When one thinks of Survivor Series, most fans automatically go misty-eyed and thing nostalgic thoughts of 5-on-5 Elimination Tag Matches before moaning about how the current PPV just isn't the same.
Now, granted, the original concept of the event was that the entire card was comprised of Elimination Tag Matches, but that stopped in 1991 when Undertaker faced, and defeated, Hulk Hogan for the WWF Championship. This was only the fourth ever Survivor Series, so the lack of tag-team matches started then, meaning it's not a “current era” issue at all.
Looking back, between the 1991 and 2000 events, only one card was headlined by a traditional encounter; the 1993 edition. After Lex Luger's “All-Americans” lost to Yokozuna's “Foreign Fanatics”, we wouldn't see another elimination match close the show until 2001. In fact, the next six Survivor Series PPVs all featured Elimination Matches (granted, 2002 was the first Elimination Chamber, but it was still in the traditional “survivor” mentality) in main-event level positions.
Looking back on things, I feel it actually improves the event by having only two or three of these matches on the card as they feel more special when they happen and happen for a reason. In 2001, it was to bring about the end of the Invasion angle, while in 2003 it was the ridiculously epic Team Austin v Team Bischoff which, in my opinion, could be the best ever Elimination Tag Match in SS history.
On the same card, the young(ish) Team Angle had a great contest against the monstrous Team Lesnar (the largest team ever assembled; A-Train, Big Show, Brock Lesnar, Nathan Jones and Matt Morgan – you know a team is large when Brock is the smallest guy on it) and in 2005 we were treated to the zenith of the Smackdown v RAW brand split as the opposing Reds and Blues actually made the split seem legit. Having the commentary teams rally behind their own troops also added to the occasion. In more recent times, the Traditional Match has been used to elevate newcomers, with 2009's event elevating Sheamus and Drew McIntyre as they survived the opener alongside their captain as part of Team Miz.
All of this leads us directly to the 2011 edition of the second-longest running PPV on the WWE calendar. Who would step out of the shadows and announce themselves to the world? Who would walk out of Madison Square Garden as champions? Who would steal the show?
And most importantly of all...
WHO WILL SURVIVE?
> WWE Survivor Series 2011 DVD Review