It has been four weeks since WWE's last PPV extravaganza, and now we are approaching one of the so-called big-four PPV's of the year Survivor Series.
However, go back 6-10 months ago and you would have thought that Survivor Series had failed to survive into 2010.
Vince McMahon was disappointed with last year's buy rate for the event, and was ready to replace it with possibly yet another gimmick PPV. But the wrestling fans of the world revolted and protested, and as a result Survivor Series lives again (at least for the time being).
I have seen many articles over the last 3 weeks criticising WWE for their lack of build up of this PPV event, and I am in total agreement with them. What is the point of re-instating this traditional event if you are going to make most of the matches within seven days of it?
I mean, going into this week we had three matches confirmed, we now have seven. If you want buy rates to improve, the least you can do is to build up the match card for the event, something which WWE has failed to do for all but two matches.
Speaking positively though, the card on paper looks half decent. The only match I really do not want to see is for the WWE Tag Team Championships. Why on earth are Santino and Kozlov getting a title match?
Santino is at his best outside the ring making people laugh, in the ring he is just sad to watch. Kozlov is no better, he is the epitome of stale.
I gave the Bragging Rights PPV a 6/10 rating, Survivor Series has the potential to be better, but it also has the potential to be bloody awful. It all depends on the creative team and the bookers.
On to the predictions:
Dolph Ziggler is the man that WWE turns to nowadays to open PPV's and its his job to set a standard for the night. The guy has amazing in-ring ability and is a real asset to the company.
I am going to say this now, if it were not for the Ziggler Vs. Bryan match that opened the Bragging Rights PPV, I would have given it a 4 instead of 6/10 rating.
To me, that match has to be a contender for match of the year, it was the first time I have heard a crowd chant 'this is awesome' since Undertaker Vs. Michaels at Wrestlemania.
I am even more delighted by the fact that his opponent is Kaval. Kaval had a classic match on Superstars last week against Drew McIntyre (if you haven't watched it, I recommend you do), and in my estimation he is as good if not better than Daniel Bryan.
His offense is terrific, and he is coming out with fresh new moves every week. This match could be even better than the one that opened Bragging Rights.
I said before Bragging Rights that the match I was most looking forward to was Ziggler Vs. Bryan, well it shouldn't surprise you that (despite the lack of build) Ziggler Vs. Kaval is my pick to be match of the night come Survivor Series.
As for the winner, I see Dolph retaining here. After three consecutive losses to Bryan, Ziggler needs a win here. I have been disappointed by the way WWE have utilised Kaval since he won NXT, but if he has a great showing here he is definitely in line for a rematch. I expect this to be a cheap win for Dolph, not clean.
For all you Rasslin' fans out there, just sit back and enjoy because whoever wins the match, the fans are all winners.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler (Still Champion)
My first question is this: Why not put Gabriel and Slater against a decent tag team? You have the Hart Dynasty (actually no, WWE's tag team breakup of the week on Raw), The Dudebusters (When was the last time they were on television, are they heel or face?), Hawkins and Archer (Oh, they aren't even with the company anymore) and The Uso's (who never win and are not faces).
The reality is that there is no other face tag team left in WWE to take on these two Nexus cohorts that were randomly paired four weeks ago and given the titles. That's right, the Tag Team division is on its last legs, and WWE are forced into this match as there is no one left to face the champions.
It is not hard to imagine who will win this terrible contest, there is no way in hell WWE are taking the titles off of The Nexus. Expect Nexus to win at all costs here, and expect the occasional great move from Gabriel (who, along with Barrett, is pretty much the only decent wrestler in Nexus).
WWE, please develop your tag team scene. Don't just throw teams together for no logical reason, build them up from FCW, actually train them in the art of tag team wrestling and bring them up to the main roster as a tag team.
Singles wrestlers thrown together in Tag Teams just do not work, which is why teams like The Dudleys and The Hardys have been so successful over the years.
Winners: Nexus (Still Champions)
Wow, a match on a PPV card that is not for a championship? Does this mean WWE have realised that feuds do not always require titles?
This match is a good addition to the card as it has been built up somewhat over the past few weeks. Even though the match was only made official this week, it does seem to have a point.
Sheamus and Morrison but on a decent Falls Count Anywhere match a couple of months back, and WWE is looking to capitalise on that chemistry by creating a feud between the two. I really hope that this is not Sheamus being de-pushed, merely something for him to do while he is not in the title picture.
I would rather have Sheamus to Barrett any day, and I'm English. Sheamus has a lot of talent in the ring, some devastating moves and a load of charisma.
If WWE want to do this right, they are merely using Sheamus to catapult Morrison to the next level. Not because the mid-card is awaiting Sheamus.
This should be an entertaining physical match, and what made it so last time was the contrast of styles between the two. You have Morrison's fast pace, high flying and impactful move-set colliding with Sheamus' brute force power and striking ability. They are the same in some ways, but a whole lot different in others.
I expect WWE to go with the upset victory here, and give Morrison a roll up victory or something equivalent, possibly DQ. This will keep the feud going and create another match at TLC which can be more brutal.
WWE needs to balance heel and face wins, and in an event I predict will be heel heavy we need a face win. Sheamus will probably avenge the loss next month.
Winner: John Morrison
WWE decided at the last minute to stick with tradition and throw together a traditional Survivor series team elimination match. The good news: It gets a lot of decent names on the card. The bad news: I'm bored stiff with elimination matches.
I mean think about it, last month we has a 7 on 7 elimination tag match at Bragging Rights, and at Summerslam we has the exact same thing as the main-event. They are never really that entertaining, and I hope WWE doesn't drag this one out too much.
I predict a Team Mysterio victory here, again to create another face win on the card. It will also create a PPV match between Del Rio and Mysterio next month at TLC.
Eliminations in order:
Tyler Reks (Team Del Rio: Just release this guy already)
Chris Masters (Team Mysterio)
MVP (Team Mysterio)
Drew McIntyre (Team Del Rio)
Cody Rhodes ( Team Del Rio - altercation with McIntyre)
Kofi Kingston ( Team Mysterio)
Jack Swagger (Team Del Rio)
Del Rio (Team Del Rio - Combined effort of Mysterio and Big Show)
Winners: Team Mysterio (Big Show sole survivor)
Kane is a record holder: He has had the longest world title reign of the year and has to be the first man to beat The Undertaker at three consecutive PPV's. The man is on the biggest load of momentum he has ever been on, and many in the IWC think its been a long time coming.
Surely, then, if Undertaker cannot beat Kane, then the mortal Edge will have no chance. That is how I believe WWE are going to book this; I see Kane winning this match or at least retaining his title.
Edge is the TLC master, so it makes sense to main-event the next PPV with a rematch of this under TLC rules.
The kidnapping of Paul Bearer has made this feud interesting, and the match has been built up very well over the last four weeks.
Kane will get his revenge on Edge at Survivor Series, but who knows what might happen when these two square off at TLC.
Winner: Kane (Still Champion)
Lately the divas division has been on the rise a slight bit in WWE. Natalya has contributed hugely to this by bringing credibility back to the in-ring work of the divas, combining with the already skilled Laycool to create some decent contests.
This is Natalya's third shot at the title, so if she doesn't win it now you would think she is out of the picture altogether. After the brilliant Mae Young segment on Raw this week, this match is coming on a wave of momentum and I expect the rest of the divas to get involved and cost Laycool the match here, crowning a new divas champion.
Laycool will get their rematch next month, and I sincerely hope that they regain the titles. Expect this to be a solid divas match, and keep an eye out for Layla, who is getting better in the ring every time I see her.
Winner: Natalya (New Champion)
If Wade Barrett loses this match Cena is 'fired', if Wade Barrett wins the title Cena is 'free.' It is the main-event of the night and should be entertaining enough due to the Cena stipulation.
So, onto my prediction. I predict that John Cena will indeed assist Wade Barrett to become WWE Champion. It may be inadvertent, it may be deliberate but either way Barrett will be champion.
But if I'm right it'll be one of the shortest reigns in history. We have had all this talk from Cena about how he will beat Barrett to a pulp once the match is over.
I predict that this will come to fruition, and the rest of the WWE roster will attack the remaining members of Nexus to stop them interfering with Cena's business. Once Barrett has been knocked out, Cena will leave the ring and be walking up the aisle and...
"I Came To Play!", the Miz's music will hit the arena for the first time that evening (notice that he doesn't have a match...suspicious) and the Miz will stroll past Cena, who, in his desperation to see Barrett lose the belt will merely give a shocked stare as The Miz passed him. Miz will summon a referee, and cash in his Money In The Bank briefcase.
The new WWE Champion, Wade Barrett will be gradually stirring and getting to his feet, only to be greeted by the Skull Crushing Finale by The Miz, who will then cover Barrett to win the WWE championship.
Next month will probably see a fatal-4-way TLC match for the WWE title: The Miz Vs. John Cena Vs. Wade Barrett Vs. Randy Orton
The PPV ends with the Miz in tears of delight as his childhood dream comes true, as Cena watches startled from the entrance ramp. Then his face will split into a smile, as he realises that he cost the man who tormented him for two months the WWE title.
Winner: Wade Barrett (New Champion)
Wade Barret Vs. The Miz: (Money in the Bank cash in)
Winner: The Miz (New Champion)