This year’s WWE Survivor Series is fast approaching so to get into the mood of the 5-on-5 Elimination extravaganza we have put together a list of the greatest elimination matches in WWE history.
WWE created Survivor Series in 1987 and the PPV became one of the promotion’s “big four” events along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam and Royal Rumble. Like the Rumble, Survivor is centred around a popular style of match.
The PPV introduced the multi-person tag team elimination concept. Two teams of four or five people led by captains face off in a match fought under tag team rules with the winning team decided once all of their opponents have been eliminated.
Over the year’s the concept has changed a little but the team vs team elimination match remains the show’s biggest draw.
In the PPV’s thirty-plus-year history there has been a feast of amazing matches. So here is our 25 greatest Survivor Series elimination matches in WWE history.
25. Team Faye Vs Team Blayze – Survivor Series 1995
A short but fun match that featured an incredible array of talent many of which came from All Japan Women’s Pro Wrestling. Bertha Faye and Alundra Blayze were feuding over the WWE Women’s Championship and at Survivor Series 1995 brought in help from Japan to settle their score.
Aja Kong, Lioness Asuka and Tomoko Watanabe joined Faye while Chaparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue and Sakie Hasegawa backed up Blayze.
The action was fast, furious and packed with explosive moves rarely seen on American soil and especially on WWE television.
24. The Rude Brood Vs Roddy’s Rowdies – Survivor Series 1989
The match pitted Rick Rude’s Rude Brood of the Fabulous Rougeaus and Mr Perfect vs Roddy Piper’s Roddy’s Rowdies consisting of the Bushwhackers and Superfly Jimmy Snuka.
The match is just a great watch and loads of fun. The match revolved around the rivalry between Rude and Piper who both told a great story in the ring and continued their feud as they battled to a double count-out.
Everyone played their part perfectly especially Mr Perfect, who scored two eliminations and won the match as the lone survivor. The final sequence with Perfect and Snuka was particularly good and a great showcase for the future Intercontinental Champion.
23. The Ultimate Warriors vs. The Perfect Team – Survivor Series 1990
Another good and fun elimination match featuring a host of legendary WWE Superstars. The Ultimate Warrior captained the team of Legion of Doom and Texas Tornado against the team led by Mr Perfect and Ax, Smash and Crush of Demolition.
The action fought at a frenzied pace with Mr Perfect selling like crazy and flying all over the place. Warrior is his usual maniacal self hitting anything that moves, while LOD and Demolition slugging it out has the fans at a fever pitch.
Once again Perfect is excellent and a joy to watch in exchanges with both Tornado and Warrior at the closing period of the bout.
22. The Mega Powers Vs The Twin Towers – Survivor Series 1988
A match that featured some of WWE’s biggest ever Superstars both figuratively and literally.
The Twin Towers of Akeem, King Haku, Ted DiBiase, The Big Boss Man and The Red Rooster clashed with the Mega Powers of Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Hercules, Hillbilly Jim and Koko B. Ware in this great outing.
Everyone, even the Red Rooster played their part in this classic late-eighties WWE encounter. Hogan and Savage were on fire throughout as the biggest stars in the business while DiBiase and Boss Man are excellent as the company’s top heels.
Hogan’s post-match celebrations gave fans the first glimpse into the Mega Powers explosion leading into WrestleMania 5.
21. Team Angle Vs Team Lesnar – Survivor Series 2003
Kurt Angle against Brock Lesnar is one of WWE’s greatest rivalries. Two legitimate athletes tearing it up whenever they met. At Survivors Series in 2003, they clashed in a five-on-five elimination match and the result was awesome.
The monster heel team Lesnar, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones, A-Train and The Big Show was one of the most intimidating teams in the PPV’s history, but the crew Angle assembled featured four of the toughest wrestlers to ever do it – Bradshaw, Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, John Cena completed Angle’s team and the action was excellent.
The focus was on Angle and Lesnar but Cena and Benoit, in particular, got some huge moments and the left on a much higher level than when they entered.
20. Team Michaels Vs Team Ramon – Survivor Series 1995
Shawn Michaels’ wild card team of Sid, The British Bulldog and Ahmed Johnson took on Razor Ramon’s motley crew of Dean Douglas, Owen Hart, and Yokozuna in a fun and crazy match.
Heels and faces teamed up on both sides making for a chaotic spectacle. Michael had issues with Sid and Bulldog while Ramon’s entire group had problems.
The result saw teammates attack one another, break up pinfall attempts and cause eliminations. HBK, Razor and Owen were the obvious stars but Johnson put in a good shift and was portrayed as a monster receiving huge pops with every power move.
19. Team Hogan vs. Team Andre – Survivor Series, 1987
The first-ever Survivor Series elimination main event match and it is a doozy. The match was a big-time spectacle with non-other than Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant as the warring team captains.
The teams included One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude for Andre against Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow for Hogan.
The wrestlers and especially the crowd are pumped for this and the result is nearly forty minutes of old school greatness. The obvious focal point of the match is Hogan and Andre but everyone shines throughout with Bigalow looking like a star in the final three-on-one showdown.
18. The Bad Guys Vs The Teamsters – Survivor Series 1994
A match that featured Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon and The 123 Kid is bound to be a solid affair and that is exactly what it is with some spot-on storytelling show throughout.
The Bad Guys of captain Razor Ramon, 123 Kid, Davey Boy Smith, and The New Headshrinkers took on the Teamsters of Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Owen Hart, and Jeff Jarrett in a fun and frantic match.
Diesel was a monster and destroyed every opponent while HBK directed traffic. All came to a head at the end setting up Shawn vs Diesel feud in this fantastic opener to the PPV.
17. The Million Dollar Team Vs. The Dream Team – Survivor Series 1990
The Million Dollar Man Ted Dibiase captained the team of Rhythm and Blues and The Undertaker against Dusty Rhodes, The Hart Foundation and Koko B. Ware.
The match is an incredibly important one for two reasons. Firstly it features the debut of WWE’s best character ever, the Undertaker. Secondly, it was a standout performance for Bret Hart, who showed that he was ready to be WWE’s next singles superstar.
The first half of the bout was designed to showcase the Deadman who was put over hugely by his opponents but that match featured some strong performances by all in a fun Survivor Series outing.
Rhodes and Valentine had some good exchanges while DiBiase and Hart were excellent in the closing chapter of the match.
16. Team Orton vs. Team Batista – Survivor Serie 2008
The former Evolution stablemates Randy Orton and Batista were feuding over who was the number one contender for the WWE World Championship. Their rivalry led to several attacks as they looked to put each other out of action.
CM Punk, Kofi Kingston, ECW Champion Matt Hardy and R-Truth made up The Animal’s team of babyfaces and Cody Rhodes, Mark Henry, Shelton Benjamin and Intercontinental Champion William Regal were on the Viper’s heel side.
The action featured some strong back-and-forths from all performers. Rhodes, Punk, Kingston and Benjiman all stood taking their opportunity to shine.
The final stretch resulted in Batista at a four-on-one disadvantage but against the odds, he shone busting out some of his most powerful offence.
15. Team NXT Vs Team RAW Vs Team SmackDown – Survivor Series 2019
The year that NXT showed up and showed out on the main roster. Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai Candice LeRae and Toni Storm of NXT faced Asuka, Charlotte Flair, Kairi Sane, Natalya and Sarah Logan from RAW and Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, Nikki Cross and Sasha Banks of SmackDown.
The match was fought at a frantic and energetic pace featuring an eclectic clash of styles that created some entertaining exchanges. Sane and Shirai were involved in a great sequence early on.
Ripley picking up the win for NXT capped off a star-making performance but Belair and Storm were also stars of the show.
14. The BodyDonnas vs. The Underdogs – Survivor Series 1995
A match that features the 123 Kid, Skip, Tom Pritchard and Rad Radford vs Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz and Bob Holly may not seem the most star-studded setup but what it provided was a fabulous outing.
All eight performers had something to prove and prove it they did with an amazing display of athleticism and passion.
The main focus of this match was the recent heel turn of 1-2-3 Kid and an opportunity to give him some shine, but Hakushi and Jannetty were also on fire.
Kid and Jannetty had a great final exchange with both putting on a show an proving they were worth much more than their position on the card.
13. Twenty Man Tag Team Match – Survivor Series 1987
This match is the first of its kind on WWE PPV. Twenty men in ten team on two sides battling it out in one match and it is entertaining as hell. The sheer amount of people in the match makes it an amazing clash of styles and characters.
Ten tag teams consisting of Strike Force, The Young Stallions, The Fabulous Rougeaus, The Killer Bees and the British Bulldogs Vs The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, Demolition, The Bolsheviks and The New Dream Team go at it for a fun-filled and action-packed thirty-seven minutes.
The match also guarantees the only time anyone will see the Killer Bees end up on the winning team!
12. Team Kingston Vs Team Orton – Survivor Series 2009
Kingston and Orton were in the midst of their feud and sworn enemies. After exchanging victories over one another their rivalry led them to Survivor Series.
Kingston chose ECW Champion Christian, Mark Henry, MVP and R-Truth to take on Orton’s team of his Legacy buddies Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase along with CM Punk and William Regal.
The talent on display offered up a fun and exciting match. Kingston was a great run and ready for the next level. This match showed that he was ready for the singles push and WWE were prepared to do it.
Former tag team champions Punk and Kingston put on a fine back-and-forth before Orton faced his adversary one-on-one.
11. Ten Tag Team Elimination Match – Survivor Series 1988
10. Team Razor Vs Team I.R.S. – Survivor Series 1993
This match started off with a bang. Mr Perfect was out with an injury so Ramon announced his replacement. The crowd erupted as Macho Man Randy Savage made his entrance completing Razor’s team of 123 Kid, Marty Jannetty, against IRS, Deisel, Adam Bomb, and The Model Rick Martel.
The two teams put on a fun and entertaining bout giving everyone time to shine. Savage was on fire and the crowd ate up everything he did. Razor and Deisel stood out too but the match was about the other talent.
Kid, Janetty, Martel and Bomb outlasted all of the legends and main-eventers as the final four. The two high-flyers used their speed and agility to get rid of their bigger and stronger opponent in a great end to a great match.
9. Team SmackDown Vs Team RAW – Survivor Series 2005
This match is the first time in Survivor Series history, RAW and SmackDown clashed in a five-on-five elimination match. The result was an entertaining battle with WWE’s top stars slugging it out to see who was the best team.
Team SmackDown was led by World Heavyweight Champion Batista, Randy Orton, John Bradshaw Layfield, Bobby Lashley, and Rey Mysterio. They faced a Team RAW consisting of Shawn Michaels, Carlito, Chris Masters, and the World Tag Team Champions Kane and Big Show.
The final chapter saw Michaels and Orton go one-on-one for the second time in three years. The conclusion left the Viper joining Savage, Warrior and Hogan as the fourth man to survive three Survivor Series matches, something that no other wrestler has done since.
8. Team SmackDown Vs defeat Team RAW Vs Team NXT – Survivor Series 2019
The year NXT invaded WWE seems a distant memory from what has transpired since. However, when it took place it was a monumental occasion and for the first time in WWE history, the brand was a part of Survivor Series.
The team assembled was an impressive list of NXTers. Damian Priest, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa and WALTER faced Team SmackDown of Braun Strowman, King Corbin, Mustafa Ali, Roman Reigns and Shorty G and Team RAW Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Ricochet and Seth Rollins.
Despite WALTER getting easily eliminated this is a great match with tonnes of brilliant moments. The face-off between was Lee and Reigns was fabulous and made Lee look every bit the star he should’ve been on the main roster.
The action was beautifully chaotic and an entertaining war from start to finish.
7. The Shield and The Real Americans Vs Rey Mysterio, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, and The Usos – Survivor Series 2013
The Sheild were wrestling’s hottest act and had the full WWE machine and fan support behind them and this match was a continuation of the trio’s dominance over the promotion after debuting at the previous year’s PPV.
Rollins and Reigns were feuding with Rhodes and Goldust over the WWE Tag Team Championships at the time, which added to the animosity between the two teams.
The high octane action is a joy to watch, with Rollins, Cesaro and Reigns on excellent form. The Big Dog was the focal point of the final and delivered his offence in an explosive fashion.
Reigns tore through all who stood in his way with a flurry of furious spears eliminating four opponents in total and became the sole survivor.
6. Team SmackDown Vs Team RAW – Survivor Series 2016
Simply put, this match was awesome and featured an absolutely incredible array of WWE Superstars. AJ Styles, Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton and Shane McMahon made up the blue team and Braun Strowman, Chris Jericho, Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins were on the reds.
Fresh off the first brand split since 2011 this PPV brought the concept of brand supremacy to the forefront. The idea was new and interesting providing added emphasis to the encounter.
Everyone involved had a history with one another in some form, which served up some extra heat in this near-sixty-minute clash of chaos, carnage and tonnes of fun.
The action was stacked with exhilarating spots and some wild sequences this is one hell of a match and a highly-entertaining encounter.
5. Team Flair Vs Team Piper – Survivor Series 1991
The was Ric Flair’s first-ever WWE PPV match. Flair arrived in WWE with much fanfare.
The NWA and WCW legend came in claiming he was the real World’s Heavyweight Champion. Roddy Piper took immediate offence began feuding with Flair. This led to the two captaining rival teams at Survivor Series.
Flair recruited the team of Ted DiBiase, The Mountie and The Warlord and Piper called upon Bret Hart, The British Bulldog and Virgil.
All participants had a past, which added three more rivalries to the bout. DiBiase and Virgil had a long history, Bulldog and Warlord were feuding and Hart and the Mounite were soon to be rivals over the Intercontinental Champion.
The match itself was brilliant and a joy to watch as four of the best to ever enter a wrestling ring (Flair, Piper, Hart and DiBiase) threw down in a fun outing.
4. Team RAW Vs Team SmackDown Twenty Man Tag Team Elimination Match – Survivor Series 2016
In the lead up the PPV SmackDown had challenged RAW to three brand vs brand matches. This match was the first tag team elimination match since 1988 and so good its surprising WWE hasn’t done it again. I
The team included shows how stacked WWE’s tag team division was back then. The Bar, The Club, New Day, Big Cass and Enzo and Primo and Epico clashed with The Usos, American Alpha, The Hype Bros, Breezango and Heath Slater and Rhyno.
With such an impressive array of talent involved the action and interactions throughout is gold and The Usos vs The Bar as the final two teams is exceptional.
It is a highly-entertaining match that is for some unknown reason highly underrated.
3. Team Cena Vs Team Authority – Survivor Series 2014
High stakes, top stars and great workers made this 2014 outing one of the best in Survivor Series history. The stipulation attached to the bout had the Authority’s control on the line and only Cena would possess the power to reinstate them.
Therefore Triple H and Stephanie McMahon put a solid crew together. Kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry, Rusev and Seth Rollins made up Team Authority while Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Ryback and The Big Show backed up John Cena.
The match had everything from Authority interference, splendid high spots, reversals, counter and breathtaking near falls all topped off with a Big Show heel turn.
The action was top drawer stuff with Ziggler putting on one of the best performances of his career against Rollins in an excellent final stretch, which also unveiled the awesome WWE debut of Sting.
2. Team Bischoff Vs Team Austin – Survivor Series 2003
The story leading into the intense battle had Austin and Bischoff both running Monday Night RAW, which wasn’t going well and was affecting the product. The tension between the two led to a winner runs RAW match at the PPV.
Austin’s job was the line, which gave this match importance of the highest level. The Rattlesnake, therefore, assembled the team of Booker T, The Dudley Boyz, Rob Van Dam and Shawn Michaels to go against Bischoff’s crew of Chris Jericho, Christian, Mark Henry, Randy Orton and Scott Steiner.
The star-studded worked incredibly well together with everyone getting the chance to shine especially Orton in his Survivor Series debut.
The final sequence between the Viper and Michaels is first-class work with a thrilling conclusion closing out one of the finest five-one-five elimination matches in WWE history.