Survivor Series is one of the longest running WWE pay-per-views in the history of the company. After more than three decades of being one of WWE’s “big four” shows, Survivor Series has certainly made an impact on WWE’s history with some of the greatest debuts of all time happening at the event.
There was once a saying that went, “If you’re going to debut, do it at Survivor Series,” since many of the best wrestlers that the company has ever created decided to walk through the curtain for the first time at the event that usually takes place in November and has since given the show an added edge. While Survivor Series has become famous in recent years for the Raw versus SmackDown tradition elimination match and the bragging rights that each brand receives if they are victorious, it seems that Survivor Series will always be seen as the place where the best stars make their debut.
Despite the fact that the last debut to take place at the event was back in 2o14, the WWE Universe is still hopeful that there will be more famous faces to walk through that curtain in the coming years to continue what has been an impressive legacy over the past few decades. The following list looks at eight of the worst debuts to ever happen at the event, as well as seven that could potentially happen based on what WWE has planned when it comes to outside signings and NXT superstar call-ups over the next few weeks.
15. Worst Debut: Lafon And Furnas
This is one of the forgotten WWE debuts from 1996, as well as the debut of Flash Funk. The team of Phil Lafon and Doug Furnas made their way through the WWE curtain for the first time and were two of the standout stars on their Survivor Series team.
The two were the survivors for their team and got the win by pinning the tag team Champions. Even though they made quite an impact on their debut, just a year later they were gone from WWE. The duo appeared once again at Survivor Series 1997 but this time they were both eliminated from the team with British Bulldog being the sole survivor. Even though the duo technically won the match, they were limited to smaller WWE appearances and even faced The Hardy Boyz when they were first breaking their teeth into the business before they were released.
14. Potential Debut: Aleister Black
Aleister Black is currently undefeated on the NXT roster after making his debut at NXT Takeover: Orlando back in April. Aleister is popular with the NXT Universe but is another star that would perhaps be better utilized on the main roster rather than being pushed towards the NXT Championship picture.
Black is currently part of a feud with The Velveteen Dream Patrick Clark, but their feud could easily either end at NXT Takeover: War Games or it could continue after Black is called up to the main roster. Right now, Black is one of the most popular stars on the developmental brand, so it could make sense for WWE to want to call him up soon and allow him to be part of the roster in the build-up to next year’s WrestleMania rather than waiting until after the show in the spring of 2018, when he would perhaps have become less popular in front of NXT’s regular crowd.
13. Worst Debut: Flash Funk
The 1990s were a time in WWE during which the company came up with some of the most random gimmicks for superstars, so when Flash Funk made his debut at the 1996 Survivor Series event, the WWE Universe didn’t bat an eyelid.
Flash Funk had previously been known as 2 Cold Scorpio, so this was definitely a different kind of gimmick for him. Funk joined the team of Jimmy Snuka, Yokozuna and Savio Vega as part of their four-on-four Survivor Series elimination match against Diesel, Farooq, Razor Ramon and Vader, but the match ended in a no-contest when the final six men in the match were disqualified for brawling in the ring. The Flash Funk gimmick didn’t last for very long as he slowly decided to revert back to his 2 Cold Scorpio character instead. It seems that Flash Funk has become one of the forgotten debuts from Survivor Series back in the 1990s and perhaps one that should continue to remain forgotten.
12. Potential Debut: Rockstar Spud
The winner of the first ever TNA British Bootcamp from 2012 has been making a name for himself in Impact Wrestling over the past few years and it seems that this is the place that Rockstar Spud has been most associated with for the best part of his career.
It was recently reported that Rockstar Spud has left Impact Wrestling after more than five years in what was called a “business decision” after he blew off a weird feud with former WWE star Hornswoggle.
With WWE reportedly looking at a UK based King of the Ring show in the new year, it seems that the British Star could be used as part of that or he could be heading to WWE much sooner. There is set to be a talent influx heading to 205 Live and if the reports are true about Spud leaving impact a few weeks ago, he could already be prepared to make a Survivor Series impact.
11. Worst Debut: Ahmed Johnson
Ahmed Johnson is another name who has been lost amongst the greats who have debuted at Survivor Series over the past few decades. Ahmed was not only able to make an impact on his debut at the bragging rights based pay-per-view, but it seems that he was also able to become just the second man in history to be able to bodyslam Yokozuna.
The former NFL star brought something new to WWE and was powerful enough to have been able to make a statement on his debut and help his team to victory. Over the next few years it seems as though he was ready to switch his focus onto the WWE Championship but the injuries began to mount up to the point where he could no longer compete and then he was gone, just as suddenly as he arrived and is now another name lost amongst the shuffle in the history of one of WWE’s greatest pay-per-views.
10. Potential Debut: The Authors Of Pain
The Authors of Pain are former NXT Tag Team Champions and have made quite the impact on the NXT roster over the past year. Managed by WWE Hall of Famer Paul Ellering, Akam and Razar have become destructive forces on WWE’s developmental brand and should have been called up to WWE’s main roster a few months ago when they lost their Championships to Sanity.
It was reported that WWE was waiting for the perfect opportunity to call up the former Champions, and instead, they have recently been inserted into the War Games match at NXT Takeover: War Games the day before Survivor Series. It would be the perfect place for the duo to make their debut and send a message to the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Division. After all, it is the final pay-per-view of the year that will feature both brands, so someone needs to make a statement.
9. Worst Debut: Scott Steiner
Scott Steiner technically made his debut in WWE many years earlier alongside his brother Rock when The Steiner Brothers first became known to the WWE Universe in the 1990s. Steiner then headed to WCW and after the company lost the war in 2001 it seemed that there was only one place left for Steiner to continue his career.
Steiner made his re-debut at Survivor Series in 2002 with a much more impressive physique and a point to prove as he ran to the ring and attacked both Matt Hardy and Christopher Nowinski after they cut a promo about New York. Sadly, Steiner wasn’t the same wrestler he was in the 1990s, since all of his injuries had finally caught up with him. This run was considered to be one of his worst with two horrific matches at The Royal Rumble and No Way Out, which are now available for the world to see just how bad a decision it was for WWE to bring Steiner back.
8. Potential Debut: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre is the current NXT Champion and is also a former member of 3MB on the main roster. McIntyre faces Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas at NXT Takeover: War Games the night before Survivor Series, with NXT now pushing to find challengers for the former Intercontinental Champion.
Drew’s former teammate Jinder Mahal is fighting Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, so it wouldn’t take a genius to guess where he would interfere if WWE allowed him to make his presence known on the main roster once again. If McIntyre defeats Almas then he has no challengers on the NXT brand left and would still be considered to be undefeated. Drew isn’t the same star who was fired from WWE in 2014, so it would be great to see him link up with Jinder Mahal one more time. McIntyre could be the one who helps Jinder to defeat Brock since it’s obvious that The Singh Brothers are less than useless in physical confrontations.
7. Worst Debut: Jazz
WWE made the decision to resurrect the Women’s Championship back at Survivor Series in 2001 and Jazz was one of the women who was added to the match to become the Champion on her debut. Back then, the company didn’t have the greatest women’s roster but it was definitely improving. Given her ECW background, Jazz was a great pick for WWE to bring over.
Even though she didn’t win the match and was later fired from WWE as part of the main event of the show, Jazz still managed to have quite a successful career after she returned to TV and is now a former multi-time Champion. While there are women who have debuted and won the Championship in matches of this kind, it seems that Jazz wasn’t afforded this luxury but she is still the only woman to have ever made her debut at the event, despite her debut coming almost 16 years ago.
6. Potential Debut: Hideo Itami
Hideo Itami made a name for himself in Japan as Kenta before he made his way to WWE back in 2014 and it seems that injuries have plagued what could have been a standout career in NXT. Itami could easily have been NXT Champion at this point in his career if he hadn’t spent so much time on the sidelines, but it seems that he could be moving up to the main roster in the coming months.
Recent speculation suggests that Itami could be set to join 205 Live in the coming months as another challenger for Enzo Amore‘s Championship. The fact that The Cruiserweight Championship is the only title on the line at Survivor Series leaves the door open for a potential debut for Itami later this month. Itami needs something that will kickstart his career and a Survivor Series debut could be just the thing he needs.
5. Worst Debut: The Shield
The Shield has become one of the most dominant factions in WWE over the past five years. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose have gone on to become three of the biggest stars in the company since their split back in 2014.
The Shield officially made their debut back at Survivor Series in 2012 when they attacked Ryback part way through his WWE Championship match with CM Punk. The trio made their way to the ring in the worst kind of turtleneck sweaters as they tried to make a statement at the expense of” The Big Guy.” This led to many rumours that The Shield was working with Punk before they confessed their reasons for the attack a few weeks later. Even though the three have gone on to become huge stars, they themselves cringe every time they think about the way they made their debut in WWE.
4. Potential Debut: Ricochet
WWE has wanted to sign Ricochet for a number of years. This has become well-known. Recently, Ricochet was in talks with Impact Wrestling about making a debut and being part of the company alongside his girlfriend Tessa Blanchard. These talks have since fallen through and Ricochet apparently won’t be appearing for the company anytime soon.
This opens the door for WWE to swoop in and hopefully sign the Lucha Underground star, especially since Ricochet currently shares a house with Apollo Crews, so they could easily ask Apollo to talk to Ricochet about signing for the company and helping to inject something great into 205 Live. He would easily be another star who could make an impact in three weeks time. As already stated, Survivor Series is the place where many wrestlers want to make their debut, so Ricochet could be another big name on WWE’s radar in the coming weeks.
3. Worst Debut: Elimination Chamber
The Elimination Chamber, or Satan’s Steel Structure, as it’s commonly known, debuted in WWE back in 2002 and it seems that it has spent the past 15 years breaking bones and leaving every man who has stepped inside it a shell of his former self.
The structure was easily seen as a rip off of WCW’s War Games match, but it seems that Vince McMahon wasn’t willing to give the WWE Universe a match that proved that WCW had come up with a better concept than he did. So, Elimination Chamber debuted and then became part of an annual event of the same name. Over the years, WWE has run out of reasons to use the structure and with the PG banner now meaning that much of the violence inside the structure has been watered down, the cage has become a slightly pointless invention. War Games will finally make its debut in WWE in a few weeks time so it will be interesting to see if the structure is then replaced when the company sees what could have been all those years ago.
2. Potential Debut: Ronda Rousey
The Women’s Revolution in WWE has been in full swing now for more than two years and there could only be one way for WWE to push the women forward now. Over the past few weeks, there have been rumours that former UFC Champion Ronda Rousey has been training at WWE’s performance centre and could be set to make her WWE debut in the coming months.
Survivor Series will see the women from Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live go head to head in a traditional Survivor Series five-on-five match. Since all women will be part of the event for the first time and also the last time this year, this would be the perfect place for someone like Ronda Rousey to make her debut and show just how dominant she can be in a WWE ring. If Ronda wants to make her in-ring debut at WrestleMania 34, then you can never start the build-up too early.
1. Worst Debut: The Gobbledy Gooker
While The Undertaker became one of the lasting impressions from Survivor Series in 1990, there was another debut that wasn’t received as well as The Deadman much earlier in the night.
In the build-up to the event, WWE brought out a giant egg and later revealed that the surprise inside it would be revealed at the event itself. Many of the WWE Universe thought that this meant that there would be a huge debut and while they were right, they were not expecting a full-size cartoon turkey called “The Gobbledy Gooker.” The Turkey has not received the way the WWE executives hoped he would, and disappeared from WWE TV as quickly as he came. Incredibly, this isn’t the strangest thing that Vince McMahon’s strange mind has come up with over the past few decades, but it is one of the most memorable letdowns of all time.
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