This weekend, the WWE Universe will be treated to two shows from Houston. On Saturday, the stars of NXT get together to present Takeover: War Games while the superstars from Raw and SmackDown live will clash on Sunday at Survivor Series.
Both cards appear to be set (with the exception of one empty slot on the SmackDown women’s team that will probably be filled by Natalya). As usual, NXT’s lineup looks very good. Often NXT’s Takeover events outshine the shows put on by the main roster. That might not be the case this weekend, as the Survivor Series card is very promising.
The Professor’s Survivor Series Weekend Preview and Predictions
NXT Takeover: War Games
Kassius Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan – This one will probably lead off the show. Ohno has been solid, if not particularly impressive, since his reappearance in NXT. Sullivan is being booked as the next version of Braun Strowman. I have a feeling that Sullivan is in for a big push, starting here. Sullivan over Ohno in a good match. Sullivan beats down Ohno after the bell.
Aleister Black vs. Velveteen Dream – Black is destined to be one of the biggest stars in NXT in 2018, so the inclination is to go with him here. I do think that Black will win this bout, but don’t sleep on “Dream.” Patrick Clark has been stellar in the role, and is one of the most improved wrestlers on the NXT roster. Both of these men could figure heavily into NXT’s plans for 2018. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or both of them on the main roster by this time next year. Black beats Dream in a surprisingly competitive match. Both men benefit from the appearance.
Kairi Sane vs. Nikki Cross vs. Ember Moon vs. Peyton Royce (NXT Women’s Championship) – This is one of the most interesting matchups of the entire weekend. Every woman in this match could conceivably win the belt. NXT hasn’t had a babyface women’s champion in a while. That might bode well for Sane or Ember. The smart money is on Ember Moon here. I’m not so sure. Nikki Cross wins in a major upset – putting belts on every member of SAnitY. (If the men are allowed to defend the tag titles under Freebird Rules.)
Drew McIntyre vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas (NXT Championship) – NXT has done a good job of getting Almas over after a very rocky start to his Full Sail career. The addition of Zelina Vega to his act may have saved him from being cut. Almas has produced good matches in the ring, but it’s too early for McIntyre to drop the belt. McIntyre retains with a semi-dominant performance. Vega accidentally costs Almas the match with botched interference.
SAnitY vs. Authors of Pain (with Roderick Strong) vs. The Undisputed Era (War Games) – I’m not sure, but I don’t believe that the tag titles are on the line here. That means that SAnitY probably won’t win the match. That leaves AOP and The Undisputed Era. I’m not completely sure how Strong ended up aligned with AOP, but it feels very random. Size-wise, Strong would be a better fit with Adam Cole and his group. I expect that Strong is in the match so that someone can take a bump for Cole and the other members of his faction. Adam Cole is one of the most hyped NXT signings of the past couple of years. His time in the spotlight begins on Saturday, even though the “big boys” look like they should easily overpower the Undisputed Era. The Undisputed Era wins when Cole gets a sneaky roll-up on one of the giants from the other teams.
Enzo Amore vs. Kalisto (WWE Cruiserweight Championship) – This is the only title on the line during the main roster show, and the match will take place on the Kickoff Show. I don’t have a problem with that. If matches featuring Neville and Austin Aries couldn’t make the main card, nothing with Enzo in it ever should. Amore has blossomed somewhat as a heel, and even his in-ring skills look sharper lately. Kalisto suffers from the same malady as much of the Cruiserweight Division – tons of talent in the ring, the personality of a saltine outside of the ring. Amore retains via nefarious means. Drew Gulak turns on Enzo following the match.
The Bar vs. The Usos (Tag Team Champions) – This match could steal the show. However, WWE deserves big credit here, since you could say this about just about every match on the card. These teams should have a great chemistry. The Bar are as skilled in the ring as any pairing in WWE. The Usos have been the best tag team on the roster since their heel turn. The Usos win a spectacular match, thus keeping all tag teams “on lock.”
The Miz vs. Baron Corbin (Midcard Champions) – Miz has been the best pure heel in WWE for a long time now. Corbin’s push looked to be stalled a month or so ago before being renewed in the run-up to Survivor Series. Miz can afford a loss here more than Corbin can, particularly since he can lose because of the Miztourage. Corbin wins a very solid match when Miz is accidentally knocked out by Bo Dallas.
Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair (Women’s Champions) – Here’s one spot where WWE saved themselves. As much as I enjoy Natalya’s in-ring abilities, she was hard to take seriously as a heel. The good news is that she can still have outstanding matches with just about any woman on the roster. Flair just works better as a champion than as a challenger. Bliss has been a bona-fide star as the heel champion on Raw. Her time with the belt is limited, however, now that Asuka has made her debut on the main roster. The two women here have mismatched styles, but I think it will still be an outstanding match. Flair takes the win with a Figure 8 after a very competitive match. Bliss looks strong in defeat.
Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles (Men’s Champions) – This is the other place where WWE saved themselves. As much as they tried, Jinder Mahal just never seemed right as the WWE champion. He needed to spend more time as a legitimate threat in the midcard before being pushed into the top slot. The Styles/Lesnar clash is one of the most exciting matchups in recent memory. No one expects Styles to actually slay The Beast here – except me. Styles beats Lesnar with a Phenomenal Forearm after a long back-and-forth match. Then the Internet breaks.
The Shield vs. The New Day – I predicted that this match would take place after New Day cost Ambrose and Rollins the Raw tag team titles. This is a very smart move by WWE. Booking this match gives them one more centerpiece for Survivor Series, and The Bar will put on a killer bout with the Usos. Everybody wins, especially the WWE Universe. The Shield wins because The Shield always wins (as they should). Roman Reigns continues to shine in his new babyface role, and New Day makes a good match out of it. New Day decides to get serious after this beating and goes back to terrorize everyone on SmackDown the following Tuesday.
Shane McMahon, Bobby Roode, John Cena, Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton vs. Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, HHH, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor (Men’s Elimination match) – As my son, Jake, pointed out to me, there are too many old faces in this match. I know WWE needs to rely on the star power of Cena, McMahon, HHH, Orton and Angle to some degree, but it wasn’t’ necessary to put ALL OF THEM into this match. I’m not sure who wins this, unless HHH gets to book the match. If so, he’ll eliminate everyone on both teams by himself, spit a ton of water into the air, and disappear for another eight months. Hopefully, sane heads will prevail. Raw wins the match when Strowman, the last member of his team still in the ring eliminates Roode, Nakamura and McMahon in rapid succession. While this is happening, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn come down to the ring and lay out Cena and Orton, leaving them as easy prey for the Monster Among Men.
Alicia Fox, Nia Jax, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Asuka vs. Becky Lynch, Carmella, Naomi, Tamina, and a mystery woman (probably Natalya) (Women’s elimination match) – It’s important here that Asuka is dominant. Pushing The Empress of Tomorrow helps her, and doesn’t really take anything away from anyone else in the match. Condolences to Carmella, whose pet, James Ellsworth, was released by WWE Wednesday. Raw wins when Asuka and Jax are the last two women in the ring. The match ends with them staring each other down.
It should be an exciting weekend. I’m excited for both shows, and that hasn’t happened since WrestleMania weekend. Next week, we’ll see what we think of the shows. Until then…..