Late last evening, the WWE announced on its website that superstar Randy Orton had been suspended for 60 days due to violating the wellness policy program for the second time (first violation was back in 2007). This is the third high-profile superstar in the WWE to have been suspended in May after Rey Mysterio also violated the wellness program for a second time, while Chris Jericho was suspended for the flag incident in Brazil.
So with this latest news hitting the WWE locker room, fans are beginning to wonder how the company will move on during Orton's 60-day suspension.
Well, it's actually quite simple.
There are superstars that need to elevate their game and prove they are worthy of a main-event slot. This is why I have done this list. I feel there are five guys who can benefit from this latest suspension and rise to the occasion, thus proving to the WWE Universe and to management that they belong in the main event.
Now, this list is my opinion only. I know there are going to be readers that have different opinions, and that's fine. If you have a comment on this list—either you feel like I left somebody off, or put someone on the list that doesn't belong—then please share.
This is one superstar that really was affected by Orton's suspension as he was expected, following Jericho's suspension, to feud with Orton late into the summer months. Now with Orton being gone, this looks to be a time for either Dolph Ziggler to capitalize on or to prove why the WWE might want to think about keeping him as a mid-card talent for the future.
I have written before about how I feel Dolph Ziggler should get a main-event push sooner than later, and I will again explain my reason. Ziggler is a superstar that can have a great match with anyone in the company right now as has proven since June of 2009 when he first started feuding with Rey Mysterio.
Ziggler's mic skills are second to none when given the opportunity to speak without Vickie Guerrero to use her "excuse me" line to garner cheap heat from the audience. Ziggler is one of the top heels in the company right now and has done just about everything there is to do in the WWE except get a main event push.
I believe that now is the right time to push Ziggler as a main-event heel because he has the experience and the ability to keep the fans interested in his matches. Therefore, with this suspension, I believe now is Dolph Ziggler's time to shine.
Perfect feud during the Orton suspension
Dolph Ziggler's perfect opponent during Orton's suspension is Jack Swagger.
Ziggler and Swagger have been tag team partners for well over six months, and during that time, both men have blamed each other for the failures of the team. Last Monday, Ziggler told Vickie and Swagger that he was "better than this" after the duo lost a match. So, what better way to end this tag team then to have Ziggler turn on Swagger and begin a feud?
A baby-face turn for Jack Swagger may help his career out as he has stalled since his world title reign back in 2010. I believe Dolph Ziggler would make Jack Swagger look very good inside of the ring and could carry the promos on the microphone in order to better the feud. The idea might be crazy to some, but if the WWE uses that formula, then we might see a very entertaining feud that could prove why Ziggler should be considered a main-event performer.
Sin Cara is indeed returning to the WWE this week on SmackDown from a knee injury that he suffered back in November at Survivor Series. With the long road to recovery, fans have missed the high-flying style that Sin Cara can bring each and every week. Therefore, with his return coming at this time, I feel that he is another superstar who could extremely benefit from Randy Orton's suspension.
Randy Orton was the top baby-face on SmackDown, so with him being gone, there is now room for another baby-face to take his spot and be in some high-profile matches in the summer. Sin Cara was red hot before his injury took him out for six months. However, he can now come in and fill the shoes of Orton. After all, he is one of the few guys who can generate a pop from the fans like Orton.
SmackDown isn't filled with as many baby-faces as Raw, so this moment could turn out to be gold for Sin Cara. If the high-flyer can come in and prove he has improved in the ring and is able to stay healthy throughout the summer, we might see him get a main-event push.
Perfect feud for Sin Cara during the Randy Orton suspension
Sin Cara is not a talker, and whoever his opponent is needs to be able to cut very well-placed promos. Sin Cara can go through a match pretty well with smaller performers, so the perfect feud for Sin Cara to go into is against Cody Rhodes.
Rhodes is still in a feud right now with Christian for the IC title, but if Sin Cara did indeed get involved, we could see one of the most exciting triple-threat feuds in a while with Christian facing both Rhodes and Sin Cara.
The triple-threat idea would not only generate some wonderful matches on pay-per-view and on SmackDown, but the WWE could begin to flirt with the idea of having Sin Cara become a champion in the WWE. Sin Cara's return to action has been built up for many weeks, so if he can deliver, he might be line for an IC title reign this year.
Rey Mysterio is almost in the same boat as Sin Cara, as he too is returning to action from an injury/suspension that has kept him out of action since August of last year.
Mysterio is a veteran that the WWE has called upon in the past to carry the SmackDown brand when there wasn't a lot of talent on the show. Mysterio and the WWE did agree on an 11-month contract extension just two weeks ago, so there is a good chance the company might push Mysterio after all when he does indeed return.
Mysterio has been in the WWE for a decade and he has been in the ring with almost all of the top guys in the WWE. Therefore, the company may believe Mysterio is ready to fill the shoes of Orton until The Viper returns to action.
Mysterio is the workhorse of the company and is someone the fans have loved since he arrived. Moving him back over to SmackDown as one of the top baby-faces wouldn't be much of an issue.
Perfect feud for Rey Mysterio during the Randy Orton suspension
The WWE cannot go wrong with any feud that Mysterio could be in, as he is one of the very few guys that can work with anybody and have a great match. Mysterio is also one of the very few baby-faces the WWE Universe absolutely loves and respects, so he can battle any heel and still have the fans on his side.
That being said, thinking of the perfect feud for Mysterio was difficult. He has just about wrestled everyone there is to compete with in the WWE. However, there is one superstar that should feud with Mysterio, as it could benefit all parties involved.
I know I got pretty bad reviews when I mentioned this feud the first time, but let me ask you something: What has either man done since January?
The answer is nothing.
Putting two guys that have so much to prove in the ring together could provide some excitement that we haven't seen in a while. I think the thought of not wanting to disappoint could drive both men to push harder than before and provide the WWE Universe with a classic battle.
If The Miz versus Rey Mysterio is booked, we could see potentially two superstars rebound their careers in the right direction.
Since returning to the WWE at Over the Limit, Christian has been on a roll. First, he won the IC championship from Cody Rhodes. Christian's return also prompted the WWE to turn him back into the beloved baby-face that the fans had come to love. Christian's run as champion looks to be one that could be very short or could be lengthy depending on the roster situation of the WWE.
With the Randy Orton suspension coming out this week, fans have been looking through the roster to see who could be the next No. 2 baby-face on SmackDown. The one name that many fans have wanted to fill in is Christian.
Remember, just last year, Randy Orton and Christian were engaged in one of the best feuds we have seen in a while. It included several show-stealing matches for the world heavyweight championship.
It could be irony, but fans seem to want Christian to become the No. 2 baby-face on SmackDown and I see no problem with this idea at all.
Christian has won just about every major title available in the WWE. He has been in many classic feuds, and he is one of the true veterans on the roster that is willing to put over younger talent. The WWE kind of ignored Christian after he dropped the title to Randy Orton at SummerSlam last August by having him put over Sheamus in a feud that didn't really make much sense.
Now that Christian is back in the WWE, maybe it's time for the company to push this young man and ride the success he can generate.
The perfect feud for Christian during the Randy Orton suspension
Being the IC champion has been a good thing for Christian thus far and a feud with Cody Rhodes will be great for Christian's career and beneficial for both men during the Orton suspension. These two guys can have great matches, and without Orton on television, there will be more air time to devote to the IC title. That will allow Christian to prove why he is a deserving champion.
If Christian and Cody Rhodes have some stellar matches, we might see Christian get his shot at the world title or the WWE title again. However, he needs to show fans and management why he deserves that spot over the next 60 days, or else he might be stuck in the IC title scene for a while.
There never seems to be any love for our world heavyweight champion, Sheamus. This man has been one of the fastest rising stars since he turned baby-face back in August, when he went toe-to-toe with Mark Henry. Since that time, Sheamus has won the Royal Rumble and of course became the world heavyweight champion at WrestleMania.
When it comes to fan support, however, it seems like Sheamus has been taking a backseat ride to Randy Orton on the blue brand. That being said, following Orton's suspension, Sheamus now has the opportunity to prove why he is indeed the top baby-face on Smackdown.
Last month at Over the Limit, the WWE changed the main event from just Sheamus versus Alberto Del Rio to a fatal four-way match that included Chris Jericho and Randy Orton. This month, Jericho and Orton are both suspended from the WWE and the world title match at No Way Out is indeed Sheamus versus Alberto Del Rio.
The suspension of Randy Orton has come at a time when Sheamus needs to show people why he deserves to be world champion.
Fans have been saying Sheamus versus Del Rio isn't a big enough draw, but Sheamus may be able to silence those critics at No Way Out by having a wonderful match with Del Rio. Both guys are excellent in the ring and they are pretty good with their promos, so I don't see why this feud cannot be one that keeps the WWE Universe excited throughout the summer.
If Sheamus and Del Rio can deliver on this match, Sheamus might be world champion for many more months to come.
The perfect feud For Sheamus during the Orton suspension
I would have said that it would be Wade Barrett, if he were healthy enough to come back, but that doesn't look to be the case right now. Therefore, I had to go in a different direction. The superstar I chose is one that many fans haven't been thinking too highly of as of late.
I believe that Sheamus needs to take on a bigger superstar and have a very entertaining feud, so I would place him one on one with Kane.
Kane is near the end of his career, so one more run at the world title would be great to see. However, I'd also love to see Sheamus have some wonderful brawls with the big man.
This feud could very well happen and it could be the world title match at SummerSlam if the WWE doesn't see Wade Barrett before then, so let's see how Sheamus could do with Kane in a high-profile match.
I think that opportunity would show fans that Sheamus is indeed on the same level as Randy Orton.