The road to WWE Survivor Series is here meaning it’s time to look back at some of the greatest Survivor Series elimination matches ever.
This event goes all the way back to 1987 as WWE’s first non-WrestleMania pay-per-view. For most of the first decade of Survivor Series, they built the show around American Thanksgiving with the idea that it would be a fun show for the whole family. As the years went by, WWE settled on just making it an annual November show. One of the signature matches at Survivor Series nearly every year is an elimination tag team match. They are usually 5 on 5 or 4 on 4 matches, but there have been other variations of it. What I’m going to do today is share my personal rankings of the 10 best elimination matches in Survivor Series history.
What’s interesting about selecting just ten of these is that I have ten elimination matches rated at ***1/2 out of five or better, which means very good to great matches. When I checked all my ratings, I also had another nine matches that were very close at ***1/4 out of five. A women’s match hasn’t made it on here yet, but I’m hoping they can break through this year.
Since these are really long matches, I’ve decided to break it up into two parts. Here are matches #10 to #6 and then matches #5 to #1 will be in another post. Anyway, let’s get to the list that includes some updated 2021 thoughts in blue font as well.
10. Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Hunico and Cody Rhodes) vs. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Sin Cara, Kofi Kingston and Mason Ryan) @ Survivor Series 2011
(The format of this review isn’t as detailed as the others. I don’t plan on re-writing it.)
The 5 on 5 is next with Team Barrett first: Wade Barrett, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler, Hunico (to no reaction) and Cody Rhodes. Rhodes is without a mask permanently, which is the right move. By the way, Cody is also wearing kneepads. That is noteworthy folks. Randy Orton’s team was next with Sheamus out first. I guess the captain goes last on the babyface team. He was followed by Sin Cara in a white mask, Kofi Kingston, Mason Ryan and then Randy Orton to a massive face pop. Orton got the best face pop while Sheamus was very close behind. They mentioned that Orton has won 4 Survivor Series elimination matches, saying that he was the sole survivor twice. It’s nice when WWE remembers history. Yep, they are really loud for Orton.
Kingston started with Ziggler. Orton ended up getting the tag in, he hit the RKO on Ziggler and he pinned him. The heels retreated. Orton went after them. They ended up throwing the heels outside while Sin Cara & Kingston did top rope dives to the floor. Sin Cara stayed down after his dive to the floor. The refs are making the “X” sign and the fans are chanting “We Want Ryder” already. It looks like a legit injury to Sin Cara. He didn’t clear the top rope on his dive and the move didn’t hit. He was untying his boot at ringside as the refs tended to him. He’s officially eliminated. They had a bit of a delay while Cara was hurt, but they ended up picking up where they left off. Kingston worked with Barrett, but Ryan got the hot tag at the same time as Hunico, who took a beating. Great fallaway slam by Ryan followed by a press slam. Rhodes got the blind tag, he leaped off middle ropes, hit Ryan with a kick and pinned him with the Cross Rhodes to eliminate Ryan. Why put Mason Ryan in the match if he’s not going to eliminate anybody? Weird. Not complaining, but it’s odd that they put Ryan in the match when Ryder and Daniel Bryan aren’t even on the card. The crowd chanted “Cody! Cody!” because they like chanting for heels, which is fine by me. Sheamus became the legal man and he worked with Cody. The heels cheated to get the advantage as Sheamus became the babyface in peril as we reach 12 minutes.
After Hunico got the tag, Sheamus was able to get to his corner where he tagged in Kofi Kingston, who went nuts on Wade Barrett with his high octane offense. The heels slowed Kingston down by cheating. Barrett ended up hitting a big boot out of nowhere and then the Wasteland. That eliminated Kingston. It was now 4 on 2 with only Orton & Sheamus remaining for the face team. “Here comes the Swag Man” says Booker when Swagger gets tagged into the match. The heels took turns beating up on Orton. He put Rhodes down with a suplex and tagged in Sheamus, who worked against Swagger. Top rope shoulderbreaker by Sheamus followed by his backbreaker. Barrett interfered when he went for the Celtic Cross. Sheamus hit knees to the head of Swagger repeatedly while Jack was in the ropes. The ref Chad Patton warned him about it. He reached the five count and disqualified Sheamus. That was a lame way of eliminating him, but they protect him a lot and he doesn’t get pinned very often. Sheamus was mad, so he booted Swagger in the head with the Brogue Kick. It’s now Orton left alone against Rhodes, Barrett & Hunico as we hit the 20 minute mark.
The announcers talked about how much of a disadvantage there was here with Orton against three guys. Rhodes taunted him by doing the Orton pose while standing over him. Orton hit the spinning powerslam and DDT on Rhodes. Hunico tagged in while Barrett distracted Orton. Hunico with a springboard and Orton catches him with a RKO as Hunico leaps off the top. Rhodes goes to attack Orton, but Randy hits the RKO. He turns around into Barrett, who hits the Wasteland. That’s enough to eliminate Orton. Cole mentioned that Sin Cara has a ruptured patella tendon. That’s bad. That’s a broken kneecap basically. He’s going to be out for half a year I’m guessing, if not more. The match went 22:10.
Winners: Team Barrett – Wade Barrett & Cody Rhodes
Analysis: ***1/2 Very good elimination tag match as these almost always are. The eliminations were well done. The injury to Sin Cara was unfortunate, however. I know some people don’t like the guy, but it’s a damn shame to see somebody go down like that. I liked his work. As for the booking, I picked Team Barrett because a win for them would have meant more. Guys like Orton need to lose in matches like this because it will build up his opponents. If he beats them all the time then Barrett & Rhodes won’t be taken seriously by fans. Now they have something to brag about. Good work by everybody and I agree with the booking. It’s nice when it makes sense, huh?
(I don’t remember much of a follow up to this. Barrett and Rhodes were stuck in the midcard level with WWE failing to pull the trigger on them as main eventers. It’s not a surprise that they would eventually leave the company when they had a chance.)
9. Team Michaels (Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, The British Bulldog and Sycho Sid w/Ted Dibiase and Jim Cornette) vs. Team Yokozuna (Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon and Dean Douglas w/Mr. Fuji and Jim Cornette) @ Survivor Series 1995
The next match is a wildcard elimination match, so I’ll tell you who the faces and heels are. Yokozuna (heel) & Owen Hart (heel) entered first for one team. Dean Douglas (heel) was the awful teacher gimmick done by Shane Douglas. Razor Ramon (face) was the Intercontinental Champion at the time, so the story is that he won’t get along with his team.
The other team featured the British Bulldog (heel) managed by Jim Cornette, who was also a manager for Yokozuna and Owen Hart. Bulldog got the next title shot at the December PPV. Sycho Sid (heel) walked out with his manager Ted Dibiase. They spelled it “Sycho” instead of “Psycho” so they could trademark the name. Ahmed Johnson (face) was making his pay-per-view debut as they said in the introduction. They had really high hopes for him as a power wrestler on the rise. Shawn Michaels (face) was the last man out for his team. He was on the receiving end of a huge push by this point and it was clear that he was going to be “the man” in WWE going forward. Vince McMahon was going crazy calling him the most resilient superstar in the WWF today with Perfect saying this guy has nothing on him. Perfect was yelling at Vince to sit down.
Analysis: I always liked the idea of wildcard teams. It’s something they should have done before and after this because it’s a creative idea that changes things up a bit.
Michaels worked with Hart with Michaels sending him out of the ring with a headscissors takedown. Cornette got involved, so Michaels hit him in the butt with his own tennis racket. Powerslam by Hart. Douglas with a suplex on Michaels. Michaels did a hard whip into the corner followed a forearm smash and a double axehandle off the top rope for a two count. Douglas with a knee to the face, but then he missed a splash. Michaels up top and he hit a moonsault press for two as Hart made the save. Johnson tagged with an axe kick for Douglas and a kick for Owen. He wasn’t able to slam Yoko, so the three heels on the other team worked on Johnson. You could tell Yoko looked bigger than in the years before this. The heels worked over Johnson in the corner and even Ramon hit Johnson with punches. Johnson came back with a huge powerslam on Douglas. Michaels tagged in, Johnson picked him up and tossed him onto Douglas. Michaels went for the superkick, but Douglas left the ring. Ramon went over there, so Douglas shoved him. Ramon punched Douglas (his teammate) and Michaels did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! to eliminate Douglas.
Dean Douglas eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Owen and Bulldog faced off with the announcers noting they were brothers in law. Spinning heel kick on Bulldog and then Michaels tagged in for the heels, so Hart tagged in Ramon. They referenced the epic ladder matches between them. Clothesline by Ramon on Michaels, back elbow by Michaels and a running forearm attack. Ramon teased a Razor’s Edge and he connected with it, but Johnson broke up the pin attempt. Big knee lift by Ramon on Michaels as Perfect mocked the greasy hair of Michaels. They ran the ropes and did a collision spot so both guys were down. Sid was tagged in for his team as he pounded away on Ramon. Sid’s offense was basically just punches and kicks. They did a double clothesline spot where both guys were down for a bit. Sid went to the top for some reason, so Ramon slammed him off of there. Sid hit a one handed Chokeslam on Ramon. Michaels tagged in, Sid held Ramon, it led to Ramon moving and Michaels hit Sid with a Superkick. Down goes Sid with Shawn not looking too upset about it since Sid was a heel. Ramon covers, Bulldog goes in for some reason and misses everything with a leg drop. Ramon covered Sid to eliminate him.
Sycho Sid eliminated by Razor Ramon
Analysis: The problem with that is that Sid tagged Michaels into the match, so Ramon pinning Michaels made no sense. None of the announcers even mentioned it. I’m not sure what the hell Bulldog was doing. He must have thought it was another spot in the match.
Bulldog went after Ramon. Sid brought Michaels into the ring and dropped him with a Powerbomb that Michaels sold as a big deal. Bulldog left the ring, so Michaels was the legal man again. Ramon was down, but then he crawled over and put an arm on top for a two count. Hart nailed Michaels with a back body drop. Yokozuna was throwing punches at Michaels, so Vince was yelling about how the ref should stop it. Hard whip into the corner by Yoko that Michaels sold by flipping upside down. Yoko with a vice grip to ground Michaels. Hart tagged in for a headbutt off the top, but Michaels moved. Johnson got the hot tag with punches for the other team. Johnson caught Owen and hit the Pearl River Plunge to eliminate him.
Owen Hart eliminated by Ahmed Johnson
Ramon worked with Johnson with Ramon hitting a knee to the face followed by a bulldog. Johnson nailed a sloppy-looking spinebuster that Vince just called a “devastating maneuver.” Johnson posed on the turnbuckle like an idiot, so Ramon hit a Razor’s Edge. That looked awful. Bulldog just went into the ring to break up the pin and the ref did nothing. He’s not legal, yet he was in the ring. Sid, Kid and Dibiase walked down to ringside. Ramon hit a fallaway slam for two followed by a clothesline. Kid grabbed Ramon’s leg, Ramon punched him and Bulldog capitalized with a running powerslam to pin Ramon.
Razor Ramon eliminated by British Bulldog
Analysis: There was another fall that shouldn’t have counted because Bulldog never tagged in. He just saved Johnson from a pin and the ref Tim White did nothing about it.
Yokozuna was the last guy left for his team. He decked Michaels with a punch to the face. Leg drop by Yoko to Michaels. He teased the Banzai Drop, but he took so long that Michaels was able to move out of the way. Michaels stumbled into the corner to tag in Johnson. Johnson hit a body slam on Yokozuna that looked sloppy, but it was close enough. Bulldog broke up the pin from the guy on his own team. Michaels and Johnson knocked Bulldog out of the ring with a double clothesline. Michaels with a Superkick on Yokozuna, Johnson hit a big splash and pinned Yokozuna at 27:24.
Yokozuna eliminated by Ahmed Johnson
Survivors: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson & British Bulldog
Post match, Michaels and Johnson raised their hands. Cornette celebrated the win with Bulldog.
Analysis: ***1/2 That was a good elimination match with a cool twist due to the wildcard nature of the teams. I liked that they did spots like Michaels being the reason Sid was eliminated, so Sid got his revenge with a Powerbomb right away. Ramon was screwed out of the loss by Kid and Sid, which furthered that storyline. It’s easy to see why they chose those three to survive: Michaels was on the road to being the top guy, Johnson was a new star on the rise and Bulldog was getting the WWE Title shot at the December 1995 PPV, so they wanted him to look strong. It was a fun match from start to finish with two good guys winning in the end.
(I can remember this match being a favorite of my friends and I at the time because of the wildcard factor. We didn’t know what faces would be teaming with heels and vice versa, so that led to an interesting match scenario. The part about Bulldog being able to go in the ring and pin Ramon like that was a bad mistake by the referee. I still thought it was a good match and I remember it well due to the mix of heels and faces on the same team.)
8. Team Ziggler (Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Damien Sandow, David Otunga & Wade Barrett) vs. Team Foley (Kane, Daniel Bryan, Kofi Kingston, The Miz & Randy Orton) @ Survivor Series 2012
The introductions for the Survivor Series elimination match was up next. The order for Team Ziggler: Alberto Del Rio (in a Rolls Royce), Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Wade Barrett and Dolph Ziggler. The captain of the team comes out last even though he didn’t pick his team except for Otunga. But let’s not hurt our heads trying to go over that storyline.
The order of introduction for Team Foley saw team captain Mick Foley coming out first. He has a significant limp to his walk that should tell people he probably shouldn’t wrestle again. The tag team champions Kane and Daniel Bryan entered together. Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston was next and Cole tried to tell us people call him The Wildcat even though I’m sure that very few people do. The Miz was out next. Finally, Randy Orton entered last for his team.
If these guys came out as a group instead of individually they could have fit another match onto the show. The intros took a long time. Even The Undertaker probably thought those introductions took a long time. All due respect, of course.
(That Undertaker joke was pretty funny. I think so, anyway.)
Kingston started with Otunga. Kingston hit a cross body off the top rope to the floor. JBL kept talking about Otunga’s credentials. Otunga hit a sloppy powerslam spot on Bryan. Sandow tagged in with a Russian Legsweep on Bryan followed by the Elbow of Disdain for two. Bryan came back with a running clothesline followed by his corner dropkick. Bryan hit a series of kicks as the announcers mocked JBL for how many different sports he has referenced during the broadcast. Sandow ran away, but then Kane brought him back in and Bryan kicked Sandow in the head. Kane hit a Chokeslam on Sandow to eliminate him. Damien Sandow is eliminated by Kane.
Randy Orton came into the ring for his team and hit a slingshot suplex on Ziggler. Cole did a good job of putting over the successful history of Orton at Survivor Series. Kingston got a monkey flip on Ziggler that Ziggler sold by landing on his face instead of his back. What an amazing athlete Ziggler is. Bryan worked with Ziggler, but that didn’t last long. Barrett tagged in and Bryan missed his corner dropkick. Knees to the face by Barrett followed by a big boot that knocked Bryan out of the ring. Otunga tagged in to hit a clothesline followed by a shoulderblock. That’s pretty much all of Otunga’s offense. Bryan went for the No Lock. Otunga tapped out. I’m happy with that. David Otunga is eliminated by Daniel Bryan.
Del Rio entered the ring for his team and he worked over Bryan with a chinlock. Nice backbreaker by Del Rio on Bryan. Del Rio did a corner charge, so Bryan dumped him out to the floor. I’d love to see a feud between those guys. Hopefully next year. Bryan tagged in Kingston, who hit a chop off the top rope followed by a dropkick and clothesline on Del Rio. Boom Drop by Kingston. Ziggler distracted Kingston, but Kingston still hit a springboard cross body on Del Rio for two. Barrett tagged in and he hit a Bossman Slam. Barrett hit the Bull Hammer forearm, formerly known as The Souvenir, for the pinfall victory to eliminate Kingston. Kofi Kingston is eliminated by Wade Barrett.
Orton faced off with Barrett, hitting a dropkick for two. Barrett hit a boot to the face of Orton. Suplex by Orton followed by a knee drop got Orton a two count. Orton wanted to tag in Miz, but instead Bryan tagged in instead. The story is Miz hasn’t tagged in at this point. Bryan got a missile dropkick off the middle rope for two. JBL called him the “Flying Goat.” Barrett gave Bryan a clothesline over the top to the floor. Del Rio tagged in. Bryan went for the No Lock, but Del Rio fought out of it. Del Rio hit the running enziguri in the corner. Then Del Rio applied the Cross Armbreaker. Bryan tapped out. Daniel Bryan is eliminated by Alberto Del Rio.
It’s now two on three with only Orton and Miz on Foley’s team while Ziggler, Barrett and Del Rio were on the other side. They don’t get along. Miz worked with Del Rio and he tagged in Orton, who hit a nice uppercut Del Rio. JBL mocked the way Cole used the word “vintage” too often. I love JBL’s commentary. Del Rio hit an armbreaker on Orton using both knees. Ziggler tagged in. Orton broke free of Ziggler to make the hot tag to Miz. The crowd was cheering Miz, who was on fire with a corner clothesline on Barrett. Boot to the face of Ziggler. Top rope double axehandle from Miz. JBL: “Classic Miz. Vintage Orton.” Barrett hit a boot to the gut of Miz and then Miz countered the Wasteland with the Skull Crushing Finale. Good spot. That was enough to eliminate Barrett. Wade Barrett is eliminated by The Miz.
It’s two on two now. Miz hit Del Rio with his DDT for two. Bridging German Suplex by Del Rio got two. That’s one of my favorite moves in wrestling. Miz tripped up Del Rio while he was on the middle rope. Miz missed his corner clothesline. Del Rio hit his running enziguri for the pinfall on Miz. The Miz is eliminated by Alberto Del Rio.
That means it’s two on one with Orton being the lone representative of Team Foley going against Ziggler and Del Rio. Orton was distracted by Ziggler, so Del Rio hit a kick to the head for two. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker on Orton for two. Del Rio hit a double foot stomp on Orton. Del Rio went to the top rope, he jumped off and Orton hit a dropkick to the face of Del Rio. Clotheslines by Orton as the crowd came alive. Powerslam by Orton. Ricardo Rodriguez jumped on the apron. Del Rio hit an enziguiri to the back of the head of Orton. Outside the ring, Foley decked Rodriguez with a punch and ten applied Mr. Socko to Rodriguez. That drew one of the biggest pops of the match. Ziggler snuck in the ring, he went for a dropkick, Orton moved and Ziggler hit Del Rio. Orton threw Ziggler into the ring post. Del Rio went for the Cross Armbreaker, but Orton hit a sweet counter into the RKO to eliminate Del Rio. Now that was the biggest pop of the night. Alberto Del Rio is eliminated by Randy Orton.
It’s down to Orton vs. Ziggler, who is still stuck with his shoulder up against the turnbuckle ring post. Orton went for the RKO. Ziggler held onto the rope. Ziggler hit the Zig Zag to Orton for two. Terrific nearfall there. I thought that was the finish. Orton avoided the Rocker Dropper and he hit the DDT off the ropes. Orton’s mouth was bleeding. Orton walked back to the corner to set up for the punt. The fans were ready for it. Ziggler got back to his hit and hit a Superkick. He covered for the one…two…three. That was some Sweet Zig Music. The match went 23:43.
Winners: Team Ziggler. (Sole Survivor: Dolph Ziggler)
Analysis: ***1/2 That was fun. I’m a big fan of these elimination matches and wish we got to see them more than once per year. I just think they’re a lot of fun to watch with all of the eliminations and the way you can create rivalries as part of the match. I thought The Miz did a great job in a babyface role. The crowd was supportive of everything he did, so his babyface run is going to work as I suspected. Ziggler winning was the right move considering how many times he has lost in the past few months. It gives him some momentum going forward while Orton isn’t hurt by it because he’s continually pushed in a strong way. This could also lead to the heavily rumored heel turn of Orton. They can also keep Orton face and make him one of the main challengers to Ziggler if/when Ziggler becomes the World Heavyweight Champion. There are a lot of possibilities. I’m just happy that Ziggler got a big win that he really needed.
(That’s the star rating that’s slightly above average for a Survivor Series elimination match. As long as the booking isn’t ridiculously silly, a match that gets around 25 minutes should always reach that level. The win was pretty big for Ziggler and then he got to main event the next PPV when he beat John Cena in a Ladder Match thanks in part to AJ Lee. Ziggler was Mr. Money in the Bank and on his way to one of the most memorable cash in’s every a few months after this.)
7. Team Smackdown – Batista, Bobby Lashley, John Bradshaw Layfield, Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio vs. Team Raw – Big Show, Carlito, Chris Masters, Kane and Shawn Michaels @ Survivor Series 2005
Team Smackdown was up first. The World Champion Batista made his entrance with his upper body taped up due to his back injury. He was the top face on Smackdown. The heel JBL entered in his limo with his image consultant Jillian Hall, who had a growth on her face, which was a stupid gimmick. Rey Mysterio was a face that received a great ovation as well as “Eddie” chants since he was wearing EG armbands. Bobby Lashley was the most jacked guy on the roster that was a newcomer face that they were trying to build up. The last man up was the heel Randy Orton along with his dad Bob Orton. “Hey, nothing you can say!” It was a catchy tune. The announcers noted Orton was the sole survivor at the previous two Survivor Series.
Team Raw was led by the great Shawn Michaels, who was one of the top faces on Raw. Carlito was a heel that liked to spit apples at people that aren’t cool. He was a young guy in his mid-20s just like the next man, Chris Masters. I guess you could say he is more jacked than Lashley – they are at least similar in that regard. Big Show was one half of the Tag Team Champions in a face role. Last man up for Raw is the other Tag Team Champion Kane, who was unmasked and also a face.
Analysis: Smackdown had more talent on their team. Some of the key Raw guys were in featured matches like Cena, Angle and Hunter, so that’s why Smackdown had a better team here.
Orton started off with Michaels. There was a lot of bickering from the announcers with Tazz mocking Lawler’s joke book. Hard slaps by both Orton and Michaels early on. Chops by Michaels. Orton came back with an uppercut for two. Orton missed a knee drop. Masters worked over Orton for a bit with basic stuff including a shoulder tackle. Lashley faced off with Masters with Lashley hitting a spinning powerslam. Masters came back with a hard clothesline. Masters went for the Masterlock submission, but Lashley fought out of it and nailed a belly to belly suplex. Masters brought in Carlito, who wanted nothing to do with Lashley. Hard clotheslines by Lashley on Carlito followed by a running powerslam for a two count. Michaels tagged in, but Lashley threw him off the top rope as HBK did the Flair top rope bump. Lashley with a body slam followed by a belly to belly suplex on Michaels. Carlito went in the ring, so Lashley dropped him with a Dominator. Michaels got an assist from Kane because the ref was checking on Carlito and Kane hit a Chokeslam on Lashley leading to Michaels covering him.
Bobby Lashley eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Analysis: That was a weird elimination. Lashley was booked like a beast that destroyed everybody, yet it took just one move for him to be pinned. It should have taken more than that because it made Lashley look weak.
Mysterio was in for Smackdown as he hit a dropkick to the knee. Kane nailed a cheap shot knee to the back to knock down Mysterio. Press slam by Masters on Mysterio. Kane tagged in, missed an elbow and Mysterio nailed him with some leg drops as well as a standing moonsault. Kane crushed Mysterio with a boot to the face. Bearhug by Kane. Mysterio bit Kane to break free and tagged in Batista. The crowd came alive as Batista crushed Kane in the corner. Kane punched Batista in the ribs. Kane knocked the other SD guys off the apron. Batista hit a Spear on Kane. Mysterio hit a 619 to Kane. Batista with a Spinebuster on Kane was enough to pin him.
Kane eliminated by Batista
Batista eliminated by Big Show
Analysis: It was an early elimination for the World Champion, but he was legitimately hurt and they needed to protect him.
JBL went after Show, which led to Show hitting a body slam. Show with a boot to Orton. Show tossed Mysterio hard into the turnbuckle. Orton stunned Show on the top rope leading to JBL hitting the Clothesline from Hell. JBL didn’t cover, so he tagged in Mysterio with a 619. Mysterio tagged in Orton, who hit a RKO on Show. JBL got the tag, bounced off the ropes and hit another Clothesline from Hell. Mysterio tagged in and hit a seated senton to pin Show.
Big Show eliminated by Rey Mysterio
It’s 3 on 3 with all six guys brawling around the ring. JBL hit a fallaway slam on Michaels on the floor. Masters whipped Mysterio hard into the turnbuckle for a two count. Carlito hit a suplex on Mysterio for two. Leg drop by Carlito on Mysterio gets two. Chinlock by Carlito on Mysterio to ground the high flyer. A camera shot showed that Michaels was out on the floor. Mysterio broke free. JBL made a blind tag and crushed Carlito with a Clothesline from Hell to eliminate him.
Carlito eliminated by JBL
Masters with a suplex on JBL for two. Michaels was still face first on the floor after the fallaway slam by JBL on the floor. Mysterio tagged in, jumped into Masters’ arms and JBL with a boot led to Mysterio getting a two count. Masters missed a corner charge. Mysterio dropkick to the knee leading to a 619 and a Dropping The Dime leg drop by Mysterio to the head of Masters. Mysterio pinned Masters to eliminate him.
Chris Masters eliminated by Rey Mysterio
It’s 3 on 1 for Smackdown with Michaels as the last guy left for Raw’s team. JBL rolled Michaels into the ring. Mysterio with a drop toe hold followed by a 619 to Michaels. Mysterio went for a springboard attack off the top, but Michaels crushed him with a Sweet Chin Music superkick. That was amazing. That eliminated Mysterio.
Rey Mysterio eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Analysis: That was the spot that HBK made famous with Shelton Benjamin on Raw. It looked just as good here, but that Raw moment is the one that people remember the most.
JBL went for the Clothesline from Hell. Michaels avoided it and hit him with the Sweet Chin Music to eliminate JBL.
JBL eliminated by Shawn Michaels
Orton was fresh against an exhausted Michaels. Orton avoided the Sweet Chin Music, he went to the floor and Michaels took him out with a plancha over the top to the floor. Michaels with a forearm, kip up, atomic drop, two clotheslines and a body slam. Michaels went up top with the Flying Elbow. Both guys were down in the ring. JBL was stumbling around the ring as he grabbed a chair from ringside. JBL went into the ring with the chair, Michaels avoided him and nailed him with Sweet Chin Music. When Michaels turned around, Orton was there with the RKO for the one…two…and three. Orton wins it for Team Smackdown at 24:00.
Shawn Michaels eliminated by Randy Orton
Survivor: Randy Orton
Analysis: ***1/2 Good elimination match with a lot of fun moments and a memorable ending. Orton was the sole survivor for the third year in a row, which shows how hard WWE wanted to push him to the top of the ladder. I liked the story of the veteran Michaels as the last man left for his team as he tried to come back to win the mach. It looked like he was going to get the win, but Orton stopped him with the RKO for the win. It was also a cheap win, so there was a reason for the Raw team to complain. The announcers bickering for the entirety of the match really made it tough to get through because they didn’t stop the entire time.
(A very good match with some all-time great talent in there. Michaels and Orton had history at Survivor Series two years earlier as well, so it was fun to see them go at it as the final two guys again. An incredible performance from Michaels as usual.)
6. Team Raw (The New Day’s Big E and Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods), Sheamus and Cesaro, Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Shining Stars (Primo and Epico), and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Team Smackdown (Heath Slater and Rhyno, The Hype Bros (Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley), American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), and The Usos (Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso) @ Survivor Series 2016
The rules are that if one member of the team is eliminated then his partner is eliminated as well.
Fandango & Tyler Breeze eliminated by Kofi Kingston
New Day celebrated that elimination. Kofi turned around and Jimmy Uso crushed him with a huge superkick to eliminate them.
Kofi Kingston & Big E eliminated by Jimmy Uso
Analysis: That was a fast way to start the match. I was stunned by New Day being eliminated so early.
Ryder hit a flapjack on Epico. Rawley yelled duck to his team and did a bell clap slap to the head of Epico. Rawley hit a shoulder tackle to the knee of Epico. Shining Stars worked together on Rawley as the crowd chanted for Slater. Rawley nailed a cross body block on Anderson and tagged in Ryder. Knees to the face by Ryder followed by a missile dropkick on Anderson. Gallows saved Anderson from a Broski Boot so Ryder booted both guys on the floor. When going back in the ring, Anderson hit Ryder with a knee to the head, tag to Gallows and Magic Killer finished off Ryder.
Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley eliminated by Luke Gallows
The Raw guys worked on Gable for a bit as Primo nailed a splash to the back of Gable and Epico nailed a slingshot elbow drop for two. The crowd chanted for Slater again. At the show, he turned to the crowd and thanked them although it wasn’t shown on the broadcast. Epico hit three suplexes in a row on Gable. Primo missed a corner charge and Gable dumped Epico out of the ring. Jordan tagged in and Gable jumped off the top with an Avalanche Bulldog to eliminate Primo.
Primo & Epico eliminated by Jason Jordan
The final three teams on each side faced off. Slater & Rhyno battled with Enzo & Cass in the ring. Cass tossed Enzo over the top onto the guys outside the ring. Cass hit a running boot to Rhyno to send them both over the top. Slater went up top and hit a stage dive onto everybody on the floor. Sheamus knocked down Gable and Jordan hit a belly to belly suplex on Sheamus. Gable with an O’Connor roll into a German Suplex on Cesaro that was very impressive. Wow that was great. Jordan launched Gable over the top onto the other guys on the floor. Jordan ran the ropes, Gallows knocked him down, Anderson tagged in and G&A pinned Jordan with the Magic Killer.
Jason Jordan & Chad Gable eliminated by Karl Anderson
Analysis: That elimination upset me just because I picked American Alpha to win this match and thought they should have lasted much longer.
Slater was on offense against G&A, but Anderson stopped his momentum with a spinebuster. Fans chanted “He’s Got Kids” for Slater, which the announcers didn’t even acknowledge. The Raw guys worked on Slater for a bit until Gallows accidentally knocked Enzo off the apron. Rhyno tagged in, Gallows turned around and Rhyno hit a Gore to a thunderous ovation to eliminate Gallows.
Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson eliminated by Rhyno
Cass hit the big boot on Rhyno and Slater. Tag to Enzo, who went up top for the Boom Shaka Laka splash off the top to eliminate Rhyno.
Rhyno & Heath Slater eliminated by Enzo Amore
The Usos were the only team left for Smackdown Live against Enzo/Cass and Sheamus/Cesaro. Enzo nailed a punch on Jimmy, but Jimmy came back with a superkick. Jey tagged in and hit a Samoan Splash to eliminate Enzo.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass eliminated by Jey Uso
Sheamus hit the forearm shots on Jey as the crowd chanted “ten” for all of them while the announcers didn’t acknowledge it at all. Rolling senton by Sheamus on Jey. Enziguri kick by Jey to Sheamus, Jimmy tagged in and the Usos each hit a superkick on Cesaro after he pushed Sheamus out of the way. Sheamus with a Brogue Kick on Jimmy, but Jey made the save. Damn good action right there. Sheamus hit White Noise off the ropes for two. Jey hit a Samoan Splash off the top for two as Cesaro made the save. Cesaro got the hot tag with several uppercuts that connected on Jey. Dropkick by Cesaro on Jimmy sent him out of the ring followed by a 619 on Jey. Cesaro hit a cross body block off the top rope for a two count. The crowd really came alive for this. Cesaro did the Swing on Jey Uso while the crowd chanted “ten” for all of it. Jimmy hit a kick to the back of Cesaro’s leg and a dive took out Sheamus on the floor. Jey applied the Tequila Sunrise submission on Cesaro. Cesaro fought out of it, applied the Sharpshooter, which is always big in Canada and Jey tried to fight out of it. Cesaro pulled him back to the middle of the ring. Jimmy went for a superkick, but Sheamus knocked him out of the ring with a Brogue Kick. Sheamus saved Cesaro for the win. The match went 18:55.
Jimmy & Jey Uso eliminated by Cesaro
Survivors: Team Raw – Cesaro & Sheamus
Post match, Sheamus wanted a handshake from Cesaro. Sheamus walked away without shaking the hand. Both of them celebrated the win with the crowd fully behind Cesaro. After replays aired, Cesaro celebrated with some Hitman shades from a fan at ringside.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a very good match at a fast pace, there were a bunch of quick eliminations and the last two teams really put on an entertaining finish. The New Day being out of the match early was a big surprise when it happened and it still is just because of their status as a top tag team. I know that you don’t have to protect champions in a match like this, but I figured they would do better than that. I enjoyed some of other quick elimination spots as well as the diving sequence on the floor. The crowd came alive for a lot of it, but were really into the bit with Cesaro & Sheamus against The Usos at the end.
(This set the stage for Cesaro and Sheamus becoming “The Bar” tag team that realized how great they were together and they had a very successful run as a team. This match is a lot of fun and maybe forgotten as an awesome elimination match. It’s not easy with 20 guys out there, but they did well.)
That’s where I’ll wrap it up since it’s been nearly 7,000 words so far. Check out the top five on TJRWrestling right here.
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