For those that know me well, I have long been a fan of professional wrestling. Now, as the comments of it is fake, etc, etc, run around, this is still a business that develops stars who have a lot of appeal. For instance, in the 80s, Hulk Hogan was a household name who everyone knew. Since Hulkamania first started, there has been a search for the next big thing. In 1997, D-Generation X was formed and got some appeal, but the real superstar to get some momentum going again was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The beer drinking, boss hating, SOB from Victoria, Texas, gave the world a new look at what a wrestler was. While he wore generic gear and had a somewhat plain look, Austin took his personality to the next level by being his true self with the volume turned to full blast. Now, there is a bit of a void. Who will be the next big star? Below are a few individuals who I think are capable of doing a lot.
1. Samoa Joe: For over a year, he has been unstoppable in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. With an impressive undefeated streak, Joe has proven to be an unbelievable star in his own right. Do not let his size fool you. He is actually a very agile man and can do things that men only half his size can do. In addition to this, Joe does have a fan base that is unequaled. “Joe’s gonna kill you.” That is what you hear when you are in the ring with this man. In a description of one of his matches, this is how it went: Bentley came out. Joe came out. Joe choked him out.
2. AJ Styles: He is simply referred to as “Phenomenal.” AJ Styles has held all the belts in Total Nonstop Action three times. He is considered the corner stone of the X Division. With two finishers, the Styles Clash and Spiral Tap, Styles has shown a lot for a man only 5’10”. If you get a chance to watch one of his matches, try to see if it is against “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels. The matches these two men put on together are just amazing.
3. Carlito Colon: He entered as Carlito Caribbean Cool. Now he is referred to as Carlito. This second generation wrestler has a great deal of untapped potential. If given the proper push, he has the chance to make a lot of money for the wrestling industry.
4. Shelton Benjamin: A NCAA wrestling champion, Benjamin has a lot of talent in the ring. With tag titles and three reigns as Intercontinental Champion, Benjamin has the look and charisma to be a champion. With a little work on the microphone, he could be almost as good as the Rock.
5. Bobby Lashley: This is a man who has muscles where muscles shouldn’t exist. Once part of the armed forces, Lashley has a stellar record in the amateur ranks as a wrestler. Now he brings his power and size into the ring and can deliver some pretty good matches. It will take a few years for him to get everything down, but he can do a lot.
6. Bobby Roode: Formerly known as the “Canadian Enforcer,” this man has the ability to become a solid champion for the NWA. If I had to guess, I would say he could be a lot like Arn Anderson, but maybe a little more successful.
While these men have the chance to be great in the ring, a lot of it comes down to the pushes they get and how they are used in the companies that they work for. If it is done right, then all should go well. If not, then there could be problems in their career.