WWE did the only thing it could do when John Cena made his return to Smackdown Live on Tuesday night. The former champ who wants a record-tying 16th WWE World Title will get his opportunity in a Triple Threat Match against the current champion, AJ Styles and the man who wants his title back, Dean Ambrose.
It’s the only thing the company could do. While Smackdown Live continues to gain support from the fans, there is a visible lack of main event talent on the roster. Maybe that changes if Samoa Joe is brought up from NXT or Shelton Benjamin joins the fray or even Bray Wyatt becomes a threat to the company title.
John Cena’s place in this match is as much out of necessity as it is to give the fans a chance to root for a potential historic night.
The greatest challenge for Smackdown Live was the roster and the uneven talent pool from which the red team had to pick from. Either a few trades have to be made in the coming months or inter-brand feuds have to occur to keep fans interested in the product. I have no doubt a match like this one will blow the roof off the pay-per-view, but let’s not kid ourselves. What was WWE going to do with the three top talents wanting the same thing?
Also, let’s not kid ourselves about the outcome of this match. Cena either wins this match or another match with Styles defines his place in wrestling history.
The closing segment of Raw on Monday night was the perfect continuation of the Rusev-Roman Reigns feud for the United States Championship. It also makes the match between Seth Rollins and the Universal Heavyweight Champion, Kevin Owens, a singles match – the way it should be.
Rusev could be the most dominant force in the company if booked properly. Rollins is still playing the role of the whiny child who had his toy taken away from him. I would love to see this feud end up with Rollins and Triple H in the ring (Royal Rumble, anyone?) with Triple H and Owens coming out of the event as babyfaces. But the plan to turn Rollins into a people’s champion starts here.
The problem I see with this is both Rollins and Owens play the heel role so well. WWE is in fact hurting itself by creating the Rollins hero role. The company has been absent of a Steve Austin-Edge type character, which Rollins plays well.
Paige Returning Soon
Now that it appears Paige will return to WWE in the near future, how does the company plan to use the former Women’s Champion? More importantly, the how will she work with management following her suspension for violating the wellness policy and after her boyfriend, Alberto Del Rio, has cut ties with the McMahon Family?
The worst thing WWE could do is bury Paige now that she is back in the ring and her relationship outside the ring is not a distraction. There is too much talent in the British Beauty to push down the company ladder. While there is clearly a four-woman division from the remainder of the roster – Charlotte, Bayley, Sasha Banks and Dana Brooke, is there enough room to squeeze the former champion in the tight-knit circle?
I suspect if WWE decides to keep her down for too long, she too will seek a release and could wind up back in the UK with her mother, Saraya Knight, or she could move on to TNA where it looks like Del Rio will resume his wrestling career.