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, Batista gets his last chance at the World Heavyweight Title and Lita has one last match.
Survivor Series 2006 – November 26, 2006, Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I’ll state right up front that I don’t believe there is much about this show that’s very special. It has it’s moments – at least a couple that will be touched on here – but for the most part it’s a classic example of a throw-away show and one of the reasons why Survivor Series has lost it’s appeal as one of the annual “Big Event” shows. And that’s with two title changes on the show.
The main event featured a match for the World Heavyweight Championship, as Booker T offered up one last shot at his title to Batista, who had surrendered the same belt at the Wachovia Center in January because of an injury. It was the third pay-per-view match between the two for the title and if Batista lost, he would not be eligible for another shot. It was a fairly pedestrian main event, with nothing special happening, even with Batista finally winning the title back.
Best Match: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy and Matt Hardy defeated Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms and Mike Knox.
The best part of this match, really, was Shawn Michaels at the start of the match. As Mike Knox was distracted by his “exhibitionist girlfriend” Kelly Kelly trying to show off her goods to Triple H, Michaels came up behind Knox and hit him with some sweet chin music for a quick pin. He got up and went to his teammates and had the following exchange:
SM: “Who was that?”
HHH: “He’s on ECW.”
SM: “Who was it?”
HHH: “His name’s Mike Knox”
SM: “But was he in this match?”
HHH: “He was, he’s not anymore.”
SM: “So, we’re doing good then…”
He then had a great moment with Melina outside the ring. Considering that the Degeneration X team swept their opponents, there’s not much more to the match other than some fan favorite spots and a coming out party for a certain straight edge superstar (more on that later).
Worst Match: Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Simmons and Sgt. Slaughter defeated the Spirit Squad
Fifteen years after Ric Flair made his Survivor Series debut in the first match and taking part in the best match of the show as sole survivor, Flair opened up the Survivor Series with the worst match of the show as the sole survivor. It was a good way to start the show, getting a pop for the legends on the team – plus the teaming of Flair and Dusty Rhodes – but the match was nothing special. But it did give Nicky – the future Dolph Ziggler – his first Survivor Series elimination.
Are You Ready?: No, I said: ARE! YOU! READY! CM Punk was definitely ready for the big time, and being on a team with the Hardys, Shawn Michaels and Triple H completely legitimized him going into the Survivor Series. And then, Triple H let Punk do the first part of his catchphrase, giving the rabid Philly fans something they wanted to see. The WWE clearly knew they had something special with Punk. At the very least, the future COO probably saw it.
Ho’ Sale: Lita didn’t have a very good night. She declared Survivor Series to be her last match, and the Women’s Champion wanted to go out on top, much like Trish Stratus did earlier in the year. But things never work out as planned… Lita lost the belt to Mickie James and then… Cryme Tyme came out with stuff stolen from Lita’s locker room and started to sell them. Items included some Monistat yeast infection treatment, her underwear (which JBL tried to buy, as long as he got a sniff first) and a sex toy. Probably a segment WWE wouldn’t get away with now. Honestly, I’d leave, too, if I were Lita.
Make Him Bleed: When you think of classic Survivor Series opponents for The Undertaker, odds are Mr. Kennedy isn’t going to make most people’s lists. But he holds a victory over the Deadman at the event where he debuted in 1990. Sure, he needed some help from MVP, who blotted off blood Kennedy was coughing up and then smacked Undertaker over the head with a chair. The WWE must have been convinced Kennedy was going to be a sure thing, bona fide star. Too bad it didn’t work out that way.
The Survivor Series Rankings
Yet another static Top Ten this time around.
*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 – “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)
10 – Randy Orton, Chris Jericho, Christian, Mark Henry and Scott Steiner defeated Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, the Dudleys and Booker T. (2003)
The boyhood dream… HAS COME TRUE! Shawn Michaels takes over sole possession of the top spot.
1 – Shawn Michaels (13)
2 – The Rock (11)
3 – Big Show (9)
4 – Bradshaw (8)
5 – Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior (tied, 7)
7 – Billy Gunn, Chris Jericho, Tito Santana, Test, The Undertaker (tied, 6)