WWE and AEW's Burning Questions That Must Be Answered Before 2020 Ends
There are less than two months left in 2020, which means WWE and AEW have a few more weeks to further all of its biggest storylines heading into next year.
This weekend, WWE will host its last Big Four pay-per-view event of the year, Survivor Series. Then, the company will head down the road to WrestleMania as Royal Rumble quickly approaches. On the other hand, Full Gear was AEW’s final event of the year, setting up a high-profile match between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega for the Dec. 2 episode of Dynamite.
Although TLC still gives WWE a chance to deliver more pay-per-view feuds, there are still many unanswered questions following Hell in a Cell. The new few months will tell fans what to expect in 2021 and hopefully, give the next crop challenger for its major titles a chance to step up.
AEW needs to address character development and the subsequent lack thereof on its roster. The relatively new company has produced some great stories this year but some of its characters are still ambiguous. That doesn’t have to be a detriment but the remainder of 2020 could serve as a way to clarify their motives.
With that in mind, let’s look at six burning questions that AEW and WWE need to answer by the end of the year.
What’s Next for Keith Lee?
Last year at Survivor Series, Keith Lee made his debut at the event in a star-making performance in the first-ever five-on-five-on-five elimination match. This kicked off a breakout year where The Limitless One won his first WWE title, the NXT North American Championship.
In January, he shared a memorable exchange with Brock Lesnar in the 2020 men’s Royal Rumble match. Then, he dethroned Adam Cole to become the first dual champion in NXT history on the second night of The Great American Bash in July.
Although he dropped the NXT title in an uneventful fashion at TakeOver: XXX, Lee joined Raw and immediately earned a win over Randy Orton. However, he doesn’t have much momentum at the moment thanks to several DQ finishes.
Keith Lee has the potential to be a top protagonist on Monday nights but WWE has to book him in a new feud soon and give him some direction to close out 2020. Otherwise, he could get lost in the shuffle like many others on the roster have in the past.
Where Does ‘Hangman’ Adam Page Go from Here?
"Hangman" Adam Page has been one of the most compelling characters on the AEW roster this year. However, he’s sort of at an impasse at the moment.
The Young Bucks kicked him out of The Elite in build toward All Out 2020. At the event, he and Kenny Omega lost the AEW World Tag Team Championship to FTR, and his partner seemingly turned on him.
Recently, he entered the AEW World Championship Eliminator Tournament, setting him on a collision course with Omega. With the chance to avenge his loss to Chris Jericho last year, he seemed poised to defeat his estranged friend. Instead, The Cleaner pinned him at Full Gear and earned a rematch with Jon Moxley.
Fans haven't seen Page since besides a brief glimpse as he watched The Young Bucks celebrate their tag title victory later in the night. It’s tough to predict what’s next for Hangman but his brief appearance in the shadows seems to hint at a heel turn. It wouldn’t be hard to imagine him forming an alliance with FTR eventually. For now, AEW has to provide a satisfying new chapter for him before its next pay-per-view event, Revolution.
Who’s Asuka’s Next Challenger?
Raw has been a bit of a slog lately. WWE’s flagship show still has its highlights but much of the roster seems so directionless. The red brand’s women’s division is the clearest example of these woes.
The WWE Raw women’s champion, Asuka, hasn’t had an interesting feud in months and she has been off television often as the company focuses on some bizarre angle featuring Lana. Watching the women’s segments every week is starting to feel like Groundhog Day; it’s virtually the same every episode.
WWE has to give The Empress of Tomorrow a worthy opponent and make her a prominent part of Raw again. Asuka’s character work has been incredible this year but her current reign as champion is quickly becoming forgettable.
Unfortunately, there are many credible contenders available. Interestingly, Reckoning, formerly known as Mia Yim, has been taking shots at the second women’s grand slam champion for a few weeks. Maybe, she will challenge Asuka in the week to come.
Can AEW Improve Its Women’s Division?
Speaking of women’s wrestling, AEW’s fledgling division has taken on its fair share of criticism, and rightfully so. It has become the weakest aspect of the company, which is sad because it initially showed some promise.
And there has been some glimpse of it this year. Hikaru Shida is quietly having an amazing year as one of the most consistent performers on the roster. She is a great champion but she doesn’t exactly get the attention she deserves. Furthermore, The Fullmetal Champion rarely cuts promos and she hasn’t progressed much as a character.
To add insult to injury, the NWA Women’s World Championship has been much more visible on AEW programming lately, making their own women’s title look like an afterthought. With that said, Thunder Rosa and Serena Deeb have been fantastic additions to a thin roster.
Still, AEW has to figure out a way to promote its women’s wrestlers better and give them the same engaging stories afforded to the men. The company promised a division like fans have never seen before and in some way it is distinct, but they still have plenty of work to do.
What’s Next for Bayley?
Bayley came into her own in 2020 as one of the best heels in WWE. Her work with Sasha Banks has been one of the most well-executed stories the company has showcased in a long time.
The longtime friends/rivals rack up an impeccable list of accomplishments as they held the WWE Raw, SmackDown, and women’s tag titles concurrently at one point. They were the first women to do so. They also topped both the PWI Women’s 100 and Tag Team 50 list, with Bayley ranked as the number one women’s wrestler in the world.
At Hell in a Cell, The Role Model and the Legit Boss put on a phenomenal match in the titular structure. In the end, Banks ended Bayley’s record-setting 379-day reign to win the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship.
So what’s next for Bayley? She has been champion for so long that it’s hard to imagine her outside of the title picture and she failed to reclaim her title on the Nov. 6 episode of SmackDown.
She could enter a secondary feud with Bianca Belair until she and Banks inevitably go one on one again. Whatever the case, Bayley needs a new opponent to prove she can be as entertaining with another dance partner.
Are the Elite Heel?
The most burning question in AEW at the moment is whether The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega are full-on villains. It certainly seems like they are at times but it has been unclear.
The Bucks, in particular, showed a definite mean streak over the last few months but that got lost in their feud with FTR, who are antagonists. As Matt Jackson has been struggling with an ankle injury, they entered Full Gear as the underdogs. They even worked the match sympathetic babyfaces in peril.
Omega is in a similar situation as he went through a drastic character change after he and Hangman Page lost the tag titles at AEW All Out. He has since become more arrogant and driven but he hasn’t done anything overtly nefarious yet. He has merely teased a transformation into The Cleaner persona that he introduced with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Everyone expected him to do something terrible to Page to win at Full Gear but he surprisingly won clean. His upcoming match with Moxley could be the thing that pushes him all the way over the edge. It’s also more than likely that his journey to becoming the AEW world champion will coincide with whatever Hangman does next. For now, we’ll have to wait and see.