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WWE: Who is the next big thing?

Kam

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From Wrestling 101:
Rules of Professional Wrestling, #1: As the Earth does with the sun; every wrestling promotion must revolve around one top star – a name and face that will become your brand, your identity, and your ticket to filling arenas and planting butts in front of television screens.

When you think of The Terminator, you think of Arnold Schwarzenegger, just as the Muppets revolve around Kermit T. Frog and Marilyn Manson conjures up, well, Marilyn Manson. With the exception of a few, almost every wrestling promotion in history has built themselves around one larger-than-life superstar who stands out above all the others. None more so than Vince McMahon with the WWE: In the 1980s, Hulk Hogan WAS pro wrestling, before Stone Cold Steve Austin took the ball in 1998 and redefined the industry. Even today, the WWE cannot function confidently without John Cena selling merchandise, bumping television ratings and keeping live attendance numbers stable. No matter how many stars are in the sky, one always shines brighter than the others.

The problem with this set-up is that, inevitable, a new superstar will have to be found, created or stumbled upon by accident in order to keep the cycle running. John Cena won’t be around forever, and consensus amongst most wrestling fans is that the WWE need to start creating some new headline names to move the company forward. If Cena is mysteriously pushed down the stairs tomorrow morning (most likely by a maniac who breaks into his home with a sledgehammer, leaves giant nose prints on the doors and then makes their escape in a Triple H-branded tour bus), who is going to take that step up to the top of the ladder and make their mark on the business? Who is the next big thing? Let’s meet the candidates...

> WWE: Who is the next big thing?
 

Jamster26

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I'd like to say Wade Barret. The gut has everything. The look, in ring ability, good on the mic. Only a matter of t-...oh yeah this is WWE, isn't it?
 

Omega

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I'd probably say we don't really have any clue who the next big thing is yet, which is a bit of a cop out answer but there you go. I think really when you look at it whilst Cena was certainly enjoyable when he debuted, no one was saying "hey, this guy could be massive!" and he's gone on to be so. Who would have thought Austin would have done anything more after being "the Ringmaster" or that Rocky Maivia would go on to be a hollywood movie star?

So really almost anyone could be the next big thing given the write conditions such as bigger stars dropping out or getting injured or simply managing to get that "moment" shine from out of nowhere.

I do agree with Jamster that Barrett has all the things I think he needs to be successful but as I said to Jimmy before I think there is a real reticence in the WWE to really push guys not from the US or it's neighbours into the top spots. Cody Rhodes always impresses me but he's never going to be big enough physically to really get that ultimate push which is a shame.
 

Jimmy Redman

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I'd probably say we don't really have any clue who the next big thing is yet, which is a bit of a cop out answer but there you go. I think really when you look at it whilst Cena was certainly enjoyable when he debuted, no one was saying "hey, this guy could be massive!" and he's gone on to be so. Who would have thought Austin would have done anything more after being "the Ringmaster" or that Rocky Maivia would go on to be a hollywood movie star?
While I agree with your point in general about not always seeing it coming, these are bad examples to use.

John Cena was raved about by people the minute he started his developmental career. Rock had Cornette and others with HUGE tickets on him when he first started saying he'd be a megastar by the year 2000, and he still beat them. Austin was always a guy who people said was talented should have been pushed all the way back to WCW.

If there were ever any guys of whom it actually was predicted of them and they fulfilled it, it would be those ones, the first two especially.

But, having said that, I still agree with the idea that its pretty much impossible to decide, "OK, this guy will be a huge star by this point in time" like that. So much other crap is in the way between points A and B.

Just think of the amount of guys who various people said the same things about, how big a star they were going to be, and it never materialised. For any number of reasons. All the stars have to align at once and you can predict that.
 

Omega

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While I agree with your point in general about not always seeing it coming, these are bad examples to use.

John Cena was raved about by people the minute he started his developmental career. Rock had Cornette and others with HUGE tickets on him when he first started saying he'd be a megastar by the year 2000, and he still beat them. Austin was always a guy who people said was talented should have been pushed all the way back to WCW.

If there were ever any guys of whom it actually was predicted of them and they fulfilled it, it would be those ones, the first two especially.

But, having said that, I still agree with the idea that its pretty much impossible to decide, "OK, this guy will be a huge star by this point in time" like that. So much other crap is in the way between points A and B.

Just think of the amount of guys who various people said the same things about, how big a star they were going to be, and it never materialised. For any number of reasons. All the stars have to align at once and you can predict that.
The Rock maybe you have a point but seriously there was no mega buzz about Cena when he débuted and even though his heel rapper gimmick was popular I never once saw a post saying "hey, you know that John Cena. He could really lead the WWE". Sorry Jim, even if development thought he was special they said the same thing about Nick Dinsmore.... :p
 

Jimmy Redman

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I'm not saying mega huge hype when he debuted, but he absolutely had people saying he would be a star from the beginning of his career. Cornette knew it (pretty sure it was Cornette, the guy who booked him in OVW), Meltzer did. If you read old Figure Four Weeklies from 2002 you have Alvarez being all "WWE thinks this guy is going to be their next big star.." even when he was a faceless babyface jobber. There were tickets on him well before he took off.

And its funny you mention Dinsmore. The thing is that, if anything, people actually think they see it coming too often, rather than miss it. The amount of people whom have been touted as potential stars of the next big thing, and who never ended up anywhere, is huge. And thats the nature of the beast and the fact that there can never be that many stars in relation to the amount of people who have the potential to be stars.

Dinsmore, Matt Morgan, Kennedy, MVP, Shelton, Carlito, Ted DiBiase, Harry Smith, etc. and etc. Just off the top of my head.

In 2004, Orton was supposed to be the next gigantic star, but it turns out they buggered it up and lucked into the slow-burn Dave turn instead, and we end up with a 38 year old bodyguard becoming the gigantic star and it took Orton another 3 years to become a bona fide main eventer.

Things hardly ever go to plan, for one reason or another. Or many.
 

Omega

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Star and next big thing seem pretty different to me Jimbob but since the original point is agreed upon then it's not that big a deal.

It's funny when you list all the people who had the talent and never got the push and then you think about Mark Henry who hs been with the company ten years, has not really improved in any noticeable way since he dropped the whole sexual chocolate thing and yet he's still there winning belts. Not hating on Henry because fair play to the guy but when you think about the MVP's of this world who had skills in the ring and on the mic it feels a little wrong.
 

Jimmy Redman

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It's funny when you list all the people who had the talent and never got the push and then you think about Mark Henry who hs been with the company ten years, has not really improved in any noticeable way since he dropped the whole sexual chocolate thing and yet he's still there winning belts. Not hating on Henry because fair play to the guy but when you think about the MVP's of this world who had skills in the ring and on the mic it feels a little wrong.
Mark Henry has absolutely improved since the 90s. I've seen him improve remarkably since 2003, and hell, he's better now than he was 6 months ago.

But yes. MVP's career tailspin still pisses me off. That guy was awesome on so many levels, and its one of the most stupid, petty, pro wrestling reasons for killing a guy's career ever.
 

Maxximus

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Mason Ryan will be the next big thing.

No, I'm not making a joke. Mark my words.
 

DarkMatchJobber

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John Cena bumps the television ratings? Those same ratings that have been noticeably declining in recent years and only tend to go up when (shock! horror!) someone fresh and entertaining such as CM Punk or The Miz are getting pushed in the main-event.

Comparing Cena to Hogan or Austin is a joke.
 

Jimmy Redman

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There's absolutely no evidence that ratings went up when they pushed Miz or Punk. Ratings actually declined during Punk's MITB build, although there were other factors involved like holidays and stuff, from memory.

He certainly used to pop ratings, in years past, and they would go down when he wasnt around. I dont think thats really the case anymore, although to be fair, that applies to everybody. People dont really pop ratings anymore, outside of the Rock.
 

Dante Spears

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And hell Rock is even diminishing a bit, didn't his last appearance only bring a 3.6 or something?
 

Jierda

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John Cena bumps the television ratings? Those same ratings that have been noticeably declining in recent years and only tend to go up when (shock! horror!) someone fresh and entertaining such as CM Punk or The Miz are getting pushed in the main-event.

Comparing Cena to Hogan or Austin is a joke.
Explain to me how comparing Cena to Hogan or Austin is a joke, there are a huge number of similarities between them, all 3 were the face of the WWE at one point, all were massively over with the crowd, hell Cena and Hogan's gimmicks are so similar theres almost no difference, so how can comparing these 3 be a joke?
 

Beaner Andrew

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Brock Lesnar was the last next big thing. He was something else. There will never be another wrestler who made it as fast as lesnar and was actually taken serious
 

Ciaran The King

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Brock Lesnar was the last next big thing. He was something else. There will never be another wrestler who made it as fast as lesnar and was actually taken serious
Kurt Angle comes to mind

On the Next Big Thing, Ziggler, Mason Ryan, Swagger, Riley, McIntyre, Rhodes, DiBiase all have the potential to be big stars, but this is WWE and actually building talent takes time.
 

etz

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To be fair, Kurt Angle was only taken seriously and hotshotted because of his career outside WWE. Brock was the last to debut as a relative unknown and do it so quickly.
 

Omega

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You know, I might have a punt on Ziggler maybe becoming a big star. I think they guy has a great look, decent in the ring and decent enough on the mic for now. If you basically gave him the same kind of push Cena got from early on then he's the only other guy than Barrett I could see doing anything major.
 

Jamster26

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Do you think his size may work against him though? I know that's a damn shame. It gives me hope that they gave the title to Christian, who isn't your standard WWE champion.
 

Omega

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Wiki says hes a six footer so he's not exactly a midget at 233lbs. For comparison Cena is 6ft 1 and 240 lbs...
 
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