We’re less than two weeks away from Survivor Series, a Thanksgiving tradition unlike any other. I loved this show as a kid because of all the crazy teams we’d see that we would never see otherwise. The first WWF tape I remember renting from Blockbuster Video was the 1990 Survivor Series. The format’s changed over the years, but I think we’re back to a point where the show has regained its spot as one of WWE’s top events of the year. At least in my eyes.
We’re going to look ahead to this year’s event by looking back at some classic Survivor Series teams from yesteryear. Well, wait a minute, we’re doing that next week. This week, we’re looking at some not so classic Survivor Series teams. Some were lacking in talent, others were lacking in creativity, and some just had no chemistry.
Here are the Top 5 Worst Survivor Series Teams.
5. (tie) Billy Gunn, Justin Bradshaw, Salvatore Sincere & The Sultan (1996), Aldo Montoya, Bart Gunn, Bob Holly & Jesse James (1996)
WWF was at a low point in 1996, and a Survivor Series match pitting these two teams against each other puts it on full display. If you put all of these men in this match at their creative apexes, you’d have something like this: Bad Ass Billy Gunn, JBL, Rikishi & Indy Patriot vs. Justin Credible, Bart “The Hammer” Gunn, Hardcore Holly & Road Dogg. You’d have to change some alliances around to make it more logical, but everybody in the match would be better than they were here.
Shawn Michaels gets a lot of crap for not drawing in 1996, but when you look at how these undercards were booked you figure out why he didn’t. There hasn’t been a world champion that’s going to make me go out to see Aldo Montoya, Salvatore Sincere & The Sultan.
4. Goldust, Marc Mero, Steve Blackman & Vader (1997)
OK, we’ve got some talent here. Vader & Goldust are certainly legends, Steve Blackman had an odd charisma about him, and Marc Mero had Sable. My issue with this team comes from the name: Team USA. The Patriot was originally part of this, got injured & was never seen on WWF television again. We were left with these fine representatives of America…
Marc Mero: working a boxer gimmick & doing a slow heel turn because he was jealous of Sable.
Steve Blackman: a fan that came out of the crowd that had a martial arts background.
Goldust: refused to cooperate with his teammates during the match, as he was splitting from Marlena & was headed down a weird mental road where he became the Artist Formerly Known As Goldust. The less said, the better.
Vader: in the weakest period of his career & cut this promo a few months later:
So yeah. Can I get a USA?
3. Rowdy Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka, The Bushwhackers (1989)
This just doesn’t work on a couple of levels. For one thing, there’s the whole thing with Piper, Snuka & a coconut. If there were two guys in the 1980s WWF that never should have teamed, it was Piper & Snuka. Fortunately, they neglected to mention any of this when on camera together. Then, there’s the lack of sanity from everybody involved.
Seriously. Does that look like a team in the right frame of mind to beat anybody in a wrestling match? They’re not in the right frame of mind to order lunch. Rowdy’s Rowdies were a little too flaky to have much of a chance against cerebral assassins like Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect & the Fabulous Rougeaus.
2. Dangerous Danny Davis, Bad News Brown, Greg Valentine, Honky Tonk Man & Ron Bass (1988)
Early Survivor Series history gave us some lame teams headed up by the Honky Tonk Man. In 1987 he, Davis & Bass teamed with Harley Race & Hercules. (Harley’s presence kept that team from consideration, even if it was the WWF King version of Harley.) That didn’t go very well, so the next year they went with Bad News Brown & Greg Valentine. Brown was so disgusted by the quality of his teammates that he walked away from the match the first time one of them accidentally hit him. Can you blame him?
Honorable Mention: Shawn Michaels & His Knights (1993)
Survivor Series 1993 was originally supposed to feature a match pitting the Hart Family against noted Hart-hater Jerry “The King” Lawler & his Knights, who were three random masked men. After Lawler needed time away from the WWF to deal with allegations of a sexual nature, Shawn Michaels was put in as his replacement. He hated Bret, so it made sense on that level. But why in the heck would he have Knights? He should have made them the Heartbreakers or something like that.
1. Big Boss Man, Mideon, Prince Albert & Viscera (1999)
Hey, I’ve got no problem with the Big Boss Man. But when your team gets beat in a 1 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match in under two minutes, you are officially the worst team in Survivor Series history. I don’t care if the one man was the Big Show, who weighed as much as some of the teams in Survivor Series history. You just can’t do that. At least the Boss Man was smart enough to get while the getting was good. Show chokeslammed & pinned the other three geeks in a little over a minute.
Of course, Show was operating on rage & aggression after all the horrible things Big Boss Man had said over the previous months.
They just don’t make feuds like this anymore.
NXT Minus 6: The Most Pointless Match Ever
There are some things Brad really enjoyed, and others that made no sense. Do you agree with his assessments?
Not just pointless. It was Charles Barkley turrible.
6. Dexter Lumis is in dire need of a makeover. Since his debut two years ago, the only thing that’s changed is the possible addition of new arm tattoos. Great athlete. Deceptively agile. No depth to his character. He is the worst thing you can be in wrestling. Boring.
5. Zack Gibson strikes again. Drake Maverick & Killian Dain are Shrek and Donkey. Savage! Gibson is on the mic what Wade Barrett needs to be. I like watching him wrestle. I love listening to him talk.
4. How good was it to hear Shayna Baszler’s music again in NXT? I am cranked to 11 for the women’s tag team title match. So many stories. Baszler and Dakota Kai have a long history. Raquel Gonzalez and Nia Jax, the two biggest, baddest bitches in WWE are out to prove who is the alpha bitch. Titles on the line. Baszler’s homecoming. Kai’s shot at validation. I’m smelling MOTY contender.
3. I am fully and deeply committed to the notion that Xia Li is the baddest person in the entire NXT locker room, male or female. Madame Li, I will never get on your bad side. If I accidentally cross that line, I will change my name and flee the unidentified state in which I currently reside. Un-Lished.
2. That thing between Santa Claus Ice Cream Bar and Doomsday Saito was possibly the most pointless match ever. The feud was based on nothing. Why is a heavyweight going after a cruiserweight? Why do they continue to pretend Ice Cream Bar is a cruiser when he clearly isn’t? How does Saito survive a 3-on-1 beat down to pop up fresh as a daisy and get the victory? It dragged on and on and on and on and on and on and on, clocking in at just under 92 hours. Let us never speak of this match again. No, it doesn’t get a pic.
1. This week’s That’s Why I Love Wrestling goes to…unidentified camera man! I’m on my couch, digging Leon Ruff’s entrance. BTW, his music kicks all kinds of ass. Ruff is hanging on the ropes, loving life, when BAM! Kick to the head from Swerve Scott. I was genuinely surprised, never saw it coming, because the camera man was fully focused on Ruff, and so was I. Nice work, unidentified camera man.
Cook’s Top 5: Miz Moments
Cook brings the most must see Top 5 of the week! Is it obvious or a MIZtery?
This week is all about our new WWE Champion, The Miz!
Let’s be honest, Miz might not hold the Championship for too long. He’s got a big match with Bobby Lashley next week. We wish him luck, and maybe something unlikely will happen resulting in Miz holding on to the title longer than anybody expects. Still, I feel the need to get this particular edition of the Top 5 out there as soon as possible.
Here are the Top 5 Miz Moments!
5. Main Eventing WrestleMania
The match itself…not so great. Miz was obviously the third most important person in the match. He also suffered a concussion. But the guy still main evented WrestleMania and beat John Cena, which is something that not too many other people can say. This will remain Miz’s biggest WrestleMania match unless they get Bad Bunny to wrestle him this year.
4. A Ladder Match with Dolph Ziggler
Miz & Ziggler have quite a bit in common. Both hail from the Cleveland area. Both prefer to think of themselves as being from Hollywood. They’re both egotistical characters that make up for what they might lack in size with ego. They’ve been in WWE forever with limited changes to their character, pretty much on the same level of the card. Naturally, they get along pretty well & have good chemistry.
2016 saw the best incarnation of their on-screen issues, with Miz & Ziggler trading the Intercontinental Championship back & forth. The Ladder Match ending the feud at TLC is considered by most to be Miz’s best match. I don’t have a ton of other options off the top of my head, so we’ll go with that.
3. The First MITB Cash-In
You always remember your first. At this point in time, much like here in 2021, Miz wasn’t seen as the most believable choice to be WWE Champion. However, the man had a briefcase, and, importantly, this was back before the briefcase gimmick was completely run into the ground. So when Miz ran down at the end of Raw to cash in on Randy Orton, it got a tremendous reaction.
People were either really happy or really angry. I was on the angry side of the spectrum, especially since I had a cold and was writing a news column during all of this. Man, I remember when the week or so a year I would a cold was the only time I really felt like crap.
What can I say, Miz has grown on me over the years.
2. Feuding with The King
A lot of old school wrestling fans found it hard to believe that The Miz had become WWE Champion when more deserving wrestlers from their childhood never had been. Heck, Jerry Lawler, a God of Memphis rasslin who piledrove Andy Kaufman into oblivion, had never even gotten a shot at that title, even though he’d worked for WWE for nearly twenty years. Seemed wrong to a lot of people, but nobody expected that wrong to be addressed.
Lawler was celebrating his sixty-first birthday the week after Miz defeated Randy Orton for the WWE Championship. One thing led to another, and Lawler got his very first WWE Championsgip opportunity. In a TLC match! They got the fans believing that Lawler could win the title…until that pesky Michael Cole kept Lawler from climbing further up the ladder.
It was nice to see the King get another important run on WWE television long after we thought it was possible. A large part of the reason it was possible? The Miz. He portrayed himself as just beatable enough that the title change could happen. Also held up his end of the bargin in the promos, which was never easy for Lawler’s opponents.
I know everybody likes a title change, but this was the best work Miz did during his first WWE Championship reign by a wide margin.
Honorable Mention: Marrying Maryse
You knew I had to mention this, right?
1. Talking Smack to Daniel Bryan
I’ve always been a Daniel Bryan guy. Back when he was Miz’s “rookie” on NXT, I thought the idea that Miz would have something to teach him was a bit outrageous. It was an interesting pairing though, and the Miz/Bryan relationship/rivalry has provided plenty of compelling moments over the years.
None moreso than the night where Miz did something that a lot of people didn’t think was possible: make himself seem right & Daniel Bryan seem wrong. The way Miz defended himself in this tirade was pretty much impossible to argue with. Maybe Miz doesn’t wrestle the way that hardcore wrestling fans would like, but he is pretty much the prototypical WWE Superstar of his era. He always works hard, is never hurt, and you don’t have to worry about him embarrassing himself or the company.
This promo raised Miz’s character to another level at the time, and definitely added some fuel to the fire for Bryan’s eventual return. If you want to see one Miz promo that sums up who he is & was, this would be it.
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