Here we are again! Another week, another “Top WWE Somethings of the Year.” This one will have a bit of a twist, though. Instead of looking back at 2017, we’ll be *dramatic pause* looking forward to 2018! Year-in and year-out, every 12 month span will be deemed “The Year of So-and-So.” 2016 was the year of AJ Styles, 2017 was the year of Braun Strowman. Based on how the end of the year is booked leading into the Royal Rumble there are quite a few Superstars seemingly loaded up for a major push in 2018. Enough with the pleasantries, let’s dive in.
P.S. This article will look at MAIN ROSTER Superstars only. Don’t fret, though. The NXT list will be coming soon.
Disclaimer: Again, this is solely based on opinion. Specifically, my opinion. As usual, feel free to tell me how wrong and delusional I am.
Honorable Mention: Shinsuke Nakamura, who has suffered from the worst booking any NXT alumnus has had to endure.
10. Matt Hardy
Might as well start off with a real hot take. Just 24 hours ago, the WWE Universe was introduced to “Woken Matt Hardy” aka “Broken Matt Hardy” with just enough of Meekmahan twist to let ol’ Vince feel like he thought of it all by himself. Woken Matt interrupted a Bray Wyatt promo on RAW and threw in all the classic mannerisms and soundbites that made Broken Matt such an enigma in 2016. After all the build-up and the legal battles and the anticipation, this segment was well-received and was a total success. I’m giddy with excitement to see the ridiculous promo wars between Bray and Matt. Now, considering Matt’s age, he shouldn’t be pushed into the Universal Championship picture. But, if this promo is a sign of things to come (i.e. Matt is actually able to make the Woken character what he wants it to be), Matt should enjoy a featured spot on RAW every week, which is much more than he’s had since Jeff went down with injury. Plus, Jeff will be coming back next year which could lead to the Woken Hardy Boyz or a battle between Woken Matt and Brother Nero. Whichever it is, it’s an exciting time to be Matt Hardy.
9. The Revival
Shockingly, The Revival has been on the main roster for about 8 months now. Unfortunately, injuries to Dash Wilder in April and then Scott Dawson in August have kept the former two-time NXT Tag Team Champions sidelined for most of the year. The reason to expect these two will have a big time 2018 is that for the short time they were on WWE TV, they seemed to be being groomed for the championship picture. They beat the New Day on their first night on RAW, then looked like they would be getting into a feud with the then RAW Tag Team Champions, the Hardy Boyz. That’s when Wilder went down with a jaw injury. Wilder healed up and the duo were back at it again, right in the middle of the Enzo and Cass breakup angle. But before they caught any momentum, Dawson tore his bicep. We all know what these two are capable of when healthy. They’re the Brainbusters 2.0 and are masters of tag team wrestling. Imagine the matches they could have with The Bar and The Shield. Tag Team wrestling in WWE is finally a point of focus in the company again, and the Revival should benefit greatly from that.
There must have been 547 predictions of when Carmella would cash in her Money in the Bank briefcase since she won it back in June. And they were all wrong. Unless something drastic happens in the next 26 days, the Princess of Staten Island will still be holding the case going into 2018. That means that before 2018 is over, Carmella will have to cash in within the first half of the year. WWE already pulled the failed cash-in with Baron Corbin earlier in the year, so it’s unlikely they will do the same with Carmella. So, Carmella will have a run with the Smackdown Women’s Championship at some point this year. What she does with it depends on her ability. But, she’s shown signs of greatness as the heel Money in the Bank holder and with babyface challengers like Charlotte, Naomi, and, especially, Becky Lynch to help make Carmella a believable champion, things for the Princess are looking F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.
WHO WANTS TO WALK WITH ELIAS?! Elias was probably the most head-scratching NXT call-up after WrestleMania. He hadn’t proven too much as “The Drifter” and hadn’t made too much of a connection with the fans. Despite that, Big Vince pulled the trigger on him. It looks like Vince was right, because Elias has made great strides as a member of RAW. He’s put on consistently good matches with Finn Balor, Roman Reigns, and Jason Jordan and always has air-time on Monday Nights. It’s getting to a point where it would be believable that Elias ends up being the guy who dethrones Roman as Intercontinental Champion. An IC Title reign has proved to be a great career jumpoff point in the past. As one of the only heels on the roster who gets the “boos” like WWE wants them to get, the fans are certainly bought into his character, and that is the biggest hurdle for a WWE Superstar to get over today.
6. Bobby Roode
Who would have thought while he was in NXT that Bobby Roode would be one of the most over babyfaces on the main roster? His heel work in NXT was so exceptional that it was hard to see him as a face at all. But, with his great gimmick and undeniable charisma, Bobby Roode has made sure that on any Smackdown event, the loudest pop you hear all night is “GLOOOOOOOOOOOORIOUUUUUUUSSSSSSSSSSSS!” Locked up for a feud with Baron Corbin for the United States Championship, it’s obvious the company has plans for him for the immediate future. Compare him to Tye Dillinger, who has been on the main roster since the day after WrestleMania. It took Tye months to get any momentum on Smackdown and then it was swiftly taken from him. In three months, Bobby Roode was already on the Smackdown Survivor Series team and has an upcoming PPV title opportunity. As long as he stays as strong as he’s been and keeps up the electric entrance theatrics, 2018 will be…yup, I’m gonna say it….you should have known I was gonna say it…shame on you for thinking otherwise……..GLORIOUS!!!!