WWE TLC was an action packed show this year, and the card delivered. Championships were won, lost, and retained, and a few of SmackDown Live’s longest running storylines were seemingly wrapped up.
With new champions comes the need for new challengers, and SmackDown Live is going to need some fresh feuds going forward. As WWE moves onward to the Royal Rumble in January, the SmackDown deck will have to be reshuffled. Let’s take a look at 5 feuds SmackDown Live needs following WWE TLC.
#5 – Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Alexa Bliss defeated Becky Lynch at WWE TLC to become the new SmackDown Women’s Champion, and it looks like Alexa’s star is on the rise. Alexa Bliss has come a long way in the few short months since she debuted on the main roster, and she’s become one of the best heels in the women’s division.
Every great heel needs a babyface to battle, and although Becky Lynch will surely get a rematch, this feud can’t last forever. After all, it’s not Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks. Right now it makes sense to stack up the challengers and let Alexa Bliss knock them down as she establishes herself as champion.
Alexa Bliss has been feuding with Becky Lynch for months, and Nikki Bella is currently wrapped up in her own storyline, which leaves Naomi as the only other babyface on SmackDown Live who could challenge Alexa Bliss.
Most fans seem to agree that Naomi is one of the most underutilized stars in the women’s division, and fans have been hoping to see her win championship gold for a while now. Although she might not win gold if she challenges Alexa Bliss, a feud with the SmackDown Women’s Champion could help to establish Naomi as a top contender, and Alexa Bliss as a credible champion.
#4 – The Miz vs. Heath Slater
At WWE TLC, The Miz retained his Intercontinental Championship, while Heath Slater and Rhyno lost the SmackDown Tag Team Titles. According to WWE, Miz’s feud with Dolph Ziggler is now over, and it looks unlikely at this point that Rhyno and Heath will win the titles back. So where do both men go from here? Perhaps a feud with each other is the right way to go.
This year has been interesting for SmackDown Live. The show has rejuvenated the careers of guys like The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, and stars like Heath Slater and James Ellsworth have been able to get over big time.
Heath Slater’s chase for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles was one of the most entertaining storylines of the year, and there’s little doubt that the fans would get behind Heath once again if he went after the IC Title.
#3 – Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt vs. American Alpha
Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt defeated Heath Slater and Rhyno at WWE TLC to become the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions, and one has to imagine that a reign of destruction will follow their victory.
SmackDown has an abundance of tag teams at the moment, but most of the teams need a little more character development. One team that seems to need character development the most is American Alpha. Jason Jordan and Chad Gable were over big time in NXT, and they’ve been great in the ring since jumping to the main roster, but WWE hasn’t really given fans a reason to emotionally invest in them.
An extended feud between American Alpha and The Wyatt Family could do wonders for American Alpha’s career, and it could also help to establish Jordan and Gable as stars in the tag team division.
#2 – Dean Ambrose vs. James Ellsworth
Dean Ambrose and James Ellsworth have become good friends over the past few weeks, but now it looks like their friendship is over. James Ellsworth cost Dean Ambrose the WWE World Championship when he helped AJ Styles retain at TLC, and now it’s safe to say that Dean Ambrose is going to be trying to make Ellsworth’s life a living hell from here on out.
James Ellsworth and Dean Ambrose have been entertaining as a duo so far, because they clearly have great chemistry together. However, Ellsworth has caused his fair share of trouble for Dean, whether it was intentional or not, so at this point it’s going to be fun to see how Dean reacts to what James Ellsworth did at TLC.
Spoiler Alert: He’s going to kill him (probably).
#1 – AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker
It’s been rumored for a few weeks now that WWE officials are the discussing a possible AJ Styles vs. Undertaker match for the 2017 Royal Rumble. It remains to be seen if it will actually end up happening, but there’s no denying that an AJ Styles vs. Undertaker feud has the potential to be huge for the blue brand.
Following his defeat at TLC, it looks like Dean Ambrose is likely out of the title picture for the time being, so a new challenger will need to step up to AJ Styles, and The Undertaker is the perfect man to do it.
Although The Undertaker declared that he’s back during SmackDown’s 900th episode, he hasn’t been seen since, so no one really expects him to work a full time schedule in this day and age. However, as we saw during the build up for his match with Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania 31, Taker doesn’t always have to be on TV to build the feud. A few lightning bolts, and a few quick scares, along with one or two appearances on TV could go a long way when it comes to building this feud.
AJ has been getting a massive reaction from the fans as of late, and one has to imagine that the crowd would be on fire from bell to bell while watching an Undertaker vs. Styles match.
AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker truly feels larger than life at this point, and with Raw booking matches such as Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar, SmackDown could use a huge name like The Undertaker to give the show a little boost.