Levin: Undertaker Sets Tone For Eventful Survivor Series PPV

David Levin changes his tune about Survivor Series thanks to the return of the Deadman.

“I’m back. Taking souls, digging holes!”

It may have been the best thing said this week in WWE’s build toward Survivor Series. If anyone can honestly say they weren’t moved by Undertaker’s chilling words, I’d have to question whether they were true wrestling fans.

By the time you read this, there will be less than 48 hours until what I hope is a historic night for WWE. All the components lay out nice and neat. All the talking on television and social media is heating up as fans let everyone know how they feel about what could be the best night of wrestling this year.

Toronto will be rocking, no doubt.

Actually, I wasn’t a fan of this event. Coming off a solid Hell in a Cell pay-per-view last month, momentum on both Raw and SmackDown halted so everyone could play nice for the red and blue teams. Now, I am almost jumping out of my skin in anticipation.

Just like Carly Simon said, anticipation is making me wait!

At first I was not excited about the Goldberg – Brock Lesnar confrontation. Now I’m giddy like a child at Christmas. If the former WCW and WWE Champion can hold his own in the ring with the Beast Incarnate, both the company and the fans will have witnessed something special. When was the last time we talked about a pay-per-view that lived up to or exceeded the hype?

Regardless of what you think about the brand split or the notion of the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series matches, this one will deliver. I’m just short of guaranteeing it. While I have been apprehensive the past month to get behind such an event, I am fully behind it.

Professional wrestling is a slippery slope of sorts in that everything is done and redone to death. Every angle is re-examined. Every gimmick is rehashed in such a way to promote a new superstar. But there is nobody on the planet, past, present or future, who will come close to replicating Undertaker’s persona and career in this business. His warning shot Tuesday night seemed to make everything better. The fact that the 51-year-old former champion has come back to SmackDown Live proves the blue team is winning this battle. While he issued the edict to the five men who will compete in the main event – that if they don’t win they should fear the Dead Man – it just goes to show you that no matter what he does, or how old he might be, Undertaker is still the greatest performer in WWE history.

Like he said, Survivor Series is where it all began for him. He is also stated that WrestleMania will not define who he is, so you can be sure you we will see him in the ring, whether it’s at TLC or the Royal Rumble or another pay-per-view event before April. Maybe there is a future feud that involves Kane or John Cena. There is also talk that Goldberg may stick around after this event and could be part of Wrestlemania’s showcase in Orlando. Personally, I don’t care as long as I get to see more of the man in black.

I often talk about wrestling in the past. My roots in professional wrestling start with the NWA . The WWF was never something I took seriously because of its cartoonish style and brand. For some reason, today I take it seriously.

Maybe that has something to do with the work that goes into producing a two-hour show that tells a better storyline than its three-hour big brother. I can’t help but think that this is the start of something big. While SmackDown Live and Raw don’t have the depth that a full roster would provide them, it’s good to know that both sides are taking chances, with the blue team coming out ahead. There’s no debate about that.

Now that we’re done talking about it, and programming is over until Sunday, the anticipation builds. What WWE has to do is deliver. Every match must mean something. If for some reason this pay-per-view falls flat, there won’t just be Undertaker to answer to, the fans are going to protest. Whether you like red or blue, everyone likes wrestling. That’s the excitement of this event. Like I said, I’m not a big fan of this kind of pay-per-view event, or wasn’t in the past, but I am now.

If Undertaker is in fact back, doing the things that make him an icon, it has to mean something positive. Hopefully, the superstars will follow his lead and create a masterpiece. There are still two pay-per-view events in the calendar year after Survivor Series. This should be the rising action of what could be WWE’s best novel of the last decade.

David Levin
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David Levin
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