Survivor Series 2020, ThunderDome, Orlando, Florida
As the calendar year comes to an end, WWE’s ever rolling machine steams towards the business months of its hectic schedule. Sunday sees the fourth of WWE’s ‘Big Four’ PPVs – the Survivor Series – hit the WWE Network with a special farewell to The Undertaker. Andy Spoors gives us the lowdown.
Survivor Series has always had the potential to be one of the most memorable nights of the year for wrestling fans around the world. Since its inception, the event has seen some of the most memorable moments in WWE history.
Originally, team captains would pick four other Superstars to create a five-man team and go head to head with their biggest rival, who would also select his own rival team. The ten men would go head to head in an elimination style match until one man (or one team) would remain as the sole survivor(s).
In recent years, this has given way to a battle of the brands, where Raw and SmackDown look to gain bragging rights as the show in WWE. The reason Survivor Series remains as merely potential is the lack of consequence to the night’s results.
Due to the logistical nightmare the company experienced last year after the Crown Jewel PPV is Saudi Arabia, NXT was introduced to create a three-way tussle. Disappointingly, the black and gold brand has not been added to the fray for a second year, possibly due to the ongoing Covid-19 safety precautions that has led to WWE keeping NXT Superstars separate to the rest of the roster.
Back to this year and yes, there is some form of brand supremacy, but what does that mean in the grand scheme?
Why not introduce some gravitas to the elimination matches and give the winning team the coveted number 30 entrant to the Royal Rumble? It would give some importance to the result rather than a shrug of the shoulders.
With each brand’s equivalent champions facing off against each other, there isn’t too much storyline to catch up with.
To all intents and purposes, tonight is a gimmie for WWE and its Superstars. There has been relatively little or no build to get fans invested or excited about.
Curiously, Drew McIntyre, who has lost and won the WWE Championship since our last PPV preview, faces off against Universal Champion Roman Reigns. It may be a rematch from WrestleMania 35, but both the fan expectation and the personas of both men couldn’t be more opposite from last year’s bout.
Back then the match marked Roman’s return from his battle with leukaemia and Drew was treading water. The WWE Universe simply didn’t care for the match. One of the matches awkwardly placed between Kofi Kingston’s fairy tale win and Triple H vs Batista’s I quit match. It was a toilet break for those watching.
Tonight we will see what happens when two Superstars have worked on themselves to get to the top of the show. Two bona fide main eventers at the peak of the powers. WWE hasn’t steered into that story, but depending on in ring events, it could be a rivalry revisited further down the line.
The Miz remains an added variable with his Money In The Bank briefcase, but there is only one other main event of the night guaranteed to have the WWE Universe talking.
Exactly 30 years to the day of his official on-screen debut for WWE, The Undertaker is set to deliver his final farewell. Quite what the company has in stall for the last gimmick characters and one of the greatest of all time is anyone’s guess… but expect them to go big in honour of the Deadman.
As one of the best, The Undertaker has revolutionised the business, but this is WWE after all so expect the unexpected. It is a long shot, but never say never to one final tombstone or chokeslam somewhere down the line.
For his sake, tonight could be the night The Undertaker finally rests in peace….
Rushonrock predictions & Full Match Card
WWE Champion Drew McIntyre vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns
Reese Burrows: Drew McIntyre
John Burrows: Roman Reigns (By DQ)
Andy Spoors: Roman Reigns
Raw Women’s Champion Asuka vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks
John: Sasha Banks
Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits
Reese: New Day
John: Steet Profits
Andy: Street Profits
United States Champion Bobby Lashley vs. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
Reese: Bobby Lashley
John: Sami Zayn
Andy: Bobby Lashley
5-on-5 Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Raw: WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax, Lacey Evans & Peyton Royce & Lana vs. Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Natalya & Bayley
Reese: Team Smackdown
John: Team Raw
Andy: Team Smackdown
5-on-5 Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match
Team Raw – Keith Lee, AJ Styles, Sheamus, Braun Strowman & Riddle vs. Team Smackdown – Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins & Otis
Reese: Team Raw
John: Team Smackdown
Andy: Team Smackdown
Dual-Brand Battle Royal (Kickoff Show)
Reese: Big E
John: Lars Sullivan
Andy: Big E
Images used courtesy of WWE.