Survivor Series is one of the "big four" WWE pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Royal Rumble. This chronology first started in 1987, and over three decades later, Survivor Series continued to provide fans with plenty of unforgettable and historic moments.
Unfortunately, the last 10 years Survivor Series shows have been marred by some very lackluster and forgettable main event matches.
Every few years or so, we're treated to a Survivor Series classic, but as you'll see here, the bulk of the last 10 main events haven't been all that exciting. It's time to rank the last 10 Survivor Series pay-per-views from worst to first.
10 Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (2016)
In terms of general fan excitement and overall hype, this was certainly one of the most memorable matches in recent memory. It featured Goldberg's first WWE match in over 12 years, and the fans in Toronto were electrifying in his return.
In regards to overall match quality, this was as lackluster as it could get. In a surprise upset, Goldberg squashed Lesnar in 1:26 after hitting him with the spear and Jackhammer finishing maneuvers.
It was really cool to have Goldberg back, but if you take his return out of the picture, there wasn't much to enjoy about this match.
9 Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (2018)
Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles were originally slated to square off at Survivor Series 2018 for the second straight year. However, Daniel Bryan defeated the latter to win the WWE Championship - thus inserting himself in the main event against Lesnar in a champion vs. champion match.
Problem was, Bryan had just turned heel after dethroning Styles, so fans couldn't really get behind either guy. Not only that, but it was pretty obvious the entire time that Lesnar was going to win.
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair would have been a much better main event match, given where both were standing as main eventers.
8 Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus (2015)
In the original main event, Roman Reigns defeated long-time friend and former Shield partner Dean Ambrose to become the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion. However, Sheamus emerged soon after to cash in his Money in the Bank contract.
With that, the Celtic Warrior defeated Reigns in less than a minute to become the new Champion, putting a sour end to what was a career-changing moment for Reigns. Due to the nice twist and surprise factor, we'll avoid placing this one at the bottom.
7 Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown (2017)
Team Raw was made up by Braun Strowman, Triple H, Finn Balor, Kurt Angle, and Samoa Joe. They clashed against Team SmackDown, which featured Shane McMahon, John Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and Bobby Roode.
With so much star power in this match, the hype was huge. Given the long history of elimination tag matches, fans expected the match to go down to the very wire.
That did not happen. Shane O'Mac was all on his own against Strowman, Triple H, and Angle. In a perplexing move, The Game betrayed and eliminated Angle before he could finish off Shane. Finally, the Cerebral Assassin put away his brother-in-law to win the match for Team Raw.
How on earth did any of that make sense? At least the first 15 to 20 minutes weren't so bad?
6 Randy Orton vs. Big Show (2013)
There wasn't really a whole lot to love about this match. To be honest, this only comes in at sixth because the previous ranked main events were simply worse.
Randy Orton faced the World's Largest Athlete in a WWE Championship match, and really, there wasn't much hype going into it. Orton came away victorious in a lackluster match that barely made it to 11 minutes.
It's anybody's guess why WWE didn't put John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio or The Wyatt Family vs. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in the main event spot instead.
5 Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett (2010)
At least there was a strong stipulation in which John Cena would have been fired if Wade Barrett had lost to Orton in the WWE Championship match. Sure enough, the Viper emerged the victor and Cena was "fired".
As everybody in the world predicted, this turned out to be a silly storyline. Cena was later reinstated by WWE, even defeating Barrett at the ensuing TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view.
4 John Cena vs. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (2009)
Raw special guest hosts Kurt Bush and Joey Logano pitted D-Generation X members Triple H and Shawn Michaels in a triple threat match against John Cena for the WWE Championship.
It was obvious for the most part that Cena would come away victorious since Triple H and Shawn Michaels were working as a duo in the tag team division. Nevertheless, the match still moved at a pretty good pace overall and seeing three of WWE's premier superstars of the 21st century provided plenty of entertainment for the nostalgic crowd.
3 John Cena & The Rock vs. Awesome Truth (2011)
This marked The Rock's first WWE match since 2004; he had been gone from the company for seven years to embark on an illustrious career in Hollywood. That said, that was not the main reason why we give this main event a high ranking.
The actual match itself was terrific in terms of pace, technicality, and execution. All four superstars put together perhaps their best performances of the year. The main event here received plenty of strong reviews, and rightfully so.
The Rock's return to the WWE more than lived up to the hype.
2 Team Cena vs. Team Authority (2014)
Team Cena had to win this match, otherwise, all five members (Cena, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, and Big Show) would be fired from WWE. Had Team Authority lost (Kane, Rusev, Mark Henry, Luke Harper, and Seth Rollins), then The Authority would have been removed from power.
Only Rollins and Ziggler remained at the very end. Triple H attacked the official and Ziggler, leaving Team Cena at their mercy. Out of nowhere, Sting appeared for the very first time on WWE television. He stared down Triple H in the ring, executed the Scorpion Death Drop and helped Ziggler pin Rollins for the victory.
The overall match itself was excellent. The surprise ending and Sting's appearance awarded plenty of bonus points for this main event.
1 John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Ryback (2012)
Rather, it's the fact that this main event marked the debut of The Shield. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, and Seth Rollins came out of nowhere to attack Ryback and Cena, thus helping CM Punk retain his title.
Nobody knew it at the time, but two of those three - Reigns and Rollins - would become the new faces of WWE over the next several years. That historic and memorable debut alone made this one of the most incredible main events in Survivor Series history.