Fourteen for RAW. Eleven for SmackDown Live. General Managers Kurt Angle and Paige were not messing around this past week, flexing their negotiation muscles as they looked to breathe new life into their respective rosters, in the annual WWE Superstar Shake-Up. With such dramatic shifts, fans immediately start dreaming up matches, that previously were highly unlikely to go down. Of course, we at SteelChair are no different.
Here are five in-ring encounters we would welcome the booking of:
#1 – Roman Reigns V Drew McIntyre
Originally billed as ‘The Chosen One’ by a certain Vincent Kennedy McMahon, falling foul of woeful booking during an indifferent first run with the company. The renaissance of McIntyre has been awesome to see, proving his worth as the NXT Champion last year, facing off against the likes of Bobby Roode and Adam Cole. Returning to RAW mere days ago, he seemingly joined forces with Dolph Ziggler. Yet we hope this isn’t a long-term plan for the talented Scot. With ‘The Big Dog’ surely a lock to win the Universal Championship sooner rather than later off The Beast Incarnate Brock Lesnar, Drew is a far more enticing prospect of a challenger than say a Bobby Lashley or the exhausted option of a Braun Strowman. Roman has already rattled Vince with his comments about favoritism. Perhaps this aspect can be revisited to benefit Drew, emerging as a credible Authority figure, ultimately leading him to a historic title run which would have us Brits salivating.
#2 – AJ Styles V Samoa Joe
Worthy adversaries as they clashed on various occasions in TNA, to much acclaim. It was inevitable that the remarkable abilities of Styles and Joe would at the very least end up in WWE together. Now, we have the distinct pleasure of seeing them on the same brand. Styles has carried Smackdown Live through its initial highs and recent rough patches, as his WWE Championship feud with a heel Shinsuke Nakamura continues to simmer in intriguing fashion. However. If the blue brand has sorely lacked one element in the last year or so, it’s a top-tier no-nonsense enforcer. Enter Samoa Joe. Lingering in the background in RAW’s main-event picture as the Lesnar/Reigns feud plods along. This is the perfect opportunity for Joe to prove how mighty he really can be, dethroning Styles as ‘the face that runs the place’ as he leaves a trail of destruction in his wake.
#3 – Becky Lynch V Asuka
Making a dramatic entrance as she assisted Lynch and her streak-breaking Wrestlemania opponent Charlotte Flair against The Iconics during the ‘Mellabration, Asuka arrives to SmackDown Live with plenty to ponder. Yet the same could be said for Becky, whose career has somewhat stagnated in recent months. Only facing off at a WWE house show in Tokyo back in 2016, many still consider The Lasskicker V The Empress as one of the remaining dream encounters for the Women’s division. Having such a close bond with Flair, Lynch will undoubtedly be determined to measure up to Charlotte by inflicting a precious second defeat on the Japanese sensation. Whilst for Asuka, it’s an ideal scenario to strike fear back into Charlotte whilst elevating Lynch to a much-needed money match, potentially disarming one of her closest allies.
#4 – Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt V Breezango
Now at first glance, this may not immediately scream main-event calibre. But with such wonderfully wacky gimmicks at their disposal, this has all the potential to be comedy gold outside and inside the squared circle. After waging war in a supremely entertaining segment at the Hardy Compound, Woken Matt and Bray Wyatt have done a ‘Sheamus/Cesaro’ and teamed up in spite of their once intense rivalry. The tag team division on RAW particularly has certainly lacked direction and character for some time, so to see fashion police officers Tyler Breeze and Fandango make the switch to Monday nights was a breath of fresh air, reinforced by their first segment with The Bar. Just imagining the promos as the latter likely mock the ‘swamp realness’ of Bray and attempt to decipher the language of Matt, has us awfully excited. Yet it’s easy to forget, these four can really go in the ring with their high-flying/hard-hitting styles. Let the jokes hit and the sparks fly…
#5 – The Bar V SAnitY
Well. Speaking of Sheamus and Cesaro, there’s no doubt that they have provided many outstanding performances over the last year together, dominating the field even with the added pressure of a Shield reunion as they became four-time RAW Tag Team Champions. However, their arrival has been overshadowed by the imminent debut of a just as cohesive, but more powerful faction in the form of SAnitY. The imposing trio of Killian Dain, Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe have made an indelible mark in NXT, notably usurping The Authors Of Pain back in August at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III. With the collective athleticism not often associated with such towering figures and immense strength, this would be a true powerhouse pairing in every sense that would light up Tuesday nights. Bludgeon Brothers. You’ve certainly got competition now…