The annual WWE Survivor Series is set for this evening and frankly, I just don’t care. The Survivor Series has offered so many classic moments over the years and is a member of the elite 4 annual pay-per-views, along with the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and Summer Slam. It demands importance, but it has been booked and treated like a throw-away episode of Raw. Let’s look at how WWE has fell on their face going into tonight.
WWE Championship Match, Randy Orton vs. The Big Show
Where, oh where do I begin? Let’s start last April at WrestleMania 29. The first match featured a stale babyfaced trio of Randy Orton, The Big Show, and Sheamus doing the obvious job to The Shield. All three faces were growing stale and needed a reboot. Randy Orton would go on to win the Money in the Bank, turn heel and become Triple H’s lackey on the way to screwing Daniel Bryan at Summer Slam to win the WWE Championship. It’s been a bumpy ride since August as Orton has come off as a whining heel with very few convincing wins. He did beat up Brad Maddox last week though! Let’s all face it, Orton has had his best days of glory and he is better off putting over upper-mid card talent, ala Chris Jericho in recent times.
As for The Big Show, this guy has no place in the main event. Over the course of his career, Paul White has bounced back and forth from face to heel, depending on whatever the company needs at the moment. For all his work and talent – Big Show is a good draw, but he has never truly, deeply connected to audiences like a John Cena or a Daniel Bryan. Also, the guy has been fired, cried like a baby, ruined a pay-per-view title match, and is only getting a title shot via blackmail. The guy has barely even wrestled a match on television in months. Wait, he beat Ryback last week on Raw! If anything, a match with Triple H tonight would be much better entertainment, not to mention a superior payoff to the months of their rivalry. Any smart mark fan knows that Show is a placeholder for Orton’s next challenger. Let’s hope this wraps up tonight. Either way, I’m not paying to see it.
World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio
You probably don’t want to hear this, but John Cena is good for business. He connects with young fans, is reviled by most fans over the age of 20, and proudly carries the WWE torch to places like ESPN SportsCenter and that show with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan. After his speedy recovery, it is obvious to everyone that he’s back and he’s not dropping the title to Del Rio or anyone else for awhile. Aside from Del Rio viciously attacking Cena’s injured arm, this feud has gone nowhere and is another trail that I hope ends tonight. Too predictable and too bland of a feud for me to care.
Daniel Bryan and CM Punk vs. Luke Harper and Eric Rowan
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are clearly the two most beloved superstars in the business. Face or heel, the WWE Universe just eats these guys up, even if they are just in a transitional feud with the Wyatt Family who are quickly becoming a major force in the company. Tonight’s outcome really has no bearing on anything. Bray Wyatt isn’t even in the match, which screams a rematch of some sort at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs next month. Punk and Bryan winning would not be a shock, and a win for the Wyatts would indeed notch the family higher as their stable develops. Bray Wyatt has repeatedly said, “The devil made me do it!” Maybe we’ll find out who the devil is tonight. Like it or not, this is only episode 1 of The Wyatts vs. “The Beard and The Best”.
Traditional Survivor Series match, Rey Mysterio, The Usos, Cody Rhodes, and Goldust vs. The Real Americans and The Shield
I will drop my curmudgeon-y griping for a moment. Everyone in the match (Mysterio and Swagger aside) is coming into tonight with a lot of exciting momentum. Cody and Goldust are putting on thrilling matches, The Usos are getting hotter by the day, crowds are really growing on Antonio Cesaro, and The Shield inches closer to an inevitable split… or yes, even a face turn. Mysterio will hit his usual spots, but otherwise this is an unpredictable match with a variety of exciting outcomes. Does The Shield show its first true crack tonight?
Traditional Survivor Series match with the WWE Divas
I’ll be the first to admit – I’ve seen every episode of E!’s Total Divas. A lot of talented young women are in the mix, along with a host of unproven wild cards (JoJo, Eva Marie). This will likely be a mess, just like the embarrassing segment of musical chairs last week on Raw. This is also a veiled excuse to get the rookies JoJo and Eva Marie screen time as they continue to develop their ring skills. For my tastes, a fatal 4 way match for the Divas Championship would be more entertaining and give the most talented Diva of all, AJ Lee a platform to show off what she does best. With all due respect to the rest of the Divas, AJ’s in-ring skills and connection to the audience, whether a face or heel, is unparalleled. Let’s hope somebody steps up tonight and proves that assessment wrong.
Intercontinental Championship, Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel
This pay-per-view has been so horribly booked, I’m not even sure if this match is officially happening. BUT, Big E. Langston has blasted through the mid-card malaise as of late and is lighting the WWE on fire. His ferocious strength and attitude is beginning to gain traction with fans and the sky is the limit for him. There’s no way Axel has a chance in hell to win tonight, and without Paul Heyman at his side, he is in dire danger of becoming the next Zack Ryder.
To my knowledge, talents such as Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, and Ryback are not officially on the card. Let’s hope WWE can at least put these guys to good use – and NOT on the pre-show panel. Needless to say, I will not be spending a dime on the Survivor Series tonight, which is a shame because I would gladly pay for a better show. With WrestleMania XXX beginning to plant its seeds, tomorrow’s Raw will need to introduce some exciting horizons.