Create-a-Wrestler: Picking WWE, AEW Star Attributes to Create Ultimate Superstar
Every wrestling company is looking for the next big star but often need to settle for a collaborative effort and bring together the best elements of a variety of names to make the product better.
Roman Reigns is a star, but he cannot be a spectacle all alone. He does not have the power of Cesaro or the mic skills of The Miz. He is outshone in certain areas, which allows others to step up to make the product as a whole better.
All Elite Wrestling takes this idea seriously. It never feels like there is just one great performer but rather a cast of great characters. CM Punk draws the most crowd reaction, Bryan Danielson is the technical wizard and Rey Fenix flies like no one else.
Everyone plays their part, but every promotion will still be looking for close to the perfect wrestler with the ideal combination of speed, power, presence and mic skills.
For the sake of an experiment, let's draw from the WWE and AEW rosters to craft the ideal star, one who could do everything at the highest level.
Charisma: CM Punk
When CM Punk made his AEW debut in August, the crowd's reaction in Chicago was one of the most thunderous in wrestling history. Ever since, he has had the fans wrapped around his finger, getting the loudest reactions at the company's shows.
While he is one of the best mic workers in AEW, he controls the audience before he even says a word. The Best in the World is a special talent whose return to wrestling has brought back a level of excitement that could not be matched by anyone else.
Honorable Mention: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho has always been one of the most charismatic performers in the industry. He can get anything over, changing his gimmick to fit his situation.
He has not only sold entire AEW crowds on singing his entrance theme, "Judas", but he has also started a movement in the company, with the audience singing the themes of the most popular stars.
Mic Skills: The Miz
While many might look down on The Miz, he has always delivered in whatever situation he is placed in. He can play the comedic heel, the cocky top villain and the impassioned babyface.
When he is allowed to let go on his own, The A-Lister has a fiery delivery that no one can match. His unscripted promos on Talking Smack were among the best of the modern era.
That versatility is only held back by WWE's insistence on scripting him too heavily, yet it is still impressive what Miz can do when he is told to get over something as bizarre as a drip stick.
Honorable Mention: Samoa Joe
When Samoa Joe speaks, everyone listens. Few in wrestling have delivered with the legitimacy he has with every promo. While he has always been talented in the ring, it's his mic work that makes him feel dangerous even as his body slows him down.
The 42-year-old moved into a commentary role and immediately fit in because his focus has always been to bring legitimacy to wrestling. This quality translates whether he is a face, heel or a commentator putting over others.
Technical Acumen: Bryan Danielson
"Best in the world" is a line thrown around a lot, but few fit it better than Bryan Danielson. His 2021 was already memorable before he left WWE, but his run in AEW has showcased his unmatched brutality in the ring.
He makes every submission move look lethal. His strikes are used to enhance the sense that he is there to hurt people. For years, he has impressed and inspired with his unmatched technical prowess, and he is still arguably the best in the business.
At this point, it is more of a question on where he will end up on the all-time list of wrestlers when he retires.
Honorable Mention: Asuka
While Asuka is out of action, it can be hard to remember how fluid she can be in the ring. She is a transcendent talent who is not only the best female wrestlers on either promotion's roster but also one of the best in WWE.
The way she transitions to various technical submissions, combined with her sharp mind in the ring, makes her the type of talent everyone should strive to emulate.
Pound-for-pound, Cesaro is the strongest man in wrestling. He can effortlessly throw around huge opponents. While he has been held back by a WWE system that does not see him as a star, there is no doubt his strength is his greatest asset.
He can pull off feats that most men his size (6'5") could not. It is never surprising that The Swiss Superman is such a fast and strong force in the ring that almost everyone aspires to his level of intensity.
Honorable Mention: Bobby Lashley
Bobby Lashley is a legit dangerous fighter. He left WWE and entered the MMA arena, winning with an impressive 15 contests and suffering only two losses. He has mounds of muscle and can dominate anyone.
That strength has been shown all the more in his second run with WWE, where he has the power and force to dominate anyone. No one would legitimately want to fight The All Mighty, who even makes a Full Nelson look dangerous.
Speed/High-Flying: Rey Fenix
Rey Mysterio is the greatest luchador of all time, but another Rey has taken his place as the best high-flyer in the business.
Rey Fenix effortlessly flies off the ropes as though they were trampolines and moves with an almost unreal speed.
The AEW tag team champion, alongside Penta El Zero M, has made the most of his speed and fluid movement to consistently feature on television. He works well with anyone and makes even his best competitors look slow in comparison.
It is unbelievable what Fenix can do on the move. No one can match him for agility.
Honorable Mention: Montez Ford
Montez Ford is the closest anyone can get to matching Fenix's unique ability to fly off the ropes. He has an preternatural ability to jump that defies gravity. In an era when certain performers can fly like no one before, he makes even the simplest moves look impressive.
He has not gotten much of a chance to show the full scope of his incredible agility yet, but he will be unleashed one day to show off as an individual in a major spotlight.
Star Power/Presence: Roman Reigns
No one has felt bigger and more important to WWE than Roman Reigns over the past year. The Head of the Table has committed to a heel role that has allowed him to dominate in the ring and on the mic.
However, unlike other dominant forces in WWE such as Brock Lesnar or Goldberg, he doesn't speed through his performances. He takes his time in each match, working with opponents as varied as Kevin Owens, Jey Uso and Edge to tell a complete story.
The way he pulls this off is by balancing his own presentation, and it's believable that he is unstoppable. You know you're looking at the best in the business when Reigns arrives.
Honorable Mention: Becky Lynch
Women's wrestling has often been marginalized in a variety of ways, but all it takes is one woman to change the perspective. Becky Lynch is a star among stars. She is the elevating force of a division that has never been as celebrated as it is now.
Big Time Becks is a star in every sense of the word, and WWE knows it. She is treated with the same reverence as Reigns, Lesnar and John Cena. It is clear why when she enters a ring—her presence alone defines her as the woman to beat.