Will the one-time a year (LOL) where Raw and SmackDown battle for brand supremacy come down to the traditional five on five elimination match?
The story so far
Without an invasion or #UnderSiege angle on the men’s side to speak of, the story of Raw vs. SmackDown in 2018 hasn’t been much to write home about. Usually the traditional Survivor Series men’s cross brand match-up has some cache to it but this year that has not been the case.
From the 2016 and 2017 editions of this contest only two wrestlers have competed on all three five on five showdowns; Braun Strowman and Shane McMahon. Samoa Joe wrestled on last year’s main event elimination tag but was on the Raw side of the ledger.
The build to Survivor Series
For both Raw and SmackDown the core of their five man teams were put together fairly quickly. The remaining roster spots for each brand kind of just stumbled to the finish line.
On Raw, Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler and Strowman were drafted to the team first. The Monster Among Men was then bribed to stay on the team, with Finn Balor and Bobby Lashley winning their way on to the squad.
On SmackDown, The Miz and Daniel Bryan were named co-captains for the blue brand, then went to work formulating their roster. Shane McMahon was immediately added to the five man roster with Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe winning their way on to the team. After Bryan won the WWE Championship from AJ Styles, he was replaced by Jeff Hardy on the five man team.
The go-home show
The final Raw and SmackDown episodes saw both brands struggle to keep their five man teams intact. Heading into Sunday the biggest question is where will the men’s five on five elimination match fall on the card?
Since 2007, a men’s five on five traditional Survivor Series match has only been the main event of the November pay-per-view on two separate occasions. Before last year’s Red vs. Blue show closer, the last time a five on five match headlined Survivor Series was 2014’s Team Cena vs. Team Authority match (fondly recall Sting’s WWE debut here).
By the time Raw and SmackDown trot out their men’s teams, what stakes will still be on the line for a match that hasn’t had the greatest build?
Tune into cSs for full bell-to-bell coverage of Survivor Series this Sunday starting at 5:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main card at 7:00 p.m. ET.
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