We’re now setting into what is the business as usual part of the WWE calendar. Payback is behind us, Extreme Rules looms ahead on May 22, then from there we’re on Operation Keep Things Interesting Until Summerslam. So how do they plan on doing that? I’m not sure but there are a few fronts that in my opinion will make or break things for the rest of 2016. They don’t have to hit on all of these, but if they blow all of then 2016 is going to suck. Here’s my list:
- Bullet Club: AJ Styles is here along with Gallows and Anderson. Finn Balor looms in the wings. As with any ‘Outsiders coming in to wreak havoc’ situation it all comes down to the execution. How long are they going with the ‘guys, stop cheating for me’ thing between Styles and Gallows/Anderson? How will Balor’s impending arrival affect things? Will he depose Styles as the leader? How big will the group get? Hopefully they’ll book them like they did Shield and not like the Nexus or the Corre; Bullet Club can be the next dominant faction in the company and totally change things up in a good way if done right.
- Tag Team Title Scene: Enzo Amore’s bad bump at Payback put a wrench in the works; they can still resolve the number one contender situation in time for Enzo & Cas to get what I’m assuming was going to be a title shot at Extreme Rules. But even if that holds up we still don’t what the plan is here for the Tag Titles. New Day has held them for almost a year, and are still way over, but with Enzo & Cas and Gallows & Anderson around there are finally two teams worthy of dethroning them. They have to lose sometime and they might be at a point where they don’t need the belts anymore, and I think you pretty much bank on Gallows and Anderson getting them some time later on this year.
- Women’s Division: Sasha Banks is the fans favorite, and is going to get the title sometime this year (I’m assuming Summerslam). That’s not the issue here; it should take care of itself. What is up in the air is the rest of the division. Charlotte has been improving as a character but it’s about time to ease Ric Flair out of the picture so she can proceed on her own. And then you have Becky Lynch, Paige, Emma, and Natalya out there. They’re not all going to get turns with the belt (I hope Becky gets at least a short run) but they need some meaningful things to do to keep them relevant. I would love a women’s Money in the Bank match this year; it’s time.
- The returnees: John Cena is back on Memorial Day. Randy Orton and Seth Rollins will be back later this year as well. How do you fit them all back in without squashing the exposure that guys like AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, and Sami Zayn are getting now? Are Cena and Orton going to be used to help the newer guys get over or are we going to be subjected to the Bullet Club going down to SuperCena a la the Nexus? Where will Rollins fit in when he comes back? Heel or face? An immediate title challenger or will he have to work his way back in to that perch? And who will he work with? The prospect of seeing Rollins go with Balor, Styles, and Zayn is just awesome. You know that at some point he will be in a ring with his former Shield mates; will it be as opponents or together against the Bullet Club? I’m good with either one but I don’t want them to rush things.
- The Future: There are a bunch of people who’ve arrived within the last year – Owens, Zayn, Styles, Gallows & Anderson, Enzo & Cas, The Vaudevillans, Baron Corbin, Apollo Crews, Tyler Breeze, Charlotte, Becky, Banks, and Emma. There are also guys who have been around a few years but have long careers ahead of them – Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Cesaro. These are the guys who need to be all over the television. Not Cena, Orton, Sheamus, Triple H, etc. You do want to keep them relevant and continue to capitalize off of whatever box office they bring to the table but they need not be in the main events every month. No you don’t job them out to the newer guys but some of those guys do need to get some wins over the vets. You don’t need to put the belt on any of the vets; they don’t need it and it would be a waste of time.
So that’s what I think they need to address for this year. Hopefully they’ll do enough of it to keep us happy.