Survivor Series Preview & Predictions: Brand Pride Is A Fantasy (Warfare)

Welcome to A-Train's
Preview & Predictions for


Two Tag Team Matches Announced For AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Buy-In


And what the hell, there's also a little
Uncooked Raw Reaction
& a smattering of
SmackDown React-Down in here, too.

Let's get right to it.

First, why is this damn thing so long?

I don't mean this column, though I admit it's not exactly brief.

No, I'm referring to the PPV.

The actual event is Four Hours Long, but there are only Six Matches.

Goldberg vs Lesnar couldn't possibly go longer than 12 minutes. The IC Title match might go 20. Cruiserweight Championship 15 minutes tops.

Rounding it off, that's THREE HOURS for THREE MATCHES.

And there's a Two Hour Pre-Show, but no matches scheduled for it.

That's a lot of video packages and Shucky Ducky Quack Quack Moments of the Night if they've got to fill two hours with no matches. How many times is Renee Young going to throw it over to Tom Phillips in the Social Media Lounge? Is Dasha Fuentes going to do an in-depth interview with James Ellis?


Second, and most importantly:

Brand Pride, Brand Loyalty, whatever you want to call it, is a damned, dirty, disgusting lie.

It is a pile of fetid bullshit sitting on a upon a throne of lies.

They've been pushing two things HARD leading up to Survivor Series:

1.) "Fantasy Warfare" and the process of it "just getting real."

Yay Buzzwords!

Yay Slogans!

Yay Focus-Grouped Phrasing!


The angry cartoon dog wearing a bonnet echoes my sentiments exactly.

2.) That the idea of Brand Pride reigns supreme.

My god, this is stupid.


The authority figures put a bunch of guys (and gals) together who pretty much hate each other on their respective teams. In some cases, the teams contain various combinations of people who have been feuding for months (AJ & Dean and KO & Seth and Becky & Alexa and Nikki & Carmella and Sasha & Charlotte and Bayley & Charlotte). Each men's team also includes combinations of people who have hated each other for years (Seth & Roman and Bray & Dean). Great job choosing teams, people in charge. Team Raw also includes a Grizzly Bear that someone shaved from the neck down and taught how to hate. So that dude's reliable. No wild card there. Team Smackdown includes a crazy swamp-preacher who believes he's a God and may or may not have brainwashed the most dangerous, most unpredictable dude on the entire roster, a guy who HEARS LITERAL VOICES IN HIS HEAD (WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE THE ENTRANCE THEME TELLS US SO), the swamp-preacher has brainwashed this dangerously insane man into doing whatever the swamp-preacher says. Also he may have brainwashed him into having glowing eyes, like Lion-O.

Oh yeah, and that guy with the dangerousness and the unpredictability and the glowing Thundercat eyes, that guy's also on your team. And he and the swamp-preacher, they just want to watch the world burn.


Now, the past several weeks have shown us just how combustible this all is. Highly. I just said that.

But how highly? As high as it gets. The top 5 Raw guys have been at each other's throats since the minute they were named to the freaking team. And on Smackdown, the only truly consistent story since the second week of September is that AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose wouldn't piss on the other guy if he was on fire.

Now, this past Monday night on Raw, after forcing parts of these teams to face other parts of these teams again, Stephanie McMahon I'm pretty sure told Team Raw to attack her own brother and a guy who has too much brain damage to be allowed to be hit in the head.

Dick move, Steph.

So then Daniel Bryan, I guess through telepathy, called the rest of Team Smackdown into the ring.

They traded barbs back and forth, Owens and AJ arguing over who's the better champ and over who is sucking on Jericho's SUGAR TIT which is a phrase I never thought I'd hear on WWE PG, and Bray says Braun deserted him, turned his back on him when really he was just drafted to a different show and isn't at fault at all, and I guess Orton is jealous of Bray's former protege and I guess Seth and Roman are buddies now because VINCE MCMAHON SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO MAKE CREATIVE DECISIONS UNTIL WE CAN CHECK HIM FOR DEMENTIA and Shane-O Mac is a crazy person who believes he belongs in this match because I don't think he's going to be truly happy until he literally dies in front of his children.

They do all this standing in lines, shoulder to shoulder with their teammates looking at the opposition like they're Jets and the Sharks, and they're waiting for the orchestra to strike up the band so they can start dance fighting.

Also James Ellsworth is there for some reason.

This doesn't make a lick of sense.

There's no reason for these men who have been inflicting bodily harm on one another to put aside those differences and fight together.

There's no incentive for them to do so. They've been selected by their superiors to fight each other, pitted against one another like Roman Gladiators, servants fighting for no other reason than to please their masters, a brother and a sister who just want to prove to daddy that they can pick the very best fighting men, right daddy? Right? Tell me how good I am at picking the fighting men, daddy. I''m so ever much better at choosing an army than my brother is, aren't I daddy? Please love me daddy. LOVE ME!

Okay, maybe that's taking it a bit too far, but this whole thing just feels wrong.

For example:

Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles HATE EACH OTHER. It's been established for months. They shouldn't be willing to breathe the same air as one another unless they are allowed to try to murder each other.

And yet, here they are, on the same side, wearing matching blue t-shirts like they're in a GODDAMN SLOW PITCH SOFTBALL LEAGUE.

And why?

"Brand pride."

Why should Bray Wyatt care if Smackdown beats Raw? What does he get out of it? Why should Roman Reigns put aside his differences with Jericho and Owens and fight alongside them? To what end?

I know there was a veiled threat by Stephanie that if they don't win, she'll fire the whole team, but that's just a bunch of spoiled rich girl bluster, and her team should know that.

What's missing from this whole thing is STAKES. Each man should get something if he survives the match. A title shot. Choose your entry number in the Royal Rumble. A hefty increase in his Christmas Bonus Check so he can finally put in that swimming pool.


And yes, before you say it, I know it's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year. Everyone knows that.

But still, where is the incentive? Utterly absent.

The only guy who had the right idea about this whole thing from the start was Baron Corbin; what's in it for me, he said, but then he slipped on a banana peel and got kicked off the team.

Poor Baron Corbin.

I wonder if we can come up with something for him to do after he gets back from injury ...



(The) Brian Kendrick vs Kalisto

Cruiserweight Title Match

If Kalisto wins the entire division moves to SmackDown

They've announced that there's going to be a brand new Cruiserweight show on the WWE Network, entitled, odiously, #205Live. That's a terrible title, but it's a great idea to give these guys their own hour, instead of burying them in a meaningless 6 Man Tag Matches on Raw.

They're going to broadcast this show, Live, from the very same arena that SmackDown was just shown from, using SmackDown commentator Mauro Ranallo to call the matches.

I quite literally DOES NOT MAKE SENSE for Kalisto to not get the win here and move the whole deal to Smackdown.

Kalisto, as we saw two weeks ago, is not f*cking around anymore. Then, of course, we saw this same Kalisto this past Tuesday, up to his old tricks, and by tricks I mean botches.

Still, am 100% confident that he wins this match with Brian Kendrick on Sunday.

However, he's going to immediately lose the title right back to Kendrick the following Tuesday. Do you know why? Because Brian Kendrick is going to form an alliance with another Smackdown superstar who also hates Kalisto...


I found something for him to do.

Just think of it. Imagine Kendrick with a guy like Corbin as his muscle. The two of them would be insufferable and so much fun to root against. Kendrick can barely beat guys on his own, but he's "The Man With The Plan" as his theme music tells us, and this plan includes paying Baron Corbin (who only cares about money, but also really enjoys beating up small people) to have his back. There are simply not enough hired goons in WWE, and Corbin would be a great one.

Yes, in the "if-I-were-running-things" version of Smackdown, Corbin would become the Diesel to Kendrick's HBK, softening up or outright injuring Kendrick's contenders, starting with Kalisto, continuing with Sin Cara, then Noam Dar, then The Bollywood Boyz in a handicap match.

Eventually, Rich Swann or maybe Cedric Alexander beats Baron Corbin, then beats Kendrick for the CW Belt. In which case, Kendrick blames Corbin, who destroys Kendrick and goes back to the main event scene, maybe feuding with Dean Ambrose, and the storyline continues from there.

But the first chapter in this story is Kalisto defeating Kendrick on Sunday, via good good Lucha things.

The Miz vs Sami Zayn

Intercontinental Title

I predicted that Miz would beat Dolph this past Tuesday, via Maryse shenanigans, and voila, that's exactly what happened.

This match was dope, by the way.
The Miz is (FLAME EMOJI x 5) right now,
and I'm super glad he's on the card on Sunday.
He deserves it.
(Clap-Clap, Clap-Clap-Clap.)

But along with that result, I also predicted that Daniel Bryan, who hates The Miz, would use the shenanigans as an excuse to add "True Champ" Dolph Ziggler into the Survivor Series match, making it a triple threat, then ban Maryse from ringside.

So far, that hasn't happened, but I'm still holding out hope. Hell, Bryan might even announce it on the two hour pre-show, in between segments of Lita slurring her speech and Booker T intentionally mispronouncing the word "Good," so that it sounds like the last syllable uttered by a man who has a brain aneurysm while squeezing out a particularly difficult poop.

If, for whatever reason, they don't do that, and it's just a singles match between Miz and Sami, the match becomes even harder to predict. Sami deserves a title run after everything he's done this year, even a mid-card one, but I can't see him just taking the title over to Raw and then, what, feuding with Jinder Mahal?

So here's what I'm thinking. The Miz wins (via shenanigans again, because The Miz), and The IC title stays on Smackdown. Kalisto wins and The Cruiserweight Division comes to Tuesdays.

At Roadblock on December 18, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens are going to have a title for title match (that's the rumor anyway, and it's been basically confirmed at this point). Roman's going to win, because of course he is, and then I think they'll merge The Universal and the US Title into one championship, because it's stupid, and they're going to do stupid stuff, like, most of the time. But that would leave Raw without a title for the midcarders to go after.

So Mick Foley calls up Daniel Bryan, who's basically at the end of his rope with The Miz by this point, and offers him a trade: The Miz, along with the IC Title, for Neville, Sami Zayn, Sin Cara, and Bo Dallas. The first three are in the Cruiserweight Division now, and Bo Dallas, a man without a compass, is scooped up by his real life brother and inducted into the new Wyatt Family.

Smackdown doesn't have a real midcard anyway at this point. All the top guys are vying to be in the World Title scene, except Dolph Ziggler, and he was in a match for the belt as recently as August. You can put together two hours of TV revolving around a robust Tag Team division (especially if you add The Revival to feud with American Alpha in perpetuity please please pretty please with sugar on top), a surprisingly scrappy Women's Division, a great Cruiserweight Title Match, and a Main Event Scene involving AJ, Dean, Bray, Randy, Ziggler, Cena, and Taker. Pair Crews with Swann and make them a tag team. Have Luke Harper and Bo Dallas join up. Throw Curt Hawkins off a bridge. Everybody wins!

Everyone can be either a Main Event level guy, in a Tag Team, or in the Cruiser Division.

First things first though: The Miz defeats Sami Zayn at Survivor Series.

I know one person who won't be happy about that.

But I for one, am going to be thrilled.



So, I know this one is going to go on last, but I don't have much of anything to say about it, so I'm doing it here.

Deal with it.

Brock Lesnar vs Goldberg

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

He sweats through his obnoxiously heavy jackets just standing around talking, possibly due to his wearing obnoxiously heavy jackets, but also possibly due to an undiagnosed health problem of some sort.

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

He keeps talking about how he hasn't been training, as though he's boasting about it.

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

The build to this match, with the notable exceptions of a "surprisingly" pro-Brock crowd in Minnesota and the whole deal where Goldberg fell down while burying Rusev forever, has been pretty great.

Part of that build was this effective but kind of ridiculous segment with Brock and Goldberg face to face:

But during that segment, Goldberg injured his shoulder. It's not severe, but if just that much physically activity is doing damage to him, what kind of toll is Brock Lesnar going to take on him?

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

I don't think Goldberg can take two German Suplexes, let alone two dozen, and let's be honest, if that's what Brock wants, that's what Brock is going to do.

So here I am, 100% certain that Goldberg cannot and will not win this match, and 20% certain that I might see something catastrophic in the ring on Sunday.

I mean, how much extra tragedy is added to the already unspeakably enormous tragedy of watching a man get seriously injured--or worse--in a wrestling ring in front of his wife and son, if the main reason he was in that ring to begin with is so his wife and son could watch him wrestle, just once.

Brock wins.

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

10 on 10 Tag Team Elimination Match

Team Raw vs Team Smackdown

Wow, that's a lot of man in that photo. That's 2/3 of a Royal Rumble worth of man.

This is going to be the most FUN match of the night. There are almost zero post-SS implications or storylines here, so everyone can just go nuts and have a blast entertaining the crowd. I mean, maybe Gallows & Anderson turn on one of the other Raw teams and take a walk, deliberately being counted out, and maybe Sheamus & Cesaro's back-biting rears its ugly head again, and maybe The Usos decide to on-purpose f*ck up somebody's knee on their own squad, but all of that is kind of incidental.

The fact that this seems to be the most meaningless of the three Traditional Survivor Series matches, and also because there is just SO MUCH MAN INVOLVED, it's really hard to predict who will win.

But here's what I think I do know:

  1. If there is a God, The Shining Stars will go out first. If not, it is concrete proof that we are alone on this great ball of dirt, that faith and heaven is a lie and the world is dark and cold.
  2. Neither brand's champions are going to survive. Heath Slater & Rhyno, despite still being stratospherically over, haven't had a match on TV since November 1, and that was on Main Event. They're cooling them off for a reason. And The New Day's gimmick at this point is that they lose when the title isn't on the line. Nothing is on the line here, not a damn thing, so The New Day will go out and go out relatively early I think.
  3. American Alpha is going to go deep in this thing. If Smackdown wins, they'll be the sole survivors. They're grooming these two for something big, and with good cause. They're amazing.

I think Smackdown is going to win this, if only because I think that Raw is going to win the other two SS matches, and I don't think even Vince is petty enough to give the flagship a clean sweep.

What am I talking about, of course he's petty enough to do it, I just think someone will talk him out of it.



5 on 5 Women's Elmination Match

Team Raw vs Team Smackdown



On Tuesday night, this happened:

I don't want to overreact here, but let me just say:


Nikki Bella and Carmella have hated each other for 3 months. In that very match, Carmella performed some crazy neckbreaker thing from the apron to the floor that might have paralyzed Nikki.

Charlotte is at ringside, trash talking Nikki, Nikki hits her with the BellaSawa Forearm, drags her into the ring and starts beating the crap out of her.

This is Legit. These two have beef. Charlotte beat Nikki for the Divas title, ended her Longest-Ever reign with the belt. Totally cool with everything so far.

But then the rest of team Raw shows up (in their matching Softball League T-shirts of course), and they all attack Nikki. It's a six on one beatdown. (They brought Dana Brooke along with them too, because when you're in a gang, the more the merrier.)

One of the six is Sasha Banks, who is locked in a BLOOD FEUD with Charlotte and has been forever. As a matter of fact, she's the FIRST ONE in the ring to save Charlotte from Nikki's fists and forearms.

This makes no sense.

Also helping out, Alicia Fox, who's no fan of Charlotte either. Dana Brooke can certainly be excused for her participation.

But then there's Bayley.

This is more against her character than if next Tuesday they had Apollo Crews stop smiling, or Curt Hawkins stop sucking.


THAT, isn't who Bayley is.

Now, maybe if she was saving her best friend Sasha. Like if Alexa Bliss and Carmella were ganging up on Sasha, Bayley could be forgiven for getting a little vicious, but this is just stupid.

And yet, somehow, it's not as stupid as what happens next.

Next, Carmella gets in the ring and sees that Nikki is being beaten down, five on one. Nikki Bella, who Carmella hates more than Dean Ambrose hates AJ Styles, more than Rusev hates Roman Reigns, more than Vince McMahon hates reality.


During all of this, Mauro Ranallo is screaming about "Brand Supremacy."

I reiterate: This Was The Stupidest Thing In The History of Things.

Now, as to the actual match on Sunday.

  1. I think Nia Jax takes the count out just as a matter of principle, like she wrecks all five girls on Team Smackdown, wrecks Alicia Fox for good measure, looks at Charlotte, wrecks Dana Brooke, looks at Charlotte again, and calmly walks up the ramp.
  2. Carmella turns on Nikki and they get each other eliminated.
  3. Natalya's whistle will be the most annoying thing on the planet.
  4. Naomi will put on a great show, and last longer than you think.
  5. Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch will be the last two for Smackdown, and begrudgingly work together.
  6. Sasha is eliminated through some flukey means. Remember, Vince doesn't like her.
  7. Sole Survivors: Bayley and Charlotte, with Bayley picking up the final pinfall.

Team Raw Wins, because Vince secretly hates Smackdown.



5 on 5 Men's Elimination Match

Team Raw vs Team Smackdown

I yammered about this enough earlier, so let's get right to the predictions.

  1. Braun is going to be the star of this match, but he won't figure into the finish. Why?
  2. Because James Ellsworth is going to deliberately provoke him, causing him to desert his teammates and chase Ellsworth up the ramp to the back, getting him counted out.
  3. Rollins and Reigns will team up to put someone through an announce table, probably Bray.
  4. Forgot to mention, that Bray and Braun confrontation is going to be pretty awesome.
  5. Orton won't get pinned without giving some poor bastard an RKO.
  6. Jericho and KO accidentally cost each other somehow. Jericho tries to hit Dean with The List, hits Owens instead, Owens gets pinned.
  7. Jericho is so busy apologizing he gets rolled up. They are the first two eliminated from Raw.
  8. AJ finds himself the last guy for Smackdown. He fights valiantly but he can't overcome ...
  9. Sole Survivor--Roman Reigns, because Vince is a madman who has to be stopped.

And because AJ couldn't get it done for Smackdown, he's now embroiled in a feud with The Undertaker.

Oh, did I forget to mention?

The Undertaker is back. "Diggin' Holes and Takin' Souls."

And he levied a threat: Anyone who costs Team Smackdown at Survivor Series would have to answer to him.

The man who costs Team Smackdown, the man who technically loses, will be AJ Styles.

Styles vs Taker at The Royal Rumble.

Taker wins.

Taker vs John Cena at Wrestlemania.

John Cena wins, becomes 16 time World Champ.

And the Undertaker hangs up his shovel.

For good this time.

How's that for a prediction?


Come back Sunday for the Live Viewing Party
and my Live Coverage of
Survivor Series.

The Ridiculously Way-Too-Long Pre-Show starts at 5pm EST
and you can watch it right here at

Until then, I've been Alex Pawlowski
and this is going to be me
watching the Goldberg-Lesnar match.

I am sincerely worried for Bill Goldberg.

You can follow me on Twitter @pawlowskithe4th

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