WWE Survivor Series: Ranking Every Sole Survivor in PPV History

Travis Wakeman@@traviswakeman10Featured Columnist IVNovember 9, 2013

WWE Survivor Series: Ranking Every Sole Survivor in PPV History

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    The Survivor Series has long been one of the most spectacular pay-per-view events on the WWE calendar.

    The first Survivor Series took place in November of 1987 in Richfield, Ohio, and it has been the scene of plenty of WWE history.

    Though the event has seen classic matches such as Hulk Hogan vs. The Undertaker in 1991 and Bret Hart vs. Shawn Michaels in 1997, the event was built around teams battling in elimination matches.

    The elimination matches have been made up of four- and five-man teams with the object being to survive elimination.

    Many Superstars have survived the Survivor Series, but a Superstar becoming the sole survivor in his match has only happened 30 times in WWE history.

    Which sole survivor was the most impressive? Criteria such as how many eliminations a Superstar made and the level of competition they were up against were considered in compiling this list.

    Click forward to relive WWE history and find out who is the greatest sole survivor of all time.

30. Razor Ramon (1994)

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    Razor Ramon, 1-2-3 Kid, British Bulldog and The Headshrinkers vs. Diesel, Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart

    The odds were stacked against Razor Ramon and his team at the 1994 Survivor Series. That was only made worse by the rampage that Diesel, a member of the opposition, went on.

    Diesel was the story of the match, eliminating Fatu, Sione and 1-2-3 Kid all with Jacknife Powerbombs. He then knocked British Bulldog out of the ring, leading to a count out.

    This left Ramon to face insurmountable odds of one against five. Diesel had Shawn Michaels, Jeff Jarrett, Owen Hart and Jim Neidhart on his squad.

    But a mistake later in the match in which Michaels accidentally hit Diesel with his superkick led to a major argument between the two.

    Michaels and Diesel took it out of the ring as Neidhart, Hart and Jarrett came to try and calm them down. The referee then curiously counted out the entire team.

    Ramon became the sole survivor without eliminating anyone.

29. Beth Phoenix (2008)

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    Beth Phoenix, Mickie James, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle and Jillian Hall vs. Michelle McCool, Victoria, Maria, Maryse and Natalya

    In 2008, the Survivor Series featured a 10-diva tag team match.

    The match saw plenty of eliminations and often, the diva who made the elimination was the next one out.

    In just a little under 10 minutes, the match was over when Beth Phoenix put Maryse away with the Glam Slam.

28. British Bulldog (1997)

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    The British Bulldog, Jim Neidhart, Doug Furnas and Phil Lafon vs. Vader, Goldust, Marc Mero and Steve Blackman

    This match was billed as Team USA vs. Team Canada, and it was Vader, representing Team USA, that had his way early.

    Vader eliminated Neidhart, Lafon and Furnas but never saw the Bulldog coming with a ring bell, leading to his elimination.

    Team Canada stood tall in Montreal as Davey Boy Smith became the sole survivor.

27. Ric Flair (1991)

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    Ric Flair, The Mountie, Ted DiBiase and The Warlord vs. Roddy Piper, Bret Hart, Virgil and British Bulldog

    Ric Flair was still fresh into his WWE tenure at this time as he took part in the opening match of the 1991 Survivor Series.

    Flair would make the first elimination, pinning the Bulldog following a double axe handle off the top rope.

    Piper would even the score by taking out The Warlord, but just a few minutes later, a huge brawl broke out.

    Flair had been thrown out of the ring as the rest of the men in the match brawled, leading to a mass disqualification.

    Because he wasn't part of that brawl, Flair was spared the DQ, thus leading to him becoming the sole survivor.

26. Andre the Giant (1987)

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    André the Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Butch Reed and Rick Rude vs. Hulk Hogan, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco, Ken Patera and Bam Bam Bigelow

    In the very first Survivor Series, Andre the Giant became the first sole survivor in history.

    The match featured some of the biggest stars in the company at the time, both literally and figuratively.

    After several eliminations, Bigelow faced insurmountable odds. As the only member remaining on his team, One Man Gang, Bundy and Andre the Giant stood on the other side of the ring.

    Bigelow nearly pulled it off, managing to pin both Bundy and One Man Gang.

    But the 500-plus pound Andre the Giant proved too much, and after a big suplex, he pinned Bigelow to win the match.

25. Hulk Hogan (1989)

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    Hulk Hogan, Demolition and Jake Roberts vs. Ted Dibiase, Zeus and Powers of Pain

    At the 1989 Survivor Series, Hogan led his team of Hulkamaniacs against Dibiase and three of the most powerful men on the roster.

    Dibiase managed to acquire Hogan's nemesis from the movie No Holds Barred, Zeus, for the match. However, the massive Zeus was basically a non-factor as he was disqualified for putting his hands on the referee.

    In the end, it came down to Hogan and Dibiase, and the Hulkster walked away with the win following his big leg drop.

24. Randy Orton (2005)

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    Batista, Rey Mysterio, JBL, Bobby Lashley and Randy Orton vs. Shawn Michaels, Kane, The Big Show, Carlito and Chris Masters

    This match was the only traditional elimination match on the card in 2005, and it came at the height of the Raw vs. SmackDown feud.

    The two teams represented the shows they competed on, and it was made more interesting by the fact that the Superstars teaming together weren't necessarily friends.

    Team SmackDown would win the match after Orton pinned Shawn Michaels when it came down to just the two of them.

    This was a very notable night for Orton. It was the third time he became the sole survivor at Survivor Series, and that was all the more interesting when you consider he wasn't originally supposed to be part of the match.

    The untimely death of Eddie Guerrero just two weeks before the event forced officials to find a replacement.

23. 1-2-3 Kid (1995)

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    Skip, Rad Radford, Tom Prichard and 1-2-3 Kid vs. Marty Jannetty, Hakushi, Barry Horowitz and Bob Holly

    This match was made up of midcard Superstars but it led to a big night for 1-2-3 Kid.

    Fresh off a heel turn which landed him in the Million Dollar Corporation, 1-2-3 Kid scored eliminations over Horowitz and Jannetty to become the sole survivor.

    Jannetty and Horowitz were never considered top guys in WWE, and 1-2-3 Kid still needed help from Sycho Sid to pull off the elimination of Jannetty.

    For those reasons, No. 23 is as high as we can rank the Kid.

22. Tito Santana (1990)

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    Nikolai Volkoff, Tito Santana and The Bushwhackers vs. Sgt. Slaughter, Boris Zhukov and The Orient Express

    By November 1990, Tito Santana had become an afterthought in WWE booking, but he shined bright on this night.

    Santana eliminated Boris Zhukov and Tanaka of The Orient Express, taking both out with his signature flying forearm.

    He then benefited from Sgt. Slaughter getting disqualified after Slaughter's manager, General Adnan, struck Santana with an Iraqi flag.

21. Ric Flair (2006)

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    Ric Flair, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes and Ron Simmons vs. The Spirit Squad

    In 2006, a team of WWE legends teamed up against the WWE's male cheerleaders known as The Spirit Squad. 

    Though Spirit Squad was easy to laugh at, they were all very skilled athletes and early on, it looked like the legends would have no chance. 

    But Flair, who was 57 years old at the time, was able to overcome 3-on-1 odds, eliminating Mikey, Kenny and Johnny one by one to win the match for his team.

20. Aja Kong (1995)

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    Bertha Faye, Aja Kong, Tomoko Watanabe and Lioness Asuka vs. Alundra Blayze, Kyoko Inoue, Sakie Hasegawa and Chaparrita Asari

    Many fans may not remember Aja Kong, but her performance at the 1995 Survivor Series was truly impressive. 

    Though Alundra Blayze was up to the challenge, eliminating Bertha Faya, Tomoko Watanabe and Lioness Asuka, she couldn't get the job done. 

    Kong eliminated every member of the opposing squad, finishing with Blayze. 

19. Ultimate Warrior (1989)

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    The Ultimate Warrior, The Rockers and Jim Neidhart vs. Andre the Giant, Haku, Arn Anderson and Bobby Heenan

    The Ultimate Warrior was embroiled in a feud with the Heenan Family which was an extension of his long-standing feud with Rick Rude.

    In this eight-man elimination match, Bobby Heenan was actually one of the competitors. 

    It didn't take long for the drama to start as Ultimate Warrior was able to knock Andre the Giant out of the ring, leading to him being counted out. 

    Later in the match, Warrior found himself alone against Arn Anderson and Heenan. Warrior was up to the task.

    He eliminated Anderson before getting his hands on Heenan, much to the delight of the crowd. Warrior easily put the manager of the Heenan Family away to win the match.

18. Mr. Perfect (1989)

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    Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect and The Fabulous Rougeaus vs. Roddy Piper, Jimmy Snuka and The Bushwhackers

    Mr. Perfect made a splash at the 1989 Survivor Series, outlasting all the competitors in this match.

    He was able to eliminate Bushwhacker Butch with a roll-up. After Roddy Piper and Rick Rude were counted out, Perfect stood toe-to-toe with Jimmy Snuka.

    Perfect was able to eliminate the legendary Snuka following the Perfect Plex.

17. Bart Gunn (1996)

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    Jesse James, Aldo Montoya, Bob Holly and Bart Gunn vs. The Sultan, Justin Bradshaw, Salvatore Sincere and Billy Gunn

    This match actually took place on the Free 4 All event prior to the pay-per-view, and it was a good way to start the show.

    Bart Gunn was the star on this night. Not only did he eliminate Salvatore Sincere, but he took out his former tag team partner, Billy Gunn.

    With the match down to only the two men who once made up the Smokin' Gunns, Bart caught Billy with a flying forearm to win it.

16. Jeff Hardy (2000)

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    Dudley Boyz and Hardy Boyz vs. Edge, Christian and Right to Censor

    This was one of only two traditional elimination matches held at the 2000 Survivor Series, and it was a battle between four of the company's top tag teams. 

    Jeff Hardy was the last member of his team, and Christian and The Goodfather remained on the opposite side.

    Hardy was able to dig down to eliminate both men, though he got some help from Goodfather's own tag team partner, Val Venis.

    When an errant clothesline thrown by Venis struck Goodfather, it led to the elimination of the Right to Censor member.

15. Lex Luger (1993)

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    Lex Luger, The Undertaker and The Steiner Brothers vs. Yokozuna, Crush, Ludvig Borga and Jacques

    1993 was one of the best years of Lex Luger's career.

    At Survivor Series that year, he was able to overcome his arch-nemesis Ludvig Borga, eliminating him to win the elimination match they took part in.

    Luger also eliminated Jacques of The Quebecers earlier in the match. 

14. Hardcore Holly (1999)

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    Too Cool, Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly vs. The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian

    Though Edge and Christian weren't household names in 1999 like they are today, eliminating them both in a Survivor Series elimination match is a good thing to have amongst your career accomplishments.

    Hardcore Holly was able to do that in 1999, becoming the sole survivor after rolling up Christian for a three count.

13. The Interrogator (1997)

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    The Truth Commission vs. The Disciples of Apocalypse

    The Truth Commission is a very forgettable group in the annals of WWE history, but the performance of one man in 1997 was still impressive.

    The biker gang known as D.O.A. simply had no answer for the nearly 7" tall Interrogator, a.k.a. Kurrgan.

    The Interrogator swiftly eliminated Chainz, 8-Ball and Crush, all with a sidewalk slam, to become sole survivor.

12. The Big Show (1999)

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    Handicap Elimination Match: The Big Show vs. Big Boss Man, Mideon, Viscera and Prince Albert

    It's always impressive to see one man take out a team of four, and that is exactly what The Big Show did in 1999.

    Prior to the match, Big Show attacked all of his teammates, choosing to go it alone.

    After watching Big Show use his chokeslam to eliminate Mideon, Albert and Viscera in less than a minute, Big Boss Man decided he wanted no part of him.

    Boss Man left the ring, taking a count out and allowing Big Show to win the match.

11. Ultimate Warrior (1988)

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    The Ultimate Warrior, Brutus Beefcake, Sam Houston, The Blue Blazer and Jim Brunzell vs. The Honky Tonk Man, Ron Bass, Danny Davis, Greg Valentine and Bad News Brown

    Ultimate Warrior was the Intercontinental champion at the 1988 Survivor Series, and after this match, many fans could probably see a star in the making.

    Warrior waited until late in the match to make his presence felt, but when he did, it was impressive.

    The last man on his team, Warrior had two of the toughest men on the roster, Greg Valentine and Ron Bass, to deal with.

    And if you blinked, you may have missed it.

    Warrior came up with back-to-back eliminations in a matter of 20 seconds to get the victory.

10. Ted Dibiase (1990)

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    Ted DiBiase, The Undertaker and Rhythm & Blues vs. Dusty Rhodes, Koko B. Ware and The Hart Foundation

    1990 was arguably the best Survivor Series on record. This match is one of the reasons why. 

    The Million Dollar Man had promised to deliver a mystery partner, and he didn't disappoint. This marked the debut of The Undertaker.

    But Undertaker didn't survive in that match—The Million Dollar Man did.

    He was able to eliminate Jim Neidhart, and then later Bret Hart, to earn the win.

9. Ultimate Warrior (1990)

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    The Ultimate Warrior, The Legion of Doom and The Texas Tornado vs. Mr. Perfect and Demolition

    Both of these teams were made up of impressive Superstars, but only one man would survive. 

    That would be The Ultimate Warrior. 

    After watching Mr. Perfect put away The Texas Tornado, he wouldn't allow him to do the same to him. Warrior pinned Perfect following a big splash.

    Only two men have been the sole survivor three times—Ultimate Warrior was the first.

8. Hulk Hogan (1990)

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    Hulk Hogan, Jim Duggan, The Big Boss Man and Tugboat vs. Earthquake, Haku, Dino Bravo and The Barbarian

    Hulk Hogan was paired with many of his friends in 1990, and it seemed the biggest obstacle in his way would be the massive Earthquake.

    Instead, Earthquake would be counted out along with Tugboat, opening the door for Hogan.

    He eliminated Dino Bravo in this match, and then put away The Barbarian in the end to become sole survivor.


7. Dolph Ziggler (2012)

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    Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, David Otunga, Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio vs. The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Daniel Bryan, Kane and Randy Orton

    Just last year, Dolph Ziggler became the latest Superstar to be the sole survivor in what was a great match.

    Ziggler got a big elimination early in the match when he pinned Kane.

    In the end, he was able to put away Randy Orton, one of the best performers in the history of the event.

6. Randy Orton (2003)

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    Chris Jericho, Christian, Randy Orton, Scott Steiner and Mark Henry vs. Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Bubba Ray Dudley and D-Von Dudley

    In 2003, Eric Bischoff and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin each compiled a team to do battle at Survivor Series.

    It ended up being one of the first big moments in the career of Randy Orton.

    Orton eliminated Rob Van Dam in the early stages of the match before putting Shawn Michaels away at the end.

    Yes, he got help from Batista to win the match, but the fact is that Orton was the sole survivor in a match that included several future hall of fame competitors.

5. Ken Shamrock (1997)

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    Ahmed Johnson, Ken Shamrock, Hawk and Animal vs. The Nation of Domination

    The 1997 Survivor Series is one of the most memorable on record. Lost in the shuffle of the controversial WWE title match that night was the performance of Ken Shamrock.

    Shamrock was able to overcome the Nation of Domination, eliminating both D'Lo Brown and The Rock after being left with 1-on-2 odds.

4. Kofi Kingston (2009)

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    Kofi Kingston, Montel Vontavious Porter, Mark Henry, R-Truth and Christian vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, CM Punk and William Regal

    Kofi Kingston could only watch as two of his partners were eliminated three minutes into this match.

    In the end, Kingston found himself alone against CM Punk and Randy Orton. Kingston makes the list this high because of the way he won it.

    In an eight-second time frame (even though Michael Cole says six on the broadcast), he found a way (video) to eliminate both men to win the match.

3. Rocky Maivia (1996)

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    Marc Mero, Rocky Maivia, Jake Roberts and The Stalker vs. Crush, Jerry Lawler, Hunter Hearst Helmsley and Goldust

    How many Superstars have made their debut in WWE by becoming sole survivor at Survivor Series? Just one.

    In 1996, Rocky Maivia let everyone know he would be a future star by outlasting everyone in this match.

    Not only did he do that, he did so by eliminating both Crush and Goldust despite being at a 2-on-1 disadvantage.

2. Randy Orton (2004)

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    Randy Orton, Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho and Maven vs. Triple H, Edge, Batista and Snitsky

    Randy Orton has been the sole survivor three times, but none were more impressive than this.

    In 2004, Orton became the youngest world champion in history but quickly lost the title to Triple H.

    In this match, Triple H seemed to have the better team to go along with the momentum of beating Orton.

    But when Orton found himself the last man on his team against both Edge and Triple H, he found a way to overcome them both, using the RKO on both men to get the victory and with it, a small measure of revenge.

1. The Rock (2001)

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    The Rock, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, Kane and The Big Show vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rob Van Dam, Kurt Angle, Booker T and Shane McMahon

    This is a very easy choice for No. 1.

    Not only was this probably the biggest match in Survivor Series history, but The Rock had to go through some of the best Superstars in WWE history to achieve victory.

    According to the storyline, either the WWE or The Alliance would come to an end on this night in this "winner take all" match.

    The Rock eliminated Kurt Angle and Booker T before being left with Steve Austin in the end. The two men, who put on many great matches together, didn't disappoint here.

    The Rock was able to earn the win, keeping WWE alive. The shot of Vince McMahon celebrating the win after the match is hard to forget.