WWE Survivor Series 2020 preview: Match breakdowns and predictions – Sportsnet.ca

Headlined by the two 5-on-5 traditional matches and “The Undertaker’s Final Farewell,” Survivor Series 2020 is set for Sunday night live from the WWE ThunderDome – also known as the Amway Center in Orlando – beginning at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

While no official details have been given as to what surrounds The Undertaker’s farewell, we’ve put together previews and predictions for each match on the card Sunday night.

Note: Make sure to come back to sportsnet.ca on Sunday to follow along with our Survivor Series live blog.

Men’s 5-on-5 Survivor Series Match

Team Raw (AJ Styles, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Sheamus, Braun Strowman) vs. Team SmackDown (Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Otis)

Team Raw has been seeing red amongst its own teammates, while Team SmackDown has been as cool as a blue ocean breeze. … That’s a good analogy, right?

You could read the disfunction among Team Raw in two ways: 1) they are so dysfunctional that one or more of the members will end up costing the team a win, or 2) they are determined to prove to each other that they are the best, therefore they will win at all costs.

Personally, I’m in the former camp. AJ Styles has done his best to steer the squad in the direction of camaraderie, but alas, the self-appointed captain hasn’t been able to quell the testosterone of the other members. Team Raw has more power on it, literally and metaphorically, than SmackDown with powerhouses like Braun Strowman and Keith Lee, and up-and-coming star Matt Riddle (I refuse to acknowledge his name change to just “Riddle”).

Meanwhile, SmackDown hasn’t seen much dissension amongst the ranks. Rather than play up a tension story on television, the blue brand has instead spent time building up some individual stories of their members, making them look strong in their own individual way.

Jey Uso is perhaps the biggest benefactor of individual stardom over the past two months, thanks to his compelling storyline alongside Roman Reigns. Seth Rollins has been dealing with Murphy and the Mysterio family, Baron Corbin has spent time continuing his generic King character, while Quebec native Kevin Owens will captain the squad.

Prediction: Team SmackDown wins (Sole Survivor: Kevin Owens)

Women’s 5-on-5 Survivor Series Match

Team Raw (Shayna Baszler, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce, Lacey Evans, Lana) vs. Team SmackDown (Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Bayley, Natalya)

To recap our previous match preview: Raw is mad, SmackDown is relatively mellow.

And to begin this match preview: Raw is mad, SmackDown is relatively mellow.

It seems as though the Raw locker room is filled with individuals who all just can’t get along, no matter the circumstances. On the Raw ahead of Survivor Series, two members of Team Raw were removed due to injury, when Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke were attacked individually and forced off the squad. Where other members had to qualify for the team, Peyton Royce and Lacey Evans were simply inserted on the team.

Now that Royce is on the team, I’d love for Billie Kay to end up on the SmackDown team so we can all talk about what an awesome team The IIconics once were, and how it was ridiculous to split Royce and Kay apart. Meanwhile, Nia Jax has put teammate Lana on a table every week for nine consecutive weeks leading into Survivor Series.

On the SmackDown side, there is a remarkably different feel. Where there doesn’t appear to be any clear direction for the women on the Raw team in terms of elevation towards the main event level, the SmackDown side features three women who are in prime position to possibly challenge Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship in the near future.

Bianca Belair is the brightest of the trio, with a strong chance to one day headline the women’s division. There is an opportunity for each woman on the SmackDown team to shine and elevate themselves in the eyes on fans, while Raw has no one close to that feeling.

Prediction: Team SmackDown wins (Sole Survivor: Bianca Belair)

Drew McIntyre (Raw – WWE Champion) vs. Roman Reigns (SmackDown – Universal Champion)

Congratulations are in order for Drew McIntyre, who became a two-time WWE Champion when he re-captured the title from Randy Orton on the last edition of Monday Night Raw before Survivor Series.

The fact McIntyre captured the championship ahead of Survivor Series gives this champion-versus-champion match a different feel, thanks to a powerfully emotional verbal exchange between McIntyre and Roman Reigns on the Nov. 13 edition of SmackDown.

While WWE immediately broke their own rule of not integrating Raw and SmackDown wrestlers on the same show, this promo was worth it. The exchange between McIntyre and Reigns elevated this match into a big fight feel. Have a look at a portion of promo below.

McIntyre has been awesome lately, seemingly picking up steam after losing the WWE Championship in late October. Reigns, though, has just been on another planet. However strong WWE wanted to make Reigns look when he was touted as the top babyface in the company, they’ve succeeded in that quest now that he’s a heel.

Reigns looks unstoppable, and there are too many factors surrounding McIntyre (Randy Orton, The Fiend) that could cost him a victory.

Prediction: Roman Reigns wins (SmackDown)

Asuka (Raw Women’s Champion) vs. Sasha Banks (SmackDown Women’s Champion)

Here’s what I’m hoping for in this match: Asuka to get some time to remind us of why she’s awesome. Remember Asuka from NXT? And remember Asuka from when she was first called up to WWE? There’s a lurking feeling that the aforementioned versions of Asuka are slipping away. There haven’t been any legitimate women who look like they could hold the Raw women’s title since Becky Lynch, the former title holder who has been off television since April, and Asuka hasn’t had an opportunity to shine in the meantime.

Good news for me: Sasha Banks can give Asuka one hell of a match. Banks has proven on the blue brand that she remains one of the top women’s wrestlers in the world, meaning she could finally provide Asuka with something where the Raw champ could prove the very same. I’d love to see this match get ample time but I feel as though we’ll get some sort of ga-ga via outside interference from either Carmella or Bayley.

Prediction: Asuka wins (Raw)

The New Day (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. The Street Profits (SmackDown Tag Team Champions)

This match has an opportunity to steal the show. The New Day are coming off one of the best WWE tag matches of the year this past Monday, retaining their titles against Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander of The Hurt Business, and are in prime position to have another top-tier match with The Street Profits on Sunday.

This match has had some fun build on both sides, with each team making fun of the other. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins have been trying to use New Day’s recently divorced (not by choice) brother Big E to gain intel on the squad ahead of the match. Big E has balked at each opportunity to squeal secrets surrounding his former New Day brethren. With Big E constantly being injected into this story on SmackDown, it stands to reason that he will play a role in determining the winner.

I would be absolutely shocked if ‘E’ did anything to cost New Day a win, though. The Street Profits have been fun, and have shown flashes of brilliance, but haven’t had a signature match since arriving on the main roster in late 2019. Here’s their opportunity. These four wrestlers have the chance to put on a clinic.

Prediction: The Street Profits (SmackDown)

Bobby Lashley (Raw – United States Champion) vs. Sami Zayn (SmackDown – Intercontinental Champion)

I’ll say right off the bat that Sami Zayn is by far my favourite wrestler in all of WWE. His efforts in and out of the ring are so exceptional by every standard you could measure professional wrestling, and it certainly helps that he’s Canadian.

The Montreal native has been such an amazing, smarmy, smart IC champ. His most recent title defence against Apollo Crews on Nov. 13 ended brilliantly when he trapped Crews’ leg under the ring before jumping back under the ropes to secure a count-out victory. Zayn has also been touting that he is a champion of all countries as the IC Champ, while Lashley is the champion of just one country as the U.S. Champ. As a Canadian, that resonates with me, and I hope it resonates with you, fellow Canadian readers. Sami is representing us proudly!

Zayn has been pontificating around the fact he is smarter than Lashley, and therefore he holds the advantage. Meanwhile, Lashley has been destroying everything that moves over the past number of months. Combining Lashley’s recent dominance with the fact a loss to Lashley will do no damage to Zayn in the long run, I believe Lashley will win. But I mean… it would be sweet if Zayn pulled off the upset.

Prediction: Bobby Lashley wins (Raw)

Remember to return to sportsnet.ca on Sunday night for full coverage of Survivor Series. We’ll have match breakdowns and highlights, and we’ll feature content from members of Aftermath, Sportsnet’s WWE roundtable show. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.

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