The WWE is here to provide all of us fans with never ending Sport's Entertainment. As a comparison, the WWE is like a soap opera that goes on forever, albeit the content is in-ring wrestling action, story-lines et cetera versus the gushy romance dramas that make up a daytime soap opera like The Young And The Restless for example. Since the WWE is "Then, Now, And Forever," new Superstars continue to fill the roster as the years drag on, and the older talents die out like the dinosaurs one by one, leaving room for the company's next generation of stars to take over.
As I'm sure you all are well aware, a lot can change in just one year in the WWE, so in five years, things can seem completely unrecognizable if you hadn't watched the product in that amount of time. For the WWE to keep us fans engaged with their product, the company is always trying new things whether that entails creating new stars, new story-lines - you name it.
Five years from now, there's a good possibility that some of the midcarders of today will be main eventers later and vice versa. As well, I'm certain that many of the older talents like Kane, Mark Henry, Big Show and Chris Jericho will all hang up the boots well before 2022.
Today's list features my projection of where the current top 20 WWE Superstars will be in five years time. Will they retire? Will they be fired? Will they move up or move down the card? These are some of the common questions that any fan would ask. Stay tuned, as I will divulge my predictions/projections on these 20 Superstars. With that said, let's begin!
20 20. Sasha Banks
"The Boss" Sasha Banks is currently entering the peak of her pro-wrestling career as we speak. Although Banks is still quite young at 25, female wrestlers tend to have much shorter full-time wrestling careers than men. However, in five years time, expect Sasha Banks to still be at the top of the Women's Division whether she's on the Blue Brand or the Red Brand, because she'll only be 30 in 2022.
Sasha is already a three-time RAW Women's Champion, but I'm going to make a prediction that by 2022, Banks will have at least won eight Women's Championships in total, combining both her future SmackDown Women's Championship reigns with her RAW Women's Championship reigns. Regardless of whether you like her or not, The Boss is here to stay in the WWE, so you better get used to seeing her fill up the main event scene of the Women's Division, even though she's currently amidst a bit of a de-push at the moment.
19 Baron Corbin
"The Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin is currently amidst his first major WWE push on the Blue Brand that will very likely culminate with Corbin winning his first WWE Championship later this year (perhaps as early as SummerSlam). Although some fans don't believe Corbin is deserving of his push now, he's going to be pushed regardless. In five years time, Corbin will probably have become a multi-time WWE (or Universal) Champion as well as a multi-time US or Intercontinental Champion during his feuds out of the main event scene. I believe by 2022, Baron Corbin will become one of the company's solidified main eventer's, regardless of which brand he resides on.
He's basically the next generation heel version of Roman Reigns, and I don't see him falling to hard from grace after he wins the top championship. One thing many fans bring up about Corbin is the fact that he's currently in a "hair receding" crisis, as his hairline seems to be thinning more with each passing week. However, for all of those Baron Corbin skeptics out there, hair or no hair, Corbin will still be one of the WWE's trusted main eventer's for the next decade or so. Actually, to put some of your minds at ease, I've seen a photo-shopped picture of Corbin without hair and he looks pretty badass if I'm going to be honest, so who know, a hairless Corbin may rise to even greater heights.
18 Sami Zayn
In five years time, I predict Sami Zayn will have had at least one WWE (or Universal) Championship reign, but I believe Sami will for the most part continue to be utilized as the "underdog" midcarder coming up short in most of his championship pursuits. However, I don't see why Sami Zayn won't be a fixture in the Intercontinental or United States Championship scene following his probably very short reign as the top champ. To the WWE, Zayn is just another solid performer (like Cesaro for example) who the company can trust to throw into almost any feud and put on decent matches. I doubt even in five years that Sami Zayn will be one of the company's top priorities.
By 2022, Sami Zayn will only be 37, and since he's one of "Triple H's boys," his position in the WWE will always be there, even though he'll likely never be utilized as the main eventer so many fans want him to be. However, who knows, maybe Zayn will be given an underdog story-line similar to Daniel Bryan's in the future (where he would be booked to actually win sometimes and not just lose like an underdog) and perhaps he'll become a breakout star. At this point though, in five years, Sami Zayn will likely be one the WWE's solid midcard stars with one or two WWE Titles under his belt, similar to Christian before him.
17 Samoa Joe
Samoa Joe is currently being positioned as the Red Brand's next top monster heel (or the number two monster heel behind Braun Strowman if all things go well for Braun after he recovers from his injury). However, after already having a long pro-wrestling career before signing with the WWE, Joe is already far from being considered young. At 38, in five years Samoa Joe will be 43 years old. Regardless, as long as Joe can stay healthy and in shape, I believe Joe will still be utilized as one of the company's top monsters considering how talented of an in-ring technician he is.
If Big Show, Mark Henry and Kane can still be used as top acts whenever they're around (okay not really Henry anymore) despite the fact that those three behemoths are well into their 40s, I don't see any reason a far more talented wrestler in Samoa Joe won't be. He's definitely one of "Triple H's guys" as well, so I see Joe being a multi-time WWE or Universal Champion by 2022, and a guy who will remain one of the company's main event monsters into his mid-late 40s.
16 The Miz
The Miz is currently one of the top three best heels in the WWE today. Since the re-introduction of The Miz' wife Maryse in 2016, Miz has seen a great career resurgence which has led the "A-Lister" to capturing the Intercontinental Championship on a couple of occasions (currently in an IC Title feud on RAW as we speak). Although The Miz is the most relevant he's been in years, he still has yet to return to the WWE Championship/main event scene, and he probably won't. I'd say that The Miz is currently peaking in terms of his career at the age of 36. For the next few years, I project the WWE will utilize Miz whenever they need a great heel to get a struggling babyface over (Roman Reigns may be that next guy), or whenever the company needs an Intercontinental Champion.
By 2022, in five years, I'll bet that The Miz will be working a schedule very similar to that of a Chris Jericho (part-time). I don't see The Miz completely leaving the company, but a less grueling work schedule is definitely upon the horizon. However, when he does wrestle, I believe you can expect to see The Miz in a midcard to upper-midcard spot, and nothing really higher than that. Perhaps he'll get one more WWE/Universal Championship run, but at this point, it seems fairly unlikely. Regardless, The Miz will likely transition into the "Chris Jericho role" in five years time.
15 Shinsuke Nakamura
"The King Of Strong Style" Shinsuke Nakamura is one of the hottest new stars in the company today, and he now resides in the "land of the opportunity" on the Blue Brand. Once Nakamura is finished his feud with the jabroni known as Dolph Ziggler (once he squashes Ziggler into total irrelevancy), the only place for the insanely charismatic Nakamura to go is up the card. I believe Nakamura is being positioned as one of the next top two or three babyfaces on SmackDown Live, and I think he's main event bound despite his lack of mic skills (his charisma and connection with the audiences more than makes up for it). Although some fans are worried about how the WWE will treat Nakamura in the long run, I wouldn't be too worried at all.
Shinsuke is already 37 years old and peaking in terms of in-ring ability, but in five years time, Nakamura will likely still be one of the company's top babyfaces who will have had multiple runs with the WWE Championship (and perhaps a few Intercontinental Championship runs thrown in here and there). Although Nakamura will be into his early 40s by 2022, that won't stop him from putting on classic matches and headlining events, much like the guys who were into their 40s did before him like Kane, Undertaker, Batista, Triple H, Chris Jericho et cetera. He's not particularly huge, and usually the bigger guys are the ones who burn out faster, so I see Nakamura still going strong in the WWE in five years time.
14 14. Alexa Bliss
Alexa Bliss is by far one of the most talented (both in-ring and on the mic) Women's Division wrestlers on the WWE roster today (also one of the hottest to boot). She's currently at the top of her game right now, as Alexa's the current RAW Women's Champion and she's doing a fantastic job I might add. She reminds me a lot of Trish Status (promo styles and mannerisms) which brings up a lot of nostalgia. Regardless, Alexa Bliss is going to remain one of the top Women's Division wrestlers as long as she desires to compete for the WWE. Alexa's only 25 years old and she has already had two SmackDown and one RAW Women's Championship reigns which definitely shows the kind of career Bliss will have in the long run.
In five years time, expect very little to change in terms of Alexa Bliss (she'll only be 30), and expect Bliss to still be at the top of the Women's Division. I will make the prediction that in five years, Alexa Bliss will be an eight-time WWE Women's Champion. Her career is just getting off the ground as we speak, and I predict that Alexa Bliss may become one of the all time Women's Division greats if her career continues to project upwards like it has been for the past year or so. Regardless of how many title reigns Bliss has, she will undoubtedly be a key player in the WWE for the next decade or so.
13 Chris Jericho
Although Chris Jericho is currently off his WWE schedule considering the fact that he's now touring with his band Fozzy, we can expect to see Jericho return to the company much sooner than most of us would have imagined which is great (as early as late June/early July). Y2J is undoubtedly one of the all time greats, and he seamlessly reinvents himself whenever he decides to have run with the WWE. He's definitely established in the fans eyes, so whenever he does return, expect a huge pop and a standing ovation for the man who holds "The List." However, one cannot expect Jericho to continue wrestling nearly as much as the years press on. Chris is already 46, so he's already well past his peak.
Although Chris is still more than capable of putting on show-stealing matches, with each passing year, Jericho is definitely showing signs of slowing down (as we should expect). Unfortunately and with regret by saying this, Chris Jericho will be retired from in-ring competition in five years time. Yes, bring out the tissue boxes because by 2022, Jericho will already be into his early 50s. Jericho is already working a part-time schedule as it is, and I don't see Jericho continuing to beat up his body into his 50s regardless of how much he loves wrestling. I see Chris Jericho headlining the WWE Hall Of Fame within the next few years, and maybe he'll transition into a non-wrestling role once he retires, because he's damn entertaining regardless of what he does.
12 Kevin Owens
"The New Face Of America" Kevin Owens is by far one of the most talented heels in the WWE today. He's fantastic both in the ring and on the mic and he screams "top star" despite looking like a fat and out of shape Indy guy (yes I did just say that). Kevin Owens is already an established WWE Superstar despite only being on the main roster since 2015, and he's already had a fairly lengthy run with the Universal Championship, two runs with the Intercontinental Championship, and two runs (currently in his second reign) with the United States Championship. Although Kevin is booked pretty horribly fairly frequently (especially during the first couple months of his Universal Championship reign), it's clear that the WWE values Kevin Owens as one of their household names.
In five years, Kevin Owens will only be 38 (one year younger than AJ Styles is currently), so I see his WWE career peaking around that time. Despite being involved in the midcard scene at the present time, It's only a matter of time before "The Prizefighter" once again rises to the top of the card, and I see this happening sooner rather than later. By 2022, expect Kevin to be a multi-time WWE/Universal Champion with a couple more US/IC Championship reigns sprinkled in here and there, and you can also expect Owens to still be one of the WWE's most popular and top acts of RAW or SmackDown Live.
11 Finn Balor
Finn Balor, "The Demon King" is currently amidst his second rise on WWE's main roster following his recovery from that dreaded shoulder injury caused by Seth Rollins last year. Although some fans (including myself at times) question whether Balor is "main event caliber," the WWE will present him as such regardless of his shortcomings. He definitely has a great look, which certainly has to be one of the reasons for his rise to the top (of course also because of his exceptional in-ring talent). However, despite appearing "young and fresh", Balor is in fact 35 years old going on 36 this July. He's entering the "peak" years of his career as we speak, so his sudden and quick push on RAW is certainly because of his age to some degree.
By 2022, Finn Balor will be 40 years old and will have passed those peak in-ring years. However, I still see Balor being featured as a top star well into his 40s if he can stay healthy and injury-free (which almost seems impossible at this point). If you've since forgotten, Batista won his first WWE World Championship when he was 36 years old, so it's definitely not "too late" for Balor to have a great WWE career. If he stays healthy, expect Balor to become a multi-time WWE/Universal Champion all well before 2022, and expect Finn to still be one of (perhaps "the") top star of the company. As I've mentioned, all of Balor's successes are entirely dependent on whether he can stay healthy and relatively injury free, because if not, Finn's WWE career could also end well before 2022.
10 Dean Ambrose
"The Lunatic Fringe" Dean Ambrose is one of the WWE's most popular Superstars today. Although Ambrose isn't the solidified main eventer like his fellow Shield Brothers Roman and Seth are, Dean still has a very solid position on the card. Despite being involved with the Intercontinental Championship scene presently, Dean has still seen the top of the card as he's a former WWE World Champion. Although the WWE is reportedly "unhappy" with Dean Ambrose's complacency and staleness (allegedly), there's no denying that the company still sees value in Ambrose as a performer, and they still feature him in many of their top programs as a result.
In five years, Ambrose will only be 36 years old so as you would probably expect, Dean will still be very much a big part in the WWE for many years beyond 2022. Perhaps the WWE will finally give Ambrose a much needed heel turn within those five years and in turn, Dean reinvents himself in the ring a bit, and finds a gimmick more suitable for the main event scene versus the fairly goofy "Lunatic Fringe" gimmick that screams "midcard." Regardless, even if Ambrose doesn't change a damn thing regarding his in-ring work or his character, we can all expect to see Ambrose featured as one of the company's cornerstones. I thoroughly expect Dean to have one or two more WWE/Universal Championship runs within that period of time.
9 Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman is unfortunately out with an elbow injury at the moment. However, up until his injury, Braun was by far one of the highlights of RAW each week, as his path of destruction intensified with each passing episode. It truly sucks that Strowman had to suffer from an injury right when he was peaking as the WWE's top monster heel. After finishing off Roman Reigns at Payback, his next target was undoubtedly the seemingly invisible Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. Many fans were salivating at the thought of that intense collision, however, that clash between the two monsters will now have to be postponed. Regardless, when Strowman does return, expect him to start where he left off like he never missed a beat.
Though five years from now, Braun will be 38 years old and at his gargantuan size, well past his peak. Personally, I expect Strowman to be pushed as the company's top monster for a couple more years following 2017, but after a few big losses sprinkled throughout those couple of years, I also expect Braun to eventually find himself in the "Bigshow role". Although I don't see Braun being booked nearly as horribly in the future as The Bigshow was for the past 5 years or so, he will be nowhere near as monstrous as he is right now. By 2022, I predict Braun Strowman will be a one or two-time WWE/Universal Champion who would then be utilized as the monstrous wrestler who puts over the up and coming stars similar to The Bigshow and Mark Henry before him.
8 Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt, one of the recent trades to the Red Brand is currently finding himself in a feud with WWE's next big star, Finn Balor. Although it's very (and I mean very) likely that Wyatt will put Finn over in the end, Wyatt will still be one of the company's top acts for many years to come. Bray Wyatt's booking is definitely confusing, as he's made to seem like a total threat/monster during the build up to his feuds with his promos et cetera, however, when it comes right down to the end outcome, Wyatt is usually the loser. But then for whatever reason, Bray's right back at the top feuding with another big star despite being jobbed out to the last guy, which definitely confuses us fans.
To the WWE, Wyatt could lose every single big match he has (and he normally does) but he'll still be placed in a great spot on the card afterwards. In five years, I expect Bray Wyatt to be in exactly the same position that he's in now. Feuding with all of the top stars in the company, but usually coming out as the losing star in the end (despite winning the first or second match in the feud). Wyatt will only be 35 in 2022, so he'll still be featured in the WWE for many years to come. Perhaps Bray will be better booked/protected in the future which would get him over with the WWE Universe to a much larger degree. However booking aside, I still expect Wyatt to win one or two more WWE/ Universal Championships within those five years even if he continues to be booked like crap.
7 Seth Rollins
Seth "Freaking" Rollins is amidst his (in my opinion) failed babyface run in the WWE. This however is completely the companies fault as they booked Rollins so poorly when he returned from his injury last year, and they delayed Rollin's babyface turn for far too long. However, despite being pretty stale/boring as a babyface, Seth is still widely featured as one of the WWE's top-five Superstars on RAW. He's definitely one of the most talented athletes in the WWE today, so that more than makes up for his lack of character at the moment.
Seth is already a two-time WWE World Champion and a one-time United States Champion, but in five years time, you can expect Rollin's accomplishments to be a heck of a lot greater. I predict that by 2022, Seth Rollins will have become at least a five or six-time WWE/Universal Champion and hopefully will have turned back heel in those five years ( he damn well better!) Seth Rollins is definitely as he liked to self proclaim himself "the present and the future of the WWE" and that is for certain. Rollins will only be 35 in five years, so he'll still have plenty left in the tank for many more years of entertaining us fans to come.
6 6. Randy Orton
Randy Orton is currently amidst his 13th reign as the WWE Champion and like many other wrestling fans, I find this reign to be completely stale and boring. Despite being featured in the high profile feuds and matches on SmackDown this year, Orton's just been completely irrelevant despite his push and title reign. Even crazier, many fans are hoping that "Hardy Body Mahal" takes the Championship off of Randy to quote on quote "save us from Randy's reign of terror". It seems like Randy Orton should be nearing retirement age now, but in reality, despite being with the WWE for what seems like an eternity, Randy is really only 37 years old.
Of course by 2022, Randy will be into his early 40s, and perhaps as a bit of a relief for some of you fans, I sincerely doubt that Orton will be working a full-time schedule in five years. There were rumors swirling around a couple of years ago that Orton was asking the WWE for a part-time schedule, and I believe his wish will come true sooner rather than later. Although Orton has accomplished a heck of a lot in his career, most fans would agree that Randy's time in the center spotlight should end. In five years, I project that Randy Orton will be working a part-time or special appearance schedule and when he does wrestle, I think he'll be positioned in an upper-midcard spot. Perhaps he'll even retire within that five year time frame.
5 Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair is undoubtedly the "face of the Women's Division" despite residing on what many fans (and the WWE itself) still consider to be the "B Show," SmackDown Live. Charlotte has had a meteoric rise to the top of the Sport's Entertainment industry and she has accomplished a ton in such a short amount of time. Charlotte is already a former four-time WWE Women's Champion and a one-time Divas Champion, and she remained undefeated in singles competition for 16 straight pay-per-views before losing for the first time in singles action against Bayley at this year's Fastlane event.
All that aside, Charlotte's career is really still in the early stages, and many fans and analysts predict that "The Genetically Superior Athlete" Charlotte will break her fathers record of 16 World Championship reigns in the future. However, Charlotte is far from being considered "young" in women's wrestling standards at 31, so it's hard to determine how long she'll last in the business. Regardless, I project that Charlotte will still be an active competitor in five years time, and I also believe that she will have had at least nine or ten Women's Championship runs in total by then. I think Charlotte Flair will still be one of, if not the top Women's Division star in 2022.
4 AJ Styles
AJ Styles has had undoubtedly the best first year in WWE history (at least in recent times). Before joining the WWE, Styles was already an established talent so it took very little time for Styles to become a huge WWE Superstar considering his extensive fan-base. AJ Styles is already a one-time WWE World Champion and I sincerely doubt it will be his last. Although Styles is currently involved in the midcard scene on SmackDown Live right now, for all the worrying fans, don't, because Styles will again return to the main event scene in the very near future. He's far too talented of a guy for the WWE to waste in midcard purgatory. I think the WWE are just trying to keep Styles fresh and not overexpose him in the main event scene.
Since AJ has already had a long and illustrious pro-wrestling career before jumping ship to the WWE, he's far from being "young" at 39 even know Michael Cole has referred to him as the "young kid". Nope, Styles is no young kid and he's already peaking in terms of his in-ring ability. In various interviews, AJ Styles has mentioned that he plans on retiring well before "he has to", and would like to do so when he's still at the top of his game. If this is true, AJ Styles will retire well before 2022. I expect Styles to have a couple more solid years in the WWE with one or two more WWE/Universal Championship reigns. However, in five years, if Styles sticks to his guns, he will be retired from pro-wrestling.
3 Roman Reigns
"The Big Dog" Roman Reigns is being positioned in the "face of the company" role replacing John Cena regardless of how many fans boo him. Despite coming out on the losing end in his latest match with the Monster Among Men Braun Strowman at Payback last month, Roman has quickly shifted his focus onto the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar following Strowman's tedious injury. Roman will now take part in a fatal five way match at the Extreme Rules pay-per-view next month against Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Bray Wyatt and Samoa Joe to determine the new number one contender for Lesnar's belt. Even if Roman doesn't win that match, he'll still be placed in the championship scene soon enough.
Roman is already a three-time WWE World Champion at the fairly young age of 31 going on 32 by the end of this month. As the title "face of the company" entails, Roman Reigns will be the WWE's top main event franchise star probably for the next decade, so in five years, you can expect Roman to be very much in the same spot he's in now (perhaps even higher). No, I certainly don't foresee a heel turn occurring anytime soon, so we'll probably be getting babyface Reigns over the next five years. In 2022, Roman will only be 37, and I expect him to have had at the very least seven or eight WWE/Universal Championship runs total in that time period. Long story short, Roman will still be a main eventer in 2022.
2 Brock Lesnar
The current (and very forgotten about) Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is nearing the end of his WWE career and that's both a good and a bad thing for the WWE. It's a good thing because the top story-lines won't have to revolve around someone who only works a special appearance schedule, but it's also a bad thing because besides maybe John Cena (and I suppose Roman Reigns), Lesnar's undoubtedly WWE's biggest star, and even though many fans would like to deny this truth, he's also one of the biggest draws the company has. Although Brock Lesnar has become a true bore to us die-hard WWE fans, to the casuals, Lesnar is the ticket to drawing them in.
He's one of the few larger than life Superstars the WWE has left, so I believe the WWE will take a pretty significant hit when he does hang up the boots. Brock's already 39 going on 40 this July, and considering he's thought about leaving the WWE before, it's only a matter of time before "The Beast Incarnate" decides to retire (probably when his current contract expires). Lesnar's made a heck of a lot of money from the WWE since his return in 2012, so I'm certain retirement is playing on his mind. In five years time, I project that Brock Lesnar will be long gone and retired from the sport. Perhaps Vince McMahon will somehow convince Brock to work WrestleMania's after 2022 (like The Undertaker before him did into his early 50s), but I'd still doubt that Lesnar would accept it.
1 John Cena
The man who has been the face of the WWE for over a decade is undoubtedly John Cena. Whether you love or hate the "Cenation Leader", you can't help but appreciate Cena's full-time dedication to the sport for over ten years, working as the franchise star inside and outside the WWE. John Cena is one of the all time greats, and he recently tied the record for most World Championship reigns with Ric Flair at 16 which is an incredible accomplishment (even though that 16th reign was given to Cena just to tie the record as he lost it super quickly). Although a plethora of fans like to joke around by saying "I can't wait until Cena's gone" or "please retire!", it will be a sad day for every WWE fan when Cena does decide to retire (especially considering Roman Reigns is the chosen replacement).
John Cena turned 40 years old last month, and this definitely signals that back-end of his WWE career. Cena has already started to transition into a part-time role the past couple of years as he now seems to be focusing on his budding acting career. However, in five years, I project that John will still be with the WWE, albeit on a special appearance basis similar to The Rock when he returned in 2011. John Cena is a "WWE guy" for life, and he makes a point to say so whenever he's asked the question regarding his retirement. In 2022, expect Cena to have had two more WWE/Universal Championship runs within those five years, and become utilized as a "special attraction" afterwards for the rest of his career.
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