With WrestleMania behind us, it’s time to look to WWE’s future. The company cemented Roman Reigns even further as the top star of the era by putting him over Brock Lesnar clean. On the surface, that appears to wrap up that feud for now. Charlotte Flair picked up a big win over Ronda Rousey, but there’s unfinished business between the two. Bianca Belair returned to the championship picture by defeating the woman who took the title from her, Becky Lynch.
What challengers await the champions? What feuds appear on the horizon? We’ll take a look at where WWE might be going as it moves forward.
The Unified Universal World International whatever Heavyweight Title
Okay, we don’t actually know what they’re going to call it yet as of today. Reigns came out on the Apr. 4 RAW with both belts. It’s possible they aren’t actually unifying them. Reigns could be a double champion, allowing them to separate the two again eventually. They might present him with a new all-encompassing title. We’re not sure yet. What seems assured is for at least the short-term, there will be one champion over both brands.
That means he needs contenders on each. The results from WrestleMania tell us something about who they have in mind for those roles.
Drew McIntyre is being pushed hard on SmackDown since he arrived on the brand. He just came out on top of a feud with Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. They’ve protected McIntyre for the most part. His only singles losses recently have been to Reigns on house show runs. He’s the top babyface on SmackDown currently and might be ready to make another run at Reigns on a Premium Live Event.
On the RAW side, Cody Rhodes came in presented as a huge star. His presentation, which included keeping his gear, name and music from AEW, made it seem like an even bigger deal. This wasn’t a returning wrestler playing a new character. This was a major star coming in as one. But will the company want to jump into it right away? It will be tempting to go with the biggest money match for Backlash, the next Premium Live Event. But it might not be the best long-term move.
The first Reigns-Rhodes clash will be a very big deal if set up correctly. The issue is, WWE has two stadium shows coming this summer. They are running Las Vegas in June for Money in the Bank, then SummerSlam in Nashville. Both will need a major match on top to fill those seats. Rhodes would seem to be the best choice for at least one of those slots.
Variety + Wrestling = Mad Times!
♥️ ♥️ https://t.co/VzWxquTqJD
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) April 5, 2022
Can WWE hold off long until then? They could give Rhodes an opponent in the meantime. He and Rollins had a good match at WrestleMania and perhaps there’s a story to be told in a rematch between the two. Rhodes had a dark match with Kevin Owens after RAW went off the air on Apr. 4. It was a typical short dark match that involved some comedy, so hardly a preview for a feud. But Owens is also a reliable worker who could work against Rhodes, then put him over to get him ready for Reigns.
Rollins is always good, but they’ve gone to that well a few times recently. It would be a surprise if they went back to that matchup of former Shield teammates so quickly.
Bobby Lashley got a win over Omos at WrestleMania and is always a credible threat to any champion. However, on the Apr. 4 RAW they had MVP turn on him and join up with Omos, so Lashley has a feud set up already. It seems as though the plan is to have Lashley attempt the herculean task of getting something, anything, out of Omos. Lashley fans will be hoping he eventually goes over the big man again and targets Reigns soon after.
RAW Women’s title
Belair climbed the mountain again after her quick loss at SummerSlam. She was the lone survivor at Survivor Series, then won the Royal Rumble. She had one of the weekend’s best matches against Lynch to re-capture the crown. Her eye needs some time to heal from the heel that knocked her in the face, but she’ll soon be ready for challengers.
Lynch remains one of the biggest stars in the business. They could always do rematches. But if they go a different direction and keep them apart for a while, there is a possible rising contender on Mondays.
WWE threw together a few teams for a four-way tag team title match at WrestleMania. Now the company is going about breaking them up. Queen Zelina and Carmella imploded Monday, while the seeds were planted for Rhea Ripley to turn on Liv Morgan. Never mind the Ripley just did this with Nikki A.S.H. Ripley could have excellent matches with Belair as a challenger. It’s also a matchup we haven’t seen too much.
SmackDown Women’s title
Charlotte Flair defeated Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania, but it wasn’t a clear victory and will lead to rematches. That looks to be the focus on the SmackDown side.
It needs to be, because if you watch the show, you’ll know they’ve done little to nothing to build anyone else. Any television time not involving Flair or Rousey was taken up by some perfunctory work to set up the tag team match at WrestleMania.
Rousey deflected rumors she was unhappy with how things went at WrestleMania. Most believe the company is still building a showdown with Lynch at next year’s WrestleMania in Los Angeles.
Ronda Rousey responds to reports about the Wrestlemania main event spot pic.twitter.com/N6UiH9dedO
— WrestlingWorldCC (@WrestlingWCC) April 3, 2022
Women’s wild cards
There are two women out there who are stars and haven’t been seen in the run-up to WrestleMania, but could be part of the picture in the near future.
Alexa Bliss did a series of bad therapy segments that was supposed to lead to her return. He did appear, but with no spot for her at WrestleMania, she vanished from TV. She was originally set to return on RAW, but since the concept of two separate rosters has been exposed as an even bigger joke than usual lately, she could come back anwhere it’s decided she’s needed.
Bayley has been out months with an injury. She could be ready to come back soon, which would bring more star power and an excellent worker to either Mondays or Fridays. Hopefully she’ll be back soon at near 100%. She’s been gone long enough fans will be happy to see her, and she’s capable of having good matches with anyone.