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Top 25 WWE Ladder/TLC/Money in the Bank Matches In History

December 10, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

These Top-25 lists are picking up steam, so I’ll take the WWE approach of beating a good thing into the ground. With Money in the Bank coming up, it’s a good idea to look back at two decades-plus of WWE’s greatest ladder matches, and figure out what the best of the bunch truly are. There’s no bad matches to be found here; every entry is rewatchable time and time again. With TLC and Money in the Bank upping the ante of the classic ladder match, this list will cover a lot of ground, and no doubt provide a little argument fodder. Enjoy!

(Note: this list only includes matches which ended with the retrieval of a belt, briefcase, etc. As such, the TLC 2012 match with The Shield vs. Ryback and Team Hell No is excluded. Otherwise, it’d have likely been top ten).

25. Kane vs. Big Show vs. Matt Hardy vs. Drew McIntyre vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Christian vs. Dolph Ziggler – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 18, 2010)

Firmly in the ‘let’s shoehorn gimmick matches into the secondary PPVs so that gimmick matches have less meaning’ era, Money in the Bank’s come away unscathed, thanks to the car-wreck spectacles that never get old. In this case, the maiden match of Money in the Bank’s spin-off event hit its mark, with a dose of big man psychology. Show and Kane were natural targets by the smaller competitors, while Show used a custom mecha-ladder for climbing.

24. Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (TLC, December 16, 2012)

Ziggler put his previously-earned briefcase on the line (stay tuned for that), and, as is modern custom, lost to Cena in several matches on Raw prior to the PPV contest. Just as naturally, Ziggler took his usual laundry list of wild bumps through the course of the match, before winning as a result of AJ Lee shoving Cena off the ladder. That’d be Ziggler’s lone win of relevance over Cena, but Dolph memorably cashed in four months later on Alberto Del Rio.

23. John Morrison vs. Sheamus – Ladder Match (TLC, December 19, 2010)

Forgotten in the dogpile beneath main event-and-celebrity over-focus, Morrison and Sheamus had themselves a nifty little feud late that year, and a title shot at The Miz was at stake. Akin to the Razor/Michaels matches of yore with the larger adversary throwing around the nimble stud, Morrison gradually overcame the odds and won in dramatic fashion after Sheamus attempted to tip the ladder. Sadly, the Morrison/Miz bout is just as forgotten as this great match.

22. Mr. Kennedy vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Matt Hardy vs. Edge vs. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. King Booker vs. Finlay – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (WrestleMania XXIII, April 1, 2007)

Before Damien Sandow came along to look unceremoniously weak in failing in his cash-in against John Cena, there was Mr. Kennedy to lose his briefcase to Edge in a Raw quickie, following a Kennedy injury. The WrestleMania opener had plenty of intrigue, with a host of realistic winners. Jeff’s seated dive through Edge and a bridged ladder is cringeworthy, yet hilarious for the sight of brother Matt encouraging him to do it, then reacting as horror as Jeff lay hurt.

21. Dolph Ziggler vs. Damien Sandow vs. Tyson Kidd vs. Christian vs. Tensai vs. Santino Marella vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Sin Cara – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 15, 2012)

Another case of a heel being so much fun to watch that the crowd can’t help but cheer for them, the fans in attendance went berserk over Ziggler bumping Christian off a ladder in the end so that “The Show Off” could claim the briefcase. The match also seemed to be a coming-out party for Kidd, whose acrobatics finally had the forum for which to shine. Unfortunately, a torn meniscus sustained early in 2013 would sideline Kidd for almost a year, halting any push.

20. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, Triple Ladder Match (WrestleMania 2000, April 2, 2000)

The ‘unofficial’ TLC match (the official moniker for such matches wasn’t coined until SummerSlam that year) was the brightest bulb of a shockingly-dim WrestleMania. A quiet crowd most of the night, the fans memorably buzzed for the Dudleyz setting up the table bridge across two ladders inside the ring. Some of the slower spots haven’t aged well, thanks to innovation and improvement, but there’s still plenty of sick spots to marvel at.

19. Edge vs. John Cena – WWE Heavyweight Title, TLC Match (Unforgiven, September 17, 2006)

A bit of a shocker when Edge went over Cena in Cena’s Boston backyard at SummerSlam, but that only meant Edge would return the favor in his native Toronto. The visual of Edge being AA’d off of a ladder through a double stack of tables would remain a fixture in WWE’s “don’t try this at home” PSAs for quite some time afterward. Seems as though out of all of Cena’s frequent opponents, only Edge matches CM Punk in creating consistent greatness with Cena.

18. Jeff Hardy vs. CM Punk – World Heavyweight Title, TLC Match (SummerSlam, August 23, 2009)

Given what a merchandise vessel Hardy had become for a company that loves its multiple revenue streams, it’s hard to believe Hardy would be gone by week’s end, with no return five years later. Punk’s victory transitioned into his tepid feud with The Undertaker, beginning immediately after the match as “The Dead Man” performed a supernatural body switch with a downed Hardy. In 2009, it was astonishing that Punk could win any PPV main event.

17. Christian vs. Alberto Del Rio – Vacant World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match (Extreme Rules, May 1, 2011)

What a weird time period for WWE. Edge vacates the championship three weeks earlier upon his hasty, very real retirement, and a top contender’s match is made for the PPV. The crowd heavily bought into Christian, and a dramatic finish saw Edge providing timely interference to offset that of Ricardo Rodriguez and Brodus Clay. Christian winning the gold was possibly the biggest pop of his career, so naturally he lost the title to Randy Orton two nights later.

16. Paul London/Brian Kendrick vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. MNM vs. William Regal/Dave Taylor – WWE Tag Team Titles, Ladder Match (Armageddon, December 17, 2006)

Teddy Long punched up this one by adding the Hardyz and MNM, as well as the ladder modifier, seconds before the bell rang, I suppose in an effort to get non-buyers to purchase the show at about 8:23 EST. The match is most notable for Joey Mercury damn near getting his face grafted off in a see-saw spot gone awry, forcing him to wear facial contraptions for a time afterward. London and Kendrick retained in the midst of an 11-month reign the company barely promoted.

15. Daniel Bryan vs. Kane vs. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Justin Gabriel vs. Heath Slater vs. Sin Cara vs. Wade Barrett – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 17, 2011)

Takes a back-seat to CM Punk and John Cena’s all-timer to close the show, but it holds weight as the match that boosted Bryan into the main event tier where he’d more or less reside ever since. A wellness policy exodus played out as Sheamus powerbombed Sin Cara through a ladder, leading to a stretcher job into thirty days of oblivion for the luchador. Bryan’s victory was fairly unexpected, and the Chicago fans gave him a pop nearly comparable to Punk’s.

14. Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (WWE Challenge Taping, July 21, 1992)

The WWE’s first ever ladder match seems very tame compared to the anarchic stunt shows of later years, but two masterful workers in their relative youth put together a dramatic series of ‘near-falls’, with the match more about the drama of the climb instead of insanity. Hart purportedly suggested the match to Vince McMahon, who asked for a demonstration at this TV taping. The match made it onto several video releases, and became a tape-trader’s bounty.

13. Randy Orton vs. CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan vs. Sheamus vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Christian – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (Money in the Bank, July 14, 2013)

In a roundabout way, this match made it possible for Daniel Bryan to stand tall at the end of WrestleMania XXX, holding two World Titles aloft (although the Rumble was definitely the fuse). The best ladder match in the spinoff PPV’s history began with a hero’s welcome for the returning RVD, and culminated with Paul Heyman turning on Punk, just prior to Orton’s victory, which was confusing at the time, but became much clearer following SummerSlam.

12. The Rock vs. Triple H – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (SummerSlam, August 30, 1998)

A year later, Rock was a mega-babyface that transcended the business, while Triple H would be the slimy villain he was born to play. Here, however, was the match that virtually shot both men into the main event for good. In front of a nuclear Madison Square Garden crowd, Rock about blew the domed roof off with a People’s Elbow while Helmsley lay prone on the oddly-yellow ladder. HHH’s win only freed up Rock for the World Title run we all saw coming.

11. Chris Jericho/Chris Benoit vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge/Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (SmackDown, May 22, 2001)

A worthy sequel to Benoit and Jericho’s heart-stopping title win over Steve Austin and Triple H one night earlier, an irate Vince McMahon booked the new champs against the TLC Six on free television. WWE Network, assuming it survives the long haul, will eventually have this episode up, as the match is otherwise lost to history thanks to Benoit’s involvement. A shade below the original TLC battles in terms of overall quality, it’s still one of the best ladder matches ever.

10. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose vs. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Rob Van Dam (Money in the Bank, June 29, 2014)

The best of both worlds for WWE: a spotfest with some truly innovative moments (Rollins getting back-dropped onto a ladder bridge/puzzle structure) and a great storyline threaded through (Ambrose attempting to kill Rollins for breaking up the Shield). Kingston and company took turns keeping the pulse going while Ambrose, selling a dislocated shoulder, refused to let Rollins win. Kane tombstoned Ambrose to end the Ahab-like endless chase, and Rollins won to build on a genius heel turn.

9. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – Ladder Match (No Mercy, October 17, 1999)

Hanging above the ring was a bank robber’s sack of cash, and the winner would win Terri Runnels’ managerial rights. If it was believed that the winners would be elevated by association with Terri, the four just elevated themselves with a performance for the ages, becoming made men to varying degrees. Interesting note: Edge came dangerously close to missing the match, as he was almost unable to fly to the show due to a hurricane (he lived in the Bahamas at the time).

8. Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (Monday Night Raw, May 27, 2002)

Easily the best ladder match in Raw’s history, even if Undertaker and Jeff Hardy’s clash a month later received more company hype, despite it being a dramatic finish to an average match. This match was so good, even a moronic fan running interference couldn’t ruin it. RVD regained the gold, leading into the post-match involvement of Steve Austin, who went after Guerrero, only to be thwarted by a returning, suddenly-heel Chris Benoit; an angle that ended up fizzling.

7. Edge vs. Chris Jericho vs. Chris Benoit vs. Kane vs. Christian vs. Shelton Benjamin – Money in the Bank Ladder Match (WrestleMania XXI, April 3, 2005)

The first of its kind remains the best of its kind. From Benjamin’s hands-free ladder ascension to Benoit German-suplexing Jericho, who was holding a ladder, it’s possibly the most uncluttered Money in the Bank match ever, and one that didn’t overstay its welcome. It’s also arguable that Edge’s eventual cash-in on John Cena was the most relevant of its kind, since nobody had ever seen a cash-in until he did it nine months later. Anything since dilutes the fun to a degree.

6. Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (Royal Rumble, January 21, 2001)

There’s a moment of retroactive horror in the body of the match, wherein Benoit goes for his patented headfirst dive to the floor, only for Jericho to wallop him upside the head with a jarring chair shot. If seeing that moment overrides any possible enjoyment you can derive from the art of the match, it’s understood. For the more unmoved, it was a viable candidate for 2001’s match of the year, rivaled by a litany of classics, one of which is to come.

5. Shawn Michaels vs. Razor Ramon – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (SummerSlam, August 27, 1995)

Gorilla Monsoon’s first act as figurehead President was to remove Psycho Sid from SummerSlam, and give Razor the shot at Michaels’ gold, in the match they put on the map. Wise choice; it boosted the show into pretty good territory, rare air in 1995. Ramon played de facto villain, smashing Michaels’ knee to pieces with the ladder, before Michaels superkicked him off a second ladder. The botched ending, and Michaels’ tantrum, somehow adds to the charm.

4. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (WrestleMania X7, April 1, 2001)

From the greatest WrestleMania ever comes the ideal spotfest: accelerated, minimal set-up for the convoluted spots, and the type of chaos that comes from involving a few intruders. Nominee for the best bump visual in ladder match history: Bubba Ray Dudley and Matt Hardy smashing four tables into dust after an interfering Rhyno tipped a painter’s ladder over. Edge and Christian’s win was a bit anti-climactic, but you can’t discount the efforts before then.

3. Edge and Christian vs. The Dudley Boyz vs. The Hardy Boyz – WWE World Tag Team Titles, TLC Match (SummerSlam, August 27, 2000)

Gets the slight nod over its WrestleMania kid-brother for the sole reason of a less rushed ending. Conventional wisdom had the Hardyz going over here in their home state of North Carolina. In defeat, Jeff busted out a frightening Swanton Bomb off a ladder on the floor through Bubba Ray Dudley. The match is also known for an unfortunate double-entendre that Jim Ross made about Edge and Lita that gained new perspective about five years later.

2. Chris Jericho vs. Shawn Michaels – World Heavyweight Title, Ladder Match (No Mercy, October 5, 2008)

Doesn’t stand out, but it should. In fact, a lukewarm crowd is possibly all that kept this from the number one spot. Jericho and Michaels’ hate-filled feud in 2008 came to a head with this match, which was less about cutesy spots, and more heavy on the “I’m gonna kill you” brutality. Indeed, most of the ‘spots’ were Jericho and Michaels trying to make the other suffer, without the need for Rube Goldberg-esque contraptions. An inexplicably undervalued masterpiece.

1. Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels – WWE Intercontinental Title, Ladder Match (WrestleMania X, March 20, 1994)

Like Savage and Steamboat, a newer fan may wonder what’s so special about this match, after seeing many a stuntshow since. For 1994, Ramon and Michaels put together a match just unheard of for the time, and wouldn’t become standard for a few years yet. Michaels took at least five or six crazy bumps off of Ramon’s power-based offense, and the dramatic near-finishes had the MSG crowd buying into every second. It’s still the gold standard.

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Top 25 WWE Survivor Series Elimination Matches

November 19, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Survivor Series just ain’t what it used to be.

First, it was Thanksgiving night. Then it was Thanksgiving eve. Then it moved indiscriminately to just any old Sunday in November. When it started, it was all about the elimination matches. Now it’s about the typically-rushed storylines that are often back-burnered in favor of whatever Cena or Orton are doing, with maybe an elimination match or two shoehorned in there somewhere.

Well, forget about senile Vince McMahon and lack-of-fun Kevin Dunn for a minute. Let’s journey back to when the event MEANT SOMETHING, and let’s share some fond memories of some of the greatest elimination matches that have ever taken place at the Thanksgiving night/eve/located in proximity to the holiday tradition!

After all, it sure beats “John Cena and The Rock vs. what’re-their-names.”

Enjoy!

25. The Holly Cousins and Too Cool def. Edge, Christian, and The Hardy Boyz (11/14/99, Detroit, MI)
Survivor: Hardcore Holly
Gotta admit; that face team would be pretty cool in any era, despite the real life problems of the brothers Hardy. For what it is, it’s a fast paced match between WWE’s “X Division” of 1999; a match in which the second oldest person (Crash) was only 28 years old. When does that EVER happen? Edge being the first one gone was a surprise, as was the heels going over. Then again, since Edge and company were made men after their spectacular ladder match the previous month, why not give some rub to the then-relevant “Big Shot”? Christian’s near-comeback from a three-on-one was fun to watch.

24. Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe & Lioness Asuka def. Alundra Blayze, Sakie Hasegawa, Kyoko Inoue & Chapparita Asari (11/19/95, Landover, MD)
Survivor: Kong
This was probably the first time since 1988 that WWE had more than three women involved in the same match, and boy, what a comeback for women’s wrestling. Of course, the entire division was scrapped a month later, when Blayze rechristened herself as Madusa and threw the WWE Women’s Title in the trash on WCW Nitro. Alas. The match was a ten minute infomercial for Aja Kong to show how scary-dominant she could be, dropping her fellow Joshi performers on their heads and necks before waylaying Blayze with a spinning back fist to become the sole survivor. Now we get Kelly Kelly rubbing her bony ass in Natalya’s face. Alas.

23. Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Bradshaw, and Hardcore Holly def. Brock Lesnar, Big Show, A-Train, Matt Morgan, and Nathan Jones (11/16/03, Dallas, TX)
Survivors: Benoit, Cena
Lesnar built a team of brawny monsters to take on GM Paul Heyman’s “most wanted” list. It was notable because, unlike today with Cena and Randy Orton, the two men getting the biggest rub (Angle and Lesnar) were eliminated before the finish, thus making whoever survived look pretty damn special. Indeed, the soon-to-be-megapushed Benoit and the being-molded Cena upended Big Show in the end, after Benoit had made Lesnar tap out. Of course, this is essentially the match that kicked off Cena’s interminable face run, so maybe some of you will want to curse this outing.

22. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, CM Punk, and The Hardy Boyz def. Edge, Randy Orton, Johnny Nitro, Gregory Helms, and Mike Knox (11/26/06, Philadelphia, PA)
Survivors: the entire team
One sided as it was, this match provided some decent crowd-pleasing action, as well as a number of comedy spots. Mike Knox being eliminated by Shawn Michaels in under a minute, and then Shawn asking his team, “Who was he?” is never not funny. “I think he’s on ECW.” “Oh, so we’re doing GOOD then?” Too hilarious. Also of note was Punk outpopping the entire team during the pre-match DX intro, despite having only been in WWE for three months. It’s stuff like that that drives Vince McMahon even more insane.

21. Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger, and Hunico def. Randy Orton, Sheamus, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, and Mason Ryan (11/20/11, New York, NY)
Survivors: Barrett, Rhodes
It was a pretty good way of putting over Intercontinental Champion Rhodes and soon-to-be pushed heel Barrett (before his arm injury in February). Orton dispatched a drained Ziggler early before Barrett’s team rattled off 4 straight eliminations, leaving Orton alone against 4 men. Swagger went quietly, then Hunico was RKOed out before the Viper was outsmarted, losing to Barrett’s Wasteland.

20. The Miz, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre def. John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Evan Bourne, Shelton Benjamin, and Finlay (11/22/09, Washington, DC)
Survivors: Miz, Sheamus, McIntyre
Other than McIntyre’s push stalling in 2010, that heel side is like “Team Groom for Greatness”, as the other four men would all go on to hold a World Title. Whereas the face team features three men no longer in WWE, one suspended for ingesting synthetic ganja, and a captain who is a kitty-whipped laughingstock. Regardless, the match was a tremendous showcase of midcarders soon-to-be big deals, which gives Survivor Series (as well as the Royal Rumble) its ochre of flavor. The highlights were McIntyre nearly breaking Bourne in half at the neck with his Future Shock DDT, and Sheamus definitively crushing Finlay in the “Battle of the Brogue.”

19. Davey Boy Smith, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas, and Phil Lafon (Team Canada) def. Vader, Steve Blackman, Marc Mero, and Goldust (Team USA) (11/9/97, Montreal, PQ)
Survivor: Smith
Team Canada, it should be noted, featured only one actual Canadian in Lafon. On the night where Bret Hart would be excommunicated from WWE canon, it seemed appropriate that a hastily-assembled team of America haters would be on display. The match was merely a backdrop to begin a feud with Vader and the increasingly-erratic Goldust, who walked out without ever tagging in, but the match was an exciting wrestling exhibition when Vader, Mero, Smith, Furnas and Lafon were involved. Having a pro-Canuck team in an enthusiastic Canadian setting provided a hot crowd as well, even if the match was overshadowed at night’s end by…..well, you know.

18. Ted Dibiase, Rhythm & Blues, and a Mystery Partner (The Million Dollar Team) def. Dusty Rhodes, Koko B Ware, and The Hart Foundation (The Dream Team) (11/22/90, Hartford, CT)
Survivor: Dibiase
Assuming that Honky and Neidhart are future Hall of Famers, as well as the mystery partner, you have eight Hall of Famers in one match. Impressive, no? Anyway, you probably know by now that said mystery partner is The Undertaker, making his WWE debut in grand fashion by obliterating Ware and Rhodes before taking a countout loss to save his mystique. Hart lost his brother Dean the day before to kidney failure, and Roddy Piper (on commentary) declared “The Hitman” had dedicated the match to him. Foreshadowing his eventual singles push, Hart came back from three on one to tussle with Dibiase at the end, losing when the Million Dollar Man rolled through his cross body.

17. Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake, Ricky Steamboat, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan def. Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Harley Race, Hercules, and Danny Davis (11/26/87, Richfield, OH)
Survivors: Savage, Roberts, Steamboat
The first Survivor Series match ever had one of the more intriguing stories ever seen at the event. Honky, Intercontinental Champion for six months running and an unlikely champion at that, was versed by five challengers, all of whom capable of beating him for the gold, if not for Honky’s perpetual luck and knack for cheating. Honky’s teammates weren’t able to go the distance, as Honky found himself stuck with the three men he had feuded with through 1987, and they all still held a grudge. After trying his best to hang with Savage and his cohorts, Honky took a walk for the countout loss. By the way, wouldn’t YOU have loved to see Savage and Steamboat as a semi-regular team? Me too.

16. Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Koko B Ware, Hercules, and Hillbilly Jim def. Big Bossman, Akeem, Ted Dibiase, Haku, and The Red Rooster (11/24/88, Richfield, OH)
Survivors: Savage, Hogan
Koko and Rooster main evented a WWE PPV not called “Royal Rumble” or “Irony-Mania”. The Towers were positioned as holdover threats to Savage and Hogan before the “Mega Powers Exploding” months later. Hogan being handcuffed late in the match while Savage had to try and fend off Bossman and Akeem provided some tension to a well-worked, albeit predictable, affair. The sad part was Dibiase, the hottest heel when the year started, reduced to working a nothing angle with former “slave” Hercules, and then floating around with nothing to do for months until he was handed the Jake Roberts feud. Other than such quibbles, it was a fine main event to the Series’ second incarnation.

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15. The Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart, and The Rockers (The Ultimate Warriors) def. Andre the Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson, and Bobby Heenan (The Heenan Family) (11/23/89, Chicago, IL)
Survivor: Warrior
I love when you look back at old matches like this and realize that WWE and Vince McMahon were giving experimental runs to those deemed to have “future prospects.” This particular match was the closer for the 1989 Survivor Series, and Warrior was given a chance to shine as the final act, foreshadowing his World Title run the following year. In addition, Shawn Michaels lasted quite a while in the match for a 24-year-old tag team wrestler, getting to pin Haku before succumbing to Anderson’s spinebuster. Surely with Marty Jannetty eliminated, the match became something of a singles audition for the future Heartbreak Kid. For those wondering why Heenan was in the match, check Tully Blanchard’s drug test results for an explanation.

14. Kofi Kingston, Christian, Mark Henry, MVP, and R-Truth def. Randy Orton, CM Punk, Cody Rhodes, Ted Dibiase, and William Regal (11/22/09, Washington, DC)
Survivor: Kingston
Quite the anachronism in 2011, Orton pinned Henry within the first minute, Orton and Punk worked in tandem, eventual main eventer R-Truth bit the dust early, and Orton Punk were both reviled villains to Christian’s virtuous good guy routine. But rather than expose the fallacies of WWE’s breakneck booking change, let’s look at the upside: Kingston was made with this one, withstanding seven minutes of Punk and Orton breaking him down, to score what should have been a career-boosting victory. Instead, he blew the finish weeks later in a triple threat involving Orton, and Orton had an on-camera freakout that got Kofi punished, but not Randino. Weird.

13. Razor Ramon, 123 Kid, Davey Boy Smith, and The Headshrinkers (The Bad Guys) def. Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, and Jeff Jarrett (The Teamsters) (11/23/94, San Antonio, TX)
Survivor: Ramon
You can be made in a loss, and Diesel was a made man after this performance. After lots of early action in which everyone but Michaels got involved, Diesel said “enough of this” and went on a rampage. Fatu bit the dust with a Jackknife, followed by Kid, then Sionne, and then the Bulldog took a count out loss. With Razor remaining, against 5 on 1 odds, a loss seemed inevitable when Michaels FINALLY tagged in and accidentally superkicked Diesel. In a silly finish, all five heels were counted out when Diesel angrily stalked Michaels. Razor became the only sole survivor in history to never eliminate anyone and, three days later, Diesel beat Bob Backlund to become WWE Champion.

12. Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, One Man Gang, and Butch Reed def. Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, and Ken Patera (11/26/87, Richfield, OH)
Survivor: Andre
Sorry, Jim Crockett Promotions. When cable providers had to choose between airing Starrcade ’87 and the inaugural Survivor Series, with the lure of Hulk and Andre in the main event, facing off eight months after WrestleMania III, WWE won out in spades. After the sides whittled down to a three on two, Hogan and Andre finally locked horns, but the Hulkster was counted out after Bundy and Gang kept him from re-entering the ring. Bigelow managed to eliminate Bundy and Gang and would have defied the odds Cena-style but, well, it was Andre. The Frenchman flattened Bammer for the final fall, giving himself a just cause to petition a rematch against Hogan for the WWE title. And that’s a fascinating story in itself.

11. Doug Furnas, Phil Lafon, and The Godwinns def. Owen Hart, Davey Boy Smith, and The New Rockers (11/17/96, New York, NY)
Survivors: Furnas, Lafon
After a cup of coffee in ECW in the fall of 1996, Furnas and Lafon debuted in the opening match of Survivor Series 1996, and what a debut it was. Once Marty Jannetty busted his ankle prior to being eliminated, and then both Godwinns went, WWE was in store for action that they’d never seen before. Leif Cassidy (known better as Al Snow) took a header with modified reverse superplex from Lafon, and the well-traveled veterans were made to hold off Hart and Smith, then WWE Tag Team Champions. Bulldog was cradled for elimination, and Furnas planted Owen with an absolutely vicious release German suplex to give Furnas and Lafon the win with a crazy standing ovation from the Garden crowd.

10. The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, and Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, and Shane McMahon (11/19/01, Greensboro, NC)
Survivor: Rock
It was an abrupt end to what should have been a money-maker for WWE. The WCW/ECW Invasion had sputtered to a poorly-booked finish, but at least we got a great finale out of it. With the future of the company at stake, and the losing side being forced to disband for good, drama built over the forty-five minute coda. Once down to just Rock and Austin, after Jericho attempted to selfishly maim his own partner, the two icons of the Attitude era put on a dramatic finish, ending with Angle proving to be a mole, as he clocked Austin with a title belt. One Rock Bottom later, and the Alliance was dead, leaving Stephanie to scream like a banshee in tears backstage.

9. The Powers of Pain, Hart Foundation, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, and The Young Stallions def. Demolition, The Brainbusters, Los Conquistadors, The Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, and The Bolsheviks (11/24/88, Richfield, OH)
Survivors: Powers of Pain
When was the last time WWE had ten teams, REAL teams, under lock and key like this? This would be the second time a match with ten teams would take place (I do believe this spoils a later entry), and it was full of great action and well-told stories. The climax was an inexplicable story turn in which Mr. Fuji intentionally caused Demolition, the World Tag Team Champions, mind you, to be counted out, just so he could manage the Powers of Pain for some reason. In other fascinating notes, the Conquistadors, perennial jobbers, lasted over forty minutes, and the Rougeaus were eliminated early due to a very tense real-life feud with Dynamite Kid.

8. Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven def. Triple H, Batista, Edge, and Gene Snitsky (11/14/04, Cleveland, OH)
Survivor: Orton
Kicking off one of the greatest five-month story arcs ever seen in WWE history (I’m serious), Orton led his team to victory in a match where the winning side got to run Raw for one month while Eric Bischoff took a long vacation. In the end, it would lead to Batista realizing he could beat Triple H and thus slowly turned on him before brutalizing him for the World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 21. Sadly, though, this match didn’t make Orton the top babyface star that Vince McMahon was hoping for, but lord knows they’d try again year after year. Highlight of the match is Maven busting Snitsky open with a stiff right hand, and Gene getting his revenge with a chair shot that just about killed the Shop-At-Home star.

7. Ric Flair, Ted Dibiase, The Warlord, and The Mountie def. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, and Virgil (11/27/91, Detroit, MI)
Survivor: Flair
What a great beginning, what a lousy finish. Talk about your impressive lists of talent for one match, with the exception of Warlord, who at least provided a musclehead to throw people around and create “ooooh” moments with. Even Virgil in 1991 had hit a nice stride. Smith and Warlord are both eliminated after a Flair cheapshot causes Bulldog to go, and then Hart duplicates the act on Warlord, allowing Piper to pin the big man. The match then ends in a bizarre multi-man count out, with Flair being the only man to beat the count back inside, thus cheaply becoming the sole survivor. It was a shame, because the match was turning into something AWESOME, aided by a white-hot crowd. What a pity.

6. The Shield and The Real Americans def. Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and The Usos (11/24/13, Boston, MA)
Survivor: Roman Reigns

Easily the best elimination match in nearly a decade, WWE gave a Booking 101 demonstration on how to portray a wrestler as a killer. After Dean Ambrose, Cesaro, and Jack Swagger bit the dust, Reigns went ballistic, thinning the field of Rhodes and Jimmy Uso. Seth Rollins bounced Jey Uso out before getting downed by Rey. Down two-on-one, an undaunted Reigns plowed through Goldust and Mysterio in a 30-second span to stand tall. The action along the way was the fast-paced fare you’d expect, given the entrants, but letting one man, one not named Cena or Orton, obliterate so many opponents gave hope that Reigns would become a power player.

5. Skip, Rad Radford, Tom Pritchard, and 123 Kid (The Bodydonnas) def. Marty Jannetty, Barry Horowitz, Hakushi, and Bob Holly (The Underdogs) (11/19/95, Landover, MD)
Survivor: Kid
Imagine in 2011 if they put the likes of Daniel Bryan and other barely-seen, improperly-used talents in one twenty minute match and told them “go nuts.” In this opening match to the 1995 show, fast-paced athletes like Hakushi, Jannetty, and Kid wowed the crowd in spectacular fashion with action that Vince McMahon wasn’t exactly used to putting on. Let’s just say Vince bellowed “WHATAMANEUVER” a lot. After Jannetty finished Skip off with a top rope powerbomb (unheard of in WWE at the time), Kid used help from new stablemate Psycho Sid to finish Jannetty, continuing his remolding into one of Ted Dibiase’s corporate players.

4. Batista, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley, and JBL (Team Smackdown) def. Shawn Michaels, Kane, Big Show, Carlito, and Chris Masters (Team Raw) (11/27/05, Detroit, MI)
Survivor: Orton
The in-ring action for this one was superb, as you had wrestlers who didn’t even LIKE each other railing off creative double teams for the greater good of brand supremacy (you know, when the brand extension WASN’T a bastardized concept meant to make people care about a draft from year to year….). But as fun and different as the in-ring action was, the action at the commentary desks was even better, as Michael Cole and Tazz sniped with Joey Styles (remember him?), Jerry Lawler, and Jonathan Coachman for the entire match in between calling moves. For once, it seemed like Vince McMahon stepped away from the headset and just let their barbs come naturally, and it was FUN. In the end, Michaels took out Mysterio and JBL, but the RKO got him moments later. Then The Undertaker returned. Great stuff.

3. Razor Ramon, Macho Man Randy Savage, Marty Jannetty, and 123 Kid def. IRS, Diesel, Rick Martel, and Adam Bomb (11/24/93, Boston, MA)
Survivors: Jannetty, Kid
A major substitution took place before the card, as Savage was called in to pinch hit for Mr. Perfect, who either bowed out due to recurring back problems or alcoholic issues, depending on which source you believe. Regardless, the action was raucous for the first fifteen to twenty minutes, with Diesel, Savage, IRS, and Razor, the four bigger players involved, being eliminated. Once down to the monstrous Bomb and wily Martel against two smaller competitors, it seemed that Kid and Jannetty had little chance. This was especially true after Bomb gave Kid a sickening slam on the concrete after a plancha gone bad. However, after a half hour of action, Kid and Jannetty ended the contest with matching sunset flips on both men to become unlikely survivors.

2. Strike Force, Young Stallions, Killer Bees, British Bulldogs, and the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers def. Hart Foundation, Demolition, The Islanders, The New Dream Team, and The Bolsheviks (11/26/87, Richfield, OH)
Survivors: Stallions, Bees
The original twenty-man elimination contest features WWE talents at their most innovative. In a match with Bret Hart, Dynamite Kid, Davey Boy Smith, Tito Santana, and others, this should not be a surprise. Hard to say what was better: Haku nearly decapitating Dynamite with the savate kick, or Paul Roma saving Jim Powers with a top rope sunset flip on Valentine to eliminate him. This match has literally everything: crisp finishing sequences, top-notch wrestling, good swerves (Strike Force, the champs, were eliminated not fifteen minutes into the forty minute match), and a nice underdog finish, as Jim Brunzell pinned Bret Hart, allowing the Bees and Stallions to outsmart the brawnier Islanders en route to victory. If you love tag team wrestling, hunt down a copy of this event, because this match will be your Graceland.

1. Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Mark Henry, and Scott Steiner (Team Bischoff) def. Shawn Michaels, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, and The Dudley Boyz (Team Austin) (11/16/03, Dallas, TX)
Survivor: Orton
If Austin’s team were to be victorious, he, as co-GM of Raw, would be allowed to use martial law to keep order on the show (i.e. beat people up). However, if Bischoff’s team won, Austin was out as co-GM. The match began innocuously enough, with Henry, Booker, Steiner, and RVD going, and then Michaels hit a gusher outside the ring, with blood spilling everywhere. Seriously, it looked like he was going to die any second. Jericho and Christian finished off the future Team 3D, and Austin’s hopes were now pinned on a crimson-soaked zombie. Oh, the drama! A fluke Sweet Chin Music took Christian out, and a cradled reversal of the Walls doomed Jericho. Michaels heroically hung in there against a fresh Orton, and the ref was soon knocked out. Austin and Bischoff interjected themselves, and Austin chased Bischoff to the entrance set and thrashed him good, but Batista then jumped the rail, pancaked Michaels with the Batista Bomb, and the ref came around to count Orton’s pinfall, leaving a stunned Austin in the aisleway. Had Austin been gone for more than four months after this, and not returned as the “Sheriff”, it’d have meant a lot more. Instead, it was just a great match, one in which the drama and story meant more than any chain-wrestling sequence could ever mean.

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Top 20 WWE Greatest Survivor Series Teams Ever

November 13, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

After a quarter century-plus of WWE Survivor Series matches, wherein teams of 4, 5, or even 10, try to outdo one another in the name of survival bragging rights, certain teams have stood out above the fray as being the most powerful and memorable. Here’s 20 of the all-time greats, with no real criteria in place, except the gut feeling of “how awesome were they?”

20. Owen Hart’s Team (1996)
Members: Owen Hart, British Bulldog, The New Rockers
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivors: Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon)
Why They Were Great: For the most part, this was just a hastily thrown together team that had but one purpose: make Furnas and Lafon look like the world-beaters they could be.

But as far as “workrate” battles go, Hart, Bulldog, and Leif Cassidy (Marty Jannetty was gone early) made proficient tackling dummies for Furnas’ suplexes and Lafon’s strikes. Cassidy was floored by an insane inverted superplex from the Frenchman, and Furnas nearly decapitated Owen with a throwing German suplex, giving two new faces the best WWE debut you could ask for.

19. The Royals (1995)
Members: King Mabel, Jerry Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, and Isaac Yankem DDS
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivors: The Undertaker, Fatu, Savio Vega, Henry Godwinn)
Why They Were Great: Another “patsy” team whose only objective was to get killed by The Undertaker one by one until Mabel, who crushed The Dead Man’s eye socket weeks earlier, ran away in terror after becoming his team’s last hope.

What was most impressive of this team was its lasting power. In the Attitude Era, Helmsley and Yankem would be rechristened Triple H and Kane, and become among the era’s biggest stars. Lawler and Mabel (then Viscera) would stick around as well. Amazingly, all four men would be in WWE in 2008, the year of Big Vis’ final release. Perhaps no other team has had the longevity of the Royals.

18. Team Miz (2009)
Members: The Miz, Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Jack Swagger
Result: Won (Survivors: Miz, Sheamus, McIntyre)
Why They Were Great: I admit to being a fan of teams that feature a host of breakout stars before they broke out; the ‘before they were stars’ squads. Miz’s team was comprised of himself (then-United States Champion), and four men who, outside of some developmental false starts, had really all debuted in the past year.

Miz, Sheamus, Swagger, and Ziggler would all be World Champions within the next year and a half (Sheamus the following month), while McIntyre would go on to become Intercontinental Champion for over five months. The team they beat was, appropriately, built from stars that had seen good runs already (John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Finlay, Shelton Benjamin, and Evan Bourne), so “putting over” the new class made sense.

17. The Heenan Family (1989)
Members: Andre the Giant, Bobby Heenan, Haku, Arn Anderson
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: The Ultimate Warrior)
Why They Were Great: Perhaps no other team would be as deserving as the moniker of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Team in the World. There isn’t a single boring personality on display here; no wasted space.

If the four men were to collectively write a book about their life’s experiences, what would be the best section: Andre’s drinking stories and Hollywood run-ins, Arn’s days of partying with the Horsemen and other wild characters in Atlanta, Haku’s tales of maiming idiots who dare test his toughness, or Heenan’s take on the sport, laced with his one-of-a-kind spit-take-inducing humor?

16. Hardy Boyz/Dudley Boyz (2000)
Members: Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Jeff Hardy)
Why They Were Great: WWE had two undeniably-great tag team runs: the latter half of the 1980s, and the early 2000s. In the second example, the Hardyz and the Dudleyz represented two-thirds of the division’s most renowned pairings, thanks to their participation in several breakthrough ladder, table, and ladder/table/chair matches.

At this respective ‘peak’ of their tag team careers, the quartet faced off with the other representative of their pantheon, Edge and Christian, as well as Right to Censor members Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather. The current TNA World Champion found himself remaining with Christian and Goodfather, overcoming interference from Val Venis to eliminate the former pimp, and survived.

15. The Shield/Real Americans
Members: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Reigns)
Why They Were Great: Never before had one Survivor Series team been so rooted in the cyber-savvy indy scene, with Ring of Honor and Combat Zone Wrestling well-represented. The rec-center crowd could beam proudly, seeing Tyler Black, Jon Moxley, and Claudio Castagnoli plugged into classic WWE fare, while CM Punk and The American Dragon tagged elsewhere on the card. Makes Kevin Steen’s signing this year less surprising.
The match was more about putting over the killer edge of Reigns, and did a finer job of making the Shield’s muscle into a superhero as a heel than anything they’ve done since the group’s June 2014 split. Still, all three Shield members are treated like a big deal, all rightfully so, no matter how you feel about Reigns’ rocking chair-wooden dialogue. It’s essentially a dream team for the cool-heel lover.

14. Team Austin (2003)
Members: Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, The Dudley Boyz
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: Randy Orton)
Why They Were Great: Had this team existed in 1998, its cultural impact would have been even greater than it is here. Between Attitude pioneer Michaels, crowd-favorite Booker, and ECW cornerstones RVD and the Dudleyz, Stone Cold Steve Austin had five fine representatives for an elimination match with high stakes.

In what would end up being, in this author’s opinion, the greatest elimination match in Survivor Series history, Austin’s group waged war with a fivesome selected by Eric Bischoff. In the end, a hopelessly-bloody Michaels eliminated Christian and Chris Jericho, and then nearly ousted Orton before Batista (not in the match) illegally attacked him. Orton scored the pin, and Austin, as a result, was fired (albeit temporarily).

13. Team SmackDown (2005)
Members: Batista, Rey Mysterio, JBL, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Orton)
Why They Were Great: It was the only elimination match at the underrated 2005 event, but it was one of the most fun ones of its kind. Smackdown’s group faced a team of five representing Raw; one which had a little less star power (Shawn Michaels, Big Show, Kane….then Carlito and Chris Masters). The end result was a wildly fun match, where even the sniping commentary between the two tables helped steal the show.

As for SmackDown’s team, talk about some impressive star power. Raw had the disadvantage of some of its stars taking part in other matches (John Cena vs. Kurt Angle, Triple H vs. Ric Flair), so Smackdown had the quality advantage. Batista was World Champion at the time, JBL and Orton were part of the main event scene, and Mysterio, after Eddie Guerrero’s passing, was on the verge of being a main eventer himself.

12. The Radicalz (2000)
Members: Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn
Result: Won (Survivors: Benoit, Saturn)
Why They Were Great: The foursome represented one particularly rusty nail pounded into the coffin of WCW. Their collective release from the company 10 months earlier not only cost WCW its backbone of hard work and crisp wrestling, but added that backbone of hard work and crisp wrestling to WWE, fortifying perhaps their most impressive roster ever.

Although the fate of the group as a whole has changed the opinions of certain members (only Malenko has made it largely unscathed), in their collective prime, The Radicalz represented wrestling’s in-ring elite. WWE made them even better by shading them in with personality, whether it was Benoit as a ruthless competitor, Guerrero as a comical womanizer, or Malenko as a stoic ladies man. As for Saturn, well…what do you know about Moppy?

11. Team Piper (1991)
Members: Rowdy Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Davey Boy Smith, Virgil
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: Ric Flair)
Why They Were Great: Admittedly, the quality of Survivor Series had dipped from previous years, as evidenced by a putrid contest between teams captained by Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Colonel Mustafa, as well as a drag-asstic four-team match notable only for planting the seed of Shawn Michaels’ heel turn. This match, however, saved the show, along with Undertaker’s first World Title win.

The team, Virgil included, largely represented WWE’s babyface upper midcard of the time period, as Bret was Intercontinental Champion, Bulldog was a capable competitor, Virgil had his best run, and Piper always had that star quality. Even their opponents were a damn fine team, making them entry 11b on this list: Ric Flair, Ted Dibiase, The Mountie, and The Warlord. Shame the match ended with a cheap disqualification.

10. The Teamsters (1994)
Members: Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Jeff Jarrett
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: Razor Ramon)
Why They Were Great: Speaking of cheap endings, after Ramon’s four partners were eliminated by Diesel, “The Bad Guy” became the first wrestler to be his team’s sole survivor without eliminating a single opponent. That’s because a miscue between Michaels and Diesel led to all five villains being counted out in the most unique Survivor finish to date.

But what a roster The Teamsters boasted. Michaels and Diesel were then-Tag Team Champions, and just months away from co-headlining WrestleMania against each other. Owen was wrapping up a feud with brother Bret, and Jarrett was on his way to becoming Intercontinental Champion. One has to wonder where the “Teamsters” name came from. It wasn’t as if they were a union threatening to shirk their duties or anything.

9. The Alliance (2001)
Members: Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Shane McMahon
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: The Rock)
Why They Were Great: Despite representing a storyline that would infuriate smarks and marks alike with its dullness and lack of drama, given its magnitude, the WCW/ECW hybrid group was reduced to basically Booker and Van Dam in starring roles, with the infusion of established WWE icons that “jumped ship”, thus killing the specialness of the invasion.

But still, on paper, The Alliance was very well represented. Austin was WWE Champion, Angle was his fiercest rival at the time (revealed to be a mole at the match’s conclusion), Booker and RVD saw significant time on Raw and Smackdown as the standouts of the 2001 acquisitions, and even Shane had credibility as a bump machine that freely got his ass whipped against the likes of Angle and Rock that year.

8. Team Powers of Pain (1988)
Members: Powers of Pain, Hart Foundation, Rockers, British Bulldogs, Young Stallions
Result: Won (Survivors: Powers of Pain)
Why They Were Great: Here’s a good argument for the proliferation of tag teams and a solid division: in 1988, there were ten tag teams that competed in this one match, and none of them had names like “(Blank) and (Blank)”. They were all legit duos, many of them over with the crowd, but most importantly, they ended up creating stars.

On this one team, you had Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, and Davey Boy Smith, who would all help carry the company during its darkest times in the mid-90s. Out of these tandems came the stars of the future, and working tags only made them better rounded performers. Factor in Dynamite Kid and Marty Jannetty, and that’s some pretty impressive technicians on one team.

7. Edge and Christian/The Hardy Boyz (1999)
Members: Edge, Christian, Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy
Result: Lost (Opposing Survivor: Hardcore Holly)
Why They Were Great: As I said in the previous example, tag teams round out performers and create better wrestlers out of them. You’ll find no better example of this in the Attitude Era and beyond than the men who made the tag team ladder match famous. All four men would go on to hold some form of a World Title, or top brand title, in their careers.

Coming together out of respect, this foursome absolutely made themselves with both their daredevil antics, and their youthful vibrance. Edge and Christian would turn heel shortly thereafter, and complete their personas with their self-deluded “gnarly dude” act, while the Hardyz would ride their life-on-the-edge bend to equal stardom.

6. Team DX (2006)
Members: Shawn Michaels, Triple H, CM Punk, The Hardy Boyz
Result: Won (Entire Team Survived)
Why They Were Great: If I could have the collective sum of all five men’s merchandise sales throughout their five WWE careers, I’d never have to work again. Also, I could buy TNA and make Repo Man champion, just to amuse myself. Talk about your collection of diverse, while altogether similar talent that each won over scores of fans.

Even WWE must’ve known the lure of Punk and the Hardyz; usually Shawn and Hunter would’ve remained standing on their own against Edge and Randy Orton’s team. Yet there’s the Straight Edge Superstar and Cameron, NC’s most famous brothers, helping rid Gregory Helms and Johnny Nitro. Shawn Michaels’ elimination of Mike Knox ranks as the funniest moment in the history of the event.

5: The All-Americans (1993)
Members: Lex Luger, The Undertaker, Steiner Brothers
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Luger)
Why They Were Great: The team reads like the upper midcard of a WCW show in early 1990, but things changed with the former (and future) Turner talents under WWE’s banner. To battle a cliched team of evil foreigners (from horrid places like Japan, Canada, Finland, and Hawaii), Luger amassed a team of two collegiate athletes and a zombie mortician.

But jokes aside, given the limitations of WWE’s roster at the time, this was a pretty impressive team. Undertaker replaced Tatanka, who was injured by Yokozuna and Ludvig Borga, but it was done for the better, in my eyes. Luger/Taker/Steiners was kind of a poor man’s equivalent of Hogan/Andre/US Express 1985, but at least this team was aided by Taker’s super-sweet Colonies jacket. LET FREEDOM RING.

4. Team WWF (2001)
Members: The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, Big Show
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Rock)
Why They Were Great: It made sense for Vince McMahon to program the best possible group against The Alliance with the futures of both warring sides on the line. After all, when the opposing team featues Austin, Angle, Van Dam, and Booker for a killer blowoff, you need all the star power you can get as a counter punch.

On this team are five men who will all, most assuredly, be in WWE’s Hall of Fame, provided they don’t do anything irreversible to their loved ones. The match also had the benefit of furthering the budding rivalry between Rock and Jericho, which provided us with a number of awesome matches between two of the era’s most charismatic stars. The benefit of less Survivor matches is more star-studded teams.

3. The Hulkamaniacs (1989)
Members: Hulk Hogan, Jake Roberts, Demolition
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Hogan)
Why They Were Great: For the most part, each team in 1989 had some weak links that would prevent them from making this list. Yeah, Roddy’s Rowdies had Piper and Jimmy Snuka, but the Bushwackers are grounds for disqualifcation. The 4X4’s boasted Jim Duggan and Bret Hart, but Ronnie Garvin and his upside-down toilet brush hairdo (credit: Bobby Heenan) were a dealbreaker.

Not the case with Hogan’s team. Jake Roberts was at his peak as a babyface, feuding with Ted Dibiase after the Million Dollar Man injured his neck. Demolition were the WWE Tag Team Champions on their last great run, and Hogan was the company’s lead dog. He would finish off Zeus here, and in a cage match shortly thereafter, before putting on one of his finest performances ever against the Ultimate Warrior months later.

2. Team Savage (1987)
Members: Macho Man Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Jake Roberts, Brutus Beefcake, Hacksaw Jim Duggan
Result: Won (Survivors: Savage, Steamboat, Roberts)
Why They Were Great: If WWE had a midcard this sustained and deep today, you’d hear far less complaints from know-it-all fans. Savage and Steamboat on the same team is always a win, but factor in Roberts, Beefcake, and Duggan in their physical primes (as well as arguable peak of fanhood), and you can understand the high ranking.

Amazingly, Savage would feud with each of his teammates in high-profile fashion at some point. His legendary issue with Steamboat is a given, but he also feuded with Roberts in 1991 in one of WWE’s raciest stories ever. Macho Man would also battle Duggan in 1989 over the “crown”, and Beefcake was was Hogan’s ally in the post-Mega Powers explosion.

1. The Warriors (1990)
Members: The Ultimate Warrior, Kerry Von Erich, Legion of Doom
Result: Won (Sole Survivor: Warrior)
Why They Were Great: Here’s a case where the team name befit all of the members: Ultimate Warrior, Modern Day Warrior, and Road Warriors. Had Von Erich not been a worn-down shell of his once Greek God self, this team would have been flawless from head to toe. As it is, it’s still the greatest Survivor Series team of all time.

Just the combination of Warrior, at his peak as WWE Champion, and the LOD, the most popular tag team ever, is enough to warrant a top spot. Fans of all ages appreciated the three face-painted gladiators that ripped opponents to shreds with ease. Factor in Von Erich as Intercontinental Champion, and you get a team that has no lack of prestige.

The Randy Savage Story DVD

Randy Macho Man Savage Collector’s Edition Box Set

WWE The Paul Heyman Story

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WWE The Attitude Era: Volume 2 DVD Review

November 10, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

WWE Attitude Era Vol,. 2The latest installment from the WWE’s love affair with its favorite period is the Attitude Era Vol. 2 3-disc DVD set. The new set features a collection of matches and moments from 1997-2000 featuring Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, De-Generation-X and more.

This new collection is a great companion to the original Attitude Era collection put out in 2012. The first collection gave you great, yet obvious vignettes, stories, and bouts that you probably have seen dozens of times or already own on several DVDs. What makes this collection so good is that it features a lot of great memories you probably either have forgotten or may have missed altogether, including some real gems.

The collection is a reminder of how much fun, yet goofy that era was. Chris Jericho recently criticized the era saying that there were a lot of stupid angles that people seem to dismiss. He’s right but what made the era so special were the matches, most specifically the atmosphere. Every crowd was hot which brought an exciting dynamic to almost every match from the era. It really gives you an appreciation for how hot the fans were during that time period.

I won’t run through the entire three discs but I do want to single out a few highlights in the set. Of course Stone Cold Steve Austin is a highlight alone. Seeing Austin at the height of his popularity in and out of the ring is a real reminder to how much fun it was to watch WWE during Austin’s era. No matter what he did, who he wrestled, or what he said, seeing Austin on television was can’t-miss TV. Austin is definitely the star of this set.

There is a lot more focus on the mid-under card in this set than the pervious. You get a lot of Val Venis, New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, Lita, etc. which isn’t a knock at all. The beauty of the era was that everyone and everything was over. The crowd adds to the excitement which make these undercard matches more exciting and intense than the majority of main-events you see in today’s WWE.

Some gems include a Lumberjack Match from RAW between Steve Austin and The Rock which I completely forgot about, a mixed tag-team match with Triple H and Trish Stratus vs. Rock and Lita, Rock and Lita vs. Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon, Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko from Heat, the very first Austin vs. McMahon match, and a fun Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels match from RAW. If you like The Rock you are in for a treat as you get a lot of rare matches from the Great One in the collection.

Overall it’s a great set and the time went by fast from DVD to DVD. For us that lived through this era, there are moments you will be reminded of that bring smiles back to your faces. For those of you who are new to the era, you will be blown away by how different the WWE was fifteen years ago and how much more exciting RAW was in 1999 and 2000 than it is in 2014. It’s not a knock on the company, just a reality and a sign of the times. I’d highly recommend the set. Make sure you put a few hours aside when you get it because once you start watching it you aren’t going to want to stop.

DISC 1

Bare Essentials

Miss Slammy Swimsuit Competition
Sunny vs. Sable vs. Marlena vs. The Funkettes
Slammy Awards * March 16, 1997

Owen Hart vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW * December 29, 1997

Bad Ass Dad

New Age Outlaws vs. Cactus Jack & Chainsaw Charlie
RAW * January 26, 1998

Intercontinental Championship Match
The Rock vs. Ken Shamrock
Royal Rumble * January 18, 1998

Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mr. McMahon
RAW * April 13, 1998

Leather & Chains

Owen Hart & Legion of Doom vs. Triple H & New Age Outlaws
RAW * April 20, 1998

D-Generation X Takes New York
RAW * June 8, 1998

Falls Count Anywhere #1 Contenders Match for the WWE Championship
Mankind vs. “Kane”
RAW * July 6, 1998

Letting the Dogs Out

Bikini Contest
Sable vs. Jacqueline
Fully Loaded * July 26, 1998

Val Venis & Taka Michinoku vs. KaiEnTai
RAW * August 3, 1998

WWE Championship Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Ken Shamrock
RAW * September 14, 1998

Boot Camp Match for Al Snow’s Contract
Al Snow vs. Sgt. Slaughter
RAW * September 21, 1998

Six-Man Elimination #1 Contenders Match for the European Championship
Edge vs. Gangrel vs. D’Lo Brown vs. Jeff Jarrett vs. Droz vs. Marc Mero
RAW * September 28, 1998

Extreme Name Change

WWE Championship Match
The Rock vs. X-Pac
RAW * November 23, 1998

DISC 2

Becoming a Pimp

Godfather & Val Venis vs. Mark Henry & DLo Brown
Rock Bottom * December 13, 1998

Triple H vs. Edge
RAW * January 11, 1999

Bloodbath

Kane’s Career on the Line
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kane
RAW * March 1, 1999

Hardcore Championship Match
Hardcore Holly vs. Bad Ass Billy Gunn
RAW * March 15, 1999

Wild and Crazy Guys

Handicap Match
The Big Show vs. Triple H & The Rock
RAW * April 5, 1999

Pimpin’ Ain’t Country

Intercontinental Championship Match
Goldust vs. Godfather
RAW * April 12, 1999

The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge & Christian
Shotgun Saturday Night * April 17, 1999

Casket Match
The Rock vs. Undertaker
RAW * May 17, 1999

Intercontinental Championship Match
Jeff Jarrett vs. Test
Sunday Night Heat * June 13, 1999

DISC 3

Drinking with the APA

Tag Team Championship Match
Acolytes vs. Kane & X-Pac
RAW * August 9, 1999

Sexual Chocolate

Mark Henry Sex Therapy Sessions

Valentine’s Day Delight

Mark Henry and Mae Young Get a Room
RAW * February 14, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the European Championship
Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho vs. Tazz
RAW * March 13, 2000

Behind Breaking the Walls

Intercontinental Championship Match
Chris Jericho vs. Kurt Angle
RAW * May 8, 2000

Eddie Guerrero vs. Dean Malenko
Sunday Night Heat * June 18, 2000

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Kurt Angle & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley
SmackDown * August 24, 2000

Triple Threat Match for the Women’s Championship
Lita vs. Ivory vs. Jacqueline
Sunday Night Heat * September 17, 2000

Weak Stomach

Hardcore Championship Match
Gerald Brisco vs. Crash Holly
RAW * June 5, 2000

Evening Gown Match for the Hardcore Championship
Gerald Brisco vs. Pat Patterson
King of the Ring * June 25, 2000

Wanna Ride?

Intergender Tag Team Match
The Rock & Lita vs. Triple H & Trish Stratus
RAW * July 31, 2000

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

The Undertaker Attends His Parents Funeral
RAW * April 20, 1998

#1 Contenders Match for the Tag Team Championship
Kane & Mankind vs. Owen Hart & The Rock
Sunday Night Heat * August 2, 1998

Golga vs. Marc Mero
RAW * August 3, 1998

Hardcore Championship Match
Al Snow vs. Road Dogg
RAW * January 4, 1999

Lumberjack Match
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. The Rock
RAW * May 3, 1999

Gangrel & Christian vs. Droz & Prince Albert
Sunday Night Heat * May 16, 1999

WWE Championship Match
Triple H vs. Mr. McMahon
SmackDown * September 16, 1999

Mark Henry and Mae Young Double Date
RAW * December 27, 1999

The APA Opens Their Doors
RAW * January 31, 2000

Last Man Standing Match
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Fully Loaded * July 23, 2000

The Attitude Era: Volume 2

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Vince McMahon’s WWE Return Could Lead To WrestleMania Angle

November 06, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Vince McMahon returned to WWE television for the first time in months and it was a welcomed surprise. While it appeared that McMahon came back to set up the Survivor Series main-event, many are speculating that this was all the start of a long road to WrestleMania 31.

McMahon came back seemingly out of the blue on Monday Night RAW as part of the angle to set up the Authority’s team vs. Team Cena at Survivor Series. Vinnie Mac didn’t stick around long as he left after a vignette with Stephanie and Triple H. Stephanie and Triple H were excited to see him go and the dynamic is leading some to think that there are much bigger plans here than a Survivor Series headliner.

The timing is what has people talking. At the very same time last year, Vince was booked to return to television. He was advertised as appearing on the television events and yet never appeared. Vince was set to take center stage in a huge WrestleMania 30 angle. The angle would have played out with Triple H and Stephanie fighting Vince for control of the company (an original angle of course). The story would have peaked at WrestleMania with a match between Triple H and either Stone Cold Steve Austin or The Rock. For whatever reason, the angle was scrapped and McMahon never made those appearances. Are we about to see this angle delayed?

One thing is for sure. If we are seeing the angle, we aren’t going to see it peak with a match between Austin and Hunter at Mania. Austin has made it clear that while he is open to the idea of coming back for one more match, it won’t be in California. Austin said recently on his podcast that his schedule would prohibit him to train properly for a return this spring. Enter The Rock!

Was it coincidence, a cute vignette, or the start of something big when The Rock and Triple H issued WrestleMania challenges back and forth on SmackDown 15? My takeaway from that skit was that the two were laying the groundwork for a match at WrestleMania 32. They clearly made it a point to mention stadium and attendance and that seemed more in line with the goals of 32 than 31. At the same time, many others observed that they were setting up a match at 31. It looks like I may be wrong…again.

As for the angle, it sounds like I am reading a booking sheet for a RAW in 2002. I am sorry, this whole heel authority angle has been so played out that none of these stories get me excited anymore. Logically, it makes zero sense in the WWE from a continuity standpoint since you had the board remove Vince and Hunter a couple of years back for bad behavior, but that was a different lifecycle. Also, I find it hard pressed that fans are really going to be sympathetic to Vince McMahon in his fight for his company.

I also can’t think of a bigger waste of money than booking The Rock against Triple H. I am not opposed to seeing that match again but when you have such limited dates on The Rock, I’d think you can make better use of his drawing power against a newcomer like Rusev or a big-match situation like Brock Lesnar. Seeing The Rock fight for Vince McMahon against Triple H is probably the last idea I’d have on my list of booking plans for Dwayne Johnson.

Unfortunately it looks like this angle is coming and there is nothing we can do about it. The positive is that we will probably get a lot of fun Rock interviews come this spring. The downside is that we will be bored to death with a McMahon vs. Authority feud before we get there.

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John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries WWE DVD Review

October 30, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

Love him or hate him, it’s hard to deny that John Cena has been involved in most of the biggest feuds in this modern-day era of WWE. A new DVD and blu-ray release chronicles his ten best in John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

This new home video release is a quasi-documentary/match collection offering the best of both in spots, yet leaving viewers wanting a little more in others. The format of the DVD features the 15-time WWE champion breaking down his greatest rivalries, one rival at a time which then cuts to a match or series of matches between the two. The collection spans three discs so you will be getting plenty of John Cena if you are looking to add a little more Cena to your video collection.

Unlike the documentary DVDs, Cena doesn’t get into much detail with each rivalry, just offering a brief synopsis with some analysis from the future Hall of Fame superstar. Unfortunately you probably won’t learn much new or get in on any backstage dirt but that was not the intent of the DVD. It was presented like a Top 10 collection you’d see on the NFL Network with players talking about topics sandwiched between highlights, although in this case you are getting the full matches.

The ten rivals featured on the discs are…

  • Chris Jericho
  • Batista
  • Eddie Guerrero
  • Shawn Michaels
  • Edge
  • Randy Orton
  • Triple H
  • The Rock
  • JBL
  • CM Punk (Blu-ray only)

The only disappointment here is the omission of Punk on the main disc. The Punk-Cena rivalry is arguably the biggest of Cena’s career. I think most fans will expect to buy the DVD with the Punk rivalry chronicled for obvious reasons. Leaving Punk off of the main disc out of spite is a bit disingenuous with unsuspecting customers. He is on the blu-ray anyway! If you aren’t going to include him fine, but you aren’t screwing with Punk here, you are screwing with the customers who assume that Cena’s greatest rival would be included on a DVD entitled John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries.

That said, there are some gems on here. Cena has been around weekly for so long that you sometimes forget about some of the fun matches he had back at the start of his ascension. A great feud I completely forgot about was Cena’s rivalry with Eddie Guerrero. The Parking Lot Brawl in particular was a fun match I’d venture to say that most of us have forgotten about in recent years.

I will say that you start to rethink Cena a bit after you watch the collection. He isn’t nearly as bad as most think he is. I think a lot of the Cena-hate comes down to the overexposure of Cena and the lack of quality opponents the company has had for him in recent years. Take a quick look at the list of rivals and you’ll notice that all but Orton aren’t competing in the WWE today. There is a reason that no recent feud other than The Rock is featured in the collection.

Overall I’d say this was a fun collection which serves a great defense of Cena as an in-ring performer. He is much more than his “Five Moves of Doom” and when inspired, can put on a hell of a match. I also think it goes without saying that if you are going to buy this collection, spend a few extra bucks on the blu-ray for the Punk rivalry.

DISC 1

Book of Knowledge

Number One Contender’s Tournament Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – April 3, 2003

Chicken Soup

Parking Lot Brawl
John Cena vs. Eddie Guerrero
SmackDown – September 11, 2003

Honed My Craft

OVW Championship Match
Prototype vs. Leviathan
Ohio Valley Wrestling – February 23, 2002

Different Dynamic

WWE Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Batista
Extreme Rules – April 25, 2010

Special Individual

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – April 23, 2007

Learned So Much

John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels
RAW – March 10, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Shawn Michaels

DISC 2

Gifted

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Randy Orton
SummerSlam – August 26, 2007

Brought out the Best

John Cena vs. Randy Orton
RAW – February 10, 2014

Hard-Nosed

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. JBL
WrestleMania 21 – April 3, 2005

Heavily-Calloused

John Cena vs. JBL
RAW – June 9, 2008

Talk you into Building

“You’re Fired! Match” for the WWE Championship
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
RAW – August 22, 2005

Gave Me a Chance

World Heavyweight Championship Match
John Cena vs. Chris Jericho
Survivor Series – November 23, 2008

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: Randy Orton

DISC 3

Old Shoe

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Edge
RAW – October 2, 2006

Who Am I ?

World Heavyweight Championship Last Man Standing Match
John Cena vs. Edge
Backlash – April 26, 2009

Measuring Stick

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. Triple H
WrestleMania 22 – April 2, 2006

Advice

John Cena vs. Triple H
RAW – October 19, 2009

Global Phenomenon

John Cena & The Rock Q&A
RAW – March 25, 2013

Sequel

WWE Championship Match
John Cena vs. The Rock
WrestleMania XXIX – April 7, 2013

John Cena – Greatest Rivalries: The Rock

BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVES

Underlying Passion

John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – November 23, 2009

Trying To Do My Job

Number One Contender’s Match for WWE Championship
John Cena vs. CM Punk
RAW – February 25, 2013

John Cena’s Greatest Rivalries [Blu-ray]

The Randy Savage Story DVD

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Top 10 WWE Hell In A Cell Matches

October 25, 2014 By: Category: lists, WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Hell in a Cell match has become one of the most brutal matches in WWE history. Started in 1997, the HIAC match features blood, drama, action, and intensity. Today I celebrate this classic by looking back at the ten best in WWE history.

Like anything else, Hell in a Cell has had its ups and down. Fortunately for most WWE fans, there have been more ups than downs. The concept has been watered down a bit since over the years with the reduction of blood and excess matches. Lucky for us, there are plenty of classics that remind us why this one is just that good.

I always like to remind redears that like any top ten list it is all a matter of opinion. If you agree, disagree, or feel that I left one off the list, let me know and leave a comment. Until then, here are my top ten WWE Hell in a Cell matches in match history.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, Badd Blood 1997 - Some of you may argue between this and number two and I can certainly respect that. For me, this match was not only the greatest Hell in a Cell match ever, it is also one of my top ten favorite matches overall of all-time. This was Shawn Michaels at his best and in my opinion and arguably the best match from The Undertaker’s storied WWE career.

Mankind vs. The Undertaker, King of the Ring 1998 - It is hard to argue with this one not being at the top. I went back and forth several times. The drama in this match is second to none. However, I just felt that Michaels vs. Undertaker was a better match overall. Mick Foley set a dangerous standard here which has never been repeated. It was historic, physical, and a masterpiece in a lot of ways. I still liked Michaels vs. Undertaker slightly better when watching these two back, but I have no problem with anyone arguing this one number one.

Triple H vs. Batista, Vengeance 2005 - To me this is an often forgotten about classic. For as much criticism that Triple H and even Batista have gotten at times, this match really should silence any and all critics. I also remember the finish being a shocker at the time as nobody expected Hunter to lose all of those matches to Batista. This one even featured some cool weapons including a chain contraption. The match and storyline here behind the feud were some of the best of all-time.

Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels, Bad Blood 2004 - One recurring theme you’ll see in this blog is that you’ll see a lot of names more than once. Triple H and of course Shawn Michaels are repeat offenders and with good reason. The storyline of both being undefeated in HIAC matches also created great drama in this one. How good was this match? An epic 47 minute masterpiece is how good it was. You Tube has plenty of highlights but you really owe it to yourself to check out the full match if you get that opportunity. The chemistry between these two guys here was unreal.

Kurt Angle vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Rikishi, Armageddon 2000 - This match is probably better known for Rikishi’s bump than the actual match itself. However, in looking back at the videos this was one of the most fun HIAC matches. How can you go wrong having all six of these superstars in one Hell in a Cell match? The answer is simple, you can’t.

Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker (No Mercy 2002) - This is a really interesting match in that you have some fans that will argue that this was one of the best HIAC matches ever where you have a whole other set of fans that don’t even remember it. I am in the middle. I thought this one had a lot of fun spots, not what you’d expect from two big men. Lesnar retained in a match that was one of his best of his entire first WWE run.

Edge vs. The Undertaker, SummerSlam 2008 - Like several matches on this list, this one is another forgotten classic. Edge and The Undertaker I thought had one of the most underrated feuds a few years back. They had tremendous chemistry and SummerSlam 2008 may have been their finest moment. This match had it all including Edge’s specialty; tables, ladders, and chairs. Quite frankly this was one of the most thrilling Hell in a Cell matches of all.

The Undertaker vs. Triple H – WrestleMania 28 - Once again, Triple H pops up on the list. This one is still fresh in our minds and in terms of drama, it doesn’t get much better than this one. Shawn Michaels was the referee and while the match didn’t have your usual Hell in a Cell theatrics, it told a hell of a story. This one was bloody, brutal, and intense and arguably not only one of the best Hell in a Cell matches, but one of the best WrestleMania matches in Mania history.

Triple H vs. Mick Foley, No Way Out 2000 - This would have been higher up on the list if it served as the true retirement match for Mick Foley that it was promoted to be. The emotional sendoff at the end of the match could have gone down as one of the best ever if it stood. The bloody match had some thrilling moments battling at the top of the cage as well as a flaming barbed wire bat. They tried to replay Foley’s sick bump from King of the Ring but it wasn’t quite the same. Nonetheless it was certainly a great one and a match that belongs on any Hell in a Cell list.

The Undertaker and Steve Austin vs. Mankind and Kane, RAW Is War 1998 - This was one of the most exciting matches on RAW during the Attitude Era. The match was held right before King of the Ring to build up the two main-events. The big moment of this action-packed match came when Austin climbed the cage and attacked Kane on top which saw the crowd just got absolutely nuts. Jim Ross in particular is fantastic with the call here.

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The Rock vs. Triple H is Old News That Deserves to Be Repeated

October 16, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

It’s that time again; WrestleMania season is nearly upon us. Okay it’s not, but it sure feels like it is. After all, fans are already starting to hit the dirtsheets, looking for the latest rumors of match-ups that may take place on March 29 2015.

The top names are the only ones anyone’s really concerned about of course and those are the ones currently being speculated about the most. Brock Lesnar is supposedly still meant to pass the torch to Roman Reigns, Sting is apparently finally going to face The Undertaker and John Cena might work Rusev. That only leaves Triple H and The Rock; you do the math.

It was all just a rumor to begin with and I for one treated it as such. Fans talk all the time and even the most “knowledgeable” sites are laughable at best.

But don’t look now, seems like they may have gotten one right.

The spot that ran backstage between Hunter and The Rock on the 15th anniversary episode of SmackDown basically set up their match at Mania. And it was unlike any match set up in recent memory, which makes it different and actually gives us a little more time to digest the whole idea of it.

So how does it taste to you so far?

This didn’t start with The Rock interrupting The Authority, or Triple H condemning The Great One for attacking Rusev. This renewed heat is not the result of a falling out or disagreement of any kind. This time, a WrestleMania main event bout is born due to old wounds that just won’t close.

And it was the most entertaining moment that we have seen in a long time.

But that should not be a surprise to anyone, the fact this is what these guys do. Anyone can sit back and debate their physical skills and whether or not they have lost a step in the ring but no one can argue each guy’s ability on the mic.

We’ve seen Triple H versus The Rock quite a bit before but after SmackDown 15? I’m up for another one.

I can only imagine the complaining that’s going on right now among some fans, though. Of all the matches that we thought might go down at Mania, this is likely one of the last ones we expected. And for those fans that are currently upset it’s happening the argument is probably pretty typical.

“Good Lord this is lame. Who’s booking this crap?”

Truth be told, I’ve uttered those very words myself on occasion. After 30 plus years of being a fan, I’ve said them more often than I care to remember. But no matter how boring it may appear to be or how weak the basis for it is, the fact is that this match is one that will be worth the price of admission.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, however. There’s no guarantee it’s going to happen, only the carrot of possibility that’s been dangled in front of us. So before we go any further with speculation on this, why should we want to see it happen again?

First off, what’s the alternative? CM Punk is gone, so that’s one Triple H opponent out of the equation. Shawn Michaels has legit walked away and shows no signs of ever returning for one more match, so there’s no possibility of that happening. Daniel Bryan is still out and he’s already worked Hunter at Mania, even if he’s back in time, why go down that road again?

So, Triple H’s dance card is empty. But what about The Rock?

Roman Reigns was perhaps a possibility at one time, especially after The Shield took Rocky down on Monday Night Raw. But too much time has passed on that one. There is an outside chance of Seth Rollins being the man to step up but there’s probably not enough money in that yet. Lesnar could be the guy for Rocky but does anyone really want to see The People’s Champ become the WWE World Heavyweight champ again? Of course, there’s John Cena; no don’t say it, I’m only kidding.

So, The Rock has nothing to do either. Well, except make movies. And money. Lots of money.

Truth be told, The Rock and Triple H have no one to fight but each other. They are default opponents and because of that, many fans are likely seeing red right now. And to those fans, I can only respectfully say shut up. Shut your mouth.

The bottom line is the match will be top notch. It will entertain on every level and it will leave fans wanting more. By the end of this bout, the crowd will be on its feet applauding out of respect; not because they couldn’t wait to see it and not because it’s a dream match. They will applaud because they appreciate the work that both men will do to entertain.

We spend a lot of time as fans talking about The Attitude Era. The Superstars, the storylines, the crazy angles, all of it has practically become the stuff of legend at this point. So when two of those stars step into a WrestleMania ring, fans should appreciate what they’re seeing. Triple H versus The Rock doesn’t have to happen but WWE knows it will work.

They also know that it will get over. Hate all you want, this match will deliver. Maybe it’s not WrestleMania season just yet but perhaps it should be. I’m ready, aren’t you?

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WWE SmackDown 15 Results & October 10 Recap

October 12, 2014 By: Category: Videos, WWE | Pro Wrestling

Tonight is the 15th anniversary of SmackDown. The show opens with some clips over the past 15 years.

The first-ever SmackDown GM and co-head of the Authority, Stephanie McMahon makes her way down to the ring. She welcomes the crowd to the show, then asks who remembers the star who coined the phrase “SmackDown”. She points out that it was the Rock, then points out he lost to Triple H on the first episode. As the first-ever GM of this show, she gets to share many moments with the people tonight. The people represent something…

John Laurinaitis of all people interrupts this segment. A “People Power” chant starts. He reintroduces himself, and he thought who better to help celebrate than the man who created the greatest movement ever in WWE history, “People Power”. He’s been doing a lot of research on the WWE Network, he’s learned a lot and has a lot of matches to make. For example…

Teddy Long now joins the festivities to, admittedly, a huge pop. JBL starts dancing at ringside before running over to shake Long’s hand. We get a “Teddy” chant. He says he was the GM of the show for 6 years, and he’ll be damned if he’ll let Laurinaitis take it away again. Laurinaitis says he was better than Long then, and now. He and Steph aren’t feeling Long, but Laurinaitis is going to give the fans what they want tonight, and that’s a tag team match. Tonight, Damien Mizdow and Cesaro will face Sheamus and Jack Swagger. Can you feel that? Long says he’d make it a 6-man match, adding Bo Dallas and Mark Henry to the respective teams. Laurinaitis makes it a 10-man, adding Gold & Stardust, and the Usos. Long says that, since this is the 15th anniversary of SmackDown, he’s going to propose something that has never been done a before, that being a 15-man tag team match. Laurinaitis says that can’t be done. Long adds Mini-Gator and Slater Gator to the heel team, while adding Los Matadores, El Torito and Tito Santana to the face team. Steph says Tito isn’t here, but she likes the idea. Long says each team will have 7 1/2 men, so it works. Steph says these two are always in competition, so she’s going to steal an idea from WM 28, making it Team Teddy vs. Team Johnny. The two pick their teams, and the winner goes down as the greatest GM in SmackDown history.

Moving on, she points out that the match on RAW was made for John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose at HIAC, with the winner facing Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match the same night. So tonight, Miz will host a face-to-face with both Ambrose and Cena.

Adam Rose and the Exotic Express make their way out. I thought WWE had given up on this asshat? JBL points out he’s undefeated, which is the sad, pathetic truth. He says it’s time to party to honor 15 years of the show, but what’s a party without himself? He then tells Steph don’t be a lemon; be a Rosebud. Steph says it is indeed party time, and Rose should be in action, so up next, it will be Rose vs. Kane. She asks for the sound guy to hit Rose’s music, then starts mocking his dancing. Long starts dancing as well. Laurinaitis also starts to dance.

We get a video of the aforementioned Rock/Triple H match from the first episode.

MATCH 1: ADAM ROSE (W/THE EXOTIC EXPRESS) VS. CORPORATE KANE
Kane comes out and says he’s not a cheeseburger, a bunny, a lemon and certainly not a Rosebud. From time to time, he’s a demon. But tonight, he’s a party pooper.

Rose skips around the ring after avoiding a lock-up. He hits a kick, ducks an elbow, ducks a clothesline and goes for a cross-body. Kane catches him and goes for a powerslam, but Rose turns it into a sleeper. Kane breaks it by backing into the corner. Rose boots him out of the corner and goes up top. Kane nails him with an uppercut in mid-air, then hits the chokeslam for 3.

WINNER: CORPORATE KANE.

The Exotic Express all hit the ring to check on Rose, and Kane goes back in. He nails several of them until only the Bunny is left standing. Another Rosebud enters the ring, and Kane drops him with a chokeslam. The same things happens to a second one. The Bunny falls down in the corner, so two more come in. Kane hits them with a double chokeslam as the Bunny flees to the back.

Another video, and this one is the debut of John Cena in 2002 against Kurt Angle.

MATCH 2: WWE DIVAS CHAMPION AJ LEE VS. ALICIA FOX (W/PAIGE) (NON-TITLE)
Fox knocks down Lee as Paige is holding onto the Divas title outside. Fox throws Lee to the corner, then hits a northern lights suplex for 2. Fox applies a rear chinlock, but Lee elbows out. Fox hits her with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for 2, then goes for a standard one. Lee counters it into the Black Widow, and Fox taps out.

WINNER: AJ LEE.

Paige attacks Lee from behind after the match. Lee comes back with a pair of roundhouses for Paige and Fox, then throws Fox into Paige.

Video #3: A collection of high-risk moves and big spots over the years.

MATCH 3: SETH ROLLINS (W/JOEY MERCURY AND JAMIE NOBLE) VS. KOFI KINGSTON
Rollins goes on the attack, backing Kofi to the corner and stomping him down. Rollins kicks him to the floor, then hurls him into the barricade twice. Rollins breaks the count, then hotshots Kofi onto the ring apron. Back in the ring, Rollins nails a clothesline before grinding his forearm into Kofi’s head. Rollins hits a crossface punch, then a few more punches in the corner. Rollins stomps him down once more. He beals Kofi across the ring before raking at his face through the ropes. Kofi comes back with a quick small package for 2, then hits a pair of knees out of the corner. He connects with a clothesline, a back-chop and a dropkick. Rollins ducks a jumping clothesline and hits the Sling Blade. He pounds away at Kofi, then powerbombs him into the buckles. Rollins does it once more, then hits the curb stomp for 3.

WINNER: SETH ROLLINS.

We see the video of Bray Wyatt releasing Luke Harper from the Wyatt Family.

Video #4: Edge and Jack Swagger cashing in their MITB cases.

MATCH 4: RUSEV (W/LANA) VS. INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION DOLPH ZIGGLER (NON-TITLE)
Ziggler avoids a charge in the corner and hits a few week body blows. Rusev shakes them off and kicks Ziggler down. He stomps Ziggler, then stands on his face before applying a head-and-arm. Ziggler elbows out, then hits a dropkick. He misses a corner splash and goes flying to the floor. Commercials.

Back from the break, Ziggler nails some rights and goes for a cross-body. Rusev catches him, sets him on the top rope, hits a few kneelifts and then hits a high fall-away slam. He locks Ziggler in a front chancery and pulls him down into a guillotine choke. Ziggler hits a few punches to break the hold. Rusev comes back by standing on Ziggler’s face. Ziggler comes back with a jawbreaker, nails some more rights, ducks a clothesline and hits another dropkick. He mounts the middle rope for some punches, and Rusev shoves him off. Ziggler avoids a kick and goes for the leaping DDT. Rusev powers through and goes for the fall-away again. Ziggler lands on his feet, avoids a corner splash and nails the rocker dropper for 1. Rusev blocks a superkick and flips Ziggler over. Ziggler lands on his feet, but gets put down immediately with a jumping side kick. Rusev locks in the Accolade and gets the submission win.

WINNER: RUSEV.

Lana says Philadelphia (where the taping is taking place tonight) is the birthplace of America, which is why this country never had a chance to succeed. On RAW, they encountered an all-American, the Rock. Rock is a coward. Lana then loses her sh*t in Russian before handing the mic to Rusev. He says “The Rock will pay for the consequences”. Big Show, you garbage American, you’ll pay for this, too. He challenges Show to a match on RAW this coming Monday, then says Show will be crushed.

Video #5: The highly underrated supermarket brawl between Booker T and Steve Austin.

Lilian Garcia welcomes former SmackDown GM Booker T into the arena. He’ll be on commentary for the next match.

Video #6: Steve Austin tortures the Corporation and DX, then blows up the DX Express.

MATCH 5: MARK HENRY, WWE UNITED STATES CHAMPION SHEAMUS, JACK SWAGGER, THE USOS (JEY & JIMMY), LOS MATADORES (DIEGO & FERNANDO) AND EL TORITO (W/TEDDY LONG) VS. WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS GOLD & STARDUST, LIL’ GATOR, SLATER GATOR (TITUS O’NEIL & HEATH SLATER), BO DALLAS, DAMIEN MIZDOW AND CESARO (W/JOHN LAURINAITIS)
Swagger’s got a nasty black eye. Fernando and Goldust start, and Goldust shoves Fernando before throwing him across the ring. Goldust nails a couple punches in the corner, and Fernando comes back with chops. Goldust calls for a test of strength, then slugs Fernando. Fernando comes back with an elbow out of the corner, then hits a hurricanrana from the middle, sending Goldust to the floor. Stardust hits the ring, and Fernando throws him to the corner. Diego takes him down with a spinning headscissors from the apron, sending him to the corner. Slater comes in and eats a double dropkick. Both teams hit the ring, but the ref restores order before a brawl can break out. Commercials.

Back from the break, one of the Usos and Titus are the legal men, with the Uso beating on Titus in the corner. Titus comes back with a big punch and tags in Goldust. Goldust hits a few strikes and tags in Slater. Slater clubs the Uso down, then tags in Stardust. Stardust hits a headbutt, but it’s no good. Uso comes back with shots of his own, then tags in the other Uso. I learn this is Jey. Jey hits a series of chops in the corner, then whips him across the ring. Stardust backdrops Jey to the outside, where Jey lands on his feet. He nails Stardust, then nails an incoming Goldust as well. The distraction is enough for Stardust to hit the Disaster Kick, sending Jey to the floor. Stardust heads outside and throws Jey into the barricade, then rolls him back in. Goldust tags in and hits a few kneedrops. Jey is thrown into the corner, and Gator tags in, hitting a low avalanche. Slater tags in, stomps Jey and tags in Mizdow. Mizdow hits a bodyslam and a jumping kneedrop for 2. Jey gets back to his feet, but Mizdow grinds him back down. Titus tags in and boots Jey to a chorus of boos (the crowd wanted more Mizdow). Titus picks Jey up on his shoulder and drops down for a backbreaker. He stomps Jey in the corner, then clubs him down as a “Damien Mizdow” chant breaks out. Jey hits a boot out of the corner. Cesaro tags in and hits the deadlift gutwrench suplex. Commercials.

Back from the break, Slater is legal, and Jey is nailing him with rights. He goes for a tag, but Slater pulls him back. He spins Jey around, Jey continues to spin and blasts Slater with a kick. Cesaro makes the tag, walks over Jey and knocks Henry to the floor. He turns around into a back-body drop by Jey, who tags in Sheamus. Sheamus attacks everyone on the heel team, then rams Cesaro with a shoulder thrust before knocking him to the apron with a running kneelift. He goes for the 10 Beats, but only gets a few in before Stardust interferes. Sheamus blocks an attack and ties him up for the 10 Beats instead. Slater tries the same thing and receives the same fate as Sheamus trades off between all three. Cesaro hits a hotshot, but then gets hit with White Noise for 2 as Mizdow breaks it up. Swagger enters the ring and drops him with an elevated belly-to-belly. Slater in, and he hits a Harlem Side Kick, pleasing Booker T in the process. Titus comes in and clotheslines Swagger to the floor. Los Matadores go for a double-team, but Slater Gator see it coming. However, they don’t see the Usos on the outside, who trip Slator Gator and drag them to the floor. The Usos hold the ropes open, allowing Los Matadores to hit a pair of suicide dives. Gold & Stardust get backdropped to the outside, and now the Usos hit a pair of suicide dives on the entire other team, including Laurinaitis. Gator is in the ring, and Torito sends him outside with a dropkick. He goes for a suicide dive, but Dallas intercepts him and avalanche powerbombs him to the floor outside on the other wrestlers. Henry comes in and goes for the WSS, but Dallas escapes and low-bridges Henry to the floor. Sheamus in, and he levels Dallas with a Brogue Kick. Cesaro comes in and hits the first Cesaro Swing in ages, hitting 15 revolutions until Jimmy drops him with a superkick. Stardust clotheslines Jimmy to the floor. Mizdow tags in to a huge pop and goes for the SKF. Sheamus breaks free by backing into the corner. He snapmares Mizdow off and hits the Brogue Kick. Jey tags himself in and hits the Samoan Splash for 3.

WINNERS: MARK HENRY, LOS MATADORES, SHEAMUS, JACK SWAGGER, EL TORITO AND THE USOS.

Much like the Luke Harper video earlier, we see a video package of Bray Wyatt releasing Erick Rowan from the Wyatt Family as well.

The Miz is in the ring for MizTV. He blathers on to the delight of no one, then shows us what happened on RAW between Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and John Cena. Back to the arena, Miz announces that Cena/Ambrose will be a Contract-on-a-Pole Match. Why? Why? Why?

Miz finally gets to introducing his guests, bringing Ambrose out first, followed by Cena. Miz points out Ambrose embarrassed Cena on RAW, then asks why. Ambrose says Cena needs to know that no one crosses Ambrose. He lives by a code that he doesn’t take crap from anyone. If you do him wrong, he’ll make you pay for it. Rollins crossed him, and he can’t live with himself until he sets it right. Rollins in HIAC belongs to him, and Cena is coming dangerously close to stealing that from him. Nobody steals from him, no matter how high on the food chain you are. Cena says he’s impressed. He watches everything and listens to everything. Ever since Ambrose came to WWE, those behind the curtain have been worried about him. Ambrose is unstable, dangerous, loves the business and will not stop until he achieves success. Groups like the Authority waste resources to look for the next guy who has “it”. Ambrose proved he has “it” on RAW, but his definition of “it” is a bit different. He pulls a pair of baseballs out of his pocket and says this is what it takes to be a success in the business before saying Miz has no balls. Ambrose impressed him. It’s what everyone has wanted to see. The fans want to see someone with balls who isn’t afraid to stand up to Cena. At HIAC, Ambrose is going to make Cena earn a victory. They don’t see eye-to-eye, but Ambrose is looking into a mirror when he looks at Cena. They’re cut from the same cloth. There is a reason Cena can always come down to the ring with his head high, because he’s proved to everyone that, after 12 years, he’s got two things: balls and his word, and he breaks neither for nobody. Ambrose needs to bring his A-game, and he may not know Cena now, but after that match, he’ll know Cena’s name. Cena likes his chances. This is…a really terrible promo by Cena. Miz repeats what Cena just said, then starts kissing his ass. He asks if Ambrose really has a chance. Ambrose simply says, “Yep.” Miz asks how he’ll do it. Ambrose says he doesn’t think he’s going to do it; he knows he’ll do it. Miz then repeats Ambrose, calling him a rookie in the process. Cena tells him to shut up, then says he’ll see Ambrose at the PPV. Miz doesn’t like that response and starts egging Cena on. He wants to stir the pot and see a brawl. These two are ruining the show. A fight is what people want to see. Cena says Miz is right. People want to see Cena and Ambrose fight. However, Miz has it wrong. They don’t want to see Cena and Ambrose fight each other. Philadelphia wants to see them fight Miz. The two then club the hell out of Miz. Cena goes for the AA, but drops Miz and throws him into Ambrose, who drops Miz with a double-arm DDT. Cena then hits Ambrose with an AA as we see Seth Rollins watching this on a monitor in the back.

End of show.

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New WWE WrestleMania 31 Card Rumors

October 10, 2014 By: Category: WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WrestleMania 31 rumor mill is back in action after a big report in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter. According to the report, the WWE have a few ideas in place for the big event, one of them being a match you probably didn’t see coming.

Dave Meltzer has the latest report and offers speculation on the WrestleMania 31 card. Meltzer says that the WWE are confident that they have their top matches in place. While nothing is 100% confirmed, Meltzer speculates on three that could be coming to your WWE Network in March for the price of $9.99.

The biggest surprise is his speculation on a return to Mania of The Rock. The Rock’s appearances this week have gotten people talking, but it is his taped segment on SmackDown that caught Meltzer’s attention. Meltzer speculates that The Rock could wind up wrestling Triple H at the 2015 event. Meltzer is just as surprised about his own revelation as you probably are reading it here.

I did see the segment that will air this Friday on SmackDown 15 and I am not so sure that I agree with Dave. Dave’s logic is that they wouldn’t have been teasing the match if there wasn’t something to it. However, the takeaway I came away with from that segment is that they were teasing it for WrestleMania 32 in Texas Stadium. Triple H kept referring to 100,000 people and a big stadium. Why they would tease it this far in advance is anyone’s guess. I could also be over-thinking it here, but Triple H mentioned a large crowd several times which leads me to think it is more than coincidence.

The idea most of us had heard about for the last three years was for a Rock vs. Brock Lesnar match at WrestleMania. The match continues to get delayed and after Rock suffered serious injuries against John Cena at 29, I am starting to think that he has no interest in a match that physical. The money is certainly on Lesnar vs. Rock and not Rock vs. Hunter. I think the angles and build up would be fun but I just don’t know how many people are clamoring to see that match one more time.

To that point, Meltzer speculates that the WWE may make a big play to get Stone Cold Steve Austin back in the ring at WrestleMania 32 in Texas. That would certainly make sense, especially when you have such a big stadium to fill. There were numerous reports that indicated the WWE made a play to get him last year for a match with Triple H. The year before we all heard about the Punk vs. Austin Mania rumors. I would think at Austin’s age it is Texas Stadium or never for the Texas Rattlesnake.

Brock Lesnar is still penciled in to be wrestling Roman Reigns in a WWE championship defense. I wouldn’t count on it. I am watching a changing of the guard right now and that change is Reigns to Ambrose. I think by the time we get to Mania that the WWE will have no choice but to swap Ambrose into this spot. He is hot and unless things change he is only going to get hotter. I would be shocked if Amrbose isn’t winning the Royal Rumble and going to WrestleMania.

John Cena has two interesting options according to Meltzer. Hulk Hogan is politicking hard for a Cena match, although I don’t see it happening. I think Hulk has had too many back surgeries and is too old to be placed in that spot. Rusev is the other option and it’s hard to disagree with that one. I could see some swapping here with Rusev vs. Reigns and Cena wrestling someone else but the Rusev match could be pretty big if they can keep him hot until Mania.

Meltzer also reports that there was a plan in place to go with Batista vs. Triple H although he speculates that the plan is dead. I wouldn’t be so sure. I could see them going in this direction with Rock vs. Hunter booked for next year. Meltzer reports that the Batista vs. Hunter match and series would lead to Batista’s retirement. I could easily see that with Batista transitioning to Hollywood full-time.

Where this leaves Daniel Bryan and Seth Rollins is a big question. I would imagine if Lesnar does hold the belt through Mania that Rollins would be Reigns’ first challenger. I couldn’t see them beating Reigns that fast which begs the question, what is the plan for Rollins and the briefcase?

And what about Sting? Sting doesn’t appear to be in the plans right now. My hunch is that it all depends on The Undertaker. If Undertaker doesn’t come back I could see Sting working with one of the younger guys like a Bray Wyatt. I think Sting vs. John Cena could be intriguing for a few different reasons. Other than those possibilities I am not sure what you do with him besides maybe Randy Orton or even Sheamus.

It looks like Mania has potential but I still think the big one is 2016 in Texas with 31 being something of an appetizer.

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