Survivor Series was this past weekend and for a lot of people that show is supposed to mean Thanksgiving. For many years it was a Thanksgiving (or Thanksgiving eve) event, but that was a long time ago. Before that Jim Crockett promotions used to run Starrcade on Thanksgiving every year until 1987 when WWF pulled a power play on them with Survivor Series that caused them to move the event to December, but that was an even longer time ago. In the old days there was something about Thanksgiving that fit in perfectly with wrestling. Now, it's more of a football holiday as the traditional two games has turned into an entire day worth of NFL and college games and wrestling doesn't mean what it once meant to Americans. Still, just because the Thanksgiving big show is a thing of the past doesn't mean that you can't watch wrestling on Thanksgiving. In fact, I do it every year.
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Sometimes you just want to talk wrestling, you know? I emailed my buddy Tom Holzerman of the Wrestling Blog for a talk about Survivor Series then and now, roster sizes, NXT and CM Punk. It was a good time, you should read it.
The wrestling that I remember most from my youth is when I was eleven and twelve years old. I'm talking old school WWF new generation. That period when Tatanka was undefeated, the Undertaker was a good guy feuding with Yokozuna and I had a styrofoam urn to support him, Randy Savage was an announcer, the Hart brothers were exploding, the 1-2-3 Kid was becoming a thing and Razor Ramon was the coolest man on Earth. (Don't judge me.) I still look back on this time as my absolute favorite time to be a wrestling fan and I suspect that it was Mike Quackenbush's favorite too based on the last two King of Trios. I think the time period from Survivor Series 1993 to Survivor Series 1994 was one of the best booked periods in WWE history that sadly ended at an MSG show after Survivor Series 1994. (Thanks a lot, Diesel.)
The Survivor Series matches during this time period meant something. Or at least Todd Pettengill's Survivor Series reports made me think they did.
WWF Survivor Series 1994 Report by TSteck160
The Hart Family vs. The King's Knights had been building since King of the Ring, the Foreign Fanatics vs. The All-Americans was a battle for our country's future (with just a dash of McMahon jingoism), even Doink's matches at these shows were well built and felt somewhat important. I think I always liked the Survivor Series style matches because of the way they can showcase wrestlers in a unique way much like the Royal Rumble. The opening match of the 1994 Survivor Series did just as much to make Diesel into a star as his showing in the 1994 Royal Rumble did. Survivor Series 1993 is probably the highlight of the 1-2-3 Kid's career and probably his longest match as well. 26 minutes! That's how you showcase your undercard guys. Heck, Survivor Series 2009 is the highlight of Kofi Kingston's career and probably always will be. I don't want to ever see the Survivor Series matches go away like Vince said they would back in 2010 (remember?) because they can do so much for young guys by just letting them do what they are paid to do and, honestly, undercard guys are my favorite to watch anyway. Always have been, always will be.
I know that you share my reverence for these matches so I don't have to sell you on them. Do you have any favorite matches or moments from Survivor Series? My favorite is either Diesel's absolute destruction at the 1994 event or the 1-2-3 Kid and Marty Jannetty's foreshadowing of King of Trios 2012 in 1993. I love a good underdog story. While we're here, do you think we can ever return to the days where these matches are allowed to do what they were originally intended to do?
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