The start of 2018 is already taking shape within WWE through the first two weeks of the year.
With the Royal Rumble set for Jan. 28 in Philadelphia, a lot is going to happen in the next few months heading into WrestleMania 34. History will be made with a women’s Royal Rumble match, challengers are looking to step up to Brock Lesnar on Raw and some teams are looking to make names for themselves in 2018.
It’s going to be another fun year of wrestling in WWE, that’s for sure.
Before we go into what I think is going to happen this year, he’s a brief look at what I thought would happen in 2017.
- Hulk Hogan will return at WrestleMania 33 – My reasoning was time healed all wounds. Though plenty of time has passed, WWE doesn’t seem to need his starpower right now.
- President Donald Trump appears on WWE television – There hasn’t even been a mention of Trump, which is wise.
- Asuka debuts and wins Women’s Championship – I could file this for 2018 since she didn’t appear until late in 2017. I have something else in store for her later in this post.
- Baron Corbin will win the WWE World Championship – I was soooo close. He won the MITB briefcase but blew that opportunity. He, the United States Championship wasn’t a bad consolation prize.
- This will not be The Undertaker’s last WrestleMania – It looks like I could be wrong, but the jury is still out on the Deadman. Conflicting rumors have him either being legitimately retired or coming back for another match with Cena.
And here is what I think 2018 has in store for us in the WWE.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will headline SummerSlam
At the Royal Rumble, A.J. Styles will defend his WWE Championship in a handicap match against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. All signs point there for the split to begin between the two. I feel like that match will set up a tease with the split coming some time after WrestleMania.
At that point, one of those two could very well be WWE Champion, which will make their feud for the title. What better place than for these two, destined to fight forever, to decide that than by headlining SummerSlam?
Finn Balor will win the Universal Title at SummerSlam
The Balor Club has officially been formed without much fanfare. Which is fine, honestly. Balor has flown under the radar since his return from a shoulder injury, which has been quite underwhelming to the fans. And even worse, a healthy Gallows & Anderson were complete afterthoughts on a show that isn’t deep in tag team talent.
But now, Balor is winning big matches and The Club is alongside him. On Monday, they beat two members of The Shield and Jason Jordan. I can totally see Raw’s focus shift to Balor, Roman Reigns, The Shield and The Club for the next several months.
With Reigns expected to take the title of Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, I expect Balor to be the one to do it against Reigns. It would be a huge storyline heading into SummerSlam, and it would be fitting for Balor to win the title two years after he first won it.
Asuka’s first loss will be challenging for the Women’s Championship
This is a prediction based off of nothing except for the fact that it will be a total shock. Asuka is being built up as the most unstoppable force in all of WWE, and it’s hard to believe any woman on this roster will beat her.
If she gets her first title shot against Alexa Bliss, I can see her losing thanks to some sort of shady play or interference. The only person that will beat her clean is Nia Jax, and the only way that happens is if Jax turns on her best friend Bliss before Asuka gets her shot.
Jason Jordan wins Money in the Bank
In an attempt to continue this run of turning Jason Jordan into the most insufferable human being in WWE, he will not only be a part of the Money in the Bank ladder match but will come down with the briefcase.
When WWE split him up from Chad Gable and made him the on-screen son of Kurt Angle, it was clear they had big plans for him. We, as fans, don’t really know what that is just yet, but there are reports Vince McMahon is pleased that our reception of Jordan is going as planned. That’s because he’s been the biggest brat on TV and we’re booing him for it.
It’s no surprise either. Jordan is the first (I think) to hold the NXT, SmackDown and Raw Tag Team Championship. He’s in the middle of a storyline with The Shield and Balor Club, and is the current Raw tag champ with Seth Rollins. Big things are in store, and if he wins the briefcase this June, it’s going to get really fun with fan favorites potentially ruling the Universal title scene.
Kenny Omega will wrestle in a WWE ring
I’m stealing this one from Nicholas Huba, my co-host on “The Booking Sheet Wrestling Podcast.” Kenny Omega's match with Chris Jericho went over really well at WrestleKingdom last week and was considered match of the night. The very next day, Jericho showed back up at NJPW to continue their story.
I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE and NJPW, despite the stuff going on with cease and desist letters and stealing talent, have a small handshake agreement to at least trade talent for one match on one night. Granted I’m more sold that Jericho going to NJPW had nothing to do with WWE at all, but I could see Omega having a one-off in WWE. But I can also see Omega coming to WWE after his contract is up with NJPW to continue what he and Jericho created there.
This is a bold prediction from Nick for sure, but I’m sold.
Weekly Power Rankings
A kayfabe ranking of the top 10 superstars on WWE's four programs.
Monday Night Raw
- Brock Lesnar
- Braun Strowman
- Roman Reigns
- The Miz
- Finn Balor
- Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan
- Alexa Bliss
- Balor Club (Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
On the bubble: Samoa Joe.
- A.J. Styles
- The Usos
- Kevin Owens
- Sami Zayn
- Shinsuke Nakamura
- Randy Orton
- Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
- Bobby Roode
- Jinder Mahal
On the bubble: Mojo Rawley, The New Day.
- Andrade Almas
- Johnny Gargano
- Adam Cole
- Aleister Black
- Undisputed Era (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish)
- Roderick Strong
- SAnitY (Eric Young & Alexander Wolf)
- Ember Moon
- Velveteen Dream
- Killian Dain
On the bubble: Authors of Pain, Lars Sullivan.
- Enzo Amore
- Cedrick Alexander
- Drew Gulak
- Hideo Itami
- Akira Tozawa
- Tony Nese
- Mustafa Ali
- Jack Gallagher
- The Brian Kendrick