WWF Survivor Series 1989 – A Retrospective Review

The Survivor Series 1989: A Saga of Suplexes and Shenanigans

Survivor Series 1989, a pivotal event in the WWF’s (now WWE) rich tapestry of melodrama and muscle, was an exhibition of the era’s flamboyant characters and storyline extravagance. Each match, a maelstrom of muscle-bound egos and scripted scuffles, contributed to the ongoing narratives of wrestling’s golden age. Let’s dive into the matches, the stories behind them, and the often comical, sometimes cynical world of professional wrestling.

The Dream Team vs. The Enforcers: A Clash of Caricatures

Opening the event, The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, The Red Rooster, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, and Tito Santana) squared off against The Enforcers (Big Boss Man, Bad News Brown, “The Model” Rick Martel, and Honky Tonk Man). This match was a vivid display of the era’s character-driven storytelling, with a cop, a model, and a rockabilly musician sharing the ring. Dusty Rhodes and Brutus Beefcake emerging as survivors was a narrative choice, highlighting the good old “good versus evil” trope.

The King’s Court vs. The 4×4’s: Royal Rumble

The King’s Court, led by “Macho King” Randy Savage, alongside Dino Bravo, Earthquake, and Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, took on The 4×4’s, a coalition of Hacksaw Jim Duggan, “Rugged” Ronnie Garvin, Hercules, and Bret “Hit Man” Hart. The match was a medley of differing styles, from the technical prowess of Hart to the brute force of Earthquake. The survival of Savage, Bravo, and Earthquake underscored the WWF’s penchant for elevating larger-than-life characters over technical wrestlers.

The Hulkamaniacs vs. The Million-Dollar Team: The Power of Hulkamania

In a match that seemed torn from a comic book, The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Demolition, and Jake “The Snake” Roberts) faced The Million-Dollar Team (Ted DiBiase, Zeus, and Powers of Pain). Hulk Hogan, the epitome of WWF’s superhero archetype, stood as the sole survivor, a predictable yet crowd-pleasing outcome. Behind the scenes, this match was a clever blend of wrestling narrative and cross-promotional marketing, especially with Zeus, a character from Hogan’s movie “No Holds Barred.”

The Rude Brood vs. Roddy’s Rowdies: A Perfect Ending

“The Rude Brood” (Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect, and The Rougeau Brothers) versus “Roddy’s Rowdies” (Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, and The Bushwhackers) was a showcase of contrasting styles and personalities. The standout here was Mr. Perfect, a wrestler on the ascent, whose sole survivor status was a nod to his in-ring skill and character development. This match encapsulated the wrestling formula: larger-than-life characters, clear-cut heroes and villains, and the triumph of skill and charisma.

The Ultimate Warriors vs. The Heenan Family: A Display of Dominance

Finally, The Ultimate Warriors (Ultimate Warrior, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, and The Rockers) faced off against The Heenan Family (Andre the Giant, Bobby Heenan, Haku, and Arn Anderson). The Ultimate Warrior’s status as the sole survivor was a spectacle of raw power and energy, a testament to his rising star in the WWF cosmos. Behind the theatrics, this match was a passing of the torch, with the veteran Andre the Giant making way for the Warrior’s era.


Survivor Series 1989 was a kaleidoscope of the WWF’s storytelling prowess. Each match, with its blend of athleticism, theatrics, and character-driven narratives, contributed to the larger-than-life universe of professional wrestling. While the outcomes were scripted, the physicality was real, the personalities larger than life, and the entertainment value undeniable. This event was a snapshot of an era where the lines between reality and fiction were delightfully blurred, and the spectacle was everything.

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