With the 2012 edition of WWE Survivor Series on the horizon, it's only natural that fans think back to Survivor Series events of years past. There have been some incredible matches since the show's inception in 1987, but I'll always remember the traditional elimination bouts most fondly.
Although we have been seeing less and less classic Survivor Series contests over the past decade or so, they are still a huge part of the event. With that said, every long-time wrestling fan likes to wonder what could have been if stars from different eras could have competed against each other or team together, particularly in a Survivor Series setting.
While we'll never actually see wrestlers from the 1960s take on the superstars of today, it's fun to think about how things might have played out. Taking that into account, and with the Survivor Series spirit ever present, I decided to craft a dream Survivor Series card made up entirely of multi-man elimination matches.
Every superstar who has ever competed in WWE was eligible to be a part of the card. I've made a conscious effort to mix eras, reprise feuds of the past and do essentially anything that would make this dream Survivor Series worth watching. Without further ado, here is my ultimate Survivor Series event.
Los Tecnicos: Rey Mysterio, Mil Mascaras, Tito Santana, Sin Cara, Juventud Guerrera
Los Rudos: Eddie Guerrero, Chavo Guerrero, Alberto Del Rio, Los Conquistadores (Uno y Dos)
The WWE has a long history of utilizing Mexican wrestlers, as well as American wrestlers with Mexican heritages, so it is only fitting that the Survivor Series dream card starts off with a match that has a decidedly south-of-the-border flavor.
Los Tecnicos ("babyfaces" in Spanish) will be led by the man who many consider to be the greatest luchador in professional wrestling history, Rey Mysterio. Another man who can stake claim to that title, Mil Mascaras, will join in as well. In addition to them, WWE legend Tito Santana will embrace his Mexican roots. Current luchador Sin Cara will get in on the action and Juventud Guerrera will round out the team, despite that he did his best work in WCW.
Los Rudos ("heels" in Spanish) will provide the perfect foil to the face team. The quintessential heel, Eddie Guerrero, will captain the squad, with his nephew, Chavo, lending a helping hand as well. The Mexican Aristocrat, Alberto Del Rio, makes for a perfect addition, as do Los Conquistadores.
This match works on several levels because there are so many potential feuds. Los Guerreros had issues with Mysterio in the past, as has Del Rio. Perhaps the most interesting rivalry resides between Del Rio and Mascaras. Mascaras is Del Rio's uncle, but the cocky Del Rio hasn't exemplified the luchador way during his WWE tenure.
After plenty of fast-paced action, this match would naturally come down to Mysterio and Latino Heat, with the diminutive, masked man scoring the decisive fall for his team.
Team Extreme: Hardy Boyz (Jeff & Matt), Dudley Boyz (Buh Buh Ray & D-Von), Edge & Christian
Team Destruction: Legion of Doom (Hawk & Animal), Demolition (Ax & Smash), Powers of Pain (Warlord & Barbarian)
Many wrestling fans argue about when the true tag team golden age took place. Some of the younger fans contend that it occurred during the Attitude Era, but others will tell you that the division was much deeper in the late-1980s and early-1990s. In order to settle that debate once and for all, Team Extreme will square off against Team Destruction.
Team Extreme will feature three of the Attitude Era's greatest tandems: The Hardy Boyz, The Dudley Boyz and Edge & Christian. These three teams squared off against each other in the famed TLC match at WrestleMania, so there is no love lost, but together they could be an unstoppable force.
Speaking of unstoppable, Team Destruction may be the most powerful team ever assembled. The Legion of Doom, Demolition and The Powers of Pain are made up by six of the strongest wrestlers to ever step foot in a WWE ring. Many contend that LOD was the original, and Demolition and Powers of Pain were knockoffs, but they all brought something to the table.
In this match, Team Extreme would rely largely on its speed and athleticism, while Team Destruction would be about pure brawn. In order to make this match even more exciting, it would be wrestled under extreme rules with tables, ladders, chairs and anything else.
This would naturally play into Team Extreme's hands, and they would come out on top, thanks to the Dudleys giving Animal a 3D through a table.
The All-Americans: Lex Luger, Kurt Angle, Sgt. Slaughter, "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, The Patriot
The Hart Dungeon: Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Chris Jericho, Lance Storm, Chris Benoit
Over the course of wrestling history, the most prevalent feud has been the American against the disrespectful foreigner. It's a storyline that essentially writes itself, and it has proven to be successful time and time again. While Americans and Canadians generally get along pretty well in everyday life, our neighbors to the north have been antagonists at various points over the years.
In this matchup The All-Americans will look to defend the honor of the red, white and blue. Lex Luger will captain the team while utilizing his "Lex Express" patriotic gimmick from 1994. Joining him will be Kurt Angle, who played the heel role for much of his career, but he is also an American hero. Alongside them will be three of the most pro-American faces in WWE history: Sgt. Slaughter (pre- and post-Iraqi sympathizer gimmick), "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and The Patriot.
Opposing them will be one of the most successful foreign stables in WWE history. The Hart Foundation had fans across the United States hating them in 1997, and while I've put together a similar team, this one will be known as the Hart Dungeon. Bret and Owen Hart will lead the team and they'll be flanked by three dungeon graduates in Chris Jericho, Lance Storm and Chris Benoit.
I could have stuck with the actual Hart Foundation and gone with Jim Neidhart, British Bulldog and Brian Pillman, but I wanted to shake things up and get Jericho on the card. With that said, The Hart Dungeon would be just as formidable as The Hart Foundation.
As much as the fans would like to see the American squad come out on top, The Hart Dungeon will prove to be too much, as both Harts and Jericho survive the match, with Bret last eliminating Angle via the Sharpshooter.
The Heenan Family: Andre The Giant, Mr. Perfect, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Harley Race, "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
The Warriors: The Ultimate Warrior, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat
Most fans would agree that Bobby "The Brain" Heenan is the greatest manager in the history of professional wrestling. While none of his wrestlers were ever able to outflank the top faces in the company for the WWE Championship, he built an impressive stable of talent. While his most famous feuds involved Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior was also a major nemesis.
In an effort to take out Warrior once and for all, Heenan will put together the best Heenan Family team possible. It would be led by Andre The Giant, with legends Mr. Perfect, "Ravishing" Rick Rude, Harley Race and "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase pitching in as well. DiBiase was never technically part of the Heenan family, but Heenan did sell Andre's contract to DiBiase, and I'd be remiss if I didn't add DiBiase to this card.
To counter Heenan's formidable squad, Warrior will captain one of his own. Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat all had various issues with each other over the course of their storied careers, but they would find some common ground, in order to put a muzzle on The Weasel.
This would certainly have to be considered a dream match, as seven of the 10 participants are already in the WWE Hall of Fame. Warrior, Rude and Roberts aren't, but it's only a matter of time before they are, depending upon whether Warrior can come to an agreement with the WWE. Whatever the case, the superstars in this match absolutely dominated the 1980s and early 1990s.
I'm no Warrior fan myself, but he would have to be the sole survivor in this contest by last eliminating the legendary Andre The Giant.
The Nature Boys: Ric Flair, Buddy Rogers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, "Superstar" Billy Graham, "Classy" Freddie Blassie
Team Old School: Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales, Dusty Rhodes, "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich
Wrestlers who excelled in the 1970s and earlier are often overlooked by today's wrestling fans since most of them didn't have the opportunity to watch them wrestle live. However, without the hard work that these men put in, professional wrestling may never have exploded in the mid-1980s, and the landscape of the business could be much different today.
In order to pay homage to the forgotten wrestlers of the past, I decided to create a Survivor Series match that showcases their talents. On one side, we have The Nature Boys led by Ric Flair. It is only natural that he would be captaining the most arrogant, flamboyant and glamorous team of all time. Alongside him will be his idol, "Nature Boy" Buddy Rogers, Jesse "The Body" Ventura, "Superstar" Billy Graham and "Classy" Freddie Blassie.
The only way to counteract the ultimate heel team is to assemble a group of the hardest-working, lunch-pail faces of all time. They would, of course, be led by Bruno Sammartino. Also joining the team would be Bob Backlund, Pedro Morales, Dusty Rhodes and "Texas Tornado" Kerry Von Erich. These five men are among the most popular wrestlers of all time, but none of them needed the pop and pizzazz that their opponents possess to reach that level.
Both sides feature three former WWE Champions apiece, with Sammartino and Backlund each staking claim to some of the longest title reigns in the company's history. Rhodes and Von Erich never won the WWE Championship, but they were both major stars in other promotions and had incredible fan support when they did make the jump to WWE.
I'm partial to The Nature Boys myself, but this simply wouldn't be an old school matchup if the faces didn't find a way to prevail. The bad guys cheating ways would eventually come back to bite them in this match, with Sammartino and Backlund standing tall by last eliminating Flair.
Team DX: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg & Billy Gunn), X-Pac
Team nWo: Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash, Big Show, "Macho Man" Randy Savage
When the WWE and WCW were doing battle during the Monday Night Wars, two of the greatest stables in wrestling history were indirectly squaring off as well. Along with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock, the WWE was buoyed by D-Generation X, while the nWo was WCW's driving force, even if it was ultimately the company's downfall as well.
Although it probably could have been done in WWE after WCW was bought out, Vince McMahon was never able to put together a real DX vs. nWo angle. Since timing means nothing in this little exercise, Team DX vs. Team nWo absolutely must be included. Team DX would naturally be led by Shawn Michaels with Triple H, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac in tow. Michaels never technically teamed with The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac, but he would have fit in just fine.
As for Team nWo, Hollywood Hulk Hogan is the ring leader, as he always was, with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash just a notch below. The other two choices aren't obvious since the nWo grew to have so many members, but both Big Show and Randy "Macho Man" Savage were part of the group fairly early in its existence, so they round out the squad.
I would expect the crowd to be split down the middle in this one. Both DX and nWo were technically heel stables to start, but the fans loved them so much that they resembled tweeners in a lot of ways. The fact that Michaels, Triple H and X-Pac would be battling a couple of their best friends in Hall and Nash would make for interesting viewing as well.
Based purely on the fact that Team nWo has more overall talent, I would give them the win in this one. The match would come down to Michaels and Triple H vs. Hogan, Hall and Nash, but Hogan would find a way to prevail, and the entire nWo squad would spray paint their logo on the backs of Michaels and Triple H after the match.
Team Attitude: "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Mankind
Team PG: John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Sheamus, Ryback
With the WWE '13 video game focusing on mixing the Attitude Era and the current era of wrestling, it has prompted a lot of fans to think about how wrestlers from the two different time periods would interact. We've already seen some of it with The Rock facing John Cena at WrestleMania and CM Punk constantly involved in a war of words with legends like The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and Mick Foley, but we would never truly see the contrast unless they all stepped into the ring against each other.
That thought process naturally led me to create a Team Attitude vs. Team PG match to headline this Survivor Series card. There were so many incredible stars during the Attitude Era, but I settled on Austin, Rock, The Undertaker, Kane and Mankind as my five-man team. All of five of them were featured prominently during that era and they are all considered to be among the best performers who ever lived.
As for the PG Team, the star power isn't as evident. Cena and Punk would have been stars in any era, but there is a lack of established main event names after that. Randy Orton makes sense, as he has been a major player since the end of the Attitude Era, and I decided to go with Sheamus and Ryback as well. Neither is considered a legend at this point, especially Ryback, but both have the potential to help define the current era of wrestling.
None of the guys on this list have lost cleanly throughout much of their careers, so it would be an intriguing tilt. Cena already has history with The Rock. Punk has done something with everyone on Team Attitude, and I'm sure most people would love to see Ryback mix it up with fellow monsters like The Undertaker and Kane.
There is no way to get around the fact that this match has to end with Austin and Rock vs. Cena and Punk. Those four superstars are the faces of their eras and the fans would love to see them square off. Things would eventually be whittled down to Austin against Cena, with Austin scoring the pinfall victory via a Stunner, demonstrating the Attitude Era's dominance.