What are the best sole survivor performances in Survivor Series history?
WWE has been running Survivor Series for almost 35 years with classic elimination-style tag team matches. In that time, many wrestlers have been the sole survivor on their teams. There have been a lot of memorable performances by sole survivors, but which ones have been best? We took a look at the five best sole survivor performances. Remember – this is just about individual performances. No bonus points for Randy Orton and Ultimate Warrior being sole survivors three times in their careers.
- Ken Shamrock – 1997
- Andre the Giant – 1987
- Ric Flair – 2006
5. Randy Orton – 2003
We’ll start with the first of Orton’s three sole survivor experiences. In 2003, Orton picked up the win for Team Bischoff against Team Austin to give Bischoff control of Monday Night Raw. Orton last eliminated Shawn Michaels and had eliminated Rob Van Dam earlier in the match as well. It was a sign of how much WWE trusted Orton as one of the faces of the company, an investment that has paid off almost 20 years later.
4. Dolph Ziggler – 2014
Ziggler’s contribution to Team Cena gets overlooked for a big reason at Survivor Series 2014. That reason: the debut of Sting. Team Cena was trying to remove Team Authority but went down early due to a Big Show heel turn. Are we surprised? No. Dolph Ziggler was left with a one-on-three situation and managed to win the match with a Sting assist. He put away Kane, Luke Harper, and Seth Rollins in a performance that reminded everyone that Ziggler was a main event star.
3. Kofi Kingston – 2009
In 2009, Kofi Kingston had a chance to become a main event level player. He was feuding with Randy Orton and both men captained teams into battle. Kingston was left with a two-on-one against CM Punk and Randy Orton. He held his own and managed to eliminate both men in a 10-second span. It was one of the best Survivor Series endings of all time and should’ve been Kingston’s rise to the world championship picture. Instead, that would take another 10 years.
2. Roman Reigns – 2013
WWE really wanted to get Roman Reigns over as a world-beater as part of The Shield. They’ve never really stopped wanting to get Reigns over. In 2013 the plan was simple: make Reigns look like a badass at any opportunity. This match was an ample opportunity, as Reigns racked up four eliminations in a 5 on 5 match. He was the only remaining survivor of The Shield & The Real Americans (remember them?) and looked amazing in his dominant performance.
1. The Rock – 2001
The best Survivor Series match in terms of stakes was the 2001 edition. It was WWF versus The Alliance, with control of the company on the line. We knew that WWF was going nowhere, but the main event still had drama and The Rock was at the heart of it. He was the poster boy for the WWF and racked up three eliminations. Rock took out Booker T and Kurt Angle before going one-on-one with storied rival Stone Cold Steve Austin. He may have had help from turncoat Kurt Angle, but The Rock still put in the most memorable sole survivor performance in history.
Evan Gomes is a freelance pop culture & sports writer. Follow him on Twitter at @ItsEvanGomes, and check out his two podcasts: Crossbody of Work and The Pop Capsule Podcast.
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