Since the inception of this PPV I've been a huge sucker for the big elimination matches (as I've mentioned at least once or twice on this site), and if RAW vs. Smackdown is the only way to get Vince to care about the gimmick, then so be it. But we also have four big Champion vs. Champion matches, all of which have real potential. On paper, even with this week's changes, Survivor Series looks like the main roster's strongest lineup all year. I've already gone into the potential ramifications of Daniel Bryan's WWE Title win so check out that column.
Let's get to the picks.
***Guess who just took the lead, bitches! I have pulled ahead with 67% (61/91), Dan's close behind with 66% (60/91), and Dave & Landon are tied at 64% (58/91).***
Pre-Show Tag Teams Elimination Match: Bobby Roode/Chad Gable, The Revival, The B-Team, Lucha House Party & The Ascension vs. The New Day, The Usos, SAnitY, The Club & The Colons
I'm a little sad this got bumped to the pre-show, as I love the tag team elimination matches when they do them. The 2016 edition was a fine throwback to the old school Survivor Series shows, and hopefully this will get enough time to be that as well. Sadly the tag division on RAW is a shambles, with essentially five jobber teams. Thus Smackdown should run away with this match. New Day and Usos ought to both be survivors. This'll be fine if it gets time to breathe.
Justin: Team Smackdown
Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy vs. Mustafa Ali
This should also get bumped to the pre-show since it has zero to do with the RAW vs. SD theme and only the 205 Live niche gives a shit. I'm sure the match will be fine, no disrespect to the cruisers, but the company brass obviously don't care about this division so why should I? Murphy just won this belt so he keeps it here.
Justin: (channeling Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar) Come on, Murph....
Dan: I've never heard of these men. But I'm going with Murphy because of Robocop.
Landon: Murphy retains
Dave: I guess the champ wins.
Authors of Pain vs. The Bar
It's the RAW tag champs vs. the SD tag champs, and this should be a smashmouth kinda match. Four power broker brawlers who like to fight stiff. I can dig it. This shouldn't go much more than 10-12 minutes of nonstop fighting.
Justin: I'll go with Cesaro & Sheamus
Dan: AOP. Because why not?
Landon: Authors of Pain. RAW's gotta be strong, bro.
Dave: Authors of Pain
Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This could steal the show if booked well and given enough time. This is a major dream match I've been waiting for since Nak arrived. If anyone can bring out Shinsuke's best, it's Seth. Obviously Dean Ambrose is gonna figure into this somehow and will likely cost Seth the match. But these fireworks will be fun while they last.
Justin: Nakamura by hook or crook
Women's Elimination Match: Mickie James, Nia Jax, Tamina Snuka, Natalya & Ruby Riott vs. Asuka, Naomi, Carmella, Sonya Deville and TBA
Charlotte was originally supposed to be in this one but was tapped to replace Becky Lynch against Ronda (Thanks a lot, Nia). So one spot on Team Smackdown is still up for grabs. I hope they make an outside the box decision here as opposed to just plopping someone like Mandy Rose on the team. Ember Moon really deserves to be in this match so having her jump to SD would be a nice surprise. Or Sasha perhaps. They could also call up an NXT star, who knows? Either way, you never bet against the team with a mystery partner.
Justin: Team Smackdown
Dan: I'm betting against the mystery partner
Dave: Sure, Smackdown
Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair
Well it's not the red-hot Ronda-Becky match we were supposed to get, but Ronda vs. Charlotte is about as good a substitute as we could've hoped for (barring Asuka getting this match). Charlotte is mechanically a bit more accomplished than Becky so in that regard this may be a better match than that would've been. But I think we'll see Ronda vs. Becky at 'Mania instead, and now they have four additional months to build to it.
Justin: Ronda's obviously winning here
Dave: Ronda of course
Men's Elimination Match: Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Finn Balor & Bobby Lashley vs. The Miz, Samoa Joe, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy & Shane McMahon
It's nonsensical than AJ Styles didn't just take Daniel Bryan's spot in this match. Why the fuck does Shane need to be an active participant? Sit this one out, old man. Regardless there's enough talent here to make this a fine elimination match, and unlike last year this won't come down to a bunch of legacy stars at the end. Team RAW is far more dominant so I think they win here. My one ask is that Finn Balor lasts deep into the match. Throw the guy a fuckin' bone, will ya?
Justin: Team RAW
Dan: Why the hell is Shane in there? I hope he gets slapped right in his stupid face. RAW.
Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan
Well, after four-plus years of waiting, we're finally getting the Brock-Bryan match they'd planned for SummerSlam 2014. That was intended to be the squash Brock vs. Cena ended up being, but I don't wanna see something like that here. Daniel Bryan just won the WWE Tilte AND turned heel, so this needs to be roughly as competitive as Brock vs. AJ was last year. Brock won't be hurt by giving Bryan some offense and nearfalls. I don't need Bryan to win, although heel Bryan cheating like crazy and stealing a victory with a small package would be BOSS. Or Strowman could cost Brock the match, that'd be okay too. Bryan just needs to not look like a total geek.
Justin: My heart says D-Bryan, cuz I see sumthin' in him, but I can't bet against Brock
Dan: Brock. Obviously.
That's your Survivor Series lineup. Seriously, if they don't fuck it up, this could be the WWE PPV of the year. They'll almost certainly fuck up something about it, they always do, but if we get something at least as good as Series 2016 I'll be happy.
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