Retro Review: The First Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match
Over the past few years, WWE women’s wrestling has progressed, unlike in the past. Royal Rumble, Hell in a Cell, Money in the Bank, and Elimination Chamber now feature women. Survivor Series’ first elimination match was an all-traditional women’s match in 1987.
This historic matchup and other women’s Survivor Series matchups paved the way for WWE women today. Survivor Series began on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1987.
Survivor Series elimination matches were novel. The rules allowed elimination by pinfall, submission, countout, disqualification, or injury-related referee discretion. The team that eliminated all five of the opposing team’s wrestlers won. The event featured only Survivor Series elimination matches, including a 10-man tag team elimination match. The women had their own second-show match.
The Fabulous Moolah, Rockin’ Robin, Velvet McIntyre, and the Jumping Bomb Angels were the first Survivor Series team (Itsuki Yamazaki and Noriyo Tateno). They faced Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls, Donna Christianello, and Dawn Marie. Dawn Marie is not the early 2000s ECW and WWE Dawn Marie. Velvet McIntyre and Sensational Sherri started the match. McIntye eliminated Donna Christianello after multiple tag-ins. Velvet tagged out to Rockin’ Robin while Dawn Marie entered the match with a 5-4 lead. After more tagins and tag-outs, Rockin Robin pinned Dawn Marie to give Moolah’s team a 5-3 lead.
The Jumping Bomb Angels got their chance to shine and received the match’s loudest reaction. Gorilla Monsoon and Jesse Ventura repeatedly praised the Jumping Bomb Angels’ skill and excitement. Sensational Sherri suplexed Rockin’ Robin to eliminate him. Judy Martin eliminated Fabulous Moolah next, making the teams 3–3.
Velvet McIntyre pinned Sensational Sherri, the WWF Women’s Champion, before our next elimination. The Glamour Girls faced the Jumping Bomb Angels after Leilani Kai eliminated Velvet McIntyre. Yamazaki hit Leilani Kai with a diving crossbody early in this now 2-on-2 match, leaving Judy Martin to defend her team. Tateno hit Judy Martin with a flying clothesline to win for her team. The Jumping Bomb Angels defeated the Glamour Girls in a two-out-of-three falls match at the 1988 Royal Rumble to win the WWF Women’s Tag Team Championship.
It wasn’t the best women’s match, but it was important. It made fans fear the Jumping Bomb Angels and used the match’s final moments to continue their feud with the Glamour Girls. Since Velvet McIntyre was doing moves no other WWF women were doing, it showed off her impressive skills. These women pioneered the first women’s Survivor Series elimination match on the first Survivor Series event. In 1995, Aja Kong, Bertha Faye, Lioness Asuka, and Tomoko Watanabe faced Alundra Blayze, Chaparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue, and Saki Hasegawa. After another gap, Survivor Series matches for women were held in 2008 and 2009.
The next women’s Survivor Series match was in 2013, and until 2018, it was held annually or every other year. Women’s wrestling in the 1980s can be seen in the 1987 Survivor Series match.