With just three days to go until the 30th annual Survivor Series, this week’s Throwback Thursday goes right back to the very beginning of the Thanksgiving classic with Survivor Series 1987.
Over 21,000 fans in Richfield, Ohio enjoyed four Survivor Series elimination matches including Andre the Giant leading a team of five against Hulk Hogan’s side, as the Eight Wonder of the World aimed for revenge after a loss to the Hulkster at WrestleMania III.
It was all Team Hogan in the early beginnings as Ravishing Rick Rude struggled to cope with the onslaught of Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco in a very fast paced start to the main event.
They made their dominance count as Team Andre was soon down a man, when Hulk Hogan eliminated Butch Reed following a double clothesline move with Mr Wonderful and the immortal leg drop.
The babyface team continued to build momentum as they looked to used the extra man to their advantage but One Man Gang levelled the playing field by eliminating Ken Patera with a clothesline after Rude and King Kong Bundy double teamed Patera.
After all their dominance in the early goings, the match then turned in favour of Andre the Giant’s team when Rick Rude eliminated Paul Orndorff with a leverage roll up reversing Mr Wonderful’s piledriver attempt.
Don Muraco made it three-on-three soon after as he took Rude out of the match with a powerslam, but after he failed to lift up One Man Gang for the powerslam, Gang hit his 747 splash to eliminate Muraco.
The heels continued to impress as Bigelow looked in big trouble after a beating by Gang and King Kong Bundy but it was Andre who allowed Bam Bam to finally make the tag to Hogan, when he ducked The Eight Wonder of the World’s clothesline.
Hogan and the Giant slugged it out until Bundy grabbed Hogan and pulled him to the outside. As the Hulkster was preoccupied with slamming Bundy and Gang on the outside, the referee had counted the WWE Champion leaving Bigelow to fight three men on his own.
It looked like Bigelow was doomed but he managed to gain the upper hand on Bundy and while an elbow drop and a diving headbutt was not enough to put him away, Bigelow reduced it to two on one eliminating Bundy with a Slingshot Splash.
Gang looked to be in control of Bigelow but once again Bam Bam dug deep and eliminated Gang after he missed his 747 Splash to take the fight to a one-on-one match with Andre the Giant.
Bigelow used his athleticism to avoid a sluggish Andre but after he missed a corner splash, Andre defeated him with a butterfly suplex to earn the title of sole survivor.
However, Andre did not have much time to celebrate his victory as Hogan returned to the ring and nailed the Eighth Wonder of the World with the WWE Title belt.
Hogan’s early elimination was a shock but this was a very good main event which gave us some solid wrestling with Bigelow putting on an impressive display for his team, despite coming up short against the legend Andre the Giant.
The Tag Team division also got their chance to shine in a ten-on-ten elimination match as Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Bolsheviks, Dream Team and The Islanders battled it out with Strike Force, Young Stallions, British Bulldogs, Fabulous Rougeaus and Killer Bees.
Once again it was a fast paced start and after just 90 seconds, The Bolsheviks were eliminated as Tito Santana’s flying forearm was enough to put Boris Zhukov away in a flying start for the babyfaces.
The match continued in their favour as the Killer Bees doubled teamed Haku but after Jim Neidhart slammed Paul Roma, the momentum began to shift to the other side and they made it count when Ax eliminated Jacques Rougeau after he missed a flying crossbody.
The Young Stallions Paul Roma and Jim Powers were struggling to cope with an onslaught with Haku and Neidhart doubled teaming Powers and Roma having to put up with Greg Valentine’s powerful moves, but somehow the duo managed to stay alive.
Demolition kept the heels in control of the match but after they ignored the referee’s count in a double team assault on Dynamite Kid in the ropes, the referee disqualified them when Smash hit the official.
However down two men, as the heels continued to dominate as Bret Hart delivered a pliedriver to Dynamite Kid but after Islander Tama missed a splash to Roma, he tagged in Rick Martel who rallied against Tama until Jim Neidhart broke up a Boston Crab.
The Tag Team Champions were eliminated after Bret Hart broke up Santana’s pinfall on his partner and Jim pinned Santana to make it six-on-six and once again, Jim Powers found himself on the end of a beating as Hart Foundation and co. looked confidently in control.
British Bulldog began to pull the momentum back in favour of his team but could only scored a two count with his running powerslam to Haku. Haku managed to survive the onslaught and took out the Bulldogs with a savate kick to Dynamite Kid.
Greg Valentine looked to be well in control of Jim Powers but after he reversed the Figure Four Leg Lock, Dream Team were eliminated when Roma nailed a Diving Sunset Flip on The Hammer.
The action continued to swing back and forth amongst the remaining four teams but a cheap shot by Tama backfired as his dropkick to Jim Brunzell failed to pay off as he reversed Hart’s pin into one of his own to leave The Islanders fighting for themselves.
The Islanders fought for their lives but in the end the numbers proved too much as B Brain Blair put on a mask to switch places with partner Jumping Jim and rolled up Tama to give Killer Bees and Young Stallions the victory.
While there was some good wrestling in this match, it went on for way too long. Killer Bees and Young Stallions overcame nearly 40 minutes of action to win, but the match did lose my interest half way through the action.
The night started off with Honky Tonk Man leading his team of Hercules, Ron Bass, Dangerous Danny Davis and Harley Race against the team of Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Randy Savage in a very good encounter to start off the show.
Brutus ‘The Barber’ Beefcake gained the upper hand for Team Savage in the early goings with a number of arm drags to several opponents and Steamboat kept his side in control when he sent Race over the top rope.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan took the fight to Race on the outside but it saw both men being counted out and as the action swung back and forth after both teams lost a man, the heels were soon down another man when Beefcake’s High Knee eliminated Outlaw Ron Bass.
Hercules swung the momentum in favour of Honky Tonk Man’s team as the Intercontinental Champion tagged in to work on The Barber’s arm and made his dominance count when Shake, Rattle ‘N’ Roll took Beefcake out of the equation after a cheap shot by Davis.
Honky managed to avoid Jake Roberts DDT to keep his team in control as Honky and co. worked well as a team but after Roberts eventually hit his DDT to eliminate Davis, it all began to fall apart for the Elvis impersonator.
Jake ‘The Snake’ managed to escape Hercules sleeper hold to allow Randy Savage to hit his finisher the Flying Elbow drop on Hercules leaving Honky to fight for himself against three dangerous opponents.
Honky struggled to cope with the numbers and after Savage’ atomic drop sent him flying through the ropes,Honky and manager Jimmy Hart ran for the hills to get counted out and reward the victory to Savage and co in a very good opening match.
The fourth and final Elimination match gave the women a rare chance to shine and as Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Jumping Bomb Angels and Rockin Robin overcame the team of Sensational Sherri, Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello and Dawn Marie.
It did not take long for the first elimination as Ireland’s McIntyre took out Dawn Marie with a victory roll and soon after it was five-on-three as Christianello headed for the locker rooms after Rockin Robin’s running crossbody.
Rockin Robin continued to take it to her opponents and monkey flipped Lelani Kai across the ring, but then the champion Sherri came in to shift the momentum and reduced the deficit by eliminating Robin’ with a vertical suplex.
The action continued to swing back and forth as it did in every single match on the card and despite Moolah showing off some impressive skills against Lelani Kai, the former women’s champion was eliminated after a double clothesline from the Glamour Girls.
Velvet also impressed as she showed off some submission holds against Judy Martin and after the Irishwoman swung Women’s Champion Sherri around in the airplane spin, McIntyre eliminated the champion with a victory roll.
The match began to take its toll on McIntyre as she now had to fight with a bad back and Lelani Kai took advantage of the injury to take Velvet out of the match with an electric chair drop to even the odds.
The Jumping Bomb Angels were the stars of the match as their opponents struggled to cope with thier speed and innovative offense and after Itsuki’s flying crossbody took out Lelani Kai, Noriyo’s flying clothesline to Judy secured victory for the Japanese duo.
In a time when women struggled to find a place among their male counterparts, these women took a 20 minute chance to shine with both hands as the Jumping Bomb Angels came out on top as deserving winners in a good match.
While there was nothing wrong with any of the action at the inaugural Survivor Series, the action was somewhat boring and if you were looking for a Survivor Series to watch, I would not suggest this one.
The Tag Team elimination match went on for way to long and in the matches, the wrestling was very limited. The main event just egdes it to the best of the night award, while the women’s encounter was also a surprisingly decent match.
Survivor Series 1987
1. Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake and Jim Duggan df Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, Dangerous Danny Davis, Ron Bass and Harley Race in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination match
2. Jumping Bomb Angels, The Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin and Velvet McIntyre df Sensational Sherri, Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello and Dawn Marie in a 5-on-5 Elimination match
3. Killer Bees, Young Stallions, Fabulous Rougeaus, Strike Force and British Bulldogs df Hart Foundation, The Islanders, Demolition, The Bolsheviks and Dream Team in a 10-on-10 Elimination match
4. Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude df Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow in a 5-on-5 Elimination match