Developing new stars is of paramount importance for any wrestling promotion, regardless of size or audience. The failure to do so has sunk many organizations over the years, while the ones who have done so, usually thrived and prospered. Without an emphasis placed on young talent, the roster becomes stagnant, and weighed down with exclusively older names that don't generate new fans. Additionally, feuds and title competition tends to become recycled, with ideas being reused, which ultimately leads to a stale overall product. One of the most notable examples of this is what happened to WCW in the late-1990s. After a sharp rise to prominence, the promotion folded just several years later.
The good news for WWE fans is that there is a bevy of youthful stars waiting in the wings to take control. With the advent of NXT, there is currently a true developmental promotion for WWE, essentially a well-constructed, in-house minor league system, to groom the main event stars of the future. Much of the top young talent has arisen from this, and have appeared on WWE programming within the last several years. There's a lot to look forward to in WWEs future, and this represents the cream of the crop.
Ranked below are the top 15 current WWE wrestlers under the age of 30.
A former NXT Women's Champion, where she had been since 2012 until debuting on the Raw brand in August of this year, Bayley is already a veteran of the squared circle, and should be in the upper-tier of the Women's Division very soon. Prior to her involvement with WWE, she had wrestled for California-based promotions such as Big Time Wrestling, and NWA Championship Wrestling From Hollywood. Technically sound, she's without a doubt one of the most promising talents the Women's Division has to offer at the moment. She'll likely receive a series of tune-up matches before getting her shot at the WWE Women's Title, but is almost guaranteed to hold it sometime in the next year or so. She has the experience to be a quality champion right away, and only adds additional depth to the Women's Division as a whole.
After being a contender for the Women's Title in NXT, Carmella found her way onto the main roster earlier this year via the draft, and has been a consistent presence in the division ever since. She's spent some time as a manager as well, but has really found her niche in the ring as of late. Coming off a six-woman tag match at SummerSlam, she figures to be a constant staple in the Women's ranks, which has been steadily receiving more of a push in recent years. She hasn't seen the main event ranks yet, but with continued success on the main brand, she could find herself there within a couple of years. One of the brightest young talents in the women's division, with the ability to act both as manager and wrestler alike.
14 Jason Jordan
Having just made his SmackDown brand debut in August, Jordan is one half the American Alpha tag team with Chad Gable. He resembles a mix of past WWE stars Kurt Angle and Tony Atlas, with a technical wrestling pedigree alongside a more power-oriented style. This is tayl0r-made for WWE, and he should be seeing a look at the Tag Titles in due time. He began in FCW, before making his way to NXT in 2012, where he would spend the next four years. He and Gable captured the tag belts there, quickly becoming one of the best young teams in the WWE lexicon. Now on the main brand, they add much needed depth to the tag division, which could use a shot in the arm. Jordan has the potential for singles success later down the road, but still at the age of 27, there is plenty of time for that portion of his potential to be fully recognized.
13 Alexa Bliss
Another recent Summer addition to the Smackdown brand, Bliss further bolsters the Women's Division, and made her pay-per-view debut at SummerSlam in August. She competed in the six-woman tag match, along with Nikki Bella and Naomi, emerging victorious. Despite her relative inexperience, making her wrestling debut in NXT in 2013, she's technically proficient, and hasn't hit her peak yet as an in-ring talent. That will come in the next few years, but since WWE has been going all-in on the Women's Division in general, it doesn't hurt to add her to the roster now. She'll likely see plenty of opportunity to progress and ultimately should emerge as a top talent in the division. At an extremely young 25-years-old, she hasn't hit her prime yet, and will only to continue improving from here. A solid addition to the Smackdown brand on the main roster.
A two-time United States Champion, Kalisto is one of the best overall performers in WWE, and a current member of the Smackdown brand. He paid his dues in the renowned Mexican promotion AAA, proceeding to spend some time on the American Indy circuit. He debuted on WWEs main roster in 2015, after several years in NXT. He was one half of the Lucha Dragons, alongside Sin Cara, utilizing a decidedly retro masked-Lucha gimmick that provided a nice change of pace. While high-flying maneuvers are his bread and butter, Kalisto is proficient on the technical side of wrestling as well. Time is definitely on his side, and an Intercontinental Title run isn't out of the question in the near future. His character has been played before, but it hasn't run out of steam, and he's a reliable member of the main roster at the moment.
At only 28, Naomi is already a veteran of WWEs main roster, after a brief stint in NXT, which ended in 2011. Serving as a member of the Funkadactyls, and manager of The Usos, she now is in full-fledged singles competition, coming off a SummerSlam appearance. Naomi represents the kind of versatility that a growing division within any promotion needs, and her experience, along with her ability to play any kind of role, should continue to be an asset. It isn't likely that she sees any time with the Women's Title, but her value goes beyond that of just a champion. With more room to grow despite her experinece, she'll continue to be an entertaining factor in the division, as both a manager and wrestler. There's still plenty of upside, and possible angles that she could be involved in.
9 Bray Wyatt
Wyatt is already a WWE veteran at age 29 as the leader of the Wyatt family, which has been appearing on programming since 2012. A former two-time FCW Tag Champion, Wyatt represents the kind of continuity that is needed in any promotion. While not an elite talent in the ring, Wyatt has carved out a role within WWE, and should remain a fixture on the main roster in the proceeding years. He seems to be taking on a more singles-oriented approach recently, which should add some depth to the character, allowing him to partake in a feud on his own. It could be the next step for Wyatt's career, or be the catalyst that sends him packing, but overall it seems like a necessary move to find out how much potential he has. It should be interesting to see what turns his career takes in the next six months.
8 Tyler Breeze
Currently on the Smackdown brand, Breeze represents a true mid-card staple, which is a necessity in a large promotion such as WWE. A solid worker in the ring, and a recognized name, he can be used either as enhancement talent, or to bolster the competition for a mid-level title. Despite winning both Heavyweight and Tag Team gold in FCW, he likely isn't a main event star in WWE, but does his job exceedingly well. Again, it's the kind of character that's needed on a mainstream roster, and his talent still has room to expand in the coming years. He seems primed for tag competition at the moment, forming the Breezango team with Fandango, and defeating the Usos in July. It should provide a nice spark to the mid-level tag competition, and keep Breeze's persona fresh, in case he goes on another singles run.
7 Sasha Banks
A true up-and-comer in the Women's Division, Banks has already had great success as the age of 24, already capturing a Women's Title on the main roster. She initially spent time in NXT, but has competed in several other Indy promotions. Its a fairly hefty resume for such a young talent, and really, the limits on Banks' potential are endless. It's the perfect young star for WWE to pair themselves with as the recently-expanded Women's Division continues to grow and flourish. She'll one day likely be the top dog within the division. Right now, the only thing holding her back is her extremely young age, considering he hasn't even hit the peak of her potential. Still, in five years she may already be considered the best Women's wrestler in WWE history. Only time will tell, but the future looks increasingly bright for Banks.
6 Becky Lynch
One of the most charismatic wrestlers on the Women's roster, Lynch provides a unique take, giving the division an international flair, residing from Dublin, Ireland. She has quite the resume, and has wrestled all over the world, including a stint in Japan. Although she hasn't yet captured the Women's Title, that is bound to happen at some point, and in the interim Lynch provides some much needed consistency for the Women's roster. She's a world-traveled wrestler, and a quality in-ring worker that can be put in multiple angles, involving many kinds of wrestlers. A true rising star in the sport, Lynch has to be considered one of the most integral parts to the Women's roster, and will almost certainly see title success soon. A rising star in the Women's Division to certainly keep an eye on in the next six months.
5 Xavier Woods
A member of the New Day, Woods has a ton of experience throughout the business, despite only turning 30 in September. He's seen time in TNA as Consequences Creed, done a stint in New Japan, and performed in several Indy promotions, along with NXT, before making his way to the WWE main roster. Currently on the Raw brand, the New Days are the reigning WWE Tag Champions, and have been so for over a year now. Often out-shined by Big E and Kofi Kingston, Woods is actually one of the better wrestlers on the entire roster, and is likely primed for a singles push sometime in the next year. He has the charisma and in-ring ability to do so, and a feud with Kingston would make for a great pay-per-view match-up. Keep an eye on Woods, as he soon looks to break out on his own.
One of the few beacons of hope for the tag division as a whole is Enzo, along with his partner Big Cass. After several years spent in NXT, the tandem has given the tag ranks a shot in the arm, due to a classic melding of speed and power in the ring, and Enzo's skills on the mic. Often cutting a promo during his entrance to the ring, a la Road Dogg circa 1999, he displays the charisma needed to succeed in the upper-tier of the WWE ranks. He's improved year-by-year in the ring, and is primed for a tag title run very soon. It's good to see some potential in the tag ranks, and Enzo could be a certified star if he can put it all together in the next few years. There's no question that the mic and in-ring talent is there in order for him to be a mainstay in WWE for a long time.
Despite only being 24 years-old, Paige has a veteran's resume, and is already a two-time Divas Champion. Making her wrestling debut at an unfathomable 13, she's been a catalyst for the rebirth of the Women's Division, and one of the most consistent talents on the roster. Needless to say, her potential is limitless, as she hasn't even hit the prime of her career yet, and along with Sasha Banks, figures to be a staple of the Women's ranks for years to come. An exceptional in-ring talent, she has the ability to feud with just about anyone, and is probably the best overall that WWE has to offer in terms of women's wrestling. She'll without question see another title run, and should be making big waves within the next year.
2 Bo Dallas
Currently on the Raw brand, Dallas is one of the youngest WWE stars with the most upside for later in his career. After leaving FCW in 2012, he then went to NXT for two years, where he won the Heavyweight gold, before making his jump to the main roster. Not only a talented in-ring presence himself, his family is made up of wrestling royalty; he is related to Blackjack Mulligan, Mike Rotunda, along with Kendall and Barry Windham, all of whom have achieved greatness in the sport from years past. The future for Dallas looks similar, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him gain a mid-level title, before making a run at the main event scene in a year or so. At just 26-years-old, there's no need to rush his ability, knowing that he'll still be in his prime for the forseeable future. He is one of the rising stars in the promotion, destined for big things.
1 Apollo Crews
Fresh off a failed shot at The Miz's Intercontinental Title at SummerSlam, Crews' future still shines bright. He's got the make-up of a prototypical WWE star, and seen success in numerous other promotions, most notably Dragon Gate USA. Combining a well-balanced mix of high-flying with a more traditionally-based power style, Crews can work a good match with just about anyone, and should be seeing title success within the next year. As far as talent who are ready immediately for a push, Crews seems to be at the top of the list. He's a top-flight talent who needs to be a part of the main event scene. There are multiple angles available to him at the moment, and the possibilities are wide open. Still, he's relatively young, and should be able to get his shot when the best opportunity arises. He has all the makings of a true WWE Champion, and deserves that shot in the near future.
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