We’ve got one more episode of RAW & Smackdown Live before Survivor Series takes place on 20th November. The instant change in the stars storylines and direction after Hell in a Cell was a bit weird initially. Like a rivalry is just dropped and all of a sudden RAW really hate Smackdown, but despite that, the build-up for Survivor Series on both shows has been pretty decent. Next Friday’s Shoot Talk will feature the legitimate Survivor series match card predictions, but this week I was also going to focus on some of the emerging story developments of both brands and their final implications for Survivor Series next week. Welcome to Shoot Talk.
The Miz is off to RAW
It was announced on Smackdown that The Miz will be getting his Intercontinental Championship rematch with Dolph Ziggler on the final Smackdown Live before Survivor Series. If the Miz loses he’ll be traded to RAW and in return Smackdown will draft either Cesaro or Sami Zayn. First thing first, The Miz is not winning this. Ziggler will retain and The Miz will be off to RAW. But who of Cesaro or Zayn will be coming the other way? While Zayn has his IC shot at Survivor Series it’d make sense for Smackdown to acquire Zayn before that, but it’d ruin the shows rivalry so I think that the trade will see Cesaro coming to Smackdown when the Miz goes to RAW. Sami Zayn will remain on RAW for now and will be taking on Ziggler at Survivor series still as a member of team RAW.
Also on Smackdown Live it was announced that the Cruiserweight Champion The Brian Kendrick will be defending his championship at Survivor Series. But wait, why are Smackdown announcing this when the Cruiserweight division Is a RAW exclusive project? Kendrick’s opponent will be Kalisto of Smackdown Live.
The stipulation being should Kalisto win, the Cruiserweight division goes over to Smackdown. Now with the new cruiserweight show 205 Live airing live on Tuesdays after Smackdown Live, you can kind of see where this might be going. Smackdown gaining the Cruiserweights and the 205 Live show airing live after Smackdown would be effectively making Smackdown a 3 hour show. I think this is going to result in a victory for Kalisto therefore taking the Cruisers to Smackdown.
Another championship featuring cross brand competitors as Dolph Ziggler (should he retain on Smackdown before Survivor Series) defends his IC championship against RAW’s Sami Zayn. For this one I see Sami Zayn winning. Yep, Sami wins, picks up his first championship in the WWE and high tails back to RAW with the IC Championship. RAW as of this moment would have lost the Cruiser division to Smackdown but gained the IC title giving them 2 mid card titles for their roster to get excited about. The Smackdown mid card is pretty decent though so what would the remaining mid carders on Smackdown feud over now if there is no title for them. You’re not going to see the likes of Luke Harper, Dolph Ziggler, Apollo Crews grasping the dizzy heights of the WWE Championship with the likes of AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose and Randy Orton. So what are they going to do? Stick with this post, it’ll all make sense at the end.
Team Smackdown’s 5 Man Roster
So another announcement from Smackdown is that Baron Corbin got injured by the returning Kalisto and has therefore eliminated him from Smackdown’s team. Daniel Bryan announced that Shane McMahon will now be the 5th member of Team Smackdown Live. But I think the team will see one more change before the PPV. I think Shane O Mac will be dropped and replaced by someone else at Survivor Series. On the next episode of Smackdown Live it’s a special one, its episode 900 and it’ll see the return of one of the industry’s biggest draws and quite frankly legend of WWE, The Undertaker.
Now this is a clutching at straws prediction I’ll give you that, but I can see Shane O Mac talking the talk about Smackdown Live and Survivor series. Then I picture the arena going dark and hearing that infamous gong of the Undertakers entrance. He’ll then proceed to make his dramatic entrance to the ring with Shane awaiting him looking intimidated, you know, selling the fear. I don’t expect there to be any confrontation between the two, quite the opposite. I don’t know if Undertaker will actually talk and use the mic so this kind of throws my theory in the air a little, but I envision Undertaker talking about his match at Wrestlemania, and how he’s got this respect for what happened that night at Wrestlemania for Shane, and how Shane’s proved a worthy commissioner for Smackdown. And then finishes it up by declaring he’d be willing to be part of Team Smackdown replacing Shane O Mac.
WWE Survivor Series Overall result – Smackdown Wins
So now we’ve got a new Team Smackdown line up with Undertaker replacing Shane (who had originally replaced Baron). WWE seem to be building Braun Strowman up significantly the past few weeks and have had him feature in the RAW main event along the likes of Owens, Jericho, Rollins and Reigns. That’s good company to be in. I also can’t see The Undertaker going for very long in a 10 man elimination tag match, So I think yes while it’s awesome Undertaker is back for team blue and main eventing one of the big 4 PPV’s, that his participation in the match will be shorter than most and I can see Braun being the guy to eliminate him. It’d be a great way to give Braun some heat and a huge accolade for him to have. If WWE are so dead set on making him this monster eliminating the Undertaker and therefore swinging the pendulum in RAW’s favour would do his credibility wonders. Heck it wouldn’t surprise me if he ends up being the final member of team RAW standing.
But that aside despite the gargantuan effort of Braun trying to win the series for RAW, he falls at the last hurdle and Team Smackdown win Survivor Series therefore gifting Smackdown with 3 draft / roster picks.
And here’s where we see the return of the IC title back to Smackdown as Sami Zayn is drafted across over to team blue with the IC title. All of a sudden Smackdown Live has Cesaro and Zayn to accompany Bray, Ambrose, AJ Styles and the Cruiserweights. I also kind of expect to see The Club drafted over to Smackdown as the 2nd pick after Zayn, and depending on how NXT Takeover goes the night before, possibly see Samoa Joe brought up to Smackdown too. Within one PPV (two I guess with NXT Takeover) Smackdown acquires Cesaro, Zayn, Samoa Joe, The Club and the entire cruiserweight roster.
So to summarize the events leading up to and after Survivor series I see it as:
- Miz loses his IC rematch and gets traded to RAW for Cesaro
- Undertaker declares himself part of team Smackdown replacing Shane
- Kalisto wins the Cruiserweight Championship at Survivor series bring the cruisers to SD
- Zayn wins the IC title at Survivor series taking the IC belt to RAW
- Braun eliminates Undertaker from team Smackdown and is the standout star of RAW
- Team Smackdown win Survivor Series
- Sami Zayn and the IC title are drafted to Smackdown along with The Club
- Samoa Joe is called up to Smackdown as their 3rd pick
Smackdown ends up with Cruisers, Cesaro, Zayn, The Club, Samoa Joe.
Raw ends up with The Miz and Braun built up as a serious contender on the roster.
Let’s see how way off I am after the go home shows for RAW and Smackdown Live next week.