This month’s Survivor Series is shaping up to be historic for a variety of ways; the most important of which has absolutely nothing to do with the potential disappearance of The Authority or any supposed heel or face turns that may or may not occur.
For the first time in almost 10 years, we are likely to have a Pay Per View with absolutely zero title matches.
Using the wonder of ProFightDB, I went back through the last 128 PPV events, searching for the last one that didn’t feature one championship contest. I had to go back all the way to One Night Stand from 2005 until I found one, and that’s even debatable to use since, as an ECW reunion show, there wouldn’t be any title matches anyway. I could go back further. . . but that sounds like hard work to me.
How odd is this phenomenon? There have only been 2 PPV’s in that same time period to only feature a single title defense. Now, to be fair, the majority of these last 10 years have featured at least 2 (and sometimes 3) brands, so title matches are an expected occurrence for culmination events, as most PPV’s are. But still, 128 events is a loooooong time.
“Now, DC,” you might be saying to yourselves, “we don’t know for sure that Survivor Series won’t feature a title match. What makes you think it’s going to happen?” And as always, dear reader, I’m glad you asked. I humbly submit my two (yes, only two) reasons for believing we will see no title matches at Survivor Series.
Reason 1: The elephant in the room (last seen taking a picture with a gopher).
As we Twitter-folk are all painfully aware, Brock Lesnar is almost certainly not going to be making an appearance leading up to Survivor Series. In fact, its growing more and more likely we won’t see our World Heavyweight Champion until 2015.
Originally, the belief was this was an opportunity to place the focus on the mid-card titles, stressing their significance, and that’s what has happened. Dolph Ziggler (and his opponents) have elevated the IC title to prominence, and for those happy few who subscribe to the WWE Network (sorry UK fans - I’m almost as irritated about it as you are) saw on Monday, Rusev, arguably the biggest non-Authority heel of 2014, now holds the US title.
However, now it seems as if we are taking a different path altogether. Rather than hyping the belts, we almost appear to be pushing them off to the side. Ziggler is now a major part of the Team Cena vs. Authority storyline, and the writing on the RAW wall suggests Rusev might be as well.
WWE logic seems to be “Let’s forget about these silly titles to tell a larger story; one, by the way, that the WHC doesn’t need to take part in.”
Reason 2: Too Many PPV’s, Not Enough Stories
A lot of Twitter-talk (especially @NewAgeInsiders, the premier place for wrestling fans to #BeHeard) has revolved around how, with the WWE Network, PPV’s don’t have as much significance as they once did. Perhaps it is time to scale those events back a bit - that seems to be the majority opinion.
While WWE doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to do this, it does (as my previous reason indicated) seem to be calling a “time-out” to a lot of major storylines in order to focus on this Cena / Authority piece. Solid and creative booking, true, but it also gives them a chance to prolong current feuds. It feels like we have a long road to go before the “Road to Wrestlemania” starts, and WWE seems to be trying to stall for time by sticking with (again, this is early signs here - things may change) traditional SS matches, and saving the “blow-off” events for TLC or the Rumble.
So, if there are to be no title matches, what does Survivor Series look like? I present my
UnInformed Predictions (just the matches, no results)
Team Cena (JC, Ziggler, Big Show, Sheamus and Orton) vs. Team Authority (Rollins, Kane, Mark Henry, Rusev and Triple H)
I toyed with many guys for the 5th Authority spot. Cesaro would make sense but he’s not getting out of the doghouse by then. Batista could do a brief return appearance, but given that he’s “fighting for his job”, I think this is a perfect opportunity for Trips to make his in-ring return.
Also debated Ryback taking Orton’s spot, depending on the timeline for the movie Randy is making. Even thought of The Rock, planting another more overt seed for he and HHH’s seemingly inevitable clash at WM31. Decided to stick with Orton because he’s been so solid for them as the “crazier than Ambrose” guy.
Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt
I originally thought there will be some sort of stipulation here, like a Last Man Standing, but I suppose that should be saved for later on in their run. They are totally slow-burning this feud (again, stalling for time), so I expect this to continue til the Rumble at least.
Dust Brothers and Miz Twins vs. Uso’s and Matadors
This is the one that’s going to bite me in the ass, I know it. This will be the one title match of Survivor Series, a Fatal 4 Way elimination for the titles instead of the traditional 8 man match.
I’m counting on my two reasons to save me here, but I’ll admit, I’m nervous.
Divas SS Match
I call these uninformed predictions for a reason. I couldn’t tell you much of anything that is happening with the Diva’s division. I know one Bella is working for the other, I know AJ and Paige have no friends, and I know Emma keeps losing. That’s it.
I imagine Nikki will captain a team, and since the PPV falls within the 30 days of the supposed contract, I have to image Brie is on that team too. So Nikki, Brie, Layla and Summer and Alicia Fox vs. AJ, Natalya, Emma, Paige and whichever Funkadactyl is a face right now? Something like that? I’m trying to care, really, I am. Charlotte can’t join this division soon enough.
To be honest, I ran out of talent with the first four matches. All the upper level guys are either fighting in the main event or are Dean / Bray. Having an NXT showcase fills out the event, plus it gives more exposure to the Takeover event in December.
Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville and the Lucha Dragons vs. Tyler Breeze, Tyson Kidd and the Vaudevillains
For those of you screaming for Finn Balor or KenTami, it’s not going to happen. This is about telling the biggest stories for Takeover (the two titles) and featuring two guys (Breeze and Kidd) who deserve their shot.
Hmm, the card is still missing something. Ok, how about a. . .
10 - 15 man Battle Royal for #1 Contender to the IC title
Battle Royals are all about survival, so it fits the theme of the event. This would be the perfect spot for Luke Harper or Bad News Barrett to return and immediately move (move back, in BNB’s case) to the mid-card title scene. Just make sure you tell Zack Ryder before he finds out about it on Twitter.
OK, so maybe this turned into fantasy booking rather than legit predictions, but look at that card and tell me you wouldn’t watch almost all of it.