Choke's Summerslam Fantasy Season Preview
Posted by: choke May 22, 2016 | 957 views | 5 comments
I don't know about you, but that felt like a long break without some fantasy wrestling action. As much as on certain weeks I might struggle to make it through RAW or Smackdown even when a fantasy season is in effect, it's even more difficult without some points to root for.
So let's get right into a short previow of the upcoming season.
The WWE title picture
Hard not to picture Roman Reigns retaining throughout this entire season. They didn't shove the storyline of his finally obtaining it down our throats for a full year+ just to have him lose it at Money in the Bank next month. Given that, I think he has to be the top pick for this season. Dean Ambrose makes a strong case for that top spot though, as it seems inevitable that we get a Dean vs Roman angle somewhere down the line, or a triple threat when Rollins comes back. Dean surprisingly to me actually had more points than Reigns last season. There's something to be said about being the person chasing the title and the points you can rack up doing that, vs the one holding the belt and playing defense. Either way it's very difficult to go with anyone other than those two for picks 1 and 2.
Beyond those two you have the other potential challengers to the top title in wrestling. AJ Styles is the current challenger and is an extremely solid pick for the upcoming season, but I find it hard to believe he won't fall out of the WWE Title picture after his imminent loss tonight, and will move toward a Bullet (Balor?) club angle, or onto another new, lower profile feud (Owens? Miz?) after this Sunday. As for the next logical step for Reigns, I like to think the might go onto Kevin Owens, who has proven himself to be the most dependable heel the WWE has going right now in both entertainment value as well as durability. I could easily see them trying to sell us Reigns vs KO up until the build for Summerslam. Other than Owens, there aren't many other logical choices for Reigns to advance to, though I could make an argument for Chris Jericho, but that seems most likely if he can get a win against Ambrose tonight, which is a tough sell, though entirely possible depending on his current contract.
Then you have the superstars returning from injury: John Cena, Randy Orton, and the aforementioned Seth Rollins. Obviously all are very tempting to pick up but should be done so with caution unless you're very confident on the timing of their return. Cena is scheduled to appear next Monday so is the safest bet of the 3, though I wonder about the eventual workload Cena and/or Orton will receive once back. I have a feeling WWE will severely limit their in-ring action for fear of further injury. Seth Rollins, on the other hand, I feel will be driven into the ground when he returns and should start making a killing in points instantly. Personally I'm not going to get fooled into think Bray Wyatt belongs in this list, but maybe you're different.
Tag Title Turmoil
As relatively clear cut as the WWE title picture is, the Tag title picture is anything but. With the addition of Enzo and Cass, the Vaudevillains, Gallows/Anderson, Golden Truth, and now Primo/Epico, what seemed like only a few team race the last several seasons between New Day/Usos/Dudleyz now seems like a crowded field of potential title change. Ultimately it's hard to picture the WWE dropping the belts from the New Day within the next month or two for what they fear would probably kill some of the buzz surrounding them, but I personally would much rather see them in chase mode against a team like the Vaudevillains or Gallows/Anderson sooner than later. Right now I'd rank them as follows: New Day, Enzo & Cass (particularly Cass who is thriving in Enzo's absence), Vaudevillains, Gallows/Anderson, Usos, Primo/Epico, Golden Truth, and the Dudleyz. I think most of those teams are solid pickups for the time being, but would only take Golden Truth, Primo/Epico, and Dudleys in the mid-later rounds.
Mid Card Scene
My favorite picks from the US/IC title scene are Cesaro, Kevin Owens as I mentioned previously, Baron Corbin, Rusev, Sami Zayn, and Dolph Ziggler, in that order. I think Cesaro and Owens will be leaned on heavily up til and through Summerslam, and both have a great chance of holding either of the mid card titles. Corbin I think will continue to be sold as a dominant force, and is also an x-factor in these title chases. Zayn and Ziggler are the eternal underdogs, but I just don't see them going on any huge surges of win streaks anytime soon. They should be featured quite often in the months to come so I do like their potential in the middle rounds. I really liked Apollo Crews' potential for points after the first few weeks, but he seems to have already fallen off the radar of the WWE bookers. Sheamus and Del Rio should pick up solid points and are always a threat to get involved in some major feud, but right now they just feel like second string players. Really great for late round picks if you can somehow stumble onto them there. I've been dead wrong about Kalisto the past few seasons and I'm going to continue probably being wrong, but I just feel like it's extremely likely he drops the title sooner than later and am not particularly sold on his being a big point getter for much longer.
I really think the WWE has dropped the ball on this division. You had a hot angle/feud with all the NXT stars and decided to go with Brie Bella and now Natalya in the mix as well. Had they continued to push Becky and Sasha instead going for the title, with maybe even already having the title switch hands already, I personally think it would've been much more exciting. Adding Dana Brooke and ultimately Bayley to the mix would have just set the powder keg off. I understand the value of stretching out a storyline and not giving away a hot match too soon, but this has just been way too much of that. At this juncture I still like Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Dana Brooke for this upcoming season. Sasha is still a solid pick but she just seems completely non-existent from in-ring action so I prefer the others.
The only gambles I really like for this season that I'd consider are: Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, Finn Balor (especially since he's dropped the NXT Title), and Bayley. Other than Rollins and maybe Balor I'm not sure if I'd roll the dice on any of them during the initial draft unless it's your final pick, but once you have any signs of any of them being on the main roster, I'd jump on it ASAP.
DO NOT PICK UP
Just in case you havent heard, the following wrestlers are pretty much wasted picks. Ryback (not expected to be back), Sandow (released), Stardust (asking for release), and Wade Barrett (released). Anyone else I didn't mention throughout the story I'd probably avoid as well. Let me know if you disagree with any of my thoughts or if you have any other ideas I may have missed!