The Final Countdown tour is over. Ring of Honor recently saw two of its’ biggest stars leave the company to make a bigger name for themselves in other companies. Nigel McGuiness, or Desmond Wolfe as he is now known as, made his debut in TNA Wrestling a few weeks ago. Bryan Danielson should be making his much anticipated debut on WWE programming very soon. These two men are two of the most gifted wrestlers and entertainers you will over see in a wrestling ring. Since its’ inception back in 2002, Ring of Honor has been the place to go to see the most gifted, talented, and unsigned wrestlers in the wrestling business. Today in 2009, not much has changed.
ROH has unofficially been the third most important wrestling promotion in the United States since it ran its first show back in February of 2002. Since that time, wrestling stars from around the world have flocked to ROH to showcase their talents there. Ironically, ROH has become the breeding ground for future stars of both WWE and TNA. Guys like CM Punk, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Christopher Daniels all shined bright during their time in ROH. Now, their stars shine even brighter because of the bigger stage they are on.
So now that McGuiness and Danielson are WWE and TNA bound, the question to be asked is, “Who’s next”? The current ROH roster is jam packed with guys who can very well excel at the next level if given the chance. When news first broke that Bryan Danielson was leaving for WWE, there were rumors buzzing that WWE scouts had their eyes on at least five others from ROH that they were looking to possibly bring in. So of the current ROH roster, who is ready to take that next step and become the next big superstar of the wrestling world?
[adinserter block=”1″]Through careful examination of the Ring of Honor roster, there are plenty of guys who can, and probably one day will, fill the role of “Superstar”. As of right now, there are a select few that can legitimately be seen as having a bright future in either TNA or WWE. Below are some current ROH wrestlers who I personally think have the best shot. Here they are in no particular order:
Tyler Black: Tyler is probably the most athletic wrestler on the ROH roster. At six feet tall and 200lbs, Tyler Black can wrestle any style. He can fly, mat wrestle, and do the power moves. His agility is unmatched for a man his size. He has proved he can hang with the best of them, having had a set of fantastic matches with Bryan Danielson recently. The only downfall is his promo skills. They have been getting better as of late, but he still needs some seasoning. At 23 years old, if given some time to work on this with Dusty Rhodes down in FCW, Tyler could be destined for a bright future in WWE.
Colt Cabana: In my opinion, WWE made a huge mistake in releasing Cabana back in February of this year. “Scotty Goldman” was never given a fair opportunity to showcase what his character could do. He had a weekly segment on WWE.com that was fun to watch. Colt is one of the funniest and most entertaining men in the wrestling business today. How could World Wrestling ENTERTAINMENT overlook the best ENTERTAINER out there? On top of that, the man can actually wrestle. He has a good look, a great character, can talk on the mic, and can get the crowd behind him. What downside did you see WWE?
Claudio Castagnoli: WWE has been making it a habit of signing guys based on their looks alone, so why not offer Claudio a contract? At a chiseled 6’5” 220 lbs, Castagnoli is exactly what a pro wrestler should look like. He has a “Very European” gimmick that gets great heat with the crowd and he can work his ass off in the ring. He cuts excellent promos and just makes fans absolutely hate him. Another pure athlete, Claudio can have entertaining matches with wrestlers of all sizes. His hands-free airplane spin is something spectacular to see as well. He would also benefit WWE in their European market as well. Stephanie McMahon recently said a main focus of WWE right now is expanding their global market. There is no better way than to bring in stars that represent all parts of the world.
Chris Hero: Hero has all the gifts to make it to the top of this business. His size (6′ 225lbs) is perfect for the WWE. He has spent the last year focusing on getting into the best shape of his career, and you can tell. He has wrestled all over the world and trained with the best including Mitsuharu Misawa. Hero can wrestle all types of styles and can have a spectacular match with anyone. His hard-hitting match with Kenta on HDNet a few weeks ago is a Match of the Year candidate in my book. Above all else, Hero is a master on the mic. He cuts the best promos in ROH right now. He is so good on the mic that he does color commentary on most ROH DVD’s. Hero is very marketable and is exactly what WWE or TNA needs right now.
Delirious: Hailing from The Edge of Sanity, Delirious is one hell of a worker and a pleasure to watch in the ring. His character is very unique and could be marketed extremely well towards kids in either WWE or TNA. Delirious has wrestled around the globe and faced some of the best wrestlers in the world and held his own. He also might be the best conditioned wrestler in ROH right now. There were rumblings about a month ago that WWE was interested. It comes as no surprise as Delirious can bring pure wrestling ability, charisma, and entertainment value to any organization. If WWE can market a masked wrestler like Rey Mysterio and make him as big as he is, they should have no trouble doing the same for Delirious and his fun character.
[adinserter block=”2″]Honorable Mentions: Austin Aries, Davey Richards, and Roderick Strong. We all know these guys are fantastic workers. Davey Richards could possibly be the best wrestler pound for pound in the United States. The one downfall all three of these guys have is that they are too small. I would love to see these guys in either WWE or TNA, but let’s face it, they would get lost in the shuffle. It already happened to Aries and Strong in TNA. Pure wrestling ability alone, these are three of the best in the world. As a fan, I’d rather they keep doing what they are doing and stay away from the Big Two. These guys can still make a great living doing major indies and working overseas, not to mention have better matches as well
You might agree with some of the above, or you might think I am insane. Either way, it is a great conversation piece. Only time will tell if these men are the next WWE or TNA Superstars. With all of their ability and talent, don’t be surprised if it happens sooner rather than later.
Dom Vitalli is originally from Upstate New York and currently resides in Phoenix, AZ. He is a die hard New York Yankees fan and currently wrestles for various independent wrestling promotions throughout the state of Arizona. You can follow the life and times of Dom “The Bomb” Vitalli at www.myspace.com/goldglove2b.
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