WWF Survivor Series 1988
November 24, 1988
After the success of the inaugural Survivor Series in 1987, the WWF wisely continued the tradition in 1988. They tweaked the concept and improved upon it, making the show even better. They eliminated the women’s match, as the division had all but disappeared from the company by this point and was replaced by another ten-man elimination bout.
They also did a good job spreading the talent out better. Rather than stacking one or two teams with the top stars, each of the ten man teams were co-captained by two top singles stars and then filled out with various undercard and low card talent. This strategy gave attention and “rub” to many lesser stars such as Koko B. Ware, The Blue Blazer and even perennial “jobber” Scott Casey, who was a third string replacement on Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ team.
But once again it was the ten-team elimination match that stole the show. While the 1987 edition was quite good, it was greatly improved upon in 1988. The Powers of Pain captained team boasted one of the most impressive talent line-ups ever. With talent like The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation and The Rockers all on one side it is hard to find a better array of talent all on one team.
Plus it was the only time that Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels ever competed on the same side in a tag team match, so it makes for a nice historical tidbit in that regard.
Top-flight teams like Demolition and The Brain Busters anchored their opponents. But the true surprise of Demolition’s team were the faceless, nameless Conquistadors who lasted all the way to the end of the match and put on the performance of a lifetime.
This match is especially famous for the double turn at the end that saw Mr. Fuji turn on Demolition to join The Powers of Pain. By the end of the match, The Powers of Pain were the sole survivors after Fuji literally tripped up Demolition and The Powers made short work of The Conquistadors. It was one of the most successful double turns in wrestling history and sent the two teams of painted warriors on a feud that raged off/on for well over a year.
– The Ultimate Warrior & Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake (co-captains), The Blue Blazer, Jim Brunzell (replacing Don Muraco) & Sam Houston beat The Honky Tonk Man & Ron Bass (co-captains), Greg Valentine, Bad News Brown & Danny Davis in an elimination match. Warrior was the sole survivor.
– The Powers of Pain (The Warlord & The Barbarian) (co-captains), The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid), The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart) & The Young Stallions (Paul Roma & Jimmy Powers) beat Demolition (Ax & Smash) (co-captains), The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers (Jacques & Raymond), The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) & The Conquistadors (#1 & #2) in a ten team elimination match. The Powers of the Pain were the survivors.
– Andre the Giant & Dino Bravo (co-captains), Rick Rude, Curt Hennig & Harley Race beat Jake “The Snake” Roberts & Hacksaw Jim Duggan (co-captains), Ken Patera, Tito Santana & Scott Casey (replacing Junkyard Dog and then B. Brian Blair) in an elimination match. Hennig & Bravo were the survivors.
– The Mega Powers (“Macho Man” Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan) (co-captains), Hercules, Hillbilly Jim & Koko B. Ware beat The Twin Towers (Akeem & The Big Boss Man) (co-captains), “Million $ Man” Ted DiBiase, Haku & The Red Rooster in an elimination match. The Mega Powers were the survivors.