Tag Archives: Retro Wrestling

A Thanksgiving Tradition: The 1987 WWE Survivor Series

Welcome to November nostalgic nuggets and I’m not the type of asshole that treats Thanksgiving as the bastard step-child of the three BIG holidays skipping it over entirely when Halloween ends and diving balls deep into Christmas. This year, I’ll be serving up several pieces of delightful articles in what I see as essential Thanksgiving traditions, or at least what I’ve experienced anyway, in a nostalgic pie, with the first taste being the all-important WWE SURVIVOR SERIES.

I’ve always enjoyed the atmospheric pleasures of the gluttonous holiday as yours truly grew up in an Italian-American household where food was life and the center of everything. Getting together for these 6-hour long meals was something we looked forward to all year and while waiting for each course like a bunch of fat hobbits anxiously awaiting secondsies and thirdsies, we gathered around old-faithful in my grandparent’s living room (a giant Magnavox TV floor model) and watched the WWE annual Pay Per View event of Survivor Series. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the first-ever battle of survival in the WWE ring so it seems only fitting I focus on the one that started it all, even tho the 1990 SS will forever be the goddamn greatest of all time (umm hello Undertaker debut and Gobbedly Gooker). Not to say the 1987 event didn’t have some exciting moments because it sure as shit did, and a few underrated ones at that. Just a personal preference really.

But first, a little back-story:

With Vince McMahon having the wrestling world under his thumb, remaining independent territories struggled to stay afloat and while moderately successful they remained with loyal fans, it didn’t stop the wrestling mogul from screwing with them to the point of taking every little bit of bread crumbs they could get. Vince started the Survivor Series as an answer to Starrcade- the brain-child of NWA promoter Jim Crockett from 1983-1987 before moving into the WCW and aired on closed-circuit television every Thanksgiving before moving to Pay Per View in 1987. With that being the case, McMahon does what the guy does best and wanted to further his stronghold on the wrestling world by launching his own Pay Per View Event as a giant fuck you to the rest of the already, heavily bruised egos of remaining territory heads. So, the Survivor Series was born out of gluttonous greed and dick-measuring contests.

Ironic seeing as how these are how most Thanksgiving family dinners end up, eh?

Anyways, let’s get down to the glorious matches that came about as a result and begat one of the greatest Thanksgiving traditions.

Team Savage Vs Team Honky

First off, I just want to point out that one of the greatest SS matches ever was spearheaded by Randy Savage with an entire team he had/will have mega beef with. Just goes to show the guy knew who he had great chemistry with, as it’s well-known Savage was a master of organizing a great match for the audiences.

Team Captain Savage paired with Ricky Steamboat, Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, and Brutas Beefcake to take on his formidable foe at the time The Honkey Tonk Man, who leading up to this match had a pretty great soap-opera-esque type of feud going that involved Honky pushing Elizabeth to the ground and busting Savage over the head with his crap guitar. His team consisted of Harley Race, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, and Hercules.

Jim Duggan and Harley Race were in the middle of a rivalry over the King of the Ring crown, brawled outside the ring, and wound up counted out. Beefcake was eliminated courtesy of a Shake, Rattle and Roll while Team Savage continued to pick apart the Honkey Squad, eliminating Danny Davis, Hercules, and Ron Bass. What’s great about this is that Honky Tonk Man, this smug shit who had claimed to be the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all time, now had three very pissed-off big dudes awaiting their revenge on this guy and this was their time, FINALLY. Honky received quite a berating along with a beating but alas, the coward emerges the current IC champion booked it from the ring and gets intentionally counted out to avoid further embarrassment. Spawning hatred from the fans who already despised this Memphis Shmuck even more than they did before and Survivor Series had its first underrated classic.

DM Credit: NotRobVanDam

Team Moolah VS Team Sherri

Next, we have another severely underrated gem and I’m not talking about strictly confining this to Women’s Wrestling; and that mostly has to do with one of the coolest Tag Team Gals ever in the game: The Jumping Bomb Angels.

Team Sherri Martel, woman’s champion at the time, led the team of Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello with The Glamour Girls Judy Martin and Leilani Kai against Moolah and her clan of Rockin’ Robin (Jake Roberts’ sister for those who don’t know), Velvet McIntire, with Jumping Bomb Angels Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno.

The Japanese power duo of the Bomb Angels were front and center of this match and anyone taking a break because its a “girls’ throw-away match” as some people would refer to the Women’s arena part of WWE of the 80s’, were FOOLS as these ladies did it better than more than half the men on this ticket. Not for nothing but McIntire was fun to watch too with her agility and technical skills.

Christanello was eliminated first by McIntyre with a victory roll with Robin hitting a running crossbody on Marie, pinning her and giving Moolah’s team the advantage of three against five. About this time we see what these Angels can do when Yamazaki bridges out of a pinning attempt from Kai and shortly after reverses it with an unsuccessful pin followed by some flying body scissors that impress even the most unphased of them all Jesse Ventura.

After some back and forth, Sherri comes in with a vengeance and hits Robin with a vertical suplex eliminating her. Then the real action starts with the Glamour Girls hitting a double clothesline on Moolah and Judy Martin, which would ultimately lead to Moolah being pinned and out she goes. McIntyre then takes out Sherri with another victory roll pin. Leilani Kai turns the tables however and takes out McIntyre after an electric chair drop. Now, the Bomb Angels can really shine. Both tag teams come into the match. Yamazaki hits a diving crossbody from the top rope on Kai and pins her with Tateno hitting a flying clothesline on Martin winning the match showing an American crowd what the Japanese culture has to offer and just absolutely pulverizes every lady in that ring as far as showmanship and skill. Team Sherri sucked and never really stood a chance in hell, even without the scripted loss. However, the Angels eventually won the crowd over towards the end and saved this match from being a total wash. It was also the last time we would see a ladies’ match at Survivor Series for a LONG TIME.

DM Credit: NotRobVanDam

The 20-Man Tag Team Match

The 20-man tag team was just that: a team of ten tag teams from the federation beating the hell out of each other. The rules for this one were that if one-half of your tag team member is eliminated then his partner is out too. Had this not been instated, this match could have easily gone on for close to two hours. The match itself runs 40 mins long, so instead of boring you with a really long play-by-play, how about some interesting facts about this particular segment instead!

The “Heel Team” was made up of The Bolsheviks, Demolition, The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, and the New Dream Team and each one had a heel manager at ringside. Although I was always one to enjoy Bobby Heenan’s shit-talking, with the addition of Jimmy Hart, Slick, Mr. Fuji, and Johnny V, that’s enough to give anyone a migraine.

Back in the day if you watched any of these on the famed Coliseum Video, you might notice a monumental fuck up during this ticket. Mid-way through the match, the British Bulldogs are eliminated when Haku pins Dynamite Kid following a savage kick. The entire elimination sequence was mistakenly (one has to assume) edited from the VHS of the event. So for those that only got to see the event via VHS, I would imagine a lot of confusion when all of a sudden the Bulldogs disappeared after kicking all the ass with no explanation.

Anyways, the “Face Team” of Strike Force, The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees (who totally rule), The Young Stallions, and The Fabulous Rougeaus with Killer Bees and Young Stallions beating all the opposing team members and were victorious in survival.


Now here’s a special segment from everyone’s most hated millionaire, Ted Dibiase!

Newcomer to the WWE “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase spared no expense promoting his wealth and cringe behavior to the rest of the world shooting him straight up the ranks of most hated heels in a really short amount of time. With the show needing some downtown between the 20-man event and the Main Event of the evening, Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura threw us a video package of the “Million Dollar Wrestling Mogul” in which of all the times he was “thankful” for being able to degrade the common public with a chance of them making a few bucks.

Seen above is a young Rob Van Dam kissing Diabase’s feet, while another shows then unknown, Linda McMahon barking like a dog for some cash.

Even as a young kid, I actually really liked watching Dibiase work the crowd. Everyone thought I was a sociopath for actually digging the guy, I mean hey- the shit he pulled was pretty hilarious, but I was also the kid that laughed hysterically at the live show I attended where The Undertaker who was then a heel, stuffed The Ultimate Warrior in a casket on a Funeral Parlor segment.

Oh well. I’m accepting that I might just be sort of a sociopathic asshole.

The Main Event: Team Hogan VS Team Andre

Here it is- the main event we’ve been waiting for all night ever since that record-breaking crowd event at Wrestlemania III where Hulk Hogan would face Andre the Giant once more.

Hogan’s team of Paul Orndoff, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, and Don Muraco were facing a multitude of size and weight against Team Andre who had of course Andre, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed, and Rick Rude. Don Muraco, who was Team Face, was actually a last-minute replacement on the team as Superstar Billy Graham was slated to be a part of the ticket. However, Graham was hindered by a real-life hip replacement and was severely limited in his matches. So he was written out of the match and replaced just a few days before with a Butch Reed and One Man Gang assault angle as his injuries were too much for the former champion.

The match itself is fairly standard up until almost half of each team is eliminated giving Andre, One Man Gang, and King Kong Bundy an advantage over Hogan and Bam Bam. However, no one at the time saw this coming, but Hogan got caught being counted out of the ring fighting off Bundy and Gang; leaving Bam Bam Bigelow to take on over 1,200 pounds of meaty wrestlers all on his own.

I gotta say this was one hell of a way to put over Bam Bam as someone to watch in the WWE and it’s well-known to many wrestling aficionados that Andre truly loved the sport and a hell of a guy- doing everything he could to make someone else look great. Andre had not wrestled since the infamous match at Wrestlemania as his health was starting to decline at this point but that didn’t stop him, or anyone else for that matter, from putting on a grand finale.

All for it to be ruined by a dickhead move by the Hulkster.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Hulk as much as the next gal/guy back in the day but even I thought this was sort of, well, fucked up. Bam Bam SOMEHOW manages to pin both Bundy and Gang (in that order) but is ultimately taken out by Andre, as anyone would be. Bigelow is great but he ain’t Superman. Then, as Andre’s hand is raised as the sole survivor, Hogan comes dashing out from the locker room and beans him with his belt. I’d have to agree with Jessie Ventura on this one, “What a sore loser!”

Sure, I get it. We had to end the program with the soon-to-be-cliche finale of Hogan and his anthem. But damn, that was just so unnecessary and borderline cringe.


Welp, since you’ve made it this far, let us give thanks over a bowl of my Nan’s heart Italian Christmas Soup that we as a collective of our generation, were the first to experience this wild Thanksgiving tradition that went on for many years after, and even today as I must also give thanks to Peacock streaming for allowing us to watch every Survivor Series ever back to back on bust-your-gut Turkey Day to keep that nostalgic tradition alive.

[Video] Stand Back! It’s The 1987 WWE Slammy Awards!

Ahh, the Slammy Awards. First introduced in 1986 in a mockumentary-style of the prestigious Grammy Awards all to promote the Rockin’ Wrestling conjunction WWF Wrestling Album, Vince McMahon rode that wave of world wide domination success and made his own damn awards show for his Superstars. While most of the show was of course scripted and meant to entertain much like the matches themselves, there was some seriousness to it which became more-so later on in the following years where getting a Slammy was indeed, a great honor in the sport. But, yeah- it didn’t really start out that way and I got the receipts to prove it.


I could stop right here but that isn’t any fun now is it?

Despite being billed as the “37th Annual Slammy Awards“, the program returned on December 16th, 1987 with hosts “Mean Gene” Okerlund and Jesse “The Body” Ventura in a perfect nuance of entertainment announcing while the likes of McMahon (above), Jimmy Hart, and of course, the Honkey Tonk Man performed (or lip synced rather) some umm.. original musical hits. Ending on a “high note” with the entire roster in attendance clapping and singing to their new hit, “If You Only Knew”. Again, all in the name of promotional purposes for the entertainment giant’s second sophomore album (I can’t believe I just said that) “Piledriver”.

The Fink led us into this wild ride with wrestlers showing up in ambulances, motorcycles, dressed to the nine for the all-inclusive Black Tie Spandex Event. Well, except for the Ultimate Warrior; ask him to put on a tux and you’ll essentially just get him in his bicycle ribbons and underwear.

Awards like the Best Performance by an Animal, Best Manager (heh), and Best Ring Apparel were pretty much spoofs and set ups for some comedy entertainment. However, awards like the Hulk Hogan Real American Award presented to Superstar Billy Graham and The Woman of The Year that went to Miss Elizabeth (albeit the setup for that was comedy gold as well), were actually heartfelt and well deserved pat on the backs for these sports stars.

But let’s talk about the real stars of the show here: Hacksaw Jim Duggen and King Harley Race. With the award for Best Ring Attire up for grabs, Duggen was at the podium announcing the nominees along with presenting the award. Now, of course, upon opening the envelope to see his long-time feuding opponent Race has won, has Duggen a bit underwhelmed and doesn’t even want to say his name; forcing the stage-hand co-presenter to mutter the words of the winner. Accompanying the “King” onstage to accept is manager, Bobby Heenan, he ridicules Duggen and proposes the “peon” bow to his superior. Well, we all know we have a better chance of seeing Hacksaw straightening his lazy eye out than watching him bow to the likes of this fucker; so the brawl begins and last throughout the entire damn program.

Starting on the stage and making their way all around the building, the pair throw everything they have at each other, including LIVE CHICKENS and a giant fish. Heh. Still to this day hearing Gorilla Monsoon say, “OH BIG FISH RIGHT IN THE KISSER!” is the celebrated commentator’s Magnum Opus.

Also, why the hell was there just a random donkey hanging out backstage?

Good times.

Watch the entire ham and cheese program, especially if you need a good laugh today, right here with a big shout out to Scott’s Wrestling Collection Youtube channel for uploading this masterpiece.

Just Because: Here’s The “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s Wild And Weird Bachelor Party (1991)

Listen, growing up the WWF (yeah ok WWE) served as the ultimate soap opera for kids and young adults. It had everything; drama, ass-kicking, comedy and yes even love stories. The biggest of which during the 80s’ and 90s’ was the long and drawn out love and war tale of the “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth. One, I might add, I was fully invested in a young girl as Elizabeth was like a real life Barbie doll in the middle of all the chaos. I would get totally upset when she was treated like an asshole, whether it by Savage himself, or some other dickhead like the infamous push from the Honkey Tonk Man on Saturday Night’s Main Event.


Anyways, throughout the pair’s tumultuous journey in the WWE, the real life married duo were set to tie the knot at an over-the-top spectacle at Summer Slam 1991 as part of the “Match Made of Heaven” and “Match Made in Hell” promos for the Pay Per View event. The ceremony took place at the tail end of the show and set up for one of the GREATEST and severely underrated wrestling feuds of all time-which also led into a grand slam babyface turn for one of the industries most legendary superstars, (Don’t worry, I have an entire piece dedicated to this coming next week). So more on that coming soon. But, how about the goddamn glorious Bachelor Party that was thrown for Savage a week prior to the Main Event?!

If you don’t remember, get ready for a wild ride.

Broadcast on the USA network as part of Prime Time Wrestling on August 12th, 1991, a weird and wild bachelor party was being thrown for the televised groom-to-be by and was shown in increments in-between matches throughout the program. Supposedly all to be set up by the weasel Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, he lives up to his nickname as he of course, weasels out of the manual labor aspects leaving it up to the likes of Mean Gene Okerlund, Lord Alfred Hayes, and Sean Mooney.

The guest list at the party includes some of the WWE’s whackiest bunch of the time including The Bushwhackers, Koko B. Ware, the Slickster, and the ultimate life-of-the-party Roddy Piper! I mean, who wouldn’t want to throw back a few beers with the Rowdy one?! Especially after that “Sherri Fish” remark that was made after her crash appearance. Bless those memorable Rowdy ad-libs. There were also a few, of what I assume behind the scenes workers dressed up and thrown in as fillers, including a very nerdy dude shown throughout the party. No clue who he is and I can’t recall ever seeing him prior or after so if anyone knows who this dude is, drop a comment below.

Finally the party gets started when the Macho Madness arrives and madness indeed it is as dancers begin to show up to drive these guys, as Gorilla Monsoon would say, BANANAS. As indicated in one scene where one of the dancer’s back is to the camera and shows the guys her goods. Make sure to pay special attention to Piper’s reaction because it’s damn priceless .

Besides the fact we get to see The Bushwhackers dance with a stripper in all its gloriousness, the Bachelor Party does as a matter of fact, serve a purpose in the storytelling lines for upcoming drama between Jake the Snake and Randy Savage as Jake is denied entry into the party from security. Reason being Savage gives the excise that Elizabeth hates snakes and therefore, his presence is a no go. Behind the curtains, the real-life marriage was on the rocks and headed for divorce, so albeit all for show, kind of funny how much she’s got him by the balls here even she isn’t around- and it’s about time! Considering for years he really did her treat her like dirt on camera. However, the victory for the little lady ended up turning into almost a year-long feud between the two wrestlers with some of the most shocking stunts portrayed on television to date.

Worth noting is the intermediate promos for the 900 Hulk number. $1.49 for the first minute, and .99 cents every additional minute! Gotta love those hotlines back in the day that caused many an ass whoopings.

OK, enough rambling. Here it is in all it’s glory with a thank you shoutout to Youtube Channel Kingdom Of Madness for uploading this long-lost treasure! Stay tuned next week as we dive into the feud that flamed from this incident!