WWE Survivor Series – A Comprehensive History

by | Oct 9, 2023 | WWE News | 0 comments

The Survivor Series is one of the “Big Four” original pay-per-view events produced by WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), alongside WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam. Introduced in 1987, the Survivor Series is traditionally held on Thanksgiving weekend.

Survivor’s Significance

Survivor Series is especially known for its traditional elimination tag team matches, originally pitting teams of five wrestlers against each other. Over the years, the event has been the site of many significant moments, matches, and debuts in WWE history.

WWE Survivor Series Main Events Ranked (2010-2021)

WWE Survivor Series, the second oldest PPV event, has witnessed numerous unforgettable moments like the 1997 Montreal Screwjob. Since 1987, traditional tag team elimination matches were its hallmark. However, the recent rebranding as Survivor Series: WarGames introduced WarGames matches for both men and women. Here, we rank the main events from 2010 to 2021:

12. Survivor Series 2013: Randy Orton vs The Big Show – With the “Yes Movement” in full swing, WWE shifted focus to Big Show challenging Orton. Despite hinting at a Title Unification match with John Cena, this edition’s main event fell flat.

Randy Orton vs Big Show 2013 – Survivor Series

11. Survivor Series 2017: Team Raw vs Team SmackDown – While hinting at potential feuds, this match ended without significant stakes. It also surprisingly overshadowed the AJ Styles vs Brock Lesnar bout.

Team Raw vs Smackdown Survivor 2017

10. Survivor Series 2015: Roman Reigns vs Dean Ambrose – Reigns’ pinning of Ambrose was followed by Sheamus’s abrupt end to Reigns’ championship reign, making it underwhelming.

Reigns vs Ambrose Survivor 2015

9. Survivor Series 2019: Bayley vs Becky Lynch vs Shayna Baszler – Incorporating NXT into the roster made this edition exhilarating. Baszler, in particular, emerged as a major star post this event.

Lynch Vs Baszler vs Bayley 2019 Survivor

8. Survivor Series 2021: Big E vs Roman Reigns – Despite the entertaining bout, it was clear that Big E wouldn’t dethrone Reigns.

reigns vs Big E 2021 Survivor

7. Survivor Series 2010: Randy Orton vs Wade Barrett – With John Cena’s career allegedly on the line, the stakes felt high, but it proved inconsequential as Cena remained in WWE.

Orton vs Barrett 2010 Survivor

6. Survivor Series 2012: CM Punk vs John Cena vs Ryback – Notable for the debut of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose) even though the match itself was overshadowed by their appearance.

Punk Vs Cena vs Ryback 2012 Survivor

5. Survivor Series 2011: The Rock & John Cena vs The Miz & R-Truth – Rock’s return after a seven-year hiatus was the highlight, setting up for WrestleMania 28.

Cena & Rock vs The Miz & R-Truth Survivor 2011

4. Survivor Series 2016: Brock Lesnar vs Bill Goldberg – Perfectly booked, this edition is memorable for its storytelling prowess, especially in the five-on-five tag match.

Lesner vs Goldberg 2016 Survivor

3. Survivor Series 2020: Drew McIntyre vs Roman Reigns – Although technically headlined by Undertaker’s retirement, the match between McIntyre and Reigns stole the show.

Reigns vs McIntyre Survivor 2020

2. Survivor Series 2018: Brock Lesnar vs Daniel Bryan – Bryan’s unexpected match against Lesnar turned out to be brilliantly executed.

lesner vs Bryan 2018 Survivor

1. Survivor Series 2014: Team Cena vs Team Authority – The shocking appearance of Sting marked this as a memorable main event.

Cena vs Authority survivor 2014

These rankings reflect the evolution of WWE Survivor Series over the years, highlighting the matches and moments that made the biggest impact.

While the Survivor Series isn’t as celebrity-focused as WrestleMania, it has had its moments:

  1. Mike Tyson: Although most prominently involved with WrestleMania XIV, Tyson did have appearances around the Survivor Series period in the late 1990s.
  2. Various other celebrities: Over the years, various celebrities have appeared on WWE programming around Survivor Series, although not necessarily as prominently as on other PPVs.

Ticket Cost: The ticket cost for Survivor Series, like other WWE events, varies based on seating, location, and the year. Prices can range from around $25 for nosebleed seats in some venues to several hundred dollars for ringside seats.

Significant Events or Outcomes:

  1. The Debut of The Undertaker (1990): One of WWE’s most iconic wrestlers, The Undertaker, made his debut at Survivor Series.
  2. The Montreal Screwjob (1997): A highly controversial and real unscripted incident where Bret Hart was double-crossed by WWE Chairman Vince McMahon during his match with Shawn Michaels.
  3. Team WWF vs. Team Alliance (2001): A culmination of the Invasion storyline, where Team WWF faced Team Alliance (WCW and ECW combined) in a winner-takes-all match.
  4. The Shield’s Debut (2012): The faction, comprising Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose, made their impactful debut during a main event match.

Big Upsets:

  1. The Rock’s Heel Turn (1998): In the Deadly Game tournament final, The Rock turned heel, aligning with Vince and Shane McMahon.
  2. Team Cena vs. Team Authority (2014): Dolph Ziggler overcame a 3-on-1 disadvantage to win the match for Team Cena with the surprise return of Sting, who made his WWE debut.

Winners of The Survivor Series – Recaps

  • 1987: The team of André the Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, and Rick Rude defeated Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Hulk Hogan, Ken Patera, and Paul Orndorff.
  • 1988: A team led by Hulk Hogan, including Hercules, Hillbilly Jim, Koko B. Ware, and Randy Savage, emerged victorious against Akeem, Big Boss Man, Haku, Ted DiBiase, and The Red Rooster.
  • 1989: The Ultimate Warriors, consisting of The Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart, and The Rockers, triumphed over The Heenan Family.
  • 1990: The trio of Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana bested a team of five including Hercules, Paul Roma, Rick Martel, The Warlord, and Ted DiBiase.
  • 1991: Big Boss Man and The Legion of Doom clinched a win against Irwin R. Schyster and The Natural Disasters.
  • 1992: Bret Hart retained the WWF World Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Michaels.
  • 1993: The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Undertaker, and The Steiner Brothers) bested The Foreign Fanatics.
  • 1994: The Undertaker overcame Yokozuna in a Casket match, refereed by Chuck Norris.
  • 1995: Bret Hart defeated Diesel for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.
  • 1996: Sycho Sid snatched the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Shawn Michaels.
  • 1997: In a controversial match, Shawn Michaels took the WWF World Heavyweight Championship from Bret Hart.
  • 1998: The Rock secured the vacant WWF Championship by defeating Mankind.
  • 1999: In a Triple Threat match, Big Show emerged as the WWF Champion against Triple H and The Rock.
  • 2000: A No Disqualification bout saw Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H end unresolved.
  • 2001: Team WWF, comprising The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, and Big Show, overcame Team Alliance.
  • 2002: Shawn Michaels outlasted five other wrestlers in an Elimination Chamber match to claim the World Heavyweight Championship.
  • 2003: Goldberg successfully defended the World Heavyweight Championship against Triple H.
  • 2004: Team Orton, consisting of Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven, bested Team Triple H.
  • 2005: Team SmackDown!, with stars like Batista and Randy Orton, triumphed over Team Raw.
  • 2006: Batista won the World Heavyweight Championship from King Booker.
  • 2007: Batista retained his title against The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match.
  • 2008: John Cena seized the World Heavyweight Championship from Chris Jericho.
  • 2009: John Cena successfully defended the WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
  • 2010: Randy Orton fended off Wade Barrett’s challenge for the WWE Championship, with John Cena as the special referee.
  • 2011: John Cena and The Rock teamed up to beat the duo of Awesome Truth.
  • 2012: CM Punk retained his WWE Championship in a Triple Threat match against John Cena and Ryback.
  • 2013: Randy Orton successfully defended the WWE Championship against the Big Show.
  • 2014: Team Cena, starring John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, overcame Team Authority.
  • 2015: Sheamus cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to beat Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
  • 2016: Goldberg made a surprising win over Brock Lesnar.
  • 2017: Team Raw, featuring stars like Kurt Angle and Braun Strowman, bested Team SmackDown.
  • 2018: Brock Lesnar defeated Daniel Bryan in a champion vs. champion match.
  • 2019: Shayna Baszler, the NXT Women’s Champion, bested Bayley and Becky Lynch in a triple threat.
  • 2020: Roman Reigns, the SmackDown’s Universal Champion, beat Drew McIntyre.
  • 2021: Roman Reigns, still the SmackDown’s Universal Champion, overcame Big E.
  • 2022: At the WWE Survivor Series event in Boston’s TD Garden on Nov. 26, 2022, Sami Zayn aligned with The Bloodline to beat Kevin Owens and the Brawling Buddies. Highlights included Austin Theory seizing the United States championship from Seth Rollins with assistance from Bobby Lashley, Ronda Rousey retaining her SmackDown women’s title against Shotzi, AJ Styles defeating Finn Balor, and Becky Lynch, alongside Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, triumphing in their War Games match against Team Damage CTRL.
  • 2023: Nov 25th! We will be covering this!!!

Conclusion: The Survivor Series has remained a staple of WWE’s pay-per-view calendar, offering fans unique team-based elimination matchups and many memorable moments over the decades. Whether through shocking debuts, controversial finishes, or dramatic upsets, Survivor Series continues to be an integral part of WWE’s legacy.

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