Here's a scenario for you:
WWE is 13 days away from Survivor Series, the latest installment of its second-longest running pay-per-view event behind WrestleMania, and only the two world title matches have been announced. Survivor Series is known for its signature elimination tag team matches.
So on the next-to-last Raw before the PPV, WWE's flagship show ends with a big brawl where the Usos and WWE Tag Team champions the Rhodes Brothers run out to save CM Punk and Daniel Bryan from a six-on-two attack by The Shield and the Wyatt Family.
Naturally, it seems like many fans online took this tease as WWE effectively announcing an elimination match featuring The Shield and the Wyatt Family vs. Punk, Bryan, the Usos and the Rhodes Brothers.
It only makes sense. Back in the late '80s and early '90s, the shows right before Survivor Series would end with wrestlers from opposing teams facing off in a singles match with their partners at ringside. The partners would inevitably run in as Vince McMahon screamed about "The Sssurrrvvvivvorr Seriiieeessss!" in his announcer voice as the show went off the air. This seemed like WWE was essentially doing that in reverse, using a big brawl to set up an elimination match.
"Seemed" is the key word there.
Tuesday morning, WWE.com quietly announced (as in it changed the Survivor Series page without updating the main page of WWE.com) that at Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk would take on Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a regular tag team match. This was one of the originally rumored matches for the show when the initial angles were shot after Hell in a Cell, but it seemed kind of...boring. It should be good if Rowan stays out of the way, but it's not very engaging.
The theoretical 12-man elimination match that everyone was expecting last night, though? That would be anything but boring.
For at least several years now, the one or two traditional Survivor Series elimination matches at the PPV of the same name each year have been throwaways. They're good but not great, and they don't mean a lot.
A six-on-six or 12-man elimination tag match with the aforementioned names would have the potential of being one of the best and most memorable WWE PPV matches of 2013:
- The Rhodes Brothers and The Shield are coming off a string of great matches together, and The Shield has had plenty of great tag matches all year.
- The Usos are breaking through thanks, in part due to their move into the Tag title picture with the two aforementioned teams.
- Punk and Bryan are in a holding pattern but can easily have great matches.
- The Wyatt Family would benefit from a big show-stealing match like this since they've fallen flat at times. Harper and Wyatt would fit in well, while Rowan could be protected/hidden easily in a match with so many wrestlers.
On top of all that, since the match would feature wrestlers normally featured in several different matches on the card, WWE could give it a ton of time. An elimination tag match needs sufficient time to not feel like the falls come too quickly, and it could have easily gotten 30 to 40 minutes. With the type of matches that the Rhodes Brothers, The Shield and the Usos have had together—and could have with Punk, Bryan, Harper and, to some extent, Wyatt—it could turn into an awesome showcase match.
I guess it just wasn't meant to be. The only elimination match that makes sense now (if WWE books one) would be Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and the Real Americans vs. the Rhodes Brothers and the Usos. That should be a hell of a match if it doesn't fall prey to the eliminations coming too quickly.
But it doesn't feel special, like a semi-main event should—the way the theoretical six-on-six match would.
What does everyone else think? What were you expecting coming out of Raw, and what do you think of the latest developments? Let us know in the comments.