2023 is going to be another important year for American pro wrestling company WWE. They still face opposition from fellow-Americans All-Elite Wrestling (AEW) but you can still bet on there being a big gap between the finances of the two US companies. How will the early part of 2023 go for WWE as they try to hold onto the number one spot in professional wrestling?
January is a key month for the company. The Road to WrestleMania begins. That’s their biggest event held in the US and takes place at the So-Fi Stadium in Los Angeles on April 1 and 2. The odds are it’ll be another hugely successful weekend for WWE.
American television viewers can watch Raw and Smackdown every week. During January they will be setting up new feuds or intensifying those already taking place. Fan favorites will be cheered and the villains booed.
One of those US wrestlers who is definitely not a fan and sportsbooks favorite is New York born Damien Priest. He’s in the hated Judgement Day faction that has been feuding with Edge and then AJ styles.
Priest will want to move up a few gears in 2023. Winning the Royal Rumble in January would see that happen. He’d be guaranteed a shot at the WWE Undisputed Universal title at WrestleMania. Now that would be a big step-up for Priest.
Will it happen though? The odds are that it won’t. Priest is a good in-ring performer but he doesn’t quite look like main event material. Holding titles such as the US or Intercontinental titles or success in the tag divisions seems the highest he’ll achieve in the company.
There are a fair few wrestlers in WWE, both male and female that seem to fit into that category. Not everyone can be a main eventer like Mick Foley in the past and the middle of the card is the best they can hope for. Betting on wrestling needs you to work out just who those wrestlers are.
When it comes to winning the Royal Rumble or a Money in the Bank suitcase, it’s a significant moment for the victor. You can start considering the day when a bet is placed on them to win the top titles in the company.
The men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches see 60 wrestlers available to place bets on. The fact is though that with so much at stake, most of them are just nowhere near being made the favorite with US sportsbooks, including legal mobile apps in New York such as BetRivers.
Wrestlers who rarely have main event matches even on Raw or Smackdown are not suddenly going to be given a WrestleMania title shot or the chance to challenge for the title at a time of their choosing at the biggest show that WWE stage in America.
Dominik Mysterio, Cedric Alexander, even former champions like Sheamus and AJ Styles most likely won’t be Royal Rumble winners in January 2023. WWE will have plans for such wrestlers, but you can bet it’s not putting them in the main event on the biggest card of the year in the US.
That’s where anyone American gamblers wishing to bet on professional wrestling has to pay attention to the latest news. WWE will give wrestlers pushes into bigger matches if they think they can do a good job. Being able to sell merchandise is a major reason. If that’s the case, then the odds of a big match and lots of exposure on the weekly television shows will take place. They’ll see much larger checks heading in their direction too.
Breaking into the main event isn’t easy though. Another New York wrestler is Queen Zelina. She’s had a good degree of success in 2022 but holding the Raw or Smackdown Women’s title isn’t an easy target to achieve.
Zelina is a good heel and the odds of her upsetting crowds are always good. Breaking into the usual suspects of Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, Bayley, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey is something that seems beyond her.
It all adds to the fascination of US professional wrestling though. Pushes to main event status can happen but so can companies deciding that wrestlers should be demoted down the card. What will 2023 bring?
We could see the return of the Rock if he has the time to be back in WWE. If that happens, then the main event at WrestleMania could well be The Rock v Roman Reigns and it’ll be even harder for wrestlers like Priest to make the breakthrough.
More celebrities are likely to be involved, especially with WrestleMania having a Hollywood theme. Logan Paul and Bad Bunny have already impressed in WWE in the past year or so and are likely to do so again in 2023. One thing you can bet on is WWE earning more money than AEW as they continue to dominate American professional wrestling.