WWE: Top Five Survivor Series Teams of All Time

Nov 21, 2021; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view during the 25-man over the top Battle Royal during WWE Survivor Series at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2021; Brooklyn, NY, USA; A general view during the 25-man over the top Battle Royal during WWE Survivor Series at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Running down the best WWE Survivor Series teams of all time

Let me be the first to say that I do like the Survivor Series event. I think this show starts to lay the brickwork for what’s going to come at the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania. These shows always seem to deliver some of the best moments of every year. That being said, the WWE needed to make a change to the Survivor Series format as it was starting to get stale.

The WWE’s long tradition of the five-on-five Survivor Series matches is seemingly being replaced by a pair of War Games matches. And much to my delight, there will also be no more Raw VS SmackDown matches as that storyline has played out for years upon years. These necessary changes are exactly what the doctor ordered to freshen up an event that desperately needed some fixing.

So now that we’re dawning on a new era of the Survivor Series premium live event that will be taking place in Boston, I believe it’s time to commemorate the top all-star teams in the show’s history. My criteria are based on star power, the storyline stakes involved in each match, and how the overall match was booked and rated.  So, without any further ado, here are my top five Survivor Series teams.

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5) The Miz, Sheamus, Jack Swagger, Drew McIntyre, and Dolph Ziggler at Survivor Series 2009

In 2009, the WWE gave us a glimpse into the future of today’s top stars. While there weren’t any real stakes going into this match, this match was purely to focus on the making of new superstars. All five superstars now have accolades up the wazoo.

This match opened the PPV, and it did not disappoint. This match was also the culmination of the feud between John Morrison and The Miz. This villainous team got major heat when they beat the team of babyfaces. The survivors ended up being Sheamus, The Miz, and McIntyre. Three wrestlers who are still going strong in 2022.

I know what you’re saying, this is not one of the best Survivor Series teams of all time. To counter that, all five superstars were just entering the prime of their careers and opened a lot of eyes to what was to come in the future. Every single member found themselves in major storylines from that point on. Sheamus won the WWE championship against John Cena the very next month at Tables Ladders and Chairs, McIntyre beat Morrison for the Intercontinental Championship, The Miz obtained the United States title,  Swagger won Money in the Bank, and Ziggler started to become a big-time player in the mid to upper card of every show.

4) Team Bischoff: Randy Orton, Scott Steiner, Chris Jericho, Christian, and Mark Henry at Survivor Series 2003

This team doesn’t have all the best qualities, but this team worked. In the storyline leading up to this match, it was Team Eric Bischoff vs Team “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. If Team Austin won, he would be able to get his hand on anyone on the Raw roster unprovoked. If Team Austin lost, he would be fired from his position as co-general manager of Raw.

The buildup to this feud was masterful, with Stone Cold making Bischoff’s life a living hell every Monday night. The match was incredible, the crowd was very much into it, and it had all the stakes at hand. Austin’s team was rather impressive, as well as it contained Shawn Michaels, the Dudley Boyz, Booker T, and Rob Van Dam.

Team Bischoff won the match, with Randy Orton being the sole survivor by pinning Michaels. This was the end of Steve Austin being a regular on WWE programming. In what was a core memory to me was HBK saying he’s “so sorry” to Stone Cold that he couldn’t get the job done. In what was an overall sad moment, it was also the rise of one of WWE’s best superstars today in Orton.

3) Team SmackDown: AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, and Shane McMahon at Survivor Series 2016

Going with this team completely goes against my argument for hating on the long-standing Raw Vs SmackDown feud. However, this is one of my favorite Survivor Series teams of all time. The other team on the opposing side was no slouch either and that team consisted of Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, and Roman Reigns. These two teams were two Goliaths going at it, featuring some of the best talents on the entire WWE roster.

Bray Wyatt and “Mr. Survivor Series” Randy Orton were the survivors on Team SmackDown. It felt a little off having Wyatt a part of this match, but it all made sense in the end as it was the start of the program to have Randy Orton part of the Wyatt Family with Bray and the late great Luke Harper. While that story had a great build, the execution of the feud was lackluster, but that’s a story for another day!

This match had everything from close near-falls, to shocking turns, and a fantastic ending. This is one of those matches I can comfortably sit back and relax to watch because it was amazing. The only thing this match lacked was overall stakes, but that can be tied to the horrible Raw vs SmackDown booking.

2) Team Cena: John Cena, The Big Show, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, and Erick Rowan at Survivor Series 2014

This team doesn’t have the biggest of names (aside from Cena of course) but I loved the story of how this match came to be. The Authority stable was insanely overpowered and they took it to the babyface team for most of the program. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon revealed their team as a stacked unit consisting of Seth Rollins, Corporate Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev, and Luke Harper.

The stakes were if Team Cena lost, every single person on Cena’s team would be fired, but not Cena himself. If Team Authority lost, Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Kane would be fired from their positions of power.

The match produced shocking moments from when Big Show knocked out Mark Henry in the first minute of the match. Big Show turned on Team Cena by knocking Cena out cold. Harper pinned his Wyatt Family stable member in Rowan.

And it all culminated when Ziggler had to be the one to pin Kane, Harper, and Rollins. Ziggler scored two quick pinfalls back-to-back on Kane and Harper. This was where it all came down to Ziggler and Rollins. “The Game” intervened and decided to do the job himself to put Ziggler away with a Pedigree until the arena went dark.

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And to everyone’s surprise, WWE debuted Sting and he came out to a thunderous pop. The Icon went straight into the ring and dropped Triple H where he stood. Sting then draped a battered Ziggler over Rollins and helped Team Cena get the win. This match produced unbelievable moments from start to finish and it really was quite the spectacle. Shut out to St. Louis as well for being a great crowd that night, as they were into it from the very beginning.

I loved this team because it had everything you wanted in a babyface team fighting for their right to stay in WWE. You had Cena being the leader who ultimately got ousted from Big Show by being a turncoat for The Authority. A big babyface turn for Erick Rowan when he departed the Wyatt Family, having to face one of his brothers in Harper. Ryback was eliminated rather early from a flurry of big signature moves. And finally, you have the cult hero Dolph Ziggler pinning three of the Authority’s best to take home the win for Team Cena.

1) Team WWF: The Rock, The Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, and The Big Show at Survivor Series 2001

In what was one of my favorite Survivor Series matches, came to my favorite Survivor Series team. This was a true all-star team right when Vince McMahon made the announcement. Of course, some people had mixed opinions about the WWF VS Alliance storyline, but I liked it a whole lot as it brought a lot of fresh creative stories, including Austin turning heel at Wrestlemania 17, which was one of the most shocking endings to a wrestling show in history.

The Rock and Undertaker were my top two favorites of all time. And whenever they’re on the same screen together, whether it was as a team or if they were on opposite ends of the spectrum, it was appointment television for me. You combine that with the Brothers of Destruction, Big Show, and the charismatic Chris Jericho, this team was a force to be reckoned with.

The opposing team featured Austin, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Shane McMahon, and Rob Van Dam, not a bad team at all. The stakes were winner take all. If WWF won, they own the company, but if the Alliance won, WCW and ECW would take over the WWF. Plain and simple story, which is a good thing because sometimes less is more.

One of the best moments of the match came when Angle double-crossed the Alliance and helped the WWF to win the match. The Rock lasted as the sole survivor by pinning Austin for the first time ever, thus putting an end to the Alliance. There was no better moment than seeing the crowd go absolutely insane for The Rock after getting his revenge on Steve Austin from seven months prior at Wrestlemania 17. Another great moment was seeing Vince McMahon come out at the top of the stage with his hands in the air, signifying that he won “The War.”

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This list was extremely hard to make based on the criteria that I presented. It hurt having to leave some great Survivor Series teams off this list. What Survivor Series teams deserved to be on this list? Let me know in the comments below who your favorite teams at this historic event were.