5 WWE Superstars Aleister Black can target after his return to SmackDown

Aleister Black is back!
Aleister Black is back!
Rohit Nath

After more than half a year away, Aleister Black is back. He moved to SmackDown in the 2020 WWE Draft but wasn't utilized for a single minute post that. While he was expected to be on the "chopping board" for the latest set of WWE releases, he surprisingly wasn't.

Instead, rumors emerged from PWInsider around the same time that WWE had already started filming vignettes and promos for his return. That turned out to be true, as Black was finally seen on WWE TV after half a year. It's a long-overdue return, and we're curious to see how it plays out.

What's interesting to note is that Black is a heel - which is picking up exactly where he left off. Here are five potential opponents for Aleister Black upon his return to SmackDown:

#5. Daniel Bryan - Could Aleister Black drive him out of SmackDown?

Daniel Bryan seems to be on the cusp of a big transition
Daniel Bryan seems to be on the cusp of a big transition

Daniel Bryan is set to face Roman Reigns on SmackDown next week for the Universal Championship. Reigns said that if Bryan loses, he has to go away. The instant assumption is that Daniel Bryan is being written off WWE TV and will go away for a while.

While there are plenty of ways to go about protecting Bryan, one great way to go about it would be to utilize Black while simultaneously setting up a rivalry for the future.

If Aleister Black were to have an encounter with Daniel Bryan, it could lead to him interfering in the match and costing the multi-time World Champion. If done right, a consistent push for Aleister Black could mean a blockbuster match against Bryan down the line.

Given how vocal Daniel Bryan has been about taking a step back, this might just be the right way to go about it.

#4.Kevin Owens - A great way for Aleister Black to pick up where he left off

Kevin Owens on SmackDown
Kevin Owens on SmackDown

Post-summer 2020, Aleister Black's role in WWE was decreasing significantly. The firing of Paul Heyman as the RAW Executive Director meant that Black didn't have any major name pushing for him backstage.

It was Kevin Owens who he attacked to officially turn heel before his abrupt hiatus. He even lost to Owens, so it makes perfect storyline sense for Aleister Black to target the former Universal Champion. While Owens is embroiled in a feud against long-time rival Sami Zayn, it could be an easy transition - as Zayn would end up winning the rivalry despite losing at WrestleMania.

#3. Shinsuke Nakamura

Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown
Shinsuke Nakamura on SmackDown

Shinsuke Nakamura had a great start to 2021, nearly challenging for the Universal Championship. He had a great performance against Daniel Bryan - who he defeated clean. While it became clear that the spot was for Cesaro, it helped Nakamura regain some lost momentum.

Shinsuke Nakamura would be the perfect welcome back rivalry for Aleister Black at this stage in his career. It would simply serve to help get Black kickstarted again.

#2. Cesaro - Aleister Black as a roadblock on the way to Roman Reigns?

Daniel Bryan and Cesaro
Daniel Bryan and Cesaro

On the same episode that the Aleister Black vignette aired, Cesaro's title attempts were completely shot down. He challenged Roman Reigns for the Universal Title, and Daniel Bryan even pushed for him to get that opportunity.

Reigns simply brushed him aside, giving Cesaro a bad look. While this isn't the most ideal scenario, Black could serve as a roadblock in The Swiss Superman's path to Roman Reigns and the Universal title.

The downside is that it would mean Aleister Black taking a big loss.

#1. Big E

Big E
Big E

Big E faces Apollo Crews on SmackDown next week for the Intercontinental Championship. While he could win, he won't be expected to. It seems to be WWE's way of having Big E drop the Intercontinental Title while protecting him and also building a new star in Crews.

If this is going to be a step-up for Big E, a feud against Aleister Black would be good. It would be an unexpected feud, especially since it's hard to tell who would walk out victorious.

Edited by Kaushik Das
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