The View From Down Here – Looking Back On Survivor Series

 Survivor Series was always one of the Big 4 wrestling shows the WWF/WWE used to put on. I saw many of the early ones and a few years back caught up on the bunch in the late 90s (I was into WCW about then) and early 2000s ones I missed. So I thought, with the 25th version now in the can, and with it delivering one hell of a match in the process, I thought it might be worth while looking back over 25 of these events and make a DIY DVD set of what I would consider my favourite SurSer matches ever. A DVD set of matches that are fun to watch, not a history of the SurSer.


Year: 1988
Tag Team Survivor Series Match
The Powers of Pain, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation, and The Young Stallions VS Demolition, The Brain Busters, The Bolsheviks, The Fabulous Rougeaus, and The Conquistadors.
            First thing to notice, I think, is that not only were there 10 recognised tag team in the WWF at the time, but all of them had team names that even now, more than two decades on, people can still recall. I enjoyed this match. From Tully Blanchard’s cowardly heel tactics to the double turn at the end, from some fast action to the Conquistadors lasting until the end. 40 minutes and it was just gold.
            Survivors: Powers Of Pain


Year: 1989
4-on-4 Survivor Series Match
The Ultimate Warrior, Shawn Michaels, Marty Jannetty, and Jim Neidhart VS Bobby Heenan, Andre the Giant, Haku, and Arn Anderson.
            I think this 20 minute match falls into the guilty pleasure category. There’s not a lot of technical expertise on show, Andre gets eliminated after 20 seconds and Bobby Heenan is wrestling. But we see the Ultimate Warrior smile, see some fun tag stuff and I liked it.
            Survivor: Ultimate Warrior


Year: 1991
4-on-4 Survivor Series Match
Ric Flair, The Mountie, Ted DiBiase, and The Warlord VS Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil, and Davey Boy Smith.
            This was one of the better traditional SurSer matches with all participants working their butts off in the opening match. While the ending was a confusing mess of DQs everywhere, this was not a waste of 20 minutes.
            Survivor: Ric Flair


Year: 1992
Tag Team Match
Mr Perfect and Randy Savage VS Ric Flair and Razor Ramon.
            This match set up was caused by Ultimate Warrior leaving or something else backstage, as the Ultimate Maniacs were all set to take over the world. But the interviews leading up to it just make the match seem natural. THIS is what guys talking nowadays should watch – a thrown together match made to seem like it means something purely by the interviews and sound bites. First, though, depression time: the faces are dead, Razor is on the verge, and Ric Flair is still out there pissing on his legacy. The match: Savage could take a beating like no other. I mean, seriously, he had his arse kicked, and the crowd EXPLODED when Hennig teased leaving him and then came back and made the save. The crowd was awesome here, for the entire 20 minutes, and watching it today still gives me goosebumps.
            Winner: Mr Perfect and Randy Savage (by DQ)


Year: 1992
WWF World Title Match
Bret Hart VS Shawn Michaels
            Before there was bitterness and the Kliq, there were two young-ish guys trying to show that Hulk Hogan was no longer necessary. And they did. Some good in-ring psychology, some great near falls and a strong finish over 25 minutes showed where the future of Pro Wrestling was headed… and it wasn’t muscle-bound steroid users.
            Winner: Bret Hart


Year: 1995
4-in-4 Survivor Series Match
Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe, and Lioness Asuka VS Alundra Blayze, Kyoko Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa, and Chaparita Asari.
            Okay, even now I only know who 3 of these women are… but wow! Remember when the women were actually able to wrestle? Some fast moves, suplex series, hard-hitting… just awesome. This is what TNA wanted their Knockouts to be before going the WWE pneumatic bimbo route. Yes, I liked it, but at 10 minutes it felt too short.
            Survivor: Aja Kong


Year: 1995
WWF World Title Match
Bret Hart VS Diesel
            One of Diesel’s best matches (in any promotion, under any name), and a vicious match to boot, the no-DQ stip being used to its fullest by both men. It was also, I believe, the first time the Spanish announce table was totalled in a PPV. May have been a fraction long at around 30 minutes, but still a better than good match.
            Winner: Bret Hart


Year: 1996
Number One Contender’s Match
Bret Hart VS Steve Austin
            Man, did these two have crazy chemistry or what? This was just an awesome match, even if it stole the Wrestlemania 8 ending. As good as their Wrestlemania encounter, in my opinion, and even at 30 minutes didn’t feel like it overstayed its welcome.
            Winner: Bret Hart


Year: 2001
Tag Team Title Unification Cage Match
The Hardy Boyz VS The Dudleys
            Okay, not the greatest match between these two teams, but this was certainly a fun 20 minutes in a cage, back when all 4 of these guys actually gave a sh*t about what they were doing in the ring. The ending was a little confused (Matt escaped, Jeff got pinned), but still, a good match.
            Winners: Bubba Ray & D-Von Dudley


Year 2002
Tag Team Title Triple Threat Match
Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero VS Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit VS Edge & Rey Mysterio Jr
            Edge and Rey were champs going in. This was 20 minutes of some damn fine wrestling. I seem to remember some of the Smackdown matches were better between these teams, but this was good for a PPV, though it felt short.
            Winners: Eddie Guerrero & Chavo Guerrero


Year: 2004
Cruiserweight Title Match, Fatal 4-Way
Spike Dudley VS Rey Mysterio Jr VS Chavo Guerrero VS Billy Kidman
            Starting to reach the heights of the division as scaled by WCW, this was a short 10 minute match of non-stop action. Should have been 5 minutes longer.
            Winner: Spike Dudley


Year: 2004
Intercontinental Title Match
Shelton Benjamin VS Christian
            Okay, not a 5-star classic, but a fun 15 minutes of match time which shows me how just under-utilised both guys were. Some great moves, and non-stop action makes this a good little match.
            Winner: Shelton Benjamin


Year: 2005
Last Man Standing Match
HHH VS Ric Flair
            I actually liked this match. Some selling stuff from HHH was off, but Flair played the wily veteran to a T. Some good drama, but at around 30 minutes it was maybe a touch long. Still, all in all, not a bad match here.
            Winner: HHH


Year: 2007
ECW Title Match
The Miz vs. John Morrison vs. CM Punk
            While it was barely 10 minutes long, it was still an exciting little match. A lot of great three-way moves and didn’t fall into the standard 3-way trap of having a series of 1-on-1 match-ups. Mind you, with the time they had, that wasn’t really going to work.
            Winner: CM Punk


Year 2008
5-on-5 Survivor Series Match
Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth VS Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry
            This was a nice traditional SurSer match, although at barely 20 minutes it seemed really short. I mean, the first elimination came at around 20 seconds (Punk over Regal). But a fun match.
            Survivors: Randy Orton and Cody Rhodes


Year: 2009
WWE World Title Match
John Cena VS HHH VS Shawn Michaels
            A good 3-way match, although it was really just a heap of 1-on-1 matches with 3-way spots thrown in to transition from combatant to combatant. It certainly wasn’t WMXX level 3-way, but it was am enjoyable 20 minutes with an ending I liked (the FU on Michaels onto HHH).
            Winner: John Cena


Year: 2010
US Title
Daniel Bryan VS Ted DiBiase Jr
            A good 10 minute match. DiBiase looked like he could hang here, so I wonder why his push seems to have stalled, and Bryan was his usual technically proficient self. Yep, I liked this one as well.
            Winner: Daniel Bryan


Year: 2011
WWE World Title Match
Alberto Del Rio VS CM Punk
            This was a really good match, one of WWE’s best of the year. Like Austin and Hart before them, these two have some great chemistry together. This match clicked and flowed well for 20 minutes. Nice way to end my DVD.
            Winner: CM Punk


So there’s my DVD set. 18 matches. 6 hrs and 10 minutes, so probably a 3 DVD set. 5 matches featuring Bret Hart, 4 with Shawn Michaels, 3 with CM Punk and 3 with Ric Flair. I reckon it stacks up pretty well.


Now, I know I’ve opened a can of worms. I mean, look at the omissions: nothing from the historic first SurSer in 1987, The Undertaker’s debut, the Montreal Screwjob, Rock v Mankind, the Alliance VS WWF match in 2001, the debut of the elimination chamber, the two world title matches from 2007, anything from 1997-2000, Rock & Cena teaming up, stuff like that. Okay, historically they may have been important, or lots of people may have liked them, but this is my DVD, and the matches they were a part of either sucked or I did not like as much as the others.


What do you reckon I should have put in? (I know by asking that that I am going to get a few people claiming the Montreal Screwjob should be there, but remember this is a DVD of matches that are fun to watch, not a history of the SurSer.)


And that’s another view.


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