This weekend WWE will be bringing fans the Survivor Series. A pay-per-view often associated with debuts and storyline swerves, it’s also the only pay-per-view that offers team eliminations in contests that hope one team out-survives the other. In some special instances, only one person survives and as a result is labeled the “sole survivor.”
When you think of sole survivors in past Survivor Series events, it’s not too hard to envision names like Andre The Giant, Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior or The Rock finding themselves in that category. But there are many WWE Superstars both past and present that you might be surprised are on the list.
Who are the most unexpected names to outlast everyone else? Below is a list of five WWE Superstars you might not have expected to make it all the way through but did.
5. Kofi Kingston
He’s a big star now but even if he were in an elimination match people might be suprised if Kofi Kingston wound up being the sole survivor of a Survivor Series. As part of the faction New Day, he’s not necessarily the guy you envision outlasting everyone else. At Survivor Series 2009 he managed to pin both Randy Orton and CM Punk.
This was a time that WWE was trying to make Kingston a legit main-event player. It never panned out that way and after pinning two former world champs in 30 seconds he never really found that level of success again. New Day is about as close as Kingston has come.
4. Tito Santana
In one of the worst collection of WWE Superstars to grace a traditional elimination match, Tito Santana won by disqualification when General Adnan hit him with the Iraqi flag at the 1990 Survivor Series.
The entire match lasted just over 10 minutes and because Santana didn’t actually eliminate anyone to win, he got the label by default. Not exactly memorable. To make matters worse, he went on as a survivor to the main event match and teamed with Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior. He was the only competitor on that team to be eliminated.
3. Hardcore Holly
If you were told the teams consisted of The Hardy Boyz, Edge and Christian, The Holly Cousins and Too Cool would you assume Hardcore Holly would come out of that match as the sole survivor? Neither would we. But, in 1999, that’s exactly what happened.
WWE was pushing the other superstars at that time so to choose Holly was an odd choice. It might have been a thank you for years of service, but it was odd to see him defeat Edge and Christian in the match. Holly was well-respected by the higher-ups at that time and that’s the only thing we can think got him the rub.
2. Bart Gunn
Consider where Bart Gunn’s career wound up going and that he was never really more than the lesser-half of the Smoking Gunns tag team. But when he outlasted everyone and became the sole survivor in 1996, it was unexpected.
Granted, the entire group of wrestlers in that match were not much to write home about, but still, out of everyone in the group, he did the least with his career. He did get famous for being knocked out by Butterbean though. Being a sole survivor is probably one of the highlights of his WWE career.
1. 1-2-3 Kid
He was an underdog most of his career but he did achieve some pretty cool things as part of the WWE. What makes this entry so odd is that 1-2-3 Kid (X-Pac) is the only member of D-X to ever be the sole survivor of a Survivor Series.
He was part of the Million Dollar Corporation when it happened and got some help from the Million Dollar Man and Sycho Sid but he can still call himself a sole survivor. Most people probably don’t even remember his heel run in WWE, nonetheless his win at the pay-per-view.
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