Throwback Thursday: The Best of WWE Survivor Series on WWE Network

November 5, 2015 by Brock Allen

WWE Network Throwback Thursday - Logo

Throwback Thursday: The Best of WWE Survivor Series

A Thanksgiving week tradition since 1987, the Survivor Series has become the biggest event of the season and one of the most anticipated events of the year. Once centered entirely around tag team elimination matches, the Survivor Series has evolved to become the first stop on the road to WrestleMania.

WWE Survivor Series - Deadly Game Logo

With the 29th annual Survivor Series coming up on November 22nd, Throwback Thursday on takes a look at ten of the biggest, best, and most memorable matches from the 28-year history of Survivor Series, as seen on the WWE Network.

5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match” (WATCH)
Team Andre” w/Bobby Heenan & Slick: Andre the Giant (Team Captain), King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, Butch Reed, & One Man Gang vs.
Team Hogan” w/Oliver Humperdink: WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (Team Captain), Ken Patera, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, & Paul Orndorff
WWF Survivor Series 1987 • November 26, 1987

The match that started it all. It was this main event, centered on the first Hogan/Andre showdown since WrestleMania III, that crippled JCP’s first attempt at PPV when McMahon counter-programmed the first Survivor Series against Starrcade ’87. This match set the template for all other Series matches to come and is a classic bout that holds up extremely well nearly 30 years later.

10-on-10 Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination Match” (WATCH)
Team Demolition” w/Mr. Fuji, Bobby Heenan, Slick, & Jimmy Hart: WWF Tag Team Champions Demolition (Team Captains Ax & Smash), The Conquistadors (Uno & Dos), The Brain Busters (Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard), The Fabulous Rougeaus (Jacques & Raymond), & The Bolsheviks (Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov) vs.
Team Powers of Pain”: The Powers of Pain (Team Captains The Warlord & The Barbarian), The Young Stallions (Jim Powers & Paul Roma), The Hart Foundation (Bret Hart & Jim Neidhart), The Rockers (Shawn Michaels & Marty Jannetty), & The British Bulldogs (Davey Boy Smith & Dynamite Kid)
WWF Survivor Series 1988 November 24, 1988

WWE Survivor Series - Traditional Tag Team Elimination Match

While the first 10-on-10 match from Survivor Series ’87 was great, the second (and final) match became an instant classic that even at forty-five minutes is as good as Survivor Series matches get. With at least 7 Hall of Fame tag teams this is one of the most star-studded matches in Series history. This match marked the end of the British Bulldogs in the WWF, they left immediately after this match. Though Davey would return to great success Dynamite Kid never again appeared.

4-on-4 Survivor Series Elimination Match” (WATCH)
Roddy’s Rowdies”: Roddy Piper (Team Captain), Jimmy Snuka, & The Bushwhackers (Luke & Butch) vs.
Rude’s Brood”: Rick Rude (Team Captain), Mr. Perfect, & The Fabulous Reageaus (Jacques & Raymond)
WWF Survivor Series 1989 November 23, 1989

This match is a great example of why the the old format of Survivor Series was so beloved by fans around the world. Built on on pre-existing rivalries from top to bottom this match is filled with current and future Hall of Famers who delivered a picture-perfect Survivor Series match.

WWF World Heavyweight Championship – “No Count out, No Disqualification, No Time Limit Match” (WATCH)
Bret “The Hitman” Hart vs. Diesel(c)
WWF Survivor Series 1995 November 19, 1995

WWE Survivor Series - Bret Hart vs. Diesel

Bret Hart and Diesel worked two prior WWF title matches ending in either a disqualification finish (KOTR ’94) or a draw (Royal Rumble ’95). Their third and final meeting is not only the best of the three but may well be the best match of Kevin Nash’s entire career.

Finals of the “Deadly Game” Tournament for the Vacant WWF Championship (WATCH)
Mankind vs. The Rock
WWF Survivor Series 1998: Deadly Game November 15, 1998

On historical impact alone there are few matches in the history of Survivor Series as important as this one. This launched The Rock into unparalleled super-stardom, established Mick Foley as legitimate main eventer, and set in motion the events that would turn the tide in the Monday Night Wars once and for all.

5-on-5 ‘Winner Take All’ Survivor Series Elimination Match” (WATCH)
Team WWF”: WCW Champion The Rock (Team Captain), Kane, The Big Show, The Undertaker, & Chris Jericho vs.
The Alliance”: WWF Champion Stone Cold Steve Austin (Team Captain), Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, & Shane McMahon
WWF Survivor Series 2001: Winner Take All! November 18, 2001

While the “Invasion” angle of 2001 failed to live up to expectations it did produce one of the greatest Survivor Series matches of all-time. While “The Alliance” team featured more WWF stars than WCW or ECW this one match, packed with Hall of Famers, produced more drama and excitement than nearly all of the “Invasion” angle before it. With this win Vince McMahon said one last goodbye to WCW and ECW (for the moment) and put the Monday Night Wars to bed.

World Heavyweight Championship – “Elimination Chamber Match” (WATCH)
Kane vs. Booker T vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho vs. Triple H(c) w/Ric Flair
WWE Survivor Series 2002November 17, 2002

WWE Survivor Series 2002 - Elimination Chamber Match

The brain child of Triple H, the first “Elimination Chamber” in WWE history came on the heels of arguably the best “Hell in a Cell” match to date between Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker. Marking the full-time return of Shawn Michaels this match was built around nostalgia and emotion as HBK won his first World title since Nov. 9, 1997 in one of Survivor Series‘ greatest moments.

5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match”: If Team Bischoff Wins Steve Austin Must Retire (WATCH)
Team Bischoff” w/Eric Bichoff, Teddy Long, & Stacy Keibler: Christian, Chris Jericho, Scott Steiner, Mark Henry, & Randy Orton vs.
Team Austin” w/Stone Cold Steve Austin: Booker T, Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, & The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & D-Von)
WWE Survivor Series 2003 November 16, 2003

WWE Stone Cold Steve Austin & Shawn Michaels Handshake

After three years of sub-par elimination matches this match was a return to form for the much neglected format. The story here was the behind the scenes gripe many of the talent had about putting a retired Steve Austin over at the expense of their own careers. This epic match, yet another loaded with Hall of Famers, marked the end of Austin’s full-time career with WWE.

5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match” (WATCH)
Team Morrison”: John Morrison (Team Captain), Shelton Benjamin, Evan Bourne, Fit Finlay, & Matt Hardy vs.
Team Miz”: The Miz (Team Captain), Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Jack Swagger, & Sheamus
WWE Survivor Series 2009 November 22, 2009

Billed as a battle of the future of the WWE this classic Survivor Series match could have taken place in the event’s heyday. Though only four of the ten men are with WWE today this match ranks near the top as one of the best matches in the event’s history.

WWE Championship (WATCH)
CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio(c) w/Ricardo Rodriguez  
WWE Survivor Series 2011: Never Before, Never AgainNovember 20, 2011

WWE Survivor Series - CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

Del Rio cashed in his MITB contract on Punk at SummerSlam to win the WWE title before losing it to John Cena one month later at Night of Champions. Del Rio recaptured the title in the first-ever “Triple Threat Hell in a Cell” in October by pinning CM Punk, setting up this singles rematch with Punk. This instant classic, considered by many to be one of the best title match in Series history, ended Del Rio’s second reign as Champion and marked the start of Punk’s record-setting reign (Punk’s second and last) of 434 days that launched Punk from internet darling to WWE legend.

Final Thoughts:

From an event that revolutionized PPV wrestling to nearly being canceled years ago, the Survivor Series remains, like the Royal Rumble, one of the most anticipated events of the year. And if the history of the Survivor Series, like the WWE, teaches us anything it’s that the best is yet to come.

WWE Survivor Series - Stage

That’s it for TBT on WDN this week — thank you for reading! Are you a WWE Network subscriber? If so, check out the matches, see them for yourself, and let us know what you think below. And don’t forget to fire up the Network on Nov. 22nd at 8pm for Survivor Series 2015.

Until next week, see ya at ringside!

WWE Network - Survivor Series 2015

Watch all of this content, the Survivor Series 2015 PPV and more on the WWE Network for only $9.99 per month. Your first month is FREE! Click here to subscribe to the WWE Network.

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14 Comments left on this article...

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  1. Dennis winship says:

    I like survivor series 2002 in the matches. Dennis winship lynn massachusetts

  2. Brad Attitude says:

    Los Guerreros vs Edge/Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle/Chris Benoit should get an honourable mention.

  3. Darren says:

    If you like the Complete Win-Loss Record of all 28 previous Survivor Series, check out

  4. Brian Lambert says:

    atThe suvivor series to me is and always will be one of wwfs best events. They really missrd the boat woth the who alliance story which could hsve easily been the singlre greatestest mstch not just in survivor seroes history but ever butt without the stars who truely made wcw flair sting goldburg ect i think the alliance survivor series wss such a letdown with guys who never wrestled in wcw defending wcw it was completely a waste.then u had ecw joining wcw which anybody knows anything about ecw wcw and ecw didnt care about each other but when u got only a handfull of talent from wcw what are u going to do. The survivor series 90 was a great one with the ultimate survivor match. i dont know why they didnt continue that it could gave rurned out some great 90 i was hopeing to see hulk warrior and lod survive and be a team what a great team that would have been. then in 91 they really missed the boat i think onstead of undertaker vs hogan they should have had hogans team vs flairs team. could u imagine hogan warrior macho man and demolition vs flair sid undertaker million dollar man and legion of doom. that would have been a more truer wwf vs wcw match back then cause taker just had came from wcw just million dollar man but u can just see him defecting back then. i cant tell u how many times wwe missed great mayches. But one of the best wwf events is survivor seiries cause of its uniqueness in 92 they took away the uniqueness and it fell thats what people want is good matches but for ppvs they want something differt than the normal thats whyvthere ppvs.

    • Brian Lambert says:

      sorry about the typos but this spell check sucks just turned it off

      • Brock Allen says:

        I often think of how the Grand Finale could have added more significance the to the tag matches and was one of my favorite Series events as well. I actually do think the 2001 Winner Take All match was one of the greatest 5-on-5 matches in event history. There is no question that Survivor Series has seen better days and should be a more unique and special event. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Joe Young says:

    Honorable mentions:

    The Hulkamaniacs (Hogan, Roberts AND Demolition!!!) Vs. The Million Dollar Team – Survivor Series 1989

    Hulk Hogan Vs. The Undertaker – Survivor Series 1991

    Bret Hart Vs. Shawn Michaels – Survivor Series 1992

    The All Americans Vs. The Foreign Fanatics – Survivor Series 1993

    The Wild Card Match – Survivor Series 1995

    Sid Vicious Vs. Shawn Michaels – Survivor Series 1996

    Team Angle Vs. Team Lesnar – Survivor Series 2003

    Booker T Vs. John Layfield – Survivor Series 2004

    Team RAW Vs. Team Smackdown – Survivor Series 2005

    Team Foley Vs. Team Ziggler – Survivor Series 2012

    • Brock Allen says:

      A lot of those matches made the first cut as they are each tremendous, memorable matches. There’s always next year. The hardest part is dealing with 28 years of history with just ten matches. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. I’m sure next year some of these will make the cut.

  6. Nicolas Hébert says:

    I was live at the Survivor Series in 1997 at the Molson Centre (Now Bell Centre) in Montreal. I think, it was the first time where the WWE have a TV show from Montreal. It was a great night with the controversial finish that all we know!!!

    • Brock Allen says:

      I agree. I left it off this year so as not to have one match overshadow the rest of the list. The match, as historic as it is (one of the most important in the history of professional wrestling), it has a tendency to poison the well. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  7. Jeff Copeland says:

    i would of added triple threat from 2012 cause of debut of the shield, replace del rio and punk with cena and rock vs miz and truth cause it was the rocks 1st match back in 7 years and same building he had his last msg.

  8. attitude.era.4life says:

    Great picks.. I only would have had Bret vs Backlund instead of Hart vs Diesel, since I never been fan of the Big Daddy..

    I loved how Mr. Fuji turned on Demolition in the SS match from ’88..

    The Elimination Chamber match was such a mindblowing experience first time I watched it, and still is.. and I never understood why it was not on the The best of MSG-compilation release a couple of years ago.

    I have always had a soft spot for the whole show of 1990…yes, even the Gobbling Gooker! -lol- Could have something to do with 1990 being the first year of wrestling I was introduced to with RR, WM 6, Summerslam and then SS that year the first 4 WWF shows I saw on Eurosport, back in those days where the full length show was aired some months after in Europe.

    • Brock Allen says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article, thanks for reading. First, yes the Bret/Backlund match made the first cut, but not the 2nd. Personally, it’s one of my favorite matches of all-time and one that has yet to be released on WWE Home Video. I agree about the EC. I’ll never forget watching that Live, what a spectacle. And I would again agree that 1990 was a great Survivor Series. 1989 wasn’t bad either. Again, thanks for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. Take care.

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