Random Review: Survivor Series 1991

While I have a self-inflicted ban on writing about the current WWE product, there’s nothing stopping me from diving into the WWE Network and looking at some old classic stuff. So it’s time for another Random Review.

Survivor Series 1991, November 26, 1991

The main event for this show is Hulk Hogan defending the title against the Undertaker. There’s also a lot of team matches, because this was well before WWE forgot that the Survivor Series show was supposed to have Survivor Series matches.

We open with a recap of Jake “The Snake” Roberts beating the crap out of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, including a really graphic view of Robert’s cobra biting Savage in the arm. Something like this would never be allowed now a days, for so many reasons. President Jack Tunney shows up. Remember when authority figures just showed up when needed and didn’t take up 1/3rd of every show? Good times.

We get Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan on commentary. Monsoon is one of my favorite play by play guys, and his team with Jesse Ventura is my favorite commentary team of all time. Heenan is good too though.

Survivor Series Match: Ric Flair, The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase, The Mountie & The Warlord vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Bret “The Hit Man” Hart, Virgil & The British Bulldog

Ric Flair is walking around with the NWA/WCW title, which WWF hilariously blurs out. Bret Hart is the Intercontinental Champion. These old Survivor Series matches are great is seeing just how much talent can be crammed into one ring. Roddy and Dibiase start out. The crowd is raucous for Roddy’s team of good guys. Flair gets a big pop when he gets tagged in, and an even bigger pop when he gets thrown around the ring. Bulldog impressively power lifts the Mountie over his head with a gorilla press slam and a running powerslam, but is attacked from behind and  eliminated by Flair who faked a tag.

The heels work over Virgil before Piper repays the heels by faking a tag and eliminating The Warlord from behind, leaving each team with three wrestlers. Virgil locks the Million Dollar Dream on his former boss Ted Dibiase, but is quickly overwhelmed by the heels. Virgil gets beat up for a loooong time but eventually tags in Piper, who shows that he knows just as many dirty tricks as the heels, poking Flair in the eye. All six men get into the ring and brawl, leading to the bell ringing and everyone who was in the ring disqualified. However, Ric Flair had been knocked out of the ring, leaving him the sole survivor.

** This was a long match that focused on Virgil taking a beating. Not who I would have picked to be in the majority of the match. The ending also hurt. Ten minutes probably could have been cut from this match if it was just going to end in a DQ.

Mean Gene Oakerland interviews Randy Savage about getting bit by Jake Robert’s cobra. They promote their match at Tuesday in Texas, with the amazing stipulation that “all reptiles are banned from ringside.”

Colonel Mustafa, The Bezerker, Skinner & Hercules vs. Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Kerry Von Eric, El Matador Tito Santana & Sergeant Slaughter

I have no idea why The Iron Shiek is “Colonel Mustafa” or why Tito Santana is a matador. Early 90’s WWF was a weird place. The amount of racism by the commentary in this match is much more interesting then anything going on in the ring. Between Heenan going off on Mexican’s and Monsoon going off on Middle Easterners, it would be uncomfortable if it wasn’t so campy. Mustafa and Slaughter eventually square off, and Slaughter eliminates him with a clothesline.  Other then chanting “USA”, the crowd is mostly uninterested in this match.

Kerry Von Eric brings some fire into the match, and tags Santana even though Tito was clear over by a neutral corner. Santana eliminates Hercules with a flying elbow. Skinner is rolled up by Slaughter, leaving the Berserker by himself in a 4 on 1 situation. Duggan eliminates him with a running clothesline.

*1/2 The epitome of 80’s midcard character wrestling. Your patience for that kind of thing will determine your enjoyment of this match.

Mean Gene is now interviewing Jake Roberts, who is wearing the ugliest sparkly sweater imaginable. He’s talking, but for once I can’t focus on his normally excellent promo skills because his sweater is so ugly. This thing has to be seen to believe.

There’s a recap of Hulk Hogan being confronted by Ric Flair in front of the Undertaker’s casket and Paul Bearer. Flair cuts a great promo on being the real champion, and it’s a damn shame we never got this match at WrestleMania. Then Undertaker attacks Hogan from behind and Flair puts the boots to him. Roddy Piper and Randy Savage come to make the save with steel chairs, and Undertaker no sells their attacks. Watching these six guys, seven with Paul Bearer, interact is pretty awesome.

WWF Title Match: Hulk Hogan (champion) vs. The Undertaker

This match has an odd spot in the middle of the card. Undertaker is a year from his debut at the last Survivor Series and is undefeated. Hulk Hogan, ever the dick, destroys Undertaker’s casket on his way to the ring. We are in full “Zombie Taker” mode, which means lots of slow walking and choking. Undertaker will not go down to Hogan’s clotheslines, and Hogan looks confused. Taker chokes Hogan. Paul Bearer chokes Hogan. Taker chokes Hogan with a cord. Taker chokes Hogan with a claw hold. There’s a lot of choking going on, is what I’m saying.

Hogan completely no sells a Tombstone Piledriver, rendering my favorite move useless, and begins hulking up, finally pummeling Undertaker enough to drop to his knees. He slams Taker, but Ric Flair is here to distract the Hulkster. Paul Bearer distracts the referee, and Flair slides a chair into the ring. Undertaker Tombstones Hogan on the chair, and not even Hogan is kicking out of that one.

**1/2 A mostly boring match saved with an entertaining ending. When you have a mega face like Hogan, it takes a lot to have him believably lose. It got the belt off Hogan, legitimized the Undertaker, and furthered the Ric Flair/Hogan story. An example of a screwy finish done right.

Mean Gene is interviewing Roddy Piper backstage about the title change, who screams mostly incoherently about the Addams Family. Flair and Mr. Perfect are interviewed in the locker room about the death of Hulkamania and how Flair is indeed the “real” world champion. Mean Gene interviews President Jack Tunney, who makes a rematch between Undertaker and Hogan at Tuesday in Texas.

The Beverly Brothers & The Nasty Boys vs. The Bushwhackers & The Rockers

The Bushwhackers take it to the Nasty Boys early on, then they take out the Beverly’s too before things settle down into one on one situations.  The announcers mostly talk about how stunned they are about Hogan losing the title. This kind of thing would become annoying in later years, but Hogan losing the belt was a Big Deal, so it makes sense they would talk about it some.  Brian Knobbs of the Nasty’s eliminates Luke of the Bushwhakers with a flying clothesline. The Beverly’s double team Bushwhacker Butch with an assisted back drop, eliminating him, leaving Shawn Michaels and Marty Jennetty outnumbered.

Shawn Michaels gets the crap kicked out of him by the Beverly’s before Michael’s catches one of them with a backslide for the pin. Shawn takes out both Nasty Boys instead of tagging, teasing some of the dissent between partners. Marty finally gets in, but gets beat up for his trouble by the Nasty Boys. Marty accidently hits Shawn, leading to Shawn getting rolled up. The Rockers argue, and Shawn bails, leaving Marty by himself in a 1 on 3 situation. Jennetty uses his speed to take out the Nasty’s before finally getting pinned.

**1/2 A decent match that mostly focused on the tension between the Rockers. Nothing special though.

The Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) and I.R.S. vs. The Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) and The Big Bossman

All six men give a yelling promo, before the match , trying to yell louder then the one that spoke before. Legion of Doom are the current tag team champions. Bossman and I.R.S start, and actually move around the ring really well. The big story here is whether the Legion of Doom can throw around the big bulk of the Natural Disasters. They are able to throw I.R.S into Typhoon though, so that’s something. Bossman is hit with a briefcase from I.R.S. for the first elimination. Animal is thrown around by the Natural Disasters before tagging in Hawk, and I.R.S. accidently clocks Typhoon with his briefcase, leading to him getting pinned.

Earthquake bails on the match, leaving I.R.S. alone with Hawk and Animal. Irwin actually puts up a decent fight, including hitting a style of clothesline now used by Bray Wyatt. He tries to bail on the match, but the Big Bossman “escorts” him back into the ring, where Hawk hits him with a flying clothesline for the win.

*** A fairly entertaining match. Not much else to say about it.

The show ends with Mean Gene interviewing Paul Bearer and The Undertaker about the death of Hulkamania.

Overall: 5/10

Unfortunately, this show was almost more about promoting the upcoming Tuesday in Texas then it was about the show they were putting on. There’s a few decent matches, and a historical title change, but other then that there’s not much to recommend about this one.

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