WWE wrestlers like Roman Reigns, Seth Freakin’ Rollins, and Becky Lynch have all become household names over the course of the past decade, with each superstar racking up multiple world titles, best-of-the-year matches, and a whole treasure chest of accolades and decorations. But, long before Reigns and Rollins came up as members of The Shield, and before Becky Lynch was “The Man” or “Big Time Becks,” they were all up-and-coming stars in the making. And the same can be said about some of the younger members of the WWE roster, whether they’re on NXT or have been called up to Raw and SmackDown.
Below is a list of eight up-and-coming WWE stars we’re excited about who have been rising through the ranks, put on tremendous matches, and shown a great deal of potential through the early stages of their career. With superstars from wrestling dynasties to those making a name for themselves in the squared circle, here are the WWE superstars whose careers have no ceiling…
Solo Sikoa has only been with WWE since August 2021, and has only been on the main roster since September 2022, but the member of The Bloodline has already established himself as one of the most interesting WWE superstars and one with the most potential. The real-life brother of Jimmy and Jey Uso, the son of WWE Hall of Famer Rikishi, and cousin of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Sikoa has quickly risen through the ranks and followed in the footsteps of other greats from the prestigious Anoa’i wrestling dynasty.
There’s a lot to like about Sikoa barely a year into his career, including his pedigree, his moveset, and undeniable charisma in and out of the ring. All of that helped Sikoa claim his first title victory in NXT in September 2022, when he defeated Carmelo Hayes for the NXT North American Championship, though he was forced to vacate the belt seven days later.
NXT Champion Bron Breakker is another up-and-coming WWE wrestler who will most likely be a world champion at some point in the next five years. The son of Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner, Breakker looks and acts like he’s right there with the Steiner Brothers when they were dominating the tag divisions in WWF and WCW back in 1990s. With a combination of his family’s legacy, a high school state championship in wrestling, and a brief tenure with the Baltimore Ravens, it’s no surprise Breaker has been dominating NXT since making his debut with WWE back in 2021.
Although he’s still sitting atop the NXT food chain with his powerhouse style and electric personality, it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see the second-generation talent be called up to the main roster sooner rather than later, which should make the reenergized WWE even more exciting moving forward.
Shotzi, who formerly went by Shotzi Blackheart in NXT, has been one of the must-watch stars of WWE since making her debut in 2019. And no, it’s not because she rides to the ring in a freaking tank. The 2020 NXT Breakout Star of the Year and former NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion, Shotzi has continued to rise through the ranks since making her main roster debut, and has continued to find herself in some marquee matches like the 2022 Royal Rumble and Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match later in the year.
With Survivor Series and the 2023 Royal Rumble on the horizon, we can expect to see a lot more of Shotzi moving forward, and that’s great news for fans of dynamic wrestlers with incredibly interesting personas and in-ring style.
Ridge Holland And Butch
Ridge Holland and Butch, the two younger members of Sheamus’ stable The Brawling Brutes, have established themselves as one of the hottest tag teams in WWE today. And with the way things have been going for the faction as of late (especially with that show-stealer against Imperium at Extreme Rules), it looks like the hard-hitting and tough-as-nails tandem is here to stay.
Though lacking in as much experience as the other Brawling Brutes, Holland isn’t green in the ring by any means. After spending several years in NXT honing his craft, he was called up to the main roster in late 2021 and was quickly paired with Sheamus, and to great success. Butch, on the other hand, is one of the best wrestlers on the WWE payroll, having spent the past six years with the company, racking up multiple titles and end-of-the-year awards under the name Pete Dunne.
Nikkita Lyons has only been in NXT for a short while, but she has quickly become one of the most exciting members of the brand’s female roster since debuting in 2021. What she lacks in experience, Lyons more than makes up for it with natural charisma, which comes in handy behind the mic.
With the women’s rosters on Raw and SmackDown both stacked right now, expect to see Lyons hang out in NXT for a little while longer. But don’t take this as a bad thing, as it will give her plenty of time to fine-tune her in-ring work and further establish herself.
Carmelo Hayes has made the most of his short amount of time in WWE. Since his 2021 debut, Hayes has won the NXT North American Championship twice, claimed the Cruiserweight Championship (which he then unified with the North American Championship), and played key roles in some of the brand’s biggest matches in quite some time.
With WWE superstars on the smaller side getting more attention these days, Hayes, who is a bit shorter, stands to make a great run, now in NXT, and later on in WWE. There is still some fine-tuning that needs to happen before the eventual call-up, but it’s only a matter of time before Hayes is on the big stage.
Dexter Lumis, who returned to WWE in 2022, has been on a tear ever since coming back. Whether it’s causing mayhem backstage, getting arrested on NXT, or single-handedly ruining The Miz’s birthday bash, Lumis’ actions have been nothing short of chaotic.
A showdown between Lumis and the former WWE Champion is bound to happen at some point, so the former NXT star looks like he’s about to get some serious exposure.
Dominik Mysterio, the son of future WWE Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio, has been going through a career resurgence since turning heel in September 2022. We had previously seen flashes of greatness in the second-generation wrestler in the past, but he started to reach new heights after turning against his dad.
Mysterio still has a lot to improve on and become more consistent if he wants to take things to the next level. If played right, all of this could lead to him challenging his dad to a match with either his mask or career on the line.
There is a lot to be excited about when it comes to these up-and-coming WWE superstars and others with in the company. But, if you want to see any of them in action at the various upcoming WWE events, you’ll need to a Peacock Premium subscription.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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