We are currently amidst the "New Era" in the WWE, and you may be asking, what does that really even mean? Well, it means that the next generation of stars are getting more time in the spotlight, which means that the older lingering wrestlers, guys like Mark Henry, The Undertaker, Bog Show, Kane, John Cena et cetera are beginning to fade out into the background as the newer talents take over. It's a step in the right direction, as the WWE currently has a roster full of exceptional talents and future stars in the making.
With some of the older established main eventer's stepping out of the spotlight and receiving less grueling schedules, the WWE is currently in the process of selecting a number of their new talents and promoting them to replace those said older guys in the main event scene. The WWE is surely not short of potential candidates to fill in these roles. Guys like Kevin Owens, AJ Styles and Bray Wyatt all received their first real shot at glory last year as they all captured their first WWE World Championship.
However, all three of those stars seemed to have been on a "trial" run so to speak, as they've all been quickly demoted to the midcard scene following their title loss. While I hope and pray that those three talents once again return to the main event scene, nothing's for certain at this point. In my opinion, I think that the WWE are testing a few of their younger talents to see which guys will fit the main event roles the best.
Some of the guys in the Raw and SmackDown Live locker rooms deserve a shot at the top of the card, where as some of the others have no business being anywhere near the top. Stay tuned, as this list divulges 8 current WWE wrestlers who are deserving of a main event push, and 7 who definitely aren't.
15 15. Deserving: Cesaro
Cesaro is currently apart of the now popular tag team with none other than The Celtic Warrior, Sheamus. The duo have seemingly turned heel after assaulting The Hardy Boyz after the Hardy's successfully retained their Raw Tag Team Championship. Regardless, when this pairing eventually comes to an end, Cesaro is certainly deserving of a main event push. He has the look, the work ethic, the strength, the talent and the connection with the fans.
It's now completely up to the WWE. At one point, Vince McMahon had said on the Stone Cold Podcast that Cesaro was supposedly "lacking" a connection with the fans, which as I'm sure you all know, is complete and total B.S. Cesaro was and still is over with the fans, and the WWE needs to capitalize on this phenomenal talent. Cesaro is starting to hit that peak in the ring, as he's now 36, so the WWE should waste no time in promoting Cesaro to the main event. If not, Cesaro will go down in the wrestling history books as a huge missed opportunity.
14 14. Not Deserving: Mojo Rawley
Mojo Rawley recently won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at this year's WrestleMania, much to shock of the WWE Universe. The win came out of left field because let's be honest here, I think he was the last guy anyone thought would have won the battle royal considering guys like Sami Zayn, Braun Strowman and Big Show were included in the match. It seems like the WWE are giving Mojo some sort of a push, which I have no idea as to why that is. Rawley's not terrible in the ring, but he's far from being great. His mic skills leave little to be desired, and his look isn't the most intimidating.
He's definitely "hype", but he's too goofy to be taken seriously. Perhaps a lower midcard push is in the books for Rawley, but anything more than that would be totally uncalled for. I think Rob Gronkowski's friendship with Mojo is hypnotizing Vince into giving him a push. Mojo Rawley reminds me of a bad version of John Cena, and I hope we won't be seeing him anywhere near the main event scene. A midcard push is tolerable (barely), but anything more that that would be completely unbearable.
13 13. Deserving: Rusev
Rusev is one of the most talented big guys to come the WWE's way in history. He's agile, he's huge, he's strong, he's extremely talented and most of all, he's a believable monster and he has proven this on multiple occasions. When I found out that Rusev was drafted to SmackDown Live, I was very happy. If there was a place where Rusev had even the slightest chance of being utilized to his fullest potential, it would be on SmackDown, no doubt. Rusev has been horribly mistreated throughout his entire WWE tenure and I pray that they get it right this time.
Rusev is far too talented to be wasted floundering in the midcard. Rusev has "main eventer" written all over him, and it's now up to Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon to give the Bulgarian Brute some main event opportunities. Recently, Rusev stated that he was only going to come and wrestle for SmackDown if he was granted a WWE Championship match, and for his sake, I hope SmackDown grants his wish. If the match occurs, expect Rusev to knock this opportunity out of the ball park, and to finally be realized as the Blue Brand's next main event monster heel.
12 12. Not Deserving: Sheamus
Sheamus is currently involved in a successful tag team with The Swiss Superman, Cesaro and in my opinion, is the most entertaining Sheamus has been in well, almost ever. We all know that Sheamus was given the superman push when he made his debut in 2009, and was catapulted with a rocket attached into the main event and the WWE Championship scene. His runs at the top were complete flops if we look back at them now. Was Sheamus the worst drawing World Champion in WWE History? No, but he was far from being a draw.
He was a placeholder champion to the fans, and his runs as the WWE champ were boring, bland and just plain awful. I think those reasons contributed to Sheamus becoming completely and utterly irrelevant before his pairing with Cesaro. It really wouldn't surprise me if the WWE gave Sheamus another main event push once he and Cesaro go their separate ways. That's actually how this tag team with Cesaro formed to begin with. They were fighting each other over an opportunity at the WWE World Championship. Regardless, Sheamus is not deserving of another main event push, and he should instead be placed into the midcard as a contender for the IC Championship.
11 11. Deserving: Kevin Owens
I'm going to say this very blatantly, Kevin Owens deserves to return to the main event scene, this time however on the Blue Brand. Although some fans considered Kevin's run as the Universal Champion to have been boring and uneventful, I still believe he made the most of it, and succeeded as much as he could with how the WWE presented him. Kevin Owens is not the one responsible for his booking, the WWE is. He didn't book himself to be the chicken-sh*t heel losing non-title matches against the likes of the then US Champion Roman Reigns. That was all Vince and the Creative Team for you.
Regardless of his crappy booking, Kevin made the most of his title run and towards the end of his reign as Universal Champ, he was the highlight of Raw for me, besides Braun Strowman of course. Since dropping the Universal Championship, Kevin has been placed into the midcard battling over the US Championship (which he actually just lost at Payback on Sunday). Regardless, Kevin Owens is a main event heel and he deserves to be treated as such. I hope Team Blue makes the most of their "Prizefighter" and promotes him up the card, since he's no longer saddled down with the US Championship.
10 10. Not Deserving: Baron Corbin
For whatever reason, Baron Corbin is being presented as Team Blue's next main event heel and so many fans seem to to be jumping on the Corbin-bandwagon. I personally fail to understand why. Sure, Corbin has the size Vince loves and is a fairly talented big guy, but on the mic? He's as scripted and as bland as they come. I don't think the Corbin-bandwagon fans realize that the main eventers are the guys who are required to be constantly featured on the mic and in promos, considering they're the main eventers. Baron Corbin will be completely exposed if the rumored push goes though.
Do I hate Baron Corbin? Absolutely not. He's a very talented big guy, but he's not ready for a main event push yet. Giving Corbin a run in the midcard (perhaps as US Champion) could allow Baron to develop his character a bit more and to gain some confidence in his role. A hasty main event push could result in Baron Corbin being exposed for his weaknesses, and then perhaps being dropped from the main event scene altogether. Baron Corbin is now solid in the ring, but his mic work is what needs to be fine tuned for the time being.
9 9. Deserving: Luke Harper
Luke Harper has all the tools needed to be a WWE main eventer but for whatever dumb reason, he's being completely held back from being utilized to his fullest potential. He has an intimidating look, the presence, the ring skills and is over with the WWE Universe. He's basically this generations version of The Undertaker, minus the phenomenal booking. Harper is always booked as second fiddle to whoever he's feuding with. The WWE had an opportunity to capitalize on Luke prior to WrestleMania, by making the WWE World Championship match between Wyatt and Orton a Triple Threat match.
However, they decided against it because they felt as if Harper would have made the match less important. That was a huge missed opportunity, because the WWE Universe were firmly behind the talented big man, as they chanted "Luke" during his match with AJ Styles over the WrestleMania main event opportunity. However, Luke Harper is still on SmackDown Live, so there's still some hope that the WWE realize their big mistake and changes their minds regarding pushing him. There's really no other big guy on the Blue Brand more deserving of a main event push. The only equally deserving candidate is perhaps Rusev.
8 8. Not Deserving: Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews was recently drafted from SmackDown Live to Raw in the "Superstar Shake Up" last month. Prior to the draft, Apollo Crews was completely irrelevant. Why was that the case? Well, it probably had to do with the fact that Crews is the most bland and boring babyface possible, even more boring than the similarly looking Bobby Lashley before him. When Apollo Crews was called up to the main roster last year, he was immediately presented as a star in the making. He even defeated Sheamus, (okay not that big of a deal) a former WWE World Champion in his debut pay-per-view match.
However since them, Crews has fallen hard from grace due to the blandness of his character. Now on the Red Brand, it seems like the WWE are attempting to re-push Apollo Crews with the assistance of the legendary main eventer (sarcasm) Titus O'Neil. While Crews is stuck with this boring smiling babyface role, he doesn't deserve to be anywhere near the main event scene. The only way Apollo Crews will be deserving of a main event push is if he gets a much needed character change, perhaps a heel turn. He definitively has the in-ring ability and the look that's for sure, but the character? Not so much.
7 7. Deserving: Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke Nakamura, the man with undoubtedly the best theme music in the WWE today, was called up to the main roster's SmackDown Live with the recent "Superstar Shake Up." Nakamura is exactly the kind of fresh talent that the Blue Brand was in desperate need of. The former two-time NXT Champion has main eventer written all over him, even if he can barely speak English. His ring-ability and charisma alone, are enough to catapult Nakamura into the face of the company position. He's not the youngest star on the roster at 37, so the WWE must pull the main event push trigger on Nakamura immediately.
If there's one guy that's going to scrap the impending main event push of the deserving Nakamura, that man would be Vince McMahon. McMahon has never been one for treating foreign talents very well, and it really wouldn't surprise me if Vince refuses to give Nakamura a push to the top. However, Shinsuke is more than deserving of this push. He's probably the most over guy on SmackDown Live (even though he hasn't even wrestled yet) so his push should come sooner rather than later. Once he's finished squashing the jabroni known as Dolph Ziggler, his rise to the top of the SmackDown card should follow.
6 6. Not Deserving: Dean Ambrose
Dean Ambrose is basically the Mick Foley of this generation. He's a guy that floats in between the midcard and main event scene without anyone really noticing the difference. Dean Ambrose has already had a run in the main event scene last year with the WWE World Championship, and as I'm sure you know, it was an uneventful and fairly boring title reign if you ask me. His boring reign as the top champ is probably a major factor in why Ambrose has been firmly positioned in the midcard ever since, as he's been mainly involved in the IC Championship scene.
Dean Ambrose comes across as a bit lazy, and his ring work seems to get a bit worse each and every year. It doesn't seem like he's trying that hard, and I believe that the WWE knows and realizes this hence why The Miz brought up the fact that Ambrose was "stale" and "lazy". Now a member of the Raw brand, Dean Ambrose should remain a midcarder if his in-ring work doesn't improve. Dean is not deserving of a main event push at this time because of it. Perhaps a character change (basically a heel turn) and some improved ring work could convince me otherwise but until then, nope not deserving.
5 5. Deserving: The Miz
The Miz has had a phenomenal 2016 and 2017 so far and he is the most relevant, popular and talented he has ever been. Not only is The Miz a beast when it comes to the mic and his promos, but he's also a highly underrated and solid in-ring competitor, which he has proven to be the case in multiple quality matches. Despite becoming one of the WWE's most solid and beloved heels, The Miz's ceiling has remained the Intercontinental Championship level which is basically the upper midcard. There are very few talents on the roster today who are more deserving of a main event push than The Miz.
The Miz has been on fire lately and he has convinced the WWE Universe that he is not an afterthought. Although The Miz's first main event push back in 2010 and 2011 was widely considered to be a flop (even though I personally enjoyed it), a main event push for The Miz now would go completely differently and would be a total success. There isn't a better heel on the Red Brand who could portray the main event heel better than The Miz at the moment. However, the Miz is now chasing after Dean's IC Championship after winning the triple threat championship match opportunity this past Monday. Regardless, when this quest comes to an end, The Miz is more than deserving of another main event push.
4 4. Not Deserving: Finn Balor
I know I'm going to be blasted by the Finn Balor marks for this one, but I really don't care if I'm going to honest with you. Finn Balor is just not a main event caliber superstar. The guy lacks the personality to be a top star and is in all honesty, a charisma vacuum. To me, Finn Balor is a guy who should be placed into the 205 Live roster, and should be booked as the top cruiserweight star to add some much needed excitement to the Cruiserwight division. However, he's one of Triple H's "golden boys" and another main event push is imminent.
Right from his main roster debut, Finn was given superman booking (almost stronger than Romans booking), as he went over both Roman and Seth Rollins clean, and became the first ever Universal Champion. His title run was short lived though, after suffering an injury at the hands of Seth Rollins. Regardless, Finn's back on the Red Brand and it looks like it's only a matter of time before he's strapped with that rocket again and is shot back into the main event scene. To me, Balor just isn't deserving of a main event push, at least not so rapidly. I just don't see the "it" factor in Finn whatsoever. Regardless, I can guarantee you that he will be given a main event push very soon, deserving or not.
3 3. Deserving: AJ Styles
AJ Styles is undoubtedly the WWE's most well-rounded talent today, regardless of which show he resides on. Currently, the Blue Brand is AJ Styles' home. Surprisingly, since his WrestleMania win over Shane McMahon, Styles has been demoted into the midcard scene, as he's vying for the United States Championship. If we're going to be honest here, after AJ Styles' phenomenal (no pun intended) WWE World Championship run last year, the only place Styles belongs is the main event scene.
AJ is far too talented of a guy to be wasted in the midcard vying over a midcard championship. He absolutely knocked his main event heel run out of the ballpark and if the WWE are smart, Styles will quickly again rise to that main event level. Also, AJ Styles isn't the youngest guy on the roster at 39 (going on 40 next month), so the WWE shouldn't be wasting their precious time with AJ Styles in the US Title scene. He doesn't have too much time left in his career, so the time he does have left should rightfully be spent at the top. He's one of the best wrestlers of all time, and he is definitely more than deserving of another main event push.
2 Not Deserving: "Hard Body" Jinder Mahal
Jinder Mahal's sudden rise to the main event scene is one of the most shocking things to happen in the WWE in quite some time. Just a week prior to winning the "6-Pack Challenge" for a WWE World Championship opportunity, Mahal was nothing more than a big jabroni jobber, losing to the likes of Mojo Rawley. His push came completely out of left field and although Mahal looks like a beast, he isn't deserving of a main event push yet, regardless of what some of the new Jinder Mahal-bandwagon fans have to say. For his entire run with the WWE, Mahal was nothing more than an enhancement talent.
There was no build up to Mahal winning this weird main event championship opportunity against Randy Orton at Backlash. It all has to do with the WWE trying to expand their market in India, one of the WWE;s biggest consumers. To me, if the WWE had intentions of expanding to the Indian market and thought Mahal was a worthy contender for the new "Indian superstar", then why did they spend zero time in building him up? This is why Jinder's rise has been so controversial and widely discussed. As well, Jinder's rapid muscle growth and steroid accusations certainly aren't helping matters. At this point, Jinder Mahal is far from deserving a main event push, but it looks as if that's exactly what we'll be getting regardless.
1 Deserving: Braun Strowman
Aside from Kevin Owens, Braun Strowman has been the highlight of Raw ever since the Brand Split last summer, for me anyways. It's crazy how the green lumbering giant from just a couple of years ago has morphed into the WWE's baddest residential monster, and one of the best big men in the company's history. It has been truly shocking to witness the amazing transformation. Great booking doesn't hurt either of course, because Strowman has been booked like an unstoppable gargantuan ever since the Brand Split.
After his recent victory over the beaten down Roman Reigns, no one on the Red Brand is more deserving of a main event push more than The Monster Among Men, Braun Strowman. I fully expect the WWE to pull the trigger on Strowman and to push him into a WWE Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar (I get giddy just thinking about that collision) at WWE's new pay-per-view, Great Balls Of Fire (weird name for a PPV isn't it?) I only hope that the WWE doesn't screw up this rare talented giants push down the line, by having Roman return from his "injures" and then go on to destroy and bury Strowman much like how John Cena buried guys before. Let's cross our fingers!