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WWE Network Dive | Survivor Series 1987

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After taking a look back at WrestleMania I just last week, FRS SLAM! will now be covering yet another first, this time, the inaugural Survivor Series. With the now annual pay-per-view originally kicking off all the way back in 1987, Survivor Series was initially slated to serve as a Thanksgiving tradition while such a trend continued through 1994.

Not only that, but Survivor Series is also the second longest running pay-per-view event in WWE history behind only — you guessed it — WrestleMania.

The Rundown:

Event: Survivor Series 1987

Location: Richfield Coliseum (Richfield Township, Ohio)

Date: November 26, 1987

Estimated Attendance: 21,300

Duration: 2 hours, 44 minutes

Lineup:

  • Brutus Beefcake, Jake Roberts, Jim Duggan, Randy Savage and Ricky Steamboat defeat Dangerous Danny Davis, Harley Race, Hercules, The Honky Tonk Man and Ron Bass (5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match)
  • The Fabulous Moolah, The Jumping Bomb Angels, Rockin’ Robin and Velvet McIntyre defeat Dawn Marie, Donna Christanello, The Glamour Girls and Sensational Sherri (5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match)
  • The British Bulldogs, The Killer Bees, The Fabulous Rougeaus, Strike Force and The Young Stallions defeat The Bolsheviks, Demolition, The Dream Team, The Hart Foundation and The Islanders (10-on-10 Survivor Series Tag-Team Elimination Match)
  • Andre The Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and Rick Rude defeat Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Hulk Hogan, Ken Patera and Paul Orndorff (5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match)

Key Match To Watch:

Although there were only four matches on the entire slate, each was jam-packed with Hall of Fame-caliber talent. Despite the fact that all four matches deserve certainly at least some recognition here, 1987’s main event can simply not be overlooked. As we saw last week with WrestleMania I, Hulk Hogan is once again at the forefront of the main event while this time bringing along some friends. Upon teaming up with the likes of Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Paul Orndorff, Hogan and company actually encountered the loss at the hands of Andre The Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and Rick Rude.

Paving the way for such a match headlined by the tandem of Hogan and Andre The Giant, the unforgettable foes initially squared off in the main event at WrestleMania III several months prior in March. With Hogan originally defeating his massive counterpart in a singles match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship, Survivor Series ultimately became an evening of the sides of sorts. In fact, the event’s tag line reads, “The Biggest Event Since WrestleMania III!” 

With Andre The Giant eventually serving as the last man standing upon eliminating Bigelow, Hogan’s count-out elimination not only allowed one of the most memorable rivalries in the company’s history to trudge on, but it also allowed “The Hulkster” to continue his dominant persona. Although Andre The Giant evened up the score with a victory, Hogan’s “loss” wasn’t really a defeat at all.

Why Survivor Series 1987?

With the latest installment of Survivor Series now just around the corner, what better way to gear up for the always entertaining pay-per-view than taking a look back at where it all began? Because Survivor Series  has become one of the more popular annual events on the WWE slate, at least partially due to the traditional Survivor Series elimination matches, 1987’s inaugural pay-per-view provides professional wrestling fans with a glimpse of how much has actually changed over the years. However, such an event can also show the WWE Universe that no matter the era, a damn good wrestling match is timeless — especially a Survivor Series elimination match.

Joe Nocco is a recent graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, born and raised in the New York area. Previously a contributor to SB Nation, Football.com and his own website titled Joe Nocco Sports, among others, Nocco has experience covering a variety of sports having specialized in content surrounding the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB. You can follow Nocco at @JoeNoccoFRS on Twitter.

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