WWE: 10 Bold Predictions for 2016


A new year means new possibilities and with the WWE struggling for better television ratings we could be poised to see some major changes in 2016.

Nothing forces change within a company faster than a loss of revenue. While Vince McMahon’s stranglehold on the WWE creative process is well-known throughout the business perhaps this past year was a wake-up call that changes need to be made. The recent reports of signing AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura offer a glimmer of hope unless they are relegated to mid-card purgatory like Adam Rose or Bo Dallas.

The addition of fresh talent to the roster is nothing new, so here are 10 predictions for this new year that could help bring RAW and Smackdown ratings back into ratings nirvana. Are these statements bold? Possibly. Are they irresponsible? Maybe.

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1) WrestleMania 32 will break the all-time attendance record.

This is probably the safest of bold bets, especially when you consider that tickets were selling for as little as $18. The venue is AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX which gives Vince the best chance to jam as many sweaty mouth-breathers into one place as allowed by state law.

The current professional wrestling attendance record is still claimed by WrestleMania III in 1987 whose number is touted as 93,173 and up until the 2010 NBA All-Star Game was also the record for the highest attendance of any indoor event. That All-Star Game, which was also held at AT&T Stadium, drew a crowd of 108,713 and Vince McSuperego will be looking to shatter that record, even if it means inviting people off the street to stand around and watch.

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2) John Cena will semi-retire.

We will see less and less of John Cena this year and with good reason. His recent shoulder surgery will jeep him out of the ring for 6-9 months and he will use that time to evaluate some simple truths. He’s young, he’s good-looking and his popularity is borderline annoying which means he’s perfect for Hollywood. Being a successful resident of Tinseltown is all about timing and leaving your previous springboard profession at just the right time. Success in the movie business is certainly not guaranteed because for every successful film starring a Dwayne Johnson or Marky Mark there are an overwhelming number of duds starring the likes of Hulk Hogan or Paris Hilton.

3) Kevin Owens will be the top heel in WWE.

In some respects, this has already come to pass. Seth Rollins is sidelined until well after WrestleMania in April so the WWE will need a new bad guy to shamelessly represent The Authority like a rabid dog. The Sheamus experiment crashed and burned worse than the second season of True Detective and Owens has proven himself as the guy who can get under your skin and back it up with solid in-ring performances.

4) The Shield will reunite.

This is something I have been saying for months and I still firmly believe that it can work especially in the aftermath of the Rollins injury. When he returns, Seth finds that his role in The Authority has been usurped by Kevin Owens who now runs rampant over the WWE. Amends are made with Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose and The Shield reforms to restore balance to the Force…I mean…restore order within the company. I just gave myself goosebumps.

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  • 5) NXT stars will play a larger role.

    Expect to see Finn Balor and Bayley called up to RAW in 2016. The WWE dropped the ball with The Ascension, who were the second coming of the Road Warriors in NXT and once they arrived on RAW were turned into the Job Squad. It was heartbreaking as if I was forced to watch Rudy and Brian’s Song at the same time while strapped into some strange Clockwork Orange style headgear where I couldn’t shut my eyes.

    6) The RAW/SmackDown Divas division will get stronger.

    The addition of Bayley will bring some strength but the overall wrestling won’t get any better. The WWE has made it clear that their focus for women is on their reality show Total Divas, not stronger in-ring performance. Thanks to the success of Total Divas you can expect this trend to continue. Nikki Bella wanting to start a family with John Cena means that there will be more opportunities for other women to establish a dominant role in the company and anything that keeps Nikki Bella away from television is a win for us all.

    7) The Authority will disband.

    If you’ve been paying attention, you have already read my bold prediction about The Shield reunion and I believe the fallout from this action will be the official disbanding of The Authority. Much like the Empire in the Star War series, Triple H and Stephanie will not simply go quietly into the good night but rather change their approach. This is a storyline constant that not only resonates with fans but gives plenty of options for the creative team.

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    8) Triple H will take over the RAW creative team.

    This new role will be directly tied to The Authority being dissolved by The Shield and will allow Triple H to assume a larger role in assisting the creative department with writing fresh storylines and creating interesting match ups. This can’t happen so long as Vince is the sole puppet master who tangles his stars in confusing feuds and outrageous angles. Regardless of your opinion of the man, Triple H lives and breathes the WWE and literally wants what is best for business.

    9) The Undertaker will retire.

    We say this every year but the matches with Brock Lesnar in 2015 took more out of him than I think even he expected. His retirement will come later this year after his match at WrestleMania 32 when he and Michelle McCool simply decide to stay in Texas forever.

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    10) Ric Flair will appear to be drunk in every segment.

    I mean, this is a given, right?