WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV PRIMER: Javier’s Preview & Analysis of McIntyre vs. Reigns, Banks vs. Asuka, Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown, Sami vs. Lashley, New Day vs. Profits

By Javier Machado, PWTorch contributor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE Survivor Series. The ONE time a year that Superstars from Raw and Smackdown go head to head in direct competition to pridefully defend the honor of the brand they’ve called home for thirty whole days. Each champion faces his counterpart on the other brand and two carefully curated teams, five men and five women from each brand, fight in an elimination tag team match hoping to be the team that survives. All of this hot action comes to us live from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, better known to us as mankind’s greatest achievement, the WWE ThunderDome. Now, a moment of prayer of thanks for the luminary that made it all possible…

Thank you, Vince.


Drew McIntyre (WWE Champion) vs. Roman Reigns (Universal Champion)

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition, where each champion faces his counterpart, and for this match, Drew McIntyre faces Roman Reigns.

Drew McIntyre came face to face with Roman Reigns on the November 13, 2020 episode of Smackdown in a must-see segment and vowed to face Reigns at Survivor Series after beating Randy Orton for the WWE Championship the following Raw. Drew did what he promised, hence this match. The following week, they signed the contract and Reigns stated that Drew is a secondary champion.

Prediction: How this isn’t happening at WrestleMania, I have no idea. Who wins doesn’t matter, since there will be shenanigans involved, either an Uso intervention, Randy Orton revenge RKO, a Miz Money in the Bank cash-in, or a Fiend appearance (Reigns should be on his hit list). A loss for Reigns can propel a tightly wound Reigns into dishing out more heinous acts on Smackdown. But this is Reign and when in doubt, Reigns wins.


Asuka (Raws Women’s Champion) vs. Sasha Banks (Smackdown Women’s Champion)

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition, where each champion faces her counterpart, and for this match, Asuka faces Sasha Banks.

Sasha Banks put Bayley in her rearview mirror only to run headfirst into Carmella. Asuka has been busy keeping the title warm for Charlotte Flair. For this match, “face” Sasha Banks still has to answer to Asuka for being part of ending Kairi Sane’s career. I wonder if Sasha Banks says she’s sorry, at least.

Prediction: Sasha Banks should win this. If there is funny business, it will be in the form of Carmella or maybe a returning Flair.


Bobby Lashley (Raw’s United States Champion) vs. Sami Zayn (Smackdown’s Intercontinental Champion)

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition, where each champion faces his counterpart, and for this match, Bobby Lashley faces Sami Zayn.

Lashley and the rest of Hurt Business had been feuding with Retribution for a while now. Sami Zayn seems to be starting things with Daniel Bryan. Previously Lashley and Sami had a feud that included Lashley’s “sisters,” but that chapter of WWE history is better left forgotten.

Prediction: Can Sami run farther or be thrown by Lashley farther? Lashley should win but how insufferable would Sami be if he gets a fluke victory?


The New Day (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. Street Profits (Smackdown Tag Team Champions)

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition, where each champion faces their counterpart, and for this match, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods face D’Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford.

For weeks the Street Profits have tried to pry New Day secrets from their former team member, Big E, to no avail. They are presenting this confrontation as a “passing the torch moment” from the New Day to the Street Profits.

Prediction: A loss won’t hurt the New Day as much as the Street Profits. Unless Big E turns heel in a misguided attempt to help New Day.


Team Raw (A.J. Styles & Keith Lee & Sheamus & Braun Strowman & Riddle) vs. Team Smackdown (Kevin Owens & Jey Uso & King Corbin & Seth Rollins & Otis) – Survivor Series Elimination match

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition and members of Team Raw face Team Smackdown in an elimination match hoping to be the last team standing.

Team Raw has been fractured by infighting and captain AJ Styles has been unable to keep things together. Lee and Strowman were involved in a program and Styles and Riddle have faced each other. Team Smackdown seems to have Roman Reign’s attention with Jey Uso being a member. Owens and Jey had a dust up recently.

Prediction: Lee and Strowman eliminate each other leading to Raw losing but not before eliminating some of Team Smackdown. These losers will earn Reigns’s ire.


Team Raw (Nia Jaz & Shayna Baszler & Lana & Lacey Evans & Payton Royce) vs. Team Smackdown (Bianca Belair & Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan & Bayley & Natalia) – Survivor Series Elimination match

Story in a nutshell: It’s Survivor Series, the one time a year Superstars from Raw and Smackdown face each other in direct competition and members of Team Raw face Team Smackdown in an elimination match hoping to be the last team standing.

Several weeks of matches to determine the members of team Raw mattered naught when several of the original members came down with a sudden case of injury. So, this is the current permutation. Lana for eight weeks straight has been put though a table by Nia Jax. All Lana wants to do is prove herself. Over on Smackdown, Natalia was desperate to get on the team and Bayley named herself captain, a fact Belaire was none-to-pleased by.

Prediction: Belair and Bayley start a program thanks to this match. Natalia who was desperate to get a spot gets eliminated early. Lana tags herself in despite Baszler and Jax’s objection and they punish her by putting her through a table mid-match. Lana never being eliminated recovers and eliminates the last Smackdown woman becoming the sole survivor.

Bonus: On Raw, Jax and Baszler celebrate Lana’s win, apologize. Hoist Lana onto Jax’s shoulders in celebration… and gets put though a table and we never see Lana in the WWE again.


Undertaker’s Final Farewell

Story in a nutshell: Debuting at Survivor Series 1990, the Undertaker says farewell at Survivor Series 2020.

The Undertaker has had a career that has been long and storied, and there are a lot more resources out there that can do an infinitely better job of analyzing his career than I, so instead I’ll talk about the impact that the Undertaker has had on my wrestling fandom (and sometime beyond). As a kid, I believed in the Undertaker. I feared for my heroes when nothing you did could stop the undead monster. I was elated when Undertaker finally threw off the yoke of the Million Dollar Man and joined the side of the angels. I was devastated when a group of nefarious heels opened the sacred urn that (I assumed) held his soul and was defeated only for a new monster, an imposter, to take his place. I cheered his resurrection. This is why today, stories like the WWE Fiend’s, or the Undead Realm on Impact, or Lucha Underground are so appealing to me. The Undertaker always made me WANT to believe there is a fantastical world lurking on the fringes of what we know to be true. Wrestling being an “extreme” sport that draws superlative characters into its web will sometimes catch one of these creatures, whether it’s a superhuman clown, a dinosaur with a master’s degree in medieval history, a hacker that can “hack” reality, or Father James Mitchell. I wish I could say I was sad to see the passing of the Undertaker character but he’s been retiring for years now so I‘ve already “grieved”. If this is truly the end, then may he rest in peace.

Prediction: Mark Calaway has always wanted to go out on his shield, putting someone over. Survivor Series 2015 saw the Brothers of Destruction defeat the Wyatt family, yet another setback in the “push” of Bray Wyatt. The Fiend took out Kane because the Fiend remembered. The Fiend has avenged many of Wyatt’s embarrassments, Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Mick Foley (this was a Twitter feud that never made it into the ring since Foley would not be cleared), John Cena. One of the white whales, wrestlers that may have been beyond the Fiend’s reach, is the Undertaker. If the Fiend were to show up, this would be an opportune time to pass the mantle of “The Phenom” to the next supernatural ghoul.


RECOMMENDED: 11/24 WWE SURVIVOR SERIES PPV RESULTS: Keller’s report on Lesnar vs. Mysterio, Fiend vs. Bryan, Cole vs. Dunne, Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown matches

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