Right: Roman Reigns defeating Drew McIntyre
Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre are both on incredible runs as the World champion of their respective brands. McIntyre has been one of the MVPs for WWE in 2020 and Reigns’ “Tribal Chief” persona has made him look better than ever.
Under normal circumstances, Reigns calling Drew McIntyre a secondary titleholder and then beating him might’ve made McIntyre look weak. The way it was pulled off actually makes sense and keeps both men on massively forward paths.
It took multiple Spears, a low blow, and interference from Jey Uso to make McIntyre vulnerable enough for a Guillotine Choke from Reigns. Notably, the match was ended via referee stoppage rather than McIntyre submitting which allows the WWE Champion to name multiple factors as asterisks on Reigns’ win.
McIntyre falling short to Reigns will generate more hype over who can be the first man to beat the Universal Champion since his SummerSlam return and also sets the stage for a rematch between the two juggernauts.
Wrong: No real stakes involved
Survivor Series as a concept with elimination matches and Raw vs. SmackDown can only drum up so much interest if there is nothing at stake. No championships were on the line nor were there any championship implications—at least on the surface—created from the show.
Placing the Draft right before Survivor Series is questionable as many of the competitors fighting for their brand had only recently switched shows and without an incentive, wouldn’t have any logical reason to fight on behalf of Raw or SmackDown.
Survivor Series serves as WWE’s version of The All-Star Game but in a company where storylines rather than win-loss record dictate future opportunities, it’s hard to comprehend what the benefits or detriments that winning or losing are to the performers.
Commentary did make a few callbacks to previous Survivor Series events such as Keith Lee’s breakout performance last year and Drew McIntyre’s elimination at the hands of Roman Reigns fueling his turn-around, but it will take more than singular performances to enhance the show’s perception as the bottom of the Big Four.