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Root for your favorite wrestlers at Survivor Series

The WWE brings its annual spectacle to TD Garden on Nov. 26.

Never mind death and taxes. Every year when the calendar turns to November, the two inevitabilities of importance are Thanksgiving and the Survivor Series. This time around, you can catch the Nov. 26 WWE wrestling extravaganza streaming on Peacock Premium, or you can get caught up in the fever of the event in person at TD Garden.

As always with one of the WWE’s “Big Four” shows (along with Wrestlemania, Summer Slam, and the Royal Rumble), most of the matches and the performers taking part in this one are still being planned. But some information is already out, and fans are going to be treated to some format changes.

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Survivor Series was first held on Nov. 26, 1987 – so long ago, the company was still known as the WWF. That debut, in Richfield, Ohio, consisted of four “elimination matches.” In each one, a team of five grapplers went up against another quintet (with the exception of one “tag team elimination match” that featured 10 fighters per side. Whichever fighter (or fighters) “survived,” won.

In ensuing years, there have been many modifications to what would be presented in the ring, including tournaments and world title matches. For a while fans of the TV shows “Raw” and “Smackdown” could see wrestlers from each of those weekly programs play out a rivalry.

But this year, something old will become something new. Along with a title bout that will likely involve current Universal Champion Roman Reigns and an as-yet-unnamed competitor, Survivor Series will be headlined by a WarGames match. Hold on … make that TWO WarGames matches – one featuring men, the other featuring women.

Here’s a brief primer on WarGames. Credit for its creation generally goes to the late, great wrestler Dusty Rhodes who, working with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) in the mid-1980s, was enamored by the outrageous cage fighting scene in “Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.” But Dusty’s vision involved having two side-by-side wrestling rings covered by one steel cage, with a gaggle of wrestlers inside, being winnowed down to one. OK, now, think of the possibilities!

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WarGames became a staple of the NWA and its successor group WCW (both now defunct), and five years ago, appeared as part of NXT, a subsidiary of WWE. Three years ago, NXT had its first women’s WarGames competition. Now it’s made it into WWE. But who will be in those rings on what is now being called Survivor Series WarGames night? We still don’t know. The only inevitabilities will be creative athletic moves and much mayhem.

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