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  • Connor Ewens

Every WWE Golden Era PPV Reviewed & Ranked: Part 2/3

We're hopping back in our rose-tinted time machine to return once more to WWE's defining era full of larger than life heroes, despicable evil villains as well as all the juice and class A's you could desire. We've covered 15 shows so far, all of them being pretty bad to be honest however filled with plenty of historic and memorable moments that have lived in the company's legacy for decades. Not a single Wrestlemania breaks into our top 15 which is crazy, that's the result when your show is built more around pomp and pageantry rather than quality wrestling matches. Most of these shows come from the early 90s, which should have indicated that WWE's product would have only gotten better and more refined as the 90s roared on. As we will see when we look at the New Generation era, that was far from the truth. Until then though, let's complete our reminiscence of one of the most important tike periods in the history of wrestling.

15) Survivor Series, November 22nd 1990. 38.3%

Ahead of the show, Bad News Brown quit the WWF due to not receiving his promised run as the first black champion. This glaring hole in the booking plans would throw a spanner in the works, Vince looking desperately for a suitable replacement to join the Million Dollar team. Haku had replaced Rick Rude, Boris Zhukov replaced Akeem, who could replace BNB?

The first survivor series match was average at best, The Perfect Team taking on the Ultimate Warriors. Mr Perfect and the Texas Tornado, the best workers in the match, spent most of the time in the ring so they were good. Demolition and the LOD all got disqualified simultaneously for brawling which was lame but added more heat to their feud. This would be the end of Ax's in ring career for the WWF. Of course the Ultimate Warrior would be the sole survivor, keeping the reigning world champion strong. The Million Dollar Team vs the Dream Team next, which saw Brown's replacement revealed as the Undertaker, WWE's most legendary performer. He wasn't polished as a worker or a character yet but he was imposing and menacing. He has a dominant showing before being counted out. The best part of the match was when it was down to Ted DiBiase and Bret Hart in our final two, both guys were great in the match. Hart looked close to a big win but the DiBiase rolled through a crossbody for a flash pinfall. They gave far too much time for the next match, the Visionaries taking on the Vipers. It was decent at first with the Rockers in the match but they were eliminated fairly early so it lost any interest after that. Not bad, just rather dull and running through the motions.

The rest of the show ain't really worth much commentary. The Hulkamaniacs prevailed over the Natural Disasters, of course Hulk being the sole survivor. The controversial team Mercenaries featuring anti-America Sgt. Slaughter lost to the Alliance in a rather brutal elimination match, poor Tito Santana attempting to save this steam pile of excrement. Before our main event, we do have one thing worth talking about. Throughout the show it has been teased about a surprise debut coming from this mysterious egg. Rumours thought it would be Undertaker but he has already appeared. It's about to crack! It's-it's-THE GOBBLEDY GOOKER!!! Poor Hector Guerrero, pushed into a turkey costume and hiding underneath an egg for several hours, to pop up and dance with Gene Okerlund. The segment bombed and is now infamously known as one of the worst surprise debuts in WWE history. A fucking disaster.

The main event pitched all survivors of the previous matches against each other, split as heels vs faces. Dubbed 'the Grand Finale match of Survival', the heels were have a 2 man advantage before the bell rings. Can the faces overcome the odds? Well, Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan are there so yes, they do. A clearly thrown together match with little flow or excitement, also super predictable. At least Santana got a main event match, even if it was for mere seconds. A historic show for the televised debut of the Undertaker, but nothing else on this show is worth your time, not even Turkey Guerrero busting moves.

The Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Hawk, Animal & Texas Tornado) defeat The Perfect Team (Mr Perfect, Ax, Smash & Crush). **1/2

The Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Undertaker, Honky Tonk Man & Greg Valentine) defeat The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart). *** (MOTN)

The Visionaries (Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules & Paul Roma) defeat The Vipers (Jake Roberts, Jimmy Snuka, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) **

Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jim Duggan, Big Boss Man & Tugboat) defeat Natural Disasters (Earthquake, Haku, Dino Bravo & Barbarian) **1/4

The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana, Luke & Butch) defeat The Mercenaries (Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, Sato & Tanaka). 3/4*

Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior & Tito Santana defeat Ted DiBiase, Rick Martel, Warlord, Hercules & Paul Roma. *

14) Summerslam, August 28th 1989. 38.9%

This show would be the first PPV without Gorilla Monsoon behind the commentary desk, replaced by new face Tony Schiavone. After binging through WCW, it's weird hearing Tony calling the WWF product. He would spend a year in the WWF, also calling the 1990 Rumble. The main feud here is in line with the upcoming release of No Holds Barred, which would see Zeus step into the ring in our main event and surprisingly it wasn't as terrible as I was expecting. Unfortunately, they have edited out the famous blooper they accidentally aired, where the sign falls down and Gene Okerlund shouts "fuck it". It's great fun.

Our best matches come from the tag division. The opener was a great contest between two legendary teams; the Hart Foundation and the Brain Busters. It was a cheap finish but I'm a bit more forgiving to old matches with lame finishes as long as the match was still a good watch. The other great match saw Tito Santana team up with the Rockers against Rick Martel and the Fab Rougeaus. This was fast paced and exciting, far different to most tag matches during this era of wrestling. It helps that all 6 guys in this match were good workers and were willing to make each other look good, at least during this time period. The last good match on this show was for the IC championship, Rick Rude defending against the Ultimate Warrior. Rude did very well to help Warrior through a good match, blowing off their entertaining IC feud. Tony drops a shit on commentary here, essentially saying DQs don't count outside the ring. Jesse Ventura retorts with "you're telling me you can shoot someone outside of the ring and that's fine?" A very good point. Doesn't matter if it's WWE, WCW or AEW Tony Schiavone is gonna be bad at commentary. A good match with a hot crowd, Roddy Piper's involvement didn't cheapen the win too much and furthered his rivalry with Rude.

First the good, now the bad. Honky Tonk Man vs Dusty Rhodes was pretty weak, HTM will blame Dusty for being a "stiff as shit" worker. Mr Perfect vs Red Rooster was unfortunately cut short due to a knee injury to the Rooster when coming off the top. Andre and the Twin Towers vs Demolition and Jim Duggan was a basic as bitch tag match. We see a sign that says "Demolition will topple the Twin Towers", which now may or may not be a reasonable conspiracy theory for a real life incident. DiBiase vs Snuka was a poor match with a terrible finish which made the Superfly look bad and washed up (which I guess he was) but it's not the worst match. That goes to Hercules vs Greg Valentine, an awful 3 minutes of action with another cheap ass finish that is way above Greg Valentine's ability.

The good, the bad, now the ugly. Hogan and his top bunk buddy Brutus Beefcake takes on Randy Savage and Zeus. Like I said, surprisingly not awful but some ugly offence from anyone not nicknamed Macho Man. He works at 300% capacity and almost carries everyone to a good match. Zeus looked threatening as a monster heel, Hogan slayed him and Beefcake was just there to get his ass kicked. An average match, props to Savage because this was the best possible result I think. Apparently Hulk and Beef used to say "Free James Brown" to keep Zeus calm in the ring. It's possible, but these two are notorious wrestling wankers so I'll take this hot take with a healthy scoop of sodium.

Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard) defeat Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart). ***1/2 (MOTN)

Dusty Rhodes defeats Honky Tonk Man. *1/2

Mr Perfect defeats Red Rooster. *

Rick Martel & Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond) defeat Tito Santana & The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty). ***1/2

Ultimate Warrior defeats Rick Rude (c), IC Championship. ***1/4

Jim Duggan & Demolition (Ax & Smash) defeat Andre the Giant & Twin Towers (Akeem & Big Boss Man). *

Greg Valentine defeats Hercules. 1/4*

Ted DiBiase defeats Jimmy Snuka by count out. *

Hulk Hogan & Brutus Beefcake defeat Randy Savage & Zeus. **1/2

13) Royal Rumble, January 15th 1989. 40%

The second Rumble event ever would be the lowest selling Rumble PPV of all time, going off pre-Network stats, at around 150,000 buys. This show would also be the first one to have 30 men participate in the Rumble. We're building towards Wrestlemania V, Randy Savage is the World champion and he is showing signs of conflicted feelings towards Hulk Hogan and Miss Elizabeth. These shorter match cards always feel better to watch, purely because less matches equals less chance of watching something shit, but this is still possibly the worst Royal Rumble show of all time.

The show opens with a good 2-out-of-3-falls 6-man tag, probably the best Jim Duggan match I have ever watched. That's because he teamed with the Hart Foundation to defeat Dino Bravo and the Rougeaus. The faces cheated to win but the heels had been cheating throughout the entire match, so it was deserved payback. The rest of the show ain't all that interesting. Rockin' Robin defended the Women's championship against Judy Martin, our only title match is a dead match with a dead crowd. The women's title would be deactivated a year later and we wouldn't see the women's title at a Royal Rumble show for another 10 years. Women's wrestling was not very watchable until the early 2000s for a heartbeat. We see the 'Super Posedown' between Ultimate Warrior and Rick Rude. This segment was excruciating. Two oily steroid users flexing their tri's and bi's probably entertained Vince McMahon, notorious for his bodybuilding fetish, but it sent me to sleep faster than a strip of benzo's. Afterwards we had Haku vs King Harley Race, which wasn't too good either. Haku was average at best, Race was 45 and nearing the end of his career. This would be his last match for the WWF and he would retire all together a year later. Haku wins to win the crown and cape, earning the title of king.

Royal Rumble time, when I cover these I'm just going to highlight a few key moments from the match and summarise how it was overall. The early years were rough though, they did not perfect Pat Patterson's formula for a while so most of these were just average except for one. The weirdest thing is seeing the clock count down and the crowd not counting with it. So what happened. Tag partners Ax and Smash were 1 and 2 so they had to fight. Andre the Giant came in and was pretty dominant. The ring gradually filled up with forgettable names as well as your regulars like Jake Roberts, Mr Perfect and Greg Valentine. Mr Perfect was doing good here, he and a young Shawn Michaels had a nice little sequence. Jake would return after being eliminated by Andre with his snake, scaring him enough to eliminate himself. Crowd popped huge for that. More and more wrestlers came in, then the WWF champion Randy Savage entered at number 15. He looked good but eventually he was getting beaten down by heels until Hulk Hogan enters at 18 to make the save, clearing house. Both main eventers spent their time fighting the odds and overcoming but tragedy strikes when Hogan accidentally eliminates Savage from the match. Macho Man got hot and they had a fiery confrontation, Miss Elizabeth coming out to calm the nerves. Both men settled their differences, shaking hands and having a little bro hug. Hogan is eventually eliminated by Akeem and Big Boss Man. The match proceeds with wrestlers coming in and fighting with little story advancement, our final four being DiBiase, Big John Studd, Akeem & Rick Martel. Akeem would eliminate Martel, Studd would eliminate Akeem. DiBiase tried to pay Studd off, however he would refuse and clothesline him out to win. An average rumble with some good action and story at first, but once Savage and Hogan were gone this match had very little going for it. Hogan would be the first person to eliminate 10 men in 1 rumble match. No, Big John Studd doesn't main event Wrestlemania, that stipulation wouldn't exist just yet.

Jim Duggan & Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) defeat Dino Bravo & Fabulous Rougeau's (Jacques & Raymond). *** (MOTN)

Rockin' Robin (c) defeats Judy Martin, Women's Championship. *1/2

Haku defeats King Harley Race for King of the Ring Crown & Cape. *

Big John Studd wins last eliminating Ted DiBiase, Royal Rumble. **1/2

12) Royal Rumble, January 21st 1990. 40%

A year later the wrestling landscape in WWE wasn't too different. Hogan was now champion, Savage was full heel and we had a new mega star rising in the form of that overrated scumbag Ultimate Warrior. The second and final PPV appearance for Tony Schiavone, who would join WCW and stay there until it died an ugly death, never appearing in WWE again. This is the only Royal Rumble PPV without a single championship match featured, which is pretty wild.

The best thing on this show is the Rumble, which is a good thing, but everything is blander than a McDonalds plain hamburger. The last match for the Rougeaus would see them lose to the Bushwackers, the match was fine but consider it a classic for a WWF Bushwackers match. This was a one-off as Raymond was done with wrestling, retiring at 34 then Jacques would be repackaged as The Mountie. In his only PPV match ever, The Genius wrestled Brutus Beefcake which was pushing to be the worst match on the card if it wasn't for a Big Boss Man vs Jim Duggan collision. The last pre-Rumble match to mention is a submission match between bitter rivals Valentine and Ron Garvin. I see a lot of praise for this match and I will credit the work is pretty solid, but it's also slow and long. For a long-term feud based around retirements and abuse of power by Garvin, this should have been an intense blow off but it wasn't. My biggest gripe though is they both looked stupid by going for pinfalls even though it's submission only, blowing a wet fart all over their final encounter.

Before our main event, we had a Brother Love segment with guests Queen Sherri and the Macho King. They berate and bully Dusty and his new friend Sapphire for being poor commoners, Sapphire slaps Sherri who bumps like a pro. Savage looks to retaliate but Dusty makes the save. It was pure set up for Wrestlemania, it was a good segment. Sherri is so damn good at her job whatever it entails.

The 1990 Rumble begins with DiBiase and Koko B. Ware, not the most thrilling of starts. We get some good, popular workers such as Roberts, Savage and Piper all in real early for a stacked beginning. We get Bret Hart and Dusty enter as we reach the end of the first third. Dusty would eliminate Savage, continuing their little feud. After being eliminated by Piper, Brown got revenge dragging Roddy out, another Wrestlemania match set up. The match ticked on with the ring filling up and alliances being formed, mainly by the heels. Earthquake put in a dominant effort, before being eliminated by 6 men. Huge pop for Ultimate Warrior entering at number 21. He would tear it up as the entries continued. DiBiase is still in the match with the help of manager Virgil which has ben a good running story. eventually eliminated by the Warrior after being in there for 44 minutes, by far a record at that point. Hulk Hogan is in at 25. He and Warrior cleared the ring and the path to stand across from each other, face to face, for the very first time. This was an awesome moment, the crowd were going INSANE for this. Two superheroes set to collide. the do the usual contest of shoulder blocks, clotheslines and that weird ass criss-cross running the ropes thing wrestlers used to always do. Both men not going down and remaining equal. Eventually Barbarian and Rick Rude (his first and only rumble appearance) double team Warrior, Hogan clotheslines all 3 of them over the top. The final four would be Hogan, Rude, Hercules and the number 30 entrant Mr Perfect. Rumour is that Mr Perfect was the original planned winner until plans changed brother. It's not confirmed, but considering Hogan's track record at being a piece of shit it's more than believable. Perfect and Rude get rid of Hercules, before double teaming Hulk. Of course, Hogan overcomes the odds and is able to eliminate both men to win the Rumble. He didn't need it, but I guess it built momentum for his clash with the Warrior. This was a very good rumble for the time, a lot of good storytelling setting up new matches and continuing feuds as Wrestlemania looms. It was well paced, with a stacked roster in the first half and the marquee Hogan-Warrior showdown in the final half. It was a rather anti-climactic finish but I understand why it was done.

Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) defeat Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond). **

Brutus Beefcake vs The Genius ends in a double DQ. *1/4

Ronnie Garvin defeats Greg Valentine, Submission match. **1/4

Jim Duggan defeats Big Boss Man by DQ. *

Hulk Hogan wins last eliminating Mr Perfect, Royal Rumble. ***1/2 (MOTN)

11) Summerslam, August 26th 1991. 41.3%

To my memory this is the only WWE PPV to be main evented by a segment rather than a match, definitely for the big 4 but I may have forgotten a contract signing or something on a B level PPV. Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth reconciled at Wrestlemania and here we would have 'the match made in Heaven', their wedding broadcasted live. Sure they were already married and would be divorced less than a year later, but the fans loved it. This is the only Summerslam event to outsell the Wrestlemania from the same year. That either speaks highly of the wedding angle, or lowly of Warrior's draw power as a main eventer.

Only 2 good matches on this card, both of them right at the beginning. Ricky Steamboat (as The Dragon) teamed with the Texas Tornado and British Bulldog to face the Warlord, Paul Roma and his new partner revealed to be Hercules. The lack of quality on the heel side is more than made up for by the talented face ensemble. A good match with a happy ending for a feel good beginning to the show. Steamboat was the shining star as you'd expect. After, we saw Bret Hart challenge Mr Perfect for his IC title. What a match this was from WWE's top two technicians. There was worry that Hennig wouldn't even make the event after carrying a serious back injury for a few months. Not only did he make it, but he put in a heroic effort to work a great match. Both men respected each other a lot which is clear, both men willing to give it all to make each other look excellent. A back and forth wrestling contest, Hart was the first person to kick out of the Perfect Plex which was a huge moment. A great counter by Hart saw a submission finish with the Sharpshooter, the first ever IC title change via submission. Mr Perfect would be on the shelf for 15 months following this. Massive props to you Curt.

The rest of the card fails to compare. In fairness, DiBiase vs former manager Virgil for the Million Dollar title. DiBiase helped him through a solid match that was well booked, this was the biggest win of Virgil's career since he wasn't a very accomplished wrestler. Disaster struck when the Natural Disasters faced Bushwhackers in a bad match. Andre the Giant accompanied the Kiwi team, it would be his last WWE appearance in America. Legion of Doom defeated Nasty Boys for the WWF Tag titles. The LOD are the only team in history to win the WWF, NWA/WCW and AWA tag titles. The other undercard matches are not worth my time, so I'll skip to the final match. What is worth my time though, is seeing Bobby Heenan walking around with the NWA/WCW and challenging Hulk Hogan to a match on behalf of Ric Flair. The Nature Boy wasn't even contracted to WWF at the time, but he would sign a deal a couple weeks later. This was pretty significant.

Hulk Hogan teamed up with the Ultimate Warrior to face the Triangle of Terror, 3-on-2 handicap match. Sid Justice was the referee, I don't know why because it didn't end anything at all. This was barely passable, thanks to the crowd being hot for the faces. I want to talk about the big controversy instead though. Warrior threatened McMahon a month prior he would no show unless he was paid $550K he was supposedly owed from Wrestlemania. Both Hogan and Slaughter were apparently ready to engage Warrior physically backstage, but Vince didn't want that. He paid Warrior, then immediately fired him after Summerslam. Dingo Dickhead claims he was suspended and then he quit in protest. Either way, it's another piece of evidence supporting just how delusional and conceited Jim Hellwig was. The show ended with a wholesome wedding segment, crashed by the Undertaker and Jake Roberts as snakes were revealed to be in the wedding gifts. It was a good segment, setting up a new feud and the unexpected in-ring return of Savage. The show was a very face dominated show, a lot of feel good wins which is quite rare especially for this era.

The Dragon, British Bulldog & Texas Tornado defeat The Warlord, Hercules & Paul Roma. ***

Bret Hart defeats Mr Perfect (c), IC Championship. **** (MOTN)

Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeat Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch). *

Virgil defeats Ted DiBiase (c), Million Dollar Championship. **1/2

Big Boss Man defeats The Mountie, Jailhouse match. *1/2

Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) defeat Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs) (c), Tag Team Championships. **

IRS defeats Greg Valentine. 3/4*

Hulk Hogan & Ultimate Warrior defeat Triangle of Terror (Sgt. Slaughter, Gen. Adnan & Col. Mustafa). *3/4

10) This Tuesday in Texas, December 3rd 1991. 43%

With a firm grip over the pro-wrestling market, McMahon wanted to establish Tuesday as a secondary night to air wrestling PPV's. How well did it do? Well it was reviewed poorly and received a very low buy rate of 1.0, the event was deemed a failure and WWE didn't host schedule Tuesday PPV until 2004 (Beware of the Dog 2 was on a Tuesday but that wasn't planned). This one off event took place exactly a week after Survivor Series, which could also explain why the buy rate was so poor. It's only a 5 match card, narrowly securing a top 10 position purely by not having much awful on it, but it also doesn't have much good either. This show had 9 dark matches, including a tag title match featuring the Rockers as well as Ric Flair vs Roddy Piper.

The show opened with a successful IC title defence by Bret Hart against Skinner. Hart was great, but Skinner was a pretty poor worker, it was like trying to wrestle a plastic bag. Hart did his best to entertain as much as he could. After a chilling Jake Roberts promo, he fought Randy Savage in a wild brawl of a match with intensity perfectly matching the feud built. The only problem is it was so short, just over 6 minutes. I guess because of the post-match segment. The fighting continued but Roberts KO'd him with a DDT. He grabbed his bag and Roberts made Elizabeth beg him not to set his snake on the knocked out Savage. After begging and crying, Roberts laughed and slapped Elizabeth on his way out. This was perfect storytelling by all 3 involved. After, British Bulldog fought Warlord for what must have been the 300th time this year, it was fine. The best match of the night may surprise you; Tito Santana & Virgil vs Ted DiBiase & Virgil. How can a match featuring Virgil and Repo Man be the best on the card? The answer is their extremely talented tag partners. Ted & Tito formed a great match here, Repo is a tag veteran himself but he's strapped with this ridiculous gimmick. A simple but effective formula.

The main event was a rematch from a week ago, The Undertaker defends the WWF title against Hogan. It's a standard Hogan vs big man match, so it's not very good and the worst on the card. The crowd was hot but the match was not, Taker's offence was dull and Hogan wasn't able to carry the match. Flair tried to get involved again but it was thwarted by commissioner Jack Tunney as well as Hogan. The heroic babyface took advantage of distractions and cheats using ashes from Paul Bearer's urn, using the classic roll-up finish to win. Taker kicked out just after 3. Why make the title switch at all then? I guess to set up a main event for this PPV, which bombed and also proved to be a waste o time and resources. You live and learn I guess.

Bret Hart (c) defeats Skinner, IC Championship. **3/4

Randy Savage defeats Jake Roberts. **1/2

British Bulldog defeats Warlord. **

Repo Man & Ted DiBiase defeat El Matador & Virgil. *** (MOTN)

Hulk Hogan defeats The Undertaker (c), WWF Championship. *1/2

9) Royal Rumble, January 19th 1992. 43%

After the controversy surrounding both Undertaker vs Hogan matches, the title was declared vacant and the Royal Rumble would be for the vacant trophy. This was such an intriguing concept with many viable options as winner. However, this fresh creative direction could not stop this years Rumble event drawing 41% less buy rates than the previous year. 2 announced names are missing from the evenings main event. Brian Knobbs is subbed out for Haku because he was stabbed and assaulted days before by a group of men possibly mob affiliated. The other is Marty Jannetty, who was suspended after his altercation with a police officer after being found with illegal substances. Classic Marty.

The show got off to a good start with solid tag action between the New Foundation and the Orient Express. They were given ample time to tell a good story, Owen Hart especially had a great showing here both on offence and with his selling. A good start to the show. The rest of the card couldn't follow suit though. Roddy Piper defeated The Mountie for the IC title, it was fine but far from what the rumoured Hart vs Piper match would have been. Piper would be the first person to pull double duty as he would also be part of the World title Rumble later on. After this, we get one of the worst tag matches I have ever seen and I'm not exaggerating. Beverly Brothers vs Bushwhackers. Fucking Christ. Luke and Butch spent this match doing their gross comedy shtick which is about as funny as a school shooting. The Beverly's were fine workers but not good enough to walk these singular brain-celled Kiwi's to anything worth watching. It's 15 minutes long too, I was almost offended. The Legion of Doom vs the Natural Disasters wasn't good either but at least it was more watchable than the previous match.

At least the Rumble was good, by good I mean it is one of the most highly praised Rumbles of all time. British Bulldog and Ted DiBiase start, a great choice for entrant 1 and 2. They do good work in a brief single match before Ric Flair enters at number 3. From this point onwards, commentator Bobby Heenan puts in one of the greatest performances in the booth I have ever seen. He sells the entire journey of Flair in this match beautifully. The great workers continue to roll in as we see Michaels, Santana and Texas Tornado in the first third. The in-ring action is great. We get to the half way point as eliminations come and go, eventually Flair eliminates Boss Man to be the only man in the ring, Heenan screaming Flair has won even though we're only at the half way point. Flair does his signature flop as number 15 enters, Roddy Piper. The second half begins very much the same as the first, many great wrestlers coming in to win the match but the real story is the heroic, herculean efforts of Ric Flair. Randy Savage got a huge reaction entering at 21 and getting into it with rival Jake Roberts. Savage accidentally jumps over the top and eliminates himself which wasn't planned, but he is need more in the match so we pretend it never happened. Lesser talent come and go until we have the arrival of Hulk Hogan who goes after Undertaker and Flair. Eventually our stacked final four is Hogan, Flair, Savage and Sid Justice. Flair eliminates Savage with Sid's help. Sid, close friends with Hogan, eliminates the Hulkster to loud cheers. It has been edited to heavy boos, but in reality the crowd were over the moon. A salty Hulk grabs at Sid so Flair takes advantage and eliminates him. Flair was seconds away from spending a full hour in the match. The match was booked so well and the Flair story was done perfectly thanks to everyone involved, including commentary. This was a stacked Rumble too which helped because there were maybe 10 stars you could seriously consider possible winners. This match deserves it's legendary status. Overall, not a great show, but an amazing main event that makes the experience worth the money.

New Foundation (Jim Neidhart & Owen Hart) defeat Orient Express (Kato & Pat Tanaka). ***1/4

Roddy Piper defeats The Mountie, IC Championship. **

Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake) defeat Bushwhackers (Butch & Luke). nil

Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) defeat Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) (c) by count out, Tag Team Championships. *

Ric Flair wins last eliminating Sid Justice, Royal Rumble for vacant WWF Championship. ****1/2 (MOTN)

8) Royal Rumble, January 19th 1991. 45%

Whilst this lacks the amazing Rumble match that would come a year later, this show benefits from having less bad matches, more specifically it doesn't have a dud match on the card. This is the first ever WWE PPV on a Saturday, due to the NFL being shown on the Sunday and Vince not wanting to lose money. This show would also be the highest grossing Rumble until 1999.

As usual the show closed with the Rumble, but it was the most mid Rumble I've seen. Bret Hart and Dino Bravo started which ain't too bad. The match lacked star power and any significant storylines worth investing in. There is just little to talk about. Rick Martel entered at number 6 and lasted for 52 minutes which was very impressive, the first to exceed 50 minutes. You have your usual faces like Santana, Roberts and the likes but they all enter and go through the motions of punching and holding each other. At 18 we get no one, it's not explained properly for a while but Savage wasn't able to enter after running away from the arena (I'll explain later). Eventually we're down to our final four; Hogan, Earthquake, Bulldog and Brian fucking Knobbs. That is how lacking in star power this match is. One by one Hogan eliminates them all to win. No one else in this match looked even likely to win this boring ass match, maybe Savage but he never entered. Props to Martel for going a long distance but there is almost nothing to this match.

So what else is there? Well an average tag match between DiBiase and Virgil against the Rhodes', Dusty and Dustin. The father and son duo would soon leave the WWF afterwards, Dusty citing creative issues and being offered a prominent role again in WCW. Dustin would return 4 years later in "bizarre" fashion. The Mountie vs Koko B. Ware was about as memorable as you can imagine. Slap bang in the middle of the card saw new Iraq ally Sgt. Slaughter upset Ultimate Warrior to win his first world championship. The crowd was hot, but the match was below average because the wrestlers were a below average skill level. Warrior lost because 'Macho King' Randy Savage cheap-shotted him with a sceptre when the referee was distracted because Warrior refused him a title match earlier. After this, Savage Forrest Gump'ed out of the building and as far away from the Warrior as humanly possible. Hence why he was not in the Rumble.

Is there anything good? Just about. Barbarian vs Boss Man was an entertaining hoss battle. Two big boys doing big boy things. It went nearly 15 minutes and it didn't drag, I was pleasantly surprised. The best match though, by a marathon, was the opener. A fast-paced 20 minute classic between the Orient Express and the Rockers. This is the first of many great Shawn Michaels matches. His performance was stellar, his selling was better than anyone's in the company, everything he did looked so real. This is one of the PPV openers and I think it is a forgotten classic. I don't hear enough people talking about this one. The show peaked right here and went slowly downhill.

The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) defeat Orient Express (Kato &Tanaka). **** (MOTN)

Big Boss Man defeats Barbarian. **1/2

Sgt. Slaughter defeats Ultimate Warrior (c), WWF Championship. *3/4

The Mountie defeats Koko B. Ware. *

Ted DiBiase & Virgil defeat Dusty Rhodes & Dustin Rhodes. **1/4

Hulk Hogan wins last eliminating Earthquake, Royal Rumble. **

7) Summerslam, August 29th 1992. 45%

If you ask any long-term WWE fan what there favourite PPV is, there is a high chance it is this one. The first ever major WWE PPV to appear outside of North America happened in the jolly good land of tea and crumpets, England. They nearly sold out Wembley Stadium, with 60-65k tickets being sold within 5 days which is insanely quick for nowadays never mind back then. For perspective, AEW's inaugural All In event had sold 60K with 3 months left before the show. This show is considered WWE's 7th largest gate ever, trailing behind 6 Wrestlemania shows. While business was slowing down in the US, the UK and European wrestling scene was booming so WWE made the decision to go over seas. If they didn't we would have likely seen Shawn Michaels win the IC title, but Hart proposed a hometown favourite win the gold on this night.

This is largely a two match card, but those two matches happen to be classics. I could talk about how awful Kamala vs the Undertaker was, or how boring Repo Man vs Crush was. I just don't care enough. One thing I will mention though is the terrible Nailz vs Virgil match, mainly because of the fallout because of it. 3 months after this event, which feels a little late, Nailz confronted Vince McMahon backstage about short changed him his pay for this event. Apparently it got physical, shouting and kerfuffling was heard and Nailz was promptly fired afterwards. Nailz would join WCW under the same gimmick as the Prisoner, was his range so poor that he could only portray untalented convicts? Moving on, the opening match saw Money Inc vs Legion of Doom, the latter entering in epic style on motorcycles. Paul Ellering had his weird little puppet with him. This was solid and would be the last LOD match for 3 years, Hawk had well-known sobriety problems and he would stay in UK to get hammered rather than go to TV tapings, soon quitting afterwards. Animal and Hawk would reunite in WCW in 1996. A match between Rick Martel and Shawn Michaels was good, right before the lame double count out finish. A heel vs heel dynamic made this tricky and the fans struggled to root for either man.

Our first of two marquee matches was Randy Savage defending the world title against the Ultimate Warrior. Savage walked Warrior through his best ever match at Wrestlemania 7, and he walked him through another great match here. The phrase "it takes two to tango" doesn't apply here. Savage was known for scripting his matches move for move in order to have the best he possibly can. I fully believe that he planned it, Warrior played his part of overpowering meathead and the rest is history. This is a great match, the Flair & Perfect interference made sense but it was another cheap finish which does hurt the overall match a bit. Still, even at their best this match could not compare to our main event classic. Bret Hart defending the IC belt against British Bulldog. You already know the story, Bulldog was another wrestling drug addict and he was in the deepest depths in the early 90s. When it came time to work this match, Bulldog had been smoking crack for weeks with Jim Neidhart and he had forgotten the entire match. Hart, because he is the fucking man, led Davey through this match move for move, spot for spot and somehow managed to pull off one of the best matches of all time. This has to be one of the most impressive individual performances I have ever seen. Bulldog does work here of course, he has to, but without Bret's guidance and talent this could have flopped harder than the Green Lantern movie. The show on a whole might be rough around the edges, but UK fans will never forget the moment their hero Davey Boy Smith won the IC Championship and the entire stadium became unglued.

Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal) defeat Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & IRS). **1/2

Nailz defeats Virgil. 1/2*

Rick Martel vs Shawn Michaels ends in a double count out. **3/4

Natural Disasters (Earthquake & Typhoon) (c) defeat Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake), Tag Team Championships. **

Crush defeats Repo Man. *

Ultimate Warrior defeats Randy Savage (c) by count out, WWF Championship. ****

The Undertaker defeats Kamala by DQ. 1/4*

British Bulldog defeats Bret Hart (c), IC Championship. ***** (MOTN)

6) Survivor Series, November 23rd 1989. 48%

The second longest running PPV event in WWE history would be an important one for the show's history. This show would establish the use of team names which would be prominently used for following decade. Also, after previous use of 5v5 elimination matches, this show would utilise 4v4 elimination matches instead which would become the traditional format for years to come. Shane McMahon would make his first major televised appearance as a referee named Shane Stevens. All of these matches are a combination of ongoing rivalries, heels and faces forming teams to try and best their opponents.

This is an average show. Every match gets at least 20 minutes to tell their story which might not be a great thing. The first match is an average one lacking excitement. The main goal was to get over the recently arrived Dusty Rhodes which admittedly it succeeded. Dusty's team faced the Enforcers, led by Big Boss Man. The only interest I had was between Santana and Martel, former friends turned enemies, but Tito was eliminated first and my attention began to dip. Rhodes and Brutus Beefcake were the sole survivors, so are we for sitting through that one. The next match was an improvement but not by much, the King's Court led by Randy Savage faced the 4x4's led by America's most brain dead brawler, Jim Duggan. Valentine was the only heel eliminated in this match, the other 3 were booked strong. Earthquake was a monster on the rise, Savage was a crafty and smart leader, Dino Bravo was elevated by association. The finish was weak, Duggan being counted out instead of decisively beaten. Why does Duggan need protecting? A man with little wrestling skill and firmly planted in the midcard for life.

The worst match was right in the middle, the Million Dollar Team vs Hulkamaniacs. The longest and by far the most boring match with the most predictable result ever. Hogan would be the sole survivor, 3 of the 4 heel members were eliminated by DQ for some fucking reason. Most of the competitors were pretty weak to average workers. There is nothing to talk about in this, the Powers of Pain looked good putting Demolition out I guess. They eliminated Zeus quickly which was a blessing. That's about it. The Rude Brood, which is not an X-rated version of Gangrel's faction, takes on Roddy's Rowdies, which also sounds like an X-rated group. Nothing sexual about this match though, just a solidly worked tag match. The main story was between Piper and Rude brawling with each other, eventually both being double counted out. Mr Perfect had a good showing, still undefeated and he would be the sole survivor here. The show ended with the Ultimate Warriors vs the Heenan Family. Another basic match to put over one star. Andre the Giant was eliminated early because he could barely move at this point. The heels did a good job getting crowd reactions, especially Bobby Heenan who is the best at being a dick. I believe it was this match that poured gasoline on the flames between Bobby and Warrior. Heenan already disliked him, but when he asked Warrior to be careful when hitting him, Warrior ignored the request and stiffed him in his injured neck. Since, Heenan has proudly paraded his disdain for the Warrior and his disrespect for the business and those in it. This show is a slog and doesn't deserve to be this high up, but the cookie doesn't always crumble how we want it to.

Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Brutus Beefcake, Red Rooster & Tito Santana) defeat The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Rick Martel & Honky Tonk Man). **

King's Court (Randy Savage, Canadian Earthquake, Dino Bravo & Greg Valentine) defeat The 4x4's (Jim Duggan, Bret Hart, Ronnie Garvin & Hercules). **1/2

Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Ax & Smash) defeat Million Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Warlord, Barbarian & Zeus). *3/4

Rude Brood (Rick Rude, Mr Perfect, Jacques and Raymond Rougeaus) defeat Roddy's Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, Luke & Butch). *** (MOTN)

Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart, Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty) defeat Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, Andre the Giant, Haku & Arn Anderson). **3/4

5) Royal Rumble, January 24th 1988. 50%

The first ever Rumble show, like all inaugural big 4 events, was quite a significant one. Whilst advertised as having the first ever Royal Rumble match, it was actually the second of this format. The match creator Pat Patterson based the idea off of San Francisco battle royals from the earlier years in wrestling, the last one being in 1981, coincidentally exactly 7 years prior to this date. WWE ran his rumble idea at a house show, but it was considered a failure mainly thanks to the arena advertising who would end up winning the match. Vince initially hated the concept, but with NWA's Bunkhouse Stampede scheduled for the 24th of January, the boss wanted to run a PPV in competition and needed a marquee match. He was convinced to give it a second shot and it paid off massively. A record breaking 8.2 rating here which also helped set up the astounding 15.2 rating Hogan vs Andre got on NBC. Another show created to fuck over Jim Crockett and one that has become one of the company's most exciting PPV's.

Weirdly, the show isn't even main evented by the rumble. That honour would go to the 2-out-of-3-falls match between the Islanders and Young Stallions. This is the first and only time the Royal Rumble has been main evented by a tag team match. It was just an average match, I don't know why they chose the match type when the Islanders won in 2 straight falls. I guess to just pad time. The show opener was also just an average match, tainted with a bad finish. Rick Rude and Ricky Steamboat wrestled a slow, lifeless match which was disappointing considering the level of talent involved. I blame Rude who had a tendency to phone in a lot of his matches. Rude was DQ'd for involving the referee physically.

As for the first ever Royal Rumble, it was fine. It only lasted just over 30 minutes so it's quite quick compared to what I'm used to. Only 20 men involved too. Bret Hart and Tito Santana start which is a great choice. Hart would be the first Rumble 'Iron Man' who lasted over 25 minutes in there. There isn't many spots or dramatic eliminations like we're used to, but the entrants come and go at a steady enough pace for it to not drag too much. Quite a few big names such as Jake Roberts, Harley Race, Junkyard Dog and Ultimate Warrior. None of these were in the final four. It would be Don Muraco, Dino Bravo, One Man Gang (the winner of the first prototype match) and Jim Duggan. Gang eliminated both Muraco and Bravo, but the "HOOOO!" man would prevail and win the first one. He was a popular babyface, I don't hate it. A well booked match but nothing special.

Two great things happened on this show. Firstly, the contract signing between Hogan and Andre. Usually I find contract signings on PPV as filler and unnecessary, but this was a big deal. A huge rematch of their Wrestlemania III main event. Great work by all involved. DiBiase as the villainous mouthpiece, Hogan as the valiant champion and Andre the imposing monster. The hype for the rematch was at an all time high. The best thing on this show however, was a rare awesome women's match. Rare for this time I mean. The Glamour Girls defended the women's tag titles against the Jumping Bomb Angels. I LOVE the Angels. In an era where western women's wrestler was barely featured and if it was looked bad, Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki came in and proved themselves to be better workers than nearly anyone in the entire company, male or female. This was a ground-breaking women's match for the time, we wouldn't see a women's match this good in WWE for another 18 years.

Ricky Steamboat defeats Rick Rude by DQ. **

Jumping Bomb Angels (Noriyo Tateno & Itsuki Yamazaki) defeat Glamour Girls (Judy Martin & Leilani Kai) (c), 2-out-of-3-falls, Women's Tag Team Championships. ***1/4 (MOTN)

Jim Duggan wins last eliminating One Man Gang, Royal Rumble. **1/2

Islanders (Haku & Tama) defeat Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers), 2-ou-of-3-falls. **1/4

4) King of the Ring, June 13th 1993. 50%

Whilst this was the first ever KOTR on PPV, this was actually the 7th tournament. Weirdly, the name of the town they're in is rarely mentioned, opting to call the location "heartland of America". Why? Because Vince thought it made the company look weak if they were live from a small town instead of a big city. A rumoured plan was that Hogan was going to drop the title to Hart at Summerslam as a favour for the Wrestlemania bullshit he pulled. Shortly before this show began, Hart found out the plans for Yokozuna to win so he went backstage and verbal bashed Hogan to his face, ending it with a classic "go fuck yourself". I love you Bret.

The KOTR first round was shown on TV. Tatanka beat Giant Gonzales by DQ, Lex Luger beat Bob Backlund by count out, Bam Bam Bigelow beat Typhoon, Jim Duggan beat Papa Shango, Mr Hughes beat Kamala by count out, Mr Perfect beat Doink the Clown, Razor Ramon beat Tito Santana and Bret Hart earned a bye due to the controversial end to his title match at Mania IX. Quarter-finals begin in a good way with Bret Hart defeating Razor Ramon in a well booked match that made Bret look smart and kept Razor strong. The show steered off the good path a little, Mr Hughes vs Mr Perfect was pretty bad because Mr Hughes was pretty bad. The best Mr prevail, though it was by DQ. Bigelow defeated Duggan in another pretty bad match but at least it was kept at 5 minutes. The last QF match was a 15 minute time limit draw between Luger and Tatanka. The match was fine, but you could tell they were just trying to kill time as the match went on. They didn't show much urgency in the final stages. What annoyed me was Randy Savage on commentary saying "I've never been in a situation where the time limit meant so much". BRO you were in the World title tournament at Wrestlemania, which had the exact same time limit rules. Both men would be eliminated so big man Bigelow gets a bye to the finals. This was good booking similar to the Mania IV tournament to stack the deck against the hard-working face.

The best 3 matches on the show were all Bret Hart matches. His one against Razor was 3rd best. His semi-final match against Mr Perfect was by far the best on the show. Many prefer their Summerslam match, but I think this one is superior. There is just so much wrestling, so many counters and so many near falls in this without the match ever feeling rushed. A brilliant story told, Mr Perfect said he would do anything to win and he faked a knee injury to surprise Bret with a cradle pin. However, Hart is smart and countered this into his own cradle to win. Both men have called each other their favourite opponents and you can see why. Trying to follow that classic was Hogan vs Yokozuna. I bet Bret was happy to watch them work a poor match immediately after his MOTY contender. A boring standard Hogan match with the cheap finish. A "photographer" got on the apron and snapped a photo of the approaching Hogan, which fired a fireball (I'm serious) and blinded Hogan enough for a Yoko leg drop and a pinfall. The mysterious photographer was never revealed, but it was Harvey Wippleman. The Hogan era in WWF was over, this would be his last televised match until 2002, though he would work a few house shows until August. His last took place in Sheffield, England, which is fucking hilarious.

Back to back decent matches followed that. The 8-man tag won by the Steiner Brothers and Smoking Gunn's was well worked for a short match. Shawn Michaels defended his IC title against Crush in another solid match, Crush wasn't great but HBK could pull out a serviceable match with anyone. Shawn's bodyguard would be named for the first time on this show. Diesel. Choo-choo. Our main event was the KOTR finals, well rested heel Bigelow against exhausted but determined Hart. This was a great big vs little man match. Bigelow was so dominant and had Luna Vachon, criminally underrated wrestler, in his corner. Bigelow actually won the match, but the decision was reversed when Earl Hebner told referee Joey Marella that Luna attacked with a chair. A DQ was not ruled, the match was restarted instead. Bigelow continued to dominate but eventually Bret managed to weather the storm and victory roll Bam for the win. The stop and start was questionable since they should have just ruled a DQ, but this was still a very good match. Hart won the last KOTR tournament in 1991, making him the only man to win 2 KOTR tournaments. During his coronation, he was attacked by Jerry 'The King' Lawler, setting up that feud. A very enjoyable show very much thanks to the greatness and vengeful Bret Hart.

Bret Hart defeats Razor Ramon, KOTR QF. ***1/4

Mr Perfect defeats Mr Hughes by DQ, KOTR QF. *

Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Jim Duggan, KOTR QF. *1/4

Lex Luger vs Tatanka went to a time limit draw, KOTR QF. **1/4

Bret Hart defeats Mr Perfect, KOTR SF. ****1/2 (MOTN)

Yokozuna defeats Hulk Hogan (c), WWF Championship. *3/4

Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) & Smoking Gunns (Billy & Bart) defeat Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & IRS) & Headshrinkers (Samu & Fatu). **1/2

Shawn Michaels defeats Crush, IC Championship. **1/2

Bret Hart defeats Bam Bam Bigelow, KOTR Final. ***1/2

3) Royal Rumble, January 24th 1993. 51%

Sadly, this event would be the last PPV for the iconic commentary pairing of Gorilla Monsoon & Bobby Heenan. Arguably the best pairing in history, only rivalled by JR and Lawler. We would have to wait a couple of years before we consistently got that duo on our screens. Whilst this show has a weak, average rumble, the overall show is far better than the other ones we have looked at.

We'll get the rumble out the way first. This was the first time it was acknowledged that the winner receives a world title match at Wrestlemania. Two legends Ric Flair and Bob Backlund are 1 and 2. For the 6th consecutive year, we would have a new record for longest time in a Royal Rumble, Backlund would last 61 minutes. He didn't really do much in here though. This was a lacking match with a lack of star power. Only 4 or 5 participants you could consider as possible winners. The rest of the pack was filled with nobodies such as Max Moon, Skinner, The Berzerker, Damien Demento. The list goes on. Tito Santana is in here and is the only man to wrestle in every Rumble of the Golden Era. Some highlights were Flair and Mr Perfect fighting because their rivalry was reaching it's crescendo, Owen Hart bumped and sold impressively. I'm really struggling here. Our final four eventually would be Backlund, Martel, Savage and Yokozuna. Backlund eliminates Martel, he strikes Yoko and thinks "oh shit" then is immediately eliminated. We get a nice mini big vs little man match and Savage even knocks Yoko down. Then he goes for the pin like a fucking moron and he is body pressed over the top. I remember reading somewhere that this planned finish was a rib on Savage who forgot the rules of the match last year. It was a dumb finish to an underwhelming match. 18 of the 30 wrestlers in this match would not be in the company by the end of 1993.

There is a boring Bigelow vs Boss Man match, but everything else on the show is good. The opener was a competitive tag match with the Steiners involved, they're always a fun team to watch during this time period. This was their WWF PPV debut and they got a strong victory over the Beverly Bros. Shawn Michaels defended his IC title against former friend and tag partner Marty Jannetty. It was slow at first but when Marty came back it picked up significantly. Sherri was at ringside and her allegiance was a mystery due to previous incident where Marty hit her with a mirror because Shawn moved her in the way. Sherri inadvertently gave a receipt here, throwing her heel at Marty and knocking him out. It was a good match and the story would have continued if Marty didn't get fired the next day for being found passed out during TV tapings. He would return and continue his story months later.

Unsurprisingly, the best match of the show belongs to Bret Hart. He defends the world title against Razor Ramon. Ramon was so good at character work. When hart did his signature spot of giving his glasses to a child in the front row, Razor walked over and threw his toothpick at the same kid. Hilarious. This was a very good match, I think Ramon could have been portrayed as a bigger threat but he worked really well. The finish was awesome, Hart from a prone pinning position transfers into the sharpshooter. This was 1 of only 3 times Bret won a world title match on PPV with the Sharpshooter which is quite crazy to think about. Though the rumble was flat, 3 other matches were good to watch so it kinda balances out to a good show.

Steiner Brothers (Rick & Scott) defeat Beverly Brothers (Beau & Blake), ***

Shawn Michaels (c) defeats Marty Jannetty, IC Championship. ***1/4

Bam Bam Bigelow defeats Big Boss Man. *1/2

Bret Hart (c) defeats Razor Ramon, WWF Championship. ***1/2 (MOTN)

Yokozuna wins last eliminating Randy Savage, Royal Rumble. **

2) Survivor Series, November 24th 1988. 56.3%

Our last two entries are both Survivor Series and we're going in reverse chronological order. Like the rest, we have key rivalries and sub rivalries all mixing together in the form of big multi-man elimination matches. Unlike the rest though, this is the only show to feature co-captains of teams and the reason behind it makes sense. With the formation of the Mega Powers, both Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage would be captains so that neither man would feel beneath or superior to another. We have a few replacements, not uncommon for these shows. Jim Brunzell replaced Don Muraco who quit the WWF due to not feeling capable to compete at the level anymore. Also Junkyard Dog quit the WWF but was replaced by B. Brian Blair until he also quit the WWF. Scott Casey now stands in who is an enhancement talent.

The show begins with Team Warrior vs Team Honky Tonk Man. This was pretty average, the result was never in doubt because Ultimate Warrior is by far the biggest name in the match. Nothing much noteworthy in this one. There was a botched leapfrog where Valentine ran flush into Owen Hart's cock and balls, it looked gnarly. Apparently they swelled up to a rather uncomfortable size. Warrior was the sole survivor to his winning team. Match number two was 5 teams vs 5 teams, a 20-man tag eliminator. They get over 40 minutes to work which is a lot of time but it was the best match of the night. The heel team is lead by Demolition whilst the Powers of Pain lead the faces. This match is the only ever instance that Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart were ever on the same team. During this match though, those two notorious enemies were far from managements biggest problem. That would be Dynamite Kid and Jacques Rougeau, two men who got into a series of backstage fights. Go watch the Dark Side of the Ring episode on Dynamite, but the cliff notes are that both guys were prepared to beat the life out of each other. A sit down meeting was called where Vince and his associates made the two guarantee that this match would go off without a hitch. It did, the Rougeaus were eliminated first and no incident occurred. Once Dynamite was eliminated from the match, he would never wrestle for the WWF ever again, quitting and never returning before his death. The match was very good, some legendary tag teams all in one match felt like a fever dream. I liked the unique way the Hart's were eliminated by the Brain Busters. The biggest talking point coming out of this was a very well done double turn I think is forgotten about. Mr Fuji, managing the heel Demolition, betrayed his clients by getting Smash counted out. Fuji then helped the PoP last eliminate the Conquistadors to be sole survivors, his new clients turning heel and the Road Warrior's rip-offs gaining fan support. A great finishing angle to a long match.

Team Andre the Giant faced Team Jake Roberts next, a feud based around Jake's snake Damien and exposing Andre's fear of snakes. This was another solid tag match with some fun moments. Mr Perfect and Dino Bravo were the sole survivors which I think was a great bit of booking for Hennig who's stock was rising significantly. The show was capped off by Team Mega Powers vs Team Twin Towers. Crazy to see names like Koko. B. Ware, Red Rooster and Hercules in a PPV main event. If you're wondering why Koko's trunks are blurred on the WWE Network during this match, it's because he has WWF written on them for some reason. A good match, of course it followed the most predictable pattern. Early elimination for the good guys, then they lose men until it's just Hogan and Savage and they overcome the odds to win. We get a great subtle tease post match when Hogan picks up Elizabeth whilst celebrating, Savage giving those jealous eyes over towards his partner. A very nice detail in a story that would bubble over for the next few months.

Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, Blue Blazer & Jim Brunzell defeat Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Greg Valentine & Bad News Brown. **1/4

Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian), Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty), British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid), Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) & Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jim Powers) defeat Demolition (Ax & Smash), Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard), Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov), Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond & Jacques) & Conquistadors (Uno & Dos). ***1/2 (MOTN)

Andre the Giant, Rick Rude, Dino Bravo, Mr Perfect & Harley Race defeat Jim Duggan, Jake Roberts, Scott Casey, Ken Patera & Tito Santana. **1/2

Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Hercules, Koko B. Ware & Hillbilly Jim defeat Akeem, Big Boss Man, Ted DiBiase, King Haku & Red Rooster. ***

1) Survivor Series, November 26th 1987. 61.3%

From top to bottom, this card is miles better than any other show the WWF produced in this era. Nor a single miss at all. Like all the other "firsts", of course this was another creation to fuck over Vince's biggest rival, Jim Crockett Promotions. JCP's flagship show Starrcade used to always be on Thanksgiving, so Vince created Survivor Series intentionally to rival it. Crockett responded by changing the time of Starrcade to earlier, but that wasn't enough. McMahon threatened the PPV providers that if they aired Starrcade, they wouldn't get Wrestlemania. Since this followed the astounding success of Wrestlemania III, the networks couldn't refuse. Survivor Series did a good 325K buys. Starrcade? A measly 20K. 40% of this show's participants are making their WWF PPV debut, some extra cash to line their pockets.

The first ever Survivor Series elimination match is Team Honky Tonk vs Team Savage. HTM was the reigning IC champion and Savage is a former champion. This was a good match with a lot of focus on the faces being great. Savage, Steamboat and Roberts are the sole survivors, Honky Tonk Man taking a walk and getting counted out instead of fighting the 3-1 odds. Whilst a disappointing end, it made sense for his character. A good start. This was followed by a 10-woman elimination match, Team Sherri vs Team Moolah. I fully expected this to suck ass but I was pleasantly surprised. Sherri was the heel champion and she was eliminated by rising star Velvet McIntyre which was a big deal. The match went on over 20 minutes with eliminations happening at a steady pace. The sole survivors were the Jumping Bomb Angels which I was very happy with. They were by far the most talented and impressive in the match, but a lot of the women worked really hard. Moolah was 64 here, fucking yikes.

20 men, 10 teams, 1 match next. The heel team is led by the Hart Foundation whilst the faces are led by Strike Force. Another 40+ minute match here but far less happened. It was another very good match don't get me wrong, but it certainly felt like a lot of filler at times. Out of all the big, popular names in this match the sole survivors will shock you. The Killer Bees last eliminated Tama & Haku with a classic switcheroo by wearing similar masks, they survived alongside the Young Stallions. Two teams that were lower midcard at best survived over actual champions and challengers. Just weird. I would have rated this even higher if it was shorter. Before our main event we see a promo package to establish recent hire Ted DiBiase, making his PPV debut. This included making a woman bark like a dog for money (it was a plant, it was only Linda fucking McMahon!) as well as making a teenage lad kiss his foot (another cameo appearance, this was a young Rob Van Dam). Our main event is Team Hogan vs Team Andre, continuing their feud since earlier in the year. This was Andre's first match in 7 months, taking time off to rest and heal shortly after Wrestlemania III. I was prepared for this to be a standard Hogan match but I was pleasantly mistaken. It was an even contest, mostly brawling and fighting but it was fun. It came down to 3 v 3, until Muraco is eliminated and then Hogan! This was huge, he rarely lost and if he did he would have at least been the final man. Bigelow gets a great showing fighting 3 big guys on his lonesome, he even eliminates two. Andre would be able to take care of him though, being the sole survivor. Whilst not a technical masterclass, it is a very fun tag match that was unpredictable and very well booked. This would set up a rematch between Andre and Hogan. This show overall isn't particularly special. It doesn't have anything ground-breaking or feature anything amazing for the time. What it does have though is good booking and consistency, which is a lot to ask for during the Golden Era.

Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake & Jim Duggan defeat Honky Tonk Man, Danny Davis, Harley Race, Hercules & Ron Bass. ***

Fabulous Moolah, Rockin' Robin, Velvet McIntyre, Itsuki Yamazaki & Noriyo Tateno) defeat Sensational Sherri, Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello, Leilani Kai & Judy Martin. **1/2

Strike Force (Tito Santana & Rick Martel), British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid), Killer Bees (B. Brian Blair & Jim Brunzell), Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond & Jacques), Young Stallions (Jim Powers & Paul Roma) defeat Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), Bolsheviks (Boris Zhukov & Nikolai Volkoff), Demolition (Ax & Smash), Dream Team (Dino Bravo & Greg Valentine) & Islanders (Haku & Tama). ***1/2 (MOTN)

Andre the Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang & Rick Rude defeat Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera & Paul Orndorff. ***1/4

There we have 30 shows from the Golden Age, ranked and reviewed from worst to best. I will have a follow up posted with some stats like I did for my WCW R'n'R. Thanks for checking this out, I will be working on the New Generation era next which will take me a little longer to piece together. Have a nice day.


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