Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over twelve years now and have reviewed over 6,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Survivor Series 1992
Date: November 25, 1992
Location: Richfield Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio
Commentators: Vince McMahon, Bobby Heenan
This was one of the Redo’s picked for Survivor Series and in a way, that is rather odd. In this case, there is very little Survivor Seriesing going on, with just one elimination match, which happens to be a tag team edition. Other than that, we have a huge tag match as Randy Savage and Mr. Perfect face Razor Ramon and Ric Flair, plus Bret Hart defending the WWE Title against Shawn Michaels. Let’s get to it.
Vince and Bobby run down the card. Bobby is NOT happy about Mr. Perfect joining forces with Randy Savage.
High Energy vs. Headshrinkers
Afa is here with the Headshrinkers. Samu shoves Hart down without much trouble to start but misses a crossbody. Hart’s crossbody and dropkick work far better and it’s off to Ware to work on the arm. For some reason Ware tries ramming their heads together, which works as well as you would expect. Afa gets in a cheap shot from the floor and Fatu runs Ware over with a hard clotheslines as the fans are not pleased.
The nerve hold (you knew that one was coming) goes on and another clothesline drops Ware again. Ware tries to fight up and is casually superkicked right back down (Fatu always had a good superkick). Back up and Ware avoids a charge, with Samu going head first into the post. That’s enough for the tag off to Hart to pick the pace way up. A high crossbody gets two on Fatu but Samu plants him with a powerslam. Fatu’s Superfly Splash finishes Hart at 7:40.
Rating: C+. I’ve always been a Headshrinkers fan and this was a good example of why. They did some things rather well (Fatu’s superkick and splash looked awesome) but they are a team where what you see is what you get. While High Energy was out there flying around and doing what they could, the Headshrinkers were out there to hit you hard and do their second generation Wild Samoan stuff. It worked back in the day and it worked again here in a nice opener.
Nailz, with that still weird deep voice, has been looking forward to hurting the Big Boss Man for a long time. Tonight, he gets the chance, with Boss Man unable to handcuff him to a steel bunk bed. Boss Man and his feel guards know what kind of a good climber he is! He committed no crime but tonight he’s ready to do horrible things to Boss Man with that nightstick. How Sean Mooney doesn’t crack up at all of this is unclear.
Big Boss Man doesn’t buy Nailz saying he’s an innocent man because he’s seen the file. His job is to make sure Nails serves hard time…and then he literally runs off to the ring.
Big Boss Man vs. Nailz
Nightstick on a pole match with Boss Man charging to the ring as Nailz is already climbing. Boss Man slugs away but gets whipped hard into the corner. Nailz hammers away but it’s too early for him to get the stick. Back up and Boss Man goes simple by punching him in the face, only to get slammed off when going for the stick. The chinlock goes on (Heenan: “RIP IT OFF!”) but Boss Man fights out, only to miss a splash.
Boss Man knocks him down again and they both get a breather. They get up for a double clothesline and they’re both down again. That’s enough for Boss Man to get the stick and deck Nailz in the face but he shrugs it off. A right hand makes Boss Man drop the stick and Nailz gets in a few shots of his own. Not that it matters as the Boss Man Slam is enough to pin Nailz at 5:40.
Rating: D+. The nightstick doesn’t make much of a difference if it doesn’t make an impact and that was the case here. They traded nightstick shots and barely hurt each other so there wasn’t much of a point. Other than that, it was a slow brawl without anything important. Lame stuff here as Boss Man was rapidly running out of steam.
Ric Flair and Razor Ramon aren’t happy with Mr. Perfect turning on them to join Mr. Savage as Ultimate Warrior’s replacement. We see a clip of Savage picking Perfect and Bobby Heenan running his mouth to make Perfect switch sides. Heenan begging for mercy and for Perfect to reconsider is such a Heenan thing for him to do. Flair and Ramon swear vengeance on the now crazy Perfect.
Heenan goes on a great rant against Perfect as only he could.
Rick Martel vs. Tatanka
This is during Martel’s kind of sailing captain phase and he has some of Tatanka’s feathers to make this personal. Tatanka gets driven into the corner to start but he reverses and chops away. Some dropkicks have Martel on the floor, followed by an atomic drop to put him outside again. Back in and Martel grabs a hot shot (Heenan approves) to take over.
The front facelock goes on as we hear about Sgt. Slaughter being Jack Tunney’s official rule enforcer. Tatanka suplexes his way out of a front facelock but Martel puts it right back on. Cue Doink The Clown as Martel knocks Tatanka back down and grabs the same front facelock. Tatanka fights up and hits a clothesline before avoiding a charge to send Martel shoulder first into the post.
The arm cranking goes on as the fans are just silent here. An armdrag into an armbar cuts off the energy again as this just keeps going. Martel fights up and sends him to the floor, only to get punched out of the air back inside. Tatanka starts the comeback and hits the top rope chop to the head. The Papoose To Go finally finishes Martel at 11:07.
Rating: D+. This is a good example of a match that wasn’t awful, but instead really boring. Tatanka and Martel could probably have a good match that runs about seven minutes but there is nothing you can get out of that many front facelocks and then Tatanka working the arm late in the match. Not a terrible match, but it took me a long time to get through it as it was just that dull.
Mr. Perfect and Randy Savage know that Ric Flair hates them being a team. Perfect is ready to take out Flair and Razor Ramon, because Bobby Heenan knows Perfect can beat both of them. Savage says if the villains were mad before, they’re going to be even madder in a little while.
Ric Flair/Razor Ramon vs. Mr. Perfect/Randy Savage
Heenan is of course incredible here with his rants about what is coming to Perfect. Ramon and Perfect get things going with Ramon hitting a running shoulder. That doesn’t work for Perfect, who is back with a slap but Perfect bails from the threat of a double team. Flair comes in and is quickly taken down by Perfect, who chops away in the corner. There’s the Flair Flip to the apron, where Savage knocks him to the floor for a bonus.
It’s off to Savage for a top rope ax handle to the ribs, leaving a Flair fan (in robe) losing it in the crowd. Savage slugs away on Flair and the interfering Ramon, setting up that signature running clothesline on Flair. A cheap shot slows Savage down though and it’s Ramon coming in to slug away. Ramon can’t get anywhere with Savage’s leg so he goes with the choking instead.
Flair slugs away in the corner and it’s right back to Ramon for the abdominal stretch. With that broken up, Flair tosses Savage over the top for a crash, setting up the running knee. Ramon grabs a kind of weak half crab….and Perfect is walking up the aisle. He sees Savage bleeding on the screen though and that’s enough to draw him back, much to Heenan’s annoyance.
With order restored, Flair gets two off a chop but Savage manages a desperation backslide for the same. Ramon comes right back in and grabs a chokeslam for two more on Savage. There’s a clothesline to put him down again but for some reason Flair goes up, earning a slam off the bottom rope for an extra big crash. The double tag (diving on Savage’s end) brings in Perfect to face Ramon as everything breaks down.
Flair chairs Savage in the head with a chair on the floor and Perfect is whipped into the referee. Another referee comes out as Perfect flips out of a Razor’s Edge and grabs the PerfectPlex. The new referee counts two as Flair makes the save so it’s PerfectPlex to him as well. The first referee counts two with Ramon making a save, meaning the villains are finally DQ’d at 16:30.
Rating: B-. It was one of the featured matches on the show but it was only so interesting. The biggest problem here is that the heat on Savage was rather long and then the ending felt like it was designed to set something else down the line. Flair and Perfect would keep going but Savage and Ramon were pretty much done, making this a preview for something that didn’t happen.
Post match the beatdown is on until Savage makes the save with a chair. Perfect gets the chair and clean house (Heenan: “SOMEBODY GET DOWN THERE AND STOP HIM!”). The announcement of the DQ gives us a classic THAT’S NOT FAIR TO FLAIR! Respect is shown.
Flair and Ramon swear vengeance.
Yokozuna vs. Virgil
Yokozuna does his sumo stomps in the corner and knocks Virgil down without much trouble. Some dropkicks work for Virgil but he tries an O’Connor roll to limited avail. A superkick cuts Virgil down and Yokozuna slowly pounds away. Virgil’s comeback attempt is cut off by a side slam and the big legdrop makes it worse. The splash in the corner sets up the Banzai Drop to finish Virgil at 3:44.
Rating: C. Pretty much a total squash here and that’s all it needed to be. This version of Yokozuna was rather mobile and someone who felt like different kind of monster. It makes sense to put him out here to wreck a loser like Virgil and he looked rather dominant. Good stuff here, and the push is clearly coming.
Mr. Perfect has turkeys for Ric Flair and Razor Ramon. Bobby Heenan gets a little chicken.
Natural Disasters/Nasty Boys vs. Money Inc./Beverly Brothers
The villains have the Genius/Jimmy Hart in their corner and if one person is eliminated, their partner is as well. Typhoon backs Blake into the corner and then shoves him into the corner without much effort. An over the shoulder backbreaker has Blake in more trouble and Earthquake comes in for a bearhug. A powerslam puts Blake down again and Knobbs runs him over to make it worse.
It’s off to Sags, who finally gets caught in the wrong corner so Beau can come in for a change. Sags hits a pumphandle slam (Vince: “What a wrestling maneuver!”) but Beau grabs a butterfly suplex. DiBiase comes in for a change but gets suplexed down in a hurry. IRS comes in and elbows Sags down so Beau can drop an elbow for two. The chinlock goes on but Sags fights up for a double knockdown. The tag brings Earthquake back in to wreck everything, setting up the Earthquake to Beau for the elimination at 9:26.
Earthquake runs DiBiase over and it’s Typhoon coming in for a headbutt. A missed charge actually lets Money Inc. manage a double belly to back suplex, followed by a wishbone snap. The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by DiBiase’s middle rope ax handle. DiBiase’s middle rope dive into a raised boot lands on a raised boot and it’s back to Typhoon to clean house. The big splash hits IRS but DiBiase makes the save, allowing IRS to drop an elbow for the pin at 15:55. Then Sags rolls IRS up for the pin at 16:03.
Rating: C-. This wasn’t exactly good but rather long with almost nothing worth seeing. There was a story o Hart losing Money Inc. and the Disasters as teams while the Nasty Boys wanted the Tag Team Titles but that wasn’t exactly thrilling here. This felt like lip service to having the Survivor Series concept and if that’s the best they’ve got, they might as well have just skipped it this year (which they seemed to want to do).
Randy Savage, Mr. Perfect and Tatanka are on the Superstar Line.
Heenan rants about Perfect again.
We recap Kamala beating up Undertaker at Summerslam, only to have Undertaker do the situp and scare him away. Undertaker wanted revenge and Kamala was terrified of a casket, so he built a really big casket. It was a simpler time.
Undertaker vs. Kamala
Coffin match (win by pin/submission, loser goes into the casket) with Paul Bearer, Kim Chee and Harvey Wippleman here as well. Undertaker chases him to the floor to start but Kamala chops away back inside. That’s fine with Undertaker, who strikes right back and hits Old School. Well not that old at this point.
Some shots to the face stagger Undertaker though and Kamala sends him outside for a ram into the steps. A chair to the back staggers Undertaker again but some chops don’t do much back inside. Three slams in a row set up a series of splashes but lets bring the Urn in. Kamala freaks out so Undertaker gets up and hits him in the head with it for the win at 5:28.
Rating: C-. Another not so great match as Kamala just wasn’t that interesting in the ring. It also doesn’t help that there was almost no way to imagine Kamala beating Undertaker, who was a major star and far out of Kamala’s league. The match was a way to wrap things up for Undertaker, who needed a new monster to slay. Much like the previous match, this was a way to get something (or someone) on the show and that didn’t make it interesting.
Post match Kamala nails the coffin shut and wheels it out.
Intercontinental Champion Shawn Michaels says he beat the British Bulldog for the title and since the Bulldog beat Bret Hart for the title, Michaels can beat Bret tonight.
Bret Hart says he’s ready to beat Shawn and add him to a list of recently defeated challengers (Berzerker! Rick Martel! VIRGIL!). We hear about how Bret rose through the ranks to get here and he isn’t ready to lose just yet, even to a great wrestler like Shawn.
WWF Title: Shawn Michaels vs. Bret Hart
Only Bret is defending. After the handing off of the sunglasses to a kid, Bret takes Shawn into the corner. They go to the mat with Bret easily taking control and sending Shawn bailing to the rope. Back up and Bret takes over on the arm, including some armbarring. We’ll make that some hammerlocking with some knees to the arm but Shawn is back up with a hammerlock of his own.
That’s reversed with a toss out to the floor, followed by another armbar back inside. Shawn slugs his way out of trouble, only to get clotheslined down for two. The armbar goes on again but Shawn drops him across the top to get a breather. Shawn sends him shoulder first into the post and hits a DDT onto the arm. We hit the chinlock for a good while, setting up a backbreaker into another chinlock.
Bret fights up and gets a neckbreaker but Shawn takes him right back down. Now it’s a front facelock to keep Bret down, though this time he’s back up with some shoulders in the corner. The bulldog out of the corner sets up the missed middle rope elbow and we’re back to the front facelock. Bret is up again and manages a belly to back suplex before sending him head first into the post.
There’s the backdrop (you know Bret can call that one) into the Russian legsweep for two, followed by the middle rope elbow for the same. A high impact superplex gives Bret a rather delayed near fall and they’re getting tired. The referee gets crushed in the corner…but is right back up. Shawn sends Bret outside and manages a posting, followed by his own backdrop for his own two back inside.
The superkick (not yet the finisher, or even named) doesn’t even warrant a cover so the teardrop suplex (almost an Angle Slam) gives Shawn two. Bret gets in a shot though and gets Shawn tied up in the ropes, only to miss a charge and crash hard. Shawn goes up but dives right into the Sharpshooter to retain Bret’s title at 26:39.
Rating: B. I’ve seen this match a few times now and while it is good, it really needed to be about eight minutes shorter. There is a lot of time spent just sitting there in either the armbar or the chinlock, which can get rather tedious. It got better near the end and Bret is a beatable enough champion to make this work, but it went longer than it needed to and that brought things down a bit.
And then Santa Claus comes out to celebrate with Bret to end the show.
Overall Rating: C. The two big matches are good enough and they get more time than almost anything else on the show, but the biggest problem here is nothing really feels major. Bret vs. Shawn feels more like a really enhanced midcard match while the big tag match is….I’m not sure what it is but it didn’t feel important enough to be the featured match. It’s clear that the WWF is in a transitional period here and it’s really not clicking yet. Not an awful show, but nothing you need to see save for maybe some historical curiosity.
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