By Chris Featherstone
One of the things that make professional wrestling a unique form of sports entertainment is the captivating blend of art and theatre. While we know that the outcomes are predetermined, there is something about this choreographed exhibition that keeps fans watching. The oohs and ahs of a good match, mixed with the psychology that leads to the big match, gives the viewers a sense of anticipation every week.
For the most part, the storylines are recycled. In fact, there are times when they are overused and diluted. What can help this issue is the WWE brand split, occurring on July 19. Just like over a dozen years ago, new stars can be created, and fresh feuds can commence. Here are 10 feuds that would be interesting to see within the next year.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte
When I created this list a few months ago, Sasha Banks was recovering from a concussion after an incident that happened at a house show. Even then, Sasha was getting primed for resuming her part as a significant contribution to the Women’s division. With Natalya being the placeholder to a bigger Charlotte feud, Banks is the perfect fit to fill that spot for a major storyline heading to the “biggest event of the summer,” SummerSlam.
Many thought that Banks was going to experience her first run as Women’s Champion at WrestleMania, but that was dampered by Charlotte winning and reviving the Women’s title. Now, Banks has an opportunity to shine in a one-on-one feud with Charlotte, and I expect this feud to culminate with Banks being the one to dethrone Charlotte’s lengthy title reign.
Cesaro vs. Rusev
We have seen glimpses of this on SmackDown, with Cesaro having to win to earn a title shot. Cesaro and Rusev are examples of a pure babyface and heel, respectively. The fans are amazed at Cesaro’s quickness and agility, combined with brute strength. One of Cesaro’s caveats was his ability to exhibit much charisma, which was a bit surprising compared to his days in Chikara and Ring of Honor. However, with the Superman-style entrance and his patented giant swing still being an attraction during his matches, he would make for a great opponent for Rusev.
Rusev is building the strong heat that he had before the days of John Cena, and his battle with Titus O’Neil gave him the opportunity to both disgrace Father’s Day and the United States of America. Those are old-school heel tactics that are missing from much of modern-day storytelling. A feud between Cesaro and Rusev would be great to see, and could give Cesaro a well-deserved second reign as U.S. Champ.
The New Day vs. The Club (Anderson/Gallows)
One of the elements of weekly TV that WWE is doing a good job at is developing the storyline between The New Day and the Wyatt Family. The good- vs.-evil plot exudes NWA writing, and is a traditionalist’s dream watching that kind of product. This feud is progressing, and has a suspenseful saga to it. The hope is that Bray Wyatt would finally break past the glass ceiling after the feud ends. Most likely, the tag-team title would go on Luke Harper and Braun Strowman, with Bray being the player/coach.
The New Day would also likely gain a third stint as tag-team champions at the end of the program. Then, their next feud could, and should, be Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. By the time they start a feud with New Day, teams like the Lucha Dragons and Golden Truth can be used as rungs to the ladder of looking like a dominant team.
Read the rest of the list here.