Five Of The Best Raw vs. Smackdown Single Matches At Survivor Series

11/1/2023 5:01 PM

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Five Of The Best Raw vs. Smackdown Single Matches At Survivor Series

Five Of The Best Raw vs. Smackdown Single Matches At Survivor Series

November 1, 2023 5:01 PM
Five Of The Best Raw vs. Smackdown Single Matches At Survivor Series
WWE News

The matches that best represent the Raw vs. Smackdown showcase that has taken place at Survivor Series.

Say what you will about the countless years of RAW vs. Smackdown “rivalry” during the late era of Vince McMahon, but that brand warfare did manage to produce several incredible matches that stand the test of time. However, brand warfare goes back deeper into the early 2000s when Teddy Long and Eric Bischoff infamously had a match at Survivor Series 2005 (don’t worry, that match is nowhere near this list).

Names such as Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, and CM Punk competed in brand warfare. Which five are the best of the best when it comes to the former tradition of Survivor Series? This list will narrow down the best singles or multi-man (or woman) matches that are some of the best in WWE history.

Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles (Survivor Series 2017)

Brock Lesnar rarely has a bad match. That could’ve been the case if Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar originally took place. Instead, WWE made the right call to put AJ Styles in the driver’s seat for Smackdown and this bout lived up to the high expectations that many fans set.

One of the best moments was when Styles had Lesnar in the calf crush, and the former WWE Universal Champion smashed Styles’s head into the mat just to get out of it. The battle of speed vs. strength transitioned well here, and despite Styles losing, the “Phenomenal One” actually gained some huge momentum in defeat. An incredible match, even though it barely had any story going into it.

Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan (Survivor Series 2018)

A bizarre match that still worked. Daniel Bryan just turned heel to beat Styles for the WWE title. Brock Lesnar was still a heel at this point. Still, they managed to work a David vs. Goliath story without either man changing their respective characters.

The match was incredible the minute the bell rang. Lesnar typically works best with smaller opponents, and having a master technician as his opponent only helped even further. That low-blow/ running knee combo was an amazing near fall, and that low-blow move only works because Daniel Bryan is a heel. The bout lived up to the hype, and it’s a shame that there wasn’t a Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan II as these guys deserved a grant stage like WrestleMania with a solid story backing them.

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch (Survivor Series 2021)

The only women’s match on the list. I strongly considered Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair, but that match-up had an oddball ending that logically didn’t make much sense. The reason Flair vs. Lynch is so darn good is due to the title swap fiasco weeks prior.

It was reported that Flair went off script and Becky followed suit. The company was wise to go with those reports and it produced a strong story going into Survivor Series 2021. The match was more physical than most WWE women’s matches, and the constant insults helped create the intensity and animosity that had built up before then. These two were in perfect sync with one another, from the constant counter of holds to the emotional weight they both carried throughout the bout, the only negative is that the match did end in an anti-climatic fashion.

It wasn’t much of a surprise that this was an excellent match as these two have a great track record, but the added depth to their story gave the otherwise meaningless bout some much-needed juice.

The Shield vs. The New Day (Survivor Series 2017)

Like Lesnar, The Shield rarely had bad matches. While this is no Wyatt Family vs. The Shield, this was still a strong bout against two of WWE’s most notable factions. The clash of styles and characters only helped boost the appeal of the tag team match, and it didn’t disappoint from a storytelling perspective. The Shield will always go down as one of the best factions of the modern era and this match only further proved how great Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, and Roman Reigns were together.

Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Triple Threat Match (Survivor Series 2019)

Raw (Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Kevin Owens, Ricochet & Drew McIntyre) vs. Smackdown (King Corbin, Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Mustafa Ali & Shorty G) vs. NXT (Keith Lee, Tommaso Ciampa, Matt Riddle, Damian Priest & WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER)

Other than the stupid choice to eliminate WALTER (aka GUNTHER) in the first three minutes of the match, this was really good. The inclusion of NXT at Survivor Series 2019 did wonders for the overall concept. This wasn’t the mess that it looked like it would be on paper. The matches were more intriguing and it was fun to see the NXT brand mix it up with some of the main roster veterans.

The highlight here was Keith Lee, who was designed to be the star of the bout. He eliminated Seth Rollins, and had an excellent encounter with Roman Reigns in the finals. It’s a shame that WWE mishandled the former NXT Champion as he was gaining steam during this time. This match proved that he belonged with the big dogs and the match helped bring more attention to names like Riddle, Priest, and Ciampa.

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