2022 Survivor Series Preview: War Games matches add new twist

The Bloodline headlined by Roman Reigns. (Photo courtesy: WWE)

It’s called a Thanksgiving weekend tradition in the United States and just a regular November tradition in Canada. Yes, it’s time once again for Survivor Series. But there’s a twist this year.

New in 2022 will be the implementation of the War Games match. The match isn’t new to the WWE as a whole, having previously been utilized on NXT PPV’s, but the match has never appeared on the main roster. War Games originated in 1987 at a National Wrestling Alliance event, the Great American Bash. When Triple H was in charge of NXT he brought War Games back to mainstream pro wrestling and was celebrated for doing as much. Now that he’s in charge of all creative decisions within WWE, he is bringing the gimmick match to the biggest of stages.

War Games Match

The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Solo Sikoa, Sami Zayn) vs. Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens

If there are members of the WWE fan base who have never seen a War Games match before, this will be an exceptional introduction. Before diving into the potential storylines developing out of this match, it’s worth noting the amount of star power taking part in the match, and that includes the biggest star in all of pro wrestling: Roman Reigns.

Butch (formerly Pete Dunne in NXT) and Kevin Owens are the only wrestlers who have participated in a War Games match in the past, while Reigns, The Usos, McIntyre, and Sheamus have all wrestled in a Hell in a Cell match, a cousin of the War Games match. This is all to say that these wrestlers are more than capable of giving everyone a match to remember.

There are a couple of different ways WWE could book this match, which will help set in motion the road to WrestleMania.

The Bloodline have been bulletproof since… well, since what feels like forever. This is an opportunity to finally deal the stable a loss without any major consequences. Triple H & Co. will have to find a creative way in which to eliminate Reigns from the match, as it seems extremely unlikely he will be pinned or submitted cleanly, but every other member of the Bloodline seem fit to eat a pin or submission.

Let’s start with Sami Zayn, everyone’s favourite honourary Uce. Zayn has been one of the greatest parts of WWE television since joining The Bloodline, and his stock feels as though it still hasn’t hit its peak. There has been underlying dissension between Zayn and Jey Uso for several months and it feels as though a match where the two will be locked in a cage together will be the perfect time to execute a blow up, which could cost The Bloodline the match.

Zayn could split with The Bloodline, align himself (again) with Kevin Owens and go after the Tag Team Championships. But that feels like the easy way to remove Zayn from The Bloodline.

Here’s what WWE should do…

The Bloodline should lose and Zayn should be the one getting pinned. Reigns hits a Superman punch and spear on Sheamus, before getting hit with a Claymore by Drew McIntyre. Other members of The Bloodline beat down McIntyre, and while that’s happening Zayn slides over to cover Sheamus. But before he does, Owens comes out of nowhere to hit Zayn with a Stunner, which leads to a pinfall victory. Reigns is apoplectic after the match that Zayn cost The Bloodline the victory. The dissension continues all the way to Royal Rumble where Zayn is tasked with teaming with The Bloodline to secure a Rumble victory so Reigns can choose his opponent. When it feels like Zayn is about to acquiesce to the demands, he turns on his stablemates and eliminates them from the Rumble, goes on to win the match and then eventually declares that he will face Reigns at WrestleMania. It turns into the biggest David vs Goliath story in WWE history.

Give the people what they want. Make Sami Zayn WWE Champion you cowards.

Prediction: Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland, Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens WINS

War Games Match

Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Mia Yim, and TBA vs. Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky), Nikki Cross, and Rhea Ripley

Even though they had wrestled previously, when Bayley returned to action this summer as the leader of Damage CTRL, there was still a feeling a fresh program with Bianca Belair was coming. And that’s exactly what happened. The matches that followed were strong, but it felt like the rivalry was finished after a pair of losses by Bayley. However the rivalry has not died, which leaves me feeling like Milhouse asking when Poochie will finally get to the fireworks factory. But instead it’s me asking; is Belair ever going to get a fresh opponent that could actually beat her?

In July of this year Rhea Ripley was supposed to challenge Belair but was pulled from the match at the last moment for medical reasons. Since then, Ripley has only grown stronger as a character and wrestler. She should be the one tapped to score the winning pin for her team, and the pin should be on Belair to help kickstart a new, fresh rivalry.

Meanwhile, there is an open spot on Belair’s team that is rumoured to be a returning Becky Lynch. The former Raw Women’s Champion has been out for several months after separating her shoulder in a match against Belair at SummerSlam 2022. Lynch’s return could kickstart a rivalry with Bayley, giving the women’s division a strong character matchup that doesn’t involve a title, something the division has been lacking.

Prediction: Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky), Nikki Cross, and Rhea Ripley WINS

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match

Ronda Rousey (C) vs. Shotzi

Whatever betting line you see for Ronda Rousey in this match isn’t high enough. A line of -1,000,000 wouldn’t be high enough. There is less than zero reason to believe Rousey will drop the championship to Shotzi. And she won’t. Carry on.

Prediction: Ronda Rousey (C) WINS

Photo courtesy: WWE

United States Championship Match

Seth Rollins (C) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory

On the last Monday Night Raw before Survivor Series, Seth Rollins espoused that he possesses the top prize on the show and he’s right in that assessment. With the WWE Universal title almost exclusive to SmackDown, the U.S. title owns top billing.

So of course at Survivor Series, the triple threat U.S. title match will feature two major superstars… plus one guy who takes more L’s than the Brooklyn Brawler. Rollins and Bobby Lashley are two of WWE’s best, while Austin Theory has been extremely lacklustre in and out of the ring since last spring.

Having said all that, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Theory walked out of Survivor Series as the U.S. champ. But Theory should hold the longest odds as his overall arc as a wrestler has been spiralling down for several months without a lot of reason to believe he’ll reverse course. It just feels like one of those slight possibilities.

Rollins as champ makes a ton of sense, while Lashley will continue to be over with or without a championship around his waist.

Prediction: Seth Rollins WINS

Singles match

Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles

There are two reasons this match is happening.

1. The outcome of this match will finally settle the feud between Balor’s Judgement Day stable and Styles’ OC stable.

2. These guys are still two of the best pro wrestlers on the planet and will tear the house down.

But also… couldn’t they just have looped these two and their stables into a match with the three wrestlers in the U.S. Championship match and made it a traditional Survivor Series match?

Prediction: Finn Balor WINS

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