With Survivor Series on Sunday, we're breaking down the card and making our traditional bold predictions? Everything changed last minute. Will those changes affect the results?
Prior to this week's episodes of Raw and SmackDown, fans were expecting to see one set of matches. Then, when Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship and the men's team was altered, things transitioned in a hurry. On Raw, Nia Jax laid blasted Becky Lynch to the point she broke her face. As a result, Lynch wasn't medically cleared to compete and is being replaced by Charlotte. In a matter of two days, four major matches changed.
If we examine the new card, we quickly realize, the results may have changed too. Here are our bold predictions for WWE Survivor Series 2018.
Tag Team Survivor Series Elimination Match
If you pick Raw's team to win, then you're a firm believer in WWE trying to swerve the audience because, on paper, this isn't close. Raw's team is wildly inferior to SmackDown Live's team and there should be no reason for a group led by Bobby Roode and Chad Gable to defeat a team that consists of New Day, Usos, and others.
This match is on the kickoff show no less so SmackDown should win quickly, with a number of Surviving teams.
Pick: SmackDown wins
Tag Team Champions -- AOP (Raw) vs. The Bar (SmackDown)
The Authors of Pain won the tag titles by taking out Seth Rollins, a man who didn't have a partner. To say the least, they didn't look very strong in their win. WWE needs to correct that.
There's really nothing special about this match other than that it pits two sets of champions against each other. There is no feud here, no issue and only Big Show to make it a little onesided in the favor of The Bar. This is a perfect opportunity for AOP to show their dominance and be taken seriously as champions.
Pick: AOP wins
Cruiserweight Championship -- Buddy Murphy (c) vs. Mustafa Ali
There's really not a good reason to take the Cruiserweight Title off of Buddy Murphy yet so it's unlikely he loses. This match will likely be a fun one to watch but ultimately forgettable with everything else that is going on that evening.
Maybe a heel turn or a new debut would give this contest a little life.
Pick: Buddy Murphy retains the title
Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
The only real competitor that has anything at stake in this match is Braun Strowman, who if he wins, gets a shot at Brock Lesnar and a chance to tear Baron Corbin apart. As such, it's hard to imagine why he wouldn't come out of Sunday as the victor.
When you consider the members of the Raw team, it's fairly stacked too considering Strowman or Drew McIntyre would have to eliminate each other to be taken out by anyone from the SmackDown side. The only way this changes is the role Randy Orton plays in all of this. Does he help SmackDown Live or does he hurt them?
Pick: Raw wins
Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
There are two questions worth asking heading into this match. First, how much heat does Niz Jax have backstage for her injuring Becky Lynch and taking her out of the match with Ronda Rousey thanks to a stiff punch that broke the champ's face. If she's not, expect her to stand tall when all is said and done and get a shot at Rousey down the line.
The second question to ask is who the mystery competitor is. Would WWE bring up someone from NXT like Shayna Baszler? If so, would they not give her the win in her debut? If we assumed the final member of the SmackDown team is a letdown in terms of surprise, we should choose the red brand.
Pick: Raw wins
Seth Rollins (Raw, IC) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (SmackDown, U.S.)
You would think Rollins would be the easy pick here but you have to assume Dean Ambrose is going to show his face and somehow get involved. If and when he does, he'll cost Rollins the match and the victory will go to the United States Champion.
This match got almost no hype so in any other instance it would be a throwaway with the hope that the two competitors involved might steal the show. That might happen here but a swerve will have to come in the end.
Pick: Shinsuke Nakamura wins
Ronda Rousey (Raw Women's Champion) vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown)
The last-minute change to this match will likely affect the outcome. Before it was a toss-up because Lynch had gained so much momentum, it might be hard to give her the loss. Now, with Flair in the match, Rousey is the favorite to win.
Don't expect a clean finish here and if we're lucky, Lynch will show up and play a role somehow. There are outside whispers the NXT Four Horsewomen will get involved and Sasha Banks and Bayley have nothing to do on the card. That would appease the fans who badly wanted to see Lynch vs Rousey.
Pick: Rousey wins or no contest finish
Brock Lesnar (Raw, Universal) vs. Daniel Bryan (SmackDown, WWE)
There's no bigger change to the card than the swap of champions a few days prior to the event. With AJ Styles out and Daniel Bryan in, this match is completely different. It was going to be fun to watch Styles try and get retribution for his earlier loss to Lesnar. Now, Styles isn't even on the show.
Would WWE dare force Bryan to lose in his first match as WWE Champion? Or, will they give him the win because of his new heel personality. If he loses, expect Styles to be involved. If WWE does the right thing here, they'll give Bryan the edge to play up his new heel role. It ruins the idea of a babyface Bryan vs. a heel Lesnar at WrestleMania, but we can cross that bridge if we come to it.
Pick: Daniel Bryan wins