The 10 Most Important WWE and AEW Booking Decisions for Rest of 2022
Professional wrestling is constantly evolving, and it is important to find the right time to clear up stories to set up new angles for the future.
WWE and All Elite Wrestling have big 2022 booking decisions that need to be resolved in the next three months in order to move forward into a new year with fresh stories.
Will Roman Reigns and The Usos ever be stopped? Will Liv Morgan regain the crowd's confidence or lose her SmackDown Women's Championship? Does WWE have the ability and will to bring back Sasha Banks and Naomi?
What will happen next after CM Punk's shocking loss to Jon Moxley? Could MJF finally make his return after a lengthy absence? Can anyone beat Jade Cargill?
There are plenty of important angles left to explore in 2022, and these are the 10 most important left for WWE and AEW.
WWE: Monday Night Raw Needs a World Champion; Roman Reigns or Someone Else
Roman Reigns is the biggest modern star in wrestling, but WWE still is uncertain how to book him. In particular, his status as undisputed universal champion has left Monday Night Raw with a hole at the top of the roster.
Bobby Lashley has worked as the only men's singles champion on the roster recently. While The All Mighty is putting on great matches, that is not enough when SmackDown has more champions and more stories to tell at the top of the card.
If The Head of the Table is set to remain champion through 2022, he will need to be more present on the red brand.
If he cannot commit to that, Reigns will need to lose at least one of the championships. Drew McIntyre is the most likely star to dethrone the champion, but Theory could also cash in to take that gold.
Regardless of the choice, WWE has to make a decision to appease the USA Network. The TV network is getting the short end of the stick while Fox is given far more on SmackDown.
AEW: CM Punk's Future; World Champion Again or Back to Veteran Status
The second hour of AEW Dynamite on August 24 was a shocking and exciting spectacle, particularly the AEW World Championship match. CM Punk lost in a mere three minutes to Jon Moxley, who officially became AEW world champion for a second time.
While there are many interesting challengers for Mox throughout the roster, a rematch with The Best in the World remains the biggest. That match could happen in two weeks, two months or two years. It is all down to the future direction of Punk.
Punk is arguably the biggest draw in AEW. He will always have a spotlight if he wants it. However, The Best in the World has to come up with an answer to only the second loss of his AEW career.
If he immediately challenges for the world title and wins, it would come off as disrespectful to the current champion, who has truly proved himself to be the heart and soul of AEW.
A bold booking move deserves equally bold follow-up. It should be interesting to watch what Punk will do next.
WWE: Liv Morgan's Rocky Start as Champion; Continue or Move On
Liv Morgan's pair of wins at WWE Money in the Bank was one of the biggest moments of 2022. In one night, she captured the Money in the Bank briefcase and cashed it in to become the SmackDown women's champion.
It was a bold booking decision for a woman who had never held any wrestling gold in her career. Given her status as an underdog, WWE needed to book her carefully to continue establishing her as a true champion.
However, a poorly booked and rushed match with Ronda Rousey has caused fans to turn on the champion. WWE has some serious work to do in rehabilitating Morgan.
Otherwise, the company will need to make a change quickly. The Baddest Woman on the Planet has gained significant popularity back since she lost the title. Shayna Baszler is also finding her way again as a dangerous competitor.
Both women could take the title off Morgan, but it would be better for WWE to commit to Morgan while improving her booking.
AEW: Jade Cargill's Undefeated Streak; Lose to Athena or Keep Winning
Jade Cargill is on a legendary streak to begin her wrestling career in AEW. She has been undefeated for over 500 days, with 36 victories in that time.
It is an impressive run that has only played out on AEW's biggest shows, not even relying upon AEW Dark to increase her record.
Her next rival will be Athena, arguably her most difficult challenge to date—especially given how much the company has put behind The Fallen Goddess in this rivalry.
While the TBS champion's streak will be impressive even if she loses at AEW All Out, there is no reason she has to lose at this point. She could easily eclipse 50 at least before losing.
However, there is always the risk that fans turn on Cargill if she remains completely indomitable. The timing has to be perfect, as does the opponent. Waiting too long will ruin the moment, but rushing it could take away from something truly special.
WWE: The Usos' Dominance over the Tag Division; Separate Titles or Keep Unified
Jimmy and Jey Uso first signed with WWE in 2009. The brothers have remained a tag team over 13 years while winning eight tag team championships. They are now the undisputed champions of WWE Raw and SmackDown.
The Usos have defeated nearly everyone in WWE. While new teams are beginning to emerge, all the biggest names in the division have fallen to the champions.
This level of dominance makes them important, but it could be leaving the division unchanged for too long. At some point, Raw and SmackDown will have enough tag teams to deserve separate champions, and there may be no fresh challengers left to defeat The Usos.
WWE will have to make a decision on how long the division can afford to have such dominant champions.
Whether it be The Viking Raiders, Los Lotharios, Alpha Academy, Los Mysterios or one of many makeshift teams, someone needs to step up at least to challenge the champions. Defeating them might be impossible currently.
AEW: First Trios Champions; The Elite or a Less Predictable Option
It has taken a while for AEW to establish the AEW Trios Championships, but it has been inevitable since the company was first formed that Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks would be the first trios champions.
The best established trio in the early days of the company, Omega alongside Matt and Nick Jackson have won big on AEW television together. The three also have championship history as two-time NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championships.
While there are other interesting teams with history in AEW, including House of Black, Best Friends and Dark Order, no one has as much hype behind them as The Elite.
It would be predictable to give the EVPs the gold, but it would also make sense. Omega and The Young Bucks have a ready-made feud set with Adam Cole and reDRagon upon their return. Everyone would love to see as much Omega as possible in the coming months.
However, AEW has a chance to do something unpredictable while rewarding a less decorated team. It is all up to what story the company wants to tell.
WWE: Sasha Banks and Naomi; Bring Them Back or Allow Them to Test Their Options
Sasha Banks and Naomi may be the biggest names in wrestling to not step into a ring in the past three months. WWE is still recovering from the mess that came from two veterans walking out on the show because of booking frustrations.
Since that time, there has been a massive change in WWE. Vince McMahon and John Laurinaitis are gone. Nick Khan, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H have taken on larger roles.
The new staff in charge could well have a chance to fix the broken relationship with The Boss and The Glow. It is possible it has even already happened.
Bringing back Banks and Naomi would be a huge boost to the women's division. Both are multiple-time women's champions and have a clear passion for the much-maligned women's tag division.
WWE has found a way to move on with the division thanks to a largely successful women's tournament. However, it would be difficult for the company to replace two of the top female performers in the world. They would certainly find success elsewhere.
AEW: Bringing Back MJF; Finding the Right Time
It is difficult to get fans invested in stories by selling them on the reality of the situation. Despite what some may think, fans of professional wrestling are largely aware that the shows are scripted.
Occasionally, a story will come around that blurs those lines between reality and script successfully. Maxwell Jacob Friedman is the current prime example of that. The Salt of the Earth is one of AEW's best, but he also may be looking for a way out.
His frustrations with the company have been well documented, but it has been difficult to differentiate between what he truly feels and what is a storyline.
There are some clear facts. MJF is still signed with AEW, and he was allowed to cut a scathing promo on air during the June 1 edition of AEW Dynamite and has not been seen since.
Nearly three months without one of the biggest names in the company is a huge deal, but it has given the angle credibility. The timing will need to be perfect for MJF to return for the best effect, which could mean he shows up at AEW All Out or AEW Full Gear.
There is always the possibility that MJF does leave the company, but it feels more likely that AEW has found an angle that will make him an even bigger star if handled correctly.
WWE: Theory's Cash-In; Rush Money in the Bank Shot or Keep Building into 2023
The Money in the Bank briefcase is one of the biggest booking challenges in WWE. It is a guaranteed title shot that can be used at any time, which means the holder is constantly looming over any angle involving the world champions.
Theory has been pushed massively in 2022, but much of that was under the watch of Vince McMahon. Triple H could see Mr. Money in the Bank differently.
He could become a star with a perfectly timed cash-in, or Theory could fall into the background if he is rushed into a title reign or even a failed cash-in.
Everything is riding on the next few months of booking. Theory is winning big matches, but Roman Reigns remains an unstoppable force.
It would be odd to see Theory end the legendary title reign of The Head of the Table, but WWE can make it work with the ideal setup.
AEW: Daniel Garcia's Stable Status; Stay in JAS or Join BCC
Daniel Garcia was hardly a known name to most wrestling fans before he joined AEW, but he has made a name for himself through his performances. His two matches with Bryan Danielson especially got everyone talking.
He has found himself at a crossroads. While he is a current member of Chris Jericho's Jericho Appreciation Society, he has an offer from The American Dragon to join his childhood hero as a professional wrestler in The Blackpool Combat Club.
Danielson and Jericho will fight at AEW All Out, but there is no guarantee that The Red Death will decide who he follows based on the result of that match.
The future of Garcia could well connect to the future of the company. He could follow Wheeler Yuta's path in BCC, proving himself with heart and technical prowess. The ROH Pure champion is one of the most popular stars on the roster because he joined BCC.
If Garcia does say with JAS, he can grow as a heel, but he may not be able to reach the same heights as quickly.