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Since Triple H took over the creative team, WWE fans have been excited about the return of superstars like Johnny Gargano, Dexter Lumis, Dakota Kai, IYO Sky, Karrion Kross, Scarlett Bordeaux and Hit Row. Not only that, but several of the NXT UK brand are switching to NXT 2.0 following the news of the shutdown.
It got me thinking about other free agents that would create buzz if they landed on a big platform like the WWE main roster or AEW Dynamite. Who would you like to see? Let us know in the comments.
#10. Xia Brookside
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At the age of 19, the daughter of British wrestling legend Robbie Brookside became one of WWE's youngest signings. She spent much of her 4-year WWE career as a babyface, though she gradually made a comeback last year after losing a title match to Meiko Satomura. For those who aren't regular watchers of the British brand, Xia has been steadily improving and is perhaps the biggest shocker of recent releases.
She has made so many friends in the business and will certainly be an asset to any company that contracts with her. For her to have so much experience at her age is rare. The last time the UK produced a girl this young and talented, we got Paige. Okay, I'm not saying she's the next Paige, but there are some parallels. Some will say "Xia who??", but my eye for talent (not to brag…but I have quite the track record) tells me she will go far if given the chance.
I didn't know where to put Bandido, but man, this guy is an enigma. He's probably in my top 3 luchadores in the world (behind the Lucha Brothers) because every match he has is exciting. He's a former ROH & PWG World Champion and I can't understand how AEW or WWE haven't signed him yet. Bandido rose to prominence as part of the main event of All In, the first supershow produced by Cody Rhodes & The Young Bucks before AEW was born.
He recently wrestled for GCW, Ric Flair's Last Match event and for Impact Wrestling. Bandido is a companion. It goes where needed. Perhaps because no one has offered him a substantial contract he continues to travel the world working for smaller offers to build his profile. In my eyes, Bandido is already a star. He just needs someone to recognize his greatness.
#8. Tyler Breeze
The Tyler Breeze we had on the WWE main roster was nothing like the character that appeared on the original black & gold NXT brand. With Triple H in creative control, I wouldn't be surprised to see Tyler, the original selfie guy (fuck you Theory!), return to WWE to get his gimmick back.
Not only that, but Tyler is well-loved behind the scenes, has a knack for teaching, and can help out creatively. So Tyler Breeze's return would not only be a victory on screen, but off screen as well. Sometimes what you do behind the scenes can have the biggest impact on your legacy.
#7. W Morrissey
The man formerly known as Big Cass has survived a bumpy road. Near the end of his recent run with Impact Wrestling, Morrissey admitted on television that he was depressed, anxious and an alcoholic while in WWE and was rightfully fired. Now he has overcome it and is in a better place.
Last seen, he was making his AEW debut and lost a match to Wardlow. He has not competed since May and his status is unknown. Here's to hoping he continues to enjoy life and makes a glorious comeback, and preferably without his former tag team partner SAWFT (whom he didn't like anyway). There is incredible potential in the big man that I know would be best served with Triple H, the man who first believed in Big Cass.
#6. Tegan Nox
With Clash At The Castle just around the corner, now would be the perfect time to bring the Welsh superstar back to WWE. She has a babyface quality that we never saw on the main roster because they released her before her debut last year. WWE needs to fill out their women's divisions and Nox can provide that.
The only question mark is that she has torn her ACL in the past, but we have no way of knowing if she will reverse that trend if she is not given the chance. WWE could bring back former stars like Nia Jax or Lana, but if they want a dedicated young wrestler with a lot of upside, Tegan Nox has more of that than any female free agent who has yet to become Women's Champion.
#5. Johnny [insert name]
When John Morrison was released last year, he surprised many fans because "Johnny Drip Drip" had taken on his new character. A few months ago, he debuted for AEW as Johnny Elite, winning his first match and then losing an open challenge to Miro. He hasn't officially signed with AEW, but the door remains open. With his wife Taya Valkyrie returning to Impact Wrestling, it was speculated that the former Impact World Champion would return there.
Last month it was confirmed that Johnny [insert name] was dealing with an injury and was unable to live up to his GCW bookings. He wrestled a few matches for Progress and AAA in June. No one knows where he'll land next, but when he does, expect him to adjust and make the most of it.
#4. Braun Strowman
While some may not care about it, I know many fans are eager to see Braun Strowman return to WWE. As a former Universal Champion, he would add another element to the main event scene, or at least that's what Triple H expects him to be. We've seen how Strowman can portray the monster heel and babyface that plays well with the guys, so he's versatile. Many fans were in disbelief when he was released, although the writing was on the wall. Vince McMahon struggled for a while to figure out what to do with him and the feud with Shane McMahon left a lot to be desired.
Strowman hadn't made enough progress for McMahon, but it wasn't like he had much to work with. Remember, Strowman was at his best when he feuded with Roman Reigns. They complimented each other and he could do the same again. Strowman is a talent you have to watch out for or he can't do anything for you. I think Triple H would have done better with Strowman, but I highly doubt AEW knew how to use him.
#3. James Storm
The former world champion is one of the last TNA originals who wasn't given a good shot in WWE. James Storm worked in NXT for two runs in 2015 before returning to Impact. He was overlooked when AEW opened their doors and instead worked for the NWA. In recent years, he has moved with little focus between the NWA and Impact.
For whatever reason, "The Cowboy" has never had a promotion with a major TV deal (unless you're taking over TNA on Spike TV) and looks pretty much lost. Storm is a great talent and yes…he's 45 years old and not getting better, but he's a reliable worker and can still make a name for himself with fans who didn't get to see him. Impact fans would love it if he reunited with Robert Roode and brought the Beer Money Inc team to WWE. And this is something… where is Roode these days?
#2. Mickey James
He's had a rocky relationship with WWE for years. Initially, Mickie James burst onto the scene as Trish Stratus' #1 contender and won a huge title shot over her at WrestleMania 26. Mickie continued to win titles after that, but WWE rarely pushed her as a major star. Regardless, the fans loved her and many followed her career in TNA. She has captured titles all over the world and her passion for women's wrestling is second to none. This was evident when he produced NWA Empowerrr, an all-female PPV event. WWE wanted her for the Royal Rumble this year, so they agreed with Impact that the Knockout Champion would do it. She became the only female wrestler to carry an Impact Championship into the ring on a WWE show.
WWE is trying to make new stars in the women's division and who better to put them than Mickie James? Recently in an interview she said that she does not know what to expect because she has already done everything. I think she wouldn't turn down an offer to return to WWE if it came up, but she'd pass on AEW because they wouldn't have time for her. I believe if AEW were interested they would have reached out already. Mickie James has so much to pass on to the next generation, and with Triple H making the main roster, a glorified version of the old NXT, who better than her to teach the natural way?
#1. Bray Wyatt
Yeah...sorry guys, it was the obvious choice. Everyone is waiting for the triumphant return of Bray Wyatt (AKA Windham Rotunda) and there is no telling when or how that will happen. With Vince McMahon leaving WWE, there's a better chance he'll return, but I wouldn't count on him going anywhere else. Wyatt isn't so much about the money as he is about the creativity. If AEW allows him to go all out with whatever vision he has? He could go there.
But there's something to be said for familiarity, and Wyatt will know he always has a place in WWE. It's not an easy choice, but no matter how much his bread is buttered, his return will be delicious. He won't be the same as before, as he will only receive a groundbreaking development of his character. With what happened with "The Fiend" I would expect that character to be buried. It's impossible to say which way it will go, but I'm sure it will be intriguing.
I apologize again for the mandatory number 1 position. There is no one else that fans are so eagerly waiting for. If you're a fan who doesn't care about Wyatt, who would you rather see? Do you think AEW needs more wrestlers? Would you rather Triple H take on a few more superstars? Or should they be happy building what they have? Let us know in the comments and thanks for reading!
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