- It's been a week since my last Survivor Series review, so I think I'm recharged enough to get through another show or two in the next few days. The 1992 Series is quite an interesting case, as for some reason (probably a weak roster with too many cartoon characters) the focus of the show is shifted away from the idea of the Survivor matches, and it looks pretty much like a regular card, a la SummerSlam or WrestleMania. Will this effect the overall quality of the show? Let's find out.
... But first! The Survivor Series was almost crippled a week before the show, as advertised headliner Ultimate Warrior up-and-left the company with zero notice, forcing some last minute booking to take place. On the last episode of PrimeTime Wrestling, Randy Savage offered the spot as his partner to none other than the retired Mr. Perfect, who, throughout the course of the show, turned babyface after some prodding from everyone else and cemented by dumping water on Heenan and calling him a weasel. So now it's Randy Savage and the return of Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. In other subjects to change on the card, the originally scheduled Intercontinental Title Match was set as the British Bulldog vs. The Mountie. Then it became non-title once Shawn Michaels won the belt from Bulldog on SNME, then scrapped completely as both men either quit or were released from the company.
- Live, for the third time in event history, we're from the Richfield Coliseum. Your broadcast team tonight is the duo of Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan. Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad, I guess, eh?
- High Energy vs. The Head Shrinkers (w/ Afa):
(Owen Hart & Koko B. Ware vs. Samu & Fatu)
Interesting choice for the PPV, something that seems for suitable for a feature match on Superstars of Wrestling, or something. No feud here, I don't think, other than between Koko and the pants vacated by Jim Neidhart. The Shrinkers don't get an introduction, something I find very odd. Owen and Samu start with a lockup, and Samu easily wins that. Samoa > Canada! Owen with a side headlock, and a shoulder block barely budges Samu. Criss cross time, and Owen comes off the ropes with a cross body, followed by a dropkick, hip toss, and another dropkick. Owen applies a wristlock, and here comes Koko to work the arm. We get heel miscommunication, and Koko with dropkicks to both men. Koko stomps on the feet of Fatu, but a double noggin-knocker is no-sold. Koko gets nailed with Afa's stick, and now it's time for a Head Shrinker beat down! Double headbutt from the Shrinkers, followed by some clubbering in the corner. Irish whip, and Fatu connects with a clothesline. Samu tags in and quickly applies the Vulcan Neck Pinch™! Koko with a series of elbows to escape, but he gets floored with a clothesline. Koko with a sunset flip on Fatu, for a two count, and Fatu quickly drops him with a reverse crescent kick. Koko again gets caught with some double teaming, while Afa eats some turkey at ringside. More nerve holds applied by Samu. Whip to the corner, but Samu misses a charge and ends up eating post on it instead. Owen with the hot tag, an he nails everything walking with dropkicks. Irish whip and back drop to Samu, followed by a top rope cross body press. Spinning heel kick sends Fatu out of the ring, but Samu catches Owen off the ropes with a powerslam. Fatu to the top rope, and the splash finishes Owen off at 7:40. Well, I thought for sure Koko was going to take the fall. * Not much of an opening match. Just seemed like everyone was going through the motions for this, plus it didn't help that I really dislike all matches featuring the Head Shrinkers.
- Nightstick on a Pole Match:
Big Boss Man vs. Nailz:
It's the blowoff to one of the worst feuds of 1992. I say worst because of the incredible lack of any wrestling ability from Nailz. The idea of an ex-convict wanting revenge on Boss Man would've been good on it's own, but having such a poor worker fill that role just ruined anything it might've had going for it. Come on, a pole match? Jesus... for those that need to know, the first person to grab the nightstick attacked to a tall pole in the corner of the ring gets to use it... but what if the OTHER person grabs it after it comes down? Is it a Disqualification? I must know! Boss Man attacks Nailz before the bell and hammers away with in the corner. Nailz whips Boss Man to the corner and chokes him down. Nailz goes for the night stick, but Boss Man pulls him down. Nailz punches some more, but misses a charge to the corner. Irish whip is reversed, and Boss Man punches now. Nailz prevents grabbing of the nightstick and slams Boss Man off the top rope. Nailz with a back breaker, followed by some choking. Reverse chinlock applied, but Boss Man fights back to his feet. Boss Man puts Nailz down with an elbow to the gut, but misses a splash. Nailz goes for the stick, but gets crotched on the top rope. Nailz with a knee to the midsection, and Boss Man comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Boss Man grabs the nightstick and smacks Nailz across the side of the head with it. Nailz pretty much no-sells it though, and recovers it himself with some blows with the weapon. Boss Man slightly sells better, but quickly delivers a sidewalk slam, and that's enough for the three count at 5:43. DUD Just a bad match. The wrestling was poorly coordinated, the match had no flow, and it's just bad. Nailz would stick around a while longer to feud with the Undertaker, but got fired (we know the story) before that could really go anywhere.
- Tatanka vs. "The Model" Rick Martel:
Talk about a feud that really had no heat and didn't go anywhere. Martel had previously stole a bunch of feathers from Tatanka, about three months earlier, and this is the blowoff to that nonsense. Tatanka had already faced Martel on PPV, WrestleMania VIII, and won that convincingly, so why do a rematch, since we all know Tatanka is going to win, anyway. Lockup to start, and Martel slaps after the release in the corner. Tatanka retaliates with a series of chops, followed by a back drop and a series of dropkicks, forcing Martel to retreat. Back in the ring, and Tatanka connects with an atomic drop and clothesline, sending Martel out of the ring, again. Martel with knees to the midsection, then stun guns Tatanka across the top rope. Martel chokes away then applies a front facelock. Tatanka fights back to his feet and takes Martel over with a suplex. Martel recovers quickly, though and goes back to the headlock. Meanwhile, the unnamed clown wanders to ringside to fool around in the aisle with balloon animals. Sadly, this has been the high spot of the match, so far. Watching the clown do balloon animals. Back in the ring... who cares? Tatanka sets Martel up on the aporn, then sling shots him back into the ring. Martel with a shot to the throat, then connects with the Rude Awakening, but Tatanka kicks out at two. Back to the front facelock! BORING! BORING! More balloon animals! Tatanka fights out and drops Martel with a clothesline. Chops in the corner by Tatanka, followed by a whip to the corner. Martel misses a charge, posting his shoulder in the process. Tatanka chops away on the arm of Martel then applies a wristlock. Irish whip, and Tatanka takes Martel over with a back slide for a two count. Tatanka with an arm drag and into the armbar. More focus on Doink, by the camera crew. Irish whip, and Martel dumps Tatanka over the top rope. Seriously, am I watching a PPV or an episode of SuperStars? Back in the ring, and Martel continues working him over with generic crap. Irish whip, and Martel with a fist to the midsection. Martel to the middle rope, but he jumps right into a fist. Tatanka with a series of chops, and it's War Dance Time™! Tatanka chops some more, scoops Martel up for a slam, and comes off the top rope with a super-chop! Irish whip, and Tatanka with the Papoose to Go... er, Fallaway Slam for the three count at 11:04. Post-match, Tatanka reclaims his stolen feathers, and we'll never see them on WWF T.V. again. 1/2* Match stunk like yesterdays diarrhea.
- Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Ric Flair & Razor Ramon:
I've already gone over the interesting tidbits for this match in my introduction. Savage has beef with Flair for the obvious reasons, and Ramon is inserted here because he helped cost Savage the title in a rematch that was broadcasted on PrimeTime Wrestling. Ramon, at this point, hadn't really faced any top names yet on the syndicated shows (El Matador? Virgil? Blech...), so he's getting his first shot at the big time, here. Perfect and Ramon start, with Perfect using his speed to avoid Ramon. Perfect with a side headlock, but a shoulder block knocks him down. Irish whip, and Perfect with a drop toe hold and a slap to the back of the head. Ramon drags Perfect to the corner by his hair, but a double teaming goes a foul. Flair tags in and they exchange woo's. Perfect with a series of rights, followed by a whip to the corner and back body drop. Perfect with a running dropkick and a series of clotheslines. Perfect with chops, and a whip to the corner sends Flair onto the apron, into the waiting Savage. Back in the ring, and Savage tags in, coming off the top rope with an axehandle. Savage with a side headlock applied, followed by a shoulder block. Savage and Perfect slap Flair around a bit, and Savage is cleaning house of both men. Irish whip, and Savage comes off the ropes with his guillotine clothesline. Flair whips Savage into his corner, where Ramon drives a knee into his back. Ramon tags in and hammers away on Savage with roundhouse rights. Ramon with a single leg sweep, but Savage fights out of a spinning toe hold Ramon with a choke lift and slam to regain control, followed by stomping. Flair tags back in as more punishment is delivered. Flair works Savage over in the corner with chops and rights. Ramon tags in and applies the lazy heel special... the abdominal stretch! Savage escapes with a hip toss, but misses an elbow drop. Flair tags in and dumps Savage over the top rope, allowing Ramon some cheap shots on the outside.
Back in the ring, and Flair covers Savage for a series of two counts. Flair with a knee across the forehead and some taunting to Mr. P. Ramon tags in (well, he walked in) and applies a single-leg crab. Perfect starts taking a walk up the aisle, but goodness over-comes him (boo!) and comes back to his corner. Ramon takes a cheap shot at Perfect on the apron, and now Savage takes a hell of a beating from the two baddies. Flair drops Savage with a chop for a two count. Irish whip, and Savage blocks a hip toss, taking Flair over with a back slide for a two count. Ramon tags in and stomps away on Savage some more. Ramon drops an elbow for a two count. Ramon with a chokeslam, for another two count. Savage with a surprise small package for a two count. Flair comes back in and beats on Savage some more. Whip across the ring, and Flair puts Savage down with a clothesline. Flair heads to the top rope, but gets slammed off. Perfect gets the hot tag and unloads on Ramon, taking him over with a hip toss. Perfect with his signature float-over neck snap and chops in the corner. Perfect with an atomic drop, followed by a knee lift. Savage and Flair go at it outside, where Flair bashes him with a steel chair. Back in the ring, and Perfect takes Flair over with a back drop and sends him over the top rope with a clothesline. Ramon goes for the Razor's Edge, but Perfect users the ropes to counter and back drops free. Perfect-Plex on Ramon, but there's no referee? Joey Marella climbs in, but Flair breaks the count. Perfect captures Flair in the Perfect-Plex now, and Earl Hebner counts two. We get excessive double teaming and referee handling, so it's a Disqualification at 16:29 for Perfect and Savage. Flair applies the Figure-Four on Perfect while Ramon fetches a chair. Savage comes to and makes the save for Perfect, and now Perfect uses the chair on Flair to break the hold and whacks Ramon good across the back, clearing the ring of the baddies. *** Good match, but nothing spectacular, and I'm never a big fan of these kinds of finishes for high profile matches on PPV. Flair and Perfect would continue their heated program up through the Royal Rumble PPV, while Ramon went on to feud with Bret Hart and Randy Savage slipped into semi-retirement.
- Virgil vs. Yokozuna (w/ Mr. Fuji):
And now we're back to weekend syndication hell. Yokozuna is freshly debuted and I think Virgil is the first "name" he is facing. This was set up as an open contract and Virgil signed on for it the week of the show. Yokozuna is looking slim here, compared to how he would gradually look as the years went on until his death in 1999. Yokozuna charges and takes Virgil down. Virgil tries a shoulder block, but Yokozuna's too fat. Virgil with a series of dropkicks, but a roll up doesn't work, and Yokozuna knocks his head off with a reverse croissant kick. Virgil with a series of rights until being caught with a belly-to-belly suplex. Yokozuna continues smacking Virgil around like a dog. Virgil tries one more offensive flurry, but he gets taken down with a sloppy side suplex. Yokozuna with a fat-ass leg drop to kill Virgil a little more. Whip to the corner, and Virgil gets squashed trying a roll up. He's looking like a cockroach right now. Yokozuna with a butt squash in the corner, and the banzai drop finishes Virgil off at 3:34. 1/4* Well, that was a Squash if I've ever seen one, and yes, pun intended.
- The Natural Disasters & The Nasty Boys vs. Money Inc. & The Beverly Brothers (w/ Jimmy Hart & The Genius):
This match is held under Elimination rules, but it's "if one man loses, his teammate is gone as well", so it's really just a 2 out of 3 Falls Match, if you really think about it, and is the only match with anything close to being under the style of the old Survivor Series cards on this broadcast. The Nasty Boys are a substitute for the Bushwhackers because of their issues with Money Inc., but really, would you rather sit through a Nasty Boys match, or a Bushwhackers match? Ted Dibiase looks quite unusual in his white alternate ring trunks. Not very slimming on him, says I. Typhoon and Blake start, with Blake trying to make Typhoon look stupid. Typhoon shoves off Blake into the corner, then struts around, horribly. Blake tries a sleeper hold, but gets squashed in the corner and taken down with a hip toss. Typhoon with a back breaker, then Earthquake tags in to apply a bearhug. Beau runs in to help out, but both Beverly Brothers get squashed in the corner. Earthquake scoops Blake up and plants him with a powerslam. Knobbs tags in and taunts all the heels on the apron. Irish whip and Knobbs slams Blake down by the hair and follows up with a clothesline. Saggs tags in, as does Beau, and Saggs gets worked over in the corner. Whip across the ring is reversed and Saggs plants Beau with a pump-handle slam. Beau resumes control and takes Saggs over with a double-underhook suplex. Dibiase tags in and chops away in the corner. Whip across the ring and Dibiase connects with a clothesline. Saggs counters a suplex with a sloppy one of his own. I.R.S. tags in for some double teaming on Saggs. Irish whip and he connects with a back elbow and leg drop for a two count. Irish whip, and Saggs takes I.R.S. down with a series of hip tosses. Dibiase runs into a clothesline andSaggs takes shots at the Beverly's just for shit and giggle. Blake tags in and powerslams Saggs. Beau tags in for some patented double teaming of Saggs, but he can't even take an ass-kicking right. Snapmare and leg drop by Beau for a two count. Blake tags in and connects with a neck breaker for a two count, then applies a chinlock. Saggs mounts a comeback and applies a headlock. Irish whip and a head collision puts both men down. Earthquake and Beau tag in, and guess who controls that one. Quake cleans house of everyone, and soon it's BONZO GONZO. Sorry, I needed to use that once. Typhoon squashes Beau and Earthquake with his vertical splash for the three count at 9:25.
Earthquake plays a counting game and finds out his team has a 4 on 2 advantage. Dibiase with a rake of the eyes and chops. Irish whip is reversed and Quake drops him with a shoulder block. The babyfaces take turns making Dibiase their bitch, doing nothing much of note. Whip across the ring, and Quake misses a charge. I.R.S. tags in and they take Quake down with a back suplex. I.R.S. with an elbow drop for a two count. Whip to the corner, and this time I.R.S. misses the charge. Dibiase tags in and continues working Quake over. I.R.S. tags in and applies a rear chinlock. Dibiase tags back in and nails Quake with a clothesline, followed by a series of chops. Dibiase to the middle rope with an axehandle drops Quake like a bad habit. I.R.S. tags in and applies a front facelock. Dibiase tags in and comes off the ropes with another axehandle. Quake boots him on a third attempt though, and I think it's a hot tag time! Typhoon comes in and pounds away on I.R.S. Irish whip and clotheslines to both men. Typhoon with a big splash on I.R.S. for a two count. Nasty Boys clothesline Dibiase out of the ring. Dibiase trips Typhoon up, and I.RS. with an elbow drop for the three count at 15:45. Saggs rolls I.R.S. up right after for a three count as well, making the Nasty Boys the winners at 15:50. 3/4* Another suck as match in a series of them on this show. The showing of the door of the Disasters' run as a team and the lack of follow-up for the Nasty Boys makes this match pretty points.
- Coffin Match:
The Undertaker (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. Kamala (w/ Harvey Wippleman & Kim Chee):
Remember back when the Undertaker was in nothing but terrible feuds with some of the worst wrestlers imaginable? Warrior, Kamala, Nailz, Giant Gonzalez, Himself, King Kong Bundy, Mabel, Kama... the list just seems to go on forever, doesn't it? These two fought at SummerSlam and had a cheap finish, so we get a rematch, where the loser gets stuffed into a coffin, hand-made by the Undertaker, and designed with the same images as Kamala's body paint. Undertaker stalks and Kamala runs. In the ring, and Kamala hammers away on Undertaker with chops. Undertaker no-sells, of course, and fights back with thrusts to the throat. Undertaker with a wristlock and his signature rope-walk clothesline across the back of the head. The action spills outside, where Kamala takes advantage and rams Undertaker into the ring steps. Undertaker is selling this offense outburst, but not very well. Kamala hammers away and rams Taker into the steps again. Kamala grabs a chair and bashes Undertaker across the back. Into the ring we go, and Kamala remains in control. Kamala with a sloppy scoop slam, but Undertaker sits back up. Kamala with another slam, and another sit up from Undertaker. Kamala slams him a third time, but no sit up this time. Kamala comes off the ropes with a series of splashes. Kim Chee knocks Bearer off the apron and takes command of the urn, but Undertaker sits up to retrieve his urn and knocks Kamala out with it before returning it to his manager. Undertaker comes back over and pins Kamala for the three count at 5:27. Afterwards, Undertaker rolls Kamala into the coffin, and nails it shut for good measure. Kamala would turn face following this and feud with his former handler, before disappearing in the summer of '93. DUD Match sucked, by the way.
Whip to the corner, and Bret with his patented chest-first bump. That only gets a two count, and Michaels goes to the chinlock. Bret fights back with an overhead wristlock, but Shawn yanks him back down with a hair pull and goes back to the chinlock. Bret escapes with elbows, but Shawn quickly ends that comeback with a dropkick, covering for a two count. Back breaker by Michaels gets another two count, and it's back to the chinlock. Bret fights out of the hold again, and surprises Shawn with a swinging neck breaker. Both men get back to their feet, and Shawn drives a fist into the throat of Bret. Shawn stomps away on the Champ before applying a front facelock. Bret escapes with shoulders to the midsection. Irish whip to the corner and Bret boots a charging Michaels, then takes him down with a bulldog. Bret to the middle rope, but he misses an elbow drop. Irish whip, and Shawn bounces off with a diving back elbow for a two count, then goes back to the front facelock. Bret battles back to his feet and small packages Michaels for a two count. Bret avoids a charge to the corner and takes Michaels down with a back suplex. Bret with a headlock, and then sends Michaels face-first into the turnbuckle. Bret hammers away on the midsection of Michaels, then whips him hard to the corner. Bret crotches Michaels across the top rope. Irish whip, and Bret with a ba-a-ack body drop for a two count. Irish whip, and Hart with a fist to the midsection followed by a russian leg sweep for another two count. Bret with a back breaker, followed by a second rope elbow for another two count. Bret sets Michaels up on the top rope and takes him over with a super-plex, but he's slow to cover, and only gets two for it. Bret with a sleeper hold, and we get a referee bump... but it's not too serious. Bret goes for an atomic drop, but Shawn counters and leverages Bret out of the ring, just as Bret did to him at the start of the match. Shawn rams Bret into the ring post then slams him on the arena floor. Back in the ring, and Bret gets whipped hard to the buckle. Irish whip and back drop by Michaels for a two count. Bret with a surprise roll up for a two count, as well. Michaels connects with a reverse crescent kick, but it wasn't his signature move, yet. Michaels calls for the end, but Bret counters his back suplex with a rake of the eyes. Slugfest time, and Shawn ducks a right and nails his finisher, but Bret kicks out at two. Irish whip, and Bret comes off the ropes with a nasty sounding forearm. Bret dives at the trapped Michaels, but he unhooks himself, and Bret crotches himself across the ropes. Shawn to the middle rope, and he gets caught by the legs, and Bret applies the Sharpshooter for the submission victory and to retain the Championship at 26:40. ***1/4 Match started out pretty slow, but picked up half-way through, and the final 8-10 minutes were pretty darn exciting. For some reason, after the match, Bret celebrates his victory with Santa Claus. Don't ask. For the love of God, please don't ask.
Final Thoughts: Well, I can't say the experiment of switching from the original concept to a generic style PPV was a good thing. The two headlining matches were pretty good, but one featured a cop-out finish. The rest of the card just sucked entirely, with a lot of bad storylines having to be blown off and just a weak roster, in general. I can't say it would've been better with all elimination matches, either. In short, the good matches aren't amazing, and it's just not a memorable show. Mild Recommendation to Avoid.