It’s been an interesting month for the WWE. In less time that you can say “Holy Brass Ring, Batman,” the biggest professional wrestling organization on the planet has lost their top star in John Cena (taking time off to host a FOX reality show), their backup star Randy Orton, their giant The Big Show, and their champion, Seth Rollins. Everyone except Cena went down due to one injury or another, and the WWE landscape suddenly changed. Guys like Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose, all of whom are usually underneath Rollins, Cena, Orton and Show, find themselves at the top of the card by necessity. And as the WWE finishes their tournament to crown a new WWE champion tonight at Survivor Series, they have a real opportunity to build new ground.
With that in mind, we polled our staff. Would Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Alberto Del Rio, or Kevin Ownens – the four individuals fighting for the prize in the semi-finals and finals tonight – walk away champion? Or would Sheamus cash in his Money in the Bank contract for a guaranteed title match, and walk out the winner himself? Here’s who they picked:
It’s not exactly a shock, I know. Reigns has been WWE’s golden boy since he debuted, with the top brass forcing him down our throats as the WWE’s heir apparent for months now. The likelihood of them going any other direction tonight than a clean win for Reigns is, well, very unlikely. I’d even be willing to go so far as to predict Sheamus cashing in tonight and failing, just to make Roman look even stronger.
No one wants this. Everyone on our staff who voted for Reigns said things like, “Well, Owens should win, but…” Or, “I’d prefer Ambrose, but…”. The fact is, over the last decade the WWE has gotten very set in their ways. They’re going to do what they want, and damn the fans if they want different.
This, of course, leads to a question: Where do they go from here? With a white meat babyface champion and ratings in the toilet, does the WWE immediately start feeding competent heels to Reigns as challengers until Wrestlemania? How do they make that interesting, and avoid the fan riots they’ve experienced the last two years for pushing the wrong guys?
We’ll find out after tonight. And who knows? Maybe the WWE will surprise us.