During the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer has stated that Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre is the current plan for the 2020 WWE Survivor Series.
Should Meltzer be correct, then the bout which Triple H recently compared to Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair would stick to the tradition of the current Survivor Series model where champions from Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown battle each other.
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre is without a doubt the biggest draw WWE have right now. With Drew McIntyre excelling as WWE Champion under the tough restrictions of the pandemic and Reigns doing his best ever work as ‘The Tribal Chief’ at the head of the blue brand’s table, both men battling to establish themselves and their brand as number one would be cataclysmic.
Though there have been instances of inter-brand outings at the elimination spectacle before, the foundations for what Survivor Series has become were laid all the way back in 2016 when Team Raw battled Team SmackDown in Women’s, Tag Team and Men’s Traditional Survivor Series outings.
In 2017, everything changed when the company announced that champions from both brands would do battle at their respective level.
Baron Corbin (WWE United States Champion) went to war with The Miz (WWE Intercontinental Champion), WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos collided with WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The Bar, WWE SmackDown and Raw Women’s Champions Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss met in the middle of the ring and the blue brand’s WWE Champion, AJ Styles, attempted to slay WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar in a thriller.
The theme of brands colliding caught on and the following year the idea returned with one noticeable and unavoidable change. While red and blue Tag Team Champions met (AOP defeated The Bar), both brand’s mid-card titles vied for supremacy (WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins best WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura) and the top guys on Raw and SmackDown did battle when WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar pinned WWE Champion Daniel Bryan in another excellent effort, the women’s bout had undergone an alteration.
After WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch suffered a broken nose and concussion at the hands of Nia Jax on Raw, she was forced to pull out of her singles scrap with WWE Raw Women’s Champion, Ronda Rousey. It wasn’t all bad news, however. Charlotte Flair, Lynch’s replacement, gave ‘The Baddest Woman on the Planet’ arguably her greatest and most memorable tussle.
Last year the well established formula changed once more with the welcome addition of NXT. The black and yellow brand made each bout a Triple Threat Match which on the night worked in their favour. As well as a change to the traditional Survivor Series Elimination Matches which were notable for Rhea Ripley’s ascension in the opening bout and WWE United Kingdom Champion Walter’s treatment during the men’s showcase, WWE were forced to shake up the Champion vs. Champion model too.
Unlike previous years, there were only two matches of this type. NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong shocked WWE United States Champion AJ Styles and WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, while NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler asserted her dominance over WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley.
The major championships of each of the three brands had regular challengers from their own shows. Brock Lesnar defended the WWE Championship against Rey Mysterio, ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt retained the WWE Universal Championship against Daniel Bryan and Adam Cole survived the challenge of Pete Dunne to walk away NXT Champion.
As of yet it is unknown whether WWE will stick with what they presented last year or return to the formula of pre-2019. However, with the plan for WWE Champion Drew McIntyre to battle WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, reverting to what worked for 2017 and 2018 certainly seems a possibility.
Should Survivor Series return to Raw vs. SmackDown, we could also bare witness to WWE Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn vs. WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley, WWE Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day go toe-to-toe with WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits and WWE Raw Women’s Champion Asuka again face WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley or Sasha Banks.
It’s doubtful anyone would complain should we also be treated to Jordan Devlin vs. Santos Escobar to crown the undisputed NXT Cruiserweight Champion and NXT Champion Finn Balor vs. NXT UK Champion Walter should COIVD-19 travel restrictions allow. The latter had been planned for NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin earlier this year.
This could of course all change with the possible addition of NXT and NXT UK as well as the outcome of WWE Hell in a Cell tonight.
Inside the Ropes will keep you updated on plans for WWE Survivor Series and we will have live coverage of WWE Hell in a Cell tonight.