WWF Survivor Series 1994 Review feat. The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna

Logo for WWF Survivor Series 1994
Image Source: WWE
CompanyWWF/WWE
EventSurvivor Series 1994
SeriesSurvivor Series
Edition8
FormatPay-Per-View
DateWednesday November 23 1994
VenueFreeman Coliseum
LocationSan Antonio, Texas, USA
Attendance10,000

WWF Survivor Series 1994

WWF Survivor Series 1994 was the eighth and final such event to take place over the Thanksgiving festivities. And the show (shown live in the UK, beginning that tradition for British fans) was significant, with a major title change, a big babyface turn and the blow-off to a long-running feud.

Survivor Series Elimination Match
The Bad Guys vs. The Teamsters

Kicking us off, Razor Ramon led The British Bulldog, The 123-Kid and the new Headshrinkers combination of Fatu and Seone (the former and future Barbarian) against Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart. Both teams had pyrotechnics for their entrance, a fairly new thing for the WWF in 1994, and a development which seemed to amaze Gorilla Monsoon, who reacted as if Hulk Hogan had just returned or something. As an aside, this not only marked Monsoon’s final PPV behind the announcer’s table, but it was the only time that he and Vince McMahon ever formed a two-man commentary team for a supershow, which I guess makes sense as both men served the same role when providing the soundtrack for a card (it’s the reason why Jim Ross and Michael Cole rarely commentated alongside one another).

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS TV SHOWS? READ OUR PRE-PPV REVIEWS OF RAW, SUPERSTARS & WRESTLING CHALLENGE!

This was an exciting match, and one which would be pivotal for the WWF’s future. It took a while for momentum to really build, but it came when Diesel tagged in and cleared house, as he eliminated Fatu, Kid and Seone within a two-minute span, before Bulldog got himself counted out. That left Razor to face five guys, and I don’t mean the restaurant. The reigning Intercontinental Champion got some licks in, before he took a Jackknife Powerbomb. However, at this point, the increasingly-egotistical Shawn Michaels insisted on tagging in for the very first time, and he signalled for Diesel to hold up Razor for a superkick. However, Ramon ducked, and Shawn struck his seven-foot partner.

This was the third time that such a development occurred, with previous incidents at SummerSlam and on Action Zone, and this time, Diesel had endured enough. He pointed the finger at Shawn and swatted away his other team-mates, confirming his much-teased babyface turn, and he walked to the dressing room while furious at Michaels. All of the other heels tried to get him to return, only for them to all be counted out! That’s right, not unlike 1991, nearly half-a-dozen men were counted out at once (at least Owen shouted “We’re gonna lose!” as he recognised what was happening), allowing Razor to score a fluke win. Afterwards, Shawn angrily left the arena and told Todd Pettingill that he and Diesel were through, meaning that they were vacating the Tag Team Titles too (a convenient way for Shawn to sidestep a title loss, not for the first time and definitely not for the last time).

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS EDITION? READ OUR WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1993 REVIEW!

Razor’s win would lead to a long feud with Jeff Jarrett in 1995, but the bigger story was Diesel finally turning babyface, and entering into a rivalry with Shawn Michaels. Though fans assumed that Diesel would now become a good guy headliner, few anticipated it would happen so quickly, as he became WWF Champion just three days later to begin a title reign that lasted almost a full year. Shawn would win the Royal Rumble to earn a shot against Diesel at WrestleMania XI, where Big Daddy Cool triumphed. An on-screen reunion via a Shawn babyface turn revived their alliance, though Diesel would go back heel and lose to Shawn in an unforgettable clash at In Your House VII: Good Friends, Better Enemies in April 1996. Aside from minor shoves in the heat of the moment, the two men have remained on-screen allies ever since during their occasional appearances.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE PREVIOUS PPV? READ OUR WWF SUMMERSLAM 1994 REVIEW!

Survivor Series Elimination Match
Clowns R’ Us vs. The Royal Family

Next up, we had a light-hearted affair as Doink and Jerry Lawler went to battle with smaller competitors forming their teams. Doink had a team of Clowns named Dink (his regular Mini-Me sidekick), Wink (with yellow hair) and Pink (with – yes! – pink hair), while Lawler had Queasy, Cheesy and Sleazy. You may be familiar with Jerry’s squad as he brings it up every year during Survivor Series, but it’s Doink’s team that I had the fondest memories of as a six-year-old. Sadly, we didn’t get to see further additions, because the idea of Doink having a dozen or so buddies of smaller stature with varying hair colours would have been fantastic.

The match was, of course, a comedy affair. The expected spots were employed for laughs, such as Doink hoisting Dink on his shoulders to fight Lawler at his own size, and Jerry responding by asking his smaller teammates to hoist him up! Though The Royal Family had their share of issues, they still managed a clean sweep, with Lawler pinning Doink, Cheesy pinning Wink, Cheesy pinning Pink and Sleazy pinning Dink for the win. Afterwards, though, The King tried to take all of the credit for the victory, which enraged his buddies. This led to all six pint-sized competitors chasing Lawler around the ring and up the aisle, where Doink gave him a custard pie to the face. Screw what the miseries will say, this was amusing stuff, and a contrast to what wrestling fans deem to be funny nowadays (inside jokes that go over the heads of most casual viewers).

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FIRST EDITION? READ OUR WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1987 REVIEW!

WWF Championship Submission Match
Bret Hart (C) vs. Bob Backlund

This match stemmed from a previous non-title encounter on the July 31 1994 episode of Superstars, where Bret had cleanly defeated Backlund, only for Bob to turn heel afterwards on the Hitman by locking him in the Crossface Chicken Wing. Backlund had reinvented himself as a psychotic villain, desperate to regain the WWF Title that he had held for almost six years back in his prime. Even so, it seemed a safe bet for Hart to retain his crown against his older (albeit not much older) adversary.

Each participant had a cornerman, with Bret being accompanied by The British Bulldog, and Owen Hart being Backlund’s manager. Stu and Helen Hart, Bret’s parents, were also in the front row, which would prove crucial: due to the circumstances under which Backlund had lost the WWF Title to The Iron Sheik in 1983 (his manager Arnold Skaaland threw in the towel to protect his babyface charge when he was trapped in the Camel Clutch), the match could only end if one of the cornermen threw in the towel on behalf of their man. However, at one point, Bulldog chased Owen around ringside, before tripping and whacking his head on the steel stairs, rendering him unconscious.

In the meantime, Backlund trapped Bret in the Crossface Chicken Wing, and held him there for an incredibly long time (as in, close to ten minutes, which is surely a record). With Bulldog dazed, however, and with Bret being too proud to submit, Owen became distraught at the situation, and pleaded with his parents to throw in the towel. The King Of Harts was seemingly overcome with emotion, almost to the point of turning babyface after turning heel on Bret back at Royal Rumble. Stu could see through the chicanery but Helen could not, and growing concerned at Bret’s plight, she eventually snatched the towel and threw it into the ring. This meant that Backlund had become WWF Champion in a major upset, and Owen then ran off backstage while jumping for joy, having pulled off a (truly hilarious) ruse.

The match itself was very divisive: some call it a classic, while others call it a very dull and very long (35 minutes) affair. I didn’t particularly enjoy the action, but I do think that the finish was genius. Unfortunately, though, it had little in the way of a long-term impact: Backlund proved to be a transitional champion that dropped the gold to Diesel in eight seconds at Madison Square Garden three nights later. Bret took some time off before returning to unsuccessfully challenge Diesel at Royal Rumble 1995, before settling his feud with Backlund in another disappointing affair at WrestleMania XI. As for Bret and Owen, though, their phenomenal rivalry sort of fizzled out, with Bret eventually beating Owen in an unmemorable Raw clash prior to Mania. Still, the closing sequence of this match is definitely worth checking out, if not the contest as a whole.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE LATEST EDITION? READ OUR WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 2019 REVIEW!

Survivor Series Elimination Match
Guts And Glory vs. The Million Dollar Team

The third and final Survivors bout saw Lex Luger, The Smoking Gunns, Adam Bomb and Mabel of Men On A Mission collide with a combination of Ted DiBiase’s Million Dollar clientele of Tatanka, King Kong Bundy and Bam Bam Bigelow and The Heavenly Bodies. I felt that the Million Dollar Corporation were an underrated faction, as they were at the centre of a lot of WWF developments from the summer of 1994 through to early 1996. Though the charismatic Million Dollar Man was their manager, they were still lacking a true leader amongst those that were still competing in the ring, someone to fill the role of a Ric Flair or a Triple H as the head honcho. That, along with the group coming up short in the major matches, probably explains why they aren’t discussed amongst the greatest squads in WWF/WWE history.

Still, they enjoyed a successful night here at Survivors, triumphing in what was a watchable but fairly boring battle. Mabel got rid of Tom Prichard, before the big man was counted out. Bam Bam knocked off Adam Bomb, and Lex Luger eliminated Jimmy Del Ray, before Bart Gunn and Billy Gunn fell to Tatanka and Bundy respectively. Mr. Made In The USA was now alone against three men, but he put up a valiant fight: Lex got some revenge from SummerSlam by pinning Tatanka, only to be immediately pinned by the recently-returned Bundy, allowing King Kong and Bam Bam to survive (which was fun, as they were on opposing sides in the main event of the very first Survivor Series in 1987).

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FOLLOWING PPV? READ OUR WWF ROYAL RUMBLE 1995 REVIEW!

Casket Match
The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna

The main event brought an end to a lengthy rivalry, albeit one with a major pause. Yokozuna and Undertaker first had a confrontation during the main event of Survivor Series 1993, which led to their initial Casket match at Royal Rumble 1994, an infamous affair which led to nearly a dozen heels helping Yoko to win, only for Taker to “die” and “ascend to Heaven” in a scene that has to be seen to be believed. After that, Undertaker had a long absence before returning at SummerSlam with a new black and purple look (and an updated theme song) to defeat his doppelganger. With that sorted out, Taker then set his sights on Yoko, the behemoth who had sidelined him. They had some Casket matches on house shows (I attended one as part of the Hart Attack Tour of the UK in September 1994, which Taker of course won), but this would be the big blow-off, and to prevent any villainous interference again, Chuck Norris of all people was called in to be the trouble-shooter.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FOLLOWING EDITION? READ OUR WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1995 REVIEW!

This was an enjoyable main event; it felt significant, and Taker was starting to demonstrate more of his surprising athleticism and his larger-than-expected repertoire, while Yoko still had what it took to compete at a high level. Both men had various tries to win the bout, with Norris taking an observant look at the action. That was, until some heels tried to get involved (for reasons which were never explained, by the way): King Kong Bundy and Bam Bam Bigelow were shooed away, and Jeff Jarrett even took a roundhouse kick from Chuck, though the distraction allowed Irwin R. Schyster to legitimately interfere and do a number on the Dead Man. However, Undertaker would not be denied, and after a DDT and a big boot (as if he was going to Tombstone his opponent), Taker locked Yoko in the casket for the very popular win to end this vintage feud. Taker would collide with IRS at Royal Rumble, while Yoko would have a break of his own before returning at WrestleMania XI, with his tenure as a WWF headliner having essentially been brought to an end here. Incidentally, Santa Claus did not come out to celebrate with Taker (what a sight that would have been), bringing a climax to that particular and peculiar Survivors tradition.

WHAT HAPPENED AT THE FOLLOWING TV SHOWS? READ OUR POST-PPV REVIEWS OF RAW, SUPERSTARS & WRESTLING CHALLENGE!

WWF Survivor Series 1994 was a pretty strong card to round out the year for the World Wrestling Federation. None of the matches were bad, a couple were rather good, and we had key developments that helped this to feel like a major show. It also concluded what was an up-and-down 1994 on PPV for the company on a bit of a high, so if you’re looking for a Survivor Series to watch from the New Generation, this might be your best option.

WANT TO RELIVE WWF SURVIVOR SERIES 1994? WATCH IT RIGHT NOW ON WWE NETWORK!