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Top 10 Bold MMA and Pro Wrestling Predictions for 2017

2017

2016 is finally behind us and we can officially say “Hello” to 2017. Last year brought us a lot of memorable moments thanks to the Pro Wrestling and MMA. What does the New Year have in store for us? Lets look inside the crystal ball and predict the future.

Here are 5 predictions for MMA and 5 for Pro Wrestling. Lets do this!

10) Bellator has a big year.

Kristine Haugsjaa recently discussed this topic when announcing the DGS Main Event Award for “Who/What to Look Our For in 2017”. In a sport where the UFC has been the dominant brand for years, one promotion has worked hard to become a thorn in their side. That promotion is Bellator MMA.

The company recently signed hot talent like Benson Henderson, Rory McDonald and veteran Chael Sonnen. The latter of the three will face UFC legend and soon to be retired Tito Ortiz at Bellator 170. This card is getting a lot of hype, especially since its one of the only major MMA events in January.

While they had some ups and downs this year, it is clear that there are young fighters looking to make an impact in Bellator. While the company might not be on par with the UFC this year, they will surely give them a run for their money.

9) Say goodbye to The New Day

In 2016, The New Day became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions (I did the New Day dance while typing this). It was a historical run that truly put them in consideration for the best tag team in WWE history. Now that they are no longer champions, what’s next for The New Day? I can only imagine a Shield scenario takes place.

WWE has been trying to prepare Big E to become their next big star for quite some time. I can see some dissension within the group during the Royal Rumble (all three members will be in the match). I can also imagine Big E will eliminate both Kofi and Xavier Woods in a “shocking” moment. Interesting scenario: triple threat match between the three at WrestleMania.

If the above match doesn’t happen, I can still see Big E turning at some point after. Savor the trio while you can, this might be one of the last times you hear, “New…Day Rocks!”

8) Miesha Tate comes out of retirement

“Cupcake” shocked MMA fans when she retired at UFC 205 and joined the FS1 commentary team. Her desire to fight seemed to have disappeared, if only for a moment. Nothing lasts forever, and fighters come out of retirement all of the time. Once she has time to clear her head, I believe we will see Miesha Tate back inside the octagon where she belongs.

While it doesn’t have the same appeal as it once did, having Tate fight Ronda Rousey (if she was ever up for it) would be a cool throwback match. Regardless of who she would face, I believe Miesha Tate can’t escape who she is: a badass fighter.

7) The Undertaker officially retires

This rumor has been going on for quite some time. The Undertaker is one of the most legendary performers in WWE history. Over the years it has looked like he is rapidly slowing down, but he always comes back to entertain us. This could be the year he officially hangs up the boots. One final match at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando against John Cena would be ideal.

The Deadman can prove us all wrong and continue to wrestle after WrestleMania, but for how much longer? I truly think we will hear one final gong in 2017. If that were to happen, the wrestling world would never be the same again.

6) UFC Women’s Flyweight Division is made

When asked to help out with the list, Kristine brought this up. The UFC has a lot of division’s within the company, mainly for men. For the women, the company has the Strawweight, Bantamweight and the newly-created Featherweight Division. With a growing roster, there is always a need for more. To provide women fighters with more opportunity, another division could be created.

Demetrious Johnson is the men’s Flyweight Champion, and has been on a historical run with the title. The division is considered fast paced and around 125 pounds. Giving female fighters more of an option could help create better competition. It could also be an opportunity to create the next big star that wouldn’t have been noticed without the change. Another division would be the perfect addition to the UFC.

5) New Japan Pro Wrestling takes over the North American wrestling scene

WWE has been the dominant brand in North America for quite some time. They are also very popular overseas. There is one company that could make them shake in their boots if they were to expand, and that’s New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Coming off their biggest event to start off the year, Wrestle Kingdom 11, momentum is clearly on their side. Almost every independent wrestler wants to go to Japan to hone their craft, experience a culture shock, etc. Some outsiders have thrived (Ricochet, Kenny Omega), and the promotion is looking to take advantage of outside interest. They recently announced a California-based tour in the beginning of July. If all goes well, that small sample of Japanese wrestling can turn into something more.

Just like Bellator, NJPW can become an expanded powerhouse in 2017.

4) Joe Rogan leaves the UFC

This might be the most painful prediction. UFC 207 was Mike Goldberg’s last broadcast with the company. As the transition to the new owners (WME-IMG) inches closer, we are expecting more changes. One of the true voices of MMA, Joe Rogan may call his last card for the UFC before the year ends.

Rogan has been pretty adamant about not staying around once the new owners take over. Before the sale, he went on the MMA Hour and stated that he would “100% leave” if something happened. With rumors that Jim Rome would take Goldberg’s spot, I wouldn’t be surprised if that motivated Rogan even more to leave. This seems inevitable, and it will be a sad day if/when it happens.

3) Baron Corbin wins the Money in the Bank Ladder Match and WWE Title

Towards the end of 2016, Baron Corbin became a star the WWE can rely on. He has improved dramatically in the ring and on the mic. SmackDown Live truly is the land of opportunity, something that Corbin needs in order to be taken seriously as a main event guy.

Corbin already inserted himself into the Royal Rumble match, but I don’t believe its his time to win it. With the Elimination Chamber and Money in the Bank PPV being a SmackDown exclusive event, that could create a lot of possibilities. I see Corbin winning one of those (more the MITB match) and fulfilling the destiny he mentioned on the Breaking Ground documentary. While Raw is considered the “flagship show”, SmackDown has the true WWE Title, something that can be elevated with one of the ‘New Era” guys winning it.

2) Michael Bisping and Tyron Woodley face off

Yes, these two are champions in two different weight divisions, Bisping being the Middleweight Champion and Woodley being the Welterweight Champion. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see two super fighters face off though? It looks like the two had the same thought. When they ran into one another at UFC 207, it appeared that plans were in place for a 180-pound superfight. Bisping posted an Instagram video to show the world / stir the pot.

Neither belt would be on the line, and it would just be for bragging rights. This could be a huge match for the UFC, but with some drawbacks. Both fighters have many contenders looking to fight for their respected titles. While it wouldn’t happen immediately, Woodley and Bisping could create a magical moment if given the opportunity.

Being a huge fan of both fighters, I wouldn’t mind seeing this become a reality. Advantage: Woodley

1) Chris Jericho wins the Royal Rumble 

If you didn’t expect this coming, you’re a STUPID IDIOT. In all seriousness, this is the only thing that seems to make the most sense booking wise. Kevin Owens is the Universal Champion andY2J’s best friend. For months, there have been hints of a breakup between the two. What better way to blow it all up than Jericho winning the Royal Rumble? Him facing his best friend for the title at WrestleMania makes the most sense, and something fans have been dying to see.

Chris Jericho has reinvented himself, becoming the hottest act in WWE today. His new catchphrases are more popular than some of the storyline’s going on. The one thing he hasn’t won is the Royal Rumble. He is also a much more popular choice to win than Roman Reigns was the last few years.

If you don’t agree with my prediction, I’m sure Chris Jericho will put you on HIS LIST!

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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  1. Pingback: Royal Rumble 2017: A Night of Unpredictability | Double G Sports

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