WWE Vintage Collection Report: 8th November 2009
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
Hosted by: Mean Gene Okerlund
Welcome aboard. This week, the Survivor Series retrospective continues with years 1989 through 1991. Three matches are on hand, including a ‘phenom-enal’ debut, the Gravest Challenge and Bobby Heenan donning the tights. Let’s begin.
November 22nd 1990
The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware & The Hart Foundation) vs
The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase w/Virgil, Rhythm & Blues w/Jimmy Hart & The Undertaker w/Brother Love)
A pre match promo from DiBiase boasting a big surprise is followed by him introducing the Undertaker (replacing the recently departed Stalker, aka Barry Windham). Entering to generic graveyard-esque organ music, Undertaker is put over as an immediate threat by announcers Gorilla Monsoon and Rowdy Roddy Piper, with Piper dubbing him a fourth and fifth man. Bret was competing the day after his brother Dean died from kidney problems. Piper references Bret dedicating the match to Dean. Dusty and DiBiase were feuding, as were the Harts and Rhythm ‘N’ Blues. Taker starts off dominantly by choking Bret and slamming Anvil. Taker sends Koko crashing into the ropes then pins him with the tombstone piledriver. The Dream Team mount a comeback by working over Valentine. Honky has control of Bret, but foolishly turns away to play to the crowd. Bret blindtags Anvil and Honky is pinned after a running powerslam. Anvil softens DiBiase up for Dusty, who corners then mounts his rival to land ten bionic elbows. Dusty lands a dropkick, then assists Anvil in drilling DiBiase with a double backelbow. Anvil suplexes DiBiase and sensing his boss in trouble, Virgil hooks Anvil’s leg as he runs the ropes. DiBiase takes advantage of the distraction to pin Anvil after a running clothesline. After a commercial break, Undertaker pins Dusty following a top rope double axehandle. Dusty gets thrown to the floor where Brother Love puts the boots to him. When Dusty grabs Love, Undertaker attacks from behind and gets counted out as he fights with Dusty on the way to the back. Bret manages to counter a Valentine figure four attempt, by hooking a cradle to eliminate him. A pissed off Valentine protests, but is ordered to the back. We’re down to Bret and DiBiase. Bret sends DiBiase to the floor with an atomic drop. Bret delivers a plancha and a plethora of punches to the head. DiBiase rakes the eyes, Bret puts the brakes on to send DiBiase into the ringpost then the steps. Back inside, DiBiase begs off, Bret teases a Sharpshooter, but opts to boot the groin. DiBiase comes back by sending Bret front first to the corner. Bret counters a backbodydrop out of the corner with a backslide for a nearfall. Bret trips over DiBiase while running the ropes and clutches his knee. DiBiase turns to laugh. However, Bret’s playing possum and he nearly sneaks it with a rollup. Virgil hooks Bret on the apron, Bret avoids a DiBiase lunge and Virgil is wiped out with a high knee. Bret schoolboys DiBiase, 1-2-no. Bret delivers a backbreaker and elbow from the second rope, but is denied victory again. DiBiase reverses off the ropes, Bret lands a cross body, the momentum carries DiBiase over and he hooks the leg for the 1-2-3. Bret sits up and cusses, but the WWE censors pixelate it. DiBiase rolls outside to celebrate while a crestfallen Bret reflects on what might have been. DiBiase advanced to the winner’s match later on in the night. Survivor: MILLION DOLLAR MAN TED DIBIASE. The final exchange between Bret and DiBiase was really good viewing and memorable. Shame their paths never really crossed during their respective careers, as a program between the two would have been great. Undertaker was put over really strong too and didn’t even leave his feet. Who would have thought at the time that his gimmick would still be going so strong today. I didn’t.
November 23rd 1989
The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart & The Rockers) vs
The Heenan Family (Andre The Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson & Bobby “The Brain” Heenan)
Gorilla Monsoon is joined by Jesse “The Body” Ventura at the announce table. The Heenan Family had been a thorn in Warrior’s side for most of 1989. Arn Anderson’s tag team partner and fellow Brain Buster Tully Blanchard was supposed to be in the match, but before the bout Okerlund revealed he stepped aside due to ‘rising tensions in the Heenan Family.’ In truth he had been fired and would wind up back in WCW along with Arn not too long after this. With the Heenan Family already in the ring, Andre starts things early by bashing the Rockers’ heads together and throttling Anvil in the ropes. Warrior runs down (with no music), and sends Andre to the floor after three clotheslines. With the bell ringing during the commotion and no-one able to pick Andre up, the Giant is counted out. Monsoon refuses to acknowledge Heenan, saying he doesn’t belong with the talent in the ring and states his team are 4-2 down. Ventura predicts Heenan could beat Monsoon. Anderson gets involved as Anvil tussles with Haku. Anvil slugs Anderson down, but gets knocked silly by a kick to the back of the head by Haku and is pinned. The Rockers utilise fast tags to work over Haku’s arm. Haku catches a Jannetty cross body attempt, so Michaels dropkicks his partner, who falls onto Haku for a nearfall. After commercials, Heenan tags in for a split second to kick Jannetty, but runs when Jannetty retaliates. Anderson knees Jannetty in the back as the Rocker runs the ropes, Haku delivers a superkick and Heenan picks up the scraps, pinning Jannetty after some stomps and a kneedrop. Anderson and Haku have done well in cutting the ring off as they methodically work over then eliminate a member of Warrior’s team. Michaels performs a top rope backflip over Anderson, then drop toeholds the Brain Buster and drives his face into the mat. Warrior launches Michaels off the top rope with a splash onto Anderson for two. Anderson looks knackered as he tags in Haku. Michaels dodges a Haku cross body attempt and executes one of his own from the top rope for the pinfall. After another commercial break, Anderson blocks a Michaels monkey flip out of the corner, but Michaels blocks an inverted atomic drop. Michaels runs the ropes, gets caught with a spinebuster and is eliminated. A charged up Warrior tackles Anderson down until Anderson uses Warrior’s momentum against him by throwing him to the floor as he runs the ropes. Heenan thinks better of a top rope attack and climbs down. Heenan tags in for another blink and you’ll miss it stint. Warrior grabs Anderson by the throat, so Arn goes for a low blow. Heenan throttles Warrior until Warrior sends Anderson crashing into his manager to knock him off the apron. A press slam and splash takes care of Arn Anderson. Thanks for coming Arn. Heenan calls out for Arn to come back, as Warrior sneaks up from behind with a huge smile on his face. Heenan is perched on the middle rope still calling out to Arn, who’s on his way to the back. Heenan slowly turns round and freezes in fright upon seeing Warrior in front of him. Warrior sends Heenan upside down into the corner then over the top to the floor. Warrior stops Heenan from escaping. A flying tackle and big splash puts Heenan out of his misery. The Ultimate Warrior survives and flattens Heenan once more on the entrance way as he runs to the back. Unfortunately that last bit isn’t shown here. Survivor: THE ULTIMATE WARRIOR. This was only shown in parts, but Arn Anderson, Haku and the Rockers provided the work while Warrior and Heenan took care of the entertainment. Fair play to Heenan taking some bumps despite suffering from a long standing painful neck injury at the time.
November 27th 1991
WWF Title: Hulk Hogan vs The Undertaker w/Paul Bearer
Heenan is back in his usual position alongside Gorilla Monsoon for today’s Main Event, which was dubbed the ‘Gravest Challenge.’ Bearer had replaced the miscast Brother Love in early 1991 to take Undertaker forward. Taker shoves Hogan to the corner, misses a charge, but isn’t even fazed. Hogan holds a side headlock until Taker tackles him down and a concerned Hogan seeks refuge on the floor. The Hulkster is spurred back into action with ‘Hogan’ chants. Taker resorts to throttling, throat shots and ripping at the face in the corner. Bearer chokes Hogan from the outside behind the referee’s back. Taker slams, misses an elbow, Hogan staggers him with a clothesline but can’t slam. Taker won’t go down and lands on his feet when Hogan clotheslines him over the top rope. Taker pulls Hogan out to send him into the ringsteps. In a cool visual, Taker rolls his eyes into the back of his head as he has Hogan trapped in a face claw on the mat. Hogan boots free, tackles Taker into the ropes, but Taker rebounds with a flying clothesline. Taker delivers a tombstone piledriver, Hogan immediately gets to his feet all Hulked up. Hogan drops Taker to one knee following several punches. Hogan motions for a slam as Ric Flair makes his way to ringside. Hogan slams, Bearer grabs Hogan to prevent the legdrop of doom, so Hogan grabs him. Hogan goes outside to deck Flair after noticing Flair holding the WWF Title. Back inside Hogan floors Taker with a big boot. Once again, Bearer hooks Hogan’s leg to prevent the legdrop. Taker takes advantage to land a throat shot and scoop Hogan up. Flair slides a chair in and Hogan is tombstoned onto it. 1-2-3. New champion. Flair leaves and Heenan proclaims that Hulkamania is dead. Winner: THE UNDERTAKER. Slow in parts, but the closing stages were decent.
Immediately afterwards, WWF President Jack Tunney ordered a championship rematch six days later at the Tuesday Night in Texas PPV. Okerlund catches up with Bearer and Undertaker in the depths of the arena. Bearer says Hulkamania died and the service will be held between now and Tuesday in his Funeral Parlour. Taker enlightens Hogan what’s in store for him by slowly opening and closing a casket, before promising his burial on Tuesday.
Hogan actually regained the belt after bungled interference from Flair, but the belt was vacated until the 1992 Royal Rumble where everyone knows who won. Wooooo!
Okerlund promises Survivor Series matches featuring Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart and The Undertaker next week. Hopefully he’s talking about Survivor Series 1993 and not 1992.
In response to my appeal for more elimination matches in last week’s column, reader Daniel Boyd had some interesting ideas. His picks were:
Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, The Miz & Sheamus vs
MVP, Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston, Jack Swagger & Evan Bourne
Melina, Gail Kim, Alicia Fox, Maryse & Kelly Kelly vs
Michelle McCool, Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Maria & Natalya
Batista, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre & Eric Escobar vs
Rey Mysterio, John Morrison, Finlay, R-Truth & Matt Hardy
Hart Dynasty, Vladimir Kozlov & Ezekiel Jackson, Legacy vs MVP, Mark Henry, Cryme Tyme, Christian & Yoshi Tatsu in an elimination rules, Number 1 contender’s match for the Unified Tag Titles.
I’d be happy with any of those matches. I especially liked Daniel’s attempt at trying to breath new life into the Tag division. I’m disappointed that Rey and Batista are facing off one-on-one so early. The elimination tag would have been more beneficial on a long term basis and beats three or four months of straight PPV singles bouts.
Keep your ideas coming and I’ll post them next week. Shaun.
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