On Thanksgiving night in 1987, WWE created its second pay-per-view franchise called Survivor Series. The event which later became dubbed “WWE’s Fall Classic” brought an interesting elimination tag concept never seen before. These matches became tradition and brought forth many interactions between the over-the-top personalities of Vince McMahon’s WWE Universe.
Over the years this format, which made it stand out more into more of a traditional pay-per-view Event. In 1991 , we had our first title match in the franchise history. Soon non-traditional matches become a regular staple of each year. The traditional tag format would be cut down to one or two matches a year. In 2011, the company almost removed the little brother of Wrestlemania from its schedule altogether saying the concept was antiquated.
They created Bragging Rights in 2009, a battle between the Raw and Smackdown brands which featured a five on five tag team match just one month before the November tradition, However, due to the rosters not having a clear split and talent being on both shows the concept was dropped leaving the Series a shell of its former self. Now in 2013, it seems that another new concept may be taking away some of its luster again with Battleground.
From the last few weeks of television, Battleground is looking to be a a team-based format with things such as Triple H and his corporate machine against Daniel Bryan and the dissenters with Big Show in the middle of the conflict while AJ seemingly has compiled her own team of Divas to battle the new E! reality stars the Total Divas cast. So it looks like that’s going to be what the Survivor Series once was. My question is why?
Why do we need two pay-per-views in October in WWE? (Battleground on October 6 and Hell in a Cell on the 27) Why not give Survivor Series the same respects you give Wrestlemania and SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble? They each get five weeks which makes them feel all the more special. Traditionally pay-per-views in the fall don’t do big numbers, Especially ones timed three weeks apart with a forty-five dollar price tag. Sure, WWE will lose money on possible pay-per-view revenues for these events. But they will not have to rents out buildings, pay the talent, buy satellite time, and not spend money on production and advertising. So it would kind of balance out.
A concept is only as antiquated if you believe it is. The original elimination tag format can work in this era. It just depends on how you treat it. If you treat it like a redheaded stepchild of Wrestlemania then it will be. You can change the name and and graphics package if you want but it all falls down to booking. Everyone likes new bright and shiny things but there’s something to be said for a brand-name that has been around for 26 years. It has its place in the memories of a lot of fans.You think you’d want to keep that recognition in the minds of your audience. If SummerSlam can be the biggest party of summer, why not have Survivor Series as the fall tradition? Will Vince eventually see this? Who knows? Lately, the company has been changing the pay-per-view schedule more than most people do their underwear. All I know WWE is treating its pay-per-view middle child like a Thanksgiving turkey and it really doesn’t make me happy.
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This article was first posted on September 8, 2013