Survivor Series used to be a unique PPV, with its 10-man elimination tag matches. It once was one of the "big four" in WWE PPVs, and as a kid I always looked forward to the type of match we only really got to see once a year.
While tag matches with six or more competitors is becoming less and less of a rarity on the televised shows, there is only one classic Survivor Series match on this year's card. While this disappoints me greatly, there is no shortage of intriguing matches and star power to be seen this Sunday.
We get to see CM Punk in action against WWE champion Alberto Del Rio, IWC golden boy Dolph Ziggler gets not one, but two matches, and of course, finally The Rock WILL COME BACK...to Survivor Series. The Rock will be teaming up with John Cena to attempt to serve a big steaming plate of boot-to-ass to Awesome Truth.
Let me start this slide by saying one thing: John Morrison isn't going anywhere, and he isn't being buried.
"Nuh uh! I saw it on the dirt sheets that the WWE is still mad at him! He's practically already in TNA now!"
If that were true, invented IWC snark, why is JoMo the one in the championship match when Zack Ryder's petition has been gaining steam and given time on TV? I've read people's opinions guessing that this is a last-ditch effort to keep a popular superstar. Wait, let me get this straight...they're mad at him to the point he was forced to endure a long losing streak, but they know they need him because the Little Jimmys love him so they don't want him to go?
That logic is flawed.
Anyways, Morrison isn't the focal point here. The main reason I think he'll win is so Dolph Ziggler can move on to bigger and better things. Many opine that Ziggler is ready to become a major player in the WWE. While I agree with that completely, I argue that the WWE has already placed immense confidence in the rising star.
When was the last time you've seen a wrestler have multiple matches at consecutive PPVs? It's very rare and if the powers that be didn't see the great potential in Ziggler, there's no way we'd be seeing him so much. Couple that with the fact that in his only reign, he's already held the belt 152 days and you see that Ziggler is very near main-event status.
Here's a short summary of one-time US champions that surpassed 100 days: Jim Duggan, Curt Hennig, Big Van Vader, Dusty Rhodes, Harley Race, Jimmy Snuka, Barry Windham and Rick Rude. As you can see, he's in pretty good company.
It only makes sense that the guy with two matches gets two slides on my list.
Team Barrett (Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Hunico and Dolph Ziggler) vs. Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston and Sin Cara) has all the makings of a very good match, but the highlight here needs to be a breakout performance from Ziggler.
As I've broken down already a few of the accolades that prove Ziggler's worth, I'll simply state that a pin against Orton or Sheamus would be a big boost to elevate DZ to the next level, possibly giving him a high-caliber feud for the future.
For the second time in as many PPV, we get to see the Dreadlock Combover vs. the Behemoth Baldie in an epic bout of strength and uncomfortably tight clothing.
Joking aside, these two are sure to put on a good match, as they've built up nice in-ring chemistry over the last few months. I'm sure we'll see another "OH MY GAWD!" moment that will likely end with no clear winner. I can't begin to guess quite what it'll be, but that's just one more reason to look forward to this one.
Let's face it: Alberto Del Rio is a very good wrestler, but he simply doesn't resonate that well with the fans. Ever since he no longer got to preach about his destiny to become WWE champ, his promos have gone from stale to plain boring. There's also the fact that CM Punk has surpassed everyone on the roster in merchandise sales and overall marketability.
When John Cena became No. 1 in merchandise sales, he quickly became the most decorated wrestler in history in terms of WWE Championship reigns. The WWE Championship has been in need of a long-term champion that fans of all ages (emphasis on all ages, not just the Little Jimmys) can get behind for a good while now.
Del Rio will deservedly be back in the main event eventually; he just needs a bit of character development first.
CM Punk doesn't need the championship to be relevant, but the championship may need Punk to regain its prestige and overall fan interest.
John Cena and The Rock face off against Awesome Truth. We all know there's no way this match ends controversy-free, and the most likely scenario is Cena or The Rock joining Miz and R Truth in a three-on-one beatdown. To be completely honest, it could be either one.
John Cena has been getting more boos than usual as of late, and there's no way his character liked the "We want Ryder" chants a few weeks ago in the main event of Raw when Cena and Zack Ryder teamed up against Awesome Truth. (I specify Cena's character, because John Cena the man seems to be a big fan of Ryder's.)
If Cena is ever going to have a run as a heel, the time is now, he's been listening to a growing percentage at every venue chant "CENA SUCKS" and eventually, every man reaches a point they can take no more.
While Cena is a good candidate for the heel turn, he'll always be the hero to the large percentage of the WWE's child demographic. What does this have to do with the Rock? Well, for one, those kids account for plenty of dollars spent when considering they all seem to have the newest John Cena T-shirt, likely have the newest John Cena action figure and almost certainly account for PPV buys with their vehement nagging of their parents.
This child demographic is something The Rock no longer has. When The Rock left the WWE seven years ago, most of John Cena's fans were either not born yet or still running around in their diapers. Even though CM Punk has overtaken Cena as the top seller in WWE merchandise, those kids still account for a lot of money in Vince McMahon's pockets. The WWE has been fairly adamant in the past about not wanting to turn Cena heel.
John Cena is stale and losing fans by the day, but the WWE would essentially be turning on all the little kids that love him. The Rock is going to be cheered by the fans that are 14-plus regardless of what he does—heck, he might get even more cheers from his fanbase for turning on Cena, and the WWE would be able to keep from betraying the children in the audience.
Bottom line here is this: The WWE has a great opportunity to make this one of the best overall PPVs in recent memory while doing nicely to build towards the future. If you like the current direction of the WWE, I'd encourage you to buy Survivor Series, rather than finding a site streaming it for free. The way the WWE gauges its storyline effectiveness is through TV ratings and PPV buyrates.
All that said, enjoy the PPV and Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
...Oh yeah, Eve and Beth Phoenix are in a Lumberjill match, so if you want to see the entire scantily clad divas roster, there will be that for like four minutes.