PPV REVIEW: WWF Survivor Series 1996

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: event poster

November 17, 1996
Madison Square Garden in New York, New York.

*Review updated November 2023

In November 1996, the World Wrestling Federation celebrated the 10th annual Survivor Series by presenting a product that was a far cry from the one seen at the first event back in the mid-1980s. 

The original 5 vs. 5 concept of the first-ever Survivor Series had gone, replaced now with a tidy 4 vs. 4 set-up for the elimination matches.

Most of the roster had gone too, with Bret 'The Hitman' Hart being the only man to perform at the first-ever Survivor Series who was still with the company in '96.

Back then, he was part of a huge 10 vs. 10 elimination bout which went nigh on 40 minutes. 

Tonight, he returned from a six-month absence to battle one of the company's newest rising stars, Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The days of Hulkamania were long gone too.

Now, Hogan, who had helped the original Survivor Series out-draw NWA Starrcade '87 now gearing up to compete at Starrcade '96 as the evil leader of the New World Order.

Yet if the WWF ever stood a chance of recapturing the magic of Hulk Hogan's groundbreaking 1980s run, that chance was likely tonight, with the monster Sycho Sid riding an unprecedented wave of popularity into tonight's WWF championship match against reigning champion, 'The Heartbreak Kid' Shawn Michaels.

Would Sid stand tall as the WWF's first real hope of countering WCW's recent run of dominance?

Would The Hitman prevail, chalking up a victory for the old guard after originally performing as an up-and-comer on this very show ten years earlier?

Let's head to the world-famous Madison Square Garden to find out.

"As if every New Yorker had consumed an extra cup of caffeine..."

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels appeared together on radio

Our show tonight began with a terrible opening video telling us that whilst New York had always been The City That Never Sleeps, this past weekend, it was as though the entire population had downed "an extra cup of caffeine."

The way our voiceover man made it out, this was about on a par with people gaining a second head or being invaded by aliens in terms of seriousness.

As dumb as it all sounded, the point here was to tell us that the World Wrestling Federation had well and truly invaded New York.

First up, there had been the 1996 Hall of Fame banquet and now there was this; Survivor Series '96.

In between, we got random clips of fast-paced New York interspersed with footage from both the Hall of Fame and WWF Superstars doing media interviews.

That included a brief -and I mean really brief shot of WWF Champion Shawn Michaels and former champion Bret 'The Hitman' Hart sharing a laugh with each other whilst being interviewed on Todd Pettengill's radio show.

Oh, how different their relationship would be exactly one year from that point.

The whole package ultimately culminated in clips of tonight's wrestlers, hyping the big matches on the show.

Honestly, the WWF did some great video packages around this time, but that, I have to tell you, was certainly not one of them.

Welcome to Madison Square Garden, Welcome to The 1996 Survivor Series 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Vince McMahon and Jim Ross did commentary (Lawler joined for first match)

From there, we began, as always, with Vince McMahon growling his head off and welcoming us to the show before introducing us to his broadcast colleagues Jim Ross, and Jerry 'The King' Lawler.

Whilst Ross was pumped up about the entire show, Lawler was only concerned with being the sole survivor for his team later on in the show.

In fact, we would only see Lawler temporarily. He would get up to wrestle and that was him done for the night.

That was later, however, for now, we had our first traditional Survivor Series match of the evening to get around to.

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Elimination Match
The New Rockers (Marty Jannetty & Leif Cassidy) and WWF Tag Team Champions Owen Hart & The British Bulldog (w/ Owen Hart) vs. Doug Furnas, Philip Lafon, and The Godwins (Henry O. & Phineas I. Godwin w/ Hillbilly Jim) 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Doug Furnas and Philip Lafon debuted

Apparently, the version of this show that I'm watching is the heavily edited one in which "Don't Go Messin' With a Country Boy" has been replaced with some crappy, generic banjo music.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the only thing that was crappy.

Making their WWF Pay Per View tonight, Doug Furnas and Phillip Lafon had an enjoyable early exchange with Leif Cassidy and Marty Jannetty, the latter appearing in his second Survivor Series opening match in a row after the surprisingly amazing opener back at Survivor Series '95.

Once The Godwins came into play though, the first part of this match quickly became dull as the proverbial dishwater.

Fortunately, at least one of them was soon gone, with Owen Hart getting a quick pin over Henry after the latter had disposed of Jannetty via the deadly Slop Drop.

Not long after, Davey Boy Smith sent Phineas Godwin to the showers, giving the bad guys a three-on-two advantage over the new boys, Furnas and Lafon.

From there, things did start to get better, kicking off with a fast-paced exchange between British Bulldog and Furnas which screeched to a halt via a badly botched dropkick from Furnas.

Honestly, I saw that, and I immediately stopped what I was doing to see if I could find any instance of that dropkick appearing on Botchamania.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: The Legendary Owen Hart was in tonight's opening match

I couldn't, but I'm willing to bet you it's there, somewhere.

Anyway, Furnas' failure set him up nicely to play the babyface in peril role, taking punishment from all three of his opponents.

This once again slowed things down, but did occasionally give us some good wrestling to watch.

Speaking of good wrestling, Furnas eventually made an underwhelming tag to Phil Lafon, who took Leif Cassidy up to the top and hit a Super Special Super Suplex that looked incredible but which sadly, your writer doesn't know the name of.

That left us at two on two, the new guys vs. the champions, for the final stretch of the match.

A reasonable exchange followed that would have potentially come across better if it weren't for the crowd, who were mostly silent save for the occasional chant in favour of WCW (or was it ECW? I couldn't tell).

Things got heated, with Furnas and Owen battling on the outside whilst Lafon used one of the Bulldog's favourite moves -a crucifix- against him to eliminate the tag champ from the competition.

Irate, Bulldog returned to the ring moments later to take out Lafon with a chop to the knee from behind.

Owen picked up the pace, working over his opponent's leg and even locking in a sharpshooter. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough for the reigning champ to score a victory.

Doug Furnas got the hot tag, stormed the ring, and suplexed the ever-loving hell out of Hart to get the win.

Somewhere in Minnesota, Brock Lesnar was taking notes.
Your Winners and Sole Survivors: Doug Furnas & Philip Lafon. 

Cutting away from the in-ring celebration, we were shown a quick clip of Madison Square Garden, before heading somewhere deep into the bowels of the building, where Kevin Kelly was standing by with Paul Bearer and Mankind.

An Interview with Paul Bearer and Mankind 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Mankind and Paul Bearer

Kelly first asked Paul Bearer for his thoughts about being suspended above the ring in a cage.

Of course, this wasn't just some random, out-of-leftfield questioning from Kelly. This was actually the stipulation for this match, not that Bearer himself had any intentions of actually getting in there.

"I'm not an animal!" he exclaimed, before reasoning that he didn't have to get in the cage because -and I quote- "I'm Paul Bearer, and you're not."

As catchphrases went, there was one that never quite caught on.

Turning his attention to Mankind, Kevin Kelly next questioned the deranged one about his upcoming match against The Undertaker.

Mankind claimed that after getting the better of The Dead Man at King of the Ring 96,  Summerslam 96, and the previous month's In Your House: Buried Alive tonight would be the night that he finally destroyed him.

Mankind (w/ Paul Bearer) vs. The Undertaker

Stipulation: Paul Bearer is suspended in a cage, if Undertaker wins, he gets 5 minutes alone with Paul Bearer. 

Six years after making his debut at the 1990 Survivor Series, The Undertaker descended from the rafters like a gothic Batman and revealed a whole new look that looked as awesome reviewing this today as it did when I first saw this show as a 12-year-old kid back in 1996.

The arrival of the new uber-goth 'Taker was enough to frighten Paul Bearer into jumping into the cage (McMahon called it a shark cage) to escape the wrath of his former charge.

The Undertaker stalked Bearer but was attacked from behind by Mankind, signalling the start of another classic war between two of the World Wrestling Federation's most otherworldly combatants.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: The Undertaker debuted new attire

Classic though it may have been, this fan has to believe that the Survivor Series version of Undertaker vs. Mankind was the least engaging of their three 1996 pay per view outings.

Though it was certainly a very good contest, it lacked the violent edge of their first encounter at King of the Ring, the drama and novelty value of their Boiler Room Brawl at Summerslam, and the surprise Rumble '94 Redux ending of the previous month's Buried Alive outing.

Still, even the worst that these two bitter rivals could come up with was better than many lesser talents' best.

The Dead Man worked early on to take out his opponent's Mandible Claw, only for Mankind to prove that it wasn't the only tool in his arsenal by holding his own from start to finish.

Speaking of the finish, that came when Mankind pulled out the same Mystery Foreign Object he had used at Buried Alive and used it to pummel Undertaker into the corner whilst Paul Bearer distracted the referee from up in the cage.

Undertaker battled out of the corner by grabbing his foe in the Tombstone and cementing the victory with a well-earned three count.
Your Winner: The Undertaker

As per the stipulation, The Undertaker was now supposed to enjoy getting his hands on Paul Bearer, but as it always did in these scenarios, wrestling history repeated itself and things didn't go according to plan.

The Executioner ran down, ate a clothesline for his troubles, and hightailed it with Mankind and a much-relieved Paul Bearer in tow.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Sunny was guest commentator

Sunny is Your Guest Commentator

In a complete change of tone, the show next saw Sunny making her way to the ring to join Vince and Jim Ross on commentary.

From there, we went backstage for a pre-match promo from the heels in our upcoming match.

Doc Hendrix Interviews The Baddies 

In one of those "throw a bunch of guys together" Survivor Series matches, we were about to see WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley lead Crush, Goldust, and Jerry 'The King' Lawler into battle against Marc Mero, Jake Roberts, The Stalker, and some young newcomer called Rocky Maivia.

Before we got to that part however, Hunter and Lawler addressed the fact that Mark Henry had been injured and would not be able to take his spot as the fourth man on the babyface team.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Hunter Hearst Hemlsey (HHH), Crush, Goldust and Jerry 'The King' Lawler

The two promised to destroy the good guys three-on-two before Crush yelled about how Survivor Series was an appropriate title. 

Why exactly, he didn't say.

He wasn't the only one to offer little in the way of substance during this time-filling backstage promo.

All Goldust could give us was the reminder that we would never forget his name, and with that, it was on to ringside.

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match
WWF Intercontinental Champion Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Jerry 'The King' Lawler, Crush, Goldust (w/ Marlena) vs. Marc Mero, The Stalker, Rocky Maivia, Jake 'The Snake' Roberts

It's funny how anybody watching this show at the time would have had no idea that of all the things to happen at Survivor Series 1996, this right here - the debut of perma-grinned wunderkind Rocky Maivia- would be the most historically significant thing to happen on the entire show.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: The Rock Rocky Maivia made his debut at the show

Yes, McMahon, Ross, and Sunny all got excited about the WWF's first third-generation Superstar making his debut, but even their enthusiasm could not make the first in-ring appearance of WWE legend, Hollywood Superstar, and Potential US President The Rock seem like that big of a deal.

This was especially when it was overshadowed by Marc Mero introducing Jake 'The Snake' Roberts as Mark Henry's replacement as if that was the thing we were all supposed to remember about this match years later.

The bout started slowly, with the heels stalling before Mero and Goldust kicked us off properly.

Things picked up further with a fun exchange between Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Rocky Maivia, the announcers telling us how the latter has changed his name from Dwayne Johnson in order to pay tribute to his father Rocky Johnson and grandfather, Peter Maivia.

The excitement dulled somewhat when Jake Roberts and Jerry Lawler tagged in. Roberts (who did actually look like hell here) pretended to be drunk and fell on his ass, luring in Lawler so that he could plant him with his DDT and score the first elimination of the match.

Making his first WWF PPV appearance since Wrestlemania 1, Barry Windham was the next man to be eliminated thanks to Goldust, who quickly disposed of his former WCW tag team partner with the Curtain Call to level the playing field, 3 vs 3.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Barry Windham as The Stalker - Great worker, dumb gimmick

Honestly, the idea of taking a star like Barry Windham, stick him in some camouflage pants and pretend like he'd been out in the wilderness for years still boggles the mind, especially since at this show he looked more like a dodgy wife beater or you know, an actual stalker, rather than a guy who liked hanging out in the woods.

Anyway, enough about Windham. With him gone, it was up to our two team captains, Helmsley and Mero to take centre stage, with the IC champ dominating before Mero made a comeback and sent his long-time rival back to the showers with a Merosault.

Despite getting a pinfall, The Wildman wasn't out of danger yet.

Stepping up against Crush (who was wrestling on his first WWF PPV since King of The Ring 94) Mero dove after his opponent onto the outside with a head-first fuck up that looked both horrible and dangerous, and missed anyway because Goldust pushed the former Demolition member out of harms way.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: The Rock Rocky Maivia against Goldust and Crush

That caused a nearly-dead Marc Mero to be counted out, after which Jake Roberts was quickly pinned and sent packing.

This left Rocky Maivia alone against Crush and Goldust.

If you couldn't predict the ending from here, you obviously hadn't seen enough wrestling.

Of course, the bad guys got the upper hand to begin with, but when Goldust held Rocky in place for Crush to land his heart punch finisher, the new kid inevitably ducked out of harm's way, hit the ropes, and took out Crush with a flying cross body.

That sent him packing, after which all it took was -of all things- a shoulder breaker (remember when that was The Rock's finisher?) to score the big win.
Your Winner and Sole Survivor: Rocky Maivia. 

So far we were two for two on newcomers winning their debut matches at this show, and the response from the crowd to this one, to see a bonafide future superstar emerge victorious was..well, lukewarm at best.

Seriously, for some reason, they even cut to shots of kids in the crowd looking bored and confused at Rocky's big win.

The Hitman Faces Stone Cold

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Bret Hart returned to WWF to face Steve Austin

A great video package followed next, reminding us that Bret 'The Hitman' Hart had accepted the challenge of the man he called 'The best wrestler today," Stone Cold Steve Austin.

This was neatly followed by Todd Pettengill showing us clips of Stone Cold stunning the life out of everyone from Freddie Joe Floyd to Bob 'Spark Plug' Holly, and finishing up with Austin insisting that, unlike Hart, he didn't need a bunch of dumb catchphrases or slogans...and that was the bottom line because Stone Cold so.

In the back, Pettingill stood face to face with Austin, reminding him that he was about to face 'the legendary,' Bret Hart, with a shot at the WWF title on the line.

Unimpressed by Pettengill's bigging up The Hitman, Austin gave a compelling promo in which he insisted that he didn't give a damn about Bret's accomplishments, nor his claim to the 'The best there is, the best there, was, and the best there ever will be.

'Cliches are cliches,'warned Austin, 'and an ass whippin, is an ass whipping."

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Steve Austin looked like a star against Bret Hart

With that, Stone Cold made his way to the ring to await the arrival of Bret Hart, who first offered a verbal retort via Todd Pettingill, who continued to big up Hart's return as if he'd been gone years, rather than just six months.

In one of his better promos (Hart was never all that gifted on the mic if you ask this long-time fan), The Hitman promised to beat some respect into Steve Austin,

With that, he too stormed off, ready to do battle.

Winner Becomes Number One contender to the WWF Title
Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret 'The Hitman' Hart 

The first thing that immediately strikes you as you sit down to watch Austin/Hitman I, is just how important this match looked and felt.

By doing simple things like staring at each other from across the ring, pacing, and finally coming face-to-face, the two future Hall of Famers both created an air of electricity that created the kind of "big match" feel most bouts from this time sorely lacked.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Bret Hart beat Stone Cold Steve Austin in a great match

As the two began feeling each other out, Jim Ross told us that neither man had ever submitted in their entire careers, and speculated that it might just come down to a submission finish tonight.

"How ironic would it be if Stone Cold Steve Austin placed the sharpshooter on Bret Hart and won by submission?" asked Vince McMahon in a very eerie moment which would foreshadow the events that would take place 12 months down the line.

From there, this one gradually became an absolute, all-out war for the ages.

In what was probably Steve Austin's longest WWF match to this point -and by far and away certainly his best- the future champion looked like an absolute star as he traded submission moves, wild left and rights, and honest-to-goodness pro wrestling moves with the man who had been one of the company's biggest ever stars.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin had an epic war

Indeed, whilst his earlier coronation at King of the Ring 1996 may be more memorable, it was this incredible battle with The Hitman that really made Steve Austin a superstar by the time the year was out.

That's even without him winning the match.

Towards the finish, Austin locked on his old finisher, The Million Dollar Dream, only for Bret to kick back off the turnbuckle, crash onto his opponent, and score a fluke three count.
Your Winner: Bret 'The Hitman' Hart

Hart may have won this truly awesome match, but as Austin stared him down afterwards, you knew that this one was far, far from over.

Sid is Focussed

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Sid told Doc Hendrix he would do anything to become WWF Champion

Standing by with Doc Hendrix, Sid delivered a short, sweet, and wonderfully psychotic promo in which he once again repeated that he would do anything and everything to defeat Shawn Michaels in their upcoming championship match.

Up next, WWF Hall of Famer Captain Lou Albano kind of sauntered his way to ringside looking for all the world as though he wasn't supposed to be there and didn't actually know where he was going.

Fortunately, this wasn't a case of the legendary manager suddenly losing his mind. He was out there, apparently, to join the Spanish announce team on commentary.

The Nation of Domination Arrives 

True story time:

A few days after this event, I attended a house show at the Birmingham NEC in England. I don't remember much about the event except that Sid and Bret Hart were there, and that I was totally confused when the Nation of Domination's music played.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: PPV debut of Farooq's Nation of Domination gimmick

I'd never heard it before and wasn't entirely clear who was coming out to wrestle. In fact, me and my buddy initially groaned because we thought it might be Sgt. Slaughter.

It's because of this -and because I can't find any proof otherwise- that I have to believe that Survivor Series 1996 saw the proper in-ring debut of the faction known as the Nation of Domination.

I'm happy to be proven wrong on that one, but what I won't be proven wrong about, is that Farooq's new gimmick was infinitely better than the Roman Gladiator thing he was doing just a month prior.

4 vs. 4 Survivor Series Match
Faarooq, Vader, Razor Ramon, and Diesel (w/ Clarence Mason and Jim Cornette) vs.  Flash Funk, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Savio Vega, and Yokozuna

Here, the new Nation of Domination leader teamed up with Vader, Fake Razor Ramon, and Fake Diesel, the latter of whom was the only man on his team to have wrestled at a Survivor Series before, having appeared as Isaac Yankem at Survivor Series 95. 

Back then, one member of the opposing team had been Savio Vega, and it was the same here too, with the Caribbean sensation teaming up with newcomer Flash Funk (formerly 2 Cold Scorpio), new WWF Hall of Famer Superfly Jimmy Snuka, and Yokozuna, who, not counting Free for Alls, hadn't appeared on a WWF PPV since May's In Your House 8: Beware of Dog. 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Flash Funk (formerly 2 Cold Scorpio) made his debut

It was Funk, the fourth man to make his debut at this show, who got things going, locking up with Vader for the start of what would turn out to be a short if reasonably entertaining match.

The two former WCW stars went at it slowly at first, The Mastodon's brute strength countered by Funk's *ahem* flashy offence, including a top rope moonsault to the outside which elicited a small "ECW" chant from the marks in the first couple of rows.

Vader got the better of his foe, only for Yokozuna to step in and turn the tables. 

This opened up the match for all eight men to get their moment in the spotlight, culminating in the babyface's mystery partner Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka hitting a wicked-looking bodyslam on Vader that was legitimately impressive. 

Unfortunately for his team, such a move didn't do them any favours. Vega tagged in, only to find himself on the outside in the heel's corner, getting slammed repeatedly into the ring post by Farooq whilst the rest of his team caused a commotion to distract the referee. 

Farooq then rolled Savio into the waiting hands of Fake Diesel, who hit a powerbomb to score the bout's first elimination.

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Hall of Famer Jimmy 'Superfly Snuka' dives onto Fake Razor Ramon

Snuka quickly retaliated, slamming Fake Razor down and landing the patented Superfly Splash to even the scores.

That effectively spelt the beginning of the end.

Fake Diesel returned to the ring, hitting Snuka with a chair, at which point Savio Vega magically returned, showing no effects of the powerbomb he'd taken just a few moments ago, and brandishing a chair of his own.

This caused all hell to break loose, and for the referees to throw this one out as a double disqualification.
No contest - Everyone DQ'd. 

The babyfaces cleaned house before the show cut to a final video package detailing the storied two-year history between reigning WWF Champion Shawn Michaels, and his challenger for this evening, Sycho Sid.

Champ and Challenger Make an Entrance 

This was back in the time when the World Wrestling Federation began playing that ominous, low bass note as the wrestlers walked backstage towards the ring for main event matches.

It helped add an air of anticipation to proceedings, and despite only being a small thing, is something that I do miss about the wrestling of yesteryear. 

With Sid out in the ring, HBK not only got the super-cool backstage build-up music but also got The Goldberg Entrance, with backstage officials knocking on the door of his private locker room to let him know it was time for action.

The champion's first appearance on the screen elicited a loud chorus of boos from the Madison Square Garden crowd that was completely at odds with the reception he received when he made his entrance.

Michaels barely made it three feet down the entranceway before he was being molested by the New York faithful to the point that a couple of agents had to come to his rescue and fend off the over-zealous fans.

Luckily, Michaels made it to the ring, where he caused Vince McMahon to laugh out by simulating masturbation in the middle of the ring.

I wish I was making that up, honestly, I do.

World Wrestling Federation Championship
World Wrestling Federation Champion Shawn Michaels (w/ Jose Lothario) vs. Sycho Sid 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Sid bt. Shawn Michaels to win the WWF title

McMahon may have been on HBK's side, but if there was any question as to who the MSG fans were really behind, you only had to wait until the bell rung. 
From there, the crowd were firmly, and loudly, behind the challenger, cheering his every move with a passion not heard since the height of Hulkamania and boing every bit of the champion's offence as though he were the world's most effective heel. 

It was this passionate audience that really helped elevate this one into a fantastic match, though that's certainly not to say that the two combatants didn't carry their weight here. 

Yes, it was Shawn Michaels who was the workhorse, bumping about the place with gusto and selling for all he was worth, putting Sid over much as Bret had done with Stone cold earlier in the show. 

Yet, to give him his credit, Sid himself was no slouch, and played his role as the unstoppable, dominant monster to perfection. 

With every crushing boot, with every vicious blow, the crowd roared louder and louder. The louder they roared, the more Sid played to them, working into a frenzy in such a way that - watching this back right now- it's hard to believe that we weren't witnessing the birth of pro wrestling next true, bonafide mega star. 

After a dramatic and highly enjoyable bout, the dominant challenger wrestled a camera away from a cameraman and used it to knock Michaels' manager, Jose Lothario, off the apron. 

The move naturally caused Michaels -in the midst of a brief comeback- to head outside and yell for help for his fallen mentor. 

WWF / WWE SURVIVOR SERIES 1996: Sid Smashes Shawn Michaels with a camera

Sid brought him back in the ring, but HBK got out of harm's way and flew off the top with a crossbody block which was intended for Sid but which actually struck referee Earl Hebner

From there, the ending was inevitable. 

Michaels returned to the outside to demand that somebody fetch help for Lothario (and really, in kayfabe terms, the fact that nobody did ultimately made everybody working for the WWF at the time look like absolute dicks). He then took a camera to the head from Sid, was returned to the ring, and powerbombed into oblivion. 

After that, Hebner delivered the world's slowest, most agonizing three count, and Shawn Michaels' first WWF Championship run was over.
Your Winner and NEW World Wrestling Federation Champion: Sycho Sid 

Post-match, EMTs finally came to poor Jose's rescue, carrying him off with Shawn Michaels literally crawling after him. All the while, Sid stood tall and proud, not only as The Master and The Ruler of The World but as your new WWF Champion.

And that was it for the tenth annual Survivor Series, a milestone which neither Vince McMahon nor anybody involved bothered to make mention of. 
Perhaps this was on purpose, a chance to officially sever all ties from the Hulkamania fuelled days of the 1980s and kickstart a brand new era, one with the enormously popular Sid as its champion and figurehead.

Of course, we all know exactly how that turned out, but you can't deny that this was the start of a very interesting time for the World Wrestling Federation. 

As for the show itself, there was actually a lot to enjoy here. The elimination matches ranged from really good (the opening match) to relatively decent (everything else), The Undertaker and Mankind ended chapter one of their epic rivalry with another good outing, and both Hart/Austin and Sid/Michaels were fantastic bouts in their own right, all creating what was surprisingly one of the best pay per views of 1996. 

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  1. Sid winning the belt is one of my favorite moments.