I'm a big fan of the Survivor Series, especially when WWE loads the pay-per-view with traditional Survivor Series rules elimination matches.
I still contend that Survivor Series 1990 was the best format of all time, which included five 4-on-4 elimination matches. All of the survivors moved on to the Ultimate Survivor main event, all of the faces vs. all of the heels.
I was glad to see that WWE already pegged a traditional match as the main event of November's pay-per-view. You have to expect that it will add more traditional matches to the card. They could go so far as to have all of the matches as such, which is how the PPV always was until 1991.
Using the current WWE roster (and possibly borrowing from NXT for one match), I have come up with five additional Survivor Series elimination matches it could add to the card. Keep in mind, almost every match has to feature some lower-card wrestlers, since five more elimination matches means 50 more wrestlers total.
Building those teams through storylines on Raw, SmackDown and Main Event could be fun, but with only three weeks left, there may not be time for that. I've always thought that it could be interesting to have the GMs name the captains, then put them in charge of picking teams.
Imagine guys sitting around doing a fantasy football draft. It could be a bit like that, with the captains selecting their teammates—a process that could add some drama all on its own. With a three-hour Raw, I think WWE could take care of that in one episode.
Without further ado, here are five additional Survivor Series elimination matches it could add to one of the original "Big Four" WWE PPVs.
Clearly, the Sheamus/Big Show feud will continue through at least Survivor Series. Since the feud is still relatively fresh, they can duke it out for at least one more pay-per-view and postpone the rematch until Tables, Ladders and Chairs if needed.
That gives them the chance to put teams together for Survivor Series. Show, now the World Heavyweight champion, would want at least one other champion on his team, so he recruits Antonio Cesaro. To set up a post-Survior Series feud, Sheamus could select Christian in response.
Jack Swagger still hasn't returned to television, so he is approached by Big Show and returns as a monster heel. In response, Sheamus picks up Mason Ryan to overpower Swagger.
To finish off his team, Show wants guys familiar with tag team wrestling, so he snags Curt Hawkins and Johnny Curtis. In response, Sheamus recruits the high-flying team of Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel.
The Hooligans: Sheamus, Christian, Mason Ryan, Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel
The WMDs: The Big Show, Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Curt Hawkins, Johnny Curtis
With the tag team division as hot as it has been in years, and the tag team champions and No. 1 contenders already involved in the main event, there should be at least one match specifically highlighting the division.
The initial Survivor Series had a match similar to this in 1987. While most matches were 5-on-5, WWE had one match of 10-on-10 featuring five tag teams on each side. While the division isn't quite that stacked these days, we could still increase the numbers to 6-on-6.
Captaining the face side would be Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara, since it appears they are building a program around these two, culminating at WrestleMania. They pick up fellow face tag teams CoBro and the Usos. To appeal to the Spanish demographic, they name their team El Mejor Equipo, which translates to "The Best Team" in English.
Fellow tag team tournament semifinalists, the Prime Time Players, head up Team Prime Time in opposition. They recruit the teams of Primo & Epico and Hunico and Camacho. This adds extra incentive for the Central and South American viewers, as the Hunico and Camacho duo can have Spanish promos with Rey and Sin Cara, with Rosa Mendes getting involved as well.
El Mejor Equipo: Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, Santino Marella, Zack Ryder, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso
Team Prime Time: Darren Young, Titus O'Neil, Epico, Primo, Hunico, Camacho
People have been waiting for the follow-up to Brock Lesnar and Triple H. For a long time, there has been speculation that it will happen at Survivor Series. I expected Triple H and Brock Lesnar to be involved in the Team Foley vs. Team Punk main event, but that isn't happening.
That being the case, why not have Team Helmsley vs. Team Lesnar? They might even be able to come up with a creative way to put those teams together, since Helmsley and Lesnar aren't regulars on Raw. That could be an excuse for HBK to return to television (to pick a team for his best friend), while Heyman tries to put together another team for Lesnar.
Since both Triple H and Lesnar are incredibly powerful, I found two more big or powerful guys to back them up. Putting Ezekiel Jackson on Helmsley's team and David Otunga on Lesnar's team would allow for them to feed off of each other's ripped-physique gimmicks. For "monsters" on both teams, Helmsely takes The Great Khali and Lesnar takes Tensai.
Putting Ted DiBiase on Helmsley's team opposite William Regal on Lesnar's team allows two wrestlers who have a storied pasts in the industry (Regal his own, DiBiase with his family) and who tend to be more traditional grapplers in the ring.
Both teams also need one guy who could use a little exposure but will still be eliminated quickly and easily. To that end, JTG joins Team Helmsley, and Michael McGillicutty joins Team Lesnar.
Team Helmsley: Triple H, The Great Khali, Ezekiel Jackson, Ted DiBiase, JTG
Team Lesnar: Brock Lesnar, Tensai, David Otunga, William Regal, Michael McGillicutty
Love it or hate it, you can't get through a WWE pay-per-view without representing the Divas division. Eve is named as the captain for the heels, while Kaitlyn and Layla are named co-captains of the face team.
As far as building drama for the match, there could be some tension between Layla and Kaitlyn trying to co-manage their team. That could add to the Divas Championship feud.
It was hard to come up with clever names for the teams, so I figure they could work some sort of angle that results in the captains naming the opposing team. With a call-back to Ryder and Eve at Hell in a Cell, Layla and Kaitlyn label their opponents Team Witch. Frustrated and unable to come up with anything equally clever on the spot, Eve just calls her opponents Team Ugly.
With a limited number of competing Divas, I could only come up with teams of four using the WWE roster. With Divas like Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly and the Bellas leaving recently, they're going to have to bring up some NXT talent soon. This could be a great chance to introduce them in a significant way, so Eve recruits Audrey Marie and the faces recruit Paige.
Team Ugly: Kaitlyn, Layla, AJ Lee, Tamina Snuka, Paige
Team Witch: Eve, Aksana, Natalya, Alicia Fox, Audrey Marie
They have removed John Cena from the WWE Championship scene and now he's fully involved in the AJ/Vickie feud. Since Dolph Ziggler doesn't appear to be cashing in the briefcase anytime soon, why not let him feud with Cena for a bit? Ziggler and Cena lead their teams in this slide.
And of course, Vickie will be at ringside for Team Cougar, while AJ will be at ringside for Team Hustle. Cena, when putting his team together, places an emphasis on "hustle." All of the guys I've put on his team could be viewed as guys who always "hustle," work hard and give it their all.
With Cena as the head, his teammates need to be guys who the youngsters can get behind. So I've loaded his team with Brodus Clay, R-Truth, Alex Riley and Yoshi Tatsu.
To counter, Vickie finds heels who are on a roll to back up Ziggler. Wade Barrett is an easy selection for the team, since he's still not involved with anyone else currently. They can also add 3MB, since this is one of the few times in their careers all of these guys are getting a push.
Team Hustle: John Cena, Brodus Clay, R-Truth, Alex Riley, Yoshi Tatsu
Team Cougar: Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre
Maybe not all members of the WWE Universe are fans of traditional Survivor Series matches as I am. Do you think the current fanbase wants to see traditional matches like this? Or would a pay-per-view full of these sorts of matches turn off today's audience?
Are there traditional Survivor Series matches that you'd like to see that are drastically different than my own? Are there other wrestlers who should be captains? Other guys you'd like to see teamed up? Other guys you'd like to see on opposing teams?
If you're not a huge fan of these kinds of matches, is there anything they could do to make them more interesting? What about involving a title in some way? Or allowing the survivors to be named No. 1 contenders for a certain title?
For a while, the King of the Ring PPV raised the "Big Four" to the "Big Five," but apparently Vince and company don't think the fans want to see that tradition anymore. Is it time for Survivor Series to go the same route?
Personally, I don't think so. Whether it's done as traditionally as the first few years or goes a completely different direction—like the year The Rock won the title—it's always a big event. This year, no matter the format, will be no different.