World Wrestling Entertainment has several superstars aged 35 or older who are killing it in the company right now. The current Universal Champion Roman Reigns is 36 years while the current WWE Champion Big E is 35 years ago. Ten years ago those guys came from football careers, signed with WWE and developed into the big stars we know today.
AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley, Finn Balor are all 40 years old and over and moving just as well as they did when they were 30-35. Rey Mysterio is 46 years old while moving around the ring at an amazing speed all the time. The age of 40 seems to really be the new 30 nowadays, but the question needs to be asked. Who is the future of WWE? Who are the superstars under 35 years old who can lead WWE into the next 5-10 years? I’ve combed over the roster in both NXT and the main roster, and I have compiled a list of suitable names that I believe will lead WWE into the future. This is just a look at male superstars. There will be an article about female superstars in the future.
The “brass ring” phrase is something that has been used in pro wrestling for many years. Somebody grabbing the “brass ring” is in reference to making that leap from being just on the show to being a top guy the way we saw the likes of Steve Austin, The Rock, John Cena and others do it in their careers.
#5: Dominik Mysterio
When Dominik Mysterio came on to the scene in 2020, many weren’t impressed. They figured he just got his shot because of his legendary father Rey Mysterio. However, Dominik has since shown a lot of promise both in the ring and in talking segments with his father. He’s already been a part of the first ever father-son Tag Team Champions on Smackdown. He has worked with legit top guys like Seth Rollins, John Cena (as a team on live events), Roman Reigns, The Usos and Sami Zayn. I do think we will really start to see Dominik’s value when the time comes for him to turn on Rey. We’ve seen the teases. The name “Prince Mysterio” has been trademarked for use for over a year now. That could be what Dominik goes by when he turns heel.
Dominik Mysterio as a heel feuding with his father has a lot of legs to it in my opinion, especially if he ends up taking Rey’s mask in the process. He is only 24 years old so he has at least 15 years of top-level performing ahead of him before he hangs up his boots (or Mask). I wouldn’t be surprised if he has racked up a few World Title victories in that time period as well.
#4: Montez Ford
I know you’re probably asking “Where is Angelo Dawkins?” I believe the real value of Montez Ford will be realized once The Street Profits are done as a tag team. Granted, they have been a great tag team and I don’t think they should split up right away. Ford is only 31 years old, so he has a good decade left as a top performer if he chooses to stick around that long. Ford is a former marine from Chicago so he has the backstory that people can relate to. He has charisma for days and probably the most beautiful Frog Splash I have ever seen. He’s also good on the mic and super over with the crowd.
When the time comes for Ford to be pushed as a top-level singles babyface, I think he becomes an instant main event guy. He is also what I would consider a “WWE lifer”. He came up through the WWE system, trained in the system, and all he has ever known is the “WWE way”. That will serve him well as he transitions to a singles star with multiple World Title reigns under his belt. He has already been given the spotlight in singles matches with Seth Rollins and megastar and Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. That will only increase as time goes on.
#3: Pete Dunne
It is hard to believe but Pete Dunne has already had a 15-year career in professional wrestling. He had his first match in England at the age of 13. He has only been with WWE for four years, but he has already had a career’s worth of highlights. He was the second-ever WWE United Kingdom Champion after defeating Tyler Bate at NXT Takeover: Chicago in 2017. He held that title for 685 days before dropping the belt to WALTER at NXT Takeover: New York. He also won the Dusty Rhodes Classic and NXT World Tag Team Titles with Matt Riddle, getting a surprise victory over The Undisputed Era. Their reign was cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic and Pete Dunne being unable to travel from the UK to America due to travel restrictions. When Dunne returned, he turned heel and joined up with Pat Mcafee, Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch against The Undisputed Era.
Dunne has played a vicious heel and a badass babyface which only adds to his value. He just recently signed a new three-year deal with WWE and he will be 31 years old when that deal is up. Dunne has another good fifteen years if he wants to keep wrestling, which is crazy considering he’s already been active for fifteen years. I think he can be an all-time great for WWE if he chooses to stay with the company for the rest of his career.
#2: Gable Steveson
The youngest talent on this list. The world was shocked a week ago when Gable Steveson was one of the last televised draft picks for Raw. It is clear WWE has high hopes for Steveson. He is an Olympic Gold Medalist and the reigning NCAA Division I National Champion. You know WWE is fully invested when they’ve agreed to create a make-shift training facility in Minnesota so he can train while he is defending his title. The rumor is he might debut at Wrestlemania in a similar fashion to Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania 34. The last University of Minnesota NCAA Champion who made it big in WWE was a guy by the name of Brock Lesnar. The last Olympic Gold Medalist to make it in WWE was a guy by the name of Kurt Angle. A pretty elite company that Mr. Steveson is in.
If he can be even half of the talent that Angle and Lesnar were, you’re looking at at least twenty years of greatness from Gable Steveson. Brock Lesnar is his mentor while Paul Heyman is a friend, so he is already on the right path. If he takes to wrestling as quickly as Kurt did, the sky is the limit.
#1: Bron Breakker
This guy is a blue-chipper. You can tell by how he is being presented in NXT that WWE has high hopes for him. Bron Breakker is the son of Rick Steiner and the nephew of Scott Steiner. He was a college football player that was a fullback for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, but was cut in August of 2020, so he moved on to wrestling. He had his first official match in October of 2020 and was signed by WWE in February of 2021. Bron debuted on NXT in September of 2021 and looks like he’s been wrestling for about five years now even though it has technically only been one year. He talks just like his father and his uncle (with a voice that sounds just like Uncle Scott). He wears the colorful singlets much like Rick and Scott did. It’s clear that he’s getting the rocket strapped to him because he’s already in an NXT Title match against Tomasso Ciampa at Halloween Havoc on October 26.
I would be shocked if he spent more than a year in NXT. Breakker looks like he’s ready now. It is amazing how quickly he has caught on to wrestling, but he is clearly the future of the WWE. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is WWE or Universal Champion within two years from right now and main eventing Wrestlemania within five years. Pencil this guy in as a way too early 2023 Royal Rumble favorite.
Those are five talents who I think will take WWE into the next five or ten years once the likes of AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Bobby Lashley, etc. start to fade away.
Out of the five guys I listed, at least three are easy bets to be Wrestlemania main events. The jury is still out on Pete Dunne and Dominik Mysterio. Not because of talent. It just depends on how long Dunne stays with WWE and how much Dominik continues to develop. I know WWE has gotten a lot of hate over the last couple of years for not creating any young stars. Some of that is warranted. However, I feel like with these five guys here plus a few more that didn’t make the list, WWE is in good hands in the years to come.
Thanks for reading. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments.