The buzz coming out of the WWE’s presentation of Sunday night’s Survivor Series certainly centered around the finish to the main event match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar, but there were a lot more moving parts within one of the company’s big four pay-per-views as well. Due to the fact that neither of the world championships were on the line at the show, the WWE had to book major implications for the titles that were defended.
Last week, the Inquisitr reported that the WWE creative staff was planning to pull a double switch at Survivor Series, but obviously those plans changed as the pay-per-view drew closer. Neither the Cruiserweight nor Intercontinental Championship changed hands, so subsequently, they didn’t change brands either.
Of the two, the Cruiserweight Championship changing shows would have made the most sense because of the fact that the division’s new show, 205 Live, is set to debut soon, airing on Tuesday nights immediately after SmackDown on the WWE Network. But Brian Kendrick retained his title thanks to outside interference from Baron Corbin. Had Kalisto won, of course, the belt and the entire Cruiserweight Division would have been relocated to the blue brand.
And then there was the dilemma of what to do with the WWE Intercontinental Championship. As noted, one of the original plans was for Dolph Ziggler to remain the champion going into Survivor Series and drop the title at the pay-per-view. Originally, the WWE wanted to keep his opponent a secret until the actual match, but they reconsidered and wanted to give Sami Zayn a mini-push heading in.
The WWE then wanted a marquee match to supplement the hyped returns of Edge and the Undertaker on SmackDown’s historic 900th episode, and they decided to book Ziggler and The Miz again for the IC title to open the show. According to Cageside Seats, the decision to put The Miz over in that match was done at the last minute, primarily because they wanted a more traditional babyface vs. heel match for the belt at the pay-per-view.
RAW had limited options for a challenger to the Intercontinental Championship, what with most of the roster already having other obligations. It basically came down to Sami and Rusev, and those two ended up facing each other for the right to be in the match. Rusev would miss the RAW go-home show and Survivor Series due to the death of his grandmother.
WWE officials also changed their plans in regards to the outcome of the Intercontinental Championship match at Survivor Series as well. As noted, there were serious talks of putting Sami Zayn over and bringing the belt to RAW, but they decided against it and had Miz retain. It made little sense anyway, seeing how the flagship show already had their mid-card title unless they became more serious about a talent swap.
Dolph Ziggler was not on the Survivor Series card, but apparently, he’s primed to challenge The Miz once again for the IC Championship. The report states that we should expect one more clash between the two, likely at WWE’s next SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view, TLC. Not only that, but there has been some serious consideration of putting the title back on Ziggler, less than three weeks after he dropped it.
There’s no arguing that the brand extension has reinvigorated the careers of both The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, as their feud has created some of, if not the most compelling storylines on Tuesday nights for the past three months. The two have battled over the Intercontinental Championship at Backlash, No Mercy and on the 900th episode of SmackDown. And with TLC coming in less than two weeks, their program may finally see its culmination with one last showdown over the belt that appears to be staying on SmackDown.
After the match Sunday night, The Miz also had some choice words for SmackDown general manager Daniel Bryan which you can see in the video below, posted on the WWE’s official Twitter account.
[Featured Image by WWE]