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Pro Wrestling

Countdown Of The Controversy That Surrounds The History Of The Survivor Series

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The Thanksgiving Throwdown Tradition

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

“Ohhhh, I got that feeling! I got that old Survivor Series Feeling!” Words said by the WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, referencing the unpredictability of the one of the most anticipated pay per views of the year. With that anticipation, Survivor Series brings the perfect storm of story, drama and unpredictability. While that combination may seem innocuous, it can also bring upon some everlasting moments of controversy. The Survivor Series is the 2nd longest running WWE annual Pay Per View, directly behind Wrestlemania as its one of the “Big Four”. Survivor Series has brought us a variety of different types of title changes and story adjustments. Situations so impactful that it leaves all viewers talking about what they have witnessed for years to come. Survivor Series has always been known for its “Traditional Survivor Series Matches”, but now it’s the taste of unpredictability that now fans tune in for. Similar to the Royal Rumble. With this being said, this article will highlight the Top 10 Most Controversial Moments In Survivor Series History. Starting from 10 and working our way up to 1. This Thanksgiving tradition has given us some of the WWE's most talked about moments from The Undertakers debut (1990), to the first ever "Coffin Match" (1993), to the World Wrestling Federation standing victorious in the all out war against World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling (Winner Take All Match in 2001). This list will add to the reason why this PPV shares a great deal of historical lineage in pro wrestling. Join us as we take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the most telling moments in this PPV history.

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#10.) Mr. Fuji Turns On Demolition (Survivor Series 1988)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

During the opening 20 man (yes, 20 man: The Powers of Pain, The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, The Hart Foundation, and Jim Powers & Paul Roma Vs Demolition Ax & Smash, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, Nikolai Volkoff & Boris Zhukov, Raymond & Jacques Rougeau, and The Conquistadors) tag match at the 1988 Survivor Series, we would see Mr. Fuji pull the ropes down as Axe was coming over the ropes resulting in him falling through. Due to this both members of Demolition would confront Fuji, but Fuji would have his now NEW team of The Powers of Pain assist him and attack Demolition and take them out of the match.

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#9.) Stone Cold Steve Austin Drops Triple H....Literally (Survivor Series 2000)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

One year before this, would be the last time we see Stone Cold Steve Austin in a match (with the exception of No Mercy 2000) . Austin was “ran over” at the 1999 Survivor Series later found out it was Rakishi. However, the main question was “who was Rakishi’s accomplice?” We would find out that his accomplice was Triple H. Austin and Triple H at survivor series was a barn burner and just a back and forth fight that would not let up. The match was taken into the parking lot of the arena since Triple H wanted no more and tried to escape. In his attempt to high tail out of there, Austin caught Triple H’s car with a construction crane and lifted the car up (with Triple H in it) about 30 feet in the air and dropped and smashed the car. Triple H was fine.

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#8.) The Rocket Owen Hart Launches Himself Away From The Shadow of Brother Bret Hart (Survivor Series 1993)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

At the 1993 Survivor Series, this main event was an extension of the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels rivalry. Shawn Michaels and his Knights took on Bret, Owen, Bruce and Keith Hart. While art imitated life with this one (indirectly), we would see Owen hitting the ropes and as Bret was crossing the ropes on the ring apron, Owen accidentally knocks Bret into the barriers and ends up getting pinned. Due to this, the entire Hart family was concerned with Bret and not Owen. This made Owen have a tirade in the ring. Pushes and shoves Bret and walks out on the family. This would be the night where “The Rocket” Owen Hart would shoot in another stratosphere in his career

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#7.) The Beginning Of The End Of The Mega Powers (Survivor Series 1988)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

Shortly after Wrestlemania 4 Hulk Hogan and WWF Champion “Macho Man” Randy Savage formed a super alliance with each other to form one of the most dominating tag teams of all time. The Mega Powers. At this survivor series, the Mega Powers are on the same team and ended up being the sole survivors to take their team to victory. However, during the celebration, it is visible seeing how close Elizabeth and Hogan are together. Savage looked as if he took exception with the way how Hogan and Liz embraced each other, but in the mist of celebration, there wasn’t any time to react. But this would be the beginning of the snowball that was formed to eventually make the Mega Powers explode at Wrestlemania 5

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#6.) Helen Hart Costs Her Son, Bret, The WWF Championship To Bob Backlund. (Survivor Series 1994)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of neoseeker.com

The WWF Championship was on the line between Bob Backlund challenging the WWF Champion Bret “The Hitman” Hart. The stipulation for this match was much more different than what we were used to. Pay homage to when Backlund lost the WWF Championship back in 1983 to the Iron Sheik, the way to lose the match would be for your corner man to throw in the towel, indicating that you gave up. Backlund had Owen Hart in his corner and Bret had British Bulldog in his. This brought a great deal of unpredictability because neither man was ready to cost the match for their match participant. However, after Bulldog was knocked out out, Owen brought In Helen and Stu Hart from ringside and Owen persuaded Helen to throw in the towel since Bret was in the cross arm chicken wing for the past 8 min and he could not endure it. Helen, doing what any mother would do, listened to Owen and stopped the abuse on her son by throwing in the towel. Stunning the arena.

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#5.) Edge Returns And Hands The World Championship To Batista, While Undertaker Falls As Victim (Survivor Series 2007)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

The Undertaker defends his World Heavyweight championship inside Hell In A Cell against The Animal Batista. This match was absolute brutality as it was the bookend to their championship match/feud from Wrestlemania 22. But instead of The Undertaker leaving victorious, we would see a different change of events, as a “camera man” gets a little too close to the action, just to reveal himself as the Rated R Superstar Edge. Edge is the sole reason why the Undertaker drops the title to Batista and creating a new rivalry.

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#4.) Vince McMahon Screws Mankind And Crowns The New WWF Corporate Champion...The Rock! (Survivor Series 1998)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of madaboutwrestling.com

Vince McMahon mocked his own “screw job” that he did a year before, by screwing over the trusting Mankind in the finals of the WWF Championship tournament against The Rock. The Rock, at the time, was a high mid-card fan favorite but not many expected him to win. Most of the audience was expecting to see Stone Cole Steve Austin take the title once again, but when Vince McMahon and the rest of the “Corporation” helped Mankind beat Austin in the semi-finals, it was a bit of a surprise when they turned on him to help The Rock win his first WWF Championship. Crowning him “The Corporate Champion”.

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#3.) Paul Heyman Shows His Ture Colors To His Client Brock Lesnar (Survivor Series 2002)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

Leading Into the main event at the 2003 Survivor Series for the WWE championship, Paul Heyman urged and begged Brock Lesnar to not step in the ring with The Big Show. It was almost as if Heyman knew that Show would be too much of a force for Lesnar. Due to this, we would find out later that Heyman was essentially warning Lesnar as Heyman would turn on Brock and join forced with The Big Show and assist Big Show in winning the WWE Championship.

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#2.) The Undertaker, Paul Bearer and Ric Flair Close The Casket On Hulkamania (Survivor Series 1991)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of 411mania.com

The subtitle for this PPV was “The Gravest Challenge” as this was a very unusual opponent for the then WWF Champion Hulk Hogan, as he faced The Undertaker for the title. Leading up to this match, Ric Flair has been adamant at trying to get the attention of Hulk Hogan as he proclaimed himself as being the “Real Worlds Champion”. But all of these attempts fell short as Hogan would not acknowledge Flair. Flair took it upon himself to gain Hogan’s attention by strategically leaving a steel chair in the ring, while Paul Bearer distracted the ref, and Undertaker hit Hogan with the tombstone on top of the chair. Resulting in a new WWF Champion. Leaving every fan in the world speechless.

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#1.) The Infamous Montreal Screwjob. Bret Hart vs Shawn Michaels (Survivor Series 1997)

Survivor Series
photo courtesy of wwe.com

Without any question the most controversial moment in not on Survivor Series history but in WWE history as well. This match was scheduled to be Bret “The Hitman” Hart’s last WWF match before he left for WCW. In what was supposed to end as a melee, resulting in Bret retiring live on Raw and handing over the WWF championship, this was something that Vince McMahon could not risk. IF Bret were to show up on Nitro the next day with the WWF title (Ala Medusa showing up on Nitro with the WWF women’s title) this would be the end of the company and it was a risk not worth taking, on Vince’s part. For this reason, Vince, Pat Patterson, Jerry Brisco, Referee Earl Hebner and Shawn Michaels devised a plan for Earl to ring the bell and end the match as Bret was in his own Sharpshooter by Shawn Michaels. Doing this, would guarantee the WWE title would be in the hands of not only Shawn Michaels, but the WWF as well. This would be the beginning of some of the darkest days that Bret Hart would ever live.