It all begins here. The WWF/WWE’s most iconic performer and longest-running character, the Undertaker, made his debut here, as the surprise member of “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase’s Survivor Series team. Along with Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine, the foursome faced Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and Tag Team Champions the Hart Foundation. On paper, Rhodes’ team should have had the advantage here, but the former “Mean” Mark Callous definitely helped turn the tables for DiBiase.
The Undertaker’s first night in the WWF saw him manhandle the opposing team, introducing the iconic rope walk and debuting his finisher, the Tombstone piledriver, all of which have stood the test of time. The future World Champion eliminated both Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes before getting himself counted out saving his original manager, Brother Love, from Rhodes. The eliminations helped DiBiase outlast the rest of the other team before making his way to the Grand Finale Match of Survival.
Best Match: Grand Finale Match of Survival: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Tito Santana defeated Ted DiBiase, Power & Glory, “The Model” Rick Martel and Warlord – In an evening of mediocre elimination matches – the bloom was definitely off the rose of the Survivor Series concept here – the spectacle of the main event easily rose above the rest of the matches on the show. Warrior and Hogan on the same team – after they battled over the WWF Championship at WRESTLEMANIA – was an epic moment. While it proved that Warrior wasn’t on the same level of Hogan, putting the pair on the same team to close out the night was a good cap to the final WWF pay-per-view of the year.
Worst Match: Elimination Match: Tito Santana, Nikolai Volkoff and the Bushwhackers defeated Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukoff and the Orient Express – This is supposed to be a showcase for Sgt. Slaughter, who is being built as one of the company’s big bads as the United States gears up for combat against Iraq. The former G.I. JOE is now an Iraqi sympathizer, bashing the U.S. Unfortunately, he was saddled with a pretty crappy team, and his partners were all eliminated quickly by Volkoff’s team. Slaughter then made short work of Volkoff and the Bushwhackers before throwing Santana into the referee. Manager General Adnan hit Santana with his flagpole, all of which amounted to a disqualification. By the way this match went, you’d never think Slaughter was about to be crowned WWF Champion in just two months.
Warriors, Come Out And Play: Ultimate Warrior, the WWF Champion was in the opening match, leading his team against Mr. Perfect and the trio of Demolition. That team? The Legion of Doom, formerly known as the Road Warriors, and “Texas Tornado” Kerry Von Erich, known down in Texas as the “Modern Day Warrior.” Putting them all together was a nice nod to history that the WWF was much better at back in the day.
Savageless: While he didn’t wrestle on the main card, “Macho King” Randy Savage made his presence known at the Survivor Series with an interview where he made it clear he wanted a shot at the Ultimate Warrior’s WWF Championship. The Warrior had been touring house shows battling Demolition with the Legion of Doom, so the prospect of a feud with Savage was an exciting one. They managed to stretch this out to WrestleMania, though.
Laying An Egg: For weeks leading up to the show, WWF television teased the hatching of a giant egg at Survivor Series, promising a big surprise. What we got was the Gobbledy Gooker, a mascot portrayed by Hector Guerrero, who used his debut to dance around the ring with “MEAN” GENE OKERLUND.
Ranking Survivor Series 1990
1 – Grand Finale Match of Survival: Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and Tito Santana defeated Ted DiBiase, Power & Glory, “The Model” Rick Martel and Warlord
2 – Elimination Match: Ted DiBiase, Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine and The Undertaker defeated Dusty Rhodes, the Hart Foundation and Koko B. Ware
3 – Elimination Match: Ultimate Warrior, the Legion of Doom and Texas Tornado defeated Mr. Perfect and Demolition (Ax, Smash and Crush)
4 – Elimination Match: Hulk Hogan, Tugboat, Big Bossman and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan defeated Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku and the Barbarian
5 – Elimination Match: “The Model” Rick Martel, The Warlord and Power & Glory defeated Jake “The Snake” Roberts, The Rockers and “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka
6 – Elimination Match: Tito Santana, Nikolai Volkoff and the Bushwhackers defeated Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukoff and the Orient Express
DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship Match: The Ultimate Warrior defeated Hulk Hogan (c) – WrestleMania VI
2 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Doom – Clash of the Champions X
3 – World Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Match: The Hart Foundation defeated Demolition (c) – SummerSlam 1990
4 – Steel Cage Match: Ric Flair, Arn Anderson and Ole Anderson beat The Great Muta, Buzz Sawyer and the Dragonmaster – Clash of the Champions X
5 – Rock n Roll Express defeated the Midnight Express – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
6 – NWA Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated Ole and Arn Anderson – WrestleWar 90 Wild Thing
7 – United States Tag Team Championship Match: The Midnight Express (c) defeated the Southern Boys – Great American Bash 1990
8 – United States Championship Match: Lex Luger (c) beat “Nature Boy” Ric Flair by disqualification – Clash of the Champions XII
9 – Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake defeated “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig – WrestleMania VI
10 – United States Tag Team Championship Match: The Steiner Brothers (c) defeated the Nasty Boys – Halloween Havoc 1990
That’s all for the 1990 Survivor Series. We’ve only got two shows left, with the next one coming tomorrow – it’s the fourth Main Event! Stay tuned!