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Survivor Series 2017: Preview, Odds, & Predictions

Trevor Dueck

by Trevor Dueck in Entertainment

Nov 9, 2017 · 5:49 AM PST

Photo Credit: By Miguel Discart (Flickr) CC License

The 2017 Survivor Series is set to go down on Sunday, Nov. 19, at the Toyota Center in Houston, and just in time for Thanksgiving, this turkey of a card is stuffed.

Unfortunately what it’s stuffed with are uninteresting, who-cares matches in which champions from each brand (RAW and SmackDown) square off against one another with the winner getting a pat on the back as a fancy parting gift.

It also has the traditional one-night-only, single-elimination 5 vs. 5 team matches where once bitter enemies become teammates all in the name of loyalty to the color of their t-shirt.

This pay-per-view used to be far more interesting. Sort of.

Started in 1987, Survivor Series is WWE’s second-longest running pay-per-view behind Wrestlemania. What’s ironic is that the actual event was created out of a real-life “us vs. them” business rivalry between two professional wrestling promotions: NWA and WWF.

At the time, pay-per-view was a new entity and the WWF wanted to be the only wrestling show to cash in. Survivor Series was created to compete with (and kill) NWA’s big pay-per-view show, Starrcade. Vince McMahon scheduled Survivor Series to take place on the same day (November 26th) and then gave cable providers an ultimatum: either show Survivor Series exclusively or miss out entirely on World Wrestling Federation programming which, at the time, meant Wrestlemania.

The rest is history. Starrcade was off the pay-per-view schedule for 70% of the country and the majority of America saw Hulk Hogan captain a five-man team against Andre the Giant and his cronies.

The more you know.

Survivor Series has always been considered one of the lesser WWE events. The team vs. team schtick got old even before the mysterious egg that cracked open and birthed the Gobbledy Gooker. Don’t ask.

But the event has created some lasting memories, like the debut of the Undertaker in 1990 and the unscripted Bret Hart Montreal Screwjob in 1997.

This year, though, there is no big debut and, really, no drama of any kind whatsoever.

In the main event, RAW’s Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, takes on SmackDown’s new WWE Champion, AJ Styles, for nothing more than bragging rights. The original plan was to have Jinder Mahal fight Lesnar, but those plans were scrapped when Styles beat Mahal in a title fight at a recent SmackDown Live taping in England.

That match is followed by RAW women’s champion Alexa Bliss battling SmackDown women’s champion Natalya for, yes you got it, nothing at all.

The silly RAW vs. SmackDown matchups continue throughout the night with no ramifications and no stakes. Good luck selling this pay-per-view as a must-see. That said, having AJ Styles face the “Beast Incarnate” is a far better main event than the original plan.

Having to sit here and write predictions for this event is as challenging as power chewing that dry white piece of turkey that you have to spit up into your napkin. It’s difficult to pick winners for matches that are not connected to any storylines.  There isn’t even a bit of gravy to make things somewhat digestible.

[UPDATES: Card has slightly changed and will be updated accordingly with bold brackets]

Brock Lesnar (Universal Champion) vs. AJ Styles (WWE Champion)

At first, it was supposed to be Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal in a match that lacked any real buzz. It appears WWE creative saw it the same way and made a “subtle” change. Recently on a SmackDown Live taping in Manchester, England, AJ Styles beat Jinder Mahal and won the WWE Championship.Now the newly minted champ has a chance to slay the beast at Survivor Series in a much sexier matchup. Styles is considered the best worker in the business and can definitely make a match with Lesnar look great. I just hope it lasts longer than eight minutes.

Lesnar isn’t going to lose, not cleanly anyway. It will be interesting to see how creative books this as I’m sure they will want their new SmackDown champ to also look strong as well. For now, I’m sticking with a Lesnar win.

Side Note: If by chance the WWE throws in another swerve and Jinder Mahal wins his title back between now and Survivor Series, I’m still picking Brock. 

Predicted winner (and odds): Brock Lesnar (1/4)

Alexa Bliss (RAW Women’s Champion) vs. Natalya Charlotte (SmackDown Women’s Champion)

[Odds and opponent were updated on November 15th due to a new SmackDown Women’s Champion crowned on Tuesday, November 14th]

This is another champion vs. champion matchup and it just took a huge swerve when Charlotte recently beat Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s title. As much as I loved Natalya having a belt, Charlotte is a way better opponent for Bliss especially since it will be heel vs. face now.

Could we see a Carmella cash-in attempt against Charlotte in this match? Forget SmackDown brand loyalty, Carmella is in it for herself. It just seems like something her character would do. Timing is everything.

The odds are close on this matchup as an argument can be made for both to win here. For now, I’m going with a Charlotte win over Alexa Bliss.

Predicted winner (and odds): Natalya (1/1) Charlotte (9/11)

Odds on a Carmella cash-in: 17/3

The Miz (Intercontinental Champion) vs. Baron Corbin (United States Champion)

The Miz facing Baron Corbin is heel vs. heel again, but this one is more intriguing. Corbin may not be the best worker, but The Miz can make anyone look great.

This is a tough one to call. As much as I think The Miz could pick up the win, I’m leaning towards Corbin. WWE creative continues to push him so he needs the win more.

Predicted winner (and odds): Baron Corbin: (9/11)

Cesaro & Sheamus (RAW Tag Team Champions) vs. The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Champions)

Another WWE swerve! Originally this was supposed to be Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins going up against The Usos, but just like with Jinder Mahal, WWE creative decided to take the belts off of Ambrose & Rollins at the RAW taping in Manchester.

Now we have RAW’s Tag Team Champs, The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus), going against SmackDown’s Tag Team Champs, The Usos, in what should be a pretty good matchup. I hope that they give these two talented teams adequate time to show what they can do. Look for a lot of physicality and some fantastic spots. As for the winner, I’ll side with The Usos in a true coin-flip.

Now we have RAW’s Tag Team Champs, The Bar (Cesaro & Sheamus), going against SmackDown’s Tag Team Champs, The Usos, in what should be a pretty good matchup. I hope that they give these two talented teams adequate time to show what they can do. Look for a lot of physicality and some fantastic spots. As for the winner, I’ll side with The Usos in a true coin-flip.

Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown (men’s elimination match)

[UPDATE: HHH replaces Jason Jordan for Team RAW on Monday Nov.13]

Team RAW: Kurt Angle (Captain), Braun Strowman, Finn Balor, Jason Jordan, HHH, Samoa Joe
Team SmackDown: Shane McMahon (Captain), Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena

This is your traditional Survivor Series single-elimination match where it’s team vs. team. When a wrestler is eliminated, he must leave ringside and the match continues until a team is fully eliminated.

Something tells me that there will be some interference at some point which will cost team SmackDown the win. Most likely, that interference will come from Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.

I fully expect Braun Strowman to dominate this match and be the monster who eliminates most of the SmackDown team. Does he beat Roman Reigns record of four eliminations? That would be something.

Predicted winner (and odds): Team RAW (2/3)

Odds on Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn interference: 3/1

Odds Braun Strowman breaks elimination record: 9/1

Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown (women’s elimination match)

[UPDATED on November 16: Charlotte Flair was taken off Team SmackDown and will be replaced by a mystery woman at Survivor Series]

By Miguel Discart CC License

Team RAW: Alicia Fox (Captain), Nia Jax, Asuka, Sascha Banks, Bayley
Team SmackDown: Becky Lynch (Captain), Carmella, Tamina, Naomi, Charlotte Flair

When you look at both these teams, it’s pretty clear that the RAW has the killers! Nothing against Naomi and Becky Lynch, but how do they get past Asuka and Nia Jax?

I know I picked the RAW men’s team to win, so naturally, I feel I should take the SmackDown women’s team. But who is going to eliminate Asuka? Having RAW win both elimination matches is why I have SmackDown winning a few more singles matches.

Now that Charlotte will be in a match against Alexa Bliss, there is a vacant spot on Team SmackDown. What WWE Women’s Superstar could fill that hole? My guess is it could be Paige who has returned to the promotion and has healed up from an injury. She could be a surprise addition to Team SmackDown at Survivor Series. There is also an outside chance that Natalya or Nikki Bella could be added but Paige would be the bigger surprise.

Predicted winner (and odds): Team RAW (3/7)

Odds on Paige being added to Team SmackDown: (2/3)

Odds on Natalya being added to Team SmackDown: (2/1)

Odds on Nikki Bella being added to Team SmackDown: (15/1)

Kalisto vs. Enzo Amore (WWE Cruiserweight Championship)

This is the only non-RAW vs. SmackDown match on the card and, somehow, it’s also the least interesting.

I’m going with Enzo retaining because the WWE really like him in the 205-pound division. It doesn’t matter that Enzo can’t wrestle; he says stuff on the mic and people hate him. So technically he is the most over superstar in the cruiserweight division. Sad.

Predicted winner (and odds): Enzo (1/3)

The Shield vs. The New Day

[UPDATED: Match made official Nov.13]

Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins recently lost their tag titles to The Bar thanks in large part to being distracted by The New Day.

Now Rollins and Ambrose want revenge and could reunite with Roman Reigns to form The Shield and take on The New Day in a 3-on-3 match.

This match was in the “rumored” category but it seems that it is now official for Survivor Series. Roman Reigns has returned from his viral infection and appeared on Monday Night RAW with his Shield brothers and issued a challenge to The New Day.

This should be an entertaining bout but The Shield will get the win as they are extremely over with the fans and their momentum lost a bit of steam due to Reigns being out sick.

Predicted winner (and odds): The Shield (3/17)

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