Projecting Biggest Surprises and Most Shocking Moments of Survivor Series 2018

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistNovember 18, 2018

Projecting Biggest Surprises and Most Shocking Moments of Survivor Series 2018

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    Survivor Series has always been defined as a night of teamwork, with groups coming together to compete in elimination matches. Recently, the lines have been drawn directly between Raw and SmackDown Live to define which brand is greater.

    To spice up this Big Four show, WWE often takes risks, pushing the boundaries of storytelling with brand supremacy on the line. That makes it an exciting night for the sheer joy of seeing what the company will pull off to spark excitement.

    Last year, Triple H decided to cheap-shot Kurt Angle and still walked out a winner, only to face retribution at the hands of partner Braun Strowman. The year before that, Goldberg made his return to WWE and defeated Brock Lesnar in less than two minutes.

    What will come this year? What surprises await? WWE has already taken multiple risks just to set up this card, from Daniel Bryan's shocking heel turn and title victory to Charlotte Flair's assumption of the responsibility to fight Ronda Rousey in Becky Lynch's stead.

    There will be surprises and outright shocks along the way, but these are the most likely big moves WWE will make at Survivor Series on Sunday to ensure this year's show stands out.

SmackDown Wins Survivor Series Long Before the Main Event

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    It is typical of nights like this that Raw and SmackDown fight to a tie before the main event decides the dominant brand, but unless Raw is going to win for the third time in a row or WWE is planning an impressive upset, the blue brand will need to come out of the gates quickly to be the best.

    The biggest matches on this card are Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan and Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair, and both have a high likelihood of ending with a Raw victory. Assuming both matches do finish as expected, the rest of the night should be all about SmackDown.

    It would be a far more unique story to have Raw get embarrassingly swept so quickly that the main events become about regaining honor. It is a similar idea to what was pulled off in 2016, when Raw won the night before the men's elimination match, wherein SmackDown took the win just to regain some momentum.

    Commissioner Stephanie McMahon has made lofty promises to Raw's Superstars, but SmackDown counterpart Shane McMahon has shown he will do anything to get one up on his sister. It is about time the supposed B-show gets a win.

    Since brand supremacy rarely matters by the end of the year, this would only be a shock on the night. Still, it would be a good way to differentiate this year's show from past brand warfare events.

Nikki Cross Helps Lead Team SmackDown to Victory

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    Team SmackDown is short a member for Sunday. While the most obvious move would be to put Mandy Rose in that spot given her recent demand to be on the team, there's a much more interesting decision that WWE could make for Survivor Series.

    Nikki Cross debuted on SmackDown when the blue brand went overseas earlier in November in what could have been a one-off, but there's no reason NXT's Twisted Sister could not stay on with her new brand. It would add necessary excitement to a match lacking real stories.

    Team Raw has an overload of an underdeveloped female heels who don't stand out. Even with her recent alliance with Nia Jax, Tamina does not come off as an imposing threat, and Mickie James has been a sidekick for too long to scare anyone.

    Team SmackDown's lineup, though, also lacks excitement. Asuka may be great, but it's easy to forget she's even on the main roster given her recent booking. While they are former champions, both Naomi and Carmella have similarly faded into the background.

    Cross' appearance would make this rushed, flat match more engaging and hopefully prompt a few of the women to take some risks. It would give the blue brand the right edge to win over Raw.

Brock Lesnar Shows Daniel Bryan Respect by Going 15 Minutes with Him

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    The Beast Incarnate did not come back to WWE to lose. Until his new contract expires and his UFC suspension is up, he's in the company to dominate. However, how he dominates will likely differ from opponent to opponent.

    At Crown Jewel, Lesnar barely gave Strowman three minutes of his time. He rarely puts on a complete performance these days, but one of those rare moments was at this event last year, when The Beast got serious was against AJ Styles.

    Survivor Series 2017 was not a perfect showing for The Conqueror, but he stepped up in a competitive 15-minute war. We hopefully will see the same this year. Paul Heyman has to be in Lesnar's ear, letting him know just what kind of competitor he's about to get in the ring with.

    Daniel Bryan compares well with some of the greatest rivals of Lesnar's career. He's a fast technical wizard who could push Lesnar to his limit without the WWE universal champion having to even try too hard.

    These days, it is a shock when Lesnar sticks around for 10 minutes, but this should be an exception. Heyman stated on Tuesday that he considered The "Yes" Man to be the best wrestler in the world, and that likely isn't just the script he's reading. He believes it, and Lesnar should too.

Becky Lynch Gets Revenge on Nia Jax but Costs Charlotte the Match

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    When The Irish Lass Kicker was injured and forced to give her shot at Rousey to someone else, it changed the complexion of Survivor Series. The new match between The Baddest Woman on the Planet and The Queen has been rushed—especially for a contest that many considered a potential WrestleMania clash.

    It only makes sense that WWE would not want to give away this match easily, so it is likely that some wrestlers will get involved to make sure there's no clear winner between two of WWE's top female stars. Nia Jax, especially, seems like an obvious choice to interfere.

    Standing as the No. 1 contender to Rousey, she has a vested interest in this clash. If she gets involved, though, it would be shocking if Becky Lynch did not also appear. The SmackDown women's champion has a score to settle with Jax, and the two are going to be often separated by brands.

    Lynch is still likely unable to get too physical given her recent concussion, but it would be a great treat for fans to have The Man appear and beat down Jax. It would also facilitate a way for Rousey to remain undefeated while protecting The Nature Girl with a distraction finish.

    No one looks bad, and stories are set up for so many future clashes. While it is possible that Lynch will not be cleared for any physical contact by Sunday, that is the only thing keeping this from being the obvious surprise for the women's showdown.