Ask PWTorch ASK THE SPECIALISTS ROUNDTABLE: Who will be WWE's Next Top Star?
Apr 24, 2015 - 9:07:59 AM
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The "Ask the Specialists" Roundtable is the latest spin-off from the "Ask the Torch" feature. CSI led to CSI: New York and CSI: Miami, which is where you'll find the Specialists tackling a regular topic submitted by PWTorch readers to email@example.com.
Ask the Specialists Roundtable #79
- Question from Jeff in Michigan: Five or six years from now who will be the top guy to replace John Cena? Will it be Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, or someone else?
- "Hits & Misses" Jon Mezzera responds: Unfortunately, I forgot my crystal ball in my other pants. It won't be Ambrose. He is too eccentric (that's the best word I can come up with) to be THE top guy. He will likely be a big star for the next five years, but I don't think he will ever be the biggest star. Reigns has a chance. If he improves and finds a way to reconnect with the audience (who were behind him as a mid-card act before abandoning him at The Royal Rumble as his push came way too quickly and was at the expense of Daniel Bryan), and maybe goes through a heel turn, he has a chance to become that top star. I'm sure nothing would make Vince McMahon happier.
I'd love to say someone like Sami Zayn or Hideo Itami, but they just aren't going to be what McMahon looks for in the top guy. Rollins is the closest now, and he can make a good babyface some day, so he is maybe the most likely. But, it is just very hard to tell.
- "Common Fan" Jimmy Eaton (@TheCommonFan) responds: Good question, Jeff, and your guess is as good as mine. I thought Ambrose was really hot about six months back or so before the plug was pulled and he was lost in the shuffle of the mid-card post-Rollins feud. Right now Rollins is on track, yet Reigns is what the brass want. His feud with the Big Show may be a blessing going forward, but it could very well be any of those three, or someone else.
I love the NXT roster and guys like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, but they're a long shot. Some others from the heel side that have some longevity would be Bray Wyatt and Rusev in my eyes, pending how protected they are. Kane could also be the face of the company. Isn't he already now after his dozen Raw segments?
- "Mr. TV" Justin James (@Justin_M_James) responds: Reigns and Rollins can definitely be there. Daniel Bryan can do it if he stays healthy and WWE finally gets behind him for real. Sami Zayn in NXT is the absolutely best pick to replace Cena as a pure babyface. His ability to emotionally connect to the audience in an unforced manner combined with a wrestling ability on par with Rollins or Bryan. If I were WWE, I'd marinate Zayn in NXT until he's aged like fine wine and bring him in at the right time to replace Cena.
- "Showstopper" Shawn Valentino responds: Thank you for your question, Jeff. Right now, I think it is too difficult to tell who the top guy will be to replace John Cena. The way things are looking now, Cena is as likely as anyone else to remain the top guy six years from now. Reigns has a chance to be a candidate, but there are far too many missing pieces. He does not appear to be connecting with the crowd as of now so you cannot call him a certainty to be the next big top star. Rollins and Ambrose are talented, but I feel that they are better as wrestlers who work main event matches here and there, but they are not necessarily the face of the company.
I think the most likely scenario is that the next top star may not be here yet. If you look back at 2001, we could not have known that Cena would be the centerpiece within four years. If you look back at 1995, most could not imagine that Steve Austin would transform the industry in a few years. The industry moves too fast and there are far too many extraneous factors involved to predict who the main guy will be in five years, but I do not think that anybody stands out as the obvious choice.
[ FYI: The specialists consist of a mix of current PWTorch contributors providing their opinion on today's wrestling scene and modern wrestling history questions, including Shawn Valentino, Michael Moore, Ben Tucker, Jon Mezzera, Justin James, Brian Leahy, Jimmy Eaton, Nathan Kyght, Tony Donofrio, Mike Roe, and Mike Metzger. ]
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