WWE Vintage Collection Report: 2nd November 2008
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. With the 22nd Survivor Series on the horizon, the Vintage Collection is going to spend the next few weeks looking back at past Survivor Series extravaganzas. This week, we kick off with the inaugural Survivor Series from 1987. Two big matches from the card are on hand and Jesse Ventura joins Gorilla Monsoon at the commentary table. Let’s go.
Macho Man Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat,
Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hacksaw Jim Duggan & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake vs
The Honky Tonk Man, Dangerous Danny Davis, King Harley Race, Hercules & Outlaw Ron Bass
This is the first match in Survivor Series history. Elizabeth is in Savage’s corner, despite being thrown to the mat by Honky Tonk Man in the weeks leading up to this. Stationed in the heel corner are Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan. Besides Honky and Savage, Hacksaw and Race were also engaged in a feud at this time. Commercial breaks are rife in this match, meaning it’s shown in clipped form. At the start, Hercules takes offense to Beefcake’s strutting. The two go back and forth until Beefcake catches Hercules in his patented sleeper. Luckily, Hercules manages to get to his corner and tag out. Beefcake hiptosses both Davis and Bass to clear the ring. Beefcake catapults (legal man) Davis back into the ring from the apron. Beefcake slams Davis, before Jake, then Savage go to work on Davis’s arm. Steamboat lands a chop from the top rope. Steamboat runs into a knee, enabling Davis to tag in Race. Race delivers a shoulderbreaker, while Steamboat comes back with a chop from the second rope. Race tries to throw Steamboat over the top rope a couple of times, but Steamboat skins the cat back in both times. After Race gets thrown to the outside, he quickly comes in and regains the advantage with a belly-to-belly suplex, on Steamboat for a nearfall. Steamboat crawls underneath Race to avoid more punishment and make a hot tag to Hacksaw. The Hacksaw and Race fight doesn’t last long, as it spills to the outside, and both are counted out. We cut to our first commercial break, as both teams intervene to separate the two. We come back to see Savage counter a Bass attack with a backbodydrop. Beefcake blind tags in, as Bass has Savage in a side headlock. Bass is sent into a high knee from Beefcake, and that’s enough to eliminate him. Beefcake is the next to go after he makes the mistake of not tagging. After having his arm worked over for several minutes, Beefcake fights back with an atomic drop and punches to Honky. When Davis catches Beefcake coming off the ropes, Honky puts the Barber away with the Shake, Rattle ‘N’ Roll. Following another commercial break, we see Jake sustain punishment from Hercules then Davis. Out of nowhere, Jake simply fires up and disposes of Davis with a short-arm clothesline and DDT. Immediately, Hercules goes on the offense with a clothesline to Jake. Jake manages to escape a Hercules chinlock with a jawbreaker. Savage is a sight to see as he’s doing his nut in on the apron. He nearly gets DQed on more than one occasion for manhandling the referees on the inside and outside. After Steamboat softens Hercules up with chops, Savage unleashes his pent up frustration with his top rope elbow drop to eliminate Hercules. Honky is all alone and is systematically taken apart by Savage, Steamboat and Jake. When a Savage atomic drop sends him to the outside, Honky bails to the back and gets counted out. Here Are Your Survivors: MACHO MAN RANDY SAVAGE, RICKY “THE DRAGON” STEAMBOAT & JAKE “THE SNAKE” ROBERTS. Post match sees Honky talk trash from the entrance ramp, saying he’ll be back for Savage. This was a good opener and got the Survivor Series concept over with the fans. A nice throwback with some good in-ring action.
Craig DeGeorge is standing by with Andre the Giant’s team, who are with Bobby Heenan and Slick. DeGeorge asks if they can taste victory? Heenan says that Andre beat Hogan at WrestleMania (3) and the same will happen here. Andre says he’s done it (beat Hogan) once and he’ll do it again. Slick adds that this team won’t be gentlemen, but a group of raw sadistic animals. Heenan says after Hogan’s partners go one-by-one, then it’ll all be over for Hogan. Andre finishes by saying he’s here for Hogan’s soul and tonight he will be the survivor. Good heel promo.
Time for the rebuttal, as Hulk Hogan’s team is standing by with Mean Gene Okerlund. Hogan notes the hunger of his team and puts it up against the giants of the food chain. After putting each of his teammates over, Hogan asks them how hungry they are? Paul Orndorff is hungry and here to survive. Ken Patera says the strongest shall survive and Don Muraco is here for a good time. Bam Bam Bigelow’s manager Oliver Humperdinck says nothing of note, before Bigelow says it’s time to burn the building down. Hogan gets fired up physically with Bam Bam as the interview ends. Good intensity shown by Hogan and Bigelow. They’re pumped for their match which is up now.
Hulk Hogan, “Mr Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, “The Rock” Don Muraco, Ken Patera & Bam Bam Bigelow vs
Andre The Giant, The One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, “The Natural” Butch Reed & Ravishing Rick Rude
What a gigantic Main Event. Oliver Humperdinck is cheering on Bigelow, while Bobby Heenan and Slick are looking out for the heels interests. The main feud here is Andre and Hogan, following their WrestleMania 3 bout. Andre says he pinned Hogan, while Hogan says his own victory isn’t tainted. Rude is the first guy to take a licking from Hogan’s team, culminating in a big splash and press slam from Bigelow. Rude wins a reprieve when Patera knocks him into his own corner. Reed tags in, but falls victim to a Patera clothesline and slam. Reed is sent into a dropkick from Muraco, then two from Orndorff. Following a double clothesline from Orndorff and Hogan, Hogan drops a leg and eliminates Reed. As Hogan celebrates with a series of high fives to Patera, Andre steps in, unbeknownst to Hogan, who has his back to him. Following a brief staredown, the referee orders Patera in, having deemed Hogan’s high fives as a tag. Hogan doesn’t like this. Following a commercial, Gang flattens Patera with a clothesline to eliminate him. Hogan hits Gang with an Irish whip and corner clothesline. Hogan and Bigelow then work together to floor Gang with a big boot. Bigelow and Gang cancel each other out with a mid-ring collision. Now, Orndorff goes at it with Rude. Orndorff connects with a suplex and backbodydrop. Orndorff signals for his piledriver. Bundy nails Orndorff from behind and Rude rolls him up for the three count. Orndorff protests as Rude poses. Muraco surprises Rude with an atomic drop and clothesline. Bigelow takes over with a reverse kick and suplex, while Hogan weighs in with a high knee to Rude. Rude can take no more, as Hogan sends him into the waiting Muraco, who powerslams Rude into defeat. Bundy comes in to backelbow Muraco down. When Bundy misses a kneedrop, Muraco briefly works over Bundy’s leg. Bundy escapes by going to Muraco’s eyes. Muraco Irish whips Gang, but when he goes for a slam, Gang falls on top of him. Muraco manages to survive, until Gang sends him into an Andre headbutt. One splash later from Gang, and this time Muraco doesn’t kick out. Jeez they’re making us wait for the Hogan and Andre showdown. Andre has hardly been in the match thus far. Bigelow attempts a sunset flip on Gang, who simply sits on him. Bundy levels Bigelow with a clothesline and Hogan breaks up a pin. The crowd get behind Bigelow, as the heels work over him. Bundy and Gang do the bulk of the work, leaving Andre on the apron. After a few plodding minutes, Andre finally comes in. Bigelow quickly rolls underneath and gets the hot tag to Hogan. Finally the showdown we’ve been waiting for. Hogan and Andre exchange chokes and chops. Hogan rams Andre’s head into two corners, before knocking Bundy and Gang off the apron. As Hogan tries to knock Andre down, Bundy pulls Hogan to the outside. Hogan slams Gang then Bundy on the floor, but gets counted out in the process. The crowd boo and Hogan is threatened with the DQ of his team if he doesn’t leave. Hogan obliges and we go to a commercial. Bigelow now has it all to do. Bigelow avoids a Bundy avalanche in the corner, and quickly hits a springboard diving headbutt splash from the apron to eliminate him. A knackered Bigelow is ripe for the pickings. Gang takes advantage with a series of chokes in the ropes and on the mat. Gang sends Bigelow into Andre’s boot. In a moment of madness, Gang heads to the top rope and misses a bad splash attempt. Bigelow drapes an arm across Gang as the referee counts to three. It’s down to Bigelow and Andre. Andre beats down Bigelow a little. Bigelow decides to use his speed to roll under a series of Andre attacks. Bigelow fires up, but Andre sidesteps a charge, and Bigelow crashes into the corner. Andre delivers some shoulder thrusts to the back then finishes Bigelow off with a double underhook suplex. 1-2-3. Here Is Your Survivor: ANDRE THE GIANT. Post match sees sore loser Hogan run in and drill Andre with several belt shots. This was good in parts but slow and plodding when Gang and Bundy had control for long stages.
Okerlund wraps things up to end the show.
The opener was definitely the better of the two matches. Thumbs in the middle from me this week. The lookback at Survivor Series continues next week, presumably with 1988. Highlighting past Survivor Series is great nostalgia for longtime fans like me, but it’s also a good way to entice new fans to the product. Hopefully, WWE goes back to basics and puts a bunch of classic Survivor Series matchups on its card this year. Previous cards have had one or two, but in my opinion that’s not enough and it’s really taken away from the PPV in the last few years. If Unforgiven can have three scramble matches, then Survivor Series (one of the big four PPVs) should have a card of survival matches. Hence the name Survivor Series. WWE seem to be trying to get over all sorts of new concepts lately, but in terms of a traditional PPV, with a lot of history, they’re better off not tampering with it. That’s what makes the Royal Rumble so special. It’s a unique event that happens once a year. By taking away from the survival concept, then Survivor Series will become just another PPV and that’s a shame. WWE could highlight and advance so many feuds and get so many people on the card by taking my advice. Who knows they may even pop a good buyrate and even re-invigoirate Tag Team wrestling. Now that would be something. Come on WWE, it’s not too late, give us some classic Survivor Series matchups. See you next week.
P.S, if anyone supports my theory and has some potential classic Survivor Series matchups for this year’s card in mind, get in touch. I’ll promote the best ones in next week’s report. Cheers, Shaun.
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to email@example.com.