It is that time of year again! I am putting together my 2022 Bold Wrestling Predictions. Will any of the crazy ideas I come up with come true? Well we’ll have to wait and see as the year goes on! If you want to catch up on the previous predictions from 2021 & 2020, they are all available here on Parts Unknown Press. Anyway, onto JRH’s 2022 Bold Wrestling Predictions!
Cody Rhodes will wrestle for the AEW World Title
Kicking us off this year is what right now seems very bold. Cody Rhodes will wrestle for the AEW World Title at some point in 2022. As Cody Rhodes seemingly continues to head towards a heel turn (or just suck if you ask certain not me people), I feel it could be possible that he breaks the stipulation put on him to never compete for the world title.
Now I should say, I don’t like breaking stips for no reason. If he does do this like I predict, it has to be done in a way that works. One way could be him using his executive sway as a dickish heel to reverse the stipulation. Another could see Tony Khan allowing a babyface Cody to break the stip because of a heated feud with a heel champion. Either way, I feel like this is something that may be building.
Sinclair will sell ROH off, allowing them to run fully independently
Next up, I believe that Sinclair will sell ROH off, allowing them to run fully independently. Now, there is a reason for the very specific language here. As we all know, Final Battle may have been the last ever ROH show. If all goes to plan, ROH will come back in April, with Final Battle being the end of an era. We also know that Sinclair are having some financial troubles right now, and ROH took a lot of shots at Sinclair during Final Battle.
What if the next era of ROH is one free of Sinclair? The same Sinclair who many associate with the eventual downfall of ROH. For this prediction to come true, ROH can’t simply be sold to WWE or AEW to be forgotten about forever or become a developmental show like EVOLVE did. ROH has to be sold off, possibly to a big name wrestler, a Cary Silkin figure or even Freddie Prinz Jr. who apparently is looking to start stuff. After being sold off, they have to continue to run shows, in whatever way into the future.
Will this all come true? Will ROH instead continue under Sinclair into the future? Or will ROH just die, to be a part of history forever more?
Roman Reigns will lose the WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania to the Royal Rumble Winner
In one respect, this is bold. In another, I feel that is kind of obvious. Roman Reigns is the current, dominant champion on SmackDown, having held it since 2020. Although Roman is a great performer, his dominance has slowly become staler. Not stale enough to kill him at Day 1, but stale enough to where if you don’t build someone soon to topple him, people may grow tired in this modern age of over-exposure of wrestlers.
Who will this star be? Well, looking at the current SmackDown roster, the only person who is really credible is Brock Lesnar, who I don’t feel will since they’d just be repeating old ideas. Now sure, they probably will do that, but I’m here to be BOLD! That’s why I think they will use the 2022 Royal Rumble to build someone from SmackDown or as a tool to get a top Raw name or surprise return to come in and build a heated program for Roman at Mania.
Jeff Jarrett will run his own professional wrestling promotion
Now, this one is an interesting one. Jeff Jarrett has made many allusions, both on Twitter and his podcast to possibly running a promotion. I for one would be very interested to see how this goes, especially now that he has sobered up. Could we see a Global Force rebirth, that actually works this time? Maybe he will start his own indy. Hell, he could buy NWA, IMPACT or ROH! Whatever happens, just as long as the person who owns the promotion is Jeff Jarrett, this prediction is true. Ain’t this prediction great?
GLEAT will become a major player in the puro scene
This past year, GLEAT has truly made their mark on the puro scene. With the mixture of great regular wrestling and the even better UWF rules matches (which they have really made their own) GLEAT has been on fire. Many Match of the Year candidates (including one on fucking December 30th) have come out of GLEAT and to cap it all off, they air the shows for free on YouTube, meaning there is no excuse to miss the action that wrestling Twitter has fell in love with!
In 2022, I boldly proclaim that GLEAT will go beyond the popular underground (as underground as you can be being owned by a big corporation) promotion in Japan and become a true big player in the scene. How do we measure that? Well, I think the key metrics to look at would be attendance, viewership and attention from wrestling media. I honestly feel that with their big title tournament coming up and a bunch of shows on the way, GLEAT really have the chance to light the world of puroresu on fire this year!
Eve Torres will step into the ring at some point
This is one that in some ways feels very bold and in other ways doesn’t. On one hand, Eve hasn’t wrestled anywhere since 2013. On the other hand, there is so many opportunities it isn’t funny. If this comes true, it will very well be in this year’s Women’s Royal Rumble, since WWE have cut a bunch of women from the main roster, and will need to feel spaces with nostalgia to get to 30. Even though that is the most likely scenario, with her being a fucking Gracie, with actual BJJ skills, I wouldn’t be against letting her go to GLEAT.
Hook will win a championship by the end of the year
SEND HOOK! The hottest young up and comer in AEW, who almost everybody loves and has a hell of a future. The guy has everything as a wrestler it seems. Well, in 2022 I think Hook will win a wrestling championship. Now, I think even with how over he is, it’d be too early for him to be World Champ. Maybe he could walk out of 2022 as a TNT Champion or an FTW Champion. Maybe they’ll send him to the indies to get reps and he’ll rack up titles there! Either way, strap the rocket ship to this young lad~!
NXT 2.0 will be kicked off of USA Network
This one sounds like an obvious one given viewership and (in my opinion) the quality of the show. In reality, it isn’t that obvious. On one hand, USA Network renewed NXT for a multi-year deal in 2021. As we’ve seen with IMPACT, that doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get thrown off the air. Sure, USA Network and WWE might go hand-in-hand, but that doesn’t mean the show will stay forever. When NXT was on SyFy (also owned by NBC Universal) in 2010, they got kicked off at the start of the third season, despite all other WWE shows being on NBC Universal networks at the time.
So, I feel it is fair to say that despite the odds being in NXT 2.0’s favour (even if not on the surface), anything can happen!
Pro Wrestling Noah will have a strong year and surpass New Japan domestically
This prediction only a few years ago would sound impossible, but with the new world of wrestling in Japan, I believe it just might work. New Japan have slowly but surely collapsed, both with the pandemic and horrible booking. While NOAH has made some questionable decisions, they do feel like the hotter promotion. With that in mind, and the leverage of the upcoming New Japan/NOAH cross-over, I feel they have the opportunity to show that they are ready to takeover the lead in Japan.
I feel by 2022, they should definitively be beating New Japan as a promotion. This would be something that can be measured with houses drawn, quality of the show and how hot the product feels. All of these things that look like they are heading in a positive direction for NOAH as of writing.
AEW Dynamite will beat every major wrestling show in US Ratings by the Key Demo & Total Viewers more than once and overall for 2022
This is a very heavy, hyper-specific and loaded prediction. It has to be though! AEW are moving Dynamite to TBS, which is arguably bigger than TNT. AEW is going to be free of most of their re-scheduling issues, at least with Dynamite. IMPACT, MLW and (if it still has TV) ROH aren’t exactly pulling high numbers. OVW even less. WWE feels like it is in a rut right now across the shows. Why couldn’t this come true?
Now again, I feel that any of these individual parts could come true. AEW has won against Raw in 18-49 before (unless you add DVR viewers over 7 days). AEW has managed to eek out wins in terms of total viewers, especially against NXT. It will be a hard battle, but with the benefit of a new network and a hot product, AEW could very well hit all of these goals and more in 2022!
There you have it, my very bold 2022 wrestling predictions. I am very eager to find out if any of these end up happening. For more hot-takes and dumb ideas, be sure to follow me on Twitter @RealDealJRH. Also be sure to follow the newly created Parts Unknown Press Twitter, to get updated on the latest articles and more from this here website.