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Who Will Be the Next WWE World Heavyweight Champion?

This past Thursday, WWE was dealt a very severe blow when it was announced that the reigning WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Seth Rollins would be out 6-9 months after suffering a torn MCL, ACL and meniscus during a match with Kane on the current tour of Europe.

WWE has announced that a tournament will be held at Survivor Series to determine a new Champion. There’s really not much information of the format of the tournament or even who will be in it.

As devastating as Rollins’ injury is, WWE needs a new Champion. I’ve come up with a list of eight Superstars I expect to be in the tournament. Since this is a tournament and everyone loves seeding in tournament I’ll list the names from the 8th seed to the 1st seed. More or less it means I don’t really expect number eight to win while I fully expect number one to win.

There are a few names you won’t see on this list, like John Cena because I think it would be a mistake to call Cena back early. There’s plenty of talent in the company to carry the show until late December when Cena comes back. Brock Lesnar isn’t expected back until January and there’s no need to break out the check book to get him to work Survivor Series. Daniel Bryan is still not medically cleared so I’m not including him. I’m not including The Undertaker, Kane or The Wyatts because they should still do that match at Survivor Series. No NXT guys either. Hope that clears it up. Let’s get to the list.

 

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8. King Barrett

King Barrett won one tournament that no one expected him to win this year, so why not another? They almost owe him the WWE World Heavyweight Championship after the abysmal way he’s been booked the last few years. He’s got the look and the skill set to be a top heel but for one reason or another WWE won’t pull the trigger on him. Maybe Survivor Series is the night.

 

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7. Dolph Ziggler

Ziggler is a guy that is always on the cusp of being the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Every time he gets a push towards the top it doesn’t last very long before he’s back in midcard purgatory. Ziggler is a guy that can thrive in a one night tournament where he has to play the underdog in three matches. The fans can really get behind a story like that.

 

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6. Sheamus

I’m almost hesitant to put Sheamus on this list because he is Mr. Money in the Bank and can challenge for the title anytime that he wants. Sheamus should be included in any tournament that has eight guys or more because he’s that good and has a championship pedigree. I just don’t like the stink coming off of him now that he seems to be a full-time tag team wrestler with King Barrett. Talk about odd booking.

 

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5. Alberto Del Rio

His comeback match to WWE made a lot of jaws drop as he beat John Cena clean and easy at Hell in a Cell. Being the United States Champion is a nice little gig but WWE is paying him a lot of money so they may want a little bang for their buck. They also know that he can carry himself well as Champion and has the look you want for your World Champion.

 

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4. Kevin Owens

The reigning Intercontinental Champion is the perfect type of heel to carry the company with Seth Rollins out. He’s already a guy that likes to brag and think about how much he can brag winning a tournament to be the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion while being the Intercontinental Champion. That is a lot to crow about.

I know Owens doesn’t have that “championship look” WWE likes but what he does have is that “it” quality that can’t be explained but it is something you know is there when you watch him in the ring where his is a master at his craft.

 

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3. Cesaro

The Swiss Superman is right there. He’s so close we can all taste it. Vince McMahon wanted someone to reach for the brass ring and no one has reached higher for that ring that Cesaro. He’s yet another guy on this list that keeps getting pulled down the ladder for some unknown reason every time he seems to be getting some sort of push. His performances as of late have been off the charts and he is over with the fans. He needs a night to change his career forever. Survivor Series could be that night.

 

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2. Dean Ambrose

The Lunatic Fringe was so close to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship back at Elimination Chamber in May when it looked like he beat Seth Rollins for the gold only for the referee to reverse the decision and give the title back to Rollins.

WWE is always looking for their next big star, he’s right here. I know a lot of people want to turn him heel but I think it’s better if you let him grow as the rebel “Stone Cold” type. Having an insane Wildman as World Champion could be a lot of fun.

 

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1. Roman Reigns

Stop groaning. It’s obvious that he is WWE’s golden boy. I can’t say it’s unheralded either. He’s got the look and he delivers in the big match. His promos suffer from “Cena-itis” but that’s more the writing team than his own doing.

There are reports out there that he was going to beat Rollins at Survivor Series anyway so it’s yet another reason he is the favorite here. I personally would throw a curveball here and either have Reigns lose or have him turn him and align with The Authority ala The Rock the last time there was a Championship Tournament at Survivor Series. Remember it wasn’t until The Rock turned heel and then became a babyface that he became the mega star everyone wanted him to be. It could work for Reigns too.

 

Injuries happen all the time in WWE but none have legitimately upset me like the one Rollins suffered did. I wish the Champ a speedy recovery but as they say the show must go on. Someone will become the New WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Is he on this list? Is it a mystery man no one is thinking about? The only way to find out is to watch Survivor Series on WWE Network as one Superstar is granted the opportunity of a lifetime.

 

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Thanks for reading.