch. Boss Man tags back in... eventually, and catches Hogan off the ropes with a sidewalk slam. Boss Man to the top rope, missing a splash. Hogan makes the hot tag to Savage, and he hits everything moving before being tripped by Slick. Boss Man applies a bearhug, while outside the ring, Slick goes after Elizabeth. Hogan makes the save and gets ambushed by Akeem. Boss Man follows out for some double team punishment, and handcuffing Hogan outside the ring, to the bottom rope. In all the chaos the Boss Man has been counted out at 23:17. Boss Man beats on Hogan with his nightstick while Savage continues to exchange blows with Haku, inside the ring. Akeem gets back in the action and Savage nails him with an axehandle. Boss Man comes in the ring and attacks Savage with a nightstick, and eventually Akeem is Disqualified at 25:07, either for excessive double-teaming or illegal participation from an eliminated Boss Man, take your pick. Lame either way. Akeem connects with a big splash on Savage before leaving the ring.
Haku continues pounding away on Savage while Slick taunts Hogan with the keys. Heenan and Slick both get knocked out somehow, allowing Elizabeth take the keys from Slick and unlocking Hogan from his prison. Haku continues the beating and connects with a splash for a two count. Haku with a reverse kick, but the momentum knocks Savage back into his corner, making the unintentional hot tag to Hogan, and we all know where this is going. Hogan with a series of rights, big boot, scoop slam, and the leg drop is all that remains, making Hogan and Savage the Survivors at 29:10. Afterwards, tension is teased as Savage gives Hogan some unfriendly glances during the celebration involving Elizabeth. ** Match isn't very good from a technical point-of-view, but it's a fun match. The lame eliminations of the Twin Towers made me knock the rating down a bit, and the match could've done with about 5-minutes or so shaved from it.
Final Thoughts: Not quite as good as the previous years Survivor Series. The 10-Tag Team match was great again, but the main event seemed lacking, the opener came across as weak with a predictable out-come, and the match involving Roberts and Andre was just drop-dead boring. The matches that were "good" are still enough to give this a Mild Recommendation, but you'll notice a trend in the quality of these shows dipping as the years progress.