All eyes are on WWE SmackDown this week because the stage is set for it to be a really explosive show after the cliffhanger that the show left us with last week.
We have now learned that the top star on WWE SmackDown, the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns will take on a man who has been portrayed as little more than an authority figure thus far, Adam Pearce.
With that said, it opens up a multitude of possibilities on the WWE SmackDown brand going forward. Here are 5 surprises that could happen, pertaining to that angle and others on this week's upcoming episode.
Do you expect WWE SmackDown to be even better than RAW was this week?
#5 Adam Pearce is replaced by another WWE SmackDown star in the upcoming Royal Rumble match
So there is a report that is doing the rounds that states that it will not be WWE SmackDown authority figure Adam Pearce that faces Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble. Instead, it will be Kevin Owens who replaces him at the last minute. Sure, Adam Pearce is an established wrestler but nobody in WWE has seen him wrestle.
Dave Meltzer said the following:
It’s possible that they’ll change it back to Kevin Owens because it seems like a strange match to make; because if they do that it pretty much tells you that they literally have no ideas at all. I’m not ruling out that they’ll go back to Kevin Owens.
Another name that could be considered for this role is Shinsuke Nakamura, especially if you consider the angle at the end of WWE SmackDown last week. Adam Pearce vs. Roman Reigns piques your interest, but it may not exactly be a marquee match, just about yet.
#4 Sonya Deville is appointed the sole WWE SmackDown authority figure, and she turns heel almost at once
What we do know is that Sonya Deville has returned as a WWE SmackDown authority figure, and she will be working with Adam Pearce in the days that follow.
But now that Adam Pearce will be facing Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, it presents a very interesting opportunity on WWE SmackDown. Could Sonya Deville revert back to being a heel once again, and potentially take Adam Pearce's position after a conversation with Vince McMahon?
We've seen what the product is like with a babyface authority figure for a while now, and now with a heel in charge of WWE SmackDown, things could be very different. Plus, it allows Sonya Deville to branch out from her previous gimmick, that of an MMA star, and actually try something drastically different from anything she's attempted in the past.
Maybe this sets the stage with Adam Peace and someone, against Sonya Deville and someone for control of WWE SmackDown at WrestleMania.
#3 Apollo Crews turns heel too after his loss on WWE SmackDown to Big E
Big E and Apollo Crews had a fantastic match on WWE SmackDown last week, where the issue of Apollo Crews having all the tools of the trade except the killer instinct to win, was brought up by the announcers. Apollo Crews went on to show more personality on last week's show than he has showcased in a while, as he got very verbal and confrontational during the match.
Some may even say that it was last week on WWE SmackDown, that Apollo Crews showed the first indication of a heel turn, as he slapped Big E and seemed visibly upset when their match ended in a draw. Of course, Big E would emerge as the clear victor of the contest soon, as the two men slugged it out again.
A heel Apollo Crews could go on to win much gold and glory. Could he show his true colors on WWE SmackDown this week, embracing his heel side by taking Big E down?
#2 A new Riott Squad is formed on WWE SmackDown with Billie Kay
Even though WWE SmackDown star Billie Kay has been separated from Peyton Royce of The IIconics, she has really transformed herself into a breakout comedy character. She has wanted to be a friend of Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan for the longest time now, and this week, she could officially be made a full-time member of The Riott Squad. It must be noted that Sarah Logan is no longer with the company, as she is currently retired.
As odd as this alliance would be, it could end as soon as The Royal Rumble, where Billie Kay goes on to eliminate both Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan.
Obviously, outside of kayfabe, the three women are big fans of each other, as they have known each other from their days in WWE NXT. A WWE SmackDown feud with Kay as the heel could elevate all three women involved. Maybe the winner of the feud then goes on to challenge the WWE SmackDown Women's Champion at some point down the road.
#1 Cesaro steps up to Big E, demanding a title shot on WWE SmackDown, effectively ending his tag team with Shinsuke Nakamura
Before you read about the final surprise on WWE SmackDown that we have envisaged, do take a minute to check out SK Wrestling's special chat with Big E at the top of the page. He speaks about a variety of topics, including a chat he had with The Undertaker, during the course of the conversation.
Now that Shinsuke Nakamura has seemingly embarked on a singles run on WWE SmackDown, it does seem likely that Cesaro will go his own way too.
Whether it is as a babyface or a heel, Cesaro can go for the gold on WWE SmackDown this week, as he takes on Big E for the Intercontinental Championship. In fact, Big E could go on to have competitive matches with several overlooked stars in the roster, from Apollo Crews to Cesaro, every single week.
Even if Cesaro comes up short against Big E on WWE SmackDown, he could remind us just how good he truly is.