Well, the New Year is upon us so I figure might as well look into the crystal ball and see what’s going on.
I know that some of these predictions might not come true but if I could see the future (or even Mr. Tito) neither of us would be writing columns for NoDQ.com; we would both be on separate private islands after killing it on sports betting and the stock market. And I would have a private box for all Kansas City Chiefs games… away from Taylor Swift.
So, without further ado, here are my predictions for 2024.
1) WWE RAW lands on WBD.
At this point they appear to be the clear front runner with ESPN being out, Disney/Hulu having issues with a hostile board take over and WBD desperate to salvage its streaming platform. I think RAW landing on WBD allows them to not get a steady rating show… but position themselves to land the WWE Network in 2026.
2) Mercedes Mone signs with TNA.
Everything she wants is what TNA can provide her with; the freedom to pursue acting gigs, ability to go to Japan, money and more importantly be the big star. Even with Vince gone from WWE, the roster is still stacked, and WWE will not push Sasha to the top. They already have Becky, Rhea, Bianca, Bayley, Io Skye and soon Tiffany Stratton. And while AEW has the money, if you are a female wrestler, do you trust Tony Khan to not screw things up?
3) Gunther becomes world champion by the end of 2024.
If Roman Reigns was Vince’s brainchild, then Gunther is Paul Levesque’s. Of all the NXT graduates in the last Five years, Gunther looks the part, can wrestle the part, and doesn’t need any bells or whistles. I see him beating CM Punk at Bash at Berlin for the title to kickstart a new reign.
4) Okada remains in Japan but does more TNA Wrestling shows.
Once the Hiroshi Tanahashi announcement as president came out, I knew that Okada was staying. Okada has more power than any wrestling in the world and as much as he might want to go to AEW or WWE, it would be crazy. AEW is too much in chaos and WWE audiences might not take to a guy who cannot cut promos in English that well. TNA might get more appearances as it looks like the new regime has shown they won’t screw it up.
5) Wardlow and Ricky Stars jump ship to WWE.
Both men have seen their momentum get stalled or ended due to the mass signings by Tony Khan. Both men are also guys that Cody Rhodes held in high regard and fit WWE’s style. It makes too much sense for all parties.
6) Kelce’s do WrestleMania.
You know that every WrestleMania WWE loves to get big stars to appear in some form of match. And while I wanted to say Zach Efron, I think his Hollywood standing would prevent him from doing it Although Nick Khan is going to try his best.). The Kelce’s were made for WWE and both men are diving more into post football career’s this season.
7) WWE-AJPW Invasion happens.
Before you jump down my throat, no I don’t think we are going to get an NOW style in either company. But I bet Paul will send guys like Alpha Academy, Dijak, Fallon Henley and other NXT/RAW stars who aren’t doing much. Keeps wrestlers busy and less people in catering, helps increase the goal of WWE Japan, and All Japan gets to build their momentum against NJPW.
8) MLW gets a new TV deal.
The signing of Matt Riddle screams that they are wanting to take a big step. Armed with the money they got from the WWE Settlement, and I could see MLW trying to get a TV deal with cable channel. Nothing like FOX or Hulu but something smaller like ION or CBS Sports level.
9) AEW Loses its WBD deal.
I hope I am wrong on this but right now everything screams that they are trending that way, and nobody is doing anything. The Chris Jericho saga already is going to be an albatross around their neck for the future. And Tony Khan refusing to learn from any mistakes and doubling down. From his press conference appearances, piss poor booking, and adding new titles that nobody wants. The ratings for Rampage and Collision are horrible, Dynamite is stagnant and now with the SAG-WGA strikes over, competition will get worse. At the end of the year after RAW lands on WBD, I fear WBD officials wash their hands and end the experiment all together.
Finally, my resolutions for this year as 2023 for me was a long and horrible year due to health and personal issues. My resolution is to exercise more, eat healthier, work on the podcast and columns and more importantly… AVOID SOCIAL MEDIA FEUDS.
Too often wrestling fans, stans and tribe members get all up in a tizzy because this person said this or that person hated that.
It’s the internet. Real People don’t care, and the world has much bigger issues than pro wrestling. So, I urge all people that in a time where the world is more divided over everything and anything… for 2024, lets TRY to be just a bit more polite, understanding and avoid name calling.
You can check out more interviews with athletes and sports reporters on www.lastcallpodcast.com or follow me on Twitter.com/LastCallwChrisC