7 Young Superstars Who Could Become WWE Main-Eventers
It's rare to see a WWE Superstar make it to the top of the company at a very young age.
Although there are the obvious exceptions of guys like Randy Orton and Brock Lesnar, most stars have to stick around for a while before making it to the promised land.
Every once in a while, however, the WWE will gets its hands on a young star who becomes a bona fide main-eventer quicker or earlier than usual.
The company currently has several young stars who could do that, too.
Though most of the WWE's top names are in their mid-30s or are even older, many young guns are aiming to take their spot in the main-event scene.
Here are my seven young Superstars who could become long-term WWE main-eventers.
NOTE: To be eligible to appear on this list, each star must be 32 years old or younger and have never held a world title in the WWE.
7. Roman Reigns
I'm honestly torn on what Roman Reigns' future will hold.
On one hand, he only signed with the WWE in 2010, and when he did so he had no wrestling experience whatsoever. On the other hand, he's got an athletic background, a wrestling pedigree and a fantastic look.
Odds are that one of two things will happen to Reigns; He'll fizzle out because he was brought up to the main roster too early, or he'll evolve into a huge star.
I'm leaning to the latter, though.
We've only seen one match from Reigns, but he more than delivered the goods in a main-event-caliber PPV match that was one of the best bouts of 2012. Of course, that's not what really makes him stand out.
What sets Reigns apart from his Shield stablemates is his tremendous look, which is something that we know WWE officials drool over.
Reigns looks like your prototypical WWE star, and at just 27 years old, he has plenty of time to develop into a main-event-caliber performer, especially if he continues to work with top stars.
While his career could wind up being either a short, forgettable one or a lengthy, memorable one, early indications are that he's on the path to a successful career as a big-time player in the WWE.
6. Wade Barrett
The curious case of Wade Barrett continues.
In late 2010, Barrett was involved in main-event angles with both John Cena and Randy Orton and was on the cusp of winning the WWE Championship. But more than two years later, he's a midcarder holding the Intercontinental Championship.
Which position do you think he would prefer to be in?
Obviously, Barrett would rather be battling it out with the WWE's top stars, and many are surprised that he's not doing so. That, of course, has to make you wonder if Barrett will ever reach his full potential.
He's widely considered to be world title material, but in a heel-heavy WWE, there's no guarantee he will ever actually win one.
Still, Barrett has all the tools to be a full-time main eventer, and you could argue that the only reason he hasn't won one already is because of the unfortunate injury that he suffered on the road to WrestleMania last year.
Barrett appeared to be in line for a big push until that injury occurred, so now he's in the process of working his way back up the card.
At 32 years old, he's in the prime of his career and ready to be involved in the company's biggest angles once again.
Whenever he drops the Intercontinental Championship, expect him to do what so many midcarders do and move up the ladder to the world title scene.
5. Cody Rhodes
Cody Rhodes made his WWE debut all the way back in July 2007, so it's kind of hard to believe that he's still only 27 years old.
During his five and a half years on the main roster, he's racked up four tag team and two intercontinental title reigns, which is quite impressive.
At the same time, though, he's taken longer than some expected to make his way up to the main-event scene, which he hasn't really participated in since his days with Legacy ended in 2010.
Although many (myself included) expected Rhodes to be a world title contender by now, patience is the key word here.
There are plenty of Superstars currently on the roster who hadn't even sniffed the world title picture by age 27, and there are others who didn't even make their debuts until they were that old or even older.
Rhodes may not have won a world title yet, but he's about as seasoned as a 27-year-old wrestler can get and is already one of the more complete stars on the entire roster.
What's even more impressive about Rhodes, though, is that he's a great "old school" type of heel. He doesn't try to be the cool tweener-like heel that you see so much these days. He genuinely wants the fans to hate him, and he's very good at making that happen.
Rhodes may be young in terms of his age, but he's a seasoned veteran in many ways.
He's currently positioned as a midcard talent without a real storyline, but unlike his former Legacy stablemate Ted DiBiase, his future is very bright.
4. Seth Rollins
The Shield is loaded with young talent, and some think that Seth Rollins is the most talented of the three.
A former ROH, Florida Heavyweight and NXT Champion, it's clear that Rollins has already had a lot of success in his career so far and that his involvement with The Shield is positioning him for even more.
Rollins is already involved in arguably the WWE's biggest angle, and it's come as a surprise to some that it took him so long to get there.
He had marinated down in FCW/NXT for a couple of years despite the widespread notion that he was one of developmental's most polished stars and someone who was considerably better than a lot of guys on Raw and SmackDown.
The 26-year-old Rollins is finally on TV where he belongs, but we have only really seen him in one match so far.
Needless to say, though, he delivered an incredible, memorable performance at TLC and gave the fans just a little taste of what's to come in the future.
And rest assured that big things lie ahead for Rollins.
He's the best pure wrestler to come out of NXT in quite a while, and as time goes on, he should prove that he's one of the best wrestlers in all of the WWE, too.
Just like a couple of other former ROH guys who came before him, Rollins is headed for a big career in the WWE.
3. Damien Sandow
It wasn't even a year ago that Damien Sandow debuted on the main roster and yet he's already become a favorite of Internet wrestling fans.
There was a lot of hype surrounding Sandow prior to his debut, and it's easy to see why the fans love him so much so soon.
Sandow has a gimmick that is unlike anyone else's on the WWE roster, a gimmick that relies heavily on the little things that he does so well—the use of an extensive vocabulary, the way he holds the microphone, etc.
He's a true heel in a WWE that lacks them and has quickly evolved into one of the WWE's most hated villains as a result.
The 31-year-old Sandow has, in true WWE booking fashion, lost a lot more than he's won over the past several months, but he's performed extremely well as part of Team Rhodes Scholars and in big singles matches he's had with guys like Sheamus.
We only have some small samples of Sandow's work because he's spent much of his time squashing other stars and performing in a tag team, but his gimmick, his size and his skills scream future main-eventer.
Now that he's parted ways with Cody Rhodes, he should get the opportunity to work in the main-event scene once the WrestleMania dust has settled.
If the WWE can avoid turning him into a loser like it does with so many other heels, then Sandow should have a great future ahead of him.
2. Antonio Cesaro
Ten months ago, Antonio Cesaro wasn't even on the main roster. But now, he's one of the WWE's brightest up-and-coming stars.
It's truly been amazing to see just how quickly Cesaro has gone from unknown among mainstream wrestling fans to being one of the highlights of both Raw and SmackDown every week.
Seemingly overnight, Cesaro has become one of the must-see attractions in the WWE thanks to his amazing athleticism and strength, both of which are unmatched by nearly anyone in the company.
It's a shame that he's already 32 years old and didn't debut in the WWE sooner, but 32 is young enough in the wrestling world for him to still make an impact, which is exactly what he looks poised to do.
The WWE is taking the right route with Cesaro by booking him as a strong midcard champion before moving him up to the main-event picture, and he's taken advantage of that opportunity to to develop into a quality, entertaining heel.
Cesaro continues to impress more and more with each week that goes by, and barring something unforeseen happening he's right on track to slowly but steadily creep his way into the world title picture.
A lot of fans want to see him there now, but why rush it?
Cesaro is going to get there eventually, and he's better off gradually climbing up the card than immediately going to the top of it.
1. Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose has been one of the most talked about wrestlers on the Internet for two years now and rightfully so.
Though we've only seen one promo and just a handful of matches from him, he's managed to make all of those moments quite memorable.
This is a guy that somehow managed to make the word "nope" mean so much in The Shield's debut promo and the same guy that delivered a hell of a performance at WWE TLC.
While it's far too early to deem Ambrose the "next CM Punk" or the "next face of the WWE," he does indeed have all the tools that would suggest a sustained run at the top.
He's got the size, the look and, most importantly, the mic skills that have earned him praise from some of the biggest names in the business, like Punk and Mic Foley.
Ambrose is, like Damien Sandow, known for doing all the little things right, and he does them in his own unique way, which makes him really stand out from the rest of the pack.
The scary part is that he's only 27 years old, too.
Ambrose is very young in wrestling terms and is already involved in one of the WWE's biggest angles. The next logical step is for him to break out on his own as a singles star down the road.
He'll do just that, and he'll quickly become one of the biggest stars in the WWE.
Drake Oz is a WWE Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter!