On April 7th in East Rutherford, New Jersey, WrestleMania 35 will take place. Months of build up and storylines will finally come to a spectacular conclusion! But wait… what happens AFTER WrestleMania? Unlike other forms of both sports and entertainment, there is no off-season, there is no season finale, and there is no long term break. In fact, there isn’t even a day for the Superstars to rest, as Raw will continue the following Monday night.
Now most fans will agree that the months before WrestleMania are typically more exciting than the following months (the ratings prove this to be true). But alas, the show must go on, and for some men and women in WWE this is a blessing. It allows new rivalries to form, and possibly some who’ve been left in the dark can finally cease an opportunity to shine. But which up-and-coming superstars will rise to the challenge? Which established veterans will have the chance to reclaim a top spot? Here are 6 Superstars WWE will push after WrestleMania.
#1 Aleister Black
This recent NXT call-up will not be “fading to black” anytime soon. The Dutch Destroyer has looked great in every single showing he has been in. Starting with his surprise Royal Rumble entrance, to being in a tag team with Ricochet on both Raw & SmackDown LIVE ever since. Aleister Black has been placed in a pretty successful tag team with Ricochet, but I do not believe this will last after WrestleMania. Both members of the odd couple have too much upside in singles divisions to continue as a team.
A Superstar Shake-up will take place on April 16th and 17th and that will be the perfect time to separate Black and Ricochet. If both men are forced to compete on separate brands then the team will split without anyone turning heel on the other. No matter if Aleister lands on the red or blue brand, we should expect success. I believe an Intercontinental or U.S. championship is in his near future or maybe even a top card push. Great in ring work, an awesome entrance and good mic skills? The proof is in the pudding with this future champion.
#2 Alexa Bliss
Concussions have been the worst enemy of this former 5-time red and blue woman’s division champion. Recent months have not been kind to Alexa Bliss, between dealing with injury and fighting for TV time, Alexa Bliss needs a break to propel her back to the top. That break will come in the form of Ronda Rousey, who is taking some rumored time off after WrestleMania.
The giant glaring hole that Ronda Rousey will leave on Raw will need to be filled and Alexa Bliss should be poised to jump on the opportunity to re-enter the Raw Women’s Championship scene. It’s understandable to think that Alexa Bliss’ best days might be gone with her recent booking, however that all changed when she was announced as the host of WrestleMania. WWE has made sure that Little Miss Bliss and the spotlight are never too far apart. That should be even more evident after WrestleMania when she returns to being one of the top female superstars.
Being the heart of 205 live is like being the most popular nerd. Doesn’t really mean much does it? What does mean a lot however is competing in WWE championship matches and being one of the top guys on SmackDown LIVE. The first half of Ali’s career was very forgettable, and if you would of told him back then of the success he would experience now? He would probably think you were out of you’re damn mind (as would Kofi Kingston).
The land of opportunity has been very kind to Mustafa Ali in the last few months and that should continue past April. Whether he competes in the mid-card or the main-card, Ali is here to stay. The odds of Ali staying on SmackDown LIVE after the Superstar Shake-up are pretty high, but if he lands on Monday nights, fresh competition and the chance to have matches with the likes of Finn Bálor, Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre will be exactly what he needs to continue being a rising star.
Few men in the professional wrestling world are as exciting to watch as Ricochet. The two time Battle of Los Angeles winner has been extremely successful in the indie scene, capturing the PWG World Championship in 2017. When he came to WWE in January of last year, few people thought he would of been called up so soon. But Ricochet is just that good. The tandem of Aleister Black and Ricochet have been beating nearly every team they have been put up against, but as was mentioned earlier, they won’t remain a team for long.
WWE has several teams they could utilize instead, and by doing this they will allow both men to spread their wings as single competitors. It will be a little bit more difficult for Ricochet to achieve main event success compared to Aleister Black due to his skill set. WWE has a track record of not letting many “high flyers” climb the ladder very fast, but Ricochet might be the exception. Expect a Money in the Bank appearance and possible win, in the months after WrestleMania.
#5 Lacey Evans
Now if you flipped WWE on every single week and didn’t own a computer, and just relied on what you saw on Raw and SmackDown LIVE, you would probably think I’m out of my mind for picking her. Lacey Evans has been more an unwanted runway model, than an actual wrestling Superstar. After being announced as one of the NXT call-ups last month, Lacey Evans has barely stepped into a ring. Now IF you do actually own a computer or phone that doesn’t flip open, you know that WWE has a big push in mind for Lacey Evans.
She was heavily rumored to face Asuka at the show of shows, but what would seem as a change of plans, a fatal-four way match was announced to determine who would challenge Asuka for the SmackDown LIVE Women’s Championship and Lacey Evans wasn’t selected. Even though she won’t be featured in a marquee match-up at WrestleMania, it would be foolish to believe that WWE has completely abandoned their plans to push her to the front of the Women’s Division. Once the dust settles from WrestleMania and the Superstar Shake-up, expect Lacey Evans to be a name you hear regularly on WWE programing.
#6 Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens made his return to SmackDown LIVE 3 weeks ago but unfortunately for him, his name isn’t Kofi Kingston, so it kind of flew under the radar. Once the summer months are upon us, that should all change. It’s no secret that Vince McMahon has always been a fan of Kevin Owens. If you ever think, really? No way the upper management of WWE favors Kevin Owens? Just compare the careers and accomplishments of him and his best friend/mortal enemy Sami Zayn (and remember he’s been on the main roster longer).
From beating John Cena in his debut match, to a Universal Title match against Goldberg, to even headbutting the Chairman of the Board, Kevin Owens is clearly someone Vince McMahon wants in the spotlight. As one of only 5 men to EVER hold the Universal Championship, it would be a safe bet to say that Kevin Owens will return to his winning ways. Eventually.