WWE Youth Movement: My Personal Analysis of Its Membership
There are a lot of new, young and talented superstars in WWE at the moment. In this article, I will express my opinions on these superstars. I will let everyone in on what I think of them talent-wise, how I think they could be better used or if I think they are being used correctly and what I think they will accomplish in the future. I will hold nothing back; if I think a superstar just sucks, I’ll come out and say it.
Thanks for the read, I hope you enjoy it. If you don’t enjoy it, do not blame me; I did not make you read it.
My Opinions on Alex Riley:
I feel that Riley could become a big star in WWE, if he keeps his head down, does what he’s asked to do and listens to people who know what they are talking about. He will also need to seize opportunities when they are presented. If he can do those things the sky is the limit for A-Ry.
Right now, Riley really isn’t being used to his full potential. I think instead of just using him as a fall guy for Miz, they should use him as a blocker. This would also give him a chance to get in the ring with some of the better superstars, whom he could learn a lot from. Riley could become a major roadblock between anyone seeking the WWE Championship and The Miz. They should make contenders fight their way through Riley before getting a shot at Miz. It would make Riley’s stock rise more than just being someone who stands outside the ring and interferes to help Miz retain the title.
Someone high up must think Riley has potential, or he wouldn’t still be there after his DUI incident. I would have to agree with them on that. I think all he needs is a good gimmick. The 29-year-old college bully gimmick just wasn’t cutting it for me. I would probably use the resemblance to Vince in some way. They could say he is Vince’s son from a one night stand or something of that sort. I think that would get him a lot of heat with the WWE Universe. Then he wouldn’t have to do half as much to get over.
The guy isn’t the best ring technician, but he’s not the worst superstar in the ring either. For what he lacks in ring skill, he more than makes up for with his above average speaking ability. He also has a good look working for him, and that never hurts. If he can put it all together, I’m sure he will someday be a major championship holder. He could maybe even be one of the top heels in WWE.
My Opinions on Daniel Bryan:
Bryan is everything I would want in a wrestling employee. He is one of the best in ring competitors on the WWE roster and will do anything asked of him.
His lack of personality is one of Bryan’s biggest flaws. To me, it’s not really that big of a deal, but to WWE creative it might turn into one. It will not be from Bryan’s end though. I think creative will try too hard to turn him into something he’s not, simply because they don’t think he’s entertaining, which is moronic to me.
The guy can go in the ring with just about anyone and be entertaining, in my opinion. So I could care less if he is entertaining otherwise. Everyone can’t be the entertaining type of character, that’s what is wrong with WWE right now. They want everyone to be able to talk, be funny and wrestle, wrestling being the least important or so it seems, which in turn makes everyone look the same, and when someone does have all the tools, it’s not as impressive because there is 10 others just like them.
WWE has already tried to get rid of Bryan once but had to bring him back because of the outrage of the fans. After that, I think they put the US Championship on him just to make up for it.
When I think of the future, I don’t really think Bryan will reach much higher than he already is, but then again, I didn’t see The Miz winning a major title either, and Bryan is way more talented, so who knows? I know I would like to see him get his shot, but I don’t feel it will ever happen.
My Opinions on Darren Young:
The guy has the look and the athletic ability to be a good wrestler, but it’s his charisma that makes me think he could one day make it. I think it would be good for him to tag up with someone who has been around awhile so he can learn.
Darren has the ability to be a decent superstar, but I think he’s really struggling with finding himself. I think the one thing that’s really killing Young is that he’s just simply not ready. He needs more time in the ring, so he can figure out what works for him and what does not. There’s only one way to get better, and that’s by getting in there and doing it night in and night out.
I’m not really sold on Young being more than a midcard or tag team champion. I could be wrong, but that’s the way I see it right now.
My Opinions on David Hart Smith:
David is probably the one person on the WWE roster that has less of a personality than Daniel Bryan. The only difference between the two is that Bryan has it pointed out more. With all the athletic ability that Smith has, watching him is like eating dry oats.
I can’t talk about Smith without mentioning how stupid it was to split him and Tyson Kidd up. What is either of them doing now? If you answered nothing then you get a gold star. I’d really like to know who thought either would make it in singles competition. It was probably the same person that thought having a dance off between The Usos and the team of The Great Khali and Mark Henry would be good.
I believe the only reason David still has a job in WWE is because of his family ties. I know some people will think that’s wrong, but it’s just my opinion on the matter.
My Opinions on David Otunga:
Otunga is just one of those guys I hate, and it’s not in the wrestling heel way. I believe my hate comes from him not being believable. No matter what it is from him talking to wrestling, I just can’t buy into it. They tried to make him into Nexus’s tough guy enforcer type after Sheffield went down with an injury, which only made him look worse. Who really sees that guy as being a tough guy? A lot of that comes from the fact he simply can’t back it up in the ring. He could go out and talk like he is the toughest guy to ever walk the face of planet earth, but if he can’t go in the ring and prove it, what does it really mean? Nothing.
The WWE is obviously high on Otunga, despite his inability to wrestle. They have done everything they can to get him over and nothing has worked, at least not to me. I’m sure there are some people out there that think he’ll be world champion one day, but to me, he is lucky to have even had a job in wrestling—might as long in WWE.
I really believe the only reason he does still have a job in WWE is because of his wife. If he wasn’t married to whom he is, he would have never made it to Florida even. I’m sure there is someone who will say he would have got a shot simply because of his look. Well, if you look at him, he really isn’t that big compared to some guys in WWE. He’s just an average sized guy in the WWE, with average mic skills and little to no athletic ability or wrestling skills.
My Opinions on Husky Harris:
Husky is one of the better second or third generation wrestlers. He has a unique look and a lot of talent and potential. He is very agile and quick for his size. I also feel he gets the business. When I see him in the ring, I can just see that.
Husky being in the Nexus isn’t the best move for him. I’m guessing they added him to the group because they didn’t know what else to do with him at the time. I think he would have been better suited in a tag team with someone like Cody Rhodes or Ted DiBiase. That way he could have still had time to learn before being on his own, if he wasn’t thrown in a group where he would be swallowed up.
I believe Harris has a lot of potential. Do I think he’ll ever be a major title holder? Probably not, but he could be used as a tough guy, kind of like a Bob Holly type.
My Opinions on The Usos:
I really believe they are dropping the ball with the Usos. I really didn’t care for how they first appeared, as being the college graduates and hip hop Samoans. Now, it’s gotten even worse though. At least then, they had something; now, it’s like they just go out there and wrestle without a gimmick. I think they should have been crazy acting Samoans when they first arrived in WWE. Then over time, they could have evolved into different characters, but now, that ship has sailed, and there really isn’t much else they can do with them.
When it comes to talent, they aren’t the most gifted, but they do have enough to get by. They are very athletic, and that makes them believable. The high-flying moves they do are awesome, but everything else is just so-so. They still have a lot to learn, another case of being pushed out there too fast. I think at the time they just brought them up to have someone to face the Hart Dynasty. Short-term thinking hardly ever works out in the wrestling business.
I don’t feel they will ever be able to split up and make it as singles competitors. So with that being said, I think the best they can ever hope for is being tag team champs, but the way they’re going now, even that is a stretch. WWE isn’t known for tag teams now are they?
My Opinions on Mason Ryan:
The rumor is that WWE is counting on Ryan to draw a lot of money in the future. He definitely has the look for it. Talent-wise, he is still very raw, but if they play it right, Ryan could become that major draw they are expecting.
I think it was a really smart move to have him tour with the main roster a while before introducing him to the WWE audience. I also think it was smart to put him in Nexus and under CM Punk’s wing. He still has a lot to learn, and there’s no better teacher than the three-time World’s Heavyweight Champion. If Ryan wants to be a future champion, what better way to learn how to be.
Ryan really needs time to refine his in-ring and mic skills. He needs to learn when to bring out the aggressive side and when not to. Right now, everything he does looks and sounds the same. He should tone it down at times, so when he is aggressive, it’s more special.
WWE can’t rush this one like they have so many over the past few years. I can really see a Wrestlemania main event featuring Mason Ryan against Alberto Del Rio sometime in the future.
My Opinions on Michael McGillicutty:
The first thing that comes to mind is god what a horrible name. I don’t understand why they didn’t use his real name and the recognition it would have brought. What’s wrong with getting a rub from your old man? Especially when that man happens to be Mr. Perfect.
McGillicutty has all the tools in the ring and gets it but is rather lackluster when speaking. So they should shy away from that until he has more practice. It’s a trick they used with Nexus since it’s inception. They hide the weaknesses of the guys and highlight the strengths. That’s the one good part about the group, the guys who are good wrestlers, wrestle and the good talkers do the talking.
I think with the proper handling, McGillicutty could turn into a huge superstar, but like most of the others on this list, he still needs time to learn. How far he will make it is up to opportunity and timing.
My Opinions on Michael Tarver:
Tarver looks like a badass, but his ability in the ring does not back it up. He’s one of the few guys that was in FCW since it’s beginning . In that time, I haven’t seen him grow much. That’s a long time not to learn anything.
What’s up with that stupid mask he is always wearing? Really, I get what he was trying to do with it. It’s like a dog’s chain, when the mask comes off, it is like the dog being let off the chain, but it ended up just looking stupid. When he officially returns, I hope he leaves that behind.
I think with the right gimmick, he could have a good career, just because of his menacing look. I just don’t know if they’ll find him one that works before his time expires.
My Opinions on Sheamus:
Sheamus was brought in the right way, by going to ECW to start off. He looked really good during that time on ECW with some good matches against veterans like Goldust. Then after they moved him to RAW, they began to push him too fast. At first he was headed in the right direction, by being the monster heel and beating everyone down. Then for some reason, they decided to change that into a cowardly heel. That along with being pushed way too fast made him look worse than he actually was.
I think a lot of the push came because they didn’t have anyone to face John Cena at the time. Everyone that was ready to face him had done so many times already. They saw Sheamus was doing well, so they gave him a try. I think it would have worked if he had remained that killer he was at first and went in and destroyed Cena. Then, they could have had Cena chase after Sheamus and the title for awhile before finally getting it back.
Sheamus, since then, has been up and down. He’s had some great matches with Triple H and John Morrison. He’s won the King of the Ring, but at times, it’s like he gets lost in the shuffle.
I really think if they ever figure out where they messed up with Sheamus and can fix it, he will be a staple in the WWE for a long time. Honestly, I think he could turn into the next Triple H-type of guy if things are done correctly.
My Opinions on Skip Sheffield:
Skip Sheffield is a monster of a man, so I believe he would be better suited as a menacing heel. He would need to come back and start crushing people right and left. He should leave a pile of bodies lying in the ring every week for a couple months at first.
Vince McMahon himself might not want this to happen though. Vince is said to think Skip could be a huge baby face character, maybe even the No. 2 guy behind John Cena someday. I’m not completely sold on that idea, I think Skip can pull off either, but I truly think him as a heel would be their best bet. He could even be the next Kane type of character if they find a gimmick that fits him.
Skip is very solid in the ring, not the best, but far from the worst superstar. His mic skills are credible, but there’s always room from improvement.
The only thing I see standing in the way of Sheffield is his durability. He’s spent most of the last few years on the shelf dealing with some major injuries. If he can stay away from injuries, he can have a very good run in the WWE.
My Opinions on Tyson Kidd:
I really don’t think WWE knows what to do with Kidd right now. He went from being tag team champions with David Hart Smith to them splitting up and feuding for about a week to having a bodyguard, which also lasted about a week, to tagging with Ted DiBiase on Superstars to wanting to be US Champion but losing every week. Out of all that, the only thing I saw that was working was when he was tagging with DiBiase. They seemed to have good chemistry. I’m not really sure why they didn’t do more with it, to be honest.
Tyson is very talented and athletic. He has a very aggressive in-ring style that makes everything believable. He isn’t really the greatest talker, but he isn’t bad either. He has shown he can be either a heel or baby face and play them both equally.
I think Kidd could be a good midcard champion, kind of like Kofi Kingston or Daniel Bryan. He could go out and have exciting matches with a lot of different people. He would be a good guy to open a pay-per-view card with or have in crazy gimmick matches, like Money in the Bank. I don’t think he will ever reach any higher on the card because of his size and in-ring style.
My Opinions on Yoshi Tatsu:
Yoshi is one of the many misused superstars in the WWE. Why he is stuck on Superstars every week is a mystery to me? He is obviously loved by the WWE Universe, and it shows every time his music hits. He always receives one of the best babyface pops of anyone not named John Cena.
The guy has tons of talent in the ring to go along with his popularity. Back in ECW, Christian called him a future world champion. I think the language barrier is the only thing holding Yoshi back at the moment.
I think Tatsu would stand a better chance of making it if he was on Smackdown. Raw is so packed with talent at the time, it is hard for everyone to get TV time. I am sure Yoshi would get more of a shot over on the blue brand.
Yoshi is another of those guys, I’m not sure he will ever be anything more than a midcard or tag team champion. That’s mostly because of him not speaking English and creative not being able to find him anything to do. He is just basically thrown out there to have a good match, and that’s it.
My Opinions on Alberto Del Rio:
Alberto is one of a few superstars on this list that actually looks like he belongs in the WWE right now. I’m sure a lot of this is from the way he’s been presented since he arrived on the scene late last year. That’s not the only reason though Del Rio has backed it up on the mic and in the ring. He came straight in and exceeded expectations.
Del Rio is great on the mic, even with his English not being the greatest. Actually I think that’s why it does work so well. The main thing that makes Del Rio so good is that he can back up everything he says in the ring. He is one of the best heels in the WWE right now, maybe even second behind CM Punk. He could go on to be among the greatest ever.
I think they’re handling Alberto the right way. At first I thought they were going to push him way too fast like they did others, like Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. Unlike those two they have given Alberto time to adjust and get use to being in the WWE before throwing a title on him. It didn’t hurt Del Rio had a lot of experience coming in though.
I figured they would have already put the World Heavyweight Championship on him already, but they’re waiting for the perfect time at Wrestlemania. If he doesn’t come out of there with the title, I’ll be in shock. I think he will carry the title for a good amount of time when he finally does get it, and it won’t be the only time we see him with gold around his waist.
My Opinions on Curt Hawkins:
Hawkins has a lot of potential, but for some unseen reason, he’s not living up to it so far. Since coming back from being injured, he hasn’t received much opportunity to move up the card. He has pretty much been stuck on Superstars, other than when he first returned with his then tag partner Vance Archer.
I never really cared for the team of Hawkins and Vance Archer. Mostly because of Archer, WWE must have felt the same way because they split them up and not long after Archer was jobless. I think if they were going to use Curt in a tag team, it should have been with either Zack Ryder, his form partner or Trent Barreta.
Hawkins and Ryder have already been tag champs, so that would be a no doubter to me. Now, it wouldn’t be possible because Ryder is tagging with Primo. They’ve become a decent tag team, so I wouldn’t break them up right now.
It would be more interesting to see a team of Hawkins and Barreta. When Curt first returned to the WWE, Barreta was in a team already so that wouldn’t have worked. At the moment, neither of them is really doing anything, so it would be a good fit. It would also strengthen a really weak tag division.
Hawkins is full of confidence and is a very cocky superstar. His talent in the ring backs it all up. Curt simply needs to find his place in the WWE.
I think Hawkins is a great tag team wrestler and should stay that way for the meanwhile. In the future, after gaining more experience, he might be able to break away from that into a successful singles career. The names Shawn Michaels and Edge come to mind when I see Hawkins in the ring.
My Opinions on Drew McIntyre:
Drew came into the WWE with a massive push. Even having Vince McMahon himself say he was a future world champion. That made Drew a lot of enemies in the locker room. I think it was a bad decision to push him so fast. If they would have done the same thing now, it might of worked, but back then, Drew just wasn’t ready.
By the way Drew moves in the ring, you can see he will be a major player in the future. I really like his ruthless character; he is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Drew is also aggressive in the ring, but he still has a lot to learn before he is ready for the main event.
His mic work is good for what it is. His Scottish accent helps in some ways and hurts him in others. It helps him because it makes him mysterious, being from a far away land. It hurts because no one can understand him.
In the future, I’d like to see Drew and Sheamus tag up for a brief run. They both moved to the US to begin their wrestling careers at the same time; it would make for a good story. Plus, I think they would just be awesome together because of their chemistry.
Drew is the “Chosen One” for a reason. He just needs to start acting the part, and he will be ok. I can see him in the main event at Wrestlemania one day. And I say that with no doubt at all.
My Opinions on Ezekiel Jackson:
Big Zeke is one of the most impressive looking superstars on the WWE roster. His size and strength make him a perfect fit in the company.
In the ring, Jackson is very aggressive, sometimes maybe too much so. I can’t recall him ever being on the receiving end. It seems to me, every time Zeke’s in the ring, he’s in control of the match. As we all know, that doesn’t make for very interesting matches. I would like to see him matched up with people who will challenge him. Until I see that, I won’t be able to have a true assessment of his talent.
While talking on the microphone, Jackson seems timid. It’s almost like he’s scared to say the wrong thing or that he does not have confidence in his ability. Most of the time what he says comes off looking forced, but I do like the idea behind most of it. I like the “Prophet of Doom” gimmick, but I think it could be better if he was more comfortable on the mic and in the ring. Ezekiel is still very green so it could end up getting better after he gains confidence in himself.
To me, I think Ezekiel is the type of character they should bring in for a short run with a baby face champion. They could build him up to look invincible. Then have the champion go over on him. It would get the champion over by beating such an impressive opponent. I don’t believe Ezekiel will ever be championship material because his skills won’t allow it, but he would be good to get others over.
My Opinions on Heath Slater:
Heath has a lot of talent, but the way he looks just doesn’t cut it for me. He just never has fit in with either Nexus or Corre. He looks like an oddball when standing beside the rest of the guys. I do believe Heath would be better off out on his own. I think he would make a good heel because he can be really annoying. Of course he needs to lose the dumb gimmick he was using.
Slater is above average in the ring. I can tell he knows what he is doing in there. There just isn’t anything that stands out though, other than his red hair.
When Heath has a mic in his hand it’s like finger nails scrapping a chalkboard. It’s not really that he’s bad at talking, but it’s more of the way he talks. His over the top hick accent is bad to me, and I have a hick accent, so I know it has to kill others.
I can see Slater either being a midcard heel or in a tag team. I think he would be good in a team like the Heavenly Bodies. That way his flamboyant side could show.
My Opinions on Justin Gabriel:
Gabriel is a natural baby face. This is why it’s never made sense for the guy to be in a heel group. I can see the reason why he was placed in both Nexus and Corre though. His inability to talk well can be hidden this way.
Gabriel is exciting to watch when he’s in the ring. I think that WWE should capitalize on this more. Put him in matches with people that will bring out the best in him. Superstars like Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, John Morrison, Evan Bourne and Tyson Kidd to name a few.
The WWE has shown faith in Gabriel’s ability in the ring. When there’s a match against a superstar like a John Cena, Randy Orton or Edge, where anyone in the group could have the opportunity to wrestle them, Gabriel is normally the one because of his talent.
If Gabriel is ever put in the right place to succeed and works on his talking, he could be a major title holder one day. He could be one of the company’s biggest baby faces if given the right opportunities.
My Opinions on Trent Barreta:
Barreta is a talented young superstar with decent mic skills. As of yet, he hasn’t really been given the chance to show his personality. He doesn’t receive enough time to prove himself. Most of the time he gets is to help other superstars in some way.
He’s pretty much being used as an enhancement talent. I don’t really agree with this. I think Barreta would be a good superstar to tag someone up with, like a Curt Hawkins or maybe someone older with more experience so he can learn from them. I mean, what’s the point in having the guy on the roster if you aren’t going to do anything with him.
I don’t think Barreta will be world champion or anything, but I do believe he could add a lot to a card. His style is humorous and exciting at times; that’s normally a good combination in the WWE.
My Opinions on Tyler Reks:
WWE has been trying to use Reks for awhile now with little success. He first broke onto the scene in ECW as a baby face surfer with dreadlocks. For some reason, it just wasn’t working, so they sent him back down to FCW. There, he began working on a new character. The character is the Tyler Reks we see today on Smackdown—well Superstars as of late. I like the thought process of this character, but it’s still not working.
I’m not really sure what else they can do with him at this point. He’s a big guy with pretty good skill in the ring. I’m not sure on his mic work due to the fact I haven’t heard him speak in over a year. It would look like something would stick, but who knows?
My Opinions on Wade Barrett:
Wade has potential, maybe the most of anyone on this list. He went from FCW commentator to challenging for the WWE Championship in less than a year. He’s one of the few superstars that deserved the big push he received when entering the WWE. I’ve always thought there was something about Barrett, and I’m happy to see him proving my senses right.
Barrett is good in the ring, but where he really excels is when talking. He is right up there with some of the greatest to ever hold a microphone in a ring, in my opinion. Another good thing about this ability is when he’s done in the ring, he could become a great commentator.
I think Wade is just starting to chip away at the iceberg know as his WWE career. There’s still a lot left, and he’s going to go on to further greatness. I still haven’t figured out why he needs to be in another group. After he was excommunicated from Nexus, I thought he would move on to bigger and better things by himself. He has the talent to do so, but for some reason, WWE doesn’t think he’s ready I guess.
Barrett will be a multi-time champion in the future, and I have no doubt when I say that. The only questions are how many and how soon will it start.