Thanksgiving is fast approaching. That means one thing is guaranteed – turkey on Turkey Day? Eh, not everyone likes turkey! A crisp cool day? It could very well be in the 70’s in the Midwest! The Cowboys will lose? Geez, not this year apparently!
No, there only seems to be one sure thing – the Survivor Series!
What started as the Thanksgiving Night Tradition has evolved into a regular Sunday Night pay per view held on Thanksgiving week. The second longest running show in WWE has given us several memorable moments. So to get us ready for this year’s Survivor Series this Sunday, let’s take a look at the 20 most memorable moments in wrestling’s Fall Classic.
(Disclaimer – The debut of the Gobbledy Gooker just missed the cut)
20 – The End Of The Alliance
Yes, it was a very condensed version of WCW, but it was still fun to see a WWF vs WCW (and ECW) battle play out for the better part of 2001. It all came to a head with the “Winner Take All” Match in 2001 when Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and Big Show) defeated Team Alliance (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam and Shane McMahon).
The best part about this is that Team Alliance was mostly comprised of WWF guys! Yes, it would have been better if Team WCW was Sting, Goldberg, Ric Flair, Lex Luger and Booker T, but take what you can get.
19 – Sweet Chin Music Outta Nowhere
It seemed like insurmountable odds for WWE Champion John Cena as the main event of the 2009 Survivor Series was a triple threat match between Cena and both members of DX, Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
It didn’t take too long for us to see that it would be more of an even playing field than we thought. The match started as expected with Cena on one side of the ring looking across the ring to both future Hall of Famers. Then, without warning, Michaels turns toward Triple H and hits him with Sweet Chin Music. The look on Cena’s face and the collective gasp of the crowd told the story.
18 – SmackDown Celebration Cut Short
It was the first real battle between Raw and SmackDown after the first roster draft. Randy Orton ended up being the sole survivor and was congratulated by the SmackDown roster in the ring as they hoisted the Legend Killer up on their shoulders. This win came one month after Orton and his dad Cowboy Bob Orton put The Undertaker in a casket and lit it on fire.
The Deadman apparently did not appreciate this.
The lights went out while Orton was on the shoulders of his SmackDown colleagues. From there, The Undertaker walked out of a flaming casket to let Orton know he did not get the job done. The two would meet the next month at Armageddon inside Hell in a Cell.
17 – The First of 434
Gone were the days of the length championship runs. Bruno Sammartino held the title for over 7 ½ years, then again for almost 3 ½ years, Bob Backlund was champion for nearly 6 years and of course the 80’s were running wild with Hulkamania. This day and age, a reign like that is unimaginable. If a guy held the title for six consectutive months it would be considered an achievement. Shorter title reigns just became norm.
CM Punk never really went for that whole “norm” thing.
Always a scholar and appreciator of the wrestling history, Punk wanted to make the WWE Championship mean something more than it did. The 2011 Survivor Series would see Punk defeat Alberto Del Rio to win the WWE Championship that he would hold for the next 434 days.
The cherry on top – the nod to the past took place at Madison Square Garden.
16 – ISIS Threat
I am sure that those of you who aren’t regular watchers probably saw this one and thought “ugh, how could WWE use something like ISIS in their show?”
Nope! Not a story! Real Life!
In November of 2015, the infamous hacker group “Anonymous” reported that they hacked into the ISIS system and uncovered plans of an attack on a large American gathering in Atlanta. Take a guess where Survivor Series was last year!
The FBI was heavily on the scene to ensure the safety of everyone in the Phillips Arena. Obviously nothing happened. Apparently not even ISIS wanted to see Roman Reigns win the WWE Championship Tournament that night – oops…uh…spoiler alert!
15 – Salvation 11 Years Later
I had mentioned before that Bob Backlund held the WWF Championship for almost 6 years. That reign came to an end when The Iron Sheik put Backlund in the Camel Clutch and Backlund’s manager, Arnold Skaaland, threw in the towel. Backlund never gave up.
This was something that stuck with Backlund for 11 years when he finally got his chance at a WWF Championship rematch. He challenged champion Bret Hart to a submission match where a representative would need to throw in the towel to end the match.
Hart Family drama aside, the biggest takeaway from the match was that Hart’s towel was thrown in and Backlund celebrated with the belt that he claimed to never have lost in the first place.
14 – Rated R Return
The Undertaker vs Batista may have been the best rivalry of 2007. The two would spend nearly the entire year going at it over the World Heavyweight Championship. The rivalry would come to a head at the 2007 Survivor Series inside Hell in a Cell.
At the end of another physical match between the two, a cameraman who was inside the cell would nail The Deadman with his camera giving Batista the win. The cameraman…was Edge, who had been out with an injury since the summer. Edge and The Undertaker would end up main eventing WrestleMania the following year in yet another amazing program for the legendary Phenom.
13 – Rock Plays A Deadly Game
The WWF Championship was vacant in November of 1998 which led to a one-night tournament to decide the new champion. 14 men were entered and when all was said and done it came down to a Final match between the lovable corporate lackey Mankind and the new fan favorite The Rock.
After a back and forth match, Rock motioned the Vince McMahon and then put Mankind in the sharpshooter. Once the leg hold was in, McMahon immediately and the timekeeper ring the bell and end the match. Sounds a little familiar…well we’ll probably get into that later.
Anyway, The People’s Champ quickly became The Corporate Champ as The Rock won his first WWF Championship.
12 – Hulkamania Is Not Immortal
After just a year in the WWF, The Undertaker garnered enough credibility to challenge The Immortal Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship at the 1991 Survivor Series.
History was already made as this was the first match in the history of the Survivor Series event that was not a tag team elimination match. That was just the start though. The rookie Phenom would do the seemingly unthinkable and defeat the unbeatable Hogan and become the WWF Champion. Things went pretty well for The Deadman from there.
11 – Vehicular Retribution
We’ll get into it in more detail later on, but at the 1999 Survivor Series, Stone Cold Steve Austin was hit by a car and would be out of action for almost a year. Between then and the fall of 2000, the question was “Who ran over Stone Cold?”
We found out that it was Rikishi behind the wheel, and would later find out that he did it for the mastermind of the plot, Triple H. This gave us the 2000 main event match of Triple H vs Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The match itself was just a glorified street fight. The fight would spill into the parking lot where Triple H tried to lure Austin out to run him over again. The Game got in a car and waited, but was hit himself by a Rattlesnake driven forklift. Austin would lift the car up probably a good 25-30 feet and then drop the car with Triple H in it upside down.
…The Game would be out a couple weeks.
SO THERE YOU HAVE IT! WHAT MOMENTS DO YOU THINK WILL CRACK THE TOP 10? WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE SURVIVOR SERIES MOMENT? FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @FROM_THETOPROPE AND LIKE OUR NEW FACEBOOK PAGE AND LET US KNOW!