The Survivor Series match should be saved for special Raws like the Roulette Wheel and King of the Ring. It is an outdated concept that worked well in the 80's because we relied on a lot more jobber matches, fewer PPVs and Saturday Night Main Events.
These days everyone has fought everyone. I remember a Saturday Night Main event where Hogan fought Nikoli Volkoff in a Flag Match or something and it seemed like a huge deal. Hogan squashed Volkoff and I was like 7 or 8 years old and it was even a Survivor Series Match, but the point is that there are so many shows and the WWE does such a poor job with it's midcard that we freak out when we get a Taka/Helmsley, Benjamin/Helmsley Hardy/Taker or Rock/Hurricane upset special moment.
Some of it is the sign of the times. Too many shows, too many PPVs, too much internet or whatever but a lot of the problem is 50/50 booking and WWE's short attention span/memory.
I'm not a buy rate guy, but I am guessing Survivor Series has to be the low guy on the totem pole when it comes to the 'Big 4' PPVs and maybe even mid range in the PPV scale.
Survivor Series still has a place, it is just on Raw once in awhile. If the WWE had balls they would raise the stakes and put those teams in a War Games match. Put Cena, Ryback and two other guys in a double ring ( or do it your own way and do it in a single cell) against Punk, Brock and whoever and settle some scores.
It just always seems like the wobbly table leg to me. Maybe I am wrong, but even having the Elimination Chamber here seems like a better option.
The thing is, they had a chance to make it a big deal by putting on a traditional Survivor Series-style match as their main event. And then they just blew the whole thing up in the middle of Raw. It went from two sides of five with genuine issues and logical feuds to just a bunch of guys tossed together.
The event itself can still be a big deal. Even last year, there was genuine intrigue in Rock and Cena teaming up. Or there was, until The E decided to turn the opposing team into jokes.
On the WWE PPV power rankings, there's a big gap between Wrestlemania and everything else, then Royal Rumble and another gap, then Money in the Bank/Summerslam/Elimination Chamber/Backlash, then another gap and then you've probably got Survivor Series.
More stakes need to be added to the 'Survivor Series elimination match' concept. Bring back the old ultimate survival concept from 1990 and give the 'ultimate survivors' all world title shots. Put the title on the line in a 5 vs. 5 match with the champion's teammates only getting shots if they survive the match.
"It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone." --- Bart Giamatti, on baseball
Originally posted by Big BadPut the title on the line in a 5 vs. 5 match with the champion's teammates only getting shots if they survive the match.
See, now THIS would have worked great with the current climate. Team Punk vs. Team Foley. If anyone pins Punk, they get the title. If anyone on Team Punk survives, they get a title shot. Would cause infighting on both teams -- on Team Foley because everyone would want to pin Punk and would stop others from doing so, and on Team Punk because so many of the participants have past history with Punk and would want another shot. So many avenues open up.
Basically, Survivor Series started as a show with all the stars in stake-free tag matches so you didn't give away the house show programs (while teasing them since everyone was opposite their dance partner on the other side). Since there were only 2-3 PPVs, it drew just because it was a WWF PPV they could hard-sell for three months.
With the addition of Raw and monthly PPVs, Survivor Series as a tag match card went from being a novelty to a show that actually gave below-average value. At that point, they had to start putting singles main events on the show just to get it back on par with everything else.
Then it was just 1 of 11 (later 13) non-Wrestlemania PPVs -- actually 1 of 9 (later 11) since Royal Rumble, unlike the SurSer tags, is easily their most over gimmick match, and SummerSlam unlike SurSer retains is history to some extent as a halfway point minor WM.
Then No Way Out passed it when it got Elimination Chambers (which, at the time, were their second best drawing gimmick match) and Wrestlemania title shots, so it was just 1 of 8 (later 10).
As it stands now it's just a show with a familiar name. They almost change the name last year, but decided they were overreacting to a bad buyrate caused by UFC. Then they actually had something important happen on the show (Surivor Series' history and MSG meant a lot more to the Rock than they do the current audience) and it did good business.
Main event tag elimination matches with stakes -- Bischoff/Austin career vs. career was by far the most successful example, although there was also "Be A GM For A Month" and Raw vs. Smackdown back when that was sort of rare -- would at least stand out, though, when the PPV landscape is all storyline-independent stips-based shows.
What's funny, though, is we'd be looking at almost 15-year "traditions" of the No Way Out/Backlash/Judgment Day/Unforgiven/No Mercy/etc names if they hadn't dropped them in '09.
In addition to the problems touched on above about more PPVs and weekly TV devaluing the worth of getting to appear on Survivor Series and relative lack of stakes - given that it's hard enough to keep the illusion of any non-title match being worth winning for anyone on the roster - another problem is that there's no sense of anyone getting a boost out of being on the "top" team.
I remember thinking, at the time, that Bam Bam Bigelow, Koko B. Ware and The Rockers "got" something out of being placed on the top teams in the first few years, and Tito being there with Hogan and Warrior on the final team in the Match For Ultimate Survival was also interesting. Obviously, none of them (maybe Bigelow) really got anything out of it, but still, seeing those guys in there with the top acts made Survivor Series different, since you wouldn't see that anywhere else.
There's really nobody to give or get the rub like that now, since 90% of the guys on the roster are all at the same level and the evenIC and US champs are practically worthless. The closest thing to that Survivor Series feel in recent years was at Summerslam in 2010 when Cena had to recruit a team to take on the Nexus. Cena having to talk Edge and Jericho into siding with him, Miz playing his potential value for all it was worth and Cena's eventual recruitment of Bryan all felt big moments that the modern Survivor Series build lacks, and Bryan arguably got a ton out of it.
Big Bad's suggestion is pretty interesting, but would take away from the Rumble, which already lost some of its luster with two Money in the Bank title shots also up for grabs.
Theoretically, they could guarantee the Survivors of the various matches something like placement in one of that year's Elimination Chamber matches or the ability to pick their Rumble entrance numbers (maybe they do the Ultimate Survivor match and it has to come down to one guy, who gets #30, while the last man eliminated is forced to go at #1?), but both of those probably require way more advance booking than they're capable of doing in November as the last two Raws have proven.
Alternately, the only other thing I could see them doing for a year to restore some shine to Survivor Series gets back to my original point: let the Undertaker field a team in a match where he doesn't have to work much. He's the only guy left on the roster (besides The Rock) with actual name value, and I could see having him recruit guys to help him win one last match at the PPV where he got his start doing something for some of them provided it wasn't guys like Cena, HHH or The Rock who gain nothing out of it anyway.
I love Survivor Series and I thought last year's PPV was one of the better ones they put on. Like all things, its up to the WWE to put some effort into it. They did make it a big deal last year and was one of the few buyrates to actually go up. This year, it looks like a total mess. They could do a lot of storyline development for the Rumble like bring in Rock and tease a confrontation with Punk or Cena or even Ryback. Instead they went with taking their rather lame ass roster and hoping it could do well on its own. That backfired and we are stuck with Cena once again getting a title shot and a main event slot, he hasn't done anything to earn. We also mocked Vince that all of his back-up plans are to throw Cena into the main event now we know for a fact that is a reality.
(edited by lotjx on 8.11.12 0808) The Wee Baby Sheamus.Twitter: @realjoecarfley its a bit more toned down there. A bit.
(Disclaimer: Reading this, Vince Russo will appear to have much more wrestling knowledge than he does. Plot devices are a son of a bitch though, you know that? However, to keep the anti-Russo fans happy, he will speak like Vic Venom wrote.