When the brand split was announced earlier in the year, it created concerns about splitting a roster that was already thin on stars, but for the most part, it is developing quite nicely, with each show having their strengths and weaknesses. Despite it being less than a year into the split, WWE is attempting to create a rivalry between the brands, similar to the one during the first split, which inspired the video game WWE Smackdown vs. RAW.
This happened when Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan laid down a challenge for RAW to compete in three traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches, and it got us thinking about some other matches that we’d love to see between opposing members of the roster.
Here are 15 Raw vs. Smackdown matches that we’d love to see in the not too distant future, hopefully before the end of 2017.
35 Bray Wyatt vs. Brock Lesnar
This may not be the most popular match among the internet wrestling community, but it is one that has been rumored for some time, even receiving a set up at the Royal Rumble, so it is about time that WWE pull the trigger on it, even if it’s only for a Royal Rumble or a smaller PPV match. Many argue (including myself) that the Bray Wyatt character has been booked horribly, and that he should be racking up wins, rather than losing every big match, which is no doubt what would happen in this clash. In order to make it seem like a money match, WWE must start treating Wyatt right, giving him big win after big win, and even though fans know Lesnar would win, it would make for a huge battle.
34 Bayley, Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Dana Brooke and Nia Jax vs. Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, Natalya, Naomi and Alexa Bliss (Survivor Series 2016 Elimination Match)
This would be the first of three Smackdown vs. RAW traditional Survivor Series Elimination matches at the upcoming event, as laid out in a challenge by Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. This would see the women of each roster compete for brand supremacy, and although it’s not the deepest roster in WWE history, it would make for a damn entertaining wrestling match. There is mismatches on both teams, and both with their strengths and weaknesses, but the depth of the Smackdown team would win out in the end. Whether a women’s match is a part of the three or not, there is no doubting both rosters continue to improve, but with the emphasis on the big 3 on RAW, and a more balanced roster on Smackdown, that would be where their victory comes from.
30 Roman Reigns vs. John Cena
This has been rumored for a while, and would pit Vince McMahon's two chosen, pet projects against each other, in what would no doubt be a hard hitting, enjoyable affair. Many fans will groan at this idea, but we better get used to it, because knowing McMahon, this is one match he will definitely want to push on fans. Whether both are face, both are heel or a combination of the two, the fans will probably be very vocal in their opposition to both, but both competitors can put together a solid match, and should be enjoyable. With Cena winding down, now becoming more of a part time performer, expect this one to happen sometime in 2017 or late 2016, whether you like it or not.
29 Bayley vs. Becky Lynch
During their time in NXT, Becky Lynch and Bayley never got a true rivalry, unlike Sasha/Bayley or Sasha/Becky, and a Smackdown vs. RAW match up could be just the perfect way to give them their first high profile match. While both are likely to be in the title picture, there is definitely a way in which WWE could set this match up, and like most other matches involved the 4 best female wrestlers on the planet (don’t tell Asuka I said that), it would generate a lot of hype, and no doubt deliver. The story would be easy to tell, two amazing women putting their personal friendship and revolution aside while they fight for brand supremacy, and the clashing of styles would no doubt make it one to remember.
28 American Alpha vs. Enzo and Cass
This match happened in NXT at the end of the brash talking duo’s run down there, but not enough time or story was put into that affair, so given those 2 things, this could be a historic, era defining tag team rivalry. Despite being on opposite brands, it is quite clear that the two are bound to be this generation's Hardy Boys, E&C and Dudleys, alongside up and coming teams like TM61 and The Revival, so this match may take a while to occur. When it does though, fans will see four young men looking to scrap and claw their way to victory to be seen as the future of the tag division. No doubt, if WWE brings the draft back, these 2 teams will play a huge role in the resurgence of tag team wrestling in WWE, and it will be to the delight of the WWE Universe.
27 AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
When AJ Styles was rumored to join WWE in early 2016, fans were clamoring for several ‘dream matches’, but with the built in Bullet Club story, none were bigger than this one. Before the Phenomenal One took over the lead in Bullet Club, it was led and created by a young, Irish star named Prince Devitt, who would go on to become Finn Balor, and this relationship was teased at SummerSlam, before Balor suffered an unfortunate injury. Despite being on opposite brands, when Balor returns in 2017, this is a match that has to happen soon, as these two were the hottest stars in WWE around the time of SummerSlam. It is unclear how much of the Bullet Club story that WWE would want to tell, but this is a match that if built correctly, could easily steal the show at WrestleMania 33 or 34.
26 The Miz vs. Sami Zayn
Since the brand split, and his awful match with Apollo Crews, the Miz has been on fire, quite possibly the hottest star in WWE not named AJ Styles or Shinsuke Nakamura, and has seemingly begun to bring prestige back to the Intercontinental Title, along with resurrecting the career of Dolph Ziggler. Despite not getting anywhere near this kind of push, Sami Zayn is a master story teller, and one of the most gifted performers in WWE, and a battle of these mid carders (with potentially Zayn joining Smackdown where he belongs) would be incredibly entertaining television, especially with how much better Miz has gotten. While many people won’t have thought this a dream SvR match, and it wouldn’t headline a PPV, it would no doubt be similar to Ziggler vs. Miz and steal the show.
25 American Alpha, The Usos and Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. The New Day, Enzo & Cass, Rich Swann and Cedric Alexander (Survivor Series 2016 Elimination Match)
The second of three proposed matches would see the tag teams of each show squaring off, and would no doubt be a match more focused on story telling, rather than the in ring action (which would also be great, but not the emphasis). Due to the weaknesses in the Smackdown division, it would have to feature The Usos, who since their great heel turn have not been getting on with either team, which would test them to see which is more important, themselves or the Smackdown vs. RAW rivalry. From the RAW side features 3 baby face duo’s, which would no doubt work well together, especially if they play up the challenge of Swann and Alexander stepping up in weight class to pick up the slack left by the Club, which could potentially open RAW up to more opportunities and story lines at a later date. All in all, the chemistry of the RAW team would definitely get them over the line.
24 Alexa Bliss vs. Sasha Banks
Not many people would think of this as a big, women’s dream match, but the more you think about it, the more this match could be one of the most entertaining and impressive women’s matches in recent memory. No female on Smackdown has a grasp of their character like Alexa Bliss, and she is quickly blossoming into one of the best heels in all of wrestling, with her big match with Becky Lynch quickly becoming very anticipated. Banks is very popular on RAW and very talented, and depending on the outcome of the Becky/Bliss match or Lynch’s injury situation, this could be a good idea for Survivor Series, especially if WWE are looking to push the Smackdown vs. RAW rivalry like it was during the last brand split.
23 Cesaro vs. AJ Styles
It is quite baffling that despite both wrestling for Ring of Honor at the same time throughout their respective illustrious careers, AJ Styles and Cesaro (then under his real name Claudio Castagnoli) have never locked up in the middle of a ring. This is an injustice that WWE must attempt to rectify, especially if they ever plan on taking Cesaro seriously as a singles competitor. This is a push that fans have been begging for in most part for the last 2 years, and despite being in a tag team with Sheamus at this point, there is still hope, and a stand out performance against Styles could go a long way in making Vince see that. A great performance like we know the Swiss Superman is capable of putting on could catapult him to the top of the WWE, and with a slight character tweak, perhaps a manager, he could be the stand out wrestler in the new era.
21 The Club vs. American Alpha
Despite being presented horribly in the last few months, the team of Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are still as tough and impressive a team as there is in wrestling, and showing this off against a talented young team like American Alpha would certainly push them back towards the top of the tag team division in WWE. American Alpha, consisting of Chad Gable and Jason Jordan have been on fire ever since they emerged in NXT, and are the hottest team in wrestling, and despite not winning, and not being in the Smackdown Tag Title picture, they remain the most all around talented team on Smackdown. While New Day and Enzo & Cass look like the priority on RAW, this matchup, as any with American Alpha would be, would be quite entertaining.
13 Carmella vs. Bayley
This would be a very underrated match, but when you take into account the back story and the ability of Bayley to carry anyone to a great match, this one could steal any card that it appears on. Throughout NXT, when Charlotte, Sasha and Becky all left for the main roster, Bayley stayed behind and formed a bond with Carmella, and put on a match built on respect and their mutual admiration for each other, and it was entertaining. Now that Carmella is without Enzo & Cass, she has adopted a heel persona, and it’s working well for her, and Bayley could confront her about this change. This might not lead to a historic match, but after their first match which wasn’t given much time, a proper build and time to tell a story in this match would make it a memorable one.
11 AJ Styles, The Miz, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper vs. Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Neville, Seth Rollins and Cesaro (Survivor Series 2016 Elimination Match)
The third and final match (the rubber match, seeing as it should be tied 1-1) would feature Smackdowns top heels and RAW’s top baby faces going at it to decide on the brand supremacy for 2016, once and for all. Despite being booed by a majority of the crowd, Reigns rounds out the talented field of RAW competitors, who no doubt have the edge in wrestling talent, but the Smackdown team consists of conniving heels who will get the job done no matter the cost. While there is obvious omissions from each team, it’s hard to pick just 5 people to represent each brand, but this way the teams consist of respected under card performers with bright futures, and superstars from each show. The finish would come down to a microcosm of the next dream match on this list, seeing the match boil down to Seth Rollins and AJ Styles in a very even match, where it could go either way.
8 American Alpha vs. The New Day
Rounding out a trio of American Alpha dream matches (why not? They’re amazing!) is a battle with the current Tag Team Champions, who are the most complete team in all of the WWE. American Alpha have been on the roster since the brand split, and due to their drawn out story line with the Uso’s, and the splitting of the Tag Division, they haven’t really ticked off any boxes that NXT fans had in mind, but no doubt, New Day would be at the top of the list. Although Gable and Jordan haven’t had much promo time to develop that side of their game, their in ring abilities are second to none, and that alone would make this a match worth seeing. Add in their limited abilities on the mic along with the New Day, and this could finally be a match/series that fans can get invested in with the New Day.
7 Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles
Despite being on the independents, namely Ring of Honor for quite a while, these men never received a true program, and have yet to face each other in a high profile match up. WWE in 2017 would be the perfect time for this, as these are 2 of the best athletes and most impressive performers that WWE have had on their roster in quite some time. The story telling possibilities between this pair would be endless, and if AJ can pull a few 4 star quality matches out of a green, yet improving Roman Reigns, imagine what he could do with a wrestling veteran and athlete the caliber of Seth Rollins. It may be too early to start having a cross brand singles matches, with the rivalry only beginning to build, starting at Survivor Series 2016, but sometime next year, this is a match that needs to happen.