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What If NXT Had Brand Representation at Survivor Series?

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Survivor Series is the one time a year (total lie) where Raw and SmackDown LIVE go head-to-head in competition.

But what about NXT?

WWE’s third brand has NXT TakeOver: WarGames the previous night, which is sure to be great, but I can’t help but wonder every year what would happen if WWE were to up the ante and transform the Survivor Series card into a Triple Threat scenario by letting the developmental roster test their luck.

So, without further ado, I present to you a fantasy scenario of what I feel would be happening if this year’s Survivor Series allowed for the inclusion of NXT to fight against Raw and SmackDown LIVE for brand supremacy.

NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa vs. Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles

I’m a huge fan of Tommaso Ciampa, but there is absolutely no way in hell he would come out of this match the winner. Absolutely not. No question. No debate. It’s not happening.

If this were nearly anyone else in the company representing Raw other than Brock Lesnar, he would have a distinct shot, though.

For instance, say the belt was on Braun Strowman. They could avoid having him look bad by putting him on the outside of the ring while Tommaso Ciampa stole a pin over AJ Styles in the hopes to build a future feud between the two once he graduated to the main roster.

With Brock Lesnar, no one stands a chance, ever, because WWE protects him at all possible times, even if he’s supposed to be leaving the company for other endeavors. He would never lose to someone the size of Tommaso Ciampa and put over NXT in the process. Never.

+ 1 for Raw

NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch

Again, NXT would be in a rough spot here as Ronda Rousey is in a similar position to Brock Lesnar, albeit in a much less annoying way.

She’s undefeated since her debut and she’ll remain undefeated until at least WrestleMania, for sure, so even Becky Lynch won’t take her down.

What’s interesting is that the relationship between Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey would provide for either a double-team with Ronda Rousey looking like a heel and cementing Becky Lynch even more as a fan favorite, or we’d see the collapse of The Four Horsewomen as Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler actually fought it out.

I feel like if this were a thing, WWE would have purposely avoided having the belt on Shayna Baszler just for this and kept it on Kairi Sane so she could take the loss, rather than do anything Shayna Baszler vs. Ronda Rousey just yet.

Ultimately, Ronda Rousey would win save in all scenarios except one, in my mind: the Shayna Baszler surprise turn. That’s the only way someone other than Ronda Rousey would come out on top.

+1 for Raw

NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed ERA vs. AOP vs. The Bar

If WWE had pushed The Authors of Pain from the onset as the top beasts on Raw, I’d be writing this off as a guaranteed victory on their part, but that isn’t the case.

The Bar would be ranked #3 for sure. That’s a given. Then, it’s just a matter of whether WWE would want to keep the investment in The Undisputed Era alive, or use them as the second place team who loses, but doesn’t take the pin.

I could certainly see a situation where this match was one WWE wouldn’t mind going to NXT through some kind of shenanigans with all four members of The Undisputed Era taking advantage of the numbers game and capturing the victory by pinning Sheamus or Cesaro, while keeping Akam and Rezar strong similar to the Braun Strowman situation mentioned above.

That way, when they’d come up post-WrestleMania, they’d have a lot more momentum as a stable.

+ 1 for NXT

North American Champion Ricochet vs. Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

I remain adamant that Seth Rollins is losing this match due to interference from Dean Ambrose solely to further that story and not to give any kind of boost to Shinsuke Nakamura whatsoever.

With that in mind, there would be no need for Shinsuke Nakamura to get the win in WWE’s eyes. He’s not there to be the focal point. He’s just a prop for Seth Rollins to tumble with before The Lunatic Fringe strikes.

Done well enough, a Dean Ambrose distraction could lead to Seth Rollins exiting the match and brawling on the outside while Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura continued to fight and Ricochet would pull out the win, giving fans some joy even if Seth Rollins was screwed out of his fair end of the match.

+ 1 for NXT

Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown LIVE vs. Team NXT

We don’t know the full team for Raw right now, but the most likely options for the two empty spots are Bobby Lashley, Elias, Finn Bálor, Kurt Angle (somehow), Baron Corbin and MAYBE Apollo Crews.

We also don’t know who WWE would pick for Team NXT, but we can narrow down the field for that, too.

Champions are excluded. Some people like Fabian Aichner aren’t as big of a deal, so they’d be skipped. I’d even argue that Matt Riddle and Keith Lee would be overlooked because they’re too new and they wouldn’t want them to lose yet. Basically, I come up with the possible team members being Adam Cole (if he’s not in either tag match), Aleister Black, EC3, Johnny Gargano, Kassius Ohno, Lars Sullivan, Pete Dunne and Velveteen Dream.

I’d almost eliminate Adam Cole out of necessity to have him appear in the tag matches, and I think Kassius Ohno would be pushed aside. Then, it’s just a matter of whether or not WWE would prefer to have NXT U.K. in the mix with Pete Dunne or to go with Aleister Black, EC3, Johnny Gargano, Lars Sullivan and Velveteen Dream.

Those six potentials make up one hell of a team in any combination, and I’d love to see how they would fair against Raw and SmackDown LIVE and which people would get surprise pins over others. How would Rey Mysterio match up with Johnny Gargano? What would Dolph Ziggler and Velveteen Dream do together? Daniel Bryan was EC3’s mentor when he was Derrick Bateman, so could we see a reference to that? Chicks and America!

Ultimately, NXT wouldn’t win this battle. There is too much invested in the bigger names for all of them on Raw and SmackDown LIVE to go under and for the underdog story to be told here.

+ 1 for Raw or SmackDown LIVE

Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown LIVE vs. Team NXT

Again, we don’t know Raw’s squad, nor who would be on Team NXT, but we can narrow down the field a bit.

Aliyah, Taynara Conti and Vanessa Borne are out. Deonna Purrazzo is too new, as is Mia Yim. We can write off Nikki Cross as potentially being on SmackDown LIVE now. This leaves us with Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Lacey Evans and Kairi Sane.

Quite a solid team, once again, but also, one that wouldn’t be able to shatter the glass ceiling.

Bianca Belair would put up the best fight of them all, as she’s undefeated. Kai would likely be a quick sacrifice. Candice LeRae would put up more of a struggle, but not last too long, either, and I could see WWE wanting to play the stupid “LOL, the heel got her comeuppance” shtick with Lacey Evans by having her taunt the other women’s characters and get socked for it. Kairi Sane would just kind of be there to hold down the fort with Bianca Belair.

But when you put Bianca Belair against Nia Jax in her current state of being built up to face Ronda Rousey, or against Charlotte Flair, she’d have to fall short.

+ 1 for Raw or SmackDown LIVE

5-on-5 Tag Team Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown LIVE vs. Team NXT

Without even knowing what Raw’s team picks are, a quick glance at the options proves how awful the field is for their side. SmackDown LIVE has this thing won, 100%, but when NXT is added, it gets a little bit harder.

War Raiders are a must. The Street Profits get my vote. Heavy Machinery does, too. The final two spots are a bit more up in the air. The Mighty don’t kneel or move the meter in terms of wow-factor, so I’d be cool with them being passed over in favor of Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch or Moustache Mountain, or even The Forgotten Sons, just to be interesting.

Those teams are all collectively not as revered as The Usos or The New Day, though, and those two units are who will really steal this as a point for the blue brand.

+ 1 for SmackDown LIVE

The Bottom Line

NXT wouldn’t stand much of a chance, because WWE would never let the developmental brand score the majority wins, particularly in a Triple Threat where they could easily divide the 7 points in a 3-2-2 split with Raw or SmackDown LIVE just getting the edge.

Sure, some people would get the surprise upset here and there, but WWE would probably book it with the goal in mind that a “good showing” is good enough and a win would be more detrimental to the other brands than helpful to NXT, even if some fans would completely disagree with that notion.

I’d love to see it, and I hope they consider doing it somewhere down the line at a time where the roster is just as good as it currently is. In the meantime, it will just remain a “what if…”

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What If NXT Had Brand Representation at Survivor Series?


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