The Survivor Series is WWE's second-oldest pay-per-view, with roots extending back to 1987. But it likely wouldn't have survived (pun intended) for so long without a certain staple match.
The "Traditional Survivor Series Match" - an elimination match featuring teams of four or five each, in most cases - shaped the event in its early years, with the entire card consisting of elimination matches between all-star teams of wrestlers.
And even though the "traditional" matches have scaled back considerably (some years without even one elimination match!), the fact remains that 367 wrestlers have participated in at least one between 1987 and 2019.
So how did we come up with the Top 50 Survivor Series Match Participants? By using simple math. We assigned the following scores for every single Survivor Series match competitor:
1 point for each Survivor Series match they participated in (note - these are ONLY for the elimination matches, not other matches on the PPV. Likewise, elimination matches on non-Survivor Series shows won't count, nor do any Kickoff Show matches)
10 points for each credited elimination
50 points for being the (or one of the) final survivors in a match
What you'll find is an extremely stats-driven and accurate reflection of who performed best in the Traditional Survivor Series match over the years. If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
Despite never scoring a pinfall or submission in any of his six Survivor Series matches, Hercules scored 56 points in our study. This success primarily came from his showing in 1990, where his team The Visionaries won their elimination match and advanced to the final "Match of Survival" that evening, losing to Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior.
Eddie Guerrero / Ryback / D'Lo Brown / Cesaro / Titus O'Neill / Jim Brunzell
WWE Hall of Famer Eddie Guerrero, as well as Ryback, D'Lo Brown, Cesaro, Titus O'Neill and Jim Brunzell of The Killer Bees each scored 62 points. Interestingly, each competitor won one of their Survivor Series matches and then failed to score a single pinfall or submission during their other outing.
Christian / Rikishi / Sasha Banks
Christian, Sasha Banks and WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi (who also competed as Fatu and The Sultan) each scored 64 points with four Survivor Series appearances apiece. Of these three, only Fatu won a match at the event, co-winning with The Undertaker Henry Godwin and Savio Vega in 1995.
Ken Shamrock / Bray Wyatt / Tyson Kidd / Perry Saturn
Ken Shamrock, Bray Wyatt, Tyson Kidd and Perry Saturn each scored 71 points in our survey. Shamrock was the Sole Survivor in his 1997 outing, while Saturn co-won his match in 2000. Kidd won alongside three others in 2012, and Wyatt co-won his match with Randy Orton in 2016.
Andre The Giant / Animal / Dusty Rhodes
WWE Hall of Famers Andre The Giant Road Warrior Animal and Dusty Rhodes each scored 73 points, according to our study. Andre was victorious in the inaugural Survivor Series main event, while The American Dream won his match in 1989 (and appeared again in 1990, returning in 2006). Animal won his main event in 1991.
Hacksaw Jim Duggan / Alicia Fox
WWE Hall of Famer Hacksaw Jim Duggan and Alicia Fox may not have a ton in common, but both scored 75 points in our study. Duggan won his match at the inaugural Survivor Series and appeared at the first five events. In 2014, Fox was one of four survivors in her match against a team captained by Paige.
Ahmed Johnson / Charlotte Flair / Beth Phoenix / Road Dogg
Ahmed Johnson, Charlotte Flair and WWE Hall of Famers Beth Phoenix and Road Dogg (who also competed in the Survivor Series as Jesse James) each scored 82 points by our calculations. Johnson won his match in 1995 (which was also the Survivor Series debut year for Road Dogg), while The Glamazon was successful in her 2008 outing.
Butch / Earthquake / Bob Holly / Goldust / Jimmy Uso
There is a five-way tie for 36th place in our survey, with WWE Hall of Famer Bushwhacker Butch, Earthquake, Goldust, Hardcore Holly and Jimmy Uso each scoring 84 points over the years. It's worth noting that, while Butch outperformed Luke in this study, Jimmy Uso is lagging his twin brother Jey.
Bret Hart / Marty Jannetty
While the words "Survivor Series" probably don't have the best memories for WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart, he managed to score 86 points through six Survivor Series match appearances. Marty Jannetty was also part of six Survivor Series events. Interestingly, the best year for both competitors was 1993, where Hart and Jannetty each co-won their respective matches.
Lex Luger scored 92 points through two consecutive Survivor Series match appearances (he was team captain both times). In 1993, he defeated Quebecor Jacques and Ludvig Borga to become the match's Sole Survivor. In 1994, he eliminated Jimmy Del Ray and Tatanka but was pinned by King Kong Bundy.
Mabel / The Miz / Naomi
The trio of Mabel (who also competed as Viscera and Big Daddy V), The Miz and Naomi each scored 95 points through various Survivor Series appearances. Mabel was one of the four Doinks in 1993 (all of whom were victorious); Miz co-won an elimination match in 2009; and Naomi won her match during the 2014 event.
Sgt. Slaughter / Asuka
WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter and Asuka each scored 103 points during three Survivor Series match appearances. In 1990, Slaughter eliminated Nikolai Volkoff and both Bushwhackers before losing by DQ to Tito Santana. A year later, he won along with team members Santana, Hacksaw Jim Duggan and The Texas Tornado. Asuka won her match in 2017 as Sole Survivor and also had impressive outings in 2018 and 2019.
The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase
While WWE Hall of Famer Ted DiBiase may have millions upon millions of dollars, he only has 105 points to his name in Survivor Series match points. The Million Dollar Man had five matches between 1988 and 1992. In 1990, he survived and then caused another elimination in the final "Match of Survival".
The Nasty Boys
Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags of The Nasty Boys each scored 122 points in just two Survivor Series appearances, winning both his elimination matches. In 1991, Sags pinned Marty Jannetty to win the match for their team (which also included The Beverly Brothers) and in 1992, Knobbs pinned Irwin R. Shyster on route to his team winning their match.
The Warlord scored 125 points, faring much better than his former partner The Barbarian (74 points). In 1988, he and Barbarian won an elimination match where they turned heel afterwards. In 1990, he eliminated Marty Jannetty and along with the others Visionaries, made it into the final "Match of Survival".
WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair only made two Survivor Series match appearances and still managed to score 142 points! In 1991, he eliminated Davey Boy Smith and was Sole Survivor. Some 15 years later, Flair was again Sole Survivor after pinning Spirit Squad members Mikey, Kenny and Johnny.
Sheamus scored 144 points through four traditional Survivor Series appearances. In 2016, The Celtic Warrior and Cesaro won for Team Raw and in 2009, he eliminated Finlay and John Morrison, helping teammates Drew McIntyre and The Miz win. In 2015, Sheamus was the last man eliminated.
Cody Rhodes (a/k/a Stardust) scored 156 points, the result of six Survivor Series match appearances between 2008 and 2015. In his first year, Rhodes and team captain Randy Orton won their match, a feat that Rhodes repeated with partner Wade Barrett in 2011, shortly after defeating the likes of Mason Ryan.
Natalya/ Dolph Ziggler
Natalya and Dolph Ziggler (who also competed as Nicky in his first Survivor Series match appearance) each scored 166 points over six appearances. In 2015, Ziggler stole the show by becoming the Sole Survivor in a match with huge implications, while Natalya won her matches in 2013 and 2014.
The Rock (who also competed as Rocky Maivia) scored 173 points, appearing in only three elimination matches. His first campaign in 1996 showed him being the Sole Survivor (in his WWF debut, in fact), although he had a better outing in 2001 when he won the pivotal Team WWF vs. Team Alliance match.
WWE Hall of Famer Randy "Macho Man" Savage scored 184 points, with Survivor four appearances between 1987 and 1993. Savage won his matches in 1987 (with Ricky Steamboat and Jake Roberts), 1988 (with Hulk Hogan) and 1989 (with Earthquake and Dino Bravo) and scored one elimination in 1993.
Jeff Hardy scored 205 points over five appearances between 1999 and 2015. Hardy was the Sole Survivor of his match in 2000; won in 2006 (along with Matt Hardy, DX and CM Punk) and won again in 2007 (along with Triple H).
Rey Mysterio scored 237 points over Survivor Series appearances between 2005 and 2018. He won matches in 2008 (along with Shawn Michaels and The Great Khali), 2010 (along with The Big Show) and in 2012 (along with Sin Cara, Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel).
WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan scored 275 points through five Survivor Series appearances between 1987 and 1990. While he only scored on elimination in the first year of the event, The Hulkster won his matches in 1988, 1989 and 1990 where he co-won the "Match of Survival".
The Big Show
The Big Show scored 288 points over eight Survivor Series appearances between 1999 and 2014. Although he won three of those matches, his biggest victory came in his first year, in which he single handedly eliminated all his opponents .
B. Brian Blair / Emma / Justin Gabriel / The Great Khali / Melina / Val Venis / The Jumping Bomb Angels / Cheesy, Queasy and Sleazy
Several entries on this list feature competitors who are tied for a certain spot. B. Brian Blair, Emma, Justin Gabriel, The Great Khali, Melina, Val Venis, Noriyo Tateno and Itsuki Yamazaki (The Jumping Bomb Angels) and Cheesy, Queasy and Sleazy each scored 61 points in our study.
The Godfather / Hawk / Jerry Lawler / Nia Jax / Henry Godwinn
WWE Hall of Famers The Godfather (who also competed as Kama Mustafa and The Goodfather), Road Warrior Hawk and Jerry The King Lawler, along with Nia Jax and Henry Godwinn, each scored 63 points apiece in our study. All five competitors won one of their respective matches over the years.
Matt Hardy has scored 65 points through five Survivor Series match appearances between 1999 and 2009. His only successful match was in 2006, where he deleted... er, eliminated Gregory Helms on route to winning with his teammates Jeff Hardy, CM Punk, Shawn Michaels and Triple H.
King Kong Bundy / Bart Gunn / Doug Furnas / Phil LaFon
King Kong Bundy, Bart Gunn and the tag team of Doug Furnas and Phil LaFon each scored 72 points in our survey through two Survivor Series appearances apiece. Bundy co-won the main event of the 1994 event, and interestingly, Gunn, Furnas and LaFon were each survivors in 1996.
Luke / D'Von Dudley / The Barbarian / Rick Martel
WWE Hall of Famers Bushwhacker Luke and D'Von Dudley, along with The Barbarian (who also competed as Sionne) and Rick Martel scored 74 points apiece. While each man had lower scores than their long-time tag team partners, all four won at least one Survivor Series match.
Nikki Bella / Kurrgan
Nikki Bella and Kurrgan (who competed as The Interrogator) both scored 81 points apiece in our study. In 2013, Bella co-won her Survivor Series match (with Natalya) for the Total Divas team and pinned three competitors. The Interrogator was the Sole Survivor during his 1997 match, pinning Chainz, 8-Ball and Crush.
Wade Barrett / Bayley / Bam Bam Bigelow / CM Punk / Mickie James
We have a five-way tie for 37th place, with Wade Barrett, Bayley, Bam Bam Bigelow, CM Punk and Mickie James each scoring 83 points in Survivor Series appearances over the years. Of those competitors, Bigelow was the runner-up in the main event of the first Survivor Series, and Punk co-won his match in 2006.
Jake Roberts / Mark Henry
WWE Hall of Famers Jake "The Snake" Roberts and Mark Henry each scored 85 points with five Survivor Series appearances apiece. The Snake's biggest win came at the first Survivor Series in 1987 when he co-won the match, whie The World's Strongest Man co-won in 1999.
Many people reading this may not even know who Aja Kong is, let alone how she scored 91 points in a single Survivor Series outing. The year was 1995, and Kong was part of Bertha Faye's four-woman team. She eliminated Sakie Hasegawa, Chaparita Asari, Kyoko Inoue and Alundra Blayze for the win.
WWE Hall of Famer Brutus The Barber Beefcake has scored 93 points, appearing at the first three Survivor Series events. In 1987 and 1988, he eliminated one person each before being removed from the match. In 1989, he eliminated The Honky Tonk Man and Rick Martel, later winning the match with Dusty Rhodes.
Kofi Kingston scored 97 points, appearing in seven Survivor Series matches between 2008 and 2016. His biggest win came in 2009, in which he captained a team and came out the Sole Survivor after pinning both CM Punk and Randy Orton. The New Day member also eliminated people in 2010 and 2015 bouts.
The Undertaker / Bubba Ray Dudley / Billy Gunn
The somewhat-unlikely trio of The Undertaker and WWE Hall of Famers Bubba Ray Dudley and Billy Gunn each scored 104 points over four Survivor Series appearances. The Dead Man's biggest elimination match victory was in 1995, while Gunn's was 1997 and Dudley's was 2015.
Bobby Lashley has scored an impressive 113 points over three matches. Not only did The Almighty survive the match at 2018's event (along with Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre), he also did the same back in 2006, co-winning a match with John Cena and eliminating Finlay from the fight.
Dino Bravo / Paul Roma
Both Dino Bravo and Paul Roma scored 124 points a piece in this study. Bravo competed in the first four Survivor Series events and won his bouts in 1988 and 1989. Surprisingly, Roma won a tag team elimination match in 1987 (with Jim Powers and The Killer Bees), and his team The Visionaries won their match in 1990, going to the final "Match of Survival."
123 Kid / Chris Benoit
Both WWE Hall of Famer The 123 Kid (who never competed in a Survivor Series match as X-Pac) and Chris Benoit scored 133 points from three Survivor Series appearances. The Kid survived his matches in 1993 and 1995, while Benoit was victorious in 2000 and 2003, where he made Brock Lesnar tap out.
WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect scored 143 points, making three Survivor Series match apearances. In 1988, he eliminated Jake The Snake Roberts to get the deciding win for him and teammate Dino Bravo. A year later, he won after eliminating Butch and Jimmy Snuka. If not for 1990, he'd have a 'perfect' record.
Davey Boy Smith
Davey Boy Smith (who also wrestled as The British Bulldog over the Survivor Series years) scored 147 points, with seven Survivor Series appearances between 1987 and 1999. In 1995, he eliminated Razor Ramon on the way to surviving the match, while he was also a Sole Survivor in his 1997 match.
Roman Reigns has scored 164 points over four appearances at Survivor Series. Most notable were his 2013 run, where The Big Dog eliminated Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Goldust and Rey Mysterio on route to victory, and 2019, where he pinned Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee to once again become the match's Sole Survivor.
WWE Hall of Famer Tito Santana (who also competed as El Matador) competed at the first five annual Survivor Series events plus the "Match of Survival", scoring a total of 166 points. Tito was the Sole Survivor at the 1990 event, and also pinned Hercules en route to his entire team winning their match in 1991.
Braun Strowman has scored 184 points in four traditional Survivor Series match appearances to date. In 2016, The Monster Among Men eliminated Dean Ambrose and in 2017, he and Triple H were the final survivors for Team Raw. In 2018, he won the match again, this time with Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.
John Cena scored 185 points over five elimination match appearances between 2003 and 2017. Cena won his matches in 2003 (with Chris Benoit), 2004 (with Eddie Guerrero and Big Show) and 2006 (with Bobby Lashley). In fact, 2014 and 2017 were Cena's only unsuccessful Survivor Series campaigns to date.
WWE Hall of Famer Triple H (who also competed as Hunter Hearst Helmsley) scored 226 points over six matches. In 2006, The Game's entire team survived his match; in 2007, he won along with Jeff Hardy; and in 2016, he and Braun Strowman survived for Team Raw after he turned on teammate Kurt Angle.
The Ultimate Warrior
WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior is actually undefeated in Survivor Series matches, scoring 275 points through four appearances between 1988 and 1990. He was the Sole Survivor in 1988, 1989 and 1990 -- plus he went on to the final "Match of Survival" in 1990 and won that match as well with Hulk Hogan.
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels scored 281 points over an incredible 11 appearances between 1988 and 2008. The Heartbreak Kid won Survivor Series matches in 1995 (along with Ahmed Johnson), in 2006 (along with Triple H, CM Punk and The Hardy Boyz) and in 2008 (with Rey Mysterio and The Great Khali).
Although names like The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and The Rock are often synonymous with the November event, Randy Orton is truly the Survivor Series savior. The Apex Predator has scored 400 points over ten appearances between 2003 and 2019, being the Sole Survivor in 2003, 2004 and 2005 and winning along with Cody Rhodes in 2008 and Bray Wyatt in 2016. Orton's victims over the past two decades have included Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Dolph Ziggler, Rob Van Dam and Chris Jericho.