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[1990-11-22-WWF-Survivor Series] The Undertaker & Ted DiBiase & Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine vs Hart Foundation & Dusty Rhodes & Koko B. Ware

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Big time debut for Undertaker who squashes his opponents (Dusty and Koko) before eventually getting counted out. Bret versus Dibiase was solid and they had a really good back and forth action between the two.

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It's pretty amazing that he'd just sort of arrived with this match, as opposed to fading into the background. It's like Vince knew this would be an important guy on the roster. Dibiase's intro is effectively more goosebump-raising because of this.

 

I do wonder if the dark irony of the character making his debut after such a bleak day in Bret's life was lost on anyone. It was pretty damn professional for Bret to even show up, let alone have that great roll-around with Ted at the end.

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WWF was so regimented at this point. It's hugely different from 91-92 WCW where you'd get a random six man on almost every show. It's not at all like today where over the course of one year every wrestler will pretty much wrestle or team with every other wrestler at some point.

 

The house show programs would go four or five months without much variation. You might get an occasional oddball PTW match, yes, but there was just one or two of those a week.

 

I loved old Survivor Series because you got to see guys interact with each other who normally didn't, on both sides of the ring. Dibiase/Hart is a great example, but seeing Honky stand next to Dibiase is just as fun in some ways, especially in the promos leading up to things.

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Really fun last few minutes with Bret and DiBiase, and of course, Undertaker had a famous debut. I don't really have much more to say about it than that.

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Good pre-match promo from DiBiase. Jimmy Hart again gets nothing to do.

 

Eliminations all throughout this show are go-go-go style because of the extra match and Gooker segment, so we get some oddball things like Ted pinning Neidhart after one clothesline. Undertaker basically no-sells everything, tombstones Koko into oblivion, does a solo ropewalk to eliminate Dusty, then gets counted out himself for protection. He was clearly being positioned as a top name from the beginning. Bret gets a bunch of great near-falls on DiBiase before Ted gets a clean victory himself.

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Posted Image

 

Almost forgot: the original Million $ Team, a photo that was just recently unearthed on wwe.com. Wonder if that adds credence to the rumor of Mark Callous debuting as "The Eggman."

 

Bad News vs. Koko was apparently going to be an actual program--Bad News' sewer rats vs. Frankie. Wonder why Bad News quit?

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I'd like to think the money in Bad News' hand is because Ted paid him extra to actually stick with the match. In Survivor Series matches previous to this one, he would storm out and be counted out eventually. With the continuity they had on angles then, I'd believe they would go with that.

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Stiff match. Better than I remembered. Why was Brother Love with Taker? Taker destroys Koko and the combo of the guys work well together. Him getting counted out is sort of dumb but still protected him. Roddy was out of control on commentary.

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Quick night of work for Koko. DiBiase beats Anvil with a clothesline? Love those rush pinfalls in the old WWF Survivor Series matches. The DiBiase/Rhodes stuff was flat. Crowd is really behind Bret. DiBiase and Bret was the easy highlight of match. Some great looking close pinfall attempts.

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Almost forgot: the original Million $ Team, a photo that was just recently unearthed on wwe.com. Wonder if that adds credence to the rumor of Mark Callous debuting as "The Eggman."

 

Would his catchphrase been "goo goo goo joob"?

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It's too bad that we get the home video version of the match, as Teddy clearly introduced Taker as "Kane the Undertaker", but the Kane part was edited out here, I guess to avoid confusion on the part of modern fans with Glen Jacobs' character.

 

Was Brother Love supposed to be Taker's permanent manager, or was he only there until they could sign Percy and introduce Paul Bearer? Prichard takes well to being outside the ring, especially with his attack on Dusty after Dusty's been eliminated. Percy fit so well with the Taker concept that it's hard to imagine Prichard being any better, but at least it would have kept him around on camera. As it was, he only had a little more than three months to go.

 

I noticed that Valentine was back to his "Hammer" ring gear here, and if I remember correctly, the dyed-black hair was soon gone too, as he turned face before the end of the year. Speaking of changed ring gear, Dusty was back to his old tights, with no hint of polka dots. I guess we can call this his "I'm countin' the days till I'm back in Atlanta" look.

 

Did Koko wrestle in his sunglasses? It sure looked like it to me. I just hope they were tombstone-proof.

 

I don't think Taker was legal when he was counted out; I could have sworn he'd tagged Valentine. Still, he hadn't been around long enough to go over and he sure wasn't getting beaten, so being counted out while pounding Dusty was as good a way to lose as any. Dusty/Taker would have been a nice series if Dusty had stuck around.

 

The Bret/Teddy finale stole the show, and it was probably the best single segment of the night. Teddy actually getting a totally clean win was a bit of a surprise, but he was wrestling Warrior the next night on NBC, so it made sense for him to look like a possible World champion. I agree with Fly that it was a credit to Bret to not only show up, but to be the best overall worker in his match. No wonder Vince finally decided to push him as a single.

 

Gino and Piper were good on commentary, with Gino immediately identifying Taker's finisher as the tombstone piledriver and even throwing in an epitaph reference (which clearly showed that he knew exactly who this guy was supposed to be before the evening started; he was never that clever on the fly). Piper made a few jokes about Taker's appearance, but also put him over as a force to be reckoned with and talked about the advantage that he gave DiBiase's team. He really got emotional when Bret was in the ring (which was fitting under the circumstances, especially since he's distant family), but I have to wonder if the "Put some heart into it" stuff was his own or was fed to him by someone. Again, as clever as Piper could be on the mic, I doubt that he would have thought to use that phrase repeatedly when Bret was in the ring totally of his own accord.

 

I'd much rather have no Bad News and Mark Calloway as Taker than Bad News in Taker's spot and Mark Calloway as the Gobbledygooker, even if it means that we were deprived of seeing Frankie snack on Bad News' sewer rats, or vice versa.

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"Kane the Undertaker" was a name that only existed in matches and segments that were taped before Survivor Series, including a few squashes and an Update. He was already just "The Undertaker" by the time Survivor Series aired live.

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"Kane the Undertaker" was a name that only existed in matches and segments that were taped before Survivor Series, including a few squashes and an Update. He was already just "The Undertaker" by the time Survivor Series aired live.

 

But they aired after Survivor Series. One would think that if they were all-in on changing the name they could have adjusted.

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I clearly remember Teddy calling him "Kane the Undertaker". I don't know if anyone else did that night, but I know he did for sure. Maybe he hadn't gotten the memo about the name change, or maybe it was a slip, but he did it.

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I was 14 years old at the time and this was my first PPV ordered. I had it recorded on videotape forever, rewatching it multiple times, and he was introduced by DiBiase strictly as "The Undertaker". I remember thinking it weird when his first appearance was announced on Superstars a few weeks later and he was referred to as "Kane the Undertaker", though I think the next week when he finally appeared "Kane" was dropped.

 

But he was definitely announced by DiBiase as only "The Undertaker". I no longer have the PPV on video but anyone with a copy would be able to further vouch for it.

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Never seen the Undertaker debut, the closeup on his face looked really cool. Decent enough squash on his part, he's young, but pretty good. Bret vs Dibiase is really solid, Bret looks good here and this might be my favorite performance from him this year.

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Great fun. These guys are pretty much sprinting, but everyone gets some good moments (well, except for Koko - but someone had to be insta-squashed by Taker). Prichard talks on the podcast about how they told Mean Mark that he must under no circumstances get knocked off his feet, and I was watching for that. He doesn't, going to the mat only when pinning someone. It's a terrific debut, especially when he throws Dusty over the top rope.

 

DiBiase and Bret are great here, with the near-falls driving the crowd into a frenzy. Nice false leg injury from Bret, too.

 

Hammer looks weird in black hair.

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