On paper, the 2017 edition of Survivor Series looks like it could be an excellent show. This year's card features a number of champion vs. champion matches plus the traditional men's and women's 5-on-5 interbrand elimination tag matches.
Last year's show had its ups and downs, but avoided the "disappointment" label all-around. Unfortunately, it's hard to say the same thing about 2017. Poor bookings, the return of too many part-timers and other factors make for what could be a not-so-fun show on Sunday.
Here are five reasons why Survivor Series 2017 is shaping up to be a major disappointment.
5. Part-Timers Stealing The Show...Again
This has been an issue with the WWE for far too long, and they refuse to move away from it. John Cena and Brock Lesnar are both 40 years of age and have unclear futures with WWE, so why do they get to highlight Survivor Series? It's not like they're completely devoid of young talent or anything.
We saw Lesnar highlight Survivor Series last year against Goldberg. Now, he gets to go up against A.J. Styles - who should be facing a full-time star from the Raw roster instead. His match against Finn Balor at TLC was top-notch, after all.
Oh, and Cena gets to join Team SmackDown, while Sami Zayn, Rusev and Kevin Owens take backseats. Makes a ton of sense, except it doesn't.
4. Lesnar Vs. Styles
I may be in the minority here, but I don't believe this was the right time to have Lesnar vs. Styles. The main reason? The buildup just wasn't there.
We were all set to see a battle of two beasts in Jinder Mahal vs. Lesnar. But this week's episode of SmackDown saw Styles win the match and earn a chance to face The Beast. Now listen, this is a dream match. It needs its build up. Styles needs a genuine title reign going into such a match.
It just feels like WWE is shoving it down our throats. Maybe it's just me, but deciding 12 days before Survivor Series to book this match just isn't right. Why didn't the creative team build this up at least a month earlier? And if (and probably when), Styles loses, what good does this do for his character? Another likely Lesnar squash over one of WWE's elite stars. In the main event. Of a pay-per-view. Yay.
3. The Shield Vs. The New Day?
But PWInsider.com reported on Thursday that Reigns has been cleared to return, and the plan is for The Shield to (finally) reunite and face The New Day. Problem is, The New Day doesn't seem like the right opponent for them, especially considering it's The Shield's first match together in over three years.
The campy, kid-friendly and toyish New Day faction just isn't the right fit for The Shield. Team Miz made sense, since he, Braun Strowman and Kane are all established, top-notch veterans. Who can take this match seriously when the tough-as-nails and big, bad Shield faces guys who wear neon colours and blow a horn and hand out ice cream?
Hopefully my instincts are wrong here, but something tells me few people will actually be entertained and wowed by this match.
2. Absence Of Big Names
Along with Royal Rumble, WrestleMania and SummerSlam, Survivor Series is one of the big four pay-per-views. Logically, the WWE would try to fit all their big names on the card.
But as of now, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Bray Wyatt and Kane (who recently returned to WWE programming), aren't scheduled to compete. Owens is arguably the top star on SmackDown, and he's not competing? Seriously?
Jinder Mahal - who was the WWE Champion until losing to A.J. Styles earlier this week - is also absent from the card. Unless WWE has a few trick up their sleeves and find a way to get all these guys in, it looks like fans will have to watch a show without some of its top stars. It doesn't make any sense.
1. Lack Of Buildup
For every big show and match, the buildup matters just as much as the match. But allow me to recap what the "build up" has been:
1. Jinder Mahal was supposed to face Brock Lesnar. Paul Heyman cut a promo to make the match happen. So much for that, as Styles beat Mahal to face Lesnar instead
3. What happened to the buildup between Raw and Smackdown's 5-on-5 matches? We had the SmackDown siege, but no buildup between either side.
WWE didn't do its job in hyping up the series of matches on the card. It was a huge mistake, and one that could really cost them a good show on Nov. 19.