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It was a wild 2019 in pro wrestling, but here’s how 2020 could be even crazier

There’s no way pro wrestling could get crazier than it was in 2020, unless you gave me the book.

All Elite Wrestling

This was supposed to be an interview with a pretty famous independent pro wrestler about their predictions for how 2020 will go in the business. Then, that interview (for whatever reason) didn’t happen. So, I decided to do what I like most: hypothesize about the next 12 months of bookings.

To make it all harder on myself, I’m trying to include more than just WWE — AEW and NJPW are thrown in as well.

One little format rule: I’m using Survivor Series’ inclusion of NXT as a template for how the black and yellow brand can figure into major WWE PPVs.

January: At WrestleKingdom 14, Kota Ibushi wins the NJPW IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. All Elite Wrestling crashes the party on day 2, however with The Young Bucks superkicking their way through security, with a contract in hand.

NJPW, it’s announced, will air on Turner cable channels now that its AXS deal is over. This content will be a mix of NJPW and New Japan of America. Also at the big two-day event, a Shibata return to wrestling is further teased out.

Later that same month, Keith Lee wins the Royal Rumble, declares he’s challenging Adam Cole for the NXT Championship. Ronda Rousey returns at the end of the women’s rumble (deja vu all over again), this time to assist Shayna Baszler who wins the championship opportunity — and will take on Becky Lynch at WrestleMania.

February: AEW Revolution is the final AEW PPV held in Chicago for a very long time. Spread the love, folks. At this PPV, Jon Moxley wins the AEW Championship from Jericho, but the show ends with Hiroshi Tanahashi, who beat Jericho at Wrestlekingdom here to claim a match for that title. Kris Statlander and Riho battle to a time-limit draw.

At TakeOver: Portland, the Dusty Classic conclude with Matt Riddle and Isaiah “Swerve” Scott beating Arturo Ruas and Cameron Grimes (Yes, as you can see NXT is quite short on tag teams). At Elimination Chamber, Drew McIntyre wins a title shot from the men’s chamber match, and Ronda Rousey wins the women’s chamber.

March: Tanahashi’s pencilled in for a shot at Moxley at Double or Nothing 2, but he’s not the only one gunning for the belt. Darby Allin’s finally got a winning streak going, becoming the top ranked men’s division singles wrestler. MJF seethes at both men, and it appears we’re headed towards a four-way dance. Neither Darby nor Maxwell is losing, and since MJF’s got high profile wins, Darby’s got the top ranking and Tana has the title shot from Jericho, an exasperated Tony Khan — at a backstage presser — says Mox is taking on all three men.

Bray Wyatt declares that he’s got only one old foe left, and reveals a framed photo of John Cena. Footage of Big Match John vs Swamp King Bray plays as the Funhouse puppets mutter about how Bray’s “gotta stop thinking about the past.”

NXT signees Solo Darling and Willow Nightingale take the titles off The Kabuki Warriors on a live NXT episode. After this loss, Asuka turns on Kairi, misting her before saying she was weak.

April: Keith Lee defeats Adam Cole for the NXT Championship, just days after Roddy, Bobby and Kyle all dropped their gold at NXT TakeOver: Tampa — Dream beating Strong and Swerve and Riddle beating KOR and Fish. The show-stealing match at TakeOver, however, sees Mustafa Ali win the NXT Cruiserweight championship off Angel Garza.

At WrestleMania 36, after The Fiend defeats John Cena, he grabs a microphone, snarls “Let me in,” and we see Alistair Black smiling on the big screen. At Mania, Ronda Rousey defeats Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, and Shayna defeats Becky for the Raw title. McIntyre defeats Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship.

May: Double or Nothing 2 sees Mox pin MJF, who gets kicked in the nuts by Tanahashi for trying to interrupt his air guitar solo. Santana and Ortiz take the tag titles in a victory over both SCU and the Young Bucks. In a “there must be a winner” rematch, Kris Statlander defeats Riho.

The Galaxy’s Greatest Alien’s victory is short lived, however, as the lights go out on her while she’s being interviewed at TV, and when they come back on Priscilla Kelly dropkicks her, while Brandi Rhodes and Awesome Kong laugh. Brandi says “We found someone willing to take our offer.” The lights go out again and when they come back on, Marty Scurll has made his choice, arriving in AEW, making The Nightmare Collective a faction that spills across the gender divide.

Bayley and Sasha show up at NXT to challenge Solo and Willow for their titles. This match doesn’t happen on the first appearance, because Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke run in and add to the chaos. William Regal declares that these three teams will compete for the title next week in a steel cage — so no other teams can add to the fracas. Sasha and Bayley win.

At WWE Money In The Bank 2020, Kairi Sane and Alistair Black win their respective briefcases.

June: Brodie Lee (fka Luke Harper) make his NJPW debut at Dominion. He’s Suzuki-Gun’s new muscle, and he’s here to beat the crap out of Lance Archer. Their matches are great, if a little short on time. The NJPW/AEW relationship expands when Okada has a match on Dynamite, in an episode that gives AEW such a massive win in the ratings war that the nerds who care about it never shut up and make Twitter an even more heinous place to be.

After Ibushi beats Jay White, however, an 8-bit video game character from a game that 1% of the audience are aware of appears on the screen to say say “guess you didn’t need me to say good night or good luck. You know where to find me.”

Darby Allin wins the 2020 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, which includes a high profile victory over Marty, though the finals see him beating KENTA (Shibata dabs in approval). If Darby’s not going to be The Champ in AEW, this will be a great way to give him some prestige. Plus, I really need to see him vs Hiromu and Ospreay.

July: Adam “Hangman” Page enters himself into the G1 as a representative of New Japan, and gets off to a hot start — much like Moxley in 2019. Also, just like Moxley, Yano hands Page his first defeat.

Keith Lee declares an open challenge for TakeOver weekend to anyone who’s already beaten him in the past.

Meanwhile, WWE buys ROH and nobody cares except for the people already worried that WWE will waste Bandido as much as ROH did.

The Evolve 11th Anniversary show and a throwaway AEW show take place on both nights. A lot of arguing happens over which was “announced” first.

August: Bray Wyatt’s gonna throw a big Summerslam anniversary party, to celebrate The Fiend’s anniversary with the company. He invites Finn Bálor, and the two have a rematch. Before a finish can happen, Alistair Black cashes in his briefcase and pins Bálor.

In singles action, Shayna and Ronda defeat Charlotte and Bayley at Summerslam, but Shayna’s first title run is short lived, when Kairi runs down to cash in her title shot and Insane Elbow her way to the Raw Women’s Championship.

The previous night, Matt Riddle answered Keith Lee’s challenge for a match. The two had a friendly war that ends with both lying backs on the mat, in a 10-count no decision.

Tomohiro Ishii wins the G1. He will challenge Kota Ibushi for the Heavyweight title.

September: David Starr wins The Battle of Los Angeles 2020.

When The Undisputed Era fail to win back any of their gold at Summerslam weekend, the crew superkick Adam Cole to the curb and Finn Bálor is instated as the new head of the Era.

At All Out 2, we Omega vs Okada — again — and, predictably, it’s very good. After the match, Okada gives Omega a letter in a golden envelope. Mox loses his title to MJF as it’s revealed that Wardlow isn’t Max’s only muscle man: Brodie Lee’s also in AEW.

October: At King of Pro Wrestling, Ibushi loses the Intercontinental championship to Jay White. After that match, when Ishii comes out to stare down Ibushi — Omega hits the ring, and shakes Ibushi’s hand. As Kevin Kelly postulates that Omega will be in Ibushi’s corner at WrestleKingdom 15, Ishii smolders furiously at being overshadowed.

Priscilla Kelly wins the AEW Women’s Championship off of Statlander.

November: NXT WarGames 2020 sees Imperium actually get a huge win in the main event, over an NXT USA team that can’t get along because it’s Keith Lee, Cole, Balor and Dijakovic. And it’s Mr. Feast Your Eyes who actually goes full betrayal, against his former Monstar buddy Lee.

At Survivor Series 2020, we get the WWE 4 Horsewomen vs the MMA 4 Horsewomen match. It’s above expectations because Shafir and Duke have a really strong showing in the match. WWE realizes it shouldn’t do 5v5v5 matches, though, but we get Keith Lee vs Aleister Black vs Bray Wyatt, which is weirder and better than I can imagine right now.

December: A GIF of a move sequence at a GCW show sends wrestling twitter into convulsions that remind us that we should care more about the joy on a child’s face as they watch wrestling than the opinions of a bunch of middle aged men, including that guy who NWA fired.

Asuka vs Kairi for the title on a random episode of Smackdown is a low-key match of the year contender.

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