In case you haven't heard the news, Vince McMahon announced today that Survivor Series is "obsolete" and will no longer be a part of WWE's PPV schedule. While it sucks for tradition - Survivor Series is the second oldest PPV of the year - I can't help but finding myself in agreement with the chairman.
Let's rewind to November, I addressed this very subject in Episode 23 of Kick-Out!! Radio, saying how excited I was for 2009's Survivor Series because it actually felt like a big deal, which Survivor Series hadn't for years. The WWE Title match hype wasn't the best, but every other match had a good build, especially the Survivor Series matches, and most of them (sans Batista vs. Mysterio) delivered in terms of action. I was excited for the show, I enjoyed it in execution, so why do I agree with Vince's assessment of the event? Simple, it just doesn't work with the way business is done today.
In 1987, Survivor Series was the biggest event since WrestleMania 3, it was a revolutionary concept that you couldn't see anywhere except PPV. Hulk Hogan teaming with Paul Orndorff, Bam Bam Bigelow, Don Muraco and Ken Patera to take on Andre the Giant, King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang, Rick Rude and Butch Reed was a MASSIVE main event; the undercard was big too, featuring pretty much every major name in WWE at the time competing in these unique elimination matches. But while main eventers teaming up with other big names to take on the guys they're feuding with was almost as big as WrestleMania in 1987, in 2010, it's a Raw main event. It's not out of the ordinary to see something like John Cena, Triple H, Shawn Michaels and Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton, Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase, and Big Show on a weekly Raw, when it could've been considered a PPV main event 20 years ago.
That's just the nature of the industry, post-Monday Night Wars, we're accustomed to seeing major stars every week, we demand it, but as a result of that shift, some other things lose their luster. The first WrestleMania main event was a tag match and the WWE Title wasn't even defended on the card, could you imagine that working today? Similarly, Survivor Series doesn't work today, which is a shame, but unless we're ready to go back to four PPVs a year and only seeing the top stars wrestle once a month, it may be time to retire the concept.
That's not to say that Survivor Series needs to be taken out back and shot, I'd love to see a three-hour Survivor Series-themed Raw, but I just don't think it's going to work as a $45 PPV, especially with the invention of Bragging Rights, which was my pick for the 2009 PPV of the year. Also, there's another WWE survey going around asking fans about their interest in War Games, and if we're bringing War Games back, I'm all for getting rid of Survivor Series. That's the kind of event you could build up to and the kind of match that could have lasting repercussions, unlike Survivor Series in recent years, which has had little impact on storylines following the PPV. There's no emotion to Survivor Series anymore, like I've been saying, it's basically what they do every week, take guys who are feuding and toss them in a big tag match. It's not about the teams collectively feuding or the relationships between teammates, it's just a vehicle for singles feuds. But a match taking place inside two rings surrounded by a steel cage with a roof on top that doesn't end until someone is physically unable to compete? That's not something we can see on a weekly Raw and could definitely sell a PPV. Make it happen, WWE.