The biggest piece of wrestling news to come out this week was obviously the unfortunate developments surrounding the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. The injury to Seth will keep him out of action for a period of 6-9 months. As both the champion and the top heel, Seth was arguably the most integral talent in the WWE. Main event storylines revolved around him and his ultimate defeat would have to be considered a major climactic moment that WWE creative would have to have been preparing for. Whether his defeat was to happen at Wrestlemania 32 or at the next PPV event, not having Seth around to complete the story of his title reign is a huge loss to the WWE and heavy changes will have to be made.
The original main event for Survivor Series 2015 was for Seth to defend his championship against Roman Reigns, the match that has been in the making since the ending to Wrestlemania 31. Seth’s injury means that the match will have to be scrapped and instead, we will be getting a tournament to crown the new WWE Champion.
Currently, nothing specific is known about the tournament. We don’t know who will be in it or how many competitors there will be. We will definitely find out more on tomorrow night’s edition of Monday Night Raw, but before then, I will offer my opinions and speculations on who the new champion could wind up being.
The most troubling aspect to me is that there aren’t many options for the WWE to promote to world champion. They have plenty of talented guys. There is no shortage of talent on the WWE roster. The problem is that a good portion of those guys have been severely hampered by poor booking. Guys like Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Rusev, and Dean Ambrose are certainly talented and could be world title worthy under different circumstances, but when they have been given nothing to do, lose a lot, or being put into lame storylines, it is hard to imagine any of those guys being put into a position to be a believable world title contender in the next few weeks.
This problem is further magnified when you consider the talents that aren’t available. In addition losing Seth, John Cena is taking time off, we all know what happened to Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton is hurt. They have part timers like Lesnar and Undertaker, but are they willing to put the belt on a part timer again?
As you can see, the WWE doesn’t have much to work with. Based on the current roster and the talents they have available to them, here are the ones that I feel are most likely to wind up being the WWE Champion at Survivor Series.
1) Sheamus = I can almost hear everyone’s eyes rolling at the idea of Sheamus winning the WWE Title. Trust me; I would not be a fan of this move at all. I thought making Sheamus a heel would making him more interesting as a character, but he really hasn’t. He is just as boring as he was as a face. The only difference is now he has a lame haircut and doesn’t tell lame jokes. The only reason I am listing him as an option is because (for whatever reason) he was given the Money in the Bank victory and has that title shot waiting in the wings. The WWE can either have him cash in on the winner of the tournament or have him win the tournament while also holding the Money In the Bank. This gives him the added protection of his challengers having to defeat him twice to ultimately take the title from him. I wouldn’t like it if they used Sheamus to tell this story, but like I said, it is an option.
2) Bray Wyatt = He would probably be my number one choice. After making numerous mistakes with his character, they have finally gotten Wyatt’s character back on somewhat of a stable track. It certainly helps that they built his stable back up and made them stronger (why they broke them up in the first place is still a mystery to me), and he is probably the only heel they have that wins on a regular basis. Even Seth lost most of his matches on TV in between successful PPV title defenses. Bray seems to win at least half of the time, and is viewed as somewhat of a threat. He also has a character that the fans are interested in and could use more focus and direction. The main issue with putting the title on him is that he is going to be tied to The Undertaker at Survivor Series. Whatever their plans for the tournament are, I doubt they are going to drop the Survivor Series match they have planned. Undertaker’s 25 anniversary is the focal point of advertising for this PPV. We know already that he’s going to be tied to Wyatt in a Survivor Series match with Undertaker, Kane, and two partners taking on the Wyatt Family. Does the WWE want to alter Undertaker’s big match to include Bray in the tournament? Are they going to have Bray wrestle in this match, the 2 or 3 tournament matches, and win it all? Possible I guess, but unlikely. My way to get around that would be to just drop the Survivor Series match, have Taker face Bray in the tournament, Bray goes over and wins the tournament. But again, I highly doubt WWE is willing to do that.
3) Roman Reigns = If I had to pick who I thought WWE was going to put the belt on at Survivor Series 2015’s ending, it would be Roman. It has been obvious for over a year now he is the guy that WWE wants on top. Negative crowd responses to Roman forced some plan changes this year, but it is still obvious that the WWE wants Roman as their next major main event star. A good portion of the audience has not accepted him. However, he is one of the only stars on the roster at the moment that has been presented and promoted to a point where it is believable that the character could be champion.
I know they want Roman to be their top mega-star and follow up to John Cena. My question is why force a square peg into a round hole? Is Roman suited to be the top good guy? Wouldn’t it make more sense to have Reigns as the top heel selection? Let’s say he is the one that is The Authority’s selection to be champion. Doesn’t that make more sense since that is basically what he is right now? He’s the corporate pick, so why not run the storyline in that direction? Also, Seth Rollins, I’d have an easier time believing that Seth would comeback as a babyface, so a feud with the heel that supplanted him would probably make for a good storyline in 2016. Again, I doubt that will be in WWE’s playbook and if Roman does win the title (and I do feel he is the most likely option), it will be as top face.
And…that is all I have. I can only come up with three options to win the title at Survivor Series and even some of them are stretches. As I said, there isn’t a whole lot for WWE to work with at the moment, and it really is a shame they derailed so many characters this year. Was it really necessary to have Rusev and Kevin Owens lose to Cena so many times? What was the value in putting Ziggler and Rusev in a terrible TMZ-esque storyline? What good does it do to have Ambrose and Cesaro lose all the time and do nothing with them when the fans clearly like them? Right now, we are seeing the negative impact of not handling their characters well because when the champion goes down and you don’t have viable follow ups, it leaves the show as a whole in trouble. Remember when Austin went down for most of 2000? They still had Rock, HHH, and a ton of guys to fill the void, and that was even with Undertaker gone for half the year and Foley set to retire. The roster needs to have depth and the characters need to be handled well. It not only makes the show more exciting, but it also makes it easier to have a Plan B if things go wrong.
Survivor Series 2015 is scheduled to take place on Sunday November 22nd, 2015 beginning at 8PM EST, live on Pay Per View and the WWE Network.