Survivor Series 2016 is coming up on November 20th, but the teams to represent Raw and SmackDown have yet to be completely finalized. Several key members are missing on either of the brands (mostly Raw), so that means it’s up for speculation as to who will end up taking those spots, but if we use a little deductive reasoning, we can figure out the likely candidates.
Men’s Division Teams
This is by far the easiest of the bunch to figure out. All of SmackDown’s side has been determined and only one spot remains on Team Raw, with one obvious person standing out above the rest of the roster: Seth Rollins.
Both teams have their primary champions (Kevin Owens and AJ Styles) as well as a younger star (Braun Strowman and Baron Corbin), a veteran (Chris Jericho and Randy Orton) and a main eventer who is mostly in the upper midcard at the moment (Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt). Since SmackDown also has the number one contender to Styles’ championship (Dean Ambrose), it makes sense for the same to be applicable to Raw with Seth Rollins being on Owens’ team to cause the same amount of friction.
Who else would be on the team instead of Rollins? Most of the roster lost the qualifying battle royal, Brock Lesnar and Goldberg are busy in their own match, and nobody is rumored to be returning who would be a bigger deal than Rollins. Plus, The Architect isn’t going to simply sit the event out unless he was injured and unable to compete, nor would he be demoted to the tag team divisional match or wrestling against a jobber like Bo Dallas in the pre-show.
This is all but confirmed, and it’s odd WWE hasn’t just made the announcement already.
Team Raw = Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Chris Jericho, Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins
Team SmackDown = AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton
Women’s Division Teams
Not only does SmackDown have their five team members, they also have an extraneous coach in Natalya. The same can’t be said for Raw, which currently sits at Charlotte, Nia Jax and Bayley.
With two team members not currently settled upon and more than two women available to be placed in those roles, one big question looms over this match: is Sasha Banks injured?
If she isn’t and WWE doesn’t plan on putting her on the backburner for some reason, she is absolutely a necessity for Raw, with the final spot probably going to Dana Brooke. That way, Sasha and Bayley can be on the same page, Charlotte and Dana can work together, and Nia Jax can just be the monster between the two duos.
If by some chance Sasha Banks isn’t in the mix, it has to be one of the following, since Paige is still suspended: Summer Rae (who hasn’t been seen in God knows how long), Alicia Fox (who has only shown up a few times to lose to Nia Jax) and the re-debut of Emma as Emmalina. Nothing has been set in stone about when she’s going to return as it’s just being billed as “soon” which could mean any time from next week on Raw, at Survivor Series itself, or the episode of Raw after the event. Hell, WWE’s stretched things out long enough that she might not appear until 2017 for all we know, but this event seems as good a time as any for her to come back onto the roster.
Conspicuous by her absence this week, her loss to Charlotte and the alignment of Emmalina’s return makes me question Sasha’s involvement. However, the fact that they purposely ignored Dana’s inclusion on the team is very odd, too. I could see Sasha having to wrestle Dana for a spot on the team, beating her, and the last spot still going to Emmalina while Dana sits on the sidelines similar to Natalya.
Team Raw = Charlotte, Bayley, Nia Jax, Emmalina and Sasha Banks (with Dana Brooke)
Team SmackDown = Nikki Bella, Becky Lynch, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Naomi (with Natalya)
Tag Team Division Teams
At the moment, this is the match with the most amount of variables left open. One team is still yet to be determined for SmackDown, but on the flipside of things, only one team has been decided for Team Raw.
SmackDown currently consists of Heath Slater and Rhyno, American Alpha, The Hype Bros, and The Usos. While some of the remaining options have seemingly been taken out of the running, The Ascension, The Vaudevillains, Breezango, The Spirit Squad and The Headbangers are the tag teams hovering in the SmackDown atmosphere that could be picked from. The Wyatt Family appears to be out of the running since Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt are in the main match, leaving only Luke Harper left—unless he turns on Bray and allies himself with Kane. That would be pretty interesting, but I doubt it will happen. I also doubt we’ll see a different makeshift team of people like Apollo Crews and Jack Swagger or Curt Hawkins and someone. Since The Ascension, The Spirit Squad and The Headbangers all officially lost qualifying matches, I would guess Breezango and The Vaudevillains will have a match next week and one of them will move on. Seeing as how The Vaudevillains have been jobbing a lot since Simon Gotch had his fight with Sin Cara, my guess is Breezango get the final spot.
As far as Raw goes, we can obviously include Enzo and Cass along with Gallows and Anderson. Those are pretty much definites. Although they keep arguing with each other, I would be surprised if Cesaro and Sheamus split up before Survivor Series. As such, I’m banking on them being included in the tag team match. That would be an easy elimination where they can’t stay on the same page and the confusion leads to them falling victim to Team SmackDown.
That leaves one more spot open, which is then a bit questionable. The Shining Stars and The Golden Truth are viable tag teams, but they’re both awful. The cruiserweight division hasn’t had any crossover with the main roster, meaning any of those men are probably out of the running. People like Darren Young, Titus O’Neil, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel and Jinder Mahal aren’t doing anything and won’t be paired up with the people they’ve recently feuded with. Big bad Rusev will probably challenge for the Intercontinental Championship by answering Dolph Ziggler’s open challenge.
That leaves a pairing that WWE teased a little while back, but didn’t really do anything with: Sami Zayn and Neville. Since both were taken out of the running for the primary men’s team and they were the final two in the battle royal against Braun Strowman, I have a feeling they’re still on WWE’s radar and won’t be skipping the pay-per-view.