With nine months already in the books for the current calendar year, the landscape for 2017 has already begun to take shape. If we take a quick glance at the current storylines on the main roster and who’s being pushed in NXT, one can already make some reasonable assumptions about what we might see in 2017. We know Shinsuke Nakamura is being positioned for a nice run, A.J. Styles looks to be set for a big year, and something tells me we haven’t seen the last attempt at a big push for Roman Reins. So I thought it might be fun to press my face a little deeper into the crystal ball and make a few predictions, as to whatwe might be in store for, by the year 2018.
Colin Cassady will be a main event player. It’s like the catch phrase says “He’s seven feet tall, and you can’t teach that.” WWE has a history of providing big men with nice pushes and Cass has already participated in afatal four way match for the WWE Universal Championship. Even some of the more limited big men, like Psycho Sid and even the Great Khali had main event runs, at one point. Cassidy’s steadily improving mic skills are already superior to both the previous named talents. Moreover, he moves around exceptionally well for a big man and has a marketable look. By the time 2018 comes around, it’s likely that S.A.W.F.T. will have run its course. When it’s time for Enzo and Cass to go their separate ways, look for Cassidy to get a major push.
Alexa Bliss will win (or will have won) one of the Women’s titles. A lot of great female talent has been called from NXT lately, and it feels like Bliss may have gotten lost in the shuffle. Besides the fact she’s proven to be an outstanding athlete, she also does a nice job with her character. Portraying the stuck up girl with a mean streak, when done right, is a very effective gimmick and Bliss is starting to get it out. Her facial expressions are on point. She’s becoming very believable and it doesn’t hurt that she looks like the mean cheerleader that wouldn’t give you the time of day. It’s one of those characters, where your start to ask yourself “I wonder if she’s like that in real life?” When you get to that point, then you know you’re on to something. The combination of solid ring work and strong character development could make Bliss a force in the women’s division for years to come.
Dolph Ziggler becomes World Champion…in TNA. Despite being one of the most athletic guys in the WWE, the Ziggler character just can’t seem to get over the hump. Sure, he’s had the World Title a couple times, but he can never seem to maintain his spot at the top. Bad booking may be partly to blame, but I think there may be more. I’ve always thought is seemed liked people enjoyed Nick Nemeth the performer, more than Dolph Ziggler the character. Ditching the 90’s style bleached blonde hair was probably a step in the right direction and it’s obvious he’s really trying to pick up the passion and intensity in his promos lately. The character has just been too up and down (in regards to wins and losses) in recent years and possibly a little overexposed. Maybe Ziggler could use some time away from WWE creative to find himself as a character and I could easily see a frustrated Ziggler cutting a “now I’ll get my shot” promo in TNA. I predict Ziggler’s out of WWE by 2018, which is kind of a shame.
Roman Reigns finally makes his heel turn. It may take another year of fans booing Reigns before this happens. In fact, I’m pretty sure it will take another year of fans booing Reigns for it to happen. You got to figure by 2018 WWE management will be ready for Reigns to start embracing the boo’s, right?
Ronda Rousey has her first match in the WWE. I thought I’d end with a bit of a bold prediction. There have already been rumors swirling regarding Rousey’s retirement from UFC, since her loss to Holly Holm back in November of 2015. Rousey is an avid wrestling fan and has already made in appearance back at Wrestlemania 31. In fact, her nickname in the UFC, “Rowdy” was taken from WWE Legend Rowdy Roddy Pipper. Following her Wrestlemania 31 appearance Rousey herself tweeted “We’re just gettin’ started…” If the former Olympic medalist does have any unfinished business in the UFC, it seems like she could conceivably have it wrapped up, by the time 2018 rolls around. If so, could we see Ronda vs. Charlotte at WrestleMania 34?