The tradition of Survivor Series as an annual PPV, breaking us into the holiday season, has become sacred for American wrestling fans. There have been some duds and studs from the many survivor series matches of the past. As I thought about the women’s matches that have been a part of the survivor series history, the first one that popped into my head was the 1995 women’s tag match.
These two teams were packed with some of the best women’s wrestlers of the 80s and 90s. Women have forever changed the landscape of wrestling. Women-owned and booked promotions that sold out arenas in Japan years after they were all Hall of Famers and were called upon to train and lead the new generation of women.
On November 19th, the first survivor series not taking place on Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Eve was in Landover, Maryland, at the US Air Arena. The babyface team was led by Alundra Blayze, featuring Kyoko Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa, and Chaparita Asari. The heel team consisted of Aja Kong, Bertha Faye, Tomoko Watanabe, and Lioness Asuka.
One thing that upset me was the lack of extensive introduction to this match, like the men’s survivor series matches. No backstage interviews. Nothing! The heel team did not even get an entrance. They were just planted in the ring after an interview for the men’s survivor series matchup. Jim Ross did a great job of familiarizing the fans with veterans like Aja Kong and Lioness Asuka. During the match and in a pre-packaged video shown on WWE’s weekly Livewire show, Ross explained the pedigree and skills of these women who would be show-stealers in the PPV.
Chaparita Asari and Lioness Asuka started the match. The sky twister press that Asari pulls off at the match’s beginning immediately wakes up the crowd and gets them fully invested. Alundra Blayze instantly eliminates Lioness Asuka. Aja Kong came into the match as a powerhouse. Asari’s red power ranger-like gear was not enough to save her from Kong’s monster-like offense. However, Sakie was not intimidated as she took some hard blows from Aja Kong and was eventually eliminated. Aja immediately stopped Asari after that.
Kyoke and Alundra were the only ones left from the babyface team. Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, and Tomoko decided that isolating and cornering Blayze would allow them to destroy the blonde hero. Alundra looked a bit nervous but immediately decided to go to work. She was delivering a power driver to Tomoko to eliminate her. Big Bertha comes in to go for the attack. A substantial German suplex from Alundra to the more significant Bertha gets Faye destroyed. Aja comes back in and uses her weight to tire out Blayze. A firm head butt on the top rope from Aja Kong and a deadly punch took Blayze out and spelled the end for her.
As a fan, you were left to feel that Aja and Blayze would be seeing each other again in a singles match soon. The criticism for this match was that it was rushed. Women were eliminated very quickly. The time limit was about 10 minutes, so the women had to be smart with their time. With all these super talented women in the ring, you would think the WWE would have had enough matches for two years max.
Just Alundra Blayze and Aja Kong’s long-standing feud ignited in Japan could have provided source material for months to come. Kong winning the Survivor Series match for the heel team at the expense of Blayze could have led to a great feud with both women. These women had the crowd on the edge of their seats and managed to pull off mini-matches within this tag match, which is not easy with the time that they were provided.
I am not trying to shade the male Survivor Series matches in 1995 because I respect all the men involved. However, I feel that the women’s match showed the evolution of wrestling for the 90s before many men started to do it in WWE during the attitude era.
These women knew that they had something to prove. Alundra Blayze and Bertha Faye had to prove that this new division was a must-see and essential to the WWE product at the time. The All-Japan Women had to prove that their style was just as entertaining and far more evolved than the American roster also that they could be in demand on this roster as much as Alundra was.
Sadly, with all the potential for a stellar roster, the women’s division was cut and put away for years. With that pressure and because it was the 90s in America, these women had to come harder than the guys in the ring. That was proven on this winter night for the 1995 survivor series.