Welcome to my WWE Survivor Series preview. The Raw and Smackdown brands are presenting the show together from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto for a show that begins on Sunday at 7pmET with an expected four hour run time.
In terms of the order that I am listing the matches, I put the men’s elimination tag match last because I think that’s going to end the show. They could end it with Goldberg vs. Lesnar obviously, but if the crowd hates the match or it’s bad then that’s a bad way to end the night. I think ending the show with a long elimination match with plenty of star power is the right way to go. Then again, WWE has been off all year in terms of what match should end the show.
I’ve already done multiple podcasts about this show as well as another preview at The Comeback, so I’m going to get right to the point with my predictions. Since I’m also reviewing every Survivor Series, I guess you can say I’m tired of talking about the Survivor Series. I was going to put “lol” but it’s true, it’s damn true.
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 10-on-10 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination Match
Team Raw – The New Day, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Cesaro & Sheamus and The Shining Stars
Team Smackdown – Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Hype Bros, American Alpha, The Usos and Breezango
The best team on Smackdown is American Alpha. They haven’t received the kind of push a lot of us wanted because I think WWE wants to make it happen for them around WrestleMania. I can see The Usos winning the Tag Titles from Slater & Rhyno soon leading to that title change around WrestleMania. In order to get American Alpha ready for a moment like that, booking them as the winners of a match like this is going to accomplish that goal.
It would be easy to put over a Raw team because Enzo and Cass as well as Gallows and Anderson. The New Day doesn’t need to win because they’re already the tag champions on a 15 month title reign. I can see those teams having problems with eachother, which is what will allow American Alpha to swoop in for the victory.
Survivors: American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) from Smackdown
Cruiserweight Championship: Brian Kendrick vs. Kalisto (If Kalisto wins then the Cruiserweight Division goes to Smackdown)
I think the cruiserweight division should stay on Raw because it’s the longer show and moving them to Smackdown will do more harm than good. If they were on Smackdown, they would have short matches like Kalisto’s match on this last Smackdown where he won in two minutes. The convenience is that 205 Live takes place after Smackdown starting November 29, so I think WWE is going to do the title change because it’s convenient.
My feeling is that since WWE is going out of their way to push this “whole division moves with the title” story then they’re going to do it. I don’t think it’s the right move and I hope I’m wrong with the prediction, but that’s how I think it will go.
Winner and New Cruiserweight Champion: Kalisto
Intercontinental Championship: The Miz vs. Sami Zayn (If Zayn wins then IC Title goes to Raw with him)
I think the Intercontinental Title has been booked very well since the brand split. Yes, it’s been traded back and forth between Miz and Dolph Ziggler, but the match quality has been there as well as putting over the importance of the title. Their promos were just as good as their matches, if not better.
I was surprised that WWE would have Miz win the IC Title back from Ziggler on the last Smackdown. I assume that was done so they could have the popular Zayn – in his home country of Canada – win the title from a heel like Miz instead of beating another face like Ziggler.
Like with the Cruiserweight Title, I’d prefer to keep the IC Title where it is. I’m predicting a title change even though I think something is going to happen soon to bring Zayn to Smackdown with the IC Title. Whether it’s a trade or they say he’s a free agent, I just think he’s going to end up on Smackdown with the IC Title. It just doesn’t make sense to have the IC & US Titles on Raw while there’s no midcard title on Smackdown for the male wrestlers.
Winner: Sami Zayn wins the Intercontinental Title
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Women’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox with Dana Brooke in their corner
Team Smackdown – Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Carmella and Naomi with Natalya in their corner
It’s a tough match to predict because you can make a case for almost anybody in this match to go far. Alicia Fox is the only one where you know she’s not going to win. Naomi may seem like she has no chance, but if WWE wants to get behind her then perhaps this is the time to do it. Carmella seems unlikely to go very far either.
I think it’s going to be about building up challengers on the Raw side. That means Charlotte doesn’t have to survive even with her undefeated PPV record. That record is more impressive for title matches, not tag team elimination matches anyway. I’m thinking more of Bayley being a survivor because she’s likely going to be the next challenge to Charlotte’s title. Sasha Banks may seem like an obvious choice too, but I’d rather see Nia Jax as a survivor. It would be stupid to have somebody pin Jax or make her submit in a match like this. Losing by disqualification or countout is possible. I’d rather see her get put over strong, so I’m going Bayley and Jax as the survivors.
Survivors: Bayley & Nia Jax (Raw)
Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg
My intrigue with this match is based on if they are going to have a competitive match that the crowd is excited about or if the crowd is going to completely crap all over it. The result of the match should be obvious with Brock Lesnar winning since he has two more years on his WWE deal while the expectation is that Goldberg is done after this match. Plans can change of course, but I doubt WWE is going to have a nearly 50-year-old Goldberg beat Lesnar when so few people have beaten Lesnar in the last four years.
Best case scenario I think we’re talking about a fun match with power moves by two guys that know how to do them. Worst case scenario is they’ll have a stinker of a match that will hurt the aura of Goldberg and remind us that guys can’t just come back from 12 years off and expect to have a great match when they rarely had those great matches in their prime.
If you want more of my thoughts on this match, I wrote an in-depth preview of it over at The Comeback by breaking it down into different categories.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown Live in a 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Men’s Elimination Match
Team Raw – Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman
Team Smackdown – AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton and Shane McMahon (James Ellsworth is the mascot)
I have leaned towards picking Raw in this match since the time it was announced. That’s because of the presence of Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins, who I’m picking as the survivors in this match.
I’m picking Raw to win because Vince McMahon has it in his head that Roman Reigns is going to be his guy. That’s why Roman is going to be booked strong to show his superiority. I’m going to pick Seth Rollins as another survivor since he got screwed out of two PPV wins against Kevin Owens. Have those two guys as the final two men from Raw going against Dean Ambrose on Smackdown, who was left alone after AJ Styles turned on him. Then you can do the follow up story from Smackdown with Undertaker going after Styles since he cost Smackdown the win. They can do Undertaker vs. Styles for the WWE Title at Royal Rumble, for example.
While I don’t have Braun Strowman making it as a survivor, I have a hard time seeing him getting pinned. It will probably be something where he chases Bray Wyatt out of the ring and gets counted out. There’s a chance that Randy Orton may cost Wyatt too. I doubt Orton can stay heel for long, so he’ll probably drop Wyatt with a RKO at some point.
Quick thoughts on the others: Owens and Jericho will probably do a spot where KO accidentally hits Jericho leading to somebody eliminating Jericho soon after to continue their slow split...Shane McMahon probably won't eliminate anybody, but I expect him to do an elbow drop off the top through one of the announce tables...Rollins should work with Styles for a few minutes just to tease those of us that want to see that match. When they shake up rosters next year that's a feud WWE should think about...Reigns will probably get two eliminations. Maybe three.
I just posted my Survivor Series 2001 review and that show was headlined by an awesome match with Team WWE against Team Alliance. There were turns, there were cool moments of teamwork and I never got bored of the match after 45 minutes. There’s enough talent in this match to where they can have a classic elimination match that we’re talking about for years to come. I don’t know if it will happen, but the potential is there. It would certainly help if there was something at stake for the winners and losers because I think WWE dropped the ball in that regard. That’s something I’ve complained about for weeks now.
I know fans want a Shield reunion, but on this show it’s about putting over Roman and Seth at Dean’s expense. That makes for an interesting story too. Sorry Dean.
Survivors: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins (Raw)
I’m going into the show with an optimistic viewpoint. I’m hoping for a significant turn or big angle that takes place that gets people talking because that’s what WWE needs right now. If they just make it a regular show without anything special happening then it’s going to a four hour show where people complain about how it ran too long.
If you want more WWE Survivor Series talk as well as discussion on everything else going on in WWE, check out the TJRWrestling Podcast with info on how to listen here (search “John Canton” or “TJRWrestling” on iTunes).
I’m not sure when I’ll have my Survivor Series review up because I will be at the show and may not have time to get it done until Tuesday at best.
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