by Craig Higham - November 06, 2013
Now while I may be showing my age a little here, I can in fact remember WWE’s very first Survivor Series Pay per View (PPV), and how I thought at the time it was a very unique PPV, and one I enjoyed watching, even though Hulk Hogan’s team lost. It has been classed as one of the big 4 WWE PPV’s, and while it is treated like the little brother of the big 4, the history and importance of the Survivor Series PPV over the past 25+ years means no matter how much of a little brother it is, it will always have a place amongst the big four.
The 5 on 5 elimination tag matches placed the focus (at least for one pay per view) on tag team wrestling, and was/is a great way to end or even start feuds. The elimination style tag team allowed for the possibility of a 5 on 5,4,3,2, or even 1 situations happening, as well as the always popular team mate turning on team mate occurring. From 1989 the WWE even introduced some great (and not so great) names for these teams, names such as ‘The Rude Brood”, ‘Roddy’s Rowdies”, “The King’s Court”, The 4 x 4’s, The Million $ Team” and of course The Hulkamaniacs”! Over the years we have seen many important and historical WWE happenings occurring during this PPV.
We will start with The Survivor Series in 1990 where the Million Dollar Man introduced his mystery team mate that of a new wrestler called The Undertaker. From his short but dominating performance in that match, I do not think many of us could have predicted the legend that this mystery partner would become.
From the original in 1987 up until the 1990 Survivor Series all matches on the PPV were some version or variation of either 5 on 5 or 4 on 4 elimination tag matches. You even had a couple of 5 on 5 tag teams elimination matches where 5 tag teams were up against 5 tag teams and you had 20 superstars surrounding the ring! In 1991 the WWE introduced the first single match at the annual PPV with the WWE championship match between Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker.
The 1998 Survivor Series PPV became the first Survivor Series not to include a traditional elimination team match as we had instead ‘The Deadly Games’ tournament to crown a brand new WWE champion. This was won by The Rock defeating Mankind in the final via, a (this time) scripted, ‘Montreal Screwjob’ finish. In 2001 we were at the end of the invasion story line and had the team WWF vs. The Alliance Elimination Tag match for the control of the WWE, which was won by Team WWE no thanks to a very Jealous Chris Jericho. The fallout from this survivor series eventually had Chris Jericho becoming the very first Undisputed WWE Champion.
But more and more the PPV was becoming just like many others, as it became the norm to only include just the one, maybe two elimination tag matches at this annual PPV, with only occasionally the elimination match headlining the PPV.
In 2002 we only had the 1 elimination match, which only had two teams of three. Although this Survivor Series, the elimination tag match was a tables elimination match! But this Survivor Series is more remembered as being the PPV that introduced us to the very first Elimination Chamber!
In 2003 the Survivor Series would again play a big part in the role of The Undertaker’s career. In his buried alive match vs. Vince McMahon, The Undertaker would lose thanks to a returning Kane. At the time The Undertaker was in his American Bad Ass persona, and after this match he would return to his original and current deadman version of himself.
From 2003 to 2005, Randy Orton would dominate the Survivor Series elimination Tag team matches, by not being eliminated for those three years, and in fact being the sole survivor for those three years. This run has many saying the while Shawn Michaels’s is Mr Wrestlemania, Randy Orton is Mr Survivor Series. In 2006 he was the last member of his team “Rated RKO” to be eliminated by Team “DX”, keeping his strong record intact, however this particular Survivor Series match is more remembered as the very first survivor series shut-out, i.e. DX eliminated all of Rated RKO without losing a member of their team! Orton would then redeem himself in 2008, along with Cody Rhodes would again be the survivor of his team.
The 2009 Survivor Series gave us a very rare 5 on 5 Diva elimination match won by Team Mickie, while Randy Orton continued his great showing at this event by again being last of his team eliminated. The 2009 had 3 traditional survivor series matches, and remains one of my favourite over the past 5 years.
In 2011 FINALLY THE ROCK CAME BACK TO THE WWE, and wrestled with John Cena to defeat The Miz and R-Truth (which shows just how far The Miz and R-Truth have fallen considering they main evented this PPV). Randy Orton again whilst on the losing team, was the last of his team to be eliminated. A feat he would again repeat in 2012, being the last eliminated from his team. Which means that every traditional Survivor Series match Randy Orton has entered he has either survived or been the last eliminated…again Mr Survivor Series!! The 2012 Survivor Series even had the rare occurrence of 3MB winning, admitting it was on the pre-show, but a win is a win!!!
So while there have been some very poor Survivor Series PPV’s, the history of this event has had some dramatic and historical moments, which is why it is a PPV many people will order.
Let me know your favourite Survivor Series….
Hooroo and see you next week.
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