Predicting the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament

Jan 29, 2022; St. Louis, MO, USA; AJ Styles during the Royal Rumble The Dome at America's Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 29, 2022; St. Louis, MO, USA; AJ Styles during the Royal Rumble The Dome at America's Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

WWE set up a tournament format to crown the first man to hold the World Heavyweight Championship. 

WWE announced its World Heavyweight Championship to both interest and apathy. It was the decision made to rectify the Roman Reigns problem, and potentially the path to finally elevate a new singles star in the men’s division. On Friday, Triple H laid out the ground rules for the tournament that will crown the first champion at Night of Champions on May 27.

The tournament will feature four triple-threat matches, two on SmackDown and two on Monday Night Raw. Yes, this is already cross-branded and flies in the face of the brand split after the draft, but that’s what WWE does. On the same night as the two triple threats, the two winners will face each other later that evening. The two winners will then face each other at Night of Champions for the new title. Looking at the current makeup of the WWE roster, here are the 12 men that should take part and the final outcomes.

Six participants from Monday Night Raw:

  • Bronson Reed
  • Chad Gable
  • Cody Rhodes
  • Damian Priest
  • Finn Balor
  • Seth Rollins

Prediction: Rollins over Rhodes

Six participants from SmackDown:

  • AJ Styles
  • Bobby Lashley
  • Sheamus
  • LA Knight
  • Montez Ford
  • Rey Mysterio

Prediction: Styles over Knight

Monday Night Raw certainly features the stronger men’s division, with multiple individuals who could be seen as future champions. Of the six included on this potential list, Rhodes and Rollins are the clear top picks to come out of their respective triple threats with the victories in place. Now, Rollins versus Rhodes has the potential to be a main event-level match on any PPV, and booking that on a weekly episode of Raw would garner major attention. But it’s hard to see WWE giving that match away without proper promotion, especially with a major PPV on the horizon.

SmackDown is in a different situation as that roster doesn’t boast enough names who could be seen as champions. AJ Styles and Bobby Lashley jump off the page, with Sheamus coming in third, but the latter two have been tied up in the mid-card scene for months.

This sets up AJ Styles versus Seth Rollins at Night of Champions to crown the first champion. Rollins remains one of the top performers on the WWE roster, despite his horrendous booking. Styles is returning from injury and that boosts his already over status with the fans. Everyone would expect this to be an exceptional match, as these are two of the best in the business today. But the outcome should be Rollins picking up the win and bringing the championship back to Monday Night Raw.

Prediction: Seth Rollins becomes the first WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Next. Zelina Vega will get her chance to shine at WWE Backlash. dark