The original WWE Survivor Series concept was fantastic in that the WWE Superstars would be forced to team up in either five-on-five matches or four-on-four matches to see who could be superior in that format.
This sort of thing made a lot of sense, as it allowed WWE to start rivalries and even push some to different levels. It also allowed us to see some men and even women that we don’t see a lot of. That gives people a huge opportunity to be a star for one night and possibly for the future if the night goes well for them.
For all the good that Survivor Series has given us, we saw a lot of bad stuff too. Survivor Series is known as one WWE’s Big Four events, which means they treat this show as a major event like they do WWE SummerSlam and WrestleMania, so one would think that stupid plans would be left off of this particular show.
Sadly, that is not the case for several events that happened at the show. So sit back and relax, then enjoy the very worst moments in WWE Survivor Series history.
15. The Rock And John Cena Team Up
Let’s just go ahead and put this out there. The fact that John Cena and The Rock teamed up was interesting on paper, as the two had already agreed to face each other the very next year at WrestleMania 28. That said, it seemed like an odd couple pairing when Cena got along with a lot more people. Yet he, not WWE, chose The Rock to be his partner against The Awesome Truth, made up of The Miz and R-Truth.
WWE had just made Truth a bit legit, as he was put in a WWE Title match earlier in the year. Meanwhile, The Miz just came off from being the WWE Champion and WINNING THE MAIN EVENT OF WRESTLEMANIA 27!! WWE had them look like jobbers, which sucked to see considering Rock was leaving for another few months anyway. So they made two legit mid to main event guys go down to Rock and Cena like they were nothing.
14. Big Show Replaces “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Remember that time when “Stone Cold” Steve Austin got ran over by a car at Survivor Series in 1999? We do! The theory behind the attack was that Austin really had to leave due to an injury, so the company had to write him out of the event somehow. The advertised main event for the show was The Rock vs Triple H vs Steve Austin.
Sadly the injury forced him out, and thus he was replaced by the Big Show. Instead of someone like, say, Triple H winning the title…they had Big Show win it instead. He would drop it to Triple H on WWE RAW a month or so later, but it made no sense for him to win it at all. While Rikishi did end up being the one who hit Austin, Triple H was the one who ordered it.
13. Sid Breaks Our Hearts
Survivor Series in 1996 was a weird time. Well, all of 1996 was a weird time but especially in WWE. Things were changing up a lot and people were rising up while others were going away. WWE was in a rebuilding mode big time at this point, and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon wanted to shock fans at Survivor Series.
Sycho Sid always had weird times with WWE and the audience. He was not the best talker or the best wrestler. However, fans did dig him a bit at the time and McMahon had him go over none other than Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series 1996 for reasons still seen as weird. The match happened in none other than New York in the famous Madison Square Garden. Sid was not the best and was the heel in the match, but he was big with the marks who was prominent in New York.
So they had him assault an old man, hits Michaels with a camera, and then hit a powerbomb to finally take him the WWE Championship. He would lose it back to Michaels in January, but this was arguably one of the worst moments in Survivor Series history.
12. John Cena Gets Fired
During the Nexus angle in 2010, John Cena was told that he had to either help Wade Barrett in the WWE Championship from Randy Orton or he would be fired. This left him on the outs because everyone thought he would do anything to keep him job.
He did the right thing and did not help Barrett win, although it would have been cool to see Wade win a World Title in his great WWE career. The problem was, like all Cena firing angles, he came right back and really didn’t even miss time. It was so bogus watching the entire match knowing it could go either way and then knowing Cena wouldn’t get fired.
The following year, the same thing happened again where his career was put on the line against CM Punk if he lost to him and thankfully Triple H appeared to stop it before it happened.
11. The Shield Attack Ryback
In one of the coolest debuts ever, The Shield attacked WWE Superstar Ryback to help CM Punk retain the WWE Championship at Survivor Series in 2012. You may wonder, how is it possible to have a cool debut and still be a bad moment?
The reason is pretty simple. WWE had been building Ryback up as this next Goldberg type and he was excelling. It was a nice change of pace from the same old people in the title matches every week and month. Punk would find a way to screw over Ryback at WWE Hell in a Cell when Brad Maddox sided with Punk as referee to hand the title right back to Ryback.
Ryback was closing in on the title when Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns attacked him and it was obviously cool to see. However, it was the beginning of the end to a nice run for Ryback that never resulted in a title for him until years later, by then all he could hope for was the Intercontinental Championship. His window was clearly missed if there ever was one.
10. Heyman Turns On Lesnar
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman seem to be constructed at the hip at times because you never see the beast without his advocate around. However, that was not always the case. After Lesnar literally ran through everyone, it seemed that Paul needed to give him some competition by siding with another to help them along the way.
So at Survivor Series in 2002, Brock would face Big Show for the WWE Championship. Lesnar would literally dominate, like always. Then as he would hit the F-5 for the 1, 2, 3..Heyman would break it up. He would distract Brock just enough for Show to take advantage and eventually get the win.
The Heyman turn was very shocking, but the worst part about it was that it ended Brock’s winning streak that he had for months. He was literally a monster of a force and the fans were massively behind him. Then to end his streak, we have Big Show beat him? This was the time when Show was younger, but also very overweight and not very good to watch.
9. Goldberg vs Triple H
Bill Goldberg has never been known as a good wrestler. He did some solid work, but he was not some sort of technician out there. Meanwhile Triple H is one of best in-ring wrestlers of all time. Most would say The Game was the literal complete package. There is a reason why he does well behind the scenes these days.
Going into WWE Survivor Series 2003, Goldberg and Triple H had an interesting rivalry and The Game was at the height of his career being the leader of Evolution at the time. The problem was that Bill was World Heavyweight Champion and Triple H should have been. WWE had him go over Triple H, who exposed every little and major flaw of Goldberg’s.
8. King Versus Jesters
If you recall, we said 1996 was a weird time in WWE but 1994 was as well….especially at WWE Survivor Series. This was the same event that Bob Backlund beat Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, which was obviously weird. However, possibly the worst moment of the night had to be Jerry “The King” Lawler and is team faced off against Doink the Clown’s team.
The match was over fifteen minutes long, which may not seem like a lot but can be an eternity in wrestling terms. Just try and sit still, doing nothing and staring off into space for that time. You would be more entertained. Going in the entire thing was stupid. Lawler’s team consisted of men named Sleazy, Cheesy, and Queasy against Doink’s Dink, Pink, and Wink. Oh and by the way, they were little people.
7. Big Show Stinks Up Survivor Series
The Big Show has made this list far too much, but for rightful reasons! In 2013, no character in wrestling was as hot as Daniel Bryan. He was skyrocketing to the top of WWE when it came to popularity and fans continued to love what he brought to the table. Meanwhile WWE held him back for some stupid reason or another, at this point. Going into Survivor Series, Randy Orton was WWE Champion and Bryan deserved a match with him at the event.
Sadly, he was replaced by Big Show. This was the supposed top match on the card that night! It was true that Orton and Bryan clashed a bit up to that point, once Bryan was screwed out of the WWE Title at WWE SummerSlam earlier on. WWE would replace him in the title picture due to Bryan having to sell Authority’s beatdowns. But Big Show was by no means a proper replacement.
6. Four Doinks Equal One Crap Fest
Doink makes this list on more than one occasion, mainly because this man just cannot have a good Survivor Series event. It is not completely his fault, as creative is typically the one in charge of making these moves and of course issues do come about. At the 1993 Survivor Series, they had Bam Bam Bigelow and his team take on Doink the Clown and his team. But Doink didn’t work the event due to being injured before.
This led to having The Bushwhackers come out in clown makeup and then Men on a Mission would come out with them. They would go up against The Headshrinkers and Bastion Booger (the greatest of names). The act would give us nothing but random stupidity. In fact, none of the face team was eliminated! Bam Bam didn’t look good coming out of the event as many would hope.
It was a match that kids might have liked at the time, such as myself years ago. However, years later you look back on this and realize it was incredibly stupid. Even the crowd was a bit off in watching it. Only certain parts landed, which sucked for the entire match. This goes down as one of the worst matches in the history of Survivor Series.
5. All-American Dumbness
Let’s be honest, WWE tries these days to put over foreigners as often as they can, whenever they can. Look at Rusev just as a representation when he first arrived, when anyone who wore an American attire or carried the flag was beaten by the man. Seriously, it is bad luck now guys so stop it!
At Survivor Series in 1993, WWE went campy with their All-American philosophy. The American team was led by Lex Luger, who sounds so much like a villain that we literally wanted him to be…and he was joined by the Steiner brothers as well as The Undertaker. That is right, the undead Taker is as American as it gets! They went against the Foreign team led by WWE Champ at the time, Yokozuna. He was joined by Jacques Rougeau, Crush, and Ludvig Borga.
Luger was a Hulk Hogan clone who Vince McMahon thought would be the next big thing just like Hogan was for him for over a decade. He didn’t work at all, but he was still in monster push time at this point, so obviously he got the end fall and over Borga. On top of that, Santa Claus would come out and celebrate with everyone. I mean, you don’t get more campy than this, guys.
4. Kozlov Makes Us Feel Bad To Be Wrestling Fans
WWE Survivor Series 2008 was an interesting time. Vladimir Kozlov was WWE’s next big thing, you know, cause he was Russian and big. Kozlov was special as athlete to be fair, but he simply was by no means a World Champion caliber man, yet Vince McMahon felt he was worth it. So heading into Survivor Series they put him a triple threat with Jeff Hardy and the WWE Champion Triple H.
Meanwhile, Hardy was supposedly attacked before he could make it into the match. Most thought Christian did the attack at the time, but of course we know the person who did all the bad to Jeff at the time ended up being his own brother Matt Hardy. However, Edge would come out to take Jeff’s spot to get the win.
Before all of this happened, without Hardy, Kozlov and The Game would have a terrible match that would either get no reaction or some boos from time to time. It was actually a great moment in the end, but a terrible match that just went on and on and on. Fans were super happy when Edge appeared, and were even more pleased to see Jeff. Kozlov would never be involved in the main event picture again in his WWE career after this.
3. Deadly Games Was Deadly
In 1998, the Deadly Games came about for WWE Survivor Series. It was an interesting idea for WWE at the time, as they wanted a new World Champion and a tournament would be ideal. However, WWE just made the card focused on this tournament when a lot of the matches could have happened on RAW beforehand.
With fourteen people involved in the matches, it was nuts throughout the night. On top of this, there were a lot of weird things happening throughout the night. Mankind, who was seen as Vince McMahon’s next Corporate Champion, would almost get a bye to the end of the night. The Rock would even do the same, but most felt he was just that good or something.
Eventually of course the final of the tournament saw The Rock pretty much pull a Montreal Screwjob having the win with a submission where Mick Foley did not tap. He would then join with the Corporate to turn heel. While that moment was great. The entire Deadly Games Tournament was an absolute joke that should have never happened.
2. Montreal Screwjob
WWE Survivor Series 1997 was…interesting to say the least. One of the greatest moments in Survivor Series history also ends up being one of the worst. Going into the event, Bret Hart was WWE Champion but planned to leave for WCW soon. Vince McMahon wanted him to drop the title, but Bret didn’t want to do it on the terms that WWE asked.
Vince wanted Hart to drop the title to Shawn Michaels in Canada of all places. Hart was a God in Canada and did not want to lose in front of his people and he certainly did not want to lose to real life enemy at the time in Michaels. Going into the event, Hart still stood firm to this, so Triple H, Michaels and Vince felt the best option would be to take the title off him at all costs.
Keep in mind, Alundra Blaze put the WWE Women’s Title in the trash live on WCW Nitro before this and Vince did not want the same to happen to his World Title. He did all he had to do to keep the title in his company, even really screwing over one of the biggest stars in the sport at the time. Yes, there are always different opinions on this. Some believe Vince did the right thing and others thought Bret did.
1. The Disappointment Of Life That Is Known As The Gobbledy Gooker
Unlike the Montreal Screwjob, there is no debating the terribleness of this one. WWE Survivor Series 1990 was filled with some cool stuff. The biggest thing to most was that it was the debut of The Undertaker. However, going into the event WWE was teasing something coming out of a big egg that would “hatch” at WWE Survivor Series.
Most thought it was a wrestler jumping to the WWE from another promotion. It was even said down the line that this was supposed to be Undertaker’s debut, as well as other cool stuff. I mean, the entire thing was mysterious and very fun. Fans expected a lot to come from it. Then….”it” arrived. The Gobbledy Gooker.
Hector Guerrero would pop out of the egg dressed as a turkey named Gobbledy Gooker and would do nothing of note. WWE even trashes the debut of the Gooker as a complete disaster these days. At least they know when they screw up sometimes. This has to be the worst and clearly most disappointing moments in Survivor Series history.