Ahh, Survivor Series. The only time of the year where the RAW and Smackdown rosters go head to head. Except for the Royal Rumble. And the RAW vs. Smackdown World Cup at Crown Jewel. And the Evolution Battle Royal. But other than that, yeah, RAW and Smackdown hate each other. So in light of a few impromptu last minute changes, altering some of the top matches on the card, how will this Sunday pan out? Let’s find out.
10 on 10 Traditional Elimination Tag Team Match
I personally do not care about this match, and WWE evidently doesn’t either seeing as how it got the pre-show slot. RAW’s tag team division is pretty sad to see. Chad Gable and Bobby Roode have done literally nothing as a tag team, and play this game of “maybe one will turn, and maybe one won’t” each week and trade wins and losses with The Ascension. The B-Team is literally just comedy. The Revival have been embarrassingly awful for 2018 through no fault of their own and Lucha House Party was probably put on RAW just for the sake of pity. There’s no reason that Team Smackdown shouldn’t come away with the victory. Not that it matters anyway. Score one for Smackdown.
Winner: Team Smackdown
Buddy Murphy (C) vs. Mustafa Ali – Cruiserweight Championship
In the only title match of the night, Buddy Murphy, who won the Cruiserweight Title in an emotional moment at Super Showdown will defend against one of 205 Live’s standouts, Mustafa Ali. If you guys saw their No Disqualification match earlier this year, you’d know that these two have developed a special chemistry. You just have to wonder if they’ll be given the time they need to adequately tell their story and deliver like we know they can. Buddy Murphy was able to get a four-star (or maybe higher) quality match out of Cedric Alexander and that match was just over 10 minutes. I’m hoping we can get something similar here, but I won’t hold my breath. Buddy just won the title, and Mustafa doesn’t need it now.
Winner: Buddy Murphy
The Authors of Pain (RAW) vs. The Bar (Smackdown) w/Big Show
The Authors of Pain haven’t really done anything before their handicap title win. Beforehand, they were booked as two indestructible forces. I’m not sure if a loss hurts them here, but I don’t think they’ll be losing either. The Bar will probably have The Big Show in their corner, but I think that The Authors of Pain will have a workaround and Drake Maverick may do something to give them the victory. There’s no heat behind this, so it’s highly doubtful I’ll care. This gives RAW their first victory, evening it at one apiece so far.
Winner: Authors of Pain
Team RAW (Ruby Riott, Natayla, Nia Jax, Tamina, Mickie James) vs. Team Smackdown (Asuka, Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville and TBD) – 5 on 5 Women’s Elimination Tag Team Match
Team RAW is probably one of the most randomly selected Survivor Series teams ever. The team is four heels with one face, and one of the members of the team mocked the other’s dead dad. So I’m not sure what captain Alexa Bliss was thinking, but whatever. Nia Jax is tremendously clumsy, Tamina’s splash looks like a cat falling out of a tree, Mickie is more or less past her prime and Ruby, well, has a lot of tattoos. None of the members of Team Smackdown are particularly noteworthy outside of Asuka despite the fact she hasn’t accomplished much outside her Royal Rumble victory that resulted in a WrestleMania loss. I am interested to see how Sonya Deville takes advantage of the spot because she’s someone that has been neglected so far in her main roster run. I don’t know who the remaining team member for Smackdown will be, but I’m thinking it’ll end up being either Lana or Zelina Vega.
Whatever the case, I think Team Smackdown comes away with the victory purely because of Asuka alone. I think Team RAW has too many agendas to cohesively work together. Team RAW for the women has won the past two Survivor Series matches anyways. 2-1 Smackdown so far.
Winner: Team Smackdown
Seth Rollins (RAW) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (Smackdown)
It’s a shame this match isn’t talked about more, but I think Shinsuke Nakamura’s neutering of his main roster run has resulted in some of the excitement of this match being watered down. Seth Rollins, by far, has been 2018’s best in-ring performer. He’s made this year about getting quality matches out of anybody he’s worked with, be on it PPV or Smackdown. Shinsuke’s run hasn’t been all that hot and you’ll be hard-pressed to find a match from his main roster run that you’d like to watch over again in its entirety. But, Shinsuke does remain one of the world’s top in ring performers, and there’s absolutely no reason why this match shouldn’t be awesome.
What also makes this matchup intriguing is that it genuinely feels new and fresh. Seth and Shinsuke have never met face to face because of the brand split, and if there’s one benefit of the Survivor Series PPV, it gives us the opportunity to have matches that we’d only otherwise get to simulate on WWE 2K. This match could decide which brand wins the night, and since I think it’s going to be RAW, I’m picking Seth Rollins to win. Any logical person would tell you that Shinsuke needs the win more, and he does. The match is a toss-up, and the winner isn’t obvious, but I think Seth will win in a hard-fought match. We are all tied at 2-2.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Ronda Rousey (RAW) vs. Charlotte (Smackdown)
Well, we were expecting Ronda Rousey and Charlotte for WrestleMania, but because of Nia Jax’s clumsiness, that match will probably be on hold until Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. While I’m sure we all wanted that match this Sunday, this could be a great opportunity to build up the Ronda/Becky match into something more special. Besides, you couldn’t ask for a better consolation for Ronda’s replacement opponent than Charlotte. I still think this match will be good. The greatest reason for my excitement of this match is because Ronda is finally in the ring with a superstar who you believe can go head to head with her. Stephanie McMahon isn’t even a part-time performer. Nia Jax is a pretty bad performer. Alexa Bliss doesn’t match up with her physically and always need backup. Same deal with Nikki Bella.
Charlotte is a 7 time Women’s Champion, and she has a great pedigree. She also ended Asuka’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. Ronda won’t be able to simply just dominate Charlotte with her MMA skills. She’s going to have work a different style, and Charlotte is going to force Ronda to out-wrestle and out-maneuver her. It should be interesting to see how Ronda adapts to that different kind of opponent. I personally think Ronda will win here, because I did believe Ronda would have defeated Becky (even though I thought she shouldn’t have). And in WWE’s eyes, Ronda losing to Becky’s replacement may make her look weak. It shouldn’t because it’s Charlotte. She may be a bland character and have questionable mic skills, but her ring performances stand for itself. I greatly look forward to a hard-fought match. RAW goes up 3-2.