Wrestlemania XL marked the beginning of a new era in WWE. We’ve all heard about how things have changed dramatically behind the scenes. But thanks to a number of title changes at the Showcase of the Immortals, the onscreen product has changed as well. Seth Rollins, IYO SKY, and Roman Reigns were among those dethroned from the top of their respective divisions. However, the 2024 WWE Draft has shaken things up even more. 

This year’s two-night draft took place on April 26th and 29th. General managers Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce then had until May 9th to make any last-minute trades. That the trade deadline has finally passed and the rosters are locked in. The WWE Universe now knows who we’ll be seeing on “Raw” and “Smackdown” for the foreseeable future. Plus, we also know who will be moving up to the main roster from NXT. 

With so many WWE Superstars jumping around, there is a ton of potential for some exciting and never-before-seen matches this year. After perusing the new Monday and Friday night rosters, these are a few feuds that we would love to see. 

AJ Styles vs. Carmelo Hayes (Smackdown)

Carmelo Hayes

Even before he first stepped foot in a WWE ring, Carmelo Hayes proved that he is a generational talent. The Boston native’s in-ring acumen is unmatched and his charisma is unlimited. Whether it was during his memorable rivalries with Cameron Grimes, Bron Breakker, Ilja Dragunov, or Trick Williams, Melo showed the WWE Universe time and again that he is a bona fide star. 

Meanwhile, AJ Styles defined a generation of professional wrestling. After getting a taste of the big time in WCW before they shuttered their doors, “The Phenomenal One” was a pillar of TNA Wrestling. He later became a mainstay of the global wrestling scene. And finally in 2016, he made his way to WWE and quickly cemented his spot at the top of the card. Before we knew it, he became the second wrestler in history to earn a TNA and WWE Triple Crown (after Kurt Angle) and the first to achieve a Grand Slam Championship in both promotions.

If these two were to face off on “Smackdown,” it would be a proving ground of sorts for Hayes. With all his accomplishments throughout his career, Styles is now a measuring stick for pro wrestling. Many young wrestlers dream of being in his position, so for the man once known as “The A-Champion” to topple the former leader of The OC would be a huge victory in his blossoming career. It would also be one hell of a passing of the torch moment if Hayes could pull it off. Hopefully their paths cross before Styles hangs up his boots, which he has teased as a possibility much sooner rather than later.  

Pete Dunne vs. Sami Zayn (RAW)

Sami Zayn

It’s often said that styles make matches. When a competitor known for their high-flying faces off with a more ground-based opponent, you’ll typically see a unique back-and-forth confrontation. This works especially well when the two wrestlers are among the best in the world. So just think about how great it would be to see Pete Duane and Sami Zayn go at it.

Though Dunne is currently teaming with Tyler Bate as the New Catch Republic, whenever he does branch off on his own, Zayn would be an excellent opponent. While the reigning Intercontinental Champion has an arsenal of strikes and various aerial maneuvers, “The Bruiserweight” is well-versed in the old British style with a modern twist. And yes, that was a pun due to his affinity for joint manipulation. 

The former Butch has been training since he was 12-years-old. In his 30 years on this planet, he has lived and breathed the craft of professional wrestling. But since his time with the Brawling Brutes, he’s developed the sports entertainment aspect of the business as well. While he’s always been impressive in the ring, Dunne is a much more well-rounded performer these days. With this evolution of the one-time WWE United Kingdom Champion, he can certainly hang with a multi-faceted veteran such as Zayn. But no matter what they put together, there’s a song possibility that we could see banger after banger after banger from them on “Raw.”

DIY vs. A-Town Down Under (Smackdown)

Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa, collectively known as DIY

Wrestling fans love a callback. But when a callback is developed into a full-blown feud, things can get really interesting. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Adam Copeland and Christian Cage, and Sting and Ric Flair are a few partnerships/rivalries that have been revisited over the years. And now that DIY is on Smackdown, WWE has the opportunity to bring Johnny Gargano and Austin Theory together again. 

When Johnny Wrestling finally arrived on “Raw,” he eventually reconnected with his former NXT tag team partner Tommaso Ciampa. As much as fans got behind the tandem, the duo couldn’t capture tag team gold on the red brand. Now that they’re on “Smackdown,” they will likely pursue Grayson Waller and Austin Theory’s WWE Tag Team Championships. But when that match-up finally occurs, will the A-Town half of A-Town Down Under remember the kinship he shared with Gargano as part of The Way?

Knowing Theory, he’ll probably be as disrespectful as possible towards his former father figure. To elevate things to the next level, Candice LeRae and Indi Hartwell could get involved as well since they also relocated to Friday nights. And with any luck, this civil war between The Way could finally lead to Gargano and Ciampi’s first taste of gold on the main roster.  

Damage CTRL vs. Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn (RAW)

Asuka, Dakota Kai, and Kairi Sane of Damage CTRL

IYO SKY, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Dakota Kai have had a rough couple of months. After the “Genius of the Sky” lost her WWE Women’s Championship to Bayley at Wrestlemania XL, the Kabuki Warriors lost their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships to Bianca Belair and Jade Cargill at Backlash in France. But now that the group has been drafted to “Raw,” maybe their luck could change for the better. 

Although, what if it didn’t?

After the draft, “Raw” features standouts like Lyra Valkyria, Shayna Baszler, and Becky Lynch. But following them from “Smackdown” is the enigmatic duo of Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn. Known as the Unholy Union, the former foes eventually joined forces to hold the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships… Until they were unified with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships by Baszler and Ronda Rousey. After that, they were relegated to dark matches and live events for the remainder of 2023.

However, they did encounter Damage CTRL during the Holiday Havoc Match during the holiday episode of “Smackdown” that year. While there was no follow-up to that interaction at the time, it’s something that can be revisited on Mondays now. And with their dark arts, Dawn and Fyre could find a supernatural way to fight back against the once-dominant stable.  

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Logan Paul (Smackdown)

Shinsuke Nakamura

Let’s be honest: Logan Paul is incredibly annoying. He’s exactly the type of guy that you want to see get punched in the face. Or better yet, what if he takes a knee to the face? Luckily, the best person for the job was just drafted to “Smackdown:” Shinsuke Nakamura.

Nakamura had some great feuds with Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes on “Raw.” Although, the peak of his 2023 was a special attraction match in Pro Wrestling Noah against The Great Muta. The “King of Strong Style” couldn’t even get a spot in the King of the Ring tournament this year. But with a desperate need for a big win, Nakamura could find that now that he’s back on the blue brand. 

To give credit where credit is due, Paul is a great heel. He has also taken to professional wrestling like a fish to water. Of the celebrity competitors from the past few years, he’s undoubtedly one of the best. But his time with the United States Championship has surely run its course. And if that isn’t evident by now, put him in the ring with Nakamura. The prolific striker will test the mettle of “The Maverick.” The best-case scenario is that Nakamura wins, then defend it in slobberknockers against Andrade, Kevin Owens, Dragon Lee, LA Knight, and Santos Escobar. The worst-case scenario would still see Paul get knocked around. Actually, this is a win-win scenario, so let’s hope that this feud comes to fruition sooner rather than later.  

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