Hello ladies and gentlemen, I am the Baumeister. The Internet has been abuzz since Thursday when wwe.com announced that Seth Rollins was injured in Dublin, Ireland and will be out 6-9 months with a severe knee injury. In that same announcement, they used a tweet from Jonathan Coachman which announced that the WWE will host a tournament at Survivor Series to crown a new World Heavyweight Champion. Everyone and their Brawling Buddies(TM) are speculating as to who the new champion will be, whether it will be their own personal favorite, or WWE’s favorite. But, most people have just assumed that WWE is going to go with a standard single-elimination tournament. Well, I’m going to think out of the box and throw out a couple of other options besides the traditional single-elimination tournament that WWE uses, as well as my thoughts against WWE going to the Royal Rumble without a World Heavyweight Champion.
This isn’t the first time the World Heavyweight Championship has been vacant and decided at Survivor Series. Back at Breakdown: In Your House, there was a triple threat match for the WWE Championship involving The Undertaker, Kane and Steve Austin, in which Kane and Undertaker couldn’t pin each other. They ended up pinning Austin together, which subsequently vacated the title. The next month, The Undertaker and Kane squared off in the main event, with Austin as Special Guest Referee. Austin had to count the pin, or else he would have been fired. Well, he ended up taking out both Taker and Kane and declaring himself the winner, which made the match a No Contest. This leads to the tournament at Survivor Series. The tournament would be good if WWE keeps it simple and doesn’t repeat the same sort of events that happened during the 1998 edition. But, this all depends on whether they use RAW and Smackdown to air qualifying and preliminary round matches. I give this a 90% chance of actually happening.
At Survivor Series 1990, WWE held all of their Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches as was the norm at the time for the event. However, unlike previous years, they added a twist. The main event of the show was that the survivors of the previous matches teamed up and squared off in one final Elimination Match to determine who is the “Grand Survivor”. This concept could work well here. Sure, they could only do a certain amount of Elimination Matches because of the roster (if you count Undertaker, there are 47 current active main roster male superstars). In this case, they would have to go to 4 vs 4 matches and have more than one man survive in multiple matches, while having the main event go down to one man. Sole survivor finishes are not uncommon. Out of the 73 matches, 32 of them have finished with one survivor. Though, I’m pretty sure that WWE won’t go this route with their reluctance to do more than 3 elimination matches since 1999. I’m giving this idea a 5% chance of happening.
Now, hear me out here. Let’s say WWE doesn’t want to use the amount of men needed for option #2. All they’d have to do is pull 20 guys, put them in a drum, draw out the random names for tag matches, then hold a battle royal with the winner of the tag matches to crown the new champion. It cuts down on the number of people needed, it can justify shorter match times (I feel that Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches need to be at least 15 minutes in length). It also can add to new feuds between the random draws and eliminations in the battle royal. However, Vince doesn’t like using other properties from previous competition, therefore, this gets a 0% probability of actually happening, but hey, it’s a fun idea, right?
There’s a few people I’ve seen online that think they should pull off a Rumble 92 and have the title awarded to the winner of the Rumble match. I think that’s an awful idea. Simply, WWE won’t be able to go that long without a named champion. Sure, we did without a champion when Brock Lesnar was champion, but at least we had Paul Heyman to constantly talk up the champion and the title, but if there’s no champion to talk about, then the title may get forgotten (but then we might get a lot of love for both the Intercontinental and United States Championships). There’s also the matter that while it’s already been done before, the roster isn’t nearly as strong as it was in 1992. It’s just not feasible to award the title where there might be one or two strong competitors.
In short, I would love to see something unconventional out of the WWE to crown a new champion. But, I have a feeling that WWE will go the safe route and do a single elimination tournament to crown a new champion. But, that’s the fun of speculation, you don’t know what’s gonna happen until it happens. See you on Monday for “Time of the Fall”. I have been the Baumeister.