Who Will Be WWE's Next Megastar After Roman Reigns?August 15, 2021
Who Will Be WWE's Next Megastar After Roman Reigns?
WWE is a business that goes beyond professional wrestling. It is sports entertainment, built on the idea that its Superstars can be stars who stand above the rest of the brand. However, few make that leap.
The Rock, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, John Cena and Bret Hart are among those who have managed to find success that transcends their counterparts. They became megastars.
The latest wrestler to break through that ceiling is Roman Reigns. While he has not quite hit the true mainstream, he is the biggest act in wrestling, able to stand next to John Cena at the peak of The Champ's mainstream Hollywood rise.
It is likely the WWE universal champion will stand at that peak for a while longer, but eventually everything will shift again. A new star will step up, especially if Reigns can pull off a move to Hollywood like Cena or his cousin The Rock.
While Reigns' success seems assured, there are plenty of other wrestlers who could be the next to make that leap. To do so, they will need to both shine in WWE and outside of it. Let's take a look at a few who could be the next megastar for WWE.
While no one on this list is ready to make the leap in the near future, these are wrestlers who have the feel of major stars in the making.
While Damian Priest's age may limit his ability to run for a while in WWE, he has all the tools to be a star who can help WWE connect to a wider audience.
The 38-year-old has a striking size and presence, a Hollywood look and a distinctive voice. He just needs the right opportunity, which may still be a couple of years away.
Bianca Belair has made her mark quickly in WWE. She is immensely talented, and her athleticism makes her stand out like many well-known Olympians. Few can match the sheer energy she can bring to a crowd with her work.
With some refinement of her mic skills, the 32-year-old could well become something WWE rarely finds: a true multimedia Superstar who represents a unique branch to a community the company has ignored.
Of everyone on this list, Sasha Banks has the biggest in for the future. After appearing in several episodes of The Mandalorian as Koska Reeves, she has become known to a wider audience, but one role does not always translate to greater success.
Many wrestlers have made cameo appearances in shows over the years. Most play versions of their in-ring characters, though, and Banks was allowed to embody a unique role without any need for overacting.
While the women's division continually evolves, Banks remains a rare talent who can instantly add the spotlight to any story. She and Bayley carried WWE through the early pandemic months, and The Boss often got the majority of credit for it. She has the charisma to become a rare multimedia star.
The Boss is also helped by association. Her cousin is Snoop Dogg, who has promoted her at several points and could be the final push she needs to become a household name inside and outside WWE.
She is already a well-known and beloved star, but the final step has eluded her at many times. She is 29, though, with a chance to truly shine soon enough.
It wasn't long ago that Becky Lynch stood at the top of WWE after winning in the main event of WrestleMania 35. It was a special moment, carried by arguably the biggest star in the history of women's wrestling.
While others can make a claim to that title, from Trish Stratus to Ronda Rousey, The Man is a pure pro wrestler who transcended WWE.
When she returns to action following her pregnancy, she will likely be more over than ever. Fans have chanted for her since the moment WWE returned to the road. She is the talk of the town at every major pay-per-view, even when the company has leading women such as Charlotte Flair performing.
Just as the pandemic hit full swing, there was a rumor circling that Marvel Entertainment had already cast Lynch for a major movie role, according to Kris Tapley of Netflix (h/t Rick Ucchino of SportsKeeda). It's unclear whether this was true given all Marvel movies have been delayed since the rumor, but it is believable.
The Man is arguably already a mainstream star, with or without a Marvel appearance. She could well be the rare star to work in WWE and act in Hollywood at the same time, making her the type of talent many may know without even recognizing her as a wrestler.
Her partner, Seth Rollins, is a top star for WWE, but he's not the type of talent to translate beyond sports entertainment. He could find himself echoing the journey of his SummerSlam opponent, Edge, with a smattering of TV roles to keep him happy outside of the squared circle.
Drew McIntyre had to leave WWE to find his focus but returned to become one of the company's biggest names.
Mainstream stardom does not come simply from success under Vince McMahon and Co., though. Since his WWE Championship reign, the Scot has struggled to keep the fans behind him, although this should not take away from his natural charisma and talent.
McIntyre is a quintessential WWE wrestler in appearance and presence. He's got the height and build that the company craves while also carrying himself with confidence in and out of the ring.
He's got the look of someone people would pay attention to, even if they had never seen him before. Give him the right opportunity, and he will thrive. He just needs someone to give him that chance.
While he may struggle to transcend WWE, he should have plenty of opportunities. What matters is to get his name and face out there. He needs to be allowed to present himself in ways that catch the attention of everyone.
One obvious answer would be commercial opportunities. It also wouldn't hurt if he moved to SmackDown and began a feud with Roman Reigns that ends up taking the world by storm.
Is there a more promising star right now than Big E? It seems silly to say of a 35-year-old who signed with WWE back in 2009, but E is WWE's fastest-rising star.
He built up a legacy with The New Day that will live on. When the time came for him to branch out on his own, he took that chance by storm. He became one of WWE's top stars.
He is a powerlifter with the unique physique to stand out in WWE. He has infectious charisma that lights up a room. He has built a rapport with wrestlers as a locker room leader and a fan favorite.
Everything about E screams star. The question with him has always related to whether he can be taken seriously. His best work has been comedic, and such wrestlers are rarely treated with the same reverence as dramatic wrestlers.
However, The Powerhouse of Positivity has shown enough to believe he can make the largest leap of anyone on this list. He could be the one to transcend WWE as the kind of star who headlines shows and appears at major red carpet events. He can be the symbol of WWE's commitment to a bright future.
All that matters is that he gets a chance to do just that. As Mr. Money in the Bank, he is close to breaking through the glass ceiling.