WWE's 'Big Four' pay-per-view events are among the most prestigious events in the pro wrestling industry. While the impact of Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, and Summerslam have remained unchanged through the decades, Survivor Series has rarely felt like a big deal in comparison.
However, Survivor Series has had its share of unforgettable moments. The Undertaker debuted and retired at the event, and the event's five vs. five matches have become iconic status.
The matches have often provided intrigue over the composition of teams and the order of eliminations. The event has eventually become a breeding ground for brand rivalry.
As the traditional five vs. five match primarily headlines the annual event, several surprising WWE Superstars have main evented Survivor Series. Here is a list of five such stars.
#5 Former WWE 24/7 Champion R-Truth (Survivor Series 2011)
R-Truth's headlined WWE Capitol Punishment 2011 amid fan backlash. Yet, within months, he managed to headline Survivor Series at Madison Square Garden.
John Cena was Miz and Truth's main target throughout the match. Although they attempted to pin him several times, the dream team of Cena and Rock came out on top in the end.
#4 Former WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champion Erik Rowan (Survivor Series 2014)
WWE provided an intriguing main event for Survivor Series 2014 as The Authority faced a team led by John Cena. Erick Rowan was a member of the Team Authority.
Rowan was never seen as a main eventer by WWE, but he managed to headline a "big four" event in this case. Team Authority almost cheated their way to victory as they cornered Team Cena's sole survivor Dolph Ziggler.
However, Sting appeared to save the day. Entering a WWE ring for the first time, 'The Icon' attacked Triple H and facilitated victory for the babyfaces led by Cena.
#3 Former WWE Hardcore Champion Maven (Survivor Series 2004)
Although he was never seen as a potential headliner, Maven had an interesting WWE career. He managed to eliminate The Undertaker at Royal Rumble, who proceeded to attack him mercilessly.
Maven main evented the 2004 edition of the Survivor Series. He represented Team Orton against Team Triple H. Snitsky attacked Maven before the match but returned with a steel chair, only to be eliminated by 'The Game.'
Team Orton won the match after their leader pinned the opposing leader. As winners, they ran WWE Raw for a month, although Mr. McMahon consistently overturned most of their decisions.
#2 Former WWE superstar Gene Snitsky (Survivor Series 2004)
The same Survivor Series saw Gene Snitsky main event a WWE pay-per-view. He was a member of Team Triple H, attacking Maven backstage before the match.
In an uncomfortable moment, Snitsky met Heidenreich backstage. Upon meeting him, Snitsky stated, breathing hard, that he loved his poetry. The former replied that he liked what Snitsky did to babies.
Snitsky was attacked by a returning Maven in the main event and was soon disqualified from the match for attacking him with a steel chair.
#1 WWE Hall of Famer Hillbilly Jim (Survivor Series 1989)
Hillbilly Jim is a WWE Hall of Famer, but he wasn't known for being a main eventer. However, he headlined the second Survivor Series event, where he teamed up with The Mega Powers, Hercules, and Koko B'Ware.
He didn't prove to be a boost to his team as the heels quickly eliminated him. Akeem "The African Dream," fka The One Man Gang, promptly attacked him and finished him with an Air Africa splash.
Hillbilly Jim didn't prove to be a credible main eventer in his career, but he perfected his job as a beloved crowd entertainer.