Setting The Table For WWE’s Thanksgiving Tradition: WWE Survivor Series 2017 Special
by Brendan M. Allen
WWE Survivor Series 2017 #1 is an oversized special that highlights everything fans love about the Thanksgiving tradition that rules Autumn in sports entertainment- Survivor Series! Features stories across all eras, from the epic showdown between Brock Lesnar and Goldberg twelve years in the making, to the infamous controversial classic that enrages WWE fans to this day- The Montreal Screwjob!
Survivor Series is the second longest running WWE pay per view, spanning 31 years this coming Sunday. The Thanksgiving Tradition has seen such historic moments as the second Undertaker vs. Yokozuna casket match, Diesel vs. Bret Hart in a no disqualification World Title match, Mankind vs. The Rock for the WWF title, and CM Punk vs. John Cena vs Ryback in their triple threat WWE Championship match.
WWE Survivor Series 2017 #1 collects six iconic moments from three decades of Survivor Series history. First up is one of the most infamous matches in WWE history, The Montreal Screwjob. By now, just about every WWE fan knows the history behind the match. Dennis Hopeless’ script mixes in elements of what actually happened behind the scenes with a little kayfabe spin on the in-ring action.
Next up is the story of Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle’s 1999 in-ring debut. At the time, this was a huge story. A real, honest-to-God, heavyweight wrestling champion performing in the WWE lent legitimacy to the “sport” of professional wrestling.
Then there’s a short about the ill-conceived hatching of the Gobbledly Gooker in 1990. This was a very confusing moment for the fans in attendance, who didn’t even have the benefit of Gorilla Monsoon and Rowdy Roddy Piper desperately trying to explain what was happening. Derek Fridolf slips in a reference to the OTHER story that came out of 1990’s event, the debut of Mark Callaway’s Undertaker.
“1 Minute, 26 Seconds” tells the story of Goldberg’s unlikely squash of Brock Lesnar at last year’s event. “The Root Of All Evil” is an extension of the back story on how the “Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase ended up managing The Undertaker. This is actually the second story in this special that calls back to Taker’s debut at the 1990 event. “Called Up” focuses on The Shield’s iconic rise through NXT and onto the main roster.
Every one of these stories is a bona fide historic SS moment. For the most part, the narrative reasonably extends the established kayfabe storylines, and the likenesses are good. The collection is solid as a whole, but two things stick out a little.
The Screwjob is easily the most infamous shoot in professional wrestling history. Everyone has a pretty good idea what happened and why it happened. Bret was so pissed about the double cross that he only just recently returned to WWE programming as a legend, twenty years after the fact. Laying a kayfabe storyline over mostly established facts seems slightly off. There’s also that Gobbledy Gooker piece. It’s an odd inclusion of one of the weirdest segments in WWE history when there are so many other stories that could have easily made the cut.
WWE Survivor Series 2017 Special #1, published by Boom! Studios, releases on the 15th of November 2017. Stories by Dennis Hopeless, Box Brown, Kevin Panetta, Aaron Gillespie, Derek Fridolfs, and Lan Pitts. Illustrations by Lucas Werneck, Rodrigo Lorenzo, Kendall Goode, Tim Lattie, Derek Fridolfs, and Kelly Williams, Colors by Jeremy Lawson, Doug Garbark, Fred Stresing, and Dee Cuniffe. Letters by Jim Campbell. Covers by Rahzzah, Juan Doe, and Jim Rugg.