So we’re into December and the WWE is still in a state of flux with Sheamus as champion. Right now they’re just trying to find something that sticks, which is pretty much how these things go. If you don’t have some otherworldly star as your headliner, then you’re pretty much just trying to keep things rolling until you find one. Let’s not forget that they straight up floundering from mid-1992 when Hulkamania effectively ended through late 1997/early 1998 when Steve Austin took off.
Then for almost five years they had the services of two of the biggest stars in the history of business, Austin and the Rock, at the same time. And when that faded in 2002/2003 they managed to find a way to very successfully monetize John Cena’s polarizing career at the top from 2005 until this year. Right now they have the following objectives, in my opinion:
- Stop the bleeding, ratings-wise
- Put together and pull off a successful WrestleMania
- Figure out who the next guy is and get him rolling.
It looks like they might be on their way to accomplishing the first task. The ratings for this week’s RAW did rebound from last week, and it could very well be that things have solidified for at least the next month. We know we’re getting Sheamus and his newly formed League of Nations faction (Rusev, Wade Barrett, and Alberto Del Rio) taking on Roman Reigns and his allies (Dean Ambrose, the Usos). New Day will be around to do their thing, the women’s division is still present, and the Wyatt Family is around. TLC is in two weeks, so you get through that and hang on until the Royal Rumble.
The second objective is obviously being worked out behind the scenes. The are already rumors swirling around about possible WrestleMania matches. The key is pick a Rumble winner that people will be happy with and make the right move with the WWE World Title so that match will be one that doesn’t piss people off in advance. If it were me I’d have Dean Ambrose win the Rumble match and Reigns win the title, then have them hook up at WrestleMania.
If Daniel Bryan can come back then I’d have him win the Rumble and face Roman for the title (you absolutely cannot have Bryan come back at the Rumble and not win). The rest they have to figure out themselves. I think the Rumble is actually the more important show here because you can’t afford for people to be pissed off in between then and WrestleMania the way many of them were last year.
As for the last one…who knows? That’s art, not science. You can know that you have a guy who can be a big crossover multimedia star but that doesn’t mean he will. There plenty of shoulda beens that never were for various reasons. Everyone knows that they’re going to give Roman a shot, and Seth Rollins will be in the picture when he returns. Beyond that is anyone’s guess. Dean will be around, as will Kevin Owens and Bray Wyatt. Some of the NXT guys like Finn Balor and Sami Zayn will eventually get called up to the main roster to see what they can do. If Daniel Bryan can make it back he’ll get some title matches or something. Whether or not one of them will turn into the next WWE icon is pretty much up to us.