Is there a “major” WWE PPV that produces less enthusiasm these days than Survivor Series?
While the battle for “brand supremacy” might really work the WWE brass into a lather every year, it just causes fans to yawn in boredom. There’s no real issue between the wrestlers other than they compete for one brand or the other.
However, because the annual draft takes place in October, many superstars have been part of their respective brand for barely a month, so the concept of “brand loyalty” is just ridiculous. In fact, 11 of the 20 wrestlers taking part in the two elimination matches were on the opposing brand a month ago.
Plainly put, there is no realistic or even partially plausible reason to be invested in these matches – including the champion versus champion bouts – so there’s no reason for fans to care about this PPV. The results will be forgotten as soon as Raw airs the following night. (NXT’s 2019 “victory” was all but forgotten a week later and everyone went about their business.)
But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are several things WWE could do to salvage Survivor Series and make it feel important again. They can weave the PPV results into bigger storylines, put some actual stakes to winning these matches.
Here are just a few examples of how to salvage WWE’s Fall Classic. Some of these could be combined to really raise the stakes, but anything is better than the current nothing.
10. Cash Prize
Perhaps the simplest storyline stakes WWE could give the Survivor Series matches is none other than the “root of all evil.”
Yes, offering a cash prize to the winning teams or wrestlers would be a great way to create an incentive for the superstars to be part of their respective team and to fight for the victory. Imagine AJ Styles boasting to his team how each of them stand to win $10,000 if they triumph on Sunday. That alone would be a reasonable motivation for most wrestlers.
You could even get a little cheeky and add a reward for the wrestler with the most eliminations, which could build tension if say Braun Strowman and Sheamus are the last two standing with an elimination each and only Jey Uso remaining for SmackDown. Maybe Braun and Sheamus then argue over who gets the final pinfall, leading to actual dissension for a real reason, which could cost Team Raw.
This alone would help improve the situation.