Survivor Series has been always been outed as the odd one out from the big four pay-per-views. It is, perhaps, because of the lack of prestige to it as compared to the likes of WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. The concept is similar to the Rumble, with the show revolving around elimination matches. However, they are not nearly as exciting and staples in the way the Royal Rumble match is every year. In terms of the big four, Survivor Series is at the bottom of the pile.
Despite being the second longest running WWE pay-per-view, Survivor Series does not possess the epic and grand feel of its other long-standing counterparts on the WWE calendar. It still has played host to some excellent traditional elimination matches over the course of it's over 30-year long history. The concept of these matches are pretty simple and not as action-packed as the Rumble, but it still holds up as a valuable part of the year, especially with the ongoing feud between Raw and Smackdown.
Traditional Survivor Series elimination matches over the years have given us a whole bunch of classic moments thanks to high stakes, high spots or unlikely alliances. They have been a beacon of storytelling for a long while now, with a few of them standing out. Five-on-five matches can be tricky to book, but we have seen WWE strike gold with it on many occassions. Here are the five greatest traditional Survivor Series elimination matches of all time but first, some honourable mentions.
- Team Hogan vs Team Andre (1987)
- Team Triple H vs Team Orton (2004)
- Team Shield vs Team Mysterio (2013)
#5 Team Smackdown vs Team Raw (2005)
Before brand warfare became cool, Raw and Smackdown went head-to-head with Survivor Series elimination rules for the first time ever in 2005. After an interesting build which featured Kane and The Big Show absolutely destroying Batista, we got this hell of a match.
Raw's team consisted of the two giants, up-and-comers Carlito and Chris Masters, with Shawn Michaels rounding off the team. Smackdown had a pretty great team, one of the strongest in Survivor Series history. Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Bobby Lashley, JBL and the World Heavyweight Champion Batista made the Blue team.
The match would pan out in a similar way to another one on this list, with Shawn Michaels playing the babyface in peril. He was left in a three-on-one situation against Smackdown's JBL, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. The Heart Break Kid would eliminate Mysterio following a tremendous mid-air Sweet Chin Music, before immediately getting rid of the former Acolyte.
However, it would be Randy Orton who sneaked away with the victory, with a lightning quick RKO, like the slippery snake he is. This was one of many great victories the Viper has earned at Survivor Series.