WWE Survivor Series 2018: Which Brand Has the Superior Men's and Women's Squads?

Anthony Mango@@ToeKneeManGoFeatured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

Credit: WWE.com

Survivor Series is the one time a year when Raw and SmackDown compete against each other for brand supremacy, assuming you ignore the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania Battle Royals and Money in the Bank contests.

Still, this is WWE, and bragging rights are important, so Stephanie McMahon and Baron Corbin are hoping to establish Raw's dominance while Shane McMahon and Paige are fighting from the underdog spot, as people still think of SmackDown as the B-show.

Coinciding with the champion vs. champion bouts, there will be three traditional elimination matches featuring some of the best and brightest of the two brands battling it out to see which roster is superior.

Let's take a look at those teams and assess which side has the advantage heading into Sunday's pay-per-view. 

    

Men's Elimination Match

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On the Raw side, Corbin will remain a non-competing captain of the crew consisting of Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Finn Balor.

For SmackDown, Shane McMahon will get his hands dirty as he's one of the five members, alongside captain The Miz, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe.

Credit: WWE.com

Both teams have a monstrous powerhouse in Strowman and Joe, both have fan favorites like Balor and Hardy, and both have finesse players such as Ziggler and Mysterio.

Raw has an advantage in terms of pure power, as Strowman, Lashley and McIntyre are simply bigger than any three people on the blue brand's side, which is also hurt in that McMahon is not a regular wrestler and the clear weak link.

However, both sides have plenty of in-fighting that could spell doom if the other side is able to keep from imploding.

Strowman has lingering issues with McIntyre and Ziggler from their time as The Dogs of War and has yet to settle the score with Corbin after he cost him the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel. McIntyre and Lashley have also made enemies out of Balor as of late.

The Miz makes enemies out of everyone, and even without Daniel Bryan on the team, he's unlikely to get along with Mysterio after trying to give him the boot.

In terms of working together, SmackDown has less overall problems to squash, but if Raw can remain a unit long enough, the Monday night squad will secure a victory with brute strength.

      

Women's Elimination Match 

The Raw women's team has an impressive group with Alexa Bliss on the outside as captain to help direct six-time champion Mickie James, future Hall of Famer Natalya and the biggest woman in WWE, Nia Jax.

Tamina would normally be the weak link, but she's in the midst of a renewed push and is still one of the most imposing figures in the women's division, so she may not be as much of a sacrificial lamb this time around.

Credit: WWE.com

Ruby Riott may fill that void instead, particularly if her issues with Natalya rise to the surface and cause some in-fighting.

SmackDown has a solid core in the three babyfaces of Asuka, Naomi and Carmella, as they share four women's title reigns and a Royal Rumble win between them for clout.

Sonya Deville has yet to accomplish a single thing in either NXT or the main roster, but Survivor Series is an event that has made careers in the past, so she has an opportunity to prove herself or to choke yet again.

The real X-factor is the unknown fifth member of the team, who can make or break it.

Mandy Rose won't be much help, nor will The IIconics or Lana. None of them have much to offer and would probably just get in the way more than help.

But what if there is a surprise competitor, such as Nikki Cross, who can be an unknown element Raw can't prepare for—someone who is unstable and impossible to anticipate?

Without knowing who that is, Team Raw once again has the advantage, as being down one member is never a good thing.

       

Tag Team Elimination Match

The most inconsequential match is also the easiest to predict, as Raw has a horrible squad of tag teams representing them.

The Ascension have been nothing but jokes on the main roster for years. The B-Team's entire gimmick is that they're losers. The Revival have, sadly, been unable to tap into their true potential. The makeshift team of Bobby Roode and Chad Gable gets more pitiful with each passing day.

WWE cares so little about this match that this is the most up to date graphic, proving who really matters on Team SmackDown.
WWE cares so little about this match that this is the most up to date graphic, proving who really matters on Team SmackDown.Credit: WWE.com

The Lucha House Party is the only solid unit of the bunch, and they won't be allowed to have all three members of their team in this match, nor will they be the biggest dogs in the fight.

Meanwhile, SmackDown has the two most decorated tag teams of the modern era in The Usos and The New Day heading the charge. Those two teams alone could realistically take all of the Raw members.

They're joined by the only other three teams available in The Colons, The Good Brothers and Sanity, who have all been doing nothing for quite a while.

As long as those teams don't screw things up, The Usos and The New Day should be able to secure a victory for the blue brand pretty easily.

       

Overall Verdict

Raw's teams are messy and can collapse into themselves at any time, whereas SmackDown has tighter bonds but a less impressive roster to pool from.

At the end of the day, Raw is always going to be the A-show and the priority, so WWE will lean toward giving that brand the edge in points overall throughout the night.

SmackDown should get at least one win with the tag teams and could even score another with the men's or women's, but it will be an uphill battle.

Don't be surprised if Raw wins most of the champion vs. champion matches, loses two of the elimination matches and still comes out with a final score of 4-2 just to prove it is the superior brand.

       

Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

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