WWE is currently in an important period for the product as we head into SummerSlam. Not only will we see the second biggest WWE event of the year, but it will set the tone for other major things to go down between now and WrestleMania 35. The announcement of Evolution as the first-ever all-women’s PPV card will make it a historic night in WWE history. You better believe the company will have huge plans for that show. Following that, WWE has a major show planned for Australia titled the Super Showdown with the hope of selling out a stadium with the likes of Triple H, John Cena and The Undertaker returning for it.
The usual other big shows like Survivor Series and Royal Rumble will factor into the company’s long-term plans of having a lot of must-see events. Quite a few variables could lead to huge changes coming for WWE. There are a couple of relevant names on the injured list awaiting to return from a long absence. Certain talents are already reported to have huge plans coming in their future that could shake things up for the company. WWE will try to fire on all cylinders with the time between now and April being pivotal.
We will make some educated guesses on what may be coming on our television screens over the next eight months. Find out what the future holds for your favorite superstar and where it may take them. These are twenty-five things that will happen in WWE before WrestleMania 35.
25 The Rock returns for WrestleMania season
A huge rumor already making the rounds for WrestleMania 35 is that The Rock wants to return for the show. We have not seen The Rock wrestle in a few years due to his busy movie schedule keeping him away from the squared circle.
The Rock has made it clear that he loves the New York market and it will set up the perfect opportunity for him to come back at WrestleMania 35.
The huge show will need a few attraction matches. The Rock having a match for the first time in three years would be the ultimate reveal for WWE getting hype for the biggest show in 2019.
24 The Miz defeats AJ Styles to become WWE Champion
AJ Styles is amidst a long WWE Championship reign after dethroning Jinder Mahal last November. Title contenders of Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe were selected with the intent of having good in-ring bouts with Styles.
However, no heel has really stepped up as a real threat to take the title off AJ moving forward. The Miz has the most momentum on Smackdown following the past two years of being a top heel in WWE. It will be his time to return to the top as the choice to end Styles’ title reign before 2018 ends.
23 Charlotte Flair wins Royal Rumble to face Ronda Rousey
The rumor to gain the most momentum regarding WrestleMania 35 would see two of the top ladies in WWE facing off. Ronda Rousey has already earned the respect of WWE fans with great performances in her first few professional wrestling matches.
The biggest threat to Rousey in the WWE women’s division is Charlotte Flair.
WWE has protected Charlotte through the years with major wins over Sasha Banks, Asuka and many others. Flair winning the women’s Royal Rumble match in 2019 is the easiest way for WWE to book such a match for WrestleMania 35.
22 Hulk Hogan starts making appearances for the company
Hulk Hogan returning to WWE has been met with polarizing reaction from wrestlers and fans alike. A decision was made to reinstate Hogan into the Hall of Fame following years of being blacklisted from the company.
Despite being reinstated, Hogan has yet to make any public appearances for WWE. This is likely to change as WWE would not bring back Hogan just to stay at home. Hogan is going to return in front of live crowds at some point, and the safe bet would be it happening at some point before 2018 ends.
21 Rey Mysterio returns as part of SmackDown
Rey Mysterio is one of the biggest free agent names on the market right now and is having a great 2018 because of it. Things started in a major way with Mysterio’s appearances for WWE in the Royal Rumble and Greatest Royal Rumble matches making him a hot commodity again.
Mysterio has since been booked for a few appearances in New Japan as well as being part of a six-man tag team main event match at All In. However, WWE is still adamant about trying to bring him back. Mysterio is expected to return on the SmackDown brand by November.
20 Renee Young officially replaces Coach on commentary full-time
Jonathan Coachman has been a huge disappointment since returning to WWE as the third person in the Raw commentary booth alongside Michael Cole and Corey Graves. A big move saw Renee Young take Coach’s spot for a recent episode of Raw.
Young already came off as a better commentator in one week than Coachman has been for months.
Female representation at the commentary table would be a huge step forward given the importance of women’s wrestling for WWE moving forward. It makes too sense, and Young will replace Coachman before too late.
19 Chris Jericho ending relationship with WWE to work for Impact
Chris Jericho has shocked the wrestling world over the past year thanks to his surprise appearances for New Japan. The legendary career of Jericho has seen new memorable matches add to his legacy against Kenny Omega and Tetsuya Naito.
Jericho is also rumored to have interest in Impact Wrestling due to the company’s momentum and his close friend Don Callis running the show.
This would break Jericho’s promise to Vince McMahon and WWE to never work for other promotions in the United States which could lead to being blacklisted moving forward.
18 Bobby Lashley turns heel
Another big surprise for the Raw brand following WrestleMania 34 was the return of Bobby Lashley to WWE following many years away. Lashley had a lot of momentum joining the promotion thanks to the great run in Impact Wrestling.
Things have not worked out the same due to Lashley failing to get over as a clean-cut face character. The success of Lashley in Impact came as a cocky heel. Lashley continuing to fail as a face for WWE will force the company’s hand to turn him heel and following the blueprint to success he found during his time in Impact.
17 Sasha Banks and Bayley become first women's tag champs
Another potential historic first for women in WWE is the expected Women’s Tag Team Championship belts coming to WWE. The titles would reportedly be defended across all WWE brands on Raw, Smackdown and NXT.
Sasha Banks and Bayley reuniting and becoming best friends on screen again after months of tension is happening for a reason.
Both popular ladies desperately lack a major moment to regain momentum. Expect Banks and Bayley to become the first ever WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions at the historic Evolution show.
16 Aleister Black joins Raw
Many NXT stars are hoping to be part of the next NXT call-ups to the main roster. While there are many deserving talents worthy of the bigger spotlight, Aleister Black stands out as one ready for a role on Raw or Smackdown.
Black has been a great character since debuting in NXT. The NXT World Championship reign already cemented him as an NXT top star before losing it to Tommaso Ciampa and suffering an injury. Black has nothing left to accomplish in NXT and seems like a good fit for the Raw brand when returning.
15 Cesaro and Sheamus split up
The tag team picture on Smackdown is significantly stronger than Raw. New Day, The Usos and The Bludgeon Brothers are arguably the top three teams in the company while all remaining on the Smackdown brand.
This strong level of depth in the Smackdown tag division has left Cesaro and Sheamus with nothing to do since moving over in the April superstar shakeup. Cesaro and Sheamus will likely split up very soon to enter the singles division. Both guys have talent and credibility to thrive on the Smackdown brand with the chance to move into the title picture if getting over again.
14 The Bella Twins return full time
WWE recently announcing that the reality series Total Bellas is returning for another season will likely put more pressure on all parties to have Brie and Nikki return to the ring. The timing is right with the Evolution event coming up and the rumored WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship being created.
Brie and Nikki are among the most popular ladies in WWE thanks to their mainstream reach.
The Bella Twins should likely be on the WWE roster full-time once again within a few months. It would add to the WWE product and give content to Total Bellas.
13 John Cena returns to win Royal Rumble
John Cena has been off WWE television since a match with Triple H at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia. The acting career of Cena has seen him taking time away from WWE to film more movies, but he is expected to return for the Super Showdown in Australia.
One of the biggest stories WWE has in their back pocket is Cena challenging for the WWE Championship with the potential recording breaking 17th world title reign on the line. WWE reportedly almost did it this past WrestleMania before the Jinder Mahal experiment failed. Cena will likely have that chance next year by winning the 2019 Royal Rumble match.
12 Trish Stratus vs. Alexa Bliss at Evolution
It may be considered a bold prediction to go this far, but there are going to be a few expected legends vs. active superstar attraction matches for WWE Evolution. Alexa Bliss has been adamant in many interviews that she wants to have a dream match with Trish Status on the show.
Stratus will likely be on the card, and there’s no better opponent for her than Bliss.
The heel personality of Alexa would get her heat and make fans even more invested in Trish having the comeback win. Don’t be surprised if this dream match is a vocal point of Evolution.
11 Authors Of Pain become Raw tag champs
One tag team that is stuck together for the long haul is the Authors of Pain. Following a great run in NXT, the Authors of Pain joined the main roster on the Raw brand following WrestleMania 34. A terrible decision saw WWE have them ditch manager Paul Ellering right away before they could get momentum.
The Authors of Pain have struggled to find relevancy on Raw, but some purpose could help save them. It is clear Akam and Rezar have more potential as a team than anyone else on Raw. Expect them to win the Raw Tag Titles and dominate the tag scene soon.
10 Andrade Almas wins United States Championship
Reports have circulated that Andrade Almas is becoming a favorite of Vince McMahon. The talented Almas has been on Smackdown for a few months, and McMahon has apparently already been sold on the skills of Almas being the future of WWE.
WWE needs some new young stars to emerge and become bigger names. Almas is going to get a bigger push in the very near future. The United States Championship is the perfect title to get him instant credibility in the loaded Smackdown singles division.
9 Toni Storm wins the Mae Young Classic
The Mae Young Classic is one of the biggest projects for WWE in the upcoming Fall. Many of the top female wrestlers from all over the world are competing in a 32-woman tournament for the second year in a row.
Some of the most talented performers from last year’s Mae Young Classic are back into the fold. Toni Storm is arguably the best of them as WWE has a lot of interest in her upside. This is the year for Storm to win the MYC and become a major part of WWE’s women’s division in NXT and/or NXT UK.
8 Bray Wyatt turns on Matt Hardy
Matt Hardy’s return to WWE has been quite underwhelming with his Broken/Woken character unable to reach the same success. The teaming with Bray Wyatt gave hope to the WWE Universe expecting both wrestlers to find a groove together.
Despite winning the Raw Tag Team Championship, Wyatt and Hardy have gained zero momentum. Their short title reign ended at the hands of career-long enhancement talents Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel. Hardy has started teasing retirement due to the difficulties of the WWE schedule. Expect Wyatt to turn on Matt soon for the end of their story together.
7 Bianca Belair becomes NXT Women's Champion
The women’s division in NXT is in a transition period trying to build new stars. Shayna Baszler is the current NXT Women’s Champion, but she has failed to develop exciting title matches on the TakeOver specials.
NXT clearly needs a new face of the division.
While Kairi Sane and Candice LeRae have a world of potential, Bianca Belair may be the chosen one. An undefeated streak shows just how much Triple H believes in the athletically gifted star. Belair is NXT Women’s Championship bound as the next face of the division.
6 Matt Riddle debuts in NXT
The independent wrestling circuit has been on fire in recent years with promotions and individual performers booming outside of WWE. One top free agent with strong interest from WWE is former UFC fighter Matt Riddle.
A move from MMA to pro wrestling has seen Riddle become a big star for Evolve, Progress and other promotions. Riddle has reportedly received offers from WWE and New Japan in July. The belief is that Riddle already chose WWE and could start with NXT as soon as TakeOver: Brooklyn.
5 Jason Jordan turns heel on Kurt Angle
Jason Jordan has become a forgotten man due to being off television due to an injury, but he left a major storyline behind. WWE set up the story of Jordan being the long-lost son of Raw General Manager Kurt Angle.
Fans turned on Jordan leading to him playing an exaggerated heel character. The culmination of this plan was clearly to have Jordan turn on Angle at some point setting up a match between the two. Chances are WWE continues with this plan when Jordan is back.
4 The Young Bucks sign with WWE
The recent success of Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks selling out All in along with Ring of Honor and New Japan selling out Madison Square Garden will see many free agents getting huge offers from WWE. Free agents Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes have made statements implying they plan to remain with NJPW and ROH.
However, the Young Bucks have made it clear they plan to listen to all offers.
WWE is expected to make a huge contract offer to the Young Bucks to try to get them away from ROH before the Madison Square Garden. Expect the WWE checkbooks to be open for Matt and Nick Jackson in early 2019.
3 Brock Lesnar officially leaves the company
The time for Brock Lesnar in WWE finally appears to be coming to an end. There have been rumors about Lesnar being on the way out since 2017’s SummerSlam event. Lesnar has had a couple of surprise title wins to retain the Universal Championship.
Roman Reigns is getting yet another title shot against Lesnar in the main event of SummerSlam 2018. Between Reigns getting the shot and either Braun Strowman or Kevin Owens having the Money in the Bank briefcase, someone will finally take the title off Brock before he officially leaves WWE for UFC.
2 Dean Ambrose turns heel on Seth Rollins
The injury to Dean Ambrose towards the end of 2017 ruined a major plan WWE had for WrestleMania 34. Reports indicate that Ambrose was expected to turn on Shield partner Seth Rollins as revenge for Rollins turning on Ambrose years prior.
Ambrose has returned from the injury and is expected to be a huge player right away. The face run of Rollins has been so great that Ambrose turning on him would Dean arguably the top heel of the company. WWE will likely try to regain those plans to tell the story they had in mind earlier this year.
1 Braun Strowman cashes in MITB at SummerSlam
The upcoming Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar Universal Championship match at SummerSlam will have a major impact on the future of WWE. Vince McMahon reportedly specifically chose Braun Strowman as the Money in the Bank briefcase winner to have a backup plan in case the fans turn on Reigns vs. Lesnar yet again.
Kevin Owens is now a factor, but WWE’s strong pushing of Strowman makes him the better bet to retain the title shot. Once the Brooklyn crowd starts to heckle the Reigns/Lesnar match, it will culminate with a huge pop when Strowman comes out to win the Universal Championship and close the show.