Survivor Series 1989

WWF Survivor Series 1989
November 23, 1989
Rosemont, IL
Rosemont Horizon

The current WWF Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Hulk Hogan (4/2/1989)
Intercontinental Champion: Ultimate Warrior (8/28/1989)
World Tag Team Champions: Demolition (10/2/1989)
Women’s Champion: Rockin’ Robin (10/7/1988)

ALRIGHT! They kick off the show with some mini-promos where the superstars get a chance to tell us what they are thankful for this year!

– The Hulkamaniacs and Hulk Hogan are thankful that Hulkamania still has a stranglehold on the WWF!
– Ted DiBiase is thankful that you are poor!
– Jake Roberts is thankful that he has a big, long, throbbing snake!
– Demolition are just thankful that they don’t have to fight each other! Me too!
– The newly-crowned Macho King is thankful that he’s the Macho King!
– Jim Duggan’s looking more cross-eyed than ever. Oh, and he’s thankful for the USA or something like that.
– Dino Bravo is thankful for what little English-speaking skills he possesses!
– Dusty Rhodes, if you will, is thankful for all those yellow dots on his black outfit. Really, Dusty? I figured you’d at least be thankful for like a turkey leg and some mashed potatoes and gravy and pumpkin pies. Anything but dots. Unless it’s Dipping’ Dots! MMM!
– Big Bossman is thankful that he can yell and sound very angry!
– Brutus Beefcake is, ahh who cares.
– Martel is thankful for his good looks. My goodness, can you blame the man?
– Rick Rude is thankful because he’s got such a bangin’ body. All joking aside and in a completely heterosexual way, he’s got the best body in wrestling history IMO.
– Roddy Piper is thankful he isn’t Rick Rude, or should I say, dead? Ouch.
– The Genius is thankful for…does anyone else find him a little on the queer side?
– Mr. Perfect is thankful for being just so dang perfect.
– The Bushwhackers are thankful for basically what Dusty Rhodes is truly thankful for; the opportunity for gluttony.
– Bobby Heenan is thankful for his Heenan Family! Even Tully?
– Hey, Ultimate Warrior doesn’t do the promo right!

Oh well, let’s get this show started.

Your hosts are Gorilla Monsoon & Jesse Ventura!

  • The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, Red Rooster & Tito Santana) vs. The Enforcers (Big Bossman, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel & Honky Tonk Man)4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match

This is the first year where they seemed to have all the kinks worked out for the Survivor Series. They’d use clever little nicknames for the teams and changed to the 4-on-4 five match format instead of the insanely dragged out 5-on-5 four match format, which made a big difference. Looking back, basically all of Dusty’s team feuded with Bossman’s team throughout the fall of ’89 in one way or another, so there’s really no major feud that stands out besides Dusty/Bossman and Martel/Santana. Honky and Tito start things off. Tito grabs a hold of Honky, but then he breaks free and quickly tags out to Martel. STRIKE FORCE EXPLODES! Martel gets the better of Tito with a dropkick, but then Tito NO-SELLS an atomic drop and delivers one of his own for two. Martel elbows out of a hammerlock and tags in Bossman. Dusty comes in for some elbows and hits FLIP FLOP AND FLY. Beefcake tags in and gets stuck in the heel corner. Martel delivers a backbreaker for two. Beefcake fights back and tags in Rooster (poor guy) who’s on fire, but then he runs into a knee in the corner. The heels control Rooster for a good long while. Double-KO spot leads to a HOT TAG TO SANTANA! Tito goes crazy on Martel with dropkicks and backdrops and calls for the FIGURE-FOUR, but Martel counters. Santana tries to come back with a rollup off the ropes, but Martel rolls through and grabs some tights to gain the pinfall at 9:17. Dusty comes in as we get a shot of SWEET SAPPHIRE who’s in the audience. Dusty connects with the dropkick and the BIG ELBOW DROP, but Martel kicks out at two. The faces control Martel until Taylor comes in and gets nailed with a Bobby Eaton-style backbreaker. Bossman tags in and applies a very sweaty-looking bearhug. Taylor fights out with headbutts, but then Bad News tags in and pounds on Taylor all around the ring. Bad News is such a BAD choice for your team, but he’s only here because he’s subbing for the injured Akeem. He always proved to be a bad choice and this match is no different. He gets involved in some heel miscommunication and walks out on the Enforcers to be counted out at 15:29 to even the teams at three a piece. Honky controls Beefcake for a bit, which is as boring as a WrestleMania IV rematch from these two. Beefcake definitely improved BIG TIME in 1989, but still. He puts Honky Tonk away with a High Knee at 17:26. It’s Martel/Bossman vs. Dusty/Beefcake/Taylor. Martel grabs a chinlock on Beefcake. He tries to elbow out, but Martel beats him out onto the apron. Martel decides to pose and then turns around into a sunset flip. They do the Ric Flair/Ronnie Garvin bit where Martel tries to block and get the pin using the ropes, but Martel lets go and falls back for a 1-2-3. It’s Bossman vs. The World! Bossman misses a corner splash on the Rooster, but then catches him in a BOSSMAN SLAM to send Rooster to the back. Dusty and Bossman trade blows, but it’s Dusty who nails Bossman with a crossbody off the ropes for the win. (22:03) Survivors: Dusty Rhodes and Brutus Beefcake. Not a bad match to start the show, but nothing incredible here either. Post-match, the Dusty/Bossman feud is clearly unsettled, as Dusty receives a beatdown from the nightstick with Beefcake making the save. OH SNAP! Dusty BLADES! **

  • The King’s Court (“Macho King” Randy Savage, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo & Canadian Earthquake) vs. The 4x4s (Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ron Garvin & Hercules)4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match

Wow, Savage goes from main event heel to hanging out with the mid-carders in all of three months. Savage had defeated Duggan a month after SummerSlam on Prime Time Wrestling to be crowned king, but it made much more sense to change his name to the Macho King instead of just king. It was a gimmick change that he needed at the time without completely changing all the aspects to the “Macho Man” character. Duggan’s team all carry 2x4s to show team unity. Well, to chase the heels out of the ring with them works too. Oh, Canadian Earthquake is just Earthquake with “Canadian” in front of his name, who’s subbing for the recently departed Barry Windham and making his WWF in-ring debut. They would drop the “Canadian” part fairly soon. Savage gets distracted by the crowd and Duggan, which allows Hercules to attack from behind to start. He proceeds to press slam Savage into the heel corner. Savage tags in Valentine, but hey, Hercules is so hot right now that not even Valentine can do anything to him. Valentine gets caught in the face corner with some arm twisting, as Garvin tags in for some open-hand chops. Garvin grabs a sleeper, but Valentine falls into his corner and tags in Bravo. Garvin quickly avoids an elbow drop and tags in Herc. He goes crazy on Bravo until Bravo reverses a whip in the corner and tags in Earthquake. EARTHQUAKE SPLASH sends Hercules to the dressing room at 3:58. Oh my gosh, this leads to Duggan vs. Earthquake. Duggan can’t get Earthquake off his feet, so Bret comes in and helps out with some school-boy action. Garvin tags in for some pounding while they have the big man down and even delivers a standing splash, but it only gets two. Garvin becomes face-in-peril for a bit. Valentine sets up for the FIGURE-FOUR, but he gets kicked off into the corner and rolled up for 1-2-NO! Valentine is still able to bring Garvin back into his corner to maintain control. That is, until Duggan receives a blind tag and surprises Valentine with a clothesline for 1-2-3 at 6:33. Duggan becomes our new face-in-peril for a while until Earthquake misses an elbow drop and tags in Garvin. Bravo receives a GARVIN STOMP to set up the HAMMER JAMMER (sharpshooter), but Bravo counters with a thumb to the eye. Next, we get a little Bret vs. Savage match, which in 1989 was a good idea. Once Savage finds himself in trouble, Bravo tags in and gets a vertical elbow drop off the middle rope for two. Garvin tags in, but he’s immediately caught in a SIDE SUPLEX from Bravo for the 1-2-3 at 11:20. Alright, we’ll see ya. It’s now down to Duggan/Bret vs. Savage/Earthquake/Bravo. Duggan controls Earthquake for a bit with punches. What a shocker. Savage tags in to square off with Bret and gets tied up in the ropes on the wrong side of town, as Duggan cheats and chokes on Savage. Backbreaker and a small package on Savage gets two, but then Bret misses an elbow drop off the middle rope to turn the tide. Bravo tags in and puts on the bearhug. Earthquake tags in and delivers an elbow drop, but Bret kicks out at two! We witness another case of heel miscommunication as Bret makes the HOT TAG TO DUGGAN! Well, that doesn’t last long as Duggan already needs to tag out again and Bret comes in and gets stuck in the heel corner. Bret runs shoulder-first into the ringpost and takes a shoulderbreaker from Bravo to set up the MACHO ELBOW on the injured shoulder to put him away at 19:08. Very nice series of moves there. It’s come down to 1-on-3 again! Duggan clears the ring of the heels once they all attack him at the same time. He does okay against the heels until Sherri pulls the top rope down for Duggan to go flying out to the floor. Once he’s standing up, Earthquake nails him with a double-ax handle off the apron and causes Duggan to be counted out to give Savage’s team the win. (23:26) Survivors: Randy Savage, Dino Bravo and Earthquake. I enjoyed the Bret/Savage stuff, but the rest just wasn’t much fun to me. *½

  • The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts & Demolition) vs. The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Zeus, Powers of Pain)4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match

The Genius reads a poem for us for seemingly no good reason. Demolition had just recently regained the tag titles a few weeks earlier in TV time on Superstars by squashing the Brain Busters in just over five minutes. Roberts wants to start, but Zeus wants Hogan. Hogan obliges, but Zeus NO-SELLS everything and chokes Hogan to the mat! Hebner tries to yank Zeus off Hogan, but Zeus won’t let go! He finally does and tosses Hebner aside to get himself DQ’ed at 3:22. Zeus goes back to choking Hulk! DiBiase finally is able to get Zeus off Hogan so they don’t all get disqualified as Zeus heads to the back. DiBiase attacks the weakened Hulkster until he charges into a boot in the corner and Hogan makes a desperate tag to Roberts. Jake DESTROYS DiBiase by beating him in and outside the ring. The Demos pound DiBiase to the mat and control him for a while, but then DiBiase ducks a clothesline and nails Ax with a back elbow. The PoP control Ax for a bit until Fuji trips up Ax which allows Warlord to deliver an elbow drop for the 1-2-3 at 9:52. Smash becomes our next face-in-peril until he comes back and drops DiBiase for a hotshot. Barbarian receives a blind tag and surprises Smash with a TOP-ROPE CLOTHESLINE to put him away at 13:44. Gosh, what makes the Powers of Pain so special that they get to squash the champs like that? Roberts tries to sneak in and hit the DDT on Barbarian, but the DDT is blocked with a backdrop. Roberts becomes our next face-in-peril, as he just gets BULLDOZERED by the heels for the next several minutes. DiBiase hits the Piledriver, but Roberts lands in the ropes to avoid being pinned. Barbarian heads up top for a diving headbutt, but Roberts moves out of the way. HOT TAG TO HOGAN! The PoP attack, but Hogan puts them down with a double-clothesline. OH DON’T YOU GIVE HULK A SPIKE PILEDRIVER! DON’T YOU DO IT! They did it. The PoP get DQ’ed as a result at 19:44. It’s down to Hogan/Roberts vs. DiBiase! MILLION DOLLAR DREAM is applied to Hogan! His arm drops once, twice, thr-NO! Roberts breaks up the hold! You’ve GOT to be kidding me. DiBiase puts on the MILLION DOLLAR DREAM again, but Hogan counters by backing DiBiase into the corner. Hogan catches DiBiase coming down for a double-ax handle and makes the tag to DiBiase. The crowd is going BALLISTIC for a DDT. Roberts hits the Short-Arm Clothesline which is the prelude to the DDT, but Virgil hops up on the apron. He gets pulled in and takes a DDT for his boss instead. Right out of the DDT, DiBiase delivers the Fist Drop and pins Roberts with his feet on the ropes at 23:53. It’s now down to Hogan vs. DiBiase. DiBiase goes to a chinlock, but Hogan elbows out and finishes with the Big Boot and the LEGDROP. (27:33) Survivor: Hulk Hogan. Wow, Hogan defies the odds and wins the match! That’s refreshing! *½

  • Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & The Bushwhackers) vs. The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect & The Rougeau Brothers)4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match

Wow, no doubt a brawlers vs. grapplers match. It should be noted that Perfect is still undefeated at this point. This one starts off as a rather bland comedy match with the Roddy’s Rowdies biting on Mr. Perfect. How much you want to bet he tastes perfect? Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Jacques tags in and goes into excessive taunting mode and Snuka makes him pay. Snuka finishes Jacques with the SUPERFLY SPLASH for the 1-2-3 at 4:02. Perfect and Rude concentrate on Snuka, but even those two have some miscommunication problems. The Rowdies keep Perfect in their corner for a bit until Piper atomic drops Perfect back into the heel corner. Raymond tags in and they trade blows. Piper gets a sunset flip for two, but then Raymond comes back with a savate kick for two. Raymond then ducks low off a whip and takes a HIP-SWIVELING PILEDRIVER for 1-2-3 at 7:31! It’s now down to 4-on-2. Perfect comes in and does a number on Piper, which is pretty good. Piper comes back with a catapult into the corner and makes the tag to Butch. The ‘Whackers control Perfect, but then he kicks Luke back into the face corner for a tag to Piper. Piper levels Perfect with the big wind-up pitcher-style right hand to send Perfect flying into the dramatic oversell. Butch tags in for more biting, but then gets rolled up and pinned at 10:45. Piper runs in and tries to surprise Perfect with a rollup, but only gets two. Perfect finally breaks free of the face team and tags in Rude. Man, the heels are being TOTALLY buried! Luke catches Rude coming off the top, but gets nailed with the RUDE AWAKENING to put him away at 12:15. It’s come down to Piper/Snuka vs. Rude/Perfect. Snuka becomes the face-in-peril for the next several minutes with nothing really happening of note. He finally makes the HOT TAG TO PIPER! Piper and Rude fall out to the floor and brawl until they both get counted out at 18:36. We now have Perfect vs. Snuka. Perfect controls to start, but then Snuka fires back with chops. Next, they go through a short rollup sequence. Snuka comes out of the corner with a crossbody block, but Perfect rolls through for 1-2-NO! Snuka whips Perfect into the ropes, but he ducks low and sets himself up for the PERFECTPLEX for the win. See ya later, Snuka. (21:28) Survivor: Mr. Perfect. They took the lame road with Rude and Piper’s eliminations, which sucked. But Perfect was able to shine and he happened to make Snuka look pretty decent. Everyone else just kind of half-did the match. **¼

  • The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart & The Rockers) vs. The Heenan Family (Andre the Giant, Arn Anderson, Haku & Bobby Heenan)4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match

If you’re wondering why there’s an Arn Anderson without a Tully Blanchard here, the answer is simple: Tully Blanchard failed a drug test (intentionally or unintentionally, I’m not sure) and was fired prior to the show so Bobby Heenan is his replacement. Warrior runs into the ring about twenty seconds after the rest of his team and saves the day by sending Andre to the floor with a bunch of clotheslines. I mean, Andre is KO’ed and counted out at 0:29! The faces control Arn for a bit until he starts kicking away at Neidhart and tags in Haku. Those two trade some SERIOUS blows. The heels cheat some and then Haku catches Neidhart in the back of the head with a crescent kick and covers for 1-2-3 at 3:31. This leaves the Rockers to play around with Haku for a while. Haku finally breaks free with an eye rake and tags in Arn. Jannetty blocks a suplex, so Haku comes in to help. Michaels saves Jannetty and together, they give Arn and Haku STEREO SUPERKICKS! Warrior tags in and gets stuck in heel territory, but fights out and tags in Jannetty. He becomes face-in-peril as Heenan finally tags in and buries a knee to the gut, but quickly tags out once Jannetty starts swinging. Arn catches Jannetty coming off the ropes with a knee to set up a Haku crescent kick, but that only gets two. Heenan tags in again and stomps away before a knee drop and eliminates Jannetty at 8:50. You can tell Monsoon wasn’t ready for that because he spouts off the two-count line as Hebner drops his hand down for three. I guess he didn’t get the memo that tonight, Heenan can beat you up! Next, Warrior puts both Arn and Haku in bearhugs. Not at the same time though. That’d be silly. Next, Warrior tags in Michaels and delivers a ROCKET LAUNCHER on Arn for 1-2-NO! I can’t believe he kicked out of that. Haku gets a tag and he and Shawn have a nice little match. Shawn ducks a crossbody out of the corner and returns the favor off the top for 1-2-3 at 12:52! It’s now down to Arn/Heenan vs. Warrior/Shawn. Shawn gets double-teamed, which brings in a pissed-off Warrior. Shawn gets dumped to the floor and Bobby attempts to something off the middle-rope, but thinks again. That’s probably for the best, Bobby. Shawn comes back in with a sunset flip on Arn for two. Arn really needed a tag as he was being flipped over, but Heenan didn’t make the effort. Arn gets pissed, but Bobby tells him he was too far away for him to tag. Arn tags Heenan in, but then Shawn starts punching him and Arn has to tag in again. Double-KO spot ensues. Arn realizes he has to do everything by himself and puts Shawn away with a pretty SPINEBUSTER at 15:39. Warrior gets dumped and beat down on the floor, but then we have our dose of heel miscommunication and Arn staggers into a GUERILLA PRESS SLAM and the SPLASH gets 1-2-3 at 18:19. That’ll do it for Arn’s in-ring WWF career, as he heads back to the NWA. Heenan begs for his boys to come out and help, but it’s down to just Warrior and him now. Warrior beats Heenan inside and out of the ring and brings him back in for a Shoulderblock and the GUERILLA SPLASH for the win. (20:29) This gets match of the night honors thanks to the Rockers/Arn/Haku. ***

Final Thoughts: Everything just went as expected on this show. No surprises and nothing to make me go crazy over. Very disappointed in this show, but this was another Survivor Series where they were working out the kinks and trying to make it as entertaining as possible. That wouldn’t happen until they finally stopped doing only elimination matches and got everything right on the PPV in ’92. Thumbs down for Survivor Series 1989. Next up, Royal Rumble 1990! Be sure to email me your thoughts on my stuff and anything that’s on your mind!


Posted on February 13, 2008, in WWE and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Liked the review a lot..this is one of my favorite shows personally. Not sure why, just is.

  2. I’ve always wondered why the POP went over Demolition like that especially since they were about to be repackaged into singles wrestlers anyways

  3. Well, I’ve always liked this show from a nostalgia point of view, but Matt, your final thoughts section hits the nail on the head w/ this one.

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