This Sunday, WWE presents their annual November Pay Per View, Survivor Series. This year’s event has been built around the unexpected injury to WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, leading to a tournament for the vacant title which will culminate at the Pay Per View. In addition, after being abducted by The Wyatt Family, the Undertaker and Kane look for revenge at the 25th anniversary of the WWE debut of the Dead Man. Plus, following a controversial segment that ended Raw this week, Charlotte looks to defend the Divas title against former friend Paige! We’ve got analysis and predictions for this Sunday’s event right here for your reading pleasure!
7. 5-on-5 Survivor Series Match
In case you were wondering why Survivor Series hasn’t felt like a true “Big Four” Pay Per View in years, here’s yet another example of why not. Presumably due to the mess Seth Rollins’ injury made of the build towards Survivor Series (even though WWE has sworn up and down that it didn’t affect them that much), the only thing we can tell you about this match is that it exists. And we only know that because WWE quietly announced it on WWE.com at some point. And they’ve only announced that the match will exist, not any participants in it. Although we assume that since there must be a losing team, Cesaro will be on one of them. Also, if this isn’t an excuse for some New Day shenanigans, we’ll be very surprised.
6. Dolph Ziggler vs Tyler Breeze
Much like the Survivor Series match, this one was only officially announced on Smackdown. However, at least this one could have logically been expected to occur once both men were eliminated from the WWE World title tournament. Breeze debuted as a foil to Ziggler, and has been present at basically every match Dolph has had since then, so this match was pretty much a given to occur. This match will go a long way to establish Breeze’ spot in the pecking order on the main roster, after losing his debut match as part of the tournament in a close-fought match with Dean Ambrose, then struggling to beat R-Truth this week on Raw. Hopefully JBL can reign in his disgust at Breeze’s less masculine tendencies before he causes some sort of international incident. After all, WWE’s already got enough controversy to deal with this week.
5. Undertaker and Kane vs The Wyatt Family
WWE goal to make Bray Wyatt appear incredibly threatening while undermining him at every turn continues! This once-interesting angle began with Bray Wyatt claiming to have stolen the power of The Undertaker and Kane, even showing off his new abilities through a pyrotechnics display as intimidating as it was cheesy as hell. Since then, The Undertaker and Kane have returned and pretty much run roughshod over the entire Wyatt Family, including the previously unstoppable Braun Strowman and Wyatt himself. For some reason, despite Undertaker and Kane dispatching all four Wyatt Family members without breaking a sweat on Raw, the ultimate end to this feud will take place between the Brothers of Destruction and two Wyatt Family members of Bray’s choosing. Since this Survivor Series is the 25th Anniversary of Undertaker’s debut, the winner seems obvious. Well, barring any sort of swerve involving Bray having actually gained control over Kane (because of course it would be Kane) and setting up Undertaker vs Kane in a final match at WrestleMania 32. Hey, it’s not the worst idea in the world.
4. Charlotte vs Paige – WWE Divas Title
If you haven’t heard about this match by now, you deliberately haven’t been paying attention. Whatever this whole feud was about took a sharp left turn on the final Raw before Survivor Series, when Paige mocked the death of Charlotte’s younger brother, triggering a brawl between both women as Raw went off the air. The blowback has been spectacular, with WWE Legend Ric Flair weighing in on the controversy, and WWE being forced to issue their own (completely meaningless) official statement on the situation. Lost in all of this, of course, is the fact that the match could be very, very good. If Charlotte does not manage to escape with a victory to prove Paige wrong, however, look for WWE to continue attempting to dance around the line of good taste with new champion Paige’s “controversial” character in a twisted attempt to shine the light on the Divas division. You’re right, we shouldn’t have given them that idea.
3. Kevin Owens vs Dean Ambrose – Tournament Semifinals
Probably the better match of the two semifinal bouts, as we actually haven’t seen these two in any sort of protracted one-on-one match in WWE. Theoretically, this probably would have been a match for the Intercontinental title had the tournament not taken place, but now it’s for an opportunity at bigger things. It seems unlikely that Owens will be given double gold so recently after Seth Rollins, but he would also likely have an excellent match with anyone in the finals, even in defeat. In addition, if The Authority is truly looking for their next figurehead, Owens would pretty much be the perfect choice (once they explain that yes, he actually does have to do backstage interviews even if they annoy him, anyway). That said, Ambrose is no slouch himself, and him moving on to the finals would allow the most opportunities for an intriguing finish to the show.
2. Roman Reigns vs Alberto Del Rio – Tournament Semifinals
There’s absolutely no surprises to be found here, however, as the smart money is on Roman Reigns disposing of the Mexamerican Champion and moving on to meet his destiny. The real question is, after yet another uninspired performance this Monday against Kalisto, will the “real” Alberto Del Rio ever make an appareance in WWE? It’s hard to blame Del Rio for being disappointed in his spot since returning, as part of a strange xenophobic faction where 90% of the talking is done by his wheelchair-bound manager, with the hot crowd that welcomed him back becoming a distant memory, but would it be too much to ask that he look like he wants to be here? Del Rio’s attitude since his return seems to have settled on “at least they’re paying me well”, and his effort has dropped proportionally. You can’t say WWE hasn’t tried to find him an opponent he can work with, but after botching his way through a match with Kalisto, what atrocities could occur with Del Rio more than likely expected to carry Roman Reigns to a PPV-quality affair?
1. WWE World Heavyweight Title Tournament Finals
And we arrive at the finals of the tournament to determine the next WWE World Heavyweight Champion, and there is no doubt that it must be Roman Reigns. For all the “would haves”, “could haves”, and “should haves” that could have made Reigns a main event talent and champion in the eyes of the fans before now, this very much has a sense of being the last chance for Reigns. He’s come so close so many times, and with so much top talent currently absent from WWE, this looks to be the best shot to get fans to accept his rocket push. If he fails in any way at Survivor Series, there’s a very real chance of him acquiring the “choker” label that has sunk promising careers before, and future attempts to get him the title will almost certainly be met by increased fan apathy. Reigns’ time is now, and whether he wins it as a hard-working fan favorite or screws over his best friend to get what he thinks he deserves, any decision that results in Reigns as WWE World Heavyweight Champion coming out of Survivor Series will be the right one.
Now let’s see if they screw it up.