WWE Survivor Series Preview: A Look Ahead To the Winners and Losers in Miami
We are just a few days away from WWE's version of the Fall Classic, Survivor Series.
A huge main event looms, as Wade Barrett once again challenges Randy Orton for the WWE Championship.
John Cena will be the special guest referee, and will finally be freed of his obligations to The Nexus. But will it be because on the strength of a Barrett victory or Cena's termination?
Kane defends his title against someone other than The Undertaker for the first time in months, as Edge challenges for the World Heavyweight Championship.
Before the big event arrives, let's take a look at some predictions for WWE's November staple.
**Warning: This slideshow contains spoilers for this week's SmackDown. If you want to wait until Friday night, turn back now.**
Santino Marella/Vladimir Kozlov Vs. Justin Gabriel/Heath Slater
WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Justin Gabriel and Heath Slater take on the new No. 1 contenders, Santino Marella and Vladimir Kozlov, in a match many were likely surprised to see. After all, did we really expect The Uso's to lose to Marella and Kozlov?
At first glance, this may seem like a throwaway match to get the tag champs on the card, but I see it a little differently. Look for Santino and Kozlov to give The Nexus duo a run for their money before eventually falling victim to the usual underhanded heel tactics.
On a side note, can't creative find something better for Justin Gabriel? He's really the only other guy in The Nexus that looks like he'll make it once the storyline comes to a close. Can we just get him on his way already?
Team Mysterio Vs. Team Del Rio
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Hispanic rivals Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio each lead five-man teams of former world champions and future main eventers into battle in the only traditional Survivor Series match on the card.
The match will obviously center around the Mysterio/Del Rio feud, but there are plenty of interesting undertones in this match.
Look for new feuds to begin after this match. MVP, fresh off his one-off shot at the Intercontinental Title, and Kofi Kingston will likely enter feuds with either Jack Swagger, "Dashing" Cody Rhodes, or Drew McIntyre. Could a new Big Show program blossom with the odd heel out from the aforementioned trio? And could this be the coming-out party for Tyler Reks?
In the end, look for the faces to come out on top. A Big Show-Mysterio combination will take down Del Rio, finally handing the Mexican elitist a taste of defeat in a WWE ring.
John Morrison Vs. Sheamus
Well, it appears WWE creative is once again behind the idea of pushing John Morrison. Maybe pairing him with The Celtic Warrior will give Morrison some much-needed carrying on the mic, as well as the weight Sheamus' name carries amongst fans.
While I initially thought this would be an easy win for Sheamus, I've thought again. Sheamus will walk away with the victory, but Morrison will push Sheamus to the brink.
On Monday's edition of Raw, look for Sheamus to boast of beating Morrison, only for The Shaman of Sexy to once again stick in Sheamus' craw, furthering the feud that will hopefully send Morrison down the road to the main event.
Natalya Vs. LayCool
2-on-1 Match for the WWE Divas Championship
Natalya has proven that she can beat a single member of LayCool in a one-on-one setting. But can she pull the trick with Layla and Michelle McCool in the ring at the same time?
It may seem like a long shot, but look for Natalya to manipulate the co-Divas champions into a situation they cannot weasel their way out of.
It's been a long time since we've seen Layla and McCool without the Divas title belts. It may not be long until we see it again, but now is the time for Natalya to win her first WWE gold.
Kaval Vs. Dolph Ziggler
Intercontinental Title Match
On the upcoming edition of SmackDown, Kaval invoked his contractual title shot earned by winning the second season of NXT. Instead of using on a world title match as Season One winner Wade Barrett did, Kaval chose to battle Dolph Ziggler for the Intercontinental Title.
Just as they are in the picture accompanying this slide, Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero will leave Miami smiling after Ziggler retains his hard-earned title defense. But this feud is far from over.
When Ziggler does eventually drop the IC title, I think Kaval will be the man to defeat him for it. Look for that win to come at an event such as Royal Rumble, however.
If he hasn't climbed into the world title picture by then, look for Ziggler to earn back the IC belt at WrestleMania XXVII.
Ted DiBiase Vs. Daniel Bryan
United States Championship Match
Also announced on Friday's edition of SmackDown, Ted DiBiase's post-match attack on Daniel Bryan has brought on this clash for Bryan's United States Championship.
Like its sister match between Kaval and Dolph Ziggler, look for the champion—in this case, Bryan—to retain. Unlike the Kaval/Ziggler match, I don't think this feud will go much of anywhere.
WWE creative has tried to force DiBiase down the throats of the members of the WWE Universe. First, it was with Legacy. Then DiBiase broke out on his own, with his father's Million Dollar Championship in tow. Most recently, Maryse was thrown into the fray. And all the while, DiBiase hasn't made much of a mark.
Maybe this is creative's latest attempt to establish DiBiase. It will surely give DiBiase some serious heat if he takes out the immensely popular Bryan, but it just isn't in the cards at the time.
Edge Vs. Kane
World Heavyweight Championship Match
When Edge took Kane's storyline father, Paul Bearer, hostage, I thought one thing: This storyline isn't going away any time soon. And I really like that idea.
Edge is becoming SmackDown's version of Randy Orton—he turned face largely because of the crowd, yet he still possesses the traits of an anti-hero. It's working for Orton, and it looks like it's working for Edge, too.
It will work to the tune of a 10th world title reign for Edge...but that title reign won't begin this Sunday. Kane will use the motivation of "losing" his father to come out on top, but the clock is ticking on Kane's world title reign.
When the bell rings on Sunday night's match, Kane will have the second-longest World Heavyweight Title reign since the title was vacated in January 2006. (Coincidentally, the only man to have a longer reign since then was The Undertaker.) Sooner or later, Kane is going to drop the gold.
It will be much sooner than later, and the beneficiary will be The Ultimate Opportunist, Edge.
Wade Barrett Vs. Randy Orton
WWE Championship Match
All eyes will be on this match come Sunday. Yes, there are seven other matches on this year's Survivor Series card, but the WWE Universe will be anxiously waiting to find out who will be WWE Champion come Monday...and just how John Cena factored into that decision.
To be completely honest, the presence of Randy Orton seems not much more than than to include the WWE Championship. Cena and Orton have clashed, and Orton has done a great job enhancing this story, but when Sunday night comes around, the only name that will matter will be Cena's.
Some things never change.
The last time the WWE Universe, as well as the IWC, waited for the type of storyline payoff that we would likely be in store for Sunday night, it was SummerSlam 2010. It was The Nexus versus John Cena, and many thought the payoff was a massive letdown.
Some things never change.
I've spent the last couple weeks trying to figure out a way Orton could retain the WWE title without Cena actually being fired. I couldn't formulate a logical plan, so I came to the only conclusion that might make sense to WWE creative.
Look for Orton to retain his WWE Championship, as Cena does the "right thing" by counting Barrett down and out after Orton hits the RKO.
Somehow, someway, Cena will end up getting rehired, or there will be some sort of loophole revealed that allows Cena to rejoin the company.
Even though he technically "loses everything," Cena still comes out smelling like roses.
Some things never change.