Booking WWE's Top Feuds of 2022 After WrestleMania 38 Results

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistApril 4, 2022

Booking WWE's Top Feuds of 2022 After WrestleMania 38 Results

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    Credit: WWE

    With WrestleMania 38 in the rearview mirror, all attention turns to WWE Creative and how it follows up the biggest show of the year, starting with the first Raw after the extravaganza.

    The right creative decisions will generate praise. The wrong will have some fans questioning if we are right back to the weekly slog that some episodes of Raw and SmackDown can be. 

    What feuds and storylines will present themselves as the company looks to put an exclamation point on the weekend and maintain the audience's enthusiasm for the product? How does it capitalize on the excitement of Cody Rhodes' debut and Roman Reigns' epic main event victory over Brock Lesnar.

    Here are a few ways.

Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns for the WWE Championship

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    Credit: WWE

    Sometimes, you have to strike while the iron is hot. There is no hotter iron than that of Cody Rhodes, who made a triumphant return to WWE Saturday night at WrestleMania, drawing one of the biggest pops of the night and somehow overshadowing "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's return to the ring in the night's main event.

    Considering the momentum that is on WWE's side after luring one of the founding fathers of AEW back, and the overwhelmingly positive reaction Rhodes' return generated, the creative team has to go all-in with The American Nightmare.

    He will undoubtedly appear Monday on Raw, and it would behoove WWE to capitalize on the interest in the second-generation star. The best way to do that? Introduce a feud with Roman Reigns over the WWE Championship.

    Reigns left WrestleMania with the WWE and Universal Championships and will surely need to drop the red brand's top prize sooner rather than later. Book the match with Rhodes, have them square off as soon as WrestleMania Backlash and reap the rewards. 

    Reigns can take cheap shots, asking what small pond Rhodes swam out of to get back to WWE. Rhodes can remind The Tribal Chief that he already has one win over him (Battleground 2013) and the only reason The Head of the Table is in that position is that The American Nightmare was not around to keep it from happening. 

    Easy booking that makes sense and gives fans something beyond the excitement of Rhodes to bite into will spawn better results than if WWE lets Rhodes cool down even a little bit. Introduce it, move ahead and put the plans in place for the former AEW EVP to challenge the top dog in WWE for one of its most prestigious prizes.

Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins

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    Credit: WWE

    If the look of disdain painted on Seth Rollins' face Saturday night as he glanced back at a victorious Rhodes was any indication, their WrestleMania match was just the start of a storyline that should carry them through the spring.

    With Rhodes having already challenged Reigns for the WWE Championship according to our previous booking, this would be an opportune time to set up The American Nightmare vs. The Visionary as the marquee feud on Monday nights.

    Let Rhodes beat Reigns for the title, maybe even with a little help from Rollins to keep that particular thread open. It was Rollins, after all, who expertly played mind games with The Tribal Chief back at Royal Rumble before proving that The Head of the Table cannot beat him.

    From there, a rematch or two between Rhodes and Rollins over the WWE title would not only keep WWE's newest signee at the forefront but also ensure his opponent does not fall off in the wake of The Showcase of the Immortals. The match in Dallas was superb and fans should be excited at the idea of subsequent rematches.

    As long as WWE does not beat the program into the ground, tiring fans on the matchup, it could easily get three or four months of story out of it.

Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair

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    Credit: WWE

    Charlotte Flair's victory over Ronda Rousey Saturday night all but ensures their rivalry will continue. Rather than predictably booking the rematch for WrestleMania Backlash, WWE Creative should drag things out a bit. Let Flair make Rousey's life a living hell, make her earn another title shot.

    Rousey challenged for the championship at WrestleMania because she won the Royal Rumble. Flair should make her jump through hoops to earn another title opportunity. Make her enter Money in the Bank. Make Rousey survive Triple Threat matches, Fatal 4-Way matches and more if she wants to have a title shot.

    This would create sympathy among fans, who believe Rousey should have the title match but have to hang with her through the trials and tribulations of actually earning one.

    Booking an immediate rematch "just because" is the sort of creative laziness that turns audiences against Superstars. Rousey is still popular, despite missing three years of action, and is a genuinely big star with mainstream appeal.

    Do not ruin the goodwill she has with fans by booking her in rematch after rematch, to the point that the audience turns on her because she is always in the title picture. Book her to run the gamut, to have to really fight her way back to the championship, and the second showdown with Flair will mean that much more.

Drew McIntyre vs. Roman Reigns

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    Credit: WWE

    We bookend the list with The Tribal Chief, who will be kept busy with both the WWE and Universal Championships, assuming the company does not actually unify the titles.

    Despite sharing the same brand, Reigns has yet to really interact with Drew McIntyre. The two last did battle at the 2020 Survivor Series, a hell of a main event that saw Reigns narrowly escape with the win. In recent months, the two have been kept apart by their own ongoing stories, but now that those appear to have wrapped up at WrestleMania, it frees them up to have the feud over the top prize in the industry that they deserve.

    McIntyre has gone without championship gold for over a year now and can make the jump back into the title picture easily by interrupting what is sure to be a celebratory promo from The Tribal Chief as early as this Friday night on Fox.

    From there, McIntyre running through The Usos and/or winning some multi-man match to earn the title opportunity feels like the most logical layout for the program, culminating in a high-profile main event at WrestleMania Backlash in May.

    Coming off of a win over Happy Corbin in which he became the first man to kick out of the End of Days, now is the time to run with McIntyre as the next challenger to Reigns' Universal Championship.