The WWE is an ever changing company, and with Triple H gaining more and more influence, the company will continue to evolve, especially with the kind of stars that they push, and this makes us wonder what the promotion will look like in the near future, specifically the main roster, and its main event scene. Obviously this will be hard to 100% predict accurately, as people change and so does the company, but with the stars around the world today, as well as the ones already performing well within the WWE, we can take a fairly accurate guess at who will be on top of the company to lead it into the future.
People have all kinds of different tastes, so it’s unlikely that anyone reading this list will fully agree with it, but there are some wrestlers whose talent just can’t be denied, even by Vince McMahon, who has a history of holding down great wrestlers in place of his chosen stars. It’s likely that McMahon will no longer be running the company five years from now, so this class of main event stars will likely be the first crop in the career of The Game at the top of the company.
Let’s take a look at those he will likely put his faith in to move the company forward and make it the best wrestling promotion he can.
15 Aleister Black
Tommy End had a fantastic career all over Europe for more than a decade, and with his creepy, Satanist gimmick, it looked like the WWE was unlikely to ever come calling, but they did. And in his short time with the NXT brand, the newly christened Aleister Black has won over everyone, from fans to fellow performers, and most importantly, management. Obviously the character is a much more toned down version of what we have seen most prominently in ICW, but he has made the change fantastically, and he not only plays that character well, but looks as dangerous as anyone in the company between the bells. He has yet to develop his character beyond what we first see, but the company is already interested in promoting him to the main roster, so in five years, Black will be part of the new age of main event stars in the company.
14 Pete Dunne
WWE fans have already had a glimpse into what the Bruiserweight, Pete Dunne is truly capable of, and someone with such talent who plays the role of heel so perfectly will definitely out grow the U.K program in WWE, and will ascend onto the main roster as a true, main event heel that the company has been lacking. We’ve only seen two installments into the Pete Dunne vs. Tyler Bate rivalry, and it already looks like it could be an all-time classic, and while Bate will definitely succeed in the WWE, it is the current champ Dunne who will climb highest in the company. With another few years experience, Dunne will be too good and too hot to deny, and with the company struggling to find true heels, Dunne fits the mold perfectly, while being able to have fantastic matches with any variety of opponent.
13 Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin joined the WWE on the back of a failed NFL career, and it took him a while to become comfortable in the ring, but ever since it clicked for him in NXT, he has looked like an absolute star. If rumors are to be believed, the WWE are eager to treat him as such, seeing him as one of the next big heels for their organization. His character of a Lone Wolf bully, while quite outdated, has plenty of room to grow and develop him as a true, heat-seeking heel, and while the majority of the performers on this list have independent credibility on their side (which will always have the fans on their side), Corbin is a genuine heel. Unlike Braun Strowman, who is currently RAW’s top giant, Corbin has some staying power in the WWE, and he will no doubt thrive when given the right people to work with and time to develop his character.
12 Dalton Castle
Dalton Castle may never find himself in the WWE, as he has carved out a great niche for himself in Ring of Honor and other small independents, but he has the unique character and great wrestling ability that would make him an absolute star if he ever joined Vince McMahon’s company. It’s unsure whether Castle could bring his "boys" along with him, but if the company allowed him to be his charismatic, flamboyant best, he would have rivalries with the best in the game, and would without a doubt be one of the greatest and most unique characters in the history of the WWE. I do think that the WWE and Castle will be able to come to an agreement, and with the stale characters of Brock Lesnar, John Cena and Randy Orton no doubt gone by this time (at least as full-time competitors), he will be a breath of fresh air within the company.
11 Johnny Gargano
Johnny Wrestling is one of the best professional wrestlers in the entire world, and ever since coming to the NXT, with his immense popularity, it seemed only a matter of time until he broke out as a singles star, and with a personal rivalry with former partner Tommaso Ciampa on the horizon, it seems a matter of when, not if. Johnny is the perfect baby face in peril, and as the primary objective of the modern baby face is to get the fans on their side, no one does it better, and as Sami Zayn is struggling to fulfill the "next Daniel Bryan" role placed on him, Gargano will step in and fill that role perfectly. This may only happen if Triple H continues to gain influence, as he has the better eye for talent these days, especially as Mr. McMahon ages. Either way, talent can’t be denied, and that’s no different to Johnny Gargano, who will develop and prove he is one of the best wrestlers in this generation or any other.
10 Kevin Owens
KO came into the WWE with much fanfare, and although the heat he brings with him has quieted down since his main roster debut, he remains one of the best characters in the entire company, with a diverse ability in the ring matched by few in the entire company. At 33, he still has many years of wrestling in him, making him the prime candidate to replace someone like John Cena or Randy Orton at the top of the card. Owens is one of the best heels on the roster, antagonizing babyfaces in only a way he can, and while there may be a face turn in his future, he will no doubt remain one of the company's biggest fan favorites. In his run as a top star, we will no doubt see Owens collide with Sami Zayn in a WrestleMania main event, an honor which many big stars haven’t received throughout their time in WWE, but if anyone is deserving, it is Owens, and the pair of former best friends who will no doubt "fight forever," as fans often say.
Ricochet has been without a doubt the best high flier in the wrestling industry within the last five years, and with rumors of him to WWE heating up (there’s still some obstacles for it to be completed, like Lucha Underground commitments), it has people curious where the King of Flight will ply his craft, whether it be NXT, 205 Live or even straight to the main roster. While it would be a good boost for the cruiserweights to have such a star join them, his talents will be wasted on a show lacking such freedom and creativity.But if he is given a run in NXT and then the main roster, he will be a huge star. As we know from Lucha Underground, where he has been presented as the cornerstone of the promotion, Ricochet has the look of a star, and if Triple H continues to gain influence, someone like Ricochet would be able to thrive on the main roster, and it would be an incredible sight to see.
As Adrian Neville in NXT, The Man that Gravity Forgot was a standout star, for his all-around game, and after struggling to make his mark on the main roster, he has made the Cruiserweight division his own, standing out as one of the company's most dominant heels. Eventually though, Neville has to escape the cruiserweight division, as he is head and shoulders above any of the competition it will provide now or in the near future, and if he can bring his new attitude and still tremendous in-ring ability with him, he will be a legitimate contender for any championship the company has to offer. There are few in the industry today who are as diverse as Neville, as we have seen the vicious, brutal side of him as a heel, and he can fly like few in the world as a face, making him a prime candidate for WWE’s main event scene.
7 Marty Scurll
It’s been said countless times over the past few years, but the UK has the hottest scene in the entire wrestling world, and that's because of stars like Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr. and Jimmy Havoc all making names for themselves on a world wide stage, but perhaps the biggest star of the lot is the newest member of the Bullet Club, The Villain, Marty Scurll. He may not possess the technical mastery of Sabre or the high-flying, breathtaking offense of a Will Ospreay, but he has a unique look and a fantastic grasp on character work, which is just as important in the land of WWE. His look may have been somewhat "borrowed" by Jack Gallagher during his WWE run, but Scurll has an aura and star power about him that Gallagher can’t match, and he will dominate the WWE whether they like it or not.
6 Sami Zayn
The Underdog from the Underground has yet to find his footing as a true contender on the main roster, despite entering into his 4th year with the WWE, but the cream of the crop always rises to the top, and that will ring true eventually with the plucky Zayn, who has the ability to be a true main event star, akin to Daniel Bryan, Eddie Guerrero and other smaller superstars. Zayn is a true master of selling and storytelling within the ring, a trait which few in the company possess at his level, and he rarely has a bad match with anyone he steps in the ring with. Management don’t seem to be as high on Zayn as the fans are, but with his continual fantastic performances, it is only a matter of time until they see him as the majority do, and when that happens, he may go down in history as one of the best pure babyfaces the company has ever seen.
5 Matt Riddle
With the growing popularity of the UFC, it seems that the wrestling industry is trying to become a little more realistic, and with the likes of Brock Lesnar in the WWE, it gives the company a more legitimate feel, and when you think of legit tough guys outside of the WWE, one of the first names that comes to mind is The King of Bros, Matt Riddle. He competed in the UFC for quite some time, and even had an impressive winning streak before being released due to failed drug tests. He then tried his hand at the world of pro wrestling, and picked it up quicker than anyone in the history of the business. He still has some rough edges that need to be smoothed, but he has a great look, and is a phenomenal in-ring performer, and if the WWE ever decides to take a chance on him, he won’t be stopped on his way to the top of the card.
4 Joe Hendry
All around the world, there are fantastic wrestlers in every promotion you can think of, but one thing that is severely lacking from all of them is true entertainment and charisma that goes beyond the ring. For the Local Hero, Joe Hendry, he possesses that in spades, and has no qualms about letting his various opponents know about it. He has charisma akin to that of The Rock, or Chris Jericho, and with a great look and a unique way to insult his opponents, he could be a genuine superstar in the WWE, especially with such endless creativity and some freedom behind him. As a babyface, he creates custom entrance videos to mock his opponents, using famous songs such as "Teenage Dirtbag," "Wrecking Ball" or even the Pokemon theme song, and with his emphasis on PG entertainment, he would fit in perfectly at the top of the WWE main roster.
3 Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre came into the WWE with plenty of hype and plenty of promise, but after he failed to live up to said expectations, he left the company, and under his real name Drew Galloway, he went on to completely redefine the independent scene in the U.K. His sheer talent and star power was enough for the WWE to again come calling, this time for him to join arguably the best brand of the company, NXT. He has yet to really break out, but it’s obvious that fans absolutely love him, and if rumors are to be believed, he will be the one to take the NXT Championship from Bobby Roode. Then it will be only a matter of time until the main event on the main roster comes calling. McIntyre, despite being around for years, is only 31, and has enough left in the tank to main event for some time to come. That's when he can finally say that he lived up to those lofty expectations that were placed upon him so many years ago.
2 Seth Rollins
The Shield were an amazing stable that dominated the WWE, and since their breakup, all three have gone onto superstardom, with all winning the WWE Championship, but in 5 years time, Rollins will be the only one left in the WWE, with Roman Reigns moving on to bigger and better things, and Ambrose returning to the independent scene, where he will truly thrive under more freedom and creative input. WWE might favor Reigns out of the three, but for most wrestling fans, Rollins is the whole package, as he can fly, wrestle a technical style, as well as work babyface or heel, and when the next crop of main event stars break out, Rollins will be there to lead the charge. He will be nearing the end of his run with the company at this time, but if the WWE can continue to develop Rollins' character, he will stand out as one of the best wrestlers of this era, or any.
1 Adam Cole
Adam Cole, The Panama City Playboy, is absolutely made for the WWE, as he has the look, the ability in the ring and on the microphone, and just the pure X-factor that makes stars in the WWE, and it looks like he is on his way to NXT very soon. From that point on, there would be no ceiling on his potential. The former Bullet Club member is the only three-time ROH World Champion in history, and while he is a very likeable person away from the ring, his biggest success inside of it has come as a bad guy, where he can truly get the fans to hate him like no other. Love him or hate him, Cole is the future of WWE, as he is just 29 with over a decade of experience, and with his diverse skillset as a character, he may go down as this generation's mega star, if treated correctly.