News has leaked out about just which wrestlers WWE are planning post-WrestleMania and it's somewhat of mixed bag.
In this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter (subscription required), Dave Meltzer notes the names of the performers the company is internally planning to push later this year.
"In order, the people the company projects to be its five biggest stars going forward after WrestleMania are, Cena, Bryan, Orton, Sheamus, and Reigns," he writes.
Cena, Bryan and Reigns aren't surprising.
Cena is the cornerstone of the company and will remain so until his body gives up on him.
The enormously over Bryan is likely closing out WrestleMania XXX as the new WWE world heavyweight champion. The bookers clearly see Reigns as the biggest star of The Shield and he looks set to have a big singles career.
Orton and Sheamus, meanwhile, may be more perplexing choices.
Orton may have been promoted in the storylines as the “face of the company,” but it's fairly obvious he's not taking off as a major heel.
His world title run has been fairly mediocre too, notable only for the fans' scathing reactions to it (see: his title bout with Cena at the Royal Rumble). No one in the world seems to care about his feud with Batista either.
For his part, Sheamus may be too one-dimensional to really ascend to stardom. Can he add anything to his repertoire to justify a bigger push?
Meltzer also discusses one glaring omission from the list in the recently returned Dave Batista:
Also surprising is Batista is not on the list. This is a projection based on where they expect people to be several months down the line as opposed to where they are today and obviously when they get there things will have changed many times, but this is an internal list that was just made.
Of course, with Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy—which he stars in—out later this year, he will surely be off television for a couple of months to promote it.
That could be one reason why WWE doesn't feel it can rely on him as a full-time star.
However, you have to wonder if, in light of the recent fan reactions to him, people in management have just completely given up on the 45-year-old.
Would it really be a surprise?