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 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
Bianca Belair, Carmella, Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, and Queen Zelina Vega
As discussed on the weak link post, I don’t think we can count on Carmella or Liv Morgan pulling their own weight, let alone making up for anyone else. Vega’s doing well lately, relatively speaking, but even she isn’t going to be scoring multiple eliminations.
This ultimately comes down to Belair and Ripley as the two likely survivors. My initial reaction was to say Belair is going to get the sole survivor spot, but I’m starting to doubt that. Now, I think both she and Ripley will survive. That kind of kills the whole “sole” part of it, but that’s not a necessity. We’ve had entire teams not get eliminated.
I can definitely see a situation popping up where these two both manage to win it for Team Raw so they’re both in the contention for a title shot down the line. It offsets Belair losing the title and such recently and it gives Ripley more of a reason to challenge Becky Lynch down the line.
Sole Survivor = Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley shared
WOMEN’S SMACKDOWN TEAM
Aliyah, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Shayna Baszler and Shotzi Blackheart
There are really only two options here: Sasha Banks and Shayna Baszler.
Aliyah’s likely the weak link, Natalya is rarely the most featured player and Shotzi’s getting a different sort of push. She’s also a heel, and since Charlotte Flair is champion and a heel in her own right, it’s even less likely she’d get past the hurdle of being fresh on the roster (after spending months being ignored) in order to fight Flair now that it would be heel/heel.
That would seemingly rule out Baszler, too, wouldn’t it? However, The Queen of Spades had a rather dominant streak resurgence lately before Crown Jewel. WWE could be wanting to bring her back into that sort of character. As we’ve seen her run through the Elimination Chamber before, maybe she’ll do the same against Team Raw.
More likely, though, if anyone’s going to be a sole survivor (if Team SmackDown even wins, of course), it will be The Boss. Winning this can give her a reason to challenge The Queen for the SmackDown Women’s Championship on an episode of TV over December or at WWE Day 1 on January 1st.
My gut is telling me SmackDown loses this match, Baszler is the last one eliminated by Belair, and that that’s that. But if the blue team does win, I think Banks will be the reason why.
Sole Survivor = Sasha Banks
MEN’S RAW TEAM
Dominik Mysterio, Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins
General rule of thumb: if you have someone who is the opposite heel/face of the current champion and is in line for a title shot, there’s a good chance they will win this match for their team so they can look stronger going into that match.
Dominik Mysterio has no chance. Everyone else has at least a slight possibility of being a sole survivor. If WWE wants to keep things interesting, Kevin Owens will be the one to pull this off so they can make a Rollins vs. Owens vs. Big E triple threat scenario.
However, I think it’s as straightforward as “if Raw wins, it’s because of Seth Rollins” so he can gloat that he’s responsible for pulling this off and he deserves a proper title match against Big E.
I actually don’t think that will happen, though. My bet is on Team SmackDown winning, and for a similar reason, but with different spins.
Sole Survivor = Seth Rollins
MEN’S SMACKDOWN TEAM
Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, King Xavier Woods and Sami Zayn
Simply put, apply the same logic from the Rollins situation and apply it to Drew McIntyre and you’ve got the next challenger against Roman Reigns.
I do not at all think anyone else is going to be a survivor on this team. This is 100% something for The Scottish Warrior to take charge in. He’s one of the only people who could realistically face The Tribal Chief at any of the upcoming pay-per-views leading into WrestleMania (or, alternatively, at that show in particular)
Some people are banking on McIntyre vs. Reigns happening there. I don’t think so. My prediction is that WWE did this suspension thing with Brock Lesnar to get past Royal Rumble and revisit this at WrestleMania for the third time.
McIntyre will be the opponent filling in the gap. He’ll win this Survivor Series match for his team/brand and use that as a catalyst to say he deserves a title shot. They’ll dawdle for December, possibly fight on Day 1 where it’ll end in some sort of controversy, setting up a rematch for Royal Rumble, which The Beast Incarnate will probably win so he can just say “I’ll see you at WrestleMania, Roman” and disappear for February and March.
Elimination Chamber will take place in the meantime with McIntyre likely in that along with a handful of other people—possibly not as its own event, but at Super ShowDown if they’re returning to Saudi Arabia in February. Then, WWE’s managed to take what happens at Survivor Series and use that as a bridge between Crown Jewel and WrestleMania and they’ll just hope that people don’t get frustrated (or, they simply won’t care if fans are annoyed at that).
Sole Survivor = Drew McIntyre
What is your assessment of these teams? Drop your thoughts of weak links and anchor teammates in the comments below!