JC’s Top Rope Report: Here’s My Pick For The Next WWE Champion

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The hot topic among wrestling fans in the last month has been the state of the WWE Championship. It was something that I wrote about two weeks ago. It has been brought up multiple times on WWE TV in the last month.

No one really knows the status of Daniel Bryan heading into Money in the Bank. If we are to believe the last update on his status, then it might be difficult for Bryan to return in time for Money in the Bank. Bryan still isn’t at full strength and is apparently losing strength in his right arm. That’s never a good sign.

The WWE has been stretching out this angle for as long as they can, but it seems like we are getting a final answer one way or another at Money in the Bank. If Bryan can go he is in a Stretcher Match against Kane, which is one of my least favorite gimmick matches around. I would actually prefer a Buried Alive match to it. At least that match has some finality to the feud. If Bryan can’t go, then the Money in the Bank ladder match will be used to determine the new WWE Champion.

If you have been reading my work over the last month, you know where I stand on this situation. In no way, shape or form would I put Daniel Bryan in the ring any sooner than need be. Yes, the WWE is lacking a top star in his absence. And not having Bryan on TV has really exposed the lack of roster depth and the fact that three hours RAWs are a detriment to the product. But I also want Daniel Bryan around full time for the next five years. And if that means him being off TV for the next month or two then I have no problem with that. With no CM Punk around, the WWE needs to be thinking long term with Daniel Bryan. And I wold take the TV ratings/money hit that might come for the next month or two in order to have Daniel Bryan back for SummerSlam. Is it bad timing? Absolutely. But I’m thinking long term here.

So if Bryan is out of the picture, who would be the best option to become the next Champion? My fellow HTCWrestling columnists Cam made a case for Seth Rollins being named Champion. That would be my option #2. If they were going to go all in on Seth Rollins, then I would have held off on his heel turn. I would have used one of my suggestions from my column two weeks ago and used a Tournament to decide the winner. Then I would have done something similar to the 1998 Survivor Series Tournament. You get down to Rollins/Batista in the Finals, then you have HHH and Orton help Rollins win and be the hand-picked Corporate Champion, similar to The Rock in 1998.

I know a lot of people are drooling at the idea of Rollins winning the Title and then getting a set of Rollins/Bryan matches for the WWE Title starting in the fall. I would love that too. But to me, that is moving things along too quickly for the Rollins turn. I’m usually an advocate of having two different main event programs going on at once. The Shield/Evolution stuff should be separate from the WWE Title scene. It doesn’t need the Title involved.

So, who would be my pick to win the WWE Title if it ends up in the Money in the Bank match? Someone who currently has nothing going on for him, and would get a huge momentum boost from it after it seems like their character has lost some. Who’s that man?

Bray Wyatt.

Even before you get into the reason why I think Bray Wyatt makes some sense, just look at what other options are out there. Assuming the Shield/Evolution stuff remains separate from the WWE Title picture, what other options are out there? Do we really want to see another John Cena Title run? Or what about Kane? Is Brock Lesnar going to come back and work more dates to become Champion? Doubt it. There are guys like Bad News Barrett and Cesaro, but are they ready for the spotlight and huge catapult to stardom that being the WWE Champion would bring? I think they’d be better off winning the Money in the Bank briefcase if they did a match for that.

This brings me back to Bray Wyatt. Out of all the guys in the WWE that have yet to win the WWE Championship, I think he is the most ready. He was just involved in a pretty big main event program with John Cena. If anything, you could even say that it was a test for Bray to see if he would be ready to handle a main event role as Champion down the line. Did the program go on a little longer than it should have? Definitely. But I enjoyed his work from when the program started going into Wrestlemania all the way to Extreme Rules. Bray did more than enough for me during the Cena program to prove he can be a big time player down the line.

Bray has also stepped up his performance in the ring as well. His 2014 year has been pretty good so far when you consider his in ring work. Bray had a MOTY candidate with Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble. He then went on to be a part of great six man tag against The Shield at Elimination Chamber. Two out of his three matches against John Cena were very good as well, with the obvious bomb being the cage match at Extreme Rules. There was some people concerned about Bray’s in ring work because of his size. But I would say that Bray has put most of the doubts to bed.

With Bray’s feud with Cena apparently over, the question now is what is next for him? And right now I really can’t think of anything at all. So instead of having Bray get lost in the shuffle, why not propel him to the top and have him win the WWE Title? It’d be a great foil for John Cena, assuming he would be in the match as well. Cena has spent the last three months trying to fend off Bray Wyatt. And just when he thinks he has done the job, Bray gets the better of him and claims the WWE Championship.

If Bray ends up winning the WWE Title, you could even consider going back to the Cena feud at least for Battleground. I wouldn’t make it any kind of long term program, but I would have Bray face Cena for the Title and let him get a win there. After that, you can go to Bray vs Bryan at SummerSlam. The two already have history and showed at the Royal Rumble that they are quite capable of having a great match. Even if you give the Title back to Bryan there, at least you let Bray have a run for a little bit with it.

At least to me, it seems like things are setting up nicely for Bray Wyatt to take the reigns as WWE Champion if Daniel Bryan can’t go. Bray would get his momentum back from his feud with Cena. He would get a huge jolt to his character and it would be another big change to WWE TV. I posed the question after Payback: How does Bray Wyatt recover and where does he go from here? Winning the WWE Title at Money in the Bank seems like the best answer for both of those questions.

Until Next Time,

Justin C

Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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