Going into 2011, even the boldest prognosticators couldn’t have predicted the last few months of WWE programming. Like it or not, the WWE is at its most unpredictable time in years. That is why I thought it would be fun to take a wild stab at predicting the remainder of the year in the WWE.
I thought I would have a little fun on the first slow pro wrestling news week in awhile and look into the crystal ball of the Camel Clutch Blog and report back at what I see for the next five months in the WWE Universe. So without further adieu, here are 10 Not So Bold WWE Predictions for The Remainder of 2011.
1 – Daniel Bryan will not finish the year with his Money in the Bank contract – Yes, you heard it here first. As much as I would love to be right about Daniel Bryan challenging for the WWE championship at WrestleMania 28, I don’t think it happens this way.
Think about this. If John Cena retains the title going into 2012 and Bryan holds on to his Money in the Bank, the 2012 Royal Rumble is for nothing! I think for business, the WWE needs to enter the Royal Rumble with all Money in the Bank contracts cashed in and open slots for both WWE championships at WrestleMania.
Heck, if WWE executed their original plans for Punk this would have happened by August.
3 – By order of King Triple H, the brand extension will be over – We are already seeing the first steps towards the end of the brand extension. Without giving away SmackDown spoilers, R-Truth and John Morrison both wind up on SmackDown without any real explanation. The brand extension is more an extension of convenience than anything else. It comes and goes but I think that in order to really shake up the landscape and jack up some ratings, the WWE powers that be abolish the brands once and for all.
4 – Ric Flair will be back in the WWE – Once again, this is nothing more than a prediction. From all accounts the relationship between Ric Flair and his current employers at TNA Wrestling is about as thin as thin ice can be. Flair makes a lot of money and from all accounts, the company is looking to make cuts. Why continue to pay for someone who is obviously not a team player? Flair has obviously been itching to get back into the WWE with his Hall of Fame appearance and with Triple H wielding a lot of power behind the scenes these days, and I would imagine that all sins will be forgotten.
5 – Andy Leavine will not be on the main roster on December 31, 2011 – I loved WWE Tough Enough and I see a lot of old school in Andy Leavine. However, history shows that the WWE rush Tough Enough winners to the main roster and most wind up failing. I like the kid a lot but he just didn’t appear to be built for the road or the WWE locker room. He already has a ton of heat on him for not selling the Stone Cold Stunner long enough. I think the pressure is too much for him, he misses his family, the big boys eat him alive, and the big kid is either sent back down to FCW or cut entirely by the end of the year.
6 – The Miz will be a bigger babyface star than CM Punk by December 31 – I wasn’t a big fan at all of The Miz’s run as WWE champion, and quite frankly I am not a fan of his altogether. However, I do recognize that he has something that say Andy Leavine doesn’t and that is charisma! The kid is a natural babyface star in waiting and could do really big things in 2012 as a top WWE hero. I was hoping they would turn him at WrestleMania 27 but not such luck. The WWE is desperately in need of another top babyface (and top heel for that matter) and I think he is the guy to fill that slot by the end of the year whether it is due to injuries or WWE creative smarts.
7 – Jim Ross will not be announcing in the WWE on December 31 – Say it aint so Joe! Listen, I love Jim Ross. As a pro wrestling announcer myself, I can tell you that I think he is the greatest ever. He is still the best in the business, yet for whatever reason the boss doesn’t like him. Ross continues to be something of a toy to Vince McMahon who likes to dangle him in front of us for a few weeks a year and then pull back just when we think good old J.R. is here to stay. Why should this year be any different?
8 – RAW will average under a 3.0 rating by the end of the year – I don’t like where this is going but it would appear to me that the WWE are shooting their best storylines right now and getting minimal movement in the ratings for it. If the mass WWE audience isn’t interested in CM Punk leaving with the WWE championship and the Vince-Triple H saga, what can you give them in November and December to keep them around? You’ll have Monday Night Football and all of the usual fall television hits back to compete with viewers. There is way more to this current ratings pattern that meets that eyes and I think it is the start of a slow decline into the twos for RAW.
10 – The Kings of Wrestling will get a fair shake on the main WWE roster – Here is to hoping if I am right about one thing, it is this one. I am a big fan personally and professionally of Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli. By all indications, it would appear that the former ROH tag team champions are heading to the WWE. Rumors also seem to indicate that the two will bypass the developmental system and head straight to the top. I predict that not only will they be WWE tag team champions at some point this year, but that their unique style will reinvigorate the entire tag team division.