The traditions of the WWE have long shown there to be four big PPVs in the calendar wrestling year. Whilst every PPV is tagged as a huge event, the big four have been a staple of the company for a long time. Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, Summerslam and Survivor Series are unmovable objects on the schedule, above the likes of Hell in a Cell, the old In Your House events and Backlash.
Survivor Series, as one of those original four, is the second longest running PPV behind Wrestlemania, and as such, you would expect it to be surrounded by incredible amounts of hype.
The multi-man Survivor Series tag matches have become an iconic part of WWE history. This event was also where The Undertaker made his debut and where—a year later—Taker beat Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship.
Can Survivor Series 2012 live up to the hype and history the event deserves? The answer is undeniably negative.
There are many reasons for this, and they revolve around the poor booking and planning by WWE Creative.
Firstly, there has been a clear panic after a poor reaction to the original Team Foley vs. Team Punk plan. This writer believes 100% that Vince McMahon appeared in the UK to change the main event not because of some foreseen swerve to shock the audience but as part of a frantic reaction to how underwhelmed their audience was to the 5-man tag match they had been presented with.
Secondly, the calendar has forced a hectic squash of story-lines.
The six week gap between one PPV and the next that lead to Hell in a Cell gave the company time to build ahead. This long wait was a perfect build to a big event but was wasted on a gimmick PPV. Anticipation, patience and planning before a Survivor Series could have made it part of the big four again, whilst Hell in a Cell could easily have been set up with short planning. What feuds were so lovingly built in those six weeks? All you need do is throw two men in a cell because it’s brutal. The structure is a question and an answer in and of itself.
All this has done is make a huge main event—a great triple threat with Cena, Ryback and Punk that made perfect sense—into a rushed throwaway, chucked in by Vince in a cringe-worthy section with a giggling Vickie Guerrero. It takes talent to cheapen a big match between three of the biggest stars the company has this second, but WWE has done it.
Lastly, why should anyone care about Team Ziggler vs. Team Foley? Why should Ziggler want to lead the team in a feud he has no interest in? Does Cena’s ‘affair’ no longer matter? Foley came in to teach CM Punk a lesson, now he’s just leading a team for the sake of it. Hell, even The Miz has thrown the match aside with Wade Barrett in on the basis of a Paul Heyman promise, a Heyman promise that makes no sense with his man involved in another match.
The event looked poor, and at least the WWE have acted, but all this is easily avoidable. It's a kick in the teeth for those of us who thought the company had finally started using foresight in its booking.
Whoever would have guessed the Big Show would be the only champion with any clear guidance on a PPV card?