With the 2021 Survivor Series just a few months away, let's take a trip back to examine ten of the best Survivor Series teams to ever compete in the squared circle.
Survivor Series was born out of the success of WrestleMania. The yearly pro wrestling extravaganza had become a sure fire pay-per-view moneymaking hit. With the general public interested in consuming more wrestling related content than ever before, WWE decided to go forward with additional pay-per-views.
The idea of Survivor Series was that it would be held on Thanksgiving night, ensuring a captive audience of whole families who were probably desperate for some way to entertain the entire brood in the pre-internet era.
Over time, Survivor Series moved to a Sunday night close to Thanksgiving in an effort to increase buyrates, but the PPV is still closely associated with the national US holiday.
Survivor Series is the first, and only, PPV to be built around the idea of tag team elimination bouts. Though Survivor Series has sometimes been presented sans any of these traditional tag team matches, in recent years the WWE has been sure to put on at least one such bout on the card.
Over the long, long history of Survivor Series there have been many star studded teams. But there are those which stand out head and shoulders above the rest--sometimes literally.
Here are ten of the greatest Survivor Series teams of all time.
#10 Team Guerrero (2004)
The Attitude Era was ending, and the Ruthless Aggression Era had begun. Long time veteran Eddie Guerrero's burgeoning popularity led to his elevation from perennial midcard talent to main eventer.
Latino Heat was embroiled in a feud with Kurt Angle, and the two men recruited teams to face off at Survivor Series. Eddie's team significantly outmatched Kurt's team, considering that each and every member of Team Guerrero was either a former world champion or would go on to become one.
John Cena was just starting his meteoric run, and it's intriguing to see him play a secondary role in this match up. Luther Reigns, Mark Jindrak, and Carlito were all fine competitors, but clearly not on the same level as the star studded membership of Team Guerrero.
In what could ideally be termed a massacre, team Eddie picked up top honors in one of the most powerful displays in the history of survivor series matches.
#9 The All Americans (1993)
In 1993, changing global politics had robbed pro wrestling of their traditional foreign heels, i.e. Russians/Soviets. But that didn't stop WWE from pushing this patriotic mish mash of a team together to face off against Yokozuna and his heel team consisting of Ludwig Borgia and the Quebeccers.
Lex Luger had an 'All American' gimmick at the time, and the Steiners were both All American amateur wrestling champions. But the team needed a final member, and WWE wound up going with The Undertaker, who was just beginning to be a real fan favorite. While an undead zombie has little to do with patriotism, fans didn't seem to mind and the crowd was red hot for this match.
Yokozuna and his cohorts were simply over-matched, and the fan frenzy over this hobnob team more than makes up for its slapped-together feel.
USA winning is what the fans paid to see and that is just what they got.
#8. The Ultimate Warriors--1990
Face it. Your nine-year-old self would have just been gaga for this particular Survivor Series team.
You have the over-the-top invincible Ultimate Warrior as team captain, the most celebrated tag team of the 1980s in the Legion of Doom, Hawk and Animal, and the sorely missed tragic figure of Kerry von Erich all on the same team.
In terms of pure strength and power, this is one of the most formidable Survivor Series teams of all time. Ultimate Warrior would go on to be the Sole Survivor, but the whole team looked good, and it was always a thrill to see long-time NWA star Von Erich in a WWE Ring.
Warrior being the captain was expected to put on a show and he did just that, lasting the entire duration of the bout.
Sadly, all the four men on this team passed away, but they will live on forever in the hearts and minds of the fans they touched.
#7 The Heenan Family, plus Dino Bravo (1988)
Wrestling stables, or families, used to be a much bigger deal in the 1980s WWE. You had the First Family led by Jimmy Hart which featured men like the Hart Foundation and Danny Davis. Then you had Mr. Fuji's stable, which featured an ever-revolving roster of tag teams.
And of course, you had the Heenan Family. The collection of heels managed by Bobby Heenan is one of the most impressive line-ups in Survivor Series history. Wall-to-wall legends comprise this team, with only Dino Bravo not having captured a world title during his career.
The heel faction is one of the most memorable because it was a rare time when all of the Heenan Family members were in the ring at the same time.
The star power in the image above itself shows you that the side is a world beater.
#6 The Hulkamaniacs (1989)
Just when it seemed Hulk Hogan was departing wrestling to become an actor in Hollywood, he was soon drawn back into the world of professional wrestling.
Hogan's film, No Holds Barred, was a critical and financial failure, ending Hogan's dreams of conquering Hollywood. He would still make films, but they were often low budget affairs meant to cash in on his wrestling popularity.
To that end, he returned full time to the WWE and soon became WWE Champion once again. Now that the Mega Powers were a thing of the past, he turned toward new allies for his Survivor Series team.
Jake the Snake is possibly the greatest wrestler to never win the WWE World title, and Demolition were the all-time longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history until the New Day broke their record.
The match lasted for over half an hour with Hogan taking out Ted DiBiase to lead his side to victory.
#5 The Curtain Jerkers (1987)
Our number five team has the distinction of being the first ever Survivor Series babyface team.
No one actually called them the curtain jerkers, but they were in the opening bout of the very first Survivor Series. But the star studded line up more than made up for their low placement on the card. In fact, this team stole the entire show.
Savage and Steamboat made an effective unit during this match, especially after they were only a few months past the end of a vicious rivalry, making one wonder just how great they would have been if they'd ever formed a tag team. Jake Roberts brings his usual psychology, and even the goonish Duggan and Beefcake seem more polished than in other performances.
This was the early days of Savage's face run, and a build up toward him becoming WWE champion at Wrestlemania IV.
#4 Team Legend (2006)
Back in 2006, WWE put together arguably the most legendary Survivor Series tag team of all time; Team Legend.
Nature Boy Ric Flair teamed with long-time rival American Dream Dusty Rhodes for one of the few times in history. They were joined by Sgt. Slaughter and Ron "Farooq" Simmons.
All four men were former World Heavyweight Champions, and in the case of Ric Flair, double champions, having held both the NWA/WCW and WWE World titles at different points in his illustrious career.
To say that this is one of the most amazing, one of a kind teams is an understatement. Just the thrill of seeing Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes, long time rivals, on the same team is pure wish fulfillment. This is definitely one of the most memorable Survivor Series teams of all time.
They faced a young and upcoming Spirit squad team who were taught a lesson or two in old school wrestling.
#3 Women's Team RAW (2016)
If your team features three of the Four Horsewomen on it, you know that you've got a good thing going on.
In 2016 WWE decided to get the women involved in the Survivor Series traditional elimination tag team matches. the line up from RAW was nothing short of stunning--and we're not talking about their obvious physical beauty.
It's telling that all but two of this line-up wound up wearing either the RAW or SmackDown Women's Championships, in some cases multiple times. Alicia Fox added her veteran status, and Dana Brooke, at the time, was a sort of insurance policy for the champ, Charlotte Flair.
These women proved that they could be just as tough and entertaining as the men. Survivor Series was no longer the exclusive domain of male Superstars.
Raw, as expected, ended up dominating the match and winning it. However, all was not well within their ranks as Charlotte ended up attacking fellow team member Bayley.
#2 Team WWE (2001)
After WCW was purchased by WWE, ending the Monday Night War, it looked like the intercompany warfare would continue with Shane McMahon spearheading the WCW/ECW alliance and Vince McMahon heading up the WWE.
Of course, most fans were aware that McMahon owned both companies, taking a lot of the teeth out of the Survivor Series showdown which would lead to only one company remaining. Even though the Alliance team was quite disappointing--featuring virtually no WCW stars of note--Team WWE remains one of the most star studded and formidable line ups of all time.
Big Show, Chris Jericho, Kane, "American Badass" Undertaker, and The People's Champion The Rock formed the team, former world champions each and every one of them.
While the whole 'invasion' angle fell flat, this team still deserves recognition for being one of the best line ups in all of Survivor Series history.
The appeal by the WWE to recruit the members for their team is a noteworthy angle in itself.
#1Team Behemoth (1987)
First of all, no one called this line up Team Behemoth. But really, can you think of a more apropos name?
In 1987, these men represented the main event and mid card heels in their prime. Of course, Andre the Giant always stands out, being nigh invincible. He was joined by fellow behemoths King Kong Bundy and One Man Gang--both of whom weighed over four hundred pounds. Yikes!
Then you have Ravishing Rick Rude, who was certainly not a small man by any stretch of the imagination, and one of the strongest wrestlers of all time, Butch Reed. Just based upon sheer size and power this Survivor Series team muscles their way to the top of our list.
While there WAS one bigger team, Team Lesnar from 2003, they didn't have the legendary roster that the 1987 faction did. Do you even remember Matt Morgan or Nathan Jones in WWE? Us neither.
Thank you for joining us on this trip through WWE history, and we'll see you next week!
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