On the eve of the 2013 edition of Survivor Series, I thought I’d reminisce about the worst teams that have competed in the Thanksgiving Tradition. Because a bunch of shit-arses coming together is still more interesting than a PPV having no teams at all.


More after the jump!


The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer & Jim Brunzell (1988)




Picking a bad 80s team is hard, because even teams with slugs like Hercules on their side had an Andre or a Harley Race to balance it out. It was a golden era for WWF, so let’s just pick this team and get to the real shitters.


Warrior and pre-injury Beefcake make up the good bits (and they got their own screen, in a ”we’re all equal on this team but some of us are more equal than others” kind of thing’).


Sam ”half-brother of Jake Roberts” Houston turned out to be nothing more than an answer to a trivia question. (That question being ”who the fuck was Sam Houston and who was he related to to get on this PPV?”), Blue Blazer wasn’t anything good in 1988 (were cool people shouting ”blue blazes!” in 1988? Maybe at Sam Houston) and tag-team wrestler Brunzell was only there as a last-minute substitute for Don Muraco. So he was good at passing the ”has he showed up?” test.


Houston was feuding with Danny Davis (who was on t’other team)  and you can tell how important that feud was as Davis was the first to be eliminated. After a minute and eighteen seconds.


By Beefcake.


The Alliance (Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana & The Bushwhackers) (1990)


OK, we’ve peaked. Or bottomed, whichever.


I know the other team isn’t exactly GOAT material (The Orient Express were good when they wanted to be and Slaughter had a moustache), but Volkoff’s face-turn was bad enough to make Slaughter add Saddam Hussein on FaceBook rather than accept Volkoff as a peer. Can’t really blame him, the man was born forty years old. Directly being responsible for the business-declining Wrestlemania VII would be bad enough, but when you throw in The Bushwhackers and Boris ”Worst Russian since Kevin Nash in The Punisher” Zhukov and you have the Die Another Day of Survivor Series teams.


The match was cut like Flair’s forehead for the VHS release. ”You’re welcome, comrade” said Coliseum Home Video.


Col. Mustafa, The Berserker, Skinner & Hercules (1991)


CHRIST.


OK, Sheik was a spent farce by 1991, only around because of residue from Slaughter vs. America (yeah, a year later and he’s waving the flag and fighting foreigners again. He switched alliances with such frequency he should have been a Metal Gear Solid character).


Skinner was from the Cajun Branch of the Ethnic Jobber Division, Berserker was mildly entertaining (and had a nice theme song) and Hercules was only ever good when teaming with Paul Roma. (Think about that for a second)


Herc was a replacement for ‘Big Bully’ Busick, in what would have made his only PPV appearance (He’s the one with the almighty cockduster). People might remember the under-rated character a bit more today if it hadn’t been for Hercules so fuck you Herc. I’m glad Heenan sold you to DiBiase like the world’s shittest Django impersonator.


The Four Doinks (1993)


Doink had a really good 1993: He wrestled engaging matches with Marty Jannetty, Mr. Perfect and ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage on Raw and was generally an entertaining heel.


Then they turned him face. And shit.


During this time, the good bad Doink (Matt Borne) quit rather than ruin the character with a dwarf sidekick. Good for him and his morales, but that’s probably one of the reasons we got this match. Maybe they were worried people would realise the new Doink wasn’t the real Doink (unlikely, but it’s great thinking about kids going THAT’S NOT THE REAL DOINK, I WANT A REFUND), maybe they wanted to poke fun at the fact multiple people played Doink as an in-joke to the dozens of 1993 online fans (more Bischoff’s thing) or maybe Vince McMahon’s humour sucks (aye, it’s this one. The man allegedly lists Wild Hogs as one of his favourite films.)


Men on a Mission and The Bushwhackers made up the Doinks because Mabel wrestled like he was wearing clown shoes anyway.


Shawn Michaels & His Knights (1993)


I’m sure most know people reading this will know the backstory but just in case: This was scheduled to be Hart vs. Lawler (hence ‘The Knights’, God knows why they didn’t change it to Shawn Michaels And His Sexy Boys. Probably common sense) as the next chapter of The Feud That Would Not Die, but then Lawler was accused of statuary rape and the company went into full-on Benoit mode and pretended he never existed. Lawler returned a short time later with the charges dropped and nothing more was said. HBK was inserted into Lawler’s place, having had that great match with Bret the previous year.


Shame his team was The Shits.


The Knights all resembled colour-swapped mini-bosses but sadly lacked distinguishing features like Water Breath or Fire Eyes which would have been cool. The only interesting thing about them was that for years Kane was reported to have played one of The Knights, when the only way he could have physically resembled them would have been if he’d wrestled on his knees with his shoes sticking out like Inspector Clouseau. They were (apparently) Barry Horowitz, Greg Valentine and Jeff Gaylord. They were never seen again so they may as well have all called themselves Benjamin Briggs.


Anyway, they all lost and the amazing Owen/Bret feud started here so every cloud has a something something. Match also is notable for Heenan’s amazing commentary.


Clowns Are Us vs. Royal Family (1994)



Midgets + WWF – King Kong Bundy = No.


Vince’s comedy skills again.  Wild Hogs, people.


Jesse James, Aldo Montoya, Bob Holly & Bart Gunn vs. The Sultan, Justin Bradshaw, Salvatore Sincere & Billy Gunn (1996)






Take your pick, both teams could have the caption ”WWF in 1996” spray-painted over them repeatedly.


Described by Scott Keith as ”The Elephant Graveyard of bad gimmicks”, everybody bar Tom Brandi would go onto long-time success in WWF (”success” for Montoya translating as ”being employed”). Back then, Double J was Jarrett’s stooge, Aldo was…whatever the hell he was supposed to be, Bob was SPARK PLUGG, Bart Gunn was Billy’s partner, Bradshaw was a Stan Hansen wannabe, The Sultan wasn’t even worthy of a screen-name, Sincere was an 1960s Italian Stereotype and Billy was er, Bart’s partner.


Match warmed up the crowd like a candle in a large room and featured such highlights as Bradshaw being eliminated via fuck-up.


The Truth Commission (The Jackyl, The Interrogator, Sniper, and Recon) (1997)


Apparently these goons had names. Thanks Google.


WWF teamed up Cyrus The Virus, Kurrgan, Rambo and Bull Buchanan to be as unexciting as possible for a few months.


Vince deemed it such a success they’d later reuse the formula for Nexus.


Kai En Tai, The Blue Meanie & The Big Show (1999)



The funniest of the bad teams listed here, Big Show decided to beat up his team mates in the locker room during Sunday Night Heat as he wanted to get his own hands on Big Boss Man for casket-stealing.


Show then destroyed his opponents until Boss Man did a runner because that’s what made a feud in 1999.


Road Dogg, K-Kwik, Billy Gunn and Chyna (2000)



Black Flag were an amazing punk band that like all great bands, had creative differences and ended up splitting. In 2003, they reunited for a a few charity shows with only the drummer being a member of the original band and the vocalist being one of the guys from Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2.


This team reminded me of those reunion shows as the ashes of D-Generation-X were knocked out of the urn and sucked up the hoover. Road Dogg in dungarees, K-Kwik as a completely out of place rapper (no change there then), Still-Legally-Female Chyna and The One Who’s Losing To Benoit On The Next PPV, Billy Gunn.


Their opponents were The Radicalz, so this match has the dubious honour of having the biggest talent gap between two teams.


Brock Lesnar, The Big Show, Matt Morgan, Nathan Jones & A-Train (2003)


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Bork and Big are the best members of a team that should have been called Jim Ross’ Hosses.


A-Train’s back had X-Pac heat (the rest of him had none), Morgan was a gimmick based around a stutter (Edit: I was giving them too much credit, the stutter gimmick came in 2005…so the only thing he had in 2003 was ‘facial hair’) and they hired Nathan Jones before checking if he could wrestle or not.


Appropriate that this PPV was sponsored by the original Xbox: the biggest, heaviest console of all time.


Team Spirit Squad (Kenny, Johnny, Nicky and Mikey) (2006)


Fuck no. Raw 2006 was as bad as SmackDown 2006 was good. And SmackDown was very good.


Then again, we got Ziggler out of it. Which is like saying ”well, we got the cure for polio out of World War Two so it wasn’t that bad.”


Mae Young, The Fabulous Moolah, Tori and Debra vs. Ivory, Luna, Jacqueline and Terri Runnels (1999)


Mickie James, Maria, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool and Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix, Jillian Hall, Melina, Victoria and Layla (2007)


Team Raw (Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, and Jillian Hall) (with Santino Marella) vs. Team SmackDown (Michelle McCool, Victoria, Maria, Maryse, and Natalya) (2008)


Team Mickie (Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Melina, Gail Kim, and Eve Torres) vs. Team Michelle (Michelle McCool, Jillian Hall, Beth Phoenix, Layla, and Alicia Fox) (2009)


Team Total Divas (Natalya, The Bella Twins, The Funkadactyls, Eva Marie & JoJo) defeated Team True Divas (AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Kaitlyn, Alicia Fox, Rosa Mendes, Aksana and Summer Rae)


Yeah, all female matches post-1999. All of them.


The 1999 match is made up of mostly horrible female wrestlers and the other ones blend together to the point where I can’t tell most of the Divas apart, never mind the matches. (I like the blonde one with big tits).


They always deliver for Botchamania though, so the glass is half-full. (It’s been a year and I have no clue who JoJo was.)


Honourable Mentions…



  • British Bulldog & The Mean Street Posse (1999) A lot of people demanded this team, but The Posse were supposed to suck so I can’t include them for being good at what they did. Bulldog in jeans was a sad, sad time though.

  • Right To Censor (2000) An in-joke at the expense of the viewer’s entertainment. Buchanan just bounced from great team to great team. He was probably one of The Knights too. And The Fifth Doink.

  • Team Alliance (2001) Because when you think WCW and ECW, you think Steve Austin, Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon. Great match though.

  • Every team that failed to eliminate a single member of the opposing team, so The Vipers (1990),  Team Mustafa (1990, again), Team Bam Bam (1993),  Clowns Are Us (1994, again),  The Royals (1995) and Team Rated RKO (2006)

  • Every Survivor Series PPV with no Team Matches, dammit.

  • Note from 2014: Man, I had hoped for this article to be updated as they did more team matches but they kinda gave up on that. We had to settle for Orton vs. Show instead.


 


What are your thoughts on Survivor Series and shit teams?

  • Barry Soetoro

    Matt Morgan did not have the stuttering gimmick in 2003.

  • ..

  • CalrissianFSteele

    Sam Houston was also in Wrestlemania 4.

    • Holy shit, well done for knowing that. You’re right and the article is corrected.

      • CalrissianFSteele

        never question my short term jobber knowledge. 🙂

  • To my recollection, Big Show was teaming with Kai En Tai and the Blue Meanie because he wanted to face all 4 guys on Bossman’s team by himself but was told he needed to have partners. He refused to recruit any so he was “given” Taka, Funaki and Meanie as partners (because rules are rules, and it has to be 4 on 4). Big Show beat them up, the match became 4 on 1 just like he wanted. Meanie and Kai En Tai got needlessly buried on PPV, and Vince probably had a little chuckle at watching the fat boy and the 2 Asians getting thrown around a locker room by the biggest guy in the company. The End.

    • Mitch_tiday

      What was wrong with Bulldog in jeans? : (

      • Sejanoz

        During the time he was a jean-wearer (1999-2000), he was a drug addicted shell of his former self. 🙁

        • Meekrob

          Also they never actually bothered to come up with a kayfabe reason why he wrestled wearing jeans. (The actual reason being to hide his knee braces. I don’t know why he didn’t just start wearing baggy pants like Michaels or Mysterio.)

          • Adam Curry

            Or just not bother hiding them. Austin spent most of his WWF career with a huge knee brace, didn’t seem to do him any harm.

          • CMfunk

            haha and they started calling him the bionic redneck.  id rather have knee braces then cody rhodes’s tights with no kneepad look. good god that was awkward

          • Hesatool

            I think it had to do with his “hardcore” gimmick.  If I remember correctly, that’s about the only title he ever wrestled for and he dressed (in)appropriately.

          • cp

            Yeah, but he was wearing skinny jeans, so how exactly could they have hid them?

  • The Big Show team was because he refused to have any partners, so whoever the authority figure was at the time assigned him three jobbers to make up the numbers, much to his annoyance.

  • Codster9

    Shawn Michaels:  The original “Steven Richards” (if you know what I mean).

  • Slambino

    That’s not Hercules. Hercules would have been a MASSIVE improvement over .. Bully Busiek 

    I mean – look at the moustache – you blew the spot !

    • Slambino

      RFTA – I’m shamed

  • Boy Fem

    Wow I completely forgot that R-Truth was in WWE back then. He certainly came a long way.

    • I only remembered K-Kwik from that time because I got to see him in a dark match on the first Raw on TNN. He wrestled Pete Gas, which was a surprisingly fun match.

    • CMfunk

      i didnt like him because i felt he tried too hard to do innovative moves and ended up botching way too much. seems he cleaned up his style though

  • Meekrob

    Sure, the Bulldog-Posse team sucked but consider their opponents: the totally random team of Steve Blackman, Mark Henry, Val Venis, and Gangrel.

    • They weren’t random, they were all European title contenders who wanted Bulldog’s belt.

      • stingersplash

        yeah right….. infact on the ppv itself i seem to remember JR saying the team had ”seemingly nothing in common” i still loved the team though. that SS99 is one of my fave SS events and had more elimination matches than any ppv since. granted it also had 5 non elimination matches and it seemed they got every wrestler on the roster a match on the show, but sometimes that is ok. and watching d’lo brown try and not burst into tears at seeing the headbangers come out as pimps in ‘fros was awesome. also i believe for the 2nd or 3rd year (after 96 and 97) that bradshaw was pinned in a botched way.

    • ColeYote

      I think the fact that 3/4 of them are awesome blances that out.

  • save_us_DaJ

    Survivor Series 2000 wasn’t Road Dogg’s final PPV, he teamed with K-Kwik again at Armageddon in the tag team title match.

    Also this is the 2nd article I’ve seen recently refer to that team (Chyna, Gunn, RD & K-Kwik) as D-X, but I cannot for the life of me remember that team ever being billed as DX.
    I do remember Triple H teamed with Chyna, Gunn & RD on an episode of Raw a few weeks before (I believe it could have been the episode he was revealed to be the one really behind Rikishi running Austin over, or it was when Rikishi & Austin had a cage match) and they did bill that team as DX (they even came out to their enterance music), but never the Survivor Series team

    • 1. You’re right about the ‘last PPV appearance’ bit.

      2. That’s why I used the name D-X In Name Only. Which now that I think about it is slightly mis-leading. But yeah, they were definitely not announced as D-X.

  • Joey R.

    Is that Bradshaw behind Angle? His hair threw me off.

    • Yes, with Hardcore Holly. Truly an inspired team.

      • Deepthroat Ghoul

        Also, Faarooq was supposed to be on Angle’s team in 2003, but was bumped for Cena.

        • MaffewOfBotchamania

          Really? Shit, never heard that before.

          • Deepthroat Ghoul

            Well, now you do.

  • “Skinner was from the Australian Branch of the Ethnic Jobber Division”

    Skinner was not supposed to be an Australian.  In real life he was Steve Keirn, from Florida, who was portraying a Florida Everglades backwoods redneck.

    • Really? But his finisher was the Boomerang and everything. Shows what I know.

      • He had a finisher?

        • HangTheDJ

          It usually involved him lying flat on his back with his opponent on top of him

      • Ryan

         Wasn’t his finisher The Gatorbreaker? Which was an inverted DDT. Maybe I’m missing the joke.

        • I was wrong as fuck. Again.

          • Deepthroat Ghoul

            And don’t forget, Steve Keirn went on to play Doink II at WrestleMania IX.

  • Hellgoat

    watched a sam houston match on WWE classics earlier this week…possibly the worst i’ve ever seen…barry horowitz had to try extra hard to put him over…

    • J Smith

      I remember that Sam Houston had a feud with heel-referee-turned-heel-wrestler-that-was-just-Mister-X-without-a-mask Danny Davis. They had a match on TV and, to date, it was one of the oddest matches I’ve ever seen. The just rolled around on the mat punching each other like two kids fighting on the playground. There may not have been a single wrestling move, but there was no rest holds, either.

      • Bob

        That’s Dangerous Danny Davis to you, mister. He was subject to running with scissors or sticking a fork in an electrical outlet.

        • J Smith

          Long before the Internet, I figured out that Danny Davis was Mister X…not quite sure what first clued me in…I think it was the t-shirt that Danny Davis wore when wrestling, which covered up Mister X’s tattoo.
          Similarly, Big Machine’s USMC tattoo made it totally obvious that he was Blackjack Mulligan.

  • “Every Survivor Series PPV with no Team Matches, dammit.”

    Does that include 1998, then?

    • ’98 is the exception because the PPV-long story worked so well. Russo’s greatest moment.

      • HangTheDJ

        98 was awful. Duane Gill (not even Gillberg). Trips replaced by the Boss Man (who’d already wrestled and lasted 3 seconds against Rocky). Al Snow was in the tournament. Sable “wrestled” Jacqueline (I can’t remember if there was a nip-slip in this one?). The finish was good storytelling, but the only highlight of the rest of the card was Regal’s sole PPV appearance as a real man’s man.

        • The whole event is a great story, regardless of the quality of wrestling.

          • CMfunk

            I agree.  its not often we have a one night tournament for a vacated world title.  series of matches….one champion…one survivor.  truly a survivor series

          • Bob

            I wonder if they called an audible during the PPV when Shane came out and screwed Stone Cold. After Shane flipped Austin the bird, Shane appeared to give Austin instructions when Shane bolted to the outside of the ring and Austin didn’t seem to know what to do (go after Shane or what).

  • The Doinkter

    As I recall the four Doinks joined together because they were all taken out of their respective timelines to play  the Game of Rassilon. 

    • I got and liked this reference. There’s a stone statue of Bigelow in Titan Towers with eyes that seem to move around…

  • Damn this was a fun read.

  • Joey

    Great list Maffew!  very entertaining and funny as always

  • If only they had a gimmick attached to Michaels that would be appropriate for a team name to fight the Hart family. Heartbreakers maybe? Nah, better just stick with knights.

  • franktownmarsh

    One of my best friends worked for Big Bully Busick while we were in college two years ago in the Pittsburgh area. When asked about why he quit the WWF so fast, Bully said the travel was just too much, especially since he had just had a son (wasn’t on TV much, but worked a ton of house shows to that point). Bully ended up as a state cop, runs his own small time MMA promotion, and has his own nutrition company. McMahon had Whippleman as his manager (who he hated), so Bully’s WWF stint was doomed from the start

  • Confused

    Why do you hate Billy Gunn so much Maffew?

    • Ryan

       Because he prefers to think of himself as “The One” Maffew Gunn.

  • Ale

    Jumpin` Jim Brunzell was one of the better wrestlers ever*, and giving him a random push was awesome, so phooey to you.

    *Proof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hcteuzfs4to

    No other toy can do a crossbody like Brunzell (or is it Blair?).

    (Actually, the real proof is that the bee`s signature move was a double hip attack; I`ve never actually seen them doing anything like that, but eh, it`s supposed to be offisial zo wat. Besides he was the best at dropkicking people).

  • Ale

     Jumpin` Jim Brunzell was one of the better wrestlers ever*, and giving him a random push was awesome, so phooey to you.

    *Proof:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

    No other toy can do a crossbody like Brunzell (or is it Blair?).

    (Actually, the real proof is that the bee`s signature move was a
    double hip attack; I`ve never actually seen them doing anything like
    that, but eh, it`s supposed to be offisial zo wat. Besides he was the
    best at dropkicking people).

  • I’m sure some of these teams could have made your list, had they ever been put together in real life:

    http://art0donnell.blogspot.com/2012/11/survivor-series-teams-that-never-were.html

    By the way, thanks for plugging me, Maffew. I’m returning the favor by plugging myself.

  • ColeYote

    “Appropriate that this PPV was sponsored by the original Xbox, the biggest, heaviest console of all time.”

    Try the 3DO.

    • ColeYote

      Sorry, meant to say CD-I.

    • ColeYote

      Sorry, meant to say CD-I.

    • Adam Curry

      Or the Atari 5200.

  • Golf Wang

     “Every Survivor Series PPV with no Team Matches, dammit.”

    Even 2002?

    • CMfunk

      is that the one with the first elimination chamber at msg?  at the time i thought that was one of the best ppvs ever.

      • Brennan

        Yep and technically it had a team match Jeff, Spike and Bubba vs 3 Minute Warning and Rico granted Tables match still elimination though plus the Chamber match itself was elimination so I say it’s exempt much like 1998

        • Deepthroat Ghoul

          Also, the three way tag match for the SmackDown Tag-Team Titles was contested under elimination rules.

  • I agree.  Survivor Series should have Team matches only.

  • BRONCO

    Are you drunk stupid idiot ???

    The Alliance Team (2001) was a great team with Shane O, Austin and Angle (no body cares about you said kid mind). The worthless was happen thanks by Vinnie Mac when kill this angle. So, shut the f**k up next time.

  • Rock122883

    Team Mustafa was in 1991 not 1990

  • Joshreed1997

    if i were big show i would have done the same thing. at least he won his first wwf title later

  • zerotolerance

    U forgot that Thrown Together team that fought Bulldog Posse at Survivor Series 1999. I think JR billed them as the Heterosexuals lol.

  • Reverend Liam Reilly

    The worst part about the Bulldog & MSP vs Gangrel, Blackman, Henry and…whoever the 4th guy was match at S/S 1999, was that the Posse were the best part of it.

    • Deepthroat Ghoul

      Probably because of Joey Abs, who was the best wrestler out of all three MSP members.

  • Meekrob

    Matt Borne didn’t quit, he was fired for failing a drug test.

  • Mistertbones

    Big Bully Busick! I’m guessing he had just left Global by the time he was in WWF! Sam Houston went on to have more success in the GWF.

  • Andy Revell

    Normally, out of a sense of self preservation, I don’t question anything Sheik does, but was it really necessary for him to hammer home his cheap heat gimmick by carrying a prayer mat?

  • Esequiel Mark Gonzales

    We got Ziggler out of The Spirit Squad and we SHOULD have gotten “The Giant Killer” Mike Mondo out of it as well. WWE damn near killed the careers of all five of those wrestlers (they only killed two; Kenny and Mitch) with that gimmick; especially when DX basically took one gigantic dump on them (both literally and figuratively) and “mailed them to OVW”. All five of those guys were FANTASTIC workers and they at least tried to make everything work, but you just can’t shake a gimmick like that

  • Bob

    The Blazer was over. He brought a lot of high flying, high impact moves that the US audience likely had never seen before.

  • Bob

    And any team with Scott Casey on it is worse.

  • Francisco Plaza Gajardo

    Team WWE Legends in 2006 would be a great team in the ’80, but not during the 2000’s

  • MPT

    Hey Wild Hogs is a great movie!

  • MaffewIsGod

    Was Smackdown really better than Raw in 2006 ? Raw had the Edge/Cena feud and Smackdown had Khali/Taker ….

  • Michael hinegardner

    I did like most of the WWE Survivor Series teams but a few could have been better. In Survivor Series 1993 i would change the 4 Doinks to Have Doink to wrestle keep Men on a Mission and the 4 wrestler i would put on the team either Virgil or Hacksaw Jim Duggan. In Survivor Series 1999 i still feel is that The Big Show should let his teammates out there with him so if the Big Boss Man was the last one in the if he tries to get counted out his teammates would have gotten him and throw him back in the ring and Big Show would have gotten his hands on him get revenge .In Survivor Series 2007 Team Triple H i still say that they should have gotten a replacement to take Matt Hardys place because in past Survivor Series if a wrestler can’t make it to wrestle they would get a replacement. why they didn’t get that i don’t know but they should have gotten one in my opinion.

  • J Smith

    Since this is the most interest any Internet thread has EVER shown in Sam Houston, I have a question.
    Did Sam Houston and Baby Doll ever work together? I always found it odd that their professional lives never seemed to intertwine during their marriage. I don’t think they ever did an angle together.
    It’s interesting that while both of them were second-generation wrestlers and both of them were hot in the 80s, they both eventually totally got out of the business and went on to ordinary blue collar lives.