Survivor Series: Listing the top five teams in the PPV’s history

July 16, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Portrait of Dwayne Johnson who stars in “Hobbs and Shaw” a spinoff of the successful “Fast and Furious” franchise. Portrait made at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAYEntertainment: Dwayne Johnson
July 16, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Portrait of Dwayne Johnson who stars in “Hobbs and Shaw” a spinoff of the successful “Fast and Furious” franchise. Portrait made at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAYEntertainment: Dwayne Johnson /

Since its creation in 1987 as a means to mess with Jim Crockett Promotions, WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view has been synonymous with two things: Thanksgiving and, most importantly for the purposes of this piece, elimination tag team matches.

While the promotion hasn’t booked these matches for every Survivor Series — and we’re long past the days of these shows featuring nothing but tag matches — they are still an integral part of what makes this show unique from the other PPVs WWE run throughout a calendar year.

As you would expect from a show that has existed for over 33 years and has largely featured this sort of match, fans have seen plenty of multi-person combinations over the years. Knowing this, picking the top five teams is seemingly a formidable task, but that’s what we’re here to determine.

These are the top five Survivor Series teams of all time.

5. The Teamsters (Jeff Jarrett, Shawn Michaels, Diesel, Owen Hart, and Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (1994)

Sure, The Teamsters didn’t win the match against The Bad Guys (Intercontinental Champion Razor Ramon, The 1-2-3 Kid, The British Bulldog, and The Headshrinkers), but that was due to the ongoing issues between Shawn Michaels and Diesel more than it was the strength of the team.

This team was comprised mostly of good workers who the WWF had given solid pushes to in 1994. While it’s easy to rag on Jeff Jarrett for how overpushed he was in WCW and in TNA/Impact Wrestling, he was great for the WWF for years in the midcard. Michaels and Deisel were the WWF Tag Team Champions going into this, too (and Diesel was the Intercontinental Champion not long prior to this). And Owen Hart, that year’s King of the Ring, wasn’t too far removed from his classic steel cage match against his brother, Bret.

Even with Jim Neidhart on the team — who was primarily Hart’s sidekick by this point — this combination had the right mix of skill and name value, particularly during a time when the federation was light on both.

4. Team NXT (women) (Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, Bianca Belair, Io Shirai, Toni Storm) (2019)

For the 2019 Survivor Series, WWE added NXT to the “brand warfare” frakas in an attempt to put it on equal footing with Raw and SmackDown (and to legitimize it in an effort to crush AEW: Dynamite before that show could build some momentum).

As such, the company had the black and gold brand put its best foot forward, and that manifested itself in the elimination tag team compositions for the men and the women. Let’s start with the distaff end of things.

For the women, NXT offered up Rhea Ripley (who was being positioned to win the NXT Women’s Championship in the near future), Bianca Belair (another ascending star who realized that potential on the main roster), Candice LeRae (one of the best wrestlers in the world despite being largely presented as “Johnny Gargano’s wife”), Io Shirai (need I say more?), and Toni Storm (former NXT UK Women’s Champ and also one of the best wrestlers on the planet).

This was a virtual All-Star team (which should embody the essence of these matches) going against Raw and SmackDown groupings that didn’t carry that same gravitas (though the Raw team was a solid one).

Yes, it was silly to pretend that this mix of babyfaces and heels who were a day removed from battering each other in a WarGames match could CO-EXIST(TM), but it didn’t take away from how cool it was to see that much talent on one team.

3. Team SmackDown (Batista, Rey Mysterio, John “Bradshaw” Layfield, Bobby Lashley, and Randy Orton) (2005)

That’s right, WWE tried their hand at the “brand vs. brand” stuff long before turning it into an annual affair in the late 2010s. Of course, this was during a time when the company maintained a stricter adherence to the brand split and this was a culmination of a several months storyline as opposed to pretending wrestlers flipped a switch in November that forces them to hate the other show, so it’s not quite a level comparison.

While the Raw team trotted out some, for the time, perfectly fine names for this match — alongside one legendary name in Shawn Michaels — but SmackDown’s team contained five guys who were either outright main eventers (including World Heavyweight Champion Batista) or were entrenched in the show’s upper midcard.

Unlike the Raw team, or other teams throughout Survivor Series’ history, SmackDown’s quintet was made up of former, current, and future world champions. Sounds pretty formidable.

Team Triple H (Triple H, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, and Kane) (2007)

This team originally included Matt Hardy, but an injury (which was par for the course for WWE as a whole in 2007) forced him out of this match against Team Umaga (Umaga, Big Daddy V, Finlay, Mr. Kennedy, and Montel Vontavious Porter). That notwithstanding, the rest of Team Triple H — filled with three former world champions and an ascending singles star in Jeff Hardy — still made for an impressive combination.

This was the match that finally propelled Hardy into the main event scene, as he and Helmsley overcame the numbers advantage to fend off the heels for a memorable win.

1. Team WWF (The Rock, Chris Jericho, Kane, The Undertaker, and The Big Show) (2001)

Look, most of us who experienced it as it happened and those who read about it after the fact (or watched it on the WWE Network or Peacock) know how much of a missed opportunity the Invasion storyline was.

The 5-on-5 Winner Take All Elimination Match at Survivor Series 2001 served as one of the few high points of the story (mainly because it signified the end of this mess of a program). It also serves as an encaptulization of WWE’s main missteps during this period, as the “WCW/ECW” team consisted of two wrestlers who were synonymous with those respective promotions while Team WWF featured four of the company’s top babyfaces at the time…and The Big Show.

Next. WWE: 5 classic Survivor Series matches worth a rewatch. dark

Still, even with Shane McMahon’s questionable involvement — a harbinger of things to come in the 2010s — this remains one of the most star-studded Survivor Series matches WWE has ever booked, which added more gravity to the high stakes this contest carried. Much of that it due to the strength of the WWE side.