Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Survivor Series 1990
Date: November 22, 1990
Location: Hartford Civic Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, Roddy Piper
This is a somewhat different show that in recent years as we have a main event of sorts. It was never tried again and that’s probably the best idea. It’s called the Grand Finale Match of Survival in which the survivors of each team meet in one final Survivor Series match. The winners get absolutely nothing, which continues to prove that these shows are pretty worthless. Let’s get to it.
Sean Mooney welcomes us to the show and talks about the Grand Finale. He’s standing in front of a giant egg which apparently is going to hatch because of the heat from the crowd. Nothing good can possibly come from this.
The nifty squares open things up again.
After Gorilla and Piper chat a bit, we’re ready to go.
The Warriors vs. The Perfect Team
Ultimate Warrior, Texas Tornado, Legion of Doom
Mr. Perfect, Demolition
I guess this team isn’t as Ultimate as last year. This is the three man version of Demolition. Perfect is feuding with Tornado (Kerry Von Erich, the IC Champion) and the LOD is feuding with Demolition after the LOD cost them the titles. Warrior, the world champion, is there because he has nothing else to do. His team is in the back before the match and says they’ll win. Actually the name Warriors is appropriate as you have the Ultimate Warrior, the Modern Day Warrior (Von Erich’s nickname in WCCW) and the Road Warriors (the LOD’s NWA name).
I’ll never get why the LOD and Demolition never had a big proper match. They fought on house shows but that’s about it. Perfect immediately goes to the apron and lets part of Demolition start. It’s Animal vs. Smash first and they fight immediately with Animal taking him to the mat. Animal throws him into Hawk for a right hand and the other Warriors get in a shot as well.
Smash comes back with a powerslam for two and it’s off to Perfect. That doesn’t last long so here’s Smash again, and he walks right into a powerslam. Everything breaks down and the Warriors clear the ring. Tornado comes in to face Smash who is taking a beating in this so far. Off to Ax who has much better luck for about ten seconds. There’s the Claw from Tornado but for some reason Warrior gets the tag and hits a series of awkward looking shoulder blocks before finishing Ax with the splash.
Crush immediately comes in to jump Warrior and take over. Smash comes in to slam Warrior and Crush drops a top rope knee for two. Perfect is freaking out in his trademark over the top style. Warrior gets up a boot in the corner and clotheslines Crush down. Off to Hawk who always looks like he could murder someone in the ring. Perfect tries him out and is immediately slammed down.
Hawk counters a reversal to send Perfect into the corner but Bird Man’s shoulder goes into the post HARD to give the evil ones the advantage. Demolition pounds away on him but Hawk punches right back. A big flying shoulder puts Smash down and Hawk doesn’t tag when he has the chance. The top rope clothesline kills Smash and everything breaks down. Hawk kicks the referee and somehow this disqualifies Hawk, Animal, Smash and Crush. We’re down to Perfect vs. Warrior/Tornado.
It’s going to be Warrior starting the handicap match but Perfect wants Tornado instead. Perfect immediately jumps him and is clotheslined out almost immediately after the jumping. Warrior bangs Perfect’s head into Heenan’s and sends Bobby into the front row. Tornado charges at Perfect and slams into the post to give Perfect the advantage for a bit. A buckle gets exposed somewhere in there and after Tornado’s face goes into it, the Perfectplex makes it one on one.
Perfect tries the Plex again on Warrior which doesn’t work at all. Instead he hammers Warrior down and hits a great looking dropkick for two. Having Perfect run things out there for as long as possible is the best idea they’ve got. Warrior starts grabbing the ropes and shrugging off all the offense from Perfect. A shoulder block and the splash get the final pin.
Rating: D. This was probably the worst Survivor Series match so far in the four years they’ve been running this show. Not only was the match lopsided from the start, but half of the people in it were gone seven minutes in. Perfect never had a chance and Warrior had no reason to be in this match at all.
Ted DiBiase has a mystery partner for his match. Oh boy did he ever.
Million Dollar Team vs. Dream Team
Ted DiBiase, Rhythm and Blues, ???
Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, Hart Foundation
Rhythm and Blues are Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine and the Harts are the tag champions. Dusty and DiBiase are feuding for obvious character reasons. Now we get to the legendary part of the match: the mystery partner. DiBiase gets on the mic and introduces for the first time ever…..THE UNDERTAKER. Who on the planet would have imagined what this guy would become over the next twenty two years? Unreal indeed. The look on Taker’s face is eerie and he stands there like a zombie which makes it even better.
Quick sidebar: the Undertaker is probably the greatest example ever of someone being the only person that could pull off his character. Mark Calaway is PERFECT as the Undertaker with the look and the size and the dead looking eyes and the tattoos and everything like that. Before this he was just Mean Mark Callous in WCW and was a generic big villain. Sometimes it’s about finding what works and Taker has worked for a very long time. Also a bit of trivia: he debuted at a Superstars taping three days before this under the name Kane the Undertaker.
Undertaker and Bret start with Taker pounding the tar out of him. Well if you want to make someone look like a killer, call Bret Hart. Bret hits the ropes and charges at Taker, only to get caught by the throat and slammed down. It was more like a clothesline that Taker went to the mat with than the usual chokeslam here but he did have Bret by the throat.
Off to Neidhart who can’t move Taker at all and gets slammed for trying. Jim looked TERRIFIED and tags out to Koko, who is too stupid to be afraid. Koko misses a charge and clotheslines himself on the top. The Tombstone (I believed named by Gorilla on the spot here) debuts but isn’t exactly the famous version yet, as Taker has both of Koko’s legs on one side of his head and covers with the folded arms but from the sides. It looked and sounded great though.
Bret comes in and hammers on Undertaker who just stares at him. Taker tags in Valentine and gives one of the most evil glares you’ll ever see at Bret. Off to Big Dust who starts gyrating. They chop it out in the corner and it’s off to Anvil. The Harts take their turns working over Valentine’s arm but Greg gets a knee up in the corner. Off to Honky who is rapidly on his way out of the company. Bret makes a blind tag to Neidhart who sneaks in and powerslams Honky out.
DiBiase comes in to jump Neidhart but it’s quickly off to Dusty for the big showdown. It’s back to Neidhart quickly but Virgil trips Jim up and DiBiase clotheslines him down for the pin. Here’s Bret again who pounds away and it’s back to Dream for more of the same. Back to Undertaker who gets some HEIGHT on a jumping stomp to the back of Dusty’s head.
Bret comes in again and chokes Bret in the corner and somehow shows no emotion while at the same time looking angrier than any wrestler I’ve ever seen. Bret fights off DiBiase out of the corner and it’s off to Dusty. Taker comes in, goes up, walks (a little way) down the rope with no one to hold onto, and hits a double ax to eliminate Dusty. Brother Love stomps on Dusty a bit so Dusty chases him off. Undertaker stalks Dusty to the back to get counted out, which is the only thing they could have done with him here.
Back in the ring Bret rolls up Valentine very quickly and it’s DiBiase vs. Hart. Bret pounds on DiBiase and atomic drops him to the floor, followed by a pescado to take Ted out again. DiBiase’s shoulder goes into the post and his head goes into the steps and they head back inside. They slug it out but DiBiase sends him chest first into the buckle to take over.
A quick backslide gets two for Hart and now it’s time for a classic: Bret trips over DiBiase and fakes a knee injury, resulting in a small package for two. Virgil interference messes up and another rollup gets two for Bret. The backbreaker and middle rope elbow get two for Hart but DiBiase rolls through a cross body for the pin.
Rating: C+. This is a very interesting match as you could see stars being made and stars going away. DiBiase clearly didn’t mean as much as he used to and would shift into a tag team run soon after this. Dusty would be gone in January as would Honky. On the other hand you can see the rise of Bret Hart on the horizon as the crowd was LOSING IT over those near falls at the end. Oh and the Undertaker. That’s kind of a big deal.
The Vipers are ready for Martel’s team. Why they’re in the shower I’m not sure.
The Vipers vs. The Visionaries
Jake Roberts, Rockers, Jimmy Snuka
Rick Martel, Warlord, Power and Glory
Power and Glroy are Hercules and Paul Roma. This is built around Martel vs. Roberts, which is based on Martel blinding Jake with cologne and Jake not having full vision yet. This was a BIG feud which they screwed up with a horrible match at Wrestlemania. It wasn’t that the wrestling was bad, but that it was a blindfold match and they spent about 2 minutes in contact with each other.
Marty and Warlord start as Piper is singing I Am The Walrus. Warlord powers Marty around but misses a charge in the corner. For those of you unfamiliar with Warlord, imagine Chris Masters but paler, bald, and even dumber. Both Rockers try to outmaneuver him but it just results in bringing in Martel. Shawn handles him with ease and brings in Jake, causing Martel to scamper away.
It’s Roma instead and Jake picks him apart like he’s not even there. He works on Roma’s arm and brings in Snuka to keep it up, but the afro apparently weighs down Snuka’s brain to the point where he can’t maintain a wristlock. Off to Hercules who gets chopped down so it’s off to Warlord instead. Snuka tries his stuff but when that gets nowhere it’s off to Marty. Jannetty tries his speed stuff but jumps into a great looking powerslam for the pin.
Off to Shawn whose leapfrog is caught but he ranas Warlord down instead. Jake comes in and the fans wants a DDT. A bunch of clotheslines take Warlord down and it’s back to Shawn. Roma comes in with an elbow drop to the back of the head as Gorilla talks anatomy. Warlord comes in and backdrops Shawn before tagging out to Herc. Martel comes in just as fast and drops a knee for two. Roma sends Shawn into the corner and Shawn of course sells it like he’s dead. Martel’s shoulder hits the post and here’s Snuka again.
A flying headbutt to the standing Martel gets two, but Rick grabs a small package for the pin out of nowhere. Jake comes in again and Martel immediately runs and brings in Hercules. Roberts is getting frustrated because he can’t get his hands on Martel, but he still manages a knee lift and a failed DDT attempt. Jake starts pounding away on Herc and Martel clotheslines him down out of nowhere.
Roma comes in for some stomping but he misses a middle rope punch. There’s the hot tag to Shawn who suplexes Roma down and hits a middle rope elbow for two. Shawn does what he can but Hercules comes in off a blind tag and pounds away even more. Power and Glory hook up the Powerplex (superplex from Herc immediately followed by a top rope splash from Roma) eliminates Shawn and it’s 4-1. It’s Hercules in first but Jake is in trouble. Warlord comes in with a bearhug but Jake escapes and DDTs him out of nowhere. Jake says screw it and gets the snake out. He chases Martel to the back for the countout loss.
Rating: D+. There wasn’t much to see here but other than Jake vs. Martel, there was nothing here at all. To the best of my knowledge, Warlord and Snuka never interacted at all before or after this so they were just tacked on. The Rockers and Power and Glory had fought at Summerslam but that’s about it. The Visionaries are the first ever team to survive intact.
The Hulkamaniacs are ready for the Natural Disasters. This is a continuation of Hogan vs. Earthquake, with Hulk N Pals facing Earthquake and Jimmy Hart’s and Bobby Heenan’s cronies. Hogan says they can go get rid of Sadaam Hussein. This is during the Gulf War.
Natural Disasters vs. Hulkamaniacs
Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku, Barbarian
Hulk Hogan, Big Bossman, Tugboat, Jim Duggan
There’s some actual drama here as Hogan had never beaten Earthquake before this and the other guys balance out somewhat well. Haku vs. Duggan start us off as the announcers talk about the Grand Finale. It’s such a different time when they automatically know who is going to be on what side. Today you would be waiting on the swerve. Duggan pounds away on Haku and a clothesline gets two.
Bravo and Barbarian come in to get some shots but it’s quickly off to Boss Man vs. Haku. Haku dropkicks him down for two but the Boss Man Slam puts Haku out quick. Barbarian comes in next and Boss Man runs him over. Heenan gets taken off the apron and Boss Man punches Barbarian a bit before walking into a suplex. Barbie misses a middle rope elbow and it’s off to Duggan vs. Bravo. Scratch that as Earthquake makes a blind tag and crushes Duggan in the corner. Duggan keeps trying to knock Quake down but Jimmy low bridges him. Duggan brings the board in with him and hits Quake for the DQ.
It’s Hogan vs. Earthquake but Hulk beats up all three guys because he can. Hogan easily slams Earthquake and fires off ten punches in the corner. Quake comes back with a powerslam and tags in Bravo who stomps away before getting small packaged for the pin. There’s the tag to Boss Man who hits his rapid fire punches in the corner. Boss Man goes up for a cross body and oh my goodness Earthquake caught him. That is SCARY. Hogan shoves Boss Man on top of him for two but Barbarian kicks Boss Man in the back to put him down. An elbow from Earthquake eliminates Boss Man.
Hogan vs. Quake again and Hulk tries to drop the big guy. Hulk tries another slam but can’t get Quake up. The third attempt results in Quake falling on Hogan for two. Hulk avoids an elbow and there’s the tag to Tugboat, causing everyone to shout TOOOOT which sounds like booing. Hogan pulls Earthquake to the floor and Quake and Tugboat get counted out. That leaves Hogan vs. Barbarian and the only thing I can think to say is “really?” Barbarian goes after Hogan on the floor and doesn’t hit a piledriver well at all. It gets two and they clothesline each other. Barbarian hits the top rope clothesline, Hulk Up, legdrop, done.
Rating: C-. This was a lot more fast paced and energetic than you would expect. The continued practice of just teasing the encounter that the match is based on is getting REALLY old though as I guess they want to preserve the house show draws, because who would want to see a feud continue after a single match right? My goodness have things changed in the last twenty years.
Hogan beats up Heenan post match and poses. Piper cheering for Hogan is just wrong.
Some fans talk and get on my nerves. Well one fan signs who he likes which is cool.
Here’s Savage with something to say. He’s still the King at this point which has been going on for awhile. Savage doesn’t have a match tonight and he doesn’t like not being recognized as the future WWF Champion. He promises to take his title back from Warrior and talks about Sherri slapping The Ultimate Chicken a few times. There’s nothing of note here but it reinforced that they have issues. That’s something you never hear today: promos to just remind you that people don’t like each other.
Alliance vs. Mercenaries
Nikolai Volkoff, Bushwhackers, Tito Santana
Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, Orient Express
This is during the Iraqi Sympathizer period for Slaughter and the idea here is military themed. Before the match, Slaughter tells Gene about having a Thanksgiving dinner with the Mercenaries and not having to be inconvenienced by being in the desert. That’s better than being in the Army and eating K-Rations right? This was a pretty edgy angle at the time. Stupid but edgy. This interview is in the arena with the Mercenaries’ music playing. That must be a pretty dull period for the crowd.
The Bushwhackers torment Boris to start and the flying forearm from Tito eliminates him in about 20 seconds. Sato comes in and is accidentally superkicked by Tanaka. The Battering Ram puts out Sato and it’s 4-2 inside of two minutes. Tanaka comes in and the forearm from Tito makes it 4-1 in less than 2:15. Volkoff pounds on Slaughter with his usual stuff but gets punched in the face for his efforts as Slaughter takes over.
After a long beating, Slaughter eliminates Volkoff with an elbow. There were about three minutes of beating in between there but there was absolutely nothing of note to talk about. The Bushwhackers double team Sarge for a bit but Slaughter beats them down and gutbusts Luke for an elimination. A clothesline takes out Butch about 30 seconds later and it’s one on one.
Tito immediately dropkicks Slaughter into the post and things speed up with by far the two most talented guys in the match in there. Tito hits a top rope forearm for two and stomps away even faster. Piper is trying not to curse and Slaughter slams Santana’s head into the mat. A neckbreaker and backbreaker combine for two on Santana.
After some more beating, Tito gets a quick forearm attempt but hits the referee by mistake. The forearm hits the second time but General Adnan (Slaughter’s manager/boss) hits Santana with the flag and Slaughter puts on the Camel Clutch. The referee saw the flag though and it’s a DQ win for Tito.
Rating: D-. Well that…..happened I guess. They went through seven eliminations inside of eleven minutes and the match was awful. Basically this could have been Slaughter vs. either Volkoff or Santana and gotten the same payoff. I have no idea what they were going for here, but my guess is that they had nothing else to fill in fifteen minutes with (the show only runs two hours and twenty minutes and we’ve got the ultimate dumb filler to go).
DiBiase and the Visionaries say Warrior and Hogan (no mention of Santana) can’t work together. Sean says it’s going to be these five against Warrior and Santana.
It’s time for the Egg Hatching. Gene talks about the fans being hot tonight and the egg starts to hatch. There’s no way around this: it’s the Gobbledygooker, a humanoid turkey who square dances to Turkey in the Straw with Gene Okerlund, does a bunch of flips and is played by the WAY too talented for this Hector Guerrero.
The fans IMMEDIATELY start booing when it hatches, as there is absolutely no point to it. This was rumored to be anything from Undertaker to Flair (about a year early for him) to some Playboy chick. When you’re in a bad mood about being unemployed, remember that someone came up with this idea and was paid to do so. Total time spent on this: over seven minutes.
Hogan, Warrior and Santana are ready.
Hulk Hogan/Tito Santana/Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted DiBiase/Visionaries
If you can’t see the ending of this coming, just go click on something else now. Oddly enough, Hogan comes out before Tito. Tito and Warlord start and a forearm ends Warlord in less than 30 seconds. To update a reference for 2012, Tito is apparently the Ronda Rousey of the WWF. Roma immediately powerslams Tito and brings in DiBiase. My goodness a 20 minute Santana vs. DiBiase match would freaking rock. Tito misses another forearm and a hot shot gets the pin for DiBiase.
Hogan comes in and beats the tar out of DiBiase for a bit before ducking his head too early. A kick to Hogan’s face slows him down and it’s off to Hercules and almost immediately Roma for a top rope forearm for two. Back to Hercules who pounds away on Hulk even more, as does DiBiase. The Powerplex hits Hogan and has basically no effect. Roma is immediately pinned by a clothesline and it’s 3-2.
Martel comes in to beat on Hogan but gets kicked in the face. Off to Warrior who fires off a bunch of kicks in the corner and backdrops Martel. Rick tries to hit him in the head and boy are you really that dumb? Hogan knocks Martel to the floor and Rick walks off for the countout. Hogan beats on DiBiase a bit and there’s the legdrop. Warrior beats Hercules with the splash about 40 seconds later to win.
Rating: D. What in the world was the point of this? I mean……am I watching a house show? These are the kind of matches you hear about at the end of shows to send the fans home happy, not to main event a PPV. It was clear that this show wasn’t needed and that something had to be done.
Posing ends the show.
Overall Rating: F. This show has some moments of ok, but can you imagine PAYING for this show? Undertaker debuts here but no one had any idea what that would mean. Nothing is changed at all, mainly because the company was afraid no one would want to see the house show matches after this. This show runs two hours and eighteen minutes and eight minutes of that are the Gobbledygooker. On top of that the main event runs about ten minutes in total counting entrances. You’re looking at about two hours for the non main event stuff and that’s ridiculous for a PPV. This is another show that doesn’t need to exist.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. We are proud to offer our popular Wrestling Rumors app and encourage you to download it for an optimized user experience. It is available for Android and also on iOS. Thank you for reading!
The post REVIEW: Survivor Series 1990: Here’s An Important One appeared first on WrestlingRumors.net.