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Roman Reigns at Survivor Series 2015.
Roman Reigns at Survivor Series 2015.Credit: WWE.com

Survivor Series is one of WWE's original "Big Four" pay-per-views. It began in 1987 and has become one of the company's longest-standing yearly events.

The first five years featured nothing but traditional elimination matches between teams of four and five competitors, but management began tinkering with the formula in 1992.

This year, the event is being used like the old Bragging Rights PPV WWE ran for a few years during the original brand split. There will still be elimination matches, this event is all about the war between Raw and SmackDown.

While the big tag team bouts are usually entertaining, having a main event with a title on the line will always give a show more prestige.

Let's take a walk down memory lane and look at the 15 best championship matches in Survivor Series history. 

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Everyone always talks about The Montreal Screwjob or the Ironman match from WrestleMania 12, but before all that happened, Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart met for a classic WWE title contest at Survivor Series 1992.

The Heartbreak Kid has just started to be taken seriously as a singles competitor, and his first big test was against The Hitman.

Michaels proved he was more than capable of putting on a show-stealing performance in this bout, and while he didn't leave with the title, he did earn the respect of many fans watching at home.

After a grueling 26-minute encounter, Hart secured the win with his signature Sharpshooter in the most underrated match from their storied history.

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When wrestling historians talk about the best tag teams of all time, The Rock 'n' Roll Express is always near the top of the list. They were way ahead of their time in terms of high-flying offense and double team maneuvers.

In 1993, WWE gave Smoky Mountain Wrestling a boost by featuring a Tag Team Championship match between The R&R Express and The Heavenly Bodies.

While Robert Gibson and Ricky Morton get their fair share of praise, the pairing of Jimmy Del Ray and Dr. Tom Prichard should also be acknowledged for playing the perfect heels in this bout. With Jim Cornette in his prime as their manager, they were an exciting trio.

This match made this list because it stands the test of time. Everything about this contest was entertaining from bell to bell, and it would still be considered a great match by today's lofty standards.

After an exciting final sequence, The Heavenly Bodies got a dirty win with some help from Cornette's tennis racket to win the SMW Tag Team Championships.

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Bob Backlund will go down in history as one of the best pure wrestlers of his day. His greatest success came during the '80s, but he returned to WWE in 1992 for one last shot at glory.

He earned himself a WWE Championship Submission match against The Hitman at Survivor Series 1994. Backlund aligned himself with Owen Hart to get under Bret's skin, so The British Bulldog accompanied Bret to the ring to keep things fair.

Owen ended up costing his brother the WWE Championship by breaking up a Sharpshooter, allowing Backlund to lock Bret in the Crossface Chickenwing. 

The Excellence of Execution fought for over eight minutes to get out of the hold, but Owen was able to trick his mother into throwing in the towel for Bret, ending his struggle and his title reign.

Owen deserved an Oscar for the performance he gave at ringside. He looked genuinely concerned for the brother he had been feuding with, but it was all a ruse.

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In 1998, WWE used Survivor Series to hold a tournament for the vacant WWE Championship, marking the first time in the PPV's history we did not see a traditional elimination match.

After three grueling matches each, The Rock and Mankind won the right to fight for the title in the final round of the tourney.

The Rock had fought through The Big Boss Man, Kane and The Undertaker to get to the finals, while Mankind had to defeat Duane Gill, Al Snow and Steve Austin on his journey.

Both men were in their prime as performers, so they were able to put on the best match of the night. In an outcome reminiscent of The Montreal Screwjob, Vince McMahon called for the bell as soon as Mankind was locked in The Rock's Sharpshooter, effectively screwing Mick Foley out of the title. 

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The Undertaker during his American Badass phase.
The Undertaker during his American Badass phase.Credit: WWE.com

By the time Survivor Series 2000 rolled around, the Attitude Era was going strong. The Undertaker was in full biker mode and Kurt Angle was already on his way to being a WWE Hall of Famer.

As two of the most gifted performers in the history of the business, having Angle and Taker in the same match was a recipe for instant success.

Toward the end of the match, The Undertaker was looking to seal the deal with a Last Ride powerbomb, but after he hit the move and made the cover, Earl Hebner called off his count.

He realized the man in the ring wasn't Kurt, but actually his brother, Eric Angle. The real Kurt ran in and stole the win with a roll up to retain his title.

The switch happened after Kurt tried to crawl under the ring to escape, so it went unnoticed by fans until the Hebner pointed it out. 

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WWE was starting to transition into a new era in 2001, but we still had plenty of people replacing S's with Z's to show how hip they were.

The Hardy Boyz and The Dudley Boyz are known for their TLC matches, but one of their most entertaining encounters took place inside a cage at Survivor Series 2001.

WWE was moving away from having separate WCW and WWE Championships by unifying some of the titles at the PPV. The Dudleys represented The Alliance as WCW tag champs, while the Hardys were the WWE tag team champions going into the match.

You would think it would be impossible to get a table in the ring during a Cage match, but with Stacy Kiebler at ringside to distract the refs, Bubba Ray and D-Von found a way.

However, it looked like the Hardys were going to win after Matt escaped the cage, but Jeff looked down from the structure to see a prone D-Von laying on the table. His daredevil instincts took over and he launched himself from the top of the cage for a Swanton Bomb.

Unfortunately, D-Von moved at the last second and Jeff came crashing down through the table, allowing Bubba to cover him for the pin. This match isn't on WWE's YouTube page, so check out footage from another match the two teams had a few weeks prior to Survivor Series.

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WWE has come up with some off-the-wall match concepts, but the Elimination Chamber was unlike anything we had ever seen.

The stipulation was introduced at Survivor Series 2002 when Triple H, Michaels, Booker T, Chris Jericho, Kane and Rob Van Dam fought for the World Heavyweight Championship.

HBK had only been back in action for a few months after taking nearly four years off to heal a back injury, and this was one of his first high-profile bouts since returning.

All six competitors did their best to make the inaugural Elimination Chamber match memorable, but we knew going into it that it would come down to Michaels and Triple H.

Both men were bloody by the end, and The Cerebral Assassin was one of the first two men in the ring, so he had to fight for nearly 40 minutes against five of WWE's best and brightest.

Every single person in Madison Square Garden was on their feet as Michaels hit Sweet Chin Music to win the World Heavyweight Championship. 

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It's easy to forget Shelton Benjamin has been wrestling for 17 years because he still performs at such a high level. 

When he was getting his start as a singles competitor following the breakup of Team Angle, he managed to win the Intercontinental Championship from Chris Jericho at Taboo Tuesday.

His first PPV title defense was the following month at Survivor Series 2004 against Christian. This match is overshadowed by the two elimination matches on the card, but the IC title contest would have stolen the show on any other night.

Despite having Tyson Tomko at ringside to assist him, Christian fell short of capturing the title after Benjamin nailed him with a T-bone suplex to get the win.

This is a bit of a sleeper due to the other big encounters from the PPV, but it stands out as the best technical match of the evening by a wide margin.

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It sometimes feels like John Cena has always been a controversial figure among WWE fans, but there was once a time when he was getting the biggest pop at every show.

When he was at the peak of popularity, Cena faced Angle for the WWE Championship at Survivor Series 2005. Shawn Daivari was named the special guest referee for the match, which meant Cena had an uphill battle ahead of him.

Angle and Cena feuded on and off for years, but this was one of their best performances. Both men were in the best shape of their lives and among the most popular WWE Superstars.

After disposing of three dirty Raw referees, Cena was able to pick up the win thanks to some unbiased officiating from SmackDown ref, Charles Robinson.

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A lot of women were putting on great matches during the Attitude Era, but as WWE entered a new chapter, the company began to focus more on hiring models than wrestlers.

However, there was still some great talent on the roster, and two of the truly great women's champions of all time met for a title match at Survivor Series 2006 when Mickie James faced Lita.

The high-flyer had chosen to hang up her boots and focus on her music career, and she chose James as her final opponent. 

Many fans still disliked Lita at the time due to her history with Matt Hardy and Edge, but she did the classy thing by putting someone else over on her way out the door.

Instead of having a touching moment to end her career, Lita played the heel until the very end by forcing Lilian Garcia to announcer her as the greatest women's champion of all time.

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Batista being a member of Evolution early in his career got him off to a great start, but many fans would say it was his feud with The Undertaker that made him into a real main event star.

The Deadman and The Animal had many memorable encounters, but one of their best was inside Hell in a Cell at Survivor Series 2007.

Batista has already defeated Taker at Cyber Sunday the month before to retain the World Championship, so nobody expected him to win a second time, especially inside the structure The Undertaker helped make famous.

Both men were bleeding profusely by the halfway point, but they never slowed down. After 22 violent minutes inside the cell, Batista was able to put down The Undertaker thanks to some help from a vengeful Edge.

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Low Ki is a vicious striker and a talented technician and high-flyer, but for some reason, WWE never found the right way to use him after he won the second season of NXT as Kaval.

His one and only PPV appearance came at Survivor Series 2010 in an Intercontinental Championship match against Dolph Ziggler.

The winner of NXT was granted a title bout at a time and place of his choosing, so why Kaval would choose to chase the IC title instead of the World Championship was a mystery.

While he ended up being unsuccessful against The Showoff, Kaval put on a great show for the crowd. His chops to the chest were so brutal, the fans forgot to yell "Woo" because they were cringing at the sound of each impact.

This bout is another one on this list to be overshadowed by marquee matches on the same card, but it was a great exhibition from two skilled professional wrestlers everyone should take the time to watch.

If we are lucky, maybe WWE will bring Low Ki back to compete in the cruiserweight division at some point in the future.

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Putting eight men in the same ring can often lead to a mess of a match, but if those eight men are The Miz, Damien Sandow, The Usos, Los Matadores, Goldust and Stardust, you can bet in a great show.

The Miz has had several incredible runs during his WWE career, but the most entertaining was his partnership with Sandow.

Calling it a partnership might be generous since Sandow was forced to call himself Mizdow and serve as The Miz's stunt double. The storyline started off a little rocky, but their matches were the most anticipated segments every week once Mizdow began mimicking The Miz's moves outside the ring.

How WWE managed to let a talent like Sandow slip through its fingers is a headscratcher, but he was able to build an impressive list of highlight reel moments during his WWE career, and this match was one of them.

After a long sequence involving all eight competitors, Mizdow was able to get the win for his team to earn the only title he would ever hold in WWE.

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Once the Women's Revolution was in full swing, WWE began pushing Charlotte as the top female performer in the company.

She won the Divas Championship from Nikki Bella at Night of Champions 2016, and she successfully retained in their rematch at Hell in a Cell the following month.

It was time for The Queen to face a new challenger, and Paige was the first one to step up at Survivor Series 2016.

The former Team PCB teammates had been at each other's throats in recent weeks, and Paige even brought up the late Reid Flair during one of their encounters to make the feud more personal.

Paige put up a great fight, but Charlotte prevailed with her patented Figure Eight submission. They stole the show that night and helped keep the Women's Revolution going strong.

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When Seth Rollins was forced to relinquish the WWE title in 2015 due to a torn ACL and MCL, it was only fitting his Shield brothers be the ones to fight for the belt.

WWE held a tournament to crown a new champion, and it came down to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in the final match. 

This bout wasn't as long as it should have been, but they packed a lot into the 10 minutes they were given. With a Superman Punch and a Spear, The Big Dog won his first WWE Championship. The Lunatic Fringe did the classy thing and hugged his brother in congratulations.

WWE gave Reigns a huge celebration with fireworks and confetti falling from the rafters, but his night didn't end there.

Unfortunately for the controversial Superstar, Sheamus was waiting in the wings with his Money in the Bank contract. After Spearing Triple H instead of shaking his hand, Reigns was felled by a Brogue Kick.

While he managed to kick out of the first one, a second Brogue Kick to the face put Reigns down for good and made Sheamus the new WWE champion.

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