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Opinion: Why SmackDown Live has a big WWE Championship problem

Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
3.71K   //    07 May 2018, 12:11 IST

D
Is SmackDown becoming very top heavy?

It's not the worst problem to have, but it seems like, since the Superstar Shake-Up, SmackDown has gotten very top heavy.

The problem is, there's only one WWE Championship.

While AJ Styles is still the WWE Champion after a slightly bizarre finish at Backlash saw him retain the title via neither man answering the ten count during a No Disqualification Match, it looks like Shinsuke Nakamura will get yet another title shot and this feud will continue at least until Money In The Bank.

The conundrum then is where do we go from there? The balance of SmackDown Live isn't just top heavy, but the majority of its main event stars are all major heels who show no sign of turning back.

AJ St
AJ Styles is still SmackDown's top dog

While SmackDown Live is the house that AJ Styles built, the only other top face in the main event picture of SmackDown is Daniel Bryan - and he seems to be occupied with Big Cass right now.

With Miz, Samoa Joe and Shinsuke Nakamura all heels who seem pretty set in their ways (Although I have no doubt either of the three could be great faces, but timing makes it seem unlikely) it appears that either AJ Styles will retain the WWE Championship in his pay-off match against Shinsuke Nakamura, or the Artist will win the title and AJ Styles will feud with him again after invoking his rematch clause.

But what of The Miz and Samoa Joe, two men whose move to SmackDown should inevitably see them move into the main event picture? Well, the only man who could hold the title in a feud with them is AJ Styles - unless one goes on to feud with Jeff Hardy.

The last time Miz was on SmackDown, he was a pretty big deal - but he did have the Intercontinental Championship then. While Miz could easily slot into the United States Championship picture, the A-Lister has been a huge part of the company for so long and has only improved and secured his place at the top table over the past two years.

Surely it's time the man Rolling Stone voted their Wrestler of the Year got his shot at the WWE Championship on the blue brand? Although maybe that could be a catalyst for the dormant feud with Daniel Bryan to finally kick off.


Miz vs Danie
Miz vs Daniel Bryan would be great - title or not

However, Miz vs Daniel Bryan doesn't need a title to be important. If Miz slots in to the Cass feud or we move on quickly, that could allay Miz's need for a title for a while.

But what of Joe? Well, after being so close to the Universal Championship on Raw pre-injury, as well as driving Roman Reigns incredibly close at Backlash, not to mention his history with AJ Styles making a feud between the former Impact stars inevitable, you'd have to think a title match may be on the horizon in the not too distant future.

AJ
AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe has to happen in WWE

With Brock Lesnar holding the Universal Championship hostage on Raw, there's only one world title up for grabs in WWE right now. It seems like WWE acted accordingly in the Shake-up to shift some top-tier stars onto the blue brand, but has that created a problem of its own?

Having one major title between two brands which makes life difficult when you have so many top talents - but you'd have to think the continuation of the AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura feud can only spell bad news for the talents moving to SmackDown and hoping to slot into the WWE Championship picture.

It'll be interesting to see how WWE deals with the abundance of Superstars now swirling around the top of the card on the blue brand.

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Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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