WWE vs NXT: Survivor Series Bragging Rights Match Proposal


Back when WWE had its brand split, the rivalry between Raw and SmackDown made for some interesting matches—not the least of which happened during the Bragging Rights pay-per-view, which saw a team representing each side fight for supremacy. It was short-lived due to the end of the brand extension, and it always drew criticism for being too similar to Survivor Series and too close to that event on the calendar year, but there was a lot of potential for this concept.

2015 has been a year of enormous growth for WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, to a level that certainly has not been ignored. The powers that be in WWE know that NXT is a hot commodity and that is why we’ve seen a more aggressive push for its talent over the past few months, as well as more trust that the brand is a sustainable entity in its own right.

This year, everything is a mess regarding Survivor Series, so it never could have been a possibility, but I still maintain the idea that I had pitched a few months back: we need to bring Bragging Rights back at Survivor Series with Team WWE vs. Team NXT.

As it stands right now, most traditional elimination matches at Survivor Series don’t really have anything on the line. They’re fun, but they’re also a glorified Monday Night Raw main event. The best ones are those with some sort of stipulation attached to it, such as The Authority being out of power or The Invasion angle, where some sort of power is up for grabs. At the very least, if it’s going to just be for pure bragging rights, why not capitalize on the old name and bring back the trophy?

We don’t know what we’re getting for this year’s event, but it could be a total mess given the current state of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Even before Seth Rollins was injured, it seemed as though what was being built was just five babyfaces against five heels with no repercussions. On the other hand, imagine what could have happened if we had something like Finn Balor as the captain of a team with Tyler Breeze (assuming he wouldn’t have been brought up to the main roster yet), Apollo Crews, Baron Corbin and Samoa Joe. They could have faced any combination of midcarders who weren’t in the main event title scene and it would have been a lot of fun. Dolph Ziggler could have started his feud with Tyler Breeze here. Samoa Joe could have matched up with Sheamus. Think about how fun Apollo Crews vs. Cesaro for a few minutes could have been! A beast like Baron Corbin going head to head with Ryback? Finn Balor in full demon makeup against Stardust?

That’s just to speak about the men, but this would also be an option for the women. Theoretically, if we had a Fatal 4-Way for the Divas title between Charlotte, Paige, Nikki Bella and Sasha Banks—arguably the top four women on the main roster right now—that still leaves enough for a 5-on-5 or even a 6-on-6 WWE vs. NXT women’s match. Brie Bella, Alicia Fox, Naomi, Tamina, Becky Lynch and Natalya could all represent WWE’s main roster against Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Carmella, Dana Brooke and Emma. Fans are always talking about the women on NXT working better matches than those on the main roster and this would be an opportunity for both sides to prove what admiration they feel they deserve.

You may be thinking that it would be difficult to book a winning team for this, but even that has its simplicities. Since both sides have heels working with babyfaces, all it takes is for a heel to throw the match for his team in some way and the other side can win without looking too dominant. If you don’t want NXT to beat the main roster, maybe this is where Samoa Joe turns on Finn Balor. If you do want NXT to win but not make Team WWE look weak, who is to say that a guy like Kevin Owens will get along with the babyfaces on his team? Maybe he and Neville are the last on their side and Neville pisses Owens off, so he powerbombs him to prove a point. Heels don’t care about being sole survivor if it means having to put aside their differences, so they’d gladly sacrifice a Survivor Series victory if someone got under their skin. They have no allegiance to their team whatsoever and they’re going to brag regardless of whether or not they’ve won a Bragging Rights match, right?

Alternatively, if WWE doesn’t want to double up on the concept for Survivor Series, this can be done as a WWE Network special at some point in the year that is far away from November on the calendar—perhaps during the struggling month of February when the build for WrestleMania is not in full swing and fans have to sit through events like Fastlane which don’t amount to much. This would be a fun deviation to celebrate the coming end of the wrestling season, so to speak, and focus on five of the best up-and-comers as well as five of the men on the main roster who could use a push going into WrestleMania. An even crazier thought would be to push Money in the Bank to September’s Night of Champions slot, insert Bragging Rights in July, and bump Night of Champions to another Network special at another point in the year, as that event has lost all meaning and should no longer be the primary monthly pay-per-view.

One way or another, I think this is an idea that has legs for multiple different reasons. WWE is always looking to spice things up, and this could bring a new edge to the traditional elimination match, or a whole new special event for the WWE Network. It also gives us some new people to watch feud with each other for a few weeks, rather than going through the same couple of guys over and over again. The added exposure to the NXT crew would help each of those guys in the long run, and if they were able to bring some of the main roster guys down to Full Sail to film some matches there, that could get fans who only watch Raw to tune into NXT.

We’ve had 29 installments of the Survivor Series event, but only 2 of Bragging Rights. If there was ever another brand that could go up against the conjoined Raw and SmackDown main roster, NXT has proven that it would be able to take on that responsibility and that now is the as good a time as any to roll with those punches.

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