Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh: Survivor Series 1991


*** Scott & Justin’s Vintage Vault Refresh reviews are a chronological look back at WWE PPV 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! ***

Survivor Series 1991: Hogan Meet Chair

November 27, 1991
Joe Louis Arena
Detroit, Michigan
Attendance: 17,500
Buy Rate: 2.2
Announcers: Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby Heenan

Dark Match:

Tatanka defeated Kato in 7:41

Actual Show:

*** The show opens with clips from the 11/23 episode of Superstars, Jake Roberts baited Randy Savage (who couldn’t be involved in a confrontation while under “retirement”) into the ring after Roberts won a squash match. Savage chases him in, and Roberts eventually overpowers Savage and ties him in the ropes. He then takes out a cobra, which bears his fangs into Savage’s arm. The blood oozing out of his arm was great for television. This was heavy duty stuff at the time because the big question was whether that Cobra was devenomized. Savage is unhooked, and is swinging wildly at Roberts, delirious. Piper leaves the broadcast table and Elizabeth comes out to help Savage, who is disoriented from the bite. As they fight to get Savage on the stretcher, there is an absolutely awesome visual of Roberts sitting in the corner laughing in heel delight as the cobra is standing to attention in front of him. On the heels of that, Savage would put a 900 number up for fans to call and ask the WWF to reinstate him. We then get a video message from Jack Tunney in which he announces that all reptiles are now barred from ringside and that Savage would be reinstated immediately and the Savage vs. Roberts match would be set for a show in Texas this coming Tuesday. He reveals that Roberts would be booted from his Survivor Series match as well. ***

1) Ted DiBiase, the Mountie, the Warlord, and Ric Flair defeat Bret Hart, Virgil, British Bulldog, and Roddy Piper

Ric Flair

Ric Flair pins British Bulldog with a cheap shot to the head after Bulldog hit Mountie with the powerslam at 10:55
Roddy Piper pins Warlord after Bret Hart came off the top as Piper was caught in the full nelson at 16:59
Ted DiBiase, Mountie, Bret Hart, Virgil & Roddy Piper are disqualified at 22:47

Fun Fact I: Well, as you can see above, the moment has finally arrived. Ric Flair makes his WWF PPV debut in the opening match. Flair began his career in the AWA, training under Verne Gagne. After a brief stint in the AWA, he arrived in Jim Crockett Promotions (Mid-Atlantic) in 1974. Feuding with the likes of Bobo Brazil, Greg Valentine, and Jimmy Snuka, Flair captured numerous tag titles as well as the US Heavyweight Title. He also survived a terrible plane crash that killed the pilot and broke Flair’s back. After being told his career was over, he returned just 10 months later, and had a cup of coffee with Vince Sr’s WWWF in 1976. Then on September 17, 1981 Flair defeated Dusty Rhodes to win his first NWA World Heavyweight Championship. From there he cemented his legacy with numerous World Title reigns and many legendary feuds and matches. His promos are second to none, with one-of-a-kind catchphrases like “To be the man, you gotta beat the man”, “Ric Flair is a 60-minute man”, and “What’s causin’ all this?” From 1984-1989, it has been calculated that Ric Flair averaged 37 minutes a match. During a feud with Barry Windham in 1987, the two men wrestled 90-minute draws on house shows. Of course his legacy as an awesome heel was solidified when he collaborated with Arn Anderson, Ole Anderson and Tully Blanchard to form the greatest heel faction in professional wrestling history: the Four Horsemen, managed by J.J. Dillon. Their trail of championships, promos, and heel beatdowns knows no equal. Then there’s the “trilogy”, which is the three awesome televised matches he had with Ricky Steamboat in 1989, all five stars and all workrate clinics. By 1991, Flair was butting heads with WCW boss Jim Herd about Flair’s future. Herd wanted him to cut his hair, don an earring, and be called Spartacus. Flair laughed and left for the WWF. He also took the World Heavyweight Championship belt with him, since he hadn’t received his deposit for the belt back from WCW. When Herd balked at paying the deposit, Flair told Vince he had the WCW World Title and Vince told him to bring it with him. Eventually WCW sued and got the belt back, but since Flair had already been seen on WWF TV with it, Vince had him carry around one of the Tag Team belts and covered by having Jack Tunney claim he was distorting it on TV since it wasn’t a recognized title. He made his TV debut on the 9/9 edition of Prime Time Wrestling, which includes a hysterical Bobby Heenan making fun of all the backstage workers as he prepares for Flair’s arrival. Upon arriving, Flair added Mr. Perfect to his stable as his Executive Consultant while Heenan took on a role as his Financial Advisor.

Fun Fact II: On the 9/28 episode of Superstars, Ric Flair was on his way to the ring for a jobber squash match. As he’s walking he sees announcers Vince McMahon, Randy Savage, and Roddy Piper at the table. Piper and Flair had been sniping at each other since Flair arrived. Well, rather than go to the ring, he goes to the broadcast table and baits Piper into a fight. While Flair jaws with McMahon, Piper turns his attention and Flair cracks him in the head with the title belt. Chaos ensues, and eventually Vince McMahon takes an accidental wooden chair shot from Piper. It was the first time McMahon was involved in an on-air dispute. This immediately made Flair the top heel in the WWF in one fell swoop, as the angle was red hot.

Fun Fact III: On the Sunday before this show at the Survivor Series Showdown, Ted DiBiase defeated Virgil to regain his Million Dollar Championship. As the match closed in on ten minutes, the new heel in town, Repo Man (formerly Smash of Demolition) came to ringside and smashed Virgil in the face with the belt, helping DiBiase gain the last laugh on his former bodyguard.

Fun Fact IV: Warlord is now managed by Dr. Harvey Wippleman as Slick stepped away from his managerial role. On air, his absence was created when he took a powerslam from the British Bulldog shortly before Survivor Series.

Scott: We start our fifth Survivor Series with maybe two of the coolest teams in the history of this PPV. Setting aside the heel team for now, let’s talk about this great babyface squad. We have the Intercontinental Champion Bret Hart, the always crazy over Roddy Piper, tepid face Virgil and the increasingly over British Bulldog. As mentioned, the majority of this team is still really over and Virgil is still getting some pops even though the feud with DiBiase is about done. Speaking of the Million Dollar Man, this may very well be the greatest heel Survivor team in history. We have the hoss Warlord, the Mountie and Ted DiBiase as legendary heels, but it’s that final guy that brings all the cache. Ric Flair is in the World Wrestling Federation, and honestly, I never thought the day would arrive. I remember that 9/9 Prime Time Wrestling like it was yesterday, with Bobby Heenan walking around frenetic and crazed that THE MAN was making his debut. He was ridiculing the staff with lines like “Get a Haircut” and “Who dressed you, the state?” Flair’s first real feud was with his best friend Roddy Piper, which included a crazy segment on Superstars back in September when Vince McMahon took a wooden chair shot. It felt like the company was being refreshed with this top flight main eventer and the established WWF stars were getting in line for a crack at the REAL World Champion. Besides Flair, this match also shows the fresh solo Bret Hart standing side by side with the top faces in the promotion. I love the feud between Warlord and Bulldog, two big time hosses fighting for strength supremacy. The match itself is standard Survivor Series fare, with Flair ducking Piper until the inevitable confrontation and Piper going off on him. The ending is pretty stupid as a brawl breaks out and everyone except Flair is disqualified, but whatever. The fact that Flair is here, on top of the Jake Roberts heel turn and the arrival of Sid Justice, is adding such a fresh look to the promotion. Only one guy is suffering from the wealth of talent: the guy wearing Red and Yellow. More on that later on. Grade: **1/2

Justin: Yes, it is already that time again as we are in Detroit for the fifth Survivor Series. And for the second year in a row, we shake the format up a bit. Before we get to that, though, we have a very interesting and important opening bout. Back at SummerSlam, we discussed how Bobby Heenan was welcoming Ric Flair into the company very shortly. In September, it happened. The Nature Boy officially arrived. His first piece of business was a battle with old friend and foe Roddy Piper, who was taken out of the booth and put back into active competition. His team here is pretty bad ass, as he has drafted Ted DiBiase, Warlord and Mountie into action to battle Piper’s team consisting of Bret Hart, British Bulldog and Virgil. Now those are Survivor Series teams, my friends. DiBiase and Virgil were still at odds as DiBiase had just regained his beloved Million Dollar Title the weekend before thanks to some outside interference from the recently debuted Repo Man. Bret Hart and Mountie were firing up the beginnings of a feud over the IC title after Mountie had tried to electrocute Hart with his shock stick. And of course the Bulldog and Warlord have been at odds throughout the year. I must say that Sherri’s wardrobe choice on this night was rather interesting. I immediately loved the pairing of Flair and Mr. Perfect as it just made complete sense and gave Perfect something to do while rehabbing his back. Seeing Hart and Bulldog here was pretty cool as you could really feel the vibe of them making their way up the ladder at slightly different stages. It was also cool seeing Piper back in action for the first time in quite a while. The crowd certainly agreed. Piper wanted Flair to start but Naitch made him wait and camped out on the apron as DiBiase opened things up. Flair did strike with a quick cheap shot, but Piper shrugged it off and went to town on DiBiase, which is another unique matchup we haven’t seen much of in the past. Bulldog has some interesting tights here and I don’t think he has worn them much outside of this show. Piper’s team would quickly tag in and out, taking turns picking apart DiBiase’s arm. Hart and DiBiase would get a few minutes to reignite their matchup from a year before and they would trade holds until Hart was able to grab back hold of the arm. However, a DiBiase hiptoss later brought us Flair’s official PPV match debut. It didn’t go very well, as Hart dodged and elbow drop and started hammering Naitch. Bulldog was up next and he used his raw power to welcome Flair to the show before giving the fans the match they have been waiting for. Piper went right at Flair with reckless abandon, slugging him  with crazed right and left hands until Flair bailed to the floor for some sanctuary. Piper followed him out there and kept the assault coming until Flair scampered back in and tagged the Warlord. That was hella fun.

After some back and forth and quick tags, we almost ended up with Hart and Mountie, but Mountie scampered to the floor and then tagged back out. Things broke down and a brawl triggered that ended with Bulldog dropping Mountie with the powerslam. However, as the referee broke up the brouhaha, Flair came off the top and clobbered Bulldog and covered him to give his team the advantage. Piper came in like a house afire and cleaned house until he eventually got caught in the corner and beaten down. Piper rallied back and gave Flair a dose of his own medicine by locking in the figure four until DiBiase busted it up. The pacing and action was really good here as the match never slows down and the quick tagging and flow of control keep things interesting. We also get all the various combinations of opponents on display too, right down to Virgil and Flair going at it. Virgil would also get a crack at DiBiase as he looked for payback from the loss the week before. Virgil would get trapped in the ring and eventually locked in the Warlord’s full nelson, but in a great turnaround from earlier, Hart clubs Warlord from behind, allowing Piper to cover him for the elimination to draw things even.  Despite that going down, it gave Virgil no respite, as he continued to get worked over hard by Flair, Mountie and DiBiase. With three heel masters at work and some good selling from Virgil, they did a really good job of building some heat up for the first time in the match. He would finally find an opening and make the hot tag to Piper, who destroyed Flair as the crowd exploded. Everything broke down again and all six started to brawl and toss bombs against their respective foes. Flair would get sent flying to the floor as everyone else kept brawling. Finally, the referee called for the bell and it was revealed that everyone except Flair, who was on the floor, was disqualified. Well, on one hand it was cool for Flair to survive while keeping everyone else strong. On the other, it was kind of a weak way to end a Survivor Series match. Piper, Hart and Virgil would clean house and bask in the cheers regardless, but a loss is a loss boys. Either way, it was a real fun match and an easy contender for best Survivor Series match to date. If it had a more definitive ending, it may be slotted in as the best. With that collection of talent, they easily could have gone another 20 minutes and not lost a drip of heat. The Nature Boy is here and he is officially on the board. Grade: ***1/2

*** Randy Savage comes out to do an interview with Mean Gene Okerlund on the heels of his reinstatement by WWF President Jack Tunney. Bobby Heenan immediately starts pushing the Texas match on commentary as Savage arrives. Overland reveals that 97% of poll takers voted “Yes” for reinstatement. Savage vows revenge in Texas, on Tuesday and then brings out Elizabeth to join in on the chat as well. Liz thanks the fans for supporting Savage and announces that she will be in Texas on Tuesday as well. Heenan says “This Tuesday in Texas” four times as Monsoon reveals that officials are working on getting TV coverage for the show. ***


2) Texas Tornado, El Matador, Jim Duggan & Sergeant Slaughter defeat Colonel Mustafa, Hercules, the Berzerker & Skinner

Sgt. Slaughter, El Matador, Jim Duggan & the Texas Tornado

Sgt. Slaughter pins Col. Mustafa with a clothesline at 7:57
El Matador pins Hercules with El Paso del Muerte at 12:04
Sgt. Slaughter pins Skinner with a roll-up at 13:30
Jim Duggan pins Berzerker with the 3-point tackle at 14:17

Fun Fact I: A couple more debuts here in match number two. First we have the Berzerker, who is portrayed by John Nord, who’s well known in the AWA as Nord the Barbarian. He originally came in with the name “The Viking.” That changed after a month or so. The other debut is Skinner, the tobacco-spitting redneck from the Everglades, which is quite a change from this person’s previous character. Steve Keirn used to be half of the former tag team The Fabulous Ones with Stan Lane. Decked out in white tights, white suspenders and a bow tie, The Fabulous Ones were a hot team in the AWA and Memphis, but Keirn has traded in his playboy look for a torn plaid shirt, a pair of khakis and a spittoon.

Fun Fact II: Tito Santana was off TV for a few months, and came back dressed as a matador complete with green jacket and pink hat. He claimed he went back to his homeland to refocus himself and that if he could learn how to avoid and defeat bulls, then he could do the same in the ring. Not much more to say here. He returns at this PPV and takes the place of the recently departed Ricky Steamboat, who was originally scheduled to be in this match.

Fun Fact III: Slaughter decided that being against his American fans went on long enough, so on the 9/28 Superstars there was a vignette of Slaughter apologizing for his affiliation with Iraq. On the 10/12, 10/26, and 11/9 Superstars Slaughter was filmed at various national monuments (Lincoln Memorial, statue of Paul Revere, and Statue of Liberty) asking his fans for forgiveness with the memorable quote “I want my country back!!!!!!” Slaughter was a last minute addition to this team, as he replaces Jim Neidhart, who was injured in an attack by Ric Flair after a match between the two. Then, as he was being carried back, Neidhart was assaulted and injured further by the Beverly Brothers. Neidhart would do color commentary for a while before returning to ring in late December.

Fun Fact IV: Hercules was a last minute replacement in this match, as he is filling the spot left open by the recently departed Big Bully Busick. Busick is nothing more than a footnote in WWF history, but he did have a brief mini-feud with the Macho Man that started when he showed up in the audience of Prime Time Wrestling and was picking on kids in the audience. The only thing Busick really contributed to the WWF was his manager, who would stick around for quite a few more years: Harvey Wippleman. This is also Hercules’ final non Rumble PPV appearance. His final record is 5-14-1. He is 0-4 at the Royal Rumble, 1-4-1 at WrestleMania, 2-2 at SummerSlam and 2-4 at Survivor Series. He would spend some time in WCW and the Independent circuit before passing away from a heart attack in 2004.

Fun Fact V: This is also the final PPV appearance of Colonel Mustafa until WrestleMania 17, also known as the Iron Sheik, of course. He would show up for a cup of coffee in the 1992 Royal Rumble, but his final PPV record is 2-4: 0-1 at the Royal Rumble, 2-1 at WrestleMania, 0-1 at SummerSlam and 0-1 at Survivor Series.

Fun Fact VI: The hits keep on coming, as this is the Texas Tornado’s final PPV match as well. He will be in the…you guessed it…1992 Royal Rumble, but that would be about it for Mr. Von Erich. He would hang around for some of 1992, but wouldn’t see another PPV match. Sadly, about a year after he leaves the WWF, Von Erich would lose his long running and well publicized battle with his drug addiction and would end up shooting himself on the family ranch in February 1993, just adding another sad chapter to the cursed Von Erich legacy. His final PPV record is 5-2: 0-2 at the Royal Rumble, 1-0 at WrestleMania, 2-0 at SummerSlam and 2-0 at Survivor Series.

Scott: Our next tag match pits a myriad of heels against the man who “wanted his country back”. When the Hogan/Slaughter storyline finally fizzled out, it was time to turn Slaughter back to the good ol’ red, white and blue. Texas Tornado looks like a total mess here, mumbling to himself and almost falling off the apron. His window is closing fast. Santana was repackaged as El Matador, complete with green coat and hat. Duggan is Duggan, and Slaughter gets a big pop from the crowd who wants to envelop him back into their good graces. The GI Joe hero is back and all feels right in the world again. The Berzerker will go down as one of the more cult favorites in wrestling history. For a simple mid-card heel he was remembered fondly by many wrestling fans. Skinner is former Fabulous One Steve Keirn, a very different look from the guy who used to wear a tuxedo to the ring. The match is pretty standard fare, with Slaughter’s team being the second in history to win with a clean sweep. There’s not much more here, except for Slaughter being the good guy we like him to be again. Grade: **

Justin: Holy JR jobber express! This is my kind of match. It was set to be a whole lot cooler when we had Ricky Steamboat and Big Bully Busick in there, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. My man the Berzerker is in the house though, and really that is enough for me. We also have the PPV debut of Skinner, the alligator man from the swamp. On the face side we have familiar faces in new roles as Tito Santana rediscovered his roots and his now El Matador. Also returning home was Sgt. Slaughter, who bailed on his Iraqi sympathizing and begged his country to allow him back into the fold. US ambassador Jim Duggan stepped up on our behalf and welcomed the Sarge in with open arms. Rounding out that heel team is Col. Mustafa, who is looking for revenge on that turncoat Slaughter and Hercules, who is now flying solo after Paul Roma left the company and stuck a knife into the run of the once epic Power & Glory. Poor Texas Tornado looks strung out as he ambles down the aisle and paces on the apron and seemingly mumbles to himself, awaiting his teammates. I was happy to see Sarge flip sides again as the Iraq stuff was really dead in the water at this point and this gave him a breath of fresh air. Adnan and Mustafa were still working that agenda, though, so good on them anyway. Santana and Skinner kicked things off as Heenan gets all mixed up about Joe Louis, calling him “Jim Louis” and mentioning what a great hockey player he was. Tito’s new tights are certainly something else. Berzerker came up empty on an elbow drop, allowing Tito to tag in Tornado, who just started flailing fists at anyone in sight. Duggan would make his way in but get trapped in the corner and worked over as Heenan discussed the stealth fighting methods practiced in the Middle East. That led to Gorilla calling them all cowards. Berzerker easily stands out as the ace of this heel team thanks to his size and presence. Sarge would finally get tagged in and he made super quick work of his buddy Mustafa, pinning him after a clothesline of all things. The heels regained control with Hercules finally getting some run as he overpowers Sarge. Berzerker would get pelted around by both Sarge and Duggan, with the latter sending him flying through the air and to the floor with a nice back body drop. Tornado got back in and continued bumbling around, as at one point he did a full body roll type dive over a bent over Hercules. It was like he was MacGyver or something. Santana would tag in and drop Herc with El Paso del Muerte to bring the match to 4-2. A minute later, Sarge rolled up Skinner to knock him out, leaving poor Berzerker alone. Barely a minute passed by before Duggan pasted him with a clothesline and completed the sweep. For the second year in a row, we have a full team survive. Berzerker looked really good here and I am being completely serious. He was the only heel to get any offense and got tons of ring time. He clearly was being built up a bit and he worked his ass off bumping around for everyone. Good showing. Better than Tornado, at least. The match was actually a little better than you may assume when you look at the participants and the way things ended up. Everyone worked hard and brought the energy, at least, and the crowd was into it too. Grade: *1/2

***Jake Roberts comes out to reply to Randy Savage’s interview and their upcoming match at This Tuesday in Texas. Roberts claims the snake attack was an accident and that the cobra had been devenomized. He wants to blame the voters, the WWF and Jack Tunney for what is about to go down this Tuesday, in Texas. He warns that he is the snake to be worried about, not what is in the bag. He closes by warning Elizabeth that she has a one-way ticket to Texas and vows that this is end of the beginning. ***


3) The Undertaker defeats Hulk Hogan to win WWF World Title with a Tombstone on a steel chair at 12:43

Fun Fact: The big moment of this feud that led to this match was on the 11/16 Superstars, in the Funeral Parlor. Hulk Hogan came out to counter the claims of Ric Flair that he is the “Real WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION”. Flair comes out to jaw with Hogan face to face. As this is happening the casket standing up behind Hogan opens and Undertaker comes out to blindside Hogan and beat him down. Roddy Piper and Randy Savage come from the broadcast table with chairs to protect Hogan. Taker rips the cross off Hogan (ala Andre before WrestleMania III) and drops it on him. Another awesome segment in what has become a red-hot second half of 1991.

Scott: In what most fans thought was just a random title defense for Hulk Hogan leading to the inevitable face-to-face with Ric Flair in April, the champ faces the man who hasn’t lost a televised match in his first year in the company and was in cahoots with Jake Roberts for the summer against the departed Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage. The crowd goes nuts for Hogan, but unlike Slaughter at VII, Taker had his fans as well, even facing their beloved champion. I was curious as to how this match was going to go, because Taker has never sold anything and Hogan needs his big comeback. Hogan spent a good portion of the early match with punches, eye rakes and clotheslines that Taker didn’t sell. When Taker was on offense, it was mostly chokes and pulling at Hogan’s face. This PPV is Gorilla and Bobby’s first full PPV alone and they were hysterical. Bobby says “Wanna know why that woman’s at the edge of her seat? The 300 pound can behind her!” That’s a killer. When Hogan sat up after the Tombstone, I thought the match was over and that this mysterious aura of the Undertaker was about to be vanquished. Hogan makes his comeback, but then out comes Ric Flair, and all hell breaks loose. Hogan is constantly distracted and then Flair slides a chair into the ring. Taker Tombstones Hogan on it and three seconds later, we have a new WWF Champion. I was absolutely stunned. I couldn’t believe that Hogan just lost the title to a guy who has only been in the company for one year. So there must have been some kind of backstage nonsense going on here, because I thought we would be on course for Hogan/Flair at WrestleMania. Gorilla is beside himself berating Bobby for what happened. This may be more of an upset than 11 months earlier at the Royal Rumble when Warrior lost to Slaughter. Hogan is out on the canvas and that eats up a good deal of time. The WWF is in a dark place, because we have a dark WWF Champion. To this point, it’s in my opinion, the biggest upset in WWF Title history. Grade: **

Justin: For the first time in Survivor Series history, we have a singles match. And it isn’t just any singles match, it is a WWF Heavyweight Title match. Since debuting one year earlier, Undertaker has been on a warpath, wrecking everything in his path and remaining undefeated on TV and PPV. Not only did Hulk Hogan have to deal with that menace, he now had Ric Flair messing with him as well. It was Flair’s loose alliance with Taker that led to a stiff beatdown on the Funeral Parlor earlier in the month. Taker’s entrance was as grim as always, with children hiding in terror and a thin layer of boos floating over hushed silence. Hogan’s arrival woke them all up and he was still as over as ever. As he hit ringside, he flipped over the casket that was brought to ringside for some psychological warfare. While Heenan and Monsoon questioned if Taker could ever feel pain, Hogan grabbed a headlock to open the match. Things were a bit slow from there, with each man feeling out the other until Taker grabbed a choke and forced Hogan to the corner. The Deadman continued his methodical assault and even Paul Bearer got involved by choking the champ a bit when he landed near the edge of the apron. That led to Monsoon calling him a “piece of garbage” which I always enjoy. Hogan made a quick comeback but failed to slam Taker, wrenching his back in the process. Hogan again battled back, rattling Taker with strikes and then clotheslining him to the floor. That backfired on the Hulkster, though, as Taker rammed him into the post and then choked him with a camera cable. Back inside, Taker attempted to smother Hogan into submission with a lengthy claw hold. The match really slowed down here but from a strategy perspective, it made sense for Taker to slow Hulk down like this. Hulk broke the hold but Taker cracked him with a flying clothesline and then dropped him with the Tombstone…but Hogan popped right up, no selling it. I don’t know about that. Hogan started to rock Taker with right hands before finally slamming him. As that was going on, Flair made his way out to ringside, but Hogan met him on the floor and dropped him with a right hand. He would slide back in and hit Taker with the big boot, but Bearer tripped Hogan up before the legdrop. With the referee tied up, Taker recovered and hoisted Hogan up for another Tombstone. However, this time Flair slid a chair in the ring and Taker dropped Hogan on it to pick up the monumental win and capture his first Word Title. And the crowd cheered, perhaps out of shock? It seemed that way since the cheers quickly turned to boos right after. The match was really a whole lot of nothing until the last minute. I don’t get why Hogan had to completely no sell the Tombstone, especially if Taker was being set up as the World Champion and legit main eventer. It really wasn’t needed at all. Once we got past that, the finish was pretty good with Flair screwing Hogan. As officials tended to Hogan, Gorilla ranted and Bobby celebrated the glorious occasion. Heading in here, I assumed Taker was just another monster heel set to be vanquished by the Hulkster en route to a match with Ric Flair. I was quite wrong. The Deadman is now on top of the WWF mountain and Hogan is left lying. Grade: *

*** Backstage, Gene Okerlund interviews Jack Tunney, who confirms the referee’s decision in the World Title match is final. However, he is ordering a rematch at the soonest possible date…this Tuesday…in Texas! Tunney states he will be at ringside to ensure a fair and just outcome. ***

4) The Beverly Brothers & the Nasty Boys defeat the Rockers & the Bushwhackers

Jerry Sags, Brian Knobbs and Blake Beverly

Brian Knobbs pins Luke with a clothesline off the second turnbuckle at 5:21
Beau Beverly pins Butch with a double slam at 10:14
Shawn Michaels pins Beau Beverly with a backslide at 13:53
Blake Beverly pins Shawn Michaels after Michaels was knocked down by Beau’s legs at 19:40
Jerry Sags pins Marty Jannetty with a Small Package at 23:04

Fun Fact I: Another PPV debut, and that’s the Beverly Brothers, Beau and Blake. Their real names are Wayne Bloom and Mike Enos, who were a solid mid-card team in the AWA under the name Destruction Crew. They originally debuted with Coach as their manager, but he was eventually replaced by the Genius prior to this event.

Fun Fact II: As we entered the final months of 1991, an air of tension was starting to form around the Rockers. They seemingly argued during every match, and especially after big losses. Every time, though, they put their differences aside and made up. The rough waters would continue here, as Shawn is accidentally kicked by Sags, who was being slammed by Marty and pinned, leading to a face to face confrontation while the match was still going on. The two would patch things up again, but it was clear that the rift was getting worse.

Scott: We try to get back to normal here with a Survivor match involving four tag teams going in different directions. The Bushwhackers are a comedy act and not to really be taken seriously. The Nasty Boys are still top heels but have been de-pushed after their SummerSlam loss to the Legion of Doom. The Beverly Brothers are a new team on the scene, but it’s simply the AWA team Destruction Crew repackaged. The big news before this match was that Hogan would get his WWF Title rematch at This Tuesday in Texas. That was like the 540th reference to December 3 in San Antonio on this show. That gets amplified here because the last two matches on this card really bring nothing to the table and are quite forgettable. The biggest storyline hook here is that the Rockers are on very shaky ground, and that compounds itself when Marty Jannetty accidentally gets Shawn Michaels pinned. You can tell the seeds were being planted when Gorilla complained that Shawn wasn’t tagging his partner fast enough. Whenever Gorilla complained about a babyface, you knew a heel turn was not too far ahead. They argue and storm off, while the heels win the match. Maybe to keep the Nasties strong for a future shot against the LOD, and the Beverly Brothers are the new team, so it worked. I love how Gorilla said that Michaels cost his team the match, when he was the one hit with the leg and pinned! The next time we see either Rocker on PPV, things are very different. Grade: **

Justin: As we cool down from the shocking World Title change, we are back to the survivor format with representatives from the tag team division. On the heel side we have the former champions Nasty Boys teaming with the newest heel team in the company, the Beverly Brothers. The Beverlys have the Genius, who has been out of the managerial game since April 1990, in their corner. Their opposition are division stalwarts the Bushwhackers and the Rockers. Long known for being tag team specialist and a close knit unit, the Rockers were starting to have some real issues and it was starting to cost them in the ring. Shawn had even changed his look a little bit, as his hair was less blown-out and he had built up his definition more in addition to having a bit of a snarl on his face. Change is seemingly a-coming for those boys. The Whackers and Nasties opened things with a brawl that ended with the Nasties bailing to the floor. That drew in the Beverlys and we got more brawling, this leading to a pair of battering rams and a Rockers double dropkick that cleaned house again. The match finally calmed down and got underway with Michaels and Blake tussling. By this point, Luke and Butch already had a better showing in the books than the year before. Well, as I was typing that, Knobbs pasted Luke with a clothesline off the middle rope and eliminated him. Shawn was able to fight through a Nasty Boy attack, giving way for his partner to take control of Sags with some arm work. It also gave Heenan and Monsoon time to push This Tuesday in Texas a bit more. Sags would escape and tag in Beau, who had a nice back and forth with Jannetty with the two trading offense. The Beverlys were really smooth in the ring and a nice veteran addition to the rebuilt division. Butch would get the hot tag and march his way through both Beverlys, but his hot streak quickly ended with the Shaker Heights Spike. That elimination left the Rockers to fly solo. Michaels would get trapped and worked over by all four men, in and out of the ring. To this point in the match I thought Jannetty and Beau looked the best. Beau has been really smooth in his offense, especially with a really crisp backbreaker on Michaels. And again, I am the jinx because as I typed that, Michaels caught Beau in a backslide to draw the score to 3-2.

Michaels started to heat up, running through his remaining opponents until Sags caught him coming back into the ring. Shawn fended him off and tagged Jannetty, who took the fight to Knobbs. The numbers game was again too much and we were right back to another slow paced attack to eat up some time. Marty would get his knees up to block a Sags splash, leading to things breaking down. Just when the Rockers made some progress, Jannetty went to slam Sags but the Nasty Boy’s legs pelted Shawn in the face, leading to him getting pinned. The match stopped dead as Michaels berated Jannetty for screwing up, again showing their growing dissension. Shawn would finally back off and leave, but Marty was in some legit trouble. Jannetty would give it one last go, hitting a dive off the top rope to the floor, but once they made it back inside, Sags got an assist from Knobbs to hook a small package for the win. This was a perfectly acceptable Survivor Series style match with some intrigue mixed in. It was pretty long, but they kept the tags quick and had enough comebacks mixed in to keep things from getting boring. The crowd was up and down, but I can’t blame them considering the lengthy heat segments on display. The Nasties get back on the winning track, but the big story here is the fracture of the Rockers. Grade: **1/2


5) The Legion of Doom & Big Boss Man defeat IRS & the Natural Disasters

Hawk and Animal

IRS pins Boss Man with a briefcase shot at 6:23
Hawk pins Typhoon when IRS accidentally hits Typhoon with a briefcase shot at 9:37
Earthquake is counted out when he walks out in anger
Animal pins IRS after a Hawk clothesline off the top rope at 15:21

Fun Fact: This match was originally scheduled to be Sid, Big Boss Man & LOD vs. Jake Roberts, IRS & Natural Disasters, but it was changed to a six-man tag just days before. Sid and Jake were the captains, stemming from the SummerSlam wedding incident, where Sid saved the Savages from Jake and Taker. However, just a few weeks before the match, Sid tore his biceps and had to be removed from the match. After they announced Sid being pulled, they kept teasing that the match would be a handicapped 4 on 3 situation (even as late as the Survivor Series Showdown, which aired three days before the show, as the heel team cut a promo on how they would kill the faces because it was 4 on 3.) However, speculation was running rampant that Randy Savage would be reinstated for the event to take Sid’s place, as this was shortly after Jake had his cobra attack Savage on Superstars. On the SS Showdown, McMahon was even pimping a 1-800 vote line on whether fans thought Savage should be reinstated or not. Just before the show, Jack Tunney announced the match would be three on three, and that Savage WOULD be reinstated the following week for This Tuesday in Texas (ORDER NOW!).

Scott: Our final match is a heatless six-man tag team match with our Tag Team Champions and the current #1 contenders, along with another burgeoning feud. This match was supposed to potentially include Randy Savage as Jake Roberts was set to captain the heels, but due to their feud developments earlier in the show they were held off the match for, wait for it, THIS TUESDAY IN TEXAS! The more you watch this show, the more you realize this show really isn’t a PPV, but a glorified preview show for this experimental PPV five days from now. The crowd is pretty gassed by this point and has lost all energy, particularly after their beloved Hulk Hogan lost the title in a huge upset. Savage and Jake would have saved this last match with all the heat they have in their feud. Sadly they weren’t included and the crowd lost interest. Boss Man gets eliminated by IRS’ Halliburton, furthering their feud. To save the night, the LOD takes out both IRS and the Natural Disasters to send the exasperated fans home happy. In fact, after Typhoon was accidentally cracked with the Halliburton, Earthquake walks off with his partner, leaving IRS in a lurch. Oh, and by the way there’s a PPV Tuesday, IN TEXAS! So the WWF uses a $35 PPV to pimp a $20 PPV all night long. It’s very strange, but that’s exactly how this PPV was booked. The LOD ends the show but the crowd had very little energy left. Grade: **

Justin: What started as a pretty hot show has really limped to the finish here. With Sid, Jake Roberts and Randy Savage all teased and eventually pulled, this main event had very little heat involved. Plus it feels hollow on paper with the three-on-three setup. The heel team members were all in similar positions as they were swiftly ascending the ladder of their respective divisions. The Disasters made their title aspirations very clear and are set to put a beating on the champions here. With the Mountie in his rearview mirror, the Big Boss Man now had to deal with IRS, who had been on his case about being quite unlawful when it comes to paying taxes. And those two wasted no time going at it as they kicked off the proceedings. Boss Man was usual manic self, sprinting around the ring and rattling the Taxman with straight fists to the face. The LOD would get in on the fun as well, completely keeping IRS on his heels. With the way this show has been so heel dominated, the face team here should have probably just gotten in a quick sweep. Earthquake would eventually make his way in and use his size to drive Hawk into their corner and tie him up, but IRS came back in and got worked over yet again. Not the best showing for Irwin so far. He made up for all that in less than ten seconds, as he was able to smack Boss Man with his briefcase and send him to the showers. The heel dominance continued with Typhoon suffocating Animal with a bear hug. He would make the hot tag, but Hawk got tied up with Typhoon as Quake grabbed the briefcase and handed it to IRS. Things broke down quick as IRS accidentally smacked Typhoon with the case, giving Hawk the easy elimination. That was followed by a pissed off Earthquake telling IRS to go screw and walking out with his partner. Now that is friendship. So, in the span of a minute, we went from 3-2 to 2-1 and IRS in deep shit. Irwin gave it a valiant go before trying to escape. The Boss Man would reemerge and drive him back to the ring where he finally succumbed to a Hawk top rope clothesline to close out the show. While it was good to see the faces close things out with a win, the match was quite bland and never really got going. Between all the big happenings going down early and the hype for Tuesday in Texas, the show was dead in the water by this point and only a really great match could have saved things. The LOD stand tall to end the show, but our PPV year is not quite over…see you This Tuesday…in Texas! Grade: *1/2


Final Analysis

Scott: This was truly a lengthy infomercial for the Tuesday in Texas PPV special the following week. Sure we did have the PPV debut of the great Ric Flair and the big WWF Title upset that saw Hulk Hogan lose to a guy who’s been in the company less than a year. In fact anything NOT involving Flair was pretty bland. Not having Savage or Roberts on the card killed a lot of the buzz the show had beforehand. Sure they had stand up interviews pimping their match, IN TEXAS! However we still needed to have some energy for this PPV and after Hogan’s loss we had none of it. I wouldn’t say this is a forgettable show, but other than anything involving Ric Flair it doesn’t stand the test of time and is pretty flat. So, just wait until five more days, IN TEXAS! Final Grade: C+

Justin: Man, what a tale of two halves this show was. It started out really well with Ric Flair’s debut and a red hot opener. The title match was nothing special in the ring but it was tremendously important and set up a wild close to 1991 in the main event scene. We also got dueling promos from Randy Savage and Jake Roberts and both were super and did a great job selling their upcoming match. In the back end, we had the Rockers tease and not much else. I know they probably didn’t want to end the show on a sour note, but they really should have closed with the Title Match. But then again, I guess they wanted the time after to hype the shit out of the Tuesday rematch, so at least they had reasoning behind the decision. They just needed a stronger main event to help them out. It was also pretty shitty that they basically used this show to just push This Tuesday in Texas, which would be their test run for weekly PPVs. They could have pushed the crap out of that show without compromising this one as much as they did. 1991 has been a super year for PPV but it came to a crashing halt here when Hogan’s head slammed off that steel chair. See you Tuesday! (In Texas). Final Grade: C-