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LOS ANGELES — Survivor Series may be a battle for brand supremacy, but the end result of the Women’s 5-on-5 Traditional Survivor Series Match didn’t come down to which team could topple the other. It was whether Team Raw or SmackDown could stave off implosion for the longest. Fittingly enough, Nia Jax’s ultimate status as the bout’s sole survivor came down to a betrayal of her own teammate.
Both teams had put themselves in prime position for internal dissent during the Kickoff. To secure the “total humiliation” of the blue brand, Raw Team Captain Alexa Bliss subbed out the quarrelling Ruby Riott and Natalya for best buddies Sasha Banks and Bayley, the victims of a beatdown from The Goddess’ squad only days earlier. On the blue side, Captain Naomi — who assumed the role after Charlotte Flair was tapped to face Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey — filled out her crew with Mandy Rose, despite God’s Greatest Creation’s biting insults after initially being left to ride the bench. But save for a stolen pin by Rose, there wasn’t nearly as much intra-squad strife as the forecast had seemingly called for. Instead, Raw slowly whittled SmackDown down to a two-on-one disadvantage, with Banks and Nia Jax stacked up against Asuka, the returning sole survivor from last year’s fall classic.
Despite clearly feeling her newfound infamy as the woman who broke SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch’s face, Jax was conspicuous by her absence for most of the match and that didn’t change during the final stretch. The former Raw Women’s Champion let Banks mix it up with The Empress of Tomorrow in a sequence of moves and countermoves that had the STAPLES Center crowd falling off the edge of their seats. Jax was clearly willing to let The Boss handle the lioness’ share of the work, but she had no desire to give up the glory.
With Banks perched atop the turnbuckle and closing in on a victory, The Irresistible Force snuck onto the apron and shoved her head-first into the waiting clutches of The Empress, who ensnared Banks in the Asuka Lock and quickly notched a submission. Jax immediately struck, flattening the former NXT Women’s Champion with a trifecta of leg drops and, finally, sealing the deal with a Samoan Drop. Bliss didn’t seem to mind the ill-gotten win much, to say nothing of Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, who saw her show jump to 1-0 lead over SmackDown LIVE. No one, however, looked as pleased as Jax. This win wasn’t about total humiliation for SmackDown, but total vindication for The Irresistible Force as she looks down the stretch to a Raw Women’s Title bout with Ronda Rousey.
She certainly achieved that and more. A star-making opportunity awaits, and much to her delight, Nia Jax’s infamy is growing by the second.