The 30th annual WWE Survivor Series will take place this year. In honor of the second longest WWE pay-per-view tradition (WrestleMania is kind of a big deal), I’m going to post reviews of every Survivor Series event ever starting with the first one back in 1987. There will be one review posted every day in the month of November.
The first Survivor Series took place on Thanksgiving night in 1987 and it was opposite of the NWA’s Starrcade event. It was a power play by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon because he told cable providers if they showed Starrcade instead of Survivor Series then he won’t let them show WrestleMania 4 in 1988. Since WrestleMania was a proven money maker by this point, most cable providers chose to air Survivor Series live. In 1988, NWA (eventually WCW) moved Starrcade to December to prevent WWE from screwing them over again.
This was also a big show because it was the first-time WWE did a pay-per-view that wasn’t a WrestleMania.
I was seven years old at the time of this event. I don’t recall watching it live, but I know we had the VHS tape of it within a few weeks because I can remember watching it a bunch of times. I also doubt that I’ve watched it in the last 25 years, so a lot of it will feel new again.
WWE Survivor Series
November 26, 1987
The announce team of Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura were introduced first as the show began. They went over the rules for the elimination matches.
The Honky Tonk Man’s team were interviewed backstage with Honky talking trash about Randy Savage’s team. HTM was the Intercontinental Champion at the time of this match. His team made their entrance.
Randy Savage’s team was interviewed. Savage was a heel earlier in the year, but he ended up turning face and led this team of popular midcard performers. Savage’s team made his entrance with Savage getting the biggest ovation of the show by far.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Honky Tonk Man, Harley Race, Hercules, Danny Davis & Ron Bass (w/Jimmy Hart & Bobby Heenan) vs. Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts & Jim Duggan (w/Elizabeth)
Just so it’s clear the heel team is captained by Honky Tonk Man and the face team is captained by Randy Savage. There’s one ref in the ring and one ref outside the ring for this match.
Beefcake had a sleeper on Hercules early, but the other heels got in there to save Hercules. Beefcake slammed Davis after he tagged in. The crowd was really into this early on, cheering the simplest stuff and reminding us how simple wrestling was. Steamboat nailed a chop off the top on Davis. Race nailed a safe shoulderbreaker on Steamboat, but Ricky came back with a chop to the face. Steamboat dumped Race out of the ring, but Race came back with a belly to belly suplex. Duggan tagged in against Race and they had a feud over the “King” crown at the time. Duggan clothesline sent Race out of the ring. They brawled outside the ring. They didn’t go back in the ring so they were counted out of the match.
Jim Duggan and Harley Race eliminated due to double countout
Bass with a slam on Roberts, but an elbow drop missed. Savage kneed Bass in the back, then a back elbow and a knee drop. Savage slammed Bass. Honky distracted, so Savage hit him and Bass nailed a clothesline to take down Savage. Savage went after Honky, but he was trapped in the heel corner. Savage nailed a running elbow on Bass. Beefcake tagged with a high knee to Bass and eliminated him.
Ron Bass eliminated by Brutus Beefcake
Hercules and Honky worked over Beefcake in the heel corner for a couple of minutes. Lots of armbars to build up to a tag. Beefcake fired up with punches, then he slammed Honky into the top turnbuckle and Davis kneed him in the back. Honky hit the Shake Rattle N Roll neckbreaker on Beefcake to eliminate him.
Brutus Beefcake eliminated by Honky Tonk Man
Analysis: Good job by Jesse and Gorilla pointing out Beefcake’s mistake of not tagging out when he could have.
Savage was in for his team. The heels made a lot of quick tags to work him over. Savage with a running elbow on Honky and then he tagged in Roberts. Jake went for the DDT, but Honky avoided it. The heels slowed down Jake’s momentum and kept him in their corner. Roberts came back against Davis, he hit him with the short clothesline and the DDT to eliminate him.
Danny Davis eliminated by Jake Roberts
As soon as Davis was pinned, Hercules nailed Roberts with a clothesline. Honky tagged in to work over Roberts as well. Roberts hit a knee lift on Honky, but Hercules tagged back in to continue to work over Roberts with a headlock. Jawbreaker by Roberts set him free for the hot tag to Steamboat against Hercules. Steamboat was on fire with chops on Hercules and then he nailed a top rope chop. Slam by Steamboat, tag to Savage and Savage nailed the Elbow Drop off the top rope to eliminate Hercules.
Hercules eliminated by Randy Savage
It’s Honky all alone against Savage, Steamboat and Roberts. Savage with a running elbow smash. Steamboat with a chop. Roberts nailed Honky with a hard punch. Ventura was complaining about how the faces could pin him, but they just wanted to beat up Honky. Savage nailed a body slam and then a double axe off the top. Atomic drop by Savage sent Honky over the top to the floor. Honky walked up the aisle, so he lost by countout. The match went 24 minutes.
Honky Tonk Man eliminated by countout
Survivors: Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat & Jake Roberts
The three faces celebrated the win with the crowd cheering them. Ventura credited Honky for taking the smart way out while Monsoon said it was a cowardly way out.
Analysis: **3/4 That was a decent tag match with the faces coming out on top. Some points were boring, but they finished the match well. Honky Tonk Man was a good midcard heel that had issues with a lot of the faces, so the crowd was into everything they did. Savage was building a lot of momentum by this point (he won his first World Title at the next WrestleMania), so it made sense for him to lead the winning team. They worked it like a traditional tag with the heels going after different faces for long stretches in order to build up hot tags to create big moments. In terms of star power, the faces had much more over guys while the heels had guys that weren’t that significant on the roster at this point.
There was an interview with Andre the Giant’s team consisting of One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude and Butch Reed. Bobby Heenan and Slick were there as managers. Heenan was talking about how Andre beat Hogan at WrestleMania 3 earlier in the year. Andre: “Hogan, I did it once and I’ll do it again.” Later, Andre said he’s there for Hogan’s soul and he’s going to be the survivor.
Analysis: I loved Andre promos even though they scared the hell out of me when I was seven years old.
It’s time for a women’s match. All ten women were in the ring already. I can remember a women’s division at the time, but it was never treated like a big deal.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls (Leilani Kai and Judy Martin), Donna Christanello and Dawn Marie (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. The Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntyre, and The Jumping Bomb Angels (Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno)
The heels are Sherri’s team and the faces are Moolah’s team. Sherri was the Women’s Champion at this point. Moolah was 64 years old at the time of this match. Wow, I didn’t realize she was that old here until I just looked it up.
Sherri with a clothesline early on and McIntyre nailed a cross body block. Moolah tagged in to work on Sherri a bit. Moolah with a slingshot to Christanello. McIntyre with a back elbow on Christanello, a dropkick and body slam gets two. McIntyre did a pinning combination to eliminate Christanello.
Donna Christanello eliminated by Velvet McIntyre
Headscissors by McIntyre and a dropkick on one of the Glamour Girls. Dawn Marie (not the same ECW/WWE Dawn Marie that most of us know obviously) was in there briefly for the heels. Martin worked on Robin for a bit. Sherri tagged in with a dropkick on Robin. The crowd isn’t interested in this match. Double axe by Dawn Marie, but then Robin nailed a clothesline and a running cross body to eliminate her.
Dawn Marie eliminated by Rockin’ Robin
Yamazaki was in there for the faces with some nearfalls, then two running high knee attacks and a running cross body block for two. Tateno tagged in with an arm drag off the top ropes. She brought in Sherri with a back elbow on her and a double underhook suplex gets two. The crowd was cheering a bit more for the Jumping Bomb Angels. Kai worked on Robin, but then Robin nailed a sloppy monkey flip. Sherri slammed Robin and hit a suplex for three.
Rockin’ Robin eliminated by Sensational Sherri
Analysis: A regular vertical suplex is enough to eliminate somebody? I guess so because the 1980s were a different time, my friends. Matches were a lot simpler in those days.
Yamazaki nailed Sherri with two dropkicks and she tagged in Martin, who slammed Yamazaki by the hair. McIntyre hit a spinning cross body block for a two count. She brought in Kai with a slingshot across the ring. Moolah was back in there with a dropkick and an uppercut. Back elbow by Martin on Moolah gets two. Ventura thinks one of these girls should shave their head so they wouldn’t get their hair pulled. Kai with a running forearm on one of the Bomb Angels. Moolah was back in with a weak clothesline and body slam on Martin. The crowd is very quiet at this point. Double clothesline by the Glamour Girls on Moolah and she got pinned.
Fabulous Moolah eliminated by Judy Martin
The match is down to a 3 on 3 match. McIntyre put Martin a Boston Crab submission, but Martin got to the ropes. McIntyre with a one-legged dropkick. Sherri was back in and sent McIntyre face first into the mat. Legdrop by Sherri. Terrible looking suplex by Sherri. Kai with a double underhook suplex on Yamazaki and the timekeeper rang the bell even though it wasn’t a three count. The ref waved it off. McIntyre did the giant swing spot on Sherri much to the delight of the crowd. McIntyre was on the shoulders of Sherri and did a rollup to eliminate her.
Sensational Sherri eliminated by Velvet McIntyre
Analysis: That was a big elimination with the heel champion getting eliminated by a rising face challenger.
Yamazaki got a sunset flip off the middle rope for a two count. Tateno nailed an impressive double underhook suplex on Martin for a two count. Tateno did a leg body scissors. Kai sent her into the corner with a slingshot. McIntyre was selling pain and got a nearfall on Kai. She went on Kai’s shoulders, so Kai sent her into the top rope and dropped back with the electric chair.
Velvet McIntyre eliminated by Leilani Kai
The Jumping Bomb Angels worked together on the tag champs. Tateno got kneed in the back by Martin, who was on the apron. Kai with a slam, then she went up top and missed a splash. Yamazaki tagged in with a cross body block for three on Kai to eliminate her.
Leilani Kai eliminated by Itsuki Yamazaki
Martin is alone against the Jumping Bomb Angels. Yamazaki slammed Martin down to free herself. Tateno tagged in with a knee drop off the top rope. Double back body drop by the Angels. Hart was on the apron, so he got knocked off with a kick much to the delight of the crowd. Tateno jumped off the top with a top rope clothesline to pin Martin and win the match at the 20-minute mark.
Survivors: Jumping Bomb Angels
Analysis: **1/4 It was a boring match for the most part, but I liked the way the Jumping Bomb Angels were put over in a big way. The crowd didn’t know them, but they stood out with their aerial moves. I couldn’t remember what happened after this, so I had to look it up. They had the Jumping Bomb Angels beat Martin & Kai for the tag titles at the first Royal Rumble event two months after this. Sherri getting pinned by McIntyre was a bit of a big deal.
There was an interview done with the five heel tag teams with Bobby Heenan doing the talking for the team. Jimmy Hart ran into the picture and put on his Hart Foundation jacket.
The Bolsheviks were in the ring singing the Russian National Anthem, or at least a short part of it. Ventura stood up for it. The other members of the heel team made their entrance.
The face team was interviewed by Gene Okerlund. The team is captained by the Tag Team Champions Strike Force, which was Tito Santana and Rick Martel. The faces made their entrance.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), The Islanders (Haku and Tama), Demolition (Ax and Smash), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), and The Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo) (w/Johnny Valiant, Slick, Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan & Mr. Fuji) vs. Strike Force (Tito Santana and Rick Martel), The Young Stallions (Paul Roma and Jim Powers), The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques Rougeau and Raymond Rougeau), The Killer Bees (Jim Brunzell and B. Brian Blair), and The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid)
The heels are the guys on The Hart Foundation team. All five teams have a different manager. The faces are with Strike Force. The rules are that if one member is eliminated then his partner is out too. This is a nearly 40 minute match, so I may cut down on play by play a bit.
The match started with Volkoff and Martel while the other 18 guys stood on the apron. Volkoff with a body slam on Martel. Zhukov tagged in and was met by a cross body block by Martel. Santana bounced off the ropes and hit a flying forearm to pin Zhukov.
Zhukov & Volkoff eliminated by Santana
There were a lot of quick tags on both sides as the pace picked up. I enjoyed the chop fest by Dynamite Kid and Haku. Killer Bees double teamed Haku a bit. Neidhart with a slam on Roma, then Ax and Smash each nailed slams. Haku clothesline on Roma. The heels just let Roma tag out for some reason. Jacques missed a cross body block so Ax just pinned him.
Jacques & Ray Rougeau eliminated by Ax
The heels worked on Powers a bit, but then he brought in his partner Roma. Ax with a boot to the face of Roma. Valentine with a shoulderbreaker and then a suplex gets a two count. Bravo with a gutwrench suplex with Monsoon saying he’s bulked up, which is probably a comment about how he was on a lot of steroids. Smash tagged in and missed a corner charge. Kid with a clothesline on Smash, but then Smash kicked him. Smash pounded on Kid against the ropes. The referee told him to back off, so Smash shoved the referee and was disqualified.
Smash & Ax eliminated due to disqualification
Analysis: The camera didn’t even catch the shove, but we did see the referee down on the other side of the ring.
Hart got in there against Kid and nailed a piledriver for a two count. Hart missed a corner charge, so Kid got out of there. Tama worked on Powers, but then he missed a splash off the middle ropes. Martel was on fire against Tama with the crowd cheering a lot. Martel with a Boston Crab on Tama, but Neidhart broke it up with a clothesline to the back. Boots to the face by Martel. Santana tagged in and hit the flying forearm on Neidhart for two. Hart made the save with a forearm to the back. Neidhart covered Santana to eliminate him.
Santana & Martel eliminated by Neidhart
Analysis: Weak elimination. A guy getting pinned because somebody else broke up a pin is lame. It was done to make the Hart Foundation look good, so I can accept it for that reason.
There’s three teams left on each side as Valentine worked on Powers a bit. Anvil dropped Powers throat first on the top rope. Haku with a backbreaker. Powers with a suplex on Valentine, but Valentine kept Powers in the heel corner. Powers tagged out to bring in his partner Roma. Ventura and Monsoon reminisced about the dreaded thumb in the eye move. Valentine with a forearm to the back on Roma. Kid was in with Hart again – they are my two favorite guys in the match and the best workers in the match. Back suplex by Kid. Blair with a back body drop on Haku. The heels continued to work on Powers a bit as Monsoon said the Stallions were underdogs. Big pop from the crowd when Davey Boy did a press slam on Hart. Davey Boy nailed his running powerslam on Haku. That was his finishing move in later years. Smith with a suplex and Kid nailed a headbutt off the middle ropes. Haku came back with a thrust kick to the throat of Kid.
Dynamite Kid & Davey Boy Smith eliminated by Haku
There are two face teams against three face teams at this point. Bravo and Valentine worked together against Powers. Hart slammed Powers against the turnbuckle and hung him upside down. Bravo with a back body drop on Powers followed by a stun gun against the ropes. Valentine went for the Figure Four Leglock, but Powers kicked him away. Roma tagged in, sunset flip off the top rope and that was enough to pin Valentine.
Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo eliminated by Paul Roma
Two teams left on each side. Blair got a small package on Neidhart for a two count. Brunzell with a high knee on Neidhart. Tama nailed a double axe on Roma as the heels were in control again. Brunzell with a legdrop on Haku and a hip toss for two. Roma nailed a flying fist drop off the middle ropes for a two count. Hart came back with a back suplex for two. Haku with a dropkick on Roma. Neidhart with a dropkick of his own and then a running powerslam gets two. Hart and Brunzell did a spot where they ran the ropes and collided with eachother. Tama dropkicked Brunzell while Hart had Brunzell in his arms, then Brunzell rolled on top and it was enough to beat Hart.
Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart eliminated by Jim Brunzell
Analysis: I was always a Hart Foundation guy. That elimination pisses me off nearly 30 years later haha. Freakin’ Jumping Jim pins the Hitman! Come on, man!
The Islanders are left for the heels against Killer Bees and Young Stallions. Haku worked over Brunzell vice grip on the shoulders. Tama tagged in to do the same move. Brunzell with a sunset flip on Haku for two. Suplex by Haku on Brunzell. Roma with a powerslam on Haku for a two count. Blair tagged in against Haku. Tama with a back elbow on Blair, but then he missed an elbow drop. Brunzell with a back body drop, a slam and a double noggin knocker. Brunzell with a dropkick for a two count. The other faces went in the ring against Haku. Tama was left with Brunzell, who went for a sunset flip pin. Brunzell put a mask on and did a sunset flip over the top to pin Tama even though he wasn’t the legal man. The ref was distracted by the others. The match went 37 minutes.
Tama & Haku eliminated by B. Brian Blair
Survivors: Killer Bees & Young Stallions
Post match, both Bees put masks on while Ventura called the referee an idiot because he couldn’t tell that it was the illegal man getting the pin.
Analysis: ***1/4 It was long, but I enjoyed it for the most part. I guess WWE felt the need to give them a lot of time since it’s only a four-match show and there were 20 guys that were in this match. I’m a bit surprised that they had the Young Stallions and Killer Bees as the survivors in the match. I remember Powers as a face jobber for much of his run, but I do remember this team with Roma as well. Both teams were average in their WWE run and certainly weren’t the biggest names in the match. It was probably a booking decision that was done to try to elevate those teams. It didn’t work in the long run, but it’s the thought that counts. Faces cheating to win is pretty rare although it’s something the Killer Bees did once in a while.
Ted Dibiase was shown in a car doing a promo while he talked about how rich he is. There were clips of him taunting people with money such as the dribbling the ball thing where he kicks the ball away after 14 dribbles. Dibiase was seated in an office with bodyguard Virgil nearby. A clip aired of him making a woman go down on her knees and bark like a dog. There was the time when he made a kid kiss his feet – it turns out the kid was Rob Van Dam. Dibiase was also shown eating dinner. A clip aired of him paying a guy money to clear a public pool so that Dibiase could have it for himself. It ended with him driving in a car talking about how everybody has a price.
Analysis: This was a way to take up some time while establishing Dibiase as a cocky heel that was on the rise. It was his first year in the company and he was pushed in a bigger role in 1988 since he main evented WM4 with Savage. I think Dibiase is on the short list as one of the best performers in WWE that didn’t win the World Title in his career.
The announcers wasted a few minutes talking about things that happened earlier in the night. This is called killing time. They mentioned Andre The Giant hasn’t stepped in the ring since WrestleMania 3 eight months earlier.
There was more time wasting with Honky Tonk Man and Jimmy Hart interviewed on the stage with Honky saying he wasn’t defeated.
The great Bobby Heenan led “Ravishing” Rick Rude and King Kong Bundy to the ring for the main event as part of the five-man heel team. Slick led One Man Gang and “The Natural” Butch Reed to the ring. Heenan introduced the captain of their team, the uncrowned heavyweight champion Andre The Giant. Lots of boos for Andre. This storyline worked well.
Hulk Hogan and his team were interviewed backstage by Gene Okerlund. Hogan was the WWF World Heavyweight Champion at the time, of course. Hogan talked about how hungry his teammates are.
Analysis: There were better faces on Savage’s team earlier in the night, but Hogan’s presence obviously helped.
The faces made their entrance first with Bam Bam Bigelow (Ventura didn’t understand why people liked him since he’s so ugly), Ken Patero, Don Muraco (filling in for Superstar Billy Graham), Paul Ordorff and then Hulk Hogan got his special entrance at the end. Crowd was going wild for Hogan with Monsoon dropping his “going bananas” line about the crowd making a lot of noise. Hogan had a USA flag with him on the way to the ring.
Survivor Series Elimination Match: Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed, and Rick Rude (w/Bobby Heenan and Slick) defeated Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, and Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Oliver Humperdink)
Orndorff was on fire against Rude early on. Hogan tagged in with a clothesline on Rude followed by elbow drops. Bigelow with a press slam on Rude. Patera went at it with Reed with Patera nailing a clothesline and a body slam. Muraco with a dropkick. Orndorff tagged in with two dropkicks of his own. Hogan tagged in, double clothesline and Hogan hit the leg drop on Reed to eliminate him.
Butch Reed eliminated by Hulk Hogan
Hogan had a staredown with Andre in the ring. The crowd was buzzing. Hogan accidentally tagged in Patera when he was celebrating the elimination. Bundy tagged in against Patera and Patera dropped him with a clothesline. Orndorff and Rude were in there with Orndorff getting a nearfall after an elbow drop. Muraco looks like he is on the most steroids in the match if you were wondering. Gang was in there with Patera as Patera hit a cross body block for two. Knee in the corner by Patera, so Gang just did an eye rake and the heels worked over Patera in their corner. Patera sent Gang into the corner, they each did a clothesline, but Gang fell on top to pin him.
Ken Patera eliminated by One Man Gang
Hogan worked on Gang with clotheslines, then a double boot to the face with Bigelow. Gang and Bigelow did a double shoulder tackle collision. Rude was in there with Orndorff again as Orndorff hit a suplex followed by an elbow smash and a back body drop. Bundy hit Orndorff in the back when he wasn’t looking. Rude did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! with tights on Orndorff to eliminate him.
Paul Orndorff eliminated by Rick Rude
Bigelow nailed a vertical suplex on Rude and then brought in Hogan. Running high knee by Hogan. Muraco tagged in and hit a powerslam on Rude to eliminate him.
Rick Rude eliminated by Don Muraco
It’s a 3 on 3 match as Muraco worked on the left leg on Bundy. The heels got control briefly as Ventura wondered when we would see Andre vs. Hogan. Gang almost eliminated Muraco after Muraco failed to pick him up for a slam. Andre nailed Muraco with a punch followed by Gang hitting a splash, so that eliminated Muraco.
Don Muraco eliminated by One Man Gang
The three heels left are Gang, Bundy and Andre against Hogan and Bigelow. Bundy nailed a clothesline with Bigelow taking a flip bump, which is so impressive for a guy over 300 pounds. Bundy with a knee to the stomach of Bundy. It’s worth nothing Andre hasn’t done much in the match because it was tough for him to move by this point in his career. The heels continued to work on Bigelow as Gang and Bundy tagged in and out several times. Andre tagged in, went for a punch, but Bigelow avoided it and tagged in Hogan.
Hogan went after Andre with punches and chops. The crowd was standing at this point. Hogan knocked the other heels off the apron and hit two elbows on Andre’s head. Bundy dragged Hogan out of the ring. Hogan went after him. Hogan slammed Gang on the floor. Bundy stopped Hogan from going back in. Hogan slammed Bundy on the floor. The ref was counting the whole time, so Hogan was counted out.
Hulk Hogan eliminated by countout
Loud boos for Hogan being eliminated from the match. Hogan complained about it and didn’t want to leave, but he did.
Analysis: Hogan rarely lost matches at this point in his career, so it was a huge shock to everybody watching. A countout loss obviously protects him from getting pinned, so it was a smart way to get him out of the match.
Bigelow was left alone against the three super heavyweights. Bigelow with a headbutt, a dropkick, a double leg takedown and an elbow to the knee of Bundy. Bundy missed a corner charge. Bigelow with a slingshot splash over the top rope leading to the elimination of Bundy.
King Kong Bundy eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow
Gang pounded on Bigelow with punches. Gang sent Bigelow’s head into Andre’s boot. Gang went to the top rope, he completely missed whatever he was going for and Bigelow put his arm on him to eliminate him.
One Man Gang eliminated by Bam Bam Bigelow
It’s down to Andre for the heels and Bigelow for the faces. Andre pounded on Bigelow with punches and a headbutt. Bigelow used speed to avoid some attacks, but then Andre drove his shoulder into the back of Bigelow against the turnbuckle. Andre did this arm drag into a suplex to pin Bigelow. That’s it after 22 minutes.
Survivor: Andre The Giant
Analysis: **1/2 That was a well booked much that wasn’t the best bit of technical wrestling you’re going to see, but they told the story well. It was fun watching it again after all these years. They did a lot of little things right in the match by having Hogan lose by countout to protect him, Bigelow looked great fighting against three bigger guys and Andre was booked strong as a giant that didn’t do much until the end of the match when his team needed the win. The booking was much better than the in-ring action. That’s for sure. I like the end result of Andre as the sole survivor because it was his first match since WrestleMania 3 earlier in the year and they needed to remind fans that he’s still a huge threat even though he couldn’t wrestle that much anymore.
The celebration didn’t last because Hogan ran down to the ring with the WWE Title. Crowd was going wild again. Hogan hit Andre in the head with the title. Hogan hit him again in the back and Andre left the ring. Ventura called Hogan a sore loser, which was true while Monsoon said Hogan was the best athlete in the world. Heenan was smiling as he left with Andre.
Analysis: The heel went over in the match, so they needed to do something to send the crowd home happy. That’s why Hogan was out there getting revenge after his cheap elimination. It also led to people wanting to see Hogan vs. Andre again.
Hogan posed in the ring with the crowd going wild for him like they usually did during this time period. Ventura called him an egomaniac that was posing in the ring even though he lost. The posing lasted for a few minutes.
Andre the Giant and Bobby Heenan were interviewed backstage by Gene Okerlund. Heenan bragged about how Andre survived the best and that Hogan tried a cheap shot. Andre said he proved that he was the survivor because he’s a smart man. Heenan was yelling about how nobody can boot him.
Back to the ring, Hogan was still posing.
Gorilla and Jesse said goodnight. Images aired of the event. That’s it for the first Survivor Series.
FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS
– Every champion was eliminated in their match. It was Honky Tonk Man (IC Champ) in the opener, then Sensational Sherri (Women’s Champion), the Glamour Girls (Women’s Tag Champions), Strike Force (Tag Team Champions) and Hulk Hogan (WWE World Champion). It was easy to see why they would do that because it set up challengers to the titles so that they could build to matches at WrestleMania a few months later.
– Three of the four matches saw the faces get the victory. The main event was done to put over Andre to build him up for another title match against Hogan, which happened at the February 1988 Main Event show. That led to the WWE Title being vacated and Randy Savage won the WWE Title at WrestleMania 4.
– The show was built around Hogan and Andre in the same ring at the same time after their memorable match at WrestleMania 3. I thought the booking was excellent in terms of making it feel like a big deal when they finally went at it again.
– Randy Savage was fantastic in the opening match in terms of his energy and ability to fire up the crowd. He was still new as a face at this point, yet you could tell the fans were fully behind him. He was my favorite wrestler too. It also makes sense that WWE would put the World Title on him at the next WrestleMania because his popularity was second to Hogan.
– The women’s match was too long. If they had cut out about five minutes it probably would have helped. I don’t think the crowd cared about most of them. All of them worked hard, though. It’s still so weird that Moolah was wrestling in her 60s.
Best Match: Team Strike Force vs. Team Hart Foundation – A long match that may have been better if they cut out ten minutes.
Worst Match: Team Fabulous Moolah vs. Team Sensational Sherri – It was hard for the crowd to get into it early, but the Jumping Bomb Angels were the highlight.
Most Memorable Moment: Hulk Hogan’s elimination – As I wrote earlier, he rarely lost any match at this point in his career. It was a big deal to see him eliminated by countout.
1. Randy Savage
2. Bam Bam Bigelow
3. Hulk Hogan
4. Andre The Giant
5. Jumping Bomb Angels
Show rating (out of 10): 5
It was a well booked show. It’s not the best showcase of great wrestling matches, but for 1987 it’s okay.
Matches With Ratings ****+ (out of 5*) and higher:
None so far.
I’ll be back tomorrow with Survivor Series 1988.