As our Tommy Messano pointed out in his post on drama surrounding rumors of Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson wanting their WWE release, the timing of a ‘Superstars to Watch in 2019’ photo gallery on the company website is interesting for several reasons.
We’re always left to wonder how much stock to put into the stuff WWE’s online outlets crank out. Does an outfit which allegedly scripts a show watched by more than two million people per week at the last minute each Monday really coordinate that closely with the folks running Twitter? Would they use WWE.com as part of negotiations with disgruntled
Maybe not. But it’s an image and promotion driven business, so getting the rub from a popular online entity could smooth some ruffled feathers. And the ‘Superstars to Watch’ list not only includes The Revival, but also mentions Andrade - someone the latest Wrestling Observer says is currently getting a push on SmackDown in part because he was so unhappy he was telling friends in the lucha libre world not to come to WWE.
Then there’s the case of Lars Sullivan. The NXT big man was reportedly in line for a huge push of his own, but has been missing shows due to anxiety issues. The door is said to be open for a return, but there’s been no sign it’s happening just yet - even as Sullivan’s fellow call-ups debuted on Raw and SmackDown this week. On this list, Lars is front and center on the site’s main page image... then not mentioned by name in the ensuing materials at all.
It’s not a completely downer-adjacent list, though. There’s always room to speculate on if being featured on one of these, or listed first like a recently promoted cruiserweight was, could mean the company has big plans for you.
Check out who made the cut:
- Mustafa Ali
- Toni Storm
- Matt Riddle
- The Revival
- Andrade & Zelina Vega
- NXT Class of 2019 (Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery, EC3 & Nikki Cross)
- The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection
- British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
- Mia Yim
- Drew McIntyre
- Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
- Keith Lee
- Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
What do you think? Are the Top Guys and El Ídolo on here as part of an effort to keep them happy? Can we read anything into Sullivan’s outlook from his sort-of inclusion? What else jumps out at you?