Second of all, as some of you probably guessed by now, I love wrestling. Having recently gotten back into watching WWE again after giving up on it and watching TNA for a while, before it got really s**t (although some might argue it was ALREADY s**t!) have to say I really enjoy it at the moment. Sure it's had some WTF moments, including Jinder Mahal's surprise WWE win, the Undertaker retiring and that DREADFUL “This Is Your Life” bit between Alexia Bliss and Bayley (which is so bad even WWE want to forget it existed!) but on the whole I think the current roster is one of the best it's been in a while. And with many more great talents from NXT on the way, WWE is sure to hold it's position as the top in wrestling... I mean Sports Entertainment! (sigh).
Now I wanted to do a Top Five Wrestling type blog for a while, but debated what I could do. I thought about doing a Top Five Favourite Wrestlers (spoiler: Braun Strowman would have been number one!), but I just think there are too many to mention. I also wanted to do a LEAST favourite wrestlers blog – but to tell the truth, many on that list are actually good in their own way, so it would be unfair of me to bash many of them.
But then I noticed that there are a lot of great talents on the WWE roster that AREN'T getting the attention they deserve – so I decided to look at those today. These are the Top Five WWE superstars that I think are totally awesome, but don't really get the attention they deserve. Again, this is in no particular order and just my opinion.
So let's see “who just made the list!” as Jericho would say.
When people talk about the best wrestler in WWE, Charlotte Flair is the first that usually comes to mind. Personally though, whilst I like Charlotte, I find her a bit overrated. My favourite female wrestler is actually Alexia Bliss (yeah, her rivalry with Bayley has been a bit poo, but you can't deny she is a fantastic heel). However, one that I think gets criminally overlooked is Asuka from NXT.
Now I admit that I don't watch NXT that often – but when I do I always make sure to check out Asuka. Why? Because she's entertaining to watch of course! Her strong style of kicks and strikes has made her a deadly opponent in the WWE and possibly one of the most dangerous women in WWE full stop. She's been undefeated since her debut in 2015 (as in not being pinned or submitted) and has held the NXT women's title since 2016 – and both are STILL correct as of this blog! She's beaten the likes of Bayley, Nikki Cross, Ruby Riot and even gave Ember Moon her first defeat at NXT Takeover: And even before her arrival she was kicking ass across Japan! And outside of wrestling she's worked as a video game journalist, that's pretty cool.
Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer has called the “best worker in WWE, man or woman” - and yet somehow WWE seem to overlook her when talking about the greatest female wrestler in WWE. I know that NXT is supposed to be their developmental area, but come on – it's part of WWE too you know! However, with Shinsuke Nakamura wowing fans in WWE, when Asuka makes the transition over, I have no doubt she will quickly become a fan favourite and dominate whichever women's division she is sent to. And probably any male division for that matter should she be given a chance! She can kick ass with the best of them!
Sadly though, for all the push he's getting in NXT, a lot of his big achievements might go unnoticed in WWE, being a former TNA wrestler and all. In fact, Bobby Roode was one of the main reasons I stuck with TNA for so long. Roode was by far one of the best talents in that business – being a multiple tag team champion with James Storm (who also tried for NXT, but didn't stay very long) in Beer Money and also the longest reigning TNA Heavyweight Champion of all time. He's also had some pretty memorable rivalries against the likes of Sting and Kurt Angle to name a few. However, considering that WWE like to ignore TNA even exists – and who can blame them – these achievements will probably just disappear. I also worry that when he enters the main roster whether WWE may treat him like s*** because of this.
That being said, AJ Styles was also famous for being a TNA original and he's had an amazing career in WWE so far. So there's nothing to say that Bobby Roode will suffer this fate. And they'd be stupid to do that. Bobby Roode is a fantastic worker, proving himself over and over. He's a great technical wrestler, but can also brawl when needed. He's got submission moves, but can hit you with power moves as well. Not to mention he just oozes charisma, hence why his “Glorious” gimmick works! If WWE are smart then they'll make sure that Roode gets the right push. Heck, there's so many great wrestlers he could have a rivalry with – Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, or even AJ Styles, reviving their heated battles from TNA. With all this, I am so excited for Roode – and when I finally hear his music on either Raw or Smackdown I am gonna lose it.
On a side note, I also want to say that Bobby Roode is one of the coolest guys in wrestling. After the Manchester attacks, Roode flew out to meet one of the injured children – on his vacation no less – with a few others and allowed the girl to have face time with Sasha Banks. That is incredible beyond belief so I now have complete respect for him as a person as much as a wrestler. He and John Cena should get together to do charity work, they'd make a great team!
Now Nia doesn't fit what I guess you call the “traditional” WWE women's wrestler; I.E. slim build and big... well you get the idea. But does that make Nia any less of a talented wrestler? Absolutely not! She is immensely powerful and has dominated the likes of Sasha Banks, Bayley – even Charlotte has been on the receiving end of her rage! And just recently, Mickie James and Dana Brooke learned the hard way not to get in her way.
And yet, for all her “raw” power (Get it? She's on Raw! Lol) she's never really had a chance to get off the starting line. And any time she looked like she was going for it, she got knocked back a bit. An example of this was at Wrestlemania when, in the build up to it, Nia looked like she was going to crush the competition, but then she lost – and lost any momentium she may have gained.
If WWE push her the right way, Nia could be a devastating force to be reckoned with. In fact, she could very easily become the female Braun Strowman. We've seen how Braun can decimate Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn – why not let Nia loose and ripped through the female division? She could quite easily be a genuine threat to the female wrestlers and show them that she's not here to play games.
I like Nia, I feel like she's a little different to the “eye-candy” of the women's wrestlers right now. I'm not for a minute suggesting that the other women in WWE aren't talents athletes, I just would like it if Nia was given her chance to shine. It could also be inspirational for a lot of young women if she does that – it could show you don't need D cups to get anywhere in wrestling. Hell, maybe when they bring in Asuka, she and Nia could have a rivalry. That I would love to see!
Thank god for Neville. He is exactly what the division needed – a badass heel that seems unconquerable. Neville had already had a great run in WWE prior to this (known as the “Man that gravity forgot) and it was a wise move bringing him in. Since he's showed up, he's dominated the division, beating the likes of Rich Swann, TJP and Austin Aries to name a few. His rivalry with the aforementioned has been nothing short of incredible – I'd say his matches are some of the most underrated in WWE. The last match at Extreme Rules was brilliant in my view.
Neville kinda harkens back to an old school heel – a vicious bully type wrestler that overpowers anyone that he comes across, but will also resort to cheap shots to get his victories. It's a perfect combination when you add this to Neville's gruff, angry northern voice that sounds like he's auditioning for Game of Thrones or Vikings. And hey, he's British as well, so gotta support the home team!
Neville is such a great villain that I honestly think they could just shove him into the main Raw roster and he wouldn't be out of place. He could rip through Raw in seconds if WWE just unleashed him. Imagine the fights he could have with someone like Finn Balor for instance (in case you hadn't noticed I LOVE Finn Balor), both of them are extremely technical and high flying wrestlers so I don't doubt that they would have some amazing feuds.
With a complaint that WWE doesn't really have much in the ways of good heels (although The Miz and Kevin Owens do a stella job) Neville is a wrestler the fans love to hate. He knows how to act the part and he does it incredibly well – hence why I think WWE should push him more.
Just hear me out on this.
For the record, Bray Wyatt is one of my favourite wrestlers in WWE. I personally think his gimmick is one of the best that WWE have created in a long time. I love the whole creepy Cult Leader/Supernatural Demon thing he has going. His promos are both mesmerizing and disturbing, but he believes every single word he says. I also like the whole mystery behind Sister Abigail and hope we get a resolution to that soon. As far as in ring ability goes, he's perfect. Whether it's a straight up fight to a hardcore brawl, Bray had proven that he can stand up with the best. I also love his finishing move – there's just something about the snap he does in it that makes it look so violent. So yes, I think as a gimmick it works.
But for some reason, he's never really managed to maintain a strong hold on WWE. Which is a shame, because I think Bray COULD be one of the most dominant forces if he wasn't held back.
When he first arrived on the scene, he kicked the crap outta Kane – no small feat. He also had a great few matches with John Cena which, surprise surprise, Cena eventually won. But after that, he's just kinda... hung around, appearing when WWE needs him for a villain. His time with Randy Orton was interesting and actually had a good storyline – but the matches they had were disappointing. Although I DID like the house of horrors match they had, but they couldn't really follow-up on that due to both Randy and Bray being switched over after the brand switch.
Maybe the problem with Bray is that he's TOO gimmicky and WWE don't really know what to do with him. If this was the 80's, when over the tops gimmicks were all the rage, Bray would flourish. But perhaps WWE fans today are a bit more cynical for it to work. That's not to say Bray doesn't have a fan base of it's own, he just hasn't really had a chance to dominate like he should have done.
He's what I think WWE should do – make Bray a more vicious opponent. Have him tear through the locker room – make another Wyatt Family if need be – and destroy everyone in the path. Have him set up as a legit threat, rather than just some guy that is there where WWE need a villain for the sake of it. Bray has proven he can do amazing promos, but focus also on his wrestling style. Bray can be a lethal fighter when he needs to be, so focus on that a bit more. Build him up to be as creepy and deadly, so that people genuinely fear him. Or, and I know I keep saying this, maybe have him in a fight with Finn Balor – forcing him to bring back the Demon gimmick. Then Bray Wyatt can join forces with him and the two of them could destroy all in their path. That would be amazing!
If done right, I reckon we could have another Undertaker on our hands. I admit his gimmick could be difficult to pull off without coming across as cheesy – but Bray has enough acting talent to make it work. Make Bray the villain he deserves to be. Let the Eater of Worlds come free. And... Run!
Ok, so those are my picks. What are yours? Let me know in the comments below – and let's hope that Money In The Bank is a good event tonight!