Traditionally, the period immediately after WrestleMania is the time for WWE’s spring cleaning. Along with mass dismissals of unwanted talent, it’s also a time for signing up new stars for the coming year. Here, we look at some of the men and women currently working around the North American independent wrestling scene who WWE would do well to sign up.
Despite working for the WWE as Scotty Goldman, Cabana never really captured the magic that’s made him the darling of light-hearted indy wrestling for the last few years. Cabana’s fun, comedic style is the perfect match for the WWE’s kid friendly approach to wrestling, yet it’s also subversive and anarchic enough to amuse cynical adults too. Cabana remains best friends with WWE superstar CM Punk, and indy wrestling fans the world over would be delighted to see a reunion of their half-face, half-heel stable, the Second City Saints, the perfect play between Cabana’s self-aware wackiness, and Punk’s smarkish sociopathy.
The Briscoe Brothers
Lovingly known simply as “Dem Boys”, the Briscoe’s have dominated independent tag team wrestling for almost a decade. Perfectly capable of swinging between violent, threatening, hardcore brutality, and self-aware, comedy caricatures whilst always maintaining a hold on their clear cut red-neck gimmick, the Briscoe’s could be the perfect launch pad for Triple H’s reported desire to bring about a new golden age of tag team wrestling in the WWE. With their rural Maryland-influenced hillbilly Republican characters, even occasionally wrestling in outfits decorated with the confederate “stars and bars”, they could be the perfect sidekicks for Zeb Coulter and Jack Swagger’s tea-party characters.
WWE’s attitude to women’s wrestling has been conflicting recently. Triple H has been open about his disinterest in the division, but pushes for the Bella Twins and Funkadactyls, and the signing of indie starlet Sara Del Rey as an NXT trainer show, perhaps, a renewed commitment. If that’s the case, then WWE couldn’t do much better than signing Madison Eagles. At six feet tall, she compliments WWE’s appreciation for larger than life superstars, and could possibly fill the gap for a powerful female heel left by the departure of Kharma, whilst, with over a decade of experience, she has the skills and the know-how to put on solid matches that would win more respect than the average modern Diva’s match; a call back to the glory days of Lita, Trish Stratus and Mickey James, an age that’s received a new relevancy thanks to the recent induction of Stratus into the WWE Hall of Fame.
“Kill Steen, Kill”. No phrase sums up pure indie wrestling in it’s current state than those three words. Since in the end of RoH’s golden age, and the decline to the TNA X-Division, Kevin Steen has been one of the last true poster boys of independent North American pro-wrestling. Once considered “too indie” in his look and style by many, we know live in a world were CM Punk, Brian Danielson, Claudio Castignoli, Chris Hero, Tyler Black and Jon Moxley are all big stars in the WWE, whilst Low Ki and Colt Cabana also had runs. Could it be time for Steen to join them?
KENTA is already a bonafide legend in Japan, but he’s also one of the only remaining world famous Japanese professional wrestlers young enough to make his mark on mainstream American wrestling. Combining the traditional Japanese strong style, with the Mexican influenced super-junior style of the mid-90’s, KENTA would be the perfect foil in hard hitting, internet pleasing matches for fellow online darlings like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Antonio Cassero and, eventually, Kassius Ohno.
Let us know your picks for indie wrestlers the WWE needs to sign up in the comments section below.