Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
The November tradition that is Survivor Series is right around the corner and is the focus of this latest Top Five piece that sees the team list their top five favourite moments from the history of the event. Whether it’s a stand-out match, a memorable debut or storyline that’s stood the test of time, it’s all here in this latest top five.
5. 20 man tags at SS 87&88: The tag tag matches at the first two Survivor Series’ were awesome. Sure, for every Hart Foundation, Demolition or Brain Busters there was a Los Conquistadors or Young Stallions, but the sight of ten men taking on ten men was pretty cool – unless you were in attendance as the view, then, was probably anything but cool. But, the fact that the WWF was able to, in consecutive years, pit five tag teams against five tag teams shows the strength in depth the company had.
4. The Double Turn at Survivor Series 1988: The obligatory attempt at squeezing a reference to Demolition into a Top Five! But, this was a cool cool moment even now. Going in Demolition were the heel WWF tag champs under the tutelage of Mr. Fuji whilst Powers of Pain were the babyfaces. Problem was, Demolition’s smashmouth style made them increasingly popular in the eyes of the WWF faithful.
3. Austin vs Hart at SS 1996: Despite Vince McMahon and Jim Ross putting Hart down on commentary, many in the audience and a lot watching at home were there because of Hart. A post-WrestleMania hiatus had seen him off TV and much had changed in the meantime. Now the brash anti-hero Stone Cold Steve Austin was at the top of his game and Hart returned to face him – a Hart handpicked opponent. And what a match they put out, far superior to the plodding HBK vs Sycho Sid main event. A back and force classic with the right mix of brawling and mat based wrestling so everyone left happy.
2. Montreal Screwjob at SS 1997: Was it a work? Was it a shoot? It’s a debate that’s lingered in some quarters almost two decades after the event itself. Whatever your thoughts on, it’s undoubtedly a moment that shifted the landscape of wrestling. It saw a face of the WWF depart for pastures new and was the launch pad of the Mr. McMahon character. A huge huge moment.
1. The Undertaker’s debut at SS 1990: Many watching the 1990 edition of the Survivor Series probably saw the debut of The Undertaker as the latest in a line of over the top gimmicks that had a limited shelf life. Little did anyone, I imagine, suspect that some 25 years later despite the various changes that the often wacky world of wrestling has seen, we approach this year’s Survivor Series with every likelihood being that The Undertaker will feature in the main event. His over the top character has had longevity that few would expect and as a result it’s difficult to look beyond his debut as being the most significant moment in the history of the Survivor Series.
5. Bam Bam Bigelow’s 1987 Performance: My very first memory of the Survivor Series happened at the very first event in 1987. The newcomer Bigelow outlasted all of his teammates including Hulk Hogan to take on Andre the Giant, One Man Gang and King Kong Bundy. Bigelow was able to eliminate both OMG and Bundy before losing to Andre. A truly impressive performance in Survivor Series lore.
4. The debut of The Shield 2012: Certainly didn’t seem like it at the time…but the debut of Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns at the 2012 Survivor Series changed the face of the WWE to this day.
3. Who Ran Over Stone Cold Steve Austin? 1999: The end result was a bit convoluted with Rikishi being the driver who ran over Steve Austin…only to be revealed that he was hired by Triple H…but it was a nice beginning of a “Who Dunnit?”
2. The debut of the Undertaker 1990: A debut that launched a tremendous 25 year WWF/E career that was filled with 5 star matches, memorable moments and multiple world titles. Perhaps the most significant debut in the company’s history.
1. The Montreal Screw job 1997: Say what you will about the actual incident…what looked like the beginning of the end for the WWF…turned out to be the beginning of the end for WCW.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.