W2Mnet WWE Survivor Series 2016 Preview
This year’s Survivor Series promises a lot with three Elimination Matches and two singles matches, which could greatly change each respective brand. Not to mention, a main event between two men who faced previously to not such great results. Kalisto takes on Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship in a match that has some major ramifications. Kalisto winning could change the fortunes for the Cruiserweight Division in a positive manner. Putting them on WWE Smackdown Live, instead of WWE RAW, where they are currently floundering.
Then, there’s The Miz defending the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Sami Zayn. Where if Zayn wins, the IC Title moves over to RAW. It is quite possible that WWE could switch both titles. Especially thinking they have more midcard talent to battle for both the US and IC Titles on the red brand.
After that, the three elimination matches could prove which brand is more highly thought of at the moment. Three Team RAW versus Team Smackdown Live match-ups all have their possible wins and losses.
Finally, the main event, which pits a 49 year-old Bill Goldberg against WWE’s meal ticket in Brock Lesnar. In 2004, both men were on their way out of the company. In 2016, Brock firmly has a contract and Goldberg’s performance could open him up for more down the line. This match is not only critical for both men, but for the entire event to deliver. Imagine if another Wrestlemania XX situation occurs? How would fans and critics view the show. WWE will be hoping for good things all around, as they embark upon a possible six hour plus spectacular. This is the W2Mnet WWE Survivor Series 2016 Preview.
An Introduction to the Article
As someone that has quite a bit of experience doing these roundtable type articles, I wanted to do this a bit differently than some others. Instead of having numerous people all give thoughts on each match, I felt it better to assign one match to each person. So, one of our staff members will make the case for each person winning said match, then give their thoughts on the match itself, and finally predict a winner. This continues until the end of the article, when everyone gathers to give their overall thoughts on the event.
Gary Vaughan, Co-Host of Wrestling 2 the MAX, Football Dept. Head
Patrick Ketza, W2Mnet Wrestling Senior Editor, Host of Wrestling Unwrapped
Noah Mooney, W2Mnet Wrestling, Football, and Games Contributor
Robert Rath, Host of Jobber’s Court Podcast, W2Mnet Wrestling Contributor
Rick Beslin, W2Mnet Wrestling Contributor
Aaron Earlie, W2Mnet Wrestling Contributor
Don’t forget, this show begins with two hour Pre-show, although no matches have been announced for it.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match
If Kalisto wins, the Cruiserweight Division moves to Smackdown Live
(Champion) Brian Kendrick (RAW) vs. Kalisto (Smackdown Live)
Brian Kendrick represents RAW against Smackdown Live’s Kalisto. Not only will Kendrick’s Cruiserweight Championship be up for grabs, but so will the entire Cruiserweight division. Brian Kendrick is fighting for more than just RAW, as he’s fighting to keep his place as an old veteran within a division of young athletes. This motivation should energize his veteran legs. Kendrick will do anything to win, even if it means he has to chew your arm off to retain his title. Kalisto on the other hand has his own motivations to beat Kendrick. 205 Live is coming soon to Tuesday nights. So, Kalisto could be holding the Cruiserweight title on two different branded shows with a win over Kendrick.
You can also say that Kalisto has a vested interest in bringing the Cruiserweights to Smackdown, with his good friend Sin Cara being a part of that division. Kalisto has plenty to gain with a victory. Personally, I think it makes all the sense in the world for the Cruiserweight division to go to Smackdown. Since Smackdown will be followed by 205 Live. Therefore, I think Kalisto beats Brian Kendrick for the Cruiserweight title. – Gary Vaughan
Winner AND NEW CHAMPION: Kalisto
Other staff member’s picks: Everyone else also picks Kalisto
WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
If Sami Zayn wins, the Intercontinental Championship moves to RAW
(Champion) The Miz w/ Maryse (Smackdown Live) vs. Sami Zayn (RAW)
With The Miz’s stunning (although controversial) victory over Dolph Ziggler on the 900th episode of Smackdown Live, it now becomes his task to defend the Intercontinental title against Sami Zayn. This match-up is especially interesting because should Miz lose the title, it goes to Monday Night RAW. What a coup it would be to have both mid-card titles and the Universal Title all on the same show. Before we get into the prediction, here’s a few facts about the competitors.
Tale of the Tape
• Fights on his own terms/will do anything to win.
• Excellent mic work and current “heat”
• MOTY type of matches with Dolph Ziggler leading into this match
• Has the Spirit Squad and Maryse
• 3-0 record vs. The Miz in 2016
• Outstanding crowd support
• Excellent in-ring worker
• Hasn’t been beaten one-on-one since September
So who wins? On one hand, you have an outstanding talker and one of the best mic performers in the company in the Miz. While on the other, you have a crowd favorite and excellent in-ring worker in Sami Zayn. I agree with Daniel Bryan when he says that a pure one-on-one match-up between these two competitors would favor Sami Zayn. However, unfortunately that won’t be the case in this match. The Spirit Squad and Maryse will play a role in the booking of this match.
That being said, I think that sets up for Sami Zayn to go against all odds and win. Thus, he brings the Intercontinental title to RAW. – Robert Rath
Winner AND NEW CHAMPION: Sami Zayn
Other staff member’s picks: Rick: The Miz The other four members pick: Sami Zayn
WWE Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Tag Teams
Team RAW (New Day, Anderson & Gallows, Enzo & Cass, The Shining Stars, Cesaro & Sheamus) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Rhyno & Heath Slater, The Usos, American Alpha, Breezeango, Hype Bros)
At this year’s Survivor Series, fantasy warfare just got real as the top five teams from Raw battle the top five teams from Smackdown Live.
RAW Wins If…
Raw wins if they follow the page of Anderson and Gallows. Breezango, Heath Slater and Rhyno, and the Hype Bros are on the other side. You know the goofiness is aplenty for Smackdown Live. Anderson and Gallows should set the tone and shut down all of the fun of the other teams to stifle their momentum. Sheamus should be important in tipping the heel/face dynamic with team Raw. The willingness to cheat Smackdown Live out of teams should mightily assist Raw, who already has the advantage in star power and experience.
Smackdown Live Wins If…
Smackdown Live wins if they can take out the better teams early. Enzo and Cass are known for losing on the big stage. The Club can never seem to win at PPV’s either. New Day is notorious for losing non-title matches as well. Take those teams out and force Sheamus and Cesaro to co-exist, which probably won’t happen. This would be Smackdown Live’s best opportunity to take the crown home for the blue brand. Dictate the pace with the younger, fresher legs and Smackdown Live may win this going away.
The Match Winner
For this match, I expect early comedy, lots of dives, and a finisher buffet at some point. Expect the following teams to be ousted early: Shining Stars, Breezango, and The Hype Bros. Each team should have a signature moment. I believe American Alpha is the last team standing taking out New Day to win it for Smackdown Live. – Aaron Earlie
Winners: Team Smackdown Live (Survivors: American Alpha)
Most Eliminations: Tie between The Club and American Alpha (2)
Other staff member’s picks: Rick & Gary, Team RAW Robert, Patrick & Noah: Team Smackdown Live
WWE Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Women’s
Team RAW (Alicia Fox, Charlotte, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sasha Banks) vs. Team Smackdown Live (Carmella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Nikki Bella)
So, how long has it been since we’ve had a worthwhile Women’s Survivor Series match? Not one that can end in under 10 minutes (looking at you, Survivor Series 2008. But one that may go over 20 minutes (see: original Survivor Series). For the first time possibly ever, we have that here with Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown. A loaded match in a loaded card featuring both women’s champions. Their top rivals. Friends, enemies, and everything else you can smash into a ten women tag.
The Match Winner
The question becomes who wins? Well, both teams are chaotic. Team Raw has a champion/captain who really can’t trust anyone in her team. Smackdown could very easily take the match due to Raw’s lack of real leadership that can come out at any point. However, Team Smackdown also has 2 sets of rivals on their team, both of which could spark at any moment. Remember, Alexa Bliss still wants her title match after what happened in Glasgow. Carmella can’t be trusted anywhere near Nikki Bella. There’s a ton of combustible elements that just need a spark. An errant elbow, a blind tag, anything. If any of those spark, Raw easily takes advantage. For me, that’s what gets the RAW team the win- Patrick Ketza
Winners: Team RAW (Survivors: Sasha Banks and Bayley)
Most Eliminations: Becky Lynch (2)
Other staff member’s picks: Noah & Robert: Team RAW, Aaron, Rick & Gary: Team Smackdown Live
WWE Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Men’s
Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman) vs. Team Smackdown Live (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, Shane McMahon)
The Traditional Survivor Series match between the men of Raw and Smackdown Live is star-studded. The match contains legends, current superstars and rising stars. On paper, the match contains all the elements to be a show-stealer. Determining the victor of this match is not an easy process, as many subplots are present for the match itself along with the outcome’s consequences. For example, Stephanie McMahon has declared that if Team Raw loses, the members of the team’s jobs would be in jeopardy. On the other side, the Undertaker recently informed Team Smackdown that if they lose their will be major consequences he will dish out.
RAW Wins If…
Then, within the match itself, Braun Strowman is a major wild card as his involvement is unknown. Whether it is dominating Team Smackdown or Bray Wyatt getting into his head and forcing him to turn on Team RAW. Then, we have Shane McMahon who is bound to do something mind-boggling and dangerous. This match has the personnel to be a blockbuster slugfest, and the intrigue to have some truly shocking moments. Not to mention, a surprising outcome.
Predicting this match is difficult, as both teams have plausible reasons for winning. Vince McMahon has always cared more about Raw than Smackdown. Hence why Raw winning is a likely outcome to prove their superiority to Smackdown. Braun Strowman should have a breakout performance where he is made to look like a monster. Possibly even eliminating multiple Smackdown competitors.
Also, you have Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins working together again. They are sure to dominate due to the respect the Shield receives. Finally, Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho always find a way to squeak out a win, which could happen with KO being the final member of Team Raw receiving assistance from an eliminated Jericho to help him get the win for Raw.
Smackdown Live Wins If…
While Raw seems like a clear option to win, Smackdown has their own claims to stake as to why they should leave Survivor Series the dominant brand. Smackdown Live has been having very good shows consistently, and if WWE really wants to take advantage of the show and attempt to get more viewers, what better way than to have Smackdown Live defeat Raw? Not only will that prove Smackdown Live is worth watching to casual viewers, but with most people expecting a Raw win, this would create a shock.
They have the talent to make the win seem legitimate, with AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose being the franchise players. Bray Wyatt is the wild card on the blue side that will have a huge impact whether by manipulating Braun Strowman or leading Randy Orton to do some vicious things. Shane McMahon will show his heart and perform a daredevil stunt to try and propel his brand past Raw.
The Match Winner
While both teams have the opportunity to win, Smackdown Live will be the team that gets the victory. This will be done to create a shock factor as most people suspect it will be Raw. This way, Smackdown Live gets more credibility and potentially even some misused talents to jump ship to their brand, such as Cesaro, Sami Zayn, or Neville.
Winners: Smackdown Live (Survivor: AJ Styles)
Most Eliminations: Braun Strowman (3)
Other staff member’s picks: Rick: Team Smackdown Live other four staff members pick: Team RAW
Main Event Grudge Match
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
Goldberg Wins If…
Goldberg could win this thing just to promote Goldberg. The mere fact that the WWE convinced him to come back for this could mean he’s winning. Add in that one of his principal motivators to return was so that his son could see him wrestle, losing may not be an option for Bill Goldberg.
Brock Wins If…
If anyone read my debut article for this website you’ll know exactly what I think needs to happen in this match. Brock Lesnar is the standard bearer in the WWE. Ever since ending the streak and going on an absolute tear no one should beat Brock Lesnar until the time is right. It’s my belief that Brock’s eventual loss could create the next great superstar and losing to Goldberg here will diminish that feat.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Other staff member’s picks: Everyone else also picked Brock Lesnar
Overall Thoughts Part 1
I have high hopes for this WWE Network Special. WWE has not had a “stinker” for a special this whole year and I don’t think they’ll drop the ball here. You get three Survivor Series Elimination tag matches and three solid singles matches on this show. I think even with the injury, we will see a better performance from Brock and Goldberg then we saw in 2004. However, it will not be a Match of the Year type of match. I expect to see a few stars born on this show, one is Braun Strowman. His booking has been slow, but his monster “loner” run has been good so far. I also expect American Alpha to come out of the PPV with a lot of momentum. Let’s hope my expectations hold up for this one. – Robert Rath
I am looking forward to this ppv. It should be interesting how the two brands interact with each other. The traditional survivor series matches all look like they have potential, and can explore many different scenarios between the participants involved. There is also a couple matches (the IC and the Cruisers) that have a lot at stake and can really change things for either brand. Whatever happens this PPV should be fun – Rick Beslin
four…damn…hours… we said Wrestlemania was too long. We said Summerslam was too long as well. Now, we have six matches and a four hour window (not counting preshow, otherwise it’s 6 hours). Make no mistake, this is still a loaded card. I’d expect all three Survivor Series matches to go 30 minutes, with the tag team match going over 40. In the end, I do think Smackdown takes the tag, but Raw takes the men’s and women’s matches. Of course the ACTUAL A show takes it. Just, don’t whine when EVERYONE says the show is too long. – Patrick Ketza
Overall Thoughts Part 2
Survivor Series is one of the WWE’s big four pay-per-view events. They certainly tried to prove that this year. The event is based around which brand is the superior brand, along with a main event pitting Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg. This show will have four hours to put forward a strong performance. However, I wrote about this earlier this month, and I still feel it will fall short. While the undercard should put forward good matches, the Traditional Survivor Series matches and the main event will slow the event down.
Sami Zayn and The Miz battling for the Intercontinental Title will be a good to great match. So, will Bran Kendrick vs. Kalisto for the Cruiserweight Title. However, the Women’s and Tag Team’s elimination matches will be big and clumsy. Also, when one is over, the outcome of the other should be obvious. This leads to a lack of intrigue. Come the third and final Elimination match, the novelty will have worn off and people won’t want to see a third one.
So, with two good title matches, two mediocre elimination matches and a exciting last elimination match. This leads to the main event, which will be a huge flop. Goldberg is 49 and doesn’t look to be in near as good shape as he was in at his height. Even if he was at his height, these two need great performers to help them in matches. The match will be a boring, slow bout, which ends Survivor Series on a wimper. The show will be looked back on with a few good matches, but an overall mediocre event with a horrendous finale. – Noah Mooney