History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 1992 – Bret Vs. Shawn At Survivor Series

Survivor Series 1992
Date: November 25, 1992
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
Attendance: 17,500
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan

Ok so for once we really do have a ton of changes here. For one thing, this is far closer to a standard PPV. There’s one Survivor Series match which is kind of one I guess, but it’s two tag teams and if one member is eliminated both members are gone so it’s kind of a Survivor Series match but not really. The other huge difference here is that there’s no Hogan or Warrior. Warrior is on the box of the tape, but he wasn’t on the show.

He was supposed to be in half of the double main event, a tag match with Savage against Razor Ramon and Flair. However, he bailed a week before the show and the WWF had to use Mr. Perfect in what I thought was a great angle that I’ll get to later. Other than that, your main event is Bret vs. Shawn. This was a real gamble for Vince as we had never tried having two standard wrestlers go at it in a major show’s main event.

There’s no big muscle head to go out and have a match, but Vince put his faith in what he had left and to me, it worked. Other than that, this isn’t going to look like the Survivor Series. With what’s been happening lately at this show, it can’t be worse, so let’s see how this is.

We open with the Reverend Slick saying…ummm…I have no idea what he’s talking about. I think it was something about spreading light. Yeah this was a strange character but he was very energetic so I can’t complain. Vince and Bobby go over the double main event and we’re ready to go.

Headshrinkers vs. High Energy

High Energy is Koko B. Ware and Owen Hart in really bright and baggy neon pants and suspenders. Headshrinkers are two Samoans that are monsters. Guess what this is. Yep, it’s a squash, however, oddly enough the Headshrinkers are in the ring before High Energy is introduced so they look like the jobbers. That’s just odd. I’ve always been a mark for the Headshrinkers so if nothing else I’ll probably like this match.

Fatu is more commonly known as Rikishi. Vince is needling Bobby about Perfect’s face turn which is just great. How in the world is Koko a Hall of Fame member? That just boggles my mind every time I think about it. Vince says that High Energy has been very successful so far. That’s nonsense but oh well. Heenan asks Vince if the Headshrinkers will be at his house for Thanksgiving. That’s an amusing thought and oddly enough I think Vince would have fun with it.

After Koko gets the tar beaten out of him for a good while, he makes the hot tag to the most talented guy in the match, Owen. Owen comes in and beats up the Headshrinkers for a bit, but the overall mass of the fat one is too much for Owen and he’s pinned after a big splash from the top.

This was fairly long at about seven and a half minutes but it was really just an extended squash. Post match Heenan uses his Brain Scan, a telestrator, the white pen thing on the screen, to show how Owen is a turkey. In other words, he draws pictures with it.

Rating: C+. It wasn’t bad, but it was a nice breath of air compared to most Survivor Series matches. It was a standard tag team squash, which isn’t something that you see very often anymore, mainly because the tag team division sucks. Anyway, this was at least ok. It’s not great but it’s not bad. It’s certainly acceptable and a fine choice to open the show.

Alfred Hayes is with Boss Man who says he’s going to beat Nailz.

Sean Mooney says that viewer discretion is advised for the following match. Now there’s something you don’t see every day. Nailz implies Boss Man was abusive and that he’s been waiting for this. He says he’s a good climber, so does that mean he’s an escaped convict? Yeah that’s just kind of stupid.

Boss Man cuts a promo…again. He says the exact same thing. I think only one was shown on the live broadcast, but I really don’t get why they did two in a row like this. The second is better.

Nightstick on a Pole: Big Boss Man vs. Nailz

During that second promo, Boss Man runs off mid sentence to catch Nailz who is trying to get the stick early. That at least makes sense. Yep it’s a big brawl. That’s all this was supposed to be. Boss Man was more or less worthless at this point, but Nailz was going to be given the Undertaker of all people next, as he had several house show matches followed by being on the cover of the WWF Magazine. However, after nearly murdering Vince McMahon (literally) he was fired.

As you would expect, both guys go for the post but neither can get it. The pole is too short though and all you have to do is stand on the top rope. Of course since this is a pole match and all they have to do is standard climbing, it takes 20 seconds to get up there. Nailz at least has the psychology of it right as he uses mainly chokes and punches. He’s not supposed to be a polished wrestler and he’s not wrestling like one.

He’s a street fighter and he’s acting like one. At least he’s smart enough to do that. This is just a sloppy match all around. They’re worn out after about three minutes with no big bumps yet. The way Bobby and Vince are talking about it you would think this was a Hell in a Cell match or something. See, if I were in this match, I’d let the other guy get the stick and then jump him on the way down, but then again I’m not a professional.

Boss Man gets the stick and beats Nailz with it, but a shot to the head isn’t enough to keep him down apparently. Nailz gets it and hits Boss Man in the side with it. He then waits for him to get up, misses a shot, gets punched twice, whipped in and the Boss Man Slam ends it. Yep that’s it. This was a waste of time.

Rating: D+. This was just awful. There was no point at all to it and it should have been a standard match instead of this mess. The nightstick served next to no purpose but of course it looked like it was awesome. It just wasn’t entertaining at all and ended without the stick being a factor. Just make it a one on one next time people.

Nailz, while choking Mooney, says that was more injustice.

Tatanka is in the back with Alfred Hayes. He says that tonight he’ll get back his eagle feathers and honor his people. Well at least it’s borderline original.

Gene is with Flair and Razor. Gene talks about how there was a big swerve going on and how Perfect is the new partner. We go to the tape of Prime Time Wrestling where Perfect turned. This was just after Warrior had left and Savage was on satellite from Florida. He says that his partner could be perfect for him.

The design of the show was a round table with Vince, Hillbilly Jim, Jim Duggan, Heenan and Perfect there discussing various things in the company and talking about matches that were shown. That’s actually a pretty cool idea when you think about it. Anyway, Vince says do you mean Mr. Perfect and Savage says he does. Heenan speaks for Perfect, saying that they both take orders from Flair and that Perfect isn’t wrestling anywhere.

Perfect takes offense to this and says that he’s tired of being ordered around before accepting. Heenan slaps him which causes Perfect to grab him by the tie and pour water over him, saying that Flair is afraid of him. We cut back to Flair, who is TICKED over this. He talks to Perfect, saying that he had it all and is throwing it away.

There’s a hint of fear in his voice which is just great as this is a heck of a promo. Ramon says that his team will win. He really wasn’t that good yet and it showed in his promos. He would get a lot better. The partnership here was always kind of a weird one as it was never really explained.

Tatanka vs. Rick Martel

This is happening because Martel stole some feathers from Tatanka which were important. Well it’s better than nothing I guess. This is a bit of a departure from the Survivor Series idea wouldn’t you say? Heenan goes on a huge rant about life in general, mainly focused on Perfect. Martel chokes and Heenan shouts out that HE HAS TIL FIVE!

Sgt. Slaughter is now an enforcer of rules or something like that. A front facelock by Martel gets him nowhere. Scratch that as it gets him suplexed. Ok so it failed him once so now we go right back to it. Doink is here now as he has only been here for about five weeks now. Amazingly enough the facelock leads to ANOTHER suplex. That’s just appropriate.

Doink makes a balloon animal for a kid and steals it. That’s straight up awesome. Martel uses the hold AGAIN. Dude three times with the same hold in 3 minutes? Seriously? Are you that bored? A cop shows up in the front row and takes a sign as we cut away. It probably said WCW or something like that, making that person EVIL!

Martel hits the post with his shoulder so the stereotype goes after it, showing some intelligence. Backslide gets two which of course Vince swears is a pin. Doink continues to be a big focus here but I don’t think anything ever came of his involvement here. How weird is it to think that Vince has been WWF Champion but neither of these guys were?

Martel works on the back now as Tatanka is in trouble. Decent little match so far if nothing else. Double axe off the middle rope eats fist though and here comes the warpath thing. Top rope chop hits Martel and he’s in big trouble. Samoan drop ends it and Tatanka gets the feathers back. Doink pops the kids’ balloons just to be evil.

Rating: C-. This was fine for what it was: a midcard match that nothing ever really came of. It was the end to this mini-feud and nothing else ever came of it. Both guys were at least ok in the ring and it went fine I guess. Nothing ever came of the Doink thing though, which means it was indeed, completely pointless, for him to be out there at the end.

We go to Mooney who is with Savage and Perfect, who say that they’re a strange team but they respect each other. In some weird way, this match actually looks decent enough I guess. Perfect gives a WOO at the end which ticks Bobby off during the intros.

Razor Ramon/Ric Flair vs. Mr. Perfect/Randy Savage

The faces get a HUGE pop, especially Savage. How in the world did Vince not push him as top face once Hulk left? I’ll never get that for the life of me. He had everything: the look, the ability, the resume, yet for no apparent reason he was put behind the announce desk. That just doesn’t make sense to me. Heenan is so angry about this match that it’s hilarious. We start with Perfect against Ramon which gets yet another pop.

This AWA reunion begins with Perfect being all over the place and outmaneuvering Razor. The forgotten aspect is that these two are former AWA World Tag Team Champions. Perfect nails Flair and we get the big showdown. Savage and Flair is one of the best feuds ever. Both guys can go in the ring and it offered proof that the company could work without the big orange man to help them out. The heels take over now as Ramon puts on an abdominal stretch.

Vince has apparently been hanging out with Monsoon too much as he criticizes it for a lack of the hook of the toe. Has anyone ever done that hold properly? The heels are dominating Savage now, which makes sense as Perfect hasn’t been around for about a year now so it makes sense that he’s on the apron for a lot of the match. As Savage is being beaten on, Perfect turns to walk away. This makes limited sense as there’s no point to it really.

The heels do the smart thing and point Savage’s face at Perfect leaving, which would I guess work to break his spirit a bit. See, that’s why Flair is better than most wrestlers: he had the mental aspect of wrestling down. That’s a critical key to a wrestler that most people don’t have. Heenan ranting about Perfect is flat out awesome. This has been a pretty good match so far. It’s not great, but it’s what you would expect from a main event level tag match I suppose.

Razor hits a chokeslam which doesn’t have a name yet. Heenan says that he’s seen Ramon do that to the people on the streets of Miami. What area of Miami is Ramon from? I’ve never been there but apparently 6’6 men chokeslam you on the cement there. That’s fairly cool. Also, as Ramon goes for the cover and Perfect looks for the save, Bobby yells “GET OUT OF THE RING YOU LOWLIFE!”

That’s just an awesome line if there ever was one. He sounds so ticked off which is all you can ask for here. Flair goes to the top, and I’ll give you two guesses as to what happens. Actually you would be wrong because Savage does something different here. He climbs to the middle rope before going back to the bottom rope to slam him. That wouldn’t really add anything to the move I don’t think, but whatever, it looked cool.

This lets Savage get the hot tag to Perfect who proceeds to clean house. It’s chair time as Savage gets taken out by a shot from Flair. The referee gets bumped and apparently the other one was just behind the curtain because he’s out there in like 4 seconds. Perfect and Ramon are going at it and Razor sets for the Edge. Perfect gets a sweet counter by kicking off the top rope and backdropping Ramon.

He hits the Perfectplex but only gets two because of Flair. He hits another on Flair but no pin again with Razor making the save. Since both guys are in the ring forever, we get the DQ in a cheap ending. Flair puts him in the figure four and eventually Savage makes the save with a chair as the faces win. The face celebration takes way too long as they’re channeling Hogan I guess.

Rating: B. The ending hurts it a bit, but this was solid. It was a good tag match and while it didn’t have a definitive ending, it might be better that it didn’t here. Perfect looked good while Ramon looked pretty good as well. This was what you would expect from these four in this kind of a match. It went fine though, and I can’t really complain about anything other than the ending I guess. Bobby’s rants are great here.

Flair and Ramon are angry of course and they vow revenge.

Yokozuna vs. Virgil

This was the not incredibly fat Yoko, as he’s only 505 at this point and the monster that we know him as. He’s billed from Polynesia here which is just odd in all respects. We get a segment from earlier in the day where Hayes goes to Yoko’s room for an interview but Yoko is getting a massage. Fuji offers to let Alfred get a massage. He’s liking it as Fuji throws him out. Vince tries to make this match sound good. That’s just funny.

Despite being Polynesian apparently, Fuji has the Japanese flag. Vince says he hasn’t been tested yet. Apparently that’s going to be the case after this match too. Naturally, Virgil really can’t do much here. It’s basic jobber offense with punches and dropkicks that fail more and more every time. Yoko hits a sweet kick to the face that knocks him down with ease. He crushes him with a sweet spinning rock bottom suplex.

The squashing continues as Virgil tries to out move him. Vince says he’s trying to stay away from him as he’s running right at him. I love that classic Vince commentary. In a spot I’ve always wanted to see, Virgil goes for a school boy and Yoko just sits on him. That’s as simple as you could get and it worked perfectly. Within a few seconds the Banzai ends this one.

Rating: C. It’s a squash so I guess we’ll call it average. Virgil of course stood no chance here and it was nothing more than a way to get Yoko over and there’s nothing at all wrong with doing that here. It gave him a win over a somewhat big name and Virgil gets to eat tonight, so things are fine here. It was short, under four minutes that is, so what can I really complain about?

We go to the back with Savage and Perfect who say that was great. They say Ramon and Flair are the turkeys.

Nasty Boys/Natural Disasters vs. Money Inc./Beverly Brothers

This is the elimination tag I was talking about earlier. Money Inc. are the tag champions here and are in the middle of a feud with the Nastys that I don’t remember in the slightest. DiBiase is wearing the stupid white attire again which if you’ve read my thoughts on Summerslam 92, you know my take on. The other two teams had fought at Summerslam so I guess that constitutes a feud, despite it being a squash. Yeah that makes sense.

The Nastys are WAY over. That’s quite surprising to me. Again, this is a very boring match indeed. I don’t get the point in having these kinds of things, although I guess in this case only having one works fine. This is even a switch from the normal stuff and it’s still rather pointless. Vince asks if Heenan will be on an upcoming European tour. Heenan says he might but it’s really none of Vince’s business.

I love lines like that where given what we know now the meanings are far different. Yep, this match sucks as well. Why can’t there just be interesting matches on a show? I don’t get how hard that is to accomplish. Anyway, after about five minutes of people just beating on each other with the freaking Nasty Boys being the most over out there (I will never get wrestling fans at times), we get to what we knew was coming: the wild brawl.

Out of this, the Beverlies go down to the Earthquake from Earthquake. He really needed a better name for that move. My goodness Typhoon was worthless. Actually that’s not true. He was good for comedy, as he’s more commonly known as the legendary Shockmaster. Good grief this will just not end.

The heels dominate for a few minutes until Typhoon comes in to clean house a bit. This works for awhile until IRS rolls him up to eliminate the Disasters. Within five seconds, Knobbs rolls him up for the win. I kind of like that ending I think.

Rating: D. Oy this was another horrible match. There’s just no point to this match other than to further Nasties vs. Money Inc., which begs the question of why not just have them go at it by themselves? Wouldn’t that make things a lot easier? I’d certainly think so. Either way, this was nothing special and for the most part was just flat out boring. That seems to be a trend here.

We recap Taker vs. Kamala with the main thing being Kamala is scared of caskets. Why does that not surprise me? We see Taker building a massive casket before we go to the arena for the match.

Undertaker vs. Kamala

This is different than the traditional casket match with the rules here being that you have to get the pinfall and THEN put them in the box. Yeah that’s just redundant. The intros here are long but not modern day Taker long as it only takes about five minutes for both guys to come out. Taker and Bearer have the massive coffin with them which is always cool looking, but this one is way too bright for my liking.

Immediately we see the two major issues in this match. First of all, Kamala sucks, badly. Even for a monster he sucks. Second, the coffin aspect is just stupid since it’s pinfall first. Due to that, there’s really no point to the box aspect. They should have made it one or the other, but granted this was a first so they were really in the dark at this point. So far this is your standard monster vs. monster match. Taker beats on both managers but gets chopped by Kamala. This was a very odd time in Taker’s career.

They knew that he was a huge asset and talent, but they had absolutely no clue what to do with him. Since they didn’t know all they did was throw him against monster after monster whom Taker would usually beat after losing an initial encounter. This feud in particular since after this at the Rumble, Whippleman would bring in Giant Gonzalez who would destroy Taker for a bit before Taker put him away at Summerslam.

About 12 years later, the feud was completely recycled but with Muhammad Hassan and Mark Henry combining to play the role of Kamala and Great Khali being Gonzalez. The IWC HATED this feud because we were literally calling every single thing that was going to happen and we were right. Now to be fair, they waited over 10 years so I guess it’s ok, but still it was a very boring 8 months as far as we were concerned when it came to Taker.

Kamala starts taking over and hits some of the worst splashes ever. Like I’ve said, unless it’s from the top rope, for the most part if you use a splash for a finisher, odds are you’re not a very good wrestler. With Taker down, Kim Chee and Kamala literally play hot potato with the urn. Taker sits up and nails Kamala with it for the pin. See, after that they ring the bell, which shows how stupid this is. They roll Kamala into the coffin and literally nail it shut. Yep that’s it.

Rating: C+. Eh, given what they had this was about as good as it was going to get I suppose. Taker winning was never in doubt at all, but it was ok. It certainly could have been worse but they kept it short and that was a big plus for these guys. There’s really not a lot that they’ll be able to do, so I’m happy with this overall. The gimmick was a bit stupid, but they didn’t know what they were doing, so this is slightly above average.

Shawn cuts a pretty bad promo, talking about how he beat Bulldog for the IC belt, who beat Hart for the belt at Summerslam. Apparently Bret has defended the title the most times in history, which is impressive since I think he won it about 6 weeks before this. He was brand new to the big time and you could see he was very nervous.

We get a pointless bit about Kim Chee and Harvey opening the casket and Kamala not being able to move. And that’s about it.

WWF Title: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels

After Shawn’s intro, we go to the back for an interview with Bret. Since winning the belt he’s defended against Mountie, Berzerker, Rick Martel, Papa Shango and Virgil. And people have the nerve to ask why his first reign wasn’t taken seriously. Bret talks about how thankful he is for what he’s done and how he’s gotten this far. This had the potential to be a great promo, but Bret just wasn’t that good on the mic yet, which is understandable.

It fit his character really well as he was supposed to be the best pure wrestler in the world and while he couldn’t talk he could go in the ring. That’s what he did, and it worked very well. Like I said, this was a huge gamble for the company as they had no clue how to do a big show without Hogan or Warrior. This could have sunk the company for Vince, but thankfully he stuck to his guns and put two of his best young guys out there.

Bret gets a solid pop but not huge. Vince of course tries to make it sound bigger than Hogan ever got. Heenan gets in a great line. Vince says that Bret is likely the most scientific champion of all time. Heenan in his most condescending and annoyed voice says wrong. Vince asks who. Heenan: Flair. He sounds so snobby and annoyed here that it’s perfect. They start with a lengthy feeling out period, which makes sense here and works well since both of these guys can do just about anything.

Also, at this time Shawn doesn’t use the kick as his finisher, but rather a weird suplex move. The kick is in his arsenal but it’s just a run of the mill move. He’s kind of like a rookie MMA Brock Lesnar. He had everything else but he couldn’t finish people. Bret gets a hammerlock and Shawn actually taps but since it’s 1992 no one gets that. Dang maybe he’s more like Lesnar than I thought. Heenan mentions he gets paid a lot of money to do his job.

Vince’s “I’m sure you do” response is full of sarcasm which again is funnier now given that we know he signs Heenan’s checks. Given that this is a pretty long opening part of the match, the fans are staying into it which is a very good thing. Shawn uses that same rolling counter for a hip toss that he’s used before and it’s still completely awesome. Vince really likes talking about how Bret won the title.

How they evolved into what they became just five years later amazes me. We pick up the pace a bit which makes the match more interesting. Granted it was fine before but now it’s a bit better. Bret takes the standard momentum turning bump of having his shoulder hit the post at full speed.

Shawn shifts into a standard heel offense and this is working pretty well. These two have a natural chemistry between them and it’s never once failed to deliver at least a very good match. Even the Montreal match was at least good before the ending.

They continue the debate over who is stronger which never was answered I don’t think. Heenan, talking about Shawn, says this man is hot. Where’s Becca when I need her? I love how Vince orders the referees around. I wonder if he criticizes them about it later on. They kind of mention that Bret has won the Triple Crown but they don’t call it that. Pedro Morales had already done it so they can’t really say much about Bret.

Bobby goes to some classic insults about Bret’s family, which are likely what he was best at. We’ve been in this chinlock far too long now as Shawn just doesn’t have the variety in his offense to be able to pull off a nearly half hour match like this is. Given another year or two though he easily could, but he just wasn’t there yet. It seems that all he knows are rest holds, which I guess he’s using to just stall for time.

That’s fine I guess, but he needs to do some standard stuff in between them to prevent it from becoming boring. Heenan’s random talk of Razor and Flair is amusing. He played the role perfectly. You can tell Vince just can’t keep up with Heenan on the mic and it’s great to hear. Of course, Vince believed he was ten times the commentator that Gordon Solie was so who cares apparently.

Now that we’re out of the rest holds we’re turning it up a bit and now we’re getting good. Shawn of course gets hit with a sling shot which is one of his standard bumps that always works. Vince mentions that Bret has what a champion is made of. Vince, they’re both champions. Of course that’s not mentioned, so I guess even back then the IC Title was being buried. Dang I love that Russian Leg Sweep that Bret does.

For some reason Vince says what is going on. Well Vinny, it’s called a wrestling match. You might have seen one before but apparently not. The referee gets bumped in the corner but is up about 3 seconds later. I think that was unintentional. There’s just something missing from this match and I can’t put my finger on it. What I guess it is would be that neither of these guys are really huge stars yet.

Yes Bret is world champion, but he’s held it for such a short time that he’s still kind of viewed as a midcard guy. That’s what happened to Eddie during his run with the belt and it’s a hard thing to shake off. It’s a good match, but still there’s just an x factor that isn’t there. I think it’s a combination of Bret not going for the legs and Shawn having no finisher to end things with.

Today he would have the kick that he could hit from nowhere. He it looks like both guys are hoping to hit a rollup or something, and that’s what I think is missing. Shawn gets tied up in the ropes but is out in time for Bret to miss some big move and kind of get crotched. Apparently Bret is running himself too thin and whoever fights him next will beat him.

In the exact same ending to regulation time in the iron man match, Shawn misses a top rope dropkick and Bret gets the Sharpshooter to end this. That’s interesting that they would use the exact same ending sequence for regulation in the Iron Man match. And here comes…Santa Claus? What the heck? Yes, Santa is coming down the aisle, the night before Thanksgiving. What in the world? He puts a Santa hat on Bret’s head as it starts snowing in the arena.

I think I’m in one of X’s trips as this makes zero sense. Maybe it’s not snowing. Vince says it is but I don’t see any of it. Oh there it is. Vince says ho ho ho as we end it. After it ends, Bret is with Santa and he says he wants big and bad opponents for Christmas. That’s kind of cool I guess, but still, WHAT THE HECK?

Rating: A-. The lack of a Shawn finishing move here really hurt things. There was never a moment where you really felt that Shawn could pull it off because even though he sets for the suplex at one point, it’s a freaking belly to back suplex. Why should that be considered special?

It wasn’t and thankfully he changed to the kick…a few years later. Other than that, this was a good match. It’s not great, but it’s certainly worth seeing. These guys would go on to have classic after classic, but this one is really forgotten I think.

Overall Rating: C+. Well it’s better than anything that this show has done since the first one, so it gets a passing grade but not by much. This just flat out wasn’t that great. There’s two very good matches in the double main event, but the rest of the show is just above average at best. It was a gamble and it worked, but it didn’t feel like the Survivor Series at all. It worked, but not great like I said. It’s recommended though, but not very strongly at all.

 

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