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WWE Survivor Series preview & predictions: The battle of the brands

The biggest event of WWE’s fall lineup is about to take place in just hours as Survivor Series emanates tonight in Toronto, Canada at the Air Canada Centre.

Brock Lesnar is scheduled to go one-on-one with none other than Goldberg, who hasn’t wrestled since 2004, when he lost to...well, funny enough, Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XX. It’s bound to be a very interesting match, because not only has Goldberg not wrestled in over a decade, but their match 12 years ago won’t be hard to better.

The undercard features a number of Raw vs. SmackDown matches, with three consisting of Survivor Series style elimination matches pitting Raw and SmackDown superstars in the men's, women's, and tag team divisions.

Two title matches are also to take place, both Raw vs. SmackDown bouts as well. Raw’s Brian Kendrick defends against SmackDown's Kallisto and SmackDown's The Miz defends the Intercontinental title against Raw’s Sami Zayn. If Zayn wins, he brings the Intercontinental title to Raw. If Kallisto wins the cruiserweight title, he not only brings that title to SmackDown but also brings the entire cruiserweight division along with him.

Latest point tallies:

  • Kyle S. Johnson: (Columnist) (65 points)
  • Steve Khan: (WWE SmackDown Live recapper) (64 points)
  • Bryan Rose: (New Japan/CWC reporter) (63 points)
  • James Cox: (WWE Superstars recapper & WWE DVD reviewer) (61 points)
  • Jeremy Peeples: (Lucha Underground recapper) (45 points)
  • Brian Hoops: (Daily Pro Wrestling History) (44 points)
  • Ryan Frederick: (UFC reporter) (35 points)
  • PeachMachine: (University of Phoenix online mascot) (17 points)
  • Paul “Gramps” Fontaine: (MMA writer and recapper and new grandfather) (17 points)
  • Kevin LaRose: (WWE Main Event and Total Divas recapper) (4 points)
  • JJ Williams: (NXT reporter) (3 points)

 

WWE Intercontinental title: The Miz © vs. Sami Zayn

Bryan Rose: Should be a really good match. Miz has been on a roll since having Maryse join his side, the act is pretty hot. I say he retains.

    Winner: The Miz

James Cox: I think they’re swapping the titles on the brands. Zayn’s excellent and ought to be a champion, but this has sprung from nowhere. Credit to Miz, too, he’s been good this year.

    Winner: Sami Zayn

Brian Hoops: Should be a good match. Miz wins with interference from Maryse.

    Winner: The Miz

Kyle S. Johnson: Sami would be the perfect guy to give the IC title to if they were putting it on Raw. Having said that, I don’t think this belt is going anywhere, so I look for Miz to retain.

    Winner: The Miz

Jeremy Peeples: The title means more on SD and Miz’s reign just started -- so Miz retains and Sami gets brow-beaten on Raw for failing Stephanie.

    Winner: The Miz

Ryan Frederick: The Miz is one of the best all-around performers in the company and it is too soon to take the title off of him. His act with Maryse is fantastic and having him being an antagonist to Daniel Bryan has been entertaining. I think this will be a very good match with Miz retaining.

    Winner: The Miz

JJ Williams: This is a perfect loophole to get Zayn on SmackDown as a top babyface if he refuses to bring the title to Raw for Stephanie after her recent browbeating.

    Winner: Sami Zayn

Steve Khan: If the purpose was just to have a match where nothing changes, they could’ve just kept the title on Ziggler and this would’ve been a better match. Zayn should win, especially in Toronto.

    Winner: Sami Zayn

Paul Fontaine: The Miz retains the title and then when Bryan and Shane are congratulating him backstage, Steph interrupts and advises them that she’s just signed Miz to a contract with Raw.

    Winner: The Miz

 

WWE Cruiserweight Title: Brian Kendrick © vs. Kalisto

Bryan Rose: Tough. They could move the division to SmackDown, and makes more sense to do it since they’ve been completely lost on Raw so far. But WWE and making sense sometimes don’t go hand in hand. Let’s say they make the right choice and move it to SmackDown.

    Winner: Kallisto

James Cox: Could be a good match, I do like Kendrick. I think they’re changing the titles to the other brand, just because they can.

    Winner: Kalisto

Brian Hoops: No reason to change the title again.

    Winner: Brian Kendrick

Kyle S. Johnson: On the one hand, taking the title right off of Kendrick so quickly doesn’t make sense. On the other, putting the entire cruiserweight division on SmackDown does. Kalisto to win, hopefully leading to a much-needed revamp for the already stagnant-feeling division.

    Winner: Kalisto

Jeremy Peeples: Kendrick had so much momentum coming off the CWC and has none now. He doesn’t really feel like a champion -- just a guy with a belt. The division going to SD makes far more sense -- especially with Bryan doing the CWC commentary, loving the division, the idea of it, and so forth. Kalisto should win and hopefully lead to a spark for it on SD.

    Winner: Kalisto

Ryan Frederick: This is a tight spot. They just put the title on Brian Kendrick and were building a program with Rich Swann. However, the title and division feels like a much better fit on SmackDown, especially with the new network show coming. I'm thinking there will be a title change, but it will be a short reign, maybe even only two days.

    Winner: Kalisto

JJ Williams: Because we’ve already been conditioned to see the cruisers as interchangeable and equal, it wouldn’t shock me for Kendrick to drop the title so soon. Kalisto is the type of person to anchor 205 so it’s worth it in the long run.

    Winner: Kalisto

Steve Khan: Moving the entire division based on a random match seems a little dramatic. So I could see them doing it. I’m going a little SmackDown-heavy on this show, so I’ll keep up the theme and take Kalisto winning somehow.

    Winner: Kalisto

Paul Fontaine: Clearly, Kalisto is winning the title and the cruisers are moving over to #TeamBlue.

    Winner: Kalisto

 

Tag Team Division Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (The New Day, Sheamus & Cesaro, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, Enzo Amore & Big Cass, and The Shining Stars) vs. Team SmackDown (American Alpha, Hype Bros, Heath Slater & Rhyno, The Usos, and Breezango)

Bryan Rose: Hmm, this is tough. Raw just feels like the more balanced team here. You could give the win to American Alpha so at least they have some sort of momentum, but I don’t see it happening. I say Raw wins.

    Winners: Raw

    Survivors: New Day

James Cox: I can’t really envisage how this can be very good, unless everyone is really concentrating. Unfortunately, it has the potential to be unrealistically quick and a series of spots.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: The New Day

Brian Hoops:

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Enzo and Big Cass

Kyle S. Johnson: This is just going to be a mess, isn’t it?

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: New Day and Enzo and Cass

Jeremy Peeples: Team Raw will probably win this, and I’ll go with New Day and Big Cass surviving.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: New Day and Big Cass

Ryan Frederick: I figure Team Raw wins this just because they don't want to beat The New Day. It'll probably be a jumbled mess at times.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: The New Day

JJ Williams: This is the chance to give Alpha a much needed reboot, their strength is in the ring and this match is going to rack up some minutes.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: American Alpha & The Usos

Steve Khan: I figure SmackDown will win two of the three traditional matches, but either way, I think this is one Raw gets. New Day and Sheamus & Cesaro should shine.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: The New Day, Cesaro & Sheamus

Paul Fontaine: This really should be a showcase for American Alpha if we’re doing things right. I’d have it come down to them against two of the Raw teams and then have Alpha eliminate them both, including The New Day.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: American Alpha

 

Women’s Survivor Series Match: Team Raw (Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax) vs. Team SmackDown (Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Naomi, Carmella,and Nikki Bella)

Bryan Rose: I think Raw also takes this one. It seems like Nia Jax is set to be one of the top monster heels on Raw, so makes sense she will be the lone survivor in her match, maybe doing two final eliminations to create heat for her.

    Winners: Raw

    Survivors: Nia Jax

James Cox: I think they do some angle here where Bayley and Charlotte are eliminated because of descent and we then see Raw left with Banks trying to rally the troops.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Sasha Banks & Alicia Fox

Brian Hoops:

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks

Kyle S. Johnson: The Raw team should win this, likely setting up someone as the plausible number one contender against Charlotte along the way.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Charlotte and Nia Jax

Jeremy Peeples: Team SD should win something big -- and the women’s side would be helped a bit by having Becky get a win.

    Winners: Team SD

    Survivor: Becky Lynch

Ryan Frederick: I'm sensing another Raw win here. Raw has the two women they want to push the most in Charlotte and Nia Jax, and I see that becoming even more clear on Sunday.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Charlotte & Nia Jax

JJ Williams: This one is going to be something, as we should get a Four Horsewomen moment towards the end, and after all is done, I see Bayley victorious while Charlotte watches on to further the path towards that title match in the future.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Charlotte and Bayley

Steve Khan: The SmackDown women need this more, and Charlotte’s streak will stay alive regardless.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: Becky Lynch

Paul Fontaine: Because I have SmackDown winning the first one, Raw has to win this one. Charlotte extends her PPV winning streak. I think Bayley should get the winning pin over Becky for her her team.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Bayley, Sasha Banks and Queen Charlotte

 

Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match: Team Raw (Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins) vs. Team SmackDown (AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, and Shane McMahon)

Bryan Rose: I say SmackDown takes this one. Raw might lead to some infighting, leading to someone from SD scoring the win. If I had to guess, I would say that Ambrose and Styles will be the last two standing.

    Winners: SmackDown

    Survivors: AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose

James Cox: I see Reigns, Owens vs. Ambrose as the last men standing, with Ambrose getting pinned. This is a damaging concept of a match; there are lots of characters here who just shouldn’t be getting pinned. Therefore, I assume count outs and DQs come into play.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Roman Reigns & Kevin Owens

Brian Hoops:

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: AJ Styles

Kyle S. Johnson: There are a lot of guys here who need to be kept strong, so it feels like this match will be filled with double crosses and walkouts. Since Raw winning the other two Survivor Series matches seems most likely, I’ll take SmackDown to win this one and Dean to lay out AJ with a Dirty Deeds after the finish.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose

Jeremy Peeples: Team SD has the most cohesion amongst them, so I’ll go with a Team SD win here leading to more AJ vs. Dean stuff -- or Ellsworth could turn heel on Dean. I think that’s coming in time, and this feels too early.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose

Ryan Frederick: Since I have Raw winning the other two elimination matches, I'm going with SmackDown on this one. The booking will be interesting. I have no idea what they'll do. I'm sure Braun Strowman will be kept strong. There has to be a Shield tease, especially with all of them being faces. Something has to be going on with Shane McMahon being added to the match. It'll probably be a good match.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: AJ Styles & Shane McMahon

JJ Williams: After the Undertaker made his threat to team SmackDown, it seems like the last man out in this should be who he ends up punishing down the line. I’ll be shocked if the final four aren’t Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, and Dean Ambrose for a Shield reunion tease and Styles being the final one pinned to seal his fate.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins

Steve Khan: I had SmackDown all the way here, but Undertaker’s return and announcement made me think they’ll come up short, leading to some kind of angle with Taker going after AJ Styles. Still, I’ll stick with my gut and go with SmackDown, since they need the win more.

    Winners: Team SmackDown

    Survivors: Dean Ambrose

Paul Fontaine: I’m going with Team Raw. At the end of the day, Raw is Vince’s baby and so is Steph and they gotta win. I think something’s gonna happen here to set up something at the Rumble and maybe even Mania but I don’t know what it is.

    Winners: Team Raw

    Survivors: Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns

 

Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg

Bryan Rose: Hopefully this is short. I still have bad memories from their WrestleMania match, and that was 12 years ago. Something tells me these two going at it again won’t get better with age. Brock wins as he’ll be around, Goldberg is anyone’s guess.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

James Cox: I never ever thought I would be at all invested in a Goldberg return, but I was dead wrong. He has come at this in a measured and calculated way and has been superb. I think it may be longer than we think as they over-egg the selling.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Brian Hoops: Should be fun while it lasts.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Kyle S. Johnson: How is it that, in 2016, Bill Goldberg is one of the most engaging characters on WWE television? This build has been great; this match probably will not be, but it has the potential to be a fun and supremely violent car crash.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Jeremy Peeples: Goldberg has become a far better promo in retirement than he was as a full-time guy and seems like a true legendary act again. It’s amazing how much more star power he projects than Brock. Since this is planned to be Goldberg’s final match, you’ve got to give Brock the win -- but I would expect Goldberg’s star to shine brighter afterwards.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Ryan Frederick: I'm actually really looking forward to this match and I'm happy Bill Goldberg gets this chance. I never thought he would. It's clear he is there to put over Brock and keep Brock’s streak of non-clean losses since the Undertaker Mania win in tact. I hope it doesn't go too long to where it hurts the match.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

JJ Williams: This is a spectacle, Canada and Goldberg is a dynamic that I don’t feel is getting enough speculation. This one might get ugly and I love it. Goldberg is going to look strong yet Brock is going to be just too much in the end. They’ll set up a Goldberg alone in the ring goodbye spot but I’m not sure how the crowd will react.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Steve Khan: Brock should win and that should be that.

    Winner: Brock Lesnar

Paul Fontaine: This should be a lot of fun. Biggest question in my mind is how the Toronto crowd treats Goldberg and it could, and maybe should, have an effect on the match. Brock should win unless they convince Goldberg to do another match or two. I’m gonna go out on a limb here

    Winner: Goldberg