WWF Survivor Series 1988
Ultimate Warrior/Brutus Beefcake/Sam Houston/Blue Blazer/Jim Brunzell vs Honky Tonk Man/Ron Bass/Danny Davis/Greg Valentine/Bad News Brown
Some truly random teams. HOTM and Valentine at least have some kind of relationship. The rest of the heel team have nothing in common. No one on the face team has any kind of relationship except for Warrior filling in and stealing Brutus' IC title shot and then never giving him a shot. Beefer and Hammer start. Valentine is a weird case in the WWF. His style really didn't fit in at all in the bright family style of Golden Era WWF. He worked before the national expansion, but he always felt so out of place to me in 80s WWF. Danny Davis, the OG heel ref, is eliminated first. Beefcake, for as much as he sucked and was only around due to his friendship with Hulk, at least fit in. Similar to Hammer, Bad News Brown is even MORE out of place. He's essentially mid card real ass Stone Cold in 1988. I wonder how much farther he could have gone if he had a few less years and miles on him by the time he got to the WWF. He eliminates Jim Brunzell, who is no longer a Killer Bee, but a dude wearing USA trunks. Sam Houston is the scrawny half brother of Jake Roberts, and he gets REKT. Bad News and Hammer have a miscommunication, so Bad News walks out on his team. Warrior tags in and cleans house. Owen doesn't have a ton of ring time, but whenever he's in, he does some wacky (for 1988) high flying move to impress everyone. However, that also ends up costing him, as he was shoved off the ropes, landed on his knees, and Valentine eliminated him with the figure four. Beefer and HTM get counted out brawling on the floor. If only that had happened at the start of the match. Warrior is now left on his own against Ron Bass and Valentine. He eliminates them both with double ax handles. Warrior is the sole survivor!
Demolition/Brainbusters/Conquistadors/Fabulous Rougeau Brothers/Bolsheviks vs Powers of Pain/Hart Foundation/British Bulldogs/Rockers/Young Stallions
Can you imagine any time since 1990 that WWE could have done a 5 on 5 match with TAG TEAMS? Granted, a few of the teams are very low tier that would never be near the titles, but still. 20 man tag. And two tag teams are in the main event, so this could have been a 24 man tag. HBK, Bret, Dynamite, Bulldog, Arn, Tully, Demos, and PoP in one match sounds pretty fucking rad to me. Just that Arn and Tully were in the WWF completely unchanged in that era is great. I can't even imagine the nightmare it would be to lay this match out. I will assume that's why each interaction is basically a new match. The Rougeaus are the first to be eliminated via a Bret Hart small package...OUTTA NOWHERE! That kind of sucks. Fabs are FnP, even though the Mountie was dogshit as a singles guy. Oh wow, Roma's vertical leap is impressive as fuck. Fucker jumped to the top rope with ease from a standing position with no momentum behind him. Barb tags in and immediately hits the big boot. My man. There is quite a bit of NWA representation in this match, which is kind of weird. Arn and Tully and PoP are unchanged from the NWA, both members of Demolition made their names in the NWA, and then in later matches you have NWA Champion Harley Race and Big Bubba. Spinebuster crushes HBK, but he kicks out. A spinebuster on 80s WWF ring sounds like the worst move in the world. Wow wtf is Barb doing? Some weird flying kitchen sink to the chest/head. It was almost a BOMA YE. Who would have thought Barbarian would work so well as FIP? So much lost money on him, both as a big face and a top heel. Can not believe he didn't get the monster push against Hogan. This match makes me wish there was a 14 minute Bret/Tully singles match somewhere on tape. Bret eliminates himself doing a German suplex. What a dumb dumb. Rockers and Brainbusters get counted out fighting to the back. It's now down to Demos/Conquistadors vs Bulldogs/PoP. Bulldogs are out, leaving PoP alone. Fuji keeps getting up on the apron for some reason. He low bridges Smash. What SWERVE! Smash is counted out. Fuji then blasts Ax with the cane. Ax then hits a brutally stiff slam on the floor. PoP check on Fuji. Fuji trips up a Conquistador, giving the PoP the win. The fans don't seem to recognize that the PoP turned heel until they had Fuji on their shoulders. Demos return and brawl.
TO THE MOON. Bad News is the guest. He smelted a conspiracy in that ring. He's only concerned about the title.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene gets the hot scoops with PoP and Fuji. Fuji turned on Demos because Demolition got too big for their britches.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Now Gene is with the Heenan Family. What a team. Andre, Harley, Perfect, Rude. And Dino.
TO THE MOON. The Mega Powers, YEAH. YEAH!
Jake Roberts/Ken Patera/Tito Santana/Scott Casey/Jim DOOGUN vs Andre The Giant/Dino Bravo/Rick Rude/Mr. Perfect/Harley Race
How the fuck did Scott Casey get into this match? Ken Patera's return from a prison bid was completely underwhelming. Any charisma and look he had must have been left behind in the clink. "Mr. Perfect" is still just the nick name at this point. He's officially Curt Hennig and is still wearing trunks instead of the neon singlets he'd be known for. Harley looks to be about 70 years old. Patera doesn't look much younger. And to be honest, Jake never looked young even when he was young. Scott Casey also has that unfortunate hairline that makes him look 10 years older than he is. NEWSFLASH: Duggan still sucks. Tito spends the most time in the ring for the faces. Not a big surprise there. Of course, Andre gets tied up in the ropes, as he tended to do in pretty much every match after 1987. As not good as Dino is, he did have a dope piledriver. Duggan gets DQ'd for using his 2x4 in the fucking ring, then getting confused about why that was illegal. His BULLSHIT response was dumb as shit. This fuck head cheated his entire career and seemed confused anytime he would get in trouble for it. Was his gimmick that he was a legitimate idiot who didn't understand the rules? Jake is left alone to face Perfect, Rude, Andre, and Dino. Jake is over as a mug, too. God damn. DDT OUTTA NOWHERE eliminates Rude. Jake is another guy you wouldn't expect to be such a good face from underneath, but he sure is. He's one of the best of all time at being able to tweak his character just enough to turn face while not changing the core of what made him a great heel. He was basically the same guy, but the subtleness between heel and face Jake is what impresses me the most. Andre gets himself disqualified for choking Jake, but by that point, Jake was dead and Mr. Perfect was able to easily swoop in and get the win for his team. Oh, and Harley threw a fucking dropkick in this.
TO THE MEAN GENE. Gene is with the Twin Towers, DiBiase, Haku, and...the Red Rooster. What a weird final member.
Akeem/Big Bossman/Haku/Ted DiBiase/Red Rooster vs Hulk Hogan/Randy Savage/Hercules/Koko B. Ware/Hillbilly Jim
Ted and Macho begin. Red Rooster's whole point of existence was that Brain was being cocky and thought he could make anyone a star, even someone with as stupid of a gimmick as "The Red Rooster". And then Rooster turned face on him and...went even harder with the gimmick instead of dropping it to be Terry Taylor. And now, a very solid dude who could have been in the Perfect/Rude/Jake tier is remembered for a goofy ass gimmick. So weird. Koko was also pretty dope before he got a bird, but that was far less harmful to his career. It actually helped his. Rooster is eliminated first, but at least he got to main event a WWE PPV. Akeem is another wacky ass gimmick. Offensive as shit, as well. And such a weird thing to go to from after being the One Man Gang for years. All just to take a shot at Dusty, who they'd hire next year anyway. The entire team is unable to take Akeem down. All of them in a row. Even Hogan. Koko is clipped by a Boss Man Slam. It also takes a ton before Boss Man goes down. Virgil distracts Herc, which allows Ted to roll up him. Mind you, in the pre-match promo, Ted said that Herc belonged as his "slave", while standing next to Virgil. And then Ted is rolled up by Macho, leaving Mega Powers vs Twin Towers/Haku. What this really means is a lot of ring time for Haku. Slick tries to kidnap Liz. Hogan runs off and decks him. The Towers run after Hulk and handcuff him to the bottom rope. The Boss Man was counted out during this. I'm not sure why Hogan and Akeem weren't, since guys fighting outside of the ring area even when not the legal man was a count out for the first 5-6 years of Survivor Series matches. Boss Man doesn't leave ringside and continues to beat on Hogan and Savage. During this, Akeem is disqualified. Of course, Hogan is freed and immediately wins the match. Then does his big pose down stuff while not even checking on the nearly dead Macho. And THEN he picks Liz up. Macho is not pleased. How does Hulk not realize Macho is super pissed at him? He just keeps smiling away while Macho is clearly very angry and yelling.
This will always be my favorite era, not because it is full of great wrestling (it isn't), but because it is full of good characters, good promos, and everything makes sense.