8. Randy Orton
It especially pains me to have Orton this low, because you won’t find a bigger Orton mark than me. When motivated, he’s one of the elite workers in the business. He makes simple moves such as a suplerplex, a powerslam or a dropkick look so simple yet so serene. He has a million dollar look and his third generation bloodline shows that he is meant for this business, not serving in the armed forces. Despite that, however, since losing the WWE Title to Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30, he just hasn’t looked into it or motivated. His moves have become much more methodical and slower than usual. His body language speaks that of a man who knows he’s going to half-ass everything that he does, and that’s not a good sign from a man who has accomplished as much as Orton. In addition, his mic skills, as it always has been, is sub-par for one of the prominent faces in WWE for the past decade. He also has a bad habit of forgetting his lines on live television. Whatever the case, if Orton is motivated, and he has expressed interest in working with the likes of AJ Styles, Sami Zayn and Finn Balor, he is a top 5 caliber pick. You won’t have to worry about him getting to the World Title picture, because despite his multiple wellness policy violations, he is still one of WWE’s darlings, so he’ll get there in no time if they see fit. His announced match against Brock Lesnar at Summer so am shows he’s still a main event player. He will also provide good veteran experience in any locker room. But a word of caution. He is coming back from a shoulder injury that has sidelined him since October. And that was just from taking out the trash. So he’s high risk.
7. Brock Lesnar
I wanted to leave him off this list so badly. I was saying “Richard you dumbass, Lesnar is only good for one match every six months. Why is he in your top 10?” Yeah, I know. He probably won’t be making consistent appearances on whatever brand he gets drafted to, if he gets drafted at all, but you still can’t leave a guy like this off. No one in the history of the business has had the combination of power, speed, agility, athleticism and prowess that Lesnar has in the history of WWE. The man is a….well, man-beast hybrid. If you were to see him live, you’d know why he’s considered a special attraction, though the theory that he is a huge draw is sort of overblown in a way. Lesnar’s allure since returning in 2012 has lost some of its luster, because since garnering the Suplex City gimmick after his one sided affair against John Cena, it seems that his moveset has been limited to power moves and suplexes. Lesnar just makes it look so brutal. Despite that, he’s good for a big match when called upon, as exhibited against the likes of CM Punk, Undertaker and Roman Reigns. But when he comes to a show, Paul Heyman says 1000 variations of the same thing, he won’t utter a word, he’ll do a gorilla like motion, maybe F-5 a Jobber, and that’s it. His mic skills clearly haven’t hurt him, and his positives outweigh the negatives. Just know that if you are looking for someone full-time, though, you may want to consider looking elsewhere first.
6. AJ Styles
At the Royal Rumble this year, after rumors were swirling that one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet to not wrestle for WWE came into the Rumble at 3, it was one of the best moments of my viewing career. He’s called Phenomenal for a reason. His in-ring prowess is off the charts, he has an astute feel for the ring, and his character is multi-dimensional, for those of you who have watched TNA. His character got much more interesting after his buddies from Japan, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, followed suit. He’s a crafty veteran in the business, and he simply knows what to do. His mic skills are inoffensive, and by that I mean he won’t say something where I have to watch it on YouTube if I missed it, but he won’t say something so egregious that he should be banned from microphones. He has also shown that he can adjust to change, as he has wrestled great WWE main event style matches against WWE’s higher ups in John Cena and Roman Reigns. As the new talent pours in, the possibilities for Styles are endless. I personally think that he’s main event caliber, but if a concern arises about a mid-card title needing some umph, AJ can definitely deliver. He’s certainly a top 10 pick for me, and if he slips to 7-10, you have to consider him as one of the primary choices. There’s just no getting around it. Oh and that music? I bump that hard.
5. Kevin Owens
If we’re being honest, Kevin Owens is probably the best pure heel on the roster. What I like about Owens is that he’s organic. He doesn’t need WWE to tell him what to do, he just does it. What I also like about him is how convincing he is. I’m inclined to believe the way he speaks on the microphone is the way that he speaks outside of a WWE ring. His in-ring antics, the way he consistently destroys Saxton and Cole on the announcer’s table and his entire character makes him one of the top future stars in WWE. I’ll admit, I was skeptical about his in-ring capabilities once he started in WWE because of that extended belly, but boy has he proven me wrong. He should be THE top heel in any brand that he’s on. No lower, than second highest. The man’s talents are endless. Just skip to 2:43 of this video to see why I say, Kevin Owens just “Gets it” as a heel. He is elite at his craft, won’t take no for an answer, and he’s ready to dominate. He’s able to elevate those that he’s in the ring with, his feud against Sami Zayn coming to a close will give him the right momentum that he needs for the draft, and hopefully sooner than later, he’ll get his just treatment as a world champion.
4. John Cena
I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know. We all hate him. He shouldn’t be this high. Why is he this high? Am I HIGH? Permit me to explain my reasoning. Cena, as we know, has been the face of the company for the past decade. He’s buried a lot of people, has stuck with the same shtick since he turned face, does a lot of cartoonish antics, and emasculates some of his opponents on the mic. But we can’t ignore his star power. We just can’t. If we need a big match out of Johnny Boy, he’ll give it to you. Yes, he has opponents carry him, but he holds his own when the occasion arises. But one of the things I am still perplexed about him is that he sitll manages to get one of the more consistent reactions in WWE. Whether we cheer him or boo him, he sill gets the crowd to respond to him. That can’t be said for a lot of WWE superstars, even some in the top tier. Now yes, Cena has stated that he’s going to start toning it down on the full-time schedule and at his advanced age, his workload will likely decrease. But Cena is still a top face in the company and for us to ignore it would be ignorant. To be honest, you could interchange Cena and Owens at 4 and 5, but Cena gets the slightest of edges just because he will always be WWE’s golden boy. That goes a long way in a WWE career.