Throughout the past few years, WWE has made it a priority to sign the top talents from the independent scene. Whilst many of them have gone on to success a la Daniel Bryan and CM Punk, some have not made it as far others (see: Kassius Ohno/Chris Hero)
Recently though, WWE signed two of Japan’s top talents in Prince Devitt and KENTA, two universal names and with Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger appearing at an NXT show soon, WWE have stepped up their attempts to bring in names from around the world. Also with WWE Champion Seth Rollins and NXT General Manager William Regal appearing at a PWG show, anything is possible. So without further ado, here are ten wrestlers I believe WWE should sign to help cement their status even more as the best place for talent.
Marty Scurll is a name British wrestling fans will rejoice at. Born in Cambridge, originally starting as a clean cut wrestler known to many as ‘The Villain’ Marty Scurll, he travelled round the British scene going from company to company, before really making a name for himself on PROGRESS Wrestling’s debut show, going after then champion Nathan Cruz.
After teaming with Zack Sabre Jr. up and down the British wrestling scene, he finally got a break when he won Revolution Pro Wrestling’s British heavyweight championship. During his tenure as champion he defended the title against big names such as: Rocky Romero, Kevin Steen and Ricochet. He eventually lost the title to AJ Styles in June of this year.
A participant in PWG’s BOLA 2015, he is looking to break through into the American scene and get eyes on him this summer. His YouTube promo ‘An Introduction to The Villain’ helps prove his mic ability is better than good, and should be a name to think about.
Who could he feud with? – Kevin Owens, Adrian Neville, Finn Balor.
Zack Sabre Jr.
If Daniel Bryan doesn’t make it back from this injury, Zack Sabre Jr. should be the man to take his place. If he does come back (hopefully he does) then Zack Sabre Jr. should be the man he feuds with to bring proper technical wrestling back the company. Another British wrestler, Sabre Jr. has earned the respect of many fans worldwide after competing in most countries, and is surely on the cusp of breaking through and becoming a well known name.
Tremendous matches with the likes of El Generico (Sami Sayn) and Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) helped him on his way to NOAH, but it was his match with American Dragon (Daniel Bryan) back in 2008 that helped really show the world who he was. Still a rookie at the time, they wrestled a match of the year contender that is still talked about today – good luck finding the whole thing without the DVD though. Just last year he wrestled one of the better matches of 2014 with Shinsuke Nakamura for Revolution Pro Wrestling, and to help cap off a good year for him in which he also held the GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, he won Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s ‘Best Technical Wrestler’ award.
Surely a name on WWE’s list, it may not be long before we see him in a WWE ring. Imagine him getting Regal out of retirement with them two going hold for hold, wow.
Who could he feud with? – Daniel Bryan, Finn Balor, William Regal.
If you consider yourself a wrestling fan outside of WWE, and you don’t know this man, you’re not a fan. Shinsuke Nakamura is arguably the greatest thing going in wrestling recently, his cockiness and eccentric personality in and out of the ring have helped elevate this man to legendary status within the wrestling world, and it doesn’t seem as if he’s going to slow down any time soon.
The self-dubbed ‘King of Strong Style’ really is a once in a life time talent, the youngest IWGP Heavyweight Champion had one of the best debut years and found himself being called the ‘Super Rookie’. His brash style in the ring has earned him fans all over the globe, and he’s been a part of some classics, including his five-star match with Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom 9. Wrestling names such as Brock Lesnar and Kurt Angle, Nakamura has proved he can hang with the best in WWE. Winning both the ‘Most Charismatic’ and ‘Wrestler of the Year’ awards from Wrestling Observer in 2014, he’s on top of his game right now as it seems. Also, with Bryan stating he wanted to wrestle him on WWE’s recent Japan tour, his arrival in WWE may not be so far away.
Who could he feud with? – Daniel Bryan, Brock Lesnar, John Cena.
Another wrestler straight out of Japan, Kota Ibushi has been widely regarded as one of the best of recent years, and he has done nothing to prove otherwise. Wrestling right now for both DDT and NJPW, Ibushi is a favourite in Japan, and really round the world. One of the best high-fliers around, he can also kick harder than most men could ever dream of, and he has really blended the Lucha style with the Japanese one.
Spending most of his career in Japan, he did have a spell with Ring of Honor and during this time he faced off against the likes of Jay and Mark Briscoe and Davey Richards, this American exposure helped him a lot as he became more known, and his style more appreciated.
A 3 time winner of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and a show stealer everywhere he goes, Kota Ibushi is a Japanese wrestler the likes of which WWE has only seen masked (Ultimo Dragon), he could go a long way with the company. For a look at his show stealing spots, check the sequence he has with El Generico below.
Who could he feud with? – Sami Zayn, Hideo Itami, Cesaro.
Yes we recently saw the
Diva’s women’s revolution on Raw, but what would make it better? A woman who can compete with men. Yes we’ve seen it before with the likes of Lita hitting the Litacanrana to Christian, but since her the only woman who has had a memorable empowerment of men was Kharma in the Royal Rumble. Candice LeRae can hold her own with some of the best men in the business, and she’s even a former PWG tag team champion with Joey Ryan – beating the likes of The Addiction, The Young Bucks and The Inner City Machine Guns.
Candice LeRae is a phenomenal talent and WWE would be crazy not to sign her, she would bring a brash style to the woman’s division, and would be a perfect fit for either of the women’s teams to recruit. Or she could start her own, bringing up Bayley and Alexa Bliss when ready. The possibilities with Candice LeRae are endless, and many fans would love to see her in a WWE ring.
Who could she feud with? – Paige, Becky Lynch, any male of your choice.
One of ROH’s brightest stars, Adam Cole is amongst the top names in wrestling at the moment. Hot off the heels of a solid feud with Jay Briscoe, the internet has been a buzz for months with rumours of Cole signing with WWE. I personally believe a little more time on the Indy’s wouldn’t hurt him, but the thought of him challenging Balor for the NXT title is something dreams are made of.
Currently a member of The Kingdom, Cole is no stranger to being in a tag team or an alliance, teaming with Kyle O’Reilly, Eddie Edwards and also being part of the Mount – or Matt depending on who you ask – Rushmore of Wrestling with Kevin Steen (Kevin Owens) and the Young Bucks. PWG’s longest reigning world champion and former Ring of Honor world champion as well as winner of many other titles, Adam Cole has done almost everything there is to do on the independent scene – and he’s only 26. Signing him now would help him grow at a critical time in his career, but with signing a name like Prince Devitt when he’s in his 30’s it shows that leaving it for a while isn’t a bad idea. Oh yeah, he’s not too shabby when he speaks either.
Who could he feud with? – Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins.
Nick and Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks)
The Young Bucks. Nick and Matt Jackson. The hottest thing in professional wrestling right now. They steal the show all over the globe and put promotion’s on the map, there is no denying their talent unless your name is Jim Cornette. Not to forget, they’re also too sweet. Currently members of the Bullet Club, they have lit a fire every time step in the ring, with their amazing spots and just all round fantastic performances. Matches with reDRagon last year helped promote both NJPW and ROH as home of some of the world’s greatest talents, and they also showed the world what WWE’s tag team division is missing.
Facing just about every team you can think of – including both The Dudleyz and The Hardyz, they aren’t shy to facing legends, as they are already becoming legends in their own right. Coming up with great tag team spots including the Meltzer Driver and More Bang for Your Fuck, they have revolutionised tag team wrestling, especially with their regular Superkick Party’s – yes, in before The Uso’s did it.
Having won titles in pretty much every promotion they’ve been to, The Young Bucks need to be signed by WWE immediately before their price soars even more, rumours of them apparently turning down WWE contracts have circulated around the internet for many years now, but WWE should spare no expense in bringing the brother’s in. Also, in the mind of quite a few internet wrestling fans, their relationship with CM Punk on twitter could help bring him back to WWE (psssst…. It wouldn’t.)
Who could they feud with? – The Uso’s, Kidd and Cesaro, Blake and Murphy.
One half of reDRagon, O’Reilly is the younger of the two and therefore the one I chose. No disrespect to Bobby Fish though. A Ring of Honor staple since 2009, he is a now a global name in wrestling, not just in the tag team division, but also as a singles competitor, as pissed off Kyle O’Reilly is – and I quote – “the best damn competition money can buy”. A former BOLA winner and a former PWG world champion, he has proved himself there and also in NJPW, as he reached the final of the Best of the Super Juniors 2015, losing to Kushida.
As a technician he has shown great quality, but is also a pure striker, with kicks, knees and elbows flying almost every match. He has feuded with some of the independent scene’s greats both in tag and singles competition and like Adam Cole, has time on his side as he is only 28. Fans would love to see what this guy could produce in the ring with the likes of other ROH alumni, as well as homegrown talent.
A crowd pleaser wherever he goes, Kyle O’Reilly could prove to be a very good signing by WWE if they make the move.
Who could he feud with? – Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Tyler Breeze.
Technically a wrestler WWE signed before and assigned to Deep South Wrestling, Kenny Omega has grown a lot since 2006. Wrestling all over the world and adopting a new found persona out in Japan when he joined the Bullet Club, Omega is money. With his easily recognisable silver curly hair, ‘The Cleaner’ has made a name for himself in Japan. Upon signing with NJPW after his DDT contract had expired he said he isn’t a gaijin so would not align with Bullet Club, to do only that.
A focal point of PWG as well, he is one of the company’s most beloved wrestlers ever, wrestling in some of their best matches and also winning both BOLA and the PWG world championship. His memorable partnership with Chuck Taylor and feud with El Generico & Colt Cabana is something PWG fans remember and love very fondly. He can be a comedic character or a very serious one, but make no mistake about it, Kenny Omega is a world class talent.
You can see his love for video games through everything he does, from how he carries himself, to how he looks (he has drawn comparisons to Snake from MGS) even the moves he does – he uses a Hadouken! No more is really needed to be said.
WWE dropped the ball with Kenny Omega the first time around, and they would be lucky to sign him again, if they do I’m sure he would be treated like all the new international stars brought in.
Who could he feud with? – Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, John Cena.
So there it is, my opinions on who WWE should sign. I’m sure not everyone will agree – I expect people to be thinking “Where is AJ Styles? Where is Austin Aries?” But I don’t believe they’re needed like the names on this list are needed.
Do you agree with this list? Anybody you think should be on it instead? Please let me know in the comments below.