Following the success of Wrestlemania 3 the WWF (Now the WWE) created a new Thanksgiving time pay per view extravaganza for wrestling fans worldwide to enjoy. On November 26, 1987 the first annual Survivor Series kicked off a November tradition that still continues 25 years later.
The original premise behind Survivor Series was to have teams face each other until, eliminating members form the opposing team until one team was left standing. The first ever main event at Survivors Series saw Team Andre, which consisted of Andre the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude, and Butch Reed defeat team Hogan which consisted of Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorf, Bam Bam Bigelow, Ken Patera and Don Moraco. Survivors Series has evolved over the years and has given wrestling fans many amazing moments.
Perhaps one of the most amazing things about the Survivors Series is the amount of people who debuted, or made their first WWE appearence, at this event. At the 1990 Survivor Series the WWE universe was treated to the debut of the Undertaker, who 25 years later, is still one of the most prominent forces in professional wrestling. In 1996 the most electrifying man in all of entertainment, The Rock made his in ring debut under the name Rocky Maivia. Other Survivor series debuts include Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns.
Superstars weren’t the only things that debuted at Survivor Series. In 2002 Madison Square Garden fans got to to witness the first ever Elimination Chamber match, a match where six men are locked inside a giant metal structure where they must eliminate each other by either pinfall or submission until only one superstar is left surviving. The winner of the match was Shawn Michales, in only his second match since he suffered what was thought to be a career ending back injury four years earlier. This match has now become so huge that every February there is the annual elimination chamber pay per view.
Even though he won the first ever elimination chamber match at Survivor Series, people generally remember Shawn Michales for a different Survivor Series event, the Montreal Screwjob. In 1997 Shawn Michales was awarded the WWE championship in a match with Bret Hart after Vince McMahon told the referee to ring the bell even though Bret Hart didn’t submit. This controversy upset the entire wrestling world, as it was a real life shoot on Bret Hart, and it changed the face of wrestling forever (expect a separate blog post to go on about this controversy in length)
The Survivor Series is a huge pay per view for the WWE. It is the second longest running Pay Per View in WWE history (behind Wrestlemania) and is considered to be one of the big four wrestling pay per views (Wrestlemania, Survivor Series, Summerslam, and The Royal Rumble) This pay per view has given wrestling fans many amazing moments and memories over the past 25 years.