10 Superstars pick their Survivor Series dream teams
Forget the space-time continuum for a second. Let’s ignore the possibility of stepping on a butterfly and altering the course of mankind or accidentally marrying our grandmother and pretend as though modern science has solved the mysteries of time travel for the sole purpose of creating really neat Survivor Series teams. What four Superstars would you recruit to partner with you at the fall classic if paradoxes and parallel universes weren’t an issue?
This is the conundrum WWE Classics posed to The Miz, Cody Rhodes and eight other Superstars in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series. Their answers ranged from first ballot WWE Hall of Famers to guys who were lucky enough to sneak their way into the WWE Encyclopedia, but every Superstar had a reason for their selections. So hop in the DeLorean with WWE Classics as we turn on the flux capacitor and blast our way through wrestling history. Ropes? Where we’re going, we don’t need ropes.
WWE fans might have expected The Miz to recruit underhanded rule breakers like Ric Flair and Roddy Piper for his dream Survivor Series team, but the former WWE Champion was more interested in nostalgia than notoriety when he quickly offered up The Rock, The Rockers and Ultimate Warrior.
Why a group of beloved WWE icons instead of a gang of nasty villains?
“The Rockers were my favorite tag team of all time,” The Awesome One said of the high-flying tandem of Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannety. “Ultimate Warrior was my favorite childhood guy. And The Rock was my favorite Superstar of the Attitude Era.”
Solid picks from The Miz, but WWE Classics imagines The Awesome One would end up screwing his team over in some way.
Booker T is no stranger to the fall classic, having competed in the landmark Team WWE vs. Team Alliance bout at Survivor Series 2001. But who would the ring great pick for his ultimate squad?
“First would be ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage,” the six-time World Champ told WWE Classics. “He could do it all. He could go up top, he had a hell of a ground game and, most importantly, he could just get into a fight.
“The second guy would be one of [Savage’s] all-time rivals, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat,” Booker continued. “I would pick Ricky because he’s a guy that had a never-say-die spirit. He’s always going to be in the fight.”
“From a diabolical standpoint, I would have to go with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, because no one ever got up from the DDT,” SmackDown’s General Manager said. “And the last man on my team would be for muscle purposes only — One Man Gang. He was a guy that could take care of business.”
Second-generation Superstar Cody Rhodes has one of the richest appreciations for sports-entertainment history in the WWE locker room, so WWE Classics wasn’t surprised when the former Intercontinental Champion selected a legendary squad of WWE Hall of Famers for his Survivor Series team. But Cody being Cody, his picks had a sinister edge.
“My team would consist of ‘The Nature Boy’ Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Harley Race and The Million Dollar Man,” Rhodes said.
If it seems like those names have something in common, it’s because all four men terrorized Cody’s father, Dusty Rhodes, during “The American Dream’s” fabled career.
“That’s the reason I want to use all four of them,” the twisted Superstar explained. “Because like Batman, you’re only as good as your rogues’ gallery.”
To the surprise of the WWE Classics team, Brodus Clay wasn’t looking to start a house party when he formed his dream Survivor Series team. Instead, the big man showed a keen interest in WWE history as he described a squad with proven success at the fall classic.
“My Survivor Series partners: Andre the Giant, The Islanders and Randy Savage,” The Funkasaurus said after a moment’s thought. “Andre beat [Hulk] Hogan’s team at Survivor Series  when Hogan was unbeatable. The Islanders wrestled against four other teams [at Survivor Series 1987] and almost won the thing. And Randy Savage, because he’s the ‘Macho King.’ ”
It was clear Clay had done his Survivor Series homework before picking his team, but he admitted there was still a little bit of funk behind his choices. “All of us look good in purple,” he said with his megawatt smile. “That’s why I’d put that team together.”
As the self-proclaimed “Intellectual Savior of the Masses,” Damien Sandow is the type of guy who is pretty selective about the company he keeps. No troglodytes. No philistines. No ignoramuses. Expect the same qualifications when it comes to the smug Superstar’s fantasy faction.
“If I was to captain a Survivor Series team, it would hold the likes of none other than Harley Race, Nick Bockwinkel, Bobby ‘The Brain’ Heenan and Lou Thesz,” Sandow said with all of his expected pomp and circumstance.
Clearly, the tag team specialist didn’t only chose competitors of the highest caliber when it comes to sports-entertainment, but also men he models himself after.
“All thinking men, all technicians, all have a proven track record of outsmarting their opponents.”
The gorgeous Kaitlyn must have watched “The Bad News Bears” before picking her team because an underdog story was clearly on her mind. “I’m going to put together a ragtag, rough around the edges team,” she insisted with a mischievous smile.
“We’re going to go with The Goodfather,” Kaitlyn stated, referring specifically to a brief era in the flamboyant Godfather’s career when he became a puritanical member of The Right to Censor. “Rico to add some flair and face paint; Gillberg, he was underrated I think; and Spike Dudley.”
Wildly unexpected picks all. But while Kaitlyn’s mismatched squad might look out of sorts on paper, the powerful Diva refused to be deterred, exclaiming: “We’d surprise the hell out of everyone!”
Tensai’s obsession with the country of Japan didn’t influence his dream Survivor Series team. Instead, the veteran focused on a group of ring generals who long ago earned the respect of their peers.
“My first Superstar would have to be ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson,” Tensai said, choosing the respected muscle of The Four Horsemen. “He was the man. He took care of business every time he went in that ring. He’s someone I’d always want on my team.”
“Second would be Ric Flair,” the devastating Superstar continued. “He knew how to get the crowd going and knew how to win. A winner on my team is very important.”
“Third is Mr. Perfect,” Tensai told WWE Classics. “I watched him as a child and wanted to be like him, because everything he did was crisp, clean and he knew how to win as well.”
“Finally, Andre the Giant — the best big man in the business,” the 360-pounder said, capping off his team. “He did what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it and how we wanted to do it. No one could stop that four right there.”
“I would captain The Sassy Rascals of Ultimate Warrior, Kofi Kingston, Tugboat and Alex ‘The Pug’ Porteau,” Hornswoggle told WWE Classics without being prodded for a team name. So how did this posse that could only have sprung from the mind of WWE’s resident leprechaun come together?
“Ultimate Warrior, because he’s a legend in the wrestling business. He was always my favorite growing up,” Hornswoggle said. “Kofi, because no one else has pyro and we need that for our team. Tugboat has the size — and a nice little hat on him, too.”
As for the obscure addition of Alex Porteau, an average amateur who barely made a dent in WWE in ’96?
“That’s just because I need five people.”
WWE Classics expected Antonio Cesaro to put together a Survivor Series team that could be described as “very European,” but much to our surprise, the United States Champion looked beyond his favorite continent when picking his Superstars.
“My Survivor Series team would have The Steiner Brothers, because there’s no better team,” Cesaro said of Rick and Scott Steiner, the powerful siblings who won tag titles in WWE, WCW and beyond.
“I would have Karl Gotch,” the Swiss Superstar continued, picking the legendary grappler who innovated his Neutralizer finishing maneuver. “He was a pure wrestler and he would help my team tremendously.”
Finally, Cesaro concluded with an unsurprising answer: “Ludvig Borga, for obvious reasons,” Cesaro said of the dangerous Superstar from Helsinki who competed in WWE in 1993. “He was amazingly European.”
Ricardo Rodriguez’s choice for his ultimate Survivor Series squad will not surprise anyone who has witnessed the obedient manboy’s actions over the past two years.
“If I had the option to pick four Superstars, it would be hard because there’s no way I can duplicate Mr. Del Rio that many times,” The Mexican Aristocrat’s personal ring announcer said as the man who signs his paychecks looked on.
Although he admitted modern science had yet to reach a capability or demand for cloning Alberto Del Rio’s DNA, Rodriguez refused to alter his choice, insisting: “There’s no way we could ever lose!”