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SURVIVOR SERIES FLASHBACK - 24 yrs. ago (11-24-88): Mega Powers vs. Twin Towers, Rockers & Harts, Warrior, tons of stars on four-match PPV card

Nov 24, 2012 - 12:10:04 PM
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PWTorch Newsletter Flashback - Survivor Series 24 years ago

WWF Survivor Series PPV
November 24, 1988
Richfield, Ohio
Report by PWTorch editor Wade Keller


Originally Published: PWTorch Newsletter #31 - Cover-Dated December 1, 1988
Newsletter available in PWTorch Newsletter Archives for VIP members - PWTorch.com/GoVIP.


On the Torch's PPV "Ringside Beat" was me, Wade Keller, who viewed the WWF's "Survivor Series II" on pay-per-view cable television. The wrestling card took place at the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio. The following is my report on the event, which was back when Survivor Series was used to set up WrestleMania. In this case, it was a slow build to Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage "exploding" five months later at WrestleMania 5 in April 1989.

(1) Ultimate Warrior & Brutus Beefcake's Team defeated Ron Bass & Honkey Tonk Man's team. Beefcake and Greg Valentine's team started. A minute into the match, Beefcake put the sleeper on Danny Davis (1st elimination) to which he submitted. A few minutes later Brunzell (2nd elimination) got hit with the Ghetto Blaster by Bad News Brown. Bad News was in against Sam Houston and tagged to Valentine. Brown held Houston while Valentine hit him instead of Houston. Bad News (third elimination) got pissed and left, so he was counted out. Houston was in against Ron Bass. He went for a monkey flip, but Bass held onto the ropes and drilled Houston (4th elimination) into the mat with a powerslam and a pin.

Next came the ludicrous part of the event. The Blue Blazer (Owen Hart) was about to come off the top rope with a splash onto Valentine, but Bass pushed the Blazer off the top rope. Blazer landed on his knees and Valentine cinched in his figure-four leglock and Blazer promptly submitted (5th elimination). Well, that made about as much sense as if MADD used Bud Light as a sponsor. Beefcake and HTM (6th and 7th eliminations) were then counted out when Beefcake put the sleeper on HTM outside the ring. Ultimate Warrior then double-axehandled Ron Bass (8th elimination) for the pin. However, Bass was the illegal man in the ring, giving the heels leverage for excuses. Ultimate Warrior then double-axehandled Valentine (9th elimination) for the pin and the victory. Overall, it was a really good match, but having Blazer submit is beyond logical in my book. They didn't have to bury him like they did. The match lasted 20 minutes.

(2) The Powers of Pain Team defeated The Demolition Team in a Survivor Series-style team elimination match. Several minutes into the match after 16 tags, the first team was finally eliminated. Raymond Rougeau (1st elimination) was pinned by Bret Hart with a small package. 12 minutes into the match and after 49 tags, the second team was eliminated. Jim Powers (2nd elimination) came off the top rope with a cross-body block onto Boris Zhukov, but Boris used the momentum to keep rolling and cover Powers for the pin. Three minutes later Jannetty pinned Boris (3rd elimination) with a sunset flip. 10 minutes later Bret Hart back-suplexed Tully Blanchard, who appeared to have been pinned, but Bret Hart's (4th elimination) shoulders were down and Tully lifted his at the two count. Right after that The Rockers and Brainbusters (5th and 6th eliminations) fought back to the dressing room getting counted out. This was supposed set up a new feud between former AWA and NWA Tag Team Champions.

Eight minutes after that Dynamite Kid (7th elimination) came off the top rope and missed a headbutt on Smash, leading to Smash getting the three count on him. The Powers then battled Demolition and Fuji kept getting on the ring apron. Fuji told Smash to run against the ropes and rebound onto Warlord, but when Smash hit the ropes, Fuji separated them, causing Smash to fly to the floor. Fuji hit Smash with his cane, then Axe attacked Fuji. Demolition (8th elimination) was counted out. The barbarian soon pinned a Conquistador (Jose Estrada (9th elimination) and the Powers of Pain were declared the survivors.

Post-match, the winners helped Fuji and held him above their shoulders in the ring. The arena fans didn't know that Fuji was supposed to be the heel and cheered a bit. The PPV viewers knew because the announcers set it up beautifully. Demolition then ran back to the ring and cleared the ring of the Powers. This was a great angle that came out of nowhere. The Baron is history with Titan. The match lasted 39 minutes.

(3) Andre the Giant & Dino Bravos' Team defeated Jake Roberts & Hacksaw Jim Duggan's Team. The Rude Awakening eliminated Ken Patera (1st elimination). Patera has absolutely no build anymore. Bravo then pinned Steve Casey (2nd elimination) with his sideslam. Tito then gave Harley "the former King" Race a flying forearm for the pin (3rd elimination). Tito went for the sunset flip on Andre, who didn't step into the ring until the 14:00 mark, but Andre decided not to roll over and sat on Tito (4th elimination) for a pinfall. Duggan (5th elimination) then decided to bring his 2x4 into the ring and use it on Bravo, which got him DQ'ed. Roberts then DDT'ed Rude (6th elimination) for a clean pin.

Next, Andre (7th elimination) was DQ'ed for choking Jake Roberts and not breaking before the count of five (that was the first time I had ever seen that rule cause a DQ). The choking caused enough damage that Roberts (8th elimination) was an easy victim for Curt Hennig to pin him. Curt Hennig and Dino Bravo were the survivors at the end. I was really glad to see them put Hennig over, and it almost made up for the Blazer submission in the opening match. Afterward, Jake got out Damien and ran the heels back to the locker room. The match lasted 34 minutes.

(4) The Megapowers Team defeated Akeem & Big Bossman's Team. First, Hulk Hogan set up the Little Red Rooster (1st elimination) for a Savage top-rope elbow drop and the pin. Heenan was very angry at Rooster while Slick was very upset at Heenan for allowing his man to get pinned. This hinted at an eventual Rooster turn to babyface. Akeem later splashed Hillbilly Jim (2nd elimination) for the three count. 12 minutes into the match, Bossman "Bubba Slammed" Koko B. Ware (3rd elimination) for an easy three count in a scene out of "Cool Hand Luke."

Hercules and DiBiase were then against each other for the first time in the match. Virgil tried to trip Hercules, Hercules shouted out of the ring at Virgil, and DiBiase kneed Hercules (4th elimination) from behind and pinned him for three. DiBiase (5th elimination) had his back turned to the ring as he laughed at Hercules and was rolled up by Savage for three. Bossman then went on to destroy Hogan, but never covered him in favor of administering more punishment. Slick then went after Elizabeth and started to pull her towards the dressing room, so Hogan ran to the rescue and attacked Slick. While Savage fought Haku inside the ring, Akeem and Bossman attacked Hogan outside the ring. However, since Bossman was the official man in the ring, not Haku, Bossman (6th elimination) was counted out and eliminated.

The heels went to handcuff Hogan to the bottom rope, then Hogan took a beating from Bossman's nightstick. Akeem was in the ring against Savage when Bossman came in and choked him with his nightstick. Akeem (7th elimination) was then DQ'ed due to Bossman's interference. It was Haku against Savage with Hogan handcuffed to the bottom rope. However, Liz soon solved that. Hogan knocked Slick down and Liz searched him for the key. She found it and let Hogan out of the handcuffs. Savage then got a hot tag to Hogan, who quickly disposed of Haku (8th elimination) with his legdrop. The Megapowers were the main event's survivors.

After the match, Hogan posed in the ring while an injured Savage was administered to by Liz. Liz went to Hogan to get him to help Savage, but Hogan just grabbed Liz and held her on his shoulder. Savage entered the ring and looked pissed at Hogan's ego trip, but then, as always, forgave Hogan and remembered that they were the Megapowers. Everything was happy once again and both posed in the ring. But, another straw was added to the "WrestleMania Camel's back." The bout lasted 31 minutes.

NOTES: Of the two hours and 40 minutes the card lasted, two hours and four minutes were wrestling action. According to my unofficial count, there were 224 tags over the entire card... It got an overall thumbs up from almost everyone I talked to. It was their best big event of the year... The Richfield Coliseum looked to have many upper deck empty seats... Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon did a great job announcing the event, which kept my interest and contained a good blend of wrestling action and storyline. I think it lived up to last year's precedent.


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