John Cena Batista, Randy Orton, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Mick Foley all got their start from somewhere. If it wasn’t in Ohio Valley Wrestling or an indie company like Ring of Honor, which is where each wrestler began to hone the craft they call a love or career today.
It all starts somewhere. MLB has the minor leagues, the NFL has college football and the NHL operates with minor leagues like the USHL or the QMJHL. (Bonus points for who knows the real names, not just the acronyms)
I’m here today to discuss WWE’s minor leagues, NXT. What formerly used to be a game show on WWE television, NXT has now became the fan’s favorite show in all of programming.
The wrestling is certainly better and wide open, but at Full Sail University, the fans connect with the performers on a more personal scale. They see them grow and graduate before their own eyes.
Just last week, Bray Wyatt and his brothers said goodbye to the NXT family. They knew him when he was Husky Harris, the beginning and evolution of Wyatt.
So, I’m here to give you a list of five men that will eventually make the main roster of WWE in any capacity that will make an impact upon arrival.
Let’s begin with a high-flyer who rivals Kingston in a “controlled-frenzy”.
5. Adrian Neville (formerly Pac in ROH)
Neville is one of the most talented wrestlers that I have ever seen. His wrestling ability rivals guys like Kingston, Evan Bourne and Rob Van Dam. His finishing move is one of the most innovative moves in wrestling history.
Here is the proof: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pu3VFsSxRcA
The corkscrew shooting star press is an unbelievable feat of strength and agility. Neville may not be a future WWE champion, but he will dominate the mid-card and eventually, a Cruiserweight division.
4. Conor O’Brien
He hasn’t been on NXT programming for a few weeks, but the beast has already made a mark in WWE’s minor leagues. Normally, he is known for the Ascension stable and he seems to bring about a dark, underworld gimmick.
The strength is there and WWE has hit a home run on his entrance. You can witness fear here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAC3_Egyong
It reminds me of Goldberg’s in the sense that anticipation builds while waiting for him to come out. The lights are dimmed and the music is frightening.
Yes, a women’s wrestler has made my list. Paige is one of the most talented wrestlers that I have ever seen. Her way to show off her agility and technical prowess rivals the best of women in history. She is the first NXT Women’s champion and she’s not even 21 years old!
Her title match with Emma was a spectacle and the fans love her. I’d be hard-pressed to find a diva that gets the pop she does for EVERY match.
Did I mention she’s not even 21 yet?
2. Corey Graves
I didn’t put Bo Dallas in this list, because well, he is awful and the fans hate him. Graves deserves a spot on this list, because he is an NXT tag-team champion already, but he rivals a look very similar to what we already see in WWE.
CM Punk rings a bell huh? The tattoos, mic work, hairstyle and attitude all rival that of the Voice of the Voiceless. He’s from Pittsburgh, not Chicago but that doesn’t matter. Graves is a fantastic ring-worker.
Guaranteed, there will be a Graves/Punk storyline down the road, which will get him an “in” at the main roster. A lot may disagree with me on Graves, but this next man, nobody will.
1. Leo Kruger
He has all the tools, wrestling, charisma, mic skills and selling ability of his character. Kruger’s matches with Zayn and Cesaro were phenomenal. The gimmick is there and he plays it off like a veteran.
It’s astounding how good he really is after being with the company for only three years. Kruger also has the look that Vince McMahon would want. I mean, his beard is carefully trimmed and taken care of.
There is a kicker however. He is 34 years old. The similar situation here reminds me of Alberto Del Rio. ADR is an older fellow and made an impact very quickly at WWE.
Look for Kruger to be a future NXT champion and a future WWE champion.
That’s it for me everyone. Who do you agree or disagree with and how quickly will one of these men or women make an impact at WWE?
Follow me on twitter @JonFisher_EWN