WWE Survivor Series predictions

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WWE Survivor Series predictions

Shayna Baszler, Becky Lynch and Bayley underwhelm in the main event. | Photo by: Uproxx

Shayna Baszler, Becky Lynch and Bayley underwhelm in the main event. | Photo by: Uproxx

Shayna Baszler, Becky Lynch and Bayley underwhelm in the main event. | Photo by: Uproxx

Shayna Baszler, Becky Lynch and Bayley underwhelm in the main event. | Photo by: Uproxx

Matthew Rago, Sports Editor

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WWE returns to the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill., for its annual Survivor Series pay-per-view. Following the theme of brand supremacy that has dominated the past few editions, WWE has added NXT as a wrinkle to reinvigorate the Survivor Series brand. The Independent’s Matthew Rago and Tim Le Cour offer their predictions:

United States Champion AJ Styles vs. NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong  vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura

Matt: I’m going with Shinsuke Nakamura on this one. WWE Creative recently gifted Nakamura a hard reset, salvaging a floundering character in the process. Considering Nakamura’s reputation as one of the best in-ring technicians in the world, it’s time for WWE to go all in on his push. What better way to do that other than clean victory over a Club-assisted Styles and an Undisputed Era-assisted Roderick Strong?

Tim: Definitely not Nakamura. I think AJ Styles will take it. Him and his crew have seemingly been the jobbers to the main event scene. He was recently jobbed out to Randy Orton, Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo last Friday. I think Styles is better suited to win this match than Strong, so I think Styles will pull this one out. 

Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed ERA

Matt: The Viking Raiders are the clear favorites. After a dominant showing on this week’s NXT against the Forgotten Sons, it would be irresponsible for WWE to negate their push for the sake of an inconsequential loss. The New Day has built enough goodwill from the fans to insulate them from negative perception. Meanwhile, at the end of the day, the Undisputed ERA’s success is a byproduct of their standing within their faction. In other words, Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish haven’t evolved beyond serving as Adam Cole’s cronies. They can easily digest a loss to either of the main roster champions. The only team that would see their mystique diminished by a loss is the Viking Raiders.

Tim: Anytime NXT comes up to the main roster, we have an issue. Undisputed ERA will have to deal with WarGames, so they will be a bit beat up. Nevertheless, I’m going to give it to the UE. NXT needs to come by some big wins. It would be embarrassing for NXT to suffer a clean sweep, so Viking Raiders? No. New Day? Also no. 

Traditional Survivor Series Match: Raw (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Ricochet & Drew McIntyre) vs. SmackDown (King Corbin, Roman Reigns, ​​​​Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali & Shorty G) vs. NXT (TBD)

Matt: I think the main roster is going to cannibalize itself during this match. Raw and Smackdown are going to engage in an internal war for brand supremacy, opening the door for NXT and its undetermined cast of representatives to steal an era-defining victory over their main roster counterparts. I anticipate Braun Strowman being the final obstacle, only to be thwarted by NXT’s eventual numbers advantage. 

Tim: Got to give it to Team Smackdown, which has Strowman and Reigns on the same team. Also, Ali and Shorty G have the most to lose from a poor showing, so you have to provide those guys with a push. The other guys will receive their due in more important matches.

Traditional five-on-five Survivor Series Match: Raw (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane and Sarah Logan) vs. SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Carmella, Dana Brooke and Nikki Cross) vs. NXT (TBD).

Matt: Hard to bet against Team Raw here. On one hand, I expect Triple H to campaign for a strong showing from the NXT women, who presumably will be led by NXT United Kingdom Women’s Champion Kaylie Rae and former champion Rhea Ripley. However, Charlotte Flair and Asuka exist on a separate tier. Flair is arguably the greatest superstar in WWE history, trailblazing a path for women’s wrestling as a whole. While Asuka and Sane currently hold the Women’s Tag Team Championships, they are both among the most underutilized stars in the company. 

Ironically enough, Team Smackdown will be the weak link here. Outside of Banks, Team Smackdown is a motley crew of midcarders and undercarders. Lacey Evans still hasn’t recovered from the failure of her premature push. Dana Brooke’s inability to cut an authentic promo has hampered her entire main roster run. Carmella’s abbreviated stay atop the women’s division reinforced public perception on her status as a midcarder. Finally, Nikki Cross seems like an outlier in a division gravitating away from gimmickry. Team Raw will come out on top.

Tim: As far as the women go, I’m going to give it to Team NXT. Yeah, definitely Team NXT. At this point, the main roster squads are composed of the trailblazers of the women’s revolution. This match could be more of a passing of the torch to a new wave of female superstars. Given that NXT has always been the startup brand, they are going to want to give NXT a strong showing to solidify their position. In moving from the WWE Network to USA, it’s imperative for the NXT women to prove that they are on par with the main roster. WWE’s main roster, on the other hand, doesn’t need the same rub.

Triple Threat Match: Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler

Matt: I feel like WWE is going throw a curveball and give Bayley the nod here. Bayley has essentially been shrouded by shadow of Becky Lynch and Baszler from the onset of the feud. Lynch even described Bayley as “a champion” while she’s “the champion.” 

However, I do expect Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke to interfere, forcing Bayley and Lynch to form a temporary coalition. However, despite Baszler’s clear advantage, Bayley needs this match the most of all the champions. Baszler will retreat back to NXT, Lynch will resume her position atop RAW’s card and Bayley will use her victory to re-establish herself as a dominant champion on Smackdown.

Tim: As much as I would like to believe Bayley has a shot, this match really comes down to Lynch and Baszler. Lynch owns her role as “The Man” of WWE but Baszler is a former UFC fighter. I have to give it to Baszler as she has both the drive and momentum to outlast them both. I believe both Bayley and Lynch will give Baszler a run for her money but in an all out brawl, Baszler gets the win. 

Universal Championship: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan

Matt: WWE is just scratching the surface on Bray Wyatt’s potential. This contest seems like an excuse to revisit the Wyatt-Bryan storyline that preceded Bryan’s Wrestlemania culmination, this time inserting Wyatt into the role abandoned by Bryan. Booking Wyatt to lose his first title defense would quite literally dismantle everything Wyatt and WWE Creative have built for his character. Furthermore, Bryan would inevitably fall victim to the backlash of an audience eager to see an extended stay atop the proverbial mountain for Wyatt.

Tim: So… first question, is this a real question? The answer is so obvious. “The Fiend”. Bray Wyatt for the win. Let’s talk about reasons. The reason being is that the man has been pushed with his Firefly Funhouse gimmick for the better part of a year. In his third or fourth match as “The Fiend,” he gets a Universal Championship match where he appears invincible only for WWE to contradict and call the match in favor of Seth Rollins. To pull the plug this early would be ridiculous booking. 

Also, Bryan is somewhat riding the waves, per say, while adopting the role occupied by John Cena on his way out, where he allowed others to go over on him.

NXT Championship: Adam Cole (c) vs. the winner of NXT TakeOver WarGames’s No. 1 contenders match (Pete Dunne v. Killian Dane v. Damian Priest)

Matt: Regardless of who wins the No. 1 contenders match, Adam Cole is going to emerge victorious. NXT is surviving on the momentum of its top faction, whose attitude, demeanor and success are reminiscent of an embryonic D-Generation X. When Cole loses the NXT Championship, it will serve as the conclusion to an elongated feud rather than an NXT sampler that operates as a Survivor Series’ card filler. 

Furthermore, outside of Dunne, none of the potential challengers seem ready for a title run. NXT is still in the stages of introducing Priest as a main event caliber talent. Dane is 2019’s version of Tyson Kidd–not popular enough to carry a brand but too good to be relegated to an indefinite midcard role. 

Tim: Adam Cole because he’s Adam Cole baybay.

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio

Matt: Brock. 

Tim: This happens every time. For some reason, I retain a glimmer of hope now that WWE changed the match stipulation to provide Mysterio a fair shot. Make no mistake, it’s an Illusion. Brock is going to win because he is the “Beast incarnate.” WWE attempting to convince its audience that Lesnar can defeat Cain Velasquez in under three minutes and then proceed to lose to a 5-foot-6, 175 pound competitor–who he previously hospitalized in about one minute–is laughable. If anything, this is an engine to reintroduce Velasquez after an incredible bout of lazy, shortsighted booking.

Enjoyed this article? Sound off in the comment section below or checkout our Armchair Creative series:

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