Written by Jeremy Finestone
Over the weekend, host of Fight Game Media’s The Wrap, Keila Cash posited the question of what needs to happen to make the last major WWE pay-per-view of the calendar year mean more than it does now. I took the assignment seriously, and my conclusion was simple: Switch the Survivor Series with Money in the Bank.
For the sake of logistics, let’s assume that all other events on the schedule remain on the schedule in the order previously designed.
- One, the idea of a WWE brand supremacy storyline between the television programs WWE RAW and SmackDown immediately after the company schedules their draft is illogical. Having Champions face off without any real context other than they represent a side of the company is not enough to compel the audience to be invested. For uninitiated viewers, WWE does not make an effort to familiarize new viewers to anything other than a presentation of a WWE Superstar as opposed to the context of why these superstars have an invested value in seeing the brand they’ve just recently been drafted to, succeed. It’s a concept with no stakes and no ramifications for a losing Champion or Champions. There’s no value to winning.
Having Champions face off without any real context other than they represent a side of the company is not enough to compel the audience to be invested.
- WWE has a bad habit of leaning on the past for contemporary interest today. Two scenarios this year look to highlight previous iterations of the event that date back to the 90’s. WWE has plans to celebrate the 25th anniversary debut of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Johnson is not currently advertised to be there, nor does it appear that will change. WWE Superstars Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair have also begun using a strategy of disagreeable wrestlers whose backstage issues are spilling out on camera. While professional disagreements in the ring have happened countless times before the event in question? It would be foolish to not assume that the feud on WWE Programming is supposed to hit beats of issues between Bret “Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels that dates back to the climactic “Montreal Screwjob” in 1997. Next year would be a 25th anniversary event. Innovation is not revisiting this again. There has been more attention on these two events than anything else in the show build this year.
Is the solution to move Survivor Series to June/July? That would mean something would have to move in return, and WWE’s Money in the Bank would be the perfect event to supplant its absence in November.
After WrestleMania and WrestleMania: Backlash, WWE has typically worked to burn off what remaining stories are left to finish up into the early summer. Instead of using that time to turn into the summer event ladder match, the company should move to make their rosters settle their differences before another shakeup.
Inter-branded or intra-branded matches where you can wrap up long running feuds and pivot to different feuds before the draft shakeup before Summerslam and October. The main stars can pick partners and the company can put them in scenarios to shine. Then, those team wins could be used to establish their value in draft order later in the year.
Now, why is Money in the Bank the show to hold in November? For two reasons: A Saudi Arabia show is typically held in October which has been a bigger show with blowoff matches; and November has been usually been a soft start of whatever longterm plans they develop for WrestleMania held in April of each year. Having Money in the Bank in November on the calendar creates more opportunities on both rosters to create stars. The timing is opportune because having a briefcase in play, to cash in on a title shot, while the looming event of WWE’s Royal Rumble also exists creates more possibilities. There’s a new added element of knowing that a Money in the Bank briefcase holder could plausibly be the Royal Rumble winner as well. That has never been done before. It is a new way to, as the idiom goes “put a rocket” on someone by having them win two events that no individual has ever accomplished before in one year. With performers like Gable Steveson and Bron Breakker quickly getting up to speed, WWE will actively look for the new generation of talent to stand out from previous generations, and changing its date is one solution.