Greetings. Last week we started talking about the one wrestler you would choose if you were starting a new promotion. I went through a number of big-time wrestlers who I disregarded due to injuries or age. Today, I will talk about five wrestlers who are close, but not quite my short list. Next week, I will announce my short list of wrestlers for this venture. And finally, I will name the one wrestler with whom I would start a new company. (And sorry, there will be no Van Halen fantasy tour this week.)
Also, sorry this is a tad late. But, life sometimes does not go the way we wish and hacking though it sometimes takes more time than I would like.
On with the show…
The following five wrestlers are ones I would give considerable thought to, although I believe they are just not quite there. They are all fantastic talents and would be great to have on a new roster, but I am not 100% sure they could shoulder an entire company at this time.
1) Ricochet/Prince Puma
This one might seem obvious to some people as Ricochet is one of the top young stars in the sport. He has wrestled in, and succeeded in, Evolve, Chikara, PWG, DragonGate, NJPW, and Lucha Underground. He is dynamic, quick, interesting to watch, and without a doubt, one of the best wrestlers in the world. So why is he not on my short list? Well, two reasons. First, I am not a huge fan of a lot of the flippy-floppy offense that Ricochet employs. But that’s just my personal preference. The bigger reason is that, as much as I enjoy watching the cruiserweights and junior heavyweights, I am not sold that you can build an entire promotion around them. Again, perhaps just my personal preference though. I think a junior can be the top guy in a promotion, but I am not sure you can establish a whole promotion around a junior unless the promotion were all juniors. Although I would watch to see if I were correct or not.
2) Kenny Omega
I think it needs to be said that I am a big Kenny Omega fan. I think he is a really good worker and can pull off amazing matches any time he steps in the ring. Does he rely a little too heavily on his humor? Probably. But he does have a good personality for a pro wrestler, and if he toned down the comedy without losing it completely, I think he would be solid. I consider Omega to be one of the finest wrestlers in the business today. So, why is he not on my short list? Frankly, I haven’t seen enough of him being more serious than silly to take that chance. I’d love to put him on a new roster, and give him a giant push, but I think it would take a little work between the athlete and the writers to create a full-on star role for him. And if I was just starting a promotion, I would need a top guy already fully-formed coming out of the gate.
Before you start getting on me for this pick, hear me out. Moose is a huge guy with exceptional athletic ability. He is a huge former offensive lineman who played professional football. While it is true that he has not been wrestling long, he has continued to show improvement and the ability to get a crowd behind him. To be honest, I have not seen him in TNA yet, but during his Ring of Honor run he came across as a star. He has a built-in chant and hand/arm motion that the crowd can get behind. He looks imposing, but he can still hit high flying moves with the best of them. So, why is he not on my short list? The simple fact is, despite having such a huge upside, he is still very green. He may turn into the next Goldberg or Brock Lesnar, but he is still getting his professional legs under him. He has worked with some very talented people though, so hopefully he has learned the lessons he’s been taught. Maybe one day, but I don’t think he is ready to be THE guy yet.
4) Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle O’Reilly is the guy with whom you don’t want to pick a fight. He wrestles a tough and hard-hitting style which often culminates in any number of painful submission moves. When O’Reilly is wronged, he displays a fire to exact revenge which just looks scary. He has hung with some of the greatest wrestlers in the world and never looked out of place. He also has established himself as a great tag team wrestler, first in Future Shock with Adam Cole, and currently with Bobby Fish in reDRagon. He looks credible, he sells very well, and crowds love getting behind him. So, why is he not on my short list? The long and short of it is that I still wish to see O’Reilly in reDRagon. I think O’Reilly does incredible work as a singles wrestler (as does Bobby Fish, for that matter), but in my opinion, reDRagon is the best tag team in the world and has been for several years. And at this point, I would still rather watch a reDRagon match than a Kyle O’Reilly match. That may change at some point (like it did with Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels), but for now, I just feels like I would be starting a promotion with a tag team wrestler.
5) Seth Rollins
Seth Rollins has been to the top of the mountain. Seth Rollins has been the leader of a major wrestling company. Seth Rollins has proved himself as a heel and a face. Seth Rollins has shown his brilliance even within a group or team. Seth Rollins has stood out and made himself into a must-watch performer. Seth Rollins has been able to adapt his style to make every wrestler he competes against appear to be a potential victor. Seth Rollins has done quite a lot in professional wrestling and is still only 30 years old. Seth Rollins is also, except for his fake laugh, pretty darn good on the mic. So, why is he not on my short list? Well, it isn’t because I think he works reckless, because I don’t. Sting got hurt during a match with Rollins, but Sting is also 4000 years old. John Cena got a busted nose from Rollins during a high knee in a match together. But it isn’t Rollins’ fault that Cena has a big proboscis which couldn’t stay out of the way. And Finn Balor’s separated shoulder during his match with Rollins was really just a fluke accident. But Rollins is not on my list anyway. The reason is pretty simple actually, I like four others for this role better. But Rollins is definitely the next one up.
So what do you think? Should any of these five wrestlers be considered, or maybe reconsidered, to be the cornerstone for a new professional wrestling organization? Let me know what you think in the comments and let’s keep the conversation going.
Next week, the short list AND the one wrestler I would choose to begin a new company. Until then…
Tags: Bobby Fish, Bret Hart, Kenny Omega, Kyle O'Reilly, Moose, Prince Puma, Ricochet, seth rollins, Shawn Michael, Sting