Right now, WWE is packed full of midcard wrestlers who will likely blossom into main event talents in the future.
Considering how thin the company’s main event scene is right now—just how many times are we going to have to suffer through Rob Van Dam vs. Alberto Del Rio?—this is an immense relief. WWE management have the talent, they just need to get behind correctly get behind them.
So, factoring in things like charisma, in-ring ability and promo skills, here are the top seven candidates to be headliners in the next few years.
While it might be easy to dismiss Titus O’Neil as nothing more than comedy midcard act—and certainly WWE have never booked him as anything else—the 37-year-old clearly has something in terms of charisma and screen-presence.
Is a split from Darren Young and a singles push in the former NXT star’s future?
Of course, O’Neil may have to work on his (rather dull) wrestling style and one-dimensional mic work if he is to progress up the card any further.
Relegated to the role of an enforcer/bodyguard for the majority of his time on the main roster, Big E. Langston is capable of so much more.
Indeed, his stint on NXT established that the 27-year-old is one of those rarities in wrestling: a big guy with heaps of charisma who can actually work.
As best I can tell, his somewhat wooden promo skills are his only significant flaw.
Langston can really go places in WWE. Management just have to be willing to get the chance.
Antonio Cesaro seemingly has everything it takes to be a big player in WWE—great wrestling ability, a good look and perfectly adequate talking skills.
Now he needs the support of management.
Reports from Wrestling Inc, via F4Wonline, emerged a few months ago that people in power found him “boring.” How perplexing.
Hopefully WWE brass will change their minds on the former ROH wrestler in the future. Of course, the unlikeliness of this happening means that Cesaro, for all his potential, gets such a low ranking on this list.
Over the past year, Reigns has emerged as one of the best big-man workers the business has ever seen.
He’s got a decent amount of charisma, too. Granted his promo work is patchy—hence why he isn’t listed higher here—but there’s still plenty time left for him to improve.
Assuming he can avoid any more backstage issues—reports (from Daily Wrestling News) emerged recently that he got into a heated argument with Randy Orton after a house show—there’s no reason the 28-year-old can’t go all the way to the top.
As the leader of the Wyatt Family stable, Bray Wyatt has created quite an impression in WWE in a relatively short amount of time. Indeed, his new Manson-like character may be one of the most interesting figures to emerge on-screen in years.
Granted his in-ring work hasn’t exactly been great—his inferno match with Kane at SummerSlam was absolutely awful—but that’s nothing WWE’s booking team can’t fix. Just pair the former Nexus star against better wrestlers, like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk or Rob Van Dam and he'll surely deliver.
And who wouldn’t want to see a CM Punk/Bray Wyatt feud in the future?
The promos alone would make it amazing television.
It’s hard to believe the former ROH World champion was once seen as too bland or boring for WWE. In fact, during his time in America's No. 1 wrestling promotion Rollins has shown himself to be very personable and appealing.
OK, so he lacks the magnetism of Dean Ambrose, but there are plenty of indications that the 27-year-old could be a big star in WWE, particularly as a face. He has exciting bump-focused wrestling style and can play the underdog quite well, especially if Monday’s Raw if anything to go by.
Dean Ambrose is easily Vince McMahon's best main event prospect.
And this is something that has been abundantly clear ever since the star debuted on WWE television at the Survivor Series pay-per-view last year. His star aura shines like a beacon on episodes on Raw and SmackDown.
He’s brimming with rough, edgy charisma. He’s a superb talker. And his wrestling skills are top-notch. He comes off like a modern-day Terry Funk. There are unmistakable shades of Brian Pillman about him too.
If this guy isn't main eventing regularly and winning World titles within the next two years, I'll be shocked.