The debate as to who Zoro will fight in Wano is a relatively persistent debate that I’ve encountered quite a few times recently. All, if not most, people believe that Zoro will have only one major fight in Wano. I believe otherwise.
Some of the Super Rookies from two years ago need to separate themselves from the other Super Rookies. With Luffy’s crew being the future crew of the Pirate King, I feel like the strongest Straw Hat Pirates (Luffy, Zoro, Sanji, Jinbe) need to be stronger than some Super Rookies. The only exceptions, in my opinion, should be Kid, Law, and maybe Drake and Hawkins.
The reason I feel that way is that if the crew of the future Pirate King doesn’t separate himself from the others, then what would make him the Pirate King other than finding and claiming the One Piece; there would be 12 crews that would rival his crew – 12 (the 4 Emperor crews and 8 Super Rookies [from 2 years ago] crews).
What am I trying to say? Zoro should defeat at least 1 Super Rookie from the Worst Generation to exemplify that the Straw Hats have ascended.
Zoro also needs to defeat the strongest samurai in Wano (whether or not it’s the Shogun) to further his own goal to be the World’s Greatest Swordsman. Wano is a country/island filled with Samurai after all.
There is also the possibility that the Shogun is the strongest “samurai” in Wano (“samurai” in Wano referring to any warrior/fighter), while the strongest swordsman in Wano is not actually the Shogun. In this scenario, Luffy or Law could defeat the shogun of Wano.
Zoro must also defeat the second or third strongest Animal Kingdom / Beast Pirate to illustrate that the Straw Hat crew is almost the crew of the Pirate King. When I say second or third strongest, I include Kaido as the (first) strongest Animal Kingdom / Beast Pirate since it’s his crew.
Some might say that all that needs to happen is for Luffy to defeat an Emperor. While it is true that Luffy needs to be able to defeat an Emperor to prove that he’s that strong, his crew still needs to be able to prove that they are the crew members of the future Pirate King. Luffy can’t be the only person in the Straw Hat Pirates showing any progression. The other Straw Hats have to show some progress, especially Zoro since he wants to be the World’s Greatest Swordsman.
Stepping stones must be in place to accomplish both Luffy’s goal and Zoro’s goal. The Commander Level can be seen as stepping stones for both of their goals.
It can be argued that Luffy has already stepped over the Commander Level, but it can’t be argued that Zoro has surpassed it let alone climbed one step on it. There is always the possibility that Luffy or Law defeats the second strongest Beast / Animal Kingdom Pirate, which is why I said that Zoro fighting the third strongest would also suffice.
Some might argue that the other Super Rookies from the Worst Generation could handle the Calamities. I think that the stronger members of that generation will be focused on Kaido in a collaborative effort while the weaker ones will handle weaker members of Kaido’s Pirates (the exceptions being Blackbeard and Zoro).
In short, I believe that Zoro will have at least 3 major fights in the present story arc, Wano. Zoro will fight at least 1 Worst Generation Super Rookie from two years before the time skip. One will be against the strongest swordsman in Wano whether or not it’s the Shogun. Another fight will be against one of the strongest Animal Kingdom / Beast Pirates, particularly the second or third strongest.
*Theory by zakzoro98