On a night where brand supremacy was on the line for the fifth year in a row and a 30-year run was put to rest, WWE provided a mixed bag of quality action and head-scratchers.
WWE Survivor Series 2020 was fittingly themed around the 30-year anniversary of The Undertaker’s debut. Despite no titles being on the line, the action-related plot of the event saw “The Best of the Best” from Raw and Smackdown colliding.
Four matches pitted champions against champions as Sasha Banks went toe-to-toe with Asuka, Bobby Lashley battled Sami Zayn, The Street Profits collided with the New Day, and Roman Reigns warred with Drew McIntyre. The remaining matches on the main show saw the best non-championship competitors from each brand face off in traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series elimination matches for bragging rights.
With that, here’s what WWE got right and wrong at this year’s Survivor Series event:
Wrong: Team Raw sweeping Team SmackDown in the Men’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match
To date, SmackDown has not—if so, then very rarely—emerged the victor in the brand supremacy battle since the concept re-emerged in 2016. It is clear that Raw is valued over SmackDown, hence the former being referenced as the “flagship” show despite the latter being the better of the two brands quality wise. Was it really necessary for the Raw men’s team to sweep the SmackDown men’s team though? No.
Seth Rollins was visibly disassociated from the entire encounter, culminating in him offering himself as a sacrifice for the first elimination in the match ala a Sheamus Brogue Kick. From there, it only went from bad to worse for SmackDown. Kevin Owens and King Corbin were eliminated in relatively quick succession, leaving Otis to get eliminated by Braun Strowman and Jey Uso as the sole survivor for SmackDown.
Uso mounted an impressive superkick-happy comeback with the overarching story being his need to impress his cousin, Roman Reigns. Uso was seemingly on the verge of making a dent in Team Raw’s numbers but fell victim to a Spirit Bomb from Keith Lee to give the 5-0 sweep to Raw.
Given the bruisers on Team Raw in Sheamus, Lee and Strowman as well as Uso being part of one of the best stories on SmackDown all year, Uso being the sole survivor at a numbers disadvantage wasn’t a difficult outcome to predict. However, at least one or two eliminations in the process of Uso’s offensive frenzy might’ve generated hope for what would’ve been the greatest comeback in Survivor Series history. Instead, SmackDown looked decidedly subpar to Raw.