9. Survivor Series – 2002
Okay, so before we get into just how good of a show this was, let’s take into account that an event named “Survivor Series” should probably have a standard Survivor Series style match. The 2002 show however, did not. Sure, there were elimination matches but not the traditional 5 on 5 variety. But you know what? It didn’t matter. The 2002 Survivor Series PPV didn’t need it. Because instead of having one of those matches, the WWE decided to have it’s first ever match that is now an institution: The Elimination Chamber. 15 years later and the chamber match is still one of the most popular type of matches in the company and has it’s own PPV dedicated to it. Yeah, that’s a successful idea.
As always, to make an idea stick, the match needs to be really good. Look no further than the Wrestlemania 10 ladder match between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels, and the Wrestlemania 21 Money In The Bank match as proof that a concept is only as good as it’s performers. And that idea was on full display at Madison Square Garden on this night as “The Heartbreak Kid” battled through Kane, Triple H, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, and Chris Jericho to win his final world championship in the WWE. Buckets of blood were spilled between the combatants and the drama was high as the near 18,000 in attendance screamed wildly for an HBK victory. To this day, this still holds up as a top 3 Elimination Chamber match and it paved the way for many others.
The rest of the 2002 Survivor was also very good and included 3 other title changes. One of those changes came in the form of a shocking betrayal by Paul Heyman on Brock Lesnar that enabled The Big Show to win the WWE Championship and turn Lesnar baby face for a little while. From beginning to end this show kept fans guessing and one of those landmark type events that every wrestling fan needs to see.