Introduction - So, I'm not gonna lie to you guys, I'm actively anticipating the worst show of all time. The Survivor Series matches look poorly executed, and there's a NEARLY 40 MINUTE SUBMISSION MATCH. Will it be a terrible show? Let's find out
Cold Open, the Survivor Series teams talking strategy - AWESOME. You feel like you're getting behind the scenes footage, and I wish we got more of this. Even seeing the midget teams interact is fun, despite the gross comedic way in which they're going to be used. Jerry bullies the cameraman to close out and we get
Opening graphics - Playstation 1 graphics of a desert scene, and the Survivor Series logo, this was fantastic
Vince McMahon and Gorilla Monsoon run down the card - Vince is dressed in full cowboy gear, where Gorilla looks like a grandpa playing cowboy in a nice sweater. These two are expert pitchmen, and they seem to be having fun. I have high hopes for the commentary.
The Bad Guys (The 1-2-3 Kid, The British Bulldog, Fatu, Razor Ramon and Sione) (with Afa and Lou Albano)
The Teamsters (Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Neidhart, Owen Hart and Shawn Michaels) - DUD
Hooray for team names! I demand that all random Survivor Series matches have cheesy team names for all of time. But, why are the heel teams called The Teamsters? That such a lame name. Why not "The Heartbreakers" or "The Truck Convoy" or "The Musical Trucks?"
We stall forever, and we get a lot of back and forth standoffs that just make me long for simple single matches between everyone involved Fatu's gimmick is that manager Lou Albano wants Fatu to wear boots, and Fatu looks clumsy in them and is often distracted. Who came up with this? Diesel comes and eliminates everyone except Razor. Owen assists with Bulldog's countout elimination which makes sense given what else goes on tonight. A miscue between Diesel and HBK causes Diesel to skulk Shawn, and the other team members to follow behind. Owen seems to be the only one who realizes what will happen as a consequence and sure enough, AN ENTIRE TEAM is counted out for the win.
This might be the single dumbest finish in history. It got, at most, two people over (HBK and Diesel), whereas everyone else involved, from the rest of the heels, to Razor, look like absolute bafoons. This was a dud so deep that even a fun core of the match can't save it.
Shawn Michaels flees the building while Todd tries to interview him - Todd sounds remarkably unclear about what's happening despite it being fairly obvious. I do like that we're immediately seeing the consequence of what happened
The Royal Family (Cheesy, Jerry Lawler, Queasy and Sleazy) vs. Clowns R' Us (Dink the Clown, Doink the Clown, Pink the Clown and Wink the Clown) - DUD
Would you like to see nearly 20 minutes of bad midget comedy? If yes, you and Vince would be great friends. The heel team look like Wile.E Coyote levels of doofusness. The heels inexplicably clean sweep the faces once Doink is eliminated. Do I need to tell you how I rated this match?
Post-match - Jerry is mean to his teammates, so they turn on him. This leads to a Benny Hill chase sequence (which Vince ACTUALLY SAYS), and Jerry gets a pie in the face by Doink. Why? Why anything?
Todd Petengill interviews Bull Nakano - They allude to a title change in Japan and show footage of Alundra's motorcycle entrance and Bull's win. Bull speaks Japanese, and so Todd talks louder and slower. I really wanted Bull to just pulverize Todd right here but instead she just says a sentence and glares at him.
WWF Championship: Submission Match
Bob Backlund (w/ Owen Hart) vs Bret Hart (w/ The British Bulldog - 8/10
Perplexingly they project a picture of the WWF title on the door the wrestlers enter from. This looks tacky. Bob's titantron him submitting to the Iron Shiek and then his name. No wonder why Bob is crazy! Everyone dwells on him losing.
Bob Backlund immediately starts by being slammed and selling like Iron Mike Sharpe, screaming as he rolls out of the ring. What a start. Surprisingly these guys go hold for hold for a very long time. This match seems like a more theatrical version of a British style match than anything else, and surprisingly, they don't completely lose the crowd. Call me a spoiled mark if you want, but once the guys start doing normal wrestling moves, this kind of loses its luster, even though Bob does unique things like trying pulling Bret's arm out of socket. Bob hasn't stopped working the arm for half of this match which is pretty insane. Backlund even does some Okada-esque wrist control spots. We get some cool nonverbal inspiration between Bob and Owen to turn over a figure four leglock, Owen antagonizes Bulldog into throwing in the towel. Now Bret is working the leg, They do a really good job of teasing and putting over the dangers of the Crossface Chickenwing. Bob misses a shoulder charge but doesn't sell it, same with chest first shoulder charged. Backlund seems out of his wheelhouse when he has to sell anything more complicated than a strike, submission, or very basic slam. Bret gets the sharpshooter in, which prompts Owen to get in the ring, and Bulldog to chase him around. Owen breaks up the sharpshooter which prompts more chasing and Bulldog to knock himself out. Bret actually gets bleeped when he sees what's happened, I wasn't expecting that. Bret gets Chickenwinged, and we spend an absurdly long time setting up the finish, Owen convincing Helen to throw in the towel, for the submission win. Also Stu tries to stop her which is an unnecessary and weird story wrinkle.
The finishing sequence, while dramatic and something you can only really pull off once in a lifetime, should've been much more succinct. Beyond that nitpick however, this match was great!
Post-match - Owen runs away victorious proving his concern earlier to be a ruse. Bret gets helped to the back while Bob celebrates. This was awesome. But the kayfabe absurdity of Bob creating a situation where someone wouldn't be able to consent to quitting, and Bret agreeing to a match like that against Backlund just hit me.
Owen Hart interview with Todd Petengill - AWESOME. Owen is in full obnoxious little brother mode here while Todd f looks disgusted. Also there's something about a manic looking Owen Hart capping off his promo with a "WOO" directly into the camera that popped me.
Some time with the commentators - Both guys, but especially Vince, sound legitimately upset which is awesome. They find a woman with her head bowed, but she pops up and waves once she realizes she's on camera and they cut away. That was hilarious.
The Million Dollar Team (Bam Bam Bigelow, Jimmy Del Ray, King Kong Bundy, Tatanka and Tom Prichard) (with Ted DiBiase)
Guts and Glory (Adam Bomb, Bart Gunn, Billy Gunn, Lex Luger and Mabel) (with Oscar) - 2.5/10
Luger has "USA" chants super imposed into his theme, that's super embarrassing. Tatanka plays a great cowardly heel, and Luger a Sting-esque babyface. They tease Bundy and Mable when Luger is throwing everyone else around. Mable hits a cross body on Prichard to eliminate him, which is insane. Wacky, transparent sunset flip counter spot. Mable knocks himself out with a Cactus Clothesline, looking like an idiot in the process. The heels cheat to eliminate Bomb and get the momentum on Luger. They briefly tease Luger/Tatanka when Luger eliminates Del Ray but Tatanka ends up working intermittently with The Smoking Guns. Bart makes me wonder why you would attempt a crucifix on anyone who's finishing move is End of the Trail when he gets eliminated. They've now teased Tatanka and Luger so many times when it does happen for extended periods of time the crowd is dead. Bundy eliminates Billy and Luger is by himself and it's boring. Luger rolls up Tatanka, only to be squashed literally by Bundy and pinned.
This was bad, the wrong team won and wholly unnecessary match.
Post-match - The Million Dollar Corporation beat up on Luger until the rest of Guts and Glory made the save. What did this accomplish.
Bob Backlund interview with Todd Petengill - Backlund is posing for pictures. This is also peak crazy Bob Backlund, and should be watched immediately
Some more time with the commentators - Gorilla brings up what I brought up, in that this match was engineered for Bob to win the title in the same way he lost it all those years ago.
Chuck Norris makes his entrance for...
Casket Match: Chuck Norris is the guest referee
The Undertaker (with Paul Bearer) vs Yokozuna (with Jim Cornette and Mr. Fuji) - 3/10
Seeing Yoko play a cowardly heel is so weird. In order to make this match work, Taker needs to sell and bump. In some instances he does, and in some he totally doesn't when he should. It's a really weird counterbalance that doesn't quite gel. Cornette does a great job selling a punch of Taker's during and after, but negates the need of Norris being there. Yoko takes unconvincing momentum. Taker is starting to move around though, and the match really starts to get interesting. The Million Dollar Corporation interfere, Bundy and Bam Bam stand off with Chuck, while IRS attacks Undertaker. I hate that they're setting up Taker's next big feud mid way into this one. Taker gets put in a sleeper hold and put in the casket but revives just n time to choke Yoko. Jarrett runs down only to be kicked by Chuck Norris. Taker makes a big wacky comeback, snaps Fuji's flag and puts it in the casket with Yoko.
This had sub-minimal flashes of brilliance, but the interference really hampered it.
This was a TERRIBLE show from WWF, in fact I would say it's the worst ever. Backlund vs Bret is great if you like long matches, but when the next best match is a 3/10, you can easily say this show is terrible. Unless you can stomach a 40 minute submission match, skip this show.