I’ve written about tournaments before on here. They can be a valuable way to work a story, but they can also be done badly. And let’s face it, the WWE usually does them badly. They announced a tournament for the vacated WWE World Heavyweight Championship, and while I thought it would be an 8-man, one day tourney, it turns out the WWE will run a 16-man, 3 week tournament instead. We’ve already got one round done, and I’m going to assume the next round will be this week, and Survivor Series will have the semi-finals and finals. I’m going to take a look at the remaining matches, and fantasy book the rest of the tourney.
First thing first though, the underlying outcome of this tournament is Roman Reigns winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title. How he does it though is a completely different story. He can go the “face” route, overcome all the monsters and bad guys, or the “heel” route. Let’s get some predictions in before Monday Night Raw spoils them all.
Roman Reigns vs. Cesaro. The first match in the quarterfinals is the first hint for the idea of a Roman Reigns heel turn. If we want people to cheer Reigns, why not have him fight Sheamus? Instead, he has Cesaro, one of the most over guys on the roster. I actually thought this match might be in the finals before the brackets were announced, because if you want Reigns to have a good match, give him to Cesaro. Winner: Roman Reigns.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Kalisto. Del Rio’s return has been lackluster to say the least. Kalisto got a big upset on Smackdown, and Del Rio needs a feud with someone. I think Kalisto gets another big upset, and goes on to Survivor Series. On the other hand, if WWE is intent on making WWE face, then Del Rio wins so Roman can proceed to mow down the heels. I’m hoping for something more interesting. Besides, Kalisto is crazy talented. Winner: Kalisto.
Kevin Owens vs. Neville. In the non-Roman Reigns half of the bracket, things could go a few different ways. No way involves Neville though. Should be a great match, but Owens will keep moving forward. And if you’re looking for a dark horse pick to win the championship, Kevin Owens is someone to keep an eye on. Winner: Kevin Owens.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose. Ambrose is the best bet to win his half of the bracket. Ziggler will be involved with Tyler Breeze, and I would not be surprised for some Breeze interference to help give Ambrose the win. The obvious match in the finals would be Roman vs. Dean, so that’s what we’re sticking with. Winner: Dean Ambrose.
Roman Reigns vs. Kalisto. Now we are at the actual Survivor Series event. Kalisto has overcome the odds twice in this tournament, and the announcers will play up that. Then Roman Reigns absolutely destroys him in their match. Ruthlessly and mercilessly. He just really puts the beat down on poor Kalisto. Or we get a paint by the numbers match between Reigns and Del Rio. Ugh. Winner: Roman Reigns
Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose. These guys could have a great feud if given a chance. This is not their chance though. If Reigns is staying face, then Owens wins. If Reigns is turning heel, Ambrose wins. We know which way I want. Ambrose gets the crap kicked out of him by KO, and wins with a roll-up. Owens then proceeds to beat him down some more out of spite, including a powerbomb on the ring apron. Winner: Dean Ambrose.
Roman Reigns vs. Dean Ambrose. Reigns, fresh off his easy victory against Kalisto, vs a battered and beaten Dean Ambrose. Ambrose fights valiantly, but to no avail. Whatever body part on Ambrose is weakened from his first match (probably the back) is picked apart by Reigns. Ambrose kicks out of the spear, so Reigns goes nuts, punishing Ambrose until the referee stops the match, declaring Roman Reigns the winner. Winner: Roman Reigns
There are plenty of other possibilities of course. It seems inconceivable that the Authority would not interfere somehow for their chosen person, whoever that ends up being. We could get a Reigns vs. Owens final, just to give Reigns another heel to beat. But I’m hoping for something a little more subtle. Roman Reigns doesn’t need to join the Authority to be heel. He doesn’t need to be HHH’s man, at least not right away. Let him be a badass against the right people, and WWE will have a new top heel in the company.