As of February 2018, the perception exists that the World Wrestling Entertainment roster is essentially split into two factions: those still run by WWE chairman Vince McMahon, and those that are guided by Triple H. The Game has become a hero among pockets of WWE fans located around the world who passionately follow the NXT brand, and also among those who have enjoyed the Live 205 show since the co-founder of D-Generation X took command of that program in early 2018. Meanwhile, McMahon continues to be the main man in charge of booking decisions that lead to storylines played out on the Raw and SmackDown shows. This will continue to be the standard order of business so long as McMahon remains in power for the foreseeable future.
Over the past several years, those who scout and acquire talents for the WWE have been more open about the type of athletes and personas the company will offer contracts to en route to having them work in NXT or, in certain cases, arrive directly onto the main roster. This is still the WWE we’re talking about, though, so we imagine McMahon still has what he would deem traditional ideas about the type of wrestlers he should push to make the most money in any given year. Triple H, meanwhile, appears to have a different vision for the future of the company and, in a way, the industry in general. Thus, it shouldn’t be too surprising that non-WWE talents Triple H would theoretically sign, may be different than who McMahon would hire.
15 Triple H - Cody
We remember that the artist formerly known as Cody Rhodes failed to become a true Superstar in the WWE as a babyface, a heel and, later, as Stardust. Leaving the WWE may have been the best career decision Cody has ever made, as he is in the middle of a tremendous run while playing his “American Nightmare” character who is trying to take control of Bullet Club/The Elite.
We would be downright shocked if Triple H, the same man who brought back Drew McIntyre to NXT, hasn’t noticed Cody’s work overseas and in ROH. Cody seems to be enjoying himself away from the WWE, but that doesn’t mean a return to the WWE won’t be in the cards, particularly if Triple H comes calling later in 2018 or next January.
14 Vince - Bobby Lashley
It doesn’t feel as if it was all that long ago when McMahon pushed Bobby Lashley into one of the biggest WrestleMania matches, financially speaking, in history way before the massive Lashley was ready for such a role. Not surprisingly, Lashley flopped during his first stint with the company, but he did well to become one of the true stars of Impact Wrestling.
Lashley still looks as great as he ever did in the WWE, and he now knows how to carry himself as somebody worthy of winning a major championship in the world’s biggest promotion. Future matches featuring Lashley taking on Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman and other big men currently signed by the WWE could have McMahon salivating. He could reappear not long after WrestleMania.
13 Triple H - Zack Sabre Jr.
Probably the biggest reason talented wrestler Zack Sabre Jr. failed to qualify for the final of the 2016 Cruiserweight Classic tournament was because he didn’t come to terms on a deal with the WWE ahead of that match. That fact says all you need to know about if Triple H would sign Sabre if the opportunity presented itself.
Sabre is respected as one of the best technical wrestlers in the world and also because he is able to work a realistic and entertaining style for his size. If reports about the WWE wanting to keep 205 Live afloat through 2018 are accurate, we could see Sabre as one of the faces of that brand if Triple H could get his hands on the performer’s talents at some point in 2018.
12 Vince - Rey Mysterio
Two things that have repeatedly been reported by respected and knowledgable individuals over the years is that Vince McMahon has been looking for a star to attract Hispanic audiences since Rey Mysterio Jr. parted ways with the company, and also that McMahon often goes back to what he knows whenever he feels frustrated or unsure about what to do.
Mysterio returned to the WWE for the 2018 Royal Rumble, and he looked and moved great for his age. It’s obvious McMahon would sign Mysterio today if the two could work out the right schedule and pay. In McMahon’s ideal scenario, Mysterio would probably be performing on either Raw or SmackDown shows the week after WrestleMania. Don’t be surprised if we see the former champion back in the WWE sooner rather than later.
11 Triple H - Young Bucks
This isn’t a matter of whether or not Triple H would like to add the Young Bucks to NXT and/or eventually to the company’s version of Bullet Club. It’s the Young Bucks who may turn the WWE down in 2018 and in the future.
As Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer has pointed out on numerous occasions, Nick and Matt Jackson do very well for themselves wrestling as independent performers, their schedules aren’t as grueling as what they’d experience in WWE, and it’s possible the top promotion in North America wouldn’t pay them more than what they’re earning on their own. In short, Triple H would have to make the Bucks a generous offer to entice them to give up the lives they’ve made for themselves as arguably the best team on the planet.
10 Vince - Kenny Omega
If Kenny Omega were five years younger, he would probably be atop the list of performers Vince would sign in 2018 because the WWE boss has already witnessed both AJ Styles and Balor become fan-favorites. Omega is just as good an in-ring worker, if not better, than both of those wrestlers, and Omega is probably the best promo-man of the three.
After landing Omega, Vince would have the three leaders of Bullet Club signed to the company, which could lead to multiple money-making matches. The Cleaner is signed to NJPW up through the end of 2018, but Vince could convince him that it’s time to make the jump to the WWE ahead of next year’s WrestleMania, especially if Omega feels he’s done all there is to do overseas come December.
9 Triple H - Emma
If you’re anything like us, you were shocked to learn that Emma and the WWE parted ways, largely out of nowhere, in the fall of 2017. That occurred after she received a minimal, at best, push as a member of the main roster, and that is one reason why we could see Triple H reaching out to her about a return in 2018.
Emma could, at the very least, rejoin the NXT brand and help others learn as they attempt to make it en route to receiving main-roster call-ups. It also isn’t a stretch to say Triple H could, in time, catapult her as a top heel and, potentially, create a new faction with her aligning alongside the Iconic Duo. We simply can’t see Triple H giving up on her considering how much promise she showed.
8 Vince - Adam Page
Adam “Hangman” Page has gone from being in the background of the YouTube series Being the Elite and of the Bullet Club into one of the more important wrestlers involved in the upcoming feud between Cody and Kenny Omega. Page isn’t a giant when compared to others currently signed and pushed on the WWE main roster, but he can work an athletic and energetic style for somebody with decent size.
That he will turn 27 years old in the summer only bolsters the idea that McMahon would like to get his hands on Page and have him spend a year or two down in NXT before adding him to one of the company’s main rosters. It wouldn’t be too surprising to see Page as the next member of Bullet Club to jump over to the WWE.
7 Triple H - Kota Ibushi
Just as with the previously mentioned Zack Sabre Jr., Kota Ibushi potentially could have won the first ever Cruiserweight Classic had he signed with the WWE. In fact, the company even put him in that year’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament, perhaps in yet another attempt to get him to put pen to paper on a deal. That, of course, never happened, but there’s no reason to assume Triple H wouldn’t still sign the non-WWE talent in 2018 if Ibushi were to reach out to the promotion.
Ibushi remains one of the most exciting wrestlers competing overseas, and he has the goods to get over among even casual audiences in NXT. It’s also worth noting that Triple H signing Ibushi could open up further opportunities depending on who else would join him in signing for the WWE in the process.
6 Vince - Jay White
All things considered, Jay White could be the top non-WWE talent Vince would sign because of what has occurred in WWE throughout the past few years. Acts such as Finn Balor and AJ Styles have gotten over huge with diehard fans who follow other promotions and also with customers who only follow the WWE product.
Vince seeing dollar signs upon being introduced to White’s work wouldn’t surprise us in the least. White reminds us of Balor in several ways, including his look and style, and he is only 25 years old and not yet in the prime of his career. White probably still has a few years of working overseas before considering making a move to the WWE, but Vince could make White an offer he couldn’t refuse.
5 Triple H - Kazuchika Okada
Whether or not Kazuchika Okada is, in fact, the best overall wrestler in the world today is a matter of opinion. Okada has done more than enough to grab the attention of Triple H, along with others within the WWE, as of early 2018, and the 30-year-old hasn’t squashed the idea of making the jump to the promotion in the future.
Triple H made Shinsuke Nakamura the face of NXT, and Nakamura is set to headline one of the top matches of this year’s WrestleMania card. One would think Okada would receive a similar or even a larger push because of Nakamura’s successes. Okada has all the tools to be a star, and potential big-time WWE matches against AJ Styles, Nakamura, Finn Balor and others could lead to Triple H completing this major signing after 2018.
4 Vince - Bad Luck Fale
Nobody is going to pretend that Bad Luck Fale would become the best worker on the WWE roster once Vince signed him. Fale also wouldn’t be the biggest or baddest character working underneath the WWE umbrella. He does, however, have the look of a classic heel Vince would love to pair with an undersized performer and serve as the muscle for that individual or for a group.
We can close our eyes and envision Fale replacing the Miztourage and acting as a bodyguard for The Miz, particularly if Miz were to feud with larger babyfaces such as Braun Strowman, Roman Reigns or others in the future. If nothing else, Fale performing in the WWE could be a lot of fun for a brief period of time before he returned overseas.
3 Triple H - Will Osprey
Will Ospreay recently explained on an edition of the Talk is Jericho podcast that the WWE had reached out to him about signing a contract, and that he turned that opportunity down to work in promotions such as New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Those who have watched Ospreay wrestle could probably see why Triple H and others within the organization would want to acquire the young performer. Anybody disappointed that Ospreay won’t be producing highlight-reel matches in NXT or on the WWE roster in 2018 should remember that he turns 25 years old in May. There will be plenty of time in the future for Ospreay to make significant and major career decisions and, hopefully, work in front of a WrestleMania audience before he approaches his 30s.
2 Vince - Flip Gordon
Some out there may be surprised to see Flip Gordon listed as a non-WWE talent Vince McMahon would sign. Gordon has multiple qualities that would appeal to McMahon. He has a great look, he can be an entertaining promo in the right circumstances, and he is an active member of the National Guard, something McMahon would probably envision he could use to push the talent and also receive positive press from outlets.
Gordon is also only 26 years old, which means the WWE could send him to NXT and mold him in the promotion’s vision before putting him on Raw, SmackDown or 205 Live. Gordon is still learning while on the job, but we would understand why McMahon would happily sign him at some point in 2018.
1 Triple H - Marty Scurll
Ever since AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson first arrived on the scene in the WWE, the company has not been shy about mentioning their time spent in Bullet Club (without actually mentioning the faction’s name, of course).
Marty Scurll may be undersized compared to the giants McMahon has pushed over the years, but he has done well to find his own character and working style in multiple promotions. It’s also easy to forget that he won’t turn 30 years old until July of this year. We imagine Triple H would love to push The Villain either in a faction alongside others currently working outside the WWE or as a solo act who could help carry the NXT banner or possibly hold the United Kingdom Championship.