Top 5 traditional Survivor Series matches
Survivor Series is the second longest running WWE Pay-per-view (only behind WrestleMania) with over thirty events to date. One of the key matches for this pay-per-view is a traditional ‘Survivor Series Elimination match’, where two opposing teams have to eliminate their opponents one wrestler (or tag team) at a time until all the wrestlers from a team have been eliminated. With the exception of 1998, there have always been at least one of these Survivor Series elimination matches (or some equivalent) every year.
These types of matches can be quite difficult to pull off on an actual night for many reasons. For instance, much like a battle royal, there can be too much going on at once for the audience to be able to keep up, there can be talented wrestlers that aren’t given the time to show their strengths, or they may simply run on too long.
However, there are a handful of matches that have worked around these pitfalls to become instant classics and have set the bar for any future matches that WWE plan to do in the future for one of their oldest pay-per-view events.
#5 Survivor Series 2016 – Team Raw Vs. Team SmackDown (Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination Match)
Survivor Series 10-on-10 tag team elimination matches are very rare to see, with a total of only three matches having ever taken place in the pay-per-view history. Although tag team elimination matches were introduced in the earlier editions of the pay-per-view, there was a noticeable twenty-five-year gap (1989-2015) before they were brought back to Survivor Series 2016.
What made this match confusing is that the lineups for both brands felt very contrived. Many of these tag teams had little to no impact on the tag team roster (e.g The Shining Stars, The Hype Bros) and when Breezango got eliminated within the first minute of the match, it had appeared that the match wouldn’t live up to the expectation and that bringing back a Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination match would end up being a disastrous afterthought.
However, this match then threw the WWE Universe into shock when The New Day, a team that was the second longest reigning Tag Team champions at the time of the pay-per-view, were eliminated moments later.
This then left eight teams with over half of them never having accomplished a Tag Team title together. However, their lack of accolades didn’t represent their abilities on the night as it was packed with high-flying and well-executed tag team combinations.
The match eventually boiled down between Sheamus and Cesaro against The Usos, which Sheamus and Cesaro just squeezed out a victory for Team Raw after one of the toughest fights of their career as a tag team.
Since this match, three of these tag teams captured a Tag Team Championship within a few months, confirming that this match was not only a match to remember but also that the tag team division was once again at an all-time high.