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Unlike professional sports leagues, there is no offseason for WWE. Less than 24 hours after WrestleMania, many artists are back for Monday Night Raw.
This year is a little different. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, WWE has had to preprogram much of its content from the WWE Performance Center, which likely includes some of the things we’ll see on Monday’s show. There is still a lot of uncertainty about how things will continue from here, but we will have to stay tuned to find out.
Like much of last month, Raw and SmackDown can present reruns of classic matches. But there will likely be new quarrels developing for the best WWE stars and many decisions to be made after several new champions have been crowned at WrestleMania 36.
With another WrestleMania in the books, here’s a look at the WWE scenarios for the world championships and women’s titles for both brands before the summer.
WWE Champion: Drew McIntyre
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For the first time in his career, Drew McIntyre is a WWE world champion. He won the WWE Championship in the main event on Sunday evening, beating Brock Lesnar in a short game and packed with finishers. As this is McIntyre’s first world reign in the business, things should be cool with him at the top.
It’s not clear whether Lesnar will stay for a while or take a break, but there may not be much interest in the McIntyre-Lesnar feud continuing. Additionally, Lesnar has been around the title picture for so long now that it would be more fun to bring other wrestlers to the top of the map.
Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and AJ Styles would be good heel opponents for McIntyre, but all of them have suffered losses at WrestleMania and it might not make sense to include them in the title photo yet. Also, it’s unclear when WWE will bring Styles back, who was buried alive in his Boneyard Match loss to The Undertaker.
As Rollins regains momentum, perhaps a feud between McIntyre and Kevin Owens, both of whom are faces, could provide entertaining games and big promos for a short-term feud. Owens has done a great job lately and deserves to be in the title photo. And a win over Owens would be a good start to a great race for McIntyre as a WWE champion.
Projected feud: McIntyre vs. Owens
Raw female champion: Becky Lynch
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The list of potential challengers begins to shrink for Becky Lynch, who will reach the one-year mark of her reign at the Raw Women’s Championship on Tuesday. Since winning the championship, she has beaten Lacey Evans, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Asuka and Shayna Baszler in the à la carte defenses.
Maybe Lynch will have another match against Baszler or she could quarrel against Nia Jax when she returns because there is history between these women. But there is a rivalry that everyone is waiting to see: Lynch faces Ronda Rousey.
Rousey hasn’t returned to WWE since she lost the gross women’s championship to Lynch at WrestleMania 35. But there is still a lot of potential for this feud, mostly because last year’s WrestleMania event was a triple threat that also included Charlotte Flair. Lynch and Rousey have never been head-to-head, so a marquee match needs to take place.
And there may not be enough other challengers to wait for WrestleMania next year for this great game. So if Rousey is ready to return in the near future, WWE may be able to start this feud for SummerSlam.
Projected feud: Lynch vs. Rousey
Universal champion: Braun Strowman
Let’s face it: Braun Strowman is just the universal champion for the first time because Roman Reigns pulled out of WrestleMania for health reasons. And WWE probably had to take away the title from Goldberg, who won’t stay long.
Strowman has had breakouts at the main tournament in the past, and there were times that would have been perfect for WWE to go through to make him a world champion. Before WrestleMania, however, he had not been seen since the intercontinental championship’s loss to Sami Zayn in a three-game handicap draw at the Elimination Chamber in March.
At some point, Strowman is likely to quarrel with Roman Reigns and / or Bray Wyatt. He’s had a feud with Reigns and he’s a former member of the Wyatt family, so the two would make sense. Although the character of Wyatt works without chasing after titles, he is one of SmackDown’s biggest attractions and it would make sense to reinsert the image of the universal championship.
Maybe there will be other challengers for Strowman in the short term, but Reigns and Wyatt will both be in the picture for the title at some point in 2020, probably sooner than later. And each time Reigns returns, he must run as a universal champion.
Projected feud: Strowman vs. Reigns and / or Wyatt
SmackDown Women’s Champion: Bayley
It was certainly a slow combustion toward a potential rivalry between Bayley and Sasha Banks, but it looks like we could finally get to the point where these best friends compete for the women’s SmackDown Championship.
Although there was tension between Bayley and Banks in Sunday’s five-way fatal elimination match for the title, Banks ended up helping Bayley keep the championship by returning to the ring after being eliminated and striking Lacey Evans with a dagger.
Bayley and Banks have gone through most of the competition on SmackDown in the past few months, so the next logical step is for the two to get into a feud. This was sometimes teased, as Banks smiled when it was announced that she would be included in the WrestleMania title match.
There’s also great chemistry between Bayley and Banks, as their NXT female championship game at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015 was one of the best female games in WWE history. If they can build up to another match like this, it could be one of the best WWE feuds in 2020.
Projected feud: Bayley vs. Banks