TJR Retro: WWE Survivor Series 1988 Review

The Mega Powers were running wild in 1998 as Randy Savage held the WWF World Heavyweight Title for much of the year while his good friend Hulk Hogan was always there to watch his back. Things didn’t turn out well once we got to 1989, but heading into Survivor Series 1988 they were still on the same page.

The format of the second Survivor Series was the same as the first one. There were four elimination matches with one of them being a tag team elimination match. The only difference is there was no women’s elimination match like in the previous year because the WWF didn’t have much of a women’s division by this point.

As always, I’m using the WWE Network to write this review. If something is missing from the show, blame them.

WWE Survivor Series

Richfield, Ohio

November 24, 1988

The announce team for the show is Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura like in the previous year.

The Ultimate Warrior ran down to the ring with his babyface team that also included Brutus Beefcake, The Blue Blazer, Jim Brunzell & Sam Houston. Warrior was the Intercontinental Champion at the time. The ovation for Warrior’s entrance was pretty huge.

The Honky Tonk Man led his team down to the ring.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Greg Valentine and Bad News Brown (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer and Jim Brunzell

It’s obvious, but the face team is Warrior’s team and Honky’s team are the heels. As the match began, Gorilla busted out his famous “hanging from the rafters” line to describe the crowd.

Beefcake started with Valentine. Davis tagged in, Beefcake put the sleeper hold on him and Davis submitted 78 seconds into the match.

Danny Davis eliminated by Brutus Beefcake

Valentine worked on the leg of Beefcake to set up for the Figure Four Leglock, but Beefcake kicked him into the turnbuckle. Blazer (Owen Hart) took him down with a headscissors. Brown tagged in against Brunzell with a clothesline and a body slam with Ventura saying it is Brown’s first tag match since Brown is a loner.  Brunzell missed a corner attack. Brown nailed the Ghetto Blaster kick, which was like an enziguri kick.

Jim Brunzell eliminated by Bad News Brown

Houston jumped off the top with an elbow to the arm of Brown, but Brown came back with a boot to the face. Leg drop gets two for Brown. Hard whip into the corner by Brown followed by a clothesline. Valentine tagged in briefly, then Brown wanted back and in they did a spot where Valentine accidentally hit Brown after Houston moved. Brown shoved Valentine. Brown was mad about what happened, so he just left.

Bad News Brown eliminated by countout

Analysis: His gimmick was that he didn’t get along with other people, so it fit his character to see him walk out on the match.

Houston got a nearfall on Valentine with a rollup following Brown’s elimination. Bass slowed down Houston’s momentum with a boot to the face followed by a clothesline for two. Houston with a cross body block off the middle ropes gets two. Bass with a punch and elbow drop. Bass blocked a monkey flip out of the corner and did a running powerslam to pin Houston

Sam Houston eliminated by Ron Bass

Warrior was in there for his team as he went wild against the heels. Shoulder tackle on Honky. Warrior slammed Bass. Blazer was on the top rope and Warrior slammed him onto Bass for a two count. Monkey flip out of the corner by Blazer on Honky followed by a dropkick. Gutwrench suplex by Blazer on Valentine gets two. Back body drop by Blazer on Valentine, then a slam and Honky shoved Blazer off the top rope. Valentine hooked the Figure Four Leglock on and Blazer gave up.

Blue Blazer eliminated by Greg Valentine

Analysis: It took a few years for Owen Hart to emerge under his own name. I thought he did pretty well as the Blue Blazer in this match.

It’s Warrior and Beefcake for the face team against Valentine, Bass and Honky Tonk Man. The heels worked over Beefcake for a bit. Beefcake did a back body drop on Honky to try to break free. Honky tried a double axe, but Beefcake punched him in the gut. Atomic drop by Beefcake followed by a clothesline. Sleeper hold by Beefcake. They went to the floor. Beefcake put the sleeper hold on Honky on the floor. The referee counted them both out. That was a fast count too.

Brutus Beefcake and Honky Tonk Man eliminated by countout

That means it is Warrior alone against Valentine and Bass. The heels worked together against Warrior for a couple of minutes, but then Warrior came back with a double clothesline. He nailed a running double axehandle smash on Outlaw and pinned him.

Ron Bass eliminated by Ultimate Warrior

Valentine attacked Warrior with some punches. Warrior bounced off the ropes and hit a running double axehandle smash on Valentine. Warrior pinned him to win the match at the 17:50 mark.

Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior

Post match, Warrior celebrated the win with Monsoon saying that Warrior was going bananas, which is the Monsoon term for excitement.

Analysis: ** It was an okay match with a very predictable finish because Warrior was easily the biggest name in the match. I don’t remember Warrior winning matches with a running double axehandle because it didn’t feel like a finishing move back then or today. It was also early in Warrior’s career, so he was still finding his way. I was impressed by the Blue Blazer getting a chance to show off his athleticism in the match. There wasn’t much else in the match that stood out to me.

It’s time for the tag team 10 on 10 elimination match.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Demolition (Ax and Smash), The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), The Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond and Jacques Rougeau) and The Conquistadors (Uno and Dos) (w/Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Slick and Jimmy Hart) vs. The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian), The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty), The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart) and The Young Stallions (Jim Powers and Paul Roma)

The heel team is captained by Demolition, who are the Tag Team Champions. The Powers of Pain are captains of the face team. If one team member is eliminated, then his partner also must go to the back at the same time. This is a 40+ minute match so I may cut down on play by play at some points.

There were plenty of quick tags early on. There’s Shawn Michaels against Zhukov – it is Shawn’s first Survivor Series. Ax worked on Jannetty with some clubbing forearm smashes on Jannetty. Arn Anderson tagged in, but he tagged out quick after Jannetty hit a nice dropkick on him. Jacques tagged in for the heels and missed a cross body block. Dynamite Kid with a snap suplex on Jacque gets two. Kid did a nice rollup on Ray for a two count. The heels worked over Powers for a bit as Jacques hit a dropkick. Bret Hart tagged in to a nice ovation, Jacques hit a back elbow for two. Hart small package on Ray Rougeau eliminated him.

Ray & Jacques Rougeau eliminated by Bret Hart

Neidhart exchanged power moves with Smash. Barbarian got in there to exchange punches with Smash. Barbarian nailed Uno (or Dos) with a boot to the face. Smash nailed Hart with a boot to the face. Blanchard sent Hart into the corner, Hart nailed a clothesline and both guys tagged out. The heels isolated Michaels in their corner leading to Volkoff hitting a backbreaker. Anderson nailed a spinebuster, which was one of the best in the business. Dos I guess slammed Michaels. Jannetty got tagged in for the faces and nailed a bod slam of his own on a Conquistador. Volkoff missed clotheslines, so Jannetty nailed a dropkick on him for two. Davey Boy slammed Vokloff and Volkoff came back with a kick to the gut. Warlord faced off with a Conquistador and did a sloppy press slam. Ax faced off with Warlord, which led to the crowd going wild. Barbarian tagged in against Smash with Barbarian nailed a running kick. Barbarian sent Blanchard throat first across the top rope. Neidhart with a powerslam on Blanchard. Kid with a running clothesline on Blanchard, so Blanchard followed up tagging in Anderson to work on Kid. Powers with a back body drop on Zhukov, then a clothesline and a cross body block off the middle rope, but Zhukov landed on top for the pin.

Jimmy Powers & Paul Roma eliminated by Boris Zhukov

Barbarian tagged in with a shoulder tackle on Zhukov. In a funny moment, Blanchard tagged in, was scared of Barbarian and tagged in Volkoff. Ax pounded on Barbarian. Michaels was in there with Zhukov, Jannetty did a blind tag and did a sunset flip over the top to pin Zhukov.

Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov eliminated by Marty Jannetty

Los Conquistadors worked together on Jannetty with a back body drop. Ax slammed Jannetty. Anderson tagged in, but Jannetty stopped him by slamming him head first into the mat. There are a lot of moments in the match where guys are doing one move or taking one move and tagging out right away. Davey Boy took an upside down bump in the corner. Uno and Dos double teamed Davey Boy a bit until he tagged in Neidhart. Hart nailed an elbow drop by Neidhart held Uno and got a two count out of it. Kid worked over Uno a bit with a knee drop followed by a back breaker. Sloppy powerslam from Barbarian on Uno. Blanchard got a cheap kick in against Barbarian. The crowd went wild for a little thing like Barbarian fighting out of a headlock from Smash. Ax put on a chinlock as well. Barbarian broke free by kicking Anderson. Neidhart took an elbow to the head from Anderson. Blanchard cross body block gets two. Suplex by Neidhart on Blanchard. Hart nailed a backbreaker on Blanchard and an inverted atomic drop. Hart with a bridging German Suplex on Blanchard. Hart celebrated, but the referee told him that his shoulders were down while Blanchard’s shoulders were still up, so the Hart Foundation were eliminated. The crowd was mad about that. So was I!

Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart eliminated by Tully Blanchard (sort of)

Analysis: That’s a unique way to do an elimination.

Dynamite Kid went in for his team and hit a Tombstone Piledriver for just a two count. Michaels battled with Blanchard for a bit. Anderson went in to help Blanchard. Jannetty went in to help Michaels. All four guys were brawling with both referees trying to break it up. The Rockers nailed double superkicks to knock them out of the ring.

Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty as well as Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson eliminated by double disqualification

The Rockers and Brainbusters were still fighting up the aisle after they were eliminated from the match. There’s a Pat Patterson sighting as he was there to break up the fight. Back to the ring, the teams left are Demolition and Conquistadors for the heels against British Bulldogs and Powers of Pain for the faces. Boot to the face by Barbarian on Uno and here comes Dos (I guess) as Davey Boy hit a delayed vertical suplex. Davey Boy with a crucifix pin on Ax gets two. Dynamite Kid nailed a great running clothesline on Ax. Davey Boy with a press slam on Uno and then a running powerslam. No cover, which was a bit odd. Ax faced off with Barbarian. Ax pounded on him with punches and kicks. Smash dumped Barbarian to the floor. Double team by the Conquistadors with Ventura commenting that they are doing remarkably well. The faces took turns working over one of the Conquistadors for a few minutes. Kid was in there with Smash with Kid hitting a snap suplex. Kid went for a top rope headbutt, but Smash moved. A clothesline by Smash on Kid is good enough for a pinfall.

Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith eliminated by Smash

Analysis: Worst elimination of the match because that clothesline didn’t look good. He probably should have just pinned him after the missed headbutt.

Warlord was weakened a bit as he missed a shoulder attack and hit the ring post. Mr. Fuji was up on the apron instructing somebody as the heel side worked over Warlord in their corner. Fuji was on the apron again with his cane. Warlord with a shoulder tackle on Smash, but then Smash came back with a clothesline. As Smash went against the ropes, Fuji opened the ropes and Smash went crashing to the floor. The announcers noticed it right away. The referee Earl Hebner counted him out, so Demolition was eliminated.

Ax and Smash eliminated by countout

After the elimination, Ax yelled at Fuji about pulling the rope down. Fuji told him that he’s the boss. Fuji hit Ax in the chest with the cane. Then Ax turned his back and Fuji hit him again. Smash grabbed Fuji, tossed him towards Ax and Ax slammed him on the concrete. After Demolition left, Powers of Pain checked on Fuji on the floor. They helped him to his feet. Powers of Pain put Fuji in their corner as Los Conquistadors were left with them. Uno or Dos ran the ropes, Fuji tripped him with his hand and Barbarian nailed a headbutt for the pinfall win at the 42:12 mark. The crowd cheered even though Powers of Pain turned heel.

Uno and Dos eliminated by Barbarian

Survivors: Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian)

Post match, Powers of Pain put Fuji on their shoulders while Fuji smiled about being aligned with a new tag team. Monsoon was freaking out on commentary saying “look at this!” Ventura said he couldn’t believe it. Demolition ran down toe the ring and they brawled with the Powers of Pain. Ax and Smash each nailed body slams. Both Demolition guys nailed clotheslines. The Powers of Pain left with Fuji. Demolition received some cheers from the crowd.

Analysis: ***1/4 A long match with some slow parts, but it had a unique ending that I still remember well. There were plenty of quick tags, so it was tough to follow the action at times. I loved the booking of the finish, though. A double turn in a tag team match like this is so hard to do, yet it worked perfectly. Some of the eliminations in the match were poor as I noted in the review, but for the most part they were well done and I liked the creativity with some of them as well. The finish of this match was so memorable that when Mr. Fuji died earlier this year, most people cited this moment as a highlight of his career because it was such a great angle. It still holds up well nearly 30 years later.

There was an interview with Bad News Brown. He said he knows that everybody wants to be the first one to beat him, but it’s not going to happen. He said he didn’t care about Survivor Series because he’s been a survivor his whole life. He bragged about how he’s undefeated, so he deserves a shot at the WWE Title.

Analysis: He ended up having a brief feud with Randy Savage (the WWE Champion at the time), but nobody thought he was going to win it. His WWE career was fairly short.

Mr. Fuji and the Powers of Pain were interviewed by Gene Okerlund. Fuji said he made Demolition the Tag Team Champions. Fuji said the Powers of Pain will make Demolition suffer. Barbarian said that Demolition lost Fuji and then they will lose the Tag Team Titles. I think he said that. Fuji said he turned against Demolition and they will pay. Warlord said Demolition wouldn’t listen to Fuji, but the Powers of Pain will. Mean Gene ended it saying that Fuji can’t be trusted.

Analysis: Fuji was a great heel that was also very cheesy with his promos. It makes me smile watching him.

The announcers let us know about the next match and the main event still to come.

The team of Dino Bravo and Andre The Giant (they are the co-captains) were standing by with teammates Mr. Perfect, Rick Rude and Harley Race as Gene Okerlund interviewed them. Bobby Heenan did a promo about how they’re going to win. Rude called Okerlund “divot head” so that’s interesting. Andre said he was going to be a winner this year just like he was last year.

Analysis: Race is the only wrestler on that team that is still alive. This was nearly 30 years ago, but it’s still sad to think about it like that.

The Mega Powers team co-captained by WWE Champion Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were interviewed by Sean Mooney. They are joined by Koko B Ware, Hillbilly Jim and Hercules. Everybody spoke about the main event.

Analysis: Those are some weak teammates with Savage and Hogan, but it doesn’t matter because it was about the Mega Powers.

The team captained by Jim Duggan and Jake Roberts made their entrance to a good ovation. Their opponents are captained by Dino Bravo and Andre the Giant.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Dino Bravo, Mr. Perfect and Harley Race (w/Bobby Heenan and Frenchy Martin) vs. Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, Scott Casey, Ken Patera and Tito Santana

The heels are Bravo and Andre’s team while the faces are Duggan and Roberts’ team. An interesting note on this match is that Scott Casey was the third replacement after Junkyard Dog and B. Brian Blair both left the company before the match. Also, Mr. Perfect was undefeated going into the match.

Loud “USA” chants after Bravo tagged in. My favorite guy in the match is Mr. Perfect and he faced off with Patera early on. Santana tagged in with Ventura calling him “Chico” like usual. Perfect was in the early stages of his WWE career as Monsoon talked about wanting to see him against better opponents. Race nailed a belly to belly suplex on Casey, who I don’t remember much at all. Perfect nailed Casey with a forearm smash. Santana and Patera did a double elbow on Perfect. Duggan nailed a shoulder tackle on Perfect. Crowd loved Duggan of course. Duggan nailed Perfect with a punch and Perfect bumped over the top to the floor because he was great at stuff like that. Santana got a two count against Rude as the heels worked over Rude a bit including a body slam by Duggan. They did a collision spot with both guys down in the ring. Patera was in the ring with Rude and Rude nailed a boot to the face while in the corner. Rude nailed the Rude Awakening neckbreaker to Patera to eliminate him.

Ken Patera eliminated by Rick Rude

Casey was the next guy in for the heels as Race hit a dropkick. Monsoon criticized the tattoo choices of Race. Bravo kicked out of a pinfall attempt by Casey. Bravo picked him up and nailed a sidewalk slam that was enough to eliminate Casey.

Scott Casey eliminated by Dino Bravo

It’s 5 on 3 for the heels as the faces worked over Perfect a bit. Duggan did his no selling routine for a bit, but then Andre grabbed him and hit him with some headbutts. Duggan nailed Rude with a clothesline. Bravo battled against Santana with Santana hitting a cross body block on him. Santana did a sunset flip into a pinfall for a two count. Good nearfall there. Race with a piledriver on Santana gets two and a clothesline gets two as well. Santana was sent in the ropes, he ducked and hit the flying forearm to pin Race.

Harley Race eliminated by Tito Santana

Andre stepped in for the first time to choke Santana against the ropes. Hard chops by Andre. More choking. Santana went for a sunset flip, so Andre sat on him and that was enough to eliminate Santana.

Tito Santana eliminated by Andre The Giant

It’s 4 on 2 for the heels now as Duggan nailed Andre with a clothesline that led to Andre getting tied up in the ropes. He always used to do that spot. The crowd cheered a lot for it because it was a spot they could to make Andre look vulnerable since he had a tough time doing regular bumps. Roberts went in there to punch Andre and choke him. Andre broke free and tagged in Rude against Roberts. The heels worked over Roberts for a few minutes. He came back with a short arm clothesline on Bravo, but the ref was distracted again and Rude nailed a clothesline while he was on the apron. The pace slowed down a lot as Rude nailed Roberts with a punch for a two count. Bravo nailed a leaping piledriver on Roberts, but Roberts got his foot on the ropes to avoid being pinned. Bravo missed two elbow drops, so here comes Duggan with the hot tag.

Duggan with a back body drop on Bravo, then a hard clothesline, but Frenchy Martin (Bravo’s manager) grabbed Duggan’s leg. Bravo knocked Duggan out of the ring and gave him a body slam on the floor. Duggan grabbed the 2x4 and hit Bravo in the chest as well as his back. It led to Duggan being disqualified for using a weapon. When the ref told him he was disqualified, Duggan said: “Bullshit!” Haha. It was bleeped on WWE Network.

Jim Duggan eliminated by disqualification

The match is 4 on 1 now. It’s down to Rude, Perfect, Andre and Bravo against Roberts, who is the last face left. Roberts with a knee lift on Perfect. The crowd was cheering a lot in support of Roberts. Bravo was in there with Roberts, he avoided a DDT and then Bravo missed an elbow drop. Roberts left the ring to take a break when Rude tagged in. Rude continued to beat up Roberts for a few minutes. Rude was cocky as he did his patented hip gyrations over a fallen Roberts. Roberts went up behind him, yanked his tights down to expose his ass and nailed DDT. Roberts pinned Rude.

Rick Rude eliminated by Jake Roberts

Andre went after Roberts. They had a story at the time with the idea that Andre was scared about Roberts’ snake Damien. Andre pounded on him the corner, he choked him and even bit him. Andre was relentless with his choking. The ref warned him, but he wouldn’t stop, so Andre was disqualified due to choking.

Andre The Giant eliminated by disqualification

The referees tried to get Andre out of the ring. He delivered a headbutt to Roberts. Perfect went into the ring, covered Roberts and that was enough to eliminate him. The heels win at the 30:03 mark.

Survivors: Mr. Perfect and Dino Bravo

Perfect and Bravo celebrated as the survivors in the match.

Roberts grabbed the green bag at ringside that has his snake Damien. He tossed Damien into the ring. Andre ran away with his buddies to avoid dealing with the snake. Roberts’ music played even though he lost.

Analysis: **3/4 That was a good match with some fun moments especially towards the end of it. It was also the first SS elimination match where the heels outnumbered the faces by that much. I liked the booking decision a lot because Perfect was a new guy at the time that was on the rise. Putting him over in a match like this with some big names gave him some credibility. He was becoming one of my favorite guys in this era because I always liked the heels more than the faces, just to be different. I wasn’t as much of a fan of Bravo, but he had a few midcard pushes in his career, so it was easy to see why he was a survivor as well. The ending was a bit anticlimactic with the long choke spot by Andre to get rid of him.

The heel team led by Big Boss Man and Akeem were interviewed by Gene Okerlund.

They made their entrance. Watching Akeem make his entrance to “Jive Soul Bro” by Slick is one of the most entertaining things about 1988 WWF. I’m not even joking. It was ridiculous then and is even better today.

Randy Savage’s music played as the WWE Champion Savage led his Mega Powers team down to the ring although his song stopped so that Hulk Hogan could walk out alone after the four other guys were in there.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage), Hercules, Koko B. Ware and Hillbilly Jim (w/Miss Elizabeth) vs. The Twin Towers (Akeem and Big Boss Man), Ted Dibiase, Haku and The Red Rooster (w/Slick, Bobby Heenan and Virgil)

The face team is obviously led by Hogan and Savage while the heels are led by Boss Man and Akeem. They had a tag team feud around this time. It’s odd that the likes of Hillbilly Jim, Koko B Ware and Red Rooster are main eventing.

Savage started with Dibiase. Hercules tagged in and Dibiase ran away because he had a rivalry with Hercules. Akeem, who was in the main event of the previous Survivor Series as One Man Gang, got in a chop on Koko. Huge ovation when Hogan got in there against Meng as the Hulkster hit clotheslines and two elbows. Hillbilly Jim with a body slam on Rooster. Koko nailed a powerslam on Rooster for a two count. Missile dropkick by Koko on Rooster for a two count. Hogan tagged in, hit the big boot to Rooster’s face, tag to Savage and Savage nailed the Flying Elbow drop off the top rope to eliminate Rooster. Crowd was going wild for the first elimination.

Red Rooster eliminated by Randy Savage

The heel team had a strategy session on the floor while the faces celebrated their early success. Hogan nailed Haku with a corner clothesline and a body slam. Hercules tagged in, but he was dropped on his head with a back suplex by Haku. Akeem slammed Hercules and missed a big elbow drop. Jim was in there with Akeem with Jim hitting a boot to the face. Akeem drove him to the corner, nailed a clothesline and Akeem hit a big splash to eliminate Jim.

Hillbilly Jim eliminated by Akeem

Koko went after Akeem briefly, but then he brought in Hogan. Savage with a double axehandle, then an elbow smash and Hercules got his shot while Ventura noted that they couldn’t get Akeem off his feet. Koko nailed Akeem with a dropkick that sent the big man into the corner. Koko missed a splash, so Akeem sent him into the turnbuckle. Boss Man tagged in and dropped Koko with the Boss Man slam.

Koko B Ware eliminated by Big Boss Man

The crowd stood on their feet as Hogan faced off with Boss Man, which was a hot feud at the time. Running clothesline by Hogan, then an atomic drop and a corner clothesline. Hogan with a big boot to the face of Boss Man. Hogan slammed Boss Man and the crowd went wild for it with Ventura saying Boss Man was 450 pounds, which was way more than what was real. Boss Man came back with a spinebuster on Hogan. The heels worked on Hogan for a bit with Boss Man hitting a splash to Hogan’s back while Hogan was against the ropes. Dibiase went in there, he covered Hogan and Hogan did his no selling routine. Hercules tagged in so Dibiase had to face him. Hercules with a back body drop to Dibiase followed by punches, a knee lift and two clothesline. Virgil tripped up Hercules without the ref seeing it. Dibiase kneed Hercules in the back and did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall elimination.

Hercules eliminated by Ted Dibiase

Dibiase was celebrating the elimination by taunting Hercules, so Savage went in the ring and he did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate Dibiase. The crowd loved that! Seriously, that was a loud ovation for a rollup.

Ted Dibiase eliminated by Randy Savage

Analysis: The ROLLUP OF DEATH~! is running wild, brother!

The match down to three heels with Boss Man, Akeem and Haku against Hogan and Savage. Hogan nailed some chops on Haku, but then Haku came back with a kick to the head to knock down Hogan. Boss Man worked on the back of Hogan with headbutts and then a body slam by Boss Man. Haku got back in there with suplex on Hogan. Haku grounded Hogan with a vice grip on the neck of Hogan leading to the comeback for Hogan. Boss Man sent Hogan into the ropes and he nailed the Boss Man Slam. No cover by Boss Man as he celebrated the move while Ventura wondered why he didn’t go for the pin. Boss Man took a long time to climb up to the top rope, he did this awful looking splash and Hogan moved. Hot tag to Savage, who had forearms and elbows for everybody. Slick hit Savage in the back with a cane to slow down Savage. Slick yelled at Elizabeth outside the ring. Slick grabbed her by the arm. Hogan saw it, so he punched Slick outside the ring. Akeem and Boss Man went after Hogan outside the ring. Boss Man handcuffed Hogan to the bottom rope. The referee counted out Boss Man because he was still the legal man in the ring.

Big Boss Man eliminated by countout

Boss Man hit Hogan in the ribs with his nightstick. Boss Man choked him with it. He continued to attack Hogan with it. Monsoon was yelling about how they had to force Boss Man to the back. Meanwhile back in the ring, Boss Man hit Savage in the back with the nightstick. Akeem nailed a splash on Savage. The referee disqualified Akeem for the attack on Savage because Boss Man was using a weapon while Akeem was doing his moves.

Akeem eliminated by disqualification

Analysis: Those eliminations were a bit lame although they accomplished the goal of making Hogan look sympathetic while booking those two guys as big heels.

Back to the match, Haku was left alone on his team as he battled Savage in the ring. Slick was taunting Hogan with the keys to the handcuffs. Haku missed a dropkick as Savage held onto the ropes. Elizabeth tried to help Hogan. Slick was on the apron, he held Savage, Haku went for a kick, Savage moved and Haku nailed Slick with a kick to knock him down to the floor. Hogan nailed Heenan with a clothesline. Elizabeth went into Slick’s pocket and grabbed the keys for the handcuffs. She unlocked the handcuffs, so Hogan was back on the apron for Savage. Haku with a body slam on Savage. Haku nailed a splash off the middle ropes. Haku kicked Savage into the corner and Hogan tagged in. Hogan nailed punches, the big boot, body slam and the leg drop. Hogan pinned Haku to eliminate him. That’s it at 30:10.

Survivors: Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan

Analysis: **3/4 A fun main event match with no surprise in terms of who the winners were. I think the eliminations of Akeem and Boss Man were a bit cheap, but both guys were protected as top heels that worked against Hogan and Savage for a few more months. It was odd that Haku spent so much time in the match without doing a lot. He was the last heel left, but wasn’t a major factor in the match. I thought it was smart to have Hogan get the last elimination because Savage was already the WWE Champion. Hogan didn’t eliminate anybody else in the match, so having him get the deciding fall was the right way to end things.

Post match, Savage was exhausted after taking a beating while Elizabeth checked on him. Hogan did his usual posing in the ring to celebrate the win. Hogan picked up Elizabeth in celebration. Savage looked over to Hogan with a puzzled look on his face. Jealous eyes from Savage! He pointed at Hogan wondering what he was doing. Hogan was oblivious to it. The show went off the air with Hogan, Savage and Elizabeth celebrating the win.

Analysis: Jealous eyes! That was subtle tease for the Mega Powers breakup in early 1989, which led to Savage going heel as the WWE Champion. That set up Savage dropping the WWE Title to Hulk Hogan in the WrestleMania 5 main event. It’s a slick way to build up to something major by doing a little thing (like Hogan picking up Elizabeth) leading to a bigger moment down the line.

That’s it for Survivor Series 1988. The show had a run time of 2 hours and 33 minutes.

The Mega Powers outlast everybody: Survivor Series 1988

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– I thought there was good booking during the whole show. There are obviously some little things here and there that were bad, but in the grand scheme of things the booking decisions made sense.

– As a kid, I didn’t even remember the part where Savage was mad at Hogan when Hogan lifted up Elizabeth in celebration. After all these years and after watching so much wrestling, I can pick up those things a lot easier. As a kid we were just happy the good guys won! It’s that simple.

– The only thing I’ll remember from the show was the double turn by Demolition and Powers of Pain. That wasn’t a great rivalry by any means, but I like the way everything was executed with Mr. Fuji playing a crucial role in everything.

– Good to see Mr. Perfect booked in such a positive way. WWE booked him well in his first couple of years. He didn’t win their World Title, but he was one of their top guys and he deserved it.

– You could tell by this point that Ultimate Warrior was going to be a main event guy. There was no stopping him. A year later, he did main event Survivor Series.

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: Team Powers of Pain vs. Team Demolition

Worst Match: Team Ultimate Warrior vs. Team Honky Tonk Man

Most Memorable Moment: Mr. Fuji costing Demolition their match.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Randy Savage

2. Hulk Hogan

3. Ultimate Warrior

4. Mr. Perfect

5. Mr. Fuji

 

Show rating (out of 10): 6

There were some memorable moments on this show that helped make it a bit better than what we got one year earlier.

 

Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:

None so far.

 

PREVIOUS SURVIVOR SERIES REVIEWS

Survivor Series 1987 (Team Hogan vs. Team Andre) – 5

 

Click here for all of my Survivor Series reviews. Back tomorrow with Survivor Series 1989.