Who are the top five wrestlers in WWE heading into Survivor Series?
WWE Survivor Series returns this Sunday. Before we see WWE’s red and blue brands clash for supremacy, I take a look at my top five superstars on the road to Survivor Series.
The Fiend/Bray Wyatt/Alexa Bliss
The idea of a Sister Abigail character has flown around the WWE Universe ever since Bray Wyatt uttered the mysterious words during his first run as the Eater of Worlds. But we never quite had it delivered the way we imagined, instead of having a physical and tangible incarnation of her we got whatever that was in his WWE championship feud with Randy Orton in 2017. After his former cult leader gimmick was buried by inconsistent booking and big stars never giving Wyatt the rub of a clean win, hope was lost for Wyatt.
Recently, however, WWE seems to have an interest in the former Husky Harris, who has reinvented himself with his Firefly Fun House gimmick and supernatural alter ego The Fiend. With two Universal championship reigns and a Wrestlemania win against John Cena in the revered cinematic Firefly Fun House match, it would appear in terms of stats that Wyatt is in a good position.
The truth is that until recently The Fiend has been the subject of some very inconsistent and strange booking, dropping the belt to Goldberg the first time round and regaining the belt against Braun Strowman, only to drop the belt again against Roman Reigns. It’s to be said that The Fiend is a character who shouldn’t chase titles, as the more compelling motive is avenging the damage caused to Wyatt by individuals.
Alexa Bliss is a character that had done it all in the women’s division, and after her run with Nikki Cross holding the tag titles was over, there was a question to be asked as to what comes next for her. The answer came during Wyatt’s feud with Strowman, where the idea of Alexa Bliss becoming the female comrade to Wyatt promised, and WWE delivered in due course. This has reinvigorated interest in both superstars and now with a revenge story with Orton looming, the future and stock of both performers seem to be through the roof.
As of yet there seems to be no plan for Survivor Series for the duo which is disappointing but better than just shoving the two in a match for the sake of it. The lack of plan and defined future is the reason why they only rank at number five.
Randy Orton is a certified veteran of the business and he has no problem telling the WWE Universe that. His current run as a heel has been one of the only highlights for an abysmal Monday Night Raw, his feud with the returning rated R superstar Edge was amazing and although not quite what the billing described, still deserves praise as a great wrestling match. Unfortunately, an injury to Edge has seen their feud put on ice for the time being but what we lost with that feud, we gained in his pursuit of the WWE championship.
He was hot going into his war with Drew McIntyre and continued the show off his impressive work as the two carried Raw on their backs, along with The Hurt Business. He finally earned his championship win against McIntyre at Hell In A Cell, only to drop the belt to the Scottish psychopath this past week on Raw.
This has hurt the momentum of Orton and has lessened the impact of his win at HIAC, and left Orton without a plan heading into Survivor Series. The truth of the matter is that belt has been dropped because McIntyre vs Reigns offers a more exciting concept and a classical face vs heel battle, and that is why Orton ranks below McIntyre on this list.
If we can give Orton credit for carrying Raw, then we have to include Drew in this list as well, he has been cursed as the first person to win the WWE strap in the empty arenas of the COVID era. And although this has taken away from the impact of beating Brock Lesnar clean at Wrestlemania, he deserves credit for the way he has represented the brand. Up until recently, Drew has looked unbeatable and immovable from his place at the top of the mountain.
His feud with Orton unfortunately has hurt his momentum quite a bit, Orton was the favourite to beat him for the title and seemed a more compelling option to hold the belt with his heel work up to the point and the potential feuds he could embroil in with the title.
It’s not to say that Drew isn’t over with the audience, of course he is, the idea for the fans is that his big moment should have come in front of a crowd, and that has somewhat tainted his run. All the same, with a promising on-screen alliance with Sheamus, and regaining the belt in style, we see Drew head into Survivor Series full steam ahead and having earned back some of his lost heat.
His battle with blue brand counterpart looks to deliver on brutality but despite all that falls in his favour, you can’t help but feel some of Reigns’ words the past two weeks hit way too close to the truth for McIntyre to rank higher.
Who would have thought at the start of the year one half of the twin tag team The Usos would not only be contending the world gold, but convincing us that he belongs in the upper end of the card. As bad as it sounds, Jey has been blessed by the injury suffered by his brother Jimmy.
It has allowed for him against all odds break out as a singles star with wins against Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens to his credit and star-making matches with Reigns for the Universal championship. He heads into Survivor Series in the hottest streak of his career and the stand out performer in the Smackdown team, and my pick to be the sole survivor.
He has been the subject of quite the substantial push this year as the stars appeared to align in his favour, with both the injury of his brother and the return of his cousin allowing for an emotional family feud for the Smackdown throne and position at the head of the table, figuratively and literally.
Although these aforementioned factors gifted him the opportunity he has well and truly seized the proverbial brass ring with both hands and cemented himself as a singles challenger, with fiery and emotive promos and intense in-ring work. The question has to be asked if Jey has emerged as the Shawn Michaels of The Uso brothers, with Jimmy the Marty Jannetty, and all evidence is pointing to one answer so far.
We head into Survivor Series with Jey working as the number two to Reigns following his turn and new cutting edge, and with his prominent place on the card deserving of star-making performance.
But there can only be one head of the table.
Roman Reigns, the most polarizing superstar in recent years. Pushed to the moon against the likes of Triple H, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker, he has been the subject of abuse from the hardcore faithful ever since we had the sniff that he was being placed as the next Hulk Hogan, a corporate superhero in the main event because of his idealistic look much rather than his in-ring ability.
Since the implosion of his faction The Shield, his may title wins have been nowhere near as celebrated as those of his ex-comrades, largely due to the relative ease in him capturing them. When he was forced to vacate the belt due to a returning Leukaemia battle, was the first time we heard genuine full support for the man since his singles break out, but make no mistake, this support was for the man, not his character. When he put his cancer in remission and returned, the cheers were loud and the wins were well-deserved. But fans still clamoured for a more organic character.
Fast-forward to his return this year, battering Strowman and Wyatt and opportunistically coming in late in the resulting triple threat match for the Universal title, like his t-shirt says, showing up and winning. He has leaned into the criticisms to form this entitled heel character, using the fact he was born into the business and has been the chosen one in his feud with cousin Jey, which has delivered us emotive and gripping storytelling and birthed the two biggest attractions in WWE at the moment.
Heading into Survivor Series we see Roman Reigns for the first time in his career the most interesting and must-see superstar on the roster, owning every segment he is in no matter who he is in the ring with.
When you have the history of Reigns with the WWE Universe, and you still head into Survivor Series the favourite against Drew McIntyre, you know you’re good.
The Tribal Chief is the number one star heading to Survivor Series and beyond, and you can believe that.