The second traditional Survivor Series match is the Women’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match, which took an intriguing twist this past Tuesday when one of it’s original participants, Smackdown Live‘s Charlotte Flair, defeated Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. With the win, Charlotte now takes Natalya’s spot in the Champion vs. Champion match against Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss. One would assume that Natalya, now without a spot on the PPV card, would just assume Charlotte’s spot on the Smackdown Live team, but so far WWE hasn’t announced the switch. In fact, on the official preview on WWE’s website, they only add to the mystery, stating “after Charlotte Flair overcame Natalya to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship on Tuesday night and will now instead face Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, who is going to take The Queen’s place on Team SmackDown?”
Raw is undoubtedly the strongest team on paper: captained by the maniacal Alicia Fox, Foxy has drafted an A+ squad of talent that will prove to be a handful for Smackdown‘s team no matter who the replacement is. Her first pick was the returning Nia Jax, who continues to be pushed as the Monster Amongst Women and rightfully so. She’s getting better in the ring and with the right story could become the next Awesome Kong. Adding the Empress of Tomorrow, Asuka, was a no-brainer after racking up two victories to start her main roster career (and following an undefeated two years in NXT). Rounding out the rest of the team with 4x Raw Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and recent Raw Women’s Champion Bayley creates an impressive quintet of star power and prestige (even Alicia is a former Divas Champion).
Smackdown Live is captained by the inaugural Smackdown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch, and also features another former champ in 2x Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi. But the other two entrants, Tamina Snuka, and particularly Carmella, don’t carry the same pedigree as the majority of Raw’s team. Carmella has been winning a lot lately, but Ms. Money In The Bank got many of those wins (including her MITB briefcase) with help from James Ellsworth, who was released from the company earlier this week. Tamina has been gaining ground with Lana’s guidance, but she’s still not in a good groove. But she’s definitely Team Blue’s muscle to help combat Nia Jax on the Red squad. Which comes down to the mystery fifth member.
Logic would dictate that Natalya is the heir apparent, simply switching spots on the card with the woman who dethroned her as Smackdown champion, but the intrigue WWE is playing up would suggest a new face possibly showing up to claim that final spot on the team. With Paige now cleared to compete and originally slated to return this past Monday on Raw (but not), could the WWE have decided to go back to previously reported plans of having her return on Smackdown? If so, a surprise return as the fifth member would undoubtedly give Smackdown’s team a much needed boost, as Paige is a former 2x Divas Champion and the inaugural NXT Women’s Champion. Another rumour suggests that Nikki Bella could be making her return to active competition this Sunday, following a huge mainstream push on Dancing With The Stars. Nikki Bella was last seen as part of Smackdown’s roster, in her mixed tag match at this spring’s WrestleMania. Nikki is also a former 2x Divas Champion herself. Ultimately, all three are respectable team mates to help offer some veteran champion material against Raw’s strong squad.
Ultimately, it’s going to come down to who the fifth member is. If it’s a returning Paige or Nikki Bella, Smackdown may secure the win to help re-establish either as a returning top star for Team Blue. But as it stands now, Raw’s team is just too impressive and carries too much pedigree to take the loss.
Women’s 5-on-5 Elimination Match Prediction: Team Raw takes the Women’s Survivor Series win, with Asuka outlasting everyone. Because no one is ready for Asuka.