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Accident Prone

Survivor Series Memories

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Survivor Series is a weird'un for me. It shows up frequently at pivotal points in my wrestling fandom.

I was first introduced to WWF and wrestling in general through Survivor Series 1989. I got it on VHS for Christmas when I was about 6 and that was my gateway drug. All the colorful characters and big teams and Hulk fucking Hogan really hooked me. From the opening video montage;

To the cocaine-fueled interviews and the McMahon-tastic match run-down, I fucking loved every second.

Despite me having very negative opinions now for some the talent on this show (racists, homophobes, abusers, murderers, etc) it's still the only show I can watch with rose tinted glasses. Just magical stuff.

Some years later, around late '96, I borrowed it to my mate at school because I raved about Andre The Giant and he gave it back to me the very next morning, looking very disappointed, as he thought I was talking about WCW's Paul 'Son of Andre The Giant' Wight.

Fast-forward to January 1997. I kinda fell out of the wrestling loop for a while. I got stuff like Mega Matches '95 and another early 90's comp which escapes me, but the characters and action really did nothing for me. Street Sharks, Biker Mice From Mars and Mighty Max were way cooler than Lex Luger, Tatanka and Doink The Clown. Out of nowhere, my little brother got Rumble '96 for his birthday and I was addicted once again, converting me into a Shawn Michaels mega fan in the process.

Despite not really following month-to-month, I knew enough through WWF and WCW annuals, the random tape rental from Blockbusters and the occasional glance at WWF magazine at the local shop to have a rough idea what was going on. I also knew that Shawn Michaels was the best wrestler ever and my absolute fave, so I was crushed to find out through Royal Rumble '97 (which my Grandad had taped for me the night prior) that he had lost the title two months ago to Psycho Sid at Survivor Series 1996. WWF magazine was three months behind, so in January 1997 it was still October 1996 for me.

I was heart broken.

Shawn winning back the title at the Rumble wasn't good enough, despite the poetic nature of becoming a HBK fan at the previous years Rumble. Survivor Series '96 had ruined me without me even seeing it and, twenty two years later, I still haven't even watched the show for fear of breaking down into tears and throwing myself into an oven.

I kept up with the WWF though, even through that trauma. I bought the WWF magazines(despite all the news and coverage being 12 weeks old) and Powerslam too (which I think was outdated by a couple of months as well). My Grandad would tape the shows when he could. Shawn left and came back, wrestling was a bit good.

Around the summer though, Grandad dropped the Sky Sports package and I was back in the dark for a while again. The next time I saw a current WWF show was, you fucking guessed it, Survivor Series 1997. I was behind on everything and, last I knew, Shawn accidentally had twatted 'Taker with a chair at Summerslam.

wwf1997-08.jpg.35cd2935b45d3351fd440d94c4fed64e.jpg

It was an accident, mate! Surely 'Taker would understand or, at least, he'll become a bad guy going after good guy Shawn. So colour me fuckless when Shawn was a fucking baddie and I almost threw myself into an oven. Not you, Shawn! Beacon of light, man of hope and wisdom. A fucking bad guy! I was devastated. Again.

135314299_November_1997_-_Vol._16_No._11.jpg.03d777030e18211c3c2f89121d9b6508.jpg

Fast forward a few more years. I was an avid fan throughout '98 and all the way until late 2001. However, I had dropped out of wrestling almost completely by the later months of 2002. The drab and disappointing Invasion angle left a very sour taste in my mouth and there seemed to be no other alternative. I was out of the pool completely when I saw No Way Out 2002. Christ, was a sad state of affairs that was. I was done....until I moved school and one of the guys I hung out with copped onto to my previous fandom when I mentioned Smackdown 2 in a conversation. He borrowed me Survivor Series 2002 which had only taken place a couple of days prior. Well fuck me, what a show and what a difference a year makes. 

HBK was back! Mysterio turned up! Some beast called Brock Lesnar was tearing shit up! RVD looked amazing! Jeff Hardy had turned into an alien! The Dudleys reunited even though I never knew they broke up in the first place! Bischoff! New cage match! Bald Kurt Angle! Bad ass Eddie! Kane with a non-burnt chin!

Also, it was at Madison Square Garden and therefore looked fucking fantastic.

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It's one of my favourite WWE shows. A really easy watch with loads going on and a great atmosphere. It also led me to dive into WWE's post-brand split catalog and thus really enjoying the vastly underated May 2002 - July 2003 period. It also became my real jumping off point at exploring other promotions as I wanted more and more wrestling than I could handle.

And now, take step back into last year for Survivor Series 2017. I had been a happy subscriber of the WWE Network since the UK launch in January 2015. If a WWE PPV was a bit shite, there was always other content but, most of the time, the shows were usually quite good to average. Bang on the money, lovely stuff.

There was a steep decline in quality though in 2017. Smackdown, a brilliant little show that had me clamoring for more every week, had gone to shit. RAW was the usual turgid bollocks that I had been actively avoiding for years. 205 Live was performed in front of dead crowds and total indifference. NXT Takeover was the only shining point left as the week-to-week show had gotten bland at this point. 

Well, as long as I can watch a 3-4 hour WWE PPV or two for my 9.99, along with the occasional Takeover (which were and are always great) I'd be happy with the service. Yeah, I wasn't bothering with the other content and I stopped watching Smackdown and I skipped through NXT like my finger was plastered to the FF button, but it seemed worth it. After all, I liked keeping in touch with WWE programming on a regular basis like having a child I had lost in a custody battle pop over every other weekend (but a child I was relieved to be away from when they fucked off back to his mum and Nigel's house).

This show though. Jesus fucking Christ. It finished me. Done.

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A wankfest that left me so dissatisfied with the current product that I cancelled very soon after. I actually waited to see where it was going for a week before declaring it all worthless, so I even gave WWE yet another chance after the PPV faded to black. A total shitshow but the journey was over. Just to think that the 2016 edition was so bloody well received, especially the 5-on-5 main event and Lesnar/Goldberg, that I thought WWE had found a happy medium for it's product. Yeah, it was always going to crud but at least the PPVs would deliver. The 2017 edition of Survivor Series, as a climax to a year that got steadily worse and worse, was the fork to my turkey.

Ashes to ashes, Survivor Series 1989 to Survivor Series 2017.

Le fin.

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Survivor Series is a bit of a weird one for me as well. It’s a show I’d heard a lot about before I ever saw one, for two reasons:

- The Montreal Screwjob,

- and the idea that big names made their debuts at Survivor Series. The Undertaker, The Rock, Kurt Angle, and so on.

This second one created a bit of a false impression on me, in that I would expect new signings to show up and when it was just the same old roster it was a slight disappointment. I’ve long since realised that it didn’t actually happen very much at all. When was the last one? Sting? Did The Shield debut at a Survivor Series? Maybe it wasn’t so much of a misconception.

The first one I saw was 2000, which I enjoyed - as I enjoyed all PPVs I got to see at the time - apart from the end when Stone Cold committed premeditated murder when he killed Triple H in a horrific fashion.

I’ve discussed my more-positive-than-most views on the Invasion before, but 2001 was a big deal to me. With one of the greatest posters in history.

9B7CD208-2A67-434B-8A2E-23046C07F65F.jpeg.6e782eab09d1f893d7e600fa74c5a311.jpeg

Not that one,

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Ah. There we go. Torrie. Forever Torrie. :love:

Then there was 2002, which top to bottom is still one of the best shows they’ve done this century. So it was always a show I looked forward to each year.

But then I didn’t see any for years, and it became a shell of a shell of its former self, which was a shame. Even though I don’t like the lack of logic in the way they execute Raw vs SmackDown, at least that’s given recent years a bit more significance. In terms of perception it feels like a slightly bigger deal again these days.

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Survivor series 2003 for me. Team Austin Vs Team Bishoff and what is perhaps the greatest performance from Shawn Michaels (in a SS match at least?) Had me hooked from bell to bell. That, plus an amusing opener of Team Angle vs. Lesnar (The greatest big man SS team - Nathan Jones being the wasted opportunity here) and the end of Big Evil Undertaker after burial from his burnt to a crisp emo brother Kane who, hours previously, performed in an immensely entertaining ambulance match against the best in the world, Shane McMahon.

Oh, and Goldberg Vs Triple H was decent considering neither man was at their best.

On the Goldberg note, I've yet to find a match more entertaining than his return at SS '16 against Brock. I've not laughed so much as that. Well played.

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The best thing about Survivor Series was always the multi-man promos they would do in the lead up.  A bunch of random faces or heels with a team name and no storyline particularly, but it was just cool to see them all together.

 

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I was wiking some of those Surivor Series cards and stumbled upon this dity on the Wiki for Survivor Series 2010;

Quote

The Survivor Series chronology was originally set to end with the 2009 event when during a press conference held on February 11, 2010, WWE chairman, Vince McMahon announced that WWE would drop the Survivor Series name and rebrand the event.[6][7][8] However, following public outcry and several different fan petitions the name was later reinstated and in June 2010, WWE started to release tickets for a 2010 event.[9]

I don't remember this at all! This and the subsequent outrage is probably documented in one of the mega threads or in Gold or something.

The Shield debut really invigorated my WWE fever for a while. It was so exciting and new (and, for an indy bellend like myself, it was great seeing Ambrose and Rollins hit the big time in a big angle).

Edited by Accident Prone

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Survivor Series was crucial to my fandom as "4th Annual" was the second tape I ever saw and "3rd Annual" was the first tape I ever owned properly, purchased by papa raid from John Menzies, now a branch of Pret-A-Manger WH Smiths, as opposed to a scart to scart copy from Wendy's video shop. Of course, it's a great, fun watch, and much has been written about the opening video and of how The Hulkamaniacs were the baddest ass team imaginable. Still get chills from Demolition's music hitting.

Honestly though, this is an excuse to re-post why 1990 version was so important to my fandom and shaping who my favourites would be, very possibly forever ;

https://ukff.com/topic/131890-when-was-the-first-time-wrestling-broke-your-heart/

Honestly, the rest of the eliminators from that show onward to me play like ;

91-2001 : some good bits

2003 : OH MY FUCKING LIFE, SHAWN

2004-2013 : some good bits

2014 : Wait, are they going somewhere with Ziggler now????

2015-2016 : some good bits

2017 : I don't get it.

I still love the format and I still look forward to it every year although sometimes I'm not sure why.

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1994 - That casket match between Undertaker and Yokozuna is etched in my adolescent memory. The fact that they had Chuck Norris as the enforcer was weird. 

1995 - Adored the Diesel vs Hart finale and was amazed at the table bump given it was so unique to WWF. The Wild Card tag was cool for a younger me. 

1996 - That show where Michaels gets booed by MSG. Michaels takes a brutal looking powerbomb and the old codger Lothario looks like he is having a heart attack at ringside. 

1997 - Yawn. They have gone over that show and done it to death. It was the first real WTF moment for me though.

1998 - Meh. A long winded tourney with a shitty finish. I wasn't a fan of Foley or Rock at the time which didn't help matters. 

1999 - Boring. What was the point of half of those tags? Nothing of note. 

2000/1 - Hit and miss. Really liked the Invasion ending with the ten man finale. The DVD cover for the 01 show was cool too.

2002 - Jumped out of bed nearly hitting my head on the ceiling when Michaels hit the SCM for the finish. Really enjoyed the main event and the whole show was the first I really rated as a top to bottom solid card (maybe Summerslam of the same year but it ties).

2014 - Ziggler really pulled it out here and gave me a reason to be interested in him. Then he fell off the cliff again. 

2015-present - can't be bothered anymore so gave up. 

 

 

 

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Whenever Montreal is discussed, which is all the time until the end of time, I always feel like not enough is made of how fucking confusing it was for any twelve year old kids watching like myself. I knew it was scripted, but I had no idea about newsletters or screwjobs or any of that shit and was just left completely lost. That Canada vs. USA storyline was my life back then. It sucked that it felt like they suddenly skipped forward six months, scrapping everything.

Bret Hart was my favourite wrestler in 1997. I hated Shawn Michaels. I’d waited for what felt like forever for them to finally have their rematch from Wrestlemania 12. I was saddened when Bret Hart lost by submission, but I was still excited to see what would happen next. Bret losing to his own submission hold probably meant he’d come back furious! I can’t wait! 

Then the show turned to complete horseshit, with everyone talking about screwing and that commentator lad with the bouffant sporting a black eye. I had no fucking idea what was going on. I know I wasn’t alone, either. That’s always been my biggest takeaway from Survivor Series 1997. How baffled I was. It took years to ever understand what had happened. I suspect there are millions who didn’t become a huge wrestling dork who never quite got it.

I think about that whenever they insist on doing shooty bollocks now. Those poor kids who don’t care about who Dave Meltzer is, wondering why their favourite TV show has stopped making the most basic of sense.

Did we ever do a thread about all the different looks Big Show has had in his career? Because this look, after winning the Title at Survivor Series 2002, has got to rank high as one of his worst.

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Edited by Supremo

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4 hours ago, Accident Prone said:

I was wiking some of those Surivor Series cards and stumbled upon this dity on the Wiki for Survivor Series 2010;

I don't remember this at all! This and the subsequent outrage is probably documented in one of the mega threads or in Gold or something.

They were going to scrap it because the show, headlined by Shawn Michaels vs Triple H vs John Cena for the WWE Title drew really poorly. While that match sounds great on paper, the build up was absolutely ridiculous. It was shite comedy based around Hornswoggle wanting to wear DX gear and them not liking it. It was impossible to take seriously and didn't draw as a result.

Politically, it caused them some problems though. They couldn't blame the booking, because that was Steph's department, and they could hardly blame any of the wrestlers in the match (like they did with Awesome Truth a few years later) So they all decided to believe it was the name instead. Like the Principal Skinner thing "Are we so out of touch? No. It's the name that's wrong".

I could be wrong but I don't remember much outrage on here. It was more of a "For fuck's sake...." reaction.

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Survivor Series 2001 is my fondest memory. I was 11 years old and was hooked by the invasion. I got up at 1am to watch it, on a school night, because I was so worried wwf would lose and go out of business and I knew I couldn’t make it through the school day without knowing. And lacked patience to wait and watch it when I got home. I had to stop myself from shouting in excitement when The Rock got the win and wwf survived and all was good in my world.

I was absolutely fucked the next day. 

Edited by TheBurningRed

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Survivor Series 1992 marked the end of the special era. Every WWF pay-per-view seemed massive as a kid. That ended in 92, when it felt like one of those pre-PPV specials. Hart and Michaels didnt have that star power that they'd develop in 96/97. Perfect and Savage vs Razor and Flair wasnt up to much. Warrior, Hogan, Piper, the LOD, Jake, the Bulldog, the Mountie, Sid, Von Erich and others had all disappeared. That was a lot of people to leave. Massive characters.

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3 hours ago, pitseleh said:

On the subject of terrible looks, you can't beat Undertaker's hideous gold pants at Survivor Series 2000.

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Fucking state of them. 

What exactly was the deal with this? I’ve always wondered. Did he lose a bet? Did someone rib him in the locker room and put cucumber all over his normal black ones? Gold kegs Taker probably baffled me even more than Montreal 97 as a kid. Like when Rick Rude turned up moustacheless for a bit in WCW in late 92. You don’t fuck with a winning look. It’d be like Bret Hart suddenly wearing non-pink attire or Mark Henry turning white. 

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Undertaker wanted as far away from the "dead" character as he could. He wasn't supposed to go back to "Dead Man" Undertaker according to Bruce Pritchard.

Warriors vs The Perfect Team at Survivor Series 1990. Give them another ten minutes and that match would have been great, rather than piss average.

Edited by bAzTNM#1

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Talking of Undertaker's panache for Survivor Series outfits, here's his wardrobe choice for the 1996 edition;

C8vH7RTWsAE7oYU.jpg

In the audience that night, a young Christopher Nolan...

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