When the WWE Draft took place, there were plenty of rumors on how the rosters would shake out. RAW, WWE’s flagship show, was expected to have the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and other veteran talent while they newly branded SmackDown Live was supposed to feature all of the up and coming wrestlers of tomorrow.
Instead, the WWE creative team did a 180, making RAW a show that’s more intriguing than the blue brand.
With a great combination of young talent like Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Rusev, Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, tag teams like Gallows and Anderson, The New Day and Enzo and Cass, the Women’s Championship, the reintroduced Cruiserweight division and the company’s biggest star Brock Lesnar, many fans believed that RAW came out victorious after the draft.
In the coming months, there will be plenty of feuds that will be taking place. Some will be new and some will be rehashed, but they will all feel fresh due to the new product that the WWE is currently offering to their fans.
With that being said, there are plenty of routes that the creative team can go. Here are eight feuds the fans want to see happen on RAW and seven that they don’t.
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15 Want To See: Kevin Owens vs. Brock Lesnar
When a person who isn't familiar with the world of professional wrestling looks at Brock Lesnar and Kevin Owens side by side, they would probably laugh at the thought of Lesnar absolutely destroying Owens. But the beauty of professional wrestling is that any matchup is possible - and seeing Lesnar and Owens in the squared circle at the same time would be a thing of beauty.
On one hand, you have Lesnar. A legitimate fighter and beast of a man, Lesnar has been portrayed as the most dominant and badass wrestler since he defeated the Undertaker at WrestleMania XXX and ended his undefeated streak. And while Owens doesn’t have the look of what could be considered a “superstar,” not many can match was he does inside of the ring. Ever since his debut on the main roster, there is no denying that Owens has been one of the best talents within the company.
A match between the two would be so intriguing, as Lesnar and Owens have completely different in-ring styles. And how amazing would it be to hear Owens and Paul Heyman go back and forth on the mic?
14 Don't Want To See: Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman
Remember when Braun Strowman debuted during the RAW on the night after SummerSlam? Sure, no one really knew how he would be in the ring, but if there was one thing that’s for sure, he was a behemoth of a man.
As the Road to WrestleMania came around, it appeared as though Brock Lesnar was going to lock up with one of the Wyatt’s at the Showcase of the Immortals. At the Royal Rumble, Lesnar took all four members on and, as expected, dominated. Bray Wyatt was the logical choice, as he is the obvious star of the group. Vince McMahon, however, originally had different plans. He wanted Lesnar vs. Strowman.
With the way the fans treat the on-screen product, there is no denying that the matchup would have been booed out of AT&T Stadium. Despite the creative team attempting to rebrand Strowman with the help of squash matches, let’s hope that they don't revisit the idea of this matchup.
13 Want: Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
When you look back at the history of Ring of Honor, there have been plenty of great talents to rise from the company. The likes of Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Samoa Joe all made their name in ROH and went on to do great things in the WWE. However, the case could be made that Seth Rollins and Cesaro are two of the best workers to make it out of the independent promotion.
From his time with The Shield to using the moniker The Architect, it’s hard to deny that Rollins hasn’t been the MVP of the WWE ever since WrestleMania 31. Although he went down with an ACL tear int he middle of his run, he’s come back better than ever. And although Cesaro hasn’t received the same number of chances, he, too, has been one of the best talents on the roster. Putting on top-notch matches week in and week out, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his shot.
And that could come soon. Recently on RAW, Cesaro beat Sheamus in a number one contender's match for the title that Rollins will be fighting for at SummerSlam. This dream matchup may come true sooner than we think…
12 Don't: Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
When The Shield was dominating every facet of the WWE, the creative team knew that there were dollar signs in feuds when the trio eventually split. While Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose have all spent time in programs with one another, the WWE has done a lot between Rollins and Reigns. So much so that I prefer not to see a feud between these two for a little while.
Unlike a large majority of wrestling fans, I’m not against Reigns. Sure, his push could get overbearing at times, but he’s far better in the ring than some give him credit for and he’s improved on the mic as well. On top of that, Reigns and Rollins have pretty good chemistry inside of the squared circle, as evidenced by the quality matches they put on.
But the more the duo feuds about their past, the more underwhelming it becomes. There’s no doubt that they will, once again, meet in the ring. Let’s just hope it’s many months down the line.
11 Want: Sasha Banks vs. Paige
When the Divas Revolution went from a hashtag to an onscreen program, it was obvious that Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Becky Lynch should have been the focal points; and deservedly so. All three women left a great mark on NXT and were ready to revamp the women’s division on main programming.
One female, however, should have had something to say about that: Paige. After all, not only do many consider her one of the founding mothers of the Divas Revolution - as she was called up over a year earlier than the trio - but she was also the first NXT Women’s Champion.
A feud between the two is ready-made, and it would be a great in-ring performance. Both women can absolutely go in the ring, and they’ve showed some decent chemistry in the past. With Banks now holding the Women’s Championship, she will need a feud once she’s done with Charlotte. Paige as a heel against Banks would be something many people would love to see.
10 Don't: Charlotte vs. Paige
On paper, Charlotte and Paige going against each other is a feud that can be a focal point of the women’s division. While the former PCB members have wrestled one another in the past, the chemistry hasn’t been as strong.
And although the in-ring work was still passable, you can’t deny that their feud towards the end of 2015 was in bad taste altogether. After all, Paige mentioning Charlotte’s deceased brother - which was supposed to add some heat to their floundering program - left most viewers with a bad taste in their mouths as RAW went off the air.
Although RAW’s women’s division is seen as superior to that of SmackDown Live, Charlotte, Paige and Sasha Banks are by far the top three female talents. Because of that, it’s almost certain that Charlotte and Paige will cross paths once again - and that’s something the viewers may not be too favorable of.
9 Want: Finn Balor vs. Neville
With the way Finn Balor was called up to the main roster - him being drafted to RAW, his two wins on his first night and his co-main event for the newly made Universal Championship at SummerSlam - it’s obvious that the WWE has massive plans for their newest star.
But not long ago, the same could’ve been said about Neville. Although he didn’t have the fanfare of the WWE Draft, The Man That Gravity Forgot was NXT’s top superstar at the time of his promotion after WrestleMania 31 and had a very good showing over his first few months.
Both Balor and Neville have parallel WWE careers. They both were top stars in NXT, are the two longest reigning NXT Champions of all time and both are absolutely exhilarating inside of the ring. They’ve had brief encounters in NXT; but seeing Balor and Neville in a program on RAW would be an awesome experience for the fans.
8 Don't: Anything Involving The Big Show
Let me preface this section by saying that the Big Show is one of the most heralded men on the roster and is no doubt a future WWE Hall of Famer, no matter what the criteria is to receive the honor. But at the same time, the Big Show has so much trouble inside of the ring, is over 40 years old and has absolutely no place wrestling in the New Era.
It was a shame that the Big Show was taken before the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Neville, Apollo Crews and other young upstarts looking to make a name for themselves on WWE programming. Because of this, it appears as though the Big Show may be featured in some mid level programming on RAW in the near future.
But that shouldn’t happen. As stated above, he really doesn’t have a place at this stage of his career, and him being in any featured feuds would only take away from someone else.
7 Want: Sami Zayn vs. Seth Rollins
Just a few slides ago, I mentioned Seth Rollins, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Samoa Joe as wrestlers who have made their way through ROH to become a household name within the world of the WWE. They aren’t the only wrestlers who dominated in the company to go on and do great things; Sami Zayn is another man who deserves to be on the list.
From his rise through NXT up until his last match on Raw, Zayn has been a wrestler that fans can get behind. Whether it’s due to his awesome entrance music, likability, in-ring prowess or ability to sell, Zayn is someone that fans can feel something towards…and that’s very rare in today’s world of wrestling.
Rollins, arguably the best wrestler in the WWE, would be an awesome person to match up against Zayn. Not only would the two but on a five-star classic match, but it would do wonders for Zayn, who can get a main event rub from the former WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
6 Don't: The Club vs. The Golden Truth
I don’t think many would deny that Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have had an underwhelming WWE-run. Despite showing spurts of what made them popular around the world, they have yet to be presented in the same light that they were in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Sure, they were starting to find their groove with AJ Styles before they were split up and have been more aggressive against The New Day. But The Club has to do more than a couple of gang style beatdowns to establish themselves as legitimate. Pitting them against The Golden Truth would hurt more than it helps.
Sure, both Goldust and R-Truth have the backing of the fans, as a comedy act is always needed in the WWE. But don’t mistake cheers for being beloved, and if Gallows and Anderson were to beat down the Golden Truth, it wouldn’t be as effective as it would against a bigger team.
5 Want: Enzo and Cass vs. The New Day
Sorry American Alpha. If there is any tag team feud that needs to be featured front and center on all of WWE programming, it’s Big Cass and Enzo Amore going up against the New Day.
If you’re a fan of the WWE, you know that charisma and mic work is just as important as in-ring ability. And when it comes to Enzo, Cass and the New Day, there aren’t many wrestlers that can match their combinations.
Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods had their careers revitalized once coming together as a trio. And not only are they the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history, but they are also one of the most charismatic groups of all time. At the same time, Enzo and Cass are similar to that of the New Age Outlaws. Their mic work - especially Enzo - is absolutely outstanding, and they back in up when wrestling.
Fans would pay to see these groups duel on the mic just as much as they’d pay to see them go at it in the ring.
4 Don't: The Golden Truth vs. The New Day
Let’s combine the last two slides, shall we? With the tag team division not incredibly deep, there’s a chance that The New Day and The Golden Truth cross paths at some point in the near future. For the sake of the Raw audience, that feud should not take place.
As stated before, The New Day are a very funny and entertaining act whenever they’re on television. Unfortunately, however, their jokes do miss at times, leaving the crowd puzzled instead of full of laughter.
At the same time, The Golden Truth has a similar shtick. While their antics do garner laughs at times, their outlandish behavior can be a little much. While both teams going back and forth in a promo battle could be funny, it’s likely that it’ll border the lines of corny. That’s not something you should want for the tag team that’s at the forefront of the division.
3 Want: Brock Lesnar vs. Rusev
Back to the Beast Incarnate. Although Brock Lesnar takes his break after SummerSlam, he will be in need of an opponent heading into the Royal Rumble. When scanning the roster, it’s hard to find a mix of a fresh and young opponent that can use the rub from Lesnar. One wrestler who can? Rusev.
Despite going through a lull in the first half of 2016, the Bulgarian Brute has otherwise been booked very favorably since receiving the call-up from NXT. Rusev has the unique combination of a thick build with an insane natural athletic ability, something that’s not possessed by many. His size and strength would fit into a match with Lesnar, and the match would be hard hitting and entertaining at the same time.
Although Lesnar would most likely receive the victory, putting Rusev in a main event match is something he deserves at this point in his career. And even though he will come out on the losing end, he will walk away as a main event star.
2 Don't: Brock Lesnar vs. Sheamus
Speaking of Lesnar…
Although he teeters between good guy and bad guy on a regular basis, the crowd reactions tend to make Lesnar more of a face than a heel. Because of this, it makes sense to put him up against a bad guy in his next feud. One person who it shouldn't be? Sheamus.
The intrigue of a match between Lesnar and Sheamus could be positive, as Sheamus is a big guy, is hard hitting and could be a viable opponent inside of the ring. Unfortunately, however, he also isn’t very over with the crowd, whether that be by loud cheers or obnoxious jeers. Sheamus tends to be floating in the middle in that regard.
The WWE’s number one goal should be putting someone against Lesnar who they have big plans for and who they want to elevate. When it comes to Sheamus, he just doesn’t appear to be that person.
1 Want: Brock Lesnar vs. Cesaro
Let’s make it three in a row, shall we?
Brock Lesnar is WWE’s marquee talent. No matter how many times that’s been mentioned in this countdown, it’s the truth. There’s a reason why he makes the most money while working the least amount of dates.
As stated before, the creative team’s plan must be to use Lesnar and everything they made him to put over someone who needs to get to the next level. Scanning through the Raw roster, there aren't many that can make it work. There is, however, one man that may be able to.
Sure, Lesnar may be the strongest man on the roster. But if there is one man who can compete with him in the gym, it’s Cesaro. Not to mention that he’s a maestro in the ring, is finally getting some spotlight and has the backing of the fans. Would he beat Lesnar? Probably not. But a great showing against him could push Cesaro towards the top of the card.
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