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Previewing the WWE Survivor Series

It's almost Thanksgiving, and in the wrestling world, that means it's time for Survivor Series.

It's funny how this pay-per-view has had the "Big Four" label attached to it. I understand that it was one of the original four PPVs that the WWF ran, but at no point was it ever really a big pay-per-view.

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The teams were always just thrown together, the matches were very hit-or-miss, and you could probably count on one hand the number of truly defining moments that happened at Survivor Series. Yet, because of its longevity, it's still considered to be one of the bigger shows on the wrestling calendar.

This year, we do have two "classic" Survivor Series matches, including the oddly booked main event, two title matches and the Bray Wyatt-Dean Ambrose match.

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Right now, we only know five matches on the show (six including the preshow), so even assuming that the main event goes around an hour, it wouldn't surprise me if some matches get added to the card.

So, without further delay, here's my look at Survivor Series 2014:

Preshow match: Fandango vs. ????

So, out of nowhere, the WWE announced that Fandango was going to be new-and-improved, and even has a new valet, Rosa Mendez, to prove it. I'm not totally sure who his opponent will be, but my guess is that it will be the debut of The New Day. For those who haven't watched RAW the past few weeks, The New Day is the stable of Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston and Big E. I assume they'll show up in some form on the PPV, and while they could be in an impromptu match on the actual show, as there's only five matches announced so far, this would also make sense.  So I'll go with the unnamed opponent here.

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Winner: ??? (The New Day)

Team Paige vs. Team Alicia Fox

In what has basically become an annual tradition for Survivor Series, we're getting a random Divas Survivor Series-style match, where all the heel divas go up against the face divas. There's not much to say about this one, other than the curious inclusion of Alicia Fox on the face side. I understand that the only person who Paige really has an issue with is Alicia, but she's not really a face, at all. My guess is that Paige wins here, as they really haven't had much for her to do since she ended her feud with AJ, but it's more or less a coinflip. It wouldn't shock me if they had Natalya pin Paige to be the sole survivor just to start a feud between the two.  However, my guess is they'll do the easy thing and have Paige win.

Winner: Team Paige.

Gold and Stardust vs. The Usos vs. Los Matadores vs. The Miz and Damien Mizdow for the Tag Team Titles

Last year at this point, Cody Rhodes and Goldust were the champions, The Usos were one team chasing them, and there were a couple other teams (The Real Americans, Rybaxel) in the mix that, while entertaining, probably weren't going to win the titles.

One year later, we're in a similar position. Obviously, there are some differences (Cody's character, the Dusts being heels now, and the Dusts having much more momentum last year after knocking off The Shield), but it shows how stagnant the tag division is right now.

This isn't going to be a another discussion on how some NXT teams should be called up, but something needs to be done to shake it up somewhat, whether it's bringing people in, or just forming new tag teams (The New Day could help with that somewhat).

As for this match, there are only two possible winners in my mind. Either the Dusts retain or the belts move to Miz and Mizdow. These two have been a highlight of the show for the past couple months, and it wouldn't shock me if they are given the belts to shake up the division a bit, and also just to reward them for their work.

The Dusts really haven't caught on like some expected. The heel turn gave them a little bit of juice, but it hasn't been enough, and between the fact that the characters aren't as over as they could be, and the fact that they only have The Usos and Los Matadores to feud with, there's not much there. I could see them holding the belts a little longer, but it feels right for a title change here.

Winners: The Miz and Damien Mizdow

AJ vs. Nikki Bella for the Divas Title

The build for this match has provided some surprisingly entertaining segments, including the segments on both RAW and Smackdown this week.

They haven't gone completely over-the-top on the "Brie is Nikki's servant" storyline, which is, quite frankly, incredible. However, they haven't really had a payoff to that storyline either, which leads us to Sunday night.

Brie is clearly getting involved in this match in some form. The question is, does she help her sister win as her last act of her servitude, or does she rebel against Nikki? My guess is the former. As much as it would've shocked me to say six months ago, a heel Nikki as champ just makes sense. Her new powerhouse style fits her well, and she can do a lot of things in the ring with that persona.

It also would allow AJ to feud with Brie at least temporarily, and Nikki which would add more dimensions to the divas division.  A new champ would also allow people like Paige or Natalya to get back into play as a contender, as those matches aren't as stale as they would be if AJ was champion.  So it would make a lot of sense for Nikki to win here.

Winner: Nikki Bella

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt

This feud has been underwhelming to say the least. When Bray interfered in the Ambrose-Rollins match last month, even people who didn't like the ending at least said that they'd be getting a good feud out of Ambrose and Wyatt.

Yet, we haven't really seen that. For one reason or another, the feud has been pushed to the backburner, done mainly through promos and backstage segments. The segment on RAW was good, but there was so little of it during the build, to the point where this is almost a forgotten match, despite it being the second biggest match on the card.

Having said all that, this should be a good match. With the lack of matches already on the card, this should get 15-20 minutes, and we know both of these wrestlers can go if given time.  I doubt we see this feud end here, so hopefully the WWE gets the build right for TLC after this match.

Since I don't see this feud ending, I'll give Bray Wyatt the win here. Wyatt could use a high-profile win, and as long as Ambrose goes over, the feud could help both of them.

Winner: Bray Wyatt

Team Cena vs. Team Authority

If Team Cena wins, the Authority loses their job. If Team Authority wins, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Big Show and Ryback are fired.

So here's the main event. As I mentioned before, this has been an incredibly oddly-booked match. It started with Vince adding the Authority stipulation to the match, coming seemingly from out of nowhere.  Between starting that way, and the Authority having trouble finding people for their team at first, it almost positioned the Authority in a face-like role.

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Then of course, on Monday, Sheamus gets pulled from the match for seemingly no reason, and is replaced by Erick Rowan of all people. And finally, on Smackdown they added the stipulation that if Team Cena loses, those four would be fired.

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It wasn't a terrible build by any stretch, and I know some people who, because of all the weird twists, have found it to be incredibly compelling. But it's just a very odd build.

I feel like something big is going to happen by the end of this match. Either a wrestler is going to turn, there's going to be a big return, or there's going to be yet another replacement in the match. For a stipulation of this magnitude, the match seems somewhat small, and the teams just don't seem to fit.

Rowan being added to the match still has me at a loss, as there was no sign of dissension between him and Harper before this, so unlike Henry/Show being on opposite teams, this doesn't seem to fit.

One theory I favor, though don't believe it will happen, is that it's going to turn out at the end that the Wyatt family never disbanded, and both Harper and Rowan are sent in as moles for Bray. The odds of that happening are very slight, but at least it would be a logical reason as to why these two are on the teams.

So, having said all that, who will win? From the second the stipulation was announced, I assumed the Authority would win. However, now with Smackdown's addition announced, I'm not so sure.

Sure, you could easily do a storyline where those four get a week off (or are at the show causing havoc despite being fired), and then they eventually get their jobs back, but it seems unnecessarily messy.

And there's still the matter of Randy Orton. I know Orton is filming a movie, but the lack of his presence in his hometown when he just started a face turn is striking. It wouldn't shock me to see him come out of the crowd and interfere to give this win to Team Cena … or even to be a last-minute replacement for Team Cena.

There are a lot of unknown factors in this, and whatever happens, I expect it to be done in a big way. If I had to guess right now though, I'm guessing Team Cena wins, but Triple H and Stephanie aren't completely leaving television immediately.

Winners: Team Cena

Agree? Disagree?  Thoughts on the show?  Leave them here, or you can email or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster.

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