Well, after WWE has already released anthologies on their other 3 major events...it's time for the final one in their "Big Four" being the Survivor Series. This first Volume is from the early years of the event where the heavy focus was on strickly having tag team elimination matches with wrestlers teaming together based off common hatred for others on the opposite team...to the point where there is only one match on here that wasn't a tag team elimination match. Now keep in mind that I'm doing my reviews from either the VHS version with the unedited event or a replay I caught off WWE Classics On Demand.
1987 - This is going to be a treat for those who already have this event on video because if you remember, the VHS version was edited down to 2 hours there so here you get the full event. This was historic in many ways as this event marked the first ever Survivor Series and also the fact that this PPV ran on the same night as NWA's Starrcade event (which caused Starrcade to be bumped off many cable networks). The main event featured Andre The Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed, Rick Rude vs. Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigelow that's remembered for it not only being the first time Hogan & Andre were in the ring for a match since WrestleMania III but the outstanding performance of Bigelow that puts a stamp on the label he's gotten as "one of the best 'big men' in wrestling." Also on here is the first ever 20 man tag team elimination match with 5 tag teams on each team & other matches feature Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, Jim Duggan vs. Honky Tonk Man, Hercules, Danny Davis, Ron Bass, Harley Race...and an all womens match featuring teams headed up by Faboulous Moolah & Sensational Sherri. There were only four matches here but each one went around 20 mins. (the tag went almost 40 mins.) and was all quality in their own right.
1988 - Just like the 1987 edition, the 1988 edition was also edited down on the VHS (only the tag team & main event were shown in full) so this is the first time it's been released unedited. The main event here was Mega Powers, Hercules, Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim vs. Twin Towers, Ted DiBiase, Haku, Red Rooster in a match that continued so many ongoing feuds (Hogan/Boss Man, Hercules/Dibiase) & storylines at that time (problems between Heenan & Rooster, the continued tease of jealously between Hogan & Savage over Elizabeth). Also on here was the final WWE appearence of the Dynamite Kid along with the PPV debut of Shawn Michaels in a 10 man tag team elimination match that's mostly memorable for what happened during the match between Mr. Fuji & Demolition & Powers Of Pain resulting in (to my knowledge) the first double turn in WWE history. Other matches include Rick Rude & Harley Race & Dino Bravo & Mr. Perfect & Andre the Giant vs. Jake Roberts & "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & Tito Santana & Ken Patera & Scott Casey...Ultimate Warrior & Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake & The Blue Blazer & Sam Houston & Jim Brunzell vs. Honky Tonk Man & "Outlaw" Ron Bass & Greg "The Hammer" Valentine & "Dangerous" Danny Davis & Bad News Brown.
1989 - This was a Survivor Series first as this was the first time they started naming the teams. One of the main events was the Hulkamaniacs vs. Million $ Team which was real disappointing since the match seemed heavily one-sided (even Ventura pointing it out on commentary) and the main showdown that was being built up here between Hogan & Zues being the way it was (or wasn't, depending on how you want to look at it). The other main event was the Ultimate Warriors vs. The Heenan Family that's more remembered for the backstage story with Arn Anderson and, more importantly, Tully Blanchard that ended up seeing Bobby Heenan wrestling here instead of Blanchard...however this was a great showcasing of Anderson being the workhorse that older fans remember him for. Other matches include Roddy's Rowdies vs. Rude's Brood that was entertaining down the commentary where Jesse Ventura kept attempting to say the name of Piper's team but just couldn't get it right, Dream Team vs. Enforcers that was a solid match, and the King's Court vs. 4x4's in another solid match that was highlighted by the interaction with Randy Savage facing off against Bret Hart. The only real negative I can say here is that how the monster heels were eliminated in the main events were very disappointing.
1990 - This Survivor Series debuted three new ideas into WWE with one turning out to be one of the greatest superstars in the history of the WWE. One new idea WWE introduced here was that the surviving faces of the elimination matches would meet the surviving heels in a "Grand Finale Match Of Survival." Also during this PPV, a huge egg that was seen on WWE TV for weeks finally hatched (to the crowd's boos) to reveal the Gooblygooker (Hector Guerrero). One of the main events here featured The Warriors vs. The Pefect Team which saw the Demolition vs. Legion Of Doom fight that longtime WWE/NWA fans wanted to see. The other main event was the Hulkamaniacs vs. The Natural Disasters in a solid match. Other matches included the Vipers vs. the Visionaries where history was made as it was the first time an entire team survived, the Alliance vs. Mercenaries in a short one-sided match, and a match with the Dream Team vs. The Million $ Team that had an outstanding battle between Ted Dibiase vs. Bret Hart but more importantly, this PPV featured the dominate debut of The Undertaker. Another note to make on here is that eventhough Randy Savage didn't wrestle on the card, he did make an appearence for an interview.
1991 - The PPV had the nickname "The Gravest Challenge" in reference to the first ever non-elimination match as Hulk Hogan defended the WWF Championship against the then-undefeated Undertaker that saw Ric Flair make an appearence leading to Taker winning his first WWE Championship. The other main event on here was the Legion Of Doom & Big Boss Man vs. Natural Disasters & I.R.S. which was as good as you expected it to be with the bigger story being that after teasing Randy Savage of being reinstated & returning to the ring against Jake Roberts in this match...WWE decided to just remove Jake Roberts from this match and hold off their match for the "Tuesday In Texas" PPV reducing both men's roles on this show to just having an interview. This event also marked the WWE PPV debut of Ric Flair (pay REAL CLOSE attention to what belt he wears to the ring...you'll get a chuckle out of it) in the match of the night with Ted DiBiase, Mountie, Warlord vs. Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, British Bulldog, Virgil that was filled with comedy, brawling, and straight wrestling (with one very comedic moment between Piper & Sherri) that was only hurt by how the match ended. Other matches on here include "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan & Sgt. Slaughter & "El Matador" Tito Santana & "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich vs. Colonel Mustafa & Hercules & The Berzerker & Skinner that was a one-sides squash with this becoming the second time an entire team survived....and Rockers & Bushwackers vs. Beverly Brothers & Nasty Boys that was all about the continued tease of problems between Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty. This edition of the Survivor Series was is easily the worst edition on this set as this PPV was really just an informercal to promote another PPV that WWE was having less than a week later. The two main attractions that people wanted to see for this event were nothing more than bait to have you turn into that event & WWF seemed to put more focus into that "Tuesday In Texas" event than their yearly tradition of Survivor Series because alot of the matches weren't as good in quality as the years before with some booking that just looked stupid in the end. At least watching this on tape years later, you know what these plot twist are & how the event shaped up afterall but this year's Survivor Series was just a plain disappointment.
So overall, if your a heavy fan of the elimination matches then this is the set for you to check out as the first three years were excellent quality while the 1990 edition was solid with some questionable booking when it came to some of the eliminations and the 1991 edition was weak minus the opening elimination match & Taker/Hogan for the WWE Title so I recommend this volume.