Hi there, welcome to the pro wrestling column on Monkeys Fighting Robots. Please, pull up a chair and join me. Wine? Yes, I guess it’s a little early, but that’s cool.
My name is Marcus Wood and I’ll be posting some regular pieces on the subject of pro wrestling, taking in news, reviews, interviews, opinions and other interesting stuff. There will be a lot of WWE but there will also be some New Japan, some ROH, some TNA, some Lucha Underground, some AAA, some EVOLVE, some…. Well you get the idea. I feel pretty lucky to be able to be writing about pro wrestling as there’s an awful lot of great stuff either going on right now or just beginning in the grapple game.
There’s also some negative stuff which brings us onto…
Yes, WWE Survivor Series 2015. It’s not to say there isn’t anything good about this show going in, far from it, but the build has been less than stellar and on paper most of the matches seem painfully predictable; I’ll get into all that in the breakdown.
First, the news going in for those not totally caught up is that Seth Rollins is out for 6-9 months recovering from a torn ACL/MCL/medial meniscus. So effectively it’s really bad and he won’t be around for quite a while, which is how we got the WWE Title tournament. Likewise, rumor has it Vince McMahon is undecided about if and when to bring Daniel Bryan back and everything from internal politics to his health is being quoted as the reason. Tough to know what to make of it all but I wouldn’t expect to see him back this year.
Starting in 1987, Survivor Series has always been one of WWE’s big four events with the traditional five vs. five elimination match being it’s cornerstone. In recent years though, both of those factors have become marginalized, the importance of the event fading somewhat and the traditional match not always a yearly appearance. And crucially it hasn’t been what the show is built around. Compare it to earlier shows where every match was a Survivor Series match and you’ll notice the difference.
Onto this year’s card with matches that are locked in but with several matches that we don’t know who the competitors will be yet. With my predictions I try and think what will happen, but sometimes what I want to see happen creeps in.
Dolph Ziggler Vs Tyler Breeze w/ Summer Rae
So for match quality this should be pretty decent, but you have to feel Summer Rae gets involved to get the win for Tyler Breeze. This is based on the presence of Summer Rae but, also, to have Breeze debut then lose would just be disastrous for him. Plus it is WWE booking after all so expect to see Ziggler get his win back next month.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler
WWE Divas Title Match: Charlotte Vs Paige
On paper it is a good match up and as long as the ladies get the time this should be a plus for the “Divas Revolution”. The downside for me personally was the build of using the death of Reid Flair as a device. I know a lot of people thought it was well done and if Ric and Charlotte were cool with it it’s all ok but it didn’t work for me. More because it just seemed misplaced in the whole thing and took it to a very personal level that the feud hadn’t been about prior to that. But regardless it’s a fresh matchup for the main roster, which is always welcomed in the divas division. One of the tougher matches to call on this show but I’m going Charlotte as I think/am hoping it’s Sasha Banks chasing the title after this and I don’t see them doing Banks-Paige for a while.
Traditional Survivor Series Match: ???, ???, ???, ???, ??? Vs ???, ???, ???, ???, ???
This is the biggest issue I have with this show and I don’t think it’s tough to see why. Traditionally Survivor Series selling point as an event was the Survivor Series match and the combination of people on each team. This year we’re getting a match but it’s an absolute afterthought and even with more hours of programming than WWE know what to do with they couldn’t find the time/be bothered to give any kind of build/hype to who the teams will be. I’m all for surprises but without either team known beforehand, what’s the reason for the match and caring what happens? Aside from shoehorning a Survivor Series match in.
To try and predict this thing I think we’ll see New Day on one side and the Dudley Boyz and Cesaro on the other side as all those guys should be on the card and have a reason to be. After that it just gets a bit random so on the heel team maybe Sheamus and King Barrett and on the face side the Usos.
Prediction: Team Dudley Boyz, Usos, Cesaro with Cesaro last man standing.
WWE World Heavyweight Title Semi: Del Rio Vs Reigns
I’m actually kind of surprised Alberto Del Rio made it this far but I think WWE were thinking the return factor might carry a bit further than it actually has done. It should be an okay match but probably won’t get too long if someone is pulling double duty. Oh and by someone I mean Roman Reigns as there is no way the new face of WWE is going down to the man with fading momentum in the semi-final.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
WWE World Heavyweight Title Semi-Final: Kevin Owens Vs Dean Ambrose
Well first off this is my prediction for match of the night and the one I’m legitimately looking forward to. Saying that I’m always psyched to see Kevin Owens in the ring on PPV and against Dean Ambrose is definitely no exception. As long as they get a decent amount of time and I think they will, it should be a good one. I’m basing that on Ambrose winning and being the underdog who has the tough match going onto the final. Because while Owens is good, Ambrose has all the reasons to be in the final versus Reigns.
Prediction: Dean Ambrose
Undertaker & Kane Vs Two TBC members of the Wyatt Family
Disclaimer: It’s not that I don’t want to see Undertaker, I do. It’s not that I don’t want to see Undertaker and Kane back together, I do. But I would have preferred to see it as the Survivor Series match we all thought we were going to get. It’s also where I think the build’s been at it’s worst as Undertaker and Kane have already run over the entire Wyatt Family on Raw with no swing the other way so why are only two members going to fare any better? While we’re on the subject how did the Brothers Of Destruction come back from having their souls or whatever taken? And why does Bray Wyatt have to keep losing? All questions I feel we’re not going to get an answer to.
As far as who the representatives for the Wyatt Family are I’m going to guess Harper and Strowman. Bray putting himself out there makes no sense which makes Harper the workhorse and Strowman has to be there to make it a bit competitive. But there is no way Undertaker is losing anything on his big 25th Anniversary party. It’s just a shame it has to come at the expense of some of the talent who should be on top right now.
Prediction: Undertaker and Kane
WWE World Heavyweight Title Final: ??? Vs ???
Well my previous predictions have led to Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns squaring off and all storyline signs point to that being the match. It’s the battle between friends and how that’s dealt with. I think there’s an outside chance of a heel turn by one of them and I’m hoping it’s Roman giving in to the dark side and he goes with the Authority, to guarantee his first WWE World Title. Regardless of what I want however and being realistic, if it’s going to happen it’ll be Ambrose taking that turn because of Reigns positioning as THE face. But with WWE quite often the simplest answer is the right one so we’ll get a battle between friends with tons of mutual respect, Reigns winning and a handshake at the end. Thus the coronation of Roman Reigns and we’ll get to find out whether the Roman hate still exists when the celebration starts. But I’m hoping for something a bit spicier than that.
Prediction: Roman Reigns
So there it is Survivor Series 2015. It’s not that it’s a bad show, there’s going to be some good matches for sure but the main reasons to care are to see a first time WWE World Champion crowned and that seems painfully predictable, unless WWE totally pull the rug from all of us. Undertaker is going to be in the ring though once again in a painfully predictable match, where the result is virtually a sure thing with the build the past few weeks making the Wyatt’s look like less of a threat as the event has gotten closer.
Right now the main reason to tune in is to see if it does end up being Ambrose in the final or WWE play it simple with a heel against Reigns in Kevin Owens. However if something unexpected happens once again as with Wrestlemania that disrupts Roman Reigns ascent then the event and the main event scene afterwards suddenly gets way more interesting so I will still be watching with interest.
With that I’m signing out so we can all go watch Booker T position his energy drink for the camera. I’ll be back with a review of the show but sound off in the comments section about what you think is going to happen and what you want to see from the show.