This week, the health of Daniel Bryan has been in question after it was reported that the Intercontinental Champion has been working hurt and several changes over the last few weeks have taken place due to it.
In recent weeks we haven’t seen Daniel Bryan take many bumps in the ring as usual, instead he’s been placed in multiple tag team and six man tag team matches where his workload is less and he can get away with not competing for a solid 20 minutes or so.
He captured the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania 31 and was seen as someone who could bring relevancy and prestige back to the championship, but if his injury situation remains as it is or sadly worsens, we could see another new Intercontinental Champion.
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It’s a good job that WWE didn’t listen to the fans that called for Bryan to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, as we could have been in a far worse situation with the number one title.
If Bryan is unable to compete and needs to lose or vacate the championship, there are plenty of options for the WWE to look at as potential replacements.
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The WWE will already – and always – have their list of favourites who could carry the gold on any given night for a good couple of months. One of those is Bad News Barrett, the former champion lost at WrestleMania and will try to reclaim his gold at Extreme Rules against Bryan and that could be the event where the WWE feels Bryan might need to relinquish the gold.
Barrett has proven he’s a worthy champion, his accent and his look and his character in general makes him a good champion to watch. Another favourite with the WWE and the fans will be Dolph Ziggler, his fans say it all and that alone should be enough for him to be a champion. Along with his great look, character and in-ring ability, Ziggler will definitely be someone the WWE will turn to if they want a successful and entertaining Intercontinental Champion, similar to Daniel Bryan.
The WWE could turn to a heel champion in the form of Sheamus, he’s still a main event star who is bringing in a new look and by the sounds of things the fans despise him. But what matters is that Sheamus looks like a warrior who cannot be beaten, and sticking the championship on him makes him look that much more imposing as he dispatches opponent after opponent and looks like a formidable champion in his own right unlike Bryan or Ziggler for example.
If the WWE want to look at other options then one name the fans will love to see as champion is Dean Ambrose. Ambrose did technically hold the Intercontinental Championship for a while in the build-up to WrestleMania although it was unofficial, but we could see how much the fans were behind him during it and he actually made the Intercontinental Championship look like a sought after title.
He’s entertaining every single week, every match he’s involved in is great and his potential opponents and feuds alone will be worth watching. The only downside here is that Ambrose should be involved in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture and ignite another feud with Seth Rollins.
Similar to Ambrose, Bray Wyatt is another superstar the fans would like to see hold the Intercontinental Championship. He’s succeeded on the main roster without the gold so far, so it will be interesting to see how he copes as a champion. He’s someone who could definitely make the Intercontinental Championship a big deal again but he would definitely need to be victorious in his feuds for a while if he’s going to back up his words for once. The WWE needs to keep the faith with Wyatt and like Ambrose, there’s a chance he could be in for a bigger feud higher up the card.
If the WWE want to surprise the fans and go for more unconventional champions who could do a good or at least an interesting job of holding the championship, then Damien Mizdow is one of those names. He’s had a very entertaining stint as The Miz’ stunt double and personal assistant and now that their relationship is over, there’s a risk he could be lost in the pack once more. The fans are on his side and having him capture a singles title is not only long overdue, but worth the risk.
Another name who probably won’t be considered but should be is Roman Reigns. Fans know he isn’t ready for the big one just yet, that’s a work in progress but he’s still a star attraction, having the star attraction hold the Intercontinental Championship – like John Cena is holding the United States Championship – will add value to the gold and give Reigns a feeling of what it’s like to be a singles champion as he continues to improve.
If the WWE really want to surprise the fans, give them something to cheer about and make the NXT fans feel like proud family members, then Neville should capture the Intercontinental Championship. He’s had an explosive debut on the main roster, you can feel the excitement in the arena when he’s on the ramp and the fireworks go off with his theme music hitting.
We know Bryan is an incredible performer who deserves to hold the championship, but the WWE can take a risk or two and give it to an up-and-comer on the main roster who is just as good as anyone on the roster when it comes to in-ring ability. He has a very unique look, and the potential feuds that will be lined up for him means Neville could be an even bigger star as his main roster career rolls on.