To be honest, though, the feeling wasn’t mutual.
While walking on beautiful beaches and dining on fabulous food while being surrounded by gorgeous women, which is how I spent most of the final two weeks of 2014, writing Heel Turns to educate you plebeians wasn’t exactly foremost in my masterful mind.
But the Greek God of Wrestling has returned, and I’m refreshed and rejuvenated for 2015.
As long-term readers of Heel Turns know, you don’t have to wait for events to unfold to know what will happen each year. You merely have to read Achilles Heel’s predictions for each year. In 2013, 19 of my 21 predictions came true. I didn’t match that standard for 2014, but about two-thirds of my predictions came true.
What’s going to happen in 2015? The following are 20 predictions for 2015. My track record indicates the overwhelming majority will be accurate.
Roman Reigns will capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, only to have Seth Rollins cash in his Money in the Bank championship opportunity and wrest the title away from him.
The 2300 Arena, which has Ring of Honor and CHIKARA events booked for the weekend of the Royal Rumble and Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore booked for a return engagement on March 7, will re-emerge as one of the premier venues for professional wrestling.
The Undertaker may appear at WrestleMania 31, but he won’t wrestle. (If I were to hedge my bets, which I’m not, I would say Undertaker won’t wrestle in a singles match.)
Despite rumors, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will not wrestle at WrestleMania.
C.M. Punk will find out it’s incredibly difficult to start a Mixed Martial Arts career at age 36.
TNA’s move to Destination America won’t translate into better ticket sales at live events.
A.J. Styles, Drew Galloway (formerly McIntyre in WWE) and Alberto El Patron (formerly Del Rio in WWE) will not sign with either WWE or TNA – at least not until after SummerSlam.
Charlotte will move from NXT to the WWE main roster and win the Divas Championship.
At least one title will change hands during CHIKARA’s April tour of England.
The Miz will turn on Damien Mizdow.
ACH will win a championship, possibly the Ring of Honor World Television title from Jay Lethal, who fended off a challenge from ACH on Oct. 25, 2014.
Luke Harper will be more successful as a singles competitor than former Wyatt Family teammate Erick Rowan.
BLK Jeez won’t be a short-term champion, but he won’t make it past October with the CZW World Championship.
Chris Jericho will appear at the Royal Rumble.
The New Day might win the tag team championship, but the group will not get over with the fans, and will fall apart or break up.
Ring of Honor will find a local television outlet in the Delaware Valley. (I still can’t believe this prediction didn’t come true in 2014, so I’m repeating it for 2015.)
Kane will turn on The Authority before WrestleMania 32. (This is a 15-month prediction)
Stardust will wrestle Goldust, possibly under their real names.
Kevin Owens (formerly Steen) will move up from NXT and make his WWE debut.
My 20th and final prediction for 2015 is guaranteed to come true. I will continue to be handsome and in excellent physical condition, I will continue to enjoy my life of luxury, and I will continue to write the best professional wrestling column on the Internet.
LATE NIGHT: Jeff Jarrett’s new organization, Global Force Wrestling, is co-promoting a show with New Japan Wrestling. If you can get the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom 9 pay-per-view live (it’s not available everywhere), it will begain at 2 a.m. Saturday night. Jim Ross and Matt Striker are the English broadcast team.
There are a ton of titles on the line. The main event features Hiroshi Tanahashi battling challenger Kazuchika Okada in a continuation of their heated rivalry for the International Wrestling Grand Prix (IWGP) Heavyweight Championship.
Shinsuke Nakamura squares off with Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows face Katsuyori Shibata and Hirooki Goto for the IWGP Tag Team Championship, while Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly defend the IWGP Junionr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson), the team of Alex Shelley and Kushida, and the team of Rocky Romero and Alex Koslov. In yet another title match, Kenny Omega (Kenny Dykstra, Kenny of The Spirit Squad) faces Ryusuke Taguchi.
When you have that many title matches at one event – and, believe it or not, I skipped one title match – it devalues the importance of all of the championships. A title change won’t mean as much if there are two or three of them on one show.
Thankfully, there are also some non-title bouts. A.J. Styles battles Tesuya Naito. In one of them. There is also an eight-man tag team match with Shelton Benjamin, Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer on one of the teams and a six-man tag team match involving Jarret, with his wife, Karen Jarrett (formerly Kurt Angle’s wife), at ringside.
BRYAN READY TO RUMBLE: Daniel Bryan gave a rousing promo on this past Monday’s RAW in which, after teasing he might have to retire, he announced he participate in the Royal Rumble on Jan. 25 in Philadelphia. Roman Reigns has also announced he will be in the Rumble. Regardless of the other 28 participants, Bryan and Reigns have to be considered two of the favorites to win.
TNA RETURNS: TNA returns to television Wednesday night (9 p.m.) with an (almost) live edition of Impact Wrestling on the Destination America channel. The main event will be a rematch between TNA World Heavyweight champion Bobby Roode and former champion Bobby Lashley.
TNA is taping multiple weeks of television from Wednesday to Friday at the Manhattan Center in New York City. Thursday’s matches will include Matt and Jeff Hardy against The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards). Friday will be a taping of Lethal Lockdown, which will be broadcast on free television for the first time. Lethal Lockdown features every match inside a steel cage. Achilles Heel has never been a fan of Lethal Lockdown for reasons similar to his criticism of all the championship matches at the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom show. When you have that many cage matches, they lose their impact. All the gimmick matches – even though they were different – had the same effect on the crowd at TLC (and stairs) last month.
If you are interested in attending, there are plenty of tickets available for the Manhattan Center shows. A look at Ticketmaster’s Web site show (as of Saturday) a few rows available in the first level and about half the balcony is open. There are more tickets available for Wednesday night, and many more for Thursday night.
JEEZ DEFENDS TITLE: BLK Jeez, who won the Combat Zone World Heavyweight Championship last month in a four-way match at Cage of Death, defends the title next Saturday (Jan. 10) against former champion Sozio during “To Live is To Die” at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees.
Other announced matches include Pepper Parks and “The Greek God” Papadon challenging O14K for the tag team titles, the Beaver Boys against Team Tremendous, and “Speedball” Mike Bailey taking on Alex Colon.
RING OF HONOR IN PHILLY: Ring of Honor has announced one match for its Jan. 24 event at 2300 Arena (former the ECW Arena) in Philadelphia. The Bullet Club (A.J. Styles and Matt and Nick Jackson) will square off with ACH, Matt Sydal and Cedric Alexander in what should be an action-packed match. The semifinals and finals of “The Top Prospect Tournament,” which starts tonight (Saturday) in Nashville, will also take place in Philadelphia.
CHIKARA TITLE ON LINE: As is the case with Ring of Honor, CHIKARA has announced one match for its Jan. 25 event at 2300 Arena. Icarus will defend the Grand Championship against Chuck Taylor.
With CHIKARA, Ring of Honor and WWE’s Royal Rumble all taking place within just a little more than 24 hours, it’s going to be quite a weekend of wrestling in South Philadelphia!