Survivor Series 2012: One of the 'Big 4' Fails to Hype
Survivor Series, one of the WWE's "big four" events, is the company's second longest running pay-per-view. With a rich history spanning countless memorable feuds, it should be no surprise that there will always be high expectations on the November hit.
So why is it that, this year, the company used so little time to properly build most of the matches? Before anyone scrolls down to the comments section and gets on their high horse, allow me to explain.
Let's use the Sheamus and Big Show feud as a positive example. Regardless of anyone's opinions of Sheamus or Big Show, no one should deny that this has been a properly built feud. Sheamus, a dominant champion for about six months, decimated all of the competition. Then along came the giant, knocked him out and took away his prize.
But Sheamus clearly showed no fear in lifting up the Big Show's massive carcass and dropping him like a rag doll. That got the WWE Universe's attention. And so now we have a classic WWE feud where, week to week, one guy or the other gets the upper hand. And I honestly don't know who will win. But it will be a good match and I am looking forward to it.
Now take the Survivor Series five-on-five. This match, although filled with talented superstars, was sloppily put together last minute. Not only that, but it usurped two of the WWE's championship titles (Intercontinental and Tag Team) as well as the Money in the Bank winner - thus limiting the PPV's card and decreasing the chance of a cash-in.
When we look at the U.S. Championship, which has been heavily defended by Antonio Cesaro, an impressive athlete with a mean uppercut, there is also confusion come Sunday. R-Truth, although a deserving opponent, gets a title shot simply by defeating Tensai. Tensai, who has appeared on WWE programming inconsistently and infrequently, really adds little legitimacy in a last minute No. 1 contender match.
Then, we have the main event. Let's discuss the three possible outcomes of this match. If CM Punk wins, we have the status quo, except now Punk can just gloat about for a year. Which honestly, as Foley best put it, is just a boring statistic. If Cena wins, it's just the status quo before Punk. And if Ryback wins, it will only be a temporary high.
When it comes to Ryback, all fans ever get are matches full of jobbing opponents. That has been clear for the past six months, it was clear at Hell in a Cell, and it was clear last night against Brad Maddox. Viewers may be having their fun now chanting "Feed Me More" but the Goldberg chants will only get stronger until eventually, we will start hearing "boring" from the crowd.
Don't get me wrong, there is a part of me that says, "Just sit back and enjoy Survivor Series, maybe the wrestling will be good." But that isn't good enough because this is one of the "big four" pay-per views. This is one of the events that is supposed to draw in weekly viewers as well as casual fans.
Survivor Series is supposed to make an impact.
And thus far, the WWE has made very little effort in convincing me that this pay-per-view will matter. There is a high probability that come next Monday, most things will be the same with very little earth-shattering news.
And while some might think this is a negative view, it is still an important one. Because the WWE's future is at stake. Viewership has been on the decline. Since Money in the Bank 2011, the WWE has essentially been pushing the same feud—CM Punk versus John Cena. Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan, and even Ryback (although all interesting) have only been temporary distractions.
But I hope WWE proves me wrong. I hope they make me look like an uninformed idiot. Because that's when WWE is at it's best. When you are totally shocked and totally entertained and begging for more.
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