WWE NXT Scouting Report: Ranking the 10 Best Prospects in Developmental
WWE NXT is WWE's current developmental training program. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
The WWE Universe is becoming very familiar with many of the faces of NXT. NXT is WWE's main developmental organization and has been pumping talent up to the big time for the last few months.
In the last year alone The Shield, Big E Langston and Bo Dallas have all made the jump to WWE's main roster. While they still appear every once in a while on NXT, they're major players on Raw and Smackdown every week.
The real question for the WWE Universe is who's next? NXT is chock full of talent who can get it done on the WWE's largest stage.
10. El Generico
The WWE just signed one of the most popular indy wrestlers in recent history. Photo Courtesy of rohworld.com
There is only one reason that El Generico isn't number one on this list. He's not "in" the WWE yet.
Generico was signed by the WWE after being one of the most popular professional wrestlers on the independent circuit during his time with Ring of Honor, Chikara and Dragon Gate.
Depending on Generico's character with the WWE, things could go good or bad for the "Pride of Tijuana."
If Generico can keep his awesome character and retain his high-octane chain wrestling style, he could easily make the transition to the main-event picture.
His future all depends on the character he's given. He could be the next Daniel Bryan or the next Scotty Goldman.
If Generico can keep his gimmick, consider him number one on this list.
Soon the WWE Universe will be chanting "Olé!"
9. Erick Rowan
Eric Rowan is doing great work with Bray Wyatt and could be WWE's next big man. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
Erick Rowan is one of NXT's many heavily-bearded Superstars. The main difference: Rowan is HUGE. The monster stands over 6'8'' and tips the scales at over 300 pounds.
NXT's giant has been spending most of his time doing the bidding of Bray Wyatt. As a member of the Wyatt family, he's been working with Luke Harper as loyal followers of Bray Wyatt (formerly Husky Harris).
The WWE has run out a ton of giants in the past with little success (what's up, Mason Ryan?), but as Big Show and Kane get closer to the end of their careers, Rowan may very well be in the right place at the right time.
8. Adrian Neville
Adrian Neville is one of the best highflyers in developmental. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
The WWE has had a love-hate relationship with high-flying Superstars. Tyson Kidd has never been able to stay relevant, Evan Bourne couldn't stay healthy and Sin Cara botches too much to be taken seriously.
The only extremely successful flyers in recent history were Rey Mysterio and Kofi Kingston. Now, with Mysterio getting older and Kingston solidifying himself in the mid card, there is definitely room for guys like Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel.
And Adrian Neville.
Neville can fly. I'm like 93 percent sure he's a genetic experiment gone wrong. Look at his sick finisher. Shooting Star Press not good enough? Why not add a corkscrew? Neville does.
The "Man that Gravity Forgot" has been wowing fans in the WWE and the Indy circuit as PAC.
Neville could be great for WWE's PG Era. If they let him fly, he could be a huge star in a way that WWE doesn't really have right now.
7. Corey Graves
Corey Graves has a similar look to CM Punk and could be the next big bad boy in the WWE. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
I think it's safe to say that CM Punk's unique look has gone over pretty well with the WWE Universe. Corey Graves could very well be the next Punk for the WWE.
Graves has a ton of tats, including his infamous "Stay Down" tattoo that's emblazoned on his knuckles and looks like an old-school punk with his jeans, boots and suspenders.
Graves is very quick between the ropes and is one of the best technical wrestlers in developmental, including his fuller lock submission maneuver.
This NXT hopeful could be a huge star in the WWE some day if he continues to improve in the ring. The future of the WWE is very bright with interesting characters like Graves.
6. Conor O'Brian
O'Brian had a great thing going with The Ascension. Now, by himself, he has to start a singles career. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
If Kenneth Cameron wasn't let go from the WWE last November, O'Brian might be holding a WWE Tag Team Championship belt right now.
O'Brian and Cameron came together in NXT as The Ascension. The Ascension was one of the most interesting tag teams in the entire WWE and were doing something way different than anything fans have seen for a long time.
The Ascension had a dark, evil, Undertaker-like feel before, during and after their matches.
O'Brian has proven that he can play a character and that he can definitely roll as a tag team guy, which will most likely be his ticket into the WWE main event as Triple H continues rebuilding the division.
5. Leo Kruger
Leo Kruger is a monster and could be the next big thing in the WWE. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
Leo Kruger is a bit of a freak. He's got the muscle-bound look that WWE goes after and has the skill to back it up.
His "deranged hunstman" gimmick may sound silly, but since teaming with Kassius Ohno, he's becoming a very believable monster. He's got size, speed and technique in the ring, which is more you can say for a lot of the current rosters on Raw and Smackdown.
Kruger has shown that he can succeed as a tag guy and as a solo competitor. In the next few years Leo Kruger will become a household name to pro wrestling fans.
Paige has proclaimed herself WWE's "Anti-Diva." Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
Paige is the only Diva you'll see on this list, for very good reason. She can go in the ring.
Paige is one of the brightest talents of any gender on the NXT roster. She's got wrestling in her blood (her dad was Rickey Knight and her mom was Sweet Saraya) and looks pretty solid in the ring.
On NXT programming, Paige is calling herself WWE's "Anti-Diva," which could be a great way for her to work her way into the majors.
As the WWE continues to lose Divas, most recently Eve, Paige is coming up at the right time. She's a solid talent in a very thin division and could be a mainstay in the Divas division for years to come.
3. Richie Steamboat
The son of Ricky Steamboat has taken the WWE by storm. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
Richie Steamboat has everything going for him in the WWE. He's a great in-ring technician, has a great motor and has wrestled in some of the best locations in the world.
Oh yeah, and his dad is Ricky Steamboat.
Steamboat has been one of the most consistent members of the NXT roster, making it to the semi-finals of the NXT Gold Rush Tournament in 2012 and carrying a very long feud with Kassius Ohno.
Richie shares a lot of his dear ol' dad's skills in between the ropes will most likely be a major player in the WWE.
2. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt has been one of the most interesting characters in the entire WWE. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
Bray Wyatt is honestly one of the most interesting things going on in the world of professional wrestling. Wyatt, the brother of Bo Dallas and son of Mike Rotunda, comes from generations of professional wrestlers.
Wyatt was in the WWE main event for a short time as part of the Nexus as Husky Harris but never really caught on with the fans and, after an injury, eventually was sent back to NXT developmental.
Now he's been packaged as some crazy, Cape Fear-like character. His cult leader character has made a few plays since showing up on NXT recruiting Luke Harper and Erick Rowan to do his bidding.
Wyatt has added to his eerie persona by bringing a rocking chair to the top of the ramp as he watches his disciples do what they do: hurt people.
Wyatt might not be the most talented wrestler in the ring, but he's got one of the best gimmicks and characters in the entire WWE. It won't be long before Vince brings Wyatt and his cronies up to the big leagues to add some edge to the current product.
Maybe it's just me but this (at about 4:05) is one of the few finishers in the WWE that brings a wrestler's persona into the ring. Amazing.
1. Kassius Ohno
Kassius Ohno was one of the most successful Indy wrestlers in a long time as Chris Hero. Photo Courtesy of WWE.com
You've seen his name all over this slideshow and it should come as no surprise. Kassius Ohno was one of the biggest names on the Indy scene in the 2000s and is one of the most talented professional wrestlers to come into the business in some time.
One of his most famous achievements came when he, as Chris Hero, and Claudio Castagnoli, WWE's current WWE US Champion Antonio Cesaro, teamed up to form the Kings of Wrestling and put on an amazing display of tag team wrestling.
Ohno has carried a few solo feuds in NXT and has most recently been teaming up with Leo Kruger, a tag team that could very well make the move to the WWE tag team division.
Ohno is a very bright talent in WWE's developmental organization and is definitely a face that the WWE Universe will become very familiar with in the next few years.