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I Wasn’t There for Survivor Series 1990

I Wasn’t There for Survivor Series 1990

While I Wasn’t There for Survivor Series 1990, it remains to this day my favorite WWE Pay Per View. I can watch the  show back and recite almost every line of commentary and every interview. This one line sticks out the most.

Holy Cow! Look at the size of them ham hocks. Check out those drum sticks baby!

– Rowdy Roddy Piper

The VCR Tape

I rented countless wrestling tapes from the local video store as a kid. Those tapes would come home, get tossed into the VCR, and I would sit in front of the TV for hours transfixed by the larger than life characters. My favorites were Brutus Beefcake and the Big Boss Man.

My Survivor Series tape.

At some point, a copy of the 1990 Survivor Series happened to come into my permanent possession. I don’t know the circumstances of how this happened, and I have often wondered. Maybe a video store closed or perhaps a store owner sold the tape trying to recoup some fraction of losses on their original investment. I don’t know.

Years later, I would find out that the 1990 Survivor Series egg giving birth to the Gobbley Gooker was a huge let down in the wrestling community. People thought Ric Flair would explode into the WWF by hatching from the egg. Instead we got an infamous dancing turkey.

Given the fan disappointment, I can understand why a big-time video store owner might be trying to offload a junky PPV. Whatever . . . Their loss was my gain. For the first time ever, I had a wrestling tape that didn’t have to go back to the store at the expiration of my 1 or 2 day rental.

I treasured this tape for years. Even when Aladdin came out in 1992 and Jurassic Park in 1993, I still kept Survivor Series 1990 at the top of my pile. As you can see from the above image, I still have it all these years later. I don’t have a VCR or even the original oversized sleeve that it came in, but I still keep the tape on my shelf inside a generic VHS sleeve.

The Undertaker

“Eww, he doesn’t look friendly at all.” – Roddy Piper

Every once in a while, I think about that card. It was 30 years ago. While the Gobbley Gooker made a comedic debut at this event, nobody laughed earlier in the night when Ted DiBiase introduced his mystery partner as the debuting Undertaker.

As Undertaker made his entrance, Roddy Piper used the “Holy Cow” line that opened this article.

This was the first time we would hear things like “Impervious to Pain.” I remember Piper saying, “Neidhart can move anything” . . . and then Neidhart failed to move the Undertaker. As ‘Taker gave Koko B. Ware a tombstone, Gorilla Monsoon made the call “he just wrote an eptaph for Koko.”

The Undertaker eventually got counted out as he and Dusty Rhodes brawled toward the backstage area. Piper made another memorable call, “He looks scary, he’s big, but he’s dumb.” Of course, we now know how untrue that statement would end up.

Last week, WWE aired the final episode of their five part Last Ride documentary on the Undertaker. It’s clear now that Undertaker “wrestled” his last match against AJ Styles at WrestleMania 36.

With the announcement of Undertaker’s retirement, the entire roster of wrestlers competing at Survivor Series 1990 has left active competition.


It’s hard for me to remember a time in my life where I didn’t think about The Undertaker at least once a week. It may have happened once or twice in the last couple of years as the number of Undertaker appearances dropped so drastically. But even during these recent years, I still found myself thinking about who might face The Undertaker at next year’s WrestleMania. Indeed, it’s hard to even see Brock Lesnar and not think about the end of Undertaker’s streak.

Undertaker Surprises AJ Styles at Elimination Chamber – March 8, 2020

I stood in the nose bleed sections to watch Undertaker defeat Batista at WrestleMania 23 and then Edge at WrestleMania 24. Those were great and memorable matches. I most recently saw him surprise AJ Styles at the March 8th Elimination Chamber Pay Per View in Philadelphia. While I didn’t know it at the time, that would be the last time Undertaker stood in front of a live crowd as an active competitor.

How special for me that I cherish the pay per view where Undertaker made his WWF debut, and I was able to witness his final appearance as an active wrestler from just a few rows back.

Other Undertaker Memories

When I think back on ‘Taker’s long career, there are so many memorable moments:

  • Walking through the curtain for the first time at Survivor Series 1990.
  • Coming to the ring with a vulture over his shoulder at WrestleMania IX (1993)
  • Posing with the WWF Championship after defeating Sid at WrestleMania 13 (1997)
  • The look on his face when Kane debuted at Hell in the Cell in 1997.
  • Backdropping Shawn Michaels over the top rope at Royal Rumble 1998.
  • Looking down at Mankind’s broken body at King of the Ring 1998.
  • Rolling his eyes into the back of his head while wearing his Ministry of Darkness gear in 1999.
  • The shock as his streak ended at WrestleMania 30 (2014).
  • The stacking of his hat and coat in the middle of the ring after losing to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 (2017).
  • Raising his arm in the air before exiting the boneyard earlier this year.

So many others, but those quickly rise to the top.

The Rest of Survivor Series 1990

When you think about the rest of the Survivor Series card, there are a few other notable happenings:

  • It was the first time that the winners of each contest would wrestle again at the end of the night.
  • Nobody from Rick Martel’s Visionaries team was eliminated. It was the first time in Survivor Series history that an entire team survived.
  • Randy Savage did not wrestle, but he gave a very good promo part way through the night as he challenged the Ultimate Warrior for a WWF Title match

The entire results are listed at the end of this article if you wish to take a look.

The Survivor Series

Again, I have no idea how this VHS tape came into my possession, but I’m so glad that it did.

The repetition with which I watched this event probably contributes to the overall favoritism that I show to Survivor Series as a whole. Most people favor the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania when it comes to annual WWE events, but I love Survivor Series.

Just to bring things full circle, I went to the latest edition of the Survivor Series in November 2019. When the event finished, I raced back to my hotel room to watch the first episode of Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions with his special guest . . . The Undertaker.

Thanks For Reading

Newsletter: I write a weekly free Newsletter called Body Slam Brigade. You can read the latest issue and subscribe here.

This series is typically called “I Was There” as opposed to “I Wasn’t There,” but we haven’t had many live shows to attend lately. This is a special report. You can see the entire series here.


  1. Ultimate Warrior, Legion of Doom, Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect and Demolition.
    1. Ultimate Warrior Survived.
  2. Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, Hart Foundation vs. Ted Dibiase, Undertaker, and Rhythm and Blues
    1. Ted Dibiase Survived
  3. Jake Roberts, the Rockers, and Jimmy Snuka vs. Rick Martel, the Warlord, and Power and Glory
    1. Martel, Warlord, and Power and Glory survived
  4. Hulk Hogan, Tugboat, Boss Man, and Jim Duggan vs. Earthquake, Dino Bravo, Haku, and The Barbarian
    1. Hulk Hogan survived.
  5. Tito Santana, Nikolai Volkoff, and the Bushwackers vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov, and The Orient Express
    1.  Tito Santana survived
  6. Hulk Hogan, Tito Santana, and Ultimate Warrior vs. Ted Dibiase, Rick Martel, Power and Glory, and the Warlord.
    1. Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior survived.
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