Payne’s Poignant Prognostications: Survivor Series 2011 Nov19

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Payne’s Poignant Prognostications: Survivor Series 2011

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Survivor Series 2011

Welcome everyone to a brand new PPV preview column for the Oratory. The name speaks for itself really, and what better PPV to begin with than Survivor Series which culminates with the return of The Great One, The Rock! Making his in-ring return after an absence of over seven years, The Rock will team with John Cena to take on The Miz and R-Truth in a tag match that will be sure to electrify Madison Square Garden. So, without further adieu, let’s begin, shall we?

Eve vs. Beth Phoenix, Divas Championship in a Lumberjill Match
What really needs to be said about this match? I would agree that Beth Phoenix should be the ideal champion for the Divas division but there really isn’t anyone on the roster who feels like a legitimate threat other than her own personal cohort, Natalya. This division really is treading water until Kharma returns (and that’s a big IF depending on if she really wants to return after having a child). This match will be a glorified piss-break and it’s unfortunate because I think Beth Phoenix really deserves better than this. There is absolutely nobody that is at her level in terms of talent and ability. When “I look awkward running the ropes or just running in general” Kelly Kelly is one of the top contenders for the belt you know something is amiss in the division. It’s not like there aren’t a number of Divas on the roster either. I think WWE should take a chance and try and showcase other talent in the meantime until Kharma’s big return hopefully before Wrestlemania. I believe the idea is to have Beth keep the belt through Wrestlemania when Kharma will return and challenge for the belt. That will be a great match to showcase on the grandest stage of them all. Until then, nobody is going through Beth.

:Winner: Beth Phoenix
Star Potential: *

United States Championship Match: John Morrison vs. Dolph Ziggler ©
I, perhaps like most others were upset that internet darling Zack Ryder would not be receiving a title shot at Survivor Series in his backyard. Now, obviously this is an angle they are running with that hopefully has a decent payoff at MSG. Watch Ryder’s latest Z-True Long Island Story and you can see the segment he taped with Morrison about the titleshot was filmed while still at the Garden, this was perhaps the plan all along to give Morrison the match and perhaps have Ryder as a last minute entrant via his Twitter petition. I wanted Ryder to grab the belt at Survivor Series and create a great moment for wrestling fans, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be better if Morrison grabs the belt amidst the hot crowd clamoring for Zack Ryder. I still say that Ryder will be a late addition to the match, but Morrison will be the one walking out as champion. And that’s ok because Ryder chasing Morrison has been made already with Ryder’s dad having an innate love-obsession with John Morrison ever since Ryder’s internet series began. This would be a culmination of over forty weeks of Ryder putting together the show and having it pay off big time, just for someone else instead.

Ziggler is dropping the belt, I think that’s fairly safe to say, because as the old saying goes, “he has bigger fish to fry” in the main event echelon. Ryder chasing the belt would make for a better story, especially if it’s John Morrison he is facing. Plus, Morrison is a MUCH better character when he is a heel. His babyface run has been abysmal at best and he was at his best when he was a part of his two infamous tag team combos with Joey Mercury and The Miz. Face it, Morrison needs to be a classic heel and this could be the ultimate move to put him over the top as a heel. It sounds absurd for me to suggest that Ryder doesn’t need the belt, but based on the reactions he’s getting in arenas, does he really? Think about it. He has made himself a staple of WWE through his own hard-work and dedication on his videos. He is moving ridiculous amounts of merchandise and I think WWE is complacent at putting him where he’s at. In wrestling terms, Ryder is already over, this is just a move to perhaps get another person over and create an incredible heel in John Morrison. The hot crowd at Madison Square Garden will only make this match even more amazing.

Probably the least talked about portion of this PPV is that Ziggler is pulling double-duty, AGAIN! He’ll be in the traditional Survivor Series match replacing Christian after an injury he sustained in Europe. Obviously Ziggler will be protected in the Survivor Series match and won’t have to take on the full load, but WWE definitely thinks highly of him if they are willing to promote him as such. Big things are in store for Ziggler in the near future and I can’t wait to see him in the main event in the near future.

Winner: John Morrison
Star Potential: ****

Survivor Series 5 on 5 Match: Team Barrett vs. Team Orton, (Wade Barrett, Cody Rhodes, Hunico, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger vs. Randy Orton, Kofi Kingston, Sin Cara, Sheamus and Mason Ryan)
It’s great to have a traditional Survivor Series match on the show with the same name, it’s not the same PPV without it. WWE has taken groups of heels and faces based on singular feuds and wrapped them into one big match. The question is, does it really work? For the most part I suppose but even when a team wins, it’s one person standing in the ring that looks good in the end, much like a Money In The Bank match, unless of course the match ends up being a squash where one side dominates. With the discussion on WWE.com showcasing The Rock’s debut at Survivor Series and the push they gave him, I feel this match will attempt to accomplish the same thing, it’s a matter of whether or not it will pay off where everyone loathes it (being force-fed The Rock) or will actually embrace it. That entirely depends on who they decide to push out of this and I think it’s pretty clear whom WWE sees as the next big thing.

Mason Ryan, AKA Barrista, AKA Batista 2.0 is the guy WWE wants to be at the top. He is that archetype that Vince McMahon absolutely adores and it will show as he will be the last man standing in this match. There’s nobody else involved in this match other than Cody Rhodes that deserves a rub involved with a match like this, but with the limited amount of booking leading up to Survivor Series, will this have a decent payoff at all?

Don’t get me wrong, Survivor Series matches traditionally are very exciting and being that it is in Madison Square Garden will make this PPV that much more memorable, but is there any interest in seeing either team win or lose? There really aren’t any ramifications coming from either team winning, after all this isn’t Bragging Rights with a trophy for either brand to covet. With the talent involved I think it will be a fairly decent match, but I do miss having the Survivor Series match being hosstastic with an oversized big guy (Brodus Clay) to dominate at times. Speaking of Brodus Clay, where has he been? He was suppose to debut a few weeks ago. I hope he’s not having visa issues.

Winner: Team Orton w/ Mason Ryan picking up the victory
Star Potential: ***

WWE Championship Match: CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio ©
On paper, this match looks like it could be promising, especially without the likes of John Cena being involved. The only problem is, where is the intrigue in terms of who will win this match? I feel I should care more about this match because of the participants but I simply don’t. There are a few problems I have with the direction they’ve taken. It lies with CM Punk and his promo ability. Sometimes I feel CM Punk is too good on the microphone and will often times expose talent because of their flaws. The past week on RAW, CM Punk talked about how he was going to become WWE Champion and make RAW and WWE exciting again, thus declaring that Del Rio is a boring champ that nobody cares to watch. It was almost as if Punk was going to pull out a Nielsen Ratings graph and compare the ratings when CM Punk was champ last (although to be honest there wasn’t that much of a difference). Sure, CM Punk can make WWE more interesting with his involvement, as he stated he could be the commentator, the ring announcer, the time keeper, the camera guy. He can do all those things. My question to him would be, why do you need the belt?

Why is your ability to be interesting contingent on holding the WWE championship? Sure it means you are the best in the business and the top guy in the company, but really, are you not as great of a promo without the title? Are your matches not as extraordinary without the strap? It really is a faulty argument that Punk put forth that left a bad taste in my mouth. At its basic element, what Punk was saying is, “Yes, this is fake and what you are watching is fake, but pick me as your champion and things will change.” That should NOT be your motivation to be a WWE champ. It should be because you have something to prove, something to chase, a desire that is inside of a competitor to be the best. It should NOT be about, “Well, I’m clearly the better entertainer, thus I need to be WWE champion, not you”. Isn’t that making a case to not have the belt Punk?

If anything, because you are exposing Del Rio as the weaker champion, he should hold onto the belt in order to help elevate his status. But by breaking him down for nonsensical reasons in the ring doesn’t help either of your causes. You should want to beat him after what happened at Hell in a Cell with the lead pipe. Punk should say he wants to be WWE Champion because he wants to defend that belt at Wrestlemania. He should have some sort of goal that fans can rally behind, not some paltry excuse that exposes other talent for their possible shortcomings.

Do I think the match will be great? Sure, CM Punk always brings the goods on PPV. But I’m not as interested in the match as I should be. With the way WWE has been booking the belt this year it wouldn’t surprise me to see Punk win the belt and then lose it again next month. I’m going with Punk but I don’t expect a long reign.

Winner: CM Punk
Star Potential ***

World Heavyweight Championship Match: Big Show vs, Mark Henry ©
I have a feeling this match isn’t going to over well with the Madison Square Garden crowd. And after what happened last month with the ring implosion I’m not sure how they are going to top it. I think it’s pretty safe to say that Mark Henry will be retaining here as I don’t see Big Show being the guy that will end up stopping Henry and thus ending his run at the top. Henry is going to retain but it will be interesting to see how they end up finishing this match. I see a similar finish where both men end up destroying each other either through a table or huge spot. Then, the moment that some have predicted will happen, and it will take place at Madison Square Garden; Daniel Bryan will cash in against Mark Henry after being embarrassed the past few weeks.

I don’t know if I agree with it or not, but the way WWE has been teasing it, it would only make sense if Daniel Bryan did cash in despite his statement that he is planning on waiting until Wrestlemania. I don’t think anybody really expects Daniel Bryan to be able to last that long to cash in, despite doing the “honorable thing” and wanting to call out the champion. Opportunity will be knocking and after the shellacking Bryan has taken this past month it will be too much for him to pass up to take the one thing that Mark Henry has been striving for in his career over the course of fifteen years. Then, of course we can have the moment in the ring with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan posing together with their title belts a la Guerrero/Benoit and have a new moment to cherish. It could happen, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see it go down this Sunday.

Winner: No contest w/ Daniel Bryan cash in Post-Match
Star Potential: **

The Miz & R-Truth vs. John Cena & The Rock
Can someone please explain to me why this match is taking place in the first place? It was announced months before Survivor Series that The Rock would be teaming with John Cena in a traditional 5 on 5 Survivor Series match, with the tagline, “Never Before, Never Again”. That is until post Wrestlemania when Rock will make continued appearances and perhaps tag again with Cena. Cena and The Rock absolutely demolished Miz and Truth on the go-home show of RAW this past week. Why does this match need to be showcased on PPV? Where is the tension? Where is the suspense involved in a match like this? I’ll watch the numerous reality TV shows on basic cable if I want to watch a pair of people be passive aggressive to one another. I was really hoping at one point Cena would start yelling, “I DRIVE A DODGE STRATUS!” to end the stalemate between the two. Yes, you could suggest that Miz and Truth are being elevated just by being in the same ring as The Rock but really, are they?
The Rock doesn’t even have a grudge against Miz and Truth, he said so himself, via satellite. He’s doing it for the people as he claims. He’s going to give the people what they want by returning in a tag match that will be incredible for the two minutes that Rock is in the ring pulling off the Rock Bottom and People’s Elbow. Even so, Miz and Truth were arguably two of the biggest heels in WWE with their conspiracy theories that they have since dropped inconspicuously since The Rock came into the picture. They are a great tag team together but neither of them are being helped by being decimated on TV and the PPV. There is no reason that Rock and Cena will lose this match. Not when they are booked at Wrestlemania to face each other, is WWE going to make them look weak? No, and they shouldn’t. But booking 101 suggests that you at least make their opponents look like a formidable duo to face. If anything it won’t be Miz and Truth that will win the match, it will be Cena and Rock losing it.

Will Rock and Cena be able to co-exist? Will their be tension? Can they pick up the pinfall victory? In the end does it really matter because they are still opponents at Wrestlemania? The roof will come off with The Rock’s return to the ring, but I daresay that it might take some of the luster off from his initial in-ring return scheduled for Mania. I could see it being much more serviceable in a 5 on 5 match where he might have little involvement as well as the potential a greater amount of interaction with other superstars on the roster. There will be a great atmosphere at MSG and it will most certainly be electric, but in terms of outcome and what it will lead to, I’m not that optimistic.

Winners: Rock & Cena
Star Potential: ***

Overall, this PPV looks great on PPV, but the menial stories and lack of character development over the last month doesn’t get me terribly excited for this PPV. That says a lot when it’s The Rock’s return to the ring after a 7 year absence. Hopefully after this PPV there will be an idea of where the company’s direction is towards Wrestlemania and who appears to be a candidate to win the Royal Rumble. I also expect a Kevin Nash/HHH confrontation at some point during the show. We can only hope Nash tears something to keep him off the screen for the foreseeable future.

Well, that’s it for the first edition of what should be a monthly affair. Agree? Disagree? Join our forums and become a part of the discussion. Also, join us for our OForums Podcast LIVE this Sunday immediately following Survivor Series. Only at,

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