This time last year, few would have believed most of the four world title reigns emanating from these five superstars. In the past year, Sheamus has reigned twice, and incredibly surprisingly, The Miz and Jack Swagger have also become World champions. Indeed, these five men were consciously put together to represent the future of the WWE, and 2011, I believe, will be the year in which every one of them will have made it to the main event.
One storyline that must be talked about is the Nexus storyline. Consistently exciting if not always brilliantly executed, this storyline was undoubtedly the biggest storyline in wrestling last year, and indeed, for some years. I’m not going to predict the outcome of the storyline, but I would like to discuss how I believe it should run. The worst thing that could happen would be for Cena to act exactly as he did when Wade Barrett was in charge, and simply eliminate Nexus once and for all at Wrestlemania in ‘supercena’ fashion. Nexus’s management has changed, and so should he. We don’t need to see him taking out the Nexus one-by-one again. There are two ways (at least) that I would like it to go: one story would be similar to that of the 2001 Invasion in that, now established star CM Punk leads the group, other established stars could join up too (though hopefully only young, new talent and appearing on both shows. Under this arc, the lockerroom would essentially split in two, the young and hugry Nexus and the loyal WWE stars, culminating in a big Wrestlemania match to end it all. Another option is for Cena to turn heel this time and join Nexus. This would obviously lead to something else, but I don’t care what that would be; a Cena heel turn would be big and important enough to make whatever it could be a success.
The Divas Division
Another crucial aspect of this wrestling year will be the evolution of female wrestling. There have been some hugely positive signs from WWE recently: Nattie Neidhart winning the Divas title, a divas table match, longer divas matches, and the recent signing of Awesome Kong are all signs of the WWE taking female wrestling more seriously. Add to all that the talent already in place (Gail Kim, Melina, Beth Phoenix, AJ, Michelle McCool, as well as promising talents Layla and, yes, Nikki Bella. I would hope and expect WWE to take this golden opportunity, give more time to female wrestling and really make it a jewel in the respected WWE crown.
Randy Orton to Smackdown
This is a bold prediction, but I think it really needs to happen, and I actually think there’s a decent chance of it hapenning. The main event scene on Smackdown has gotten pretty stale as of late, and with new stars aplenty on RAW, that show will be able to spare talent. Orton would freshen up Smackdown no end, as well as that of RAW where he has been a regular fixture. I think WWE could go for it because he’ll be a big draw for the blue brand while RAW will draw on it’s own.
Every year, several people also get fired, and this year, like every other, their are people in danger of being ‘future endeavored,’ some that deserve it, and others that probably don’t.
Superstars/Divas That Should Be Fired (and very well could be)
The Great Khali
Superstars/Divas That Should NOT be Fired (but might be anyway)
Michael Tarver (HUGELY underrated. His injury and removal from Nexus could be the end of him)
Primo (Probably held back by his brother these days, could have a good on-screen story with AJ if WWE wanted it)
Yoshi Tatsu (Obviously a good wrestler, but the language barrier is damaging him)
Zack Ryder (Could be a legit US Champion in my eyes, but is getting treated like a jobber now)
JTG (WWE seem to want him around, but doing nothing on TV is awfully damaging)
Future Stars To Rise in 2011
Daniel Bryan – A lot of momentum behind AmDrag currently. It’s clear WWE were listening to the relentless ‘Daniel Bryan’ chants after he was released briefly. He has also been stealing shows whenever he has been in the ring, and isn’t far from proving himself a big draw. Feuds with main eventers like CM punk will establish him as a main eventer. I’m not certain he’ll win the WWE title, but he’ll reach that level.
John Morrison – Huge momentum right now, going in to his first challenge for the WWE Championship. In my opinion, he still can’t talk enough, but he is gaining in credibility. I think he could be a World Champion (as opposed to a WWE Champion, though I wouldn’t rule that out necessarily), but i’m sure he’ll be established as a future champion.
Wade Barrett – He came awfully close to a WWE Championship in 2010, and though his return after losing to Cena at TLC will be difficult to square, he’s already a main event player and could even go on to a WWE title.
Alberto Del Rio – Already practically a main eventer and will quite possibly make the leap to the World Heavyweight Championship this year.
Christian – The book on Christian is that Vinnie O’ Mac doesn’t think he’s a star and resents his time in TNA. Nonetheless, when Christian returns, it will be to take on main eventer Alberto Del Rio, and WWE are obviously aware of the natural desire of the fans for Edge and Christian to work together again (by their revival of their relationship on Smackdown vs RAW and at this year’s Slammy’s) so a Edge-Christian renewal (either as allies or antagonists). If these things happen, Christian will go on to reach the level his loyal fans feel he deserves.
Dolph Ziggler – The guy is on a huge run right now, and has had some excellent matches with established talent including the franchise, John Cena. I am absolutely certain he will be a main eventer this time next year.
Drew McIntyre – A few weeks ago, I was worried that his ‘chosen one’ persona was getting a little stale and forgotten, but of late he has been on a major charge, and an apparent relationship of some kind with Kelly Kelly seems to have catalysed his push again.
There are others, but these are the ones that really stand out. I haven’t included Miz and Swagger, as they have arguably already made it. As for other future stars like Cody Rhodes, Ted DiBiase and Kofi Kingston, i’m sure they’ll make it eventually, but I think it might take them longer than this year.
Cena Heel Turn?
I’m sure it’ll happen at some point, eventually, if not this year. We can only hope!