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Forecasting How Long 'The Fiend' Bray Wyatt Will Be Champion on WWE SmackDown

Aaron Bower@@aaronbowerFeatured ColumnistDecember 6, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

The WWE Universal Championship has taken a new course of direction. Not only is it in the hands of an exciting character in Bray Wyatt, but "The Fiend" has taken it across to another brand with him, with the title now the flagship championship on Friday nights and SmackDown.

But like with any title reign that is just beginning in pro wrestling, talk is already turning to how long Wyatt can keep hold of the Universal Championship for.

There are certainly no shortage of challengers on the blue brand, but initially, it only seems right to consider the prospects of the man The Fiend is currently in a rivalry with.

Wyatt saw off Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series, but given how there was a clear tease of a face turn for Bryan during that match, it looks likely that Bryan will get at least one more shot at the champion before the year is out.

That could come later this month at Tables, Ladders & Chairs, with Wyatt's challenger yet to be determined at the time of writing. It would make sense for Bryan to get another shot because their storyline to this point has certainly been intriguing.

WWE has also made no secret of the fact that anyone who crosses paths withย The Fiend changes forever. Finn Balor went away and showed up in NXT as a heel, while Seth Rollins has clearly gone through some form of character development too after being destroyed by Wyatt in the ring.

So what happens to Bryan here will be interesting, though it feels a touch too early for Wyatt to be dropping the Universal Championship. With that in mind, it's a safe bet that he will retain at TLC and move into 2020 with the title still over his shoulder.

That takes us to the Royal Rumble, and while the prospect of a third showdown with Bryan is possible, it would only be right for a new challenger to emerge. That could be a number of people on a star-studded roster, but Braun Strowman would be a fascinating pick for many reasons.

Their previous history in The Wyatt Family alone makes him a good pick, as well as the fact that Strowman could be next to go through a character shift after coming into contact withย The Fiend. However, his position on the card, as well as his momentum as things stand, doesn't make him a viable candidate to end Bray's title run, and unfortunately, Strowman should be beaten to set Bray up for a huge WrestleMania showdown.

This is where things get interesting. It's almost guaranteed that a huge name like Roman Reigns will have worked his way into the title picture by 'Mania season, especially given how he's been out of it for so long. But does WWE stick to type and have Reigns be the guy to vanquish the villain, or give Wyatt a win that truly cements his place among the company's elite?

It has to be the latter.ย 

For Bray's time with the Universal Championship to truly be a success, he needs a major victory on his resume. That should be at 'Mania, against arguably the biggest babyface in the company.

It would certainly make the prospect of him dropping the title shortly after slightly more satisfying if nothing else. Have Wyatt go through 'Mania season as champion, before coming unstuck in May or June against someone who has spent the first half of 2020 on a real tear. Could that be someone like Big E, who has seemed ready-made for a main event push for years? Perhaps. Having The New Day in his corner to have the numbers game on his side would at least be a way to get the title off Bray.

But how WWE manages to creatively book a storyline that sees a dominant champion lose his title next spring is, right now, anybody's guess.