Which WWE Star Could Fill the Role of Viral Sensation Like AEW's Orange Cassidy?
As much as most companies would love to create a viral sensation, it's something that has to happen organically. Only the people on social media can decide if they are going to throw their weight behind someone to make them a star.
All Elite Wrestling found one of these people in Orange Cassidy. On paper, his gimmick doesn't seem like it would work in a million years. He's a guy who barely speaks, wears mostly denim and gives unenthusiastic reactions to almost everything.
Somehow, this goofy Superstar won over the hearts and minds of wrestling fans to become one of AEW's breakout stars. His popularity has earned him a feud with Chris Jericho and given him more screen time in recent months than some of the company's champions.
Every couple of years, someone new comes along who wins over the internet wrestling community in a big way. It can't be forced. That kind of support has to be earned and many have been able to do it in different ways.
The Hardy Boys did it with The Hardy Show, Matt Cardona did it with Z! True Long Island Story, Daniel Bryan did it with The Yes Movement and his partnership with Kane, and R-Truth did it by embracing his comedic side and introducing the world to Little Jimmy.
Timing, the right character and the right storyline are necessary ingredients for creating a viral star. Let's look at which main roster and NXT stars have the capability of being to WWE what Cassidy has been to AEW.
Dexter Lumis has become one of the most intriguing Superstars in NXT, but a few unfortunate injuries have prevented him from gaining the kind of momentum he needs to become a big star.
Defining his character is difficult. He is quiet but violent, artistic but brutal. He can intimidate the entire Undisputed Era with one simple look and a twitch of his perfectly groomed mustache.
Lumis has the potential to be a huge star if WWE continues allowing him to create an aura of mystery. If we never truly understand him, we can't force him to be something else.
His ability to do more with less is one of his best traits. Being able to control a crowd without speaking or making a lot of facial expressions is an art form in itself.
If he can stay healthy when he returns from his current hiatus, Lumis might just become one of the biggest stars in NXT. All WWE needs to do is resist the urge to force a connection with the crowd and let it happen naturally.
WWE has a ton of unique and talented women on the roster. Between Raw, SmackDown, NXT and NXT UK, it might just have the best women's division in the world.
If you put all of them in a line, one of those who would stand out most is Shotzi Blackheart, which is why she is capable of being somebody the crowd throws its support behind.
Her green hair, tattoos and colorful attire pull you in, her horned helmet and mini-tank add to her unique character, and her risk-taking style in the ring makes people want to see more of her.
Before WWE began using the Thunderdome, Blackheart was almost always shown on camera during other people's entrances because she was always marking out like a regular fan for her favorite wrestlers. Whoever was controlling the show was smart to focus on her for those few seconds because her enthusiasm is infectious.
Blackheart has a decent following already but if WWE lets her be herself, she will continue gaining popularity at a steady rate until she is the most popular star on the roster.
Flash Morgan Webster
For those who aren't familiar with the term, "mod" is a subculture that emerged in England in the late 1950s and early '60s that is still embraced by many today.
To sum it up quickly, much of being a mod revolves around a specific style of clothing, music and transportation. As an example, The Who and The Jam are favored bands for members of the movement.
There's a lot more to it than just personal taste, but in order to avoid going into politics and class structures, we are just talking about it as a style here.
Flash Morgan Webster represents this culture in NXT UK to the point that he has earned the nickname "The Modfather."
The 30-year-old has only had a few opportunities to perform for WWE outside of the UK division, so a lot of fans still don't know much about him.
Believe it or not, this works in WWE's favor. If the company decided to throw its weight behind Webster and bring him to the U.S. to perform on Raw, SmackDown or NXT, there is a good chance he would get over in a big way.
The Welshman is a gifted performer who understands his gimmick better than anyone. If management gave him a bit of creative freedom, social media would embrace him immediately.
Cameron Grimes may resemble a side character in Red Dead Redemption, but he has quickly earned the respect of fans with his ability in the ring.
His gimmick is just strange enough to set him apart from the crowd but not too weird for the WWE Universe to embrace. He's the perfect mix of believable and unbelievable.
His performance at NXT TakeOver XXX was outstanding. Even though he did not leave the ladder match with the North American Championship, he had an impressive showing.
His character is the kind that will either be a huge success or a massive failure. The WWE Universe is fickle when it comes to which characters it chooses to support. If somebody goes too far with a gimmick, it can spell disaster.
However, Grimes seems to have the drive and enough understanding of who his character is to have a long and fruitful career.
One person on the NXT roster who already knows a thing or two about being a viral sensation is Kacy Catanzaro. She became an inspiration to girls around the world when she became the first woman to make it up the warped wall in qualifiers and finish the 2014 Dallas city finals course on American Ninja Warrior.
She blazed a trail that has seen many others follow to set new records on the course. Her natural athletic ability and gymnastics skills made her a perfect fit for pro wrestling.
Her small stature gives her an underdog quality similar to that of Rey Mysterio. People always underestimate her so they never see it coming when she whoops them with a few quick moves.
She is still training and learning but when the time is right to give her a big push, Catanzaro could become a huge hit with the WWE Universe.
Who do you think is capable of being WWE's next big viral star?