Following the absolutely devastating injury to Seth Rollins’ knee, the WWE landscape is devoid of a top heel. It seems pretty obvious that Roman Reigns will come out of Survivor Series as the champion in a few weeks, but, with Rollins on the shelf, who is going to be his biggest dancing partner?
Could it be Brock Lesnar? The guy he main-evented Wrestlemania 31 with. It would make sense, given that the two have unfinished business from the match. Remember, that was the match that saw Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank contract to steal the title.
However, is that really the best the WWE can do? I mean, all of these injuries should light a fire under Vince McMahon and co. to start promoting more legitimate new-age stars. Is Brock Lesnar the biggest obstacle to conquer for anyone in the company? Yes, but I don’t know how many tickets a Reigns-Lesnar main event is selling.
Therefore, I think it’s important that the WWE brass dig deeper. Kevin Owens is a valid option. He already finds himself as the #1 heel in the mid-card division and, given his indie pedigree, it’s not a stretch to say he can handle an extended run in the main event scene.
That said, Owens is doing great work as the Intercontinental Champion. That belt needs a strong worker who puts on amazing matches night after night attached to it and Owens is performing that responsibility admirably. Owens’ time is coming; I just do not think right now is the best time.
Outside of Owens, your biggest heels are guys like Sheamus, Stardust, and Bray Wyatt. Sheamus is certainly a threat given his MITB contract; I just don’t think you use that here, especially against Reigns. In fact, it’s hard to envision a scenario where Sheamus successfully cashes in his contract. He simply hasn’t been booked as a threatening presence and a championship run seems unbelievable, at this point.
Stardust would be a very interesting opponent, but I don’t see Roman having much chemistry with the Cosmic Prince. He’s just too out there and Reigns doesn’t seem to be in a situation where he can have a jokey storyline this close to Mania season. He needs a feud that legitimizes his spot as champion.
Wyatt has too much on his hands right now with his on-going story between himself and the Brothers of Destruction. That feud probably comes to a head this month at Survivor Series; however, unless he can cleanly beat either the Undertaker or Kane, it’s hard to see Bray as a credible #1 contender.
So who should become the WWE’s #1 heel over the next few months and face down Roman Reigns for the title at Wrestlemania? Well, you what he says, “your time is up, my time is now!”
Just kidding, a John Cena heel turn doesn’t solve anything, instead, I think it’s time the WWE finally lets Dean Ambrose out of the Asylum. During his run with The Shield, everyone and their mother predicted that Ambrose would be the break-out heel from the faction. The WWE was smart to play against type and twist the dynamics of that team by having Rollins be the one to break the group apart. However, now is the time for Ambrose to take his rightful place on the bad side of the spectrum.
Ambrose was born to play a heel. As a face, he can be charming and hilarious, but always seems to be holding himself back from his true potential, especially on the microphone.
And it’s not like he’s been tearing the world apart as a good guy. Sure, he’s had a few high profile feuds, but the WWE wants to push Reigns to the moon and that means guys like Ambrose are left to languish in the mid-card.
This is the time to turn Ambrose. Well, actually last week’s Team Reigns vs. Team Rollins was the time to turn Ambrose, but the WWE couldn’t know about Rollins’ future at that point.
Unfortunately, the WWE missed the perfect chance to have Ambrose turn on Reigns when the two of them were the last men standing for Team Reigns last week on Raw. Had Ambrose stepped aside when Reigns went for a last second tag and let Rollins pin Roman to win the match, this feud would have been set and we might’ve been staring down a dream Ambrose vs. Reigns vs. Rollins match at Wrestlemania.
That said, the WWE still has a great opportunity to make things right. Say Ambrose meets Reigns in the Finals of the new WWE Championship tournament. Then, Roman wins the match, but does so through somewhat questionable methods, we’ll say a countout. Ambrose is incensed the next night on Raw and accuses Reigns of not giving him a fair match. That sets up a rematch because Reigns is trying to be a “good guy”. And then, when the match happens, Ambrose blatantly cheats and steals the title from his former friend, turning heel in the process.
That sets up a months long feud of Reigns chasing Ambrose, which culminates in The Authority, unable to control either wrestler, bringing back Rollins for a three-way match at Summerslam (or, of course, Wrestlemania, if Rollins is healthy by then).
It’s a near perfect long con to get Rollins back in the title picture in meaningful way when he comes back. Further, it lets Ambrose explore more of his character and get out from under Reigns’ shadow.
Is this the outcome we can expect from Survivor Series? Probably not, but it just might be the one that makes the most sense if the WWE is thinking about the long-term payout surrounding a Shield feud.You might say, it’s best for business.