A question is posed. Two Pulse Wrestling writers go head-to-head. But only one will move on to next week to the face off with another member of our staff. This is VS., and as Mark Allen goes for his third straight win, this weekâ€™s question isâ€¦ Which current ROH star will sign with a major national U.S. promotion next, and will it be TNA or WWE (and why)?
Mark Allen: When MM first posed the question to us my immediate knee jerk reaction was to say Nigel McGuinness. Less than 24 hours later it was announced that Nigel was essentially signed to WWE. Scratch him; back to the drawing board.
So after going back through the roster I found four different people that could potentially fit in WWE today (because let’s face it, TNA’s roster is overcrowded right now and they don’t need any more and they’d just screw them up worse).
So looking at WWE’s roster and who from ROH would fit in I thought of a former WWE developmental guy in Kenny Omega. Austin Aries has better charisma and a better look than Bryan Danielson. Claudio Castagnoli is another former WWE developmental guy with a look WWE looks for and a built in foreign gimmick, but I think Omega is the guy.
Kenny Omega walked away from a developmental deal on his own in the summer of 2006 because he was frustrated with his lack of progress. But because he left on his own to further progress his skills and his career, this is something WWE should respect. (Or at the very least they completely forgot about him and will think he’s a new kid.) He has a goofy charisma that isn’t for everyone, but its charisma that can’t be taught. That is something extremely valuable when evaluating a future superstar. He has the build and the mane of someone that WWE likes to push. At this point he’s basically Tyler Reks with about 30 less pounds and a blonde mop.
And the best part is, both his ring name Kenny Omega and his real name Tyson Smith sound like the terrible names that the company would bestow upon a young talent in Florida Championship Wrestling. (I can already picture his debut as Tyson Omega.) He’s got the superstar look, the goofy charisma, the generic ring name and the type of moveset that can be molded into a charter member of ECW’s New Superstar Initiative. Plus the best part is that he doesn’t carry the type of indy smark cred like Danielson, Nigel or Punk did, that immediately caused a small part of the audience to completely scrutinize their every move. Omega could come in with some underground cred, but is still fresh and untouched enough that he could be molded into a “WWE Superstar” with little backlash.
I like your rationale, but trying to predict what WWE remembers from the past and how much â€œindy credâ€ is too much indy cred is near impossible. Oh, and yes, Nigel was my original choice as well, but timingâ€™s everything!
Pulse Glazer: First off, Nigel was to be my answer, but since he signed with WWE, I guess that answerâ€™s out. With Nigel and Danielson both signing, thatâ€™s two of the reported 4-5 that they offered deals to, meaning that there are still two or three deals out there waiting to be accepted. Since the deals are already there, itâ€™s safe to assume at least one of the remaining ROH wrestlers will accept, so the next ROH star will sign with WWE. Now, who will that star be? Letâ€™s run down the major names of Ring of Honor roster to figure it out.
First, we have those with almost no chance of being signed by WWE. Begin with Colt Cabana. He was just released without any kind of chance being given to him and hasnâ€™t done anything but comedy since his return to earn him another shot. Brent Albright is another former WWE guy, but he was tied closely to Chris Benoit. Since Benoit doesnâ€™t exist, I donâ€™t expect to see Albright back. Claudio was offered a deal, but blew it by blowing off some indy dates. Thereâ€™s a chance that WWE is calling again, his look is great, but WWE likely also wonâ€™t want to be burned twice by a guy who wonâ€™t make them big money, since Claudioâ€™s English is weak.
Jimmy Rave and Roderick Strong, while very good wrestlers, are also unlikely to make the final cut. Both are bland looking, small and canâ€™t cut a promo, meaning there is no reason for the WWE to want them. The Briscoes are injury prone and dangerous, not that big, and donâ€™t sell- so not the WWEâ€™s type. In another era, Steen and Generico would draw the WWE some money with their kooky gimmick, but with their size and WWE not willing to go that far in changing things up, on the indies they remain. Kenny
Omega has a good look, but hasnâ€™t been around long enough to make a name and earn a potential contract. Since heâ€™s the best of the new guys, that means none of the others likely got an offer either.
Two possibilities for a contract offer are Austin Aries and Davey Richards. Aries has developed a great personality to go with his prodigious wrestling skills, but I really doubt heâ€™s headed for the WWE. First off, he makes Danielson look big. Next is that if anyone has an ROH contract, itâ€™s the guy the companyâ€™s being built around. Were he to leave on top of Nigel and Danielson, the company would essentially collapse. I donâ€™t see him doing that with or without a contract, as ROH was there for him when TNA nearly ruined his career. That will likely also make him gun shy of going to a major promotion.
Davey Richards is the fastest rising star on the indies, but heâ€™s young and the WWE doesnâ€™t really sign young indie guys without them getting exposure elsewhere (Bourne with WSX). Punk, Danielson, Nigel, Cabana, and Low Ki are (or were) all close to 30 when signed. Davey is still about 24 or 25, just making his way to the top of cards where heâ€™ll develop those final skills needed before the WWE takes a longer look at him. Davey has also been working a great deal of Japanese dates, leaving him likely with more dates before heâ€™d announce a deal was reached, so even if he is offered a deal, someone else will probably accept first.
The two men Iâ€™m almost certain were offered deals are all that remains. First is Tyler Black. The next is Chris Hero. Letâ€™s address them in order.
Tyler Black has had â€œstarâ€ written all over him since he started wrestling. Of course, being a major player on HDNet would make him attractive to the WWE, as would his flying style, which the WWE seems to be working towards. He has a ton going for him, but he isnâ€™t my choice. Hereâ€™s why: first, he looks a lot like CM Punk. A lot of Punkâ€™s appeal comes from his unique look. Would the WWE want to take away from that? Next, heâ€™s primarily a flier. Would the WWE really want another flier at this point? They have Bourne and HBK on Raw, the upcoming Low Ki, Tysonn Kidd, Rey Misterio, and John Morrison. All of those guys can also promo, at least a bit, while Tyler canâ€™t.
That leaves Chris Hero. A few years back, I never thought Iâ€™d see Hero as a legitimate WWE prospect, but now I wonder how they waited so long. Hero is the full package. Heâ€™s been headlining indies for this whole decade, while improving his skills to include Japanese, European, American, lucha, brawling, and striking. Heâ€™s improved his interviews, which were always good, and is a true student of wrestling. Heâ€™s about 6â€™5, so he has the height, and heâ€™s close with Smackdown World Champion CM Punk, with whom he rose up in the Chicago indies. But then, all of this has been true for years and Hero wasnâ€™t given a deal- what changed? Hero got in shape. He got real wrestling tights and wrestles shirtless and is in quite good shape. Heâ€™ll never be muscle bound, but he has shape and is in better shape than Dustin Rhodes in his prime, with a similar build. Heâ€™s got the tan and long hair and is as crisp as ever in the ring. He looks like a star and Iâ€™m sure the WWE has noticed. Heâ€™ll be the next ROH star to sign with the WWE.
Aaron also thought Nigel would be next, which is no surprise. Unlike Danielson and McGuinness, though, this one is a toughieâ€¦ and Aaron did a great job explaining not only who it should be (Heroâ€™s a potentially great choice, and in my opinion, more likely to sign with WWE than his buddy Claudio, who already had his shot), but also running through some other choices. Enough to unseat Mr. Allen this week.
Winner of VS. #28: Pulse Glazer
Do you agree with Aaron or Mark or do you have an entirely different opinion? Let us know in the comments section, below!
Until next timeâ€¦
Tags: Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, Kenny Omega, Nigel McGuinness, ROH, TNA, VS., WWE