WWE and AEW Stars Primed to Break Out This Summer

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMay 31, 2020

WWE and AEW Stars Primed to Break Out This Summer

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    The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a wrench in the works for WWE and All Elite Wrestling officials, but there are several Superstars set to take advantage of their opportunities and break out this summer.

    For WWE, the recent call-up of former UFC and NXT star Matt Riddle to SmackDown should shake the blue brand to its core, while Apollo Crews is making a major splash on Raw.

    As for AEW, Hikaru Shida has finally taken her place as the company's women's champion and Jungle Boy is morphing into the wrestling world's heartthrob.

    With wrestling fans ready for something exciting this summer, here are the WWE and AEW stars primed to break out.

Matt Riddle

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    Even if you took away Matt Riddle's amateur wrestling career and stellar run in mixed martial arts with the UFC, you would still have one of the best in-ring wrestlers in the world today with a huge personality to match.

    Add in his credentials, and Riddle is a once-in-a-lifetime Superstar.

    It's fitting Kurt Angle introduced Riddle to the blue brand, as few wrestlers have made such a smooth transition from amateur wrestling or MMA to WWE. It's possible the former NXT Superstar could be this generation's Angle.

    With a lovable personality that will make hardcore and casual fans alike embrace his character and the in-ring skills and credibility to silence even the loudest skeptics, Riddle is a blockbuster addition to the Smackdown roster and a Superstar ready to break out.

Hikaru Shida

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    After defeating Nyla Rose to win the AEW Women's World Championship at Double or Nothing, Hikaru Shida finally finds herself at the top of the mountain.

    Shida spent 12 weeks as the No. 1 contender for the women's title, and many began to wonder when her coronation would take place. Now, the stage is set for her to have a dominant run as the top draw in the division.

    With a wide array of heels to battle against—such as a rematch with Nyla Rose, a long-term storyline with Bea Priestley or a main-event worthy program with Dr. Britt Baker, D.M.D—Shida has been positioned as a cornerstone for AEW Superstar moving forward.

    Fans of the fledgling promotion have only seen Shida scratch the surface of what she is capable of in the ring. As she continues to build confidence and find her stride, she should be one of the top breakout stars of 2020.

Apollo Crews

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    After being one of the most misused wrestlers in the world, Apollo Crews looks to finally be in a position to succeed with WWE after taking the United States Championship off Andrade on Monday.

    With the right people supporting his push, Crews has the unparalleled in-ring abilities and natural charisma to become of the most marketable Superstars on WWE's main roster.

    Crews has wallowed on the main roster since getting the call-up prematurely from NXT in 2016, but a marquee storyline and a few key wins to build his credibility would set the stage for a meteoric rise to the top of the card.

    Hardcore wrestling fans will be dazzled by the in-ring feats Crews can pull off, while his good looks and charm will win over casual fans. The combination should make him one of the biggest breakout stars of the empty-arena era.

Jungle Boy

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    At 22, there are few wrestlers in the sport with as much upside as Jungle Boy. Jungle Boy's good looks and athleticism have made him one of the most popular talents on the AEW roster.

    Along with his tag team partners Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt, Jungle Boy has gone from a relative unknown when AEW formed in 2019 to one of the cornerstones of the brand's future.

    With AEW looking to make headway in the television ratings battle against NXT, Jungle Boy should be in line for a big push this summer. With a roster full of talented heels, both in the singles midcard division and the tag team division, now is his time to shine.

    As much as fans have come to love Jungle Boy as part of Jurassic Express, the team should go their separate ways. Each member has immense upside and would be better suited for a singles run.

                            

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