I knock the WWE talent developmental efforts all the time because what we are able to accomplish in ROH in Talent Development is superior at a microscopic fraction of the cost.
In Ring of Honor, as far as young talent, everyone chases Adam Cole, who is the best wrestler in the world today because he is the Ring of Honor World Champion. But then combine Cole with “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin, World TV Champion Tommaso Ciampa, Michael Bennett, Former World TV Champion and 2013 Top Prospect Tournament Winner, Matt Taven and the 2014 Top Prospect champ, Hanson, just to name a few and it’s clear the ROH Tryout Camp system is turning out tons of great talent.
For the WWE, how would I rank the new crop of talent who has made the scene in the past few years?
1. Cesaro – That’s my guy… ROH alum, the former Claudio Castagnoli is killing it. In 2010, I told Dr. Tom Prichard the WWE should sign Claudio. They did and the rest is history.
2. Seth Rollins – To me, he’s the best of the Shield. He has the biggest upside and has been protected nicely. He had a bit of an attitude when he was in developmental but the former Tyler Black in ROH has matured, is happy to be back home in Iowa and is ready. Of course his Shield mates are terrific as well but I put Rollins just a shade above both Ambrose and Reigns.
3. Bray Wyatt – There is something special about Bray and they are definitely protecting him for a bigger run down the road. I would feel better about his WWE future if he would make adjustments to his physique a little… the WWE has a history of looking past talent and simply focusing on the bi’s and tri’s. I also think it would bode well for Wyatt to protect his knees by keeping the weight in check as much as possible.
4. Renee Young/Alex Riley – I love this duo of announcers. While they aren’t getting paid to fall down, Renee has credibility, never playing the dingbat and Alex brings a ton of energy to the set pieces with Josh Matthews and guests.
With Sami Zayn and Adrien Neville ready to go shortly, WWE fans will see some new faces shortly. Also, it sure looks like fans are getting their wish of Daniel Bryan leaving WrestleMania as the WWE Champion, so that’s good news to everyone who is not a fan of the “Senior Circuit”. Fans want new, fresh and different.
But boy they burn through some guys… look at some of the up and coming stars from just last year…
Damien Sandow, Ryback, Miz, Ziggler and CM Punk are on the downside or done. Why can’t anyone succeed? Why are they set up to fail?
The office doesn’t care. WWE is worth 2 billion dollars, launched the network and are getting ready to bust out a billion dollar TV contract. I only care about what they do because I work for a wrestling company. If they want to piss away lots of new talent, who am I to complain? They are work billions.
Have any thoughts? Are my rankings all messed up? Let me know on Twitter @RealKevinKelly