November 11, 2004
SLAM! Speaks: Readers respond with their Survivor Series dream teams
By SLAM! Wrestling

Cartoon by Annette Balesteri, our SLAM! Wrestling Editorial Cartoonist

The readers hath responded, and boy did they ever.

Last week, we asked you what you thought would make a good Survivor Series dream team. Never in a million years would we have expected the array of responses we got.

Ben Bowman
My dream Survivor Series Dream would be headed by Bret Hart. Clearly one of the best wrestlings ever, his technical skills are impossible to match. He is the best there was, the best there is, the best there ever will be.

Next person I would have is Kurt Angle. He is also one of the best technical wrestlers and does whatever it takes to win. Can do it as a singles wrestler or as a tag team.

The next part of my team would be the Dudley Boys. One of the best tag teams ever, if not the best. Before Vince watered them down, the Dudleys were a force in the WWE and can take out mutiple people win tables or chairs. Plus, they have one of the best tag moves, the 3D.

And finally the last person on my team would be the rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin. Though him and Bret aren't the best of friends, I think the Rattlesnake would be a great partner. Austin single handedly carried wrestling in the 90s and took out the Invasion on his own. His Stunner can come out of nowhere for a couple wins and his toughness can not be matched. That is my team. (editor's note: Austin was part of the Invasion team at the Survivor Series).

Paul Tobin
The Ultimate Survivor Series Team is as follows:

Hulk Hogan - Like him or not, he is the most recognizable and electrifying wrestler (no offence to the Rock) to ever lace up wrestling boots. Just think back to Wrestlemania 18 for evidence to this point. He is on the team for shear hype and fan participation.


Bret Hart - Being voted as the 39th greatest Canadian assures Bret a spot on this team. Aside from that, he is, quite possibly, the greatest technician inside the ring and would be an invaluable asset to this team. Imagine seeing Bret at another Survivor Series! Buyrates would be through the roof!!

Kurt Angle - An incredible performer and in-ring general. He has the ability to quickly switch gears from a mat based offence to being a high flying threat. He also has a genuine mean streak and is exceptional on the mic.

Chris Benoit - No one has more intensity that the Canadian Crippler. Incredibly fast and powerful, the Crippler can hit a submission or pin from almost any position.

Undertaker (Old School) - Another wrestler who can get the crowd into the match, especially during his entrance which is second to none. His appearance on the team is strictly for intimidation. He and Hogan would complement the smaller, better, wrestlers well with their size and power.

Since you are talking about Survivor Series teams, here is a cool matchup for this classic format:

Team 1 - Andre the Giant, Big Show, Yokozuna, Haystack Calhoon, Giant Gonzoles Versus Team 2 - Rey Mesterio, Spike Dudley, 123 Kid, Shannon Moore, Tajiri

Lescombe's
I would like to give you one other huge team. John Tenta aka Earthquake, I believe they were the Mcquire Twins the rode mini bike from the late '60s early '70s, Sailor White and Kamala. Again, you would have to reinforce the ring for these big guys.

Jeff Patey
I'd have to give the nod to Jon Waldman's team. Seems to have all the bases covered with his picks.

As for my team..

Team Captain: The Rock. This People's Champ will lead my team consisting primarily of self proclaimed champions of the people. The Rock is an excellent athelete and has proven time and time again that he will show up for the big matches. His size, strength, physique, and ability to electrify the fans like no other make him an ideal candiate to receive the hot tag and turn the tables on the opposition. As a seven-time World champ, The Rock continues to reinvent himself and continues to entertain the million and million of his fans world wide. Also, a five-time world tag champion with multiple partners, Rocky is no stranger to coming out victorious in tag-team action. His lack of mat wrestling skills is certainly made up for in his explosiveness and charisma. Finally, The Rock boasts a record of 4-1 in past Survivor Series events, including being the soul survivor in two classic matches, as well as winning four matches in one night to win the Deadly Games Tournament for the WWE Championship.

The three time WCW champ, Diamond Dallas Page, another champion of the people. Picking up the victory in WCW's War Games match at Fall Brawl 1998, DDP has experience in the Surviour Series classic match format. Like the team's captain, Page is also a five-time world tag champion with multiple partners, so its obvious he knows how to handle himself in tag team action as well. DDP has the ability to hit opponents with his Diamond Cutter, a move that has since been modified and put to shame as the sloppy RKO, out of nowhere, giving any team he's on a distinct advantage.

Next up is the five-time WCW champion, six-time TV champ, two-time US champ, and former 14-time world tag team champion. Booker T, The People's Champion during the demise of WCW, was a member of the illustrious Harlem Heat with brother Stevie Rey. Book has the ability to raise his game to any level and style of his opponent.

Finally, the duo of Edge & Christian. Yet another self proclaimed champion of the "peeps", Christian does what he does for all the members of his "Peepulation". Christian is one of three superstars to win a title in his WWE debut match, winning the Light Heavyweight Title back in 1998. "Captain Charisma" is also a three-time Intercontinental Champion and nine-time World Tag-Team champion (seven of which came with Edge as his partner). Christian has proven to be a resiliant and resourceful individual. He is no stranger to bending the rules to pick up victory or to call upon a "problem solver" or two to help him get the job done. The former King of the Ring, five-time Intercontinental Champion and 11-Time World Tag Team Champion, Edge is the lone member of this team that has never made the claim of being a champion of the people and these days can be heard bad mouthing the fans and saying that they don't deserve to see him.

So, there you have it...The Rock, DDP, Booker T, Christian, and Edge

(editor's note: Actually, several wrestlers have won a title in their WWE debut, including Gail Kim, Carlito Colon, Mike Awesome and Essa Rios, if you do not include his run under the mask as Aguila or Papi Chulo)

Gerald Powless
My dream team (all Canadians): Gene Kiniski, Bret and Owen Hart, Mad Dog Vachon and Chris Benoit.

What do you think of my team? All winners and all top professionals in wrestling.

Debbie
My vote would have to go to Bob Kapur's Hardcore Hoard. That would be the most fun match to watch like ever. As great as some of the other team's members are and were, a couple good chair shots would be a great equilizer.

My personal dream team would be intergender to have a little bit of everything. For no other reason than they've been my favourite wrestlers at one point or another my team would be: Team Captain: Raven, Brain Pillman, Charlie Haas, Eddie Guerrero, Lita.

Blair Burch
I have a simple dream team. It is built on the fact that Ric Flair thinks they all suck and I think they are all so many miles beyond Flair that he doesn't even deserve to lace their boots.

My Team is: Team Captain Hulk Hogan: I hate the guy, but there is no denying his charisma and his unmatched ability to manipulate a crowd to get the response he wants.

Bret Hart: No dream team is complete without the greatest wrestler in the history of the industry.

Randy Savage: Can we say intensity? This guy is in better shape, as a solid ripped out muscleman now than at any point in his career. Why he isn't working for anybody at this point is beyond me. He has it all, charisma, good looks, great gimick and can still go better then any oldtimer in the business.

Mick Foley: You need an enforcer, how about the guy who doesn't feal pain; or if he does, thrives on it.

Raven: Absolutely the best promo in the business today bar none. Why Bischoff and Vince were blind to how great this guy is baffles me. Only Heyman seemed to understand the greatness he had. Ahh Raven, in a just world you'd have held the strap in every company you ever worked for.

The only teams you posted that I think can compete with this collection is Bob's hardcore team and Jon's well thoughtout, balanced team.

(Editor's note: This e-mail came in before Savage appeared on NWA-TNA this past weekend).

Axl

I have a survivor series team that would certainly entertain as well as bring the fans to their feet.

First of all, a man who has packed arenas around the world and who's experience would certainly make him a great leader - Mil Mascaras. His style would of course be complimented by the high flying style of "The Superfly" Jimmy Snuka. Now when it comes to mic skills, who better to join this team than"Macho Man" Randy Savage? He is just crazy enough to get along with Superfly. For technical style, not to mention lending abit of assistance on the mic, would have to be "Rowdy" Roddy Piper. My final pick would be the muscle in this group and that would have to be "Sycho" Sid Vicious.

Now I know the real challenge would be keeping these guys from killing one another and perhaps thats where the leadership of arguably the greatest luchador of all time, Mil Mascaras, would have to come in. Maybe we throw in my favorite manager, Lou Albano. I mean if he could keep the Samoans under control, he may be the only guys qualified to manage these guys.

No matter what happened, I think one would have to admit that it would definately be exciting to watch these guys in the ring again, even if they did end up beating the heck out of one another instead of their oponents.

Thanks for hearing my opinion.

Mike Lescombe
Hers my dream team, but i don't think any ring could hold all of them: 1) Andre the Giant, 2) Big John Studd, 3) the Big Show, 4) Brock Lesner and 5) Abdullah the Butcher.

Good luck to any team against these five.

Robert Rudolph
In these days of 90 minutes of talk and 30 minutes of wrestling on a two hour program, how about a group of no-talkers:

Abdullah the Butcher, George "The Animal" Steele, The Missing Link and Kamala The Ugandan Giant

Blair Schweitzer
I would think the team to beat would be Bret 'Hitman' Hart, Dynamite Kid, The Stomper, Abdullah The Butcher and Harley Race. That should clean up I would think.

Kevin Morgan
Captain- Stone Cold, Jesse Ventura, Rick Rude, Bad News Brown, Ron Simmons

The pre match interview would be incredible with this team, almost overshadowing the actual match. The most attitude ever assembled on one team.

The Splatoon
I don't know about you guys, but for me, the best wrestling matches are the ones with two wrestlers of differing styles. The mat-wizard vs. the high flyer, David vs. Goliath, the bruiser and the artist. My Survivor Series teams would thus be a study in contrasts. On one side, would be Ultimo Dragon, Sharkboy, Rey Mysterio Jr. and the Hardy Boyz (one of my favorite tag teams of all time). Their opponents meanwhile would be a plethora of behemoths, with Kane, the Big Show, Abyss, Vader and John Bradshaw Layfield combining to form a team with 1,000 lbs. of power behind them. What a match!

Bill Crowther
I think Chris's team would be hard to beat, but I love "Team Grudge" great to hear some of those names again.

My team would be: The Road Warriors for pure power and nastiness. Dick Slater for scary unpredictablility. Terry Funk just because, and Michael Hayes to front it all!

Jason Skidmore
If I was to set up my ideal Survivor Series team it would be a match, Stars of today vs. Legends.

On the "Legends" side I would have Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant and Ricky Steamboat.

On the "Today" team it would be The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin, HHH, Randy Orton and John Cena.

Jayson Doak
For starters, I have to say Jason Clevett's team would have the best shot of winning, with Waldman's a close second.

In putting my team together, I considered the necessity for a balance of power, speed, tag and singles, and just who I thought would be great to watch as a group.

The team captain would be Shawn Michaels. He embodies a number of qualities everyone has mentioned. We know he can go with anybody, would be a great vocal leader, and is one of the few guys you can emotionally get behind.

Second on the team, AJ Styles. Very similar to Michaels, but quicker and smoother. Not as good on the mic, but with Michaels doing all the talking he wouldn't need to be. So far the team might win just on endurance!

The third member calls for some power. Enter Brock Lesnar. He keeps the team speed up, while also would just beat down everyone. Durability wouldn't be a question either.

Finally, I agree that a great tag team is needed to complete the team. After much consideration, I go with the Hart Foundation. While I wasn't much of an Anvil fan (to the point I thought about putting Edge and Christian in here instead), he adds a bit more power to the team. I don't even need to go over Bret Hart's credentials.

Mike Cross
The Ultimate team? Here goes: Bret Hart, Leo Burke, Killer Karl Krupp (extreme face turn!), Chris Benoit. Now, you try to tell me these guys wouldn't cheat if they had to in order to win.

Rod Desnomie
Just for craps and giggles, let's say I put together Team Squash!

Team Captain: The Undertaker - Who has been more of a force in Survivor Series matches since joining WWE? Taker would be an ideal leader for his mic work and respect commanded by others in the locker room.

Andre the Giant - Andre could take out any number of wrestlers at will - all at once!

The Big Show - Hey, every team needs a punching bag for the other team to look good on. The Show would hurt and exhaust numerous members of any team, eliminating one after another until he finally got a chair shot (or five) and was pinned.

Sycho Sid - Every team needs an unpredictable madman and Sid would fit the bill nicely for this group.

Kevin Nash - Another massive behemoth who would easily eliminate any opponent in short order. Nash's intensity would work nicely in a quick, five-minute massacre.

This team would not put on a type of scientific match, they could not let any contest go longer than 20 minutes, and they'd surely put wrestling purists to sleep. However, all scientific, quick-paced and high flying wrestling would be stopped immediately with one powerful blow or headbutt. Team Squash would pound their opponents into oblivion with pure force and brutality.

I like Clevett's team over all others, although I would substitute Bret Hart in place of the Boss Man as you already have Davy-Boy Smith as your muscle.
(Editors Note: Bret Hart hasn't passed away, so he wouldn't qualify for Clevett's team.)

Bard Hudson
Since the Slam writers have already broached into old timers I'll have to presume that we're talking "at their peak" and not as they are now.

Stan Hanson. Underneath that dirty exterior and behind the spitoon is one of the best brawlers ever to hit the mat. He would be the team leader because...well would you argue with him?

Big Van Vader. Always a favourite of mine, he was one of the best of the big men. He would have to bring the old smoke spewing helmet, of course.

Terry Taylor. Ever since I saw him fight Nikita Koloff for the NWA TV title this guy has been a favourite of mine. Too bad Vince misused him so badly.

Bret Hart. This one needs no explanation. Bret is one of the best competitors anywhere and has beaten most everyone in the industry at some point.

Chris Benoit. Chris is one of the few wrestlers today that could legitimately hang with the others on my list. In a world where Maven is considered a main eventer (and we all know that even squash match veteren Barry Horowitz could beat Maven), thank god for Chris Benoit. Chris, give yourself a pat on the back.

Dave Keech
Here are my picks for the Ultimate Survivor Series team:

Dynamite Kid (Captain) - In terms of experience, technical expertise, strength and in-ring ability, few say there was any better than Dynamite Kid.

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts - Back in his prime, Jake Roberts was the ultimate in psychological warfare, and taught The Undertaker that part of the wrestling industry. In a team set-up like the Survivor Series, it is good to have one member of your team be someone who can psyche out the opposition.

Tazz - Let's face it, he's washed up now, but back in the day there was no more technically proficient hardcore wrestler anywhere. Plus, Tazz was loyal to ECW until it was crumbling to nothingness, so that loyalty is another plus. Every team needs one tough hombre, and Tazz fits the bill.

Chris Benoit - There is only one current wrestler I can name who has achieved success and admiration in each of Japan, Mexico, ECW, WCW, and WWE. That person is Chris Benoit, who is arguably the greatest active wrestler today.

Harley Race - Race's matches against Ric Flair in the old days of the NWA are legendary. This is the guy who was teaching the upstarts in the WWE in the mid-eighties about the business. If one asked Flair who he remembers most fondly, he normally says Race. If that is the case, Harley Race deserves a spot on any dream team. That, and his skills as a mat technician, a brawler, and a cunning SOB all add up to a winner on anyone's team.


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