The traditional Survivor Series match has become a thrilling part of the penultimate weekend in November. As we get ever closer to the reality that either Team Cena or Team Authority will be out of a job by Monday, here’s a look at five Survivor Series teams that we wish could have been real:
The Movie Stars
There have been many wrestlers making the transition to acting in the last 15 years or so, with WWE Studios providing a perfect platform for wrestlers, who may not otherwise have been given an acting opportunity, to appear as the lead in one of their films . Sometimes it works out, with guys like John Cena getting a good number of solid film roles out of their wrestling career. Other times, not so much; see: Ted DiBiase Jr in The Marine 2. But for all the film promotion on Raw, we rarely get to see wrestlers appear as their characters to promote the films. With that in mind, The Movie Stars would be appearing and wrestling as their characters from their respective films.
The Rock as Hercules (Hercules): The Greek demigod Hercules is best known for carrying out The Twelve Labors, which included killing a Hydra and capturing Cerberus alive with no weapons, so a Survivor Series match should be nice and easy for him.
Batista as Drax The Destroyer (Guardians of the Galaxy): While the movie never explicitly says so, the comic book version of Drax was engineered with the sole purpose of killing the supervillain Thanos. Nicolas Cage help his opposing team if Drax were told that they stand between him and Thanos. Also, how amazing would it be to see Batista making his entrance flanked by Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Vin Diesel in a tree costume, and a raccoon being voiced by Bradley Cooper?
The Miz as Jake Carter (The Marine: Homefront): Homefront is the most successful Marine film in terms of DVD and Blu-Ray sales, and is the only one to get a sequel starring the same superstar. As the film that launched Miz’s movie career, it’s the ideal film to provide a character for this Survivor Series team, and tough Marine Jake Carter is the ideal person to be siding with Hercules and Drax in a fight.
Kane as Jacob Goodnight (See No Evil): Creepy serial killer Jacob Goodnight is certainly not someone that any WWE Superstar would want to see standing on the opposite apron. An imposing figure who has stacked up quite the body count across his two film appearances, Goodnight has even risen from the dead, meaning that it’s unlikely he could be easily eliminated.
Narcissistic heels with huge egos are a wrestling stalwart, and WWE has had its fair share. This team of selfish wrestlers almost included King Booker as its fourth member as the 2006 King of the Ring winner let power go to his head, but instead he’ll have to be content with being an alternate, for reasons which will become clear shortly.
Mr Perfect: When Curt Hennig made his return to WWE in the second half of 1988, it was marked by vignettes where Hennig claimed to be able to do anything perfectly, including catch his own Hail Mary pass and bowl a perfect game. When he made a return to in-ring competition, Mr Perfect was undefeated for over a year until he lost to Brutus Beefcake at Wrestlemania in April 1990. It is only fitting, then, that he would captain a perfect Survivor Series team.
Dolph Ziggler: Any t-shirt worn to the ring by “the Show-Off” Dolph Ziggler will tell you just how self-confident he is. Whether it’s his “You wish you could pull this off” or “Stealing the show… and your girlfriend”, Ziggler is not shy about singing his own praises. He is his generation’s answer to Mr Perfect, and would almost certainly be a part of his team.
“Dashing” Cody Rhodes: Cody Rhodes has had a series of incredible gimmicks since his time in Legacy. While Stardust has fallen flat in recent weeks, “Dashing” Cody Rhodes never did. A young man who would give out beauty tips to crowds and had to check how he looked in a titantron mirror during his entrance, Cody was as narcissistic as they come.
Tyler Breeze: The replacement for King Booker in this team is NXT’s Tyler Breeze. Known as “The King of Cuteville” and “Prince Pretty”, Breeze is obsessed with making sure he is #mmmgorgeous, even going to the lengths of having a selfie-styled entrance to make sure he can keep one eye on himself in his iPhone screen right up until it’s time to wrestle.
Given that WWE is an American corporation, it’s no surprise that they have employed a number of America-loving superstars. While names like Mark Henry (a US Olympian), and NXT’s Steve Cutler (an ex-Marine) could be included here, this team is made up of stars whose names are synonymous with the USA.
Kurt Angle: Kurt Angle won a gold medal in freestyle wrestling at the 1996 Olympic Games, despite having broken his neck during the trials. Treated as an American hero throughout his WWE run, Kurt Angle is, without question, deserving of a place in Team USA.
Jack Swagger: Like Kurt Angle, Swagger has an extensive amateur wrestling background, setting an NCAA record for most pins in a season with 30. What gives him his place in Team USA is his moniker: “The All-American American,” a nickname which has shaped the majority of his WWE career.
Jim Duggan: “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, the winner of the first ever Royal Rumble, is a true patriot. He is known for coming to the ring bearing an American flag, and every appearance he makes nowadays prompts a huge “U-S-A!” chant, a chant which would be perfect for Team USA.
Dusty Rhodes: The son of a plumber, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes is hardly an American hero. He is representative of the common working man who is living, as his nickname suggests, the American dream. The working man is a huge part of the nation of the USA, just like the current NXT trainer Dusty Rhodes is a huge part of Team USA.
The World’s Strongest Team
Certain WWE Superstars are known for their incredible feats of strength. Whether it’s Ryback shell-shocking two people at once, or Brock Lesnar superplexing Big Show and breaking the ring, there are some moments which leave the audience speechless. The World’s Strongest Team are made up of the kind of men who have the strength to throw their opponents around like ragdolls.
Mark Henry: Mark Henry is known for being “The World’s Strongest Man,” a title that he earned by winning the first ever Arnold Classic competition in 2002. On top of that, he still holds several weightlifting world records to this day. The man for whom this team is named is definitely worthy to be a part of it.
John Cena: For years, John Cena was known as being pound-for-pound the strongest man in WWE. He showed his strength time and again, with the most memorable showing being at Wrestlemania 25 when he lifted up both Edge and Big Show for an AA. His strength aside, John Cena is a man that any Survivor Series team should want as he is the master of overcoming odds, a vital attribute when he could end up at a 4-on-1 disadvantage.
Cesaro: The man who challenges John Cena for the strongest man, pound-for-pound, in the company, Cesaro may not weigh 400 pounds, but he can certainly lift up someone who does. His deadlift superplexes are impressive every time he pulls one out, and equally impressive was his big moment at Wrestlemania 30 when he won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal by bodyslamming Big Show over the top rope to the floor.
Big E: Like Mark Henry, Big E was a record-setting powerlifter before transitioning to pro wrestling. In official competition, he set a bench press record of 529 lbs; a record which he then broke in John Cena’s gym by bench pressing 575 lbs, which was featured in a video package about the gym for WWE TV in the build-up to Wrestlemania 28. Since he set that record in a gym and not in a competition, it is not an official record; but it is still impressive enough to place him on The World’s Strongest Team.
For every hero, there is a villain. This is as true in wrestling as it is in any other area of pop culture. Just like in other forms of media, some pro wrestling villains are bigger than others. The Mega-Heels are a team of WWE Superstars who have become the most hated man in the company at some point.
Brock Lesnar: Where else to start than with the man who broke the Undertaker’s undefeated Wrestlemania streak? Brock Lesnar literally stunned the Wrestlemania 30 crowd into silence when he hit Undertaker with a third F5 for the pinfall victory, and ended the greatest streak in sports entertainment history. Not long after that, Lesnar would brutalize John Cena at SummerSlam 2014 to win the WWE World Heavyweight title. As far as Cena and Undertaker fans were concerned, Brock Lesnar is the worst villain of the year in 2014.
Seth Rollins: The only person who comes close to challenging Lesnar for villain of the year is Seth Rollins. His work as a heel has been hit and miss at times, but his turn made him the most hated man in the world of pro wrestling. Seth Rollins was the man who broke up The Shield. He turned on Ambrose and Reigns, and immediately became a true Mega-Heel.
CM Punk: There are so many examples of CM Punk being a great heel, but the reason he is a part of this team is his work as the leader of the Straight Edge Society. Described as “Charles Manson meets the antichrist", CM Punk’s run as the straight edge savior earned him copious amounts of heat wherever he went. Fans would throw drinks at him at house shows. One 70+ year old woman screamed “You are the devil!” at him at a Kentucky house show. He even interrupted a birthday party for Rey Mysterio’s young daughter. When given creative freedom, CM Punk can make anyone hate him.
Shawn Michaels: The fourth name on this list remains a Mega-Heel to this day in Canada, and particularly in Montreal. The reason is a huge part of Survivor Series history, so it seems only fitting for it to close out this article. In Montreal, at Survivor Series 1997, Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart out of the WWE Championship. Michaels had Hart locked in the Sharpshooter, when Vince called for the bell and had Michaels declared champion. The now-infamous “Montreal Screwjob” made Shawn Michaels into a Mega-Heel, and gives him the final spot on this team.