History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 1989 – Includes A Bonus Review!

Survivor Series 1989
Date: November 23, 1989
Location: Rosemont Horizon, Rosemont, Illinois
Attendance: 15,294
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura

Well, a year has passed and you all know how Wrestlemania 5 went. Hogan is champion again and Savage is a heel now, but Ultimate Warrior is on the rise and it’s very fast. Not a lot other than that has really changed. The first four shows can really be grouped together as it’s not until 1991 and the fifth show where we have anything other than a Survivor Series match at one of these shows.

Until then all we’ve had is matches that further the main feuds along. The other things that have changed as far as the style of the show is that the tag match idea has been dropped which is great to me. It makes room for a fifth match which means there’s no match on the card that cracks 28 minutes, meaning that the pointless filler goes WAY down. The matches are now 4 on 4 and they have team names sot this is far closer to the traditional style that we’re accustomed to.

The style works better as it allows for more matches which means less stupid ones. This was a huge step in the evolution of the show which therefore makes it much better in my mind. All that being said, let’s do it.

We get a two minute and twenty second video of clips of the city, the fans, the production truck, and the arena. The souvenirs are oddly called novelties here. It just looks odd. There’s no commentary for this, but only a late 80s WWF theme song playing in the background. Back in the day, all of the shows had their own themes that you would hear once a year. It was kind of a nice touch I always thought. We go to a montage of wrestlers saying what they’re thankful for.

Hogan: health, family, Hulkamania. He speaks for the other members of his cult as well. Somehow this takes a minute for him to say.

DiBiase: he’s rich and you’re not.

Jake Roberts: Damien and the DDT.

Demolition: that they don’t have to fight each other.

Savage: that he’s worthy of being king. And that he’s not in Memphis where an army of Lawlers would miss punches thrown at him.

Duggan: that he lives in America.

Bravo: that Earthquake is on his side.

Dusty Rhodes: his polka dots. And for not having to pretend to have talent against Flair anymore.

Boss Man: for justice. And for the League. And for America. Yeah that was terrible.

Beefcake: his cutting and strutting. And that Hogan lets him keep a job.

Martel: his good looks.

Rude: having a great body.

Piper: that he’s not Rick Rude. Ooo burn.

Genius: for being smart.

Perfect: for being perfect, duh.

Bushwackers: for having stuffing. They practically kiss after saying this. There’s something a bit odd about these two.

Heenan: spending Thanksgiving with the Heenan Family.

Warrior: for war? I have no idea what he said.

Vince runs down the card, which looks ok. I’ll save this for later. This is a montage of pics, introducing every member of each team and every team’s name. It sounds long and boring but this is quick and solid. I like this actually.

Gorilla is the only person that can rock a red sports coat.

The captains will be listed first.

Note: the heir to the throne, Shane McMahon, at the ripe old age of 19 here, is the outside referee all night long.

Enforcers vs. Dream Team

Enforcers: Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel, Honky Tonk Man
Dream Team: Dusty Rhodes, Tito Santana, Brutus Beefcake, Red Rooster.

First things first: Dusty and Beefcake’s music was AWEOME. No Sapphire at this point so my world is still awesome. Ah yes the feuds for this. Dusty and Boss Man are feuding, mainly due to Dusty stealing his hat and both guys needing a feud. Santana and Martel are STILL feuding years later over a team that was together less than a year. Beefcake and Rooster are just there, as are Honky and Brown.

To be fair though, Brown is a substitute for an injured Akeem, who was Bossman’s tag partner at the time, so it’s not like he’s even supposed to be there. Yes, despite what happened last year, Honky and Brown are fine again. We’re starting with Tito vs. SWT (Santino With Talent), the Honky Tonk Man. See, you need talent to play a character like they do. Honky has it which is why he’s memorable. He’s a wrestling Elvis impersonator. That’s saying something.

Jesse says that this is a main event anywhere in the country. Maybe at a bad indy show but that’s it Jess. Strike Force is going at it AGAIN, which even I’m sick of. Jesse says they’re now defunct. I won’t make fun of that as they’ve only been broken up for about 7 months at this point which isn’t that long ago right now. They’ve also not had the big televised match so that’s fine. I think they finally met on SNME but never on PPV, at least not one on one.

Dusty and Bossman go at it now, renewing a rivalry from WAY back in the NWA days. In one of the coolest moments I’ve ever seen in wrestling, Dusty shattered a wooden chair over Bubba (Bossman). What did the big man do? He straightened his tie. Dusty, the massive face at the time, had no clue what to do and ran. Ok so he kind of stepped with a bit more speed but you get the idea.

Brutus comes in, which is odd as it’s his first time not being the first face in the match, but he’s still in the opener. That’s either really good or really bad and I’m not sure which. You can really see the old 80s look here but the 90s are wanting to break through and start up. How in the world has Terry Taylor kept a job this long? Was Little Beaver, which has to be the best name ever for a wrestler, not available? Gorilla says he can dance like Honky. That’s an image I might want. Not sure though.

Jesse’s pro-cheating stuff is just greatness. They’re mentioning the lone wolf aspect of Bad News already so I think we know how he’s going to be eliminated. The fans are popping for Santana against Martel. Why we never got the big Mania match with these two is beyond me. We did however get the epic Martel vs. Koko squash to open Mania 6 though, so that’s nice. Santana jobbed to Barbarian in that match. Why they didn’t just wrestle each other is beyond me.

I think it was planned for them at Summerslam 90, NEARLY A YEAR AFTER THIS, but it didn’t happen as Martel was injured. Martel pins Santana using the tights to finally get rid of someone after 9 minutes. This was far better though as it at least makes things go faster. We have 7 people left instead of 9 so we’re far closer to being done as opposed to the past two years. They keep referring to Bossman vs. Rooster as a mismatch and that’s true.

It’s talent vs. no talent which is a mismatch if I’ve ever heard of one. Bad News doesn’t want to get in the ring as the foreshadowing is absurd at this point. And there it is. In the EXACT SAME SPOT as last year, Bad News gets hit by his partner. Yep after an argument Brown is leaving. See, Dusty’s team is smart here as they don’t do anything to Brown or the other team. If they’re going to go after each other why not just let them? It’s what I’d do.

It never ceases to amaze me how much bigger of a star a wrestler can become by just simply hanging out with Hulk Hogan. What is so great about Beefcake? He has some kick great theme music, but other than that what has he ever done on his own? He’s a barber for crying out loud, yet he’s a major star simply because of Hogan’s association with him. That’s how you know you’re a big star: when by simply being around someone else you make them a major star. That’s saying a lot.

You could say the same thing about Hillbilly Jim too. He got big because of Hogan but he then carried it himself. Anyway, Beefcake takes out Honky with a high knee, doing something that no midcard guy could do for over a year: pin him. That’s actually quite impressive when you think about it. Honky went a LONG time without losing to someone on his level. We’re at 3-2 with the Dream Team in the lead now. Brutus takes care of Martel after being beaten on for awhile.

It made sense though as it was on a sunset flip, which at least makes it look like it’s a surprise. Rooster lasts about 20 seconds against Bossman so thank goodness he’s gone after a Bossman slam. Brutus hits a very odd looking spot as he comes is whipped in and comes back and just kind of raises his knee into Bossman’s chest. He doesn’t jump or anything so it’s not technically a high knee, but instead he just knees him in the chest. It just looked odd, but effective.

Dusty jumps at him and the bell rings twice to end this. Post match Dusty gets beaten half to death by the nightstick. The epic fatness saves him though. Dusty’s overselling here is great. Brutus helps Rhodes out as his music plays and an ugly woman cheers him on. This woman would soon be known as Sapphire.

Rating: B-. See, this is similar to last year’s, but it’s 8 minutes shorter. That makes this miles better. We don’t have 8 minutes of chinlocks or armbars, but rather much faster stuff and less time between eliminations. There were periods of almost 20 minutes with 2 eliminations last year. That’s just dull. This was MUCH better organized as far as time goes and it made for a much more interesting and much better match. It’s still not great, but it’s far better than last year.

Boss Man says Dusty got what he deserved.

The King’s Court all say they’re going to win and that they’re liking this team. The old interview area was always awesome.

King’s Court vs. 4x4s

King’s Court: Randy Savage, Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Greg Valentine
4x4s: Jim Duggan, Ronnie Garvin, Bret Hart, Hercules

Two things: Either Earthquake or Bravo is replacing Widowmaker, who is more commonly known as Barry Windham. I’ve heard either answer so it could very well be either one. Earthquake was a rookie at this point so my guess would be him as Bravo had been around for at least 3 years at this point. Second, Bret and Neidhart are being tested here to see how they do in singles stuff, and Neidhart is actually in the main event. Third and most importantly: Ronnie Garvin still sucks.

Oddly enough the captain leads his heels down the aisle. I like that as it looks like he’s leading them into battle. There’s actually a point to this feud as Hacksaw lost the crown to Savage and he wants it back, leading to this feud. Other than that there’s no real point to these matchups. Based on the commentary, Earthquake is the replacement as it sounds like Jimmy Hart was bought off for this. All of the faces have 2x4s.

That’s either really smart or really stupid and I’m not sure which. In spite of what Gorilla would tell you, the people are not literally hanging from the rafters. Hercules is showing off all kinds of power out there which is actually pretty impressive. Dang Bret is getting a reaction. For a career tag team guy, that’s impressive. Oh yeah Garvin and Valentine are feuding here so it’s only four pointless guys out there. Somehow, Garvin is a former world heavyweight champion.

I think Earthquake and Hercules had a match at Mania and Bret and Bravo had some house show matches if I remember right, so there’s at least some minor stuff from all of these guys. Earthquake sits on Hercules’ chest in about 4 minutes to end him. How awesome of a finisher is that? He just sits on you to get rid of you. I love that.

Yeah Bravo went after Hart so I’d assume they were having a small feud at this point. Ah nice it’s beat on Garvin time! I officially love the King’s Court. It’s weird hearing Jimmy Hart cheering on Savage. Jimmy really is a great manager when you think about it. You can see he’s having a blast out there every time he’s in the arena and that’s all you can ask for out of a performer. Dang it doesn’t last long as he slips a blind tag to Hacksaw who hits the three point clothesline to beat Valentine and even us up.

Earthquake and Hacksaw do some stupid looking brawling for awhile until both tag out so we get more Garvin. Oh yay. He jumps in the air and slams his head into Bravo’s. Yeah that was stupid. Why was the Garvin Stomp supposed to mean something? It’s the same thing that Orton does now where he goes around in a circle with kicks, but Garvin does it somehow more slowly than Orton does. Let that sink in for a bit.

It also looks even stupider than when Orton does it. He’s just kicking the guy. Why is that supposed to be some awesome move? Holy crap it’s Savage vs. Hart. In a GREAT looking scene, Savage runs at Garvin with reckless abandon but as soon as Hart is tagged in Savage stops dead and backs away. The pop is there and Hart all of a sudden looks like a god. Right there, that is how you build somebody.

You take a veteran and an a-list guy like Savage and you have him make Hart look like they’re even. That was perfect. The announcers are helping too by implying Bret can match Savage move for move, which he could, but how many people noticed it for the first time because of what Gorilla said? Of course, they screw it up by having the camera on Sherri for about 10 seconds so we miss the initial contact. Thank you horny Vince.

The crowd is going freaking off for Bret so at least they know what they’re talking about. Savage of course bails in about 40 seconds to bring in Dino Bravo. What was the appeal of this guy anyway? Did he ever actually do anything? Not that I can remember. Correction: he just eliminated Garvin so he is now on my all time top 5.

It’s time for more brawling with Duggan and Quake. Seriously, why is this the thing we keep going back to? It didn’t work the first time so why are we seeing it again? Why not more Bret and Savage, since they’re the most talented people in this match? Of course that’s what I get when I say it. Now for the main thing: Bret wins here. He doesn’t eliminate Savage, but he certainly out fights him here. What more can you ask Savage to do for Bret here?

It kind of worked too as after another run with Neidhart, Bret would begin his singles career. WOW. They fought for about 2 minutes and I don’t think Savage had any offense. He was only able to tag because he got out of the way of an elbow from the middle rope. That’s probably the best job of putting someone over I’ve ever seen. That was absolutely perfect. You have to remember that just 7 months prior to this, Savage was on the end of a yearlong world title reign.

It’s not like he was just a guy that was hot at the time. This would be like Miz or Swagger beating on Cena for a few minutes and Cena not getting in a single blow for the whole times. The announcers argue about Duggan with Gorilla saying he doesn’t know the meaning of the word quit. Jesse responds in perfect timing with the gem of so what? There’s lots of words he doesn’t know the meaning of.

I’ve always wondered why wrestlers didn’t watch the tapes and kill Jesse for what he said about them. Same goes for today. Announcers insult people all the time, so why don’t the wrestlers go after them? I certainly would. Ok so I’d get fired and arrested for it but I’d still do it. Geez, Bret takes a beating for about 5 minutes from Bravo but Savage comes in and Bret makes his comeback. I hope Bret bought Savage dinner after this. He owes him either that at least.

Now you’re going to see the brilliance that is Jim Duggan and his great leadership. Bret is out of it after that huge beating but he FINALLY gets the tag so that Duggan is in. Duggan is in for FIFTEEN SECONDS before tagging Bret back in. At this point, Duggan deserves to lose. That’s just freaking stupid.

Now we get something you might never see again. Bret hits the post with his shoulder, and Bravo ACTUALLY FOLLOWS UP ON IT! He hits a shoulderbreaker, which is actually making sense. My goodness people, the WWE guys today need to watch Dino Bravo matches as that was the best psychology I’ve ever seen from him. He had something handed to him and he followed up on it. He then tags to Macho who gets the elbow for the pin.

Jesse swears no one can kick out of that, obviously forgetting Hogan doing just that earlier in the year. It’s Duggan against three guys now. Jesse says Duggan wants the capacity house to get behind him. That’s some weird wording. They really make Duggan look good here as the heels don’t tag for a bit and he holds them all off. Macho is really putting people over tonight, which makes sense as he certainly was the most accomplished person in this match and it wasn’t even close.

Other than Savage only Valentine and Hart had won titles, with Hart’s tag title reigns and Valentine being a completely different character at this point. His IC title reigns are completely forgotten. This is basically just Duggan trying to survive…which I guess is the point of the whole show so maybe Duggan is smarter than all of us.

He gets knocked to the floor and due to the managers and Earthquake he doesn’t get back in time. That’s saying a lot. They didn’t have him get pinned. He clears the ring with the board. Now, is that his board, or did he steal it from someone else from earlier? What a great American role model.

Rating: B+. I really liked the psychology here. Duggan not getting pinned, Bret being made to look AWESOME, Hercules not lasting long at all and Garvin getting killed means this was fun. The heels more or less dominating was fine here and this was exactly what it should have been. Savage was 10x anything on the other team and there was no reason his team should have lost. The best way to describe this match was that it made sense, which means a lot in my mind.

DiBiase is with his team and says that his team is awesome and that Hogan will lose. Now that would be possible if he wasn’t going up against perhaps the greatest Survivor Series team ever assembled. More on that later.

Over to Gene who has a report on Dusty’s condition. He says it’s bad but that Dusty will be back.

The Genius has a poem. It’s catchy I guess.

Million Dollar Team vs. Hulkamaniacs

Million Dollar Team: Ted DiBiase, Powers of Pain (Warlord/Barbarian), Zeus
Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Demolition (Axe/Smash)

See what I meant by greatest team ever? Seriously, show me a better four man team EVER. This was the second Demolition reign as they had just gotten the belts back from the Brainbusters. Hogan is the world champion, and Roberts didn’t need a title to be a huge name. I defy you to find me a more balanced team. Also, for ONCE, this is perfectly done.

Hogan and Zeus are feuding, and there was actually a glimmer, and I do mean a glimmer, of a chance that those two would have headlined Wrestlemania 6. To fans like we are in that era, this scared the heck out of us. Everyone that knew anything knew that Zeus was bad, but the Hollywood aspect of this was actually getting Vince believing that it would work in front of 65,000 people. That speaks volumes about how big this feud was.

For every fan out there, you should be thanking whoever booked tonight’s show, because this was Warrior’s main event audition. If this failed, it would have been Zeus vs. Hogan at Wrestlemania. Demolition and the Powers of Pain were feuding earlier in the year so this was either the very end of it or it was already over and we were waiting on their transition to facing the Heenan Family of Haku and Andre. Finally, DiBiase and Roberts are going at it.

Amazingly, no entrance for the heels as they’re in the ring at the end of the poem. I knew Genius couldn’t get that kind of heat on his own. Anyway, all of the faces here have awesome music here. The pops for all four faces are huge, as I really don’t get why this is in the middle of the show. Chicago is notorious for hot crowds and this is no exception.

Good grief the people loved Hogan. The heels won’t let the faces get in. You know what the solution is. BIG FREAKING SNAKE! I am in full mark out mode here as this is just awesome. Hogan’s music is playing the whole time just to make it even cooler. The bell ringing kind of brings me back to reality.

Gorilla’s commentary about Zeus is cracking me up. “Is that big Z on the side of his head in case he gets lost or something?” Gorilla and Jesse are perhaps the best duo of all time. They just are perfect together to say the least. Hogan and Zeus start us off, giving us that epic wrestling encounter we all know they have inside of them. Zeus is actually the same height as Hogan. That surprises me a bit.

I would have thought Hogan was taller. Gorilla will not let up on Zeus as he’s now talking about his belt. Zeus completely no sells everything. Even a jumping knee to the chest does nothing as apparently Hogan is now an MMA guy. He goes to the eyes and slams Zeus who pops back up. This stuns Hogan. Why? It’s a freaking bodyslam, not a Jackknife. Barbarian interferes and Hogan has his head and neck twisted.

That move by Giant in 1995 would put Hogan on the shelf for 3 months, yet here he keeps fighting. What that tells me is that Giant (Big Show for all you newcomers out there) is WAY stronger than Hogan. Zeus chokes away but throws the referee across the ring for the DQ. Everyone runs in and it takes DiBiase promising money to get Zeus off of Hogan. Now some of you might not get why this was the right thing to do. I’ll explain it to you. Zeus makes Khali look like Lou Thesz.

Now, I’ve explained the whole issue with Zeus in far greater detail in my Summerslam review, but in short, Zeus was an actor from the movie Hulk made called No Holds Barred. He wasn’t a wrestler and therefore couldn’t do much in the ring. This would be like having Shaq be in the main event of a PPV. Now, having him do one or two matches would be fine as he could get a crash course in wrestling and his natural athleticism could carry the rest of it.

However, imagine Shaq vs. Cena for the world title at Mania. It’s crazy to even think of. Thankfully, Hogan and Zeus had their feud blown off on a special PPV which was the movie No Holds Barred followed by Hogan and Beefcake against Savage and Zeus in a cage. Hogan hit three legdrops and pinned him to end it and save for a short promo, Zeus wasn’t seen in a ring again for over 6 years.

DiBiase comes in and beats the tar out of Hogan, which shows why this wasn’t the smartest booking in the world. Instead of Zeus going out first, you should have the other guys eliminate each other and put Hogan’s team at a disadvantage so that Hogan can make more of a superman comeback. Jake gets in and he half kills DiBiase. I’ve always loved Demolition’s style: hit people a lot. There’s no thought to it and it’s just mindless violence. What more can you ask for?

They beat down Andre the Giant, so I’ll take them over anyone else as far as brawling goes. Now here we have the stupidity of the way this match was booked: Hogan is already fine about 2 minutes after that horrible beating. I get that they were trying to hold out for Hogan vs. Zeus, but give me a break here. Now the ending is completely obvious as Hogan of course is going to survive, so why should I watch the next 20 minutes of this match?

Now I already know how the rest of it goes, but even if I hadn’t I could call this a mile away. Hogan’s team will get eliminated and he’ll beat DiBiase one on one for the “huge comeback” win. This is what I hate about late 80s booking. The ending works fine most of the time, but getting there makes NO SENSE. However, we do get a fun spot where Hogan and Demolition beat down DiBiase. Why did Hogan and DiBiase never have that big match?

If there has even been one major match that was built up for years and never had the trigger pulled on it, that was it. They just never got to it and that’s not good. They had a match on SNME, but never that big blowoff match on a major show. I would have made that the main event of Mania 6, with DiBiase saying he had enough of paying people to get the job done and he was going to do it himself.

Now for the key: I would have had DiBiase win it. Hogan loses at Mania anyway, so why not to DiBiase? Then have Warrior take it at Summerslam or whatever to lead up to Mania 7 like always. See it’s not that hard. My booking train of thought is completely derailed here by a Monsoon line. “I don’t care if you have a Big Z on the side of your head, that’s not legal.” The greatness of this line cannot even be put into words.

That line is so corny, so horrible, and so freaking stupid that is completely AWESOME. Jesse has NO CLUE what to say to that, so Gorilla keeps complaining about Zeus. Does Tom Lister owe him money or something? Now we move on to the completely stupid elimination of Axe. Fuji trips him, Warlord drops a standard elbow on him, and he’s out. He was relatively fresh so it’s not like he was worn out or something.

If he was worn out completely then that ending makes sense, but why was that all it took? It was a simple elbow drop. That’s the issue I have with the People’s Elbow. It’s an elbow drop. It takes 20 seconds to set up and the effects of the Rock Bottom are wearing off, so it’s a basic elbow. Why should that be able to win matches? That was just freaking stupid.

Yep, Hogan is still fine and this match still sucks. I think that was the issue with this team: they were too good. There’s no way that the heels were going to be able to win here, so therefore, the faces should have lost. That choke thing should have gotten rid of Hogan and the faces should have gone down. How big of a shock would that have been? It sets up Hogan to beat Zeus at the special PPV and DiBiase at Mania, like I SAID WOULD WORK.

Why did I have to be not even two back then? Despite not doing anything for most of the time, we get a rest hold. Good night this is just boring. DiBiase does a weird looking falling elbow from the middle rope which misses. Barbarian clotheslines the heck out of Smash to pin him. It’s Jake and Hogan against the Powers of Pain and DiBiase. I’ve always loved Jake’s blind punches. If he ever hit one of those he would probably half kill someone. That’s better than killing someone I guess.

Roberts, being the better at selling, gets his snake loving head nded to him. Barbarian misses the diving headbutt as Hogan looks like his doggy has been run over as he always does. Hogan fights off both of them as I’m about to snap if I hear Gorilla call Hogan the champ one more time. The referee disqualifies both Powers of Pain for double teaming to make this 2-1 as this is just freaking stupid at this point. Jesse is pissed off and I can’t blame him.

Gorilla is just blatantly being biased at this point and even I’m pissed off too. Why does Hogan have to be pushed THIS strong? He’s the freaking world champion and a single loss in a team match isn’t going to hurt him one freaking bit. Immediately after this, Hogan survives a LONG Million Dollar Dream as even I’m sick of this stupidity at this point. Jake comes in and beats the tar out of DiBiase. I love Ted’s flips. Watch him get knocked around sometime and you’ll see what I mean.

They’re perfectly fluid and they look excellent. Virgil interferes and takes a SWEET DDT to knock him out, but DiBiase drops the falling punch and uses the ropes to pin Jake. At least with the ropes it makes a bit more sense, but Jake not even moving until the three is on the way down was just stupid looking. Did he wake up all of a sudden?

So it’s one on one and Hogan is spent. Gee, I wonder what this is going to be like. Could it be, oh I don’t know, THE SAME FREAKING  THING I SAID IT WOULD BE??? Gorilla once again calls Hogan the champ as I feel like I’m watching a Flintstones cartoon. It was always the champ that they wanted to watch on TV. The booking here is just awful as we have our comeback but the double clothesline kills that off.

Yep the legdrop ends this THANK GOODNESS. Hogan poses for TWO AND A HALF MINUTES while holding the belt in DiBiase’s face. See, wouldn’t that be a great buildup for WRESTLEMANIA in 4 months? Heck no let’s just have Hogan reign supreme AGAIN when he didn’t need to.

Rating: D-. Now I’m a Hulkamaniac and I always will be despite what he did in WCW and all the politics he played etc. He’s the greatest and biggest wrestler of all time and he always will be, but this was AWFUL. The booking was just completely stupid here and it backed them into a corner so that the main event had to be Hogan against either Zeus or Warrior. As Gilbertti said, if someone is pinned clean, why should we want to see that match again? I certainly wouldn’t.

DiBiase and Hogan was the money match that had been teased since at least Mania 4, so why did we never get it? Instead we got Hogan and Warrior, which was fine, but they completely blew this one. Why does Hogan, the world champion, have to win here? If Zeus is supposed to be this unstoppable monster, why should Hogan pop up and be fine two minutes later? This just could have been done so much better than they did it, and I don’t get and, nor do I like anything about it.

Savage and Zeus are in the back now as they’re back to being BFFs and they plug the special PPV.

Hogan and Beefcake do the same, but the heels run in and beat them up.

We run down the rest of the card as we have to be at an intermission at this point.

Jesse runs down Hogan and talks about how stupid that was, as well as talking about how the Heenan Family is arguing.

Sean is with Rude’s team and they all say they’ll win. This takes a long time and The Rougeaus are funny.

Roddy leads his team down the hall as all three of them try to smuggle turkey to the ring and leads them in a song/chant. This is bizarre but actually funny.

Rude Brood vs. Roddy’s Rowdies

Rude Brood: Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, Rougeau Brothers
Roddy’s Rowdies: Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Bushwackers

So let’s take a look at these teams. First of all they mostly match up with Snuka and Perfect not feuding but they at least are on about the same level. However, let’s break this down. Rude’s team. Here we have Perfect and Rude, both IC and US champions and two of the best to never win one of the two big world titles. They’re teaming with the Rougeaus who are some of the most athletic and crisp guys you’ll ever see.

On the other team we have four guys that have a combined two titles in WWE. Piper has both of them, with the IC title in 1992 and the tag titles with Flair in the 2000s. Yep, if there’s ever been a perfect distribution of talent, this is it. Seriously, even on paper this match looks like a joke. Perfect is with the Genius here. He and Hogan would have a small feud, but no one bought it. Now if that happened a few years later, we’d certainly be on to something. The Rougeau music is AWESOME.

They’re All American Boys! This is one of my all time favorite wrestling songs and is just pure awesome. Rude comes out sans Bobby. This went nowhere really as Heenan stayed with him until he left the company in about a year. He did pick up Henning in a bit though. Snuka has done nothing ever in WWE. Name one match that he won that wasn’t a squash.

He had the cage dive that apparently influenced about half of the wrestlers active today though. Bushwackers, called the marching morons by Jesse, never won anything either. Piper, who won all of two matches that meant anything in WWF, is by far and away the most accomplished member of his team. His pop is great. The bagpipes are completely awesome as always.

We start off with Perfect and Luke. Rude’s tights put RVD’s to shame on all levels. They’re completely awesome. Everyone bites Perfect. I wonder if he needs salt. Jacques does the Jeff Hardy head over heels rope flip which always looks awesome. He then lays down and does a kip up. Yeah these guys were awesome as far as athleticism. They came in during the apex of tag wrestling though and it was hard for them to really break though.

Take my word for it though: they were sweet. Superfly really isn’t all that impressive to me. He had some flashy moves but there’s not a ton of substance here for me. He does have a sweet big splash though and that ends Jacques as Jesse can’t say the name of the face team. They beat up on Perfect for awhile as this is remaining ok I guess. Now no one believes that the Bushwackers are going to beat Perfect, but it’s at least not a bad waste of time.

He finally gets out and it’s Raymond against Piper now. Well this should be….different. Piper eliminates him in about a minute after Ray beats on him for awhile to make it 4-2 and now even I can see how this is going to end. We know it’ll get down to 2-2 and it’ll be the big stars left. Yeah, it’s not hard to figure out at this point. I love how the Bushwackers are completely insane yet they’re trained wrestlers. That’s always been amusing to me. What was training them like?

In case you can’t tell, I’m quite bored at this point as we’re just filling in time before we get down to the big names. Piper and Perfect is a pretty interesting matchup actually. It’s a complete clash of styles and it works very well. What more can you ask for out of this match? I know that we’ve got a gimmick show here but there’s a lot of singles matches that I think would have been better here. Granted they weren’t feuding here but still that’s a feud I’d like to see.

Rude is flat out ROCKING that porn stache. Butch bites Perfect’s trunks. Seriously dude, that’s just getting stupid. Perfect takes him out with a rollup. I wonder if Bobby ever motivated him like that. Bite him on the trunks and he’ll start fighting better. Luke bites Rude on the face and it leads to the Rude Awakening to get it down to the predictable ending.

The heels beat on Snuka for awhile here as it’s quite boring at this point. Piper yelling come on Jimmy makes me think of the movie The Wizard and Video Armageddon. I hate this match. It’s so bad. I better get some Lee rep for that one. Anyway, Snuka powers out of a cover and Perfect lands on the referee with the back of the referee’s head in Perfect’s crotch. When is tea time anyway? Jesse keeps saying Snooka and it’s getting annoying.

Rude rakes the back and Jesse calls it a Piper move. That’s a Hogan move actually Body. The future governor says that this is a standard tag team match now. That’s not true either as it’s elimination, not standard. Why does Jimmy wrestle barefoot? That has to be annoying at times. What if he stubs it or something? Yoda Monsoon says “head to head they hit.” I guess the hand next to the head when Roddy punches is a boxing thing. That’s all I can think of.

So we have our two captains and it lasts a minute and a half as they go to the floor for the double count out to make it one on one. Yeah I’ll spoil it for you: Perfect is going to win. They tried so hard to build him up as credible but he just failed in house shows against Hogan as no one thought he was a legit challenger which is why Perfect never was a real option for a PPV opponent, despite the AWESOME set of promos about how Perfect he really was.

Yeah Perfect is dominating and it’s looking like a squash. Short comeback should happen in about a minute or so. Yep I was right. I officially hate this match. I’ve called half the sequences in it and this is just boring me to death at this point. We get a decently fast paced sequence, but naturally the savage falls victim to the Perfectplex. Why would you ever put your head down in front of a guy that uses a suplex as his finisher? Even Snuka is smarter than that isn’t he? Snuka beats up the Genius afterwards.

Rating: D. I HATED this match. It was just flat out awful and the lineup gave away the ending the whole way. You knew the tag teams would cancel each other out and it would get down to the main guys. At that point, there was no way that we were going to have a face team win. Snuka was a jobber to the stars as you remember him being the first victim of the Streak. This was no exception and it was a lot of filler as well, so I’m certainly not impressed.

The Rude Brood celebrates but Rude won’t talk about Heenan.

The Ultimate Warriors, a pretty bad team, says they hope they spoil Thanksgiving for the Heenan Family.

Heenan Family vs. Ultimate Warriors

Heenan Family: Andre the Giant, Bobby Heenan, Arn Anderson, Haku
Ultimate Warriors: Duh, Rockers, Jim Neidhart

This was the epitome of a last second switch. The Brainbusters, Anderson and Blanchard, were being thrown out as they were just too good and Vince knew it. However, Tully failed a drug test earlier in the day and that was all the reason needed to fire him. Bobby was put into this match as a result. He’s dressed like Andre which amuses me. Even the announcers sound generally surprised about Bobby being out there, so maybe there was something to the idea of this being a legit surprise.

I can’t believe this. I like the Rockers’ music. Yeah Shawn Michaels is in the main event of the Survivor Series. What’s with the high knees in this show? Andre jumps the faces and beats the tar out of them until Warrior comes out and saves them, clotheslining Andre three times to knock him out cold on the floor. That’s how banged up he was. That was as long as he could last at the moment.

Yes, that man would be a champion before the year was over though, giving Andre a completely token title reign to end his career. That would actually be the main event of a LOT of house shows around this time: Warrior beats Andre in less than a minute. So let me get this straight.

We have a young tag team and a powerhouse teaming with an unstoppable force in the Warrior in his main event tryout against a good wrestler in Anderson, a strong guy but more or less a career jobber to the stars in Haku, and a manager. Yeah, this is a FINE way to end the show. What is so special about Jim Neidhart? You hear no real complaints about him, but what did he ever do? He and Bret were a great team, but Bret is obviously the more talented guy.

Neidhart was a jobber for awhile as I don’t remember him winning any singles matches, yet he’s remembered FAR more fondly than his counterpart, Marty Jannetty. However, Jannetty has a pretty decent resume of his own: IC and tag champion. That’s not a bad little career. Now of course it’s nothing great, but that’s not bad either. How many wrestlers don’t have that kind of record? Andre looks downright depressing.

He can’t stand up straight, he’s hobbling around and he’s just shouting unintelligibly. Why was he allowed near a ring at this point? A simple two and a half years before this and he looked fine at Mania 3. This is just sad to see though. Jesse talking about how great and tough Heenan is has me cracking up. Haku hits a kick to the back of Anvil’s head to even us up at three.

Shawn is in there now, and it’s just amazing to think that he’s by far the biggest star left in this match. Who in their right mind would have guessed that? Now we get to some solid stuff as it’s Rockers vs. real wrestlers. I’d LOVE to see this be against the Brainbusters instead of Arn and Haku which is as odd of a pairing as you could ever imagine. Other than a short Warrior thing which was also ok as I like power vs. power at times, this is the best part of the whole show.

The Rockers are really underrated as a team in my eyes. They can bring it with the best of them. Also, they hit a double superkick. Shouldn’t Arn be out cold at this point? That’s a move that I could actually give a break to for Shawn about how it knocks people out now but not then. You could argue that he started practicing it more and got the mechanics of it down better and worked his leg harder to get it stronger, so I can live with that actually.

Heenan comes in, hits a knee, gets punched in the ribs and is out. If Santino did that every week, I’d almost like him. Ok that’s a lie but it would amuse me. Haku and Anderson KILL Marty so that Brain can come in and hit a few stomps and a knee to win it. We have an answer as to why Neidhart is remembered more fondly. He lost to Haku, who got a few world title shots in the next year. Jannetty lost to a guy that tripped over the tail of his weasel suit.

What is this book they keep talking about? I’d love a copy of that book. Warrior comes in and within 12 seconds it’s rest hold time! We get another one a few seconds later. Both are bearhugs by the way. You really can see that Shawn is the star in the making. He has that look in his eyes that people talk about. Actually that might be cocaine, not sure.

The faces use the Midnight Express’ Rocket Launcher which has to make Arn laugh, as he and Tully dropped the titles to them so they could leave the NWA. Shawn with a GORGEOUS high cross body takes out Haku. We now have Bobby Heenan against Shawn Michaels. That is just hilarious. Heenan goes UP TOP! Make that the middle rope. Ok it’s the apron. Yeah he’s not doing anything.

This is the epitome of the coward and it’s working perfectly. OH NOW I GET IT! He’s using his brain! So he’s using himself? Is he his own pimp? Is Godfather needed? Ok I’m done. Shawn and Arn are going at it now as that’s a fine match. Arn with the Anderson Drop, takes out Shawn. Wait the what? When in the world did the spinebuster have a name??? I love that. That’s what it should be called. It’s an awesome name.

More or less it’s Arn by himself against Warrior which leads to at least one funny moment: he goes for a tag and Heenan says no way. Arn is PISSED. For his troubles he gets gorilla pressed and splashed for the pin, and guess who’s the last heel standing. The look on his face is priceless. Warrior goes commando and sneaks up on Heenan which is funny as well. Sadly this is a borderline comedy match.

Heenan’s face is killing me as that could be an avatar with ease. I could be convinced to give up Link for a shot of that. Heenan is running as much as he can but it’s not working. He almost gets up the aisle but it doesn’t work. You know the ending already. Warrior, the jerk he is, chases him up the aisle and clotheslines him in the back of the head which I don’t think Heenan knew was coming, which is not only unprofessional but very dangerous. Yeah Warrior was kind of horrible.

Rating: C+. The comedy here is just ok and again, WE KNEW WHO WAS GOING TO WIN! Andre simply had no business being out there and it’s just plain sad. Now this would have been miles better had Tully been in it, but on mere hours’ notice, what can you ask from Vince? It’s ok and the fans went home happy, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt here. Also, the Rockers/Heenan Family stuff was pretty sweet.

Overall Rating: D+. And that’s being VERY generous. The first two matches are pretty good, but the last three have some of the worst major show booking that I’ve ever seen in my life. It made little sense, it accomplished nothing at all, and it was as predictable as possible. This was just awful at the end. Unless you’re a hardcore 80s WWF fan, stay away from this. However, next year we get a few twists and a HUGE debut.

WAIT!

Just so I can say I reviewed it, you’re getting a bonus match. No Holds Barred was later shown on a special PPV called The Movie and the Match. All it consisted of was the movie and then a special cage match between Hogan and Beefcake vs. Savage and Zeus. That’s all it was: a movie and a match, but it was the closest thing to a definitive blow off between Hogan and Zeus that we ever got so let’s give it a shot.

Hulk Hogan/Brutus Beefcake vs. Randy Savage/Zeus

We start with Sean giving a very brief introduction, saying that this is a real challenge to Hulkamania etc. This was in Nashville at a Wrestling Challenge taping in December of 1989 with the PPV on December 27. The heels are already in the ring when we start this up, which can’t be a good sign. Hogan is world champion here. Your commentators are Vince and Jesse. Hogan brings his own chain to lock the cage. That’s just odd.

Beefcake gets in first but as Hogan is getting in, Sherri slams the door on him so it’s 2-1. Savage grabs Hogan to hold him on the ground. The referee runs over to help him, despite having no actual authority here. As he’s doing this, Sherri locks the door so Beefcake is stuck. However it’s the late 80s so we have to make this completely pointless to close out the decade, so Hogan gets loose and climbs in about a minute later.

Beefcake is down now though, so I guess there was at least a thought there. The cage is moving a lot, which is a flaw of the old school kind. The faces are all of a sudden dominating. Dang Hogan liked raking men’s skin. He did that a lot. However, Zeus rams both guys’ heads into the cage to turn it around for the second time in less than four minutes. The rules here are both guys have to get out to win. There’s no pins or submissions.

Savage nearly gets out but Beefcake makes the save. Here’s Sherri though showing off that tremendous figure of hers. I really think Brutus was underrated as a worker. He suffered from having his career turned upside down by the face injury and some of the absolute dumbest gimmicks of all time. Savage and Zeus are completely dominating here. They both try to go up though and the faces make the saves and here’s your comeback.

All four are down after a quadruple cage shot. For no apparent reason, the referee opens the cage, and Sherri slams the door on his head in one of the SICKEST sounding things I’ve ever heard. I mean there was a thud when that door hit him. Despite it being no holds barred, we need to keep the official out of the way. Sherri slips Savage the chain. In a laugh out loud moment, Jesse says Vince has no authority here. I love lines like that.

Savage jumps off the top of the cage with the chain around his hand but misses Beefcake and here come your faces again. A chain shot takes Savage down but of course doesn’t knock him out. You’d be amazed how immune to pain cocaine can make you. Zeus pounds on Hulk. I’ll give you two guesses as to how that goes for him. Beefcake gets up the cage after knocking Savage off and does this big celebration before leaving. Thanks for leaving your partner you freaking traitor.

He pulls Savage out. So let me get this straight: Beefcake leaves Hogan and then tries to help the other team win. What kind of a freaking excuse for a friend is he? What’s next: joining the heel stable as a completely over the top character that can only say two words and apparently losing his calling as a barber? Good grief I love wrestling. Only in wrestling could that even resemble making sense. Four cage shots leads to three leg drops. WOW he must have hated Zeus.

Three Hogan leg drops is equal to the combined power of the militaries of Bolivia and the Death Star. Wait, Hogan gets the pin? There were no pins mentioned before. At least the 80s are going out in style: a short cage match with over the top characters and rules that are changed on the fly. Jesse’s line of “I don’t believe it he did it again” cracks me up.

Rating: B-. This was literally just a match at a TV taping that was thrown on at the end, so what do you expect from it? It’s about ten minutes long and exactly what you would expect it to be. It’s nothing great but it sent the fans home happy and ended Hogan vs. Zeus so there we go. It did what it was supposed to do also: gave the people a reason to buy the movie. This was eventually put out on a home video compilation tape called Supertape, so it’s whatever. This was perfectly fine.

 

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