Ten the hard way
Question: What has 13 World Championships, 13 Intercontinental Championships, 32 Tag Team Championships and over a ton of mass?
The answer, of course, is the sum total of the participants in the huge Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match announced earlier this week. At Survivor Series, the blockbuster quintet of captain Triple H, The Hardys, Rey Mysterio & Kane will battle the fearsome fivesome of captain Umaga, MVP, Mr. Kennedy, Finlay & Big Daddy V in what's sure to be a classic.
Throughout the years, there have been some phenomenal Traditional Survivor Series teams. From The Legion of Doom, Ultimate Warrior & Texas Tornado in 1990 to 2001's Team WWE -- The Rock, Chris Jericho, Undertaker, Kane & Big Show -- to 2005's SmackDown squad of Batista, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Lashley & JBL, dozens of combinations have strived to survive. However, very few, if any, of those matches may have featured two teams as star-studded as these.
Like a Thanksgiving turkey or candy on Halloween, the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match is the backbone of Survivor Series. Sure, Survivor Series has been contested without any Elimination Matches -- in 1992, 1998 and 2002 -- but it's the Traditional Elimination Match that the event is based on. From the very first one -- pitting Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat and four of his closest friends against The Honky Tonk Man and his team -- our fans have seen almost every scenario enacted: Three-, four- or five-on-one advantages, entire teams surviving, classic battles that come down to their final participants, you name it.
But what if some of those scenarios happen this year? Looking at the 10 Superstars involved, there's a dream match in the making between any two competitors, let alone all 10. Just think of what could happen in the following scenarios:
-Multi-man advantages: While he's the biggest little man in WWE -- or so says the title of his new DVD -- can you imagine what it would be like if Rey Mysterio was left alone against Big Daddy V, Umaga & Finlay? It might turn out sort of like 1988, when Jake Roberts was left alone against Andre the Giant, Mr. Perfect & Dino Bravo. Knowing his team was well on its way to victory, Andre simply wrapped his giant paws around Roberts' neck; the Hall of Famer was disqualified, but Mr. Perfect quickly swooped in to pick the bones, pinning a severely weakened "Snake" to win the match.
Of course, that could also be a disadvantage. In 1987, Bam Bam Bigelow was left 3-on-1 against King Kong Bundy, One Man Gang and Andre the Giant. Faced with having to fight off three 400-plus pounders, he almost did it; Bigelow eliminated Gang & Bundy before finally succumbing to Andre. Sgt. Slaughter also nearly ran the table in 1990, eliminating Nikolai Volkoff & The Bushwhackers before getting disqualified, while Big Show started 1-on-4 and survived in his 1999 match.
Of course, should the shoe land on the other foot, it could also turn out like the first-ever Survivor Series Elimination Match did. After all, every member of Team Triple H has had his problems with Mr. Kennedy in the last year or so. Imagine if the Wisconsin loudmouth had to go 1-on-5 against that collection of talent? He might take a walk a la The Honky Tonk Man in 1987, who voluntarily got himself counted out instead of facing a 3-on-1 onslaught from Steamboat, Roberts and Randy Savage.
-An entire team surviving: It has happened before. Hell, it happened last year with three of the Superstars in this match. Triple H and The Hardys know all about those odds, as it was that trio, along with Shawn Michaels & CM Punk, who swept Edge, Randy Orton, Gregory Helms, John Morrison & Mike Knox last year to become the first quintet to survive intact. Several foursomes have done so as well, including The Visionaries (1990) and the team of "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, The Texas Tornado & Tito Santana (1991). While it may seem unthinkable that either one of these teams could get shut out, the amount of talent on both sides suggests that it's still a possibility.
-A classic battle: While many matches have come down to a one-on-one showdown, just look at what this decade has brought already. There was 2001, WWE vs. The Alliance, The Rock vs. Stone Cold, with dozens of Superstars' jobs on the line. In 2003, it was Shawn Michaels vs. Randy Orton, with the job of either "Stone Cold" Steve Austin or Eric Bischoff on the line. 2004 saw Orton vs. Triple H with control of Raw on the line, and in 2005, it was Michaels vs. Orton again, with Raw vs. SmackDown bragging rights hanging in the balance. Any match between any two of this year's competitors would be a dream match; what if we see Triple H vs. Mr. Kennedy, or perhaps Intercontinental Champion Jeff Hardy vs. U.S Champion MVP, or maybe Rey Mysterio vs. Umaga with Survivor Series pride on the line?
There's also one other piece of uncharted territory, that involving Matt Hardy & MVP. While they are the current WWE Tag Team Champions, Matt & MVP will be on opposite sides of the bout. The Ballin' Superstar says that Hardy is his friend, yet Matt would love nothing more than to prove he's better. Will they be reluctant to mix it up? What if MVP does something heinous to Matt's brother Jeff? Or what if it comes down to just them? Would the chance for individual glory be too great for MVP to pass on, or might the U.S. Champion take that opportunity to turn over a new leaf and perhaps take a hike?
With so many possibilities surrounding this gigantic match, almost anything can -- and most likely will -- happen. One thing's for sure: Whatever does happen will go down in the annals as another classic piece of Survivor Series history.