(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
November 23, 1989 (Thanksgiving)
The WWF’s Thanksgiving tradition continues, but it has undergone a few changes this year. They reduced the number of team members from 5 to 4. They dropped the 20-Man match that pitted tag teams against each other. Also, the teams now have fun little nicknames based around the gimmicks of the team captains.
The primary storylines for this event are the continued feud between Hogan and Zeus, as well as The Ultimate Warrior’s continued feud with the Heenan Family. The WWF was already planning another special for December, in which they would show Hogan’s movie No Holds Barred and package it with a cage match that pits Hogan & Beefcake against Savage & Zeus. The event would be called No Holds Barred: The Match/The Movie. They advertise it throughout this PPV, but it isn’t nearly as overbearing as what they do at the 1991 Survivor Series. There are also a couple of debuts and departures surrounding this event, but I will talk about those later in the review.
The show opens with a montage of wrestlers saying what they are thankful for on this Thanksgiving night. It starts with Hulk Hogan, who says his Hulksters are thankful for being happy and healthy and thankful for loved ones. He’s also thankful for Hulkamania and the fact that it’s Survivor Series time. Ted DiBiase is thankful that he’s rich and you’re not. Jake Roberts is thankful for Damien and the DDT. Demolition is thankful that they don’t have to fight each other, which is a nice throwback to the Royal Rumble. Randy Savage is thankful that he’s the only man worthy of being the Macho King (more on that later). Jim Duggan is thankful for the privilege of living in the USA. Dino Bravo is thankful that Earthquake is on his side. Dusty Rhodes is thankful for his polka dots!! I swear he flips the double bird as he says this. Boss Man is thankful for the justice he serves. Beefcake is thankful for wrestlin’, struttin’, and cuttin’. Rick Martel is thankful for his good looks. Rick Rude is thankful for having the most ravishing body in the WWF and Roddy Piper is thankful that he ain’t Ricky Rude. The Genius is thankful for being the world’s smartest man. Mr. Perfect is thankful for being absolutely perfect. The Bushwhackers are thankful for having sardine stuffing in their turkey and then they try to lick each other but apparently find the idea too shocking. Heenan is thankful for the Heenan Family and finally, the Ultimate Warrior closes out the montage with some screaming. He talks about giving thanks, power and intensity, and WAR!!!!
Vince McMahon then does some screaming of his own. He lists off all the match participants and the team captains, while they show graphics for each match. The names of the substitutes are clearly dubbed over in post-production. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura welcome everyone to the show and Jesse is in full pilgrim get-up. Monsoon calls him Jesse the Pilgrim, which annoys Ventura. He corrects him to say that he’s Jesse the Body. Then, he makes fun of Monsoon for being fat. While they are talking, some fan holds up a sign shaped like a tombstone, with R.I.P. written on it. This is odd because The Undertaker doesn’t debut for another year. I guess we have some time travelers on our hands. Tekno Team 2000 must be behind this!
The Dream Team: Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster, & Tito Santana vs. The Enforcers: The Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick the Model Martel, & The Honky Tonk Man (w/ Jimmy Hart & Slick)
I know what you’re thinking. Where’s Akeem? He was injured at the time, so he was replaced by Bad News Brown. I think we all know how that will end. The other note for this match is that Rick Martel has officially begun his model gimmick, which is awesome. It’s clear why he became the star out of the Strike Force team. Boss Man leads his team to the ring and Gorilla points out that the managers make it 6 vs. 4, in his book. Jesse replies that Gorilla’s book doesn’t hold water. I think Jesse is mixing his metaphors. Beefcake then leads out most of his team. Is he a co-captain? It’s never stated, but it feels like he is. Dusty comes out separately, which isn’t showing team unity.
Tito and Honky start because Martel once again shows no desire to get in there with Santana. However, he does take a swipe at Tito, and Honky seizes the opening. Tito quickly retakes control, but he ducks for a back drop and Honky kicks him. Martel decides it’s time to enter the match and fights back and forth with Tito until Santana rolls him up for a 2. Martel gets spooked, so he tags in Boss Man and Dusty enters the match. Dusty throws some elbows and punches and then tags Beefcake, but Brutus gets in trouble quickly. Boss Man lets his teammates get some shots on Beefcake and then Honky and Martel take turns controlling the match. Beefcake manages to tag Rooster, but he’s not much help. He’s in trouble in fairly short order and Honky, Boss Man, and Martel all beat on him for a while. Rooster does manage to get a surprise sunset flip and Honky does his best knock-off of the Aloha Arn, but it’s nowhere near as good. The match finally comes back around to Tito vs. Martel, but Martel ends up reversing a roll-up and pulling the tights to eliminate Santana. (Elimination: Tito Santana) Dusty enters the match and we get a shot of a woman in polka dots cheering for him. It’s Sweet Sapphire!! She hasn’t been named yet, but she will get a bigger role soon enough. Dusty ends up hitting a dropkick on Martel that impresses Jesse. Beefcake and Rooster get their turns, but Rooster once again loses control of the match. Eventually, Bad News gets tagged, but he doesn’t want to enter the match. Rooster slingshots him inside, so Brown quickly starts beating him down for this slight. He holds Rooster for Boss Man to hit him, but Rooster moves and Boss Man hits Brown by mistake. The two start shoving each other and, surprise surprise, Brown leaves the match. (Elimination: Bad News Brown by Count Out) Boss Man and Honky then keep Beefcake at bay by cutting off his tag attempts, but Brutus fights back and eliminates Honky with a running high knee. (Elimination: Honky Tonk Man) Sadly, Beefcake finds himself in trouble again and Martel begins wearing him down. He hits a backbreaker that Gorilla makes fun of for being weak. Beefcake then manages to hit a sunset flip, but Martel reverses it. He tries to use the ropes for leverage, but he gets caught and Brutus flips him over for a pin. (Elimination: Rick Martel) Poor Rooster thinks he has a chance, but he ends up being eliminated by the Boss Man Slam. (Elimination: Red Rooster) Dusty and Brutus use frequent tags to keep Boss Man under control and Dusty ends up hitting a running cross body to win the match. (Final Elimination: Boss Man)
This match was okay, but it dragged in places. Also, I’m not sure why they would have the heels fighting back from a disadvantage. Aren’t they supposed to get sympathy for the babyfaces? The match did a good job of furthering the Tito/Martel feud, but we’ve already seen them on opposite sides of a multi-man match. It’s time to progress to a one-on-one fight.
Survivors: Dusty Rhodes & Brutus Beefcake (22:02)
The Big Boss Man attacks immediately after the bell and hits Dusty with his nightstick. He then cuffs him to the ropes and continues the beating, but Brutus runs him off with his hedge clippers. Dusty is bleeding a little bit after the attack and they surprisingly show close-up shots of it.
Sean Mooney decides to get a word with Boss Man and calls his actions deplorable. Boss Man replies that Dusty is scum and a prisoner of the state. He says that when you’re a prisoner of the Big Boss Man, you forfeit all your rights. He also says that this is just the beginning. Boss Man is out of breath, so Slick takes over the interview. He claims that Boss Man nearly overcame 3 to 1 odds. Boss Man regains his breath, so he says that justice has been served and calls Dusty a stupid puke. Mooney accuses Boss Man of showing no remorse, so Boss Man threatens to do the same to Sean.
Next, Mean Gene is with the 4x4s, who are all holding 2x4s and chanting, “Go go go!” Gene says it’s down to the wire and starts asking each team member for their thoughts. Bret Hart says that it’s the 4x4s finest hour. I’m pretty sure it’s their only hour! Ronnie Garvin says that he has a personal score to settle with Valentine and he’s going to shove the 2×4 in Greg’s big mouth. Hercules then says he doesn’t foresee any problems tonight with his teammates. Finally, Duggan says they’re ready for anything and Savage’s team is in for a long night. He also says they are there to beat people up and then his team all point their 2x4s at the screen and pretend to shoot them like guns.
The King’s Court: Randy Savage, Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo, & Greg Valentine (w/ Jimmy Hart & Queen Sherri) vs. The 4x4s: Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin, & Hercules
There is a lot to unpack before I get into this match, so let’s get started. Randy Savage defeated Jim Duggan to win his King of the Ring title. He then rechristened himself as Macho King Randy Savage and named Sherri as his Queen. He had an awesome coronation ceremony that gave us this famous gif:
Now, he has taken to wearing a crown and carrying a sceptre. He will even soon adopt the gimmick of having people carrying him to the ring on a throne. The next bit of business is the debut of a new wrestler, Earthquake! Dino Bravo began challenging his opponents to push-up contests. The gimmick was that Bravo would invite someone from the crowd to sit on his back as a sign of strength. Bravo challenged the Ultimate Warrior to one of these competitions and then chose a very large man named John from the crowd. Bravo did the push-ups with John on his back, but when it was Warrior’s turn, John squashed him. SWERVE! It turns out John is a wrestler named Canadian Earthquake and he’s now Bravo’s new partner. Canadian would soon be dropped from his name, but the gimmick would last for years. Oddly enough, Earthquake is actually a substitute for this match. Barry Windham, who jumped ship to the WWF, was originally supposed to be in this, but his family got into a bit of legal trouble and he left to help them. This is one of the few times where the substitute makes more sense in the match. The final bit of news is that Bret Hart will be flying solo in this match. This is the WWF’s first attempt to test the waters of a singles push for him. I have a feeling it will work out well for him in the long run.
Savage leads his team to the ring, but Sherri walks with Jimmy Hart, for some reason. She looks annoyed by fans trying to touch her. Duggan leads his team out next, to no theme music, and they jog to the ring with their 2x4s in hand. They clear the ring and toss the 2x4s to each other, while Jesse complains about them having weapons.
Duggan starts the match, but Savage stalls to jaw with some fans. Duggan decides to follow him outside and brings him back into the ring. Jim and Hercules then take turns tossing Savage around, but they throw Savage into his corner and he tags Valentine. Herc, Bret, and Duggan all maintain control over Valentine until Garvin enters and chops the hell out of Greg. Valentine lures him into the heels’ corner, so Ronnie gets in trouble until he finally tags Hercules. Bravo manages to reverse a whip and tag Earthquake, who immediately hits the Earthquake Splash to eliminate Hercules. (Elimination: Hercules) Duggan comes in and tries to take Quake off his feet. He only succeeds with the help of Bret and then Garvin tags into the match. He tries to pin Quake, but Quake powers out of it and tags Bravo. Bravo and Valentine double team Ronnie and Valentine attempts a Figure Four, but he’s unsuccessful. Savage, Bravo, and Valentine then tag in and out to put a beating on Garvin, but he fires back with hard chops. Unfortunately for Valentine, Duggan makes a blind tag and hits him with the running clothesline to eliminate him. (Elimination: Greg Valentine) Garvin comes in and hits a brutal looking Garvin Stomp to Bravo before attempting a Sharpshooter. Bret Hart thinks to himself, “Hmm, I might have to remember that.” Savage then tags in, but so does Bret and both the crowd and the commentators mark out to the potential match-up. They only fight back and forth for a moment before Bravo takes his place. Garvin ends up coming in, but he gets caught in Bravo’s side slam for an elimination. (Elimination: Ronnie Garvin) Duggan and Quake fight and Jim goes for 10 punches. The ref admonishes him, so Duggan tells him to get off his ass. Bret and Duggan double team Quake, so he tags Savage and we get another face-off with Bret. Savage ends up tied in the ropes and Duggan tries to get a cheap shot in, but he somehow whiffs on an easy elbow to the head. The Bret/Savage action is again short and soon Quake, Bravo, and Savage have control over the match. Duggan almost takes back control, but Bret ends up missing a corner charge and Savage eliminates him with the flying elbow. (Elimination: Bret Hart) Duggan is left by himself and manages to fend off the other team for a while, but he plays to the crowd and Quake attacks him from behind. Sherri then low bridges Duggan and he falls out of the ring, where he’s counted out and Savage’s team wins. (Final Elimination: Jim Duggan by Count Out)
This match was better than the opener and the Savage/Bret stuff was great, although brief. It made me want to see a singles match between the two of them. I like that they kept Earthquake looking strong. He has always been a favorite of mine. Once again, Duggan finds a way to lose without being pinned. He might be the king of doing that. It wasn’t too bad of a match. They are starting to pick up in quality as the show progresses.
Survivors: Randy Savage, Dino Bravo, & Earthquake (23:25)
After the match, Duggan grabs his 2×4 and clears the ring because he’s gotta get his heat back again. Savage collects his team and retreats back through the curtain.
Mean Gene is standing outside the trainer’s room and tells someone to keep him posted. He then tells everyone that doctors are attending to Dusty Rhodes and there’s talk of bruised ribs and a concussion. Gene says that he has to believe that Dusty will dish out some Americana and his kind of justice when he meets the Big Boss Man.
Next, The Fink introduces The Genius to read everyone a special Thanksgiving poem. He climbs onto the interview podium, as the fans boo loudly, and begins to read. He talks about the milk of human kindness and says that he epitomizes the ambiance that means Survivor Series. He calls himself handsome and says that he creates an aura for the Thanksgiving festivities. Then, he gives thanks to the multitudes that envy his beauty, youth, and wisdom. He says that time is short and he will adjourn, but first, he gives thanks that he’s the world’s smartest man and tells everyone they have a lot to learn.
The Hulkamaniacs: Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, & Demolition vs. The Million Dollar Team: Ted DiBiase, Zeus, & The Powers of Pain (w/ Virgil & Mr. Fuji)
What’s this? Hulk Hogan is in the midcard?? I don’t believe it!! Before I get started, I do want to share a funny story about this match that Bruce Prichard told on his podcast. Since Jake Roberts is on Hogan’s team, the original idea was for the team to carry a giant snake to ringside. The WWF rented the snake, but when Hogan’s team opened the crate and saw the size, they realized it was a bad idea. The snake was so large that they’d have to all carry it together, so they worried about how to control the head. The last thing they wanted was for it to get loose and slither through the crowd.
Ted DiBiase’s team is already in the ring because Ted still doesn’t have his music. Apparently, DiBiase has bought the services of Zeus because he’s with him now. I guess they needed to give him something to do until the No Holds Barred event. Jake, Demolition, and Hogan then all enter separately. The Million Dollar team try to prevent them from entering the ring, so Jake gets Damien out of the bag and uses him to clear everyone out to the floor. The Hulkamaniacs then pose in the ring, as a fan holds up a large sign that says, “The NWA is where it’s at!” I’m surprised that wasn’t confiscated at the door. The two teams then have to hold both Hogan and Zeus back from each other and Hulk spits at Zeus. However, Zeus demands that Hogan start the match and gets his wish.
They shove each other and Hogan cannot budge Zeus until he rakes the eyes and slams him. Zeus pops back up immediately and knocks Hogan down before giving him a neck snap. He begins choking him and Hebner keeps trying to pull him away, but Zeus shoves him. This happens again, so Hebner disqualifies Zeus. (Elimination: Zeus by DQ) DiBiase has to bribe Zeus to get him to let go and head to the back, but it takes him a moment to agree. Once he’s gone, Ted wastes no time in attacking Hogan. He focuses his attack on Hogan’s neck and throat, but Hulk finally gets a boot up on a corner charge. He tags Jake, who whips DiBiase around and clotheslines him out of the ring. Hogan and Demolition then take over and triple team DiBiase, much to Jesse’s chagrin. Ted manages to fight back and tag The Warlord. Ax tries valiantly to fight back, but Fuji ends up tripping him and Warlord hits an elbow drop for the elimination. (Elimination: Ax) Smash enters the match and he and Hogan start the double teaming again. Then, Jake and Smash try their hand, as well. Warlord takes back control with a thumb to the eye and tags DiBiase. Ted wears down Smash with fist drops and a chinlock, but he misses his falling elbow. However, Barbarian makes a blind tag and hits Smash with a flying clothesline to eliminate him. (Elimination: Smash) Jake comes in and keeps going for the DDT, but the Powers of Pain keep him at bay. DiBiase joins them in wearing Jake down and uses a ref distraction for some cheating. DiBiase then hits a piledriver, but Jake gets a foot on the ropes during the pin. Barbarian ends up missing a flying headbutt, so Hogan comes in and fends off all three men. The ref becomes distracted by Jake and DiBiase arguing, so the Powers of Pain hit a spike piledriver on Hogan. However, the ref realizes they’ve been in the ring way too long and disqualifies them both. (Elimination: The Powers of Pain by DQ) Jesse complains that the ref has now saved Hogan twice. DiBiase capitalizes by locking in the Million Dollar Dream and Hogan starts to fade. The ref checks the arm, but Roberts breaks up the hold. Ted simply locks it in again, but Hogan backs him into a corner and tags Jake. Roberts takes control and hits the short-arm clothesline, but Virgil climbs onto the apron to distract him. Jake pulls him into the ring and hits the DDT, but DiBiase attacks and pins Roberts with his feet on the ropes. (Elimination: Jake Roberts) Ted rolls Virgil out of the ring rather callously and goes for Hogan. He wears him down, but Hulk fights back and both men go down to a double clothesline. They trade off some more moves until Hogan begins to hulk-up and hits his big boot and leg drop for the win. (Final Elimination: Ted DiBiase)
This was a really good match. They kept a great pace and told a good story. As much as I don’t like Zeus, they did an admirable job of playing to his strengths and hiding his weaknesses. Plus, he was gone early, so I didn’t have to put up with him.
Survivor: Hulk Hogan (27:32)
DiBiase grabs a chair and threatens to attack, but he thinks better of it and leaves. Hogan then spends the next few minutes posing because Hulk’s gotta pose, brother!
Sean Mooney is with Savage, Sherri, and Zeus to plug the No Holds Barred event. He asks Randy about the December 27th event and claims that Savage is having control problems with Zeus. Savage replies that in the cage there will be no holds barred, so he loves the fact that he can’t control Zeus. He then claims that Zeus has been chosen by his sceptre. He touches it to Zeus’ forehead and Zeus freaks out, which scares poor Sean. Savage says the cage is the end of the road and Beefcake is guilty by association. He must fall also. Randy also says that Hogan won’t escape and they will take him to the bank. Finally, he says that they won’t quit until Zeus gets rid of Hogan.
Gene is in the locker room with Beefcake and Hogan. Gene says it will be a no holds barred Christmas on December 27th. Hogan replies by saying, “Cut my legs off and call us both shorty, brother!” What!? Hulk commends Beefcake on winning his match and the brags about his own win. He calls the cage match different than any other one. They’re gonna put Savage and Zeus out of the WWF, but after tonight, it might not be their kind of match. Hogan says it looks like Zeus could manhandle anyone in the arena, so Beefcake needs to keep his steel clippers close. Gene starts to talk to Beefcake, but Sherri enters the room. She asks them what they’re gonna do when there’s no holds barred and then throws powder into their eyes. Savage and Zeus rush into the room and start choking both men, so wrestlers and officials come in to break up the attack.
The show goes to intermission and comes back to Vince screaming about the remaining matches. He lists off the competitors and we see the match graphics again. Gorilla and Jesse then talk and Jesse claims he’s heard there’s dissension in the Heenan Family. Monsoon doesn’t seem that surprised. Throughout this segment, Jesse not so subtly shows off his t-shirt that advertises his new movie, Abraxas.
Mooney is with the Rude Brood. He says it’s no secret that Rude has problems with Roddy Piper, but Rude claims that is in the past. He says it’s time to celebrate turkey day the ravishing way. Then, he asks how he can go wrong with the fabulous ones, his ravishing self, and the man with the perfect record. Mr. Perfect says it will be a perfect night and then warns Jimmy Snuka because he has a perfect way to eliminate him. The Rougeaus then tell the Bushwhackers they better be ready because they’ve been working out, going to bed early, and taking their vitamins. Somewhere, Hogan smiles a little. Sean tries to ask another question, but Rude tells him to shut up because it’s time to show off his tights. He turns around to show a tombstone on the back for the other team.
Mean Gene is hanging out at the foot of some stairs. He greets Roddy’s Rowdies as they enter the hallway. The Bushwhackers have some turkey tucked away for later and Snuka tries fighting with them over the food. Piper tries to tell them they can eat later, but he gives up arguing and starts chanting, “Them bones!” The team then walks away without answering any of Gene’s questions. Poor Gene. Gorilla sounds like he’s barely containing some laughter and Jesse says they’re going to be hard to control.
The Rude Brood: Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, & The Fabulous Rougeaus (w/ The Genius & Jimmy Hart) vs. Roddy’s Rowdies: Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, & The Bushwhackers
Mr. Perfect comes out first and he’s finally got his awesome theme music! He also has a new manager in The Genius. The Rougeaus come out next and some fan flips them the bird. Rude comes out by himself and both Gorilla and Jesse point out that Heenan isn’t with him. Rude doesn’t do his usual shtick. He simply disrobes and swivels his hips. Snuka jogs to the ring, followed by the Bushwhackers, and then Piper joins them to a great reaction. The Rude Brood bail out of the ring while Piper’s team parade around it. Jesse makes a comment that Snuka is three steps from cannibalism. Wow, that comment hasn’t aged well.
Mr. Perfect and Luke begin the match, but Luke quickly tags out when he gets in trouble. Every member of Piper’s team then take turns biting various parts of Perfect’s body, so he tags Jacques. He flips into the ring and tells Snuka to back up so he can do a random kip-up. Snuka responds by barking at him. Jacques shows off one time too many and Snuka starts headbutting him and then hits the Superfly Splash to eliminate Jacques. (Elimination: Jacques Rougeau) Rude enters the match, but he gets caught posing and has to tag Perfect. However, he accidentally low bridges Perfect as he’s exiting the ring. Piper’s team all tag in and out and control Perfect. Soon, they start biting him again. Butch ends up ducking for a back drop and Perfect kicks him hard in retaliation. He tags Raymond who soon ends up in trouble with Piper. Roddy hits a piledriver, with a hip swivel thrown in, and eliminates Ray. (Elimination: Raymond Rougeau) Mr. Perfect returns to the match and does a good job fending off the other team until Butch bites him on the butt. Butch makes the mistake of playing to the crowd, so Perfect rolls him up for an elimination. (Elimination: Butch) Perfect then fends off Snuka and Luke and tags Rude, who eliminates Luke with a Rude Awakening. (Elimination: Luke) Rude and Perfect double team Snuka for a while and lure Piper in for a ref distraction. Perfect covers Snuka, but Jimmy powers out and sends Perfect on top of the ref, who takes exception to Perfect landing on him. Rude and Perfect wear Snuka down, as the crowd tries to rally him. Eventually, both men collide and both of them tag out of the match. Piper and Rude finally face-off and the fans react accordingly. They get into a slug-fest with each other and end up tumbling out of the ring, where the ref counts out both men. (Eliminations: Piper & Rude by Count Out) They continue fighting to the back, which leaves only Perfect and Snuka. Perfect tosses him around the ring and knocks him out of the ring. He suplexes him back inside for a 2 count and then the two men fight back and forth. Snuka ducks for a back drop, so Perfect hits him with the Perfect Plex for the win. (Final Elimination: Jimmy Snuka)
This was a pretty good match, but it dragged at times. It was nice to see Perfect look so strong, especially since he wasn’t initially the focus of this match. Plus, they had to find a way for him not to lose in this match. He’s supposed to still be undefeated.
Survivor: Mr. Perfect (21:27)
Mr. Perfect and The Genius celebrate in the ring, but Snuka sneaks up behind them and gives them a double noggin’ knocker. He then tries to hit a Superfly Splash on The Genius, but Perfect pulls him to safety. Jesse complains about Snuka’s lack of sportsmanship and even Gorilla calls him a sore loser.
Sean Mooney catches the Rude Brood as they come to the back and asks them about their win. He asks Rude about Heenan, but Rick tells him that’s none of his business. Sean then claims that they got more trouble than they expected from Roddy’s team, but Rude tells him that’s not true. He says they expected trouble, but they also expected a win. Perfect then tries to talk, but that jerk Mooney cuts him off and throws it to Mean Gene.
Gene is with The Ultimate Warriors for what is easily the highlight of the night. The Warrior paces around the room like a hyper two-year-old. He can’t refrain from messing with his teammates as they talk. He shakes Anvil’s sunglasses around and tugs at his goatee while Neidhart laughs maniacally. Anvil talks about ruining the Heenan Family’s Thanksgiving and says he hopes they don’t eat too much. The Rockers speak next and Warrior grabs their heads. It looks like he’s trying to give them a double noggin’ knocker, but they stand firm. Marty talks about rockin’, rollin’, struttin’, and strollin’ and Shawn says they’re taking the other team downtown. Warrior talks next and Shawn returns the favor by tugging at his hair. Warrior screams something about organ donor cards and bonding his men in the darkness of Parts Unknown. I’m not sure I want to know what that means. As he talks, he flexes his biceps and traps Anvil and Shawn in side headlocks. Both men look like they’re barely containing laughter.
The Ultimate Warriors: The Ultimate Warrior, Jim the Anvil Neidhart, & The Rockers vs. The Heenan Family: Bobby Heenan, Andre the Giant, Haku, & Arn Anderson
The Ultimate Warrior is headlining the PPV over Hogan! It’s pretty obvious that the WWF is setting him up as the next big thing. It’s funny that his rise to the top is happening at the same time as Sting’s in WCW. That’s no coincidence. As earlier with Akeem, you’re probably wondering why Tully Blanchard is missing. The Brain Busters had given their notice that they were returning to WCW and, to make matters worse, Tully got busted for cocaine. Tully was fired early and Arn would be gone before the end of the year. Sadly, Tully would not be rehired by WCW because of his drug problem and that would essentially be the end of his career, other than sporadic apperances. Bobby Heenan took his place in this match, with the storyline being that there was dissension. Heenan wanted to prove that he didn’t need Tully.
The Heenan Family are already in the ring and Gorilla is shocked to see Bobby in his wrestling gear. Jesse speculates that Heenan wanted to get the job done himself and Gorilla calls it a stupid move. Anvil enters first for his team and the Rockers follow, but they jump the Heenan Family before Warrior arrives. Andre starts choking Anvil, so Warrior runs to the ring and clotheslines him out to the floor.
The bell rings and Andre is quickly counted out on the floor because his team cannot lift him. (Elimination: Andre the Giant) The Warrior slingshots both Haku and Arn into the ring and whips Arn into the corner. Anvil then comes in and tosses Arn around, but Anderson fights back and tags Haku. A dazed Andre tries to leave ringside, but the Warriors give him a good kicking as he passes them. He yells at them in French and heads through the curtain. Haku and Arn trade off on working over Anvil in their corner. Anvil is distracted by Arn, so Haku hits him with a Savate kick to eliminate him. (Elimination: Jim Neidhart) Michaels comes in and baits Haku with a telegraphed monkey flip. The Rockers take advantage of this fake out by double teaming him until Haku rakes the eyes and tags Arn. He takes control when Marty ducks for a back drop. Arn and Haku attempt a double suplex, but Shawn catches Marty and they hit stereo super kicks. Warrior then enters the match and fights back and forth with Haku. Haku tries to make a tag, but Heenan tells him to tag Arn instead. Arn and Haku both try their hand against Marty, but they can’t take control until Marty misses a corner charge. Heenan finally comes in and kicks Marty, but he tags out again the second he shows signs of life. Arn ends up kneeing Marty in the back and Haku hits another Savate kick for a 2 count. He then tags Heenan who gives Marty a few stomps and pins him for the elimination. (Elimination: Marty Jannetty) Arn and Warrior enter the ring and Arn tells him to calm down, but Warrior gives him a bear hug instead. Arn rakes the eyes and tags Haku, who gets the same treatment. Shawn then comes in, but Haku and Arn quickly take control of him. He fights back and double teams Arn with the Warrior. They hit a Rocket Launcher on Arn, but only get a 2. However, an assisted flying cross body eliminates Haku. (Elimination: Haku) Shawn ends up in trouble and Arn throws him to the floor. Heenan feigns like he’s going to dive off the turnbuckles, but he realizes that’s a silly idea. Then, Shawn hits a sunset flip back inside and we get Aloha Arn 2: Electric Boogaloo. Arn yells at Heenan for being useless, so Bobby tags in and immediately gets in trouble. Arn has to re-enter the match and ends up eliminating Shawn with a spinebuster. (Elimination: Shawn Michaels) Warrior is left by himself and Arn sends him outside. Heenan feigns another dive but still doesn’t do it. Arn keeps control until Warrior sends him into Heenan and splashes him for the elimination. (Elimination: Arn Anderson) Heenan is by himself, but he doesn’t realize it at first. He sees Arn leaving and begs him to return. Warrior gets a hold of Bobby and whips him around the ring. Bobby takes some crazy bumps and tries to leave, but the Warrior brings him back to the ring. He then hits the flying shoulder tackle and splash for the win. (Final Elimination: Bobby Heenan)
This was a pretty fun main event. It told a pretty good story and I’m shocked Heenan took some of those bumps with his neck problems. I do feel bad about Andre though. It’s obvious that he’s in the twilight of his career and can barely move. He only has a few more months left before he essentially retires.
Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior (20:28)
The Warrior celebrates in the ring for a moment and then runs down the aisle. Heenan is still walking to the back, so Warrior bops him on the way through. Gorilla then tells everyone goodnight and the show ends with some still photos.
I would say that this is a pretty solid show. There were a couple of average matches, but the remaining bouts were quite good. Nothing on the show was actively bad. Plus, there were some very entertaining backstage segments. Like usual, Survivor Series was used to continue or start new feuds as they enter the new year. This was a night for testing the waters for what is to come.
Thank you for reading. Be sure to like and follow the Facebook page for this blog by clicking here. I would love to hear your feedback and suggestions for the “Best of the 80s” entry I will be doing soon. You can also follow the Twitter page for this blog here: @PaulDMatthews78.
My next review will be WCW Starrcade ‘89.