This is almost like a sequel to a similar article I posted on this site last month. That article was 10 Pro Wrestlers That are the Future of the Industry. Due to the fact that there are many talented pro wrestlers with bright futures in the industry that I needed to tell people about, I decided to make another list. People seemed to enjoy the first one so it is worth the effort. Here are 10 more pro wrestlers (tag teams included as one) that are the future of the business.
This Lucha Underground pro wrestler is one of the most exciting performers in the world today. Angelico moves at an absolutely breathtaking pace and makes everything he does, even strikes, look flashy. Angelico has a really exciting style, his character can be arrogant at times, he knows how good he is, but you also root for him when the deck is stacked against him. Few performers can take on multiple assailants at once like he can, he uses a capoeira style, fluidly moving from one opponent to the next with flying knees and kicks. The action in his matches is really complec and yet there is never a timing issue where the performers stutter and do not know what to do next. He is also unafraid to sacrifice his body for the crowd, Angelico takes some ludicrous bumps. He has executed some of the highest dives I have ever seen in my life. The leap from the office roof in the final of the trios titles tournament was insanity. His crazy aerial manoeuvres combined with his understanding of creating cinematic action make him a promising prospect.
2. Zack Sabre Jr.
The independent circuit in Britain is stronger than ever at the moment. Promotions such as PCW, ICW and Rev Pro are showcasing the stars of the future. One of the athletes to grace the independents of not just the UK but worldwide is Zack Sabre Jr. He represents his country with pride as he wears a Union Jack leather jacket to the ring. Sabre’s style is quite unique as he is a submission specialist with a focus on armbars. Zack can wrestle an entire match just on the mat and make it more entertaining than most of what WWE offer on a Monday night. The way Zack ties people in knots and fluidly transitions from one hold to another leaves fans awestruck. What is even more impressive is the vicious suplexes and throws he performs. Although Sabre is athletic he isn’t massive, so you may not expect him to pull off the big strength based moves. Yet he does, Zack Sabre Jr. throws his opponents around like ragdolls.
3. American Alpha
Chad Gable and Jason Jordan bring that shoot wrestling credibility to the NXT roster. Chad Gable was of course an Olympic wrestler and Jason Jordan an amateur wrestler in NCAA division 1. The amateur wrestling style has not been properly seen in WWE since the likes of Kurt Angle. Jordan performs the huge throws and suplexes and Chad Gable is the technical wizard that ties people into knots. The two of them complement each other both in the ring and in promos. As well as putting on fun matches they can be hilarious and charismatic in backstage segments. They have some great dialogue and the line: “Ready, willing and Gable” will never not be funny.
4. Drew Galloway
Since leaving WWE Galloway has elevated himself to a formidable level. The man we saw on WWE programming under the name Drew McIntyre is nothing like the champion we now see before us. Galloway has evolved, no doubt about it. In his early years in WWE Vince McMahon proclaimed that he was his chosen one, the future world champion. Despite Vince losing that faith in him, Drew has not lost that same faith in himself. He now carries himself like a superstar, the champion of the world. Due to the way that he acts and looks it is hard not to feel like a world famous prize fighter has stepped into the room. Drew is using that genuine resentment for the naysayers to mould himself into what they said he would be before they threw him out. Galloway is the current TNA world heavyweight champion and it is clear to see that he suits the role of champ. Galloway actually made an appearance at an ICW show at the weekend carrying the TNA world heavyweight title, he reportedly got some nuclear heat when he attacked Big Damo, the current ICW heavyweight champion. Galloway infuriated the crowd by laying out Big Damo and raising the ICW title with that of TNA. There is something really cool about someone with multiple championship belts. When you see wrestlers on the independents carrying multiple belts it feels like a real sport. It feels legitimate, like when you see multiple division champions in Boxing and MMA.
5. Kyle O’Reilly
One half of the tag team reDragon, Kyle O’Reilly is a walking safety hazard. Every move the ‘Violent Artist’ performs looks like it is done to inflict utmost harm. When he marches toward the ring with that savage expression it is hard not to wonder what kind of damage he is going to do to his opponent. In terms of his actual work in the ring, he appears more like a mixed martial artist than a pro wrestler. His chops, kicks and spinning backhands are often very stiff. Similar to the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura and Zack Sabre Jr., O’Reilly is not afraid to make contact. He is also a submissions mastermind, all of this combines to make all of Kyle O’Reilly’s matches look and feel like a martial arts war.
6. Johnny Mundo
Johnny Mundo is another pro wrestler that had a run in WWE before being released, subsequently thriving in the indies. Although Mundo won a number of titles in WWE he was not really given the opportunity to show his skills. At the moment Mundo performs in Lucha Underground, wowing the crowds with impressive high-flying athleticism. Mundo does some really incredible things in the ring. During the match, everything Mundo does looks like it is straight out of an action movie. In the dramatic vignettes that make Lucha Underground so unique, he is right at home, Mundo could be a movie star as well as an athlete. Whether it be as a heel or a babyface Mundo is a great screen presence in Lucha Underground.
7. Charlotte Flair
In the first article one of the pro wrestlers that made the list was Cody Rhodes, son of the legendary ‘American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes. Continuing the trend of promising second generation superstars…Charlotte Flair enters the list at number 7. Charlotte Flair is talented in every single aspect of the pro wrestling business. Her wrestling is impeccable, she brings a technical wrestling prowess mixed in with big power moves and of course, the classic Flair chops. On the microphone she can portray the self-righteous, arrogant heel champion masterfully. She has a really good understanding of how to make people sit up and actually listen when she picks up a mic. Charlotte is not the kind of wrestler to cut a promo that makes your brain go to screensaver mode. She makes you believe what she says about being the best. In addition, she occasionally snaps and displays a very violent side, the brawls that ensue are often very convincing. She also does something where her voice will suddenly become booming and threatening, full of conviction. As the good guy she sold us on the idea that she was a talented athlete, motivated to go out and achieve. As the villain she has made us believe that she is a confident champion that will do anything to keep the belt, with skills to back-up the trash talk. Flair has already put on some incredible matches and the best is yet to come.
8. Adam Cole
The member of ROH stable The Kingdom is a bright prospect in pro wrestling. At one stage in his career Adam Cole was partnered with the aforementioned Kyle O’Reilly in a team called Future Shock. This name is rather apt given that this article is naming the future leaders of the industry. Adam Cole eventually turned on O’Reilly, this led to a feud that would spawn a saga of brutal and intense matches. Intensity is the key word when you are talking about Adam Cole, a lot of pro wrestlers struggle to make their actions in the ring look like there is any feeling behind it. Cole on the other hand makes everything he does look dramatic. This isn’t just his in-ring work either, his promos are amazing, he could be one of the best talkers in the industry right now. They say that to be a pro wrestler you have to have a certain rare element, an intangible thing that you cannot quite explain, a screen presence. Cole certainly has that special charismatic ability to draw the viewer in. Combine that with top-level wrestling skills and it is clear to see that Adam Cole’s career has only just begun.
9. Katsuyori Shibata
Everything Katsuyori Shibata does is hard hitting, this is due in no small part to his background in mixed martial arts. Also, he looks like a hero when he steps into the ring, especially when it is against a powerhouse heel. There is also a really interesting element to his matches which is that they always feel like they are fighting for their lives. This not just because they are doing legitimately dangerous stuff and actually making contact, as per the Japanese style, it is more than that. His matches actually feel like a real fight, for a second you forget that the ending is predetermined.
10. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady
One of the most popular tag teams in the big leagues is the team of Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. Why the NXT tag team championships continue to elude these two is beyond me as they are insanely over with the fans. There are few pro wrestlers out there right now with the personality of Enzo and Cass. Something about their act has really connected with the audience. The strongest aspect of the team is their charisma and originality. Although they can put on really strong matches in the ring too, their match against The Revival at Roadblock was one of the best on the card. What is so great about them is that they have the comedy lines, but when it is time to throw down they get serious. Their return to attack The Revival after they put them out of action was very dramatic. There was a moment where all the games were over, Cass and Amore stood at the top of the ramp, partially in shadow, looking very intimidating indeed. At the moment it feels like they are in limbo, after a number of title matches they still haven’t capture the gold. This is despite the fact that the fans want them to desperately. Amore and Cass can do amazing things in WWE they just need to be given the opportunity.