Thursday, November 26th, 1987 – Richfield Coliseum – Richfield, Ohio – Jesse “the Body” Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon are our color commentators for the very first Survivor Series event that the World Wrestling Federation had put on every year since!
This blog also marks the first of my Survivor Series blog series for CamelClutchBlog[dot]Com! I’m excited to visit (for most of these events) and revisit (a few) Survivor Series memories! I’ll be giving the highlights of each match instead of trying to list off each blow.
Let’s take a history lesson before we jump into the review of the first Survivor Series. The National Wrestling Alliance (JCP) was putting on their version of WrestleMania, called Starrcade, on Thanksgiving night for several years by 1987. So Vince McMahon, in all his wisdom, thought he’ll take a stab at the Jim Crockett and offer a television special that was built around teams of five and the goal of the match was to eliminate every member of the opposing team. Birthed the Survivor Series and the blog series!
Monsoon and Ventura get introduced to the crowd and they walk down to their position to call the pay-per-view and they were booed, to my surprised. They told us to have a Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks men! I wish this event was still held on Thanksgiving Day. Oh American Football, why did you have to take over its position?
Ventura and Monsoon go over the card and the rules of the matches. For the first time since WrestleMania III earlier this year, Andre the Giant and World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan will lock up for the very first time!
Craig DeGeorge interviews the Honky Tonk Man and his team. Honky talks about how his team is the greatest put together and there’s a video played showing when Honky nailed the Macho Man with his guitar.
The Fink announces the first match!
“The King” Harley Race, Hercules, Danny Davis, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, and the WWF Intercontinental Champion Honky Tonk Man versus Ricky “the Dragon” Steamboat, Brutus “the Barber” Beefcake, Jake “the Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, and Randy “Macho Man” Savage
When the heel team was introduced, the face team was interviewed by Mean Gene. They all said that the heel team will be defeated and there will be survivors in this match. I surely hope there are winners in this match.
Sounds like to me, WWE dubbed over a different theme song when the faces came out after their interview. I find this to be sad because it takes away the feel of the original broadcast. When Savage came out, the crowd pops. I find it strange that the future WWF Champion in a few short months opens this show.
Hercules and the Barber start off the first match on the first card. One thing I noticed with the quick tags at the start of the match was how into the fans were into the match. Seems like the fans nowadays aren’t as in as the fans of 1987 were.
One point Race and Steamboat were in the ring together. Isn’t it ironic that former NWA guys were in the ring together on a night where WWF put on a show to go against the biggest show in NWA history?
The first elimination saw both Duggan and Race getting double-count-out.
Beefcake has the oddest wrestling trunks that I’ve seen. The one he’s wearing this night was yellow zebra print and the sides were cut out and mesh was sown back in.
Talking about Beefcake, he got eliminated after being hit by Honky Tonk Man’s finisher, a swinging neck breaker called “Shake, Rattle, and Roll.”
A cool thing about Jake Roberts as a face was whenever he gets into the ring; the fans chant “DDT.” A finish that I absolutely love was when Jake “the Snake” hits the DDT. The fans popped and jumped to their feet once he nailed Danny Davis with it and covered him for the elimination.
I also find it odd that Ricky Steamboat and Randy Savage are team mates when at WrestleMania III they fought each other in a show-stealing Intercontinental Championship match.
Honky Tonk was faced by himself against Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, and Ricky Steamboat. Reversal of what usually gets booked. Usually the heels gains the advantage.
Honky Tonk Man got himself counted out (great heel move), giving Savage, Steamboat, and Roberts the victory.
Sole Survivors: Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, and Ricky Steamboat
Craig DeGeroge is back and interviewed Andre the Giant and his team. One thing about this team is how huge each member is. Wow, I wonder what happened to McMahon being okay with big men back then and not so much these days. One line I enjoyed was from Bobby Heenen and he called Hogan a 300-pound turkey.
The lades match never got an ring introduction until they were already in the ring.
The Glamour Girls, Dawn Marie, Donna Christannelo, and Sensational Sherri versus Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin, Jumping Bomb Angels, and the Fabulous Moolah
Sherri is the Women’s World Champion at this time. To the Sherri I grew up knowing, she looks amazing in 1987! Wow! And Fabulous Moolah look old even back then. I find that to be sad.
Another sad fact is, I don’t know who most of these women are. While on the sad facts, I wish the WWE had this big talent pool of women wrestlers. These women are amazing compared to the women these days. This match is more enjoyable, even not knowing who most of these women are. I find most women matches these days to be too much, even for a few minutes.
Moolah seems not to act much since 1987. I wonder how she does it. She moves pretty well compared to how well she moved at the end of her life.
I actually talked to Captain Obvious while watching this match and we started to discuss on how much professional wrestling was different 25 years ago. Watching through these Survivor Series brings back why I fell in love with this business to begin with.
Sole Survivors: Jumpin’ Bomb Angels
Craig DeGeorge is back to interview the Hart Foundation and their Survivor Series team. Watching this interview makes me miss how great the tag team division was. I also noticed it seems like this pay-per-view card has showcased the WWF’s mid-cards, the women, the tag teams, and the last match, the main eventers. This interview was simply crazy. I was unable to get anything worthy of note to take down.
The Bolsheviks, Demolition, the Dream Team, the Islanders, and the Hart Foundation versus the British Bulldogs, the Young Stallions, the Rougeau Brothers, the Killer Bees, and Strike Force
After the heel team enters, Mean Gene interviews the babyface team in this match. I spot the Mountie! I spot the Model Rick Martel!
Monsoon and Ventura explain the Tag Team Survivor Series rules, where if one of the Killer Bees gets eliminated, both men go. So if one man gets eliminated, both are eliminated! This match proves that Vince McMahon decided to have the tag division die. Heck, the main event of WrestleMania I was even a tag match! I find it to be sad that back in 1987 there were at least ten good tag teams that the WWF had and now the WWE has a couple actual tag teams.
Sole Survivors: the Young Stallions and the Killer Bees (by the Bees outsmarting the Islanders with the masks)
We see how the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase celebrates Thanksgiving. I find this video package to be absolutely great. Only if video packages were put together like this these days, the superstars would be seen as main event wrestlers.
Craig DeGeorge is back again to interview the Honky Tonk Man, the WWF Intercontinental Champion, who walked out at the first match and got himself eliminated. Honky puts himself over and will accept the challenge of anyone. Honky said that he’ll even face Hulk Hogan and will defend his title against the Hulkster. Even Macho Man can’t defeat the Honky Tonk Man.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, “the Natural” Butch Reed, One Man Gang, and Andre the Giant versus Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, the Magnificent Don Muraco, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, and World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan
Mean Gene is backstage with the World Wrestling Federation Champion Hulk Hogan and his team mates and everyone’s crazy. Hogan is walking back and forth in front of the camera and comes and pushes Bam Bam. Hogan says that his team mates are hungry and are ready to kick butt and take names.
The faces then enter the arena. I guess Don Muraco is filling in for “Superstar” Billy Graham. Poor Billy Graham, you’re always being the true “Superstar.” Giving it a second thought, it was a good thing you couldn’t make it to the first Survivor Series because Hollywood Hogan would outshine you, how he stole your gimmick and turned it into what he did, brother.
The Rock and “Ravishing” Rick Rude start out the main event.
Butch Reed’s the first one eliminated when Hogan dropped the leg drop and got the pin fall victory. Hogan was celebrating with his team when Andre came in and Hogan was shocked when he turned around. The ref made Hogan go out and Patera cause Hogan “made a tag.” I surely didn’t see the tag.
An obvious observation I noticed in this match was how Hogan’s team was a set of four body builders and Bam Bam and Andre’s team had four overweight dudes and Rick Rude.
I might be losing it but it sounded like One Man Gang was calling a few spots when he had Patera in a front face lock. It looked like it but I swore I heard him call a few things. Opps.
Orndorff wasn’t so wonderful on this night; when he was calling to put Rude in the piledriver, Bundy came in and nailed him from behind and Rude school boyed him and eliminated him.
Ventura asked Monsoon if we’ll see Andre and Hogan. Ventura really wanted to see those two men do battle at Survivor Series. I’m with you Governor! I wanna see the WrestleMania III main event go at it here at Survivor Series 1987!
Hulk Hogan got eliminated when he got counted out when he was brawling with King Kong Bundy. Smart thinking Bundy, let’s get the World Champ out of the match. So it’s Bam Bam taking on King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, and Andre the Giant – the total reverse of the first match. This is smart booking.
Lucky for Bigelow, he eliminated Bundy after scoring a pinfall. A few minutes later he scored a pinfall victory over One Man Gang. Come on Bigelow! Make yourself famous! Grab the main event ring and show that you belong in the main event picture!
After a double underhook suplex, Andre wins.
Sole Survivor: Andre the Giant
Hulk Hogan ran down and hit Andre with the belt, continuing their feud, and taking in the attention at the end of the pay-per-view. No surprise out of Hogan, what anattention jerk! Vintage Hogan, posing to all the fans.
Mean Gene got a word from Andre the Giant and Bobby Hennen backstage. Bobby said that if he truly wants Andre, he’ll face him inside the ring, but has to sign on the dotted line. Hogan has to put the title up on the line if he wants Andre again in the ring. Smart thinking by Bobby and Andre.
We go back to Hogan posing. Come on Hulkster!
All-in-all, I consider this pay-per-view a success. I really enjoyed this pay-per-view, even though it was four matches in total. But the first few Survivor Series I love because each match got a good length of time to showcase some of the talent that this era of the WWE had. To be honest, I wish WWE had talent like this today to bring back the classic Survivor Series concept back and give the whole PPV the Survivor Series match treatment. If not, let the World Heavyweight Champion defend his title, or the WWE Champion defend his title.
Heck, it would draw big ratings (hopefully, at least in my old-school wrestling opinion) if the main event Survivor Series match was World Heavyweight Champion captained a team against the WWE Champion’s team. Then the Intercontinental Champion would captain a team against the United States Champion. I would love to see this happen, or the idea I had at the beginning of the blog where there’s a tournament and the winner faces both the World and WWE Champion in a triple threat match and the winner walks out as Champ. To conclude, a great PPV.
Check out an awesome podcast on this very PPV: http://www.flairchop.com/archives/36
Eric Darsie is known as a ‘common-man’ among his peers, at least he thinks so. He works hard with his hands in the heart of Minnesota and on his free time, he thugs and a bugs with his family and friends. Whenever he doesn’t do that, he’s found to be writing. Now more of a rare thing, he’s gems could be found here. If you would like to see more of Eric’s work outside of the professional world, check him out at http://vintagedarsie.wordpress.com/, http://www.writerscafe.org/Darsie/writing/, and on Twitter @IAmDarsie.