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 373 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!
Nikki Bella / Kurrgan
WWE Hall of Famer 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.
Bam Bam Bigelow/CM Punk/Mickie James/Wade Barrett
Wade Barrett, 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.
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. In 1993, Hart co-won his match along with brothers Bruce and Keith.
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.
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.
The Miz has scored an "awwwwesome" 95 points through five Survivor Series appearances between 2008 and 2018. His biggest win came in 2009, when he won along with Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.
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.
WWE Hall of Famer Billy Gunn scored 104 points over four Survivor Series appearances. In 1997, he and New Age Outlaws partner Road Dogg won their match.
The Undertaker, who both officially debuted and retired at the Survivor Series scored 104 points through four appearances. The Dead Man's biggest elimination match victory was in 1995, when he eliminated Hunter-Hearst Helmsley, Jerry Lawler and Isaac Yankem in the same match.
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.
Paul Roma, somewhat surprisingly, scored 124 points in four appearances at Survivor Series. This included winning a tag team elimination match in 1987 (with Jim Powers and The Killer Bees), and when his team The Visionaries won their match in 1990.
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 won along with the other Visionaries.
The 123 Kid
Both WWE Hall of Famer The 123 Kid (who never competed in a Survivor Series match as X-Pac) scored 133 points from three Survivor Series appearances. The Kid survived his matches in 1993 and 1995.
WWE Hall of Famer Mr. Perfect scored 143 points, making three Survivor Series match apearances. In 1988, he eliminated Jake Roberts to get the deciding win for he and Dino Bravo. A year later, he won after eliminating Butch and Jimmy Snuka. If not for 1990, he'd have a 'perfect' record.
Drew McIntyre has scored 154 points over four Survivor Series appearances. Notably, The Scottish Warrior won his matches in both 2009 and 2018, and has always contributed at least one elimination in each of his bouts.
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 Randy Orton won their match, a feat he repeated with partner Wade Barrett in 2011.
Dolph Ziggler (who also competed as Nicky) has scored 166 points over six traditional Survivor Series appearances. This includes the main event in 2014, when Ziggler became Sole Survivor for his group in a match with huge implications.
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.
Sheamus scored 205 points through four traditional Survivor Series appearances. In 2016, The Celtic Warrior and Cesaro won for Team Raw and in 2009, he helped teammates Drew McIntyre and The Miz win. In 2015, Sheamus was the last man eliminated and in 2020, he helped Team Raw get the win.
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 with Jeff Hardy; and in 2016, he and Braun Strowman survived for Team Raw.
Braun Strowman has scored 245 points in five 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 and did so again in 2020.
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 eliminated all his opponents .
Ahmed Johnson / Charlotte Flair / Road Dogg / Beth Phoenix
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.
Bayley/Butch/Earthquake/Goldust/Hardcore Holly/Jimmy Uso
There is a six-way tie for 47th place in our survey, with WWE Hall of Famer Bushwhacker Butch, Earthquake, Goldust, Hardcore Holly, Bayley, 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.
Marty Jannetty of The Rockers scored 86 points in our study, appearing at six Survivor Series events. The tag team specialist co-won his elimination match in 1993 along with The 123 Kid.
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.
Asuka has scored 93 points through three Survivor Series appearances. The Empress of Tomorrow won her match in 2017 as Sole Survivor and also had impressive outings in 2018 and 2019.
Naomi has scored 95 points through five Survivor Series appearances between 2013 and 2018. She felt the glow in 2014, winning the match along with teammates Alicia Fox, Emma and Natalya.
Mabel (who also competed as Viscera and Big Daddy V) scored 95 points through five Survivor Series appearances. Mabel was one of the four Doinks in 1993 (all of which were victorious in their match.)
WWE Hall of Famer Sgt. Slaughter 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.
Bubba Ray Dudley
WWE Hall of Famer Bubba Ray Dudley of The Dudley Boyz scored 104 points over four Survivor Series appearances. In 2015, he (along with D-Von Dudley, Goldust and Titus O'Neil) won their match.
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.
Dino Bravo scored 124 points in our Survivor Series study. The World's Strongest Man competed in the first four Survivor Series events and won his bouts in 1988 and 1989.
Chris Benoit scored 133 points over three Survivor Series appearances, including one in 2003 where he made Brock Lesnar tap out.
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.
Davey Boy Smith
WWE Hall of Famer 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.
Jey Uso has scored 155 points over five Survivor Series matches, considerably more than his Bloodline brother Jimmy (who has 84 points). Main Event Jey won big matches in both 2015 and 2018.
Roman Reigns has scored 164 points over four appearances at Survivor Series. Most notable were his 2013 run, where The Tribal Chief 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.
Natalya has scored 177 points through seven Survivor Series appearances between 2013 and 2020, making her the top female competitor in this ranking. Natalya won her team's matches in both 2013 and 2014.
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.
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).
The Ultimate Warrior
WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior is actually undefeated in Survivor Series matches, scoring 274 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.