Jamie: WWE clearly want it to be Roman Reigns, but in a babyface capacity I don’t think he stands a chance. Giving him star billing in the Wrestlemania main event does not make him a star, just as putting a cat in the oven doesn’t make it a biscuit. As a heel on the other hand, he may stand a chance.
My money is on Dean Ambrose. He’s been simmering away nicely since going solo, but I think he’s just one feud
away from reaching boiling point. His feud with Bray Wyatt didn’t really work for me, purely because they are both as weird as each other. I’d like to see him try to get under the skin of a Randy Orton or John Cena.
Brian: As much as my heart wants to agree with you….my brain is telling me something different. Is Dean Ambrose on the cusp of breaking out big time? Yes, but the WWE I fear doesn’t see him more than a guy with a crazy gimmick. They need to give him a lot more depth. A guy I see closer to really breaking out is Dolph Ziggler. He is right there and just needs a slight nudge. Overall, in recent years especially, I think the WWE fans are trending towards wrestlers the WWE doesn’t think can be main event guys…over the guys the WWE chooses.
Jamie: I would be in agreement regarding Ziggler, but it feels like he has been on the cusp for a couple of years now. I can’t help but feel that if Ziggler was going to climb to the next rung on the ladder it would have happened by now. That said, he has been on the cusp for a while. He is no flash in the pan, so hopefully that might help his cause. What a story it would be if Dolph Ziggler seriously pursued the title; a retelling of HBK’s story towards Wrestlemania 12 perhaps?
You raise an interesting point regarding who fans get behind. Even in my own mind, I can’t figure out if I genuinely like Dolph Ziggler or just want him to succeed as an act of rebellion against WWE’s prescribed superstars? I’d like to think it’s the latter, but in reality I probably am subconsciously rooting for the underdog to some degree.
Brian: Ziggler’s time should have been a couple of years ago…but multiple concussions took him out of the main event picture and I think the WWE has been a little skirmish since. All he needs is one or two memorable moments…whether at Wrestlemania…Survivor Series etc. He’s already got all the tools and a strong fan base.
As for WWE fans rebellion of chosen “superstars,” most of that can probably be traced to the internet and more fans having access to indie promotions they may have never been able to see before it. Fans love the underdogs or even the anti WWE guys. Which brings me to Dean Ambrose and his potential….he was beloved as a member of the Shield and many felt he would be the breakthrough star of the group. When he got his little taste of a main event push at Hell in the Cell…a few fans started to turn on him. I read comments where fans started being critical of his wrestling abilities or lack thereof. Some fans…just want to root against anything and everything the WWE does.
Jamie: There’s a Scroobius Pip song with the lyric “thou shalt not stop liking a band just because they become
popular”, which is fitting in more genres of entertainment than just music. I tend to avoid message boards and social media so did not pick up any Ambrose backlash, and certainly did not hear anything from the live crowds. However, if what you are saying is true then while disappointed, I’m hardly surprised.
So Ambrose and Ziggler are in the mix, but does anybody from NXT catch our eye? It feels like ages since someone came up to the main roster and really caught on. I’m already finding it hard to picture The Ascension being around this time next year.
Brian: The easy answer would be Sami Zayn…but to me there are still question marks with him moving up to the main roster. Is he considered too small like a Daniel Bryan? His talent should be able to speak for itself and sadly the WWE isn’t like that. My pick from NXT would be Kevin Owens. He has size and agility……
Jamie: Owens would be my pick too. I’d love Zayn to be brought up and placed in a meaningful spot, but the longer he stays in NXT the more I doubt it will happen. How often has he been on the road with the main roster, yet never appeared on TV? Surely, if WWE were that bothered, they would have found a spot for him by now? Kevin Owens, on the other hand, I can totally picture working as a bully type character against Daniel Bryan or Dolph Ziggler. WWE is full of guys who could work with Owens and make him look devastating. Sami Zayn is a different proposition entirely.
Brian: I agree on all counts. Another NXT guy I seeing possibly having a break out year…if not on the main roster but NXT is Solomon Crowe. He’s got an awesome gimmick that is very dark and disturbing like Bray Wyatt or the Undertaker. He is set to debut next week on NXT’s live broadcast.
All previous Sunday Sermons can be read here.