We are nearing the end of 2017 and WWE has had quite a year thus far. A jobber went from the bottom of the food chain to being WWE Champion for 170 days (Jinder Mahal). The Shield threw aside their differences and banded back together. Kurt Angle returned to the WWE ring for the first time in over a decade. Asuka beat Goldberg’s undefeated streak. Goldberg even returned to the ring and won a championship. SmackDown Live went old-school with an invasion. Many stars have gone (Eva Marie, Emma, Darren Young, and Lio Rush who never even made it to television). Others came and gone (Goldberg and Austin Aries). Some returned (Hardy Boyz, Paige, Shelton Benjamin). WWE even got some big new faces this year (Bobby Roode, Adam Cole, Kairi Sane). With 2018 just two weeks away, now seemed like a good time to start predicting what the new year has in store for WWE. The bolder, the better.
Ronda Rousey becomes an official WWE Superstar
Ronda is already in the process of completing her contract for the company and has already been seen training. We most likely won’t get to see her in action this year, but 2018 is going to be a big year for the women’s division.
Indies Arrive in WWE
Ricochet is rumored to soon be making landfall in WWE. ROH’s War Machine could also soon grace the tag team with their presence. The constant cuts at TNA could lead to more familiar faces. James Storm could reunite with Roode. Rockstar Spud is already signed and ready to be put in front of cameras.
A Female Royal Rumble
For the first time in a long time, WWE has an ample amount of talent in their women’s divisions. In the past, a handful of women have been put into the Royal Rumble match to spice things up, but the Women’s Revolution is still strong and we will see our first all-women Royal Rumble match this year.
John Cena will continue to be a free-agent draw
WWE knows that John Cena’s time as a full-time performer is coming to a close, but he is still a big draw for the company. If he were to be controlled by one brand, then that would limit how much they can drain out of Cena’s brand. As a free-agent, Cena can be put in any match on any show that is in need of him. SuperCena to the rescue throughout WWE.
The Shield Will Break Up Once More
It was a big moment in WWE this year when The Shield banded back together. However, all good things must come to an end. They did just rejoin, but with limited quality rivals and the need of top single stars will end up ripping the group apart again.
The Miz will be elevated back to the main event
The Miz was a major player for Raw as the Intercontinental Champion for most of the year and is clearly one of the best heels in the company. He recently dropped the belt to have time to film his current film role and will most likely take some time off to be with his pregnant wife. Once he eventually returns, the mid-card titles will be beneath him and he will go after the top stars and the top title.
Titus Worldwide Brand will get more spotlight on them
Titus O’Neil is quietly forming quite the little faction for himself. He was in the main event angle for the cruiserweight division with Akira Tozawa and has a powerhouse in Apollo Crews. Most recently, he acquired Dana Brooke to his brand, but most people probably missed it. WWE teases using the Titus brand more, but 2018 will be their year to get more exposure.
Jason Jordan will be repackaged or he will fail
In 2017, we saw that Jason Jordan can compete well in the ring and that WWE wants him to be liked and successful. However, his character and gimmick is holding him back. This will continue to be an issue for him and WWE will find a solution next year to make him more likable. He could end up joining a stable or being one of the rumored to be sent back down to NXT.
WWE will follow the NFL out of the country
We have seen the NFL increase their foreign games, including Mexico, Canada, and London. WWE will start increasing their international presence more next year. This will include more international talent, more house shows overseas and even some PPVs in perhaps London.
John Cena will break Ric Flair’s record
Cena needs just one more title reign to beat Flair’s long-standing record. With Lesnar being a lackluster champion and SmackDown Live in need of someone not named Mahal to be a contender, Cena will at some point find a way into a title match and win.
Matt Hardy will find himself in a title picture as well
We recently witnessed Matt Hardy break into his “Broken/Woken” character from his run at TNA. WWE fought hard to obtain the rights to the character gimmick and they wouldn’t just waste their time and money on something they don’t intend to use for major profits. His character hasn’t fully clicked yet, but with some work and patience, “Woken” Hardy can breakout and be worthy of the Universal Championship. Hopefully it won’t be rushed.
Kane will retire…finally
Kane went from part-time talent to a full-time talent thrown into the main event picture. He has proven he has lost more than just a step or two and is well past his prime. With so much more happening to his real life outside of the ring, Kane could be hanging up the mask and the boots soon.
Raw is a three hour show and the longest of the house shows. With tons of talent at their dispense and not enough airtime to fit all they want into an hour or two, expect more shows to be extended. SmackDown Live will gain an extra hour when they get more talent throughout the year. NXT will even gain some more time as their roster fills with fresh talent. If 205 Live can prove it isn’t dead, more time could be their reward.
In Other Words… More talent leads to more opportunities which leads to more airtime being needed. With WWE expanding, they can’t rely on their current television exposure to continue their thriving business. We as fans will need to start saying goodbye to longtime favorites like Kane and find a new favorite in the likes of Ricochet or EC3. Cena will continue being Cena in 2018. WWE will do whatever it takes to continue expanding their brand across the globe. The females in the industry will have a career year in 2018, including tons of “firsts” as well. This is just a taste of what to expect over the next two weeks. Most of the superstars and events will be predicted on for the new year. Some of you will agree with, some you will think are too far-fetched, and others will just come straight out of left field. Nonetheless, the bolder, the better.