Brett Mix’s- WWF “Survivor Series 1989” Review:
“This year….I am thankful…. for being ab-soooo-lutely Perfect!” –Mr. Perfect
-WWF “Survivor Series 1989” took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd, 1989 at the Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois in front of 15,294 fans.
-This was the 3rd Annual Survivor Series event.
-This was the first Survivor Series event to feature team names. It was also the first Survivor Series to feature 4 on 4 tag matches instead of 5 on 5
-The main feud heading into Survivor Series was between The Ultimate Warriors (WWF Intercontinental Champion Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and Jim Neidhart) and The Heenan Family (Colossal Connection (André the Giant and Haku) and Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard).
-Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura did commentary for the event.
-Boris Zhukov defeated Paul Roma in a dark match.
-Now onto the PPV……………
1) Opening Contest- The Dream Team (“The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster and Tito Santana) vs The Enforcers (The Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and The Honky Tonk Man) (with Jimmy Hart and Slick) in a Survivor Series Elimination Match
After both two Survivor Series PPV events were considered successes, the Federation wanted to add to the American Thanksgiving spectacle!
So now during Series Elimination matches it’s four on four and we’re given team names.
The match began as Tito Santana started out with Honky Tonk.
There’s really no major feud that stands out besides Dusty/Bossman and Martel/Santana happening in the fall of 89 concerning these teams.
The Honky Tonk Man and Chico (Tito) Santana began off and the crowd were ready as always for the beginning of the Survivor Series.
Tito Santana and Honkey Tonk both former champions. Honky attacked Sanatana but he surprised him with a leapfrog and a scoopslam. An armbar onto Honkytonk. Jess says this match here could Main Event anywhere in the country. I don’t know about that. Martel in next and after a sequence of leapfrog’s Martel takes it to Santana.
Former partners that were Strike Force going at it. Atomic drop and a roll-up but a long two count. A go-behind reversaland a tag into Traylor. Bossman hit with a beautiful arm-drag on Bossman. Rhodes is tagged in and he unloads on the Bossman, the fans love it. A hard elbow shot to the Bossman out of the corner. In comes Bruti. Beefcake has his face raked by Bossman. Bossman rakes Beefcake’s back. Honky hit a snapmare then an elbow drop.
Brutus didn’t see the tag and Martel went to work on fatigued Beefcake. In comes the Rooster with a backdrop to the model. Martel sent the Rooter into Bossman’s boot on the apron. Honky Tonk man comes back in and dances. Honky tag in Bossman who drops the Rooster. Bossman and Rooster keep hitting one another with hard right’s. Bossman maintained Rooster in the middle of the ring with a camel clutch keeping him in. Martel tags back in hitting a snapmare to the Roosterand kneeing him in the face. A small package but no elimnation. Honky comes back in. Honky got caught by a sunset flip attempt from the Rooster. Ventura wisely points out Bad News had yet to be tagged in.
The hot-double tag was made. Strike Force goes at it again, Santana takes it to Martel originally but the Model counters the figure four and slams him to the mat. A switch and he got him.
So the first elimination came Martel eliminated Santana with a roll-up at 9:15 with a handfull of tighs. This obviously didn’t sit well with the fans given the feud and both teammates allignments.
Pressure now on the Dream Team as Ventura points out. Sapphire looks on. Beefcake comes in and Martel went for a monkey flip after a leapfrog but he got kicked in the kisser as Monsoon would say. The Rooster comes back in and Bossman does as well. The Bossman has the Rooster where he wants him then slaps on a bearhug. This goes into an abdominal stretch and Bad News finally comes in. The Rooster is dropped to the canvas floor. Bad News Brown choked the Rooster out and levelled him over the toprope. Bossman and Bad News on the same team both argue after an accidental collision. Honky Tonk and Martel both step in and try and make peace but Brown leaves.
So the second elimination occurs when Bad News Brown was counted-out after arguing with Boss Man and walking out on his team at 15:26.
3 on 3 now.
Now in the ring was Bossman choking out Brutus in the corner. Beefcake unloaded with heavy shots and then ran into an elbow from Bossman. Honky in shook, rattled and rolled Beefcake but he came out. Honky Tonk blinding Bruti with a head shot to the corner. Brutus bock a shot until his face is raked.
Third elimination occurs at 17:24 when Bruti eliminated the Honky Tonk Man wit a high knee. Great pop here as expected.
Brutus Beefcake wanting to start a momentum builder and Martel who is more rested comes in with a snapmare take over. Martel holding Beefcake in a sleeper.
Martel tried a leverage move but a counter by Brutus!
Bruti eliminated Martel with a roll-up (the same way he earlier eliminated Santana for some flashback revenge) at 20:13.
Bossman looked to be in trouble in the beginning as the Rooster went to workon the Bossmanu until he got caught.
So the Rooster is gone next. The Big Bossman after a Boss Man Slam at 21:00 took care of him.
It`s now two on one. The American Dream and Beefcake against the Bossman. Rhodes delivered shots and then Beefcakecame in delivering kicks. Rhodes back in delivering punishment.
In the end at 22:02 a Flying Crossbody was all the American Dream needed to put out the Bossman for the win.
Chicago goes crazy for the victory of the Dream Team.
In the end the Survivor’s were Rhodes and Beefcake. Two of the most annoying personalities in Company history.
Either way as mentioned the fans were happy with the result.
This match was an excellent opener.
Macho King`s music hits and the team comes behind him.
The Macho King says he’s thankful to be the onle one in the federation worthy of being known as the Macho King, yeah! (On the PPV intro)
On paper it looked like Savage would have to carry this team, him and valentine anyway, they were going up against Bret afterall.
Hilarious promo`s take place before the match. It`s nothing but comical seeing Bret bop his head holding a 4×4.
The match began with Hercules who tookit to Macho with a clothesline and then a powerflam slam. Macho tagged in the Hammerand he delivered stiff shots.
The Hitman is in and he drove his knee into the Hammer. Hacksaw tagged in and has the support of the crowd and choked him out. Garvinin, so is Bravo.
Constant tags and Bravo was sent to the corner. In comes Herc and Earthquake with an elimination.
Savage`s King`s Court up 4-3 in this situation.
So the first elimination came at 3:57 after Earthquake eliminated Hercules after an Earthquake Splash.
The Hitman helped out the babyfaces with his tricks of the trade. Garvin and Bravo battle it out.
Duggan eliminated Valentine after a charging clothesline at 7:32.
Garvin tried a schoolboy on Valentine. Savage come s in with a double axe handle, Macho is well rested. Garvin comes back in and he loses his power with a backslide attempt. Macho King Randy Savage comes back in and then Valentine slaps Garvin.
I immediately think of their classic and very stiff match at the Rumble in 91 I believe.
Bravo eliminated Valentine after side slam at 11:17.
Macho works on Duggan until Earthquake tags in. Fans chant HOOOOO and it helped Hacksaw was helped out. Garvin slapped away at Bravo and hit a headbutt. The Garvin stomp and he has gone all the way around. Garvin went for his figure four but Bravo tagged in Macho.
Hitman is tagged in.
Bret and Macho look eye to eye and the fans go nuts.
Macho King is being torn apart by Bret as he stomps in his mid-section. Savage knew he was in trouble so he tagged into Bravo.
Nice snapmare by Bret to Bravo then a beautiful elbow drop connects and gets him a two count. Garvin in is eliminated by Bravo after a side suplex. Duggan now had Earthquake. A tag to Bret and a double clothesline to Earthquake taking advantage of the double team.
Bret and Savage, the two biggest stars and best workers in this match have their oppurtunity to go toe to toe.
The Hitman waits in the center while Savage jumps up top and points. Bret gives hima headbutt and then a kick. Macho King tied up in the ropes had a few shots thrown at him.
Savage did everything here to make Hart look like a mega star which is probably why Hart respects Randy so much. The Hitman scored with a back breaker. Savage rolled out of the way and Bravo got tagged in and slapped on a bearhug in an attempt to weardown Bret.
Now it was time for isolation on the Hitman as Quake, Bravo and Savage all took him apart methodically with frequent tags keeping him their corner, Duggan was irate on the other side.
Savage was momentarily scared after Hacksaw got the hot tag. Savage worked over Bret and then tagged in Bravo who went back to work on a fatigued Bret. Bravo hits a textbook shoulder breaker to Bret and Savage hits an elbow drop.
Savage puts out the Hitman at 19:06 after his finishing elbow drop.
Duggan is left alone, Savage hugs Bravo and Quake as they plan out a strategy.
Hacksaw cleaned house and everybody went crazy. Duggan clotheslines both Savage and Bravo but Quake comes in and stomps on him as the fans hate it. Quake slams Duggan. A big elbow drop to Duggan from Earthquake. The late Tenta tags in the late Bravo and he rakes Duggan in the face. Savage is tagged in and drops a double axe handle onto Duggan.
Savage goes to drop his bodyweight on Duggan on the ropes but he moves and hits a modified atomic drop on Macho. Sherri grabs Duggan, drags him out of the ring. Quake makes sure he stays on the outside for the ten count.
So in the end Duggan was counted out at 23:25 after outside interference from Queen Sherri.
Macho King has his music play but Duggan goes 2×4 crazy to please the fans. The heels run off.
Randy Savage, Earthquake, and Bravo were the Survivor’s.
Savage remained perfect in this match type. (3-0)
This is how a Survivor Series match should be worked. Credit to Bret and Macho.
3) The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Demolition (Ax and Smash) and Jake Roberts) vs The Million $ Team (Ted DiBiase, Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian) and Zeus) (with Virgil and Mr. Fuji) in a Survivor Series Elimination Match
This seemed like the Main Event right here but I loved the way the spread out the talent in Survivor Series Matches back then.
A little something for every part of the show.
The match started with all members seemed ready to go.
Zeus and Hogan went toe to toe.
Hogan gets his shots in on Zeus but nothing seems to be working on hinm. Hulkster slams Zeus and rakes his face. A shot from the outside gives Zeus a chance to rake Hogan now.
At 3:21 Zeus is gone afteer Disqualification for shoving the referee. Big shocker there but the fans approved.
The Million Dollar man worked over Hogan.
A ton of power work in this match.
Demolition and the Powers of Pain both should be hall of famers. (As of this writing Dec 09, they are not)
Jake the Snake comes in for a bit and eventually tags back in moe power workers.
DiBiase and Roberts were feuding at the time and eventually had a solid match a few months later at Mania 6 in the Skydome. Here like at Rumble events they previewed that match type.
At 9:50 the warlord put out Ax pinning him after outside interference from Mr. Fuji.
Ted Dibiase put the Million Dollar Dream on the Hulkster. He eventually backed him into the corner.
At 13:42 Smash was eliminated by The Barbarian after big clotheline.
At 19:51 The Powers of Pain were both eliminated. Both men were disqualified for double teaming Hogan
Back to DiBiase and Hogan.
The Snake then went wild on Hogan.
At 23:51 Ted DiBiase put out the Snake after a pinfall with feet on ropes and outside interference from Virgil.
Hogan and DiBiase looked like it could of been a Mania Main Event and it was not.
Macho and Warrior alongside Hogan were just bigger.
DiBiase seems confident dropping Hogan with a clothesline.
The Million Dollar Dream is slapped on but with the Hulkamaniacs behind him he got encouraged and elbowed out and then both men dropped to the canvas after a double clothesline.
Hogan goes for an atomic drop but DiBiase hit a backdrop. Hulk stands up mad and fights back.
Hulks up and hits it.
In the end at 27:32 Hogan put away DiBiase with his legdrop
The Survivor was Hulk Hogan.
The Hulkster material was booked perfectly as usual around this time period.
4) The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques and Raymond) (with The Genius and Jimmy Hart) vs Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwhackers (Butch and Luke) in a Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Rude Brood. Cool name, but this was a decade and change before Gangrel and his own Brood came about.
The match began with Perfect and Snuka.
Jacques then came in after some waiting. Rougeaus hugged on the apron to gain some heat.
Superfly with a flying headbutt to Jacques Rougeau when he took his eye off of him. The Superfly hit a well executed back-breaker.
At 4:01 Snuka eliminated Jacques Rougeau after a Superfly splash.
Next was Rick Rude who posed but managed to tag in Hennig. Rude tried to get back in and Hennig accidentally held the ropes down. Snuka bonked both of their heads.
Piper came in and hit Perfect with a high knee lift. Luke snapmare on Hennig and a double-team by the Bushwhackers. Perfect beat on for a bit until Piper came inand hit an atomic drop and desperately made a tag.
Raymond came in but the Hot Rod took it straight to him! Fans ate it up.
At 7:30 the Hot Rod eliminated Raymond Rougeau after a piledriver.
Perfect came in angry and him and Piper went at it. Perfect hits a snapmare then a flipping snapmare, a signature move of Hennigs which got him a two.
Perfect on the upperhand held a front facelock on Hennig but he managed to catapolt him to the corner. A tag in to Butch.
At 10:46 Perfect eliminated Butch after a roll-up.
Now Piper and Perfect had a slugfest while Monsoon says he did a 360 in the air. Ventura points out Rude could be by himself Perfect is gone. Perfect keeps kicking out of Piper and his nearfalls.
Superfly Snuka held Perfect up after a double axe handle and then a headbutt.
Perfect knew he needed a tag to the Ravishing one.
Rude got caught in the bread basket apparently and more biting from the whackers, three on two now. Reverse thrust kick followed by the Rude Awakening.
2 on 2 now!
Luke is gone now after the Rude Awakening at 12:46 by Rick Rude to eliminate the Bushwhackers.
Rude held Snuka up for Perfect on the apron to get a few cheapshots in.
Rude does some posing and he rams Snuka into Perfect and his boot.
Frequent tags and now Perfect goes for a Perfect Plex but Snuka counters with a small package and got a two. Perfect fatigued so Snuka battles back and drops him.
Rude does not look very happy when he sees Piper tagged in and a huge slugfest breaks out.
Rude and Piper brawl to the floor hugging at one another because the rivalry seemed so intense. Piper and Rude had to be the thought for Mania but they switched it to Piper-Bad News.
Rude and Piper are both gone after a double-count out at 18:36.
Mr. Perfect and Superfly Snuka are left one on one. Piper hits hiptosses that sent Snuka out of the ring and he asks the crowd what they think of that.
Snuka suplexed back into the ring. Superfly attempted to fight back with chops and inside cradles but Hennig fought back.
Great climax here!
Snuka flies off the top with a crossbody and Perfect rolled him over and got a two. Perfect suplexed him.
In the end at 21:27 Perfect put out Snuka by his Perfect Plex.
The Survivor is Mr. Perfect.
A lot of credit to Hennig, Rude, and Piper in this one.
The balance to this show has been amazing, stretching the star power out.
5) Main Event- The Ultimate Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty) and Jim Neidhart) vs The Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, André the Giant, Haku and Arn Anderson) in a Survivor Series Elimination Match
The match began with Ultimate Warrior and everyone was a tad intimidated to say the least. No one wanted to come in until he flipped everyone in over the ropes.
Just 27 seconds in Andre is Counted Out after being knocked out of the ring by Ultimate Warrior.
Neidhart tagged in snapmares Anderson. Power on Power as one half of the Brainbusters. It never amazes me when warrior tried to be the center of attention even though he was on the apron.
In the ring Neidhart cleared the apron but Haku waited behind him hitting him with hard shots. Haku cornered the Anvil. Heenan gave the Anvil some cheapshots behind the official.
At 3:32 Haku eliminated the Anvil after a thrust kick.
Now Michaels came in and took it to Haku. The action went back and forth. The Rockers isolated Haku and Jannetty dropped blows to Haku after arm-ringers.
Michaels had Haku where he wanted him.
Action throughout between Arn who hits a beautiful drop toehold to Marty, Haku back in is worn down.
Fans chant weasel as Heenan has yet to come in. Heenan has yet to come in.
Haku and Arn work over Michaels and even warrior does some damage.
At 8:53 Heenan himself eliminated Marty Jannetty with a kneedrop.
The intensity evident through all the teams.
Michaels back in with a high cossbody.
At 12:54 Michaels eliminated Haku after a flying crossbody.
Michaels to the floor. Heenan goes to the top.
A sunset flip by Michaels from the outside and just a two and the action is amazing here!
Arn Anderson aka The Enforcer put out HBK at 15:47 after an Anderson Drop.
Now it is up to the warrior as he has both Heenan and Anderson left. The Ultimate Warrior comes in and delivers shoulder blocks.
Ultimate warrior put out Arn Anderon after a Gorllia Press Slam/splash combo at 18:19.
After he is eliminated Arn The softens up Heenan.
Eventually The Ultimate Warrior did what we all expected and sent the fans home happy.
In the end at 20:28 Gorilla Press Splash The Ultimate Warrior put away Heenan.
Shawn and Arn carried this match, Haku also deserves credit.
The Survivor was The Ultimate Warrior.
This match had a terrific first half carried by Arn, Michaels, Haku. Heenan did his job very well and warrior was warrior.
A great way to end a fantastic show.
Final Rating for WWF Survivor Series 1989 = 9/10
This show is a must have. Five matches, all of them great. Events like this is why you hear people say they miss the traditional Series Elimination matches. The booking and balance of star power was evident all throughout this entertaining evening of action. Arguably the greatest Survivor Series event up there with 96 and 2002. Get it.