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WWE: Our Story Of Survival by Matt Corton

We did it.

We survived the dull months, together, as a team. It’s felt like us against WWE Creative for much of the past few months, each our own little elimination tag team. We fans were always going to win though – although not in a whitewash. You can’t keep a good fan down for long and certainly not for a 3-count. You might get one or two of us on the way, but you’ll never defeat us as a team.

When you line up the fans’ team, you can see straightaway that we’re the babyfaces. With This is Awesome, Yes, Let’s Go Cena, Cena Sucks and Woo! we were always going to beat the heels of the WWE Creative team of Short-Term Booking, Go-To-Guys, Road to Wrestlemania, Brass Ring and Burying Talent.

To lead the fans’ way, we have a main event ahead of us for Survivor Series in Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns. Two people hotly tipped (including by me) to be stalwarts of the main event picture in the WWE for many years to come. I’d go as far as to say they could well dominate that main event picture as Randy Orton and John Cena once did.

Let’s Go Cena is eliminated.

It’s a feud for the title that has merit, substance and a back story going back years. It won’t be the end of the feud, but it should be the start of the best feud Seth Rollins has had. These two have got a few years left before they truly dominate the WWE, but they’re well on their way.

Burying Talent is eliminated.

And that got me to thinking about some of the wrestlers who aren’t well on their way and whether that really matters right now.

When you’re part of a team, you sometimes have to take a back seat when other members of that team shine. Sometimes in football, your goalkeeper is man of the match, sometimes it’s your striker. Sometimes in cricket your batsmen shine and sometimes your bowlers. The goal of the team as a whole is to make the team flourish.

I heard a comment the other day about selection for a member of the England cricket team (wait, stay with me people, don’t hit ‘back’ yet…). They’ve selected a certain type of bowler for one match only – he won’t play the next match after this – and whether that was the right way to go. Someone has had to miss out to give this guy his place, but he’s a specialist who might win this one match on this one pitch. They’ve made the selection for the team.

Is WWE a team? I’d say it definitely is – but it’s not a team in the sense that Bray Wyatt is working to help Cesaro, or Big Show is working to help Rusev because they’re not in programmes with each other. Bray Wyatt is, though, working with Luke Harper, Eric Rowan and Braun Strowman. He’s also working with Kane and Undertaker. In different ways perhaps, working with Luke, Eric and Braun in the long-term and Kane and Undertaker in the short-term. When you work in sales, you help the sales and marketing teams – you don’t get involved in accounting. But you need the sales and marketing and accounting teams to all be working well so the company can thrive, you just don’t all have vital roles at the same time.

Which got me thinking about long-term and short-term and how the WWE team works together. Take Survivor Series. Dolph Ziggler was lone survivor in the big match at SS 2014, ousting the Authority from power. Didn’t do him much good did it?

This is Awesome is eliminated.

Or did it?

Dolph Ziggler goes down in history as being the one man who could oust the Authority. That moment was replayed on Monday Night Raw this week. Did winning the match get him a push? Not much of one. Did it get him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? Nope. Was it ever going to? Probably not.

Should that bother Dolph Ziggler? Well, did not winning the title bother Rick Rude, Mr Perfect or Ted DiBiase? I have no idea. Should it bother us as fans? I’m not sure, but not winning the big one didn’t make the careers of those three retired legends mean any less.

And yet at the moment we nevertheless have new talent mixed up in that main event picture just as we always wanted with Ambrose, Reigns, Rollins, Owens and even Ziggler vying for a number one contendership.

This is Awesome is reinstated and Go-To-Guys is eliminated via disqualification.

There’d be a really good case here to be able to say that the Go-To-Guys might not be the bad guys that they’re always made out to be, because the very embodiment of the Go-To-Guy, John Cena, has been in many of the best matches this year, along with some of the best of the up and coming talent. He’s really fulfilling his role of helping the up and coming talent in a main-event worthy showcase way, way more than I have seen Randy Orton doing. Being in a top-rated match with Cena is as much a boost to someone’s career as winning a minor title.

Cena Sucks is eliminated.

Those wrestlers who are in and around the mix at the top have all gone through Cena. Even if they’ve been beaten by that same Go-To-Guy on the way, they’ve stayed in and around the main event picture. Reigns, Rollins, Wyatt, Ambrose, all feature in big matches at Survivor Series and have done at most PPVs over the past year. When you look at the build to the big one in April, you can see that they’ve done everything they can to make sure there are big stars with some history behind them waiting to get in the mix with any part-timers returning.

Short-Term Booking is eliminated.

My only worry is this very same positioning going into Wrestlemania. With Roman Reigns in all likelihood having more than one match with Rollins, that combination might be worn out before we reach the big one, which might scupper the ‘Shield match’ people have been talking about. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that they have a plan for Roman Reigns this year and his coronation was only ever going to be postponed, but you have to conclude that Seth Rollins won’t be champion with Reigns chasing again in April, even with heel Ambrose involved.

Road to Wrestlemania is eliminated.

So we’re left with three babyfaces and one heel backing away and it’s perhaps the biggest accusation of all that’s left – that there’s no room to reach for the brass ring in WWE.

The thing is, if you created yet another Survivor Series match based on the current roster, one of overexposed Go-To-Guy champs and challengers (Orton, Cena, Big Show, Kane…) against another of people who’ve been there long-term and not pushed as they should have been (Ziggler, Stardust, Cesaro…) well, I can’t even finish the teams (I must have missed someone – who?). Ambrose, Rusev, Kevin Owens, they’ve all got tons of time. Sheamus, Bryan, Miz, Swagger, Del Rio, they’ve all won one of the big titles or another, when there were two.

There have only been 14 different champs since 2009. That’s bad. Or, there have been 14 different champs since 2009, over 2 a year. That’s great. It depends on your perspective.

Sure they focus on Cena, Orton, Kane, Show and others too much, but the 3-hour Raw is giving us a chance to watch more and more guys try and step up alongside them, if not over the top of them. So it’s my perspective that that far from not creating new stars, I think they’re creating them all around us as part of one big team.

Brass Ring is eliminated. Here are your winners – Yes, This is Awesome and Woo!

And you can believe that. Or not. It depends on your perspective.

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