Survivor Series Count-Up – 1991: Bait And Switch

Survivor Series 1991
Date: November 27, 1991
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 17,500
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Bobby Heenan

This show marks a change of pace from the Survivor Series formula and it was for the better. The fans saw little to no reason to buy a pay per view with nothing on the line, so giving them a traditional main event to look forward to. The rest of the show follows the normal formula though, and thankfully there are no eggs here. Let’s get to it.

We open with a clip from Superstars with Savage being tied up in the ropes as Jake made the cobra bite Savage’s arm. Piper immediately ran down from the broadcast booth to try to help. Liz came out screaming as well. This is when Savage was a commentator and retired but looking for reinstatement.

The key thing is he had been scheduled to be on the PPV as a captain against Jake’s team, but because of this, both captains were pulled off the show with three days’ notice as mentioned above. The actual match between the two of them would be a week later on a different PPV called Tuesday in Texas, which was another $20. It felt like a total ripoff because that’s exactly what it was.

Anyway back on Superstars, Savage can’t stand up because of the snake bite but he keeps trying to fight Jake. They finally get Savage on a stretcher and start wheeling him away but he falls off. Now we get to the unintentional comedy. Savage falls off the stretcher and Vince is freaking out on commentary. The camera cuts to a crying child in the crowd and Vince loses it, audibly cracking up on air and trying to talk about “complete chaos” while clearly laughing.

We get the announcement from WWF President Jack Tunney that Savage and Roberts won’t be allowed to wrestle at Survivor Series. This is translated as “HAHA WE GOT YOUR MONEY ALREADY!”

Gorilla and Bobby talk for a bit.

Team Ric Flair vs. Team Roddy Piper

Ric Flair, Ted DiBiase, The Mountie, The Warlord

Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Virgil

It’s also back to the simple team names this year. Roddy was Flair’s first feud in the company and not only did you know the matches would be good, but the promos would be awesome too. Bret was feuding with Mountie over the Intercontinental Title, Smith was feuding with Warlord over who was stronger and Virgil was feuding with DiBiase because who else was he going to feud with?

Flair has the REAL World Title with him here, which is censored but if you know your titles, you can see a WWF Tag Team Title, which looks really weird if you’re in the arena (for clarification, the short version is Flair was NWA Champion, left the NWA, wasn’t paid back for the deposit he put down on the belt, brought it to the WWF, got sued, and couldn’t use the title in the angle they were doing anymore so they would substitute in another belt which was censored in storyline.)

Big reaction for Bret, who has finally split from Neidhart and is Intercontinental Champion as of Summerslam. DiBiase starts for his team against Piper, which is a pretty awesome match by itself. No managers are allowed at ringside this year but Sherri is there anyway. Flair sneaks in and blasts Piper in the back to give Ted an early advantage. Piper atomic drops Ted and Sherri comes in to choke him, which somehow isn’t a DQ. Piper kisses her and punches DiBiase to take over.

Sherri is sent to the back and Roddy brings in Smith. The good guys work over the arm of DiBiase with Virgil of all people getting the biggest pop. After all four go in they start going around again with all four getting in another set of shots on the arm. Bret stays in but misses a knee in the corner to put himself in trouble. They trade near falls before Bret takes Ted right back down by the arm.

DiBiase hiptosses him down and wisely tags in Flair. Bret starts with some of his favorite moves before tagging in Davey Boy to slingshot Flair into the corner. Piper wants in but Flair stops the tag. There’s the gorilla press to Flair and the tag to Piper, drawing a BIG pop from the crowd. Piper goes nuts with punches, knocking Flair to the floor for a Flair Flop.

Back inside and it’s off to Warlord who Piper wants to try a test of strength against. Piper is just playing though and brings in Smith for the big power match. Smith hits some shoulder blocks but misses a charge and it’s off to Mountie. Bret tags in and Mountie immediately hits the floor like a cowardly heel should. Instead here’s DiBiase who gets elbowed off the middle rope for two. Ted and Bret hit head to head and both guys are down.

Mountie is willing to get in there now but it’s back to Davey instead. Smith gorilla presses Mountie and pumps him about three times before slamming him down for no cover. Off to Flair who chops away at the Bulldog which doesn’t work at all. DiBiase and Flair try a double team but get double clotheslined instead. There’s the powerslam to Mountie but he’s not legal. Flair comes off the top with a shot to the back of Smith’s head for the pin and the elimination. Both guys were legal too so well done on keeping order.

Piper immediately charges in but Flair tags DiBiase back instead. Flair comes in to face a downed Piper but Ric is put in the Figure Four almost immediately. That goes nowhere so it’s off to Mountie vs. Virgil and Mountie can’t get a tag out from anyone. You know, because everyone is afraid of Virgil. Flair comes in and has zero luck so it’s DiBiase vs. Virgil again. Ted powerslams him down and it’s immediately back to the Warlord.

Virgil gets sent to the floor and Flair whips him into the steps, with Virgil doing an awful job of pretending to slam into them. The Warlord’s full nelson goes on but everything breaks down and Bret comes off the top to take out Warlord, giving the illegal Piper the pin to tie us up at 3-3. It’s Piper vs. DiBiase now before Virgil is quickly tagged in. Virgil slaps the Million Dollar Dream on DiBiase but Ted sends him into the buckle to escape.

Here’s Flair again with a belly to back suplex before it’s back to Mountie. Every remaining heel takes their shots on Virgil in what is likely the best possible option. Flair covers him for two and puts his feet on the ropes because that’s what Flair does. DiBiase comes in and ducks his head, only to get caught by a swinging neckbreaker. There’s the hot tag to Piper who no sells everything Flair throws at him. Everything breaks down and Flair is sent to the floor. That’s important because the referee disqualifies EVERYONE in the ring, but Flair was outside and is the sole survivor.

Rating: B. Gah this was going AWESOME until the pretty lame ending. Having Flair be the sole survivor is a smart move though as it makes the fans hate him even more. This was a GREAT setup though and was on pace to be a classic before the ending. To be fair though, at the pace they were going the match would have been an hour long if they were going to do a full version. Still though, what we got was very good.

Gene is on the platform and brings out Savage to talk about Jake, because we can’t have the match on this show so let’s talk about it instead. Savage talks about being bitten by the snake and being able to see and hear Liz crying, which is the worst thing Jake could do. He promises to be all over Jake like melted butter. Oh man stuff just got REAL. Liz comes out in what is presented as a bigger deal than it should be. As usual, she has nothing to say.

Gorilla thinks Tuesday in Texas may be on TV! I think he might be wrong here.

Team Mustafa vs. Team Slaughter

Colonel Mustafa, Berzerker, Skinner, Hercules

Sgt. Slaughter, Tito Santana, Jim Duggan, Texas Tornado

Skinner is an alligator wrestler from the Everglades and Berzerker is a crazy viking who tried to stab Undertaker with a sword. A lot of these guys are on their way out. Hercules would be in WCW by May, Tornado would job to the stars until leaving in July, as would Mustafa (Iron Sheik). The rest of the guys would do nothing of note for the rest of their time in the company.

Kerry looks high as a kite and almost falls off the apron getting into the ring. This is pretty recently after Slaughter’s face turn as he was a heel at Summerslam. This isn’t exactly the most talent laden match ever and the only feud is Slaughter vs. Mustafa due to their recent split.

Tito and Skinner start with Santana taking over with a headlock. There’s the flying forearm out of nowhere and Skinner hits the floor without a cover. Off to Berzerker vs. Tornado, which would work a lot better down in Dallas. Berzerker misses a dropkick and it’s off to Mustafa. After some very brief offense, Kerry tumbles to his corner and brings in Duggan to face Hercules, which took place in the first ever match at Survivor Series.

Duggan gets taken down by double and triple teaming and it’s off to Mustafa. He loads up his curled boots and does nothing with them. Duggan pounds away and backdrops Mustafa down before the hot tag to Slaughter. The big showdown is an atomic drop and a clothesline to Mustafa for the elimination.

Berzerker comes in with some clotheslines and a kick to Slaughter’s fat gut. A boot to Slaughter’s face puts him down and it’s off to Hercules for some two counts. Back to the viking who gets crotched on the top rope and kicked in the legs. Off to Duggan who clotheslines Berzerker to the floor, only to have Berzerker come back in for a backdrop back out to the floor. Tornado comes in and pounds away on him before it’s off to Hercules again.

Tito gets a blind tag and hits a forearm to the back of the head (El Paso Del Muerte) for the pin and the elimination. Skinner comes in as it’s 4-2. I don’t see this going well for Mustafa’s team. A blind tag brings in Slaughter who rolls up Skinner for the elimination. Slaughter whips Berzerker into Duggan’s clothesline for the elimination and the win.

Rating: F. The match was awful, it was never in doubt, and the biggest deal on the heel team was Skinner, who would get an Intercontinental Title shot soon after this. What a horrible match and one of the most worthless ones in the history of the show so far, which is covering quite a bit of ground. Nothing to see here at all.

Here’s Jake to plug Tuesday in Texas some more. To be fair, Jake saying “trust me” in that evil voice of his was amazing. Jake swears he didn’t know that the snake had venom in it still but making Liz cry excited him. God has told Jake that God doesn’t like Okerlund, so let’s blame everyone but Jake. I said he was awesome, not that he made sense. No reptiles are allowed at the match between Savage and Roberts. He wants to kiss Liz and that’s about it.

We recap Hogan vs. Undertaker. Flair confronted Hogan in the Funeral Parlor (Undertaker’s interview segment) and went off on him about hearing about Hogan for years. Now Flair is here and wants to know what Hogan is going to do about it. Hogan pulled off the shirt and Undertaker came out of a standing casket behind Hulk and hit him with the urn. Piper and Savage ran out of the broadcast booth with chairs but Undertaker literally swatted away Savage’s swing. Undertaker rips Hogan’s cross off ala Andre in 87 and leaves.

WWF World Title: Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan

Undertaker is “undefeated” here, which means overseas tours and house shows don’t count because Tito Santana beat him in Spain and Warrior beat him on a bunch of house shows. Feeling out process to start with no one being able to get a real advantage. Undertaker shoulders Hogan and Hulk regroups a bit while Undertaker reaches to the urn. Back in and Undertaker chokes away in the corner in a shot you see in a lot of his video packages.

Bearer chokes Hogan a bit and Undertaker slams him. A big elbow misses and the place cheers loudly. Hulk pounds away but he can’t put him down. A slam doesn’t work, nor does an elbow to the head. Hogan clotheslines UNdertaker to the floor where the Dead Man lands on his feet and pulls Hogan outside. Back in and Undertaker chokes away some more and Bearer does the same. Undertaker starts smothering him as you can see the Hogan super fan, a guy who dressed up like Hulk (including yellow trunks) sitting in the front row and freaking out.

This hold goes on for a good while, which is just Undertaker having his hand on Hogan’s face and doing nothing else. By long I mean like two and a half minutes. When the whole match is only thirteen minutes, that’s quite the stretch. Hogan comes back with some shoulder blocks that don’t do much, only to haveUndertaker clothesline him down again. There’s the Tombstone but Hogan is up before a cover. He pounds away on Undertaker and knocks him down to one knee which is a very rare sight.

Hogan gets a good slam as Flair is on his way to the ring in his spiffy black and white robs. Hogan takes out Flair with a right hand and big boots Undertaker, only to have Bearer grab his leg. Undertaker loads up the Tombstone as Flair slides in a chair. The piledriver on the chair gives us a new champion and a decisive face pop for the Dead Man. Undertaker holding the title like it’s a coupon for a free coffee at a gas station is a nice touch.

Rating: D. Yeah this match completely sucked but we have a new champion and a reason to watch Flair vs. Hogan, which never happened for various reason. Hogan would beat Undertaker for the title at Tuesday in Texas six days later, but the title would be held up and decided in the Rumble, where Flair would win it and set up Wrestlemania. Bad match, but a BIG moment.

People come out to check on Hogan as Gorilla rips into Flair. Hogan takes a while to leave, likely to let the fans get over some of their shock.

Roddy is in the back and goes on a big rant against Tunney and Flair andUndertaker.

Flair and Perfect say they told us this would happen and now they’ve been proven right. Flair is the REAL World Champion now.

Intermission, which means we see a graphic for fifteen minutes. Seriously, there’s nothing other than a graphic and a countdown clock.

Gene recaps what’s happened so far in case someone ordered the PPV halfway through for some reason.

The Natural Disasters and IRS are ready for the Legion of Doom and Boss Man. That’s the main event. They’re not even hiding the ripping off of the fans anymore.

Legion of Doom and the Boss Man are ready too. Seriously there’s nothing else to say here. They say exactly what you would expect them to say and nothing else. Hawk gets ready to do the WHAT A RUSH line but as he loads it up, Sean interrupts him to say Gene is with Jack Tunney. Hawk gives him a look that would stop a tank and says his catchphrase, then lets Sean throw it to Gene.

Tunney announces Hogan vs. Undertaker II at Tuesday in Texas. He’ll be at ringside as well, driving the boredom levels shoot through the roof, if that’s even possible.

Team Nasty Boys vs. Team Rockers

Nasty Boys, Beverly Brothers

Rockers, Bushwhackers

This is right before the Rockers split and they’re already having issues. This is regular rules, which means individual eliminations and not one loss means both team members are gone. Butch and Knobbs (Brian Knobbs of the Nasty Boys along with Jerry Sags) get things going as Gorilla and Bobby talk about Hogan vs. Undertaker II. Butch hits a running knee lift and it’s off to Luke. Luke and Butch take over on the Nasty Boys with a pair of double clotheslines.

The Beverly Brothers come in and do about as well as Knobbs and Sags with both Brothers taking a Battering Ram. The Rockers double dropkick the Nasty Boys and the good guys have cleared the ring. It’s Shawn vs. Beau Beverly (the other is Blake) now as the announcers debate which guy on either team is the brains. A backbreaker puts Shawn down and it’s back to Knobbs. Luke comes in and avoids a splash in the corner but whacks his arms too much, allowing Knobbs to hit a middle rope clothesline for the elimination.

Off to Shawn vs. Sags with Jerry suplexing him down. Gorilla talks about how tonight will culminate at Tuesday in Texas. Some annoying fan stands up and poses for the camera so the shots keep cutting away a lot. The Rockers work on Sags’ arm before it’s off to Blake. Gorilla somehow can’t tell the Rockers apart, even though they pretty much look nothing alike and have been together for years now.

A superkick puts Blake down but he comes back with knees in the corner. Marty comes off the middle rope and shoves the referee for no apparent reason. It doesn’t go anywhere so I guess it was a mistake. Off to Beau who doesn’t do much other than allow a tag to Butch who cleans house. The Beverlies double team him with a backdrop into a facejam for the pin and the elimination.

It’s Nasty Boys/Beverly Brothers vs. Rockers now with Marty coming in again. Marty monkey flips and hurricanranas Beau down for two as Heenan and Gorilla trade statements of excitement. An enziguri puts Beau down again and it’s off to an armbar. It’s also off to Shawn, who doesn’t do as well as you would expect against one of the Beverly Brothers. Off to Blake who jumps over Beau and lands on Shawn’s back in a move later used by the World’s Greatest Tag Team.

Out of nowhere Shawn grabs a backslide on Beau for the pin to make it 3-1. Sags is in next as Gorilla thinks Marty should reach further for a tag. Even though the Rockers would split less than a month later, it wasn’t clear yet who would have gotten the super push. The Nasty Boys head to the floor and Shawn clotheslines Sags off the apron and superkicks Knobbs down. Back in and Sags takes over again. Marty’s eyes are just gone and he looks awful.

Blake comes in again and gets kicked in the face, allowing for a falling tag to Marty. A big jumping back elbow takes Knobbs down and a snapmare gets two. Knobbs takes Jannetty down again and Heenan talks about Tuesday in Texas. Off to Sags with a powerslam and a belly to back suplex before it’s back to Knobbs. Marty gets his knees up to stop a middle rope splash and there’s the tag to Shawn. Everything breaks down and Marty swings Sags’ feet into Shawn’s face, resulting in Knobbs rolling Michaels up for the pin.

That leaves us with Marty vs. Blake and the Nastys. Shawn freaks out on him before he leaves too to even further tease the tension. Marty starts with Knobbs and hits a middle rope bulldog but Jerry takes him down almost immediately and knocks him to the floor. A powerslam from Blake puts Marty down and the Nastys head to the floor. Jannetty dives on both of them and slams Blake’s face into the mat. Marty hooks a terrible looking small package on Sags but Knobbs rolls them over to give Jerry the final eliminating pin.

Rating: D. Man alive this was a long match. That’s the problem the rest of this show has created: there’s nothing else worth watching for the rest of the night and now they’re just filling in time to say that you’re getting a PPV that means something, when really you need to see the sequel to get the full thing.

Gorilla and Bobby plug Tuesday in Texas again.

Legion of Doom/Big Boss Man vs. IRS/Natural Disasters

This is your main event people. Let that sink in for a minute. The LOD are the Tag Team Champions and IRS (Irwin R. Schyster, a tax auditor) and Boss Man are having a worthless midcard feud. Boss Man and IRS start things off with the tax man getting thrown all over the place. Off to Animal vs. Earthquake which wakes the crowd up a bit.

They collide and Animal’s cross body is caught in a backbreaker in an impressive display of strength from Earthquake. Back to IRS to face Hawk with the latter working on the arm. Typhoon gets the tag, only to have IRS thrown at him by Hawk. Off to Earthquake who carries Hawk to the heel corner. IRS and Boss Man come in again and it’s a briefcase shot to Boss Man’s head for the elimination.

It’s Typhoon vs. Animal now and the Disasters double team Animal in the corner. Earthquake suplexes him down as Monsoon talks about Bobo Brazil. IRS hits a top rope right hand for two and Typhoon puts on a bearhug. Animal escapes and hits a clothesline before tagging in Hawk. IRS misses a briefcase shot to the head and hits Typhoon by mistake, giving Hawk the easy pin.

Earthquake wants to fight IRS now but walks off with Typhoon instead, making it the LOD vs. IRS. Hawk powerslams IRS down but a charge goes shoulder first into the post. Hawk gets sent face first into the steps as we continue to fill time by having IRS look like he has a chance. We hit the chinlock as the announcers talk about Thanksgiving dinner. A not very hot tag brings in Animal who cleans whatever is left in the house. IRS tries to walk out but runs into Boss Man in the aisle. Back in and Hawk hits a top rope clothesline for the win.

Rating: D+. We go from Hogan vs. Andre II to this in five years? That should give you a good idea as to what you’ve got going on with this show. The match was nothing and there was no reason to get excited about it, because the whole reason the match was happening had been postponed to Tuesday. In Texas.

Hogan won’t talk to the cameras about what happened.

Gene is in the bowels of the building with Bearer and Undertaker. Hogan will rest in peace. In Texas. They look in a casket to end the show.

Overall Rating: D-. Let’s take a look at what we had on this show: a really good opener, a horrible second match, a bad yet historic third match, a bad fourth match, and a worthless fifth match. This is all interspersed with a bunch of commercials for Tuesday in Texas, which is possibly the biggest bait and switch in company history. This show made me mad because it’s a big flip off to the fans, and that’s not acceptable. Watch the opener and that’s about it.

Ratings Comparison

Team Flair vs. Team Piper

Original: A-

Redo: B

Team Slaughter vs. Team Mustafa

Original: F

Redo: F

Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan

Original: C-

Redo: D

Team Nasty Boys vs. Team Rockers

Original: D

Redo: D

Legion of Doom/Big Boss Man vs. IRS/Natural Disasters

Original: D

Redo: D+

Overall Rating:

Original: D+

Redo: D-

A little worse this time, but the same problems still plague this show. Screw you Vince.

Here’s the original review if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2011/11/10/history-of-survivor-series-count-up-1991-here-lies-hogan/

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 1997 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $3.99 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/product/B015IN12I2

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