WrestleMania 28 Fallout: The Top 10 Feuds Going Forward
That's right, folks—WrestleMania has officially come and gone, and boy was it awesome!
Last night's event in Miami more than lived up to its extensive hype and left fans salivating at not only the results of the eight matches, but also the subsequent fallout that each may have.
We saw two big title changes, a somewhat surprising Kane win, a new permanent GM for Raw and SmackDown, CM Punk living up to his billing as "Best In The World," the "End of an Era" inside Hell in a Cell and the Rock ending the show victorious in his hometown.
The question now remains, though, as to where we go from here.
Speculation already abounds to see exactly what each outcome means for the future of the WWE, and particularly which feuds may now develop as a result of what happened at Sun Life Stadium just hours ago.
The following slideshow will analyse the 10 most likely feuds going forward.
10. Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes
We kicked off WrestleMania 28 with a controversial 18-second title change.
Yes, maybe D-Bry deserved better on the Grandest Stage of Them All, but I'll be honest, I liked it.
There's a story sure to come out of this for the American Dragon, but we'll just need to wait and see how Creative decides to contort his character from here.
New World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus needs a fresh challenger, and I see no better fit for the Great White than the former Intercontinental Champion Cody Rhodes.
His loss to Big Show last night was the beginning of better things for Rhodes, and now it is time for the young, brash heel to step up from the midcard to challenge Sheamus.
These two have great chemistry in the ring, and it would be great to see an extended feud of what would essentially be brains vs. brawn (again).
Daniel Bryan will obviously get his rematch (which I would imagine will take place at Extreme Rules), but look for a Sheamus-Rhodes feud to ignite as soon as the dust settles.
*As a quick mention, the WHC scene looks extremely bright now with Sheamus (Champion), Bryan (Rematch clause), Rhodes (Recently dropped mid-card title), Orton (soon to return to main event scene) and Christian (technically the No. 1 Contender as promised in the eventuality of a Team Johnny win).
9. Randy Orton vs. Kane
Sorry, as this is a bit of a boring prediction, but I don't think this feud can end with a clean loss for Orton—it's just not the way it works.
Kane has nothing to gain by coming out on top in this feud, so I would expect a vengeful Viper to take him to the well at Extreme Rules.
This was a great match don't get me wrong, but the Kane-Orton feud should end sooner rather than later, and I was quite disappointed to see a win for the Big Red Machine, which will ultimately lead to further interaction between the two.
When the feud does eventually end, I would expect Orton to enter the WHC scene alongside Sheamus/Bryan/Rhodes/Christian (history with all four) and Kane to probably fizzle out courtesy of an old-school Orton punt during the summer.
8. Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya
Yep, it looks like this one is finally happening.
With no Kharma or Layla in sight, it would now appear that Nattie is the most realistic contender for the Glamazon going forward.
Despite being pinned by Maria Menounos last night, Beth is still the most dominant female (not Diva) in the company, and she desperately needs some serious competition.
According to lordsofpain.net the seeds for this feud are already being planted, with Natalya last night saying she was confused by not being picked by Phoenix to face K2 and Maria.
With the former Hart Foundation member recently turning face (I think?), this could actually be a really solid feud between the two best (full-time) Divas on the roster.
7. Zack Ryder vs. Eve
Let me start by saying, that Eve is no Chyna.
Therefore, we won't see these two get any more physical in the ring than the odd low-blow or Hoeski Boot to the groin.
However, either of these two could quite easily find another superstar to fight their corner (Kurt vs. Karen Angle anyone...?)
For Ryder, the most likely candidate to face Eve would be Kelly Kelly (please, no!) or more preferably a returning Layla.
Eve on the other hand has a multitude of male heel superstars who could align with her to face Long Island Iced-Z.
I know Kane was bandied around earlier in the year with the suggestion that Eve may become the next Lita (to Kane, not in terms of being talented), but I think a far more likely association would be with someone like Jack Swagger who currently has very little else to do and has become WWE's favoured perennial, jobber heel.
6. Santino Marella vs. David Otunga
We've seen this match a couple of times on TV already, but I fully expect to see the two team captains from Team Johnny vs. Team Teddy lock up in the near future, especially now that Big Johnny is in sole charge.
You have to think Otunga will now be rewarded for leading his team to success at WrestleMania (and Santino punished), and so creating a scenario whereby the United States champion has to defend his title in increasingly difficult circumstances each week could create some extremely entertaining television.
I'm a big fan of both of these two, and a feud whereby Santino continually overcomes the odds as a fighting champion will get him even more over with the fans, whilst drawing more heat onto Laurinaitis and Otunga.
A bold prediction would be Santino's first defence under the new regime to be on Monday Night Raw against Otunga, with the rest of Team Johnny as Lumberjacks (you heard it here first).
5. True Boom vs. the Colons 2.0
I really like the pairing of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth, and last night both proved extremely good value in the 12-man tag team match, despite limited involvement.
The pair seem to have a chemistry which harks back to the days when tag teams actually meant something in the WWE/F, and it would be nice to see this team really establish themselves as a solid, cohesive force.
Epico and Primo are now the second-longest reigning champions currently in the company (behind CM Punk of course) and it is time the Colon duo really had some stiff competition for their titles, and/or a solid feud.
While the triple threat tag team matches are good entertainment, I would much rather see Kingston and Truth try to overcome the Puerto Rican duo in straight-up competition, as all four men are capable of putting on entertaining matches.
3. CM Punk vs. the Miz
That's right, Miz got the pin that ensured Big Johnny would be the new GM of both Raw and SmackDown against an unsuspecting Zack Ryder, and now, as a reward for this feat, I fully expect Miz to receive a WWE title shot.
To me, Miz getting the sole pin in this match signals the beginning of another push for the Awesome One, and expect to see a revitalised character appear over the coming weeks.
We haven't seen a corporate stable in a while, so seeing Big Johnny vetting the Miz as a Rock-like Corporate Champion could have interesting possibilities and ramifications.
I like the idea of Miz vs. Punk, even though we've seen it many times before.
Like Jericho, Miz is great as a slimy, arrogant heel who plays mind games and strikes opportunely. In my mind, this kind of heel is perfect for the new CM Punk incarnation who appears to be adversely affected by these kind of antics.
Punk and Miz have shown their great chemistry in the past (TLC), and it would be great to see the pair feuding over the WWE title in an extended programme over the summer.
3. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels
I have to admit I was surprised that Shawn Michaels did not have a more active involvement in the eventual outcome of this match.
That being said, ultimately HBK cost Triple H the chance at ending the Undertaker's undefeated streak.
It was quite frankly the best match I have ever seen, and I literally had no idea which way it was headed.
Nevertheless, Michaels' involvement as special guest referee was what ultimately led to an Undertaker victory.
Despite an awesome Sweet Chin Music/Pedigree combo, Michaels preventing Triple H from delivering a final sledgehammer blow to the head of 'Taker demonstrated that Mr. WrestleMania never actually wanted this infamous streak to end at the hands of his best friend.
The image of the three carrying each other out of the arena did signal the end of an era as promised, but I cannot see Triple H being denied his chance at infamy being taken lightly by either him or the Undertaker.
Last night should, in all fairness, be the end of the rivalry between these three legends, but like Christian, I personally want just one. more. match.
Look for Trips and 'Taker to call up the Heartbreak Kid about his unwanted involvement in the match to potentially set up HHH vs. HBK vs. Undertaker at WrestleMania 29 (a controversial pick, I know).
2. John Cena vs. Lord Tensai
The WWE tried to pull another fast one last night by suggesting a John Cena heel turn (again).
While I appreciate the champ came across as more brash and cocky than usual in his match against the Rock, like we all know, Cena will never turn heel—sorry, that's just the way it goes.
I would imagine that on tonight's Raw, Cena will apologize to the fans for letting them down and being overconfident (ultimately leading to his loss), while still trying to bury the Rock, who will obviously be returning to Hollywood any day now.
Ultimately, though, I foresee a humbled Cena pandering to the crowd in order to retain his status as the overwhelming face of the company.
Cue Lord Tensai (Albert, for all you Attitude Era fans), who comes out Kane-style to destroy Cena in the centre of the ring (maybe Rock if he's there too), then leave without explanation.
Hey, this is how a surprising amount of Cena's feuds begin, so it's a likely scenario.
Anyway, this feud has been widely rumoured, so even if my speculation of it kicking off tonight is off, this storyline is probably happening.
1. The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar
Wow, I never thought we'd see this one again, but it looks like we're heading for Rock vs. Brock part deux.
Every man and his dog seems to know that Brock has signed a new one-year deal with the WWE on a part-time basis, and the common assumption is that the Next Big Thing (does that still apply?) will return to feud with the Great One, The Rock.
If it were true, the actual logistics would work out pretty well, with neither expected to be permanent fixtures in the WWE over the next 12 months, but fan reaction to two aging stars essentially headlining next year's WrestleMania could be mixed to say the very least.
Many superstars and fans alike were critical of the Rock's "intrusion" in hogging the limelight at this year's event, and a Brock vs. Rock spectacle next year would be sure to garner similar negativity.
Personally, I feel a match such as this would do nothing but good for the WWE product, drawing great interest from the mainstream whilst allowing old-school wrestling fans to relive the glory days of the Attitude/Ruthless Aggression eras.
Of course, this feud may not sit well with a lot of people, but hey, some fans will find an excuse to complain about anything.
From watching last night's event in a packed bar, everyone went bonkers for the Rock, and the place went mad when he won, so for my money, get him back in that ring ASAP, as this is exactly what the fans want.
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