As we approach the end of 2015, it is time to look ahead to next year. There is only one pay per view left before the Royal Rumble; which is the official start of the Road To WrestleMania. With the main event for the December pay per view Tables Ladders And Chairs set up, it is time to look at the roster and see who could be WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2016.
We are on the cusp of a renaissance in the WWE with the talent that Triple H has signed to NXT. Some of those wrestlers such as Tyler Breeze, Kevin Owens, and Neville have been promoted to the main roster. In Owens’ case, he has already obtained some gold in the short time he has been called up. There is no doubt that there will be some new main event stars made in 2016, and some of these call-ups could be a part of that scene.
This list will consist of wrestlers that have not been in the main event picture yet, or for a while now. That means the obvious contenders like John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins, and even Roman Reigns are not going to be included as they will always be in the hunt for the foreseeable future.
Instead we’ll focus on the wrestlers who have yet to win a world championship or in the case of some, it’s been a few years since they were on top. Are there some wrestlers on this list that you are rooting for to become WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2016. Here are 10 Wrestlers With An Outside Shot At The WWE Title in 2016.
If anyone deserves a WWE World Heavyweight Championship run, it is definitely Cesaro. He is one of the best in the ring currently, and the crowd has really taken to getting behind him. A lot of the hardcore fans have been constantly upset at the fact that Cesaro is not getting the bigger push, especially with great matches this year against John Cena and Roman Reigns.
Cesaro would be higher on the list, but news has just come out that he will need surgery and will be out 4-6 months; however, this time off could be the spark that Cesaro needs to crash the title picture in 2016. He’ll come back around WrestleMania or shortly after and one would hope that Vince McMahon finally sees that he can be one of the leaders of the company.
The “Bulgarian Brute” Rusev has made a huge impact since debuting in the Royal Rumble nearly two years ago. He would be on the main roster full time starting in April 2014, and just six month after that, he would obtain his first singles title with the United States Championship by defeating Sheamus.
Rusev is known as the “Super Athlete” as he is very agile for his size. The combination of his ring skills with his ever improving ability on the microphone have Rusev poised to be a top heel in the company from years to come. If Lana is paired back up with Rusev when she comes back, this duo could be unstoppable with a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in 2016.
When Ryan Reeves was repackaged as Ryback in 2012, he immediately dominated the main roster. He would quickly earn a couple of different shots at the WWE Championship, including high profile feuds with John Cena and CM Punk, but he came up short.
When he returned in 2015 from an injury, the old “FEED ME MORE” Ryback that would play to the crowd came back with more of a personality as well. Ryback has done really well in 2015 including obtaining his first singles title, winning the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber.
The present day version of Ryback has more character depth and is still impressive in the ring. Unlike The New Day, Ryback uses his power of positivity for good and has all of the tools to have a shot at the title in 2016.
7. Big E
It’s very hard to not argue that The New Day has been the best thing going in the WWE today. They made their debut as a group just a year ago, and they have transformed into one of the most entertaining groups in recent memory. That is why they cut a promo almost every time when they come out to the ring, because they are fresh and hilarious.
They are currently in their second reign as the WWE Tag Team Champions, and as great as they have been, they deserve some singles gold as well. While the secondary titles are fine, The New Day deserves a run at the top with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. This is where Big E qualifies. As a big man, he’s very innovative in the ring, and would make a great champion in 2016.
6. Wade Barrett
With the impact that The Nexus had on Wade Barrett’s main roster debut, he was thrust into the main event picture right away. They tried to re-create the Nexus with The Corre, but it fell flat, and ever since then Barrett has been in the midcard. He’s had plenty of success there as he is a five-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, but he has too much talent to stay down there.
The WWE definitely had something when they decided to go with the Bad News Barrett persona, but Barrett would get injured, and they decided not to continue it when he came back. Barrett makes a good heel, but the king gimmick is not working. He’s great in the ring and on the mic, and a return to Bad News Barrett is his best path to get his first world title.
5. The Miz
It is hard to imagine, but it has already been five years since The Miz cashed in his Money In The Bank contract to win his first and only WWE Championship. Since then, Miz has been used as a great midcard wrestler with multiple Intercontinental and United States Championship runs, but more often than not, he’s not been booked strongly.
In 2015, The Miz has been great out of the ring with some of the best Miz TV segments ever and a great job as a host and judge on Tough Enough. It’s easy to forget that Miz is a good performer in the ring also, and he should definitely be considered for another run at the main event level with a WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign in 2016.
4. Dolph Ziggler
Before Cesaro was the Internet darling who never received the push he should have, there was Dolph Ziggler. He has held the old WWE World Championship twice, but one of those reigns was only a couple of hours. The other reign was two and a half years ago and was a 69-day reign until Alberto Del Rio defeated him.
Many fans of Ziggler feel like he should have a run at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but while Ziggler has been somewhat close, he’s yet to have held the belt. He is one of the best performers in the ring today, but it seems like his current run has lost some steam and he needs to turn heel or find a different angle to gain more momentum in 2016.
3. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is one of the most popular faces in the WWE today and you can tell from the popularity that he receives from the WWE Universe. His unique and crazy style sets him apart from the rest of the roster. Ever since The Shield broke up, Ambrose has definitely come into his own as a singles wrestler.
He came just short of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship last week at Survivor Series as he lost to Roman Reigns in the finals of the tournament. It is clear that he should breakthrough sometime in 2016; it will be just a matter of when. Whether it be as the winner of the Royal Rumble or the Money In The Bank suitcase, his time is coming really soon.
2. Bray Wyatt
The Wyatt Family debut as a cult-like stable in the middle of 2013 immediately raised some hell. As soon as Wyatt would get some momentum, he would be put in a high profile feud and come out as the loser. This has happened countless times from John Cena to The Undertaker, including the loss at Survivor Series (though it was Luke Harper who was pinned).
Wyatt doesn’t need a reboot as his character and persona are great. His promos are unique and chilling as well, but he is just not built up enough to be a monster. One would think Wyatt should turn the corner in 2016, and just like with Ambrose, winning the Royal Rumble or Money In The Bank would jump-start him, but he still needs to be booked better to become a serious threat.
1. Kevin Owens
There is no doubt that Kevin Owens is the WWE breakthrough superstar of 2015. He shocked the world in May when he defeated John Cena clean via pinfall in his debut match. Just four months after that, he defeated Ryback to win his first singles gold in the WWE Intercontinental Championship.
For those who didn’t know who he was previously, they now know that he’s a gifted performer with an amazing and unique move set. He has been involved in some of the best matches of 2015, and was also in the final four for the recent WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament.
Combine his brash yet brilliant style on the microphone, it almost seems to be a sure bet that Kevin Owens will be WWE World Heavyweight Champion in 2016.