How can this possibly be? That’s one of many questions about the questionable booking heading into the show.
And no, this isn’t about the blow that WWE took when its world champ, Seth Rollins, went down to injury at a house show in Dublin earlier this month, forcing him to vacate the title and turning the focus of the Survivor Series to a tournament that will determine the new WWE titleholder.
Word from backstage is that Rollins had been set to drop the strap to his top challenger, Roman Reigns, at Survivor Series, so all that would mean, then, is that the Rollins injury would have added an interesting new angle to play up in the form of the tournament semifinals and finals.
Effectively, we get Reigns twice tonight, with Reigns facing U.S. Champ Alberto Del Rio in one semifinal. We’ll be teased with a possible Shield reunion in the final since Dean Ambrose is in the other semifinal against Intercontinental Champ Kevin Owens, but expect Owens to get to the final, to further legitimize Reigns, who will have had to defeat the reigning U.S. and I-C champs in one night to earn the world title.
So getting back to the clusterf–k that this card is, it has nothing to do with Rollins going on the shelf. To repeat, we have no idea who is in the Survivor Series elimination match, and I’m writing this on Sunday morning.
It would have made sense to have had the Undertaker-Kane-Wyatts feud evolve into the Survivor Series match. Assuming Daniel Bryan ever gets medical clearance to return to the ring, he’s a natural add to the ‘Taker-Kane team. Sting would work on that side. And for the Wyatts, Bray could go out and deputize somebody from the lower rungs of the heels, maybe Curtis Axel?
There’d be some work to do to get to five to a side, but at least, again, this one makes sense. Undertaker-Kane vs. Wyatts in a two-on-two tag match makes no sense, and carries nothing in terms of appeal. No one goes in assuming the Wyatts have any chance of winning, because the Wyatts have not been booked to win anything in months.
We’re going to get a slapped-together Survivor Series match instead, and the only other match on the card is the Divas title match between Charlotte and Paige. I’ve enjoyed the booking on this one, which has been patiently played out over the course of several months. Paige has the potential to break through soon into legitimate top-of-the-card status with her work on the mic and in the ring, and Charlotte, uber-talented, is the perfect foil for her as a babyface champion.
It is telling that WWE used the overrun segment on Raw on Monday to hype this one. People aren’t buying into the ‘Taker-Kane-Wyatts mishmash, and you can’t really sell the world title tournament easily with four guys still alive for the strap.
There’s no reason this show should be a three-hour pay-per-view. An hour and forty, tops. And then let’s skip ahead to Royal Rumble, and hope the writing gets better after the holidays.
– Preview by Chris Graham