With the 2013 version of the Survivor Series approaching, one of the traditional four WWE PPV shows, I tasked the FGB crew to come up with their favorite or most memorable Survivor Series elimination match. We all had a lot of fun with this. So much fun that I had to split it into two parts because of length.
Here’s part one:
Favorite Survivor Series Match (Elimination Style)
Survivor Series 94 – The Bad Guys Vs The Teamsters
This one is more of a nostalgic pick. From bell to bell, it probably falls short of some of the great Survivor Series match-ups, but it’s the one that stands out in my memory. I loved it at the time and I still love it now – mostly for the same reason. It’s just good old school storytelling. Great heat on the heels, great fire from the babyfaces and all in front of a crowd that loved every second of it.
Just in terms of working a live audience, Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett are two of my all-time favourite antagonists. They were perfect for this type of match, and it’s hard to think of better guys for them to play off than the 1-2-3 Kid and Bulldog; two very different types of characters, but two guys who understood the psychology of working babyface better than nearly anyone. More than anything though, this match was about making Kevin Nash. Diesel went from heel support to babyface lead in one night. This is how you build a main event monster – something WWE has failed to do a thousand times since. Nash’s entire run as a headline act probably owes to this match.
My only complaint looking back on it would be the decision for Razor to go over without ever scoring a pin. They could just as easily have given him his moment too without taking anything from the other story being told. All they had to do was leave Jeff stranded in the ring to take the fall while the rest of the heels hightailed it from Diesel. That’s only a minor flaw though in an otherwise good match and great angle.
Teamsters vs Bad Guys – Survivor Series 1994… by Ninjafish
Teamsters vs Bad Guys – Survivor Series 1994… by Ninjafish
Survivor Series 2003 – Team Austin Vs Team Bischoff
One of the inherent issues with the 8 or 10-man Survivor Series elimination matches is that the volume of falls takes away from the match’s ability to tell a slow burning story. This bout at the 2003 Survivor Series didn’t have that problem. It was given all the time it needed to tell one heck of a dramatic story, and it had one of the best story-tellers in the business guiding the ship. Shawn Michaels gave one of his all-time great career performances on this night in Dallas, as he led a team representing his former nemesis, Steve Austin which included The Dudley Boys, Rob Van Dam and Booker T. The opposition, representing Eric Bischoff, consisted of Randy Orton, Christian, Scott Steiner, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry.
The stipulation was that Austin or Bischoff would lose their job depending on the outcome. In the build-up to the match, the commentators and Austin himself questioned whether Michaels would be committed to the cause. The rocky nature of their past was brought up to hammer home the point. All doubts where blown to pieces by the time the match was over. After seeing all four of his teammates get eliminated, Shawn was left all alone with Christian, Jericho and Orton. It was insurmountable odds made even more impossible by what the match may be most remembered for – Shawn’s blade job to end all blade jobs. A bloody HBK scratched and clawed and when it seemed he was dead to rights, he leveled Christian with a Sweet Chin Music from out of nowhere. Minutes later, when it seemed like once again he was done for, Shawn cradled Jericho for another shock pinfall. And then it was down to two…..
Or so we thought….
It seemed like the impossible was happening and the courageous, bloody Michaels was going to pull it out for Stone Cold (who at this point was selling HBK’s successes like one of the greatest moments ever). However, a fracas broke out and with all the referee’s attention diverted, Orton’s Evolution partner Batista hit the ring from nowhere and delivered a huge powerbomb, leaving Shawn lifeless. Orton got on top for a slow, dramatic three count.
The post-match with Austin and Shawn was one of the most underrated dramatic moments in company history, and I would argue that it was drama which came about solely from the performance of Shawn in the match since the storyline to set it all up was hardly the strongest.
Survivor Series 1988 – The Powers of Pain (The Warlord and The Barbarian), The Rockers (Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty), The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smithand Dynamite Kid), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart and Jim Neidhart), and The Young Stallions (Jim Powers and Paul Roma) Vs Demolition(Ax and Smash), The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff and Boris Zhukov), The Fabulous Rougeaus (Raymond and Jacques), and The Conquistadors (Uno and Dos) (with Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Slick, and Jimmy Hart)
First I want to say that I LOVE Survivor Series tag elimination matches and I always have. I mean, I am a MARK for them. I love the concept of getting all of the mid card guys mixed in with the top guys and having them duke it out to continue feuds, start feuds, showcase upcoming talent, put over new guys, or show some unique teams.
My favorite Survivor Series match-up ever came from the 1988 Survivor Series and was the infamous 10 vs. 10 Tag Teams Survivor Series match. Most Survivor Series elimination tags were 5 on 5, but with the WWF having its most thriving tag team division ever around this time, it was better to showcase all of them in one gigantic match. Just looking at the match you see a gigantic mass of men as both teams literally took up the entire apron. The rules were slightly different than in the 5 on 5s – if your regular tag team partner gets eliminated, you have to hit the showers as well.
The reason why this match is so awesome is because hell – just look at that talent. You are literally seeing before your eyes some of the greatest workers, greatest legends ever in one match, before many of them were even seen as such. What non-battle royal match out there features Arn Anderson, Shawn Michaels, Dynamite Kid, and Bret Hart in ONE MATCH! Where else are you going to see the Powers of Pain, Demolition, the awesome alpha-Rougeaus, the Bulldogs, Harts, and Rockers all in one match? Even the bigger guys work hard! But to me the MVP of this match is Tully Blanchard, who provides some of the most comical 80s-styled bumping I’ve ever seen. He literally gets tagged in and bumps for everyone, then tags out. Workers from the modern era need to study how this man does it and take notes because he’s a machine. I also LOVE the fact that the Conquistadors were in the final four. AWESOME!
The finish of this match was talked about in detail on the Wrestlemania 30 for 30 episode talking about Wrestlemania V. I don’t know if you would consider the turn “botched”, but I know that people cheered for Fuji and the Powers of Pain when they were supposed to be booing Fuji. The Powers of Pain were just THAT over as babyfaces I suppose. But hey, after a few weeks of promos explaining the situation, the fans quickly went back behind Demolition.
It’s lengthy, but never boring, and freaking awesome.