Winner: Team RAW
Team RAW (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman) vs. Team Smackdown Live (AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose, Shane McMahon and Bray Wyatt)
Sorry, but I still would have preferred Corbin in McMahon’s place, simply because this may have been a bigger venue for Corbin, and I haven’t been a fan of McMahon’s in-ring work, because he’s not really a mat-worker so much as he is a stunt-man. All that being said, I’m really looking forward to this match just because of the combinations we could see here. Styles and Rollins. Reigns and Ambrose. Wyatt and Strowman. Orton and Owens. You name it. This match feels important because of the brand supremacy bragging rights that go behind it. What I’ll be looking for in this match is seeing how WWE builds towards future matches and feuds within these two teams. They’ve been teasing something with Jericho and Owens, Rollins and Reigns seem to be on the same page for the first time since their Shield days, and they’ve built Braun as this tower of strength that has yet to be compromised. Meanwhile on Smackdown’s side, we already know AJ will be defending his WWE Title against Dean in a TLC match at TLC, so it will be intriguing to see if AJ costs team Smackdown the match. Shane is really just there for name-brand purposes, and Orton and Wyatt, I assume will be resuming their feud realtively soon. As for this match though, just on paper, I can’t see how Smackdown beats RAW. They’ve built Roman up as a superhero, inquenchable monster, just like Braun Strowman. In addition, you have Seth Rollins, the first overall pick in the draft who’s been on a quest to take away Owens’ Universal Title and Jericho, the man who actually beat the current WWE Champion at WrestleMania this year.
On the other side, you have AJ Styles, perhaps WWE’s best performer this year. Shane McMahon, who’s not really a ring talent subbed in for Baron Corbin at the last minute, and I don’t see what value he brings to the team in terms of in-ring work and getting eliminations. We shall see. Ambrose is a tough customer as is Orton and Wyatt, but the latter two have fallen off a peg this year. From a storyline standpoint, RAW should also be considered the favorites because Stephanie McMahon put their jobs in jeopardy should they not come away with a victory. The Undertaker issued a similar warning to Team Smackdown, but that in all likelihood was meant so that they could build to a match between Undertaker and the man who costs Team Smackdown the match, and that man in all likelihood will be AJ Styles if there’s any. This match feels important, organic, and I like it. In the war between RAW and Smackdown, I say that team RAW comes away victorious on this night with a win for the men’s team. (I actually saw someone predict that Ellsworth superkicks Strowman to give Team Smackdown the win for squashing him on RAW a few months ago. Interesting.)
Winner: Team RAW
Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman)
Can we really label this match as fantasy warfare if they’ve already faced before? Now, these two really don’t have beef with each other as this match was really used as a selling point for WWE 2K17. I’m happy that Goldberg is returning, because he’s doing it for the fans. I’m happy that these two will be facing off in a WrestleMania rematch, but to be honest, I think the match will flop. Upon seeing Goldberg since his return, he’s looked very shaky in the ring, falling down after a knee to the gut to Rusev, sweating profusely before throwing one punch, and he’s come out since that altercation and has said that he feels sore, so I think it will be safe to assume that Lesnar will be carrying the match. I hope that Goldberg gets a practice match in or something to get him more accustomed to the ring again, even if it is for one match, because Lesnar is a hard hitter. Now, if logic tells us anything, Lesnar is winning this match. Why? Because Lesnar is not going to drop a second straight match to a 49 year old version of Goldberg, AND he’s been booked as an unstoppable beast. So the winner won’t be in question. What I’m looking for is who the crowd will be cheering for, because Vince has seemed to make a concerted effort to make sure the crowd chants for Goldberg, so hopefully Canada will follow suit, though a part of me believes that the crowd will hijack the match just for old time’s sake.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
I’m genuinely excited for Survivor Series weekend. Should be a weekend of fun festivities. Until next time. Deuces.