Each November, World Wrestling Entertainment’s Superstars battle for bragging rights for their respective brands in the yearly pay-per-view event Survivor Series. Coming in the wake of WWE’s Saudi Arabian extravaganza Crown Jewel and the yearly brand draft, Survivor Series didn’t receive as much build-up on television as in previous years. However, on November 21 the event will see champion vs. champion matches between WWE Universal champion Roman Reigns and WWE champion Big E, as well as Monday Night Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch and Friday Night SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair, and as per usual Raw’s and SmackDown’s superstars will divide into teams for the customary five-a-side elimination match.
For the women’s division, the elimination match pits Raw’s Bianca Belair, Zelina Vega, Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, and Carmella against SmackDown’s Natalya, Aliyah, Shotzi, Shayna Baszler, and Sasha Banks.
Which Women’s Team Will Win at Survivor Series
Bianca Belair, the de facto captain of the Raw women’s team, is in a precarious place in the WWE universe. While still popular and prominently featured, it’s been two months since the former SmackDown women’s champion won a televised match. Her feud with Raw women’s champion Lynch has been one-sided in Lynch’s favor since Belair lost the SmackDown title to her in 26 seconds at 2021’s SummerSlam. WWE is walking a fine line of not shoving aside Bianca Belair entirely, but keeping Becky Lynch the undisputed alpha female of the women’s division, with little room for even the most credible competition to shine. Captaining the women’s team for Raw gives Bianca a large role in the Survivor Series festivities, while her feud with Lynch continues to go “The Man”’s way.
On November 8’s Raw, Belair, Ripley, Vega, and Carmella all fell to Liv Morgan in a fatal five-way in which she earned a title shot against Becky Lynch. This is quite a boon for Morgan, who has had a career of fits and starts with WWE. In honor of her status as a contender, she’ll most likely have some strong spots in the elimination match. Zelina Vega is living a Cinderella story: from being released by the WWE, then rehired, now she is the history-making first-ever Queen of the Ring after winning the long-awaited Queen’s Crown tournament.
The same cannot be said of teammate Rhea Ripley-although she is the current WWE women’s tag team champion alongside Nikki A.S.H., Ripley’s 2021 has been a bumpy one. Her tenure as Raw women’s champion was marred by a poorly scripted ThunderDome feud with Charlotte Flair, and since attaining the tag championships she and A.S.H. have had few adversaries to fend off. In 2019, Ripley was a key figure on NXT’s women’s Survivor Series team, and hopefully “The Nightmare” can summon some of her formidability from the “Black and Gold” days.
Sasha Banks is sure to have heavy action in the elimination match with her former SmackDown nemesis, Bianca Belair. The feud between the two made pro wrestling history in April 2021, when they became the first African American women to face each other in a headlining WrestleMania match, even winning an Espy for the game-changing bout. Veteran performer Natalya also has recent history with a member of Team Raw, Ripley; with Nikki A.S.H, Ripley ended Natalya and tag partner Tamina’s run as tag team champions. Baszler, after some detours playing with demonic dolls and being the third wheel to recently released Nia Jax’s summer fling with 24/7champion Reggie, is back in top heel form, reminiscent of the fearsome NXT women’s champion she was when she won the day for NXT’s women’s team at Survivor Series 2019.
Recent NXT call-ups Shotzi and Aliyah have a place on the blue brand’s women’s team, which will surely be a barometer for how WWE plans to use them going forward. Aliyah hasn’t had much to do since joining SmackDown in the draft, just some comic backstage scenes.
Shotzi’s presentation didn’t initially change much after making her SmackDown debut, but she recently seemed to have eschewed both tag team partner Tegan Nox and her trademark military tank. Cutting an edgy promo reminiscent of Luna Vachon, a more hard-boiled and uncompromising Shotzi seems to be on the horizon, and may just steal the show at Survivor Series.
Who Will Win?
The elimination match presents a chance for some redemptively strong spots for Superstars like Belair, Baszler, and Ripley who have taken a dent in their presentation to look impressive again. WWE audiences haven’t seen much of Shotzi and Aliyah, so for some, it will be an introduction to their abilities and their respective personas-which, in Shotzi’s case, seems to have been slightly retooled. Bianca Belair could use a victory, and perennial dark horse Liv Morgan claiming the victory for Team Raw would be a feel-good moment, too.
However, SmackDown is having a banner year and a half, leading WWE in ratings and critical acclaim-a win for the blue team would put some shine on Sasha Banks as her feud with Charlotte Flair over the SmackDown women’s championship heats up. Banks will probably play a pivotal role in a win for the blue team, paving the way for her road to another reign as SmackDown women’s champion.