Pro wrestling seems to get more unpredictable every year, which means making predictions can be risky business if you are wont to put your money on the line. Various sportsbooks, including 5Dimes and BetOnline, provide betting lines on the sport, usually when a big event nears. However, it’s wise to use more caution in wrestling wagering than in any other sport, for obvious reasons. (And if you don’t know what that means, you should never bet on wrestling.)
Here are some storylines that might play out in the squared circle in 2019.
WrestleMania: A Rock ‘N’ Roman Affair
The 35th edition of WWE’s biggest annual event is April 7 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The stadium is due for some quality entertainment (did you watch the NFL’s Giants and Jets this year?), and if you want quality entertainment, look no further than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He’ll be due for a break from the television and movie scene, and there’s only one stage in the United States bigger than Hollywood, and that’s New York. (East Rutherford is a suburb, so it counts, if you smell what we’re cooking.)
Prediction: The Rock will headline WrestleMania against Roman Reigns, who relinquished his Universal Championship in October to fight leukemia, which returned after 11 years in remission. Think that match would be emotional?
New Big Man On Campus
WWE has been promoting some of its new talent that could have a big impact. Uh, did we say big? “You’ve seen monsters, you’ve seen beasts, you’ve seen vipers, you’ve seen giants,” Lars Sullivan says in an eerie vignette. “But you’ve never seen a freak like me.”
Prediction: Sullivan’s primary adversary will be Braun Strowman, setting up a championship match at SummerSlam. Of course, that means Strowman will win a singles title between now and then (consider that another prediction, but more on that later in this article). If Sullivan has the biggest impact on the men’s division …
Beware Of This ‘Woman’s Right’
Former U.S. Marine Lacey Evans is about to become the next big star in the women’s division. Evans struts around like a classy socialite, but in reality she might punch you in the face if you get in her way. (“I will do my best not to lose my manners,” she says with a devilish smile.) Apparently, Evans wants to get rid of “societal trash” and claims she can use her “woman’s right” to do so — her right fist, that is.
Prediction: If Ronda Rousey ever had a legitimate challenger in WWE for the title of “Baddest Woman on the Planet,” Evans will be it. She will end Rousey’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania and win the Raw Women’s Championship.
“Evolution” in October (WWE’s first-ever female-only pay-per-view) and “Tables, Ladders & Chairs” in December showcased just how far women have come in the sport. Their athleticism and mic skills are light years from a generation ago. Yet, one thing has been missing in the women’s division. As per the announcement on the December 24 edition of “Raw” …
Prediction: Becky “The Man” Lynch and Charlotte Flair will kiss and make up — well, they’ll make up — and rekindle their friendship. By the time SummerSlam arrives, a women’s tag-team tournament will have been held, setting up the inaugural WWE Women’s Tag-Team Championship match between Lynch and Flair (a k a “The Men”) and Brie and Nikki Bella.
Around The Ring
Turns and twists: Wrestling fans love a good heel turn; Daniel Bryan (on A.J. Styles) and the Bella twins (on Rousey) had two of the biggest in 2018. There will be more of the same in 2019, highlighted by Reigns and Rousey.
Good as gold: Winning a title is the ultimate prize in any sport. These wrestlers will wear a championship belt in 2019: Strowman, Evans, Mustafa Ali, Ember Moon, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Mandy Rose, Samoa Joe, Sonya Deville.
Final thoughts: The December 17 edition of “Raw” opened with Vince McMahon strolling to the ring like only he can, and he appeared on the December 24 show as well. Look for a lot more of Vince in 2019. … Rusev will lose his beard in a hair-vs.-beard match. … There’s no I in “team” but there is one in “Riott Squad.” Egos will get in the way and the trio will break up.