Looking back at the 1990 Survivor Series!
We’re getting closer to WWE’s annual November tradition the Survivor Series, so today we’re taking a look back at another previous event! The 1990 Survivor Series is primarily remembered for the mystery surrounding it, as two big, looming questions were finally answered. What was going to come out of the giant egg? Who was Ted DiBiase’s mystery partner?
Open: A video voiced-over by Vince McMahon plays, running down tonight’s card featuring teams captained by Hulk Hogan, Earthquake, The Ultimate Warrior, Mr. Perfect, Sgt. Slaughter and more.
Match #1 – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Perfect Team (Demolition (Ax, Smash & Crush) & Mr. Perfect) w/Mr. Fuji & Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan vs. The Warriors (WWF Intercontinental Champion The Texas Tornado, The Legion Of Doom (Hawk & Animal) & WWF Champion The Ultimate Warrior)
Animal tackles Smash and unloads with right hands to start us off quick, sends him into a right hand from Hawk, The Warriors play back and forth with Smash. Animal shoots him into the ropes for a back body drop, Smash sees it coming and delivers a big right, Perfect with one from the apron and Smash follows with a snap suplex for a count of 2.
He drives Animal into Perfect’s boot, tags him in and The Perfect One clubs away before bringing Smash back in. Animal reverses a whip into the ropes, plants Smash with a powerslam, then catches Perfect coming in with an atomic drop, Hawk enters the ring and follows with an inverted atomic drop and Warrior with a clothesline. Order is restored, Texas Tornado gets the tag and fires away with stiff rights, loses track of where he is in the ring and Ax gets the tag and clubs away. Tornado reverses a whip into the corner, gets him in the Iron Claw off the rebound, but Smash comes in to break the hold. The Warrior gets the tag, hits the ropes for multiple shoulder tackles, follows it all up with a splash and gets a count of 3. Ax has been eliminated.
Crush tries to ambush The Ultimate One after the pinfall, gets slammed for his troubles, Smash comes in and takes one too, Perfect getting clotheslined over the top. Crush takes advantage of the distractions, lays Warrior out with a clothesline and delivers heavy shots, Smash tags for a quick slam, tag back to Crush and he comes off the top with a knee drop that gets a 2 count. He buries fists into Warrior’s midsection in the corner, whips him across, charges in and meets a boot to the face, The Ultimate One exploding out with a clothesline. Hawk enters the match as Perfect gets a tag, Perfect gets right hands blocked and Hawk elevates him in the air with a choke, then flattens him with a clothesline.
He whips The Perfect One into the corner, Perfect stumbles and falls face-first into the turnbuckle. Hawk with a whip back across, rushes in for a spear and drives his shoulder into the ring post as Perfect moves. Smash gets the tag, drags him to his corner, brings in Crush and they beat Hawk down to the mat. Crush with a backbreaker, The Perfect One tags for a series of rights, quick-tags out to Smash and Hawk with a quick flurry, but gets taken down with a drop toe hold. Smash sends him into the ropes, misses a clothesline and Hawk scores with a shoulder tackle, drops a big fist and levels him with a clothesline.
He climbs to the top turnbuckle, comes off the top with a clothesline and covers, but Crush is in to make the save. Animal comes in to get a piece, LOD & Demolition brawl and the referee ends up taking a boot to the midsection, calling for the bell and disqualifying all 4 guys. Hawk, Animal, Smash & Crush have been eliminated. Mr. Perfect is now left all by himself in a 2 on 1 situation, The Brain offers some advice on the apron as Warrior steps in the ring. The Perfect One asks for The Tornado, Warrior obliges and makes the tag, Perfect ambushes him coming in the ring and takes him to the corner.
Tornado turns the tables, unleashes a flurry of right hands and sends Perfect flying to the outside, he slingshots him back in from the apron, then clotheslines him over the top on the other side. Perfect tries to regroup with Heenan, The Warrior comes around ringside and brings them closer together with a double noggin knocker, rolls The Perfect One back inside and tosses The Brain over the barricade. Back in the ring, Tornado shoots Perfect into the corner, charges in, Perfect side-steps and Texas Tornado goes shoulder-first into the post. Mr. Perfect takes advantage with heavy blows, stops a small flurry with a finger to the eye, drives him head-first into a turnbuckle that had become exposed and finishes Tornado off with the Perfect-Plex. The Texas Tornado has been eliminated.
We’re down to 1 on 1, The Ultimate One rushes in for a splash in the corner and misses, hits the exposed turnbuckle, Perfect scores with another Perfect-Plex, but the champion kicks out at 2. The Perfect One fires away with fists, lays him out with a standing dropkick and gets a count of 2. He pummels the champion with kicks and chops, irish whip into the ropes and levels him with a clothesline for a near fall and continues to dish out punishment. The Ultimate One starts to block some right hands, gets a rush of adrenaline and hits the ropes for multiple clotheslines. Back into the ropes he goes for a shoulder tackle, connects with the splash and wins the match.
Winner & Sole Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior
- EA’s Take: Initially I thought to myself, “At least Kerry Von Erich and Perfect are part of the match”, as I knew with the participants this had the makings of a messy brawl. While it was not that messy it was certainly a brawl, even Perfect getting sucked into using very little wrestling holds. It’s a bit of an odd time as Ultimate Warrior didn’t really have any challenger for his WWF Title, joining forces with the LOD in their rivalry with Demolition. The rivalry would fizzle out before the end of the year and the LOD would focus on the tag team titles. As for Demolition, Ax would leave the company soon after this night while Smash & Crush would continue on, but also continue to be phased out. As for Mr. Perfect, he would regain the IC Championship by the end of the year, going in a seperate direction from The Texas Tornado.
Backstage: Sean Mooney is standing by with The Million Dollar Team. Jimmy Hart vows that they will surive tonight, conspicuous by his absence is Ted DiBiase’s mystery partner. DiBiase ensures Mooney that he’s in the building and everyone’s in for a big surprise. As for Koko B. Ware, he’s just another bird that will be plucked for Thanksgiving. Rhythm & Blues will take care of The Hart Foundation and Dusty Rhodes will be where he belongs, begging on his hands and knees for mercy.
Match #2 – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Dream Team (‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware & WWF Tag Team Champions The Hart Foundation (Bret ‘Hitman’ Hart & Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart) vs. The Million Dollar Team (Rhythm & Blues (The Honky Tonk Man & Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine), Million Dollar Champion ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase & The Undertaker) w/’Colonel’ Jimmy Hart, Virgil & Brother Love
Undertaker & Bret will kickoff the action, Taker with clubbing shots, shoots Hitman into the ropes, Bret ducks a right hand and gets caught by the throat, then slammed to the canvas. The Anvil gets the tag, hits the ropes for a shoulder and Taker doesn’t budge, tries it again and gets caught in a slam.
Koko gets a tag and hits the ropes for a crossbody, Undertaker side-steps it and The Birdman is hung across the top rope, Taker spiking him with a Tombstone Piledriver and Koko’s night is finished. Koko B. Ware has been eliminated. Bret steps in and looks puzzled by Undertaker, they tie-up and Hitman gets shoved into the ropes, rebounding off for right hands that have little affect, Taker casually tagging out. The Hammer & Dusty take the ring, collar & elbow tie-up, Valentine backs The Dream into the corner and fires away chops, Rhodes returning fire and bringing in Neidhart. The Anvil with a wristlock, hammers away at the shoulder, Bret gets the tag and works Valentine over in the corner.
He whips him across and follows in, meets a boot to the face, Honky Tonk enters the match and pummels away at the Hitman. Bret buries elbows to the midsection, hits the ropes and scores with a shoulder knockdown, back into the ropes and HTM buries a knee to the breadbasket. Neidhart gets a blind tag as Honky dances for the crowd, Hitman reversing an irish whip into the ropes, The Anvil steps in and catches Honky Tonk in a powerslam for a count of 3. Honky Tonk Man has been eliminated.
DiBiase jumps Neidhart after the fall, serves a plate of chops in the corner, The Anvil reverses a whip across and flattens him with a clothesline off the rebound. Neidhart slams him and brings in The American Dream, Rhodes with The MDM in the corner, reigning down right hands from the 2nd rope. Irish whip to the ropes, Dusty with a dropkick, brings The Anvil back in and they score with a double back elbow for a count of 2. Neidhart with a snap suplex for another 2, grabs a side headlock, gets pushed into the ropes and drops DiBiase with a shoulder. Back into the ropes he goes, Virgil grabs the foot causing a distraction, DiBiase clocks The Anvil in the back of the head with a forearm and gets the elimination. Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart has been eliminated.
The Hitman wastes no time stepping in and pounding DiBiase with right hands, drives him into Dusty’s elbow and tags out. The Dream with left hand jabs, The MDM goes to the eyes, shoots him into the ropes and levels him with a clothesline. The Undertaker re-enters the match, scores with a shot to the throat, Rhodes falls back into a tag and Bret takes a throat shot stepping in. Taker gets the Hitman in his corner, The Hammer tags for boots to the ribs, brings in DiBiase and Bret battles out of the corner with right hands, splitting The MDM with an inverted atomic drop. Dusty back in with heavy elbows to the top of the head, The MDM reaches Undertaker and regains control.
Irish whip to the ropes, Taker with a knee to the midsection, climbs upstairs, walks the top rope and connects with a clubbing blow to score the pinfall. ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes has been eliminated. Taker tosses Rhodes over the top to the outside after the 3 count, Bret ambushes him from behind, but Valentine is able to get the tag as Brother Love puts the boots to The Dream on the floor. Dusty finally gets his hands on him, but Taker clocks him from behind and they fight their way down the aisle, the bell rings and Undertaker has been counted out. The Undertaker has been eliminated.
Back in the ring, The Hammer is putting a number on Hitman, goes for the Figure Four, Bret counters into a small package and gets the 1-2-3. Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine has been eliminated. We’re down to 1 on 1, DiBiase steps into the ring and Hitman fires up with fists, hits an atomic drop and The MDM spills out to the floor. Bret flies over the top with a slingshot crossbody, puts a beating on DiBiase and drives him into the ring post, then the steel steps. He tosses The MDM back inside, working him over in the corner with uppercuts and headbutts, DiBiase reverses a whip across and the Hitman goes hard into the turnbuckles sternum-first, MDM covering for a count of 2.
DiBiase delivers chops in the corner, whips Hitman across for a back body drop off the rebound, Bret sees it coming and goes to a backslide for a near fall. Into the ropes they go, DiBiase with a drop down and Bret collapses to the mat holding his knee. The MDM thinks it’s easy pickings now, Hitman was playing possum, gets a roll-up from behind and gains a 2 count. Virgil gets to the apron, ducks a right hand, holds Bret for DiBiase, Hitman escapes and Virgil gets dropped, Bret with a schoolboy and another near fall. He splits The MDM with a backbreaker, drops an elbow from the 2nd rope and DiBiase kicks out at 2. The MDM reverses a whip into the ropes, Hitman with a crossbody, DiBiase rolls through, hooks the leg and steals the win.
Winner & Sole Survivor: ‘The Million Dollar Man’ Ted DiBiase
- EA’s Take: This was much better than our opening contest, a lot more of a mix of styles. It would have been a big win for Bret, but with the format this year having all the survivors in the main event, you had to have some heels in there. Obviously the big takeaway from this is the debut of The Undertaker, as he was made to look very strong and had a character the like of which had never been seen before. After leaving WCW just two months prior, ‘Mean’ Mark Callous would work dark matches as Kane the Undertaker prior to debuting as Ted DiBiase’s mystery partner. He’d look to solidify himself as a Superstar in the coming months, dropping Brother Love in favor of a future Hall Of Fame manager. This would also mark a coming out party for Bret Hart, the office taking notice of how well the people were receiving him.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is standing by with The Vipers in the showers, a place that Damian enjoys. Jake Roberts talks about The Rockers looking to seek revenge on Power & Glory for tearing up Shawn Michaels’ knee. He tells us that Jimmy Snuka has been through many battles and as for himself, he may be showing the affects of taking Rick Martel’s Arrogance, but if his team dares to rattle his tree then Damian just might fall out of it.
Match #3 – Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Visionaries (‘The Model’ Rick Martel, Power & Glory (Paul Roma & Hercules) & The Warlord) w/Slick vs. The Vipers (Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) & ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka) w/Damian
Jannetty & Warlord to get us going, Marty using his quickness to avoid Warlord’s grasp, sticking and moving with jabs. Warlord finally catches him in the corner, charges in and Jannetty hops to the apron to avoid it, slingshots back in with a kick and staggers the big man with a dropkick, tries another and Warlord brushes him away. Marty rolls to the apron, slides back in between Warlord’s legs, delivers right hands to Roma & Martel, then avoids Warlord rushing in and he collides with Hercules.
Michaels gets the tag, Jannetty with a sunset flip, Shawn takes Warlord down with a clothesline and covers for a count of 2. The Warlord pushes Michaels into his corner, The Model tags in, attempts to ram Shawn’s head into the turnbuckle, Michaels blocks and Martel gets driven in. Michaels grabs a side headlock, The Model pushes him off into the ropes, tries a hiptoss, Shawn flips to his feet and tosses Martel with one of his own, following up with a dropkick. He monkey flips Martel out of the corner, gets the tag to The Snake and The Model quickly tags out to Roma. Collar & elbow tie-up, Roma with a knee to the midsection, shoots Roberts into the ropes, leapfrogs over and turns around into a right hand.
Roberts goes to work on the arm, Superfly tags in and pounds on the shoulder joint, going to a wristlock and Roma rakes the eyes to little affect. Herc enters the match, gets a side headlock and is pushed into the ropes, scores with a shoulder knockdown, goes back into the ropes and Snuka with a knife-edge chop. Warlord re-enters the contest, Superfly hits the ropes and they collide shoulders, hits the ropes again for a clothesline, Warlord ducks it and slams Snuka, looks to follow with an elbow drop and misses. Snuka hits the ropes for a dropkick, Jannetty tags in and goes to a wristlock, Warlord with clubbing blows to the back to break the hold.
He gets Marty in a bearhug, Jannetty fights out of it, connects with a right hand off the 2nd rope, climbs back up for a crossbody, Warlord catching him into a powerslam and he gets a 3 count. Marty Jannetty has been eliminated. Shawn steps in and fires away with lefts and rights, Warlord reverses a whip into the ropes, catches Michaels trying to leapfrog over on his shoulders, Michaels countering into a hurricanrana and tagging out. Roberts works over Warlord with lefts and rights, the big man reverses a whip into the corner, The Snake rebounding out with a clothesline that merely budges him.
Warlord reverses another irish whip into the corner, follows in and takes a boot to the face, Roberts with another clothesline and Warlord finally goes down. Shawn tags in and makes the cover, gets powered to the outside off the kickout, Roma coming back in and dropping an elbow as Michaels slides into the ring. He stomps away at Michaels, hammering him with forearms, brings Warlord back in and he shoots Shawn in for a back body drop. Hercules tags and makes the cover for 2, sends Michaels into the ropes and turns him inside out with a clothesline. Martel with the tag, drops a knee for a count of 2, then pummels Shawn in the corner with double axe handles.
He cracks Michaels with a backbreaker for a 2 count, Roma in and he whips Shawn into the corner, turning him inside-out again, The Model with the tag for another 2 count. He sends Michaels across to the opposite corner, charges in and Shawn ducks away, Martel going shoulder-first into the ring post. Michaels crawls to a tag, Snuka comes in and hammers The Model in the corner, whips him into the corner and hits a back body drop off the rebound. Martel reverses a whip to the ropes, Superfly scores with a flying forearm, shooting The Model into the corner. Martel reverses it, Snuka jumps to the 2nd rope for a crossbody, The Model uses the momentum to roll through, grabs the tights and gets the elimination. ‘Superfly’ Jimmy Snuka has been eliminated.
Roberts comes in and Martel looks to get away, making the tag to Herc and The Snake is frustrated. They lock-up, Hercules backs The Snake into the ropes, whips him across for a back body drop and Roberts counters with a kneelift. Jake calls for the DDT, The Mighty One bails out under the bottom rope and gets some words of wisdom from Slick before heading back inside. Martel holds a conference in the corner, Hercules gets a right hand blocked, Roberts fires back with jabs, The Model dropping The Snake with a clothesline from the apron. Roma gets the tag and slams Roberts, heads to the top rope and misses a fist drop, Michaels getting the tag.
Shawn whips Roma into the ropes for a jumping back elbow, Roma reverses another whip for a back body drop, Michaels sees it coming and hooks him for a vertical suplex. He comes off the 2nd rope with an elbow drop for a count of 2, ducks a right hand and splits Roma with an atomic drop, Hercules making a blind tag. Shawn lays Roma out with a flying forearm, Hercules dropping an elbow to the back of the head and taking back control. He unloads with the heavy artillery in the corner, shoots Michaels in and flattens him with a clothesline. The Mighty One drops Shawn off the military press, The Model comes in for a couple quick shots before bringing back Herc for clubbing shots to the back.
He props Michaels on the top turnbuckle, tags Roma, they connect with the PowerPlex and Roma gets the 1-2-3. Shawn Michaels has been eliminated. The Snake is staring at a 1 on 4 situation, Hercules takes the ring and corners Roberts, delivering boots to the breadbasket. Warlord tags in, whips Jake hard into the turnbuckles and locks in a bearhug off the rebound. Roberts goes to the eyes to break it, drops Power & Glory off the apron with right hands, Warlord with a shot to the back, attempts a slam and The Snake slips out, spiking him with a DDT. Power & Glory have the referee distracted, Martel grabs his bottle of Arrogance and sprays it in Jake’s face. Roberts goes over and pulls Damian out of the bag, chases The Model out of the ring and to the back, the referee counts to 10.
Winners & Sole Survivors: ‘The Model’ Rick Martel, The Warlord, Hercules & Paul Roma
- EA’s Take: Decent match here that continued rivalries between Power & Glory and The Rockers, as well as Jake Roberts & Rick Martel. Snuka & Warlord were just used to fill out the teams as neither really had any kind of impact on television anymore. The Rockers’ feud with Power & Glory would quickly die-out as dissension would start to boil backstage between Michaels & Jannetty. Jake had his eyes (or should I say, eye?) set on Rick Martel after The Model sprayed some of his trademark fragrance in The Snake’s left eye, leaving him (kayfabe) partially blinded, Roberts wearing a contact that made his entire left eye whited-out. This was one of the company’s hottest feuds at the time, continuing into the coming year with Roberts still seeking to exact revenge.