POLLOCK'S NEWS UPDATE: History of Survivor Series & WarGames

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/11/25/pollocks-news-update-history-of-survivor-series-wargames/


**Rewind-A-SmackDown will be live tonight at a special time of 10 p.m. ET due to Rampage airing earlier in the day. John Pollock & Wai Ting will be live for all POST Wrestling Café members with reviews of SmackDown & Rampage as well as a preview of the Survivor Series.

**Our POST Road Diary episode covering our trip last weekend is now available for POST Wrestling Café members.

**Wai Ting and I will be live Saturday night immediately after the Survivor Series on the POST YouTube channel with a review of the show. Neal Flanagan will be providing coverage on the site from major news coming out of the card.

**Braden Herrington & Davie Portman have just released a review of WCW Fall Brawl 1997 featuring a WarGames match between the N.W.O. and The Four Horseman and the turn by Curt Hennig in the main event from September 1997.

**A reminder that POST Wrestling is holding a Black Friday Week sale and is our first sale of the year at store.postwrestling.com.

Our Black Friday Week Sale is on now at the POST Wrestling Store

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— POST Wrestling (@POSTwrestling) November 24, 2022


Tonight: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John Pollock & Wai Ting at 10 p.m. ET (Patreon)
Saturday: WWE Survivor Series POST Show with John & Wai
Sunday: Wrestlenomics Radio
Monday: Rewind-A-Raw
Tuesday: ASK-A-WAI Mailbag Show – Submit questions in Forum


**The 36th edition of the Survivor Series takes place Saturday night from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts with the first main roster edition of WarGames.

The Jim Crockett Promotions concept was conceived in 1987, debuting at the Omni as part of the Great American Bash tour. The first iteration saw Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering prevail over The Four Horsemen contingent of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon (who suffered a serious shoulder injury during the match). They came back with the match several weeks later as part of the same Bash tour and took it around the country including 11 versions of WarGames in 1988.

After being dormant for several years, it was brought back in 1991 and was featured at WrestleWar that year and the following one (the 1992 version being among the best) before it was a staple of the Fall Brawl pay-per-view beginning in 1993. The concept was severely watered down in 1998 with a three-team version that had one ultimate winner in Diamond Dallas Page to set up that year’s Halloween Havoc main event and Page challenging for the WCW title.

Under the Vince Russo regime, they did one version of WarGames and aired it on Monday Nitro which ended with Goldberg spearing Russo through the cage and making Russo a brief WCW champion. A generation later, MLW acquired the rights to the concept before making a deal with WWE, allowing Paul Levesque to present WarGames once per year at the NXT level. Levesque removed the roof from the cage, allowing more spectacular spots, and were generally solid matches from 2017-2021 including the addition of women’s versions that began in 2019.

It is a unique incorporation for the Survivor Series, taking an idea that originated in JCP where the WWF added the pay-per-view to combat its rival. In 1987, WWF added the Thanksgiving special and opted to run the show the same day as JCP was airing its Starrcade event from Chicago, which had established itself as a Thanksgiving Day tradition. From the perspective of the pay-per-view carriers, they thought it would be great to have an afternoon card and an evening show and market a day of professional wrestling to its audience. WWF balked at the idea of piggybacking off one another giving the carriers an ultimatum to carry one show or the other, but if they aired Starrcade, they would not be able to carry the following year’s WrestleMania IV. Of the roughly 220 carriers, only five carried Starrcade and it was a major blow to the territory and expedited the financial picture with JCP selling to Ted Turner one year later.

This year’s show marks a departure from the brand vs. brand concept that never took hold with the public nor the traditional elimination matches, which have been a staple for most iterations of the event. The result was a strong demand for tickets in Boston and the feeling that the Survivor Series has more of a buzz than many past versions over the last ten years.

As of this writing, there are five matches scheduled with the potential for more to be added tonight on SmackDown. The current lineup features:
*WarGames Match: Roman Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa & Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Kevin Owens, Ridge Holland & Butch
*WarGames Match: Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim & TBA vs. Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley
*United States Championship: Seth Rollins (champion) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory
*SmackDown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (champion) vs. Shotzi
*Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles  

On paper, it’s a strong show with the assumption that the two WarGames matches will take up the lion’s share of the time. The men’s match has many compelling aspects to it, most centering around some type of finishing involving Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and one saving the other. Davie Portman had a terrific idea where The Bloodline turns on Zayn and forces Owens to submit before they end him and then explain to Zayn that it was their plan all along but starts the cracks among the group. There are a lot of ways to go and the match should be excellent.

The women’s match will be structured well, and you have a lot of talent in that one, as well. As always, there is difficulty in presenting two similar matches in different ways but WWE is very good when it comes to the match layout of these concepts. The belief is that Becky Lynch will be the fifth member with Fightful reporting that it was the plan unless something changes. If so, it’s the right call to announce her tonight rather than leave it a mystery and risk the audience chanting for Sasha Banks all night and being let down. It’s possible they add Bray Wyatt vs. L.A. Knight as that’s been building itself on SmackDown and six matches is probably the most you want considering the allotment needed for the two WarGames matches.

**Ricky Steamboat returns to the ring this weekend for Big Time Wrestling in Raleigh, North Carolina. Steamboat, 69, has not wrestled since 2010 and survived a brain aneurysm that same year. On Sunday, Steamboat teams with FTR against Jay Lethal, Brock Anderson & TBA with Arn Anderson in their corner. The event will be streaming on FITE TV at 5 p.m. ET and includes The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express taking on The Briscoes, Matt Hardy vs. Crowbar (Devon Storm), Kerry Morton Jr. vs. Brian Pillman Jr., Scott Steiner in action, Savannah Evans vs. Amber Nova, and Jimmy Valiant’s Boogie Woogie Battle Royal.

**Friday Night SmackDown takes place from the Amica Mutual Pavilion (the former Dunkin’ Donuts Center) in Providence, Rhode Island for the final show before Survivor Series on Saturday night. WrestleTix reports just over 5,300 tickets out for the show tonight. Below are the matches and segments announced for the show at 8 p.m. ET on Fox:
*Team Belair announces its fifth member for WarGames
*Advantage Match: The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus
*World Cup Semi-Final: Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet
*World Cup Semi-Final: Santos Escobar vs. Butch
*Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi & Raquel Rodriguez

**AEW Rampage has an early 4 p.m. start time today due to NHL coverage on TNT. The taped show from Chicago will include the following matches:
*Rush, The Butcher & The Blade vs. John Silver, Alex Reynolds & Preston “10” Vance
*Hikaru Shida vs. Queen Aminata
*Darby Allin vs. Anthony Henry
*ROH Tag Team Championship: FTR (champions) vs. Top Flight

**Ernie Moore, a former wrestler out of Hamilton, has passed away at the age of 82. SLAM Wrestling’s Greg Oliver has an obit on Moore, who led an intriguing life from inside the ring to become a security guard that worked with numerous celebrities and high-level political figures and was a tremendous storyteller recounting his colorful life. Moore was born in Hamilton and later worked for the Hamilton Spectator newspaper at the age of 16. Moore was indoctrinated into professional by training at the gym of Al Spittles in 1956. Throughout his career, which lasted until 1979, he performed under a mask as ‘The Executioner’ with his career-ending due to a knee injury. While working in security, he worked alongside the likes of Sylvester Stallone, Don Rickles, Sarah Palin, and Sophia Loren. Moore also helped coordinate meetups among the retired Hamilton wrestling fraternity for lunches over the years and also worked as a trainer in his later years.

**New Japan’s World Tag League continues on Saturday with a show from Kanagawa and streaming live at 4 a.m. ET on New Japan World with the following lineup:
*World Tag League: Aussie Open vs. Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI
*World Tag League: Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano
*World Tag League: EVIL & Yujiro vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
*World Tag League: TMDK vs. Aaron Henare & Great O-Khan
*World Tag League: Tetsuya Naito & SANADA vs. Gabriel Kidd & Alex Coughlin
*Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi, Titan & BUSHI vs. Taichi, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI
*Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato, Clark Connors & Jado vs. Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo
*Togi Makabe, Kosei Fujita & Oskar Leube vs. Tomoaki Honma, Yuto Nakashima & Ryohei Oiwa

**Following Saturday’s card, New Japan hosts a big show at Dolphin’s Arena in Nagoya on Sunday with five World Tag League and five Super Jr. Tag League matches. Sunday’s card streams at 3 a.m. ET on New Japan World.

**There will be no television viewership information until Monday due to the holiday this week. On Monday, we will have the AEW Dynamite numbers from this past week. Tonight’s SmackDown & Rampage information will be released on Tuesday.

**After Survivor Series, WWE has a live event in Portland, Maine on Sunday and is advertising Drew McIntyre, Bianca Belair, and Seth Rollins among the top stars scheduled for the show. WrestleTix reports that approximately 2,900 tickets have been distributed for Sunday’s event.

**Monday’s edition of Raw is in Norfolk, Virginia, which includes The Miz vs. Dexter Lumis.

**The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special has been released on Disney+ and will be reviewed on next Thursday’s edition of MCU L8R for POST Wrestling Café members.

**GCW returns to Chicago on 1/7 with its first show at Thalia Hall at 8 p.m. called “Save Me”. The show will be streaming for Fite+ subscribers with tickets going on sale today.

**Damian Abraham, who hosted “The Wrestlers” on Vice TV has released a YouTube documentary covering the story of WWE’s MVP and Zach Blair of Rise Against saving Randy Savage from an incident involving The Misfits.


**The most significant show this weekend is the PFL Championship tonight from the Hulu Theatre as they wrap up their 2022 season with six championship matches and enter the pay-per-view market. Beyond the results of the fights, is the success (or lack of) on pay-per-view. The price tag of $49.99 has been met with sticker shock from a lot of MMA fans and frankly, it appears to be a strategy of a finite number that will buy the show, so the attempt is getting the most of out the few that will. I cannot fathom this card doing any type of appreciable business as it’s not a pay-per-view product. The promotion’s biggest star is Kayla Harrison, who headlined the show against Larissa Pacheco, who lost to Harrison twice in 2019 but isn’t a well-known name and hardly the type of fight to carry a pay-per-view. Harrison herself seems unsatisfied with the promotion of the show and not having enough lead time to make the audience aware, although, at the end of the day, this isn’t a card with a heavily marketable fight attached to it. The number of buys will demonstrate what a non-UFC pay-per-view is going to draw and should put into perspective how well AEW is performing on the medium in comparison.

Below is the card:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+ pay-per-view)
*Women’s Lightweight Final: Kayla Harrison vs. Larissa Pacheco
*Featherweight Final: Brendan Loughnane vs. Bubba Jenkins
*Heavyweight Final: Ante Delija vs. Matheus Scheffel
*Non-Tournament Fight: Julia Budd vs. Aspen Ladd
*Lightweight Final: Stevie Ray vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
*Welterweight Final: Sadibou Sy vs. Dilano Taylor
*Light Heavyweight Final: Rob Wilkinson vs. Omari Akhmedov

*Marlon Moraes vs. Sheymon Moraes
*Jeremy Stephens vs. Natan Schulte  
*Magomed Magomedkerimov vs. Gleison Tibau
*Dakota Ditcheva vs. Katherine Corogenes
*Biaggio Ali Walsh vs. Tom Grasser


The forgotten Survivor Series match between Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels occurred on this date in 1992 as the event returned to the Richfield Coliseum (the site of the first two Survivor Series shows). The show came one month after Hart unseated Ric Flair to win the WWF championship and came after the exit of the Ultimate Warrior and Davey Boy Smith, which severely depleted the babyface side of the roster. In Warrior’s place, was the returning Curt Hennig, who had not wrestled in fifteen months after a severe back injury that sidelined him at the peak of his career. Hennig teamed with Randy Savage in a tag match against Ric Flair & Razor Ramon (Scott Hall) that was promoted alongside Hart vs. Michaels as the two key matches on the show.

Shawn Michaels made the lone World Heavyweight Championship defense of his 2002 reign on this date. Michaels lost to Rob Van Dam by DQ on the 11/25 edition of Raw in Michaels’ first match on the show since 1997. Throughout Michaels’ comeback that began that year and lasted until 2010, he only held a version of the world title once during this one-month period after winning the belt at the first Elimination Chamber event at Survivor Series and dropping it back to Triple H the following month at Armageddon.

Kenta Kobashi & Mitsuharu Misawa take on Rob Van Dam & Johnny Smith on this date in 1995 as part of All Japan’s World Strongest Determination Tag League. Kobashi & Misawa won the Tag League that year, defeating Toshiaki Kawada & Akira Taue in the final.

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John Pollock & Wai Ting enter the Asylum with a review of NWA-TNA #25 from December 11, 2002, featuring AJ Styles vs. Amazing Red and Jeff Jarrett vs. Curt Hennig.
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