Rope Talk: The Male Superstar Matches We Need in 2021

2021 is going to be a massive year in wrestling. In the WWE, we are just 4 weeks away from the Royal Rumble, signaling the beginning of the “Road to Wrestlemania.” Meanwhile in AEW, Kenny Omega is finally the AEW Champ; who will step up to face the champ? In this article, we will look at matches and feuds that Nick Liggett and Logan Corkins (hosts of Rope Talk) want to see on the men’s side of professional wrestling this year! Next week, we will look at the women’s matches we want to see! 

RAW: Drew McIntyre vs Keith Lee vs Brock Lesnar (Wrestlemania) WWE Championship

A triple threat for the WWE Championship can be one of the best matches if built properly. Drew McIntyre is the current WWE Champion, and, if you recall, he originally won the championship from Brock at Wrestlemania back in April. WWE is building Keith Lee up as a star that could contend for a championship in the very near future. I think the build begins at the Royal Rumble. In the 2020 Royal Rumble, we had a moment when Keith Lee faced Brock Lesnar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4ar0FCYZ4) and actually caused the Beast Incarnate to use 100% effort to eliminate him (not an easy task when Lee matches Brock pound for pound weight-wise). Keith Lee should win the 2021 Royal Rumble with Brock’s return (Lee may even eliminate Brock) and then challenge Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania. Brock can either win the Elimination Chamber (highly unlikely, as the Beast doesn’t often participate in high-risk matches) or wreak havoc on Drew until he agrees to defend his title in a Triple Threat at Wrestlemania. Keith Lee needs to win or at least be put over to build another strong rival for Drew! 

AEW:  Kenny Omega vs  MJF (Double or Nothing) AEW Championship

AEW has built easily the best heel in wrestling in the form of MJF! While I am loving what AEW is doing with Omega and Don Callis, I am convinced that MJF is being built for a future feud with Omega. I fully expect Kenny Omega to be a long-reigning champ; however, at Double or Nothing, they could pair Omega with MJF. Both are currently heel, but a face Omega could be awesome! I would book MJF to beat Omega at Double or Nothing and then build Omega as a face who is finding himself again and unleashing the power of Omega! 

NXT: Adam Cole vs Kyle O’Reilly 

It’s safe to say that the Undisputed Era has been one of the most decorated factions in NXT with a combined 6 title reigns and Adam Cole having the longest NXT Championship reign in history. The four members of Undisputed could each be WWE Champions, and crowds would eat it up. However, in 2020, Kyle O’Reilly earned an opportunity to face Finn Balor, and with it came the Rope Talk Match of the Year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxA4jKqgNoM). O’Reilly showcased a skill set that proved he deserves more single opportunities. I propose that Undisputed turns on itself in 2021 with a big match of O’Reilly vs Cole. The Undisputed Era has accomplished more as a group than most could ever dream of, and, to be frank, there isn’t much else they can do together. It’s time to break up UE and give us the dream match of Adam Cole as a leader begging to keep his team together vs Kyle O’Reilly who sees the potential he has on his own. 

Smackdown: Roman Reigns vs The Rock (Wrestlemania) Universal Championship

The Head of the Table Roman Reigns sent shockwaves through the WWE when he returned at SummerSlam 2020 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7-UjWx5_WE). Reigns had been absent since right before Mania due to health concerns during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Reigns returned sporting a beard, a heel turn that fans had been begging for since the SHIELD split, and a mouthpiece in the form of Paul Heyman. The pairing of Reigns and Heyman has been pure gold on the blue brand of the WWE. Fans have often criticized Reigns’ ability to cut a decent promo, and by pairing him with Paul Heyman (objectively one of the all-time greatest on the mic), the WWE has made a 100% complete WWE Superstar. Since his return, Reigns has been on the warpath fighting with his family (Jey Uso in one of the best feuds of 2020) and is proving to be the tribal chief. The Royal Rumble is the perfect catalyst for HUGE Superstar returns (last year, Edge returned after retiring 6 years before https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrLt2KGRMPs), and 2021 could be the year we hear those all too familiar words: “IF YOU SMELLLLLL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKING,” followed by the return of The Great One. It’s been rumored that the Rock wants a match with his real-life cousin Roman Reigns, and the Great One has been rumored to appear at the Royal Rumble. The Rock could return with the story being focused on “the head of the table.” Rock could easily win the Universal Championship at Armageddon (PPV after the Rumble) and make Reigns fight for his chance to face him at Wrestlemania. The goal in this story would be to finally put Roman over at Wrestlemania (WWE has tried this before and failed) with Roman facing The Undertaker, Triple H, and Brock Lesnar, all of which fell flat with the audience. Reigns is easily the most-watched aspect of Friday Night Smackdown, and if the WWE can put him over on the biggest stage of them all, it would cement Roman’s legacy as one of the greatest WWE superstars of all time! 

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