Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Survivor Series 2018 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan = Lukewarm / Cold
I didn’t care to see the rematch with AJ Styles, but turning Daniel Bryan heel feels like it’s going to be a big mistake to me and it goes against any semblance of logic for this match.
Now we have a heel Bryan against a heel Lesnar? Why? They love the underdog story and yet, they don’t want to have the fans have the ability to cheer Bryan?
It’s insane, and I was already worried that this match would be a typical 5 minute German suplex and F-5 bore like Lesnar always does, with him decimating his opponent, but now, I have to watch that happen again, see Bryan lose, I’m not supposed to cheer him, and he runs the risk of getting injured again?
I can’t say I’m Cold on it entirely, because I’m still at least partially intrigued, but if you were to ask if I think this is a smart decision or anywhere close to any of the booking I’d have gone with, I’d say absolutely not and I feel like this is going to be a MASSIVE mistake.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar wins, of course, and puts in little to no effort.
Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair = Hot
To be honest, I was more into this when it was Becky Lynch and I feel like we’re going to look back on this idea of doing the Flair match and feel like it was a mistake, as it will hurt WrestleMania, since I think WWE is going to do a rematch between those two again.
It’s a shame this had no build at all, because now, they’re going strictly 100% on the name value and nothing more and I almost feel like they’re going with a more grandiose option now at the expense of later, not thinking ahead, and they could have gone with a less interesting option at Survivor Series to preserve this for WrestleMania.
However, I need to try to look on the optimistic side of things and say “the idea of Rousey vs Flair is great, just okay, or bad” and come to the assessment that on paper, I’m still Hot for this.
Prediction: Ronda Rousey wins.
Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown = Hot
There are some heavy-hitters on both sides, which makes this feel like it isn’t an uneven match, minus Shane McMahon’s involvement, but that could be the key to it all.
Does WWE want to make him the sole survivor to replicate the heat from World Cup and position him as overreaching, or is the target to push Drew McIntyre instead?
For that matter, since there is so much in-fighting that can get in the way, which side can’t reel themselves in? Strowman has issues with Baron Corbin, Ziggler and McIntyre. Balor has issues with McIntyre and Lashley. Miz and Bryan aren’t great co-captains, but hey, that doesn’t matter anymore, although now Miz and Mysterio have issues. Bryan and Joe have now gotten into it. Bryan and Shane have, too and both of those elements are gone, which hinder my excitement. Mysterio has Orton lurking in the darkness, waiting to strike.
I’m excited to see this play out, but I’m also nervous they’re going to overbook the hell out of it and it could turn out to be a total mess where a handful of people job out really quickly in order to rush eliminations.
Prediction: Team Raw wins.
Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown = Lukewarm
I cared a lot more about this before it became an obvious heel team against an obvious babyface team. That kind of spoils the fun of seeing both sides going at it in an even contest.
I’m also nervous about the final member. Why didn’t they just announce Mandy Rose? Are they really hoping to get people’s excitement up for some kind of a shock and not realizing that it will be disappointing to just have it be Lana or someone?
Here’s hoping it’s Nikki Cross and she and Asuka end up being the final two for Team SmackDown, instead of this just being a means to make Nia Jax look strong and everyone else be inconsequential…but I have a feeling what could have been much better will devolve into something that is just okay for a random night of wrestling and not much more.
Prediction: Team SmackDown wins….maybe…I don’t know.
5-on-5 Tag Team Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown = Cold
WWE does not care about tag teams and this match is so obviously nothing to them but filler that it’s hard to really get behind any of it.
Look at Team Raw. It’s horrendous. Look at the SmackDown team. It’s two teams they care about and then the only three other options.
If we were grading based only on the performers and their ability to put on a good show, I think this would be decent, but I can’t put any faith into this getting the proper time to showcase any real talent. It’ll just be a means to eat up 20 minutes.
Prediction: Team SmackDown wins
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Mustafa Ali = Hot
205 Live is the most consistent show as far as quality in-ring action goes. Murphy and Ali, in particular, have been having some of the best matches of the entire year and they’ve been going completely unnoticed just because WWE doesn’t position them as a big deal to convince people to tune in.
But if you skip the pre-show, you’re going to be missing out on what is likely going to be one of the best performances of the night, and that’s a shame.