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WWE Survivor Series 2015 Preview & Predictions

It has been twenty five years since the debut of the Undertaker back at Survivor Series 1990, but this Sunday will mark the twenty eighth edition of the annual November WWE event. While there will be a traditional Survivor Series 5 on 5 match, we don’t actually know it as WWE hasn’t announced the participants. I guess it’s not that important.

But what is important is the WWE title, which in the last month has been declared vacant due to Seth Rollins suffering a major knee injury. A tournament has been held in the last month to determine who will be the new champion, and it boils down to four people: United States champion Alberto del Rio, Intercontinental champion Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. It’ll be interesting to see not only who walks away champion, but just how that person winds up with the belt. Will they do it the right way, or will the Authority once again have their very own champion?

Meanwhile, it is the 25th anniversary of the Undertaker, so the dead man will be in action alongside Kane taking on the team of Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman. Wyatt has rekindled his feud with Undertaker and Kane in the last month, taking away their amazing ability to summon lightning and fire and all sorts of other fun magic tricks. Will Kane and Undertaker reign supreme, or will Wyatt’s magic powers run dry?

Our predictors for this month’s show:

- Bryan Rose: New Japan house show/AXS reporter

- Kyle S Johnson

- Jeremy Peeples

- James Cox: WWE Superstars reporter and WWE DVD reviewer

- Steve Khan: WWE Smackdown reporter

- Paul Fontaine: ROH TV and PPV recapper; columnist

 

Dolph Ziggler vs. Tyler Breeze

Bryan Rose: I’m already feeling like Breeze is just a guy in the midcard. Granted, with his gimmick there’s not going to be any real opportunity at the top but in his first match against Ambrose he got pinned clean. He’s won matches since then, but I think this is an important match for Breeze. Either he beats Dolph clean and gets some momentum, or Ziggler pins him and we’re just kind of filling time on Raw from this point forward. I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and go with Breeze for this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they go the other way either.

    Prediction: Tyler Breeze

Kyle S. Johnson: The build to this match was bisected by the impromptu WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, and everything feels pretty tepid going into Sunday. Story aside, it will be interesting to see what kind of chemistry these two have, and this could wind up being a fun little match to get the show rolling. Both guys are coming off of losses in the tournament, but Breeze could probably use the win more so as to establish some kind of footing on the main roster. I expect either Prince Pretty picking up the victory via heelishness/Summer Rae chicanery or Ziggler getting a DQ win to get more heat on Breeze, with either result extending the feud into the end of the year.

    Prediction: Tyler Breeze

Jeremy Peeples: This has had a fun mid-card build, but not very noteworthy for either guy. Dolph is the established guy, and as a former World champion, it seems odd to peg him as the loser here, but Tyler needs the win more.

   Prediction:  Tyler Breeze

James Cox: I watched these two live at the house shows a few weeks ago and they work well together. Breeze needs to connect more with the crowd and so a win here makes a lot of sense. His start on the main roster has been stuttering so they need to keep him strong now and see what he can really do. I don’t imagine Ziggler has a problem continuing this feud or putting him over at this stage.

    Prediction: Tyler Breeze

Steve Khan: WWE picks random moments to protect Dolph Ziggler and I could see this being one of them. However, they obviously need something new and Breeze is definitely that. Ziggler will get his win back later but I think Breeze does pick up the win here with help from Summer Rae. The match has potential but I worry about it getting enough time.

Prediction: Tyler Breeze

Paul Fontaine: Breeze needs the win alot more than Ziggler does. They need to make new stars and Breeze has as much of a chance as anyone else to catch on. At least the act with he and Summer is different. Don’t see any reason to think there will be anything but a win for Breeze here.

    Prediction: Tyler Breeze

WWE Divas Title: Charlotte © vs. Paige

Bryan Rose: Boy, this has been the source of much chatter this week, hasn’t it? I won’t go into the details of the angle that closed off Raw Monday because it’s been talked about to death and I pretty much agree with how tasteless and stupid it was. With that said, this Diva’s Revolution they like to talk about on a weekly basis feels flatter and flatter each week. Charlotte has been bland as a face and Paige has turned so many times in the last year it’s hard to feel anything about her. I still think they’re invested in making Charlotte the big star of the division (which is kind of funny considering Sasha Banks has been called up, but there’s politics here) so I say she retains.

    Prediction: Charlotte

Kyle S. Johnson: The story of this match was torched on Monday in what should go down as one of the company’s most tactless, disgusting moments of the past decade. Everything about turning this story to hinge on the very real death of Reid Fliehr leaves a bad taste in my mouth, and that taste only gets worse the more with every successive revelation of just how negligently this thing was handled. While it will by no means compensate for that horrid angle, Charlotte and Paige can turn a lot of the focus toward a positive if they are allowed to go out and put on a great match. Expect Charlotte to get a victory, hope that nothing more is done to invoke Reid’s name, and understand that the artificial Divas Revolution is done.

    Prediction: Charlotte

Jeremy Peeples: Raw destroyed the buildup for this feud, which already wasn’t anything special. Paige would benefit more from having the title than Charlotte, who feels like she has no momentum even with the title - but after Monday, Charlotte is definitely winning.

Prediction: Charlotte

James Cox: I’ve gone back and forth on this one. As I have booked it, this show doesn’t have many surprises yet and, whether good or bad, this angle got attention. If they put Paige over, it would stink given the way they treated the Flair family but it could also lead to some serious heat. After the apology and statements were issued I kind of assumed that they’ll just put Charlotte over in the end.

    Prediction: Charlotte

Steve Khan: Charlotte can’t lose the belt after what happened on Monday. I guess we’ll find out how stubborn they are. Either Charlotte wins or she goes nuts and it ends in a DQ or no contest. The match itself seems secondary so I don’t expect much from this.

Prediction: Charlotte

Paul Fontaine: I have a funny feeling, and I really hope I’m wrong, that somehow Charlotte is going to get punished for all of the heat for this angle involving her brother’s death. Paige would probably make a better champion than Charlotte right now anyway as she’s the more complete performer.

    Prediction: Paige

The Brothers of Destruction vs. Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman

Bryan Rose: The Undertaker and Kane win. Wyatt and his group continue to be spooky time magicians for the foreseeable future. Not the most compelling feud of all time.

    Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

Kyle S. Johnson: What the hell was this build? Apparently, WWE’s best idea for celebrating a quarter-century of The Undertaker was to force the audience to relieve a hodge-podge of some of his worst feuds from the past 25 years. The only thing missing here was having the entire mid-card come out to stuff ‘Taker in a casket; but then, that might have actually succeeded in making The Wyatts look like a legitimate threat. Luke Harper deserved to be in this match, but it’s understood that Strowman must be made credible, and this match theoretically gives him that rub. Undertaker and Kane should win because it’s been shown repeatedly that they are neither intimidated nor threatened by The Wyatts, but things could go the other way if someone has the bright idea to make Bray and company look strong for a change. There’s the possibility that they could feed Braun the win here to set him up for Undertaker at Wrestlemania, but good god, please no. I’ll take Undertaker and Kane in what has the potential to be a real plodder.

    Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

Jeremy Peeples: It’s Undertaker’s 25th anniversary in the company and he’s been the focus of all advertising, so after a month of baffling buildup, it’s clear who’s winning this one.

    Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

James Cox: They have a heel that they could do something with in Bray Wyatt and he is creating a stable around him and yet they’re going to beat him again on ppv. Let’s not forget that The Undertaker already beat him at WrestleMania. This ought to be placed halfway through the card and set up something for later down the road. I don’t see this being any good at all. What a terrible anniversary gift.

    Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

Steve Khan: There’s no way Undertaker should lose to a dead act, especially on this night. The match itself should be fun. I can see Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt being the two opponents, because pretty much every other combination would be a disappointment. Undertaker can pin Harper, which would allow this feud to continue, or (hopefully) die while sort of saving Bray.

Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

Paul Fontaine:  25 years of the Undertaker, 25 months of mind-numbingly terrible Bray Wyatt storylines. This adds up to hopefully a quick and decisive win for the Brothers of Destruction. I just hope to God that they don’t have Kane turn on his brother and have them feud leading up to Mania.

    Prediction: Brothers of Destruction

WWE Title Tournament Semifinal: Roman Reigns vs. Alberto del Rio

Bryan Rose: It’s so funny that one month after his big return, you can already tell by the body language that Alberto del Rio wishes he were anywhere but on WWE television with this going nowhere gimmick with Zeb Coulter. I mean, if it weren’t for this tournament they were going to put him with Jack Swagger. Seriously.  I just don’t get their creative sometimes, it baffles the mind. I’m pretty sure unless something completely unexpected happens Reigns wins here.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

Kyle S. Johnson: Remember a few weeks ago when the returning Alberto del Rio was suddenly one of the hottest guys on the roster? In just a handful of shows, WWE’s insistence on booking del Rio in the most ludicrous manner possible has seemingly relegated him back to the exact same spot he was in before he left the company. He’s receiving apathetic crowd reactions, and who can blame the audience? This storyline with Zeb and MexAmerica is going nowhere, and if WWE is smart, they’ll scrap it with the quickness and set Alberto along a new path. Oh, and he has an approximate zero percent chance to win this match. Perhaps even a negative one percent chance, if that’s even possible. As long as Reigns doesn’t make the inexplicable decision to scale the top rope, he should be fine.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

Jeremy Peeples: Alberto hasn’t dropped a match since returning, but Roman’s the chosen one, so it’s Alberto destiny to lose this one.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

James Cox: The clue is in the fact that Del Rio already has a title. Having two titles at once was what Seth did and then you have to have you World Champion lose to someone - they’re not going to do that again in a hurry. Surely. Should be a good match and my interest is at least piqued by the finish, despite how inevitable the result is.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

Steve Khan: I don’t care what they have invested in Del Rio, Reigns needs to go over strong here. I expect a decent match with Reigns winning. They could do something wacky and have Del Rio advance, but they’ve basically pushed this show on the idea that Reigns is fighting for the title.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

Paul Fontaine: No reason to go against the rest of the crew here. Del Rio feels about as hot as TNA Impact right now (which is not hot at all, in case you didn’t know). Reigns is the person this whole tournament has been built around. These two are likely going to have a boring match, as seemingly every Del Rio match has been since his return and Reigns will ride the negative heat he’s surely going to receive right into the finals.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

WWE Title Tournament Semifinal: Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose

Bryan Rose: This one I’m not too sure about, unlike the other semifinal. They can do two things. One, Owens wins and goes to the finals to lose to Reigns. Two, Ambrose wins, he turns heel during the finish and wins the title. Ambrose is in a position where either of these outcomes are possible, and think about it - Triple H talked to everyone backstage during Raw except Ambrose. So I’m going to go with Ambrose, as its something unexpected and makes for a more interesting and less obvious final match.

    Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Kyle S. Johnson: This oughta be a lot of fun. Owens and Ambrose were already on a collision course prior to the injury to Seth Rollins, only now they’ll be fighting for that coveted spot in the finals of the tournament. Of the established matches, this one feels the most like it could go either way--Owens could be semi-instantaneously cemented as the company’s top heel with a win here and a strong performance against Reigns, but the Reigns vs. Ambrose match has been brewing for some time now. One would like to think that WWE would opt to continue that slow build to Reigns vs. Ambrose so that they can promote it appropriately, but I fully expect that they will hotshot it for the finals of this tournament.

    Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Jeremy Peeples: Owens benefits a lot more from a win here than Ambrose would, although both desperately need some momentum. After being lost in the mid-card, Owens has some traction again while Dean feels aimless. Doing Dean vs. Roman feels a bit early and hasn’t been built up at all, so I can see that happening, but Owens winning gives them more to do without blowing a potential “big” feud match without any hype.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

James Cox: Unless they’re running scared because of the ratings and Seth’s injury and are making a stupid, knee-jerk decision, then Owens wins here. The Reigns-Ambrose match or even a Shield three-way is something that needs time and build. Owens is a perfectly good heel to go with for now. This could be a really good match and they can beat Ambrose clean without having to worry.

    Prediction: Kevin Owens

Steve Khan: I would go with Owens and save Ambrose vs. Reigns for another time. I think there’s a temptation to do something big on this show, and Reigns just beating Owens in the finals isn’t that (which makes it a strong possibility). Ambrose is the only guy in the final four that they never showed talking to Triple H, and that worries me a little. My gut is they go with Ambrose. The match itself should be great.

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Paul Fontaine: This is the first match, other than maybe Breeze/Ziggler, where the result doesn’t seem completely obvious. I’m with Bryan Alvarez on this one and feel like they shouldn’t give away Reigns/Ambrose  without a proper build. Plus, the way I feel they’re going in the main event leads me to  believe that Owens will be a better opponent for Reigns than Ambrose. This could be the match of the night, unless it’s the tournament final.

    Prediction: Kevin Owens

WWE Title Tournament Final: Who walks out of Survivor Series the WWE Champion?

Bryan Rose: Dean Ambrose, based on the situation I just gave in my previous prediction. Reigns winning the title here is fine if they want a babyface going into the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania season as champion. But Vince has always liked the “against all odds” scenario where the babyface wins the title at the biggest event of the year. To ensure that scenario is still in place, it makes the most sense for Ambrose to win here, align with the Authority and wear the title going into Wrestlemania. It sets up a nice story about Reigns wanting revenge for his friends betrayal, and you have a simple but good story leading to Wrestlemania season.

    Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Kyle S. Johnson: This match could involve Kevin Owens, is more likely to feature Dean Ambrose, and is practically guaranteed to star Roman Reigns. Reigns’ involvement has been a certainty since the tournament was announced, but the direction and conclusion of the tournament final is the subject of great speculation. The story that has been created in two weeks has Triple H reaching out to everyone in the tournament in the hopes that they will accept the offer to become “his guy”--an offer that was spurned by Reigns in the wake of Rollins’ injury. Should we wind up with Dean vs. Roman, this story could play out a number of ways: Ambrose could just resort to heel tactics during the match, we get a ref bump and a Triple H walkout, and Dean takes the sledgehammer (either literally or metaphorically) and becomes The Authority’s new face. Alternately, Dean could be shown speaking to Triple H prior to the match, which could serve as a tension-building red herring that leads to Reigns turning heel (less likely) or Sheamus cashing in and taking up the offer (more likely). Then again, Roman could just win the thing outright and continue along the uphill battle of becoming the company’s new face. With so many failures behind him, it’s hard to picture a scenario where Reigns walks out without the championship that doesn’t result in another major hit to his credibility--unless they are absolutely committed to drawing out the chase in order to give him that Wrestlemania moment a year later than desired. Whatever happens, here’s hoping they have some semblance of a plan to get through the six months between now and ‘Mania.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

Jeremy Peeples: Whether Owens or Ambrose wins, they’re going against Roman here. Owens vs. Roman would probably be a better match and definitely help out Owens just from making it to the finals of the tournament. Either man being in the finals should give them at least some cache for a B show PPV main event or two, but Roman’s time is coming - whether it’s the exact right time or not.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

James Cox: Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this is the right time for Roman Reigns to be the champion, but I just hope that they strap a rocket to Reigns throughout the show and keep him strong. A failed Sheamus cash-in post match would really help that, to an extent. And I just can’t believe that they would take the title away from Reigns, like they did at WrestleMania, again. The match should be strong, to finish what will probably be a three-match show with some fairly mediocre stuff in between.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns

Steve Khan: If Reigns was super over, him winning the title clean against whoever would be fine and everyone would go home happy. But that’s not the case. If he ends up facing Owens, then that’s the most likely finish. If it’s against Ambrose, which is my prediction, that’s where it gets interesting. I really feel like Reigns should turn, because even if there’s a large group of people who like him, the ceiling as a babyface is low at the moment. If it’s Ambrose vs. Reigns, one of them pretty much has to turn, either on this show or Raw the next night. Whoever turns, I’ll go out on a limb (I guess?) and pick Dean Ambrose. (I don’t expect Sheamus to cash in and win, because they would be bad.)

Prediction: Dean Ambrose

Paul Fontaine:  My final is Roman Reigns vs Kevin Owens. At some point during the night, I think we see the Authority meeting with Owens with the idea that they’re going to help him. He gets by Ambrose with help from them although subtly he doesn’t seem to want their help. In the finals, they come out again, seemingly to help Owens but end up helping Reigns instead, ala Deadly Games in 1998 (so in this scenario, Owens is Mankind and Reigns is the Rock). Reigns is the new champion and holds the belt through Mania until he can feud with a returning Seth Rollins.

    Prediction: Roman Reigns