WWE's Next Big Stars: Daniel Bryan and 10 Wrestlers Waiting to Break out in 2011
Edge's shocking recent retirement has added to the growing list of main event talent that has left the WWE in the last couple of years.
Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Batista and now the Rated R Superstar are no longer with the company. This coupled with the dwindling participation of Triple H and the Undertaker who will now only compete on a part-time basis means that the WWE Youth Movement will finally come into play.
The WWE needs to crown a new generation of world champions who will sell pay-per-views. The Miz has set the bar high in terms of fresh world champions but he needs competition.
We have already seen how stale a main event scene dominated by Orton and Cena can get.
But who are the men that the creative department are eying as their next big stars?
Who will make the leap of faith from mid-card obscurity to the promised land of main event glory?
Here is a list of ten wrestlers who are destined to succeed!
Barrett has already enjoyed success as the leader of the Nexus and was involved in a series of WWE Championship matches towards the end of 2010.
But Barrett's express train to World Championship status was temporarily derailed when he formed the Corre on SmackDown.
This group has proven that they are nothing more than a watered down version of the original Nexus with a series of disappointing defeats including their squash match at WrestleMania.
The trouble in paradise between the four in recent weeks hopefully signifies the end of the group and means that Barrett will able to go on to bigger and better things.
Barrett's mic skills and his presence as a heel mean that he would be able to carry a World title on SmackDown or Raw in the coming months.
Barrett has an in-ring style similar to Randy Orton and at the age of just 30, he will be able to deliver for many years to come.
Alberto Del Rio
It has already been a stellar year for Dos Caras Junior with an impressive victory in the largest ever Royal Rumble match.
His destiny was delayed at WrestleMania with Edge's victory but Alberto Del Rio's time is just around the corner.
Del Rio looks the part of a champion with his golden ring gear, his own personal ring announcer and his selection of top-quality cars.
Del Rio's facial expressions encapsulate his emotions and he has already shown that he is an experienced in-ring competitor.
Del Rio has a ladder match with Christian at Extreme Rules for the vacant World Heavyweight title and who would bet against the man who put Captain Charisma on the shelf?
Whatever the result, it promises to be an entertaining feud with Christian taking the place of his departed friend.
Del Rio has emerged as the top heel on SmackDown but he needs young babyface talent to work with once his feud with Christian comes to an end.
Cody Rhodes has finally overcome his tag as the "Marty Jannetty" of Legacy with an impressive victory over Rey Mysterio at WrestleMania.
Despite Dibiase having the look, Rhodes has worked on his character and improved his promo skills drastically.
The nuances and the attention to detail that Rhodes has paid to his new darker and more disturbing character has been very entertaining.
Every time he shields his face from the camera shows how committed he is to the success of his latest gimmick.
His feud with Rey is set to continue as will Cody's transition from tag team reject to a SmackDown main event star.
The masked luchador has already shown what he is capable of with a series of high-flying and electrifying moves.
He is capable of showcasing the impossible and defying gravity. His moveset is unique and we have never seen its like in the WWE.
People have cited his poor English as a stumbling block for Mistico but he does not need to speak to succeed.
He is already over with the fans due to his awe-inspiring entrance and his clear in-ring talent. He has already started to sell merchandise and his actions so far which include going toe to toe with the WWE Champion show that the WWE are taking him seriously.
I would not be surprised if Sin Cara became a World Champion sooner rather than later as so few wrestlers get the build-up and hype that he has been afforded.
On NXT Season One, Justin Gabriel offered something different. He had a versatile style of wrestling with British and Japanese influences.
His 450 splash finishing move helped to get him over as a babyface on NXT. His heel run as part of the Nexus and the Corre has been impressive and he is already a three time tag team champion.
But Gabriel has potential as a face. His elimination of Wade Barrett in the SmackDown battle royal elicited a big crowd reaction.
The idea of a feud between the two with Gabriel as the face has potential and a singles run for the South African could be exactly what he needs to establish himself as someone to be taken seriously.
Seth Rollins AKA Tyler Black
The former ROH World Champion and star of the independent scene caused a stir in the wrestling world when he signed with the WWE in August 2010.
He has been wrestling in the developmental promotion FCW where he is one half of the tag team champions.
He will soon be ready to make the transition to the main roster and when he does, we should expect big things from the man formerly known as Tyler Black.
He has an independent style of wrestling but it is combined with charisma and a star power that will have caught the eye of Vince McMahon.
Whether he makes an impact or not only time will tell, but given a free rein, Rollins could be something special.
The son of legendary Hall of Famer Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Richie is currently wrestling in FCW where he is one half of the tag team champions with Seth Rollins.
Many have had high praise for his wrestling abilities which is not surprising when you consider that his father was one of the greatest workers of all time.
There has been talk for some time now about bringing Steamboat up to the main roster and if they could involve his father in some way, it would certainly make an impact.
Another wildcard talent, he could become one of the most talented workers in the company.
Morrison has already shown that he can survive in the main event and has been involved in some of the best moments of 2011.
He has the look of a champion and despite his under-developed mic skills, his in-ring ability and sheer athleticism means that he is over with children and adults.
A versatile moveset and a unique look make it inevitable that Morrison will eventually fulfil his potential.
With a main event at Extreme Rules in the near future, I predict that the Shaman of Sexy will win a World title sooner rather than later.
The WWE need to take advantage of his built-in feud with the Miz which has not been fully capitalized on yet.
2011 could see Morrison cement his main event status and elevate his career further than he ever imagined.
If Vickie Guerrero has increased his short-term heat, it is undeniable that Dolph Ziggler has talent.
His in-ring style is varied and always interesting and he is capable of putting on some great matches. His feud with Edge was the best of the Rated R Superstar's last run on SmackDown.
It elevated Ziggler to another level and technically saw him win the World Heavyweight Championship.
His work was rewarded with a transfer to the flagship show which demonstrates how highly thought of he is with the management.
Dolph has become what Swagger should have been and a long-term feud between Ziggler and Cena is something that should be exploited.
With or without the heat magnet, Vickie Guerrero, Ziggler will go far.
From the day Bryan Danielson was announced as one of the competitors on Season 1 of NXT, wrestling fans that were familiar with his work in ROH and Japan started to pray that the WWE would not drop the ball with him.
Initially, all of our fears seemed justified, with the newly packaged Daniel Bryan going on a losing streak on NXT before finally unceremoniously eliminating himself from the competition.
Then the Nexus attacked, and Bryan was part of the group that viciously beat down Cena. But then it was revealed that the WWE had let Danielson go after he used excessive violence on Justin Roberts.
Whether it not this was a work, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise for the former American Dragon as he did not get lost in the shuffle of the Nexus but instead received a singles push as the US Champion.
The moment was incredible for every fan who wanted the hero from the so-called minor leagues to fulfill his dream of becoming a successful WWE superstar.
He certainly has the potential to succeed but whether or not he does will be down to Vince McMahon who has a history of dropping the ball with the smaller wrestlers.