WWE's Top Rising Superstars Right Now

Michael BroughtonAnalyst IDecember 30, 2011

WWE's Top Rising Superstars Right Now

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    In the past, WWE has failed to put over the young superstars and have payed for it in the long run. Superstars who were deserving of a push didn't always receive it.

    However, it seems like Vince McMahon has learned his lesson. Now that guys like HBK, Triple H, Undertaker, Batista and Rey Mysterio are finishing up, WWE needs its young stars to come through.

    With young superstars entering the main event now, WWE is trying to create their next generation of superstars. Right now, it seems like a success. Numerous youngsters continue to impress both in the ring and on the microphone. There are still some guys who aren't being given the push they deserve (Drew McIntyre) while others are given a push based solely on appearance (Mason Ryan), but for the most part, WWE is pulling all the right strings with its prospects. 

Cody Rhodes

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    Back when Cody Rhodes was in Legacy, he was a third-string wrestler, behind Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase. Orton was already at the top, with DiBiase looking to have a bright future. Cody was forgotten and wasn't supposed to get past the mid card.

    After his stint with Legacy ended, Rhodes moved over to SmackDown with a "Dashing" gimmick. He made it work, but it wasn't enough to get noticed. Then Cody received a blessing in disguise. During a match with Rey Mysterio, a botched move cause Rey to nail Cody in the face with a knee brace. That is when Cody Rhodes began to shine.

    Rhodes got a new gimmick as an "undashing" superstar who was tormented and psychotic. Cody made great stride with this new character and really took off. Since then, he has beaten Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania, had a rivalry with Randy Orton, and pinned the legendary Booker T at the TLC paper view. Rhodes has finally taken off the protective mask, losing a little bit of his psychotic edge. His gimmick right now seems to be a cocky young gun who tends to be a bit mental at times (a mix of past two gimmicks). Rhodes has been able to prove all of his critics wrong and once he drops his Intercontinental Championship, he is headed towards the main event. 

Wade Barrett

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    Wade Barrett made an impact on his very first night in WWE. After winning to fist season of NXT, Wade and the other rookies interfered in a match between CM Punk and John Cena. They then destroyed the entire ring and attacked a few non-wrestlers.

    From this, Wade started an intense rivalry with John Cena. Nexus was brutal and took out numerous top wrestlers. As the leader, it seemed as though Wade was not far away from his first major title victory. However, that soon failed.

    After coming out on the losing end in his rivalry with John Cena, Barrett was forced to relinquish his Nexus followers to new leader, CM Punk (WHY???). After losing all momentum, Wade shifted over to SmackDown and created the poor man's Nexus, the Corre. After the terrible faction split up, it seemed as Wade would never recover. That was, until recently.

    In the past few months, Wade has started what he has called, the Barrett Barrage. He has been on fire as of late and entered a heated rivalry with Orton, actually pinning the Viper at Survivor Series.

    However, with Orton now hurt, Wade is risking once again being lost in the shuffle. He needs to find a new rivalry, and quick. A few matches against Sheamus would be great, as the Celtic Warrior also is lacking a real rivalry. If not, Wade could be moved up to the main event and face former Nexus member and NXT alumni, Daniel Bryan. That would certainly make for a great storyline with Barrett getting another shot at winning a major title.

Zack Ryder

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    A few months ago, I thought WWE would never pick up on Zack Ryder's growing popularity. Ryder created his own YouTube show, and used it to gain recognition and show of his charisma. Unlike other wrestlers, Zack had to do it by himself. He never had matches on Raw or SmackDown and didn't have any direction. I was surprised he wasn't on the unemployment list yet.

    However, a few months ago, the Zack Pack got what they wanted, as the Ryder Revolution began. Zack immediately started rivalry with U.S. champ, Dolph Ziggler. After not given the title shot he deserved, Ryder finally received his opportunity at TLC. Zack came through and his our present United States Champion.

    A few years back, Ryder was actually part of a huge storyline alongside his tag team partner Curt Hawkins. Due to their long blond hair at the time, the two tagged along with Edge as they formed the Edgeheads. They played a huge role in the Edge-Undertaker rivalry, but they eventually went their separate ways. Zack was forgotten and vanished from our television screen. However, through hard work and determination the Long Island Iced Z is back and more popular than ever before.


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    Sheamus is another guy who immediately made an impact upon entering WWE. Two years ago, at TLC, Sheamus beat Cena clean in a tables match to win his first WWE Championship. At that moment, it seemed like Sheamus' future was bright as a heel.

    However, it didn't turn out as planned. After dropping to mid card, the Celtic Warrior was moved to SmackDown. Then came his big change. Earlier this year, Mark Henry was starting his path of destruction and nobody wanted to face him. However, Sheamus manned up and took him on. From there on out, Sheamus became Mr. Good Guy.

    As a face, Sheamus dominated. He beat everyone in his path and rarely lost a match cleanly. The only issue was, and still is, Seamus didn't really have a rivalry. He would just beat random wrestlers and never actually feud with any. Most recently, he participated in an unadvertised squash match at TLC. With Orton's injury, he could take the reigns as Barrett's new rival, but he needs to find something to do quickly or the rise of Sheamus could come to an end.

Dolph Ziggler

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    Dolph has certainly had his share of bad gimmicks in WWE. Whether it was a caddy, an annoying rookie who makes sure everyone know's his name, or a male cheerleader, Ziggler had to fight through loads of adversity and criticism throughout his career so far.

    Most recently he has bee given a "show-off" gimmick which he works well with, but isn't my favorite. One thing Dolph has been blessed with is heat magnet, Vickie Guerrero. With Vickie at his side, Dolph has made strides to improve both in the ring and on the mic.

    When Dolph was United States Champion, his big rise really came into form. He became one of the top in ring performers in the business and is getting better on the mic. Most recently, he beat CM Punk to gain a title shot this upcoming Monday. I don't think he will win because it is on free tv, but he may enter a rivalry with Punk. Dolph would definitely be able to show off his skills and even get a shot to win his first major title (no counting his two-second world title reign). I personally don't think he's great on the mic, but he puts on great performances every time he gets in the ring. He is the future of the business and as of late, it seems as if he could be champion sooner than most thought.

Ted DiBiase

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    As part of Legacy, Ted DiBiase looked like a future world champion. He was rebelling against the leader Randy and actually pinned him at Elimination Chamber two years ago. However, after Ted left Legacy he was simply forgotten.

    The biggest issue Ted had was actually being the son of Ted DiBiase Sr. DiBiase Jr. was stuck in his father's shadow and even had the exact gimmick. He tried bringing back the Million Dollar Belt and Virgil, but both were short lived. Ted was eventually moved to Smackdown where until recently was rarely seen. It looked like he would feud with former friend and Legacy member Cody Rhodes over the Intercontinental title but that didn't happen.

    Now Ted is a face and look to finally be headed back in the right direction. He has been on a bit of a winning streak and even started how own little DiBiase Posse. It's different and it fits him. His gimmick is a rich kid who doesn't use his money as an advantage. Ted has recently been in a rivalry with Jinder Mahal which actually seems interesting (Don't laugh at me). If Ted continues his winning ways, his stock will go nowhere but up. 

Daniel Bryan

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    When Daniel Bryan first debuted in WWE, he was part of Nexus. However, that ended with DB being fired after he choked out Justin Roberts with a tie. The firing didn't last as Bryan returned at SummerSlam to help take down the Nexus.

    I'll admit it, since Day 1 I wasn't a fan of Bryan. He was great in the ring, but extremely boring. He didn't really have a gimmick and suffered from that. After having a run as United States Champion, Bryan shifted over to SmackDown. I didn't want to see him get past the mid card but much to my dismay, Daniel won Money in the Bank. However, thats when I started to change my mind about the submission specialist. 

    I started watching WWE exclusives on WWE.com and Daniel Brian was a regularly featured. He really showed me some personality and impressed me. I began getting excited for his WrestleMania match for the World Heavyweight Championship. Though Daniel cashed in early, I was still excited when I heard his theme song hit. Daniel Bryan is a great worker who deserved a major title. It may a bit early but it is still a great success for Bryan. I hope his title reign is long as he continues to show us all his great wrestling ability.


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    I'll end this article with a video of the most painful brogue kick ever. It was a great move by Sheamus and DB sold it extremely well. Good work by two of the rising stars in WWE. Just watching it makes me cringe. What a move.

    In conclusion, it seems WWE is going down the right path with their younger superstars. Guys like Tyson Kidd and Trent Barretta deserve better, but it is hard to please everyone at the same time. WWE still has a long way to go, but if they keep making the right moves, the future will be bright for WWE.