Wednesday, November 22, 2023

WWE Survivor Series 2023 Preview & Predictions

Sigh.....I miss actual Survivor Series.  Remember how awesome that gimmick was?  So much fun.  Like wrestling's Pro Bowl game....

Oh, hello there!  Welcome to our WWE Survivor Series: WarGames 2023 preview!

Am I the only one who has no real interest in WWE's version of WarGames anymore?  It was fun when they brought it back in NXT because we hadn't seen it for the better part of 20 years, and in NXT's booking in 2017-2019 was so fresh and vital.  But the novelty wore off by the third year of it and now that another company does it better and stays much truer to the original concept, WWE's version just feels stilted and sanitized.  I'd be so much more excited to see Cody's Squad vs. Judgment Day as a five-on-five Survivor Series match, which I know is a lot to ask....AT SURVIVOR SERIES.

This show, like last year's, has a men's WarGames and a women's WarGames, both of which will feel interminably long and feature the same tables, chairs, kendo sticks and watered down WWE violence that, when you think about the bodily risk, is just as barbaric if not moreso than what WWE considers too barbaric (getting bludgeoned repeatedly with a kendo stick seems way more brutal to me than a controlled blade job).  The other inherent problem with two WarGames matches on one show is that the rules are structured so the heels basically *have* to get the man advantage every time or the match just doesn't work.  And that is my main gripe about WarGames in general; when Dusty came up with the concept it didn't occur to him (or maybe it did and he just didn't care) that the match has to play out with the same formula every single time.  Whenever WWE tries to circumvent the heel-man advantage the match is just a heatless clusterfuck.  So you either end up with two matches that play out the exact same way or a situation with a bad WarGames match.  Survivor Series matches are simply better; they can play out in a variety of different scenarios and the two teams don't have to have a blood feud for it to mean something.

All this to say, I'm not particularly excited about WarGames.  But let's look at the lineup.

Carlito vs. Santos Escobar

I cannot believe that in 2023 someone in WWE thought reviving a failed WCW stable from 25 years ago was a good idea - why is the LWO a thing again?  And now because Santos's main rival Rey Mysterio is on the shelf he's fighting a dude who hasn't been relevant since 2007?  Huh?  Couldn't Dragon Lee or Ricochet or Nakamura have gotten a match here instead?  Santos is waiting to fight his real enemy so I think he beats Carlito.

Pick: Santos

Women's World Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Zoey Starks

Man, they didn't even try with the two title matches on this show.  You have two dominant heel champs facing weak babyfaces who don't stand a fuckin' chance.  This will be a short throwaway and Rhea will win.

Pick: Rhea retains

Intercontinental Championship: Gunther vs. The Miz

The fuckin' Miz??  Really?  REALLY?  Fuck outta here with this shit.

Pick: Gunther retains

Women's WarGames: Damage CTRL vs. Bianca Belair/Charlotte Flair/Becky Lynch/Shotzi

I like Damage CTRL's new lineup - Iyo, Asuka, Kairi and Bayley?  That there is a superteam.  And they'll win this match as they should.  Team Bianca is a superteam except for Shotzi, who's here to eat the pin.  Here's another reason I don't like the mandatory annual WarGames thing - and it's the same reason this situation didn't work for Hell in a Cell - with blood feud-type gimmick matches there has to be a reason for everyone to want to risk life and limb by even entering this dangerous structure, and not every wrestler is well-suited for it.  Why are these eight women already at the point that they want to maim each other in a double cage match?  This whole bout just got thrown together a couple weeks ago when Kairi and Asuka decided to join Damage CTRL.  Hardly an angle worth basing a WarGames match around, am I wrong?  Another reason a traditional Survivor Series match would be much more conducive to these eight participants - the gimmick is just much more versatile and logical.  "Hey I don't like you, let's get a bunch of our friends together and have a team-up match.  Last women standing win the whole thing."  Anyway, Damage CTRL is winning here.

Pick: Bayley and friends

Men's WarGames: Cody Rhodes/Seth Rollins/Jey Uso/Randy Orton/Sami Zayn vs. Finn Balor/Drew McIntyre/Damian Priest/Dominik Mysterio/JD McDonough

Imagine how epic a Survivor Series match this would be.  Goddammit.  Anyway this Cody/Jey/Sami vs. Judgment Day thing has been going on forever and this will hopefully be the blowoff.  Match should be fine but again it will feel way too long and have too many of the same weapons spots WWE does every PPV.  Team Cody is obviously winning since it's the first time Cody gets to take part in the match his dad came up with.

Pick: Cody's squad

The other big question is, will CM Punk show up in Chicago?  The ticket buyers certainly seem to think so, since the show moved a fuckton of seats.  But if I'm a betting man I'd say no Phil.  I've been wrong before, but I just can't see a scenario where WWE, considering the massively successful year-plus they've had, would have any interest in rehiring the guy who just got fired from their competitor for starting fistfights and threatening the boss.  Why risk locker room harmony for that?

Anyway this PPV should be.....fine.  Just like last year's Survivor Series, which featured two WarGames matches and AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor, all of which was so middling it got upstaged by a US Title 3-way.  How depressing.

Thanks for reading - subscribe to our mailing list, and follow us on Twitter, MeWe, Facebook and YouTube!

No comments:

Post a Comment