There’s some good stuff going on in wrestling today, this is what I consider the top 5 best in WWE and TNA right now. Obviously my top 5 is different than yours, so please, let me hear your top 5.
5. Robert Roode #1 contender for TNA heavyweight title
Robert Roode and James Storm are great as Beer Money, but like most others, I think Roode has the potential to be TNA’s next top guy. He knows how to wrestle and he knows how to talk; he’s pretty good at both those things, in fact.
TNA’s recent track record of ‘top stars’ and champions is a bit unsettling. Personally, I don’t see how they can have Jeff Hardy and Kurt Angle in the title scene at all right now. Those two, despite their popularity and talent, don’t represent their company they way they should. And TNA shouldn’t push guys who don’t make them look good.
For years now, since the beginning of TNA, Roode has been a great asset to the company. Roode has a load of potential that is just now being put to use by TNA creative.
I hope that Roode’s newly won spot as #1 contender is a long term investment by TNA in shaping him into becoming a true, top guy for the company. I think he’s proven enough to earn the spot and the trust of the company; he is someone that they can trust to serve the company well.
4. Zack Ryder on television & merchandise
Zack Ryder is OVER! Ryder is oozing with charisma and it’s about time that he gets a real chance at showing it.
Ryder is pretty much a self-made Superstar thanks to his Z: True Long Island Story videos on YouTube. For a company that prides themselves on being ‘entertainment,’ it’s taken them long enough to feature Zack Ryder as much as they have been recently.
I think WWE missed the boat with Santino; he was over and they never really went anywhere with it. Now is a perfect time to capitalize on Ryder’s popularity.
Regardless of Ryder’s in-ring ability (which isn’t bad), the WWE is a company that wants to make money and that’s what Zack Ryder can do for them. Ryder is money right now, there’s no doubt about it. The Zack Pack is willing to shovel out money for his t-shirts, headbands and shades, so put the guy on TV and let him try to sell more of it.
It’s certainly up to him and creative on just where and how far he can ride out his popularity, but at least now he’s got the opportunity to make something more of himself.
3. Cody Rhodes: once again dashing
I have been a fan of Cody Rhodes since before his dashing days, but for a long while, I think some underestimated him. Ted DiBiase, Jr. was the young star to keep our eyes on, however this last year, it hasn’t been Teddy who’s undergone an interesting transformation, it’s been Cody; Cody Rhodes came into his own. His match against Rey Mysterio at Wrestlemania XXVII was one of the best of the night and proved just how far he had come since his debut in the WWE.
Though he may be the grandson of a plumber, Rhodes is anything but a ‘common man.’ Cody Rhodes is dashing.
What seems like it would be such a cheesy gimmick, Rhodes made entertaining. From his theme song to the grooming tips and his digital mirror to the tantrums he threw when an opponent hit his face, Rhodes worked the gimmick into something truly entertaining and made himself look, well… dashing.
And then during his feud with Rey, Rhodes became undashing; he became Cody Von Doom, wearing a protective mask to cover his face. But again, when the gimmick could have become too gimmicky, he made it something interesting and entertaining.
He flinches when he walks to the ring, because he doesn’t want people to see his ugliness. He became a monster, but insisted everyone else was just as ugly and demanded they cover themselves as well.
He plays his character so well, and as Intercontinental champion, I hope that he can continue to show what he can do. Now in his feud against Teddy, I hope that they can both showcase themselves and take back their spots as the future of the WWE.
2. Jack Swagger & Dolph Ziggler
Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler are two young guys who are fighting to showcase themselves to the best of their abilities. Both are great athletes and both have a huge amount of potential that the WWE has yet to truly take a chance on.
What I find so great about this growing feud is that they weren’t just thrown against each other, to see who would win over Vickie Guerrero, but instead were thrown together to work with each other. By doing this, I think it adds a certain depth and longevity to their feud. They are both two guys they should invest more time in.
Obviously, this will lead to a Swagger vs. Dolph Ziggler match down the line, but the build up has been pretty good thus far. I’m a big fan of minimal physical altercation prior to the actual matches and such. The slow, steady feud boiling through fighting for Vickie Guerrero’s attention and managerial services, coupled with the added bonus of the United States championship, I think Swagger and Ziggler are set up to really shine for the WWE suits to take notice of them. Especially when it gets to the actual matches, those will be great.
1. CM Punk
The greatest thing in the WWE currently is CM Punk. Just a few months ago, he almost single-handedly revitalized pro wrestling (and started the WWE ice cream bar revolution). His pipe bomb promos have been exceptional and he’s headlined the last three PPVs; champion or not, CM Punk is WWE’s ‘it’ guy right now.
In the week following Punk’s announcement that he would be leaving the WWE, with his first real pipe bomb promo, CM Punk made wrestling fun again.
Punk became the anti-hero for the WWE universe, but unlike Batman, Punk was exactly what we wanted and needed in wrestling. He challenged what was presumed to be the ‘good’ in the WWE and took his own stand against it, fought against it for the greater good.
Punk and Cena put on a fantastic match at Money in the Bank, and Punk reigned supreme. At SummerSlam, after one of the best contract signing segments, he once again defeated John Cena, but fell victim to an opportunistic Alberto Del Rio, after being attacked by Triple H. By this time however, CM Punk had his sights set on Triple H.
Again, their match at Night of Champions was driven by Punk’s great promos.
As of now, Punk is in the midst of a strange feud involving Triple H and John Laurinaitis. As confusing and scattered as their feud may be, CM Punk is still fighting the good fight and is still the highlight of Raw.
I’m looking forward to hearing more pipe bombs being dropped and having Punk continue his anti-hero crusade for a better WWE.