Welcome to the RassleBag. Sunday brings us Survivor Series, the least big of the “Big Four” shows on the WWE calendar. Whereas WrestleMania is sui generis and SummerSlam and the Royal Rumble remain the epic tentpoles they were originally envisioned to be, Survivor Series is a remnant of a time when pro wrestling storytelling was about dragging out major feuds as long as possible (and when Thanksgiving seemed like a reasonable time to program a big wrestling show). I charted the history of the Series two years ago, but here’s the short version: It used to be four or five good guys versus four or five bad guys. No longer. These days, you won’t find superstars wasting time in multi-partner tag matches. The title bouts are just like at any other PPV; the only difference is that WWE makes a lackluster effort to keep the tradition going by tossing out a couple teams of mid-carders. All it does is remind us how far the event has fallen. But don’t take my word for it — take it from my readers.
When did Survivor Series cards start resembling Payback? Isn’t this supposed to be one of the big four? Why not push the 4-on-4 elimination style matches as a once a year extravaganza?
Why doesn’t WWE stick with the traditional Survivor Series format? It seems that the old format would be more conducive to extending feuds and keep them from having to create too many new angles.
Why doesn’t WWE bring back War Games?
This is just a taste of the torrent of mail I got from wrestling fans exasperated about the state of Survivor Series. Grantland’s own Bill Simmons is on the record as advocating that it be replaced by Money in the Bank because MITB at least has a big match built into it. I can’t totally disagree, except that I’m a whiny traditionalist who thinks the Survivor Series legacy is worth salvaging. But how?