At the end of the day, all it takes is one person to be left on your team at Survivor Series for your side to claim victory. Sometimes, it gets down to the wire and all the glory is riding on one particular superstar to secure the win—sometimes even against insurmountable odds.
But it’s been done many times in the past. Randy Orton and Dolph Ziggler are two of the best at it, having been the “sole survivor” of their teams multiple times.
Being the last remaining teammate standing can be the start of a big push to someone’s career. Sometimes, it even leads to a title opportunity at something like TLC a few weeks later. It’s far from just another pat on the shoulder type of accolade.
With that in mind, who stand the best chances of being sole survivors from their teams this year?
Let’s examine all four squads and pick the one person who, if they’re lucky enough to survive by themselves, will have the full scope of the spotlight on them.
WOMEN’S RAW TEAM
Lacey Evans, Lana, Nia Jax, Peyton Royce and Shayna Baszler
The way WWE books things, I wouldn’t be shocked if Lana is the sole survivor, rather than the weak link. Having her get put through a table for weeks, just to get some surprise roll-up victory at the end or whatever wouldn’t surprise me.
But while everyone else is more deserving of the sole survivor spot in terms of pure wrestling ability and credibility, that doesn’t mean they stand more of a chance to be in that position.
Peyton Royce has been lost without Billie Kay. There’s no way she’s getting this honor out of nowhere.
Lacey Evans hasn’t had much to do in a long while. She has what it takes to get a solid push, but you’d think if WWE was serious about that, she would have gotten that push months if not a year or so ago.
It’s really up to WWE whether they’d want Nia Jax to be the sole winner so she could gloat, or if they’d lean toward credibility and logic by going with Shayna Baszler.
For my money, I’d rather The Queen of Spades be in that position. If this team does win (and I don’t think it will), I think Jax AND Baszler will be the final two remaining, or only one of them will and that will be a point of contention.
I could see a scenario where Baszler gets that distinction so it pisses Jax off, but Jax can still claim to have led them to victory and try to steal some of the glory. The “I softened them up for you” approach, in a sense.
Sole Survivor = Shayna Baszler
WOMEN’S SMACKDOWN TEAM
Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Ruby Riott, TBA and TBA
As it stands, there are two missing members of the women’s SmackDown team with no proper indication of who those women might be. I’d venture a guess one of them is Bayley, as she should be moving away from her feud with Sasha Banks to make room for Carmella, who I don’t think is going to be on the team.
The other one is either Natalya, who finally gets her spot on the team after failing numerous qualifiers, or possibly Billie Kay to balance out Peyton Royce now being on Team Raw. Then again, maybe the reason we saw Rhea Ripley lose to Io Shirai the way she did on NXT was to move her up to fill in the spot Chelsea Green was going to play on SmackDown. Then, she’ll be the other member of the team.
However, when it comes to a sole survivor on this team, I feel like the clear pick is Bianca Belair. Morgan and Riott don’t serve a purpose for that kind of honor. Bayley could pull it off, but she wouldn’t need it and it would just lead to her wanting to use that as an excuse to get another title shot and renew that feud. We don’t need to find excuses to rehash that. Carmella could get that spot and use it to challenge Banks, but she can just keep attacking The Boss and get a shot at the belt that way. Billie Kay and Natalya? Absolutely not.
Either Ripley is on the team and they give the “sole survivor” spot to her and/or Belair, or it’s just Belair, who has been a standout and was the first person who made the team to begin with. At the very least, she’s the one I’m hoping gets the nod.
Sole Survivor = Bianca Belair
MEN’S RAW TEAM
AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Sheamus
Braun Strowman has had his time in the sun. I’m a big fan of the guy, but repeating that again over giving the honor to someone else just seems foolish.
AJ Styles doesn’t need it. It would make sense, with him calling himself the team’s captain and all, but I’ll pass on that. The same goes for Sheamus not needing it.
Matt Riddle could very well fit the part, but with his lawsuit problems going on, it makes sense for WWE to play it safe with him for right now. He may not be the riskiest person in the world to push, but there’s a much better option for that accolade: Keith Lee.
Lee is one of the two largest athletes in the match and was a star in last year’s bout for Team NXT. He came just short of doing this then and since he has future world champion written all over him, why not give him the nod this year?
Sole Survivor = Keith Lee
MEN’S SMACKDOWN TEAM
Jey Uso, Kevin Owens, King Corbin, Seth Rollins and TBA
Just like SmackDown is missing two women, it’s also missing someone on the men’s team. I also think there’s a chance Seth Rollins gets replaced with Buddy Murphy, but that’s yet to be seen.
The final member of the team could be a number of people. Maybe Otis gets a second chance. Maybe Big E, Chad Gable, Aleister Black, Apollo Crews or a handful of others get on there. It could also be Lars Sullivan. That final member is the key to the sole survivor picture.
I can’t see Jey Uso or King Corbin filling the spot. They’re heels and Uso is already aligned with Roman Reigns, so unless this is just to make him seem better off after having turned heel, I don’t see the purpose. I’d rather them just give him the Intercontinental Championship if that were the case. Corbin’s great in a lot of ways, but he doesn’t have any momentum pushing him in this direction.