WWE Battleground 2013: Breaking Down WHC Outlook After Alberto Del Rio's Win

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2013

CLEVELAND, OH - MARCH 13:  Dolph Ziggler, professional wrestler for the WWE, takes in the game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Toronto Raptors at The Quicken Loans Arena on March 13, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2012 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Thank goodness that's over. Now what's next for Alberto Del Rio?

Del Rio defeated Rob Van Dam to retain his World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground. Van Dam went for the Van Terminator, only to miss, and that opened the door for ADR to lock on the Cross Armbreaker to force Van Dam to tap out.

The champ rubbed the victory in a little bit more on Twitter.

This is hopefully the end of what has been a pretty bad feud.

From the start, it's made almost no sense. Why would Ricardo Rodriguez partner with Van Dam in the first place? The two had almost nothing in common before Rodriguez became RVD's manager and personal ring announcer. There haven't been any stakes in this feud beyond one guy has the title, and another guy wants to win it.

Perhaps that could be enough if the two guys could get a reaction from the crowd. However, the reaction has been lukewarm at best.

The matches have been entertaining, but you could be watching Flair vs. Steamboat, and it won't be as fun if nobody in the crowd responds to what's going on.

With this being the second pay-per-view in a row Van Dam's failed to win the title, he's got to be out of shots for the time being.

The question is, whom does Del Rio feud with now?

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - JULY 08:  Alberto Del Rio during the WWE Smackdown Live Tour at Westridge Park Tennis Stadium on July 08, 2011 in Durban, South Africa.  (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

Cody Rhodes is probably still going to be wrapped in with the McMahon/Helmsley regime and The Shield. Sheamus is still injured, and really, who wants to see a Sheamus/Del Rio match again? Maybe somebody like Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, Christian, Big E Langston, Fandango or The Miz gets a shot. All of those guys are unlikely because they have zero momentum and have done nothing to earn a title match.

Granted, that hasn't stopped WWE from doing something like this before.

More likely, the WHC picture will go one of three ways.

The first, and likeliest of all outcomes, is that Rey Mysterio returns and is immediately thrust into the title picture. It would make so much more sense to have Rodriguez partner with a guy who's, I don't know, maybe Hispanic, or at least proud of his Mexican American heritage.

There are few feuds more tailor-made to succeed than this one.

The only problem is that Mysterio has never really stayed healthy for a long period of time. WWE would be taking a bit of a gamble to put him in a high-profile rivalry.

The other two scenarios involve Damien Sandow and Dolph Ziggler.

Ziggler could challenge Del Rio and finally get some revenge after losing the title at Payback. You know that putting these two in the ring is guaranteed to produce good matches, and there's actually a reason these two would want to fight each other.

It would allow Ziggler to have a genuine title run and see if he can become a major star.

Meanwhile the current Money in the Bank briefcase holder is just sitting there, waiting for his chance.

Sandow can cash in on Del Rio either on Raw or SmackDown, and ADR gets his rematch at Hell in a Cell. However, this has a couple of snags. Sandow, much like Ziggler did when he won the title, has absolutely no momentum.

The fans won't take him seriously as a champion because they've been watching him lose match after match since he won the MITB briefcase.

This would allow a possible Sandow/Ziggler feud, which also makes sense following their match on the pre-show before Battleground. They're also the last two WHC MITB winners.

No matter what happens, it doesn't look like there's much to look forward to on the World Heavyweight Championship front.