Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Change Time in WWE - Part 2: The Future Stars

Change Time in WWE - Part 2: The New Wave of Superstars
by Ethan Lewis
In my previous column, part one of this series, I discussed why I feel that a change is coming in WWE. If you haven't read that article, I'd suggest checking it out before reading this one. Here in the final part of this series, I discuss who I think will be in this new wave of superstars that will change WWE soon.

I feel that the people in this list will bring a new life to WWE in the coming years and change it for the better. These men and women have the talent and ability to take WWE to new heights which it hasn't seen in years. Without further a due, let's take a look at the future stars of the WWE.

Daniel Bryan

He's undeniably the most popular wrestler on the WWE roster. Note that I called him wrestler, not a 'superstar'. Daniel Bryan brings an aspect that has been vague in WWE for awhile and that is outstanding pure wrestling. His fast paced, technical, and submission style is very fun to watch. That combined with his undeniable ability to get over with the crowd via his "Yes" chants is what makes Bryan special. As I said before, he is the most popular guy on the roster right now and did so without the help of WWE. They didn't push him to be the top guy or the most popular guy, the people annointed him as the top guy by supporting him throughout the past year. If WWE capitalizes on his current popularity, I think Bryan will be a top star in WWE for many years to come. He most definitely deserves to be. I can only imagine how many awesome matches Bryan will put on over the next several years.
Roman Reigns

The dark horse of The Shield, Roman Reigns, has made an impact on his own over the past few months by breaking numerous records. He tied the record for most eliminations in a Survivor Series match and shattered the record for most eliminations in the Royal Rumble. Although he's technically still a heel, the crowd has began supporting him by chanting his name each week. It's only a matter of time before WWE turns him face and we will begin to see the rise of Roman Reigns. His family heritage (cousin of The Rock) and impressive in ring skills almost guarantee Roman a huge career in WWE. At first, I wasn't really a fan of him, but he has began to win me over. Unlike many "big" guys, he isn't stiff and delivers every time he's in the ring. I believe that Roman could possibly be the biggest star in this new era of wrestlers. I see him having multiple World Title reigns and possibly even becoming the face of the company.

Cody Rhodes

Cody Rhodes has been around for awhile, but his career has really began to hit its peak as of late.

Ever since his feud with Damien Sandow, he's been on a role including forming a team with his brother, Goldust and winning the tag team championships. He's improved ALOT in the ring since he debuted on the main roster in 2007 and has became one of my favorite guys to watch wrestle. He's added many impressive manuevers to his moveset including alot of high flying moves. The fans have also began to really get behind Cody. His teaming with Goldust and potential feud with him, will be the final step in Rhodes' path to superstardom. Cody's future is bright as I expect him to put on many great matches and become a top star over the next few years.

Dean Ambrose

When you put Brian Pillman and The Joker together you get Dean Ambrose. Ambrose's in ring work is superb. He isn't a technical master, a highflyer, nor a powerhouse. Ambrose brings an old school style of wrestling to WWE. While his wrestling skills are great, on the microphone is where Ambrose really shines. Before coming to WWE, he made a name for himself on the Indy scene as Jon Moxley. An insane guy who grew up homeless was the character that Ambrose portrayed and he did it so phenomenally well. If you haven't seen any of Ambrose's promos from the Indies as Jon Moxley, you can check them out below.

After watching that, you can probably see why I think this guy will be a big time star in WWE. It looks as if Ambrose will keep the same basic character he had as Moxley while in WWE as commentators refer to him as the "wildcard of The Shield". He reminds me of a mixture of Brian Pillman, Cactus Jack, and Terry Funk. The charisma that Ambrose has is unmatched by anyone on the roster. His mic skills and characterization can't be touched by ANYONE. I'm extremely excited to see what the future holds for Ambrose in WWE. I expect him to be a top guy for many years to come and to bring a new sense of attitude to the company.

Antonio Cesaro

Speaking of guys who bring an old school style to the ring, Cesaro is another one of those guys. He has a very innovative in ring technique that sets him apart from many other wrestlers. Though he competed on the Indy scene before joining WWE, he isn't the stereotypical small Indy guy. Cesaro stands 6 foot 5 inches tall and weighs in at 245 pounds. The guy is a powerhouse and quite possibly the strongest guy on the WWE roster.

He has showcased his strength many times by performing his finisher, the neutralizer, on guys such as Brodus Clay and The Great Khali. He's also performed his move, the Cesaro Swing on guys that size where he swings them around by their feet. You can see Cesaro perform this unbelievable manuevers above. It's so impressive to see someone do this.

When Cesaro debuted in WWE, I wasn't sure if he would be able to get over with the audience, but that has been proven to not be the case. Over the past year, Cesaro has became increasingly over with the WWE Universe. During the summer of last year he had several matches that I believe tremendously helped his career. His outstanding match against Daniel Bryan on Raw in June of last year is the match where he really broke out. 

After that match with Bryan, the crowd started to realize how awesome Cesaro is. I think some people within WWE also began to realize that as well when he went on to NXT to have a five star match with Sami Zayn. On top of all that, late last year John Cena hugely put Cesaro over as a future top star in the company after a house show. That says something about his future. So far in 2014, Cesaro has become even more popular as "Cesaro Section" signs have began appearing in crowds across the country. I believe Cesaro could be a World Champion and a mainstay on the roster for the next several years. He's a one of a kind athelete whose best years are ahead of him.

Seth Rollins

The best way to describe Seth Rollins is how Michael Cole describes him, "The Architect of The Shield". I normally don't quote Cole, but there's honestly no better way to describe Rollins. He is the more technically sound member of The Shield. Rollins has been constantly improving ever since signing to WWE. The first glimpse we got of how fantastic Rollins is in the ring, was during his match with Daniel Bryan on Monday Night Raw on June

That match alone showed me that Rollins would be a major player in WWE for years to come, but that wouldn't be the last time Rollins would show everyone his brilliance. In December, Rollins faced John Cena on Smackdown in an outstanding match which once again showed the WWE Universe his outstanding abilities.

Rollins' in ring ability will get him far in WWE. I look forward to the great matches he will have in WWE over the next few years. He reminds me of a young Chris Jericho as their in ring styles are very similar. The future is bright for Seth Rollins and he will most definitely rise to the top of WWE and help bring the company to new heights.

Bray Wyatt & the Wyatt Family

Bray Wyatt is the nephew of the legendary Black Jack Mulligan. That's one hell of a heritage that he comes from. Wyatt is quite different from his uncle and father though as his character is creepy to say the least. His character is very innovative and brings something different to WWE TV each week. On the microphone, Bray is unbelievable. His delivery is flawless and the content of his promos is brilliant. He plays his character perfectly. Not only does Bray have great charisma and mic skills, he also is exceptional in the ring. He proved how good he was in his match against Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble which undoubtedly stole the show. Bray is definitely someone that will keep people glued to their TV's. For this reason, I believe he will be a big part of this new wave of superstars in WWE.
Then you have Luke Harper & Erick Rowan, who accompany Bray to the ring each week. Out of the two, I think Luke Harper is the most talented. Therefore, I believe he will be able to have a successful singles career once the family breaks up.

Harper wrestled throughout the Indy circuit before being signed to WWE. He competed with fellow WWE superstars, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, on several occasions. What a coincidence that they all ended up in WWE competing against each other. Harper is very talented especially for a man of his size and I believe he'll be a significant part in the next wave of superstars in WWE.

Big E Langston

2013 was a breakout year for Langston as he went from managing Dolph Ziggler to becoming Intercontinental Champion. To be as big as he is, Langston is very agile and can deliver quality matches. He also has a fair amount of charisma, even though he hasn't really been able to showcase it yet. I can see Langston being a top mid-card guy for many years to come and possibly even getting a run with the World Championship.

Damien Sandow

Sandow is undoubtedly one of the most talented guys on the roster. Unfortunately, he fell victim to the same fate that Wade Barrett did, in being buried by John Cena. For those who don't remember, Sandow cashed in his Money In The Bank briefcase on Cena and lost. It was a great match and I hoped for more between the two, but Sandow fell flat after that. Sandow has what it takes to be a top heel in the next few years. I could see Ziggler as one of the top faces and Sandow as one of the top heels feuding for a World Title. Both men deserve it.

AJ Lee

Whether you want to admit it or not, AJ is the best diva that WWE has had in awhile. She's very popular and talented, but hasn't been booked well since becoming champion. Despite that, she's had many memorable moments since debuting in WWE. From the love triangle with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Kane to her "pipebomb" last year, she's delivered quality storytelling that's been missing from the Divas Division.

The shoot style promo she delivered on Raw really impressed me. She proved to me that not only does she look good and wrestle well, but she can also hold her own on the microphone. I believe that she along with some of the other women I'm going to mention in this article could bring the diva's division to new heights. The attention that AJ has brought to the divas division is just the start of a resurgence of quality women's wrestling in WWE.


For those who don't know, Paige is the current NXT Divas Champion. She's unbelievably talented in the ring and is honestly better than most divas on the main roster. There are many matches that prove this. My personal favorite is her match with Emma on NXT in the finals of the Divas Tournament.
When Paige finally debuts, I think Paige vs. AJ Lee will be the Trish vs. Lita of this generation as both women are loaded with talent. The Divas Division has been lacking for years, but as I mentioned before, I expect that to change soon. I think that change starts with Paige and AJ Lee.


Recently debuting on the main roster of WWE, Emma is a bubbly, fun character. She has alot of charisma and I honestly don't see how someone could not like her. She debuted on Raw by dancing with Santino and I normally hate that kind of stuff, but she exhibits it in such an entertaining way that I can't help, but love it.

Don't let her silly persona fool you however, Emma is also one of the most talented divas in the ring. Her matches with Paige showcase this. I feel that Emma would be a good choice as the top face Diva for the next few years. The matches she would put on against the likes of AJ and Paige would be outstanding. Success is a guarantee in Emma's future in WWE.

Summer Rae

Most of you know Summer Rae as Fandango's dance partner, I guess you could say, but she's much more than that. She's a phenomenal in-ring competitor and a great heel. She hasn't had the chance to showcase her in ring ability much since debuting on the main roster, but when she finally does, I think many people will be shocked. Summer Rae has the ability to be a top heel Diva in the WWE for years to come.


Speaking of talented Divas, Naomi is honestly the most athletic Diva on the WWE roster. I had no idea how good she was in the ring until I finally saw her compete and I was shocked. She's became my favorite Diva to watch compete over the past few months and I really hope we get to see more of her. If given the opportunity, I think Naomi would make a great Diva's Champion.


If there's one diva that I've wanted to become champion over the past few years, it's Natalya. She's been my personal favorite for a long time, but has never really gotten the chance to really showcase her abilities (like most of the Divas). She's quite popular with the WWE Universe and is one of the most gifted women's wrestlers on the roster. I think the future holds good things for Natalya. Just like I said about Naomi, if Natalya is given the opportunity, she can show everyone how phenomenal she is by becoming Divas Champion.

Sami Zayn

Out of all the great talent on NXT, Sami Zayn is by far my favorite. Before signing to WWE, he competed on the Indy scene as El Generico and was very successful. After only a few months of being with WWE, he put on an amazing 2/3 Falls Match with Antonio Cesaro. If you haven't seen it, you can check out some highlights below. It's a must watch.

Zayn's outstanding performance against Cesaro proved that he is ready for the big time. Zayn's fast paced offense gets the audience pumped up and for this reason, Zayn has the potential to be one of the most popular stars when he debuts on the main roster. What Zayn will bring to this new wave of superstars is higher quality matches. He works well with just about anyone and delivers outstanding performances every time he steps in the squared circle.

Tyson Kidd

Similar to Zayn, Tyson Kidd is a smaller guy who is fast paced and fun to watch compete. I've been a supporter of him since his days as a member of The Hart Dynasty with D.H. Smith. WWE was seemingly going to push him early in 2013 as Punk mentioned him in a promo saying "Explain to me why an invisible child called Little Jimmy is better positioned on the flagship show than a workhorse like Tyson Kidd", but Kidd got injured soon after. That was a real buzzkill for his career, but he's since recovered from the injury and is back in action. I think Tyson would be a solid mid-card star or possibly the star of a new recreated Cruserweight Division. His talent is too valuable to waste.

Titus O'Neil

This choice may come as surprise to some of you as Titus isn't popular among the "IWC", but I'm a huge fan of him. He has the whole package in my opinion. He's a big dude which is an automatic plus in WWE. For his size, Titus can move around very well in the ring which is why he's become one of my favorites. Titus is also loaded with charisma. His "bark" became popular before he turned heel and he is also very funny. I think Titus would be most succesful as a face, but I'll wait and see what happens with his current heel run. Titus O'Neil has the all the tools to be a World Champion in WWE.

Solomon Crowe

Although Solomon Crowe has yet to really debut on NXT, I'm familar with his pre-WWE work and with his new gimmick, I think he has a bright future. Crowe began his career on the Indy circuit where he wrestled for various companies under the name Sami Callihan. The Independent Wrestling scene is where he made a name for himself as one of the hardest working guys in the wrestling business today. He has put on many outstanding matches over the last few years. His style is very hard hitting and physical. He leaves it all in the ring every night.

Not only did Callihan have success as a singles competitor, but he also had success in tag team wrestling. Who was his partner? None other than Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose). The two teamed in the hardcore company, CZW, where both men made a name for themselves as complete badasses.

Since signing with WWE, Callihan was repackaged and given the name Solomon Crowe. He has a mysterious gimmick which intrigues me. The look he has fits this character perfectly and I think once he debuts he will have alot of success. Crowe certainly has the in-ring ability to be a star and this gimmick makes that even more likely.

Corey Graves

Over the past year, Corey Graves has made a name for himself down in NXT. Since debuting he's won the tag team championships alongside Adrian Neville and had many great matches.

My first glimpse at Graves was at a house show in December of 2012. Although not many people paid him any attention as he was an unfamiliar character, I was particularly impressed with him. He's solid in the ring and has the ability to be a star in WWE. The one area he may could improve in is his mic work. That's a minor negative though as that skill can be honed with hard work. Graves has improved alot since debuting and I feel he will only get better as time goes on.

Adrian Neville

Last, but certainly not least, we have Adrian Neville. Neville began his career on the Indy scene wrestling under the name Pac. He has a very innovative high flying style that is like no other wrestler. That's what sets Neville apart. If you've never seen him compete, I recommend checking out the video below.
Neville is one of my favorite wrestlers currently in NXT. I firmly believe that he is a future top star in the WWE. His in-ring is impossible to not enjoy and he works his ass off. That's a recipe for success if you ask me.

Final Thoughts: I think these wrestlers would make an awesome roster. If this was the main roster of WWE, I feel it would be well rounded with various styles of wrestling which is always a good thing.

WWE can put all of these wrestlers on the roster, but if they aren't booked well and placed in solid storylines it won't be succesful. That leads me to the topic of the next and final article in this series. Part 3 will be posted in a few days and will be about what WWE needs to do to make this change successful. I will also discuss who should be in what division, whether they'd be face or heel, etc.

Until then, tweet me your thoughts in this article on Twitter @StylesClashx. Or comment what you think on here. Thanks for reading and be on the look out for Part 3 coming over the weekend!



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