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  1. #161
    Wondering who will be his Mania opponent. If The Miz is working a program with Shane, then it won't be him. I don't see AJ Styles having a third PPV match against Bryan either at mania. That leaves Rey Mysterio and/or Mustafa Ali if they keep Bryan a heel. I honestly see Mysterio and Almas possibly squaring off at Mania. Any thoughts?

  2. #162
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    The minute I saw John Cena out there talking about 'waiting for a challenge to walk out' I started thinking about him as a potential opponent for Bryan.

    It would give Cena a big time match up in the quest ot get that mythical 17th World Title win and the two had a barn burner at Summer Slam 2014.

    No dirt sheet is saying it but that was just my hunch the minute I saw Cena back on the screen.

    The other wild guess is Kenny Omega in the unlikely event he shows up in the WWE.



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  3. #163
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    So I believe it is a forgone conclusion that Bryan retains over AJ at the Rumble, and if you believe the rumors of the Orton/AJ match at Mania, that means Bryan will need an opponent for Mania. Early thoughts on who it might be?

    The new face(ish) Miz is clearly being set up to face Shane, so he is out.
    AJ Styles feud is over at the Rumble.

    Rusev?
    An elevated Big E?
    A possible face turn for Joe? (I am dreaming here, but I would love a Joe/Bryan match, especially at Mania)

    Other than that, there are NO other main event level faces on Smackdown at all.

    And yes I deliberately left off Rey Mysterio, to me, he should be no where near a WWE Title match at Wrestlemania. He should be only used as the well respected veteran to help the new young talent get over.

  4. #164
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    So I believe it is a forgone conclusion that Bryan retains over AJ at the Rumble, and if you believe the rumors of the Orton/AJ match at Mania, that means Bryan will need an opponent for Mania. Early thoughts on who it might be?

    The new face(ish) Miz is clearly being set up to face Shane, so he is out.
    AJ Styles feud is over at the Rumble, so he is out.

    Rusev?
    An elevated Big E?
    A possible face turn for Joe? (I am dreaming here, but I would love a Joe/Bryan match, especially at Mania)

    Other than that, there are NO other main event level faces on Smackdown at all.

    And yes I deliberately left off Rey Mysterio, to me, he should be no where near a WWE Title match at Wrestlemania. He should be only used as the well respected veteran to help the new young talent get over.

  5. #165
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    I'd actually say you go with Rey. He's over, can work, is much much better now than he was when he left WWE before, and has had a really strong run since returning.

    Or you use this Miz turn with Shane, Shane turns on Miz and they run that as a real quick feud, and then subsequently you have Miz vs Bryan, face vs heel at Mania.

    I'd be all for elevating Big E, though.
    Last edited by Oliver; 01-14-2019 at 11:01 AM.

  6. #166
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    One of the other problems I have with Rey is that he is not and never has been a great talker, and to properly build a Wrestlemania feud, you need both wrestlers (or Heyman) to be able to verbally spar with each other. Rey would get buried by Bryan.

    But I agree, my two main choices are Big E or a face Joe.

    But I do not think the WWE is going to have Shane wrestle at Elimination Chamber AND Mania, so we will get the Shane/Miz match at Mania. AND Miz should win.

  7. #167
    What if Seth Rollins is poised to win the rumble, but not challenge Brock at Mania, rather Daniel Bryan?

    Of course, that leaves someone to challenge Lesner at Mania. Could be that Braun wins the title at the Rumble in this scenario?

  8. #168
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    I would think that Drew McIntyre would be the challenger to Strowman if that scenario happens.

  9. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Powder View Post
    I would think that Drew McIntyre would be the challenger to Strowman if that scenario happens.
    The way I see it, Drew Macyntire would more likely be the one to take the belt off Strowman at a later date (maybe at Summerslam) in my scenario. However, I wouldn't be opposed to Drew taking the belt off Lesner at mania if we cannot have a Strowman title run.

  10. #170
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    Who is the face in a McIntyre/Lesnar feud? Who does the crowd cheer for? The WWE has done a great job getting the audience to turn on Lesnar, and Drew is a clear heel need a title run as a heel before turning face, and I cannot see the WWE running a heel/heel title match at Mania.

  11. #171
    True enough, but I wouldn't count Lesner as a face nor a heel. He is just sort of there, tbh.

  12. #172
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    John Cena anyone?

    He has a history with Bryan they can play off. He has a story and motivation in number 17 and he is a 'big name' who hasn't had a Mania main event in a number of years.

    Not saying I agree just a thought I've had since he showed up again.



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  13. #173
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    That pairing has crossed my mind as well since Cena returned. Everybody loved their barnburner at SummerSlam '13 and a rematch would benefit from Bryan's awesome heel transformation. Not only does it sound like the Cena/Sullivan program is falling thru but we've been wondering for a few months now who D-Bry will face at Mania. No way his feud with AJ makes it that far, Mysterio and Hardy seem like longshots, Joe/Orton are heels and they've already hyped Owens returning to RAW. Cena could be the short-term solution until he dips back to Hollywood come April.

  14. #174
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Just watch them turn Orton face and have him beat Bryan again.



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  15. #175
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    OH PLEASE GOD NO!!!

  16. #176
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirSam View Post
    John Cena anyone?

    He has a history with Bryan they can play off. He has a story and motivation in number 17 and he is a 'big name' who hasn't had a Mania main event in a number of years.

    Not saying I agree just a thought I've had since he showed up again.
    I actually like that idea a LOT. I know that Cena in the main event of WrestleMania feels like two steps back, but you're trying to fill a building plus this would be a really compelling story. Cena fighting to get number 17 and surpass Ric Flair, while Daniel Bryan tries to prove once and for all on the biggest stage that there is that he is better than John Cena.

    Either outcome is good in the match, too. Either Cena wins, history is made and hopefully he can stick around to hold the belt for a bit before dropping it to a Samoa Joe or Drew McIntyre or someone who could use that rub. Or Bryan wins, he's beaten the top guy in the industry and continues a somewhat lengthy run.

    If he doesn't win, Cena could reload and go for one of the belts at SummerSlam afterward if you want to pop a house and maybe get some buys for the show.

  17. #177
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    Yeah, I'm good with Cena too.

    I suppose the issue if you don't go with someone well established (Cena, Rey) is that you're essentially trialling someone new for a Mania title match - there aren't many other faces outside of those two who could claim to be really established on Smackdown. So you're into your Big Es and Rusevs as possibilities. The only other option, as far as I can see, is that you go with someone like Nakamura or Joe and turn them face in the run up. But even then, you're putting a new character into a Mania main event and hoping they will catch on in the next 8/10 weeks - which is a risk.

    They surely can't go Bryan vs Styles again, can they?

  18. #178
    I thought most people are opposed to part timers getting the rub and belt? I honestly wouldn't mind Cena vs Bryan at Mania, BUT only if Bryan goes over.

  19. #179
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    If you're gonna sell the idea that Cena is breaking the title record it can only happen at Mania and probably only this year....Having said that, I think the women should main event so I wouldn't do that.

  20. #180
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLostInRewind View Post
    I thought most people are opposed to part timers getting the rub and belt? I honestly wouldn't mind Cena vs Bryan at Mania, BUT only if Bryan goes over.
    Let me preface this by saying that I have no issue with Brock holding the belt and only showing up every few months.

    But I don't think anyone has an issue with guys who aren't on the road seven nights a week holding a belt. Most people just want them to be around for TV at least.

    I still don't understand the issue with "part timers" winning belts.

  21. #181
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    Also, if you are selling the idea of Cena winning the title for the record breaking 17th time, then it is all but a forgone conclusion that he will win at Mania.

    Also, I think that Bryan needs to retain regardless of who his opponent is this year. He was never able to have the extended title run after WM30 because of injury, and he is doing such great work now. Let him have a 8-10 month reign, if not longer.

    AND, if the WWE is going to build up to Cena's 17th title run, then let that be a story in itself. Have Cena get a title shot at the Universal Championship AND the WWE title but lose those matches over the course of a few months. Then have Vince come out and cut a promo on Cena saying something along the lines of "maybe all your time away in Hollywood, and that you are getting older, and that you lost both opportunities you had, you need to prove yourself worthy once again". Then Cena has to win matches every week, and every PPV over the course of a few months only to be denied a title shot with every victory until there is no other option to that final opportunity at Wrestlemania 36 where he finally wins the title.

    Just a thought, but make the journey be the story, like when Vince gave Flair the "Win or retire" ultimatum prior to Mania 24. The story was that if Flair lost, he had to retire, and they finally had him face off against HBK. So have the Cena chasing the title be similar, where he has to keep winning or else he will not get a title shot.

  22. #182
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    With the main page reporting that Cena "has an ankle injury" to write him of TV for the next few weeks/months to film another movie, where does that leave the potential Cena/Bryan match at Mania? AND if that match is not happening who is Bryan's opponent?

    The Styles feud ends Sunday, and as stated previously there is no other main event faces on Smackdown. The current faces on the Smackdown roster are:

    AJ Styles - feud ending this week
    The Miz (yes he is)
    Shane McMahaon - both rumored to face each other at Mania
    New Day - I'd take an elevated Big E Mania feud
    Rusev - but he will be in some US Title feud
    Rey Mysterio - I see a feud between Rey and DB not at Mania but over the Summer prior to Summerslam. Besides, I do not see rey being able to verbally spar with Bryan on the mic during the feud.

    So it looks to be either Cena or Rey, but if Cena is out shooting a movie, and Rey can use the mic to properly build a Mania match, then who?

  23. #183
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    Its one of those things where we are just going to have to wait until the Rumblw is over. There's alot of places they could go with certain things... I'm leaning Rey but also have an idea where Rey vs. Andrade is Mask vs. Hair at Mania... if they were smart. As much as I love Bryan, his match won't be the main event so i could see them sneaking in anyone and not worrying about it. Plus, I think Bryan is on a roll and could make anything work.

  24. #184
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    Double post but given last night, I wanted to speculate that Bryan escapes the Chamber with the title and then either takes on Rey and wins at Mania or he takes on a returning John Cena and loses at Mania.

    Given Becky is the main event and Bryan is doing an excellent job, I'd do Rey for the simple fact that Cena winning his 17th title should be the main event.

    I don't see anyone in the chamber match getting another one on one shot.

  25. #185
    Am I the only one who is really stoked to see where the Rowan/Bryan pairing is going to go? I feel like bryan can and is going to put over Rowan's new character in a way and give him a lot of credibility.

  26. #186
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    I heard a rumor this morning that we could see Wyatt and Harper return to join Bryan and Rowan in a new version of the Wyatt Family, but with Bryan as the leader now.

  27. #187
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    Garbage. As much as i like this run by Bryan, i'm pretty annoyed that his lackeys/ followers are basically the wyatt family... when it could have went to newer talent.

    And that does nothing for Bray.

  28. #188
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    Garbage. As much as i like this run by Bryan, i'm pretty annoyed that his lackeys/ followers are basically the wyatt family... when it could have went to newer talent.

    And that does nothing for Bray.
    I don't love the idea of Bray being put in that group, but what's wrong with Rowan and Harper? What "newer talent" would you put in there with Eco Bryan?

  29. #189
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    And they could spin it as Rowan and Harper have been lost without Bray, and that they found a new purpose in saving the Earth By Any means necessary with a Bryan as the leader.

  30. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    I don't love the idea of Bray being put in that group, but what's wrong with Rowan and Harper? What "newer talent" would you put in there with Eco Bryan?
    Tbh Coach, i'm not really sure. Fantasy booking, would love to see Ohno get a run just to see it. I just felt like Rowan and Harper have been out there, with multiple gimmick tweaks... Injuries of course played a part but I wanted something a little different direction.

  31. #191
    Ohno and Aliester Black could work, however I don't think Black is going to be moved up to the main roster just yet. I could see Ohno, though.

  32. #192
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    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    Tbh Coach, i'm not really sure. Fantasy booking, would love to see Ohno get a run just to see it. I just felt like Rowan and Harper have been out there, with multiple gimmick tweaks... Injuries of course played a part but I wanted something a little different direction.
    Yeah. I really hope they find a way to split Rowan and Harper - and this is a great time for that. We've seen them together for years and years and while, at their peak, they were a terrific team, we're at a "enough's enough" point.

    If I were Harper, I'd shave the beard too. When 80% of the male roster has a beard, you stand out more without one. On another forum I frequent, I mentioned that the number of guys with beards is crazy and another poster likened it to the "Tribal Era" when everybody had a tribal tattoo in the 00s. I think the beard is even more gaudy. Like, is Duck Dynasty still even on? Having a grotesque long beard in 2019 is like still being really into bacon. Its not cool or special or unique anymore - its the opposite.

  33. #193
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    Oh god please not Ohno. He's such a fat schlub these days, he is moving glacially and he is not the Hero of 2016 that got him resigned.

    He looks terrible. Like, the worst look in the entire business. And his stuff isn't at all up to snuff anymore. Maybe if he puts down the fork, gets on a treadmill and is able to actually move around with a little pep in his step I'd feel differently, but as of now jobber in NXT is the right role.

  34. #194
    DB getting out of the Chamber with the belt?

  35. #195
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    Why would he not? He should hold the title past mania. Don't really have a fresh option unless you pivot to Joe I guess. Ali with the belt would be too soon, Orton no thanks. AJ no thanks and doesn't need title. There's no one in the match that really benefits besides Joe and of course Bryan.

    Also, Bryan should get more run with the hemp belt.

  36. #196
    Quote Originally Posted by LK3185 View Post
    Why would he not? He should hold the title past mania. Don't really have a fresh option unless you pivot to Joe I guess. Ali with the belt would be too soon, Orton no thanks. AJ no thanks and doesn't need title. There's no one in the match that really benefits besides Joe and of course Bryan.

    Also, Bryan should get more run with the hemp belt.
    The Miz could use the belt again. Still think it's too soon for Bryan to lose the belt, especially after the pairing with Rowan and new title belt being introduced.

  37. #197
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    The Miz would have to split from Shane amicably and go on face run which i don't see happening and if it did, it would be post mania.

    With Ali reportedly out for the Chamber match, I'm hoping he gets next one on one title shot... if not Mania, then Fastlane. They still have to followup on that.

  38. #198
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    Personally I hope Bryan continues to carry 'his' belt with him even when he loses, because he's not the champion of some dumb, corporate company who are only interested in profits and losses but instead the champion of the planet.

    Eventually that title's getting set on fire by somebody though, isn't it? Some sassy prick will come along and burn it during a feud with him.

  39. #199
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    No way. Bryan will keep that title in a case for the rest of his life.

    Speaking of titles, does the WWE still give personal belts to champions to keep? When we saw the Rock cutting promos from his house he would stand in front of his title case with all his different titles. So does everyone get a personal belt? I know they change the side plates for TV.

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