Survivor Series 2011 is in less than two days! I grew up loving this event for what it was and I always get excited when it roles around. That said, I don’t expect it to be anything like the traditional event that used to be put out, but I’m excited nonetheless! Aside from picking the winners of each match, I’m also going to talk about storyline advancement and give some of my general thoughts on things that may have been lacking in my RAW column this past week.
Divas Championship Match Beth Phoenix vs Eve in a Lumber-Jill Match: First of all, with all the Divas in the locker room, why can’t we get a traditional elimination match put on the card with these ladies? WWE IMPROVISED in 1995 and loaded a match full fo random female wrestlers from all over the world. It doesn’t make sense not to put as much of your female talent as possible into a match that represents what the show is supposed to be all about. Beth has been on a roll as champion and I don’t expect that to change here. I don’t think Eve and Kelly Kelly are ready just yet for their one on one feud. In whatever way they decide to waste our time with this match, I predict that the Divas outside the ring will have very little effect on the match and Beth Phoenix retains her title.
United States Championship Match Dolph Ziggler vs John Morrison: First of all, I love Zack Ryder as much as the next guy. Ryder is ridiculously over and will appear on the show in some way. Second of all, John Morrison is most likely leaving WWE at the end of the month. I hope it’s not true, but it looks to be that way. Despite the lack of Ryder and despite Morrison having one foot out the door, I expect this to be the BEST wrestling match of the night. We know what these two are capable of in the ring together, and they are two of the most talented wrestlers on the roster with great chemistry. I expect this match to be just as good as their recent RAW match, if not better. If Morrison were sticking around, I would suggest that he become champion and to throw Zack Ryder into a three way mix, but I’m sticking with the champion. Dolph is becoming more and more popular and will drop Vicky Guerrero once his face turn comes through with the majority of fans. I don’t think it’s as far away as you might expect.
5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Tag Team Match
Team Orton (Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mason Ryan, Kofi Kingston and Sin Cara) vs Team Barrett (Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger, Hunico and Dolph Ziggler): This match has had a lot of hype put around it, and it really has elevated Barrett once again into top heel status on Smackdown. As I said in my abbreviated RAW column this week, it’s sad that Jack Swagger is now the only former World Champion on Team Barrett. Christian being out of this match is very disappointing. I still have Christian in the running for Superstar of the Year, but his lack of involvement for possibly the next two pay per views is frustrating to me as a fan. I believe he could still play a part in this match on Sunday, just as he did on Smackdown in the tag team main event. I think the biggest problem WWE faces with the talent in this match is the direction of which to take with each one of them after Survivor Series. Orton and Sheamus are easily the top faces that belong in the World Title scene, and Mason Ryan will only stay mid-card for so long before he gets his big push. Kofi will probably be in the tag team scene for some time so we don’t have to think about his push right now. Sin Cara and Hunico neutralize each other in such a way that neither one will get pushed properly into a mid card title picture. This is really too bad given all the talent that both guys possess. I picture Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler also both moving into the World Title picture in the next year as well. It’ll be intriguing to see what comes of this match. I predict Wade Barrett will be the sole Survivor, adding to push that he’s received as of late.
World Heavyweight Championship Match Mark Henry vs Big Show: The Big Show has come back in a face role that has been somewhat entertaining and somewhat stale at the same time. The problem is that nobody is buying into his push. People know that he never sticks around full time and never holds any World Championship for any length of time. That being said, Mark Henry’s dominance has sort of stopped rising. You can only do so much with the guy. I understand the battle of the giants and the emphasis on their ability to destroy one another, but I really hope that 2011 is the last year that we have to watch these guys go head to head. These guys are already tentatively booked in a rematch for TLC, which tells me all I need to know. The Big Show will win the World Heavyweight Title at Survivor Series. I believe Show will drop the title back to Mark Henry at TLC, with Daniel Bryan tentatively cashing in his MITB contract after their match in December. You know with Daniel Bryan being pushed around and beat up by Henry that he will cash in before WrestleMania. However, I don’t believe Bryan will cash in this Sunday. Some will call me crazy, but I’m sticking with my pick of Big Show as the new WHC.
WWE Championship Match Alberto Del Rio vs CM Punk: CM Punk is without a doubt the front runner for Superstar of the Year. His popularity has gone through the roof in the year 2011. It’s all but guaranteed that Punk will be WWE Champion before the year is over. That said, Survivor Series won’t be the place for it. Del Rio only got the title in early October at HIAC. It doesn’t help further the storyline if Del Rio just drops the title to Punk in their first one on one encounter. I expect this to be a terrific match, but I don’t expect Del Rio to lose the title. Punk is primed to have possibly the biggest year of his career in 2012, and winning the title at TLC makes that much more sense to me. You can expect some sort of outside involvement from Ricardo Rodriguez to cost Punk the match, or you can expect a blatant DQ to end the match. Unfortunately, despite Survivor Series being one of the WWE’s “big four”, I don’t think WWE treats the show like they used to and I don’t think their will be a new WWE Champion. Since I have to pick one or the other, I pick Del Rio to win the match. Punk could still possibly win by DQ, however. The title doesn’t change hands; that’s the only thing I will guarantee.
Side Note: 15 World Title and WWE Title matches combined have occurred since Survivor Series 2000. Of those fifteen matches, a new champion was crowned in five of them.
John Cena and The Rock vs. The Miz and R-Truth: This is probably going to be the final match of the night. Never before, never again. I hope it’s true. I love The Rock and what he’s done for the business, and I love John Cena for what he’s done to help keep sports entertainment afloat since 2005(argue with me; it will be fun). Aside from those facts, the Miz and R-Truth have been overshadowed because of them. The Miz and R-Truth are two of the best and most entertaining performers that WWE has to offer. WWE has essentially caused them to take a backseat in this storyline. It was sad to me to hear the Miz mention that he won the main event of WrestleMania, mainly because I had forgotten about it. I wonder how many other fans out there said to themselves, “oh yeah, I forgot about that” when he brought that up. It’s the sad truth, no pun intended. Outside of me not being happy with the buildupfor the heels of the match, these four have the ability to give us a highly entertaining contest. The Rock weill not show all that much ring rust, as he has been training for some time for this. Do I think Cena and Rock will turn on each other in the match itself? No, I don’t. Do I believe one execute their finisher on the other after the match is over? Yes I do. Miz and Truth will probably continue to feud with Cena after this match. I expect Cena and The Great One to come out on top despite their differences.
I expect Kevin Nash to cut a promo during the show and issue a challenege to Triple H. I’m also hopeful that we will get an additional elimination match on the card that features some of the other talent. Survivor Series 2011 is what it is and has been given the best buildup WWE felt they could give. You have to take it for what it is and just enjoy the show! Make sure you all leave your picks below for this one! Until next time, this has been Thunder’s Take!