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Five reasons Survivor Series is WWE's most controversial and bizarre event
By Scott Fishman
WWE hosted its first Survivor Series in 1987 from the Richfield Coliseum.
Since that time the long-running Thanksgiving time event has become the most controversial and bizarre in the pay-per-view calendar.
Here are five reasons why:
THE TITLE CHANGES: The WWE championship has changed hands over the years at Survivor Series in the most controversial ways. In 1991, The Undertaker won the title for the first time with the help of Ric Flair and a steel chair. In 1994, Bret Hart lost the WWE title in a submission match after his brother Owen pleaded for their mother Helen to throw in the towel. She did, which led to Bob Backlund winning the championship in shocking fashion.
Perhaps the most controversial decision in not only Survivor Series, but WWE history happened in 1997. Bret Hart was defeated by Shawn Michaels in Montreal even though he never tapped or said, 'I quit' in the Sharpshooter submission hold. Earl Hebner called for the bell and created a riot-like scene. It was the Hitman's last night in WWE before jumping ship to WCW. This moment is still talked about, as it served as a catalyst for the WWE's creative direction in the years that followed.
In 1998, a similar ending would take place in the finals of the WWE championship tournament. The Rock became the McMahon "Corporate Champion" defeating Mankind. A year later a car hit "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, forcing WWE to name a replacement in the triple threat match with Triple H and The Rock. The Big Show used it as his opportunity and won his first WWE title.
GOBBLEDY GOOKER: I don't know if tthere has ever been a more bizarre moment in Survivor Series history than watching the Gobbledy Gooker hatch from his egg. "Mean" Gene Okerlund deserved a WWE Hall of Fame induction having to make something out of the whole ordeal and dance with the costumed Hector Guerrero.
CHUCK NORRIS: A casket match is unique in itself when it involves The Undertaker and Yokozuna, but adding Chuck Norris in the mix put it over-the-top. Walker, Texas Ranger, did his job well as special enforcer when he took out the outside interference. The Undertaker was able to get his revenge on his rival. I almost put the Bill Clinton impersonator in this "celebrity area", but felt Norris' WWE appearance was just too awesome not to include.
HORNSWOGGLE vs. THE GREAT KHALI: Yes, this match actually happened. It was WWE's smallest versus WWE's biggest. Add in the fact Hornswoggle was revealed as Mr. McMahon's illegitimate some made it even more cringe-inducing. If you care, Khali won by disqualification. A close runner-up to this category was Jerry Lawler's Royal Family with Sleazy, Queasy and Cheesy battling Doink's Clowns R' Us team of Dink, Pink and Wink. You can't make this stuff up.
THE UNDERTAKER: It's hard to think of a more out there character in WWE over the years than The Undertaker. The legend made his WWE debut as the dominating force in the Million Dollar Team at the 1990 Survivor Series and has been making history ever since. His encounters with Mankind, Yokozuna and Vince McMahon himself in a Buried Alive match all had its share of bizarreness, controversy and excitement.
All of the elements that have made Survivor Series one of the WWE Universe's most beloved events.