Survivor Series: Ten Years On – Comparing 2007 and 2017

This Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of the WWE annual event, Survivor Series. Yes, that’s right, 30 years. The first event was actually in 1987, and consisted of all […]

This Sunday will mark the 30th anniversary of the WWE annual event, Survivor Series. Yes, that’s right, 30 years. The first event was actually in 1987, and consisted of all traditional 5 on 5 team elimination matches.
Of course I think we all remember what happened at Survivor Series 1997, don’t we Bret, Shawn?
This year’s event is very different, however, as we now have two separate WWE brands in Raw and Smackdown fighting for dominance and bragging rights.
One thing that has never changed, however, is the 5 on 5 elimination concept, which has stayed with the event throughout time.

This year we will see the Raw team consisting of Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Braun Strowman, CEO Triple H and the General Manager, Kurt Angle.
Smackdown Live’s team is taken up by Commissioner Shane McMahon, John Cena, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura.
That’s a lot of star power in one match.

But I want to flash back to ten years ago, Survivor Series 2007, and specifically, the traditional 5 on 5 match.
This one pitted Team Triple H (along with Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Kane & Rey Mysterio), to take on the odd team which consisted of Big Daddy V, Finlay, Mr Kennedy (now Anderson), MVP and led by Umaga.
Before the match had started, it was announced that Matt Hardy would be unable to compete due to a (scripted) injury, so it would in fact be a 4 on 5 elimination match.

This match was very thrown together, and there wasn’t really a background storyline to it, and the match itself was announced via the WWE website, in what was a let’s put these guys we don’t know what to do with together in a match, kind of deal.
On paper, it looked a very one sided match with the mighty Triple H, dominant Kane, high flying Mysterio and the extremely popular Hardy Boyz being boasted as one team, and ultimately the fact that they won ended up being unsurprising.
The other side did include Umaga, who had been receiving a lot of ‘creative push’, including a last man standing WWE title match against John Cena which had taken place at the Royal Rumble of that year.
Fit Finlay was sort of just, there, he didn’t really have much of a storyline going for him, and the same could be said for Big Daddy V, the former Viscera.

What I find most odd about this match, is the first two superstars eliminated from it, were Kane and Rey Mysterio, courtesy of Big Daddy V and Umaga, respectively. It just goes to show you the determination the company had to push these guys, especially Big Daddy V, eliminating Kane could have been a huge bragging right for him.
Following the pin falls of Kane and Rey Mysterio to exit them from the match, this left Triple H and Jeff Hardy to take on all 5 opponents, which they did successfully.
The eliminations of MVP, Mr Kennedy, Big Daddy V and Finlay which was quickly followed by Umaga going down to a Swanton Bomb ensured that the ‘underdogs’ won the match.

If you look back at this match, nothing really came from it, there was no fallout, no feuds and no mention of the match, which really highlights how last minute and thrown together it was.
Ironically, it would be the two sole survivors of the match, Triple H & Jeff Hardy, who would then go on to have a match at the following pay per view, Armageddon, to determine the number 1 contender to the WWE Championship.

What happened next for the others? Well at the Armageddon pay per view the following month,  Rey Mysterio and MVP would go on to do battle against each other for the United States title.
Big Daddy V would be on the winning side of a tag team match alongside Mark Henry where he would once again defeat Kane and his partner this time, CM Punk.
Mr Kennedy had an impressive 15 minute bout against Shawn Michaels, but ended up defeated by The Heartbreak Kid. This match earned Kennedy a lot of critical respect and put him back in contention for future high profiled matches.
Finlay wrestled a nothing match against Great Khali.

Back to Survivor Series 2007 (before this sounds like an Armageddon review), it was probably one of the weakest traditional matches of recent memory, which is down to lack of real meaning or storyline behind the match.
The past few years the rivalries between the two shows, Raw & Smackdown has intensified greatly, with challenges, run ins, title changes and invasions.
I do like the concept of RAW v Smackdown events, but I do think that the card this year lacks title match attraction to it.
We have Intercontinental Champion The Miz against United States Champion Baron Corbin, in a heel vs heel match, which quite frankly doesn’t attract me as I have no reason to be invested.
I’m a big fan, probably the biggest fan of The Miz, but win or lose, it doesn’t really matter following this match.
Along that theme we also have WWE Champion AJ Styles against Universal Champion Brock Lesnar. Now yes, this is a never been seen before match, but when Lesnar hardly appears at PPV’s anymore, I kind of expect to see a title defence when he does.
In 2007 we enjoyed a great contest between Randy Orton and Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship, as well as a Hell in a Cell match for the World Heavyweight Championship between champion Batista and The Undertaker.

The big selling point for the men’s 5 on 5 match this year, is Stephanie McMahon has vowed to fire Kurt Angle should Team Raw be defeated, which ups the ante and raises the stakes.
It’s good to have meaning to the match, which as previously mentioned before helps fans get invested.
It is a good novelty to see Nakamura and Balor in the ring together, as well as Samoa Joe and John Cena to name a couple, sights we wouldn’t usually see, but the real story here is about Kurt Angle.
I think this is the first seed being planted for a Wrestlemania match between Angle and Triple H.

Overall I think this is the worst put together Survivor Series of recent memory, as we’ve had so many last minute changes it’s been a complete shambles.
We’ve seen Paul Heyman cut a promo on Jinder Mahal on behalf of Brock Lesnar, only for Mahal to lose his WWE Championship resulting in him being replaced by new champion AJ Styles.
We had a change to the RAW Elimination match, with Triple H replacing Jason Jordan.
The Shield were set to take on The Uso’s, which would have been a battle of Roman Reigns ‘brothers’ against his real life Cousins, which again, changed when Sheamus & Cesaro defeated The Shield. That one I have less of a problem with because it was adding fuel to the RAW v Smackdown fire.
Now on Smackdown Live this week we’ve even had another title change which completely alters a match.

I like when WWE create their storylines in advance and have a long term plan , but ever since Summerslam, it seems they have no future goals whatsoever. Their rash and hasty booking has backed them into corners numerous times (see TLC), and superstars can be a focal point one minute and be relegated to not even being involved the next (see Jinder Mahal).
I hope this year we have some major fall out from the matches that can see the superstars are kept active until the end of the year and it sets the wheels in motion for some superstar angles and storylines that are coming soon.

My prediction is we’ll see Team Raw become victorious, with Triple H taking credit over Kurt Angle, which will lead to him berating Angle weekly until the Wrestlemania match is set.
Then again, with how all over the place plans in WWE are at the moment who knows what will happen, or where any of this is going.
I guess we’ll just have to tune in this Sunday.