WWE Survivor Series 2012: 10 Bold Predictions for the Upcoming PPV
After some major reshuffling on last week's Raw, the final Survivor Series card seems to be set.
Five matches have been announced for the WWE's "Big Four" fall pay-per-view, with every title except the Intercontinental Championship on the line.
The show will be headlined by CM Punk defending his WWE Championship against John Cena and Ryback in a Triple Threat match and also features a traditional five-on-five match pitting Team Foley against Team Ziggler, as well as Sheamus vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship.
The Survivor Series card isn't as stacked as some previous ones, but it'll feature three big matches that will likely have a huge effect on the WWE's creative plans as we move forward.
That, of course, depends on what happens on Sunday, so let's take a look at just what might go down at the pay-per-view.
Here are 10 bold predictions for Survivor Series.
10. Kaitlyn Will Defeat Eve to Become the New Divas Champion
Is it just me, or does it feel like Eve and Kaitlyn have been feuding for like a year now?
This rivalry extends all the way back to Night of Champions (and even before then), when Eve replaced Kaitlyn in what was supposed to be her first-ever Divas title match after Kaitlyn was attacked backstage.
Now, here we are two months later, and Eve has the Divas Championship that Kaitlyn wants. At Survivor Series on Sunday, I think she gets it.
Why? Because there aren't any other Divas who seem poised to challenge Eve at the moment, and with the Divas division at an all-time low, the WWE can take a chance by putting the title on Kaitlyn, who probably isn't ready to hold it just yet.
If Kaitlyn loses, there's no reason for this story to continue, but I feel like the WWE wants it to for some reason. As a result, Kaitlyn will surprise us all by beating Eve to become the Divas Champion for the first time.
9. Dolph Ziggler Will NOT Cash in His Money in the Bank Briefcase
Many fans expected Dolph Ziggler to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase at Hell in a Cell, but it didn't happen.
Now, those same fans have shifted their focus to Survivor Series, where they think that, whether it's Big Show or Sheamus who wins the World Heavyweight Championship, Ziggler will cash in and leave Indianapolis as the World Champion.
I don't see it happening for the very same reason that it didn't happen at Hell in a Cell: It's predictable.
If Ziggler cashes in at Survivor Series, everyone will see it coming from a mile away, and even though I think having Ziggler cash in at a "Big Four" PPV makes a lot of sense, the WWE might very well swerve us just to avoid doing something predictable.
We'll wait and wait for Ziggler to cash in on a beaten and battered Big Show or Sheamus after their match, but it won't happen. Even if Ziggler comes out and teases that he will indeed cash in, Big Show or Sheamus will probably see it coming and prevent it from happening.
After all, they're both being booked so strongly right now that I can't see either losing on a cash-in attempt, even if they're attacked post-match.
8. Ryback Will Suffer His 2nd Career Loss, but Not Be Involved in the Finish
Putting the WWE Championship of Ryback at Survivor Series would likely throw a huge wrench into the WWE's future creative plans, which is why I'm very skeptical about any talk of him winning on Sunday.
Although this is the WWE and you never really know what crazy idea Vince McMahon might have up his sleeve, the long-term money is not in Ryback winning his first WWE title. Not yet.
If logic wins out this Sunday, then Ryback will fail to win the WWE Championship but be booked strongly in what will be just his second career loss.
I fully expect the WWE to find a way that protects Ryback—even in defeat. There are plenty of ways to do that, such as the classic Triple Threat finish where Ryback would hit either CM Punk or John Cena with Shell Shocked, only for one of them to pull him out of the ring and steal the pin.
Maybe this prediction really isn't that bold, but in a WWE Championship match that seems like it'll be rather formulaic, it's hard to see any finish taking place that involves Ryback getting pinned.
He won't win at Survivor Series, but his Shell Shocked finisher will probably be the reason why someone else does.
7. Daniel Bryan Will Be the First Person Eliminated from the 5-on-5 Match
Especially after what transpired on Monday's Raw, I can't help but think that Daniel Bryan will be the first person eliminated from the Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler match.
We all know that there has always been tension between Kane and Bryan, but after Kane picked up a tag team win alongside The Miz on Raw, there seems to be even more tension between the odd pairing.
I think that's ultimately what will lead to Bryan (but maybe Kane) being the first superstar eliminated from the five-on-five bout.
Something will happen that causes Bryan to argue with either Kane or The Miz, which will result in a distracted Bryan turning around and walking directly into a finisher from someone on Team Ziggler.
This would naturally disappoint Bryan's fans much like his WrestleMania 28 match did, but it could play into another potential feud with The Miz or perhaps even a breakup angle for Team Hell No.
The outcome of this traditional Survivor Series may not mean all that much in the long run, but what happens during it, like this situation with Bryan, could play a huge role in storylines going forward.
6. Wade Barrett Will Have the Most Eliminations with 3
Of all the heels on Team Ziggler, I think the one who is in line for the biggest upcoming singles push is none other than Wade Barrett.
Although he still hasn't really had a storyline since his return in early September, he's constantly found himself involved in matches with guys like Randy Orton and Sheamus, and it's clear that the creative team has big plans for him.
A good way to kickoff Barrett's monster push would be to have him really stand out in the five-on-five match Sunday, which is something I could certainly see happening.
With Barrett continuing to get his new finisher ("The Souvenir") over, don't be shocked to see him eliminate multiple Team Foley members with that move at Survivor Series. In fact, I'll go out on a limb and say that he'll eliminate three of his opponents with that devastating elbow on Sunday, which will make him responsible for more eliminations than any other star in the match.
Even if Team Ziggler loses, Barrett could come out of this bout looking stronger than any other superstar who is involved in it.
5. The Miz Will Solidify His Babyface Turn and Remain Loyal to Team Foley
Did you hear that reaction that The Miz got on Raw this Monday? That sure sounded like a babyface pop to me.
The final member of Team Foley, The Miz seemed to be embracing playing the babyface role in his tag team match with Kane, and as a result, we've got a couple of interesting scenarios that could play out at Survivor Series.
Either The Miz could turn on Team Foley to reignite his push as a heel, or he could stay loyal to his squad and cement himself as a bona fide babyface for the first time.
While I could see the first scenario happening, I think the second is actually more likely, both because a face turn would freshen up The Miz's act and because it makes sense with the upcoming release of his movie, The Marine 3.
The WWE will likely want The Miz to be face when that movie nears its release, and after the way the crowd responded favorably to him acting like a face on Monday, company officials are likely pretty confident that he can pull off the face turn and succeed in that role.
4. Big Show Will Beat Sheamus Clean Again
I don't have the statistics to prove it, but I feel like Sheamus' loss to Big Show at Hell in a Cell may, in fact, have been Sheamus' first clean loss of 2012.
Even if that isn't the case, though, the fact remains that Sheamus' loss was an extremely rare occurrence. He almost never loses these days, so to see him lose clean to a heel like Big Show came as a pretty big shock.
Here's the thing, though: You shouldn't be shocked if it happens again at Survivor Series.
The WWE is clearly building up Big Show to be this dominant, unstoppable heel, and with the recent strong booking of his character, it wouldn't make much sense for him to lose clean or win dirty this Sunday. Plus, I don't think the WWE plans on playing a game of hot potato with the World title between Sheamus and Big Show for the foreseeable future.
So, what's this all mean? That Big Show will beat Sheamus clean at Survivor Series for the second straight time.
However unlikely it may seem right now, Big Show is getting such a massive push as a heel that he's perhaps the only guy who could and will do it.
3. Mark Henry Will Return
After undergoing shoulder surgery earlier this year, Mark Henry has been out of action for most of 2012.
This, of course, has been a rather disappointing year for Henry, who had the best year of his career in 2011 en route to a dominant reign as World Heavyweight Champion.
There's been no definitive word on Henry's return or in-ring future, but according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via WrestlingInc.com), Henry could be back by the end of the year.
Well, why not bring him back at Survivor Series?
With the traditional five-on-five match and both the WWE and Word Heavyweight Championship matches taking place, that leaves a ton of possible scenarios for Henry to make his triumphant return to the WWE and immediately make a huge impact in the process.
He could attack Ryback, Big Show, Sheamus or any other top star and instantly spark a feud with one of them. The possibilities truly are endless—it's just a matter of the WWE being willing to have Henry return and instantly push him as an upper midcarder or main-eventer again.
I guess we'll have to wait and see, but a year ago at this time, Henry was competing for the World title at Survivor Series. Maybe this year, he'll make a big splash yet again.
2. AJ Will Inadvertently Cost John Cena the WWE Championship Match
This drama between AJ Lee and John Cena is ridiculously silly, but if the very soap opera-like storyline is indeed going to take place, the WWE might as well get the most of it.
A good way to capitalize on the angle involving these two is to have AJ get involved in the WWE Championship match on Sunday, in much the same way that she constantly found herself in the middle of the Punk/Bryan/Kane feud earlier this year.
With the WWE looking to protect Cena at all costs but Cena not figuring to walk out of Survivor Series as the WWE Champion, having AJ inadvertently cost Cena the match could add an interesting twist to their storyline.
Up to this point, we don't know if the two have actually had a romantic relationship or not, but both Cena and AJ implied on this week's Raw that it's something they might consider doing in the future. That could be foreshadowing what's to come.
And what will happen next? As AJ begins to fall for Cena, she wants to help him win at Survivor Series, but instead, she accidentally screws up and costs him the WWE title.
That way, Cena can still look strong, but CM Punk will walk out of Survivor Series still the WWE Champion, which is exactly what I expect to happen.
1. Orton and the Miz Will Be the 2 Survivors of the Winning Team, Team Foley
If The Miz is going to solidify his babyface turn at Survivor Series like I think he will, then it makes a lot of sense for the WWE to book him strongly in the five-on-five match.
How strongly? Well, I'd have him as one of the final survivors of Team Foley, because it could instantly establish him as a top babyface if that's the route the creative team wants his character to go in.
But The Miz wouldn't be the only survivor for Team Foley. The other survivor would be none other than Randy Orton.
If you look at what Orton's done lately, it's clear that the WWE is building him back up to be a top guy again. That was evidenced by his win over Dolph Ziggler at Night of Champions and his victory over Alberto Del Rio at Hell in a Cell.
One more victory could propel Orton back into the World title scene, and that victory could certainly come in the five-on-five match this Sunday at Survivor Series.
After all, Team Foley vs. Team Ziggler features five guys from the Team Orton vs. Team Barrett match from Survivor Series 2011, a match that Team Barrett won with Cody Rhodes and Wade Barrett as the final two survivor series for their squad.
This year, it's time for the heels to return the favor. The babyfaces will win, and it'll be Orton and the newly turned Miz who are standing tall at the end of the match.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!