Pro Wrestling

10 WWE Superstars Most Likely To Break Out In 2016;jsessionid=6C93437F69919D964C4824A89E5C1C70?r40_r1_r1:page=2 Source:

With a new year dawning, and a new Road to WrestleMania in the offing, it’s time to look at some Superstars who may have flown under the radar and could be poised for big things in the year to come. Some of them are fresh faces just waiting for an opportunity, and some are reliable veterans looking for one more chance to impress, but they all have qualities that suggest that WWE would be foolish not to give them all a shot at trying to become big stars in the months ahead.

10. Titus O’Neil

If Titus O’Neil could wrestle, he’d probably be a champion of some sort right now. He’s an incredible talker, a larger than life personality, and a great source of good PR for the company with all his selfless charity work. Unfortunately, he hasn’t been able to put it all together on a consistent basis, and combined with his relatively advanced age for a wrestler, there is some worry that Titus has simply missed his opportunity. However, his work with Stardust late in the year, combined with increasing visibility on the media side of WWE, suggests that they’re setting up to give Titus at least one more proverbial kick at the can in 2016, one that is well-deserved. And if he just can make it work in the ring, could we make a personal request that somebody try him out for a full-time position at a commentary desk? That voice should simply not be silenced for long. Source:

9. Stardust

It’s been strange to watch Stardust develop into such an incredible character, while simultaneously being given less and less success as a wrestler. You would think that the guy hand-picked to face a reasonably popular celebrity in a feature match at SummerSlam would have a strong year, but aside from that bright spot, there wasn’t much for the former Cody Rhodes to brag about, as losses mounted and potential opponents disappeared (both a WrestleMania feud with Goldust and a recent fledgling confrontation with Cesaro were snuffed out for various reasons). It’s almost as if the character is so incredible, that WWE knows they want to use it in something, but they’re not sure yet, and they don’t want to keep him off TV. That would seem to bode well for Stardust’s future, and as his family history will show, not even crazy gimmicks or losing streaks can keep a Rhodes family member down for long. At the very least, hopefully the rumors of a rematch with the Green Arrow prove true, and Stardust gets another chance at a high-profile match at a big Pay Per View. Source:

8. Cesaro

We have to put Cesaro on here, because we have to continue to hope that, at some point, Vince McMahon will realize that he’s the only one who thinks there’s something missing about the Swiss Superman and see instead the wrestler who should be one of the pillars of the company going forward. Sure, he’ll probably never be John Cena, but we’d settle for the same position as Randy Orton. Heck, Cesaro’s already got the chiseled physique and good looks, and he looks way better in a suit that Orton ever did during his Evolution days (which probably explains why Orton has never worn pants since he left the group). There were signs that Cesaro’s influence was rising, as he was put into the position of making Roman Reigns look good in his last match before a shoulder injury sidelined him, but hopefully the time off hasn’t hurt his momentum. But if Cesaro can come back and keep wrestling incredible matches, he’ll have to force WWE’s hand at some point. Source:

7. Rusev

After dominating his way through 2013, Rusev fell on hard times in 2014, but we already covered that, at length, and you can’t make us do it again. The good news is that’s all in the rear view mirror, and once Rusev rids himself of the dead weight of the League of Nations (which is pretty much one or two more Roman Reigns appearances from happening, so any day now), he should be able to go back to doing what he did best, and that’s crushing people. Now that he’s had the undefeated streak following his debut and the now-traditional de-push afterwards (with extra punishment for his engagement getting outed on TMZ), Rusev can resume being what he is, a pretty good wrestler with a marketable gimmick that should be a perpetual threat in title scenes going forward. If they can build him back up fast enough, we wouldn’t be against him being a future opponent for WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns (if you don’t think he’s going to be champion for most of 2015, we’ve got news for you). Source:

6. Tyler Breeze

The King of Cuteville got off to a fairly mediocre start in WWE, but Triple H has assured us many times that they don’t bring talent up from NXT without a plan. Whatever that plan for Breeze might be, it’s safe to say we haven’t seen yet, but the first step might be the amicable separation of Breeze and Summer Rae, which took place on the last Smackdown of 2015. Breeze doesn’t need a manager or valet, and his only love interest is himself, so Summer Rae’s presence at his side always felt fairly unnecessary. Now that Breeze is on his own once again, he’s free to do the things that made his act one of the best in NXT over the past couple of years. We’d expect and hope to see Breeze get his first taste of WWE gold in 2016, and at least some chance to show what he can do. If he’s smart (and there’s every indication that he is), he can avoid becoming an updated version of Fandango, and see some real success over the next year. Source:

5. The Miz

We probably speak for a lot of people when we say that we don’t care if Miz ever wrestles again. But it’s almost a shame that his charisma and undeniable talent for being a delusional fake movie star is going to waste in meaningless “Miz TV” segments. Miz needs an expanded role somewhere, and hopefully he’ll find it as a potential “director” for Neville, because the Miz needs a “straight man” to bounce his irritating personality off of at all times. Like it or not, Miz is actually telling the truth when he says that his ability to be annoying as possible helped the WWE careers of Daniel Bryan and Damien Sandow (and even the departed John Morrison) when he was paired with them, and he can probably do the same for Neville. In 2016, Miz needs an even bigger spotlight and more time to shine, and it looks like we might get want we want in this case. Source:

4. Luke Harper

WWE did a halfhearted attempt at a Luke Harper singles run last year, following the inexplicable break-up of the Wyatt Family. Harper did well with what he was given, but there was never a sense that WWE was fully invested in him as a singles competitor, and Harper was returned to the Family at the first opportunity. However, the Wyatt clan continues to struggle with remaining relevant, and as the only non-sheep member of Bray’s flock, Harper seems the most likely to get fed up and strike out on his own again. It doesn’t hurt that Harper is secretly one of the best “big man” wrestlers in the industry, which is almost certainly why he was chosen as Bray’s tag partner against Kane and the Undertaker at Survivor Series, instead of the mammoth but incredibly green Strowman. Shaking off the cult mentality and possibly returning to his roots as a big, scary redneck could finally allow Harper to establish his own identity in WWE, and cut some promos without the specter of Bray Wyatt behind him. Source:

3. Sasha Banks

It’s hard to justify saying that somebody who was in several of the absolute best matches in WWE in 2015 could possibly “break out” even further, but since her arrival from NXT, Sasha Banks has done a whole bunch of not much on the main roster. But with the teams of the Divas Revolution falling apart and Sasha quietly assuming the dominant position in her own stable, she is poised to once again make her presence felt, this time on the big stage. Sasha has been largely protected while remaining off to the side from the main story lines in the Divas division, and you have to imagine that WWE is just waiting for the right time for Sasha to assert herself. There’s a definite feeling that title matches, and title victories, are going to be coming The Boss’s way in the next year. Source:

2. Big E

We don’t want to alarm you, but someday, the New Day will cease to exist. It’s just a sad fact of life, really. And when that tragic day comes, we see Big E as the member who could see his stock rise the highest in the aftermath. Xavier Woods has established himself as an incredibly special talent, but he’s best used as a talker and less as a wrestler (he’s still a good wrestler, though, don’t get us wrong). Meanwhile, the window on Kofi Kingston’s main event dreams was thought to have closed long ago, and while his part in the New Day has brought his stock back up, it’s possible that he’s moved past the times where he’ll get those sort of opportunities. Big E, meanwhile, has improved in leaps and bounds as a performer, and was a talent WWE was already high on when he started in WWE (people often forget, he was an NXT Champion). When the inevitable happens and New Day go their separate ways, don’t be surprised if Big E gets some kind of rocket strapped to him as a result. Source:

1. Kalisto

The fact that WWE, for all their claims that they’re desperate for a new Latino star to capture that demographic, hasn’t simply turned Kalisto into the new Rey Mysterio by now is mind-boggling, with the only possible explanation being that they were waiting to make sure that Rey himself really, really didn’t want to come back (a two-year deal with Lucha Underground appears to have shut that door). As 2015 drew to a close, Kalisto and The Lucha Dragons became a bigger part of the tag title scene, and eyes have begun to open about this talented luchador. His incredible stunt at TLC put the spotlight squarely on him, and we’re pretty sure it also woke up WWE to the potential dollar signs that could come from him in the future. With Sin Cara suffering another injury that could keep him sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time, it’s a perfect opportunity to give Kalisto a test run as a credible singles competitor. His size shouldn’t be an issue, after all, Rey did all the heavy lifting to show what tiny masked men can do when properly motivated. WWE may yet regret re-signing Alberto Del Rio to another big money contract, but with Kalisto, the potential is there to turn the Del Rio investment into a drop in the bucket.;jsessionid=6C93437F69919D964C4824A89E5C1C70?r40_r1_r1:page=2 Source:
Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle

Stephen Randle is an avid wrestling and film fan. He's been writing about WWE, movies, and video games for Goliath since 2015.