WWE returned to Madison Square Garden and provided New York City fans with with a memorable event that left the New York Giants fans in New Jersey wishing they chose the WWE event instead.
A title changed hands, more Wrestlemania XXVIII hype occurred and a traditional Survivor Series elimination match provided several ups and downs. Take a look at the top five moments from the 2011 Survivor Series.
Zack Ryder Attacks Dolph Ziggler
Even though Ryder was not scheduled to wrestle at the WWE Survivor Series, he still made an appearance after Dolph Ziggler defeated John Morrison and retained the US Championship. Zack Ryder got huge chants from the audience during the match, has popular merchandise and his catch phrases are quickly catching on.
Ryder attacked Ziggler and hopefully sets up a match at the WWE TLC pay per view. His character is only going to grow as he has the potential to be a top face in the WWE.
Traditional Survivor Series Match
It does not feel like a Survivor Series without a traditional elimination match and the fans got a good one at this event. Even though Sin Cara was eliminated early due a legitimate injury, the rest of his team filled in nicely.
Randy Orton has had a lot of success in Survivor Series matches, but he came up short in this one as he faced off four against one at one point. After managing to eliminate Jack Swagger and Huncio, Orton was distracted by Cody Rhodes long enough for Wade Barrett to hit his Wasteland finisher and get the victory. Rhodes and Barrett needed this win and push to become serious main event contenders in the WWE.
Big Show Elbow Drop
The match ending to the Big Show and Mark Henry was not as dramatic as their Vengeance ring collapse, but you could feel the anxiety and excitement as the Big Show climbed to the top rope. As he teetered on the edge of the ropes, he finally gained balance long enough to jump off and connect one of the biggest elbow drops ever on Mark Henry. The "Macho Man" chants from the New York City crowd said it all.
CM Punk Wins the WWE Title
CM Punk has been feuding with Alberto Del Rio on and off for months and now he finally got a one on one chance to win the WWE Title back from him. You knew it would be a special night when CM Punk brought out Howard Finkel as his personal ring announcer.
Using the Anaconda Vice submission move, CM Punk made Del Rio tap out and Punk cleanly won the match and the WWE Championship. The crowd's reaction was great and hopefully CM Punk holds the gold until Wrestlemania XXVIII.
The Rock and John Cena
The rivalry continues to build for John Cena and The Rock, but at the Survivor Series, they had to team up against The Miz and R-Truth. You could feel the tense emotions between the partners, but they worked together long enough for The Rock to get the People's Elbow on The Miz and win the match.
As John Cena and The Rock celebrated, it seemed like the show was over, but The Rock nailed Cena with a Rock Bottom, ended the show and helped strengthen their feud heading into Wrestlemania XXVIII. Hopefully this is the start of a heel feud for Cena as the crowd's hatred for him seems to grow every week and a heel Cena could really feed into it.
Alan Donahue has been published on Yahoo! Sports numerous times and is a life-long New York Giants fan. He has written hundreds of articles on the NFL, WWE, and other sports.
More From This Contributor:
- Dolph Ziggler
- John Cena
- Zack Ryder
- John Morrison
- WWE Championship
- Survivor Series