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Survivor Series Countdown: 1992

The Netcop Retro Rant for Survivor Series 1992

Live from Richfield, OH, where we started all those years ago.

Your hosts are Mr. McMahon and Bobby Heenan.

Opening match: The Headshrinkers v. High Energy (Koko B Ware & Owen Hart).

High Energy with double-teams to control initially, and then Koko gets in and you can guess what happens next. Total squash, and a long one at that. Hot tag to Owen who cleans house and gets a few moves in (probably as a token offering to Bret) before falling prey to the FLYING FAT-ASSED SAMOAN OF DOOM splash. ¼*

Sean Mooney offers a parental guidance warning because the nightstick match between Bossman and Nailz might be too violent. How come they didn’t do that before matches where one guy hurtles 20 feet off the top of a cage and then dumps a bag of tacks in the ring? You’d think that sort of match would deserve a warning. Go fig. Nailz isn’t bad on the mic, oddly enough.

Nailz v. Big Bossman, nightstick match. Kick, punch, kick, punch, Bossman gets the nightstick and does stuff, Nailz gets the nightstick and does stuff, Bossman slam out of nowhere, see ya. DUD.

AWESOME interview/recap segment that makes the Perfect Team v. Flair/Ramon match seem just that much more important. I’ll go over the recap myself later. Flair gives a breathtakingly great interview to set up the match.

Tatanka v. Rick Martel.

And back down the wrestling food chain we go. You see, the Model stole, uh, some feathers or something, yeah. This was pretty whatever. The-not-yet-named clown who would come to be called Doink wanders down to ringside and makes balloon animals to keep the kiddies from nodding off during all the chinlocks. Finally, T-t-t-tanka makes the “pissed off racial stereotype” comeback, chops Martel about a million times, and hits the Papoose-to-go (whatever happened to that Bobby Heenan guy, anyway?) for the pin. ½*

(2011 Scott sez:  Am I ever going to review any of the matches for this show?  Quit being a smarmy jackass, 1998 Scott, and just review the damn match!)

Hennig and Savage see if they can’t go Flair one better, delivering another awesome interview build. Savage plays D-Lo Brown, yelling “Yeah!” and “Right on!” at random intervals.

- Ric Flair & Razor Ramon v. Randy Savage & Curt Hennig. Heenan’s shameless ass-kissing is a thing of beauty. Okay, while I’m watching the ring intros, here’s the reason for this match: Ultimate Warrior and Randy Savage were feuding over the World title leading up to Summerslam, and the antagonist in the situation was Ric Flair, who had both guys convinced that the other was working for Flair, when in fact neither was. Warrior beat Savage by countout at Summerslam, and injured him enough that Flair was able to cash in on the situation and win the World title himself a few days later. So Savage & Warrior decided to team up and challenge Flair and his crony Razor Ramon, but Warrior fucked it up by leaving the WWF ten days before Survivor Series. So Savage decided to play mind games with Flair in retaliation, asking his manager Curt Hennig to be his new partner. Hennig actually accepted, causing Bobby Heenan to flip out and fire Hennig. So Hennig turned face and we had this match. Lots of posturing to start, and the crowd goes nuts when Flair gets in. Great sequence with Flair and Hennig early on. Ramon is worthless at this point and this match would have been spectacular without him in there to fuck it up. As it is, it’s only very good. Flair is hilarious on the apron as he struts back and forth, milking the crowd. Ramon gets Savage in a submission hold and Hennig walks. But then he changes his mind and comes back. Hot tag to Hennig, and the crowd is absolutely gonzo. Hennig destroys Ramon, and Earl Hebner gets bumped. Razor’s Edge is reversed to a backdrop and Hennig hooks the Perfectplex. Joey “As dead as Jerry Garcia but nearly as grateful” Marella runs in for a two count, then Hennig hooks Flair and Hebner wakes up for another two count. All hell breaks loose and the heels are DQ’s for double-teaming as Savage lies dead on the outside. Flair destroys Hennig until Savage makes the save with a chair, and this description doesn’t do the mind-blowing amounts of heat being drawn here justice. It was just incredible. Savage and Hennig start a mutual admiration society after the match. ***1/4

- Flair rants and tells Mean Gene to shut up numerous times.

- Yokozuna v. Virgil. Weighing in at a slim, trim, ripped, buff, cut, chiselled, hammered and JAAAAAAAAAACKED 505 pounds, Yoko was at least looking human at this point. Virgil was looking flattened and splattered in 19 different places about 5 minutes later, however. DUD.

- Sean Mooney interviews Savage and Hennig, and it’s TURKEYS FOR EVERYONE! Whoo-hoo!

- The Beverlys & Money Inc. v. The Nasty Boys & The Natural Disasters. Elimination rules. Blake (Mike Enos) gets creamed by the faces for quite a while. Dibiase looks way awesome in white. It becomes a heat segment on Sags. Of the bunch, he sucks the least, so that’s a good thing. The heels do manage to carry the match remarkably well, given the constraints of talent (Nasty Boys) and evolution (Typhoon). Hot tag to Earthquake and Beau gets sat on for the first pin. The Beverlys are eliminated. Heat segment on Earthquake, then hot tag to SHOCKMASTER, who luckily doesn’t trip on the way in. Poor guy will never that down but it’s Fred Ottman so who gives a shit. Typhoon tosses Dibiase and wipes out IRS, but that sneaky Ted hooks the leg from his position on his ass on the floor and IRS gets a cheap pin to eliminate the Disasters. He stands up to celebrate and Sags rolls him up for the fast pin to win the match. Que? I thought the point was to build the Nasty Boys - Money Inc. issue. Well, whatever, it was actually quite watchable up to the goofy ending. **

- Virgil gives a dire warning: Yokozuna is a menace not just to the WWF, but to society in general. He warns Bret Hart to beware. Hmm, he missed his calling as a bootlick—he should have been a booker...

- Casket match: The Undertaker v. Kamala. Ah, how UT must yearn for the simpler days of yore, when the worst he had to worry about was a fat cannibal and the occasional voodoo master. Kamala is terrified of the Undertaker, as if you couldn’t tell from his horrible over-acting. Blah blah blah, Kamala with three FAT CANNIBAL SPLASHES OF DEATH but UT does the zombie situp, whacks him with the urn and rolls him into the casket. Call it, oh, -**. UT nails the coffin shut for good measure.

- Sean Mooney with the SHOW STOPPER, THE SCENE STEALER, THE MAIN EVENT, THE ICON, THE HEARTBREAK KID, Shawn Michaels! Okay, none of those nicknames actually applied in 1992, but he was the Intercontinental champion. He gives a lousy interview, proving that he wasn’t a god...yet.

- WWF World title match: Bret Hart v. Shawn Michaels. Slow start. Shawn and Bret have a little side-bet or something where the winner is the person who can melodramatically sell the weakest move with the most pained expression on his face. Not a criticism, mind you. Bret works on the arm. Shawn comes back, but keeps it mat-based. Oodles of psychology here. Shawn misses a charge and Bret misses the elbow. Shawn retakes control but it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! And of course Shawn gets crotched on the top rope, because otherwise it’d be like Christmas without Xanta Claus. Weak ref bump leads to nada. Odd moment: At the point where Bret is weakened and Shawn would normally “cue up the band”, he kind of meanders around a bit, as if looking for something to do, because he doesn’t start doing that for another 3 years. But he seems to know that there’s something he should be doing there, ya know? Anyway, they trade some normal sequences and then BANG! out of nowhere, the superkick. Bret is out but since the lame-o teardrop suplex is Shawn’s finisher, he tries that instead. Bret blocks but Shawn hits on the second try, but only gets two. Shawn to the top rope, Bret catches him coming off, Sharpshooter, see ya. Excellent match. ****1/4

The Bottom Line:

1992 was the transition year from Hulkamania to “maybe this wrestling stuff can work on top after all”. Yokozuna spent a year or so dragging down the main event further, but by 1994 Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels ruled the upper card and the workers didn’t get knocked off until 1995.  Survivor Series and to a lesser extent Summerslam showed that a so-so undercard with a kick-ass main event could produce good results without The Orangle Goblin or the Babbling Maniac.

A pretty good card overall, by pre-Clique standards.  Mildly recommended card, if only for the tag match and the main event.