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2013 Predictions for WWE & TNA
I was inspired to do this after listening to my buddies over at Wrestle Reaction. I produce their live shows every Tuesday and truly got caught up in the great conversation last night. They were listing a slew of WWE predictions for this year, and I decided to put my own list together. Some will be borrowed and some will be my own additions, but either way, I'd love to read yours as well in the Comments section below.
NOTE: I will be making a special appearance on this week's edition of Chair Shot Reality and I'll be offering another bold prediction for 2013, plus Justin and I will talk plans for The Rock at Rumble and heading into WrestleMania. Should be fun!
1. The Shield will stay together as a group ALL year: The WR boys were predicting a split-up sometime after June, but I'm going out on a limb and claiming it won't happen in 2013. I think WWE will continue a trend of longevity with some of their bigger storylines, including The Shield. Their upside as a group is greater than their individual parts, at least at this point, so let's build them up as a "stable" stable and keep them together all year.
2. A new WWE Championship belt will debut: To be honest, I'm suprised this one hasn't happened already. The current piece of metal, introduced by John Cena in 2005, has run its course and needs to go. CM Punk should be the one to introduce the new one, too. It would add further value to his current run and just makes sense.
3. Brock Lesnar will win the Royal Rumble: He is quickly become a favorite of many to win the Rumble, but some question the possible scenarios that would result. I think Brock is the next challenger to Undertaker's streak at WrestleMania and that doesn't really fit into the plans of a Royal Rumble winner. How does Brock win and NOT challenge one of the two major champions? Hey, I'm not the writer. Maybe Undertaker is a World Champion come 'Mania, or maybe Brock uses his leverage as the winner to bypass the two titles and cash in on Taker. Either way, that's my pick and I'm sticking to it.
4. The New Age Outlaws will challenge for the WWE Tag Team Championships: I'm not going to guarantee they'll win, but I do think 2013 will see a full-time return of the popular tag team and find them challenging the champions at some point, likely Rhodes Scholars. The division as a whole will continue being ramped up this year, but some short term credibility is still needed post-Team Hell No. NAO can provide just that and I'm looking forward to it.
5. Mick Foley to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at MSG: He's the clear front-runner for the Class of 2013 and there's no better place for his induction to take place than Madison Square Garden.
6. Jack Swagger will return to defeat Antonio Cesaro and win the US Championship: The All-American American will be back, sooner rather than later, and the US title picture is the only place I want to see him. Can Swagger win fans over as a babyface? I think so. He's one of the most underrated talents in recent memory and while I don't expect main event results, I do think a higher level of productivity and accomplishments is in his future. And deservedly so.
7. Bully Ray will win the TNA World Heavyweight Championship: If he doesn't, I'll be pissed. There's been very few superstars impress me in the past year as much as Bully Ray has, and 2013 needs to be the year he (and TNA) cashes in on that incredible growth. I don't care about the when or where, but I think it should happen.
8. Edginess will continue, despite PG-13 rating: TLC proved WWE will again start pushing the envelope in terms of risk and edginess, in matches and in stories. Ratings continue to suck, for lack of a better term, and Vince will have none of it! I'm not saying that bringing back some "attitude" is the only thing that needs changing, but it's a start. Make wrestling cool again, and the kids will still follow.
9. Bobby Lashley will return to WWE: This one is a shot in the dark, but I think it's going to happen. He wants it, and although I won't say WWE needs it, a Bobby Lashley return wouldn't hurt. He's not a game-changer, but he's one of several former stars I could see returning in 2013.
10. Mass number of WWE releases are inevitable: We haven't had a slew of roster cuts in a while, primarily due to Linda's senate run and the McMahons wanting her to be viewed as a job creator, but that's over now and business will return to normal. It's pretty easy math, too: with the influx of new stars debuting, there's simply not room for everyone. The cream of the crop will rise, and some good talents will be let go. I expect a dozen or more will receive their walking papers this year.
Happy new year everyone and I look forward to seeing what 2013 brings all of us!