We’re in Post-WrestleMania season folks and instead of getting all down in the dumps about the hottest period of the year being over, think about it for a second. Look at what’s on the horizon, because things are about to get very interesting.
I’ve taken the liberty to list the 8 things you should be most excited about in WWE in the next year. Ranging from upcoming feuds, character changes, returns and debuts, us fans have a lot to look forward to. So let’s talk it out.
A Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens Feud
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens is a feud that could go on until the end of time and no-one would tire of it. Those two just have a chemistry that is so rare that you only get one or two combinations of these in a generation. Like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels or Steve Austin and The Rock, they’re destined to cross paths forever.
After Owens put Sami on the shelf at NXT Takeover: Unstoppable, Owens moved to the main roster where he would have an incredible series of matches with John Cena, most notably pinning him clean in their first encounter, he would also hold the Intercontinental title twice. But his past would catch up with him.
Sami Zayn is back! He eliminated Kevin Owens from the Royal Rumble and then a month later would attack him on Raw. After the ladder match at WrestleMania where neither man were able to get their hands on the IC title, both moved onto to bigger things and made their intentions for the WWE World Heavyweight Title known. KO is not pleased with Sami’s intentions.
KO put Zayn through a table backstage to put him out of the main event on this past weeks Raw. It looks as if the next chapter of the Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn saga is ready to be told over the next few months. Buckle up, because it’s going to get real good and I don’t think WWE is able to stuff this one up, it’s too simple!
The Revival of the Women’s Championship
This is something everybody from the fans to the women of the WWE themselves have been wanting for years. Back in 2010, WWE decided they didn’t need two championships for the women, so they ditched one. Which was a fair decision, the brand split was coming to an apparent end and this had already occurred with the tag team division.
Downside though, they retired the women’s title, the one with the lineage of over 50 years in favour of the Diva’s title, the one that had been around for 2 years and had a design like it had taken from a pre-school sticker sheet. The decision was widely panned by fans and former champions alike, because no s**t, it was dumb.
Fast forward some dark times for the “Divas Division” and NXT is giving their women stories, characters and time in the ring… You know, as if they were actually wrestlers or something. The main roster began to take notice, but not after being dragged kicking and screaming into change because of social media reactions and opinions of their own employees were widely like “why are we not doing this too!?”
This past week at WrestleMania, before Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks and Charlotte were scheduled for their triple threat title match, Lita came to the ring and announced that change was here and the Divas Championship would be retired and the winner of the triple threat would be crowned the first WWE Women’s Champion (following a brand new lineage, almost like a blank slate).
They aren’t ‘Divas’ anymore, they’re all superstars. They have a brand new championship, they have the talent pool and it looks like (FINALLY) the company is behind them. The future is bright for women’s wrestling, it’s now time to enjoy what we’ve asked for.
Cesaro Is Back!
Cesaro has always been one those guys on the cusp of greatness, but for one reason or another, the trigger is never pulled on him. He won the inaugural Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal and we thought that this was it… It wasn’t.
Vince McMahon while on the Steve Austin podcast was asked what Cesaro was missing and he said that he “wasn’t connecting as much as we’d have hoped” and then added “maybe it’s because he’s Swiss, I don’t know.” Suffice to say the majority of viewers at home threw their hands in the air in utter frustration.
Cesaro suffered a shoulder injury and required surgery this past November and shockingly made his return the night after WrestleMania to a HUGE reaction. Is he connecting yet Vince?
Now Cesaro is back in the mix, what will he do first? Is he in the main event picture now? Does he need a US or IC title reign first? But I know I’ll be tuning in to find out what’s next for the Swiss Superman.
A Potential Roman Reigns Turn
If I was to say Roman Reigns has been welcomed warmly to the top of the mountain in WWE, I would be flat out lying and nobody likes a dirty liar. When Reigns debuted in The Shield everyone had that inkling that he was going to be big in the future, we just didn’t think WWE were going try and force it to happen so soon rather than let it happen organically.
Once The Shield split, Ambrose and Rollins went off and got new gear, new music and found their new character. Roman kept the music, the gear, the entrance through the crowd and his character didn’t change. That’s already not a great start. The WWE Universe had just been on a decade long run with John Cena playing superman, and with what WWE had been doing with Roman since he went solo, it was looking like we were heading into another 10 years, but with Roman Reigns.
Many, like myself, don’t have an issue with Roman Reigns the person. But it’s clear that everyone wants to boo him. He’s been booked as this guy who has struggled and has had to overcome all odds and ‘The Authority’ don’t want a guy like him as champion. Uhh, okay. So we’re supposed to believe, in storyline, that WWE don’t want a good looking, long haired Samoan with a massive physique and an incredibly rich family heritage to be champion. Sure.
Anyway, so as WWE does, they persisted with it despite it just being a bad idea. Reigns won the title at WrestleMania in a nothing match to a frosty reception. He then came out on Raw the next night (to an even worse reception) but this time he appeared to show a new attitude. “I’m not a bad guy. I’m not a good guy. I’m the guy.” He looked down on challengers like Sami Zayn and AJ Styles, treating them condescendingly.
It looks like they’re changing up Roman Reigns attitude a bit. Could it morph into a full fledged heel turn? Who knows, but the next few months will be interesting to see.
Global Cruiserweight Series
WWE doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to the Cruiserweight division. Hornswoggle was the last Cruiserweight champion for christ sake. But earlier this year some exciting news was announced, the WWE Network will air a Global Cruiserweight Series.
A 32 man single elimination tournament over 10 weeks starting on July 13th from Full Sail University, all to determine the best Cruiserweight in the world. WWE have yet to formally state what the winner of the tournament will receive or how many of the talents they recruit will be signed to WWE deals.
However Triple H has announced a few names that will participate. Johnny Gargano, Tomasso Ciampa, Zack Sabre Jr and Rich Swann just to name a few. It was also revealed that independent promotions Evolve, Revolution Pro Wrestling and PROGRESS Wrestling will all host qualifying matches for the tournament.
Are you excited for this now? Because you better be, it’s going to be amazing.
Seth Rollins Return
Seth Rollins had an amazing 2015, if you ignore that whole nude photo leak thing. He held the WWE World Heavyweight Championship for seven months and in the process had PPV main events with the likes of Brock Lesnar, Randy Orton, John Cena and Sting. Seth Rollins was unstoppable… We thought.
Sadly it all came to a crashing halt in November when wrestling at a house show with Kane, Seth Rollins blew his knee out, tearing his ACL, forcing him to relinquish the WWE Championship. He was expected to be out 6-9 months. It couldn’t have come at a worse time. Mainly because we got Sheamus as champion afterwards. That was not a fun period.
This was 5 months ago, which means Seth Rollins’ return is somewhere on the horizon. Get excited because think about what’s changed since Seth was last on TV. Chris Jericho’s back, Sami Zayn is on Raw, Kevin Owens has been elevated past the Intercontinental title, Cesaro’s back, AJ Styles is here.
Plus with a fresh attitude change for new champion Roman Reigns, could Seth Rollins be ready to make a long awaited face turn? Or is WWE in desperate need of any convincing heels they can get their hands on? That’s the point, stay tuned.
Future NXT Call Ups
Between WrestleMania 31 and 32, the following superstars were called up to the main roster. Neville, Kalisto, Kevin Owens, Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Sami Zayn, Eva Marie, Braun Strowman, Emma (again) and Tyler Breeze. That’s quite an impressive list… And Eva Marie.
That also sounds like NXT would’ve suffered because of it, but they haven’t! They still have the likes of Finn Balor, Bayley, Samoa Joe, Asuka, Shinsuke Nakamura, Austin Aries, Hideo Itami, American Alpha all hanging around there.
This begs the question, who’s next? Just this past week The Vaudevillians, Baron Corbin, Enzo & Cass and Apollo Crews have all made their main roster debuts so it’s more than likely we won’t see another main roster debut for a while.
With every debut, more hope is brought to the main roster that we’re going to see fresh match ups and providing us with can’t miss TV. So who do you think is coming up next? We shall watch and find out.
Shinsuke Nakamura Is In WWE
Shortly after Wrestle Kingdom 10 it was announced that WWE had offered contracts to 4 of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest stars. AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows and most shockingly, Shinsuke Nakamura.
If you hadn’t heard of Nakamura before, he’s a rockstar who will knee you in the head over and over again… And you’ll still want to see him do it again, after all he is the King of Strong Style.
Once Nakamura completed his contractual obligations with New Japan he made his way to Orlando. He had his debut match at NXT Takeover Dallas against Sami Zayn and it was good. Really good. Chants of “Fight Forever!” happened it was that good.
Shinsuke Nakamura is here in WWE. We don’t know who long he’ll be in NXT, what his first rivalry will be. It’s all so new it’s up in the air at the moment. In my opinion, Nakamura’s future is the most intriguing thing in WWE at the moment.
So, let me know. What are you most excited for in WWE in the next year? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter: @MichaelFarrer92
I’ll catch you next time.