The New Year is upon us. Whether you’re going to brave the outside or stay home to watch the clock tick over to midnight, there’s a lot to look forward to in professional wrestling. WWE continues to build its coffers, showing there’s profitability in wrestling and hopefully enticing future investors, AEW’s momentum is strong, and fans continue to show interest in companies like STARDOM and New Japan. With that in mind, here are four predictions to look forward to in 2022 across the entire wrestling industry.
A main event stable led by a woman
Everyone loves factions in professional wrestling. From the days of the Four Horsemen and Hart Foundation, through today’s groups like The Bullet Club, New Day, and Dark Order. There’s something fun about finding out a group of your favorite wrestlers has joined together like Voltron to cause havoc in a promotion. Yet, there’s something missing. It’s time for a major promotion to build a powerful, main event stable that includes men and women to be led by a woman.
Over in NXT Elektra Lopez is seemingly taking a “leadership” position in Legado del Fantasma, but Santos Escobar may argue that idea. For a moment, it looked like Ana Jay was going to take the leadership spot for The Dark Order, but that did not happen. Now is the time to get fully behind this idea as the interest in not only women’s wrestling, but to see women presented at the top of the card continues to grow.
Anyone up for a stable in AEW of LAX and Eddie Kingston, with Thunder Rosa at the forefront? Yes please.
New match types/stipulations
Match stipulations and themes are meant to drive interest in a feud. They create a moment where the stakes are the highest, perhaps an added sense of “danger.” But in many ways, the current stipulation options seem stale in professional wrestling. There’s a need for promotions to look at the types of matches available and create some new options.
AEW has tried to make some shifts with the “Casino” idea that’s linked to battle royals and ladder matches. Everyone may not like it, but it’s a new idea in a space where there’s a lot of copy and paste.
As companies continue to look for ways to set themselves apart from the field, creating new match types could catch the attention of fans and media members alike. Expect to see some different match types in the new year.
Rumblings of a new promotion will gain steam
WWE continues to report on big revenue numbers each quarter. AEW is building its momentum since its inception in 2019, with an opportunity for continued growth in 2022. Cheap content has value to television and streaming organizations. Ring of Honor has shuttered its doors, with hints at some return in 2022, while WOW is taking its place, even with the questionable decision to place Tessa Blanchard at the forefront.
There are potential growth opportunities in professional wrestling. Rumors have popped up about a new promotion being formed by some experienced members of the industry, without anyone being willing to confirm the idea. Just as AEW showed the world in 2019, there’s a space for continued competition and visions in professional wrestling. In 2022 this story will grow as the speculation builds into a confirmation of some sort.
More diversity at the top of the card
There’s a continued call for improved diversity in professional wrestling. WWE has taken some steps in recent years, but that doesn’t negate the years of under-representation and stereotypical characters placed on television. All Elite Wrestling boasts a diverse roster in numbers, but still fails when it comes to inclusion at the top of the card.
But it doesn’t stop there. Diversity and inclusion are not just about race and ethnicity, but all the differences that embody the people who watch professional wrestling. With performers like Jake Atlas, Effy, Nyla Rose, Sonny Kiss, and others. Many independent promotions are embracing and elevating diverse groups of people and with more wrestling fans calling for the same 2022 should see a continued improvement when it comes to diversity in wrestling.