WWE currently has more talent across their multiple brands than ever before.
As a result, not everyone is going to end up as a champion or MVP of their brand. Now more than ever, there are a lot of stars who social media think should receive a push and become a champion.
NXT is a fine example of this. It being a ‘Developmental’ brand, it has a huge array of talent at its disposal but uses very few of them. I’ve managed to narrow it down to five people who, in my opinion, deserve a push.
1. Marcel Barthel
This one is slightly cheating, as he’s mainly on NXT UK but I’m including him anyway, because he’s so good. The former Axel Dieter Jr was one of the best wrestlers in Europe before WWE snapped him up, and he hasn’t been able to showcase his talents because he’s mainly been in tag matches with Fabien Aichner. It’s a shame, because if allowed to shine, Barthel could do wonders in NXT.
Seriously, if you can, watch some of his work in WxW. He had some great matches with the likes of Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Jr, Drew McIntyre and Aleister Black. He mixes speed with power and is a fantastic heel. He’d do wonders in a feud with the likes of Velveteen Dream and Johnny Gargano or seeing as he’s on the UK Version of NXT, against Pete Dunne or Tyler Bate. Its high time WWE stopped wasting his talents as a single wrestler and let Barthel prove to the world how good he can be.
2. Keith Lee
Everyone should be basking in Keith Lee’s glory. For a guy who’s 6’2 and billed at 325 pounds, Lee has the speed and the agility of a man half his size and weight. On top of that, the guy is insanely charismatic and is over as hell with the crowd. In short, he’s everything Vince McMahon and WWE look for in a superstar.
He’s been very unlucky with injuries since he came to NXT, but in the matches he’s had on NXT TV, he’s looked hugely impressive. He had a match with Dominik Dijakovic, another big man with freakish abilities, that had everyone raving. He impressed everyone with his agility and his power, which bodes well for later on in his NXT career.
Add that to the already mentioned charisma, and the sky is the limit for Keith Lee. He could be a great challenger for Adam Cole’s NXT Title, and the two could have some great matches against one another. Keith Lee calls himself Limitless, and that really does explain everything you need to know about the man.
3. Candice LeRae
Until recently she was mainly known in NXT as Johnny Gargano’s wife which is a huge shame, because Candice LeRae is one of the best wrestlers in NXT.
When she was on the Indy scene, she was best known for her intergender matches in PWG, in which she faced people such as current NXT Champion Adam Cole, Rich Swann, Trent Beretta and even her own husband. She is also the only woman to have held the PWG Tag Team Championship, with Joey Ryan. They won the belts in an amazing Guerrilla Warfare match against the Young Bucks, during which she took some incredible bumps.
She has proven that she can hang with anyone WWE put in front of her. She’s a natural babyface, and one who would be a perfect foil for Shayna Baszler. She’s popular, a great wrestler, and is great at showing peril when she’s in trouble. NXT currently doesn’t have a lot of female babyfaces, let alone one who could be a legit contender to Baszler’s title, and LeRae could be the division’s saviour.
4. Joaquin Wilde
If you’ve never seen the former DJZ, then prepared to be amazed. The guy can do amazing things in the ring and isn’t just a high-flyer. He can also do the mat-wrestling stuff just as well as anyone else.
Out of everyone on this list, he’s the only one who hasn’t been on NXT TV yet. However, when he does debut, he should be allowed to impress right away. If given time, he could show Full Sail just how good he is, whether as a face or as an obnoxious heel.
NXT could do with another Ricochet type person on TV regularly, and Joaquin Wilde could be that person. He’s likeable, can cut an amazing promo, and is really good between the ropes. If NXT are looking for their next great highflyer, then they could do a lot worse than looking at WIlde.
5. Montez Ford
Despite both Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins both being excellent together as the Street Profits, its clear that Montez Ford is destined for bigger and brighter things as a singles wrestler.
He’s got everything WWE are looking for in a singles star. Tall? Check. Jacked? Check. Charismatic? Check. The fact that he’s also a good wrestler is a bonus in a world where being entertaining is key, which the Street Profits definitely are. Add in the fact that he’s also only 29, and WWE must be drooling at having such a prospect on their hands.
He’s also had some experience on his own, in EVOLVE, which is one of WWE’s feeder companies. At EVOLVE 122, he faced WWN Champion JD Drake in a losing effort, but had greater success at EVOLVE 125, defeating Shane Strickland in a fantastic match, proving that Ford has a bright future ahead as a singles wrestler.
If WWE are serious about making Ford a star, then he needs to start having singles matches on NXT. He can still be part of the Street Profits, but some strong single matches will prove to everyone watching just how good Montez Ford can be. He could have a stellar feud with the Velveteen Dream for the North American title if WWE really wanted to throw a curveball at everyone. Ford has everything going for him, and with the right support, the sky is the limit for him.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @Bannister007. Thanks for reading!