Rowdy Roundtable: Survivor Series Dream Teams

LaToya Ferguson
Ronda Rousey, Charlotte Flair (source: WWE)

With Survivor Series this Sunday, surely everyone who plans to watch has already made their fantasy picks for who will dominate on both the RAW and SmackDown sides of things. But you know what fantasy makes for even greater head-to-head competition? The fantasy of dream traditional Survivor Series (5-on-5) teams.

Members of the staff came together to make their own fantasy picks—comprised of WWE Superstars both past and present—all secretly judging each other while doing so—in the true spirit of competition, of course.

Now, just imagine that every wrestler in these hypothetical dream teams is in their prime. Then argue amongst yourselves over what exactly is someone’s prime. For example, some might say Chris Jericho’s prime was in WCW, but others might say it was during the heyday of Y2AJ. Use your imagination.

Chyna, Eddie Guerrero (source: WWE)

LaToya Ferguson, managing editor

Male Team

  1. Randy Orton
    Okay, so Orton’s track record at Survivor Series speaks for itself, and well… I want to win this hypothetical traditional Survivor Series elimination match, despite it clearly only being hypothetical. Orton recently made a good point on social media that he’s not even on this year’s card—while Shane McMahon is on this year’s SmackDown team, as “the best in the world,” I guess—so the real team blue is already streets behind when it comes to what I’m laying down.
  2. Seth Rollins
    He’s the architect, duh. But seriously, teamwork makes the dream work and everything, but even better is someone who can create and execute a solid game plan. That’s where Rollins comes in, especially as a more reliable (wins and losses-wise) and less neurotic choice than Sami Zayn would be in this position. And possibly a less cowardly choice than Edge would be, as peak Edge is of course an Edge that would totally attempt to bail if the odds were no longer in his favor. (see: Survivor Series 2006)
  3. Eddie Guerrero
    This is the epitome of a dream match choice, and to imagine a world in which Eddie Guerrero and Seth Rollins can team up together—and also imagine a world in which Seth Rollins laughs while riding in a Guerrero lowrider—is to imagine the best that sports entertainment could ever office.
  4. Daniel Bryan
    Honestly, I can’t wait to make this team in WWE 2K19. Dream team, baby!
  5. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
    I really didn’t know where I wanted this team to go—other than to victory—when I started thinking about it, but now Orton really comes across like an outlier. Still, I really want to win, so he’ll stay. But basically, I’ve decided I want a winning team that the WWE Universe also goes absolutely crazy for, and once the glass shatters and the fifth member of this dream team comes out, honestly? The opposing team will probably just forfeit.

Also, I’m going to do something with that whole non-wrestling team captain concept WWE is doing with RAW Acting GM Baron Corbin, only I’m going to choose someone people would actually want to see wrestle: King Booker. I’m thinking that as captain, he’d be able to rally the troops like he once did in the name of Santa and like he also did for the tag team version of Team SmackDown in 2016 (only, winning this time).

Female Team

  1. Chyna
    Winning is obviously the most important thing in the world to me, but I’m also loving the very idea of seeing certain legends alive and in their prime mixing it up with current talent. For an all-women’s team, Chyna is perhaps the most obvious “what if?” dream team choice, of course.
  2. Beth Phoenix
    And the idea of Chyna and Beth Phoenix getting their glamazon on in this match is also too obvious to pass up.
  3. Ronda Rousey
    see: pick # 4
  4. Becky Lynch
    Look I’m not going to hide the fact that I genuinely think Ronda and Becky would make a good team. And not just a good team, but a dominant one that breaks every other hypothetical woman’s hypothetical arms. Want to win, etc. (This hypothetical scenario also takes place in a distant future in which they don’t still want to rip each other apart. So it could happen. One day. Maybe.)
  5. Meiko Satomura
    Since she competed in the Mae Young Classic this year—and because I made the rules for this whole roundtable—she’s eligible for this dream team status. And even more than anyone else in this dream team, the idea of Meiko Satomura just destroying the competition puts a smile on my face. We all saw her vs. Mercedes Martinez, right?

Dolph Ziggler, Rusev (source: WWE)

Kyle Fowle

Male Team

  1. Dolph Ziggler
    Look, for all the ups and downs Ziggler has experienced in his career, there’s no denying that the Showoff is one of the best in the business when it comes to lengthy matches. That guy has stamina and heart for days, as evidenced by the 2014 elimination match that saw Ziggler snag the win for Team Cena.
  2. Shawn Michaels
    “The Heartbreak Kid” ranks up there for most Survivor Series appearances in WWE. Hell, he’s been through just about everything in WWE, including the first ever Elimination Chamber match at the 2002 Survivor Series. Again, this comes down to performance and stamina for me. He’s one of the all-time greats, yes, but he’s also one of the most reliable in a match that could go on for some time.
  3. Roman Reigns
    Few current superstars have a list of accomplishments as long as Roman Reigns does. In his short time in WWE he’s won every championship and proven time and again that he can close out matches on the biggest stage. You know “The Big Dog” will fight until the end no matter what, and I want that passion and survival instinct in my corner.
  4. Eddie Guerrero
    I want Eddie on my team because he’s one of the greatest technical wrestlers of all time. I also want Eddie on my team because I need someone willing to lie, cheat, and steal to secure a win if need be.
  5. Braun Strowman
    Every team needs a giant, and Braun’s been on a tear for months now. Not picking the guy who can flip an ambulance for your Survivor Series team just seems silly. Plus, I don’t trust Big Show to not betray my team.

Female Team

  1. Trish Stratus
    Perhaps the greatest Women’s Champion of all time, and easily a #1 pick for any women’s team.
  2. Paige
    Before an injury ended her in-ring career, Paige was one of the most versatile, vicious, no-nonsense wrestlers the women’s division had ever seen. I’d take the former NXT Women’s and Diva’s Champion on my team in a heartbeat.
  3. Asuka
    The longest undefeated streak in WWE history at 914 days. Enough said.
  4. Becky Lynch
    Becky’s latest streak of anger, determination, and pure violence has taken the SmackDown Women’s Champion to a whole other level of competition. That bloody face that closed out this week’s RAW invasion? That’s the face I want on my team.
  5. Charlotte Flair
    The Roman Reigns of the women’s division, she’s got a list of accolades that few can match. NXT Women’s Champion. RAW Women’s Champion. SmackDown Women’s Champion. Plus, she’s been inside Hell in a Cell, gone through a grueling Last Woman Standing match, and ended Asuka’s undefeated streak on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania. That’s a resume that speaks for itself.

Mankind (source: WWE)

Albert Ching

Male Team

  1. Mick Foley
  2. Kofi Kingston
  3. Rey Mysterio
  4. Daniel Bryan
  5. Johnny Gargano

For my male Survivor Series dream team, I’m focusing squarely on grit and determination with the purest team of underdogs ever assembled. Let’s start with Mick Foley, pro wrestling’s premier example of perseverance and striving for your goals even if those in power don’t think you’re the right fit—or if you’ve just been thrown off a 16-feet steel cage. (Mankind is the most underdog-y of his personas, so let’s go with that one.)

Kofi Kingston isn’t a traditional underdog—along with his partners in The New Day, he’s dominated the tag team scene for years—but he’s often found himself facing long odds in his singles career, and his ability to stave off elimination (see: any Royal Rumble over the past decade or so) would come in handy here. Rey Mysterio is pretty much the platonic ideal of an underdog—overcoming bigger, stronger opponents and looking good doing it—so he’s a natural choice.

Daniel Bryan and Johnny Gargano are near mirror images of each other, with both having fought their way to WWE after years in the indies, only to finally arrive and learn that nothing’s going to be handed to them. The amount of success these two have had prove they belong on the squad—even if both have shown a bit of a darker side lately.

Female Team

  1. Bull Nakano
  2. Beth Phoenix
  3. Natalya
  4. Chyna
  5. Rhea Ripley

Going in a radically different direction than my male Survivor Series team: This squad is all about domination, featuring some of the most imposing women in WWE history. First up is former WWF Women’s Champion Bull Nakano, whose mid-’90s matches with Alundra Blayze were the stuff of hard-hitting legend. (In a sad sign of the times, after their 1995 encounter, another women’s elimination match wouldn’t happen at Survivor Series until 13 years later.)

Beth Phoenix and Natalya were collectively known as “The Divas of Doom,” and looked to pit their physical power against the more conventional WWE women’s stars of the day—which makes them must-haves for this team. Even more of a no-brainer? The late “Ninth Wonder of the World,” Chyna, for whom physically dominating female (and male) wrestlers was simply her default mode.

Last up? Let’s shift gears to the future of the business, and talk about someone who made it all the way to the semifinals of the recently concluded Mae Young Classic: Rhea Ripley. As anyone who saw the MYC knows, Ripley is just as ready and willing to bulldoze the competition as her dream teammates—and even engage in a little mind games, like her mocking of Tegan Nox via social media following Nox’s unfortunate injury.

Mickie James, Beth Phoenix (source: WWE)

Kimberly Schueler

Male Team

For my men’s squad, I’m going with wrestlers who should be great teammates because they all know that sometimes you can’t get the job done on your own. Team Sidekick is made up of wrestlers who are known to use foreign objects to win matches.

Our team captain is “The King of Kings” himself, Triple H, and he’s bringing his sledgehammer. Since he’s the COO, he should have no problem signing the mist-spitting legend, The Great Muta, for a special WWE appearance.

Taijiri’s coming back too, and he’s bringing to the competition the red burning mist he used to beat Rey Mysterio for the Cruiserweight Championship. From the States, the patriot Hacksaw Jim Duggan is coming out of retirement and bringing his 2×4.

And rounding out the team, ideally not revealed until the PPV itself, we have the Boogeyman with all the worms he could dig up. Now they just have to figure out how to make the match No DQ or get good at coordinating their referee distractions, and their Survivor Series match should be a wash.

Female Team

For my dream female Survivor Series team, I’m going all power wrestlers. Team Dame-olition sees WWE re-sign Aja Kong (still an active wrestler in 2018!) for the title feud she deserved back in the mid-90s and Jazz (without her having to drop her current NWA Women’s Championship, somehow).

Beth Phoenix, notably very good at traditional 5-on-5-Survivor Series elimination tag team matches, comes out of retirement. Bianca Belair moves up from NXT, at least for this PPV, and ideally does it while still undefeated.

Nia Jax, the team member most familiar with the current WWE main roster, serves as team captain. Hopefully they wouldn’t destroy the competition too fast for us to see them all wrestle.

Shawn Michaels (source: WWE)

Kel Dansby

Male Team

  1. AJ Styles
  2. Daniel Bryan
  3. Shawn Michaels
  4. CM Punk
  5. Bret Hart

My dream men’s Survivor Series team would be stacked with technical wrestlers and traditionally smaller champions. Shawn Michaels and CM Punk would carry the promos, while Hart, Bryan, and Styles speak with their talent inside of the ring.

Female Team

  1. Asuka
  2. Sasha Banks
  3. Charlotte
  4. Ember Moon
  5. Lita

Again, in-ring wrestling prowess takes precedent on the list. I chose to keep this list current. Charlotte and Banks would serve as the mouthpieces for this group and it’d be hard to find a better collection of wrestlers throughout WWE history.

And now, for the final staff dream team pick…

Shayna Baszler

Layzie The Savage, videographer to the stars

Male Team

  1. Bret Hart
  2. Shawn Michaels
  3. Diesel
  4. Razor Ramon
  5. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin

Female Team

  1. Ronda Rousey
  2. Shayna Baszler
  3. Marina Shafir
  4. Jessamyn Duke
  5. Chyna

Ed. note: That right here? Is domination.

You can watch every Survivor Series pay-per-view on the WWE Network.

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