The recent signing of El Generico, and various rumblings surrounding the signing, insinuating it is merely the first in a litany of acquisitions HHH is looking to make, has lead to much speculation. Particularly, who may be up next to earn a WWE contract.
In the spirit of this speculation, and to lend HHH a hand, here are seven indie wrestlers who WWE should sign:
1. Kevin Steen:
With the signing of El Generico by WWE, Wrestling's Worst Nightmare--Kevin Steen, is now the biggest star on the independent wrestling scene, along with being the life-blood of ROH.
Sure, there's a lot of talent to be found in the roster; but without the draw of Kevin Steen, many people might not have bothered to tune-in to the excellent Glory by Honor XI or Final Battle 2012 iPPVs -- especially after the technical difficulties which plagued ROH during the earlier parts of 2012. Steen is an exceptional worker, not to mention an absolute star on the mic.
One of the biggest concerns with a possible Steen move to WWE, is his probable inability to tone-down his work for the PG-WWE. It's often forgotten however, that Kevin Steen worked a large part of his career as a baby face, and this year CHIKARA (whose management and fans take great pride in their family-friendly environment) trusted him enough to bring him in during his current non-PG heel run.
One can only hope that the research WWE did on El Generico will have also planted the idea of signing Kevin Steen firmly into their minds. Furthermore, having The Rock's endorsement can only help his chances.
2. Adam Cole:
Arguably the best wrestler in the world, under the age of 25, Adam Cole is a star waiting to shine on the big stage.
Cole has worked throughout the independents, but is most notably known for his work in CZW, ROH, and PWG, having won championships in each organization. Cole is an all-around talent, who is an excellent worker, has a great understanding of match psychology, and can truly bring it on the mic. Equally adept at playing both face and heel roles, he often draws comparisons to Shawn Michaels. Those comparisons are not just from ravenous fans, but from the likes of Dave Meltzer.
At the tender age of 23, Cole has already accomplished much in the independent scene. WWE would be wise to bring him into the ranks and develop him into the superstar he is meant to be.
3. Sami Callihan:
The acquisition of Death Machine by WWE has been in the works for months; it is high time for HHH and company to pull the trigger. Callihan had tryouts with WWE in Oct., 2012, reportedly leaving many in the company impressed with his abilities. He continued his banner year, making further impressions on WWE management by taking to heart every morsel of the advice and critiques which were given to him during those tryouts.
Additionally, the success of Dean Ambrose on the big stage bodes well for Callihan, due to their shared experience and similarly edgy style. Callihan does a great promo, has amazing psychology, and has a near Dolph Ziggler-level ability to sell his opponents offense -- he's definitely one to watch.
4. Chuck Taylor:
The Kentucky Gentleman, at the age of 26, is now entering his eleventh year in the business (yes, he started at the ripe old age of 15), and has been a mainstay not only of Evolve and Dragon Gate USA, but also of CHIKARA and PWG. Although Chuck Taylor is a great in-ring performer, his greatest strength lies in his character. There are very few in the wrestling world who can match Taylor's charisma, comedic talents, and ability to work the crowd.
Despite Taylor recently resigning with Dragon Gate USA in Nov., 2012, all DGUSA contracts provisionally allow talent to opt out of their contracts if they receive WWE or TNA offers.
5. Uhaa Nation:
At 6'-0", 240lbs, Uhaa Nation is an absolute beast of a man, with a physique that would send Vince McMahon fumbling for his stash of Jergens & Kleenex.
The impressive thing about Nation isn't actually his stature, it's that in spite of possessing such a frame, he works a high-flying, exciting style on par with the best cruiser weights in the world. Uhaa seamlessly blends a power style with his high-flying capabilities, in order to craft some of the most unique in-ring performances ever witnessed in professional wrestling.
His finisher -- the Uhaa Combination: a gorilla press, standing moonsault, and standing shooting star press series -- is an absolute beauty to behold:
6. & 7. The Briscoe Brothers (Jay and Mark Briscoe):
The ROH mainstays, and the best tag team in professional wrestling, are just what the revitalized tag team division of WWE needs.
The Briscoe Brothers had a tryout with WWE back in 2009, but they were rejected by John Laurinaitis (according to the Briscoes, it was merely because they weren't aesthetically pleasing enough). With HHH in charge of talent relations now, it is time for the Jay and Mark to get another chance with WWE.
The tag team division is crying out for such a talented and entertaining team. The Rhodes Scholars and Briscoe Brothers exchanging promos against one another, is the stuff that dreams are made of. If you are unfamiliar with them, the only thing I can tell you, is to hit YouTube, sit back, and enjoy the ride; their matches and promos will undoubtedly blow you away.
What indie talent would you like to see WWE bring in, Cagesiders? Any disagreements on those men listed here? Let your thoughts be known in the comments below.