SLAM! Speaks: Survivor Series dream teams
SLAM! Wrestling Staff
The Thanksgiving tradition that is the Survivor Series is soon upon us, and the anticipation for this year's team is just as big as it always is.
The four or five-person team elimination match is a signature format of WWE, and next to the Royal Rumble, is arguably the most recognizable WWE match.
So how does the SLAM! crew celebrate this time-honoured tradition? Well, as you'll see below, we pick our own fantasy teams as we gather around the Rasslin' Roundtable. What you will see below are the teams each of us would assemble if we were in charge. After you read our teams, feel free to submit your team at the bottom of this article, and give any thoughts as to who you think picked the best team (we're having a title belt made, so make your voice heard!).
My dream Survivor Series Dream would be Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, Mr. Perfect and Tully Blanchard, because their technical skills would blend well. They would put on a terrific wrestling match.
Call me a sap, but Ive picked my team simply for the fact that its five talented guys that I wish I could see step into the ring one more time.
Team Captain "Ravishing" Rick Rude is the ideal choice because of his charisma and experience. Although the team has a number of great talkers, Rude had a vicious streak and would stop at nothing to ensure his teams victory.
Joining Rude would be Curt Hennig. A technical master, foes could be trapped in the Perfect-plex at any time. To add power to the team in an enforcer role would be The Big Bossman. Wielding his nightstick, BBM would be an intimidating man to be across the ring from and could add some much needed muscle.
The best Survivor Series teams have been rounded out by a regular tag team, and my team is no exception. Davey Boy Smith and Owen Hart provide the tag experience and double team moves that can make or break a Series team. Their family relationship helps to ensure they will be unified. It would be hard to argue that this group doesnt have what it takes to walk out winners, with multiple championships in different divisions and companies between them.
Mitsuharu Misawa (Team Captain) - Although a virtual unknown among mainstream wrestling fans in our part of the world, Misawa is a certified legend of the business. He's done it all, delivering matches that rank as some of best ring product ever. Despite not being a big talker, Misawa is a true commanding general of wrestling who inspires all who grace his presence.
Chris Benoit - This is a no brainer; we're talking about the Rabid Wolverine. Noted for being his own worse critic, Benoit is a perfectionist when it comes to his in-ring offence. You need a guy like him on your team - someone who through sheer intensity will motivate his other tag-team members.
El Santo - He brings the unique Lucha Libre style to the ring. Another legend of the ring who has battled not only a legion of wrestling adversaries, but zombies, witches, Dracula, Dr. Frankenstein and The Wolfman. Who wouldn't want a guy like El Santo on their team with a resume like that! He ain't afraid of nobody.
Bruno Sammartino - If the match gets rough, send in the Living Legend. Make no mistake, Sammartino is a grappler, but he can scrap and every team needs a least one scrapper. Things get out of hand, send in this fiery fighting Italian and he'll clean house, not to mention turn the tide of the bout.
Ricky Steamboat - Steamboat brings a crucial element to this team - emotion. It's what I remember most fondly when watching Steamboat in the ring. You need that guy who can reach inside and unleash that unbridled, primal instinct to survive and never give up. Nevermind the simple fact that he's just that damn good.
"The Hardcore Hoard" - Mick Foley, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Terry Funk, The Sandman
Can you imagine these extreme icons in a Survivor Series hardcore match? There would be so many weapons in the ring, there wouldn't be room for a referee! It wouldn't be the most scientific match, obviously. But, boy would it be fun to watch.
Team Grudge: "Dr. D" David Shultz, Jim Wilson, Thunderbolt Patterson, Eddy Mansfield and team captain "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. A quick history lesson, dear reader. At one time or another, all five of these troublemakers found themselves "blackballed", or at least had difficulty finding work because of problems with promoters. So, throw 'em in the ring against just about anybody and fireworks will happen. But put a few old enemies against them, like Vincent K. McMahon or Jim Barnett and it'll be magic!
My team would look like this:
Team Captain - Bret Hart - The consumate professional, Bret could beat an opponent either by submission or pinfall. He was also in a slew of Survivor Series, thus giving the team valuable experience.
Eddie Guererro - Latino Heat has made cheap victories into an artform. When you have to beat five other men, a victory or two via the ropes or tights can do nothing but help. Eddy is also an asset because of his ability in Lucha Libre, which would be important against any cruiserweight foes.
Booker T - Booker can make a match his very own. The five-time WCW champ can get it all done in the ring, whether it's a mat-classic of high-flyer.
Arn Anderson - Need a toughman? They don't get much rougher than The Enforcer. Anderson can make grown men cry like no other, and his very presence is a huge intimidation factor. Add in his War Games experience, and you have a very solid elimination-match
Scott Steiner - Whereas Anderson is intimidation, Big Poppa Pump is sheer adrenaline. Steiner is methodical force personified, and can literally throw a wrestler around until he says no more.
So looking at my team, a commonality develops - all of these wrestlers are not just great singles stars (outside of Anderson, all have held a top championship belt), but they are all experienced tag wrestlers (Hart Foundation, Los Guererros, Harlem Heat, Four Horsemen and the Steiner Brothers). All of these men have a sense of what being a team is, and that becomes the most important part of Survivor
Series - knowing you can trust those who you are aligned with won't walk out on you or turn their backs.
So who do you think has the best team? Who is the ultimate survivor? Do
any of us even have a shot against your dream team? Send
us your thoughts on the ultimate Survivor Series team.
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- Compiled by Jon Waldman