Like many of you, I’ve been a long-time fan of the annual Survivor Series pay-per-view and in fact was privileged enough to wrestle in the main event of the big event, along with my brothers Bret, Owen and Keith against the Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels and friends back in 1991
Given that Survivor Series has such a long and colorful history and usually “delivers”, as they say, I was really looking forward to this year’s main event – a star studded five on five elimination tag team match featuring the power packed RAW team of captain Triple H, Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe and SmackDown’s fabulous fivesome of Randy Orton, John Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and team captain – Shane O’Mac.
Given the impressive star power, the match, I thought, had the makings of something really special. That, unfortunately, didn’t prove to be the case though, as the match, for whatever reason never really seemed to get off the ground. Even more disconcerting was how A-list superstars, like Cena, Angle and Orton – most of whom rarely drop a fall or lose cleanly, ended up getting chewed up and spit out, like nondescript jobbers or incidental pawns in a chess match.
As disappointing and hard to fathom as it was to see certified superstars falling like dominoes, even more mind boggling was the convoluted finish, which saw RAW team captain, Triple H, for no perceptible reason, ambush his teammate, Kurt Angle and give him the pedigree. Hunter then beckoned his supposed arch rival Shane McMahon to pin Angle (which, to his discredit, he did).
Subsequent to that, Hunter ambushed Shane and proceeded to pedigree and then pinned him. I’m not sure if the ostensible purpose was to garner sympathy for Shane or to ignite the fuse for some Hunter/Shane feud, but at this stage about all it appeared to accomplish was to make Shane look like some kind of unethical accomplice who had scored a cheap, unwarranted win over Angle via Hunter’s treachery, but then got screwed in turn by Hunter – whom he should never have trusted in the first place.
After that implausible and unsatisfying swerve, Hunter then beckoned Strowman to celebrate their implausible win over Team Angle, but Brawn (yawn) tepidly disdained Hunter’s overtures and listlessly trudged back to the dressing room – all of which got over about as well as somebody passing gas in a hot, crowded elevator on its way to the penthouse suite and left everyone wondering what the point of the whole contrived fiasco had been.
Not that anybody should be needing to point out the basics of booking to the enlightened despots in Titan Tower, but when you’re orchestrating a finish for a star-studded mega match of this magnitude, it’s obligatory to render an outcome that either satisfies the fans, or even better, really pisses them off and sets the stage for a hot, compelling return. Nothing of the sort transpired though and afterward I found myself pondering – like many of you, what the hell the point of the whole illicit exercise in futility had been.
Hopefully the enlightened despots in WWE command centre have some underlying rationale for all of this that I’ve overlooked or am too damned obtuse to comprehend. If such proves to be the case, I owe them a sincere apology. If not, they owe their fans and several of their wrestlers an even more profound apology and are also obliged, I might add, to curtail their flinging shit against the wall and hoping it will stick approach to wrestling, or “sports entertainment” as they like to sanctimoniously refer to it as.
On that note, I’ll call this a wrap but will look forward to catching up with you next time for more wrestling ruminations. Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American followers!
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