Team Raw (AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Keith Lee, & Riddle) vs. Team SmackDown (Seth Rollins, King Corbin, Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, & Otis)
Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
It’s that time of year again!
No, I’m not referring to the time where radio stations play Christmas music and commercials play before Thanksgiving even happens. (Though it is that time too.) I’m talking about Survivor Series! The one time of year that Raw and SmackDown go head to head except for all the other times!
Mild snark aside, these often actually end up being rather fun matches. It’s a mishmash of guys who don’t like each other teaming up to face other guys who don’t like each other. It could lead to some high drama as members start to get eliminated, other’s have to step up and carry the burden. It could advance feuds or build new ones.
It’s the build to the match that is bland because of the lack of stakes. So the motivation is missing. There’s no actual reason for these men to put their differences aside and work together. There’s no reward, such as the winning brand getting preferential spots in the Royal Rumble match. It’s all about bragging rights. And when the WWE Draft was only last month, half the men in this match were actually on the other brand before that, so there’s no real loyalty to fight for. With no General Manager on each show (something that is in general a good thing), there’s not even a directive from the top that they have to perform to beat their rival show.
That’s why it’s easy to roll our eyes at this match. Because WWE fails to give us a reason to get invested prior to the bell ringing. But when the bell rings, we should be in for a good time. So let’s take a look at this year’s men’s elimination match.
On paper, Raw looks to have the stronger team. They have a tad more championship pedigree (with three former world champs in Styles, Strowman, & Sheamus compared to two on the SmackDown side in Rollins and Owens). They certainly have the size advantage with Braun Strowman, Sheamus, and Keith Lee. King Corbin is the biggest guy on the SmackDown side by far.
Raw is just more threatening top to bottom. AJ Styles is one of the best in the world. Braun Stromwan is a monster of a man. Sheamus is a tough SOB. Keith Lee was a stud in last year’s Survivor Series match. Riddle is the only person close to a weak link.
SmackDown is fairly strong at the top with Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens, King Corbin can be a factor but also will lose fairly frequently. Jey Uso’s ascent was sudden, but just days ago he lost to a man who’s not on the team. And Otis is still more of a comedy act despite an amateur pedigree and Alpha Academy guidance.
The Raw team has been more featured on television. And that’s exposed their only weakness. They all hate each other. Self-proclaimed captain AJ Styles cannot get them on the same page. A team implosion is likely the only reason they lose tonight.
However, their issues are mainly ego based with no real bad blood between the members. SmackDown’s team has a little more personal animosity.
Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins had a feud big enough that it found its way onto the WrestleMania card this year. Kevin Owens also has issues with Jey Uso, who weeks back was instructed by his cousin Roman Reigns to make an example of KO, which he did when he used a low blow to beat him. And in general, King Corbin is a bigger jerk than anyone on the Raw team.
So my money is on Team Raw, who could likely survive minor issues to beat SmackDown. It would take an all out explosion for the blue team to take this. But regardless of who wins, the match itself should be pretty fun.
Raw and SmackDown collide tonight at WWE Survivor Series, which airs tonight at 7 PM ET on the WWE Network. Keep it here to CagesideSeats.com for all of your Survivor Series coverage.
Who will win this match?
This poll is closed