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Dead Man’s Playground


Sure, when anyone thinks of The Undertaker, the PPV event that immediate comes to most minds is WrestleMania. The Streak. Pretty much the only time of year we are lucky enough to see The Phenom anymore.

Not me.

No, for me, the pay-per-view I think of when reminiscing about Mark Callaway’s WWE career is Survivor Series.

Why, you ask? Well, for one, when he debuted, he was dark, ominous, a little out there, and it fit with the season. But, more important, he debuted at Survivor Series. A year after his debut at the November staple, he and Hulk Hogan took part in the first-ever non-Survivor Series match on the card, giving Callaway his first WWF championship.

It was also related to Survivor Series, where Callaway cut a promo that, to this day, still gives me chills.

He’s made several returns at the PPV over the years.

He also used Survivor Series to debut one of his more famous gimmick matches, the casket match.

I get it, The Streak gets the notoriety. And it certainly is justified. Taking nothing away from those matches on the grandest stage of them all, for me, The Undertaker was a fixture at Survivor Series as well.

On the one hand, I really could take issue with him. I am an advocate for the traditional Survivor Series format–all matches being of the four on four, or five on five elimination variety. Not a singles match to be found. Even as that seal was broken, the Survivor Series tag matches still dominated the card. Now? Less than two weeks away from the 2013 version, and there hasn’t been a single Survivor Series elimination match announced. Not one. Not that it’s Callway’s fault. I just see Hogan-‘Taker as the first of many singles matches, on a PPV decicated to….tag matches.

I get it, I think. In theory, I suppose WWE thinks that singles matches, or just regular matches, draw better. Call me a purist, but I disagree. Much like I think pay per views like Hell In A Cell have overstayed there welcome, and that WWE would be better off really picking and choosing where that match gets employed, they would be best off if they kept the Survivor Series event true to its predecessors. If not, I say put the Survivor Series name out to pasture and call it something else.

At the end of the day, while it’s easy to say Survivor Series is missing some things, it’s also missing someone. Undertaker had some memorable moments at the Thanksgiving PPV, and with his career’s end rapidly approaching, it seems sad that he might never again perform on the very card he debuted on so many years ago.

Here’s wishing Mark would get one last Survivor Series match. And here’s wishing WWE would realize that sometimes, fans don’t need run of the mill matches that they can get on any other PPV. Or RAW. Survivor Series deserves better.

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  • Heelsean

    Is Taker was going to wrestle at SS they would have announced it by now to improve their buyrates. I agree though over the last few years the art of the SS tag elimination match has been lost, wwe is slowly killing all nostalgia like SS, hell in a hell and TLC.

    • JMD

      i don’t really put HIAC and TLC in the “nostalgia” category, but def. SS.

      i didn’t expect taker to do SS. absolutely wishful thinking.

      i think, especually without a real serious challenge from anywhere, WWE is getting lazier and lazier. its scary to say that the best hope might be for someone interesting and powerful to buy TNA and really take it in a different direction.

  • freek

    Totally right here. :)

  • Macho Man

    We will never see The Undertaker at a Survivor Series PPV again. Speaking as one who use to get all the WWE PPV’s, Survivor Series was one of my favorites along with Summer Slam and Wrestlemania. Sadly, WWE now only seems to actually care to put time, effort and presentation into Wrestlemania. The last year or so I found myself thinking after just about all the PPV’s except Wrestlemania, did I really just pay $40 dollars for that? At least when I pay for Wrestlemania I feel like I get my moneys worth. I know all the PPV’s are just money grabs for WWE but they use to each feel unique and have quality cards and presentations. Now all the PPV’s except Wrestlemania are money grabs with very little effort,quality and presentation put into them. Unfortunately Survivor Series has become just another PPV as well. The Undertaker’s playground has become Wrestlemania and that is fine with me because it’s the only PPV I will get until WWE starts putting more time, effort and compelling PPV’s together like they use to many moons ago!

  • puckdinah1

    It would be great for Taker to return at SS, and save Big Show from onslaught and feud with Kane…that would be an ideal return

    • Damian Starr

      Culminating with a swan song at WMXXX against kane I presume

  • TheHotDogKing1

    The impact that The Undertaker had when debuted at Survivor Series 1990 will never be forgotten. Does he have the health that permits him to compete at other PPVs too? If so, WWE really dropped the ball by not getting him involved in this Corporate feud

  • CatchWrestler1

    I think WWE is evolving, and soon, there won’t be room for someone like The Undertaker. Look at Big Show and Kane, and how long we have been bored by them

    • JH

      I have to disagree about Kane, he is still quite interesting when he came back with the mask, then did team hell no, and then his match with Bray wyatt, all of that was pretty awesome, but I do agree with Big Show, he’s boring as hell and aside from a decent match ONCE in a while. The last time I enjoyed a big show match was one of the Sheamus matches for the title last year.

  • cubfan4life

    Good grief. Mr. Deegan if youre going to use a wrestlers real name in order to make yourself look smarter perhaps you should at least spell it correctly. Its Mark Calaway. Not Callaway. Smh.

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