WWE Survivor Series 1990
Thanksgiving Day – November 22nd, 1990
Hartford Civic Center
Hartford, Connecticut
Watch: WWENetwork

The fourth edition of the Survivor Series PPV occurred in the midst of the first Gulf War. Since Survivor Series 1989, the American Hero Sgt. Slaughter received the biggest push of his WWE career when he was turned heel as an Iraqi sympathizer. The Ultimate Warrior had become the WWE Champion after defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI. The Road Warriors finally made their WWE debut as the Legion of Doom. This event was the debut of two new WWE Superstars, The Undertaker and The Gobbledy Gooker. One of them would become the biggest heel of the night and the other was The Undertaker.

The big gimmick on this Survivor Series was the Grand Finale match. All of the remaining survivors from the tag team elimination matches would be inserted into the main event of the evening for an ultimate Survivor Series tag team elimination match.

The Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Animal, Hawk, and Texas Tornado) vs. The Perfect Team (Mr. Perfect, Ax, Smash, and Crush) w/ Bobby Heenan and Mr. Fuji

“The Warriors” was the only team name that ever made sense at Survivor Series as each man on the team had the nickname of “warrior” at one time or another. There’s an nteresting note about this match: the back of Ultimate Warrior’s trunks read “the only warrior.” How Ultimate Warrior got away with wearing these trunks without the Road Warriors destroying him in the locker room is beyond me.

This match had a good build heading into this event with the draw being the dream encounter of Demolition vs. the Road Warriors. People often point out how this feud didn’t live up to the hype because Ax was on the path to retirement and Crush was taking his place. In hindsight, though, was Ax that much of a better worker than Crush? They are all interchangeable, really. At a little over 14 minutes this match certainly disappointed. The first 7 minutes were action packed and exciting until L.O.D. and Demolition got carried away and disqualified. This was still a fun match to watch. **¾

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Ax Ultimate Warrior 3:21
2 Animal

Hawk

Crush

Smash

DQ 7:40
3 Texas Tornado Mr. Perfect 11:04
4 Mr. Perfect Ultimate Warrior 14:23
Survivor: Ultimate Warrior

The Million Dollar Team (Ted Dibiase, The Undertaker, Honky Tonk Man, and Greg Valentine) w/ Virgil, Jimmy Hart, and Brother Love vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, Bret Hart, and Jim Neidhart)

This is the famous on screen debut of The Undertaker. Undertaker instantly comes off as a superstar and is treated as a big deal. There is no wonder as to why this goofy gimmick got over. If you take a talented performer and protect the character by making them a serious threat you can create stars. As usual, Bret Hart was brilliant in this match and this could possibly be the first great performance for Bret on this big of a stage. ***¾

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Koko B. Ware Undertaker 1:43
2 Honky Tonk Man Jim Neidhart 4:27
3 Jim Neidhart Ted Dibiase 5:43
4 Dusty Rhodes Undertaker 8:32
5 Undertaker Count out 9:25
6 Greg Valentine Bret Hart 10:01
7 Bret Hart Ted Dibiase 13:59
Survivor: Ted Dibiase

The Visionaries (Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules, and Paul Roma) w/ Slick vs. The Vipers (Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, Shawn Michaels, and Marty Jannetty)

This was a good match with some world class performers and some performers that had too many muscles to succeed in anything more than flexing. This is a memorable match as it was the first time an entire Survivor Series team remained intact throughout their entire match. **3/4

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Marty Jannetty Warlord 5:17
2 Jimmy Snuka Rick Martel 9:42
3 Shawn Michaels Paul Roma 15:40
4 Jake Roberts Count out 18:57
Survivors: Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules, and Paul Roma

The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jim Duggan, Big Boss Man, and Tugboat) vs. The Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku, and Barbarian) w/ Jimmy Hart and Bobby Heenan

Earthquake’s team was called “The Natural Disasters” despite Earthquake’s name/gimmick being the only thing you can refer to as a natural disaster. Interestingly enough, Earthquake would form a tag team of the same name with his opponent in this match, Tugboat, when Tugboat changed his name to Typhoon. Hulk Hogan was the sole survivor as he did his usual shtick and garnered a typically loud reaction from the Hulkamaniacs in attendance. **½

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Haku Big Boss Man 3:15
2 Jim Duggan DQ 6:11
3 Dino Bravo Hulk Hogan 7:58
4 Big Boss Man Earthquake 9:14
5 Earthquake

Tugboat

Count out 11:34
6 Barbarian Hulk Hogan 14:48
Survivor: Hulk Hogan

Gene Okerlund interviews Randy Savage

Macho Man doesn’t get a chance to wrestle tonight to defend his streak of surviving three straight Survivor Series elimination matches. Randy Savage challenges Ultimate Warrior for the WWE Championship. Savage then mentions that if he can’t beat Warrior then he might as well retire. This was foreshadowing to the retirement match Savage and Warrior would have at WrestleMania VII.

The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, Bushwhacker Luke, and Bushwhacker Butch) vs. The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, Tanaka, and Sato) w/ Mr. Fuji and General Adnan

The “Alliance” was representing the USA as they came out to a patriotic tune. This was funny because Nikolai Volkoff was born in Croatia, Santana is a loyal Mexican, and the Bushwhackers are from New Zealand. On the flip side, The Mercenaries were representing the foreigners and terrorists. Slaughter, Zhukov, and Tanaka were all born inside the United States of America. This match was boring and did nothing to get Slaughter over. Even eliminating three of his opponents in a row didn’t help get him over as a heel. ½*

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Boris Zhukov Tito Santana 0:46
2 Sato Butch 1:47
3 Tanaka Tito Santana 2:12
4 Nikolai Volkoff Sgt. Slaughter 5:25
5 Luke Sgt. Slaughter 6:30
6 Butch Sgt. Slaughter 6:53
7 Sgt. Slaughter DQ 10:36
Survivors: Tito Santana

The turkey that died a thousand deaths

The WWE was hyping the hatching of this giant egg for weeks leading up to Survivor Series. Over the years people have speculated that the reason this gimmick didn’t work was because of the rumors of who would be coming out of this egg were far more exciting than the Gobbledy Gooker. There were rumors that this could be a returning superstar or a debuting superstar coming out of this egg that had people excited. My question to those people is, what did you expect? What could possibly possess you to think that anybody coming out of that egg would be of any substance?

This was just horrendous. There wouldn’t be a lonelier and pathetic man in a stadium full of people than the Gobbledy Gooker was on this night until Steve Bartman caught Luis Castillo’s foul ball at Wrigley Field. At least in the Gooker’s case he was wearing a mask to hide his shame.

Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior and Tito Santana vs. Ted Dibiase, Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules, and Paul Roma w/ Slick and Virgil

For the first time in Survivor Series history the WWE held a “Grand Finale” match. All of the survivors from previous matches were compiled into two teams. The babyface team was at a disadvantage in this 3 on 5 match. This was shortest Survivor Series elimination to date as Hogan and Warrior made quick work of Dibiase and the Visionaries. **

Elimination # Wrestler Eliminated Eliminated By Time
1 Warlord Tito Santana 0:27
2 Tito Santana Ted Dibiase 1:51
3 Paul Roma Hulk Hogan 5:37
4 Rick Martel Count out 7:15
5 Ted Dibiase Hulk Hogan 8:37
6 Hercules Ultimate Warrior 9:08
Survivors: Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior

The following stats are accumulative through the first three Survivor Series PPV’s:

Top Ten Wrestlers with Most Eliminations in Survivor Series Tag Matches

Place Wrestler # of Eliminations
1 Ultimate Warrior 7
1 Hulk Hogan 7
3 Tito Santana 5
3 Ted Dibiase 5
5 Mr. Perfect 4
5 Randy Savage 4
5 Brutus Beefcake 4
6 Sgt. Slaughter 3
6 One Man Gang / Akeem 3
6 Rick Rude 3

Top Ten Wrestlers with Most Accumulative Time Surviving a Survivor Series Tag Match

Place Wrestler Time
1 Hulk Hogan 96:48
2 Jake Roberts 96:10
3 Dino Bravo 84:57
4 Haku 82:30
5 Warlord 81:38
6 Paul Roma 77:25
7 Barbarian 77:02
8 Randy Savage 75:46
9 Demolition Smash 70:21
10 Hercules 70:00

More Fun stats:

  • Hercules has competed in 5 Survivor Series elimination matches and has eliminated zero opponents
  • The Ultimate Warrior was the sole survivor in all three of his first Survivor Series Elimination Matches
  • Jim Duggan has wrestled in three Survivor Series elimination matches, twice he was disqualified for using his 2×4 and the other time he was counted out
  • In Sgt. Slaughter’s Survivor Series Elimination Match debut he broke the record for most eliminations in a single match at 3

Fun Survivor Series 1990 Facts:

  • The Hartford Civic Center played host to this event, this was also where WrestleMania XI took place
  • At 400,000 PPV buys this was the most watched Survivor Series to this point and would not be topped until the 1998 edition
  • Bad News Brown was supposed to be a member of “The Million Dollar Team”, but was replaced by The Undertaker – probably due to Brown being such a terrible partner the last couple of years
  • Rick Rude was supposed to be a member of “The Natural Disasters”, but was replaced by Haku after WWE President Jack Tunney suspended Rude after Rude insulted Big Boss Man’s mother
  • Speaking of Haku, this was the first time we would see Haku and The Barbarian team together. They would later become the “Faces of Fear” in WCW when Haku changed his name to Meng
  • For the second year in a row Akeem “The African Dream” was supposed to appear on a team, this year was Sgt. Slaughter’s Alliance. Slaughter apparently realized terrorists don’t come from Africa and replaced him with Boris Zhukov. A mistake on Slaughter’s part as Zhukov only lasted 46 seconds in his match

November 1990 in history:

  • The number one song on the Billboard Music charts at the time of this event was “Love Takes Time” by Mariah Carey (the previous number one song before this was “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice)
  • The number one movie at the box office the weekend of this event was “Home Alone” which spent 7 consecutive weeks in 1990 as the number one movie
  • The United States of America was in the midst of the first Gulf War with Iraq at the time of this event (hence the Sgt. Slaughter ties with Iraq), and there are all kinds of interesting things that happened this month from President Bush comparing Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler to Bush offering to send his Secretary of Defense to meet with Hussein personally.