You’ve (justifiably) stated how the traditional Survivors Series match this year has meaning. But how about ensuring it’s meaningful every year? Why not start the show with the 10 man tag and then have the survivors from the winning team face each other in a match later on in the card. The winner of that, THE survivor, then faces the WWE WHC at the Royal Rumble?
I would be all for the idea of creating a sole “survivor” from Survivor Series with the winner of the show going on to Royal Rumble to challenge for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The biggest criticism we’ve heard from readers regarding Survivor Series in recent years is the actual concept has been buried in the midcard in favor of title matches and other main event level bouts. While I’ll be the first to admit the WWE World Heavyweight Championship should be defended at the pay-per-view, it is nice to see the Survivor Series concept getting the main event.
We talked about this extensively in the latest WNW Premium Mailbag. While you can listen to my full analysis there, I will reiterate a quick point. Why do people order the Royal Rumble pay-per-view every year? It’s a show that’s sold on the Royal Rumble match. It’s a timeless gimmick that determines the No. 1 contender for the title at Wrestlemania. With so many other pay-per-views, it’s imperative WWE utilize Survivor Series in the way they do Royal Rumble. It won’t hurt the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to take a backseat for that particular pay-per-view. In this year’s case, WWE was actually forced into focusing on the Survivor Series concept because of a part-time WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
If Team Authority goes over at Survivor Series, wouldn't it be a good idea for them to reintroduce the World Heavyweight Championship and hand it to Seth Rollins? It would generate heat and solve the main event problem.
Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is on the books, so I do not see Lesnar being “stripped” of his title. The outcome of Team Cena going over [at Survivor Series oN Sunday] seems obvious — as we talked about earlier in the week — but it will be interesting to see how the plan is executed. I wish the belt would have been taken off Lesnar at Night of Champions, before he went back on hiatus. That was wishful thinking and WWE will continue to have an issue in booking their title for as long as Lesnar holds it. Whatever initial optimism there was about Lesnar holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for a prolonged period of time is out the window. It hasn’t worked and WWE is essentially operating without their top title.
Is it safe to say unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship titles was a huge mistake?
“Huge mistake” may be overstating it but I don’t think unifying the titles has helped WWE. What having both a WWE and World Heavyweight Championship did was force the company to have two main events at every pay-per-view, thus expanding the main event scene with more top talent. Now, guys that would have been vying for the World Heavyweight Championship have been relegated to the midcard (I’m starting to continuously repeat this point but it’s important). The idea of having one champion is the title would mean more and while we can admit that has somewhat worked, having Brock Lesnar off TV since Night of Champions -- two months ago -- hasn’t helped anyone.
Are there separate writers for NXT compared to main WWE TV?
Yes, there are separate creative teams. Here’s an updated look at the WWE creative team - Brian Gewirtz (creative consultant), David Kapoor (who you know as Ranjin Singh, head writer), Ed Koskey (head writer for Raw), Steven Guerrieri (head writer of Smackdown) and Ryan Ward (head writer for NXT). The writers are all led at the direction of Vince McMahon, a position he took over from Stephanie McMahon last year.
Let's also be clear that NXT provides WWE with a different opportunity than Raw or Smackdown. With NXT, WWE is able to take an intimate venue -- full of more knowledgable wrestling fans -- and promote shows and storylines based around athletic pro wrestling matches. Essentially, it's Ring of Honor or Dragon Gate USA with higher production value. Many fans that want to see Raw or Smackdown become "more like NXT" must understand the main level shows must target a much broader demographic. In this demographic, there are people that couldn't care less about in-ring work and would rather follow the show for the storylines or what obstacle John Cena overcomes from the "evil Authority." This is also why there are workers having enormous success in NXT that will probably have a harder time duplicating this same level of success on the main roster.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2013: With the IC and US titles being meaningless at this point (the titles change hands on non live TV events and haven’t had a decent storyline, champion, or meaningful title defense in a long time) in your opinion would it benefit WWE to just drop one or both all together or drop those titles in favor of a gimmick title(s) like say the Cruiserweight title or create something new? - I would be in favor of eliminating the WWE United States Championship but do not think both secondary titles should be scrapped. I am against introducing any new titles as they have a hard enough time showcasing the belts they currently have, as you mentioned. Title changes on taped shows are actually beneficial for the live audience as they maintain the illusion that “anything can happen.” It would not be wise to change a major title on tape but as long as the titles are being defended, there isn’t a scenario that’s necessarily bad.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, November 24, 2014.