Justin C and Cam here again. Last week, we gave you are year end award for 2016. This week, we each give you five predictions heading into the new year!
1. Lucha Underground Will Cease To Exist
-I’ve had this feeling about Lucha Underground for a long time now. They have a mid-season finale scheduled for next week then are taking a break, with the rest of Season 3 in the can ready to roll. But we have yet to hear anything about Season 4 tapings. And Dave Meltzer has reported before that the company is losing money. Unless they get a big advertisement boost or an investor I don’t know if LU will survive this year. Season 3 seems to have lost a good amount of luster that the first two seasons had. I haven’t been as invested as I was the first two years. All of the buzz it had at the start doesn’t seem to be there anymore.
2. BRAUN Strowman Will Win The Universal Title, and Beat Goldberg As Well
-The first part I think is pretty obvious if you are a WWE fan. BRAUN is being built up as the next unstoppable monster in the WWE and I think the WWE has done a fantastic job building him up. He might be the best pushed big man in the last ten years in the WWE. I fully expect BRAUN to win the Title, as well prove any doubters wrong in the process. I also expect BRAUN to get a big match at SummerSlam. I could see the WWE asking Goldberg to fight BRAUN at SummerSlam. If BRAUN doesn’t lose a one-on-one singles match clean in the year, the match could be huge for him.
3. Alexa Bliss Will Become The Face of the WWE Women’s Division
-Awhile ago I wrote about Alexa Bliss becoming the new women’s star in the WWE. She’s clearly become the face of the division on Smackdown. But I fully expect the WWE to get behind Alexa and try pushing her as the face of the women in the WWE. Sure she isn’t as strong or tall as Charlotte, and doesn’t do the media appearances like her or Sasha Banks, but she can be groomed into that spot. Alexa Bliss is still young and can be groomed into a top star. She’s already surprised me with how well she has taken on the star role. And I think the fact that she wasn’t one of the Four Horsewomen helped her out by giving her less pressure. Alexa deserves the praise she is getting and I think will only get better.
4. Kenny Omega Will Become A Household Name To Pro Wrestling Fans Around the World
-Yes, the die hard fans who watch NJPW will all know who Kenny Omega is. Most of you reading this will probably know who Kenny Omega is as well. But the fact remains that the majority of wrestling fans probably don’t know who Kenny Omega is. But after seeing his rise in 2016, I think Kenny Omega will become the biggest non-WWE star in pro wrestling. He’s filled in the AJ Styles role for NJPW perfectly after some people I know had doubt. I’ve yet to watch his Wrestle Kingdom match, but I’ve heard nothing but great things. By the end of the year, I bet the WWE will be trying to do everything they can to sign Omega.
5. The Cruiserweight Division Will Cease to Exist
-I think the WWE has made strides over the past few weeks to get people to care about the cruiserweight division. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t still struggling. I’m sure Triple H will do everything in his power to save the division. But I can’t see the division lasting in its current state. It should have started off as a show on the Network, taped at Full Sail. But the WWE tried to transition it to RAW without giving the wrestlers time to properly develop characters or give them proper stories. Now the CW division has very little traction, and I don’t know what can help it.
1. Braun Stroman Will Wrestle the Winner of Goldberg/Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam
It’s becoming less and less of a secret that Vince McMahon is high up Braun Stroman. The past few weeks Braun has gone from killing no name jobbers to feuding with Sami Zayn to brushing shoulders with Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns and Goldberg. At the Royal Rumble we all know Goldberg and Brock Lesnar’s paths will cross. I’m sure Braun will be right there to join the party.
2. Shinsuke Nakamura Will Win the WWE Championship
Not only is Shinsuke the only two time NXT Champion, he’s been publicly put over by Triple H. Nakamura may or may not debut at the Royal Rumble but it will only be a matter of time before he and AJ Styles go to war over the WWE Championship.
2.5 CM Punk will come back to the WWE, just making a dumb joke, move along
3. The WWE Will Do A Joint PPV with Evolve Live on the WWE Network: Evolve v. NXT
The WWE continues to use NXT not only as a stepping stone for incoming talent but to feature some of the best wrestlers in the world on a weekly basis. The WWE, Triple H and William Regal’s growing relationship with top promotions around the world continues to make the WWE a great, competitive place to be. Gabe Sapolsky, the owner of Evolve, has a long standing relationship with the WWE as Paul Heyman’s protege in ECW then the owner of Ring of Honor where he helped the likes of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe find their way. It would be awesome to see Chris Hero, Ricochet, Ethan Page and Chuck Taylor defend Evolve’s honor.
4. Roderick Strong Will Become the Longest Reigning NXT Champion Heading into 2018
Nakamura and Joe should be on a WWE main roster sometime this year. 2017 will be the year of Booby Roode and Roderick Strong on NXT. Roode may be the favorite to be the man at NXT but he will sure have his work cut out for him against the elite athlete.
5. Kurt Angle, Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy All Come Back to the WWE in 2017
The rumors could be true of a Kurt Angle return to the WWE, I know I don’t speak for myself when I say I hope they’re true, they’re damn true. The Hardy Boys continue to be a top draw for TNA and indie promotions across the world but something deep down inside me says the WWE wants Brother Nero deleted on Raw.
Justin C (@JCWonka)
Cam Dougharty (@camdougharty)