The year 2020 can’t end soon enough. With life being altered until further notice, this has been a year to forget in all aspects of life. While 2021 will not be a return to pre-COVID life, there are hopes for some forms of improvement. But how will wrestling look in the next twelve months. Here are some bold predictions for next year…
AEW Dynamite beats RAW in overall ratings one week (at least).
AEW have had some solid numbers in ratings in 2020. Even with no fans and other competition on Wednesday nights, the show has frequently averaged around one million viewers. WWE RAW has seen a sharp decline though. A few weeks ago, the lowest ratings ever were published. Imagine the scenario. WWE RAW competes with a big NFL game and other big non-sports event on Monday, drawing an even lower number. Then on Wednesday that week, AEW runs unopposed against NXT for some reason, and puts on a stacked card. Even though multiple asterisks can be placed by this, it doesn’t seem entirely impossible it could happen.
Donald Trump to appear on WWE programming.
In 2021 Donald trump will be president no more. With four years of scandal, will the president jut quietly retire away? It’s doubtful. Coincidentally, WWE are desperate for ratings. Then there is the fact that the McMahon family are one of the biggest financial backers of the republican party. No matter what Donald Trump does, it would bring eyes to that weeks WWE.
Keith Lee becomes WWE champion (and takes on Roman Reigns at Survivor Series).
Sometimes, WWE do listen to what fans are saying. With enough yelling online, Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan finally won the championships they deserved after multiple incidents of being mistreated and underutilised. The next big star is Keith Lee. One of the most unique talents in recent memory, but a disappointing run on RAW so far. Hopefully, around Summerslam time, Keith Lee wins the big one from the current champion (see next post), and is treated like the star he is. This could then set up the clash teased at Survivor Series 2019, a full match of Roman Reigns vs Keith Lee.
Brock Lesnar returns and becomes champion again.
Brock Lesnar will be back wrestling in 2021. WWE will keep throwing money at him until he accepts a ludicrous offer. Either logically, he will be a surprise entrant and winner of the Royal Rumble. Or he will just insert himself into a match, because he is Brock Lesnar. As it is his big return, he will probably beat Drew Mcintyre at Wrestlemania and then have a clash with Keith Lee at Summerslam.
Fans come back, but get taken away…
Empty arenas will be the biggest memory of 2020 wrestling. From the empty gym to the Thunderdome, promotions have done what they can to try and add some atmosphere to lifeless venues. At the time of writing, Florida has no COVID related restrictions. If desired, a promotion could pack a stadium with thousands of fans with no repercussions. Even for a one off event like the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania, WWE may crack and decide to hold a nearly full capacity event. This will continue until they realise that it was a bad idea and go back to the original setup. While people say this won’t happen due to ethics, the Saudi Arabia deal along proves the questionable ethics of WWE.
Kenny Omega wins every major North American Championship not in WWE.
The independent wrestling landscape changed on December 2nd 2020. Kenny Omega not only became the new AEW champion, but confirmed a working relationship between All elite wrestling and Impact wrestling. His appearance gave a spike in viewership and it is clear he wants more gold. Other promotions will want similar exposure, even if it means sacrificing their top title to an outside superstar. But if it gets more eyes on another promotion, the long term gain may outweigh the short term loss of the gold.