Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wrestling Six Packs: The Next Six Whom I'd Like to See Signed

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Steen's done it all on the indies. He needs a shot in WWE.
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein

Drake Younger is headed to the Performance Center, another in a long line of indie standouts that WWE has signed and brought into its ranks. The company has mostly had success with these wrestlers, and Younger looks to be another one who will shine first in Florida and then nationally (that is, unless he comes in as a referee as is rumored). Of course, Younger will work a different style than what most fans of his from Combat Zone Wrestling or Pro Wrestling Guerrilla will recognize, a pitfall of going from the free-form indie circuit to the structured WWE. I know some of my peers would disagree with my desire to see as many great performers at least get a shot in WWE, but WWE's in ring style is awesome right now, and I like seeing the guys I love to watch in the ring get paid top dollar for their services. The next six pack doesn't necessarily list the next likeliest to get signed, but the next six that I would like to see get their runs through the WWE machine.

1. Kevin Steen

Steen has been there and done that in nearly every corner of the independent scene. About the only thing left for him to do is tour Japan or Mexico before getting a shot with WWE. I know why the big company might not want him; it judges books by their covers all the time. Steen's body type went out of style sometime around 1988 to Vince McMahon, but regardless of what the preconceived notions about what a WWE superstar should look like are, Steen transcends them. He is a master in the squared circle, able to work any style and capture any crowd within the palm of his hand. Steen not only is ready for his close-up, but he, more than any wrestler on the indies, would nail it.

2. Eddie Kingston

Kingston is a throwback, and thankfully for him, throwbacks can thrive in WWE. His brawling skills would make him a fit in any match along the card, and his magnetic charisma would make him the iconoclastic star for the Latino community that WWE has been looking for since Rey Mysterio started to show signs of decline. Sure, he has a reputation as being a loose cannon, but that could help his stature in WWE, since one of the most mythical figures of the Attitude Era actually had that nickname before he passed.

3. ACH

ACH is at the vanguard at a group of super-talented high flyers on the scene right now. Not only could he do magical things in the 20 by 20 WWE ring during matches, he would immediately be the most awe-inspiring spectacle before said matches as well. He already makes his entrances amazing through his acrobatics. Imagine what they could be with WWE's pyrotechnic budget behind them. He embodies swag, and his personality is big enough that he could fill the big arenas just like he fills the small rooms like the Mohawk today.

4. Uhaa Nation

Nation is one of the few guys in the indies right now with the body to fit into the land of the giants seamlessly. What would set him apart from the other hosses is that he has the spirit of a high-flyer in the body of the Vince McMahon special genetic freak. He could be the most unique wrestler WWE would have ever seen, and his versatility would make him a fit against any wrestler on the roster, from the Sheamuses and Brock Lesnars down to the Daniel Bryans and Rey Mysterios.

5. Robert Evans

If Evans makes it to WWE, he might be shunted into the Santino Marella/3MB role because he's excellent at comedy. But much like Marella and at least two members of the Three Man Band (still unsure on Jinder Mahal outside of it), Evans is able to legitimize comedic wrestling and is versatile at doing any kind of wrestling angle or character asked of him. Either way though, Evans' expressive facials and outrageous body language would set him apart from most of the roster and get fans of all ages behind him.

6. Jessicka Havok

I hesitated to put Havok or any woman on the list because of how dire the straits are for women on the main roster. At the same time, if any female performer is going to demand respect for her and her peers, Havok would fit that bill. Not only is she an imposing presence and a tremendous brawler, but she commands attention and respect like few others on the indie scene, male or female. She has the physical credibility not only to wrestle women, but men as well, and while a full integration of genders in WWE may remain a pipe dream in my lifetime, I still refuse to let that dream go.