Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Top 10 Survivor Series Moments of All Time

In less than two weeks time, the WWE will present us with the 25th annual Survivor Series. This is not the 25th anniversary of Survivor Series, no matter what the WWE says.

I was going to put together a top 25 list of the best matches and moments in Survivor Series history, but my availability is really limited so I decided to narrow it down to the Top 10 moments in Survivor Series history. Even when going through a list of all the past Survivor Series, it is really tough to come up with a Top 25 list. Sure there were some good elimination matches, but they really don't stand out as good moments. This PPV always seemed to be more about the matches rather than moments. But that is not to say there haven't been some memorable moments at this PPV. I think this PPV in less than two weeks will be fun. Having The Rock on helps that out a lot. I like the idea of having at least two 5-on-5 elimination matches at this PPV. I wish they had a deeper roster so there could be more, but the WWE feels that those matches don't sell the PPV. But they normally result in some good wrestling, which is all we can ask for as wrestling fans.

With all of this being said, lets gets into this Top 10 list.

10. Survivor Series 1990: The Debut of the Gobbledy Gooker
-Hey, I didn't say these were all good memories. The WWF was hyping this "mystery egg" that was seen on WWF TV for weeks. Many people speculated on what it could be. Most people thought whatever was in the egg was something big because of all the hype it had been receiving. Well, Survivor Series came, and we got a giant turkey that became known as the Gobbledy Gooker. It was Hector Guerrero dressed in the costume. The Gooker never appeared on WWF TV again, so nobody knew if it ever had any further plans. The Gooker was booed out of the building. It is known in folk lore and WWE legend as one of the worst ideas ever. But it is still fun to talk about.

9. Survivor Series 1991: The Undertaker Defeats Hulk Hogan To Win The WWF Championship
-For anybody who doesn't know, Hulk Hogan rarely if ever lost in the 1980s and 1990s in the WWF. The only times he ever lost was to Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania 6. Hogan lost to Andre the Giant on the debut episode of "The Main Event," but that was with the help of a "crooked referee." The Undertaker was an unstoppable force in the WWF at the time. He was going through babyface undercard wrestlers with ease. He soundly defeated Jimmy Snuka at Wrestlemania 7. At Survivor Series, exactly one year after his debut, he challenged Hulk Hogan for the WWF Title. Although it came with the help of Ric Flair, Undertaker defeated Hogan to win the WWF Title. The crowd was stunned. There lied their hero in the middle of the ring having just been beaten for the WWF Title. Undertaker lost the Title six days later, but it was still quite shocking at the time to see Hogan lose.

8. Survivor Series 1994: Diesel Turns Face
-This turned out to be a pretty big deal in the long run, as it began the launch of the single's career of Kevin Nash. Nash, at the time known as Diesel, had been the bodyguard for Shawn Michaels for almost a year at this point. He started wrestling over the summer, and even captured the Intercontinental Championship. Fans started to get behind him because he looked cool and pretty much dominated all of his opponents. Nash's Jack Knife Powerbomb was one of the best finishers around at the time. Diesel had been growing tired of Shawn Michaels's antics for a bit, and he finally snapped at Survivor Series. He slowly stalked down Shawn Michaels before Michaels eventually left the arena. Less than two weeks later, Diesel won the WWF Championship from Bob Backlund. Diesel held onto that Title for over a year. He defended it successfully against the likes of Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Sid and Mabel before losing it to Hart in late 1995. This was an important event because as I said, it marked the beginning of Kevin Nash's successful singles run, which garnered him a huge contract from WCW and allowed the nWo angle to begin.

7. Survivor Series 1996: The Debut of The Rock
-Who would have thought that this young guy full of energy would go on to become one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time. Of course he didn't debut as The Rock. In his initial match, he was simply known as Rocky Maivia, and his nickname was "The Blue Chipper." He was the sole survivor of his 4-on-4 elimination match. He eliminated Crush with a crossbody and Goldust with a shoulder breaker. In the growing months fans became sick of his clean cut good guy persona, so he turned heel and joined the Nation of Domination. You knew the WWE saw something in him with the amount of hype he received from Vince McMahon and Jim Ross, but they probably didn't see The Rock taking the path he did.

6. Survivor Series 1998: Deadly Games Tournament for the WWF Title, Rock/Mankind Double Turn
-I may have this high, but I really liked the booking of this show. The Deadly Games Tournament was a unique concept that was similar to the Wrestlemania 4 Tournament. But this time, the fan favorite didn't walk out with the Title. Well, I guess The Rock was the fan favorite heading into the show. The Rock was becoming a target of Vince McMahon, similar to that of Steve Austin. But it all appeared to be an elaborate set up by Vince, Shane McMahon, and The Rock as a way to get the WWF Title on The Rock. All along it appeared Vince backed Mankind, but Mankind was not the clean-cut, corporate Champion McMahon wanted. But Vince saw that in The Rock, and that's why he screwed Mankind out of the WWE Title. Sure I was only 11 when this happened, but I didn't see the double turn coming. And I don't think most fans did either. It was good booking.

5. Survivor Series 2001: The End of The Invasion
-Just because I have this so high doesn't mean that I liked the Invasion angle. It was badly botched it isn't funny. Instead of bringing in the high priced WCW veterans, Vince McMahon brought in a bunch of mid-carders from WCW, had them align with ECW, and be lead by Steve Austin, the WWE's top star at the time. It made no sense. But Survivor Series 2001 brought  an end to this abomination of an angle in what was a pretty good 5-on-5 elimination match. I consider this an important event in WWE history for a couple reasons. The obvious being that it ended the Invasion angle. But it also lead to the brand split with RAW and Smackdown, it lead to the creation of the Undisputed Championship, and it lead to Ric Flair coming to the WWE. The Invasion could have been done so much better, but this event was one of the better things that resulted from it.

4. Survivor Series 1996: Steve Austin/Bret Hart
-Survivor Series 1996 was a pretty good PPV when you look back at it. The debut of The Rock, Undertaker/Mankind, and Shawn Michaels carried Sid to one of the best matches of his career. The show also saw the first match in what became almost a year long feud between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret Hart. Austin had been calling out Hart for months while Hart had been away from TV. Hart returned in October and the two fought at Survivor Series in what was a very good match. These two's classic encounter at Wrestlemania 13 is considered one of the greatest matches ever, and rightfully so, but this match is no slouch either. It continued to propel Steve Austin into stardom, which showed as some fans in Madison Square Garden began cheering Austin. You can really make an argument either way as to what was Bret Hart's best feud, Steve Austin or Bret Hart.

3. Survivor Series 2002: Shawn Michaels Wins the World Heavyweight Title in the First Ever Elimination Chamber Match
-I'm glad that this year's Survivor Series is at Madison Square Garden, because as you can tell from this list, good things happen at Survivor Series at MSG. In 2002, Eric Bischoff debuted the ominous Elimination Chamber. Triple H defended the World Title in the Chamber against Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kane, Chris Jericho, and Shawn Michaels. Michaels had just returned from a four year absence due to a back injury. He defeated Triple H in an excellent match at SummerSlam. In the Elimination Chamber, HBK was the ultimate underdog who the crowd was firmly behind. Many fans were upset that Triple H was just handed the World Title by Eric Bischoff, so they were anxious to see him lose it. The reaction Michaels got after winning the match was great. You could tell Michaels was greatful for the opportunity and thankful for the fans reactions. The match continued HBK's comeback and showed he still had it.

2. Survivor Series 1990: The Debut of The Undertaker
-Back in the 1990s, the WWF was all about the character. Look at Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior, and Ted DiBiase. When The Undertaker walked down the aisle to the ring, fans were in awe of his presence. Here was this dark, ominous looking man walking towards the ring. No emotion, no expression on his face whatsoever. Sure he fit in at the time, but I doubt many people thought that The Undertaker character would have the impact it did on the WWE. Twenty years later and The Undertaker's legacy speaks for itself. He's undefeated at Wrestlemania. He's won the WWE and World Title multiple times. The mere presence of him in the ring captivates fans. The entrance is one of the best ever. I doubt many people saw this coming in 1990, but The Undertaker became a Legacy of his own in the WWE.

1. Survivor Series 1997: The Montreal Screwjob
-Come on, did you really think anything else would top this list? It's the most controversial, real life event to ever happen in the history of the WWE. If you are reading this, then you probably know the story. In 1997, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels hated each other, on screen and off. Hart was on his way to WCW, but he was still WWF Champion at the time. Hart didn't want to lose the Title to Michaels in Montreal or Canada. A big DQ finish was planned, then Hart would either forefit the Title the next night on RAW or lose it at some point in the next few weeks to Michaels. Well, Vince McMahon didn't want that or risk having Hart show up on Nitro with the WWF Championship Belt. So McMahon, Michaels, Triple H and a few others came up with the screwjob finish. The result caused outrage among WWF wrestlers and fans, with many more questions than answers.

Many people have different opinions on the matter. Mine has always been the same. Who cares where you lose the Title. Canadian fans weren't going to think anything less of Bret Hart if he lost the Title in Montreal. And just handing over the Title the next night on RAW devalues the Title in my eyes. Having that Title doesn't mean anything to Bret? Then why should anyone else want it? Hart needed to do what was best for the WWF, but instead he did what was best for himself. I always defend Vince McMahon's actions to this day, and nothing will ever change that.

So what are your thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Will there be a Top 10 Moment at this year's Survivor Series? Feel free to share your thoughts.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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