Professional wrestling has no off season. It’s a violent and spectacular mash-up of pro sport and scripted drama, making it rare for creative reboots to even be dreamed of. Tonight, WWE can start again.
The standard bearers are out. Seth Rollins is no longer WWE champion and out 6-9 months. Established stars like John Cena, Randy Orton, The Undertaker, Kane, Chris Jericho, Sting, and Brock Lesnar are all absent. The superstars who’ve been forced to watch these men dominant the spotlight can now dictate the WWE’s future in their image:
Panned by most adult, male wrestling fans as the WWE’s next Superman, Reigns is most likely to become the next WWE World Heayweight Champion. He’s shown the desire to be the best wrestler in the company with an impressive athleticism to keep him there. All he may need is an iconic “pipe bomb” style promo to finally cement who he is in a sea of brawny gladiators.
Even before The Shield broke apart, many speculated about the can’t miss programs Dean Ambrose would easily slide into. Over a year later, he’s battled cult leaders, authority figures, former best friends, and John Cena himself in classic bouts. He even nearly became WWE World Heayweight champion on several sttempts and could do so again at the expense of his on screen bestie. As Reigns’ new bitter nemesis, or as the scruffy underdog to a flipped Reigns, it’s hard imagining Ambrose without Reigns and vice versa in the coming months.
Winning the Money In The Bank briefcase used to be career insurance. Holding it was a near iron clad guarantee that the holder would become world champion while blazing a trail of sneaky dominance. For Sheamus, it’s meant interminable feuds with old rivals Dolph ZIggler and Randy Orton, leaving all sides pondering why they’re even fighting to begin with. Matches have ended with oddly timed disqualifications and literal ass kissing. It’s time for Sheamus and his, “stupid” hair to shed the silliness and get back to the gritty arse kicking that helped him breakout in his rookie year.
The Big Show
A WWE favorite in tough times, he was most recently responsible for helping fuel the Brock Lesnar hype train. A certifiable giant with underrated acting chops, Big Show can be the heavy The Authority needs to keep disorganized would-be heroes in check, as well as give said heroes a villain to rally against.
Baffling. The word to use when thinking about how Cesaro still has no title or feud of consequence. His current issue with Stardust and The Ascension has no teeth and his herculean strength and charisma are begging to be showcased at a time when there’s no show to hang a hat on. It’s time for The King of Swing to ascend to new heights.
Baffling. A word that bears repeating when you consider the trajectory of Wade Barrett. He’s gone from rebellious leader of The Nexus, to the Caesar like head of The Corre, to bare-knuckle brawler, to the master of Bad News, to a fragile king. Literally every major fight since becoming royal, aside from gaining the crown itself, has netted a loss for Barrett. Along with coincidental tag partner Sheamus, it’s time for The King of Bad News to show a more serious side and smash open the door of opportunity with a Bull Hammer.
The New Day
It’s rare for three men with no momentum to essentially found their own cult of personality. Kofi, Big E, and Xavier have expertly walked the line between ludicrously non sequitur and sublime to capture the Tag Team Championships and the hearts of the clapping masses. With so many main events out, it’s hard not to see The New Day stepping in.
Rumblings of NXT call ups give Owens a veritable who’s who of dance partners. Even if Owens’ talent in the ring and on the mic is considered less important than his time on WWE’s main roster for officials to award him a world title, Owens is becoming a standard setter for creating compelling feuds with any opponent. He doesn’t need World Championship gold at this moment, but the work he does now could guarantee him main events to come.
Alberto Del Rio
Del Rio may be on Swagger duty the next few months, but that doesn’t mean his return came without a guaranteed run at the top. He’s proven that he can perform in big match situations and he’d be paired with a slew of fresh opponents thankfully different from his previous runs as champion. Via El Patron.
At a time when their Divas Revolution has stutter stepped several times, their female roster stands poised and hungry to prove their fights are just as competitive and entertaining as the men’s. My hope is that the magic they’ve captured in NXT can reappear on WWE’s largest weekly stage and continue the amazing work they’ve done in rehabbing WWE women’s wrestling.