Archive | NXT Prospects RSS for this section

Richie Steamboat

Thanks to his famous father, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, Richie needs very little introduction. He has a lot to live up to course, especially as he’s using the ‘Steamboat’ name, lets see whether he has what it takes to do just that.

Being the son of a Hall of Famer of course means he’ll be ahead of his peers as he will have grown up around wrestling as early as he can remember. During which he instinctively picked up the in and outs of what it takes to make it in this industry.

Richie won four state titles and two national titles in amateur wrestling, and was a member of the Ohio All-Star team. This amateur background bodes well for him as many top stars in WWE have benefited from this having this as the basis of their style. Wrestlers such as Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler and others all started their careers in amateur wrestling.

What I also like about Richie is that many young wrestlers are happy stay in America and work for the Indy promotions, Richie has also been all over the world honing his craft in the likes of Japan, Puerto Rico and Europe. It reminds me of the days before WWE bought WCW in which wrestlers like Jericho, Benoit Regal, would spend big parts of their gaining experience they could abroad, perfecting their style before coming back to America.

Despite being 4 inches taller than his dad at 6ft 2in he is a bit lighter than ‘The Dragon’ so he is able to adopt the high flying style of his father. However, he has developed his own moveset, which although are pretty standard aerial maneuvers are hopefully the basis of something more impressive in the future.

My main worry for Richie isn’t in the ring. At the moment it is that he seems to be living far too much through his father. I’ve seem him at matches, which is sweet and what you would expect from a parent. But their not normally as famous as Ricky and having a camera pointed on him during a match only serves to remind us of the task he has of living up to his fathers ability.

He has not just adopted the ‘Steamboat’ name but also a couple of moves from his dads moveset. Although these are his formative years and there is still time to develop his own style, this for me is a bad move. There are over very few second/third generation wrestlers that can pull off taking gathered name and fight off the pressure that comes with it. Cody Rhodes is one but has had many different gimmicks to help him differentiate between him and Dusty.

Some of his contemporaries in the same boat have had the better idea of carving their own legacy by taking a different name, like Michael McGillicutty, son of Curt Hennig, and Jake Carter, son of Vader. No one would know of this unless you were told, so they can go out and wrestle without that weight on their shoulders.

Others haven’t had the same luck like Ted DiBiase Jr, who not only has exactly the same first name as his dad but got stuck with the Million Dollar Belt and basically a younger version of his fathers gimmick. Problem was we’ve already seen that gimmick done, and better.

It’s still early days and at only 25 hes got much more to learn. There’s clearly a fire inside him, with it he may become as big as ‘The Dragon’ himself.


Kassius Ohno

Kassius Ohno (4)

Despite being labelled a rookie by WWE as part of NXT, Kassius Ohno is anything but that. If anything he is a veteran as he made his wrestling debut nearly 15 years ago.

Under the name Chris Hero he made quite a name for himself on the independent circuit wrestling for IWA Mid-South, Chikara and Ring Of Honor. During this time he competed against, and alongside the likes of CM Punk, Sabu, Colt Cabana and Antonio Cesaro.

It was when he tagged with the latter that he had the most success as they captured multiple tag team title belts in different organisations. In 2010 they awarded Tag Team of the Year by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Given all these accolades, I was surprised that they didn’t have the two continue to do so when they both joined the WWE. Especially considering how much Triple H supposedly wants to, or wanted to, rejuvenate the Tag Team division. However, it’s now clear that they had other, bigger plans for Cesaro that we are now witnessing, as he bypassed NXT.

It’s a worrying trend for him, given that he has been on the NXT roster from the start that so many other superstars have been chosen to make that jump to the main roster before him. Big E Langston, Bo Dallas, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns to name a few, have all been given a chance and I don’t think I’ve heard stories of Ohno being called up anytime soon.

What I don’t think is helping Ohno is that Wade Barrett seems to have stolen part of his gimmick by adopting a very similar finishing maneuver, a variation of an elbow smash to the face, quite so soon after Ohno debuted in NXT.

In the ring he is extremely gifted. I don’t think there are many wrestlers who have such a vast and diverse move set as Ohno. He has being given the nickname “The Mack Daddy of the Cravate” on the Indy circuit because of all the moves he possesses that begin with a cravate hold, from submission to suplexes.

The one move I definitely like to see use in WWE is the Rubik’s Cube, although I doubt they’ll allow him to as they seem to ban all the devastating moves. A move in which has his opponent in an upside down electric chair and drops him on the back the neck.

Despite being 225lbs he can look a bit lanky at 6ft 4ins tall which may stop some people from believing that he is string enough to legitimately knock a man unconscious. It does allow him to perform moves that other men of his size can’t as he has the likes of moonsaults and jumping sentons in his arsenal.

Kassius Ohno has everything it is takes to be a top performer on the main roster, I just think it’s a case creative not having anything for him at the moment that’s keeping him off Raw or Smackdown.

Corey Graves

To look at him you would have that he was some kind of love-child of John Cena and Randy Orton – sorry for that image – with the jeans and the sleeve tattoos, but there is no one on the roster that he resembles more than CM Punk.

In the ring he seems to have taken a page out of CM Punks book, which is a wise move considering they are of a similar size, by utilising many different types of kicks and knees strikes. As seems to be the trend nowadays he like many other wrestlers seems to using a submission maneuver as a finishing move, with his move of choice being an Inside toehold leglock that he calls ‘The 13th Step’ is a unique move that although has been used before by Ron Fuller, I have never seen before. His other finishing move of choice, which I have yet to see him use on NXT is the sunset driver he calls the MK Ultra which looks like an incredibly devastating move that I’m surprised he hasn’t brought to WWE.

Furthermore, much like Punk, Graves has covered his body in tattoo’s that have great significance in his life. If they want Graves to make a connection with the WWE Universe, good or bad, I would suggest having Graves explain the meaning of his ink on TV to help us understand his background and motives for the way he acts.

If they were are to bring him up to the main roster I think it would be a good idea to continue with the team he has formed with Jake Carter, son of Vader, as they seem to have formed a decent pairing. The angle of being your ‘Girlfriends Favourite’ that Carter uses may be something they could use for the team. With Carters ‘pretty boy’ look and Graves ‘rugged’ appeal they could get a lot of female fans attention and get under the skin of the male fans at the same time.

However, they seem to be pushing him as a singles competitor after he attacked Seth Rollins during his interview with JR recently. As much as I am intrigued by Graves I don’t really know what he has done to receive a program with the NXT champion as of yet. He’s defeated a few jobbers but nothing that would justify him presumably earning a title shot in the near future.

It took a lot of hard work and luck for CM Punk just to make it to WWE television, so for someone who doesn’t come with the hype and excitement surrounding him he’s going to have to show something pretty special for creative to want to work with him.