Next week both Raw and Smackdown will present their go-home shows before this year’s Survivor Series event. The show has had a pretty good build this year, one that has seen plenty of twists and turns along the way. Everything is pretty much set up and ready to go for the event, except for one tiny detail- the final member of Team Smackdown.
While Kurt Angle has just hand-picked his choices for Team Raw, Shane McMahon has made his team earn their place, and the final match, which was set to take place on this week’s Smackdown between AJ Styles and Rusev, was scrapped when the former was giving the opportunity to face Jinder Mahal for the WWE title instead.
AJ’s surprise victory rules him out of the running now, as he will have Brock Lesnar to contend with, and the fact that the company have left it down to the final week indicates it could either be a big announcement, or a last minute progression of a current storyline. Either way, it is something worth tuning into next week’s show for.
Smackdown has a pretty healthy roster of talent right now and there are a fair few superstars who could lay claim to a place on the team, let’s take a look at 5 men who could be announced as Team Smackdown’s final member.
Kevin Owens, from a storyline point of view, is definitely the most logical man to be the final member of Team Smackdown. Owens’ on-going feud with Shane McMahon is definitely going to be given some attention at Survivor Series and having Owens force his way onto the team on next week’s show would make for some great viewing.
Owens being added to the match would also add an element of intrigue to proceedings, with many fans suspecting he will be the reason that Team Smackdown lose the match next Sunday night. The Prize Fighter is heading for a big Mania match to end this feud, and having him cheat Team Smackdown out of the victory at Survivor Series would be a nice way to further set the groundwork for that.
Last week, the assumption was that AJ Styles would be taking the final place on Team Smackdown after coming out of a defeat to the then WWE champion, Jinder Mahal. WWE, though, had other ideas, with AJ picking up the shock victory this past Tuesday night in Manchester and replacing Jinder in the big match against Brock Lesnar in the process.
If AJ has taken Jinder’s place on the card, though, does that mean that Jinder might be taking AJ’s? Jinder has been booked at the top of every Smackdown for the past few months, and having him off Survivor Series altogether seems a surprising move, especially with the WWE’s tour of India just around the corner. Putting Jinder in this match would keep him relevant. It also would provide the fans with the opportunity to watch Jinder get destroyed by Braun Strowman, and after months of having to watch him steam-roll over the whole Smackdown roster, that is definitely something I would love to see.
This would definitely be the most underwhelming decision that the WWE could make, but given that Jason Jordan has just been added to Team Raw, there is a tiny chance that this could happen.
Gable is currently wrapped up in a tag team feud for the tag titles with The Usos, but considering they are already booked for Survivor Series, there is a chance that Gable could be given a slot on Team Smackdown, just to play on the history between him and Jason Jordan. While it would be an underwhelming decision, it would give a nice rub to Gable, who is certainly more than capable of performing from an in-ring point of view.
Rumours have been circulating on the internet that John Cena was set to be the special guest referee for Jinder Mahal Vs Brock Lesnar. Now that Mahal has lost the title, though, it is unclear as to whether that stipulation is still going to be added because, let’s be honest, AJ Vs Brock kind of sells itself, there is no need to add anything to the bout.
If that is the case, then Cena could be free to wrestle at Survivor Series and even though he is a free agent, he could still come out and line up his allegiances with the brand where he became a star. It could also potentially set up a future match between Cena and Jinder (which is likely still going to happen), with Jinder getting angry that Cena was just given a place on the team.
Realistically, this is nothing more than a piece of fantasy booking, but hear me out, okay? Kurt Angle’s recent return to the ring has sent Daniel Bryan fans into a spin, with many wondering if the WWE might be getting a little softer with some of the stars they have not medically cleared in the past.
Bryan has been incredibly vocal about his desire to step back into the ring, and with his contract allegedly up next September the WWE is facing the very real prospect of losing Bryan to the indies if they do not allow him to step back into the ring.
From a storyline angle, it would also make a lot of sense. Shane and Kurt are both already representing their brands, so having another authority figure in the ring would hardly be a huge leap. Bryan was also attacked last week by Kane, a moment which seemed to have served little purpose, but one that would give the former World Heavyweight Champ just cause to want to fight next week.
Saving this until the last Smackdown before Survivor Series would be a massive, massive moment and one that would send the hype levels through the roof heading into the event. The company do love a bit of nostalgia at this time of year as well, with both Sting and Goldberg returning to the ring at Survivor Series in recent years. I accept that this one is a bit of a stretch, but what’s wrong with a bit of fantasy booking every now and again?