The WWE brand split is coming. Well, it's coming back. This is technically WWE Brand Split 2: the Quest for More Money (and Ratings). Still, it's exciting times around the E! Smackdown's going live on July 19 and the draft will be held on the same night. Reports have run wild that NXT will be raided to help fill the main roster with talent. That means many of your favorite NXT superstars, such as Finn Balor, Samoa Joe, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bayley, and more, will be heading up to Raw and Smackdown, where they'll make much way money, but also be subjected to much more confusing booking.
Regardless of the effects it'll have on NXT, the brand split's sure to spice up WWE TV through the dreary summer months, and thanks to the influx of talent coming up, there's an increased potential for fresh rivalries and dream matches. Do you want to see Finn Balor and AJ Styles have some kind of Bullet Club reunion feud? It could happen! What about various non-WWE wrestling megastars, like Samoa Joe or Shinsuke Nakamura, feuding with John Cena the way Kevin Owens did and AJ Styles is? It's high likely; eventually, Cena comes for everyone! Do you want to see Bayley and Sasha Banks re-visit their feud from NXT? Of course you do, you're a human person with a soul! So, without further ado, step into the WWE Dream Booking Machine (TM) and see 15 fantastic matches that could, and should, happen in the near future!
15 American Alpha vs. The New Day
Right off the bat, this one's a no-brainer. The New Day's not only the biggest tag team in the WWE, they very well may be the biggest act in the company, period. Meanwhile, American Alpha are the biggest tag team in NXT and two of the best pure wrestlers on the roster. Any time either team is on the screen, everyone's paying attention and the teams are talented enough to make any kind of feud work. The New Day are essentially a super powered comedy act, but they can be serious when they want to be. Remember when they merc'd Dolph Ziggler? That was brutal. Conversely, American Alpha can be goofy when they want to be, Chad Gable in particular. In the ring, it's a slam dunk. American Alpha don't know how to perform badly and The New Day have a track record of stand-out in-ring work. The combination of Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods against American Alpha would make for a particularly compelling competition.
14 Andrade "Cien" Almas vs. Sami Zayn
This one's an under the radar hit. On the surface, there aren't a ton of reasons to have Sami Zayn and Andrade Almas face off, besides that it would be cool as hell to see. They're both incredibly athletic high fliers and it'd be worth it to see this match just to see the two of them bouncing around the ring. However, they actually have quite a bit in common. Sami Zayn spent much of indy career as a luchador named El Generico (who recently returned to Tijuana to take care of his family, according to Zayn). At the same time, Almas got his start performing in New Japan and CMLL in Mexico as a luchador named La Sombra. So, right off the bat, they'll have an intimate knowledge of each other's move sets, theoretically giving them good chemistry, and we all know what Sami Zayn can do when he has good chemistry with someone. Remember his feud with Cesaro? Or his match with Shinsuke Nakamura? This is a great idea.
13 Asuka vs. Charlotte
Another one that writes itself, Asuka vs. Charlotte is an easy feud to sell. Charlotte is the spoiled, egotistical daughter of Ric Flair who thinks she's the queen of the world and Asuka is a truly terrifying human being who only wants to destroy other women and be champion. That writes itself. Charlotte's status as primary heel of the women's division would make her an immediate target for Asuka, who wouldn't waste any time looking for a path to the championship. They could sell the match by stating that Charlotte managed to escape NXT before Asuka got there and therefore never had to prove herself against the Empress of Tomorrow. In the ring, this match is an easy sell. Charlotte works well with just about anyone and Asuka's strike heavy arsenal makes every match hard hitting and brutal. It'd a good feud to heat up the already stagnant division.
12 Austin Aries vs. Seth Rollins
Fun fact: Seth Rollins, then Tyler Black, won the Ring of Honor world championship from Austin Aries. Therefore, they're already familiar with each other. If you think ROH continuity doesn't matter here, I'd like to direct you to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, who beat the Hell out of each other every time they're in the same room. They're also two of the best workers in the company right now, so they'd easily be able to put on a great show in the WWE. Their high flying styles would delights crowds young and old alike. They're both currently working as heels at the moment (although Rollins was showing some face tendencies during his feud with Roman Reigns), but in the New Era, heel vs. heel matches aren't hard to pull off. As long they put on a good match, the crowd will get behind it, which they probably would have, anyway, because crowds be smarky as hell lately.
11 Bayley vs. Sasha Banks
This is cheating. Everyone already knows what a Bayley - Sasha Banks feud would look like, because it's already happened. They had two of the best matches of 2015 down in NXT. However, wouldn't it be great to see again, optimally at Wrestlemania? It would be the perfect good lady - bad lady feud to kick the women's division into overdrive. Bayley is the perfect face: everyone loves her. Meanwhile, Sasha is currently working as a face, but more out of necessity than anything else. Against Bayley, she could return to her pure heel roots, where she excels. Heel Sasha Banks isn't just good, she's arguably a megastar. The story writes itself, and the matches are guaranteed to be excellent. Their iron (wo)man match at NXT TakeOver: Respect was the first women's match ever to headline a WWE event, so that's a testament to their skill. Anything they do on RAW or Smackdown would be must-see TV.
10 Eric Young vs. Bray Wyatt
Eric Young looks like he should be in the Wyatt family. He has a giant beard and comes to the ring in a vest that looks like something an alligator wrangler would wear. Plus, he once jumped out of a tree at Scott Baio. That sounds like cult member behavior. This is an easy feud to plan. Bray Wyatt tries to recruit Eric Young and EY refuses to let it happen at first, then eventually joins up and they start terrorizing the roster together like one big, crazy, happy family. Then EY turns on Bray, because he's a loose cannon and he doesn't want to eat worlds or whatever. It'd be a lot like when Bray forced Daniel Bryan to join the Family, except Eric Young will probably look better in a boiler suit. As far as the matches go, both men have a diverse, blended style of traditional mat wrestling and striking, and they can both work well with anyone, so there'd be an plentiful opportunities for fireworks.
9 Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
This one has "instant classic" written all over it. Finn Balor is the face of NXT and one of its most consistently outstanding performers, and AJ Styles is flat out one of the best wrestlers on Earth. More than that, they have a common connection: Bullet Club. In New Japan, Finn Balor, then Prince Devitt, actually formed Bullet Club and was its first leader. AJ Styles was the third leader and the only Club member to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. A feud between them would be simple to pull off: a battle for control of The Club (WWE's obvious homage/rip-off of Bullet Club) and the loyalty of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. In the ring, they would show out every time. Both are exceptional high fliers and technical wrestlers, and they rarely under perform. Plus, they both have a rock star sort of aura to their gimmicks and entrances, so that alone would be cool to see.
8 Rich Swann vs. Apollo Crews
This is the most random pairing on the entire list. Apollo Crews is the freak of nature that moved up to the main roster surprisingly quickly the night after WrestleMania. Rich Swann is a hyper-athletic bird in human form that has only wrestled a handful of matches on NXT TV, although he is set to wrestle in the Cruiserweight Classic. Both men are natural faces, as their high flying movesets make them fan favorites, but that doesn't mean they can't wrestle. They're already familiar with each other from their time in Dragon Gate and a match between the two could put their speed and super human athleticism on display, and their considerable talents on the map. However, the best option for them could be to put them in a tag team together. Their significant abilities would allow them to gain maximum exposure in the weak tag team division and would prevent them from wasting away in the midcard.
7 Samoa Joe vs. John Cena
Now this is a dream match. John Cena is the face that runs the place, the gold standard in the WWE, and the biggest wrestler on the planet for the last decade. Samoa Joe has been a huge star for Ring of Honor and TNA and now he's the NXT world champion. Both men are two of the finest in-ring competitors in the business. A feud between them basically writes itself, because it's already been written. For the same reason Kevin Owens went after John Cena when he joined the main roster and for the same reason AJ Styles is feuding with him at this very moment, Samoa Joe would want to prove himself against John Cena, the WWE's poster boy. It's a formula the company can use over and over again because it always works and the matches are always good. The only downside here is that John Cena will almost certainly win the feud, because Vince McMahon, the spiteful bundle of crazy that he is, couldn't stand to see a former TNA icon go over his pride and joy.
6 Hideo Itami vs. Kevin Owens
You'd be forgiven if you forgot that Hideo Itami still wrestles for NXT, since it's been approximately sixty years since he's last been on TV. However, despite that fact that he got injured and then disappeared into the night seemingly forever, the man formerly known as KENTA is still an incredibly talented wrestler and supposedly nearing return. Why not just skip having him in developmental and send him right up to the main roster during the draft. Having him seek out Kevin Owens for revenge would be an excellent first feud for the Japanese sensation. Refresher: Itami got injured when "someone" "attacked him" in a parking lot. It was heavily implied Kevin Owens was responsible. Boom, you got a whole story right there. Obviously, the matches would be excellent, because both men are excellent. Owens may very well be the best overall performer in the company and Itami would bring his special brand of insane Japanese technicality and painful stiff kicks to make for a handful of beautifully violent fights.
5 Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa vs. The Usos
The Usos haven't been a particularly big part of WWE TV lately, in equal parts because The New Day have taken their role as lead face tag team in the company and their association with Roman Reigns has all but decimated their momentum. That can all change with a good feud, and Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa are the ideal candidates to help the Usos regain their previous lofty heights. The brother's high flying arsenal and exciting en entrance make them natural faces, so Gargano and Ciampa would play the heels. It's an easy sell: the upstart indy tag team of Gargano and Ciampa want to make a name for themselves on the main roster, so they go after the Usos, one of the most successful teams of the last half decade. The matches would be good, since Gargano and Ciampa rarely under-perform and the Usos managed to make Erik Rowan look great on several occasions.
4 Samoa Joe vs. Kevin Owens
Really, there aren't any bad feuds for Samoa Joe to peruse once he makes his debut on the main roster. The man's one of the best to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. He could probably make a feud with Heath Slater compelling (Don't get any ideas, Vince, please). A feud with Kevin Owens would make big bucks for the WWE. Both men are incredibly gifted strikers and talkers and their combined intensity would be off the charts. They never got a proper feud, even though Samoa Joe debuted in NXT by saving Sami Zayn from a beat down at the hands Mr. Owens. Gee, a lot of people have unresolved issues with Kevin Owens. He's a bit of a monster, isn't he? Like the feud with Hideo Itami, that's a story line that's easy to write and even easier to sell. Any match they have would tear the house down and neither man would be forced to turn face, as Samoa Joe just chalk it up to unfinished business.
3 Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles
The WWE clearly doesn't have an issue borrowing story lines and rivalries from other companies. They borrowed heavily from Ring of Honor's Summer of Punk story line in 2011, they've made a million references to AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson's activity in New Japan Pro Wrestling (even if they can't say "Bullet Club"), and Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will continue fighting until the end of time. So, with that in mind, Shinsuke Nakamura's first feud on the main roster is set. Fun fact: Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles faced each other at NJPW's Wrestle Kingdom 10 earlier this year, then left immediately afterwards for the WWE. Why not have them continue where they left off? It's a real crowd pleaser. Both men are easily among the best workers in the company today and any match they have is instantly a marquee event. Put them together in a ring and you're guaranteed to witness greatness.
2 The Revival vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
This next entry comes more from a clash of styles than anything else on this list. The Revival are the only two time NXT tag team champions, and Luke Gallows (The man formerly known as Festus and Fake Kane) and Karl Anderson, AKA The Club, are the most physically dominant tag team on the main roster. Both teams are brutal strikers and both teams have a penchant for ripping through other teams with sheer force. Heel vs. heel dynamics are weird sometimes, but think about it: The Revival, freshly drafted to the main roster, seek out The Club, the biggest, baddest team in the WWE, to try and prove their dominance by beating the tar out of them. What ensues is a lot like Godzilla vs. Mothra, only with many more beards. The Revival could even adopt a third member, possibly Kevin Owens, to account for AJ Styles.
1 Shinsuke Nakamura vs. John Cena
Here it is, the biggest, craziest, once-in-a-lifetime dream match of dream matches the WWE could pull off with their current roster: John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. The Doctor of Thuganomics vs. The King of Strong Style. WWE vs. NJPW. It wouldn't be quite as electrifying as the John Cena - Rock feud from Wrestlemania 28 (then 29, which was 1000% less awesome), but it would be far superior in terms of in ring quality. Shinsuke Nakamura may very well be the best wrestler on the current roster and John Cena has always been an underrated worker, proving in the last few years that he can go with anyone (Also, remember how good his match with CM Punk was at Money in the Bank 2011?). Their matches would be hard hitting, as both men are gifted strikers, and the fans would eat up every second of it. It wouldn't be as technical as Nakamura's matches with Sami Zayn or Austin Aries, but very few people can tell a story quite like John Cena.