Best Survivor Series Matches (1996)
Psycho Sid vs. Shawn Michaels: Ending the Boyhood Dream
1996 brought us the tenth annual Survivor Series pay-per-view and arguably the best. It took place at Madison Square Garden and is notable for including the in-ring debut of Dwayne The Rock Johnson, who wrestled under the name of Rocky Maivia and a stunning match between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Bret the Hitman Hart. It was also the event that boosted the popularity of Psycho Sid who ended Shawn Michael’s boyhood dream.
The main event between Psycho Sid and the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels remains the greatest match of Sid’s career and stands as proof that Shawn Michaels could work a great match with any wrestler, no matter his size or wrestling talent. Sid was huge and he had a great gimmick but he also gained a reputation for his notoriously sluggish wrestling. Wrestling fans were consistently disappointed with many of his poor matches throughout his career but Survivor Series would change that. If you never watched Sid wrestle before this event, Survivor Series 1996 made him seem like one of the best wrestlers in the business. At the time, Sid had a great theme song, reminiscent of Hitchcock’s Psycho and his Survivor Series entrance ranks as one of the most memorable in the history of the PPV, but it was his performance in the ring that won over the fans.
By the time HBK entered the ring, it became clear that the majority of the crowd at Madison Square Garden was rooting for Sid to win even though he was the heel. Thunderous boos drowned out the cheers from fans who were rooting for Michaels as HBK did everything he could to win the title against the vicious Psycho Sid. In the end, Sid attacked Shawn Michael’s 62-year-old mentor Jose Lothario with a TV camera, causing the Mexican legend to suffer an (obviously fake) heart attack and distract the WWE champ. As Michaels helped his mentor, Sid nailed him from behind with the camera and tossed him into the ring for his signature powerbomb. It was a match of David vs. Goliath proportions and a match that had Psycho Sid capture the WWF Championship for the first time in his career. It was also one of the few times, Sid deserved the belt.
Editor’s Note: This is part of an ongoing series. You can find all the entries here.
- Ricky D