At the start of 2021, I gave ten very bold predictions for the year in professional wrestling, much in the style of Bryan Alvarez’s yearly bold prediction challenge. Now that the year is drawing to close, here are the results for my 2021 professional wrestling predictions!
1) Sting will wrestle in an AEW ring
At the start of the year, I guessed that Sting would wrestle in an AEW ring. Never could I have guessed just how much he would! In 2021, at age 61 he has wrestled six times. Not only that, but he has been wrestling more regularly the longer the year went on. The best part is, he’s been fucking fantastic! Long live the Sting post-retirement run~!
2) One of IMPACT’s Knockouts will hold the AEW Women’s Championship
When the AEW and IMPACT paired up (as I predicted in 2020) myself and many others immediately had 100s of ideas of what they could do. I had hopes that they would use the pairing to build their at the time nothing women’s division. While AEW have taken some positive steps in building the division (with many still to go), a lot of people who were gone during the no-fans days have returned and the greener women have improved massively, they sadly didn’t take as much advantage of the relationship with IMPACT.
Now that the IMPACT relationship seems to be dead and buried, it is fair to say that we won’t be seeing a IMPACT Knockout holding the AEW Women’s Championship. Although, it does seem in 2022 a ROH wrestler may be holding the Knockout’s title.
3) Kenny Omega will become both an IMPACT and NWA World Champion during 2021
The very expected part of this did happen. Kenny Omega, unsurprisingly became IMPACT World Champion. Sadly though, he didn’t even touch the NWA. In good 2021 NWA news though, Trevor Murdoch did become the champion in a great story. I’d say the first real good NWA Title story since Tim Storm. In a more surprising turn of events, Kenny did become AAA Mega Champion. Since he vacated it when going on leave, we can assume he might try to get it from whoever is champ when he returns.
RESULT: HALF RIGHT, SO WRONG
4) John Cena will have an unexpected return match
John Cena. The greatest. Did he have an unexpected return match? Yeah, sure. Did he have an unexpected return mega tour? OH HELL YEAH! John Cena came out as a big surprise after the Money in the Bank main event (one of the few WWE shows I watched in full this year) and cleaned house. He cut a great promo after the show and then announced a big return house show tour. He wrestled on many shows and then had a big match with Roman at SummerSlam. While some of his promos didn’t mesh with current Roman’s character and his NFT (fuck those) experiment went very poorly, Cena’s WWE return did gangbusters.
5) Big E will win the Royal Rumble, and win a world title at WrestleMania while still the Intercontinental Champion
I mean, parts of this prediction kind of came true somewhat. Let’s break this one down. First off, Big E did not win the Royal Rumble. Instead, Edge got the big surprise win. I wasn’t against Edge winning, but obviously they could have used it to make Big E there. Instead, he got eliminated by Omos. Fine, whatever. Big E engaged in an IC title feud with a re-gimmicked Apollo Crews where they wrestled each other in a never-ending series of matches, including the terrible Nigerian Drum Fight (where the drums weren’t used) at Mania where Apollo won the belt.
So now, having lost the Rumble and lost the IC title, how the hell can Big E do anything? Well, at Money In The Bank, he won the ladder match. He became Mr. MITB, and after a brief feud over the briefcase, he cashed in on dominant WWE Champion Bobby Lashley, switching brands and becoming champ. Since then (so I’ve heard anyway) his booking hasn’t been amazing. Like, he wins the big matches, but he isn’t been used the best on TV, especially compared to Lashley’s reign. Either way, even if my prediction was ten levels of wrong, I’m glad Big E finally won the big one.
6) Australian Professional Wrestling will have a boom in popularity both in and out of Australia
This one is kind of a difficult one to definitively put an answer on whether or not it came true. In 2021, we saw the rise of DMDU as a new popular promotion. Australian talent got some exposure overseas. We saw many Australian talents finally get their due. A new national promotion was announced for 2022. We saw the return to form of promotions hurt by the early pandemic days.
However, the scene still has problems. The New South Wales scene is still falling apart. Many promotions haven’t been able to run for big parts of the year. The Australian contingent in ROH all didn’t really do anything. The Australian scene still seemingly hasn’t properly acknowledged Speaking Out. To be honest, despite many promotions doing good shit, this year hasn’t seen much growth for our scene. One day I’ll have to write an article about that.
RESULT: WRONG ENOUGH
7) AAA will have their own episodic TV show again in America
Well, safe to say this one hasn’t happened. AAA are still embroilled in a lawsuit with AAA, so don’t expect anything soon. The closest we’ve had is AEW booking AAA title programs on TV and thecubsfan (@LuchaBlog on Twitter) acting as the un-official international access point. Maybe next year, lol!
8) Pat McAfee will have an NXT Championship Match
Pat hasn’t wrestled since 2020, so yeah… No NXT Championship Match for him. Unless he gets sent to developmental, he isn’t getting one anytime soon. He has managed to do some great commentary though. Him and Michael Cole bring the best out of each other.
9) Rhett Titus will win championship gold
Well, safe to say 2021 was the year of Rhett Titus in ROH. At the start of the year, he and Tracy Williams won the tag titles. They had a nice 107 day reign. Throughout the year, Rhett put out some bangers. To cap the year off, at what very well could be the last ROH show, but at least the last one of ROH as we know it, Rhett Titus finally won singles gold in ROH, becoming TV Champ. I’m glad 2021 saw Rhett Titus get the love I’ve always though he deserved, both from fans and promoters.
10) NXT UK will be cancelled
Well, I don’t watch NXT UK. I think they still record shows. It might as well be cancelled with how little care is given. The talent are being payed horribly. WWE seemingly doesn’t know they exist. Although it still exists, WWE did dissolve WWE UK Holdings in 2021. So even though the show exists, I guess as a company it doesn’t. Bah, whatever.
RESULT: WRONG (OUTSIDE OF A TECHNICALITY)
Well, there we have it. another year of predictions. This year, I got 3 predictions right. Well, maybe 3.5 if you’re being nice. I got 7 wrong.