As the Survivor Series card finally deepens, we get more matches, namely a 7 on 7 Divas Elimination Match that will likely see AJ emerge as one of the sole victors, an IC title rematch that should deliver, a kickoff match that has been done already, and a 5 on 5 traditional tag team match. Initially, most felt that the 5 on 5 match would have been combined with the Punk/Bryan tag match to create an exciting, impressive 12 man tag match, but the WWE did away with that idea after teasing it. While fans felt disappointed and perplexed at not seeing such a man take place on Survivor Series (it could have drawn good money), the WWE actually has a good reason not to stage this 12 man tag team.
The WWE isn’t staging the 12 man brawl, because they are truly committed to rebuilding the tag division. We’ve heard rumors about this for months on end but now we’re finally seeing a tangible, sustained push in this direction. While trying to rebuild the tag division, keeping the 12 man tag match off Survivor Series makes sense.
Showcasing tag teams.
The 12 man match would have been a great sight to watch, but on a PPV, you can rest assured that Punk and Bryan would have captured the lion’s share of the attention in that type of match. The match wouldn’t properly expose the WWE Universe to the tag teams that were uniting with the two top faces. Most of the crowd would be focusing too much on Punk and Bryan to give the Usos and the Rhodes any type of useful attention in the match. While the Rhodes and Usos are fairly popular tag teams, they could become even more popular if placed in a match where the attention is predominantly on them and they’re allowed to work freely with the spotlight on no other faces. This type of match will also help the Real Americans to carry the momentum they’ve recently gained as well.
Exhibiting the strength of the division/allowing teams to shine
Having a SS match made up of mostly tag teams, emphasizes the strength of the division. The traditional 5 on 5 match has a consortium of 4 really good tag teams, a signal that the division is truly on the upswing. Mysterio won’t do much, so this match will really allow all the tag teams to shine and compel people to get behind these teams more. There was no way to have a traditional SS match like this last year, because there weren’t enough strong tag teams to build a match that would accentuate the strength and quality of the tag scene. Without the inclusion of two top faces in the 10-man match, this match can be scripted with more freedom and more liberties can be taken in crafting a unique, memorable story in the ring. I’m not saying that the 12man match wouldn’t have been great in terms of how it was structured, but you may not have seen as much solid wrestling from the Rhodes, Shield, Real Americans, and Usos in the 12 man as you will see in this 10 man match.
This has no bearing on making sure that the WWE audience doesn’t know that so-and-so can’t wrestle. This is more about keeping certain wrestlers away from spots and instances that could aggravate chronic issues. (CM Punk and knee issues)The tag team match will be a classic tag fare without too many bells, whistles, kendo sticks, or tables. The 10-man match however, is composed of midcard guys all trying to stand out. In their ambition, you can be sure that some of them may want to try high-risk maneuvers that wouldn’t float with a protective wrestling style. With these guys not being main eventers yet, it’s entirely possible that there will be more spots in this match. Having two separate matches instead of one is a nice way to accommodate Punk working through health issues, while still displaying the talent in the tag scene.
Development of Harper and Rowan
No matter the outcome of the Punk/Bryan match, Rowan and Harper will become a highlighted tag team for the foreseeable future after the feud is over. If the rumors about plans for the Wyatts are true, we should expect to see this tag team have more high profile matches in bigger spots and be moved to the forefront of the division, as opposed to the squash matches that they’ve competed in regularly. The WWE may even reach back into recent history and have Harper and Rowan take the WWE Tag Titles away from the Rhodes down the line, a la The Shield and Team Hell No. Having Harper and Rowan receive the spotlight that accompanies facing Punk and Bryan instead of being lost in the shuffle of a 12 man tag match makes complete sense. The tag match is a nice way of getting the WWE Universe used to seeing these two function as a cohesive, destructive unit that will go a long way towards getting this team over as a nasty heel tag team. What better way to get people to start taking Harper and Rowan seriously as a team than to have them facing off against two top faces at a premiere PPV?
Both the 10-man match and the tag team match should have a good amount of time that will allow all involved to do something impressive, athletic, and memorable. It gives everyone a legitimate chance to shine and not be overshadowed by bigger stars. Now it’s up to the tag teams to take advantage of those opportunities.