WWE Royal Rumble 2013: 5 NXT Superstars That Could Debut
During the tail end of 2012, we saw many wrestlers from NXT make their debut on the main roster of WWE. The Shield (Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns) have been making an impact on the roster since Survivor Series, and Big E Langston (the current NXT Champion) has been inserted into top feuds as the muscle behind Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee.
Speaking of Big E Langston, I will not include him in this list even though he hasn't competed on Raw or Smackdown yet. Chances are, he will make his in-ring debut before The Royal Rumble.
With Royal Rumble 2013 right around the corner, there is no question that WWE will continue this influx of fresh, new faces to Raw and Smackdown.
In this slideshow, I will give you five NXT Superstars that could debut at the Royal Rumble.
This is in no way a guarantee that all or any of these superstars will make their debut. However, a high-profile match like that Royal Rumble is always a good launching point for a new superstar on the main roster.
1. Luke Harper
Luke Harper has been ready to debut in the WWE since he made that long trip to Florida. His exploits on the independent wrestling scene as Brodie Lee are well documented.
Making a name for himself, mainly on the Northeast wrestling scene in companies like Ring of Honor and CHIKARA, Harper was able to ply his craft against some of the best wrestlers in the entire world.
He is an athletic big man that could make one hell of an impact in the Royal Rumble. It remains to be seen what WWE has in store for Harper when he makes his eventual debut, but he has a lot of untapped talent that needs to be seen by a worldwide audience.
2. Richie Steamboat
Being the son of WWE Hall of Fame Legend Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat makes the road to success for Richie Steamboat something that will be analyzed greatly throughout his career.
Richie is an athletic, versatile wrestler who has a bit of a different style than his father had. His last name alone will provide a solid pop upon his first appearance on the WWE main roster.
There are always multiple angles that can be played with the Steamboat name that could propel Richie to a solid feud upon his debut.
3. Bray Wyatt
Being the son of Mike Rotunda and grandson of Blackjack Mulligan makes Bray Wyatt a rare third-generation wrestler in the realm of sports entertainment.
While you may recognize Bray as the former Husky Harris, his new persona is something that WWE hasn't seen, and his execution has been fantastic so far. He has stated that he will "cleanse the WWE of its sins and indiscretions."
His gimmick looks like a play on the character played by Robert De Niro in Cape Fear. While I feel that Bray might have a series of vignettes to build his debut on the main roster, those vignettes may very well lead to a debut in the 2013 Royal Rumble.
4. Kassius Ohno
Much like the aforementioned Luke Harper, Kassius Ohno has been ready to debut on the main WWE roster since being signed to a development deal in NXT.
Ohno spent his career prior to NXT surfing the independent wrestling scene all over the world. He has wrestled in many different countries, and you can really see that in his style.
Previously known as Chris Hero, he gained most of his credibility and notoriety competing in Ring of Honor from 2006-2012.
He has been lucky enough to take the style of wrestling that he had on the independent scene directly into NXT and has molded it into a sufficient WWE style.
Out of all the competitors on this list, Ohno might have the best possibility of issuing a knockout blow to a fellow superstar in the 2013 Royal Rumble.
5. Bo Dallas
The real-life brother of Bray Wyatt brings to you a completely different style and gimmick in the ring of NXT. Bo Dallas has an amazing future in the business if packaged correctly upon his debut in a WWE ring.
Like the other four on this list, there is no doubt that he can physically hang with many current superstars and put on fantastic matches.
My thought process, like that of many others, is that WWE should utilize the real-life family history of a guy like Bo Dallas to accentuate the importance of a third-generation superstar. The same can be said for his brother.
However, WWE likes to recreate the identities of their superstars and I can understand that from a marketing perspective.
If Bo Dallas makes his WWE main roster debut at the Royal Rumble, it could put him on the radar of many wrestling fans that have never seen him compete before.
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"Jersey Strong" Jay