WWE Survivor Series: 8 Superstars Who Challenged for the Big One
When Survivor Series was created in 1987, the pay-per-view mainly focused on elimination matches.
As years went by, the concept slowly disappeared, and regular singles and tag team matches came into play.
That didn’t mean the elimination matches were dropped; they just weren’t that special, in the eyes of the WWE.
As the 26th-annual Survivor Series approaches, Ryback is set to challenge for the WWE Championship in a triple-threat match. This is his first Survivor Series and he's already in the main event, going for the big one.
I decided to look back at other wrestlers who had the chance to walk into Survivor Series to win a World Championship for the first time.
*To be included on the list, a wrestler couldn’t have been a World Champion before a match at Survivor Series.
Survivor Series 1991: Hulk Hogan vs. the Undertaker
At the 1990 Survivor Series, the Undertaker made his debut in the WWE, introduced as the last member of Ted DiBiase’s team.
For an entire year, the Undertaker defeated anyone that got in his way. This included Jimmy Snuka, who 'Taker defeated at WrestleMania VII.
A year after his debut, the Undertaker had a shot to win the WWE Championship. The man who stood in his way was Hulk Hogan.
Hogan was a man who always beat the odds. He defeated people like Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy and Randy Savage, but never faced a man like the Undertaker.
That night, people were in for a surprise. Thanks to the help of Ric Flair, the Undertaker defeated Hulk Hogan after he tombstoned him on a chair.
Just a year after his debut, not only did the Undertaker win the WWE Championship, but he defeated Hulk Hogan, who was the face of the WWE.
The Undertaker’s first WWE Championship reign didn’t last long. He lost it to Hulk Hogan at the Tuesday in Texas event just a week later.
Survivor Series 1992: Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
5 years before their controversial match in Montreal, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels had an encounter at the 1992 Survivor Series.
This one had no screw jobs.
Hart was scheduled to face Jake Roberts at the event, but due to contract problems the match was cancelled. Instead, Michaels took the place of Roberts.
Shawn Michaels was not a stranger to WWE gold, as he walked into Survivor Series as Intercontinental champion. Lucky for him, his title was not on the line.
Michaels was a wrestler and a great heel who was quickly rising to the top of the card, as this match proved.
However, this was not his night.
Even though he lost the match, it wouldn't be the last time he’d be in the ring with Bret Hart.
At WrestleMania XII, Michaels defeated Hart to win his first WWE Championship.
Survivor Series 1996: Shawn Michaels vs. Sycho Sid
In March of 1996, Shawn Michaels won his first WWE Championship when he defeated Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII.
At Survivor Series, a big obstacle stood in his way.
Sycho Sid challenged Michaels for his title, and these two men were no strangers. The year before, Sid and Michaels were partners, but split up.
Now the former team was set to go one-on-one with one another with the title on the line.
Michaels and Sid were both fan favorites, depending on which age group you were looking at.
Up until Survivor Series, Shawn Michaels successfully defended his title against every challenger.
On this night, his title reign ended when Sid pinned him in New York City.
Just a few months later at the Royal Rumble, Sycho Sid lost his WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels.
Michaels soon forfeited the title due to injury.
Survivor Series 1998: WWE Championship Tournament
The 1998 Survivor Series was special for many reasons.
One was because the entire PPV focused on a tournament to crown a new WWE champion.
The second was because it was the night The Rock won the WWE Championship and then turned heel, joining the Corporation.
There were quite a few wrestlers in the tournament who had a chance to win the title for the first time.
Out of all of them, Rock was victorious.
The Rock lost the title to Mankind, whom he had beaten to win the title, just a month later.
Survivor Series 1999: Big Show vs. the Rock vs. Triple H
At the 1999 Survivor Series, the original plan for the main event was "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Triple H.
During the show, Austin was run over by a car, so he was automatically taken out of the match.
Big Show was the man to replace Austin.
Luck was on Show's side. Not only was he added to the match at the last minute, but he actually won the title.
Many people didn’t believe Show would actually win the title, but he proved everyone wrong.
Big Show lost the title to Triple H in January.
Hey, it’s better than a 18-second reign.
Survivor Series 2008: Edge vs. Triple H vs. Vladimir Kozlov
In 1999, Triple H was surprised by Big Show replacing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, in a triple-threat match that also included The Rock.
Without much preparation for the giant, Triple H lost his title.
At the 2008 Survivor Series, HHH experienced deja vu.
He was scheduled to defend his title against Jeff Hardy and Vladimir Kozlov. But Hardy was found unconscious before the show and taken out of the match.
The match went ahead as planned, with HHH and Kozlov fighting for the title. This was Kozlov’s chance to win the big one, as it was now one-on-one.
Unfortunately for him, he didn’t expect Edge to make his return and replace Jeff Hardy.
Kozlov’s dream came to an end as Edge won the match and the WWE Championship.
Edge lost the title a month later to Jeff Hardy in a triple-threat match that included Triple H.
Survivor Series 2010: Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett
In June of 2010, the former rookies of NXT made an impact when they attacked John Cena, CM Punk and almost every WWE employee at ringside, then destroyed the ring itself.
This group became known as the Nexus.
Throughout the summer, they attacked anyone that stood in their way and did almost anything that they wanted.
At the Hell in a Cell PPV, Wade Barrett, the leader, defeated John Cena and forced him to join the group.
Later on at Survivor Series, Barrett challenged Randy Orton for his WWE Championship, with Cena as a special guest referee.
Barrett had a chance to bring the WWE Championship to the Nexus and wanted Cena to help him do that.
During the match, Barrett got upset that Cena didn’t count to three, even though Orton’s hand was on the ropes. He pushed Cena, who pushed back.
Orton quickly caught Barrett in an RKO, and won the match.
The following month, Barrett and Cena fought at the TLC PPV, which Barrett lost.
Survivor Series 2012: CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback
On November 18, 2012, Ryback will be the next man to enter Survivor Series to try to win the WWE Championship for the first time.
It won’t be an easy task, as John Cena will also be in the match.
Ryback is out for revenge, as he was screwed out of his WWE Championship win at the Hell in a Cell PPV.
John Cena is out to win the WWE Championship and shut CM Punk’s mouth, after having to give up his spot to Ryback due to injury.
CM Punk is out to show why he is the best in the world and extend his reign as WWE champion.
No matter what happens, this should be an interesting match to watch.
Originally published on November 13, 2012 at WrestleEnigma.com