For my next Old School Review, I shall be going back to where it all began from the Richfield Coliseum in what was the WWE first big show since the colossal WrestleMania III. In the night deemed the ultimate battle of survival, a tradition began and still remains with us to this day. So, here I bring you the OSR for Survivor Series 1987…
Strangely, there is no video opening package and we go straight to Howard Finkel welcoming everyone to the event before he introduces Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura, before we then go to a short video presentation showing the various superstars of the WWE. They emphasize what this event is about, but really push the various matches which are scheduled throughout the night which is really nice because it makes each match have some form of relevance. This opening seems a bit long winded to be honest, and a bit dreary. Anyhow, we now go back to The Honky Tonk Man’s team which is a very interesting bag of competitors but the characters are truly invested in.
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Harley Race, Hercules, Ron Bass, Danny Davis and The Honky Tonk Man vs. Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan and Randy Savage
There are some really nice combinations of superstars in this match, with a great deal of varying abilities but I do notice that there seem to be a lot of crowd shots instead of the superstars which shows a very different time in wrestling. I can’t help but notice how uncomfortable Miss Elizabeth looks though, it seems she would be in any place but there…this may prove to be a talking point as our Old School Reviews continue but we shall see. Anyhow, back to the match which begins with Beefcake and Hercules, to a surprisingly good crowd reaction, before varying tags take place to keep the action fresh for the audience. Savage’s team seem to be the more aerial superstars whereas Honky’s team are more of the mat based, grounding superstars which provides us with a nice array of moves. The first elimination comes at the hands of Duggan and Race, who are counted out for brawling before they are separated by their respective teammates. Following the elimination of Beefcake by Honky, Davis and Hercules are eliminated by varying members of the opposing teams using their signature moves leaving Honky by himself. Realizing that he is outnumbered, Honky walks out of the match and is ultimately counted out in a very good show of cowardliness, leaving Steamboat, Savage and Roberts as the survivors and winners. Honky was a great heel for his time, and he played the character very well as he was truly one of those you loved to hate. In general, this was a good opening match but it certainly could have being much better. For the time though, it served its purpose well to introduce fans to the concept of Survivor Series.
Match Rating: 2.0 out of 5.0 Stars
We now go backstage to Andre the Giant’s team, with their associated managers Bobby Heenan and Slick who actually add quite a lot, as Heenan does a lot of the talking for Andre which is good because I find understanding him a little challenging to say the least. Next, Gorilla announces a legal statement about the copyright which seems a bit strange before we are off to the next match.
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: The Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntyre and The Jumping Bomb Angels vs. Sensational Sherri, Dawn Marie, Donna Christianello and The Glamour Girls
None of the women have an entrance, and just seemingly appear in the ring and they are all announced by Finkel but what notices me is some of these wouldn’t fit in within today’s ladies division, before Finkel announces Moolah at weighing 162lbs, to which she takes offense in an amusing moment. This match, nevertheless should be good because all of the women in this match are very competent and illustrate how strong the ladies division was back then but even here at 64-years-old, Moolah can still move around the ring quite well. The strength of the division back then is highlighted by the Women’s Tag Team Championship, which until the recent Divas Revolution (and even still now) is something that WWE would struggle massively, back then the women weren’t necessarily glamorous but could hold their own in the ring and tell a story. The match itself is pretty solid, and a better pace to be honest than the first match but what strikes me is how good The Jumping Bomb Angels were, they seem very athletic and can throw out a whole variety of moves. The time given to this match is a true testament to the effort and dedication to the women’s division then, something lacking today even though it is something being worked on. After a pretty solid women’s match, The Jumping Bomb Angels are the survivors after Judy Martin is the last one eliminated…again, it really is nice to see some depth in the women’s division.
Match Rating: 2.5 out of 5.0 Stars
We now go back to The Hart Foundation, who are joined by all their teams for tonight and Heenan does most of the talking which is good because it almost comes across as chaotic and difficult to ascertain what is actually going on before they are then joined by an exceptionally hyper Jimmy Hart before we go back to the ring with The Bolsheviks about to sing the Russian National Anthem, with Nikolai Volkoff doing the work but generating himself a great amount of heat with the fans…simple but incredibly effective. After the teammates make their way to the ring, we go back to Strike Force with their teammates, which is equally as chaotic.