RAW and SmackDown Live superstars have been building to one event over the last few weeks – Survivor Series. While no titles are on the line (on the main card), almost every match holds some form of value or purpose. However, Survivor Series has seen it’s fair share of surprises and upsets in the past, and there is even more potential for betrayals and interferences on Sunday’s PPV.
With this in mind, here is a guide to Sunday’s card and the potential curve-balls that could drastically change Survivor Series and the WWE Universe.
The first three matches don’t appear to hold much potential for shocks or surprises. The Kick-Off Show starts with Enzo Amore looking to solidify his Cruiserweight Championship against Kalisto, while The Miz and Baron Corbin face off in the first of the Champion VS Champion inter-brand matches. The newly crowned RAW Tag Team Champions then take on The Usos, in a match that doesn’t have any evidence or theories to support interference (other than from The Miztourage) or betrayals either.
The following 2 matches host WWE’s RAW and SmackDown Live Women’s Division. The main surprise for the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match revolves around SmackDown Live’s 5th and final member of their team. Some rumours suggest a return for Paige, while others have said that Nikki Bella could feature.
However, there is another exciting opportunity for SmackDown Live’s women’s division in the next match, as Alexa Bliss takes on newly crowned champion: Charlotte. Most predictions see Little Miss Bliss taking the win, which could leave SmackDown Live’s champion open to attack from Carmella – if she were to cash in her Money In The Bank contract. There will be hints, that audiences could look out for, which will highlight whether Carmella is planning to cash in her opportunity. The most obvious is if Carmella gets eliminated early in the 5-on-5 Survivor Series match, pointing towards the need to protect her before a cash-in later on.
Much like the first 3 matches, The Shield VS The New Day doesn’t appear to have any obvious, or subtle, surprises or shocks to look out for. These all came prior to the PPV as the 2 brands battled and built momentum, as well as re-introducing Roman Reigns and The Shield.
The penultimate match, the Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match, hosts the potential for three main avenues that WWE creatives could have explored before the PPV.
The first option is to involve Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, betraying their brand by interfering and costing SmackDown Live a win. The brilliant aspect of this option is that it utilises heat they have picked up inside and outside the ring to develop their characters.
KO and Zayn’s development has been clear as they continue to hold an anti-establishment attitude, ever since Hell In A Cell where Sami turned heel to help Owens defeat Shane McMahon. This gives the two superstars the perfect motive to cause chaos and create an upset at Survivor Series.
The main issue though is plotting a course for the next steps. Kevin Owens VS Shane McMahon has already been done, so it’s hard to pinpoint where to go after Sunday, or who they would face at Clash of Champions, The Royal Rumble, or even WrestleMania.
The second and third options for storyline curve-balls in the Men’s Survivor Series match come in the form of Jason Jordan. Last week’s episode of RAW saw Jordan become injured by the hands of Bray Wyatt, and later replaced with Triple H; despite the pleas and tears from Jordan, RAW team captain Kurt Angle said that he couldn’t risk including his son in the showdown.
It is therefore possible that Jordan appears during the match to seek revenge for his dismissal from the team, going after either Triple H or Kurt Angle. However an alternate version of events could unfold which sees RAW winning the Survivor Series match, with Kurt Angle as the last remaining superstar. During the celebration, Jordan could enter the arena to congratulate his dad, only to betray him, with an ironic ankle lock or suplex, to set up a feud for The Royal Rumble or WrestleMania 34.
The final twist that could occur during Sunday’s PPV involves Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, and Jinder Mahal. The Modern Day Maharaja has made it more than clear that he shouldn’t be considered an experiment, and that he worked hard to develop as an athlete. WWE have a good motive to cause an upset and prevent AJ Styles from winning: it would enable the match to end without a clean win which would benefit both brands and superstars.
To @ajstylesp1, you were the better man for one night. Six months I held the #WWEChampionship, defended it countless times, all over the world. I will one day raise the title again. To my haters and wrestling "insiders", this was NOT an experiment, I am NOT injured, I have NOT violated the wellness policy. So keep throwing shade my way , it only motivates me.
The main problem with Jinder appearing is the question of what would he gain from it? Mahal already has a contracted rematch, likely to be at the next SmackDown Live PPV, Clash Of Champions. The interference would certainly create heat and build a feud to lead up to the title re-match, however it’s not necessary, and it may appear as a wasted opportunity for other superstars.
WWE won’t pass up this opportunity to capture our attention, there is too much potential to have the whole event proceed as planned. Anything is possible in the WWE Universe…
…but please let Jason Jordan come back and attempt to break Kurt Angle’s ankle!