2014 was not the best year for WWE, as many die-hard fans felt that the product was just not as strong as in years past. There was some highlights that will be recalled as the year comes to a close, most notably the demise of The Shield, and the rise of the three stars of the group going out on their own.
The other big storyline involved current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar. The former UFC Heavyweight Champion had a huge year, stopping the WrestleMania undefeated streak of The Undertaker in April, and then winning the belt in dominating fashion over John Cena in August at SummerSlam.
Lesnar defended the belt against Cena at the September PPV, Unforgiven, and while it ended with a weak finish, the two will meet again at the Royal Rumble, in a match that’s being hailed as the “Final Battle” between the two.
The year saw the return of a couple old stars like Hulk Hogan and Batista, who only lasted for a few months. WWE saw its first appearance of former WCW legend Sting, and rumors are strong that he will be in the ring at some point in 2015.
With 2015 upon us, the company needs to come up with better more compelling storylines to keep fans engaged with the product. Those storylines should involve new and exciting feuds with some of the younger stars of the company, and also you know there will be stars who despite being long in the tooth will find their way into major feuds for 2015.
Today we take a look at the top 15 feuds that should dominate the headlines in 2015 for WWE, breaking down what wrestlers should have the best stories in the company for the upcoming year
15. Ryback vs Rusev
This feud has already started, and it will go well into 2015, with these two big men fighting for the US Title and national pride. Ryback gave a stirring promo on the 12/29 edition of RAW, showing the most depth to his character we have seen since he went out on his own. Rusev is probably the second or third hottest heel, and his undefeated streak at some point will have to end in 2015. It may be at the hands of the Big Guy in Ryback.
14. The Ascension vs The Usos
Viktor and Konnor have arrived on the scene in WWE, and while seem to be fan favorites now, at some point they will want the tag team belts, and that means going after the Usos. Jimmy and Jey Uso have become the hottest team in the company, and are again at the top after winning the belts from Miz and Damien ‘Mizdow’ on RAW on 12/29. These four have the potential to have some great tag matches, and it should be a treat for fans in 2015 to see.
13. Bad News Barrett vs Bray Wyatt
It’s a big year in 2015 for these two stars, and it’s time to see if Barrett can step up past the mid-card level as a face. A feud with the always good Wyatt would go a long way in proving if he can reach that status. When Barrett was in Nexus feuding with John Cena, he proved he could draw. Now a feud with a star like Wyatt will show if he can do it with the crowd cheering for him instead of against him. The company sees Wyatt as a huge future star, and a feud with Barrett could be a stepping stone to a Wyatt title program.
12. The Miz vs Damien Sandow
This one is a no-brainer, as anyone that watches WWE on a weekly basis is waiting for the day that Sandow, now being known as Miz’s stunt double, makes the turn and becomes a face, feuding with his former pal and tag team partner. The Miz’s stock has risen as a heel since his return, and he’s already gotten a run as IC Champ and tag champ with Sandow. Look for these two to finally butt heads at the Royal Rumble, if not sooner, and potentially end up as a solid mid-card match during WrestleMania 31.
11. Goldust vs Stardust
WWE loves to do the ‘brother vs brother’ feud, going back to the Harts in the 1990’s and the Hardys in more modern times. Now it’s a bit different with the two Rhodes brothers playing their somewhat odd characters, so it’s not known if they will go with their real identity, or continue to play their characters, if they were to potentially feud in 2015. The word long ago was that Dustin wanted to face his brother at a WrestleMania 31 in what would be his last match before hanging up his boots. While it doesn’t appear that Dustin is ready to retire, this could be a feud that happens later in 2015, possibly leading to a Dustin retirement match at WrestleMania 32 in 2016.
10. Randy Orton vs Seth Rollins
Orton has been out following the beating he took at the hands of Rollins and the Authority about two months back. Upon his return he will be a face, and his first feud should be with the man that knocked him out in Rollins. The ‘Money in the Bank’ winner has been stepping his game up, and some have compared him to a young Shawn Michaels. A series of matches with Orton will raise Rollins’ stock even more, and would be entertaining for viewers, as these two grapplers can put on great matches.
9. Cesaro vs Dean Ambrose
Cesaro continues to be a character the WWE doesn’t seem to have a clue what to do with. He went on RAW Monday night and ranted about how angry he is about the direction of his career. He needs a big time feud, and Ambrose, who stepped up with a great feud against Bray Wyatt during the final months of 2014, is a great opponent to start with. The two have never had any sort of history, but that can easily be manufactured with a good storyline. There’s too much talent between these two to not have a good feud, and putting them together could make for a great feud that could elevate both in 2015.
8. Luke Harper vs Erick Rowan
It’s a bit of shock these two have yet to start a feud based on their close history, but that also could be due to the company saving it to start 2015. Harper and Rowan were in the same faction with Bray Wyatt, and it was a surprise to everyone that Rowan ended up as a face, but it also gave him a chance to add some solid depth to his character. Harper has already had a run as IC champ, and he’s had some great singles matches since breaking off on his own. The company always loves big men, and these two big men getting some time to develop a feud and get TV time will be nothing but entertaining in 2015.
7. Daniel Bryan vs Chris Jericho
Before you start to shake your head at this one in confusion, remember that Jericho always seems to step up as a heel, and in this feud he would be an excellent one against the huge fan favorite in Bryan. With the announcement that Bryan is back and ready to compete, a feud with a legend like Jericho would not only be an great way to get back in the main event, but also would make for some great television. Many think that Jericho won’t work WrestleMania, but if they gave him an option of working with a star like Bryan as a heel, it just might be enough for him to change his mind and come back for an awesome series of matches.
6. Rusev vs John Cena
It’s been rumored these two will battle at WrestleMania 31, and it’s the type of main event feud that would lift Rusev into another level of competition. To this point, Rusev’s character has been getting a huge amount of heat, but he’s not been in a feud with anyone the pedigree of a Cena, who needs a fresh opponent for not only Mania, but to push him as he enters 2015. Just like the feud between Cena and Wyatt last year pushed Wyatt to new heights, this battle could see Rusev wind up right in the WWE Heavyweight Title picture.
5. Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins
This could be the darkhorse feud of 2015, with two wrestlers that are ready to jump to main event status, and two of the best pure mat warriors the company has. Ziggler’s popularity has been growing and growing, and fans want to see him finally get that push back to the level when he won the Heavyweight title following WrestleMania 29. Since then it’s been a long road back, and while he has the IC belt currently, fans want to see him reach even higher. Rollins is ready to be in the mix for the WWE Heavyweight Title as well, and a feud with Ziggler should raise his stock as well. Look for some of the best matches of the year if these two are allowed to have enough time to build something.
4. Jimmy Uso vs Jay Uso
What? Yes, look for 2015 to be the year where the Usos finally break up, and each guy goes out on his own. Usually when you have two brothers that are teammates long enough, at some point, one wants to reach higher for the brass ring, and one will turn on the other. At this point, there’s no indication as to who that will be, but once they give up the tag team belts, there’s going to be a point where the company explores giving these youngsters a run on their own. It may not happen until around Survivor Series 2015, but don’t be surprised if WWE allows one of the Usos to get a big push as a singles star.
3. Roman Reigns vs Seth Rollins
These two former members of ‘The Shield’ seem certain to have a feud in 2015, already having a match on the final RAW of 2014. It makes sense that if Reigns wins the title at WrestleMania over Brock Lensar,he’d have a ready-made feud in place with Rollins, to the point where Rollins could use his ‘Money in the Bank’ contract at some point to steal the strap from Reigns. You get a sense that these two are going to headline more than one PPV in 2015, and could put on a great feud for the company.
2. Sting vs Triple H
The early indication was that it would be Sting-Undertaker at WrestleMania 31, but now that Sting took out Triple H at the end of Survivor Series, these two appear on a collision course for Mania. Everyone wants to see if Sting has anything left, and with the right build, this appears to be one of the main events for WWE’s biggest show of the year. Triple H seems to raise his game for Mania, and there’s no doubt he can still give a good match. Can the same be said about Sting? That’s the big question. The feud itself should be a fun one, and one that will have plenty of nostalgia with it as the two do battle in the ring.
1. Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns
The company has been nervous about the return of Roman Reigns, in terms of if he would be as hot as he was with fans when he left, as well as his physical condition. Things are so far, so good, and with that the plan going forward seems to be having Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the WWE Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 31. This feud is going to need a great build to get over with the fans, and having Lesnar re-sign with the company would also be key, and it would assure that there’s a chance he still keeps the belt at Mania. If he doesn’t, the match with Reigns would be anticlimactic, as everyone knows he will drop the belt. It would be a great spring feud if these two are given a few matches instead of just one.
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