WWE Survivor Series: Why WCW's Version Could Never Quite Measure Up
Survivor Series is merely days away!
We have done a lot of looking back at all the great matches from the event, as well its historic moments. We have even done a great amount of preview and predicting about this year’s Survivor Series at MSG.
There is one thing that very few people are talking about however. That would be WCW’s version of the event.
We all know that WCW and WWE conducted various experiments in trying to compete with one another throughout the years.
WCW’s flagship Starrcade was the biggest event of the year for them. In turn, WWE created the annual extravaganza WrestleMania. WWE invented a show that would be instrumental in the Monday Night Wars, Raw. Two years later WCW answered with Monday Nitro.
It even goes as far as ridiculous gimmicks. WCW had The Shockmaster and the WWE had The Goon. The list goes on and on.
Back then, the competition wasn’t as stiff as it would become in the '90s, so whether some of these events/creations are actual attempts to one-up each other or not can be called into question.
However in 1987, WWE held their Thanksgiving Tradition, Survivor Series.
Survivor Series was a success because it differed from WWE’s other big PPV, WrestleMania. ’Mania focused mainly on feuds in a one-on-one match style, whereas Survivor Series would incorporate multiple feuds in tag team matchups. These Survivor Series Matches are also known as Traditional Tag Team Elimination Matches.
Enter WCW Fall Brawl.
Not to be outdone, WCW created an annual fall tradition of its own. They fired back with their own version of Survivor Series, Fall Brawl. The event took place annually in September so it did not compete head-to-head with Survivor Series that took place in November.
But how do you compete with four-on-four elimination-style tag matches that highlight top feuds such as Hulk Hogan vs. Andre The Giant and Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Million Dollar Man?
Why, you add one more ring and put a steel cage on top of the whole thing to make a structure known as War Games.
Compared to the tag matches WWE was delivering at Survivor Series, War Games had a twist.
Stemming from its NWA days, the match would start with two competitors from each team and new members would be allowed in the structure at certain time intervals.
Whatever minimal success Fall Brawl brought to WCW, Survivor Series would end up be the one surviving.
As the years went on, Survivor Series adapted and Fall Brawl became one dimensional. War Games would be the only treat fans got when they ordered the PPV. Survivor Series however, would host moments as historic as The Undertaker’s debut, as infamous as the Montreal Screwjob and as ground-breaking as the Deadly Games Tournament.
In 2001, WCW died, as did Fall Brawl along with it. Even though WWE owns the rights to Fall Brawl and War Games, neither has made its way back to life. The closest thing we have to War Games is The Elimination Chamber, a diabolic structure that has similar rules as War Games.
It seemed as though WWE was close to scrapping Survivor Series early last year, with a rumor that it would host a revamped Fall Brawl in its place. It was not to be as the WWE would change its mind.
Fall Brawl is gone and Survivor Series seems to be here to stay.
It has managed to stay relevant—and with The Rock headlining the upcoming tradition, it seems to be heading in the right direction.
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