As Survivor Series is this weekend, I thought I would compile a list of my favourite 5 on 5 Survivors Series matches.
I have only included elimination matches and will not be including any matches that were also on the card, or any tag-team matches. These are in no particular order, they are just my 5 favourites.
1. Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs Team SmackDown (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon and Randy Orton) – Survivor Series 2016
In this recent edition, Braun Strowman was eliminated by the fact that James Ellsworth was under the ring and prevented him from getting into the ring before the count of 10. Reasons why this was this good: Braun Strowman was eliminated in a completely believable way, whilst still protecting him. Reasons why this was bad: everyone had learnt who Tye Dillinger was and counted ten for every single number. Every. Single. Number.
This match also featured the absolute death of Shane McMahon from a Roman Reigns spear, whilst he was going for a coast-to-coast, and in a seemingly rare moment compared to the rest of recent Raw vs Smackdown angles, Team Smackdown got the win with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton being the sole survivors, whilst they were tagging together. It is for those reasons that this makes my top‑5.
2. The Dream Team (Koko B. Ware, Jim Neidhart, Dusty Rhodes and Bret Hart) vs The Million Dollar Team (The Honky Tonk Man, Greg Valentine, The Undertaker and Ted DiBiase) – Survivor Series 1990
This match is considered to be the Undertaker’s debut (technically he debuted on a taping of Superstars as Kane the Undertaker but that’s another story). This pitted the Dream Team of Dusty Rhodes et al against the Million Dollar Team of DiBiase. Only DiBiase was left after all the eliminations and he managed to pick up two eliminations himself, alongside the Undertaker.
I have picked this match, mainly because it was the debut of a legend who is still wrestling today. He was eliminated, but clearly did enough to impress backstage as he was given a title opportunity and came good on it. He was also booked strongly in this match as he claimed two eliminations and was only eliminated himself via count-out, plus he was on the winning team, so fairly successful one must say.
3. The Stalker, Jake Roberts, Marc Mero and Rocky Maivia vs Jerry Lawler, Crush, Goldust and Hunter Hearst Helmsley – Survivor Series 1996
Another match featuring the in-ring debut of a legend. Rocky Maivia, who later became The Rock, had his first match at this edition of Survivor Series. He was touted as this blue-chipper face wrestler and this was a match where you could see his potential. The commentary team do a lot of work to put him over and the booking of the match also helped. Rocky was the sole survivor of the match from a 2 vs 1 situation, which gave him an immediate boost and showed the belief that the WWF backroom had in him.
This match is also notable for having Rocky Maivia on the opposing team from some guy called Hunter Hearst Helmsley, who curiously has 3 Hs in his name, like one more than a double H. I’ve heard he’s not a bad wrestler and that he and Maivia may have had some titanic matches in the late 90s that could easily get someone hooked into wrestling.
4. André the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude vs Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera, Hulk Hogan and Bam Bam Bigelow – Survivor Series 1987
In my opinion, if the matches from this event had gone badly, it’s unlikely that they would’ve tried it again, although my lack of exact knowledge of this period of time may be telling here.
This particular match has some people involved who have since been proven to be a ‘little dodgy’ but at the time they were huge draws and the logic of having the match made sense. It’s place in history is assured. This match also features many of the staples of WWF/E booking, such as the main man being booked strong and only being eliminated by count-out, and overwhelming odds (in this case 3 vs 1) for the face team to try and overcome. Overall, a good first outing for this style of match on a feature Pay-per-view and good enough to get it on this list.
5. The Authority (Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev and Luke Harper) vs Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Ryback, Big Show and John Cena – Survivor Series 2014
This match had some high stakes associated with it, in that if the Authority lost, they would be ousted from power. This match is notable for a Big Show heel-turn midway through. I mean who knew that Big Show would turn heel?! I thought that man would never change allegiance. He’d either just be good or just be bad, for his whole career… I was legitimately shooketh.
As with other matches in my list, this match features a debut, but this one was rather unexpected, as Sting gets himself involved in the latter stages of the main event. In fact, from his involvement, Sting helped Dolph Ziggler claim the victory for his team to oust the Authority from power. Looking back there’s also some shock as Cena doesn’t take the victory for as much as people would say he never loses.