Survivor Series is here once again. Like how WWE loves to tell you - It's the one time of the year where RAW and SmackDown face each other in head-to-head competition!
On paper, the card itself is quite stacked. The only (but major) blow to the card happened to be the Women's Champion vs Champion match. Becky Lynch, the SmackDown Women's Champion was set to take on Ronda Rousey in what was by far the most anticipated match-up on the card.
It was built so incredibly as well, with the two even taking jab after jab on social media. Regardless, a single punch by Nia Jax seemed to dispose of those plans as Becky Lynch suffered a concussion and broken face, rendered medically unfit to complete by WWE's medical staff.
However, don't let that fool you - Survivor Series is stacked and exciting and the inter-brand warfare is set to come to a head. Here's what you have to look forward to.
Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination Match: Chad Gable & Bobby Roode, The Ascension, Lucha House Party, The Revival, The B Team vs. The Usos, The New Day, The Colons, SAnitY, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
The last time I saw Raw’s tag teams, they were getting run over by Braun Strowman. How am I supposed to pick them over the Usos & New Day? Good on the rest of Team SmackDown for getting on this show, by the way. At least Sanity has been on the show fairly recently, I can’t tell you where the Colons & Good Brothers have been the past few months. They won’t be around long in this one either. As the Usos & New Day are the only teams anybody actually cares about in this match, I figure they’re the ones going over.
Winners: Team SmackDown
RAW vs. SmackDown Match: The Authors of Pain vs. The Bar
Two tag team with some big men going at it should be a pretty fun, hard-hitting spectacle. Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll get a Cesaro hot tag the likes of which we haven’t gotten to see in quite some time. To me, it comes down to who’s at ringside. Sheamus & Cesaro have Big Show. AOP has…Drake Maverick? OK then.
Winners: The Bar
WWE Cruiserweight Title Match: Champion Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali
Having 205 Live Cruiserweight Title matches on WWE main roster PPVs is like if they threw NXT Title matches on the mid-card of these events and gave them 12 minutes to just try and hit as many high spots as possible to get the uneducated audience to pop. I’m just looking forward to their inevitable re-match on the show where they’ll get to main event and have all the time they need. This could be match of the night in terms of pure wrestling and in-ring action.
Winner: Buddy Murphy
Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match: Natalya, Mickie, Nia Jax, Tamina, and Ruby Riot vs. Naomi, Sonya Deville, Asuka, Carmella, and TBA
The talking point of this match lies in the unknown fifth member for the Smackdown Women’s team. Rumors are swirling about that it could be the loser of the Baszler-Sane match at Takeover: War Games or Nikki Cross making her main roster PPV debut, but the odds-on favorite seems to simply be Mandy Rose, in which case her dissolving relationship with Sonya Deville could may well lead to the blue brand losing out here. If it’s Baszler or Sane, I could definitely see them pulling an Asuka (from last year, anyway) and being a Sole Survivor. With Nikki, things could just break down with her assaulting everyone, even her own partners, which frankly would make the match a hundred times more interesting. With all those fascinating theories in mind, I’ll go with Team Smackdown winning, with Asuka and Naomi as the survivors. They’ve formed a fun, if somewhat shallowly-based team on the blue brand, and Becky is going to need some face challengers to hold her over until her hopeful WM 35 match with Ronda.
Winners: Team Smackdown Wins (Naomi & Asuka survive)
Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match: Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, and Bobby Lashley vs. Shane McMahon, Jeff Hardy, The Miz, Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio
Shane McMahon on a Smackdown Survivor Series team for the third year in a row…feels like that “land of opportunity” and “authority figures not being the center of attention” malarkey Shane spewed was years ago. Sadly, he seems to be the focus on Smackdown’s side of this match along with the newly-solo captain Miz. RAW’s side has Braun Strowman, who made his intentions perfectly clear as far as getting back into the Universal Title picture and ensuring that Baron Corbin “GET THESE HANDSSSS!”, and possibly Drew McIntyre, who recently handed Kurt Angle a big and rather demoralizing loss and has made it clear that the Monster Among Men is in his sights as well, even with the tenuous alliance being enforced by RAW Commish Stephanie McMahon. Given that Steph went overboard in assuring Braun’s team loyalty, it wouldn’t have much of a payoff to have him just lose. I imagine Corbin will try and find some way to screw Strowman out of the match (because WWE is TOTALLY over screw-jobs at Surivivor Series *eyeroll*) only for it to backfire and Strowman emerging triumphant (possibly with McIntyre to give Drew another substantial push), leading to Steph firing Corbin and opening him up to Braun’s big-time revenge at TLC in December. Meanwhile, a Smackdown loss will help in pushing the “Heel Shane McMahon” envelope by having Shane be the one to take the pin.
Winners: Team RAW wins (Strowman & McIntyre survive)
RAW vs. SmackDown Match: Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
The fact that more people were shocked by Nakamura actually showing up on an episode of Smackdown rather than be excited his first-time encounter with Seth Rollins tells you just how mishandled Shinsuke has been over on the blue brand. I’ve said this time and gain: If Shinsuke puts on his working boots, there is no doubt he and Rollins could put on a banger of a match. On Rollins’ side, he is of two minds, one keyed in on his match with Nakamura, the other being emotionally distraught over Ambrose’s forsaking of The Shield. I see the latter coming back to haunt Rollins, with Ambrose getting involved near the end to cost him the match, and allowing Nakamura to break Seth’s face to match his broken heart.
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
RAW vs. SmackDown Match: Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair
I don’t think anyone wants, or was expecting, the WWE’s back-pocket women’s division sure-fire main event of Rousey vs. Flair, to be happening on this card out of nowhere. My guess for this one is that they’re gonna use it to set up this long-rumored Horsewomen vs. Horsewomen match. Sasha and Bayley being strangely absent from the card along with Becky and Charlotte reuniting this week feels telling, and I figure Baszler takes that mystery spot in the Women’s Survivor Series match too. If that’s the case, expect some kind of brawl here instead of a real match.
Winner: Double DQ
RAW vs. SmackDown Match: Daniel Bryan vs. Brock Lesnar
If this were a Face Vs. Heel match, I wouldn’t hesitate to pick Brock Lesnar, the dominant monster to get the better of an underdog Bryan, not unlike his match with AJ Styles a year earlier. Given the abrupt heel turn for Bryan, and setting up this oddball high-profile Heel Vs. Heel main event, I’m expecting some serious shenanigans. More to the point, I’m going out on a limb and calling that Paul Heyman’s involvement in setting up Styles vs. Bryan for SmackDown wasn’t incidental, and Heyman is about to strike up a partnership with Bryan at Lesnar’s expense, perhaps to give Heyman something to do while Lesnar goes and trains for his next UFC match. It would also help build up Bryan as a certified heel. Take a half cup of Heyman siding with The Big Show over Lesnar in late 2002, mix that with a pinch of his partnership with CM Punk from 2012-2013 and you have Heyman’s next big story lined up right here.
Winner: Daniel Bryan