7 Bold Predictions for WWE in 2020
Hindsight is 20/20, but there is still time in 2019 to look ahead and toss out some predictions of what might happen next year in WWE.
2019 saw the first women's main event in WrestleMania history, the spontaneous explosion of KofiMania, NXT's ascension to the top table alongside Raw and SmackDown and more.
In 2020, many things will surely stay the same, but others could undergo major changes. After all, the landscape of the business can shift at a moment's notice.
There's no telling how different WWE will be by this time next year, but let's gaze into our crystal ball and try to predict some things that may happen in 2020.
Shayna Baszler to Raw and Ronda Rousey to SmackDown
A rematch between Ronda Rousey and Becky Lynch feels like an obvious and easy thing for WWE to book whenever the Rowdy One is ready to return, but that may not happen.
Shayna Baszler had her confrontation with The Man for Survivor Series and has dropped the NXT Women's Championship to Rhea Ripley, so she's free to come over to Raw to fight Lynch one-on-one.
That may well come about with a Royal Rumble win, which would entitle her to jump ahead of everyone else and go straight into the title picture for WrestleMania. Baszler vs. Lynch would be a money match, and there are no other viable challengers to The Man's crown on Raw.
But that leaves Rousey out of the mix. She couldn't come to Raw and steal Baszler's thunder, so SmackDown is a better fit.
Fox only had Brock Lesnar for a few weeks before he switched over to Raw. Since that brand is more sports-oriented, having Rousey would be a priority. There, she could topple Bayley or whoever else is champion at the time and reign supreme once more as the main draw on Friday nights.
A Midcard Championship Will Be Created for NXT UK
NXT received a huge boost this year with the move to USA Network, an extra hour of programming each week and a win at Survivor Series. The stock in the brand is higher than ever, and some of that success has trickled down to its subordinate, NXT UK.
While it's nowhere near as much of a priority, WWE managed to give some love to NXT UK in 2019 with its first two TakeOver events and more eyes on the product with things like Worlds Collide.
Instead of a TakeOver happening prior to Royal Rumble 2020, there will be another Worlds Collide in January dubbed NXT vs. NXT UK—brand warfare in the Survivor Series mold.
That has exposed a flaw in comparing the brands in that NXT UK doesn't have a midcard title to balance out the NXT North American Championship.
There are enough wrestlers on the NXT UK roster, particularly with the crossovers that happen with the regular NXT crew, that a midcard belt could work. It would give folks like Noam Dar, Eddie Dennis, Travis Banks, Tyler Bate, Kassius Ohno and others something to feud over while Walter continues to dominate.
What that will be called is anyone's guess. The European Championship could return, or something new could be created. But by the time the second NXT UK TakeOver happens in 2020, it wouldn't be a surprise if there were more gold to fight for.
Vince McMahon Will Give Up More Power
The XFL season will begin February 8, and it's safe to assume things will be quite hectic once that ball gets rolling.
The relaunch has been in the works for a while, but taking time to set it up isn't the same as the day-to-day operations during a season.
As much power as Vince McMahon has delegated to others like commissioner Oliver Luck, he will still want to be hands-on for those 10 gameweeks and some time before and after the season.
It's his company, and he won't want to look like a failure for the second time.
When things get busy and McMahon has to focus more effort on XFL than he's done in the past year or so, he will have to rely on Triple H, Paul Heyman, Stephanie McMahon, Bruce Prichard and others to hold down the fort in WWE.
In those weeks, major changes could happen that may heavily influence WWE's future. McMahon might even grow to have more trust in everyone else's judgment enough that, rather than seizing control and going back to normal, he gives up that power for good.
It's doubtful WWE will ever not have McMahon have the final say, but 2020 could be the year he takes a big step back, and XFL might be the catalyst for that change.
205 Live Will Be Cancelled
The writing is on the wall for 205 Live; 2020 will most likely be the year WWE cancels the program.
The Cruiserweight Classic was thrilling television and the division had a ton of promise, but WWE never treated it like a big deal. The purple-and-orange brand never got its own special event, was rarely promoted and, soon enough, few people cared to watch.
In 2019, 205 Live had a few episodes cut from the schedule at the last minute to make room for other things or for no reason at all. One episode was filmed in advance at NXT, and these past two weeks were recap editions.
The roster is now scattered, with wrestlers like Tony Nese competing on Raw and NXT at random and not having an official home, even though the belt has been moved from the main roster to NXT.
205 Live isn't as mistreated as Main Event, which isn't even on WWE's shows page, but it's clear WWE doesn't care to revitalize it.
Rather than filming after SmackDown in front of an emptying audience, WWE will probably pre-tape matches with the NXT crew, which will kill the "live" part of the title. Then, it will just become part of NXT and not be an extra hour of programming each week.
Plotting Out the Road to WrestleMania
As previously mentioned, Baszler could be a favorite to win the women's Royal Rumble in 2020, but what else will happen at that event and heading into WrestleMania?
That season is filled with surprises, even in the days leading up to the biggest show of the year, so it's almost impossible to predict what will happen over the course of four months, but let's give it a shot.
Roman Reigns will win the men's Royal Rumble match to set up a feud against Bray Wyatt. The Big Dog will conquer The Fiend and win the Universal Championship at WrestleMania.
Meanwhile, with Fastlane out of the schedule, WWE will have more time to build to Elimination Chamber as the one and only pit stop before WrestleMania, with the biggest roadblock being the cage match itself.
It's unlikely Brock Lesnar will defend his title in that match, as he's more reliable not to wrestle than to fight on any given event. As a result, the men's Elimination Chamber will be a No. 1 contender's match to determine his challenger for WrestleMania, possibly with Kevin Owens winning.
If not that, the script will flip, with someone like Cain Velasquez winning the Royal Rumble to challenge him while Reigns wins the Elimination Chamber.
Rousey will win the Elimination Chamber to challenge for the SmackDown Women's Championship at WrestleMania if she's ready to go. If not, February will be when WWE has to decide what to do with that title and will scramble to think of a direction at the eleventh hour.
It will be chaos, as WWE will not have planned out enough ahead of time, but some things will follow a natural course, like AOP feuding with The Viking Raiders and several titles being contested in multi-man matches.
CM Punk Will Return to WWE Part-Time
Since 2014, everyone has waited for CM Punk to come back to WWE in some fashion. Finally, after constant speculation of if or when that would happen, Punk popped up on WWE Backstage to put that argument to rest.
That opened the floodgates, with people rushing to ponder the next step: Will he actually wrestle again?
Immediately, Seth Rollins jumped on Punk's return in an attempt to start an angle. Though Punk continues to deny this is a work and has shot down suggestions there is a plan for the two to feud, fans can't help but stay suspicious.
Since his association with WWE used to be a guaranteed no and he's now conversing with Renee Young about King Corbin on Tuesday nights, it is proof that you can never say never in the wrestling business.
Punk vs. Rollins—or anybody, for that matter, at any point this year—is far from a certainty, but there is more of a chance it will happen in 2020 than ever before.
Edge Will Wrestle Again
At SummerSlam 2019, Edge shocked the world when he speared Elias. After so many years being on a no-touch list because of his injuries, The Rated R Superstar was cleared, somehow, to do his finisher.
When the doors are closed so definitively with a retirement like Edge's, only for a window to open when something like this happens, it's difficult to keep expectations to a minimum.
Ever since then, the WWE Universe has wondered whether Edge may be able to wrestle again, even if it's just for one more match. After all, Daniel Bryan was done for good, and he came back full time, so anything is possible.
Edge continues to deny this, and we should treat his word as true. However, it wouldn't be a bold prediction if it weren't flying in the face of possibly being totally wrong!
Stranger things have happened than if Edge were to pop up in the Royal Rumble or have one last fight at WrestleMania. His health and safety is the biggest priority, but if there is any chance he can step back into the ring to compete again, the WWE Universe would surely lose its mind.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.