Written by: Erick Von Erich from Da Wrestling Site
Hello again, it’s Gorilla Monsoon…and your host, Bobby “the Brain” Heenan! Big news this week, as the inaugural Survivor Series event was announced. Or, as Gorilla calls it: “the Survival Series”. They briefly touch on the event’s gimmick, including the BIG 20-Man Tag Team match. As Heenan makes jokes about the Rougeau Brothers, Gorilla informs us that the ring will be specially reinforced for this event. The Special Reinforcement was always a concern for the man with the bananas. Didn’t the WWE do a stunt a few years ago where Big Show and some other lug “broke” the ring?! Gorilla wouldn’ve had a conniption as the ring obviously wasn’t Specially Reinforced for that match. But with so much going on in the World Wrestling Federation, let’s get down to ringside for..
Match 1: “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/Oliver Humperdink) vs. Dave Wagner
A jobber squash from Superstars of Wrestling, with Vince McMahon, Jesse Ventura and one sentence from Bruno Sammartino. Wagner has a wild n’ wooly bear and is announced as being from Steamboat Springs, Colorado… which gains him some cool points from me. They lock-up with Orndorff winning and delivering some forearm shots, stomps and a dropkick. An inset interview from Bobby Heenan flies in, as the Brain declares he has a surprise for his former protege. As Orndorff stomps away, Heenan and “Ravishing” Rick Rude enter the arena, ascend the interview podium and being posing. Well, Rude begins posing…although it woulda’ been hilarious if Heenan did. In the ring, Orndorff delivers a belly-to-back suplex, but pulls up Wagner at the 2 count. He whips him to the ropes for a clothesline, then hooks Wagner in his piledriver for the easy 3 count pin. For After Match Shenanigans, Orndorff acknowledges Rude and does a few poses of his own. Official start of their feud…another of the endless “who has the better body” type. I’m curious if anyone ever booked a “better body” feud between two fat guys. For instance, let’s say between Bam Bam Bigelow and King Kong Bundy. THAT posedown would’ve been great.
Match 2: S.D. Jones vs. Steve Lombardi
From Maple Leaf Gardens, with Gorilla and the Brain on the call. After some intial holds, S.D. armdrags Lombardi and works the arm. Things relaly slow down, as Gorilla and Brain begin talking about anything BUT this match. Gorilla pumps up a potential Lombardi/Horowitz tag team as if they were the second coming of the British Bulldogs. As Lombardi hooks a chinlock, they talk about his graduation from the Terry Garvin School of Self-Defense. S.D reverses a whip into the corner and responds with a headbutt, slam, then comes off the rope for a slowwwww sunset flip. Lombardi reverses it, but Jones counters the counter into a pinning predictament…and a rope break. S.D whips him to the corner for an inverted atomic drop, then rolls him up with an underhook pants pull for the 3 count. Hmmmm, S.D’s known as the consumate jobber, but he won quite a few matches on PTW.
From the pages of the World Wrestling Federation Magazine…here’s UPDATE with Craig DeGeorge! Ken Patera, remember him? His comeback was derailed when he detached a tendon in his left arm. In kayfabe terms, the injury occurred after an attack by the Heenan Family. Patera cuts a generic promo toward Heenan and his men, promising that he’ll “immobilize” them. In the PTW studio, Heenan says that the only way Patera can immobilize him is if he stops making license plates in prison.
The Survivor Series Update!
Basically a commerical, but teams are announced for Andre the Giant and Hulk Hogan. “Superstar” Billy Graham is shown as being on the Hulkster’s team. But injuries would force him out as he’ll be replaced for the event by Don “The Rock” Muraco. Gorilla and the Brain them compare the two teams, citing the enormous weight advantage of Andre’s team; consisting of Andre, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude. They quickly switch to plugging the latest issue of the WWF Magazine (which, by the way, has The Brain on the cover) and the Piledriver album. A quick clip of the Piledriver video is shown. Heenan sums it up best by saying: “a buncha’ grown men playing in the mud”.
Match 3: Brad Rheingens vs. Tiger Chung Lee
From Madison Sqaure Garden, with Gorilla and Lord Alfred Hayes on the call. Rheingens controls most of the bout with slams and armdrags. After a leapfrog, dropkick and a sloppy slam from Rheingens, the bell rings accidentally. While Rheingens varies his attack with a gut-wrench suplex and a backdrop, this is still a very slow and boring match. Out of nowhere, Tiger nails him with a charging clothesline, then delivers a shoulderbreaker to get the surprising 3 count. Yeah, Tiger Chung Lee won a televised match in late 1987.
In the studio, it’s time for the weekly mention of Miss Betty, Heenan’s enigmatic “personal assistant”. This time, Gorilla chides Heenan for the way she was thrown out of a Beverly Hills drugstore. Heenan quickly runs down Rheingens, the former US Olympic Wrestling Team coach. According to Heenan, the US no-showed the 1980 Olympics not to protest against Russia, but because Rheingens was the coach and they knew they’d get beat easily.
A Very Special Mean Gene Studio Interview
“Mean” Gene Okerlund is standing by with his guests: the Killer Bees– B. Brian Blair and “Jumping” Jim Brunzell. Blair talks about he was home, in T-town, talking to Hazel at the Honey Hut. He told his momma he’d bring home the gold, soon. Brunzell then talks about how they’ve been chasing the Hart Foundation for over 2 years now.. and it’s only a matter of time before they get the tag team championship belts. Umm, the Harts only had the belts for 7 months during that time. Interesting dichotomy displayed amongst the Bees, here. Blair was always into the whole “Bee” gimmick, by flailing his arms like a bumblebee and talking about stuff like the Honey Hut. But Brunzell seemed to the “serious” one of the bunch, trying to avoid talk of bumblebees and honey.
Match 4: Scott Casey vs. Steve Lombardi
You’ve got to be shitting me…. somebody actually okayed having TWO STEVE LOMBARDI MATCHES in one show?!! Neither was joined in progress, either. Ick…this is like seeing Sarah-Jessica Parker nekkid. Twice. This is pretty much the same as the S.D Jones match, although Casey works an airplane spin. Lombardi tries coming off the top turnbuckle, but Casey halts him and slams him to the canvas. Casey follows up with a piledrvier, but Lombardi gets his foot on the ropes. They hits the ropes for some criss-cross action (which will make you JUMP-JUMP), until Casey hooks a flying bulldog for the 3 count pin.
“Leaping” Lanny Poffo vs. “Outlaw” Ron Bass
Taped from a Superstars of Wrestlings set, but with Bruce Pritchard, Mike McGuirk and Oliver Humperdink on the call. Humperdink is quite decent and steals some of the play-by-play lines from Pritchard. Kinda’ interesting how they brought Humperdink in as sort of an “anti-Heenan”. In the match, Leap opens with a poem, wherein he rhymes “mustache” with “panache”. Bass is furious and pounds away. Leap delivers a dropkick and a frivolous backflip. Bass tires tosses him over the top, but he holds onto the top rope and flips back in. Bass pulls out his awesome arsenal of punches and kicks, then lands an elbowdrop for 2. Leap is tossed back out, again. This time, Bass follows him out and slams him on the floor. Even though the padding is blatantly visible, Pritchard calls it as a “slam on the cold concrete”. Back inside, Leap makes a comeback with a hiptoss and a flying head-scissors. He tries a second head-scissors, but Bass dumps him on the top rope. Texas Gourdbuster from Bass gets the 3 count.
More Survivor Series Hype
Same thing as before, but it’s followed up with more studio discussion. They detail the remaining matches and teams. Of note: Junkyard Dog is announced as being on “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s team. Like Superstar Graham, JYD would be replaced in the event by a returning Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat.
Match 5: Bam Bam Bigelow (w/Oliver Humperdink) vs. Shadow #1
From “Wrestling Challenge”. Shadow #1 is the smaller of the two, so I’m pretty sure this is Jose-Luis Rivera. Or Glen Jacobs. Bigelow shoves him around, delivers a shoulderblock, cartwheel for effect, then a drop-kick. Shadow pulls out the Shemp Stooge Eye-Boink to take over a brief moment. Bigelw hits him with a reverse elbow, then press-slams him. Elbowdrop and a one-armed slam from Bigelow set up his finisher. Bigelow hops out on the apron and flies in with a slingshot splash to get the easy 3 count.
Match 6: The Dream Team (w/”Luscious” Johnny V) vs. The Rougeau Brothers
(Dino Bravo & Greg “The Hammer” Valentine vs. Jacques & Raymond Rougeau)
Feature match of the night, from MSG. Ayup, these two teams seemed to wrestle each other for well over a year. The Dreamers start out with a hug-a-rama among all three. Bravo and Raymond start the match with some good counters and basic holds. After some hell miscommunication, Raymond comes off the ropes with high-cross body for a quick 2 count. They tag off, as Jacques and the Hammer enter. Rougeaus work over Hammer for a bit, including a cool front-and-back drop-kick sammich! Ray turns Bravo over into the Boston crab, but Hammer makes the save. The work over Ray for a good 5-10 minutes, with Hammer delivering his shoulderbreaker for a 2 count. Ray makes the obligatory desparation pin attempt every two minutes or so, but it’s mostly double-team pounding from the Dreamers. Johnny V wanders over to the announcers’ table and babbles. The joke is that V has been shaved bald from countless matches against Brutus Beefcake, but is wearing a wig and a bandana, while trying to pass it off as natural. Back in the ring, Ray kicks out of the figure four, sending Valentine into the turnbuckle for the Hammer Flop! Bravo comes in and a bearhug happens. Hammer tries a vertical suplex, but Ray reverses and delivers his own. Bravo runs in and nails him with his side suplex, but misses a follow-up elbow. Rya finally makes the hot tag to Jacques as the house cleaning begins. Hammer is tossed to the turnbuckle, while Bravo receives a backdrop and a drop-kick. FLying reverse elbow from Jacques gets 2. All four enter as the match breaks down. Jacques hooks a sleeper on Valentine, but he manages to escape and the Dream Team does a double-team slam on Raymond. Hammer slaps on the figure four leglock. It appears a submission has occurred as the bell rings. But ring announcer Howard Finkel informs us that the time limit has expired…and the referee has ruled this bout…a DRAW. Draw. Rougeaus win the Post-Match Fisticuffs to send the Dreamers whining to the locker room. Not a bad match, as it had a decent old-school– almost NWA— feel to it.
Very quick conclusion in the studio as this episode comes to an end.
Why’d You Tape This? No surprise, but the matches suck. Just fast-forward through them, watch the updates and the fun banter between Gorilla and the Brain. Sure, that verdict’s nothing unique or original for an old episode of PTW, but it’s hammered home again.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.