Kane and the Biggest X-Factors Poised to Shake Up WWE Survivor Series 2017
Despite not officially being a part of the Nov. 19 pay-per-view card, The Devil's Favorite Demon may well be a game-changer at the event. He's among the Superstars most likely to storm into and upend the show.
When Team Raw battles Team SmackDown at Survivor Series, festering rivalries outside of that match threaten to impact it. Kane's issues with Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens' animosity for Shane McMahon and Bray Wyatt's unfinished business could all be major factors in how that story unfolds.
Could we see a betrayal within the blue brand? Could Sister Abigail emerge in Houston?
The following is a look at the outsiders and X-factors who are the safest bets to put their imprint on Survivor Series.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Neither man is on the SmackDown Survivor Series squad, but Owens and Sami Zayn sure have been in the spotlight leading up to the PPV.
KO and his dance-happy sidekick have pushed back against McMahon, claiming the SmackDown commissioner is conspiring against them. They didn't participate in the brand's invasion of Raw. They have been instigators and agitators.
All that could easily add up to them creating chaos at Survivor Series as an act of rebellion.
It would be surprising if Owens and Zayn didn't show up. Unless their reported backstage heat gets in the way, of course. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated reported that WWE sent them home early during the European tour due to disciplinary reasons.
If being in the doghouse doesn't derail them, there's a good chance Owens and Zayn cost Team SmackDown a victory.
Carmella is set to represent Team SmackDown in the women's traditional Survivor Series elimination match. That's not the match, though, where she's bound to make the biggest mark.
The SmackDown women's champ will be facing Raw women's titleholder Alexa Bliss at the PPV. Natalya currently holds that crown, but she's set to defend it against Charlotte Flair on the next SmackDown. Whoever holds that blue belt by the time Survivor Series comes around will have to be wary of more than just their Raw rival.
Carmella's Money in the Bank briefcase makes her a potential wild card for the event.
WWE is going to want to make the first cash-in by a woman a big one. Doing it at one of the Big Four PPVs would certainly qualify.
Natalya or Flair surviving a tough test from Bliss only to look up to see The Princess of Staten Island running at them with briefcase in hand is an image WWE may just want to compose.
The forgotten soldier in the women's revolution is bound to be back soon. Paige has been out with a neck injury since last summer but began training at the WWE Performance Center in September.
The Anti-Diva's return will be a bigger moment if it's a surprise done at Survivor Series.
She could start a new rivalry, make a new alliance or simply wreak havoc indiscriminately. It's not clear what brand she will be a part of, either. She was drafted to Raw in 2016, but Mike Johnson of PWInsider has noted that she's set to join SmackDown.
Illness ended Wyatt's rivalry with Finn Balor early. He was supposed to morph into his Sister Abigail alter-ego at TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs. But a viral infection kept him out of action.
And now Wyatt's not part of the Survivor Series card while Balor is ready to fight for brand pride as part of Team Raw.
It's easy to imagine The Eater of Worlds charging into that battle to take down his enemy. And even if WWE has abandoned Wyatt vs. Balor, there's a good chance he goes after someone else. He's made a career out of launching surprise attacks.
WWE needs a way to reintroduce the backwoods preacher, and Survivor Series would be a grand stage on which to do so.
Team SmackDown is essentially going into Survivor Series with six men on its team. Kane's feud with Strowman promises to create waves at the PPV.
Kane and Strowman were on the same squad at TLC. The two beasts butted heads, though, and Kane turned on his partner, eventually shoving him into a garbage truck.
Since then, The Big Red Machine has claimed he's Raw's only monster, and he and Strowman have crossed paths in violent fashion.
Had Strowman bested Kane ahead of Survivor Series, we could assume that story was done with. But that's not the case. The unresolved issues between the two will likely lead to a run-in from Kane. His appearance and subsequent ambush is the easiest way for WWE to script an elimination for the normally unstoppable Strowman.
And now 20 years since Kane's Survivor Series debut, he's on the verge of being a major player at the PPV, possibly being the difference in the battle for brand supremacy.