With 2018 in the rear-view mirror and 2019 set to be one of the potentially bigger years for WWE, what can fans expect? Will Braun Strowman finally get his run with a main WWE Championship? Will Hulk Hogan return on a more regular basis? Will the changes the McMahon's are promising actually lead to anything?
Who will be the star who takes center stage as the company looks for those one or two main talents to really shine as the opportunity presents itself? There's an argument Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey or Strowman may be that talent, but NXT has some great options to offer.
Here are some of our bold predictions to watch for in WWE and with some of the company's biggest superstars.
NXT Cream Rises To The Top
Many of us may assume that one of WWE's current main roster stars might be the person to watch when it comes to who might be the next big star in 2019. If so, perhaps we're overlooking someone from NXT, where there is certainly a boatload of talent. That brand proves over and over they can steal the show from WWE at almost any time. Why should we assume one of that brand's stars won't be the biggest star in WWE by the time 2019 comes to an end?
Ricochet, Adam Cole, Velveteen Dream, and others all have an argument they can make for being the talent to watch as the year moves along. If we're making a bold prediction today, expect that star to be Ricochet who can fit in almost anywhere on the roster and could have classic matches with a number of stars on the current roster.
Related: 10 Unforgettable WWE Matches Of 2018
And, The WWE Champion Is...
2019 will finally be the year for Braun Strowman. He's set to face Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble in January and this will be the third matchup between the two, Strowman having lost the two previous contests. Another loss for Strowman could be detrimental to his character and WWE won't let that happen.
Expect 2019 to be the year of the Monster Among Men and for WWE to try and build up a heel opponent who has the wherewithal to take that title from him. Strowman will be a far more popular champion than Lesnar currently is and his win will finally unseed Lesnar and potentially send him back to the UFC for a while.
The Unexpected Star To Get a Push
Every year, someone completely unexpected becomes the darling of WWE. In 2018, that distinction might have gone to Becky Lynch who became arguably the most popular star, male or female, in WWE. In 2019, who will it be?
WWE began the year by pushing Apollo Crews and there are rumors some big things have been promised to talents like Heath Slater. But, if we're a betting man, expect either Drew McIntyre or Mustafa Ali.
WWE Network Success
One of the promising notes for WWE in 2018, when perhaps other parts of the year were not as successful, was the growth of original programming on WWE Network. New documentaries, new original shows and exclusive pay-per-views that were introduced on the network were a big part of the year and with the growth of indy wrestling, including the new All Elite Wrestling, WWE may choose to try and expand their programming on the network in that area in a major way.
Will the WWE Network add a promotion like Ring of Honor in an attempt to combat Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks new promotion? Don't rule it out.