By Jared "JJF" Jackson-Ferrans
We are just over a month into 2016, and thus far, we've already had our share of excitement in the year. From the debut of AJ Styles at the Royal Rumble, to the return of Sami Zayn and the signing of Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE has been entertaining and unpredictable. TNA has been bringing in an influx of new talent such as Trevor Lee, Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis, and NJPW bolstered their roster despite their departures by picking up free agent aerialist Will Ospreay. That said, there are still 11 months left in 2016, and with that in mind, here are JJF's official 2016 Wishlist for professional Wrestling.
1. American Alpha Debut on Raw
Since teaming up, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan have become one of the most entertaining tag teams in the company, and have drawn comparisons to Charlie Haas & Shelton Benjamin. The difference is, while they're both talented teams, American Alpha don't need to rely on Kurt Angle to get over.
Gable's charisma and mic skills are fantasic, and Jordan has improved in leaps and bounds since Matt Bloom took over as head trainer, to the point where either guy could easily be a potential singles star at some point. While it won't happen soon due to their likely NXT Tag title run, they're just too good to keep down for too long, and an American Alpha vs New Day feud could easily revive interest in the tag division.
2. The American Wolves Split Up
Admittingly, I love The Wolves. Eddie Edwards and Davey Richards are two of the best assets TNA currently has, and their chemistry is impeccable after 8 years of teaming. With that said, TNA's lack of star power up front with the impending retirement of Kurt Angle makes it necessary for a split, similar to their split in Ring of Honor.
Edwards is a natural face with the potential to be a top star alongside the newly turned ECIII, and Richards as a heel could easily displace the aging Matt Hardy as TNA's top villain. While we've seen matches, a full fledged feud between the Wolves has never quite happened, and TNA needs to get on this ASAP.
3. Dean Ambrose Adopts a Second Finisher
I can't be the only one finding it ridiculous that a guy who is known for unpredictability only has one move to finish matches with, can I? While Dean Ambrose is one of the top talents in the WWE, he needs to diversify his moveset to compete with the other top stars in the WWE like John Cena, Roman Reigns and others.
One such option would be the Knee Trembler or Regal Stretch, both moves he had previously adopted during his feud with William Regal. With Regal's recent neck surgery and retirement, adopting one of them as a tribute would be fitting, and beneficial to both Ambrose and to Regal's legacy.
4. Adam Cole Signing with WWE
With AJ Styles and Sting now under their banner, the WWE's main target should be Ring of Honor's flagship star Adam Cole. At 26 years old, he's easily the biggest name on the indies that has never competed in the WWE, and the former ROH champion's charisma and ring skills are among the best in the world.
With many of their recent signings being mid-thirties or later, an opportunity to get someone like Cole, in the prime of his career, should not be passed up. While it would be a major blow to Ring of Honor, Cole has done everything he can possibly do in the company, and it's time to move on. Now, let's just hope they don't make him Michael's nephew....-shudders-
5. Will Ospreay wins NJPW Best of Super Juniors
If you're not aware of "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay, then I won't exactly fault you, but you should immediately go to RevPro's Youtube channel and watch his match with the former Evan Bourne, Matt Sydal. His aerial ability is second to none, and he established himself as Britian's replacement for Neville on the indies with tremendous matches with AJ Styles, Ricochet and Marty Scuril, and signing with New Japan Pro Wrestling is another step in the 22 year old's career.
Giving Ospreay the win in BOSJ in his tournament debut would immediately establish himself against the field that includes Alex Shelley, Kushida and Kyle O'Reilly, and prove that he's ready to break out as a top star in the division.
6. Matt Sydal joins Lucha Underground
Since I mentioned Matt Sydal, the former WWE star's indy run has thus far been incredibly entertaining, and given his work, he could benefit from rejoining former Generation Next stablemate Jack Evans in Lucha Underground. Sydal's "Reborn" gimmick would fit in perfectly in the Temple, and the company could use another former WWE star to bring in fans along with Johnny Mundo and Rey Mysterio.
Naturally, the biggest benefit to him is the fast paced style and focus on in ring work that would allow for Sydal's success. Of course, Sydal would be yet another former star of the failed WSX promotion to join the similarly minded but infinitely better done Lucha Underground
7. Lucha Underground Hits Netflix
I know I'm not the only one who has been pushing for this, and it's actually been a popular subject on Twitter and Reddit, even catching the attention of the company's lead writer and executive producer Chris "Big Dick Johnson" DeJoseph (You're never living that down, buddy). Simply put, the rise of streaming services such as the WWE Network and New Japan World have made wrestling easily available and marketable online.
While Lucha Underground is by no means big enough to make their own streaming service like either of those, their production values and crossover appeals make it perfect for the largest streaming service in the world. There would be other options, such as Hulu+ or Amazon Instant Video, but Netflix's availability and history of putting wrestling events on their service (prior to the Network) make them the best option.
LISTEN: Chris DeJoseph Talks Lucha Underground on WrestleRant Radio
8. AJ Styles vs. John Cena
I've been waiting for this match for 12 years, no joke.
At the time I began watching wrestling in 2004, John Cena was ready to become the hottest name in the business in just a few short months, while AJ Styles was the top star in TNA whose dad didn't give him the company.
The idea of an inter-company clash has been on my mind ever since, and with Styles arriving in WWE in 2016, we seemed like we were finally going to get this match, possibly at Wrestlemania 32.....until John Cena was injured. However, with Cena's timetable likely meaning he gets to return around July, it makes a SummerSlam feud between The Phenomenal One and Super Cena a complete possibility. Please WWE, let this happen.
SEE ALSO: "John's Jargon - Phenomenal Fantasy Feuds: My Top Three Most Must-See AJ Styles Rivalries in WWE"
9. Christopher Daniels Wins the ROH Title
Father Time won't wait forever. At the age of 45, Christopher Daniels is still one of the best in the world, but as Chris Jericho's recent outings have proved, even the best start to decline in the mid forties. With that said, for the moment Daniels seems to be defying the odds, and it's criminal that he has yet to hold either the TNA or ROH World Championship.
While Jay Lethal has been a great champion, he's held the title long enough and the best option is to allow him a run while he can still compete at the level he does. While it won't be as good as winning the title from Punk would have (no offense Jamie Noble), giving Daniels a run to cap off his career would be just about the classiest thing Ring of Honor has ever done, and a fitting farewell for the Fallen Angel.
10. Daniel Bryan Returns....as a Color Commentator on SmackDown
I personally am under the school of thinking that we have seen the last of Bryan Danielson as a pro wrestler. Despite his insistence on training and seeing specialist after specialist, Bryan is no closer to being cleared than he was when the injury first occurred, and I highly doubt he'll leave the company with three years left on his contract.
With that said, Daniel Bryan offers a lot to the company as a character, and should he accept, I could see them going the same route they did with similarly concussion addled Corey Graves. While Bryan isn't the greatest mic performer, his brief commentary stint on Saturday Morning Slam proved effective and entertaining, and replacing Byron Saxton as the face commentator alongside Mauro Ranallo and Jerry Lawler would only serve to make SmackDown more compelling. Having the perspective of one of wrestling's true greats on commentary may not be as good as seeing him compete, but it may be the next best thing.
There you have it: 10 ideas for 2016. Feel free to respond in comments with your own ideas or to criticize mine, as I'm always open to feedback.
It may not be popular, but that's my take. I'm Jared Jackson-Ferrans bidding you goodday.
SEE ALSO: "Indy Injection - Zack Sabre Jr."