History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 1987 – It All Begins…..In Ohio?

We’re all familiar with the Monday Night Wars. Everyone knows the story about how Vince went head to head with Bischoff to square off with WCW for the final supremacy in professional wrestling. Now what a lot of you might not be familiar with is the original war between the NWA and the WWF. These two went to war in the 80s and this is probably the biggest shot that was fired.

For those of you that have watched the Starrcade documentary, you know about how it was the biggest show of the year for the NWA. Now, Wrestlemania was bigger, but it wasn’t as old as Starrcade which came two years earlier. Wrestlemania 3 occurred on March 29, 1987 and smashed every record on the planet. No one, not even Vince, thought it would do as well as it did.

So, based on the strength of this, Vince decided to make a second major show which would be based around Hogan and Andre again. However, he wanted to save the actual rematch for a later date, so instead the WWF came up with this team concept that we now know as the Survivor Series. It would be headlined by Andre’s team against Hogan’s team. Now what does this have to do with the NWA you ask?

The answer to that is simple. Vince decided that he could kill two birds with one stone here, so he booked Survivor Series to go head to head with Starrcade. Then he got really ruthless. He told the PPV providers that if they didn’t air Survivor Series, he wouldn’t allow them to air Wrestlemania. Now this was a HUGE gamble.

If the companies stick to their verbal agreements with the NWA and air Starrcade, then Vince has no one to air Wrestlemania, and if he went back on his word he and the WWF as a whole look like they’re caving in and are therefore weak. However, if the PPV companies fold to his pressure and air Survivor Series, then the NWA is hit badly as they won’t make as much money and the WWF gets a huge advantage.

Based on the fact that the NWA is now on some satellite channel and hasn’t meant anything in nearly 20 years, I think you know what happened. Vince won, and we got Survivor Series instead of Starrcade. The NWA would fire back though on Wrestlemania night by debuting Clash of the Champions on FREE TV, headlined by a 45 minute classic between Flair and Sting which was Sting’s coming out party on the national level.

The ratings for Mania 4 are proof that the show was hurt by CotC, as Mania 4 was far less viewed, especially during the time that the NWA was on. Anyway, that’s the history of how it started, so now let’s get to the history of how it happened. As usual, I’ll be posting a single review a day every day, with the 2008 review being put up on the day before this year’s show. All comments, criticisms and questions are welcome, so I hope you have fun with this as I will.

Survivor Series 1987
Date: November 26, 1987
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio (suburb of Cleveland)
Attendance: 21,300
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura

I think the first show of these series is my favorite. You have little expectation because it’s never been done before. This is especially true in this case as this kind of match had never been seen on a wide level before. Like I’ve said, this was the sequel to Wrestlemania 3, so a lot of the feuds spawned either at that show or between then and now. Summerslam doesn’t even exist at this point.

We have a total of four matches on this card, so for the first few shows, you won’t be getting any matches as it’s kind of pointless to post a fourth or a fifth of the whole care. In this case, we have a mid card match, a women’s match, a tag match and the main event. That’s a grand total of 50 people wrestling tonight. That is a TON. I don’t even know if the rumbles have that many people at them.

Back in the early days this was 5 on 5 instead of the traditional four on four. For those of you that actually don’t know how this works, it’s elimination tag matches. The tag line was two teams of 5 strive to survive. A person can be eliminated by pin, submission, count out or DQ. The team that survives wins.

You can have any combination of people on a team at any point in the match. You could go from 5 vs. 5 to 5 vs. 1 to 1 vs. 1, making a lot of interesting scenarios possible. With all that being said, let’s get to the first ever Survivor Series.

The old school Coliseum Video intro was always sweet beyond belief to me. It’s so retro and so perfect that it’s all you could ask for in a generic intro. We open with a brief shot of the stare down between Andre and Hogan. The announcers talk to us for a good while as they explain a completely new concept to us which is always fun.

We’re in the back with Honky Tonk Man and his team. This match came about from Honky hitting Savage with the guitar and shoving down Liz. He threatens to hit the Shake Rattle and Roll on Liz.

Savage says that he’s coming for Honky.

Honky Tonk Man’s Team vs. Randy Savage’s Team

For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just be listing the captains in the titles and the wrestlers here.

Honky’s Team: Ron Bass, Hercules, Harley Race, Danny Davis.

Savage’s Team: Ricky Steamboat, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake.

On my tape the intros are cut and we just get very short clips of most people coming out which is a good way to save a LOT of time. I have the original two hour version of what was about a three hour show. See, it can cut a lot of time out of things. Bear with me on this one as I really have no idea how I’m going to do this. We start with Beefcake against Hercules, so there’s a trivia question that likely no one will ever ask.

One thing that’s certainly better back in the old days is the commentary. You don’t get a bunch of nonsense that no one cares about and that no one understands. Jesse and Gorilla are absolutely great at what they do. There’s very little reason here as to why most of the faces or heels are on their respective teams. The captains are obvious, but for the most part it’s just people that don’t like Honky.

He took the title from Steamboat, he was feuding with Roberts before he got the title, Beefcake would be next in line to feud with him as he had a title shot at WM 4, and Duggan is I guess just someone that needed something to do. On the heel side, there’s really no connection anywhere. Bass and Beefcake would feud in about a year but it was very short. Race didn’t feud with anyone other than some random world title shots.

Davis was just a twerp that cheated when he refereed and was a complete jobber, and Hercules was just the muscle of the Heenan Family. This is really just a midcard match with little rhyme or reason, which is one of the fun parts of this show. It offers a lot of chances for new feuds to start up and for matches that you wouldn’t usually see, which is always a fun thing.

The faces take turns beating on Davis as Ventura continues to say that Savage is the best wrestler in the world. See, that’s a great thing about Jesse. He had no problem admitting that a face was better than any of the heels. We have Harley Race against Ricky Steamboat in a complete and utter wet dream for 80s fans. You have a career heel against a career face and two of the best of all time.

Their careers just kind of missed each other though as Race was just about done when Steamboat got to the NWA again. Race had one of the best belly to belly suplexes of all time. The REAL best there is, best there was and best there ever will be comes in. (it’s the night after Slaughter hosted Raw for those of you that have no clue what I’m talking about). Duggan and Race both get counted out. That’s something that I like about these matches.

You have to do that quite a bit to clear out some of the dead weight in there and in this case it actually makes sense for something like that to happen. I like it. It’s 4-4 now for those of you keeping score at home. It’s now Bass against Roberts. Bass is the epitome of a generic heel. He’s just a mean guy from Texas that was kind of a cowboy. It’s one of those things you had back in the day that a bit more of wouldn’t hurt. Savage keeps trying to get at Honky which eventually gets him caught.

In one of the fastest sequences I can remember, he makes a very fast tag to Beefcake who hits a high knee to make it 4-3. You now have Davis, Hercules and Honky. That’s….not very good. We finally get the captain in there as Beefcake appears intoxicated. I will never get tired of seeing Honky sell an atomic drop. Gorilla says that Brutus has a lot of fight left in him so I’ll put the over under on his elimination time inside of 60 seconds. Yep, he’s gone in 18 as Honky hits the neckbreaker to tie us up at 3.

Here’s the problem though. The three heels I’ve already mentioned are up against Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat and Jake Roberts. Who do you think is going to win here? Yeah it’s pretty obvious which is what it was the whole match. The only more one sided match that I’ve ever seen was War Games 95 with Haku, Beefcake, Kamala and Earthquake against Savage, Sting, Luger and Hogan.

That’s a dream team for faces against a bunch of bad heels with maybe Haku I guess being the most successful? Yeah I think that one was worse but not by much at all. The story of this match is that Savage wants to kill Honky and nothing more. Apparently losing your captain is the end of your life which isn’t the case but Gorilla would like you to believe it. Since I believe in Gorilla Monsoon, I’ll believe that. What amuses me the most though is that once Savage is finally in there with Honky he tags out.

The DDT is teased but Honky gets out. That was a revolutionary move back then as there was nothing that was anywhere near as fast as that move. It changed a lot of moves in later times such as the Stunner or Rock Bottom which are moves that can be hit in the blink of an eye. That can be credited to the DDT and therefore Jake Roberts for making it happen.

Until then you had moves like the leg drop or the figure four that took a lot of time to set up and were easy to see coming. With the DDT it’s in the blink of an eye so you have to pay very close attention to Roberts, and also whenever he’s in trouble he’s not far enough out of it that a single DDT can’t save him. That adds a completely different dimension to Roberts’ character. There it is. Even Jesse knows Davis is done.

Hercules just kills Roberts with a clothesline after Davis is gone though. The heels do various nefarious things to Jake since Macho keeps going after Honky. Herc is called Hercules Hernandez which I thought had had long since stopped being called. Time for the Orton Special here as we need time to stall. They beat on Jake for a LONG time here and we go back to the chinlock. Roberts breaks it with what I guess would be called a head drag.

He shakes his head to send Hercules flying in the same movement that you would use in an arm drag. It’s right back on him though so the move was completely pointless, although cool looking. He gets the tag to Steamboat who amazingly would be performing on PPV TWENTY TWO FREAKING YEARS AFTER THIS. Think about that. How many of you are under 22? This is in the middle of his career and he had a longer time between that and Mania/Backlash this year when he wrestled again. That’s scary.

Big elbow ends Hercules to get us down to the real thing we want to see: Honky get his face kicked in. What follows is about two and a half minutes of Honky just being destroyed. Everything he tries is stopped dead. It’s more or less target practice at this point until an atomic drop sends him over the ropes and he runs away to end this via countout, which in this case makes sense.

Rating: B+. This was a very fun way to start the series. It had all kinds of guys out there and the faces got a bit of revenge. Honky shows that he’s smart by leaving in a match that really means nothing as the title isn’t on the line. It did a good job of showing what these matches can turn into with the 3-1 finish, as well as it progressed the Honky feuds with the midcard angle.

Savage was supposed to beat him for the title at Mania 4, but due to a lot of other backstage stuff, he got the world title instead and this feud was kind of left without a finish. This was a great old school 80s match though which was a great way to get us into the match type, so definitely a good opener.

We have a transition period here as the Women are introduced which few people either know or care about, with the announcers talking about whether Honky was right to bail or not.

Sensational Sherri’s Team vs. Fabulous Moolah’s Team

This would have been a 6 man tag any other time as it was only about the tag titles and the women’s title. Yes, there were Women’s Tag Titles back in the day. The champions there are the Glamour Girls and they’re feuding with the Jumping Bomb Angels. The Angels were more or less a cruiserweight style in women’s wrestling and they were very fun to watch.

They were very crisp out there and knew what they were doing. The other feud is Sherri vs. Moolah, as Sherri had taken the title from her recently. Compared to the 28 year (allegedly) reign of the Fabulous one, this was FAR shorter. Here’s the lineups:

Sherri’s Team: Glamour Girls (Judy Martin/Lelani Kai), Donna Christianello, Dawn Marie (no not THAT Dawn Marie).

Moolah’s Team: Jumping Bomb Angels (I can’t spell their names), Velvet McIntyre, Rockin Robin.

Yeah, women’s wrestling back in the 80s was a mix of awesome and worse than today’s product depending on when you were watching it. Wendi Richter for example was headlining some house shows in 85, but then you’d have some matches where they would make Alicia Fox look like Trish and Lita combined. Moolah is listed at 160lbs, which is amusing. She argues about it as do the commentators. This is really fast paced especially when the Bomb Angels are in there.

One of them jumps over the top rope and comes in with a dropkick before she hits the mat. That’s just cool looking. Chrisitanello is gone in about 2 minutes as McIntyre hits a great rollup move to pin her. Velvet was a great wrestler that never really got the credit she deserved. She hit a lot of moves you would see a guy like Rey hit, so that’s a compliment if there ever was one. She used a lot of one footed dropkicks which is effective and different at the same time. Kai comes in.

She would actually be at WM 10 fighting for the women’s title. It came from left field and was a one off appearance. She was destroyed and it made little sense. It would be like having Bart Gunn show up and fight Rey in a random IC Title match. Robin botches hitting the ropes which isn’t something you see that often. I love how the divas today are considered slutty yet just about all of the women here are wearing more or less one piece swimsuits.

Robin eliminates Dawn Marie with a bad looking cross body. That makes it 5-3 and more or less makes this what matters. It was about the tag feud and the three single faces against Sherri. One of the Angels is in now and uses what we would call a Matrix move to get out of a pin. Considering she was on the mat and did that to get out, that’s impressive.

She is all over the place and tags in her partner who starts by coming in with what we would call Old School but instead of a chop or walking the ropes, she rolls over in a perfect arm drag. This is one of the fastest tag teams I’ve ever seen, regardless of genitalia. Sherri is getting beaten on now by just about everyone which is always fun to see. This is kind of similar to what happened to Honky earlier but Sherri is the tougher of the two.

They botch (kind of) a monkey flip which to be fair is a hard move to hit. Also the Glamour Girls aren’t exactly tiny ladies. Robin gets pinned with a suplex. Yeah in the 80s that was a big move actually, and not just for the women. Flair won his first WWF match in the 70s with that move. EGADS one of the Angels gets throw 360 by the hair. Velvet hits a cross body where she rotates around the body of the Glamour Girl.

As in she makes contact and her feet go into the air and then she lands the other way than the way she jumps if that makes sense. Moolah hits a bolo punch and I can’t believe I actually knew that. The tags are WAY too fast for me to keep up with here. Jesse goes on a short tangent about how one of the women should go bald to avoid hair pulling.

That’s actually not a bad idea. Back then it wasn’t about the looks so why not? Moolah gets knocked out by a clothesline, which is likely good as she was 6-freaking-4 years old at this point and had been women’s champion earlier in the year. What does that tell you about the women’s division at this time? That makes it 3-3.

Sherri thinks she’s Hulk Hogan with a leg drop and then a….what was that? It was a combination gutwrench suplex and DDT. I think it was supposed to be a suplex and was a botch. Yeah the women weren’t always perfect. We have a messed up bell ringing as one of the Angels bridges out of a pin and the bell rings anyway. The referee waves it off so it was a mistake I guess. We get a VERY old school giant swing which is always cool. Yeah Velvet is hurt and I think it’s legit.

She does get a victory roll to eliminate Sherri but Sherri’s shoulder was up. I really think the injury is legit. Either that or she’s the best seller I’ve ever seen. The Angels can’t slam the Glamour Girls, if that tells you how big these girls are. It’s the most basic hold there is and it can’t be done. It’s not the Angels’ fault though. We get a body scissors of all things which I guess could hurt a bit. We get REALLY old school as we have a sling shot.

A match with a slingshot and a giant swing makes this the best match EVER. Velvet is pinned in what we would call an electric chair to make this an elimination tag team match. These four would have a bunch of matches, including a fictitious title change in Cairo. They would actually have a title match at the first Royal Rumble where the Angels would take the titles before the belts were just dropped. Kai is eliminated by a cross body as this is really close to being over.

We get a move that I’ve always liked the idea of as they go for an atomic drop and instead just drop Judy Martin down. Jimmy Hart gets dropkicked to the floor and a top rope clothesline ends it. This was fast paced and very fun, but sloppy as HECK.

Rating: C+. The Bomb Angels were fun to watch as they could possibly out move Lita. It was a decent length match and they got rid of the dead weight very fast which was fine and then we got down to some better stuff. There were certainly some horrid spots, but there was enough good to make it passable.

Amazingly, we’re halfway done.

The announcers praise the Angels as they certainly should. Jesse’s line of the Glamour Girls are in trouble is very true. You can tell he was really impressed.

The Hart Foundation, the heel captains, are with most of their team as I don’t think you can fit 10 guys and two managers into a single shot. Heenan says that they’re ready.

Strike Force say their team will win. You can hear Demolition’s theme playing in the background during this.

Strike Force’s Team vs. Hart Foundation’s Team

Hart Foundation’s Team: Demolition, Dream Team (Dino Bravo/Greg Valentine), Islanders, Bolsheviks.

Strike Force’s Team: Killer Bees, Young Stallions, British Bulldogs, Rougeau Brothers.

Nikolai Volkoff and Rick Martel start. The rules here are that if any person is eliminated, his partner is too which is a nice little twist. You have 20 guys in this match so this is a crowded apron. I’ve always liked Strike Force for some reason. I have no idea why but I’ve always loved their stuff. Zhukoff tagged someone but it’s ignored. Have to love that kind of thing. The apron is about 80% full. Bolsheviks are gone in about a minute after the forearm.

Oh yeah this is happening because Strike Force won the titles from the Harts and the Harts want revenge. Demolition was just freaking awesome all the time. For some reason Jesse can’t tell the Rougeaus apart. One is blonde and the other has facial hair. They don’t even look related. We get a real power match here with Smash against Davey.

The sad case that is Dynamite Kid comes in and gets beaten on. Dynamite was the man that Benoit based his entire style off of. This is just hard to call as the tags are even faster than the last match. Paul “I was a Horseman blast it!” Roma comes in. Monsoon says you have to pay attention in this one. Truer words have never been spoken. Jesse’s line of the Young Stallions look like geldings right now made me laugh.

The Rougeaus are gone off a missed cross body so at least it’s down to four to four or eight to eight depending on how you look at it. This is a great case of power vs. speed all around. Neidhart and Haku, which is a strange pairing if there ever was one, hit a cool looking double team move with Neidhart having him over the shoulder and Haku hitting a double axe.

Valentine comes in, amazingly looking the same 22 years later. Has there ever been a guy more stuck in the 80s? That’s not fair though as he still looks pretty good for his age. Bravo would have a short angle about his strength coming up.

Everyone beats up Dynamite and Smash shoves the referee to eliminate Demolition to a very loud pop. The most successful guy in the match comes in: Bret Hart. Good grief how many titles are there between these twenty guys? Actually not as many as you would think. Unless I’m missing something, only Bret is a future world champion and of all people Martel was a former world champion at this point, having held the AWA title for over a year.

Actually, after this, other than hardcore titles, the only people to win singles titles after this were Bret, Bulldog and Martel, who had a completely forgotten and unimportant WCW TV Title reign of about a week. Oh and Santana would win the ancestor of the ECW title, which meant nothing at the time. Jesse and Gorilla argue over how to pronounce Tama’s name. Strike Force is WAY over. In case you’re wondering, the score at this point is 4-3 with Strike Force in the lead.

Now we’re both slowing down a bit and we’re getting to the point where things are also a LOT less cluttered. That was the problem earlier: things were just overly crowded. Neidhart pins Santana which really furthered their feud as the former champions pin the champions. Even with that, Demolition would be the team to take the belts from them at Mania 4, holding them for over a year in the longest reign in history which I can’t imagine would ever be topped.

Jesse says his great, great grandfather Ephraim the Body came over on the Mayflower. To say Jesse was hilarious is an understatement. The Stallions are just getting the heck beaten out of them, but like a bad fungus they won’t go away. With it being 6 on 6 it’s a lot better looking here.

That being said, the Bulldogs are put down by superkicking Dynamite after a very fast paced sequence with Bulldog and the Harts to an extent. The Stallions are STILL getting beaten up at this point and you almost want to feel sorry for them. I say almost because then you flash back to how much of a bastardization the Horsemen were with Roma in them. Hit Roma MORE!

It’s now 3-2 heels, which I believe is the first time all night that a heel team has been ahead. That’s actually very impressive. The Dream Team, who I never remember winning a match, screw up by trying to show off which allows Roma to pin Valentine with a sunset flip off the top and get us down to some hot four on four action. In case you can’t remember, that’s the Harts and the Islanders vs. the animal lovers of the Bees and the Stallions.

Hart is just so far ahead of everyone else out there it’s scary. Tama is a guy that was awesome yet sadly enough not a lot ever was done with him. He was 21 at this point and after about another year, you just wouldn’t hear much of him again. Jimmy has to be tired as he’s been out there for all three matches so far. Egads a double headbutt from the Islanders and Roma has to be completely dead. I have something to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving show.

Haku and Neidhart both hit dropkicks. This was actually a nice coincidence as Monsoon says he’d like to see Anvil get up for a dropkick and before he’s done saying that Anvil was in the air. The timing was perfect and Monsoon got a kick out of that. No that wasn’t meant to be a pun. Roma FINALLY gets out and a Jim Brunzell is in. The Bees take out the Harts after a rollup. We get the evil foreign nerve hold which never actually did anything that I can remember.

The Islanders, the far fresher and more dominant team, get a lot of time to beat on the quick faces which is a nice sign. They get about seven minutes. Another nerve hold and Jim looks like he’s having a seizure or getting a blowjob from a Rottweiler. We go to a random shot of the crowd. Yeah that made no sense at all. After a VERY long beatdown, we get all 6 guys in the ring except one. Blair has put a mask on and hits a sunset flip as the illegal man for the win.

You would think that the referee would notice that there was a killer bee getting knocked to the floor and within half a second a masked bee is hitting a sunset flip but then again, I’m no professional. Despite having nothing to do with the ending, Strike Force’s music is played for the faces to leave to.

Rating: B. This was awesome with all kinds of stuff going on. The apron was crowded but this was much better paced than some of the other matches tonight which just flew by with everyone being eliminated within a few seconds. Here the match went on longer and people were eliminated in a more normal and realistic style.

The ending was fun as the faces cheated to win and speed beat power. This was just fun with everyone getting a turn and hitting their finisher which is always cool to see. It was a bit sloppy with so many people, but dang it was fun.

Ted DiBiase is thankful that he’s rich and that he got to make RVD kiss his feet back when RVD was about 12. How amazing is it that DiBiase would never be a world champion and the kid that kissed his feet would? That’s amazing for anything, not just pro wrestling.

Honky says he’s still the IC champion. Yeah the belt didn’t give that away.

Jesse’s hat is great as he tries to get it over his headset but it’s just kind of sitting on his head. Even Gorilla says that wasn’t fair.

Recap of the main event feud. Andre hasn’t wrestled since Mania, which isn’t true as he was likely on house shows but we can’t let that be known. Heenan and Andre says they’re going to destroy Hogan. Andre is so huge he’s terrifying.

Hogan says his team will dominate.

Andre’s Team vs. Hogan’s Team

Andre’s Team: Butch Reed, Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang.

Hogan’s Team: Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff.

Bobby’s introduction of Andre is a bit amusing as he says he’s from FRANCE. Heenan just shouts it which was a bit odd. This was at the very end of Hogan’s four year reign as he would lose the belt two days after I was born on February 5th 1988. We actually have reasons for a lot of these guys being in this match. Hogan and Andre of course need no explanation. Orndorff hates Heenan (although they would reunite about a year later) because Heenan fired Orndorff for Rude so those two are explained.

Orndorff and Bigelow shared a manager in Oliver Humperdink so that’s why the Beast from the East is there. Patera was feuding with the Heenan Family, and Muraco had saved Billy Graham from Gang and Reed. Graham was supposed to be in this match but had to retire due to injuries. Bundy is there just because of Heenan, and Reed and Gang are there to get back at Muraco. Some of these are a bit stretched, but I think it’s fine.

Graham was Hogan’s friend so Muraco being in the match as his replacement is fine. Hogan is still rocking the old school WWF Title here which was a bland looking belt. Orndorff gets a heck of a pop which surprises me a bit. Of course the roof is blown off for Hogan as it should be. Andre’s eyes are locked onto Hogan as he comes down with the American flag. Was there a point to Hogan’s bandana having the strips hanging down into his eyes that I just never got?

Monsoon says that Hogan decides Rock is going to start. I love that it’s just assumed that Hogan makes all of the decisions because he’s the only one with a brain. Ok on second thought looking at his team that’s a good idea actually. Hogan’s team huddling is clichéd but cool. Moraco is freaking scary looking.

We start with the ravishing one and the magnificent one. I love how they don’t even have names anymore and it’s just descriptions. Rude’s tights are odd to say the least as they’re covered in road signs. Hogan is in and gets less of a pop than Orndorff. However, his is much longer. Bigelow gets a loud reaction of his own. Patera, a guy that I’ve already explained, gets zero reaction. It’s also Butch Reed in there now.

Big leg gets rid of Reed in about 3 minutes. Andre comes in and the showdown is imminent. However, Hogan high fives Patera which is called a tag. Even Hogan says he didn’t mean to do it. Jesse screams conspiracy about Joey Marella saving Hogan. In something that you might not know, Joey is the son of Gorilla Monsoon. You know, if Hogan wants Andre so badly, why doesn’t Patera just tag him back in? Andre tags out to Bundy anyway.

Why is it that every time that a big guy is sent into the corner Monsoon swears the ring moves at least 6 inches? No, it didn’t. According to the voiceover guy, the heels weigh close to 2000 pounds. Are you telling me that one guy can move them that far? Patera is eliminated by the gang to tie us up at 4. Bigelow’s pop for him helping Hogan is INSANE. Orndorff and Bigelow are getting pops that can rival Hogan. That’s saying a lot.

No that’s saying more than a lot. That’s mind blowing and unheard of. Orndorff and Rude are gone within 2 minutes of that and since they were more or less filler I’ll spare you the details. Rude was out of the pin but we’ll let it go I guess. Muraco and Bundy are in there now and just as I say that Gang comes in. That’s about 1400lbs between three guys. That’s freaking insane. Not even Taker, Kane and Show are that big. Muraco tries to slam Gang.

Yeah there’s a reason he’s known for his body and not his brain. Note: at this point Hogan and Andre haven’t touched each other. Gang eliminates Muraco with a splash and he’s on a roll here. The more I see of Bigelow the more I agree with IC. This is brought on as Bammer gets a great looking (considering who did it) sunset flip on the Gang. He cleared him almost easily. That’s very impressive since Gang was taller than Hogan.

Bigelow is getting beaten up badly here. I love how Hogan has been in there maybe 45 seconds other than run ins and yet will easily get the biggest paycheck of the night. Heenan apparently has a master plan. Is there a school for managers and heels to get master plans from? I’d love to sign up for them. Did anyone else ever think that Hogan looked like he was about to cry when he was upset? His face was always comical to me.

Andre is huge compared to Bigelow, but we don’t get to explore that as Bigelow rolls forward and it’s on. The pop for this blows away everything else all night. Hogan of course beats the tar out of Andre. He hits the ropes but Bundy pulls him out. Hogan plays hero and beats on the inconsequential heels, slamming them both, but in doing so he’s counted out. So let me get this straight. Hogan and Andre lasts a 54 seconds, meaning Hogan was legal less than 2 minutes combined in this match.

You have to love that. Actually I don’t. That’s ridiculous. The show was based around this but instead we get a minute long fight and Hogan out there for less time than some people can hold their breath. That’s just freaking sad. Now we have Bigelow against these three, which I’m betting isn’t going to go well for the Beast. Jesse points out that even if Bigelow was fresh this would be nearly impossible. He throws a dropkick of all things and gets height on it. I’m impressed with this guy.

Considering the other two big guys did jack and Bigelow just did a slingshot splash and cleared the top rope at nearly 400lbs, I’m impressed with Bigelow, so IC, you win this one. Gang misses a top rope splash and gets pinned. I think that was rigged so he could go find pie. So it’s Andre vs. Bigelow, and Andre is more or less fresh against Bigelow who is pretty much dead. Bigelow is rolling around to avoid Andre but then in a move that just looks hilarious Bigelow charges at him and misses.

That looked like something from a bad comedy movie. Andre hits a suplex move which was kind of a butterfly I guess but with only one arm hooked (Gorilla says double which isn’t true at all) for the win. Hogan runs out and beats Andre up. That is even more nonsense. Andre won completely clean. Hogan got beat clean. I love how Hogan could do absolutely no wrong. This is ridiculous actually and Hogan is a whining bastard.

He of course poses to end the show and Jesse is absolutely right: he has nothing to celebrate. Jesse as always threatens to come out of retirement and take the title from Hogan. In the back, Heenan and Andre say they’re ready for Hogan and they just proved it and all Hogan has to do is sign the contract. Jesse is rightfully ticked off and we have credits?

Rating: B. This was another good match and it did the important thing: it gave you the possibility that Hogan could lose. It evened the score at one apiece. I’m actually ticked off about what Hogan did. That’s just complete and utter nonsense. Why should Hogan get to do that? The heels winning was brilliant and unexpected, and it set up the rematch in early February that got a 15 in the ratings. Think about that for a bit.

Overall Rating: A-. This was a perfect way to introduce the format. It advanced the stories, it gave a bridge to the next year, and it was all fun. You had four distinctly different matches, each of which played to a different area of the card, and the ending was a surprise. This is a rare occurrence in the history of the company actually.

Usually I would say that you should watch it because it’s the first show and for nothing else. This time, watch it because it’s the first show and because it’s a great show. This is definitely good and worth watching and gets a very high recommendation.

Note: this is accurate as of August 11th, 2009. Now, I did a bit of research here and I found something that illustrates a lot. As I said, there were 50 wrestlers in action tonight. For the sake of this, we’ll factor out the women’s match and say it’s 40. Let’s compare this to a match from last year’s Survivor Series, in this case Team Orton (Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry) vs. Team Batista (Batista, CM Punk, Matt Hardy, Kofi Kingston, R-Truth).

Now, that’s 40 guys compared to 10 guys. In total, the 40 men on tonight’s show won 60 titles in the WWF. That’s a lot. By comparison, the 10 guys in the modern match have won 54 (excluding the hardcore title reigns which would put the modern team over). Think about that for a minute. ¼ of the people won 90% of the amount of tag titles. Also, R-Truth as of this writing has never held a non-hardcore title.

I’m also considering any tag title reign as separate reigns, so Neidhart and Bret Hart, three time tag champions, account for 6 of those 60 titles. That tells me a few things. First, there are FAR too many titles today. Second, it’s not as hard to become a champion today. Look at two main event guys in the 87 show: Bigelow and Orndorff.

Neither won any titles in WWF, yet they main evented shows, yet Matt Hardy and William Regal have never main evented any PPV that I remember (they may have but off the top of my head I’ve got nothing) and have a combined 22.

Now Hardy is probably a bigger star than either of them, but Regal simply isn’t bigger than Bigelow, plain and simple. Therefore, third, it says that title reigns don’t mean that you’re a star. Either way, there’s a huge difference between the eras and the title scene now is just ridiculous.

 

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