Brett Mix’s- WWF “Survivor Series 1988” Review:
“The Heavyweight Champion, Macho Man Randy Savage, feels the electricity, all over the world while other people do, but this team here the Mega Powers, they are bonded together, yeeeeahhhh!!!” -Randy “Macho Man” Savage
-WWF “Survivor Series 1988” took place on Thanksgiving Night, November 24th, 1988 and was held at the Richfield Coliseum, in Richfield, Ohio in front of 13,500 fans.
-This was the 2nd Annual Survivor Series event.
The main event was a Survivor Series match that featured a 5-man team captained by The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion Randy Savage) against a team captained by The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Boss Man). Hogan and Savage were the only survivors in the match, making Randy Macho Man Savage the first man to become a two time Survivor Series winner.
-Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura did commentary for the event.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer, and Jim Brunzell vs The Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Greg Valentine, and Bad News Brown (with Jimmy Hart) in a Five on Five Survivor Series Elimination Match
A ton of energy on team BABYFACE for obvious reasons.
The match began with valentine and Brutus. Beefcake who has the crowd fully behind him god knows why, gains the upperhand until Davis is tagged in.
Davis is leapfrogged by Brutus who puts him out at 1:18 and we have our first elimination, goodbye Davis.
The Hammer didn’t elect to waste any time going back to Beefcake and he dropped right down on him. Valentine was smart enough to soften up Beefcake’s legs before he attempts a figure four as wisely pointed out by Ventura.
All of the sudden it’s the late Owen Hart who comes in. I hate seeing him as the Blazer for obvious reasons.
Ventura puts over the Blazer’s aerial skill and he hits a nice crucifix. Jimmy come in with Valentine now and they go back and forth.
The late bad news brown (Wow, is anyone still alive) puts away jumping Jim Brunzell with a pinfall after Ghetto blaster at 5:12 after a solid duraiton of him getting roughed up in the heel corner.
After Santana works over Brown, he becomes distracted by the Hammer.
Face turn. He left.
Bad News is Counted out (Valentine accidentally hit Brown and he walked out)
Houston and Santana go at it, a bunch of inside cradle’s don’t work for either man. A charging Chico runs into a big boot. An irishwhip into a clothesline flattens Mister Arrrrrriba.
Bass puts away Houston after a Power Slam at 10:09.
The Ultimate one came in and cleaned house. Hart got the rub and he landed on Honky among other competition to a great ovation.
Blazer got to display skill here aerial move after aerial move, gut suplex to Valentine, monkeyflip to Honky.
Owen kept in control slamming Valentine to the canvas hart.
One aerial move too many and Hart is gone.
It took a Figure Four Leglock by the Hammer to put out The Blue Blazer at 12:29.
Honky drops a double axehandle onto Beefcake who still had all the support from the crowd.
Mayhem breaks out as brawling takes place everywhere. Honky tries a Shake-Rattle and Roll but Beefcake hits a backdrop. Beefcake is hung upside down on the top rope and flies back. Honky off the top runs into a shot from Beefcake.
An inverted atomic drop plants Honk. A sleeper to Honk right in the cener but they got shoved to the floor.
Beefcake and Honky are both counted out at 15:44.
At 17:30 a Pinfall after Double Axe Handle from The Ultimate Warrior to Bass.
In the end at 17:50 The Ultimate Warrior pinss Valentine to win the match.
The remaining survivor is The Ultimate Warrior.
This match serves fine as an opener but nothing more.
2) The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian), The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty), The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith and Dynamite Kid), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), and The Young Stallions (Jim Powers and Paul Roma) vs Demolition (Ax and Smash), The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), The Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond and Jacques), and The Conquistadors (Uno and Dos) (with Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Slick, and Jimmy Hart) in a Survivor Series Elimination match
Looking at all the names, seeing twenty guys in there, it’s no wonder this one was going to be long.
Michaels, Hart, Santana, Dynamite, Bulldog, Demolition among the great workers here.
A good blend of Power and wrestling skill here.
One team gets eliminated, both go home.
The match began with a ton of frequent tags.
Michaels showed his athletic abilit and applied some double-team work.
Almost everybody got a chance to shine here. Arn, Tully and Jannetty especially dominated by applying dropkicks.
Bulldog, Santana and especially the Rougeau’s got to work.
The first elimination occurs after Bret Hart puts out Rougeau by pinfall after Small Package at 5:22.
Bret is isolated by one of the best teams at this and that of course is the powerful Demolition.
Now they switch it up and the Brain Buster’s methodically disect one of the best sellers in the business. Ironicaly Shawn comes to Bret’s aid and he is now worked over by Demolition.
Power is crushing athletic ability so far here.
Tully and the Bulldog go at it for awhile showing some wrestling skill in this contest.
Now it’s the confrontation everyone in attendance apparently wanted to see. Smash and the warlord.
Demolition and the Powers of pain went toe to toe, a huge slugfest broke out. A big war between all the teams now.
The Anvil hits a running powerslam on Blanchard. Dynamite takes of Tully’s head.
Just watching these teams remind me how many still need to go in the Hall of Fame.
Jim Powers is eliminated by Boris Zhukov Pinfall after a Reversed Crossbody at 15:20.
The Rockers showed there unity now.
Boris Zhukov is put out by Marty Jannetty after a SunSet flip at 18:09.
It’s amazing seeing how something basic like a neck vice could gain such a roar from the crowd.
These days it would make an ungrateful fan chant “Boring.”
Back then they cared. It wasn’t just a work, it was wrestling.
Tully puts out the Hitman 27:03 after Hart applied a German suplex to Blanchard, but Hebner counted Hart’s shoulders.
Wait……..Earl HEBNER screwing Bret Hart at Survivor Series?
Never figured that would happen…
Shortly after both Rockers and Brain Busters, all four men get eliminated by a double count-out at 27:57.
Ventura suggests the ring looks empty now.
It’s also worth noting we get a strange camera angle throughout this one because of th twenty men wrestling.
Bulldog works on the arm of Smash and tags in Dynamite.
Demolition and the Bulldog’s kept at each other hard.
Smash is then eliminated by Dynamite at 36:02 after a Clothesline after Dynamite missed a headbutt off the top rope.
Smash is counted out at 39:33.
Fuji turns on Demolition and the crowd explode. This would set up some interesting things for Mania 5 in Atlantic City.
Demolition have turned face.
Now the POP, and Power Ranger wanna-be’s remain. POP help out Fuji. Commentator’s remain shocked.
In the end at 42:12 The Barbarian pinned Uno after a headbutt to win the match.
The Powers of Pain were the Survivor’s.
After Demolition who had the crowd’s support battled it out with the Powers of Pain.
You’ve got to give it to everyone in this match for the length it lasted.
This match had its great moments, however it definitely dragged as time went on.
3) André the Giant, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Dino Bravo, Mr. Perfect, and Harley Race (with Bobby Heenan and Frenchy Martin) vs “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Scott Casey, Ken Patera, and Tito Santana
The match began with “Ravishing” Rick Rude as cocky as ever trying to get into the head of Ken Patera, the fan favourite in this exchange.
The bell rings and it’s on.
Rude tagged in Bravo and after an initial shoulderblock went sour, Patera took it right to him driving his back logically into the corner of the babyfaces. Ken Patera can cut a promo like no other…and I truly mean that.
The Snake came in as did Perfect. Now Santana with an am-ringer to Hennig and he hits a shoulder block.
A hiptoss and a scoop slam to Perfect. These guys could work.
Tito catches an elbow. Bravo tags in and chops Santana, Jake comes back in as Santana tagged him back.
Everyone in the contest seemed hell bent on working on the arm of their opponent. Bravo with a power move. Race with a gutwrench suplex and a high knee, then another suplex.
Rude comes back in and dominated. Rude with a hard forerarm.
Eventually Patera had Hennig back in. Patera tagged in Duggan who drove Curt o the ring corner but Hennig fought back. Duggan flipped Hennig over the ropes by Andre but he cmae back. Casey tagged in.
Rude comes back as a pitbutll clotheslining his opponent then taunting with his pelvis. Rude raked the face in expectable heel fashion?
Duggan took on Rude and he came flying off the ropes running into a poweslam. Rude dropped the elbow.
Rude raked Duggan’s eyes after a collision. Patera scooped up Rude and slammed him hard to the canvas. Patera failed to hook a leg, a step slow and Rude lifted the boot and then his finisher.
The first elimination came after the Rude Awakening met a helpless Ken Patera at 8:18.
For the second elimination here Bravo put away Scott Casey soon after a side suplex at 9:27.
Santana rolled up anybody he could! Action frequent and furious. Andre grabbed Duggan and headbutted him in the corner while Bravo applauded cocky-like on the ring apron behind the official.
Duggan caught a ton of sots from Rick Rude but he dropped him with a clothesline. Santana and Bravo went at it! A good sequence of nearfalls. Race piledrives Tito. Still not to put him away.
Tito kept kicking out and Race wondered what’d he’d have to do.
Chico (Yeah, I can call him that. So does Jess) Santana puts away the King of wrestling Harley Race at 13:19! Everone loves the fact Race is gone. Andre chokes out Santana right away as he wasn’t too happy.
It didn’t take long for Andre to get revenge Sat on Santana’s chest at 14:40 to put him out. Hacksaw though manages to tie the Giant up in the ropes and the fans went absolutely wild!
Ravishing Rick sent Jake backfirst to the corner hard. Andre yelled for a tag.
André the Giant choked out Roberts in the corner. These two would face each other in a dreadful match at Mania 5 just a few months later.
Roberts fatigued after this destruction.
Jake and Hennig slug it out. Bravo came back in and Roberts signalled for the ddt but Rude from the apron cloheslined him behin the official.
It’s four against two.
Jake and Duggan against Rude, Andre, Bravo, and of course Mr. Perfect.
Rude stalked Jake and then planted a big right. Hacksaw makes the hot tag and he throws Bravo headfirst into the buckle.
Duggan DQ’s himself (Used his 2×4 on Dino Bravo) at 21:22.
4 on 1.
Roberts was all alone.
Jake “The Snake” had all the support but the odds were too stacked realistically. Back then the Federation was realistic when it came to Battle Royal’s or Elimination situations like this. Characters…not so much when you think of Hercules, Doink or Papa Shango.
Roberts waited for competition andit came with Perfect. Two fine workers.
Bravo used his power to wear Roberts down with a Roman Knuckle Lock.
Roberts had to go for a breather. Back in the Snake caught a shot from Bravo and Hennig on th apron.
Inverted atomic drop from Rude to the Snake and then methodically kicked at him.
At Mania 4 the two battled in a fifteed minute draw which some considered slow but I loved it. This was similar until Jake did the impossible here.
Roberts put out Rude after a pinfall after the DDT at 28:45 to a huge roar.
Then to help out the Snake, he caught a HUGE break. Andre DQ’d himself soon after (Refused to release his chokehold on Roberts) to set up their inevitable dud at Mania 5.
SO despite cutting the defecit from 4-1, to 2-1 Jake now was choked out by the Giant and Hennig got the three.
Him and Bravo celebrated as if the did all the work while Roberts layed on the canvas gasping for air.
So in the end at 30:03 Perfect put away the Snake after a headbutt from the Giant.
The Survivor’s were Mr. Perfect and Dino Bravo.
This match is phenominal, it doesen’t have that feel-good ending but since when does stop a Classic from being just that? It doesen’t.
Tremendous work throughout between some of the very best. One of the better Eliminaton matches.
4) Main Event- The Mega Powers -Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage (c), Hercules, Koko B. Ware, and Hillbilly Jim (with Miss Elizabeth) vs The Twin Towers (Akeem and The Big Boss Man), “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, Haku, and The Red Rooster (with Slick, Bobby Heenan, and Virgil)
Now after already a solid show to say the least we get the Mega Powers storyline before they exploded.
Bossman and the heels came out.
Macho’s music hit to a thunderous ovation and out comes the Champion with the babyfaces and a beautiful Liz.
Hogan gets his own entrance last. That’s fine and everything that he gets his own, he’s Hogan, it’s 1988.
BUT and this just isn’t the Savage Mark in me talking but why would the Champion go before Hulk? Just like at Mania 5? It’s no wonder Randy resents Hulk even twenty five years later.
The match began with Macho and DiBiase.
A re-match from Mania 4.
DiBiase ran from Hercules tagged in after the Champ did most of the work.
Koko, Akeem, The Rooster all getting a chance to shine.
King Haku slammed Koko and he rolled to tag in Herc for some reason?
It’s the Hulkster!! Hogan slams Haku into the leg of Hillbilly Jim, he covered Haku and got a two.
Haku fought back and tagged in Akeem.
Akeem lowered the boom on Hillbilly and he tagged the Rooster. Rooster attempted a slam but he got slammed. Hillbilly wanted a groin shot but Hebner assured he couldn’t. Koko came in an did more damage to the Rooster.
Macho Man comes back in after a beautiful dropkick by B. ware and the Rooter kicked out. Hogan came in first and damaged the Rooster up a bit before the boot.
The Macho Man Randy Savage who was the Champion at the time first eliminated the Red Rooster at 6:11 with his signature flying elbow drop and the fans loved it, the Madness was alive and well!
Mega Powers celebrating but Monsoon was correct in saying it was a long time from being over.
Haku took it to Savage and since he was by Hulk he tagged him in.
Haku who they were pushing hart at the time flattened Hulk.
Hulk slammed Haku now and the Mighty Hercules comes in scoring a nearfall. Akeem comes in. Akeem misses an elbow drop and the size difference isn’t there.
Akeem “The African Dream” put away Hillbilly Jim with a 747 splash from one big man to another at 9:59 doing the job.
Back to even teams on both sides.
Hulk held Macho Man up and he dropped the double axehandle. Bossman got his from Hogan. The big boot. A size fifteen and Hulk slams him.
Hogan’s shoulder block failed and Bossman hit a Spinebuster on Hogan.
Fans chanted for Hogan as the Towers deliver a double reverse elbow to Hulk off the ropes. Ventura suggest Macho and Herc are in big trouble if they are eliminated.
Bossman had Hulk whee he wanted him and drove the air out of his system.
The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase hit a clothesline then a series of elbows. Hulk then got up and shook his head and fought back.
Hogan gave his power to Herc and he hit a backdrop. Herc tagged in Koko.
Bossman put away the Bird Man after a Bossman slam at 11:45.
DiBiase put out Hercules pinfall with a Schoolboy after distraction by Virgil at 16:37.
Just seconds later the Macho Man eliminated The Million Dollar Man at 16:57 to a huge pop after a schoolboy.
It’s down to Savage and Hogan with Liz. The Mega Powers.
Haku, Bossman and Akeem were the three on the other team.
Macho worked on Haku’s leg and Hulk took over. Haku fought back on Hogan and hit a big thrust kick.
Bossman slammed Hogan to return the favor. Crowd very much in favor of the Hulk as Haku wore him down with a tapezius muscle hold.
Bossman celebrated after a side suplex, Slick wants Bosman to cover Hogan but for some reason he didn’t. Bossman from the top missed a splash. Now Hulk Hogan spots Macho.
Randy Savage makes the hot tag and he kicks away at all competition. Slick from the outside grabbed a leg of Savagae and Bossman clobbered the lowerback of Savage.
A bearhug to weardown Savage some more while apply pressure to his back.
Hogan doing what he thought logical and distracted the Towers and as a result the were counted out while Macho recovered.
At 25:09 Both Towers were eliminated after attacing Macho on the outside.
Bossman choked out Hogan with his night stick.
Haku and Akeem double teamed Savage in the ring meanwhile.
This is textbook storytelling.
Macho nailed Akeem out of the ropes but Bosman dropped him and choked him out. The beautiful Liz couldn’t do anything about it.
Now Akeem is DQ’d.
It’s down to Hogan and Savage against Haku.
Hulk tied up and beaten down, the Champ Savage was in a rough spot in the ring. Haku continued to deliver an elbow.
Savage tried a flying elbow on Haku. Liz gave Macho some words of encouragment. Haku dropped Macho.
Liz went for something and Ventura thought it was a wallet. Haku bombs away off the top and Savage kicks out.
Macho Man fell into Hulk after a thrust kick by Haku and Savage unintentionally tagged in Hogan.
You could guess what happened next…
In the end at 29:10 Hogan put away Haku with his legdrop and the fans go wild. The Mega Powers were on top of the world…for the moment anyway.
The Survivor’s were Randy Savage (The Champion who remained perfect in this match type) and of course Hulk Hogan.
This match was tremendous.
Savage and Hogan were mainstream success stories and with the upcoming explosion of the Mega Powers these were the final “good” moments they had together.
Brilliant way to end an awesome show.
Final Rating for WWF Survivor Series 1988 = 8.5/10
This show once again had four matches but most ratings high, and nothing bad. The worst part was the Ultimate Warrior who did a whole two minutes of work in the ring. Everything else was even better then the solid showing the year before. Get this edition of the Series! They also set up the Mega Powers exploding little by little…tremendous event.