WWF Survivor Series 1989

The Horizon – Rosemont, Illinois – November 23, 1989

Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura are on commentary. This is the first year with team names, and they’re down to four-on-four rather than five-on-five.

MATCH #1: Survivor Series Elimination Match –The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel & Honky Tonk Man) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, Tito Santana & the Red Rooster)

Jimmy Hart and Slick are accompanying the Enforcers. Santana and Honky start the match with some chain wrestling. Martel tags in and takes advantage of his former Tag Team Championship partner. That doesn’t last too long before the teams come to a face-off and the referee has to restore order. The Enforcers isolate on Beefcake in their half of the ring. The Rooster gets much of the same treatment. Martel and Santana end up back in the ring together and Santana gets an O’Connor Roll but Martel rolls it over and holds the tights for the first elimination at 9:17. The yet-unnamed Sapphire is watching on from ringside. The Dream Team tries to apply the pressure but the numbers game soon takes over and the Boss Man uses his size advantage. Brown unwillingly gets tagged in but he makes the most of it. He works over Rooster for a bit until Boss Man accidentally slugs him and the Enforcers are exploding! Much like last year, Brown takes a walk and gets counted out at 15:27. The odds are once again even. Honky and Beefcake go back and forth and Beefcake hits a High Knee to eliminate him at 17:25. Martel comes in and keeps Beefcake on the mat. Beefcake gets kicked to the ring apron but he’s able to come back in the ring with a sunset flip to eliminate Martel at 20:14! Boss Man is at quite the disadvantage now. Rooster tags in and runs right into a Boss Man Slam and he’s gone at 20:59. Rhodes and Beefcake make quick tags and Rhodes is able to hit a cross body block to pin Boss Man and get the win at 22:02. Boss Man immediately gets his nightstick out and handcuffs Rhodes to the ropes and beats him until Beefcake gets his hedge clippers and runs them off. That was a serviceable opener with enough going on to get the crowd amped up.
Rating: **½

MATCH #2: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The King’s Court (Randy Savage, Greg Valentine, Dino Bravo, & Earthquake) vs. The 4×4’s (Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin & Hercules

Earthquake is a replacement for Barry Windham. Duggan’s team all carry 2×4’s to the ring with them. It’s incredibly sad to note that half of the participants in this match are no longer with us. Two of them, Hercules and Savage, start the match. Valentine quickly tags in and the 4×4’s go to work on him and make quick tags to keep a fresh man in the ring at all times. Bravo is the next target of the babyface team, but he’s able to withstand Hercules’s attacks and reverses a whip into the corner. Earthquake gets tagged in and hits the Earthquake Splash to score the first elimination at 3:58. Valentine and Garvin go back and forth, as their issue had been simmering for a few months now. They trade hard chops and Duggan gets a blind tag and surprises Valentine with a clothesline to eliminate him at 7:32. Garvin comes back in and executes the Garvin Stomp on Bravo, but he can’t lock in the Sharpshooter. Incidentally, the Hitman quickly tags in after that, and Savage wants no part of him. Garvin tags back in and Bravo is able to catch him with the Side Suplex to get the pin at 11:19. Savage comes in and Hart and Duggan cleverly double-team him. The tide turns back to the King’s Court as they isolate on Hart. Savage lands the Macho Elbow to eliminate the Hitman at 19:07. That puts Duggan at a severe three-on-one disadvantage. He actually fares pretty well for himself, throwing everyone into Earthquake and clearing the ring! The King’s Court pretty much comes back in to triple-team Duggan. Earthquake hits a bodyslam and the big elbow drop for a two-count. Duggan fights back on Savage and goes to bounce off the ropes but Sherri pulls the top rope down and he crashes to the floor. Earthquake makes sure he stays down and gets counted out, giving himself, Bravo, and Savage the win at 23:24. I don’t understand why they couldn’t have just pinned Duggan, but odd finish aside there was a lot of fun to be had in this one, particularly when Savage and Hart were in the ring together.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #3: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Powers of Pain & Zeus) vs. The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts & Demolition)

Demolition is the current World Tag Team Champions. Hogan and Zeus start the match and the crowd is juiced to see it. The epic confrontation doesn’t go Hogan’s way, as Zeus no-sells all of his offense and goes after the neck. Zeus chokes Hogan in the middle of the ring and the referee can’t break the hold so Zeus is disqualified at 3:22. DiBiase wisely takes advantage of a weakened Hogan, continuing the work on the neck. Hogan is able to get a boot up in the corner and makes the tag to Roberts, who is a house afire. Roberts clotheslines DiBiase to the floor and follows him out. Demolition gets their licks in as well, giving Hogan time to recover. The Hulkamaniacs are clicking now. Ventura calls bias from the referee, noting how quickly Zeus was disqualified, and Monsoon gets the line of the night in by noting “You can’t put your hands on the referee, I don’t care whether you got a Z on the side of your head or not, that’s not legal.” DiBiase makes the comeback on Ax, and the Powers of Pain wear him down. Fuji trips Ax from the floor and Warlord drops the elbow to eliminate him at 9:52. Smash comes in and immediately goes to work. The Powers of Pain and DiBiase come back and isolate on Smash. DiBiase makes a blind tag to Barbarian just as Smash is making a comeback and Barbarian lands a huge clothesline off the top rope to eliminate Smash at 13:43. That leaves Hogan and Roberts at a three-on-two disadvantage. Roberts gets absolutely dominated by the Million Dollar Team, isolated far away from Hogan. Eventually Barbarian misses a flying headbutt and the hot tag is made! Hogan unloads on all three opponents, clearing the ring. The Powers of Pain double-team Hogan in the ring while Roberts and DiBiase battle outside the ring. Warlord and Barbarian deliver a spiked piledriver and the referee disqualifies both of them at 19:42! Ventura is furious with that decision. DiBiase tries to take Hogan out with a Million Dollar Dream and Roberts has to break up the hold before Hogan’s hand falls for the third time. When DiBiase locks it on again Hogan is able to break free and make the tag to Roberts, who goes right to work on the neck. Roberts hits the short-arm clothesline and Virgil jumps up on the ring apron and takes a DDT for his trouble! With Roberts prone, DiBiase hits a fist drop and puts his feet on the ropes for leverage to eliminate Roberts at 23:51. DiBiase still has the advantage though due to how worn down Hogan is. Hogan fights back and the both clothesline each other. Back on their feet DiBiase hits a back suplex but Hogan no-sells it. Hogan unloads with punches, the Big Boot, and the Legdrop to get the pin at 27:31. That was actually a bit on the long and dull side, and three disqualifications in one match seemed like a little bit much.
Rating: **¼

MATCH #4: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect & the Rougeau Brothers) vs. Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka & the Bushwhackers)

Before the match, Ventura notes that there has been some extreme tension in the Heenan Family locker room, and then Heenan is not in Rude’s corner for this important match. Perfect and Luke start the match, but as is normally the case with these early Survivor Series matches, everyone gets a chance to show off in the opening minutes. Superfly shines the brightest though, hitting Jacques with the Superfly Splash to score the first elimination at 4:02. The Rude Brood is having trouble getting on track here. The dominance by Piper’s team continues, as the team captain himself is able to pin Raymond after a piledriver at 7:39. Even with the four-on-two disadvantage, Perfect perseveres and traps Butch in an O’Connor Roll to eliminate him at 10:45. Rude gets a timely tag and drills Luke with the Rude Awakening to even the odds at 12:15. It’s a regular tag team match now, and after a series of exchanges by Perfect and Snuka, both men make tags and the captains tear into each other. Piper and Rude tumble to the floor and both get counted out at 18:35. Perfect and Snuka have a nice exchange now, with Perfect trying to win with wrestling holds and Snuka countering with strikes. Snuka makes a rookie mistake by dropping his head, allowing Perfect hits the Perfect-Plex to get the win at 21:27. That was solid all the way through and I like the final exchange between Perfect and Snuka a lot.
Rating: **¾

MATCH #5: Survivor Series Elimination Match – The Heenan Family (Andre the Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson & Bobby Heenan) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart & the Rockers)

Warrior is the current Intercontinental Champion. Tully Blanchard is nowhere to be found, and it looks like Heenan is replacing him himself. The brawl starts before the Warrior even makes his way out, and when he finally does Warrior is sprinting towards the ring! Warrior immediately clotheslines Andre to the floor and the Giant gets counted out at 0:28! That gives the Warriors a distinct advantage, but even so Haku is able to catch Neidhart with a thrust kick to the back of the head to eliminate him at 3:31. Haku and Anderson battle the Rockers and pretty much keep Heenan out of the action. Warrior gets his shots in on Haku and then tags Jannetty back in. Heenan tags in for about 1.3 seconds, and then Anderson drills Jannetty with a knee to the back from the apron. Haku then delivers a thrust kick for a two-count. Heenan tags in and delivers some kicks and a big knee drop, and then pins Jannetty with a handful of tights to give his team the advantage at 8:50. Warrior and Michaels work well as a team though, and Michaels is able to catch Haku with a high cross body off the top rope to eliminate him and even the odds at 12:52. Anderson is more-or-less on his own at this point. He lands a hard Spinebuster to eliminate Michaels at 15:39. Warrior is technically in a handicap match but it matters not. He hits the Gorilla Press Slam and the Splash to the Back to eliminate Double A at 18:18. Warrior beats Heenan unmerciful, and won’t let Heenan run away back to the locker room. Back in the ring Warrior hits a flying tackle and big splash to get the win at 20:28. I’m not sure why this was the main event rather than the Hulkamaniacs versus the Million Dollar Team, but people like seeing Heenan get beaten up so there’s that. Otherwise though, this match wasn’t much.
Rating: **

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About Jake Ziegler

I've been in love with the movies for almost 20 years. I follow the Oscars obsessively, and try to see as many movies a year as I can. I'll watch anything good bad or otherwise, and my life long dream job has always been to be a bona fide film critic. View all posts by Jake Ziegler

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