Now that 2017 has officially come to an end, it seems that it's the perfect time to look forward to the things that could await the WWE Universe in the coming months. The Royal Rumble begins the Road To WrestleMania in less than four weeks time and it seems that once again the WWE Universe has a lot to be excited about. Raw celebrates its 25th Anniversary in a few weeks time which could be an indication as to where the company is heading when it comes to the legends who will be included in WrestleMania 34.
Of course, WrestleMania itself will be huge this year since it's playing its part in New Orleans Tricentennial celebrations. It will be the first WrestleMania for a number of WWE's top stars and it seems that it could be the first year that many win their first World Championship as well.
While 2017 has been a record-breaking year and 2018 could be set to follow suit. It has already been announced that WWE will make history at The Royal Rumble when they present the first ever female version of the annual match, but it seems that there are plenty of other opportunities for WWE to make history in the next 12 months too.
The following list looks at some of the boldest predictions for moments and events in 2018 that WWE could take advantage of. Following the things that the company has accomplished in 2017, it seems that 2018 has all the potential to be a record-breaking year for WWE.
15 Batista Will Be Added To The Hall Of Fame
Batista is a former World Champion in WWE and is remembered as one of its most popular stars, despite the little hiccup that was his return back in 2014. The Animal has been able to create a career for himself outside of WWE as a main star of Guardians of The Galaxy as well as the main villain in James Bond's recent outing as Spectre.
WWE knows that given Batista's popularity around the world right now they could capitalize on bringing him back and inducting him into the WWE Hall of Fame. There have been rumours over the past few months that Batista is already a name that the company has decided on for the 2018 class, but announcements don't start to take place until after The Royal Rumble. If Batista isn't chosen to be the face of this year's Hall of Fame class, then The Undertaker definitely will be.
14 Kane/The Big Show Will Retire
Kane has recently been announced as one of the men who will be fighting for the Universal Championship at The Royal Rumble in a few weeks time. Kane has been pushed into the main event picture over the past few weeks alongside Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar but even The Red Machine has admitted that he feels that this will be his last big push in WWE.
Kane has a life outside of the company now and works in both insurance and politics. Kane is running for a Mayoral seat in Knox County next year and this means that it's highly likely that after more than two decades in WWE, Kane could be walking away later this year. Big Show is another superstar who seems to be heading in the same direction. He put Strowman over in a steel cage match a few months ago, before he underwent hip surgery but even if the former World Champion returns to WWE for one last match, it would mean that he would be walking away from the company this year as well.
13 Asuka's Undefeated Streak Will Come To An End
Asuka has taken the WWE by storm over the past few years and now holds the record when it comes to the most matches undefeated. She also holds the record for holding the NXT Women's Championship longer than any other woman before her with a more than 500-day reign.
Asuka was promoted to the main roster a few months ago and has since gone on to continue her undefeated streak, which even saw her become the sole survivor for the Raw team back at Survivor Series, but it seems that her streak that has eclipsed WWE for almost three years could finally come to an end next year. Asuka could be looking at a match against either Paige at WrestleMania or Charlotte in a dual-brand match, which will see her streak finally put to bed. While Asuka has been a fierce competitor over the past few years, it seems that sooner or later, streaks always come to an end.
12 The Miz Will Become The Man
It could be argued that while many of the WWE Universe think that AJ Styles was the superstar of the year in WWE for 2017, The Miz was actually the superstar who held together SmackDown for a number of months before moving over to Raw and becoming the reason that The Shield reunited.
It is so hard for many heels to actually be hated in WWE in this era, but somehow Miz has been able to remain one of the most hated men in the company and he deserves some recognition for the fact that he has been one of their most consistent performers in 2017. While AJ Styles has been pushed to the main event level of the company over the past year, Miz has been stuck on the mid-card and it seems that it's finally time for the former Intercontinental Champion to be able to go after that Universal Championship.
11 Charlotte Will Break Trish Stratus' Long Standing Record
Charlotte has been the most dominant force in the Women's Division since her debut on NXT back in 2014. As a former NXT Women's, Divas and Raw Women's Champion as well as the current SmackDown Women's Champion, Charlotte has set her own fair share of records over the past few years but she has always had her eye on one main record.
Trish Stratus retired from WWE back in 2006 as a seven-time Women's Champion and that record is still yet to be broken. Mickie James and Charlotte both sit on six main roster Women's Championships, but it seems that Charlotte seems the most likely to break this record over the next year. Charlotte would only have to lose the Championship she currently holds and lift another to match Trish's long-standing record, something that should be easy for the daughter of Ric Flair, since she's already lifted six Championships since her main roster debut back in 2015.
10 205 Live Will Be Cancelled
The inaugural Cruiserweight Classic back in 2016 not only led to the Cruiserweight invasion of Monday Night Raw, but it also led to 205 Live becoming a show of its own on the WWE Network. The show is going on tour in 2018 but after all of the problems that the Cruiserweights have had with ratings over the past year, it doesn't seem likely that this will still be a show of its own at the end of 2018.
Enzo Amore has a number of enemies of his own but there is also the added fact that former Champion Neville walked away from the company and another former Champion in Rich Swann may not be returning. It has been a terrible year for the 205 Live division and it seems that 2018 isn't set to get any better for them. The reaction that Hideo Itami received when he debuted on Raw a few weeks ago says everything that needs to be said about his hopes of boosting the ratings for the Tuesday night show.
9 Daniel Bryan Wrestles Again
There wasn't a dry eye in the building back in February 2016 when Daniel Bryan announced that he was being forced to retire from WWE because of a recurring injury. Bryan has since been brought back to TV as the General Manager of SmackDown Live, but since his contract runs out in April next year, speculation has begun that WWE could be hoping to allow Bryan to step back into a WWE ring again.
Bryan has recently been seen as a special guest referee which allows him to be in the ring without actually competing, but as well as this the former World Champion has opened up a feud with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon. It seems that this could lead to a final match for Bryan in a WWE ring, something that Bryan would have gone on to pursue outside of WWE anyway. There is hope that his final match with WWE will happen at WrestleMania 34 and Bryan would then be able to make his decision to leave or resign with WWE before his contract runs out.
8 WWE Departures
WWE has seen their own fair share of departures over the past year, with the likes of Emma, Summer Rae and Darren Young released from the company and Neville's WWE future still technically up in the air. That being said, the heartbreak isn't over just because the year is since there are a number of stars whose contracts are set to come to an end in the next 12 months.
As already mentioned, Daniel Bryan's contract runs out in April following WrestleMania, as does current Universal Champion Brock Lesnar's and it's thought that the former UFC Champion is looking at taking some time away from the company following this. Dolph Ziggler is also a superstar whose contract comes to an end later this year and it seems that he has no plans to resign either and instead will be walking away from WWE after more than a decade with the company.
7 John Cena Will Become A 17-Time World Champion
John Cena has been the face of WWE now for the past 15 years, so it didn't come as that much of a shock that he was able to equal Ric Flair's 16-time World Championship haul at The Royal Rumble back in January 2017 when he defeated AJ Styles.
Cena only won the Championship to equal the record, since he later went on to drop the title inside the Elimination Chamber a few months later. Cena returned to WWE on Christmas day and still remains a free agent but while it's physically not foreseeable that Cena could win the Universal Championship in the next year, it seems highly likely that he could lift the WWE Championship once again and in doing so he would break Flair's long-standing record once and for all and be able to walk away from WWE knowing that his record could only be reached in the coming years by Randy Orton or Triple H.
6 Aleister Black Will Be Promoted To The Main Roster
One of the best shows of the year for the WWE Universe is Raw After WrestleMania since this is traditionally where a number of NXT superstars make their main roster debut. While the likes of The Authors of Pain, The Iconic Duo and even Drew McIntyre are all in line to be called up to the main roster in the next 12 months, one person the WWE Universe can't wait to see on either Raw or SmackDown is Aleister Black.
Since his undefeated streak officially ended last week on NXT at the hands of Johnny Gargano as part of the fatal four-way number one contender's match, it seems that all Black has left to do on NXT right now is extract revenge on Adam Cole, something that he could do in Philadelphia in three weeks time. Black will be an exciting addition to the main roster and one that many current superstars will definitely be keeping their eye out for.
5 Braun Strowman Will Become World Champion
Braun Strowman is undoubtedly the break out superstar of the year for 2017. His feud with Roman Reigns has been one of the most exciting dynamics of the year even though it hasn't been a great year for ambulances. That being said, Braun has come so close to being Universal Champion on a number of occasions and he will be given another shot at The Royal Rumble in less than four weeks time.
It's hard to believe that the former Wyatt Family member will be able to go another 12 months without picking up Raw's biggest prize. It is well-known that many of WWE's higher-ups are currently hot on Strowman and since none of them know how to prolong a decent title chase, he will definitely be Champion in the coming months; there's no question about it. On the plus side, he's will be a Champion that the WWE Universe will all agree on.
4 The UK Division Will Finally Be Given A Spotlight
The first ever WWE United Kingdom tournament took place back in January 2017 and it saw a number of United Kingdom-based wrestlers able to then sign with the company. Even though Pete Dunne made his debut on Monday Night Raw in Manchester a few months ago the NXT division has mostly been confined to the NXT roster.
Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate have had two outstanding match of the year candidates over the past 12 months, which should definitely be enough for WWE to realize that these stars have proved themselves enough to bring them up to the main roster. If 205 Live fails in the next year then the United Kingdom division could be the ones to take their place. It's not fair to hide their talent on NXT week after week. There has been speculation about a weekly United Kingdom show, but given the issues WWE is having with 205, this is unlikely.
3 Undertaker Will Wrestle At WrestleMania
Undertaker returns to WWE in less than three weeks time, the week before The Royal Rumble as he celebrates the 25th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw. Incredibly, Undertaker's career is longer than this unbelievable feat for Raw, but the real question here is if Undertaker will finally address the retirement rumours.
Undertaker hasn't been seen since he was defeated by Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 33 in April 2017 so it will be interesting to see if he is appearing to announce that final long-awaited WrestleMania match against John Cena or if he is there so that WWE can unveil him as the face of the 2018 Hall of Fame class. It is thought that it will be the match at WrestleMania that the WWE Universe have waited many years to see, but it would be billed as his retirement match for the company. Both Cena and Undertaker will be part of Raw's anniversary on the 22nd of January so it seems as though this storyline has written itself.
2 Dean Ambrose Will Finally Turn Hell
Dean Ambrose was recently a main part of The Shield's reunion but The Lunatic Fringe will now be sidelined for most of 2018 after it was revealed that he suffered a partial tricep tendon tear. Ambrose was always set to turn on a long-time teammate and friend Seth Rollins and lead up to a match between the duo at WrestleMania.
The WWE Universe has waited more than five years for Dean Ambrose to turn heel and finally bring his Jon Moxley character to WWE. While this injury is a huge setback for him and his fanbase, it seems that this won't prevent the former World Champion from showing his true colours when he returns. Rollins being the man to blame for the initial injury on Monday Night Raw is the seed that needed to be planted in order for Ambrose to return and turn on Rollins in what could be a career-defining feud.
1 Raw Will Be Switched Back To A Two Hour Show
Monday Night Raw has been one of the longest nights of the week when it comes to wrestling for a number of years now and while the WWE Universe have commented that the show doesn't need to be that long so many times before, it isn't up to WWE. It's up to the network that airs the show.
If 205 Live is cancelled then WWE wouldn't need to feature the Cruiserweights anymore and could finally take the show back down to two hours. It seems that every week the show reaches a peak and then dips because it is on for way too long. Many in the WWE Universe prefer SmackDown now because it seems as though time goes by much faster on a Tuesday night. Hopefully, WWE makes the right decision and allows Raw to go back to its original two-hour time frame in 2018. It would be for the best.
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