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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: Survivor Series could be awesome

Posted by Achilles Heel On November 19

Achilles HeelI know you missed me.

The Greek God of Wrestling could tell you where he’s been the past two weeks, but I don’t want to make you insanely jealous of my glamorous lifestyle. Five-star hotels, beautiful beaches and beautiful women are routine for Achilles Heel, but I realize that this is a fantasy world for all of you.

Instead of adding to your envy, the Greek God of Wrestling will jump right into a Survivor Series preview. The show starts at 7 p.m. this Sunday in Toronto. The pre-show kicks off at 5 p.m. I only mention this because only six matches have been announced.

The traditional elimination-style Survivor Series matches could last a long time. The Raw vs. Smackdown men’s match, in particular, could last 45 minutes to an hour. But Achilles Heel still doesn’t see enough wrestling to fill four hours. How long do you expect Bill Goldberg to wrestle after being gone for 12 years?

The main event, if not the best match, is Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar. Both wrestlers should get a superstar reaction in Toronto. This will help the match immensely because Goldberg won’t have to do much wrestling to get a reaction. Lesnar will have to carry the match, which he is fully capable of doing at this point in his career.

The main event, a rematch from a disastrous WrestleMania XX encounter during which both guys were booed out of Madison Square Garden (they were both leaving WWE), should be an extremely physical match. Unless Goldberg plans to continue with WWE, it makes no to have Lesnar lose.

There is a possibility of a distraction causing a Lesnar loss in order to set up a future Lesnar opponent. Achilles Heel thought this would have been a great spot for Randy Orton to get his revenge for the frightful SummerSlam beating he took at the hands of Lesnar. Unless Orton turns on Bray Wyatt earlier in the show, however, that’s not going to happen. Another possibility is the Undertaker, who returned on Smackdown this week and seemed to imply he was going to wrestle before WrestleMania.

If the main event is the biggest spectacle, the 5-on-5 men’s traditional Survivor Series elimination match has the most promise for being the show’s best match. Team RAW consists of WWE Universal champion Kevin Owens, United States champion Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho and Braun Strowman. The Smackdown team consists of WWE World champion A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Shane McMahon. (In case you missed it, WWE shot an injury angle to take Baron Corbin out of the match, replacing him with McMahon.)

Everyone in this match can wrestle. Well, Strowman might not be able to put together a top-level match, but he’s here to be the monster, not to put on a mat classic. Given the personnel involved, I could see this match lasting an hour. Seriously.

There are a plethora of sub-plots to keep this match interesting. On Team RAW, there is the rivalry between Rollins and Owens, which means there also is a rivalry between Rollins and Jericho, who is Owens’ best friend. Below the surface, there also is some tension between Owens and Jericho. Reigns, of course, had a feud with Rollins, his former teammate in the Shield. Strowman simply doesn’t get along with anyone.

Team Smackdown features Ambrose and Styles, who have been battling for the WWE World Championship.  Can they work together? There is also a question of whether Orton will do Wyatt’s bidding or is his apparent loyalty a ruse so he can strike at Wyatt? Will former Wyatt family member Strowman refrain from attacking his former mentor? Furthermore, how will Ambrose interact with Reigns, his friend from his Shield days. McMahon will be trying to keep his team united.

This match could go either way. The guarantee seems to be that it will be exciting and interesting.

There also is a 5-on-5 Raw vs. Smackdown traditional Survivor Series women’s elimination match. Both teams have questions about whether they will get along.

Team Raw consists of Raw Women’s champion Charlotte, former champion Sasha Banks, Bayley, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox. Jax is the “monster.” The drama will be between Charlotte, Banks and Baley.

Team Smackdown consists of Nikki Bella, Smackdown Women’s champion Becky Lynch, Carmella, Alexis Bliss and Naomi. Nikki has been put forward as the team captain even though Lynch is the champion. Lynch and Bliss have been feuding. Nikki and Carmella have been feuding. “Coach” Natalya also figures to stir the pot.

Smackdown needs this win more than RAW. On the other hand, if Bayley pulls out the win for RAW, she would be elevated onto equal footing with Sasha and Charlotte in the women’s title feud – and a Bayley victory would make the crowd happy.

The Raw vs. Smackdown traditional Survivor Series tag team elimination match works the same way as the 5-on-5 matches except that when a wrestler is eliminated, his partner is also eliminated.

Team RAW consists of RAW Tag Team champions The New Day, Sheamus and Cesaro, Big Cass and Enzo Amore, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, and the Shining Stars. Gallows and Anderson don’t get along with anyone on the team. Sheamus and Cesaro don’t get along with each other.

Team Smackdown consists of Smackdown Tag Team champions Rhyno and Heath Slater, American Alpha, the Usos, the Hype Brothers and Breezango. This match highlight’s the disparity between RAW’s tag team division and the Smackdown tag team division. RAW should win this match. In fact, the ability of the RAW team to work together – or not – is more intriguing than the competition between RAW and Smackdown in this match.

There are two title matches on the Survivor Series card. The Miz, who won the Intercontinental Championship back from Dolph Ziggler on this week’s Smackdown, defends that title against Sami Zayn. If Zayn wins, the Intercontinental Championship goes to RAW.

There is a similar stipulation in the Cruiserweight Championship match between Brian Kendrick and Smackdown’s Kalisto. If Kalisto wins the title, the entire cruiserweight division goes from RAW to Smackdown.

It doesn’t make sense for the cruiserweight division to move to Smackdown. Raw has an extra hour, which allows more time for the extra division. Because of that, I also can’t see the Intercontinental Championship moving to Raw. Perhaps Ziggler saves Miz from losing the title to Zayn to preserve his opportunity for a rematch.

The top two matches should make Survivor Series a good show. If the women’s and tag team matches come through, as well as the two title matches on the undercard, come through, it could be a great show.

*****

NXT TAKES OVER TORONTO: WWE’s big event weekends have been bolstered by tremendous NXT cards. NXT Takeover: Toronto on Saturday night (8 p.m.) is headlined by Shinsuke Nakamura defending the NXT Championship against former champion Samoa Joe. This match might be more physical than Goldberg vs. Lesnar!

Former WWE star Mickie James returns to challenge Asuka for the NXT Women’s Championship. The NXT Tag Team Championship is on the line in what could be a classic 2-out-of-3-falls match between The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) and Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa. From a pure wrestling standpoint, the NXT tag team title match could rival the Raw vs. Smackdown 5-on-5 men’s elimination match for the best match of the weekend.

Takeover also features the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, with the Authors of Pain (Akam and Rezar) squaring off with TM-61 (Shane Throne and Nick Miller). Paul Ellering, manger of Authors of Pain, will be suspended above the ring in a cage. In a match that started with a betrayal in the Dusty Rhodes Classic, Bobby Roode battles Tye Dillinger.

Achilles Heel predicts the winners will be Nakamura, Asuka, Roode, Gargano and Ciampa, and the Authors of Pain.

*****

HONOR IN LONDON: Ring of Honor added some intrigue to its United Kingdom tour when Will Ospreay defeated Bobby Fish for the Ring of Honor Television Championship. Ospreay will defend the title against fellow Englishman Marty Scurll on Sunday in London at “Reach for the Sky.”

Sunday night’s card is headlined by Adam Cole defending the Ring of Honor World Championship against former champion Jay Lethal. The Young Bucks and Briscoe brothers have split up for a pair of singles matches, with Matt Jackson facing Jay Briscoe and Nick Jackson battling Mark Briscoe.

Sunday’s card also features a triple threat tag team match, with the Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian), the Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin) and reDRagon (Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) squaring off.

*****

EXCELLENCE IN PHILLY: Two days after Ring of Honor presents “Final Battle” in New York, Ring of Honor kicks off a Decade of Excellence Tournament on Dec. 4 at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia.

The tournament features wrestlers whose Ring of Honor debuts were more than a decade ago. First-round matches in Philadelphia will be Alex Shelley vs. Colt Cabana; Jay Lethal vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger; Christopher Daniels vs. Mark Briscoe; and B.J. Whitmer vs. Jay Briscoe. The winner of the tournament, which concludes on Jan. 14 in Atlanta, will earn a shot at the Ring of Honor World Championship at Ring of Honor’s 15th Anniversary show on March 10 in Las Vegas.

*****

FORGET ME NOT: Give Matt Hardy credit for constantly reinventing himself. His latest amnesia angle is not my cup of team, but I admire his creativity.

*****

NIGHT OF INFAMY: Combat Zone Wrestling presents Night of Infamy on Saturday – the same night as NXT Takeover: Toronto – at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees. Jonathan Gresham defends the CZW World Championship against Danny Havoc.

Other matches include Yuma vs. Homicide, the Weapons of Mass Destruction (former CZW World champion Matt Tremont and Jeff Cannonball) vs. the Young Dragons, and Sami Callihan vs. Joe Gacy.

*****

UNSTYLISH EXIT: Joey Styles was dismissed as announcer of EVOLVE after making an unfortunate political joke during a ringside interview. Everyone was warned not to make political comments following the controversial presidential election.

 

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