Given that we have two world champions right now in AEW/WWE without a clear cut realistic challenger I’m wondering who we think will be the one who beats them. I mean someone who actually beats them and takes the title and not just loses it and then get it right back. So nothing like what happened with Hogan and Luger, but more like actually moving on to a new champion.
For AEW and Kenny
-unlikely Pac or OC are next serious champ
-Mox and Jericho unlikely
-he’s a heel so MJF seems unlikely
-CODY can’t challenge
I suspect Christian Cage will be a challenger but I realistically don’t see him being the next long-term champ.
If we’re looking at a face wrestler to be Kenny, probably the best option is going to be Hangman Page but I figure that will take a while to get there.
Of course it could be a new incoming wrestler like Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar or Samoa Joe as well.
For WWE and Roman:
-no one seems on that level
-Jimmy isn’t going to be a long term champ
-Rock would be a huge program but Roman should win
As a heel even Seth seems unlikely. Maybe Drew but he’s on the wrong brand for now. Outside of that no one seems ready at all.
An outside talent is possible (like if a major AEW talent jumped) but even then who is a big enough name? Like if Roman showed up on AEW he would be head and shoulders above everyone and win the title in his first match. Maybe if Kenny jumped over or Mox but that’s probably it.
For AEW - I think the safe money on the long term story is Hangman. It completes two plus year story for him. He had the first shot at Jericho and was too inexperienced, and fell short. He had a great tag run with Omega, and when that ended he fell short in the tournament against his former partner. The next time they meet - I am assuming November (I feel like the September PPV will be a big dream match for Omega, with all the free agent challengers out there), I think Hangman finally gets the win that has alluded him.
WWE… For Roman, while there are money matches with Cena and maybe Rock (although I feel that one is very hard to see happening, due to Rock’s professional schedule, and the fact he go injured last time he had a match, and he cannot afford to put any productions at risk.).
I feel like if done right Big E could be the guy. Although, it also feels like he is pegged in at a certain level. Hopefully they finally get behind him. With crowds returning, I feel he will be a major, major face going forward.
You pretty much said what I was going to say lol…I agree with all of the above.
As for Lashley, I think it goes back to Drew, though I’d love to see a Lashley vs Brock feud. Maybe have Brock beat him for the title in the late summer to set up a Brock Vs Roman match at Survivor Series which given the Heyman factor, this time I’d love to see it.
I think most people have wanted to see Lashley vs Lesnar for years. I was at an Impact press conference about four years ago, and when Lashley was asked his dream opponent, without hesitation, he said Lesnar.
I think Summer Slam would be the right time for it - especially if they’re looking to fill a 60K stadium.
It’s a fresh match. It’s a fun match.
That said, I don’t think anybody wants to see Lesnar jump into another reign.
I have a feeling because of the attention to story it may be the All Out. It was two years ago that Hangman lost the initial title match to Jericho which began his spiral shown on BTE before getting the tag team with Omega. Whether that happens or not, who knows.
Ya I hear you, and I don’t disagree in theory, but that is how I thought that is how you could set up Lesnar vs Reigns at Survivor Series as they have that champ vs champ strip. I just don’t see them doing Lashley vs Lesnar, have Lesnar loose, then have him face a stronger opponent in Reigns.
Reigns conceivably has 4 big matches they still need to do - Cena, Brock, Goldberg, Rock. That takes you through Mania. If that comes to fruition, that means we’re not expecting to see a new champion till what…next Summerslam? 15 months from now?
I’d argue they should know who wins the title at Mania should The Rock not be available - they have to start building that person up the Smackdown after Summerslam.
But if The Rock is available? They could have all the plans worked out that they want now, but knowing who will be their hottest, healthiest, peaking commodity in August 2022 that deserves that spot is almost impossible to predict. They have him named now and inevitably we’re hearing stories that they changed their minds along the way. They admit that we’ll have to see who it is when we get there and its they have no plan. That’s the fun way to examine it. But I’m sure they have a small list of who they hope it’ll be - it doesn’t take much planning to do that. But being flexible is far more important than being ironclad with a plan. Hopefully it’s Big E at the end of the day, but could I see it being Drew? Or Finn Balor? Or Adam Cole? Hell, something could throw Montez Ford into a singles run and he’s the guy. Unlike any other championship run out there, this feels like we’re in the really long run for it, and unlike other plans, I can totally be fine with them not having anything in stone here.
Very much agree with this. They love doing the sudden mixup of that headlining match close to the event and giving Lashley the belt till October gives him a substantive run. By November the Usos/Roman story should be over, which gives them an opportunity for a new B-Reigns story and we’ll be far enough along in the relationship that finally doing the Heyman Loyalty story will be worthwhile. So that’s ultimately who I also think is taking it off Lashley. And I’ll be thrilled to get that dream match before they take the title off Lashley.
From the second Jericho won the belt, you could pretty much see the line of champions through MJF, and even with that obviousness, it hasn’t hurt AEW at all. This is the overlapping story of the first chapter of their company’s history and they shouldn’t deviate at all. It’s your exit point for external stars needing to lead the company opening up the next chapter of homegrown stars holding it in Hangman, MJF, then Darby. That’ll be the time to deviate, but I it feels in stone right now.
I don’t see Darby as a world title guy. I see him in the mix one day but he’s someone a lot better as a challenger and someone who doesn’t need the title.
I more see guys like Jungle Boy, Starks, Santana or Sammy Guevara as future champs. That’s one thing I really like about AEW - seeing these guys get built up and enjoying the ride. In WWE you get that in NXT and then guys get buried on the main shows.
I could see Big E as someone WWE gets behind, but it almost feels a few years too late. Adam Cole has no chance on the main roster if Vince is in charge - too small and not an impressive enough physique. Cole has been under contract for four years - think of all the people who got called up before him (Otis, Azeez, Omos, etc). He is not a Vince guy.
I could see Kross get an opportunity, but Vince always goes back to the guys he trusts. Orton, Edge, Goldberg or Lesnar are all possibilities. Probably Rollins too
I put Darby out there because he’s one of the few who have really shown to be a difference maker when it comes to television, but I agree that spot could easily be had by Guevara. The more I think about it, Wardlow makes a ton of sense to come after MJF if they begin to work on him soon.
Is Adam Cole really that far off from what AJ Styles or Daniel Bryan look like? The former is one of their longest running champions of this millennium. I think it’s a stereotype of Vince with a lot of examples as proof, but it has never ruled out exceptional smaller guys from breaking through. Otis is 5’10 on a good day. Azzez and Omos are bodyguards and tag wrestlers. By that measure Boogs is a main event talent in Vince’s eyes. Those are roles you give to projects and those who aren’t major pieces elsewhere. Anyway, I think the time is fine for Big E. It’s hard to say it’s too late when we watch what they were able to do with Lashley over the past year and Big E is almost a decade younger.
It’s so hard to right now as well, because we can’t tell which performer the fans are going to get behind. A guy like Big E or Keith Lee for example, if the fans were going nuts for them (think summer of Bryan) I think the chances of him going with them rise significantly. Right now, it’s all based on what he wants because there is no reaction outside of forums like this which don’t represent the masses.
Exactly, all the more reason why I think it’s not even worthwhile to have a set in stone guy. So much is about to change with fans being back in arenas (and look how it positively re-directed the course of Tamina’s career in one night). It’s not to say that a Big E or Adam Cole won’t be backed by fans in a year, but who knows who might get even hotter once we get to that time. Sometimes it’s totally random (like Kofi) and winds up changing the course of the brand for months afterwards. And that’s why I usually rather have that kind of flexibility than a set in stone plan.
You’re totally right about Wardlow, they definitely have something planned for him.
I just remember Cole and the rest of UE looking like shrimps confronting Regal. I’d say the same thing about Gargano - too small and not enough other factors to be special. Bryan and Styles both have way more of a mean streak and to me are much more believable in the ring. Cole has toothpick arms and is solid at everything but isnt amazing at anything like Styles or Bryan. Just my opinion
I may not know much but I do know Adam Cole isn’t beating Roman Reigns
While they have done a great job making him seem like the biggest star in wrestling it does make it hard to find a credible person to beat him. Drew I can see. Other than that no one really on roster currently unless they get hot like Big E or Keith Lee etc.
He’s definitely not beating Roman lol, but I do think he has the potential to be a giant star on the main roster if given a chance. In a perfect world, he gets called up when Vince is no longer booking and Hunter takes over for whatever reason. Hes already arguably the most talented wrestler in North America, no reason IMO that he cant be the biggest star, guy just has that IT factor that so many others just dont have.
Makes you wonder what the point of NXT is. It’s common knowledge that Ricochet was weak on the mic, so you’d think that would be what they worked on in the developmental system. Instead, we get Ricochet wrestling like it was the late 80s, and no mic skills at all. If the point of NXT is to develop wrestlers for the main shows, they have failed miserably. If the point is to put on a great wrestling show, then they’re quite good, but sports entertainment and wrestling aren’t the same thing
Not to say this excuses anything, but Ricochet was on NXT TV for less than a year before that sudden call up before WM35. I don’t think anyone that far into their career who is that bad at promos is going to suddenly become competent that quickly.
Though this probably speaks of the connective tissues between the brands - and would suggest having more ability to move back and forth and throw Ricochet back down there for a year to actually work on things would be beneficial to his and the company’s future.