Michael Cole announced on Smackdown that the seven-on-seven Smackdown versus Raw tag team match will be contested under Elimination rules. The elimination tag team match will continue until all members of one team are eliminated. Doesn’t this sound awfully familiar? That’s right, it’s called a Survivor Series match.
Survivor Series is considered one of WWE’s “Big Four” events, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam, as it was one of the original four pay-per-views produced by WWE. The original concept of the Survivor Series was to have an annual pay-per-view event that focused on tag team wrestling. But not since 2007 has WWE put much thought into the development of tag team wrestling, which explains why Vince McMahon considered dropping the event this year.
Plans were to drop Survivor Series in favor of a new gimmick-themed event. And seeing as Bragging Rights already features a seven-on-seven tag team main-event, conducting it this year under Survivor Series rules may indicate that the plan is to replace Survivor Series with Bragging Rights.
Something to consider: Why would Vince McMahon renounce his appeal to drop the event this year? The only incentive that comes to mind is that this Survivor Series marks the 20th anniversary of The Undertaker’s debut in the WWE.
Final Thoughts: The thought of WWE dropping one of the “Big Four” events is upsetting to life-long fans. Even though WWE, as of late, has placed more emphasis on Royal Rumble and SummerSlam, the Survivor Series is actually the second longest running pay-per-view event in WWE history, behind WrestleMania. It was originally created to be a “Thanksgiving tradition” as the first four Survivor Series events took place on Thanksgiving Day in November. But after four years of taking place on Thanksgiving Eve following that, Survivor Series moved to the more-traditional Sunday PPV date. The meaning of Survivor Series changed in 1997 from “Thanksgiving tradition” to “Montreal Screwjob.” The PPV strayed away from its original concept of celebrating tag team wrestling, and unity with family, to a sad attempt in recreating similar screw jobs.
As for Bragging Rights possibly replacing Survivor Series, the new gimmick-themed event sounds like the perfect substitute. When WWE decided to create two separate rosters because of the overabundance of talent left over from the Invasion storyline, the concept of which roster was better was intriguing. Sure, the set up of two World and two secondary championships seems redundant, but it’s only because Raw and Smackdown is distinct enough to give off the appearance that they are two separate wrestling companies. So in the days when wrestling fans yearned for WWE champion Hulk Hogan to take on NWA champion Ric Flair, Bragging Rights attempts to harness that desire to find out who exactly is the best with this interpromotional event.
But instead of two World champions colliding, which was contested in a low-promoted bout on Smackdown, WWE’s secondary champions will face off against one another. While the seven-on-seven Smackdown vs Raw main-event will determine the superior Brand.