Friday, November 25, 2022

WWE Survivor Series: WarGames Preview & Predictions

This weekend it's WWE Survivor Series: WarGames edition!  Seems like an odd mashup of the main roster and NXT November shows, but for the first time in a few years I'm actively curious to see what the company does with what used to be my favorite gimmick PPV.

I gotta say, I think I'd be more excited if these two big matches were just old-fashioned Survivor Series elimination bouts.  WarGames is a cool concept but it's very one-dimensional and they kinda all go the same way.  One of the inherent flaws in Dusty Rhodes's brainchild is the bit where one team has a one-man advantage - such a format necessitates that the heels win the coin toss or the qualifying match every single time, in order to create heat and drama (When WWE has tried to subvert this trope it never works).  WWE could rectify this by adding one person from each team simultaneously throughout the match, to create more possibilities for how the match progresses.  But what do I know?  Anyway, both of these WarGames matches should be quite good given the talent involved, plus we have a huge singles rematch five years in the making, with Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles battling for Bullet Club leader supremacy (Kenny would smoke 'em both, incidentally).

But let's look at the lineup....

Smackdown Women's Championship: Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi

Not sure why Shotzi is the challenger here, as she has a snowball's chance in Orlando of winning.  This will likely be short and one-sided.

Pick: Ronda retains

US Championship: Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory

Heh, remember when Theory was supposed to be the next coming of John Cena?  Good times.  Then they had him cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase for a title he'd already held.  And he came up short.  Pure dipshittery on ice.  It's possible he wins it here anyway, but man am I glad he's no longer being pushed like the next "it" guy.  I really just don't see anything special with him, aside from his being good looking.  I don't think Lashley wins the title here because he's likely heading for a rematch with Brock, so it's either Seth retaining or Austin winning the belt back.  Eh, I'll go with Seth.

Pick: Seth retains

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

These two had a splendid bout back in 2017, a last-minute replacement for Finn vs. Bray Wyatt, and it ended up stealing the show.  Finn won that round so I think AJ wins this one.  Should be pretty great.

Pick: AJ Styles

Women's WarGames: Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim & TBD vs. Damage CTRL, Rhea Ripley & Nikki Cross

Lotta damn good wrestlers in this match, so it should be quite good.  TBD is gonna be either Becky Lynch or Sasha Banks I reckon, more likely the former.  With that in mind conventional wisdom would be for Becky's team to win, but they also need more challengers for Bianca's title, most probably Rhea Ripley.  So I'll pick the heels here.

Pick: Team Rips

Men's WarGames: The Bloodline vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens & The Brawling Brutes

Again, lotta good talent in this match.  This is almost certainly about building challengers for Roman over the next few months until he clashes with either The Rock or Cody at 'Mania.  So I'll pick the babyfaces in this one.  But either WarGames could go either way with little repercussions.

Pick: Babyfaces

It's a nice, streamlined five-match show that will hopefully fly by.  There's a good possibility this ends up one of the better all-time Survivor Series shows, but again, I'd be happier if these two big bouts were traditional elimination rules.

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