Craig Wilson, Brian Damage, John Carbery, Russ Morgan and Amerigo Diehl
Next Sunday a series of WWE superstars will, in retro style, strive to survive in the Thanksgiving tradition that is Survivor Series. In today’s Sunday Sermon we discuss the return to the original format of old and what impact that will have on an event that hasn’t stood out for a number of years.
Craig: As a huge fan of the traditional Survivor Series format, I’m pretty pleased to see the return of the tag team elimination matches and as someone whose first tape was the 1988 instalment, it’s also great to see the five team versus five team match make a welcome return.
First and foremost it makes Survivor Series a bit different. For years now it’s just felt like just another show once it moved away from elimination matches towards traditional PPV matches. So on that basis, this move is a good thing.
However, I can’t help but feel that it’s been too soon since the brand split for matches pitting Raw and Smackdown to really matter all that much. Plus, I don’t believe there is really all that many WWE fans that have a strong preference one way or another for either brand. After all, this week both shows were held in Glasgow and I attended both – I can’t be the only one that does that with it likely being the case that many more tune into both shows.
The idea of this being, to quote Michael Cole, “fantasy warfare” a mere few months after these guys all fought week in, week out on TV is farcical too.
So, is the return of elimination matches a good thing? Are you bought into Raw vs. Smackdown?
Brian: Yeah, I’m not buying the whole “fantasy warfare” quote just a few months into the brand split. I mean won’t Raw and Smackdown also compete against each other at the Royal Rumble? Anyhoo, I like the fact that they are returning to the more traditional Survivor Series format.
It helps set the Survivor Series apart from any other ordinary show. The tag team matches really make it old school and I for one love that.
Craig: Totally, from that old school perspective I am very much looking forward to seeing those multi-person tag matches. It does separate it from the others and that’s been needed for a while as Survivor Series is an odd name for a show that didn’t have any sort of survival type angle. Now it does and that’s a good thing.
It’s also quite interesting having Smackdown’s Dolph Ziggler facing Raw’s Sami Zayn and The Brian Kendrick facing Smackdown’s Kalisto with the chance that one, if not both, titles could head to the other show than they are on currently. Although with the recent announcement of 205 Live, perhaps the outcome is quite obvious…
Also, the 5-person/team stipulation has clearly shown the lack of depth on the respective rosters. Don’t get me wrong, in the early Survivor Series’ we did see the Conquistadors, Sam Houston and the Young Stallions all appear on the show, but in the modern era, we should be able to do better than have the likes of Alica Fox, Shining Stars and Breezango appear, right? Even Baron Corbin looked a fairly odd fit in the main event until he was “injured” and replaced by Shane o’ Mac.
John: I think it’s great that the traditional tag matches are back and that they’re able to put on a match with 10 established tag teams (even though Seasaro is pushing it) is a good thing. These matches have been a great platform to build future rivalries for Royal Rumble and onto Wrestlemania in the past so here’s hoping a little long term booking and planning will be put in place on Sunday.
While the whole “fantasy warfare” thing doesn’t ring true with anybody I am intrigued by the inter-brand title matches. I only wish that if Sami were to win he’d be drafted to Smackdown where they’d probably do something with him.
The undercard is the only reason I’ll be checking this year’s Series out and I hope the traditional matches stick around to help distinguish the show from the 18 other events put on throughout the year. SummerSlam has regained some of its former glory in recent years and it’d be great if SS was put back on its pedestal and the big four were special again.
Russ: Survivor Series for me was always the 8 man tag matches. The best thing about them was that generally you would get actual tag teams banded together, heels v faces and it was always a blast. Usually, there were no story lines involved it was just who would be the last man standing for their team. I always enjoyed those shows.
Amerigo: I’ve Got to admit I’m all in favor of the traditional format, especially since we get so many pay-per-views, the WWE needs a few that distinguish themselves from others.
Craig made a good point in that they really don’t have any survivor angle without these matches. The fantasy warfare aspect may be a bit much, however overall I think it’s a great concept that is long overdue.
Craig: I’ve got a lot of sympathy for Russ’ point, those thrown together matches were always fun, often combining four feuds into one match. There’s no denying this year’s show will be good fun, no doubt, and should have some good action. I think the company have over-egged the pudding with the “fantasy warfare” chat, though. Months after the brand split was heralded because we wouldn’t see the same programmes all the time isn’t anything like long enough for these to be considered “dream matches.”
You can read all previous Sunday Sermons here.