At the moment, the teams for the traditional elimination match at this year’s WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view have yet to be decided, and until they’re announced, the members on those teams are open for speculation.
Per usual, WWE has strongly hinted at a few of the people who are more than likely going to be involved in the match, but haven’t made it 100% clear which five babyfaces will be facing which five heels. Yesterday’s edition of Monday Night Raw gave us a better indicator than before and we should learn more after tonight’s SmackDown, if not know for sure which ten people make up the playing field.
That being said, who do I think are going to end up on opposing sides?
(captain) Dean Ambrose
Ambrose was involved in last night’s 5-on-5 elimination match as essentially the second-in-command behind Roman Reigns. Since he doesn’t have a feud currently going on that will divert his attention, but he still needs to have some sort of decent role on the event, I think the perfect spot for him is going to be as the captain of the babyface team.
Don’t be too surprised if Ambrose is the man who wins the match for his team, too, if not the sole survivor amongst his brethren. Big things could be in store for him come Royal Rumble time, and if he goes on to win that, he’ll need to get the ball rolling on his push at this pay-per-view with a W.
Dolph Ziggler is pretty much the go-to guy when it comes to Survivor Series elimination matches. He’s a great person to rely on for being tagged in at any moment and controlling the next step of the match’s pace, as well as being right in that spot on the hierarchy where he’s not too above wrestling on a team, yet still a priority member.
The Big Guy is the prototypical midcarder right now, bouncing around from opponent to opponent, looking for his next feud. Coming off his relatively recent Intercontinental Championship run, being third-string for Team Babyface should fit him nicely. Ryback can wrestle only a few minutes, which would highlight his strengths and diminish his weaknesses in the ring. His elimination can also be a great tide-turner for the heels, where things start looking dire for the good guys.
We can all agree that Cesaro is one of the few guarantees when it comes to wrestlers who will be in this match, right? This guy is so perfect to be on a team this year that it would be a crime not to include him. Like Ryback, he doesn’t have one particular person he’s been focused on, but that only works in his favor, since he’s in a flexible position. Cesaro could be a guy who gets a pinfall elimination or sets someone up to be eliminated by the fifth and final person on his side…
At some point, someone is getting hit with the Red Arrow, probably after Cesaro swings them around. Neville can get that one elimination and then be taken out of the match himself later on during the night and still end up looking like he had a relatively decent Survivor Series. Despite not winning any championships since coming to the main roster, Neville has been used rather well as someone who wasn’t pushed too far too fast, though he has wins and impressive matches to his name to help give him the credibility necessary for this match. I expect him to do what he’s been doing for the past few months: show up, do some awesome moves, pump the crowd up, and then catch an unfortunate Brogue Kick or something before being pinned. Fans will boo his loss, but not look down on him.
Who Doesn’t Make the Team
There are still some babyfaces on the roster who have been used recently and aren’t injured, but I don’t have much hope for being included in these few spots. The Dudley Boyz are a team that I’ve suggested in a previous article could possibly join up with The Undertaker and Kane, or they could possibly just skip the card entirely. The Lucha Dragons got a surprise victory over Barrett and Sheamus yesterday, as well as a video package, but I think that could be more to keep them relevant for an upcoming feud with either The New Day or the repackaged Los Matadores, who could be joining the MexAmerica stable. Then there’s R-Truth, who has found himself in random spots before, but I think is just midcard fodder for now, as shown by his loss to Alberto Del Rio.
(captain) Kevin Owens
Similar to Dean Ambrose’s situation, the current Intercontinental champion was also the second-in-command for his team on Monday Night Raw, which follows his performance where he almost defeated Roman Reigns to earn the WWE World Heavyweight Championship title opportunity. He’s been a priority for his entire NXT and WWE run so far, and I don’t expect that to stop any time soon, so I think he’d be perfect to lead a team.
Of course, I don’t expect him to be a good team leader in the sense of pep rallies and supporting his teammates when they get eliminated, as I picture him yelling at them for not kicking out instead, but that’s beside the point. Owens looks to be the best option to feud with Ambrose for TLC and if they are on opposite teams, then that will drive that feud even more.
If Ziggler is on Team Babyface, then Tyler Breeze will be on Team Heel, guaranteed. Prince Pretty has been getting involved in Ziggler’s matches as of late and there’s absolutely nothing that can convince me that these two won’t be on opposing sides come November 22nd.
Breeze is someone that I think will get one or two eliminations (Cesaro in particular) before being taken out of the match toward the end by either Ambrose or Ziggler.
If you think King Barrett is going to be in this match, I’ve got some good news for you—so do I. However, if you think he’s going to be used for anything other than the jobber on the squad, I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news. Barrett has a track record of being underutilized and being on the losing end of things just as frequently as he’s given random pushes. Lately, he’s been the fall guy for his new stable, and I see that trend continuing here. There’s even a chance that he gets the super fast comedic elimination that happens now and again at Survivor Series. Of course, there’s a possibility that he can get lucky, nail someone with a Bullhammer and get a pin, but I’d bet more on him catching a superkick from Ziggler and getting Shell Shocked within the first five minutes or so.