Who will be the future of the NXT main event (Part 2 of 3):

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With Kevin Owens on the main roster, Joe and Balor on their way up with Breeze not far behind, and Itami and Zayn injured (who will also eventually be on their way up soon as well); the NXT talent pool is becoming a little shallower. Not only that, but the final remnants of the attitude era (Big Show, Kane, Mark Henry) are on their eventual way out, which will require a few more NXT call-ups. WWE has three options to keep the NXT main event thriving: Utilize their current talent, Hire new talent, or Revitalize a main roster or former superstar. This current article focuses on some talented wrestlers that are not hired by WWE:

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Adam Cole
Age: 25
Height: 5’11
Weight: 205 lb

Accomplishments: ROH World Champion, Wrestling Observer Rookie of the Year, PWI #9 in 2014

Adam Cole is a young atheletic and charismatic wrestler that resides in Ring of Honor. This man is the “indy blueprint” that fits NXT’s mold perfectly. His recent match with AJ styles at the ROH/NJPW joint show War of the Worlds ’15 showcases why he is so popular. At a young age, Cole brings more than enough to the NXT table. Because he is so young, there is no issue with leaving him in developmental for 2 years in order to perfectly hone is craft to the WWE style, as well as soak up the NXT main even scene. Triple H would be wise to pick him up before his stock rises even more.




Michael Elgin
Age: 28
Height: 5’11
Weight: 245 lb

Accomplishments: PWI #14 in 2014, ROH Champion, Wrestling Observer 5 star match 2012

The Canadian independent wrestler has been on WWE’s radar since 2009. He is a unique talent, with a large following. Currently, he is the only ROH star (and one of the few non-Japanese wrestlers) to be involved in the current NJPW G1 Climax tournament. Much like Cole, Elgin can bring a sense of athleticism and skill into the NXT main event, especially at a relatively young age. His match with Davey Richards is regarded as one of the best matches in the past decade, and I would absolutely recommend watching it. The transition to NXT would be seamless for him, similar to how Owens did. Although is mic work is not where it needs to be, he can easily fix that in the training center. This man is an easy choice to join NXT and boost the main event scene, provided they offer him the right deal.



Okada
Age: 27
Height: 6’3
Weight: 235 lb

Accomplishments: PWI #5 in 2013/2014, Wrestling Observer 5 star match x2, Wrestling Observer match of the year, IWGP Champion x2, G1 winner x2


Before Itami’s debut, many would argue that Japanese stars cannot achieve success in the WWE. Hideo Itami is clearly on his way to at the bare minimum, make an impact on the midcard of the main roster. One man that could act as a foil to Itami, or just a general brash heel in the NXT main event, is Okada. He is currently one of the best workers in the world. Viewing any match, whether it be against Tanahashi, Nakamura, or any of his work in NJPW will show how good he really is. Saturating NXT with a ton of Japanese-based wrestlers may be a bad move, but having one more (and one to stay in the place of when Itami moves up) is a smart move. WWE has kept an eye on some of these Japanese stars, particularly Okada & Nakamura. This may be a matter of when, and not if. NXT lacks strong main event heels, especially with Owens gone soon, so slap a heel sticker on this man and put him in the ring. He is a very popular star in Japan right now, so again, it may take a large deal (or a Joe deal) in order to get him in a NXT ring.


Ricochet
Age: 26
Height: 5’10
Weight: 164 lb

Accomplishments: Lucha Underground champion, PWI #53 2014, Wrestling Observer “Best Flying Wrestler” 2011/2014, 2014 NJPW Super Juniors winner

With Kalisto, Sin Cara and Neville now on the main roster, cruiserweight-based stars are a little thin. Whether you refer to him as Ricochet (independent) or Prince Puma (Lucha Underground), this man can fly. He caught the eye of many during his stint in the first season of Lucha Underground. He is another man that is great on the ring, but could use some more work on the mic. Unfortunately, he will not get to learn from the late great Dusty Rhodes, but there are many other talented individuals to help him with promos at the NXT training center. At 26, he has more than enough time to learn. He may not become the NXT champion, but he would be a great addition to hold the spot of someone such as Tyler Breeze, to ensure there is always a fun match that the crowd it into. He can also easily be inserted into a quick main event, or multi-man match, in order to add high spots and a ‘wow’ factor. Unlike the others above, he may be able to signed to a deal a little easier.



Colt Cabana
Age: 35
Height: 6’1
Weight: 233 lb
Accomplishments:
ROH tag champion, NWA Champion, PWI #44 wrestler in 2012, popular wrestling podcast host

Regardless of his affiliation with CM Punk and lawsuit with Dr. Amann, this man needs to get signed to NXT. Cabana brings a massive fanbase, wrestling skill, great mic skills, and most importantly, a podcast. With a bit of toning down, Colt’s podcast can be featured on the WWE Network, and they can bring in non-WWE stars. Why is this a good idea? Because he can feature people that can eventually be signed with the WWE. Not only that, but they can build the podcast around newly-signed and other NXT stars, in order to get their name and story out to everyone. WWE can also start Network comedy specials featuring him, Ziggler, Foley, and others. Colt is a built-in star building tool, and WWE needs to utilize this. Other than that, he has a strong wrestling skillset (do not refer to his Scotty Goldman matches), and can help put people over in NXT as an enhancement talent. Finally, he can make a seamless transition later as the next great announcer. Cabana may not be NXT champion material, but he can be the man to make other champions and main eventers.

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