Thought I would mix it up this week. Instead of the typical review, here’s a ranking of the 25 greatest teams in the history of Survivor Series. Note that these rankings are in kayfabe, I’m not talking about the teams that would put on the best match.
#25: Ric Flair, The Mountie, Ted DiBiase, and The Warlord (1991)
Strong team here, with a 16 time world champion, a classic wrestler in DiBiase, Intercontinental Champion The Mountie, and tough crazy dude The Warlord. Dinged a few points because they only won their match on a technicality (Flair was the sole survivor when everyone else was counted out while brawling outside the ring.
#24: Team Authority: Seth Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev, and Luke Harper (2014)
No, they didn’t win. But they would have if not for that pesky Sting’s interference. World champions in Rollins, Kane, and Henry. Undefeated Rusev and nutjob (plus Intercontinental Champion) Luke Harper. Not a group of guys you’d want to mess with. Maybe they could use a little more quickness, but you could say Rollins makes up for that all by himself.
#23: Team Foley (Randy Orton, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, and Team Hell No) (2012)
A forgotten great team because of how weird this feud was (Foley was feuding with CM Punk, then Vince decided he wanted a WWE Championship match and the feud suddenly became Foley vs. Ziggler).
Future Hall of Famer Randy Orton, former WWE Champion The Miz, IC, US, and Tag Champion Kofi Kingston, and one of the great tag teams of the 21st century in Team Hell No. As always, getting along is a question as Orton and Miz had issues, Team Hell No was always vitriolic, and Orton and Kane had faced off at Wrestlemania earlier in the year.
#22: Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera, Don Muraco (1987)
Biggest problem here is trusting Paul Orndorff. He turned on Hogan something like 500 times, though Survivor Series 1987 wasn’t one of them. Bam Bam Bigelow had one of the great performances ever at Survivor Series as he nearly overcame 3-on-1 odds before falling to Andre the Giant in the final elimination. Only this low because they lost their match.
#21: The Radicalz (Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn) (2000)
You want teamwork? How about four guys who traveled the world together for over a decade? Four of the greatest technicians ever, including two world champions in Benoit and Guerrero and one of the great Junior Heavyweights ever in Malenko. Add in a tag team specialist and Saturn and these guys are one of the most formidable units ever.
#20: The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) and The Hardy Boyz (2000)
Just two of the greatest tag teams ever. Old rivals united to face the common foes of Edge & Christian and the Right to Censor. A perfect combination of power and speed.
#19: The Teamsters (Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart and Jeff Jarrett) (1994)
Power, speed, and technical ability. Owen and Neidhart were tag team partners and family, Diesel and Shawn were tag champions and might as well have been brothers. And then the fifth wheel is a second generation star and Intercontinental and WCW Champion in Jeff Jarrett. Only question mark here is The Kliq and the Harts getting along.
#18: Razor Ramon, Randy Savage, 123 Kid, and Marty Jannetty (1993)
Holy clash of generations! One of the biggest stars of the 1980s in Savage, a 1980s tag team legend in Jannetty, and then two of the standard bearers of the New Generation in Razor and 123 Kid. Just the thought of these guys being on a team together is weird and awesome.
#17: Team Cena 2014 (John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Big Show, Erick Rowan and Ryback)
Another team handicapped by trust issues, as Big Show turned on the team midway through the match. Erick Rowan isn’t the greatest fifth team member either. These guys needed Sting to show up to help them complete a miraculous comeback, but it’s still a strong unit. Big Match John, The Showoff, The World’s Largest Athlete, The Big Guy…and Erick Rowan.
#16: Roddy’s Rowdies (Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil, Davey Boy Smith) (1991)
Yes, they lost their match. But it was via some real shenanigans (Ric Flair was knocked out in the ring while everyone else brawled on the floor). Piper’s a great brawler and all-time legend. Bret is the all-time technician. Bulldog is a legendary powerhouse. And Virgil wasn’t bad. One of the better losing teams in history.
#15: Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Butch Reed, Rick Rude (1987)
What a mass of humanity. Rick Rude looked tiny next to these guys, and he’d be one of the biggest guys on the roster today. Andre was virtually unpinned in his career, so you know they’re going to be hard to beat. They got off to a dominant start against Hogan’s team and had a 3-on-1 edge, but it took Andre pinning Bam Bam Bigelow for them to get the win. Still, dealing with a 500 pounder in Andre, two four hundred pounders in Bundy and OMG, plus muscleman Butch Reed and ace technician Rude is a tall order.
#14: The Million Dollar Team (1990): Ted DiBiase, Undertaker, Rhythm and Blues
Undertaker’s debut match, and what a team he was part of. DiBiase as captain, and a solid team of Intercontinental Champions in Honky Tonk Man and Greg Valentine. Taker was inexperienced but an unstoppable monster who wouldn’t be pinned for over a year after his debut. Of course he’s a wildcard and got himself disqualified in the match.
#13: Team Guerrero (Eddie Guerrero, Big Show, Rob Van Dam, and John Cena) (2004)
Wow. No weak link there. Cena wasn’t John Cena yet, but he was still United States Champion. Another team where you run into issues between the participants as Cena had well-documented issues with Big Show and Eddie. And Eddie once sprayed Big Show with raw sewage. But if they were on the same page they’d be tough to beat.
#12: The Warriors: Ultimate Warrior, The Legion of Doom, and The Texas Tornado (1990)
So much power with Warrior and LoD. A great and unstoppable world champion plus an all-time great tag team near their peak. And then the fourth guy is Kerry Von Erich, former NWA Champion and IC Champion. Von Erich wasn’t at peak as this was after he’d lost his foot, but I still like these guys. Only thing they could use is a bit more technical ability and speed, but the raw power of Warrior and LoD would be impressive.
#11: Team Triple H (Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Kane) (2008)
Another team of the “no weak link” variety as they’re all WWE Champions. All essentially in their primes. A technician, a powerhouse, and two high-flyers. I think the only downside is that Kane is an uncontrollable lunatic and Hardy and Mysterio take two many risks. You could see this team completely dominating or flaming out in spectacular fashion.
#10: Team Austin (Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, and The Dudley Boyz) (2003)
Yes, the losing team was the better team. They were cheated by Team Bischoff in one of the great Survivor Series matches ever. Three world champions plus one of the most decorated tag teams of all-time.
#9: Team Angle (Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, John Cena, Hardcore Holly and Bradshaw) (2003)
When the weak link of your team is legendary bad ass Bob Holly you know it’s a hell of a unit. Angle and Benoit were two of the greatest technical wrestlers ever, neither guy had a hole in their respective games. Cena was still on the rise, but already a star in the making. And Bradshaw wasn’t to the level he’d reach as JBL, but he was still tough as shit.
#8: Team DX (Triple H, Shawn Michaels, CM Punk, and The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) (2006)
Got to give some love to the team that completed a 5-0 clean sweep. This was a coming out moment for CM Punk, as he was the most over member of the team. This was seemingly before the nuclear heat developed between CM Punk and Triple H, but there has to be some questions about their ability to get along. But even if they can’t, the other guys would probably be able to pick up the slack.
#7: The Mega Powers: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Hercules, Koko B. Ware, Hillbilly Jim (1988)
Can’t really top the combination of Hogan and Savage even if the supporting cast here wasn’t great. It would be like having Bird and Magic together in the 1980s. Problem is they were already on the outs by this point, so a meltdown would be a strong possibility. But if they’re united, they’re probably unbeatable.
#6: The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) and The Real Americans (Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger) (2013)
The Shield were so dominant as a three man unit that this is about as low as you could put them. Cesaro and Swagger were never the greatest team, so that’s a knock. And they needed Reigns to completely dominate (four eliminations) to win their match. But still, who’s going to beat The Shield if it comes down to it?
#5: Randy Savage, Jake Roberts, Ricky Steamboat, Brutus Beefcake, and Jim Duggan (1987)
The very first team in Survivor Series history endures as one of the best. Savage, Jake, and Steamboat are top-50 all-time, and Beefcake and Duggan were in their primes. They walked to an easy win with Savage, Roberts, and Steamboat surviving. I’d take those three against just about any three man combo in history.
#4: The All-Americans (Lex Luger, Undertaker, and The Steiner Brothers) (1993)
Undertaker with the American flag sown into his jacket? Sign me up for that. I like teams that have tag teams as part, and The Steiner Brothers might be the single best tag team ever. And then the other two guys are The otal Package and The Phenom. Good luck pinning even one of these guys.
#3: The Alliance (Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Booker T, and Shane McMahon) (2001)
The highest ranked loser on the list. If you swapped out Shane McMahon for someone like Diamond Dallas Page they could be even higher. Of course, Kurt Angle turned out to be a mole, so maybe I’m overrating them. But any team with Steve Austin (this was his only time wrestling as part of a team at Survivor Series) is going to be formidable. Even Shane McMahon was a pretty good wrestler and did well as a pest in this match.
#2: Team WWE SmackDown! (Batista, Rey Mysterio, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Bobby Lashley, and Randy Orton) (2005)
Smackdown threw together its strongest possible team in the wake of Eddie Guerrero’s death and they triumphed over a solid Raw team to win the battle of the brands. Batista did come in nursing an injury, but Batista at half-strength is still pretty damn good.
#1: Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane, and Big Show) (2001)
They’re the team that triumphed in arguably the most important match in wrestling history. Five WWE Champions with close to 30 world championships between them. All five of these men are probably locks for the WWE Hall of Fame. They were all in their primes. The only drawback is that Jericho and Rock couldn’t get along and Jericho ended up walking out on the match, but even if he does that the other four can probably handle themselves.