The moment that Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon laid down a challenge that would pit three teams of SmackDown stars against three teams from RAW, fans immediately began fantasy booking the final lineup for Survivor Series and how those traditional elimination matches would be set up. The tag teams and the women were a little easier considering the lack of depth in those divisions, so the men’s 5-on-5 match provided the most intrigue.
Because RAW held its brand-exclusive Hell In A Cell pay-per-view this past Sunday, the teams for Survivor Series only began forming Monday and Tuesday so that those story lines could be wrapped up or put on hold. SmackDown, on the other hand, could afford looking ahead to Survivor Series since their last pay-per-view ended on October 9.
In one fell swoop, Daniel Bryan announced his entire team for the men’s 5-on-5 match during his segment with The Miz on MizTV. He named Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt, Randy Orton, Dean Ambrose and AJ Styles to the team. On Monday night, Braun Strowman earned his way on to Team RAW by winning a battle royal, and joining Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho and Roman Reigns, appointed by Mick Foley apparently on merit alone.
According to Daily Wrestling News, there has been an image floating around social media that would indicate that Sami Zayn will be the fifth and final member of Team RAW at Survivor Series. You can see the image below, reportedly released by the WWE website. It’s the exact same as our featured image above, just with Zayn filled in the empty slot on the left.
Obviously, nothing has been confirmed as of yet and the plan was for that final participant to be revealed next week on RAW. It’s unclear whether this was done intentionally and it should be noted that it has since been removed, if it was ever there to begin with. The WWE has a habit of leaking their own surprises early, most recently when their app sent out an alert that Daniel Bryan would become the new General Manager of SmackDown before Shane actually revealed such.
The assumption all along has been that Seth Rollins would be the final member of the RAW team for Survivor Series, in order to continue his current story line along with Owens, Jericho and now Reigns. Roman and Seth had a moment to close out Monday night that brought back memories of The Shield.
Speaking of The Shield, we reported back in September that there were backstage discussions centered around the idea of reuniting the group at an upcoming pay-per-view. First and foremost, Reigns, Rollins and Dean Ambrose all had to be heels or babyfaces and that has since been accomplished. The show had to be a dual-branded pay-per-view and Survivor Series certainly qualifies. Having all three in the same match would definitely add an extra level of drama depending on how it played out. Especially with some iteration of the Wyatt Family looming.
If Zayn, in fact, is named to the Survivor Series team, it would raise a lot of questions as to what role Rollins might play at the event. He has an impending feud with Triple H, but that’s not scheduled until the Royal Rumble at the earliest. The fact that he just saved Reigns from a 2-on-1 attack from Jeri-KO should only be a further indication that their angle spill over into Survivor Series.
The only reason it makes some sense for Sami Zayn to be named to the team is that he was the first legitimate superstar to step up to Braun Strowman on his recent path of destruction. Zayn was also the final competitor eliminated from the battle royal Strowman won to qualify for the team.
There will only be two belts defended at Survivor Series, and unless Rollins unexpectedly accepts Dolph Ziggler’s open challenge, it wouldn’t make much sense for him to be placed anywhere else on the card except in the elimination match.
[Featured Image by WWE]