John Cena and Brock Lesnar are going to headline Summerslam and more than likely have their blow off match the following month for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship and while I am currently fine with that situation since Daniel Bryan’s health continues to be a major concern (I’ve been fearing the worst since news first broke) the next champion should not only be a first timer but should be put over on a big time stage. Once Cena and Lesnar’s feud blows over the Royal Rumble should be right around the corner. I was going to put together a 16 man tournament to decide who should face Brock Lesnar at the 2015 Royal Rumble but there would be too many lower card guys on the list that it wouldn’t be nearly as fun as just cutting it right down to an ‘Elite Eight’ if you would. The eight WWE Superstars selected for my arm chair booking tournament are Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Bad News Barrett, Bray Wyatt, Big E, Cesaro and Bo Dallas.
A few notes before I get right into it. 1. I considered putting Luke Harper in the tournament but something tells me the Wyatt Family tag team will remain a team throughout the rest of 2014. 2. I’m writing this on the assumption Rollins won’t cash in after the night after Wrestlemania 31. 3. Lastly, I know BNB is out injured for the next few months, I’m fantasy booking a fixed sport people, give me some slack.
Cesaro v. Bad News Barrett
We will never know but everyone assumed the Money in the Bank pay per view was going to be BNB’s coming out party, again. Unfortunately for Barrett and the WWE, he is out injured again for the next few months. While the ‘Bad News’ gimmick really put Barrett in a good position to have a bigger role in 2014 and going forward only time will tell if he can regain or will be allowed to regain that momentum once he comes back. Getting into the match, Cesaro, the oldest of the eight Superstars in my non WWE sanctioned tournament has more than paid his dues and is deserving of a WWE World Heavyweight Championship run. Given who his manager is and who he represents, is the most logical winner. I’m putting Cesaro over here just because I like him more and once he breaks away from Paul Heyman and now it looks like The Authority, he should have one hell of a babyface run.
Roman Reigns v. Bo Dallas
Since The Shield, Wyatt Family and throw in Big E for arguments sake, Bo Dallas is the most successful NXT call up. The timing of his promo for Brazil’s shock big loss to Germany in the World Cup was spot on. He continues to get better each time he is on TV, it’s just a matter of the WWE putting him into a good program or even put a mid card title on him. Saying all of that, I would still consider Bo Dallas the eight seed of this tournament and just based upon his place on the card right now I would give Roman Reigns the number one seed. Dallas could get a lot done for his character even by losing here to Reigns. A great pre match promo and a good showing with the big guy and his stock could rise. Reigns moves on.
Seth Rollins v. Big E
I considered a dusty finish for this match and putting Big E over here just to have Ambrose cost Rollins the finals against Roman Reigns but Steph totally didn’t buy in. Big E was on the fast track to the top of the card but the WWE, for reasons still unknown to me, decided against it and know he just talks funny. Big E has come a long way since his NXT days, which weren’t bad by any means, but what do I know I’m putting Rollins over here after he uses his briefcase to knock Big E out and Rollins escapes through the crowd.
Dean Ambrose v. Bray Wyatt
These two for god sake, need to cross paths for the WWE WHC before everything is said and done. If Daniel Bryan can’t wrestle for a long time Dean Ambrose has a chance to become that babyface that the WWE can latch onto, Ambrose is definitely ready for it. But, this is pro wrestling, Ambrose’s day will come. Bray over here after Luke Harper distracts the referee and Erik Rowan takes out Ambrose.
Final Four: Cesaro v. Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns’ day as full time top WWE draw is coming, maybe sooner, maybe later but no one can deny his ability to connect with the WWE Universe. Reigns has something that Cesaro doesn’t, time. Cesaro has paid his dues on the indies, he’s paid his dues in the WWE. We saw a glimpse of what could be a huge babyface run for the Swiss Superman; it’s just a matter of when? Just booking this off who has more time to be a main eventer I’m putting Cesaro over here, the ref takes a bump, Cesaro exposes the turnbuckle and picks up the cheap win over Reigns to keep Roman strong.
Bray Wyatt v. Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins holds that ‘coveted’ briefcase so he is the only Superstar in this tournament that can face the WWE World Heavyweight Champion whenever he pleases. Other than Bo Dallas, Rollins is the guy on my list that is great but shouldn’t be a World Champion quite yet. Rollins tries to use his briefcase to escape with a win but Luke Harper distracts him and Wyatt hits Sister Abigil to advance to the finals.
Final: Winner Faces Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble 2015
Cesaro v. Bray Wyatt
Going into a final between Bray Wyatt and Cesaro one of these guys needs to come out a fresh babyface that the WWE can put in a ‘David v Goliath’ situation heading into 2015. Cesaro may be much bigger and stronger than David, but he would surely be the underdog against the beast Brock Lesnar. Like I said above, Roman Reigns’ time at the top is coming but the Swiss Superman and his one man swing show is money for the WWE.
Until next week, tell a friend, let me know what you think, listen to the latest HTC Wrestling Pulsecast here or on iTunes, follow me on Twitter @CamDougharty and let’s talk rasslin!