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Raw recap: Survivor Series match starting to feel like an afterthought

By Adam Testa

11:10 PM EST, November 5, 2012

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For the past week, many wrestling fans have been excited about the idea of the Survivor Series pay-per-view being headlined by a traditional 10-man Survivor Series main event.

But WWE seemingly couldn't leave well enough alone. After rushing to announce the two teams - led by WWE Champion CM Punk and WWE legend Mick Foley - on last week's episode of Raw, WWE seems to have let its own doubt run rampant and cause major adjustments to the teams and the PPV card as a whole.

Raw opened with a pre-taped segment in which former Intercontinental Champion The Miz walked away from Team Punk. Things would further disintegrate later in the show when Vince McMahon ordered Raw Supervising Manager Vickie Guerrero to book Punk, Ryback and John Cena in a triple threat match at the pay-per-view, taking Punk and Ryback off their respective teams.

Dolph Ziggler and Wade Barrett were added to the former Team Punk. Barrett replacing Miz is acceptable, especially given his recent issues with Randy Orton, who now may be the de facto leader of the other team in Ryback's absence. Ziggler, now the team captain, seemed poised for a match with Cena, which could have elevated his profile, but now he's thrown into the elimination match for no real rhyme or reason, other than Guerrero picking Punk's replacement.

There's no word on who will replace Ryback on his team's squad.

Fans who were excited for a traditional Survivor Series match to main event the pay-per-view that bears its name can now feel let down, knowing Cena returns to his spot atop the pay-per-view scene to participate in the triple threat match for the WWE Championship. It was likely too novel a concept for the title to not be on the line as a means of making another match more meaningful.

This same triple threat match could have easily been done at the TLC pay-per-view in December to give conclusion to Punk's rivalries with both Cena and Ryback. Unless, of course, the plan is to do a title switch and then give Punk his rematch in TLC and allow whoever would win (presumably Cena) to go to the Royal Rumble and face The Rock.

No matter the thought process, these are things that should have been determined and decided before rushing the announcement of the Survivor Series teams last week. These kinds of rash decisions and on-the-fly changes rub the most loyal of fans the wrong way, and it is a blemish on the WWE's product.

People were genuinely excited for the 10-man eliminator, and while the new lineups don't necessarily take away from the quality of the match, they make it seem far less important in the grand scheme of things.

Survivor Series has become just another stop on the road to WrestleMania in recent years, and it appears that reputation will continue for at least one more. Maybe one day it will be restored to its former glory. It's just a shame that Hell in a Cell can be built around a Hell in a Cell match, Money in the Bank around a Money in the Bank match and TLC around TLC variations, but at Survivor Series, the Survivor Series match becomes a midcard afterthought.

 

Quick Hits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Match Rundown

 

R-Truth, Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara d. Antonio Cesaro, Darren Young and Titus O'Neil

Cody Rhodes d. Daniel Bryan

Kane d. Damien Sandow

Sheamus d. The Miz

Kaitlyn and Layla d. Eve and Aksana

Kofi Kingston d. Alberto Del Rio

Santino Marella and Zakk Ryder d. Primo and Epico

Wade Barrett d. Brodus Clay

Heath Slater d. Jey Uso

Ryback and John Cena d. CM Punk and Dolph Ziggler

 

My Take

 

Tonight's episode of Raw seemed to drag on forever. Since the expansion to three hours, many people - myself included - have questioned whether it's too much. This is a case where it was. The England crowd was hot at the start of the show, but they died out for a good portion of the middle before coming back to life for Wade Barrett and the main event. There just wasn't enough strong material to carry a show like this. WWE crammed 10 matches onto the show, presumably to get everyone on the card and make the most of flying them all to England. On top of that, this episode basically rendered last week's Raw completely irrelevant, as the Survivor Series lineup was completely modified. There are more issues at hand than are appropriate for this forum, but there are some logistical challenges WWE simply needs to get a better handle on before the product will completely thrive again.

 

Ring Posts’ Adam Testa has teamed up with My 1-2-3 Cents  and All American Pro Wrestling  to bring you From the Rafters Radio,  a weekly pro wrestling talk radio show airing from 8-10 EST every Thursday on Monster Radio 1150 AM in Southern Illinois and streaming worldwide on wggh.net .