WWE feuds and storylines are the glue that holds all the action together. Without a good reason behind it, it can be really hard to get into a feud. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good the performers are or how good the match is – if the story going into it was bad, it can still be a designated “pee break” during a PPV.
As fans, it’s very easy to get excited about potential feuds in the future, and it’s hard to not book out the rivalry in your imagination. Give a WWE fan an hour and they’ll have a storylines written up until SummerSlam. It’s part of the fun of getting into the product – the stories hold the action together, making the whole piece work as one cohesive unit. It makes us want to start guessing what’ll happen next, and start voicing what we want to see happen.
2015 gave us some great feuds, and it gave us some stinkers. For every Cena versus Owens, there was a Ryback versus Big Show. For every Reigns against Wyatt, there was a Ziggler battling Rusev. But you come to accept the good with the bad when it comes to WWE. However, if WWE were to book the following 20 feuds into the next year of programming, the good would massively outweigh the bad. For whatever reason, the following superstars, divas and tag teams are set to light the WWE on fire if they were allowed to go at it. These are the top 20 feuds we want to see in 2016.
20 The League of Nations vs. The Wyatt Family
WWE has quickly established a top heel stable with some of the most consistent and reliable workers around joining together to stop Roman Reigns ascend to the title. Which didn’t exactly go to plan. After Sheamus inevitably loses his rematch, there’s not a lot left for the League of Nations to do other than simply be Authority lackeys.
There’s a great opportunity for a feud here with the Wyatts, who are fresh on the path to dominance again after their wins over the ECW Originals at TLC and Raw. Plus, King Barrett delivering a condescending promo against Bray Wyatt can only be a thing of beauty.
19 John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio is a great wrestler, but I always feel he never enjoys his time in WWE as much as he does at other promotions, and it shows in his work ethic. The MexiMerica storyline is thankfully over, but now he’s been lumped in with Sheamus, Rusev and Barrett – the three of them obviously sharing a friendship that Del Rio doesn’t fully feel part of.
What Del Rio needs is a high-level feud to help get him back into the swing of things, and a returning John Cena would help him re-establish himself.
18 The Miz vs. Tyler Breeze
Tyler’s long awaited main roster debut has been lacking, and he hasn’t been given the chance to show off his ability or his excellent charismatic skills. The Miz on the other hand, has proven he can go when called upon, and is one of the best talkers in the industry right now. Push them together, have them do a few spots where they both demand no hits to the face, and you’ve got a great feud with some nice wrestling and excellent comedy moments. It can help elevate Breeze as well, by pinning another former world champion.
17 Bayley vs. Paige
Bayley will inevitably get called up to the main roster during 2016, but whether her huge fan following will transfer as well is hotly debated. She’ll no doubt always be popular with kids, but whether the older main brand audience will dig the hugger as much is questionable.
Pitting her against Paige, arguably one of the nastiest heels in the female division, will allow her “never give up” attitude to really shine. Giving both stars a decent match length will also let them tear the house down, allowing Bayley to gain the same foothold in WWE as she did in NXT.
16 Kevin Owens vs. Brock Lesnar
When Kevin Owens debuted on the main roster, he shocked the world with his blend of athleticism and complex maneuvers that were enough to put away John Cena in one of the best matches of the year. Since then, he’s been booked as a cowardly heel, and not been using the full expanse of his move set.
Put against Lesnar, there’s a real chance for another classic. While I fully expect Brock to win, Owens will be able to fully show his quality again, and his promos with Paul Heyman will surely be some of the best of the year as well.
15 Finn Balor vs. Bray Wyatt
Whether Finn actually leaves NXT or not is something that we’ll no doubt find the answer to during the year. The guy is happy to stay there, and his unorthodox gimmick will be a hard sell to the mainstream audience. But if he were to move up, The Demon will surely get a chance against The Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt.
Either one of these guys has it in them to become the “next Undertaker” with their mystical presences, and putting them against each other is just logical.
14 Samoa Joe vs. John Cena
Booking wise, this would seem very similar to Owens vs. Cena. You’ve got a 15-year veteran finally making it to WWE and challenging the face of the company, and ultimately showing the Universe how good he is. But is that such a bad thing? It brings a huge big fight feel to see a legend of the indie circuits take on the mainstream hero, and Samoa Joe is one of the best workers in the world right now.
Seeing John Cena pass out to the Coquina Clutch would establish Joe as the monster heel he deserves to be booked as, and would help him become the star he already deserves to be.
13 Cesaro vs. Brock Lesnar
I don’t think there’s a worker who’s been more underutilized throughout 2015 than Cesaro (except maybe Bo Dallas…). The guy proves in every match that he is a pure poet when it comes to wrestling, and a huge main event feud is exactly what he needs to cement himself where he already should be – the top of the card.
Brock Lesnar is the perfect opponent for him. They’re both skilled grapplers, and can both put on a five star match in their sleep. Putting these two in a ring would result in fireworks. The fact that Heyman used to manage Cesaro but ended up parting ways also helps in establishing the rivalry.
12 Asuka vs. Nia Jax
Both of these women debuted on NXT around the same time, and both have been dominating the division. Nia Jax has been performing in various squash matches up until NXT London where she recorded a scrappy defeat against Bayley, whereas Asuka remains undefeated despite competition from Dana Brooke and Emma.
Seeing the two most imposing women on the roster go at it would be a huge treat. Nia Jax’s giant style against Asuka’s quick kicks would make for a great match-up, and Nia is probably the only heel who could record a believable win over Asuka right now.
11 Stardust vs. Goldust
There is no question that Cody Rhodes is a star in the making, and his feud with Goldust could have been the one to propel him. But an unfortunate injury left Cody stuck in his Stardust persona, with no reason for him to ever switch back. While he’s given us some entertaining moments, he’s now in a position to never get a main event push.
With Goldust back, it’s time to make things right. Reignite that feud and have Stardust turn back to Cody Rhodes, allowing him to finally break out of his comedy pre-show rut.
10 Baron Corbin vs. Finn Balor
When Baron Corbin came into NXT, people hated him. He was a tall man who didn’t seem to care for the business, and was only participating in squash matches where he’d hit his finisher, The End of Days, within seconds of the match starting. The fans hated him, and thought he didn’t deserve to be there.
Baron Corbin has successfully proved everyone wrong, and has since evolved into one of the best heels in NXT right now. With the Samoa Joe vs. Finn Balor storyline wrapping up, the champion needs a new opponent, and there’s no better fit than The Lone Wolf, Baron Corbin.
9 John Cena vs. The Undertaker
The Undertaker will most likely retire after Wrestlemania, and he needs one last great opponent to face. The guy has faced everyone at the grand stage from Big Boss Man to Brock Lesnar, but he’s never faced John Cena.
I would expect Undertaker to record a win in his last match rather than losing in a “retirement match” like Flair or Michaels, but Cena will help keep the match at a decent pace and allow them to put on a classic match for the Deadman's farewell. In fact, I’d say there’s only one other person I think capable of retiring the Undertaker, but more on that later…
8 Bayley vs. Carmella
If Bayley gets called up, she’ll need to drop the title to someone. From WWE’s show Breaking Ground, two things are apparent – Bayley is incredibly important to developing new talent in NXT, and she’s grooming her best friend Carmella to replace her.
Carmella is charismatic and is improving by leaps and bounds in the ring, and when the time for Bayley to leave finally hits, she’s the perfect person to take that title from her in a face-vs-face match. No heel turn is necessary – just two great wrestlers giving their all in their ring, leaving in mutual respect.
7 Triple H vs. Seth Rollins
There was a slow burn to this feud that looked like it was finally going to reach its boiling point in time for WrestleMania, but unfortunately Rollins had his terrible injury stopping him from competing. But despite that, the potential for a great feud is still there.
When Rollins returns, all he needs to do is be angry at Triple H for replacing him with Sheamus, and say he doesn’t need The Authority anymore. Then we can finally get the Pedigree vs. Pedigree battle we’ve all been waiting for, with Rollins almost guaranteed to get a pinfall on another legend of the business.
6 Chris Jericho vs. Dean Ambrose
We were teased with this one a little bit at Night of Champions, but Jericho has been absent from television since then. Now, with Ambrose likely needing a challenger for WrestleMania while holding the belt that Jericho made his own, it’s the perfect opportunity to reignite the feud.
Ambrose, despite his lunacy, has displayed a very passionate and heroic response to the Intercontinental Championship, and someone arrogant and insulting like Jericho will get a rise out of the Lunatic Fringe leading to some great promos and even better matches.
5 Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens
Zayn and Owens are pure magic together. Their rivalry at Ring of Honor will go down in history as one of the best of all time, and we only saw a taste of what they can do together when they briefly feuded in NXT. With Zayn recently returning from injury with a main roster call-up surely imminent, Owens would be a perfect rival for him to get the mainstream audience behind him.
With Zayn and Owens both on the WWE’s books, it only makes sense for them to have a lengthy feud together that would culminate in them both getting a push towards the main event.
4 Enzo & Cass vs. The New Day
Following their heart-breaking loss at NXT Takeover London, the time seems to be drawing near for Enzo & Cass to be called up to the main roster. If you don’t watch NXT, let me spell something out for you: Enzo Amore is one of the best promo givers in the company right now. The guy is quick witted on the mic and never misses a beat, and seeing him talk with Xavier Woods would be one of the biggest pleasures of the year. Plus, both teams are made up of a big guy (Big E/Colin Cassady) and a smaller, quicker guy (Enzo Amore/Kofi Kingston), meaning they could string together some interesting matches.
3 Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch
Adding Bayley to this match-up may make sense in a lot of people’s eyes, but I don’t think Bayley should be anywhere near the main roster until later in the year. For now, this feud should be the end of the Divas Revolution storyline and take place at WrestleMania.
The three girls were introduced to inject some life into the Divas division, and while they had a rocky start, they’ve certainly achieved their goal. Now it’s the time to cement them as some of the best wrestlers in the company, not just the Divas division, and a long triple threat at ‘Mania is the right way to go about it.
2 Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns
June 2nd 2014 was when Seth Rollins turned on The Shield, and that’s exactly how long fans have been waiting for this one. The Shield made all three off these guys main eventers, and the boil for their inevitable match-up has been slow and almost torturous for fans. But with Roman as champion, and Seth returning from injury midway through the year, it may finally be time to pull the trigger come SummerSlam.
Not only will this tick a lot of peoples dream match-ups, it would also prove be a slobber knocker, as they’ve all proven they can work well against each other individually, and the Fatal Fourway in 2015 with Randy Orton only served as a taster as to what’s possible.
1 The Undertaker vs. Sting
Okay, so I’ve already said John Cena would be a great fit for ‘Taker's last match, and Sting could well be so badly injured he can’t wrestle again. Also, both of them are getting to the point where they might not be able to put on a great match without a younger wrestler to make them look good.
But…If people think the wait for a Shield Triple Threat was long, try the wait for a battle between these two. Arguably the two greatest wrestlers to never fight, it would be a fitting close on both their careers to go out against each other. The Vigilante vs The Deadman is the feud that would get almost any wrestling fan the most excited for in 2016.