History of Survivor Series Count-Up – 1993 – USA! USA! USA!

Survivor Series 1993
Date: November 24, 1993
Location: Boston Gardens, Boston, Massachusetts
Attendance: 15,509
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan

So it’s a year later now and there are indeed a few changes. For one thing, Hogan is completely gone. He would appear in WCW in a few months time. Other than that, the evil Yokozuna is now world champion with Lex Luger being his main adversary. That’s your main event here tonight, as it’s the Foreign Fanatics vs. the All Americans. It’s a five match card that I remember very fondly for some reason.

There are some very good moments here along with some rather stupid ones. It’s an odd time for the company as they’re definitely in a transitional period here, with Yoko and Luger being the two main guys and Bret not far behind them. None of those three are incredibly huge stars at the moment, so this is a weird time for them. We’re back to the traditional Survivor Series formula though, so this should be a bit better than what we had in the very early 90s I guess. Let’s find out.

Before we get the standard intro, we see Vince and Bobby getting ready backstage. Vince says he smells bananas, which scares Bobby because it means Monsoon is around. He and Ross are doing Radio WWF tonight, which is either brilliant or very stupid and I’m not sure which. This would be Bobby’s last PPV before heading to WCW as well. The intro was an odd one with the skeleton of a building and the logo hanging from a crane. I have no idea what this was supposed to be.

Team IRS vs. Team Razor

Razor Ramon, Marty Jannetty, 1-2-3 Kid, Mr. Perfect
IRS, Adam Bomb, Diesel, Rick Martel

So the fourth man was supposed to be Mr. Perfect, but for some reason he’s gone. There are numerous reasons as to why he’s gone, but we’re not sure either way. Some say he was in rehab, some say he left due to steroid issues, some say he was hurt. We’re not sure either way, but he wouldn’t be seen again until Wrestlemania where he was supposed to start a feud with Luger, but he was gone after one appearance.

Anyway, Ramon says he has a substitute that has as much machismo as he does. Heenan says it’s some other punk, but as the music hits Heenan freaks out since it’s Randy Savage. The deal with Savage was that his friend Crush had gotten hurt by Yoko so he turned heel on Savage and beat the living heck out of him. Savage was PISSED and would do anything to get at Crush.

They would eventually have a last man standing match (kind of) at Mania. Crush was supposed to get a massive singles push but for some reason it never came. In the end that was a good thing because he was arrested and went to jail for a few years on weapons charges. Apparently Heenan called this sometime before and Vince says ok, ok you were right for once. FOR ONCE? Dag Heenan was great.

Oh yeah why are these people in this match. Shawn Michaels had been IC Champion but was suspended for failing a steroids test (which he to this day denies). To fill the void we had a battle royal with the last two people in it having a match and the winner of that won the IC belt.

Razor and Martel were your winners and then Razor won the title. Shawn kept his belt though so there were two belts. They were hung above the ring at Wrestlemania 10. You know the rest. As for the other guys, there’s no point to them being there. IRS and Razor had a mini feud that was blown off at the Rumble but that’s it.

Anyway, we start with Razor and Martel and Razor beats the tar out of him. Are you surprised? He tags out to Adam Bomb who I was always a mark for. He and Crush would later become Kronik in WCW. They do a test of strength and since he’s a heel, Bomb cheats. Oddly the bad guy is the face here. Anyway, Razor goes for a cover on Bomb but Martel runs in for a save with an elbow.

It hits Bomb and Harvey is kind of annoyed, so Martel hits him. Now we’ve got a big team brawl and for once, the faces let them fight. I’ve never gotten why they didn’t do that more often. When another team is fighting, why not let them do it and get a breather? Savage, being the only true big star on his team at that point, gets on the ropes and plays to the crowd here. And that is why Savage is better than anyone else in this match and better than most in history.

Old guys know how to get things done like that. See, today, most people have a chance like this and they just stand there. Savage, already getting hugs pops no matter what he does, plays to the crowd to try to get a bigger one. That sticks in people’s heads.

Instead of just sitting around doing nothing, he’s talking to the crowd, and there is nothing a crowd loves more than being acknowledged and being considered a small part of the match. It makes them feel special and the more a wrestler does that for them, the bigger star they’ll become.

Anyway, even Heenan acknowledges that this team might not work. Oh great it’s the 1-2-3 Kid against Adam Bomb. He might kill him. GO BOMB! Now Diesel gets to beat on him a bit. I’ve always liked Diesel. Savage gets tagged in to a huge pop. Heenan dubs him Captain Schizo. That’s just humorous. He beats up the heel team by himself, capping it off by slamming Diesel and hitting the elbow to pin him for the first elimination.

Vince says that this match has been confusing. Why is that? It’s been very simple to me at least. In a weird sequence, Savage uses a bunch of left handed clotheslines. That just looked odd. Heenan asks if Vince has ever cheated anybody. Vince says of course not. That needs no jokes whatsoever. At this point, Marty still hasn’t been in yet. Must be a bad coke attack or something. IRS and Martel switch while the referee is with Savage. Of course it is allowed.

Heenan asks if Vince wants to be WWF President. Why take the second best job? This has been pretty solid so far. As Savage is beating the tar out of IRS, Crush comes out. Savage hits the floor immediately and goes after him. While he’s distracted, IRS rolls up Savage to pin him. Crush leaves and Savage chases him off. He goes into the back and we stay with Savage for THIRTY SECONDS.

Dude, you know there is that pesky little match going on out in the ring? You might want to take a look at it. I guess not. I know it doesn’t sound long, but missing thirty seconds of a match is a long time. Think about it like this: Hogan picked up Andre and pinned him inside of 30 seconds. Yeah that’s not important though. We’re back now with Bomb against Jannetty. A Razor’s Edge takes out IRS. For those of you keeping score, it’s Jannetty, Kid and Razor against Martel and Bomb.

We get a big brawl as Razor goes for another Edge, but IRS hits Razor in the ribs with the briefcase. He gets counted out as a result. We now get Kid against Martel, and naturally Kid gets a lot better against a smaller guy. Apparently you beat him by putting out some cookies and milk. He’ll run out and you beat him. Heenan is so brilliant it’s unbelievable. Now it’s standard heel dominance with the faces looking for the hot tag.

That’s very basic but very good at the same time. Jannetty comes in finally and beats up Martel for awhile and then tags in Kid, which makes limited sense but I’m no drug addled professional. Kid pins Martel with a sunset flip and then Marty gets Bomb with one as well about 12 seconds later to win it. That was a fun finish.

Rating: B. This was a fun match. It’s not great, but it’s entertaining and it made sense. The faces won with quickness over the power team and Savage dominated. Also Razor, the singles champion in there, saved face and set up a bigger feud with IRS. That is what these things are supposed to do. Overall, this was fun and it worked quite well, making it a very good opener and a good sign for this show.

Todd is with Shawn, who says he’s the real IC Champion and then he insults Bret and his family. This is miles better than last year as he’s finally got the Heart Break Kid character down. We go to an interview with the Harts from earlier in the day. Ray Combs, a game show host, is the special celebrity here doing the interview.

He’s far less annoying than the majority of these people. For some reason Stu is wearing a Detroit Pistons jacket for no apparent reason here as the show is in Boston. That’s just odd. Keith has a porn mustache that is really odd. Shawn says he’ll take out Stu if he gets in the way. Remember that line.

Before we go to the ring, we have a short interview with the winners of the previous match, minus Macho.

Hart Family vs. Shawn/Knights

Bret, Keith, Bruce, Owen
Shawn Michaels, Blue Knight (Greg Valentine), Red Knight (Barry Horowitz), Black Knight (Jeff Gaylord/Glenn Jacobs)

We’re actually not sure who the Black Knight is. If it’s Jacobs, that’s Kane. If it’s not, then this is his career highlight. This was supposed to be Jerry Lawler, but he was up on rape charges (the girl admitted she made the whole thing up), so they threw Shawn in and tried to make it based on the match from last year, which is at least an attempt at a story. Combs does the introductions here, and is ok I guess.

He does some standard jokes about HBK, but this goes on WAY too long and the fans just aren’t interested. It’s not as bad as Kid Rock at Mania, but it’s pretty bad. It goes on about 5 minutes, which is FAR too long for this. We’re at 10 minutes for the intros alone. This is just stupid. Bret is wearing pink. Only he can pull that off. Combs does commentary for the match as well. Heenan is in top form here insulting the Harts.

Monsoon reminds me of my uncle for some reason. We start out with Bruce, so you can tell what this is going to be. He’s a history teacher. Oh dear. Keith, the fireman, comes in. This cracks Heenan up. We see the problem here very easily: the two unknown Hart aren’t very good. All they know how to do is an armbar here and there. It’s just rather boring. Seriously, were Neidhart and Bulldog not available? They would be about a million times better here.

Heenan keeps talking about how Owen is in the shadow of Bret. That would turn into one of the best heel turns I can ever remember. Black Knight in now and Owen kicks his teeth in too. Now we have Bret against the Blue Guy. Heenan keeps teasing that he knows who the Knights are. When asked about the Blue Knight, he says that he’s either the Blue Knight or Bob Barker. This is being written two days after Barker hosted Raw, so that cracked me.

Why are the two unknown brothers wrestling most of this match? Seriously, that’s just stupid. The commentary is by far and away the best part of this match. Combs is pretty good actually. Granted he has no clue what’s going on, but his timing and enthusiasm are there. That’s all I ask: at least pretend you want to be there. Check out Pamela Anderson at the 95 Rumble. She hates the whole thing and is there for a paycheck. I have no interest in celebrities like that, no matter what they look like.

We get a big brawl and the Black Knight is pinned by a top rope dropkick from Owen. Ray thinks it’s over, and I have no issue with that because he’s energetic. He genuinely seems like he wants to be there, and I’m fine with him being a bit off if that’s the case. I’ve never gotten the point of them mentioning that a show is live when we’re watching it. It’s like a commercial for the show you’re watching. You’ve already hooked us, so we don’t need it again.

Vince: Bobby Heenan, you’re a bad man. That sums it up perfectly I’d say. Heenan reminds Vince that this is Survivor Series and Vince says he knows what it is. I wonder if he wanted to say “I know what it is, I invented it you fat blowhard!” Ok, now Keith has been in there forever, and we’re back to the stupid part. He’s been in there like 5 minutes and it’s been all arm work. Why not instead use one of the best sellers of all time?

Oh yeah because it would make SENSE! Heenan makes another great point: the Harts don’t look alike. He’s very right actually. Make that seven minutes. FINALLY a missed Rocket Launcher and Bret gets in to breathe some life into this thing. Red Knight is tapping in about 10 seconds and it’s 4-2. Bret is knocked to the floor and Keith goes over to check him. That makes sense since he’s been beaten on for about 8 minutes and is more or less one armed at this point.

I guess Owen and Bruce were busy? On the floor Stu is trying to rub his arm back into socket, which for once makes sense from a manager. Heenan gets in my favorite line of the match: “Hey, you wanna know who the Blue Knight is?” Vince says he would like to. “He’s the guy in the ring that just dropped an elbow on Bret Hart.” Vince walked right into that one.

FINALLY we have Bret vs. Shawn, 18 minutes into the freaking match. Yep this just makes so much sense. That’s the theme of this match: how much sense can we make? Heenan makes an America’s Most Wanted reference. Combs says Bobby could star on America’s Most Unwanted. We have a rival for Heenan. Shawn does indeed go after Stu, and he gets POPPED. I don’t mean some love tap, I mean Stu smacks the taste out of Shawn and the crowd is into this all of a sudden.

That was awesome and makes up for the rest of this match. Shawn sells it at an amazing level of course since that’s what he does. That was great. Even Heenan kisses up to Stu for a bit. That’s all the proof you need right there. Owen Sharpshooter ends the Knights and it’s 4-1. Immediately, Shawn hits a big kick on Bruce, which is now known as Sweet Chin Music. However, here it doesn’t work.

Wow, Bruce has a tougher chin than Bret. Maybe we had the wrong Hart all along. Bret comes in and beats on him but gets poked in the eye. He tags Owen but walks on the apron for no apparent reason. Shawn sends Owen into the ropes and therefore into Bret who knocks down the railing. Owen is concerned and rolls Shawn up to make it 3-1. The Harts beat on Shawn for awhile after Owen is FREAKING out on him.

They beat Shawn up really badly as Stu tries to calm him down. I have never gotten what Owen’s problem was here. He got pinned. His team still won, and it was his fault that he hit Bret. He didn’t have to look down at him. Anyway, Shawn bails and the celebration is on. Owen comes back and yells at the Harts who leave without them.

This was the beginning of the Owen heel turn, which was excellent on so many levels, with the biggest one ever being Owen pinning Bret clean in the best opening match of all time at Wrestlemania 10. The feud would continue at the Rumble, with Bret trying to get Owen his first championship by teaming up with him to fight for the tag titles.

Bret wrestled with a knee injury and they actually stopped the match for it. Owen was pissed and beat Bret up for it, which was the first time I agreed with a heel. It was Bret’s fault, not Owen’s. Oh yeah this match is over by the way. I’m just rambling on.

Rating: D+. This was just flat out BORING. It’s about 75% armbar. It’s a Chris Jericho joke apparently. Keith and Bruce were just flat out boring out there with no real offense at all, which is fine in that they hadn’t wrestled in years. That brings the question: WHY HAVE THEM? Seriously, all of the Harts are wrestlers. Were they all retired? Honestly, Neidhart at least would have made sense here. He’s a half brother and more importantly: HE WAS PASSABLE IN THE RING.

There’s history with him and Bret, and while he would play a role later in the angle, that wasn’t for almost a year. Seriously, they could have fit him in with him siding with Owen over this part of the feud. I don’t get it at all. Anyway, the match was just boring and it didn’t work that well. Shawn vs. Bret was good, but that’s all there was worth watching.

Gorilla and Ross are on commentary now.

We now get a random recap of the main event, despite there being two matches before that. Tatanka, who was undefeated for about two years got beaten up by Borga and Yoko to knock him out. He got replaced by a certain someone that I’ll get to at the time of the match.

To retaliate, Luger eliminated Pierre, which is somehow dumber than Luger is, so there we are. Pierre got replaced by Crush, which makes even less sense since he’s an American and was injured by the heels in the first place, but then again I’m no professional.

Smokey Mountain Tag Titles: Rock N Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies

Now this is a real headscratcher for about 10 reasons. Where to begin? Let’s see. For one thing, the Smokey Mountains are nowhere NEAR Boston. Second, what is Vince getting out of this? Cornette I suppose. Third, why aren’t we seeing the WWF Tag Titles defended here? Fourth, it’s freaking SMW. That just makes no sense. Fifth, why are Ross and Gorilla doing the commentary here?

Anyway, this is a very old school style match with the standard Midnights vs. RNRE formula: faces dominate early, heels take over and beat on Morton FOREVER until the hot tag and the very fast paced stuff from the Express and then the finish. Yeah I know that’s not much to go on, but it’s the generic yet great formula from the RNRE that made them and the Midnights the best act in the world. If you like modern tag wrestling, those four are who you have to thank for it.

It’s a very solid match of course, but it would have been perfect if it was Lane and Condrey or Eaton over there instead. The Bodies were a team that the WWF tried to make cool but they just never could pull it off. SMW was Cornette’s big attempt at running his own company and he did pretty well considering what he was up against. For one thing, wrestling was just bad when he tried to do it, but it ran nearly five years and he did pretty well with what he had.

Heck he’s got matches on Survivor Series. Anyway, this was the big feud in SMW, and while there it was the feud of the promotion, here’s it’s four guys that no one knows wrestling, and that’s the problem. No one knows these people and for the most part, no one cares. Boston has always been a WWF town, so this old school mentality and style is lost on them.

It’s a great match, but they just don’t get it and a big part of that is due to the wrestlers. It’s like Japanese wrestlers in America. If the people don’t get it, they’re not going to care. Anyway, after about 15 minutes, Cornette hits Gibson with the racket to give the Bodies the belts. Yeah that’s about it.

Rating: B. This was good, but like I said, the lack of anything close to recognition really hurt this one. The match is great, but most people that aren’t old school fans won’t like it. That hurt here too as the crowd only popped for big spots, which is fine for the most part, but they just sounded bored. That’s not fine.

The faces say that they’ll win tonight.

Four Doinks vs. Headshrinkers/Bastian Booger/Bam Bam Bigelow

Oh this isn’t going to be pleasant is it? The Four Doinks are Men on a Mission and the Bushwakers instead of you know, Doink and three other guys. Yeah that’s what we’re dealing with here. Doink is injured so we get these four. I have no idea which one is the most talented. Actually I don’t think any of them have talent so we’ll skip that part. Oh boy this is going to suck badly. Oh look it’s a comedy match. The Bushwackers have balloons.

Ooo good boy Samu bite them! Wait, what? He bit a balloon with water in it and it surprised him, leading to him getting rolled up. Ok, reasons why this is stupid. He’s a freaking savage and he’s scared of water? Second, couldn’t he see the water or feel the balloon actually weighing something? Booger comes in and beats on the faces for awhile and….there’s a banana peel in the ring. I’m pausing now to take some deep breaths.

There is no way that could happen is there? They couldn’t actually be planning on doing what I think they’re planning on doing could they? Someone tell me that’s not what they’re planning to do. I need to hear someone say it. Ok thank goodness: Booger just got pinned by a big splash instead.

That’s at least reasonable coming from the big fat tub of goo known as Mable. And Fatu just slipped on the banana and got pinned. That does it. Screw this. I have better things to do with my time than review a circus. Keep laughing Vince. I won’t be able to hear you.

Rating: N/A. I review wrestling. This wasn’t wrestling.

Cornette and the heel team have something to say. Cornette cuts perhaps the best promo I’ve ever heard him cut as he talks about the Foreign Fanatics’ strategy for tonight. He says that they see the face team as one man because they’re a unit. The Steiners are the heart of the team. If you take away a man’s heart, he has no energy or desire to do anything. The Undertaker is the mind of the team.

If you take away a man’s mind, he’s dazed and confused. Luger is the soul of the team. And if you take away a man’s soul, then you’ve defeated him. And that my friends, is why Jim Cornette is one of the best talkers of all time. Oh and Johnny “Raven” Polo is in the background. Dang talk about a character change. He would be Raven in less than a year.

Vince decides to give a clichéd history themed intro to this match. Yeah this is dumb.

Foreign Fanatics vs. All Americans

All Americans: Luger, Steiners, Undertaker
Foreign Fanatics: Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, Crush, Jacques Quebecer (yes that’s what they call him)

First of all, since I love it so much, here’s the way the All Americans replaced Tatanka.

No real reason for that. I just really like it. Anyway, onto the match itself. After about 8 minutes of introductions (my least favorite part of these shows), we’re ready to go. Borga comes out to Nikolai Volkoff’s music. That might be the other way around. I’m not sure. In case I haven’t explained, the feuds were supposed to be Luger vs. Yoko, Tatanka vs. Borga and Steiners vs. Quebecers, which at least makes sense.

Due to either injuries or Vince being really high one night, this is what we’ve got instead. Heenan sees a sign that says Yokotuna. I’ve been calling him that for years and have never been able to figure out where I got it from. Now I have my answer. I knew there was a point to me watching this all over again. We start with more stalling as no two want to start. Scott and Pierre finally start us off. The heels have Fuji, Polo and Cornette at ringside.

In other words we have WWF, NWA and ECW out there. Well no one can say they didn’t incorporate everyone. Pierre offers a handshake and Scott gives the screw you sign. Yep Scott is a great role model. Yoko is world champion here which is pointed out as he comes in. Rick manages to knock him to the floor which is actually surprising. Ludvig comes in now and Rick manages to beat him up. Naturally since Rick is doing well, he gets eliminated about 20 seconds later.

Upon further review though, I think this was a legit injury. He hits a top rope shoulder block and Borga just kind of flips him over and pins him. You can tell Vince is surprised too. Yeah he’s limping out after nothing was done to his lower body so I’m thinking he pulled something.

In the main event with a guy dominating even the WWF isn’t dumb enough to get rid of him after just five minutes. Yeah that was a legit injury. It was WAY too fast to have been planned that way. Given the stalling now to buy time for Rick to get out of there, yeah I’m convinced this is an injury. Just to reiterate: I think it was a legit injury.

Scott hits a pretty nice double underhook suplex on Crush. We get word that Savage is back in the building. Is that really surprising? He was there earlier, so why would it be odd that he’s back? Yep here he comes. While this is happening, Crush picks up Scott and just drops him over the top rope. That was sick. They get Savage out and say he’s out of the building. I’ll be checking my watch now to see how long it takes him to get back. My bet is three minutes.

Heenan talks about how Fuji has turned Crush into a heel and that he can see some gold in his future. That likely would have happened had it not been for…some unknown reason. Initially he was supposed to have Luger’s role but I guess they thought Crush wasn’t ready or something and this is what you got instead. Dang it was only two minutes. Scott (called the Steiner) sends him to the floor and Crush goes after Savage.

This gets him counted out as the crowd is completely insane for this. This was begging for a big time cage match. Why in the world Savage was turned into a big bunch of nothing instead of the top face is beyond me. He clearly was still able to go as he would be winning world titles nearly seven years after this and he was WAY over, but I guess he was hanging out with Stephanie too much around this time and if you don’t get that reference, look it up.

Now it’s Pierre vs. Scott as Luger or Taker haven’t been in yet. Pierre gets a three by mistake but they say it was a two which anyone that can see or hear could tell you was incorrect. Vince keeps calling them the Quebecer and the Steiner. Luger finally comes in and an elbow from the second rope puts Pierre out. It’s 3-2 now if you’re keeping score. We get word that Savage has been throw out again and just as I’m getting ready to type it, Heenan asks how he keeps getting in. Is he Batman?

He suggests that Savage hangs out in the rafters. No Bobby that wouldn’t be for about 4 more years. Steiner and Borga have a decent battle as there is still no Taker in this match, which I guess makes something close to sense: save your big gun for the end. Steiner wants to try the Frankensteiner. Yeah that was just freaking stupid. He gets hit by a massive leg drop to end him and make it 2-2.

Luger and Yoko start with the rematch from Summerslam. The idea is that Luger isn’t allowed to have a rematch no matter what. Eventually he gets a rematch if he can win the Rumble, which he ties in. That could have been a great story if he ever actually won the title. It became like Jeff Hardy for awhile, but the difference was that Jeff finally won the freaking belt and gave us the awesome moment.

Luger never had that moment and it made the rest look bad by comparison. Heenan is asked where he gets his material and he says open your eyes. That’s just odd. After Yoko misses a splash, Luger makes the big tag to Taker and the fans are FREAKING OUT. A swinging DDT nearly kills Yoko and Borga nails him to try to break the momentum. Taker turns and just smacks him as if to say boy please I’m the dead man.

The big belly to belly gets nothing as Taker sits up to another huge pop. If you want to know one of the biggest reasons for why Taker got over, it’s called Bobby Heenan. He was awesome with putting him over. Yoko hits the Banzai then goes for a second and Taker sits up again. It’s just awesome all around as even Heenan can’t talk. Think about that for a second.

They fight to the floor, which is to say Taker beats on him for a bit longer as we get the inevitable double count out and we have our Royal Rumble main event. So it’s now one on one and I think you know the drill. It’s more or less a six minute match with the usual interference and the forearm ends it.

Yeah there’s nothing more to say about this. Just like last year, it starts to snow and freaking Santa Claus comes out. I have never gotten what they were going for with this and I think this was the last time that they did it which is likely a good thing.

Rating: C-. It was long and rather dull, but it did what it was supposed to do in advancing the stories. Luger beats Borga clean and Taker vs. Yoko is set. Also the fans went home happy and Luger looks big and invincible again so I can’t really complain. It could have been better but it certainly could have been worse so we’ll say it’s just below average.

Overall Rating: C+. There’s some good and some awful on here, so we’ll say it balances out. Some people would love this and some would hate it. I thought it was ok, but the comedy match was just a disgrace and the main event was just ok. The first match and the tag match were solid enough though.

There are definitely moments here where you’ll be bored out of your mind but there are moments where you’ll be entertained, which I think slightly outweigh the bad. That’s good enough for a mild recommendation I guess. It’s nothing special and it’s not horrible I suppose, but don’t expect to be blown away.

 

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