If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times: Survivor Series is the one time a year (total lie) where Raw and SmackDown go head-to-head in competition.
But what about NXT?
WWE’s third brand has TakeOver: WarGames the previous night, which is sure to be great, but I can’t help but wonder every year what would happen if WWE were to up the ante and transform the Survivor Series card into a Triple Threat scenario by letting the developmental roster test their luck.
So, without further ado, I present to you a fantasy scenario of what I feel would be happening if this year’s Survivor Series allowed for the inclusion of NXT to fight against Raw and SmackDown for brand supremacy.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa vs. Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles
I’m a huge fan of Ciampa, but there is absolutely no way in hell he would come out of this match the winner. Absolutely not. No question. No debate. It’s not happening.
If this were nearly anybody else in the company representing Raw other than Lesnar, he would have a distinct shot, though.
For instance, say the belt was on Braun Strowman. They could avoid having him look bad by putting him on the outside of the ring while Ciampa stole a pin over Styles in the hopes to build a future feud between the two once he graduated to the main roster.
With Lesnar, nobody stands a chance, ever, because WWE protects him at all possible times, even if he’s supposed to be leaving the company for other endeavors. He would never lose to someone the size of Ciampa and put over NXT in the process. Never.
+ 1 for Raw
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch
Again, NXT would be in a rough spot here as Ronda Rousey is in a similar position to Lesnar, albeit in a much less annoying way.
She’s undefeated since her debut and she’ll remain undefeated until at least WrestleMania, for sure, so even Becky Lynch won’t take her down.
What’s interesting is that the relationship between Shayna Baszler and Rousey would provide for either a double-team with Rousey looking like a heel and cementing Lynch even more as a fan favorite, or we’d see the collapse of The Four Horsewomen as Rousey and Baszler actually fought it out.
I feel like if this were a thing, WWE would have purposely avoided having the belt on Baszler just for this and kept it on Kairi Sane so she could take the loss, rather than do anything Baszler vs. Rousey just yet.
Ultimately, Rousey would win save in all scenarios except one, in my mind: the Baszler surprise turn. That’s the only way someone other than Rousey would come out on top.
+1 for Raw
NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed ERA vs. AOP vs. The Bar
If WWE had pushed The Authors of Pain from the onset as the top beasts on Raw, I’d be writing this off as a guaranteed victory on their part, but that isn’t the case.
The Bar would be ranked #3 for sure. That’s a given. Then, it’s just a matter of whether WWE would want to keep the investment in The Undisputed ERA alive, or use them as the second-place team who loses, but doesn’t take the pin.
I could certainly see a situation where this match was one WWE wouldn’t mind going to NXT through some kind of shenanigans with all four members of The Undisputed ERA taking advantage of the numbers game and capturing the victory by pinning Sheamus or Cesaro, while keeping Akam and Rezar strong similar to the Strowman situation mentioned above.
That way, when they’d come up post-WrestleMania, they’d have a lot more momentum as a stable.
+ 1 for NXT
North American Champion Ricochet vs. Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
I remain adamant that Seth Rollins is losing this match due to interference from Dean Ambrose solely to further that story and not to give any kind of boost to Shinsuke Nakamura whatsoever.
With that in mind, there would be no need for Nakamura to get the win in WWE’s eyes. He’s not there to be the focal point. He’s just a prop for Rollins to tumble with before The Lunatic Fringe strikes.
Done well enough, an Ambrose distraction could lead to Rollins exiting the match and brawling on the outside while Ricochet and Nakamura continued to fight and Ricochet would pull out the win, giving fans some joy even if Rollins was screwed out of his fair end of the match.
+ 1 for NXT
Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown vs. Team NXT
We don’t know the full team for Raw right now, but the most likely options for the two empty spots are Bobby Lashley, Elias, Finn Balor, Kurt Angle (somehow), Baron Corbin and MAYBE Apollo Crews.
We also don’t know who WWE would pick for Team NXT, but we can narrow down the field for that, too.
Champions are excluded. Some people like Fabian Aichner aren’t as big of a deal, so they’d be skipped. I’d even argue that Matt Riddle and Keith Lee would be overlooked because they’re too new and they wouldn’t want them to lose yet. Basically, I come up with the possible team members being Adam Cole (if he’s not in either tag match), Aleister Black, EC3, Johnny Gargano, Kassius Ohno, Lars Sullivan, Pete Dunne and Velveteen Dream.
I’d almost eliminate Cole out of necessity to have him appear in the tag matches, and I think Ohno would be pushed aside. Then, it’s just a matter of whether or not WWE would prefer to have NXT UK in the mix with Pete Dunne or to go with Black, EC3, Gargano, Sullivan and Dream.
Those six potentials make up one hell of a team in any combination, and I’d love to see how they would fair against Raw and SmackDown and which people would get surprise pins over others. How would Rey Mysterio match up with Gargano? What would Dolph Ziggler and Velveteen Dream do together? Daniel Bryan was EC3’s mentor when he was Derrick Bateman, so could we see a reference to that? Chicks and America!
Ultimately, NXT wouldn’t win this battle. There is too much invested in the bigger names for all of them on Raw and SmackDown to go under and for the underdog story to be told here.
+ 1 for Raw or SmackDown
Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown vs. Team NXT
Again, we don’t know Raw’s squad, nor who would be on Team NXT, but we can narrow down the field a bit.