The entertainment world has been hit hard by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and there is probably no better reflection of that than WWE’s lineup. Having to make many changes to the standard formula, such as removing a ton of notable names from the roster, moving to WWE Performance Center, losing crowds, and pre-recording their Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown episodes, WWE had a rough go. There have been some noticeable upheavals in the on-the-fly stories, and while many of them are good, as many less-seen talent shine, the loss of viewers only cement this lack of vigor.
It’s an apathy that can’t be entirely blamed on WWE (it’s one of the major entertainment giants that always deliver new content, for better or for worse), but which will be easily lifted when the COVID-19 pandemic will pass and the restrictions will be lifted. When the crowds return and notable names reappear on WWE TV, the energy will return as a whole. However, it will take a little boost in the first weeks.
So how do you do this? What matches do you schedule to make the most of the first post-pandemic live shows? Read on for some match ideas that would kick off WWE’s jump after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, and let us know what you’d like to see in the comments!
Baron Corbin vs. Legend
This pick is admittedly a throwaway as it’s the kind of easy, instant crowd-pleaser play that WWE is known for, but it’ll be just what it takes for the first live public show. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, The Undertaker or even Hulk Hogan walk in and quickly pick up or cut a promo on King Baron Corbin after spending a few minutes saying how much he liked best without the crowd distracting. him or something like that. You can even end it by breaking the crown (which would be fun from Ric Flair and Randy Orton)! It’s the kind of icebreaker that a hyper-excited crowd would be ultra receptive to.
In a perfect world, the COVID-19 pandemic will be largely settled by January 2021 and that would be right in time for the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The last thing you can imagine right now is a ring filled with so many artists at once. Getting a good pay-per-view (especially if this is the first live one), with the biggest type of match literally full of cameos, callbacks, returns and more would be a great way to kick off WWE. post-pandemic. .
Roman Reigns vs. The Fiend
As much as many WWE fans want to go after Roman Reigns, Friday Night SmackDown saw a noticeable drop in star power early in the pandemic restrictions. Once Roman Reigns retired for health reasons and all mention of him was removed from WWE lineup and promotions, the Universal Championship title didn’t really pick up speed until his current race with Braun Strowman. He probably would have won it against Goldberg, so it’s technically his title to lose anyway. If we somehow get a title match in which Reigns is the only one who can defeat the Fiend, it would lead to a fun post-COVID race that doesn’t rely on cinematic matches.
Roman Reigns vs. Keith Lee
You may have noticed how physically taller Roman Reigns became during his 40s. Now imagine universal champion Roman Reigns taking on the challenge of NXT champion Keith Lee. Reigns recently mentioned how he would like to work one-on-one with Lee in the ring, and that would capitalize on Lee’s current trajectory. The greatest thing about this potential match is also that you wouldn’t need both of them to have a title for it to still feel like a big deal. This could be one of the fun opening matches that WWE fans could look forward to this week and still hit hard.
Edge vs. Randy Orton
Unfortunately for these two, however good their fight against Backlash was, there was no real chance that it would be the “greatest game of all time” without the public presence. If the COVID-19 pandemic persists until Edge is at a point where he can safely return to the ring after his injury, it would be great for Edge to get his due with a crowd as well. While he was able to enjoy the crowds upon his return, his solo matches have yet to earn that final cachet of adoration. A final match between the two would be a great major event to usher in the post-pandemic era.