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Unlike professional sports leagues, there’s no offseason for WWE. Less than 24 hours after WrestleMania, many performers are right back at it for Monday Night Raw.
This year is a bit different. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, WWE has had to pretape a lot of its content from the WWE Performance Center, which likely includes some of the stuff we’ll see on Monday’s show. There’s still a lot of uncertainty about how things will continue from here, but we’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
Like much of the past month, Raw and SmackDown may feature some re-airings of classic matches. But there will also likely be some new feuds developing for WWE’s top stars and a lot of decisions to make after multiple new champions were crowned at WrestleMania 36.
With another WrestleMania in the books, here’s a look at where WWE’s storylines should go for the world championship and women’s titles for both brands heading into 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 Sunday night, defeating Brock Lesnar in a short, finisher-filled match. With it being McIntyre’s first world-title reign in the company, things should feel fresh with him on top.
It’s unclear if Lesnar will be sticking around for a bit or taking a hiatus, but there may not be much interest in having the McIntyre-Lesnar feud continue. Plus, Lesnar has been around the title picture for so long now that it would be more entertaining to get some other wrestlers back to the top of the card.
Seth Rollins, Randy Orton and AJ Styles would be good heel challengers for McIntyre, but all of them suffered losses at WrestleMania and it might not make sense to thrust any of them into the title picture at this time. Plus, it’s unclear when WWE will bring back Styles, who was buried alive in his Boneyard Match loss to The Undertaker.
While Rollins builds back up some momentum, perhaps a feud between McIntyre and Kevin Owens, who are both faces, could provide some entertaining matches and strong promos for a short-term feud. Owens has delivered some great work of late and deserves to be in the title picture. And a win over Owens would be a good start for a nice run by McIntyre as WWE champion.
Projected feud: McIntyre vs. Owens
Raw Women’s Champion: Becky Lynch
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The list of potential challengers is starting to dwindle for Becky Lynch, who will reach the one-year mark of her Raw Women’s Championship reign on Tuesday. Since winning the championship, she has defeated Lacey Evans, Natalya, Sasha Banks, Asuka and Shayna Baszler in pay-per-view title defenses.
Perhaps Lynch will have another match against Baszler or she could feud against Nia Jax, whenever she returns, as there’s history between those women. But there’s one rivalry that everybody’s waiting to see pick back up: Lynch taking on Ronda Rousey.
Rousey hasn’t returned to WWE since losing the Raw Women’s Championship to Lynch at WrestleMania 35. But there’s still a lot of potential for that feud, especially because last year’s WrestleMania event was a Triple Threat that also included Charlotte Flair. Lynch and Rousey have never gone one-on-one, so that’s a marquee matchup that needs to take place.
And there might not be enough other challengers to wait until next year’s WrestleMania for this big match. So, if Rousey is ready to return in the near future, maybe WWE could get this feud going for SummerSlam.
Projected feud: Lynch vs. Rousey
Universal Champion: Braun Strowman
Let’s face it: Braun Strowman is only universal champion for the first time because Roman Reigns pulled out of WrestleMania due to concern for his health. And WWE likely needed to get the title off Goldberg, who won’t be sticking around for an extended run.
Strowman has had main event pushes in the past, and there were times that would have been perfect for WWE to go through with making him a world champion. However, before WrestleMania, he hadn’t been seen since losing the Intercontinental Championship to Sami Zayn in a three-on-one handicap match at Elimination Chamber in March.
At some point, Strowman is likely to feud with Roman Reigns and/or Bray Wyatt. He’s had a rivalry with Reigns and he’s a former member of The Wyatt Family, so both would make sense. Although Wyatt’s character works without chasing titles, he’s one of the biggest attractions on SmackDown and would make sense to insert back into the Universal Championship picture.
Perhaps there will be some other challengers for Strowman in the short term, but Reigns and Wyatt will both be in the title picture at some point in 2020, likely sooner rather than later. And whenever Reigns returns, he’s due for a run as universal champion.
Projected feud: Strowman vs. Reigns and/or Wyatt
SmackDown Women’s Champion: Bayley
It’s sure been a slow burn toward a potential rivalry between Bayley and Sasha Banks, but it appears we might finally be getting to the point when these best friends go head-to-head for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Although there was some tension between Bayley and Banks during Sunday’s Fatal Five-Way Elimination match for the title, Banks ended up helping Bayley retain the championship by coming back into the ring after she was eliminated and hitting Lacey Evans with a Backstabber.
Bayley and Banks have run through most of the competition on SmackDown in recent months, so the logical next step is for the two to enter a feud. It’s been teased at times, as Banks flashed a grin when it was announced she’d be included in the title match at WrestleMania.
There’s great chemistry between Bayley and Banks, too, as their NXT Women’s Championship match at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn in 2015 is one of the best women’s matches in WWE history. If they can build toward another match like that, it could be one of the top feuds in WWE in 2020.
Projected feud: Bayley vs. Banks