It’s Survivor Series weekend – HOORAY!
When was the last time we were excited about that?
Say what you will about the brand split, WWE have made Survivor Series feel like a big time event again – heavily promoting the Smackdown vs Raw bouts, putting the fate of the Intercontinental Championship and the Cruiserweight Division on the line, and bringing back Goldberg for his first match in over 12 years.
And you should get used to it, because just like the good old days, ESPN are reporting WWE will be basing their pay-per-view strategy around the ‘Big Four’ again. And they’re going to be even bigger than they were originally.
The ‘Big Four’ are WWE’s classic brand name events that have been in place since the 1980s – the Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, SummerSlam and Survivor Series. The year’s other pay-per-view events were often referred to as ‘B-shows’, with memorable names such as Over the Limit, Bragging Rights and Fatal 4-Way.
But over the years, despite the occasional spasm of life like when The Rock teamed with John Cena against The Miz and R-Truth back in 2011, Survivor Series has, well, only just about survived. Back in 2010, after declining buys for the pay-per-view, Vince McMahon called the show “OBSOLETE” and that, “It was one of the original four, but it’s outlasted its usage…it’s one of the PPVs we will be looking at in terms of re-branding. We will no longer have that title anymore.” Six years later, and it’s now a 14 hour show or something. It’s not like Vince to change his mind.
This will hopefully give WWE a framework to structure their storylines around, with angles and cliffhangers plotted around the three month intervals between ‘Big Four’ shows.
The idea is to make the ‘Big Four’ shows event long weekends, with an NXT Takeover event on the Saturday, the PPV on the Sunday, Raw on Monday and Smackdown Live on Tuesday all in the same city. The Wrestling Observer reports this is so WWE can create competition between cities to effectively ‘bid’ on hosting the show. According to one study, this year’s Wrestlemania generated $170.4 million for the Dallas/Arlington area where the show took place.
Next year’s Survivor Series has already been awarded to The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
But what about this Sunday’s Survivor Series? We’ve heard the rumours for who’s going to win what, but here’s what the bookies say…
5-on-5 Mens’ Elimination Match
Team Smackdown -140 (5/7)
Team Raw EVEN (1/1)
-The Men’s elimination match has Smackdown as the favourites, which is contrary to the rumours.
5-on-5 Womens’ Elimination Match
Team Raw -140 (5/7)
Team Smackdown EVEN (1/1)
-The Raw women are expected to win their match.
10-on-10 Tag Elimination Match
Team Raw -275 (4/11)
Team Smackdown +180 (9/5)
-Somehow Team Raw are favourites for the tag elimination match.
Singles Match – Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg
Brock Lesnar -320 (5/16)
Goldberg +210 (21/10)
-Brock Lesnar is the heavy favourite to beat Goldberg.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Kalisto -400 (1/4)
Brian Kendrick +250 (5/2)
-Kalisto is expected to take the Cruiserweight division to Smackdown Live.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Sami Zayn -325 (4/13)
The Miz +220 (11/5)
-And Sami Zayn is expected to take the Intercontinental Title to Raw.
Because people aren’t sick enough of the US election already, the early betting odds for who will win the 2020 race have also been amassed.
Donald Trump is favourite to retain his US Presidential Championship, with Michelle Obama amongst the favourites – but most importantly for us wrestling fans is Rock ‘The Dwayne’ Johnson sitting at 100/1. However, more worryingly, is Vince McMahon as an outsider at 500/1.
What are your predictions for Survivor Series and NXT Takeover: Toronto this weekend? Let’s fantasy book some big angles in the comments below.