Our guide to Survivor Series continues with a look at wrestlers using different gimmicks at the event and those that returned after the longest absences from appearing on the card!
First up, the various gimmick name changes of various wrestlers through the years, and among Survivor Series participants, there have been 23 such performers.
Now while stuff like “Billy Gunn”, “Mr. Ass Billy Gunn”, “Bad Ass Billy Gunn”, “The One Billy Gunn” or the change of The Godfather to The Goodfather do not count since the gimmick names were for the same character, and even though it was kayfabed that the 1-2-3 Kid and X-Pac were one and the same, and ditto with The Blue Blazer and Owen Hart, or even the fact that One Man Gang, Mabel and Phineas Godwinn were transformed to Akeem, Viscera and Mideon respectively on camera, the character names, and at times the characters themselves, are different and therefore count towards this list.
Jacques Rougeau 1987-1989, The Mountie 1991, Quebecer Jacques 1993
Two different gimmicks
Greg Valentine 1987-1990, The Blue Knight (one of Jerry Lawler’s “Knights”) 1993
One Man Gang 1987, Akeem 1988
Blue Blazer 1988, Owen Hart 1991-1997
Barbarian 1988-1990, Sionne 1994
Tugboat 1990, Typhoon 1991-1992
Fatu 1992-1995, The Sultan 1996, Rikishi 2000
The 1-2-3 Kid 1993-1995, X-Pac 1998-1999
Red Knight (one of Jerry Lawler’s “Knights”) 1993, Barry Horowitz 1996
Tom Prichard 1993-1994, Bodydonna Zip 1995
Aldo Montoya 1996, Justin Credible 2001
Phineas I. Godwinn 1996-1997, Mideon 1999
Leif Cassidy 1996, Al Snow 1998-1999, 2001
Farooq 1996-1997, 1999, 2001, Ron Simmons 2006
Flash Funk 1995, Scorpio 1998
Recon 1997, Bull Buchanan 2000
Albert 1999-2001, 2003, Tensai 2012-
K-Kwik 2000, R-Truth 2008-
Sho Funaki 2001, Kung Fu Naki 2008
Jamal 2002, Umaga 2006-2007
Nicky 2006, Dolph Ziggler 2009-
For various reasons, be it leaving the company and then returning, injury or personal issues rehab, or to quote Dennis Stamp “I wasn’t booked” wrestlers have gone quite a number of years between Survivor Series appearances.
15 – Dusty Rhodes 1991-2005
14 – Sgt. Slaughter 1992-2005
The first two came back, with different roads taken, to be part of Ric Flair’s team going up against The Spirit Squad in 2006. The American Dream left the WWF to return to WCW following his appearance in the 1990 Survivor Series, Rhodes pretty much retired from active in-ring performing and became an announcer, and backstage booker/road agent until the company closed. Slaughter turned face for one more run as an active wrestler in 1991 before calling it a career, for the most part, and working behind the scenes with the WWF.
12 – Ric Flair 1993-2004
The Nature Boy had been back with the WWF since the Raw after the 2001 Survivor Series, but wouldn’t participate in a match until going up against Triple H in a Last Man Standing match in 2005.
11 – Fabulous Moolah 1988-1998
The iconic female wrestler was part of the 1987 card’s female wrestlers match, then stepped in a ring in 1999 in a tag match as part of the then current women’s division storyline.
9 – Scott Steiner 1994-2002
After the Steiner Brothers left to go back to WCW in 1994, it wouldn’t be until Big Poppa Pump was brought in following him siting out the buyout after the purchase of WCW.
9 – The Rock 2002-2011
The Rock wouldn’t be gone for good until the spring of 2003, save for a couple of cameos, but he made his final in-ring appearance at the 2001 Survivor Series, then returning to shake off some 7 years of ring rust at the 2011 Survivor Series.
The rest of the list of wrestlers whom spent a half decade or more between Survivor Series matches:
8 – Albert/Tensai 2004-2011
7 – Viscera/Big Daddy V 2000-2006 K-Kwik/R-Truth 2001-2007
6 – King Kong Bundy 1988-1993 Sho Funaki 2002-2007
5 – Bam Bam Bigelow 1988-1992 Jake Roberts 1991-1995 Jimmy Snuka 1991-1995 Road Warrior Hawk 1992-1996 Road Warrior Animal 1992-1996 Big Boss Man 1993-1997 William Regal 2003-2007