Survivor Series might still be weeks away, but the build to one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year has well and truly begun. The 31st edition of the long-running event will be centered on the Superstars of Raw going up against their SmackDown Live adversaries. The pay-per-view features four champion-versus-champion matches plus two traditional Survivor Series elimination tag bouts, one for the women and one for the men. That begs the question who will be featured in those 10 person tag matches? Well, just as we were about to find out the men's team for Raw, the majority of SmackDown Live's roster interrupted and attacked the red locker room. It's safe to say team blue's five men were probably featured on Raw this past Monday, but who will be Shane McMahon's final five?
Dolph Ziggler is not exactly a fan of many Superstars on the roster right now, and it's probably safe to say that the feeling is mutual considering he has been mocking a lot of their entrances. At this time of year though, rivalries and animosities seem to go out the window in favor of the fight for brand supremacy. That definitely seemed to be the case on Raw this past Monday anyway. Ziggler was one of the SmackDown Live Superstars that invaded Raw and his supposed rival Bobby Roode was right there with him. With that in mind, plus his pedigree in these matches—he was the sole survivor for his team at the 2015 Survivor Series—then he has to be at least considered by Shane McMahon.
Another man responsible for putting Raw under siege on Monday night was Rusev. The Bulgarian Brute hasn't had much luck as of late and really deserves to be at least included in the booking of a major match like this one. The former United States Champion constantly found himself on the losing end of his bouts with Randy Orton while he watched his former understudy, Jinder Mahal, rise up the ranks to become WWE Champion. What better way than to deservedly get this man some of his credibility back than to include him in the men's Survivor Series match and have him pick up a couple of eliminations? The sad thing is Rusev will likely be included, but only so he can be the man who is eliminated first.
Although he wasn't featured front and center—which is an odd choice—Shinsuke Nakamura pulled on a SmackDown Live t-shirt and joined in the beatings on Raw this past Monday. The King of Strong Style strikes us as the kind of guy who would go along with something like that because his friends are doing it. The little camera time he did get on Raw this week featured him with a big grin on his face. All of that aside, the former NXT Champion has to be included on the blue brand's team. Nakamura's strong style kicks can change a match in a second. Imagine him unleashing one Kinsasha after another as he drops every member of Team Raw one by one.
One of the biggest head-scratchers from Raw this week was the busy schedule of AJ Styles. The Phenomenal One was welcomed into the fold by Raw for two straight nights. At TLC he filled in for Bray Wyatt and had a terrific match with Finn Balor, then 24 hours later, he joined The Shield to take on The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro. Well, by the end of the night, Styles was helping beat down the very Superstars he sided with at the start of the night. A great twist would have been for the SmackDown Live Superstars to find Styles backstage and for him to want no part in what they were doing. That ship has sailed though, and since SmackDown Live is the house that Styles built, it would be crazy not to have him be a part of the brand's Survivor Series team.
Clearly, as demonstrated by his presence on Raw this past week, Shane McMahon has well and truly recovered from jumping off of Hell In A Cell a couple of weeks ago. In fact, it seems as if the SmackDown Live commissioner is already chomping at the bit to get back into the ring once again. Last year, Shane McMahon was a part of Tuesday night's Survivor Series team and he took a nasty bump following a spear from Roman Reigns. You would have thought that would put McMahon off competing in the ring anymore, yet here we are a year later and he's throwing down the gauntlet once again. McMahon led his Superstars into Raw on Monday so you would think that he will be the one doing that again at Survivor Series.
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