While RAW was nothing more than a beach ball bonanza, the blue brand was thankfully injected with a bit of Roode. The former NXT champion would make his glorious debut on the main roster by defeating Aiden English. His inclusion immediately adds a major full-time player that Smackdown is in need of. The debut felt like a much-needed shot of adrenaline to a Barclays Center that was either suffering from wrestling fatigue and or an anti climatic RAW. All that being said though, where does Bobby Roode go from here? Here is a list of a few opponents that could be the superstars to get a crack at Roode.
Dolph Ziggler: What does WWE do when an accomplished wrestler needs a capable first opponent to help get his feet wet, put him with Ziggler. This was the case with Shinsuke Nakamura and it could very well be the case for Roode. Ziggler is currently playing his under appreciated heel persona while Roode looked a lot like a face during his debut.
Not shocking at all that Ziggler wasn’t used in a wrestling capacity on Smackdown but his backstage promo was saturated with frustration over the sports entertainment aspect in the WWE. The bright lighted entrance and robe wearing Roode could be playing right into that promo. As always, this is a great first feud for Roode to sink his teeth into from a wrestling standpoint. As for Ziggler, he and his fans will continue to sit in the corner and sulk.
Sami Zayn: Most people thought that Zayn moving to Smackdown would be a good thing. While Ziggler is the heel collecting dust, Zayn is firmly settled in as the face who is twiddling his thumbs by the catering table. While this move would require Roode to play the role of heel, it would serve as a program with some fantastic matches. Zayn is a lot like Ziggler in the sense that there aren’t many wrestlers that sell better than him. He could put on a great match while making Roode looking like an absolute force. This is probably the least likely of feuds to happen but perhaps this is more wishful thinking on my part that WWE would find something to do with Zayn.
Kevin Owens: The cranky Canadian and Shane McMahon appear to be on a collision course. It is just a matter of time before they square off. If WWE is looking to hold off on that match till one of the bigger PPV shows, Roode could fued with Owens in the meantime. With Roode playing the face role, he could easily step into this situation. As Owens is trying to bully McMahon, Roode can stand in Owens way. This would undoubtedly serve as a big fight feel without the need of a title and would easily be one of the most compelling matches on a Smackdown card.
The inclusion of superstar like this immediately brings a name like AJ Styles to mind. That will forever be the case as Styles represents the best of the best that WWE has to offer. While that match would have the WWE universe losing their collective minds, McMahon will take his time on that.
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Regardless of who Roode starts off against, his rise to the title is likely to be immediate. Shinsuke Nakamura looks to be headed to another pay-per-view battle with Jinder Mahal. Once that runs its course though, Roode should be injected into the title program. I completely understand that WWE is a business and they were looking to give the India market a boost. That is all well and good but the WWE championship is suffering for it. Make Roode the champion sooner rather than later would seem like a whirlwind compared to how it’s going now. Make no mistake, Roode is ready-made for the main event.