Survivor Series

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Survivor Series
The Survivor Series logo.
WWE Survivor Series logo used since 2008, with the current WWE logo introduced in 2014
Created byVince McMahon
Promotion(s)WWE
Brand(s)Raw (2002–2010, 2016–present)
SmackDown (2002–2010, 2016–present)
NXT (2019)
205 Live (2018)
ECW (2006–2009)
First event1987
Signature match typesSurvivor Series elimination tag team match

Survivor Series is a professional wrestling live event, produced annually since 1987 by WWE, the world's largest professional wrestling promotion. Held in November, it is the second longest-running pay-per-view (PPV) event in history, behind WWE's flagship event, WrestleMania. In addition to PPV, the event has aired on the WWE Network since 2014 and Peacock since 2021. It is also considered one of the company's five biggest events of the year, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Money in the Bank, referred to as the "Big Five".

The event is traditionally characterized by having Survivor Series matches, which are tag team elimination matches that typically features teams of four or five wrestlers against each other. Stipulations have sometimes been attached to these matches, such as members of the losing team being fired. Since WWE reintroduced the brand extension in 2016, Survivor Series has centered around competition between wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands for brand supremacy; NXT was also involved in the competition in 2019.

Origins and changes[edit]

The Survivor Series 2005 stage setup.

The first Survivor Series, held in 1987,[1] came on the heels of the success of WrestleMania III, as the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) began to see the lucrative potential of the pay-per-view (PPV) market. The first event capitalized on the big time feud between André the Giant and Hulk Hogan, who wrestled each other at WrestleMania III. Survivor Series was originally created to be a "Thanksgiving tradition" as the first eight Survivor Series events took place on either Thanksgiving Day (1987–1990) or Thanksgiving Eve (1991–1994). Since the 1995 event, Survivor Series has been held the Sunday before Thanksgiving (save for the 2005 and 2006 events, which were held after Thanksgiving). The 1997 event was notorious as it featured the Montreal Screwjob.[2] Survivor Series was going to be discontinued and rebranded in 2010,[3][4] but following fan outcry, the company decided to continue with the event.[5] Survivor Series became the second longest running PPV event in history (behind WrestleMania),[6] and is also regarded as one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam, the promotion's original four annual events and their four biggest events of the year.[7] From 1993 to 2002, it was considered one of the "Big Five", including King of the Ring, but that PPV event was discontinued after 2002.[8] In October 2021, Money in the Bank became recognized as one of the "Big Five".[9]

In May 2002, the WWF was renamed to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) following a lawsuit with the World Wildlife Fund over the "WWF" initialism.[10] In April 2011, the promotion ceased using its full name with the "WWE" abbreviation becoming an orphaned initialism.[11] Also in March 2002, the promotion introduced the brand extension, in which the roster was divided between the Raw and SmackDown brands where wrestlers were exclusively assigned to perform[12]ECW became a third brand in 2006.[13] The first brand extension was dissolved in August 2011,[14] but it was reintroduced in July 2016.[15] Survivor Series, along with the other original "Big Four" events, were the only PPVs to never be held exclusively for one brand during either brand split periods. In 2014, Survivor Series began to air on WWE's online streaming service, the WWE Network, which launched in February that year,[16] and in 2021, the event became available on Peacock as the American version of the WWE Network merged under Peacock in March that year.[17]

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, WWE had to present the majority of its programming for Raw and SmackDown from a behind closed doors set at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida beginning mid-March.[18] In August, these events were relocated to WWE's bio-secure bubble, the WWE ThunderDome, hosted at Orlando's Amway Center.[19][20][21] The 2020 Survivor Series was in turn produced from the ThunderDome[22][23] and was WWE's final PPV to present the ThunderDome from the Amway Center, as in early December, the ThunderDome was relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.[24] In July 2021, WWE resumed live touring with fans.[25]

Brand competition (2016–present)[edit]

During the first brand extension period (2002–2011), there were only a few Survivor Series matches that were held between wrestlers of the two brands (e.g., Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown), but it was not the focus of the event. However, with the return of the brand split in 2016, Survivor Series has since focused on direct competition between the Raw and SmackDown brands for brand supremacy, similar to the former Bragging Rights events held during the first brand split in 2010 and 2011.[26][27][28] In addition to traditional Survivor Series matches pitting the men and women from the two brands against each (2016 and 2018 also featured matches with the brands' tag teams going against each other), there have been interpromotional matches that pit the brands' champions against each other in non-title matches (e.g., the Raw Women's Champion vs. the SmackDown Women's Champion).[29]

The 2016, 2017, and 2018 events were contested between Raw and SmackDown. The 2016 event[30][31] was the genesis for what became the theme of brand supremacy that began in 2017. In 2017 and 2018, Raw won the competition with a score of 4–3 and 6–1, respectively (SmackDown's one point in 2018 occurred on the Kickoff pre-show).[32][33][34][28] The 2019 event saw the addition of the NXT brand, which previously served as WWE's developmental territory but became one of WWE's three main brands in 2019, and in turn featured the first three-way Survivor Series elimination matches for men and women. NXT subsequently won that year's competition with a 4–2–1 victory, with SmackDown having 2 points, and Raw's sole win occurring on the pre-show.[35][36] NXT would not compete at the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Outbreaks of the virus had occurred at both of NXT's home arenas, Full Sail University and the WWE Performance Center, prompting WWE to exclude NXT wrestlers from the event to avoid potential transmission of the virus to members of the Raw and SmackDown rosters.[37] Raw would win that year's competition with a 4–3 victory over SmackDown.[22][23] The 2021 event also did not include NXT as the brand reverted to its status as WWE's developmental territory in September of that year.[38] At the 2021 event, Raw again won the competition with a 5–2 victory over SmackDown.[39][40]

Survivor Series matches[edit]

The event is traditionally characterized by having Survivor Series matches, which are tag team elimination matches that typically features teams of four or five wrestlers against each other.[29] The promotion had several tag team elimination matches earlier in 1987, albeit with three-man teams and the feuds loosely related. In an early break from the norm, the 1992 event had only one Survivor Series match.[41] The 1998 event was the first without any Survivor Series matches, instead focusing on an elimination tournament for the vacant WWF Championship.[42] The 2002 event was the only other event to not include any Survivor Series matches. Instead, it had an elimination tables match and a triple threat elimination tag team match, but most notably, the event saw the debut of the Elimination Chamber match.[43]

Events[edit]

# Event Date City Venue Main Event Ref.
1 Survivor Series (1987) November 26, 1987 Richfield, Ohio Richfield Coliseum André the Giant, Butch Reed, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, and Rick Rude vs. Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco, Hulk Hogan, Ken Patera, and Paul Orndorff in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [1]
2 Survivor Series (1988) November 24, 1988 Akeem, Big Boss Man, Haku, Ted DiBiase, and The Red Rooster vs. Hercules, Hillbilly Jim, Hulk Hogan, Koko B. Ware, and Randy Savage in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [44]
3 Survivor Series (1989) November 23, 1989 Rosemont, Illinois Rosemont Horizon The Heenan Family (Bobby Heenan, André the Giant, Arn Anderson, and Haku) vs. The Ultimate Warriors (The Ultimate Warrior, Jim Neidhart, and The Rockers (Marty Jannetty and Shawn Michaels)) in a 4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match [45]
4 Survivor Series (1990) November 22, 1990 Hartford, Connecticut Hartford Civic Center Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, and Tito Santana vs. Hercules, Paul Roma, Rick Martel, The Warlord, and Ted DiBiase in a 3-on-5 Grand Finale Survivor Series elimination match [46]
5 Survivor Series (1991) November 27, 1991 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena Big Boss Man and The Legion of Doom (Animal and Hawk) vs. Irwin R. Schyster and The Natural Disasters (Earthquake and Typhoon) in a 3-on-3 Survivor Series elimination match [47]
6 Survivor Series (1992) November 25, 1992 Richfield, Ohio Richfield Coliseum Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship [41]
7 Survivor Series (1993) November 24, 1993 Boston, Massachusetts Boston Garden The All-Americans (Lex Luger, The Undertaker, and The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner)) vs. The Foreign Fanatics (Crush, Ludvig Borga, Quebecer Jacques, and Yokozuna) in a 4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match [48]
8 Survivor Series (1994) November 23, 1994 San Antonio, Texas Freeman Coliseum The Undertaker vs. Yokozuna in a Casket match with Chuck Norris as the special guest referee [49]
9 Survivor Series (1995) November 19, 1995 Landover, Maryland USAir Arena Diesel (c) vs. Bret Hart in a No Disqualification match for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship [50]
10 Survivor Series (1996) November 17, 1996 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden Shawn Michaels (c) vs. Sycho Sid for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship [51]
11 Survivor Series (1997) November 9, 1997 Montreal, Quebec, Canada Molson Centre Bret Hart (c) vs. Shawn Michaels for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship [2]
12 Survivor Series (1998) November 15, 1998 St. Louis, Missouri Kiel Center Mankind vs. The Rock in a tournament final for the vacant WWF Championship [42]
13 Survivor Series (1999) November 14, 1999 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena Triple H (c) vs. Big Show vs. The Rock in a Triple Threat match for the WWF Championship [52]
14 Survivor Series (2000) November 19, 2000 Tampa, Florida Ice Palace Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Triple H in a No Disqualification match [53]
15 Survivor Series (2001) November 18, 2001 Greensboro, North Carolina Greensboro Coliseum Complex Team WWF (Big Show, Chris Jericho, Kane, The Rock, and The Undertaker) vs. Team Alliance (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Booker T, and Shane McMahon) in a Winner Takes All 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [54]
16 Survivor Series (2002) November 17, 2002 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden Triple H (c) vs. Booker T vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kane vs. Rob Van Dam vs. Shawn Michaels in an Elimination Chamber match for the World Heavyweight Championship [43]
17 Survivor Series (2003) November 16, 2003 Dallas, Texas American Airlines Center Goldberg (c) vs. Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship [55]
18 Survivor Series (2004) November 14, 2004 Cleveland, Ohio Gund Arena Team Orton (Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and Maven) vs. Team Triple H (Triple H, Batista, Edge, and Gene Snitsky) in a 4-on-4 Survivor Series elimination match [56]
19 Survivor Series (2005) November 27, 2005 Detroit, Michigan Joe Louis Arena Team Raw (Big Show, Carlito, Chris Masters, Kane, and Shawn Michaels) vs. Team SmackDown! (Batista, Bobby Lashley, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio) in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [57]
20 Survivor Series (2006) November 26, 2006 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Wachovia Center King Booker (c) vs. Batista for the World Heavyweight Championship [58]
21 Survivor Series (2007) November 18, 2007 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena Batista (c) vs. The Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship [59]
22 Survivor Series (2008) November 23, 2008 Boston, Massachusetts TD Banknorth Garden Chris Jericho (c) vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship [60]
23 Survivor Series (2009) November 22, 2009 Washington, D.C. Verizon Center John Cena (c) vs. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship [61]
24 Survivor Series (2010) November 21, 2010 Miami, Florida American Airlines Arena Randy Orton (c) vs. Wade Barrett for the WWE Championship with John Cena as the special guest referee [62]
25 Survivor Series (2011) November 20, 2011 New York City, New York Madison Square Garden John Cena and The Rock vs. Awesome Truth (The Miz and R-Truth) [63]
26 Survivor Series (2012) November 18, 2012 Indianapolis, Indiana Bankers Life Fieldhouse CM Punk (c) vs. John Cena vs. Ryback in a Triple Threat match for the WWE Championship [64]
27 Survivor Series (2013) November 24, 2013 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden Randy Orton (c) vs. Big Show for the WWE Championship [65]
28 Survivor Series (2014) November 23, 2014 St. Louis, Missouri Scottrade Center Team Cena (John Cena, Big Show, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Ryback) vs. Team Authority (Kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Rusev, and Seth Rollins) in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [66]
29 Survivor Series (2015) November 22, 2015 Atlanta, Georgia Philips Arena Roman Reigns (c) vs. Sheamus for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in Sheamus' Money in the Bank contract cash-in match [67]
30 Survivor Series (2016) November 20, 2016 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Air Canada Centre Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg [30][31]
31 Survivor Series (2017) November 19, 2017 Houston, Texas Toyota Center Team Raw (Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, and Triple H) vs. Team SmackDown (Bobby Roode, John Cena, Randy Orton, Shane McMahon, and Shinsuke Nakamura) in a 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination match [32][33]
32 Survivor Series (2018) November 18, 2018 Los Angeles, California Staples Center Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan [34][28]
33 Survivor Series (2019) November 24, 2019 Rosemont, Illinois Allstate Arena Bayley vs. Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler in a triple threat match [35][36]
34 Survivor Series (2020) November 22, 2020 Orlando, Florida WWE ThunderDome at Amway Center Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns [22][23]
35 Survivor Series (2021) November 21, 2021 Brooklyn, New York Barclays Center Big E vs. Roman Reigns [68][39][40]
36 Survivor Series (2022) November 26, 2022 Boston, Massachusetts TD Garden TBD [69]
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

References[edit]

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External links[edit]