Tonight is the 30th annual WWE / WWF Survivor Series. Over the years it has been one of the best Pay Per Views each year with unforgettable moments. Here are some of them that stand out the most both good and bad.
1987 – The first annual saw Andre The Giant as the original Sole Survivor in his first appearance since his Wrestlemania III loss to Hulk Hogan.
1988 – Who can forget the Mega Powers standing tall at the end of the night for one of the final times before the legendary explosion at Wrestlemania V.
1989 – This year is often forgotten, but when you have Zeus and Bobby the Brain Heenan as a few of your in ring headliners, that will happen.
1990 – The one and only match of Survival in the end was classic with Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior standing tall. Also, it will forever be known as the debut night of The Undertaker. What? Did you think I was going to mention the Gobbley Gooker?
1991 – This year was awful, with the sole memory being The Undertaker defeating Hulk Hogan for the World Title in a matched steeped in interference. It was also a 3 hour advertisement for Tuesday in Texas. A painful year to watch.
1992 – Richfield Ohio hosted it’s third Survivor Series. This was the first time that the WWF abandoned their 4 on 4 concept, and it was painful to watch this miserable card. The main event was rock solid however as Bret Hart defended his title against Shawn Michaels in a great match. Five years later, they would tussle again at the Pay Per View, to a much different outcome.
1993 – A very good and underrated year. Lex Luger stood tall in the end, but the heel turn of Owen Hart earlier in the night is what stands out the most.
1994 – Great year! Diesel turns face as he takes one last kick to the chin from HBK. Later in the card, Owen Hart pulls a rabbit out of his hat with a dramatic display of emotion, allowing Bob Backlund to steal the title from Bret Hart. The night closes with The Undertaker stuffing Yokozuna in a coffin, with the help of Chuck Norris.
1995 – The Wild Card match was excellent. The debut of Goldust was also solid. The main event of Diesel’s year long reign as champion coming to an end at the hands of Bret Hart was truly epic. Great card all the way around.
1996 – The WWF title remained a hot potato in 1996, as it changed hands again. This time it was Sid destroying Shawn Michaels and his mentor Jose Lothario at ringside to win the belt. The card also saw the return of Bret Hart against Stone Cold in an instant classic as well as the debut of The Rock as Rocky Mavia.
1997 – The WWF title changed hands at Survivor Series for the fourth straight year, and fifth time overall. I can sum it up in two words “Montreal Screwjob”.
1998 – A cool concept with the title vacant saw the People’s Champion The Rock, become the Corporate Champion in tournament fashion over Mankind in the finals.
1999 – After Stone Cold Steve Austin gets run over by a car, The Big Show takes his place in the main event. Moments later, it is Big Show beating The Rock and HHH to win the WWF Title. For the 6th straight year, and 7th time overall, the belt finds a new home at Survivor Series.
2000 – A terrible main event of Stone Cold dropping HHH from a crane in his car, left everyone filling awkward as they faded to black.
2001 – The greatest Survivor Series ever saw battles all night long of WWF vs WCW/ECW for every belt in the company. It truly is the best Survivor Series there has ever been. Unification bouts saw winners like the Dudley Boyz, Edge, and many others who came up huge with the chips on the line. WWE may be pre-determined but the drama on this night and the sense of believability, was not to be denied.
2002 – Elimination Chamber see’s the returning Shawn Michaels once again steal the show. Also, the Big Show becomes the first person to beat Brock Lesnar, as Heyman turns on the Beast and helps Show win the title.
2003 – Vince McMahon beats The Undertaker in a buried alive match with the help of Kane. Goldberg retains his World Title with a win over HHH. Randy Orton helps Team Bischoff defeat Team Austin. This was just one of many years that saw Randy captain a winning team.
2004 – Cleveland Ohio hosted Survivor Series. A forgettable card, but one that once again saw Randy Orton captain his team to victory in the end.
2005 – Emotional card so close to the passing of Eddie Guerrero. Team Smackdown defeats team Raw, as for the third straight year it is Randy Orton standing tall in the end. This night also saw an excellent match between John Cena and Kurt Angle.
2006 – Team DX (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy) defeated Team Rated-RKO (Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Mike Knox, and Gregory Helms in a clean sweep. With the exception of Knox and Helms, I can’t think of a greater set of talent in the ring at once at a Survivor Series. Later in the night, it was Batista defeating King Booker to win the World Title.
2007 – A largely forgettable edition did see one great match however, as Edge returned to ruin the main event Hell in the Cell classic between The Undertaker and Batista.
2008 – John Cena returns to the ring and in his home town no less, to defeat Chris Jericho for the World Title. Edge also returns for the second straight Survivor Series, this time knocking off Triple H to take his WWE belt. Solid pay per view all the way around. Randy Orton remained the best performer in Survivor Series history when Team Orton (Randy Orton, Shelton Benjamin, William Regal, Cody Rhodes, and Mark Henry) (with Layla, Manu, and Tony Atlas) defeated Team Batista (Batista, CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth)
2009 – This wasn’t a classic year, but healthy with quality action none the less. John Cena defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a fun main event to retain his championship.
2010 – This year was an instant classic because of the main event alone. When you talk drama, emotion and suspense, this main event had it. It was WWE Champion Randy Orton defending his title against Nexus leader Wade Barrett with special guest referee John Cena. Making it even more intense was that Cena was working for Barrett at the time against his will, and if Orton won, Cena would be fired. Well, that’s exactly what happened as Randy Orton once again came up big at a Survivor Series and pulled off the win. Cena was promptly fired in a climatic ending.
2011 – The Rock Teamed up with John Cena to take on The Awesome Truth of The Miz and R-Truth. This was the Rocks first match in nearly a decade, and just like his last, it was at Madison Square Garden. Also to be noted was the CM Punk WWE title win over Alberto Del Rio which kicked off a 400 plus day reign.
2012 – Terrible year, with the sole high spot of The Shield making their debut in the final match, to help CM Punk retain his title over John Cena and Ryback.
2013 – This edition saw both World Champions defend their titles successfully. Randy Orton (c) defeated Big Show and John Cena (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio. It was also memorable for CM Punk teaming with Daniel Bryan to take on the Wyatt Family in the best match of the night.
2014 – This recent event was one of the best ever solely based on the main event that saw Sting make his WWE debut to help Team Cena take down The Authority. It also saw Brie Bella lay a lip lock on AJ Lee that helped Nikki Bella start her history making title reign with the Divas Title.
2015 – Much like in 1998, the WWE title was up for grabs in a tournament. This time it was Roman Reigns knocking off his Shield brother Dean Ambrose to win it. Only to have Shameus spoil the party when he attacked Reigns post match, to cash in his MITB and steal the title.