You almost can’t go wrong with a pay-per-view from Madison Square Garden. WrestleManias X and XX, SummerSlams 1991 and 1998, Royal Rumble 2000, each of them aspires to a higher level than the norm. Three Survivor Series events would emanate from the historic Garden, and it goes without saying that the 1996 show is one of the best Survivor Series cards in the show’s 31-year chronology. Just something about MSG.
The event was unique in a number of regards, as you had debuts (Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon, Flash Funk, and some guy who became an action star eventually) as well as notable costume changes (Faarooq’s Nation of Domination look, Undertaker adopting a leather-based bodysuit as a forerunner to his Attitude Era look). There were also returns, be they Jimmy Snuka’s one-night one-off, or Bret Hart’s grand comeback match against the ladder-climbing Stone Cold Steve Austin.
The event was truly notable for its main event, in which babyface superstar Shawn Michaels sees his seven-month WWE Championship run end at the hands of Psycho Sid, while the New York crowd boos Michaels into oblivion. All-around, Survivor Series 1996 rates as one of the better WWE events of the 1990s, as well as one of its most story-laden.
10. Rocked Out
The pay-per-view opener pitted the debuting Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon, as well as The Godwinns, against Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, and The New Rockers of Marty Jannetty and Leif Cassidy (Al Snow). When Furnas and Lafon begin busting out their exotic offensive manoeuvres, the crowd inside the Garden can’t help but be floored. On the strength of some rather inspired work, this opener was quite excellent.
But it wasn’t without its hang-ups. In the early going, Jannetty is seen badly limping, the result of what was later revealed as a chipped bone in his foot, as well as a sprained ankle. Jannetty wouldn’t be long for the match from there, succumbing to Henry Godwinn’s Slop Drop. In general, Jannetty was on his way out of WWE, departing around the turn of 1997, reportedly due to his annoyance with where he was on the card.