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The Wrestling Classic’s WWE Survivor Series Predictions and Favorite Matches

Hey everyone! It’s The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37PM. The annual November PPV and one of the WWE’s Big Four annual events—Survivor Series—is around the corner. That being said, I thought I would put together a Survivor Series spectacular article. I will try to accomplish two things with this article:

The first subject we’re going to cover are my top ten favorite traditional Survivor Series elimination matches. When the event was first introduced to fans around Thanksgiving time in 1987, the tagline was “teams of five trying to survive.” This was because the event was initially going to be a show headlined with 5-on-5 tag team elimination matches. This was kept true for a few years until they started introducing random singles matches on the card among the elimination matches. Although Survivor Series has gone through many changes throughout the years, they have always tried to incorporate at least one elimination tag team match on the card. I want to list the ten that I consider the best.

The second thing we’re going to do in this article is share some predictions for the 2021 Survivor Series card. Since 2016, the event has been themed around brand supremacy. This means Raw faces off against Smackdown in all of the matches to see which brand is superior. There are traditional tag matches for the men and women. Also, the champions on each brand face off against each other as well. I’ll let you know what I think will happen; let me know if you agree. Enjoy!

Be sure to share this article and debate with your friends. Also be sure to let me know how you feel about this list on Instagram or Twitter.

WWE Survivor Series 2021 Date, Start Time and Location:

This year’s Survivor Series event will take place on Sunday, November 2021 at Brooklyn’s Barclay’s Center at 8pm EST.

My 10 Favorite WWE Survivor Series Matches:

Before we dive into this year’s event, I want to look back in time at some of the best match ups to ever occur under the Survivor Series umbrella.

10. Team Hogan vs. Team Andre
Survivor Series 1987

Team Hogan: Hulk Hogan, Bam Bam Bigelow, Paul Orndorff, Don Muraco & Ken Patera

Team Andre: Andre The Giant, One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Rick Rude & Butch Reed

This was the main event of the first ever Survivor Series event, following the epic match that was Hulk Hogan versus Andre The Giant from Wrestlemania 3. The fans couldn’t wait to see them face to face again. There were also a lot of other storylines and angles that were playing out through this match. At this point, Hulk Hogan was already super popular, but the fact that he slammed and defeated the Giant at Wrestlemania made him even more popular. It was shocking when he was eliminated early by count-out and not one of the survivors of the match. Bam Bam Bigelow was making his first WWE PPV appearance since debuting in May of 1987. Therefore, when he got stuck in a three-on-one situation, nobody knew what to expect.

Bam Bam ended up eliminating Gang and Bundy, but ultimately lost to Andre The Giant. The WWE didn’t just show us how they could further develop ongoing feuds in these matches, but also how they could build new stars.

9. Wild Card Match
Survivor Series 1995

Team 1: Shawn Michaels, Ahmed Johnson, British Bulldog & Sycho Sid

Team 2: Yokozuna, Owen Hart, Razor Ramon & Dean Douglas

A lot of people consider 1995 to be the worst year in WWE’s history. Business was down and wrestling fans were ready for the WWE to change with the times. That being said, there were some good wrestling matches throughout the year and a lot of great talent that could really work. The opening match of this specific show proved that to be true. However, it was the wildcard elimination tag match that makes this list due to it being the only time the company had the traditional Survivor Series match under these implications. The wildcard decision meant that rivals would have to work with each other, because they were on the same team and regular partners would be on opposite teams forced to work against each other. This caused a lot of entertaining drama.

Razor would beat up his teammate Dean Douglas, causing him to be eliminated. Shawn Michaels super kicked Sid by accident and showed no remorse for it, which led to Sid attacking him after being eliminated. In the end, Johnson and Michaels had to attack their partner Bulldog to secure the victory for their team.

8. Team Dream Team vs. The Million Dollar Team
Survivor Series 1990

Team Dream Team: Dusty Rhodes, Koko B Ware & The Hart Foundation

The Million Dollar Team: Ted Dibiase, Undertaker & Rhythm & Blues

This match made this list for a couple of reasons. The obvious reason was that this was the match where The Undertaker made his debut as the mystery team member to replace Bad News Brown. The Deadman made his debut with Brother Love in his corner and left an impression on everyone. He would quickly eliminate Koko B Ware and people were not sure what to make out of this new walking deadman. I don’t think many people were expecting this character to last the test of time and evolve so much over the next 30 years. Undertaker only got eliminated when he was counted for attacking Dusty Rhodes.

The second reason this match stood out to me was because it became apparent here that the WWE was getting behind the idea of a singles Bret Hart run. The Hitman was the final man for his team up against Ted Dibiase. Although the Million Dollar Man snuck away with the victory, you can tell they were trying to spotlight Hart.

7. Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Survivor Series 2016

Team Raw: The Bar, Enzo and Cass, The Club, Shining Stars & The New Day

Team Smackdown: American Alpha, Breezango, Hype Bros, Slater and Rhyno & The Usos

In 1987 and 1988, the Survivor Series featured two really good tag team Survivor Series elimination tag matches. This means there were 20 men on the ring apron when the matches began. The rules were that if one of the members of the team got eliminated, both members were eliminated. They both almost made this list and would have if it was more than a top ten.

The tag division in the 80s was stacked with legit teams, and although the matches are long, definitely check those out. There wasn’t another great tag team elimination match at the event until 2016. This match was fast paced and fun. There were some surprising early eliminations such as the New Day being eliminated early. The final stretch—when it came down to The Bar and The Usos—was great stuff too. It’s crazy to think that just five years ago the WWE had 10 solid tag teams. Can you name ten on the WWE roster right now?

6. Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown vs. Team NXT
Survivor Series 2019

Team Raw: Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton & Ricochet

Team Smackdown: Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, Braun Strowman, King Corbin & Shorty G

Team NXT: Tommaso Ciampa, Damien Priest, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle & Walter

Three years into the brand supremacy years of Survivor Series the WWE decided to shake things up by including NXT. NXT had grown over the years from just being WWE’s development brand to being considered the third brand by many loyal fans.

In September 2019, NXT began airing on the USA Network and they were featured on this show due to this recent change. It really added excitement to this show as I found the brand supremacy trend between just Raw and Smackdown redundant by this point. It allowed us to see some combinations I never thought we’d see such as Ciampa/Orton and McIntyre/Walter. This match was also a standout moment for Keith Lee, who eliminated Rollins and almost eliminated Reigns. Reigns would catch Lee with a spear to be the sole survivor for Team Smackdown.

5. Team Mega Powers vs. Team Twin Towers
Survivor Series 1988

Team Mega Powers: “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Hulk Hogan, Hercules, Koko B Ware & Hillbilly Jim

Team Twin Towers: Big Bossman, Akeem, Haku, Ted Dibiase & The Red Rooster

This was the second annual Survivor Series event and it was the year of the Mega Powers. Following Summerslam 1988, Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan were feuding with the Twin Towers in Akeem and Big Bossman. It seemed as if the odds were stacked against the babyface team as the heel team had Bobby Heenan, Slick and Virgil at ringside while Team Mega Powers just had Miss Elizabeth. Near the end of the match, Slick handcuffed Hogan to the outside of the ring. This got Akeem and Bossman eliminated but it left an exhausted Savage fighting off Haku alone. Elizabeth would help Hogan out and the Mega Powers would be victorious. There were more seeds planted for the Mega Powers exploding when Hogan got friendly with Elizabeth after the match. This was a personal favorite of mine since I was a huge Macho Man fan and had this on VHS as a kid.

4. Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Survivor Series 2016

Team Raw: Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns

Team Smackdown: AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt & Shane McMahon

In 2016, the WWE reintroduced the brand extension between Raw and Smackdown. The first Survivor Series that followed became about brand supremacy. The two new brand specific rosters picked their best superstars from each division to face off against each other in elimination tag matches. The men’s match on this show was an absolute blast filled with characters. It was a star studded affair packed with a ton of big moments. AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose were on the same team, but there was tension between them. Shane McMahon did a lot of his greatest hit high spots with his Coast to Coast costing him. There was even a short Shield reunion, which was a fun moment.

In the end, Bray Wyatt would pin Roman Reigns with the help of Randy Orton, winning the match for Team Smackdown.

3. Team Cena vs. Team Authority
Survivor Series 2014

Team Cena: John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowen, Big Show & Ryback

Team Authority: Seth Rollins, Kane, Luke Harper, Mark Henry & Rusev

The top three matches on this list all had a major storyline and high stakes going in—which certainly elevated them. The Authority had been causing chaos and screwing over fan favorites with the excuse of doing what was best for business for over a year at this point. John Cena and his team were trying to stop the injustice. If Cena’s team would win, then Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Kane would all lose their corporate power. However, if the Authority won, then all of Team Cena would be fired. This also ended in a three on one situation after Big Show turned heel on his team, helping The Authority get John Cena eliminated.

It came down to Dolph Ziggler against Harper, Kane and Rollins. The odds were stacked against Ziggler, but this was a career moment for him in this match. Ziggler overcame the odds with the help of a debuting Icon as Sting finally made his first appearance in the WWE. This was a historic moment.

2. Team Alliance vs. Team WWF
Survivor Series 2001

Team Alliance: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Kurt Angle, Rob Van Dam, Booker T & Shane McMahon

Team WWF: The Rock, Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho & Big Show

In the Summer of 2001, after World Championship Wrestling was bought by the WWE, they attempted an Invasion angle. They had ECW join WCW in this Invasion angle, creating The Alliance. Although fans look back at this angle negatively because there were a ton of flaws in name power among other things, it had memorable moments.

At Survivor Series 2001, they decided to conclude the feud in a winner-take-all 5-on-5 elimination match. This included a lot of the biggest names in the history of the business. This was action packed from start to finish. The final two in the match were none other than Stone Cold and The Rock, but the WWE would come out on top due to some last minute betrayal.

1. Team Austin vs. Team Bischoff
Survivor Series 2003

Team Austin: Shawn Michaels, Rob Van Dam, Booker T & The Dudleys

Team Bischoff: Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Christian, Scott Steiner & Mark Henry

The stakes were high for this match. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s role as Co-General Manager was on the line, so he put together a team of all-stars to defend his career. Austin’s General Manager partner Eric Bischoff put together his own team of the top heels to help him get rid of the Texas Rattlesnake. This was a great match with the story of Austin having to rely on his team to save his job. It came down to a three on one situation when a bloody Shawn Michaels was left to fight off Christian, Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. The Heartbreak Kid fought valiantly to get it down to a one-on-one situation, but there would be outside interference by Batista that would allow Randy Orton to pick up the victory for Team Bischoff, thus ending Austin’s career for the time being.

I think we all believed Shawn Michaels was going to pull through. This was the first of Randy Orton’s three year run as the sole survivor of his team as they tried to make him Mr. Survivor Series.

Survivor Series 2021 Predictions:

Now that we’ve taken a trip down memory lane, let’s look to the future. Here are my predictions for the WWE Survivor Series 2021 event.

Women’s 5-on-5: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Prediction: Team Raw
WWE

Team Raw: Bianca Belair, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan

Team Smackdown: Sasha Banks, Natalya, Shotzi, Shayna Baszler & Toni Storm

When it comes to this traditional Survivor Series match for the women, it’s layered with drama. On the Raw side of things, Carmella and Liv Morgan have been feuding since around June. Mella and Queen Zelina had recently defeated Rhea and Nikki Ash in a non title match. Bianca Belair herself has her history with Carmella and Zelina too. Rhea Ripley is also the only person on her team that was on Raw prior to the draft last month.

On the Smackdown side of things, Shotzi has already spoken about her current issues with Sasha Banks. Natalya will try to lead the team, being the seasoned veteran, but it’s a team full of big egos. Shayna Baszler could end up dominating this match like she did at the 2019 Elimination Chamber. Toni Storm recently confronted Charlotte Flair, making her presence known.

For some reason, I just feel like the women on the red brand will do a better job at coexisting and working together compared to the Smackdown team. I would not be surprised if the final two came down to Liv Morgan and Toni Storm.

Men’s 5-on-5: Team Raw vs. Team Smackdown
Prediction: Team Smackdown
WWE

Team Raw: Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley & Austin Theory

Team Smackdown: Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, King Woods, ???? & Baron Corbin

When it comes to the traditional men’s Survivor Series elimination tag match, it’s a lot harder to predict who would win. On Team Raw, we have Rollins and Lashley who are heels plus Balor and Mysterio who are baby faces. An interesting fact is that outside of Bobby Lashley, all of the Raw team was just on Smackdown a month ago. Kevin Owens turned heel recently by attacking Big E. Also, let’s not forget that Lashley got into this match by beating up Rey Mysterio’s son. There’s also been tension between Rollins and Owens in these past few weeks.

On the Smackdown side McIntyre, Hardy and Woods are all baby faces while Zayn and Corbin are the heels on the team. The competitors on Team Smackdown really don’t have any issues amongst each other, which leads me to think they might have a better chance ending the match with Survivors winning the match for the blue brand.

Intercontinental Champion (Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. United States Champion (Damien Priest)
Prediction – Damien Priest
WWE

This match follows the brand supremacy tradition of having the champions of each brand face each other. Smackdown’s Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura faces off against Raw’s United States Champion Damien Priest. This will be a great match between two of the workhorses of the company. They’ll both do their darnedest to give us the best match possible and maybe even a NXT Takeover quality encounter.

Shinsuke Nakamura has been on the main roster since 2017 and pretty secure in the spot that he has in on the card. Damien Priest still feels fresh to the main roster with the biggest thing he’s done outside of winning the United States Championship being the tag match with Bad Bunny. I feel like Priest needs a couple of more big victories under his belt and therefore I think he wins this Sunday.

Raw Tag Team Champions (RK-Bro) vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions (The Usos)
Prediction – The Usos
WWE

As the years continue to pass us by, the more I realize that the Usos might be one of the greatest tag teams of the modern era. It’s a debate between the Usos, Bucks, FTR and New Day for the top four. This Sunday, they’ll be facing off against the unlikely team of Randy Orton and Matt Riddle. The Usos are seven time tag team champions and currently represent the Bloodline. Therefore, I think they’ll be working a little bit harder to make sure they make their “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns proud.

Randy Orton and Matt Riddle have been dominant since officially coming together, but they still have their issues at times. The veteran Randal doesn’t like it when Riddle loses focus on what is most important and that is keeping those tag team titles. Considering that I think we’re going to get Orton versus Riddle at Wrestlemania, I think a loss here for the team is a great way to plant seeds for that match.

Raw Women’s Champion (Becky Lynch) vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion (Charlotte Flair)
Prediction – Charlotte Flair
WWE

This really seemed like the way to go, especially after the controversy surrounding the champion title swap on Smackdown a couple of weeks back. Don’t get me wrong, “The Opportunity” Charlotte Flair versus “Big Time Becks” Becky Lynch will always be a main event match in my mind, but when I started thinking about making a prediction, I was stumped. I came to realize that winning this match doesn’t really benefit or hurt either woman. They’re not defending their titles; it’s more about showing pride for their brands—I guess in the spirit of confrontation. Neither one of them really needs to be protected.

If “The Man” or “The Queen” wins, all they’re leaving with is bragging rights. However, I feel like Charlotte has more to brag about and it annoys fans more when she can back up her accolades. Becky Lynch losing here will also give Liv Morgan more confidence for her upcoming match with Lynch. That all being said, I want Charlotte Flair to win. Becky Lynch will be fine.

WWE Champion (Big E) vs. Universal Champion (Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman)
Prediction – Roman Reigns
WWE

This will be a really good match. There is a clear babyface and clear heel here as well, which always helps the dynamic. Listen, I really want Big E to win this match. I think it would really make Big E a made man and dominant champion if he was to defeat Roman Reigns here. However, I don’t see the Tribal Chief taking an L here unless it was a disqualification or count-out.

Last year, when we were in this dilemma with Drew McIntyre, they used the creative booking of having McIntyre pass out in Reigns submission hold forcing the referee to call the match. This protected Drew because he didn’t lose clean by pinfall or tapping out. They could use the same booking here, but it would be too obvious and a cop out. Regardless, I want Big E to win, but I just don’t see Roman Reigns losing a match until he loses that championship. I don’t think WWE will pull that trigger.