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Thanksgiving Wrestling Throwback – Survivor Series And Starrcade 1987

Thanksgiving wrestling

I’ve stated in a FGB Radio or two that I was one of the few households in the United States to get Starrcade 1987 instead of the original Survivor Series. I was a heartbroken child. I wanted my WWF Thanksgiving wrestling. I wanted to see this new iteration of PPV wrestling matches centered around Hulk Hogan. But alas, I’d have to do with Ronnie “Hands Of Stone” Garvin against Ric Flair, which was a pretty decent match in its own right. Why did my cable company not have the WWF show? Vince booked his new Survivor Series show to go up against Starrcade. Dave Meltzer explains in his history of wrestling on Thanksgiving post.

Cable companies, short on PPV product, were thrilled, looking at marketing the two events together as a package deal, Starrcade in the afternoon, and Survivor Series at night. McMahon, realizing that what he just did may have benefitted him as the greater awareness would have helped both sides, did not run a show to also benefit his competitor. He told the cable companies that they would have to pick one show or the other, knowing he had all the leverage as a proven PPV winner. To make it more emphatic, he said that any company that aired Starrcade would not be allowed to have WrestleMania on PPV in 1988. Only five cable companies bucked the system–four in the Carolinas where Starrcade was expected to do more business, and one in San Jose, CA, where the company said they had made a verbal deal with Crockett, and unlike every other company in the country, their word was their bond, and, despite WWF being the home promotion and them admitting they were making a decision that would cost them business. But they said they weren’t going to be strong-armed. Despite the threats, all five companies were allowed to air WrestleMania the next year.
While I didn't see the WWF show anytime soon thereafter because video tape releases took months after the live shows, I don't regret getting Starrcade instead. Though, not a perfect show by any means, it did lead me to become nearly as big a NWA/WCW fan as WWF fan. WWE has been putting PPV matches on their YouTube channel of late. Before this year's version of the Survivor Series, they started adding old traditional elimination style matches to the the channel, including the main event that I couldn't see that day in 1987. You can watch it below. It was a continuation of the Andre/Hogan feud which would go on for a few more months. And no, surprisingly, Hulk Hogan doesn't win.

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