Survivor Series is the second-longest running WWE pay-per-view event. Since 1987, it has been an annual event focusing on elimination tag team matches. The winners of these matches would be declared the “sole survivors,” and in later years the winners would likely be headed for future success.
Dating back to 1987, the event was originally a way for Vince McMahon to force cable companies to not air NWA‘s biggest show Starrcade. Starrcade was scheduled to run on November 26, 1987 and McMahon created the Survivor Series event to run on the same day. McMahon told the cable companies that if they broadcast Starrcade instead of Survivor Series they would not be allowed to air WrestleMania IV the following Spring. Only a handful of companies aired Starrcade.
Over the years the event has had its highs and lows as the early Survivor Series tag matches were often criticized for their poor logic and high number of eliminations in short periods of time. Wrestlers who would regularly perform in 20-minute matches began to be pinned in three minutes to simple maneuvers. Rarely was someone ever beaten with a scoop slam or an atomic drop outside of a Survivor Series match.
In the mid-to-late 2000s, Survivor Series became the unloved member of WWE‘s ‘big four’ pay per views (also including WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam). A number of dull and boring events in a row led to the event being put on the chopping block in the 2009-2010 era. However, Survivor Series carried on, and has delivered a number of truly memorable matches in recent years.
Since the reintroduction of the brand split in 2016, Survivor Series has become the event of brand warfare. Touted as the one night a year where Raw and SmackDown fight to decide the superior brand, the rivalry has lead to a number of good matches in the last two years.
On this list we will present our ten greatest matches in the history of the Survivor Series event. If you disagree with any of our selections you can let us know in the comments below or send us a carefully worded tweet from your handy dandy Twitter machine. Let us begin at the ol’ Tye Dillinger, number ten.