The recent news of Baron Corbin’s injury and that he will not be part of the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match at the upcoming pay-per-view once again sheds light on the fact WWE has a depth problem with both its red and blue brands. Add the fact that Shane McMahon will replace Corbin and now all kinds of questions evolve on how the storyline will evolve with SmackDown Live’s commissioner getting in the ring once again.
Injuries in this business happen all the time, but the idea of taking McMahon, who is seven months removed from his last match – the Hell in a Cell confrontation with Undertaker – is an indictment on desperate a need for more talent has become.
Also, add the fact John Cena is taking more time off from the ring and the company may be in for a world of disappointment as the last six weeks of the year move at a vigorous pace.
I know this is not what the McMahon’s had in mind when they decided to promote the WWE Draft and the brand split, but that’s what happens when injuries deplete an already paper-thin roster. It’s possible I am over–analyzing this given that McMahon had a solid showing at WrestleMania 32 – but I don’t think I am overstepping by saying this was bound to catch up with the company sooner rather than later. I’m still excited about Survivor Series and the notion of old school matches between the two brands. WE shall see if the event is worth the hype.
A John Cena return
Rumor has it John Cena will once again resume his rivalry with AJ Styles once he comes back to the company. This too has its pitfalls as there isn’t enough star power on the main event roster.
Per a report on wrestlingnewssource.com, John Cena, is scheduled to return to the ring to compete on December 26 in Madison Square Garden in a WWE World Title Triple Threat Match against Dean Ambrose and champion A.J. Styles. Does this mean the company wants to see the 15-time world champion claim his 16th title, tying Ric Flair for the most title reigns, by the end of the year? Does this also mean Cena will likely headline the Royal Rumble as the company champion?
Cena has to be hoping the fourth time is the charm as he has lost three times to the current champion. While there are rumors out there of a Cena heel turn being best for business, I have also heard the creative team for SmackDown Live is planning a babyface run at some point for Styles.
Sami Zayn gets utilized
I’m not sure how WWE can book Rusev to lose at Hell in a Cell to Roman Reigns after he beats down the United States champion, then has him drop a match to Sami Zayn, thus losing a chance at the Intercontinental Title. I am, however, happy Zayn is going to compete with Dolph Ziggler for the title at Survivor Series, which should be one of the more entertaining matches of the night.
Bravo WWE for seeing Zayn needs a better feud than potential destruction by Braun Strowman.
Where I criticized WWE for its lack of depth on both brand rosters, the idea to move Zayn over to the blue brand is a shot in the arm for Tuesday nights and it also allows Zayn to finally move up the ladder in the mid card. Matches with Kevin Owens in a feud that rivaled Buzz Sawyer and Tommy Rich defined Zayn, but furthered Owens’ career. Now it’s time to see what the Canadian superstar can do against one of the best performers on either roster.
I’m not sure if Zayn will ever be considered a main event contender (a match with Styles would certainly be entertaining) but this at least allows him to find solid ground when it seemed he was sinking in wrestling’s unforgiving quicksand.