Survivor Series is one of the WWE’s annual "Big 4" Pay Per View events, including Royal Rumble, WrestleMania & SummerSlam, and is next on the calendar, usually occurring in November. It will be the first joint PPV since the brand split where each brand has all their championships and champions established, and will be huge in the build up to WrestleMania, which could in essence determine the future of the split.
On top of each championship being defended, the return of the Smackdown vs. Raw Survivor Series Elimination Match will be a key part of this show, as WWE is attempting to replicate the brand loyalty and rivalry that it had during Paul Heyman’s run as the booker of Smackdown in the early 2000s. While Summerslam was hard to sit through at times, again featuring 13 matches (3 pre-show and 10 main show), a 4 hour show can be entertaining and keep the audience on the edge of their seats if they are captivated by the characters and by the matches, all of which I will attempt to do as I fantasy book the 14 match card of Survivor Series 2016.
13 Bayley, Nia Jax, Dana Brooke, Emma & Lana vs. Alexa Bliss, Carmella, Natalya, Eva Marie & Naomi
While this may be on the pre show, there is really nowhere else to put it, as they main card is too stacked with important, championship matches. This will be the first of hopefully many Smackdown vs. RAW Survivor Series matches, and as usual tests the strength of brand loyalty over any inner problems between teams, and this one would see one lone survivor from the RAW side, Bayley as she would pin Eva Marie for a gigantic pop and the win. This could also be a match used to further push a side story line in which Emma would again take over Dana Brooke’s services, setting up a huge match down the line between her and Charlotte (which would be great from an in ring stand point), once she eventually loses her title to Sasha.
12 Brian Kendrick vs. Cedric Alexander - #1 Contenders match (Cruiserweight title)
While this may be seen as a throw away match on the pre show, and could be used on the main show, it would bring viewers in to the pre show, as a show case for 2 incredible wrestlers, and also gives them a reason to be competing. The story is a simple one to tell as well, veteran Kendrick looking for one last run at the top, while Alexander attempts to show why fans chanted “please sign Cedric” after his CWC match, and to prove all his doubters wrong. Both men would show how amazing they are between the ropes, and would further help fans understand why they should tune into Monday Night RAW, as many will just for the cruiserweights.
Winner: Brian Kendrick
11 American Alpha vs. The Usos (c) – WWE Tag Team Championship (Smackdown)
While American Alpha have been the most popular and best duo on Smackdown since the brand split, fans love people who have to chase and chase the Championship, rather than winning it so soon, and this would work in the favour of Smackdown for 2 reasons. American Alpha, if their triumph is delayed and drawn out through proper story telling (like they did in NXT where WWE brought up their failures in amateur wrestling on the big stage) will hopefully become even more popular with the crowd as they rally behind them. The other reason is equally as helpful, as the Usos would tease a heel turn to win the titles at Backlash, and continue to tease until this match, where they finally turn heel, giving fans reasons to be invested in them, rather than seeing them as bland Roman Reigns knock offs.
Winners: The Usos
10 Enzo & Cass vs. The New Day (c) – WWE Tag Team Championship (RAW)
Although some may argue with the reign of the New Day lasting until Survivor Series, it serves a great purpose, as dissension between the group would be continued, and this PPV would be the ideal back drop for a Big E split from the group to pursue a singles career. Whether that comes in the form of a respectful split or a heel turn could be decided closer to the date, but this would serve Enzo & Cass well as they would pick up their first gold in their time with WWE. The match and promos leading up to this would both be amazing, and would solidify the New York smack talkers as the future of the RAW tag division, and would prove that they are just as good in the ring as they are on the microphone. This would also set up The Club vs. Enzo & Cass which would be great if the Club are used correctly.
Winners: Enzo & Cass
9 Becky Lynch vs. Nikki Bella (c) - WWE Women’s Championship (Smackdown)
Rumor is that Nikki Bella will be winning the upcoming match at Backlash, but will have a short first reign, and who better to dethrone her than the only Four HorseWoman to have never won a title in WWE, Becky Lynch? While the match would pit baby face against baby face, there is no doubting that in the first joint PPV with this new Women’s Championship, Smackdown needs its two biggest stars in the match, and with Bella’s improvements in the ring, this should be an entertaining affair. Having Becky then defend against all comers will help establish her as a fighting Champion, and the championship as an important one that is the focus of every woman in the division, all the while building up credible opponents for her to face, because at the moment it very much seems like a 2-3 person division. Making this look like a competitive match is vital though, and would end with Bella submitting to this dis-arm-her.
Winner: Becky Lynch
8 Neville vs. Kota Ibushi (c) – WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Following his Cruiserweight Classic victory, Ibushi would be named Raw’s new Cruiserweight Champion, but a certain Geordie would take exception to that, as Neville, the stand out cruiserweight on RAW for over a year would lay down the challenge for Survivor Series, but would have to earn his way into the match with Ibushi at the prior PPV. The match, as fans would expect would be a high flying masterpiece, but would see Neville coming out victorious, and Brian Kendrick coming out for a stare down post match. This would set up Neville vs. Kendrick at the Royal Rumble, which Kendrick would win, and when Cedric Alexander pins Kota Ibushi at the next RAW exclusive PPV, it give all 4 men a claim to the title. This sets up a mouth-watering fatal 4 way match up at WrestleMania, where Brian Kendrick would defend against all 3 men, probably stealing the show in the process.
7 Cesaro vs. Rusev (c) – WWE United States Championship
God help the poor fans who have to sit through 6 more (after 3 already!!) matches between Sheamus and Cesaro, but there is a pay off, and it’s this U.S Championship match against the dominant Rusev, who has become the monster WWE wanted him to be, you know, before making him lose to Cena and the dreadful League of Nations. While Cesaro might be frustrated that this is not a World Title shot, that would come around this time next year, after he has helped restore the prestige of the U.S title with amazing matches against the likes of Sami Zayn, Rusev, Chris Jericho and a heel Roman Reigns (more on that later). Hopefully this would prove to the higher ups that Cesaro is a worthy Champion, as it would be amazing to see the RAW main event picture being made up of guys like Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor & Roman Reigns.
6 Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz (c) – WWE Intercontinental Championship
Miz and Ziggler have wrestled frequently over their tenures in WWE, but it may be a fantastic way to capitalize on the emotion the two have shown recently, as both are heavily motivated to prove people wrong, and would make for one of their most emotional and meaningful matches to date. The match would see Miz continue his fantastic reign as champion, and would hopefully continue the blurred storyline/shoot angle with Daniel Bryan, as WWE may very well return him to the ring, because this angle deserves it, as Miz cut one amazing promo on Bryan this week. As for Ziggler this leaves him without much to do in the immediate future, but his full on heel turn following this match could see fresh, interesting stories with the likes of Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Apollo Crews and Dean Ambrose.
Winner: The Miz
5 Charlotte (c) vs. Sasha Banks – WWE Women’s Championship (RAW)
After a few months off, The Boss will make her triumphant return to face Charlotte, who has cemented her spot as the most dominant heel champion in recent WWE memory, by using Dana Brooke and anyone else at her disposal to keep her title from Bayley. While there may be signs of dissension in the ranks with Charlotte and Dana, with Dana’s former partner Emma returning, she will still manage to keep her title on this occasion, leading to a one on one stipulation match between this pair again at the Royal Rumble (maybe a two out of three falls or a steel cage match), where Sasha would come out on top, leading to the dream ‘Mania match of Bayley vs. Sasha.
4 Roman Reigns, The Club, Sami Zayn & Sheamus vs. Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Samoa Joe, John Cena & Dean Ambrose
This match is bound to be a classic, as it features 10 amazing wrestlers who all have something to prove, but it would come down to Samoa Joe and John Cena on the Smackdown side (making it 1-1 in the SvR for the night… more on that later). While typical stories will be told during the match as stated in the women’s match, it’s what happens after the match that will be most exciting for fans, as Joe would turn on Cena leading to another best of 3 series between an indy guy and John Cena, culminating at WrestleMania. This would be Joe’s breakout moment on the main roster, as there is plenty of talent ahead of him on the Smackdown roster, but this would no doubt prove he is worthy of a WWE Title match. This is only the start for Joe as Ambrose, Wyatt, Styles & Ziggler are all enticing feuds.
Winners: Samoa Joe & John Cena
3 Seth Rollins (c) vs. Kevin Owens – WWE Universal Championship
It was rumored that Kevin Owens was to be Finn Balor’s first title defense before his untimely injury, so why not keep KO in the hunt for a title that many feel he deserves, as he is one of the most consistently popular and entertaining stars on the main roster. After a double turn with Reigns and Rollins in next weeks Fatal-4-Way main event, this match would pit baby face Rollins against Owens, and would be a showcase of the future of wrestling, as it would see two of the best performers in the world go head to head. Owens would come away with a clean, unexpected win after Rollins 4 month reign at the top, and while it may be unexpected, the point of the brand split was to create more headline stars, and with this no doubt amazing match, Owens would be established as a huge star heading into matchups with Rollins, Reigns, a returning (at the Royal Rumble hopefully) Finn Balor and Brock Lesnar.
Winner: Kevin Owens
2 AJ Styles (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE World Championship
Whether WWE decide to keep AJ’s red hot momentum going with a win over Dean Ambrose at Backlash or decide to delay it, its only a matter of time until the Phenomenal One becomes WWE Champion, and if that happens, he should no doubt be in for a long run. One way to build up to the possible main event of WrestleMania (more on that in the next match) is to give the fans a sure fire good match, and a fresh one at that, and that would be best as Randy Orton, a star for over 13 years in WWE that we haven’t see Styles battle yet. The match would be similar to that of Styles vs. Cena, but Orton offers different character traits which would be fun to see (also would be good to see more Styles promos in the lead up with a changed story line), but either way it would be a sure fire great match and a good way to kick of Styles’ reign.
Winner: AJ Styles
1 Brock Lesnar vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This one comes as a result of the interaction between Lesnar and Shane McMahon at the end of Summerslam, as it makes more sense to have Shane pick a champion to wrestle for him, because if an Randy Orton or the Undertaker can’t beat Lesnar, why could a middle-age non-wrestler? The perfect way to go about this, and set up several WrestleMania bouts is to have Shane bring up the King of Strong Style as his champion, as there is a history between he and Lesnar dating back to New Japan Pro Wrestling, and if anyone could use a win over Brock Lesnar to become a superstar, Nakamura is the prime candidate. The match itself would be brutal and hard hitting, with Nakamura’s electric charisma and head games allowing him to not be intimidated by Lesnar, maybe even getting in the Beast’s head, and would be finished by the Kinshasa, being the first man to pin Lesnar since he ended the streak at WrestleMania XXX. This would set up a slow burn to a feud between AJ Styles and Nakamura at WrestleMania 33 where they would replicate their Wrestle Kingdom 10 match, and would enrage Lesnar in story to make him even more vicious and brutal leading up to the Night of Nights in April, perhaps to go after the Universal Champion?
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura