Ranking the Top 10 Championship Matches in WWE Survivor Series History

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Correspondent IINovember 17, 2012

Ranking the Top 10 Championship Matches in WWE Survivor Series History

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    This Sunday will be the 26th annual WWE Survivor Series, and headlining the event is a Triple Threat for the WWE title between John Cena, Ryback and CM Punk.

    The United States and Divas titles will also be put on the line when R-Truth challenges Antonio Cesar and Kaitlyn takes on Eve, respectively.

    Survivor Series has seen some memorable championship matches and moments, making it one of the longest lasting events in WWE history.

    Will any of those matches this year make a future list recognizing the best title tilts? That remains to be seen.

    It is an annual event that started in November of 1987, and this is a look at the 10 greatest championship matches in the history of the storied event.

Honorable Mention: Edge vs. Test- 2001

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    At possibly the greatest Survivor Series of all, Edge faced Test in 2001 in a match that would unify both the Intercontinental and United States titles.

    This was shortly after WWE's acquisition of WCW and every superstar represented either WWE or 'The Alliance'.

    With the strong lineage behind both titles, it became a very important match in wrestling history.

    Test, who went in as the Intercontinental champion, took the fight to Edge, the United States champion and late in the match, even kicked out of the spear.

    But Edge was able to counter Test's full nelson slam into a roll-up to get the victory, leaving the ring as the undisputed unified champion.

    This was one of the many big accomplishments during the illustrious career of Edge.

10. The Dudley Boyz vs. the Hardy Boyz: Tag Team Titles- 2001

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    Much like the United States and Intercontinental titles, the Tag Team titles between WWE and WCW had to be unified as well.

    The Dudley Boyz, one of the most decorated tag teams in wrestling history, came in with the WCW belts and their opponents were the WWE Tag Team champions, Matt and Jeff Hardy, a team they were very familiar with.

    The match itself took place inside a steel cage where you could win by pinfall, submission or having both members of a team escape the cage.

    With Matt Hardy already out, all Jeff needed to do was escape. He had it made until he saw D-Von Dudley laying prone on a table. Jeff instead took flight, but smashed through the table with the Swanton Bomb when D-Von got out of the way. Matt could only watch helplessly as Bubba Ray Dudley pinned his brother for the win.

    This led to a great story over whether Jeff was more interested in taking death-defying leaps than winning matches.

9. Trish Stratus vs Victoria: Women's Title- 2002

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    Two of the top divas in WWE history put on a show in 2002. The reason this match makes the list is for what it did for women in wrestling.

    This wasn't just a standard match. It was contested under hardcore rules and featured everything from trash cans to kendo sticks to a fire extinguisher.

    In the end, Victoria, bloody nose and all, pinned Trish to capture the WWE Women's Championship.

8. The Rock vs. Mankind- 1998

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    This match took place in the finals of the Deadly Games tournament in 1998 that was held to crown a new WWE champion.

    From the moment the tournament started, it appeared Vince McMahon and his corporation was behind Mankind, even giving him Duane Gill as a first round opponent.

    He eventually made it to the finals against The Rock, a rivalry that helped shape the Attitude Era.

    This match went back and forth as both men gave it everything to become the new champion, but similar to what happened the year before in Montreal, The Rock applied a sharpshooter to Mankind and Vince McMahon immediately asked for the bell.

    In the end, it was clear that Foley had been screwed and that The Rock had sold out.

7. John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H: WWE Title- 2009

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    Three of the biggest names in WWE history squared off in this triple threat for the WWE title.

    Triple H and Shawn Michaels were both part of D-Generation X at the time and even came to the ring together. Were they united against Cena? They sure tried to be, until the end.

    Triple H loaded up Cena for the Pedigree but HBK nailed his friend and partner with the Sweet Chin Music, allowing Cena to scoop Michaels up and drop him right onto "The Game" with the Attitude Adjustment.

    Cena then covered Triple H for the pin to retain the title and end a serious threat to his championship reign.

6. Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker: WWE Title- 2000

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    After shocking The Rock to win the WWE title a month earlier at No Mercy, Kurt Angle had to defend the gold against The Undertaker at Survivor Series. How would he possibly retain it?

    He held his own against Undertaker but after being knocked out of the ring, Angle went under the ring. Undertaker followed and pulled out what appeared to be Kurt, throwing him into the ring and delivering the 'Last Ride' powerbomb.

    But as Undertaker went for the pin, Angle reemerged from the other side and rolled him up for the upset victory.

    It was later revealed that the man Undertaker pulled from under the ring was in fact Kurt's brother, Eric.

5. Bret Hart vs. Bob Backlund: WWE Title- 1994

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    A great match with a great story.

    Bob Backlund and Bret Hart, two of the better technical wrestlers WWE has ever seen, went at it for the WWE title in 1994 and the only way to win was to utter the words "I quit."

    The match went for 35 minutes, and it didn't seem either man would ever say the words. That's when Bret's jealous younger brother appeared and convinced their mother Helen that Bret was suffering too much pain and punishment.

    In an unforgettable moment, Martha threw in the towel on behalf of Bret and Backlund became champion.

4. Batista vs. Undertaker: World Title- 2007

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    The 2007 Survivor Series was closed out by The Undertaker challenging Batista for the World heavyweight title inside Hell in a Cell.

    Each man put the other through plenty of pain and agony, but the match was ultimately decided by a third party.

    Dressed as a cameraman, Edge entered the ring and attacked The Undertaker, smashing the camera over his head before laying his head over the steel ring steps, which were in the ring, and smashing him over the head with a steel chair.

    He then pulled Batista into a cover and gave him a massive assist in him retaining his title.

3. The Undertaker vs. Hulk Hogan- 1991

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    This would be the first time the WWE title would ever be defended at Survivor Series. In fact, with the team elimination concept of the event, it would be the first singles match in the history of Survivor Series.

    Billed as the "Gravest Challenge," this was a match that was considered must see in 1991. Never before had the WWE seen someone as dominant as The Undertaker, who had made his debut just one year prior at this event.

    But could he defeat the man who was the face of the company, Hulk Hogan? Could he defeat a man who, at that time, almost never lost?

    The answer to those questions was yes. Although it took some interference from Ric Flair, The Undertaker dropped Hogan right on a steel chair with the Tombstone piledriver and pinned him.

    If you ever want to see a surreal moment in WWE history, go back and watch this match and concentrate on the fans in the crowd.

2. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels: WWE Title- 1992

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    It was a very hard choice between numbers one and two, and this match could easily be the best championship match in Survivor Series history.

    Long before they became the top two guys in WWE and then formed a bitter, real life rivalry, Bret Hart took on the young upstart, Intercontinental champion Shawn Michaels, in 1992.

    With the title on the line, Michaels showed why he would go on to be one of the greatest competitors ever, giving the Hitman everything he could handle.

    For nearly 27 minutes, they put on a show, as they would many more times over the years.

    On this night, Hart would make Michaels pay for a mistake, turning him over into the Sharpshooter after catching him in a dropkick attempt off the middle turnbuckle.

    This one is a true classic of the event and a match you should definitely watch if you've never seen.

1. Elimination Chamber- 2002

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    The Elimination Chamber. What a great concept. It was such a great concept that it ended up getting a pay-per-view event dedicated to it.

    This was the first Elimination Chamber match in WWE history and it featured six of the best that WWE had to offer, battling for the World championship.

    Rob Van Dam, Kane, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Triple H and Shawn Michaels gave wrestling fans something they had never seen before in a match that went just about 40 minutes.

    The story behind the story was the remarkable return to the ring of Michaels, who had only been back about three months at this point. Surely he wouldn't win it, would he?

    It came down to Michaels and Triple H, as many probably expected. But Michaels would be the winner, catching Triple H with the Sweet Chin Music.

    The match took place inside Madison Square Garden and the commentary from Jim Ross is excellent.

    This is easily one of the best finishes to a WWE event of all time.