Survivor Series Top Ten – 2012

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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 SHIELD arrives in WWE!

Survivor Series 2012 – November 18, 2012, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana 

The booking for this year’s Survivor Series was all over the place. The event typically has had a high number of match substitutions and different participants than what were originally announced, but the main event of the evening was literally the second option for the WWE Champion.

About to hit his first full year on top, CM Punk was originally announced to be leading a traditional Survivor Series elimination match team against Team Foley before Vince McMahon came on TV and said he would be defending the title in a triple threat in the main event. That first change lead to Dolph Ziggler taking over Punk’s team and then a series of other changes. But the most important change of the evening came with the addition of three NXT superstars who made an impact.

While Ryback, John Cena and Punk battled, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns ran into the ring and started a beatdown on Ryback, eventually putting him through an announce table and taking him out of the match. Punk took advantage by pinning Cena, who had been hit with a Shell Shock from The Big Guy. And Punk guaranteed he would hold his title fora consecutive year with the win.

Maybe more importantly, the Shield established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in WWE by interfering in the main event. They debuted there and four years later, they never really left.

Best Match: Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Wade Barrett, Damien Sandow and David Otunga defeated Randy Orton, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan and Kane

A well-done traditional Survivor Series elimination match with a lot of different stories running through it and a lot more substitutions, as we discussed earlier. The announcers spent the whole match extolling Randy Orton’s success in Survivor Series, as he’s really made it his event over the course of his career. And he was right there at the end, battling a two-on-one disadvantage against Dolph Ziggler and Alberto Del Rio, before taking Del Rio out. The Viper looked primed to take another elimination match win as the sole survivor, if not for Ziggler thinking quick and countering a punt with a superkick for the win.

Ziggler was holding on to the Money in the Bank briefcase and was getting primed for a program with Cena, so they needed to keep him strong, but it was still something of a shock to see Orton pinned by Ziggler. Surprises like that, though, help to make matches feel special.

Worst Match: Cesaro (c) defeated R-Truth – U.S. Title Match. This really wasn’t anything more than a squash to show off how awesome Cesaro is. And he’s REALLY awesome, but it doesn’t mean a 7-minute dissection of constant jobber to the stars R-Truth is going to be any better than anything else on the card. 

What A Bonus: The official opener of the pay-per-view was announced as a BONUS traditional Survivor Series elimination match, with Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Justin Gabriel, Tyson Kidd and Brodus Clay taking on Tensai, the Prime Time Players, Primo and Epico. It’s a little upsetting that with all the hours of TV they had to come up with something, they had to throw together a 10-man match at the last minute. It would have been a sweep, if Brodus Clay didn’t manage to get himself pinned first.

Irish Curse?: Sheamus challenged Big Show for his World Heavyweight Championship in a match where the two big men beat the hell out of each other for about 15 minutes before they decided to take the screwy finish route to the end of the match. Big Show pulled the referee in front of a Brogue Kick before hitting Sheamus with a right hand for the pin. But the original referee disqualified Show, giving Sheamus a DQ win. Either way, though, Big Show kept the belt, so I don’t really see the point of the messy ending. Sheamus plays the sore winner by destroying Big Show afterwards.

The Survivor Series Rankings

*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 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Diesel (c) – No Disqualification WWF Title Match (1995)

2 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin (1996)

3 – 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)

4 – Los Guerreros defeated Edge and Rey Mysterio (c) and Kurt Angle and Chris Benoit – Triple Threat Elimination Tag Team Title Match (2002)

5 – “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)

6 – The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show defeated “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T and Shane McMahon (2001)

7 – Shawn Michaels defeated Kane, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Chris Jericho and Triple H (c) – World Heavyweight Title Elimination Chamber Match (2002)

8 – Bret “Hitman” Hart (c) defeated Shawn Michaels – WWF Title Match (1992)

9 – John Cena (c) defeated Shawn Michaels and Triple H – WWE Title Triple Threat Match (2009)

10“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)

Top Eliminators 

Randy Orton is knocking on the door of the top spot and Rey Mysterio leap frogs some people to turn the Top 10 into a Top 15.

1 – Shawn Michaels (14)

2 – Randy Orton (13)

3 – Big Show (12)

4 – The Rock (11)

5 – Bradshaw (8)

6 – Hulk Hogan, Rey Mysterio, The Ultimate Warrior (tied, 7)

9 – Christian, Billy Gun, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Test, Tito Santana, The Undertaker (tied, 6)