Anybody who has ever attended a live wrestling show knows there are fans who believe they know everything that's going to happen before it does. Such fans don't hesitate for a second to turn around in their seat and tell you exactly what they think will happen, even if what they say makes little sense. This isn't to say there is anything wrong with being a fan like that, in fact, most of us reading these articles have probably acted in such a way before. That being said, such fans often feel like they know WWE so well that they can predict everything the company will do in the future.
The truth is much of what is written online regarding future WWE plans is often false. Many times these false beliefs are perpetuated by wrestling's "dirt sheets" as well. While some reporters may have sources within the company, none of those sources have the last name McMahon, or Levesque - so that means they aren't able to accurately predict WWE's future. Here are 15 things many wrestling fans expect to see in 2018... but won't - for better or for worse as you'll see throughout this article. Enjoy folks!
15 Ronda Rousey Working Full-Time
Shortly after she appeared at the 2018 Royal Rumble, WWE announced Ronda Rousey had signed a full-time contract with the company. What exactly full-time consists of in regards to her schedule is somewhat up in the air, however.
If by full-time they mean Rousey will be around about as much as Brock Lesnar, then yes, she is full-time. Rousey being on Monday Night Raw every week is something that isn't going to happen, however. The former UFC Bantamweight Champion has far too much money to be working such a hectic schedule. She might love WWE but it's doubtful she loves being on the road every week.
When it comes to Rousey, as it does Brock, less is more. Look for WWE to turn her into an attraction similar to Brock.
14 Neville's Return
Many are hoping that at some point in 2018 we see the return of the former King of the Cruiserweights, Neville. Well, if this is what you're waiting for, you're going to be waiting a long time. The current speculation is WWE is more than happy to let Neville sit out the remainder of his contract before returning to the independent scene.
Neville has plenty of friends outside of WWE who are probably in his ear letting him know how much money he can make outside of the company. Otherwise, there is little reason for Neville to have walked out on the company. While there had been rumors the two sides were looking to work out their differences, it appears now that there is little hope at this point that Neville resumes his WWE career anytime soon.
13 Paige Retires
Rumors are rampant that popular former champion, Paige, will no longer be medically cleared to compete in WWE. Despite her young age, Paige has been wrestling for 12 years and it seems to be taking its toll.
The only problem with these rumors is that they are unconfirmed and quite possibly completely untrue. Paige could very well still be medically cleared to wrestle before the year is out. If that was not the case, WWE would have let their audience know by now. Be it Edge, Daniel Bryan, or others, WWE is always quick to let their fans know when a wrestler's career really is over. All they have announced thus far in regards to Paige is that she had to miss the Royal Rumble due to injury.
The likely scenario here is that WWE and Paige are looking at all options for her rehabilitation and a return to the ring is still entirely possible.
12 Dolph Ziggler Quits the Company
Dolph Ziggler will be in WWE for a long time to come. The belief is Ziggler just signed a multi-year deal worth enough money that he probably doesn't care how poorly he is used. If the rumors are correct (in wrestling they often are not, remember) Ziggler also is to receive additional perks in his new deal including not having to remain at shows after his match or segment is over.
Many WWE fans assumed Ziggler wouldn't re-sign with the company given how he has been used as of late. While Ziggler is a former World Champion, that was a long time ago and he has been pushed down the card considerably since then. Fans expecting to see Ziggler finally quit WWE will be in for a surprise in 2018, Ziggler isn't going anywhere.
11 Jason Jordan Storyline Dropped
Jason Jordan is currently injured and slated to miss WrestleMania. This has led some to believe the best thing WWE could do for him is to just quietly drop this whole story where he is Kurt Angle's son. Don't get your hopes up, however, this storyline won't go away that easy. That the storyline has been poorly received will have little impact on Vince McMahon's decision to keep going with it. Fan reaction seldom influences Vince McMahon to do anything, after all.
When Jordan does return, expect the storyline to pick up where it left off. Perhaps it would be better for all involved if a simple segment involving Kurt Angle discovering Jordan is not his son on Ancestry.com would be the best thing here but that's not what we're going to get.
10 John Cena Does The Job
John Cena is now over 40 years-old. So, he should lose matches then, right? As in, Cena will lose matches to guys like Finn Balor and AJ Styles, yes?
Well, if you think that is what you'll see in 2018, think again. Cena will still win the vast majority of his matches. In terms of wrestlers he will put over, that will be limited to those the company feels are big-time top stars. So, in other words, he'll only lose matches to guys like Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
We've already seen Cena defeat Finn Balor clean in singles action so far in 2018 along with The Miz - we won't have to wait long to see what other potential future stars he beats on his way to WrestleMania.
9 Vince McMahon Giving Up Power
Some are speculating that with the revival of the XFL on its way, Vince McMahon will begin to give up power in WWE. In fact, the dirt sheets are saying that Vince McMahon does plan on relinquishing some of his hold on WWE to Triple H. What Vince McMahon says about relinquishing power and what he actually does are two totally different things, however.
One thing easy to notice about Vince McMahon is that he is a bit of a control freak. That's not going to stop just because he's busy with the football league. It didn't stop him in 2003 and it's not going to stop him in 2018. While we might see more Triple H influence on the product, it will still be Vince behind the scenes pulling all the puppet strings.
8 The Miz Breaks Intercontinental Championship Record
Pedro Morales holds the record for the most combined days spent as WWE Intercontinental Champion with 619. If Miz doesn't lose his Intercontinental Championship between now and April 28th, 2018, he will pass Morales. This will mean Miz will have spent more time as Intercontinental Champion than anyone else in the wrestling industry.
Before anyone gets too confident that he will break this record at some point in 2018, however, think about what an amazing moment it would be if someone was to take that title from him before he could break the record? The Miz then desperately trying to regain the championship in order to break the record would also make for a fun storyline. In fact, Miz might never break the record just because fans might find it so fun to watch him try and fail to do so.
7 Hulk Hogan Returns
Sorry Hulkamaniacs, Hulk Hogan will not be returning to WWE in 2018. Despite Hogan's constant pleading in the media to be brought back to WWE, it's just not going to happen this year. WWE simply has nothing to gain from bringing back a guy who can't wrestle and now has a tarnished public image. Hogan coming back would mean bad press for WWE, not good press.
Additionally, Stephanie McMahon is attempting to break into mainstream society as the charitable face of the company. This is a more important task for WWE than anything going on in the ring. They aren't going to risk her standing in the charitable community to bring Hogan back, no matter how many t-shirts he is able to sell. Maybe one day Hogan returns, but not in 2018.
6 WWE Gives Up On 205 Live
Some wrestling fans are expecting WWE to eventually just give up on the Cruiserweight division. While 2016's Cruiserweight Classic was well-reviewed, everything that has happened since in this division has not been. Not only that, big names like Austin Aries and Neville have reportedly been so unhappy with their inclusion that it led to a release and perhaps a future release for Neville. Then there is the whole controversy which has gone on with Enzo Amore as of late. To put it in a nutshell, things have not gone well for 205 Live.
Don't expect WWE to give up on the brand, however. In fact, speculation now holds that Triple H is booking the show instead of Vince and that it will return to an in-ring based show like the original Cruiserweight Classic. This should be seen as good news for fans.
5 Vince McMahon Giving Up On Roman Reigns
For the last few years, Vince McMahon and WWE have been doing everything they can to turn Roman Reigns into the next face of the company. There is little evidence to show that they've been successful, however.
Reigns does not draw like Cena does on the road and he does not have the same impact on TV ratings. While Reigns might be popular with kids and women, he is not drawing them out to live event shows in the way Cena does. Many believe this will eventually lead Vince McMahon to give up on the Roman Reigns project. It's not going to happen, however. Vince McMahon does not like to give up on things or admit that he was wrong about something. See his recent XFL revival plans for more details. Reigns will still be top dog in WWE by 2019.
4 Bayley's Heel Turn
There has been a lot of talk recently about the possibility of Bayley turning heel. Bayley herself has mentioned such a rumor. Some fans see this heel turn as inevitable considering Bayley's fall down the rankings. She certainly needs something new to force WWE management to give her another crack at the top of the card. Don't count on expecting her to turn heel anytime soon, however. The hugging Bayley character is not going away for the foreseeable future.
Bayley's friend, Sasha Banks, on the other hand, will most likely turn heel by turning on Bayley. This should lead to an important feud for both women. Banks needs something to get her back in what is now a crowded Raw Women's Title scene. Bayley just needs to do something to remind WWE management she has talent.
3 Daniel Bryan Wrestles Again
Sorry everyone, but Daniel Bryan isn't going to wrestle again and he definitely won't wrestle again in WWE. While Bryan has been saying he wishes to return to wrestling, it's likely he does not.
Bryan's history of seizures makes returning to the ring an unlikely occurrence. He stands to leave a lot of money on the table with WWE during his next set of contract negotiations, however, if the company were under the impression he is unwilling or unable to wrestle anywhere else. By making it clear he wants to wrestle, Bryan is sending the message to WWE that if they want to keep him as an on-air personality only, they are going to have to pay him what he wants. It's a smart move for someone with a new family, unlike what him wrestling again would be. Daniel Bryan will not leave the company this year and he will not wrestle again, either.
2 Conor McGregor In WWE
Triple H really wants Conor McGregor in WWE. After attending one of his fights, Triple H told reporters that Conor has the whole package and could easily work a WrestleMania match similar to what Floyd Mayweather did with the Big Show.
There will come a day when Conor does decide to go to WWE but there are still several years of waiting before that will take place. At this point in his career, while he is still in his athletic prime - it makes more sense for Conor to pick fights with other combat athletes. He can go to WWE when he is well into his 40s and he'll be too old to fight come that time. At the very least, he'll make a massive pay day with Vince's company prime or not.
1 The Rock Returns At WrestleMania 34
There is no right way to put this. The Rock will never wrestle another match again. Oh, he might come in, give somebody a Rock Bottom and then pin him like he did to Eric Rowan at WrestleMania 32 but he'll never wrestle an actual match for the time being.
Even now there are rumors WWE and Rock are discussing him possibly appearing at Mania this year. Just appearing at the event is questionable, however, that's how busy the Rock is. Production companies have large insurance policies out on The Rock and those insurance companies are not thrilled with the idea of him wrestling again, especially considering he suffered a hernia and a torn abdominal muscle in his WrestleMania 29 match. Unfortunately, too many people have too much money tied up in The Rock's health for him to see the inside of the squared circle again.