Technically, there have been two pay-per-views since the brand split that have featured superstars from both RAW and SmackDown. Battleground aired just five days after the brand extension draft and SummerSlam featured just one inter-promotional match-up when Randy Orton tangled with Brock Lesnar in the main event. But this Sunday’s Survivor Series really marks the first time since the July roster split that the shows will be competing in an all-out battle of brand supremacy.
Of the six advertised matches for the 2016 Survivor Series, only one will feature superstars competing against each other from the same brand, and even that is based on a technicality. That distinction belongs to Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, only because RAW is the only show that Goldberg has appeared on since his return to the WWE.
There are three traditional Survivor Series elimination matches highlighting the card, pitting the best men, women and tag teams from both brands against each other. There wasn’t a whole lot on the line besides bragging rights in these matches until the Undertaker warned the SmackDown team that if they lost at Survivor Series they’d have to answer to him.
There is the strong possibility that two titles could be swapping brands at Survivor Series as well. The Miz will defend the Intercontinental Championship against RAW‘s Sami Zayn, where we are expecting Zayn to capture his first singles belt in WWE and bring it back to Monday nights. The entire Cruiserweight Division may be headed to SmackDown when Brian Kendrick puts his title on the line against Kalisto.
At Hell In A Cell, the WWE billed the show as having three main events, when in fact, there were only two matches worthy of closing out that particular show. Charlotte and Sasha Banks and Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins had legitimate claims at the spot with the women ultimately winning out and making history twice in the same night.
The WWE is faced with a similar “conundrum” at Survivor Series, but again, only two matches have enough cachet to lay claim to the headlining spot. Those two, of course, would be the mega-match between Lesnar and Goldberg and the 5-on-5 traditional Survivor Series elimination match between the top five men from each roster.
And according to a report from Daily Wrestling News, the honor of closing out Survivor Series will go to the showdown being booked as fantasy warfare, Brock Lesnar against the iconic Goldberg. This, of course, is Goldberg’s first match in the WWE in 12 years, but it will also mark his first main event with the company since Armageddon on December 14, 2003. It was there that he lost the World Heavyweight Championship in a triple threat match also involving Triple H and Kane.
Survivor Series will mark Brock Lesnar’s second straight pay-per-view main event in which he’s been involved with. As noted, he headlined SummerSlam with Randy Orton which ended in a disturbing and controversial manner. Brock also main-evented UFC 200 back in July, defeating Mark Hunt. This will only be Lesnar’s third television match with WWE since WrestleMania when he defeated Dean Ambrose.
The Undertaker’s warning certainly adds an extra layer of intrigue to the traditional elimination match at Survivor Series, offering more credence to the possibility of that match as the main event. But, Brock Lesnar remains the biggest star on the marquee and Goldberg’s return had long been thought impossible.
The last time the two faced off they were booed out of Madison Square Garden, but luckily there were five matches that followed them that could salvage the show, including two world title bouts, one of which was a classic between Kurt Angle and Eddie Guerrero. Nothing will follow Brock Lesnar and Goldberg this Sunday at Survivor Series, but even though Goldberg may go away right after again, the circumstances have drastically changed.
[Featured Image by WWE]