The Survivor Series was always built on the concept of thrown-together teams competing in elimination tag matches. Usually, the teams are comprised of like-minded individuals facing their equal and opposite number on the other side of the ring. But the WWF changed things up in 1995 with the Wild Card match, which took good guys and bad guys and put them on the same team to battle another set of good guys and bad guys. The idea for a Wild Card elimination match had the potential to be very bad, but the talent in the ring was able to lift it up to one of the best matches on the card.
On one side, Shawn Michaels and Ahmed Johnson teamed with the British Bulldog and Sid. On the other, Razor Ramon was forced to team with rival Dean Douglas and the tag team of Owen Hart and Yokozuna. That’s some serious talent and charisma in one match, regardless of the heel-face dynamics. At the center of it all was manager Jim Cornette, who represented Bulldog, Hart and Yokozuna, so he was forced to play both sides.
The eight guys in the ring managed to tell a great story with the 27 minutes they were given, leading to an eventual victory for Michaels, Johnson and the Bulldog. It was a unique concept executed exquisitely by the men in the ring, and I doubt it could ever be pulled off as well again.
Best Match: WWF Championship No Disqualification Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Diesel (c) – The third pay-per-view championship match between the two men, and each one was better than the one before. After two matches ending with screwy finishes, Hart and Diesel were finally allowed to have a match that ended in a pinfall, and it made for probably the best big event match of 1995. After taking a bump through the Spanish announce table (a spot that made its debut here, by the way), Hart lulled Diesel into a false sense of security before tying him up in a small package for the win, giving the “Hitman” his third WWF Championship. It was a great cap to a quality year for Hart.
Worst Match: Goldust defeated Bam Bam Bigelow – Dustin Rhodes was still new to this Goldust character here and trying to figure out its intricacies. Meanwhile, Bigelow was at the end of his usefulness to the WWF. Just months after main eventing WRESTLEMANIA, the writing was on the wall for the Beast From the East. This was nothing special and on a card where everything else ranged from very good to amazing, that just doesn’t cut it.
Dead Man Rising: Five years after his debut at Survivor Series 1990, as a mystery partner for Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker had officially become the bridge to the next generation of WWF superstars. His Survivor Series elimination match included future WWE Chief Operating Officer Hunter Hearst Helmsley; Isaac Yankem, the man who would soon be his brother Kane; and Fatu, who would go on to make a difference for the team of Too Cool as Rikishi. The Undertaker’s team of Fatu, Henry Godwinn and Savio Vega had a rare clean sweep of their opponents, as the Undertaker eliminated Helmsley, Yankem and Jerry Lawler before Mabel left the ring for a countout loss.
Best There Is: With just a handful of 1995 shows left on the schedule, Survivor Series may be the best show of the year. With the exception of Bigelow-Goldust, ever match delivered and the show absolutely breezed by.
Ranking Survivor Series 1995
1 – WWF Championship No Disqualification Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Diesel (c)
2 – Wild Card Elimination Match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog and Sid defeated Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, Owen Hart and Dean Douglas
3 – Elimination Match: Aja Kong, Bertha Faye, Lioness Asuka and Tomoko Watanabe defeated Alundra Blayze, Chaparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue and Sakie Hasegawa
4 – Elimination Match: Bodydonna Skip, 1-2-3 Kid, Rad Radford and Dr. Tom Prichard defeated Marty Jannetty, Barry Horowitz, Hakushi and Bob Holly
5 – Elimination Match: The Undertaker, Fatu, Henry Godwinn and Savio Vega defeated Mabel, Jerry Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Isaac Yankem
6 – Goldust defeated Bam Bam Bigelow
*DISCLAIMER* The Top 10 rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comments. New arrivals to the Top 10 are in bold.
1 – WWF Championship No Disqualification Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Diesel (c) – Survivor Series 1995
2 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) and Bret “Hitman” Hart battle to a draw – Royal Rumble 1995
3 – Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Shawn Michaels (c) defeated Razor Ramon – SummerSlam 1995
4 – WWF Championship Match: Diesel (c) defeated Shawn Michaels – WrestleMania XI
5 – Wild Card Elimination Match: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog and Sid defeated Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, Owen Hart and Dean Douglas – Survivor Series 1995
6 – WCW World Championship Match: Hulk Hogan (c) beat Vader by disqualification – SuperBrawl V
7 – Bret “Hitman” Hart defeated Hakushi – In Your House 1
8 – Sting and Ric Flair beat Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman by disqualification – Halloween Havoc 1995
9 – WCW TV Championship: Arn Anderson (c) defeated Johnny B. Badd – Clash of the Champions XXX
10 – ECW Tag Team Championship 2-out-of-3 Falls Double Dog Collar Match: The Pitbulls defeated Raven and Stevie Richards (c) – ECW Gangsta’s Paradise
Up next on the 1995 schedule is WCW’s World War 3, set for Thanksgiving Day! Stay Tuned!