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Dear WWE | What’s actually on the line at Survivor Series?

Raw In this March 29, 2015, file photo, Brock Lesnar makes his entrance at Wrestlemania XXXI in Santa Clara, Calif. Lesnar, the former WWE and UFC heavyweight champion, was selected Monday, June 27, 2016, as the cover superstar for the WWE 2K17 video game that is set for an Oct. 11 release. (AP Photo/Don Feria, File)
AP Photo/Don Feria

What will be the prize of “winning” Survivor Series?

Now that the WWE has gone all-in on the Raw vs. SmackDown Live theme for Survivor Series, eliminating any possibility of continuing existing storylines, there needs to be a reason for all of this beyond simply “brand superiority.”

Multiple PPV events have operated under this guise for the company in the past, and while they have been nice one-night hits of entertainment, they have woefully failed in establishing long-term storylines when key elements have not been up for grabs.

Bragging Rights itself died out due largely in part to the fact that there was nothing being fought for besides…bragging rights. You can read about its infamous two-year stint here, but it’s not difficult to see how fighting over nothing can lose it’s appeal.

If there is nothing to gain for champion vs. champion matches, that will remain one thing; but the Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match will need to have an element such as the losing general manager/commissioner losing their job or the surviving superstars earning a title shot, or else the 2017 edition of the Survivor Series risks falling in the cracks and being overshadowed by NXT: TakeOver the night before.

When will Brock Lesnar next defend his Universal Title?

Lesnar hasn’t put the strap on the line since he defended his belt against a game Braun Strowman back at No Mercy in September. After taking to the sidelines for TLC in October, his matchup against Jinder Mahal at Survivor Series will be a non-title affair.

As of now, the WWE has not yet announced a Raw event for December and it’s possible they won’t have one at all. That would leave the next PPV event necessitating a defense the Royal Rumble in January.

The idea of Lesnar vs. Reigns at WrestleMania for the Universal Title is becoming closer to a reality everyday, which would mean that Lesnar will have found a way to hold onto the title for an entire year without suffering a defeat. That plan can still of course be subject to change, but whether or not having a champion who comes and goes as he pleases is up for debate as to whether or not that’s best for the Raw brand.

Where do Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn fit into Survivor Series?

In the aftermath of Hell in a Cell, a tag team collision between Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn against Shane McMahon and a partner of his choosing seemed destined to take place. Fast-forward to weeks after the event and things are more up in the air than when we began.

With Zayn losing his qualifying match to join Team SmackDown Live, and Owens tasked with taking on Shinsuke Nakamura next week (who is unlikely to not represent the brand), the biggest storyline on SmackDown Live is in danger of being left off the card.

McMahon himself doesn’t appear anywhere near ready for action, as his current primary focus appears to be on invading Raw. The remainder of the key faces will likely be representing the brand in the elimination match, which makes it likely that if the duo are not fighting Shane come Survivor Series, they may be running interference to screw the blue brand out of a victory as a means of revenge.

How soon until Asuka enters the Raw Women’s Title scene?

After quickly dispatching of Emma (twice), the Empress of Tomorrow seems destined to quickly take over the entire division.

Her first lead role appears to be coming at the Survivor Series when she is likely to join forces with her new contemporaries on Raw. Current champion Alexa Bliss will be tied up in her battle for brand supremacy as she takes on Natalya, leaving Asuka as the early favorite to be a survivor of the elimination match.

But after the lights dim on Survivor Series, Asuka is likely to come for Bliss. She is the shot of adrenaline Monday night needs in the women’s division, which has been largely dominated by Little Miss Bliss since WrestleMania.

Will any titles switch hands before Survivor Series?

With Survivor Series set as the battleground for determining which shows champions are superior, heels currently dominate the title picture. Slotted for the event already are Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya, The Miz vs. Baron Corbin, and Brock Lesnar vs. Jinder Mahal, all of which feature heel vs. heel matchups.

Logic says that someone will lose their belt before then, to allow at least one of those collisions to feature a face. (As well as the blatantly obvious, “if they remain the champion” inserts from the broadcasting crew.)

Either Lesnar or Mahal losing the belt is out of the question, so we can eliminate them from the equation. Alexa Bliss is likely to hold onto her belt for the next month, which would make Natalya a prime candidate, if Miss Money in the Bank Carmella wasn’t the likely successor; yet another heel.

That leaves either The Miz or Baron Corbin. Miz losing the title to someone such as Jason Jordan would make the most sense, even if it wouldn’t be the fairest move to a guy who has helped elevate the belt again. Corbin is also on his own mini-losing streak to Sin Cara, with names such as Tye Dillinger serving as possible dethrone candidates soon before the event.

Jesse is a news desk reporter and FRS SLAM columnist with FanRag Sports since August 2016. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a dual major in comparative literature and journalism.

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