WWE Survivor Series 1991 Review

Jonathan WilsonContributor IINovember 8, 2008

WWE Survivor Series
November 28, 1991

In contrast to most PPV's, we begin right with interviews to promote storylines for the night. All of the news is about what happened on Superstars the Saturday before the PPV (This PPV took place on Wednesday, the day before the US Thanksgiving). This was the infamous snake biting incident between Jake Roberts and Randy Savage. President Jack Tunney (Of the Toronto's Tunneys) ruled that due to the poison in Savage's body, he's unable to wrestle tonight. He's also ruled that since Savage is out, Roberts will have to sit out tonight making their elimination match three-on-three. Tunney finally rules that Savage and Roberts will wrestle soonest available time (Which would be This Tuesday in Texas PPV...wanna guess what day it took place on?)

Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, British Bulldog and Virgil vs Ric Flair, The Mountie, The Warlord and Ted Dibiase w/ Sherri
Take out Virgil and The Warlord and you have six of the best wrestlers in the company. If only Kerry Von Erich and Mr Perfect could/would of been put into this match. Okay, backstory time. Since arriving in the WWE, Flair had been at odds with Piper. Hart had been feuding with The Mountie over the IC title ever since winning it. The Warlord seemed to only feud with the Bulldog since splitting from The Barbarian. Finally, Virgil and Dibiase had been feuding ever since the Rumble. It should be noted that this year, all managers have been banned from ringside. The refs seem to not notice Sherri. Dibiase and Piper starts it off. Before long, Ted is in trouble and Sherri grabs his arms, but Piper drags them both in the ring by Ted's legs. Piper picks Sherri up and kisses her. That's enough for Sherri to go crazy and the refs forcing her out of ringside. Dibiase remains in while the babyfaces takes turns working over his arm. Dibiase is probably one of the best heels in that you love seeing him punished. Dibiase and Hart has a nice sequence before Piper and Flair are tagged in. Piper nails Flair with several punches which forces Flair out of the ring to do his flop. Warlord is tagged in, but Piper tags in Bulldog so that we get the battle of the 'roided up big men. Bulldog hits the ropes and collides into Warlord. Chaos breaks down after Bulldog hits his running powerslam on the Mountie. Flair hits Bulldog from the second rope. That's somehow enough to have The Mountie pin Bulldog. For as little punishment Davey Boy took, the elimination came off looking very weak. Piper locks in a Figure Four on Flair, but Dibiase comes in and breaks it up. Somehow Virgil outchops Flair enough that Ric wants out of the ring. Warlord makes Virgil his little bitch and throws him on to the outside. Back in, Warlord locks in his Full Nelson, but all the wrestlers fight again distracting the ref. Hart gives a similar shot that Flair gave to Bulldog. Tag to Piper and Piper easily pins Warlord. I appreciate the fact they're making Warlord and Bulldog out to be so similar, but the same lame elimination twice isn't smart. Virgil plays the face-in-peril for a while. Virgil hits a neckbreaker on Dibiase and tags in Piper. Piper is a house of fury taking on all the heels. The faces enter the ring and we get yet another brawl. Piper throws Flair out of the ring. The ref finally has enough and DQ's everyone...in the ring. Which means Ric Flair is 1-0 on WWE PPV. The match was loaded with talent and it showed. The actual match was plenty good with the fans being into it. However, each and every elimination left a bitter taste in my mouth. With the talent that they had, this match could of easily went an hour and been exciting the entire time. That could of giving us the best singles (As opposed to tag) elimination match at Survivor Series in it's 5 year history. The eliminations, instead makes it rather average. 22 Minutes. 2 3/4 Stars.

Randy Savage is interviewed by Mean Gene on the interview stage. Savage talks about how the bite felt and how the worst thing was seeing and hearing Miss Elizabeth crying. Standard good promo from Savage, but at the same time, if he can kayfabe be there tonight in seemingly good health and be able to wrestle in 6 days, wouldn't he in kayfabe be able to wrestle tonight?

The Texas Tornado, Tito Santana, Jim Duggan and Sgt Slaughter vs Hercules, Skinner, The Berserker and Colonel Mustafa
With the exception of Mufasta (Iron Sheik) and Slaughter, there isn't really any feuds going into this. The reason being is that most of the wrestlers are replacements. Jim Neidhart was injured by Ric Flair and The Beverly Brothers, Ricky Steamboat left, Big Bully Busick either left or the WWE just realized he shouldn't have been on PPV and The Barbarian was also supposed to be on the team. The heel team ends up being possible the weakest looking team in the history of SS teams. And people thought Dykstra, Braddock and Hawkins/Ryder was weak looking.

The match starts with the heels and the faces tagging in and out with neither team having any success. Slaughter finally gets tagged in with Mustafa. These two were alley partners when Slaughter was a heel earlier in the year. To end their fierce battle, Slaughter hits a closeline and that's it for the Sheik. Slaughter is no Nigel and as a result, this first elimination looks like it'll give the first match a run for it's money for having the worst eliminations. Slaughter works over The Berserker's balls for awhile...no, seriously. Hercules is tagged in, but Tornado keeps him on defense. Tito is tagged in and he hits his Flying Forearm to the back of Hercules' head. That's enough to get the pin. Poor Herc, the guy who I thought had so much potential to be a great heel champion in the mid 80's jobbing just a few years later. Fearing that the eliminations haven't been bad enough tonight, Slaughter school boys a fresh Skinner for the 3 count. The Berserker is all alone against 2 talented wrestlers, an over yet non-talented wrestler and a formerly talented, but now so over the hill that he's terrible worker. A young Jimmy Jacobs is sad to see his idol not even lasting a full minute as Duggan hits his 3 point stance (Running Closeline) to get the pin and win the match for his team. The faces would end up being just the second team in history to all survive. In an ironic twist, Hercules happened to be on that surviving team (1990's The Visionaries with Martel, Roma and The Warlord). Sadly, that's the only interesting thing about this match. Utterly dull, far too much time and just a general sense of not caring. 15 Minutes. 1 1/4 Star

But hey, I feel bad for Hercules, so enjoy this match from 1991 against one of my favorite heels at the time, The Barbarian:

Jake Roberts heads to the interview stage to meet up with Mean Gene. Roberts gives his usual solid interview and hypes up the Tuesday in Texas match (Which now had a name).

Hulk Hogan (c) vs The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer - WWF World Title Match
This began on Bearer's Funeral Parlor talk show where 'Taker attacked Hogan from behind. A long dragged out match ensues. Taker is able to get in all of his trademark moves at a slow pace. Taker hits the Tombstone, but Hogan NO SELLS it. WOW...HOW IN GOD'S NAME WAS THAT A SMART THING TO DO? Have Hogan kick out or something, but damn, don't have him no sell Taker's biggest move while selling everything else he did. Ric Flair comes out to get a better view. Hogan tries for the legdrop, but Bearer keeps distracting the ref. This allowed Flair to grab a chair and slide it where Taker had positioned Hogan for another Tombstone. Like most Tombstones at the time, Hogan's head doesn't even come close to the chair. Flair pulls the chair out and the ref counts 3 making Taker the new World Champion. Ugh. Maybe the last match wasn't so bad after all. Taker was very over at the time, but his style was incredibly slow and boring. With The Undertaker on offense the entire time, it made the match drag so much. The no selling of the Tombstone was such a bad move to do. Taker wins the title, but due to the no selling, he comes off looking weak. If they really wanted to put Taker over as an unstoppable force (aka how to make people pay more money to see him) Taker should of just went out there and demolished Hogan. For the first time since he returned in late '83, job Hogan out. Have Hogan sit out for a couple of months before coming back to try and avenge his toughest opponent ever. Instead, we get this shit of a match which did nothing, but make it painfully obvious that there needed to be another match. 13 Minutes. 1/2 Star.

It's intermission time and we get a lot of interviews detailing what just happened. Roddy Piper promises that Flair will pay for what he did.

The Beverly Brothers and The Nasty Boys vs The Bushwackers and The Rockers
Since losing the tag titles, The Nasties and Rockers had been feuding some. Meanwhile, the Beverly Brothers were the new Rougeau Brothers in that they were forced to be under utilized and wrestle the Bushwackers all the time. Bobby Heenan and Gorilla Monsoon has some fun back and forth verbiage once Monsoon jokes that Luke is the brains of the team. The faces are in control for the early part of the match with the Wackers doing their normal routine while The Rockers liven things up with their highflying. Brian Knobbs catches Luke off guard with a flying closeline to quickly eliminate him. The Rockers are in the match some before Marty plays the face-in-peril for a bit. Jannetty finally gets in a tag to Butch, who is promptly shown the Beverly Bounce by the Beverly Brothers to eliminate him. Marty is given the sweet Haas/Benjamin double team move by the Beverly Brothers (Marty is forced neck first on the top rope and the one teammate jumps over the over and lands on Marty...damn I really need to find out if it has a name). Shawn is tagged in and quickly gets a backslid on Mike Enos (Not sure which Beverly Brother he was) to eliminate him. Shawn takes care of all 3 heels, before being tripled team. He's able to break through and tag in Marty. Jannetty hangs in there stalling for time before tagging back into Shawn. After some double team moves, Marty looks to hit a Body Slam on Sags, but as he picks Sags up, Sags boot nails Shawn in the face. The kick is enough to shake Shawn up so that Knobbs can get the quick pin to make it three-on-one. Shawn is upset with Marty and teases a breakup before leaving. Hmm. Marty does his best to take on all three men with his high flying moves. Marty small cradles Sags in a pinning position, before the ref can see, Knobbs comes in and rolls Marty on his back. The ref turns around and Marty is unable to kick out. With that, The Nasties and Wayne Bloom wins the match. I'm sure I said this several times before, but I'll say it again. The Beverly Brothers were an amazing team that had a gimmick that killed whatever heat they could get. The fans could never understood what to make out of them. Dropping the lame gimmick and they should of been able to get over. After the AWA folded, they were probably better off going to WCW where it was much less gimmick happy. This match was about as good as you'd expect with two poor teams, a team that was on the verge of breakup and the final team who wasn't over. It is significant for the early teasing of the Rocker's breakup and for the fact that this would be the last time the Rockers would team up on PPV. Not very good, but above average for this PPV. 23 Minutes. 1 1/2 Stars.

The Big Boss Man and The Legion of Doom vs IRS and The Natural Disasters
This was originally supposed to be Sid Justice, LOD and Boss Man vs Natural Disasters and Jake Roberts. Once Sid went out, Randy Savage took his place as team captain. But as we saw earlier in the show, both men were removed and given the Tuesday in Texas PPV match instead. Anyways, both of these feuds began shortly after Summerslam. The Disasters became the number 1 contenders for the tag titles after LOD won the titles from The Nasty Boys (Another Jimmy Hart team) at Summerslam. After disposing of The Mountie at Summerslam, The Boss Man started his feud with IRS (Who arrived earlier in the year) once IRS started claiming that Boss Man was a crooked cop. Boss Man took offense to that, even though that was exactly his gimmick a few years ago. The faces work over Typhoon for most of the early going. Boss Man is tagged in, but behind the ref's back, IRS hits him with his steel briefcase. IRS easily gets the pinfall. Well how about that, an elimination that actually makes sense. Animal plays the face-in-peril for the next few minutes. He gets the hot tag to Hawk. With the ref distracted, Typhoon holds Hawk while IRS tries to hit him with the briefcase, Hawk ducks and Typhoon is laid out. Hawk covers Typhoon to make it two-on-two. Big Earthquake isn't happy with what just happy. In a tearful moment, Earthquake tends to Typhoon while yelling at IRS for hurting his big buddy. Since Typhoon is out, Earthquake doesn't have the will to continue and leaves with him. This was slightly homoerotic. This unofficially leaves IRS alone with the tag team champions. Animal hits a big Power Slam on IRS that causes IRS to want nothing more to do with the match. As he's leaving, The Big Boss Man returns forcing him to get back in the ring. IRS gets back in the ring only to get a flying Closeline from Hawk. Hawk covers IRS and gets the fall to win the match for LOD. Hardly great, but I rather enjoyed it. It had two of the most realistic eliminations of the night, albeit being dirty. Since Hogan was losing tonight and the WWE was against ending the show with a heel triumphant in the early days of PPV, this allowed LOD to shine in the main event. The saddest part of this entire PPV is the fact that so many of the people involved in this match have since died. Granted, the entire PPV was full of people who have died, but this one had more people involved who are no longer living than living ones. Commentator Gorilla Monsoon, Road Warrior Hawk, The Big Boss Man, Earthquake, and I believe (Don't quote me on him being the ref) referee Joey Morella. For such a poor show, this was good enough that the show ended on a somewhat of a high note. 16 Minutes. 2 Stars.

Afterwards, we get an interview with the new World Champion, The Undertaker. It's also announced that there will be a rematch at Tuesday in Texas with President Jack Tunney being at ringside.

This PPV had two major strikes going against it. The first was tying everything into Tuesday in Texas PPV. It devalued this PPV greatly by holding things back. It's the same reason why today's PPV's are lacking that special feel. Everyone knows that the PPV's (Non Big Four) are really just there to build up the big PPV's. The second strike was that the talent roster was at it's thinnest since Vince McMahon took over. They simply didn't have the talent to put 32 men on PPV and make it mean something. It's no surprise that the following year, there was only 1 elimination match (All tag teams too). Had they just booked a normal PPV (While eliminating Tuesday in Texas), this would of been such a better PPV and felt more special. Looking at the roster, they could of booked:

Taker vs Hogan - World Title
Piper vs Flair
Natural Disasters vs LOD - Tag Titles
Ted Dibiase vs Virgil
Bret Hart vs The Mountie - IC Title
The Rockers vs Beverly Brothers
IRS vs Boss Man
Nasty Boys, Warlord and The Barbarian (Powers of Pain~!) vs The Bushwackers, British Bulldog and Kerry Von Erich - Elimination Match

To me, that would of been much better. Either way, this is easily one of (If not THE) most disappointing Survivor Series in history.

Best Match: Piper, Hart, Virgil and Bulldog vs Flair, Dibiase, Mountie and Warlord
Worst Match: The Undertaker vs Hulk Hogan

Overall Grade: D-