With Survivor Series being one the Big 4 pay per views on the schedule for WWE, there are a lot of things that have happened in its history, some being good, while others... not so much. With the pay per view coming to Canada for the first time since the Montreal screwjob, there are a few things that we would like to see and some things that the WWE will probably do that we don’t want them to.
With the recent brand split, it’s clear that the big pay per views will be shared by both Smackdown and Raw, two very diverse brands with varying rosters that will want to make an impact to let the world know that their brand is superior. The one biggest thing that has been missing in the last few years is the emphasis on the traditional survivor series match, which in the history of the event has been a springboard for many superstars both past and present… The Undertaker, anyone? With many other matches in the years past there have been many booking gaffs that make no sense and things that the fans definitely did not want to see, however today's WWE is vastly different than it was all those years ago.
15 WANT: Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins
This is a match that many fans have wanted to see since KO came to the main roster last year. Their bouts in Ring of Honor (ROH) are stuff of legends, back when KO was Kevin Steen (his real name) and when Seth was known as Tyler Black. Like many ROH alumni, they came from the indy scene, made a name for themselves and then came to WWE to take the company by storm. While both of them deserve to be Raw’s Universal Champion, they both deserve a 30-minute match that can show off what they can do while at the same time keeping Rollins away from Reigns and keeping Owens away from Zayn. This match can go a couple of different ways: they can do a special stipulation where the winner is the number one contender for the Universal Championship, or they could just have a huge feud that leads to a gruelling Last Man Standing match. Whichever happens, all wrestling fans know it will be an instant classic.
14 DO NOT WANT: Eva Marie Near The Women’s Title
The career of Eva Marie has been an up and down battle; unfortunately there have been so many downs with only a couple of ups. With a call up from NXT to Smackdown -a huge surprise to many- she has a good heel character that can be used to her advantage. The Red Beauty is gorgeous without a doubt, but lacks real ring time and skill, however with intense training from THE Brian Kendrick under her belt and her having his blessing to use ‘the Kendrick’ finisher as well, there are a few things to look forward to with her. The women’s division is much too sensitive the way it is without someone like Eva coming in and making it all a beauty pageant again, so for now keep her away from the women’s title.
13 WANT: Bayley Singles Match Debut
Bayley is without a doubt the most over woman on NXT right now and with her main roster debut at Battleground and the reaction she got, it solidified that statement. While her time on the main roster was brief, it’s far from over as she is expected to get called up soon enough. The best thing in the women’s division besides Sasha Banks being champ is the rise of Bayley from NXT, and she will complete the Four Horsewomen alongside Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte. However, the WWE has been known to make some anticipation turn into pure rage and boos within minutes. The only way for the Bayley experiment to work is to tease her in-ring singles debut much like the way Finn Balor teased the WWE universe of his main roster debut. Bayley should tease her in ring debut and permanent call up to the main roster with a singles match at Survivor Series against her Horsewomen mate Charlotte.
12 DO NOT WANT: Rusev In A Pointless Feud
Oh Ru Ru, how you have been booked has been laughable at best, as they have put the Bulgarian Brute in some roles where it was only to show off how strong he is (Ryder and Titus). He has some legit skills that he needs to show off. Gone are the days of the most pointless feud in recent history with the love triangle mess with Dolph Ziggler, Summer Rae, and Lana, his wife. There are only a few superstars that can and will be a legit threat to his US title reign, someone that looks strong and can out-wrestle Rusev is kind of hard considering his style. The best feud for him cannot be with anyone from the previous League of Nations, and can be someone whom is looking for an angle and a title reign that will make him look strong. Maybe this is a good place for Roman?
11 WANT: John Cena vs. Surprise NXT Call Up
Big match John has done it all in this company and there’s very little for him left to do to make himself look relevant. Let’s not forget his plan to retire from active competition that has been on everyone’s mind lately; it has to make even Vince realize his number one star is getting older. One of the best things John has done in the last few years is doing his best to get all the young talent over with the crowd. With recent rumors of the leader of the Cenation wanting to take more time off, this could be his send-off for a few months, maybe till WrestleMania. The best way Cena could go out is to put over the newest NXT call up, who wouldn’t be announced until the time of the match because we all know that Cena can do promos by himself with no help. My pick for the call up would be either Samoa Joe, or the king of strong style Shinsuke Nakamura.
10 DO NOT WANT: Smackdown vs. Raw Match
The one thing that went wrong with the last brand split and draft was that there were far too many shows featuring both brands on the same show and everyone was confused with who was with what brand. The PPV Bragging Rights was all wrong with the superiority of one brand; Survivor Series sounds like it will be all settled in the ring in a traditional Survivor Series match, and although it does sound good on paper, it is far too soon for that kind of stipulation. With the split just finished and fresh in the fans' minds, there is no way by November they can say one brand is better, it’s way too soon for this kind of a match and it should happen on a bigger PPV where it means more, like WrestleMania.
9 WANT: The Undertaker Officially Announces His Retirement
As a massive wrestling fan that grew up through the Attitude Era and then through the 2000s, I have been a massive Undertaker fan through all of his different iterations. It is devastating to many fans all around the world knowing that the most loyal superstar in WWE history is coming close to the end of his amazing career. With some less than amazing outings at the last few WrestleManias, all fans -whether it’s a diehard fan or a casual fan- know that the end is near for his career. What better way to end his career then to end it where it began? It was 26 years ago this Survivor Series where The Undertaker made his debut with the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase introducing us to what would be one of the best and most respected superstars to ever lace a pair of boots. It will be a sad moment no doubt and expect that moment to close out the PPV with all superstars coming to the ring to show their respect to the Deadman.
8 DO NOT WANT: Triple H vs. Roman Reigns
With the "biggest" WrestleMania in history already a few months old, we haven’t seen The Game since his loss at Mania, the one match no one wanted to see that went the way it was originally planned to, without any surprises or originality. With HHH still nowhere to be seen and Roman being on Raw, it’s inevitable that they will cross paths at some point for The Game's rematch to make himself relevant again. The match no one wanted to see in the first place will be the rematch no one will want to see again. While Roman being a face and HHH being a heel is the usual dynamic that the WWE wants to shove down our throats, the fans just aren’t having it and the only way that this match could work may be if Roman goes on a huge heel run which he was doing down in NXT before becoming the bland "Guy" on the main roster. There is hope for the Rock's cousin in the future, there could be a storyline that will make him more intriguing… but it’s doubtful.
7 WANT: Top Tag Teams From Each Brand Make Up 2 Traditional Survivor Series Matches
Just like I said previously in this article, it’s much too soon for a ‘Raw vs. SmackDown’ match for brand superiority. The way these two traditional Survivor Series matches can go is to take 4 top tag teams and put them against each other (New Day with Enzo and Cass) and put them against the other top tag teams of that brand. This way we can see some traditional elimination matches, which we haven’t seen in quite some time. With the reawakening that has happened with the tag team division over the past 2 years, there have been some very talented teams coming through the door, with none being more successful than the New Day. If you put the New Day with anyone, it’s both exciting and fun at the same time which has been missing on WWE TV altogether. With two traditional elimination matches, the PPV can get back to its roots.
6 DO NOT WANT: Bret Hart/Montreal Screw Job Reference
This is making this list because it has been used and referenced so many times that it's becoming a reflex for the WWE to use it as promo material. It was used as recently as this year, when it was referenced during the Charlotte vs. Natalya match that ended using the screw job angle simply because Bret Hart was at ringside. We know that this is the first time Survivor Series has been in Canada since that one night in Montreal all those years ago, so expect it to be shoved down the fans' throats worse than a Roman Reigns push. When this is referenced nowadays you can hear a collective grunt from most fans that were there or seen it on TV that night and have grown tired of the WWE using their past to try and make a buck or two with some PPV buys.
5 WANT: Roman Reigns Remaining In The Midcard
When Seth Rollins got injured last year and was forced to relinquish his title, the WWE had the bright idea of doing exactly what everyone predicted and put Reigns on top of the mountain. With all the heat that they could handle, it was an experiment that very much backfired on them with some massive backlash from dedicated fans. It isn’t that Roman isn’t a capable wrestler, it’s the fact that there were many other replacements that would’ve been accepted better by the crowd such as Kevin Owens, Cesaro, or Sami Zayn to name a few. When it comes to the state of the Roman Empire now, they are doing the right thing with putting him in an angle with Rusev. With Roman being in a feud for a mid-card title, it will allow him to get more credibility on the roster and maybe turn heel. The main thing that a lot of fans would love to see is Roman to turn into a heel due to his heel persona he had when he was in NXT, and don’t forget that a lot of the best superstars of all time started their successful runs as heels.
4 DO NOT WANT: Dean Ambrose vs. Chris Jericho
This is a match that has been done so many times in the past that the novelty has disappeared without a trace or a want to see it again. With the less than stellar Asylum match at Extreme Rules in the past and the rivalry over (for now) we can see this being in a main event because the ‘Jericho is Canadian and we are in Canada’ attitude will be there and in full swing. While Chris Jericho is still a fantastic wrestler, he can and should be used as a stepping stone for some young talent or maybe a captain for a traditional Survivor Series match during the PPV. There will be another match that will feature these two in the future at some point because of their previous work on the mic and some of the matches before Extreme Rules were entertaining but for now keep them separated for another date, maybe Royal Rumble or a WWE network special.
3 WANT: Championships Changing Brands
With the recent draft split of the main roster still fresh in everyone’s minds, there is very little excitement for the titles that are on either brand. There have even been rumors of bringing back old titles like the European title. The best course of action to keep everything fresh would be at the Big 4 pay per views (WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series) to have the titles being defended against a member of the other brand. Imagine if you will, The Miz defending the Intercontinental Championship against a member of the Raw roster like Sami Zayn or Cesaro, and Rusev doing the same with the US title against a member of the SmackDown roster like Baron Corbin. With this only being done on the shared pay per views, it will add some competitiveness to the titles and keep the title reigns fresh.
2 DO NOT WANT: McMahon vs. McMahon
If there is one thing that can be determined when looking at the dynamic family that is the McMahons, it’s that they are an entertaining family. With the kayfabe heat that they show each other on camera and all the despicable acts they do to one another, it’s easy to see how they want to settle it all in the ring. With the return of Shane to WWE programming, it opened a whole new can of worms for a family feud that would spill over into the ring and no, the Shane vs Undertaker match does not count. With the ego that Vince and Steph have, you can see some blood vs blood in the coming months especially when it comes to the first PPV featuring both brands since the split in July. We have seen enough of the McMahons and we will not want any kind of match between them, especially for the time being.
1 WANT: Finn Balor, Universal Champion
The debut of Finn Balor on Raw was a massive step forward for the WWE in many ways, not only pushing their top NXT call up right off the bat but it showed off exactly what to expect from Balor and what he can deliver. It has been called the best debut of any wrestler in history for the WWE; Balor won his fatal 4 way to get into the main event against Roman Reigns where he shocked the wrestling world by pinning Reigns clean to find himself in the main event of SummerSlam. With no issues with Rollins being a dependable champion, it’s something we have seen before and sort of grew tired of with how he was booked as champion. When it comes to their match at SummerSlam, the smart thing would be to put the new title on Balor and let him run with it like he did with the NXT title, at least for a good handful of months. With the Raw roster being stacked with talent that can challenge his title reign like Sami Zayn or Cesaro, there is no doubt that we could be in for an entertaining reign for Balor being champion especially if he creates the Balor Club with Gallows and Anderson.
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