Vince McMahon and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan welcome us to The Coliseum in Richfield Ohio on the 25th day of November for the 1992 Survivor Series. The run down a few of the matches on the card and hit on a couple storyline points before throwing it down to the ring for the first match.
Match 1: High Energy (Koko B. Ware and Owen Hart) VS The Headshrinkers (Samu and Fatu) w/Apha
The match starts off hot with Owen getting the upper hand. A no-sell by Samu and Fatu on a double head butt leads to Koko losing the advantage. They work Koko over for quite a while until a missed corner splash gets the opening for a hot tag to Owen. He comes in and wreaks havoc on the two Samoans but gets caught by a big powerslam and then a splash off the top rope. The Headshrinkers win.
Not the best match. Its fun to see Owen in the ring and just about any Samoan tag team is good but Koko is anything but high energy and their gear is just awful. This just isn’t a great match and seems to not really be happening for any real reason other than to fill a place on the card.
Match Grade: C
Leading into the next match we get a pair of promos from Nailz and Big Boss Man. Nailz has some sort of voice modulation going on that is more distracting than intimidating. Boss Man is always a good promo and the way he cuts it short when he sees Nailz in the ring is well done.
Match 2: Nailz VS Big Boss Man - Nightstick on A Pole Match
This match is awful because this match’s gimmick as awful. These X on a pole matches are never good for a myriad of reasons. The pole is usually too high and the device holding the weapon is too flimsy to survive long. The stipulation that the person who retrieves the weapon is the only one who can use it is preposterous and is never enforced. The whole thing is a waste of time and so was this match. Boss Man gets the nightstick first and wins.
Match Grade: F
Between matches they run a video of Mr. Perfect turning babyface and agreeing to join “Macho Man” Randy Savage as his tag partner. We’re then treated to a promo from their opponents, Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Flair is fired up and seems like he’s ready to fight just about anyone while Razor is cool as a cucumber.
Match 3: “The Model” Rick Martel VS Tatanka
Tatanka gets the advantage early is this one and sends Martel to the floor twice before Martel can use that time to regroup and get the momentum in his corner. Around this time Doink the Clown comes out and starts making balloon animals. We see a false comeback from Tatanka and then more of Doink. Tatanka gets a comeback and starts working over Martel’s arm. Martel, however, tosses Tatanka to the floor and regains the upper hand. He goes for a big move off the top rope that is countered and starts a huge flurry of offense from Tatanka that leads to him getting the pin. Tatanka wins and Doink pops the balloon animals and runs away.
I would have enjoyed this match so much more if not for Doink. His presence and the amount of screen time he gets take a lot away from the good mid-card match that’s going on in the ring. Martel and Tatanka are both decent workers and it does them a disservice to spend half their match watching a wrestler dressed as a clown act goofy.
Match Grade: C+
The next thing we see is Savage and Perfect in the locker room set giving their promo before their showdown with Ric and Razor. They give a great promo and seem to be ready for the contest.
Match 4: Ric Flair and Razor Ramon VS “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect
The entrances in this match take a long time and during this whole match Heenan is upset about Perfect’s change of heart and his teaming with Savage. Once it finally starts you can get that ‘big fight’ feel even as they’re feeling each other out. Flair and Perfect get in the ring and Perfect ends up with the advantage. Savage tag in and is forced to fight off Razor while trying to control Flair and ends up allowing the tag and losing the advantage.
Both of the heels work over Savage for quite some time. Razor puts him in an abdominal stretch then Flair hits him with the running knee drop. At one point Perfect starts to walk towards the back but thinks better of it and returns. Flair is extremely entertaining in this match, can’t tell you why but he’s running on all cylinders and makes the match that much better. Savage, after the beating he’s taken, looks to be in real trouble but Flair goes for a top rope maneuver and, as usual, is caught by his opponent and thrown across the ring. This sets up the hot tag to Perfect who is more than ready.
Perfect comes in but Savage and Flair start going at it on the outside of the ring. If you watch close you’ll see the weakest chair shot ever given during this sequence. Inside the ring Perfect counters the Razor’s Edge and delivers a Perfect-plex but there’s no ref to count the pin. A new ref comes in but Flair breaks up the count. Perfect delivers another Perfect-plex as the bell rings. Flair puts Perfect in a Figure Four Leg Lock and Razor goes to hit Perfect with a chair but Savage saves his partner. Perfect delivers the chair shot to Flair while he’s still in the Figure Four and he and Savage clear the ring. It’s announced that Perfect and Savage win via disqualification.
Highlight of the ppv. Everything in this match works to perfection, pun intended. Three of the four are great workers while Razor is still pretty green. We get all the ‘Ric Flair greatest hits’ moments but they don’t feel shoehorned in or out of place. Savage sells his ass off while Perfect does a phenomenal job as the conflicted former heel. The only critique I have is that the finish is a little too chaotic. It works but it feels like a bit of a letdown after all the great in-ring work.
Match Grade: A
Immediately following the match we get a promo from an even more fired up Flair and Razor. Flair tells Mean Gene to shut up quite a few times, it’s a good promo.
Match 5: Yokozuna w/Mr. Fuji VS Virgil
You can tell from the start that Virgil has no real chance of winning this match. He gets a decent amount of offense in, including some good dropkicks, but Zuna cuts him off every time. Yokozuna does a great job selling down, selling to Virgil’s level but not making him look too strong, and really shows why he’s so highly regarded to this day. Yokozuna hits the corner bomb and wins.
This one should have probably been a TV match and not a ppv attraction.
Match Grade: D
Savage and Perfect give their post match promo which is pretty entertaining, especially when Perfect pulls out Thanksgiving turkeys for Flair and Razor. He also has a Cornish game hen for Heenan.
Match 6: The Beverly Brothers and Money Inc. (Tag Team Champions) w/Jimmy Hart VS Nasty Boys and Natural Disasters – Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Match
They start this one out with the usual back and forth until the faces get the advantage. They all cycle in until Saggs loses momentum and gets worked over for quite a while. Blake works a headlock but there’s a double knockdown that allows for the hot tag to Earthquake. Quake comes in and even though the match breaks down for a bit, he still manages to hit his finisher and eliminate the Beverly Brothers.
Dibiase then enters and is down for a minute but gets the upper hand on Quake, so him and IRS work the big man over for a bit. Quake, eventually, gets a nice counter on Dibiase to set up his hot tag to Typhoon. His momentum doesn’t last long as he’s put down and the Natural Disasters are eliminated. Almost immediately after the elimination, the Nasty Boys roll up IRS and get the win.
There’s not much to say here as this match is mediocre and forgettable. Nobody comes out looking particularly well and the whole thing feels like they just wanted to shoehorn in a tradition Survivor Series match in so this is what we got.
Match Grade: C-
Next up is a video package about the first ever Coffin Match (Casket Match) between Undertaker and Kamala.
Match 7: Kamala w/Harvey Wippleman and Kimchee VS Undertaker w/Paul Bearer – Coffin Match
At the start of the match it’s obvious that Kamala is scared of both Taker and the coffin. Never the less he strikes Taker again and again while Taker no-sells it. Taker hits Old School but soon loses his advantage to Kamala, who hits him with both a helmet and a chair. Taker no-sells Kamala’s body slams so he gets hit with a big splash. Kimchee, for whatever reason, throws the urn in the ring. Confusion ensues and sees Taker Tombstone Kamala and get the pin. He then put the Ugandan Giant in the coffin and nails the lid shut.
I’m going easy on this one because it’s a first of its kind match and because I’m a huge mark for Undertaker. That being said, this is not a good match. The finish makes no sense and why Taker has to get the pin and then put him in the coffin is just awkward and strange. If you don’t expect too much from this then you may not be let down.
Match Grade: C-
Leading into the main event we get a promo from HBK who gives a pretty generic quasi-heel promo. The constantly blowing bubbles with his gum is a nice touch though. Following that we get a promo from a very nervous Bret Hart. I’m guessing he’s still adjusting to being the WWF champ and what all that entails; I also think he doesn’t really want to have this match. Listen out for the following line, “Thanksgiving is the most special day for giving thanks”.
Main Event: “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels (Intercontinental Champion) VS Bret “Hitman” Hart (WWF Champion) – WWF Championship Match
As with any Bret match, especially one against a great opponent like HBK, it’s super hard to describe the match in any accurate way.
For the first part of the match Bret works over HBK’s arm while they go through small sequences of Shawn trying to get the advantage while Bret shuts it down and goes back to work on the arm. This continues until HBK dodges a corner attack and Bret goes shoulder first into the ring post. This flips the momentum and we see HBK working a headlock while Bret makes small attempts to counter and regain the advantage.
All of this leads to the ref giving the arm drop spot where Bret’s arm fails to go down on the third attempt and thusly he begins his comeback. We get a few classic Bret Hart sequences during his comeback and, eventually, a superplex for a two-count. Bret and HBK end up on the floor while Shawn continues to break the count. There’s a long sequence of false finishes but, finally, Bret catches HBK’s legs during a missile dropkick attempt and puts on the Sharp Shooter. HBK taps, Bret wins, Santa Claus comes out, and celebrates with Bret while fake snow falls from the rafters.
I made the mistake of seeing this match on the card and expecting it to be a true classic. It is not a classic match but it is a pretty good match. It feels a little clunky at times and maybe it’s just me but I get the impression that Bret wasn’t super thrilled to be having this match to begin with. That’s all I can say, it’s not the best Bret Hart / Shawn Michaels match but it’s a better match than most of the card.
Match Grade: B
When I think about this PPV the only great match I think of is the Savage / Flair tag match. Most of the other matches are doomed from the start, have a clown distracting from the action in the ring, aren’t PPV quality match-ups, or don’t live up to what they could be. I almost called this article ‘A meh Review’ because that’s the feeling I come out of it with. If you don’t watch anything else though, watch the Savage and Flair match and Bret’s promo. That thanksgiving line made me pop with laughter so hard that I had to pause the ppv and get a drink of water.
PPV Grade: C