The past, present and future of WWE collide this Sunday at the 30th annual edition of Survivor Series—with bragging rights, history and potentially game-changing title switches on the agenda.
Will Bill Goldberg make it two wins from two against the almighty Brock Lesnar? Can he stop the Lesnar juggernaut dead in its tracks, just like he did in 2004?
Can Team Raw prove it’s the superior brand in all three traditional Survivor Series matches? Or will SmackDown show its worth and claim some telling victories?
All of these questions and more will be answered on Sunday night, but here’s a closer look at some of the biggest bouts on the card.
It is a night where bragging rights are on the line for WWE’s respective brands—but it is also a night where the future landscape of WWE will be determined.
Don’t expect this five-on-five match to be run-of-the-mill and have a conventional finish. There will be controversy somewhere along the line—and it could well involve The Undertaker.
He sent out a stark warning to Team SmackDown on Tuesday night that they had to win the match. The subtle message was that if they didn’t, there would be consequences.
So will someone like AJ Styles turn his back on the blue team and cause them to lose—thus allowing Undertaker to set his sights on the WWE World Championship?
As for Raw, don’t expect Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns to escape the night as friends.
It looks like WWE is pitching for a champion-versus-champion feud, so either Owens will turn on Reigns or vice-versa. Chris Jericho’s influence will also be interesting in that particular bracket—and how serious is WWE about a push for Braun Strowman? We’ll find out on Sunday.
Raw will probably get the win, owing to its bigger star power, but it will certainly be a dramatic match.
The Miz will defend the Intercontinental Championship at one of the biggest shows of the year—and on a night where it could find a new home.
So far, the title has been exclusive to SmackDown since the brand split, with The Miz and Dolph Ziggler both holding it prior to The Miz reclaiming it on Tuesday’s episode.
The result of this match could well depend on what happens in the Cruiserweight Championship bout between The Brian Kendrick and Kalisto.
If Kalisto wins and takes that title to SmackDown, it will increase the chances of Raw getting a title in return. Don’t expect a three-hour show to lose one belt—and a division—and not get something in return.
But what’s more interesting in this bout is who needs the win the most. For The Miz, defeat could see him still thrive as a top heel, perhaps invading Raw and demanding his title back for embarking on a cross-show feud with Zayn.
Zayn could really flourish with a title of such prestige around his waist. It may be the thing that sends his status on Raw to the next level.
Survivor Series’ main event may not steal the show in terms of in-ring action, but in terms of star power, nothing else on the card tops it.
All eyes will be on how Goldberg adapts in his first WWE match in 12 years. Not only is he fighting at one of the biggest shows of the year, but he’s facing one of the most physically intimidating men in the company’s history.
Whether Goldberg can handle Lesnar’s sheer brutality from start to finish is perhaps where this match will live or die. If he can—and he can even bring a level of force of his own to mix it up with Lesnar—it could be an appealing spectacle.
But if Goldberg’s ring rust is too much to handle, it could be a long night for all parties involved.
It seems like a Lesnar win is the only realistic outcome, too. WWE would be wise to level up the scores here and keep Lesnar’s mean streak of form going—after all the people he has beaten, to lose to a 49-year-old veteran would make little sense.
Goldberg will be given a real good showing throughout the bout, strong enough for fans to hopefully engage with him as they have done on the run to Survivor Series.
But this simply has to be Lesnar’s night.