WWE: Best Current Foreign Superstars
WWE is a global brand of media entertainment that reaches millions of people all over the world. Many people grow up watching WWE hoping to be the best superstar.
Those fans who are lucky enough are the superstars in WWE today that come from outside America. While many superstars were born here in the United States, many were not.
When thinking about all the superstars who came to WWE from overseas, which current superstar is the best? Before we get to the list of the top 10 best current foreign superstars in WWE, let’s break down how the list was created.
Criteria and the Ranking System
In order to be eligible for the best current foreign superstars in WWE, each superstar must fulfill two requirements.
First, only superstars are eligible for the list. This excludes divas, announcers, referees and all other non-superstar employees of WWE. Second, the superstar must have been born outside the United States of America.
In terms of the ranking system, superstars were judged on in-ring ability or the quality of matches they have performed in, their microphone skills or the quality of promos they have given, on charisma or their appeal to the audience and on character or the flexibility he had in changing his character when necessary.
With that said, let’s begin with the honorable mentions…
Rey Mysterio (California) - Rey has all the skills and tools to be the best. His high flying, luchador style has helped him reach success at all levels of WWE. His mic skills and charisma are superb. His character hasn’t changed much over the years, but it didn’t have to. While Rey gives off a Mexican vibe due his character and in ring style, unfortunately, Rey was actually born in San Diego, Calif., disqualifying him from the list.
Justin Gabriel (South Africa) – Gabriel got his first notice in WWE as a member of the Nexus. His 450 splashes were instrumental in the Nexus’ attacks on other superstars. Unfortunately, his microphone skills and charisma are abysmal and prevented him from making the list.
Epico/Primo (Puerto Rico)– The former Tag Team Champions are excellent workers, but lack in every other category. We haven’t heard them speak much; they lack charisma and have never seen much of a character change.
Kane (Spain) - The Big Red Machine was actually born in Madrid to an Air Force family stationed in Spain. Although one could argue he was born outside the United States, I give this situation an asterisk and an honorable mention.
10. Tyson Kidd (Canada)
The Canadian-born Tyson Kidd comes in at No. 10 with superior in-ring ability, but lacks in every other category. His mic skills are the worst of the all the categories. I blame his lack of mic skills for his limited accomplishments in WWE. Kidd is not the most charismatic superstar in WWE, but he certainly isn’t the worst, either.
Kidd has a strong fan base, as he is looked at as an underdog, similar to when Sean Waltman portrayed the 1-2-3 Kid. Tyson Kidd tried playing different characters. He was a member of the Hart Dynasty as a face and a heel. After turning on David Hart Smith, Kidd was heel for a while with different bodyguards. However, most recently he is a face in a tag team with Justin Gabriel.
Personally, I think Kidd is more naturally a face. In a tag team may be the best place for Kidd since he won’t have to do a lot of talking. The main area Tyson Kidd needs to improve on is his mic skills in order to be better than the 10th best current foreign WWE superstar.
9. Drew McIntyre (Scotland)
The Scottish-born superstar, who was named “The Chosen One” by Vince McMahon, comes in at No. 9. Drew McIntyre has decent in-ring ability and mic skills, but suffers in the areas of charisma and character.
A former WWE Intercontinental Champion and WWE Tag Team Champion with Cody Rhodes, McIntyre has been seen recently as part of the Encore. This storyline is a good example of McIntyre’s poor charisma and character. McIntyre does not come off as someone who belongs in a band.
In fact, McIntyre’s character has never meant a whole lot. Being the “Chosen One” doesn’t give McIntyre a true character to play. Without a true gimmick, McIntyre may be stuck at the bottom of the list of current foreign superstars in WWE.
8. Antonio Cesaro (Switzerland)
The Swiss United States Champion of WWE, Antonio Cesaro makes the list at eight, despite only being on the main roster for six months. Cesaro has shown some impressive in-ring ability. His Neutralizer on Brodus Clay was remarkable. In addition, his Very European Uppercut, as its called, also shows his strength and creativity.
Cesaro’s mic skills are decent. I rather enjoy his promos involving saying a word in five different languages. It’s never been done before, so that makes it interesting and different. I do think it will lose its novelty eventually, but for now I like it.
Cesaro’s charisma is improving, especially since the break up with Aksana. She took away from Cesaro’s character. Speaking of character, as I said earlier, I think his character will lose its novelty at some point.
However, with more experience in WWE and a continued push, Cesaro could see himself much higher on this list in the future. For now, Antonio Cesaro is an up-and-coming foreign superstar in the WWE.
7. Kofi Kingston (Ghana)
Although originally billed from Jamaica, Kofi Kingston was born in Ghana, West Africa. The former Intercontinental, United States, WWE Tag Team and World Tag Team Champion has been a member of the WWE main roster since 2007.
Kingston has always been known for his high-flying, fast paced in-ring ability. Kingston also has the charisma of a great superstar. His fanbase may have more children than adults, but I can’t help but respect Kingston for his ability in the ring.
However, his mic skills and character are on the weak side. Kingston’s promos have never impressed me and he has only played one character. I don’t expect WWE to change Kingston’s character anytime soon due to his strong fanbase among the younger audience.
Unless Kofi Kingston has a character change or improves greatly on the microphone, I expect him to stay in mid-card hell and this low on the list of the best current foreign superstars in WWE.
6. Santino Marella (Canada)
Although his character may suggest he was born in Italy, Santino Marella was actually born in Ontario, Canada. The former Intercontinental, United States and WWE Tag Team Champion has gone from fan in the crowd to champion within minutes.
Santino Marella’s in-ring ability is nothing to write home about, but his charisma, character and microphone skills are above average. Just like Kingston, Santino’s character is geared towards the younger audience. However, unlike Kingston, Santino can give an excellent, hilarious promo.
Don’t get me wrong; I think Santino’s jokes can be too much at times, but I will not deny he has skills. Santino’s character has always been one that focuses on comedy. I think this works great for him.
For many superstars, I argue that they need to change their character in order to improve. Santino does not need to change his character because for the younger audience, WWE needs this type of character.
Santino plays the comedy role well for WWE. However, as long as he stays the comedy relief for WWE, Santino Marella may not break into the top five of the best current foreign superstars in the WWE.
5. William Regal (England)
The most seasoned and experienced superstar on the list, the Englishman achieved a great deal in the WWE. Regal is a former WWE Intercontinental Champion, World Tag Team Champion, European Champion, Hardcore Champion, WWE Commissioner, Alliance Commissioner, Raw general manager and the 2008 King of the Ring.
Regal knows how to perform in the ring with the best. He has exceptional microphone skills, good charisma and solid character. We can still hear Regal’s exceptional mic skills when he gives us the color commentary on NXT.
Although Regal’s character has not changed drastically, he has been able to adjust it accordingly. Whether he is a wrestler, commentator, GM, commissioner or even King of the Ring, Regal can play a similar character with a twist.
The one area I believe Regal can improve on is charisma. Regal has never been a World Champion in any organization. In my opinion, this is due to lack of charisma and the “it” factor necessary to be a World Champion.
However, one cannot deny Regal’s experience, in-ring ability and outstanding microphone skills that brings up into the top five of the best current foreign superstars in WWE.
4. Wade Barrett (England)
The second Englishman in a row, Wade Barrett is the fourth-best foreign superstar in WWE. The former Intercontinental Champion was the winner of NXT Season 1, leader of the original Nexus as well as part of the Corre.
Barrett’s in ring ability is good, but his mic skills, charisma and character flexibility is even better. Barrett’s mic skills helped the Nexus become the biggest thing in WWE at the time. Even since his return from injury, Barrett’s promos have been intimidating for any WWE superstar who might cross his path.
Barrett has the look to be a top WWE superstar. His charisma and potential to be a top WWE superstar is what ultimately moved him past Regal on this list.
Finally, Barrett has already proven that he can adjust his character. Barrett is surely going to be in the main event come 2013 and may even surpass the other three great current foreign superstars in WWE.
3. Alberto Del Rio (Mexico)
The Mexican Aristocrat breaks into the top three best current foreign superstars in WWE as a former WWE Champion, Money in the Bank and Royal Rumble winner. Del Rio has proven to have excellent in-ring skills through putting on stellar matches with CM Punk, John Cena, Sheamus and others.
Del Rio’s arm breaker finisher shows off his submission skills as well. Alberto Del Rio could certainly use a character change as its gotten stale, but he still plays the character well.
Del Rio’s charisma was evident from the very beginning of his career in WWE. With a slight change in character or as a leader of a stable, Del Rio could be the very best current foreign superstar in WWE.
2. Sheamus (Ireland)
The first Irish-born WWE Champion, former King of the Ring, Royal Rumble winner and current World Heavyweight Champion is in my opinion the second-best current foreign superstar in WWE.
Sheamus’ in-ring ability is evident with moves that show off his strength and power. Sheamus has more charisma than just about anyone on the WWE roster. His mic skills are super strong, despite the fact that he has become an even goofier talker than John Cena.
Finally, Sheamus has already proven that he can play a monster heel or a kid-friendly superhero type gimmick as a face. Sheamus has all the tools and skills to be the best; he just doesn’t have as much experience as the best current foreign superstar in WWE.
1. Christian (Canada)
The best current foreign superstar in WWE today is the Canadian-born Christian. Formerly known as Captain Charisma, Christian is superior in every category.
He had shown his in-ring ability through tables, ladders and chair matches as well as long feuds with Randy Orton, Edge and others. Christian’s promos have been stellar. Despite only reaching the top of WWE in 2011, Captain Charisma had deserved a World Title reign for a long time.
Finally, Christian has played many different characters during his time in WWE. Whether face or heel, Christian has proven he can put on some of the best matches, provide excellent promos and I declare him the best current foreign superstar in WWE.
What do you think about my top 10 best current foreign superstars in WWE? Who would you rank as the top 10?
Seth Guttenplan is a teacher by day, writer by night. In addition to being a Bleacher Report writer, Seth is the Monday Night Raw reviewer for CamelClutchBlog.com, and host of SmackDown Rundown, ProWrestlingPowerhouse.com’s weekly radio show reviewing Friday Night SmackDown and previewing all upcoming WWE pay-per-view events. To read more from Seth, follow him on Twitter (@sethgutt) and visit http://guttwrenchpowerblog.com