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What’s Next? The WWE SmackDown Edition

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Last week, I told you about the amazing prognostication skills that my son, Jake, has when it comes to WWE storylines. We covered the biggest stars on Raw and what he thought their paths should be going into WrestleMania. This time around, we’ll use the same formula to talk about the guys from SmackDown Live.

This article is shorter than last week’s piece for the simple reason that there aren’t as many “spotlight” wrestlers working on Tuesday nights. Smackdown appears to be the brand primarily made up of up-and-comers who haven’t quite reached the level necessary to headline the biggest show of the year. Most weeks, it’s the best WWE show on the air, but WrestleMania is all about spectacle.

John Cena – There are a myriad of rumors about Cena’s involvement in WrestleMania. Some are saying he’ll have a dream match with The Undertaker, and others are predicting a mixed tag team match with Cena and Nikki Bella taking on Miz and Maryse. While the former would be a big-money match, the latter would find itself somewhere on the undercard. (Hopefully, on the kickoff show.) The one thing that’s the same in almost every scenario is that Cena will drop the belt at Elimination Chamber. The most recent hot rumor is that Bray Wyatt will take the belt from Cena Sunday, and go on to a WrestleMania match with Randy Orton. This seems like a good course of action, as no one needs to see Cena/Orton for the 253rd time. Undertaker seems destined to take on Roman Reigns in Orlando. Jake’s Take: Cena should drop the belt at Elimination Chamber, and then have a feud with someone that cost him the match (possibly Baron Corbin).

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AJ Styles, Dean Ambrose, Baron Corbin and The Miz – It’s a solid bet that one of these four will be the one to face Cena at WrestleMania, if the tag match is off the table. Given the spectacular match that Styles and Cena put on at the Royal Rumble, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see WWE go that route again, though they’d be tempting fate. There’s a rumor that Styles is set to feud with Shane McMahon. Raise your hand if you want to see that match. (I didn’t think so.) I think Jake might have the best idea of the bunch that I’ve read. Jake’s Take: This should be a Fatal Four-Way match for the Intercontinental Championship. Styles should take the belt, and keep making it important.

American Alpha – The youngsters have the look of long-time champs, but probably not during their first reign with the title belts. There aren’t a lot of viable heel teems on the SmackDown Live roster at the moment, so it looks like they’ll end up facing The Usos. There’s a rumor that The Revival might be called up from NXT to spice up the tag picture on the blue show. It wouldn’t be a bad idea. Jake’s Take: Alpha should face the Usos and drop the belts this time. It will set up a feud that can go on for a while. (He couldn’t think of any good heel teams, either.)

Alexa Bliss The most obvious choice here would be for Bliss to face Nikki Bella for the Smackdown Women’s title at WrestleMania, but rumor has it that Bella plans to retire from the ring after the big event, so putting the belt on her doesn’t seem like the best plan. That basically leaves Becky Lynch and Naomi as the only legit babyface contenders. It’s likely that Lynch could take another turn with the belt, but it’s too soon for Naomi. She’s simply not established enough to be a credible champion at this point. The other featured women in the division are Carmella, Mickie James and Natalya, all heels. Unless WWE is willing to do a heel-on-heel match, there isn’t a lot of depth to choose from here. Jake’s Take: There should be a storyline where Alexa and Mickie James end up turning on each other. Then, at WrestleMania, Mickie should take the title from Bliss. (Note for the record that Jake is a big fan of Bliss, so he’s simply stating what he thinks would be best for the brand.)

As I said with the last article, note that these aren’t predictions for what will happen, but opinions as to what should happen. It remains to be seen how clear the view is in Jake’s crystal ball, but he’s been right before. I know I wouldn’t bet against him.

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Bob Garman
Bob is a Writing professor in California and for a major online university. He’s been a wrestling fan since the early 80s, when he used to watch the AWA on Sunday mornings in Minnesota, where he grew up. Bob has written for AOL, Bleacher Report, and other online sports sites. Currently, Bob enjoys watching all the WWE product with his son, Jake. Bob has a BA in English from Ellis College, and an MA in English from National University.


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