There comes a point in the career of every WWE superstar where a win on pay-per-view is not just a luxury, but also a necessity to keep the audience behind them and keep up their momentum, whether it's positive or negative.
Survivor Series is a time where WWE can afford to take chances here and there, because it's a show that's on its own island, yet close enough to WrestleMania that the company can lay out the tea leaves to get people excited and speculating about what is to come.
As we go over the card for this Sunday's big pay-per-view, there are a few names that stand out above the rest.
These stars desperately need a win to pull themselves out of a lull or maintain their forward momentum.
Here are the stars in need of a victory who will find the winner's circle at the annual Survivor Series pay-per-view.
If WWE ever has hopes of Ziggler being more than just a guy they can throw in any match and make it great, something has to change in a hurry.
He was pinned clean by Orton on RAW this past Monday, which gives us hope that he's in line for a win.
Of course, having Ziggler lose so many times in a row since he won the Money In the Bank briefcase makes no sense, but that is another story for another day.
Everyone knows that Ziggler is one of the most entertaining wrestlers on the roster, which is why he keeps getting put in matches with stars like Orton.
But that briefcase is only going to carry him so far.
WWE needs to start doing right by Ziggler. This is the perfect match to do it, because it's a high-profile spot on what is traditionally one of the biggest shows of the year.
Ziggler will pin Orton to end Team Foley's dreams of victory.
Match: Big Show (C) vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship
In a surprise turn of events last month, WWE decided to pull the title off Sheamus and give it to Big Show.
While that was an interesting direction for WWE to go, it felt more like a ploy to pop ratings for a week or two on SmackDown, since title changes usually draw more eyeballs.
Sheamus is the face of SmackDown right now. He appears to be headed for a feud with Randy Orton, assuming Orton turns heel in the near future, and it makes no sense to keep the title on Big Show.
Plus, based on the way he no-sold his loss last month, Sheamus knows the title is coming back to him. There is no point in delaying the inevitable.
He is more valuable to WWE with the title than Big Show is.
(Side note: Don't be surprised if Show retains the title to see Ziggler cash in his briefcase. WWE keeps teasing it, but this feels like a good spot to do it.)
Match: CM Punk (C) vs. John Cena vs. Ryback for WWE Championship
There is a lot of talk surrounding Punk right now. Some rumors have him headlining WrestleMania, which could mean he loses the title here to Cena and goes on to face The Rock at WrestleMania.
Of course, WWE could just be floating things out there to throw people off the scent.
The best and most logical scenario is that Punk wins this triple-threat match and retains the title until the Royal Rumble, when he gets his long-talked about a match with Rock.
I don't think Punk would be hurt by losing the title—the consecutive days holding the title streak isn't as important to Punk's character as Ryback's undefeated streak is to his—but it would feel contrived to have Punk drop the belt now, unless he is going to win the Royal Rumble match.
Cena feels overdue for a title run, at least based on how WWE books him and the title, but this is still Punk's time.
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