This past week on Monday Night Raw the tournament to crown a new WWE World Heavyweight Champion started with the likes of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose advancing to the next round.
The tournament is taking place because of Seth Rollins’ knee injury which will keep him out of action for around nine months, which means we obviously need a new champion.
At one stage, it looked as if a Reigns heel turn was going to take place in Manchester when he was offered the chance to sell out, but he declined the offer before defeating The Big Show.
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The second round matches take place next week on Raw, but not all of them look straightforward, considering reports have emerged suggesting Survivor Series plans have been changed which could affect the tournament.
The first round concluded at the SmackDown tapings on Tuesday with Alberto Del Rio advancing after defeating Stardust.
Neville picked up a win over King Barrett, but the biggest surprise came when Kalisto advanced to the next round by managing to overcome Ryback.
With these wins, a number of great matches are lined up for next week but the WWE haven’t really done themselves any favours by having Reigns meet Cesaro in the quarter-final match.
The WWE Universe will definitely cheer for the Swiss Superman which is good, but this means Reigns will receive an even bigger negative reaction but despite that I believe fans are accepting the fact that Reigns will win.
We could be set for another excellent match with Del Rio taking on Kalisto and it would be good to see Kalisto advance and see what he’s capable of as a singles star on the main roster, rather than being average in The Lucha Dragons.
Even though Del Rio is the United States Champion, I feel like he is a bigger star than Kalisto which could make for a better semi-final match.
Kevin Owens will take on Neville for a chance to move to the semi-final and I think it will be a wasted opportunity to have Neville go any further when Owens can offer so much as a heel.
I think if Owens loses then it’s more difficult to create a credible match for Survivor Series, whereas he could potentially be pulling double duty if he wins. I don’t see Neville competing in the tournament at Survivor Series so for me Owens will win.
Then it gets tricky with Ambrose taking on Dolph Ziggler with men in with a shout of advancing. I believe Ziggler won’t advance and will take on Tyler Breeze instead which means Ambrose will take on Owens; which I believe is the right path to go down.
If Reigns does meet Del Rio in the semi-finals then it won’t take a genius to figure out which way this one is going to go. There’s no way they will have Reigns lose to Del Rio at Survivor Series and not have him compete in the main event.
Then we get to a potential bout between Owens and Ambrose – which is what the original plan for Survivor Series was anyway – but the championship wouldn’t be on the line.
The bad thing for Reigns is that whoever wins this match will be cheered against Reigns which makes him look like the heel. I don’t believe the WWE would pin another championship on Owens just yet, but this experience would be key for him and he should be in the title picture next year.
I do think it should be Reigns and Ambrose in the final despite who the crowd will be supporting. Reigns winning would be the obvious choice and it would be a predictable end to the event whereas an Ambrose win would blow the roof off the place.
He’s not been in the championship picture – or any relevant feud – for a while now so this would be a huge surprise for the fans and it would really cement him as a top star in the company, not just a top face.
I do think because Reigns was scheduled to defeat Rollins for the championship anyway, he’ll win the tournament and be crowned the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Although, winning the tournament doesn’t mean he’ll walk out with the title. All eyes will be on the ramp to see Sheamus running down and cashing the Money in the Bank briefcase in on Reigns and this feud could be one where fans are on Reigns’ side, so maybe that’s exactly what he needs right now.