WWE's future lies in waiting in NXT, thanks to the brawlers and acrobats who will soon be battling WWE's best.
F4WOnline.com (via WrestleZone.com) reported earlier this month that Bray Wyatt, Adrian Neville and Kassius Ohno are the next NXT stars to be called up to the main roster. Who should they face once they arrive? Who would get the most out of these NXT prospects, both in the ring and on the mic?
Former tag partners, mirror images and ring generals fill this list of potential rivals. Based on who would be a good fit in terms of wrestling style or personality, here are the men who would provide the ideal opening acts for NXT's best.
Kassius Ohno could eventually reform his partnership with Antonio Cesaro in WWE, but they would also make ideal rivals. Ohno and Cesaro are about the same size and have displayed excellent chemistry when they faced each other in the past.
Ohno has the edge in athleticism, and Cesaro is the better mat wrestler. Their respective strengths will make for fantastic matches between them.
His blend of playfulness and intensity in his promos should make Ohno contrast well with Cesaro's snobbery on the mic.
Chris Jericho's recent job seems to be making newer guys into stars. Just ask Dolph Ziggler and Fandango.
Of the NXT guys, Richie Steamboat has the most connection with Jericho already. Jericho battled Richie's father in 2009. WWE can easily tie in this history with a new Steamboat vs. Jericho feud. It would be impossible to bring Richie to the main roster without addressing his famous father.
A feud with Jericho embraces that lineage.
Steamboat's speed and deftness would make for exciting action with Jericho's springboard-heavy attack. Jericho can carry him during their promos as well, allowing Steamboat to grow thanks to Y2J's the on-the-job tutelage.
The compellingly dark Corey Graves needs a clean-cut hero to face off against.
Kofi Kingston not only provides the contrast of purity and grittiness, of light and darkness, but would also be a fantastic fit against Graves in the ring.
Pairing Kingston's high-flying moves with Graves' torturous submissions and striking ability will deliver compelling matches that can get him over with WWE fans. Abusing and cheating Kingston could earn Graves a nasty reputation right away.
Once Graves is called up he will likely move up to bigger prey, but a rivalry with Kingston is an excellent kickstart to his career.
Sheamus is the best brawler in WWE right now and Leo Kruger would give him some vicious fights.
The powerful South African is fierce in the ring whether he's coiling around his foe like a python or else driving his knee into someone's throat. A series of matches against Sheamus would be an exercise in suffering and survival for both men.
Kruger's evil hunter gimmick would make for a great contrast with Sheamus' Celtic warrior gimmick, resulting in an interesting clash of styles and two powerful men.
Bray Wyatt's strength is in his character, in the enthralling nature of his rambling, bizarre promos. It's a character he's playing so well and so intensely that it begs to be put on WWE TV.
The company's hesitation with calling up him to the main roster is likely associated with his ring work. He's a solid wrestler, but not a true standout performer. Stick him against WWE's best technician and one can see what he will be at his best.
Daniel Bryan is the kind of wrestler who has fantastic chemistry with just about everyone.
Bryan can lead Wyatt in the ring and teach him a number of lessons along the way. Once Wyatt's gimmick is introduced and accepted by WWE fans, and once he's involved in a few high-quality matches with Bryan, his momentum should carry him forward from there.
Admittedly, the promos for this feud would not be awesome with Sin Cara not speaking and all, but the in-ring action would more than make up for it.
Who better to handle Adrian Neville's dynamic, electric style? Neville and Sin Cara in the ring together would equal two blurs crashing into each other. They are the two fastest talents on the roster and among the most athletic.
The story between them may not be anything deep, but fans would love to see them put their feet on the gas and go as fast as they can.