Well, for once Vince McMahon actually lucked out this year because, thanks to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, NXT won’t be a part of this year’s Survivor Series, which means he won’t have to worry about tossing the yellow brand a bone for a change. On paper, this makes sense as you don’t want to risk mixing the rosters up any more than the WWE already does but it is a shame as injecting NXT stars into the card would have not only spiced things up but potentially have altered the shape of the matches and some of the daft decisions we saw at last month’s Hell in a Cell event.
You might also think that the absence of NXT and the arrival of a new, power-hungry stable on Raw would mean that Retribution would be featured in a match, possibly pitting all of their members against the Hurt Business or some bizarre and awkward team up of Raw superstars but…no, of course not. Instead, the group is basically dead on its feet and just waiting for the plug to be pulled and we’re left, instead, with a bunch of matches made even more meaningless than usual considered the annual draft only happened the other month so why would anyone even care about “brand supremacy”? This year’s Survivor Series will also, apparently, feature the Undertaker’s “final farewell”, which I’m sure will either be legitimately a celebration of the Undertaker’s career and his official retirement or an angle to setup one last match at WrestleMania.
Remember when these two fought each other in a seemingly endless, God-awful feud a while back? Well, now they’re at it again but this time they’re both heels so…what the hell? Seriously, like, I get the idea of “fresh” match-ups but pitting heels against heels is pretty nonsensical, even for the WWE. Of course, sometimes they want Bobby Lashley and his Hurt Business buddies to be faces, though, making this all the more confusing but, either way, there’s no hope for Sami Zayn, even with his heel persona and his newest run with the Intercontinental Championship.
My prediction: Bobby Lashley by submission
A strange thing that seems to have happened in the build to this year’s Survivor Series is that the majority of the build towards the traditional Survivor Series matches has been done on Raw. The central theme of the women’s team is that Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax have been arguing over which one of them are the team captain and Nia’s continued obsession with smashing Lana through the announce table with a Samoan Drop. Apparently, this is in some misguided attempt to get Lana over but…it’s really hard to tell if that’s working without a crowd but the piped in cheers and boos tell us it is so I guess it is…? I can only assume this is all to build to Lana finding someone stupid enough to team with her (probably Natalya) to challenge and defeat Nia and Shayna for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships later down the line.
My prediction: Team Raw by elimination
Hey, it’s the match we should have gotten the other month when these teams switched brands but we didn’t because simply swapping the belts was so much easier. Seriously, why could the WWE have not had the Raw Tag Team Championships be on Friday Night Smack Down for a while, and vice versa, just to mix things up a bit and help stir up the pot for this inevitable clash, which could then be for the belts so they could trade places in a more entertaining way? I guess that would require creativity and long-term booking on the WWE’s part and to actually put some kind of effort into their tag team division, so yeah, it’s probably asking too much.
My prediction: The New Day by pin fall
Ugh, feels like we’ve seen this match a hundred times, or at least quite recently. The worst thing about this match (and a lot of the matches on the card in general, to be fair) is the fact that the WWE keeps running the other, more important storylines at the same time as hyping up their “champion vs. champion” matches; so, instead of properly focusing on having Asuka and Sasha Banks prepare and build towards this match, the majority of the focus has been on Bayley’s declaration to regain her championship and running down Sasha (and rightfully so, I might add) for being historically bad at defending her belts. As a result, it makes it painfully obvious how this one is going to go…
My prediction: Asuka by submission (following interference from Bayley)
As I mentioned when talking about the women’s Survivor Series match, most of the build towards this match has been on Raw, with the central idea being that the team is dysfunctional and cannot get along. AJ Styles appointed himself the team captain and Riddle (now stupidly no longer allowed to use his first name because WWE gotta WWE…) gave each of his team mates absolutely ridiculous code names but the guys just kept coming to blows more often than not and seemed to have no interest in teaming together. And, honestly, who can blame them? It’s not like winning this match means anything but, even though they’ve been at each other’s throats for weeks, they’ve still had way more spotlight than Team Smack Down, who were all far to busy with their own shit to even really come together as a team before the pay-per-view.
My prediction: Team Smack Down by pin fall
This was, originally, going to be Randy Orton vs. Roman Reigns but, inexplicably, Drew McIntyre started showing up on Smack Down to threaten Reigns and the WWE basically telegraphed that the WWE Championship would be switching hands right before Survivor Series for, what? The third year in a row? I thought that the WWE made the boneheaded decision to take the belt off Drew because they saw McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns as a big-time, WrestleMania-quality match and didn’t want to blow their load but, apparently, it’s all just been a really stupid waste of time to have Drew be a two-time champion heading into this match. That would be fine, I guess, if Orton had taken the belt off of him a month or two ago so we could have seen Drew chasing for it; instead, it just felt like a waste of time and an inconvenience for Drew and a lazy excuse to bump up Orton’s overall championship reigns.
The issue now, though, is that, realistically, neither of these guys can really afford to lose this match and that’s really the fundamental problem with them doing these champion vs. champion matches. Drew has been booked as an unstoppable, bad-ass face all year and Reigns is just getting into his groove as the “Tribal Chief” so neither man should really be losing at this point. At least having Orton in the match would mean that Reigns could just wreck his ass without really damaging his aura but I’m assuming that this match will see an abundance of run-ins and interference from Jey Uso and possible Daniel Bryan (who really should be primed to face off against Reigns soon) to either result in a tainted victory for Roman or a no contest to keep both guys strong and settle the score on a grander stage later on.
My prediction: No contest due to rampant interference
How excited are you for this year’s Survivor Series? Are you disappointed to hear that NXT won’t be at the event or do you think it’s for the best? Who are your picks to win and lose? How important do you think the idea of “brand supremacy” is in the WWE these days? Which WWE superstars, past or present (or both) would you assemble for a Survivor Series match? Whatever you think, drop a comment below and pop back tomorrow for my rundown of the results.