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The Year In Wrestling: WWE Crown Jewel, Becky Lynch becomes 'The Man'


As you well know, a lot happens in a year especially in sports and entertainment. When I do my year-end MMA review shows, I am always amazed looking at all the little things that happened in a given month that ended up being bigger things later on.

But, we had never really done a comprehensive month-by-month look at the year that was in pro wrestling, so here we are. I tasked website contributor Josh Molina to help me out and that's exactly what he did. 

There was so much that happened that I had to split this up into four separate posts, the first of which covered January-March, then April-June, and then, July-September.

As we truly get into WWE's new year with Monday's Raw, we finish up with October through December.


  • Roman Reigns was diagnosed with leukemia and vacated the WWE Universal title
  • WWE holds their first all-women’s PPV, Evolution with Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte in a Last Woman Standing match as a highlight
  • Mercedes Martinez defeated Tessa Blanchard for the Rise Women’s Championship in a 75-minute iron woman match, the longest women’s match in history
  • The death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi put pressure on WWE to pull out of their November Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia
  • "Rebel” Dick Slater passed away from heart complications at 67
  • Don Leo Jonathan passed away at 87
  • Johnny Impact defeated Austin Aries for the Impact world title, but Aries no sold the finish and walked away from the ring
  • Charlotte Flair’s ex-husband Riki Paul Johnson filed a $5 million defamation lawsuit against Charlotte, Ric Flair, and WWE over her book “Second Nature".
  • Impact moved from 8 PM EST time slot to 10 PM EST on Pop TV
  • Sami Callihan signed a contract with Impact wrestling
  • Kevin Owens had surgery on both knees, putting him out until early-2019
  • Rey Mysterio signed a deal to return to WWE and returns to SmackDown
  • WWE backstage interviewer Charly Caruso signed a deal with ESPN while also remaining with WWE
  • Pete Dunne hit 500 days as WWE UK champion, the longest WWE title reign since Hulk Hogan’s world title reign from 1985 to 1988
  • WWE held Super Showdown in Australia, a stadum show where HHH faced the Undertaker to set up the November return of Shawn Michaels
  • Ted Turner, one of the most influential people in professional wrestling television history, announced he was suffering from Lewy body dementia
  • Alberto Del Rio said he plans to compete in MMA again for Combate Americas
  • Pac, formerly Neville in WWE, returned to wrestling at a Dragon Gate show
  • SmackDown had their 1000th episode
  • Chris Jericho stages Rock ‘N Rager Wrestling Cruise featuring the Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and more


  • At WWE Crown Jewel, Brock Lesnar regained the WWE Universal title by defeating Braun Strowman while HHH and Shawn Michaels were victorious over the Undertaker and Kane
  • AAA signed a deal with Facebook to promote a live 10-week tournament on Facebook Live
  • Hangman Page turned down an offer to re-sign with Ring of Honor
  • Becky Lynch was removed from her highly anticipated Survivor Series match with Ronda Rousey after Nia Jax gave her a concussion during a show-closing angle on Raw
  • Leading into Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan upset AJ Styles for the WWE Championship on SmackDown, setting up a match between he and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar at SS
  • At SS, Lesnar defeated Bryan while Ronda Rousey defeated Charlotte Flair by DQ after Flair savagely beat up Rousey with a kendo stick
  • IWGP Champion Kenny Omega and AAA Champion Fenix drew 2700 fans and a $100,000 gate in Poughkeepsie, NY
  • Cody Runnels tore his meniscus during a match in Buffalo for ROH
  • Louisiana's governor said WrestleMania generated $175 million for the city of New Orleans
  • Steve Austin announced on his podcast that he no longer drinks alcohol
  • WWE told its UK contracted wrestlers that they were getting raises, but could no longer wrestle for rival independent promotions
  • Larry Matysik, longtime St. Louis pro wrestling commentator and booker, passed away at 72
  • Jose Lothario, longtime Texas wrestler and trainer of Shawn Michaels, passed away at 83
  • Former judo champion, pro wrestler and mixed martial artist Gene Lebell retired as an MMA judge
  • Kairi Sane suffered from hand, foot and mouth disease
  • All Elite Wrestling, a group thought to be led by Tony Khan, Cody, and the Young Bucks got trademarked in Jacksonville, FL, along with other trademarks like 'Double or Nothing'


  • Dynamite Kid (Tom Billington) passed away on his 60th birthday
  • Vince McMahon's XFL announced eight teams and cities for their 2020 return
  • Jack Swagger announced his MMA debut for Bellator in January 2019
  • Ring of Honor signed PCO and Brody King
  • John Cena was honored with the Muhammad Ali Sportsperson of the Year Award by Sports Illustrated
  • Aleister Black (Thomas Budgen) and Zelina Vega (Thea Trinidad) were married
  • Larry “The Axe” Hennig passed away at 82
  • Women of Wrestling announced their show on AXS would debut in January 2019
  • A judge threw out Colt Cabana’s lawsuit against CM Punk over legal fees
  • Big Cass collapsed and experienced a seizure at an independent show
  • L.A. Park, Jerry Jarrett, Jimmy Hart, Bill Apter, Howard Finkel, Gary Hart and Yuji Nagata were voted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame
  • Vince McMahon announced that the McMahon family was returning taking over Raw and SmackDown as part of a shakeup
  • Asuka beat champion Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair to win the Smackdown women’s title in a TLC match at TLC
  • Entertainment Weekly named "Mother of All Matches", an episode of GLOW featuring Awesome Kong, as the best episode of a television show in 2018
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, 42, captured the Tokyo Sports pro wrestling MVP award for the fourth time in his career