Compiling the All-Time WWE Survivor Series Tag Team
Whatever groups WWE cobbles together for this year's event won't compare to the all-time Survivor Series team.
Imagine if the company could pluck five Superstars from the pay-per-view's history to build a single team of the most successful, most ever-present and most memorable performers in traditional Survivor Series elimination tag matches.
Stats and records from TheHistoryofWWE.com help us look back at who had the biggest impact on this type of match.
From Hulk Hogan, a man who spearheaded the Survivor Series tradition, to a Superstar who is undefeated in these matches, the all-time Survivor Series team would be an intriguing blend of styles and fusion of generations.
Superstars earned their spot on this five-man team by way of how many Survivor Series elimination tag matches they've competed in, their record in those bouts and bonus points are given for being a part of highly rated versions of those matches.
Years Competing in Traditional Survivor Series Tag Matches: 1987, 1988, 1989, two in 1990
Survivor Series' first major star was, not surprisingly, WWE's biggest star at the time.
Hulk Hogan was in the main event of the inaugural version of the event in 1987 which earned a 3.75 out of 5 rating from Wrestling Observer Newsletter. This was the only traditional Survivor Series elimination tag match that he ever lost.
Hogan captained a team that won the headline match the following year, defeated The Million Dollar Team in 1989 and in 1990 was a part of two winning teams on the same night.
He also consistently ended up as one of the last men standing each time. WWE built the Survivor Series brand partially on Hogan's star power and heroics and so he forces his way onto this team, ready to deliver a legdrop to whoever his opponents may be.
Years Competing in Traditional Survivor Series Tag Matches: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, managed in 1994 and two matches in 1995
Record: 5-3 total, 2-3 as wrestler
The ultimate Survivor Series team needs a leader, a strategist who can also dish out a nasty elbow. "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase's experience as both a competitor and manager in these matches makes him the ideal candidate.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter rated his match in 1990 vs. The Hart Foundation, Koko B. Ware and Dusty Rhodes 3.5 stars. This bout is most famous for being The Undertaker's debut, but it was DiBiase who was the sole survivor having eliminated both members of The Hart Foundation.
In 1995, he was the cornerman for two winning teams, further proof of his worth to the all-time Survivor Series squad as a captain.
Years Competing in Traditional Survivor Series Tag Matches: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2003, 2005, 2008
Shawn Michaels is the bridge from Survivor Series first years to the current era.
As either a member of The Rockers, D-Generation X or just representing himself, Michaels has competed in an impressive number of Survivor Series traditional tag clashes. What other Superstar was been such a constant presence at the event?
His win-loss record isn't all that impressive, thanks to the Hart Family among others, but his performances were often memorable and he was a part of some of the best traditional Survivor Series tag matches ever.
In 1988, his match earned a 3.5 rating from Wrestling Observer Newsletter. That was followed by a 3.5 rating in 1995, a 4.25 in 2003 and a 3.5 in 2005. While it was often in losing efforts, Michaels contributed to the Survivor Series greatest hits collection as consistently as one would expect from a man whose resume is so flush with classics.
Three decades of Survivor Series service earns him and his Sweet Chin Music a spot on the all-time team.
Years Competing in Traditional Survivor Series Tag Matches: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012
From 2003 to 2005, Randy Orton was the sole survivor for a winning team. Three years later, he and Cody Rhodes were the last two men standing in their battle against Team Batista.
Putting Orton on the all-time Survivor Series team gives the squad a man apparently difficult to defeat.
His record has certainly cooled off in recent years, but Orton still ranks among the winningest Superstars in the event's history. His efforts in traditional Survivor Series bouts have equaled critical acclaim as well.
Years Competing in Traditional Survivor Series Tag Matches: 2003, 2004, 2006
John Cena has made the most of his opportunities in traditional Survivor Series elimination bouts. Though he has just three of them on his resume, he's been on the winning side each time and beyond that, has never been eliminated.
In 2003, he and Chris Benoit were the only men left standing. The next year it was Big Show, Eddie Guerrero and Cena left after the battle was over and in 2006, he and Bobby Lashley outlasted the competition.
The matches he's been a part of haven't earned as many favorable ratings as the other members of the all-time Survivor Series team, but an unblemished record and twice eliminating Big Show help balance that out.