Welcome to another edition of “Five Count,” a semi-regular column that looks at five related topics in the world of wrestling. For this edition, I’ll look at five potential feuds for the WWE. Note: This list is in no particular order, and it also reflects Randy Orton’s broken collarbone (and absence) and the Undertaker’s “banishment” as well.
1. Edge (with La Familia) vs. CM Punk. These two had a fantastic match on RAW in March, where Edge won due to the Edgeheads’ interference. They have similar size and style, and could feud for either Edge’s World Heavyweight Championship and/or Punk’s Money in the Bank. Punk could cash in his opportunity against Edge for the title, or Edge (Mr. Money in the Bank himself) could go after the briefcase in order to increase his own prestige. Edge works well with anybody, and Punk is a pretty good worker in his own right, and a high-profile feud (as well as the move to Smackdown!) is just what Punk needs at this point, as he has clearly outgrown ECW.
2. Chris Jericho vs. Triple H. I know they were in a program before, culminating in a Hell in a Cell match at Judgment Day 2002. They also main-evented Wrestlemania X8. When you’ve been around for as long as both Triple H and Jericho have, however, it isn’t uncommon to have feuded before. Jericho has been somewhat misused since his return, as he fought Randy Orton at Armageddon, only to move on to JBL (which was mercifully dropped after the Royal Rumble in January) and others. He’s the Intercontinental Champ, which used to be the logical stepping-stone before the WWE Championship. He’s carried the strap before, so he knows what’s expected of a brand champion. The last time they feuded was after Triple H’s first quad injury, and Jericho was the heel. This time, Triple H could go heel here and stay heel for when he eventually fights John Cena.
(A quick aside: I would love for Cena to turn heel, as it would give his character a much-needed boost. He could even break out the “Nothing I do is good enough for you fans” theme that Hulk Hogan used when he joined the Outsiders in 1996. I don’t think the WWE is going to turn Cena heel anytime soon, as he’s way too profitable as a face. Kids aren’t going to beg mom and dad for $150 spinner belts if John Cena is the bad guy…)
3. Chris Jericho vs. Jeff Hardy. It seemed like this was where Jericho was headed until Hardy’s drug suspension put him out of action for 60 days in mid-March. They had a few matches on Raw and they were excellent. I was at the Raw where Hardy dropped the Intercontinental title to Hardy and the crowd was very hot. Both guys could stay as tweeners, or Hardy could turn heel, setting Jericho up for a face turn and his potential feud with Triple H (see #2). They’re both light, agile wrestlers who rely on quickness and counters, and a finale involving a ladder match of some sort would be required viewing.
4. John Morrison vs. Matt Hardy. Morrison is languishing away in the tag team division right now. A split with the Miz would do both men good, as each is pretty good on his own, but is wasted when paired up. Morrison has already been ECW Champion, and, much like CP Punk, has outgrown that brand. A United States championship run would elevate him as well as be the launching point for new Smackdown! feuds. Morrison is a bump machine, and Hardy has been known to take a hit as well. They are both technically sound wrestlers who rely on quickness and countermoves, much like a potential Jeff Hardy-Y2J match-up. After this is over, Morrison could fight MVP (in a battle of guys with the same finisher, incidentally), Carlito (who’s not doing a whole lot on Raw right now) or perhaps even the Miz.
5. Mr. Kennedy vs. John Cena. Not only would this give someone new for Cena to fight but taking on someone of Cena’s stature would give Kennedy a huge lift. Ideally, Cena would turn heel and you’d keep Kennedy as the tweener he is now. However, Kennedy is at his very best when he’s a cocky heel. This could allow the WWE to keep Cena as a face, which seems to be their intentions. The two did face before, although it was the match where Cena blew out his pectoral tendon, so nothing came of it. They also have compatible styles and are both great on the mic. It is far better than whatever Kennedy is doing is now and the Cena-JBL matches we’ve been exposed to.