Monday, April 23, 2007

WWF Survivor Series (23.11.1989)

So it's the Thanksgiving night tradition, and in keeping with the theme we get some majorly fun promos about what all the wrestlers are thankful for to kick things off. I love 80's pay-per-view promos.

The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes [c], Tito Santana, The Red Rooster & Brutus 'The Barber' Beefcake) vs. The Enforcers (The Big Boss Man [c], The Honky Tonk Man, Bad News Brown & Rick 'The Model' Martel)

This wasn't much cop, but the best bit has to be Beefcake no-selling the Bossman's nightstick the first time. Hilarious. I also liked the dynamic of two guys survivng to make things a little different and a little less predictable and I liked Bad News walking out again.

The 4x4's (Hacksaw Jim Duggan [c], Rugged Ronnie Garvin, Hercules & Bret Hart) vs. The King's Court (Macho King Randy Savage [c], Earthquake, Dino Bravo & Greg 'The Hammer' Valentine)

This is really only notable for the incredible Bret Hart vs. Randy Savage segments. Those two didn't have enough matches together in the 80s and the couple of segments they have here absolutely blow my mind at what a babyface Bret and a heel Savage could have accomplished together in 1989. I think I'm gonna have to dig out that old Saturday Night's Main Event match between them now.

Everything else is what you'd expect from the bruisers and brawlers involved. Savage and Bret steal the show (however briefly), the rest is pretty skipable. Honourable mention though to the 4x4's well rehearsed, well choreographed routine with their 2x4's before the match. If only Extreme Exposé had this kind of synchronicity they might actually be worth watching. Well, actually that's probably not true.

The Hulkamaniacs (WWF Champion Hulk Hogan [c], Jake The Snake Roberts & WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition [Ax & Smash]) vs. The Million Dollar Team (The Million Dollar Man [c], The Powers Of Pain [The Warlord & The Barbarian] & Zeus)

A harbinger of things to come as WWF Champion Hulk Hogan is shunted down to third on the card to prepare fans for the upcoming Ultimate Warrior main event run. I always felt kind of let-down by this match in a way. I mean, I knew it wouldn't be any good but I was such a big of Demolition, Ted DiBiase, Jake Roberts and The Powers of Pain that really anything less than a great match probably would have felt like a letdown, and this wasn't really the set-up for something like that, nor were these the guys to acomplish it.

Naturally, Hogan wins.

Roddy's Rowdies (Rowdy Roddy Piper [c], The Bushwhackers [Luke & Butch] & Superfly Jimmy Snuka) vs. Rude's Brood (Ravishing Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect & The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers [Jacques Rougeau & Raymond Rougeau])

This one was great fun for me psychologically speaking, with Rude's terrific team of classic wrestlers getting completely outshined by Piper's brawlers. It reminds me of being a kid playing football one day, when our friend's much older brothers challenged us to a kickabout, youngsters vs. oldies. Of course, the cocky oldies expected a cakewalk (they were all playing for school and county teams) against us kids who'd only really been discovering football the last couple of years or so, and we completely outclassed them with out slick passing game. Annihilated and humilated them we did. Great fun, and because of that I really had a soft spot for the wacky team Piper put together outwrestling the wrestlers, plus the Hennig-Snuka solo run down the home stretch is pretty damn good.

The Warriors (WWF Intercontinental Champion The Ultimate Warrior [c], The Rockers [Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty] & Jim 'The Anvil' Neidhart) vs. The Heenan Family (Andre The Giant [c], Arn Anderson, Haku & Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan)

Generally a pretty fun match thanks to some sterling work by Arn Anderson, and a ton of great stuff from Bobby Heenan, Haku and The Rockers. The 7-year old Ultimate Warrior mark inside me and the interesting Heenan Family dissension angle certainly don't hamper my enjoyment of things either. Warrior of course is the sole survivor, and he gets to beat up Heenan all the way back to the dressing room post-match. Not bad.

Thoughts: Not really a banner show in '89, with no outstanding matches like '87 and '88 had yeilded but generally a pretty fun show for it's time with most of the major names from the era involved in some lengthy matches. Just beware of some curious booking choices.


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