Teams of five strive to survive! Or at least that’s how the original Survivor Series began in 1987. To combat Jim Crockett’s foray into Pay-Per-View with Starrcade Chi-Town Heat, Vince McMahon offered up the cable providers another option, but they would have to not only take it, but take WrestleMania IV as well and NOT broadcast Starrcade.
It was an event that could lead to all sorts of rivalries and wild match ups that you might not have ever seen anywhere else. While the teams weren’t always cohesive units, they definitely helped make for entertaining events. Here are the 10 best Survivor Series Teams of the ‘80s, ranked.
10 The Rude Brood - 1989
Four of the best heels ever combined forces to do battle with Roddy’s Rowdies at the third annual Survivor Series. Captained by Ravishing Rick Rude, The Rude Brood consisted of the Ravishing Hall Of Famer, the Fabulous Rougeau Brothers, and the legendary Mr. Perfect.
Rounded out by their respective managers, the Genius and Jimmy Hart, the team went on to win their match with Perfect as the sole survivor, keeping his perfect record.
9 Macho Man’s Team - 1987
As one half of the first ever Survivor Series match in history, the Macho Man and his team are also the first team to feature all eventual Hall Of Famers. Captained by Randy Savage, he led Ricky Steamboat, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Brutus The Barber Beefcake, and Jake The Snake Roberts into battle against the Honky Tonk Man and his team.
By the end, Honky was left alone to deal with Roberts, Steamboat, and Savage. Needless to say, the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time high tailed it from the ring.
8 The Hulkamaniacs - 1989
In the midst of his feud with the Human Wrecking Machine Zeus, Hulk Hogan had partnered up with his best Survivor Series squad ever to do battle with the Million Dollar Man and his Million Dollar Team, which consisted of Zeus and the Powers Of Pain. The Hulkamaniacs featured Jake The Snake and the Demolition.
The original idea was going to see the team carry out a ginormous python, which would have been a cool visual. While that didn’t happen, you’d seldom find a better team of babyfaces to walk into battle with.
7 Andre The Giant’s Team – 1987
There used to be an old Wendy’s slogan – “where’s the beef?” The beef was all over the ring in the main event of the inaugural Survivor Series event. In their first meeting since the mythic WrestleMania III main event; Hogan led his team into battle against a team captained by Andre The Giant.
Andre led Butch Reed, Rick Rude, King Kong Bundy, and the One Man Gang into the match. Not only did the team dominate and win, but Hogan was such a sore loser that he came back after the match and assaulted Andre with his title belt. The crowd ate up the dastardly act anyway as Hogan posed as if he won the match.
6 The Ultimate Warriors – 1989
Just their pre-match promo alone adds The Ultimate Warriors to this list. The then-Intercontinental Champion waged war against the Heenan Family and brought Jim The Anvil Neidhart and the Rockers with him.
The Warrior gave one of his usual unintelligible promos, and brought his teammates along for the ride while wrapping them all up together with tape signifying, they were unified as one or something to that extent.
5 Demolition’s Team - 1987
The first event featured a massive tag team contest pitting five teams against five teams. It might have been hard to shoot and showcase 20 different superstars, but that made for a unique experience. Captained by Demolition, their team took on Strike Force’s team.
The Demos walked into war with several great tag teams of the era - the Bolsheviks, the Dream Team (Greg Valentine and Dino Bravo), the Islanders, and the Hart Foundation. The babyfaces ended up eking out the win, but they had to contend with a powerhouse of a team.
4 The Powers Of Pain’s Team - 1988
While the captains themselves turned heel at the end of the match, the Powers Of Pain were still the sole survivors for their team. The second Survivor Series saw them captain a team that featured not one but three legendary tag teams - The Rockers, The British Bulldogs, and The Hart Foundation.
Rounded out by the then-up and coming Young Stallions all helped to make the second 800 man tag team survival match a success.
3 The Enforcers - 1989
While no one on this team was a bonafide megastars, The Enforcers were one of the more solid teams in early Survivor Series history. Led by the Big Boss Man, the Enforcers faced off against Dusty Rhodes and his Dream Team.
The team had sound workers like Boss Man, Bad News Brown, Honky Tonk Man, and Rick Martel and only imploded because Bad News Allen doesn’t play well with others.
2 The Fabulous Moolah’s Team - 1987
The very first event also featured a women’s match. Besides being led by The Fabulous Moolah, her team featured just about every popular young, up and coming female talent of the day.
She had following her into battle Velvet McIntyre (no relation to Drew), former Women’s champ, Rockin’ Robin, and an amazing tag team from Japan - the Jumping Bomb Angels. It was one of their few appearances stateside for the company, but it was enough to make them very popular.
1 The Heenan Family - 1989
Strangely enough, it took three years to spend Thanksgiving with the family. The Heenan Family was an official team heading into the 1989 event. Led by Andre, the team featured Haku, Double A Arn Anderson, and Bobby Heenan himself; subbing for Tully Blanchard.
Even without the other half of the Brain Busters, any team captained by Andre The Giant is a devastating force to be reckoned with. The family still fell victim to the Ultimate Warrior and his band of schitzos but paper, it’s always nice to spend turkey day with the family.