Men’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Match
Raw Team Captain Kurt Angle, Braun Strowman, Finn Bálor,Samoa Joe and Triple H
SmackDown Captain Shane McMahon, John Cena, Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura and Bobby Roode
One of the most revered traditions from Survivor Series past has been the five on five elimination match. Granted, over the years, some of the teams that have been thrown together seemed like an odd fit, but in terms of Survivor Series of yesteryear, this has allowed for most of the roster to be featured in one way or another. The event has changed and evolved from being a “Big Four” staple, to being just another event, focusing on singles matches, leading to some of the most historic moments in wrestling.
As of recent years, there has been a concerted effort to include a traditional elimination match every year and this year the entire show has been merged with the ideology of Bragging Rights, a now defunct PPV that pitted both RAW and Smackdown against each other. This year’s build began with the little brother brand, Smackdown Live!, firing the opening salvo by invading Monday Night Raw at the behest of Shane McMahon, much to Kurt Angle’s dismay. Brand loyalty is a cooky thing-babyfaces who would normally stick up for the downtrodden shift into a conquering invader’s role, devoid of guilt for their actions.
Thusly, the stage was set for a heightening of hostilities between two two sides. The brand champions will be facing off, but the heart of this event is the two five man teams who will be clashing for brand supremacy. The teams have seen changes to their squads along the way and also feature some of the biggest starts-of the past.
Raw is captained by Kurt Angle, who made what seemed to be a hasty return, due to Roman Reign’s recent illness. Forced to sit on the sidelines, Reigns watched as Angle donned the Shield gear and joined Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to clash with the Miz, Kane, Braun Strowman, Cesaro and Sheamus. Angle, though a bit slower, had a good showing and walked away impressed by his teammate Strowman. After the aforementioned attack, Stephanie McMahon made it clear that Angle’s job would be in jeopardy if RAW loses the encounter. After naming Strowman, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, and Jason Jordan to the team, it seemed that one of those didn’t belong, and before long, this would be proven correct. On this week’s RAW, Jordan was injured, precipitating a change in the roster. None other than Triple H inserted himself into the bout, delivering a Pedigree to a Jordan, a member of the RAW team, in a rather nonsensical move.
The Smackdown team was quickly put together as well, with a captain that much like RAW’s team, is a part time wrestler in the form of Shane McMahon. He did lead the charge in the siege, but this too feels a bit forced, a way to increase the star power of the match. After Bobby Roode, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura qualified for the team by earning their spot in a series of singles match, WWE revealed on Twitter that John Cena, who has been absent, will be rounding out the squad. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens have both been vocal about being displeased that they are not apart of McMahon’s team, despite the issues the Canadian friends have with their boss.
Survivor Series matches typically featured squads full of combatants that had disdain for those across the ring based on personal issues, whereas these teams are constructed on the idea of brand loyalty, something that would be more convincing if this was ever discussed outside of the build to this event. Due to this,the final result of the match could be decided by outside forces. Jason Jordan has a legitimate gripe with Triple H here and although it may be premature, Jordan could cost RAW the match, and in turn, he could cost his father the position of general manager of RAW.
The Smackdown team is not without its own strife, as Shane McMahon’s beef with Owens and Zayn could seen their interference cost Smackdown the match as a message to their not so beloved boss that they should have been selected for the squad. After legitimately being sent home from the WWE European tour, their disdain could be weaved into the current storyline, as they could claim Shane sent them home and their are giving him his just deserts.
Ultimately, Smackdown will come out victorious, with some possible friction between Angle and Triple H. Angle can not be pleased that HHH attacked his son and with his job on the line and those issues could lead to the team’s downfall. Steph would then replace Angle with HHH and a brother vs. brother-in-law angle can build towards Wrestlemania.