It’s Raw vs SmackDown at this year’s WWE Survivor Series. Here are our predictions for the elimination matches and all the other action set to go down this Sunday.
To call this the most meaningful and interesting Survivor Series in years would be an understatement. The event became much more exciting during the original brand split when the elimination matches first began pitting brand against brand. It felt like legitimate competition between both Raw and SmackDown to determine who had the better roster. But as we all know, the brand split was ended in 2011, and from that point on the elimination matches were, well… not good.
They became an afterthought. It seemed as though WWE would build up the card for the show and then realize last minute that they should probably have an elimination match or two. You know, since that’s what the event is built around. Then suddenly we have a match involving Titus O’Neil, Stardust, the Ascension, and Bo Dallas. Yes, that actually happened on the pre-show last year.
But the brand split is back and it has actually brought back much of the same excitement the original one had. It’ll be blue vs red this Sunday night in almost every match. And the one that is not a SmackDown vs Raw affair is a match that has enough hype surrounding it that it doesn’t even matter. With all this in mind, here are our predictions for this year’s WWE Survivor Series.
Team Raw vs Team Smackdown: 10 vs 10 Tag Team Elimination Match
Starting off with a match that Tye Dillinger would probably kill to be a part of, we have the 10 on 10 SmackDown vs Raw tag team elimination match. And looking at the makeup of each team, it’s hard to deny that Raw has the better talent.
It all starts with the Raw tag team champions, the New Day, who are a mere two weeks from breaking Demolition’s 478-day record for longest reigning tag team champions in WWE history. And behind them, there are several capable tag teams. Gallows and Anderson haven’t enjoyed much success in WWE, but they can still stomp anyone at anytime. Enzo and Cass are one of the most successful tag teams in NXT history. Cesaro and Sheamus are making their odd couple tandem work. And the Shining Stars are the Shining Stars, but everything else makes Raw’s squad very formidable.
SmackDown still has a good team, but it has objectively less successful teams. Prior to a few months ago, Rhyno was in NXT and Heath Slater barely existed. Same can be said for Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder. American Alpha were dominant in NXT but haven’t done much on the main roster. The Usos are more interesting with their new attitude, but it hasn’t translated to wins. And Breezango, as great as they are, probably aren’t going to be made into a credible team by WWE anytime soon.
However, with all that said, we’re predicting a Team SmackDown victory here. Why? Because Raw’s team is infinitely more likely to suffer from chemistry issues. With Cesaro and Sheamus still not fully getting along, the Club refusing to buy in, and the Shining Stars being nuisances in general, the SmackDown team looks much more cohesive. Chalk one up for Team Blue here.
Team Raw vs Team SmackDown: 5-on-5 Men’s Elimination Match
Yet again, Team Raw looks to be the more skilled squad. That’s nothing against Team SmackDown’s leader AJ Styles, who may be the most individually successful superstar over the past year on either team. But the depth of Raw is what gives them the edge here in the talent department.
Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion, so not much more needs to be said about him. Roman Reigns is the United States Champion and spent multiple months as WWE Champion and the face of the company. Seth Rollins did the same through the majority of 2015. Braun Strowman is being portrayed as possibly the most dominant superstar in the entire company right now. And although Chris Jericho isn’t quite at the world championship level he once was, he’s still a threat.
SmackDown has the aforementioned Styles, and behind him is recent WWE Champion Dean Ambrose and the always dangerous Randy Orton. Beyond them, things get murky. Bray Wyatt hasn’t been given a meaningful pay-per-view in what feels like forever, and Shane McMahon is undoubtedly the weak link considering he’s not really a wrestler.
No curveball here, Team Raw should take this one. Not only are they the more talented team, but a SmackDown loss sets up a future storyline involving the Undertaker who threatened consequences should Team Blue come up short. It makes an awful lot of sense for Kevin Owens and friends to stand tall at the end of this one.
Team Raw vs Team SmackDown: 5-on-5 Women’s Elimination Match
Three in a row? Three in a row. Raw has more talent in this one too. Yes, at this point it’s repetitive, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
Raw has three of the four horsewomen of NXT who are currently defining the Women’s division. Not only that, but they have Nia Jax who is essentially the Braun Strowman of the Women’s division. Then, of course, there’s the weak link that is Alicia Fox, but at that point, it doesn’t matter.
SmackDown’s team isn’t bad by any means, but they are less proven. They have two recent NXT call-ups in Carmella and Alexa Bliss, which can be seen as a weakness. And yes, Nia Jax was called up at the same time as them, but she has been nothing but dominant since. Bliss and Carmella have had moderate success, but they’re not portrayed as anything close to the threat Jax is. Aside from that, SmackDown has Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, their team captain Nikki Bella, and Naomi. Lynch can carry them and Nikki will put on a great performance herself. Naomi is a great athlete, but whether she’ll actually make any noise in this match as far as eliminating people is in question.
But what will the result be? We’re predicting another upset. Team Blue comes out on top here and WWE makes their Women’s division look even stronger. This is the perfect opportunity to start evening the perceived playing field between Raw and SmackDown. Raw undeniably has the more successful women if you take both main roster and NXT careers into account, but a SmackDown win here does a lot to legitimize their roster. They could use that.
Brian Kendrick vs Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship and Division
The elimination matches will definitely be a lot of fun, but they don’t have anywhere near the implications that this match does. Brian Kendrick will take on Kalisto this Sunday, and while they will be fighting for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, the division as a whole will also be on the line. If Kendrick wins, he and the Cruiserweights stay on Raw. If Kalisto wins, they all come over to SmackDown. If you want high stakes, here you go.
This match works beautifully for a few reasons. First of all, the fact that Kalisto was left out of this division in the first place was a travesty. Before the Cruiserweight Classic, he was WWE’s most bonafide Cruiserweight, yet he was put on the brand without that division. But now he gets a shot at the title and the chance to stay and compete in that division should he be able to bring it over to Tuesday nights. Kalisto has also been stuck in limbo for a while other than his semi-feud with Baron Corbin, so he could use this. That’s why we’re predicting a Kalisto victory.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll become Cruiserweight Champion. There’s a very good chance Kendrick loses this match by disqualification, in which case he would keep the title but the division would still come over to SmackDown, which seems to be the most likely scenario.
With 205 Live airing on Tuesday nights, it would make a lot of sense for WWE to not make the Cruiserweights work on both Mondays and Tuesdays, something the rest of the roster generally doesn’t have to do anymore. This way, feuds could be set up between Cruiserweights on SmackDown, then they can be elaborated on during 205 Live. It’s also the perfect way to get people to tune in since they can say “Watch the fallout of this live, next on the WWE Network!” as opposed to “Wait until tomorrow.”
The Miz vs Sami Zayn for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
We have another cross-brand title match as the Miz will defend his newly won Intercontinental title against Sami Zayn. This was originally supposed to be Dolph Ziggler vs Zayn, but this admittedly makes more sense as the Miz is a jerk and Sami is not. Simple as that.
A Zayn title victory really feels like it should have happened by now. He’s one of the best underdogs WWE has ever had and his NXT title run was superb. Now that he’s got yet another shot at the Intercontinental title, will he finally cash in? Well, no. Probably not.
A Zayn victory would mean the Intercontinental title would come over to Raw, and unless the United States title could find its way over to SmackDown, it just wouldn’t make any sense. It would leave SmackDown without a mid-card men’s title, while Raw would have two. So basically, anyone not in the World title picture and not in a tag team would be out of luck . That doesn’t make any sense.
The Miz will find a way to retain this somehow and Zayn will come up short once again. Your time will come Sami. One day.
It’s finally here. The match that has been teased ever since the first trailer for WWE 2K17 was teased. The match that Goldberg said was the only one he would come back for. The match that features two of the most dominant WWE superstars in history going head to head for the second time in history.
It’s tough to gauge what we should expect out of this one. At the very least it should be better than their stinker from WrestleMania XX, but what is going to happen when someone who hasn’t stepped into the ring in over 10 years gets in there with someone known for his brutality? How stiff could this match really be? Although it obviously won’t be a real fight, it could be the closest thing we see to one in a WWE ring. Goldberg is back and he’s ready to go, and Lesnar is always willing to throttle someone.
But despite Goldberg’s big return, he’s likely going to be taking the pin this Sunday as Lesnar tallies yet another victory. There are a lot of reasons Lesnar is likely to win, but to break it down in just a few sentences, he’s more valuable to WWE than Goldberg. Goldberg is going away after this, so having him beat Lesnar wouldn’t make much sense. It would diminish Lesnar with no benefit, and then the Beast Incarnate would have a 0-2 record against someone he’ll never face again. Expect Paul Heyman and his Beast to be standing tall come Sunday night.