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Predicting the match order at WWE Survivor Series 2016

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It's one thing to predict the winners and losers at WWE's Survivor Series 2016, but how about taking a guess at the match order on that card?

WWE has announced 6 different matches for Survivor Series 2016, excluding the 2-hour pre-show.

Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 6 segments rank on the Survivor Series 2016 card, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar
  2. Team Owens vs Team Styles
  3. Team Charlotte vs Team Becky
  4. Team New Day vs Team Slater and Rhyno
  5. The Miz vs Sami Zayn
  6. Brian Kendrick vs Kalisto

It is important to come up with a list like this to get an idea of which matches are going to be placed in the key spots on the card or take up the most time, and which matches might end up in the cool-down spots or be given the least amount of time.

Goldberg’s match is the heavy favorite to main event the show, but I would leave a small chance open for Shane McMahon’s match to take that spot, if the booking of the finish requires that it go on last. These are clearly the two most important matches of the night.

The women’s match seems like a safe pick for the 3rd most important match, and this was established by the fact that the Raw women invaded SmackDown with a sneak attack. That cross-brand interaction has been missing from the New Day’s match.

The bottom three entries on the list are somewhat interchangeable, and it could be argued that New Day’s match should actually be ranked last due to the lack of stakes. But New Day’s match will also likely get much more time than Miz or Kendrick.

If I had to pick one filler match out of the bunch I would choose the Cruiserweight match, mostly because that division has not been presented as being important just yet, and Kalisto has been missing from television for a long time.

General structure of the card

The last time WWE ran 3 traditional Survivor Series elimination tag team matches on the main card of a pay-per-view (PPV) was at Survivor Series 2009. That card also happened to include 6 total matches, with a main event that was separate from the elimination tag team matches. I am going to model Survivor Series 2016 exactly off of that card, and so the general structure will look like this:

Segment 1: Survivor Series tag team match
Segment 2: Other
Segment 3: Survivor Series tag team match
Segment 4: Other
Segment 5: Survivor Series tag team match
Segment 6: Main event

I think this structure is reasonable because it prevents any of the lengthy elimination tag team matches from running in back-to-back segments. There would be no other way to accomplish that goal without moving Goldberg’s match out of the main event segment.

Putting it all together

I will immediately choose Goldberg’s match as the main event and Shane McMahon’s match as the final Survivor Series tag team match. That takes care of Segment 5 and Segment 6, producing this lineup:

Segment 1: Becky OR New Day
Segment 2: Miz OR Kendrick
Segment 3: Becky OR New Day
Segment 4: Miz OR Kendrick
Segment 5: Team Owens vs Team Styles
Segment 6: Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar

I think it makes sense to run these two matches consecutively at the end of the night because Goldberg’s match could be a very short main event, and Shane’s match will certainly compensate for that shortcoming.

The next puzzle to crack is whether Becky or New Day are opening the card. This is mostly a toss-up, but I’m going to stick with the tag team division because WWE has shown a preference for starting their PPVs with pre-match promos from Enzo or New Day.

That means Becky ends up in Segment 3.

The final item to tackle is the placement of the Cruiserweight and Intercontinental championship matches. I look at Kalisto’s match as a cool-down match, and I think WWE might run it right before the two big matches in Segment 5 and Segment 6. The Intercontinental championship match has at least a small chance to steal the show, and WWE might not want to risk placing that match as the lead-in to the two biggest matches of the night.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Survivor Series 2016, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times.

Segment 1: Team New Day vs Team Slater and Rhyno (23 minutes)
Segment 2: The Miz vs Sami Zayn (15)
Segment 3: Team Charlotte vs Team Becky (25)
Segment 4: Brian Kendrick vs Kalisto (9)
Segment 5: Team Owens vs Team Styles (37)
Segment 6: Goldberg vs Brock Lesnar (10)

These match times are ridiculously hard to predict due to the rare occurrence of these elimination tag team matches combined with the card running 4 hours long. A 4-hour card usually leads to somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 minutes of total match time. I doubt that Goldberg will be expected to go more than 10 minutes, so a few of the undercard matches could have some extra time to work with, unless WWE simply goes overboard with pre-match segments or backstage segments.

That's my prediction for the match order at Survivor Series 2016. What's yours?