1 Hot-Take Prediction for Every Champion in WWE Right Now
As WWE prepares for WrestleMania 38, it does so with several matches already announced for the card featuring its many main roster champions.
Two of them, WWE champion Brock Lesnar and universal titleholder Roman Reigns, will clash in a bout in which one man will leave carrying both belts.
The women's gold from both SmackDown and Raw will be on the line, as will the tag team titles.
With so many champions, though, come many observations.
Ahead of the biggest week in the industry, here are a few hot takes about each current titleholder on the WWE main roster.
RK-Bro Does Not Need an Official Breakup and Feud
There seems to be this overwhelming sense that Randy Orton and Riddle will eventually split, with the latter being a babyface and the two working an extended rivalry that ultimately establishes The Original Bro as a main event star.
Riddle can be a top guy in WWE without breaking up RK-Bro, though.
The team is so incredibly popular and Orton is having so much fun that there is no reason to split something that is working as well as it is. Let them agree to go their separate ways and come back together as needed.
Both men stay babyfaces and the company, which is in need of as many tried and true acts as it can get, benefits from RK-Bro reunions when necessary.
Riddle has already benefited exponentially from having worked with The Viper. He is on television with him every week and gets that star rub as a result. He does not necessarily have to beat or feud with Orton to establish himself at that level.
RK-Bro is a babyface team fans genuinely love, the act works extremely well and Orton appears to be as motivated as he has been in years. There's no reason to split the act and the fact that is has lasted as long as it has suggests WWE is aware of that.
The Usos Are Too Strong for SmackDown's Tag Team Division's Sake
The Usos are too strong a team for the SmackDown tag team division's own good.
As two-thirds of The Bloodline, they have dominated every tandem put before them. They have beaten The Viking Raiders and The New Day, and it is difficult to imagine Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs beating them to take the titles at WrestleMania.
There is no current team on the blue brand, outside of The New Day, that can realistically present a threat to their reign and that is not good. Not for SmackDown, not for the titles and, most of all, not for The Usos.
Jimmy and Jey may be long-reigning titleholders, but over what? What are they championing if the division is as weak as it appears to be?
It needs new blood, believable and credible new faces who provide the champs with a challenge and help strengthen the division.
Otherwise, it is just The Usos and everyone else. And that benefits no one.
Finn Balor Is Too Big a Star for the United States Championship
With all due respect to the United States Championship and its lineage, Finn Balor is too big a star to carry that title on Raw.
The Prince is a guy who should be competing alongside Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley in the main event scene. He is charismatic, a trendsetter and an originator. He has a presence and carries himself like a star, but a star that burns too bright for a secondary title.
The inaugural universal champion, he never had the opportunity to return to those heights on the main roster. An injury doomed that run, ending it one night after he captured the gold.
His work in NXT as champion was stellar, though, and helped carry the brand through a transitional period. While he does not have to be WWE champion imminently, he should be consistently battling for the gold rather than mixing it up with Damian Priest, Austin Theory and other young stars still trying to find themselves on WWE television.
There is no doubt he will do great things with the title if given the opportunity, but he is above competing at that level.
Only Thing Standing Between Ricochet and Main Event Stardom Is Solid Booking
Ricochet is one of the most mesmerizing athletes on the WWE roster. What he can do between the ropes is astonishing. All he needs to be a breakout star is consistent booking, the likes of which he has not had in his WWE run so far.
The new intercontinental champion has seen his career go through incredible highs and wallow in mediocrity on the undercard. There have been a few storylines here or there, but he has been trotted out mostly to deliver a good match with little in the way of career advancement.
Hopefully, this title victory changes that.
Ricochet is a living, breathing superhero the likes of which WWE has not seen since Rey Mysterio exploded onto the scene in 2002. Let Ricochet be himself, market his high-flying aerial assaults to the masses and the result will be a breakout, underdog Superstar the company can rely on for as long as it wants to.
Dana Brooke Earned Current Push Long Ago
There is no denying the 24/7 Championship isn't great. It makes for some awful television and has been a consolation prize for Superstars stuck in the creative abyss.
With that said, Dana Brooke is a performer who has earned the opportunity that being a titleholder has afforded her.
A wrestler who was plucked from NXT before she was truly ready, she has developed into a quality wrestler whose opportunities were far and few between. But hard work and desire has allowed her to find a niche spot in the 24/7 title picture.
She is on television every week, gets to work with veteran performers like Tamina and Akira Tozawa and has at least been presented as a star.
For a woman who consistently worked to better herself and should have had more opportunities to succeed, it's a good spot, especially if WWE is not invested in pushing her in the women's division at this time.
Brooke has proved what all successful Superstars know: You have to work with what you're given and hope you can elevate it in even the most minute way. Even in the face of some terrible writing, she has done that.
Carmella, Queen Zelina and Others Won't Save the Tag Team Titles
There may be no greater disappointment in WWE currently than the state of the Women's Tag Team Championship.
That is not a knock against titleholders Carmella and Queen Zelina, who have formed a perfectly fine heel tandem, but rather a criticism of the creative team.
Instead of building an actual tag division, the company has thrown teams together at random, making them up as they go from women not actively involved in the singles title picture. That will be on full display at WrestleMania 38 when Naomi and Sasha Banks, Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan, and Natalya and Shayna Baszler challenge for the gold in a Fatal 4-Way match.
Not one of those teams was partnered up at the start of this year.
It is incredibly disappointing for fans and the performers themselves, all of whom thought the titles would be utilized to progress women's wrestling instead of becoming the catch-all for everyone without anything else better to do.
Unfortunately, there is nothing Carmella and Zelina, or any of the other aforementioned teams can do to change it. If more consistent teams like The Kabuki Warriors, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, and The IIconics were unable to help those titles thrive because of creative handcuffs, the current champs and their makeshift opponents won't, either.
Becky Lynch Succeeding as Heel Despite Being a Better Babyface
It is a testament to the quality of performer Becky Lynch is that her heel persona is as great as it is, because she is a much better babyface.
As Big Time Becks, she is loud, condescending and mean. She cheats to win and talks smack at both her opponents and the fans. It works and she will be the perfect heel for Bianca Belair to defeat and regain the Raw Women's Championship at WrestleMania.
As The Man, though, she was industry-changing.
As a babyface leaning more antihero, she was defiant and strong. She talked a big game but could go in the ring, snap an arm and back it up. She was cool, a little cocky, and bad in the best way imaginable. She had swagger, something fans had not seen a top-tier babyface exude naturally since "Stone Cold" Steve Austin and The Rock.
She knew she was the best and carried herself as such. It was a great character and her best role to date.
For now, though, she succeeds through sheer will power as the best heel she can be. The moment WWE decides it wants to make the switch back, though, be prepared for Lynch to reascend to the heights she enjoyed prior to her maternity leave in 2020.
Charlotte Flair Is Wrestling's Most Underappreciated Current Star
There will come a time when we look back on this era and fully congratulate Charlotte Flair for the performer she is. For now, though, she is the most underappreciated performer on the WWE roster; any roster, really.
The complaints of The Queen being overpushed and shoved down the audience's throats may carry merit, but that is more a criticism of the creative process than anything she has done at her end. All she's done is consistently deliver matches befitting her spot on the card while carrying herself like the star she knows she is.
A phenomenal wrestler and one of the standard-bearers for in-ring performance in WWE, she is as reliable as anyone to deliver a Match of the Night. She is great at what she does, more athletic than just about any of her peers, and has performed on every major stage WWE has to offer.
The Queen is a legend already, thanks in large part to what her work has meant to the evolution of women's wrestling in WWE. She has been involved in the best matches, some of the key moments and won countless championships along the way.
Some may argue that nepotism got her to where she is, and maybe it did. Maybe having Ric Flair as her father opened up doors that others would have scratched and clawed to get through, but everything that has happened since those doors opened has been on her.
All of the extraordinary performances, the PPV headliners and WrestleMania main event are all her. One day, we will look back on this era and realize how great and influential she was, as well as how meaningful she was to changing the conversation in regards to women's wrestling on a grand scale.
Current Incarnation of Brock Lesnar Is Best of His Career
The Brock Lesnar appearing on Raw and SmackDown these days is the best version we have seen. And it isn't remotely close.
The Beast Incarnate commanded attention because of his freakish athletic ability and early dominance. Alongside trusty advocate Paul Heyman, he was a smashing badass who ended streaks and collected world titles.
This Lesnar, though, is the total package. Not only is he still a freakish athlete and conqueror, but he is also showing off his personality for the first time. He is charismatic in a way few knew, mostly because he spent his entire career standing next to Heyman while the all-time mic man put him over as a crusher of spirits and bodies.
This Lesnar speaks for himself and can get a reaction simply by tipping his cowboy hat. He smiles, which would have been a huge no-no four years ago, and plays to the audience. In return, the audience has accepted him. There is a bond formed between performer and fans that any number of Superstars on the roster would long for.
It will benefit him in the long run, if for no other reason than the fact that the audience recognizes there is more to the WWE champion than what they had been sold before. He is a personality beyond his ability to throw suplexes. He is every bit as special as he was sold to be and now, with his natural charisma on full display, he can be the babyface hero he wasn't in 2003. With a lot of badass edge, of course.
Roman Reigns' Epic Heel Run Proves Creative Stubbornness Holds Talent Back
For years, Roman Reigns struggled to get over with a WWE Universe that did not want to see another hand-picked babyface pandering to the crowd. They watched John Cena play that character for a decade and wanted something else.
No wonder it took Reigns five years as a singles star to full evolve into the all-timer he is today. The Tribal Chief, The Head of the Table. He is in God Mode.
Why now, though?
Because WWE dropped its creative stubbornness and gave fans what they wanted: the chance to boo Reigns. It turned the biggest babyface Superstar on the roster heel, let him develop his own entitled villain and run with it.
The result? A Universal Championship reign of well over 500 days and the most over bad guy the company has produced in 20 years. He is the star around which WWE revolves; exactly what he was intended to be, just not quite how those in power envisioned it.
Rather than promoting vitamins and saying prayers, or preaching the values of hustle, loyalty and respect, he touts smashing, stacking and pinning. He believes he is the cause for all of WWE's success, a self-important egotist who can talk a big game but can also back it up.
And when he can't, he will call on The Usos or Heyman to provide assistance. All in the name of family.
Reigns is a heel Dominic Toretto from the Fast and the Furious franchise, not allowing any outside influence to tear down what his family started and it is a character that has worked out incredibly well for all involved.
More importantly, it has also taught WWE a valuable lesson and one it should learn from: Let things develop organically, listen to the audience and plan from there instead of being creatively stubborn to the point that you nearly miss out on a GOAT character who has been right in front of you the entire time.