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.
This time around, well, I won’t lie, I’m going to be doing a lot of complaining…
Survivor Series 2013 – November 24, 2013, TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
We are just one month away from the end of the WWE’s first dual championship era, as the company unified the WWE Title and the World Heavyweight Championship into the WWE World Heavyweight Title at Armageddon in December. So, this was the final show to feature two world title-level matches until the most recent brand split. And the main event of the show was WWE Champion Randy Orton defeating the Big Show. Earlier in the show, John Cena defeated Alberto Del Rio to retain the World Heavyweight Championship and he ran in to the ring to stare down Orton to end the show.
WWE was starting to replenish its talent pool here and it had a lot of guys on the roster with great potential – Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, The Shield, The Wyatts, Big E, Cody Rhodes and Cesaro, just to name a few guys who were on the card. Instead, we get Randy Orton and Big Show in the main event and John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio. Fans were clamoring for Daniel Bryan’s rise to the top, but the Authority screwing him story put him on the backburner, teaming with CM Punk against the Wyatts.
This show is part of a period of time that showed the worst tendencies of WWE’s booking and a lack of direction that the fans wanted to see. The main event of the show is completely structured around a contract dispute with the Big Show and the Authority and Randy Orton’s paranoid delusions of the Authority turning on him. Why should fans care about that? The best match of the night kicked off the show and everything went downhill from there.
Best Match: Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Jack Swagger and Cesaro defeated Rey Mysterio, The Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust
It should be apparent by now that I am a big fan of a well-structured traditional Survivor Series elimination match, and this was a well-done match, meant to get The Shield’s Big Dog, Roman Reigns, over as a huge threat to everyone in the company. And with four eliminations, he was pretty dominant. It helps that Reigns was in the ring with a great group of wrestlers.
Sure, the opening promos before the match were a bit silly – Zeb Colter, manager of Jack Swagger and Cesaro, twerking, leading to Cody Rhodes twerking – but once the bell rang, it was all business. The show started with a lot of potential. It’s a shame it couldn’t live up to it.
Worst Match: Mark Henry defeated Ryback. Bully Ryback challenges anyone to come out and Mark Henry accepts and… oof. Ryback could have been someone. He could’ve been a contender. What a shame.
Chekov’s… Sledgehammer?: Triple H and Stephanie McMahon start the show and tell the crowd that, in addition to the promised lack of interference in the main event, they swear there will be NO INTERFERENCE in any match on the card. So, of course, the announcement is paid off in the main event, when The Authority comes out to Triple H’s music to distract the Big Show. TECHNICALLY, it’s not interference in the match, but it helped Orton get the better of Show.
Totally Obnoxious: Promoting the E! Network “reality” show Total Divas, WWE placed the cast of the show on a team of 7 against the seven women on the roster who weren’t on the show, led by Diva’s Champion AJ Lee. I’m not sure who was supposed to be the face team or the heel team, since the TV cast was generally unlikeable and the wrestling women were led by heel AJ Lee. Also, the match allowed Nikki Bella to get three eliminations, which means she has more eliminations than superstars like: Andre the Giant, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, John Cena, Kane, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, Razor Ramon, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Brock Lesnar, just to name a few. Think about that.
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)
Rey Mysterio has managed to get the best of John Bradshaw Layfield on several occasions. Now, he has tied him in eliminations!
1 – Shawn Michaels (14)
2 – Randy Orton (13)
3 – Big Show (12)
4 – The Rock (11)
5 – Bradshaw, Rey Mysterio (tied, 8)
7 – Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior (tied, 7)
9 – Christian, Billy Gunn, Jeff Hardy, Chris Jericho, Test, Tito Santana, The Undertaker (tied, 6)