Best Feuds for John Cena After Match with Alberto Del Rio
This Sunday night at the Survivor Series, John Cena will successfully retain his World Heavyweight Championship against Alberto Del Rio and, hopefully, rid the title picture of Del Rio for the time being.
The question then becomes what direction Cena heads in the weeks and months that follow the annual November spectacular.
There are a number of young up-and-comers on the WWE roster, all of whom would benefit exponentially from working with the top star the industry has to offer.
There are also a number of established stars who have fallen off significantly over the past six months—some of whom have history with Cena—who could instantly see their stock in the company rebound with a solid feud over the second-most important prize in wrestling.
Which of these Superstars would make the best feuds for Cena after Survivor Series?
Find out after the jump.
The scripted promos, nerve-grating persona and ill-fated babyface turn doomed The Miz in 2013, as he fell down the card and became largely irrelevant.
A heel turn on the November 18 episode of Raw was much needed and could catapult Miz right into the thick of the World Heavyweight Championship picture, which is currently without many legitimate contenders.
Prior to his blunder at WrestleMania 27, which saw the Parma, Ohio native deliver one of the most underwhelming performances of his career, Miz was a very strong heel who was over with both the casual audience as well as the hardcore Internet fanbase.
That Miz can not only take advantage of a roster lacking legitimate main event stars, but he can also return to the heavyweight title picture that he has not been a legit threat in since May 2011.
The fact that Miz's last major title program, not counting the one-off involving CM Punk and Alberto Del Rio, came against John Cena carries with it the potential to ignite a rivalry that can carry the world title through the weeks remaining until the road to WrestleMania kicks into gear.
An easy story to tell would feature Miz blaming Cena for his fall from grace two years ago. His loss of the WWE title to Cena in April 2011 ignited a downward spiral that would kick into full gear midway through the next year and hit rock bottom in 2013.
It is easy, the company has the video evidence to back it up, and it would immediately restore credibility to Miz by having him work Cena.
If there is any Superstar who never really got the World Heavyweight Championship match he deserved, it is Dolph Ziggler.
At Payback, the effects of a concussion plagued him as he lost the world title to Alberto Del Rio. A month later, AJ Lee's interference resulted in a disqualification loss to Del Rio at Money in the Bank. After that, he suddenly and inexplicably found himself out of the title picture and back in the same midcard role he has been in for the better part of five years.
While the company recently went the way of a babyface vs. babyface match involving Cena back at SummerSlam, Ziggler could easily slide into the No. 1 contender's spot and deliver several outstanding matches with Cena to close out the year.
They have a history of delivering superb matches, with their TLC pay-per-view main event from last December being a standout bout in their series.
There are two valid arguments against Ziggler being the next challenger to Cena and the World Heavyweight Championship.
The first is, of course, the aforementioned face vs. face situation. A heel turn for Ziggler is highly unlikely and would probably be detrimental to the performer at this point, what with The Shield, the Wyatt Family and Alberto Del Rio being strong heels at the top of the card.
Secondly, a feud between the two Superstars one year after headlining the same show would seem repetitive.
Luckily, if this year's Hell in a Cell match between CM Punk and Ryback taught us anything, it is that they company has no qualms about repeating matches from year to year.
Despite the fact that his hard work and dedication have earned him a spot in the main event, Ziggler is the weakest of the Superstars on this list.
The post-Hell in a Cell angle involving Damien Sandow's assault of Cena, followed by his unsuccessful cashing in of the Money in the Bank contract, was so good that it is infinitely disappointing to see the lack of followup in weeks that followed.
Sandow has undergone subtle changes since the biggest and best match of his career.
Gone is the blue bathrobe that he sported for the first year of his latest WWE stint. Gone are the bright pink tights and knee pads and in their place are plain black ones.
He now wears his new black T-shirt and walks to the ring with great purpose and determination. His in-ring work is more intense and aggressive, and it fits him well.
The next step would be the continuation of his feud with Cena, which has the potential to launch Sandow into the stratosphere of WWE's main event talent.
He is a complete performer who has shown the ability to both talk and work in the ring. Those are the guys who always succeed at the next level of competition.
At a time when the roster is seriously lacking star power, why not pull the trigger and elevate him now, just in time for the road to WrestleMania?
Wade Barrett is the most intriguing option to challenge John Cena post-Survivor Series.
The two have history with one another, but that was so long ago, and so early in Barrett's career, that the match would feel relatively fresh by today's standards. It would also feature matches significantly improved from their disappointing bouts during the days of the Nexus, thanks in large part to the Englishman's improved wrestling skills.
Barrett has aimlessly floated around the company for years now, enjoying solid runs with Randy Orton and The Miz, but the company has never really capitalized on his potential.
Like the previously mentioned Damien Sandow, Barrett has exhibited the ability to talk and to wrestle, but, for whatever reason, he has never really reached the level he is capable of.
While Barrett is not quite the worker Sandow is, he does have a hard-hitting, high-impact style that is more bruising than what fans are used to seeing from other Superstars. He is a gritty wrestler who utilizes strikes to his advantage and whose bare-knuckle fighting history plays heavily into what he does between the ropes.
After so many stop-and-go pushes over the past three years, a return to television that sees him immediately target Cena and the World Heavyweight Championship would quickly elevate him in the eyes of the audience and provide SmackDown with a fresh, Alberto Del Rio-free rivalry for the second most-coveted prize in the company.