TJRWrestling WWE Survivor Series 2023 Preview

wwe survivor series wargames 2023 preview tjrwrestling

It’s WWE Survivor Series with two WarGames matches featuring a 4-on-4 women’s match and a 5-on-5 men’s match, two title matches and another singles match to round out the five match card.

The WarGames matches are back for the second year in a row on the main roster. The women’s match is 4-on-4 while the men’s match is 5-on-5, which is the more traditional and normal format for it.

I’m a big fan of the WarGames matches. I think the men’s match on the Raw side has been built up very well with Drew McIntyre going heel to join The Judgment Day while Randy Orton’s return on the babyface side is interesting for a number of reasons. The women’s match also has a good story with the Damage CTRL group gaining Asuka & Kairi Sane recently to make them a lot stronger.

Going into this show there’s been a lot of speculation about if CM Punk will be there since it’s in Chicago and he is from there. While there have been reports saying that WWE isn’t interested in bringing Punk back, it’s also possible that Punk is coming back and that WWE is keeping it quiet. Why would they want to leak it out? Like him or not, Punk coming back to WWE after nearly a decade and doing it in front of a huge Chicago crowd would be a memorable moment. I don’t think WWE *needs* him necessarily because business is strong, but I think if he is open to it then WWE should absolutely consider it. The logistics would be easy since they wouldn’t have to fly him in and they could hide him backstage to prevent it from leaking. Then again, maybe a return in the Royal Rumble match would be better. I don’t know. I like Punk as a performer, but the guy is in his mid-40s and still carries around this bitterness about silly things. Anyway, I’ll predict no CM Punk for this show although if he is there, I will certainly welcome it and hope it works out for the company as well as Punk himself. From the perspective of a man who helps run a website with millions of monthly views and a lot of news posts every day, Punk being back in WWE would be good for our business too. Just saying.

There are only five matches announced. I waited until after Smackdown to post this to make sure I didn’t miss any additional matches. The two WarGames matches went 39 minutes each last year plus video packages and introductions, so that’s nearly an hour each. That’s why they aren’t going to have an eight match card when there are two WarGames matches on the show.


Women’s WarGames Match: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi

The Damage CTRL foursome are fresh since Sane & Asuka recently joined the group. IYO SKY remains the WWE Women’s Champion while Bayley thinks she’s the leader, yet SKY and Dakota brought the others in the other group to make them stronger. That has led to some interesting developments with Bayley in the role of somebody who acts like she is in control, yet in reality, she has no idea if the group will turn on her.

I think the babyface side is pretty good for the most part with Flair & Belair feuding with Damage CTRL for months now while Shotzi also had her past issue with Bayley. Becky Lynch is there because WWE obviously doesn’t like any of other Smackdown women enough to put them in the match, so they might as well put Lynch in that spot.

If the babyface team wins then I can see it being due to the Bayley storyline where she continues to think she has power over the others, but if Bayley loses here then it might be the end of her run in Damage CTRL. This could be the story that turns Bayley back into a babyface after four years as a heel.

My pick is for the heel Damage CTRL to win. I think it’s important that they get along for at least a few more months and then Bayley’s issues could cause a split around the Royal Rumble time. Since the babyface team has three huge stars in Charlotte, Belair and Lynch, it makes sense for Shotzi to be the woman who loses for that team. I’ll go with Sane pinning Shotzi after about 30-35 minutes.

Winners: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka

Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar

This match is on the card just because there’s actually a storyline behind it. Santos Escobar was blamed for Rey Mysterio losing the US Title to Logan Paul so that led to Escobar attacking Rey and injuring him in the storyline. Carlito was supposed to be in the match, but Escobar attacked Carlito on Smackdown, so Dragon Lee volunteered to take Carlito’s spot and Smackdown GM Nick Aldis said it was fine for Lee to be in Carlito’s place.

It should be a win for Escobar. I think when Rey Mysterio is back perhaps by Royal Rumble time or sooner we’ll see him against Escobar. Prior to that match, they need to give Escobar wins to make him look like a strong heel. There have been rumors of Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo from NXT joining Escobar to make a heel group, so we’ll see if it stars here or if that’s something to look for in the weeks ahead. I would be surprised if Dragon Lee won this match. I think Escobar will win what should be a pretty good match.

Winner: Santos Escobar

Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark

Rhea Ripley went from facing four opponents at Crown Jewel to facing just Zoey Stark here. I like how they did a battle royal to have Stark earn it. Sometimes I complain about WWE handing people title shots without earning it, so at least by winning a battle royal, Stark earned her opportunity here.

I am sure that WWE will do their best to make Stark look like a threat and have her come close to winning, but I am pretty confident in predicting a Ripley win. I think Ripley is going to hold the Women’s World Title until WrestleMania 40 when she faces Becky Lynch in what could be the Night 1 main event. Those two have been kept apart and it’s for a reason. Stark will put up a fight, but Ripley should win here.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz

I’m glad that the Intercontinental Title is back on a PLE since it wasn’t on the last three. Part of the reason why it wasn’t at Crown Jewel is GUNTHER’s travel issues. I just think GUNTHER needs to be on most PLE’s because he’s one of the best performers in the company that consistently has some of the best matches whenever he steps in the ring.

The Miz turning babyface was unexpected just because it failed in the past, but this is a different booking team with Triple H leading the way, so maybe it will work out this time. The story is that GUNTHER is the longest reigning IC Champion ever while The Miz is an 8-time champion so that means Miz, who earned the shot in a four-way match, is a viable contender for the title. That doesn’t mean I think Miz has a chance. However, they should do a nice job of creating some nearfalls before GUNTHER puts him away. I don’t know who will beat GUNTHER or when. Maybe Chad Gable or somebody else. I just don’t think it will be The Miz in this match. With that said, I think they will do a nice job of getting the Chicago crowd into it and The Miz might come close to winning, but the end result will be GUNTHER’s record-breaking IC Title reign continues.


Men’s WarGames Match: Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Randy Orton vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Drew McIntyre

This should be an awesome match like last year’s Men’s WarGames match. The story going into last year was probably a bit stronger due to the presence of The Bloodline group and all that came with it. However, I still like this story as well with The Judgment Day featured prominently on Raw throughout the year while Drew McIntyre’s heel turn is fresh since it was less than two weeks ago.

The babyface side of the team has a lot of popular guys with songs that the fans love to sing. Seth Rollins comes in with a lot of momentum as the World Heavyweight Champion, Cody Rhodes wins nearly every singles match he has, Jey Uso lost clean to Drew on Raw and Zayn is obviously one of the best wrestlers in the world too. They are a team that’s easy to root for.

Randy Orton being in the match is great because it’s literally been 18 months since we last saw him have a match in May 2022. Orton had major back surgery after that and at age 43, he’s back in action. Orton may get the loudest pop of his career during this match while the fans will probably be chanting “RKO” throughout the match. I also think any time Orton is in a match like this there will be fans predicting a heel turn. One scenario that would work is Orton turning on his buddy so that they can feud for a couple of months to keep Cody busy until he goes after Roman Reigns. However, I think WWE should keep Orton a face at this point in his career as a beloved legend. As I said, plenty of people are going to keep predicting an Orton heel turn just because of who it is. If it happens, I hope it works out, but I think it would be smarter to keep Orton as a heel. Turn him after WrestleMania. I don’t think it’s smart to do it now.

When looking at the heel side, I think it’s obvious they aren’t going to have Drew McIntyre take a pin any time soon, nor should they. I feel like Priest and Balor should be protected somewhat. That means if the heels lose, then I think the most likely guy to take the pin is McDonagh, who really hasn’t been pushed much on Raw at all. Dominik could get beat too because he’s a cheap heel.

There’s also the story about Damian Priest as Mr. Money in the Bank. Imagine a scenario where Priest brings his briefcase into the match when he enters and teases cashing in on Rollins during the WarGames match itself. I like it as something that people would remember. I don’t know if it’s going to happen, but just throwing it out there as a cool moment.

As soon as this match was announced, I leaned towards picking the babyfaces team and I think that’s what I’m going with officially. The heel men’s team won last year, so it’s time for the faces to get the win here. I see them going 35-40 minutes, it’ll be a great match that’s very even most of the way and I think Orton will pin McDonagh after an RKO. That’s just my hunch.

Winners: Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Randy Orton



The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Men’s WarGames Match.

The Match I Care About The Least

Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar.

Longest Match

Men’s WarGames Match. I think it will be 35-40 minutes.

Shortest Match

Rhea Ripley vs. Zoey Stark at around 12 minutes.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

It’s a 7.5 out of 10. The two WarGames matches will carry the show just because of how long they will be and the star power in those matches. I would love to see some twists & turns in those matches although I don’t know exactly what those would be. I think the non-WarGames matches could be better just because there is predictability with GUNTHER and Ripley likely winning their matches, so that hurts them a bit. I think in terms of match quality, it should be one of the better WWE PLEs this year.

I’ll be back with a review of WWE Survivor Series on on Saturday, so check that out live or any time after it’s over. You can also tweet me on X/Twitter at @johnreport as well.

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