5 Things WWE subtly told us on SmackDown: Surprising name being built up for Roman Reigns? Upcoming title change? Reality behind Sasha Banks & Naomi's "suspension"

The Usos, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, and Naomi.
The Usos, Roman Reigns, Sasha Banks, and Naomi.
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Lennard Surrao

This week, WWE offered an entertaining SmackDown as it wasn't short on action. A high-profile title unification match, the fallout of the Sasha Banks-Naomi fiasco, a surprise debut, and some sensible storyline developments capped off an eventful SmackDown.

However, WWE also dropped several hints regarding what to expect from the future.

Could an unlikely new challenger emerge to face Roman Reigns? What's going on backstage between Sasha Banks & Naomi and WWE? Is the company preparing to book a massive title change? We've answered all these questions and more below:

#5. Shinsuke Nakamura could be a future opponent for Roman Reigns

Shinsuke Nakamura's creative direction has been confusing from a fan's perspective. The Japanese star initially seemed set to challenge Roman Reigns when the undisputed champion and The Usos attacked him on the April 8 episode of SmackDown.

Nakamura was written off TV as he later returned to resume his feud with Sami Zayn, who is visibly one of the biggest fans of The Bloodline.

Nakamura and Zayn, as expected, kicked off the in-ring proceedings of the latest SmackDown with an impressive match. Shinsuke looked great with his hands raised, and it could be WWE's way of keeping him strong for a brief program with Reigns.

Roman will run out of opponents at the rate he's going, and Vince McMahon needs names like Nakamura to maintain the historic title reign's relevancy.

#4. Is WWE building up Gunther for a dominant Intercontinental title reign?

Gunther could be the next big thing in WWE. This week, Drew Gulak was an unfortunate victim, effortlessly squashed by the man formerly known as WALTER.

The one-sided match set up a confrontation between reigning Intercontinental Champion Ricochet and Gunther. Now, that's a match to steal the show!

The plan is to have a title program between Gunther and Ricochet, but could WWE consider a title change? While we always love to see Ricochet get the deserved recognition on TV, having Gunther as the champion could legitimize the IC title and bring back its lost prestige.

Gunther has proven his worth as the NXT UK Champion and giving him a long run with the Intercontinental belt might be in everyone's best interests.

#3. The Original Bro vs. The Tribal Chief at Money in the Bank?

SmackDown featured an exceptional main event as The Usos unified the tag team titles by defeating RK-Bro. The twins, however, couldn't have done it without Roman Reigns.

The reigning undisputed Universal Champion saved his cousins by stopping Riddle from delivering a top-rope RKO. The finish was controversial, but it served to set up Reigns' next title defense.

Roman needs fresh challenges, and there aren't many wrestlers better than Riddle. While it can be argued that Randy Orton is a more credible threat to Reigns' title reign, Orton vs. Reigns is too big a match to throw away at a regular premium live event.

The two veterans can duke it out at SummerSlam. In the meantime, Riddle could get some valuable in-ring time with Reigns at Money in the Bank on July 2.

The Head of the Table is believed to be missing Hell in a Cell, but he's slated for the MITB event, and The Original Bro could be the man he faces for the world championship.

#2. Sasha Banks and Naomi's suspension and what it means

WWE not only addressed the Sasha Banks-Naomi incident but also buried the tag team with a wholly unsympathetic statement.

As announced by Michael Cole, Banks and Naomi have been indefinitely suspended. WWE will also organize a tournament to crown the new women's tag team champions.

The company has publicly punished the duo, but the situation behind the scenes could be completely different. Both Sasha and Naomi's WWE contracts are reportedly expiring soon, and the company could be buying time to negotiate new terms with the disgruntled superstars.

Sasha Banks and Naomi being "Suspended indefinitely" is just corporate jargon for "renegotiating their contracts and praying they don't leave us high and dry for AEW." #SmackDown

WWE officials have been fearful about top talent jumping ship to AEW, which was the primary reason Charlotte Flair was let off the hook after her real-life heat with Becky Lynch. Banks and Naomi are also established performers WWE wouldn't want to lose to Tony Khan's company.

It'll be interesting to see what transpires in the coming weeks as there seems to be no end in sight to the Banks-Naomi saga.

#1. Will WWE go all the way with Raquel Rodriguez's push?

The former NXT Women's Champion desperately needed a victory after losing to Ronda Rousey in a title match last week. WWE did exactly what was required by booking Raquel to go over a familiar foe in Shotzi.

Unlike many other superstars, Raquel Rodriguez looks tailor-made for the main roster. She has shown signs of being a leading talent in the women's division. However, Rousey is undeniably the most influential female star on the blue brand, and she rarely takes any losses.

Going by the reactions to her work on SmackDown, Rodriguez will get more opportunities to dethrone Rousey. However, the biggest concern is whether the creative team will allow Rodriguez to beat the Rowdy One.

It's still early in Rousey's reign. She needs an outstanding dance partner to get fans invested. Rodriguez is the best woman for the job, but could it lead to her becoming the SmackDown Women's Champion? Irrespective of what happens, Raquel Rodriguez is undoubtedly the star to look out for in the women's division.

Suggested: Sportskeeda Wrestling spoke to Raquel Rodriguez (then NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez) last year on comparisons with Deisel and more


A wrestling legend is worried that CM Punk may make a major move against AEW. More details here

Edited by Abhinav Singh
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