The WWE returns with an original big four PPV this Sunday, Survivor Series 2015. Survivor Series marks the first network special without an advertised match in the main-event, yet promises to be one of the most newsworthy events of the year.
Survivor Series 2015 is one strange pay-per-view/network special. I can’t recall an event like this where we didn’t have an actual matchup in the advertised main-event. The only thing we know is that we’ll get a WWE world championship tournament final in that spot with a new champion being crowned. Is it worth your $9.99 investment? I think so.
The event was thrown in disarray when Seth Rollins got hurt in Europe, forcing him to vacate the WWE world championship. The originally scheduled headliner between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins was changed to a tournament. The tournament marks a second Survivor Series featuring a WWE world championship tournament, the first being in 1998, but under much different circumstances.
I am only going to pick with the top matches as most of the undercard is unknown as of this writing. Now that I have gotten you pumped up for the event, let’s get into the matches and make some picks!
Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio WWE Championship Tournament Semi-Final
This is an interesting match here, but probably the most predictable of all semi-final matches. Whether Roman Reigns wins or loses the tournament is something I’ll address shortly. However, I can say that it’s a pretty safe bet that Reigns will at minimum make it to the finals. What makes this interesting is that to get there, you’ll have to sacrifice a guy you just brought back with a big push only several weeks into his return.
I like what they have been doing with Reigns throughout the tournament. The match here and the one with Cesaro really helped showcase Reigns as a wrestler. I think a big part of the resentment some fans have for Reigns is that they feel he’s not a great wrestler. That is because most of his matches and feuds haven’t put Reigns in a spot to showcase his in-ring skills. Yet over the last several weeks, beginning with his match at Hell in a Cell, Reigns has put together an impressive resume of great matches with Bray Wyatt and Cesaro. Alberto Del Rio should be able to do the same for the chosen one.
Not only do I think Reigns wins, but I think Reigns wins clean. I think Del Rio armbars him after the match and “injures” Reigns going into the finals. It keeps heat on Del Rio, garners sympathy for Reigns, and adds an interesting element to a final which I predict will be between Reigns and Ambrose. Does Ambrose go after the injury or does he try and stay away from it out of respect for his friend? I like Reigns clean with the win, but coming out of this with an injury to keep Del Rio hot.
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose WWE Championship Tournament Semi-Final
What a great matchup! Miraculously, WWE Creative are able to keep their planned Owens vs. Ambrose match intact through the tournament. This should be a great one as you have two fantastic workers, who are good friends, and are chomping at the bit to show the world what they can do. I predict that this will be match of the night if given the time it deserves.
My prediction is a bit anti-climactic since I already predicted an Ambrose vs. Reigns final. I like Ambrose to pull off what some would call the upset. While I’d love to see an Owens vs. Reigns final, I like the idea of saving Owens as a potential future challenger. Plus, the Ambrose vs. Reigns dynamic is fresh and should make for a very intense atmosphere in the final. If they don’t book Del Rio injuring Reigns after their match, I would expect to see Owens injure Ambrose.
Dean Ambrose vs. Roman Reigns WWE Championship Tournament Final
It’s predictable but sometimes predictable is good. I think as much fun as an Owens vs. Reigns match would be, it would be disappointing not to take the obvious path here. Reigns vs. Ambrose is a match several months in the making which will put a lot of pressure on these guys to deliver something special in this spot.
There has been a lot of debate on the Camel Clutch Blog in blogs and podcasts about Roman Reigns going heel here and joining the Authority. My gut tells me that it will happen, especially when I take a step back and look at the landscape. The company does better with heel champions and there just seems to be more big matches for Reigns as a heel champion against Ambrose, John Cena, Seth Rollins, and Brock Lesnar than there are for Reigns as a face champion against Kevin Owens and maybe Alberto Del Rio. “What’s best for business” seems to be Reigns as a heel champion going into WrestleMania.
I also like the idea of pairing Reigns with the Authority, almost in a Batista-type role. Triple H pulls the strings and the hope would be that by the time Reigns turns, he’ll get the same reaction Batista got as a fan favorite. Quite honestly I think that is the only way Reigns becomes the babyface franchise player the company wants, which is ironic since he has to turn heel to get there.
I see this ending a bit like the last WWE championship tournament to take place at Survivor Series in 1998 at Deadly Game. In that tournament, the Rock defeated Mick Foley in the finals with help from Vince McMahon in a mockery of the Montreal Screwjob. I would not be surprised in the least if the exact same finish is used, but with Triple H in the Mr. McMahon spot. As a matter of a fact, I am predicting it. Roman Reigns defeats Dean Ambrose to win his first WWE championship and becomes the newest member of the Authority.
The Undertaker and Kane vs. the Wyatts
Can someone tell me again why we are having this match? I watched Undertaker and Kane demolish four Wyatt family members a couple of weeks back on RAW, thus what is the point of having them go two-on-two? It’s nice to see 25 years of the Undertaker celebrated, but I have to think there were better ways to do it.
It’s ironic that the two Undertaker feuds since the streak was broken have been booked completely backwards. Undertaker defeats Bray Wyatt clean at WrestleMania, then winds up feuding with him again randomly several months later. Undertaker finally returns to settle his score with Brock Lesnar, yet had a match with Bray Wyatt beforehand, which made no sense at all. The logical trajectory here would have been for Taker to come back and feud with Brock and then go to Bray. But what do I know?
I think the squash on RAW was indicative of the Wyatt family getting the win here. Now you aren’t going to defeat the Undertaker in two straight pay-per-views so I think it’s Kane who will get pinned. However, there are a lot of rumors that Mania could feature a Taker vs. Braun Strowman match. I believe that gets set up here, otherwise there is no point to the match. The Wyatts win, but something goes down between Strowman and Taker. Remember, last year Triple H vs. Sting was set up at Survivor Series so it’s about that time to start planting those WrestleMania 32 seeds.
Full WWE Survivor Series 2015 card and matches…
Roman Reigns vs Alberto Del Rio in a WWE World Title Tournament Semifinals Match
Dean Ambrose vs Kevin Owens in a WWE World Title Tournament Semifinals Match
TBD vs. TBD in a WWE World Title Tournament Finals Match
The Undertaker and Kane vs Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman
Charlotte vs Paige for the WWE Divas Championship
Traditional Survivor Series 5 on 5 Elimination Tag Team Match
Tyler Breeze vs. Dolph Ziggler