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Survivor Series is an upcoming professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) and WWE Network event, produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It is scheduled to take place on November 22, 2020 at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, and will feature WWE's virtual fan viewing experience called ThunderDome. It will be the 34th event under the Survivor Series chronology, and will celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Undertaker's WWE debut.
Survivor Series is an annual gimmick pay-per-view, produced every November by WWE since 1987. The second longest running pay-per-view event in history (behind WWE's WrestleMania), it is one of the promotion's original four pay-per-views, along with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble, and SummerSlam, dubbed the "Big Four". The event is traditionally characterized by having Survivor Series matches, which are tag team elimination matches that typically pits teams of four or five wrestlers against each other. Since WWE reintroduced the brand split in 2016, Survivor Series has centered around competition between Raw and SmackDown for brand supremacy. In September 2019, NXT, previously a developmental territory exclusive to the WWE Network, debuted on the USA Network, solidifying its status as WWE's third major brand, and was subsequently added to the brand competition theme. The 2020 event will be the 34th event under the Survivor Series chronology.
Beginning with the 2017 event, the champions of Raw have faced their SmackDown counterparts in non-title matches. With the addition of NXT for the 2019 event, the matches became triple threat matches between the three brands' champions, but without NXT's involvement for 2020, the matches returned to being between Raw and SmackDown's champions. The 2020 Survivor Series will feature Raw's WWE Champion against SmackDown's Universal Champion, the Raw Women's Champion facing the SmackDown Women's Champion, Raw's United States Champion going against SmackDown's Intercontinental Champion, and the Raw Tag Team Champions facing off with the SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE presented the majority of its programming from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since mid-March with no fans in attendance, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at the Amway Center, a larger venue also located in Orlando, for the "foreseeable future", beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called the "WWE ThunderDome", which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately 1,000 LED boards were installed in the Amway Center to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard. WWE's initial agreement with the Amway Center expired on October 31, but with the option to extend the contract with a two weeks notice. On October 12, PWInsider reported that the contract had been extended, with Fightful revealing the amended contract's expiration date as November 24.
411Mania reported that the COVID-19 pandemic was a reason that the NXT brand would not be involved in the event, unlike the previous year's Survivor Series. Outbreaks of the virus have occurred at both of NXT's home arenas, Full Sail University and now the WWE Performance Center, prompting WWE to exclude NXT wrestlers from the event to avoid potential transmission of the virus to members of the Raw and SmackDown rosters.
The show will comprise matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw, SmackDown, and NXT brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw, Friday Night SmackDown, and NXT.
Survivor Series elimination matches
Qualifying matches for the men's Survivor Series elimination match began on the October 26 episode of Raw. AJ Styles, Keith Lee, and Sheamus earned the first three spots on Team Raw by defeating Jeff Hardy, Elias, and Matt Riddle, respectively. The following week, Braun Strowman qualified for the team by defeating Lee and Sheamus in a triple threat match. Team SmackDown's first two members were determined on the October 30 episode of SmackDown. Kevin Owens and Jey Uso qualified by defeating Dolph Ziggler and Daniel Bryan, respectively. The following week, King Corbin and Seth Rollins qualified by defeating Rey Mysterio and Otis, respectively.
For the women's Survivor Series elimination match, all five of Team Raw's members were initially revealed on the October 26 episode of Raw. WWE officials Adam Pearce and Pat Buck announced that WWE Women's Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, along with Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke, would represent Team Raw. The fifth and final spot was determined by a fatal four-way match that night, which Lana won by defeating Lacey Evans, Peyton Royce, and Nikki Cross. On the November 16 episode of Raw, due to Jax and Baszler attacking Rose's arm during a tag team match, and then RETRIBUTION's Reckoning later attacking Brooke backstage, both Rose and Brooke were deemed unable to compete at Survivor Series, thus Pearce announced that they would be replaced by Evans and Royce. Team SmackDown's first member was determined on the October 30 episode of SmackDown. Bianca Belair won the spot by defeating Billie Kay and Natalya in a triple threat match. Ruby Riott won the second spot on the following episode, where she defeated Natalya and Zelina Vega in a triple threat match. On the November 13 episode, Liv Morgan qualified by defeating Chelsea Green, Natalya, and Tamina in a fatal four-way match.
Champions brand supremacy matches
All four of the champions brand supremacy matches were announced on the October 26 episode of Raw. At the time, it was announced that Raw's WWE Champion Randy Orton would face SmackDown's Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Raw Women's Champion Asuka would face SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks, Raw's United States Champion Bobby Lashley would face SmackDown's Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, and Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) would face SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford).
Over the next few weeks, five of the champions defended their titles before Survivor Series, with four of them retaining to keep the matchups the same as initially announced. SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks retained her title against Bayley on the November 6 episode of SmackDown, Bobby Lashley retained the United States Championship against Titus O'Neil on the November 9 episode of Raw, Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn retained his title against Apollo Crews on the November 13 episode of SmackDown, and The New Day retained their Raw Tag Team Championship against The Hurt Business' Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin on the November 16 episode of Raw. Also during this time, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits tried to get info on their Survivor Series opponents from former New Day member Big E, who basically told them that New Day would win. The men's world championship matchup, however, changed. After losing the WWE Championship to Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell on October 25, Drew McIntyre was given a rematch for the title, but before that, McIntyre appeared on the November 13 episode of SmackDown to confront Universal Champion Roman Reigns, despite not being the WWE Champion. McIntyre would go on and defeat Orton to win back the WWE Championship on the November 16 episode of Raw, thus becoming Reigns' opponent at Survivor Series.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Team Raw (AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Riddle and Sheamus) vs. Team SmackDown (Kevin Owens, King Corbin, Jey Uso, Seth Rollins, and Otis) in a 5-on-5 men's Survivor Series elimination match
- Team Raw (Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lana, Lacey Evans, and Peyton Royce) vs. Team SmackDown (Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, Bayley, and Natalya) in a 5-on-5 women's Survivor Series elimination match
- The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) (Raw Tag Team Champions) vs. The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford) (SmackDown Tag Team Champions)
- Drew McIntyre (Raw's WWE Champion) vs. Roman Reigns (SmackDown's Universal Champion) (w/ Paul Heyman)
Survivor Series elimination matches
Other on-screen talent
- Survivor Series 2020 Official Website
- [ Survivor Series 2020 Kickoff on WWE Network]
- [ Survivor Series 2020 on WWE Network]
- [ Survivor Series 2020 Kickoff at CAGEMATCH.net]
- Survivor Series 2020 at CAGEMATCH.net
|Survivor Series 2020 previews|
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