These predictions were made with no help from the betting lines because I’m not a cheater, nor a dirty, rotten, filthy, stinkin’ whore of a man. In other words, I’m guessing just like you are. Join me for live coverage of WWE Survivor Series beginning with the Kickoff Show at 4CT/5ET. Dot Net Members will have exclusive access to the audio review that Jake Barnett and I will record after the show. Join us on the ad-free version of Prowrestling.net to gain access to over nine years of audio content via the Dot Net Members’ Signup Page.
When it comes to the traditional “Big Four” WWE pay-per-view events, the Survivor Series typically rates as my least favorite. The early versions featured nothing but elimination matches. And while some of those matches were better than others, the matches often felt inconsequential with no titles on the line. Things are actually worse now that it’s all about brand pride. The vast majority of fans don’t have a favorite brand, they have favorite wrestlers.
Despite all of this, I am truly looking forward to the 2017 version of Survivor Series. WWE took a match that no one cared about in Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal and turned it into a true dream match in Lesar vs. AJ Styles. And while I still don’t give a damn about brand pride, the men’s elimination match is loaded, and many of the undercard matches feel fresh and unique. This has the potential to be a strong show and the Lesnar vs. Styles match alone makes it feel must see.
WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion AJ Styles in a non-title match: As great as this match can be, I do not expect and nor should there be a clean finish. If there is one, this needs to be an epic back and forth match with Styles pushing Lesnar to the limit before losing. However, it seems more likely that Jinder Mahal will show up and cause a distraction or directly interfere in a manner that sets up Lesnar going over. It may seem a little flat, but it beats the alternative of Brock simply going over with an F5 and establishing the WWE Championship as inferior. WWE officials should want their top titles to feel equally important, so this is one case where a cheap finish makes a lot of sense.
Brock Lesnar wins.
Team Raw (Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Triple H) vs. Team Smackdown (Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, John Cena) in a Survivor Series elimination match: Many of my picks are made based on the assumption that WWE is going to want to keep the win count fairly even. And while it looks like Team Raw is more loaded and some of its wrestlers needs more protecting than the Smackdown crew, they can protect Strowman by having Kane take him out of the match. Angle or Hunter could eliminate one another or, of course, Jason Jordan could interfere and cost his storyline father the match. Even Balor and Joe could end up fighting one another to further their feud while also taking them out of the match. For that matter, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn could play a role in some of the Smackdown wrestlers being eliminated. I hope there’s not that much interference, but the point is that it’s not as simple as predicting a Raw win simply because the monster Strowman is on their team.
Team Smackdown wins.
Team Raw (Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Asuka, Sasha Banks, Bayley) vs. Team Smackdown (Becky Lynch, Naomi, Carmella, Tamina, Natalya) in a Survivor Series elimination match: I see this match as a great opportunity to spotlight Asuka. Sure, they could script a meltdown between Asuka and Jax to get them both out of the match and into a feud, but it seems premature to go there. Thus, I’m going with the red brand in an Asuka showcase.
Team Raw wins.
“The Shield” Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose vs. “The New Day” Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods: I can’t say the storyline build to this match did anything for me. Yes, New Day’s distraction led to Rollins and Ambrose losing the Raw Tag Titles, but it wasn’t like they set out to cost them the match. The finish was done in a way where it felt like either team could have taken advantage of that distraction, but Sheamus and Cesaro were the smarter of the two teams. Despite this, it should be a fun match once the bell rings. Part of the motivation of putting The Shield back together is getting fans to cheer Reigns. So why in the world would they book him in a match where he’s likely to be booed whenever he’s in the ring against one of the popular New Day trio? New Day can absorb the loss better than the dominant Shield trio this early in their reunion.
The Shield win.
Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte in a non-title match: Charlotte is the face of women’s wrestling in WWE. Bliss is a really fun character and a terrific promo, but she’s also a pest heel who can lose the match and look vulnerable in her future title defenses. In other words, there’s no reason to protect Bliss in this match when a loss actually plays into the way her character is presented.
Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. U.S. Champion Baron Corbin in a non-title match: I’m happy they stuck with one heel vs. heel match. The awkward nature of the match makes it strangely appealing even though the actual match itself may not be pretty. I don’t have a strong feeling about the outcome, but since I believe they want to keep the win count as even as they can and I need a Raw win based on what I’m predicting elsewhere, I’m going with the Intercontinental Champion to win in cheap fashion. That said, they could easily flip the outcomes of this match and the tag match below.
The Miz wins.
Raw Tag Champions Sheamus and Cesaro vs. Smackdown Tag Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in a non-title match: It feels like I missed a week of television when the Usos became babyfaces and Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable became heels. Anyway, I was looking forward to seeing Ambrose and Rollins face The Usos, but this match is equally appealing. Here’s hoping the teams get enough time to deliver the strong match they are capable of. The prediction comes down to the win count again. If I’m off on one the big matches in terms of which brand wins, then there will be a trickle down effect and my predictions will crumble like a house of cards.
The Usos win.
Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship (Kickoff Show): I can’t fake enthusiasm for this match or the needlessly long two-hour Kickoff Show. Why does this company continue to take the “more is better” approach? Granted, no one is forcing fans to watch the full pre-show, but I don’t really understand how the extra hour benefits the company in any way. Yes, there can be too much of a good thing and I’d say that a six-hour show fits that description. As for the outcome, does it even matter? Turn over the cruiserweight division creative to someone who actually cares about it and won’t treat it like the afterthought that it clearly is now.
Enzo Amore retains the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
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