My Breakout WWE/NXT Superstars of 2020
The clock struck midnight on New Year's Eve and a new year of pro wrestling became upon us. The WWE Universe and crazed NXT fans have been excited to see who will step up in a HUGE way in the year 2020.
Who will make their mark?
Who will solidify themselves as future big time players under the WWE umbrella?
Who will become....legendary?
Every person within the WWE Universe has THEIR favorite options on who they want to succeed in this next coming year. Here are 10 of MY favorite breakout stars who I feel will make their presence felt one way or another in the year 2020!
How can you kick off a Breakout Superstar list with anyone other than the winner of the NXT Breakout Superstar of 2019 award?
Keith Lee has emerged as one of the biggest fan favorites in all of NXT. His uncanny athleticism is completely unmatched, especially from someone of his size and stature. The limitless man can literally do ANYTHING inside that squared circle and that's a pretty scary thing for his opponents to deal with on a nightly basis.
For me personally, when Lee and Dominik Dijakovic had their infamous series of battles with one another, it made me fully understand that Keith Lee had become a superstar that every single NXT fan started to REALLY respect. Those matches were hands down some of the best battles of 2019 in ALL of WWE. As their brutality towards one another grew after each bout, their remarkable chemistry did as well.
Then when it became time for Lee to be introduced to a few top superstars of Raw and SmackDown at Survivor Series, everyone on those respective brands were put on notice, even Roman Reigns. Lee let all of those superstars know that he would eventually be coming for them somewhere down the line, and it made for such a memorable Survivor Series moment.
How much of an impact will Keith Lee make in the year 2020? I have a very, very big feeling that this man is going to make certain that everyone who stands in his path will most definitely bask in his glory.
Now I know what you're thinking on this one. The guy has already become a United States Champion within WWE and has made his presence enormously felt thus far on the Raw brand...
However, I believe that Ricochet will fly to new heights in the year 2020 -- and by new heights, I downright mean that he will become a world champion. Words can barely describe how incredibly athletic this guy really is inside that squared circle. The innovative moves he pulls out of his bag of tricks are something I personally have never seen before and THAT'S what makes him stand out from the pack.
It's only a matter of time until the WWE Universe become rattled by Ricochet not getting major opportunities to shine in the top spot on Raw. I believe that his utmost passion and heart will carry him through, and the fans will rally behind him in 2020 just like they did with guys such as Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan.
Currently, Ricochet is my favorite superstar to watch in all of professional wrestling today. I will definitely be rooting for this real-life superhero to do whatever it takes to reach the top of the ladder this year.
(He's also my sentimental pick to win this year's Royal Rumble match.)
Anyone who read my article on Dana Brooke a few months back knows how much I'm rooting for this young woman to achieve her dreams within WWE. I've always called Dana "The Ultimate Underdog" as I've been itching for YEARS to sweep that title for her under the rug and finally see her become a viable top superstar in the women's division.
Lately on SmackDown, it seems as if Dana has been receiving more opportunities to show off her skills inside the ring. Fans around the world have been starting to notice the growth and are quietly getting behind her. It's only a matter of time, in my opinion, that Dana Brooke becomes a women's champion, especially if she keeps displaying her passion to become the very best. Hard work pays off in the long run, and Dana understands that to the fullest extent.
If I had things my way, Dana would win the Money in the Bank Ladder Match this year and get one step closer to making her dream come true. The women's division in WWE desperately needs a breath of fresh air and I truly believe that Dana Brooke has what it takes to be just that.
I've been a fan of this young man ever since he made his splash in the Cruiserweight Classic right before becoming the heart of 205 Live. Mustafa Ali, just like Ricochet, has such an innovative style inside the ring that you always have to pick your jaw from off the floor after watching a match of his.
Although his injury prior to last year's Elimination Chamber pay-per-view could be labeled as the major reason that Kofimania was able to run wild at Wrestlemania, 2020 is a brand new year and Ali looks to forge his OWN path towards greatness.
Ali is one of those rare breeds inside the ring that could make anyone he's in there with look like a million bucks. He eats, sleeps, breathes, and bleeds pro wrestling and knowing that, fans around the world will ultimately rally behind him. His passion for his work inside the ring, as well as creating cultural change while doing so, is something I thoroughly respect about the guy, as others should as well.
Look for Mustafa Ali to become a heavy player within the WWE in not only 2020, but in years to follow, as we will all witness him be the light he's always been inspired to be.
After watching this woman battle her way through other promotions over the years, seeing Mia Yim in an NXT ring makes me happy knowing she's where she truly belongs. The HBIC has the look and in-ring potential to become an incredible character within the women's division of both NXT and WWE. With her hard-hitting style and relentless fight that she possesses, there's no doubt in my mind that Mia will strive in 2020.
Although I enjoy seeing her smile at the fans each time she's on television, I know without a shadow of a doubt that there's a villainous side of Mia Yim that she hasn't let us all witness yet. This year, I think that dark side of The HBIC will finally jump out on our television screens and that NXT Women's title will be the precise reason why.
I very much am looking forward to seeing what one my favorite people within the wrestling business does to cement herself as a top woman of NXT in 2020!
As soon as this guy with the crazy dimples emerged onto 205 Live, Aiden English wasn't the only one to notice his astonishing talent. Humberto Carrillo quickly was given the chance to perform on the main roster and so far the young superstar has certainly lived up to the hype to its fullest degree.
Carrillo is a human highlight reel and has already had incredible showings (and wins) against the likes of AJ Styles and Andrade. When you talk about the future of WWE, he is definitely an important piece of the puzzle, especially for the Hispanic community.
I expect HUGE things for Humberto Carrillo in 2020, including possible United States title reigns that will uplift his career to brand new heights.
(I also wouldn't mind staring at my television screen as I watch a Humberto Carrillo vs. Rey Mysterio match happen at some point. Just sayin'.)
The Latina with the absolute greatest facial expressions of anyone I've ever seen, Taynara is a character that will unquestionably shine bright in 2020. With her judo and jiu-jitsu skills packed in her arsenal, along with her sassy personality, there's a whole lot of success just waiting for Taynara to capture.
What it takes to be a viable superstar under the WWE umbrella is the connection with the fans. Whether she's the likable face that everyone adores or the villainous vixen that preaches her supremacy, Taynara KNOWS how to build the chemistry that is needed with her audience.
I have zero doubt in my mind that this woman will prove to the world why she's a viable threat to every woman of NXT. I also wouldn't be surprised if Taynara skyrockets to the top of the division and gives the women's champion a run for her money, which will then create the realization to every single person watching that Latinas do it better.
"The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels was one of those cocky characters that men loved to hate on and the women wanted to love on.
Whenever I see Angel Garza enter the arena, it instantly reminds me of how HBK was. The confidence that oozes from Garza and shoots through the television screen is completely organic and not something you see very often. In that regard, some would even say that Garza just has that IT-factor.
With the extraordinary heel personality traits that he possesses, a superstar would need the in-ring skills to match. That certainly is the case for Garza as he always steals the show when he gets the chance to. His recent battles with Lio Rush over the NXT Cruiserweight title has left fans on their feet with their jaws dropped down, wondering what in the world they just witnessed.
In my opinion, Angel Garza is one of those special performers that comes along every once in a blue moon. Right now he's the current Cruiserweight Champion, but a talent of his caliber deserves to be labeled as one of the best superstars in the entire business. I believe that in 2020, many people will start thinking that same way about Angel Garza as well...
After months of anticipation from her fans, Liv Morgan finally made her surprising return back to WWE at Lana and Bobby Lashley's wedding to end 2019. Although the circumstances of why she returned left some fans scratching their heads, the main point is that Liv is now on her own and will be featured on Raw from this point forward.
The now fully blonde bombshell will look to branch out from her former squad and cause riots in 2020 lonesome, and I honestly believe, with her eccentric personality, that she will become an ultimate fan-favorite.
Liv Morgan is incredibly underrated inside the ring and with an opportunity to shine bright on Raw, I think the sky's the limit for this young up-and-coming talent. Watch for Liv to turn into a suitable superstar to head up the women's division on Raw at some point in 2020.
From the first glance at Damian Priest during his debut on NXT, I knew at that very moment that this man was going to be something BIG in WWE someday. The look, the presentation of his character, the theme song, and the entrance all took me by surprise of how perfect the debut was.
Just when I thought that the awesomeness was over, he got inside the ring and presented a hard-hitting style that completely left fans in attendance speechless. Since that first time I laid eyes on him, my realization of how great of a superstar Priest is has increased significantly. His matches with the likes of Keith Lee, Pete Dunne, and Killian Dain raised the eyebrows of every person watching, as it made them all understand how impactful of a talent Priest will be for years to come.
In 2020, I utterly believe that Damian Priest will become the NXT Champion. It's really just a matter of time as this superstar is undeniably the complete package.
When it all comes down to it, superstars on every brand are going to all strive to be the ones to make the biggest impact in 2020. With this year already kicking off and WrestleMania weekend coming up quickly, there's NO doubt in my mind that these men and women will do something to make themselves stand out as soon as possible -- and more importantly, BREAK OUT!
Who is YOUR pick to become the breakout superstar of 2020?
© 2020 Steve Smith