Since 1987, Survivor Series has become one of the staples of World Wrestling Entertainment, a Thanksgiving tradition in many households across America.
The show is one of the Stamford outfits “Big Four” pay-per-views, the significance of the Survivor Series should not be underestimated. Legends such as Kurt Angle, The Rock, Sting, and The Undertaker made their debuts at this event throughout the years.
The premise of the traditional elimination matches is that the teams who coexist have their hands raised at the end of the battle. However, an individual superstar can steal the show and grab the win for whoever they are representing.
Randy Orton’s stature grew when he secured victory for Team Bischoff, as the sole survivor in 2003. Shawn Michaels was the last person he kept down for a three-count. Beating one of the greatest of all time was a huge moment for the “Legend Killer”, he came into his own after that.
With that said – here are the best five solo showings in WWE Survivor Series history:
5. Asuka (2017)
The “Empress of Tomorrow” was called up to the main roster from NXT two months before Survivor Series and was the driving force behind Raw’s women defeating their SmackDown counterparts inside the Toyota Center.
Asuka carried her undefeated streak from the Black and Gold brand to the red one. It made sense to keep that intact – giving her the strongest start in her new home.
After pinning Carmella and losing her last teammate Sasha Banks – things looked bleak for Osaka native as she stood alone against veterans Tamina and Natalya. However – those two were no match for the Raw Superstar – they both submitted to the Asuka Lock.
It was an impressive display from the former NXT Women’s Champion – she looked like the star that she is – this was a great way to start her career on Monday nights.
4. Kofi Kingston (2009)
Kofi Kingston overcame the odds at Survivor Series 12 years ago – pushing himself over the finish line against Team Orton – his biggest foe at the time.
Kingston was in the middle of the biggest push of his career, his stunning Boom Drop on “The Viper” through a table at Madison Square Garden three days earlier, still fresh in the minds of the WWE Universe.
Kingston surrounded himself with experienced soldiers – but Mark Henry, R-Truth, Montel Vontavious Porter, and Christian were no match for Legacy, CM Punk, and William Regal.
Kingston was flying solo with Orton and Punk – his chances of survival were minimal against two of the best superstars WWE had to offer. Not one to back down, Kingston surprised Punk with a roll-up to send him packing, then caught Orton with a Trouble In Paradise to gain an unlikely win.
It is hard to believe, considering how over he was here, WWE took a decade to put the World Championship around Kingston’s waist. Better late than never, I suppose.
3. Roman Reigns (2013)
It was clear when Roman Reigns made his main roster debut at Survivor Series 12 months earlier – WWE saw him as the star of The Shield – this match reiterated their stance. This was his breakout performance.
The Shield teamed up with Jack Swagger and Antonio Cesaro to take on Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Rey Mysterio, and The Uso – Reigns’ side lost three men in seven minutes – leaving him and Seth Rollins to fight their opponents who were at full strength.
Reigns took over at this point – defeating Jimmy Uso and Rhodes within 60 seconds – Goldust, then Mysterio followed shortly after. Reigns disposed of the latter two by himself after Rollins was eliminated.
Reigns had arrived in WWE – this was the beginning of his rise to the top of the company.
2. Dolph Ziggler (2014)
Like Kofi Kingston in 2009 – Dolph Zigger’s showing at the 2014 Survivor Series should have taken him to the next level in WWE – but it did not.
Ziggler put on a performance of a lifetime, representing Team Cena, against The Authority – who would have to relinquish power if they lost – while Cena’s partners, not the man himself, would be fired if they did not win. The stakes were high.
When Ziggler was left alone with Kane, Luke Harper, and Seth Rollins for the last 19 minutes of the contest – the Kent State graduate played the role of babyface in a perilous position to perfection. His selling was similar to Shawn Michaels in his prime.
The master of the Zig-Zag managed to send Kane and Harper packing – it was down to him and Rollins. Triple H, who was leading the charge for The Authority, hit Ziggler with a Pedigree – it looked like that was it until Sting made his first appearance in WWE, helping Team Cena get the winner’s purse.
Sting’s debut overshadowed Zigger’s heroics. The former should have won several World Championships after this unforgettable night in Missouri. Only Vince McMahon can explain why he was not put in a position to do so.
1. Randy Orton (2004)
Shawn Michaels was known as “Mr. WrestleMania” during his career – it is safe to say Randy Orton is currently “Mr. Survivor Series” due to his brilliant record at the November extravaganza.
Orton has been a sole survivor on three different occasions – he did it in consecutive years – 2003, 2004, and 2005. With 16 eliminations, nobody has taken out more people at Survivor Series than “The Apex Predator”.
His 2004 triumph was special because he got the better of Edge and his former Evolution stable-mate Triple H, hitting both with an RKO on route to victory as team captain.
When he appears this Sunday – Orton will be competing in his 177th WWE pay-per-view match – a record. It is fitting he is getting that honor at a show he has become synonymous with.