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WWE Survivor Series 2019 preview and predictions

For the first time, brand warfare includes NXT. Will they be able to shock the system?

Survivor Series goes down this weekend under the usual “brand warfare” guise, but this year, there’s a twist: NXT is part of the proceedings, making this a three-way battle for brand supremacy. The red, blue, and black-and-gold brands have been invading, attacking, and cheap-shotting one another for weeks now, but which will walk away Sunday as the dominant brand in all of WWE?

Adam Cole (c) vs. Damian Priest or Pete Dunne or Killian Dain for the NXT Championship

Adam Cole has been on fire for months, anchoring the entire NXT brand as its champion. He’s got a tough weekend ahead of him, however, as he will not only be the captain of Team Undisputed Era in the WarGames match at NXT TakeOver, but he’ll also be defending his NXT Championship the following night at Survivor Series vs. the winner of a triple threat the night before between Damian Priest, Pete Dunne and Killian Dain. Got all that?

Jay: So this is certainly a match. While the card and the brand-warfare premise is fun, the whole affair comes off as disjointed in regards to character consistency. For example, the NXT wrestlers appear unified whenever they are “invading” Raw or SmackDown, but are currently embroiled in feuds and have matches coming up on the PPV. These wrestlers then go back to fighting whenever no Raw or SmackDown people are around, and the same rules apply for Raw and SmackDown wrestlers. It’s just a mess.

Anyway, yeah. This match is happening. Adam Cole has been NXT’s lieutenant-at-arms during this whole time and it would make sense if he was captaining the NXT team at Survivor Series but, for whatever reason, the powers that be decided he will be defending his NXT title at the event. There’s no reason for this to be happening right now. Pete Dunne vs. Adam Cole would be an excellent match but they’ve had zero interaction in recent months. Ditto Killian Dain. And Damian Priest is a poor man’s Baron Corbin, who was already a poor man’s Test. 

Adam Cole is winning this match. It won’t matter who the contender is, especially if it’s a poverty-ridden Test, because this match has no reason to happen and therefore no reason to affect Cole’s storyline in any meaningful way.
Winner: Adam Cole

Forrest: Rumors abound that Vince McMahon himself wanted Adam Cole to beat Daniel Bryan “clean” on SmackDown some weeks ago. Take that with his relatively clear shot at Seth Rollins on Raw afterwards, and the accumulated minutes and hours he’s had on screen versus the other guys? It’s hard to say this is going to anyone but Cole.
Winner: Adam Cole

Peter: Jay and Forrest are right, Cole is winning no matter what. The question is, who is going to go up against him? I would say Killian Dain due to his character, but he hasn’t had the spotlight as much as Pete Dunne. Dain needs a bit more time to be built up before a title match, especially since I’m expecting Cole to win this match. Dunne seems like a safer bet to eat a loss here than Dain. 

Damian Priest on the other hand has been a wrecking machine when it comes to wins, but there’s just… something which seems lacking in his character. He doesn’t seem to have any proper momentum for me. His record makes it seem like he’s the clear choice here but everything storywise makes me want to write him off instantly. All this being said, I would be extremely surprised if Cole doesn’t retain no matter who goes against him.
Winner: Adam Cole

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong (Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion)

The first of several champion vs. champion vs. champion triple threat matches has the chance to steal the entire show, as United States Champion AJ Styles takes on Intercontinental Champion Shinsuka Nakamura and North American Champion Roderick Strong. Who will be the King of Strong Styles?

Jay: Roderick Strong. AJ doesn’t need the win and it’s just not going to be Shinsuke, unfortunately.
Winner: Roderick Strong

Forrest: I would love for this to be Shinsuke because he has the potential to be one of the best in the company, but it’s abundantly clear that WWE has no idea what to do with him. AJ, dissimilarly, has plenty of other things going on, including but not limited to a quasi-angle about bringing new roster mates (Street Profits, Humberto Carrillo) into the limelight. An angle that leaves us almost perfectly with Roderick Strong. As solid a choice as any to help get NXT over.
Winner: Roderick Strong

Peter: I desperately want Nakamura to win. He has been in the background for so long and even this title run he’s had has been pretty bad. He’s successfully defended it once and has been on for the most part a losing streak since in non title matches. Meanwhile Styles is just all around a better wrestler than Strong, so in pure kayfabe rationale I would give this to Styles. But honestly, AJ doesn’t need the win and NXT does.

Also predicting Styles supposes that there is no interference from anyone. But all three men have their respective lackies (The O.C., Undisputed Era, and Sami Zayn). So I’m going to say Strong wins with some interference from the Undisputed Era after the UE have beaten off the other wrestler’s stables.

Viking Raiders vs. The New Day vs. Undisputed Era (Champions vs. Champions vs. Champions)

Originally slated to be Viking Raiders vs. Undisputed Era vs. The Revival, Kofi Kingston and Big E managed to defeat Dash and Dawson to take the blue brand’s tag titles and insert themselves into this match. Every brand is sending their top-tier tag team into battle — which one will come away victorious?

Jay: The Undisputed Era. The entire NXT brand rests on the back of The Undisputed Era right now and they’re too crucial within the company to take any sort of hit.
Winner: Undisputed Era

Forrest: Undisputed Era. I mean, c’mon, this whole event is so clearly designed to test the viability of guys like Cole and Strong in a broader capacity and they won’t be separating Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly from them anytime soon. Get well soon, Xavier.
Winner: Undisputed Era

Peter: Unlike Forrest and Jay, this is the one match I am expecting NXT not to win. There is no reason to think New Day has any chance here, and I’m willing to bet they got the titles in time to save the Revival from getting destroyed as a loss wouldn’t hurt The New Day at all. Hell, I think New Day could never have the title again and be just fine.

So we come to Undisputed vs. Viking Raiders. Creative still seems to want to make sure Viking Raiders are unstoppable for people who don’t know them from NXT. They’ve been fighting local jobbers recently which is strange and winning a match like this would be a great way to further cement them as an unstoppable force. 

When looking at the kayfabe rationale, it’s pretty much the same. The Raiders had to put up their titles for grabs when they left NXT because they were just that unstoppable. I see no reason for Undisputed to gain a victory over them now.
Winner: Viking Raiders

Team Raw (Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre and Ricochet) vs. Team SmackDown (Roman Reigns, King Corbin, Ali, Shorty G, and Braun Strowman) vs. Team NXT (TBA) (Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match)

The first of two traditional Survivor Series, five-on-five elimination tag matches is, like nearly every other match on the card, now a triple threat affair with NXT thrown into the mix. However, we still don’t know who will be on Team NXT — with WarGames still to fight through the night before, who will even be in one piece to represent the black-and-gold brand?

Jay: The most interesting part of the whole event is the underlying agenda in regards to “brand supremacy.” SmackDown always came out on top in the mid 2000’s whenever this type of angle came up. The reasoning being that Raw was the head and shoulders “A-Show” and they had to give SmackDown something. But oh how times have changed.

SmackDown now has a billionaire sugar daddy in Fox and they have already demanded that the preception towards SmackDown change. SmackDown is now freely referred to as the flagship brand, Raw has been saddled with the silver medal moniker of “land of opportunity,” and WWE’s fiscal week now starts on Fridays.  It’s blasphemy for anyone who’s been a long time fan. 

On the other hand, NXT is proving to be the little engine that could, is on the precipice of being a fully realized brand and shedding its long held stench of being “developmental.” So it’s not really Raw vs. SmackDown vs. NXT — it’s really Fox vs. logical booking and this battle will be reflected in the matches.

I’m going to pick Team SmackDown for this match. Roman hasn’t had a big win in a long, long time and WWE has to show Fox they still intend to positon SmackDown as the flagship. They purposefully kept The Undisputed Era away from this match to protect them. Hell, they haven’t even announced Team NXT. You have a million ways out of Team Raw losing to progress their storylines so they’re kind of an afterthought in the match.
Winner: Team SmackDown

Forrest: While I think NXT is getting a pretty clear sweep across the event, it’s hard to muster up any enthusiasm when we don’t know who’s on the team. Coupling that with the great points about brand positioning Jay made ahead of me, I also think this is going to SmackDown.
Winner: Team SmackDown

Peter: NXT will most likely win purely for the sake of getting them over. But I think the story will be tensions between SmackDown and Raw as well as the tensions within the teams themselves will lead to NXT sneaking in the win.

The SmackDown team is not at all friendly with one another, and despite how stupid the Corbin segments have been I am excited to see Corbin and Reigns be petty and squabble during the match amongst themselves. Chad Gable (I refuse to go with “Shorty”) also has reason to dislike Corbin, so Team SmackDown will be functioning at an all time low. Meanwhile, the Raw team has tension as well. McIntyre and Owens had that huge match on Monday as well as Ricochet having had a couple heated matches with McIntyre within the past month. 

Jay’s point that SmackDown will win for the sake of appeasing Fox seems like a more than valid point, and if SmackDown does win I believe it will because of this. But in the end, I think they’ve been building this up explicitly so NXT wins this.
Winner: Team NXT

Team Raw (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Kabuki Warriors and Sarah Logan) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans and Nikki Cross) vs. Team NXT (TBA) (Women’s Survivor Series Elimination Match)

Like the men’s elimination match, we still don’t know who NXT will be sending into battle for brand supremacy in this matchup, as there’s still WarGames to survive beforehand. On the Raw and SmackDown side of things, both teams are full of in-fighting that will likely factor into the finish of the match. Which team will be able to put their differences aside and focus on the task at hand?

Jay: Team NXT. They have a perfect out for Team SmackDown with Sasha going rogue and heel-ing up the place. Meaning, she can just walk out or lose terribly or attack her teammates and blame it on them.
Winner: Team NXT

Forrest: I think Asuka is the most fun wrestler to watch company wide right now, but the rest of the Raw team just feels tacked on and underdeveloped. Conversely, Sasha and Nikki have great angles going on both in and outside of the ring that I can’t see them squashing for an as-of-yet named NXT team (again!). Team SmackDown.
Winner: Team SmackDown

Peter: This one is tougher than the men’s at making a determination. These teams seem decently more cooperative than the men’s teams. Yet, even without knowing NXT’s team, the possible roster NXT has to select from is just millions of times stronger than these other teams. Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim… the only thing that would make not consider NXT is if they completely avoided their main female roster. 

If I WERE to lean toward one of the other teams I think Raw is the most obvious. Charlotte and Kabuki Warriors are enough to cinch it for me, and there is a possibility that NXT won’t use their main women due to needing to give them a rest after WarGames. So on the off chance that NXT doesn’t run their main roster I’ll give it to Raw. Otherwise NXT is going to take this one. Also, I want Io Shirai to annihilate everyone. I desperately need that.
Winner: Team NXT

Becky Lynch vs. Bayley vs. Shayna Baszler (Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion)

All three women in this match have a lot to prove: Bayley has to prove she made the right decision by turning her back on her fans and adjusting her attitude, Becky has to prove she’s still The Man, and Shayna has to prove NXT is on even footing with Raw and SmackDown. Who will succeed?

Jay: The Man. Bayley will take the fall and Baszler will look strong in defeat. Raw needs something to hang their hat on and Lynch is the top star in the company.
Winner: Becky Lynch

Forrest: Baszler is really great at doing what Rousey should be doing, and Becky One Belt is the best in the biz. Which is to say, not Bayley.
Winner: Becky Lynch

Peter: I 100% agree with Forrest, Baszler is exactly what Ronda should have been. As for the winner of this match? I’m split between Becky or Shayna. I could see either winning cleanly and would not be disappointed in either result. A Becky loss could give creative a feud to work with which would link the two USA shows, leading to a similar Ronda vs. Becky-type WrestleMania match as last year. For this reason I’m going to lean toward a clean finish with Shayna winning, but it will be an extremely close match with everyone wanting a rematch between the two. 

Plot-wise, Bayley will be there simply to make people claim that we haven’t seen an honest 1v1 between Lynch and Baszler; whether that be Baszler pinning Bayley or Bayley landing hits that weaken Lynch enough for Baszler to pin her.
Winner: Shayna Baszler

Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio for the WWE Championship (No Holds Barred)

Rey Mysterio has had enough of Brock Lesnar, who has been on a rampage through Mysterio’s friends and family for the past month. The greatest luchador of all time has become quite fond of an equalizer in the form of a steel pipe as of late, and as luck would have it, this match is now no holds barred. Will that be enough to take down The Beast?

Jay: Lesnar. Rewatch Lesnar vs. Balor or Lesnar vs. Bryan. That is exactly how this match will go. He’s going to suplex the hell out of Rey-Rey. Rey will get a lucky shot and bring the steel pipe he’s been walking around with into play. Lesnar will be hurt to generate tension before he wallops Rey with a suplex. He’ll hit the F-5. And we won’t see him to January. Enjoy your vacay Brock.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Forrest: Lesnar is going to be on that F-5 like kids waiting for the new Kanye sneakers to drop.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

Peter: Obviously Lesnar will win; the plot point which I believe will come of this match is trying to reestablish Cain Velasquez and Lesnar’s feud after that mess of a match last month. Velasquez will run in to help Mysterio, get some good hits this time on Lesnar and show he actually can stand up to Lesnar. Lesnar will knock Velasquez out for enough time to finish off Mysterio but the seeds will be sown for an actual Lesnar/Velasquez feud.

Or Lesnar will just F-5 Mysterio and the match will end as quickly as Kofi’s match against Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan for the Universal Championship

The Fiend seems to be seeking out and destroying people who wronged Bray Wyatt in his past life, and he has now set his sights on Daniel Bryan, who joined and ultimately betrayed the Wyatt Family all the way back in 2014 en route to one of the greatest WrestleMania moments of all time. Bryan doesn’t seem completely mentally stable as of late — will that help or hinder his battle with the demonic Fiend?

Jay: Wyatt. This feud is coming out of nowhere and will likely open up after this match. Wyatt is too strong right now to lose and they seem to be doing something with Bryan, meaning winning won’t make sense here.
Winner: The Fiend

Forrest: I don’t really get why this is happening, and someday I’d like to see an angle about The Fiend drawing out Balor’s Demon, so I’m sticking with him.
Winner: The Fiend

Peter: Do I even need to say who is going to win this match? If Wyatt lost I couldn’t even imagine the backlash. I love everything about Wyatt getting revenge on people from his past and this is obviously the start of Daniel Bryan’s proper spiral into madness, something that was hinted at during Byran’s initial heel turn last year but never actualized.

I’d imagine this will be a slow burn of a plot with it going away for a month or so after Sunday and slowly bubbling back to the surface with Bryan having gone insane over the month or two following Sunday and wanting revenge. I’m betting this is the start of something leading to WrestleMania. I’m excited for the first match of what will be a hopefully amazing feud.
Winner: The Fiend

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Do you love wrestling? Do you have strong opinions on AEW, WWE, NJPW, Impact, ROH, and the independent scene? Do you like to write about wrestling? Then we want you on our team. AIPT is currently recruiting wrestling writers. Apply to write for AIPT today!

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