TJR Retro: WWE Survivor Series 1989 Review

The third Survivor Series brought with it a change in the format. The previous two years featured just four matches with three of them as 5 on 5 matches and one 10 on 10 match featuring tag teams. In 1989, the format changed with WWE choosing to do five 4 on 4 matches to fill out the three-hour show. Was it a change for the better? We’ll find out as I make my way through the review.

The big names at the time were Hulk Hogan as the WWE Champion and Ultimate Warrior as the Intercontinental Champion. Even though Hogan held the most important title in WWE, it was Warrior that got to main event the show. I think WWE was lacking in terms of heels at the time although they still had a talented roster.

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

WWE Survivor Series

Rosemont (Chicago), Illinois

November 23, 1989

The show began with a promo from WWE Champion Hulk Hogan talking about how he’s thankful for Survivor Series. Other superstars chimed in as well. Ted Dibiase said “I’m thankful because I’m rich and you’re not.” Other performers talked about things they were thankful for. I’m not going to go over the names, but here’s some: Dusty Rhodes is thankful for his polka dots. I’m sure he loved that gimmick. Rick Rude is thankful for having the most ravishing body in the WWF. Mr. Perfect is thankful for being absolutely perfect. Ultimate Warrior ended it.

WWE Superstars give thanks. From Survivor Series 11/23/89

A voiceover from Vince McMahon let us know about the elimination matches we will see later. The big difference in the teams this year is that all the teams have names.

The announcers are Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura for the third straight year.

Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and The Honky Tonk Man w/Jimmy Hart and Slick) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster and Tito Santana)

The heels are The Enforcers led by Big Boss Man and The Dream Team are the faces. Since Dusty was the American Dream, the name fit well. This was Dusty’s first year in WWE after being a top guy in the NWA. The ref for the match is a very young and skinny Mike Chioda, who is the top official in WWE today.

Martel went after Santana, which drew a big reaction because they were former tag champs as Strike Force. Martel celebrated after a dropkick. Santana with an atomic drop and a rollup earned a two count. Rhodes tagged in against Boss Man with Dusty nailing punches and elbows. This crowd was on fire for the faces. Backbreaker by Martel on Beefcake. Martel got his knees up to stun the Rooster and knock him down. Boss Man had the best looking punches of anybody from this era, especially that uppercut of his. The heels worked on Rooster for a few minutes. There was a run the ropes leading to a collision spot for Honky and Rooster. Hot tag to Santana against Martel. Two dropkicks by Santana, then a body slam an Monsoon saying the place is “going bananas.” Back body drop by Santana. Martel tried a comeback, but he missed an elbow drop. Santana went for a seated rollup, Martel switched on top, grabbed the tights and that was enough to eliminate Santana.

Tito Santana eliminated by Rick Martel

There was a shot of a black woman supporting Dusty in the crowd. We found out later that it was Sapphire, who teamed with Dusty at WrestleMania 6 against Randy Savage and Sherri. Beefcake kicked the face of Martel to give the faces the advantage. Backbreaker by Martel on Rooster. Boss Man applied a long bearhug on Rooster. Rooster fought out of it. Bad News Brown was on the apron. He was arguing with Boss Man about how he didn’t want to go in the ring. Knee lift by Rooster on Brown. Forearm to the back by Brown. He pounded on Rooster with punches and elbows. Hard chop by Brown on Rooster. Brown held Rooster, Boss Man bounced off the ropes and Rooster moved, so Boss Man punched Brown. It led to Brown pushing Boss Man. Honky and Martel tried to break it up. Brown just left the ring. He walked to the back to take the countout loss.

Bad News Brown eliminated by countout

Analysis: Brown did the same thing one year earlier. He didn’t play well with others.

The heels worked on Beefcake a bit as Honky hit a back suplex. High knee to the face by Beefcake to Honky was good enough to eliminate him.

Honky Tonk Man eliminated by Brutus Beefcake

It’s 3 on 2 in favor of Dusty’s team. Martel put on a long chinlock on Beefcake. Shoulder tackle by Beefcake, but Martel stopped his momentum with a knee to the ribs. Beefcake with a sunset flip, Martel sat on top with his hands on the ropes, but the ref saw it. Beefcake flipped over with a sunset flip and he pinned Martel to eliminate him.

Rick Martel eliminated by Brutus Beefcake

Rooster was in there against Boss Man. He hit a few punches, but then he bounced off the ropes right into a Boss Man Slam for a fall.

Red Rooster eliminated by Big Boss Man

It’s a 2 on 1 match with Rhodes and Beefcake against Boss Man. Quick tags from Rhodes and Beefcake. Rhodes worked on him with some punches. He ran the ropes and hit a running cross body block. That was enough for the elimination at the 22:02 mark.

Big Boss Man eliminated by Dusty Rhodes

Survivors: Dusty Rhodes and Brutus Beefcake

Analysis: ** Boring match early, but the pace picked up with four eliminations in the last five minutes. Good job of putting over Dusty, who was by far the most popular guy in the match. He didn’t become a main eventer in WWE, but he certainly could have been if he was used better.

Post match, Boss Man hit Beefcake and Rhodes in the ribs with the nightstick. Slick and Boss Man put handcuffs on Rhodes. They cuffed him to the top rope. Boss Man shoved the referee down. Boss Man hit Rhodes with the nightstick. He choked him with the nightstick. Brutus grabbed his scissors from ringside and Boss Man left. Rhodes was freed from the ropes and he had a cut above his left eye.

Analysis: Boss Man was a very good heel. I know a lot of people remember him as a face, but I thought he was better as a heel.

Boss Man and Slick were interviewed by Sean Mooney backstage. Boss Man said that Dusty is going to feel a lot more from Big Boss Man. Slick said he was proud of Boss Man and that Dusty just got the worst beating of his big, fat life.

The 4x4s foursome of Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Hercules and Ronnie Garvin did a promo while they held 4x4s (pieces of wood). Seeing Bret do that kind of promo was so awkward.

The King’s Court (Randy Savage, Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo and Greg Valentine w/Jimmy Hart and Sensational Queen Sherri) vs. The 4x4s (Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin and Hercules)

The heels are Savage’s team while Duggan’s team are the faces. Savage was my favorite wrestler and I never booed him. He’s the man. Earthquake was a replacement for The Widowmaker, which was Barry Windham.

Hercules did a press slam on Savage early on and then Hercules gave Valentine an atomic drop. Crowd was strongly behind Duggan as he rammed Valentine shoulder first into the turnbuckle. Garvin nailed Valentine with some hard chops and then he applied a sleeper hold. Bravo tagged in for the heels with an atomic drop on Garvin. Hercules hit a couple of clotheslines on Bravo. Bravo clothesline knocked down Hercules. The big man Earthquake tagged in and hit his running splash to pin Hercules.

Hercules eliminated by Earthquake

Duggan nailed a shoulder tackle on Earthquake while Bret Hart was behind Earthquake, so it led to Earthquake getting knocked down. Valentine signaled for the Figure Four Leglock on Garvin, but Garvin kicked out of it and then did a rollup. Savage with a double axehandle on Garvin. The heels worked over Garvin in their corner for a few minutes. Valentine and Garvin exchanged hard chops. Duggan tagged in and hit a running clothesline on Valentine to eliminate him.

Greg Valentine eliminated by Jim Duggan

Savage was aggressive against Duggan as he sent him throat first onto the top rope. Earthquake missed a big elbow on Duggan because Hacksaw moved. Garvin with some chops, a headbutt and then the Garvin Stomp routine on Bravo. Garvin went for a submission, so Bravo gouged his eyes. Savage was in there with Hart. My two favorite guys in the match by far. Hart with an atomic drop and a boot to the gut, but Savage tagged out. Hart nailed an elbow off the middle ropes. Sidewalk slam by Bravo on Garvin was enough to eliminate him.

Ronnie Garvin eliminated by Dino Bravo

It’s 3 on 2 for Savage’s team as Duggan threw punches against Earthquake. Double clothesline by Duggan and Hart. Savage tagged in leading to a showdown with Hart again. Savage was tied up in the ropes, so Hart and Duggan both took shots on him. When Savage was freed from the ropes, Hart nailed a backbreaker for two. Small package by Hart gets two. Hart missed an elbow drop off the middle ropes, so Bravo tagged in to weaken Hart with a bearhug. Two handed choke by Earthquake on Hart. The heels made a mistake when Bravo held Hart against the ropes, Savage charged in, Hart moved and Savage accidentally hit Bravo with a knee. Duggan tagged in with a body slam on Savage. Hart was in there again and he missed a corner charge against Bravo with Hart’s shoulder hitting the ring post. Bravo with a shoulderbreaker. Savage tagged in, went up top and hit the Flying Elbow off the top to eliminate Hart.

Bret Hart eliminated by Randy Savage

Analysis: It would have been nice to see more of Hart working with Savage. Two of the best wrestlers ever and two of my favorites.

Duggan was left alone against Savage, Bravo and Earthquake. Duggan avoided a splash from Earthquake, back body drop to Bravo, clothesline to Savage and all three heels were out of the ring. Crowd was excited after Duggan’s offensive flurry. Duggan hit a double clothesline on Savage and Bravo at the same time. Earthquake ran the ring to nail Duggan from behind with a clothesline. Slam by Earthquake since he’s the legal man. The heels worked over Duggan with Savage hitting a double axe against the ropes. Duggan avoided an attack by the ropes and Savage was down. Duggan with the atomic drop on Savage. Bravo distracted the referee. Duggan went towards the ropes, Sherri pulled down the top rope and Duggan went over the top to the floor. Earthquake nailed Duggan with a forearm to the back. The referee counted Duggan out. He’s eliminated by countout to end the match at the 23:25 mark.

Jim Duggan eliminated by countout

Survivors: Randy Savage, Earthquake and Dino Bravo

Analysis: **1/4 Just an average match with a weak ending. Heels will find a way to win no matter what, but I would have had Savage or Earthquake get the decisive fall. It was a dominant win for the heel team. It put over Savage as a crafty leader while Earthquake was a rising heel that was booked strong a lot of the time. Bravo didn’t break out from the midcard, but he was associated with Earthquake, so it helped both of them.

After the match was over, Duggan hit Bravo in the back with a 2x4 piece of wood. Savage was posing on the turnbuckle, Duggan hit him with the wood as well and Savage bumped to the floor as well. Crowd loved it.

Analysis: It’s a simple way to let the face get revenge after he was screwed out of the win.

There was a backstage update from Mean Gene telling us Dusty Rhodes was injured because of the attack from Big Boss Man.

The Genius delivered a special Thanksgiving poem.

The Million Dollar Team led by Ted Dibiase entered for their match. Why was there no music for them? I have no idea. The Hulkamaniacs team members all received their own music individually.

The Million Dollar Team (Ted Dibiase, The Powers of Pain – The Warlord and The Barbarian – & Zeus w/Virgil and Mr. Fuji) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Demolition – Ax and Smash – & Jake Roberts)

The faces are Hogan’s team obviously. Hogan was the WWE World Champion and Demolition were the Tag Team Champions. Dibiase’s team were the heels.

The heels didn’t let the faces in, so Jake took Damien the snake out of the bag and it cleared the ring of the heels. Zeus started the match saying he wanted Hogan.

Hogan faced off with Zeus with Monsoon saying they were waiting for this for months. Hogan bumped into Zeus and went down due to a shoulder block. Crowd wan fire chanting for Hogan. Hogan’s knee attack and punch didn’t faze Zeus, so he raked the eyes and hit a body slam. Zeus was back to his feet. Hogan off the ropes, but Barbarian kneed him in the back. Zeus twisted Hogan’s neck. Zeus choked Hogan. The referee Earl Hebner tried to pull Zeus off twice, but both times Zeus pushed him back. Zeus was disqualified.

Zeus eliminated by disqualification

Analysis: Zeus sucked in the ring, so they booked him out of the match within the first four minutes. He looked terrible doing the most basic things. Awful performer.

Dibiase worked on Hogan for a bit, but didn’t have much success as Hogan got his boot up. Clothesline by Roberts sent Dibiase over the top to the floor. Ax and Smash pounded on Dibiase with punches. Their moves weren’t the most exciting, but it worked. Hogan with a double axe smash on Dibiase. Ax gets a clothesline for two. Back elbow by Dibiase on Ax led to Warlord tagging in. Barbarian with a shoulderbreaker and then he missed an elbow off the middle ropes. Warlord was back in, Ax with a clothesline, then he ran the ropes and Fuji tripped him. Elbow drop by Warlord led to him pinning Ax.

Ax eliminated by Warlord

Analysis: Very weak elimination.

The heels worked over Smash for a few minutes. The offense of Warlord and Barbarian was so basic. It reminds me of how boring they were as a team. Dibiase went for an elbow drop off the middle rope, but it missed. Smash nailed a stun gun on Dibiase, but Barbarian did a blind tag. Barbarian capitalized with a clothesline off the top to eliminate Smash.

Smash eliminated by The Barbarian

Analysis: I like that they had each member of Demolition beaten by separate members of the Powers of Pain. It put over the POP guys as a strong team even though they never won the tag team titles.

It’s 3 on 2 for the heels as Barbarian worked over Roberts. Warlord sent Roberts into the corner with two straight hard whips. Barbarian tossed Roberts hard into the corner. Another hard whip into the corner by Warlord. Do they know other moves? Apparently not. The heels continued to work on Roberts for a few more minutes. Roberts got some freedom after Barbarian missed a diving headbutt. Hogan received the hot tag. Hogan with a clothesline on Barbarian and dropped two elbows. Hogan with a suplex. Warlord attacked Hogan from behind while the ref was distracted, but Hogan came back with a double clothesline on the POP guys. Barbarian picked up Hogan and Warlord jumped off the ropes for a Spike Piledriver. The referee disqualified both Powers of Pain guys.

Warlord and The Barbarian eliminated by disqualification

Dibiase complained while Ventura yelled about how the referee Earl Hebner was saving Hogan again. Dibiase put the Million Dollar Dream sleeper on Hogan to weaken the champ. Hogan fought out of it thanks in part to Roberts hitting Dibiase with a knee to the back with Ventura wondering why Roberts wasn’t disqualified. Hogan sent Dibiase back first into the turnbuckle and then a punch to the gut. Roberts tagged in against Dibiase. He did three knee drops to the back followed by a short arm clothesline, which was a patented move by Roberts. Virgil was on the apron, so Roberts brought him in the ring and hit a DDT on Virgil. Dibiase did a fist drop on Roberts, covered with his feet on the ropes and Roberts was eliminated.

Jake Roberts eliminated by Ted Dibiase

Hogan was left against Dibiase with Hogan still selling pain from the attack from earlier in the match. Clothesline by Dibiase gets two. Dibiase chinlock, Hogan fought out of it and they did a double clothesline spot. Dibiase with a back suplex. Hogan no sold it and he Hulked Up. Punches to the face, boot to the face and leg drop by Hogan wins the match at the 27:32 mark.

Ted Dibiase eliminated by Hulk Hogan

Survivor: Hulk Hogan

Post match, Hogan celebrated the win by doing his usual posing routine much to the delight of the crowd. I wonder if he hated the fact that he wasn’t in the main event. He probably did.

Analysis: *1/2 One of the more boring nearly 30 minute matches you’re ever going to see. I wish it was ten minutes shorter. Three disqualification eliminations in the same match? That’s too much. It was no surprise that Hogan was the only survivor in the match. Hogan was already the WWE Champion, so he didn’t need to win, but in WWE we got used to the idea of Hogan winning. Plus, the company likely knew they were doing Hogan vs. Warrior at WrestleMania by this point so they likely wanted to give Hogan a big win in a match like this.

There was a promo by Savage and Zeus talking about a big tag team match against Hogan and Beefcake leading up to the No Holds Barred movie. Zeus just groaned and yelled about it.

Hogan and Beefcake were interviewed in the locker room about the No Holds Barred cage match. Sherri showed up in the locker room to yell at them and she tossed salt in their eyes. Savage and Zeus showed up to choke both guys. Other wrestlers arrived to break it up.

Analysis: I totally forgot about that. So cheesy.

Rick Rude’s team was interviewed about the match against Roddy Piper’s team. Rude has the faces of his team on the front and the rivals on the back side of the tights.

Roddy Piper’s team was interviewed about their match. They were eating turkey for Thanksgiving. Then they dropped the food and off they went.

The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, The Fabulous Rougeaus – Jacques and Raymond Rougeau – w/The Genius and Jimmy Hart) vs. Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwhackers – Butch and Luke)

Rude’s team are the heels and Piper’s teams are the faces. The other noteworthy thing here is that Mr. Perfect was still undefeated heading into this match.

It started with some comedy as Luke, Snuka and Butch bit Perfect early on. Flying headbutt by Snuka on Jacques followed by a hard chop to the chest. Backbreaker by Snuka. Snuka slammed Jacques and then went up top. Snuka connected with the Superfly Splash off the top rope to eliminate Jacques.

Jacques Rougeau eliminated by Jimmy Snuka

Snuka did a double noggin knocker to Rude and Perfect when they were on the apron. The faces made a lot of quick tags as they worked on Perfect for a few minutes until Perfect kicked Butch to knock him down. Raymond faced off with Piper leading to Piper getting a rollup for two. Raymond nailed a kick to the gut for two. Piledriver by Piper on Raymond for a three count.

Raymond Rougeau eliminated by Roddy Piper

It’s 4 on 2 for Piper’s team as Perfect fought for Rude’s team. Neck snap move connected for Perfect. Piper did a slingshot that sent Perfect into the turnbuckle with Perfect doing an over the top sell job like he usually did. Butch worked on Perfect for a bit and then Piper came in. Piper nailed a punch on Perfect with Perfect doing a flip to sell it. Butch bit the ass of Perfect. No lie. Perfect with a rollup on Butch where he was seated on top and that’s enough for the pin.

Butch eliminated by Mr. Perfect

The faces kept working on Perfect. Rude finally got the tag against Luke, which led to Luke biting Rude’s face. Rude came back with a kick to the gut and the Rude Awakening put away Luke.

Luke eliminated by Rick Rude

It’s 2 on 2 with the heels working over Snuka. Perfect connected with a dropkick. Rude grounded Snuka for a few minutes with a chinlock. Perfect was back in there and he almost lost to a small package, but he came back on offense. Headbutt by Snuka followed by a flying forearm knocked Perfect down. Perfect ran the ropes and they collided after a double noggin knocker spot. Piper got the hot tag against Rude with the crowd going wild for this matchup of captains. Piper unloaded with punches, then a back body drop, more punches and he tackled Rude. They rolled out to the floor. They brawling continued up the aisle. They were both counted out.

Roddy Piper and Rick Rude eliminated by countout

The match is down to Perfect vs. Snuka. Perfect nailed two arm drags and a dropkick that sent Snuka out of the ring. Snuka was back in the ring with a shoulder block. Each guy got a couple of nearfalls. Hard chop in the corner by Snuka. Cross body block off the middle rope by Snuka gets two for Perfect since he floated over on top. Good nearfall. Perfect sent into the ropes, he stopped, locked in the Perfect Plex and Snuka couldn’t kick out. Perfect wins at the 21:27 mark.

Survivor: Mr. Perfect

Post match, Snuka rammed the heads of Perfect and Genius together. Snuka slammed Genius. Perfect pulled Genius out of the way to stop a Superfly Splash attempt. Perfect and Genius left.

Survivor Series Recall 1989: The Rude Brood vs. Roddy's Rowdies

Analysis: **1/2 Just an average match. There were some hot points in the match and other times where I just wanted it to end. It was the Mr. Perfect show for much of the match since he was in there the most for his team. He was one of my favorite guys from this period because he was such an incredible athlete. His selling was so great even though it was a bit over the top. How many people would sell a punch with a flip? Very few. That’s why he stood out so much. Piper and Rude brawling was just a way to further their storyline. Most of the other guys in the match were just role players without anything of interest going on.

There was a post match interview featuring Rick Rude’s team with Rude and Perfect bragging about the win.

The Ultimate Warriors team were interviewed prior to the main event. Warrior said he’s bringing us the power of the Ultimate Warriors.

The heel team were in the ring already. They are the Heenan Family with Andre the Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson and Bobby Heenan? Yes, Heenan is in the match. Monsoon wondered what he was doing in his wrestling tights.

Analysis: The reason Heenan was in there is because Tully Blanchard, who was supposed to be in the match, was fired for failing a drug test.

The Heenan Family (Andre the Giant, Haku, Bobby Heenan and Arn Anderson) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers – Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty – and Jim Neidhart)

Warrior’s team are the faces and Heenan’s team are the heels. Warrior was the Intercontinental Champion at the time.

Heenan’s team attacked the three faces before Warrior could even get down there. Then Warrior ran down as the crowd went crazy for him with a huge ovation. Warrior nailed a clothesline on Andre that sent Andre over the top to the floor. That was an impressive start to the match. It also led to Andre being counted out. The official time was 27 seconds.

Andre the Giant eliminated by countout

Analysis: Andre was near the end of his career by this point, so he couldn’t do much. It was a way to write him out of the match early.

Neidhart was in there with Haku as the camera was on Andre a bit while he left the ringside area. The heels focused on Neidhart in their corner. Neidhart nailed Anderson while he was on the apron providing a distraction. Haku took advantage of that by kicking Neidhart in the back of the head to eliminate him.

Jim Neidhart eliminated by Haku

Michaels battled with Haku as Michaels used his speed and made some quick tags with his partner Jannetty. Haku nailed a clothesline on Michaels, then Jannetty jumped in his arms and Michaels nailed a dropkick leading to Jannetty getting a two count. Anderson with a forearm smash on Jannetty. Haku was in there, so the Rockers did a double superkick to the two heels. Warrior tagged in with a back body drop to Haku, but then he missed an elbow. Heenan told Haku to tag in Anderson, so Anderson tagged in. Monsoon did a great job of ripping Heenan. Jannetty had Haku in a headlock while the crowd chanted “Weasel” to piss off Heenan. Jannetty missed a corner charge on Haku. Heenan tagged in for the first time with a kick on Jannetty and then he tagged out. Haku dropped down, Anderson hit a knee to the back and Haku got a savate kick for a two count on Jannetty. Heenan tagged in, stomped on Jannetty and hit a knee drop for the pinfall. Really? Yes. He pinned him.

Marty Jannetty eliminated by Bobby Heenan

Analysis: That may be the weakest elimination in Survivor Series history to this point.

Warrior applied a bearhug on Anderson, so Anderson raked the eyes to break free and then Warrior slapped a bearhug on Haku followed up by an atomic drop. Great dropkick by Michaels on Haku gets two. Michaels used his athleticism to trip up Anderson and rub his face into the mat. Warrior whipped Anderson into the corner. Michaels tagged back in as Warrior launched him off the top with a top rope splash with Monsoon yelling “What A Maneuver!” That’s a famous Vince McMahon line. Haku missed a diving attack off the middle rope on Michaels. It led to Michaels going up top and he hit a cross body block off the top to pin Haku.

Haku eliminated by Shawn Michaels

Heenan tagged in to hit Michaels with some punches. Warrior got in there, so Heenan left and Anderson was in with Michaels again. Michaels and Anderson ran the ropes leading to them crashing into eachother for the double noggin knocker spot. They got back to their feet and Anderson planned Michaels with a Spinebuster to eliminate him.

Shawn Michaels eliminated by Arn Anderson

Analysis: The best Spinebuster in wrestling history belongs to Arn Anderson.

Warrior is alone against Anderson and Heenan. Warrior nailed a few shoulder tackles, but then Anderson sent him out of the ring. With Warrior on the ground, Heenan tagged in. Then Warrior got to his knees, so Heenan brought in Anderson again. Warrior sent Anderson into the ropes, which knocked down Heenan on the apron. Warrior hit a Gorilla Press slam on Anderson. Warrior nailed a running splash and covered Anderson to eliminate him.

Arn Anderson eliminated by Ultimate Warrior

Analysis: Anderson left for WCW within a few weeks after this show.

Heenan was left in the ring with Warrior and he was freaking out about it. Warrior tossed Heenan into the corner with Heenan doing a flip bump into the turnbuckle. Warrior whipped him into another corner with Heenan taking the bump over the top to the floor. Heenan tried to leave, but Warrior rolled him back in the ring. Running shoulder tackle by Warrior. Then Warrior hit the safest running splash I’ve seen in a long time and he pinned Heenan to end it at 20:28.

Bobby Heenan eliminated by Ultimate Warrior

Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior

Analysis: ** It was a basic match built around Warrior getting his hands on Heenan. There was no doubt about the winner of this match since Warrior was in it and he was a wrestler on the rise at this point in his career. Things started off in an exciting way with Andre getting eliminated early, but it never picked up that well after that. I think Heenan being involved was good in terms of getting a rise out of the crowd. It just felt like a midcard angle rather than the main event of a major PPV.

Warrior ran up the aisle with the IC Title and clotheslined Heenan in the back to end the show. Images were shown from the matches throughout the night as Survivor Series 1989 ended.

The show had a run time of 2 hours and 39 minutes.

FIVE RANDOM THOUGHTS

– I liked the format of four man teams instead of five person teams. I’m also glad that there wasn’t a 10 on 10 match this time because those matches were harder to keep up with.

– The Ultimate Warrior was starting to break through around this time. The fact that they put him in the main event showed how much they believed in him because it’s not like other Intercontinental Champions would have been in that spot with Hogan on the same show.

– I’m glad that Mr. Perfect remained undefeated. As I said earlier, he was booked well in his first year in the company. I think he’s the best performer in WWE history that didn’t win their World Title. He should have been elevated to that level at some point.

– This was around the time when I was starting to get sick of Hogan. It was the same thing over and over without much change. The crowd still cared about him, but they were also clamoring for some change too.

– There was an outside the ring referee for the elimination matches that looked awfully familiar. What was his name? Shane McMahon. Here are two pictures of him.

shane-mcmahon-survivor-series-1989

shane-mcmahon-survivor-series-1989-a

Shane was only 19 years old at the time. When he was refereeing in the next few years they called him Shane Stevens so that he wouldn’t have the same last name as his father Vince, who we knew as an announcer in those days. A lot of people didn’t know Vince McMahon owned the company while he was the announcer.

 

OPINIONS

Best Match: The Rude Brood vs. Roddy’s Rowdies

Worst Match: The Hulkamaniacs vs. Million Dollar Team

Most Memorable Moment: Andre the Giant getting eliminated in under 30 seconds.

 

FIVE STARS

1. Mr. Perfect

2. Ultimate Warrior

3. Randy Savage

4. Arn Anderson

5. Rick Rude

 

Show rating (out of 10): 4

It was a below average show with no standout matches. There just weren’t that many memorable moments that got me excited when I watched it again after all these years.

 

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

None so far.

 

PREVIOUS SURVIVOR SERIES REVIEWS

Survivor Series 1988 (Team Mega Powers vs. Team Twin Towers) – 6

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

 

Click here for all of my Survivor Series reviews. The journey continues tomorrow.