The importance of WWE’s annual Survivor Series PPV to WWE fans can be considered as important as any traditional thing. It would be like removing Thanksgiving for Americans or taking out Boxing Day in Canada. Or how about Chinese New Year of China?
To me, Survivor Series has had some of the top moments in all of professional wrestling. We saw the Undertaker debut there. And just a year later, capture the WWE Championship. It was where young stars stood out for the first time. People such as Randy Orton made their name in the traditional Survivor Series match up, developing quite the record at the event during the traditional 5 on 5 match.
Young stars stand out so well here because it’s so easy for them to do so. WWE usually treats the show like a top tier event. It’s the Fall’s Wrestlemania according to WWE standards. But the issue has been as of late, can it really be in the same breath as Royal Rumble, Summerslam, and Wrestlemania itself?
When WWE was going through it’s period in 2009, wanting to rename several PPVs, many fans were upset. Because it was rumored top shows would lose their name or be replaced. WWE ended up adding a ton of gimmick PPVs, which took a lot away from programming. No Way Out was officially named Elimination Chamber for example.
Many fans with a brain wondered why WWE would rename certain shows, as it made no sense. Some shows that had gimmicks made sense to be renamed. As shows like Extreme Rules would be all about Extreme matches. But Elimination Chamber was no different. So, sorry for the issue Germany. WWE was already doing the Elimination Chamber matches there annually. So No Way Out was a fitting name for the event with no need to be renamed.
Shows like Over the Limit were added with no major pay-off. Taking shows like Unforgiven, No Mercy, Vengeance, and Judgement Day among others was nonsensical. If the show was going to suck, it didn’t matter what the name was. Fans liked the event’s look, which is why taking it away angered them.
Now WWE has Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank, TLC, and Extreme Rules. All gimmick PPVs just to be able to sell them. RR is a Top 4 PPV, so it naturally will always be the gimmick show fans will take to. Elimination Chamber has not done much better since it was renamed either. It’s between the Rumble and Mania, fans don’t pay for it because of that. Not the name.
Survivor Series has been able to maintain it’s name through it all. But it too was once thought to be gone. Websites got wind of it, and reported it. Immediately the ‘net lite up faster than a California wildfire, and fans pouted out negativity toward changing the name of one of the WWE fan’s favorite events. WWE ended up not changing the name or even moving the event like they did with other shows.
WWE simply has to make the show better, and it will never be a show fans look away from. Statistically the Survivor Series events that didn’t sell best were the one’s that the least was put into.
The reason it’s usually the 4th of the Top 4 is because of the placement of the other 3. Think about it. The Rumble is part of Mania build up. Whatever happens there could change Wrestlemania entirely. This year, even more so with The Rock potentially facing CM Punk for the WWE Title and of course, the Rumble itself.
Add in Summerslam, which is at the tail end of summer. Kids usually get parents to get it for them to cap off a great summer. Or people buy it to simply have that good end to summer themselves. It’s usually a good show, so why not?And Wrestlemania is well, Wrestlemania. No need to explain that one.
Survivor Series, while serving no major purpose to WWE from a build up standpoint or even economic punch at times, can be seen as a show that can help to build up champions, young stars, or change how some people are seen in the light of fans.
People such as Cody Rhodes looked amazing at Survivor Series and people started to really look at him as a single star for example. CM Punk was able to stand out on team DX, and would have never been given a major rub like that without Michaels and Helmsley giving him the opportunity to shine at a top event people would be watching.
Jeff Hardy has managed to stand out on this show, making people truly clamor to see him with World Title gold. The same could be said for his brother when seen here.
Originally, Survivor Series was set to help certain rivalries end or explode. Team Hogan vs Team Andre or Team Warrior vs Team Heenan could be added to this ideology. The traditional idea stayed in place since, and we have a team vs team every year. And it’s the only show that offers that traditional match-up.
The first Elimination Chamber match took place at this event. This match concept ended up going down to change WWE history for good and bad.
We can also add a Hell in a Cell match with Batista and Undertaker, in a time when Batista needed to stand out as a true big man. The Undertaker gave him that chance in the match he made famous.
How about the center of controversy this show has provided. The Rock vs Mick Foley in the finals for the Deadly Games tournament. This match helped to put Rock in the light of top main eventers in the company. He ended up hitting Foley with a chair around 10 times, it was supposed to be once. This led to a concussion for Foley and multiple wounds. Not only that, but The Rock went Corporate!
How about Owen Hart breaking away from the Hart family? Or Mr. Fuji turning on Demolition? And does anyone remember the time in which the Mega Powers started to dissolve?
Who can forget the Montreal Screw Job involving a real life issue with Bret Hart’s contract? Vince called for the bell once Shawn Michaels applied the sharpshooter, screwing Hart out of his WWE Title. Bret left for WCW after and his career ended via a concussion caused by Goldberg around a year later.
Lest we forget the major Team Alliance vs Team WWF match up, which capped off the amazing WCW/ECW vs WWF rivalry, something the world wanted to see for years before hand.
Overall, the memories Survivor Series has given us can trump some of the financial issues it has had recent years. Overall, fans still care about the show.
To me, removing it would be like removing one of the 4 Gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Christian bible have been there since the beginning of the New Testament hundreds of years ago. Deciding to remove one could be considered blasphemy by the church in any Christian denomination.
To me, it would be blasphemous to remove Survivor Series.
It’s importance to the fans may not be that it’s the top PPV of the year, although it has been some years. The simple thing it brings us is something different. It lets us see Superstars or Divas like we may have not seen them in years past, despite age or gimmick.
Whether people were put in Caskets, Buried Alive, or simply teamed up with Superstars, it was worth the watch. And well worth the memories. It’s importance? To fans, it’s going to always be that it’s Survivor Series, that’s the important part. Now let it survive, it has for this long. The reason for that, is because fans simply enjoy it too much to have it disappear.