This is my 200th post on this wrestling blog! It started six years ago, with the first post on April 1, a predictions column for Wrestlemania 28. I’ve progressed through many styles of article, several co-contributors, seen a huge turnover in the WWE roster and the rise of NXT and the WWE Network. And along the way, I’ve made probably hundreds of predictions. So, as a special post for the landmark, I thought I’d take a look back at some of the predictions I made in my first year, and see how right – or very, very wrong – I was.Wrestlemania 28 Predictions, John Cena vs The Rock: “If there’s gonna be a rematch next year, I would pick Rock to win for sure.”
So I actually started off well, of the matches I remember happening from that Mania I got most of my predictions right. I would eventually plump for Cena in this one, which ended up being wrong. But I did say the line above, which would turn out to be true – the plan was for a rematch the next year, and The Rock did win. So I’m counting this one as a successful prediction.
Thoughts of a Pleb: Bryan and Brock: “Since Raw there has been a lot of speculation that this leads to a double turn – Bryan becoming a face and Sheamus becoming a heel. I personally don’t think turning Bryan would be a good idea.”
See? Very, very wrong. It’s tough to believe there was a time I didn’t think Daniel Bryan would work as a face. My justification for this was that Bryan’s misogynistic act had so much potential as a heel that he would be better off continuing in that role. But clearly I was way off. Bryan would go on to become the quintessential superface, the ultimate underdog, being held down by The Authority. Very, very wrong.
Extreme Rules 2012 Predictions, Cody Rhodes vs Big Show: “Cody Rhodes has all the potential to be a major main event player, and should be moved up to that level.”
I think this one has actually turned out to be right, it just hasn’t been in WWE. Cody’s stardom has skyrocketed since he left WWE, and he has arguably been involved in one of the most compelling stories in wrestling this year in his battles with Kenny Omega over control of Bullet Club. Cody is now one of the top names on the indies, and if he ever goes back to WWE he could fulfill this prediction. But really, the way things are going, why should he want to go back any time soon?
Thoughts of a Pleb: Are we nearing the end for Chris Jericho: “I still just can’t shake the feeling that after his current run finishes, we will have seen the last of Chris Jericho as a regular in-ring competitor.”
I wrote this article in 2012. Four to five years later, Y2J had one of the best runs of his career alongside Kevin Owens, and he has been announced for the Greatest Royal Rumble later this month in a casket match against The Undertaker. Not just that, but he has added well over two and a half hours to his lifetime Royal Rumble participation. Plus, outside of WWE, he had an awesome match against Kenny Omega at New Japan’s Wrestle Kingdom this January. Not only was Jericho’s career not nearly over, he reached another peak five years later.
Plebeian Point of View: The Brand Extension: “I think that the best thing the WWE could do right now is hold another big draft – just reset everything.”
I was always a proponent of the brand extension concept, but of course it had to be done properly. I thought there were some good arguments to be made for it in 2012, but in all honesty looking back on it now WWE were in a far better position to split the roster in 2016 than 2012. If WWE had tried it six years ago they would’ve struggled, but so far it’s worked well since the draft in 2016.
Elimination Chamber 2013 Predictions, Team Cena vs The Shield: “There is no guarantee that The Shield will become top players in the WWE. We have seen them mess up bigger pushes than this before.”
Well there wasn’t a guarantee, but my god have The Shield become top players. All three men have become Grand Slam Champions, Roman Reigns is Vince McMahon’s choice to be the face of the company, and between them they provided some of the best moments and matches in WWE last year. The Shield were a special trio, and they have become the elite stars of their generation. Long may that continue.
Thoughts of a Pleb: So Much News: “There is some great potential on NXT … Bray Wyatt is the brightest star there. He managed to stay relevant and get over without wrestling due to injury, and now he has been cleared he can push on and make an even bigger impact. He can be huge.”
I could be wrong with this, I’m not claiming to remember each and every person on the roster at that time, but I think this was actually accurate. This was after The Shield had graduated, but before the likes of Kevin Owens and Finn Balor had signed. You had Neville, you had Sami Zayn, but Wyatt is the only one to have been world champion. That’s not to say it’s all been plain sailing for Bray, he’s had a lot of down times too. But he had something unique then, and it looks like he’s on a new path to success teaming with the Woken One.
It was a fairly mixed bag of predictions in that first year really, but when I got them wrong I got them really wrong for the most part. Still, I obviously got enough right that I felt confident enough to keep coming back with more guesses. It’s just kind of funny to see how things turned out, with the benefit of hindsight. Here’s to a few hundred more posts before I ridicule my 2018 predictions!