WWF Survivor Series 1992 – A Retrospective Review

Survivor Series ’92: A Glimpse of Transition in the WWF

1992 was a transitional year for the World Wrestling Federation. We saw old stars fading, new ones emerging, and several others trying to find their footing in an evolving wrestling landscape. Survivor Series ’92 was emblematic of these changes, presenting a mix of traditional Survivor Series elimination matches alongside more standard one-on-one bouts.

The Opener: High Energy vs. The Headshrinkers

The night commenced with High Energy, Owen Hart and Koko B. Ware, squaring off against The Headshrinkers. This was a showcase of agility, strength, and, in the case of The Headshrinkers, the continuation of the wild, untamed savage trope that was frequent in the WWF’s portrayal of Pacific Islander wrestlers. It was a decent curtain jerker, but it was clear Owen Hart’s true potential was yet to be fully unlocked.

The Big Boss Man vs. Nailz

This feud was rooted in a backstory where Nailz claimed he was previously imprisoned and mistreated by The Big Boss Man, a former prison guard. The angle had its critics, but the intensity between these two was palpable. The match, although not a technical masterpiece, was an exercise in storytelling, culminating a heated rivalry that began months prior.

Tatanka vs. Rick Martel

The clash was the outcome of a feud over Tatanka’s sacred eagle feathers that Martel had stolen to incorporate into his wardrobe. It was a classic case of disrespecting someone’s heritage and personal items, and the bout had the fans squarely behind Tatanka. While Martel played his role to perfection as the sneering, arrogant heel, it was evident that Tatanka was being primed for bigger things in the company.

Randy Savage & Mr. Perfect vs. Razor Ramon & Ric Flair

One of the evening’s standouts. Originally, it was supposed to be the Ultimate Warrior teaming with Savage, but due to his sudden departure from WWF, Mr. Perfect, previously aligned with Flair, turned face and stepped in. The match’s dynamics were interesting, given the history between Flair and Perfect. Savage, the consummate professional, was in top form, but it was Perfect’s face turn and dynamic performance against his former associates that stole the show. Behind the scenes, Warrior’s sudden departure and Perfect’s inclusion had reportedly caused a frantic reshuffling, proving the adage that the “show must go on.”

Yokozuna vs. Virgil

Yokozuna, the mammoth sumo wrestler, was relatively new to the WWF audience, and this match was designed to push him as an unstoppable force. Poor Virgil had the unenviable task of being the sacrificial lamb. The bout was short but served its purpose, establishing Yokozuna as a massive threat to the WWF roster.

The Undertaker vs. Kamala – “Coffin Match”

In a ‘Coffin Match’, The Undertaker and Kamala concluded their feud. Although not the most technically sound bout, it had its share of theatrics, fitting the macabre character of The Undertaker. Kamala’s portrayal as a fearful, wild Ugandan was controversial but, in this context, worked to heighten the Undertaker’s aura. The sight of Kamala fleeing in terror after the match was a memorable image, further solidifying Taker’s reputation.

Bret Hart (WWF Champion) vs. Shawn Michaels (WWF Intercontinental Champion) – WWF Championship Match

Two of the best technical wrestlers of their generation, Hart and Michaels, squared off for the WWF Championship. This match was a precursor to their more famous encounters later in the decade. Both were on the cusp of greatness, and their in-ring chemistry was evident. Behind the scenes, these two were rivals for the top spot, and their real-life animosity added layers to their on-screen feuds.

Behind-the-Scenes Tidbits:

  • The Ultimate Warrior’s departure was abrupt and threw a wrench into WWF’s plans. It’s speculated that disputes over money were a factor.
  • The decision to pivot to standard matches alongside elimination bouts reflected WWF’s evolving PPV strategy, focusing more on individual storylines than the traditional Survivor Series format.
  • The Hart vs. Michaels main event was indicative of the company’s shift towards more athletic, technical wrestlers as top stars, as opposed to the larger-than-life characters of the 1980s.

In all, Survivor Series ’92 was emblematic of WWF in flux. The event blended the old with the new, giving fans a snapshot of a company evolving to meet the tastes of a changing audience.

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