Whose the next needle moving star?

With AEW in full swing now and a massive ratings drop, one has to wonder if they really need that needle moving star to retain the audience. WWE similarly has had difficulty retaining and creating fans.

Back in the day it was the mega stars like Hogan, Austin, Rock that would entice non fans to watch and to keep existing fans coming back.

As of right now, we probably have two stars that are A level needle movers:

Brock Lesnar

Everyone else doesn’t really draw huge quarters or have non fans buzzing to check them out. Of these two, one is part time and another hasn’t come back yet.

So who is the next star that will reach the needle moving level? Guys like Roman, Seth etc have all failed so far. Even AEW hasn’t positioned their biggest star (Omega) at this level.

My guys is the following people have a chance to reach that level:

Omega (still have some hope they can redeem him to NJPW levels)
Bray (if kept red hot)
Velveteen Dream

Any thoughts

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Part of the problem is the need for big opponents to build the huge stars. For instance Becky could have been (maybe still could be) if they did a better job booking her and she had more interesting matchups. This is something I think Tessa will also face. The ability to draw is largely based on feuds people want to see. That is what helped Rock and Austin. On the men’s side maybe Cody. I don’t see that potential yet from anyone else on the AEW roster, it is starting to feel to me like Omega benefitted greatly from NJPW booking and being in a country where his promo work wasn’t as important. Big stars (at least the ones you mention from the past) were all promo and character with passable ring skills, none were putting on amazing technical classics.


Yeah it’s true you need competition to make you famous as the Rock says.

I think Omega was supposed to be that guy - you May have to fault AEW here for making him seem like a loser so far.

NXT seems to have more guys capable of this (ie - Riddle and Dream come to mind) whereas AEW doesn’t really have that strong Charismatic type outside of maybe MJF (although he doesn’t scream superstar yet).

They could really use an injection of someone with true superstar potential. I feel like they Tessa if she has a chance to be that person. Cody is a reasonable example too and possibly the closest they have now.

However I don’t see much. Riddle and dream have the most potential so far out of either brand

Maybe I’m misinterpreting social media - but to me MJF looks like hes getting traction. AEW have held him back to start but I think hes going to blow up when the turn on Cody happens

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Needle moving would mean attracting the attention of people outside the wrestling bubble. I don’t know if there is anyone to that level around.

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Omega yes and should be pushed

Bray, hope not. Not good in ring, pass

Riddle, yes, why not.

Dream, sure, why not

Tessa, LOCK

I mean MJF got made into a meme I guess but I doubt that is really drawing people to wrestling. His social media following is actually pretty small right now.

Don’t be so literal.
We know what he means.
Jeez Louise

I just don’t see Omega he isn’t good on the Mic he puts on great matches, but that isn’t enough and he comes off way to goofy to be a superstar right now.

As to Tessa she isn’t a lock she isn’t on a big platform right now and it isn’t as if she is drawing huge crowds right now. In the future the issue for her is where she lands if she lands in WWE there right now is more potential but it is WWE and they can screw up anyone. If she goes to AEW their women have been awful so far and give her no opponents. Neither of those companies is going to feature her in inter gender matches…

Bray won’t be because he is a gimmick act even if he is the next undertaker he still isn’t rock or Austin level.

Tessa isn’t a lock but she’s literally the only one I can see with that potential. If I was either WWE or AEW I would throw everything at her. She has that star power infused correctly.

Omega isn’t a great promo. But he has that appeal to the VG audience and has a good look. If he’s given a run he may reach NJPW levels. He was a god there and a real needle moved

I think to be in that position in 2019 you need to come from another sport/media and/or use social media in a clever way (so be a good promo).

I think it helped him in NJPW that he was part of good stories and matched up against their top home grown stars. I’m not sure he can do that here as there are no stars to put him over. I also think work rate matters way more in Japan. I keep seeing th VG thing but I just don’t think that is part of being a huge draw. Xavier woods has that and he is no top star (though I think he could be more than he is in a different promotion)

Meltzer always says some only knows Omega and Xavier from VG. Maybe I’m putting too much stock into what he says

Those people might know them only that way, but the question is does that drive views and attendance to their wrestling programs in a significant way?


And I even think that wrestling fans slightly overrate the reach of people like Brock & Rousey, and definitely overrate regular wrasslers like Becky, Seth, or Omega.

While the sport is in the midst of a mini-renaissance, it’s still nowhere near as pervasive to mainstream society as it was in the 90’s.

So then the question becomes, which can move the needle in terms of galvanizing fans already within the wrestling bubble and MAYBE drawing a few casual eyes in along the way.

I think Dream & Riddle are good choices (even though I’m not a huge fan of Riddle’s schtick), Cody is poised for a big finish to 2019, and Tessa has absolute star quality.

If we’re looking for some “sleeper” picks, I’d go with MJF, Jungle Boy, and Sonny Kiss from AEW; and Shayna Baszler who could be money on the WWE main roster if booked correctly. :100:


I think A lot of guys and girls can be the next big star its hard to say who it will be it really needs a big angle or two.

People seem to forget bad gimmicks The Rock Rocky Maiva. Austin Ringmaster. Hulk Hogan early days, etc etc

I guess the question is with social media today and on demand easy access video footage does it shine a light on someone’s previous bad gimmicks? by the time rock and wrestling was roaring only a small number knew Hogan’s past. even in the roaring attitude era ringmaster and Maivia was past figments and barely know to the masses and with limited video access of such many would know until later if ever cared and stopped watching in 2001

If you saw the Hollywood Blondes, would you have picked Steve Austin to be one the all time biggest stars in the business? No.
Thing is, you can’t predict these things. It takes so many things for it to happen. Roman Reigns could be, but he was just handled so poorly. Maybe he could recover.
Jungle Boy could be, because of his name. Cody has a chance. But we gotta wait and see

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Watch out for BIG E and his BIG P

You are right. You can’t always tell. But you can see flashes of brilliance.

I think people always saw star power in Austin. Maybe not to this extent but it was there.

When Rocky turned to the NOD it was obvious he would be huge. Was already overshadowing Farooq.

In terms of currently there probably are people who have more potential than we think. But do you see any genuine A lost talent out there that could become the face of the company? Like the next Cena? The closest since Cena was CM Punk but it was short lived because he left.

Jungle boy I like - will need to hear him talk more. Riddle and Dream have a lot of charmisa but let’s see them in front of a bigger audience.

Shayna is being kept super strong I assume for an eventual feud with Ronda. That could really make her although I’m not sure she will ever have the appeal of a Ronda or Tessa.

IMHO Tessa is the X factor. She could be massive and if I was WWE I would throw everything at her to sign. If you get her then AEW has a dead women’s division. However if they land her all bets are off

I think any gloom & doom about AEW’s women’s division is a bit “prisoner of the moment” at best & probably short-sighted at worst.

I think Rhio is s perfectly acceptable champion, even though I would’ve put the bel th on Nyla. Dr. Britt, Allie, & Bea aren’t spectacular, but they’re solid. Awesome Kong is a big deal whenever she shows up, and the ability to bring in underrated veterans like Jazz, Aja Kong, & Mercedes Martinez helps to round out the division.


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