Anyone who watched this past Monday’s episode of RAW may have been left in a state of confusion after the abrupt changes to the Survivor Series card. A week ago, WWE Champion CM Punk was slated to lead a team of four Superstars as Team Punk would consist of CM Punk, The Miz, Team Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes & Damien Sandow), & Alberto Del Rio. This five-man team would face Team Foley, which consisted of Ryback, Intercontinental Champion Kofi Kingston, WWE Tag Team Champions Team Hell No (Kane & Daniel Bryan), & Randy Orton, with Mick Foley in their corner, in a Traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Tag Match.
This would all drastically change on RAW, however, as, when the show kicked off this past Monday night, The Miz told CM Punk’s ‘associate’, Paul Heyman, that he quits the team. Later on in the show, Heyman would ask Wade Barrett to join Team Punk and Barrett agreed on the condition that Heyman owes him a favor. After Miz was pulled from the team for unknown reasons, the Survivor Series Elimination Tag Match looked to be all set. It wasn’t much later than this that the major renovations to the card were made. In a segment with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon and RAW Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero, CM Punk was pulled as the captain of his own team and put in a Triple Threat defense of the WWE Championship, facing Ryback and John Cena. Then, to replace the captain of the team, “Mr. Money-in-the-Bank” Dolph Ziggler was selected and Team Punk became Team Ziggler with Dolph Ziggler, Wade Barrett, Team Rhodes Scholars, & Alberto Del Rio making up the team that would face Team Foley, but with Ryback now in the Triple Threat Match, Team Foley is down one Superstar.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that there were a couple of reasons given for these last minute changes. First and foremost, the backstage feeling was that having an Elimination Tag Match main event the pay-per-view would result in horrible buyrates for Survivor Series (which has been the case in the past as seen by the numbers released for the Bragging Rights pay-per-view concept, which was dropped due to low viewership). Another reason for the change is that the numbers for the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view were described as being “surprisingly strong” and, privately, Vince McMahon believed that the strong numbers were do to Ryback’s involvement in the Hell in a Cell Match against CM Punk, so Vince made the call to take Ryback out of the tag match (which Vince felt was not a proper use of Ryback’s current momentum) and put him into the Triple Threat Match.
What do you think of the reason given for the Survivor Series changes? Post your comments in the box below.