WWE Survivor Series 2012 will be the 26th time this event has aired on pay-per-view. Since it first appeared in 1987 on Thanksgiving night, the card has become a hotbed of memorable moments.
And it has become the second-longest running event in WWE history. (WWE.com)
From shocking title changes, heel turns, screwjobs and backstage meetings, anything seems to be capable of happening at Survivor Series.
Factoring in unpredictability and historical impact, here are the 10 most memorable moments in Survivor Series history.
The Rock made his debut in the WWE at Survivor Series 1996 as Rocky Maivia.
The third-generation superstar teamed with Marc Mero, Jake Roberts and The Stalker, aka Barry Windham. Their opponents were Crush, Jerry Lawler, Triple H (then known as Hunter Hearst Helmsley) and Goldust.
The Rock would be the sole survivor of his team, eliminating both Crush and Goldust within seconds of each other.
This moment started it all for The Great One.
“Stone Cold” Steve Austin was scheduled to be part of the triple threat main event against Triple H and The Rock.
Just before the Intercontinental Championship match between Chris Jericho and Chyna, Austin was being interviewed backstage. Triple H interrupted him. When Austin chased him, a car hit Austin after speeding through.
He flipped over the hood and landed on the ground. Austin did not compete in the main event and was replaced by The Big Show.
In reality, Austin needed neck surgery. The car angle allowed him to be off TV for the grueling nine-month recovery.
When Lita decided to hang up her boots after Survivor Series 2006, it signaled a harsh reality: The golden age of women’s wrestling in the WWE had come to a close.
Along with Trish Stratus, Lita was one of the few Divas who could elicit a strong reaction from the crowd. (WWE.com) And her retirement came on the heels of Stratus’s at Unforgiven.
Any hope Lita may have had at leaving the sport with the belt were not to be, as Mickie James pinned her and took the title.
James left the ring quickly leaving Lita alone. She called in Lilian Garcia and forced her to beg the crowd for applause for the “greatest women’s champion of all time.”
The timid response from the crowd gave Lita the motive to lash out at the fans.
This memorable moment took place on almost the entire card. This was the first time since WrestleMania IV that a tournament was held on a pay-per-view for the title.
There were no traditional team matches on the card, a first for the event. The women’s title and the tag team title were the only other bouts outside the tournament.
Nicknamed “Deadly Games,” the tournament consisted of 14 wrestlers. The final wound up being Mankind vs.The Rock.
The Rock won the bout and turned heel.
In the final minutes of the championship match with Mankind at the 1998 Survivor Series, the Rock locked Mankind in a Sharpshooter.
Moments later Vince McMahon called for the bell, though Mankind did not tap. It was an obvious mockery of the events from the year before, the infamous Montreal Screwjob.
The Rock then revealed that he had aligned himself with Vince McMahon.
The Corporation was born.
They first formed an alliance on an edition of Saturday Night’s Main Event. Miss Elizabeth brought Hogan out to the ring to save Savage from a vicious beatdown at the hands of The Hart Foundation and The Honky Tonk Man.
They debuted as a tag team at SummerSlam in 1988, facing Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant.
At the 1988 Survivor Series, Hogan and Savage were the lone survivors of their match. Hogan became very friendly with Elizabeth in their celebration, picking her up and spinning around with her. This left Savage visibly upset.
Moments after the match, Jesse Ventura confronted Savage about his looks in the ring, which Savage downplayed as nothing.
At the Royal Rumble, Hogan accidentally eliminated Savage.
By February 1989, the two were engaged in a massive feud.
The Undertaker debuted at the fourth edition of Survivor Series, held in Hartford, Conn.
He was part of the Million Dollar Team, along with Ted DiBiase and Rhythm & Blues, the tag team made up of Greg Valentine and The Honky Tonk Man. Their opponents were called The Dream Team and made up of Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware, and The Hart Foundation.
As the mystery partner of the Million Dollar Team, The Undertaker dominated the match. He eliminated Ware in less than a minute with the Tombstone piledriver, then eliminated Rhodes.
He would go on to dominate for the next 22 years.
One year after his debut at the previous year’s Survivor Series, The Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan to win his first world title.
According to WWE.com, this bout showed the dominance of The Undertaker; it showed how no one, not even Hogan, could stop the Deadman.
What also makes this match standout is another first: the first singles bout to take place on-camera at Survivor Series.
In 2003, Brock Lesnar was the WWE Champion and Bill Goldberg was the World Heavyweight Champion.
Lesnar had debuted in 2002 after being scouted by WWE officials. (WWE.com) Goldberg had arrived two years after the WWE bought out WCW.
Being interviewed by Josh Mathews after his team had lost, Lesnar refused to admit that he lost or tapped out. When he said no one in the WWE could beat him, Goldberg walked up to where they were talking.
Goldberg introduced himself as the World heavyweight champion. He turned, asked if Brock was going to wish him luck and left.
This was the first time the two had appeared on-camera together. It would lead to their only match, at WrestleMania XX.
This was the moment the Attitude Era began.
Hart, a 14-year veteran, was the WWF Champion going into this bout. When told to drop the title to Shawn Michaels at the event in Montreal, he disagreed.
According to Hart’s book, My Life in the Cartoon World of Professional Wrestling, Michaels allegedly said he would never lose to Hart. Hart became angry and refused to drop the title in Montreal.
With Hart set to leave for WCW one month after Survivor Series, Vince McMahon decided to take the title off him.
In the match with Michaels, Hart was placed in a Sharpshooter. He never tapped out but the bell was rung and the belt awarded to Michaels. The crowd went berserk, pelting the ring with trash.
Nine years passed before Hart ever appeared on WWE programming again. In 2006 he was inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame.