Welcome to my 2023 Bold Wrestling Predictions! Every year, I give some predictions for the year that I pull completely out of my arse! The goal isn’t to simply be right by the end of the year, but to come up with the most overly specific, random things and for them to still become true! This year I’m only writing s eight of them, because coming up with ten is hard and I’m lazy. So, here it is… my 2023 Bold Wrestling Predictions.
Roman Reigns will only lose the WWE title, and will continue his Universal Title Reigns of Terror into 2024
Personally, I’m very sick of the Roman’s Reigns of Terror right now. That really is saying something since I don’t even watch week to week! Very formulaic, which wouldn’t be that bad if the formula was more interesting. At least the Sami Zayn stuff seems fun. Even though I see plenty of people trying to find a way for the Reigns of Terror to end, but to me I can’t see one in sight. That’s why I think Roman will only lose the WWE title, probably to Cody or some random Triple H project, and then holding the Universal one forever more. Yay!
MJF will hold the championship until Full Gear, leading to a “War of 2024” storyline
Speaking of championship reigns, my next prediction concerns the MJF title reign. After a tumultuous 2022, I feel Tony Khan will probably want MJF to hold the belt to bring back stability. The thing that mixes this up is that I think after Full Gear, we will kick fully into the “Bidding War of 2024” storyline. Since the war is for 2024, I won’t predict how it ends here, but I do predict MJF will still be champion by the time that happens.
FTR Will Win The NWA World Tag Titles and defend them in AEW/ROH
There’s been a lot of speculation on FTR lately. People jumping to all sorts of conclusions, most of which seem to be them leaving AEW. I don’t think they will leave AEW, but I can see them taking a break. On that break, what if they win the NWA Tag Titles and then bring them back to defend in the Khan-verse? On one hand, it is unlikely given the sour relationship between Tony Khan and Billy Corgan, but anything can happen in professional wrestling!
DPW will run a show internationally
DPW to me is the most interesting promotion on the US indies right now. I may have a strong pro-DPW bias, but I don’t care! The promotion had a strong first year and looks to be heading into a massive 2023. I know the DEADLOCK boys have spoken about running outside of North Carolina, and I can definitely see that happening in 2023. That’s way too easy and I’ll probably be right. That’s why I’m raising the stakes and predicting an international show. Its absurd, but given the talents they book and the relationships they’ve formed… not impossible!
A massive shift of talent between AJPW, NJPW, NOAH and DRAGONGATE
To end the year, we saw Jake Lee, TAJIRI & Izanagi be announced as departing All Japan Pro Wrestling. Shingo Takagi returned to DRAGONGATE for Final Gate. In 2023, Keiji Muto and NOSAWA will both be retiring. Kota Ibushi seems to be done with New Japan, and multiple people in New Japan seem to be focusing more of their time in other places, like Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata. All of that, combined with the continued furthering of bringing in international talent tells a potentially interesting story. Speculation from various places, including Adam & Mike‘s Big Audio Nightmare, various online discussions and my own brain have led me to make this prediction. I feel that after Japan as a whole being in a steady, mostly meh state throughout the pandemic, things are really looking like they’re about to shakeup. Whatever form the state of wrestling in Japan is going take into the next decade and possibly beyond is looking like its going to start in 2023. The foundation of the scene as we’ve known it the last few years is going to be broken and a whole new world is going to be born.
AAA Will Enter A Working Agreement with WWE, while CMLL will enter one with AEW/ROH
Both of these on there own seem likely. AEW’s deal with AAA dying and them being aligned with CMLL’s other major partner in NJPW seems to point to them joining forces. AAA/WWE is less likely, but given AAA’s propencity for shooting themselves in the foot by making boneheaded decisions, and WWE looking to impose their will in Mexico (for more info on both these things, and the Mexican scene generally watch this video) they seem like a perfect fit. The catch with this prediction is that both have to happen in 2023. Let’s see what we’ve got ahead.
EPW Will Gain A Strong Enough International Following To Affiliate With New Japan
This one is kind of lazy and hard to quantify, but given how well they are doing right now locally and just how great the talent on display is, I can see them doing so, with Mikey Nicholls being the pathway. Let’s just hope that New Japan get sick of NSW and decide to plant their feet in what I would argue is the strongest part of Australia’s scene right now. I feel stylistically EPW and NJPW fit better than most of the promotions that have some degree of notoriety outside of Australia, so why not? The only flaw in the plan is I can see New Japan (well, mainly Bad Luck Fale) wanting to travel out that far, and I don’t know if the Government in Western Australia is going to want to be as involved as the New South Wales government is. This prediction is definitely wishful thinking more than anything!
Talent Based In South East Asia Will Be Given Major Overseas Opportunities
This one is kind of a vague one, but a bit of an interesting one. I don’t know how I will quantify this, but I think 2023 could be a strong year for professional wrestlers based South East Asia, particularly Malaysia and Singapore. It isn’t something many in the west know, but both those two countries in particular have decently-sized scenes, with great talent that are yet to be unearthed by major promotions. In Singapore, my main focus is on Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW). SPW is a promotion which in 2022 brought in people like STRONGHEARTS and Riho. In terms of their own prospects, Aiden Rex is definitely someone worth keeping an eye on. Rex is a Ho Ho Lun trainee and their current Southeast Asian Champion.
I’m less familiar with what is going on in Malaysia, but the two promotions I’m mainly focusing on there are APAC Wrestling and Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MPW). APAC I’ve seen a few clips of online before they stopped uploading shows, and is the promotion TAJIRI recently worked for after leaving All Japan. MPW is a promotion I’m less familiar with, especially since they stopped uploading shows to YouTube. APAC is the promotion which TAJIRI is currently basing himself out of after leaving All Japan. MPW is another prominent in Malaysia, who draw from a similar talent pool. Both promotions were started by Shaukat, who is the biggest wrestler in the country. He has previously appeared on Reality of Wrestling (due to a prior relationship with Booker T) and looks to be coming to Australia in early 2023 to work for Southern Territory Wrestling.
The combination of interesting unearthed talent and people with major sway having eyes on the region leads me to making my prediction outlined here.