The WWE is coming off the most exciting weekend of the year, and again, WrestleMania 34 proved to be one of the best shows WWE has put on yet. Although it’s great to look back on the phenomenal weekend that was, we now have to start looking forward to some fresh matches and exciting stories for the year ahead. We’ll see new talent in new places, heel/face turns and of course, surprise returns and debuts, and if the WWE can put in more effort to their weekly booking, especially with their expiring TV deal looming, we could be looking at one of the best era’s in WWE history.
Obviously not everything on this list is going to happen, as WWE management is unpredictable (most of the time, not in a good way like we hope their programming would be), but we’ve tried to keep our predictions both exciting and realistic, so read on as we look to predict 15 things that will happen in the World Wrestling Entertainment between now and WrestleMania 35 in New York.
15 Braun Strowman finally wins the big one
Ever since the brand split that saw Braun Strowman separated from The Wyatt Family, he’s been absolutely incredible, and now he’s one of the biggest stars in WWE today, and his rise has been so rapid, that WWE have missed a step in not putting the Universal Championship on him, but now that the title will actually be on RAW every show, it’s time that they let the Monster Among Men run wild. He’s already the biggest star on RAW, and he’s had an absolute classic rivalry with Roman Reigns to this point, so seeing a few more matches in that rivalry is something I wouldn’t complain about, but either way, Strowman needs that big title on him by the end of the year, because there is no logical way that they can keep him out of the title hunt for another year.
14 The King of the Cruiserweights Returns as a main event player
When the show was first announced, 205 Live struggled mightily, but that wasn’t due to lack of effort from the performers, as we saw Neville take it to another level completely (the Neville Level, if you will), but unfortunately, due to creative limitations on 205 Live, he decided to walk away from the WWE, but in 2018, he will make his triumphant return to the main event level. There have been rumors on and off that talks between the two sides have begun again, and with WWE having no interest in releasing him, bringing him back to TV is the right play, as he is a genuine superstar. This will allow the company to keep the same few stars out of the main event, and would give us some incredible matches (vs. Styles, Nakamura, Balor, Rollins again, Reigns, Bryan and so many others), and it’s well-deserved, but unfortunately, this may be the most unlikely of any on our list.
13 Big E gets his world title push
Over the past few years, we’ve seen plenty of worthy talents in the WWE passed over for potential World Championship pushes (Rusev, Cesaro etc.), but the one that often gets overlooked by fans as well as WWE is Big E, a man who has quite literally everything it takes to be a mega-star in the WWE. As a member of The New Day, he’s been able to show his full range of talents, and although we don’t want to see him abandon Xavier and Kofi, he definitely deserves a shot, and seeing the videos they put together for Carmella and E’s MMC run, the two supporting him for a World Title run would be incredible. This has to happen one way or another, and with plenty of talent in the main event picture, adding in E would give it a breath of life, and he could (and should) make history as the first ever black World Champion before the end of 2018.
12 Women’s Tag Team Championships
The women of WWE are on an absolute roll to start 2018, with fantastic bouts at ‘Mania and a historic Royal Rumble, but outside of the title picture, similar to 205 Live, it feels like there isn’t enough for the women to do, so introducing a Tag Team Championship that could float between RAW, Smackdown and perhaps even NXT would be a fantastic idea. With teams like the Riott Squad, Absolution and the Iconic Duo around, this is a good idea to keep them all involved, rather than having a couple of matches come ‘Mania time, and putting the rest in a basic battle royal. This one has been rumored, but it’s unlikely anytime soon, but it would give us unpredictability and some unique match ups, so it’s something that needs to happen in 2018.
11 The Undertaker officially retires (and headlines the 2019 Hall of Fame class)
The Undertaker battled John Cena at WrestleMania 34, and it was a very quick, exciting sprint of a match, and although he looked in decent shape, it’s time for The Deadman to hang up the boots, and it’s likely going to happen over the next year, which will lead to him being the headliner of the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame class. He is arguably the greatest WWE superstar in history, but he needs to know when to get out, rather than continuing on, and if this match was to be his last in the WWE, it was a fantastic performance with one of the best in the WWE today. This has been coming for quite some time, and seeing Taker give a HOF speech would be quite enjoyable, so let’s hope that it goes down this way, without Taker hanging on too long, before he becomes like Terry Funk or some of the older performers currently on the independent scene.
10 WWE’s Women get their first ever WrestleMania main event
The main event has been something that WWE women rarely see, that is until recently, where we’ve seen women main event RAW, Smackdown and several PPV’s, to the point where it’s now completely normal (as it should be, as they are just as good as any male performers on the roster), but the one that has eluded them is the big one, and next year at WrestleMania 35, they have the potential to finally change that. If Ronda Rousey comes along and improves the way that WWE expect her too, the obvious choice here is Asuka/Rousey in the main event, and although you may not like the Rowdy one, the star power is there, and they are worthy of the spot. With talents like Baszler and Ember Moon coming up from NXT, there are definitely some other options that involve Sasha Banks or Charlotte, but for now, that’s the best choice for a potential main event, but either way, it’s inevitable for it to happen sooner or later.
9 Daniel Bryan finally gets his Royal Rumble victory
Daniel Bryan has finally been cleared to compete in the ring once more, and it’s got us dreaming of so many great matches (we’ll get to one of them later), but now that he’s cleared and is presumably going to again become a regular member of the roster, there’s one event that he has to compete in, and after the disaster that was the 2015 and 2016 Royal Rumble, it’s a match that he definitely needs to win. How he is booked the remainder of 2018 will be a telling sign of how WWE see him, but from the reaction he garnered at WrestleMania, it’s clear that he’s going to again be a main event star, and an underdog win in the Royal Rumble is the perfect way to again get him in the main event of ‘Mania, a spot he definitely deserves.
8 NXT sends a plethora of talent to the main roster
Since NXT was created in it’s current format by Triple H, the majority of the talent on the main roster has come from down there in developmental, and after the wave of talent around WrestleMania time, there will be a second wave of superstars sent to the main roster, including performers like Andrade “Cien” Almas and Ember Moon. Sure, the WWE will need to make room for them, especially since anyone promoted this year will need to be a huge part of the programming going forward, but the talent deserve these spots. It’s going to give us plenty of new and fresh matches, and if the WWE play it correctly, RAW and Smackdown could again be incredibly exciting and consistent heading forward with this injection of new talent.
7 Jeff Jarrett becomes Smackdown Live GM
This one has been heavily rumored as of late, and although Hulk Hogan is a definite possibility for this spot, Jarrett makes much more sense, as it seems that WWE is still incredibly reluctant to bring back the Hulkster, and with Daniel Bryan returning to in-ring competition, this is what we believe will happen. Jarrett has experience as an on-screen authority figure (just don’t expect WWE to mention those 3 letters), and a really good one at that, and if they allow him to use the full range of his personality, he’ll be just as good, if not better than Bryan. Obviously this all depends on the health of Bryan, and assuming he’s good to go as a full-time performer yet again, than this is the move we expect WWE to make, and although it’s not too adventurous, it’s the right decision.
6 Nakamura vs. Bryan dream match
Now that Daniel Bryan has officially been cleared to compete again, it’s given fans many dream matches, but one that Bryan has expressed an interest in is Shinsuke Nakamura, who has echoed that sentiment, as the two were roommates for quite some time in the early 2000’s when they were breaking into the business. If Daniel is completely healthy, then this one would be an absolute barn-burner, especially if given time and the correct story, and although there are plenty of opponents we need to see him wrestle, Nakamura is at the top of our list. The WWE listened to the fans and gave us Styles vs. Nakamura, and given how valuable Bryan is, they’re likely to listen to him, so expect one of the ‘Big 4’ PPV’s over the next year to feature The Ultimate Underdog vs. The King of Strong Style.
5 War Games Return At NXT TakeOver
Late last year, the WWE brought back a classic WCW concept of War Games, and the teams of The Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong, Sanity and The Undisputed Era put on a brutal classic of a match, and although they’ve said it won’t be consistently on the same show, they need to bring it back, and the storyline possibilities for the bout have already been set up. At Takeover, Roderick Strong turned on Pete Dunne to join the Undisputed Era, and for any fans of British independent wrestling, you’d be delighted to know that Pete joined Moustache Mountain to save them from The Undisputed Era, seemingly bringing British Strong Style to NXT, and if they can find another man, the idea of 4v4 War Games is very tantalizing. Mark Andrews is the obvious choice to take that spot, so if NXT can book it correctly, War Games could be back again for the WWE, and this time, it might even top the last.
4 Bobby Lashley returns
Bobby Lashley, like so many other failed main eventers, was meant to be the next big thing in the WWE, but due to his lack of personality and monster push too soon, it backfired on the WWE, and he left the company at a time when they needed new stars, but several stints in TNA has proven how far he’s come, and his rumored return could happen at any time. With Brock Lesnar reportedly heading back to the UFC, they need someone with legitimacy and aura at the top of the card, and modern day Bobby Lashley gives them just that, as well as a top heel who can match up with anyone on the roster. Sure, Lashley isn’t the biggest star in WWE history, but he’s one of the most effective heels in wrestling today, and when he returns in 2018, he’ll become the main eventer that Vince McMahon desired a decade ago.
3 Cruiserweight Tag Team Championships
This one has been hinted at online for quite some time now, and with Lucha House Party and Tozawa & Itami having some great battles over the past few weeks, it looks even more likely that this will happen very soon, and it’s about time, because it will add further depth to what is already the best weekly show the WWE produces. Sure, they’ll likely have to bring in some more talent, whether it be a makeshift team from NXT like Lio Rush & Ricochet, or they may need to hire more talent, but this will give fans even more of a reason to tune in, especially if they run a tournament to crown the champion, because we all saw how fantastic that has been this time around.
2 Zack Gibson wins King of The Ring: UK Tournament
The WWE have now announced that the UK Tournament will be running again, this time under the name King of The Ring, and it will be taking place in June, and with so many incredible performers on the independent scene in the UK, there are plenty of choices to take out the title, but none more appropriate than ‘Liverpool’s #1’, Zack Gibson. He competed at Axxess over WrestleMania weekend, and he’s talked about his goal of joining the WWE in the next few years, and Gibson is a nuclear heat magnet when he speaks, so he’s the perfect choice. Guys like Mark Haskins, Chris Brookes, El Ligero, Gabriel Kidd and Eddie Dennis are all great choice to be in the tournament, but none have the star power right now like Gibson, and his Grizzled Young Veterans tag team partner, James Drake is already under WWE contract, so that makes it even more of a reasonable choice.
1 The long awaited Roman Reigns heel turn
Many of the hardcore WWE audience see Roman Reigns as a heel already, and unfortunately for management, the casual audience hasn’t embraced him as a top baby face, so after 3 years of desperately trying to get him over as a top face, the WWE are going to finally bite the bullet and pull the trigger on a Roman Reigns heel turn. We’ve been saying this for years now, but once Brock Lesnar leaves, the opponents that Reigns has left consist of Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Elias, Cesaro and Braun Strowman, and all of those guys are cheered considerably more than The Big Dog, so whether they like it or not, they need to do it this year sometime. It’s a simple move to pull if the WWE go all in on it, and he could go down as one of the greatest heels in wrestling history, and although it may be unlikely, it’s something that WWE NEED to do.