Daniel Bryan has spoken. The general manager of SmackDown Live has made a Triple Threat match for the WWE World Title involving AJ Styles, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin. Things just got a bit more interesting as the company finishes off yet another year of two steps forward, and two steps back.
The addition of Corbin to WWE’s main event was inevitable, and one I applaud the company for pulling the trigger on. Corbin’s reckless, lone wolf persona is a breath of fresh air in a stagnant round-robin of title contenders. Since Styles made quick work of James Ellsworth, maybe WWE can concentrate on wrestling, eliminating side shows that should have never happened.
OK, back to the rest of the story.
With Corbin’s ascension to the main event, the company appears poised to move into 2017 with fresh faces and new angles to explore. The lasting memory of Braun Strowman manhandling both Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins could foreshadow what lies ahead. Could Strowman win the Royal Rumble and face Reigns, who should beat Kevin Owens in January in San Antonio – at WrestleMania 33? That’s a pretty good bet right now.
Let’s also not forget that Nia Jax is about to become relevant in the woman’s title picture on the red team. Her angle on Monday night might do wonders for her career moving forward – as she attacked Sasha Banks, but it also aids the rise of Bayley as a serious contender – finally – for Charlotte’s title.
If WWE can somehow book Corbin, Strowman and Jax as popular heels then the McMahons certainly have something special in the works.
Dropping the ball once again
I am still a bit upset with the finish of Roadblock and the image of Kevin Owens and Chris Jericho once again rekindling their bromance while beating Roman Reigns. The mini-shield reunion was nice with Reigns and Seth Rollins, but the notion of taking the high road as I see it could come back to haunt the company.
Jericho could still cost Owens the Universal Title at the Rumble, leading to a war that is settled in Orlando in April. I was hoping for a situation where Jericho cost Owens the title at Roadblock, thus creating a babyface turn for the current champion.
No such luck.
There is still plenty of work to be done with this angle, my only fear is it might get stale and Owens continues to look weak as the champion of the red brand.
Cena’s return to action
Now that John Cena will return to the ring next week, should we place a wager on how long it will be before he wears WWE gold again? There is nothing less for the 15-time champ to do in this promotion other than tie Ric Flair for the most title reigns in wrestling history. I personally want him to win it so he can claim the record, and move on. A short title run won’t hurt his legacy and could help put over younger talent – like Corbin.
There has been talk of a Corbin-Cena feud, which could culminate at WrestleMania 33. What if Corbin wins next week and then is challenged for the title at the Royal Rumble in January, to claim his history-making belt? Corbin takes back the title at ‘Mania, and feuds with other WWE stars, building his legacy as the “Lone Wolf” character?
Cena could be the one, like he did with Rusev and Kevin Owens, to put Corbin over, thus giving WWE another bonafied star for the future.
It’s now a matter of when Cena claims gold, not a matter of if it happens.