Hi everyone. First piece of the new year .. so let’s start with looking to the future! Here’s a personal list of twenty wrestlers and teams who I believe have the potential to progress and succeed in 2017. I have not limited myself to WWE stars, so you’ll find a few upcoming stars from other promotions as well.
“The Face That Runs The Place” is a line beginning to cement itself in WWE. He started 2016 with a bang as an entrant in the Royal Rumble, and almost a year later we await another epic encounter between AJ Styles and John Cena. This time the title is on the line, and Styles has the opportunity to beat his rival for a fourth time.
Last year was “testing the waters” for his WWE career. Following the brand extension, Smackdown turned to him to lead the blue brand, and prove he is the top draw in the company. With AJ as champion Smackdown beat Raw in the ratings for the first time in history, but it’s only the tip of the iceberg. The feud between them is likely to escalate over the coming months; making Smackdown the show to watch. Can he go to Wrestlemania as champion and retain in the main event? I wouldn’t put it past The Phenomenal One.
They have come so far so soon. The way they won the titles against The Wyatts memorable too. WWE has taken notice of their chemistry and wrestling ability, so this year should be one of getting to know them better. Come the end of December, as long as they avoid injury .. American Alpha will have an identity and more title victories.
She’s already become the longest reigning NXT Women’s Champion this year, so what’s next for The Empress of Tomorrow? She moves on. The only reason she hasn’t is because there’s no one to replace her. There’s a few options, but I reckon she’s going to be champion going in to Wrestlemania weekend. I can’t imagine her losing it before the summer.
The question is which show will she go to? If she goes to Smackdown, she will face the likes of Alexa Bliss, Becky Lynch, Natalya, and Mickie James, which doesn’t so competitive .. not when Raw has Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, Nia Jax and Bayley. Whichever show she goes too it’s going to be a major selling point for their women’s division.
Authors of Pain (Rezar & Akam)
You’re going to hate me for this, I am a fan of The Authors Of Pain. Yep, I said it. I enjoy their no-nonsense attitude and Paul Ellering’s direction. I enjoy their entrance, and the way they go about their business. It’s not cartoony .. they don’t pander to the audience. They do not care what you think, and they certainly don’t want to share their likes and dislikes.
They will improve in the ring .. if that’s what you’re thinking. They can’t be called up to the main roster for a while as they have a lot to do, but it’s fine as they are young with many years ahead. There’s no telling how long they will go undefeated, and DIY can’t avoid them forever. They are the uncrowned NXT Tag Team Champions, whether we like it or not.
I’ve been as high as a kite on Corbin since he debuted the Lone Wolf gimmick back in NXT. He’s had some stinkers here and there, but most of the time he puts on decent matches. There’s always a sense of danger, he’s adamant in his quest for success, and the scary thing is he’s getting better every week.
I love his attitude as well, when he says things like he was never a wrestling fan and doesn’t care about being a “wrestler”. He’s capable of getting crowds to chant “Corbin Sucks” in an age where everyone wants to cheer the bad guy to seem ‘cool’. That’s great work. He doesn’t pander, and he doesn’t care about you. He cares about fighting, making money, and winning championships. Screw the rest right?
It feels like a foregone conclusion that Roode will meet Shinsuke Nakamura and win the NXT title this year. It might not happen right away, but it has to at some point. And you know .. it’s going to be glorious!
Part of the reason Strowman has been booked the way he has is because he’s on Raw. What I would like to do though, is put any booking questions to one side and focus on his potential. I remember when he showed up on Raw and tried wrestling a singles match in the main event (might have that wrong, been a few months) .. and it was terrible. I can admit he was struggling. But since then I’ve seen him work hard to be more fluid with his style and it’s slowly paying off.
When you think of Strowman, you’re always going to see him as a giant monster. That’s his thing, he can’t help that he appears that way. What we should be remembering is that Strowman is still inexperienced. He’s like Big Show was back when he was The Giant in WCW, having to learn on the road with little training.
When you consider the fact, you have to appreciate how much WWE trusts him to work the way he does. 2017 is very important in shaping his future and character for the years ahead. He doesn’t need championships .. all he needs is to keep improving his ring craft, and winning as many matches as possible. Everything else will fall into place.
The digs at WWE have been so blatant lately. Cody left WWE frustrated as creative continued to give him nothing to work with. He’s always felt like he had the potential to be a main event star in WWE, but several gimmick changes kept him from being taken seriously. But now he’s gone from WWE, he’s started forming a “kingdom” and has adopted the nickname “The American Nightmare”.
Having already made appearances and worked matches in TNA, Ring Of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, Cody is looking to unite the wrestling business by being a cross-promotional star his father would be proud of. And even if WWE won’t allow him to use the Rhodes name .. it’s not going to stop everyone calling him a Rhodes.
Here’s another man who TNA picked up (after being dropped by WWE) and gave a platform to develop and achieve. He may be super loud, super arrogant, and a super dummy (Yeah!), but there’s no denying his potential. He needs to be around the main event scene, he needs to be challenging for the world title or all the work he and the company have done will’ve been for nothing.
She’s still fairly new to the WWE scene, but the fact she has a dedicated gimmick, great entrance, and a killer finisher, means she will be NXT Women’s Champion eventually. She’s no Asuka, but perhaps in six months she will have proven her worth. The potential is there, but it’s up to her and NXT to bring that out of her preferably sooner rather than later.
Last year was supposed to be the crowning of The Demon King but it didn’t work out that way. Raw would’ve been easier to watch had we not lost the creativity and passion he brings. To come back and not win the Universal title back would be a disservice to the fans, so expect a memorable return. 2017 is the year to prove he belongs in the main event.
I’m English .. Jack is English. Only difference is he plays the stereotypical English gentleman and makes it work .. whereas I try and it comes across as insulting. Did you know he’s also a MMA fighter? He won his two matches by submission.