Hart Murmurs #87: Survivor Series 2017 Preview by Bruce Hart
Greetings. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the recent developments in the WWE, vis a vis, major title changes and the lineup for this weekend’s supposedly epic Survivor Series pay per view.
For several weeks the WWE had been hyping, as the major matches at Survivor Series, the long awaited clash between WWE Champion – Jinder Mahal, and Universal champion – Brock Lesnar, and the showdown between SmackDown women’s champion Natalya and RAW champ, Alexa Bliss. As such, like many of you, I had been eagerly anticipating those two matches – both of which seemed to have potential.
A funny thing happened on the way to the forum, or, in this case, the Toyota Centre in Houston, though – as this past week both Jinder and Natalya lost their belts – to AJ Styles and Charlotte, respectively, in impromptu title matches that most fans, myself included, didn’t know had even been booked.
That would have been the equivalent of, back in the day, if Don King had been hyping a big boxing extravaganza, with a heavyweight title match between, say, Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield and maybe a middleweight title bout between Sugar Ray Leonard and Marvin Hagler. About a week before the big show however, it was then announced that Tyson had lost his belt to Butterbean and that, as well, Sugar Ray had dropped his belt to Wilfred Benitez.
Adding insult to injury, while the WWE saw fit to have the hastily thrown together matches between Jinder & Styles and Natalya & Charlotte deemed as title matches, it has, of course, decreed that the supposedly penultimate showdowns between Styles and Lesnar and Charlotte and Alexa, that will be taking place this weekend at Survivor Series will be NON-TITLE affairs.
I might add that, in a similarly hard to fathom move, the WWE also saw fit to have reigning tag champs – Ambrose and Rollins, in yet another spontaneous title switch, drop their belts to Cesaro and Sheamus. Not to be casting aspersions, but Cesaro and Sheamus have lost far more than they’ve won in recent months. The offshoot of all of that will be that they will now be meeting another lukewarm pseudo heel tandem – the USO’s, at Survivor Series, but, drum roll please . . . that won’t be a title match, either.
Forgive my cynicism, Paul, Vinnie or whomever the hell else, but wouldn’t all of this be about the equivalent of Roger Goodell announcing that the Jaguars just won the NFL title last week after having defeated the Browns in an impromptu scrimmage in Myrtle Beach, however, reassuring football fans that the upcoming Super Bowl game between the Patriots and, say, the Cowboys, will still be going on as scheduled, but will, of course, be a non-title game. Feel free to correct me if I’m off base or if I’m missing something here, gentlemen.
I’ve said it in the past but will reiterate it again, here and now, that wrestling must be an incredible product to have survived and continued to thrive, in spite of how many times it has routinely dropped the ball and missed the mark. Having said that though, one can only ponder how much more successful and popular it might be if it actually, at some point, got its proverbial shit together and endeavored to do “what’s best for business”.
On that note, I’ll call this a wrap but, after the smoke (or should I say, stench), clears following Survivor Series, I’ll look forward to catching up with you all next week for my post mortems on all the epic non-title matches and whatever the hell else has trasnpired. Until then, keep the faith.