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flyonthewall2983

[1988-11-24-WWF-Survivor Series] Powers of Pain & Hart Foundation & British Bulldogs & The Rockers & Young Stallions vs Demolition & Jacques & Raymond Rougeau & Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard & The Bolsheviks & The Conquistadors (Elimination)

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In my mind, probably the best Survivor Series match ever. You have a lot of tag teams who for that time that defined in the late 80's, not just the WWF, but the AWA and Crockett as well. It's about everything you'd ever want from a tag team match multiplied by 5.

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A pretty awesome match just a shade behind the 1987 tag version. This is one that has never grabbed me at points when I have done a live watch but it sung now. You had a good variety between power matchups and also the Busters/Rockers/Bret etc mixing it up with each other. The double turn still doesn't make a lot of sense but the Conquistadors deep run is a neat curveball that was unexpected. ****

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Team Powers of Pain (Powers of Pain, British Bulldogs, Rockers, Hart Foundation& Young Stallions) vs Team Demolition (Demolition, Brainbusters, Rougeaus, Bolsheviks & Conquistadors) - Survivor Series '88

 

I thought this match improves on the '87 match as the storylines are much more interesting highlighting Demos/POP & Busters/Rockers as the next big feuds and the Impossible Dream Team of the Conquisatdors. I really enjoy the Conquistadors angle of this match.

 

This was the Rockers & Busters first real big chance on a WWF stage and they really shine by differentiating themselves immediately from the WWF wrestlers. Right from the outset, the Rockers are pushing their speed element as how they will over come the stereotypical bigger guys with the Bolsheviks. Then Tully comes in and immediately starts pinballing off the babyfaces. Then when Tully has to face the prospect of Barbarian, he just struts 'n' strolls over to tag Volkoff. Fuckin Demolition aint gonna stooge for you. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif) Who gets the first real face in peril segment: Shawn where he delivered his typically great performance and Marty got to play the hot tag on a Conquistador. You could get a taste as a WWF fan what you were in store for with this new explosive team. After Zuhkov eliminates last year's Cinderella the Stallions, Shawn is able to prove he is the better wrestler pretty much overcoming him with ease, before tagging Marty in for a slingshot sunset flip to eliminate the Bolsheviks. Eventually the Rockers and Brainbusters erupts into a donnybrook that causes both teams to be eliminated as they fight to the back. This set up the hot feud that would take them through the first quarter of next year. The match was showcase for the Rocker's speed and selling and the Busters' bumping and stooging.

 

Before we get into the other two overarching storylines of the match, I just wanted to talk about everyone else. The long-standing rumor is that the Rougeaus (#3 heel team on the depth chart) were eliminated early to avoid Dynamite doing unspeakable things to Jacques. Based on Bret Hart's recent visit on the Steve Austin show, he admitted Dynamite was a prick willing to take liberties in the ring. In this match, he was able to get his hands on the Rougeaus and nothing seemed stiffer than usual. I would say a clothesline he gave Tully was even stiffer. The Bulldogs were one team that gave kind of an uninspired performance. It was just a lot of offense, but none of it had any meaning and it just became a blur. Of course, they were on their way out having wrapped up putting Demolition over and with no future it explains their meandering performance in this match, but because of how long they were in there it just dragged for me. If you are a action-mark, Bulldogs were probably your favorite team in this match, but for me they did not give me any reason to care about them. The Hart Foundation were in a similar boat, but they not as showcased plus Bret is a way better seller thus was willing to give the heels a little bit. One of my favorite random moments from this match was Barbarian was coming out of an FIP and dissed Anvil by not tagging him and tagged Marty. It had me laughing. I liked the finish to Bret's elimination where he German suplexed Tully, but could not hold him and pinned himself. The Bullodgs finish was pretty good as well with Dynamite crashing and burning on a diving head butt attempt. These two teams provided great action, but without a storyline motivation were just kinda there.

 

On the heel side, the Rougeaus did not get to show much due to their early elimination. 'Ol Nik looked great in this match busting a nice spinkick twice. Volkoff is not some great lost worker because he was a really solid hand that had a couple high spots hit them well and knew how to lay in his strikes. I definitely like Volkoff after seeing him a couple times. I do not get the Bolsheviks elimination of the Stallions as that could have a great way to give the Busters a good victory instead of the Bolsheviks who were going nowhere. Though maybe it was to make the Rockers look better.

 

Much like the Stallions & Bees, the Conquistadors played the role of the jabroni team that no one thought would make it. Difference was I got sucked into rooting for the Conquistadors mostly due to Jesse's commentary. It is these two average looking goofs in all gold costumes with generic lucha masks constantly making mistakes but somehow always withstanding all this babyface offense. Jesse & Gorilla were amazed by their resilience. They always were the guys that kept slamming their babyface to close to the wrong corner causing them to take a hot tag, but they never did get pinned. Hell one of them attempted a somersault senton from the second rope, which was the high spot of the match. Now the reason the Conquisatdors stayed in were because after the Powers of Pain heel turn they wanted a team to put the POP over, but I would have lost my shit if they gave the Conquistadors a couple spots before biting dust due to some Fuji interference and a Barbie headbutt.

 

Now the major story arc of this match is Demolition vs Powers of Pain. Demolition was the only heel team early on that got any offense in as they cutting off people, but their partners would lose the advantage. That is a Demolition hallmark. Barb and Smash went toe-to-toe for a bit. Smash tags out to a Conquistador for takes Barbie's big boot. The Ax vs Warlord encounter has a much bigger feel the commentary puts it over, the crowd erupts and the wrestlers are excited. Demolition double teams, but here comes Barb with a huge flying shoulder tackle. Barbarian had this strange penchant to headbutt a heel back into the heel corner letting him tag out. Barb does a little FIP, which is better than Warlord, but still nothing special. Finally we are down to Demolition & Conquistadors vs the Powers of Pain. Warlord posts his shoulder early and Demolition targets it, but Fuji keeps jumping on the apron so as to give a cane shot, but it would be in the plain view of the ref. So Demolition ignores him and the commentators are like that kooky Fuji. Smash goes to run the ropes, but tumbles through the middle rope not because he is a klutz, but because he has been sabotaged by Fuji. Demolition gets counted out, but Ax is hot at Fuji. Fuji has the gall to push Ax away with cane and when Ax turns his back he gives him a wallop. However Smash is back up and tosses him to Ax who bodyslams him and the crowd erupts and babyface turn completed. POP ignores the Impossible Dream Team of the Conquistadors and helps Fuji up and brings him to their corner. Fuji trips a Conquistador and a Barbie falling headbutt gets the win for a big pop. Heel turn in progress.  Demolition returns to clear the ring and the crowd pops for them I don't think it will take much to complete POP's heel turn.

 

The angle seemed random mostly likely due to me having not watched the TV. It made sense that Demolition was clearly over ought to be turned face, but it seemed strange that Fuji was just all of sudden hopping up on the ring. If they wanted to do the Fuji/POP in cahoots, why not just have Fuji trip Ax or Smash. I do not think it was the best way to turn POP heel, but the bodyslam was definitely effective in turning Demolition babyface. The Conquistador angle is a big sell for me. Great stuff. In a very weak in-ring year for the WWF, this is a MOTYC. ****

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I had never seen this match, but am watching this whole show (and reviewing it) for my blog. 

As others said above, this is a terrific match filled with great little moments and performances. 

What I wanted to add, though, is that Gorilla and Jesse are FANTASTIC on commentary. Like, Heenan during the 92' Rumble-level brilliant.  I love how they chastise both the heels and the faces for not making tags or pinfalls. They pay respect to the solid offense of teams from both sides. I love how much they talk-up the shock of seeing the Conquistadors last so long. The way they handle the double-turn is great too, not "over connecting" the dots and inexplicably having more information than the viewer. They have great chemistry and treat the match like a real athletic contest without talking down to the audience. 

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