Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Survivor Series Showdown 1993

Scott*** Scott & JT’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV and TV history that began with a review of WrestleMania I. The PICs have revisited these events and refreshed all of their fun facts that provide insight into the match, competitors and state of the company as well as their overviews of the match action and opinions and thoughts on the outcomes. In addition, Jeff Jarvis assists in compiling historical information and the Fun Facts in each of the reviews. Also, be sure to leave feedback on the reviews at our Facebook page. Enjoy! ***

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Survivor Series Showdown 1993

November 21, 1993 (Taped November 8, 1993 & November 10, 1993)
Fernwood Resort, Bushkill, PA
Farrell Hall, Dehli, NY
Announcers: Vince McMahon & Bobby Heenan; Gorilla Monsoon & Jim Ross

1) Doink the Clown defeats Bastion Booger with a roll up at 7:37

Scott: This is a fun, goofy opener to pump up that workrate marvel of a survivor match between the Doinks against Bigelow, Booger and the Headshrinkers. The Bigelow/Doink feud was raging since about September and these guys are just part of the equation. This Fernwood Resort is an odd place for a show, but it will be a staple for Raws over the next year or so. The match is a bunch of goofy parlor tricks and slow power moves. Listening to Ross and Gorilla is unique if you aren’t used to them, particularly since none of the weekend shows are currently on the WWE Network, so it’s really just Raw with Vince and whoever the color commentator was at the time. Gorilla was on a couple times and Ross was on I think once to this point, if not shortly after this. After the early nonsense Booger worked Doink over and then tricked him by tapping him on the shoulder during a pin attempt, thinking it was the referee. Booger gets up thinking he won, then Doink rolled his fat ass up for the victory. Then Doink threw hot sauce on Booger’s pizza. Typical 1993 nonsense. Grade: DUD

JT: Well here we are, less than one week away from Survivor Series and our final stop features a pretty interesting card topped by a big time main event. This show was actually filmed across a pair of taping dates and is kind of piecemealed together so we will bounce between locations and announcer teams as we go. First up we have Doink battling the grotesque Bastion Booger in a mini preview of their Survivor style matchup. Of course we spent some time with gags and histrionics, including Booger trying and failing at using Doink’s scooter. The Clown kept tripping up Booger, doing whatever he could to mess with the big man and keep him aggravated. Booger was able to finally catch Doink outside the ring and then went to work, ambling through some rudimentary offense. Booger would lock in a chinlock in between clubbing away as Gorilla Monsoon and Jim Ross talked about the potential strategy between these teams at Survivor Series. The Bastion continued to lean on Doink, really controlling the bout with ease, until getting pissed off on a near fall. That lapse in focus cost him as Doink rolled him up and stole the win. Doink then played a prank on Booger, dousing his pizza in tabasco sauce and laughing his way to the back as Booger coughed it all up. This was about what you would expect and really the only question outstanding for these guys surrounded what these four Doinks would like. Grade: DUD

*** We recap a key point in the feud between the All Americans and Foreign Fanatics: the early elimination of Tatanka. Ray Rougeau then interviews the All Americans on the aisle podium. They discuss the injury to Tatanka and the replacement by the Undertaker and also discuss how Pierre was officially taken out of the match by Luger on Raw last week. Rougeau reveals that Pierre will be replaced by Crush in Boston. They discuss their game plan for Wednesday and promise to eliminate and bury the Fanatics. ***

*** Vince McMahon reveals that Randy Savage will not be in the booth at Survivor Series but believes his presence may be felt in other ways. We then check out a video package recap some of his issues with Crush. ***

2) Crush defeats Virgil with the Cranium Crush at 7:55

Scott: The build is red hot right now between Crush and the Macho Man, which I love because if Randy Savage is here, get him back in the ring. He’s probably (with Hogan gone) the most beloved guy in the entire company right now. Crush has a warm up match for Survivor Series with a squash against Virgil. Todd gives us a tutorial about how to order the PPV before this match, Man, I remember calling my “local cable company”. Wasn’t it so different back when there were only five PPVs a year? I remember the long summer builds to SummerSlam. It’s amazing how much things changed in just a year or so from here. When Luger was the Narcissist, Bobby Heenan was on him like white on rice. Now that he’s a babyface, Bobby wants Luger banned from the WWF for the steel plates in his forearm. Crush methodically works Virgil over with power moves and chokes. Virgil gets a surprise sunset flip attempt on him for the count of two, and then recovers to throw a clothesline off the top rope and even punches Crush to the floor. Crush regains control but Virgil then slips another roll up attempt for two. Really though Crush dominated this match with Virgil getting the occasional pin attempt to build some drama. It felt like an old school NWA squash, which means its a three minute match extended to about eight minutes. Crush finally ends it with the head vice and moves on to Survivor Series. Grade: *

JT: And speaking of Crush, he is out here for our next bout. As mentioned above, Crush will now be in action this Wednesday as he is stepping in for the injured Pierre. He wastes no time going at Virgil, mauling him right off the bell. Vince McMahon and Bobby Heenan have the call for this one and discuss what Crush brings to the table for his new squad. Virgil made a swift comeback, knocking Crush to the floor with a clothesline and then diving out on top of him. Virgil is fired up! Crush ended the good feelings with a big kick to cut Virgil down and then went into some of his martial arts strike based offense. Virgil would dodge a charge and get a sunset flip for two but Crush leveled him with a pair of kicks to maintain overall control. Virgil would get his feet up on an other ill advised Crush charge and then knocked him down with a clothesline off the middle rope. Virgil slugged Crush out of the ring and tried to dive at him again but this time Crush was waiting for it and was able to catch him and run him hard into the edge of the ring. Virgil somehow grabbed another small package near fall but Crush would eventually put him away with the Cranium Crunch. Virgil is fun in these squashes as he always expends a ton of energy and is often aggressive in his glimpses of offense. Crush survives and looks toward the big main event in Boston… and maybe a visit from the Macho Man too? Grade: *1/2

*** The two announce teams chat back and forth with Gorilla Monsoon issuing a warning to Bobby Heenan that he better get his affairs in order because he is done with his nonsense. We then head back to Superstars to check out the match between Razor Ramon and Rick Martel. The bout ended with Harvey Wippleman costing Martel the match, followed by Martel slapping Harvey around. Adam Bomb then came out and he and Martel got into it as well until Diesel and IRS broke things up. ***

Fun Fact: Reo Rogers was a short lived persona played by Bruce Prichard. The character was a satire of Dusty Rhodes. Rogers did a segment called Reo’s Roundup that only aired twice before being axed.

*** We get our special edition of Reo’s Roundup as Reo Rogers and Shawn Michaels make a special visit to the “Hart House” in Calgary. Michaels discusses his Knights and how he will get revenge on Bret Hart for his loss last year and take out the whole family along the way. They then walk up to the side of a house and enter he house where they encounter someone in a female Halloween mask pretending to be Helen Hart. They walk around and take digs at the Harts as memorabilia is strewn around the home. They then come upon someone sitting in a wheelchair wearing an old man mask and Hitman sunglasses, pretending to be Stu Hart. Vince McMahon interjects and ends the segment. ***

3) IRS defeats Marty Jannetty with the Write Off at 12:36

Scott: This seems like a pretty straightforward match like one that’s been on Raw often. You could argue that these two guys are two of the hardest workers in 1993, as they’ve pretty much been all over both Raw and the weekend syndie shows. IRS is easily one of the most over heels in the company, while Jannetty is consistently working on Raw and helping out guys like the 1-2-3 Kid get over, as well as have a pretty solid feud with Shawn Michaels over the IC Title throughout the summer. The match is methodical early on, as Marty outsmarts Irwin with arm bars and reversals. There’s a sweet moment when Marty went over the top rope on an IRS suplex attempt and get a pin attempt out of it. IRS retakes control and really grinds Marty into the ground with elbows and headlocks. I like how Gorilla chastises Danny Davis for not checking if the headlock is a choke hold. I don’t think this is 1987 again but it is funny. IRS goes to an abdominal stretch as Gorilla and Ross talk about the history of the move. Marty attempts a comeback with right hands and a knee lift for a two count. IRS is working so hard one of his red suspenders came loose. You never see that, no matter how hard he’s working a match. IRS wins with a clothesline in a shocker. I didn’t see that coming, not IRS winning but the immediate way it happened. Will IRS eliminate Marty Wednesday too? That was actually a fun little TV match. Grade: **

JT: Up next we have members of opposing teams tussling once again as IRS and Marty Jannetty are set to square off. Jannetty has had a pretty good run here in 1993, with his big shock title win and then two straight PPV outings plus being positioned as a strong mid card act. IRS has been a bit out of place since Ted DiBiase left but he has made his intentions very clear: he still wants to take out Razor Ramon and grab his gold while he is at it. IRS begged off to start, slowing Jannetty’s role and game plan and making sure he didn’t rush into anything. Gorilla wondered if IRS’s team had any unity left after Superstars as the match finally got under way. Marty finally just went at IRS and sent him scurrying to the floor after a flurry of offense. After IRS returned, Jannetty remained in control, working the arm and keeping IRS close. IRS was able to turn the tide by dodging a charge and sending the Rocker hard to the floor. Shyster followed him out and slung him into the steps. IRS would try to suplex Jannetty back into the ring, but Marty floated over and rolled him up for a near fall. However, IRS popped right up and aggressively knocked Jannetty back to the mat. IRS stomped away and went for pin covers while also working his patented chinlock. Jannetty would work free of that but then IRS caught him in his other favorite, the abdominal stretch. Jannetty fought out of that hold as well and the crowd was pretty engaged in cheering him on and taunting “Irwin”. Marty punched away and cracked IRS with a knee lift for two but IRS caught him with a snap suplex for a near fall of his own. Things ebbed and flowed from there until IRS pelted Jannetty with the Write Off for the clean win, which really feels like a bit of a rarity. This was a perfectly acceptable WWF TV match and the crowd hung with them the whole way. IRS picks up the win… will it be a harbinger of things to come in Boston? Grade: **

*** Ray Rougeau chats with the Foreign Fanatics on the podium. Jim Cornette rips on the fans chanting “USA” and mocks the early elimination Tatanka as well as stating defiance about the Undertaker stepping into the open slot. He also puts over the addition of Crush and what he brings to the Fanatics. Johnny Polo and the rest of the team then describe what will go down Wednesday night. ***

*** Todd Pettengil is here with our final Survivor Series Report and here is the full card:

Lex Luger, Undertaker & Steiner Brothers vs. Yokozuna, Ludvig Borga, Jacques & Crush
Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Bruce Hart & Keith Hart w/ Stu Hart vs. Shawn Michaels & The Knights

Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty & Mr. Perfect vs. IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel & Adam Bomb
Doink, Doink, Doink & Doink vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger & Headshrinkers
Rock ‘N’ Roll Express vs. Heavenly Bodies – Smoky Mountain Wrestling Tag Team Titles

Todd also hints that more changes could happen between now and Thanksgiving Eve. The card is set and the Boston Garden is sold out so order now and then settle in for the Survivor Series! ***

4) Yokozuna defeats Bret Hart to retain WWF Heavyweight Title by disqualification at 20:00

Fun Fact: On the 11/15 episode of Raw, Vince McMahon announced to the viewing audience that due to legal reasons, Jerry Lawler would not be appearing at Survivor Series and would be replaced by Shawn Michaels. The legal reasons McMahon referred to was a charge against Lawler than came from a teenage girl (reports differ on the age between 13 and 15) that claimed that Lawler had raped and sodomized her. Lawler was immediately removed from television while the case was pending. Ultimately, the case began to unravel and the girl admitted that she had made the entire story up.

Prior to this, the WWF had recorded a match for this show between Owen Hart and Lawler. During the match, Owen was tied up in the ropes with Lawler slapping and spitting on him. Bret Hart runs into the ring to save Owen and Lawler wins the match via DQ. Later that evening at the end of this Yokozuna/Bret Hart match, Lawler begins to make his way out to the ring to interfere in the match, but is stopped by Owen, which distracts the referee as the two fight in the aisle, allowing Mr. Fuji to hit Bret. Since Lawler couldn’t be shown on TV, the WWF had to insert footage of Owen running to the ring from a different match.

Scott: After all the crap that went down back in April In Las Vegas, Bret Hart finally finished jumping through hoops and gets his long awaited World Title match with Yokozuna. I always find it funny when Bret Hart chants “USA, USA”, and he’s Canadian. I know it’s dopey but it makes me chuckle. With the main event of the Foreign Fanatics vs. All Americans, and Yokozuna on that team, this bout ripples throughout the big matches on Wednesday in Boston. Vince and Bobby are really amping this up and the crowd senses that perhaps the title changes hands here. After being a little unfocused, Yoko takes control and grinds into the Hitman with elbows and kicks. I like how Vince wanted the ref to watch Mr. Fuji, then two minutes later tells the ref to ignore Mr. Fuji and focus on the match. Sometimes he was such a mess. Bobby is ripping the Hart family and calling them quitters. Yoko goes to his vaunted nerve pinch after a commercial break. The brawl goes to the outside, as they throw each other into the steps. Vince calls Yoko this massive “Polynesian”. Clear proof (in case you didn’t know) that they weren’t pushing Yokozuna off as Japanese. We take a second commercial break as Bret barely got back into the ring so there was no countout. Yoko continues to pummel away but Bret makes a comeback and almost takes the big guy off his feet. Bret misses a dropkick and Yoko hits the big leg drop which is mostly his fat ass. Yokozuna is distracted by the American flags while Bret is recovering on the mat. Bret is trying to make comebacks with clotheslines until Yoko finally hits the deck. Yoko kicks out of a pin attempt until Fuji comes in to distract Bret and then Yoko puts Bret in a bear hug. Bret got out of it by biting Yoko and then the best move of the night, Bret hits a middle rope bulldog and Yoko sells it like a pro. Bret keeps getting consistent two counts and then comes off the rope to do something but Yoko catches him with a spinebuster, but he doesn’t go for the pinfall. Yoko goes for a splash off the ropes and misses. Bret somehow gets the Sharpshooter on and he seems to have won but for some dopey reason Owen Hart comes out to celebrate, causing the referee to go over there. Mr. Fuji cracks Bret with the salt bucket, and Owen’s interference (which was poorly spliced in there due to that Lawler mess) causes Bret to lose by DQ. So obviously the seeds are planted for something within the Hart Family. In any event, Yokozuna escapes with his WWF Title as we head to Boston for Survivor Series. This was a fun match, and you could argue maybe on par with their WrestleMania IX match. Grade: **1/2

JT: It is time for our main event and it is a big one as Bret Hart finally gets his long awaited WWF World Title rematch against Yokozuna. Yoko knocked off the Hitman back at WrestleMania and they both went on winding paths from there but now they converge and we could get a massive shakeup just days before the final PPV of 1993! Hart went right at the champ off the bell, pegging him with right hands and then dropkicking him to the floor. Yoko was quite out of it and actually walked into the ring post while recovering. The crowd chanted “USA” and even though Bret isn’t American he went with it as patriotism is top of mind around here these days. As Yoko finally climbed back in the ring, Heenan leaked out that Shawn Michaels has selected new Knights from those that Jerry Lawler had lined up. Intrigue! Hart would hop on Yoko’s back and hook a sleeper but Yoko easily flipped him down to the mat. Hart popped up and hammered away until Yoko mowed him down with a hard clothesline. Yoko kept slugging away with thrusts and a headbutt and controlled the match as we headed to break. When we returned, Hart was making a comeback but Mr. Fuji got involved and swung the tide back to the champ. Yoko would lean on Hart with a nerve hold as the crowd did whatever it could to rally the Hitman. Hart would break free but Yoko cut him down again and then pitched him over the top to the floor. The champ followed him out but whiffed on a charge and ate the stairs. Yoko was able to again shake that off and this time he grabbed a steel chair and smacked Hart across the back and then the head with it. Yoko rolled back inside and rested as we hit a second break. As we came back on air, Hart had just rolled back into the ring but Yoko was right all over him again. Hart kept fighting though but Yoko wouldn’t back down and was able to force the Hitman to the mat and then drop a big leg across his head. Yoko would sling Hart into the corner but came up empty on an Avalanche. With his best opening in a while, Hart went to work, finally knocking Yoko down with a running clothesline. Sensing danger, Fuji got on the apron but Hart smacked him as well. Hart would come off the middle rope but Yoko caught him in a bear hug. The Hitman bit his way free from the hold and then rode Yoko down with a bulldog off the middle rope. Hart got a bit over his skies from there, wildly charging again but Yoko caught him and slammed him hard to the mat. Vince and Bobby kept mentioning how Yoko seemed distracted and was having an off night. And maybe it was true as Yoko meandered for a bit and then missed a big splash. And just like at Caesar’s Palace, Bret pounced and hooked Yoko in the Sharpshooter. Fuji was down and seemed unable to help this time but as Yoko held on, Owen Hart showed up and started a premature celebration. With the referee outside the ring trying to usher Owen away, Fuji came in and popped Hart in the head with his salt bucket. That caused Owen to crash into the ring and start working over both Fuji and Yoko, causing a DQ win for the champ. Vince tried to rationalize Owen’s actions by saying he heard Yoko submit but it wasn’t meant to be. This was a fun main event between two guys that have really good chemistry together. I liked the Mania bout better because it was tighter and faster paced but they did a good job of keeping you engaged here too. The finish was a bit curious but I do like the story the commentators told, mentioning how Yoko seemed unfocused and then getting bailed out at the end. We will see if the Harts can get back on the same page by Thanksgiving Eve. Yoko has pressing issues then as well. See everyone in Boston! Grade: **1/2

*** We close the show with one last hard sell as well as a face to face smack talking session between Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon. Men on a Mission then come out to the arena to close out the show with a special Survivor Series rap. ***

Final Analysis:

Scott: This was a fun prelude to Wednesday night in Boston. All the big matches were covered and a boatload of vignettes, interviews and card previews ensure that you are more than ready for Thanksgiving Eve. Even with Lawler out of the picture adding Shawn Michaels was a smart thing to do and they did a pretty solid job of putting him over as part of the match with the Hart family considering all the heat was really on Lawler at this time. The title match was a nice touch at the back end of the show and even the IRS/Jannetty match was pretty entertaining as IRS was probably top three in terms of hardest working guy in the company. He’s literally on every single show, from the syndies to Raw. This is a fun watch and I recommend putting this on if you can find it before Survivor Series and you will feel complete! Final Grade: B+

JT: Well, this was a pretty good hard sell show as it covered all of the matches with lots of plugs, recaps and talking head bits to set everything up. The match lineup was solid too, with a huge main event and a pretty solid IRS vs. Marty Jannetty tilt. Every match and segment served a purpose here and that is what you want from these shows. There was no chance you could watch this show and not be fully up to speed on Survivor Series and all of the build and issues that have gone into it. They even did a good job of quickly heating up Shawn Michaels and his feud with The Hart Family as he steps in for Jerry Lawler. For a card with no WWF title matches, it was really hyped up and came together fairly organically with some stakes mixed in as well. That is all from here, enjoy the Survivor Series! Final Grade: B+

Author: Vintage Vault

Vintage Vault Reposts are a collection of reviews that Scott and JT have written over the years.