9. How Survivor Series Boosted WrestleMania
Vince McMahon was in no mood to mess around when it came to protecting his larger-than-life WWF properties in the 1980s. Expansion was on McMahon's mind, which is why he told cable companies who aired the NWA’s Starrcade 1987 (it went head-to-head with the first Survivors), that they wouldn’t be able to show ‘Mania IV.
Naturally, a lot of them ignored the NWA show in favour of the WWF’s guaranteed blockbuster that following spring. Basically, Survivor Series was used as leverage to boost ‘Mania’s value. It was a genius move from Vince, one that totally neutered Starrcade and directly chomped into the competition's business.
The first Series show in '87 was a unique enough concept to sell, but McMahon didn't want to joust for pay-per-view dollars with anyone. So, he muscled the NWA out of the way by warning cable providers 'Mania hinged on their decision making.
It was WWF or bust as far as Vince was concerned.