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WWF Survivor Series Showdown '92: DIRECTOR'S CUT
by Scrooge McSuck
- Courtesy of the WWE Network's "Hidden Gems" section, we're treated to not only the broadcast version of the Prime-Time Special "Survivor Series Showdown" but included is footage from the same taping that was never used on television. Sit back, as we revisit the Survivor Series Showdown and tackle some lost "classics" as we celebrate Thanksgivin' Thumpin'.
- Razor Ramon and Ric Flair cut a promo on "The Perfect Team." Ric Flair seems extra worked up over Mr. Perfect's betrayal, while Razor is a little more subdued.
Tatanka vs. Repo Man:
Lockup into the corner and a (surprisingly) clean break. It doesn't take Repo long to get a cheap shot in at some point, though. Whip to the ropes and Tatanka comes back with a hip toss, followed by a pair of dropkicks. Inset promo from Rick Martel, calling Tatanka "Buffalo breath." Tatanka works the arm as Heenan and Monsoon push the card at Survivor Series. Repo blocks a sunset flip but punches the canvas and gets rolled up for two. Tatanka misses a blind body press, finally making way for Repo Man to get some offense, mostly consisting of an arm-bar. Tatanka rallies with chops. He plants Repo with a slam and comes off the top with a chop to the top of the head for two. Repo hangs onto the ropes to block a roll-up attempt. Tatanka ducks a clothesline and finishes with the Fallaway Slam at 7:44. One-sided match for Tatanka to get fan hyped for his match with Martel at Survivor Series. ¾*
- Recap of the events that place on the November 16th episode of Prime-Time Wrestling, where Randy Savage drove a wedge between Mr. Perfect and his former associates (Flair, Ramon, and Bobby Heenan), leading to Perfect's babyface turn and accepting the offer to team with Savage at Survivor Series.
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund is standing by with comments from Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect. Savage says it was a Zillion-to-1 shot to get Perfect to be his partner. Perfect says Heenan is "Brain Dead" and puts himself over as the greatest Superstar in WWF history, which Savage takes offense too. Perfect tells Savage to hold up his end of the deal and says there's only one Mr. Perfect, and that isn't Ric Flair.
Marty Jannetty vs. The Brooklyn Brawler:
Jannetty made his return to WWF television on the October 31st episode of Superstars and is in prime position to pick up where he left off, feuding with Shawn Michaels. Jannetty isn't on the Survivor Series card, but this was important enough of an angle to get him on this show. Heenan is still fuming over what happened with Perfect. Lockup and Brawler pulls the hair to yank Jannetty down to the canvas. Meanwhile, the mysterious unnamed Clown is wandering in the audience. Jannetty goes to work on the arm. Brawler with a boot to the chest and a series of forearms. Whip is reversed and after a lengthy crisscross, Jannetty takes him over with a hip toss, followed by a deep arm drag into the arm bar. Jannetty with a hang-up across the top rope and a modified sunset flip for two. Brawler with a thumb to the eyes. Whip to the ropes and Jannetty with a powerslam, followed by a Super-Kick. Jannetty with a hurricanrana and series of mounted rights. He climbs the ropes and hits the flying fist drop for three at 4:58. No reason this had to go 5-minutes, but it could've been worse.
- Shawn Michaels joins the "broadcast position" to give us insight into his winning the Intercontinental Championship...
WWF Intercontinental Championship Match:
The British Bulldog (c) vs. Shawn Michaels:
From the November 14th episode of Saturday Night's Main Event
. New commentary from Monsoon, Heenan, and Michaels is dubbed over. It seems like Michaels has been promoted for most of 1992 as the #1 contender to the Intercontinental Title. Lockup and Bulldog throws Shawn on his ass. Shawn with a side headlock, but a shoulder tackle does nothing. Shawn with a flip and hip toss into a short-arm scissors. Bulldog lifts Michaels off the canvas, with the hold applied, and slams him down to break. Whip and Bulldog with a press slam, followed by a clothesline, sending Michaels over and out. Back inside, Michaels goes for a leg sweep, but Bulldog escapes and goes to work on the arm. Bulldog comes out of the corner with a shoulder tackle. He tries it again, but Michaels side-steps him, sending the Bulldog out of the ring. Michaels undoes a turnbuckle pad while we wait for Bulldog to get back inside. Michaels with a snap mare and knees to the back. He slaps on the abdominal stretch, but he's too far from the ropes to use them for leverage! Bulldog escapes with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop. Michaels pounds the back and goes back to the stretch. Bulldog escapes again, fakes Michaels out, and drops the elbow. He plants Michaels face-first to the canvas and lays him out with a clothesline. Slingshot into the corner and another clothesline for two. Bulldog with the delayed vertical suplex for two. Whip is reversed and Bulldog hits the exposed buckle. Bulldog crotches Michaels along the top rope and goes for a super-plex, but the back gives out, with Michaels landing on top for the three-count and his 1st Intercontinental Title at 10:26. This would be the last we see of Davey Boy Smith for nearly two years, but more on that in a little bit. Good match. ***
Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee) vs. Red Tyler:
Kamala faces the Undertaker in a Coffin Match at Survivor Series, with all the build being Kamala is terrified of coffins. They really loved that trope, didn't they? "We may be looking at Kamala for the last time." Not likely, Gorilla. Kamala dances, smacking his belly. He lays into Tyler with chops and hits him with a side kick to the chest. Tyler gets dropped across the top rope and Kamala with choking. Whip across the ring and Kamala with a belly-bop. Heenan has zero faith in Kamala winning at the Survivor Series. If this were a Jungle Match, maybe he'd have a chance. Monsoon claims that Paul Bearer is going to drill small holes in the coffin for creatures to easily make their way in. Whip and Kamala with a "spinning thrust kick." He covers, but Tyler is on his stomach. Kamala with a double chop and splash, and eventually he makes a proper cover for three at 3:27. Standard Kamala squash.
Highlights of all the vignettes featuring the Undertaker custom-making a coffin large enough for Kamala.
- Recap of Money Inc. regaining the Tag Team Championship from the Natural Disasters, woven together with Jimmy Hart's betrayal of the Nasty Boys, turning them (The Nasty Boys) babyface in the process. Has anyone ever mentioned how awful of a decision it was to make THE NATURAL DISASTERS babyfaces in 1992?
Earthquake vs. Irwin R. Schyster (w/ Jimmy Hart):
Earthquake and I.R.S. will be on opposite teams at Survivor Series in an 8-Man Tag, also featuring the teams of the Nasty Boys (teamed with the Natural Disasters) and Beverly Brothers (with Money Inc.). I.R.S. tries to grab an overhead wristlock, but Quake throws him down with ease. Quake with a pair of headlocks and shoulder tackles, then clears Irwin out with clotheslines. Irwin gets a boot up to counter an avalanche and hops on Earthquake's back with a sleeper. Earthquake escapes and catches I.R.S. off the ropes with a bear-hug. I've said it before, and I'll continue to say it... it's hard to get sympathy for a babyface that's twice the size of his opponent. Quake with an atomic drop that sends Irwin over the top rope. Ted Dibiase and Typhoon make their way to ringside as Earthquake continues to dominate. I.R.S. rolls away from an elbow and drops the leg across the midsection. Chin-lock applied, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. I.R.S. with three elbow drops for two. Quake makes another comeback, preventing I.R.S. from escaping by stepping on the tie. He misses a charge but won't give Irwin more than 30-seconds of offense unless it's a chin-lock. Whip to the ropes, Quake with a clothesline and elbow drop. He goes for the Vertical Splash but Dibiase trips him up for the Disqualification at 11:11. Post-match, Typhoon chases the nogoodniks away. Babyface Earthquake sucked, and I.R.S. isn't the man to get a thing out of him. ¼*
- Money Inc. and The Beverly Brothers are backstage, making blind jokes about Earthquake. I don't think vision issues played into the match. The Genius is lurking around in the background in what has to be one of his final appearances on WWF television.
Big Boss Man vs. Barry Horowitz:
The Boss Man faces his arch nemesis Nailz in a "Nightstick on a Pole Match" at Survivor Series. I'm sure two or three people were looking forward to that one. We get highlights of Nailz's debut, ambushing the Boss Man... 6 MONTHS AGO. How the hell did they milk this feud for so long?! Horowitz taunts the crowd by patting himself on the back. Horowitz with a drop toe hold into a headlock, but Boss Man easily counters with a hammerlock. Horowitz with an elbow to the side of the head. Boss Man knocks Horowitz down and stomps the hands, sending him to the outside for a breather. Back inside, Boss Man grinds the neck with a headlock and uses the hair to block an escape. Whip to the corner and Boss Man misses a charge into the corner. Horowitz tries working the arm but the Boss Man Slam finishes at 3:28. Post-match, Boss Man handcuffs Horowitz, but is kind enough not to brutalize him.
- Nailz is standing by to cut a promo on the Boss Man inside the empty arena and spits all over the camera lens. I feel sorry for the man holding the camera.
- Sean Mooney is standing by with the official Survivor Series Report. Bret Hart defends the WWF Championship against the Intercontinental Champion, Shawn Michaels... Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect take on Ric Flair and Razor Ramon... The Undertaker faces Kamala in a Coffin Match... Big Boss Man meets Nailz in a Nightstick on a Pole Match... The Natural Disasters and Nasty Boys face Money Inc. and the Beverly Brothers in an Elimination Match... Tatanka goes one-on-one with "The Model" Rick Martel... High Energy take on The Headshrinkers... Yokozuna has issued an open contract for singles competition.
The Headshrinkers (w/ Afa) vs. Randy Fox & Royce Royal:
As mentioned in the Survivor Series Report, the Headshrinkers have signed on to meet the team of High Energy, "The Rocket" Owen Hart and "The Birdman" Koko B. Ware. The Headshrinkers were credited in costing the Natural Disasters the Tag Team Titles, but that feud died immediately when Earthquake gave notice shortly after shooting the angle. No entrance shown for the Headshrinkers. They've got bamboo sticks that were dropped not long after debuting for the company. BREAKING NEWS: SHAWN MICHAELS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING. Samu and Fatu attack the opposition, and Royal is so much a geek he doesn't even know how to get thrown out of the ring. Whip and a double body press sending Fox into orbit. The Clown is now wandering around in the entrance aisle. Whip and Samu with a face-buster, followed by a gut-wrench suplex. BREAKING NEWS: Yokozuna will face Virgil at Survivor Series. Fatu in with some biting. Did he just pick his nose and rub it on Fox's teeth? EW! I can't imagine Fatu doing anything else disgusting with his body. Royal hops over the top rope and immediately eats a Super-Kick. Fatu with a powerslam. Double face-buster and flying splash finishes the poor bastard at 3:20. Headshrinkers squashes were always a good time.
- Vince McMahon is on location for a special interview with the NEW WWF Champion, Bret Hart. We relive SummerSlam where Bret lost the Intercontinental Title to his brother-in-law, the British Bulldog. He has no excuses for the loss, and he had to ask himself "is this how high I go?" The first thing he thought about was another match with the Bulldog. Before he could slay that beast, he was granted the opportunity to face Ric Flair for the WWF Championship, and was able to walk away the WWF Champion (a match that was never shown on WWF TV but would be featured on Coliseum Video a few months later). Bret Hart has proven to be a fighting Champion, taking on all comers of different sizes and styles, like the Berzerker, the Mountie, Virgil, and Papa Shango. It's always been his dream to be the Champion, and he wanted to be the people's Champion, someone that doesn't hide behind the belt. The belt says you're the best in the world, and you must prove it every time you step in the ring. He doesn't have the 24" arms, he's not the strongest or the baddest, he's simply the best technical wrestler, and being a good wrestler means more than any of the other categories. A little long (about 10-minutes), but a good, personable segment to establish Hart's role as the WWF Champion going forward and make him an every-man's Champion.
- The Undertaker cuts a promo from inside a coffin to close out the original broadcast version of the show.
Final Thoughts; Part 1: As far as the original broadcast version of the Survivor Series Showdown is concerned, the wrestling was sub-par, and most of the matches are either thrown together with little backstory, are cold programs, or filler. Every segment did something to promote the Survivor Series, which is the key for such a special, but man, the WWF was in such a slump around this time. As good as the Perfect face turn was, it was a sudden thing and replaced the only match on the card with heat and expectations. This might be one of the worst of the prime-time specials hyping an upcoming PPV.
HIDDEN GEMS BONUS CONTENT
This portion of the WWE Network feature runs about 62 minutes long. All content featured is from the October 26th taping from the Convention Center in Springfield, IL. Almost everything from this taping, minus two squash matches, has either been used for Prime-Time Wrestling or featured here as of November 21st, 2019. It would be a cool concept for them to feature unused TV Taping footage in one big dump.
The Big Boss Man vs. Nailz:
This should get the ball rolling in the right direction. For how long they fought, they only had 1 match to their credit available to the masses, and it was a gimmick match at that. Should be interesting to see what they go for here. Nailz cuts Boss Man off from doing a rum rush and immediately grabs a choke. He pounds away in the corner with body blows and sends him to the opposite corner before grabbing another choke hold. Whip to the corner and Boss Man gets the boots up. He lays into Nailz with rights, but Nailz is quick to regain control, sending Boss Man out of the ring. Nailz gives chase and gets a taste of the ring apron for it. It's probably not the worst thing he's tasted, having served prison time... I'm talking about toilet wine, you perverts! Nailz again regains control, sending Boss Man into the steps. Back inside, Nailz with a whip and elbow for two. Boss Man kicks out with gusto, but Nailz quickly grabs a chin-lock. Hebner checks the arm, but it magically stays up before dropping a third time. Boss Man escapes but misses a splash. Nailz with a punt to the ribs, knocking Boss Man out of the ring. Boss Man hangs him up across the top rope and pounds away with right hands. Whip to the ropes and Boss Man hits the spine-buster for two. BIG wind-up uppercut knocks Nailz down. Boss Man follows up with a seated splash and a second uppercut. Nailz has enough of having to sell, grabs the nightstick, and jabs Boss Man with it (away from the view of the referee) for three at 6:50. Post-match, Boss Man avoids getting hit with the stick a second time and knocks Nailz out of the ring with an enzuigiri. Not everything has to be a technical masterpiece, but even generously scored, Nailz matches should be limited to 3-4 minutes. *
- "Mean" Gene Okerlund is standing by for an interview with... JIMMY GARVIN?! He asks the fans "are you ready... for the Survivor Series?!" Wait, wait, WAIT... THAT'S THE INTRO TO THAT DUMB, CATCHY WRESTLEMANIA SONG! You know the one, "Oh, Oh, WrestleMania. Something-Something-Fa. PUMP IT UP, PUMP IT UP!" Garvin suggests Okerlund's girlfriend isn't old enough to drive legally. Garvin predicts the Ultimate Maniacs don't have a chance to win at Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels will beat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship, and Kamala will beat the Undertaker and will eat the coffin after the match. Garvin tells a boring, long-winded story about the Ultimate Maniacs begging him to leave them alone. I guess this wasn't a good enough segment to get Garvin a job. The fact he did almost all his talking LOOKING AWAY from the camera must've pissed Vince McMahon off something fierce.
WWF Championship Match:
Bret "Hitman" Hart (c) vs. The Mountie (w/ Jimmy Hart):
This has a bit more polish, with multiple camera angles, so this might've been intended for TV, but Jacques Rougeau quitting rather abruptly probably explains why it was tucked away in the can and never seen until today. Mountie gives Bret the business and yells that he's The Mountie. Bret blocks a cheap shot, lands a blow to the midsection, and pins Mountie with a German Suplex at 1:15. Well, that was something. Maybe they should've put this on Prime-Time after all, considering it seems like a complete burial of the Mountie.
Virgil vs. Bam Bam Bigelow:
One of, if not the first match for Bigelow since returning to the WWF after a 4-year absence. He has his signature heel music, so at least he's not coming out to generic stuff or "Crank it Up." A couple of fans walk by the hard camera with a huge "Bobby Heenan for President" banner. Virgil avoids an attack in the corner and goes to work on the left arm. Whip to the ropes and Bigelow with a high body-press. Virgil rolls away from an elbow drop and goes back to the arm. Whip to the corner and Bigelow meets the post on a charge. Virgil has a game plan and he's sticking to it; you have to give him that much. Bigelow blocks an O'Connor Roll and lands a dropkick. He knocks Virgil out of the ring and the bell rings at 2:47? How is Virgil awarded the match by Disqualification? Did the referee consider it a low blow? That was stupid.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Razor Ramon:
This looks good on paper, but unfortunately, Savage wasn't working any magic formula in 1992 on house shows and TV tapings, based on a large body of work I've observed in my Flashbacks covering everything to do with the WWF throughout the 1990's. This one was not taped for television, with it being all hard camera. Razor attacks Savage as he enters the ring. Savage fights out of the corner with left jabs. Whip across the ring and Savage with a hip toss, followed by a clothesline and running high knee. Ramon with a thumb to the eyes to cut Savage off. Ramon targets the previously injured knee, but Savage fights him off. Ramon meets a boot in the corner but has enough in him to grab Savage with a double choke-lift and slam. Savage with a whip and elbow, knocking Ramon out of the ring. Ramon picks the leg and wraps it around the post to regain control. Back inside, Ramon with a LAZY single-leg crab, and yes, he uses the ropes for leverage. The referee catches him, forcing the break, so we transition to a spinning toe hold. The crowd rallies behind Savage while Ramon paintbrushes him. Savage fights back to his feet, hopping on one leg, daring Ramon to bring it on. Ramon kicks the leg out from under Savage, but Savage pops back up and decks him. Whip to the ropes and Ramon with a drop toe hold and ankle snap. He teases a figure-four, but Savage sends him out of the ring. They brawl briefly around ringside. Savage comes off the top rope with the double axe-handle, but his knee is busted, and Ramon makes it back in the ring for the cheap count-out at 7:54. Yeah, they did this finish a lot. Post-match, Ramon attacks the injured knee some more because he's a jerk. Match was OK, but Ramon worked a little too loose at times. **
WWF Championship Match:
Bret "Hitman" Hart (c) vs. Papa Shango:
I guess only doing a 75-second match earlier in the night wasn't enough to qualify for a night's work, so here's Bret with his second defense of the evening. Unfortunately, I know this one won't be kept as short as the previous match featuring the Hitman. Bret gives his sunglasses out to the same section as he did earlier. Shango attacks from behind, jumping off the apron with a headbutt that looked more ridiculous than threatening. He rolls Bret into the ring and pounds away in the corner. Whip across the ring, Bret avoids a charge and rolls Shango up for two. Bret with rights to the midsection, followed by a pair of shoulder tackles and a body press for two. Bret slides between the legs of Shango, hits him with an atomic drop, and sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. Back inside, Shango reverses a whip to the corner, sending Bret chest-first into the turnbuckle. Shango with double choke-lift and headbutt across the midsection. Bret's comeback is cut short with a bearhug. Bret escapes by biting Shango's head (and rubbing it like an apple before doing so), but Shango remains in control, probably ticked off at being handled like a piece of produce. We slow things down more with the dreaded nerve hold. Bret escapes with elbows but runs into a clothesline and we go right back to the hold. Bret rakes the eyes to escape a second bearhug and goes for a sunset flip, unsuccessfully. Shango meets a boot in the corner but breaks a sleeper by dropping Bret face-first across the turnbuckle. Shango with three elbow drops. He climbs the ropes for a fourth and meets nothing but the canvas. Bret with a flurry of right hands and the Russian leg sweep for two. Whip and Bret with a back body-drop for two. Flying clothesline for two. Shango counters a body press with a series of back breakers. Meanwhile, THERE'S A FIGHT IN THE CROWD RIGHT BEHIND THEM. Shango undoes a turnbuckle pad while the referee checks on Hart. Shango eats the exposed steel when the moment comes and Bret with the Sharpshooter to retain at 10:34. Bret tried, but Shango is SO BAD. *1/2
The Ultimate Warrior vs. Nailz:
... OH THANK YOU LORD FOR THIS BOUNTY I'M ABOUT TO RECEIVE. This can't be anything less than a G-D train wreck, and I'm going to enjoy every second of it. Mike McGuirk calls this "The Main Event of the evening." Warrior is all-in with his Ultimate Maniacs attire. Nailz attacks in the corner and grabs a choke. Warrior's selling is so bad, but it's hard to pay attention to it when Nailz does nothing but choke him for a solid 30-seconds. Warrior takes one of the worst head shots into the turnbuckle you'll ever see, and we get MORE CHOKING. Oh my God, is this match over yet? Warrior fights back with boots to the midsection. Whip is reversed and Nailz meets a boot. Warrior comes off the ropes with three clotheslines and a diving shoulder tackle. Splash finishes at 2:12. Damn, I was hoping this would be longer and worse.
Final Thoughts, Part 2: A handful of matches with bad workers or bad finishes. Hidden Gems is only worth checking out if you're a fan of unseen content and an era, which this release falls under for both categories. I didn't come into this expecting match classics and was entertained, though looking at the big picture of the taping, there was A LOT of bad wrestling that night. Your mileage will vary, but if you're like me, give this a look.
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