We all love Survivor Series, don’t we guys? We just love it. We’re all proper wrestling fans here, and we won’t have a bad word said against good old #WWESurvivorSeries. Some are suggesting Money in the Bank should replace it in the Big Four! Hedonists. Burn them.
Survivor Series is a charming old relic of WWE’s PPV calendar, and it harks back to an altogether more innocent era. The inaugural event was in 1987, a time before we had entire shows themed around weapons, before hells in cells, before blood even existed, I think. It’s funny to imagine now, but when Vince decided to stage a pay per view around the concept of elimination tag matches, it must have blown people’s minds.
Yes, if one thing’s for certain, it’s that we all love Survivor Series.
But do we actually?
Survivor Series is, of course, the least anticipated of WWE’s holy quartet. Let’s imagine each as a social gathering, because I’m about to embark on a really big list, and I’m probably not going to enjoy actual real-life company for a while.
WrestleMania is that huge blowout you’ve had planned for months; the Rumble’s a hilariously messy house party; SummerSlam is – naturally – the biggest party of the summer, but your dad’s manning the barbecue so it could go either way.
But Survivor Series – poor old Survivor Series – is a team-building exercise at work. It features people mashed together, often regardless of prior friendships or like-mindedness. The winners are exhausted and few in number and everyone forgets about their new allegiances as soon as it’s over.
That may be harsh, but what I’m trying to say is that Survivor Series suffers a reputation as archaic. It’s been called old-fashion, and it’s even been called (whisper it) boring.
Is this fair? It’s time to find out.
Come with me as I rank all 31 of the damn things, from 1987 onwards. It’s gonna be fun! Where will your favourite rank!? Only one way to find out! Let’s go!
(I must warn you, I am now an expert on Survivor Series. I am the high priest of Survivor Series, and my life is devoted to its teachings. In gaining knowledge for this list, I have shut down all other avenues in my brain. All there is is Survivor Series, and all there ever shall be is Survivor Series. When I close my eyes, I see crowded ring aprons. I see beloved Canadians screwed out of their world titles. I see Randy Orton surviving, like, all the time. This is me now. My life is pain; my life is Survivor Series.)
31. Survivor Series 1993
Where: Boston Garden – Boston, Massachusetts
What: A litany of rescheduled matches, forced by the absence of Jerry Lawler and Doink the Clown – all topped off by Lex Luger leading ‘The All-Americans’ into battle against ‘The Foreign Fanatics’. Those aren’t joke names I’ve made up for the purpose of this article; the teams really were called that. The red white and blue squad consisted of Luger, the Steiner Brothers (who are patriotic, I guess…?) and The Undertaker. Who says evil zombie morticians can’t also love apple pie, denim jeans and freedom.
The Good: The opener was admittedly decent, as The 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty survived for Team Razor. At one point Randy Savage got rolled up by IRS, which seems…an interesting booking decision. Jim Cornette oversaw a Smokey Mountain Wrestling tag showcase between the Heavenly Bodies and The Rock & Roll Express, and while the action was pretty good, the crowd couldn’t have cared less.
The Bad: Like everything else, guys. The Hart Family plodded to a 30-minute victory over Shawn Michaels (standing in for Lawler) and four anonymous dudes in knight helmets. Doink’s absence didn’t deter WWF from dressing up The Bushwhackers and Men on a Mission as clowns. They steamrolled Bam Bam Bigelow’s team with an offence based almost entirely around circus gimmickry, clearly the hidden secret to a clean sweep at Survivor Series. Interesting that no other teams have tried that since. The main event saw everyone’s favourite real American – Luger, obviously – running through some dastardly foreigners. As thrilling as it sounds.
Star of the Show: The 1-2-3 Kid. Yes, X-Pac is our first standout performer, carrying much of the load in that opening traditional tag match. Bonus points for not dressing as a clown. There were too many clowns on this show. Too many clowns.