The Bloodline's Next Chapter, AEW Trios, Damage CTRL Buried, More Quick Takes
WWE Survivor Series on Saturday left fans with more questions than answers, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
As enjoyable as the event was on the whole, it specifically succeeded at setting the stage for what's to come in the months ahead. Many matches are gradually taking shape for WrestleMania 39, but whether WWE will stay the course with certain storylines remains to be seen.
That's especially important with The Bloodline, who has been the most featured act on WWE TV for the past two years. Following the events that transpired at Survivor Series, their next chapter is bound to play an important role in the buildup to The Show of Shows in April.
Meanwhile, AEW continues to add much-needed depth to their trios division with both The Elite and House of Black returning in the span of several days. The ongoing Best of 7 Series between The Elite and Death Triangle should also serve to make the trios titles more interesting.
This installment of Quick Takes will tackle AEW slowly rebuilding its trios division, if Damage CTRL are officially buried, the most interesting possible opponents for Ronda Rousey right now, and more.
The Usos vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Must Remain WrestleMania 39 Endgame
Just when it looked like The Bloodline were on the verge of suffering their first major setback at Survivor Series, they emerged from the event stronger than ever.
Sami Zayn's perfectly-executed "betrayal" of Kevin Owens led to another decisive Bloodline victory, putting everyone in the faction on the same page in the process. Survivor Series was expected to be the night Zayn was finally either exiled from Bloodline or turned on them himself, but the route WWE decided to take instead may have been stronger.
Regardless of what happens in the immediate future with the Roman Reigns-led clan, all roads must still lead to Owens and Zayn ultimately reuniting and dethroning The Usos for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship at WrestleMania 39.
Plenty of time remains between now and then, meaning there's no reason for the storyline to be rushed. WWE can take their time with Zayn's split from Bloodline, and the next two months heading into the Royal Rumble should focus on telling that chapter.
Owens and Zayn have never before been tag champs in WWE together, not to mention no other team makes remotely as much sense to beat The Usos for the belts at this point. It's a moment very much befitting of the big 'Mania stage.
WWE Just Rendered the SmackDown World Cup Irrelevant
On the November 18 edition of SmackDown, it was heavily foreshadowed that Braun Strowman would be winning the SmackDown World Cup when he went face-to-face with Intercontinental champion Gunther during a six-man tag team match.
Strowman had yet to advance to the finals at that point, but it felt like a foregone conclusion that he would make quick work of Ricochet followed by Santos Escobar to earn the guaranteed title shot.
The latest SmackDown saw Ricochet scored a fluky win over Strowman in shocking fashion to punch his ticket to the finals instead, only for Strowman and Ricochet to align afterward against Imperium.
With Escobar vs. Ricochet now confirmed as the finals of the tourney, it virtually doesn't matter who wins because Strowman vs. Gunther is the biggest bout at hand WWE is building to.
Gunther against either individual should make for a quality contest, but with such an obvious outcome, it renders the World Cup as irrelevant. Although predictable, Strowman taking home the cup would have been far more logical in ensuring Gunther vs. Strowman happens on the sooner side and is the primary attraction for the title.
The Elite, House of Black Breathe New Life into AEW's Trios Division
At one time, AEW's stacked tag team division was largely built on trios. Dynamite featured some of the most exciting multi-person tag team matches you'd see on any weekly wrestling show, but trios titles were oddly not introduced until this summer.
The tournament to crown inaugural champions culminated in thrilling fashion at All Out with The Elite taking home the gold. Unfortunately, the debuting division was immediately hurt by The Elite having to relinquish the titles and them being won by Death Triangle instead.
Prior to The Elite's return at Full Gear, the AEW World Trios Championship were hardly a focal point on AEW programming. The Elite chasing to reclaim the belts they weren't beaten for makes for a fun feud with them and Death Triangle, even if a Best of 7 Serie may be a tad bit excessive.
The bigger get for the division was the return of House of Black last Wednesday on Dynamite. The group had been gone for over two months and now they're automatically in the mix for the straps as well.
More high-profile trios will be needed to fill it out, but the once-nearly-nonexistent division is now much stronger than it was even two weeks. Keeping that momentum going will be key.
Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks Are Ronda Rousey's Only Interesting Possible Opponents
The sole sore spot of Survivor Series this year was the rough Ronda Rousey vs. Shotzi match for the SmackDown Women's Championship. It didn't overstay its welcome, but the two didn't gel very well and the crowd was never once invested in the action.
Instead, it felt as if fans were waiting for Sasha Banks or another notable name to emerge afterward as Rousey's real next threat to the title, but no such luck. Until that happens, SmackDown's women's division will remain in a state of purgatory.
The blue brand boasts plenty of talented ladies, but none of them are anywhere near Rousey's level and simply aren't interesting opponents for her. Even a returning Charlotte Flair would be old news considering all of the other battles they've already had.
Banks and Becky Lynch are truly the two best options for Rousey right now and during WrestleMania season. Both women have unfinished business with The Rowdy One from years ago and would have the likeliest chance of making the title picture compelling again.
If neither of those matches are possible for the remainder of 2022, Rousey will have to spin her wheels for the time being and issue open challenges to inferior opponents.
Damage CTRL Are Officially Damaged Goods
Despite all of the optimism and excitement surrounding their original arrival back at SummerSlam, Damage CTRL have reached damaged goods territory having suffered their third straight loss on a WWE premium live event.
Bayley's crew got off to a solid start upon debuting and quickly dominated the Raw women's division from there, but their booking since Clash at the Castle has been questionable, to say the least.
Bayley failing to beat Bianca Belair for the Raw Women's Championship on two consecutive occasions was understandable, whereas Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky dropping the tag titles only to regain them mere days later was not.
Damage CTRL's less-than-stellar win-loss record wouldn't have been as critical had they won at WarGames. This latest loss for them puts their entire future into question, and at this point, they'd be better off going their separate ways or finding new leadership.
Aside from potentially feuding with Becky Lynch, Damage CTRL have no obvious goals going forward. Kai and Sky can remain a unit, if only to keep the tag division afloat, but Bayley being blamed for her failures and replaced may not be enough to get them back on track considering how little they've clicked since joining forces.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.