Kevin Owens. Chris Jericho. Seth Rollins. Roman Reigns. Braun Strowman. AJ Styles. Dean Ambrose. Bray Wyatt. Randy Orton. Shane McMahon. Bonafide legends, future stars, and some of the best wrestlers in the business. Goldberg and Lesnar might be the “fantasy warfare” that WWE is promoting at Survivor Series, but the headline traditional elimination bout is the true dream match.

Survivor Series as a show has fallen off in recent years, despite its traditional place as one of WWE’s “big four” pay-per-views. The titular match type, a five-on-five tag team elimination match that forces friends and enemies alike to work together for a common purpose, rarely even has a place on modern shows. In 2015, the only Survivor Series match on the show was relegated to the pre-show, and it’s been rare lately that main event stars have been part of these big tag team matches.

(Courtesy of
(Courtesy of

The recent exception was in 2014, where Team Cena took on Team Authority in the main event. It felt like a match thrown together out of a rash of injuries that took far too many good wrestlers out of the pre-WrestleMania scene. It featured combination of reliable performers–John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, Luke Harper, and Rusev–legends far past their prime–Big Show, Kane, and Mark Henry–and a few who’d never been great–Erick Rowan and Ryback. It seemed like it could be a fun match, but it went far beyond that. It was an incredible piece of in-ring storytelling, with big turns, big surprises, and a fantastic ending that led to the WWE debut of Sting.

That was what a main event-level Survivor Series match could look like without any particularly special building blocks. Now, with a higher caliber of talent overall, a much better storyline, and long-term implications for the rivalry between the rosters of Raw and SmackDown? This could be a truly special match.

seth-rollins-roman-reignsYou have former friends reuniting on different sides with the Shield. Braun Strowman now stands against the Wyatt Family, with his place taken over by one of the greatest wrestlers of all time in Randy Orton. Shane McMahon can hide his weaknesses as a wrestler and take advantage of his penchant for big spots as part of a no-DQ tag match. Both teams are anchored by some of the most reliable performers in the business with AJ Styles and Kevin Owens, and the clash between the two brand champions could anchor WrestleMania itself.

In short, this match has all the makings of a classic, and I can’t wait to see the end result.


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