There is a certain sense of change lingering within the WWE Universe. To some this change is simply another foul oder; one that has offended their senses time-and-time again. To others, this is the scent of freshly bloomed flowers; a new spring for WWE.
With the Brand Extension is full-swing, the New Era has provided fans with new faces and perhaps some new hope. Finn Balor capturing the inaugural WWE Universal Championship was a sight to behold.
Following an unfortunate injury to Finn Balor and the subsequent vacating of the WWE Universal Championship, watching Kevin Owens claims the red strap as his own was a beautiful day for professional wrestling.
However, we must keep in mind that while the scent of a new spring can produce some sense of natural intoxication, it can also prove nauseating. For the pounds of unclaimed canine fecal mater which hide beneath the snow all winter long will soon thaw and invade the once pleasant atmosphere.
These are 15 things WWE will get horribly wrong over the next year:
15 15. WrestleMania
Why not begin with the biggest night of the year? WrestleMania 33 will take place on April2, 2017 from Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. Given how this 'Mania event should place all of its focus on the New Era, we all know such is not the case.
Come WrestleMania season, Triple H will once again find himself involved in a big-time match while Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker come reemerge for the annual payoff; once again rendering WrestleMania a part-timer event.
Something needs to come from Triple H screwing Seth Rollins out of the WWE Universal Championship in favour of Kevin Owens, but that match does not need to take place at WrestleMania as Survivor Series would suffice.
Next spring when the "Showcase of the Immortals" arrives in The Sunshine State, expect the card to look completely wrong in contrast to the New Era.
14 14. Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
The idea of two generations facing off in a high-profile match has worked well in the past. The Rock vs. Hulk Hogan was a massive success. Years later, The Rock and John Cena would prove a fantastic feud.
As alluded to in the previous entry, Triple H vs. Seth Rollins is going to happen at some point. If in fact, WWE saves this encounter for WrestleMania, then this feud needs to be handled with care and will require precision in terms of booking.
Let's get the obvious fact out of the way: Triple H in no way, shape, or form needs a victory over Seth Rollins. Going over on "The Game" could legitimize "The Architect" in the eyes of all those who may cast doubts over Rollins' career.
However, Triple H is coming off the losing end of a Spear while also dropping the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Warning Sign, Seth Rollins.
13 13. Samoa Joe on the Main Roster
Samoa Joe is likely closer than most NXT Superstars to the main roster. The former NXT Champion dropped the gold to Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II, which usually serves as a call-up sign.
Samoa Joe will remain with the NXT brand for the immediate future but will likely see his final action with the promotion this November at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. From there, Joe should strut his way onto the main roster.
However, what will WWE do with Samoa Joe? WWE World or Universal Champion? Not likely. Mid-card mauler at best. Joe has been great down in NXT but success at Full Sail University does not guarantee success in WWE.
The Creative Team will struggle with Samoa Joe; especially when taking into consideration that the main roster already has it's Frumpy Superstar in Kevin Owens.
12 12. John Cena and the Quest for Sixteen
Even though this will pain many wrestling fans, there is no way to stop the inevitable. John Cena will tie Ric Flair with with his sixteenth World Championship victory at some point over the course of the next year.
The sooner we all come to terms with this, the easier is will be to digest John Cena holding the title above his head and matching "The Nature Boy." However, with a record this pristine, this precious, the situation must be handled with absolute care.
Ric Flair has bene distance from Charlotte and Monday Night Raw, so placing Flair somewhere on SmackDown Live prior to this monumental victory can help soften the blow. Flair could even stand in Cena's corner on the night of the title switch.
However, WWE will likely take the wrong road with this record-tying moment. John Cena should not claim the title as Super Cena but rather a humble, shell of Superman.
11 11. Cruiserweight Division
For everything WCW did wrong, they sure as hell got it right with their Cruiserweight Division. During the Monday Night War, WCW positioned their Cruiserweights (who happened to be the best wrestlers on the roster) to perform at a certain hour.
Eric Bischoff believed that if the Cruiserweight Division was featured with prominence at the nine o'clock hour - just when fans were deciding whether to watch Nitro or Raw - that fans would remain tuned into Nitro thanks to its exciting action.
Well, the Cruiserweight Division is set to make its return to Monday nights as exclusive property of the Raw Brand. Thanks to the success of the inaugural Cruiserweight Classic, this actions is set add some much-needed flare to Team Red.
However, Monday Night Raw is network television and the division will not be abled to flourish as it has exclusively on the WWE Network.
10 10. Eva Marie: Women's Champion
There has been something brewing with Eva Marie for quite some time now. Yes, Marie was slapped with her first suspension but that will not deter from her standing on SmackDown Live; where she will eventually compete.
With the inaugural WWE SmackDown Women's Champion being Becky Lynch, the female talent of the Blue Brand look to be heading in the right direction; but as well all know, looks can be deceiving and looks can get you far.
As is the case with Eva Marie who despite training and attempting to improve her in-ring ability, simply hasn't picked up on the formula. However, if Vince McMahon is infatuated with the Red Queen, then good things will come.
Over the next year, look for Eva Marie to capture the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship and perhaps set the division back entirely.
9 9. Women's Division
Two separate WWE Women's Championship titles. This sounds great in theory and watching Becky Lynch hoist the inaugural SmackDown Women's Championship was a lovely and well-deserved sight. However, something is bound to go wrong.
The Women of WWE already receive enough heat from the trolls who feel they could book them in a more favourable light. And we are not here to downgrade their achievements in any way; the Women's Revolution was a fight well worth the scrap.
There is only one way to ensure the future success of the Women's Division: keep it far away from Vince McMahon. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon need to place a stranglehold on the Women's booking. However, that will not happen.
Anyway who has watched WWE long enough must conclude that the Old Man will eventually revert back to his perversion; especially considering recent ratings.
8 8. Bobby Roode on the Main Roster
"The Glorious" Bobby Roode - following many years of speculation - has finally signed a deal with WWE. Roode currently competes down in NXT where the former TNA star has quickly grabbed the attention of everyone around.
Bobby Roode is loud in more ways than one: not only the microphone but his entrance to the ring screams at the crown in attendance and watching at home. Within a year, Roode should find himself on the main roster as he is well worth the risk.
However, those who identify as fans of Bobby Roode should enjoy the NXT ride for as long as it lasts. For the main roster ride for Roode will serve as a vehicle without brakes; destined to crash at high speed.
The success of A.J. Styles will not translate over to Bobby Roode. One TNA guy succeeding in WWE is enough. Hopefully the blaze from the crash will look Glorious.
7 7. Pushing Cass Over Enzo
The tandem of Enzo Amore and Big Cass are perhaps the most popular tag team on the current WWE roster. The people eat-up every word of this unconventional pairing. However, their position on Monday Night Raw remains sketchy.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass would serve as the perfect fit to replace The New Day as WWE Tag Team Champions. With the massive success and popularity of Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods, the next pair of title holders need to come in guns-blazing.
Of course, we can all see the bigger picture here: somewhere down the line - likely over the course of the next year - Enzo Amore and Big Cass will part ways; with Cass receiving the "big guy push" and Amore falling somewhere into the mid-card.
While Big Cass is not terrible, the star of this duo is Enzo Amore and WWE should take this into consideration. Remember, Daniel Bryan never "looked the part" either.
6 6. The Return of Any Past Superstar
Year after year, rumors circulate about possible WWE returns. Thanks to the embarrassment of his fist UFC loss, CM Punk has become the latest victim of the return rumor mill. Will Punk ever return? Who knows. Probably someday.
If any return looks likely over the next year, Kurt Angle appears to be the lead candidate. "The Olympic Hero" has been gone for far too long and needs to finally step back into the WWE ring; where he has belonged this entire time.
However, whether it is Kurt Angle, CM Punk, or even The Hardy Boyz, one thing remains certain: WWE will blow the return of whomever decide to re-sign At this point one must believe that the company commits their atrocities out of spite.
Remember when Brock Lesnar returned in 2012? What a night it was and what a monumental return. So, why did Lesnar lose to John Cena at Extreme Rules?
5 5. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane McMahon
Not that anybody wants this to happen; but it sure as hell will at some point over the course of the next year. Brock Lesnar vs. Shane McMahon promises to be a one-sided beat-down paired with one or two Daredevil-like high spots.
In the closing moments of SummerSlam - following the vicious assault of Randy Orton at the hands/elbow of Brock Lesnar - Shane McMahon would make his way down to the ring in order to save "The Viper" from "The Beast."
Brock Lesnar's next big feud should not be with Shane McMahon. Lesnar needs an opponent who seems like a legitimate threat. And the Rich Kid from Connecticut who is willing to throw is body into harm's way does not pose as that threat.
In hindsight, there are not many "real threats" to Brock Lesnar on the roster. However, a match with Shane McMahon simply poses as a bore.
4 4. The Return of Finn Balor
What a shame it was when Finn Balor was forced to relinquish the WWE Universal Championship on Monday Night Raw following his victory over Seth Rollins the night prior at SummerSlam. What a shame indeed.
Finn Balor recently provided the WWE Universe with an injury update; listing a timetable of upward to five months until his return. However, in WWE "five months" means less on the calendar. Expect Balor to appear as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble match.
And if this prediction comes true then there is only one logical way to book Finn Balor's return: have "The Demon King" win the Royal Rumble. Of course, in the eyes of Vince McMahon, Balor may have blown his opportunity.
Yes, it will be great to once again watch Finn Balor in action but chances are Finn Balor will not receive another chance.
3 3. Kevin Owens' Title Reign
While the WWE Universe awaits with patient ears for the reason behind Triple H's betrayal of Seth Rollins in favour of Kevin Owens, fans can sit back and enjoy the best performer on the current roster entertain like no other.
Behind the scenes both Triple H and Vince MvMahon are said to be high on Kevin Owens; which is a great sign of things to come for the French-Canadian Superstar. However, that doesn't necessarily mean WWE will handle Owens' push properly.
So, Kevin Owens was essentially handed the WWE Universal Championship. Fine. Now, make sure it matters. The Universal Championship is young and needs the proper champion to create an aura of prestige around the belt.
Kevin Owens should hold the WWE Universal Championship for at least a year while defeating everybody in the process; including a potential match with Brock Lesnar.
2 2. A.J. Styles
At the Backlash Pay-Per-View event, a large group of die-hard wrestling fans rejoiced as A.J. Styles defeated Dean Ambrose to capture the biggest prize in wrestling: the WWE World Championship. At the age of thirty-nine, Styles finally reached the very top.
This was not only a well-deserved victory but one which was a long time coming. The question now: in which direction will WWE take Styles' title reign? The coward route? Or the never-back-down approach?
Regardless it would appear as though all roads are leading to John Cena and that elusive number of sixteen World Championships. Styles may hold a number of wrestling records, but his name may soon live in infamy as the man who dropped number sixteen to Cena.
A.J. Styles has waited a long time to finally hold the highest honor in the industry. However, WWE will somehow manage drop the ball with "The Phenomenal One."
1 1. Shinsuke Nakamura on the Main Roster
The current NXT Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura is more than just a wrestler. Nakamura is a larger-than-life Superstar who connects with the audience on an organic and truly magnetic level. The people are drawn to Nakamura.
Over the course of the next year Shinsuke Nakamura will drop the NXT Championship to somebody and from there, the main roster will be visible in plain sight. Green pasture for Nakamura on the main roster, right?
Well, the biggest problem with Shinsuke Nakamura on the main roster is that his marketability does not reach the casual fan. Those who tune into WWE and not NXT will not find Nakamura appealing.
When the time comes, the violin will play and Shinsuke Nakamura will make his gran debut on the main roster; but the buzz will fade in a hurry.
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