2015 Survivor Series Preview

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Here's Every Survivor Series Match in History Ranked.

Survivor Series is Sunday from Atlanta.

WWE Championship Tournament
Roman Reigns v. Alberto del Rio
Dean Ambrose v. Kevin Owens

Seth Rollins won the title at Mania, gave it up when he blew out his knee at a house show.  Rollins is one of the ten best workers in the promotion, but his title reign was sucked up by a McMahon Family heel authority story that got old 15 years ago.  The McMahons constant belief that top of the card storylines should be about them is, in my view, the most significant cause in the constant dribbling away of business over that same time period.  Anything that Stephanie or Hunter is involved in is good despite them (which I also think is largely true behind the scenes as well).

Creatively, WWE botched this tournament.  A long "hook or crook" heel title run could use a likeable babyface chaser.  A tournament is a rare opportunity to create a guy out of whole cloth, pick a blank slate babyface and give him the rocketship.  My choice would be Sami Zayn, but he's out with injury; not out however, is Finn Balor, had he been a mystery entrant on TV into a slot and gone on a run through the brackets to beat Reigns in the final, he instantly becomes a top guy, with the look and the working ability to pull it off.

Further, a Reigns turn after losing to Balor accomplishes what should be their secondary goal, getting Reigns on the heel side now.  Reigns isn't a good enough worker, for my taste, to ever be at the top of the card as a singles wrestler; but within the WWE worldview he's a defensible choice, but really needs the steam a turn would create.  Balor beats Reigns who then leaves him for dead and you've got a direction.

A variation of that direction might still happen; I'd expect a Shield tournament finals Sunday, with one of them turning.  It seems, given how flat Ambrose's gimmick has gotten, that he's more likely to turn, either after winning with Authority (don't care, get off my screen, don't care) aid or losing and then attacking Reigns sort of as outlined in the prior paragraph.

The inverse is better for me; were my opinion solicited I'd absolutely turn Reigns Sunday (and, given the 4 options on the board, I'd give him the belt, despite his being the worst worker of the four) and drive that bus to Mania.  Assuming Reigns-at-the-top is a decision they are married to, he could go over Ambrose at the Rumble and then take on the winner of the Rumble at Mania.  Perhaps Lesnar.  Perhaps Daniel Bryan, who at some point needs to return or get released so he can go have 4 1/2 star matches in New Japan.  There's a third choice...

(update, both the semifinals were 3 star matches, the final a tick less, Reigns went over and then lost to Sheamus when he cashed in; as a story it's fine, as use of your roster it's pretty bad)

Undertaker/Kane v. 2 of the 4 Wyatts
Undertaker lost the blow off match in his Lesnar feud and was then attacked by the Wyatts, Bray having, to some extent, appropriated the Dead Man's powers.  It's crap, the Undertaker's "oooh, spooky" hasn't worked in any way for me in two decades.

It seems premature to end this storyline now, it really has to be Undertaker beating Bray in a singles match before they move on (absent an imminent retirement, which has a nonzero chance of happening) Kane can easily take the fall in this match to keep this going to the Rumble, so I'll take the heels through "mysticism".  Undertaker rising from the dead to go over Bray at the Rumble to end this makes sense (although they could stretch it to Mania) and Undertaker would be my third choice to face Reigns (not a match I'd enjoy, but I'd get it). He beats Bray at the Rumble and then, later in the night, is #30, maybe even eliminating Brock, and then he faces the heel Reigns, in what is called his retirement match, win/lose/draw, for the belt at Mania.

That's not a good match, but I could see it, and could see the Undertaker going over to end the show.

(this wasn't good, the dead guys went over to apparently end the feud)

Dolph Ziggler v. Tyler Breeze
Breeze is a not great worker with a selfie stick who has come up from NXT; he's adequate roster depth.  Ziggler should be Shawn Michaels, but for whatever reason they don't see that.  Breeze goes over.

(Breeze in a short match)

Women's Title: Charlotte v. Paige
A women's contract signing got the main event slot in the go home show before Survivor Series and ratings took a slight uptick.  That's probably going to be perceived as a big deal; the content of the signing involved heel Paige namechecking the overdose death of Charlotte's real world brother Reid (Ric Flair is Charlotte's father).  Both of these women are okay; you don't really like them in what is likely to be a long singles match, but they're fine.

(Charlotte in a match that was fine, maybe a tick worse)

Ambrose/Owens is the best matchup; there's nothing here you have to see.

There's one more match, a 5x5 Survivor Series Style Elimination Match, but the participants haven't been announced yet.  Not like the show is Sunday or anything.

Some version of this makes sense (I'll edit once I know who has made it)

Cesaro/Ryback/Neville/Dudleys (maybe the Lucha Dragons or the Usos)
New Day/Cody/Ascension

(they took all these guys, plus some extras, minus Cesaro as he got hurt, and stuck them in two matches, one of which was a pre-show match, neither of which was worth seeing)

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