Who will Seth Rollins face for the World Heavyweight Championship? Making a case for each WWE SmackDown competitor

Who will vie with The Visionary in Saudi Arabia to become the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion?
The Visionary is one step closer to capturing the World Heavyweight Championship

Seth Rollins punched his ticket to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship match at Night of Champions 2023 on this week's RAW. The Visionary defeated Finn Balor in a rematch of their SummerSlam 2016 bout in which Balor became the inaugural Universal Champion. This time, Rollins achieved redemption, moving one step closer to becoming the first holder of the new world title.

Who will The Architect face in Jeddah? Six SmackDown Superstars will compete for that spot on Friday Night, and the field is stacked. The blue brand's bracket contains five former world champions, with 22 world titles between them and the current United States Champion.

Any of these men would be a worthy competitor for the title, and a case can be made for each to qualify for the World Heavyweight Championship match at WWE Night of Champions 2023

#6 WWE United States Champion Austin Theory needs it the most

Although he's the only one of the lot currently holding a title, United States Champion Austin Theory is the sole non-former world champion in the bracket. The 25-year-old star has set some major records in less than three years on the main roster but is yet to prove himself as world champion material. He did win Money In The Bank last year, but that run ended in disaster.

Theory would gain the most main event credibility of the six men by winning the tournament, no doubt about it. With that being said, it doesn't seem to be his time to scale the mountain yet, since he's in the middle of an impressive US Title reign. The Now is least likely to come out on top, but he would gain the most from qualifying to face Seth Rollins.

#5 New WWE Hall Of Famer Rey Mysterio has huge momentum from his feud with his son Dominik

Rey Mysterio is having an incredible 2023 in WWE. He is fresh from an incredible feud with his son Dominik, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame by longtime friend Konnan and revived the iconic faction LWO. Coming off a remarkable Backlash where he helped Bad Bunny defeat Damian Priest, the two-time World Heavyweight Champion has more momentum than anyone else in the bracket.

Having Mysterio face Rollins would continue the former's triumphant run and probably generate the biggest crowd reaction of the six possible matchups.

#4 Sheamus should face Seth Rollins in Jeddah because he needs a new direction

The Celtic Warrior's brawling talents could be the perfect foil for Seth Rollins at Night of Champions
The Celtic Warrior's brawling talents could be the perfect foil for Seth Rollins at Night of Champions

Sheamus has spent the better part of the past year mainly feuding with two men: Gunther and Drew McIntyre. The Celtic Warrior has battled the RAW Superstars on and off since the road to Clash at the Castle 2022, culminating in a triple-threat slugfest at WrestleMania 39. The 2023 WWE Draft saw both men drafted to the red brand, while Sheamus and The Brawling Brutes stayed on the blue brand.

The Celtic Warrior needs a big program to kick off a new era without his two biggest rivals from the past year. Facing Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship in Jeddah would do wonders for the former champion.

#3 Bobby Lashley is arguably the biggest current star in the bracket

The All Mighty is one of the strongest-booked men on the roster
The All Mighty is one of the strongest-booked men on the roster

Bobby Lashley is arguably the top babyface on WWE SmackDown after the 2023 Draft. The All Mighty is one of the strongest-booked stars of recent times, having defeated the likes of Brock Lesnar, Bronson Reed, AJ Styles, and Seth Rollins himself. The two-time world champion is amid the hottest run of his career and is a strong contender for any tournament he enters.

Lashley is, on paper at least, the odds-on favorite to face The Visionary at Night of Champions. And if you're not convinced yet, here's a fact for you: Lashley is the last man not named Reigns or Lesnar to hold a world title in WWE.

#2 AJ Styles needs a big return match after a long injury layoff

AJ Styles returned to WWE on Night One of the 2023 Draft, announcing his arrival on the blue brand with a brawl between The O.C. and The Viking Raiders. The Phenomenal One's return excited fans, who immediately hailed him as one of the favorites to face Roman Reigns at Night of Champions.

If the two-time WWE Champion doesn't challenge The Tribal Chief, then the World Heavyweight Championship match is just as big a spot for him in Jeddah.

#1 Edge should face Seth Rollins at WWE Night of Champions because he is the most decorated World Heavyweight Champion in history

Edge is a WWE Hall of Famer. He is a two-time Royal Rumble winner and the inaugural Mr. Money In The Bank. The star has won every major championship during his full-time run with the company. He is also one of Seth Rollins' greatest rivals, having had an iconic trilogy with The Visionary in 2021. For these reasons alone, he is a strong contender to face Rollins in Jeddah.

Although he has huge amounts of history both in the world title picture and with The Architect, there's a clincher. The Rated-R Superstar is the most decorated holder of the old World Heavyweight Championship, with seven reigns.

Edge is, therefore, the competitor that would bring the most history and pedigree to the table. And don't forget, he never lost the World Heavyweight Championship, only relinquishing it due to retirement.

The Ultimate Opportunist has the strongest storyline case of all the six men.

A former WWE writer thinks Bronson Reed's push could be in jeopardy here.

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Edited by Pratik Singh
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