The rise of the Women’s Division in WWE has put it on an equal footing with the Men’s Division, if not above it. Recent months have seen Becky Lynch become the hottest performer in WWE following the attack on the Raw Women’s Division. Ronda Rousey is currently one of the top draws for the company, as she hasn't just become a special attraction, but also a mainstay in the Women's Evolution. Charlotte Flair found momentum after destroying Rousey at Survivor Series to start that chapter of her newest rivalry. The success of the Evolution PPV showed the interest in the Women’s Division, while allowing legends Trish Stratus and Lita to make a well-received, albeit one-off comeback.
Despite not having as much momentum as the ladies of WWE, the Men’s Division is also heating up with possibilities of what is to come. Daniel Bryan’s recent WWE Championship win and heel turn added a new dynamic to SmackDown. Raw is seeing wrestlers like Drew McIntyre, Braun Strowman, and Seth Rollins stepping up as potential threats to end Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship reign. We will look up and down the roster of both sides when it comes to interesting rumors floating around about the future. Find out just what may be going down for your favorite superstars on the WWE roster. These are ten backstage reports currently circulating about the Women’s Division and ten reports about the men’s division in WWE.
20 Women’s division: Sasha and Bayley vs. Lita and Trish
A recent promo from Sasha Banks and Bayley added more fuel to the rumor of a dream match coming at WrestleMania 35. It has been speculated that WWE is saving the Women’s Tag Team Championship for a pair of wrestlers to finally win the gold at WrestleMania on the biggest show.
Banks and Bayley eluded that their dream match would be facing Trish Stratus and Lita at WrestleMania. This is the wild report that is leading to many people hoping the tag titles get to debut in such a meaningful manner. Two great wrestlers of the current era vs. two icons for titles on the biggest show of the year is the right way to add credibility to titles right away.
19 Men’s division: Heat on Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman has become among Vince McMahon’s favorites for quite some time now. McMahon is Strowman’s biggest supporter, but that may slowly be ending. Reports indicated that Strowman has heat backstage for various backstage errors when it comes to etiquette in the wrestling industry.
Strowman’s issues include things like coming to work late and leaving shows early. It is reportedly a reason WWE has been hesitant to give him the big Universal Championship win to become the face of the company. Strowman may have missed his chance due to bad decisions outside of the ring. Time will tell if he rebounds from this.
18 Women’s division: Jax injuring Lynch helped her push
Many fans expected WWE to punish Nia Jax for injuring Becky Lynch with a reckless punch to the face that gave her a concussion. Jax has been involved in quite a few other similarly high-profile cases of recklessness. WWE instead decided to double down on their support of Nia.
Jax's push has intensified, as she was the sole survivor of the Raw women’s team winning the Survivor Series team match. Jax is also now the top contender for Ronda Rousey's Raw Women's title. There are rumors that she may be involved with a big match against Lynch at WrestleMania. Regardless, Nia is clearly just benefiting from the controversial moment, as reports suggest.
17 Men’s division: Randy Orton to feud with AJ Styles
WWE has done a solid job keeping AJ Styles and Randy Orton away from each other despite being two of the top stars on Smackdown brand from the start of the brand split until now. Orton has become a top heel for the brand once again going after fan favorites like Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio.
Styles is the only other major face that Orton has yet to make his enemy. The recent WWE Championship reign of Styles ending means he’ll have to move on to a new story for WrestleMania assuming he loses his title rematch to Daniel Bryan. Orton and Styles is rumored to be the next angle for both at the biggest show of the year.
16 Women’s division: Natalya turning on Ronda Rousey
WWE has been rumored to have an idea for Natalya turning heel on Ronda Rousey for quite some time now. Rousey and Natalya were randomly established as best friends on screen before Summerslam this past year. The timing never worked out due to the untimely death of Nattie's father, Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart, and the two remain aligned today.
There are reports about the turn still being planned to take place in the future. It will either come before WrestleMania as Rousey defeats Natalya in a big match at Royal Rumble or it will be one of the first feuds for Rousey after WrestleMania. Either way, expect Natalya to turn on Rousey and the two to have a major match at some point in 2019.
15 Men’s division: Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder reuniting
An episode of Main Event featured the duo of Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder teaming together for the first time in many years. Both guys found success together as the lackeys for Edge and won tag team gold early in their careers. Things never worked out for either following their split.
Hawkins and Ryder both are on the Raw roster doing nothing of note. The experimenting of them teaming together on the lowest show seems like a test to see if they still have chemistry. Given they are best friends in real life, the chances of them teaming together seems likely as long as WWE approves it. Raw’s lack of depth in the tag division also would benefit from having the former "Edgeheads" together again.
14 Women’s division: Carmella and R-Truth Win M.M.C.
This year's Mixed Match Challenge has become a bust once again for WWE. This is the second season where injuries and other variables have forced multiple teams to change throughout the competition. R-Truth and Carmella are one team that has stayed together and developed enough chemistry to become an act together on SmackDown.
The rumored plan for the end of the Mixed Match Challenge is for R-Truth and Carmella to upset their way into winning it all. A comedic tag team that fans love winning is a fun idea. However, the prize of the 30th spot in each Royal Rumble match gives extra incentive for them winning. There is already speculation R-Truth will attempt to come out for the women’s match before Carmella helps him realize it’s her spot and he’s in the men’s match.
13 Men’s division: Bobby Lashley taking time off
The Raw roster has been hit with bad news all year long. Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and a few other names have been taken off the schedule for various reasons. Another one potentially joining them soon is Bobby Lashley.
A heel turn uniting him with manager Lio Rush helped Lashley find great success as a hated villain. The separated shoulder for Lashley is limiting him and he’ll have to take some time off sooner than later. Lashley will likely miss a couple of months at some point when WWE can handle another top-level name sitting out.
12 Women’s division: Nikki Cross called up to SmackDown
Some fans thought Nikki Cross was joining SmackDown after she appeared during an episode in the United Kingdom opposing Becky Lynch. Following the respectable loss, Cross returned to NXT and has not been mentioned on SmackDown since then.
Cross' role in NXT feels like she has done more than enough to get called up and is just treading water there. Reports indicate the Lynch match was a test to see how fans would react to Cross before an eventual call-up in 2009. Nikki would reunite with SaniTY again to give them all the excitement and momentum needed to succeed.
11 Men’s division: Lars Sullivan vs. Braun Strowman
One confirmed NXT call-up coming at some point soon will be Lars Sullivan joining the main roster. Both Raw and SmackDown featured vignettes teasing Sullivan's debut on one of the main shows. Sullivan's size makes him the kind of prospect Vince McMahon would love.
Reports are already indicating Lars will have a major role when on the roster. The theory is that Sullivan will become the instant rival for Braun Strowman. Both men are among the strongest big men in WWE today. The visual of them squaring off in the ring is already enough to be realized as a McMahon dream match that will happen sooner than later.
10 Women’s division: Huge push for Mandy Rose in 2019
The potential of Mandy Rose has made her a huge prospect for WWE since joining the company. Rose has an athletic background that allowed her to learn the basics of wrestling at the Performance Center easily. Her charisma was shown in the reality show Tough Enough and put her on WWE’s radar as a future star.
Rose has done nothing of note as a singles star since debuting on the main roster over a year ago. WWE is slowly trying to wait until the right time to push her. 2019 seems like the year Mandy will get the chance. Small moments like eliminating her best friend Sonya Deville from a battle royal and getting promo time to represent the heels on SmackDown is showing WWE’s confidence in Rose right before her big push.
9 Men’s division: Kevin Owens returning as face
Raw has missed Kevin Owens since he was taken off television to get surgery for various knee problems. Owens received a huge ovation from the crowd in his final night before Lashley turned heel and injured him to write him off Raw.
Fans have always loved Owens going back to his NXT days, despite his great heel antics. WWE is rumored to be planning to bring Owens back as a face. The Raw side of the roster desperately lacks male faces as Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, and Braun Strowman are the only noteworthy ones. Owens will have a huge chance to get over and become a main event face if reports are true of his eventual comeback.
8 Women’s division: Four Horsewomen match
One of the biggest matches WWE has teased would feature eight different women all under contract. Ronda Rousey has already become a huge draw for the company while the other members of her MMA Four Horsewomen group, Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke, and Marina Shafir, all are in NXT.
The WWE version of the Four Horsewomen features Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley. This match was teased at the 2017 Mae Young Classic, but WWE is reportedly going for a slow burn. Reports indicate the hopes are that the ladies in NXT will be good enough for such a major match come Survivor Series 2019 in Chicago.
7 Men’s division: Shane McMahon vs The Miz
Fans are hit-or-miss on watching Shane McMahon wrestle these days, but there’s no doubt that working with Shane is a huge role for an active wrestler. It appears The Miz will be the one to have that feud with Shane heading into WrestleMania 35.
Many expected The Miz to face Daniel Bryan, but the latter turning heel makes it unlikely to happen. Shane and The Miz have already started working together, with The Miz trying to force a friendship. The reported plan is that it will culminate into WrestleMania 35 for a singles match between the two. It does not sound like the match that will steal the show, but it could elevate The Miz back into title contention.
6 Women’s division: Asuka turning heel on Naomi
The friendship between Asuka and Naomi have been their only storyline going on during the summer and fall on SmackDown. Asuka is back in the title picture, but there’s no doubt she’ll go back into an angle with Naomi one way or another after her TLC Match with Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch.
The rumor is that Asuka will be the one to turn heel on Naomi and start a long feud. Both ladies have great in-ring skills and would likely have a few great matches together. If Charlotte and Becky each have other plans for WrestleMania, this could be the ideal SmackDown Women’s Championship match.
5 Men’s division: Jeff Hardy gettin more main event run
Jeff Hardy has primarily been involved in the third or fourth feud in the pecking order of the SmackDown angles. A new feud started with Samoa Joe in the same slot, but there is a bit more emotional depth to it. Joe is using Hardy’s past issues and personal demons to try to bring him down.
It is reportedly being done to make Hardy’s journey become even more touching as fans rally behind him after all he’s gone through. Hardy’s end game is to have one more run towards the top of the card. A world title feud with Daniel Bryan makes sense as both men have yet to work together in a feud and Bryan needs new faces to wrestle.
4 Women’s division: Flair and Lynch competing for Rousey
The biggest drama going down on WWE television right now is one that mirrors a potential real-life scenario. Fans, wrestlers and pundits are starting to realize that WWE seems ready to go with the first-ever women’s match main-eventing WrestleMania.
The match would Ronda Rousey face off with either Charlotte Flair or Becky Lynch for the biggest women’s match in WWE history closing WrestleMania 35. Both ladies had great angles with Rousey to set up big matches. WWE is reportedly unsure about which lady should get the honor. The next few months will see Charlotte and Becky each taking their game to another level to try to earn the spot of their career.
3 Men’s division: Batista returning for WrestleMania
We are used to legends returning for major matches at WrestleMania every year. Some names like Goldberg and Sting are off the table while others like The Undertaker and Triple H still try to do it every single year. One wrestler that has not wrestled in over four years is Batista.
The SmackDown 1000 special episode featured Batista having a tense interaction with Triple H during the Evolution reunion. It was done to potentially set up a match for Batista’s return at WrestleMania 35. Triple H going down with an injury at Crown Jewel may put this match in jeopardy. Regardless, reports still claim that Batista is excited about having another final run in WWE.
2 Women’s division: Alexa Bliss becoming full-time Raw General Manager
Alexa Bliss’s recent injuries have seen her sitting out of in-ring competition for the past few months. WWE has made sure to keep Bliss on television in a storyline capacity due to how much they believe she adds to the show. Bliss was the captain of the Raw women’s Survivor Series team and now is running the Raw Women’s Division.
WWE loves the charisma and presence of Bliss. The character work could see her getting a full-time role as the Raw General Manager for both the men and women of the brand. WWE has found success with Paige having the role on SmackDown and Bliss is rumored to be in consideration for the Raw spot, replacing both Baron Corbin and Kurt Angle.
1 Men’s division: Seth Rollins end's Brock Lesnar's Reign
The unfortunate news of Roman Reigns having to step away from WWE has the company back at square one trying to figure out which wrestler should get the huge win ending Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship reign.
Seth Rollins has reportedly become the leading candidate backstage as the wrestler to dethrone Lesnar at WrestleMania 35. Other wrestlers in consideration have included Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre. Rollins does seem like the best bit as fans want him to be the face of the brand. This could be the kind of win that turns a main event star into a future legend.