Whether we know it or not, on a weekly basis we are looking at certain superstars who one day will be on our television screens as the future WWE or the future World Heavyweight Champions.
Perhaps the more avid fans know who I am talking about but once the era of John Cena, Randy Orton and Sheamus are all over; who will be stepping up to the plate?
Over the years we have been blessed with some fantastic younger talent who managed to overcome the odds, silence their doubters and break through to become either a WWE or a World Heavyweight Champion. A number of years ago that select number of individuals was not a lot, in fact it was very rare.
Picking out one individual from a bunch of WWE superstars and saying ‘he is the future of the WWE’; it’s not easy, we know that. So, who are these select individuals? Who are these superstars who joined as nobodies, and became some of the biggest superstars in history?
Well obviously we know John Cena who is the face of the WWE, Randy Orton who was seen as an immature child backstage, went on to capture multiple WWE and World Heavyweight titles and most recently the likes of The Miz Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler the current World Heavyweight Champion; nobody really gave them a chance to prove themselves, and now when they are at the top of the tree; everyone seems to be jumping onto the bandwagon.
Unlike previous years, currently we have some of the greatest crop of talent in the WWE; who may not be at the main event status yet, but one day surely they will be household names. So before the bandwagon jumping occurs again in the future, I am going to take you through ten of the current WWE superstars who WILL become either a WWE or a World Heavyweight Champion in their careers.
Let’s start off with one of our own, Wade Barrett from Preston in Lancashire; sounds a little hard to believe that a man who lived within half an hour from me is seen as one of the brightest stars the WWE currently has. Fair enough, he is 32-years-old and not the youngest of superstars but Wade Barrett possesses endless amounts of charisma, technical ability and he performs week-in, week-out; he definitely has a lot more years under his belt.
He first entered the WWE by taking part in the first season of NXT; a new competition formed by the company where the winner would receive a WWE contract; and Wade Barrett won it under the tutelage of Chris Jericho. But it only got better, Wade Barrett was involved in one of the greatest debuts the company has ever seen, seven rookies led by the charismatic fighter that is Wade Barrett, took out John Cena and destroyed the Money Night Raw ring set-up.
Currently he is the Intercontinental Champion for the second time and in due time, Barrett will work towards the top once more, and I believe his path will be towards the World Heavyweight Championship.
Team Rhodes Scholars: Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow
Okay, perhaps I have cheated by putting two-in-one but nevertheless the point remains valid; son of legendary wrestler ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes and half-brother of former WWE superstar Goldust; every fan knows that this man is almost guaranteed to become either WWE or World Heavyweight Champion. No, not because of his father’s reputation and the fact that he is a legend, but simply because he is just that good; he is great on the microphone, equally as good on camera, can switch up his styles and work with any gimmick he is given.
What better way to introduce yourself to the world by facing off against Randy Orton in your debut match, even though he lost he went on to have a small feud with him before finally aligning himself with Ted DiBiase Jr, capturing the Tag Team Championships where he became a heel, and his career really stepped up when he joined Randy Orton as they introduced themselves as Legacy, forming a stable of multi-generational superstars. Since then Cody has gone from Legacy to ‘Dashing’ Cody Rhodes where he found success as Intercontinental Champion. Now he has aligned himself with Damien Sandow, and both men are destined for success. What is so interesting is that Cody has his own special fan-base, whether he is a heel or face the fact that certain individuals know the talent he possesses, they support him no matter what, plus; which superstar can cause a reaction just by growing a moustache? Not many, but away from the facial hair; his technical ability alone and the fact that he is only 27 means he does have a great journey to the top ahead of him, another future World Heavyweight Champion.
Let’s move on to Cody Rhodes’ tag team partner; The Intellectual Saviour of the Unwashed Masses, The Duke of Decency, The Lord of Literacy, The Beacon of Light in a Harbour of Inequity; Damien Sandow. Not many fans will know this but Sandow was in fact a WWE Superstar back in 2006; where he competed under the name ‘Idol’ Stevens, and did not have a beard. Fast forward to 2012 and now we see Damien Sandow who without a doubt is one of the best superstars on the microphone today; it does not sound important but in fact it is.
Aligning himself with another younger superstar in Cody Rhodes and forming the team known as Team Rhodes Scholars, this has only benefitted Sandow as he been allowed to work with a mixture of people, from Rhodes to Kane, Daniel Bryan and even got into a brief altercation with D-Generation X on the thousandth episode of Monday Night Raw. If you are familiar with the dirt-sheet websites, then you must know that officials are high on Sandow, they know he is capable of big things and it is only a matter of time before Damien Sandow goes solo once more; gets himself into a bigger feud with an opponent of a higher calibre, and be taken seriously enough to become a World Champion, it is inevitable.
Perhaps the most obvious name on the list, Ryback is only one step away from becoming the WWE Champion and he is definitely backing up the hype which surrounded his return. Many of you will have first seen Ryback in the WWE as part of the first season of NXT where he competed as Skip Sheffield, and ultimately as part of Nexus, but an unfortunate ankle injury ruled him out for quite some time.
But was it unfortunate? If he didn’t sustain an injury then who knows, maybe we will still be seeing him running around in a cowboy hat as Skip Sheffield, maybe that injury was a blessing in disguise as we now know him as this destructive monster who is on the verge of becoming WWE Champion. He has feuded with The SHIELD, CM Punk and now John Cena; he isn’t being fed down our throats but he is backing up the skill he possesses and he is rightfully being handed a shot at the title; as we swiftly move away from these massive names in John Cena who constantly hold the belts.
If you watch Antonio Cesaro, then you must know that pound-for-pound he is probably the strongest man in the WWE today. His gimmick consists of Cesaro serving in the Swiss Militia before taking up the sport of Rugby, which resulted in him being banned due to excessive aggression.
Although it is all a work, Cesaro displays that aggression inside the ring on a weekly basis, inside the ring he does give it his all and every match he competes in, making his opponents look good and building up his own reputation in the process.
Although not every single official at the back is high on Cesaro for unknown reasons which led to Cesaro ‘yodelling’ and dropping his United States title to Kofi Kingston; the WWE know they cannot afford Cesaro leaving the company as he does have the ability to be the best, and wrestling-wise he is already one of the best they have.
We can see he is confident on the microphone too, speaking five different languages and being able to gain a negative reaction every time he is in the ring results in positives for his character, and he definitely has what it takes to continue building on that.
The SHIELD: Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns
Okay, I cheated again. But there is no questioning the fact that The SHIELD are perhaps the most exciting group the WWE has seen in recent years; never has anyone been so excited to see a group appear since the Nexus first arrived, and along with Team Hell No; The SHIELD have made tag team wrestling relevant once more. They debuted at Survivor Series in 2012 and announced their intentions to fight what they perceive as injustice; that has led to attacking some of the biggest names in the WWE, from John Cena and The Rock, to Ryback, Randy Orton and Sheamus.
Their rise to stardom has been relatively quick, but well deserved as all three men hold a Championship. But as I have mentioned, not a lot of heels manage to gain so much support from the fans like these three. Each individual has their own back story and even as individuals they will be able to handle the weight of being a World Champion. Dean Ambrose is the best on the microphone and has his own unique style of fighting, whilst Rollins is a far better technical wrestler, drawing comparisons to CM Punk. Roman Reigns, the most inexperienced out of the trio but still has a bright future, coming from a legendary wrestling family, with The Rock as his cousin he will be in good hands out of the ring also. I believe that in the next couple of years when The SHIELD is no more, that Seth Rollins will be the first to hold one of the big two championships, but don’t rule out the remaining two either, they definitely have what it takes and have all the qualities that many individuals lack.
Reading Fandango, I can imagine the faces most readers would be making when thinking ‘how can this joke become a world champion?’ well if Nick Nemeth can become a World Heavyweight Champion, Fandango definitely can!
The big negative in many fans eyes is his dancing gimmick, not many like it, some think it is different; and I am one of those. Not many guys at the back, in fact only a select few would be able to comfortably pull off this gimmick, whilst some would opt not to go out and embarrass themselves on national television, so credit to Fandango for that.
He first appeared in the WWE as Johnny Curtis, the winner of NXT and saw minimal, in fact no success and now that Vince McMahon is high on Fandango; the only way is up for him. He defeated Chris Jericho at WrestleMania in his debut match and although Jericho is famous for allowing younger talent to break through, Fandango has performed well in the matches he has been in, and is managing to grow on many fans.
The fact that he can wrestle, he can work any gimmick even if it could be embarrassing shows his work ethic and determination to succeed, and there is no doubt that if Vince continues to back Fandango, then we will be seeing him as a World Champion within the next year or so.
Formerly Michael McGillicutty who competed in NXT; he is the son of the legendary Mr. Perfect and Larry ‘The Ax’ Hennig; and now with Paul Heyman as his manager, big things are being expected of Curtis Axel. He was introduced to the world on the 20th of May when Heyman announced him as his newest client on Monday Night Raw when he overcame Triple H in his re-debut, beat John Cena this past Monday and also Sin Cara on this week’s tapings of Friday Night Smackdown; with Paul Heyman in his corner this is a real test for both men.
Heyman is credited for making his ordinary guys into these massive stars, from CM Punk to Brock Lesnar, and not forgetting Rob Van Dam either; Heyman’s next task is to convince the world that Axel is no fluke and that he will become the next big thing; and he can. Axel is great in the ring, which is why he was helping The Rock train for his WrestleMania matches, and that’s the reason why The Rock recommended him for a big push, and was also backed by Triple H; if two legends are backing him, who are we to question the call? Many believe with Paul Heyman by his side, Axel will become a World Champion with will also enhance Heyman’s reputation; and I believe that will definitely happen.
Another choice which may not be popular amongst the readers, but if you are a true fan then you will know that Titus O’Neil has what it takes to become a World Champion someday. Currently he is partnering with Darren Young as part of The Prime Time Players but there is no hiding the fact that Titus is charismatic, great on the microphone, likeable amongst the fans as well as other superstars and officials backstage, and for someone with not a lot of experience, he is a fantastic wrestler.
In 2007 he left behind his dream of becoming an NFL star after playing for the University of Florida and then in the Arena Football League, and tried his shot at wrestling by joining NXT and he has only got better and better each week. He is confident; he can work well with anyone in the ring and make others look good in the process too and backed by his size and abilities; he definitely has the right credentials to become a World Champion some day.
Previously known as Husky Harris when he competed in NXT and was then a part of The New Nexus, fortunately for him that did not work out and he returned to NXT as a new character. Bray Wyatt, a cape fear-esque religious zealot who aligned himself with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan; known as the Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt himself is considered to be a fantastic wrestler with great ability and potential as he is only 26-years-old.
He is considered to be the top star in NXT, even though his real-life younger brother Bo Dallas is the NXT Champion it is Bray who is handed the push as this past week on Raw, vignettes promoting the Wyatt Family aired, signalling their Raw debuts. Being so likeable and having a good in-ring presence due to the great success he had as a college football player; with the potential to make it professional he opted to become a wrestler 27 hours before earning his degree, a bold move which could be the correct move as Wyatt is worth the hype surrounding him and you need to see him wrestle once, and watch a promo of his before judging him, because he is that good and has the potential to become a World Champion some day.
Big E Langston
Dolph Ziggler’s right hand man, Big E Langston has been a success ever since he attacked John Cena on his Monday Night Raw debut.
Another product of NXT where he was the NXT Champion, he is now with the World Heavyweight Champion Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee where his credentials as a Raw superstar grow as the weeks pass by. He is famous for his ‘five count’ taunt, where he opts to go for a five count pin-fall rather than a three-count, something so simple has proven to be very popular amongst the NXT fans; and the officials at the back know that he has the capability of being something big.
He is very powerful, as the WWE now lack in ‘monsters’ Big E is one of the few raw powerhouses who makes every single one of his manoeuvres look devastating and painful.
Perhaps he is not the best talker on the microphone but as long as he stays with Ziggler who can do the talking, Langston will continue to build up his own reputation as a monster and perhaps down the line a face turn cannot be ruled out. The fact that he has dropped the NXT Championship to Bo Dallas suggests that he is about to receive a push on the main roster; and in due time he will be one of the biggest superstars in the WWE with a major Championship around his waist.
Can you think of any other superstars who you think will become a WWE Champion or World Heavyweight Champion down the line? Have your say below.
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