Vintage Vault Pre-Viewing: Survivor Series 1990

The Dream Team vs. the Million Dollar Team (w/ Virgil, “Mouth of the South” Jimmy Hart, and Brother Love)

We now come to the final PPV of 1990 and needless to say, it has been quite an interesting year that has seen a lot of turnover within the company in terms of the roster. When the year started, many of the guys that were being pushed heavy at the end of 1989 hit their peak by Wrestlemania and now we were starting to see some guys de-pushed while others started getting rejuvenated. When 1990 started, Dusty Rhodes and Ted Dibiase were on opposite ends as Rhodes was having a hot feud with Randy Savage and Dibiase was winding up his feud with Jake Roberts, and now as they start feuding Dibiase seemed on his way back up while Rhodes was sliding down the card. This was one of the big feuds going into this show especially when it was announced they would each captain a team, and knowing that a few of these guys might be wrestling twice tonight was going to add some intrigue as to who would be the sole survivor.

The feud between Rhodes and Dibiase began over the summer when Rhodes’ valet Sapphire began receiving lavish gifts from a mysterious benefactor, and at Summerslam Dibiase revealed himself as the benefactor as Sapphire turned heel and joined him. At the last Saturday Night’s Main Event, Rhodes’ son Dustin was in the front row during his rematch with Savage though Dibiase and Virgil would buy out the seats next to him, and they would attack Dustin during the match which led Rhodes getting counted out as he protected his son. On the 11/3 Superstars, Dustin faced Dibiase in a match where he only had to last 10 minutes against him which he did, and Rhodes and Dibiase would face each other on the house shows including the last MSG house show in October. At the same time, the Hart Foundation and Rhythm and Blues feuded throughout the fall for the titles including at that same MSG house show, and on the Survivor Series Showdown Bret would defeat Honkytonk Man to build momentum for his team. Going into this match, there was also plenty of question as to who the mystery partner was going to be and if that person was going to be the difference maker for the team.

Dibiase’s team cuts a good promo before the match as they vow to be the survivors and hype up the mystery partner, and the Dream Team get a big pop from the crowd as Piper mentions on commentary that Bret has dedicated this match to his brother Dean who had passed away the night before. Dibiase and Rhythm and Blues were pretty hot as heels as Dibiase officially introduces the world to the mystery partner, the Undertaker who comes out with Brother Love and the crowd is left in stunned silence as they are in awe of this newcomer. Bret starts off the match with Taker who gets a kick in and he pounds on Bret who ducks a shot only for Taker to take him to the mat with a chokeslam, and he chokes him on the mat as Neidhart tags in as he collides with Taker and neither budge. Taker catches Neidhart in a slam and Ware tags in only to miss a dive as Taker hotshots him on the top rope, and he hoists Ware up and hits a modified piledriver which Gorilla coins the Tombstone as he gets the three and Ware is eliminated. Bret comes in and they lock up as Taker shoves him back and Bret pounds on him which he no-sells, and Valentine tags in as does Rhodes and they lock up with Valentine backing Rhodes into the corner and he pounds on him. Rhodes battles back and knocks Valentine down before tagging Neidhart who pounds on Valentine’s arm, and Bret tags in and continues to work the arm before ramming Valentine into the buckle and he pounds on him in the corner. He whips him into the other corner only for Valentine to catch him with a knee to the face and Honky tags in, and he stomps on Bret and kicks at him as Bret battles back and he knocks Honky down. Honky catches him with a knee to the ribs and Neidhart tags in as Bret reverses a whip and Neidhart catches him in a powerslam which gets the three and Honky is eliminated, and Dibiase comes in and pounds on Neidhart as he continues to pound on him in the corner. Neidhart reverses a whip into the other corner and hits a clothesline on Dibiase before hitting a slam, and Rhodes tags in and he pounds on Dibiase in the corner before hitting a dropkick and Neidhart tags in. They hit a double back elbow on Dibiase for a two count and then Neidhart hits a suplex for a two count, and he hooks a headlock on before knocking Dibiase down as Virgil trips him from the outside and Dibiase hits a clothesline which gets the three and Neidhart is eliminated. Bret comes in and pounds on Dibiase before hitting a headbutt as Dibiase begs off in the corner, and he kicks at Dibiase and pounds on him in the corner before ramming him into Rhodes’ elbow and he tags him in. Rhodes pounds on Dibiase and knocks him down as Dibiase gets a shot in and rakes the eyes before pounding on Rhodes, and he hits a clothesline on Rhodes and tags Taker who stomps on Rhodes and knocks him down as Bret tags in. Taker nails Bret and rams him into Valentine’s boot before tagging him in as he chokes Bret in the corner, and Valentine stomps on Bret in the corner and tags Dibiase who continues to pound on Bret. Bret tries to battle back and hits an atomic drop before tagging Rhodes who pounds on Dibiase until Taker tags in, and he pounds on Rhodes and catches him with a knee to the ribs before going up top and hitting an axehandle which gets the three and Rhodes is eliminated. He tosses Rhodes over the top to the floor as Bret comes in and pounds on Taker while Love stomps on Rhodes, and Valentine tags in and pounds on Bret before hitting a back elbow only to miss the elbow. Rhodes stalks Love and grabs at him only for Taker to nail him from behind and stomp on him as he pounds on him, and they head up the aisle and Taker hits a headbutt as it is ruled that he is counted out and Taker is eliminated. He chokes Rhodes on the floor and continues to pound on him as they head to the back, and Valentine catches Bret ducking with an elbow and attempts the Figure-4 only for Bret to hook a small package which gets the three and Valentine is eliminated. Dibiase comes in and Bret pounds on him as he hits an atomic drop that sends Dibiase over the top to the floor, and then he hits a slingshot plancha onto Dibiase on the floor and pounds on him as Dibiase rakes the eyes only for Bret to send him into the post. He rams Dibiase into the steps and throws him into the ring as Dibiase begs off and Bret stomps on him, and he pounds on Dibiase who gets a knee in and Bret rakes the eyes as he pounds on Dibiase in the corner. Dibiase reverses a whip and sends Bret chest first into the corner for a two count as he pounds on him in the corner, and he whips him into the other corner only for Bret to catch him ducking with a backslide for a two count. Bret hooks a headlock and Dibiase whips him off as he trips him up and Bret seemingly hurts his knee, and Dibiase gloats only for Bret to roll him up for a two count as Virgil gets on the apron and he avoids a shot as he holds Bret. Dibiase charges only for Bret to move and Dibiase hits a kneelift that sends Virgil off the apron as Bret hooks a rollup for a two count, and Bret hits a backbreaker on Dibiase and goes up to the middle rope as he drops an elbow on Dibiase for a two count. Dibiase reverses a whip and Bret ducks a shot as he hits a high crossbody only for Dibiase to roll through as he gets the three and wins the match for his team.

The match itself was pretty good as both teams worked hard and put on a solid Survivor match. The Dream Team were an interesting group because it seemed like the guy that got the most shine was Bret as Ware went down quickly, and then even Neidhart went out fairly quickly and Rhodes got some decent shine though he didn’t even make it to the end. It was a bit weird that they had been doing the thing with Dustin yet he was nowhere to be found, and it would’ve made sense for him to at least be at ringside if not in the match itself instead of Ware. On the heel side, you could tell that Dibiase was being rebuilt as he gets the better of Rhodes while preparing for his big title match the next night, and Rhythm and Blues were just there to fill out the team as Honky goes out quick and Valentine falls to Bret. Obviously, this match is best remembered for the debut of Taker as he looks like an absolute monster in getting two eliminations with one of them being Rhodes, and he was kept fairly protected as he was counted out even though he did tag out so it didn’t make a ton of sense. Other than him, Bret and Dibiase were the stars as they had a good outing in the end until Dibiase got the win which made sense. The crowd was into the match and the Dream Team, but are not happy when Dibiase wins. Dibiase gets the win for his team and would compete in the Grand Finale at the end of the night, but something tells me that big things are going to be coming for the Undertaker.

Final Grade: ***

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