Survivor Series Count-Up – 1987 (2012 Redo): Four The Easy Way
Survivor Series 1987
Date: November 26, 1987
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Jesse Ventura
So we’re here in Richfield, just outside of Cleveland, where the first two of these shows would take place. There are four matches on the card tonight but none of them compare to the main event which has Andre vs. Hogan. The idea is that it gives Andre a chance for revenge and a chance for Hogan to prove that his initial win wasn’t a fluke. This was still the money match in the company so it’s a huge deal. Let’s get to it.
The Fink introduces Jesse and Gorilla which is something you don’t often see anymore.
After a highlight package we’re ready to go.
Gorilla and Jess talk about the whole card, all four matches on it. They also explain the rules, which I’m sure most of you are familiar with. We have ten man (or woman or team) tag team matches and it’s standard elimination rules, meaning you can be out via pin, submission, countout or DQ. Also you can be put out via a referee’s discretion due to injury but that never actually happens as far as I remember.
Team Honky (there’s a name you could never get away with today) is ready for Team Savage and Honky says he’ll shake rattle and roll Elizabeth. He’s already shoved her down which is a big deal as Liz was like the ultimate untouchable woman.
Team Honky Tonk Man vs. Team Randy Savage
Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Hercules
Randy Savage, Jim Duggan, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake
Honky doesn’t have Cool Cocky bad as his theme music yet which is a shame. It’s amazing how great the music got in the late 80s. After the heel entrances, Team Savage says they’re here to settle scores. This was a different time as almost all of the faces were friends by default as were the heels just because they were faces and heels. The feuds going into this are Honky vs. Savage and Race vs. Duggan. Other than that the guys are just random midcarders who are faces or heels on a team, which is a pretty cool idea.
The place erupts for Savage’s entrance. Even Jesse couldn’t deny how great Randy was and was a huge fan in his own right. It was clear they had to do something with him soon, and they certainly did soon enough. In the answer to a trivia question, it’s Beefcake vs. Hercules starting the first Survivor Series match ever. Beefcake struts a bit and not much goes on for the first 20 seconds or so.
Hercules (guess what he’s known for) runs Beefcake over but walks into Barber’s sleeper but he falls into his corner to tag in Davis, one of the lowest lever guys you’ll ever find who somehow wasn’t a jobber. He’s a wrestling referee. Seriously, that’s the extent of his gimmick. He’s a referee who cheated a lot and got fired. Savage and Steamboat (who are apparently fine after wanting to kill each other about eight months ago) take turns on Davis but Steamboat misses a charge and it’s off to Race, the current King of the WWF.
Steamboat chops Race in the head and man alive how amazing would those two be able to be in a long old school program? Steamboat skins the cat (I’ve asked this many times, but is that really the best name they could come up with for that? I mean, skinning a cat?) and sends Race to the floor before bringing in Duggan to pound away on Race, knocking him to the floor. Hacksaw heads out with him and they brawl to a double countout, making it 4-4.
Bass (a standard old school cowboy) comes in to face Roberts but it’s quickly off to Savage. A knee sends Bass into the corner and Savage is starting to roll very fast. Savage immediately goes after Honky due to the really bad blood between the two of them and it’s lets Bass get in a shot. Off to the IC Champion (Honky) who gets in some cheap shots but like any good heel, he tags out when Savage starts coming back.
Bass comes in again but a blind tag brings in Barber (Beefcake for you younguns) who hits a high knee for the elimination. Hercules comes in and the bad guys start working over Beefcake’s arm. Off to Honky with an armbar and then right back to Herc. Wisely they’re keeping that schmuck Danny Davis out of there. I guess he’s there because he works for Jimmy Hart but other than that there’s no logical reason for him to be there.
Beefcake tries to punch his way out of trouble but Honky stays on the arm. To say Honky wasn’t much on offense is an understatement as he barely looks to be cranking on the hold at all. Beefcake fights out of the hold but won’t tag because he’s kind of dumb. Davis adds the only thing he’s going to add the whole match and knees Beefcake in the back so that Honky can hit the Shake Rattle and Roll (swinging neckbreaker) for the pin on Beefcake to tie us up at three.
Off to Savage vs. Hercules with the power guy taking over. Davis comes in and things suddenly go downhill for Honky’s team. Yeah, a referee beating on Randy Savage doesn’t work. Who would have guessed? Honky comes in and gets elbowed in the head which lets Savage tag in Jake to pound away. The comeback doesn’t last long though as Jake charges into a boot in the corner and it’s off to Herc. That goes nowhere so here’s Davis and since his offense sucks (BECAUSE HE’S A REFEREE) Jake shrugs it all off and DDTs him to death, making it 3-2 (Savage/Steamboat/Roberts vs. Hercules/Honky).
Herc comes in and takes Jake down and Savage tries to come in for a save, which just allows the heels to double team Jake. Savage isn’t thinking here because of his anger, almost like…..a savage. Oh you’re very clever WWF. Honky hooks a chinlock and Hercules comes in to do the same. Jake hits a jawbreaker to escape and there’s the hot tag to Steamboat who cleans house with chops.
A top rope chop has Herc reeling and it’s off to Savage for the elbow. It’s just Honky left and Savage explodes on him, only to miss another charge (third one for Savage’s team) and let Honky get in some offense. That lasts all of six seconds as the beating continues. Jake comes in and pounds away on him, followed by Savage dropping a double ax. An atomic drop sends Honky to the floor and he’s like screw this and takes the countout. Can you blame him?
Rating: B. This was a really fun match with a good story to it. The fans HATED Honky and the idea of getting him caught at the end with no one to defend him had the fans going nuts. Honky vs. Savage was a great feud but it never had a blowoff due to a bunch of backstage stuff. Honky would somehow hold the title nine more months before perhaps the greatest end to a title run ever at Summerslam. This was a great choice for a first match ever for the concept too as it showed how the idea worked and gave the fans something to cheer about too. Really good stuff.
Heenan and Team Andre can’t wait to get their hands on Hogan. We get a clip from the controversial cover at Wrestlemania 3, which when you look at it, Heenan has a point: the referee wouldn’t have been able to see Hogan’s shoulder get up. The point of this is Hogan is going to be caught against all these monsters and then it’s going to be Andre vs. Hogan and Andre will kill him.
Team Fabulous Moolah vs. Team Sensational Sherri
Fabulous Moolah, Jumping Bomb Angels, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin Robin
Sensational Sherri, Glamour Girls, Dawn Marie, Donna Christianello
Sherri recently took the Women’s Title from Moolah who is certainly on the decline in her career. To be fair she’s 64 years old here and had been champion earlier in the year. The Angels are the kind of a team that would blow have blown up the internet if it had existed back then. They were awesome high fliers and I’ve never seen women like them since. Sherri and Velvet start us off as Jesse talks about being in The Running Man.
Sherri beats on Velvet but a cross body puts her down and it’s off to Moolah. Moolah literally pulls in Christianello and it’s off to a Bomb Angel who comes in with a slingshot kick. Back to Velvet as these girls are tagging in and out fast. Velvet gets a quick victory roll on Donna to eliminate her. She was just filling in a spot so that’s a good elimination to get out of the way. Judy Martin of the Glamour Girls (the Women’s Tag Champions. The titles didn’t last long) comes in followed quickly by Dawn Marie (this one is old. The more famous one would be in high school still at this point) who does nothing of note.
Martin is back in vs. Robin, the half sister of Jake Roberts, but it’s quickly back to Marie who is another filler on the team. Robin quick cross bodies her for the pin and it’s 5-3. It’s Kai vs. Izuki now with Izuki flying all over the place before Matrixing out of a cover. Jesse sounds amazed by her and rightfully so given what women’s wrestling was like at this time. A Sin Cara style armdrag takes Kai down and it’s off to Sherri who gets beaten up as well before it’s off to Robin again.
Robin tries a monkey flip out of the corner but the now legal Martin lands on her. The champ (Sherri in this case) comes in with a quick suplex to put Robin out and get us down to 4-3. Izuki comes in and things speed up again. Martin back in and she spins Izuki around by the hair. FREAKING OW MAN! Off to Moolah who hits a better monkey flip than Robin before getting elbowed down by Martin for two.
Off to the Angel that isn’t Izuki vs. Kai but Non-Izuki misses a dropkick. Moolah literally gets dragged into the ring and starts her very old school slow paced offense. Sherri cheats with Martin on a double clothesline to eliminate Moolah and it’s tied at 3-3. Off to Izuki vs. Martin before it’s quickly back to Non-Izuki. Jesse is thrilled with the idea of all the cheating you could do in this match. Velvet puts on a Boston Crab before shifting to a surfboard. McIntyre pulls Sherri in and Sensational hits a kind of gutwrench suplex which drives Velvet’s neck into the mat and I think somewhat legit hurting her back.
Izuki comes in for a few seconds before it’s back to Velvet and Sherri with Velvet hooking a giant swing. Velvet grabs a victory roll for a quick pin and she looks like she’s in agony. She could barely cradle Sherri’s legs. Off to Izuki as Velvet can’t even stand on the apron. Izuki tries to suplex Martin but she’s just too fat. The third attempt finally works but it only gets two. Izuki hooks a body scissors but gets countered into a slingshot. It’s right into her corner and Velvet comes in, only to get caught in an electric chair drop for the pin.
It’s down to the Glamour Girls vs. the Jumping Bomb Angels and the Angels take over very quickly, with Izuki slingshotting Martin onto Kai. Kai kicks Non-Izuki in the back but misses a splash. Izuki hits a top rope crossbody and it’s down to 2-1. Martin comes in and hits something like Wasteland on Izuki for two. Non-Izuki comes in with a top rope knee and things speed up. Jimmy Hart gets dropkicked and a top rope clothesline by Non-Izuki gets the final pin.
Rating: C+. While it wasn’t as good as the opener, this was still pretty solid stuff. The Angels were AWESOME for their time and were still good by today’s standards. This would set up a title match at the first Royal Rumble with the Angels taking the titles. One important difference between today’s women and this generations: these girls were wrestlers who happened to be female. Today the Divas come off as female wrestlers if that makes sense.
Most of Team Hart Foundation says they’re not worried about Team Strike Force. Jimmy Hart pops in and is all messed up after getting dropped.
The Bolsheviks do the Russian National Anthem deal.
Strike Force and company are ready as well.
Team Hart Foundation vs. Team Strike Force
Hart Foundation, Bolsheviks, Demolition, Dream Team, Islanders
Strike Force, British Bulldogs, Killer Bees, Young Stallions, Fabulous Rougeaus
The rules here are that if one member of a team is eliminated, both members are out so it’s still just five eliminations needed. Strike Force recently stunned the Harts for the titles. I think you should know every team here. The Dream Team is Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo and the Stallions are Jim Powers and Paul Roma. I’m a big Strike Force fan so it’s good to see the fans pop loudly for them.
I’ve seen this show many times as it was one of my favorite tapes but I’ve never figured something out: for this and the main event, the lights are turned down. Why would that be the case? It’s clearly darker in the arena now and it’s not a dome with sunlight coming in or anything. I’ve never gotten that. Volkoff and Martel start things off. There are so many people on the apron that you can’t see most of the ring from a standard camera shot.
Volkoff powers him down to start before bringing in Zhukov. Since Zhukov is pretty much worthless, Martel beats him up and brings in Santana for the forearm out of nowhere for the quick pin. Santana’s reward for the pin: he gets to fight Ax. Ax does his pounding but knocks Tito into the corner and it’s off to Jacques Rougeau who speeds things up with a jumping back elbow to take over.
Dino Bravo comes in and the good guys start speeding up their tags. I’m sorry for all of the play by play in this but when you have 18 guys in a match there isn’t much room for analysis or anything else. After Bravo gets beaten up by about five different guys we wind up with Smash vs. Dynamite and the Bulldog (Dynamite) gets caught in the heel corner. Well actually it would be the heel side of the ring because they don’t all fit in one corner but corner sounds better.
Off to Haku and they chop it out before Dynamite tags in a Killer Bee who tags in the other Killer Bee. Neidhart comes in and gets his legs stretched by Brunzell and Roma. Back to Smash and then Ax who beat on the (somehow) future Horseman. I’m not listing a lot of the tags as there are probably five of them a minute and there’s no point in listing off stuff like “Ax comes in and hits Roma once before tagging back out.”
Roma tags in Powers who gets beaten down just as fast as Roma did, so it’s off to Jacques again. Not that it matters much as Jacques misses a cross body and Smash gets a quick pin. That’s good as we’re now down to sixteen guys left in the match. Off to Dynamite vs. Tama but Powers comes in, only to hesitate and gets his head taken off by a clothesline. Neidhart comes in and puts him in an over the shoulder powerbomb position as Haku drops a double ax (is there a single ax?) to the chest.
Off to Roman who gets beaten up by Ax and then Valentine. The Stallions are jobbers for all intents and purposes but they were great at selling so there was a point to having them around. Bravo comes in and hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Roma crawls over and brings in a Killer Bee who tags out to Dynamite almost immediately to face Smash. Smash fires off something similar to Sheamus’ ten forearms but shoves the referee, drawing the DQ to knock out Demolition. Notice that they kept Demolition VERY strong here and didn’t let them get pinned.
Bret immediately comes in and piledrives Dynamite for only two. Jesse immediately starts singing Bret’s praises as he was known to do. Bret misses a charge and hits the post shoulder first and it’s off to Powers again to face Tama. Tama misses a Vader Bomb and there’s the tag to Martel. Rick cleans house but when he puts the Boston Crab on he’s too close to the ropes and Neidhart gets a tag.
Rick gets away enough to bring in Santana who hits the forearm almost immediately for two. The saving shot to the back of Santana’s head by Bret is enough for Neidhart to get a pin and eliminate the champions. To recap, we have the Harts, the Dream Team and the Islanders vs. the Bulldogs, the Stallions and the Bees. At least now things can slow down a lot. Haku hits a HIGH dropkick on Powers as Jesse talks about his great great grandfather coming over on the Mayflower.
Valentine comes in and does Arn Anderson’s jump in the air and get crotched spot. Anvil (Neidhart for you schmucks out there) comes in and hot shots Powers followed by a superkick from Haku. Off to Valentine who has his suplex countered but still blocks the tag by bringing in Hitman. Bret suplexes Powers but Roma is still able to get the tag somehow. Back to Valentine who comes off the middle rope with a shot to the back for two.
In something you rarely see, Bret whips Roma into the ropes and knocks Valentine off the apron. Bret misses a dropkick and there’s the tag to Dynamite. A belly to back gets two for the Kid and it’s off to Roma which is a pretty questionable move given the beating he’s taken. Off to Haku vs. Blair as Roma was only in for a few seconds. Davey comes in and it’s power vs. power. Make that power vs. Powers but Jim misses a corner charge and Haku tags Anvil.
Powers dives away from Bret and it’s time for Davey Boy vs. Bret in a Summerslam 92 preview. Davey uses a perfect gorilla press on Hart and hits the powerslam for two on Haku. Dynamite tries a middle rope headbutt (notice all the similarities between Dynamite and Benoit. Benoit basically cloned himself after Dynamite) on Haku but knocks himself silly, allowing Haku to superkick him for the elimination.
It’s 3-2 now and Roma immediately charges in with a dropkick for two. Off to Bravo who misses an elbow and it’s off to Powers. Why won’t they tag the Bees already? Valentine Hammers away on Powers as do both Harts. Valentine comes in for a second before handing it off to Bravo again. Dino hits his side suplex but tags off to Valentine for the Figure Four, which is countered by a kick to the back. Off to Roma who sunset flips Valentine off the top to make it 2-2 (Stallions/Bees vs. Islanders/Harts).
The Bees double team Anvil in a match that by their own words probably happened 300 times over the years. Brunzell hits a high knee to the face for two and it’s off to Bret who does about as well. Tama comes in and takes out Roma and it’s off to Haku. Haku misses a legdrop and it’s back to Brunzell. Brunzell hiptosses him into the heel corner for some reason and Bret comes back in. Roma gets two off a middle rope fist but Hart comes right back with a belly to back suplex.
The Islanders hit a double headbutt and this referee counts SLOW. Haku pounds on Roma and hits a dropkick which is rather impressive for a guy his size. It’s not quite as impressive as Anvil doing a dropkick of his own (literally 2 seconds after Monsoon says he’d like to see Neidhart try one) though. Bret comes back in and Roma slides between Bret’s legs and tags in Brunzell.
Brunzell tries to slam Hart but Tama dropkicks Bret’s back. Brunzell rolls through and gets a fast pin to eliminate the Harts and get us down to 2-1. Tama hooks a nerve hold on Brunzell followed by a shoulderbreaker from Haku. That gets two so Haku puts on a nerve hold of his own. Now Tama puts on ANOTHER nerve hold. To be fair we’re over half an hour into this so the guys are likely getting tired.
Brunzell tries a sunset flip but there’s no strength in it at all and he only gets two. He FINALLY gets a tag off to Powers who tags in Roma for a powerslam for two. Things start to break down a bit and the Bees being in the ring allow the Islanders to double team Roma a bit. Roma escapes enough to tag Blair but Tama kicks him before Blair can even get in. Tama misses an elbow and it’s off to Brunzell again for some reason. He can barely get Tama over for a backdrop but the signature dropkick gets two. Everything breaks down and Blair puts on his mask (it was a thing the Bees did to cheat) and sunset flips Tama for the pin.
Rating: C-. This match just kept going on and on and it was kind of exhausting to sit through. It runs nearly forty minutes and by the end there were no combinations we hadn’t seen already. You could easily cut out fifteen minutes of this match and it would have improved greatly. If you like tag wrestling, find a copy of this NOW but otherwise be ready to fast forward a lot. It’s not a bad match or anything but man alive is it long.
We get a clip of Ted Dibiase in his limo, bragging about how he’s going to spend Thanksgiving planning his next move. It takes money to survive, not toughness. We get some highlights of DiBiase humiliating some fans for money, including making a woman get on all four’s and bark like a dog. One of the fans shown here would one day become WWE Champion and is more famously known as Rob Van Dam. We also see DiBiase buying out a pool for the day so he can use it for himself. Alberto Del Rio wishes he could do this a quarter as well as DiBiase can.
Here’s Honky Tonk who now has Cool Cocky Bad. Odd. He says he wasn’t beaten and everyone saw it. He’ll take a challenge from anyone, and that includes Hogan. We’re clearly on intermission here.
Team Andre the Giant vs. Team Hulk Hogan
Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Butch Reed, Rick Rude
Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Paul Orndorff
After Andre’s team comes out, we go to the back for a great late 80s Hogan insane promo. He talks about how hungry all of his team is and apparently he trusts Orndorff again. Muraco is subbing for an injured Billy Graham who would never wrestle again if I remember correctly. To say the place erupts for Hogan is an understatement. Muraco and Rude get things going here. Again there aren’t many feuds going on here other than Hogan vs. Andre. Rude and Orndorff are feuding but other than that I don’t think there were any established programs already.
Rude gets knocked into the corner and quintuple teamed before it’s off to Orndorff for the tag. Paul knocks him around a bit and here’s Hogan to blow the roof off the place again. He drops a bunch of elbows on Rude and here’s Bigelow with a splash for no cover. Bigelow gorilla presses Rude and here’s Patera who never got back to where he was before his jail stint.
Off to Reed who has about as much luck as Rude had earlier. Muraco comes in and dropkicks Reed down as does Orndorff. Paul beats on him for a bit and it’s a double clothesline from Hogan and Orndorff, leading to the big leg and a 5-4 lead for Hogan and company. Andre comes in while Hogan is celebrating, but Joey Marella (Gorilla’s adopted son) says a high five to Patera counted as a tag so the teasing of the crowd continues.
Andre, the Frenchman that he is, thinks Patera is beneath him and tags out to Bundy. Patera clotheslines Bundy down but King tags in Gang to beat on Orndorff. Paul is all like BRING IT ON and punches Gang in the head, only to charge into a knee in the corner to bring him right back down. Off to Rude who gets his own head taken off by a clothesline. It’s been ALL Hulk N Pals so far.
Rude pokes Muraco in the eye and it’s off to Gang, but OMG misses a splash in the corner. Patera gets in and pounds away on Gang even more with right hands and a knee in the corner. Gang goes to the eyes which of course makes Jesse happy. Patera tries to fight back but they clothesline each other and Gang falls on top of him for the pin, making it 4-4. Hogan comes in immediately to take over but quickly brings in Bam Bam for a double big boot.
Bigelow is probably the second most popular guy in the company at this point or third at worst behind only Hogan and Savage. They hit head to head and it’s a double tag to Rude and Orndorff. Paul goes nuts on him but as he loads up the piledriver, Bundy jumps him from behind, giving Rude a quick rollup pin. That would be it for Orndorff in the WWF, at least in major spots.
Bigelow comes in and suplexes Rude down before tagging out to Hogan for a high knee (!). A powerslam from Muraco to take Rude out and it’s Gang, Bundy and Andre vs. Bigelow, Hogan and Muraco. Muraco goes after Bundy’s leg which is pretty good strategy. Granted it doesn’t work but at least it was a good idea. Gang comes in and Muraco can’t slam him because he’s really fat. The splash eliminates Muraco and it’s 3-2.
Gang vs. Bigelow now with Bigelow trying a sunset flip, only to get crushed by the power of fat. Bundy clotheslines Bigelow inside out and Jesse says Hogan is going to run if Bigelow gets eliminated. Gorilla RUNS to Hogan’s defense and Jesse freaks. Gang and Bigelow collide and Hogan looks like he’s about to cry. Andre finally comes in and Bigelow looks TINY compared to him.
Bigelow slides between Andre’s legs and FINALLY it’s Hogan vs. Andre. Hogan pounds away and blocks a headbutt and Andre is in trouble. Hogan decks Bundy and Gang before elbowing Andre in the head. Bundy pulls Hogan to the floor and Hulk has to beat up both of the other monsters. He slams both guys, but he’s outside too long and Hogan is counted out. Hogan, the great sportsman that he is, gets back in anyway and is STUNNED, yes STUNNED I SAY about getting counted out. It takes the referees saying that if Hogan doesn’t leave, his whole team is disqualified.
So it’s Bigelow vs. Andre, Bundy and Gang. Bigelow starts with Bundy and clotheslines him down for two. A shoulder block puts Bundy down again and a headbutt gets two. A dropkick staggers Bundy and the King misses a splash. Bigelow hits his slingshot splash to eliminate Bundy and make it 2-1.
Gang comes in immediately and starts pounding away, hooking something like a front facelock. Bigelow gets rammed into Andre’s boot and Gang goes up. Oh this can’t end well. Gang misses a “splash” and Bigelow pins him to get us down to one on one. Let the pain begin. Andre pounds him down, avoids a charge, fires off a bunch of shoulders to the back, and a kind of single arm butterfly suplex gets the final pin for Andre.
Rating: B-. For a main event, this was perfectly fine. More than anything else, it continues Hogan vs. Andre. They had their first match about eight months ago and something like this needed to happen to extend the feud. That’s the reason for the amount of PPVs going up: you need another place to have major feuds. Andre has now won something in direct competition over Hogan and there’s a reason for a rematch. Maybe on February 5th live on NBC?
Hogan IMMEDIATELY runs out and decks Andre with the belt. Hogan clears the ring and says bring it on, but Heenan motions that Hogan has to sign a contract first. Jesse freaks out as Hogan poses. This is a total jerk move by Hulk as he lost completely fairly and is out here because he can’t accept it. I was a Hulkamaniac as a kid, but Hogan was a horrible sport a lot of the time.
Heenan and Andre say they want Hogan and all Hulk has to do is sign on the dotted line.
Overall Rating: B+. This is a pretty excellent show and a GREAT first entry in the series. However I would certainly suggest going with the home video version instead of the full version as it clips some of the repetitive stuff from the tag match which helps it a lot. It also cuts some promos like the DiBiase thing and makes the show a lot easier to sit through. Still though, good show here and well worth seeing.
In something that I’ll be doing with all of these redos, here are the original ratings and the new ratings. I haven’t looked at these until the end of the redo. In order of airing (just captains listed for the sake of less typing):
Team Randy Savage vs. Team Honky Tonk Man
Team Sherri Martel vs. Team Fabulous Moolah
Team Hart Foundation vs. Team Strike Force
Team Hogan vs. Team Andre the Giant
Apparently I liked most of the matches less and the show a bit less overall but still good marks all around.
Here’s the original review if you’re interested.
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