Quick Takes on WWE and AEW's Next Big Heel Turns, 'White Rabbit' News and More

Graham GSM Matthews@@WrestleRantFeatured Columnist IVSeptember 26, 2022

Quick Takes on WWE and AEW's Next Big Heel Turns, 'White Rabbit' News and More

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    The seeds have been planted for a stellar Swerve Strickland heel run in AEW. (Credit: All Elite Wrestling)

    Both WWE and All Elite Wrestling boast incredibly talented rosters right now, but several stars could benefit from hitting the reset button sooner rather than later.

    One notable name that comes to mind is Swerve Strickland, who is fresh off losing the AEW World Tag Team Championship with Keith Lee. The two have been a terrific team all year, but the time has come for them to go their separate ways so Strickland can fulfill his full potential as a singles heel.

    WWE is also about to receive a big boost with the rumored return of Bray Wyatt. All signs point to him being behind the recent "White Rabbit" vignettes, and now, it's merely a matter of when, and not if, he'll resurface.

    The ongoing viral marketing campaign for Wyatt has been exceptionally handled so far and has brought even more intrigue to the product. It's a unique approach to capture the attention of viewers and send the message that anything can happen at any time.

    This installment of Quick Takes will look at how Wyatt's impending comeback has made WWE TV more must-see, WarGames making its main roster debut, and how Chris Jericho can exceed expectations as Ring of Honor world champion.

'White Rabbit' Teases Keeping Fans Intrigued in Innovative Way

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    Since assuming creative control of WWE over the summer, Triple H has brought many familiar faces back to the company.

    They were all done differently, but the common theme was that they all occurred when fans least expected it. Although Bray Wyatt is virtually guaranteed to be behind the "White Rabbit" teases of the last week, his return is being executed in the most Wyatt way possible: By keeping the fans guessing and engaged.

    What's amazing about this viral marketing campaign is that none of it has formally aired on Raw or SmackDown at all. Mysterious music has been played at house shows or during commercial breaks at television tapings, and the subtle QR codes have led fans to mini games online.

    The many clues indicating it will be Wyatt have been fun to follow and have created conversation among members of the audience. Raw and SmackDown had already improved in quality, but this is the sort of stuff that will keep people talking about the product and tuning in every week to see what will happen next.

WarGames and Fight Pit Are Welcome Match Stipulations to Main Roster

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    It took two decades, but WarGames will finally make its long-awaited debut at Survivor Series on November 26.

    After being an NWA and WCW staple for so many years, the beloved concept was brought back by Triple H under the NXT banner in 2017, making it an annual staple through 2021.

    Now, it will finally take place on the grand stage of Survivor Series but won't be a battle for brand supremacy, The Game told The Ringer.

    As previously noted, returns will only keep the product interesting for so long, whereas introducing new gimmick matches to the main roster will give fans more to look forward to. WarGames should have been used on WWE TV years ago, along with the Fight Pit from NXT.

    The Lion's Den-inspired cage was used twice in NXT in matches involving Matt Riddle, Tommaso Ciampa and Timothy Thatcher. It was announced last week on Raw that the Fight Pit will return at Extreme Rules to settle the score between Riddle and Seth Rollins.

    Making these matches feel more organic and less forced is also key in establishing them as attractions.

Chris Jericho as Ring of Honor Champion Can End Up Being a Positive

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    Chris Jericho winning the Ring of Honor World Championship was most likely not on the 2022 bingo card for most wrestling fans, but that was exactly what transpired at Wednesday's Grand Slam edition of Dynamite.

    It's a booking decision that has already been met with criticism from fans and understandably so. The Jericho Appreciation Society has largely been hit or miss throughout the year and putting yet another belt on the 51-year-old veteran isn't exactly ideal.

    However, AEW desperately needs new stories heading into the final few months of the year, and Daniel Garcia taking exception to The Wizard winning the prestigious prize in such a dishonorable way is an excellent story to tell.

    Furthermore, ROH isn't as much a brand right now than it is three measly letters. Without a television deal, it doesn't have a proper platform, but Jericho holding the top title should speed up that process.

    Jericho being the champ could well turn out to be a step backward for the promotion, but it should be used as an opportunity to get the fanbase buzzing about the brand ahead of a return to television in the immediate future.

Swerve Strickland Destined to be AEW's Next Breakout Singles Heel

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    The Acclaimed winning their first AEW World Tag Team Championship was among the top highlights on this past week's Grand Slam shows, but Swerve Strickland's amazing mannerisms during the match itself were what helped make the contest so special.

    As Swerve In Our Glory, Strickland and Keith Lee have been a popular team for the better part of 2022 and have had tremendous chemistry together. Since All Out, the former has done an outstanding job of turning the audience against him while also maintaining the latter's status as a fan favorite.

    He proved toward the tail end of his WWE run that he can be a great heel when given the opportunity. Now that we're starting to see that in AEW, it's high time he broke off on his own and was booked as a strong singles act.

    AEW could use the fresh faces toward the top of the card at the moment, and Strickland would be a welcome addition to either the AEW World or TNT Championship scenes.

    His story with Lee obviously isn't finished quite yet, but once it wraps, AEW would be foolish to not capitalize on his recent masterful heel work and give him the push he should have received upon his arrival in March.

Alexa Bliss Will Benefit from Return to Heel Roots

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    Much like Strickland, Alexa Bliss is in her element as an antagonist and would greatly benefit from a return to her heel roots in the coming weeks.

    As popular as she remains with the WWE audience, nothing about The Goddess feels overly special right now. She simply exists as a character on the show and hasn't accomplished anything since returning from her hiatus in May.

    Aligning with Bianca Belair, whose Raw Women's Championship she set her sights on in July, has done her no favors. Thus, it would make perfect sense for her to ditch the pointless Lilly doll, betray The EST of WWE and embark on a much-needed heel turn.

    It isn't necessary for her to be tied into Bray Wyatt in any way once he resurfaces despite their history. Rather, she can announce her intentions to challenge for the title soon or feud with her current tag partner, Asuka, in the meantime.

    With Becky Lynch's return imminent, Raw could use more credible heels in addition to Damage CTRL, and Bliss is a logical candidate to fill that void.


    Graham Mirmina, aka Graham "GSM" Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.

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