My thoughts about the big event that happens around this time of year.
This time a year usually brings about one of my long time and favorite pro wrestling traditions, the Survivor Series. I’ve been a fan of the team matches the show is known for since the 80’s. And while I really liked the 5 on 5 elimination tag team matches, the 4 on 4 matches are good too.
But in the last number of years, the event lost that feeling to me. It’s not fun anymore and the matches do nothing for me like they used to. but why is that?
Cultaholic recent ran an article about why fans like the survivor series and it got me thinking, why did I like it so much? What parts of those old events do I like way more than the ones the WWE holds now. And that got me thinking. So what are the reasons I like the older ones better?
The nature of the WWE’s programming
I got to become a wrestling fan back in the late 80’s. Back then wrestling shows were 95 percent squash matches and especially for the WWF (now WWE) getting to name guys actually face each other was a rarity. Getting to see these big 8, 10, or even 20 man matches were few and far between, that was the appeal to the Survivor Series shows, to begin with. BIG tag team elimination matches and seeing guys getting beat or winning over bigger names than the squashes we usually saw.
Nowadays With RAW and Smackdown, you rarely see jobber matches anymore. The stars face each other all the time now. Big team elimination matches aren’t nearly as rare either. Seeing the big team matches are just once a year like they used to be.
The nature of WWE’s business practices
The scam that was Crown Jewel left a bad taste in my mouth but it wasn’t a new one. The WWE doesn’t care about its fans in the slightest. They just want the money. They aren’t trying to give you a good story, they are trying to get more WWE subscriptions to make Vince and the stockholders happy. It’s not about putting on a good show, it’s about PAYING for a good show and then giving you crap. Not to say those old events weren’t about getting your money, but most of the time they at least tried and gave a damn (The 1991 event that was just to hype that Tuesday in Texas idea was a turning point for me). Nowadays the man behind the curtain has been revealed. It isn’t fun anymore when it gets too obvious that you are probably getting ripped off.
The RAW V/S Smackdown crap
In the last number of years, they’ve been putting on that “The only time a year RAW and Smackdown go head to head” and every year it is well pointed out that isn’t true. And even if it was, a lot less of the audience actually believe any of that crap to begin with. There is no real rivalry between Raw and Smackdown. They switch guys between the brands all the time with the “draft lottery” or whatever bullshit they call it year to year.
And another point to this, the “Champion vs Champion” matches of the last few years lost it’s steam a long time ago. Most of the time the fans aren’t calling for this kind of match and want the champions to actually defend their title in matches that have a lot of backstories. The Champion VS Champion matches don’t have much build up, nor does it amount to anything anyway. When it is done EVERY year, they aren’t accomplishing much anyway.
The team matches are a whole lot different now too
Those older shows were based around feuding team captains and their team of partners against each other. Even if the feuds between captains was weak as hell, there was still a reason for them to fight. Nowadays the team matches are between “Team Captains” who just represent RAW or Smackdown and if they are feuding or anything like that, it is incidental. The teams themselves are usually the ones feuding with each other and people probably wanted to see them fight each other more than team up.
Last minute Crap
In those big matches, substitutions happen. Guys quit, or are hurt, or whatever. Those shows were made and announced so far ahead of time that something was bound to happen. With this year being the shining example, people were changed and switched out for “storyline” purposes (and one actual injury), but there wasn’t much of a story to tell. Both the team and the singles match had all kinds of issues and literally DAYS to hype anything. That is the nature of how the Television works now, but a lot of what happened this year was preventable. And feels like the fans have wasted their time getting invested in a match (team match or otherwise) when they are constantly switching out people.
I’m old and bitter as a wrestling fan, but those are the big reasons why I’m getting more and more turned off by the “Thanksgiving Week Tradition”. Glad they aren’t asking for 60 bucks to watch these shows anymore. They are getting plenty from the Saudi’s and from Fox, they wouldn’t be missing any of mine..
Now, before I go I want to point anyone reading this towards a special little pup who is part of the family of a friend of mine. I have not had the chance to meet her personally, but Bailey isn’t feeling too good and she needs some help. Poor Bailey could use the kindness of strangers so if you are reading this, I ask you to give her a little love and help her and Jen out. She has had a rough one so far so she could use the help. You can donate to her and her human Jen HERE.
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