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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Predictions for WWE Raw, SmackDown, NXT and AEW Dynamite After Hell in a Cell

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    Credit: WWE.com

    In the wake of the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, WWE turns its attention to the annual fall classic that is Survivor Series, while NXT focuses on Wednesday’s Halloween Havoc and All Elite Wrestling sets its sights on Full Gear on November 7.

    Those three events will dictate this week’s television, including the first episodes of Raw and SmackDown on the road to Survivor Series. 

    What feuds will present themselves, which stars will win championship gold and what dream match will AEW add to its upcoming PPV card?

    Find out with these predictions for the week to come.

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    Since the reintroduction of the brand split in 2016, WWE has booked its Survivor Series pay-per-view around the war for supremacy between Raw and SmackDown. Last year’s show incorporated NXT into the proceedings to raise the stakes a bit.

    While there have yet to be any indicators that WWE will go that route with the 2020 show, Monday will give us the first indication that the red and blue brands will again oppose each other at the annual November spectacular.

    With new rosters to work with, and intriguing champion vs. champion programs to promote (McIntyre vs. Reigns, anyone?!), there are a wealth of creative opportunities for WWE to craft a Survivor Series card that ranks among the best in recent memory.

    Especially if you throw NXT into the mix.

    With only four weeks between Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series, the company’s writing teams will have to begin promoting the show as soon as Monday’s show if it plans on sticking to the plans of recent years and staging a battle for brand supremacy on November 22.

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    NXT presents its Halloween Havoc special Wednesday on USA Network, headlined by Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest for the North American Championship and Candice LeRae vs. Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship.

    Two of the top heels on the brand’s expansive roster, they have incurred the wrath of special guest host Shotzi Blackheart, who announced that their title opportunities will be subjected to the Spin The Wheel, Make A Deal gimmick.

    Like all great heels, though, Gargano and LeRae will infuriatingly survive the gimmicks placed on them and emerge the show with their respective titles.

    Priest has been great as a babyface in the same vein as Razor Ramon, and Shirai has been as consistently great a champion as NXT has had since Asuka, but the heels really need to win here to change things up and give the audience two villains to root against.

    The babyfaces who will chase those titles will be better off for it, as will the black and gold brand as a whole.

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    We have known from the moment the World Title Eliminator tournament was announced by AEW that the finals would feature Kenny Omega and Hangman Page battling for the right to challenge for the company’s top prize.

    After impressive wins in the opening round, they will advance past the semifinals and set up a showdown for the Full Gear pay-per-view on November 7.

    To do so, Page will have to defeat the massive Wardlow while Omega will have to defeat Penta El Zero M, who steps in for his injured brother, Rey Fenix.

    Both of those matches are winnable, no matter how tough a challenge either Wardlow or Penta put up.

    Page and Omega were reluctant partners, a tandem that reigned as AEW World Tag Team Champions for 288 days and delivered some of the best matches in the short history of the company. They have gone their separate ways since losing the straps to FTR, Page a loner while Omega has adopted a more arrogant heel persona.

    Their match should be another Match of the Year candidate featuring two of the cornerstones of The Elite, all setup by their victories on this Wednesday’s show.

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    Last Friday’s loss to “The Freak” Lars Sullivan awakened a monster within Shorty G, causing the former Olympian to denounce the stupid name and revert back to being Chad Gable.

    It will prove to be the best possible career more for Gable, who struggled to be taken seriously with the ridiculous name and ring gear.

    The move comes almost a year after adopting the name, on the heels of a stellar King of the Ring Tournament performance. And justifiably so.

    The gimmick was one that would have struggled to get over in the kid-heavy early 1990s WWE, let alone some 30 years later. Gable is too talented to be wasted as a glorified jobber, beaten down and pinned every week by lesser-talented Superstars who receive two-times the push he ever has.

    While the length of the push remains to be seen, expect the former amateur wrestler to capture the spotlight starting Friday night and embark on a run that rivals anything he has been given the opportunity to do to this point in his main roster career.

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