The 411 Wrestling Top 5 12.26.12: Week 201 – Top 5 Predictions For 2013
Hello everyone and welcome to 411 Wrestling’s Top 5 List. What we are going to is take a topic each week and all the writers here on 411 wrestling will have the ability to give us their Top 5 on said topic, plus up to three honorable mentions.
So, on to this week’s topic…
5. A major talent will miss WrestleMania – Someone will miss the WWE’s biggest event of the year. It could be John Cena, who is reportedly very banged up. It could be CM Punk, who recently had surgery and has had his return date changed twice. Brock Lesnar could have a “Brock moment” and pull out. The Undertaker could have a set back during his training. Someone is going to throw a monkey wrench into the plans of the WWE and change WrestleMania 29.
4. A “name” will join TNA – Someone from the WWE will leave at the end of their contract and will show up in TNA. It won’t be for more money, as TNA doesn’t have the ability to promise that. But a reduced schedule and a promised push will lead a mid-carder to join TNA and work towards the world title level.
3. Ring of Honor will have a slow but productive year – The end of 2012 saw two major improvements for ROH—Jim Cornette departs the promotion, and they sign on with OoYala as a content distribution partner for digital content. The biggest gains to come out of this address the biggest issues with the promotion in 2012—iPPV quality and bad booking. They will have a stronger schedule in 2013, and it will go down as a building year that sets them up for a bigger 2014.
2. A major promotion will close in Japan, and a big independent will close in the US – I am of the belief that we are inching closer to the next big era in pro wrestling, but it has to get worse before it gets better. Thus, one of the following will close in Japan: New Japan, All Japan, NOAH or Dragon Gate. In the US, I see one of these promotions closing shop in 2013: Chikara, PWG, DGUSA/Evolve, PWS, Shimmer or Shine. We won’t be happy about it, but it’s a growing pain on the way to wrestling’s next surge.
1. Triple H’s influence will continue to grow – Triple H has slowly proven to be what’s best for the WWE. Vince McMahon isn’t going anywhere, but Triple H is slowly taking over certain aspects in a very good way. He’s changing the face of WWE developmental, bringing in better talent that will have a big impact 3-4 years down the line. He’s pushing through longer title reigns, including those for the mid-card titles, and raising their prestige. And he’s going to continue to make positive changes in 2013.
5. Kevin Steen will get serious about getting in shape and get signed by WWE in 2013 or early 2014 – After going 5 for 5 in my predictions for 2011, and not being a part of the site this time last year, I am back to make another perfect 5 predictions. Starting with this one. In “Talk Steen Talk” — a Kevin Steen shoot interview, he says that his only regret in wrestling is not getting in shape. I also constantly hear fans (who largely don’t know what they’re talking about) claim that Steen’s distinguishing feature is that he’s fat (I’d argue it’s his talent) and that he’ll NEVER go to WWE. While I don’t think he’ll ever be a great body, I think he has the tools to succeed in the major leagues, and a noticeable weight loss can’t hurt his chances. In 2013, we will begin to see that change to his body.
4. At least two new first-time world champions in WWE – 2012 was the year of long title reigns. Daniel Bryan carried over his end-of-the-year World Heavyweight Championship before losing the strap to Sheamus, and the year ends with The Big Show holding big goldie. And CM Punk held the WWE Championship all year (I’m sure that’s news to absolutely no one). Therefore, we were unable to get that moment where someone was thrust into the world title scene and won it. I think that’ll change in 2013. Ryback is an obvious choice, but Dean Ambrose, Wade Barrett, Antonio Cesaro, Cody Rhodes, and Damien Sandow all have their names in the hat as well. I’m going to be conservative and only say two because of the WWE liking longer title reigns now, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were three or four first time champs.
3. TNA continues to improve – I think this is the biggest gamble on my list, but TNA has shown an uncharacteristic competence in a lot of its storylines in the last year. I think that carries over and continues through 2013. They need to keep the crap at bay, and I’m sure some will leak through — but all promotions are guilty of that. They need to continue to elevate fresh young talents much like they did with Austin Aries this past year, and simply justify all the ridiculous moves they make with strong story and reason, and they’ll suddenly be much less ridiculous. Keep it up TNA — I’d love to get to a point where I watch every week again.
2. I will get a job with WWE – That is, if I apply. I just moved out to Los Angeles to pursue TV writing, but I’ve been heavily considering applying to be a Writers Assistant for WWE because I have all they’re looking for in the job requirements (including a degree in radio-television-film). I think now is the time in my life to pursue this, and I think if I really applied, I’d get it. We’ll see though — I may find something here before March (the time I’ve designated before applying to WWE). Wish me luck!
1. Punk vs. Austin at WrestleMania XXX is built towards – I think this match will happen. It’s been a dream match since before the pipe bomb promo, and both guys have teased it. They’re just waiting for the proper venue, and I think WrestleMania 30 is just that. I don’t care or know if it’ll be for a championship (and it certainly doesn’t need one), but this match is happening.
5. The Yoga Wars – In a total “F” you to Diamond Dallas Page and Jake Roberts, Trish Stratus will reach out and form a partnership with Scott Hall. Taking a page from DDP, Stratus would work with Hall, getting him back into shape and sobering him up for one last run. Both men will end up working indy shows again, each backed by their yoga sensei, or whatever the hell they are called, I’m writing for a wrestling site, you honestly think I know a thing about yoga? Eventually egos clash as to who’s return and whose yoga is better, making enough noise for the WWE to take notice, booking the match for a Pay Per View. Slow month for them, obviously. Jake “the Snake” Roberts versus Scott Hall, DDP Yoga versus Stratusphere Yoga, who will reign supreme and who’s comeback will be considered a failure? That will be one of two questions that everyone wants answered in 2013, the other is who will relapse first?
4. RVD Comes to His Senses – Awakened from a three year “alleged” drug induced high in 2013, Rob Van Dam realizes he not only is a TNA contracted wrestler for up to three years at that point, but he has also been their World Champion and current X-Division Champion. He is thankful for the steady work, but like a man waking from a three-year coma, he has much catching up to do. He stays a consistent hand in TNA, and now more focused and with newfound motivation, he moves up to a main event program. When asked about the three-year incident, RVD’s only reply is “Well that’s the last time I party with the Hardys”.
3. The New King of All Media – With his podcast the Art of Wrestling becoming the go to podcast, 5 Dollar Wrestling breaking IPPV records, his standup comedy shows being a must see show, with lines rivaling Andrew “Dice” Clay in the 80’s, and more importantly his webshow Creative Has Nothing For You being picked up by a major network in 2013, Colt Cabana becomes the new King of All Media, dethroning Howard Stern. Colt Cabana has one hell of 2013 breaking through in mainstream America, by the end of the year movie roles are offered, Creative Has Nothing For You earns Emmys, unfortunately for Colt, even with this newfound success the WWE still refuses to sign him.
2. The Immoral Hulk Hogan – With his TNA contract up, and nothing left to do in the wrestling business, because let’s face it, Hulk Hogan has done it all, Hogan decides to make a drastic career change. Going with the flow of his current personal issues, Hulk Hogan decides to take a, shall we say stab, at being a Pornstar. Becoming a parody of his wrestling persona, albeit with a XXX twist, Hogan goes from being the Immortal Hulk Hogan, to the Immoral Hulk Hogan. Catchphrases still run amok with such gems as “What you gonna do when Hulkamania and the 5 inch python runs wild on you!”, as well as glimpses of his in ring work, most noticeably when he no-sells orgasms. 2013 is a big year for the Immoral Hulk Hogan, his biggest hit is a parody of one of his older films, when Hulk returns to the role of Rip, to face Zeus, now played by former wrestler turned starlet, Chyna, because Tiny Lister can’t resume the role, for one he is incarcerated and more importantly, this isn’t gay porn. The film No Holes Barred sweeps the AVN awards, earning Hogan awards for Best Film, Best Male Newcomer, Male Performer of the Year, Best Non-Sex Performance, this goes to Brutus Beefcake for playing the role of Rip’s brother Randy, Most Outrageous Sex Scene, Best Screenplay—Film, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects, Best Music, provided by Brooke Hogan of course, Best DVD Packaging, Best Box Cover Concept, and Best Overall Marketing Campaign—Individual Project, and yes these are real categories. 2013, Hulkamania is still running wild, alive and well, but now with nudity.
1. Mr. 2013 – Carrying on from the momentum he built up in 2012, Cody Rhodes won’t just break through the glass ceiling, he will shatter it. World Championship gold will be in store for Cody Rhodes. He will surpass Ryback, and will cement himself as the face of the company. This all will happen thanks to Cody Rhodes finding the missing element in 2012, that being his mustache. The mustache will elevate Rhodes to a height even his father failed to achieved. The beginning will be with the split between Sandow and Rhodes, while a great team, Sandow’s envy of the mustache will eventually tear the team apart. Sure Sandow was the brains of the operation, but Rhodes was the face and look of the team. This feud leads to the WWE Universe supporting Cody Rhodes. He doesn’t receive their full love and support until the rivalry between himself and John Cena. The WWE Universe comes to their realization that, while Cena has been the man for years, a true Alpha Male bares facial hair with pride. They turn their backs on Cena, what kind of a sissy can’t even grow some beard stubble? Booking is shuffled thanks to this newfound wrestling god, and Rhodes becomes the WWE Champion. He rides the wave of success, 2013 being the year of The Mustache Cody Rhodes. He is showered with accolades, Peoples “Sexiest Man Alive”, Times “Man of the Year”, Aficionado of the Month for Mustache Aficionado Magazine, and 2013 champion in the mustache category in the World Beard and Mustache Championships, yes that is real thing! He takes his first misstep towards the end of the year, when he implements the catchphrase “Who wants a mustache ride?” before hitting his finisher the Crossroads. This promptly leading Joey Ryan to sue.
Robert S. Leighty Jr
5. The WWE Network will launch in 2013 – After promises for 2012 and now all the doom and gloom about the network, I will predict it does launch in 2013.
4. Shelton Benjamin: World Champion – Shelton Benjamin will return to the WWE and will win the World Heavyweight Title. He will then feud with Daniel Bryan and the two will deliver a Match of the Year.
3. Samoa Joe to WWE – I have been predicting this for years now and almost a running joke to me, so why not predict it once again. Joe will head to the WWE and we will get Punk vs. Joe on a WWE PPV.
2. TNA moving out of Impact Zone – This is not only a prediction, but a plea as well. TNA needs to get out of the Impact Zone and get on the road on a weekly basis. I think at some point in 2013 they will finally make that decision.
1. Dean Ambrose: WWE Champion – Dean Ambrose will be the break out star of the year in the WWE and he will close out 2013 as the WWE Champion.
In ascending order of crazy…
5. A Money in the Bank winner will win a world title… before cashing in their MitB contract – There are few ways to spice up Money in the Bank, especially now that John Cena has been the first person to fail to capture a world title when cashing in their shot, but one that remains is the holder of the MitB briefcase winning the title in a regular defense, becoming someone who holds both the world title AND the MitB briefcase. 2013 seems like as good a year as any for that interesting dynamic to happen, creating a champion who not only gets a rematch, but a title shot at any time they choose — perhaps even against the other world champion. There are possibilities there, my dear readers.
4. Antonio Cesaro, World Champion – There’s no denying that the WWE is changing and guys that didn’t always seem like they could be in the main event not only reach that level, they thrive. Antonio Cesaro seems like he’s poised to rise quickly. He’s got a good look, he can manhandle even the largest of opponents, he’s good on the mic, and he can deliver in the ring beyond 95% of the roster. Of all of the yet-to-win-the-title bunch in the WWE, he’s my pick to reach the top in 2013.
3. Batista returns to the WWE – Ric Flair may not be back fulltime yet, but it seems like it will happen and his presence may be enough to coax the Animal to return to the WWE. First, it will be a brief Evolution reunion of sorts that turns sour with a Randy Orton heel turn, leading to Batista and Orton feuding.
2. Jack Swagger returns as a face and makes it to the final two in the Royal Rumble, losing – I get why Jack Swagger has always been a heel, but that All American American gimmick seems ripe for a face run. He’s been off TV for some time and a big return at the Royal Rumble, making it to the final two is a great way to re-debut him. Like most big returns, it will fizzle out eventually and he’ll drop down on the card again.
1. The Sin Cara/Rey Mysterio WrestleMania match culminates with the unmasking of Mysterio – Insanity, I know! But, with Mysterio getting older and more banged up, the torch must be passed. While Sin Cara hasn’t developed as hoped, he’s still very talented and needs that big moment to raise him to the next level. With the plans for a big masked man vs. masked man match in the works at ‘Mania, the biggest ending I can think of is, somehow, Sin Cara unmasks Rey Mysterio for the world to see. It isn’t a permanent unmasking, but it’s still a big moment where, for a few moments, Sin Cara is THE masked luchador of the WWE, replacing Rey Rey.
5. Dolph Ziggler Will Be World Champion – This one is pretty obvious. Despite being denied numerous times you have to believe that the WWE are not blind to how talented and ‘over’ Ziggler is at this point. He is in a much better position than a guy like Swagger to win the title and have a substantial run with the belt. People have been skeptical over a Ziggler cash in due to the rumors around the World Title at Wrestlemania, but I’m putting it out there now; Ziggler becomes the first guy to cash in at Wrestlemania and win the title.
4. The Kings of Wrestling will Reunite – With Chris Hero still in NXT and Claudio making waves as the US champion they are pretty far apart now, but I reckon before 2013 is all said and done we will see these two teaming in the WWE, maybe not as a regular tag team, but at least as a nod to their former tag greatness. No matter what the WWE are all about money and when you look at the success of Bryan, Punk and now Cesaro you can see that they actually place some value on appealing to the indie fans. Cena might still be the golden boy, but Punk is the champion, so no doubt they can see the money in this pair reuniting, if only for a PPV match or something, or even on the same team at next year’s Survivor Series.
3. Jeff Hardy Will Jump Ship – No matter what TNA offers at this point in time there is no better place to be than the WWE for a guy with the merchandise moving potential of Jeff Hardy. Now I can’t stand the guy and I think that the more success he gets the worse he becomes, but there is no denying that the same fans that love Cena, love Jeff Hardy, and if the WWE can be sure that he is clean then I’m sure they would jump at the chance to have him aboard, especially with Cena apparently needing to wind down his schedule.
2. Punk vs. Undertaker – I am tempted to say Punk will break the streak but that really depends on whether Taker will make it to Wrestlemania 30 or not. Instead though I’m saying now that it will be Punk vs. Taker at Wrestlemania, it might be for the title, it might not. Either way these two are great storytellers and I am sure that they will put on one hell of a show and the build will be fantastic, and should start pretty soon considering Triple H’s most recent announcement. The only question is could this possibly be the main event in a year when Brock Lesnar and the Rock are going to be wrestling again on the grandest stage of them all?
1. The Divas Division Will be Re-invented – This is the big one, the WWE’s women’s division has been suffering to some extent for years now, and what with the roster at its shallowest, the matches held between the divas have become a walking joke. However the same could have been said last year of the tag division and look at it now! You have to imagine that with the tag division rebuilt enough to run on its own, and with the mid-card titles being held for longer and looking better, the next step is to inject some life into the Divas division, which could be a great draw if they can back up hot women with great in-ring action as well. There is hope in wrestlers like Paige in NXT and with Sarah Del Rey training the new crop of talent we could see these women called up to the main roster sooner rather than later and by this time next year we could be in the midst of a divas renaissance.
List your Top Five for this week’s topic in the comment section using the following format:
5. CHOICE: Explanation
4. CHOICE: Explanation
3. CHOICE: Explanation
2. CHOICE: Explanation
1. CHOICE: Explanation