The year is ending sooner than later and WWE is getting ready to gear into WrestleMania season. There have been a few great stories to hit WWE this year. We witnessed Goldberg have a final chapter to his career, Kevin Owens turned on Chris Jericho in an emotional moment, Roman Reigns defeated John Cena in a dream match and many other things have left a lasting memory with the viewer. However, there have been disappointments such as Jinder Mahal’s poor WWE Championship reign, Baron Corbin wasting away the Money in the Bank win and Brock Lesnar part-timing as Universal Champion.
2018 should see major changes hit WWE as the company attempts to change the landscape for the better. We'll take a look at some of the stories featuring speculation, excitement and fear among the rumor mill. These rumors all could come into fruition once the calendar changes to give us a new look WWE. Some of them provide optimism depending on your outlook on certain wrestlers. Others could be a huge downer for those that aren’t content with these changes. Let’s take a look at all of them with fifteen WWE rumors you need to know about heading into next year.
15. Roman Reigns Wins Again
The story of 2018 is set to be the story of just about every other year in recent memory. WWE is planning to build all of their stories around Roman Reigns being the top star. Despite being the unofficial face of WWE, Reigns has not held a World Title since the summer of 2016. WWE has spent this entire past year trying to build towards a main event between Reigns and Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at WrestleMania 34.
This is yet another year that WrestleMania will end with Roman standing tall and having his moment. Lesnar has been running through the likes of Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in hopes of fans disliking Brock more for squashing the wrestlers with momentum. It is all being done so Reigns has a better chance at crowd support when he wins. The rest of 2018 will see Roman as Universal Champion and everyone else on Raw playing a secondary role.
12 Ricochet Signing A Contract
Ricochet has become one of the most popular independent wrestlers over the past few years. The rumors of WWE having interest have been strong as of late due to him ending his time in Lucha Underground. Contract stipulations from Lucha Underground state wrestlers can’t work for another televised promotion until their taped matches have aired for LU. Ricochet’s episodes are set to end in early 2018.
The current speculation is that Ricochet will be signed as soon as he is free to appear on television. It remains to be seen what he will do but the rumors range from having a top role in NXT to joining the Cruiserweight Division right away. The NXT route may be the best path for his career. Regardless, Ricochet is definitely going to end up in WWE in 2018 unless something drastically changes.
13. Women's Tag Team Titles Being Introduced
The WWE Women’s Division is continuing to progress as fans are now starting to expect more for the women. Another cool idea that has been rumored to be in the works is the concept of Women’s Tag Team Champions. Either Raw or SmackDown could introduce the new titles as a way to create a second story that utilizes the idea.
Some tag teams could include the return of the Bellas, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair, Tamina and Lana, Alexa Bliss and Nia Jax, Bayley and Sasha Banks and NXT’s Iconic duo of Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. The titles could create new interest in certain performers struggling to find momentum like Tamina. It opens up more roster spots for women on one of the shows. Multiple women’s wrestlers have gone on the record that they want these titles and they may be getting their wish if rumors are true.
11 The Miz Setting IC Championship Record
The Miz has become one of the most interesting parts of WWE television following the brand split. Miz was a bright spot in making SmackDown a tremendous show during the first few months following the change. A move to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup sees Miz once again getting into form as the top heel on the show during his Intercontinental Championship reign.
Miz is currently on his seventh Intercontinental Championship run and is getting close to two records. The most important one sees him third in total days holding the title only behind Pedro Morales and Don Muraco. Miz is less than 140 days away from first place. Another record has him with seven title reigns only two behind Chris Jericho’s nine. The rumors indicate he'll break both records at some point in 2018.
10 Sami Zayn Finally Pushed
One of the more disappointing things in WWE right now is the company treating Sami Zayn with minimal value. The reputation of Zayn saw him in the conversation for the “best wrestler in the world” during his peak days in NXT. Sami had some classic matches against Kevin Owens on the main roster as well to establish himself.
The sad fact right now is that Zayn has fallen into a lower card position. Everyone from the fans to SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan felt Sami joining SmackDown would benefit his career, but he is actually worse off. Zayn is rumored to be a long term plan as WWE wants him to genuinely be viewed as underdog story. The past year of him getting jobbed out is meant to set up a future push and 2018 is when it is rumored to happen.
9 Kurt Angle Returning to the Ring
The legendary Kurt Angle returning to WWE has been a tremendous addition for 2017. Angle is still beloved and works well as the Raw General Manager doing what is best for the show. A storyline with Jason Jordan being his long lost son is the biggest thing WWE has done with him so far as a character. Angle actually wrestling in WWE has not been discussed or teased yet on television.
However, the rumor has been that WWE is saving Angle’s first WWE match in over a decade for WrestleMania 34. Angle has been slated to have a big match against Triple H as Stephanie McMahon returns to television for the storyline to start. Another idea being speculated is Angle facing a heel Jason Jordan at WrestleMania. Regardless, we are more than likely going to see the Olympic gold medalist wrestle in WWE at least once next year.
8 The Wyatt Family Reuniting
Bray Wyatt may be considered the most disappointing wrestler of 2017 after it started off hot. The beginning of the year saw Wyatt and Randy Orton working well together as a team. Bray won his first WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber in February. A poor feud with Randy Orton saw Wyatt lose the title just one PPV into his reign at WrestleMania 33.
The rest of the year has seen Wyatt fall into a tailspin struggling to get any momentum. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are also doing absolutely nothing on the SmackDown brand. All three wrestlers badly need something to change their misfortune. That could be going back to what worked all along. Rumor has it WWE has been keeping Harper and Rowan off television for a long stint without appearances so they can return with Bray. A reunion of The Wyatt Family is one rumor that we hope is true.
7 Women's Royal Rumble Match
History is likely going to be made at the first WWE PPV of 2018 if rumors are true. Various reports have indicated that WWE will introduce the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble match on the same show as the men’s match. Both brands will have women in the battle royal with the first person to win a match of this sort for the division getting a title shot at WrestleMania 34.
Considering we have already seen Hell in a Cell and Money in the Bank Ladder matches added to the Women’s Division during the movement of progression, this seems like a safe bet. The Royal Rumble is one of the most exciting matches of the year. It only makes sense the women get to have this same stipulation during WrestleMania season.
6 A.J. Styles Feuding With Shinsuke Nakamura
One of the biggest potential dream matches that has yet to take place in WWE would have A.J. Styles go against Shinsuke Nakamura. Both stars worked together in New Japan and had one incredible match together on NJPW’s version of WrestleMania known as WrestleKingdom. Styles has revealed that he has been trying hard to convince Vince McMahon that a bout against Nakamura should come at WrestleMania.
A standoff between Styles and Nakamura at Money in the Bank saw the fans go wild. Rumor has it that this impressed McMahon. The potential of Styles against Nakamura could see them have a big feud during WrestleMania season. Their history gives them an easy way to set up a story. Their current popularity adds another dynamic to create a special environment.
5 Rey Mysterio Returning To WWE
A rare big name on the free agent market that still wrestles outside of WWE is Rey Mysterio. The departure from WWE a few years ago saw Mysterio wanting the time away from the grueling schedule to recover from injuries and spend more time with family. Rey has kept an active schedule wrestling for Lucha Underground during their past tapings and appearing on independent wrestling shows multiple times per month.
WWE and Global Force Wrestling were both rumored to have interest in Mysterio back in August. Jeff Jarrett leaving GFW has apparently ended the talks of giving Rey a deal he is seeking. WWE is trying badly to boost the Cruiserweight Division with the additions of Enzo Amore and Kalisto. Mysterio is the biggest possible name to save the division and he has always said he’d love to end his career in WWE.
4 Dean Ambrose Turning on Seth Rollins
The reunion of The Shield will see Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose team together again to take on common enemies at TLC. While this is a short term plan for Reigns to give him something to do to end the year, Rollins and Ambrose are together as the Raw Tag Team Champions. Rollins and Ambrose started this all with the story of Ambrose finally forgiving Rollins for turning on him all those years ago.
Both men are viewed more as singles stars long term rather than a tag team. If one of the two turns, the speculation is that it will be Ambrose. Rollins is too popular right now and WWE even trusted him to have the cover in WWE 2K18. Ambrose’s character has less momentum and a heel turn would give him a brand new role in WWE.
4. Sasha Banks Finally Turns On Bayley
Another potential story of friends turning on each other could feature Sasha Banks finally turning heel on Bayley. Both girls have been close on television as face characters to imitate their real life friendship off screen. WWE has teased Banks turning on Bayley with signs of jealousy and bitterness at different points. It somehow never happened despite being the closest thing to an obviously success story.
Sasha and Bayley had some of the best women’s matches in WWE history during their NXT storyline. Banks is an incredible heel and this story is what put Bayley over the top as a tremendous face character. Right now, Sasha and Bayley are both struggling. This could turn out to be the perfect time. WWE never felt they had the right timing so it has been held off. We may see it to start 2018.
3 Balor Club Arrives
The talent and popularity of Finn Balor is as obvious as ever. WWE made him a big deal right away in 2016 as the first ever Universal Champion before suffering an injury. Balor is currently struggling to find a role on Raw as he’s been stuck in a pointless feud with Bray Wyatt since the end of spring. WWE has plans for Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship for the foreseeable future leaving Balor in the cold.
Another pair of talented wrestlers looking to find a role is Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Both men were a top tag team in NJPW representing the Bullet Club under Balor’s leadership. WWE has realized the success of factions in recent years with The Shield’s reunion and New Day’s success each providing g positive results. The fact that the company sent a cease and desist preventing the Bullet Club from using the “too sweet” gesture is another sign that Balor Club will be a new faction.
2 John Cena Breaking Title Record Defeating Jinder Mahal
John Cena recently put over Roman Reigns in a moment that has many questioning his future in the company. The schedule of Cena sees him taking movie roles, hosting gigs and other opportunities in the mainstream entertainment world. Cena still loves WWE and works a part-time schedule that has him return for a handful of PPV matches per year.
The rumor of Cena’s WrestleMania match next year could see him face Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship. Vince McMahon reportedly wants to have Mahal as the champion by hook or crook for a big match in early 2018 at Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. Cena would break Ric Flair’s record on his 17th title reign next time he wins the big one. McMahon seems to visualize a great moment of Cena setting history by defeating the hated Mahal.
1 The Undertaker Getting Inducted Into HOF
The biggest rumor about 2017 may actually be regarding the Hall of Fame. We have seen the last of The Undertaker in the squared circle as he put over Roman Reigns in his final match at WrestleMania 34. WWE likes to put their big names into the Hall of Fame quickly after their retirement as seen with Edge and Shawn Michaels.
Batista was the first name rumored to headline the 2017 Hall of Fame, but he'll be busy promoting The Avengers film. The other name in the discussion is apparently Undertaker. Given the most shocking moment in wrestling took place in New Orleans when fans were heartbroken at Undertaker’s WrestleMania ending, it may be the perfect location. Undertaker will likely break character for the first time when getting inducted into the Hall of Fame.