On Nov. 20, WWE presents the 30th annual Survivor Series. As we move towards the event, let’s take a look at how the former Thanksgiving tradition has evolved over the years.
In this edition, the Survivor Series returns to its elimination match roots.
Survivor Series ’93 – November 24, 1993, Boston Garden, Boston, Mass.
After having only one elimination match in 1992, the Survivor Series went back to what made the earlier shows great with four traditional elimination matches, the only problem is the show wasn’t really all that good. The main event of the All-Americans vs. the Foreign Fanatics (featuring two Americans), plus the show emanating from the “Birthplace of the Revolution,” gave the show a patriotic theme, complete with a terrible rendition of the National Anthem to kick off the show.
And once again, substitutions to the main event make the poster for the event out-of date, as the Fanatics took out Tatanka weeks before the show, which allowed Luger and the Steiners to bring the Undertaker on to the team. Of course, Luger also took out Quebecer Pierre, which led to the inclusion of Crush on the Fanatics.
The match achieved two main goals: setting The Undertaker up to challenge Yokozuna for the WWF Title at the Royal Rumble and showcasing Lex Luger, who was on a redemption angle toward the WWF Title, which never actually happened. It was a mediocre main event, but it did its job.
Best Match: 1-2-3 Kid, Marty Jannetty, Razor Ramon and “Macho Man” Randy Savage defeated Rick “The Model” Martel, Adam Bomb, Irwin R. Schyster and Diesel.
The 1993 Survivor Series kicked off with a hot opener, which shouldn’t be a surprise with the guys involved in the match. Savage was subbing for an announced Curt Hennig, and it gave the WWF a chance to weave his feud with Crush into the opener and the main event. The Kid and Jannetty kept the match going and wound up with the win, which propelled them to a week-long tag team title reign in January.
Worst Match: Men on a Mission and the Bushwhackers defeated Bam Bam Bigelow, Bastion Booger and the Headshrinkers.
The Men on a Mission and Bushwhackers team was announced as 4 Doinks to go up against Bigelow’s team, and instead Doink sent those four out dressed as clowns. And the match was an absolute circus. Every chance that could be taken for a comedy spot, it appeared here, from empty buckets and banana peels to scooters and turkey legs. The faux Doinks get a clean sweep victory, which is a shame, because the Headshrinkers and Bigelow deserved better.
Family Matters: More substitutions on the show, as Shawn Michaels took over the Knights from Jerry “The King” Lawler in his battle against the Hart family. Lawler was suspended after being accused of raping and sodomizing an underage girl. So, the Hart-Michaels wars have its second Survivor Series appearance. But Michaels’ role in the match could have been filled by anyone, as the focus was on tensions between Bret and his brother Owen. The youngest Hart was the only one eliminated from his team, and his annoyance with what happened led to a great heel turn at the Rumble and a top notch match with Bret at WrestleMania X.
This Feud Must Continue: The only regular match on the show was… a tag team match between the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express and the Heavenly Bodies… for the Smoky Mountain tag team titles. The SAME MATCH (minus Stan Lane, who was replaced by Jimmy Del Rey) was featured at WCW’s SuperBrawl III in February. Not a lot of instances of that happening.
The Survivor Series Rankings
It was bound to happen, but 1993 marks the first time no new match breaks the Top 10!
*DISCLAIMER* The Survivor Series Rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know via email or on Facebook. Match survivors are in bold and new entries to the Top 10 are in italics. .
1 – Powers of Pain, The British Bulldogs, The Rockers, The Hart Foundation and The Young Stallions defeated Demolition, The Conquistadors, The Brain Busters, The Bolsheviks and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers. (1988)
2 – “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, The Mountie and The Warlord defeated “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Virgil and The British Bulldog. (1991)
3 – Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated Shawn Michaels – WWF Title Match (1992)
4 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Hillbilly Jim, Koko B. Ware and Hercules defeated King Haku, Akeem, Big Bossman, “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase and The Red Rooster. (1988)
5 – Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, “Ravishing” Rick Rude and “The Natural” Butch Reed defeated Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff and Don Muraco. (1987)
6 – The Jumping Bomb Angels, Fabulous Moolah, Velvet McIntyre and Rockin’ Robin defeated Sensational Sherri, The Glamour Girls, Donna Christanello and Dawn Marie. (1987)
7 – The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan (c) – WWF Title Match (1991)
8 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig beat “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Razor Ramon by DQ. (1992)
9 – Ultimate Warrior, Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake, The Blue Blazer, “Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Sam Houston beat The Honky Tonk Man, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, Bad News Brown and “Dangerous” Danny Davis (1988)
10 – “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, Jake “The Snake Roberts, Brutus” The Barber” Beefcake and “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan defeated Hercules, Honky Tonk Man, “Outlaw” Ron Bass, “King” Harley Race and “Dangerous” Danny Davis. (1987)
We’ll call this a Top 15 List this year
1 – Hulk Hogan/The Ultimate Warrior (tie, 7)
3 – Tito Santana (6)
4 – “Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Sgt. Slaughter (tie, 5)
7 – Brutus Beefcake, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (tie, 4)
9 – One Man Gang/Akeem, Big Boss Man, Earthquake, Bret “Hitman” Hart, Shawn Michaels, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, Irwin R. Schyster (tie, 3)
There are 20 wrestlers tied with 2 eliminations each and 31 wrestlers tied with 1 elimination.