It’s Summerslam season and that means we’re getting into one of the more entertaining times of the year. There’s a lot of stuff going on with the card already as we have a major match for the Universal Title, a good chance of either John Cena or Shinsuke Nakamura taking the Smackdown World Title from Jinder Mahal and the possibility of a UFC Champion showing up to face Becky Lynch in what could be a very cool crossover match. However, we’re not talking about any of that today.

No instead we’re going to be talking about a lot of people who very well might not make the “Summerslam 2017” card. That card is set for people who are the top stars in WWE and while that’s all well and good, there’s a large group of people who are being featured on television but won’t get a spot on the show. Those people might be on the show in later years though and that’s what we’re going to look at today.

WWE has quite the crop of young talent who might not get the recognition that they deserve. While some of these names very well may wind up on the card, today we’re going to look at some of the names on the WWE roster that I think have an important future or at least a lot of potential.

Note that I am NOT saying these are going to be the top stars of the company or that they won’t be on the pay per view. These are just people who I think something of and that I see something in. There aren’t going to be any strict qualifications here, other than it being someone either in WWE (or NXT) who haven’t been pushed as a top star on whatever level they may be on. Some of these are going to be stretches and some of them are going to be layups but this is hardly meant to be some scientific study.

These are in no particular order.


We’ll start off with one who might not be the biggest surprise given that she’s holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. Carmella is a longer form project as WWE has to mold her from the ground up. She already has the basic character down as the loudmouth from Long Island and that’s going to take her a long way.

I see a lot of potential in Carmella as she’s getting better in the ring and has the look that makes you want to hate her in a hurry. Let her go out there, win the title and brag about how much people want to see her lose. It’s not exactly the Honky Tonk Man but she’s the kind of character that you want to hate, which is a lot better than sitting around watching the match while sitting on your hands.

Carmella & Ellsworth address the Women's Money in the Bank Match: SmackDown LIVE, June 20, 2017

Cedric Alexander

Every week I watch “205 Live” and I have no idea why Alexander is stuck in the nothing roles he’s been toiling in for months now. He’s one of the more talented members of the roster and while he might not be the flashiest (we might have found the problem), he’s one of the most consistently over wrestlers on the show’s roster. His matches are good and his promos are fine and I’d be surprised if he didn’t get moved up the ladder fairly soon.

At the moment, Neville is feuding with Akira Tozawa over the Cruiserweight Title. Assuming Tozawa comes up short at “Summerslam 2017”, I could easily see Alexander sliding into the spot. After all the flashy challengers that have come after the title, it would make sense to throw someone a bit more basic like Alexander at Neville. Alexander could be seen as an easy win for Neville who then wins the title in a surprise. Just let Alexander show what he can do, which WWE seems to recognize.


Is that what they’re calling him now? The former Drifter and the former Mr. Samson is being protected more than almost anyone you see come into WWE these days. While he never was much on the NXT roster, he’s certainly moving up on the main roster’s radar. Just last week he defeated Finn Balor and he’s already defeated Dean Ambrose twice. Sure there were some shenanigans involved but how many people would lose despite those shenanigans?

Elias is a rare case where it seems that WWE is going out of their way to protect him. I have no idea how far he can take it or how far WWE is going to allow him to take it but the fact that he’s beaten two former World Champions in his first few months on the roster tells me WWE sees something in him. Maybe he’s got something special inside him and if that’s the case, good for us.

Finn Bálor vs. Elias Samson: Raw, July 17, 2017

Big Cass

Not this one might be a stretch as he’s certainly in the middle of a push and was already part of a very popular team with Enzo Amore. That being said, I’ve long since thought the sky was the limit for Big Cass as he’s got a great look with a natural gift that, as the saying goes, you can’t teach.

If there’s one thing Vince McMahon knows how to do, it’s push the heck of a big man who has some athleticism to back it up. Big Cass might not be the best talker yet but if you can put him with someone who can do the talking for him (or just keep his talking short), he’s going to be a major asset for WWE for a long time to come. You can make quite the career out of being tall and kicking people in the face and Big Cass has proven he can do those things quite well. What more can he need?

Johnny Gargano

We’ll stick with the theme of a tag team splitting up and seeing which member has the real potential. Now in this case it’s a bit difficult to tell as Tommaso Ciampa is going to be out of action for several more months, but that leaves Gargano on his own to showcase himself. We’ve already seen what he can do in a tag team and there’s a very good chance that he’ll be just as awesome as a singles wrestler.

Gargano is someone who has all the natural talents to be a force in the WWE. If nothing else, imagine him answering an open challenge from Neville for the Cruiserweight Title. There’s an inherent set of skills in Gargano that have shown themselves since the day he debuted and I see no reason why he won’t be incredibly successful without Ciampa. If nothing else, you can’t go wrong with a name as awesome as Johnny Wrestling.

Johnny Gargano needs to be Johnny Wrestling again: WWE NXT, July 12, 2017

Apollo Crews

Speaking of guys with natural talents, Crews might be one of the most athletic members of the WWE roster in a long time. He’s as strong as an ox and can fly around like any cruiserweight on the roster. Couple that with a great build and there’s no reason he can’t be a big star. Well save for the lack of any real kind of a character or a personality.

However, that’s the kind of thing that can be fixed. Unfortunately it might best be fixed by a return trip to NXT. Crews wasn’t down there long in the first place and he seems like a case of “hey look at this guy” and then he was brought up. Let him have some actual time to grow and figure out how to work with the amazing physical gifts that he has. Imagine the possibilities if there’s something added to what he already has.

Aleister Black

Of all the people on this list, Black might have the most potential. There’s something very cool about the whole darkness motif and the fact that he can kick your head off with the best of them works like a charm. His entrance is him rising out of a coffin, which feels like something Undertaker should have done at some point.

That gimmick and style alone should get him a push but it’s clear that WWE has bigger plans for him. He’s being treated like a major player in NXT and I could easily see him getting a major push in the near future. Either Drew McIntyre or Bobby Roode will be leaving “Takeover: Brooklyn” with the NXT Title. Whoever wins is going to need a challenger and I could very easily see Black getting that shot at some point down the line.

Footage shows Hideo Itami trying to jump Aleister Black in the parking lot: Exclusive, Aug. 2, 2017

Ruby Riot

We’ll stay in NXT at the moment with this one. Riot won me over with a single match against Ember Moon a few weeks back. Moon won the match but Riot came off looking like a star whose time just hadn’t come yet. She had some really strong energy and felt like someone who was going to be a big deal in a short while, possibly as soon as Moon wins the title.

Riot has been a big deal on the indy scene for a long time now, especially under her old moniker of Heidi Lovelace. The women’s division is going to get a lot more interesting when Asuka moves up to the main roster full time (which you have to expect soon after “Summerslam 2017” and Riot could become a major player in a hurry.

Chad Gable

I had this one on the list before this week’s “Smackdown Live” started and then there was that match with Rusev. Gable looked great in one of his biggest singles outings to date and that’s a very positive sign for his future. There’s something about being n incredibly talented amateur wrestler that is always going to work in professional wrestling and the fact that he can back it up on the microphone should do him wonders.

Gable was the piece that Jason Jordan needed to really take off and the question now is can he do that on his own. There’s no reason to believe that he can’t but he doesn’t have a track record as a singles wrestler yet, meaning it’s really hard to tell what we’re getting. If Tuesday is any indication though, he’s going to be just fine.

Chad Gable answers Kevin Owens' New Face of America Open Challenge: SmackDown LIVE, June 20, 2017

Killian Dain

Sometimes you just need a big monster and that’s what you have with Dain. He looks like a grizzly bear that’s been half turned into a human and has the athleticism to back it up. Once he breaks away from Sanity and is turned into a monster heel, he could really cause some havoc for some people in NXT. He’s already had a good match against Drew McIntyre so who knows how high he can go.

Much like Big Cass, McMahon knows EXACTLY how to push someone like Dain (see also Braun Strowman). He has a great name, a great look, and some potential as WWE has already put him in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. That suggests that they see something in him and it’s really not hard to see why.

Aiden English

English wasn’t originally on my list but then he beat Sami Zayn completely clean in the middle of the ring on “Smackdown Live”. About three months ago I would have thought about the same thing about Jinder Mahal but WWE has shown that they’re considering throwing someone in way over their heads and seeing how well they can swim. Why not do the same with English?

The singing gimmick might not be much but it’s something for English to do. If he can go somewhere as a result, maybe there’s something there for him in the future. Even if that just means midcard job security, it’s certainly better than anything else he’s been doing as it’s not like the Vaudevillains were setting the world on fire. Let’s see what he can do.

Sami Zayn vs. Aiden English: SmackDown LIVE, Aug. 1, 2017

Again, I’m not saying these people are all going to headline Wrestlemania one day but it’s still cool to see what these people can do when they’re given the chance. It’s not like WWE doesn’t have room for the talent so maybe there’s something for them to do. Wouldn’t you have said that Mahal had no future just a few months back? If he can do it, why can’t these people too?


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