WWE Survivor Series 2011: 10 Best Moments Ever at Madison Square Garden
Madison Square Garden has been host to many events in WWE history. Some moments still stand the test of time and some have faded away into the sunset.
"The House that McMahon Built" has been synonymous with MSG and for good reason: it delivered record crowds and established some of the biggest events that we know today.
MSG has hosted the big four WWE events on multiple occasions and it has been host to some of the biggest events in the careers of such stars as Shawn Michaels, Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and a man who will be making his in-ring return on Nov. 20 at the 2011 edition of Survivor Series, The Rock.
Lets take a look back at some of the biggest events that have already happened, starting with some irony.
Honourable Mention: Royal Rumble Winners
The Royal Rumble has been held at MSG twice. Can you name the two men to win those Rumbles? Here is a hint, they team together at Survivor Series this year.
Well, you shouldn't because the answer is The Rock and John Cena.
Yes, The Rock won the 2000 Royal Rumble, despite The Big Show's later efforts to reverse the call on his elimination, and Cena came back from a torn pectoral muscle by entering No. 30 in the 2008 Rumble and eliminated Triple H to earn his first (and only) Royal Rumble win.
Cena's win also marked the second consecutive year when the No. 30 entrant won the Rumble, after Undertaker's win in 2007. Of course, before then, nobody won the Rumble at No. 30, the last entrant in the match (at the time).
Honourable Mention. Bret Hart Wins First Singles Title (Summerslam 1991)
It was the match that kick-started the singles career of Bret Hart. He went up against the Intercontinental Champion Mr. Perfect at the 1991 Summerslam, in a match that is still talked about today as one of the best matches in Summerslam history.
Hart had just broken up the Hart Foundation and was seeking his first singles title in WWE.
The match was an instant classic and it established Hart as a credible singles performer, a singles career that saw Hart win five WWF Championships, two King of the Ring tournaments, the 1994 Royal Rumble (with Lex Luger) and two Intercontinental Championships, the first of which was won at Madison Square Garden.
10. WWE Title Match: Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (Royal Rumble 2000)
What more can you say about this match? It made Triple H into the biggest star in WWE and it brought back Foley's hardcore persona, Cactus Jack.
Years later, I still remember this match for the amount of thumb tacks, the barbed wire on a 2x4 and the amount of blood lost by Triple H.
The match was so good, this guy voted it as the greatest match in Triple H's career.
Mrs. Foley's baby boy put over one of today's biggest legends and he did it at the same arena he hitchhiked to as a kid to see Jimmy Snuka jump off the top of a cage.
Combined with the Hell in a Cell match a month later at No Way Out, the feud between Triple H and Mick Foley ushered in the WWE into the new millennium and the first of two big title matches between the two took place at Madison Square Garden.
9. Honky Tonk Man's Record Title Reign Lost in Record Time (Summerslam 1988)
In June 1987, the Honky Tonk Man became the Intercontinental Champion and little did anyone know that the reign would stand in the record books almost 25 years later.
Albeit, Honky Tonk Man often got himself disqualified in true heel fashion, the main point was that he held onto the belt.
One year, two months and 27 days to be exact and it only took 31 seconds for it to come crashing down.
At Summerslam 1988, The Ultimate Warrior challenged the cousin of Jerry Lawler for the title he held so dear to him.
Challengers such as Bruno Sammartino, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and even "Macho Man" Randy Savage couldn't get it done but at MSG, the longest Intercontinental Title reign in history ended and it signaled the beginning of the end for Honky Tonk Man's title pushes in WWE.
It was a historical moment and it lands at No. 9.
8. Triple H Makes His Return (RAW; January 2001)
"Just in case you've forgotten, let me tell you in just who the hell I am."
After eight months of recuperation, Triple H made his return to the WWE at Madison Square Garden on an episode of RAW in 2001.
He tore his left quadriceps muscle in May 2001 in a tag team match pitting him and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin against Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho and missed the entire Invasion storyline.
When his music hit, fans at MSG jumped onto their feet as The Game was back to announce that he would be entering the 2002 Royal Rumble, which he won and went on to defeat Chris Jericho for the Undisputed WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 18 in Toronto.
His epic return to television and the reaction behind it created a moment in MSG lore that Triple H will probably never forget.
7. Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth Get Married (Summerslam 1991)
It was definitely a match made in heaven.
One of the most lovable duos in wrestling history, "Macho Man" Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth got married at Summerslam 1991.
Savage lost a retirement match to the Ultimate Warrior at Wrestlemania VII and subsequently ended his in-ring career for the time being.
Queen Sherri attacked Savage after the match until Elizabeth, who was in the crowd, made her return and fended Sherri off.
The couple were together for years and at the peak of their popularity, decided to tie the knot onscreen. The event was advertised heavily and when it happened at MSG, it became one of the first televised weddings in wrestling history.
Every time you see couples like Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, Edge and Lita, Edge and Vickie Guererro, Kane and Lita and so many more, you can't help but think back to this historic moment in MSG history.
6. Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart (Wrestlemania X)
It is widely regarded as the best match of Owen Hart's career.
At Wrestlemania X, Bret and Owen were in the midst of a feud and Bret was scheduled to face Yokozuna for the WWF Championship that night.
As Yokozuna had to already face Lex Luger beforehand, Bret had to wrestle in another match to keep even with the champion.
That match turned out to be a wrestling clinic as both men displayed what they learned so well in their father's dungeon in Calgary, Alberta.
Owen would win the match after countering a victory roll while Bret would go on to winning the WWF Title later in the night.
If not for a certain ladder match, this match could have easily been "Match of the Year" for 1994.
5. Shawn Michaels Wins First Elimination Chamber Match (Survivor Series 2002)
In the annals of wrestling history, new match concepts get developed that test the athletes' ability and creativity in the ring.
The Elimination Chamber was an idea sparked by then-RAW GM Eric Bischoff as a combination of Hell in a Cell and War Games.
Six men participated in the first ever Elimination Chamber match at Survivor Series 2002 in MSG.
This marked Michaels' first world title match in over four years, dating back to his WWE Championship loss to "Stone Cold" Steve Austin at Wrestlemania XIV.
Michaels and then-World Heavyweight Champion Triple H were feuding after Michaels' return to in-ring action.
Triple H had to defend the belt in this match against Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Kane and Chris Jericho.
The match itself was emotional at the end as it marked the culmination of four years of recovery for Michaels.
Streamers and confetti fell from the rafters of MSG as Michaels celebrated another world championship win.
4. Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit (Wrestlemania XX)
Wrestlemania XX was where it all began...again.
At the end, we witnessed one of the greatest triple threat matches in WWE history and it marked the end of a journey for the late Chris Benoit.
Benoit is a touchy subject and I don't want my comments feed flooded by Benoit hate speech, we all know what he did; we don't condone it and I am merely pointing out stuff he did inside the ring.
Anyway, the stuff he did inside the ring was pure genius. He was a very technical wrestler and was a physical presence inside the ring, despite his 5'11" standing.
The match at Wrestlemania finished with him forcing Triple H to tap out to his signature "Crippler Crossface" submission and thus, won the World Heavyweight Championship, his first official world title reign in WWE.
After the match, WWE Champion and long time friend Eddie Guerrero joined him in the ring for an embrace as the two of them closed out the PPV, celebrating over the fact that the two of them worked for so long and now stood at the pinnacle of their profession.
Another great MSG moment and may they both rest in peace.
3. Hulk Hogan Wins WWF Title over the Iron Sheik (Live Event; January 1984)
The birth of "Hulkamania" happened in MSG.
Hulk Hogan was scripted to be the replacement for Bob Backlund in a match against then-WWF Champion The Iron Sheik.
Hogan won the match and began a title reign that lasted four years and 13 days, and the reign marked the beginning of new popularity in wrestling in the 1980s, as children learned to say their prayers, take their vitamins and train hard.
If not for that one historic night at MSG, who knows where the wrestling world would be, but when we think of wrestling in the early days, Hogan is the first we think of and his popularity wouldn't have reached the heights it did if he didn't win the title that night on Jan. 23, 1984, at Madison Square Garden.
2. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels in a Ladder Match (Wrestlemania X)
It was the match that set the standard for all ladder matches that went after it.
Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels went to war at Wrestlemania X for the Intercontinental Championship and it will forever define the early career of Michaels.
Their use of ladders and what made them get the crowd on their feet with every move was enough for this to be voted as the PWI's "Match of the Year" in 1994.
Everything about this match was just plain outstanding; just watch the ending here and try and prove me wrong.
1. The First Wrestlemania Main Event
Everything comes from something.
The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment began on an evening in March 1984 at Madison Square Garden.
Vince McMahon created Wrestlemania in an attempt to compete with Jim Crockett Promotions and with all the celebrities in attendance as well as the main event featuring the biggest name in wrestling at the time, Hulk Hogan, it became a hit.
The main event featured Hogan teaming up with Mr. T against "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.
The match finished with Cowboy Bob Orton accidentally hitting Orndorff and allowing Hogan to get the pin.
The entire event was what made the top of the list here because without the success of the first Wrestlemania, the WWE may not exist today.
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Respond (with respect) below.