The 2019 Survivor Series takes place tonight at the legendary Allstate Arena in the shadow of Chicago in Rosemont Illinois. Allstate Arena has a capacity of 18,211 for wrestling and, according to Dave Meltzer, this event is the closest to sold out for the week in the Chicago area as WWE runs SmackDown, NXT TakeOver WarGames, Survivor Series, and RAW in a block booking of Allstate Arena with AEW running Dynamite at the Sears Center in nearby Schaumburg on Wednesday. This year's Survivor Series continues the brand warfare theme from the past two Survivor Series with the inclusion of NXT's roster for the first time. The Kickoff show starts at 5pm ET and the main show starts at 7pm ET on the WWE Network.
Build-up for the event started the night after Crown Jewel due to the fact that everyone except three SmackDown Superstars were unable to make the show. This forced NXT's roster to take over SmackDown to ensure that FOX had a show that night. Adam Cole defeated Daniel Bryan cleanly and later stood tall in a match with Seth Rollins while Shayna Baszler, Keith Lee, WALTER, and Rhea Ripley looked like stars in their brief appearances as well. Matt Riddle upset Ricochet in a fun match while The Revival and Undisputed Era put on a tag team classic on NXT this past week.
There are seven announced matches on the card. Three titles will be on the line: the WWE Championship, the Universal Championship, and the NXT Championship. There will be three interbrand triple threat matches: men's tag team champions, women's champions, and the Intercontinental Champion vs. The United States Champion vs. The North American Champion. There will also be two elimination matches in the spirit of Survivor Series but they will be 5 vs. 5 vs. 5 instead of the traditional 5 on 5 Survivor Series matches. Below is a preview of the matches on the card and predictions based upon recent booking. In the comments below, share your thoughts and predictions for Survivor Series.
WWE Championship No Holds Barred, No Disqualification Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
On the September 30th edition of RAW, Brock Lesnar viciously assaulted Rey Mysterio's son Dominik, prompting Rey to bring Cain Velasquez to SmackDown's premiere on FOX to ruin Brock's celebration after winning the WWE Championship from Kofi Kingston. Velasquez challenged Lesnar for the WWE Championship at Crown Jewel, but came up short in his attempt. The following week, Mysterio ruined another Lesnar celebration by assaulting Lesnar with a steel chair. Lesnar was so furious that he took the WWE Championship and quit SmackDown to move to RAW so that he could "hunt" Mysterio. On Lesnar's return to RAW, he F5'd new RAW announcer Dio Maddin through the announce table as a show of dominance to the roster. Mysterio attacked Lesnar from behind with a lead pipe and challenged Lesnar to this match. This will be Rey's first chance at the WWE Championship since 2011 and likely the last chance for the 44 year-old legend.
Lesnar has been the most dominant champion in wrestling for the past decade and he didn't even return to wrestling until 2012. The only times Lesnar has truly looked vulnerable in matches are against smaller opponents: Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and AJ Styles. The stipulation of the match being "no disqualifications" favors Rey here, since he's already been successful beating down Brock with weapons. This is a very different Rey Mysterio than we've seen in the past, but we've also never seen him this angry. Lesnar will likely dominate, but a win for Rey in Chicago would be a special moment. We could use more of those.
Rey Mysterio via pinfall
Universal Championship Match
"The Fiend" Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Daniel Bryan
Bray Wyatt had tremendous momentum going into October due to his Firefly Funhouse vignettes and creepy new persona, "The Fiend". "The Fiend" is seemingly impervious to pain and has an inhuman ability to recover from physical punishment much like Kane or The Undertaker did early in their careers. Wyatt was thrust into the championship picture at Hell In A Cell where a very good match ended with one of the most hated finishes in wrestling history. WWE did what they could to recover the audience's faith by giving Wyatt a rematch at Crown Jewel (where he was victorious) but even though "The Fiend" is now the Universal Champion, it seems like the buzz around him has cooled a bit. Enter Daniel Bryan. Daniel Bryan has helped WWE build stars throughout 2019 as a heel and now he's stepping in as a face to help get Wyatt's championship run back on track.
Wyatt attacked Bryan on the Nov. 7th edition of SmackDown, renewing the rivalry between the former Wyatt Family members. Bryan told the SmackDown audience on Miz TV the next week that he's feeling mentally unstable and that he feels that might help him against "The Fiend". Bryan is 2-1 against Bray Wyatt in televised singles competition. His one loss to Wyatt was at Royal Rumble 2014 in a great match between the two. Wyatt's wrestling style has changed slightly as "The Fiend" and an unfortunate red light shines throughout his matches, similar to the special lighting WWE used to give Sin Cara. Hopefully Daniel Bryan can get Chicago to boo Bray Wyatt but WWE should understand at some point that "The Fiend" has more qualities in common with a character babyface like The Undertaker than a monster heel like Brock Lesnar.
WWE has put together a few dream matches for this weekend and this is one of them. Bayley and Becky Lynch have only faced each other once in singles competition since being called up from NXT in 2015 with Lynch getting the win on the April 30th 2019 edition of SmackDown. Both women are currently champions of their respective brands and Bayley is sporting an all-new look and attitude this time. This match between the two champions is exciting enough, but NXT's dominant Women's Champion Shayna Baszler is in this match too. Baszler has defeated every opponent since winning the NXT Women's Championship with the exception of one loss to Kairi Sane. One loss. Baszler's dominance in singles matches is only surpassed by the last woman to defeat Becky Lynch in a singles match: Asuka.
Any one of these women could win this match and the audience would buy it. This is a testament to the personas these women have built and the excellent booking WWE has done for their female stars. Each woman's path has been logical and none of the three will be losing their championships any time soon. This is the biggest showcase for Baszler in her career and she's going to take advantage of it. After a loss to Rhea Ripley's team last night at WarGames, Baszler will take out her frustrations on Bayley & Becky. Bayley has her share of frustrations to let out as well. Lynch is the only person entering this match that doesn't have much to prove and that may very well be what gives her the advantage in this match. Baszler and Bayley's aggression will cause a misstep allowing Lynch to steal a win here and continue her dominance as the top star in all of WWE.
Becky Lynch via pinfall
Women's Survivor Series Elimination Triple Threat Match
Raw (Charlotte Flair, Natalya, Asuka, Kairi Sane and Sarah Logan) vs. SmackDown (Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Carmella, Dana Brooke and Nikki Cross) vs. NXT (Rhea Ripley, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae).
Brand supremacy is the theme for the night and the women's division of each brand is the most interesting right now. Last night, the women's division of NXT had their first-ever WarGames match and put on what may have been the best WarGames match since its revival. It's unclear if these women will have recovered from the intensity of last night, but Toni Storm is fresh for NXT and poised to have a breakout performance at Survivor Series. Rhea Ripley shocked the world on Friday by defeating Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair in a triple threat match on SmackDown with the most clever finish to a match in quite some time. Ripley, in spite of her injuries last night, will shine as well. It's hard to pick a winner for this match, but RAW seems the most stacked on paper. The women in WWE are thriving right now and this match will be a great showcase for their abilities.
Men's Survivor Series Elimination Triple Threat Match
Raw (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Ricochet & Drew McIntyre) vs. SmackDown (King Corbin, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali & Shorty G) vs. NXT (TBD)
Kevin Owens blew the roof off Allstate arena last night with his surprise appearance at WarGames and he may do it again. Chicago loves Kevin Owens and this could be the place where he can get on track again. Shawn Michaels will announce the members of NXT's team on the kickoff show, so we will not know who is on Team NXT for this match. As decorated and talented as they are, members of team SmackDown have been feuding and unable to get on the same page all month making their chances of winning seem slimmer than usual. If Vince watched WarGames last night, then he'd be smart to have Kevin Owens win things for Team RAW.
Triple Threat Tag Team Match
Raw Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders vs. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. NXT Tag Team Champions The Undisputed Era
RAW has been dominant over SmackDown for the past three years of interbrand competition at Survivor Series with the exception of one team: The New Day. This match will feature three completely different styles of tag teams and should be a fantastic match with an engaged Chicago crowd. The Viking Raiders deserve a nice spotlight so that broader audiences can get to know the fantastically athletic big men. The Undisputed Era just put on a clinic with The Revival on this past Wednesday's edition of NXT and suffered a tough loss last night in an epic WarGames match. O'Reilly and Fish bumped all over the double-wide cage for big men like Keith Lee, Kevin Owens, and Dominik Dijakovic. Hopefully they've got enough energy left to have a great showing in what will be the most-watched match of their careers so far. Barring any shenanigans from The Revival, the New Day should win this one.
The New Day via pinfall
This match is an absolute dream match between three of the best wrestlers over the past decade. Roderick Strong has been having great matches throughout his run as North American Champion and will shine bright in this opportunity to showcase himself to the widest audience he's ever had in front of a Chicago crowd that he's very familiar with from his days in Ring Of Honor. It will be exciting to see Shinsuke Nakamura face one of his finest opponents in AJ Styles and with the injection of adrenaline from Roderick Strong appearing on his first major event, this match will rock the Allstate Arena. This match will be an assault on backs and necks. Hopefully no one gets seriously injured, because these men love to punish backs and necks. Any one of these men could believably win this match but AJ Styles will get the edge since he is the most decorated of each of the men and has showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
AJ Styles via pinfall
NXT Championship Match
Adam Cole (c) vs. Pete Dunne
Adam Cole has carried the WWE on his back throughout the month of November. He beat Daniel Bryan cleanly, he stood tall against Seth Rollins before his match was interfered with, he had a great ladder match this past Wednesday on NXT with Dominik Dijakovic, he competed on SmackDown on Friday, and he took an Air Raid Crash from Tommaso Ciampa off the top of the cage at WarGames last night. The fact that Adam Cole can even walk to the ring tonight is an accomplishment. Hopefully Cole is healthy enough to put on the performance he's capable of, but everyone should understand if he can't. In any other scenario, Cole would be the easy pick to win here but Cole is vulnerable after all this punishment. His buddies in Undisputed Era will likely be occupied with their own matches, so Cole will be even more vulnerable. It certainly doesn't help Adam Cole that Pete Dunne's best performances have been in Chicago and the city has embraced Dunne as a hero. The Bruiserweight from the UK had his breakout performance at NXT TakeOver: Chicago in 2017 and his star has risen fast since. Dunne held the NXT UK championship for 685 days in the longest championship reign this decade in wrestling. If Dunne is to become the NXT Champion, Chicago is the place to crown him. Pray for Adam Cole's fingers.
Pete Dunne via submission