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Has The Survivor Series PPV Lost Its Magic?
This year’s WWE Survivor Series PPV goes down the 24th of November. There have been so many changes to the wrestling business and the way it has gone from the golden ages to the attitude era and now to the PG era. A couple years ago it was believed to be dead and almost taken off the calendar of the WWE. With the fourth biggest PPV that WWE has (WrestleMania, Summerslam, Royal Rumble) only a matter of two weeks away.
Let’s go back and take a look at the history of this event.
The first event took place on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1987 and was held at the Richfield Coliseum in Richfield, Ohio. The attendance was 21,300. There was only four matches on the card (YES Four Matches) 3out of 4 was original Survivor Series matches. Can you imagine only four matches on a card in this day and age? The other match was a 20-man tag team Survivor Series elimination match. Which saw Strike Force, The Young Stallions, The Fabulous Rougeaus, The Killer Bees, and the British Bulldogs defeated The Hart Foundation, The Islanders, Demolition, The Bolsheviks and The New Dream Team. That would been very hard to cover in play by play But everyone pays to see the main event of the show which saw Andre The Giants team defeat the Great Hulk Hogan team. Now you have to remember that its 1987 so this is the year of Andre vs. Hogan. Some will say it was a great feud or a great attraction either way it will always live in the record books of WWE.
A couple more years until you get to the 1990 PPV where the Undertaker makes his WWF at the time debut. One year later he defeated and won his first WWF title against Hulk Hogan. At the time you couldn’t have gotten a bigger nor better push. Hogan is arguable the biggest and famous wrestler of all time. You beat him a year after debuting and get the title on you is a great accomplishment.
We can’t talk about the event without talking about the infamous 1997 edition with the “screw job finish”. Yes Vince McMahon screwed Bret Hart, everyone knows that but it only went 12 minutes. Most Raw main events go longer than that these days. You give the fans a “screw job finish” plus a short main event. Not the best PPV for the company as that aspect but the launch of MR. McMahon made up for it. This was the first Survivor Series of the attitude era.
The 1998 edition was an interesting one to say the least with the gimmick of the “Deadly Game Tournament” to crown a new WWF Champion. The Rock Defeated Mankind to capture his first WWE championship. Over thirteen years later he has eight; this is one of the harder hitting rock matches. It should be noted this PPV had fourteen matches on there.
The first Survivor Series of the 2000’s era was HHH vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin. This was a straight up brawl with the ending of the following: Triple H sent Benoit to find Austin. Suddenly, Austin appeared in a forklift, and he picked up Triple H's car and dropped it off the forklift from 30 feet in the air. The car landed on its top with Triple H trapped inside. This caused a No contest finish. Surprising the WWF title match was mid card which saw Kurt Angle defend and defeat The Undertaker.
Oh yeah the 2001 edition saw the most anticipated but flat storyline in a long time by WWE with the invasion storyline. Team WWF defeated Team WCW and who ever lost had to disband. Honestly it was a saving grace this storyline ended.
2002 edition saw the very first Elimination Chamber match from Madison Square garden. The match now has its own PPV now in February.
Skip five years to the 20th anniversary that had Batista defend and defeated The Undertaker. This PPV never felt like a big deal in my opinion.
In the later years you have seen rematches occur on this show and haven’t had the prestige that it once had. Every time you see the name of this PPV coming up on the calendar you have to wonder what happened to this great concept?
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