Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Random Network Reviews: Survivor Series 1989

Survivor Series 1989
11/23/89 – Rosemont Horizon in Rosemont, Illinois

Just a few months shy of the eventual epic showdown between Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania VI, we stop at Survivor Series. Survivor Series is always a fun Pay-Per-View, especially one like this 1989 edition, which featured nothing but eight man tag matches. Not much else to discuss to let's get to it.

The show opens with a montage of Superstars saying what they're thankful for. Some are a waste but some are great. Mr. Perfect is thankful for being perfect, while Roddy Piper is thankful that he's not Ricky Rude. The Ultimate Warrior is thankful for something that I can't really make out.

The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, The Red Rooster and Tito Santana) vs. The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel and the Honky Tonk Man) w/ Jimmy Hart and Slick
Even though it's Boss Man's team, they come out to JIVE SOUL BRO! AND YOU ALWAYS LYING TO YOUR FRIENDS! Sorry, I get carried away with it's excellence. Honky and Chico Santana kick things off as Honky attacks him from behind. He was really out of shape. Chico uses a scoop slam and applies an ARMBAR. Honky gets free and tags Martel. Strike Force explodes. You know it's an 80's show when guys trade atomic drops. Boss Man gets the tag and Chico hits him with an armdrag. Tag to the BULL OF THE WOODS, as Dusty lays into his opposing captain. Bionic elbows galore and a tag to Beefcake. Honky gets tagged and misses a terrible looking fist drop, allowing Beefcake to get in offense, but a blind tag brings the Model back in. The ridiculous Red Rooster gets the tag and gets a pop for a back body drop. Knees to the face swing the momentum and the heels start to work over Rooster. Bad News Brown doesn't want a tag and hasn't been in the entire match. Rooster continues to be the face in peril but gets some near falls with roll ups. Hot tag to Chico who is on a roll. Unfortunately for Chico, Martel uses a handful of tights to eliminate him at 9:15.

The son of a plumber comes in and Sapphire is shown in the crowd before she was officially Sapphire. Dusty reaches into his bag of tricks and hits a dropkick. The Dream Team use quick tags to work over Martel, but he hits a backbreaker on the Rooster. Boss Man gets the tag and it's BEARHUG time. It's broken with an eye rake and Boss Man tags Bad News. He doesn't want to enter but Rooster brings him in the hard way. Bad News does get on the offensive and beats down Rooster, who is just getting destroyed the entire match. A double team fails when Boss Man nails Brown. This causes Bad News and Boss Man to come to blows as Bad News walks out for the countout elimination at 15:26. Boss Man tags Honky, who elbows Beefcake. Jesse Ventura points out that Honky's tights say “twist and shout.” Beefcake hits the HHH high knee and eliminates Honky at 17:24.

Martel enters and applies a headlock on Beefcake. Beefcake fights out and hits a sunset flip but Martel reverses. He uses the ropes for leverage but gets caught by the official, allowing Beefcake to finish the rollup and bump him at 20:13. Boss Man is all alone as he goes toe to toe with the Rooster. Boss Man Slam catches him and Rooster is gone after 21:00. Dusty and Beefcake wisely use quick tags and take on Boss Man. Dusty hits a cross body to my surprise and it ends.

Winners: The Dream Team; Survivors: Brutus Beefcake & Dusty Rhodes in 22:02
Solid little opener here. The crowd was into it, it didn't have much down time and kept my interest. Side note, I've never understood the appeal of Brutus Beefcake. ***

After the match, Boss Man and Slick beat on Dusty and Beefcake with the nightstick. Brutus gets the hedge clippers though and runs them off. In the back, Sean Mooney catches up with Boss Man and Slick, who say that Dusty deserved what he got. 

MEAN “BAH GAWD” GENE is with the 4x4's, consisting of Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Hercules and Ronnie Garvin. They all have 2x4s and speak about the match while Jim Duggan is cross eyed.

The 4x4's (Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin and Hercules) vs. The King's Court (Macho King, Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo and Greg Valentine) w/ Jimmy Hart and Queen Sherri
Bret Hart bobbing his head while running with a 2x4 is the highlight of this thing. Hercules starts with the Macho King and uses his power to rule this little back and forth. The Hammer gets the tag and hammers away on Hercules. See what I did there? Another 80's atomic drop. Bret gets the tag and excellently executes some offense. The faces continue to tag in and out, as Garvin fires away on the Hammer. Sleeper Hold from Garvin and Valentine reaches the ropes. Tag to Dino who uses an inverted atomic drop. Since Shawn Michaels retired in 2010, nobody does that anymore. The faces are dominating things until the Canadian Earthquake comes in and squashes Hercules, just like he would do at WrestleMania VI. Elimination comes at3:57. Earthquake tries to do the same to Duggan, but Bret wisely enters and takes out his legs. Shortly after, Garvin gets a near fall on Valentine before the Macho King comes in with a double axe handle. Quick tags from the King's Court as they work over Garvin. Hammer and Garvin have a chop war in the middle until Duggan gets a blind tag and takes out the Hammer with a clothesline at 7:32.

Garvin stomp all around Dino Bravo and the ones to the face just look brutal. Garvin seems to go for a Sharpshooter and gets raked in the eyes. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD! Macho King and Bret get tagged at the same time. Bret nails an inverted atomic drop before stomping him in the mid section. Macho King tags out and there goes my erection. Bret/Bravo doesn't have the same appeal. Fans chant “USA” now...if they only knew what Bret would be like in 1997. He tags Garvin who instantly gets eliminated at 11:17 via a side slam. Duggan rallies the crowd and wails away on Earthquake. Again, we get Bret and Macho tagged in and suddenly, I'm excited again. Bret headbutts him in the ribs before Duggan gets in a cheap shot. Macho gets tied in the ropes and Duggan continues to use cheap shots. Macho King gets free but misses a knee drop. Hitman hits the best backbreaker in wrestling history for a near fall. Bret is the only person who will pick someone up and do a small package. He misses a second rope elbow as Macho tags out. Bravo uses the bear hug and the heels bust out quick tags to beat down on the future WWF Champion. They make a mistake as Macho takes out Bravo and Bret gets the hot tag. Duggan runs roughshod over Macho King, but tags Bret right back in. That was a mistake as Macho King immediately gets Bravo in and Bret eats a shoulder breaker. Macho King gets the tag and hits the elbow to knock off Bret at 19:06. Duggan is in and does his best, hitting all three heels with various moves as the crowd is pumped. He even gets a double clothesline, but ends up on the ground from Earthquake. Duggan fights back, but Sherri pulls the top rope down on Duggan and he falls outside. Earthquake nails him, leading to the countout.

Winners: The King's Court; Survivors: Macho King, Dino Bravo & Earthquake in 23:25
Better than the opener, mainly thanks for the Macho King and Bret Hart being their awesome selves. The countout finish made sense and I dug this. ***1/2

Jim Duggan is not happy as he enters and hits Dino with the 2x4, as Jesse Ventura berates Gorilla Monsoon for condoning that behavior. 

The Genius is here with a Thanksgiving poem. It's dumb. 

The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Demolition and Jake Roberts) vs. The Million Dollar Team (Ted Dibiase, The Powers of Pain and Zeus) w/ Virgil and Mr. Fuji
Demolition looked badass, except for the chaps they rocked. It didn't work. Hogan spits at Deebo before the match because he's truly a heel at heart. Deebo demands Hogan at the start and it's No Holds Barred all over again. Deebo wins a shoving match. Hogan's punches and a HHH knee have zero effect on Deebo. Hogan rakes the eyes because again, he's a dirty fighter and hits a slam but Deebo is up instantly. He does the dreaded neck snap finisher and chokes Hogan. The referee tries to break it twice and keeps getting tossed by Deebo, leading to the disqualification at 3:21. Ted Dibiase enters and starts to work over Hogan. A boot from Hogan leads to the tag to Jake, who fires away on Dibiase. Ax comes in and clubs the holy hell out of Dibiase. He tags Smash and even more clubs are hit. Hogan gets tagged and triple team clubs as Ventura points out that Gorilla is biased when the faces cheat. Dibiase uses an elbow on Ax to desperately get the tag. The Warlord comes in and it's time for even more clubs. The Powers of Pain work power offense on Ax for a bit. Ax tries to rally but is tripped up by Mr. Fuji and pinned at 9:50.

Smash, Roberts and Hogan now take turns working over the Warlord. They were building towards Demolition vs. The Powers of Pain but I don't remember that match taking place. The Barbarian comes in and hits a flying clothesline on Smash to pin him at 13:42. Powers of Pain have now eliminated Demolition. See what I mean about building up a match? Jake enters and gets thrown around the ring by the Barbarian. The Warlord comes in and beats on Roberts too. Dibiase comes in and drops knees on Jake's back. The piledriver might have done the trick but Jake gets his foot on the ropes. Barbarian misses a flying headbutt, allowing the hot tag to the Hulkster! YOU KNOW IT'S A WRAP! He dominates once he comes in until the Powers of Pain decide to double tam him. They use a spike piledriver, but Earl Hebner disqualifies both of them at the 19:51 mark. What a poopy way to get rid of them. 

Dibiase slaps on the Million Dollar Dream and Hogan tries to pull hair. Hogan goes down and his hand might have dropped for the third time but Roberts breaks up the hold in the nick of time. Dibiase tries it again but Hogan gets free and tags Jake. Roberts calls for the DDT but Virgil gets on the apron. He brings Virgil in and hits the DDT but Dibiase drops a fist on him and covers with his feet on the ropes to make this one on one at 23:43. Dibiase goes right after Hogan and applies a headlock but Hogan fights out and they clothesline each other. They get up and Dibiase connects with a back drop that Hogan doesn't sell. He gets up and levels Dibiase, big boot, leg drop and that's all folks.

Winners: The Hulkamaniacs; Sole Survivor: Hulk Hogan in 27:32
Jesse Ventura makes a good point that Hogan wins because he pinned Dibiase and the rest of the team got disqualified. This was fun though and again, had no lulls. The Survivor Series matches tend to be pretty fast paced and this was enjoyable. ***

The Macho King steals the show with a promo in back, while Deebo looks on menacingly. MEAN BAH GAWD GENE is now with Hogan and Beefcake, who will face Macho & Deebo in an upcoming Steel Cage. Sherri, Macho and Deebo show up and a brawl ensues. 

Sean Mooney is standing by with the Rude Brood. He puts over his team, including the guy with the perfect record, Mr. Perfect. It's decent stuff. Rude steals the show by showing off his tights, which have his team on the front and the other team on his butt cheeks. Roddy's Rowdies cut a weird promo where they shout a lot and eat turkey.

Roddy's Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwackers) vs. The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect and The Fabulous Rougeaus) w/ The Genius and Jimmy Hart
Perfect and Luke begin, but a fast tag brings in Butch, who bites him. Piper tags and he bites Perfect. Snuka tags and does the same. Fun opening sequence that got a pop. Jacques gets the tag and front flips into the ring. He continues to show off and hugs his brother. His showboating costs him as Snuka hits a flying headbutt and his leap frog/chop combo. Snuka goes to the top and hits the Superfly Splash to eliminate Jacques in 4:01. Rude comes in and trades shots with Snuka but it ends up being Piper vs. Perfect for a while. Perfect takes a lot of offense from multiple team members before tagging in Raymond. He goes toe to toe with Piper, who gets a near fall with a rollup. Piper connects with a piledriver to eliminate Raymond at7:30. A not so fabulous showing for the Rougeaus.

Mr. Perfect comes back in as he works over Piper until Piper hits a slingshot. Tag to Butch who gets a near fall. Perfect continues to survive an onslaught of multiple tags as he is impressing me. Piper does a little Rick Rude dance before punching Perfect. Butch gets a tag and bites Perfect again, but gets rolled up at 10:46. Piper rolls up Perfect for two instantly. Tag in to Luke, who does some sloppy offense for two. Perfect gets the tag to Rude, who comes off the top only to get hit RIGHT IN THE BREAD BASKET! Luke bites Rude but gets hit with the Rude Awakening and is gone after 12:14. We get treated to some solid tag work between the four guys left, with Perfect and Rude working the best of the four. Snuka and Perfect do battle and we get DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER. Both men make the tag and the crowd is stoked for Rude/Piper. Fist fight ensues that Piper wins and they spill to the outside. The war continues as both guys are counted out at 18:35. Perfect knows Snuka to the outside and tries to earn a countout win. As Snuka gets on the apron, he takes a suplex back inside. Snuka manages to get near falls but falls victim to the Perfect Plex. 

Winners: The Rude Brood; Sole Survivor: Mr. Perfect in 21:27
Another fun match, highlighted by Perfect and Rude. Love that Perfect got to be the sole survivor. ***1/4

Victory promo from the Rude Brood in the back before cutting to the Ultimate Warriors cutting a promo that was hard to understand.

The Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, Andre The Giant, Haku and Arn Anderson) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers and Jim Neidhart)
It's announced before the match that Bobby Heenan will wrestle instead of Tully Blanchard because Tully failed a drug test and was fired. They obviously don't make the drug test part known, they just say there is “tension in the Heenan Family”. A brawl breaks out before the Warrior arrives as Andre is beating down on Neidhart. Warrior charges the ring and goes right at Andre with clotheslines. He knocks him over the top and outside. Andre gets counted out at 0:27. Andre shouts things that barely make sense, but are still more legible than a Warrior promo. Neidhart and Haku battle in the corner until Double A comes in. Heenan looks pretty funny in his Andre singlet as the fans chant “weasel.” Neidhart eats a thrust kick from Haku and is gone after 3:32. Michaels comes in and Haku misses a headbutt, so he takes some a never ending stream of wrist locks and quick tags from the Rockers. They continue to work over Haku until they tag in the Warrior. He chops away at Haku before hitting a back drop. Soon after, Jannetty and Anderson are legal. Anderson and Haku beat up Jannetty and tag Heenan. He kicks Marty and runs back outside, tagging in Haku. After Haku gets him down, Heenan tags in, stomps on Marty and drops a knee on him to eliminate him at 8:53.

I just want to point out that Marty just got pinned by Bobby Heenan. Arn squares off with the Warrior and gets trapped in the third bear hug of the evening. He breaks it and tags Haku, who runs into the fourth bear hug. After that is broken, we get Shawn and Arn, which is just great. Shawn and Warrior are the only two left and rightfully so, it's two future Hall of Famers. Shawn comes off the top with a splash that only gets two on Anderson. He does get the cross body on Haku and gets the three after 12:54. Heenan gets in some shots on Michaels but Anderson does the majority of the work. After Shawn is thrown outside, Heenan teases a dive off the top, but decides against it. Sunset flip back in by Shawn gets two. Heenan gets the tag and once he gets hit, he runs and tags out. Shawn and Arn bump into each other and both men are down. Anderson Drop puts away Shawn at 15:47.

Warrior winds up and shoulder blocks Arn down three times, but on the fourth, Arn uses Warrior's momentum to send him outside. Heenan teases another dive. Heenan gets the tag and his offense has no effect on Warrior. Poor Arn has to work his ass off here. Gorilla Press and splash eliminates Arn at 18:19 and Heenan is beside himself. He takes an impressive bump on an Irish whip into the corner. Warrior hits his finisher and ends it.

Winners: The Ultimate Warriors; Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior in 20:28
This was the WWF's first foray into seeing if The Ultimate Warrior could be a main eventer and this was a satisfying ending to the event. ***1/4

Overall: 8/10; Great. Holy hell that was a lot of fun. While none of these matches reach four stars, none clock it at under three stars. Everything is really good and the entire show is a lot of fun. The right people went over in nearly every match. Hopefully the next “Random Network Review” is just as fun and according to my randomizer, that show will be Bash at the Beach 1998.

Raw Report

Monday Night Raw emanated live from Houston, Texas last night. The biggest news coming out of last week was the announcement of the main event for SummerSlam, pitting John Cena against Brock Lesnar. The WWE World Heavyweight Champion kicked things off with one of his usual promos. He puts over Brock nearly just as good as Paul Heyman does but he's cut off by Heyman. Heyman puts over Brock and Cena does his usual "I FEAR NOTHING AND REGRET LESS" style promo. Surprisingly, Cesaro interrupts. He hugs Heyman and says that even though he fired Heyman, they're still friends and he won't let anyone insult him. He challenges Cena and that will be our opening contest. This segment lasted a LONG time.

A few months ago, Cesaro and John Cena had one of the better matches on Raw this year, so I had high hopes for this one. And they delivered. While the match started off a bit slow, it really picked up near the end. If Cesaro can figure out what to do with his character exactly, he could go places because he's awesome in the ring. However, he's been in a funk lately and it continues as he suffers a loss to the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. No shame in that to be honest.

Before going to the next match, things cut backstage where Stephanie McMahon is still fuming about being arrested but she's also scared because she doesn't want to go back to jail. Randy Orton is also rightfully pissed that he still has yet to get a one on one WWE World Heavyweight Title rematch since losing the belt at WrestleMania. A reminder, he also didn't actually lose as Batista was the one who tapped. There's tension within the Authority. Paige comes out to the ring, doing her awkward skipping and says that she let her emotions get the better of her and she won't attack AJ Lee again. She still considers AJ a friend. This brings out the Divas Champion, who doesn't believe Paige. Paige makes the mistake of calling AJ crazy. AND THATS SOMETHING YOU JUST DONT DO. AJ attacks and we get a good little segment to help build the eventual Divas Title match at SummerSlam.

More promos as The Authority makes their way out to the ring. Triple H is pissed at the WWE Universe for laughing at Stephanie McMahon's misfortune last week. Stephanie plays the self defense card and says that every charge has been dropped except for the assault and battery charge. I had no clue there were other charges. She wants Brie Bella to show up tonight so they can fix the misunderstanding. A "jailbird" chant starts until Chris Jericho surprises us and comes out. Man, do I miss the Jericho/Stephanie dynamic. He sings the theme to Cops and gets the fans to join in before nearly calling Stephanie a filthy, dirty, disgusting, brutal, bottom feeding, trash bag hoe, but Triple H stops him. He makes Bray Wyatt vs. Chris Jericho for SummerSlam and Seth Rollins vs. Jericho for tonight. 

Six man tag team time! Rybaxel teamed with the Intercontinental Champion The Miz against Dolph Ziggler and the WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos. This was pretty solid and fun at the very least. In the back, the NATION...OF DOMINATION or whatever Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E are going to call themselves, are watching on a monitor. I wonder who they're scouting. Hmmm. Dolph picked up the victory for his team and things are looking like it's still heading towards Miz/Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam. I would like to see Bo Dallas involved, but a one on one match would be fine too. Miz continues to excel in his new role.

THE STREAK IS OVER! THE STREAK IS OVER! First, The Undertaker and now Bo Dallas. He is no longer 17-Bo as he suffered a shocking defeat at the hands of R-Truth. Yes, I said R-Truth. Irrelevant R-Truth. But maybe Bo losing is a good thing as he attacked Truth after the match and still did a victory lap. It was a rather fun thing to happen and maybe it will lead to something better for Bo. I BOlieve, you should too.

Lana and Rusev come out now, which means that all eyes are on Lana. Also, all heat is on Lana. Nobody seems to care much for Rusev. She does her usual stuff of talking about Vladimir Putin which is still controversial in some people's eyes. She makes fun of Obama and George Bush until Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger interrupt of course. Zeb says all of the positive things about America, upsetting Lana. Swagger and Rusev brawl in a better brawl than their match from Battleground. It ends with both guys standing with their respective flags, which, despite being American and Russian flags, Jerry Lawler calls a "Mexican Standoff."

Damien Sandow comes out dressed in an astronaut suit. Adam Rose comes out and beats him in a few seconds. I don't know why. This was pointless. Moving on, we get Roman Reigns vs. Kane but instead, Randy Orton runs out and attacks Reigns. Kane appears and hits Reigns with a Chokeslam but leaves after. This allows Randy to beat the hell out of Roman, building towards their eventual match at SummerSlam. It was an impressive beatdown and Orton's "Viper" character seems to be back. It's an improvement over the "bitch" character that he played while WWE World Heavyweight Champion at the start of the year. Of course, after the commercial break we get a recap of what just happened because what's a Raw without recaps of everything, right?

The never ending saga between Fandango, Summer Rae and Layla continues as SummerLay whore themselves out to a Fandango opponent again. They come out dressed as matadores I guess with Diego and El Torito. We get another relatively quick match that ends with a Fandango loss. I wonder where this is heading, if anywhere. Maybe Fandango gets a new dancer? I hear that Eva Marie chick has a background in ballroom dancing. Also, El Torito gets a kiss from Summer Rae.

Stardust and Goldust cut yet another backstage promo. These are rather interesting and keep me entertained but I wanna see Cody Rhodes and Goldust wrestle dammit. Hurry up and put them in the ring again. That leads to some Divas tag team action as Natalya teams with Naomi against Alicia Fox and Cameron, who haven't become the new Funkadactyls like I suggested a few weeks ago. This was your basic Divas match but Noami surprised me by showing off a new submission move that forces Cameron to submit. So we have this move, AJ's Black Widow, Paige's PTO, Natalya's Sharpshooter, Emma's Emma-Lock and Sasha Banks' Boss Lock as submissions from the Divas division. I like.

The main event of the program was a dream match of mine as Seth Rollins faced Chris Jericho. I didn't expect a clean finish as I figured that the Wyatts or Dean Ambrose would interfere. After a good, but disappointing bout, sure enough, the Wyatts arrived on the scene. They beat up on Chris Jericho to help promote SummerSlam. It was what you'd expect it to be. Surprisingly there was no Dean Ambrose as he was on a "promotional tour". He did wrestle in the dark match and he will be on Main Event against Alberto Del Rio tomorrow so that's fun.

The last segment of the night was between Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella. This was surprising because ladies don't often get the opportunity to close Raw. Stephanie admits that getting arrested humbled her and that she was wrong for taking out her anger on Nikki Bella. I hate Brie Bella promos because she has an awful voice and pretty poor acting skills. She wants a match with Stephanie at SummerSlam and nothing else or she won't drop the charges. Stephanie says that she hasn't had a match in over ten years and she's a mom now. Brie won't budge so Stephanie fake cries and accepts. She slaps the taste out of Brie's mouth and knocks her off the apron before saying that at SummerSlam, she will make Brie her bitch. OH SNAP! Brie gets up and they have a CATFIGHT that Joey Styles would approve of. Finlay, Joey Mercury and Jamie Noble all rush out to break things up as Raw closes.

Well that show built towards SummerSlam pretty well. The matches, besides Cesaro/Cena, weren't that great but it did it's job by being entertaining and making me want to watch SummerSlam at least a little more. Until next time, follow me on Twitter @the_kevstaa.