Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: Survivor Series 1987

The Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre, Rockin’ Robin, and the Jumping Bomb Angels vs. “Sensational” Sherri Martel, Dawn Marie, Donna Christianello, and the Glamour Girls (w/ “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart) in a Survivor match

So we are now nearing the end of what has been a pretty important year for the WWF and as we come to the end, it was time to start expanding into the PPV market as to this point there was only one PPV and that was Wrestlemania. Coming off the major success that was WM III, there was enough push to add another PPV to the year and they decided to do that while also sticking it to their main competitor in Jim Crockett Promotions who at the time was also looking to tap into the PPV market. They would have their first PPV with Starrcade on Thanksgiving so Vince decided to counter with their own PPV on Thanksgiving called Survivor Series, and it would feature a brand new concept of having nothing but elimination matches that were called Survivor matches. Now while elimination matches weren’t uncommon as we have seen a few of them over the last few years, this was the first time we would see teams of 5 compete in a match which was pretty cool at the time to see this type of match. So for this inaugural edition they decided to have all aspects of the roster covered which means that even though there were only four matches, all bases were covered and that even included the women’s division as they got their own match as well. As I had mentioned, the women’s division by this point was pretty tepid and had been relegated to the backburner of the roster, but now it seemed like it would be pushed back up specifically with the emphasis on the Women’s Tag Titles. After dominating the Women’s Title since late-1985, the Fabulous Moolah was usurped as the top woman in the company by the shining star that was Sherri Martel and as mentioned the tag division was dominated by the Glamour Girls and Jumping Bomb Angels. So we did have to pull out a few older faces to try and fill this match out, but still it was pretty cool that the women did get their own showcase match on this new PPV.

We pretty much already went through the feud between the Glamour Girls and Jumping Bomb Angels so we can focus on the other issues going on in the women’s division, and on 7/24 at a house show in Houston Sherri would upset Moolah to become the new champion in her first match with the company. This would turn Moolah face by proxy and Sherri became the new top heel as she would work the house shows throughout August against McIntyre. Sherri would then work house shows against Moolah going into September before resuming the feud with McIntyre and on the 9/27 Wrestling Challenge, Sherri would again retain the title against McIntyre. In October, this match was made which would be the official debut of Robin while continuing the ongoing issues between Sherri and Moolah along with the Girls and Angels, and Sherri would spend November defending the title against Debbie Combs and Robin. Even though this match wasn’t as heavily hyped up on TV as the previous three matches were, this was a good chance for these ladies to try and steal the show from under the rest of the roster.

Sherri’s team got pretty solid heat as heels as you could tell that Christianello and Marie had been around the block quite a long time, and Moolah’s team get pretty good pops from the crowd as the Angels got the biggest pop on Moolah’s team. Sherri wastes no time and grabs at McIntyre to start the match and she rams her into the buckles, and then she hits a clothesline on McIntyre only for McIntyre to duck a second one and she hits a high crossbody for a two count. Moolah tags in and she kicks at Sherri before knocking her down twice and she hits a pair of snapmares, and she knocks Sherri back into her corner as Christianello tags in only for Moolah to yank her over the top into the ring. Moolah hits a slingshot on Christianello and tags Yamazaki who hits a slingshot dropkick on Christianello, but she misses a dropkick though she quickly tags McIntyre who pounds on Christianello and hits a back elbow. She hits a standing dropkick and a slam on Christianello for a two count as Christianello battles back on McIntyre, but McIntyre knocks her down and tosses her to the mat before leaping onto her shoulders and hooking a victory roll which gets the three and Christianello is eliminated. Kai comes in and kicks McIntyre to the mat twice before whipping her into the corner, but McIntyre catches her in a headscissors before hitting a dropkick and Robin tags in. They lock up with Kai bringing Robin to her corner and she tags Marie who rams the knee into Robin twice, and she slams Robin’s head into the mat twice and rams her into the buckle before tagging Martin. She pounds on Robin only for Robin to duck a shot and hit a high crossbody for a two count, and she hits a dropkick and a snapmare on Martin only for Martin to roll on top of Robin for a two count. She kicks at Robin and tags Sherri who hits a dropkick on Robin and she rams her into Marie’s knee, and Marie tags in and chokes her on the ropes before knocking her down as Robin tries to battle back on Marie. She hits a clothesline and a high crossbody which gets the three and Marie is eliminated, and Martin comes in and pounds on Robin before hitting a clothesline and she knocks Robin into her corner as Tateno tags in. Martin gets a kick in and hits a slam on Tateno who quickly bridges out of the pin, and she leaps over Martin before hooking a sunset flip for a two count and then she hooks a rollup on Martin for a two count. Kai tags in as Tateno hits a pair of high knees on her before hitting a high crossbody for a two count, and Yamazaki tags in and goes up top as she grabs Kai’s hand and hits an armdrag off the top. Sherri tags in only for Yamazaki to pull her over the top into the ring and she hits a back elbow, and she hits a double underhook suplex on Sherri for a two count before tagging Robin who pounds on Sherri. She knocks Sherri down and drops an elbow on her for a two count only for Sherri to get a shot in and she tags Kai who kicks at Robin, but Robin reverses a whip into the corner and hits a monkey flip. Kai recovers and rams Robin into the corner before tagging Sherri who pounds on Robin, and she hits a slam and a suplex which gets the three and Robin is eliminated. Yamazaki comes in and stomps on Sherri before hitting a pair of dropkicks as Martin tags in and gets a shot in before whipping Yamazaki into the corner, but she misses a charge only for Yamazaki to miss a charge and Martin whips her to the mat by her hair. McIntyre tags in as Martin grabs at her only for McIntyre to duck a shot and she hits a spinning crossbody for a two count, and Kai tags in only for McIntyre to yank her over the top into the ring and hit a slingshot. Moolah tags in and pounds on Kai before hitting a monkey flip and a dropkick and she knocks her down, and Martin tags in as Moolah grabs her and snaps her to the mat before pounding on her. Martin battles back and hits a back elbow on Moolah for a two count only for Moolah to get a kick in and she knocks Martin down, and she snaps Martin to the mat for a two count and tags Tateno only for Martin to grab her and pound on her. Kai tags in and goes up to the middle rope as she pounds on Tateno only for Tateno to get a shot in and she tosses Kai to the mat, but she misses a dropkick and she hits a flying forearm on Tateno. She rams Tateno into the buckle and tags Sherri who rakes the eyes and she slams Tateno’s head into the mat twice for a two count, and Martin tags in and tosses Tateno to the mat as Yamazaki tags in only for Martin to kick at her and send her to the outside. She pulls Moolah over the top into the ring only for Moolah to kick her away and she pounds on Martin before hitting a clothesline, She hits a slam and a snapmare on Martin before taking her to the mat with a headlock, but Martin whips her off and the Girls hit a double clothesline which gets the three and Moolah is eliminated.

Yamazaki comes in and kicks at Martin only for Martin to catch her with a boot and knock her down, but Yamazaki catches a second kick attempt and knocks her down before dragging her to the corner and tagging Tateno. She stomps on Martin’s leg and slams down on it before dropping an elbow on it and she tags McIntyre, and she stomps on Martin’s leg and hooks a Boston crab on Martin before transitioning into another submission. She hooks a surfboard submission on Martin who grabs the rope to force a break and she hits a dropkick on Martin, and Sherri tags in only for McIntyre to again drag her over the top into the ring though Sherri gets a shot in and slams McIntyre’s head into the mat. She chokes McIntyre on the ropes and snaps her to the mat before hitting a legdrop on McIntyre, and she hits a gutwrench suplex that looks like it spiked McIntyre’s head into the mat and Kai tags in as she tosses McIntyre across the ring. Yamazaki tags in only for Kai to grab her and toss her to the mat before using her body to knock Yamazaki down, and she hits a double underhook suplex on Yamazaki for a two count as the bell rings by mistake. McIntyre tags in and they lock up with Kai ramming McIntyre in her corner and Sherri tags in, but McIntyre escapes a double team and trips Sherri up before hitting a giant swing. Sherri reverses a whip into the corner only for McIntyre to leap onto the middle rope and she leaps onto Sherri’s shoulders, and then she hooks a victory roll which gets the three and Sherri is eliminated in a shocking moment. Martin comes in and drops an elbow on McIntyre repeatedly before choking her on the mat, and she stomps on McIntyre as Yamazaki tags in only for Martin to grab her and whip her into the corner only for Yamazaki to leap to the middle rope and hook a sunset flip for a two count. Yamazaki hits a rolling headbutt on Martin and attempts a slam which Martin blocks as Tateno tags in, and Tateno attempts a double underhook suplex which Martin blocks at first only for Tateno to hit the suplex for a two count. Kai tags in and trips Tateno up only for Tateno to hook a bodyscissors on Kai who fights out of the hold and hits a slingshot, and McIntyre tags in and pounds on Kai before hitting a back elbow and she hooks a rollup for a two count. She leaps onto Kai’s shoulders only for Kai to bounce her off the ropes and she hits an electric chair drop which gets the three and McIntyre is eliminated, and the Angels come in and hit stereo dropkicks on the Girls before whipping them into each other and hitting stereo slams. Tateno holds Kai down as Yamazaki slingshots Martin onto Kai and Tateno hits a slam on Kai, but Kai reverses a whip and Martin knees Tateno in the back from the apron as Kai hits a slam on Tateno. Kai goes up top only to miss the splash and Yamazaki tags in as she goes up top and hits a crossbody which gets the three and Kai is eliminated, and Martin comes in as they exchange kicks and Martin reverses a whip before kicking Yamazaki to the mat. She pounds on Yamazaki and slams her head into the mat before hoisting her onto her shoulders and slamming her to the mat for a two count, but Yamazaki ducks a shot and slams Martin to the mat before tagging Tateno. She goes up top as Yamazaki hits a slam on Martin and Tateno drops a knee on Martin, and the Angels hit a double backdrop on Martin as Jimmy gets on the apron. Yamazaki dropkicks Jimmy off the apron to the floor as Tateno goes up top and hits a clothesline on Martin, getting the three and the Angels are the sole survivors for their team.

The match itself was surprising pretty good as all 10 ladies worked hard and put on a solid Survivor match for the 20 minutes that they got. As I had mentioned before, the women’s division by this point was incredibly lacking in depth and the fact that they were able to pull this match off was quite a surprise to a lot of people. Obviously, you had some dead weight in there with Christianello and Marie who were way past their prime by this point and even Moolah had no business being in the ring by this point, and this ultimately ended up being a showcase for Sherri and the ongoing feud between the Girls and the Angels and it was pretty cool seeing Sherri interact with the Angels for the brief times she did. There were a few questionable decisions in this match such as Sherri not pinning Moolah to finish off that feud and also Robin doesn’t get a good showing as she is still really green, and an even stranger decision is having McIntyre eliminate Sherri which made no sense since McIntyre was pretty much out the door by this point. But they did get one thing right in having the Girls and Angels be the last ones in the match and you almost wished that they blew through the eliminations quickly and had these two teams work the majority of the match and it was also good to have the Angels win to build towards the inevitable title match. The crowd was surprisingly into the match and they did pop big for the Angels when they won. The Angels are the sole survivors for their team and now look to getting another title shot against the Girls.

Final Grade: ***

Author: Steve Riddle

I have been a wrestling fan since 1993 and that is probably my biggest love, with movies being a close second due in part to being employed at a movie theater for over 9 years.

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