If you haven’t heard the news, Seth Rollins got injured. In a major way. His knee? Blown up. Not literally, but the damage is keeping him out of action for 6 to 9 months. Since he was still the WWE World Heavyweight Champion, the top belt in the business is now vacant. They’ve already announced that there will be a tournament to decide who the next champion will be. Here’s how they should handle the situation.

The Tournament Competitors

Keep it to a set of 8 names. Any more than that, and you’ll be including people who don’t belong in the title picture. With a couple of the top names on the shelf, there could be some people involved who are questionable options, but at least arguable. Any more than 8 guys in the tournament and suddenly the questionable nature of the bracket increases.

Popular Names To Leave Out

Lately Neville has been trotted out to have exciting matches, most notably with King Barrett. Leave him out of the tournament. He just got destroyed by Alberto Del Rio, and although the commentators hyped him up as being a tough opponent for the United States Champion, the fact is that he lost to a second-tier title holder. No chance does he actually belong in the running for the big belt. He’s at least a step behind Ziggler at this point in terms of credibility.


A couple years ago, The Miz was one of the top guys in WWE. He main evented WrestleMania and had tons of heat. Does he have the skillset, both in the ring and on the mic, to be back there? Absolutely, but the fact remains that The Miz has been in just as many big event matches in the past six months as Stephen Amell…. One. If you see his name in the bracket, you can easily give his opponent the victory.

And I hope that person isn’t Big Show. I get it, Big Show is huge. I get it, he’s a dangerous dude. He has been a special attraction for years, but there’s no way they should put the belt on him right now, since he has NO heat and they’d be forced to build something up for him to have him carry RAW.

If I were going to pick a First Alternate, Dolph Ziggler would be my choice. He’d be my #9 seed in the tournament, just barely on the outside looking in. In fact, I would have The Authority do something to show that they’re happy he won’t have the opportunity to be in the tournament. Give him some extra “fire”. He needs something, after that terrible feud with Rusev, Lana and Summer Rae that turned into one of the lamest soap operas ever presented on WWE television. If he were in the tournament, he’d clearly be there just to make someone else look good, and there are other ways to do that than to just kick Ziggler down the ladder even more.


No, I wouldn’t include Cesaro. He’s not credible to be the focal point of RAW and he hasn’t ever sniffed a serious title shot. Putting him in the tournament is essentially a way to give someone a bye to the next round, and this tournament deserves better. So does Cesaro. He should be feuding with Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental Championship.

While I really like Kevin Owens, he has the Intercontinental Championship. Let him focus on that. Don’t take anything away from the prestige of the belt he’s currently holding, just to have him be fodder in a tournament for the bigger belt. Publicly give Owens the option to be in the tournament, and have him publicly turn it down. Let him help show that being a champion, even if it is the secondary belt, means something to the guy who holds the belt, and they don’t want to focus on anything else.

And while you’re at it, have Alberto Del Rio stay on the sidelines as well. He’s the United States Champion, he just returned to WWE, and he has something of a budding feud with Jack Swagger. Build on those things before you line him up to lose… because putting the top title in the business on him is not good business at this point.

If the WWE wants the actions of the Wyatt Family to mean anything, have them keep Kane off of television until Survivor Series AT LEAST. The last time they carted off Kane, he was back way sooner than he should’ve been, and it didn’t mean anything. If he wants to get revenge on Bray Wyatt, wait until after Survivor Series, and then have him chase The Family.

To Be Included


Roman Reigns is easily the most obvious choice. Many people even have him as the odds-on favorite to win the tournament. Speculation (and dirt sheet reports) leads us to believe that prior to Rollins’ injury, Reigns was the guy who was going to take the belt from Seth. I don’t quite believe that’s the path they’ll go down, and it’s not the BEST option, but it’s certainly more likely than some others.


Dean Ambrose needs to be considered a top option because a few months ago, he had his hands on the belt and was inches away from holding the strap. He’s not as good of an option as Roman Reigns is at this point to carry the show, but he should absolutely be included in the narrative.


John Cena reportedly needs some time off, right? Did he have surgery yet? Because if not, he should absolutely get back here and get into the tournament. He should absolutely get “injured” in the first round by a heel, being the storyline reason why he’s on the shelf for a month or two (or three). Give someone extra heat with the women & children by putting down their hero. Don’t just let him run to the bench for a (well-deserved) breather.


Sheamus might have the Money In The Bank briefcase right now, but that doesn’t mean he has to be left out of the tournament. Why would he want to waste the briefcase cash-in when he could just be included in a tournament where he could win the belt? Far too often the WWE gives the briefcase to someone and then temporarily neuters them. Why not let Sheamus show he’s capable of getting the belt on his own, only to come up a little short? Then he can feud with someone, win that feud, and have MOMENTUM when he cashes in? Having him publicly endorsed by The Authority as THEIR pick to win the tournament would go a long way, too.


Rusev went toe to toe with John Cena and had a lot of success. So why not let him be one of the heels who enters the tournament? I don’t know that he would get out of the first round, but he would absolutely be a convincing opponent to potentially defeat any of the face competitors named among the potentials.


King Barrett won King Of The Ring and has done exactly NOTHING since then. It used to be that the winner of King Of The Ring would have a World Title shot coming their way, and Barrett hasn’t even sniffed a realistic opportunity. Doing well in the tournament would do wonders for him, especially if they found a way to have him defeat Dean Ambrose, John Cena, or even Roman Reigns. If you can’t see how special a Dean Ambrose feud with King Barrett would be, then your imagination needs help.


Bray Wyatt is absolutely my pick to win the entire thing. This is the perfect opportunity for him to take the next step. The Wyatt Family is atop of their game. They won a Survivor Series style match on Smackdown without losing a team member. Bray Wyatt has stolen the powers of The Undertaker AND Kane. Let him run with it. Give him the credibility of being the new face of fear in the WWE. Have him get the big strap and make it look like no one’s going to take it from him. And do it by having him defeat a huge name in the opening round.


Book The Undertaker as Bray Wyatt’s opening round opponent. The promos leading up to it could question whether or not Bray Wyatt was actually successful in stealing The Undertaker’s powers… so make it clear that he has. On the anniversary of The Undertaker’s arrival in the WWE, show that he’s a shell of himself at THIS event by having Bray Wyatt destroy him in the first round. There are plenty of ways to fix the outcome at a future event to settle the score, and this would put over Bray Wyatt in a HUGE way.

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Who would be your pick to win the tournament? Did I leave someone off my list that you would’ve included? Let me know on Facebook and/or Twitter!