Don’t Overlook This Accolade: Randy Orton Is ‘Mr. Survivor Series’
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Randy Orton has a lot of accomplishments in his career, but one that people don’t often look at is his staggering Survivor Series record. His first appearance was in 2003, over a year after his debut. Being an Orton, he was thrust into the spotlight right away and looked like a star coming out of it.
Since then, he’s set multiple records at the 4th biggest PPV of the year and it’s hard to imagine an Elimination match or Survivor Series PPV without him. There’s only one man who has competed in more Survivor Series Elimination matches than he has – Shawn Michaels. At 11 appearances in Elimination matches, the only person close to him is Orton, having been a part of nine of them himself. Given that he will be participating in one in 2019 and has 5 more years on his contract, it’s safe to say that The Viper will hold that record when it’s all said and done.
A record he does, however, hold above everyone else at Survivor Series is the most number of eliminations, which is 15. The only person close to that is The Big Show at 13, but this stat shouldn’t come as much of a surprise given how many times Orton has won a match for his team. The fact that he has been the sole survivor as much as he has itself justifies the record. You’re probably wondering what that number is and the answer is 3. If you count his victories alongside others, then it goes up to 5, with 2016 being his most recent Survivor Series victory – one where he stood tall with Bray Wyatt.
However, his first 3 Survivor Series appearances were all very instrumental to his career success and if you look at all three of them, he was in a very different place. The first time around, he was a part of Evolution and one of the members of Team Bischoff that faced Team Austin. It was a star-studded line-up and Orton was put in a huge spot but excelled, being the sole survivor in his first outing and even outlasting the great Shawn Michaels.
The following year, he was a babyface who was leading his own team against Triple H‘s and once again, he managed to thrive under the spotlight despite not hitting it off as a babyface. However, he managed to outsmart Triple H in a 2-on-1 situation and pick up the victory for his team, giving them the control of RAW for a night.
Since Orton’s babyface run didn’t work out too well, he turned heel again and was in an extensive rivalry with The Undertaker for a good part of 2005, where he traded wins, but mostly lost to The Deadman. At Survivor Series 2005, he was a part of an incredible cast in Team SmackDown and picked up the win for his team by once again being the sole survivor and outlasting legends from the opposition.
However, the celebrations were cut short when The Undertaker returned and spoiled the party. Following that, he would have an unsuccessful outing in 2006 as a part of Rated-RKO and then successfully defend the WWE Championship in 2008. He had a fantastic outing in 2009 when he was feuding against Kofi Kingston and even though he lost the match, he did a fantastic job putting over Kofi Kingston, proving that you don’t only have to win to cement your legacy.
While he has had quite a few unsuccessful outings as a part of Survivor Series, there’s no superstar in history who has turned up and performed at that level the way he has. Win, lose, or draw, Survivor Series belongs to Randy Orton and he is only going to continue to thrive and add to his legacy of the PPV.