Alexa Bliss, Cody Rhodes and 6 other WWE wrestlers will own the 2023 title

WWE doesn't have seasons like traditional sports, but fans still like to think of professional wrestling in terms of years. So who will own 2023?

When WWE fans look back on 2022, it will largely be considered the year of Roman Reigns. He won the Unification Championship at WrestleMania 38 and never looked back. Both Raw and SmackDown primarily center on the tribal leader and his bloodline faction. So much so that WWE risked the angle becoming stale before it paid off at WrestleMania 39. If fans will remember that 2022 is the year of Reigns, which superstars can have the upcoming 365 days?

Both red and blue brands appear to be close to changing status in 2023. Most experts believe that Roman Reigns' schedule will be easier after WrestleMania 39, giving viewers a chance to miss him while also giving Reigns a chance to take a breather. Assuming Brock Lesnar will only be used on shows like Crown Jewel and WrestleMania, WWE will have several major roles in the coming months. There are a few stars who seem poised to cash in on the empty time, filling in for Raines/Lesnar. In no particular order, here are eight WWE stars who could end up with 2023.

8/8 Montez Ford

Let's start this list with a pick that's a bit left of Montezford. Going into 2023, the 32-year-old is still a long way from being the kind of one-man star who can dominate for a year. Street Profits are arguably the best tag team on Raw, and there's currently no on-screen friction between Ford and Angelo Dawkins. At some point in 2022, it seemed like WWE might pull the trigger on a breakup angle, but that never materialized.

The Street Profits played well against The Usos last year, but with The Bloodline taking all the gold medals, it feels like the tag team has reached its peak. With the team not winning the title until WrestleMania 39, Triple H could change fans' attitudes by letting Dawkins and Ford part ways. There are reportedly some considerations for another draft pick in April or May, so it doesn't have to be a predictable heel turn for D'Angelo or Montes. Ford was a single star from top to bottom. If properly pre-ordered, 2023 could be the year fans start to see the potential.

7/8 Sami Zayn

With the Honorary Uce over on the December 30th episode of SmackDown, WWE wisely made it part of an ongoing storyline. Roman Reigns was supposed to be recognized as The Guy in Bloodline, but viewers have mostly sided with Sami Zayn for the past few weeks. It is likely that the head of the table will eventually lose patience with being upstaged, causing Reigns, Ursos and Solo Sikoa to turn to Zane. At that point, WWE will have the opportunity to create the hottest babyface in recent memory.

Even if Triple H didn't book the angle perfectly, it's hard to imagine them screwing up Zayn's upcoming face. There is tremendous pressure on this angle, and once the Bloodline saga reaches its climax, everyone involved except Reigns will reach new heights. This is the storyline that WWE has invested the most time, effort and energy into. No one has benefited more from the fallout than Zayn.

6/8 Raquel Rodriguez

2022 Raquel Rodriguez has had several ups and downs. She made her main line-up debut in April, unabashedly appearing in a backstage interview segment with Kayla Braxton. Lowes Lotharios welcomes Rodriguez to show her, which kicks off her year of uneven bookings. Triple H seemed to have a plan for her when she took over creatively in July, but Rodriguez was still involved in some head-scratching moments.

Despite this, WWE has only a few competitors like Rodriguez. Standing at 6 feet tall, she is the prospective female player in the women's division. Consider Raw, Rhea Ripley has been booked as an absolute killer, and she's 5'7". Size isn't everything in professional wrestling, but there's no denying that Raquel has a unique look and skill set. When she got the chance to shine in 2022, she basically did. With Charlotte Flair returning to SmackDown, Rodriguez could take on Queen sometime in 2023. That would be an iconic moment as she solidifies her place in the main WWE roster.

5/8 Bron Breakker

This is the only drop we'll include in this list for the NXT pool, mostly because main roster drafts are very unpredictable. WWE's developmental brand is home to some of the most promising minds in professional wrestling. where bron blake has established himself A suitable blanching machine. His main force debut may not come right away, but it's hard to imagine him staying another year in Florida. Likewise, operating under the assumption that WWE doesn't have consistent access to Reigns and Lesnar, the company will need big names and matchups.

Which is why it would make sense for Breakker to debut on Raw or SmackDown and go on a rampage. Fans don't like being told who the next big thing is, but Brown has enough "it factor" that he might be able to withstand some of the initial heat. It might be easy to land him in a mid-card show with Elias, Dolph Ziggler, or Madcap Moss, but Breaker can debut just as quickly, near the top of the card. If he gets drafted shortly after WrestleMania 39, watch out.

4/8 Alexa Bliss

The next few months should be very interesting for Alexa Bliss. She has publicly stated that her time working with Bray Wyatt was the funnest of her career. His untimely launch in 2021 cut short his show with Alexa, and fans never Really got the actual resolution of that storyline. Wyatt is now back on SmackDown, though, and even though Alexa Bliss is working on Raw, his return has a big impact on her.

This unfinished business gave WWE a lot of flexibility to make Alexa Bliss the absolute villain of the Red Brand. Most recently, she threw a vase over the head of Bianca Belair, and it went all the way. What's for certain is that whatever rabbit hole Bliss and Wyatt lead fans down in the coming months, it's a start. Raw's women's division has gotten stale lately. The absence of Bayley and Damage Control as anchors for the red brand creates an opportunity for Bliss to gain a foothold and dominate in 2023. WWE could tell some groundbreaking stories about Bliss and her broken relationship with Wyatt. Let's see if Triple H and Co. decides to go after them.

3/8 Ricochet

It feels a bit risky to include Ricochet in this list, as he made his first-team debut in February 2019. He's not involved in wrestling's biggest storyline like Sami Zayn is, he's no longer a prospect like Breaker, and he's not locked in yet. A double team like Montezford. So why is Ricochet's 2023 different from 2022? The answer is simple: Triple H. Under Vince McMahon, smaller wrestlers like Ricochet had a glass ceiling on how high they could climb in WWE. It's impossible to break through unless there's a Brian Danielson-esque crowd surge.

This will not be the case under Triple H, who leans more towards the physical nature of wrestling than his predecessor. Ricochet has been strongly booked since a backstage shakeup in July. His partnership with Gunther has helped boost the Intercontinental Championship rankings, and he has recently scored singles victories over the likes of Braun Strowman and Mustafa Ali. It looked like he would form an odd pairing with Strowman at the opening of 2023, but backstage rumors suggest WWE has big plans for the 34-year-old. He may not be competing in the Universal Championships this year, but he is expected to be in contention for the IC or US titles, depending on which brand he is using at the time.

2/8 Rhea Ripley

More than anyone on this list, Rhea Ripley appears on track to win a Grand Slam title for WWE in 2023. this is not a Knock someone else out here. Instead, it speaks to how high the ceiling is for the 26-year-old over the next 365 days. While someone like Ford or Ricochet may be in a better position in 2023, Ripley has already sold fans as one of the most dominant forces on Raw. She won transgender contests, effectively intervened on behalf of Judgment Day each week, and had an internal money dispute with Becky Lynch. In short: If WWE wants to push Ripley to the moon in the coming months, they'll have all the fuel they need to do so.

It wouldn't be shocking if Ripley's 2023 looked a lot like Bianca Belair's 2022. Belair lost his way in the 2021 shuffle before establishing himself as one of WWE's most reliable stars in 2022. It took Lynch a long storyline to get her there, but Belair is one of Raw's most consistent forces right now. Ripley can do a similar run, as heel. WWE has had her run a Chyna-style run across the middle card, which could lead to one of the most unique pushes in recent memory.

1/8 Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes He said he wants to pick up where he left off in 2023, and WWE will likely give him every opportunity to do so. Stories like "American Nightmare" only come up once a generation. Here's a professional wrestler who felt taken for granted by WWE, who went out and helped start AEW, then came back to the majors to try and win a heavyweight title that always referred to his legendary father, Dusty Rhodes . His torn pectoral muscle was very unfortunate, but in a way, it made Cody more beloved when he returned than he is now.

He probably won't win that title in 2023 because of how much money the chase might have. Rhodes' quest for his first world title could be the story of the following year, culminating at WrestleMania 40 in April 2024, if WWE so chooses. That's an eternity in professional wrestling, but if WrestleMania 39 is going to be all about Roman Reigns and possibly The Rock, it might make sense to put Cody on the sidelines in early 2023 and then revive him by the end of the year. Whichever way WWE goes, Cody Rhodes will be a forward and center once he returns from injury.

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