On November 24, the WWE Network presents WWE’s Survivor Series pay-per-view, live from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois. Surely you know that Survivor Series is the one time of year that RAW and SmackDown go head-to-head in competition, but now there’s a twist on that particular gimmick: This time around, NXT is getting in on the action, officially staking the claim as the third brand of WWE. There are eight announced matches for this card, including two Triple Threat twists on the classic Survivor Series elimination tag team match and a Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion match between RAW Women’s Champion Beck Lynch, SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley, and NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler. So let’s look at the match-ups…
Adam Cole (c) vs. the winner of the NXT TakeOver: WarGames III Triple Threat, for the NXT Championship (NXT)
The story: This weekend is a very busy one for NXT, especially since most of their major stars—male and female—will be going from the WarGames matches on Saturday to Survivor Series matches on Sunday. Adam Cole (BAY! BAY!) is one of those major stars. He’s not defending his title at NXT TakeOver: WarGames III because he’ll be in WarGames with his Undisputed Era brothers, but there will be a #1 Contender match for the title that night: Pete Dunne vs. Killian Dain vs. Damian Priest.
Prediction: The real prediction here is who will be getting the #1 Contendership spot, and smart money’s on Pete Dunne. Especially considering how much more familiar he’ll be to the “main roster” audience—and honestly, liked, by the Chicago crowd—than both Dain and Priest. Cole is still retaining though.
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bayley (c) vs. Shayna Baszler (c), in a Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion Triple Threat match (RAW/SmackDown/NXT)
The story: This is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition. NXT struck first when they took over SmackDown due to Saudi Arabia-related flight delays. Baszler, specifically, attacked Bayley from behind, then the following RAW approached Becky Lynch face-to-face with something akin to respect. She attacked Bayley again from behind, then tried to interfere in a Becky Lynch match, but finally, Bayley had enough of being the also-ran and got some revenge on Becky Lynch and then Shayna Baszler on NXT home turf. A lot of chaos.
Prediction: On the one hand, Bayley is either going to take the pin or surprise everyone and win the bragging rights. There really is no middle ground here. On the other hand, what is the choice that leads to an actual Lynch/Baszler feud though? Hmm…
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Roderick Strong (c), in a Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion Triple Threat match (RAW/SmackDown/NXT)
The story: This is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition. This match was honestly just announced—with not actual build—after The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) invaded NXT and went after The Undisputed Era. It’s a match between the three midcard champions, you see. Oh, and Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn just unveiled a new Intercontinental Championship!
Prediction: This match should honestly steal the show, unless it turns into a bunch of low blows and Roderick Strong going after Styles’ wife. The difference between a match of this caliber being on a RAW/SmackDown pay-per-view and an NXT show.
The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) (c) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) (c) vs. The Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) (c), in a Champion vs. Champion vs. Champion Triple Threat Tag Team match (RAW/SmackDown/NXT)
The story: This is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition. If you’re still scratching your head about this whole repetition thing, that’s because, when it comes to Survivor Series, there doesn’t tend to be a lot more story than: “This match is happening, because this is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition.” Originally, this match was announced as The Viking Raiders vs. The Revival (Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson) vs. The Undisputed Era, but New Day swooped in and won the SmackDown Tag Team Championship from them, killing an NXT-based dream match but still existing on a dream match level. The aftermath allowed an absolutely incredible clinic of a tag team match to happen between The Revival and The Undisputed Era on NXT though, so seek that match out if you haven’t already.
Prediction: Do The Viking Raiders even know how to wrestle actual tag teams anymore? That’s not fair to them, but neither is only wrestling squash matches still at this point in their WWE careers. Regardless, New. Day. Wins. New. Day. Wins.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio, in a No Holds Barred, No Disqualification match for the WWE Championship (RAW)
The story: After Brock Lesnar beat Cain Velasquez in fake fighting in less than two minutes, he finally decided to focus on the dude he’d been actually feuding with for weeks, Rey Mysterio. That also meant quitting SmackDown and moving to RAW with the WWE Championship, which was perfect, because SmackDown Superstar “The Fiend” had just won the Universal Championship from RAW Superstar Seth Rollins. Funny how that worked out, huh?
Prediction: Imagine if this is the match where Lesnar returns to 2003 Lesnar form in terms of effort. In that case, Mysterio’s tapping out to a stretch muffler. But also with weapons and Dominick Mysterio—because of the stipulation.
“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan, for the Universal Championship (SmackDown)
The story: At Crown Jewel, despite people trying to downplay the Saudi Arabia shows as “glorified house shows,” “The Fiend” finally defeated Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship. Then he turned the Universal Championship blue, and honestly, now it finally looks decent-ish. Then he decided his next victim would be Daniel Bryan, mocking Bryan’s former “YES! Movement.” Also, unlike Rollins, Bryan is not a coward and will probably have no problem killing the literal demon that is “The Fiend.”
Prediction: However, “The Fiend” will still not die and will instead retain. Sorry, Bryan.
Team RAW (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane, & Sarah Logan) vs. Team SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Carmella, Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, & Nikki Cross) vs. Team NXT (Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Candice LaRae, Mia Yim & Tegan Nox), in a Women’s 5-on-5-on-5 Survivor Series Triple Threat Elimination match (RAW/SmackDown/NXT)
The story: This is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition.
Prediction: This is NXT’s coming out party, so they really should win this match. They can’t do a true clean sweep because of the WWE and Universal Championship matches, but maybe they should do the closest they can to a clean sweep in the brand supremacy-specific matches. In that case, change all the other predictions to NXT folks.
Team RAW (Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, & Ricochet) vs. Team SmackDown (Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, Braun Strowman, King Corbin, & Shorty G) vs. Team NXT (???, ???, ???, ???, & ???), in a Men’s 5-on-5-on-5 Survivor Series Triple Threat Elimination match
The story: Hey, Mustafi Ali got his first name back! Chad Gable is still “Shorty G” though. But also, this is the one time of year that RAW, SmackDown, and NXT go head-to-head-to-head in competition.
Prediction: See the previous prediction.