WWE Vintage Collection Report: 1st November 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week is the start of our Survivor Series retrospective. Back in the day, the old ‘Thanksgiving Tradition’ featured teams of five that strived to survive in elimination matches. A concept lost in today’s zany world of WWE. A match apiece from the inaugural event held on November 26th 1987 and second annual on November 24th 1988, both from the Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio are on the menu for today. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura are the announcers.
The 1987 Survivor Series Main Event (featured on this show a year ago) is quickly summarised. Andre The Giant, in his first in-ring appearance since WrestleMania III is the sole survivor after lastly pinning Bam Bam Bigelow. Andre’s main rival at the time, Hulk Hogan, was counted out after tangling on the floor with King Kong Bundy.
TNA’s new acquisition will be back later for the 1988 portion of the show. We begin with Tag Team action…Brother!
Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel), Young Stallions (Jim Powers & Paul Roma), Rougeau Brothers, Killer Bees (Jumping Jim Brunzell & B. Brian Blair) & British Bulldogs vs
Hart Foundation, Islanders (Haku & Tama), “New” Dream Team (Greg Valentine & Dino Bravo), Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) & Demolition
Heel captains the Harts had recently lost the Tag titles to Strike Force. A multitude of managers including Jimmy Hart, Bobby Heenan, Luscious Johnny V, Slick and Mr Fuji are camped out in the heel corner representing their respective teams. The rules are when one member of a team is eliminated then their partner and manager has to leave too. We pick things up just after the Bolsheviks elimination, as Zhukov falls victim to a Santana flying forearm. Jacques Rougeau crashes and burns on a cross body attempt from the second rope and is pinned by Demolition’s Ax. Demolition work over Dynamite Kid on the ring apron and get DQed after Smash shoves the referee down. Dynamite survives a Bret Hart piledriver and avoids a corner charge, as Bret posts his own shoulder. In a funny line, Ventura mispronounces Tama as ‘Toma.’ Monsoon corrects him before Ventura states ‘it’s Toma if I say it’s Toma.’ On a roll, Ventura then gets the name of the town they’re in wrong. Whoops! Martel traps Tama in a Boston Crab, but Tama is too close to his corner and Anvil blasts Martel in the back of the head. Santana comes in to hit Anvil with a flying forearm, but Bret rescues him by crashing on top of Santana. Chico is down and Anvil takes advantage by scoring the pin. Ventura states that the Harts have shot back into No 1 contention after eliminating the Tag champs. Talk shifts to the hard heads of the Islanders and inexperience of the Stallions who keep taking a licking from their opponents. Ventura warns that always ending up in trouble is going to catch up to the Stallions. Davey Boy Smith press slams Bret, then brings Haku in for a running powerslam. Dynamite tags from a perched position, as Davey suplexes Haku. Dynamite lands a falling headbutt, but comes off worse for it. Must be that hard Islander head. Haku wipes him out with a reverse thrust kick and the British Bulldogs are gone. During commercials, Paul Roma eliminates Greg Valentine with a top rope sunset flip, as Valentine goes for the figure four leglock on Jim Powers. We’re down to the Islanders and Harts against the Stallions and the Bees. Haku and Anvil dish out dropkicks and a powerslam to Roma. Roma ducks under Bret to tag in Brunzell. With everyone in the ring, Brunzell hoists up Bret, Tama dropkicks, Bret falls on top of Brunzell, but the Killer Bee rolls through to pin the Hitman and sting the Harts. Tama’s interference backfires! The Islanders and Bees go back and forth. With the ring crowded once more, illegal man B. Brian Blair takes advantage of the bedlam to pull a mask on and sunset flip Tama for the winning pinfall. Brunzell nips out during the pin to also don a mask and with the referee none the wiser and Ventura calling foul we have our survivors: KILLER BEES & YOUNG STALLIONS. The Stallions occupied the slot left by the Rockers after their very short first tenure, but were ultimately a Jobber to the stars Tag Team, just like the Conquistadors were. However, just like the Stallions here, the Conquistadors also enjoyed a brief flourish in the sun in the same type of match one year later, by being the last team eliminated from a very strong list of teams. This was an entertaining opener which provided momentary glimpses of nostalgic feuds (Bulldogs/Islanders, Harts/Bulldogs, Harts/Strike Force). This type of match isn’t likely to happen again anytime soon as I doubt that there’s even ten Tag Teams on the whole of WWE’s current roster. That’s a sad state of affairs.
Our Main Event comes from the 1988 show. The Mega Powers (Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage) are joined by Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim and Hercules as they prepare to face The Twin Towers (Big Boss Man and Akeem), Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase, King Haku and The Red Rooster. Cock-a-doodle doo! The Mega Powers had just entered into a feud with the Towers and the only other noteable issue was Hercules rejecting DiBiase’s slave offering, thus turning himself babyface.
In pre-match promos, Savage tells Sean Mooney that the Mega Powers have bonded together. Koko says they’re hot and can’t lose. Hillbilly promises we’ll feel the heat from this kitchen, while Hercules realises he no longer has to stand alone, welcomes DiBiase to the jungle and promises he’ll get what he needs. Hogan finishes by stating there are no weak links in this chain. The Mega Powers team has bonded as one, in body, mind, soul and physical abilities (everyone unites hands). Hogan feels sorry for the other team, as his team has Macho, an aerial assault (Koko), a mountain man, (Hillbilly) and the strongest man in the world (Hercules). What’cha gonna do when the Mega Powers run wild on you.
The heels are with Mean Gene. Slick notes a system of elimination that will not be denied. DiBiase says Hercules will realise his position in life, as his slave, before promising that the celebratory champagne and caviar is on ice. Akeem says we’re looking at the Survivors, while Bobby Heenan says he and everyone else will be showing the proper respect to King Haku. Okerlund hilariously asks Rooster if he can talk. Rooster says ‘yes but wait until you see me wrestle.’ He then promises Heenan that he won’t let him down. Haku wants everyone to bow for the King. Boss Man states his team are survivors before vowing that when his and Hogan’s paths cross, he will hurt him and leave him laying like the dog he is.
Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hillbilly Jim, Hercules & Koko B. Ware vs
Big Boss Man, Akeem, Red Rooster, King Haku & Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
Bobby Heenan, Slick and Virgil are in the heel corner, while Elizabeth is also out to cheer on the Mega Powers. Red Rooster is the first to be cooked early on. Hillbilly counters a slam, while Koko lands a powerslam and top rope missile dropkick. Hogan gives Rooster a big boot and slam, before Savage finishes him off with a top rope elbow. Team Hogan celebrate in the ring. Hillbilly staggers Akeem with a big boot, but Akeem runs him into the corner to counter a bearhug. Akeem meets Hillbilly out of the corner with a clothesline and a big splash takes care of Hillbilly Jim. Team Hogan take it in turns to work over Akeem, but no-one can get him off his feet. Koko dropkicks him into the corner, misses a charge, and is eliminated after a Boss Man slam. After commercials, Hogan is being worked over. Hogan ‘Hulks up’ to atomic drop DiBiase and allow Hercules to get his hands on him. Herc pounds away, landing a backbodydrop, kneelift and a couple of clotheslines. Virgil trips Herc to stop his momentum. As Herc manhandles Virgil, DiBiase schoolboys him from behind for the pin. What’s good for the goose though is good for the gander because as DiBiase gloats, Savage sneaks up from behind to schoolboy him out of contention. Ohhhh Yeahhhhh! The Twin Towers punish Hogan until Boss Man misses a top rope splash. Savage runs wild on the Towers and Haku until Slick trips him. Boss Man utilises a bearhug as Slick grabs Elizabeth by the arm. Hogan rushes to the rescue and decks Slick, but the Towers handcuff Hogan to the ropes. Boss Man is counted out, so he beats/chokes Hogan with his nightstick. Boss Man uses the device to whack Savage in the back, and Akeem gets DQed for shoving the referee. The Towers leave after Akeem splashes Savage. Slick taunts Hogan with the keys and Savage realises there’s no-one to tag. Slick holds Savage on the apron, but Savage dodges a kick and Slick takes the hit. Hogan kicks Heenan down and Liz picks Slick’s pocket for the keys to unlock Hogan. According to Ventura she was going after Slick’s wallet LOL. Haku has Savage beaten after a top rope splash but foolishly kicks him into the path of Hogan. The Hulkster tags in and makes short work of the King with a big boot, slam and legdrop, The Mega Powers survive and celebrate with Liz. As Hogan hoists Liz up, Savage flashes a subtle but questionable look towards Hogan to begin the slow burn of the Mega Powers exploding at WrestleMania V. This was great storytelling, sadly missing from some of today’s top angles, due to too many PPVs and hotshotting big money matches with not enough build.
Okerlund promises that we’ll see the debut of the most prolific superstar in WWE history next week. He reassures us it’s not the Gobbledy Gooker (phewph) so it must be the Undertaker. That means Survivor Series 1989 and 1990 will come under the microscope. Nice!
A very enjoyable show this week, especially for Haku fans, given his heavy presence. I wonder if Hulk’s presence will decrease now that he’s signed with TNA given his large involvement in the 1989, 1990 and 1991 Survivor Series. We’ll have to see.
Seeing the elimination tag matches has me excited for this year’s show, in the hope that they include some. In my view they would greatly benefit some of the current feuds in the sense of not rushing straight into the singles matches on several straight PPVs. Cases in point Rey Mysterio vs Batista and Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton. These feuds could benefit from a slow start and get fans really excited. Also on the other end of the scale, it seems certain angles have been building towards an elimination match. Example, William Regal’s stable against Christian and his ECW coalition.
Here are potential matches that I’d book in the Survivor Series style. Also, considering Bragging Rights still being fresh in the memory I wouldn’t water down that concept by having the matches interbranded.
William Regal, Vladimir Kozlov, Ezekiel Jackson, Zack Ryder & Paul Burchill vs
Christian, Goldust, Tommy Dreamer, Yoshi Tatsu & Shelton Benjamin
Batista, The Hart Dynasty, Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs
Rey Mysterio, Cryme Tyme, Matt Hardy & John Morrison
Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, The Miz & Jack Swagger vs
Kofi Kingston, Mark Henry, MVP, Evan Bourne & Primo
(This could further the Ted DiBiase face turn by not having him involved. He could cost Orton the match by accident or something along those lines)
Agree/disagree? What would you book? E-mail me your thoughts and I’ll publish the best results along with names in next week’s column. Shaun.
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.