What If Survivor Series Had Raw vs. SmackDown Brand Warfare Teams for 2022?


For the first time since the 2016 Brand Split, WWE is not going to have Team Raw vs. Team SmackDown in brand warfare at Survivor Series. This year, there will be WarGames matches instead, foregoing the “traditional elimination match” and going more by storyline group theme feuds.

But what if this was going to continue? Hypothetically, who would be on the men’s and women’s teams for Raw and SmackDown in the battle for brand supremacy?

Let’s take a look at the rosters and try to determine the best options available and some predictions for what WWE would likely have done had this been the game plan.

The Champion vs. Champion Situation

First things first, we’d have to take out all the champions from this potential list. If this were back to the brand warfare lineup, they wouldn’t be on the teams as they’d be facing each other.

Roman Reigns has no opposite brand equivalent. He’d either sit this event out entirely or just defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Likewise for The Usos.

But Bianca Belair vs. Ronda Rousey would be a thing, for sure. So would Gunther against Seth Rollins with the midcard titles matching up. That wouldn’t be a feud I would normally anticipate, so I think had this been WWE’s plan, they would have sat on Rollins winning the title, waited to pull the trigger on Bobby Lashley dropping the belt, and we’d have gotten Gunther against Lashley.

Damage CTRL as women’s tag team champions and Dana Brooke as the 24/7 champion don’t factor in as much. They simply don’t care about those belts, so they could easily have Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky on Team Raw for the women or put them in a title defense. As far as I’m concerned, they’re still on the board to pick from. Brooke’s only defending that belt on house shows, too, but there are bigger fish to fry anyway, so they wouldn’t bother dwelling on if/how to use her. Let’s be honest about that.

Team Raw – Men

Raw has a good number of options, but mostly 10 who stand out to me.

I would rule out The Judgment Day entirely. They aren’t team players. Neither is Dexter Lumis. Obviously, injured talent like Cody Rhodes, R-Truth and Tommaso Ciampa are off the table.

My core 10 I’m debating about are AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Baron Corbin, Johnny Gargano, Kevin Owens, Matt Riddle, The Miz, Mustafa Ali, Seth Rollins and Omos. Remember, Rollins isn’t United States champion, most likely. But if he is, just swap him out for Lashley.

For that matter, you can pretty much lock in the Rollins/Lashley pick. There’s no way either of them would be left off the card. If anything, they would potentially be the team captain.

Matt Riddle seems like a given. He’s too big of a name and too fun to have on this crew for team spirit and backstage segments that you can’t pass him up.

Given the circumstances of the feud, I think Gargano would beat The Miz to get a spot on the team. He’s a fresh new member of the main roster, too, so it would be nice to see him competing.

I could easily see Baron Corbin taking out Mustafa Ali for a spot. Ali perpetually falls short of his goals and just isn’t as big of a star by any means. Having some heels make sense, too, and if Corbin is in the midst of a big push, you can’t disregard him. He’d also be great for creating some tension on the team.

That leaves only one spot left for Styles, Theory, Owens and Omos. Tough pick, right?

If we’re thinking logically, instead of writing for a show, Omos would be Raw’s selection due to his size. But I think he’s the easiest to just disregard and not focus on. The other three all would need a reason to not be on the team.

Maybe Styles is busy feuding with The Judgment Day and can lose to Theory, while Owens is M.I.A. overall and they wait to pull the trigger on his next feud. That seems to be the situation going on right now. Plus, Theory balances out Riddle as an obnoxious heel instead of a lovable babyface.

Team SmackDown – Men

In particular, 9 names stand out to me, since I don’t see guys like Bray Wyatt in this match, nor members of The Bloodline, and you can rule out lower-priority talent like Shanky and Humberto Carrillo.

Braun Strowman is a lock. So is Drew McIntyre, unless they wanted to give that spot to Karrion Kross, cause they couldn’t both be on the same team, but I think McIntyre suits it better.

Madcap Moss and Ricochet have potential to be on the team, but I’d put LA Knight over them. He’s newer and fresher, so it would be more interesting.

The remaining two would be picked from Rey Mysterio, Sheamus and Shinsuke Nakamura.

I’m going out on a limb here and saying that in this “what if” hypothetical, if I were on WWE Creative, I would be looking at how to keep everyone busy, so I would have The Brawling Brutes in that feud with The Bloodline happening around this moment a little closer, rather than seemingly coming more to a close around Crown Jewel. That would allow me to keep Sheamus out of it and put the focus on the other two.

I’m not sure I would have a position going on right now with Mysterio going up against Gunther as a holding pattern to avoid Dominik. Plus, Gunther would be busy with Lashley in the champions showcase, right? So if anything, Rey would be trying to find a new footing on SmackDown and want to prove himself on the new brand, making him a perfect person for this team.

That means Mysterio gets on there, as well as Nakamura.

Team Raw – Women

I’m going to assume Becky Lynch isn’t ready to return, nor is Carmella. That leaves Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Bayley, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai, Dana Brooke, Doudrop, Iyo Sky, Nikki Cross, Rhea Ripley and Tamina Snuka on the current Raw roster of women, without doing any random trades or working Sasha Banks and Naomi into there and putting them on Raw.

Of those, I’d prioritize the heels. There aren’t enough babyfaces worthwhile to make a team of five, and a mix of heels and faces likely wouldn’t work together well after they’ve been feuding so much. Bayley and Asuka, for instance, aren’t going to get along.

The most logical to me is Bayley, Dakota Kai, Iyo Sky, Rhea Ripley and Nikki Cross for Team Raw. An alternative would be Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Candice LeRae, and then, maybe they could have gotten away with turning Doudrop babyface and having Rhea Ripley as an outsider heel, but Banks and Naomi would be the real way to go. Since they haven’t popped up yet, I’ll go with the first team.

Team SmackDown – Women

SmackDown has more women on the roster right now than Raw if you count Sasha Banks and Naomi, but as stated, they’re limbo picks and can’t really count. What’s also hurting SmackDown is that a good number of talent aren’t exactly the equivalents of the Raw Superstars.

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